Primarily, the focus of alternative medicine is to treat the body and the mind as a whole, creating a unified balance that promotes relaxation and reduces stress.
Ever heard of lavender and bergamot? These are just two of some popular essential oils that are known for producing aromas effective in relieving stress and muscle tension.
Other extracts from certain plants and flowers can bring this wonderful effect to anyone who has inhaled the scent. For an even better result, combine aromatherapy with massage.
Swedish, Shiatsu, Thai, these are just some of the most popular massage techniques that are used worldwide. In general, massage therapy helps relaxes the muscles and improve blood circulation that does not only reduce stress levels, but, alleviates pain as well.
You can go from gentle to deep tissue massages, depending on your tolerance. However, if you suffer from any musculoskeletal condition, make sure you to seek your doctor’s advice first if massage is appropriate.
Meditation is an ancient practice in Asia that was used to maintain peace and tranquillity. It offers a wide range of physical, emotional, and mental benefits, including the relief of stress.
Meditation involves different principles and practices, but commonly involves deep breathing exercises and repeating positive thoughts mentally.
Aside from helping the person achieve a calm state of mind, the deep breathing exercises also offer added benefits such as increasing the intake of oxygen-rich air.
Yoga is sometimes considered as a form of meditation and vice versa. The discipline combines physical and mental aspects to control stress, involving specific poses and controlled breathing, aimed at unifying the body, mind, and spirit.
Just like meditational practices, yoga can relieve and prevent chronic stress through relaxation techniques.
Acupressure and Acupuncture
These two ancient Chinese arts of healing are based on the concept of life energy or “chi”, which was believed to stimulate the body’s own healing ability. Any malady that the body acquires is attributed to the interruption in the flow of chi, when the body’s natural pathways are blocked.
Acupressure and acupuncture are aimed at freeing the pathways from these blocks by working on certain “potent points”. Whereas acupressure uses finger pressures on those points, acupuncture employs insertion of very fine needles through the skin on the same points.
Through hypnosis, the power of the unconscious mind is unlocked, which in turn offers relaxation and a renewed, positive outlook that combats stress.
Every person has a unique way to cope with stress, and alternative treatments only present a few of these options. It is always best to engage in a practice that you enjoy and can commit to in order to see long-term results.
As with all medications, supplements, and therapies; a consultation with your doctor is strongly recommended.