Holistic Treatments I

“Our bodies communicate to us clearly and specifically, if we are willing to listen.”

~ Shakti Gawain

Medical research shows that our thoughts directly affect our physical health. Stress and certain lifestyles can leave us more vulnerable to sinus and allergy diseases as well as other chronic illnesses. Therefore, managing stress well and changing our unhealthy habits can dramatically influence our body for the better. Being relaxed and calm is beneficial to health in general, not just to the health of our nose and sinuses.

You will find, below, a list of holistic/alternative treatments I have tried and found to be powerfully effective. Many of them were inexpensive or free, because I taught myself by watching DVDs, reading books, or participating in free sessions. For others that require a professional practitioner, be sure to hire those with proper training and experience to make sure that you are getting the best and safest care.

The key is consistent practice with a positive outlook. It’s good to see the conventional medical community increasingly accept and validate the fact that holistic/alternative treatments play a valuable role in the healing process.

These holistic/alternative treatments may be utilized as complementary to conventional medical approaches, but not necessarily to replace them. And I am not claiming that any of these treatments can cure an illness. It is also true that many holistic methods mentioned on this site have not been subjected to rigorous scientific studies. It is ultimately up to each person to use common sense and make informed decisions about one’s health practices.

Acupressure

applies finger pressure on known points on the body to stimulate the flow of energy (referred to as qi or chi) and to promote self-healing. When the energy flow along the pathway, known as “meridians,” is blocked or depleted, illness occurs. Acupressure is used to treat numerous conditions such as headaches, muscle pain, allergies, insomnia, fatigue, anxiety, digestive problems, and nausea. Pressing on the acupressure points, as I learned by watching a tape and reading, has provided me with instant relief of headache, facial pain, fatigue, among other symptoms.

Acupuncture

is based on the same concept of energy flow as acupressure, but inserts needles into the key points of the body rather than finger pressure. Evidence suggests that it facilitates the release of endorphins, which help reduce pain and create a sense of well-being. People with asthma or allergy may experience more relaxed and calmer breathing. I understand the idea of needles being inserted into your body is unsettling, but in professional hands, you hardly feel the prick and will most likely appreciate many benefits this ancient treatment offers, such as pain relief, easier breathing, more energy, etc.

Affirmations

taps into the power of the mind to create positive and beneficial behaviors. It is based on a concept called the “law of attraction,” which means you create what you think and focus on. Positive affirmations can change your perception of yourself and other things that may motivate you to develop good health, meaningful relationships, and prosperity. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and stressed by life’s challenges. So repeating positive affirmations have helped me to stay optimistic and focus on possibilities.

Art Therapy

utilizes art medium to nurture creative process and personal expression. Expressing your thoughts and feelings visually can be a powerful way to address conflicts and solve problems, foster self-awareness, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem. As an artist, I experience these benefits personally and immediately. While painting, I can easily achieve that “zone” where full attention and optimal creative energy naturally occur. Remember it does not matter whether you are a good artist, in the traditional sense. What’s important is freedom and joy you experience by whatever you are creating at the moment.

Autogenic Training

is a traditional European method to achieve relaxation by passive focus and awareness of body sensations. It is effective for stress-related conditions such as anxiety and insomnia as well as chronic medical conditions. A study showed this exercise enhanced lung function of many asthma sufferers over time. While practicing autogenic technique myself, I also taught it to my son, an asthmatic, and he already is experiencing better breathing since he started a month ago. Try it for yourself! Click here for instruction.

Brainwave Entrainment

stimulates the brain with pulsed sounds and the overall activity of the brain will respond to and align with these pulses known as FFR or “frequency following response”. By selecting the desired rate, the brain, via the FFR, can be naturally induced towards the selected brainwave states such as alpha, theta, or delta and its inherent benefits. Because of the entrainment or FFR, theses pulsed sounds produce benefits similar to deep meditation. Listening, for the first time, to a brainwave entrainment sound from Quantum Mind Power, I was surprised by how refreshed and energized I felt afterwards. There was clarity in thinking as well. As I learn more about how our brain functions, I strongly believe in beneficial changes these sounds generate.

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Breath Work

is a major source of energy supply to the body. It achieves change through a natural state of breathing that generates relaxed, open, flowing, and rhythmic pattern. Proper and conscious breathing improves your mood while being mentally alert and having greater emotional awareness. As soon as I feel tense or stressed, the first thing I do is shift my breathing to a slow, deep, rhythmic, and conscious pattern. This simple act instantly relaxes my body and mind and the tendency to overreact is diverted. I highly recommend it for its quick, simple, yet powerful effectiveness without costing a penny.

Chiropractic

applies spinal adjustments to restore proper joint motion allowing the body’s innate healing potential to restore proper function. It is known to relieve nerve pressure and inflammation. My past experiences with chiropractic work have almost always been beneficial. As with any treatment, it would be wise to find a highly qualified, experienced practitioner.

Cognitive Therapy

is based on a guiding principle that all your moods are created by your thoughts. Thus, by examining mental distortions your perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes might generate, you can learn to deal with negative moods that affect your health adversely. There is a book titled, “The Feeling Good” by Dr. David Burns that taught me how to apply this method. I find the mental exercises the author espouses to be very useful in exposing my own misconceptions and guiding me to think more objectively.

Dahn Yoga

originated in South Korea by Ilchi Lee. The word dahn means vital energy that values physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. It is one of the more vigorous forms of yoga that blends tai chi and martial arts elements. It works muscles, joints, organs, etc., with greater blood circulation. Like other yoga modalities, this method enhances resistance to stress and facilitates natural inner healing by balancing and utilizing your energy or ki. The first time I tried dahn yoga, I experienced some aching due to its vigorous nature. And yet, the more I practiced, the more I liked the blending of different styles that left me both energized and relaxed at the same time after each session.

Dream Therapy

is the process of recalling, recording, and giving meaning and value to a dream. It is based on a premise that our dreams speaking in symbolic, metaphorical language can reveal deeper truth about our experiences and ourselves. Dreams can help us to see the real issues that affect physical health. I keep a dream journal and draw or write what I recall about my dreams. They definitely reveal much about things that remain hidden from ordinary consciousness but affect my automatic thought and behavior. For exploring the mysterious realm of our deepest self, I think dream therapy is a must.

Emotional Freedom Technique

balances our energy system using a simple sequence of tapping on key acupressure points on the face, upper torso and hands. It is a simple and effective form of meridian energy therapy. Some have called it “emotional acupuncture.” Click here to see EFT tapping points. It is known to relieve negative emotional states such as fear, anxiety, and depression as well as physical pain. Yes, I know…. I looked weird tapping my face, chest, and hands. The expression on my young son’s face said it all! Then he started to imitate me and all was good. Joking aside, I often noticed whatever negative emotion I was working on seemed to disappear as the charge behind it was released. To learn more, visit www.emofree.com. Also, watch this excellent video of EFT tapping demonstration..

Exercise

improves circulation, strengthens the respiratory system, and promotes proper digestion. Also, it fights depression and lightens one’s mood by stimulating the release of endorphins in the brain. Regular exercise reduces stress and induces good sleeping patterns. Walking is generally an excellent form of exercise for being safest, easiest, and least expensive. I never exercised prior to getting sick with rhinosinusitis. Now I walk around my neighborhood and this practice produces many benefits, not only for the obvious physical but also mental and social health. For instance, I enjoy a bonding time with my family, meet new neighbors, and appreciate the beauty of the natural world. Also, I often get new ideas or solutions for a challenging problem and even sleep better.

Guided Imagery/Visualization

taps into your imagination to help manage stress and encourage healing. It produces a relaxed state, generating a sense of control. Inner images (e.g., radiant light, soothing, cool water, powerful lion, etc.) are created to actively flush out harmful toxins in the body, regenerate healthy new cells, and strengthen the immune system. By imagining such positive images and desired outcomes, you tap into inner healing system to bring about health and wholeness. Being a visually oriented person, this mind/body approach was really natural and comfortable for me. Regularly visualizing the healing of my sinuses and of strong immunity working to repair and restore my whole body certainly made a strong impact on my health.

Heliotherapy

utilizes the positive effects of the sun by exposing the body to the sun’s rays. It is a very beneficial way to boost the body’s immune system. We all experience happy feelings with a warm, bright sunshine. On sunny days, I make sure I sit in the sun for however long to feel good and energized. I understand that it may not be possible for some people to do this everyday, but doing so even for a  few minutes would be beneficial.

Herbs

are very helpful in maintaining a healthy body and mind. I drink, almost daily, chamomile and peppermint teas to help with good sleep and digestion. Herbs in capsules like Goldenseal and Echinacea are taken periodically when needed. I found Quercetin especially helpful for my allergy symptoms. I think it’s a good idea to try different herbs and stay with ones you like and find beneficial for you. Refer to the herb list in the Holistic Part II.

Huna

is an ancient teaching on the philosophy of life by Hawaiian people. It focuses on the interaction of mind power and the forces of nature. It embraces chanting, energy work, guided imagery, and breathwork. My experience with Huna involved a guided imagery (ho’oponopono) that helped me to heal wounded relationships with people in the present and in the past. After I finished the process using a CD, I felt deep inner peace and compassion. My feelings about those I reconciled with changed in a profound way and there was a great sense of relief. I repeat this healing work whenever I have relationship difficulties.


Hypnotherapy

induces a relaxed and heightened state of focus where positive suggestions are given directly to the subconscious mind. Negative thought patterns, unhealthy habits that may contribute to the sinus and nasal problems can be released in hypnosis. You can also learn ways to manage pain and discomfort using self-hypnosis. I turned to hypnosis, when I became ill, to understand underlying  causes. The study led me to the correct understanding of what hypnosis is and how it works. I used my mind’s power to begin healing my emotional and physical sickness. I have no doubt hypnosis works. And don’t worry…your mind is not controlled and you will not bark like a dog or tell your deepest secrets unless you wish to.

Laugh Therapy

uses the power of laughter to produce significant, positive changes in brain’s chemistry that in turn affect the body. Daily laughter has been shown to alleviate depression and relieve chronic or acute physical pain. We all know the good feeling we get after a hearty laugh. Maybe it’s time to watch those Monty Python movies again!

Massage Therapy

uses various forms of hand movements to facilitate healing. It is known to stimulate the release of endorphins—body’s natural painkillers—into the brain and nervous system.

  • Swedish massage integrates traditional Eastern techniques with modern scientific principles of body’s anatomy. Generally, muscles are relaxed and toned with rubbing, kneading, tapping, and brushing motions combined with active moving of the joints. I received a massage treatment that combined Swedish and deep tissue work and, needless to say, it was an incredibly soothing and enjoyable experience. For people who suffer from chronic muscle tension, this or other types of body relaxation treatment would be very beneficial.
  • Thai massage involves muscle compression, pressure on particular points, and stretches to release tight joints, relax muscles, and increase range of motion. As stress is reduced and blockages removed, a freer flow of energy is restored.
  • Shiatsu is a Japanese traditional healing technique that uses firm finger pressure to specific points on the body to increase circulation of vital energy.

Meditation

encompasses a wide range of practices that involve training one’s attention or awareness so that one’s body and mind can be brought into greater harmony. It is a powerful tool to cope with stress and brings many health benefits that include improved immune function, lower blood pressure, healing blood flow to the sinuses, among others. I use my meditation time to center myself. I slow down to calm my thoughts, relax my body, and just be in the present moment (remember, here and now is all we have). This practice has been crucial to my overall healing and wellness.

The Mental Bank Concept

is developed by Dr. John Kappas to reprogram our subconscious mind and change behaviors to create health, success, and happiness. The method involves a crucial part of journaling daily thirty minutes before you fall asleep. Writing down the financial goal, rewarding my actions, writing affirmations all help me stay focused and motivated to take concrete actions to make my desires come true.

Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)

is a set of tools developed from successful human performances to quickly and effectively change negative, unhealthy thoughts and behaviors. NLP is known to be helpful for eliminating allergy by reprogramming our brain’s response to the things that trigger allergic reaction. The way I used my mind’s power to reframe my response to sinus and allergy problems has been an essential part of healing. Click here to see how an allergy condition is resolved using a NLP technique.

Pranic Healing

is a non-touching method that manipulates chakras utilizing prana (life energy) to cleanse and renew your body’s energy and accelerate natural healing power. For this healing experience, I visited a nearby clinic that offers free sessions. I just sit in a chair with a receptive mind and a practitioner uses a crystal stick and water to balance my energy centers. There is always a good, energized feeling after each session. You can check www.pranichealing.com to find clinics near you.

Prayer

is proven to be beneficial to health by research data. Studies of spiritual people who engaged in a regular practice of prayers were less likely to get sick with fewer stress-related problems and experienced less pain. Belief in a caring “being” seems to give meaning and purpose to life. Prayer has always been a familiar part of my spiritual life and I find tremendous comfort in sharing my thoughts, feelings, and wishes to a loving, accepting higher being—especially during trying times. I think this experience is universal and binds us together as human beings.

Progressive Relaxation

is developed by Edmond Jacobson and is commonly used to help many physical and mental problems such as tense muscles, insomnia, anxiety, and fatigue, just to name a few. It is simple and easy to learn and you can practice it just about anywhere, anytime. This is one of the most effective sleep aid for me. Refer to How To’s for instruction.

Reflexology

is based on belief that areas of the feet and hands correspond to all the glands, organs, and parts of the body. Hence, hand pressures and massage are applied to reflex areas. It relieves stress and tension, improves blood circulation, and releases life energy called chi to restore health. I use this helpful tool for my headache, sinus pain, and fatigue. Click here to view reflex points.

Sound Therapy

affects health positively through use of sound and music. It can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, reduce pain, and improve movement. We can easily access feelings of calm, peace, joy, and a sense of belonging through a sound or music. I think it’s safe to say how profoundly powerful music can be to everyone transcending race, genre, culture, or whatever else that may make us different from others. In that sense music is about unity, connection, and ultimately healing.

Tai Chi

is an ancient gentle exercise form from China. It has long been used by people of all ages for the maintenance of a calm mind, good health, strong legs, better balance, and increased energy. For someone who has aversion to rigorous workout, I found tai chi ideal for me with its gentle movements geared toward wholeness. It was relaxing and calming for both my body and mind.


Therapeutic Fasting

purifies and rejuvenates your digestive system by providing rest and eliminating toxic waste matters of the body. Because I have low blood sugar level, I am unable to fast regularly. So unlike some people who fast for one or few days, I may skip a meal (usually dinner) and just drink water. I think the key is to know how your body works and cooperate with it rather than resist it to get the results you want.

The Work

is a method of self-inquiry created by Byron Katie. It is a simple, yet profound way to identify and question the thoughts that cause much suffering to oneself and others. The emphasis of The Work is more on awareness of thoughts rather than changing them. This powerful method has been shown to eliminate stress, reduce anger, enhance relationships, and promote mental clarity. To learn more about this wonderful self-help technique, visit www.thework.com

Time Line Therapy

is another powerful tool to access the subconscious mind and change undesirable behavior by releasing the effects of negative experiences and associated memories in the past as well as creating positive future. The main benefit is eliminating fears, anxieties, grief, and depression associated with certain past events that, otherwise, can undermine your health and lead to chronic illnesses. This healing method has helped me to release some painful memories and enabled me to get a more balanced perspective on past and present events.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

uses a variety of ancient and modern therapeutic methods—including acupuncture, herbal medicine, massage, moxibustion (heat therapy), nutritional and lifestyle counseling—to treat a broad range of both chronic and acute illnesses. TCM focuses on the wholeness of the body, mind and spirit and emphasizes preventing and maintaining healthy state. From the time I was a young child, my mother had a herbalist prescribe medicine for me regularly to boost my energy and for overall good health. Looking back, though I hated the taste of the herbal medicine, I must thank her for that. These herbal medicines helped me to stay strong, especially during physically and emotionally difficult times.

Vitamins and Supplements

are an essential part of my daily routine to help overcome sinus and nasal problems. They fight excessive fatigue and boost my immune system so I rarely have colds or flu. Each day I take multivitamins, vitamin C, Vitamin B-complex, L-glutamine, and zinc. Please find other helpful vitamins and supplements on the list in Holistic Part II.

Vitamin World

 

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