North America is a hub for diversity in all things, be they religious beliefs, race and culture, or forms of medicine used to treat various illnesses.
In our Western world, the more conventional type of healing comes from doctors who prescribe pharmaceutical drugs to cure the various ailments of life. If you’re sick, you are most likely to be given specific drugs, like antibiotics such as penicillin. And while this approach does work, there are considerably more ways to treat a human. These “alternative” methods of healing are actually ancient practices that have been proven to be just as effective, if not more so than traditional medicine.
Many alternatives to pharmaceuticals are derived from various Asiatic cultures, and are time tested as being effective. The biggest difference between Eastern and Western forms of healing is that while Western medicine tends to treat one aspect of the human body, Eastern medicine takes a more holistic approach to healing, meaning the treatment of mind, body, and soul all together. Thankfully these healing methods are taught in the U.S. and are growing ever more popular as time goes on.
So what are some forms of alternative healing, and how have they come to rise in our Western world?
Methods of Alternative Healing: New Age or Ancient Wisdom?
Naturopathy is the most widely known practice of alternative medicine used in the U.S. It involves treating ailments using naturally occurring herbs and spices, rather than pharmaceuticals. The belief of naturopathy is that the Earth naturally provides remedies to fix a person’s ailments, as well as using techniques like yoga or meditation to make a person better. Instead of using man-made chemicals to treat an infection, one might be told to mix organic ginger, turmeric, apple cider vinegar and water together to form a healing tea.
Every herb or spice has a specific healing principle that can be applied. Making tea out of Valerian root and Lavender produces a natural sleep remedy. St Johns Wart and Turmeric have been proven to be effective for depression. Ginkgo Biloba is used to boost brain function by increasing blood flow to the brain, and it is also an antioxidant.
Herbology isn’t the only prevailing principle behind holistic medicine, though. The core belief behind holistic medicine is that if one part of a human is out of whack, such as a person being depressed, the entire system of a person is affected. When someone is feeling blue they are considerably more at risk of becoming sick. A holistic healer may tell a person to meditate, exercise more, and to find something to laugh about daily to cure their depression. What’s great is that it can really work, and a person doesn’t have to use drugs to fix their problems (which may have side effects even worse than the symptoms). Thousands of years of utilizing such healing methods have proven that there is merit to be recognized here.
Crystal healing is a type of medicine that many doctors and society itself scoffs at. This is because not everyone is willing to open their minds to accepting that it can work.
The technique of having someone place various stones on your body is called “laying of stones.” By placing various crystals and gemstones on one’s person, the energies from the materials soak into your own personal energy field, affecting the flow of energy through your chakras. Every stone or mineral has its own purpose, such as how Rose Quartz is a pinkish gemstone that is used to promote love in a person’s life. These methods are considered by some to be “New Agey”, referring to the New Age spiritual belief system, which is ironic because knowledge of personal energy fields (chakras) is ancient.
Another ancient form of healing that is quite popular these days is Aromatherapy. With Aromatherapy, medicinal effects come from using the scent of incense and essential oils to change a person’s bodily functions, energies, emotions, and thoughts.
Personally, I prefer using essential oils, which are plant extracts used for different purposes. Some say that essential oils are the soul of the plants they are extracted from. After placing a few drops of essential oil into a diffuser, which is a heating element made specifically for releasing a scent into a room, smelling the oil affects the body in many ways. The scent of the oils or incense are absorbed through your mucous membranes and have been proven to be highly effective in treating ailments.
Open Your Mind
There are many more methods of healing a person’s body, mind, and soul, but what is most important in trying these remedies is simply having an open mind to different things. If you believe something will work then it will, but if you’re skeptical about something then your intention to disbelieve its use will manifest into being so. Keeping an open mind about alternative methods of healing can only help you. Be like the little engine that could, constantly saying to itself as it climbed up a hill, “I think I can, I think I can.” Your body believes what you tell it.