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H is for Holistic Therapies

Author: null null Published: 25th October 2012 10:48
Feet massageThere are so many holistic therapies, they would probably justify an A-Z of their own.

Some holistic therapies are also known as Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), and are rarely approved for use in conventional western medical services. However many people use different therapies in addition to or instead of medical intervention. Increasingly medical and health practitioners are using alternative therapies themselves in their practice.

Holistic therapies tend to share certain characteristics. They focus on treating the individual as a whole person, encouraging self-care and self-healing, and getting in touch with our spiritual nature. Nutrition and preventive practice is emphasised.

There is little evidence of the effectiveness of holistic therapies through experimental and clinical study, which is the way in which medical interventions are approved in the West. However many alternative therapies are widely used in the East and Asian countries as part of ancient traditions of health care which see the mind, body and spirit as integrally connected with each other.

It's possible to distinguish certain groups of holistic therapies, although there are often cross overs between them.

For example, there are those which focus on body alignment such as the Alexander or Bowen Techniques.

Massage therapies are based on touch and relief of muscular tensions, and include specialities such as reflexology (foot massage), Indian Head massage (on the head), Shiatsu (linked to body alignment).

There are spiritual energy treatments such as Reiki, Pranic healing or Chakra balancing.

Other therapies focus on relaxation of mind and body, for example hypnotherapy and meditation, while some focus on the use of external healing aids such as crystals, flower essences, or herbs. Aromatherapy combines the use of massage and specific oils to support healing.

Yet others are more associated with a way of life, for example yoga, certain martial arts, feng shui and mindfulness.
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