Millions of Americans are beginning to look at alternative methods of healing to compliment traditional western allopathic medicines. Many of these mind-body-spirit techniques complement or integrate nicely within mainstream mental health care. As a practitioner, you will learn to build a bridge enriched by knowledge and practice, both ancient and modern. Here is a partial list of the more common holistic therapies.
Acupuncture-This practice comes from Chinese Traditional Medicine (TCM) which uses fine needles to remove blockages in the meridian system to help heal the body. Acupuncture seeks to address body, mind, emotions, and spirit. Depression and anxiety can result from a deficient or stagnant energy, or imbalance of yin and yang (the two polar opposite forces of which all things are comprised). This imbalance can take many forms, and acupuncture can often address this along with stress, insomnia, and other mental health issues and concerns.
Acupressure-is the same as acupuncture only without needles.Alexander Technique-centers on posture and how to use the body accurately. It would include explaining to the client how to walk, sit, stand, and lift without holding tension. Learning this technique can lead the way to improved sensory discrimination, a greater awareness of body, mind, and the connection between the two, along with ease of movement.
Art Therapy-Therapeutic self-healing through creative expression and artwork. Depression, anxiety, and stress, is often caused by underlying fears that the anxious person is unaware of. Art therapy can help them discover, and define their fears so that they may then be dealt with. When used along with other interventions for the treatment of depression and anxiety, art therapy can be an effective and creative way to aid an individual’s journey toward self-knowledge and emotional health.
Aromatherapy-Creating balance and harmony in the body through the use of fragrant oils. This helps in the reduction of stress, and other common ailments.
Auric Healing-is based on the principle that all living systems aresurrounded by an electromagnetic energy pattern (aura), or (human) energy field, that includes the human body. Present day scientists measure the frequency and location of this field on humans. The aura reflects our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
Ayurveda Medicine-Symptoms of depression and anxiety are triggered by excessive mental and physical stress, or the disruption of soft natural biological rhythms. According to Ayurveda, psychological problems start when fundamental imbalances develop in the biological intelligence that controls all bodily processes. Since depression and anxiety can be influenced by many factors, such as, diet, digestion, toxin accumulation, stress, exercise levels, and daily routine, Ayurveda treatments balance many physiological functions simultaneously.
Bach Flowers-Bach Flower Therapy is a form of energy medicine. A Bach Flower "Remedy" consists of water that has been patterned with the energetic vibrations of one of 38 different flowers. The Remedy is added to a cup of water (or other beverage) 4 times a day. Bach Flower Therapy is named after Dr. Edward Bach, whose research led to its development in England in the 1930′s. Like other energetic healing modalities, this treatment seeks to create balance in areas of energetic disruption. Bach Flower Treatment specifically addresses the emotional body of the energy system. Its purpose is to restore emotional harmony.
Bibliotherapy-The application of literature prescribed, or recommended to patients to help process their problems (depression, anxiety, stress, alcoholism, ADD, etc.). Many libraries have listings of bibliotherapy selections categorized by concerns, such as, divorce, death and dying, new baby, step-parenting, learning how to stop pessimistic and helpless thinking, and start to be optimistic, promoting personal growth and development, and creating an individual plan for constructive course of action.
Bindi-Bodywork combining exfoliation, herbal treatment, and light massage.
Bioenergetics-Bioenergetics Analysis is a holistic form of psychotherapy that works with the physical, emotional, and mental patterns to reduce emotional stress and help with the challenges of living. It is a way of understanding personality in terms of the body and its energetic processes. This modality is based on the premise that there is no fundamental separation between the mind and the body: that psychological stress reflects and creates what is happening physically, and physical/somatic events both reflect, and create, mental and emotional states. Emotional stress comes from many areas-relationships, family crises, jobs, health, etc. produce tension in the body. Contractions in the muscular system are often the result of carrying unresolved emotional tension. These contractions can have a direct effect on the energy level of the individual, on the capacity for spontaneous and creative self-expression, and on feelings of well-being.
Biofeedback-The use of electrodes or probes attached to a biofeedback unit which feeds signals and or sounds when it detects changes in the body. Biofeedback has been shown to be an effective tool for the treatment of anxiety, depression, and stress. Anxiety disorders are characterized by a state known as physiologic hyper arousal, or an overload of activity in the sympathetic nervous system, which produces the body’s stress response. The devices used in biofeedback can detect this physiologic hyper arousal and, as the patient and therapist work together to learn ways of coping with the effects of anxiety, these devices can also provide insight into which coping skills are effective.
Bowen Technique-This technique is a highly effective soft tissue remedial therapy which, amongst other things, encourages the body to relax, realign, and heal itself. The Bowen Therapist uses thumbs or fingers to make a series of precise, gentle rolling-type moves over crucial junctions of muscle, bone and nerve pathways. This modality helps with stress, anxiety, insomnia, fibromyalgia, and other mental health and pain issues.
Breathwork-Proper breathing enhances many healing modalities; including Tai Chi, Reiki, massage, meditation, and yoga. From a breathwork perspective, depression and anxiety are, at least in part, the result of habitual inhibition of breathing. Breathing is inhibited as a way of suppressing awareness of uncomfortable somatic effects (feelings, emotions and body sensations) which have been "made wrong" or rejected. These somatic effects are associated with troubling or traumatic life experiences.
CAM-Is an acronym for complementary and alternative medicine; an umbrella term for a large range of treatments and theories on the nature of health and illness, many of them unrelated, however, having in common that they are not commonly employed by the conventional medical establishment.
Chakra Therapy-Exploration of chakras. Offered here are resources to help our understanding of the funnel shaped energy centers (also called vortexes) that are the openings for life energy to flow into and out of our auras.
Chinese Medicine (TCM)-Is the accumulated term used for holistic therapies derived in China, based on the five elements (fire, earth, metal, water, and wood that are represented in body parts). These therapies can include herbs, acupuncture, diet, and exercise such as Tai Chi.
Chiropractic-Is manipulative therapy that works on the muscular-skeletal system, focusing on the spine, and its effect on the nervous system.
Color Therapy-Color certainly has its place in healing.
Cognitive Energetic Paradigm-A technique used to treat depression and illness by using energy work along with cognitive behavioral therapy.
Craniosacral Therapy-Is a manual therapeutic procedure for remedying distortions in the structure, and function of the Craniosacral mechanism-the membranes that contain the cerebrospinal fluid within the head and spinal column, as well as the cranial (head and face) bones to which these membranes are attached.
Crystal Therapy-Gemstone glossaries, therapeutic properties of various rocks, cleansing, and charging crystals.
Energy Healers-There are a number of types of energy healing such as; Pranic, Tantra, Chelation, and Reiki, but they are all based on the principle that universal energy can be harnessed and directed to specific areas of the body to help heal the mind, emotions, and spirit.
Dance Therapy-Dance is an excellent way to help one experience and express their emotions.
The process of movement therapy is often helpful in resolving inner conflicts.
Dialogue Therapy-This modality operates through dialogue, which can focus on the positive strengths in one’s life as well as the issues, which have become burdensome. The dialogue can involve current life experiences, events of the past, ongoing emotional reactions to the past, as well as, dreams, life goals, patterns of interacting with others, patterns of caring for oneself.
Dreamwork-Are your night dreams making you anxious, or conveying some underlying message you can’t quite grasp? Dreamwork offers helpful resources for dream interpretation, and a variety of resources related to slumber and dreaming.
Drumming-Many cultures use the drumbeat as a way to enter the trance state, meditate, or pray. Drums or percussion instruments generally may be the oldest forms of musical instruments. People often sense that there is a very deep connection to our human tribal past when listening to a rhythmic drum beat. Drumming can facilitate emotional, spiritual, and physical wellness in a supportive environment.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)-This technique is based on the meridian system, comparative to acupuncture, without the use of needles. The process is used to release negative emotional energy stored in the nervous system. It is used in the treatment of trauma, PTSD, phobias, grief, anger, guilt, anxiety, etc.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)-Uses left/right stimulation of the brain, through sight, sound, or touch, to accelerate the brain’s information processing system. EMDR originated in 1987 by Francine Shapiro, to help people address emotional issues.Exercise Therapy-The use of exercise as a treatment for depression and other mood disorders.Folk medicine-is the collection of procedures traditionally used for treatment of illness and injury, aid to childbirth, and maintenance of wellness.
Flower Essence Therapy-Flower remedies are not addictive or dangerous, and can easily be taken in conjunction with other types of treatments. Flower essences are especially helpful for treating mental and emotional problems. The remedies are suitable /safe for all ages, including children, pregnant women, and animals.
Foot Zone Therapy-is based on the premise that energy flows in the body through meridians from the brain, all the way to the foot. Every organ and every cell of your body has a representative point on the foot. When pressure is applied to a specific point on the foot, the brain then sends a signal to the corresponding part of the body to facilitate healing, and to restore balance.
Glucose Management-With increased glycemic control, there is always a risk for high or low blood sugar which effects mood. (See nutritional therapy)Guided Imagery-Since imagery is the most fundamental language we have, this technique uses thoughts, music, images, and suggestions that guide your imagination toward a relaxed, focused state.
Hakomi Therapy-is a body-based psychotherapy developed by Ron Kurtz in the mid-1970s. The International headquarters are in Boulder, Colorado. Hakomi uses body tensions and sensations to help clients probe non-verbal levels where core beliefs direct, and influence their experiences. Body-mind awareness and touch are used to explore the body as a deep source of information, empowering the client to change their attitudes.
Herbalism-The use of herbal remedies to treat illness and encourage balance. All plant parts are used to treat illness.
Holistic Life Therapy-The process of taking aspects of a person’s life, and guiding them through life transitions to help improve their well-being.
Homeopathy-Uses herbal remedies to treat illnesses. Homeopathy meds prescribe dilutions of plants, extracts, minerals, and other natural substances that work on the body’s energy to heal it. This includes the use of cell salts.
Humor Therapy-Humor is a universal language. It’s a contagious emotion and a natural diversion. It brings other people in and breaks down barriers. Best of all it is free, and has no known side affects.
Huna-More than a healing therapy; Huna is a principled way of life that originated in the Hawaiian Islands.
Hypnotherapy-A collection of informational and interesting websites in this healing modality of unlocking hidden treasures within our subconscious minds.
Inner Child Therapy-Getting in touch with the child within our adult beings can be extremely comforting and healing. Have you played with your child today?
Intuitive Arts-A general term for various methods of divination, such as numerology, psychic reading, and tarot card reading. Individuals may consult practitioners to seek information about the future or insights into personal concerns, or the personality.Journaling Therapy-Maintaining a journal is often therapeutic in nature, and can offer a pathway toward understanding ourselves in an intimate way.
Kinesiology-The practitioner uses the body to identify pain, and other ailments, including allergies. The Kinesiologist tests muscles, testing to detect body system imbalance.
Labyrinth Therapy-A tool for creating sacred space, journeying inward, and reconnecting with the Earth and sky. Labyrinth therapy is made as a single winding path, folding back on itself, leading to the center. Unlike a maze, which has multiple paths, and dead ends, in a labyrinth you leave by the same path which you enter.
Light Therapy-Artificial light, as well as, sunlight are used to help aid in physical and psychological health. Often times this is used to help control hormone production, and other disorders such as seasonal affect disorder (SAD).
Light Worker-A person who has recognized their ability and power to restore and transform consciousness with the highest intent; someone who facilitates the return of the earthly plane to a healthy, happy state, and is aware of the truth about themselves, and the nature of their existence. Someone who finds their powers coming into fuller and fuller expression as it should be with proper usage.
Massage-The manipulation of soft tissue with specific techniques to promote healing, and restore health.
Magnet Therapy-Based on the magnetic field polarity, magnets are used to treat afflictions.
Meditation-A relaxation procedure that can often produce an altered state of mind and help the mind stay focused and still. This technique is used to help with mental, and physical disorders, and also for those who want to maintain health and balance.
Mind-Body-Spirit (MBS) Counseling-Working with clients to help them develop an enriched life; teaching coping skills, and offering guidance that helps heal the mind, body, and spirit.Movie Therapy-Movie Therapy is a mind therapy that involves the client viewing certain films under the supervision of a therapist, in order to help treat emotional and mental conditions.
Music Therapy-Music and sounds can be incorporated into many types of healing modalities, such as, meditation, massage, hypnosis, etc. Playing an instrument or listening to music in and of itself has therapeutic benefits.
Native American-healing is thousands of years old, and combines religion, spirituality, herbal medicine, and rituals to treat medical and emotional problems, including trauma and addictions. Because there are hundreds of tribal nations, the practices vary, but generally include purifying ceremonies, chants, sweat lodge, and other tribal customs. Healing rituals can last for minutes, days, or weeks, and may involve a combination of dance, chanting, body painting, and prayer.
Naturopathy-This is a term where an experienced practitioner will look for the causes of any illnesses and imbalance and explores diet, exercise, rest and relaxation, and other therapies to help the body heal itself naturally. Vitamins, Bach flowers, cell salts, nutrition, and herbal treatments are often used as a modality.
Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP)-is a set of techniques whose goal is to alter limiting patterns of thought, behavior, and language. In conversation, practitioners observe the client’s language eye movements, posture, breathing, and gestures, in order to detect, and then help change, unconscious patterns linked to the client’s emotional state.
Nutritional Therapy-is the science of balancing the intake of nutrients, such as, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Nutrition concerns everything that the body does with food to sustain life and growth. What you eat affects your health and enjoyment in life. Healthy eating and a positive attitude can improve the body’s use of food. Western nutrition often views only the chemical components of food, and associated caloric content, whereas most alternative therapists place value on the energetic and spiritual aspects of food as they affect our health.
Orthomolecular Therapy-This modality applies large doses of vitamins and minerals to treat physical and emotional issues.
Prayer-Regardless of religious or spiritual tradition, prayer in general reflects a belief that there is a power greater than the individual, and that it is possible to access that power through words or thoughts. Many people attribute the healing of their physical or mental conditions to prayer, or to whatever their personal belief in a God or Higher Source might be.
Relaxation and visualization-Using visual techniques to relax and reduce stress, and tension.
Reflexology-Uses the feet and hands to manipulate different organs in the body. Gentle massage or pressure is applied to specific reflex points encourage healing.
Rapid Eye Technology (RET)-is a self-empowering technique which provides for ocular assisted release which simulates REM sleep patterns characterized by systematic movement of the eyes and eyelids, rapid verbal communication.
Regression Therapy-Regression therapy can unfold mysteries hidden deep within our childhoods, and can also help past life memories surface for anyone interested in the possibility of reincarnation.
Reiki-Trained practitioners channel energy to balance the life energy.
Rolfing-Concentrates on manipulation to reshape the body into natural alignment.
Shamanism-This term has many aspects, however for the sake of healing, a shaman provides spiritual guidance by way of trance like states to determine the causes of your illness and look for potential cures.
Self-Help or Self-Improvement-The act or instance of improving one’s self without assistance from others. This usually entails resolving or eliminating poor self-image, non-productive thought patterns, painful memories of past trauma, habits, addictions or improving confidence, physical conditions or skills through repeated positive affirmations. It may include self-healing, personal growth, self-hypnosis, guided imagery or subliminal messaging.
Shiatsu-A massage that uses the meridian channels to stimulate energy flow in the body by means of massage.
Spiritual Therapy-Spiritual approaches to health and healing.
Soft Tissue Release (STR)-is a powerful sports injury treatment technique developed by Stuart Taws while working with the British Athletic Team. STR deals directly with the reasons for soft tissue dysfunctions and subsequent referred pain, and nerve entrapment. In acute situations, STR affects the insidious way scar tissue is formed, and in chronic conditions STR breaks up the fibrotic and adhered mass of scar tissue to quickly allow the muscle to return to its natural resting length.
Sound Therapy-The therapeutic use of sound and music to reduce anxiety and emotional stress, lower blood pressure and heart rate, and promote healing.Subliminal Messaging-The use of images, sounds, or thoughts, which bypass our conscious mind’s ability to block or negate information. This is a self-help technique. The premise is that our sub-conscious minds are always listening to our thoughts, and accepts them at face value. However, if we have a negative self-image or low self-esteem, our conscious mind will reject any suggestion that we are; as an example: attractive, intelligent, or worthy of finding happiness. Subliminal messaging attempts to bypass the conscious gate guard and plant the seeds of positive affirmations, which will lead to real change.
Toning-Using the human voice to make healing sounds of any nature. These sounds open up our body to become more ourselves. Several vowel sounds are thought to be particularly effective.Tuning (Harmonic Healing)-Using harmonic vibrations to bring the body’s vib l frequencies back into their healthy normal resonant states. Tuning was developed by Christopher Tymmes to replicate the effect of Tibetan monk chanting.
Vibrational Healing-Practitioners of vibration healing (also called vibration medicine) use a variety of modalities that seek to promote healing by balancing the client’s energy field.
Yoga-A gentle exercise system that benefits the body through breathing and exercise.
Zero Balancing-A technique used to work on the musculo-skeletal system to assist even energy flow, and improve posture to generate harmony encouraging the body’s self-healing ability.