Traditional healing modalities from around the world can greatly assist in relieving many modern day ailments. It’s easy to rely on painkillers, alcohol, sugar and caffeine to keep the body moving through pain or discomfort but eventually the body, mind or spirit collapses, potentially leaving a serious illness in its wake. Here are some of the more potent therapies from around the world that can help improve health and wellbeing.
Acupuncture has been clinically proven to help with a range of disorders, from infertility to chronic pain. Originating in China, acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of years. The therapy involves the insertion of very thin needles through the patient’s skin at specific points on the body at various depths. The procedure is not painful and can be quite relaxing. According to the World Health Organisation, acupuncture is effective for treating 28 conditions, including migraine, hay fever, depression and morning sickness while scientific evidence indicates it may have an effective therapeutic value for many more.
A recent study by a Michigan State University researcher shows that reflexology – a type of specialised foot massage practiced since the age of pharaohs – can help cancer patients manage their symptoms and perform daily tasks. Reflexology is based on the idea that stimulating specific points on the feet can improve the functioning of corresponding organs, glands and other parts of the body. It has been found to be useful in pain reduction, relaxation and relieving tension headache. The study with cancer patients involved 385 women undergoing chemotherapy or hormonal therapy for advanced-stage breast cancer that had spread beyond the breast. They found that those in the reflexology group experienced significantly less shortness of breath, reduced fatigue and were better able to perform daily tasks such as climbing a flight of stairs, getting dressed or going grocery shopping.
Thai Massage [Thailand]
Believed to be over 2,000 years old, traditional Thai massage is an unique form of body therapy developed by people who used massage not only to treat illnesses, but to maintain health and wellbeing. A combination of yoga stretching, accupressure, and reflexology, traditionally, Thai massage is used to help boost the immune system, for muscle relaxation and to relieve anxiety.
Shirodhara [India ]
Shirodhara is part of Ayurveda and involves the practice of applying a continuous flow of warm oil to the forehead. This therapy calms the mind and nourishes the hair and scalp. Traditionally, the therapy has been used to treat a variety of conditions including eye diseases, sinusitis, hayfever, memory loss, insomnia, tinnitus, vertigo, Meniere’s disease and certain types of skin diseases like psoriasis. By Donna Duggan, JULY 16, 2013