6 Alternative Healing Modalities To Support You in This Time
In times of hardship and stress, self-care tends to get pushed to the backburner. There are a million and one things to think about, and finding the mental space to create a sense of calm can seem next to impossible. Yet, it’s during these times that self-care becomes of the utmost importance. It’s only by taking holistic care of our minds, bodies, and souls that we can have the strength to get through the hard times, and it’s by acknowledging the stress and taking steps to understand it that we can lessen its impact.
As we know, Lebanon has recently gone through a horrific tragedy; one that has impacted those near and far in a thousand ways. While I’ve grown to know the people of Lebanon as incredibly strong, as one of our editors Joanna Abboud wrote in a post on Facebook, this is a time when it’s okay to not be okay. You are allowed to take time — to digest, to find comfort, to help your community, and to help yourself. My heart goes out to Lebanon.
It’s in this spirit of healing that I wanted to share some more of my knowledge of different self-care modalities. While we at The Wellness Project have written articles about techniques such as meditation, breathwork, and exercise (among many, many others) today I wanted to tap into some more alternative healing modalities.
Self-care is a completely personal thing. A routine that works for one person might not work in the same way for the next. For that reason, testing out a new way of healing is great in finding out how to feel our best, even in times of strife.
With that, here are 6 alternative healing options to potentially add to your self-care routine:
A modality that produces similar effects to traditional meditation, chanting is the practice of repeating either a single word or a series of words that hold power within us. In Hinduism, these words are called a mantra, and the practice is often used to focus the thoughts, control and quiet the mind, and aid with health issues such as depression, heart issues, and stress.
In fact, a study conducted by Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa concluded that just 12 minutes of daily meditative chanting may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, improve memory, and diminish stress.
To help you get started on your chanting journey, this YouTube video includes eight powerful mantras that are designed to help you achieve deep peace and relaxation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwTGyO3MdP4&list=RDzwTGyO3MdP4&start_radio=1&t=0&t=0
An alternative healing modality that costs zero dollars, tapping is a greatly powerful tool that can help you free yourself from stored anxieties, depression, and stress, and focus on bringing more positivity into your life.
Developed decades ago by psychologist Dr. Roger Callahan, tapping is essentially tapping your fingers along different meridians in the body while focusing your mind on a past or current stress (whether that be a phobia, fear, or emotional hurt acquired during the day).
Tapping works because not only does it help you feel your feelings (all of which are valid), but it also aids in the instant release of stored emotions. Plus, you can either do this method yourself, or have a friend or family member help you.
For a great video that will guide you through self-help for trauma with tapping, check out this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vbl-R9Rw0c
Hypnotherapy is an alternative healing modality that is used to create a state of focused attention and increased suggestibility that can help people deal with a variety of issues. When considering hypnotherapy, throw the idea of “you’re getting verrryyy sleepy” right out the window. While hypnosis is indeed an altered state of consciousness, it is now widely used in psychotherapy and medicine and is a legitimate healing modality.
A few common ways that hypnotherapy is used today is to help people quit smoking, to help people overcome phobias, to help people overcome pain, and to help treat the root causes of depression and anxiety.
While hypnotherapy is often done by a trained practitioner, during these difficult times such a service may not be easily available or feasible. To get you started with hypnotherapy in the interim, this YouTube video focusing on finding inner peace through hypnosis is an excellent resource: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=td6BhfC7Xwk
Akin to a massage, reflexology is an ancient Chinese practice that involves stimulating areas of your feet that correspond with other body parts. This healing modality uses the idea that parts of your feet are directly linked and mapped to other areas of your system. For example, by working through a specific pressure point on your foot, you could help reduce a headache or address adrenal fatigue.
While the science on reflexology is admittedly minimal, there is evidence conducted by the Mayo Clinic to support that reflexology can help with pain reduction, mental health, and sleep.
Reflexology is often done by trained practitioners, however, there are plenty of resources online to help you get started with learning it yourself. In this YouTube video, you’ll learn how to give yourself an excellent reflexology foot massage to help treat pain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCnIya88Gkc
5- Vibrational Healing
In physics, it’s well-known that everything in the universe operates on a certain vibrational frequency, often referred to as resonance. All objects — including the floor beneath your feet and the plant in your living room — consist of molecules that resonate. This not only includes objects, but color, sound, and yes, people too.
So, it’s no wonder that studies have been done to understand how different frequencies — whether they be color or sound — correspond with the human body and brain. Specifically, these studies have shown that by vibrating parts of the body to their corresponding frequencies, we can actually energize those parts of the body; thereby increasing blood flow and healing. For example, Harry Van Gelder, one of the pioneers of the naturopathic profession, found that resonating 35Hz can positively vibrate and affect the liver.
With this idea in mind, it’s easy to correspond the great benefits of vibrational healing to stress relief and creating a deep inner peace. Obviously we are just scratching the surface here when it comes to everything you can know about vibrational healing, but for a great starting point here is a great vibrational 528Hz YouTube video that works wonders for releasing anxiety and stress: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkM-FjfN6Mc
Alternatively, if you already have a sound bowl in your home, then it’s a great instrument to use for sound healing.
If you’re interested in diving a bit deeper into how the body reacts to sound, then check out this great list of healing frequencies for the human body.
6- Candle Meditation Therapy
Candle meditation therapy is exactly as it sounds — the practice of meditating by way of a lit candle. I love this kind of therapy as not only does it branch from traditional meditation that we all know and love, but it can be done with any candle that you already have at home.
To do candle meditation, all you have to do is create a peaceful setting for yourself, and then find a candle to light. Make sure that the room you’re in is dimly lit (too light or too dark and you could get eye strain), place your candle at eye level or just below, and settle into your favorite seated meditation pose.
Now, light your candle and simply stare at the flame, clearing your mind of all else. If silence is distracting to you, then feel free to either play some calming meditative music or set an intention for your session. If your eyes water while doing this, then know that it’s totally okay and normal — just look away for a few seconds if need be, or readjust your lighting.
A great way to start with candle therapy is to imagine you’re breathing with the candle. As you inhale, imagine you’re breathing in the light of the candle, and as you exhale, imagine the light leaving you.
If you’d like to further deepen your meditation, then feel free to use a naturally-scented candle (if you already have one on hand of course). Great scents for creating a sense of calm are lavender, rose, chamomile, and sandalwood.
That’s it for my six alternative healing modalities that can offer you some support at this time. Of course, this list is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to different methods of healing, and I plan to write about many more in the future. Have you tried any of the alternative self-care items listed in this article? Let us know in the comments!
As the author of this article, I’d like to note that although I’m not Lebanese, my heart is with the people of Lebanon during this time. This article was put together using my personal experiences, a variety of sources, and with the help and guidance of The Wellness Project team currently in Lebanon.