For a long time, modern medical science ignored the wisdom of ancient holistic therapies. Ancient therapies were dismissed because of insufficient modern scientific proof. However, practitioners of alternative medicine today are beginning to verify what Western civilization has ignored for thousands of years. Good health is more than a well-functioning body. Despite easy access to allopathic medicine, drug therapy, and modern surgery, the number of people that follow ancient holistic therapies is on the rise.
The word “holistic” is derived from an ancient Greek word “holos” which means “all, whole, entire.” People in ancient civilizations defined good health as the soundness of body, mind, and spirit. They recognized that the wholeness of the soul and the health of the body are connected. Their balanced state results in a state of “wholeness”. This “wholeness” is what we call wellness.
Holistic therapies such as Massage, Acupuncture, Reiki are designed to treat the whole person—body, mind, and spirit. Instead of focusing on the symptom, the practitioner focuses on the cause of the symptoms. By addressing the cause, the symptoms are naturally resolved.
Although there are hundreds of traditional holistic practices originating from many diverse civilizations all over the world, let’s discuss 5 popular ancient holistic therapies.
Ayurveda originated in ancient India and is still practiced widely by the people in the Indian Sub-continent. Also, its followers have grown tremendously in the west and all over the world. The word Ayurveda literally means “Science of Life” in Sanskrit. Ayurveda is based on the principle of “ Tri-Dosha” or 3 humors. Balance of these doshas results in good health. Many physical, mental, and herbal aids are used to achieve a balanced state of these doshas within the body. Ayurveda acknowledges the universal interconnectedness and focuses on the harmony of an individual with the universe.
This holistic therapy had been around for thousands of years. Aromatherapy relies mainly on the medicinal properties of plants and herbs. Natural oils extracted from plants are used to improve health and promote well-being. It has gained more recognition in recent years and is widely sought out for its natural and holistic benefits. Many products and aids are used to dispense and help absorb natural oils by skin like inhalers, bathing salts, diffusers to name a few.
3. Acupuncture Holistic Therapy
Acupuncture originated in China and is one of the most popular forms of holistic therapy used now. The focus is on “chi” – spiritual energy that flows through everything and everyone in the universe. Very fine acupuncture needles are carefully inserted at various points in the body. This process improves the flow of chi, spiritual energy. The insertion points differ and depend on the ailment to be treated. Acupuncture is often used as a complementary medicine that can assist recovery.
Massage therapy is one of the oldest holistic therapies known to mankind. It provides many benefits without being too invasive. Massage reduces stress, reduces muscle pain, reduces muscle tension, increases relaxation, and boosts immunity. It involves the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body. A varying degree of pressure is applied on muscle tendons, joints, ligaments, and skin to stretch and relax them. Pressure is applied by hand or small tools. Massage has become very popular for its healing benefits. It is widely offered as a complementary treatment along with standard treatment.
Reiki Holistic Therapy originated in Japan. Reiki means “universal life force” in Japanese. This ancient therapy is used to reduce stress and promote wellness. It is based on the premise that unseen spiritual energy flows within us. The treatment focussing on balancing the level of this spiritual energy within us. Reiki is considered a natural and easy method of spiritual healing and self-improvement.
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