Your health and wellness should be something of a priority, but in reality, it can often take a backseat to other aspects of your life. A Transamerica Institute survey found that 55% of caregivers neglected their own health due to caring for others. In contrast, Aviva found that 6 out of 10 workers in the UK neglect their physical health due to work commitments and pressures.
Neglecting your health can have serious consequences. You can become ill, which leaves you feeling regathered and not yourself, resulting in a higher risk of contracting different illnesses and injuries. With that being said, everyone knows the cornerstones of good health: eating healthy, getting exercise and moving daily, and getting good quality sleep. But what else can you do to help you improve your health and wellness, while also supporting your mental health, too?
Alternative therapies have been used for years to help people care for themselves. It allows them to explore other options besides traditional wellness strategies. While these cannot and should not replace eating well and exercising, they can be a useful tool in helping you to stay on top of your health.
Chiropractic care is the process of adjusting the bones in the body to improve pain and alignment in the body to improve physical health. A chiropractor will use their hands to manipulate the joints in the body to relieve pressure and correct misalignments to offer you relief from the post, post-exercise discomfort, reduced swelling, and oxidative stress, to name a few benefits.
It is important to choose a chiropractor you feel comfortable with before undergoing this type of holistic treatment so you fully understand what will be carried out during your treatment and the risks and benefits involved for you personally in relation to your health status.
*Note: speak to your doctor before engaging in alternative treatments.
Ice baths or cryotherapy have been popular in recent years, no thanks in part to the popular Wim Hof Method, which is taking the world of celebrity and that of those in the fitness industry by storm. The reason being there is much to benefit from when it comes to taking the plunge in an icy cold bath.
The benefits for the body of spending time immersed in icy cold water can include the following;
- Enhanced recovery from exercise (particularly when done after exercise)
- Reduced pain and inflammation
- Improved circulation
- Mood boosting
The reason for the benefits is that when you are in cold water for any period of time, it encourages blood vessels to open up to increase blood flow to the area. Much in the same way you use ice and eat packs in recovery from an injury or after exercise, ice baths are the same thing but on a larger scale.
Reflexology is a type of massage for the hands and feet that involves applying different amounts of pressure to each hand and foot. Reflexology is an ancient Chinese practice based on the belief of qi. Qi is a vital energy that runs through each person’s body but can become blocked when they are stressed.
A reflexologist works with your hands and feet to manage them in different areas and ways to release blockages and improve the flow of qi in the body. Reflexology has been reported to have the following benefits;
- Reduced stress
- Mood boosting
- Lower pain levels
- Immune boosting
Anecdotal reports also suggest this therapy can help to fight common colds, illnesses, and even cancer.
Meditation trains your mind and body to focus on one thing in the present to help ground yourself in the here and now and get a healthy perspective. Meditation has long been thought to help people feel more calm and stable and to be instrumental in helping to manage stress levels. This, in turn, can help you to improve other areas of your life by giving you clever mental focus and enhanced capacity to help you to make changes and improvements as required.
Meditation isn’t for everyone, and it can take time and perseverance to get to the right level of meditation to have any real benefit for your life.
Massage therapy has been used for many years, and there are various types of massage for a wide range of ailments, health conditions, or just experiences. Massage therapy is when a masseuse uses their hands to apply pressure on the muscles in the body to help relieve tension and remove physical signs of stress from the body.
Aromatherapy massages are ideal for those who want to enjoy scents with their massage for increased relaxation benefits, while Swedish massage, which is the most commonly performed massage in the world, improves circulation, reduces stress, and relaxes muscles. Other popular massages include; Thai massage, deep tissue massage, hot stone massage, and Shiatsu.
Reiki is a massage where practitioners lay their hands over a person to improve their “life flow energy.” Reiki isn’t like a traditional massage in the sense that it looks at the person’s physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. Reiki has been purported to heal and help with almost every illness and health condition in the past, and many people swear by its healing properties and benefits post-therapy.
Possibly one of the most well-known and well-practiced types of alternative therapies for improved health is acupuncture. Acupuncture involves using fine needles placed in certain places on the head and body to help relieve pressure and improve symptoms and illnesses. Acupuncture is a key component of Chinese medicine and is most commonly used to treat different types of pain. Many people seek acupuncture treatments for long-term chronic health conditions that cup in, such as back pain, migraines, and arthritis, to name a few.
Alternative theories and treatments are often used in conjunction with modern medicines to help people achieve a more well-rounded approach to their wellness and complement other therapies they are currently using to help them maintain optimal health. Exactly what works for you depends on the treatment you require and your situation.
*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and these methods should only be used after speaking to a western doctor.
Thank you for reading!