Forget hemp-wearing hippies with beards rival look like Dumbledore’s, holistic health has moved out of Mullumbimby and made its way to the mainstream. The alternative medicine arena (yes we’re talking crystals, acupuncture, herbal tonics etc) is well and truly on the way to being taken seriously as a valid form of healthcare. But some aspects of holistic health are way more popular (and way more legit) than others. Let us explain what’s hot and what’s not in holistic health:
Crystals don’t just look cute, they serve a purpose. Outside of being a chic addition to any home, crystals offer healing abilities for the mind, body, and soul. Believed to promote the flow of good energy and rid both your living space and mind of the negative of thought, crystals offer differing healing properties depending on the stone. If you’re a bit of a rookie and don’t know where to start, stick with rose quartz. Why? Well, the pink stone is said to be linked to unconditional love, encouraging an open heart, healing, and forgiveness (awww).
A part of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is the process of putting thin needles into different parts of the body to help clear any blockages to the body’s life energy or ‘qi’. Yes, you look like a human echidna, but no it doesn’t hurt (those needles don’t go deep, we swear). Acupuncture can be used for musculoskeletal concerns, nausea, headaches, anxiety, and depression. The practice is gaining ground but just make sure you visit a trained professional and don’t DIY. Spoiler alert, it won’t have quite the same effect.
Pretty sure nobody is going to argue with us about the beauty of a bloody good massage. But a massage isn’t just a great way to ease a crookneck (courtesy of all that late night Netflix bingeing on your laptop no doubt), but it is proving even better for the mind. As a valuable part of the self-care movement, massage is also slowly but surely being considered an extension of meditative practice. But why, you ask? Because it offers a valuable chance to switch off from all your work/life responsibilities, as well as bring awareness to your present physical body. And of course, it just feels so damn good!
Can’t guess what this one’s all about? It’s all in the name! Naturopathy is a medical practice that looks to nature as a key basis of treatment of health complaints. A mishmash of scientific understanding and holistic principles, naturopathy focuses on the cause of any issues doing a deep dive on nutritional deficiencies and imbalances. This can mean that your naturopath prescribes herbal medicine, nutritional medicine, homeopathy, dietary advice or all of the above.
Unless you believe your life is a musical and you can’t help but sing all day, every day, we can almost guarantee this kind of holistic health offering will be a little out there for you. Known as vibrational medicine, sound healing uses the vibrations of the human voice as well as objects that resonate like tuning forks, gongs, and Tibetan singing bowls to improve physical and emotional wellbeing. A sound healing session may include listening to music, singing, dancing, meditation, or even playing an instrument. Personally, we find that singing along to the Spice Girls can be just as soothing.
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"Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue." Buddha . . . . 📷@lutu_photomoments
If you are not a fan of woo woo, this holistic health offering is not for you. Focused around the chakras and channelling the energy in your body, Reiki is said to realign your energy points. There is rarely any touching involved but there is hand hovering (aka “palm healing”), the use of crystals and sometimes even oils in order to unblock your passages. Reiki practitioners believe that they can transfer a ‘universal energy’ from the palms of themselves to the patient. We think it’s safe to say that Reiki is for the more-than-a-little-hippie among us.
Has everyone seen Chelsea Does? If you haven’t fix that ASAP, starting with the episode where comedian Chelsea Handler tries ayahuasca. Pronounced ‘eye-ah-WAH-ska’, a plant-based psychedelic tea that is a part of ancient South American ritual. Traditionally used by shamans to connect with the spiritual realm, more recently ayahuasca has made its way west. Just to clarify, ayahuasca is a hallucinogenic drug which means that first and foremost it is very much illegal (awks) but even more importantly can be rather dangerous. What does that mean? Don’t try this at home kids, it’s best left to the Amazonian shamans and Chelsea Handler.
Words by happy hippy Sarah Bristow