We all know that eating a healthier diet and getting more exercise is important for our overall health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, our modern lifestyle is one of extreme stress, lack of proper rest, and daily exposure to toxins and pollution. Sometimes eating healthy and working out just isn’t enough. But, what else can you do to support your mental and physical health?
Thankfully, complementary and alternative therapies are becoming much more mainstream and easily accessible. They’re a great way to improve your overall wellbeing, destress, and prevent and treat illness. Here are several wellness techniques you can incorporate into your self-care routine to improve your mental and physical health at the same time.
Yoga is so much more than exercise. The deep breathing and meditation practices allow practitioners to find stillness and focus in a high-stress world. It’s an amazing wellness technique for easing depression and anxiety, and it provides numerous physical benefits at the same time.
Yoga focuses on building strength and flexibility, which is extremely beneficial to the way you look and feel each day. Each pose is designed to strengthen the muscles of your core, improving your posture and relieving shoulder, neck, and back pain.
When coupled with a healthy diet, the stretches taught in yoga practice are wonderful for the digestive system and can improve issues like reflux, IBS, and constipation. There’s even research to prove that yoga can strengthen the immune system and reduce chronic inflammation!
Acupuncture is an amazing wellness technique that can be used to prevent and treat both mental and physical health issues. Many people are hesitant to try it because they’re afraid of needles, but they really should reconsider. Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine that has been used for thousands of years. While it does involve the use of needles, they are ultra-thin, and most patients find the treatments to be extremely relaxing rather than painful.
According to this article from alternative health experts at the Yinova Center, “Acupuncture is a completely holistic system that is able to address the complex interaction between body chemistry and emotions very effectively.” That makes it extremely useful for managing chronic stress, depression, and anxiety. It can also be used in conjunction with anti-depressants to treat major depression, even reducing or eliminating the need for medication over time.
Acupuncture has also been widely recognized for its ability to treat chronic pain, reduce or eliminate migraine headaches, improve digestive issues, balance hormones, improve fertility, and so much more. Acupuncture has been well studied, and research shows its effectiveness for both mental and physical health, so it’s a great place to start if you’re considering trying alternative wellness techniques.
Reflexology is a wellness technique that involves applying pressure to specific points on the ears, hands, or feet. Each reflexology point is believed to correspond with a different organ system in the body. The technique is widely recognized for its positive effects on both mental and physical health.
For example, when a reflexology practitioner massages a pressure point in the arch of the foot, it is believed to improve bladder function. Other points may relieve a headache or relieve pain. One of the great things about reflexology is that you can easily learn how to use the technique right in the comfort of your own home.
Not only is this therapy useful on its own, but it can also be used in conjunction with other treatments. Reflexology has been used to treat stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as things like cancer, diabetes, kidney issues, asthma, and chronic pain. It can also help with insomnia and chronic fatigue.
Naturopathy is a wellness technique that almost anyone can appreciate. It’s based on the belief that nature has healing benefits, and who could deny that? Naturopathic practitioners learn both conventional and alternative techniques. Their goal is to help patients holistically with a mental, physical, and spiritual approach.
Wondering what a naturopath does? A typical course of treatment could involve a number of techniques, including detoxification, herbal medicine, behavioral changes, nutritional support, acupuncture, and more.
Since this practice involves so many different techniques, it’s difficult to find a study to support its effectiveness. However, there is evidence to show naturopathy can be helpful for mental and physical issues like depression, stress, anxiety, diabetes, hypertension, migraines, asthma, and more.
Aromatherapy is a wellness technique that involves the use of essential oils derived from various plants to encourage mental and physical healing. The oils can be incorporated into a massage therapy session, added to a bath, or diffused into the air, depending on the purpose.
Each essential oil offers its own set of benefits. Some are known to relieve specific illnesses, reduce pain, or treat infections, while others are beneficial for relieving anxiety, stress, and depression. Science is just beginning to understand the potential benefits and uses of aromatherapy, but it shows great promise for supporting overall health and wellbeing.
Ayurvedic medicine is a wellness technique that has been used throughout India for thousands of years. It encompasses a variety of techniques, including massage, lifestyle and diet changes, and herbal medicine. Practitioners recommend this practice for both mental and physical health, including stress relief and treating illness.
In fact, its focus is on balancing the entire individual- physically, mentally, and spiritually. The fact that ayurvedic medicine has remained popular throughout history suggests that it’s worth considering.
Of course, many other wellness techniques support both the mind and body, but the ones on this list are easily accessible and highly recommended. Thanks to the increasing interest in alternative techniques, these practices are becoming much more widely accepted. If you are looking for proactive ways to support your mental and physical health, these practices are a great place to start!
About Donna Maurer
As an experienced content creator, Donna has covered health and wellness topics for numerous publications. She is a former writer for an alternative medicine clinic and can often be found researching the latest industry approaches and trends. Donna loves sharing the insight she’s learned from her own wellness journey on her portfolio, in the hopes that it will inspire others to pursue a healthier, more holistic lifestyle.
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