My Top 3 Alternative Therapies For Physical Healing

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By Tania Ho

Sep 26, 2018

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Today I’d like to share my three “go-to” alternative healing therapies that help my body recover physically.

The ones listed below are my own preferred way to seek for “medical” help than going to a Western doctor. I would, however, still seek advices from Western medicine trained doctors (like my sister is one). I believe that all these various modalities can work together and complement each other depending on what our body needs at that time.

But please remember, what works for me may not work for you. Each of our body's condition is uniquely different. Whenever we try a new type of therapy, it is important to go in with an open mind. Tune into your intuition to feel if the recommended modality or practitioner is the right fit for you. 


Feel free to share with me what your favorite alternative healing therapies are! 


1. Traditional Chinese Medicine

museflower-retreat-and-spa-blog-favorite-alternative-healing-therapy-for-physical-healing-tradtional-chinese-medicine.jpg#asset:3622Image Source: https://www.youth.gov.hk/tc/career-and-study/chinese-medicine/practitioner.htm


When I Need This:

I’m a big believer in traditional Chinese medicine, and this is my “go-to” healing therapy when I have a cold / fever that won’t go away (acupuncture and moxibustion), when I need to restore and nourish the overall energy of my body (Chinese herbal medicine), or when I have shoulder and back pain (cupping).

 

What Is This About:  

Traditional Chinese medicine has been practiced in China since over thousands of years. In TCM, herbal medicine, acupuncture, moxibustion, tui na, and others are used to balance the “yin” and “yang” energy of the body in order to treat and prevent health problems.


My Anecdote:

During my whole pregnancy, I have been seeing a Chinese doctor who specializes in women’s health for advice. She gave me all the information about the post partum recovery period (the fourth trimester), including what type of food or drink I should eat or avoid to help recover my body.

I was sweating a lot after giving birth, as my Chinese doctor has informed me already beforehand. She explained that the sweating was due to losing “yin” energy of the body (the blood), and the “yang” energy of the body was out of balance.

It was exhausting to sweat every time I lied down and tried to get some sleep.  She gave me some Chinese medicine to help nourish the “yin” energy, and after taking the medicine the first day, the sweating situation already improved. After a few days, the sweating stopped and I was able to rest at night.

 

Tips on Finding a Good Practitioner:

- Referral: Ask close friends and family for any referrals in your area. Remember to ask why they think he/she is a good practitioner to get more information. 

- Confidence: Though this seems to be obvious, I find that particularly with acupuncture, confidence is key. I had acupuncture sessions with a few different Chinese doctors before. The one who I trust the most with acupuncture is the one who places the acupuncture needles so quickly and precisely without any pain.

- Fit Your Style: Find someone who is compatible with your personality. Even if it is a referral, if you don’t feel comfortable in any way, it is better to find someone else.

 

My Referral:

- Hong Kong: Dr. Louisa Wong (http://children818.com/paediatric.php?cate=3)

 

 2. Homeopathy

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Image Source: https://www.britishhomeopathic.org/homeopathy/is-homeopathy-safe/


When I Need This:

I love homeopathy because it is very safe to use and the results are pretty immediate if the remedy is selected correctly. On some level I find it more powerful than Chinese medicine (depending on what the condition is), because homeopathy also looks at the emotional and mental symptoms of a person.

This is my “go-to” when I get sick without help around so I can find the remedy myself, or when it’s a chronic type of condition (for example, eczema).

I’ve taken a couple homeopathy home use classes and I have a homeopathic remedy “first-aid” kit at home. Whenever I’m down with the flu, I’ll take note on my symptoms to find the right remedy for myself.

 

What Is This About:  

According to Society of Homeopaths website, homeopathy is based on a principle of ‘like treats like’ – that is, a substance that can cause symptoms when taken in large does, can be used in small amounts to treat similar symptoms.” (source) It is a holistic medicine modality that treats each person as a unique individual by stimulating his/her own healing ability.

 

My Anecdote:

The year that my dad passed away, I started to have eczema around my stomach area. My whole family had eczema, so I knew that it was hard to find a “cure” for eczema in both Western and Chinese medicine. That was when I was first introduced to homeopathy.

Obviously with any skin condition, there’s no “instant” cure. It is a healing journey that takes time because when there is a breakout on the skin, there’s always some kind of suppressed emotions that need to be healed as well.

At that time, besides taking homeopathic remedy, the homeopath facilitated some exercises during the session to help me release my pent up emotions. Only then I realized that my eczema flare up was related to the passing of my dad – even though that was months ago.

I was able to embrace that emotion and with the help of the homeopathic remedy, flower essences and calendula cream, my eczema healed completely.

 

Tips on Finding a Good Practitioner:

- Check the Credentials: A homeopath, like a medical doctor, needs to be trained extensively for at least a few years under an approved program. Make sure that the homeopathic practitioner is trained under a professional diploma program. 

- Ask & Listen Well: A homeopath needs to ask the right questions and listen well to identify the best remedy for you. In a typical consultation, the patient would be talking and answering questions most of the time. 

- Use a Directory: Homeopaths are usually registered under some kind of homeopathic associations / councils in your local area. If you don’t have any referrals, search online for a homeopathic directory in your home country for more information.

 

My Referral:

- Hong Kong: Arden Wong (https://www.gentlemedicine.info/)

 

3. Therapeutic Bodywork 

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Image source: Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

When I Need This: 

When some parts of my body are feeling pain, and the pain inhibits my daily function.  This is my “go-to” when I feel pain in my shoulders, neck, back or legs, or when my body is completed tensed up.


What Is This About: 

For me, therapeutic bodywork is different than a typical spa massage. The objective of a body massage is to help the body relax and relieve some muscle tensions. Whenever we go to a spa, the therapist is trained in a set of protocols to start and finish the same way, some or little focus on areas that we feel pain.

Therapeutic bodywork focuses on healing rather than pure relaxation. The practitioner may only work on certain areas of the body. The session may be painful at first (all good pain though!), and a deep relaxation follows afterwards.

Examples of therapeutic bodywork would be: foot reflexology, traditional Thai massage, lymphatic drainage, Chi Nei Tsang, and trigger point release therapy. 

Please note that with therapeutic bodywork, I believe that the practitioner is the key, more so than the modality itself. It is important to find the right practitioner who really knows what he/she is doing.  You may see many massage shops offering foot reflexology and traditional Thai massage, but I personally would consider these more as “spa” treatments for relaxation.


My Anecdote:

I had pain on my right shoulder from carrying my baby who was getting heavier. I had cupping done by my Chinese doctor which gave me relief for one day, but the pain returned the next day. Luckily, my friend Stephen was in Hong Kong offering his restorative bodywork sessions. 

Stephen looked at my alignment when I was standing, and pointed out that the source of the pain was most likely due to how tight my left psoas muscle was.  

His technique combined deep tissue massage, trigger point release, and myofacial release with cupping. During the session, he would check in to see how I was feeling from time to time. When the good pain was too much, he reminded me to breath.

After one 75-minute session, my whole body was deeply relaxed and the right shoulder pain was gone.

 

Tips on Finding a Good Practitioner:

- Check out Wellness Clinics and Wellness Centers instead of Spas: If you are living in a city, chances are there will be a wellness clinic or center that offers some type of therapeutic bodywork. Some spas may have these offerings too, just be sure to find out who the practitioner is.  

- Experienced & Intuitive: Though having credentials is important, I often find that the best massage therapist is not defined by how many certificates or trainings he / she has received. Instead, find a practitioner who is intuitive with touch and has experiences working for at least a few years. 

- Don’t Mind the Price Tag: Experienced bodyworkers generally charge more than what a typical spa charges for a massage. This is reasonable as you are paying for the expertise of a professional, just like you would for a good lawyer or a doctor.

 

My Referral:

- Thailand: Kanlayanee Martthuean (Jang) (http://musefloweretreat.com/practitioners/kanlayanee-martthuean)

- Traveling around the world (based in Thailand): Stephen Kirwin (http://stephenkirwintherapies.com/)

 

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What are your favorite alternative healing therapies that help with your physical healing?  

Feel free to share your feedback in our blog comments below or email Tania here

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About Tania Ho

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Founder and owner of Museflower Retreat & Spa, Tania is a Hong Kong native who now makes her home at the retreat in Chiang Rai. Trained in a number of holistic therapies including Flower Essence consultation and Hado Counseling, Tania believes that healing can take place when we start making changes from within, and it starts from listening to the voice of our soul within.

Museflower Retreat & Spa provides a quiet space for city people who feel stressed out, disconnected and tired an opportunity to get away, slow down and learn to reconnect to themselves again. To receive a free 500THB credit voucher to use towards your next retreat or spa booking at Museflower, subscribe to our newsletter and claim your free gift here


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