Think you dont know what alternative medicine is? Its more common than you think, and now has a firm place in the world today. Certain therapies not formerly thought of as legitimate medical treatments are now being used on a more frequent basis to treat a variety of ailments, quite often with endorsement from the medical community. Some of the more common types of "alternative medicine" treatments include:Massage therapyAromatherapyHydrotherapyAcupunctureHerbal RemediesMeditationSpiritual therapyMore than likely, you are familiar with many of these treatments; maybe you have even experienced a few yourself. Many of these treatments are not only used to treat many common health problems, but are used by people all over the world in order to achieve total well-being.For thousands of years, the treatments deemed alternative today were standard practice. And now, people seem to be turning to these optional therapies when they are in a health crisis, or if they feel they have nowhere else to turn.There are factions of people throughout the world who prefer to take advantage of the natural effects that alternative medicines and therapies offer, rather than depend on synthetic drugs to cure or prevent ailments. Herbal medication have the benefit of being completely organic, or from the earth, and often provide equivalent remedies to prescription drugs.Alternative medicines and treatments have become part of the fabric of our society today. While many of these therapies are meant to be used as a treatment for a health problem, some are used by people as simply a method of relaxation or reward. Chief among them is massage therapy. Massage has become incorporated into the routines of many individuals in todays society as a means of stress reduction, rather than pain relief.Meditation is another form of alternative medicine that has become an integral part of many lives in todays society. With its roots steeped in ancient spiritual history, meditation acts like massage in that it provides a release for stress and anxiety. In order to perform mediation correctly, though, you should learn as much as you can about it first. Many people enjoy this type of alternative therapy a great deal because of the personal control they have when performing it. Many individuals in todays society highly recommend meditation as a type of alternative medicine.The stresses of todays society have led some to cry out for change. Many find solace and healing in alternative medicine treatments. The natural treatments and calming effects of many of them are exactly what many people have been searching for in order to reduce their stress. The average person is forced to deal with a large amount of stress on a daily basis. Alternative medicine and treatments bring relief to the stresses and anxiety that people of todays society feel weighed down by.In todays society, we see a great deal of stress, anxiety, and illnesses. Alternative medicine provides a viable option to traditional medicine that aids people in the maintenance of their well-being in their busy lives. Massage therapy and meditation are two common treatments that people can turn to, that can also have a positive effect on todays society as a whole. As we move forward in society, you will continue to see a shift towards more acceptance of alternative medicine and therapy.
Hypnotize Yourself Right Now!I want to show you a really interesting technique to hypnotize yourself. It is known as the Betty Erickson technique as she devised it to hypnotize yourself. Bettys husband Milton Erickson is someone I have referred to on several occasions in my work as a renowned hynotherapist and psychiatrist and someone whose work seems to hypnotize me all the time. This technique to hypnotize yourself is entirely attributed to her.Hypnotize Yourself Betty Erickson Method:This method to hypnotize yourself is based on the following premises and ideologies. While there are a number of counter-examples to these notions, they will be of value in understanding and utilizing this method to hypnotize yourself. We think our thoughts in pictures, sounds and feelings. When we think in pictures we refer to the external things we see and the internal images that we create. This includes remembered images ("What does your bedroom look like?"), constructed images ("What would it look like if it were redecorated?"), as well as the actual, real things we see about us. When we think in sounds these are the things we hear and the internal sounds that we create. This includes remembered words or sounds ("Think of your favourite pop song"), imagined words or sounds ("Imagine that song being sung by someone else"), and also includes your internal dialogue as well as all of the real, actual, live sounds around us. Thirdly, are the things we feel. These can be actual physical sensations or imagined ones. Can you imagine being at the seaside and paddling in the cool sea?Most of us use one of these ways of thinking more than the others; though we each use all three of them. Since this is usually the case, an individual who "thinks" in images wouldn't hypnotize themselves the best simply by visualising. Focused Attention:Stereotypical images of hypnotists holding watches or other fixation devices for clients to stare at are the result of much misunderstanding about hypnosis. I for one have long ago banished my velveteen smoking jacket and watch on a chain for more modern methods of hypnotic induction! The experience of hypnosis is typically an inwardly focused one in which we move away from the environment around us and turn our attention inward. This technique to hypnotize yourself is doing that even more. Hypnotize Yourself Technique:Step 1: Find a comfortable position and get your self relaxed and settled. Get into a position that you will be able to maintain easily for the time you are going to hypnotize yourself. It can be sitting or lying down, though sitting is recommended to prevent you from falling asleep. Get yourself centred, just looking in front of you and breathing slowly and easily. Let yourself relax. Step 2: Think about the length of time that you intend to spend in this state and make a statement to yourself about it such as "I am going hypnotize myself for 20 minutes ... " (or however long you want) You will be delighted to discover how well you "internal clock" can keep track of the time for you. Step 3: What would you like to get out of this? Make a statement to yourself about the reason you want to hypnotize yourself. In this process, you allow your unconscious mind to work on an issue rather than giving suggestions throughout, (that is another technique) so our purpose statement should reflect that fact. Here's how I recommend you phrase it to yourself : " I am going to hypnotize myself for the purpose of allowing my unconscious mind to make the adjustments that are appropriate to assist me in _____________." Filling in the blank with what you want to achieve such as "developing more confidence in social situations." The actual words aren't nearly as important as the fact your statement acknowledges that you are turning this process over to your unconscious mind. Step 4: Looking in front of you, notice three things, one at a time, that you see. Go slowly, pausing for a moment on each. It is preferable that they be small things, such as a spot on the wall, a doorknob, the corner of a picture frame, etc. Some people like to name the items as they look at them - "I see the hinge on the door frame". Step 5: Now turn your attention to your auditory channel and notice, one by one, three things that you hear. (You will notice that this allows you to incorporate sounds that occur in the environment rather than being distracted by them.) Step 6: Next, attend to your feelings and notice three sensations that you can feel right now. Again, go slowly from one to the next. It is useful to use sensations that usually are outside of your awareness, such as the weight of your glasses, the feeling of your wrist watch, the texture of your shirt on your body, etc. Step 7: Continue the process using two Visuals, then two auditories and then two kinaesthetics. Then, in the same manner, continue (slowly) with one of each.You have now completed the "external" portion of the process to hypnotize yourself. Now it's time to begin the "internal" part.Step 8: Now close your eyes. Now, bring an image into your mind. Don't work too hard at this; this is fun, remember? You can construct an image or simply take what comes. It may be a point of light, it may be a beautiful beach, or it could be your car or an apple. I shall not scare you with the ideas that randomly pop into my mind. If something comes to you, just use it. If nothing comes, feel free to put something in your mind. Step 9: Pause and let a sound come into your awareness or generate one and name it. Although this is technically the internal part, if you should hear a sound outside or in the room with you, it is OK to use that. Remember that the idea is to incorporate things that you experience rather than being distracted by them. Typically, in the absence of environmental sounds; I often imagine hearing whooping hallelujahs from a gospel choir; dont ask me why, that just happens in my mind. Step 10: Become aware of a feeling and name it. It is preferable to do this internally - use your imagination. (I feel the warmth of the sun on my face) However, as with the auditory, if you actually have a physical sensation that gets your attention, use that. Repeat the process with two images, then two sounds, then two feelings. Repeat the cycle once again using three images, three sounds, and three feelings. Then to complete the process, open your eyes when your alloted time is up - It is not unusual to feel a little bit "spaced out" or wander off somewhat. At first some people think that they have fallen asleep. But generally you will find yourself coming back automatically at the end of the allotted time that you set before you chose to hypnotize yourself. Trust that you weren't sleeping and that your unconscious mind was doing what you asked of it. Many people don't get all the way through the process. That's perfectly all right. If you should complete the process before the time has ended, just continue with 4 images, sounds, feelings, then 5 and so on. It is a simple way of just getting you acquainted with how to hypnotize yourself.
Long before orthodox medicine took center stage in the health care practices around the world people who were sick used to visit different kind of doctors. These doctors were not the steth-wielding, tech-savvy, white-coated medical geniuses of today. Mostly, they were bearded, wizened and gnarled humans looking less like physicians and more like witches or wizards. But they were revered, loved and even feared because of one particular skill they possessed the healing touch.In the early days of civilization, a vast majority of people were cut off from formal medical care. Competent physicians were a luxury, to be enjoyed only by the super-rich and royalty. For everyone else, there was the local witch-doctor who was respected for his or her in-depth knowledge of folk medicine. This was the man or woman who treated everything from boils to gangrene, from cesarean to malaria and even small pox.What is astonishing is that many of these so-called doctors effectively cured their patients. What is even more interesting is that these medicines have lost none of their charms with the passage of time and more and more of them are finding their rightful place in mainstream medicines.Remember how your grandma used to give you wild cherry bark for cough, or boil the twigs and leaves of red cedar to cure your cold? Well, thats folk medicine! If you were to ask your grandma how she learnt those techniques, shed draw a blank! These unofficial health-related practices were passed on informally by word of mouth and were developed through observation and experimentation.Illnesses ranging from the common cold and sore throat to warts, cancer, malaria, impotence and arthritis are said to be treated through folk medicine.Folk medicine largely depended on the use of natural materials such as herbs, plant roots, trees, barks, fruits, insects and food items. Therefore, these practitioners paid a lot of attention to botany.But the advent of modern medicine saw a decline in folk medicine as these rustic practices were put under the microscope, dissected and then discarded as worthless. One more reason contributed to the decline of folk medicine. "Folk medicine" started its downward slide with the advent of magical healing powers. Seedy people on the lookout for a few fast bucks were successful in capitalizing on the trust and faith of large sections of the society. Once their ruse came to light, people began to lose faith in folk medicine. Soon folk medicine was relegated to a gray area between orthodox medicine and quackery.However, as more and more people have started to realize, there is a wealth of knowledge in traditional folk medicine. As people have started adopting the holistic way of life, there is a struggle to re-invent the precious folk medicine of yore. In recent years, the folk medicine of indigenous people is becoming more popular.Some examples of folk medicines that we use in our daily life are:Garlic - to reduce blood cholesterol levelsChinese acupuncture - to treat blood clotting and migraineThe juice of neem leaves - to treat malariaPoultice - to treat infected woundsTurmeric - to treat bee or wasp stingsToday, amazingly more than two-thirds of the worlds population rely on the healing powers of folk medicine at some point of their lives. For many nothing else is available or affordable. For some, nothing else is acceptable. And for a very few, nothing else works.
The importance of storing your essential oils in a proper manner can be estimated from the fact that women in the 19th century would ask their jewelers to design special bottles to hold their perfumes and essential oils. Luxury apart, storing essential oils in specially designed bottles helped keep the therapeutic and aromatic properties of the essential oils intact. It is common knowledge that most of the essential oils become contaminated or their effect gets weakened with time if they are not stored properly. Citrus oils are the most susceptible to early breakdown. They oxidize and begin to lose the aroma and therapeutic properties. The citrus oil becomes cloudy and a sweet fragrance is emitted. This signals towards the deterioration of the essential oil.Same does not apply to oils such as frankincense, sandalwood, patchouli, and myrrh. They can be stored for a longer time. In fact, they improve with time. In the older times, Egyptians used to embalm the dead people with the essential oils of cedar wood, cinnamon etc. When one such tomb was opened in the early 20th century, traces of the oil were clearly visible.Will you not like to keep your treasured essential oils in the same manner? Lifetime of the essential oil ranges from 6 months to several years. Through a proper storage, one can increase the shelf life of an essential oil. The following section provides lessons in storing essentials oils.Dark amber, cobalt blue, or violet glass bottles are the best when it comes to storing essential oils. Sunlight can be very harmful for the essential oils. Ultraviolet rays, which are a part of the sunlight, weaken the essential oil. This explains the reason why it is not advisable to store essential oils in clear glass bottles. Sunlight easily passes through the clear glass bottle, thus producing reaction in the essential oil, and no longer rendering it effective.Plastic bottles too must not be used as the plastic dissolves with the essential oil and thus is contaminated. One can use aluminum bottles to store the essential oil, but the inner surface of the container must be lined.Your essential oils need to be kept away from sunlight as far as possible. High temperature can be harmful to the oil. Therefore, the place where the essential oil is stored must not be near any heater vent or any such heat-emitting gadget. Keeping the oil in a refrigerator can help increase its shelf life. Nevertheless, freezing is not acceptable. When cooled at very low temperatures, some essential oils will cloud. It regains its original state when brought to room temperature. Certain citrus oils continue to be cloudy even when brought to room temperature. However, this does not affect their therapeutic properties. We tend to contaminate the essential oil in the process of using them. The following checklist will be helpful in preventing contamination:Never touch the top of the orifice reducer or the inside of the cap.Always use separate pipettes for separate oil.The pipettes must not be carriers of oxygen. When one uses the pipette for taking out the oil, a few drops of it remain in the pipette. This becomes contaminated when it comes in contact with oxygen outside. When the same pipette is used again, it contaminates the whole bottle. The cap of the bottle containing essential oils must not be kept open for long. Since they are volatile, they will evaporate.The cap of the bottle containing essential oil must be selected carefully. Rubber droppers have a tendency to turn into gum when they come in contact with the concentrated essential oil.Keeping these points in mind, one can surely increase the shelf life of the essential oils. This might require a few extra efforts and might become expensive in some cases, but your treasured essential oils truly deserve this.
I dont know about you but when I go for a massage I expect the massage therapist to use their hands, fingers and maybe even their elbows to loosen my stress-laden muscles. There is nothing more delightful than an experienced pair of hands that helps to expunge all of the bad stuff from my body that causes me to become tense, anxious and, perhaps, a bit unpleasant to be around sometimes. I still vividly remember a visit with a physical therapist for a problem that I was having with a disk in my neck. The disk was pinching a nerve which was causing pain in my neck, back and arm. A particularly annoying area was near my shoulder above my shoulder blade. As I sat in a massage chair, the therapist used her elbow to dig right into the affected area with a force that caused some serious discomfort. But when I left that morning, the pain was almost gone. Now that was massage!Recently, I was introduced to the concept of Reiki. I was reading up on the various forms of massage therapy and, quite frequently, Reiki was listed as a therapeutic option or as part of the curriculum at a massage school. Further reading about Reiki has caused me to question references to Reiki in the same context as massage. In fact, I began to wonder why Reiki was included in references to massage at all. And Im not the only one.Massage is generally defined as the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body for therapeutic purposes, healing or relaxation. I would think that manipulation is the operative word here. The practice of Reiki takes a quite different approach. Like Shiatsu massage, Reiki seeks to balance ki or life force energy within the body. The theory, according to ancient Oriental philosophy, is that if this energy is out of balance in the body, or is depleted, then an individual becomes susceptible to physical and emotional ailments. Practitioners of Reiki seek to channel energy into their clients in a manner that corrects imbalances and promotes healing.However, based on the prescribed methods of practicing Reiki, there is no manipulation involved. In fact, in some cases, there is not even actual touch involved in Reiki treatments. That would certainly present a conflict between the generally accepted definition of massage and the practice of Reiki. Reiki, as practiced today, was developed by Dr. Mikao Usui, a minister and head of a Christian school in Japan. His students had asked him how Jesus healed. Usui did not have the answer but became fixated on discovering how Jesus had cured the ill and infirmed. ( I guess because he was the Son of God does not qualify as an acceptable answer.)Dr. Usui spent years studying in Christian schools, Buddhist monasteries and temples. He found no answer to the healing question until he embarked on a 21 day fast. At the end of the fast he apparently had a revelatory experience that showed him the methods he had sought to understand. He then set about on a healing ministry. Eventually, he shared his knowledge with Dr. Chujiro Hyashi who, in turn shared the knowledge with Mrs. Hawayo Takata who trained 22 Reiki Masters who then shared the knowledge with thousands of others. Essentially, Reiki transfers energy from the Reiki practitioner to the patient. Actually, Reiki teaches that the patient draws this energy from the practitioner thus giving the patient an active role and ultimate responsibility for their own healing. The energy is then realigned and balanced and harmony is restored in the body. Though it is not a religion there is a great deal of spirituality at work in Reiki. God or a Universal Life Force is acknowledged and recognized as the source of all life energy. Though there are specific principles involved in Reiki, the actual methods are quite similar to the laying on of hands practiced by faith healers of many religious denominations. But laying on of hands is not quite the same as the manipulation of soft tissue required to be defined as massage.There are a couple of issues here. First, massage as a stand alone practice, has struggled to be recognized by the medical establishment as a legitimate form of therapy and healing. Under the auspices of physical therapy, massage is readily accepted and practiced to restore muscular function and to assist in the rehabilitative process. However, there is the view by many that "massage therapy" is somewhat of a mongrel healing application with touches of mainstream medicine, alternative medicine, holistic, health, New Age cultism, sexual indulgence and mystical fakery. The simple fact is the the manipulation of soft tissue has been proven and is accepted as a healing modality. It is the desire to include any healing avocation that involves touch, or even the close proximity of hand to body, under the heading of massage that creates confusion and causes suspicion.Scientists and doctors have dismissed Reiki as a placebo that encourages patients to feel better because they are supposed to feel better. Other questions about the motivation of practitioners is the fact that Dr. Usui, the founder of Reiki, determined that there must be an energy exchange between Reiki healer and Reiki patient to invest the patient in the healing process. This investment is monetary in most cases and is a core principle of Reiki. Another problem with Reiki being considered a form of massage is that some states require that practitioners of Reiki be licensed as massage therapists. Many Reiki practitioners dispute this categorization specifically because of the distinction between Reiki and massage as stated in the definitions presented earlier in this article. So, Reiki has a bit of a schizophrenic personality. On the one hand, courses teaching Reiki are offered in many massage schools. On the other hand, many practitioners themselves dont consider themselves massage therapists. So, far be it from me to try and settle this dispute in one article. Reiki may or may not be a truly effective form of healing. All I know is that I still have difficulty categorizing Reiki as massage. I think there may be some manipulation of the definition of massage required to justify the inclusion of Reiki.