Four Types of Alternative Therapies for Mental Health
Alternative forms of therapy are fast getting known for helping with mental health. Although talk therapy is necessary and helpful, there are other holistic therapies that one can explore alongside traditional forms of therapy that have been seen to work wonders to reduce stress and anxiety. Here are four forms of holistic therapy for you to explore.
Reiki is a Japanese term a form of holistic healing where healing vibrations are transferred to the person through a practitioner’s hands. Reiki has been seen to decrease tension built up in our systems and improve long-term emotional health. Research studies done through controlled testing show the positive affects of Reiki on decreasing tension, increasing wellbeing and calm in the body and mind. (https://www.centerforreikiresearch.org/)
The NHS and many medical facilities around the world have seen the benefits of Reiki in alleviating the body’s ability to health from mental health and physical illness. Although Reiki should not replace any advice given by a medical professional and should be done in addition to medical advice.
Reiki works in a way where the person receiving sits or lies down while the practitioner transfers healing vibrations through their hands to various parts of the body. For those who prefer no touch Reiki, it can be done with the hands transferring the vibrations hovering above rather than touching the areas that need the Reiki healing.
Through the work of seminal therapists and scientists such as Peter Levine and Gabor Mate there has been light thrown on the knowledge that the emotions have a tendency to get stored in the body and not only in the mind.
The body’s evolutionary coping mechanisms of fight, flight and freeze are ways of surviving when faced with threat. Over time we have reduced the ability to “shake off’ the trauma and get back to a state of homeostasis. Instead we go through series of shocks and traumas in our lives that often get stored in our systems. Over time those traumas could be triggered by seemingly unrelated events or can build into chronic emotional and physical health issues.
Dr. Peter Levine coined the term ‘Somatic Experiencing,’ a system of somatic therapy where one learns how to listen to what the body is telling us and to access and release the stuck anxieties or stressors. This is done with the help of breathing and body exercises and is best done with the help of trained somatic therapists who can help process and work through to release the trauma.
There are many types of meditations available these days, either through group programs or online-guided meditations. Meditation can also be done on ones own, at home and does not need to be associated to any belief systems.
Some people find the idea of sitting for meditation daunting but it can be done for short periods of time and built up from there. It can be done for ten minutes a day at first and doesn’t need a specific quiet place to doit. Sitting in meditation during a commute or at a park bench during lunch break from work can work wonders to reduce stress and anxiety in our daily lives.
In yoga there are some breathing techniques known as Pranayam that help balance the two hemispheres of the brain and to decrease blood pressure and anxiety. These breathing techniques can be done on their own or after an exercise or yoga session.
Shavasana is a form of relaxing where you take your minds focus to various parts of the body and try and ease and relax those areas while breathing slow and purposeful breaths.
Viveka Chauhan is a Holistic Health and Wellness facilitator based in London and originally from India. She has a decade of therapeutic skills experience and has trained as Reiki Master and a certified energy healing facilitator.
Viveka facilitates in person and virtual sessions in Reiki, holistic wellness coaching and tarot work.