We live in a modern era, but ancient healing techniques from thousands of years ago might be a solution to living a healthier life. It’s no longer news that some natural healing techniques have been scientifically proven to be beneficial for cancer patients and those with life-altering ailments like chronic pain.
Health burdens such as depression, chronic fatigue, and stress are quite rampant in this fast-paced world. As a mindfulness practitioner and mom that prioritizes great health, I’ve found that intrinsic practices that were established millennia ago can help combat these issues and maintain a consistent, happy lifestyle.
While mindfulness practices and less conventional self-healing methods shouldn’t substitute for clinical treatments, the fact remains that they can improve your overall quality of life and help you better adjust to a demanding environment. As a matter of fact, western medical practitioners embrace some of these techniques, and some even recommend them to patients.
These five research-proven ancient healing techniques could work wonders for your health and lifestyle:
Ayurveda aims to heal through a traditional diet, mind and body stimulation, and herbal supplements. This 3,000-plus-year-old Indian treatment proposes that the body has three life forces known as doshas. These are called Pitta (representing the fire element), Vata (representing the air element), and Kapha (representing the growth element).
According to practitioners of the treatment, everyone has some of the three doshas in them, but one or two doshas are usually more prominent than the others. The prominent doshas could vary depending on the individual. Ayurvedic practitioners believe that when the energy balance of these doshas is disturbed, it causes physical ailments. They aim to cure or reduce the effects of these ailments by bringing the doshas back into balance.
Diet plays a big part in Ayurvedic treatment, as practitioners believe unhealthy food and improper digestion are major causes of many ailments. The diet is heavy on spices that aid digestion and boost natural immunity, such as ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, and saffron. Salads and raw vegetables are also encouraged, with emphasis placed on avoiding excessive intake or late-night consumption.
There has been some research to prove the efficacy of Ayurveda for treating hypertension, anxiety, and depression, but many scholars agree that there are not enough studies to back the treatment. You should only undergo this treatment with the supervision of a trained practitioner. It’s not a practice to be taken lightly, as the techniques and materials used in the treatment are potentially harmful.
- Tai Chi
Modern-day Tai Chi might not help you kick ass, but it certainly has a couple of health benefits. Initially developed in China as a proper martial arts technique, it has evolved into a form of motion meditation with more focus on mindfulness and breathing than fighting.
Tai Chi focuses on qi, a Chinese concept that is thought to be an energy force that flows through the body. With proper meditation and concentrated movement, Tai Chi practitioners encourage the proper flow of qi, which can improve the quality of life and treat several physical and mental health problems.
The practice is one of the natural healing techniques backed by sufficient scientific research. Scholarly bodies such as Harvard Medical School have confirmed that it’s effective for boosting your flexibility and overall health. Some studies have also found that it works as a complementary treatment for people with breast cancer, hypertension, and chronic heart failure.
Studies have suggested that Reiki may help to reduce stress, anxiety, and pain. This ancient Japanese technique relies on the power of touch to relieve physical ailments and improve overall health.
To treat his or her patient, a Reiki practitioner will move their hands over parts of the patient’s body. This very intentional process is intended to stimulate the life force of the patient and produce feelings of peace and wellbeing.
There are several conflicting reports based on the efficacy of Reiki, and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has confirmed that most of the research on the subject has been of inferior quality. Still, some U.S. hospitals believe the technique is effective as a complementary treatment. What Reiki essentially is meant to do is boost patients’ response to treatments and amplify their bodies’ self-healing powers.
- Rongoā Māori
This is the traditional healing method of the Māori people, and it has been in practice for centuries. The treatment incorporates spiritual healing, physical therapy, and remedial native Māori plants. Some of the herbs, such as kawakawa, kūmarahou, and mamaku, have become quite popular thanks to their medicinal uses.
Kawakawa, for instance, was used to treat inflammations such as burns, skin disorders, and cuts for the traditional Maori. Extracts of the plants are still used in modern eczema balms. Kūmarahou has also been used by skincare brands. Believed to have antimicrobial properties, it was used by the Maori to wash skin conditions and treat bronchitis.
Reflexology helps remove stress by applying pressure to specific parts of the hand, feet, and ears. It’s basically a form of massage therapy, and it’s a treatment you could receive from a chiropractor or physical therapist.
The idea behind this practice is that specific points in the foot are connected to various organs and systems in the body. The belief is that by applying pressure to these points with the guide of a foot chart, the therapist can bring healing to the connected organ or body part.
As some studies have suggested, reflexology is effective for inducing relaxation and reducing anxiety. It’s more concerned with improving your overall psychological well-being than eradicating specific ailments, so it’s only recommended as a complementary treatment or as a way of relieving stress.
Mindfulness and spiritual balance have always played a major role in natural healing. They’re almost as integral to healing as physical treatments in some cases, as the body might never be truly well if the soul is still in need of repair. By cleansing your body and purifying your soul, these ancient techniques can have long-lasting positive effects on your health.