In alternative medicine, the most famous therapies are Acupuncture, Reiki or Yoga. Alternative therapies often also involve activating the body’s own energies, so yoga or tai chi is practiced to harmonize the body and energy.
The Feldenkrais Method is named after its creator, Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais. It is based on the principles of physics, biomechanics, and the empirical understanding of human learning and development.
The clinician uses smooth movement and directed attention to increase ease and range of motion, improve flexibility and coordination, and rediscover an innate capacity for graceful and effective movement.
The method is frequently used to help with stress and tension and to improve balance and coordination. Feldenkrais is regarded as a way of learning whole body movements rather than a discipline of health care.
Herbalism is a healing method that has been used in all cultures and around the world since ancient times. Plants or plant derivatives are used to treat numerous diseases and to aid bodily functions. Herbalism is not a licensed profession in the US, but herbs are recommended by many physicians to their patients to treat a variety of illnesses.
Naturopathic philosophy is based on the concept of the healing power of nature. The first doctors and healers worked with herbs, food, water, and fasting. Natural medicine studies require four years of graduate school in naturopathic medicine including all of the basic sciences as well as a physician, plus a holistic and non-toxic approach to treatment with a strong emphasis on prevention of disease and wellness optimization.
In addition to following a standard medical curriculum, the naturopathic practitioner is required to complete four years of training in clinical nutrition, acupuncture, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, and counseling. A naturopathic doctor takes examinations professional so that he or she may be authorized by a state or jurisdiction as a primary care medicine generally identified as an ND or NMD.
Rolfing is the name of Dr. Ida P. Rolf, who referred to her work (as some still do) as “structural integration.” Dr. Rolf created a deep connective tissue manipulation system aimed at alleviating physical misalignment through a series of 10 sessions, each focused on a different part of the body.
People look to Rolfing as a way to relieve chronic pain and stress and improve performance in their daily and professional activities.
The Alexander Technique, developed by FM Alexander (1869-1955), is a method of “re-educating” the body’s patterns of circulation to relieve pain and restore good posture.
Injury, illness, and poor mental, physical, or emotional habits can disrupt the flow of information between the mind and the muscles. Practitioners of the Alexander Technique use gentle touch and verbal instructions to reestablish an optimal connection between body and mind.
Biofeedback trains patients to improve their health by using their own body’s signals. The doctors rely on complex biofeedback machines to detect in a person’s internal body functions with much greater sensitivity and accuracy than a person can detect itself.
This information is used for the direct monitoring and treatment of a variety of disorders in order to move the patient towards a more balanced internal state.
The disorders commonly treated by biofeedback are headache and other forms of pain, high and low blood pressure, epilepsy, paralysis and other movement disorders, urinary incontinence, and stress-related conditions.
Guided Image Therapy.
Guided imagery is a form of self-hypnosis that has been associated with positive stimulation of the immune system. Positive suggestion is used to help release a negative self-image, to aid in goal creation and achievement, and as a natural way to relieve physical, mental, and emotional stress.
The method can be used to treat stress-related illnesses such as high blood pressure and insomnia.
The medicine Ayurveda originates from the ancient Vedic tradition of India and includes a system of herbalism and not much unlike traditional Chinese medicine. Ayurveda medicine focuses on disease prevention through a deeper connection between the mind and the body.
According to the Ayurvedic point of view, being “healthy” is more than the absence of disease, it is a state of “total health” – a radiant state of vigor and increased energy and balance. The better the balance, the better the health.