What Are Healing Modalities?
The health benefits of ancient healing methods are debated in some medical circles, though many date back thousands of years. Holistic methods of healing focus on the health of the body as a whole rather than a specific part. The idea of holistic healing stems from the concept of connectivity throughout the body and achieving balance through sustaining that connectivity.
Healing modalities are therapeutic techniques that seek to balance the body, mind, emotions, and spirit. In the United States, these holistic healing techniques are categorized as an alternative, complementary, or integrative methods. When we discuss healing modalities, we mean natural healing practices outside traditional Western medicine and health care.
The United States government has even created research centers to study these healing methods. The most notable agency is the National Institute of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Their studies focus on complementary and integrative methods, which are used together with modern medicine, rather than alternative applications used in conventional medical practices.
Natural Products vs. Mind and Body Practices
Integrative healing modalities may have potential benefits for those seeking pain management on an emotional, spiritual, or physical level. Healing modalities that focus on physical health and well-being together fall into the category of mind and body practices, while others fall into natural products.
Most people are familiar with natural products such as probiotics and botanicals as they are popular for use in customized nutrition and supplementation plans. However, the full effects of these products on the body are not yet fully understood and may require further study.
Mind and body healing modalities are also seeing a rise in popularity among U.S. adults. Yoga, chiropractic manipulation, and acupuncture are the most popular mind and body practices, although there are many more practices for the curious to explore. These healing modalities aim to align the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual energy of those who practice them.
5 Healing Modalities That Can Change Your Life
If you are interested in these healing practices, you might feel overwhelmed with the sheer number of modalities out there—especially as many have a similar goal. While you may not be ready to dive headfirst into the realms of crystal therapy or psychic surgery, there are other healing practices to consider. Acupuncture, meditation, yoga, chiropractic manipulation, and floating can open the door for you to explore new forms of healing.
Those critical of these types of practices tend to be unaware of the benefits they can offer. Not only can energy healing practices benefit the body, but they can also clear your mind and uplift your spirit.
If you aren’t taken with the practice right away, don’t worry. It can take a few tries to become comfortable with the process. While you shouldn’t force yourself into a healing modality that makes you uncomfortable, an essential part of any of these practices is self-exploration. You never know the benefits of practice until you open yourself up to its possibilities and give it a try.
Acupuncture is a meridian-based method of healing that focuses on unblocking the body’s natural flow of energy, often called Qi or chi. This process involves inserting thin, sterile, stainless steel acupuncture needles into specific points on the body to facilitate the return of a healthy energy flow.
Proponents of acupuncture treatments believe the process aids in the healing of a variety of illnesses. The acupuncture process may offer relief from hormone imbalance, allergies, pain, depression, and anxiety. Some believe acupuncture can also improve the effectiveness of in vitro fertilization.
An acupuncture session typically lasts for around one hour. While you are in a seated or prone position, the practitioner places the needles on your body’s acupuncture points. Most people say the process is painless, with only a tingling sensation or a slight pinch when the needles are placed.
Once the provider places all of the needles on your acupuncture points, they will leave you to rest for the remainder of your appointment. After about 45 minutes, the practitioner will return to remove the needles. After acupuncture treatment, many people report feelings of extreme relaxation.
It is crucial to ensure that the acupuncture treatment facility you choose is clean, orderly, and licensed. While the practice is mostly safe when administered by properly trained practitioners, unsterilized needles can cause infection. If the facility’s state where you plan to receive treatment doesn’t seem very professional, it is best to find another provider.
#2. Chiropractic Manipulation
Chiropractic manipulation is the process of adjusting parts of the patient’s musculoskeletal system. Most people who seek help from a chiropractor suffer from back pain, headaches, and neck pain. Many chiropractors view chiropractic care as holistic treatment and feel inherent connectivity between a person’s spine and general well-being.
Proponents of chiropractic adjustment believe the practice is beneficial for many ailments and can heal issues ranging from irritable bowel syndrome to asthma. While some “straight” chiropractors prefer to separate themselves from conventional modern medicine, “mixers” view the practice as complementary.
The thrusting force that chiropractors apply to their patients is intended to increase a joint’s range of motion. Typically, audible sounds of a release accompany this application of force. This type of manual manipulation of the body during chiropractic care causes overlap with other manual therapy such as massage therapy, sports medicine, physical therapy, and osteopathy.
If you visit a chiropractor for healing care in the United States, you will most likely encounter practitioners who utilize the Diversified or Gonstead techniques.
The Diversified technique uses a method of “high-velocity, low-amplitude” (HVLA). This is the most common chiropractic practice and the one most chiropractic students choose to pursue. The Diversified technique aims to correct spinal misalignment, restore movement, and improve the dysfunction of joints.
The Gonstead technique relies on special adjustment of the spine as an expansion of the Diversified technique. The main identifier of the Gonstead technique is the lack of rotation when applying corrective force.
You should not seek chiropractic care if you have osteoporosis, numbness of extremities, spinal cancer, or bone abnormalities of the neck. You can expect the chiropractor to place you face-down on a special padded table as they work. The chiropractor will use their hands for controlled manipulation of your body.
While advocates of chiropractic care state that they enjoy the benefits of the practice, chiropractic adjustments are not for everyone. If you do not positively respond to the practice after a couple of weeks in chiropractic care, you may want to seek other healing options.
In a world where we are constantly moving and receiving stimuli, many people enjoy how meditation can slow down the mind. Some find it difficult at first to exist in their space without any physical activity merely. However, with practice, meditation leads you to a place of inner quiet where you delve beyond surface thoughts for true self-exploration.
The mindfulness that you experience during meditation allows you to enter a state of deep relaxation. In the practice of meditation, toxic thoughts of fear and self-doubt peel away to help uncover your true self. Instead of allowing these negative feelings to wash over you, you may find that meditation enables you to move past them, even if only briefly.
People who engage in meditation as a frequent practice note the benefit of staving off intrusive thoughts. Many note an increased sense of calm and clarity, as well, both in their mediative practice as well as in their daily lives. For these reasons and more, many people who meditate cite the activity as a relief from stress and a way to find calmness.
Meditation is holistic in the way that it helps ease both mind and body. When you reduce stressful thoughts, you no longer carry that stress around with you. Meditation can be beneficial for anyone as long as a quiet spot can be found.
While some people prefer instructor-guided meditation, all you truly need is yourself and approximately 15 or 20 of free time where you won’t be interrupted. Begin in a comfortable seated position, close your eyes, and focus on the rhythm of your breathing. Add a mantra, or a meaningless phrase, to help move beyond conscious thought.
As you focus on your breathing, your mantra, or both, you may begin to separate yourself from the surrounding noises of your environment. If your focus drifts to something outside of yourself, return to the rhythm of your breath. Try to clear your mind and be in the moment. Afterward, remain still and assess how you feel before returning to activities of everyday life.
You may begin to see benefits from your very first meditation practice, but you shouldn’t search for a particular experience. Even if you don’t experience the claimed higher levels of consciousness, you can still benefit from taking a moment for yourself. Meditative reflection can often help you to realize your internal goals and desires and open your mind to the possible ways to achieve them.
Yoga is another holistic practice that exists somewhere between the realms of chiropractic adjustment and meditation. The popularity of yoga continues to grow in the United States as many people begin to feel the benefits of this 5,000-year-old practice. The range of a yoga session can vary greatly depending on your needs.
High-intensity advanced yoga classes may focus on poses to increase your balance, add length to your stretching, and strengthen your core. Some yoga classes may involve only light stretching and breath control exercises with parallels to meditation practices. However, physical health and well-being are not the only aims of yoga.
Those who endorse yoga often mention benefits:
- Higher quality of sleep
- Increased flexibility and range of bodily motion
- Increased balance
- Increased physical strength
- Reduction of stress
- Reduction of inflammation
- Reduction of pain
Depending on a yoga class’s intensity and difficulty level, the duration can range anywhere between a half-hour and two hours. If you are interested in beginning a yoga practice, it will be beneficial to research different forms of yoga practices. Hot yoga, Vinyasa, Yin, prenatal, and restorative yoga all have different styles and techniques, so they appeal to different people.
As you explore your yoga practice, you might find that you become more comfortable in your body. You might also experience the increased clarity of mind that often accompanies meditation. When you practice yoga with determined frequency, the mindfulness that you have on the mat may transfer to your life off the mat, enriching your everyday life.
The last healing modality on this life-changing list is the modality of floating. Floating practices involve meditation in a specific environment that intends to disconnect your body from its senses to move beyond its constraints. Floating aims to create a feeling of weightlessness by allowing the floater to stay buoyant in a sensory deprivation tank.
Inside the tank, saline-infused water allows you to float on the surface. Freeing oneself from the confines of gravity through buoyancy while suspended in water is the first step in severing the senses. It is also quiet and dark inside the floating tank, creating a near-idealistic environment to meditate, as there will be no intrusive visual or audible stimuli to distract you.
Most commonly, floating sessions last around one or two hours in the tank. Newcomers to floating should try a shorter session first because some people respond negatively to the tank’s lack of light and sound. Many floating facilities offer orientations and resources on overcoming feelings of claustrophobia that may prevent you from enjoying your float.
Floaters describe the benefits of the practice similar to those gained from traditional meditation. Notable benefits include reduced stress, better sleep, pain relief, and reduced feelings of depression and anxiety.