Many of us prefer to seek out natural or alternative methods for healing before resorting to medications. The mechanisms behind treatments such as reflexology, massage, and acupuncture are deep rooted in the belief that the body has an innate ability to heal itself, through the stimulation of the nervous system. Often, these therapies have great success for many types of health complaints, and can even be used in conjunction with conventional medical treatments.
The most common understanding of reflexology is that our hands and feet have pressure points that connect to vital areas in our bodies such as organs. The belief is that by applying pressure to these points, we can help reduce pain and encourage healing in the corresponding areas. Reflexology has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and pain. Patients have used it to reduce symptoms from headaches, diabetic nerve pain, sinusitis, and chronic pain conditions. Studies have shown that quality of life is enhanced by improving sleep, appetite, digestive issues, breathing, and more. It can even be used to improve heart health, according to published findings that show the baroreceptor receptor areas of the brain, a factor in heart disease risk, are directly related to pressure points on the feet.
Though we often think of a massage as a luxury we might treat ourselves to at the spa, there’s a reason why it’s actually called massage therapy. Known to reduce both stress and pain, massage therapy is a well acknowledged treatment option for many ailments. Along with reducing pain, stress and inflammation, massage can improve circulation, sleep, and immunity. Stimulation of the lymph nodes helps to eliminate toxins and boost your body’s ability to fight illness. You can restore range of movement by improving your flexibility, and boost your endorphins which leads to less anxiety and a happier state of mind. Better still, these effects can last for days and even weeks post massage!
Don’t be put off by the idea of needles being used for this therapy. In fact, acupuncture needles are the size of a human hair, and treatments are often so relaxing that you may drift off to sleep! Acupuncture has been shown to be effective for stress and anxiety, and regular sessions can even help combat chronic stress. If you suffer from regular headaches, muscle strain, or chronic pain, studies have shown that acupuncture can bring relief, while it’s also been proven beneficial for insomnia, digestive issues, and collagen production.
All of these methods offer the benefits of improving sleep, and reducing stress, anxiety, and pain. That in itself can obviously lead to other overall health benefits. Many people prefer to use these therapies regularly, for preventive care rather than just when dealing with a specific issue. All of them can be used quite successfully as a way to encourage overall good health and healing. Be sure to check with your doctor before beginning any new treatments or therapies, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions.