In 2020, “self-care” became one of the most searched terms on Google, alongside “breathing exercises” and “meditation”. Since then, many people have been reevaluating how they live their life, including taking mental health seriously. It’s clear all this self-reflection has made people widen their perspective on wellness. In fact, the complementary and alternative health industry is predicted to grow by 22.03% between 2021 and 2028.
Many of the holistic remedies that are popular in Western culture actually originated from the East. This article will cover a couple of the most popular alternative treatments for your physical, mental and spiritual health.
What is Holistic Health?
Holistic health or alternative medicine is a whole, complete approach to wellness. It is the practice of caring for your mind, body and soul by treating the undying causes of physical and emotional issues. In many cases, alternative approaches to wellbeing also aim to prevent future conditions from arising.
Meditation and Mindfulness
Mindfulness and meditation are ancient Buddist practices that see someone practice present moment living. You may cultivate a sense of mindfulness by tuning into your five senses and paying attention to each one. There is also a vast amount of anecdotal evidence to suggest mindfulness and meditation reduce stress, widen one’s perspective on life, and cultivate joy. One 2011 study indicated that mindfulness has many “positive psychological effects”, including a reduction in psychological symptoms and emotional reaction.
Some other potential benefits of mindfulness include:
- Reduces stress;
- Anxiety management;
- Increases self-awareness;
- Improves emotional health;
- Slows the rate of ageing;
- Improves focus;
- Addiction management;
- Better quality sleep;
- Pain management;
- Lowers blood pressure.
Many begin to practise mindfulness through meditation which involves closing your eyes and focusing on your breath. However, there are various ways to introduce mindfulness into your daily life, including paying more attention throughout the day. That said, meditation and breathing exercises seem to provide the most benefits.
CBD (cannabidiol) has made quite the impact on the wellness industry and is firmly up there with some of the most popular holistic health trends. Originating from the hemp variant of cannabis, CBD may sound controversial, but it comes packed with tons of potential positive effects. CBD oil may help with the following areas:
- Pain management;
- Improved sleep;
- Mood disorder management;
- Reduce acne;
- Improved focus, to name a few.
Cannabidiol is also available in many forms to suit your preferences, including CBD capsules, oils, tinctures, topical treatments, drinks and edibles like Naturecan CBD gummies. However, if you’re considering adding CBD to your routine, consult a medical professional to discuss if it’s right for your health.
Reiki is a Japanese type of energy healing performed by certified professionals. During a session, the practitioner will manipulate various energy fields around the body, helping to heal specific wounds or promote balance in the mind and body. According to professionals, when energy becomes stagnant, it may cause physical or emotional illnesses. Reiki claims to improve the flow of this energy to elicit certain benefits, including relaxation, pain relief, healing and reduction of physical symptoms.
Nowadays, there is little scientific evidence to show how or if reiki works; however, there are many people who say it has helped them tremendously.
This may be one of the more alternative methods for improving your wellbeing; however, using the healing energy from crystals is becoming extremely popular. While there is little evidence to suggest crystal healing works, some research suggests the placebo effect is at play. Nonetheless, there are many people who swear by the use of crystals, and there’s no denying how beautiful these gems are!
Do you want to try using crystals? These are some great beginner options:
- Rose Quartz: Cultivate self-love and attract affection and compassion into your life;
- Amethyst: Connect to your spiritual side, build self-trust and strengthen your intuition;
- Citrine: Promote happiness and abundance.
Many crystal users wear their gems on a necklace, keep them in a bag or use them alongside their daily rituals. For instance, you may like to hold a crystal when you journal or meditate.
If you’re one for enhancing your senses, aromatherapy utilises your smell receptors to elicit certain responses in the body. It seems particular smells trigger different reactions; for example, lavender may promote feelings of calm, helping to soothe symptoms of anxiety. One study looked into the effect of citrus scents on the immune system and depression. The researchers even went on to suggest that it may be more effective than antidepressants. What’s more, a scientific review found peppermint oil was beneficial for reducing nausea, alongside other essential oils such as cardamom and ginger.
There are many varieties of holistic remedies, including acupuncture, positive affirmations, gratitude and nutrition, which weren’t mentioned here. While there are various anecdotal accounts of these methods working for people, it’s safe to say everyone perceives it differently.
If you’re uncertain about trying these alternative practices, start gradually with exercises such as meditation, which has firmly made its way into modern medicine. That said, there’s a reason these methods have been used for centuries —despite only recently making their way into the Western world. Experimenting with these ideas can be fun and exciting!
In some cases, it’s good to discuss holistic medicine with your doctor first, such as CBD infused products, as they may not be right for everyone.
As we’ve explored, these are some popular trends people swear by to improve their mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. So, if you’re hoping to increase your self-care and self-love, holistic wellness may be the answer.