Alternative Therapies

So, what exactly is alternative therapy?  According to – “Alternative therapy is the term for medical products and practices that are not part of standard care.  Standard care is what medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy, and allied health professionals, such as nurses and physical therapist, practice.”  Wow, that opens us up to a lot more forms of therapy than I had expected! There are SO many options out there. How amazing is that?! 

While I was looking through the different modalities in this area, I realized that so many of us are doing some of these alternative therapies everyday already!  Have you ever come home from a stressful day and just wanted to snuggle with your fur baby? Well, that’s a part of animal therapy. Or how many of you need to get that gym time in, or yoga time?  That’s exercise therapy. I know that personally, I seek out my Chiropractor when I feel my body needs adjusting. To my surprise, chiropractic therapy falls into alternative therapies! Who knew?!  I thought this was pretty cool, because my chiropractor appointments are covered under my work benefits, and I was under the impression that things covered were more “mainstream” practices. But guess what? Massage, acupuncture and acupressure are also alternative therapies.  I think it’s amazing that as a society we are recognizing these “alternative” practices as valuable enough to be covered under our benefit plans. 

There are so many amazing forms of alternative therapy out there to support and complement our more traditional medical therapies.  How many of you take your vitamins and possibly herbs everyday? Yep, it’s herbal therapy! A lot of these modalities we can do ourselves, but I would caution you that with some of these practices and therapies to please talk to your Doctor and/or work with a professional. For instance, I wouldn’t go to the health store and start taking random herbs without consulting my doctor, naturopath or pharmacist, because they can tell me how those herbs might interact with a medical condition or current medication.  That’s important stuff to know. 

However, something I can absolutely administer myself, is a nice long walk in the country!  For me personally, there’s almost nothing better than connecting with nature. While I’m walking, I’m focusing on my breathing and visualizing all that yummy air coming in to support my body. While I’m exhaling, I see all the yucky stuff that I’m choosing to release just evaporate.  I also take time to appreciate the beauty in the trees and plant life, as well as all the little forest critters. That personally, gives me a sense of connection and fills my heart with gratitude that I am alive right here, right now in this amazing time and place. For me, that’s nature therapy; or another term, forest therapy.  While I choose to practice this modality as a solitary experience, there are forest therapy guides who will walk you through your own unique experience.

Honestly, there is such a variety of options to choose from, and the internet will give you a lot of food for thought!  It can even be a little overwhelming when trying to decide which therapy or therapies would be best suited for you. I would encourage you to look them over and see how you feel, maybe talk to your health care professionals to see if they can suggest what would best help support you.  Also keep in mind that a lot of these modalities can be experienced on your own, or you can seek people in your community who can help you. In my opinion, life is a personal and unique journey for each and every one of us, so what might work for you, won’t necessarily work for the person next to you, and vice versa.  And that’s OK! We are all unique individuals, so it makes sense that what we need would also be unique to each of us. And trust me, there is something out there for everyone!

Maybe you love animals but don’t have any yourself.  You could look around your community and find registered therapy animals, or you could volunteer at the pet shelter, or provide dog walking/pet sitting services.  If nature is your thing, you can go for a walk, or join a walking/running/hiking club in your neighbourhood. Maybe sit under your favourite tree and meditate. Prayer is a very popular form of alternative therapy as well.  Perhaps you say a blessing everyday; or belong to a church group or bible study. There are so many options. Below is a list of some types of alternative therapies, but keep in mind the list really is endless! I’m confident that there will be something for all of us that we can incorporate into our lives to support our well-being. I also know that you are worth every effort that you put into being your healthiest, happiest self!  I think you’ll be surprised at how much you already do for yourself too, so yay you! Give yourself a pat on the back! Let’s have a look at a few modalities that fall under the umbrella of Alternative Therapies:

Journaling, Hypnosis, Yoga, Feng Shui, Art, Reading, Earthing, Astrology, Prayer, Chiropractic, Aromatherapy, Sound (crystal bowls, drumming, music, etc.), Dance, Herbal, Acupuncture, Acupressure, Forest/Nature, Energy (Reiki, healing touch, chakra balancing, etc.), Animal, Massage and Reflexology, Meditation, Nutrition, Aqua Therapy, Ayurvedic (herbs and dietary means under supervision), Isolation Therapy (water float pods).  The list really does go on and on, however these are a few to give you something to look more into if you’re interested.

What an amazing time to be alive!  With so many incredible things available to us, to help us support and honour ourselves.  It’s beautiful! And so are YOU! So until next time, take care and have fun! Enjoy the magic that is you!

Many blessings,

Vanessa Zieglgansberger
Wellness Coordinator & Intuitive Energy Practitioner