Holistic therapy: A beginner’s guide

Updated on January 22, 2021
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Holistic or complementary therapy has many different names. There are a multitude of treatments available under this umbrella term, ‘holistic therapy.’ These are usually used alongside other conventional methods of treatment. These therapies tend to have some common beliefs that guide their practice, such as the body can heal itself and maintain this homeostasis if the conditions are right. The person is the focus of therapy, not the symptoms. There is no quick fix for illness. These are not only curative but are also preventative. Few practices from these can help you maintain good health and assist you in taking charge of your own health. Here are a few of the most common forms of holistic therapies.


This age-old healing practice has been derived from the traditional form of Chinese medicine, where thin needles are placed expertly at specific points of the body. The main goal of acupuncture is to release the body’s ‘chi’ or vital energy by stimulating various points along 14 energy pathways. These are believed to release endorphins in the body that act as natural painkillers and help in the brain’s neuroplasticity (changing the neural networks in the brain). Contrary to popular belief, acupuncture doesn’t hurt, and most people feel energized after the treatment. A lot of research provides evidence-based benefits of acupuncture, aiding in the treatment of various musculoskeletal problems. 


Naturopathy focuses on the body’s ability to heal itself. It helps prevent various health problems and focuses on prevention and education. They use techniques that deal with a person’s exercise, diet, and stress management. It focuses on alleviating underlying symptoms that throw the body off balance, keeping in mind a person’s individualism. A specific technique in naturopathic medicine focuses on the genetic impact on your health. Genetic, nutritional counseling can help identify potential risks of future disease and help you maintain your health with a good diet suited to your needs.

Chiropractic treatment

Chiropractic care uses techniques of hands-on spinal manipulation. This is one of the leading forms of treatment most people use for back pain. At least 35% of people are troubled by back pain from various causes, such as sports injuries, accidents, or even muscle strains. Proper alignment of the body enables itself to heal without the help of surgeries. Methods used in chiropractic care restore mobility to joints. 


Reiki, also referred to as energy healing, is an alternative form of medicine that emerged in the late 1800s. It is said to involve the transfer of energy from the palms of the practitioner to the patient. Though controversial, many people believe that reiki works with energy fields around the body. A lot of people believe in the power of Reiki and have attested to it in the past. A survey conducted in 2007 showed that almost 1.2 million US adults had tried reiki in the last one year. It helps in removing blocks to our energy.

Alternative or holistic therapies have various health benefits. People are slowly recognizing the importance of incorporating these treatments in their lives to maintain their good health.


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