The term “holistic” is derived from the Greek word ” holos”, meaning ” whole”. Holistic therapies treat the whole person rather than just the symptoms. Holistic healing is an ancient science dating back at least 5,000 years and has origins in China and India. The general principle of holism was summarized by Aristotle in the “Metaphysics”: “The whole is more than the sum of its parts”.
Holistic therapies involve treating a person on four levels – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. The spiritual aspect is not associated with any religious ideology but rather, refers to the essence or higher-self of a person. What some people would call your spirit. A practitioner with a holistic approach treats the symptoms of illness but is primarily looking to solve the underlying cause of the illness or imbalance.
There are many different holistic therapies, which I believe is a great thing as it means there is something for everyone. Some people like to mix it up and use several different therapies and others like to stick to just one or two. It is completely up to you. The most important thing is to make sure you are well informed and understand how they work and what the benefits are.
Choosing the holistic therapy that will work best for you is a personal choice and sometimes you need to try a few out before you find those that you like. To choose one to start with, just follow your heart.
I have listed a few of my favourite holistic therapies below with a description and their benefits. If you would like more information on any of these please contact Bright Lady, search on the internet, or visit your local library.
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[accordion title=”Massage Therapy“]Massage dates back over 4,000 years as a method of strengthening muscles, firming the skin and encouraging the body’s natural healing abilities. Massage is ideal for specific physical problems such as muscle tension and tendon and ligament problems and can be used to relax muscles after physical exertion or to warm and loosen them in preparation for exercise. Massage is also a great mental and emotional stress reliever. A treatment leaves you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Swedish Massage includes long smooth strokes (effleurage), kneading (petrissage) and friction and tapping (tapotement) all of which work to relax tired and aching muscles whilst encouraging the flow of blood and lymph and enhancing skin tone.
Benefits of Swedish Massage
- Reduction in muscle spasm, pain and tension
- Release of endorphins
- Relaxation and therefore reduction in anxiety
- Improved blood circulation
- Improved lymphatic drainage and detoxification
- Improved mobility
- Reduction of swelling caused by an accumulation of fluid in the tissues
- Balancing the overall flow of natural life energy through the body
- Induce a feeling of well-being through the comfort of human touch.
Conditions that may benefit from massage therapy include:
- Stress and Anxiety
- Muscle Tension
- Neck, shoulder and back pain or stiffness
- Muscle trauma
- Lowered immunity
- Pre-Menstrual Tension
- Posture Problems
- Skin Condition e.g. dry skin
For most treatments I use a blend of base oils comprising of Jojoba, wheatgerm, peach kernel and grapeseed. This oil is good for skins of all types and ages and is a wonderful moisturiser. It does not stay greasy on the skin but soaks in leaving the skin feeling smooth and soft. Other massage mediums such as cream or powder are used where needed.
As a special treat for your feet, I use Niki’s Original Organic Reflexology Balm. It contains Tea Tree and Lemon Tea Tree essential oils and so has the most wonderful lemon sherbert smell. It gives your feet a fabulous moisturising treatment while I massage the rest of your body. If you like it as much as I do you can buy a little pot to take home with you!
See Massage Oils and Other Mediums for more information on oils and Niki’s Balm.[/accordion]
[accordion title=”Indian Head Massage“]Head Massage was originally developed by women in India as a way of caring for their long lustrous hair. A vigorous head massage (“champi”) was also incorporated into treatments offered by barbers to male clients. In India, massage is an important part of everyday life and massage skills have been handed down through the generations.
The concept of Indian Head Massage as a complementary therapy was introduced to the UK by Narendra Mehta. He came to London to study physiotherapy in the 70’s and went on to develop his own unique method of head massage which he called “Champissage” and introduced this therapy to the UK at the Mind, Body, Spirit Festival in 1981.
Indian Head Massage or Champissage is a non-intrusive form of massage, which concentrates upon the upper part of the body. The massage can provide a client with relief from tension, relieving stiff muscles and joints in the treatment area. The massage is highly relaxing and can have a profound effect upon the negative effects of stress. Indian Head Massage is a holistic therapy which can benefit the body as a whole.
See Massage Oils page for information on oils used in Indian Head Massage.
Benefits of Indian Head Massage
- Increase blood supply to scalp, head and neck, bringing fresh oxygen and nutrients to the area.
- Revitalise your body and mind
- Relieve muscular pain and tension
- Improve concentration, relive mental fatigue and stress
- Improve lymphatic drainage and removal of toxins
- Psychological Effects. Increases alertness
- Revitalizes the whole Person
- Gives a feeling of balance. Subtle Effects
- Balance the Chakras