Our columnist Grace Victory explores the alternative and more unusual treatments the world of wellness has to offer – all it takes is an open mind
Holistic therapies often add something incredibly unique and valuable to a person’s overall treatment. Yet, sometimes they get a bad rep – if most of what you know about them is the controversial Goop by Gwyneth Paltrow, some hesitation would be understandable… The Goop site is wellness on speed, selling vibrator necklaces, singing bowls, and turmeric blends.
But then a few months ago, The Goop Lab launched on Netflix – a six-part documentary-series focusing on pseudoscientific healing modalities.
It featured everything from ‘cold therapy’ – using extremely low temperatures to elevate a stressed nervous system – to experimenting with acupuncture. So, me being me, I sat down, pressed play, and binge-watched the entire thing.
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It didn’t feel gimmicky or forced. It was informative, insightful, and reminded me why I’ve often opted for alternative ways to heal, rather than the general Western way.
For the past five years, I’ve been interested in how our ancestors did things, as well as Eastern remedies, rather than following modern conventions. How did they help period pains? What did they do when they had a headache? It’s also worth mentioning that many alternative ways to heal that are shunned by Western practitioners are usually from African and idigenous tribes and lineages. We would be naive to think that racism hasn’t also affected our healthcare practices.
As a child I was always taught the healing benefits of ginger. Sore throat? Ginger. Feel sick? Ginger. Can the benefits ever be truly proven? Who knows, but my gut often tells me to turn to that before paracetamol. My inquisitive nature, and midnight Google searches, opened my mind to energy healing, and plant medicine, and they’ve been a passion of mine ever since.
I knew early on in my healing journey that I wanted to delve right in and explore. So here are a few alternative healing practices that I’ve tried over the years, and could be worth exploring for you, too.
A system of energy healing that looks to ease stress and illness through ensuring the life energy flowing through us isn’t disrupted or blocked.
I’ve had Reiki many times, and each experience has differed. The relationship I have with the practitioner affects the session, so there are some healers I’ve only seen once, and others I’ve gone back to numerous times. Reiki makes me feel like I’m floating, but at the same time as if for that one hour or so, I’m the most present I’ve ever been. Afterwards I may feel energised and aligned, or other times tired and sad – it all depends on what has shifted on a soul level. I really recommend it!
Encourages healing across the whole body, by massaging areas of the feet, hands, and ears.
I first started having fortnightly reflexology sessions in 2016, and have continued on and off ever since. I started going because my feet were sore in the mornings, and after a Google search I discovered that you can feel your emotions through your feet. This modality was incredibly powerful for me. At times, it felt more relaxing than a full body massage, and I felt safe with my healer, Rashieda. After a few months my foot pain completely disappeared, and now whenever I feel a slight ache, I know I’m doing some deep trauma work and my feet need TLC.
Alternative medicine is something that should be explored more, and readily available to us all
Using a set of tarot cards to learn about the past, present, or future, by asking a question and interpreting the cards drawn.
I view tarot as a mirror, and the cards reflect my soul. It’s a really interesting and beautiful way to connect to our lineage and spirit guides. It’s a practice that’s not always understood, but I like the introspectiveness that it brings me – it reveals that so many of the answers we seek, we already know. Without awareness we can’t develop, can we?
A traditional system of medicine, native to India, that looks to connect the mind, body, and spirit to restore balance and encourage wellness.
Ayurveda bodywork, for me, is the most holistic, relaxing, and bespoke treatment. For a few hours, it’s my space to be emotionally held and physically supported by a divine feminine energy. For sexual trauma survivors specifically, it’s important to experience touch in a non-sexual way, and Ayurveda gives me that on such a profound level. From body brushing, to rose quartz crystal cranial massage, it’s brilliant and a luxury I am so grateful to have access to, because it can be expensive!
Alternative medicine isn’t for everyone. But it’s definitely worked for me. I think it’s something that should be explored more, and readily available to us all.
Love Grace x
Come back next month for more from Grace!
Find out more about complementary therapies on therapy-directory.org.uk