Interested in holistic healing but not sure where to get started? There’s no shortage of holistic and traditional healing practices to explore, but the abundance of options can be overwhelming to those new to ancient medicine. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of holistic healing practices that are easy and affordable to try on your own.
Walking the Labyrinth
Labyrinths have been used for thousands of years as a form of walking meditation. Labyrinths may be used to calm the mind, spur spiritual growth, and promote creative thinking. Unlike a maze, a labyrinth only has one entrance and its path is easy to follow, although it may take you through surprising turns. Labyrinth walking holds the same benefits as other forms of meditation with the added perk of exercise. The Worldwide Labyrinth Locator can help you a labyrinth near you.
Since walking the labyrinth is exercise, you’ll want to make sure you have a comfortable pair of walking shoes so you stay focused on meditation, not your feet. Athletic shoes don’t need to be expensive, but they should be supportive and well-made. As for a labyrinth,
The benefits of fasting have been known for centuries by cultures and religions around the world, but it’s only recently that the value of fasting has begun to be recognized by the scientific community. In addition to aiding weight loss, fasting has been found to enhance cognition, delay age-related disease, and extend the lifespan.
While fasting is a widespread practice, methods of fasting vary considerably. Some fasting methods, like time-restricted eating, involve consuming nothing but water during the fasting period. However, many allow some caloric intake. For example, Hildegard preached a method of gentle fasting that involved the consumption of grains, teas, and broths while avoiding animal products.
For people new to fasting, gentle fasts like Hildegard’s are an ideal starting point. However, before any fast, it’s wise to get the go-ahead from your doctor. Before scheduling an appointment, see if your provider offers telehealth. On average, telehealth appointments cost half as much as in-office visits and many insurers cover the cost.
Controlling the Breath
Pranayama, the practice of breath control, is an important component of Ayurvedic teachings. In Ayurveda, pranayama is used to balance the doshas, or energies. While breath control is used in modern yoga, it’s rarely the primary focus. However, breath control is an effective way to increase energy, improve focus, or calm the mind and body. Ayurveda teaches that pranayama should be chosen according to dosha, which changes both seasonally and according to time of day.
It doesn’t take much to get started with breathing exercises. In addition to familiarizing yourself with common pranayama, you need a quiet place to practice and a comfortable yoga mat or meditation cushion. If you don’t own one, look online for affordable options.
Soaking Your Ailments Away
Balneotherapy is the use of mineral baths to treat ailments. While this practice has connections to a wide range of cultures, including ancient Greece and Rome, Japan, Finland, and Turkey, its use as a healing therapy never achieved widespread popularity in the U.S.
Traditionally, balneotherapy is believed to be effective against skin disorders, pain, arthritis, and sleep problems. While there’s some research to support therapeutic use of balneotherapy, results are largely inconclusive. Nonetheless, mineral baths and hot springs remain a popular destination for people around the globe.
If traveling isn’t in the budget for you, recreate the experience in your own home with bath salts. You can purchase bath salts online, but if you plan to take regular mineral baths, make your own to save money.
In addition to being easy and inexpensive, these traditional healing practices are safe, making them ideal for people venturing into the world of holistic healing for the first time. As you explore these traditional healing practices, pay attention to the methods that resonate with you. When you connect with healing practices physically and spiritually, you open the door to greater wellness in your life.
Jennifer McGregor does research for PublicHealthLibrary.com to inspire people to take charge of their own wellness.