Guest Author: Sheila Olson
You’ve tried running, you’ve spent three days a week at the gym, you’ve joined a soccer club, you’ve tortured yourself at spin class. None of it really stuck for you. None of it really felt all that good. But you know you need exercise, you need peace of mind, you need better sleep, you need stress relief. You might be a good candidate for alternative therapies.
Alternative therapies have been around for centuries across the globe and they’ve proven to be successful. The most common alternative therapies are meditation, acupuncture, massage therapy, and yoga. Benefits include better memory, reduced stress, lower anxiety, and better creativity and concentration. They can be used separately or as a complement to other physical therapies and workout methods. Perhaps you’d enjoy the soccer club more if you meditated before practice and went to massage therapy afterwards.
Mazak ETS outlines a few alternative therapies to consider.
1. Swimming. You might think of swimming as a traditional workout, but as My Swim Pro points out, swimming can be combined with mindfulness for an immersive form of moving meditation. Swimming is a total-body exercise that helps relax the mind. Nearly every community has a public pool, YMCA, or community fitness center. Consider joining and make it a point to get in your laps every few days. You’ll feel better, you’ll sleep better, and you’ll probably start looking better.
2. Yoga. Yoga is a healthy way to de-stress and soothe your emotions. Yoga strengthens the body, promotes flexibility, and helps you get tuned into your feelings. We know yoga is at least 5,000 years old, and it may have been around twice as long. Yoga keeps you mindful, a key to reducing anxiety, and you can see benefits in as little as 20 minutes per day.
3. Meditation. Meditation is a way to focus the mind, calm the body, and reduce anxiety. It comes in many forms, from those that are strictly thought focused, to those that combine the physical and mental aspects of the individual, like yoga, nature walks, and light stretching exercises combined with music. It’s important to get comfortable before, during and after your self-care time to be able to relax, especially if you’re expecting or have just had a child. This calls for wearing comfy and well-fitting clothes made of materials and fabrics that are stretchable and breathable.
4. Acupuncture. This ancient practice of inserting needles into certain points of the body to relieve physical and mental distress has become more acceptable today. Best Health Mag states that acupuncture after a rigorous workout can reduce pain and relieve the stresses of modern daily life.
5. Massage Therapy. Massage therapy reduces muscle tension, helps heal soft tissue injuries, stimulates the lymphatic system, and provides relaxation. It can help with conditions like fibromyalgia and lower back pain. Like yoga, meditation, or acupuncture, massage therapy can complement more rigorous workout routines. Using essential oils like doTERRA can add to the positive and relaxing experience.
6. Home-Based Work. A job might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of therapy, but being productive, especially if it’s something you enjoy, can bring with it a great feeling of self-satisfaction. Earning an income also relieves stress if you’ve lost your job or have had to take a sabbatical for treatment. Home-based work or “side gigs” are by nature both flexible and low stress and can go a long way toward restoring lost self-esteem.
Increasing Conscious Awareness
Alternative therapies help you slow down and become aware of your surroundings. As a result, frequent practitioners are more present, with a more positive outlook, and laid back state of mind. If you’re religious, these practices don’t have to compete with prayer, but can complement it. If you’re busy with responsibilities, carving out a little time in the day can keep you from becoming burdened by life. You learn to pay attention, to see and hear all that is around you, and to let life in.
If working out hasn’t brought you the benefits that were promised, if it has become too much of a slog, or if you would like healthy activities that benefit the mind as well as the body, alternative therapies might just be for you.
Mazak ETS specializes in aligning, centering, and energizing you physically, mentally, and spiritually, which allows you to reach your full potential. Connect with us today for more info! (210) 426-8328 or (512) 537-0808