If you or your loved one is suffering, it’s my guess that finding a way to heal has been a large part of your life. If you’re like me, I’m always on the lookout for unique ways to help heal myself. It’s obvious that Western medicine ain’t all that and a bag of chips, so we have to be innovative, open to different ideas and ready to read and research.
The following 8 unique ways to help heal share a common link. They all require time and attention paid to your own self-care. Some require connecting with others, but all require connecting with yourself.
We must take our health into our own hands, because if we do not, no one else will.
Use these eight ideas to take time to slow down and care for your body, mind, consciousness and ultimately heal.
Never underestimate or undervalue physical touch. While is it critical to survival and emotional well-being it can certainly assist with healing. Some research has demonstrated that patients who receive healing touches experience quicker wound healing along with relaxation, reduced pain and overall comfort.
A 2015 study found that hugging was actually protective against the pathogenic effects of stress. Those who received support through hugging regularly were actually more protected when exposed to a common cold virus. So make it a daily practice to hug!
The famous psychotherapist Virginia Satir says, “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”
Scientific evidence overly shows the importance of hugs and physical contact. Read how here and here. But not every hug is equal. For full benefit, hug at least 20 seconds for effects of an oxytosin and serotonin release. These hormones released result in stress reduction, putting your body in the proper place to heal.
Take the above advice one step further and you’ve got a hug and it’s beneficial effects on steroids! If a hug promotes healing through physical touch and emotional connection, imagine what sex can do! The magic the giant boost of oxytosin peaks when you do and continues through the cuddling afterwords.
But just any sex won’t cut it. Research has found that that sex relieved stress for men and women in happy, satisfying relationships, but not in unhappy ones. So don’t run out looking to find sexual (or other healing) with just anyone.
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. Proverbs 17:22
We’ve all heard that laughter is the best medicine. But where did that come from? Is it really a healer or does it just make us feel better? It is theorized that it decrease stress hormones proposing a connection between laughter and immune function. However, science and research are currently unable to measure or even understand the complexities of laughter, especially when shared with others.
Despite the lack understanding and true controlled clinical trials providing validation, it has been well documented that benefits, have been reported in many areas of care including geriatrics, oncology, psychiatry, hospice and general patient care. These and other reports support that “laughter and humor are therapeutic allies in healing.”
he envisioned a time when physicians might recommend that everyone get 15 to 20 minutes of laughter in a day in the same way they recommend at least 30 minutes of exercise.
Care For Your Lymphatic System
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Your skin is the largest organ in your body, so to neglect it for years on end would certainly put a damper on health and healing. Dry brushing (more details on this below) is said to stimulate the lymphatic system, which is an incredibly important and undervalued system of the body.
Underneath the skin there are vast vessels, much like blood vessels, called the lymphatic system. Essentially it is the body’s garbage disposal. (If the trash system of the body isn’t working well, there will be health issues.)
Lymph travels through the lymphatic system and consists of white blood cells, mainly lymphocytes (ready to attack bacteria in the blood) and chyle. Chyle is a milky fluid that contains proteins, fat globules and lymph. During digestion, chyle drains from the small intestine into the lymphatic system.
So all this lymph then travels to lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, groin and in the center of the chest and abdomen. The nodes filter this fluid, ridding the body of bacteria and such. It also manufacturers immune cells to assist in keeping the body healthy.
Supporting the lymph system is one of the most important things you can do to heal and/or remain in good health.
So how do you dry brush? Easy. Take a brush like this one I use and rub your body on the daily! Begin at your feet, working up in long strokes, moving towards the heart or nearest lymph node. Essentially, the goal is to stimulate flow of the lymph. This is the reason “detoxification” is mentioned when speaking of dry brushing. This is an easy read with more details on how to dry brush.
Along with stimulating the body’s garbage removal system, your skin will be nourished. The minor harm from the brushing will cause skin cells to become alive! Dead skin will slough off, making room for new healthy cells.
According to the Dermal Institute, some people claim dry brushing helps to break up fatty deposits (cellulite) and help with digestive problems and improves overall skin issues through detoxification.
Visit the Sauna
Due to my search for healing, the sauna has recently been a huge part of my life! I absolutely love the way it makes me feel during and after a session. Why? There are two parts to the sauna that are life-changing. First, there is the mental healing. Spending quiet time alone, without a phone, TV, or pop music is more than therapeutic, it’s invaluable to the soul and the spirit.
The second part is about the physical aspects of sitting in a hot room for a sustained period of time. How hot is it you say? A whopping 150 degrees Fahrenheit! Sounds hot, but it’s really not uncomfortable. Research has shown that frequent sauna visits may reduce risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, and cognitive disorders and diseases. In addition, it helps to alleviate arthritis and headaches. Incredibly, overall longevity is increased the more time you spend in the sauna. Not a bad deal!
The beneficial effects using the sauna have been linked to its effect on circulatory, cardiovascular, and immune functions.
Make Time in the Sauna Really Count
In the forty minute (yes.. I said 40!) session, I complete a specific ritual that includes dry brushing to aid in toxin elimination, prayer, self-massage and I…talk to my cells and organs. I know that sounds SO strange, but I ask my body to relax and let it know it’s safe to heal itself. In other words, I pay attention to each part my body and thank it for the work it does. It may sound silly, but each part of the body is a living thing, and each living thing needs care and attention – no matter how small.
So it absolutely goes to show that if you’re seeking to heal, the sauna is a great place to begin.
After developing inflammatory arthritis, I visited the acupuncturist right away. I found immediate relief, but with a newborn baby and three year old, there was no way I could continue going to very lengthy appointments multiple times a week. So I came across something called tapping. According to the author of The Tapping Solution,
tapping is a combination of Ancient Chinese Acupressure and Modern Psychology that works to physically alter your brain, energy system and body all at once.
It’s quite simple. You tap on specific points with your pointer and ring finger (in between your eyes, temple area, under nose, under chin, under collarbone, bra strap area and top of head). The tap acts like acupuncture, as it clears any energy blockages. While tapping, you are to focus on whatever your ailment or hurt is. Doing these acts together will help to heal you physically and mentally. Here’s a video how to do it. The link to the book is here.
Scrape Your Tongue
It has been well-established that the bacteria that resides in your mouth is directly associated with the bacteria in your gut. So an incredible way to influence the types of bacteria in your GI tract is to scrape your tongue with a copper instrument, like this one that I use at least two times a day. Copper is a natural bacteria-resistant metal that is toxic to the not-so-good bacteria species in our mouth.
The healthier your mouth, the healthier your gut.
And if you’ve not yet read, the integrity your intestinal tract and which types of bacteria reside there decide the fate of your health.
According to a CNN poll, 73% of adults believe that prayer can cure illness. But can it?
Reading through this interesting review called Prayer and healing: A medical and scientific perspective on randomized controlled trials, I was originally looking for some science to support prayer and healing. To be honest, I didn’t know exactly what I was hoping to find. The abstract was almost comical: prayer was found to have healing effects, have no effect in others and in some, found to be detrimental!
But as I read through the reviews on each scenario, I realized that God and his work can’t be constrained to our simple scientific study methods. At the end the author beautifully states my thoughts exactly,”In this context, we must keep in mind that religion is based on faith and not on proof. This implies that, if God exists, he is indifferent to humanity or has chosen to obscure his presence. Either way, he would be unlikely to cooperate in scientific studies that seek to test his existence.”
Regardless of what science has been able to prove, prayer provides a significant source of comfort and hope.
Without faith and hope, healing cannot take place.
Faith and hope are vital to healing! Without a will, it is unlikely anything positive will manifest. Healing physically is not only about the physical. It’s about wellness as a whole. Mental, physical and spiritual factors all need to be aligned and fostered to promote healing.
Another way prayer helps to heal is by giving up control. When we pray we are acknowledging a higher power is in charge. Accepting this fact reduces anxiety and improves well-being. So no matter what science may report, you may receive great comfort from the true power that made us all.
Here’s a prayer I wrote to guide thoughts when healing is of upmost importance: A Prayer For Healing.
I hope these 8 unique ways to help heal gives you some fresh ideas on how you may go about finding healing for yourself or another that may be in need.
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