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Five Holistic Health Practices You Should Consider

Kathleen Odenthal has spent years mastering the art of working from home. Learn about her experience with VIPKid, an ESL platform for kids.

What are holistic practices?

What are holistic practices?

What Is Holistic Health?

Holistic healing practices are a form of health care also referred to as complementary and alternative medicine.

Practicioners who deal with holistic health believe in using therapy methods that treat the body as a whole, rather than just dealing with the part of the body that is ill or injured.

The philosophy of holistic medicine is that optimal health can be achieved by anyone and that the way to achieve optimal health is through finding balance in one's own life—mentally, emotionally and physically.

The main principles of holistic health include:

  • Human beings possess innate healing powers
  • Treat the patient, don't treat the disease
  • Curing the root cause of the condition, not just alleviating the symptoms of the condition

Holistic practitioners include medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy, naturopathic doctors, chiropractors, and homeopathic doctors.

From energy healing to chiropractic, holistic health practices emphasize treatment over medication as the best approach to treating a patient.

Holistic health treats your body, your mind and your emotions.

Holistic health treats your body, your mind and your emotions.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is an alternative form of medicine that relies on spinal manipulation techniques to heal the body. Although chiropractors are known as "doctors of the spine," doctors of chiropractic can treat a variety of injuries and ailments from your head to your toe.

Doctors of chiropractic go through a minimum of four years of graduate schooling, where they study the human anatomy and learn how the nervous system can affect various parts of the body.

There are many different chiropractic techniques used by chiropractic practitioners, all of which involve spinal manipulation, a passive manual maneuver or dynamic thrust aimed at realigning the spine.

Chiropractic medicine has been successful in treating arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, migraines, allergies, asthma and more.

Reiki Energy Healing

Reiki is a holistic healing practice that heals the mind, body and spirit in order to promote one's wholeness, harmony and sense of purpose. Reiki was an unknown practice in many parts of the world until 1970. That was the year that a talented Reiki Master from Japan moved to California with hopes of spreading knowledge about this ancient healing practice.

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Reiki Master Hawayo Takata taught twenty-two students while living in America before passing away in 1978. Takata is credited for the spread of Reiki throughout the United States.

Reiki is a safe, gentle, nonintrusive healing technique that relies on the transfer of energy through a person's hands. You can perform Reiki on yourself, or you can use a Reiki Master.

The goal of Reiki is to clear your body of negative energy by utilizing twelve energy points located throughout the body. By hovering your hands over these specific points, positive energy flows through the body while negative energy transfers out of our body.


Acupuncture is an alternative medicine technique that consists of stimulating specific points throughout the body using a variety of methods such as the application of heat, pressure, or laser (penetration of thin needles).

A traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) technique, acupuncture aims to treat a wide range of physical ailments. Acupuncture is performed by trained professionals. The most popular form of acupuncture in the west is the needle technique.

The needle technique of acupuncture relies on lightly puncturing the skin with several long needles. The needles are placed at specific points depending on the ailments of the patient.

Acupuncture has been found to help improve mood, reduce stress, minimize pain and cure various illnesses.

Yoga is a holistic workout for the mind and body.

Yoga is a holistic workout for the mind and body.


One of the most popular holistic therapies practiced in the western world is yoga, a holistic practice that started in ancient India all the way back around 200 B.C. Yoga is rooted in Hindu and Buddhist philosophies and aims to heal the physical body, as well as the spiritual body.

There are many forms of yoga practiced today, and different forms of yoga have specific purposes. The most popular forms of yoga practiced today include:

  • Vinyasa Yoga—the most popular form of yoga in the United States, Vinyasa is a the most traditional form of yoga, utilizing smooth transitions between a number of poses, sun salutations to restore inner peace, and breathing techniques to reduce stress.
  • Hatha Yoga—a slow paced, gentle form of yoga that involves basic poses and breathing techniques.
  • Bikram Yoga—also known as hot yoga, Bikram yoga is a relatively fast-paced yoga practice, but it is performed in a room heated to 100 degrees in order to encourage the body to sweat out toxins during the practice.
  • Ashtanga Yoga—commonly referred to as power yoga, Ashtanga yoga is extremely fast-paced and aims to energize and invigorate the body through cardiovascular exercise.
  • Kundalini Yoga—this yoga practice revolves around breathing; though standard yoga poses are incorporated in this method, the focus is always on the breath and the practice of different breathing patterns.
  • Iyengar Yoga—this form of yoga places focus on proper body alignment; through complicated yoga poses, Iyengar helps improve balance and coordination and improves flexibility.


The term homeopathy stems from two Greek words, homios (meaning similar) and pathos (meaning suffering).

Homeopathic remedies involve taking minute amounts of natural substances to stimulate the body's own defenses against specific symptoms and imbalances.

The goal of homeopathy is to stimulate the body's own defense system in order to prevent illness and disease before a person even becomes infected.

Homeopathic practitioners create individualized treatment plans for each patient by taking into account their overall physical health, as well as their emotional health.

A List of Other Holistic Health Practices

The quantity and variety of holistic healing practices are continually growing, and science is starting to recognize alternative medicine as a beneficial form of treating the body. Some holistic health practices not mentioned in this piece include:

  • Meditation
  • Chakra therapy
  • Osteopathy
  • Reflexology
  • Chinese cupping therapy
  • Crystal therapy
  • Hypnotherapy

Be Cautious of Scams

Be sure to do your homework! Don't just go with the first practitioner you find on the internet. There are credible, reputable holistic health practitioners out there, and there are also scam artists trying to steal your money. Before you go with any doctor, holistic or not, always check for references, reviews, and patient recommendations.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Kathleen Odenthal (author) from Bridgewater on May 08, 2014:

Thank you Kevin! You are the best!

The Examiner-1 on May 08, 2014:

I just wanted to let you know Kathleen that the pin which I put up has already been re-pinned.


The Examiner-1 on May 05, 2014:

I bought the first American 1997 edition (it was published in London) probably in Borders (out of business now). It is titled "The Complete Book of Tai Chi" by Stewart McFarlane. On the back cover it says, quote "Tai Chi is the ideal antidote to modern-day stress." unquote.

You may Google it and it is at several places - B&N bookstore, eBay, Amazon...


Harry from Sydney, Australia on May 05, 2014:

Am a grade-2 Reiki healer and can affirm in 100% confidence that it works ... there's certainly more to everyone and everything beyond just the physical realm..

Kathleen Odenthal (author) from Bridgewater on May 04, 2014:


The Examiner-1 on May 04, 2014:

Do you want the name and author of the Tai Chi book which I use Kathleen?


Kathleen Odenthal (author) from Bridgewater on May 04, 2014:

Its like martial arts/yoga I would call it. Definitely something I am interested in. Don't think it would be very effective in a street fight!

The Examiner-1 on May 04, 2014:

Years ago there was someone who came and did Reiki on me. Later, I found books on Reiki. In one of them I read about how to do it on yourself. It takes about an hour.

I have another book on the Tai Chi which is exercise - not self defense. At first there are warm up exercises and then following that are the movements. Maybe it can be self defense but it is very slow.

Years ago I tried to study Kung Fu, etc. but they were too fast. I wanted a slow exercise now.


Kathleen Odenthal (author) from Bridgewater on May 04, 2014:

Awesome! Do you like Reiki? I had an energy healer a few years ago, but loved her, she was amazing and I really want to find a new energy healer locally, but there are so many scam artists. I have never tried Tai Chi but my husband is big into Tai Chi and martial arts.

The Examiner-1 on May 04, 2014:

This was interesting Kathleen. It is filled with very useful information for those who are not familiar with the holistic medicines. I am currently using Reiki and also Tai Chi on myself.


Kathleen Odenthal (author) from Bridgewater on April 26, 2014:

Especially compared to the plethora of pills my regular doctor gives me!

Author Victoria Sheffield from Georgia on April 26, 2014:

I love this type o medicine. I can't see where there are any side affects.

travmaj from australia on April 25, 2014:

An informative hub and I can recommend holistic therapies. Having recently been treated with acupuncture I'm delighted by the results. Tai Chi is also beneficial. Not necessarily knocking medical practitioners my medical specialist recommended both acupuncture and tai chi.

Kevin W from Texas on April 25, 2014:

A very interesting and informative hub Kathleen Odenthal. I'm sure in some instances it simply is mind over matter and these forms of holistic health can be very effective. I've never tried them myself, however do know several people who swear by them. Especially the acupuncture. Thumbs up on your hub.

Colleen Swan from County Durham on April 25, 2014:

An informative articles. It brought to mind the many modalities that one can consider when in a time of need or wishing to rebalance their well-being. I have an interest in Chakra and have found it helpful.

Author Victoria Sheffield from Georgia on April 25, 2014:

I love alternative health!


Thanks for the informative hub. It is refreshing to observe that more and more people are now turning to alternative systems of health cures based on holistic treatment which do not cause any side effects.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 25, 2014:

Thank you for this informative presentation on holistic health practices. Very helpful.

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