Natural Health &

Relaxation Centre

The Importance Of Natural Health

By Ria

Health is, or should be, the most natural state of being. The origins of the word are linked with those of wholeness and healing and is that complete sense of harmony, of being whole, that brings true health. This is also the ultimate aim of the natural healing systems, those that adopt a holistic view rather than the reductionist perspective that is evident in much of conventional modern medicine.

In the last 10 years of so, there has been a great revival of interest in natural therapies, both as a recognition of their tremendous value and also as a move away from some of the side effects and impersonal approaches of allopathic medicine. Many traditions of natural medicine extend back over several centuries, with an impressive accumulation of practical knowledge.

So let us look at some of the alternatives. The use of pure essential oils from plants dates back may centuries, and the history of aromatherapy is in many ways part of the history of herbal medicine as a whole. Essential oils are highly concentrated substances. Pure oil of Rose, for instance, may require 5,000 roses to make just 5ml (one teaspoonful) of oil! For this reason they should be treated with respect and used sparingly. In large doses many essential oils can be somewhat irritating to the skin and a few are quite toxic if not used correctly.

Since a large part of the effect and emotional states occurs through our sense of smell, it is important not to use any individual oil for too long, as they become tolerated and less useful. As a general rule, do not use an oil on a daily basis for more than 10 days.

Similarly do not inhale or mix too many oils together at one time, the olfactory centre in the brain becomes confused and an excess of essences can cause headaches or even nausea.

It should not be forgotten that the power of aromatic plants extends beyond anti-septic or anti-inflammatory properties. It is well established that scent can evoke memories, change people's moods and make them feel good. Aromatherapy has developed in the last 20 years into a holistic system that tries to heal and balance the whole person. There are more and more Aromatherapy practitioners than ever before offering aromatherapy treatments.

What is hypnotherapy? It is a state of deep relaxation, a state of heightened awareness, combined with a feeling of calm lethargy. It can be best described as similar to that state between sleep and wakefulness, when you are aware of your surroundings and unwilling to move.

It's characteristics are a heightened susceptibility to beneficial suggestion and a much improved memory with access to 'forgotten' or repressed memories stored in the unconscious mind.

In itself, the hypnotic state is very pleasant, but nothing more than that. It is very similar to the mental states achieved during meditation and yoga. It is what the therapist and the client do together that makes it therapy.

Self-hypnosis may not be suitable for anyone suffering from mental illness, or taking medication, or from a nervous condition. It is also potentially dangerous to use self-hypnosis to mask pain as this could lead to a serious illness going undetected.

The basic concept behind Reflexology is that the whole body, indeed the whole person, is inter-connected and that imbalances in one part of the body are reflected in changes elsewhere.

Reflexology has expanded in popularity greatly across the world in the last 30 years. This is partly due to its relative simplicity as a non-invasive method of treatment, and partly from the plain fact that although nobody has successfully explained why it should work, it does.

Stretching and loosening the feet will in itself improve local circulation and help general relaxation. Using steady firm pressure you may locate tender spots on the feet. These should be treated with great gentleness and should not be pressed too hard or for too long as this can produce a strong reaction to the affected area of the body. The thumbs are normally used, although fingers may be more useful in some places. Any tenderness at the end of the massage can be eased by soothing or rubbing the feet afterwards.

Crystals have captured the imagination of humans for thousands of years. Crystals were used in ancient rituals to cure disease by placing certain stones on the body or pulverising them and mixing the powder in liquid-an early version of mineral water! Linked to particular 'subtle energy centres' of the body called chakras, according to an ancient Hindu system of healing-crystals are used by therapists who believe they can help a person physically, mentally and emotionally.

Ever since scientists determined that atoms- of which everything, including our bodies, is made-aren't solid but 99.9% empty space filled with energy in the form of vibrations, that alternative practices, including crystal healing, have been easier to understand. The fact is, everything we think of as hard matter is actually made up of energy vibrating at different frequencies. What we think of as colour, for example, is simply this energy vibrating at different rates.

When Quartz crystal comes into contact with even a small amount of power it vibrates. In watches and clocks these vibrations become the pulse that causes the second hand to move accurately. When placed on or near a body, crystals can stimulate, balance or reduce the flow of life energy that, according to the eastern view of health must circulate freely for good health. In the same way that you tune in a radio, crystals are said to help ensure your body's cells are tuned to the right frequency.

Therapists use crystals in a variety of ways. Many practitioners keep a large piece of amethyst or clear Quartz crystal on their tables to cleanse and balance the energies in the room. Some use small pieces of differently coloured crystals on various chakra points depending on what emotional issues or illness needs to be healed. This is known as body lay out work and generally involves the client lying flat whilst the therapist arranges the crystals on your body according to what they intuitively feel is required.

Rock crystal is the ideal 'all purpose' crystal, used for physical ailments, emotional balance, meditation and spiritual awareness, boosting the effects of other crystals when used with them.

Amethyst is good for meditation to absorb emotional negativity. Rose Quartz boosts feelings of self-love promoting peacefulness and calm. Hematite is grounding and balancing.

People generally love the look of crystals; they come in many different shapes and sizes. It is interesting that you can instinctively feel drawn to a crystal without knowing why, it could be, say crystal healers that you are drawn to the crystal you need for healing purposes.

Holistic /complementary treatments and therapies fit the bill in helping us all to cope as we try and manage our very busy lifestyles.

I cannot emphasise enough the importance we need to place in looking after ourselves, and in a truly holistic way, treating our minds, bodies and spirits.