Sunday, July 8, 2012

Alternative Therapies Quest

So being the somewhat freaky holistic person that I am, I am a big believer in alternative therapies. If I can help the healing process in any sort of natural, non-medical way, I'm game. So far after this heart attack, I've tried the following things.

1. Yoga: Yoga is a staple in my life. I'd totally go postal and start throwing myself against walls if it weren't for regular downward dogs. Yoga has always helped calm my mind and given me a safe place to just be in the moment.Yoga has tons of heart healthy benefits too, like decreased blood pressure and lower stress hormone levels. Definitely recommended for everyone, heart attack or not. Lately the classes have been a little too much for me because of the running, but I lay my mat out on my porch and do a practice a couple of times a week. The benefits of being at home are you can light your own candles and play your own music. The negatives? Your dog trying to get a belly rub while you're in shavasana. 
2. Meditation: This has been a newer practice for me, since the beginning of last year. There's an app for that...I'm serious. The iPad app has really helped me learn how to meditate and now I can do it with or without technological assistance (go me). There's tons of research to show that meditation helps support a healthy heart rate and can help reduce stress. It takes a lot of practice but the health benefits are amazing.
3. Massage: This is my least favorite on the list. I do not find massages relaxing at all, rather an exercise in how far I can push my comfort limits. Plus, I've always been someone who carries stress in her feet, not back or shoulders. Pedicures? Oh yes...now we're talking. Massage can have tons of circulation benefits, so this is a great option...just not my cup of tea.
4. Reiki: This was a recent adventure for me. Reiki definitely was an interesting experience, and one that I would consider again. It was more spiritual for me than anything else, and brought about an increased sense of awareness. I had no choice but to stay completely still which caused me to notice every ache, pain or sensation. I definitely paid more attention to how the energy moved throughout my body and that alone was beneficial.
5. Acupuncture: Again, this therapy sponsored by Groupon. Friday, I had my first acupuncture session in a long time. I've tried it before, but with different intentions. The acupuncturist was interesting and we even had a few downstate NY connections which was great. He noticed a decreased lower heart beat which he said was coming from my kidneys and adrenal glands. This is usually brought on by stress (to which I sarcastically thought to myself, DUH). He used a couple of points that are directly related to the heart and the rest were to help me veg out. So I laid on the table like a pin cushion for half an hour and thought about the amount of needles I've endured in the last 5 1/2 months, wondering why I subjected myself to anymore. Moot point. I did feel much more relaxed and leveled out afterwards, so I think I might try this one again. Sure the feeling only lasted until I encountered I-4 traffic but c'est la vie. 

So now my quest continues for the next alternative therapy. Any suggestions? Have any of these therapies worked for you? ♥
[image via catspictures]

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