Integrative health combines conventional approaches with complementary therapies.
Most of us are familiar with conventional (also known as Western or allopathic) medicine, as well as the MDs, nurses, and allied health professionals that provide it. But complementary therapies can be used alongside traditional medicine for a more holistic approach to health.
And if you’re going to be your own best health advocate, it’s important to educate yourself about different options.
What are complementary therapies?
Generally, complementary therapies fall into two subcategories: mind-body practices and natural products. Other therapies outside of these include traditional healers, Ayurvedic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, and naturopathy.
Let’s look at mind-body practices first.
This large and diverse group of procedures or techniques is administered or taught by trained practitioners or teachers. They include yoga, chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation, meditation, massage therapy, and acupuncture.
Also, relaxation techniques (breathing exercises, guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation) fall under this category. And so do tai chi, qi gong, healing touch, hypnotherapy, and moving therapies.
These are the most commonly known:
The other subcategory is natural products such as herbs, vitamins and minerals, and probiotics.
Before we get into detail here, I must disclose that I also am a distributor for a company that sells nutritional supplements and essential oils. You can read my full disclosure policy here. I also use these products personally.
Getting started with complementary therapies
Yoga and therapeutic massage are among the easiest to start with because of the number of studios in business now. Ask friends for recommendations. Your medical doctors, chiropractor, gym owner and others who are interested in good health may have ideas, too.
Essential oils are nature’s original medicine, and it can be easy to get started with them. If you’re new to them, work with someone who will help you use them safely. And choose therapeutic essential oils that are certified by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA).
Again, I’m a distributor for a direct sales company, so if you purchase from the links below I will earn a commission. (But you will not pay more because of it.) My recommendation for beginners would be to start with either a Basic First Aid Oils Kit or the Create a Perfect Day kit.
The Create a Perfect Day kit is easy to use, with pre-diluted roller bottles. These oils, according to master aromatherapist Leiann King, help begin the day with purpose and clarity. They help end the day with gratitude. And they help productivity during the hours in between.
What complementary therapies do you use?
I’d love to hear what you’ve used already and what you’ve considered using. Please comment below how any complementary therapies you’ve used have benefited your overall health.
Thanks for joining me for Step 11 in the “31 Steps to a Healthier You” series, part of #Write31Days 2017. You can read what the series is all about here and catch up on past posts. If you don’t want to miss a thing, subscribe to get each one in your inbox.