Methods of Natural and Alternative Medicine I Love! (Part 1)

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When it comes to chronic illness, Natural, Alternative, and Holistic Medicine beat Conventional Medicine every time. These methods have been around hundreds and sometimes thousands of years and continue to thrive even in our modern society.

Although there are a laundry list of natural and holistic methods, this post is about the one's that I've tried and had wonderful, healing, and eye opening results from. 


Acupuncture is probably the most widely known form of Chinese Medicine in the west. I've been receiving acupuncture regularly for 8 or 9 years and there is nothing that has brought more balance to my body than acupuncture. When meditating, giqong, and emotional releases have done all they can with either a migraine, anxiety, or a whirlwind of feelings, the only thing that can bring me back to my grounded, regular self is acupuncture. 

Acupuncture works by stimulating points on the energy meridians that reside just under the skin, but above the musculature. There are 12 primary meridians associated with the organ systems and one of the 5 elements (fire, earth, metal, water, wood) and 8 extraordinary meridians which run deeper into the DNA. An acupuncturist uses a series of these points in a session to stimulate specific points and circulate qi (pronounced 'chee'). Most practitioners will leave them in and let you relax for 20 minutes, while others will stimulate the point and it's done. If you're weary of the needles, stay tuned to Applied Kinesiology and Muscle Testing that will be in Part 2.


Another form of Chinese Medicine, (namely Medical Qigong) is another one of my favorites. Qigong is an ancient system of gentle exercises or movements that gathers, circulates, mobilizes, and transforms qi around the body. Just like acupuncture, it works to clear energy blockages around the body to generate internal energy and vitality. Qigong is the foundation of tai chi and is much more gentle and easier to learn.

Qigong is amazingly versatile and pairs well with any condition because it works to restore balance to the body. It also switches you into the parasympathetic nervous system function which is where healing happens.

I've been practicing Qigong now for about 5 years (I'd like to say daily, but I'm not perfect!). Back when I worked long, hard hours at the gym, Qigong was my savior at the end of my day, relaxing me and grounding me. It was instrumental to my healing and resilience to stress. Read more about Qigong here.

Far Infared Sauna

Detoxification is ESSENTIAL in this modern world. We face an immense amount of toxic burden daily such as fossil fuel emissions (especially if you live next to a busy road!), pesticides/herbicides/fungicides are EVERYWHERE especially if you frequent parks, golf courses, or if you have new furniture and even NEW CLOTHES (yes, fungicides are on your clothes). Once our bodies have a heavy toxic load, it may even begin to prevent us from properly eliminating our own cellular and metabolic waste. 

So, what can we do about it? We can try to prevent as much of this as possible by filtering our water, filtering the air in our home, eating organic and detoxing. One of the easiest, simplest ways to detox is by sweating. Exercise to work up a sweat. Do some gardening or yard work in the summertime and sweat. However, in a far infared sauna, the sweat is deeper and detoxification occurs on a cellular level. It also increases blood flow and oxygenation to all your wonderful cells who work so hard for you.

Find a holistic healing center near you that has one of these bad boys or you can purchase your very own! When conducting this search, be sure to find one with low EMF's. 

Colon Hydrotherapy

Say whaaat?! Stick what where? As strange as this comes off, it's flippin' glorifying! 

Colon hydrotherapy, colonic irrigation, or simply, colonics is the treatment of having water gently flow into the colon and wash out the poo and anything else that may be lingering around. It's great for detoxification, constipation, and extremely hydrating. 

There are two methods: The open system and closed system. Basically, in both scenarios there is a tiny tube (no bigger than your pinky finger) that slides up your business. In an open system, the water flows in and after a few seconds or a minute, you naturally release into an open basin. You are lying down and comfortable the whole time. In this method, once you're set up, you have complete privacy. This is the method I've done.

In a closed system, the same tube enters, BUT there is a second, larger tube used for the elimination vs a basin. From what I've read, there is a technician present during the process that controls the water flow in and out (when you're ready) and may also assist in massaging the abdomen during. I can't speak for this particular method, simply because I haven't tried it. 

I received this treatment on and off for about 6 years and it was especially helpful during the years when my digestion was shit (good one, huh?). I loved the clean feeling afterward. And if you're wondering- which I'm sure many of you are- no doctor, holistic or not, ever found my bowls to be lacking in any gut flora. However, I have taken pro-biotics since college and was sure to take extra when I received the colonics. 

Be on the lookout for Part 2 of Methods of Natural and Alternative Medicine I Love!

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To your health and healing,

Mandi Palmer, FMCHCC