What You Need to Know About Five Popular Alternative Therapies

When you’re suffering with mental health issues that aren’t responding to traditional forms of treatment, it’s often tempting to try every alternative therapy out there. Below are details on some of the most popular alternative therapies, how they work, and the benefits they could have.

It’s important to remember that evidence is limited when it comes to most of these therapies, and it’s not advisable to use them in place of your regular treatment. Instead, think of alternative therapies as one of a range of tools to help manage your mental health.

1. Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy involves using special blends of essential oil to improve your overall wellbeing. Different oils are used to achieve different effects, so the therapy can be personalized to suit your unique needs. For example, if you’re struggling to fall asleep, soothing oils like chamomile and lavender could help. If you’re having issues with concentration, invigorating oils like lemon and peppermint might give you a boost.

You can practice aromatherapy yourself at home, or make an appointment with an aromatherapist who can choose the right oil and application process for you. Aromatherapy is sometimes combined with massage or spa treatment.

2. Crystal Healing

Crystal healing involves placing gemstones at specific points on the body. Those who practice crystal healing believe that crystals have the power to remove negative energy while encouraging the flow of positive energy. Different crystals are believed to have different properties, so you can choose the crystals which address the specific problem you’re having.

There’s little hard evidence when it comes to crystal healing, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be beneficial. Studies suggest that crystal healing creates a powerful placebo effect which results in feelings of greater well-being and relaxation. Crystal healing is often used in combination with meditation, massage, and spa treatments, all of which comes with their own benefits.

You can include crystal healing in your day-to-day life by wearing crystals, keeping crystals around the home, or creating crystal grids.

3. Past Life Regression

It might sound a little out there, but many people find past life regression effective when it comes to dealing with mental health issues. Past life regression is a form of hypnosis that involves attempting to uncover memories from past lives. Practitioners believe that learning more about these ‘past life’ memories can reveal what’s causing issues in your present life, and help you to resolve those issues.

At the start of a past life regression session, participants are encouraged to set an intention – this could be to focus on relationship issues, phobias, or recurring worries. Setting this intention can help you to get to think more deeply about your feelings, whether you believe in past lives or not. Past life regression often involves relaxation and meditation techniques, both of which can help you to feel calmer.

4. Sound Therapy

Sound therapy, also called sound healing, is the process of using music and sound to enhance feelings of health and wellbeing. It often involves chanting, drums, chimes, and singing bowls – the kind of sounds you might expect to hear in the background of a guided meditation. Sound healing is thought to work by stimulating different areas of the brain, prompting the release of hormones and chemicals to make you feel good.

Sound healing can be carried out one on one, as part of a group, or by yourself at home. Some forms of sound healing involve learning to sing or use instruments yourself, while others are based on simply listening to sounds. Even listening to music that you enjoy can be considered a form of sound therapy, so it’s something most of us already practice without realizing it.

5. Acupressure

With roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupressure is based on applying pressure to special ‘acupoints’ around the body. The process aims to restore balance to the body and encourage the flow of positive energy. It can also provide benefits similar to massage, helping to reduce muscle tension and boost circulation.

If you’re new to acupressure, seeing a qualified practitioner is a great introduction. If you don’t want to do that but are still interested, it’s possible to carry out acupressure on yourself, although it may not be as effective. Look for guidance online or in books to make sure you target the right pressure points.

Alternative therapies can be a helpful way to supplement traditional treatment for mental health issues. Even if you don’t completely ‘believe’ in the effectiveness of these therapies, you may still see benefits like reduced stress levels and better sleep. Most alternative therapies are fairly low risk, so there’s little harm in experimenting to see what works for you.


Photo by Krystal Ng on Unsplash