With medical errors being the third leading cause of death in the United States according to this article in the Washington Post, knowing what kinds of natural pain relief and holistic remedies exist as alternatives to traditional medical care is important. 

Holistic pain relief and healing comes in many forms. When you’re desperate for help and you think you’ve tried everything it’s nice to know about alternatives. This is your ultimate guide to holistic pain relief and healing therapies, modalities and practices. It will give you hope and help you find the holistic practitioner and relief you’re looking for. 

In this up-to-date 2019 guide, I discuss the why behind holistic, the kinds of therapies out there and what they’re good for, and how to go about choosing the best practitioner for you. Not every modality is good for every problem, and not every practitioner practices their modality the same way. Navigating this world is confusing and scary, especially when you’re in pain.

What I Know About Holistic Pain Relief

I’ve spent twenty eight years studying holistic healing and medicine as a physical therapist. Along with my journey as a lifelong athlete, fascinated by peak performance, I know there are many different, effective and amazing holistic healing alternatives out there.

When you’re in pain you just want to be fixed. Part of the problem I’ve experienced with modern Western medicine is it doesn’t address the cause of symptoms, or focus on the authentic, holistic healing and prevention that gives us the happy, healthy lives we crave. Society’s need to be fixed and get back to the warp-speed lives we’re living creates a demand for half-assed medicine, temporary results, and never truly healing the cause of a problem.

Why Holistic Pain Relief and Healing vs. Symptom Relief?

The big problem with our fix-it-fast culture is that getting rid of symptoms without understanding or addressing the cause of those symptoms is a sure-fire way of guaranteeing they come back again. Pain is our body’s natural signal that something’s wrong. We can numb up, cover up, or partially or temporarily resolve those signals, but the body will always repeat that message and most likely it will be a lot more intense the second or third time. 

Following a more holistic path, and moving toward a solution that’s aimed at the underlying or root cause of your issue is important. One way to do that is to address the entire body including a head-to-toe assessment and treatment of the problem. And the other is to remember that the body has a mind, spirit and soul and integrating all of them is the true key to getting full relief of your pain. 

Making Sure it’s Holistic Healing

In two of the modalities I’ve trained in, John F. Barnes Myofascial Release and Upledger CranioSacral Therapy, we evaluate and treat first as a whole body, and secondly as a mind-body-soul system. This is the most whole, true and authentic way to help someone heal, no matter what their issue is. The bigger integrated picture is often ignored by Western medicine. But integration gives holistic therapies, modalities and practices their power. 

Firstly holistic means a practitioner addresses the entire body. When you take into consideration the connective tissue in the body (called fascia) you’ll see it’s a continuous, three-dimensional, head-to-toe web that surrounds, makes up and connects every single piece of you, inside and out. No part of you is disconnected from it.

Think about a spider web for a moment; the pretty kind with the rings. If you watch a fly come in and get stuck at the top right corner of the web, can you see how every other strand of that web now has a tension or pull on it, all the way down to the opposite corner of the web? 

Sometimes pain shows up in the web of the connective tissue system of the body where the tension line is pulling. And when your doctors and therapists go to that location of pain in your body and treat, but forget that you’re an interconnected web, they miss the fly (the cause). 

The Whole Mind-Body-Soul Matters

The first way holistic therapies work is by addressing the entire body (web) and looking for those restrictions (flies) to see if they might be causing the tension or pressure or pain showing up elsewhere. That’s why a whole-body system of evaluation and treatment is important and necessary for lasting results.

The second way holistic pain relief works is when a therapy, modality or practice addresses and integrates the mental/emotional and spiritual pieces of a whole person in addition to the physical tissue. Every emotion we experience has a physiological manifestation in our tissues. Experiencing life means we’re continually experiencing thoughts, feelings and emotions.

What’s stressing you out, or making you sad, angry or depressed matters. Ignoring the mental/emotional and spiritual aspect of a person ensures pieces of the cause of their pain are missed. Every single trauma, illness, disease, injury or surgery experienced is a combination of mind, body and soul and that energy is carried in the physical vessel of our body. Ignoring mental or emotional aspects of someone’s situation is like ignoring one of those flies in the web; you’ll never get to the cause and may never truly cure the pain. 

There are many different kinds of people in the world experiencing many different variations of life and pain. This is the reason so many kinds of therapies exist. And that’s a great thing! In my career as a healer I’ve learned about and tried many of them. I’ve learned to keep my options open, both as a therapist and a consumer; no one therapy is right or the full answer. And I love to ask myself this question: what if there’s something you haven’t learned about yet that could change everything? 

Choosing the Right Practitioner as Your Holistic Healer 

Remember not all practitioners are created equal. With some healing modalities, like physical therapy, psychotherapy and massage therapy for instance, your practitioner is licensed in their state. State licensing varies and it’s good to know that your practitioner is in good standing in terms of their license.

With some holistic or alternative therapies there’s no licensing agency and your practitioner may not have to follow any particular guidelines. In this case it’s really nice to have a personal recommendation and/or to interview the practitioner over the phone, or in person if you can. In all cases, licensed or not, interviewing your practitioner to get a sense of their experience and their knowledge about your issue is a great way to start. 

A good practitioner will welcome that interview. They will also be open, informative and transparent during the interview and help put you at ease about trying something new. An experienced practitioner is a great communicator and educator, and those skills should be apparent during your interview.

Recommendations are Great but Your Gut Feel is Better

Ask for recommendations, interview your practitioners and trust your intuition when it comes to picking and choosing your next holistic therapist. In the beginning of your journey, when you’re in pain and you’ve tried everything, the desperation can cause you to jump at your options instead of researching them. 

Take a moment to relax and connect to your body and make a decision that feels right for you, not one that someone else is making for you or just doesn’t feel good. No matter what recommendations you’re getting it’s always important to follow your gut and let your intuition guide you. 

40+ Different Ways to Heal Holistically

The following list outlines over 40 different kinds of holistic therapies, modalities and practices. By reaching out to students, practitioners, teachers and experts in the field, I’ve compiled descriptions of the modalities, what they are most effective in treating, and if a therapist or practitioner must be licensed or certified in their region to practice that modality. I’ve also included resource links for more details when appropriate. This list isn’t exhaustive.

If you have experience with another kind of modality, or are a practitioner of one, I invite your information and insights to the comments! 

A person receiving natural pain relief through acupuncture

Photo by Antonika Chanel on Unsplash

Acupuncture 

We’re starting at A with one of my favorite modalities ever. My friend and expert acupuncturist, Nikki Richman, Owner of Metsuyan Wellness, has over 14 years of experience as a practitioner and she helped me with this information. Nikki is passionate about health & well-being and helping people to feel their best. Prior to training as an acupuncturist, Nikki worked in the field of psychology with adults and adolescents with mental health and emotional issues for over 10 years. She now combines her acupuncture and psychology training to help her patients live the lives they desire.

Q: What is Acupuncture?

A: “Acupuncture originated in China over 5000 years ago and is a complete healthcare system to promote, restore and maintain good health. Practitioners place very thin needles at various places on the body, called acupuncture points, to stimulate the body’s natural healing, balance energy and return the body to a natural state of homeostasis or balance.” 

“The philosophy of Acupuncture is that the body’s life force energy, Qi (pronounced “Chee”), flows around the body through channels called meridians. When we’re in good health the Qi flows around the body smoothly going to various organs, providing nourishment and protection. If the flow of Qi gets blocked we can experience pain and illness.”

“The flow of Qi can be blocked internally by our emotional state. Internal emotions like anger, grief, worry, or stress or external factors such as injury, trauma, poor nutrition or infection all effect it. By inserting very fine sterile needles at specific points in the body, acupuncture promotes the body’s natural healing response and helps the Qi to flow freely and smoothly. Acupuncture works to maintain the body’s equilibrium by focusing on all aspects of wellbeing – physical and emotional. As well as treating the symptoms that a patient presents with, acupuncture treatments are aimed at the root of the condition, which can have a deeper and more permanent effect on the problem presented.”

“Acupuncture is one modality of Chinese Medicine. Other modalities which are often used in conjunction with acupuncture include nutrition, Chinese herbs, Moxabustion (burning a herb on acupuncture points), Chinese Massage (Tuina) and cupping. An acupuncturist will get information about what is going on with a person’s health by feeling their pulses, looking at their tongue, and feeling different areas of the body.”

Q: What is Acupuncture good for?

A: Because acupuncture is a complete healthcare system it can treat issues on a physical, emotional, mental or spiritual level. Most people know acupuncture is good at treating pain, such as back pain and headaches. But they often don’t know it’s great at treating internal issues such as digestive issues, constipation or acid reflux, Insomnia, painful periods, difficulty conceiving, and emotional issues such as anxiety, depression, stress and worry. Acupuncture is wonderful at boosting the immune system so can help fight allergies, colds and coughs, and help skin conditions such as eczema, hives and acne.”

Q: Does a practitioner need to be licensed?

A: “Practitioners train for between three to four years and are licensed in their state. The statewide organization is NCAAOM (National Certification Commission for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine)  http://www.nccaom.org/ which is in charge of the Board exams that Acupuncturists need to take in many states in order to be licensed.

Alexander Technique

Brenda Rogers has been practicing the Alexander Technique for over ten years under the skilled hands of Tanya Benard, certified teacher of the Alexander Technique in Toronto, Canada. She has found it to be an invaluable resource for managing musculoskeletal issues such as neck, back and hip pain.

Q: What is the Alexander Technique?

A: “The Alexander Technique is a practice that helps us become more aware of how we move and hold our bodies. It allows for greater ease of movement. This awareness can help us eliminate tension and strain that causes pain and stiffness in our joints and muscles. Coordination and balance is improved.”

Q: What’s it good for?

A: “The Alexander Technique has been found to be an effective approach to addressing low back pain and neck pain. It’s employed by actors and musicians to enhance their technique and eliminate tension that could hold them back from performing at their optimal level. AT is recognized as a tool for managing symptoms of Parkinson’s as well. It has helped people suffering from depression and other mental health issues, as well as eating disorders.”

Q: Does a practitioner need to be licensed?

A: Accreditation for teachers is through the American or Canadian Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique.

Aromatherapy

Andrea Warren, AIA, CHWC, CABC is an expert aromatherapist with almost two decades of personal and professional experience. In addition to her BS in Natural Health Sciences, she is certified through the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy as well as holding certifications in Health and Wellness Coaching, and Animal Behavior.

Andrea has also researched and developed over two dozen products for well-known health practitioners & celebrity dog trainers that have been featured in a variety of health & wellness magazines. She will show you how to incorporate the powerful chemical-free tool of aromatherapy into your family and everyday life to make health and wellness changes you never knew were possible. Find out more on her website. 

“Essential Oils are nature’s way of speaking to our soul.” Andrea Warren

Q: What is Aromatherapy?

A: “The art and science of Aromatherapy, or Essential Oil therapy has been used for over 6,000 years. It utilizes naturally-extracted aromatic plant essences to provide harmony, balance, and bolster the health of our mind, body & spirit. Its goal is to enhance our own innate ability to heal by unifying our, physiological, psychotically and spiritual processes. One of my favorite definitions of Aromatherapy was written by Jade Shutes. He once said of Aromatherapy, “It is a natural, non-invasive modality designed to affect the whole person not just the symptom or disease and to assist the body’s natural ability to balance, regulate, heal and maintain itself by the correct use of essential oils.”

Q: What’s it good for?

A: “In my 18 years of practice I have seen Aromatherapy support every area of the body and mind but if I had to choose just one, area, I would choose its incredible ability to balance the body’s systems. When our systems are balanced and working in harmony with one another our body and mind can operate at its fullest potential.”

Q: Does a practitioner have to be licensed?

A: Currently there’s no governing body that oversees or regulates aromatherapy. However, organizations like The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, a 501(c)3 member based non-profit association, is committed to elevating academic standards in aromatherapy education and practice standards for professionals. Certifications are not required but are highly recommended.

Ayurveda 

Michelle Berry is a Spiritual Nutrition Counselor, Cleansing Consultant and (Soon to be Certified) Ayurvedic Practitioner. www.MichelleBerryBliss.com

Q: What is Ayurveda and what’s it good for?

A: “Ayurveda is the five-thousand-year-old Vedic “Science of Life,” the traditional natural healing system of India. Today Ayurveda is at the forefront of mind body medicine. It recognizes four primary levels of healing: disease treatment, disease prevention, life enhancement and awareness development. For most of us, medical treatment begins when we fall ill. It’s a form of dis-ease treatment in response to a condition that’s already occurred. We try to fix something that’s already broken.” 

“Ayurveda teaches us to eliminate diseases before they manifest so invasive drugs or surgery are rarely necessary. It does not merely prevent diseases but shows us how to increase our positive vitality and requires an approach to life that increases our quality of awareness to develop a higher consciousness. When we do this for ourselves we do this for all of humanity.”

Q: Does a practitioner need to be certified?

A: “There are different levels of practitioners from health and wellness consultants, practitioners and doctors. There are varying associations to join for the different levels of training from 650 hours to many years of training. The National Council on Ayurvedic Education, National Ayurvedic Medical Association, and Association of Ayurvedic Professionals of North America.

Breathwork

A neon sign with the words "and breathe."

Photo by Max van den Oetelaar on Unsplash

I asked my breathwork practitioner Lauren Chelec Cafritz, author and founder of www.ExperienceBreath.com, to help us learn about this profoundly powerful modality.

Lauren has over eighteen years of experience and is trained and certified in Integrative Breathwork and Transformational Breath® and has studied many other breathing modalities. In addition to her thriving private practice, Lauren leads group breathwork classes and workshops. She facilitates breathwork in nonprofits, government agencies, corporations, and schools and also hosts breath retreats in sacred sites across the country. She is a member and U.S. representative of the International Breathwork Foundation. Lauren currently is the co-host of the international Global Inspiration Conference, where she is bringing 300 breathworkers to the United States for the first time in 19 years.

Q: What is breathwork?

A: “Breathwork is the experiential field of study and practice that uses various breathing techniques, individually and in groups, to promote self-awareness and enhancement of physical, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual wellbeing.” 

Q: What is it good for?

A:  “Breathwork uses conscious connected breathing to release trauma, clear emotional blockages, and heal physical ailments. By learning how to open your breath, you can feel, process, integrate, and release stuck emotions. Breathwork helps with many things, including stress and anxiety, health issues such as heart, pulmonary, digestive and fertility, and facing life changes and transitions.”

Q: Do practitioners have to be licensed? 

A: “Licensure is not needed at this point, but the field of professional breathwork has established standards for training and ethics through the Global Professional Breathwork Alliance. Breathworkers are certified by their school of study.

A personal note from Laura about breathwork. When I found Lauren I was interested in learning more about breathing and wanted a way to introduce the work to my clients. What I came out with was a profound shift in energy and a tool that amazes me to this day. A simple activity that we take for granted every day, that keeps us alive, is a tool for healing and transformation that most people don’t realize. It’s also an activity that anyone can access at any time, without equipment, for free, that can greatly affect your life and stimulate healing. 

Chiropractic

Expert Chiropractor, Erika Putnam, DC, RYT 500 helped me out by answering some questions about this treatment modality. Dr. Putnam, chiropractic physician, practices at The Bend in Whitefish, Montana and has 23 years of experience in the chiropractic field, along with a 500 hour yoga instructor certification and a true passion for health, wellness and nutrition. Find her at www.thebendatwhitefish.com

Q: What is Chiropractic Treatment?

A: “Chiropractic care is a type of hands on physical medicine. Chiropractors diagnose nerve, muscle, skeletal disorders. spinal conditions and other joint conditions (knees, elbows, shoulders, ankles, hips, toes, jaw, etc). They align the spine or spinal bones and other joints in the body with hands on or instrument adjustments. By restoring proper mobility and positioning of the spinal bones the spinal nerves are free from nerve impingement. Therefore flow from the brain, through the spine, to the target tissue and back is improved.” 

“Adjustments of the joints (spinal or otherwise) helps them move more freely and conditions are able to heal because there is less stress on the tissues. A bone out of place is called a subluxation. Chiropractors correct subluxations. Many chiropractors also instruct patients on exercises, stretches and rehabilitation.”

Q: What is it good for?

A: “Chiropractic treatment is great for neck and back pain and stiffness, disc herniations, arthritis, spinal degeneration, numbness, tingling or weakness of the arms or legs, bursitis, tendonitis, sprains/strains of back or other joints.”

Q: Do you have to have a license to practice?

A: Yes, the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, governs chiropractic care and each state has a board that requires testing and continuing education annually.

CranioSacral Therapy 

I caught up with Shannon Simmons Berk, MPT, CFMM to help us learn about CranioSacral Therapy. Shannon is the owner of Integrated Wellness Physical Therapy and has been practicing for 20 years. She utilizes an integrated approach, including CranioSacral Therapy, to treat the whole person. She has been trained at Michigan State’s Osteopathic Medical School as well as having extensive training through the Jones Institute and The Upledger Institute.

She currently is an adjunct professor in Michigan State’s Osteopathic Medical School and teaches Craniosacral 1 and 2 as well as being on the team of professionals that developed the CFMM (Certified Functional Manual Medicine) certification at MSU. Shannon and her husband, Justin, have started a non-profit (Just In Power Kids) that funds holistic treatments for children going through and post cancer treatments to support their healing in Maryland. Shannon is also a founding member of Sykesville Wellness Partners, a holistic network designed to bring education, awareness and free wellness based experiences and opportunities to the community. 

Q: What is CranioSacral Therapy?

A: “It’s a method where a therapist uses their hands in a gentle and soft manner to change the way your skull and spine move as well as the fluid and tissues inside them. Sometimes there are things we do in life or that happen to us (like accidents) that stop it from moving the way it should in order to be healthy. If your body doesn’t move as it was designed to the parts inside of the skull and spine start to not work as well.” 

“Those inside parts (your brain and nerves) control how you think, how you feel, how you move your arms and legs, and how the organs operate and if your protective systems can fight off bugs and colds. It’s like an engine in a car, if the engine isn’t running well and the oil isn’t running through the engine smoothly then the car might run but it will probably be slower, have lots of noises and maybe even breakdown.” 

Q: What’s it good for?

A:  “Most commonly: Headaches, back pain, concussion/head injuries, jaw pain and dysfunction. Other issues it can address: Anxiety related issues, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, learning disabilities, infant and childhood disorders (chronic ear infections, poor suckle, constipation, reflux).”

Q: Do practitioners have to be licensed?

A:  “In Maryland you have to have a license to touch in order to practice it. It’s usually practiced by massage therapists and physical therapists who are governed by the Board of Mental Health and Hygiene.

A personal note from Laura about CranioSacral Therapy. My continuing education started with this work right out of physical therapy school. I’ve trained with The Upledger Institute and have complete advanced training in both CST and SomatoEmotional Release. This modality changed the way I thought about and practiced healing. It’s a powerful tool and one that helps give hope to many clients who’d thought they had done everything without success. 

Cupping

Dr. Felicia Clark, Founder of Body Peace University, has five years of experience in Cupping and helped me understand this modality.  drfeliciaclark.com

Q: What is Cupping and what is it used for?

A: “Cupping is where little round cups are applied to your body’s meridians to create suction. Cups stay in place for several minutes or until they naturally fall off. Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine that helps with inflammation, blood flow, relaxation, cellulite reduction and well-being. Cupping is great for increasing circulation and moving energy blocks such as lower back pain.”

Q: Does a practitioner need to be licensed?

A: “Practitioners are independently trained and certified depending on the type of practitioner they are. For instance, an acupuncturist performing cupping is licensed through that governing body.” It’s best to understand what type of practitioner is providing the modality and their training, certification and experience with it.”  http://cuppingtherapy.com

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT – Tapping)

My friend Anne Moriarty is an Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) coach and discovered this life-changing modality when she began having serious sleeping and eating issues. Anne has extensive experience as an early childhood professional, as well as volunteer experience with middle school and high school age youth. She’s been sharing and using EFT for eight years now and holds a certification in Intuitive EFT from Choose EFT.  She focuses on children ages 4 and older, and their families. www.annemoriarty.co/eft

Q: What is Emotional Freedom Technique?

A: “Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is also called “tapping.” The technique of EFT includes lightly tapping on specific points (meridian points) on the body and using dialogue, affirmations or mantras while you tap. Tapping on these points while addressing negative emotions helps engage the brain and energy systems of the body, which can be stimulated. The stimulation helps to move energy which will address blocks in the flow of that energy.” 

Q: What is it good for?

A: “EFT is a simple yet powerful tool to which can help in three areas of wellbeing: emotional health, physical health, and positive behavior and habits. Using EFT, we can manage strong emotions and negative behaviors, including things such as anxiety, sadness, anger, poor sleep, cravings, impulsive actions and pain. It can help relieve trauma, new and old.”

Q: Does a practitioner have to be licensed?

A: An EFT practitioner does not have to be licensed. A number of respected organizations and individuals offer certification. 

A personal note from Laura about EFT. When I dabbled with this modality I had a couple amazing resources. Nick Ortner wrote The Tapping Solution and offers many resources on his website. I also had the pleasure of having several in-person sessions with Mary Phelan who helped me learn the technique and added her intuitive wisdom and skills to the session with dialogue that helped me uncover and bust up some deep unconscious beliefs and patterns. When I left her office the first time I literally felt lighter, like a weight had been lifted off of me.

Equine Assisted Therapy

Lacy Laubacher, Horsewoman|Trainer|Clinician|Horse+Human Movement Specialist has 25 plus years in the field with horses and 20 in equine assisted therapy (volunteer since she was fourteen), and 11 years of experience in massage+movement. She combines her horse knowledge and trauma-informed approach with yoga and movement training to facilitate experiential healing in both horses and humans so they can live with power, confidence, and connection in all areas of their life, regardless of what their past is. www.lacylaubacher.com 

Q: What is Equine Assisted Therapy and what is it good for?

A: Equine therapy is using horses as partners in therapy sessions for physical or

mental health. It’s most effective for physical limitations in balance/rhythm or muscle tone, high stress or and anxiety, and PTSD.

Q: Does a practitioner need to be licensed? 

A: There are licensing agencies for both the mental and physical horse therapy. To do some aspects of equine assisted therapy, a degree in a related field is required (usually psychology or similar). You’ll find more information on licensing through PATH International, The Professional Association of Horsemanship International, HERE. And more information at The North American Riding for the Handicapped Association HERE. There are smaller organizations popping up that allow people to be certified to offer equine assisted coaching or other types of facilitated learning/healing as the field grows and expands. 

A horse involved in holistic healing through equine assisted therapy

Photo by Multa Media on Unsplash

Equine Gestalt Method

Sherri Grove, Equine Gestalt Coach, and owner of www.EquispiritCoaching.com helped with the info for this method. She has been certified for two years. The farm that she works out of is in Upper Marlboro, Maryland but she travels to those who have their own horse and would like to experience their horse in an entirely new way! No horse experience is necessary and no riding is involved. Horses see that which is fractured and help it become whole.

Q: What is Equine Gestalt Method and what is it used for?

A: “The Equine Gestalt Coaching Method was developed by Melisa Pearce a core founder since 1989, of the horse-human healing movement. I studied directly under and was certified as an Equine Gestalt Coach by Melisa Pearce and her prestigious Touched by a Horse program based out of Colorado. The horse is my active partner and sessions are held outdoors at a farm in Upper Marlboro, MD.” 

“I find the combination of positive coaching, which is experiential in nature based in Gestalt Methodology, and the interaction of the horse, who is at free liberty, is what makes this such a powerful healing modality. There is no riding involved. Anyone who would like to peel back layers by going into the subconscious mind in order to affect healing on a deep level would benefit from the session as well as those people who desire more peace in their lives by taking some time away for self care in a beautiful peaceful and supportive setting because just being around horses is so healing.”

Q: Does a coach need to be certified or licensed?

A: Practitioners of the Equine Gestalt Method must be certified through a 2 year intensive certification program through Touched by a Horse.

A personal note from Laura about Equine Assisted Therapy. I spent a year volunteering at an Equine Therapy program at The Potomac Horse Center here in Maryland under our area expert, Nancy Heller. Volunteering for a program like this is a healing experience. Working with horses (or animals) in any capacity enhances awareness and connects you to something bigger than yourself, the energy and presence all living creatures have.

I was also lucky enough to participate in the Equine Myofascial Release course offered through the John F. Barnes Myofascial Release Center. Kathy Covell, founder of Motion For Life, taught that profound course the year I took it in Delaware. We were there to learn techniques to help the animals, yet the healing I experienced being in their presence convinced me the energy exchange was a two-way street. The love energy was palpable and the non-verbal communication I learned was invaluable and directly helped my skills with human clients.

Lastly I want to mention Bobby Hall and her Equine Assisted Learning program in Whitefish, Montana. I signed up to have an experience with her while I was on a writing retreat with Laura Munson and ended up going back the next day to talk more with Bobbi and get a private tour of her farm and land. More proof that the horses had a lot to teach me about myself, my worth and my confidence. It was a fantastic experience.

Esogetic Colorpuncture

This is a perfect example of “You just don’t know what you don’t know.” I was thrilled to learn about this modality from Melissa Kalt, MD, a soul strategist, physician, integrative wellness specialist, transformative coach, and mother of five (yes five!) who has been practicing medicine for twenty-one years. https://melissakaltmd.com

Q: What is Esogetic Colorpuncture?

A: “Esogetic Colorpuncture is like acupuncture on steroids without the needles. Treatments take minutes as different colors and wavelengths of light are applied to specific acu-points (the same points on the skin used for acupuncture and acupressure). Not only does this remove the energetic blockage, but it corrects the flow of information. I see energetic blocks kind of like a river with large boulders in it causing turbulent flow. The river edge erodes and the path changes. Removing the blockage is like removing the boulders. Correcting the flow of information is returning the river edge, plant life, etc…to its natural state.”

Q: What is it good for?

A: “Colorpuncture is really effective for any mind, body, or spirit condition. I first became interested so I could treat myself and my five kids. It was great to be able to get rid of colds, migraines, and insomnia. I became certified in 2015 so I could learn all the fancy treatments.” 

Q: Do practitioners need to be licensed?

A: “A practitioner does not need to be licensed for Colorpuncture, though many states require a license to perform any kind of bodywork. I was certified through the following site.”

Feldenkrais

Sari Weissbard, PT, DPT, CMTPT, is a second-year Feldenkrais student and has worked in private practice orthopedic physical therapy for six years. You’ll find her at www.sariweissbard.com

Q: What is Feldenkrais?

A: “It’s a running joke in the Feldenkrais world that no one knows how to explain it well in words, because words don’t give it justice. Here’s what I’ve come up with: Feldenkrais is a path to gaining awareness through movement. The gentle, small, guided movements bring to light longstanding and usually imperceptible habits. They allow for deep neuromuscular re-education so the brain can let go of those habits and learn easier ways of moving. These movements, though they often result in decreased pain and improved mobility, are merely the vehicle for gaining overall awareness in any aspect of life which may become relevant for the person performing them.”

Q: What’s it good for?

A: “It can be used for a wide variety of things: Decrease pain (often chronic), improve function, significantly accelerate the healing time of a neurological condition or event no matter how long ago the event occurred (ie; stroke), improve mobility without stretching, perform whatever movement exercise you like to do with greater ease (running, yoga, horseback riding), or break a stuck pattern if you’re an artist, writer, or musician and can’t figure out what to do next.”

Q: Do practitioners need to be licensed?

A: “Yes a practitioner needs to be licensed. A Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner (GCFP) is licensed through the Feldenkrais Guild of North America, its governing body. It takes 2 years to be certified to guide Awareness Through Movement classes, and another 2 years to perform the individualized, hands-on Functional Integration lessons.”  

Holistic Physical Therapy

I’m taking this one on for you. I slid that word holistic in front of physical therapy a long time ago when I realized there really isn’t a way to fully treat a human being if you only stick to only one part of them. And that goes for body parts, and mind, body and soul parts. (See my above explanations). 

Q: What is Holistic Physical Therapy?

A: “A holistic physical therapist works to evaluate and treat your entire mind, body, spirit system with various modalities, exercises and practices that help you alleviate the cause of your pain or dysfunctions. Physical therapists are traditionally specialists in posture and movement dysfunction. Holistic physical therapists know that movement doesn’t happen well without addressing the other systems of the body. When you’re evaluated by a physical therapist they will test things like your strength, range of motion, joint mobility, fascial mobility, and the function of your nervous, musculoskeletal and other systems of the body. They will then educate and treat you with hands-on modalities (many are listed in this article), exercises, and tools to help you care for your own injury or illness.”

Q: What’s it good for? 

A: “Pain, tightness, post-surgical pain or loss of flexibility, weakness, abnormal or difficult movement, athletic injuries, postpartum pain or dysfunction, chronic or complex pain syndromes, to name a few.” 

Q: Does a practitioner have to be licensed?

A: “Yes, a physical therapist is licensed by the state they practice in. Go to the American Physical Therapy Association to learn more about physical therapy, licensure and the specialty practices.” 

Homeopathy

Jonathan Kavner is a student of Classical Homeopathy at the International Academy of Classical Homeopathy. If you’re interested in incorporating homeopathy into your life, contact Jonathan at www.longislandhomeopath.com 

Q: What is Homeopathy?

A: “Homeopathy, an alternative healing modality developed in the late 1800’s by physician Samuel Hahnemann, is used by over 300 million people worldwide. Hahnemann was the first to prove an ancient axiom that “like cures like.” This natural principle was discovered by Hippocrates and Paracelsus, but it was not until Hahnemann proved the principle that homeopathy was truly developed. The principle behind it demonstrates that a substance that can cause symptoms in a healthy organism can eliminate those same symptoms in the sick. So, while a cut onion can cause one’s eyes to burn, get red and tear, allium cepa (a homeopathic remedy made from onions), can help eliminate red, burning and tearing eyes, whether from allergies or illness.”

 “The controversy behind homeopathy is that the substances need to be diluted in order to be used like a medicine, and that in higher dilutions the materials of the original substance may no longer remain in the final product. Yet there are thousands of documented positive results that have been repeated over two hundred years.”

“After talking with you about your specific issue, symptoms and lifestyle, a homeopath will prescribe a specific remedy, usually in the form of a pellet, that you take orally.”

Q: What is Homeopathy good for? 

A: “It can be extremely effective in addressing any number of ailments, as over 1000 proven remedies have demonstrated.” 

Q: Does a practitioner need to be licensed? 

A: “There is no license offered to professionals to practice homeopathy in the United States, with the exception of three states that license medical doctors and osteopathic doctors to practice homeopathy. Those states are Arizona, Nevada, and Connecticut. Several US states license naturopathic physicians (ND’s) to diagnose and treat illness using many methods of natural therapies including homeopathy.” 

“There are also several US states that have adopted legislation that allows unlicensed complementary and alternative health practitioners the freedom to practice as long as they give full disclosure of their training and background: Minnesota, California, Rhode Island, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Idaho and New Mexico. Each of these states has its own regulations and guidelines. In addition to limited licensure the industry maintains a rigorous certification process administered by the Council for Homeopathic Certification.”

Ho’oponopono

I asked my friend and long-time healer colleague about this interesting practice. Sharon Hartnett CST-D specializes in using the CranioSacral Therapy Techniques as taught by the Upledger Institute to help people to release pain and trauma based suffering and has been in practice for 20 years. She also integrates Brennan Healing, Structural Integration, Hakomi, and Trauma skills learned at SPI. You’ll find more info about her HERE.

Q: What is Ho’oponopono? 

A: First, from Wikipedia: “It’s a Hawaiian practice of forgiveness. The word translates in English to correction. In many Polynesian cultures it is believed that a person’s errors (called hara or hala) caused illness. Some believe error angers the gods, others that it attracts malevolent gods, and still others believe the guilt caused by error made one sick. “In most cases, however, specific ‘untie-error’ rites could be performed to atone for such errors and thereby diminish one’s accumulation of them.”

Sharon says, “What I find important about this practice and the statement that is used, ”I am sorry,  please forgive me, thank you and I love you,” is it’s ultimately, the only way to heal. We may take alternative routes, it may look quite different, but really it all boils down to this. When we let go of our stories, we are released from the suffering. The reason why I feel it works even with people we don’t know is because every person holds the universe within. This simple act of intention and mild action changes us, which in turn changes all beings. And then to focus it outward, also heals the person internally as well.” 

“It’s like what Bruce Lipton talks about, how we deal with relationship outside affects how things happen internally, affecting our cells. How our cells work, play a role in how we interact in the world. The whole illusion that we are separate begins to dissolve and reality sets in. Sometimes the simplest practices create the most change. I have practiced this before, but personally have not done a case study on how effective it really is. All I can say, is that I feel good when I use it, and my clients seem to change too as they listen, and especially if they accept it when they practice it.”

Q: What’s it good for?

A: Back to Wikipedia for this answer: “Hoʻoponopono corrects, restores and maintains good relationships among family members and with their gods or God by getting to the causes and sources of trouble. Usually the most senior member of the family conducts it. He or she gathers the family together. If the family is unable to work through a problem, they turn to a respected outsider.” 

“The process begins with prayer. A statement of the problem is made, and the transgression discussed. Family members are expected to work problems through and cooperate, not “hold fast to the fault.” One or more periods of silence may be taken for reflection on the entanglement of emotions and injuries. Everyone’s feelings are acknowledged. Then confession, repentance and forgiveness take place. Everyone releases (kala) each other, letting go. They cut off the past (ʻoki), and together they close the event with a ceremonial feast, called pani, which often included eating limu kala or kala seaweed, symbolic of the release. In a form used by the family of kahuna Makaweliweli of the island of Molokaʻi, the completion of hoʻoponopono is represented by giving the person forgiven a lei made from the fruit of the hala tree.” 

Hypnosis

My friend Chrisa T.S. helped me with this one. Chrisa is a hypnotherapist who loves to guide and witness her client’s transformation. Watch her TEDx Talk to get a huge dose of inspiration and mega amounts of confidence. She’s the founder of The Chrisa Group and you’ll find her at www.thechrisagroup.com

Q: What is hypnosis?

A: “Hypnosis is a state of heightened awareness and focus. It allows you to focus inward while feeling a sense of relaxation, in order to create the changes that you want. Hypnosis will help you reconnect with your inner wisdom and access your resources so that you can change the behaviors and beliefs that keep you from living life in your terms.”

Q: What is it good for?

A: “I have been practicing hypnosis for more than one decade and it still amazes me to see how people benefit from it:

Weight loss
Self-esteem and confidence,
Motivation and goals achievement,
Fears (flying, public speaking, heights, success or failure, animals, doctors, dentist, etc.),
Habit control (stop smoking, stop nail biting, etc.),
Sports and performance enhancement,
Stress reduction,
Pain management,
Releasing negative emotions (anger, fear, sadness, guilt, etc.), and the list goes on and on…

Since hypnosis accesses the subconscious mind, your behavior can be modified to benefit you by replacing old beliefs or behaviors you no longer need or want with new ones you desire. All behaviors are a learned response. If you learned them, you can unlearn them.

Q: Do practitioners have to be licensed?

A: “It depends on the state but I believe a hypnosis practitioner should be certified by one or more of the following organizations:

National Board for Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists

The International Association of Counselors and Therapists (IACT)

and/or the International Hypnosis Federation

At The Chrisa Group we support that serious psychiatric or mental health problems have to be referred to a qualified psychotherapist or psychiatrist. Medical problems with the physical body must always be treated by a physician.

Array of fruit and vegetables depicting holistic, integrative nutrition and healthy eating

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Integrative Nutrition

Long-time friend and colleague Susan Brady, MPT, Doctor of Integrative Medicine, and Nutrition Consultant, contributed to this information. She has thirty years experience in physical therapy and integrative health, and thirteen in the area of integrative nutrition. She obtained a degree as a Certified Nutritionist from the American Health Science University in 2006 and then a Post Master’s Certificate in Nutrition and Integrative Health from Maryland University of Integrative Health in 2014. Susan is also a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.

Over the years, Susan noticed an increase in the rate of women with osteoporosis in her practice. Understanding that bones, like all organs, are affected by every aspect of our health, Susan developed a holistic treatment approach to address bone loss and osteoporosis. Her BONES Method™ is a truly integrative, holistic approach combining her experience in physical therapy, nutrition and integrative medicine.

Susan has a private practice but also enjoys working in conjunction with other physical therapists, chiropractors and medical doctors in the Northern Virginia/DC/ Maryland area. Susan also consults and works with patients remotely via Skype, Zoom and phone. www.NurturedBones.com 

Q: What is Integrative Nutrition?

A: “Integrative nutrition looks at the complex role of nutrition in human health and disease. It goes beyond merely caloric intake and diet plans by appreciating the restorative nature of food. Integrative nutrition practitioners look at food as “medicine.” Contrary to the one-diet-fits-all approach, integrative nutrition also recognizes that every person has unique biochemistry and metabolism, requiring an individualized nutrition plan.  It considers all aspects of a person’s life that influences nutrient demand. For instance physical activity, prescription drugs, smoking, alcohol, and stress all increase the necessity for certain nutrients. Lastly, integrative nutrition focuses on nourishing the body, not just purely feeding it.”

Q: What is it good for?

A: “Integrative Nutrition is good for maintaining optimal health and well-being, disease prevention as well as directly combating many health issues like arthritis, auto-immune disease, brain health, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, digestive diseases, fatigue, neurodegenerative diseases, obesity, osteoporosis, reproductive health, skin conditions, thyroiditis and much, much more! The treatment of any disease state should include a nutritional component.”

Q: Does a practitioner have to be licensed?

A: “Licensing requirements for nutritionists differ from state to state. They range from no opposition to individuals performing nutrition counseling on their own, like in the state of Virginia, to needing a license to perform nutrition counseling, like in the state of Maryland, to states where only licensed Registered Dietitians can perform nutrition counseling. www.nutritioned.org

Intuitive Energy Therapy

Coral Bell is a Transformational Energy Healer, artist, photographer and dreamer. Learning Energy Healing started purely for her own growth, including Reiki, Reflexology, Applied Kinesiology, Akashic Record reading and Intuitive Energy Healing. Her super powers include 16 years of Intuitive Healing, standing as your courage buddy while you banish the “Not good enough” monster and the ability to bring a different point of view to things. Coral has lived in Johannesburg, South Africa all her life, and cannot imagine living in a more beautiful and yet diverse country www.alchemizeyou.com

Q: What is Intuitive Energy Healing?

A: “Intuition is that inner knowing, the feeling you get in your stomach when you may be thinking of doing something new or different. Sometimes we can walk into a room and something just doesn’t feel right. We just “know” this, no-one has said anything to us, or shown us anything that would make us feel this way. Other times you can be in a new place and it feels so right, it’s as if you’ve always been part of this space and place. That’s your intuition “talking” to you. As you listen more often you get better at hearing your intuition, that little voice that will often encourage us to do things we would not usually do, or warn us to turn back from a task we thought was a good idea.”

“The energy therapy part of this is a combination of Intuition and Emotional Freedom Technique (Tapping). Although I “do” tapping slightly differently. If we are in the same place, I sit really close to you, in your personal bubble of space and I tap on you, using the recognized tapping points of traditional EFT. Again I will often move away from the traditional scripts and follow my intuition and use the words, phrases or images that are “given” to me from the intuitive source.”

Q: What’s this good for?

A: “Mostly anything, although I find it really effective for anger management, panic and anxiety, fear of things like water, pain, whether it seems to be purely physical or not.

Q: Does a practitioner need to be licensed?

A: “In South Africa a practitioner does not need to be licensed, but by my own choice, when I work with children I always ask a parent to be present. I have a disclaimer form I ask all clients to sign and I will never make a medical diagnosis, nor advise clients on their medication.”

John F. Barnes Myofascial Release

Q: What is it, how does it help and who can practice it? 

A: John F. Barnes, PT, the founder of John F. Barnes Myofascial Release has been practicing as a physical therapist for 58 years. JFBMFR is a mind-body hands-on evaluation and treatment method that aims at releasing restrictions in the connective tissue (fascial) system of the body that occur from trauma, inflammatory responses and/or surgery. It’s most effective for many different kinds of dysfunctions and especially when the cause of one’s symptoms is unknown. JFBMFR can be performed by any practitioner that has a license to touch in their state. You can find out more HERE. 

Manual Lymph Drainage

Marla Kaplan, the owner and director at Hands on HealthCare, is a Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Lymphatic Therapist and also an Expert Level John F. Barnes Myofascial Release Practitioner. Marla has additional training as an Oncology Massage Therapist. She worked closely with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) to become one of only a few Recommended Community Provider’s for MSKCC; a proud achievement. She has logged thousands of hours in additional training including Mastectomy Massage, Edema and Lymphedema courses, Elastic Taping for Lymphatics and much more. Marla was an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and is qualified to teach the Strength After Breast Cancer program.

Q: What is Manual Lymph Drainage?

A: “Manual lymphatic drainage is a very gentle type of treatment technique that engages the lymphatic system. It is an advanced type of manual therapy (or medical massage), but it’s quite different than classic massage. MLD is most notorious for reducing swelling caused by fluid build-up after cancer treatment. MLD can reduce edema (swelling) following an injury; it can also reduce fluid retention due to inflammation or a disease process. It is used to decrease pain, restore movement, and allow for optimal tissue healing. MLD drains excess fluid from the tissues, while also having a detoxifying effect. Although It is most often used to address medical conditions, it can benefit a healthy person as well.”

“The Lymphatic system is our recycling center and plays an integral role in the immune functions of the body. It is our first line of defense against infection and keeps our body’s waste products and fluids in balance. When this system becomes blocked, our fluid thickens and swelling in the blocked area occurs. The swelling is often internal and cannot be seen or felt. The lymphatic system’s network of tissues and organs can be affectively stimulated by utilizing the specific techniques of MLD. When applied properly it will increase the lymphatic flow, stimulating a malfunctioning or fatigued system and clearing up blockages in areas that have are stagnant. It can either be used on specific areas or there can be a total body-balancing approach. By innervating specific areas with MLD, the entire body can be positively affected, and imaging studies have shown that we can increase the speed of flow by about tenfold.”

“MLD improves health-related quality of life symptoms. In October of 2017, the first MRI of the brain showing the lymphatic channels was obtained. It indicated that the lymphatic vessels of the brain also drain into the same area as the rest of the body. So, when you innervate the other areas, are we also draining the brain? Good chance!”

Q: What is MLD good for?

A: “MLD is used to treat a variety of conditions, such as: lymphedema, burns, fluid retention, lymph node removal, allergies, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic mastitis, headaches and is a commonly requested therapy following liposuction.”

“It’s also believed to aid in the healing of fractures, torn ligaments and relieves fluid congestion, swollen ankles, puffy eyes, headaches and swollen legs during pregnancy. Chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, sinusitis and fibromyalgia may also improve after receiving MLD. Chronic and acute pain sufferers have found MLD very helpful as well.” 

Q: Does a practitioner have to be licensed?

A: “MLD is implemented by specially trained therapists, known as a Certified Lymphatic Therapist (CLT). A practitioner must be certified, and the course is open for Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Licensed/Registered Massage Therapists and other Licensed Healthcare Professionals. At a minimum, 135 class hours are required for certification. You’ll find more information at the Academy of Lymphatic Studies (ACOLS). 

Marconics  

Robin Landau, LMT is a teacher and practitioner of Marconics and a seasoned healer with over 30 years hands-on experience. She has obtained many certifications for an array of healing modalities. This idea of layering modalities to keeping up with clients’ needs, changed when Robin was introduced to Marconics in 2016. Marconics is a full-spectrum modality for the fifth dimensional body template. Robin has a private massage practice in Long Beach, New York and teaches Marconics in the Metro Tri-State region covering NY, NJ and PA. www.RobinJoyLandau.com

Q: What is Marconics?

A: “Marconics is a multidimensional Ascension energy healing modality, handed down by Spirit, for the evolution of Humanity; The Human Upgrade. It raises your vibration above the fear frequencies of the third dimension, so you can access the frequencies of Pleiadian Love in the higher realms and come into alignment with your Higher Self, at Source.” 

“Marconics is achieving Ascension through the progressive integration of Higher Self energies, into the physical body. Each one introducing a higher vibration than the last. Anything you do emits a vibrational frequency, once you have received your own Marconic Recalibration, you will experience an acceleration of your life’s path. Your personal interactions and your work will emit a higher vibrational frequency, drawing experiences and people to you that are in resonance. Recipients of Marconics continue to download upgrades into their new operating systems with every new wave of Ascension energy that hits the planet from the newly completed infrared system of space.”

Q: What is this practice good for? 

A: “Marconics enables you to:

  • Communicate with your DNA
  • Take charge of your personal programs
  • Accelerate your evolutionary process
  • Discover your life’s purpose
  • Align with your higher mission
  • Awaken your intution/ESP or psychic gifts
  • Reclaim hidden talents and skills
  • Release negative past-life imprints

Q: Do practitioners have to be licensed?

A: “A practitioner does not need to be licensed, but they do need to be ‘attuned’ to the Marconics frequency by a Marconics Teacher Practitioner. www.Marconics.com

Massage

My friend Lacy (see Equine Assisted Therapy) also helped me out with massage. There are many different kinds of massage (as she notes) so answering the “What is massage?” question is tricky. Massage is a way to help animals and humans perform at their best and without pain. Lacy’s start as an equine massage therapist gave her a very quiet, unique, and sports medicine based approach. Find Lacy HERE. 

Q: What is massage and what is it good for? 

A: “Massage is using pressure to work on the body/muscles to create a desired change. There are over 80 different massage styles or modalities. Massage is most effective in treating muscle injuries/pain, reducing stress, and creating a better functioning body through maintenance.” 

Q: Does a practitioner have to be licensed? 

A: Licensing varies from state to state. Most states require a license with minimum education hours met. There is no nationwide license although there are national certification tests that are required for some state licensure. Find more info at The American Massage Therapy Association.

A woman practicing meditation

Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash

Meditation

Vanessa Uybarreta is a Transformational Intuitive Mentor, Myofascial Release LMT, Marconics Energy Practitioner and Yoga, Meditation and Movement Teacher helping Light-workers, Empaths and Inner Seekers live fully embodied and fully expressed as who they are. She has over 20 years of experience facilitating healing and transformation for countless clients and students. As an Empath Light-worker herself, she guides others in having sovereignty of their bodies and energy as truly empowered beings. www.VanessaUybarreta.com

Q: What is Meditation?

A: “Meditation is really a practice of focus. There are two words in the yoga tradition: concentration (Dharana) and meditation (Dhyana) that help to clarify this. Meditation or the quieting and silencing of our minds happens through the practice of concentration or focus.” 

“Meditation isn’t a process of fighting or pushing away thoughts. That just creates resistance inside ourselves. It’s the process of redirecting our awareness to something else. That “something” can be anything. That’s why there are so many types of meditation. We can focus on our body sensations, breathing, a guided journey, walking, visuals, sounds, and the list goes on.” 

“The basic process is we choose something to focus on and when we realize we’re thinking about other unrelated things we guide ourselves back to the focal point over and over. The best way to do this is to be kind to ourselves as we redirect ourselves back because we will inevitably get distracted. That’s the practice. As we concentrate, thoughts can slow down and quiet, and the experience of the focus point magnifies.” 

“Many things can be experienced in meditation and essentially there can be many goals or objectives when practicing. It’s an essential tool for humans. Meditating helps with being present which enhances our moment to moment experience in so many ways.” 

“Being present and being mindful is really an extension of meditation in everyday actions. Being present isn’t a complete stopping of our thoughts, because thoughts are needed sometimes, yet it allows our embodied experience of life to be more enhanced and focused here and now.” 

“Taking time to meditate and be with ourselves can create a deeper awareness of who we are beyond our constant thoughts. Our awareness and ability to focus is not just through our minds, it is so much bigger. We are larger than our thoughts!” 

“From this expanded awareness healing, growth, listening to your inner guidance, ability to choose how you want to feel, creating consciously, enjoying the moment, living from your heart, being embodied, and seeing a broader perspective of life can all unfold.” 

“In essence, each person gets to choose what they want to get out of it. It’s helpful to try different types of meditation and see what works for you and then do a little, even 5 minutes or less, every day or as regularly as possible.”

Q: What is meditation good for?

A: “Number one issue: Being Human on earth! A beautifully intense experience. Being able to focus is really a foundational skill for humans as important as eating or breathing which enhances our life experience in so many ways. So meditation and focus in some form is a solution for most things and assists positively any other healing and therapeutic modalities someone might use. Stress, overthinking and obsessive thinking, overwhelm, anxiety, burnout, disconnection to oneself, can’t relax or rest and much more.”

Q: Does a practitioner or teacher have to be licensed?

A: No. You can find more information on certification at the National Meditation Specialist Certification Board. 

Neurofeedback

I learned about a particular kind of Neurofeedback called NeurOptimal® neurofeedback from Erica Ligon. She earned a B.S. in Chemistry at North Carolina State University in 1997 and went on to work for many years as a chemist. Her job exposed her to numerous toxic chemicals and fumes and she eventually developed Chemical Sensitivities so severe that leaving the house was not only problematic, but detrimental to her health as she reacted to everything in her environment. After struggling with Chemical Sensitivities and PTSD for 8 years, her health issues resolved after starting NeurOtpimal®. It gave her her life back and she’s been sharing NeurOptimal® with clients since December 2016. www.lucidneurofeedback.com

Q: What is NeurOptimal® neurofeedback?

A: “In NeurOptimal® neurofeedback, the brain’s activity is measured via sensors on the scalp and then overlaid onto music and played back to you. When the brain hears and recognizes its own activity, it begins to self-correct. The human brain is incredibly efficient and self-organizing – it wants to be in its most optimal state. Its only obstacle is that the brain is blind to its own landscape in the same way that you can’t see your ear without a mirror.”

“NeurOptimal® gives your brain that mirror, that reflection of itself so that it can fix and organize itself. If you looked in the mirror and noticed that your posture was slumped over and there was spinach in your teeth and your hair was messed up, you would immediately straighten your posture and begin tidying yourself. Your brain does the same thing when it gets this real-time, minute-to-minute information about itself.”  

Q: What is it good for?

A: “NeurOptimal® is known to support and benefit many conditions and disorders that affect the brain and Central Nervous System, including PTSD, TBI, Migraines, Fibromyalgia, Chemical Sensitivities, Stroke, Parkinson’s, Autism, Alzheimer’s, Lyme Disease, eating disorders, Epilepsy, Anxiety, ADD/ADHD, Depression, Addiction, Learning Disorders, OCD, Panic attacks.” 

Q: Does a practitioner need to be licensed?

A: “There is a certification process. You can get more information and find a practitioner in your area at HERE. 

Neuro-Linguistic Programming

Please take a peek at the “Hypnosis” section and you’ll find out about Chrisa T.S- Transformation Coach, and Hypnotherapist, who also helped with this piece about NLP. www.thechrisagroup.com

Q: What is NLP?

A: “NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Neuro refers to your neurology; Linguistic refers to language; programming refers to how that neural language functions. NLP is the study of excellent communication–both with yourself, and with others. It was developed by modeling excellent communicators and therapists who got results with their clients. NLP is a set of tools and techniques, but I see it as an attitude and a methodology of knowing how to achieve your goals and get results.”

Q: What is this used for?

A: “The original core techniques of NLP were used in psychotherapy, treating conditions such as phobias, depression, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. But I use it in teaching: persuasion, sales, negotiation, public speaking, management, and marketing.”Q: Does one need to be certified or licensed?

A: “No license is needed but a certification from the following associations is proof of the credentials of the NLP practitioner/ Master Practitioner/Trainer: NLP University, International Association for NLP

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

Amy Vander Linden, PT has been a physical therapist for more than 18 years and specializes in John F. Barnes Myofascial Release. She has over 350 hours of specialized training including women’s health. Her passion is to help women thrive throughout pregnancy and afterwards, whether they had a baby six weeks ago or sixteen years ago (postpartum is forever). She assists them towards wholeness by empowering them to know their bodies, understanding healing processes and offering therapeutic touch, gaining confidence in their ability to do the things they love and providing education so they and baby can have an optimal start! www.momentoftruthpt.com

Q: What is Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy and what is it good for?

A: “Pelvic Physical Therapy is the area of physical therapy focused on the pelvis, low back and sexual and reproductive organs. Many pelvic physical therapists work primarily with women but men often need pelvic PT as well, especially for issues such as prostate enlargement, erectile dysfunction or pelvic, penile pain. For women there are a wide range of issues that pelvic physical therapy can address, including pregnancy and postpartum care which focuses on things like incontinence, diastasis recti, pelvic pain and prolapse to post-surgical issues such as hysterectomy, bladder slings, and more. Other diagnoses we treat include interstitial cystitis, vulvodynia, coccydynia, vestibulitis, endometriosis, and infertility.” 

Q: Does a practitioner need to be licensed?

A: “All physical therapists are licensed in their state. You’ll find information about licensure at the American Physical Therapy Association. Extensive additional training and some certifications are offered in pelvic floor physical therapy.” 

Psychotherapy

I caught up with my friend and amazing artist and healer, Liz Goll Lerner, LPC, LCPAT, ATR-BC, for some help with psychotherapy. She is a counselor, psychotherapist, coach and speaker with 30+ years of experience helping individuals and couples heal, take action and transform their lives. She is nationally recognized as an innovator in the personal growth field for her groundbreaking integrative healing programs. www.YourInspiredChoices.com

Q: What is Traditional Psychotherapy?

A: “Traditional psychotherapy is the treatment of emotional problems by talking about them with a trained mental health professional. As an art psychotherapist and a licensed professional counselor, I use all the tools in my toolbox to support deep healing while combining an insight oriented approach with teaching creative, cognitive and mindfulness-based techniques to live a healthier, happier life.”

Q: What issues is Psychotherapy good for?

A: “My favorite psychotherapeutic modalities help people make the connection between their thoughts, feelings, and actions while highlighting the all-important mind/body connection. In my work I use a variety of therapeutic modalities to help people creatively heal old wounds, solve current problems and establish new ways to approach challenging situations or relationships. Most important, I help people find and activate their best self. I particularly love: Integrative Psychotherapy which focuses on healing and resilience. Art Psychotherapy  and Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.These approaches are most effective for anxiety, depression, trauma related issues, PTSD, and general transformative work.”

Q: Does a practitioner need to be licensed?

A: “Practitioners do need to be licensed and consumers should search for practitioners who are licensed or accredited in their field to be sure that they are receiving the best care and a practitioner with the most up-to-date training. I am licensed and Board certified by the ATCB, Art Therapy Credentials Board, I hold a LPC, licensed professional counselor license from the District of Columbia and an LCPAT, Licensed Clinical Professional Art Therapist in Maryland. In order to obtain a state license, credentials are checked, professional and state exams are passed, and continuing education credits are required.”

Reiki 

Alice Green Langholt, Reiki Master/Teacher, MJS, M.MSc is a parent, author and teacher with Master-level training in several Reiki modalities. She teaches classes in Reiki and intuitive development locally and by distance and is the Executive Director of Reiki Awakening Academy Online School of Intuitive Development. She has Master’s degrees in Jewish Studies and Metaphysical Science, and recently submitted her dissertation for review, as a Ph.D. candidate in Metaphysical Parapsychology with the University of Sedona (anticipated graduation May, 2019).

Alice is the author of the award-winning Reiki resource, Practical Reiki: for balance, well-being, and vibrant health. A guide to a simple, revolutionary energy healing method, which won second place for Best Reiki Book in the 2012 About.com Reader’s Choice Awards, and was a finalist in the 2017 Books of Excellence Awards. She has also authored The Practical Reiki Companion workbook, and many books on holistic subjects. 

Alice lives in the Washington, DC Metro area with her husband and four children. She teaches Animal Reiki at Montgomery College, has a Reiki practice, and is also a wedding officiant.

Q: What is Reiki?

A: “Reiki came from the meditation of Mikao Usui, a spiritual teacher in the early 20th century Japan who offered this practice to his students as part of his teachings. Reiki is a word from the Japanese language, meaning ‘Guided Life Force Energy.’ Life force energy, which makes up our thoughts, emotions, and consciousness, is in every living thing and connects us all. We all have places in our energy that are off balance. We can be off balance due to stress, disease, pain, or emotional blocks, just to name a few. A Reiki practitioner offers this life force energy to you for you to receive where you are off balance, to help your body heal itself back into balance.”

“Reiki does not require belief in order to be effective; being open to trying Reiki is all you need. Reiki can be thought of as an energy therapy that enhances wellness by encouraging the system towards balance at all levels: body, mind and spirit. It does not require meditation, physical manipulation of any kind, breathing patterns, or any effort at all. It’s a gentle and effective holistic technique for effortlessly receiving the life force energy you need to restore your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual balance.”

Q: What’s Reiki good for?

A: “Reiki is a powerful and gentle healing technique that:

  • Relaxes your muscles
  • Promotes natural self-healing
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Relieves pain
  • Relaxes and reduces stress
  • Treats symptoms and causes of illness
  • Balances the energies in the body
  • Clears toxins
  • Adapts to the natural needs of the receiver
  • Enhances personal awareness
  • Releases blocked and suppressed feelings
  • Assists meditation and positive thinking
  • Energizes you and brings balance, well being and harmony
  • Promotes creativity
  • Heals holistically
  • Compliments all forms of treatments and therapies

Q: Do you need a license to practice?

A: “While there is no formal State or Federal regulation or licensure, to learn Reiki, one needs a teacher. Reiki training is done by a teacher to a student. Attunements are energy transmissions passed directly from teacher to student. Some teachers teach online, some teach in person, some teach both. Since energy is not limited by distance, teaching doesn’t need to be either. The best way to select a teacher is to choose someone who is dedicated to your confidence and success learning Reiki.” 

“You want a teacher who cares about your progress, and is interested in helping you get there. So, it’s not advised to try to teach yourself from a book or recorded course, unless you have a live teacher who is working with you personally. If you prefer learning in person, learn that way. If you like learning in a group, choose a group class. If you are comfortable learning online from a teacher who is excellent but not in your area, then do that. The learning experience should feel comfortable to you.”

Rolfing

My friend and fellow healer Jewell Machlan, LMT, Owner of At Length gave us some info on this kind of bodywork. Jewell Machlan has been a Rolf Method practitioner for eight years and was trained and certified by the  Guild for Structural Integration. She is a licensed massage therapist and is nationally certified by the NCBTMP (National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork ), and is a member of the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals. 

She’s the owner of At Length — the Rolf method and therapeutic massage. www.AtLength.org  

Q: What is Rolfing or The Rolf Method and what is it good for?

A: “The Rolf Method, named after Dr. Ida Rolf, is a series of ten sessions of hands-on bodywork with a focus on the connective tissue, which is found under the skin and around the muscles. These sessions are designed to align and balance the body and result in lasting change. They produce benefits such as a decrease in chronic pain, freedom of movement, improved posture, better balance and increased breathing capacity.”

Q: Does a practitioner need to be licensed?

A: “A Rolf method practitioner needs to complete 528 hours from an accredited school of Structural Integration, 600 hours in a state-accredited massage therapy school and complete a national massage therapy examination as well as a state-specific jurisprudence examination. They also must be licensed under their state board for massage therapy. In Maryland massage therapists are under the jurisdiction of the Board of Chiropractic and Massage Therapy Examiners.”

The Rossiter System

Ellie Calhoun, Owner of MyBodyWorks!, is an Advanced Rossiter Practitioner and Instructor, LMT, and CMI Practitioner. She believes the world would be a kinder place if people could move better with less pain. She became a licensed Massage Therapist in 2008 and a certified Rossiter Coach in 2010. Currently, an Advanced Rossiter Practitioner and Instructor, her goal is to spread awareness of The Rossiter System®. In her private practice, in addition to Rossiter, she also uses Neurokinetic Therapy®, breathing work and Core Movement Integration® to help people get out of pain and learn better movement, empowering them to love and care for their own bodies. http://www.mybodyworksnatick.com

Q: What is The Rossiter System?

A: “The Rossiter System is a two person powerful stretching workout that gets rid of pain by creating space in the soft tissue of the body. It works on the connective tissue, mainly the fascia, where much of our pain comes from. Rossiter was designed to help the practitioner work in a way that takes care of their body. It is amazingly effective at getting rid of pain fast and is safe. The Rossiter practitioner or coach, uses their foot and weight of their body, to safely step on a body part of a person, usually lying on a mat on the floor, then directs the client or PIC (person in charge) through a slow, deliberate, reaching stretch.”

Q: What is it used for?

A: “It can be helpful for low back, plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, joint pain (ankles, wrists) shoulder issues, and neck issues. There are 100’s of ‘workouts’ that address all areas of the body.”

Q: Does a practitioner need to be licensed?

A: A practitioner must be certified through The Rossiter System®. We have training to become certified: Level 1-4 and then there are advanced classes as well. There is no pre-requisite to taking level 1, although most people have some bodywork experience, either massage therapy, Pilates or some other fitness program.

Shamanism

I caught up with my friend Tanya L. Colucci, Spiritual Minister, Shaman, Myofascial Release Therapist, and Meditation Instructor to answer my questions about shamanism. Tanya started her training in shamanism five years ago and blends this practice with Myofascial Release bodywork, meditation, yoga, and energy healing. Tanya is able to facilitate a process for her clients of stepping into their soul power to live a more fulfilled, joyous and pain-free life. She provides online coaching for meditation, sacred soul guidance, and distant shaman healing. www.tanyacoluccimfr.com 

Q: What is Shamanism?

A: “A Shaman Healer-Practitioner refers to a person who makes journeys to non-ordinary reality in an altered state of consciousness to retrieve information and do healing. Shamans are called the “see-ers” (seers), or “people who know” in their tribal languages, because they are involved in a system of knowledge based on firsthand experience.”

“As a Shaman I try to conduct healing sessions, retrieve information for clients, remove energy intrusions, retrieve power animals and do soul retrieval. Michael Harner says when asked, “How do you know if someone is a Shaman?” “It’s simple. Do they journey to other worlds? And do they perform miracles?” A Shaman uses energy and works as a hollow bone to allow spirit to work through them to conduct healing and help empower an individual on their journey.”

Q: What is this practice good for? 

A: “When someone feels as though they have lost a part of themselves, their power, feeling off, wanting to be reconnected. Also in Shamanism there is so much wisdom teaching others how to do journeying to travel to other energetic worlds in order to meet their spirit guides, find answers to questions, and learn how to navigate with the help of spirit.”

Q: Does a practitioner have to be licensed? 

A: “There are a few main certifying agencies that teach people how to be a Shaman. The two most credible are, The Foundation for Shamanic Studies and The Four Winds.

Somatic Experiencing

My friend and colleague, Jennifer Whitacre Gardner, LMT, Empowerment Strategist, Speaker and Podcaster, helped me with this information. She incorporates Somatic Experiencing into her Empowerment Strategy sessions. As an Empowerment Strategist, she helps clients identify the subtle ways we sabotage ourselves, learn how to modify habitual patterns that get in the way, and develop strategies for future events that will trigger these old patterns to resurface. Knowing how to handle future, unexpected events is empowering! Connect with her at The Wellness Universe

Q: What is Somatic Experiencing and what issues is it good for?

A: “Developed by PhD and trauma specialist, Peter Levine, Somatic Experiencing is an alternative, body-based approach to helping people overcome the long-term effects of abuse and trauma.  Somatic Experiencing focuses on bodily signals and sensations rather than recounting the details of the traumatic event. Using the body as a guide combined with the concepts of titration and pendulation, Somatic Experiencing is a powerful tool in transforming the wounds of the past into a compass for the future. This is an empowering approach to working with anyone who is struggling with PTSD, mental, or trauma-related physical disorders.”

Q: Does a practitioner need to be certified or licensed? 

A: “Becoming a Certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner requires 216 hours of training (8 modules over a three-year period), 12 hours of personal sessions, and 18 hours of case consultations from approved providers. The program is designed to prevent therapists and practitioners from rushing through the courses, so it is not possible to complete the program in less than three years.” 

“Not all students finish the 3-year program, and not all students who finish become certified. These practitioners can still implement SE into their practice; they simply cannot claim to be a certified practitioner. If you have any question about whether your practitioner is certified, simply ask! And remember, that not having a certificate does not mean a lack of skill; it means a lack of a piece of paper. Do your homework and choose wisely in SE or any modality!” www.traumahealing.org

Sound Healing

Photo of several bells, to describe the vibration of sound therapy

Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash

I caught up with expert sound healer Sharon Carne to answer some questions about this fantastic modality. On a personal note, my own sound healing sessions (one private and one group) have been amazing and I left with the feeling of my cells being washed from the inside out.

Sharon has been practicing sound healing for 25 years and is the founder of Sound Wellness and The Sound Wellness Institute as well as co-founder of the Emergent Workforce, the most recent expression of the Sound Wellness Institute. Sound wellness programs are at the forefront of education in sound, and music can be easily applied to your everyday life. www.soundwellnessinstitute.com 

Q: What is sound healing? 

A: “There are many modalities within the field of sound work. Some are Sound Healing, Sound Therapy, Sound-based Therapy, Music Therapy, and music itself. Sound healing is the use of sound in the form of tones, rhythms, repetitive patterns, mantra and other sound techniques to create a change in body rhythms, and the body’s energy patterns. Sound Therapy is the use of specific frequencies of sound to change specific energy patterns in the body. Sound Wellness, as a modality, is a holistic modality that uses techniques based on sound healing, sound therapy and music to bring your body, mind emotions and spirit back into harmony.”

A side note about Toning as a sound healing modality. Sharon gave me this info:

“Toning fits in as sound healing. Toning, like toning the chakra sounds or the qi gong sounds for the organs, retunes those areas of the body or being to their natural frequencies. Because the voice is created inside of you, it vibrates every particle of you before the sound of your voice even leaves your mouth. And because the sound of your voice is a wave form that carries your intention, it’s brilliantly powerful and effective.” 

“Sound is like a radio station frequency. It’s a carrier wave for the news, music, and commercials to your radio or receiver. Your voice acts in the same way. It carries your thoughts, emotions and intentions along on its waves. Most of this is transmitted unconsciously from human to human. When it becomes conscious we begin to take responsibility for what we’re sending out on the sound waves.”

Q: What is sound healing good for? 

A: “Because sound is recognized, incorporated, transmitted and responded to by your entire being, sound works holistically and multi-dimensionally with your entire being. It can help reduce stress, reduce anxiety, reduce or eliminate pain, reduce symptoms from or eliminate stress-induced illness, release muscle tension, aid in emotional healing, powerfully remove emotional blocks, stimulate the natural healing ability of the body, speed up healing, heal and balance chakras, aid in trauma recovery, enhance deep relaxation, improve sleep and more.”

Q: Do practitioners have to be licensed? 

A: Sound healing is exploding all over the globe and right now there’s no practitioner association or governing body. My husband and I have created the first competency-based certification in using sound for healing in Canada, and we’re currently working on an application to have our programs formally approved by the largest practitioner association in Canada. We’ll be applying for formal approval with the American Holistic Nurses Association as well. Sound Wellness is a modality we created as the first regulated modality in this field, to make it easier for practitioner associations to accept on their lists of recognized modalities.”

Specialized Kinesiology

Kristen Arndt, RMT and Specialized Kinesiologist is an expert with 16 years of practice in her field. Through Specialized Kinesiology, Kristen has healed from many of her own old traumas and imbalances and that has allowed her to feel more whole and balanced. Kristen now uses her passion and knowledge for the body though Specialized Kinesiology to help others heal from many aliments including pain, anxiety, depression, nutritional issues and much more. Find her at www.KristenArndt.com

Q: What is Specialized Kinesiology and what is it used for?

A: “Specialized or energetic kinesiology uses muscle testing, a form of biofeedback, to show you where stress is located in the body. Using muscle testing we are able to get to the root of the imbalance in the body.  Energetic kinesiology is amazing at helping people relate their emotional and spiritual body to their physical self and helps them to have lasting changes in behavior and seeing the benefit of living there life with purpose at a soul level. In simple terms it is great for anxiety, depression and just feeling happier.  Your body is a vessel for the expression of your spirit and if you’re not living true to your purpose it will show in your physical body. Nutritionally it also helps people know what supplements they may need and what foods to avoid without guessing because your body tells you.”

Q: Do practitioners have to be licensed?

A: Practitioners do not have to be licensed but we do have a governing board in Canada called CANASK.”

Tai Chi (and Qigong)

Lori Enloe, PT, MA has been teaching Tai Chi for fifteen years and has practiced for twenty five. She’s a compassionate Tai Chi Instructor whose intuitive, nurturing teaching style combines her physical therapy training with the mind-body principles of Tai Chi, and is informed by her Yoga training with Betsy Rippentrop, PhD, and her study of Somatic Movement forms with Meg Eginton, RSME-T, MFA.

Lori began her Tai Chi journey in 1993 studying the Cheng Man-ch’ing Yang Style form. She was certified by Tricia Yu to teach Tai Chi Fundamentals® in 2003. In 2014 she received Advanced Certification from Tricia Yu to train and test Tai Chi Fundamentals® instructors. Lori has trained and certified Tai Chi Fundamentals Instructors regionally and nationally.  Lori was certified in Wheelchair Tai Chi by Dr Zibin Guo in September 2018.

While practicing as a physical therapist, Lori has specialized in treating individuals with balance dysfunction, helping individuals lose weight, and has conducted clinical research with individuals having total joint replacement.

Lori says, “T’ai Chi is the constant in my life that keeps me grounded on my journey, as I raised two boys with my husband in our ever changing world. Staying centered, sometimes, through calm and chaos is part of my T’ai Chi practice.” Lori is available to teach classes, give presentations or private lessons (individual or group), and provide Tai Chi Fundamentals® Instructor training.

Q: What is Tai Chi?

A: “Qigong, translated as ”energy cultivation,” is a diverse set of Chinese exercises integrating breathing, simple movements and meditation practiced for over 3000 years. Practicing Qigong manages the flow of qi (energy) throughout the body. The various styles may be practiced to improve health, deepen spirituality or enhance martial skills. Chinese medical doctors also prescribe specific Qigong sets for mind, body and spirit.”

“Tai Chi (also known as Tai Chi Ch’uan, Taiji or “Taijiquan”) is a mind body exercise and form of Qigong. Its roots are in Chinese medicine, martial arts and philosophy. Tai Chi means “supreme ultimate” and it’s represented by the Yin Yang symbol, the common source that unifies all apparent opposites. Ch’uan means “fist,” referring to the martial art. Through the practice of focused slow circular movements, Tai Chi practitioners quiet their mind, center their body and elevate their spirit. They learn to stay centered, mentally and physically, during everyday life.  As a martial art, Tai Chi Ch’uan teaches one to yield and redirect incoming forces rather than meeting it with force. Using the practice of yielding and promotes living a life with greater ease.”

Q: What is Tai Chi good for?

A: “The various styles of Tai Chi follow fundamental principles and train functional movement. These principles include focused attention, postural alignment, breath awareness, active relaxation, slow integrated movement from the body’s center and dynamic weight separation. Functional movements are those we use in everyday life such as lifting, pulling, pushing, and sitting. Tai Chi teaches one to move more effectively during daily activities.” 

“The physical and mental health benefits of Tai Chi are extensive. People of all abilities may practice and forms may be modified to make it accessible. Benefits include improved balance and reduced risk of falls as well as improving lower body strength.” 

“Studies show practicing Tai Chi two to three times a week for one hour reduces the risk of falling. Tai Chi is a low impact exercise that strengthens the core, back, legs and even the arms. It reduces blood pressure and stress and improves one’s mood. Studies show it reduces anxiety and improves depression. It’s also shown to reduce neck and back pain, fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. Tai Chi builds social connections which are important to our quality of life and reducing the risk of dementia. And it appears to improve our executive function; to manage task and time and make decisions.”

Q: Does a practitioner need to be licensed?

A: “There is currently no standard license for Tai Chi or Qigong providers. Tai Chi schools and programs offer teacher certifications. Find out about the Teacher Certification program offered by Tai Chi Health HERE And here are three organizations offering credentialing: American Tai Chi and Qigong Association, National Qigong Association, and the International Medical Tai Chi and Qigong Association.

Theta Healing  

I caught up with my friend Timothy Gay, Certified ThetaHealing Practitioner® and Coach to help us with this one. Timothy is the founder of The Infinite Transition. He uses the modality ThetaHealing® and Coaching to help people heal from their emotional traumas and deep subconscious blocks, as well as writing healing meditations that allow people to experience healing in their own organic way. Timothy believes that we’re all Infinite and every experience in our lives has value. His mission is to help everyone reconnect to their infinite power and live their truth which is their organic selves, allowing them to impact the world through their gifts and passions. 

Q: What is ThetaHealing?

A: “ThetaHealing® is an energy healing modality that connects us deeper with Creator (God, Source,Universe, etc.) and with our own subconscious mind. This connection allows us to heal and release old belief patterns that are restrictive and limiting, and reprograms them to more supportive and empowering beliefs. In doing so, this allows the person to have better interpersonal relationships, physical health, career/businesses, monetary wealth, and much more.”

“Our subconscious mind works like a computer in storing files and information. Over time, our hard drive or operating system (subconscious mind) deals with corrupted files, outdated programs, and viruses (beliefs, thoughts, feelings) that slow down our system. This leads to a disconnection from ourselves and can lead to many issues from physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual.” 

“During a session, a practitioner will connect with Creator and connect with the patient. From there, they’ll pinpoint the old belief, make a command to clear the old energy and witness that energy leaving the person’s body. Next, they’ll make a new command to replace it with a new belief that will support the person in the growth and healing they’ve been seeking. In doing this, they not only develop a better connection with themselves but also with Creator.”

Q: What’s it good for?

A: “ThetaHealing® helps with many issues including healing from and releasing mental and emotional traumatic issues such as anxiety, depression, creative blockages, anger issues, grief, emotional breakdown, relationship challenges, and many more.”

Q: Does a practitioner need to be certified or licensed?

A: “The governing body for ThetaHealing® is THInK, the ThetaHealing Institute of Knowledge in Kalispell, Montana which was created by Vianna Stibal, the founder of ThetaHealing®. A ThetaHealing® practitioner goes through a certification process from a Certified ThetaHealing Instructor® very similar to a Reiki certification process. Each certification focuses on different areas a Theta Healer may work on in order to help the person heal. For example, the “World Relations” certification helps the practitioner to work on subconscious beliefs around relationships, grudges, grievances, or the like.”

Total Motion Release   

Tom Dalanzo-Baker is the founder of Total Motion Release and has over fifteen years of expertise bringing this powerful treatment method to the world. He’s trained over 4000 clinicians around the world and is known for teaching therapists how to get results with their clients. Total Motion Release was created to help clinicians provide a first of its kind, patient driven, quick full body assessment and treatment system. Tom lives with his wife and six children in Raleigh, North Carolina. 

Q: What is Total Motion Release?

A: Total Motion Release is a whole-body evaluation and treatment methodology that uses corrective movements to enhance function. The coolest secret you will find with Total Motion Release is movements that are easy or feel good anywhere in the body can be used to fix injured or painful motions.

Q: What’s it good for?

A: TMR is great for any kind of pain condition, injury, strain, sprain or tightness. It’s not only effective in relieving pain but it’s a fantastic preventative tool. TMR is also used to enhance peak performance in athletes. 

Q: Does a practitioner need a license to practice?

A: “As with all other “touch” therapies, states will vary as to their licensure criteria. TMR is practiced most often by physical therapists, doctors, chiropractors, occupational therapists and personal trainers – with all practices governed under their state license requirements.” 

Trauma/Tension Release Exercises (TRE)

Carla Cavanagh, physician assistant, LMT, retired firefighter/paramedic, and Army veteran, helped me get the info together for TRE. She’s been in healthcare for 35 years and practices at Insight Learning and Wellness in Warrensville, Ohio as a Myofascial Therapist. She recently joined Dr. Cheryl Hammes, DO, in her Integrative Wellness practice as a physician assistant in Brecksville, Ohio. 

Q: What is Trauma Release Exercise and what is it used for?

A: From www.TraumaPrevention.com: “TRE® is an innovative series of exercises that assist the body in releasing deep muscular patterns of stress, tension and trauma. The exercises safely activate a natural reflex mechanism of shaking or vibrating that releases muscular tension, calming down the nervous system. When this muscular shaking/vibrating mechanism is activated in a safe and controlled environment, the body is encouraged to return back to a state of balance.”

“Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises (or TRE®) is based on the fundamental idea, backed by research, that stress, tension and trauma is both psychological and physical. TRE®’s reflexive muscle vibrations generally feel pleasant and soothing.  After doing TRE®, many people report feelings of peace and well-being. TRE® has helped many thousands of people globally.”

Q: Does a practitioner need to be licensed?

A: “Practitioners themselves do not need to be licensed. However, providers are encouraged to achieve the certification level which involves attending /participating in up to three weekends of training with a certified TRE provider, as well as doing teach back sessions with a certified instructor Via Skype, FaceTime , etc. There are many providers and or instructors which have different licensing backgrounds for education. Many providers are marriage family life therapists or somatic healers, but others have bodywork training, i.e; exercise physiologists, yoga instructors, massage therapists, etc…”

Vaginal Steaming

I had to ask this expert if she considered this a holistic healing therapy vs. it being a “Spa treatment.” Her answer intrigued me. Katie Bradshaw is a Physical Therapist, a certified Athletic Trainer, and a certified Vaginal Steam Facilitator. The goal of her practice is to partner with her clients to achieve their personal health goals.  www.myofascialreleasebykatie.com

Q: What is Vaginal Steaming (V-Steaming)?

A:  “V-Steaming uses specific herbal blends and steam to reduce stagnation in the uterus. It helps to regulate periods, pain, fibroids, and infertility and reduces and resolves infections. It’s an ancient practice used all over the world.

Q: What’s it good for? 

A: “Period pain, infertility, fibroids, menstrual cycle regulation, dryness, infections, cramps, heavy bleeding, and cysts.”

Q: Does a practitioner need to be licensed?

A: “This is not currently a licensed practice, but I became certified through Keli Garza at Steamy Chick as a vaginal steam facilitator. 

Personal note from Laura: Okay, now I know everything.  

Visceral Manipulation 

I asked my friend and fellow holistic physical therapist Joyce Fishel to help me with this modality. Joyce Fishel, DPT is an expert holistic physical therapist who creatively integrates manual techniques with therapeutic movement and mindfulness, honoring the body’s natural ability to heal. She’s helped countless women dealing with chronic pain to find comfort in their bodies. Her mission is empowering women to age boldly and actively and to step bravely into the lives they desire. www.BlueLotusPhysicalTherapy.com 

Q: What is Visceral Manipulation?

A: “Fascia is connective tissue intricately woven throughout the body from our head to our toes. It unites every cell in the body, and the fluid filled spaces in between are pathways for communication which makes it possible for us to move. There are three layers of fascia; superficial , deep and visceral. Visceral fascia is the deepest layer surrounding the organs. It connects them to each other and to our bodies on the inside. These inside connections include nerves, blood vessels , muscles, bones and joints.” 

“In order for the body to move, the organs must move or slide and glide in relation to each other and the smooth surfaces on the inside of our human frames. Fascial restrictions can cause pain in remote areas in the body. For example, when something feels like an orthopedic problem that won’t go away, the pain might actually go deeper than what you might imagine. Visceral manipulation is a gentle therapy that targets specific organs and the connective tissue attachments. Releasing deeper fascial restrictions relieves pain and facilitates improved movement.”

Q: What’s it good for? 

A: “Visceral Manipulation can help following issues: illness, motor vehicle accidents, abdominal surgery, a blow to the ribs, and pain or problems in the back, hips, pelvis, or shoulders.” 

Q: Does a practitioner need to be licensed? 

A: “Visceral Manipulation is a specialized technique that must be practiced by licensed practitioners (Physical Therapist, Massage Therapist, Osteopathic Physician, Medical Doctor). Advanced training is offered by the Barral institute, Jean-Pierre Barral DO.”

Watsu

Q: What is Watsu and what is it good for?

A: From www.Watsu.org.nz “Watsu is a gentle form of body therapy performed in warm water, (around 35°C.) It combines elements of massage, joint mobilization, shiatsu, muscle stretching and dance. The receiver is continuously supported while being floated, cradled, rocked and stretched. The deeply relaxing effects of warm water and nurturing support, combine with Watsu’s movements, stretches, massage and point work, to create a bodywork with a range of therapeutic benefits and potential healing on many levels.”

“Moments of stillness alternate with rhythmical flowing movements, which free the body in ways impossible on land. The warm water relaxes the muscles and supports the spine. With this support and without the weight of the body, the spine, joints and muscles can be manipulated and freed in a way unique to water work. The effects include a very gentle, yet deep stretching and a release of muscular and joint restrictions, along with a state of deep relaxation, which encourages the release of stress and tensions.”

“Worldwide Watsu is currently provided in many international health and wellness spas as well as in aquatic physiotherapy/physical therapy programs. It is finding countless applications in therapy, aiding recovery from injury, relieving muscular and joint pain and encouraging movement and flexibility. In addition many are enjoying sharing Watsu’s simpler moves with family and friends. At practitioner level it can stand alone as a therapy or be used as a wonderful complement to therapeutic work on land.”

Q: Does a practitioner need to be licensed? 

A: Organizations that register Watsu practitioners include: WABA Worldwide Aquatic Bodywork Association andEuropean Watsu Organization

Photo by Eneko Uruñuela on Unsplash

Yoga

Pleasance Silicki, M.S.ED., is a Mother, Ayurvedic Lifestyle Coach, Creator, Author, Speaker, Podcaster, Holistic Health Coach, Facilitator and an Enneagram Type 4. She teaches from the foundations of evidence -based, Positive Psychology and integrates with the Yogic and Ayurvedic wisdom traditions. She is the founder of THRIVE, an online self-care class and community and LOLA an academy for women’s leadership, stress management and  life design.

Pleasance is the author of Delight: 8 Principles for Living with Joy And Ease, published in 2016 and the host of the LOLA Community Podcast.  As founder of Lil Omm yoga studio, the Co- Founder of The National Kids Yoga Conference and Septima Clark Public Charter School, Pleasance is passionate about bringing well being into a variety of communities. She has taught Mindful Explorations at The George Mason University and Strategies in Stress Management at The American University.  She facilitates Mind- Body Medicine Skills Groups, Stress Management and Self-Care workshops and retreats to a variety of individuals, groups and organizations.  She lives in Washington, DC with her elderly dog, introverted husband and two delicious children. 

Q: What is Yoga and what is it good for?

A: “Yoga is an integrated way to approach life which means it’s a whole system for wellness that incorporates all the wonderful parts of you. Your mind, your body and your intuition all get some attention in the teachings of yoga. Yogis believe that this union of mind, body, soul leads to radiant health and happiness for all the stages of your life. There are so many types of yoga that you can practice at any stage of life. There are more fast paced styles of yoga for those who want to have a more athletic approach and there are very deep and relaxing types of yoga which are great for busy, distracted lives.”

“I have practiced many types over the past twenty years and have found my way to a style called, Freedom Yoga, created by a wonderful man named Erich Schiffmann. Freedom Style Yoga is relaxing into your intuitive practice, movement and desires. It allows you to move with your breath and your shapes and feels so good in the body. I have some injuries so freedom style yoga never makes those injuries worse since I get to choose my own adventure.”

“I love that there is yoga for each stage and season of life, body type, injury and personality. I think yoga is really good for people who seek connection to self and others. It’s great for people who want to learn how to relax and listen to their body. And yoga can really help people who suffer with insomnia. I know lots of people who experience numerous health benefits and see yoga as part of their proactive daily prescription for health and vitality!”

Q: Does a practitioner need to be certified or licensed?

A: “The yoga industry has really grown over the past ten years and there are lots of ways to start teaching. There are online, month-long trainings and many teachers train their own teachers. We don’t have a licensing board or entity at this time, although Yoga Alliance is our largest organization. 

Zero Balancing

I got with expert practitioner Lisa Schumacher to help you understand this amazing modality. Lisa A. Schumacher, LMT has been a massage therapist for 22 years. She is a certified Zero Balancing Practitioner, and is continually fascinated by discovering natural ways to bring the mind/body/spirit back into balance. www.Balancentering.com

Q: What is it?

A: “Zero Balancing is a cutting edge form of body work that integrates your energy with your structure, using traction and acupressure (fulcrums), to bring the body into optimum balance and harmony.  It is like massage without undressing, therapy without talking and expanded consciousness without meditation or drugs. On a physical level it will help you feel grounded, on a mental level it will help you feel clear, on an emotional level it will help you feel stable and on a spirit level it will help you feel connected.” 

Q: What issues is it good for? 

A: “ZB releases tension and stress caused by structural or energetic imbalance and promotes stronger clearer fields in the body and stabilization for the natural healing process to operate most effectively.  If someone has any kind of minor trauma (car accident, headache, anxiety, depression, a  fall,  death in the family, divorce etc)  the field is disrupted and energy flow is compromised.  Zero Balancing can restore the flow of energy.  In my practice most of the time ZB is helping to relieve back pain, hip pain,  PTSD, anxiety or if someone is just stressed out or overwhelmed.”   

“It’s an amazing mind/body therapy. People don’t realize the weight of what they are carrying until it’s released. To give you a basic list, ZB can help with headaches, backaches, fatigue, depression, insomnia, and nervousness. It can help you feel relaxed yet invigorated and can create inner peace to help clear the mind, connect to your true nature.  Fritz has said that ZB enables a person to come home to who they really are, not who they think they need to be.” 

Q: Do the practitioners have to be licensed? 

A: “In order to be a Certified ZB practitioner you do have to fulfill requirements and operate under a license. There are physical therapists, massage therapists, chiropractors, nurses, acupuncturists, personal trainers, psychotherapists, osteopaths and more. Practitioners must have a license in their health and wellness specialty. Everything goes through the Zero Balancing Health Association  (Located in Columbia, Maryland) 

A woman holding dried flowers

Photo by Katherine Hanlon on Unsplash

If you practice a holistic healing modality that I missed, please drop a comment here and tell us about it and leave a website link where we can find out more! The idea is to help people. When someone finds a therapy, practice or modality that changes their life, we heal the world! 

A picture of Laura Di Franco, author of the articleLaura Di Franco, MPT is the owner of Brave Healer Productions and a powerhouse who writes to Feng Shui her soul. She’s a 6-time published poet and author, inspirational speaker, holistic physical therapist and third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do with over two decades of experience in healing. She was born to build a revolution of brave healers who are getting their badass, authentic voices published in order to heal the world with their words. Her new book, Brave Healing, a Guide for Your Journey, is now on Amazon! 

Get FREE private access to The Brave Healers Resource Library HERE, for Masterclasses, Guest Expert Interviews, Downloads and more, to help your healing, writing and business-building journey!  

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It’s a safe space to learn, grow, ask questions, start conversations, start collaborations and network with other amazing healers, authors, writers and world-changers! 

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