We all love our skincare routines—whether you #MaskLikeItsFriday or go all in on Self-Care Sunday—most of us can agree that it’s the ultimate “me time.” But, even with the best self–care routines; sometimes we can still find ourselves feeling not quite ourselves. This time of year, the excitement of the New Year has worn off and it’s all about making sure you’re staying on track with your goals. When life has you stressed out and not feeling up to par, headaches start kicking in—what do you do? Enter Alternative Healing. While your skincare routines and masking parties definitely shouldn’t fall to the wayside, alternative healing modalities can be your new go-to when you’re feeling a little bit out of it. Refresh your beauty and self-care routine from the inside out.
Alternative Healing usually refers to a health treatment that isn’t considered standard in Western medical practice—probably not what your typical doctor ordered. These healing practices are being used instead of traditional (mainstream) therapies, and although they are considered “alternatives,” they are gaining more popularity in the Western region. The most recent study regarding alternative healing modalities shows that more than 38 percent of American adults used some form of alternative medicine. It’s easy to suspect that this number is rising every year.
These practices are rooted in the history of East India and China—ranging from changes in diet and exercise, to mental and physical. So while you don’t have to give up your self-care healing routines, you can definitely work these in to reach an even greater level of peace and wellness.
So what exactly are these alternative healing modalities? Many methods exist and of course you have to find what works best for you—but we’ll start with our 7 self-healing saviors (in no particular order).
Most of us have at least heard of acupuncture, and while at first thought we probably think of needles, the term actually describes various procedures that stimulate different points on the body. The acupuncture procedure that has gained the most popularity, especially in the Western region is what we would typically think of—thin, solid needles penetrating the skin. This form of traditional Chinese medicine is used for those suffering from back and neck pain, knee pain, and stress related headaches. The practice promotes self-healing by stimulating anatomic sites on the body—referred to as acupuncture points. Don’t let the thought of needles scare you; most acupuncture patients can attest that the treatments are relatively pain-free. But—if the idea of needles does scare you away, you can always try acupressure. It is similar to acupuncture, but a practitioner uses their hands rather than needles to apply pressure to specific points on the body.
This might be one of our favorites (so you know we’ve blogged about it). This practice is all about the sensory experience. It refers to using natural essential oils to enhance psychological and physical well-being. The aromas from the essential oils stimulate the brain to promote healing for issues including stress, anxiety, headaches, depression and insomnia. Not only does aromatherapy heal, but it also has the power to improve concentration, enhance your mood, and even serve as an aphrodisiac. The best part is you can practice it right at home—with candles, an oil diffuser or even in your skincare routine. Many of the essential oils included in skincare products help to heal the skin and the mind.
Also known as Aryuveda, Aryuvedic medicine is an ancient practice from India using various techniques including herbs, massage, meditation and diet to balance the body, mind and spirit. It originates from the idea that there are three doshas, and that illness originates from an imbalance in the energies of the doshas. Today, it is still India’s primary healthcare system.
Sonäge Brand Ambassador Sadie Adams, Founder of Take Care Face & Body, who studied Aryuveda at the Aryuvedic Institute, has a passion for the practice because it “provides shamanic tools towards empowerment and accountability.” She also states that this science of self-healing and longevity inspires her with “insight and respect for the observation of the natural world as well as self-care and self-love.” An Aryuveda professional can recommend specific herbal remedies and practices to help heal many conditions including acne, chronic fatigue, and to manage the symptoms of anxiety and depression. The practices of using herbal remedies, meditation and following a specific diet should be followed holistically to achieve the balance that Aryuveda has built its system upon.
Breathwork is an active meditation technique for self-healing—simply by using conscious breathing. It has its roots in Eastern practices such as yoga, Tai Chi and Buddhism. By using a particular breathing pattern, your body has the power to move stuck energies to process unresolved pain, and deal with issues like anxiety, anger and grief. To learn the technique you can visit a breathwork teacher, where they will walk you through the process in sessions lasting about 30 minutes. Many breathwork professionals also incorporate music and essential oils to the technique to give you a more heightened sensory experience. Breathwork helps you learn to exhale what is weighing you down—to bring you to your best state of wellbeing.
Modern culture has led us to believe that hypnotherapy puts you under some sort of spell, “you are getting very sleepy…” But, this is actually not the case. Hypnotherapy doesn’t put you into a deep sleep, but rather uses techniques to allow the subconscious mind to be revealed from a trance-like state. In hypnotherapy, the right-hand non-analytical side of your brain is made more alert. It should be considered another form of psychotherapy, to reprogram our behaviors and allow us to overcome our fears, suppressed emotions and negative thoughts. If you’ve been in a slump, suffering from stress related problems like insomnia, hypnotherapy can benefit you immensely. It also helps to manage issues like psoriasis and eczema, allowing you to work on yourself from the inside out.
A properly working lymphatic system is essential to the body and our wellbeing. This system cleanses our cellular environment of toxins, making sure everything is working as it should be within our blood and hearts. While it is a complicated system, it’s one of the most important in our bodies. Lymph nodes and the lymphatic network allow your body to fight pathogens, preventing disease and infection—so it has a lot to do with the overall health of the body. But, lymph relies on you to get its job done and pump throughout the body—the upside, it can keep you feeling balanced and help keep your skin youthful.
Some ways to assist lymphatic flow and boost circulation include exercise such as jumping. This can be a perfect excuse to visit a trampoline park with your friends. You can also practice dry brushing, using a coarse bristle brush to brush your skin in the direction of the heart. This practice opens pores and removes dead skin cells, while encouraging the movement of lymph and blood within your tissues. Dry brushing is one of our favorite techniques to work on your internal wellbeing while benefitting your skin at the same time.
WATCH: How-To Lymphatic Massage
Another one of our favorites that you can practice right at home! Going in for a massage is the ultimate form of relaxation—and that is definitely a form of alternative healing, allowing you to find balance in your mind and body. Massage can help to improve symptoms of stress and anxiety, overcome symptoms of fatigue, and contribute to an overall feeling of wellness.
We don’t all have the time to go in for a massage. In this case, we recommend facial modelage—a way to massage your face on your own to find a relaxed state of mind, and anti-aging benefits at the same time. Stimulating the muscles in the face can have similar impact to the stimulating the muscles in the body through massage. Veronique Theret, Education Director at Sonäge says this practice helps to stimulate your muscles and activate blood circulation—and the best part is it promotes better penetration of your skincare products. To learn facial modelage techniques you can try for yourself, visit our blog where Veronique walks you through some of her favorites. Feel your way into a state of wellness that you desire.
A quick (but maybe very detailed) Internet search can help you find an alternative healing modality that works best for you. We encourage everyone to find the practice that will help them achieve a state of wellbeing to bring peace and relaxation into their everyday life.