I’ve been thinking a lot about ways sustain my physical body as I age and deal with day-to-day stress and strain. I talked with a couple of my co-workers who frequent masseuses and chiropractors, and began to think that maybe I should adopt some of these practices as well. There is also a new acupuncture facility in the alternative mall in my town, which is drawing my interest. The needles used in acupuncture terrify me, and after reading this article about acupuncture I really began to fret. There is plenty of compelling research that supports each of these practices, but there are certainly a lot of drawbacks as well.
Massage therapy. We all know that massages FEEL GOOD. They are a great way to relax and rejuvenate. Massage therapists are very knowledgeable of the human body, muscles, nerves, etc. so they can focus on areas where you may be experiencing pain, aches, or discomfort. They can also suggest ways to prevent aches and injury. I’m sure most people have had massages, but there is nothing quite like a professional massage. It’s like reading a book to learn spanish versus taking a spanish course. You’ll probably get more from the class:)
Chiropractics. Chiropractors are professionals who specialize in the spine. They are very well versed in the muscles, nerves, and tissues surrounding the spine as well. These individuals often help people who suffer from back pain, back injuries, and those who seek preventative care. Many people avoid chiropractors because they typically “pop” the necks, backs, and joints of their patients to relieve pain/tension. This is not something that is required. You can opt out of the “popping” and ask for “general manipulations,” which include things like a gentle swaying of the body from side-to-side while laying on the practitioner’s table. I’ve heard that visiting a chiropractor is very beneficial for maintaining spinal health as you age.
Acupuncture. This is another holistic practice that sounds absolutely frightening! Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice in which small needles are placed into various parts of the body at varying depths. This type of therapy has been shown to successfully treat many ailments like the common cold, lower back pain, neck pain, stress, and nausea. Typically numerous sessions are encouraged and many treatments include herbal supplements.
Each of these holistic practices can be expensive. Generally, you will pay at least $30 for a professional massage and chiropractic and acupuncture services can run anywhere from $60-$300. Also, depending on the area in which you live, it may be difficult to locate practitioners in these fields. The advantages of these forms of therapy are that there are no artificial drugs, and the treatments are geared toward physical, mental, and physiological health.