Such ancient rituals as hydrotherapy, yoga and meditation are practices known throughout their time to have healing properties. All three of these healing alternative, complementary, holistic approaches show enhanced benefits when used on a regular basis. They are known for releasing neurotransmitters called endorphins, which assist the body in handling ailments such as pain, stress and other emotional issues.
Hydrotherapy and the use of warm water through compresses, hot baths or whirlpools help to dilate blood vessels, which increases blood flow and is shown to improve the amount of time it takes for someone to fall asleep. Simply soaking in a hot tub before bed is identified by the National Sleep Foundation as helping an individual transition into a deeper sleep. We know this, as the original spas, hot springs, and Roman baths have been utilized for health purposes throughout our history. Cultures such as the Egyptians, Greeks, Chinese and Japanese have recognized the therapeutic use of water to ward off disease for as long as there is documented history of these cultures. Whether you provide your patients with fancy hot tubs, heated pools, or you simply encourage them to take a hot bath at home in the evening, this is a simple yet supportive process that will promote healing in early recovery.
Even though yoga is a traditional Eastern practice, over the last two decades it has become much more popular in the West. The origins of yoga date back over 5,000 years. It is identified as the oldest practice of self-development and recognized as a way to calm the mind and relax the body so that we may open ourselves up more creatively. It is a wonderful form of improving our physical well-being by helping to balance the joints and loosen up the muscles. There are more forms of yoga than we can even begin to reference in this blog. I encourage everyone to learn as much as they can about the variety of yoga approaches, and I encourage you to work with experts who can suggest what is most helpful to effectively meet patients at their point of need.
Finally, in connection to ancient practices of health and well-being, meditation is utilized to support/create self-realization and tranquility. It promotes a calm mind and supports one staying in the present. Today we hear the terminology of “mindfulness meditation.” Please take the time to learn and understand what mindfulness meditation truly is. Learn how it works and how to implement it into your services, as not all meditation is mindful. When practicing mindfulness meditation, one must create the right environment, which includes no noise or sound to distract or disturb. It is always recommended to start with short periods and increase meditation over time. There is much more to this practice, and I recommend everyone to reach out to those who are well-studied and well-practiced in order for you to effectively guide those that you are serving in the right direction, should they wish to utilize this practice.