Holistic healing is a broad term that can refer to any number of alternative healing practices such as energy healing, Eastern medical systems, Western herbalism, homeopathy, guided meditation, and more. Here are some major categories of holistic healing:
Energy healing or "energy medicine" is a broad term that refers to any healing system that works with the "life force energy" that is said to animate the body. Life force energy is known by different names in different cultures, such as qi (or chi) in Chinese, ki in Japanese, and prana in Sanskrit (from India). Reiki, acupuncture, EFT, medical qigong, and pranic healing are all types of energy medicine.
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Ayurveda is perhaps the oldest medical system in the world, having been used in India for thousands of years. It is the sister science to yoga. The main focus of Ayurveda is balancing the "doshas," which are three energies known as Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each person has a unique combination of doshas with usually one or two predominating. When we are in balance, our dosha energies are in line with our constitution. In Ayurveda, disease occurs when doshas get out of balance. To bring the body back into balance, Ayurveda uses a number of lifestyle approaches, herbs, and therapeutic techniques, with diet being a primary focus.
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Sound healing involves the use of sound and music to support the body's natural healing capabilities. Sound healing is related to, but is not the same thing as "music therapy." Music therapy is a mainstream Western concept that refers to the use of music to improve health and well-being, but it does not typically focus on the vibrational aspects of sound. Sound healing can incorporate music therapy, but it goes beyond it to focus on the healing nature of sound waves and vibrational frequencies. For some, sound healing can be a form of energy healing, as sound is thought to affect the subtle energetic system.
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