Natural Healing in Nosara
Think ‘acupuncture’ and the first thing that comes to mind is needles. Although these are a key part of many acupuncture treatments, acupuncture is actually the umbrella term to describe a variety of procedures designed to stimulate specific points on the body. Obviously, the most well-known of these procedures involves controlled penetration of the skin with needles, along with possible electronic stimulation carried out by an experienced practitioner. Acupuncture treatment is controversial, with some mainstream medical practitioners refuting it’s efficacy and benefits. Nevertheless, in addition to being used for thousands of years as a treatment in parts of Asia, acupuncture is now performed on hundreds of thousands of Americans and Europeans each year, the majority of whom swear that it highly beneficial in alleviating everything from chronic pain to depression.
Cupping is another type of alternative therapy that originated in Asia and parts of the Orient. The procedure is simple, and involves placing cups on the skin to create various degrees of suction. In traditional medicine, the cup is often heated with fire and placed directly into the cup. Once the fire source is removed, the heated cup is placed with the open side directly on your skin. In all likelihood, treatments in Nosara will take a more modern approach, which involves using electric rubber pumps to create suction.
The suction is believed to increase blood flow, thereby speeding up the healing process. Many proponents of cupping claim it helps with a range of different issues. The increased blood circulation is thought to improve overall blood flow, promote cell repair, and help form new connective tissues and create new blood vessels in the tissue. After the cups are removed, the practitioner may cover the previously cupped areas with ointment and bandages. Any mild bruising or other marks usually go away within a week to 10 days after the session.
Despite being way outside the realm of mainstream medicine, many who have undergone this ancient ceremony swear by its benefits. Records indicate that stone ceremonies date back over 10,000 years, and can be traced to Native American tribes who applied particular types of rocks and stones to the body in order to promote wellness. These included crystals, gemstones, and rocks, the older the better. In ancient times, the stones were left in the sun to heat, and used to soften muscle tissue, and reduce swelling and inflammation.
Despite ancient origins, the procedure remains the same as ever. Presumably, so do the benefits, which stone ceremony advocates say include reduced stress, tension release, improved circulation, and an increased sense of well-being.
That many meditation techniques are based conscious on breathing is no accident. Many who partake in breathing practices claim the manner in which they breathe correlates directly with their quality of life. Obviously, if we don’t breathe then we’re in trouble, but conscious breathing is often overlooked as a precursor to optimal health. Many practitioners claim that full, free breathing is a powerful way of enhancing physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. The scientific studies fully support this idea, claiming that certain breathing techniques awaken a direct link with the autonomic nervous system, allowing access to parts of oneself that usually function outside of conscious awareness.
Acupressure is similar in practice to acupuncture (see above). However, the major difference is no needles are used. Instead, acupressure practitioners use their hands, elbows, or feet to apply pressure to specific points along the body’s meridian lines. The theory is, that illness can occur when one of these meridians is blocked or out of balance, thus disabling their capacity to carry life energy (qi or ch’i) throughout different areas of the body. Acupressure is said to remove these blockages and facilitate the free flow of energy, thus restoring ones health. Like many holistic practices, solid research data is scant. However, a few pilot studies have shown acupressure might decrease nausea for chemotherapy patients and reduce anxiety in people scheduled to have surgery.
Aromatherapists use extracted essential oils, each with its own specific purpose, from the roots, leaves, seeds, or blossoms of plants to promote healing. Although usually inhaled, these oils can be massaged into the skin or occasionally, taken orally. Some are said to promote relaxation, while others are used to treat inflammation or infections. Research data indicates aromatherapy might reduce depression, pain, and anxiety.
Also known as Ayurveda, Ayurvedic medicine originated millennia ago in India and uses a variety of techniques, including massage, herbs, and specialized nutrition, with the intent of balancing the body, spirit, and mind in the pursuit of overall holistic wellness. Although solid scientific data determining the effectiveness of Ayurveda is thin on the ground, the fact that the system has persisted for thousands of years, and that so many attest to it’s benefits should speak for itself.