Amy McGorry: Many people still assume that there's very little scientific evidence regarding complementary and alternative medicine therapies, but the truth is many of these approaches, can have an enormous impact on your health and well being. Here are few to consider.
Aroma therapy can be used to treat stress, sleep disorders and mood disturbances, including depression and anxiety. Aromatic essential oils from plants are extracted, distilled and typically mixed with other substances like oil, alcohol or lotion, then applied to the skin, sprayed into the air or inhaled. Inhaling a scent triggers powerful neurotransmitters and other chemicals that results in an improved mood.
Acupuncture has been proven effective in treating conditions, including migraines, chronic pain and insomnia. A key component of traditional Chinese medicine acupuncture is practiced by inserting extremely thin needles through the skin at strategic acupoints on your body. This arouses the nervous system to release endorphins to the muscles, spinal cord and brain. This can change the experience of pain and trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones that influence the body's internal regulating system.
Massage can help treat migraines, improve sleep quality, enhance immune function and reduce low back pain. Using the principle that touch is healing, massage involves rubbing the soft tissues of the body, such as the muscles and connective tissues to release tension or treat injury.
Aside from being the ultimate in relaxation, massage works to reduce inflammation and stimulate the healing of connective tissues or damaged muscles.
Consider giving these therapies to try to live a healthier, happier life.