THE TEST LAB
When I first developed the idea of Club Recharge I imagined a place that would have 40 labs with different holistic wellness therapies and one lab dedicated to exposing individuals to every form of wellness that I knew existed that helped people get well and improve their quality of life.   

 

The Test Lab was originally developed to give local wellness business owners a place in our club to showcase their talents and drive awareness to their small business and their form of mind and body wellness.   By working together with other expert wellness providers I believed we could demonstrate the benefits that each form of yoga has on the body and mind,  show which type of massage is best for each client,  demonstrate the effectiveness of acupuncture vs dry needling,  show how reiki energy works, introduce the benefits of mental health therapy to those that don't believe they need it, expose people to meditation, teach classes about vitamins,  have nutritionist teach proper nutrition, and demonstrate virtual reality therapy. We wanted a single lab that was a place for our clients to try everything available in the wellness marketplace and expose as many clients to alternative forms of wellness as possible. 

I believe a consumer unfamiliar with holistic wellness may never take the time to schedule an appointment specifically to try an alternative therapy such as Reiki or Acupuncture without a prior experience,  but would probably be willing to try something new if they were already here at the club and the price was right.  It is my hope that once they have had the experience and feel the effects themselves that they may just continue treatments on a regular basis.

 

I knew that Club Recharge with our over 90+ therapies would be a grand stage for wellness and it was always my intentions to use this stage to bring awareness to as many wellness therapies as I could for the benefit of all.  

 

These plans were placed on hold because of COVID and the amount of effort and organization that was required to pull off 100+ additional unique therapies in a club with 90+ therapies already available.   But I am excited to announce our plans to roll our the original design of the Test Lab in the new year.   These services will become available in 2022 once we have completed our partnership agreements with each of the wellness providers.   Please let us know if your interested in any of the specific mind and body wellness therapies or would like to suggest others that you would like us to feature that are not listed.

 
COMING WINTER OF 2022

List of COMING services

Yoga - Eleven Styles*

Reiki - Seven Forms*

Meditation - Nine Types*

Massage - Eleven Forms*

Sound Therapy - Five Types*

Stretch Therapy*

Acupuncture - Eight Types*

Aromatherapy - Three Forms*

Acupressure - Four Types*

Vitamin & Mineral Education

Mental Health Therapy Sessions

Food & Nutrition Education

Virtual Reality Therapy

EMDR Therapy*

Vitamin & Mineral Blood Tests

Gestalt Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*

Biofeedback Therapy*

Energy Healing Therapy

Crystal Therapy*

Chakra Balancing

Hypnotherapy*

Vertical Body Rolfing*

Reflexology*

Guided Imaginary Therapy

Tai Chi*

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)*

and Many, Many Others

So if you are an expert trained in one of these disciplines that would like to showcase your wellness talents at Club Recharge, bring your knowledge & experience along with your business cards to the club and together lets introduce northeast Ohio to as many forms of wellness as we can.

r.wallace@rechargemybody.com


 

"Never push a loyal person to the point

where they no longer care."

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11 Types Of Yoga

The word 'Yoga' is derived from the Sanskrit root 'Yuj', meaning 'to join' or 'to yoke' or 'to unite'. "Yoga” also refers to an inner science comprising of a variety of methods through which human beings can realize this union and achieve mastery over their destiny.

 

CLASS LENGTH (30-60 minutes)

CLASS SIZE (1-2)

COST $10-$50

If you are interested providing these services at the club please let us know. 

(contact Robert Wallace - r.wallace@rechargemybody.com)

 

1. Vinyasa yoga

Vinyasa means "to place in a special way" and, in this case, yoga postures. Vinyasa yoga is the often considered the most athletic yoga style. Vinyasa was adapted from ashtanga yoga in the 1980s. Many types of yoga can also be considered vinyasa flows such as ashtanga, power yoga, and prana.

2. Hatha yoga

The Sanskrit term "hatha" is an umbrella term for all physical postures of yoga. In the West, hatha yoga simply refers to all the other styles of yoga (ashtanga, Iyengar, etc.) that are grounded in a physical practice. However, there are other branches of yoga such as kriya, raja, and karma yoga that are separate from the physical-based yoga practice. The physical-based yoga is the most popular and has numerous styles.

3. Iyengar yoga

Iyengar yoga was founded by B.K.S. Iyengar and focuses on alignment as well as detailed and precise movements. In an Iyengar class, students perform a variety of postures while controlling the breath.

4. Kundalini yoga

Kundalini yoga practice is equal parts spiritual and physical. This style is all about releasing the kundalini energy in your body said to be trapped, or coiled, in the lower spine.

5. Ashtanga yoga

In Sanskrit, ashtanga is translated as "Eight Limb path." In Mysore, India, people gather to practice this form of yoga together at their own pace—if you see Mysore-led ashtanga, it's expected of you to know the series. Vinyasa yoga stems from ashtanga as the flowing style linking breath to movement. 

6. Bikram yoga

Bikram yoga is named after Bikram Choudhury and features a sequence of set poses in a sauna-like room—typically set to 105 degrees and 40% humidity. Choudhury faced sexual assault and harassment lawsuits in the U.S. and fled to Mexico in 2017. Many studios that were formerly Bikram now practice hot yoga, in an effort to disassociate with the founder. 

7. Yin yoga

Yin yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga with seated postures that are held for longer periods of time. Yin can also be a meditative yoga practice that helps you find inner peace.

8. Restorative yoga

Restorative yoga focuses on winding down after a long day and relaxing your mind. At its core, this style focuses on body relaxation. Restorative yoga also helps to cleanse and free your mind.

9. Prenatal yoga

Prenatal yoga is carefully adapted for "moms to be" and is tailored to women in all trimesters. Many have said that prenatal is one of the best types of exercise for expectant moms because of the pelvic floor work, focus on breathing, and bonding with the growing baby; prenatal yoga also helps mothers prepare for labor and delivery. I also practiced my own form of prenatal yoga during both of my pregnancies.

10. Anusara yoga

Anusara is a modern-day version of hatha yoga, most similar to vinyasa in that it focuses on alignment, but with more focus on the mind-body-heart connection. It was founded by John Friend who created a unique system called the Universal Principals of Alignment. 

11. Jivamukti yoga

Jivamukti was founded in 1984 by Sharon Ganon and David Life. Jivamukti is mainly vinyasa-flow-style classes infused with Hindu spiritual teachings. At its core, this style emphasizes connection to Earth as a living being, so most Jivamukti devotees follow their vegetarian philosophy.

 

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7 Types Of REIKI

The word “Reiki” means “mysterious atmosphere, miraculous sign.” It comes from the Japanese words “rei,” meaning universal, and “ki,” meaning life energy.   Reiki is a type of energy healing.

 

According to practitioners, energy can stagnate in the body where there has been physical injury or even emotional pain. In time, these energy blocks can cause illness.

 

Energy medicine aims to help the flow of energy and remove blocks in a similar way to acupuncture or acupressure. Reiki practitioners believe that improving the flow of energy around the body can enable relaxation, relieve pain, speed healing, and reduce other symptoms of illness. 

 

Mikao Usui developed Usui Reiki Ryoho, the most current form of Reiki, in 1922. However, people have practiced Reiki for about 2,500 years.

CLASS LENGTH (30-60 minutes)

CLASS SIZE (1)

COST $10-$50

If you are interested providing these services at the club please let us know. 

(contact Robert Wallace - r.wallace@rechargemybody.com)

 

1. Usui Reiki (Western Reiki)

Of the total Reiki practice, 90% is the Usui Reiki. Usui Shiki Ryoho- the Usui System of Natural Healing was founded in Japan by Mikao Usui. It is Japanese healing art.

It was first introduced about 100 years ago when Mikao Usui commenced a personal search which ended at a point where Mikao Usui came in contact with Reiki energy. He continued practicing and was finally able to introduce it outside Japan by Hawayo Takata Sensei in 1937. It was from this type of Reiki that many other types were developed.

Usui Reiki has four Aspects and nine Elements, a combination of which results in the creation of a system that can take people on paths of growth, healing, and spiritual awakening.

The four Aspects are:

  • Healing Practice

  • Personal Development

  • Spiritual Discipline

  • Mystic Order

 

The Nine Elements are:

  • Oral Tradition

  • Spiritual Lineage

  • History

  • Initiation

  • Symbols

  • Treatment

  • Form of Teaching

  • Monetary Exchange

  • Precepts

 

Benefits of Usui Reiki

 

Usui Reiki comes with numerous benefits which have been listed below:

  • Accessible widely

  • Acceptance of yourself

  • Minimizing discomfort and pain during labor and delivery

  • Assistance in the transition of the soul from physical life to afterlife

  • Awareness of physical feelings and thoughts

  • Bringing hidden emotions to the surface with the intent of healing

  • Balancing the energy that is found within the human body

  • Complementary to Homeopathic and Allopathic treatment, Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, and spiritual healing modalities

  • Removal of pain and discomfort associated with minor injuries

  • Non-invasive soothing

  • No interference with faith

  • Deep relaxation, promoting better sleep and treatment of insomnia

  • Promoting a feeling of emotional, physical, spiritual, and psychological wellbeing

  • Helps in reducing anxiety and fear in students

  • Safe and effective for everyone, regardless of gender and age

  • Speeds up the process of recovery after labor, surgery, or illness.

  • Reduces stress

 

2. Jikiden Reiki (Eastern Reiki)

Jikiden means to ‘hand down directly without translation’ which implies the fact that Jikiden Reiki is the purest form of Reiki. It was not changed or adapted by any practitioner or teacher of Reiki.

 

People who practice Jikiden Reiki pass down a technique that is very similar, if not identical, to the Usui Reiki (the original form of Reiki). Jikiden Reiki is the type of Reiki whose method is unchanged but the delivery and style are vastly different than Usui Reiki. It is the type of Reiki that is practiced today.

This form of Reiki goes back to the originator Mikao Usui to Chujiro Hayashi to Wasaburo Sugano, and Chiyoko Yamaguchi, and eventually to her son, Tadao Yamaguchi. Chiyoko Yamaguchi was only 17 years of age when she learned the art of Reiki from Hayashi sensei, who then taught her son, Tadao Yamaguchi.

Tadao Yamaguchi felt that the original form of Reiki had many parts missing that made Reiki more beautiful and effective. He added these parts, which weren’t taught by Usui and Hayashi. This gave birth to a new form, known as the Jukiden Reiki that we know of today.

Jikiden Reiki is steeped in tradition. It is among the most proven types of Reiki that are being practiced today. Since it is the closest to the original form, there is nothing that could affect the efficiency. It is the purest type of Reiki which has an unbroken connection to the original Usui Reiki.

Benefits of Jikiden Reiki

The benefits of Jukiden Reiki are as follows:

  • Acceleration of healing after surgical procedures and injuries

  • Non-invasive soothing

  • No interference with faith

  • Helps in the removal of bad habits and cleaning of mind such as issues of self-judgment, alcohol, etc.

  • Controls and alleviates an addiction including the psychological and physical facts associated.

 

3. Karuna Reiki

Karuna is a Sanskrit word that is used in Buddhism and Hinduism. It means to diminish the suffering of others or compassionate action. Human beings can extend compassion to other people quite naturally whenever possible.

When a person experiences enlightenment, they experience a sense that the world and all the people in it are one and with that, they become aware of their words, thoughts, actions, and deeds. They also realize how their actions can affect others around them. As a result, they become responsible for what they do, and with that, they can help each other heal.

Karuna Reiki is extending energy out of love to not just yourself but to others as well. Karuna should be accompanied by wisdom (prajna) to deliver the right effect. It makes you work closely with the enlightened ones (ones present physically and ones in spirit).

Usui Reiki is effective healing energy but Karuna Reiki is said to be more powerful.

 

Karuna intensifies the knowledge that you already have. It is a more advanced type of Reiki that heals faster-mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Benefits of Karuna Reiki

Karuna Reiki is one of the most powerful forms of Reiki that is associated with numerous benefits. Some of them have been listed down for you.

  • Non-invasive soothing

  • Heals the unconscious patients efficiently

  • Regulates sleeping patterns and helps in the treatment of insomnia

  • Reduces fatigue and muscle pain

  • Manages panic attacks

  • Helps in the manifestation of personal goals

  • Blocks negative energy from reaching or affecting the body

  • Helps in pain release

  • Helps in lifting emotional pain out

  • Efficient deep healing

  • It can heal the body on the cellular level

  • Helps through life issues

  • Heals the problems of co-dependency

  • Improves communication

  • Heals broken relationships and improves them

  • Helps people to be more grounded and present

  • Helps in shattering patterns of denial

  • Help s a person accept the imperfect parts of their personality

  • Helps in clearing the mind

  • Improves the learning ability

 

4. Lightarian Reiki

Lightarian Reiki is an expanded form of Usui and Karuna Reiki. It is a form of Reiki practiced by Reiki Masters who wish to continue their spiritual journey and want to take their healing a level higher than that attained by Usui and Karuna Reiki. Lightarian Reiki has been inspired by Buddha, the Ascended Master. It uses vibrational bands of higher intensity to establish a more powerful Reiki connection.

Reiki has eight vibrational bands. The first band is occupied by Usui Reiki while the second band is taken by Karuna Reiki. The six bands that remain are occupied by Lightarian Reiki. Among these six bands, level I and II are offered together. They are followed by individual attunement for the next two levels, level III and IV. Level V and VI are offered together.

With the progression of each band, a unique vibrational band is added that allows the healing process to accelerate. There has to be a wait of 30 days for the new energy to get integrated and settle.

Lightarian Reiki expands and enhances your connection with the Ascended Master. Not just this, you will be benefitted personally as well, with your healing. This is done through higher levels of vibration as you step to progressive vibrational bands.

The intentions of Buddha were self-empowerment by keeping the process of attunement and healing simple. This is the reason why there are no new symbols associated with this type of Reiki.

Along with healing for your own self,  Lightarian Reiki allows you to deliver the highest levels of energy to your clients, hence speeding up their healing process.

 

The benefits of Lightarian Reiki are listed below:

  • With the progression of vibrational levels, you attain a higher level of personal healing

  • More efficient and quicker healing for the clients with an expansion of healing frequencies

  • Expansion of awareness and heightening of sensitivity that helps you develop spiritual gifts

 

5. Sekehem or Seichim Reiki

Seichim is a type of energy healing system and a type of energy. The origin of Seichem lies in Egypt. It has been sourced from Sekhmet, the Egyptian Goddess. It is a healing system with high vibrational energy.

It encompasses all the power and completeness that other healings systems lack. The energy of Goddess Sekhmet is feminine, gentle, and loving that assists in cutting through the toughest blocks with fierce grace. This Goddess destroys anything that fails to serve the light.

It is a form of Reiki that works with four elements and utilizes the power of Air, Earth, Water, Fire, and Spirit. It helps in healing the patients, balancing them spiritually, and opening their chakras.  It makes use of ancient symbols, the Luminous Energy Field, and chakras that align with Quantum Physics perfectly.

Seichim Reiki builds the intensity slowly and gently as the treatment progresses. The effects of Seichim Reiki are said to last for 4 to 5 days. Also, essential oils are an essential part of three of the protocols of this type of Reiki. The Goddess Sekhmet is said to be a goddess of essential oils.

One of the major benefits of Seichim Reiki is the negative energy drain. This helps in the elimination of the negative energies that may have accumulated within the patient. This form of Reiki is especially very effective for patients who are under emotional distress or are trying to cope up with serious situations like the death of a dear one, divorce, or even termination of employment.

Once the negative energy is drained out from the patient’s system, the patient becomes receptive to positive energy; hence the emotional distress gets healed.

 

Benefits of Seichim Reiki

  • Rapid emotional, physical, and spiritual healing

  • Acceleration of spiritual development and enlightenment

  • Assistance in the manifestation of goals

  • Increase in the inner sight as well as the ability to see energy

  • Promote the feeling of being alive

  • A sense of being fully present

  • Increased awareness of ourselves and our relationships with people around us

  • A profound and powerful opening of the heart for love

 

6. Rainbow Reiki

Rainbow Reiki was developed by Walter Lubeck. It is based on the traditional Usui Reiki. It involves in-depth research of the origin and roots of Reiki, the heritage of Mikao Usui, state-of-art Reiki symbols and mantras, meditation, and spiritual psychology.

It provides unique mantras and powerful symbols. Rainbow Reiki involves several unique techniques like Astral Travelling, Karma Clearing, and Crystal healing. It also involves relations to spirits like deities and angels that help in the expansion of healing possibilities and personal development.

Moreover, this technique works with the Higher Self and the Inner Child for the development of a strong personality on the fundaments of spiritual wisdom and love.

 

7. Kundalini Reiki

It is a unique type of Reiki. It was developed by Ole Gabrielsen, a Danish Reiki Master. It is a highly distilled form of Reiki that emphasizes speeding up the process of personal development. It lacks the traditional symbolism as in other forms of Reiki such as in Usui Reiki. Kundalini Reiki is a synthesis of Reiki philosophies; Earth Energy and spiritual Sky energy (having Tantric notions).

Kundalini Reiki heals the body and reduces the level of stress. It can be done simultaneously with medical treatments. It can help an individual overcome problems related to emotions and feelings, grounding, sexual issues, or issues related to lower chakras. It helps an individual experience love, peace, and increased consciousness.

 

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9 Types Of MEDITATION

Meditation may be an ancient tradition, but it’s still practiced in cultures all over the world to create a sense of calm and inner harmony.   Although the practice has ties to many different religious teachings, meditation is less about faith and more about altering consciousness, finding awareness, and achieving peace.  

 

These days, with the greater need to reduce stress in the midst of our busy schedules and demanding lives, meditation is increasing in popularity.  Although there isn’t a right or wrong way to meditate, it’s important to find a practice that meets your needs and complements your personality.

 

CLASS LENGTH (30-60 minutes)

CLASS SIZE (1-4)

COST $10-$50

If you are interested providing these services at the club please let us know. 

(contact Robert Wallace - r.wallace@rechargemybody.com)

 

1. Mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation originates from Buddhist teachings and is the most popular meditation technique in the West.  In mindfulness meditation, you pay attention to your thoughts as they pass through your mind. You don’t judge the thoughts or become involved with them. You simply observe and take note of any patterns.  This practice combines concentration with awareness. You may find it helpful to focus on an object or your breath while you observe any bodily sensations, thoughts, or feelings.  This type of meditation is good for people who don’t have a teacher to guide them, as it can be easily practiced alone.

2. Spiritual meditation

Spiritual meditation is used in Eastern religions, such as Hinduism and Daoism, and in Christian faith.  It’s similar to prayer in that you reflect on the silence around you and seek a deeper connection with your God or Universe.  Essential oils are commonly used to heighten the spiritual experience.

 

Popular options include:

  • frankincense

  • myrrh

  • sage

  • cedar

  • sandalwood

  • palo santo

 

Spiritual meditation can be practiced at home or in a place of worship. This practice is beneficial for those who thrive in silence and seek spiritual growth.

 

3. Focused meditation

Focused meditation involves concentration using any of the five senses.   For example, you can focus on something internal, like your breath, or you can bring in external influences to help focus your attention.  Try counting mala beads, listening to a gong, or staring at a candle flame.  This practice may be simple in theory, but it can be difficult for beginners to hold their focus for longer than a few minutes at first.  If your mind does wander, it’s important to come back to the practice and refocus.  As the name suggests, this practice is ideal for anyone who requires additional focus in their life.

 

4. Movement meditation

Although most people think of yoga when they hear movement meditation, this practice may include walking through the woods, gardening, qigong, and other gentle forms of motion.  It’s an active form of meditation where the movement guides you.  Movement meditation is good for people who find peace in action and prefer to let their minds wander.

5. Mantra meditation

Mantra meditation is prominent in many teachings, including Hindu and Buddhist traditions. This type of meditation uses a repetitive sound to clear the mind. It can be a word, phrase, or sound, such as the popular “Om.”  It doesn’t matter if your mantra is spoken loudly or quietly. After chanting the mantra for some time, you’ll be more alert and in tune with your environment. This allows you to experience deeper levels of awareness.  Some people enjoy mantra meditation because they find it easier to focus on a word than on their breath. This is also a good practice for people who don’t like silence and enjoy repetition.

 

6. Transcendental Meditation

Transcendental Meditation is a popular type of meditation. This practice has been the subject of numerous studies in the scientific community.   It is more customizable than mantra meditation, using a mantra or series of words that are specific  to each practitioner.   This practice is for those who like structure and are serious about maintaining a meditation practice.

 

7. Progressive relaxation

Also known as body scan meditation, progressive relaxation is a practice aimed at reducing tension in the body and promoting relaxation.  Oftentimes, this form of meditation involves slowly tightening and relaxing one muscle group at a time throughout the body.  In some cases, it may also encourage you to imagine a gentle wave flowing through your body to help release any tension.  This form of meditation is often used to relieve stress and unwind before bedtime.

 

8. Loving-kindness meditation

Loving-kindness meditation is used to strengthen feelings of compassion, kindness, and acceptance toward oneself and others.  It typically involves opening the mind to receive love from others and then sending a series of well wishes to loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and all living beings. Because this type of meditation is intended to promote compassion and kindness, it may be ideal for those holding feelings of anger or resentment.

9. Visualization meditation

Visualization meditation is a technique focused on enhancing feelings of relaxation, peace, and calmness by visualizing positive scenes or images.  With this practice, it’s important to imagine the scene vividly and use all five senses to add as much detail as possible.  Another form of visualization meditation involves imagining yourself succeeding at specific goals, which is intended to increase focus and motivation.

 

Many people use visualization meditation to boost their mood, reduce stress levels, and promote inner peace.

 

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5 TYPES OF SOUND THERAPY

Sound healing therapy uses aspects of music to improve physical and emotional health and well-being. The person being treated partakes in the experience with a trained practitioner. Music therapy may involve: listening to music. singing along to music.

 

CLASS LENGTH (30-60 minutes)

CLASS SIZE (1-2)

COST $10-$50

If you are interested providing these services at the club please let us know. 

(contact Robert Wallace - r.wallace@rechargemybody.com)

 

Neurologic music therapy

Music therapy can reduce stress and promote relaxation. It’s been shown to be more effective than prescription drugs in reducing anxiety levels before surgery. A study published in 2017 found that a 30-minute music therapy session combined with traditional care after spinal surgery reduced pain.

Music therapy is administered by a credentialed provider who assesses the individual’s needs. Treatment involves creating, listening, singing, or moving to music. It’s used for physical rehab, pain management, and brain injuries.

Bonny Method

Named after Helen L. Bonny, PhD, the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) classical music and imagery to help explore personal growth, consciousness, and transformation.

A 2017 study showed promising evidence that a series of GIM sessions could improve psychological and physiological health in adults with medical and mental health needs.

 

Nordoff-Robbins

This sound healing method is delivered by skilled musicians who complete the Nordoff-Robbins 2-year master’s program. They use music familiar to those being treated, create new music together, or work toward a performance.

The Nordoff-Robbins approach is used to treat children with developmental delays (as well as their parents), mental health issues, learning difficulties, autism spectrum disorder, dementia, and other conditions.

Tuning fork therapy

Tuning fork therapy uses calibrated metal tuning forks to apply specific vibrations to different parts of the body. This can help release tension and energy, and promote emotional balance. It supposedly works similarly to acupuncture, using sound frequencies for point stimulation instead of needles.

There is some research suggesting that tuning fork therapy may help relieve muscle and bone pain.

Brainwave entrainment

Also known as binaural beats, this method stimulates the brain into a specific state using pulsing sound to encourage your brain waves to align to the frequency of the beat. It’s supposed to help induce enhanced focus, entranced state, relaxation, and sleep.

 

Though more research is needed, there’s some evidence that audible brainwave entrainment reduces anxiety, pain, and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, as well as improves behavioral problems in children.

 

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STRETCH THERAPY

Stretch therapy encompasses a wide range of techniques, including foam rolling, massage, myofascial release, and active range of motion movements, in addition to traditional passive stretches.  Stretch therapy is the scientific application of these techniques to treat certain physical problems associated with tight muscles and restricted joints. 

While you’re likely familiar with some of the techniques used in stretch therapy, the proper application of stretching for maximum benefit requires more than idly reaching for your toes.

With a little bit of education, you’ll be more than prepared to effectively incorporate stretch therapy techniques into your training program. 

CLASS LENGTH (30-60 minutes)

CLASS SIZE (1-2)

COST $10-$50

If you are interested providing these services at the club please let us know. 

(contact Robert Wallace - r.wallace@rechargemybody.com)

 

The science of stretch therapy

Most stretching protocols are primarily aimed at increasing the range of motion of a joint, and the overall goal is to improve movement patterns involving that joint.

While many factors affect movement patterns, range of motion is a major one. Improved range of motion at joints generally facilitates better movement overall.  Increasing the flexibility of the tissues around a joint will increase its range of motion. These tissues include muscle, tendon, and fascia tissues.  Each of these tissues has different  properties. However, the flexibility of each can be improved with various stretch therapy techniques.

Muscle flexibility

Muscle flexibility is affected by several factors. Overall, neural signals to the muscle tissue play a significant role in your muscles’ ability to completely lengthen, or release.

Muscles increase their flexibility in response to techniques like stretching and foam rolling, largely due to the stimulation of receptors that tell your muscles to relax or contract.

The stimulation of these receptors leads to the relaxation of your muscle fibers in the short term. Over time, stretch therapy protocols cause more permanent elongation of your muscles through changes to the resting length of the tissue itself.

Tendon and fascia flexibility

Tendons are the tissues that connect your bone to your muscles. The tendons connect to another tissue called fascia, which surrounds the outside of your muscles, as well as sections within your muscles.

In most cases, a stiff tendon is a good thing. Still, sometimes excessive tightness in the tendons and the fascia connective tissue surrounding your muscles can restrict the normal range of motion.

Techniques such as massage and stretching can increase the extensibility of both the tendons and fascia in the long term.

The research on various stretching techniques is ongoing and occasionally conflicting or inconclusive. Yet, overall, studies suggest that the methods found in stretch therapy improve muscle and connective tissue flexibility when properly and consistently applied.

Short-term vs. long-term flexibility

Stretch therapy techniques increase flexibility in both the short and long term. The range of motion in a given area typically increases immediately after a stretch therapy session.

Short-term increased range of motion can improve movement in the following training session, but it will dissipate if stretch therapy ceases.

However, if you continually perform stretch therapy two to three times per week, the range of motion increases become more permanent. Connective tissue structures and resting muscle length will adapt to the stretch therapy and maintain improved flexibility.

These long-term flexibility adaptations are the goal of stretch therapy. As such, you must consistently do your stretching routine to see meaningful improvements.

 

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8 Types Of Acupuncture

Stretch therapy encompasses a wide range of techniques, including foam rolling, massage, myofascial release, and active range of motion movements, in addition to traditional passive stretches.  Stretch therapy is the scientific application of these techniques to treat certain physical problems associated with tight muscles and restricted joints. 

While you’re likely familiar with some of the techniques used in stretch therapy, the proper application of stretching for maximum benefit requires more than idly reaching for your toes.

With a little bit of education, you’ll be more than prepared to effectively incorporate stretch therapy techniques into your training program. 

CLASS LENGTH (30-60 minutes)

CLASS SIZE (1)

COST $10-$50

If you are interested providing these services at the club please let us know. 

(contact Robert Wallace - r.wallace@rechargemybody.com)

 

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Acupuncture

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a healthcare system based on ancient principles that originated in the East over 2000 years ago where it still features in mainstream healthcare, both as a stand-alone therapy and together with western medicine. TCM acupuncture concentrates on activating the body’s own healing mechanism and has been used historically to treat a wide range of conditions.

The theory behind acupuncture treatment is that the healthy functioning of the body is governed by the flow of “qi” (often translated as “energy”) through a system of channels under the skin. When this flow of qi is impaired, illness occurs. By inserting fine needles at various points along the channels, the body’s balance can be restored and the illness resolved.

The flow of qi can be disrupted in many ways: emotional upset, physical trauma, poor diet and overwork are all common examples. By examining the underlying cause and how it has affected the body, the most appropriate treatment for each client can be selected. Treating the client as an individual is at the core of an acupuncture treatment and is vital in successfully assisting the body to rebalance itself.

What makes this system so uniquely suited to modern life is the physical, emotional and mental elements, which are seen as interdependent, and reflect what many people perceive as the connection between the different aspects of life.

Five Element Acupuncture

According to Chinese theory, we’re made up of the five Elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water.  They are our creative and controlling energies and ideally should all be in balance. The Elements out of balance are known as the causative factor and become apparent in many ways.  Imbalance within the five elements become evident to the trained practitioner who will be able to diagnose problems within you by evaluating your colour, sound, odour or emotion enabling them to put together a treatment plan that will treat your causative factor or what Element you represent.   This ancient system enables the body/mind/spirit to heal itself. 

This principle of five Element Acupuncture is important, because it means the underlying cause of the disease is being dealt with rather than the symptom merely being swept under the carpet, only to reappear in the future.

Not only dealing with your condition by restoring the overall balance of energy, five Element Acupuncture may help you to feel better in a general way, by promoting an improved your quality of life.

Western Medical Acupuncture

Western Medical Acupuncture is practised by a range of health care professionals and postgraduates with clinical medical experience who use acupuncture either as:

An adjunct to their primary medical role or to explore from a scientific or research perspective or to support an interest or option to use in private practice.

Acupuncture can be used to treat a wide range of conditions by releasing the body’s own pain killing endorphin’s and serotonin which in turn alters the pain signals received in the brain.

There is growing research that acupuncture can affect both the physical and psychological as well as a range of bodily systems, for example the circulatory system, respiratory, digestive, reproductive, and the nervous system. Because of this there has been increasing scientific research into the field of acupuncture that has supported it being an acceptable form of treatment within the NHS.

Dry needling

Dry Needling or “Trigger Point Acupuncture”. This is an effective and efficient technique for the treatment of muscular pain and myofascial dysfunction and often performed by physiotherapists. Dry needling or intramuscular stimulation (IMS) is a technique developed by Dr. Chan Gunn and is extremely effective for relaxing overactive muscles, which contain trigger points. The approach is based on Western anatomical and neuro-physiological principles using the same filament needles used by acupuncturists.

Auricular Acupuncture

Auricular Acupuncture is a specialised complementary therapy based upon the ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture. It is a Microsystem of Acupuncture, which reflects the entire body on the ear, in a similar way to reflexology or iridology. Auricular Acupuncture was largely developed in Europe by Dr. Paul Nogier, a French neurologist and physician who is considered the “Father of modern auriculotherapy“, a version of acupuncture, an alternative medicine practice.

Nogier’s development was made through clinical trials based on mapping brain areas with localised, specific functions and the projection of a foetus on the ear for reference of complaints and points for treatment. Physical, emotional and mental conditions can be treated by stimulating points on the ear, either through needling, electronic stimulation or massage.

Auricular Acupuncture is widely used by medical doctors and other healthcare professionals as a therapy in its own right in France, Germany, Italy, Greece and the USA.

Although Auricular Acupuncture is most widely known within the field of substance misuse in the UK, the WHO lists 150 conditions for which Auricular Acupuncture is appropriate. In 1990 the Director General of the World Health Organisation proclaimed to an international gathering, that “Auricular Acupuncture is probably the most developed and best documented, scientifically, of all the Microsystems of acupuncture and is the most practical and widely used.”

Microsystems Acupuncture

Microsystems acupuncture is based on well-defined areas of the body, such as the hand, foot and ear, that correspond to all organs and parts of the body. Evidence shows that stimulating these areas, usually with needles, may help to deal with symptoms such as anxiety or general stresses.

In a typical microsystems acupuncture session, the practitioner will ask questions about previous medical history, general physical and emotional health, as well as medication, drug use, diet and lifestyle. Treatment generally involves the stimulation of defined points on a distinct area of the body using a variety of techniques such as acupuncture, electrical stimulation A.S.P. s (acupuncture semi-permanent needles) or pellets.

Microsystems acupuncture is commonly used in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, prisons, drug rehab units and complementary health clinics alongside medical treatments.

Japanese Acupuncture

Japanese acupuncture uses very fine needles that are only inserted to a shallow depth or with systems such as Toyohari they are not inserted at all (contact acupuncture). Japanese acupuncturists often tend not to use Chinese herbs but will frequently refer a patient/client to a herbalist practitioner for such treatment. Touch as a Means of pre-treatment – Japanese acupuncture places a lot of emphasis on the use of palpation (touch) before needle treatment. These practitioners rely on abdominal palpation to judge the insertion point of the needle. This practice roots from the many blind acupuncturists of Ancient Japan, and it goes hand in hand with the gentle needling.

Insertion Methods – The Chinese and Japanese practices differ greatly in their needling technique. Now a standard in the acupuncture field, guiding tubes for needles were not part of the Ancient Chinese traditions, and in fact were developed in Japan for the use of very fine needles which needed support to be able to pierce the skin. This was re-introduced when disposable needles became available to allow quick painless puncturing of the skin without any risk of damage due to deep needling. Further, Chinese acupuncture tends to manipulate the needle when inserted into the body much more than Japanese acupuncture.

Korean Acupuncture

Korean Acupuncturists tend to use the 4 needle technique of acupuncture. Assume that meridian (acupuncture energy pathway) means road. When a single lane is blocked by a broken- down car, you can remove a car by pulling from the front and pushing from behind. In the case of acupuncture, the acupuncturist uses just 2 needles. When 3 roads meet, he must block one road and the other two roads then move freely. In this case he uses 3 needles. When 4 roads meet, he must block two roads and the other two roads move freely. In this case he uses 4 needles.

All the important concepts in the traditional acupuncture are included in special 5 points in each meridian. Korean Acupuncture calls these 5 elements and 5 transport points. All these locations are under elbows and knees. This provides extra safety. These points represent cold and hot, deficient and excessive on each meridians. The practitioner selects these points according to the patient’s symptoms.

Many famous practitioners in Korea use this technique. They used to use traditional acupuncture in the beginning but when they find good results using Korean 4 needles technique, they usually switch to this technique.

 

3 Types Of AROMATHERAPY

Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that uses natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. Sometimes it's called essential oil therapy. Aromatherapy uses aromatic essential oils medicinally to improve the health of the body, mind, and spirit. It enhances both physical and emotional health.

CLASS LENGTH (30-60 minutes)

CLASS SIZE (1)

COST $10-$50

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(contact Robert Wallace - r.wallace@rechargemybody.com)

 

What is aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that uses natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. Sometimes it’s called essential oil therapy. Aromatherapy uses aromatic essential oils medicinally to improve the health of the body, mind, and spirit. It enhances both physical and emotional health.

Aromatherapy is thought of as both an art and a science. Recently, aromatherapy has gained more recognition in the fields of science and medicine.

How long has aromatherapy been around?

Humans have used aromatherapy for thousands of years. Ancient cultures in China, India, Egypt, and elsewhere incorporated aromatic plant components in resins, balms, and oils. These natural substances were used for medical and religious purposes. They were known to have both physical and psychological benefits.

Essential oils distillation is attributed to the Persians in the 10th century, though the practice may have been in use for a long time prior to this. Information about essential oil distillation was published in the 16th century in Germany. French physicians in the 19th century recognized the potential of essential oils in treating disease.

Medical doctors became more established in the 19th century and focused on using chemical drugs. However, the French and German doctors still recognized the role of natural botanicals in treating illness.

The term “aromatherapy” was coined by a French perfumer and chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé in a book he wrote on the topic that was published in 1937. He had previously discovered the healing potential of lavender in treating burns. The book discusses the use of essential oils in treating medical conditions.

 

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4 Types Of Acupressure

There is some medical research showing that it can help relieve certain types of pain. Studies are still ongoing to find out how it does so. However, there isn’t any scientific evidence to either accept or reject the use of acupressure. It’s worth noting that they have not ruled out the method of stimulating bioelectrical impulses on the body, or qi energy.

What we do know is that acupressure is a very popular form of treatment in the West. There are many claims that the therapy has aided the relief of a range of physical and emotional ailments. It is also thought to be beneficial for maintaining good health and detoxifying the body.

CLASS LENGTH (30-60 minutes)

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Tui Na Chinese massage

One of the most common acupressure treatments is the ancient Tui Na Chinese massage. It involves a range of full body stretches and hand movements. Many of the techniques are similar to Western massage styles such as gliding, kneading, rolling, pulling and tapping. Stimulation of the acupoints is done by using knuckles, palms, fingers and thumbs to target key muscle groups. This therapy is considered to be more effective for healing very specific problems.

Shiatsu massage

Shiatsu is an ancient Japanese healing art that involves the use of hands, arms, legs and even feet to apply pressure to meridian points. Some versions do use other healing techniques. It also incorporates a number of different dance-like movements to stretch the body and to apply very direct and firm pressure to the meridian points.

Similar to other forms of acupressure, the movements, pressure applied and meridian points will depend on the patient’s reason for choosing the therapy.

I

Su-Jok

Originating from South Korea, Su-Jok is considered to be one of the simplest acupressure therapies. 'Su Jok' translates as 'hand feet'. It is a healing art that concentrates on applying pressure to the acupoints on these body parts. The reason it focuses on the hands and feet is that the meridian points correspond to other organs in the body. Massaging these meridians enables fast healing through the qi energy pathways. Su-Jok is thought to provide swift relief. It is believed to be particularly good for chronic pain and tension-related problems.

Self-applied acupressure

A trained practitioner will offer the most effective type of acupressure, but you can self-apply the technique. Individuals can use an acupressure mat to discover what points to target that can help relieve their symptoms. With this information, they can use their finger and thumb to administer the pressure from their own home.

Some types of self-applied acupressure utilize the acupressure mat. Used in addition to acupressure treatment, this self-healing tool – which is covered in spikes protected by rounded tips - can be used a couple of times a week to achieve a range of self-healing, relaxation and meditation benefits. It is recommended that users lie on the mat for a duration of 20-30 minutes. In this time the pressure can most effectively release endorphins and help to soothe muscle aches and pains. But make sure you seek advice from a trained practitioner beforehand.

 

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a highly structured therapy used to treat and heal trauma caused by strenuous life events.

EMDR has efficacy in treating a vast array of conditions. I utilize this therapy extensively to treat symptoms of trauma, anxiety, depression, intrusive thoughts, grief, chronic fear/phobias, addiction, mild eating/feeding disorders, and other maladaptive thought processes brought on by disturbing life events. Trauma comes in all shapes and sizes, and many people understand t easier when we think of it like big “T” trauma (like 9/11), or small “t” trauma (your parent’s divorce). Most clients aren’t aware they have experienced trauma until they understand their experience has left an emotional wound. Like all wounds, they heal best when we properly clean them out. Some wounds are deeper and take more time to heal. A wound left untreated has the potential to scar, or worse, become infected. This is the same with emotional trauma.

Therapists utilizing EMDR have received extensive training for certification with this highly specialized therapy.

EMDR therapy works directly on the brain, with a dual attention stimulus. This can be done by paying attention to a specific memory or event, while also doing a right-left bilateral stimulation using a method chosen by clients such as eye movements, pulsing, sound, or tapping. The intensity of the stimulation is client-directed and can be stopped or paused at any stage of the process. Most clients enjoy the EMDR process and often report enhanced benefits that go beyond what a normal talk-therapy session may provide.

CLASS LENGTH (30-60 minutes)

CLASS SIZE (1)

COST $10-$50

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How can EMDR be helpful? 

Each of us has different experiences that shape the way we see the world and how we view ourselves within the world. Negative experiences may leave behind scars or unhealed wounds on our brain (aka trauma). Trauma isn’t always obvious, and the consequences of traumatic experiences vary greatly depending on the individual, the environment, and the resources the person has to cope with their stressor. Experiencing an embarrassing event as a youth could have a negative impact on an individual that last well beyond adulthood. These experiences can cause you to react negatively to life events, inhibit your ability to cope with future stress, or even hinder your ability to have healthy relationships. 

You may find yourself replaying events that you should “be over by now”, or you may not even realize your subtle response to triggering events. Your unhealed wounds could have a tremendous impact on how you live your life, how you participate in relationships, and even how you parent your children or function in your job. EMDR therapy can help you uncover road blocks and support you in desensitizing negative responses to daily life.

Why might I like this kind of treatment?

EMDR therapy can be very effective for individuals who have tried other treatments with limited success, and can also be a first-line of treatment. Sometimes people have a difficult time talking about memories associated with their troubling life events. Many people like this therapy because they don’t have to talk in depth about the distressing images while participating in this treatment. Yet, EMDR can have lasting benefits that relieve layers of distress often faster than what talk-therapy is able to accomplish. In fact, the numbers show that one session of EMDR therapy can sometimes be as beneficial as months of talk therapy. 

Can EMDR cause problems for me?

Like any form of therapy, we may feel worse before we get better. As the saying goes, the fastest way past a problem is moving through it. We don’t want to cover up old wounds or try to pretend they aren’t there. Or worse, turn back around and repeat what we’ve already had to endure. People often slow down their healing process when they don’t maintain regular sessions or they avoid doing the deep work. To get the most out of your treatment come prepared to work hard in sessions, stay engaged with your treatment in between sessions, and ask questions if you have any concerns along the way.

Department of Veterans Affairs & Department of Defense (2004). VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Post-Traumatic Stress. Washington, DC: Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs and Health Affairs, Department of Defense. Office of Quality and Performance publication 10Q-CPG/PTSD-04.

EMDR was placed in the “A” category as “strongly recommended” for the treatment of trauma.

World Health Organization (2013).  Guidelines for the management of conditions that are specifically related to stress. Geneva, WHO.

Trauma-focused CBT and EMDR are the only psychotherapies recommended for children, adolescents and adults with PTSD.  “Like CBT with a trauma focus, EMDR therapy aims to reduce subjective distress and strengthen adaptive cognitions related to the traumatic event.  Unlike CBT with a trauma focus, EMDR does not involve (a) detailed descriptions of the event, (b) direct challenging of beliefs, (c) extended exposure, or (d) homework.” (p. 1)

 

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MASSAGE THERAPY

There are several types of massage that focus on different parts of the body or healing approaches. Massage is the practice of rubbing and kneading the body using the hands. During a massage, a massage therapist will apply gentle or strong pressure to the muscles and joints of the body to ease pain and tension. A massage therapist is a person trained in giving massages.

CLASS LENGTH (30-60 minutes)

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COST $10-$50

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1. Swedish massage

 

Swedish massage is a gentle type of full-body massage that’s ideal for people who:

  • are new to massage

  • have a lot of tension

  • are sensitive to touch

 

It can help release muscle knots, and it’s also a good choice for when you want to fully relax during a massage.

For this massage, you’ll remove your clothes, though you may choose to keep your underwear on. You’ll be covered with a sheet while lying on the massage table. The massage therapist will move the sheet to uncover areas that they are actively working on.

The massage therapist will use a combination of:

  • kneading

  • long, flowing strokes in the direction of the heart

  • deep circular motions

  • vibration and tapping

  • passive joint movement techniques

 

Usually a Swedish massage will last for 60–90 minutes.

 

  • Choose a Swedish massage for relaxation or managing minor pain.

  • This type of massage is also good for people new to massage.

 

2. Hot stone massage

Hot stone massage is best for people who have muscle pain and tension or who simply want to relax. This type of therapeutic massage is similar to a Swedish massage, only the massage therapist uses heated stones in lieu of or in addition to their hands. It eases muscle tension, improves blood flow, and relieves pain by using heated stones.

 

Hot stone massage may help:

  • ease muscle tension

  • improve blood flow

  • alleviate pain

  • promote relaxation

  • relieve stress

 

During a hot stone massage, heated stones are placed on different areas around your whole body. Your therapist may hold a stone as they massage different parts of your body using Swedish massage techniques using gentle pressure. Sometimes cold stones are also used.

You don’t wear clothes for hot stone massage unless you’ll feel more comfortable wearing your underwear. You will be covered with a sheet. Usually the massage is 90 minutes long.

  • Hot stone massage may relieve more muscle tension than a Swedish massage because of the added heat.

  • This type of massage in usually more expensive than a Swedish massage.

 

3. Aromatherapy massage

Aromatherapy massages are best for people who want to have an emotional healing component to their massage. This type of massage can help:

  • boost your mood

  • reduce stress and anxiety

  • reduce symptoms of depression

  • relieve muscle tension

  • relieve pain

 

Aromatherapy massages combine soft, gentle pressure with the use of essential oils. Your massage therapist will usually decide which essential oils to use, but you can let them know if you have a preference. Essential oils are diluted before being applied to the skin.

During the massage, you’ll be given a full-body massage while inhaling essential oils through a diffuser and absorbing them through your skin. Sometimes an aromatherapy massage will only focus on your back, shoulders, and head. You won’t wear any clothing other than underwear, which is optional.

An aromatherapy massage is 60–90 minutes.

 

  • Aromatherapy combines the gentle touches of Swedish massage with the addition of essential oils.

  • Do not use this type of massage if you’re sensitive to smell or essential oils.

 

4. Deep tissue massage

Deep tissue massage uses more pressure than a Swedish massage. It’s a good option if you have chronic muscle problems, such as soreness, injury, or imbalance. It can help relieve tight muscles, chronic muscle pain, and anxiety.

During a deep tissue massage, your massage therapist will use slow strokes and deep finger pressure to relieve tension from the deepest layers of your muscles and connective tissues. You can be naked during this massage or wear your underwear.

 

The massage will last for 60–90 minutes.

While deep tissue may be more intense, you shouldn’t feel any pain or soreness.

  • Deep tissue massage is a good option if you have a lot of muscle tension or chronic pain.

  • Avoid this type of massage if you’re overly sensitive to pressure.

 

5. Sports massage

Sports massage is a good option if you have a repetitive use injury to a muscle, such as what you may get from playing a sport. It’s also a good option if you’re prone to injuries because it can be used to help prevent sports injuries. You may also use sports massage to increase flexibility and performance. Additionally, sports massage can be used to relieve pain, anxiety, and muscle tension.

A sports massage can be done as a full-body massage or the massage therapist may focus on the parts of the body that need the most attention. Deep pressure may be alternated with soothing strokes depending on your needs.

You can have a sports massage while clothed or naked. If you prefer to wear clothing, make sure it’s thin, loose, and allows the therapist access to your muscles. Loose shorts and a tank top are options.

The massage will last for 60–90 minutes.

  • Sports massage is a good option if you have an injury from repetitive muscle use.

  • This type of massage may also help improve flexibility and sports performance, and reduce your risk for injury.

 

6. Trigger point massage

Trigger point massages are best suited for people who have injuries, chronic pain, or a specific issue or condition. Sometimes areas of tightness in the muscle tissues, known as trigger points, can cause pain in other parts of the body. By focusing on relieving trigger points, this type of massage can reduce pain.

Trigger point massage uses broad, flowing strokes that are gentle and relaxing combined with stronger, deeper pressure. The massage will include work on your entire body, though your therapist will focus on specific areas of your body that need to be released. You can wear lightweight clothing for the massage or be fully or partially undressed.

This type of massage will usually last for 60–90 minutes.

  • Trigger point massage can help you manage chronic pain.

  • Wear lightweight clothing for this type of massage.

 

7. Reflexology

Reflexology is best for people who are looking to relax or restore their natural energy levels. It’s also a good option if you aren’t comfortable being touched on your entire body. Reflexology uses gentle to firm pressure on different pressure points of the feet, hands, and ears. You can wear loose, comfortable clothing that allows access to your legs.

A reflexology massage lasts for 30–60 minutes.

  • Reflexology focuses on pressure points in your feet, hands, and ears.

  • This is a good option if you’re uncomfortable being touched over your entire body. You can also be fully clothed during this type of massage.

 

8. Shiatsu massage

Shiatsu massage is best for people who want to feel relaxed and relieve stress, pain, and tension. It’s a Japanese type of massage that:

  • promotes emotional and physical calm and relaxation

  • helps to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression

  • may relieve headache

  • reduces muscle tension

 

Shiatsu massage works the whole body, but your therapist may focus on areas of your body that need extra attention. During the massage, your therapist will use their hands, palms, and thumbs to massage certain points of your body. Pulsing or rhythmic pressure is used. You can be fully clothed during this massage.

 

Shiatsu massages typically last for 60–90 minutes

  • Shiatsu is a good option if you’re looking for a relaxing massage. It may also help release minor tension.

  • You can be fully clothed during this type of massage.

 

9. Thai massage

Thai massage is best for people who want a more active form of massage and want to reduce and relieve pain and stress. It can also help improve:

  • flexibility

  • circulation

  • energy levels

 

Thai massage works the entire body using a sequence of movements that are similar to yogic stretching. Your therapist will use their palms and fingers to apply firm pressure to your body. You’ll also be stretched and twisted into various positions. You can wear loose, comfortable clothing during the massage.

 

Thai massage lasts for 60–90 minutes

  • Thai massage is more active than other forms of massage, and the therapist will stretch your body in addition to providing a massage.

  • This is another type of massage where you remain fully clothed.

 

10. Prenatal massage

Prenatal massage can be a safe way for women to get a massage during pregnancy. It can help reduce pregnancy body aches, reduce stress, and ease muscle tension. You can get a massage at any time during your pregnancy. However, many facilities, especially in the United States, do not offer massages to women in their first trimester due to the risk of miscarriage during this time.

Prenatal massage uses mild pressure similar to Swedish massage. The therapist will focus on areas such as your lower back, hips, and legs. You can be fully or partially undressed depending on your comfort level. During the massage, you’ll either lie on your side or on a specially designed table with a cutout for your belly. If you’ve had pain in your calves or other parts of your leg, see a doctor before you have a massage.

The massage will last for 45–60 minutes.

  • Prenatal massage is a good option for pregnant women.

  • This type of massage focuses on gentle pressure and is good for relaxation and mild tension relief.

 

 

11. Chair massage

A chair massage is best for people who want a quick massage that focuses on your neck, shoulders, and back. A chair massage can also be a way to introduce you to massage if you’ve never had one before. Chair massage also helps to relieve stress and promote relaxation. This type of massage uses light to medium pressure.

During the massage, you’ll remain fully clothed and sit in a specially designed chair. You’ll straddle the chair so that your chest pushes into the back of the chair, allowing the massage therapist to have access to your back.

These massages are usually 10–30 minutes.

 

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ROLFING THERAPY

Rolfing® Structural Integration is a physical therapy that helps to improve your posture and treats chronic muscular-skeletal pain conditions, such as lower back pain, sciatica and stiff and painful shoulders. It's called Rolfing after its founder, Dr Ida Rolf, a research biochemist from the Bronx who lived 1896-1979.

CLASS LENGTH (30-60 minutes)

CLASS SIZE (1)

COST $10-$50

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What is Rolfing?

To understand how this method is helping people get relief from chronic pain, you’ll need to an overview of Rolfing and how it’s different from just getting a deep tissue massage.

According to Certified Advanced Rolfer Jenny Rock, Rolfing is a systematic and holistic method of manipulating the muscle and fascia to help the body return to structural balance in movement and gravity.

Once this happens, Rock says the body’s natural mechanisms take over and finish the job of correcting these imbalances.

Makes sense, right? But how does the practitioner accomplish this?

“In a basic 10 series of Rolfing sessions, a Rolfing practitioner systematically addresses the places of strain, misalignment, and restricted motion that exist within the body pattern as a whole,” explains Russell Stolzoff, Certified Advanced Rolfer and senior faculty member at the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration.

“Sometimes where you feel pain is a point of strain within a larger pattern,” explains Stolzoff. That’s why working with the whole pattern can help diminish pain that is maintained or kept in place by the strain.

How is Rolfing different than a deep tissue massage?

  1. While Rolfing might feel similar to a very deep massage, Rolfing practitioners will massage the muscles and fascia not only where you’re feeling pain, but all over your body. The goal is to fix your body’s posture and structure so that your body will correct any lingering imbalances that are causing the pain.

 

7 things you should know about Rolfing if you have chronic pain

With chronic pain, there’s a good chance you struggle to understand why your pain persists. Stolzoff says this is a common concern for both the practitioner and the person seeking relief.

“If pain being caused by a form of serious illness can be ruled out, the chances are good that Rolfing Structural Integration can play a positive role in the treatment of the condition,” he says.

Here are seven things that Rock and Stolzoff say you should know about Rolfing and chronic pain before deciding to move forward.

 

1. Rolfing may help chronic pain.

“You should know that Rolfing can be an effective non-medical, non-drug method to address chronic neuromuscular pain,” explains Stolzoff.   Two small studies in 2014 and 2015 and found that Rolfing can decrease pain levels for people with fibromyalgia and lower back pain, at least in the short term.

 

2. Rolfing isn’t a quick fix.

“It took time to get into chronic pain, it will take some time to recover,” explains Rock. Her advice: be patient.  A good rule of thumb, she says, is that for every year of pain, allow yourself one month of weekly sessions. Although Rock says you should notice improvements with every session. It’s also likely that you’re going to need to make ongoing lifestyle changes to assist in maintaining and furthering the changes from Rolfing. “This may include ergonomics, footwear, pillows, yoga, nutrition, etc.,” explains Rock.

 

3. Rolfing addresses structural (think postural) and functional (think movement) aspects of chronic pain.

Rolfing can be helpful when chronic stiffness, compression from injury or surgery, held postures that inhibit fluid motion, or repetitive motion are keeping your pain levels up.

 

4. Rolfing should never be painful.

Rolfing is frequently deep and sometimes intense and uncomfortable, yet Rock says that it’s never meant to be painful. “Rolfing should never be more uncomfortable than the chronic pain you’re already in,” she explains.

 

5. Rolfing may reveal other places of pain.

If you’ve been dealing with chronic pain, chances are that is the area you focus most of your energy on.  However, with Rolfing, Stolzoff says you’ll discover other places in your body that may be playing a role in your pain. Knowing this information can be helpful in your overall treatment plan.

 

6. Rolfing may uncover deeply held emotions.

Rock says to be aware that you may have emotions surface, on and off the table, since your tissues hold and release muscle memory. “This is frequently part of the healing process, so as strange as it may seem, it’s actually helpful,” she explains.

 

7. Rolfing requires a skilled practitioner.

Rolfing, especially for chronic pain, needs to be done by a certified and skilled practitioner. Rock suggests you find a Rolfer that you connect with since it’s a very personal process.  And the best part? There’s virtually no risk to trying Rolfing, and there are no side effects.  “I always tell my clients that it’s an experiment,” says Stolzoff. “If it works, then great. But if it doesn’t, there is no harm done.”

To find a certified Rolfer, visit the Rolf Institute’s website.

 

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CRYSTAL THERAPY

Crystal healing is a pseudoscientific alternative-medicine practice that uses semiprecious stones and crystals such as quartz, agate, amethyst or opals. Adherents of the practice claim that these have healing powers, but there is no scientific basis for this claim.

CLASS LENGTH (30-60 minutes)

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COST $10-$50

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What is CRYSTAL THERAPY?

There’s been a recent uptick in American adults turning to what’s known as complementary and alternative medicine. This includes everything from acupuncture and yoga to tai chi and even healing crystals.  In fact, you’ve probably heard people talking about, and showing off, these beautiful stones. But you may not know what they could offer you.  There are a number of different types of crystals some people believe to be filled with their own healing abilities for the mind, body, and soul. They’re thought to promote the flow of good energy and help rid the body and mind of negative energy for physical and emotional benefits.

Historically speaking, crystals are touted as ancient forms of medicine, with philosophies borrowed from Hinduism and Buddhism. However, it’s important to know that there’s no scientific evidence to support the use of crystals. Despite this, people are still drawn to their colors and beauty. The key to indulging in this self-care experience is mindfulness, reflection, and acceptance. For instance, researchers found that a person’s mind may have much more healing power than it’s given credit.  Even though there is no scientific support of crystals, a number of people swear by their powers. So, if you’re curious to give them a go, make sure to keep an open mind and check out what each stone can do for you.

Clear quartz

This white crystal is considered a “master healer.” It’s said to amplify energy by absorbing, storing, releasing, and regulating it. It’s also said to aid concentration and memory. Physically, clear crystals are claimed to help stimulate the immune system and balance out your entire body. This stone is often paired with others like rose quartz to aid and enhance their abilities.

 

Rose quartz

Just as the color may suggest, this pink stone is all about love. It’s said to help restore trust and harmony in all different kinds of relationships while improving their close connections. It’s also claimed to help provide comfort and calm during times of grief.

It isn’t all about other people, though. Rose quartz is said to also encourage love, respect, trust, and worth within one’s self — something we could all use in this day and age.

 

Jasper

This smooth crystal is known as the “supreme nurturer.” It’s said to empower the spirit and support you through times of stress by preparing you to fully “show up.” It’s claimed to protect you from and absorb negative vibes while promoting courage, quick thinking, and confidence. These are traits that are extra helpful when tackling important issues — which is exactly what this stone may be good for.

 

Obsidian

An intensely protective stone, obsidian is said to help form a shield against physical and emotional negativity. It’s also said to help get rid of emotional blockage and promote qualities of strength, clarity, and compassion to help find your true sense of self. For your physical body, it may aid in digestion and detoxification while potentially helping reduce pain and cramps.

 

Citrine

Bring joy, wonder, and enthusiasm to every part of your life with citrine. It’s said to help you release negative traits from your life like fear, and in turn help encourage optimism, warmth, motivation, and clarity. It’s also claimed to enhance mindful qualities, like creativity and concentration.

 

Turquoise

This blue crystal has powers that are said to help heal the mind, body, and soul. Generally speaking, it’s seen as a good luck charm that can help balance your emotions while finding your spiritual groundings. When it comes to the body, it’s said to benefit the respiratory, skeletal, and immune system.

 

Tiger’s eye

If you’re in need of a power or motivation boost, this golden stone may be for you. It’s said to help rid your mind and body of fear, anxiety, and self-doubt. This can be beneficial for career aspirations or even matters of the heart. Tiger’s eye is also said to help guide you to harmony and balance to help you make clear, conscious decisions.

 

Amethyst

This purple stone is said to be incredibly protective, healing, and purifying. It’s claimed it can help rid the mind of negative thoughts and bring forth humility, sincerity, and spiritual wisdom. It’s also said to help promote sobriety. Sleep is another claimed benefit of this stone, from supposedly aiding in insomnia relief to understanding dreams. Physically, it’s said to boost hormone production, cleanse blood, and relieve pain and stress.

 

Moonstone

Known for “new beginnings,” moonstone is said to encourage inner growth and strength. When starting fresh, this stone is purported to also soothe those uneasy feelings of stress and instability so you’re able to move forward successfully. It’s also claimed to promote positive thinking, intuition, and inspiration while bringing forth success and good fortune.

 

Bloodstone

This powerful healing stone lives up to its name. Bloodstone is claimed to help cleanse the blood by drawing off bad environmental energies and improving circulation. Mindfully speaking, it encourages selflessness, creativity, and idealism while helping you live within the current moment. It’s also said it can also help you rid yourself of feelings of irritability, aggressiveness, and impatience.

 

Sapphire

This blue stone is one of wisdom and royalty. It’s said it can attract prosperity, happiness, and peace while opening up the mind to accept beauty and intuition. As for physical health, this stone is claimed to also help heal eye issues, cellular levels, and blood disorders while also easing depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

 

Ruby

A red standout, this stone helps restore vitality and energy levels. This can help improve things such as sensuality, sex, and intellect. It’s also said to help bring self-awareness and the realization of truth to one’s mind. Rubies were used in ancient times to help remove toxins from blood and improve the overall circulatory system.

 

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BIOFEEDBACK THERAPY

Biofeedback therapy is a non-drug treatment in which patients learn to control bodily processes that are normally involuntary, such as muscle tension, blood pressure, or heart rate.

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What Is Biofeedback?

Biofeedback is a type of therapy that uses sensors attached to your body to measure key body functions. Biofeedback is intended to help you learn more about how your body works. This information may help you to develop better control over certain body functions and address health concerns.

Biofeedback is built on the concept of “mind over matter.” The idea is that, with proper techniques, you can change your health by being mindful of how your body responds to stressors and other stimuli.

Chronic stress can have dramatic effects on your body. This may include elevated blood pressure, increased body temperature, and disruption of brain function. By promoting a more effective mental and physical response to stress, biofeedback aims to help you control body processes like your heart rate and blood pressure. These body processes were once thought to be completely involuntary.

Types of Biofeedback

The three most common methods of biofeedback include:

  • electromyography (EMG) biofeedback: measures muscle tension as it changes over time

  • thermal or temperature biofeedback: measures body temperature changes over time

  • electroencephalography: measures brain wave activity over time

 

Other types of biofeedback include:

  • galvanic skin response training: measures the amount of sweat on your body over time

  • heart variability biofeedback: measures your pulse and heart rate

 

The Purpose of Biofeedback

Biofeedback is aimed at combating stress through relaxation techniques. You consciously manipulate your breathing, heart rate, and other usually “involuntary” functions to override your body’s response to stressful situations.

Biofeedback appears to be most effective for conditions that are heavily influenced by stress. Some examples include: learning disorders, eating disorders, bedwetting, and muscles spasms.

 

Biofeedback may be used to treat numerous physical and mental health issues, including:

  • asthma

  • incontinence

  • constipation

  • irritable bowel syndrome

  • side effects from chemotherapy

  • high blood pressure

  • Raynaud’s disease

  • chronic pain

  • stress or anxiety

 

Some people prefer biofeedback as a form of treatment for these conditions because it’s noninvasive and doesn’t rely on medications. Other people pair biofeedback with more traditional treatment options to improve overall wellness.

Preparing for Biofeedback

Be sure to check your biofeedback therapist’s credentials before starting therapy. You may want to ask about their training and whether or not they accept your health insurance. 

No further preparation is required for a biofeedback session.

 

How It Works

Electrical sensors that connect to a monitor will be hooked up to your body. The sensors measure one or more signs of stress. This can include heart rate, muscle tension, or body temperature. The measurements provide feedback about how your body responds to different stimuli.

A biofeedback therapist can teach you how to lower your heart rate through breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, and mental exercises. You can measure the results of these techniques and exercises on the monitor. This encourages more positive reactions and relaxation.

A typical biofeedback session lasts between 30 and 60 minutes. The number of sessions needed to resolve an issue will vary depending on a number of factors, including how quickly you learn to control your physical responses.

 

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REFLEXOLOGY

Reflexology is the application of pressure to areas on the feet (or the hands). ... The theory behind reflexology is that areas of the foot correspond to organs and systems of the body. Pressure applied to the foot is believed to bring relaxation and healing to the corresponding area of the body.

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What is reflexology?

Reflexology is a type of massage that involves applying different amounts of pressure to the feet, hands, and ears. It’s based on a theory that these body parts are connected to certain organs and body systems. People who practice this technique are called reflexologists.  Reflexologists believe that applying pressure to these parts offers a range of health benefits.

Read on to learn more about how reflexology works and whether it’s worth a try.

 

How does reflexology work?

There are a few different theories about how reflexology works.

In traditional Chinese medicine

Reflexology rests on the ancient Chinese belief in qi (pronounced “chee”), or “vital energy.” According to this belief, qi flows through each person. When a person feels stressed, their body blocks qi.  This can cause an imbalance in the body that leads to illness. Reflexology aims to keep qi flowing through the body, keeping it balanced and disease free. In Chinese medicine, different body parts correspond with different pressure points on the body. Reflexologists use maps of these points in the feet, hands, and ears to determine where they should apply pressure.

They believe their touch sends energy flowing through a person’s body until it reaches the area in need of healing.

Other theories

In the 1890s, British scientists found that nerves connect the skin and internal organs. They also found that the body’s entire nervous system tends to adjust to outside factors, including touch.  A reflexologist’s touch may help to calm the central nervous system, promoting relaxation and other benefits just like any form of massage.

Others believe that the brain creates pain as a subjective experience. Sometimes, the brain reacts to physical pain. But in other cases, it may create pain in response to emotional or mental distress.

Some believe that reflexology can reduce pain through calming touch, which may help to improve someone’s mood and reduce stress.  Zone theory is another belief that some use to explain how reflexology works. This theory holds that the body contains 10 vertical zones. Each zone contains different body parts and corresponds to specific fingers and toes.   Practitioners of the zone theory believe that touching these fingers and toes allows them to access every body part in a particular zone.

 

What are the potential benefits of reflexology?

Reflexology is linked to many potential benefits, but only a few of them have been evaluated in scientific studies.

So far, there’s limited evidence that reflexology may help to:

  • reduce stress and anxiety

  • reduce pain

  • lift mood

  • improve general well-being

 

In addition, people have reported that reflexology helped them:

  • boost their immune system

  • fight cancer

  • get over colds and bacterial infections

  • clear up sinus issues

  • recover from back problems

  • correct hormonal imbalances

  • boost fertility

  • improve digestion

  • ease arthritis pain

  • treat nerve problems and numbness from cancer drugs (peripheral neuropathy)

 

What does the research say?

There aren’t many studies about reflexology. And many experts consider those that do exist to be of low quality. In addition, a 2014 review concluded that reflexology isn’t an effective treatment for any medical condition.

But it may have some value as a complementary therapy to help reduce symptoms and improve someone’s quality of life, much like massage. Since the massaged area is the feet, for some people that will provide even more relief of stress or discomfort.

Here’s a look at what the research says about using reflexology to manage pain and anxiety.

Pain

In a 2011 study funded by the National Cancer Institute, experts studied how reflexology treatments affected 240 women with advanced breast cancer. All women were undergoing medical treatment, such as chemotherapy, for their cancer.   The study found that reflexology helped to reduce some of their symptoms, including shortness of breath. The participants also reported an improved quality of life. But it didn’t have any effect on pain.  Experts have also looked at the effects of reflexology on pain in women experiencing premenstrual syndrome (PMS). In one older study, researchers looked at the effects of ear, hand, and foot reflexology on 35 women who previously reported having of PMS symptoms.   They found that those who received two months of reflexology treatment reported significantly fewer PMS symptoms than the women who did not. However, keep in mind that this study was very small and done decades ago.

Larger, long-term studies are needed to fully understand whether reflexology helps to reduce pain.

Anxiety

In one small study from 2000, researchers looked at the effects of one 30-minute foot reflexology treatment on people being treated for breast or lung cancer. Those who received a reflexology treatment reported lower levels of anxiety than those who received no reflexology treatment.

In a 2014 study that was slightly larger, researchers gave people undergoing heart surgery a 20-minute foot reflexology treatment once a day for four days.

They found that those who received the reflexology treatment reported significantly lower levels of anxiety than those who didn’t. Touch by another human being is a relaxing, caring, anxiety-reducing action for most people.

 

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HYPNOTHERAPY

Hypnotherapy is guided hypnosis, or a trance-like state of focus and concentration achieved with the help of a clinical hypnotherapist. This trance-like state is similar to being completely absorbed in a book, movie, music, or even one's own thoughts or meditations. In this state, clients can turn their attention completely inward to find and utilize the natural resources deep within themselves that can help them make changes or regain control in certain areas of their life.

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When It's Used

Since hypnotherapy is an adjunct form of therapy, used along with other forms of psychological or medical treatment, there are many applications. Hypnotherapy can be used to treat anxiety, phobias, substance abuse including tobacco, sexual dysfunction, undesirable spontaneous behaviors, and bad habits. It can be used to help improve sleep, learning disorders, communication, and relationship issues. Hypnotherapy can aid in pain management and help resolve medical conditions such as digestive disorders, skin issues, and gastrointestinal side effects of pregnancy and chemotherapy. It can also be used by dentists to help patients control their fears or to treat teeth grinding and other oral conditions.

What to Expect

Although there are different techniques, clinical hypnotherapy is generally performed in a calm, therapeutic environment. The therapist will guide you into a relaxed, focused state and ask you to think about experiences and situations in positive ways that can help you change the way you think and behave. Unlike some dramatic portrayals of hypnosis in movies, books, or on stage, you will not be unconscious, asleep, or in any way out of control of yourself. You will hear the therapist’s suggestions, but it is up to you to decide whether or not to act on them.

 

How It Works

Hypnosis is not a psychotherapeutic treatment or a form of psychotherapy, but rather a tool or procedure that helps facilitate various types of therapies and medical or psychological treatments. Only trained health care providers certified in clinical hypnosis can decide, with their patient, if hypnosis should be used along with other treatments. As with psychotherapy, the length of hypnosis treatment varies, depending on the complexity of the problem.

What to Look for in a Hypnotherapist

Look for a hypnotherapist who is a member of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH) or the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. To be a member of either of these organizations, a hypnotherapist must have a doctorate level degree in medicine, dentistry, or psychology, or a master’s degree in nursing, social work, psychology, or marital/family therapy plus a specific number of hours of approved training in hypnotherapy. In some cases, accredited, doctoral-level practitioners of alternative health care, such traditional Chinese medicine, may also be approved for membership. Of course, in addition to looking at qualifications, you should also find a hypnotherapist with whom you feel confident and comfortable in a therapeutic relationship.

 

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(CBT) Cognitive Behavior THERAPY 

CBT treatment usually involves efforts to change thinking patterns. These strategies might include: Learning to recognize one's distortions in thinking that are creating problems, and then to reevaluate them in light of reality.   Gaining a better understanding of the behavior and motivation of others.

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Overview

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common type of talk therapy (psychotherapy). You work with a mental health counselor (psychotherapist or therapist) in a structured way, attending a limited number of sessions. CBT helps you become aware of inaccurate or negative thinking so you can view challenging situations more clearly and respond to them in a more effective way.

CBT can be a very helpful tool ― either alone or in combination with other therapies ― in treating mental health disorders, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or an eating disorder. But not everyone who benefits from CBT has a mental health condition. CBT can be an effective tool to help anyone learn how to better manage stressful life situations.

Why it's done

Cognitive behavioral therapy is used to treat a wide range of issues. It's often the preferred type of psychotherapy because it can quickly help you identify and cope with specific challenges. It generally requires fewer sessions than other types of therapy and is done in a structured way.

CBT is a useful tool to address emotional challenges. For example, it may help you:

  • Manage symptoms of mental illness

  • Prevent a relapse of mental illness symptoms

  • Treat a mental illness when medications aren't a good option

  • Learn techniques for coping with stressful life situations

  • Identify ways to manage emotions

  • Resolve relationship conflicts and learn better ways to communicate

  • Cope with grief or loss

  • Overcome emotional trauma related to abuse or violence

  • Cope with a medical illness

  • Manage chronic physical symptoms

 

Mental health disorders that may improve with CBT include:

  • Depression

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Phobias

  • PTSD

  • Sleep disorders

  • Eating disorders

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

  • Substance use disorders

  • Bipolar disorders

  • Schizophrenia

  • Sexual disorders

 

In some cases, CBT is most effective when it's combined with other treatments, such as antidepressants or other medications.

Risks

In general, there's little risk in getting cognitive behavioral therapy. But you may feel emotionally uncomfortable at times. This is because CBT can cause you to explore painful feelings, emotions and experiences. You may cry, get upset or feel angry during a challenging session. You may also feel physically drained.

Some forms of CBT, such as exposure therapy, may require you to confront situations you'd rather avoid — such as airplanes if you have a fear of flying. This can lead to temporary stress or anxiety.

However, working with a skilled therapist will minimize any risks. The coping skills you learn can help you manage and conquer negative feelings and fears.

 

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TAI CHI THERAPY 

If you're looking for a way to reduce stress, consider tai chi (TIE-CHEE). Originally developed for self-defense, tai chi has evolved into a graceful form of exercise that's now used for stress reduction and a variety of other health conditions. Often described as meditation in motion, tai chi promotes serenity through gentle, flowing movements.

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What is tai chi?

Tai chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that, today, is practiced as a graceful form of exercise. It involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing.

Tai chi, also called tai chi chuan, is a noncompetitive, self-paced system of gentle physical exercise and stretching. Each posture flows into the next without pause, ensuring that your body is in constant motion.

Tai chi has many different styles. Each style may subtly emphasize various tai chi principles and methods. There are variations within each style. Some styles may focus on health maintenance, while others focus on the martial arts aspect of tai chi.

Tai chi is different from yoga, another type of meditative movement. Yoga includes various physical postures and breathing techniques, along with meditation.

Who can do tai chi?

Tai chi is low impact and puts minimal stress on muscles and joints, making it generally safe for all ages and fitness levels. In fact, because tai chi is a low-impact exercise, it may be especially suitable if you're an older adult who otherwise may not exercise.

You may also find tai chi appealing because it's inexpensive and requires no special equipment. You can do tai chi anywhere, including indoors or outside. And you can do tai chi alone or in a group class.

Although tai chi is generally safe, women who are pregnant or people with joint problems, back pain, fractures, severe osteoporosis or a hernia should consult their health care provider before trying tai chi. Modification or avoidance of certain postures may be recommended.

Why try tai chi?

When learned correctly and performed regularly, tai chi can be a positive part of an overall approach to improving your health. The benefits of tai chi may include:

  • Decreased stress, anxiety and depression

  • Improved mood

  • Improved aerobic capacity

  • Increased energy and stamina

  • Improved flexibility, balance and agility

  • Improved muscle strength and definition

 

More research is needed to determine the health benefits of tai chi. Some evidence indicates that tai chi may also help:

  • Enhance quality of sleep

  • Enhance the immune system

  • Help lower blood pressure

  • Improve joint pain

  • Improve symptoms of congestive heart failure

  • Improve overall well-being

  • Reduce risk of falls in older adults

 

How to get started with tai chi

Although you can rent or buy videos and books about tai chi, consider seeking guidance from a qualified tai chi instructor to gain the full benefits and learn proper techniques.

You can find tai chi classes in many communities today. To find a class near you, contact local fitness centers, health clubs and senior centers. Tai chi instructors don't have to be licensed or attend a standard training program. It's a good idea to ask about an instructor's training and experience, and get recommendations if possible.

A tai chi instructor can teach you specific positions and breathing techniques. An instructor can also teach you how to practice tai chi safely, especially if you have injuries, chronic conditions, or balance or coordination problems. Although tai chi is slow and gentle, and generally doesn't have negative side effects, it may be possible to get injured if you don't use the proper techniques.

After learning tai chi, you may eventually feel confident enough to do tai chi on your own. But if you enjoy the social aspects of a class, consider continuing with group tai chi classes.

Maintaining the benefits of tai chi

While you may gain some benefit from a tai chi class that lasts 12 weeks or less, you may enjoy greater benefits if you continue tai chi for the long term and become more skilled.

You may find it helpful to practice tai chi in the same place and at the same time every day to develop a routine. But if your schedule is erratic, do tai chi whenever you have a few minutes. You can even practice the soothing mind-body concepts of tai chi without performing the actual movements when you are in a stressful situation, such as a traffic jam or a tense work meeting, for instance.

 

Emotional freedom technique (EFT)

Emotional freedom technique (EFT) is an alternative treatment for physical pain and emotional distress. It's also referred to as tapping or psychological acupressure. People who use this technique believe tapping the body can create a balance in your energy system and treat pain.

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What Is EFT Tapping?

Humans are always looking for better ways to relieve stress. Medications may work, but they have side effects. Many people seek alternative solutions, such as EFT tapping. EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Techniques, and users say that this simple technique helps them feel better quickly.

EFT tapping has roots in the 1970s when several doctors began stimulating acupressure points to help their patients deal with stress, fear, and phobias. One of them, patented by Dr. Roger Callahan, is called Thought Field Therapy. Later Gary Craig simplified the process and made it available to the public under the EFT name.

The Philosophy Behind Tapping

Disciplines such as yoga, massage, tai chi, and acupuncture rely on a body-mind connection, and evidence shows that these interventions can relieve stress, depression, anxiety, and other psychological disorders. EFT tapping falls into the category of body-centered therapies.

Tapping draws on the ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture, which teaches that the body's energy travels along specific pathways. Certain points on these pathways are stimulated to improve the flow of energy. The stimulation is done by inserting very thin needles (acupuncture) or by applying pressure ( acupressure).

Studies show that acupuncture is effective for some conditions. Some scientists believe that it works because it stimulates the central nervous system and causes the body to release helpful chemicals. EFT tapping stimulates acupoints by touch rather than by the use of needles, making it similar to acupressure.

How Is EFT Tapping Performed?

If you want to use EFT tapping, you can perform your own tapping sequences or you can work with a practitioner. EFT tapping is easy to use as a self-help technique because you can do it any time you feel the need. A practitioner can provide in-depth help if needed.

 

EFT tapping sessions follow a set sequence:

  • Begin by stating what is on your mind and rating your distress on a scale of 0 to 10

  • Speak your "set-up statement," which identifies the issue and includes a statement of self-acceptance

  • Begin the tapping sequence, using your fingers to tap on the specified sites

  • As you tap, use a reminder phrase to stay focused on your problem area

  • At the end of the sequence, rate your distress

  • Continue the process until your distress rating is very low

 

Tapping procedures can differ slightly, but most use these locations: the heel of the hand, three locations around the eye, the area below the nose, the area below the lips, the collarbone, the underarm, and the top of the head. From seven to nine taps are delivered on each spot.

Does EFT Tapping Work?

Studies show that EFT tapping can improve psychological disorders. Further research is needed to compare EFT techniques with standard treatments such as talk therapy. 

Most EFT studies rely on feedback from participants, but at least one study found that EFT tapping had measurable results on the body. Participants had lower heart rates and blood pressure after tapping. They also had lower levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress.

Some say that improvement in symptoms could be because of a placebo effect. When subjects want to believe that a certain treatment will work, their feedback may not be reliable. Another possibility is that EFT tapping works because of other techniques embedded in the process, such as a special way of breathing.

Some researchers have tested the effectiveness of tapping by setting up "sham" studies in which subjects performed tasks similar to but not identical to EFT tapping. One analysis of these studies supported the effectiveness of EFT by showing that sham actions were not as effective as EFT tapping.

Using EFT Tapping to Treat Mental Health

Tapping has been used to treat a variety of psychological conditions, including:

‌Depression. One survey of 20 studies found that EFT techniques reduced symptoms of depression just as well as conventional treatments. The improvement in symptoms lasted over time.‌

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): An analysis of seven studies showed that a series of EFT sessions is effective for a variety of populations with PTSD. No adverse effects occurred, and EFT techniques were effective both as a primary treatment and as a self-help technique.

Phobias. Fewer studies address the use of EFT tapping to treat phobias. One study used EFT techniques on subjects who had small animal phobias. Phobias improved after a single session.

Advantages of EFT Tapping

 

As a self-help strategy, EFT tapping has advantages over more conventional treatment. It is:

  • Painless

  • Inexpensive

  • Easy to do

  • Less time-consuming than other types of therapy