Types of natural healing range from the use of herbs, flowers, and plants found in the environment to modalities such as acupuncture, massage, and aromatherapy for curing illness and promoting better health. Sometimes called alternative therapies, types of natural healing include ancient treatments from various cultures such as Ayurvedic, Chinese, and Tibetan medicines. Other common types include homeopathy, chiropractic, and herbalism.
Several types of natural healing include treatment of the body through pressure and manipulation. Acupuncture uses tiny needles that are inserted into the body at certain points to promote healing. Acupressure is a similar practice, but the practitioner uses finger pressure rather than needles at the points that are manipulated to promote treatment. Auricular therapy plays upon some similar concepts as acupuncture. From the ancient Egyptians, auricular therapy holds that healing can be promoted by massaging certain points of the ear.
Massage and chiropractic place emphasis on physical manipulation of the body to promote healing. Chiropractic focuses on problems of the spine being responsible for illness and pain. Massage involves the manipulation of the muscles and soft tissues of the body to promote healing and health.
Some forms of natural healing are incorporated into other forms. Aromatherapy may be found in the use of massage, acupuncture, and other healing practices. Aromatherapy uses the essential oils of specific plants to target various conditions. These oils are used in massage, baths, or for inhaling by the patient.
Herbalism is incorporated into many different cultural healing practices and has been used in medicine since ancient times. It can be found in both Western and Eastern practices and is often incorporated into other forms of healing, such as holistic medicine. Holistic medicine considers the patient’s overall health, not just the illness for which the patient is seeking healing. A holistic practitioner will consider the patient’s diet, environment, and lifestyle, along with the person's physical, mental, and emotional health. Treatments may include lifestyle changes, dietary changes, and recommendations such as meditation, exercise, and other forms of natural healing.
Homeopathy is another form of healing and is based on the theory that like cures like. The practitioner will prescribe remedies that are made up of very diluted natural substances. These substances would create the symptoms they are seeking to cure if they were given in larger doses. The theory of homeopathic medicine is that the remedy will cause the body to begin its own healing processes.