Photo Credit: Jene Stephaniuk

Alternative Healing Therapies

Over the course of my own healing journey, I have familiarized myself with many alternative therapies and share my thoughts on them below. In the early days of my own healing, I was much more concerned with more physical modalities, such as chiropractic care, as I believed my issues to be purely physical in nature. 

As I have healed, I have become much more aware of the energy that things around me have and how my emotions, thoughts and beliefs affect my physical body and my environment.

Below is a list of alternative therapies that I use or have used and can be helpful in healing mind-body conditions. I have found that different therapies can be more helpful at different points in time and may not be necessary long term. They are listed in order of most energetic to most physical.

Therapies to help the mind and body align:

Reiki/Energy Work

What it is:

Reiki is an energy clearing and balancing modality that can be done in person or through distance. Reiki generally means “spiritually guided life force energy,” but has no religious ties and does not require any particular beliefs of the therapist or patient.

How it helps:

Reiki is a very simple therapy to receive and requires essentially no effort on the part of the recipient. Like most of the other therapies below, Reiki looks to unify a person’s energy fields to support the body, mind and spirit. Therapists may work with their hands on a patient or hold their hands just above the body.  Through the shifting of energy, Reiki can reduce depression, anxiety, and overall stress, as it provides deep relaxation benefits. It is also often used  for cancer patients to reduce pain and heal.

The details:

Each person has their own unique vibrational frequency (like your fingerprint). When stress, illness, or trauma occur, it can lower your vibrational frequency, which makes it easier for disease and “low vibes” to hang around. By receiving Reiki healing (or learning how to change your own energy frequencies), you can get a “reset,” which often will help you to feel more relaxed and grounded. This ends up changing your thoughts, behaviors, attitudes and actions, which helps you to change your reality.

EFT or TappingWhat it is:

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or Tapping  works to clear beliefs, patterns or trauma by activating energy meridians in the body through tapping “points”.

How it helps:

EFT has similarities with CST, EMDR and acupuncture in that it is another way to help individuals identify and clear emotional blockages by activating energetic points in the body. EFT is similar to CST in that it does not require participants to relive past trauma in order to clear stored blockages. EFT helps to provide perspective on beliefs or events and re frame them in a different light to allow the brain to let go of thoughts, emotions or behaviors.  EFT is often used for anxiety, depression, stress, PTSD, pain and insomnia. While participants may benefit from using a coach,  EFT is a tool that anyone can easily learn and do on their own.

The details:

EFT can work really quickly to help reset and settle your nervous system, helping participants to get out of Fight, Flight or Freeze so they can return to living healthier, more balanced lives. Particularly in the case of painful memories or trauma (that may or may not be remembered), EFT is helpful because it does not require the participant to access and verbalize all of those memories – it works off of the emotions or feelings associated with what happened rather than the full event.

Additionally, EFT can be done remotely or from anywhere, including over video or phone.

CranialSacral TherapyCranioSacral Therapy is a huge part of why I am where I am today. Without question, it has radically changed my life and allowed me to heal parts of me that I didn’t even know needed healing.

What it is:

CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on approach that releases tension patterns deep in the body to support whole-body health.

How it helps:

Energy blockages and tension patterns can form in the body from the time of conception. Through a light touch,  a CST  therapist can work with your body’s own systems to clear physical and emotional blockages to bring the body back into balance.

CST can be particularly effective at healing  chronic headaches, neurological issues, concussions, trauma, PTSD, pain, autism and early childhood challenges. CST can be especially helpful for infants and young children, as well as for releasing tension patterns after a surgery or injury. CST is also an excellent tool to use in tandem with talk therapy or mindset work so that new cognitive shifts are integrated into the body and spirit so that all parts are in harmony.

The details:

The body does not lie, and while you may have resolved old wounds within your mind, your body may still have those memories stored in the form of a tension pattern or energy block in the tissue. If you feel like you have worked through something within your life, but old memories or beliefs still keep coming up, it is likely that those feelings simply haven’t been released by the body.

It’s also important to know that the body doesn’t know the difference between an actual event (or fact) and a belief or fear. We often use our rational adult brains to process things, but our body may have a difference of option. CST helps to unify the thoughts and beliefs of all parts of ourselves so that we can live in harmony with all parts of ourselves.

Want to find a therapist?

Click here to access the Upledger Institute directory. (The Upledger Institute is the governing body for CST.)


What it is:

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from trauma and emotional distress – often at a much faster rate than traditional talk-therapy.

How it helps:

EMDR uses a combination of lateral eye movement exercises similar to those found in REM sleep, visualizations, examinations of past events and associated emotions & feelings to clear and heal psychological wounds. EMDR is especially helpful for PTSD and traumatic events and works to re frame past events so that the brain is not stuck in fight, flight or freeze.

The details:

Different therapies are more effective than others depending on your own unique set of circumstances and genetic makeup. Like Tapping and CST, EMDR helps participants to reframe past events and use their own body to facilitate healing and make new neurological wiring. Of the three therapies, EMDR is the most rooted in psychology of these three therapies and subsequently has had the most board-certified research at this point.


What it is:

Manual (and mostly painless) insertions of tiny needles into the skin at specific points on the body to influence certain physiological functions.

How it helps:

The body has Yin and Yang energy meridians that are connected to all the organs in the body. Acupuncture helps to restore life force, blood and other elements to organs and clear energetic channels in the body so that all parts can work in harmony.

Acupuncture can be beneficial for a whole host of issues including allergies, circulatory, gastrointestinal, immune, gynecological, emotional, neurological and musculoskeletal issues. Out of all the therapies listed here, acupuncture is the most broad solution because it can work on all of your energy channels and organs.

The details:

Acupuncture can be helpful in resolving many chronic or mysterious issues. Particularly if you are suffering from TMS or some other mind-body stress induced illness, acupuncture may not work all that well on your “core” issues, because those issues are rooted deeper in the subconscious. This is not to say that acupuncture is not effective in the moment on those issues – it’s that if we don’t resolve our deeper thoughts, feelings and beliefs, then the issue will continue to reappear. It is possible that some forms of acupuncture can do this – that has just not been my experience.

Acupuncture specialties:

Allergy Elimination (NAET), Acupressure, Cupping, Chinese Medicine/Herbs

Chiropractic Care

What it is:

Manual adjustments of bones – primarily in the neck & back. Can also include adjustments of smaller bones such as ribs, knees, ankles, wrists, etc.

How it helps:

Having good alignment in the physical body helps all parts of the physical and energetic body to flow more freely. Misalignments in the body are often caused by a combination of nutritional or hormonal imbalances, unprocessed emotions, and muscles that need to be strengthened. The more the body is supported through nutrients, healthy thought patterns, and exercise, the more  effective a chiropractic adjustment will be.

How I use chiropractic care:

I see an Atlas Chiropractor who uses kinesiology (muscle testing) to adjust patients. When he checks in with my nervous system (through muscle testing), he can more directly pinpoint what needs to be adjusted. This method is the only way that my body will hold an adjustment and I believe it is because he’s asking my body what it needs vs. telling my body how it should be.

Other notes:

If you are prone to TMS or other mind-body conditions, it’s important not to get overly fixated on your alignment. It is normal for the body to have some misalignments and a perfect body, a perfect spine and perfect alignment is a just a myth. Additionally, I don’t recommend spending money on expensive programs that chiropractors may try to sell you and would instead recommend yoga or CranialSacral therapy to promote disk rehydration and space in between your vertebra.

Some chiropractors may also check to see how your spine is conducting signals to the rest of your body. Especially if you have TMS, this is not an effective tool because it is the oxygen deprivation due to tension patterns that are keeping a strong “signal” from being transmitted. This is not the source of your pain and will only serve to keep you locked into a pattern of fear.

Chiropractic specialties:

Kinesiology, Acupuncture, Neurological, Internal Medicine, Nutrition, Neuromusculoskeletal, Sports & Rehab, Pediatric