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Alternative Therapies

Acupuncture, Yoga, Pilates, Feldenkrais, Cranial Sacral Therapy


Updated August 24, 2007

Acupuncture is widely used for back and neck pain, as well as chronic pain.

As a system of medicine, acupuncture is several thousand years old. It is one of the treatments given in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

Like all holistic methods, the purpose of acupuncture is to stimulate the body to heal itself. Acupuncture involves the insertion of sterile needles at key points to help free up the flow of the body's energy.

Yoga is another system with ancient origins. Yoga employs breathing techniques and stretching. Certain types of yoga can be gentle enough for chronic back pain management.

Yoga is made up of “postures”, or total body positions that encourage stretch and proper alignment. A restorative postures yoga class will be easy and relaxing.

Pilates is a challenging form of exercise that is excellent for the prevention of back pain and injury.

Pilates is also effective after the initial phases of an injury have passed, to help heal, stretch and strengthen. When Pilates is taught by a qualified professional, it is effective in posture education, which will help to prevent re-injury.

People with back or neck pain often benefit from "pre-pilates," which consists of simple movements and breathing techniques designed to foster ideal alignment. Try a pre-pilates exercise.

Feldenkrais has a good reputation for pain relief. Many pain management clinics offer Feldenkrais as part of their therapy. Feldenkrais is a body learning system that develops efficiency, which takes strain off the joints and saves energy.

Cranial Sacral Therapy
Cranial sacral therapy is a technique based on an osteopathic technique. However, it is not an actual osteopathic technique; rather, it is often given by massage therapists and bodyworkers.

Alternative therapies are systems.
Each alternative therapy mentioned here is a system, and so will have a central philosophy or theme, and many valuable intricacies. Each of these systems have either professional licensing or certifications in place so that you can find qualified people with whom to work. There are many other effective systems, not addressed here, as well.

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