A section for those of us who are either disillusioned with allopathy or want to augment traditional medicine with a more holistic approach. We explain a few of the many modalities and suggest how you might choose what is best for you.
Complementary therapies have been found by many to help on their journey in health or illness or dying. They are holistic – in that they look at the whole person, including the physical, psychological and spiritual aspects.
Most can be used in conjunction with medical treatment (therefore complementary), sometimes alleviating the side effects of allopathic treatment, as well as promoting well-being.
Generally a person giving Complementary Therapy has more time than a doctor to spend with someone. On occasion even a few moments doing something as simple as holding a hand, or the feet, can be beneficial. In this approach there is no boundary between love and the therapy. In fact, one of the healing aspects of all the complementary therapies – whatever the particular modality – is that simply being with a person in a loving way, is a great healing force.
There is nothing compared to love as far as healing the wounds of a man’s being is concerned. All other techniques can be helpful, supportive, but the basic is not a technique, but a loving heart.
Osho (The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here)
Osho on complementary therapies
Many of Osho’s insights on health, illness, medicine, holistic therapies and other associated topics can be found in the book, From Medication to Meditation (Publisher C.W Daniel) and as an eBook
Where and how to use complementary therapies
Treatments can be given not only on a massage table in a treatment room but also at home with a person in bed or sitting on a chair. It is a question of whatever is most comfortable and convenient.
Complementary therapies are also often very helpful in supporting the family and carers of an ill person, as their roles can often be stressful, physically and emotionally, and they need to keep in the best shape they can.
There may be varying opinions about the advisability of some treatments for certain individuals – particularly those with illnesses such as cancer. Where possible it is good to check in with the doctor to ensure that the therapy you have in mind will not adversely affect the person’s condition. It is always good to proceed carefully and sensitively, in touch with what the person wants and the body needs. In this section we identify therapies that will bring relaxation (physical, mental and emotional) and relieve discomfort rather than providing a cure.
How to choose a complementary therapy and a complementary therapist
The person receiving a ‘treatment’ may have experienced the particular therapy before, or may have just accepted treatment offered by a hospice free of charge for relaxation. Certain people are drawn to certain treatment modalities. Some love touch, others not; some, fragrance and so on.
Personal recommendation by friends and colleagues is recommended! There is also much information, including through the websites of professional organisations, and lists of practitioners that can be accessed online. Regarding practitioners, it can be helpful to consider testimonials, experience and training and see what intuitively attracts you. Word-of-mouth remains the most popular and trusted way of deciding which modality and which practitioner to try.
Some complementary therapies
There are many complementary therapies that might be recommended. Those below are some of those that some of the OSHO Sammasati team have found helpful and/or practise. Also included are a few of the better-known modalities, sometimes with associated websites.
Treatments are not listed in any particular order.
Many of the complementary therapies suitable for the ill or dying come under this umbrella, as they are usually very gentle and can be used with hands on or off the body, as appropriate.
Reiki is probably the best-known of these, and with its ‘laying on of hands,’ it creates a beautiful relaxing energy and is very de-stressing. It can also be sent over distance as ‘distance healing,’ whereby the practitioner tunes into the person receiving, wherever they are. Osho Neo-Reiki integrates Osho’s meditations into the practitioner training. It is possible that a person can be initiated or ‘attuned’ into Reiki and use it as a form of self-healing.
Self-Healing with Reiki
Once a person has been attuned to Reiki, which can magnify the healing energy coming from their hands, they can use their hands on themselves for self-healing.
More information about Reiki and its uses can be found on Reiki Association UK
Another useful resource with training possibilities and books translated into many languages is tanmaya-healing.com
For training in Osho Neo Reiki see Himani’s website www.oshoneoreiki.com
While practitioners may know techniques for distance healing, anyone can to do it simply by tuning into the receiver and working intuitively or by using one of a variety of methods, e.g. imagining the receiver being surrounded by light.
Distance-healing groups can be set up in consultation with the receiver. In this format their friends send healing together at a particular time each day or weekly. Several people sending energy together is generally more powerful than a single individual’s healing transmission. Another advantage in the group approach is that less time is needed. A ritual of connection, sending, disconnection and thanks can be used.
Facebook groups and events are a useful way of organising group healings.
Spiritual healing involves the channelling of energy from a spiritual source to someone who needs it. The channel is usually a person, a healer, and the energy is transferred through that person’s hands. It is similar in many ways to Reiki, though, unlike Reiki, ‘attunements’ are not involved in the training.
More information can be found on the National Federation of Spiritual Healers UK website.
Aura Soma is an extremely gentle, non-invasive system based on colour, crystal, essential oils from the mineral and plant kingdoms. There are three basic components: ‘Equilibrium bottles’ with over a hundred different two-colour combinations, for using ‘on the body’; and fourteen each of Pomanders and Quintessences for wafting into different ‘energy bodies.’ As well as for personal use, they can be used to clear the energies in rooms and around a person during or following the dying process. Choice of remedies is intuitive, visual, or by fragrance.
More information can be found at http://www.11essence.co.uk/
Colorpuncture/Colour Light Therapy
Colour Light Therapy has its roots in the teachings of naturopath Peter Mandel from Germany. Using a torch with eleven different colours of quartz glass rods, coloured light is applied to the skin on specific points or zones, similar to those on the acupuncture meridians. Treatments aim to release the cause of disharmony, allowing the body to return to its natural state of wellness and balance. People who accept that disease is the dis-ease that comes from physical, emotional and spiritual imbalances, may be open to this approach.
With Colour Light Therapy, the precise Colorpuncture techniques of Peter Mandel are enhanced by combining them with dialoguing, emotional release, dream-work and meditation to create a deeply supportive and transforming ‘journey.’
Some sessions are carried out on the face, head, hands or feet. For these, the recipient can remain fully clothed and seated. Others are carried out on the torso and limbs and may require the recipient to partially undress.
There are a number of gentle treatments that can be carried out on the face and feet to support people through the transition of dying.
Massage is probably the most popular Complementary Therapy, the basis of which is touch – a relaxing and healing force.
Ranging from light stroking to deep-tissue work, sometimes including kneading and tapping, massage features many specialised modalities – for example Aromatherapy, which uses essential oils; as well as gentle-touch therapies that are particularly designed for the elderly and ill, such as Comfort Touch.
As mentioned above, just working with the hands, feet and/or head (Indian Head massage is a technique in itself) can be beneficial.
Reflexology is based on the principle that there are reflex areas on the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands that correspond to all the body’s structures, organs and glands. A reflexologist applies pressure with fingers and thumbs to the appropriate reflex points on the feet, and if that is not appropriate, on the hands. Reflexology can be extremely relaxing and may be useful for somebody who is confined to bed and unable to receive a full-body massage.
More information can be found on the Association of Reflexologists website.
Acupuncture is one of the longest established forms of healthcare in the world. Acupuncturists are trained to use subtle diagnostic techniques that have been developed and refined over thousands of years. The focus is on the patient as an individual, not his or her illness, and all symptoms are seen in relation to each other. Treatment involves the insertion of very fine needles into specific points on the body to affect the flow of the body’s qi, or vital energy.
A growing body of evidence-based clinical research is discovering how the body responds to acupuncture and its benefits for a wide range of common health conditions. Acupuncture is very popular as a way to relieve specific aches and pains, such as osteoarthritis of the knee, TMJ, headaches and low back pain, or for common health problems such as an overactive bladder.
More information can be found at www.acupuncture.org.uk
Craniosacral therapy is a ‘hands on’ whole-body therapy (not limited to the cranium [head] or sacrum [base of spine]). Powerful and profound and yet gentle and safe, Craniosacral Therapy uses no manipulation and is suitable for people of all ages and conditions, including post-operative situations or accidents. It is very effective in treating shock and trauma arising from physical injury or emotional trauma where persistent symptoms may include tiredness, anxiety and dissociation.
Craniosacral Therapy has evolved over the last one hundred years from research by osteopaths into the body’s subtle physiology. They found that every cell in a healthy body expresses a rhythmic motion that is fundamental to life, referred to as ‘craniosacral motion.’ Further studies found that craniosacral motion is necessary not only for physical health but also for mental and emotional balance.
A gentle touch, ‘listening hands’ and a compassionate presence create a safely held space that encourages a subtle and yet often profound letting go within the client’s body and mind. This level of deep relaxation allows the body to access and utilise its healing resources, which can then be mobilised to dissolve restrictive patterns. Craniosacral therapy can also be an effective way to help people relax into the ultimate let-go of the dying process.
More information can be found at Craniosacral Therapy Association UK
The Bowen Technique comes from Australia, where Tom Bowen developed a technique in which small, gentle moves are made at particular points on the body, rolling over tissues. It can provide a profound sense of relaxation of the physical and nervous system and can assist physical mobility, lymphatic drainage and pain relief.
Whatever the particular model of counselling, all provide an opportunity for clients to explore particular problem areas and issues in their lives. The counsellor’s role is to encourage them to seek their own understanding and resolution. To this end, she listens actively and non-judgementally, simultaneously creating a safe and supportive environment
“In fact if you are attentively listening to somebody a subtle health happens. He unburdens himself. Things that he cannot say to other people he can say to you because it is part of your work that you will keep it secret, that you will not start gossiping about it. In privacy and secret he can open his heart, his wounds, which he goes on hiding in society. And by hiding the wounds you can never cure them. By exposing them to light they are cured.
(Osho The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here)
Osho defines hypnosis as ‘deliberately created sleep.’ It is a deeply relaxed state where the conscious mind is less active and there is more access to the subconscious. Hypnotherapy can be used for relaxation and to deal with many emotional concerns and physical issues, which may come from the subconscious.
Self-Hypnosis is also possible and can be used for alleviating physical pain. See book reviews.
Sudheer offers self-hypnosis for meditation