What’s the Alternative

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Alternatives

Alternative Health C

Colour Therapy (see Placebo Effect)

Chromotherapy, sometimes called colour therapy or colorology, is an alternative medicine method. It is claimed that a therapist trained in chromotherapy can use colour and light to balance energy wherever a person's body be lacking, be it physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental. Of course it should not be confused with Light Therapy, which has been proven to relieve things like major depressive disorder.

Chromotherapists claim a scientific basis for their practice, proposing that colours bring about emotional reactions in people, but is labelled pseudoscience by its critics. A standard method of diagnosis is the use of "Luscher’s colour test", developed by Max Luscher (*1923) in the early 1900s. When performing chromotherapy, colour and light is applied to specific areas and acupoints on the body. Because colours get associated with both positive and negative effects in colour therapy, specific colours and accurate amounts of colour are deemed to be critical in healing. Some of the tools used for applying colours are gemstones, candles, wands, prisms, colored fabrics, bath treatments, and coloured glasses or lenses. Therapeutic colour can be administered in a number of ways, but is often combined with hydrotherapy and aromatherapy in an attempt to heighten the therapeutic effect.


Cranial Osteopathy

Cranial osteopathy is a set of theory and techniques that have been developed from the observations of Dr William Sutherland that the plates of the cranium permit microscopic movement or force dissipation and that there is a 'force' or rhythm that is operating in moving the plates of the skull. Cranial osteopathy is said to be based on a primary respiratory mechanism, a rhythm that can be felt with a very finely developed sense of touch. Some osteopaths believe that improving dysfunctional cranial rhythmic impulses enhances cerebral spinal fluid flow to peripheral nerves, thereby enhancing metabolic outflow and nutrition inflow. It has gained particular popularity in the treatment of babies and children.

The primary respiratory mechanism is not acknowledged as existing in standard medical texts, and at least one study has failed to show inter-rater reliability between craniosacral therapists attempting to detect this rhythm. While other studies have reported evidence of the existence of such a rhythm, the link between any such mechanism and states of health or disease has also been contested. One meta-analysis from the British Columbia Office of Health Technology Assessment (BCOHTA) concluded that "there is evidence for a craniosacral rhythm, impulse or 'primary respiration' independent of other measurable body rhythms", however it was noted that "these and other studies do not provide any valid evidence that such a craniosacral 'rhythm' or 'pulse' can be reliably perceived by an examiner" and that "The influence of this craniosacral rhythm on health or disease states is completely unknown."


Creative Visualization

Creative visualization (sports visualization) refers to the practice of seeking to affect the outer world via changing one's thoughts. Creative Visualization is the basic technique underlying positive thinking and is frequently used by athletes to enhance their performance. The concept originally arose in the US with the nineteenth century New Thought movement. One of the first to practice the technique of creative visualization was Wallace Wattles (1860–1911), who wrote The Science of Getting Rich.


Creative visualization is the technique of using one's imagination to visualize specific behaviours or events occurring in one's life. Advocates suggest creating a detailed schema of what one desires and then visualizing it over and over again with all of the senses (i.e., what do you see? what do you feel? what do you hear? what does it smell like?). For example, in sports a golfer may visualize the "perfect" stroke over and over again to mentally train muscle memory.


In one of the most well-known studies on Creative Visualization in sports, Russian scientists compared four groups of Olympic athletes in terms of their training schedules:


    * Group 1 = 100% physical training;

    * Group 2 - 75% physical training with 25% mental training;

    * Group 3 - 50% physical training with 50% mental training;

    * Group 4 - 25% physical training with 75% mental training.


Group 4, with 75% of their time devoted to mental training, performed the best. "The Soviets had discovered that mental images can act as a prelude to muscular impulses."


Creative Visualization is distinguished from normal daydreaming in that Creative Visualization is done in the first person and the present tense – as if the visualized scene were unfolding all around you; whereas normal daydreaming is done in the third person and the future tense – the “you” of the daydream is a puppet with the real “you” watching from afar.


Visualization practices are a common form of spiritual exercise, especially in esoteric traditions. In Vajrayana Buddhism,


Crystal Healing

Crystal healing is an alternative medicine technique that employs stones and crystals as healing tools.

The practitioner places crystals on different parts of the body, often corresponding to the chakras, or places crystals around the body in an attempt to construct an energy grid, which is believed to surround the client with healing energy. The healing is supposed to remove blockages in the aura or the body's electromagnetic field.

When the stones are placed in the area of the chakras, the colour of the stones may correspond to the colour which is associated with the corresponding chakra. Going from the tail bone to the top of the head, the colours are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. Different stones are believed to have different healing vibrations, so a treatment based on the type of stone may be used instead. Stones may also be used at the feet in an attempt at grounding the individual, or held in the hands. Practitioners may also use tools such as crystal wands, which are placed near the receiver's body, or near a certain 'blocked' chakra, or use to perform psychic surgery, normally conducted with laser quartz wands.

Believers in crystal healing may carry crystals around with them, believing that they impart healing powers to them wherever they go, or that they have positive vibrations that attract positive events and interactions with others.