In Part I of this two part article, we noted that in the past decade, there has been a soaring interest in "self-health" techniques and methods for many reasons: "modern" medicine has become depersonalized ... its drugs often have more side effects than benefits ... its cost is exorbitant ...

And we also acknowledged that, in contrast, self-health methods and techniques are usually free of cost, or nearly so. They are easy to learn and simple to apply. The "right" method brings fast relief and long-term healing benefits, while the "wrong" method does little (if any) damage. And each ailment or illness that one self-treats provides insight and growth in to his/her own nature as a human being.

Of the many self-health techniques and methods we organized into the following four broad categories, we covered the first two in the previous article:
1. Those which depend upon mental or psychic activities ...
2. Those which require a substance be taken by mouth ...

This article will discuss the last two categories:
3. Those which depend upon one or more bodily senses (e.g., sight, smell, etc.) ...
4. Those which require the use of touch.

The third of the four healing methods which lends itself to self-application is mental manipulation. There are many ways of using the mind to heal oneself. Perhaps the most powerful of these is heart-felt prayer -- the act of surrendering one's ills and suffering into the hands of a Higher Force (or simply begging God to be healed).

Prayer -- especially when used in combination with other more direct self-health techniques -- is perhaps the most effective, yet one of the most subtle techniques known to man. The power of prayer must never be overlooked ... at least, if one truly wishes to be well. Often, nothing more than prayer, alone, is necessary to cause self-healing.

There are several other self-dependent methods which have been used since ancient times. One of these is meditation; another is visualization; and a third is hypnosis. The latter -- hypnosis -- is best used as a self-healing method after the sufferer has first been "pre-conditioned" by a professional hypnotist using post-hypnotic suggestions. Later, the sufferer self-induces a state of "hypno-relaxation" and repeats a message or suggestion to himself to achieve the goals or health benefits he wishes. This is the most direct and one of the most useful ways for utilizing hypnosis methods, although there are others.

Meditation, on the other hand, requires no pre-programming, although it may be aided and deepened by continually repeating a mantra or specific sound, which helps to create a hypnotic-like trance. Meditation -- the act of sitting in self-observation (but without self-judgement) -- helps heal on a more subtle and less direct basis: it greatly reduces stress and tension, which have been linked to as much as 80% of all illness and suffering. When stress is reduced, self-healing often follows.

Another technique -- known as biofeedback -- is the Western version of meditation. Using a galvanic skin response (GSR) metering mechanism, the sufferer trains himself to produce alpha brain-waves -- the same "state of mind" gradually attained in meditation -- by learning to mentally reduce the moisture on his skin (there is a close correlation between skin clamminess and low-quality, stressful brain waves). Later, when the sufferer feels tense, he induces the high-quality "alpha-state," having learned to recognize what it "feels like" from his biofeedback training.

Before moving to the fourth category, I want to briefly discuss the very powerful mental self-healing method of visualization. If meditation is a passive technique, then visualization is its active counterpart. In meditation we sit and allow the mind to do as it will without becoming emotionally involved in the process. We watch ... we listen ... but we stay the detached observer of the activities happening within the mind.

With visualization, however, we take an aggressive step and "picture" that which we wish to happen. If we wish to heal a specific organ, we picture it to be so in the mind's eye. If we wish to be relieved of pain, we may see it as diminishing to only a pinpoint of fire, then visualize it leaving us as a mote of dust might blow away in a draft. Visualization is a very powerful and deep-reaching technique, so it should be used with some caution.

Our fourth and final category of self-health methods is the most subtle -- and perhaps least utilized -- of self-applied therapies. These are methods which are applied to the senses: the sense of smell ... breath ... eyesight...

Aromatherapy combines the use of the nostrils plus specific odors to stimulate self-healing. Each odor has -- by way of the lungs -- a greater or lesser effect on at least one (and sometimes several) of our various vital organs and glands. Like homeopathy, aromas work at the molecular level to cause a change in the flow of energy (indeed, certain aromas -- such as peppermint -- are contraindicated when undergoing homeopathic therapy, since they may "cancel out" the effect of the homeopathic remedy). Thus, smelling a particular substance may both sicken or heal us ... depending on its aroma.

Flowers, plants and trees -- some of our most aromatic substances -- are also used to create highly subtle, almost homeopathic-like medicines. This process was first developed in the 1930’s by Edward Bach, a British physician and scientist. Dr. Bach extracted the vital essences of 38 different flowers, plants and trees to heal/balance the negative emotions and states of mind which are said to be at the root of most physical illness. The Bach Flower Essences® are completely safe for people of all ages with no negative side effects. Only the smallest doses are needed and they do not interfere with, nor are they affected by, the use of other medications.

A few drops of the selected Essences, which are in liquid form (available in most health food stores), may be taken directly under the tongue or put into water or fruit juice and taken throughout the day. Treatment with Bach Flower Essences® may be repeated over a course of several weeks or months, during which time a feeling of emotional centeredness should be gradually growing as symptoms ease. In this treatments subtle “mind shifts” are the ultimate goal. Subtle these may be; but their effects can very powerful.

Also, the use of light -- either direct sunlight, or light filtered through a transparent color -- has many powerful and far-reaching benefits. This technique is called heliotherapy and is one of the most ancient and simple ways to heal various problems -- especially those of the skin. But the use of light filtered through colored gels or glass is a more unusual and esoteric way of stimulating self-healing.

Each color is said to directly affect a specific organ or gland. When the body is irradiated and "light-bathed" in that color, it stimulates the particular organ or gland to function more correctly. And since a malfunctioning organ or gland is almost invariably at the root of suffering, the use of the proper color of light can bring about deep yet safe results ... if one knows which is the "target" bodily organ.

The usual colored light "prescription" is to use the proper colored light bulb, or cellophane covered desk lamp to bathe the face (or preferably the whole nude body) in that color for 15 minutes to an hour, up to several times daily. Beneficial results are somewhat slow to follow -- usually at about the same rate that herbal therapies work -- but the effects can reach far into both the body and the mind in the process.

The last, and possibly most powerful self-health technique I wish to describe in this article is the use of breath. Yogis of old developed certain pranayama (controlled breathing) techniques to be used especially in meditation, both for relieving suffering and prolonging life. Breath is said to be the closest substance to vital energy; and controlled breathing is the most direct way to affect and balance energy flow.

Dozens of breathing cycles and techniques were developed in the East (where most self-health techniques seem to have originated), each designed to have a specific effect on the entire system. One type of breath would calm and sedate ... another would stimulate and energize ... a third would increase psychic awareness ... and various schools of esoteric thought even developed around certain breathing methods.

There are breathing techniques to cleanse the blood, to warm the body, to cool the body, to stave off hunger, and to alter consciousness in many different ways. Simple hyper-ventilation gives us a good idea of the power that merely altering the breath can have on both the body and the mind.

These are just a few of the many methods that have been used successfully around the world to stimulate self-healing and to maintain good health. I have not described any of the fascinating methods for self-diagnosis (that is, methods for defining, as clearly as possible, where and how energy has gone astray within); nor have I explained the specifics of how many of these methods are applied. Each could fill several volumes -- and my own library is filled with such texts.

Instead, my purpose in writing this article has been to introduce you to just a few of the many alternatives to aspirin and other over-the-counter remedies you have at your disposal. It has also been my intention to assure you that it is not necessary to simply suffer along as the body slowly heals itself: there are many ways to dramatically accelerate the process ... and have relief as this occurs. All you need to do is search for some answers -- they are surely there, waiting for you.

Author's Bio: 

Author, lecturer and natural health educator, Michael Blate has spent most of his life researching and sharing acupressure and other "self-health" methods from around the world. Known to millions as "The Guru of Acupressure," he has written dozens of books and teaching guides to help people become more healthy, self-reliant and spiritually attuned. Michael has also been a frequent contributor to numerous magazines and has appeared on nearly 2,000 radio and TV talk shows to introduce audiences to the amazing healing powers and spiritual potential lying within each of us.