5 Holistic Ways to Heal Yourself

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As someone who went through a period of chronic illness, I was desperate to find relief from pain. There was a time where I was dealing with all sorts of ailments like bronchitis, chronic laryngitis, GERD, food allergies, and panic attacks. I was in no shape to leave the house. So, I was willing to try anything even if it was outside of the norm of Western medicine.


Meditation was one of the first things that really helped with my anxiety. I tend to be an over thinker and I think most of us struggle with a busy mind in our society. We are constantly enforced to be on the go. But that can have some serious repercussions. Depression and anxiety are on the rise and we need to have the tools to be able to deal with this in a healthy manner instead of letting stress get the better of us and having it turn into more serious health issues.

There are many ways to meditate from using apps like Simple Habit to going to actual meditation class like one at Sojourn Healing Collective, for example. If meditation intimidates you, remember that it only means awareness. The point of meditation is to bring you back to the present moment so you’re not stuck in the past or future which tends to cause depression or anxiety. You only have to start out with a few minutes a day and just breathe. I don’t think we take enough time to do this without feeling like we have to be multitasking or somewhere else.


I went through a huge detox at the beginning of my health journey, which stemmed from a life of eating toxic foods (like fast foods) and having a pretty stagnant lifestyle. Herbs can really help supplement a nutritional diet. They have the benefits of improving blood sugar levels, brain function, IBS and also have anti-inflammatory effects. You may already have some of these in your kitchen. It’s important to use high quality, fresh herbs. If you’re not familiar with the usages of herbs and how they can benefit your health, I highly recommend seeing a specialist.

There are many resources for herbs here in San Diego. You can see a herbalist at San Diego Herbal Medicine or check out a specialty tea shop like Herb and Nectar. What’s nice about these places is that you can tell them exactly what you’re dealing with, and they will either custom create a formula for you or give your their recommendations based on your symptoms. Of course, please advise a doctor if you have any prior health conditions or are currently on medication.


One of the most potent forms of healing is through energy healing. You would think that, in a world where we scientifically acknowledge energy, we would incorporate this understanding into our daily lives, but often this is not the case. I wasn’t even aware of this option until a few years ago when I was first introduced to it by a friend. We often try to fix things from a very symptomatic perspective when a lot of healing stems from within.

Reiki is a very unique experience if you have never tried it before. It’s not as alien as it sounds. It involves light touching while you remain fully clothed. Occasionally there will be the use of other tools like crystals or sound healing. Often, we forgo the power of healing touch but that’s basically what it is. Like a masseuse who delves into your muscles for healing, a Reiki practitioner will go into your aura or electromagnetic field for healing. Reiki is becoming more and more popular these days. There are several practitioners in the San Diego area. Check out Reiki Room for starters.

Essential Oils

You know the healing effects of smelling a bouquet of flowers or walking through an evergreen forest. It seems to have an immediate calming effect on the nerves. This is because, during inhalation, odor molecules travel through the nose and affect the brain through a variety of receptor sites, one of which is the limbic system, also known as the “emotional brain.” This system is connected to those parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels and hormone balance (Higley & Higley, 1998). Based on this information, we can hypothesize how inhalation of essential oils can have some very profound physiological and psychological effects.

Not only can you use essential oils in diffusers, sprays, or as perfume rollers, but you can also purchase pure, therapeutic grade from Young Living and DoTerra and eat them! These are mother nature’s cures for so many health ailments from stomach aches to insomnia. An easy way to start using essential oils is to play around with some of the more common ones like lavender. Lavender is great for relaxation, sleep or anxiety. It is mild enough to use on your own skin. Be aware that essentials oils can be very strong and often need to be mixed with water, or a dilutive oil. If you are interested in learning more about this, there are aromatherapy experts that often teach workshops on the power of essential oils. Heads up, there is one going on this month at Soul Flow Studio being taught by Peaceful by Pina.


Acupuncture is great for so many things from relieving anxiety to boosting fertility. I was an avid acupuncture junkie when I was healing from my hip injury and it really helped with blood circulation when I wasn’t as mobile as I am now. Acupuncture involves the insertion of needles at strategic points in your body. It works in conjunction with your body’s natural healing mechanisms. Your body innately knows how to heal itself but sometimes it can get stuck in some areas of the body due to illness. It is supposed to help move these blocks out of the way so that your body can flow harmoniously again.

There are different kinds of acupuncture from Japanese to Chinese. The needles’ thickness varies with these different styles. It’s often best to have a specific focus when needling in order to see the best results. I highly recommend acupuncture from Zen Sanctuary or Saffron & Sage.

My philosophy on these healing modalities is that one may help shift you but ultimately these are tools in order to shift a way of life that may longer be serving you. Often it isn’t one thing that changes our lives so much as one thing may serve as a catalyst for further healing. So start wherever you feel called or whichever modality resonates with you the most. Healing comes in many forms. These are some alternative ways of healing that perhaps, you haven’t tried yet. The methods that I have mentioned above were not even on my radar a few years ago, but have become a part of my self-care lifestyle. The most important thing to remember is that healing doesn’t happen overnight but is rather a lifetime commitment that deserves your time and attention.

Lisa Ormsby is a San Diego-based conscious living, meditation, and wellness writer. She was born in Rochester, NY and grew up in a Korean family. She attended Long Island University where she studied English and Writing and studied abroad throughout Europe and Asia in her later years there. In 2006, she moved to San Diego to follow the California Dream and met the love of her life (They've been married for 10 years now!). She is a member of San Diego Writers Ink, San Diego Memoir Writers Association, and Thought Leaders Who Write. When she’s not writing, you can often find her in yoga class, dancing on the beach or traveling the world with her husband.

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