Health

New age healing therapies to try besides meditation

Tried meditation already? These other healing therapies may help you find calm

You may have tried meditation, pledged a week of your life to hot yoga and even scheduled regular massage appointments - and yet the chase to lock down your Zen may have proven elusive.

Before you think there is something wrong with you, try these alternative therapies instead.

GONG MEDITATION

Best for: A weekly tune in and up

Scoff all you want, but paying someone to hit a gong and bathe you in all that theta goodness can do loads to steady the nerves.

Sessions start with pranayama (breathing exercises) before the gong meditation portion kicks in, and while reactions vary from emerging relaxed to being visibly more emotional, the common denominator seems to be a deeper sleep experienced for the following 48 hours. Regular sessions are held weekly at House of Ascend (www.houseofascend.com).

SOUND AND FLOTATION THERAPY

Best for: Individuals who aren't claustrophobic

Going further than the standard 60-minute bliss-inducing float, a sound meditation segment is added in post-float using ambient and instrumental music composed by sound curator Jean Tay.

The original pieces composed from her own 3-D field recordings have been designed to trigger the vibrations experienced by one's own body by test oscillators in the music software.

If done right, it will facilitate a deeper dive into one's consciousness which then kick-starts the meditative experience. Longer term, the aim is to break up stress patterns for a heightened state of relaxation.

Check it out at Palm Ave Float Club (Tel: 9151-6004, www.palmavefloatclub.com).

CHI NEI TSANG

Best for: The emotionally repressed

This Taoist healing modality uses careful, targeted massage movements blending Chinese and Thai massage.

A trained therapist will manipulate and manoeuvre the abdomen to detoxify and strengthen internal organs to improve digestion and boost the immune system, ultimately restoring balance to the entire body.

Try it at Therapeutics Aroma (Tel: 6737-7039, www.therapeuticsaroma.com).

JIN SHIN JYUTSU

Best for: Anyone looking for a gentle form of self care

Working off the concept of harmonising the body through the gentle touch of one's fingers, Jin Shin Jyutsu sees practitioners use their hands to respond to one's pulse and support re-balancing its harmonious flow through 52 main points on the body.

Depending on one's sensitivities, you may feel some sensations (a warm heat, an involuntary twitch) during the treatment. Post-treatment, it is not unusual to feel a bit lightheaded and a sense of tranquil calm.

Longer term, it works to bring relief to chronic internal imbalances. Book a session at Terra Luna Yoga (Tel: 9658-3611, www.terralunayoga.com).

WATSU THERAPY

Best for: Expectant mums and anyone feeling overwhelmed by stress

There will never be a more relaxing time than in one's mother's womb. Watsu (or aqua) therapy aims to re-create that weightless feeling to address issues such as insomnia and muscle tension to bring on a deep relaxation state.

Developed by Harold Dull in 1980, it combines water-based shiatsu massage with the stretching of one's meridians (energy channels) to stimulate the flow of energy.

Props like leg floats ensure you are not sinking under, plus it takes place in a heated pool.

Post-therapy, expect to feel a sense of deep relaxation or even a spontaneous release of emotions, almost as if you've had a good cry.

It is offered at Inspire Mum & Baby Fitness, Birth and Swimming Centre (Tel: 9234-1866, www.inspiremumbaby.com).

CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY

Best for: Children and trauma recoveries

This is another form of light touch bodywork, where no more than 5g of pressure is exerted. While Carniosacral Therapy remains classed under alternative modalities, its effectiveness is the real deal.

Using gentle touch to palpate the synarthrodial joints of the cranium, spine and pelvic bone, a trained therapist releases embedded tension in the soft tissues that surround the central nervous system.

In layman's terms, what you may feel is a knot releasing or even a tense muscle relaxing after just one treatment. It is available at Ozworks Therapy (Tel: 6836-4560, www.ozworkstherapy.com).

This article was first published in Shape (www.shape.com.sg).

WELLNESS & BEAUTY