It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas ( or Yule, or Hannukah, or Solstice, or Kwanzaa…) , and while many of us are well under way with our holiday shopping, there’s always someone who’s hard to buy (or make) for.
Fear not (to paraphrase a certain angel). Alternative health is back and it’s got you covered….
It’s important to remember that, while there are certain things that are good for everyone, everyone’s approach to health is individual and unique (so remember to give something your recipient would enjoy, as opposed to what you think they should want. Hiking shoes for the person who’d prefer gentle tai chi is not a caring gesture…)
Brain stimulation –
Studies find that our brains stay in good shape longer if we use them (and I’m not sure why that would surprise anyone…), so things that make us think keep us mentally clear and active. Puzzles, mysteries, games that involve quick thinking are all a part of this.
Related to this, meditation and games using biofeedback, such as Quest for the Wild Divine and the Star Wars Jedi Trainer game can help us learn to more easily achieve the brain wave states associated with health, stress reduction and mental clarity.
Massage not only feels great, but it also relaxes tired muscles, reduces stress, stimulates the immune system and helps our bodies release toxins.
A massage pillow, or a gift certificate for massage is a great gift.
A new way to exercise –
Right now, we’re in the holiday season with all of its parties and tempting foods, but soon we’ll be in the New Year, and people will start thinking about holiday pounds.
Exercise not only helps folks to shake loose some of those cookies, but also builds a healthy body that’s more resistant to illness. Unfortunately, many people either don’t like to exercise, often because they’ve gotten bored with what they’re doing or never found a type of exercise they like, but there are lots of fun and interesting ways to exercise, whether it’s bellydancing, tai chi, swimming, skiing, swing dancing or something else.
Got someone who wants to exercise but is tired of their routine? Gift certificates to a center with lots of different options, a video gift card with the designation “for exercise video of your choice” , or a certificate that says you’ll try something new with them as their exercise buddy may be a god choice.
Non-medicinal pain relief -
And related to the above, whether after a workout or the coldness of the season, sore and achy muscles are common at this time of year. Analgesics can help, but there is a limit to how much you can safely take, and the aches and pains can outstrip the recommended dosage
For those with achy bodies, the massage noted above can help, as can accupressure (one book I’d recommend is “Accupressure Potent Points” by Michael Reed Gach)and rubs including elements such as capsicum (element in hot peppers – great for aches, but don’t get it in your eyes).
By now, I’m hoping that you’re beginning to see the light at the end of the shopping tunnel, and are finding some time for yourself to enjoy the beauty of the season.