Holistic physical therapy integrates a blend of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual healing to bring relief from pain, injury, aggravating symptoms, and/or any negativity stemming from the physical and energetic body. It is also used as a preventative practice before symptoms arise. While traditional physical therapy is a great tool to bring relief to the body, symptoms may re-appear if the root cause is not addressed. It also tends to zero in on the physical body only, leaving out the important aspect of mind-body connection and the healing it has to offer. This practice links the scientific evidenced-based physical therapy modalities and manual therapy techniques with intuitive guidance using alternative modes of healing. This may include yoga (breathwork, meditation, asana), mind-body connection, mindset training, visualization, mantras/affirmations, aromatherapy, crystals, and Reiki/energy work. Together, these modalities address all aspects of a person, as we cannot separate the physical body from the energetic body.
Emotions may also contribute to pain, especially lingering emotions that have not fully been addressed or processed. Emotions can change our physical posture. For example, someone who is experiencing depression will more than likely present with rounded shoulders, a forward head, flexed spine - trying to "hide" from the world. In contrast, a person with high anxiety or even just excitement may present with an open chest/shoulders, spinal extension, head up. These ongoing postural habits may result in chronic tightness, aches, and even injury due to improper positioning. So as you can see, a physical limitation may be stemming from an emotion.
Holistic physical therapy will also look into the chakra system to identify any energetic stagnation. Included in the yogic philosophy, there are seven main chakras within the human body. If there is stagnation or "stuck" energy in any one chakra, this may lead to physical symptoms or dis-ease. It is important we allow our energy to move freely to rid ourselves of any such pain.
This integrative practice may be beneficial to anyone who is looking for a deeper dive into healing to allow for improved quality of life.
By: Brooke Curb, PT, DPT, RYT-200