Creating a healthy and well-rounded lifestyle is easy to do in the Hudson Valley. Whether by eating organic, all-natural foods or by taking advantage of the many outdoor fitness activities, leading a life you love is definitely within reach. The HV is also home to many holistic healers and alternative therapies that support overall health and happiness. It’s a packaged deal.
A holistic approach to medicine identifies and treats the root causes of a recurring affliction—rather than just the symptoms—in order to achieve better results. Many holistic healers prescribe alternative therapies in order to better treat these causes. Here are some holistic methods and alternative therapies the Hudson Valley has to offer:
Let’s think back to middle school biology. The human body is made up of many systems, like the nervous system and the skeletal system. Naturally, the body requires complex coordination to function, so an ailment in one system oftentimes affects another. That is why it is important to look at the whole person when making a diagnosis.
In addition to a patient’s physical health, holistic medical practitioners factor in emotional, mental, and spiritual conditions while diagnosing. They usually recommend alternative therapies that achieve results comparable to traditional methods but with fewer side effects.
Holistic medical practices can also be a onesource location for doctors of varying disciplines. In holistic practices, professionals collaborate to create comprehensive medical profiles and treat patients. Such medical practices may also offer courses and publications designed to promote healthy living.
Acupuncture originated in China and has been used to treat patients for thousands of years. In this practice, fine sterile needles are inserted into the skin at specific body points to balance the body’s flow of energy, known as qi or chi. Acupuncture may also stimulate various systems in the body. It can be used to relieve discomfort resulting from conditions like fibromyalgia, headaches, arthritis, cramps, and back pain.
Accord Acupuncture & Herb Shop, Accord
The New Leaf, Kingston
This alternative treatment focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system. It involves hands-on therapy in which the spine, joints, and surrounding soft tissues are manipulated so that the body aligns properly, relieving pain and tension. Back pain is the most common reason why people seek chiropractic treatment, but therapeutic chiropractic techniques have been shown to help with a range of other problems. Even slight malfunctions of the musculoskeletal system can cause problems in other parts of the body. Network Spinal Analysis (NSA) chiropractic is a very gentle form of treatment that uses light touches and verbal coaching. Patients learn to control their own bodies to relax and pull their frames back into shape.
Family Network Chiropractic, Kingston
Remember how good it feels to float in the ocean? Floating in warm saltwater allows your body to relax and prompts your brain to release endorphins, which minimize pain. This deep state of relaxation helps the body recover from physical and psychological stress. Floating also stimulates blood flow, which improves overall health. Sessions usually last an hour, and it takes about 15 minutes to achieve deep relaxation.
Mountain Float Spa, New Paltz
Herbalism may sound like a hippy fad, but it’s the real-deal. Herbalists consider many factors in a client’s life, from lifestyle choices to physical and emotional stresses, in order to find a unique treatment for that individual. Plant-derived or herbal medicine has been around for at least 60,000 years and still has relevance today. In fact, many pharmaceutical drugs that currently exist are derived from plantbased remedies. Today, herbalists still offer medicines made from plants but also some derived from minerals, shells, fungus, and bee products.
Accord Acupuncture & Herb Shop, Accord
The philosophy behind homeopathy has been summed up with the expression “like cures like.” This approach to healing was developed by a German physician in the early 1800s who found that a drug which caused certain symptoms in a healthy person could be the remedy for a person suffering from similar symptoms—ironic! A homeopathic doctor treats a disease by giving the patient tiny doses of substances that cause similar symptoms in healthy people. Each remedy is customized because the same remedy may not work for two individuals in the same way.
Stone Ridge Natural Medicine, Stone Ridge
Who doesn’t love a good massage? Studies suggest that a massage is much more than a mere indulgence. According to the Mayo Clinic, massage therapy has been shown to help reduce stress, relieve pain, and alleviate muscle tension. It may also be an effective treatment for anxiety, digestive orders, fibromyalgia, headaches, and insomnia, and it is very useful for soft tissue strains and various types of sports injuries.
Birch Body Care, Kingston
Naturopathy is a branch of medicine that uses nature to heal ailments. Interestingly, naturopathic doctors often refer to a disease as a “dis-ease” or a “lack of ease.” Something is out of balance when a person has a dis-ease, and naturopathy helps to restore this balance. A naturopathic physician looks at the big picture and will want to know what a patient eats, how they live, and how they interact with the world. Naturopathic doctors are also versed in conventional disciplines of medicine, but they may prescribe alternative therapies that are better for overall health. For example, they might prescribe diets of whole foods, exercise, supplements, herbal remedies, and general emotional support.
The New Leaf, Kingston
Doctors of osteopathic medicine are licensed physicians who focus on non-invasive ways to treat and strengthen the musculoskeletal framework. A properly aligned framework helps to promote healthy nervous, circulatory, and lymphatic systems. Osteopathic treatments are designed to reduce pain and stiffness in muscles and joints, increase range of motion, reduce bodily tension, and treat physical trauma.
Dr. Ari Rosen, DO and Dr. Joseph Tieri, DO
Stone Ridge, 845-687-7589
A reflexologist applies pressure to points on the hands, feet, and ears, which can positively affect specific organs and body systems. For example, applying pressure to one area of the foot is thought to increase the health of the bladder. Reflexology is used to complement other treatments in people who have conditions such as anxiety, asthma, headaches, PMS, and sinusitis, and it may work by stimulating the central nervous system to relieve stress.
Hands to Feet Reflexology and Healing Arts
New Paltz, 914-489-9149
Many women are not fond of mammograms, which produce diagnostic images of the breasts, because they are very painful and involve a small amount of radiation. Finding breast cancer early-on is the key to surviving it, but mammograms are not the only diagnostic tool that can detect breast cancer. Another option is thermography, which was previously used as an adjunct diagnostic tool to mammography. Some medical professionals, however, suggest that this non-invasive test may be an ef-fective replacement. Unlike mammography, no radiation is involved in thermography. Instead, this approach uses highly sensitive infrared cameras and simple computers to capture an image. Data on blood vessel activity in the breasts is then sent to a thermal imaging specialist for analysis.
Image of Health Breast Thermography
New Paltz, 845-663-3998, fightbc.com
There are many hot-spots for yogis in the Hudson Valley! The practice of yoga benefits the body in several ways. First, exercise in general keeps the body flexible, which is even more important as you age. Yoga in particular helps to improve posture by strengthening muscles. It also increases awareness of bad habits, and it tends to increase bodily awareness too. For example, studies have shown that those who practice yoga usually eat a more nutritional diet. One of yoga’s most valuable benefits, however, is the way it helps people to destress— but you probably already knew that!
Anahata Yoga, Kingston
Iris Yoga, Accord
THE BENEFITS OF LEARNING MORE
There is no longer a one-size-fits-all approach to living a healthy, well-rounded lifestyle. There probably never really was. Everyone is different, and holistic attention specialized for each individual is important. A combination of approaches is most
Stone Ridge, 845-687-0000,
MORE HOLISTIC PRACTICES
Blue Lotus QI Gong Ancient Chinese Energy Healing
New Paltz, 914-850-1202, bluelotusqigong.com
A Natural Chef Cathy Vogt
New Paltz, 845-258-0136, anaturalchef.com
Worth it With Katy Health Coach
New Paltz, 845-217-0004, worthitwithkaty.com
Barbara Neiman OTR Mindfulness & Yoga Skills
New Paltz, 845-796-6460, barbaraneiman.com
Bodymind Treasures Asian Bodywork Therapy
New Paltz, 610-324-8731, bodymindtreasures.com
Take Control Health Coaching
New Paltz, 845-758-6067, takecontrolhealthcoaching.com
Heart of Self-Care
New Paltz, 973-768-8257, heartofselfcare.com
Kingston, 845-336-5541, motherearthstorehouse.com
Rhinebeck, 845-876-3001, healthquest.org
One Epic Place
New Paltz, 845-232-0402, oneepicplace.com
High Falls, Tannersville
845-687-8500, 518-589-9500, wellnessrxllc.com
This article was originally published at Visit Vortex: