A self-care vacation is becoming a very popular option. Many of us find that the demands of modern life make us feel burnt out, which drives us to try out more and more unusual self-care options. If you travel, trying traditional healing rituals around the world, perhaps in the form of a retreat can be immensely rewarding, as well as interesting to learn about. Here are some of the most fascinating healing rituals from around the world.
Hawaiian Traditional Massage
Native Hawaiians have been practicing healing for years. The practice combines healing herbs with fasting, seawater cleanses, steam baths, prayer, and massage. One of the most commonly known methods is lomi lomi massage, which is used to balance spiritual, emotional and physical wellbeing. Some local medicines use indigenous plants like kava root or turmeric.
This is a healing system practiced across the Middle East and southern Asia. It takes a holistic view of healthcare, with the understanding that most illnesses have physical, emotional and environmental elements. The base theory is that the body has four main ‘humours’; blood, bile, black bile and phlegm. These humours need to be balanced through natural medicine and holistic therapies. These therapies can include things like Turkish baths, blood-letting, and even leech therapy.
Ayahuasca ceremonies are a Shamanic healing ritual, originally from the Amazon rainforest. Ayahuasca is a mix of psychoactive plants made into a brew, that creates an altered state of consciousness and even out-of-body experiences. Ayahuasca benefits include a feeling of euphoria, emotional healing, and a feeling of a deeper connection to the universe.
Native American Medicine
Native Americans believe that all things in nature are connected. Achieving spiritual harmony means connecting to your corresponding presence in the spirit world. Healing can involve ceremony, meditation, symbolic rituals, and medicinal herbs. One of the best-known rituals is the purification ritual. This takes place in a dark sweat lodge. Water is ladled onto hot stones to produce enveloping steam, while the patient and healer sing, drum and pray together to purify the spirit.
Aboriginal Bush Medicine
The Aboriginal people of Australia have a long history of healing. Traditional treatments use natural ingredients, many of which are popular in modern herbal medicine, such as tea tree and eucalyptus. Treatments can involve a steam bath, wild herbs, clay pits, massage, amulets, and rituals.
Balinese Traditional Healing
In Bali, traditional healing draws on knowledge from China, Japan, and India. It combines holistic therapies, spiritual wisdom, and the use of indigenous herbs and spices. In Balinese culture, there are two worlds; the conscious reality, or sekala, and the psychic world, or nisaka. For healing, both worlds need to be addressed. During spiritual healing, a shaman will anoint your body with oils, apply herbal poultices, use deep tissue massage, and occasionally may poke you with sharp sticks to release energy that has become stagnant. They may also use acupressure, skin rolling, and the application of essential oils. These treatments are meant to cure illness and channel information from the ancestors.