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Alternative Therapies to Cope with Grief and Loss

The seven stages of grief are very identifiable to anybody who has experienced the pain of losing a loved one. While they appear to be transitional and are mostly chronicled by the passing of time, the stages are anything but consistent and predictable. And because you may feel your anger or guilt may largely have passed, to use that stage as an example, it doesn’t mean that those feelings won’t reappear at another time.

In other words, we don’t transcend grief and we certainly don’t move beyond the associated pain according to a timetable. Nor do we return from grief as the people we were prior to the experience.

There are many conventional supports ranging from the love of family and friends, which is for most of us a constant through all seven stages; professional help from grief counsellors and psychologists; and sometimes we may need other interventions because the grief is just too overwhelming.

Looking outside the conventional supports can really help. Certain grief therapy techniques may unlock some very deep pain that is blocking your progress or it may just form part of a holistic solution. Whatever the case, it’s worth considering if it’s going to help you to move forward.

Energy healing refers to practices like Reiki, Reflexology, Kinesiology and Acupuncture to return the bodies energy system into balance. Without being overly simplistic, energy healing is a form of emotional therapy that addresses the feelings and past experiences that prevent people from moving beyond past pains – grief being one.

To accept something like energy healing as a potential solution, and for many people it produces significant results, you need to accept that human beings are more than just a physical body. Energy healing uses various techniques to balance the energy that flows in and around the human body.

It is not such a stretch to accept a process that promotes clearing our emotional pain through the transfer of energy. Mainstream medicine tells us that holding anger in our bodies and resentment in our hearts is degenerative and bad for our health. Anything that seeks to correct and heal such a emotional pain is worth trying.

Not many people would argue against the therapeutic qualities of waves lapping onto the shoreline; the sound of rain on a corrugated roof or the gentle sound of wind chimes in an afternoon breeze. So sound therapy is just that. Only it combines therapeutic sound techniques using rhythm, instruments and voice to influence the physiology, neurology and psychology of humans as part of a holistic support that restores health, releases pain – both physical and emotional, and promotes relaxation.

Other sound therapy techniques and instruments include tuning forks, Tibetan singing bowls, planetary gongs and chimes.

And far from claiming to cure anything, sound therapy, according to its advocates, stimulates endorphins and resonates with parts of the body that are in pain. In people experiencing serious illnesses like cancer, it has therapeutic and relaxation qualities that can reduce blood pressure and stress hormones.

There are a range of other therapies which may set up really important and therapeutic long term practices. Activities like art therapy, gardening therapy and yoga, to name a few, have innumerable psychological and physical benefits with the added advantage of improving your social life. Many choirs and orchestras are organised around people who are lonely, grieving or looking to add another dimension to their lives.

A great alternative to conventional grief therapy in Sydney, which usually consists of sitting with counselors and therapists in an office environment, is walking therapy. Walking therapy is organised with a therapist or counselor to meet in the outdoors to walk and talk out your feelings, enjoy some exercise and to experience nature.

Knowing how to deal with losing someone you love is not something that comes to us instinctively. During grief it is normal to be feeling overwhelmed and possibly unaware of how to find help and doubtful that anybody or anything can help. One of the most important things to do during the grieving process is to seek help from family, friends and professionals whenever you need it.

If you require any support to find the support that you need, Southern Cross Funeral Directors are available to answer any of your inquiries.