Natural Therapies

If you are interested in trying any natural therapies, here is a very brief list of some therapies available. I haven’t tried all possible natural therapies, so if you have any extra info that could be added to this page, please e-mail me. If I know of someone good in Wellington, I have mentioned them. But there are lots of other good practitioners out there, so the list is only a sampling. Please don’t e-mail me asking if I can recommend people outside of Wellington –  unless I’ve mentioned them, I can’t.


This therapy uses very fine needles inserted at different acupuncture points to stimulate and unblock energy flows in the body along channels called meridians. Some practitioners will further stimulate the points using an electrical current or by burning Chinese herbs called moxa on the ends of the needles. They may also balance up the yin & yang in the body using herbs & diet. (See Chinese Nutrition for more details). Acupuncture can be used to treat a wide range of conditions, including arthritis, back pain, rheumatism, asthma, bronchitis, allergies, digestive problems, stress, fatigue, and withdrawal symptoms from addictions, to name just a few. It can also be used as an anesthetic.


Aromatherapy uses the essential oils in plants to stimulate the sense of smell and promote healing. Each plant’s oil has different properties and oils can be combined for greater effect. Use a few drops of an appropriate oil or combination for a relaxing or rejuvenating bath. Gently heat oils in a burner, or on a ring that sits on a light bulb, to create the mood you want in your home. Put a few drops of essential oil into a carrier oil for massaging with, or to create your own moisturisers.

Essential oils are expensive, but you only need a few drops. It is important that both essential oils and carrier oils are of good quality as anything rubbed onto your skin is absorbed into your body. Make sure that you’re not buying perfumed oils that are not pure essential oils. If you want to experiment with mixing your own combinations, you’ll need to get a good book that explains how to find quality oils, how to use them, and what properties each oil has.

Otherwise, you can get ready mixed combinations from chemists or health food shops. Dynamo House (an Australian company) do a range that includes a meditation oil that smells delicious and is great for winding down after a tense day and a Sleep-Easy kit which nearly always works on those nights when you just can’t drop off to sleep. Absolute Essential (NZ) and In Essence (Australia) are two widely available reputable brands with ranges of single and combination oils.

Learn more about how to use essential oils.

Brain Gym ®

A system of body movements designed by Paul Dennison to activate the pathways of the brain, integrate the right and left hemispheres, enhance creativity and facilitate learning (amongst other uses).

Learn more about Brain Gym ® here.

Colon Cleansing (sometimes called Hydrotherapy)

The modern equivalent of an enema, but under controlled conditions. When we don’t eat as well as we might, or sometimes due to other conditions, our eliminative processes can’t work properly and not all our waste gets passed out of the body. When deposits build up on the wall of the bowel, it reduces our ability to absorb nutrients. This procedure gently cleanses the wall of the colon of stagnated fecal matter and stimulates the bowel to work properly.

Colon cleansing, followed by dietary improvements, can help with constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, skin problems, sinus problems, headaches, persistent tiredness, candida and allergies.

Cranio-Sacral Therapy

A complementary Whole Body therapy, treating all aspects of the entire person. In Cranio-Sacral Therapy, the body is perceived to be in constant movement. Every cell in a healthy body expresses a rhythmic movement, which is fundamental to life. The head of this movement is a subtle life pulse called the Cranio-Sacral Rhythm. The Cranio-Sacral motion expresses itself in a tide-like ebb and flow. Tissue and subtle fluid movements in and around the joints, organs, and vertebral relationships, can be felt and will yield important information as to the functioning and health of the system as a whole.

Cranio-Sacral therapists are trained to feel this subtle motion in the body, and can use it to identify areas of congestion or restriction. Using the hands to reflect back to the body the pattern or restriction it is holding, the therapist provides an opportunity for the body to let go or unravel its restrictive pattern and to return to an easier mode of functioning. This happens at a deep unconscious level within the body, but occurs in the same way we might make other, more conscious decisions. This therapy is extremely effective in achieving structural change, yet has much wider implications with revitalisation of the person as a whole.

Lynn Jordan is a qualified and very experienced cranio-sacral therapist in Wellington. She can be contacted on (04) 472-9727. She is also a deep-tissue and Swedish massage therapist. Click here for more details on this therapy.

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)

Called “emotional acupuncture” by some people, EFT is a versatile technique you can use yourself to resolve many emotional and physical issues, ranging from emotional trauma to pain. I offer EFT sessions in Wellington, and you can read more about it here.


The theory behind homeopathy is that a very dilute mixture of a substance which would cause the same symptoms if given in quantity, will prompt the body to start healing itself. An experienced homeopath will ask lots of questions about your illness, but also about any other physical conditions you have, personality characteristics and likes and dislikes. This is to get as complete a picture as possible, to enable the right, matching remedy to be chosen. This is unlike most other branches of medicine, where remedies are matched just to the symptoms.

So although there are a number of general remedies (eg. arnica for shock and trauma, nux vomica for flu and hangovers), it is best to get professional advice for severe or chronic conditions. Small amounts of remedy are given, and the response monitored. Sometimes, the symptoms will get worse for a short period of time, before improving. This is known as a healing crisis. There are a number of different homeopaths available at Simillimum homeopathic pharmacy in Wellington, who work there on a rostered basis. Call 04-499-9242 for more details.


An ancient art that uses the therapeutic properties of herbs to kick-start the body’s natural healing abilities.

You might say that herbs are a more natural form of drugs. They don’t have as many side effects, but they still deserve respect. They are potent and it’s not always easy to know which is the right remedy for your condition.

They can also interact with your medications, so it’s best to always consult with someone knowledgable before taking any herbs and supplements.

Here’s an overview on a few common herbs and supplements.


Hypnotherapy can be useful for goal setting, motivation, sleep disorders, stress management, stopping smoking and weight loss, among other things. A good hypnotherapist, who is prepared to be inventive, can help get to the cause of many disorders that have roots in the sub-conscious mind.

Hypnotherapy is not like the hypnosis you see on TV, and you don’t lose control. You just feel very relaxed and let your mind go into an alpha state (like when you are falling asleep) so that your subconscious mind is open to suggestions and your therapist can “plant” the positive affirmations that you have discussed together beforehand. Meredith McCarthy is one Wellington hypnotherapist, who is also a neuro-linguistic programmer and counselor. She can be contacted on 04-577-1116.


Iridology is a diagnostic tool, rather than a therapy. Areas in the iris line up with different parts of the body and the condition of the eye can reflect illness or dis-ease in the corresponding area. A good iridologist can tell a lot about your health from your eyes, and when that information is combined with the symptoms you have, it gives a good picture of what is happening in the body.


Kinesiologists use muscle feedback as a stress monitor to identify imbalances in their client’s structural, chemical, mental and emotional energy systems. By correcting these imbalances the kinesiologist is able to re-activate the body’s built-in healing ability as well as identify external factors affecting the client’s well-being.

There are lots of different types of kinesiology including Touch for Health, Reactive Muscle Kinesiology and Educational Kinesiology which can incorporate aspects of Brain Gym ®.

Muscle testing is often used to help determine food intolerances and other sensitivities.

I have studied several different types of kinesiology and incorporate it in my Health Coaching.


There are many different types of massage therapy available. A relaxing massage is good for when you’re a bit tense, and want to unwind. Sports massage will target those stiff quads and tight calf muscles after doing the Karipoti. Deep tissue massage feels like hell at the time but can loosen up old, deep-seated injuries. Reiki is a gentle therapy that works on an energetic level. Some therapists combine aromatherapy and massage.

It is important when going for a massage that you are clear about what you want to get out of it, and that you check that your therapist does that type of massage.

There are many good massage clinics in Wellington.


A Naturopath is a practitioner who will look for natural methods to cure illness. Different naturopaths will have different areas of expertise. They may use diet, herbs or bach flower remedies, as well as some of the other therapies on this page.


Osteopathy can relieve back, knee & neck pain, headaches, occupational overuse syndrome, fatigue, digestive problems and more, by realigning the body’s structure. When muscles and nerves are no longer constricted, they are free to start the healing process.

Reactive Muscle Kinesiology

Reactive Muscle Kinesiology is an exciting technique that identifies and corrects muscle imbalances, which could be causing pain or fatigue. Read more about it here.


Reflexology is a type of foot massage that stimulates the area of the foot that corresponds to the area of the body where you are having problems.


A very relaxing healing practice that uses hands-on touch to balance and amplify energy on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual planes. Reiki is a  Japanese word meaning universal life energy. It is complementary to all other body therapies, except Bowen technique. Many massage therapists incorporate Reiki into a session.

Practitioners believe that everybody has the ability to channel healing energy, and once you have been “attuned” to it, you have it for life. The great thing about Reiki is that anyone can learn it to use for healing yourself, family, friends and pets.

To find Reiki Masters in New Zealand, visit the Reiki in NZ website.


Our modern foods aren’t as nutrient dense as those eaten by our ancestors, and we donlt always have the time to make the wisest food choices. So many people now choose to supplement with vitamins, minerals and other substances.

As with herbs, supplements can have a profound effect on your body chemistry, so consult a professional to help determine what’s right for you.

Here’s an overview on a few common herbs and supplements.