Numerous alternative and non-conventional medical systems and therapies claim to affect sleep. In time this page may link to information available on the WEB. Meanwhile, the various alternative are listed in the table below. Some of the claims maybe quite extravagant - often without scientific proof. Lack of scientific proof does not necessarily mean that the claim is unwarranted, just that it has no proof, either positive or negative. The potential user should be aware. As the WEB is mainly self-regulated it may be worthwhile checking sites that claim to defend the consumer (e.g. U.S. Government: Federal Trade Commission).

A good article on complementary medicine can be found in the British Medical Journal (BMJ 1999 Sep 11;319(7211):693-696 What is complementary medicine? Zollman C, Vickers A) -link. Copied directly from it is a quote from the Cochrane Collaboration (an organisation with the aims of "Preparing, maintaining and promoting the accessibility of systematic reviews of the effects of health care interventions"):

Definition of complementary medicine adopted by Cochrane Collaboration
"Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a broad domain of healing resources that encompasses all health systems, modalities, and practices and their accompanying theories and beliefs, other than those intrinsic to the politically dominant health system of a particular society or culture in a given historical period. CAM includes all such practices and ideas self-defined by their users as preventing or treating illness or promoting health and well-being. Boundaries within CAM and between the CAM domain and that of the dominant system are not always sharp or fixed."

Sleep and meditation Bibilography

General Self-Help Information

  Method Description Sleep may be affected by
1 Acupressure A technique relying on the theory underlying acupuncture but using pressure instead of needles. Pain control
2 Acupuncture See Chinese medicine Pain control, possibly other mechanisms
3 Alexander Technique The Alexander Technique is an educational therapy aimed at improving physical and mental well-being by changes of habitual posture. (page *) Muscle and joint relaxation
4 Allergy Clinic Allergy clinics test and treat allergies and food intolerance. Improving breathing
5 Aromatherapy The use of fragrant oils may have arisen from the ancient use of aromatic herbs in Egypt, India, Greece and the Arab world. Traditionally the essential oils have been used as stimulants, relaxants, antiseptics and anti-inflammatories Various possible mechanisms
6 Ayurveda Ayurveda is an Asian medical system which has its beginnings more than two thousand years ago. Ayurveda literally means the science of longevity. It is an entire system so used herbal remedies, massage, yoga and meditation. Various possible mechanisms
7 Bio-Energy Healing The healer acts as a channel allowing the positive energy to pass through the patient with one hand and extracting negative energy with the other hand. Thought management & anxiety relief
8 Biofeedback   Thought management & relaxation
9 Buteyko Method A breathing re-conditioning program that treats asthma and other respiration problems. Improving breathing
10 Chinese Herbal Medicine Is a complete health system that looks at the body as a balance between the opposite energies of yin and yang. Various possible mechanisms
11 Chiropody/Podiatry A therapeutic foot care treatment for sports injuries, foot pains, back pains etc. Pain control
12 Chiropractic Manual treatment of musculo - skeletal aches and pains. Pain control
13 Colon Hydrotherapy An infusion of purified water into the colon is said to cleanse and detoxify the inner body. Claimed to treat headaches, backaches, constipation and diarrhea. Pain or discomfort control
14 Color Therapy The use of color in the environment to bring healing and harmony in body and mind. ?
15 Counselling Including psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, relationship issues, additional, etc. Thought management & anxiety relief
16 Deep Tissue Massage   Muscle and joint relaxation
17 Devices   Various
18 Diet   Ingestion
19 Energy Healing A form of energy transference that corrects the body's aura - effective for chronic fatigue syndrome, stroke and cancer patients. Thought management & anxiety relief
20 Exercise   Muscle and joint relaxation
  Feng Shui Bed placement ?
21 Flotation Total immersion in water Anxiety relief
22 Flower Remedies Specially blended to suit the individual patient said to bring about benefits by influencing each person's life force. ?
23 GDS Method Is a holistic treatment and preventative approach to a wide range of muscular - skeletal problems. This form of holistic physiotherapy uses massage, muscle technique, bone awareness work, remedial movements together with breathing and relaxation techniques. Muscle and joint relaxation
24 Hellerwork Founded by Joseph Heller who works from a center at Mt. Shasta, California. It is based on movement education as well as deep tissue manipulation. Muscle and joint relaxation
25 Herbalism Herbal remedies individually blended to help enhance the immune system, helps with gynecological conditions, infectious diseases and addictions with no side effects. Various possible mechanisms. Some examples:
Peppermint preparation

Askham's Herbal has this recipe for insomnia under Violet:
'For the that may not slepe for sickness seeth this herb in water and at even let him soke well hys
feete in the water to the ancles, wha he goeth to bed, bind of this herbe to his temples.

Herbal references link to A Modern Herbal by Mrs. M. Grieve.

26 Homoeopathy Remedies derived from mineral, plants and animal sources that stimulate the body's own healing mechanism. Various possible mechanisms
27 Holistic healing   Various
28 Hypnotherapy Hypnosis Thought management;
29 Intramuscular stimulation (similar to acupuncture) Pain control
30 Kinesiology Kinesiology is the study of muscle movement. Specialized kinesiology (applied kinesiology, clinical kinesiology) is an umbrella term for other kinesiology practices. Muscle and joint relaxation
31 Light Therapy Bright light can be used to reset the biological clock. Light therapy, as currently used, refers to treatments that increase production of Vitamin D (thuse aiding absorption of some minerals). Biological clock control, wake stimulation.
32 Marma Massage As part of ayurvedic medicine, marma points are defined as areas where muscles, vein, arteries, bones and joints meet. Stimulation promotes physical and mental rehabilitation. Muscle and joint relaxation
33 Massage A variety of techniques, including Thai, marma, shiatsu, deep tissue, "hydrotherm", chi Kung, rhacidian, Indonesian and Chinese tuina. Various possible mechanisms
34 Naturopathy Aims to treat the underlying cause of illness, not just the symptoms. Dieting to stop food intolerance is one of the techniques used. Various possible mechanisms
35 Neurotherapy Biofeedback technique Muscle and joint relaxation; thought management
36 NLP Neurolinguistic programming is a form of brief psychotherapy. Thought management & anxiety relief
37 Nutrition Dietary therapy. Ingestion
38 Osteopathy Treatment of joints and soft tissue using muscle relaxation and joint articulation techniques. Muscle and joint relaxation
39 Panchakarma A branch of ayurvedic medicine that deals specifically with detoxification. Various
40 Physiotherapy Conventional techniques used to treat muscle and joint ailments. Muscle and joint relaxation
41 Polarity Therapy A holistic energy medicine that uses a combination of bodywork, stretching exercises, cleaning diet and health awareness to assist the body's own healing process. Various
42 Psychotherapy Psychotherapy usually refers to psychoanalytic or psychodynamic therapists but can also refer to other pyschological treatments that have not been endorsed by professional associations. Thought management
43 Qi Gong The study of the science of Vital Force (Qi or Chi) through exercises and meditation. Thought management
44 Reflexology Massage the pressure points in the hands and feet which correspond to different parts of the body providing overall relaxation and restoring balance. Muscle and joint relaxation
45 Reiki The Usui healing system, known in the West as Reiki, has its roots in Taoism and Tendai Buddhism. Various
46 Shiatsu Japanese massage based on yin/yang. Muscle and joint relaxation
47 Stress Management General and varied methods Various
49 Therapeutic touch A modern form of laying-on hands. Thought management
50 T'ai-Chi Exercise guided by Chinese Medical methods Muscle and joint relaxation
51 Yoga "Integral Yoga" taught on a one-to one or group basis. Muscle and joint relaxation, thought management

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