Turn to these iPhone apps for a dose of alternative medicine

Oct 28, 2009
Health

With health care costs steadily rising, private insurance plans becoming harder to get and a public insurance option in no one’s near future, the practices of alternative and holistic medicine might sound like appealing options for keeping you and your family in good health. If you’re searching for information on techniques, iTherapy (99 cents) offers an overview […]

With health care costs steadily rising, private insurance plans becoming harder to get and a public insurance option in no one’s near future, the practices of alternative and holistic medicine might sound like appealing options for keeping you and your family in good health.

If you’re searching for information on techniques, iTherapy (99 cents) offers an overview of many of the central practices in alternative and holistic medicine. The app also offers tips on finding a holistic therapist and precautions to take when pursuing alternative therapy.

If you’re looking for some do-it-yourself instruction or information on a specific therapy, here are a few places to start:

Ayurveda iPhone apps 

Those interested in the traditional Indian medicine Ayurveda, which focuses on the three Doshas (vata, pitta and kapha), can use app iVeda ($4.99) to self-diagnosis a personal Ayurvedic constitution. The app then recommends grocery lists, gives information on dosha personalities, and explains how to recognize if your doshas fall out of balance. The app was developed in the UK, so you’ll have to forgive some of the language. I was categorized as a Pitta dosha — a spot-on assessment in my case.

Aligning the body’s seven major chakras (a key principle in Ayurveda) is said to optimize the functions of  the body, mind and spirit. Chakra Box ($2.99) features seven authentic Tibetan singing bowls for chakra healing, along with a meditation timer. Chakra Wellbeing ($1.99) provides an image, affirmation, location and sound for each of the primary chakras, as well as information on three of the extra chakras (earth star, soul star and divine star). It also offers suggestions for aroma and homeopathic remedies to bring chakras in balance. 

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Meditation iPhone apps

If self-transformation via calming, centered meditation is your aim, Guided Insight Meditation ($2.99) offers 48 videos of guided instruction and offers recommended course guides for all levels of practitioners.

You can use iMantra ($2.99; 99 cents for the “lite” version) to keep track of how many mantras you’ve said by sliding mala beads. The app offers pre-recorded Buddhist, Hindu, Kundalini, Universal and Planetary mantras, or you can record your own. You can also set the app to repeat a mantra a specified number of times so you don’t have to count beats.

 

Naturopathy iPhone apps

With a focus on natural remedies for healing the body, Naturopathy comprises several treatments centered on a holistic approach to wellness. The app Reflexology ($2.99) guides users on how to apply pressure to reflex points on the hands and feet to relieve pain and improve general health. Acupressure (99 cents) provides full charts of hands, feet, ear, teeth and iridology and water pH color to aid in pain-relieving massage.

Ancient Remedies (99 cents) takes acupressure a step further by utilizing the iPhone or iPod Touch’s vibrations at certain points on the body to ease 11 ailments including motion sickness, tired eyes and tense shoulders. The app didn’t make my tense shoulders feel better, but it’s certainly an interesting use of iPhone’s technology.

Color therapy claims to balance a person’s physical, emotional, spiritual or mental energy through the use of color and light (not to be confused with light therapy). App Developer studio WildCat offers individual apps in its ColorTherapy series, each focused on one of nine areas: abstaining from smoking, cold and arthritis, concentration, depression, diet, indigestion, insomnia, refreshment and stress (99 cents to $2.99). ColorTherapy Premium ($29.99) packages the nine separate apps together for increased savings.

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