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British ColonisationModern medicine has reserved words like “healing” or “medicine” exclusively for their approved products, cures and cares. What is left for ancient and well-known methods, used to restore and maintain the wellbeing of people around the world, are words like “wellness”, “natural remedies” or “health care treatments”.

However, there is more to these treatments than the names convey. Most Natural Remedies work on a holistic level; balancing body, mind and spirit, whilst generating an overall sense of wellbeing. Some traditional healthcare systems are thousands of years old. Just like modern medicine, wellness remedies are used for a variety of physical ailments. However, they also treat emotional and psychological symptoms, such as stress, depression and anxiety.

Its name meaning “Science of Life”, Ayurveda is the oldest existing health system in known history. It is estimated that Ayurveda was practised for more than 5,000 years. This great and ancient science originates in what is today’s India but has meanwhile spread all over the world. Tibetan healing practices include much of ancient Ayurveda. Never being reduced to the physical, Ayurveda embraces a wide spectrum of treatments, including yoga, meditation, mantra-chanting, massage, diet, and herbal remedies.

Flower Elixirs and Environmental Essences form part of Ayurveda, but have also been a part of Egyptian, English and ancient Greek healing systems. Being pure vibrational remedies, they alleviate stress and negativity; contributing to the prevention of illness and the maintenance of a happy and balanced lifestyle. Some Flower Essences are made from endemic Mauritian flowers, like Trochetia Boutoniana, Baume de l’ile Plate or Hibiscus Fragilis.

One could say, that Flower Essences are an integral part of Aromatherapy, one of the oldest ways to cure ailments. Now some might associate Aromatherapy with tisanes, others with little diffuser lamps to create an ambiance. But Aromatherapy is much more than this; its plant-based products can be tisanes and oils, but also elixirs, creams, incense or moksha-sticks, vapours and poultices, prepared from plants, to bring the individual back into a state of harmony. In native societies, many of these products are combined with specific healing ceremonies, sometimes involving chants, massages or ritual movements.

Just like Flower Essences, Essential Oils are an integral part of Aromatherapy and also a science in themselves. The oligo-elements contained in plants and flowers have been used for thousands of years, by our ancestors, who also invented a range of methods to extract them from the mother plants. Enfleurage, extraction, absorption and distillation are some of the most common methods; used throughout the world to obtain the precious oils. Essential Oils are used in massage oils, health care sprays, in beauty products, are mixed with neutral carrier oils and applied on the skin, are ingested through the mucous membranes whilst in diffusers and also taken as drops or added to tisanes, baths and food. Some very interesting and special essential oils such as calamondin, ylang ylang and pink pepper are made in Mauritius.

Salt has great healing potential and is known to remove stress, negativity and fatigue. Salt lamps, salt baths and beach walks are great ways to absorb those beneficial negative ions; making one feel invigorated, relaxed and energised afterwards. Coming from the least spoilt ocean, the sea salt of Mauritius has great healing virtues, alas it is only produced in one single saline nowadays; as Mauritians prefer salt imported from China or the Himalayas.

Massage and special techniques such as acupressure, shiatsu, lomi-lomi and foot reflexology are wonderful tools to directly work on the body; removing blockages as well as harmonising and realigning its pressure points, nadis and meridians, which are directly correlated to different body organs all using various types of natural remedies. Watsu is an especially soft way of shiatsu, where therapist and client are in a pool or in the ocean, with the water softening the movements and diffusing pain.

Pranic Healing and Reiki are two different types of energy healing, both working with the “Chi” or “Prana”, the Chinese and Indian terms for pure life force or divine life-energy respectively. Both methods are designed to remove or transform diseased or negative energies which cause stress and illness and regenerate the energy flow by cleansing the ‘subtle bodies’.

Acupuncture and Acupressure are methods that originate in China and Japan; both work to redirect and unblock the body's natural energy flow, alleviating physical or emotional pain and re-invigorating the energy-bodies.

During an Acupuncture-session, the therapist places needles on specific points throughout the body, whereas during Acupressure the therapist uses slight and hard pressure on pretty much the same points in order to align and stimulate the energy flow.

Finally, Art Therapy is a great way to relax the mind and even known to relieve anxiety. While exploring their creativity, people learn to improve how they deal with their feelings, increase their self-esteem and successfully deal with pent-up emotions.