Ancient Health Practices That Need a Renaissance

Before modern medicine, humans relied on holistic health practices to support vitality. Of today’s modern health trends, how many do you think were adopted from practices of a century past? You may be surprised that the “new” it food or trending beauty practice your favorite influencer has recently adopted are actually borrowed from ancient civilizations and freshened up with a modern twist! We think there are more ancient health practices that could use a renaissance as well!

Have you heard of tongue scrapping before? It’s not as medieval as it may sound! This practice of carefully scrapping away overnight residue on the tongue and rinsing it away first thing in the morning is from ancient India. Ayurvedic medicine, which originated in India more than 3,000 years ago, includes a daily tongue cleaning regimen. Some centuries later, tongue scraping was introduced to South America, Arabia, Africa, and Europe. “Recent scientific research has created a renewed interest in tongue cleaning. Evidence has shown that plaque-forming bacteria increased tenfold after a week of not brushing the tongue”.1

Addressing beauty, physical ailments, and pain, acupuncture does not have many rivals. Although this ancient health practice is more well-known than tongue scrapping, we think it deserves even more time in the limelight! The benefits of acupuncture are vast and there have been some interesting studies looking at how and why the placement of small micro-needles can be so effective. Research has shown that acupuncture may be helpful in the treatment of headaches, hypertension, mood, back pain, nausea, and other conditions2.

Lastly, something that sounds too simple to really be of benefit – grounding. Have you heard this term used in health and wellness before? Well, this ancient practice is touted for its calming effect on the body. The act of grounding can take many forms – walking barefoot on grass, lying down on the earth, digging your hands into the sand. Otherwise known as earthing, grounding has been shown to help relax our stressed-out bodies – something all of us could benefit from. A regular grounding practice has been shown to improve sleep, our ability to regulate pain, and improve wound healing3. With a list of benefits like these, who doesn’t want to integrate grounding into their daily routine?!  

References:

  1. Arden G. Christen, Ben Z. Swanson, Oral hygiene: a history of tongue scraping and brushing, The Journal of the American Dental Association, Volume 96, Issue 2, 1978, Pages 215-219,ISSN 0002-8177, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0002-8177(16)30453-6.
  2. Acupuncture. Johns Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved April 8, 2022, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/acupuncture#:~:text=Acupuncture%20points%20are%20believed%20to,physical%20and%20emotional%20well%2Dbeing.
  3. Oschman, J. L., Chevalier, G., & Brown, R. (2015). The effects of grounding (earthing) on inflammation, the immune response, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Journal of inflammation research, 8, 83–96. https://doi.org/10.2147/JIR.S69656