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Heal Your Body in South County

Where to go in Rhode Island to heal all that ails you

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Get to the Point
Even if you’re afraid of needles, acupuncture isn’t scary or painful. During the session, an acupuncturist will place tiny, barely visible (or detectable) needles in your hands, feet and forehead to redirect the body’s energies and relieve everything from stress to recurring pain to chronic illness. South County Community Acupuncture offers acupuncture as well as a type of body adjustment called Manual Osteopathy, as well as other Eastern practices. 750 Boston Neck Road, Narragansett. 788-1068.

Feel Good Vibrations
Reiki is a Japanese healing modality where a practitioner uses light touch to redirect the body’s energy, clearing away negativity and allowing positive vibes back in. It sounds a little out there, but it really has a relaxing and rejuvenating effect. Natalie Truman at Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork offers 30- and 60-minute reiki sessions, in addition to other self-care practices. 148 Main Street, Wakefield. 402-0223.

Fill Your Cup

Remember all of those circles on Michael Phelps during the Olympics this summer? Not the medals – the circles that looked like weird bruises all over his back. That was cupping, an ancient Chinese medicinal technique to increase blood flow in your muscles, which promotes healing and soothes aches. Deep Roots Acupuncture offers cupping in addition to acupuncture and other Eastern healing modalities like Tui Na and Gua Sha. Cupping helps soothe things like lower back pain, but also helps uninjured people recover more quickly from tough workouts and minor strains. It’s also a lot better for you than the ibuprofen you were going to pop until that nagging pain went away on its own. 24 Salt Pond Road, Wakefield. 932-7088.

Smell the Roses
Essential oils have so many uses, from being natural cleaning products to acting as natural medicinal alternatives. Aromatherapy opens up a whole new world of feeling better, without involving a prescription pad. At Newport Aromatherapy, herbalist Cynthia Marie LaBonte blends essential oils into delicious smelling perfumes that actually boost your wellness. Panacea is a lavender, ylang ylang and rose blend that calms you down, improves hypertension and promotes fuller breathing and a sense of wellbeing. Balance has Egyptian geranium, French lavender and bergamot, which lifts your mood, calms your hormones and soothes your skin. 109 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. 846-1101.

Channel Eastern Wisdom

If Chinese herbal medicine has worked in China for thousands of years, it’s probably going to lead to positive benefits for you. At Holistic Health RI, Dr. Jewel Somerville offers herbal “prescriptions” that are all natural and plant based, and treat the root of the problem as well as the symptoms. Herbalism is increasingly gaining traction in the medical community as an aid to traditional, pharmaceutical treatments: think ginger supplements, which decrease inflammation, in addition to an arthritis prescription. With thousands of plants commonly used as medicine, the possibilities are endless. 990 Main Street, East Greenwich. 398-2933.

Sweat It Out
You could blast the heat in your car, or just start eating a lot more hot sauce, but nothing will feel as good as the sweat you’ll make at Raffa Yoga’s Urban Sweat. The Cranston yoga studio and wellness center has a huge area devoted to heated rooms designed for specific health benefits, like the Himalayan Salt Cave that boosts your respiratory system, or the Turmeric Dry Sauna to reduce inflammation. 19 Sharpe Drive, Cranston. 463-3335.

Press the Issue
A really great massage isn’t just an hour on the table, blissing out as a masseuse works out all of your kinks. Massage boosts your wellbeing in many ways, especially if you’re being worked on by someone who has whole body wellness in mind. At Massage on Main, Donna Tschuta offers different types of massage, from the light, stress relieving treatments to orthopedic and myofascial massage. She can also incorporate reiki or acupressure into a treatment, which is specific, targeted pressure on trigger points to relieve muscle tension and improve circulation. It’s been known to help significantly with headaches, backaches and insomnia. 212 Main Street, Wakefield. 533-3333.

Get Grounded
On Block Island, even the massages feel like a vacation. Koru Eco Spa offers a Block Island Sacred Stone massage, which uses large, heated Block Island stones on key energy centers in the body. The service is based on both ayurvedic and Western philosophies, relaxing your muscles while releasing energy blocks in the body, resulting in boosted overall wellbeing. 232 Water Street, Block Island. 466-2308.

Hone Your Reflexes
Foot massage is great. Foot massage that has lasting benefits to your body and spirit is even better. At Uptown Salon and Spa, masseuses practice the ancient technique, which involves applying pressure to precise spots on your hands and feet to redirect the body’s energy flow. Reflexology combines pressure point touch, aromatherapy and massage, and has been known to reduce stress, improve sleep, boost circulation and reduce pain. 31 Post Road, Westerly. 596-9100.

Enjoy The Journey
Remember how good it feels to immerse yourself in the ocean in the height of summer? You can have that, even in February. The Water Journey at Newport’s Bodhi Spa is a tiny vacation. The hydrotherapy facility is a series of hot and cold mineral plunge pools and saunas designed to clean out toxins and boost your lymphatic system. Plus, it just feels really wonderful to be so warm and relaxed during such a cold season. 654 Thames Street, Newport. 619-4916.

Explore Eastern Medicine
Food as medicine – the idea that an improved diet can improve your physical health – is becoming more and more mainstream. But herbs can be medicine, too. At Shen Garden Acupuncture, Dr. Dan Howard is an acupuncturist who also practices Chinese herbal medicine, using herbs to create supplemental treatments that can address all kinds of maladies, from recurring headaches to insomnia to bigger health issues. 74 Second Street, North Kingstown. 935-7221.