If you’re looking for alternative wellness ideas, expand your health resources with a different approach. From acupuncture to other Traditional Chinese Medicine, hypnotherapy, play therapy, Reiki healing and more, here’s where to find alternative therapy for all the family in Hong Kong.
Becoming a parent sometimes throws us through a loop, especially when it comes to thoughts on health and wellness. Our offspring make us reassess life choices and put health at the forefront of our minds. Parenting makes us more conscious not only of what (or how many) medicines we might take but it also puts a spotlight on unhealthy habits. Instead of reaching for the painkillers the next time you have a headache, or a nicotine patch to help you stop smoking, why not consider trying an alternative therapy instead?
Lucky for us, Hong Kong is packed full of great alternative therapy resources. To help narrow down the options, take a look through this rundown of complementary therapies that can be used by all the family and where to find them.
Featured Alternative Therapy
Acupuncture in Hong Kong
Art Therapy in Hong Kong
Gong Bath in Hong Kong
Hypnotherapy in Hong Kong
Mindfulness And Meditation in Hong Kong
Play Therapy in Hong Kong
Reiki in Hong King
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in Hong Kong
Other alternative therapies to consider
Editor’s note: Alternative therapy is in no way meant to replace conventional Western medicine or traditional scientific techniques. It can, however, be highly effective when used alongside conventional medicine, and as a preventative approach to certain ailments. You must always consult your doctor if you are unsure and to make sure that alternative techniques will not impact or hinder regular medicine or prescriptions.
Featured Alternative Therapy In Hong Kong
CORE Osteopathy – Experienced Osteopathic therapy for baby and up
Have you heard of hands-on healing? The practice of Osteopathy uses touch to both diagnose and treat the body as a whole. At CORE, the experienced practitioners combine osteopathy, neuroscience, psychology, exercise therapy and natural medicine to help the whole family. Using this alternative approach, you can prevent and recover from sports injuries (plus, optimise well being and performance), work on tension or strains, posture, digestive issues and even reflux in babies.
Mamas and babies can both benefit from Osteopathic support. Before, during and after your pregnancy, CORE combines Osteopathic treatment with treatments such as prenatal yoga, pilates and Ayurvedic therapy. For your little one, Cranial and Harmonic Osteopathy are recommended for general well being as well as targeting specific issues like colic, movement, sleeping, reflux, tongue ties, torticollis and flathead. Packages can be shared amongst the whole family, for any service, meaning all can benefit from a discounted rate.
Shakti Healing Circle – Reiki, shamanism, sound healing, meditation, psychotherapy and more
Keeping your optimal wellness, emotional and spiritual growth front and centre, this award-winning wellness centre is best known for Reiki, energy healing classes, shamanic workshops and psychotherapy (“talk” therapy)sessions. The team at Shakti takes a holistic approach to wellbeing. Plus, many of its practitioners are parents themselves so understand the pressures that come with having kids!
Celebrating 15 years since first opening its doors, you’ll find a wide range of alternative therapies here. In addition to those already mentioned, there’s hypnotherapy, sound healing (using crystal bowls and gong), Feng Shui, relationship or career coaching and more. You can also book individual meditation classes to help create a regular meditation practice in your own time. Plus, you can train as a Reiki healer yourself (Reiki level 1 and 2 and Reiki Master level 3) under the expert guidance of its teachers. Find your inner peace, Mama.
Renewed Edge – Counselling and Hypnotherapy Centre in Hong Kong
Renewed Edge helps you to lead a healthier and happier life through the use of counselling and hypnotherapy. A qualified hypnotherapist will help you drift off into a dream-like state in order to help you harness your mind’s focus and awareness. Train your brain to get rid of bad habits and negative thought processes and focus on how to achieve the results you want. During these challenging COVID times, you can download the UpNow self-hypnosis app. Created by the founder of Renewed Edge (and the voice behind the digital sessions!), the app lets you benefit from this alternative therapy from the comfort of your own home.
Not only can you book hypnotherapy sessions but you can also take a hypnotherapy course, certified by the National Guild of Hypnotists (NGH). If speaking to someone about your thoughts and worries is more suited to your needs, you can also book a session with a qualified counsellor here as well.
Sassy Mama readers can enjoy 10% off when booking an individual session (hypnotherapy or counselling) from now until the end of March 2023 with code SASSYMAMA at the checkout.
iLiving – Wellness centre for all your physical and spiritual needs
Get back on track to your best and truest self with the help of iLiving. Previously known as i-Detox, iLiving was founded by Anita S. K. Cheung, a Multi-disciplinary Health & Healing Pioneer and Practitioner since 2005 – so you know you’re in good hands. This award-winning integrative wellness centre has a unique 6-level healing system approach, from nutritional support right through to spiritual development. Here you’ll find ancient wisdom supported by the latest science that explores your physical symptoms, biofield (nervous system and DNA health), emotional and mental wellbeing, as well as the collective ancestral roots and your spiritual connection to the Divine.
Book a complimentary discovery call (phone or Zoom), or try a Bioresonance Health Consultation (real-time impressions about how your body is doing “as a living system”) which is a great place to start for preventative health. Whether you have a recent issue, or a long-standing problem that you’d like to resolve, the team here is confident that if you have an open mind, they can help.
Use the code “SASSYMAMA-ILIVING” to get up to 10% off selected items from the iLiving online shop. Or mention “Sassy Mama” during your discovery call and receive $200 off your booking of any private healing services. Valid until Friday, 31 March, 2023.
Read more: 7 Health And Wellness Goals For The Family
Acupuncture – Alternative therapy using thin needles on pressure points across the body
While some might run for the hills at the thought of having needles gently pushed all over your skin, many swear by this ancient technique. Acupuncture is a core therapy of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It works by inserting super-thin needles through the skin at various points on the body to help alleviate physical pain and psychological ailments. The principle of this alternative therapy is to facilitate free-flowing energy and balance your Qi (life force) by removing any blockages in the main pathways (meridians) of which it flows.
What can it help: For adults, it can be anything from migraines to back pain, insomnia to allergies and more. There is even a whole area dedicated to conception, pregnancy (including the dreaded morning sickness) and postnatal recovery.
In babies and children, it may help with colic, skin problems, bedwetting, strep throat, the common cold and more. There’s also research from The School of Chinese Medicine at Hong Kong Baptist University to suggest that acupuncture can also help autistic children with speech and social interactions.
Who can do it: Acupuncture can be used by every member of the family, including babies and children (smaller, less intrusive needles are used in pediatric acupuncture).
Where to do acupuncture in Hong Kong:
- Public hospitals offering acupuncture (including Hong Kong Baptist University training and research clinics)
- Balance Health
- Dr Susan Jamieson Integrative Medical Practice
- Gleneagles TCM Clinic
- HKU Space
- Integrated Medicine Institute (IMI)
- Oriental Health (including pediatric acupuncture)
- OT&P (Sharon Wan or Selina Cheung)
Art Therapy – Express thoughts and inner feelings with this alternative therapy in Hong Kong
A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say, so unlock your deepest thoughts through this creative technique. Art therapy will engage your body, mind and spirit and provide a platform to express thoughts and inner feelings. Using kinaesthetic, sensory and symbolic techniques, this is great for children who may not have the words to articulate themselves or adults who struggle to open up verbally.
What can it help: Art therapy can help with cognitive and sensory-motor functions, boost self-esteem, strengthen emotional resilience, improve social skills, resolve conflict and distress. It can also help with anxiety, depression, trauma, grief and more.
Who can do it: Fun (and healing) for all the family. You can do individual sessions or book as a family or group as well.
Where to do art therapy in Hong Kong:
Gong Bath – Lower stress and slow down your thoughts with vibrations
No, you don’t have to strip off in a bath full of metal bowls and gongs! Instead, you are bathed in the sound waves from this hypnotic instrument. Gong baths are an ancient form of music meditation that is thought to date back thousands of years. The theory is that the noise and vibrations lower the frequency of the brainwaves causing your mind to slow down. Thus, helping you to focus as a form of meditation to clear the mind and become more in tune with your own energy.
You’ll lay on the floor with your eyes closed while the practitioner hits the gong. It sometimes starts with the gong at the front of the room, followed by the practitioner holding the gong (or other instruments) over your head and other areas of your body to allow the vibrations to take effect. Sessions are usually held in groups (pre COVID-19, of course). Tibetan singing bowls are also used, along with other instruments.
What can it help: Relaxation, meditation and clearing the mind. It can help to reduce stress, remove emotional blockages and may even stimulate an altered state of consciousness.
Who can do it: Sessions are available for children right through to adults. While it seems that it might be ok while pregnant, it’s always best to check with the practitioner to make sure the technique is suitable.
Where to do a gong-bath in Hong Kong:
Hypnotherapy – Replace negative beliefs and thoughts with positive suggestions
Hypnotherapy creates a deeper and heightened state of consciousness by using words (sometimes accompanied by music or other sounds). Once in this relaxed state, the hypnotherapist helps by offering gentle positive suggestions to replace old, more negative, thought patterns.
Research carried out by the Stamford University School Of Medicine found that hypnotherapy alters areas of the brain and can aid “the brain’s ability to heal medical and psychiatric conditions.” I can attest to its positive benefits, as a Mama who’s frequently used this therapy over the years.
What can it help: From behavioural issues, stress and anxiety, phobias, stopping smoking, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), help during childbirth (see more about hypnobirthing) and even stage fright! There are numerous reasons for why it can be used.
Who can do it: Commonly used for adults, teen and some older children, one clinical psychologist believes that children as young as 5 can benefit from it.
Where to do hypnotherapy in Hong Kong:
- All About You Centre
- Alive Wellness
- Calm Birth
- Central And Stanley Wellness
- Mind Your Brain (book here)
- Shakti Healing Circle (as mentioned above)
- RenewedEdge Hypnosis (as mentioned above)
Mindfulness And Meditation – Alternative therapy to be more present in the moment
Similar to hypnotherapy, meditation has been shown to alter the neural pathways in the brain to help create more positive and focused experiences. Meditation has been practised for thousands of years – Buddhist monks are experts! It helps to clear and quieten the mind with improved focus as a result.
Rather than emptying the mind, mindfulness helps to focus more thoughtfully on actions or feelings. From brushing your teeth to having a cup of tea, this practice helps you to learn how to be more present, live in the moment, and appreciate the world around you.
What can help: Both help to reduce stress and anxiety, improve creativity, enhance performance, aides self-awareness, increases attention spans. Meditation can also improve sleep, help blood pressure, may help improve memory and more.
Who can do it: Everyone!
Where to practice mindfulness in Hong Kong:
See Sassy Mama’s Guide To Meditation And Mindfulness In Hong Kong for a list of options.
Play Therapy – Child-centred alternative therapy
How about an alternative therapy specifically designed for children? Enter, play therapy. Child-centred play therapy provides a safe environment for little ones to express fears, anxiety and negative emotions in a language that’s best suited to their communication.
By exploring repressed emotions through the art of play, the therapist can help with trauma (divorce, grief, illness and more), anger management, and numerous other issues.
What can it help: It helps to build children’s self-esteem, improve self-control, resolve internal conflict and stabilise emotions.
Who can do it: Sessions are generally aimed at children between the ages of 3 to 10 (and in some cases into tween and teen years).
Where to find children’s play therapy in Hong Kong:
- Hong Kong Adventist Hospital, Stubbs Road
- Integrate HK
- Lifespan Counselling
- Little Tree
- SPOT Hong Kong
- Wellness Programme (via the Hong Kong Family Welfare Society)
See also the Hong Kong Academy of Play Therapy’s (HKAPT) Facebook page.
Reiki – Alternative therapy that uses energy healing
Reiki originated in Japan ( “rei”, universal, and “ki”, life energy in Japanese) and is an alternative therapy based on energy healing. Using energy transferred from the palms of the hands, Reiki healers focus on seven chakras (energy points/gates) on the patient’s body to help with the flow of energy.
Crystals can also be used to help balance the energy of the patient and also the healing space. Various Reiki techniques (such as Siam Reiki) are also thought to go deeper into a more spiritual level.
What can it help: It is thought to help chronic pain, anxiety, depression, as well as a complimentary therapy in the treatment of cancer and heart disease among other benefits. It’s also believed to be a preventative therapy for certain issues.
Who can do it: Adults most commonly have Reiki treatments but it can also have positive effects on children as well. Make sure to check with the practitioners when booking.
Where to do Reiki in Hong Kong:
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) – All-encompassing alternative therapy
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a huge all-encompassing alternative therapy with many branches and a very long history. The main principle behind TCM is by treating the body as a whole and takes into consideration the whole body when diagnosing and treating an illness. TCM believes that prevention is the best cure.
TCM diagnosis is as intensive as the prescription. It involves looking, listening, smelling (yep), questions and palpitation (checking the pulse). Therapies include acupuncture, moxibustion (the burning of burning dried mugwort on certain points on the body), tui na massage, cupping and/or scraping, Chinese herbs and more.
What can it help: Digestive health, anxiety, IBS, infertility, arthritis, insomnia, depression, chronic pain, there’s not much that it doesn’t hope to treat!
Who can do it: All members of the family, though you should always check with the practitioner first.
Where in Hong Kong:
- Public Health Chinese Medicine Clinics
- Balance Health
- Integrated Medicine Institute (IMI)
- Oriental Health
- The Body Group
- The Chinese Medicine Clinics and Pharmacy at HKU SPACE
See also GovHK’s information on TCM
Other Alternative Therapies To Consider
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in March 2021 and updated in March 2022.