Self-help healing can be summed up as working on improving one’s health through initiative. A person looking to experience healing through the self may seek out books, classes, techniques and research that will help him or her become healthier in many different ways or in one particular way. For example, an individual engaged in self-help healing often uses a holistic, or whole, approach to heal the body, mind and spirit. This self-help approach is based on improving one's overall state of health. Self healers may also choose to focus on improving health in one area, such as coping with a mental illness.
For example, a person with a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia may concentrate on using a self-help healing approach to try to prevent developing the disease. Schizophrenia self-help methods include avoiding recreational drug use and not drinking alcohol to excess. Making an effort to make and keep social bonds through relationships with other people is important in trying to prevent the development of schizophrenia.
Learning to cope with stress and anxiety is crucial in self-help healing of any kind. Stress can have a strong effect on the body, mind and spirit. Learning how to manage it can help prevent mental and physical disease. Creating an individual exercise routine that includes relaxation exercises may be part of a self-help approach to healing from stress.
Self-help healing is a highly individualized way of treating a problem. It certainly doesn't mean that the individual is totally alone in getting help. Self-healing strategies often involve taking the advice of a doctor as well as joining a group to meet with others who have similar problems. In addition, individuals involved in a self-help approach to healing tend to seek out helpful books and articles for advice.
Advantages of self-help healing include the individual taking an active part in his or her own health. Self-help approaches to healing can uniquely match each person's problems and preferences for dealing with them. Disadvantages of self-help healing may occur when the individual isolates himself or herself rather than builds up a social network of helpful relationships.
Self-help groups are often ideal for interacting with others who have the same disease or problem. Individuals with similar issues can learn coping skills from others while also feeling like part of a community. Not feeling like one is alone and struggling with something no one else has can make a difference in the effectiveness of self-help healing strategies.