Did you know?
In South Africa, there are over 100 000 practising traditional healers.
In South Africa, complimentary healing activities include a wide variety of fascinating options. As the world grows more and more spiritually aware, destinations that offer some kind of alternative healing experience are growing increasingly popular.
The Confederation of Complementary Health Associations of South Africa (COCHASA) generally defines complimentary healing as an holistic approach to healthcare that includes the integration of mind, body and spirit with a firm belief that everything the individual does will have some impact, positive or negative on one's health.
Complimentary healing activities in South Africa include a wide range of activities including body stress release, aura soma (colour healing), polarity therapy (a therapy based on flow of energy in the body) and sound healing workshops. Take the definition a little further to include yoga safaris, ecopsychology safari's and even meerkat enlightenment workshops! There are numerous qualified practitioners all over the country who deal with this type of healing work, and teh alternative healing community continues to grow.
The list of alternative things to do in South Africa for the open-minded traveller really is vast and we generally love to bring either our cultures or our natural attractions into the various therapies and alternative practices. At Kurisa Moya Nature Lodge in Limpopo, guests can enjoy cranio-sacral therapy (a form of bodywork that assists the patient in releasing blockages) sessions as part of their offering, while at the Buddhist Retreat Centre in Ixopo (KwaZulu-Natal) meditation workshops are core to the structure of each day. Hout Bay psychologist Jeffrey Rink believes in the healing of nature and specialises in ecopsychology retreats in the bush to help participants get in touch with their issues and find their inner strength.
Many of the cultural villages offer a visit to a sangoma (traditional healer), and while these visits are sometimes just seen as a bit of fun, participants certainly benefit on some level from the interaction.
There are dream interpretation courses, stargazing workshops, reiki retreats and workshops - and a host of complimentary healing activities on offer. If you want to explore and uncover new ways of expressing your spirituality, South Africa is a good place to be.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Cochasa (Confederation of Complementary Health Associations of South Africa)
Tel: +27 (0)21 976 3199
Tel: +27 (0)22 972 1636 (Cheryl Lancellas)
Tel: +27 (0)21 790 2573 (Jeffrey Rink)
Homeopathic Association of South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)12 333 1828
Lesedi Cultural Village
Tel: +27 (0)12 205 1394
Best time to visit
The workshops and weekend retreats are generally assigned over specific times, so please consult the various websites for details.
Tours to do
Open Africa runs several routes and journeys that highlight cultural interaction: These include the Land of Legend route in Limpopoand the Mbodla Eco-Heritage Route in the Eastern Cape. If you enjoy yoga, then book a place on a yoga safari and enjoy yoga sessions in the bush combined with game viewing.
Having your own car on any trip to South Africa will be of benefit.
What will it cost
Costs are dependent on therapy and length of session. Speak the the individual therapist before your session regarding rates.
Where to stay
You can stay overnight at Lesedi Village or at Shangana Cultural Village in Mpumalanga. Weekend retreats are on offer at the Buddhist Retreat Centre in Ixopo and Temenos in McGregor in the Western Cape. Kurisa Moya Nature Lodge also offers accommodation in rustic cabins in a forest.
The complimentary or alternative healing community is quite active. Visit the Odyssey Magazine website for details.