So you just spent four hundred bucks on a new iPhone. Sounds hard to swallow if all it that you got was a cell phone. But if you look at it as a multi-purpose point-and-shoot digital camera, video camera, videophone, music and video player, web browser and paperweight, it’s not a bad deal. Further, if you consider the potential of the 500,000 apps available at the App Store, you have a personal trainer, medical advisor and life coach as well as a spiritual mentor.

There is no dearth of high-priced medical and health apps surrounding the field of conventional medicine. And the same holds true in the field of holistic lifestyles and health and here is a list of some of them, concentrating on the free ones. After dropping a half-a-thou on a cell phone, who wants to pay for the fun stuff?

iTherapy Free A thin and modest compilation describing only 32 alternative therapies. The info given is decent but the overall lack of more topics makes it barely worth the download. In addition, the support website for the app seems to be offline. Hardly worth the price: free.

I like it Organic! Free is another database compilation but far more dense than iTherapy. Focusing on healthful food choices, primarily organic, it’s a compendium of outsourced information culled from various other databases and sites. The links go beyond food into the area of eco-environmental issues and some toxin-related illnesses. Still, the information appears to be updated fairly regularly and provides a good read now and then.

Simply Organic Free Of course it’s free. It’s an app by the food brand Simply Organic. But it does serve as a nice recipe database and inspiration to eat more healthfully.

Medicinal Herbs Free A fairly decent database of information on medicinal herbs but once again, only a small number is listed, only 42. Still, it’s a start if you want to find out about aloe vera, valerian, yohimbe and the Thunder God Vine.

Music Healing Free Okay, music therapy is a valid and useful form of alternative healing but this app will drive you crazy. It’s that sappy New Age drone-sounding type of stuff that seems to go on and on. And with this app, it does. Though I did experience a moment of deep sighing relaxation when the first stock photo image of a water droplet came on the iPhone screen, it soon turned to angst when the only way I could get the app to shut off was to delete it from my iPhone. Arrgh!

Pocket Massage Massage therapy is one of the all-time best alternatives to conventional therapies. The uses and applications are vast. Back pain, stress, lymphatic flow, immune response and more are what make massage so valuable and highly recommended. However, this app is about as useless as one would think. Don’t waste the bandwidth. Call a massage therapist.

Chakra Vortex Free If you’re looking for a trendy, New Age diversion this free app will give you about 30 seconds of that. In the free version, you get only one color, red, so it relates only to one chakra: the base chakra. The phone screen becomes a vortex as a chiming sound pulses from the smartphone speaker. It’s kind of cute and clever. The biggest advantage is that it at least gets a user interested in finding out more about the body’s energy centers, the chakras.

iCrystal This app is a new one to me and if you buy into the idea of crystals storing and amplifying energy, this app may be of interest to you. Crystals do, in fact, store energy and amplify it. That is the basis behind all computer chips, transistors and solid-state electronics. So if you have a crystal of any sort: amethyst, rose quartz, citrine, etc. you can use this app to “recharge” or energize it. A basic understanding of crystals is helpful to know how to do that. That’s what the next app is for.

Healing Crystals Unfortunately, this app is very little but an enticement to upgrade to the paid version ($4.99). However, the few crystals listed are a basic idea of the interpretation of crystal healing.

Prêt-à-Yoga Lite Once you get into the yoga apps you begin to find some very useful ones. Even this free one is great for beginners. There are 72 yoga poses presented with audio instruction and light background music for each one. Tap the screen once and you get a side view of the posing yogini. From the start screen you have three options: going through the full sequence, opening just the sun salutation segment or a pranayama sequence. There is a page for settings but as in so many apps, no “Home” button to take you back. This app is one of the better free apps I’ve run across in any category, despite the play on “ready-to-wear yoga” in the app name.

Yoga at Home This is another worthwhile free app. The down side is that it requires an internet connection to function because it really is just a link farm to various YouTube yoga videos. Once online though, it does give you a simplified way to select appropriate yoga viddies for your skill level. On an iPhone the app is a little small screen but it probably rocks on an iPad.

Previously we reviewed some other apps and What’s on My Food? by Pesticide Action Network remains one of the best when wondering whether to spend money on organic produce or lower-priced conventional. Example app data: conventional strawberries have 54 total residues, eight known or probable carcinogens, 24 suspected hormone disruptors, 11 neurotoxins and 12 reproductive toxicants. Organic strawberries have zero neurotoxins and only one carcinogen suspect.

The app is free and can help you avoid the poisons that conventional producers put on your food. Two places that are extremely hazardous to your health are hospitals and the average supermarket.

Be well.

Heartland Healing examines various alternative forms of healing. It is provided as a source of information, not as medical advice. It is not an endorsement of any particular therapy, either by the writer or The Reader. Access past columns at

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