Archive for the 'Alternative Medicine' Category

Jun 03, 2011 Posted Under: Alternative Medicine

Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain

In chiropractic management of low back pain, we have an old adage, “There are only two kinds of people in the world: those that have low back pain and those who are going to get it.” A little bit of an exaggeration? Just ask as many people as you know if they ever had low back, and you will be regaled with horror stories.

So, what do you do if you suddenly get low back pain? Most people run for the heating pad and some kind of OTC, over the counter medication. Could be a big mistake! First, a heating pad, contrary to public opinion, usually makes the pain worse. It increases inflammation. Heat draws more blood to the already inflamed area. The increased blood flow results in the depositing of more substances that increase inflammation, like lactic acid, histamines and prostaglandins.

Combined, these substances increase pain, swelling and redness. Of course, when it comes to the low back, sometimes it’s hard to see these things. Low back pain usually exists where you can’t see it: beneath the skin around the spine, ligaments and tendons.

So let’s examine what often happens in a severe cases, like in a herniated lumbar disc. You may have been a victim of such an event. If you were, you know the symptoms well. They go like this:

  1. When you stand, you’re bent to one side like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
  2. If you cough, it’s like the end of your world: the sharp, excruciating pain is unbearable.
  3. The muscle spasm is unreal, like somebody has got you in a vise grip.

Have you been there? If you have, you probably wanted to go straight to an emergency room. Barring that, what should you do? To begin with, you should apply ice to the area. Never place the ice directly on your skin because it can burn like fire. Instead, place a towel between the ice and your skin. Keep the ice on your low back for about 25 minutes and then off for about 45 minutes. Ice reduces inflammation by forcing blood, and thus the products of inflammation, away from the low back area. Next, you need some kind of pain pill, especially one that combines anti-inflammatory ingredients. Any OTC product that contains ibuprofen will work.

That’s all good for temporary relief, but what about more long term relief and something approaching a cure? That’s where chiropractic needs some close consideration. The first thing is to determine what’s causing these terrible symptoms. Actually, one of the most common causes, especially if you have the symptoms cited above, is a herniated lumbar disc: a slipped disc. A slipped disc occurs when the jelly-like substance inside the disc breaks through the elastic fibers containing it. It’s sort of like when a bubble forms on the outside of a tire that’s worn thin. But this bubble pinches down on a critical nerve root. Ouch!
Does this condition require and operation? Well, according to research, only a very small percent meet the criteria for an operation: intractable pain at night and loss of bowel and bladder control. This occurs when the tire is flat: the jelly-like contents of the disc has completely leek out.

With proper chiropractic treatment, this condition can be managed successfully. In our chiropractic office, treatment begins with ice and the distraction technique. This totally painless treatment, which is preformed on a specially designed table, decompresses the lumbar disc: reduces the pressure inside the disc. With reduced pressure, there’s less protruding material to pinch or irritate the nerve root. As pain lessens, our doctors begin spinal manipulation, the chiropractic adjustment. This treatment is designed to restore proper spinal joint function: full alignment and complete movement.

Spinal joint function is the key to a successful outcome. Chiropractic adjustments restore proper movement. Proper movement is the function of any joint. If a joint does not move as much as it should, it is a diseased joint. Often patients tell me that their back has seized up. With the inflammation gone and joint function and motion restored, symptoms are usually totally alleviated.

Even in severe cases, proper chiropractic care can quickly reduce and eliminate all symptoms associated with a herniated lumbar disc.

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May 06, 2011 Posted Under: Alternative Medicine

Use Lavender Oil to Reduce Work-Related Stress

The daily demands and pressures of life can be quite distressing and in particular those demands that are work-related. Work-related stress is a fact of life with which most individuals deal. Work-related stress not only negatively impacts work performance, but it can also adversely affect personal relationships as well. Stress from work can lead to fatigue, aching muscles, headaches, stomach problems, and emotional difficulties such as anxiety or depression. When you need to relieve work-related stress, you may want to consider using lavender oil.

Using natural ingredients to combat the ill-effects of stress is both safe and effective. Treating stress with chemicals, such as those found in anti-depressants and over-the-counter medications, can be counterproductive to one’s overall health. Since many medications carry with them warnings of dangerous side effects, it seems only rational to opt for natural alternatives instead. Reducing work-related stress naturally can be better for physical, mental, and emotional health.

There are many ways in which lavender oil can be used to reduce work-related stress. The fragrant, calming vapors of this oil can be inhaled directly or the oil can be added to a hot bath. Most people can apply lavender oil directly on the skin without a carrier oil, but you may find after a patch test that you prefer to dilute the lavender oil with some jojoba or another base oil. The oil from the lavender plant (Lavandula angustifolia) produces a calm, soothing, and sedative effect that can restore balance to the nervous system thereby promoting relaxation and uplifting one’s mood.

It’s not always practical to use a diffuser at work because everyone else may not want to smell lavender, and it can be overly relaxing for some people… which is not usually something everyone else in the office wants or needs. The easiest way to take full advantage of the benefits of lavender oil is to simply keep the bottle on hand, either in a purse or in your pocket, and simply breathe in deep inhalations of the scent from the open bottle. Alternatively, you can put a couple of drops of the pure oil on a tissue and then breathe in the aromatherapy from the tissue. This is generally a milder option and sometimes subtlety is the better method when it comes to full strength essential oils.

Remember that pure essential oils are very concentrated therapeutic substances, but they are not to be over used. Moderation is always the best practice with natural healing substances.
Michael D. Thompson, an organic perfumer and accredited Master Herbalist, is the founder and director of Florapathics, LLC which manufactures all-natural, organically-derived personal care products that are infused with pure essential oils for aromatherapy.

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Apr 05, 2011 Posted Under: Alternative Medicine

Aromatherapy Massage Is Great in Relieving Stress

Aromatherapy massage is the art of combining a massage method with the use of scented herbs that are great in calming, energizing, and uplifting our body through our emotions. This is believed to have better positive effects on the patient rather than a plain massage therapy as the aromatherapy possesses many healing properties that boost the health recovery of the patient. Aromatherapy massage is common in Ancient China, Japan, India and Egypt as an old practice in soothing and healing people with emotion-related stress.

In our modern times, aromatherapy massage is considered as a mood controlling therapy with the use of essential oils that help our emotion. Modern massage therapists use many different scented candles during an aromatherapy massage to enlighten the mood of their patient and in return releases the bad energy gathered from their stressful day. Most spas also light scented candles all over the place to set a good mood for the whole place. These scented candles have different healing properties as well and are similar with essential oils in controlling the emotions of the patient.

Aside from using essential oils, the technique used for this type of therapeutic massage is similar to the other types of massage therapies which use massage strokes on different parts of the body to remove muscle tensions that result to body pains such as muscle cramps, spasms and sprains as well as a good anti-stress. These massage strokes help in providing an enhanced oxygen circulation as well as removing the formations of lactic and uric acids as well as other types of metabolic wastes that should be removed out of our system. During the massage therapy, the massage therapists will be using up to five different types of essential oils, all of which you have chosen for your own preference.

Knowing what healing properties these essential oils have is essential if you want to have an enjoyable aromatherapy massage as each herb has its own unique properties. They are all highly concentrated plant extracts that have been taken out from all parts of an herbal plant from its roots to its leaves. Unlike perfumes and colognes, these essential oils are 100% natural and taken only from herbal plants in the form of ointments.

Make a good preparation for your aromatherapy massage session and always remember that you never go on a massage therapy with a full stomach or after having a heavy meal. This is not advisable as it is unhealthy and is known to give discomfort to the patient during the massage therapy session.

Make sure that you are comfortable with your massage therapist so that you will have a relaxed and enjoyable session at the spa. You can always ask for a different massage therapist if you feel that you are uncomfortable with your therapist. This is why it is important that you do a careful research and track record check on your massage therapist before deciding on having one. Make sure that he or she is experienced and skilled in this type of job.

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Dec 10, 2010 Posted Under: Alternative Medicine

What Is Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a process which is treated with the help of needles. The needles are inserted in to various parts of the body to relieve pain of for other therapeutic purposes. The origins of acupuncture are still not confirmed that in which century it has started, but we know that it has been originated from China.

In the modern times acupuncture treatments received a lot of criticism from the modern Chinese civil war and Chinese communist party leaders labeling acupuncture with different names such as superstitious and backward and creating a hurdle in scientific progress.

Acupuncture gained popularity when American president Richard Nixon visited China in 1972 and was shown a patient under going a surgery through acupuncture and the patient was fully awake and during the same time he was accompanied by a reporter of New York Times and he received a treatment through acupuncture and was stunned after receiving the treatment. He was so impressed with the treatment that he wrote an article relating to acupuncture which then gained its popularity.

In recent times if you have noticed a chart outside a doctors clinic doors showing body parts divided in to different zones. These zones are divided for the purposes of acupuncture as according to this treatment the needles are inserted in those positions and points which will then have an impact on the affected part.

Not only acupuncture helps proper flow of energy through your body but it also helps in regulating body functions and spiritual well being. This treatment has also been used to cure head aches, digestive disorders and asthma and apart from these problems it has been successfully used to cure and help against depression, phobias, addiction and eating disorders.

You should know that the human body is divided in to fourteen meridians or channels, one meridian for each of the twelve organs. Acupuncture pressure points are located along these meridians and some points have more than one function which means that acupuncturist might use them to cure other illness as well.

There are acupuncture points located on the back of the hands, thumb and first finger, acupuncturist use these points to cure constipation and other internal disorders. Another acupuncture point map is located at the base of the skull and along the gallbladder meridian. These points are used to cure flu and cough and also fever and headaches. There are so many pressure points in our body that can cure so many illnesses which we don’t even know.

The acupuncturist knows all the pressure points in human body and knows the exact points that are connected with different parts of our body. The needles are inserted in to specific parts of body so that proper flow of energy is established and relieve them of their illness.

When you have been treated by the acupuncturist you will then feel the flow of energy throughout your body in a new feel of physical and emotional harmony.

Remember to get treated from a proper licensed acupuncturist.

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Nov 11, 2010 Posted Under: Alternative Medicine

How Does Acupuncture Help With IVF?

Recent studies have indicated that women undergoing IVF can benefit from acupuncture. This ancient Chinese practice has become fairly mainstream over the last few years and the question, “how does acupuncture help with IVF” certainly merits further consideration.

Practitioners believe that the procedure has a number of positive effects on both the male and female reproductive systems. It is thought that it can increase the chances of successful implantation and reduce miscarriage.

Looking at the specifics, how does acupuncture help with IVF?


One paper which was published in 2002 indicates that acupuncture can help relieve stress levels considerably and that the reduction in stress hormones can be directly attributed to increased success rates. In physical terms, stress diverts blood from the uterus towards the glands responsible for coping with stress. A reduction in stress can help restore healthy blood flow and thus enhance fertility.

Regulation Of Hormones

Acupuncture can help treat problems within the pituitary gland and hypothalamus. The needles stimulate the release of beta-endorphins which influence the production of reproductive hormones. This can regulate the menstrual cycle, restore and promote good ovarian function, helping to produce healthier eggs.

Reduction Of Side Effects From Fertility Drugs

IVF procedures include the use of fertility drugs to help induce multiple egg release. Clomid, one of the most popular drugs can actually cause thinning of the uterine lining which can make sustaining an embryo problematic. For those wondering how acupuncture does help with IVF, in this instance, the improvement in blood flow to the uterus can help produce a rich, thick lining. One study showed that women who received acupuncture 25 minutes before embryo transfer and 25 minutes afterwards had a marked increase in pregnancy rate compared to those who did not receive the treatment.

Lowering Of Miscarriage Rates

One paper presented for the American Society of Reproductive medicine indicated that acupuncture could help increase the live birth rate. The study followed 131 women, 48 of whom had acupuncture whilst the rest did not. Although implantation rates were very similar, the miscarriage rate in those having acupuncture was much lower.

You have seen above the answers to the question, “how does acupuncture help with IVF” but then the decision is whether or not to go ahead. Most doctors will have an opinion on the subject with many now advocating acupuncture and some recommending local practitioners.

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Oct 26, 2010 Posted Under: Alternative Medicine

Aromatherapy Candles

For centuries, people have been looking in all directions to search for alternatives to traditional medicines and procedures for stress relief and healing effects. Aromatherapy has been a part of the human lifestyle for centuries because of its soothing effects along with its therapeutic benefits. It has been used by royalty in the early part of history, and now, modern day spas offer this popular service to all kinds of people. Here is some basic information about aromatherapy and its benefits.

– Aromatherapy means that extracts from plants and special herbs are infused in the wax so when heated, the essence is released into the air and can bring about different healing and soothing effects.

– It is believed that the oils released into the air settles into the respiratory tract, thus, bringing about the benefits and health relief that the plants and herbs are intended to bring.

– It is widely known that some of the benefits of aromatherapy include bringing relief to health concerns such as colds, sinus and stress.

– The effect of aromatherapy can be felt almost instantly and can have a positive lasting effect for a person that has caught a cold or similar disease. Aromatherapy, when used for cold relief, is generally held during the evenings so once relaxed, the person can go straight to sleep and gain further relief from illness.

– It can also help psychologically to relieve the person of stress. Aromatherapy can alleviate the person’s mood as well. The scents can bring the mind into a calmer state, thus positively affecting the person’s whole being.

– The most popular essential oils used in aromatherapy candles are lavender, eucalyptus, chamomile, jasmine, and sandalwood. While they generally aid in making a person feel and think better, some of them actually bring relief from allergies and even nausea. Generally, only a few drops of essential oil are used per candle. For some scents, you can use three to four drops of essential oils and for some scents that are stronger, you can use just two to three drops per candle.

Aromatherapy is also used as a supplement for medical patients during their healing period. While there has not been extensive medical research on its effectiveness, medical practitioners support the use of aromatherapy. Most spa centers offer aromatherapy and you can also just as readily purchase the required supplies from local stores if you want to do aromatherapy at home. Some aromatherapy candles are already infused with the oil. You can also use an aromatherapy kit where drops of oil are heated by candles enabling the scent to be released into the air. Different people have different preferences for fragrances. You can try out various scents to see which ones you like and which scents work best for you.

Using this kit will help in the calming and relaxation process. As you set it up, this easy and simple process can be a relaxing outlet for all your stress. Even from the comfort of your home, you can get the benefits of aromatherapy, making you feel good whenever you need it.

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Oct 08, 2010 Posted Under: Alternative Medicine


Healing from any condition requires knowledge of cause (nidana) and pathology (samprapti). The cause of most ulcers lies in a mixture of vata and pitta provoking factors.

Vata type ulcers occur secondary to the stress of overwhelm and anxiety. This usually occurs in the presence of a vata vitiating lifestyle consisting of stressful life changes, a lack of routines and a diet of cold, dry and light foods such as salads and corn breads.

Vata type ulcers occurs secondary to dryness of the mucous membranes of the stomach and small intestine. Ayurvedai describes this as vata entering the rasa dhatu of the annavaha srota. A dry membrane is unable to protect the underlying tissue from the normal or even low levels of acid present in the digestive system. The result is that the acids burn the tissue resulting first in hyperacidity (a poor term as there is no excess acid) and later in ulceration.
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This condition is healed by rebuilding the mucous membrane lining the stomach and intestinal wall. Following a moist or oily diet is beneficial. Cooked foods and herbs with a demulcent quality help hydrate the rasa dhatu. Herbs such as licorice and slippery elm not only provide symptomatic relief but long term healing as well. Treatment of the whole person is always required and hence, the mind must be treated and a proper lifestyle restored.

Pitta type ulcers occur secondary to the stress of intensity. This usually occurs in the presence of a pitta vitiating lifestyle consisting of a highly focused intensity on goal achieving and a diet of hot, spicy foods.

Pitta type ulcers result from excess acid secretions. These secretions overwhelm the protective mucous secretions of the intestinal lining. The result begins as the burning of hyperacidity and later results in ulceration. This is a condition of pitta entering the rasa dhatu of the Annavaha srota.

This condition is healed by reducing the acid secretions as well as rebuilding the mucous lining. A cooling diet is one that reduces acid secretions. By avoiding hot spices and taking in foods with a sweet and bitter taste, acid secretions are minimized. In addition, the mucous membrane should be rebuilt utilizing moist, oily foods with a sweet taste. Hence, combinations of bitter and sweet herbs are most beneficial. The combination of dandelion and licorice roots is a personal favorite of mine. Bleeding if present can be managed with haemostatic herbs such as praval pishti or red raspberry. Praval pishti has the added benefit of being an antacid. As mung dal also has antacid properties and is relatively easy to digest, a diet of mung dal or kitcheree rapidly improves the situation.

The person with pitta vitiation should also be encouraged to relax more and adopt less competitive activities. Hence benefit is gained through treating them mind and adopting a healthy pitta pacifying lifestyle.

Many cases of ulcers are caused by a combination of vata and pitta factors. Hence, a combined approach is often most beneficial. This approach emphasizes the use of the cool and moist qualities such as those found in the sweet taste. Herbs such as licorice root and slippery elm pacify both doshas.

Ulcers and a related hyperacidity are relatively easy conditions for the Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist to manage. Through proper lifestyle and diet along with the right herbs, suffering is reduced and healing takes place.

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Aug 26, 2010 Posted Under: Alternative Medicine


With the increasingly stressful demands everyday life makes of us, essential oil candles are becoming more and more popular. Some people have romantic notions of placing them around a warm, foamy bath and relaxing to the gentle fragrances they release, and some just like to have one balanced on their desk to relax them at work, but essential oil candles are always a calming, gentle presence that adds to a room’s atmosphere.

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Aug 13, 2010 Posted Under: Alternative Medicine

What is Acupuncture?

The emphasis of acupuncture is prevention, not so much a cure but to keep the body in balance. It gives you the ability to live long and have a healthy life, who does not want that? The earliest known account of acupuncture is in the document Nei Jing or The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine. It is said it is from around 200 BC and is known to be the oldest medical book in the world. Pien Chueh used acupuncture to bring a prince out of a coma by using stone acupuncture needles, herbs and moxibustion (a burning of cone shaped cylinder of downy or wooly material.) he is still held in high esteem and the Chinese celebrate his birthday every April 28th.

It is used to regulate the flow of chi to restore the health. Acupuncture helps with the blood pressure, circulation and the production of red and white blood cells. It releases hormones that will help the body accept injuries and stress, relieving it all. Pain signals are passed through a number of ‘gates’ from the injury and goes through the spinal cord up to the brain. This is where the needles come in as pain needs to find a ‘hole’ in which to escape from the body before reaching the brain. The Yin and Yang is further refined into the system with five elements so that one can gain an understanding of how acupuncture really works. Many will take acupuncture treatments and will state that it works for them.

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