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Alternative & Complementary Therapies

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Alternative & Complementary Therapies

Aromatherapy


What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is a healing art. It is a holistic treatment of caring for the body using scents, associated with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Aromatherapy is the practice of using fluid plant oils, including essential oils, and other aromatic compounds for mental and physical well-being.

Long ago, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Romans and Chinese used to burn scented flowers, herbs and benefit much from aromatic bath, skin care and massage for therapeutic and aesthetic purposes. Aromatherapy works best when the mind and body function at the same time.

Aromatherapy is one of the fastest growing fields in alternative and holistic medicine. It is often used in home, clinics and hospitals for management of pain relief, lighten tension and fatigue, ease labor pain, alleviate pain caused by chemotherapeutic side-effects, and for the treatment of cardiac patients.

Botanical oils include rose, lemon, lavender and peppermint while essential oils are aromatic essential extracted from grasses, bark, fruits, trees, flowers and plants with distinctive psychological, physiological and therapeutic properties known to restore health and prevent diseases. There are around 150 essential oils available worldwide. Most of these have antiviral, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, antidepressant and pain killer property. For maximum benefits, essential oils must not be artificially produced but rather taken from natural and pure raw materials.


How aromatherapy works?

Essential oils work through stimulation of the human sense of smell. As a person, we are capable in distinguishing 10,000 different odors which have a substantial impact on how we feel. Research has found out that life without fragrance can lead to psychiatric problems such as depression and anxiety. When we smell, the air enters through our nose going to the limbic system, the part of the brain which is responsible for our emotions, moods, learning and memory.

Essential oils also contain chemical ingredients that have a significant effect on the mind and body. These chemicals include aldehydes, alcohol, ester, ketones and terpenes.

What are the benefits of aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is substantially effective for stress relief, anxiety, muscular and rheumatic pains, GI disorders and postnatal depression. Other benefits have been known and are further discussed below:

Aromatherapy can enhance male sexual response. It was noted that upon intake of doughnut with black licorice or lavender with pumpkin pie, circulation in the male reproductive organ improved significantly. Men are considered the most active in terms of sex, responds best with lavender, cola, and oriental spice while older male favor vanilla fragrance. Thus, aromatherapy can definitely cure male impotency.

Aromatherapy can relieve stress. One study conducted in US has shown that patient exposed to vanilla aroma and undergoing MRI simultaneously reported 60% less claustrophobic. Patients’ heart rate remained the same. Apparently, the aroma reduced the anxiety by pleasant memories induced by vanilla aroma or other psychological response.

Aromatherapy can also cure colds, aid postpartum discomfort, promote sleep, facilitate wound healing, improved skin tone, kill fungal and bacterial infection, reduced inflammation, relieve tension headache, boost the immune system and regulate hormones.

What way can Aromatherapy be used?

Lamp Ring Diffuser

Massage with carrier oil

Electric diffuser (nebulizing)

Clay pot diffuser

In personal-care products

Stem inhalation/vaporizer

Direct inhalation


Be careful not to take the following oils if the following health conditions are present as it can result to severe complications and even death.


Abdominal pain—clove

Asthma—marjoram, oregano, rosemary, yarrow

Breast cancer—angelica, anise, caraway, cypress, fennel, sage

Epilepsy—anise, fennel, hyssop, nutmeg, parsley, sage

Glaucoma—cypress, hyssop, lemon balm, tarragon, thyme

Hemorrhaging—lavender if taking an anticoagulant

High blood pressure—hyssop, lemon

Hypothyroidism—fennel

Insomnia—peppermint, pine

Menstrual complaints—angelica, anise, caraway, cypress, sage

Prostate cancer—angelica, cypress, hyssop, Thymus serpyllum

Tumors—anise, caraway, fennel

Urinary tract infection—eucalyptus, juniper


Ayurvedic Medicine

Ayurvedic Medicine (also called Ayurveda) is an alternative medical practice that is mainly based on tradition more than 5,000 years ago in India. It is often called the “science of life” coming from the two Sanskrit words ayur (life) and veda (knowledge or science). It involves all problems of man from physical and psychological to even spiritual. In short it is a holistic lifestyle program that comprises what and how to eat, how to exercise and how to take medicine. Thus, purification of the body, mind and soul is all part of it.

Ayurvedic treatments rely mainly on herbs, oils and common spices. In treating an individual, patients are classified according to body types or prakriti, as determined by the three doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha). The doshas regulate mind-body harmony, while imbalance happen only during illnesses. Treatment is aimed primarily in harmony restoration or balance to the mind-body system while cleansing the body of the substances that cause diseases, thus restoring harmony and balance. Doshas are blueprints or a health profile of a person, encompassing strength, weaknesses, and susceptibility to illnesses.

Vata, a dosha, which is made up of both air and space. It controls all movements in the human mind and body and must be kept in a well-balance state. It regulates blood flow, toxin elimination, breathing and movement of ideas across the mind. Excessive Vata can result to insomnia, cramps, constipation and worries.Vata can also affect the two other principles: Pitta and Kapha.

While Pitta is made up of both fire and water. It controls all heat, metabolism and transformation in the human mind and body. It regulates food digestion, how we metabolize our sensory perceptions, and discriminate between right and wrong. It is great importance to keep Pita in a well-balance state. Excessive Pita can result to anger, ulcers, rashes, thinning of hair and criticism.

Lastly, Kapha is made up of both earth and water. Kapha cements the elements in the human body, giving the material for physical structure. It keeps body resistance, lubricates the joints, facilitates wound healing, moisturizes the skin, supports memory retention, gives strength to the heart, lungs, and boost the immune system. Kapha is responsible for emotions of attachment, love, forgiveness, calmness, as well as, greed and long-standing envy. Excessive Kapha can result to lethargy, congestion, allergies and weight gain.

However, in order to maintain mind-body stability, Ayurveda highly recommends the following things:

In order to calm Kapha, you must eat spicy foods and avoid sweet foods, with exception to honey. Several fruits and vegetables should also be avoided such as tomatoes and nuts. Eating meat including turkey is fine, but avoid eating rabbit and pheasant meat.

Pitta can be restored at a balance state by eating sweet food and nuts while avoiding spicy foods.

On the other hand, Vata can restore to a normal state by eating nuts, dairy products, particularly those foods that are sweet, salty and sour while avoiding spicy foods.

Ayurveda believes that herbal and dietary practice are of great importance in treating stress-related or chronic conditions and for alleviating toxic effects caused by surgery and chemotherapeutic drugs. Other diseases that have responded to treatment in studies are metabolic and endocrine gland dysfunctions, gastrointestinal diseases, neurological disorders, mental disorders, inflammation of the musculoskeletal system, and the prevention of cancer. The key to good health and happiness can only be attained through appropriate harmony and balance.

But, before enduring any complementary and alternative practice, it is best to seek an advice from your health care provider first to ensure coordinated and safe care.


Chinese Medicine

What is Chinese Herbal Medicine?

Chinese medicine or otherwise known as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is one of the most ancient healing system originating in China for thousands of years. It is primarily based on the principle of Qi (or Chi), or life energy. Equilibrium of Qi is important for good health maintenance. However, illnesses occurs if this balance is disrupted.

Yin and yang are very important aspect of Chinese medicine, illustrating the interdependence and relationship of opposites. Yin refers to the body tissues while yang to its activity. It is a must to keep these two in balance.

Chinese medicine treatment is individualized and so there is not a standard therapy for any health condition. Studies in both the Eastern and Western countries have proven that Chinese medicine are effective in the treatment or prevention of all health conditions including sterility, respiratory ailments, digestive problems, brain dysfunctions, cancer, cardiovascular irregularities, and AIDS.

Typical Chinese medicine include herbal medicine, acupuncture, dietary therapy, lifestyle management and qigong exercises. Acupuncture work by stimulating certain body part while herbal medicine acts on internal organs. However, qigong restores the balance state inside the body through the regulation of Qi.


Are Chinese Herbs Safe to use?

Chinese medicine are very safe when correctly prescribed by health practitioner. Over the centuries, doctors has recommended the use of Chinese medicine as a first line of treatment for thousand of year and until now majority still prefer to use these as a form of therapy. Side-effects particularly allergic reactions to Chinese herbs are extremely rare and not that harmful compared to other drugs produced by pharmaceutical companies. If any untoward symptoms are noted, it is best to stop taking them first and consult your doctor.


What can Chinese Medicine treat?

Chinese medicine can successfully treat all forms of illnesses. The results will primarily depend on the duration of treatment and severity of the disease. Chinese herbal medicine is well-known in Western countries for its ability to cure:

Skin diseases (eczema, acne, psoriasis, rosacea, urticaria)

Gynecological conditions (premenstrual syndrome, endometriosis, dysmenorrheal and infertility)

Gastrointestinal disorders (ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome and chronic constipation)

Respiratory condition (bronchitis, asthma, chronic coughs, perennial and allergic rhinitis and sinusitis.

Rheumatological conditions (rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis)

Diabetes, depression and anxiety

Hepatitis, HIV, and Urinary conditions such as chronic cystitis

With all these health benefits that you can get from herbal medicines, it is no wonder that traditional Chinese medicines and medicinal Chinese herbs come highly recommended by all experts!


Homeopathy

What is Homeopathy?

Homeopathy (homeopathic medicine) comes from the Greek word homeo (similar) and pathos (suffering or disease). It is a total health care system that can therapeutically effect a wide range of diseases and dysfunctions.

In the 18th century, the system was founded by German physicist Samuel Christian Hahnemann and is subsequently followed by other doctors. Homeopathy is often used for wellness, prevention and cure of many diseases and conditions. This article provides a general summary of homeopathy including its uses and importance in humans.

The main principle behind homeopathy based on the following:

  • “Law of Similars” (like cures like) - the patient is treated with exceptionally small dose of a substance that in larger doses would normally cause or aggravate symptoms of his condition.
  • “Law of Infinitesimal Dose” (law of minimum dose)—the lower the medication dose, the greater its effectiveness.
  • “The Single Remedy”-no matter how many symptoms are experienced, only one medicine is taken, and that medicine will be intended at all those symptoms.

Homeopaths care for people based on hereditary, personal health history, body type, current corporal, emotional, and psychological symptoms. Patient visits tend to be extensive. On the other hand, treatments are "individualized" or tailored to each individual - it is common for different people with similar condition to be given different treatments.

Homeopathic remedies are taken from natural substances that originate from plants, minerals, or animals. The most common remedies include arnica (mountain herb), red onion, and stinging nettle plant.


Why use Homeopathies?

  • Homeopathy is particularly useful. When the right remedy is taken, outcome can be fast, inclusive and lasting.
  • Homeopathy is totally safe. Even children and expectant women can use Homeopathy without the risk of side-effects. Homeopathic remedies can also be taken along with other medication without producing unnecessary side-effects.
  • Homeopathy is natural. Homeopathic remedies are usually based on natural constituents.
  • Homeopathy works in concord with your immune system, unlike some medicines which repress the immune system. For example, cough medicines inhibit the cough reflex, which is your body's effort to clear the lungs.
  • Homeopathic remedies are never addictive - once relief is felt, you should discontinue taking them. If no relief is felt, you are most likely taking the wrong homeopathic remedy.
  • Homeopathy is mostly holistic. It treats all the symptoms as one, which in sensible conditions means that it addresses the cause, not the symptoms. This often means that symptoms undertaken with Homeopathy do not persist.

Consult your health care providers about any alternative and complementary practices you use. Provide them a full picture of all you do to deal with your wellbeing. This will make certain synchronized and safe care.


Herbal Supplements

What are herbal supplements?

An herb is a plant or plant part used for its flavor, scent, or therapeutic properties. Herbal medicine aredietary supplementsthat people take to enhance their health. Many herbs have been used for decades and proven to have powerful health benefits. They can be sold as capsules, tablets, powders, teas, extracts and fresh or dried plants. However, some can cause serious health problems, some are not effective and some may interact with other drugs you are taking.

Herbal supplements are becoming more popular now than years before. People are searching for alternative ways to enhance their well-being and they are turning to natural treatments rather than risky pharmaceutical drugs. Being healthy means making wise choices. This include knowing what goes inside your body and how much your body needs in terms of nutrients for optimum health.

Nowadays, nutritional deficiency is roughly not possible to avoid. It is difficult to obtain a complete daily nutrition because of busy lifestyle and alluring fast foods. Most individuals have entirely neglected the food pyramid, compromising their health needs. Therefore, herbal supplements can be a good replacement for proper nutrition. This is to ensure that you get exactly the right nutrients your body needs.

Herbal supplements also help boost our immune system. The stronger your immune system is, the more resistant your body can be against sickness. You most likely know that popping a drug or two of Vitamin C can facilitate avoidance of colds and related diseases. This is exactly how useful herbal supplementation is.

Herbal supplements are also helpful in getting rid of the toxins which we dreadfully take in daily. The ecological stresses we go through, chemicals we are in contact with, as well as our lifestyle - these all subject us to destructive toxins which can result to severe health problems. Supplements, particularly anti-oxidants, can help our body remain toxin to a smallest amount.

There are good deals of benefits that herbal supplements can offer. The main point is that these supplements help you have the best possible health you deserve and reduce the risk of diseases.

Many people taking supplements often complain. This is because people do not really take supplements seriously. They take the one most accessible, or perhaps the cheapest. They consider in all these bold claims from scammed websites and end up getting poor quality products.

To take full benefit of what herbal supplements can offer, you must select the correct supplementto take. It is only by taking your choice sincerely will you be able to live a fuller, and healthier life. So, choose well henceforth.


List of Herbal Supplements

Alfalfa (Medicago sativa)

Aloe (Aloe vera,Aloe barbadensis, Aloe capensis)

Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA)

Artichoke (Cynara scolymus)

Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus)

Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa)

Capsicum (Cayenne, hot pepper) (Capsicum frutescensandC. annuum)

Chamomile (Matricaria recutita, Chamaemelum nobile)

Chondroitin Sulfate

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis)

Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon)

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone)

Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis)

Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea and other varieties)

Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) (Oenothera biennis)

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)

Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)

Fish Oil

Flaxseed and Flaxseed Oil (Linum usitatissimum)

Garlic (Allium sativum)

Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Ginkgo Biloba (Ginkgo biloba)

Ginseng (many varieties)

Glucosamine

Green Tea (Camellia sinensis)

Hoodia (Hoodia gordonii)

Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra and G. uralensis)

Maitake (Grifola frondosa)

Melatonin (N-acetyl-methoxytryptamine)

Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)

Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)

Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea)

SAMe(S-adenosylmethionine)

Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens)

Schisandra (Schisandra chinensi and S. sphenanthera)

Soy (Glycine max)

St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

Thymus Extract

Turmeric/Curcumin (Curcuma longa)

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)

About Cytochrome P-450 (CYP-450)


Always speak to your medical doctor before taking any herbs or supplements. All herbs, medicines, and other substances have possible side-effects. Allergic reactions have been accounted for nearly every herb, occasionally with life-threatening cost. If you think you are experiencing an allergic reaction or other solemn side-effects, discontinue the substance and seek immediate medical guidance..



 

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