In 1982, the Prince of Wales addressed the British Medical Association (BMA) with these priceless words. “Today’s unorthodox is most probably tomorrow’s convention.”
The medical profession has always viewed alternative medicine with outright skepticism and scorn.
In recent times there has been a growing belief among common folks to seek alternative medicine as a time-tested holistic healing therapy to their ailments. The good news is that the medical fraternity has an ear on this.
The factors for this switch could likely be:
- Practitioners of alternative medicine are able to afford more time.
- Patients feel that the therapist is honestly concerned. He is just not addressing a singular problem but whole body.
- Touch is an instinct that fosters a bond. Patients view this as an effective means of communication. Alternative medicine frequently uses massage, subtle pressure on certain areas, acupuncture and so on. Orthodox medical practices alienate the patient from the doctor as this personal touch is missing.
- Normal medical practice and advise is familiar. Do this, do that, blah, blah. Patients are consoled with unheard terms and unfamiliar practices that imparts a powerful healing force.
This brings us to the next hurdle. Which kind of alternative medicine is suitable? To make it simple, dear reader, they are best broken into four categories.
A Complete Healing System
These are highly developed. Incorporated are the causes of the illness, diagnostic methods, and treatment. This approach is more in line with conventional medical practices. But there are practices dating back millennia.
The gamut of best-known systems includes acupuncture, herbal medicine, osteopathy, homeopathy, naturopathy, and chiropractic. Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional healing system of India is becoming increasingly popular.
These techniques involve kinesiology, a study to determine muscle strength for detecting allergies, iridology to examine the eyes for hidden disorders, and hair analysis which seeks nutritional deficiencies
The most unconventional is the ‘aura diagnosis’ which orthodox investigators find hard to accept.
These include fringe treatments such as massage, aromatherapy, reflexology, hydrotherapy, and spiritual cleansing. These do not address core issues. Orthodox practitioners are supportive of this. These methods are meant to complement rather than replace orthodox forms of treatment.
Self-help is a great way to go about it. This offers ways where people can ease their symptoms, improve their health and simply stay well. On the menu are breathing, relaxation exercises, meditation, yoga, and a balanced diet.
So What Is Alternative Medicine Exactly
The goal of every living being is to live long and healthy throughout. Alternative medicine does not promise miracles. The beauty of alternative medicine is how you perceive it. Music therapy, quitting smoking, de-stressing, and what have you. In fact, cases have been reported where cancers have disappeared purely through meditation alone
Your participation is vital. Your mind needs to sync with this belief. And it works, Believe me. I am an ex-alcoholic now and free from substance misuse.
Tradiditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese medicine has been around for centuries. Why? Is it because it works? Being the most populated country in the world, faith in it is proof enough of its efficiency. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is thousands of years old. The practice has remained unchanged. It is a key proponent of alternative medicine.
All ancient medical practices seek to establish a balance. Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Unani, you name it. Collectively they are considered alternative medicine. The concept of Qi (pronounced chi) translates into positive energy..It comprises two opposing forces: Yin and Yang. An imbalance between them results in illness. This concept is very powerful and is core to traditional Chinese medicine.
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The ancient Chinese belief has it that humans are a tinny-Winny bit of the Universe. We are a part of it and thereby subjected to the forces of nature. The key concept here is a balance between health and illness. TCM adopts this principle as the starting point of treatment. This is indeed the basic premise of all kinds of alternative medicine.
Each individual is unique and calls for the specific tailoring of the treatment too.
To restore balance, it is necessary to tune the internal body organs and earthly external elements of wood, earth, water, metal, and fire.
To mend a body and get it back in shape calls for the involvement of many techniques.
- Moxibustion; which is the burning of specific herbal leaves near the body
- Cupping; the use of glass jars warmed to create suction on specific body points
- Herbal remedies
- Concentration and movement exercises such as Tai Chi
Here we are not jumping into nitric oxide but rather exploring the use of Chinese herbs for poor blood circulation.
Do your feet, hands and other extremities go cold often? In particular, do pins and needles set in when you sit a lot longer?
These are signs of mild circulatory disorders that people ignore or dismiss as a minor inconvenience.
In Chinese medicine, circulation problems are of serious concern. If left untreated it can give rise to other disorders that aging brings on such as joint pains, hardening of arteries, varicose veins, and hypertension. Even if the problem is very mild, remember that your body parts are getting less oxygen, and cleansing of waste products becomes less efficient.
Let us explore and see what Chinese doctors prescribe to get that blood moving by using alternative medicine practices.
It may sound fanciful, expensive treatment at a spa. No, you can do it under your shower at home. Just get under and swing between cold and hot water 5 to 6 times. The hot water causes the blood to rush to the surface of the skin with the underlying tissue being oxygenating as it flows.
If the water is cold, the blood returns to the internal organs taking back waste with it. You don’t have to be extreme with temperature.
A massage relaxes the body. The masseur follows a pattern of kneading, pushing, and pulling which all increase circulation. When the therapist depresses a body part, he is essentially clearing the blood from the area.
A release causes the blood to come back ready for reoxidation. The most important thing about a massage is the release of lactic acid buildup and lymph circulation.
Stretching is simple and can not ever result in injury. We do stretches in preparation for the body to warm up.
Picture credit: https://www.whyiexercise.com/
Stretching is a very important aspect before launching into your workout regime. It avoids sports injury. Stretching is advised at any place, your work desk, a jet ride, and what have you. The Chinese have a marvelous regimen called Tai Chi.
The beauty of this practice is its slow, controlled postures each seamlessly melding in. Likewise, Yoga is another natural form that yields high dividends.
For the circulation of blood, exercise is a must. There are no rules here simply. Just do it. Rules simply make it binding and are therefore not sustainable if you follow the alarm clock routine. Just do it anytime, 10 minutes if that’s all you have. Exercise in any form releases endorphins, stimulating, “feel good,” secretions of the brain.
Certain foods encourage circulation. This is the building block of alternate medicine. Antioxidants work miracles. They hold a compound, Lycopene which is commonly found in tomatoes and watermelon. Lycopene is a great blood circulation booster.
Onions and garlic are tremendous blood thinners. The less the viscosity, the more is efficient blood circulation possible.
Chinese medicine strongly endorses the use of green leafy vegetables. This is especially beneficial to the liver as Qi processes the liver faster. However leafy greens are rich in Vitamin K. As we have mentioned before, this would be clashing with blood thinners as Vitamin K is blood clotting. Your physician is the man who will work out a suitable balance.
Ginger and Cayenne are popular ingredients in Chinese cuisine that are warming and hence blood circulation promoting.
Turmeric. It is both an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, much used in Chinese cuisine. It thins blood naturally. Omega 3 fatty acids found in salmon, fish generally and nuts helps a great deal/ Above all, hydrate, and hydrate.
Acupuncture It has been around for ages. I can personally vouch that it is painless. It is all about inducing nitric acid and increasing the flow of blood. You may question how does a pin cushion aid a person lying supine? Well, it marshalls in nitric oxide around the needles and thereby speeding up blood flow. It is one of the cornerstones of alternative medicine.
The final point is about herbs which are our focus.
Chinese Herbs- The backbone of TCM Alternative Medicine
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Often, just blood nourishment is insufficient. A healthy diet and good digestion notwithstanding, we have seen cases of poor blood circulation. A feeble pulse, intolerance to cold, and cold extremities are all signs of poor blood circulation.
It is clear and important that underlying causes be first explored like iron deficiency, cardiac weakness, hypothyroidism, B-12 deficiency, and so on. Once the situation has been taken stock of, we can explore our next course of action by using Chinese herbs for remedial action.
Blood tests alone, unfortunately, do not shed sufficient light on the causes of circulation problems. Hence it is not just a matter of pumping in supplements.
Narrowing down on the causes is easier said than done. Coldness, weakness, construction, deficiency, and congestion may all, or some show up. The doctor identifies which is the most prominent and establishes a treatment protocol. This is the tricky part, as he will be mixing various herbs of differing strengths and properties to arrive at the right elixir.
TCM analysis is very clear. The start point is Qi. The imbalances therein need fixing. Qi is the prime mover of the blood. Vital deficiencies can arise.
Qi detects the deficiencies. The diagnosis follows, For instance, if the findings are a low °pulse, fatigue, weakness, and sluggish digestive energy, most TCM practitioners will employ the roots of astragalus, ginseng, salvia, and shou wu, along with white atractylodes rhizome. The treatment first pictured will reinforce Qi itself using the astragalus, ginseng, and the white atractytlodes which boost the efficacy of Qi. Now it can go about its job.
Scientific studies have shown that the herbs mentioned help dilation and regulating peripheral vessels improving capillary circulation (DeFeudis, 1991). Hence another testimonial of why alternative medicine is just not a fad alone.
Assuming that the issue is a fallout of coldness, it is a clear indication of poor blood flow. Most likely increased viscosity, which makes the blood thicker. The next step is to derive the origin of this coldness; internal or external. This is an important differentiating stage.
We are looking at internal factors. Not much you can do if it is -10°C outside. Low outside temperatures have blood receding from the skin and going inner. Skin, being a sensor, keeps the situation at a standpoint, until you initiate circulation by activity.
This, the cold sinking in is a shows up by cold intolerance, cold limbs, shivering, and lower back pains. Sure shot signs of TCM, a grand mom’s fix is to get up the temperature. She did not know much about blood circulation and but it made sense to her.
TCM encourages the use of cinnamon bark, dry ginger, and ash bark. These are not long-term therapies. So, please refrain from using it unless the cold is short-lived and superficial. Anything more lasting would need second advice which could call for advanced medical help.
If the cold goes deep in, the problems will manifest as bad digestion, fatigue, nauseous, and among others appetite. In particular, a great concoction that works wonders is a mix of black pepper, freshly grated ginger, ginseng root, and so on.
If for some reason, impairment of the flow of blood is the root cause, blood congestion results. Blood stasis is when blood circulation comes to a stop. Chinese herbal formulas address this. In China, this is the prescription to prevent and treat heart attacks and strokes.
These herbal formulations are based on salvia root, dang gui root, Carthamus flower, and ash bark. Similar herbs with lesser properties are bilberry, primrose oil, turmeric root, and garlic bulb.
If the congestion worsens, as a resort, administer more potent herbs such as persica seed, the roots of red peony, and E zhu.
The last resort is Anteater scales and dried leech that is potentially toxic.
This write-up is not an exhaustive treatment of the virtues of Traditional Chinese Medicine. So then the purpose is to point out that all schools of thought where curing is the aim have a somewhat similar pattern of thought. Whatever be the healing systems all over the globe, the healing properties of herbs have always taken center stage. Even Mom resorted to castor oil. Alternative medicine is a strong contender for more conventional medicine. That much is pretty clear.
However, we strongly condemn the use of animal parts in any method of health treatment. As a rule, they in any case do not fall under the family of herbs.
Ayurveda- “Prevention is Better Than Cure”
Going back about 3000 years, Ayurveda, a holistic treatment that has roots in India. The derivation of the word is from ayur, meaning life, and Veda meaning knowledge. Also called the mother of all healing, it has spawned Homeopathy and Polarity Therapy.
The goal is ‘whole system cleansing.’ Therefore, one cannot view Ayurveda, a wellness healing, as a ‘one size fits all solution to health.
It addresses an individual’s nature and situation, geographical location, prevailing seasonal conditions, and so on.
The United States has granted Ayurveda complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) status.
So What Is Ayurveda?
The foundations of Ayurveda are on the balancing of mind, soul, spirit, and body.
It does not attempt to fight disease. On the contrary, it strives to promote good health. But it does not shy away from any specific problems encountered.
Life Energy And Ayurveda
The fantastic concept of connectivity of all things live or dead is the tenet forming the base of Ayurveda. If your connectivity with the Universe is good, your health remains in balance. But, of course, genetic hand26 downs, injuries, climate age, and so on do their chipping away.
Practitioners of Ayurveda hold that five elements make up the Universe- fire, water, space, earth, and air.
These elements churn in the human body into three energy forms -doshas, which translates as faults or diseases. Vata (air and space; move the wind or to blow), Kapha (earth and water), and Pitta (fire and water) are the three doshas.
The balance between these doshas is what keeps you healthy.
The Characteristics Of Doshas
The Vata Dosha is composed of air and space. It is the energy of motion that rules all biological body activities. Power is a requirement to transfer nutrients and fluids to cells.
It is the principal dosha as it governs the life force of the body and sets in motion the other two doshas. When balanced, it promotes creativity and flexibility. When out of sync, anxiety and fear result
It is a powerful dosha. It determines how cells divide, breathe, the mind, heart functioning, blood flow, and getting efficiently rid of body wastes.
The Pitta dosha is composed of fire and water. It governs metabolism, digestion, nutrition, and body temperature. In balance, it promotes intelligence and understanding. When off-key, anger, jealously, and hatred follow.
Lastly, Kapha dosha, formed of earth and water, provides the glue that binds muscles, tendons, and bones. Constituted of land and water, it gives the energy of lubrication, moisturization, and structure. Above all, it bestows immunity.
In balance, it Kaphais love, forgiveness, and calmness. But, out of equilibrium, it brings in greed, envy, and attachment.
Expanding on Ayurveda
The three dishes mentioned are what is in your control. Everyone is born with a combination of these three doshas. One of them will be dominant. Ayurveda is not a cure. It is about striking symmetry-Ayurveda is a model whereby one can take hold of their health. Lifestyle and diet play a dominant role.
It is The role of an Ayurvedic practitioner is to figure out these imbalances. A common practice is in the use of panchakarma.
Panchkarma- Detox, Rejuvenate
Panchkarma essentially comprises five therapies.
- Emesis (the purging of toxins by initiating vomiting)
- Purgation (cleansing the intestinal system)
- Nasal medication (Medicated oil inhalation)
- Oil enema (for those with disorders of joints, arthritis, urinary, and the reproductive system)
- Herbal decoction enema
This detoxification regimen is essential to eradicate not only bodily toxins but also those related to the mind. Therefore, eliminating stress is of utmost importance here.
The rejuvenation process is essentially easing the body back into the stream. No, we are not talking tenderloin or pork chops here. Diet has to be strictly vegetarian because the primary goal is to reset the digestive mechanism’s system.
I found these sites very helpful: https://www.ayurveda.com/2021/08/24/ayurveda-a-brief-introduction-and-guide/.
Ayurvedic Medications- A Brief
These 12 herbs make up the staple.
A word of caution, however. Some may contain lead, arsenic, or mercury. Be judicious.
1) Ashwagandha- Native to India and Africa. It is a root that smells like a horse. (ashwa means horse and gandha means smell) Research indicative of lowered stress levels by increasing cortisol levels. On the flip side, some believe this to be an aphrodisiac- horse, stallion, get me.
Picture Credits: https://www.onnit.com/academy/benefits-of-ashwagandha/
2) Boswellia– A ayurvedic medication with anti-inflammatory properties, can reduce joint pains and improve oral health, digestion, and breathing, especially in asthmatic people.
Picture Credits: https://mastergardener.extension.wisc.edu/burs-boswellia-neglecta/
Picture Credits: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/triphala
3-5) Triphala– Means three fruits. They promote relief from joint aches, constipation, and also oral health. Their role in limiting cancer has been the topic of many studies. To learn more do visit https://www.healthline.com/
Also, Triphala has shown to have excellent in reducing oral plaque build-up and as a mouthwash. It is a polyherbal formulation meaning the addition of a few ingredients to arrive at this
Triphala is a derivative of three Indian fruits; Amla, a native gooseberry high in vitamin C, amino acids, minerals, phenols, tannins. The list just keeps growing. The practice in India is to have one every day.
Bibhithaki, a giant tree native to Southeast Africa, yields a fruit that has properties to take on bacterial and viral infections. Bibithaki is one very potent herbal remedy.
It has been found helpful in diminishing uric acid, diabetes, and blood sugar dysregulation.
6) Brahmi- Another herbal staple of Ayurveda. It can improve learning abilities, reduce hyperactivity that interferes with learning, and promote memory and information processing.
Picture credits: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/bacopa-monnieri-benefits
Claims to is stress and anxiety-reducing properties but lacks backing by scientific study.
7) Cumin- An essential ingredient in Southwest Asia and Mediterranian cooking. Cumin is a very distinctive flavor- nutty, earthy, and spicy flavor.
Research has shown that cumin spices up digestion, bile release, fat digestion fat in particular. Sugar levels fall, as are triglycerides and a host of lipids. Cumin is a boon.
Picture credits: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327455
Do you like your curry? Well, the yellow color comes from turmeric.
Turmeric is a king among Ayurveda compounds. Curcumin, the main constituent, has potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, defeating depression, and Alzheimer’s, among a host of other health promises.
9) Licorice Root- This holds a central position in Ayurveda and originates from Asia and Europe. Studies show that this root helps in the reduction of inflammation and also effectively combats viruses and bacteria. Sore throat relief and the promotion of oral health are an attribute of licorice root. As also defending against Candida and dental cavities.
Among other benefits, the avoidance of nausea, bloating, heartburn, and stomach ulcers. Furthermore, licorice root application alleviates skin rash, itching, and swelling.
Studies find these claims not fully substantiated.
Refer to https://nccih.nih.gov/ for more information.
10) Gota Kola- Called “ the herb of longevity,” Gota Kola, an odorless, tasteless plant that grows around water bodies
Picture Credits: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/
Some studies suggest that Gota Kola supplements are effective in boosting memory in post-stroke patients. It may also dispel anxiety disorders, lower stress, depression, and anxiety.
There is some evidence that some skin ailments may subside, such as eczema and psoriasis. Rapid wound healing and reducing varicose veins also are credited to the use of Gota Kola.
11) Cardamom- “The Queen of spices” has been the cause of colonization, war, and misery.
Picture Credit: https://bonsaiplantsnursery.com/
Studies suggest that it aids in decreasing hypertension, and the inhalation of the essential oil of cardamom results in oxygen uptake into the lungs.
It protects against stomach ulcers and significantly reduces gastric ulcers if not wiping them out totally.
12) Bitter Melon- Bitter melon is a vine that belongs to the family of cucumber, squash, zucchini, and pumpkin. It is a staple of Asian cuisine that is chock-a-block with antioxidants and nutrients. In India, its name is Bitter gourd
Picture Credits: https://www.littleindia.pl/
Bitter melon reportedly brings down blood sugar levels and stimulates insulin secretion.
Other benefits include triglycerides and harmful cholesterol levels dropping.
Play It Safe
- Do not self-treat with Ayurvedic medications. Consult your doctor or health giver first.
- In the United States, it is an unregulated practice requiring no license.
- If you are pregnant or nursing, stay clear.
- Be clear with your health giver about your health management regimens. They will ensure you are in safe hands.
To Wrap It Up
The usual reactions to following Ayurveda as a practice to ward off ill-health are:
- Is it safe?
- Is it effective?
- The side effects?
The sad part is research studies on humans do not prove anything conclusive.
Some Ayurvedic formulations may contain lead, mercury, and arsenic—all very toxic.
Research funded by the NCCIH evaluates the entire package of ayurvedic medicine in combination with lifestyle, diet, yoga, and pressure point treatment.
You can help advance the research by volunteering.
Homeopathy, Boosting The Body’s Healing Powers
Photo Credits: unsplash.com
The Origins Of Homeopathy
One of the finest traditions of alternative medicine is homeopathy. The brainchild of a German physician, Samuel Hahnemann, in 1810 was the first to introduce Homeopathy, a new take on medical treatment. At that time, the unorthodox medical treatment methods were the day’s practices- bloodletting and purging. Hahnemann felt these procedures did grave damage to the patients than good. So instead, a gentler approach was the need of the hour to help a recovering body.
Homeopathy translates as ‘similar suffering.’
Hahnemann was much in awe of discovering the cinchona bark, which was the ultimate remedy of malaria.
Hahnemann found a mentor in the Greek physician Hippocrates, who in the 5th century BC had proposed that like cures like which drove Hahnemann.
According to modern science, homeopathy is a disputed form of medication. However, scientists agree to call it a pseudoscientific system to boost the body’s healing power.
In homeopathy, any illness is symbolic of an inner imbalance, so the homeopath endeavors to restore the balance rather than the body falling on natural remedies.
Covid that has got us on our knees.
Mindpower is good enough. I endorse the concept of “Like can destroy like a vaccination.”
Prophetic since we must weaken the causative factor. Did we need a Covid, a dormant virus, to bring us down to our knees?
The answer, in my limited knowledge, is a resounding yes.
What then is Homeopathy?
Conceived by the German physician Samuel Hahnemann, his philosophy meant ‘dilution leads to increased potency.
The practice of homeopathy is over 200 years old.
Like all alternative branches of medicine, it does not require a need for scientific validation.
In India and other Asian nations, dental care is chewing the Neem plant. Like cures is an attempt that is not an original premise, There exists an additional bylaw, the law of minimum dose. The greater the dilution, the more is effectivity. With the current Covid pandemic on our heads, we forgot that vaccination is the only way to ward off disease and immunity.
Homeopathy aims to get around this.
Homeopathic remedies are highly diluted. The full-strength dose could induce symptoms in a healthy individual.
By imitating the patient’s symptoms, the better is the healing process.
The greater the dilution, the better is the efficacy of the treatment.
What Are The Constituents Of Homeopathy Medications?
This part may be a bit disturbing to some readers. Everything is plant-based.
- Red Onion
- Arnica derived from a herb
Homeopathy is tailored essentially to individual requirements.
The diagnostic pattern is different from conventional medical practices. One size does not fit all. These are the three tenets of homeopathy:
- ‘Like cures like
- Minimum dose
- Single remedy
Homeopathy does not only target the affected organ.
The goal of all forms of alternative medicine is to treat the entire body. Homeopathy and allopathy differ here.
Homeopathy In The US
A 2012 survey by the National Health estimated that five million adults and a million children used homeopathic medication in the previous year.
The bad part is, self-prescription which is unacceptable also with alternative medicine.
The good part- In 2016, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) granted homeopathy products for over-the-counter sale with a responsible proviso.
The following year, the FDA jumped in with a more scrutinized accord that called for more stringent control given safety and impurities.
So What Is The Effectiveness Of Homeopathy
Samuel Hahnemann was clearly no fool. In my country, homeopathy is widely practiced and has been won acclaim as a working medication ranging from gout to asthma.
Scientific studies and their surmises are of little importance at times when faith calls.
Some Things To Further Ponder On
- Homeopathy is fantastic alternative medicine. Just don’t plunge into it. The conventional visit and advice of your doctor are essential.
- Do not miss necessary vaccinations and immunizations.
- Women in pregnancy are to steer clear unless their physician says so.
Take charge of your life. But do read up on this excellent technique.
Naturopathy- Helping Your Body To Heal Itself
The first man who immersed his sprained ankle in a cool stream was practicing Naturopathy. So it was with the first woman who fasted to settle an upset stomach. The first person who decided to sit tight and sweat out a fever was also no different.
The Natural Birth of Naturopathy
The origins of naturopathy date back to more than 2000 years and are the brainchild of the Greek physician Hippocrates who is called the Father of Medicine.
His principle was “first not harm”- this implies that cures should work with the body and be as natural as possible, maintaining that good health is an outcome of eating and exercising in moderation.
Naturopathy was pioneered in Germany in the early 19th century by therapists such as Vincent Preissnitz (1799-1851), who believed in the miraculous healing power of water and founded hydrotherapy as is now known.
Towards the end of the century, a Bavarian monk, Father Sebastian Kneipp, successfully treated an ailing American named Benedict Lust. After studying with Kneipp at his clinic, Lust, upon returning to America, founded his particular form of therapy- naturopathy.
Lust believed that as far as health is concerned, man is his own worst enemy- narrow thinking, criminal eating, foolish drinking, sagging posture, and congested sitting are contributory factors.
Kneipp’s water cure is for people of all ages who suffer from muscular pains and aches. Hoses, water sprinkling, and walking barefoot in wet grass were all part of the therapy.
What Is Naturopathy?
Since its inception, when it was called “nature cure,” naturopathy has concentrated on the body’s capacity to heal itself. The aim to accomplish this is by various therapies, including chiropractic, Dieting and diet, Exercise, Massage, Hydrotherapy, Osteopathy, Breathing and Relaxation, and Yoga.
Naturopathy encourages people to think positively about good health rather than pain and illness and live naturally. Give the pressures of our modern, everyday world a skip, and you get a step closer to more excellent immunity.
Whenever for whatever reason, our health is compromised, naturopathy intervenes to identify the underlying cause of the illness. The approach does not suppress or merely alleviate the symptoms but the treatment.
Naturopathy believes that the primary cause of any illness is the breakdown of the body’s average balance.
The particular type of illness may result from various bacteria, viruses, allergies, and other external factors.
Naturopaths treat each case as unique, and each person is an individual case—each person’s entire physical, emotional, biochemical, and social circumstances. Naturopathy seeks to complement and support conventional medicine- providing comfort and help when severe illness calls for surgery or drastic orthodox treatment.
Who Can Benefit From Naturopathy
Naturopathy is a holistic approach to illness and can benefit people with disorders. Age does not pose a problem, and it is effective with both infants and the elderly.
It is a strong belief that naturopathy is especially effective against degenerative diseases such as arthritis and emphysema (damaged, inefficient lungs). Naturopathy is also very beneficial in treating ulcers and other inflammatory conditions. It also speeds up recovery from colds, influenza, diarrhea, and rashes.
In cases where a precise medical diagnosis cannot be made, such as anxiety and fatigue, naturopathy is an indispensable tool.
Naturopaths concentrate on the individual rather than the disease; it is a clear achievement that success is dependent on a patient’s ability to heal themselves. The amount of physical damage is a factor.
For example, a young person should respond well to an ailment such as bronchitis. But, on the other hand, a frail, older adult with the same complaint may take a longer time to get better, and it may not be so complete.
All the same, naturopaths think that even elderly persons can cope effectively with illness without resorting to drugs.
Consulting the Therapist
Since naturopathy deals with you and your physical condition, your naturopath will start with a recount of your personal case history. He needs to know how you and your symptoms are affected by climatic changes, different times of the day, where you work, where you live, eating habits, sleep patterns, menstrual cycles, and bowel activity.
A routine medical examination will follow- pulse, heart, blood pressure, etc. This could be followed by assessing your spinal joints and musculoskeletal system that they are functioning freely.
Naturopathic diagnosis is concerned with establishing why your health is poor rather than putting a name on it. Therefore some naturopaths will go the extra mile to dwell deeper, more profound as iridology to examine the irises of your eyes and air diagnosis. In addition, your and blood samples may be taken for precise laboratory analysis.
In tandem with your naturopath, these findings reveal, along with your case history, that can enable him to arrive at a fruitful conclusion.
Many people fear illness because they feel they have no control over it. The responsible naturopath dispels this fear by explaining that the body is explaining why it is unwell. Sudden or severe symptoms indicate that the body is battling a particular illness, and therefore the symptoms contradict suppression- unless the patient’s life is at risk.
A patient can incur minor afflictions such as phlegm or irritation for a few days during the treatment. The good news is that this is viewed as the ‘healing crisis, and essentially is a good sign.
Measures to remedy may involve changes in diet and herbal treatment.
The overall plan is to ensure that the symptoms do not overcome the patient’s reserve of energy or hinder a satisfactory recovery.
Therapists encourage spiritual and emotional counseling in cases that prove difficult to resolve.
The Last Word
Many of the treatments offered by naturopaths are the basis of good health care- both preventive and curative.
Several of these measures are now included in health education programs.
The key is to tie up orthodox approaches and naturopathy in treating complex medical problems.
The Alexander technique
By using the Alexander technique, you can learn to improve your posture so that your body can work in a more relaxed and efficient manner. It is said to be entirely safe to promote a harmonious state of mind and body and help rectify several medical conditions ranging from back pain to headaches.
The development of this method was by an Australian actor Frederick Mathare Alexander. He found himself losing his voice on stage and discovered that he could curer the condition by improving his posture.
His discovery became the basis for a whole technique for retraining the body’s movements and positions. Today, there are many Alexander training schools and teachers in many parts of the world. Teaching people individually and by teachers to refer to pupils rather than patients is a good approach.
Anyone who feels that they can benefit from this technique tests themselves by observing their posture in front of a mirror and performing some Illustrated procedures.
You are working behind a desk, right. That is close to ten hours daily. Look at this.
Who Can Benefit from the Alexander Technique
Teachers claim that the Alexander technique has helped people of all ages and from all walks of life by improving their health, emotional well-being, mental alertness, and stress resistance.
The British author Aldous Huxley said that the technique improved his physical and mental health and caused a general heightening of consciousness at all levels.
The Dutch zoologist and ethologist, Nikolaas Tinbergen awarded the Nobel Prize for physiology and medicine in 1973, said in his acceptance speech that the Alexander technique brought ‘striking improvements in such diverse things like high blood pressure, breathing, depth of sleep overall cheerfulness and mental alertness,
Adaptation to a musical skill such as playing a string instrument was something Nikolaas found while working at Cambridge.
As a result of improved posture, those who benefited from the training became taller because they stood more upright.
The training has helped improve the performances of athletes, dancers, and public speakers.
The Alexander technique claims success in treating exhaustion, depression, anxiety, tension headaches, high blood pressure, respiratory arrest, peptic ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, low back pain, sciatica, and asthma.
The teacher starts by watching how you use your body. Even simple activities like walking or reading a book involve many muscles. A certain amount of muscular tension and ‘spring’ is needed to react against the people of gravity. Unfortunately, childhood habits can result in misplaced muscular effort. You can see this in simple actions like holding a pen too tightly, opening a jam jar, or driving a car.
Some people suffer from chronic muscular tension, which throws the head, neck, and back out of alignment, causing round shoulders, a bowed head, and arched back.
If this is not corrected, the spine develops a curve. In addition, a hump may appear at the base of the neck. This tension causes back pain strains the heart, lungs, and digestive system.
The teacher shows you how to change these harmful postures and regain the habit of using muscles with minimum effort and maximum efficiency. For example, while you stand, sit or lie down, the teacher gently manipulates your body into a more natural position. Meanwhile, you should concentrate on the teacher’s instructions about posture. You are encouraged to think of the technique as a way of working on your body and your total awareness. Gradually by constantly practicing and thinking about good posture. You should learn to release tension and use your body correctly, The teacher uses no force,e and there is no clicking or wrenching of joints- just a subtle adjustment as you learn to walk, sit, stand, and move all over again in a free, released way.
Lessons last from 30-45 minutes,s after which you will learn enough of the technique to continue on your own.
Picture Credits: https://medlineplus.gov/guidetogoodposture.html
In many ancient cultures, the power of sound was considered an intimate part of the healing process and had a central role in religious practices aimed at developing spiritual and physical well-being. In more recent times, growing interest in Alternative therapies has revived some traditions such as healing chants and prayers, and modern ‘sound therapists’ say that they can relieve certain conditions by directing sound waves at affected parts of the body
in everyday life, the effects of different sounds are plain to see: singing before a football match heightens emotions and reinforces a sense of group unity; low-flying jets and our rush-hour traffic cause anxiety, irritation, and tension; and piped music in supermarkets is designed to make shopping more enjoyable so that people stay longer and spend more
Sound is also a way of expressing yourself and communicating with others. Its quality often reflects the state of relationships between people. For example, it is natural to shout when angry, sing when happy or murmur to express affection. Mothers all recognize the cries of their babies, and most people are sensitive even to Subtle variations in the timbre of familiar voices
Sound waves from the outside reach the ear as vibrations are converted into nerve impulses. These are transmitted to the brain, which interprets them as the sounds we hear. The waves also get other parts of the body which, although they cannot hear like the ear, are still affected by being rhythmically compressed and expanded at a microscopic level by the vibrations.
Sound therapy is based on the theory that organs and cells of the body respond In particular ways to particular patterns of compression and expansion. Each part of the body is thought to have natural resonance and to respond well to sounds that vibrate in harmony with it . Dissonant vibrations, by contrast, may have harmful results.
Poor health and disease are believed to affect the frequency at which organs and cells vibrate. In the most common form of sound therapy, practitioners try to restore and strengthen healthy frequencies by directing harmonious waves at travel spots.
Sound can be used therapeutically in a variety of other ways. It plays an essential part in music therapy and dance therapy. Some practical practitioners teach singing and chanting as a way of altering breathing patterns, promoting relaxation, and stimulating the body’s healing power, similar to the effects of yoga or meditation done in groups for couples. It is said to strengthen bonds between people and help them to tune In to each other.
One therapist Fabian Mamon, a musician, believes that by listening to the sound of the voice and the resonance of energy centers in the body, he can find a particular sound to suit each individual and enhance his well-being. Maman also claims that carefully chosen sound waves may be able to attack diseased cells and strengthen healthy ones, helping to heal from illnesses.
The Spiritual Significance of Sound
The power of sound has long been recognized by spiritual and mystical traditions the world over. In the East meditative, spiritual exercises based on sound go back thousands of years and may have been taken up by religions such as Buddhism and Islam. Today chanting and rhythmic breathing and movements are still widely used in the East as a path to self-development and spiritual enlightenment.
Sound also plays a central traditional parh in Western religions. Experts say that intoning the liturgy, chanting prayers, and singing hymns in church may all help to put people in touch with the spiritual side of life.
The way in which sound affects people’s state of mind is not fully understood but it is thought that certain vibrations and rhythmic breathing techniques may alter electrical brain wave patterns inducing relaxation for heightening awareness.
Another clue may be provided by the work of the Swiss doctor and scientist Hans Jenny, who developed an instrument called a ‘tonoscope’ which can depict any sound as a three-dimensional image. On.the tonoscope the sound ‘O’ made by the human voice produces a perfect sphere.
It may be that this is the basis of the om or aum, one of the best-known Mantras that is chanted in many Eastern traditions as the expression of everything that is, as well as of the Christian and Jewish ‘amen’ and the Muslim ‘amin’.
Sound therapy using electronically generated waves is now being researched in some Hospital Orthopaedic departments as an aid in healing fractures. It is also generally thought to be useful for other muscle and bone conditions such as fibrositis, rheumatism, arthritis, back pain, strains and sprains, neuralgia, migraine, and sinusitis may also be helped.
Pre-surgical treatment is said to make hip replacement operations more effective, and the pain of a slipped disc may be reduced enough to allow manipulative treatment to take place.
Teachers of rhythmic singing and chanting say that anyone may benefit, particularly if suffering from stress or related disorders.
A better known form of sound therapy is the use of electronically generated wave signals directed at particular parts of the body in order to heal them. Before treatment of this type can be given, a proper diagnosis of the problem is essential. Iit would probably be advisable to consult an orthodox practitioner first.
The therapist uses a machine to generate waves believed to be of the correct frequency to heal the patient’s condition. Many different wave patterns can be generated and choosing the right one required skill.
The waves are transmitted to the body by means of a small hand-held applicator place over the affected region. A gel is smear on the skin first to improve transmission of waves to the body.
The applicator focuses the waves so that they supposedly home in on the problem area and leave healthy tissue unaffected. While treatment is in progress you may hear a sound or feel vibrations, but this does not always happen- sometimes the frequencies are too high or too low to be detected.
Other forms of sound therapy involve group or individual sessions when participants are taught to produce healing sounds by using their own voices. No singing ability or musical knowledge is needed as sounds are generally chanted, hummed, or ‘vibrated’ in a way that anyone can master.
The basic principles of sound therapy are compatible with modern physics according to which all matter is in a constant state of vibration, even at the smallest subatomic level. Conventional doctors accept that disturbances in electrical wave patterns produced by the heart can show if it has been damaged, but it is not generally agreed other that other organs react in the same way, or that sound can be used to treat, as well as diagnose disorders.
While accepting that chanting can have a soothing and relaxing effect, modern medicine has not developed the understanding which would allow it to evaluate the detailed claims made by those practitioners versed in this ancient therapy. So anyone seeking this form of therapy would be wise to approach it with caution.