You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Feeling better naturally
(Family Features) Over the last 10 years, a growing number of people have been turning to what are known as complementary and alternative medicines (CAM). The most recent data available from the National Health Interview Survey shows that in 2007, nearly 40 percent of survey respondents reported using CAM. $33.9 billion was spent on visits to CAM practitioners and purchases of CAM classes, materials, and products.
What Is It?
Complementary medicines are used together with conventional medicine, while alternative medicines are used in place of conventional medicine. You might have used some CAM remedies without realizing it -- they include:
•Natural products such as fish oil/omega 3s and echinacea.
•Mind-body medicine such as meditation, yoga, acupuncture and hypnotherapy.
•Manipulative and body-based practices such as chiropractic, massage, reflexology and acupressure.
In their book “Prescription for Natural Cures, Revised Edition” (Wiley, 2011), James F. Balch, M.D., Mark Stengler, N.M.D., and Robin Young Balch, N.D., address a wide range of natural treatments for dozens of common ailments. The treatments address diet, homeopathy, acupressure, bodywork, aromatherapy and stress reduction, as well as what they call Super Seven Prescriptions, the top seven options for treating each condition. Studies, references and other recommendations are also included.
These examples from the book can show you how to get on your way to feeling better, naturally.
For more information, and to read an excerpt, visit www.wiley.com.
Headaches can be triggered by a variety of factors, including stress, anxiety, allergies, hormone imbalance, poor digestion and detoxification, low blood sugar, fatigue and drugs (including caffeine and alcohol). Most headaches are best addressed by identifying and removing the triggers along with implementing strategies for natural pain relief.
•Calcium relaxes the nervous system, muscles and blood vessels, making it helpful for all types of headaches, but especially tension headaches. Take 500 mg twice daily.
•Ginkgo biloba improves circulation to the brain and has anti-platelet activity. Take 60 mg two or three times daily of a 24 percent flavone glycoside extract.
•Peppermint or menthol cream applied to the temple area has been shown to be helpful for tension headaches.
•For almost immediate relief, have someone rub the back of your neck and your upper back with ice.
•To relieve a headache caused by sinus pain, lean forward over a sink or towel (to allow the sinuses to drain), and gently rub the areas over and below your eye sockets. You can also extend out from beneath your eye socket in a straight line across your cheeks.
•Lavender and peppermint will soothe both head pain and stress. Add a few drops of either to a carrier oil (such as sweet almond oil) and massage temples. You can also add these oils to a cold compress.
•Using eucalyptus in a steam inhalation will open up sinus cavities quickly, and is helpful for a headache brought on by sinusitis.
Motion sickness happens when the brain receives conflicting messages from the inner ears and the eyes. Abrupt, irregular body movements and postures inside moving objects can set off this conflict and cause one to become pale, dizzy, nauseous and clammy.
•Fresh vegetable juices may be helpful for some people. Consume dry crackers to help an upset stomach.
•Avoid greasy and fried foods before traveling -- they are more likely to upset the stomach.
•Ginger root (Zingiber officinale) -- Take 500 mg in capsule or tablet form before traveling and again every two hours while traveling. Another alternative is the tea form.
•Peppermint (Mentha piperita) -- Take 300 mg in capsule form or drink one cup of tea to calm an upset stomach.
•Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) -- Take 300 mg in capsule form or drink one cup of tea to calm an upset stomach.
--Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in the treatment of motion sickness. See a qualified practitioner.
--If you are in a car, open the windows. Fresh air is helpful for some.
Muscle Aches and Cramps
Occasional muscle aches and cramps are often just a part of life and are rarely a cause of worry. Lingering or recurrent pain, especially when accompanied by a fever, decreased muscular strength or joint swelling could suggest a severe strain, possibly injury.
•Eat foods that are high in calcium -- cheese, dark leafy greens, yogurt, milk, broccoli and calcium enriched rice and soymilk.
•Eat foods high in magnesium -- whole grains, nuts, legumes, soy and green leafy vegetables.
•Eat foods high in potassium -- apples, strawberries, bananas, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, peaches, meat and fish.
•B vitamins can become depleted due to the effects of stress, causing muscle cramps and aches. Take a 50 mg complex twice daily.
•Protease enzymes reduce muscle aching and inflammation. Take one capsule three times daily between meals.
•Horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) is helpful for spasms in the legs due to poor circulation. Take 300 mg twice daily.
Be Smart, Be Safe
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) states that as with any medical treatment, there can be risks with CAM therapies. These general precautions can help to minimize risks:
•Select practitioners with care. Find out about the practitioner’s training and experience.
•Know that some dietary supplements may interact with medications or other supplements, may have side effects of their own, or may contain potentially harmful ingredients not listed on the label. Also keep in mind that most supplements have not been tested in pregnant women, nursing mothers or children.
•Tell all your health care providers about any CAM practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care. For tips about talking with your health care providers, see NCCAM’s Time to Talk campaign at www.nccam.nih.gov.
This information is not intended to serve as a replacement for professional medical advice. A health-care professional should be consulted regarding your specific situation.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
South Texas Living Archives
Hear John Muir music at San Antonio Missions (April 27, 2016)
Judy Bolton Mysteries (April 27, 2016)
Kendra Scott Trunk Show in Poth (April 27, 2016)
Merle Haggard tribute to highlight Opry (April 27, 2016)
Mother’s Day Bake Sale (April 27, 2016)
Musical Club hosts a Bealls style show (April 27, 2016)
See ‘Shenandoah’ at Night in Ol’ La Vernia (April 27, 2016)
Suspected bank bandits charged (April 27, 2016)
Sängerfest brings German choral feast to Floresville (April 27, 2016)
Theatre Arts students plan variety show (April 27, 2016)
Treat Mom to a play May 8 (April 27, 2016)
America needs old-fashioned values (April 20, 2016)
Boy Scouts will mark 105 years April 24 in Floresville (April 20, 2016)
Cowboy Breakfast will benefit families in need (April 20, 2016)
Dance to the ‘Countrymen’ April 24 in Geronimo (April 20, 2016)
Davy Crockett lunchbox (April 20, 2016)
Enjoy Parish Festival May 1 (April 20, 2016)
Gospel Music Association plans convention (April 20, 2016)
Historian’s archives secure the past for the future (April 20, 2016)
Jazz Festival to feature Grammy winner (April 20, 2016)
Lions seek vendors for upcoming Car Show (April 20, 2016)
Paper Clover Campaign continues (April 20, 2016)
Road Runners group run April 23 (April 20, 2016)
See Johnny Rodriguez at Texas Theatre (April 20, 2016)
Shop books and more at Falls City library (April 20, 2016)
Annual Cowboy Breakfast set for April 23 (April 13, 2016)
Cutting the cord on sugar (April 13, 2016)
Free Grafting Seminar (April 13, 2016)
Free movie night at El Mesias (April 13, 2016)
Hanging out at Hangar 9 (April 13, 2016)
Match Safe (April 13, 2016)
Play Texas Hold ’em to help children (April 13, 2016)
Powerful illustration takes top prize (April 13, 2016)
Register your ride for the Lions Club Car Show (April 13, 2016)
Saddle up for Poth’s Ride to Remember (April 13, 2016)
St. Hedwig church feast is April 24 (April 13, 2016)
Suspects taken to jail in Floresville (April 13, 2016)
Aggie Muster is April 21 (April 6, 2016)
Beauty hides work to save historic county courthouse (April 6, 2016)
Blue Bonnet Club supports SISD Hope Day (April 6, 2016)
Bluebonnet Festival of Texas is April 9-10 (April 6, 2016)
Celebrate the Burton Cotton Gin Festival (April 6, 2016)
Enjoy free jazz concert in Kerrville (April 6, 2016)
Find out the many uses of native plants (April 6, 2016)
First Baptist to host Bible Conference (April 6, 2016)
It’s not just complaining (It’s about justice) (April 6, 2016)
It’s Swing Dance time in Seguin (April 6, 2016)
Jump-start SA party at Fiesta Fiesta (April 6, 2016)
OLPH plans tour, wine tasting fund-raiser (April 6, 2016)
Pilgrim Opry set for April 9 (April 6, 2016)
Playhouse 2000 features ‘forgotten’ Mark Twain play (April 6, 2016)
Ruby Glass (April 6, 2016)
Service Through Music benefit (April 6, 2016)
Shoot skeet, play washers for ACTS (April 6, 2016)
Witness ‘The Gospel Side of Elvis’ (April 6, 2016)