Categories
Treatment

Guided Imagery

Guided imagery is a highly right brained activity that is similar to meditation, but can incorporate the use of all the senses to create a wonderful healing experience that improves with each session. The body can and usually will accept as true what is being held in the mind, and through guided imagery we can use this to our benefit.

How it Works

It is the use of words, visualization and music to create some images in one’s mind for the benefit of relaxation and healing. Unlike meditation, the person using guided imagery is being guided into a creative experience usually through a recording or an instructor. This modality gives the mind a break, and instead tunes into the more creative right brain.

Benefits

Guided imagery has the wonderful ability to restore peace and calm and with some dedication to this practice one can have wonderful results with healing as well.

Precautions

There are no precautions to consider for this modality.

Summary

Guided imagery is a non-invasive technique that is highly beneficial for providing relaxation and healing from a variety of conditions. It has been found to be helpful for reducing stress and easing emotional tension. Our minds are powerful and we can augment this energy by utilizing guided imagery to modify our belief programs and install new, healthy creative ones instead!

References

  • Guided Imagery for Self Healing: by Dr. Martin Rossman
  • Staying Well With Guided Imagery by Belleruth Naparstek
  • Your Sixth Sense Unlocking the Power of Intuition by Bellruth Naparstek
Categories
Treatment

Supplements

We all know how important a varied diet is to our overall health but sometimes even good eating habits can use a little boost. Fortunately that’s where supplements come in.

Supplements exist in a variety of shapes and sizes from pills and powders to beverages and bars. Contents run the gamut from vitamins and minerals to herbs and enzymes to fish oils, probiotics and more.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, use of dietary supplements increased by over ten percent from 42 percent in the late 1980s to mid 1990s to 53 percent by 2003-2006.

How It Works

Different supplements provide different benefits. Folic acid, for example, is important for pregnant women to take as it can lessen the chance of birth defects while calcium and vitamin D can help encourage bone health. Multivitamins which contain at least three vitamins are the most commonly taken supplement though many vitamins and minerals can also be purchased individually.

Supplements are not strictly limited to vitamins and minerals, however. Echinacea is an herb many swear by to help lessen cold symptoms and duration of illness. Fish oil can usually be found in a softgel tablet and may help with heart health. Probiotics may assist in improving digestive issues.

Benefits

Benefits of supplements vary depending on the type and its designated purpose. It is important to note that the best way to meet daily nutritional needs is through a healthy diet featuring a variety of foods. When eating habits fall short, however, supplements can provide a useful nutritional edge.

Precautions

Just because supplements can be purchased over the counter doesn’t mean buyers shouldn’t do their homework. Some can interfere with medications or increase the chance of bleeding.

Many are water soluble with extra amounts simply being excreted but a few exist that are not and can build up in the body to dangerously high levels. In addition, some foods like cereals and breads are fortified with extra vitamins and minerals so beware how much is being ingested through the daily diet before beginning supplementation.

Also, it’s important to keep in mind supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration in the same way over-the-counter medications are and are not intended to actually prevent or treat diseases. To ensure the supplement contains what it says it contains (and not harmful contaminants), look for the seals of approval from U.S. Pharmacopeia, NSF International or ConsumerLab.com.

If in doubt be sure to discuss use of supplements with a medical professional.

Summary

While there is no substitute for a healthy diet, supplements can be useful for a variety of purposes including providing a nutritional benefit and addressing a specific issue like building stronger bones or fighting a cold.

References

  • Dietary Supplements: What you Need to Know from the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements
    ods.od.nih.gov/HealthInformation/DS_WhatYouNeedToKnow.aspx
  • Dietary Supplements: What You Need to Know from the FDA
    fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm109760.htm
Categories
Treatment

Vitamins

Vitamins are wonderful adjuncts to complement your natural lifestyle. They can fill any nutritional deficiencies that you may not be fully obtaining from your diet resulting in greater energy and feelings of well being.

How it Works

Vitamins work by replenishing deficient nutrients in the body that one may not be getting from nutrition.

Benefits

Vitamin deficiencies can cause great disruption in the body. For instance, a deficiency of just vitamin B6 and Zinc can cause a condition called pyroluria which interferes with protein metabolism, dreaming, mental balance and much more. All that caused by just simple deficiencies of only 2 vitamins!

Precautions

Consuming too much of any vitamin can also be just as harmful as having a deficiency. It is wise to consult with someone trained in nutritional response testing, who may be able to assist you in which nutrients would be most beneficial for your body. We are all unique, and should be treated as such. What the label states or what the recommended daily allowance recommends may not be correct for you.

Summary

Vitamins are a wonderful tool to add to your holistic wellness plan. Much should be taken into consideration when choosing which vitamins to take, and this challenge can be greatly lessened by obtaining the assistance of a professional nutritionist.

References

  • Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis Balch
  • Orthomolecular Medicine for Everyone by Abram Hoffer and Andrew Saul
Categories
Treatment

Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy is the use of water to revitalize, augment and restore health. Hydrotherapy is a generic term for any type of therapy that involves the use of water to treat illness, manage pain, or relieve stress. Taking a shower or bath are the simplest forms of hydrotherapy and others would include sauna therapy, whirlpools, wraps, and foot baths.

How it Works 

By increasing the blood circulation in the body by using different temperatures it will stimulate the immune and nervous systems to assist in the healing of injured or tight muscles, energize the whole body and relax the mind. The temperatures utilized are important.

The alternation between hot and cold water will stimulate circulation, lessen pain, speed recovery time, and eliminate waste products from the body. Depending on what temperatures are utilized you could choose what outcome you experience. For instance, cold hydrotherapy is known to invigorate the senses and enhance the mind, while using hot hydrotherapy it is known to augment relaxation and encourage sleep.

Benefits

There are many benefits to each specific type of hydrotherapy, but in general one can expect to experience:

  • Relaxation of muscles (if using hot hydrotherapy)
  • Reduction of pain
  • With increased circulation will come the better elimination of wastes

Precautions

If you are pregnant it is advised not to take hot baths. If you have any heart condition it would be wise to check with your doctor prior to engaging in this healing modality. Please be mindful that hot hydrotherapy treatments can lower blood pressure and should be limited to no longer than 15-20 minutes at a time.

Summary

Hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to relax muscular tension, ease pain and enhance the elimination of wastes from the body. It is a relatively economical way to engage in a healing modality right in your own home for the cost of some water and any additives you may choose to use like Epsom salts, aromatherapy or bath teas, all of which enhance the hydrotherapy experience.

References

  • The Complete Book of Water Healing by Dian Buchman
  • Hydrotherapy: Simple Treatments for Common Ailments by Clarence Dail and Charles Thomas
  • Hydrotherapy for Health and Wellness: Theories, Programs and treatments by Richard Eidson
Categories
Treatment

Chiropractic

Chiropractic care is a therapy that addresses the muscular-skeletal system and nervous system.  It is a combination of spinal manipulation and muscle relaxation used to restore joint mobility.   With a hands-on approach, Chiropractors manipulate the spine to align vertabrae properly thus reducing pressure on the nerves within the spinal cord.  This reduction of pressure allows the signals from the spinal cord to travel properly through the brain and reduces the brain's chemical reaction of pain.

How It Works

During a Chiropractic session, a chiropractor will use massage to loosen  the muscles in the affected  area to loosen some of the tension around the bone or joint.  With either an actuator gun (a gun that uses small pulses of pressure) or with their hands and body strength, Chiropractors will adjust or manipulate the spine and joints to a position that will relieve pressure to the area.

Benefits

Chiropractic care does not just benefit those with injury or chronic pain conditions.  It can be utilized to help maintain proper joint health and spinal cord wellness.  It can also be used to help increase flexibility and fluidity of joints for athletes or the health-minded.   

Chiropractic therapy has been used to treat many disorders and diseases including Osteoarthritis, migraines, Fibromyalgia, Rheumatiod arthritis, indigestion, pain during pregnancy, and of course bone and joint injury.

It is natural therapy that does not require medication but instead proper alignment of the spine.  This ensures that the correct messages travel to brain, helping to create perfect chemical balance.  

There are rarely any instances of pain associated with chiropractic therapy other than some mild muscle soreness that may result from an adjustment, therefore it is a non-invasive physical therapy for proper joint and spine health.

Precautions

Any manipulation of the spine, specifically the neck area, needs to be completed by a licensed Chiropractor.  Any overextention of the joints could result in damage to the bones and nerves.

The spine should never be manipulated if there is any sign of neurological disorder such as leg tingling, lightheadedness, black-outs or seizures.

Treatment of Scoliosis should only be performed under the supervision of a physician and should not consider chiropractic therapy as the only treatment solution.

Summary

Chiropractic care can be used to treat many different types of discomforts and pain.  It can also be used in combination with an athletic or fitness routine to maintain proper joint and spinal health.  With some minor adjustments to the spine a person can achieve pain management, better joint mobility, and more flexibilty as well.

References

The American Chiropractic Association
acatoday.org/level2_css.cfm?T1ID=13&T2ID=61

How Chiropractic
Works sciencebase.com/science-blog/how-does-chiropractic-work

Benefits
thejoint.com/health-benefits.aspx

Precautions
holistic-online.com/Chiropractic/chiro_safety.htm