Categories
Treatment

Homeopathy

Homeopathy as a treatment has existed for more than 200 years and is gaining greater acceptance in many countries, particularly the United States. It was developed and put into practice by a German physician – Samuel Hahnemann. Since the days of Queen Victoria of Great Britain and till today an attending physician of the royal family is traditionally a homeopath.

The difference of homeopathic remedies from traditional drugs is incorporated in the name of “homeopathy” (homois – like, pathos – sickness, suffering). The basic principle of homeopathy is the similarity between a cure and an illness.

The treatment of a disease requires application of small amounts of substances that in large doses cause a healthy person to suffer phenomena with similar clinical presentation (i.e., complaints and symptoms) of a patient.

Here is a simple example: when people cut onions, their eyes tear and suffer a running nose – in short, it is the same effect as a cold or an allergic reaction. By deriving medicines from onions, homeopaths successfully treat a common cold, allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis. This is the principle of similarity.

Homeopathy does not seek to replace conventional antibiotics, sulfonamides and other anti-inflammatory drugs, but offer a complementary approach to preventing and healing illness.

How It Works

A specially trained pharmacist is responsible for preparing homeopathic medicines. They combine one part of a starting material and 99 parts of solvent – distilled water or alocohol. This is the first dilution. Then, one part of the first dilution is combined with 99 parts of a new solvent. Such a process is repeated multiple times. Homeopathic medicines are issued in dilution (potency) in the form of granules, drops or tablets. A dose is assigned individually and may change during treatment.

As supplements, they are usually taken 15-20 minutes before a meal or 1 hour after a meal. In acute conditions, a frequent intake (every 10-30 minutes) may be prescribed. Treatment duration, frequency and amount depend on the dynamics of the condition being treated.

A homeopath usually learns a history of a patient, conducts examination and communication with a patient to determine constitutional and personal traits. Only after this, a tactic of homeopathic treatment is produced. The raw materials for traditional homeopathic medicines are substances of plant, animal and mineral origin.

Benefits

The main advantages of homeopathy are:

  • Friendliness and safety
  • An individual approach to a patient
  • The use of medicine in small doses
  • The absence of addiction and withdrawal syndrome
  • The ability to use multiple medicines at the same time
  • The possibility of a combination of traditional and other treatments
  • Treatment of all age groups, ranging from fetal and neonatal period

Precautions

Homeopathy can be used for many types of conditions, but is difficult to treat people intoxicated with chemicals and people who are sick with serious illnesses: cancer, multiple sclerosis, etc. In such cases, homeopathy can only reduce a disease. Sometimes homeopathic medicines can exacerbate the symptoms one is experiencing. In such cases, the dose or frequency of administration should be reduced or temporarily discontinued.

Summary

Homeopathy is based in two primary theories:

  1. “Like cures Like” – a disease can be cured by a substance that produces similar symptoms in healthy people.
  2. “Law of Minimum Dose”- the lower the dose of the medication, the greater its effectiveness. Some homeopathic remedies are so diluted that no molecules of the original substance remain.

References

  • Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 9(6), 949-57., Aickin, M. (2003).
  • Integrative Cancer Therapies, 5(4), 293-307., Bell, I., Koithan, M. (2006).
  • Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 10(2), 269-83., Bell, I., Lewis, D., Brooks, A. et al. (2004).
  • Evidence-based Complement Alternate Medicine, 3(1), 13-24., Bellavite, P, Conforti, A., Pontarollo, F. et al. (2006).
Categories
Natural Health News and Articles

6 Environmental Triggers for Asthma and Allergies

Asthma and allergies affect more than 20 million people in the United States. Most that suffer know that their triggers can come from a variety of sources. Some may be organic, some may be synthetic, but almost all symptoms come from environmental triggers. Here are 6 environmental triggers that affect allergy and asthma symptoms.

  • POLLEN – The number one environmental trigger for seasonal allergies and asthma. The biggest offender when it comes to pollen comes from Ragweed and other grasses. The best strategy for avoiding this trigger is to avoid excessive outdoor exposure during its peak times (Between 5am and 10am). Most of the weeds and grasses peak in the fall and spring, but can also cause problems during the summer months. Always washing your hands and face and changing clothes after outdoor exposure is an effective way to help alleviate symptoms as well.
  • MOLD – Mold is a year-round culprit of asthma and allergy triggers. It can be found in homes, cars, workplaces, outdoors, and schools. Mold can sometimes be undetectable without proper testing, but the spores can be deadly to those that suffer from asthma. The best defense against mold is to use a dehumidifier especially where you sleep. Mold thrives on moisture so always vent area’s that have moisture such as the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry areas. Mold tests can be purchased at local hardware stores to determine if and what kind of mold is present in your home.
  • ANIMAL DANDER – Many people that suffer from allergy symptoms from animal’s often think it is the fur that causes the problem. In reality, the fur is harmless, it’s the dander that the animal secretes and releases. If possible the best solution is to remove the animals from the home if possible. If it isn’t possible, the next best option is to always keep animals out of the bedrooms, bath them weekly to remove as much dander as possible, and wash your hands after exposure.
  • CIGARETTE SMOKE – This man-made trigger can affect both asthma and allergies. Containing many different toxins and irritants, cigarette smoke can cause wheezing, itchy eyes, and even skin irritation. Avoiding both first hand and second hand smoke is the only way to eliminate this environmental trigger. If exposure is unavoidable then it is important to change clothes and wash hands immediately after exposure.
  • DUST MITES– Dust mites can be found everywhere – from shelves in your home, sheets and blankets, to the air you breathe. Dust mites aggravate lung function triggering asthma symptoms for those with a sensitivity to dust. They can also cause nasal symptoms, itchy eyes, and coughing. Dust mites are near impossible to eliminate, but you can install HEPA filters to help lessen the population of dust mites. Also, washing linens and curtains in hot water will kill any mites that live in them, but it must be done weekly. Finally, dusting often and keeping the air fresh in your home will also help eliminate this trigger.
  • COCKROACHES – This particular trigger is not as well-known as most, but it is a dangerous element for those with asthma. The protein left by cockroach’s saliva and dropping is a drastic allergen that can trigger major asthma symptoms. If you have cockroaches, it is important to exterminate immediately. It is also imperative to seal foods tightly and wash all linens and clothing in hot water. Clean the home thoroughly and keep it clean.

Environmental triggers come in many forms, but for those suffering from asthma and allergies, they are the enemy. While it may be impossible to eliminate all environmental triggers, taking steps to help lessen them could make allergy and asthma symptoms more tolerable.

Reference:

  • niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/conditions/asthma/allergens/
  • Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/vincealongi/498875364/

Categories
Treatment

Applied Kinesiology

Applied Kinesiology is an interdisciplinary approach to health care which draws together the core elements of different complementary therapies, such as osteopathy, chiropractic, and Chinese medicine blended harmoniously to create a truly wonderful system for healing on all levels.

It was formally brought into existence in 1964 by Dr. George Goodheart. He believed that if structural imbalances were corrected in the body, then the body would be in the best position for healing to occur. After much trial and experimentation, he finally created this wonderful system that we call Applied Kinesiology today.

How It Works

Applied Kinesiology works by manually testing certain muscles all of which all have a corresponding meridian associated with it. When a muscle is found to either be “weak” or “strong” on testing, it will alert the A.K. practitioner as to what meridian system to focus the correction technique on to bring balance back to that meridian and muscle, therefore harmonizing an individual’s whole energetic system and restoring physical health.

If a muscle is turned off in the system then abnormal structure and function may occur. Applied kinesiology provides us the ability to evaluate function of the body system non-invasively, economically, and thoroughly.

Benefits

The corrections, when needed, are non invasive stimulation of certain neurovascular, neurolymphatic, and acupressure point holding to strengthen or sedate the associated meridian.

This modality is wonderful to use with anyone, but particularly helpful for children as it is relatively painless and very effective in relieving a wide variety of physical imbalances.

Precautions

When done properly by a trained doctor or practitioner there are no precautions when using this healing modality. If a person has any pain or weakness in a certain area, they should alert their practitioner of the situation.

Summary

Applied Kinesiology is a very safe, effective, non-invasive natural healing modality to consider when one desires to restore balance to their physical and emotional systems.

References

  • Your Body Doesn’t Lie by John Diamond
  • Touch for Health by John and Matthew Thie
  • Applied Kinesiology: A Training Manual and Reference Book of Basic Principles and Practices by Robert Frost
  • Power vs. Force by Dr. David Hawkins
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
Condition

Asthma Natural Treatments

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition of the bronchial airways which is commonly associated with wheezing, increased mucus secretions and reduced lung expansion. Opinions vary as to the cause, with great emphasis placed on emotions, genetics and environmental areas.

The following is information on asthma natural treatments.

Self-Care Natural Treatments

  • Magnesium Citrate: Magnesium is the number one anti-stress mineral that also relaxes the bronchial constriction in the lungs.  It is suggested to take 250-500 mg once per day, and monitor your body.
  • Evening Primrose oil: Helps reduce inflammation. Start with 1000 mg / day.
  • Food Restriction: Eliminate all dairy for at least 2-weeks. This is known as a food sensitivity challenge.  Eliminate all dairy and monitor your breathing and energy levels. If you choose, you may try to reintroduce after the 2-week break and monitor your symptoms.
  • Cod liver oil: This also assists in reducing the inflammation.  Take 2 teaspoons daily.
  • Vitamin C:  Take to bowel tolerance.
  • Vitamin D:  If you choose to take Cod Liver Oil, there will be vitamin D in there.  If not, consider supplementing with vitamin D3 at least 2000 mg per day.

Professional Natural Therapies

  • Kinesiology: This may help isolate foods for which you may be sensitive or allergic to.
  • Homeopathy: Consider an assessment by a Homeopath to treat this issue at the core, rather than simply manage symptoms.

References

  • Andrew Weil, drweil.com/drw/u/ART00306/asthma.html
  • Natural Treatment for Asthma, altmedicine.about.com/od/aznaturalremedyindex/a/asthma.htm
  • EarthClinic, earthclinic.com/CURES/asthma.html