Watch Out for Alternative Medicine Charlatans!

Forget those Crystals

As an integrative medical practitioner, I keep an open mind to new modalities of evaluating illness and treating disease. My interest and pursuit of complementary or alternative medical therapies has led me to selectively incorporate some of what I have come across. For example, in my practice, I embrace acupuncture for the diagnosis and treatment of certain disease states. Also, Traditional Chinese Herbal medicine and western herbs have been quite helpful and marked with successful results for many of our patients. However, there are many who claim to be practitioners of "alternative medicine" who pray on the gullible and ignorant. This fact hit home as never before when I attended and participated in a "Holistic Expo" in Atlanta in mid September this year. I was a guest speaker on the topic of super nutrients in health and longevity and had a presence on the Expo floor to promote my dietary supplement line and integrative practice in Savannah. After viewing over 160 vendor booths and reviewing the list of topics being lectured I was appalled and horrified at what I saw.

To my amazement the bulk of the "practitioners" present at this supposed health (Mind-Body-Spirit) Expo appeared to be charlatans, fakes and quacks. They offered no credentials and held no certification. There was no governing body that oversaw what they offered or preached. What amazed me more were the number of visitors to the expo who were duped into believing there was actually "healing" going on. I view these people as entertainers, but certainly not healers. Many of the vendors offered their services or wares for sale on the spot. A typical "Divine Psychic reading" could cost up to $ 35. A Channeling session with crystals was $ 5 per minute. And people were lining up for this. I was very uncomfortable and very out to place amongst this group. The vendor to my immediate left was comprised of three "healers", a fellow who would sketch your spiritual drawing, and two females, one a psychic, the other a tarot card reader. Across from me was a vendor for a distance learning "institution" that offered "degrees" in nutrition, herbology, spiritual healing and Reiki. To my right was a "massage therapist / channeler / healer" who on several occasions had his victim on a table where he would rub them rather aggressively and wave rocks and crystals over their heads and chest. Yet another booth offered spontaneous healing where practitioners pranced around their victim chanting and waving their hands in an effort to expel the evil forces causing disease. They also showed a videotape repeatedly of a non-surgical way of extracting tumors from bodies seemingly through their skin with instantaneous healing.

Those at the booths (and in the lecture hall) purported to be able to deliver unbelievable health advice from celebrities on the other side (Celebrity Channelers). Many were divine psychics, and one booth offer "aromatherapy" for people & pets. One Native American fellow in Indian garb spoke of "Meeting …

Disease Model in Alternative and Orthodox Medicine

The current orthodox medicine model of disease is outdated. It looks at disease as "damage" to the human body, which is supposed to be "fixed" or "repaired" the very same way as, for example, a car. But this mechanical approach does not include the thousands of adaptive biological reactions that start immediately after the body's "damage" begins and that accompany the entire healing process up to complete or partial recovery.

What it means is that during all diseases, from the very beginning, immediate recovery processes accompany destructive processes. Unfortunately, drugs and surgery can interfere with the recovery processes, affecting the very gentle physiological equilibrium of the body called homeostasis and thus bring more damage. This is what is called side effects of drug therapy.

The essence of the condition named "disease" is, therefore, far more complicated than the traditional "damage – fix" model. The disease or pathology is just another physiological state of the body, which can progress or regress according to the body's needs.

Current physical, emotional and mental condition of the body heavily influences the beginning and outcome of the disease. As a matter of fact, most people are living with "diseases" bouncing back and forth from physiological "norm". In this case, instead of "treatment of disease" a better term to use would be "regulation of physiological processes", which more precisely exact what's going on in the body. This is the alternative medicine model.

Because drugs suppress natural bodily adaptive physiological reactions, they can effectively block natural self-healing mechanisms of human bodies. Of course, it's much easier to label group of symptoms as a disease the way orthodox medicine does, and prescribe drugs accordingly, but it has nothing in common with the real healing.

The real healing occurs when all physiological processes related to the physical, emotional and mental condition of the body become regulated and start to work in harmony. This usually happens with use of alternative medicine modalities. Sometimes, the balance can be achieved just through diet and lifestyle modifications. Sometimes, we need to use more "heavy weapons" like herbal or homeopathic remedies or supplements, acupuncture, reflexology, Reiki, yoga or any other conventional healing modality. But the result is always impressive – gentle and profound healing, happening naturally, without toxic side effects and further damage to the body.

Thus, the main difference between alternative and orthodox disease model lies not just in a definition of pathology named disease, but also in a completely different approach to healing. Instead of "fixing the body" in orthodox medicine, we are talking about "regulating and balancing the body" in alternative medicine.

It is absolutely evident that "one size fits all" medicine simply does not work anymore. While it perfectly suits the needs of pharmaceutical companies, it does not benefit most patients who are in real need of custom-made individualized treatment programs without side effects. Given the rising ineffectiveness of mainstream medicine, it's not surprising that patients turn to alternative medicine for a cure. Statistics speak for themselves. According to the …

Chiropractic Services and Alternative Medicine

Chiropractors are trained professionals who help patients predominantly in treating the musculoskeletal system. Treatment is applied without the use of medication, and often sought out to relieve back pain caused by an injury or trauma occurring over a long period of time. Patients typically experience their chiropractic treatment delivered with expert knowledge, carefulness, and high level of personal attention. Each treatment session builds on the one before.

Chiropractic Practitioners are well-known for the hands-on technique they practice adjusting discrepancies in the patient's skeletal system, particularly the spine. Chiropractors work with patients to ascertain and treat problems with the spine, nervous, muscular, and skeletal systems to help other body systems function properly. A chiropractic adjustment will most often restore the balance to your nervous system, and restore the flow of energy and information throughout the body.

Patients can seek out the services of a Chiropractor for anything from allergies, neck and shoulder pain, back pain, sports injuries, nutrition disorders, candida, chronic fatigue, digestive disorders, and fibromyalgia. Nerve issues, such as sciatica, are often treatable conditions for a Chiropractor.

A chiropractic adjustment is the art of recommending a specific force in a precise direction, applied to a vertebra that is subluxated or out of alignment. The Chiropractor identifies the source of the subluxation, determines the exact direction, and the best way to restore the dysfunction. Chiropractic adjustments affect more than just the physical well-being. Many patients claim a feeling of deepening peace and relaxation after their adjustment.

Spinal manipulation has documented use as far back as Hippocrates and the ancient Egyptians. The techniques were most often passed down from generation to generation by families of health practitioners. Spinal manipulation is completed to restore joint play at dysfunctional joints and ultimately provide balance in the muscular skeletal system. Once the restrictions are removed there is more coordinated mobility in the spine. This healing treatment is known to be safe and effective. In fact, spinal manipulation is among the most studied health care interventions, and research consistently indicate that it is remarkably safe.

A Chiropractor has a holistic approach to healing and treatment, believing that problems within these particular body systems lower a persons resistance to illness and affects how the rest of the body works. The term "Holistic" means to treat the body as a whole. A symptom of lower back pain can be the result of many types of dysfunction in the body. Treating the body as a whole often leads to long-term health benefits.

For example, Nutrition Response Testing is a non-invasive holistic treatment that will show and correct your specific nutritional imbalances. Incorporating personalized Holistic Nutrition Programs into your lifestyle, can greatly help to improve your body's immune system and get you feeling "healthy" quickly and painlessly.

Chiropractic treatment is usually associated with the term alternative medicine, which is defined as any health practice that takes the place of, or is incompatible with, conventional medicine. Often, patients see Chiropractors as an alternative to risky or costly surgery that may not …

Alternative Medicine Provides Benefits

Listing the medicinal benefits of marijuana is like trying to list all stars in the sky. With the help of technology, the medical attributes of marijuana are increasingly being incorporated into the fabric of societies everywhere. It has been used as a holistically effective medication on each continent by various kinds of people for thousands of years. Illegal or not, many people have attributed to its healing effects on various illnesses. Legal marijuana use is on the rise and for good reason.

One of the main benefits that are associated with medicinal marijuana is the relief of neuropathic and chronic pain. In a study conducted in HIV patients with neuropathic pain showed that 46 percent of patients who were administered with it experienced 30 percent pain reduction. On the other hand, only 18 percent of those administered with placebo got similar results. Marijuana use also increases the appetite. It stimulates the metabolism of the body and can cause the user an experience of appetite increase. For those patients who experience decreased appetite because of a certain disease, marijuana could help in appetite stimulation. It can signal a craving for food within the body of the patient and encourages one to eat in order to provide energy to the body.

Another benefit of marijuana is that it decreases nausea. Most patients experience nausea and vomiting because of certain illnesses or treatments, like chemotherapy. The THC, an active marijuana ingredient could decrease the nausea and vomiting symptoms in cancer patients. Controlling nausea improves the quality of life of a patient and could make them more receptive to the treatment. Furthermore, marijuana is also good for muscle relaxation. Inhalation of the smoke relaxes the body muscles. Patients who experience muscle twitching or tightness often have a hard time completing normal daily chores. These patients could benefit from the use of medicinal marijuana since it can help reduce the symptoms of muscular pains or aches. This treatment could increase the ability of a patient to move normally and promotes a positive quality of life.

Probably one of the benefits of marijuana is that it is an herb, grown from the earth and is not something that is refined or processed or enhanced chemically. Moreover, it does not have many difficult to pronounce ingredients that are designed to manipulate the symptoms of illnesses. It is a natural medicine without the liver-damaging side effects of prescription drugs. Marijuana has no permanent damage even on long-term use and most patients opt not to smoke it. It can be used in butters, baked goods, and other natural means that makes it the easiest medicine to swallow.

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Alternative Medicine Versus Conventional Medicine

The purpose of this article is not to draw a comparison, but to enlighten people of the health benefits that alternative medicine has to offer over conventional medicine. Most conventional medicine practices aim at addressing a disease or an ailment based on its symptoms. For example, you have a cough or a cold and you pop in a pill.

Comparatively, alternative medicine takes into consideration the body as whole. Right from your eating habits, lifestyle, medical history, your fitness level, etc – are all taken into consideration. Alternative medicine seeks to identify the route cause of the ailment. The objective of the treatment is totally centered towards building the body's healing mechanism and immunity to ward of potential diseases. Disease prevention is an essential part of alternative medicine practices. The focus on holistic living ie improvement in lifestyle, switching to better eating habits, developing a fixed exercise routine stimulate the regenerative ability of your body. This is no rocket science, but the science of building and healing your body the natural way. It is true that alternative medicine practitioners may not be able to treat diseases that have higher levels of complications such as tumors, but it can – at an earlier stage prevent it from forming in the first place.

The use of natural herbs offers a higher safety profile over most conventional medicines. Herbs do need to be taken as per the practitioner's recommendation. It is important to note that herbs do have side effects if they aren't taken as prescribed, but their origin from a natural source does mean that they are more compatible with the human body as compared to chemically synthesized drugs.

Even though alternative medicine is backed by a fewer number of clinically established trials, it is also important to note that it has extensive documentation spanning centuries of use in ancient herbal texts. The need of the hour is to examine the use of these ancient remedies with a scientific outlook so that we obtain better insights. This will open better treatment avenues for patients.

In conclusion, it is best that we not ignore the benefits of scientifically proven medicine. However, we must seek the use of alternative medicinal practices as a means to complement existing treatment regimes so that a person's overall health is looked at ie a person is treated as a whole rather than just looking at a symptom (a part of the whole problem ).

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Evening Primrose Oil – The Alternative Medicine for Hormone Health

If you live in a country where there is a health system available for you and your family; places such as Dr's, hospitals and dentists, you will no doubt feel grateful for the medicinal help they can give you in your time of need.

More and more people are now turning to complimentary, alternative natural medicines to treat their ailments. We are forever hearing about the negative impact using manmade medicines can ultimately have on our bodies and this has started to make people wary of using traditional medicines.

For some choosing to put manmade chemicals in their bodies is not an option. What is complimentary medicine? It is a range of medical therapies that are not regarded as orthodox by the medical profession, such as homeopathy and acupuncture.

In some cases traditional medicines and alternative therapies are used in conjunction with each other. For example a cancer sufferer maybe treated with chemotherapy but receive acupuncture or take essential oils to help ease the pain associated with their treatment.

Natural medicines can have many benefits and treatments such as herbalism dates back thousands of years and in certain parts of the world they are still used as everyday medicines.

The most common alternative medicines are essential oils. They can be found in many forms and if you walk into any health food shop you will see the shelves stacked with all the different types of natural medicines you can buy.

For example; Evening primrose oil is a new essential medicine to grace the shelves of our medicine cabinets. It's a wonder natural medicine that is now widely used to treat a range of different ailments in men, women and children. It has been used in chinese medicine for thousands of years.

Evening primrose is a beautiful vibrant yellow wildflower that grows throughout the United States. It is extracted through cold pressing the seeds harvested from the flowers and drawing out the raw oil.

Evening primrose oil is packed full of amazing health benefits. It has been proven to have an impact on hormone health, skin, hair and bone health. It's full of essential fatty acids, which are necessary for overall general health, but as the body cannot make them you usually absorb through food. It's particularly high in omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids, both of which play a role in brain health as well as growth and development.

Fish oil is usually the 'go to' for the omega fatty acids, but if you do not eat fish or like the taste of the tablets, evening primrose oil is a good alternative.

Evening primrose has been widely recognized in treating hormone health and many women now take it to treat PMS symptoms and for encouraging good hormone health, especially important if you are trying to conceive. Due to its benefits on hormones, it can also help with acne. As it helps balance the hormones it can be really helpful in treating acne associated with hormonal imbalance.

The …

Alternative Medicine Treatment For The Crohn's Disease

If you are reading this, you are looking for the answers about Crohn's disease. You were told that there is no real cause for it; therefore, consequently, there is no cure. The only option you are left with is treatment with the powerful pharmaceutical drugs.

Most likely you are confused. You are afraid of pain, bloody diarrhea, fatigue, possibility of the colon removal, cancer, and side effect of the drugs that you are taking. In the jungle of internet, thousand websites promise and sell miracle cure. The situation with Crohn's disease is extremely complicated. Even medical authorities in this field write "Seventy-five years after Crohn's characterization as a unique entity, we are still in the dark".

Let me share some ideas about causes and possible non-drug treatments for this illness. Everything what I will tell you, is information from statistic and medical literature, practice of the doctors from other countries and my own 40 years of experience with Crohn's disease. Yes, we do not know what the real cause of this disease is, but some facts can bring light to this problem.

All medical statistics show the growth of the autoimmune diseases including Crohn's disease during the last 60 years mostly in the North America, Europe, New Zealand, and much less in Southeast Asia, South America. We cannot blame genes; they cannot change in 60 years. Some scientists consider Crohn's disease as a disease of the rich people and connect Crohn's disease with Westernization.

You were told that Crohn's disease is a hereditary disease, so you did not have a chance to escape from that. The definitive role of genetics is only 15%. I personally believe in heredity of the life style when generation-by-generation people have Cesarean delivery, formula-only feeding, and eating unhealthy foods, drinking alcohol, smoking, having the same vaccination and infections, taking antibiotics, NSAID and living or working in the toxic environment, etc.

No wonder, heredity of the life-style is responsible for many disorders and medical articles and books prove that. Therefore, 85% of harmful environmental factors play the role in the development of autoimmune diseases, which rise for the last 60 years.

You were told that Crohn's disease is autoimmune malady when the immune system acts like crazy by attacking person's own tissue. Normally, immune system is designed to protect the human being from invaders such as harmful microorganisms, and toxic substances.

There are three common disorders of the immune system. The immune system can be weak after viral, bacterial, or parasitic infections, chemotherapy, immunosuppressant drugs, radiation, stress, AIDS, heavy metals toxicity, low adrenals and thyroid, etc. Secondary, the immune system can work extra high. We can see it in many allergic diseases, food and chemical sensitivity, vaccinations, chronic infections, etc. All these factors can trigger in predisposed persons the abnormal immune respond.

Unfortunately, there are no the specific tests for Crohn's disease; therefore it needs to exclude alternative diagnoses, such as intestinal infections and parasites, diarrhea after antibiotics, Clostridium difficile diarrhea, celiac disease, lactose intolerance, exacerbation …

Role of Alternative Medicine in Modern Society

Typically, alternative medicine differs from traditional medicine in that alternative medicine is older and what we might call unconventional or non-Western medicine. Alternative medicine does not follow the traditional science and research that current medicines undergo. Alternative medicine could also be termed complementary or traditional medicine or the therapies that can be integrated into current medicine. The staff of the National Library of Medicine of the United States classified alternative medicine under the category of complementary therapies in their Medical Subjects Heading Section. This was done in the year 2002. The definition provided was that alternative medicine therapeutic practices were not considered as an integral part of the traditional allopathic medicine. Therapies like acupuncture, dieting, physical therapy like exercises or yoga, etc. are termed as alternative medicine. These therapies are called complementary when they are used along with conventional treatments. If they are done in place of conventional treatments, they are known as alternative treatments.

In April 1995, the panel of National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, worked on Definition & Description, CAM Research Methodology Conference, Office of Alternative Medicine. The panel defined alternative medicine and complementary medicine as those healing resources that encompass all health systems and practices that are different from the dominant health system of a particular society or culture. Usually, therapies like ayurveda, herbal medicine, folk medicine, homeopathy, acupuncture, naturopathy, diet practices, chiropractic, music therapy, massage, pranic healing, etc. are classified as alternative or complementary medicine. People who do not find a cure, remedy or success in allopathic medicine generally try alternative medicine. Such people generally suffer from cancer, arthritis, acquired immuno deficiency syndrome (AIDS), chronic back pain, etc. Therapies included under alternative medicine would cease to be included in that category once their efficacy is proven and they are considered safe and effective. They are then considered as part of traditional medicine. An example would be chiropractors. Twenty years ago insurance would not pay for them as they were considered "alternative and ineffective." Today thousands of people have been helped by chiropractors and they are now recognized in the medical community. A similar movement is underway in the nutritional supplement and nutraceutical industry.

Over the years, more and more people have been using alternative medicine because traditional medicine is not working for them. The 2004 survey by the National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine of the United States revealed that approximately 36% of Americans used alternative medicine in 2002. If alternative medicine is used in conjunction with traditional allopathic medicine, an integrative doctor is a person's best option. Some traditional doctors are adamantly against or simply do not believe in complementary medicine, even though research continues to show the benefits of many compounds. Your doctor should be informed about other approaches you may be using and if they are not comfortable with that then always feel free to choose another doctor. This would enable the doctor to foresee any possible complications or a better time in which to use a complementary therapy. The concern …

Alternative Medicine Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis (PF) affects approximately two-million people in the US, of both athletic and non-athletic populations. This condition can be debilitating and significantly affect one's quality of life in a very negative way. There are few high quality studies on this condition and the most successful treatments. Treatments range from chiropractic care, physical therapy, injections and surgeries. Fortunately this condition can typically be resolved with conservative treatment and lifestyle modifications that can prevent going under the knife. Simply put, plantar fasciitis is a strain with subsequent inflammation of the thick tissue (plantar fascia) and muscles on the bottom of the foot causing heel pain. Plantar fasciitis (PF) is characterized by biting heel / mid arch pain when first bearing weight in the morning, or after long periods of rest. The pain typically subsides within 5 minutes of walking or running, then worsens with long term activity or weight bearing. It is also associated with tired, achy feet at the end of the day and foot cramps. PF is seen in both active and inactive people, and is rarely the result of an acute injury. PF can be the result of several different factors: repetitive overuse injuries, poor fitting footwear, overtraining, structural abnormalities of the foot and improper gait mechanics. PF often becomes a chronic and / or recurring problem if not given the appropriate treatment and follow up care.

Some contributing factors to the development of plantar fasciitis:

Structural abnormalities: Plantar fasciitis is very commonly seen with pes planus (pictured left), or flat footed individuals. As you can see, this individual's medial arch is almost flush with the ground. This can create strain on the plantar fascia. Severe injuries resulting in the need for surgical fusion of the foot can also create strain on the plantar fascia. In these cases of severe structural abnormalities, orthotics are typically indicated. Rehabilitation including foot strengthening exercises, chiropractic manipulation and soft tissue techniques can relieve pain and help to alleviate strain on the tissues and resolve flair ups. We use custom orthotics from Foot Levelers in our office. Using a 3-D scanner, we can have custom orthotics made to support the full structure of your foot.

Poorly fitting footwear : Wearing improper footwear over time can lead to PF. If a shoe does not fit your foot properly, your gait is altered during any weight bearing activity. This has an effect on the entire kinetic chain and can ultimately cause strain on the plantar fascia. The strength and flexibility of your foot will determine your best type of footwear.

Overtraining : Can be a huge contributor to PF. What many athletes, weekend warriors and the like tend to overlook is the importance of recovery in their training regimens. If your tissues don't have optimal nutrition, rest and repair time they start DEgenerate rather than REgenerate. Especially when it comes to long distance running, or quick sprints, the feet have a lot of demand.

Nerve Impingement : Plantar fasciitis can be a symptom of sciatic …

Alternative Medicine As An Effective Alternative to Conventional Medicine

As we progress into the twenty-first century, we have made many inroads and advances in medicine due to new discoveries in chemistry, biology, and physics. Conventional medicine, our generally accepted system of medical knowledge, is practiced almost exclusively in the United States and abroad. Using this system, medical doctors and other health professionals treat diseases using drugs, radiation, or surgery. Conventional medicine is also known as allopathic, mainstream, modern or Western medicine.

As a technically advanced society, we have become proud of our achievements in science but modern medicine has yet to solve our health problems. There are several diseases such as cancer, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and a wide variety of serious as well as chronic diseases where a cure has been pending for many, many years. Those who are suffering with incurable illnesses, are questioning the true advancement of modern medicine, and wondering, considering the modern innovations in science, if it has really made so much progress at all. We do have everyday experience of the wonders of medical science in the areas of nuclear and emergency medicine, immunology, surgery and medical testing, and certainly these systems are extremely important, but actual disease prevention and treatment for many chronic diseases is still eluding the modern medical establishment.

There has existed a driving force behind alternative medicine for centuries, and the motivation has been to heal others. Although practitioners of alternative medicine and their patients are reporting effective results, there are some persons who propose that such medicine is fraudulent, and is being practiced by insufficient or under / uneducated persons. This certainly could be true is some cases, but has also been true regarding conventional medical doctors who have had their licenses revoked for negligence or incompetence.

If doctors were not sexists, then there would be no need to offer seminars on how to sensitively handle a woman's pelvic exam in a "non-sexist manner." This type of mentality is one of many reasons women especially, and men also, are turning away from their medical doctors and enlisting the help of alternative practitioners. Michael P. Annavi, Ph.D., in his essay on allopathic authority, entitled Scraps from the Table of Allopathic Power, states that "the allopathic medical industry has created a process of invalidation that promotes the ideology that knowledge is real only if it is established within this tautological framework of European thought ".

The difficulty in establishing the practices and rights of non-traditional health professionals has been thwarted for the past two centuries from those who advocate the practice of scientifically validated medicine, from the traditional medical societies, and, of course, from the medical doctors themselves. This is nothing more than systematic prejudice and racism, especially in regard to the Chinese and E. Indian medical practitioners of acupuncture and Ayurvedic medicine.

Larry Altshuler, MD, in his book Balanced Healing, states that many alternative healing methods are simply more effective than conventional treatments are for certain conditions, and many treatments have a fewer side effects and potential dangerss. Throughout …