Archive for March, 2011

Vitiligo Alternatives

March 30, 2011 Written by JP

Of all the organs in the human body, the skin receives the most attention the majority of the time. We consider whether it’s pale or tan, dry or oily, smooth or wrinkled. The appearance of skin also tells others a fair share about who we are. It can reveal clues about ancestry and genetic tendencies. One’s complexion can impart an impression of health when rosy and glowing or illness when pasty and pale. The choice of whether or not to use make up or how much of it also tells a story about who we are and what we value.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutritional Supplements | 6 Comments

Maqui Berries

March 28, 2011 Written by JP

Assume for a moment that you are looking for a new supplement to try at your local health food store. Now let’s say you happened upon a product that presented the following statements on its label or in the accompanying supplemental literature: “Age Defying Beautiful Skin”; “Nature’s Ultimate Antioxidant”; “Naturally Pure”; “Scientifically Proven”; “Supports Healthy Cholesterol Levels” and “Supports a Healthy Immune System”. What would your impression of this product be? If you’re a frequent visitor to this site, my hope is that your first instinct would be to do some research to try to verify these seductive claims.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, Nutritional Supplements | 6 Comments

Motivating Yourself and Others

March 25, 2011 Written by JP

Over the past month or so I’ve engaged in a sort of experiment on Twitter. In addition to the topical health information I normally post, I started including thought provoking quotations from historical and modern figures. My thinking was that we all could benefit from taking momentary breaks from daily life to reflect on grander issues. A sentence or two echoed from revered men and women affords us a simple way to take a step back and contemplate greater goals and issues.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Mental Health | 5 Comments

Natural Products Expo West 2011 Part Two

March 23, 2011 Written by JP

In case you haven’t already noticed, the slogan for this website is “Your Natural Health Critic”. And while I tend to focus on the more positive developments in the field of integrative and natural medicine, at times it’s necessary to point out some troubling trends as well. This year’s Natural Products Expo West was an excellent opportunity to flex my critical thinking in precisely this arena. In a recent press release, Adam Anderson, a spokesman for the Anaheim-based trade show, commented that “While the economy recovers, the natural and organic industry continues to grow. 2010 metrics including attendance and hundreds of new product introductions at Expo West are proof positive of the strategic value surrounding in-person business events”. The introduction of new products to the marketplace is an opportunity to show how innovative the natural health community can be. However, more often than not, the products in question fall short of my expectations.
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Posted in Children's Health, Nutritional Supplements, Product Reviews | 2 Comments

Preventing Colorectal Cancer Naturally?

March 21, 2011 Written by JP

In the vast majority of cases, cancer doesn’t develop quickly. A tumor doesn’t just appear out of nowhere. Rather, it forms through a complex set of circumstances that are affected by aberrant cellular changes, growth factors, hormonal influences, increased blood flow and inflammation. Technically speaking, carcinogenesis is “largely comprised of three phases: initiation, promotion and progression”. Medical researchers are keenly interested in understanding the process behind the formation of malignancies because it’s far more preferable to interfere with the genesis of cancer than to try and destroy it once it’s fully formed.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutritional Supplements | 9 Comments

Potassium Iodide and Prussian Blue

March 18, 2011 Written by JP

No matter where in the world you’re reading this, you’re almost certainly aware of the crisis that’s unfolding in Japan. Among other things, the tragic events of this past week have drawn much attention to two otherwise obscure substances that are used to protect against radioactive fall out. Potassium iodide is the better known of the two. Prussian blue isn’t making much news yet, but that may change as the level of concern about radiation exposure continues to spread.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Detoxification, General Health | 9 Comments

Natural Products Expo West 2011 Part One

March 16, 2011 Written by JP

Last Friday, Saturday and Sunday I walked the floor of the Anaheim Convention Center along with over 58,000 other members of the natural health community. I had my comfy Sanuk walking shoes on and a mission at hand: to survey the current trends in the natural food sector with a critical but fair eye. Some of what I saw left me hopeful, so that’s what I’ll focus on today. In my next installment on the Natural Products Expo West, I’ll discuss some of the more troublesome aspects of this colossal trade show.
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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Nutritional Supplements, Product Reviews | 12 Comments

Pedometer News You Can Use

March 14, 2011 Written by JP

How many steps do you take on any given day? Most people can’t answer that question with any sense of accuracy unless they use a pedometer. Up until this past Saturday, I know I couldn’t tell you how many times my feet moved forward or backwards per day. No clue. 1,000 steps? Possibly. 4,000 steps? Maybe on a good day. Well, on Saturday the figure was 8,670 steps. To be more specific, that was the total number of steps I took while at the Anaheim Convention Center – the site of this year’s Natural Products Expo West.
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Posted in Diabetes, Exercise, Heart Health | 2 Comments

Complementary Bipolar Disorder Care

March 11, 2011 Written by JP

Bipolar disorder has been in the news lately because of the incessant coverage of a well known celebrity who appears to be in the midst of a mental breakdown. News outlets of every stripe just can’t get enough of this story. It doesn’t much matter whether the root cause of this current spectacle is drug use, a psychiatric condition or some combination thereof. The bottom line is that the antics involved are simply too sensational to ignore. But that’s not the reason why bipolar disorder is on my radar. Please don’t get me wrong – the psychological unraveling of any person is profoundly sad and troubling. However, when over 2% of the world’s population is affected by one form or another of bipolar spectrum disorder (BPS), that fact should occupy a much more prominent spot in the news than the struggle of any one individual.
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Posted in Heart Health, Mental Health, Nutritional Supplements | 4 Comments

Body Fat News You Can Use

March 9, 2011 Written by JP

Body fat. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it. Too much body fat is a well established risk factor for the majority of leading causes of disease, disability and mortality in the modern world. But you do need a certain amount of adipose tissue to buffer the effects of toxins, protect your internal organs from physical damage, provide a stored energy source and stay warm when the weather turns cold. The key is to maintain a reasonable percentage of body fat. A recent publication in the journal Obesity offers up a new way to estimate your body fat percentage that may be more accurate than calculating your body mass index or BMI.
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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Exercise, Nutrition | 15 Comments

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Alternatives

March 7, 2011 Written by JP

Most people have endured one or more serious traumas in their lives. However, the extent of suffering and the exact definition placed on the word “trauma” vary greatly. What’s more, for reasons that aren’t entirely clear, certain individuals are more susceptible to the serious, long term consequences of trauma than others. Some survivors of abuse, assault, natural disasters and war develop a form of anxiety known as PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder. Symptoms of PTSD include emotional detachment, flashback episodes, memory loss, physical pain, recurrent nightmares, sleep disturbance and social withdrawal. Fortunately, some scientists are examining and finding success by utilizing select natural therapies in those living with traumatic memories.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Mental Health, Nutritional Supplements | 5 Comments

Reiki Questions and Answers

March 4, 2011 Written by JP

Some natural health practices are more difficult for allopathic physicians to accept than others. Take, for instance, herbal extracts. Herbs and prescriptive medications are essentially comprised of one or many chemicals which are responsible for their therapeutic activity. Western medicine is largely based upon this model and quite comfortable with it. So called “energy” therapies such acupuncture, Qi Gong and Reiki are another story. The concept of accessing the power of healing energy simply doesn’t jive with the modern, Western view of medicine.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Heart Health, Mental Health | 6 Comments

Alternative Cancer News

March 3, 2011 Written by JP

A prerequisite for using natural medicine to its greatest advantage is to maintain a healthy reservoir of common sense. This is sometimes difficult to do when you or someone you love is diagnosed with a life threatening illness. In these vulnerable times, one has the tendency to trust otherwise unbelievable claims out of a desperate need for finding a cure. Regrettably, too many opportunistic authors and questionable healers in the alternative health community use this circumstance to sell books, devices and services. As you can imagine, the end result, can be disastrous and heartbreaking.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutritional Supplements | 5 Comments