Posts Tagged ‘asthma’

Alternate Nostril Breathing

August 5, 2013 Written by JP

Most of us give little thought to the involuntary actions which occur in our bodies on a daily basis: the digestive system absorbing nutrients, hearts beating and circulating blood, livers processing toxins and so on. Beneath the level of conscious awareness resides the autonomic nervous system (ANS), the controller of these vitally important bodily functions and many others. In general, the ANS requires little maintenance. However, sometimes this unsung aspect of our physiology benefits from some assistance in order to work for our greatest good.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Heart Health, Memory | 3 Comments & Updates

Craniosacral Therapy Research

June 2, 2013 Written by JP

Cheerio! I’m back in jolly old England to share some of the local healing tradition. The inspiration for today’s column comes courtesy of the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine (RLHIM). There, patients are offered the best of both complementary and conventional care in an outpatient setting. The RLHIM administers an impressive array of holistic healing modalities including aromatherapy, homeopathy and reflexology. Also popular at this healing institution is a form of bodywork known as craniosacral therapy or CST.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Mental Health, Women's Health | 10 Comments & Updates

Buteyko Breathing Technique

March 26, 2012 Written by JP

In previous columns, I’ve described the health benefits of various forms of deep breathing in diseases ranging from asthma to GERD (gastroesophageal reflux). But, there’s another, vastly different school of thought in the world of breath retraining. The Buteyko Breathing Technique (BBT) contrasts from practices such as diaphragmatic and Senobi breathing in that it actually recommends reducing depth and frequency of breath in order to assist asthmatics to better control their symptoms.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Exercise | 8 Comments & Updates

L-Carnitine Research

February 10, 2012 Written by JP

In last week’s interview with Jonny Bowden, the good doctor mentioned L-carnitine as a noteworthy supplement that benefits heart health. A recent review in the journal Current Drug Metabolism concurs and describes several mechanisms that make this so. Among them, the authors cite carnitine’s ability to transport “fatty acids into the mitochondrial matrix, thus allowing the cells to break down fat and get energy from stored fat reserves”. They go on to report that carnitine reduces oxidative stress and may, therefore, be a helpful adjunct in conditions including angina, heart failure and even overweight. But, this “endogenous molecule” has plenty to offer beyond the confines of the cardiovascular system.

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Posted in Children's Health, Diabetes, Nutritional Supplements | 6 Comments & Updates

Senobi Breathing Exercise

December 14, 2011 Written by JP

Changes in breathing patterns and muscle tension are two of the more obvious physical responses to stress. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that mindful breathing and stretching are two of the best ways of counteracting the impact of anxious feelings. Several recent studies confirm this truism. But, the breadth of health benefits imparted by breathing exercises and stretching go much further than you might imagine.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Exercise, Mental Health | 12 Comments & Updates

Asthma Alternatives

May 9, 2011 Written by JP

Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that asthma rates are on the rise although pollution and second hand smoke exposure is declining. According to data collected in 2009, approximately 25 million Americans are now living with this inflammatory lung condition which causes coughing fits, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest and wheezing. What’s more, no age or ethnic group is immune to this trend. However, those without medical insurance are more at risk because the typical price tag associated with conventional asthma treatment rings in at over $3,200 per person/year. This explains why roughly 40% of uninsured asthma patients report that they’re unable to buy the prescription medications needed to address their symptoms. (1) Read more »


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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Children's Health, Nutritional Supplements | 20 Comments & Updates

Best Of Chiropractic Adjustments

December 28, 2010 Written by JP

I have a confession to make. Even after many years of using and working with natural medicine, I still have an underlying fear of chiropractors. Not the men and women who make up the profession. But the actual process of getting an adjustment. I’ve just never gotten used to the cracking and popping sounds brought about by manual adjustments. However my concerns are often at odds with some of the positive evidence that exists about this widely utilized holistic technique. The most recent figures published by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine estimate that upwards of $4 billion a year is spent on “chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation” in the US alone. It appears that many health conscious consumers do not share my reservations about visiting their friendly, neighborhood chiropractor.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health | 3 Comments & Updates

Coffee for Asthma

December 8, 2010 Written by JP

A client just asked me about a column she read in the New York Times. It dealt with the advisability of using coffee to manage asthma symptoms. Home remedies such as coffee and tea contain naturally occurring chemicals known as methylxanthines which act as bronchodilators. According to a recent summary article in the Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews, caffeine can also reduce “respiratory muscle fatigue”. However, the noted benefits for asthmatics tend to be rather short lived with improvements of airway function lasting four hours at best. In my opinion, there are better ways of dealing with the chronic issues that affect patients with asthma. (1,2)
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 13 Comments & Updates

Chiropractic Adjustments

March 31, 2010 Written by JP

I have a confession to make. Even after many years of using and working with natural medicine, I still have an underlying fear of chiropractors. Not the men and women who make up the profession. But the actual process of getting an adjustment. I’ve just never gotten used to the cracking and popping sounds brought about by manual adjustments. However my concerns are often at odds with some of the positive evidence that exists about this widely utilized holistic technique. The most recent figures published by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine estimate that upwards of $4 billion a year is spent on “chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation” in the US alone. It appears that many health conscious consumers do not share my reservations about visiting their friendly, neighborhood chiropractor. Read more »


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Posted in Alternative Therapies | 8 Comments & Updates

Magnesium Supplements

February 22, 2010 Written by JP

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked has do with which supplements are the most essential. Many people who inquire are already taking a multivitamin. It’s not always the best multivitamin, but at least it provides the basic nutrients that are often lacking in the modern diet. However, there are certain minerals that are never provided in adequate amounts in a standard one-a-day supplement. They’re simply too bulky to be contained in a single capsule or even a large tablet. Read more »


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Posted in Bone and Joint Health, Mental Health, Women's Health | 30 Comments & Updates

Breathing Exercises

August 24, 2009 Written by JP

Many of the health benefits attributed to natural therapies are actually brought about by re-establishing practices that ought to come naturally to the body and mind. There is nothing more basic and essential than breathing. But there’s a difference between breathing to live and breathing with the goal of improving and/or maintaining good health. The difference between these practices generally has to do with two factors: the conscious act of breathing properly and how deeply air is inhaled and exhaled via the diaphragm and lungs. Read more »


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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Heart Health, Mental Health | 8 Comments & Updates

Vitamin D and Lung Health

May 26, 2009 Written by JP

In the field of nutritional science, there is no hotter nutrient than Vitamin D. Scientists are steadfastly studying the effects of D on everything from arthritis to cardiovascular disease and even psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia. One area of particular interest is that of Vitamin D deficiency and pulmonary health. There is a desperate need to identify preventive measures and safe treatments for lung conditions because of the shockingly large number of people who are affected by them. It is estimated that approximately 300 million people worldwide suffer from asthma alone, and that number is growing at a staggering pace.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Heart Health, Nutritional Supplements | 11 Comments & Updates