The topic of conventional chemotherapy is quite controversial in the natural health community. And, there’s certainly a time and place for people of goodwill to debate the pros and cons of this prevalent form of cancer treatment. However, once the decision has been made to utilize chemotherapy, the goal should then shift to finding safe ways of improving the efficacy and tolerability of this widely used procedure.
Tags: Cancer, Chemotherapy, Yoga
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Exercise, Mental Health | 13 Comments & Updates
Dr. Abraham Maslow, the famous and influential psychologist, once quipped: “If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail”. If you go to see a doctor or health coach that has a particular specialty, they’ll usually make recommendations based on their personal training. And, if their “prescriptions”, whether allopathic or holistic, aren’t effective, the client or patient is left without a solution unless he sees another expert who offers a different perspective. Some of the people who don’t find solutions to their health concerns end up seeking out alternatives from consultants like me. Recently, a client in his late 70’s contacted me about natural methods of improving cognition and nervousness. But, as is often the case, this gentleman was already taking many positive steps to address his concerns – a reasonably healthy diet, adequate sleep, exercise, supplements, etc. Also, I was made aware that he wasn’t keen on the idea of daily meditation. He had tried it many times before and simply couldn’t or wouldn’t stick with it.
Tags: Anxiety, Meditation, Music
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Memory, Mental Health | 10 Comments & Updates
Today I’d like to tell a tale of two oranges. Citrus sinensis, the more popular of the two, is known as “sweet orange”. The lesser known Citrus aurantium is referred to as bergamot or “bitter orange”. Although bitterness and sweetness are typically thought of as polar opposites, both of these citrus fruits have found common ground in the field of natural medicine. Over the past several years, C. aurantium and C. sinensis have been analyzed as potentially beneficial aromatherapeutic agents. In particular, scientists are investigating whether the inhalation of bitter and sweet orange oil aroma may curb anxious feelings.
Tags: Anxiety, Aromatherapy, Surgery
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Dental Health, Mental Health | 5 Comments & Updates
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), commonly referred to as lupus, is a chronic autoimmune disease that disproportionately affects younger women. Autoimmune diseases are characterized by an inappropriate response by the immune system which provokes an attack against healthy tissue. In the case of lupus, an inflammatory reaction occurs which can affect numerous sites in the body, including the cardiovascular system, the digestive tract and joints. The conventional management of lupus typically involves the use of anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids that suppress immune function. Unfortunately, both of these pharmaceutically-based approaches carry the risk on unwanted side effects.
Tags: Acupuncture, Fish Oil, Lupus
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Mental Health, Nutritional Supplements | 12 Comments & Updates
For many scientists, it’s hard to imagine that something as inexpensive, pleasing and simple to use as lavender oil can have a profound influence on emotional states, sleep quality and well being. On the other hand, consumers from around the world have made lavender oil a top selling aromatherapeutic aid. Anecdotal accounts of success and recommendations from family and friends are the primary reasons why lavender remains a strong seller among those in need of a calmer state of mind and relief from insomnia. In recent months, several studies have been published which help bridge the gap between lavender-believers and lavender-skeptics.
Tags: Anxiety, Aromatherapy, Insomnia
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Mental Health | 20 Comments & Updates
A reader recently asked if there were any natural ways to increase melatonin production without resorting to supplements. I replied that the best way to encourage nighttime melatonin release is to minimize light exposure close to bedtime. I went on to explain that certain foods such as cherries, grapes and walnuts also contain naturally occurring melatonin and may, therefore, make good, late night snacks.
Tags: Meditation, Sleep, Yoga
Posted in Alternative Therapies, General Health, Mental Health | 13 Comments & Updates
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t come across many doctors that prescribe a daily glass of blended fruits and vegetables as a way of reducing cardiovascular risk. Take a daily aspirin? Sure. Pop a statin medication to lower cholesterol? That’s pretty commonplace. But, placing diet and lifestyle at the forefront of care is a concept that has not yet been warmly embraced in conventional medicine. In order to change this counterproductive paradigm, I believe a minimum of two steps ought to be taken. First, the work of responsible, innovative physicians such as Dr. Sinatra needs to be shared with the unconverted whether family, friends or your health care team. And, perhaps as importantly, patients need to actively seek out and support integrative healers both financially and otherwise. As with most industries, money and public perception drives change.
Tags: Carnitine, CoQ10, Recipes
Posted in Heart Health, Interviews, Mental Health | 6 Comments & Updates
Acupuncture is a healing modality that has the potential to further the cause of integrative medicine, a form of care that combines alternative/complementary practices with allopathic or conventional treatment. For one thing, there’s an enormous amount of scientific research that has been and is being conducted on acupuncture. In addition, acupuncture is widely accepted as very safe and unlikely to conflict with allopathic treatment when applied by a knowledgeable practitioner. Finally, acupuncture is rarely advocated as a sole therapeutic option. Medications, physical therapy and even surgery can be used as adjuncts. All of these points tend to facilitate a greatly likelihood of acceptance and/or cooperation among physicians who aren’t generally holistically minded.
Tags: Acupuncture, Depression, Skin Care
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Heart Health, Mental Health | 12 Comments & Updates
During my last trip to London, I had the pleasure of visiting The Hale Clinic – a 25 year old institution that offers a wide assortment of alternative and complementary therapies and resources. The primary objective of this world renowned center of healing is to integrate holistic principles into the conventional medical paradigm. In addition to providing access to holistic practitioners, Hale also has a natural pharmacy and reading room on premises.
Tags: ADHD, Insomnia, Menopause
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Mental Health, Women's Health | 5 Comments & Updates
Happiness seems like it has little to do with the modern health care system. But, in medicine, as in life, appearances can be deceiving. Statistics reveal that people who have a positive outlook are more likely to be in better physical health. Now, some theorize that happy people are healthier because they take better care of themselves. Simply put, they have more of a reason to want to live longer. There’s certainly some truth to that assertion. However, recent developments in the field of psychology explain that the link between contentment and wellness may very well be a two way street.
Tags: Heart Health, Kidney Health, Stress
Posted in Alternative Therapies, General Health, Mental Health | 2 Comments & Updates
For the next few moments, I’d like you to conjure up an image of what you think caffeine does to the brain. Did you come up with negative or positive imagery? When I think of caffeinated beverages such as coffee, hot cocoa or tea, I associate them with the promotion of brain health. I know this goes against the common stereotype of caffeine as overly stimulating. However, modern science is starting to show a consistently positive trend in trials investigating the role of caffeine consumption and neuroprotection.
Tags: Cancer, Coffee, Depression
Posted in Food and Drink, Memory, Mental Health | 18 Comments & Updates
Clinical hypnosis is quickly making inroads into the mainstream of medicine. Thankfully, it’s no longer being viewed as the exclusive domain of esoteric healers or second rate magicians. This is due, in large part, to a growing body of scientific trials that have been conducted at prestigious centers of learning throughout the world. The findings of these recent inquiries are beginning to reveal the true potential of this mind-body modality.
Tags: Headache, Hypnosis, IBS
Posted in Alternative Therapies, General Health, Mental Health | 8 Comments & Updates
A simple addition or substitution can make a profound difference in the overall quality of your diet. If you enjoy freshly made juice or homemade smoothies, you can very easily improve the nutrient density of these beverages by tossing a handful of raw spinach into the mix. The beauty of this strategy is that you’re unlikely to taste the spinach at all, though you’ll probably notice its chlorophyll inspired hue. But, you can be certain that your body will be keenly aware of it.
Tags: Potassium, Spinach, Vitamin K
Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Mental Health, Nutrition | 4 Comments & Updates