Posts Tagged ‘Arthritis’

Natural Pain Relievers

July 19, 2010 Written by JP

There are few things in life that are more difficult than being in constant pain or seeing someone you love in the same predicament. Chronic pain related conditions are notoriously difficult to manage in the long term without accompanying side effects from the treatments themselves. But what can one do? You either live with the pain and forego conventional therapies or you take the best pharmacological and surgical advice your doctors have to offer. The latter is what most people settle on and it’s completely understandable. However, there are also natural pain relieving options available. My Healthy Monday tip is that patients and physicians consider adding alternative and complementary techniques to their list of viable interventions.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Mental Health | 33 Comments & Updates

Arnica Montana for Pain Relief

April 28, 2010 Written by JP

I recently received an e-mail from a reader who inquired about the scientific evidence surrounding a popular homeopathic remedy known as Arnica montana. In order to answer this inquiry, I first need to address the issue of homeopathy in general. Homeopathy is a controversial holistic treatment that centers around the theory that “like cures like” – an admittedly unconventional view. Homeopathic remedies are also fodder for vigorous debate in the scientific community because they contain extremely diluted amounts of medicinal elements. In essence, the underpinning theory is that the lower the dosage, the more potent the effect. This claim goes against the generally accepted laws of chemistry and physics. Nevertheless, many consumers and select physicians are stalwart supporters of this esoteric practice. Read more »

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health | 13 Comments & Updates

Arthritis, Depression and Eye Health Updates

April 23, 2010 Written by JP

I watched a tragically sad piece on last weekend’s edition of the news program 60 Minutes. A series of patients with life threatening illnesses fell prey to a con artist who claimed to be able to heal them via natural remedies and stem cell treatments. This segment really hit home because it was a stark reminder that hope must be doled out judiciously. I believe the defining difference between well placed and false hope can be summarized in one word: evidence. Hope with a foundation that is evidence-based can be constructive and sometimes yields dramatic outcomes. On the other hand, false hope leaves patients vulnerable to exploitation and heart break.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Nutritional Supplements | 5 Comments & Updates

Natural Health Updates April 2010

April 21, 2010 Written by JP

Every column I write contains the most accurate and current information of which I’m aware. However, the research I provide is simply a snapshot of what is known at that given time. I’m well aware that soon after I post a blog, there’s more data that could and should be added to the mix. That’s why from time-to-time, I revisit some of the more popular topics and build upon the previously reported research. This is part one of a two part update that will conclude on Friday of this week.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Food and Drink | 6 Comments & Updates

Arthritis, Diabetes and Vitamin D

April 5, 2010 Written by JP

Several years ago, I was working in the casting department at a major film and television company. On one particular day I was asked to pull some scenes from the film Pay it Forward (starring Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt and Haley Joel Osmont) that would highlight the considerable acting skills of Mr. Spacey. While reviewing the film, I remember thinking that screenwriters sometime like to write young characters into their films because they can say things that older actors can’t. Take this line for instance: “I guess it’s hard for people who are so used to things the way they are – even if they’re bad – to change. ‘Cause they kind of give up. And when they do, everybody kind of loses”. As spoken by the young Haley Joel Osment, the dialog was effective. But even a great performer such as Kevin Spacey might have a hard time pulling off those lines without sounding corny. Read more »

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Posted in Bone and Joint Health, Diabetes, Heart Health | 6 Comments & Updates

Herbs for Arthritis, Colds and Crohn’s Disease

February 8, 2010 Written by JP

Old herbs may not be able to learn new tricks, but humans can certainly learn new tricks about old herbs. Over the past few months, there’s been an impressive string of studies published about various herbal remedies. Some of the data supports traditional uses of these botanical agents. But I’ve also discovered a few wild cards in the medical literature. The result of my research will be a three day expose on the latest and greatest information about the modern use of medicinal herbs. Read more »

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Nutritional Supplements | 7 Comments & Updates

Rheumatoid Arthritis Alternatives

January 22, 2010 Written by JP

When I was growing up I had a friend who became a doctor. I remember going to his home one day and asking for his advice about a medical dilemma with which I was grappling. In my 20’s I struggled with depression. It had become severe enough for my doctor to suggest that I begin using a prescription antidepressant. But I had reservations. I was concerned about the impressive list of reported side effects and a whole host of adverse reactions that might occur during the course of long term use. It literally felt like a lose-lose situation. If I was lucky, I might experience an improvement in mood. However, I was almost assured of one or more unintended consequences of treatment such as constipation, dry mouth, insomnia, nausea, restlessness and sexual dysfunction. The feelings that I experienced during that decision making process are shared by many people. And it’s not exclusive to those with depression. Anyone who is prescribed a powerful medication for a chronic condition may very well share similar thoughts. Read more »

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Nutritional Supplements | 27 Comments & Updates

New Omega 3 Research

January 11, 2010 Written by JP

There’s a place in my mind that’s permanently devoted to natural health. It’s a living, breathing metropolis that has a cast of characters numbering in the hundreds. The foods, practices and supplements that make up of the population of this fictitious land are very similar to the bit players, heros and villains that inhabit any good story. In short, they need to constantly evolve and reveal more about themselves in order to remain interesting to readers and viewers alike. Read more »

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Posted in Bone and Joint Health, Diet and Weight Loss, Nutritional Supplements | 31 Comments & Updates

Bee Venom Therapy

October 28, 2009 Written by JP

Bees are invaluable members of the ecosystem. The sustainability of many of the foods we eat is directly dependent upon the pollination provided by these incredibly productive insects. The prospect of being stung by a bumble bee or a European honey bee is quite another story. We avoid being in close proximity to bees and hives because of this very concern. Some people are understandably fearful of the pain associated with stings. A much smaller segment of the population has yet another reason to fret: allergic reactions to bee venom. There are however certain individuals who seek out bees for the express purpose of getting stung repeatedly. Read more »

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Posted in Alternative Therapies | 6 Comments & Updates

Exercise for Pain Relief

October 13, 2009 Written by JP

The last thing anyone wants to do when in pain is exercise. Certain injuries require allowing the body time to recover. However, mental and physical discomfort shouldn’t always be used as an excuse to slow down. In fact, many times, the desire for bed rest may actually be counterproductive. This certainly appears to be the case with some very common, inflammatory conditions that affect both the body and the mind. Read more »

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Mental Health | 10 Comments & Updates

Osteoarthritis Alternatives

September 22, 2009 Written by JP

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a very common consequence of aging in the modern world. On average, we’re living longer than ever and our joints are taking their fair share of the burden as a result. There are many conventional treatments for dealing with the impaired mobility and pain associated with this condition. However, many of us would prefer to avoid taking medications or resorting to surgical procedures unless it’s the only remaining option. In the field of natural medicine field, there are several well known alternatives for OA. The most familiar names are probably glucosamine and chondroitin. This duo is often effective in managing the symptoms of OA and perhaps even in slowing its progression. But they don’t work for everyone. Fortunately, the natural health industry is much like its pharmaceutical counterpart in that it’s always looking for new choices for consumers. Read more »

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Diet and Weight Loss, Nutritional Supplements | 29 Comments & Updates

Thunder God Vine

August 20, 2009 Written by JP

Natural medicines are much like people. They’re complicated and they respond in vastly different ways depending on the given circumstances. In the case of herbal remedies, the issues of how a plant is grown, the extraction method by which the “active ingredients” are attained and the dosage administration can very easily be the deciding factors that determine its therapeutic potential. But there’s an important consideration beyond efficacy that should always be kept in mind – safety. The fact that something is naturally derived does not necessarily guarantee that it’s harmless. A recent study conducted on Tripterygium wilfordii (Thunder God Vine) provides an excellent example of the complexity involved in researching and selecting the best holistic options. Read more »

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Nutritional Supplements | 12 Comments & Updates

Krill Oil Research

July 3, 2009 Written by JP

When selecting nutritional supplements we all strive to use the most effective products available. But what should we base that determination on? One option is to ask others about their personal experiences. This is commonly referred to as anecdotal evidence. Another source of data can be found in the scientific literature. Here we’re trusting that researchers are performing well designed and impartial research in a more controlled manner. Since these types of studies typically involve larger groups of people, the results may apply to broad segments of the population. But there’s another very prevalent manner of learning about dietary supplements and that is information provided by the manufacturers themselves. My contention is that we ought to examine all three sources of input. Ask questions of your colleagues, family and friends. Read the product literature provided by nutraceutical companies and pose any inquires that you might have. Finally, investigate whether modern science has produced any evidence to back up the other two sources. I’ll apply this model to examine an area of debate that’s currently active in the natural health community: Is krill oil superior to fish oil? Read more »

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Heart Health, Nutritional Supplements | 907 Comments & Updates