Month: June 2016

Alternative Complementary and Integrative Medicine

Do you get confused by the following terms: “alternative medicine”, “complementary medicine”, and “integrative medicine”? Would it be nice to know what the difference is between these three terms? Well, here is a simplified definition and illustration of each of these terms for your benefit.

For you to understand alternate medicine, complementary medicine and integrated medicine, one should first understand what comprises alternative medicine and conventional medicine. Medical doctors or doctors of osteopathy and other allied health professionals such as physiotherapists, RNs, and psychologists all practice conventional medicine. You may have heard or read other terms for conventional medicine including “Western medicine”, “mainstream medicine”, “orthodox medicine”, “regular medicine” or “allopathic medicine”.

Alternative medicine applies to a practice that is used by those who are completely substituting conventional ways of dealing with symptoms and sickness. These individuals employ the practices and processes associated with healing through natural therapies and methods. Methods that may not have anything to do with conventional medicine ways. These conventional ways normally include practices such as pharmaceutical drugs, and surgery. Conventional medicine generally tends to address illnesses by the symptoms exhibited. In room #5 is a broken arm, in room #8 is a nosebleed, in room #2 is preterm labor. Each patient is defined by the presenting symptoms and the treatment is symptom-oriented. Subsequently, drugs are prescribed to get rid of or block out the symptom typically without treating the cause of the symptom. But, alternative medicine centers the whole individual, not the presenting symptom.

Alternative medicine is founded on a 5000+ year history and is strongly rooted in ancient Chinese medicine and Indian (Ayuryedic medicine), along with other civilisations. There is a common belief, irrespective of which culture we examine, that says the energy of the body is required to be in harmony with the mind and spirit to facilitate healing.

For alternative medicine healing to come about, a practitioner or doctor simply identifies and then takes away obstacles that would prevent healing from taking place. Over the course of the healing the individual is schooled on lifestyle changes, self-care and preventative measures that can be taken to facilitate healing of his/her body, mind and spirit.

By using the art of healing using alternative medicine the body may be massaged, manipulated or relaxed and brought into harmony with the mind and spirit. Massage therapy, chiropractic care and reflexology are all methods and therapies that embody the beliefs revolving around the body healing itself.

A part of alternative medicine is energy medicine. This involves energy fields that are used to help the body parts heal that have gotten out of harmony. Examples of energy medicine are Tai Chi, Raiki, and therapeutic touch.

Complementary medicine, on the other hand, is using the practices of alternative medicine in harmony with conventional medicine. This way, the patient receives the benefit of the healing powers of a particular practice of alternative medicine such as aromatherapy or acupuncture along with a procedure that is conventional medicine such as surgery.

A “complete approach to patient care” is integrative medicine. Those that apply it are centered the whole patient including the body, mind and spirit of the individual presenting with an illness.

Acne Medicine – My Experience with OTC medicine

Did you know that over 180,000 people search for information on acne everyday, out of which 77,000 want to know more about acne medicine ? And that there are over 22 million sites talking about acne, and acne medicine, treatment and products ? This tells me a few things. One, there are many people out there suffering from acne, and they are interested in knowing what kind of acne medicine is available to help them cure their problem. Equally, there are millions of available acne treatments and products out there. Obviously, no one acne medicine is suitable for any one person then.

First, a quick review on what acne is. It is what the layperson calls “pimples” or “zits”. There are different forms of acne, and all can occur at the same time, though one stage does not necessarily progress to the next. There are comedones, or blackheads and whiteheads, as they are usually called. Then there are acne spots caused by bacteria, leading to inflammation, resulting in a red possibly painful swelling called a papule. If the papule does not subside spontaneously, a pustule may form. This heals by discharging pus. A severe enough reaction may cause a lot of deep damage, leaving behind scars.

Acne medicine has different purposes. There is acne medicine to prevent acne. There is medicine to prevent infection of the acne. And there is medicine to prevent scarring from the acne. Finally, there is medicine to minimise the effects of acne scarring, should scars form.

Acne medicine can be divided into those that are applied to the skin – called topical acne medicine, and those that are taken orally – called systemic medicine.

Topical treatments come in the form of creams and lotions. There are two main types of topical acne medicine . The keratolytics , which act by peeling off the top horny outer layer of the skin, so helping to dislodge the comedones ( blackheads and whiteheads), and the antiseptics, which attempt to get rid of harmful bacterial action. Examples of keratolytic acne medicine include benzyl peroxide, Retin A, and sulphur. Examples of antispetic acne medicine include iodine ( eg Betadine), chlorhexidine, zinc salts, which are frequently incorporated into acne creams and lotions, azelaic acid.

One of the main problems with topical acne medicine is that they can be rather harsh. They can cause skin irritation and inflammation. Some, like retin A cannot be used during pregnancy. Sulphur containing acne medicines can be extremely smelly, like rotton eggs !

I can still remember the days when acne used to rule my life. I was so desperate for a cure I must have tried every over-the-counter acne medicine there was available. And there were plenty. That was the time when nobody thought acne was a serious problem. Everyone got it. Nobody had died from it. So it never occured to me that maybe I would need help.

It started with a few small spots. So I tried the standard sulphur-based acne medicine. I would apply it just over the offending spots and wait patiently till they went away. But they gradually got worse, with the number of red spots extending to different areas of my face. Soon it covered large areas of my face. I followed the instructions for how to use the acne medicine. I would cover my face with it faithfully every night, and went to bed smelling of sulphur. Even my pillows would smell of it. But I would hope and pray the medicine would do its wonderful work, and my acne would be gone. I always awoke the next day disappointed. I would wash my face, apply on a fresh layer of acne medicine and go about my day. I finally gave up when someone pointed out to me they always knew when I was coming, because the smell of the acne medicine announced my arrival !

I decided to try the benzyl peroxide-based acne medicine next. At least these did not smell of sulphur. The instructions seemed easy enough to follow. Just apply the acne medicine twice a day after washing the face and the acne would be gone within three to five days. It was again with great hope that I applied the new acne medicine. The first night, nothing happened. By the second night, my face was beginning to get a little itchy. By the third night, the side effects of the acne medicine were causing me to have a rather dry and red face. By the fourth night, my poor face was positively uncomfortable. By the fifth night, I gave up. The acne was still there. This acne medicine had not worked either.

Things just got from bad to worse. The small little red spots progressed to big spots. Big spots joined with other spots to form entire continents. There was hardly a clear space on my face. My confidence dipped to an all-time low. Acne ruled my life. It was the first thing I saw when I awoke, and the last thing I saw when I went to bed. Well meaning friends and relatives constantly commented on it and had lots of advice of what type of acne medicine would work best. I had tried everything.

Generally topical acne medicines work well for those with mild acne. A good number can be simply bought over-the-counter without the need of a doctor’s prescription. And for many, this may be the only treatment required for acne.

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Plants used for Medicine – Spirit Journey with Sweet Basil

Medical PlantSweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum), is always seen at our house during the growing season. When you happen to brush against it during your walks through the plant pots, it jumps up to say hello, letting you know it’s there with an absolutely pungent burst of aroma. We all know Basil from pesto making or additions to salads but this ‘fit for a king’ (Greek – basileus=king) herb has a lot of good medicine and history as plants used for medicine. The Basil we know as Sweet Basil is but one of many varieties. Originating in India, it was quickly cultivated throughout the world and is now used in many world cuisines.

The other day, I sat down with Sweet Basil and asked for any vibrational medicine properties not previously recorded by me. Basil is well known for its variety of medicinal benefits but I wanted to know more of its spirit, and the gift of energetic medicine it had to offer. (more…)

How Does Social Medicine Affect Your Healthy Eating Plan?

Medicine AffectHealthy eating begins with learning how to eat, which can defend you again heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and depression, and can boost your energy, sharpen your memory and stabilize your mood. You can find people on health related social networking sites discussing a range of healthy food choices and you can learn how to plan ahead to create and maintain a satisfying, healthy diet. Such topics discussed include healthy eating tips.

Eating with others has many social and emotional benefits than eating in front of the TV or computer.
Take time to chew your food slowly and enjoy mealtimes.
Ask yourself if you are really hungry or actually really thirsty. Have a glass of water to see whether you are only thirsty instead of hungry. During a meal, stop eating before you feel full.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, be sure to eat breakfast, and eat smaller meals throughout the day. (more…)

Natural Medicine A 5000 Year-Old Medical Secret Could Help Relieve Stress

When you get sick, you go to the doctor. And the doctor will, of course, prescribe medicines. You will go and buy medicines. You take them, and hopefully, you get well. This is how the health profession goes on nowadays a cycle of diagnosis and prescription.If anyone were to give you herbs for medicine, you would probably say that that person was a quack but a few natural herbs can help relieve stress

But nowadays, studies are being conducted to see if there are really is any merit to what is called natural medicine.

Natural medicine is the use of natural methods, herbal medicines, and traditional practices to heal ailments. Every culture has a form of natural medicine. In ancient cultures, village medicine men served as the doctors of the community, passing on medical knowledge to the apprentices that followed them.

Many categories of the healing methods fall under natural medicine. Among these are traditional medicine, complementary medicine, and alternative medicine.

Usually, natural medicine refers to medical practices that were in place before the advent of modern medicine.

This includes herbal medicine, or phytotherapy, which is prevalent in Chinese, Ayurvedic(or Indian), and Greek medicine.

Upon the advent of modern medicine, many professionals discarded the use of herbs in favor of man-made medicine. The fact that these treatments are based on the healing properties of some herbs was forgotten.

For example, opium, digitalis, quinine, and aspirin all have their roots in traditional medicine.

Natural medicine can be considered as a lost art. This does not mean that it has lost efficacy over time. In some cases, natural therapy is actually better than modern medicine. This leads some doctors to seriously consider and study the possible uses of natural medicine

Before we continue, it is important to stress that not all the natural remedies are legitimate. It would help to only try those remedies which have been thoroughly studied and are relatively risk free.

Take herbal medicine for example. There are many well-documented and studied herbal remedies available. However, only those that deal with minor ailments such as cough, colds, fever, skin rashes, and its ilk are likely to be recommended by health professionals. These remedies are sometimes superior to synthetic medicine. This is because herbal medicines are less likely to cause negative side effects.

Currently there are numerous organizations that study the effects and advocacy of natural medicine among which is herbal medicine. Some governments and health agencies openly advocate the use of natural methods since they are inexpensive and relatively risk-free.

As their studies compile, more herbs and treatments are added to the list of accepted medicines. However, many herbs and treatments have been proven to be bogus medicine. This represents a challenge for both the user and the agencies because they have to ascertain that the treatments they either use or advocate are legitimate.

There exist today many alternative medical treatments that fall under natural medicine. However, not all of them have been proven to be effective. You could mention homeopathy, aromatherapy, acupuncture, and other alternative medical treatments. It would pay to consult the experts as to the legitimacy of these treatments.

Natural medicine should also be thought of as an accompanying medicine. Right now, the current collective medical thought suggests that natural medicine be used only to supplement accepted modern medical practices. In that case of minor ailments your expert we actually advise you to take natural therapies instead.

The practice of modern medicine revolves around diagnosing an illness and prescribing treatments for such. Natural medicine is helpful because it suggests that treatment be not necessarily given only when sick. Natural medicine strives to make each patient practice good health habits. These habits include good diet, healthy living, and the regular natural treatment.

It is this same line of thought that leads our parents to tell us to eat our vegetables. Yes, a healthy lifestyle and will do no harm to our well-being. And this is the foundation of natural medicine,may it be massage, herbal medicine, aromatherapy or others.

It is funny but true that science, in its quest for excellence, is studying the knowledge of sages past. This, surprisingly, leads us back to the remedies nature offers. The possibilities of finding remedies to everyday illnesses in natural medicine are encouraging. So staying tuned to studying these remedies is worthwhile until we can verify that these therapies are truly helpful to our health and our society.