Holistic Health Care Increasing in Popularity Worldwide

Holistic, Metaphysical, Energy or Mind, Body, Spirit healing has existed since the beginning of time amid religious beliefs and practices, along with the mystery, superstition, fear, and misunderstanding. Holistic Healing is now becoming recognized regardless of what anyone chooses to believe or think.

o According to CNN one-half of all medical schools now offer courses in holistic health care.

o Almost one-third of American medical schools-among them Harvard, Yale, John’s Hopkins, and Georgetown Universities-now offer coursework in holistic methods.

o There are five homeopathic hospitals in Great British National Service.

o Traditional Chinese medicine has been chosen by the World Health Organization for worldwide propagation to meet the heath care needs of the twenty-first century.

o One out of three drugs prescribed in Germany is an herb.

o The World Health Organization estimates that between 65 to 80 percent of the world’s population (about 3 billion people) rely on holistic medicine as their primary form of health care.

o In 1993, American consumers spent almost $1.5 billion dollars on herbal remedies-ten times more than was spent on over-the-counter sleeping pills from grocery stores and drug stores.

o Worldwide, only 10 to 30 percent of people use conventional medicine, 70 to 90 percent use holistic medicine.

o Approximately $22 million of U.S. government money has already been spent on alternative medical research since 1992 at the National Institutes of Health and Public Health Services.

o The American Medical Association (AMA), in Resolution #514, “is encouraging its members to become better in-formed regarding holistic medicine and to participate in appropriate studies of it.

o Mutual of Omaha says it saves about $6.50 in covering non-standard (holistic) treatments.

o 74 percent of the American population, desire a more natural approach to health care.

o Of the one out of three Americans who say they have used holistic medicine techniques, 84 percent said they would use it again.

o The U.S. government sponsors the use of acupuncture in drug rehabilitation programs.

o One out of every ten Americans is under the care of a chiropractor.

o In 1991, Americans made more visits to unconventional health care providers (425 million) than to conventional doctors (388 million).

o One out of three Americans were using unconventional medicine in 1991.

o Americans spent almost $13.7 billion on unconventional health care in 1991.

o 75 percent of that $13.7 billion (above) was out of pocket.

o 12 percent of Fortune 500 companies offer alternative medicine as part of their health care compensation packages. That percentage was expected to increase to 18 percent by the end of 1996.

o National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) A nationwide government survey of more than 31,000 adults on their use of complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) showed that 36 percent of U.S. adults use some form of CAM.

Aggressive and Non-Aggressive Treatments for Sciatica

Individuals who have suffered from sciatica typically find that self-care treatments are very effective. These treatments include hot and cold packs, walking, stretching and using over the counter medications like Ibuprofen. If going this route doesn’t bring you any relief, your doctor will probably recommend a variety of treatments which may include:

Physical Therapy

Following self-care options, physical therapy is the most recommended treatment. In the event that your sciatica problem is related to a herniated disk, physical therapy may play a crucial part in your treatment. As soon as severe pain conditions begin to improve, your physician or physical therapist will be able to create a rehabilitation program for you to help avoid repeated injuries.

Rehabilitation programs generally include exercise routines that will help correct posture, strengthen back muscles and improve flexibility. The exercises you’ll learn during your rehabilitation program should become a permanent part of your lifestyle.

Acupuncture & Chiropractic Treatments

These services have also been used to treat sciatica in conjunction with taking over the counter medication. Reported success appears to depend on the severity of the problem.

Prescription Drugs

In some cases, your physician may prescribe muscle relaxers or anti-inflammatory medication along with physical therapy. In addition, prescription pain relievers may also be prescribed for short-term pain relief. If you are suffering from chronic pain, anticonvulsant drugs and tricyclic antidepressants may be prescribed. These types of drugs have been known to help block the pain communications that are being transmitted to the brain. They also increase the output of endorphins — the body’s natural painkillers.

Aggressive Treatments

When all else fails and sciatic pain isn’t alleviated after a few months, epidural steroid or corticosteroid injections may be suggested. These injections may reduce inflammation surrounding the irritated nerve, thus helping to alleviate pain. However, their benefits are still under debate. Research suggests that corticosteroids present short-term symptom relief, but are not a permanent solution. In addition, the side affects associated with corticosteroids dictates that the number of injections you can receive must be limited. Your physician will work with you to determine a safe course of injection therapy.

Surgical Treatments

Typical surgical treatments include discectomy (removal of herniated disc material) or microdiscectomy (decompression spine surgery). Your doctor will be able to suggest the best treatment when it comes to your particular problem, and help you carefully consider the prospective benefits of surgery. He will educate you regarding the risks and benefits. Surgery is normally recommended in situations where other treatment options have not reduced sciatic nerve pain adequately.

The success rates for sciatica treatment are high. Generally, physical therapy and continued self-care will help you eliminate the pain and suffering that it brings.*

*This article is not intended to diagnose or treat disease.

French Meridian Acupuncture

Find French Meridian Acupuncture Training and Therapy in the United States and Canada. If you’re searching for a unique method of acupuncture, you may want to try French meridian acupuncture. Based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), French meridian acupuncture, also referred to as “French energetic acupuncture,” is widely used by medical acupuncturists, and is a technique that emphasizes meridian patterns; more specifically, the yin and yang of the focal meridians.

French meridian acupuncture is performed by a licensed practitioner, via the insertion of tiny hair-like needles in varied locations and patterns along the meridians (energy channels). A combination of both Eastern and Western medicine, this particular type of acupuncture is primarily facilitated as a complimentary treatment for chronic illness and injury. Known to influence the channels of energy that run within the body, French meridian acupuncture holds the common belief that acupuncture can relieve disease and pain by restoring balance between the two principle forces of nature – the yin and the yang.

Today, there are a number of professional Oriental medicine practitioners who practice French meridian acupuncture and other forms of acupuncture, in addition to Traditional Chinese Medicine as integrative treatment to patients around the world.

In order to become a licensed acupuncturist, it is essential that candidates acquire the appropriate education and training through anyone of the many acupuncture schools and colleges available today. While some schools focus primarily on 5-Element Acupuncture, there are a variety of academic programs that incorporate an assortment of modalities including French meridian acupuncture, as well as Korean hand acupuncture, auricular acupuncture (ear acupuncture), myofascial acupuncture, and Japanese acupuncture.

In general, licensed acupuncturists who practice French meridian acupuncture, as well as other Chinese medicine therapies must be credentialed by having completed at least three to four years of Oriental medicine training, in addition to prerequisite education from an accredited college or university.

If you (or someone you know) are interested in finding French Meridian Acupuncture training, let professional education within fast-growing industries like business administration, medical billing and coding, massage therapy, cosmetology, acupuncture, and others get you started! Explore career school programs near you.

French Meridian Acupuncture
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EFT Tapping for Headaches

The Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT, is a new type of therapy which can benefit people who are experiencing emotional problems that may be causing physical trauma. It can alter a person’s electromagnetic field.

This technique is known for its thought and feelings-altering ability. Many physical problems can be exacerbated when a person changes their attitude about an illness or symptom. Tapping may have this ability, by removing blocked energy along acupuncture meridians.

EFT is a method that allows you to release problems hidden deep within your subconscious. In laymen’s terms, it’s a simple non-complex method for eliminating resistance and fears that exist in your life.

Everyone has problems they must deal with on a daily basis. Problems can range from anxiety, phobia of public speaking, fear of the opposite sex, to fears about finances. EFT is the easiest, most efficient method to relieve your headache, fears, or blocks that exist in your subconscious.

How Does EFT Work?

Emotional Freedom Technique can be traced back to ancient Chinese healing systems. It utilizes the same meridian points that the Chinese healing art of acupuncture uses. Instead of using needles, though, EFT uses the tips of your fingers.

Consequently, it is easier to perform than acupuncture. In fact, once you know EFT, you can administer the treatment yourself in the comfort of your own home. Or, if you prefer, you can use the services of an EFT professional, either in person or online.

EFT for headaches has been used extensively by many people in recent years and with good results. This is the reason why EFT has grown in popularity. Even medical professionals are known to use the technique as a supplement to conventional forms of therapy.

As our attitudes to alternative medicine are beginning to change, many people are now looking to these wonderful alternative processes to heal ourselves. If you don’t use these tools to cope with a migraine headache, you could find yourself turning to destructive ways of coping, such as using harmful painkillers.

Details of EFT

In addition to tapping on the acupuncture meridian points, EFT also uses affirmations, words that are meant to elicit a particular response from the body. The same affirmation is said out loud with each tapping sequence. It has three parts:

1. “Even though… “

2. A reminder phrase, such as “I have this throbbing headache in my forehead”

3. “… , I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”

The tapping sequence consists of nine acupuncture meridian points: the karate chop part of your hand, the eyebrow, the side of the eye, under the eye, under the nose, the chin, the collarbone, under the arm, and the top of the head.

For each meridian point, tap it from two to five times, saying your affirmation each time you tap. Take a deep breath after each tapping sequence.

Followup Meridian Tapping Sequences

When you’re finished, you may notice that your headache has disappeared. If it hasn’t, then repeat the entire Emotional Freedom Technique, using a new reminder phrase, such as “my throbbing headache remains”. If you have reason to believe that you might know the cause of your migraine, use that as your reminder phrase.

Any negative emotion, person, or habit that might be causing you to have your headaches can be tapped away with this method. Many headaches are caused when you store up negative emotions. EFT is without a doubt one of the best, quickest, and simplest ways to let go of a negative emotion such as anger, fear, sadness, or guilt.

The sooner you release and stop holding onto your negative feelings, the sooner your headaches will disappear.

Emotions, Thoughts and Acidity

Acid in the blood is called oxidation. Oxidation exhausts you, depresses you, saddens you, weakens your immune system, causes arthritis, creates dark moods, reactiveness and violent feelings. Anger and resentment are the result of oxidation in the blood.

There are so many anti oxidants available. Those are sold in pharmacies, health food shops and natural therapies practitioners. These include; herbal medicines, teas, Chinese medicines, ayurvedic medicines, acupuncture and yoga, to name a few.

But if your thinking is all screwed up. Then acid is going to be produced as you are taking the pill or walking out of the acupuncture clinic. Can you see, the foolishness of separating the mind and the body in healing? If you walk around thinking acidic, then treating the body only, is just a money spinner for the practitioner.

Most people don’t want their mind treated. They walk around thinking they are right and that their body is reacting to their ex husband or the city. So they change jobs, meditate, become Buddhist or do something in order to be different. But underneath all that healing, acid continues to be produced.

Stress causes acid. Emotion causes acid. If you are stressed or emotional allot, you will need a mountain of therapies and time in retreat to recover. And the recovery will be short, if you go back to being emotional and stressed. It’s all in your head, but acid is all in your body. It builds up in knees and spines, and muscles, and wrinkles, and lungs and kidneys and feet and hands. Then what?

Acid is, for the greater part, irreversible. Acid build up attaches to bone and calcium. Then calcium deposits in cells. Those deposits we call scar tissue, arthritis, depression, heart blockage, cholesterol, dementia, asthma, cancer and the list goes on. Acid builds and attacks our cells. Why?

In nature anything that is not fulfilling its purpose, gets recycled. Easy. A tree stops producing oxygen, it’s function is inefficient, nature takes it, recycles its minerals, and grows a new tree, smarter, smaller and more efficient. This is evolution. Well, same with you. Blocked evolution is witnessed by acid. Acidic people are achieving everything on the ego plane, but zero in the true measure of natures law.

A stressed executive making millions of dollars is, in natures estimate, like the tree. Still there, but not producing. That person’s body decays through acidity, they get recycled. Sometimes we measure the value of our lives poorly don’t we? We measure our worth in production. Hours, days, years spent pedalling the machines. Making money. Building reputations. Nature measures it differently. She measures your value in acid. Too much acid, this person is wasting natures resources. Pain and discomfort will be the warning. Death, emotionally, physically or spiritually will be the ultimate price.

Acidic Work – the norm

There are many men, and an increasing number of women who believe that unless they are struggling with their work, unless their business life is mindlessly intense, un-enjoyable, they are not doing their job.

When I make the suggestion to clients that work can be enjoyable, that tiredness is a sign of bad work practices, they look at me in disbelief like I am from outer space. But I have met many people who have a wonderful, kind and joyful disposition in their work. These people are not acidic, nor do they need to waste valuable time running off to health spas to recover from bad practices. You see;

We put our energy into everything we do. What we do today causes tomorrow. The reason is, that our thoughts today produce the chemicals that are running around in our body tomorrow. If you are tired, you are acidic. If you are frustrated, there’s more acid. And if yesterday, you overexercised, drank too much alcohol, coffee and too little alkalising water (not plain water) and didn’t get good quality sleep, and ate chocolate before bed, and a big steak hours before that. You have predetermined the quality of your mood, productivity and emotion by what you did yesterday.

WE blame today. WE say “they annoyed me” but really, under normal non acidic circumstances you probably would have handled that fine. Acid comes from yesterday. Poor recovery, acidic thinking, poor diet and lack of alkalising balance.

Rather than run around treating today’s problems, which we caused by yesterdays behaviour, diet, attitude and unawareness, surely the wiser process is to make sure that we act today in a way that will make tomorrow, great. (not acidic)

It all begins with the way you think

There was a book called the art of positive thinking. It should have been called the “art of acidity” Positive does not go unpunished, just as we know negative does not go unpunished. Positive thinking always creates its nemesis, negativity.

WE have learned in business that being positive is really important. Showing clients the benefit of products is a sales skill, that guarantees client interest. Show them the positive, and they will buy.

So, where’s the negative? The answer is either within ourselves (self critical) or at home with the family. All one sided thoughts create acid. Extreme judgements, whether justified by a religion, culture, group or philosophy cause acid.

Peaceful thoughts are as acidic and violent thoughts if they are extreme. A person who hates war and loves peace will become acidic. A person who hates peace and loves war will become acidic. The more extreme your emotion, the more acid. Extreme high, high emotion, high thoughts, high pumped up, the more acid. Extreme sexy, extremely looking forward to some thing, extremely rejecting, extremely attracted.

Some emotions and thoughts produce more acid than others. We call them low thoughts, but they are not morally low, the are low in consciousness, like an animal. These low thoughts and emotions simply produce huge quantities of adrenalin and therefore acidify, exhaust and age us.

Do you know what those low thoughts and emotions are? It is very easy to find them. Look at the 10 commandments of Christianity, the Yama and Niyama of Hindu practices, The Dharma of the Buddha, the teachings of Mohamed, Moses, Jesus, Buddha, Krishna. They are all the same, in different languages. Basically they suggest you avoid, grow out of or transform low thoughts and emotions.

Evolve they cry. But we rarely do. We sacrifice this wisdom in order to feed our ego, self esteem.

The Value of Time – Self Esteem or Self Worth – Acid versus Alkaline

If someone says to you “value your time” what would you say, that is? Some of us would sit down and meditate, others would rush off to work, some would go home and play with the children. Yet, others would go shopping for a new pair of boots. Some would rescue people, some would spend their time imitating another religious leader.

But really, if you want to know how people value their time. Just watch their normal day. What time do they get up? What do they spend their life doing, and why? How much effort do they put into that which they are born good at, versus that which makes them wealthy? You do not need to ask people about the value of their time, you can see it.

Is my mantra “Make every moment count” a call to be more busy, make more love, be more intense, achieve more? What does it mean to make every moment count? Everybody has their own version of this truth. Make every moment count. Some read books and talk about being in the moment, but are they are mistaken, mimicking another myth, have they really been able to be in the moment. Which moment and when is/was it. And what about the future, doesn’t that matter? How can they think about others if they are in the moment? All they know is themselves, in the moment.

Acid is caused by thoughts. Thoughts are caused by reactions to life. Our reactions to life are cause by our beliefs. If I believe death is just a change of state, then my reaction to death are different to yours. What causes one person acid, does not even affect another person. What we think, how we interpret the world is the criteria that ultimately determines the length, quality, happiness and intimacy of our life. Acidity is the barometer of our delusion.

The Ultimate choice

We make choices all day. And those choices are our truth. They reflect how we value time, and time as a mirror of self. We cannot measure self worth, it is hidden in our unconscious awareness. WE can only measure the way we act, and from that, interpret the light from which this shadow is cast. Self worth is hidden, but the result of it, can be clearly observed, in the way we value our time.

Then if self worth is the fulcrum of a balance scale, marking the centre, then self esteem are the ends of that scale. Emotional uppers, and downers, self esteem, measured on how we feel, a counterbalance we are unaware of, up, the down, we rarely observe the connection.

Self esteem is vastly different to self worth. You cannot measure self esteem by the valuation of time, because self esteem is seeking, it may be imitating a book, emulating a teacher, following some rules, and therefore, on a temporary high. Unsustainable fashions leads people to mark their self esteem as their true self, and suffer the bitterment of the consequences. A person who values their self esteem, will imitate, emulate, fake it till they make it. Self esteem is therefore the opinion we have of ourselves, or want to have of ourselves. WE measure self esteem, not by the value of time but in material terms, success, achievement, emotion, attachment and abundance. Self esteem is the appetite of the ego.

Self esteem needs to feel right, good, correct, intuitively inspired by activity. Self esteem needs to feel good in order for it to survive. Self esteem is a marvellous motivator. If we desire to feel good, our self esteem (ego) is demanding attention. It therefore motivates me into some sort of action depending on what we describe as feel good. Advertising agencies know this and promote products and their benefits. The benefit always appeals to some part of your self esteem being raised.

Self Esteem creates acid

Self esteem is the search to value who we are based on how we feel about ourselves. If someone makes us feel good about myself, then our self esteem goes up, and we say we like them. The better they make us feel, the more we love them.

There are many ways to build self esteem. Greed, possession, blame, victim, power, self importance, righteousness, hate, anger, resentment. You can see, that most of these cause acidity. This is why, in spirituality at least, self worth is heralded over self esteem.

So, the desire for high self esteem makes people addicted to feeling good, like: peace, being liked, approved of, admired, pursued, pleasured, succeeding, applauded, wanted, desired, God, spirituality, money, drugs, lovers, self; But is it real?

I think that when you are really facing the end of all your moments, I think, that you’d know what to do with them. I doubt that you’d seek self esteem!

I doubt you’d hold back love. I doubt that you’d judge and criticize, or worry and work on low priorities.

To say “I learned from the past” is foolish. What we mean is I wasted time in the past, and now I know it.

Intimacy is the perfect anti dote to acidity

If our ego fell away, and we were left naked, spiritually raw, we would have intimacy. Intimacy is where we meet without emotion or thought. Intimacy is where we collide, accidentally meet when self esteem, and all our trying to be and not be, just doesn’t matter. Intimacy are those moments when we actually “turn up” we arrive and, by absolute mistake, we are able to meet. When you are playing with your child, not even trying to make it a good play, or a bad one, not trying to stop trying or trying to not try to try. You are so there, there is no there. Then this is intimacy.

There is no acid in intimacy. We are not emotional in this moment because there is no awareness of time. We are not afraid of the future, or guilty about the past. We are here. And by accident we turn up, without expectation, we arrive.

Sometimes we meet over and over with one person. We call this intimacy a relationship. Sometimes that relationship lasts a few weeks or a few years, or even a few decades. Intimacy comes and we are there. Intimacy goes and we are not.

Intimacy lengthens our life. Lack of intimacy acidifies our life. Wanting is acidic, striving is acidic. Turning up is not acidic. When we exercise or work we can do so without making much acid, if we know how to be intimate with our exercise or work. Then, we are not worried or striving, or stressed, or panicking. We are enjoying. Making the best of it.

Many people are in relationships without intimacy. But this is nice for them because their self esteem gets boosted by being in certain relationships. The kids get looked after and the bills are paid. These are very nice reasons for some relationships. We shouldn’t condemn it, especially if we are single. But this is very acidic and arthritis, gout, body aches, liver, kidney and many bladder problems will come about.

When we do not have intimacy, when we are working and living to boost our self esteem (feel good) this to nature is the biggest waste of time. Nature values her time, she simply will not compromise. Depression is another of natures ways of dealing with acidity.

In Buddhist teaching, intimacy is defined as Loving Kindness. It is the closest description that they can find to intimacy, natures intent. In the Bible it speaks of love, love thy neighbour, and there are Hindu references to humility and great compassion (care without rescue)

We cannot teach intimacy to you. That is one thing no one can teach you. Intimacy is when you appreciate things as they are, you see the beauty in things and people as they are. Intimacy is the antidote to acidity. A person who is controlling, aggressive and manipulative, cannot know intimacy other than sex. And this is the shallowest taste of the true depth to which nature offers to take you.

Let nature be your guide. We are not here to repair acidity through herbs and spices. We are here to live as nature intended, with intimacy, loving kindness, a generosity of spirit. Here, all foods and toxin evaporate and a beautiful health is sustained.

With Spirit

How to Select a Chiropractor – Choosing the Right Chiropractor If You Want More Than Just The Basics

Are you looking for a Chiropractor? And do you expect more than someone who only adjusts your spine? If you’d like to find a Chiropractor who uses a more holistic or complete approach to helping you feel your very best, read on for some tips on how to find him or her.

Here’s the thing… Selecting a chiropractor is a very personal matter. Chiropractors have different styles and approaches, and you’ll need to feel comfortable with your new chiropractor. If you live in a major metropolitan area such as in Chicago, you’ll have a wide variety of chiropractors to choose from, This will make it fairly easy to find one who integrates alternative modalities as well.

Here are five steps that will help you find the right chiropractor to meet your needs:

1) Decide on the exact kind of chiropractor you want

What exactly do you want from your prospective chiropractor? If you’re reading this, chances are that you want a chiropractor who does more than the basics, instead offering a more customized or holistic approach.

Also be sure to look for someone who has experience with a range of chiropractic techniques — some of them are much more gentle and effective than others, although for some people the basics can work very well. And with more than 600 chiropractors in the Chicago area, for example, it will be easy to find someone like that. If you live in a smaller city or in a rural area, finding such a chiropractor can be more challenging.

2) How far are you willing to travel to see your chiropractor?

Once again, in a big city like Chicago, for example, with hundreds of chiropractors to choose from, you’ll be sure to find several with offices close to where you live or work, whether it’s in the heart of Chicago, on South Side, or even in the suburbs. However, you should balance your desire for convenience with getting a chiropractor who provides you with the right kind of care as well.

So don’t just walk down the street and into the first door that says “chiropractor.” Or at least don’t stop there. Use the next three points to find out if that chiropractor is right for you or if you should keep looking.

3) Do some research

Research your chiropractor candidates. Check out their websites and read about what they offer. Also type their name into Google and see if they have other entries. Those could be links to articles they have written — which would demonstrate their expertise — or to memberships, conference presentations, community involvement, and more.

4) Talk to your prospective chiropractors

Call their offices and talk to their staff and to the chiropractors themselves. Are they friendly? Do you feel they listen to you and are interested in helping you? If they provide you with an introductory appointment, take advantage of it.

Such an appointment will help you get a sense of how comfortable you are with a particular chiropractor. You can also find out whether they are the right person to help you with your specific concerns. Many chiropractors focus on the spine only, but a few will also help you with shoulder pain, knee pain, and more.

5) Make sure they offer the modalities you want

Since you’re looking for a chiropractor who offers more than the basics, check which other modalities they offer, for example massage therapy, acupuncture, physiotherapy, custom orthotics. and more, and to what degree they are integrated in their patient care.

In many smaller locations it could be rather challenging to find such an integrated practice. However, if you live in a large city, such as the Chicago area, where you have hundreds of chiropractors to choose from, you’ll easily find one who fits the bill as long as you know what you’re looking for.

Baby Boomers Use Alternative Medicine

According to a recent study conducted at Ohio State University, about 70 percent of the 50 Plus market use alternative medicine. Funded by the National Institute on Aging, Professor Gong-Soog Hong spearheaded a survey that included almost 900 participants aged 50 and above. 65 percent of seniors who described themselves in poor health said they used some form of alternative medicine they considered either curative or preventive–a higher percentage than any other group.

Baby boomers are searching for other ways to alleviate symptoms such as chronic pain and arthritis, as well as utilizing alternative therapies as preventive medicine. Chiropractic care topped the list with a whopping 43% of respondents, while acupuncture came in last.

Last fall, another survey of baby boomers was conducted by Sorelli B, a national research firm. This particular study showed than more than one third of those surveyed said that chiropractic care prevented the need for prescription drugs and physical therapy. The respondents also believed that chiropractic care helped them avoid back surgery and long, grueling, hospital stays. Close to 60 percent of those surveyed stated they would be willing to petition their insurance companies to include chiropractic as a component of their health care plan even though they were willing to pay for those services out-of-pocket.

The other most popular methods of alternative medicine include massage therapy, breathing exercises, herbal medicine and meditation.

The first study looking at alternative medicine use among seniors with depression finds that close to 20 percent are using gingko biloba, ginseng, St. John’s Wort and other herbal remedies. The surprising findings could cause concern with physicians who treat baby boomers as most patients were unaware of the risks of potential drug interactions.

Helen Kale, M.D., from the University of Michigan says, “The results merit further study and suggest that seniors may have entered the alternative medicine market ina big way, much bigger than we thought.”

Why alternative medicine? Older adults are searching for different kind of treatment to lessen the aches and pains that often come with age. Seniors are reporting problems with daily activities such as carrying groceries, eating or bathing. Moreover, many of them are simply not satisfied with mainstream health care and often have issues with the current state of conventional health care. “Older adults tend to have more chronic illnesses and conventional medicine doesn’t always solve their problems,” says Hong.

In addition, the survey showed that because the treatment of chronic pain is very difficult and demanding, people living in such pain will try everything possible to alleviate it.

According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), the percentage of the 50 plus market who received a massage from a massage therapist in the past five years has almost tripled. Why do baby boomers get massage? For health reasons, according to the survey. Seniors even indicated they seek massage for health reasons (other than stress relief and relaxation) more than any other age group (41 percent).

The least popular practice of alternative medicine surfaced in the U.S. in the 1970s, Acupuncture has gained acceptance as an alternative to traditional Western medicine for pain relief and for treating a variety of other health conditions. Studies show that baby boomers who sufffer from muscle and bone pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and other ranges of problems, are giving acupuncture a try to lessen their symptoms.

The health-minded baby boomer generation is also exercising. Being physically active is the solution to maintaining the quality of life for adults 50 years and older. 16 million seniors exercise at least three times per week. From 1987 to 1995, the number of 50-plus health club members jumped 199%, and the number of 65-plus who joined health clubs jumped a staggering 669%. According to the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA), most active adult communities are responding to this need by including wellness centers within their planned communities. Plus, age-targeted programs have been shown to be quite popular with tremendous benefits to other types of senior housing, fitness facilities and publicly-sponsored community recreation programs.

Interestingly enough, day spas are quickly becoming a hot market for those aged 50 and better. Instead of the usual day spa fare of facials and waxing, now medical spas or MedSpas are cropping up in the market. MedSpas take all the comfort and care of day spas, yet add the latest in medical technology. Mud packs and cucumber slices have been replaced with high-tech advanced fluorescence technology, microdermabrasion, and ultrasound technologies–all designed to help the 50 plus market feel better about their appearance.

Although alternative medicine plays a huge role in the lives of baby boomers, when it comes to health, there is no comparison to preventive measures. The Southeastern Institute of Research found that the 50 plus market say some of the most important things to do to stay healthy are to get enough sleep, drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet. It’s no wonder that life expectancy has increased by 30 years in the past century.

As health care costs continue to rise, baby boomers will continue to seek alternative medicine and transform into “health boomers.” They have defined health care because they’re strong, vocal, and know what they want. Boomers are healthier than any generation of seniors in history and live longer, happier lives.

Biliary Dyskinesia – To Cut or Not to Cut?

Many people, including children, may experience attacks of pain at the right upper quadrant. This is the kind of abdominal pain that sometimes radiates to the upper back or shoulder blades. Usually it occurs after eating fatty or fried foods, heavy meals and is accompanied with nausea/vomiting and/or bloating, followed by loosening of stools.

Typically, even when you have all this symptoms, the tests results may come in normal, which would leave the doctors thinking that the disorder you contain is called biliary dyskinesia. “Biliary” means bile, “dys” means abnormal, and “kinesia” means motion, movement. Abnormal moving of the bile can occur in the gallbladder, in the bile ducts inside and outside the liver, and also in the valve between bile duct and duodenum; the first part of the small intestine. This valve is named sphincter of Oddi. In the medical literature doctors consider biliary dyskinesia and type 3 sphincter of Oddi dysfunction, as similar conditions.

If tests reveal no structural abnormalities, there are no severe inflammations or gallbladder stones biliary dyskinesia is often misdiagnosed with IBS, functional dyspepsia, stomach flu, reflux, psychosomatic diseases, etc. When patients are given the medication, it modifies or covers the symptoms. More specific tests may show low ejection fraction that means low gallbladder function; <35% EF is considered abnormal. When the detailed tests reveal that patients have a low ejection fraction, they are referred to the surgeons' for gallbladder removal.

So, the question remains… to remove or not to remove the gallbladder in case of biliary dyskinesia?

The excess build up of pressure in the bile ducts or irritations are thought to be accountable for these typical biliary dyskinesia symptoms. Unfortunately, there are many other reasons.

On one hand, gallbladder, liver, bile ducts, sphincter of Oddi, stomach, and duodenum work together as a team. Nervous system and digestive hormones (blood messengers) conduct their interrelated work. Very often, it can be a setback with proper regulation of the digestive organs.

On the other hand, bile is extremely complicated solution that consist of water, minerals, bicarbonate, cholesterol, lecithin, and bile salts. It also has highly aggressive bile pigments, and bile acids, various fat-soluble toxic substances. Changes of biochemistry of the bile make it very aggressive and irritating fluid. In turn, it can cause spasms and irritation of the gallbladder wall.

A number of parasites, which reside in the gallbladder and bile ducts, are difficult to spot. For example, Giardia lamblia can be responsible for some cases of the biliary dyskinesia and type 3 sphincter of Oddi dysfunction, in especially in children.

It appears that hepatitis, fatty liver, Candida-yeast overgrowth, parasites, congestion, inflammation, infection, high acidity levels, and poor eating habits can cause the bile to be thick, acidic, and aggressive. Such things make it difficult for the bile to move through the ducts. Toxic substances in the bile, parasites, irritation, and food allergy can restrain the proper motion of the gallbladder, bile ducts, and sphincter of Oddi.

Whole body acidity can change the bile pH. Because of precipitation of the extremely aggressive bile acids, acidic bile irritates gallbladder, bile ducts, sphincter of Oddi and duodenum causing spasmodic contractions with pains. Aggressive, acidic bile irritates small intestine and even stomach, causing nausea and vomiting. I explained this in more detail, in my EBook and articles.

By putting in account scientific research, clinical evidence and common sense, the treatment in case of biliary dyskinesia should be started with the non-invasive approach. Some methods of the complementary or alternative medicine can be particularly useful in this situation. Let’s focus on some of them.

First, what we need to do is to make bile more liquid and less congested. It can be done by drinking plenty of water, fresh vegetable blends or juices, eating vegetable soups, drinking Karlovy Vary healing mineral water, herbal teas, etc. Avoiding dehydration is mandatory.

Second, it is necessary to promote liver to produce more bile. Some herbs such as barberry, rosehips, fennel, corn silk, peppermint have choleretic actions, which lead to producing more bile. Clinical studies of the European doctors proved that drinking Karlovy Vary healing mineral water can help the liver to produce more bile.

Third, we need to reduce congestion in the gallbladder by opening the passages such as bile ducts and sphincter of Oddi. Many people don’t know that acupuncture and electro acupuncture decrease the spasms and pains in case of the biliary dyskinesia.

Moreover, Mother Nature positioned most of the digestive organs in the abdomen. And each of our organs needs its space to work. The most difficult position holds the gallbladder, due to the fact that it is squeezed between the liver, stomach, duodenum, and large intestine. There is not enough room in this area. If a person suffers from belly fat, gas, or constipation, the pressure inside the abdomen increases, just like when we wear tight clothes or belts. This, in its turn, causes more restrictions in gallbladder moving. Gentle abdominal massage, point massage, or chiropractic manipulations may decrease adhesions, release freely movements of the gallbladder, and lessen spasms of the sphincter of Oddi.

Fourth, many Americans have congested gallbladder because they are afraid to eat fatty food products. Because of wrong propaganda, people stay away from eggs, avocados, sour cream, butter, fatty fish, and cold pressed olive oil. These food products are natural stimulants of the bile ejection. Opposing, animal fats, trans fats, combination of fats and sugars, alcohol, unhealthy eating habits such as eating on the go, irregular meals, overeating leads to gallbladder congestion and, in case of biliary dyskinesia, needs to be avoided.

Fifth, this is virtually unknown even for health professional. The bile’s acidity and toxicity are primary factors for biliary dyskinesia. Natural, alkaline diet, various cleansing techniques, herbs, restoration of the friendly intestinal flora, fighting with parasites and Candida-yeast overgrowth can decrease symptoms of this condition. As I mentioned before, and it is explained in details in my book, acidity makes bile aggressive and irritated.

In the case of the biliary dyskinesia, the European doctors recommend drinking Karlovy Vary healing mineral water either from thermal spring or at home. This water is not simple mineral water that people drink when they are thirsty. Karlovy Vary healing mineral water has been used as a healing remedy for 500 of years. Dissolving genuine Karlovy Vary thermal spring salt in the plain water makes possible to drink healing mineral water at home.

Minerals, bicarbonate, and trace elements neutralize the acidic compounds in the bile and water helps to eliminate them from the body. According to medical literature, thousands of people with biliary dyskinesia improve the motility of the gallbladder and sphincter of Oddi by using this healing mineral water. Taking some mineral supplements such as cellular magnesium-potassium also neutralizes acidity, decreases spasms, and abdominal pain.

Females either in puberty or in perimenopausal age suffer more often from biliary dyskinesia. It may be due to hormonal involvement in women. Other factors that make symptoms of the biliary dyskinesia worse are anxiety and stress. Acupuncture, herbs, self-hypnoses by listening to custom CD’s at home, nutritional supplements, healing exercises can be useful in this situation.

Mother Nature does not make mistakes. Gallbladder is an important member of the digestive team. When there are no stones or severe inflammation in the gallbladder, especially in children and young adults, or otherwise healthy persons, the removal of the gallbladder may be unnecessary. Perhaps, it makes sense to try to improve its sluggish function, decrease congestion in the bile ducts. By analogy, if there is congested traffic in the tunnel, police officers won’t blow up the tunnel, they will try to resolve the traffic jam by organizing a smooth movement inside this tunnel.

Medical statistic shows, gallbladder surgery does not give warranty that pain would disappear. For some people, life without gallbladder is getting miserable. Searching for “postcholecystectomy syndrome” in the internet may perfectly illustrate my concern.

The information on this article is presented for educational, informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the diagnosis, treatment, and advice of a qualified licensed professional.

Traditional Chinese Medicine: Acupuncture Points and Charts

What Are the Acupuncture Points?

The English translation of ‘acupuncture points’ is not very accurate. Acupuncture is one of the many healing methods used in traditional Chinese Medicine. It inserts fine needles into the sensitive points on the body to stimulate Jingluos (meridians) to cure diseases. These sensitive points are called ‘Shuxue’ or ‘Xuewei’ in Chinese Medicine, meaning ‘the transmitting points’. However, this name has been so widely used, there is no point to change it now for our discussion.

Acupuncture points are the responsive points or sensitive points on the meridians and other parts of the body. They are the special locations where energy is transmitted between the inner structures and the surface of the body. These spots can reflect disease or unhealthy conditions by giving forth painful sensations when touched or pressed. These points are (but not limited to) where the therapists apply treatments. When the body is deficient of positive energy, negative or harmful energy will be able to invade the body through these spots, causing illness. Stimulating the related points can boost and mobilize the positive energy, balance Yin/Yang energy and cure the disease. There are three types of points:

1. 14-main-meridian points

2. Extraordinary points

3.’Yes’ points.

The 14-main-meridian points are the spots on the 12 main meridians plus the spots on the governor and conception vessels. Each spot has a unique name and a fixed location. They are the main acupuncture points. The extraordinary points are the points that have names and fixed locations. These locations are not on a particular meridian. ‘Yes’ points are also called pain points, but they don’t have names or fixed locations. They are the sensitive points related to the diseases. The ‘yes ‘name came from a story. When treating a patient, the doctor pressed a spot unintentionally, and the patient uttered ‘oh yes’.

There are approximately 360 acupuncture points in total on the human body. With so many tiny points to remember, one can easily be intimidated. As a matter of fact, for self -healing and caring purposes, we don’t have to memorize all these points. We only need to remember roughly 20 most used and effective points. If you need to use more points, just look for them using the meridian and acupuncture point charts. Each point has a unique and meaningful name, which gives some key information about this particular point, such as main function, usage, location, or other. In English, the English spelling of the Chinese names are directly used. For people who don’t understand Chinese, it is hard to comprehend the significance of each name and, therefore hard to remember all the foreign sounding names.The format of the international symbols for acupuncture points is fairly easy. Since most of the points belong to one specific meridian (Jing), it only makes sense that their symbols are associated with those meridians. You can take two abbreviation letters of that meridian’s name and number all the points along the way, from the starting point to the end point. For example: the name of the Xue-hai point means ‘the sea of blood’ in Chinese and can be used for blood-related issues. Its English symbol is SP10, because it belongs to the spleen meridian and is the 10thpoint from the start.

How to Find an Acupuncture Point?

When considering an acupuncture point as a tiny point, it might be really difficult to find it. However, if you think of it as a small precise area, it becomes quite easy. To locate a subject on a 2D plane, you need 2 coordinates. To locate an sensitive point, we use a reference point and a distance. The reference point is a known location on the body, such as ‘the tip of the nose’, ‘the highest point of the ankle bone’ etc. The distance is measured by your own hand. The unit is ‘cun’. The width of your thumb at the mid joint is one ‘cun’, the width of middle three fingers at the mid joints is two ‘cun’, the width of the four fingers (without the thumb) at mid joints is three ‘cun’. How do you know if you have found the right point? When you press on it, if you feel kind of sore and sense a little pain (acute pain means you are not well somewhere), then you are on the right spot. Every main meridian has a primary point. That is the point where the primary energy of this meridian originates. Stimulating this point is one of the most effective ways to boost the positive energy found in this meridian.