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Holistic Medicine: 6 Ailments Natural Healers Can Treat

Holistic Medicine: 6 Ailments Natural Healers Can Treat
Woman practicing yoga in the outdoor. (dreamstime)

By    |   Sunday, 12 October 2014 11:55 AM

As more people turn to holistic medicine, or alternative treatments, to prevent and treat disease and illness, the medical community is responding to the need for evidence-based research into treatments that may be thousands of years old.

Here are 6 complementary and alternative therapies you might want to explore further:

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• Researchers who tackled the issue of gastrointestinal illness and the use of mindfulness meditation in its treatment assessed 119 studies to determine how well-done they were and how well-studied the subject was. They then published the results in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. What they found was that there was “significant improvement” in some of the studies to show that mindfulness meditation helped with GI problems.

Mindfulness meditation also has other statistical evidence to show it helps with a variety of conditions. The University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine and Public Health maintains a website with studies showing the impact of meditation on the brain in treating depression and fibromyalgia, among other conditions.

Gynecologic conditions, such as hot flashes and menopause, show evidence-based support for the use of alternative herbal therapies, according to Medscape

“Therapies that carry a higher level of support from randomized controlled trial evidence include black cohosh for menopause; vitamins B1 and E for dysmenorrhea (painful periods); calcium, vitamin B6, and chasteberry for premenstrual syndrome; and chasteberry for cyclic mastalgia (breast pain),” Medscape said.

• Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) treatments have been shown to be effective in some cases for anxiety issues, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Such treatments include relaxation techniques, yoga, acupuncture, and an herbal supplement, kava, the ADAA said. The National Institutes for Health cautioned that some studies have shown liver damage from using kava, so consult a doctor.

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• The spice turmeric is being studied for its impacts on inflammation and cancer in the body. Studies are in various stages and a physician should be consulted before any treatment.

Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Institute said preliminary studies have found the spice decreases inflammation, but much larger, randomized studies are needed.

Science-Based Medicine said that numerous studies of the therapy have been done in animals or in vitro, leaving it uncertain whether the turmeric is effective. Quoting from the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, a members-only organization, the website said it has been found to be “possibly effective” and "likely safe" in treating osteo-arthritis and dyspepsia (heartburn), but there wasn’t enough evidence to make the call on other conditions.

An antioxidant, curcumin, found in turmeric has been receiving a lot of attention lately, and the American Cancer Society said it has been shown to kill some cancer cells in the lab and slow the growth of others. But human studies are in very early stages.

• As if you need a reason to have a massage! Some studies have found that massage is helpful for persistent back pain.

Massage Today reported that a study of massage therapy for muscle pain relief found that it reduced inflammation and promoted enhanced recovery. The magazine pointed out that this particular study did not support the oft-repeated idea that massage clears lactic acid from the muscles. 

Smoking cessation can be helped by doing yoga. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio examined numerous studies done on whether practicing yoga had an impact on the ability to stop smoking. Saying that yoga-based interventions held promise, the study found that the “majority of the interventions were able to enhance quitting smoking rates in the participants under study. Yoga-based interventions hold promise for smoking cessation.”

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As more people turn to holistic medicine, or alternative treatments, to prevent and treat disease and illness, the medical community is responding to the need for evidence-based research into treatments that may be thousands of years old.
holistic, medicine, ailments, natural, methods
Sunday, 12 October 2014 11:55 AM
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