Category Archives: Holistic Medicine

Whole Health: A Holistic Approach to Healing for the 21st Century

Most medical doctors (M.D.s) treat sick people. They use sophisticated instruments to detect disease, prescribe pharmaceutical drugs to deal with symptoms, perform operations to remove diseased tissue and organs. Sickness and illness are real money makers for the medical industry.

Supporting this medical industry are insurance companies, and now the federal government. Former President Obama ensured the continued support for the medical industry when his “Affordable Care Act” or ObamaCare forced Americans to support the medical profession through mandatory medical insurance.

But, the medical industry is not interested in prevention and cures that would lead to health. A healthy population would not be in the financial interests of the traditional medical industry.

If you think that the current medical model is broken, you should begin investigating a lifestyle change that would bring about health.

A recent documentary has shed some light on the medical industry and how badly influenced it is by other money making corporations. If you can, watch “What the Health” today.

When you know better, you do better. Watch and be changed!

While today’s medical doctors are doing what they are trained to do, many people want something different. They want an emphasis on health rather than an emphasis on sickness. This change in what people value is reflected by a change in the type of health care they seek.

If you want more than the traditional medical approach that deals with sickness, you should consider a whole health holistic approach.

What Is Integrative Medicine?

Dr. Weil explains the meaning of the term and what integrative medicine does for those who are looking for ways to stay healthy and live a long life.

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The Power of Natural Alternative Medicine – Part 1

The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human body, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.”…Thomas Edison, 1902.

Health Care Options

We have many different options for healthcare today, but the focus will be on biologically based treatments and prevention. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) defines the scope of biologically based practices to include, but is not limited to, botanicals, animal-derived extracts, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids, proteins, prebiotics and probiotics, whole diets, and functional foods.

But first, let’s take a look at the different philosophies of healthcare practiced today. Allopathic, alternative, complementary, integrative-what does it all mean? Each includes many different kinds of therapies, and although alternative, complementary and integrative are sometimes used interchangeably, the general focus of each is different.

Allopathic medicine focuses on disease and the treatment of the physical body with drugs and surgery. These are conventional physicians with the title of M.D. that are universally recognized as having a medical degree.

Alternative medicine includes those therapies not generally recommended by allopathic physicians. It includes Energy Medicine, Ethnomedicine, Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Homeopathic Medicine, Botanical or Herbal Medicine, Bio molecular Medicine, Manual Medicine, Spiritual Medicine.

Complementary medicine includes therapies used by both alternative and allopathic physicians. It includes Exercise Medicine, Environmental Medicine, Social Medicine, Nutritional Medicine.

Integrative medicine is the attempt to integrate the many philosophies of medicine, allopathic, complementary, and alternative, to treat the whole person, physical, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual.

People Must Choose a Type of Healthcare Provider

Many people are hesitant about trusting their healthcare to anyone other than an allopathic physician. But did you know that Naturopathic Medical Doctors are the only physicians who receive complete training in conventional medicine as well as natural medicine? Licensed Naturopathic medical doctors (N.M.D./N.D.) attend a four-year graduate level Naturopathic medical school where they are educated in all of the same basic sciences as a conventional M.D. In addition to this training, they are extensively educated in the philosophy and implementation of safe and effective natural therapeutics with a strong emphasis on disease prevention. Unfortunately, some states do not yet offer licensing for Naturopathic Doctors.

Allopathic physicians and pharmaceutical drugs are, and always will be, necessary for acute, emergency medical care and trauma, as well as for conditions that cannot be controlled with lifestyle changes, good nutrition and supplements. But many conditions can be prevented and controlled with lifestyle changes and biologically based medicine. Just as many pharmaceutical drugs can interact with other drugs, some biologically based supplements may interact with drugs and cause side effects, so a healthcare provider should always be consulted before adding supplements to the diet. In some cases, alternative therapy may actually have beneficial synergistic effects in conjunction with existing medical therapy, even when not feasible as a replacement.

Biologically based medicine is not new. It was practiced for thousands of years before pharmaceutical companies began manufacturing the first synthetic drugs. In addition, many of the pharmaceutical preparations used around the world are based on plants. As late as the 1930’s, the formulation of about 80% of synthetic pharmaceutical drugs began with a natural compound. Today, about 25% of prescription drugs contain active ingredients derived from plants.

The United States has the most advanced medical system in the world, yet the population is increasingly turning to natural healing methods. However, the U.S. still lags behind world stats. A survey of 31,000 U.S. adults conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics in 2004 showed that 35 percent use some form of complementary and alternative medicine. Today, the World Health Organization estimates that herbal medicine is still the primary source of health care for approximately 80 percent of the world’s population.

Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. These diseases and other chronic diseases such as obesity, depression, metabolic and digestive disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, and fibroids, account for 7 of every 10 deaths and affect the quality of life of 90 million Americans. Chronic diseases are among the most prevalent and most costly, yet they are the most preventable.

Conventional physicians treat chronic diseases with expensive pharmaceuticals that may temporarily relieve the painful or uncomfortable symptoms, but the drugs do nothing to resolve the underlying cause, and may actually cause other side effects and serious problems. Because nutrition affects our immune system, organ function, hormonal balance and cellular metabolism, many of these chronic conditions and diseases can be traced to a nutrition deficiency. When the deficiency is not corrected, symptoms begin to appear and eventually lead to disease and premature aging.

Many pharmaceuticals can effectively be replaced with multi vitamin supplements, botanicals, amino acids, prebiotics and probiotics, fresh foods and functional foods for both prevention and treatment. Because herbs work synergistically, combinations of herbs with similar properties enhance the properties of each. This is why choosing a product containing a combination of different herbs is usually more effective than choosing individual selections. An example of this is the combination of valerian, passion flower and hops to promote relaxation and restful sleep. All three have a relaxing effect on the body. Valerian relaxes muscle tension, while hops relaxes the nervous system, and passiflora acts as a sedative. Popular alternative medicine company Melaleuca even offers a product called RestEZ that offers a supplement that contains all three natural sleep enhancers: valerian, passion flower and hops.

In part two of The Power of Natural Alternative Medicine we will discuss the regulation of nutritional supplements and little known history of natural medicine.

The Science and Art of Integrative Medicine

(Visit: Explore the research behind the science of integrative medicine with Dr. Kevin Barrows, UCSF Department of Family and Community Medicine and Medical Director, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. Series: “UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine presents Mini Medical School for the Public” [11/2013] [Health and Medicine] [Show ID: 25721]
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The Natropathic Approach To Medicine

If you’ve been listening to the medical community recently, you may have heard the word “natropathic” mentioned every so often. You might have heard it, but you may not have much of an idea of what it means and simply dismissed it as medical jargon.

What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Natropathic medicine specifically looks at the root causes of health and disease and seeks to restore, promote, and/or maintain optimal health by using individualized natural therapies. It blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine.” -Jennifer Kaumeyer, N.D.

Natropathic contains the idea of natural. This is the idea is that your body is designed intelligently and can naturally heal, restore and maintain your health.

This is opposed to the idea that a disease indicates that the body is unable to maintain health and the immediate cause of the illness or pain needs to be addressed.

The natropathic doctor is a primary care doctor who has an understanding of how your body works and what is needed to support the proper functioning of your body. You exist in a physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental and social environment. And, each of these areas can affect your health.

To determine the causes of your illness or pain, that natropathic doctor spends time learning about your life and environment. He or she will do necessary diagnostic tests to help determine the state of your physical body.

Natropathic treatments involve improving dietary, social and lifestyle choices. Natropathic doctors teach you about better choices to maintain and restore health. Your doctor may use any scientifically verified treatment that any other doctor might use. When needed, your natropathic doctor will prescribe pharmaceuticals or refer you to a specialist.

What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Check for a Natropathic Doctor near you.

Chinese Medicine: Cold Energy

Every Chinese Doctor I have been to says that I have cold energy in my stomach. So I am always willing to try anything to get rid of this cold energy. Rather than living a healthy life of constant physical activity, restricted computer use, and all the other modern things that we do to make us unbalanced creatures – I chose to put myself through ancient practices – like STOMACH FIREBURNING or MOXA (mugwart) steaming!!!!

So the philosophy behind fireburning is that the fire’s heat will warm up your stomach – it will start moving the cold energy out and help you restore your yin energy. After 5 times of lighting a fire and putting the fire out on my stomach – I felt so wonderful.

In between each fireburning, the doctor massaged my stomach – it’s the best feeling in the world. It felt as if he was caressing every part of my large and small intestinal track and giving it lots of love and care. And the best part is that in the end- when the fire burning is done correctly – he takes off the saran wrap, medicine cloth, and starts Doggy Paddling down from the top of my stomach to the very bottom of my intestines – you can HEAR A RIVER of activity going on inside! it’s totally FREAKY – I could hear a river gurgling – as if he was totally giving me a full plumbing system overhaul!

He said that when performed with the right type of fire shapes, the doggy paddling takes all the released coldness and moves it out.

qi gong photo

Photo by Gigi Scorcia

The whole entire time I focused on using qi gong breathing techniques – because I am super sensitive to energy I could feel the cold air flowing out of the bottom of my feet.

But then for a few minutes before or after the process – sometimes I feel that I am inadequate as a human being when I do these things because it reminds me of how out of touch I am with my body, the earth, and the stars. So going to the Chinese doctor for me is like a form of rebirth and a bit of self-punishment (for not being healthy when I am living in the states).

The 4 Basic Qigong Breathing Methods by Da ZiRong, Qigong Master Trainer

But then I think – is it only when I travel – when I’m farthest away from everything and everyone that I intimately know – is that the only time I feel that I can take care of myself without feeling guilty? Is it only when I am unreachable that I recover from everyday life in the states – when my family stuff is so far away that it is absolutely out of my control?

Then I start thinking that’s stupid tricia – peace is where you are – but sometimes I feel that the only way to really extract myself out of my own life is to leave the country and cross an ocean away. I wonder if this is a pattern of modern life now – middle class people overworking and then leaving for a few months every year or few years to prevent burn out and just to re-balance. It certainly has become a pattern in my life – is the amount of traveling we do equivalent to the amount of stress we have at home? Sometimes I think so.

Well anyways, this is seriously the best form of self-punishment – when the doctor tells me that my yin-yang isn’t balanced – it actually makes me really excited to become more balanced again. I am always excited for them to say – “OK. Here your energy is blocked, so that’s why your hair is turning white or that’s why your bowel movements aren’t regular.” When they tell me how unbalanced I am, I start thinking about how I can take better care of myself.

The Most Basic Secret Of Yin Yang

After fireburning, the doctor told me of all the herbs and foods that I should eat to heal my body. For example, I need to eat more lemon peels. This time the doctor told me that my health was pretty good, but my back and neck is messed up from years of sitting in front of a computer. Plus I haven’t been meditating or dancing as much lately 🙁

So I love this herbal/ancient practice – only in China…only in China. In India I tried going to the medicinal doctor – I actually went to 3 of them because I really wanted to give it a chance – well each on told me that I was too much of a “pita” and they threw my naked body on a slap of hard wood and started dumping herbal oil on me and then the woman rubbed the oil on me forcing my bones into the wood table and I slid around like a dead fish – I tried to grab onto the wood but it was impossible! – may sound wonderful-(hmm hands + oil) BUT NOT!!!!!! it was painful and the worst part was that I didn’t feel more balanced afterwards. SO I’ve decided China is the place for me to go for medicinal care.

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