Drug Rehabilitation Blog

Holistic Methods to Reduce Cholesterol

Holistic Methods to Reduce Cholesterol

 

Reduce Cholesterol

Ask someone about cholesterol and they may tell you it’s something they have to “reduce” or “bring down.” There are heartmany ways to reduce cholesterol. It is an often misunderstood subject. Maybe you know all about it – maybe not. Simple definitions related to cholesterol:

Cholesterol: A fat-like substance that is used in nearly every cell of the body. It is produced by the liver, circulated through the bloodstream, and is necessary for the body to function properly.

Endogenous: Originating from within an organism. Endogenous cholesterol is produced within your body by the liver.

Exogenous: Originating from outside an organism. Exogenous cholesterol is the kind that comes from outside sources – from things that you eat.

Your body needs cholesterol, but too much of it can be detrimental to your cardiovascular system (heart and blood vessels). There are varying schools of thought when it comes to cholesterol, but it is pretty much unanimous that diet and exercise play a vital role. There are drugs called statins designed to reduce oils and fats in the bloodstream. Like any drug, they can have side effects. The subject of drugs seems to be the pivotal point where the mind-sets diverge. While anyone should at some point see a doctor and get their cholesterol checked out, it would be beneficial to know how to prevent your cholesterol from skyrocketing.

As an analogy, take the subject of drug abuse: If we educate youth as to what drugs consist of, and what they do to a person – physiologically and mentally – we are empowering them with knowledge and many would choose a more sensible path of refraining from abusing drugs. They’d say “no” because they knew better. Likewise, it is sensible to educate oneself on diet and nutrition. Views on diets vary widely, but some of the foods generally thought to bump up your cholesterol:

  • Sugar
  • Egg yolks
  • Organ meats (like liver)
  • Heavy intake of dairy, milk, butter, cheese
  • Breads, pasta, heavy starches
  • Junk food
  • Fried foods

There is such ahealth thing as a more holistic or natural way of eating. Examples of this are avoiding refined sugars and heavily processed foods, using organic ingredients and leaning towards food in its raw or natural state. It also includes liberal intake of phytonutrients (plant-based). Of course you want to cook your meat (if you eat meat) and don’t include something you are allergic to (common sense). Try to use lean meat that hasn’t been hopped up on hormones (organic would be your best bet). Vitamins and minerals are great because that’s what’s in the food that your body uses. If all this sounds elementary, it’s because it is. Some foods and supplements that could help keep your cholesterol at a normal level:

  • Hawthorn Berry
  • Asparagus
  • Cayenne
  • Garlic
  • Spirulina
  • Dandelion
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Psyllium
  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
  • B Vitamins

It goes without saying that being of acceptable weight and regular exercise play a huge role in you being healthy. Additionally, nothing replaces doing your own independent research into this and other related areas.

Holistic Methods to Increase Hair Growth

hair growth

Androgenic Alopecia

For many women, “hair” is more than a four-letter word, but a rather serious beauty issue that requires strict attention and care. Men, on the other hand, are infamous for all but ignoring their hair until it turns gray or some goes missing. Androgenic Alopecia is looked upon as the cause of around 95% of hair loss. Androgenic refers to androgens, which are “masculine hormones” present in both men and women – dominant in males but vital to both – and alopecia means simply “baldness.” In men, we call it male pattern baldness – hair loss on the crown of the head. The female version of thinning hair is sometimes referred to as female pattern baldness. In order to take a holistic stance on hair, we’ll need to expand our vision to include overall health. Hair loss – or unhealthy hair in general – can be brought about due to the following factors:

  • Heredity
  • Age
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Poor diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Drugs and medications
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Other factors, like stress or lack of sleep

We can’t change who our parents were, and we can’t turn back the clock, but everything else we can do something about. Some suggestions for promoting healthy hair:

  • Avoid meat and poultry that has been injected/fed hormones. If you stick to items marked “organic” you should be in the clear.
  • The same foods that make people break out (acne) can affect the scalp. If it’s fried or greasy and you know isn’t good for you skin, skip it.
  • Exercise regularly. Vital for your overall health.
  • Certain supplements (and foods) known to promote healthy hair growth:Vitamin C (citrus fruits, oranges, lemons, green peppers)
  • B Vitamins (bananas, avocadoes, tuna)
  • Iron (apricots, raisins)
  • Vitamin E (sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens, cantaloupe)
  • Vitamin A (eggs, kale, squash, carrots)
  • Omega-3(fish and fish oil)
  • Drink lots of water
  • Get enough sleep
  • Reduce stress

Other Methods

Of course, using quality shampoos and conditioners is a must for healthy looking hair, and if you blow dry, use very low heat. If you really want to go all out, specialized treatments exist to rejuvenate hair, including topical niacin and menthol formulas. Holistic means “characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the physical symptoms of a disease or problem.” Time and time again – from healthy hair to increasing energy, from allergies to depression – the holistic answer requires some lifestyle changes. Eating whole, organic or natural foods, regular exercise, a positive outlook, paying attention to your spiritual side – all these things play a part in what we term the holistic approach. We’ve all heard the complaint, “you’re making my hair gray,” and the role stress can play in one’s appearance. Rather than give in to the impulse to retreat, we instead strengthen our bodies and minds so we can deal with our lives effectively. This means a healthier and happier YOU – from head to toe!

 

Holistic Methods on How To Improve Poor Vision

Holistic Methods on How To Improve Poor Vision

eyechartWe live by sight. Most people rely on their vision for over 85% of regular, daily activities, reminding us how important it is to maintain healthy eyesight. But many neglect this aspect of their health, despite the fact that 6 out of 10 people in the world suffer from some variety of bad eyesight. Treating it, therefore, is key — but traditional therapies often come up short. Holistic approaches, in contrast, focus on the unique needs of the individual and seek to understand the underlying causes of poor vision. Techniques that improve poor vision naturally can deliver significant, long lasting benefits for this important part of everyday health.

Holistic Approaches to Poor Vision

Holistic remedies can treat and improve poor vision by addressing its underlying causes. Here are a few of the most common and effective techniques.

A Healthy Diet and Dietary Supplements

Few improvements have as positive an impact on eyesight as antioxidant-rich foods in your daily diet. Fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, and bilberries are packed with important nutrients. So are green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and red onions, which help in preventing age-related macular degeneration. Vitamins and nutritional supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, and zeaxanthin are especially useful in treating vision disorders such as myopia (nearsightedness or difficulty in seeing things which are at a distance). Fish and other foods and supplements rich in Vitamin A and D (known to promote good vision) are also important options to consider.

Exercise

30 minutes of exercise a day has been found to have tremendous impact on improving vision — and perhaps more importantly, avoiding vision problems in the first place. This makes exercise one of the greatest preventive measures available. Consider an exercise regimen that meets your needs and interests – walking, practicing yoga, and swimming are all excellent options.

Managing Your Screen Time

Spending prolonged hours in front of television and computer screens is among the leading causes for poor vision in the world today. Focusing glassesour eyes on one thing for too long causes the 6 muscles holding the eyeball in place to get tense, leading to atrophy. Simple improvements, such as adjusting screens to ensure they’re at least 20-24 inches away from you and cutting down the total amount of time spent in front of them, can go a long way in avoiding poor vision and improving it. If this is impossible, then allow your eyes to wander every now and then while reading, working, or focusing on the screen. Giving your eyes some downtime works wonders in improving their vision.

Rest, Relaxation, and Targeted Exercise

As mentioned earlier, allowing your eyes to rest periodically helps release muscle tension, which is one of the main causes of poor vision. William H. Bates, an ophthalmologist who gained fame for his disregard for spectacles, was a great proprietor of this theory. He cited relaxation as the greatest solution to poor vision, and his techniques — known as Bates techniques — are still employed today. They include the following:

eyes

  • Palming. This involves relaxing your body completely, rubbing your palms together until they’re warm, and then covering your closed eyes with them while breathing meditatively. Bates suggested doing this 3 times a day for 10 minutes at a time.
  • Swinging. Focus your gaze on a distant object and keep swaying your body as you do this. All the while, you must keep blinking to keep your eyes moisturized. Bates suggested doing this 100 times a day.
  • Color spotting. This one is both simple and fun. Pick a color and make an effort to spot that color throughout the day, no matter its shape or form.
  • Sunning. Close your eyes while looking at the sun or a light bulb and then rotate your head from left to right for a few minutes allowing the colors and light to settle on your peripheral vision.

Blinking

Blinking regularly is one of the easiest holistic approaches to improving your vision. It simply requires that you consciously blink more often — an activity that many neglect when staring at one thing (especially computer screens) for long periods of time. Blinking moisturizes the eyes and also prevents pollutants from entering the cornea/retina area.

Holistically Improve Poor Vision

Marc R. Grossman, OD, LAc, a holistic eye doctor, reminds us that “most people’s eyes get worse little by little, so their eyes have to get better little by little too.” Holistic approaches can work wonders in that gradual improvement. With the right mix of techniques and a commitment to their practice, patients can slow the decline of their eyesight and improve it over the long term.

dealing with fatigue

Holistic Methods Of Dealing With Fatigue

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Holistic Methods of Dealing with Fatigue

Experts suggest that 10% of all people are dealing with fatigue, or persistent tiredness. It is one of the most common complaints that doctors receive and can be the result of biochemical, energetic, or psychological and emotional factors. More often than not, the debilitating symptoms of fatigue can be relieved with a good night’s sleep and some recuperation. But many find that fatigue has become a chronic issue — jeopardizing their day-to-day functioning and lowering their quality of life.

There are several manifestations of persistent fatigue, and though traditional methods of treatment (including over-the-counter medication) are widely available, these options might carry undesirable side effects and ultimately fail to address the underlying problem. Many patients and health professionals are instead turning to holistic treatments, which approach the person as a whole being (rather than just a set of symptoms) and attempting to address the underlying causes of fatigue.

Major Causes of Fatigue

An important first step in treating fatigue is to identify its root causes. Here are some of the most common causes of chronic fatigue:

Medical reasons. There are several biological, chemical, and medical reasons that can cause symptoms of chronic fatigue, including:

  • Infections
  • Pregnancy
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Heart disease
  • Anemia
  • Thyroid problems
  • Diabetes

Emotional and mental reasons. These can also have a profound effect on feelings of fatigue. These causes include:

  • Past traumas
  • Bereavement
  • Psychological stress (due to life events such as divorce)
  • Depression

The reasons vary from person to person, and always manifest uniquely. Understanding these causes, however, can help patients pinpoint the root of their condition and develop the right solution.

Holistic Approaches to Fatigue

Once you have identified the underlying causes of your fatigue, you can begin considering specific holistic techniques to reduce them. Here are a few commonly used natural treatments for fatigue.

Routine

While your daily routine might seem like an obvious place to begin, taking an active approach to managing your day can be massively beneficial in relieving fatigue. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same times on as many days in the week as possible, including weekends. Gently pulling your body into a consistent sleep pattern will help establish a steady schedule and rhythm. If you need to take naps, be sure to keep them short and sweet (approximately 25-30 minutes) to get the benefits without the grogginess. Also consider other important elements of your routine: The order in which you do activities, when and how often you exercise, and how you begin and end your day matter a great deal to your overall energy level.

Improving Your Lifestyle

Lifestyle is a major factor in energy and well-being. A lifestyle that nourishes your mind and body with good nutrition, healthy habits, and plenty of rest and relaxation will significantly reduce fatigue. Key lifestyle factors to address include:324658

  • Dietary improvements. The incorporation of high-fiber foods such as whole-grain cereals and vegetables can alleviate symptoms of tiredness by stabilizing blood sugar levels. Nutrient-dense foods such as spinach, which is rich in potassium and Vitamin B (both vital for energy metabolism), are old-time remedies in this treatment as well.
  • Meal Portions. Another helpful tip is the timing and portions of your meals, which also require a solid routine. Eat a hearty, healthy breakfast followed by several small meals and snacks throughout the day. This stabilizes energy levels as your blood sugar levels are being steadily metabolized.
  • Supplements. Natural supplements, in conjunction with a sound and healthy diet, can do wonders. Each person requires different supplements, but many common ones — often found in a daily multivitamin — help to reduce any deficiencies that might be causing fatigue in the first place. Be sure to consult a medical professional before determining a supplement regimen.
  • Water. There’s a reason they call it the ‘elixir of life.’ Keeping yourself well hydrated is key for healthy body functioning, and central to overall well-being and energy. Sipping on water consistently will ensure that you don’t become dehydrated, which is one of the leading causes of fatigue.

Exercise

Finally, exercising regularly will do wonders in your battle against fatigue. Exercise will help you shed extra pounds, which can be a major cause of physical tiredness, and will improve overall metabolism and energy for days. Choosing the right exercise is also important — the activity should meet the unique needs of the patient. Ancient forms of exercise such as yoga and tai chi, for example, can aid in relaxation and focus (which also contribute to good sleep). Whatever the activity, ensuring that it is healthy, fun, and consistent is key.

Treating Your Fatigue

Chronic fatigue is often best treated with holistic therapies than with prescription medication or over-the-counter drugs, which emphasize symptoms over causes and do not always lead to long-term health. By treating the person as a whole and tailoring treatment to the individual, a holistic approach focuses on restoring your entire being to its healthiest possible equilibrium. These techniques can help diminish fatigue immediately and generate real, sustainable energy.

Holistic approach to back pain

Holistic Methods of Dealing With Chronic Back Pain

backpainHolistic medicine seeks to treat the body as whole, rather than just the symptoms of a disorder, making it a unique and powerful method of combating illness. A common condition that benefits from alternative approaches is chronic back pain, which can range from a dull ache to a sharp pierce to a burning sensation. Many patients turn to traditional therapies to address the problem, but continue to struggle with the crippling emotional and physical symptoms of back pain. The available prescription medicines (antidepressants, pain relievers, anticonvulsants, and opioids) are extremely powerful and can result in serious side effects, often without long-term solutions. Holistic approaches, then, are an indispensable alternative in the treatment of chronic back pain.

Identifying The Causes of Chronic Back Pain

Chronic back pain is a complex and varied condition. The first step in treating it effectively is to understand its causes  — this is where the healing process begins. A few of the common factors that cause chronic back pain include:

  • Injuries. Injuries due to falls, accidents, sports, or repetitive damage over time can cause chronic back pain. Pulled muscles, spinal fractures, and ligament damage can also cause or compound back pain.
  • Mechanical problems. Issues regarding the spinal column or its surrounding muscles such as scoliosis, muscle tension, and kyphosis are also associated with chronic back pain.
  • Disease and disorder. Diseases or disorders such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and spondylitis can all result in chronic back pain as well. Other unchecked medical conditions such as kidney stones and endometriosis can also introduce similar symptoms.
  • Pregnancy. The weight of pregnancy has been known to cause severe back pain. Most women are relieved of this particular cause after giving birth, but the experience of pain when expecting can be a challenge.
  • Infections and tumors. Though these are the least frequent causes of chronic back pain, they are another potential source. Patients have experienced back pain from spinal tumors and disc infections, which can become extremely painful over time.
  • Mental causes. Recent studies suggest that back pain might manifest as a mind-body disorder that can cause anxiety to the emotional mind. That anxiety, in turn, can causefurther pain and prevent its reduction. Factors such as stress, negative lifestyle choices, repressed feelings, and depression can all lead to a physical experience of pain.

It is important to note that back pain can result from a number of factors, many of them unique to the individual. Furthermore, these factors often interrelate – lifestyle choices, for instance, might cause an old injury where symptoms are, in turn, compounded by stress. The key is to identify the main causes and reasons of back pain, then explore the appropriate treatments. This is where holistic methods become important options.

Exploring Holistic Approaches

A number of holistic approaches to chronic back pain include:

  • Acupuncture. This ancient Chinese holistic treatment has been proven immensely helpful for those suffering from chronic back pain. Though the mechanics of acupuncture remain something of a mystery, it has been known to dramatically relieve pain. More importantly, acupuncture generally introduces no side effects, making it a safe and reliable option for treatment when appropriately administered.
  • Exercise. Though fitness might seem difficult or unpleasant to engage in with back pain, regular physical activity is remarkably beneficial for those who struggle with pain. Studies have shown that it results in overall energy boosts, strengthens core functioning, and improves moods — all of which are instrumental in aiding your body and mind against back pain. More specifically, targeted exercises can physically strengthen key areas contributing to the problem. Under the guidance of trained physiotherapists and coaches, a personalized workout regimen can work wonders in alleviating back pain.
  • Stress-reduction techniques. “Reducing stress is really crucial in pain management,” argues Seddon R. Savage, M.D., incoming president of the American Pain Society. Dr. Savage is right: Stress can compound pain and slow the healing process. Powerful holistic approaches in reducing stress include:
  • Yoga. This is the ideal exercise for those suffering from back pain, as it is strengthens and stretches the body without too much intensity. It also introduces different levels, philosophies, and variations to accommodate the patient’s unique profile — a cornerstone of the holistic tradition.
  • Massage. An effective massage can do wonders to relax a patient and heal the underlying wounds that cause back pain — both mental and physical. Stress reduction is a powerful side benefit of massage. Patients can also learn the core principles of massage and administer it to themselves in a localized way.
  • Hypnosis. A technique used in certain disciplines of therapy, hypnosis can be useful with mental causes of pain by uncovering memories, attitudes, and behaviors that contribute to pain.
  • Relaxation therapy. In this approach, patients are taught to release the tension causing back pain by focusing on their breathing and learning to control bodily processes.
  • Chiropractic manipulation. Chiropractors administer adjustments and other treatments that can, in some circumstances, manually manipulate the pain caused by problematic joints in the body. It is generally considered more effective for sudden and acute back pain — particularly in the period immediately after an injury — and less effective for chronic back pain.
  • Knowledge Therapy. When back pain is emotionally upset, knowledge therapy can become a powerful treatment option. Dr. John Sarno of the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine in New York defined the treatment as a teaching process in which trained professionals help patients address repressed feelings, memories, and emotionally charged sensitive issues that are contributing to their pain. Patients are then empowered to alleviate themselves of their own painful symptoms.  While the method takes tremendous understanding and long-term commitment, many consider it a revolutionary therapy that has changed millions of lives. The method largely places the power of healing in the patient’s control (rather than the doctor’s), bringing the patient into the center of his or her own treatment.

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Holistic Freedom From Chronic Back Pain

If you suffer from chronic back pain, holistic treatments offer a compelling alternative to traditional approaches. Holistic techniques are generally less invasive, result in fewer side effects, and generate remarkable results when administered correctly. They might hold the key to your freedom from chronic pain.

It is important, however, to take the time to understand the techniques that work best for your unique situation — the personalization of holistic medicine is part of its power. Consider discussing your options with a professional and embrace the process of picking the right treatment with sound, clinical judgment.

Holistic methods for anxiety

Holistic Methods Of Dealing With Anxiety

You Are Not Alone

Anxiety is a normal human emotion. The feeling of uneasiness, apprehension, or dread is hard-wired into our DNA and capable of manifesting in any human being. But anxiety disorders — a group of mental disturbances characterized by anxiety as a core symptom — are of an entirely different magnitude that can interfere with the ability to lead a normal life.

From generalized anxiety disorder to panic attacks to post traumatic stress and obsessive-compulsive disorder — all manifestations of psychologically damaging anxiety issues — the symptoms can become both crippling and painful to live with. Sufferers often contend with symptoms such as obsessive behavior, uncontrollable repetitive thoughts, nervousness, heart palpitations, and other unpleasant sensations.

Though a large number of prescription medications and conventional treatments have been developed to treat anxiety, more and more people have begun to turn to holistic treatment approaches as a safer option. The side effects of over-the-counter medication have been known to cause such side effects as digestive disturbances, sleep problems, depression, and sometimes even greater anxiety, without providing a long-term solution. Holistic approaches, which aim to address the patient as a whole and address the root causes of a condition, have become an indispensable alternative in the treatment of anxiety.

Holistic Approaches to Anxiety

A holistic approach has proven effective in combating anxiety. Common natural treatment options for dealing with anxiety disorders include the following.

Diet

Many issues such as anxiety can be addressed with a healthier diet. This can be done in several ways:

  • Reduction and elimination. Several studies have shown that certain foods act as stimulants to anxiety. Eliminating items such as caffeine, alcohol, refined carbohydrates, sugar, and foods with additives and chemicals will go a long way in keeping you calmer. Eliminating these items will boost your mood, while replacing them with healthier foods will provide you with more nutrients.
  • Healthy foods. Similarly, several foods and vitamins have a positive, calming effect on your body. Consuming tryptophan-rich foods like turkey, bananas, oats, and milk, for example, have been found to have a positive effect on stress because the amino acids they release help your brain to produce feel-good chemicals. A range of other healthy foods has remarkable effects of mood and anxiety.
  • Supplements. Because anxiety is largely considered a nervous and sometimes neurological disorder, consuming higher levels of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B complex can be very helpful as well. They, along with other valuable supplements, help contribute to the healthy functioning of your body’s nervous system.

Controlled Breathing

The science of yoga reveals that controlled breathing exercises are a powerful tool in managing overall physical and emotional health. They can be particularly useful in dealing with panic attacks too.

One of the first symptoms of a panic attack is rapid breathing — also known as hyperventilation — which leads our body to incorrectly assume that we are running, exercising hard, or in trouble. Instead of giving in to its dramatic effects — giddiness, heart palpitations etc. — force yourself to breathe in deeply, count to four and then exhale again with the same focus. Keep repeating this technique, and you will soon find that the attack will pass.

Controlled breathing can also become an ongoing therapeutic technique in your life, even when you aren’t hyperventilating. Indeed, a regular breathing practice can help prevent these episodes while contributing to overall well-being.

Exercise

Engaging in regular exercise and practicing relaxation techniques simultaneously can prove remarkably beneficial for those struggling with anxiety disorders. Cardiovascular exercises such as running, cross-training, and climbing are particularly effective as they help in burning lactic acid in your body. This, in turn, helps your body release more endorphins (mood-enhancing chemicals) and use oxygen more effectively. It also contributes to overall health, longevity, energy, and well-being.

Overcoming Anxiety The Holistic Way

Anxiety is a common feature of modern life, and many people struggle with its symptoms. Traditional approaches have developed around the disorder, but holistic techniques offer a healthy, natural, low-risk solution to mitigating anxiety. With these techniques, patients will find new hope for an old disorder, and tailor the right approach to their unique conditions.

 

Holistic treat fevers

Holistic Methods Of Dealing With Fevers

Fevers are rarely pleasant, but they’re not all bad. Scientifically speaking, fever, or Pyrexia, is a vital part of your body’s defense mechanism against infection and symptomatic of underlying issues such as threatening infections and chronic ailments. Fevers are our body’s natural response to fighting germs and their symptoms, ranging from chills, aches, and elevated body temperature to shivers, listlessness, and body pains.

But they do cause discomfort and can be scary to endure. Traditional treatments, including over-the-counter medications, can invite unwelcome side effects and are not always effective in battling fevers. Holistic approaches, in contrast, approach the patient as a whole person and seek to address the underlying causes of the fever, often with superior results.

Holistic Approaches To Fever

Unless a fever is dangerously high (or its cause entirely unknown), it is possible — and, some experts argue, recommended — to skip traditional medications and opt for more natural and alternative ways to bring your body temperature down.

Common natural treatments for dealing with fevers include the following:

Hydration

Holistic treatments focus on replenishing the patient as a whole. This starts with replacing the fluid loss one usually suffers during a fever due to increased body temperatures, resulting in perspiration and loss of appetite. Hydrating regularly helps bring down the fever and maintain energy levels.

Nourishing Foods

Another common symptom of fever is loss of appetite. You should stock up on plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables that aid in bringing nutrient and fluid levels back to balance. Avoid complex or otherwise heavy foods until the fever is completely gone, and opt for foods that are high in nutrients and water and are easiest to eat.

Relaxation, Repose, Respite

Proper rest has always been a powerful method of healing the body. Catching up on sleep, taking the time to recuperate, and avoiding unnecessary stress are all critical for reducing a fever. Basic, non-strenuous activity can also be helpful — a leisurely walk in the fresh air will help raise your spirits and strengthen your body’s fight against the infection.

Essential Oils and Natural Herbs

Several natural potions and herbs have proven effective in the holistic treatment of fevers. Lavender, thyme, rosemary, and eucalyptus can provide immediate cooling relief. Apply a few drops of these oils to a washcloth and then wipe your forehead for a relaxing effect.

Herbs such as elderflowers and yarrow are also known to reduce the intensity of fevers, while simple concoctions such as lemon juice, honey, and ginger with herbal teas can go a long way in both providing comfort and assisting the body’s natural healing process.

Hydrotherapy For Fevers

Hydrotherapy is one of the oldest holistic remedies for treating fevers. Depending on your temperature, draw a bath or use a wet sponge of cold, hot, or warm water on your body. If chills and shivering accompany the fever, then hotter baths tend to be more soothing. If a fever is making you sweat, opt for colder water. This technique can provide instant relief from high and fluctuating body temperatures and can be repeated as many times as necessary to bring the fever down permanently.

Avoiding Risk

Fevers are symptomatic of underlying ailments, so it’s vital to avoid high-risk situations that might cause or increase the fever. This includes exposing yourself to sudden atmospheric temperature changes, indulging in vigorous exercise while weak, eating unhealthy foods, and other challenging or unhealthy situations that would invite a fever or slow your recovery.

Alternative Treatments

Those suffering from fevers can also turn to a number of alternative, natural treatments, including:

  • Homeopathy. Medicines such as Belladona, Aconite, Nux Vomica, and Pulsatilla have all been found to be successful homeopathic methods in treating a fever.
  • Aromatherapy. Essential oils such as chamomile and eucalyptus can be diluted and inhaled for more instant relief.
  • Traditional Chinese treatments. Oriental holistic approaches such as acupuncture, acupressure, and herbal therapy have also found tremendous success in the treatment of fevers by promoting relaxation and aiding the body’s natural healing process.

 

Beating Your Fever

Holistic therapies are based on the principle that fevers are the body’s way of fending off an infection and must be allowed to run their course — and that underneath the fever is a person who must be treated as a whole being, rather than as a narrow set of fever symptoms. These holistic techniques allow sufferers to address their symptoms while empowering their natural healing process. With time, patients can find themselves treating their fevers with impressive results.

holistic methods to increase energy

Holistic Methods to Increase Energy

Do You Want to Increase Energy?

If so, you share something in common with millions of Americans. The quest for a method to increase energy is also, in many ways, the quest for success. “If I just had more energy, I could get all those things done that I want to do…” is the common refrain. Reading about the men and women of the past can astonish one at the sheer magnitude of their output: the man who built his own house, fought in two wars, founded his own business, and raised a family of eight; the woman who worked the family farm, made all the family’s clothing, churned her own butter, and personally educated her seven children. In a bygone era, you had to do virtually everything yourself. Nowadays, we simply do our job, collect a paycheck, pay for what someone in China produced, and collapse on the couch for lack of verve. Where did our energy go?

Proper Diet

One answer is that we didn’t fuel up properly in the first place. Just as a car or airplane cannot run on the wrong fuel – so too must our bodies burn the right fuel in order to generate sufficient power. Drive through suburbia and you’ll see what millions of people eat: fast food, gas station food, and chain restaurants that serve fried and relatively tasteless food. And at the supermarket, all too often we purchase the starches, cereals, and sugars. But the problem gets worse; symptomatic of feeling drained of energy is the desire to boost energy level by any means necessary, namely, caffeine – in the form of coffee or worse, “energy” drinks. While a java boost is essentially harmless, these energy drinks are another story entirely, with sketchy ingredients and reports of some violent reactions. Extended caffeine addiction can bankrupt your adrenal glands so that the caffeine has virtually no effect other than preventing a withdrawal headache. Any way you look at it, caffeine is a stimulant drug that produces artificial energy.

Natural Energy

What we need is natural energy, and it appears that nature has provided – in the form of fruits, vegetables, and things that grow from the earth. The practice of juicing has been gaining ground as the go-to activity for real, honest energy – a way to boost your momentum with organic phytonutrients (“phyto-“ means plant based). Juicers range from a hundred dollars to over $2,000. The high-end version is a machine with a two-step process, first producing a pulp then squeezing out the juice through “hydraulic” action. But you by no means have to go so high-tech. You can pick up an affordable juicer at your local appliance or big-box store. You can juice fruits, vegetables, and add green superfoods for a blast of real energy. Combine this with a rational diet and you are on your way. If you were to stay in the outside aisle of the supermarket you’d have the right idea. By sticking to the outside, you encounter the fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, and lean meats, thus evading the domain of starch, pasta, sugar, cereal, cookies, ice cream, frozen crinkle-cut fries, and TV dinners. This is not to say never eat a plate of angel hair pasta. Rather, change what you’re eating in general. In summary:

  • Use organic, whole ingredients, lean meats, fresh fruits, and vegetables
  • Acquire a decent juicer
  • Drink a green superfood blast daily that includes such things as:
    • Wheat grass
    • Barley grass
    • Alfalfa
    • Spirulina
    • Spinach
    • Broccoli
    • Chlorella
    • Wild blue-green algae

Keep this up for a while, combine it with routine exercise, and feel your energy level increase. You just might have the momentum to get all those things done that you’ve been meaning to do – and make a dream or two come true! And the people of the future will read about everything you got done!

 

 

Holistic Approach For Sprains

Holistic Methods for Healing Sprains

A Common Injury

Sprains are some of the most common injuries in high-impact sports. They are also one of the most frustrating to treat. For avid athletes, the prospect of sitting still during recovery for weeks on end is enough to drive them crazy. Many are tempted to return to their sport before the sprain has fully healed, inviting re-injury and chronic long-term problems. They can prevent that painful cycle by following a step-by-step program to treat the sprain using a holistic method.

The age-old conventional wisdom on treating sprains has always been to use the “RICE” method, but in recent years, the “MEAT” method has gained prominence and popularity. Both (as we explain below) have benefits and disadvantages. Dr. Harry Adelson, N.D., who specializes in prolotherapy and sports injuries, suggests a combination of the two methods to best treat a sprain.

“When we use RICE,” he explains, “we decrease pain by blocking the inflammatory cascade, but in doing so we suppress healing … For a strain/sprain type injury, I recommend RICE for the first 4 hours after the injury (ice 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off), and then shift to MEAT. MEAT encourages the body’s own natural healing capacity to do its thing.”

Using both methods allows us to quickly treat a sprain at the onset of pain, while setting up an optimal long-term healing environment.

The RICE Method

The RICE method for injuries is an acronym for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Here’s a breakdown of how RICE works:

  • Rest. Use a splint, sling, or crutches to provide support to the sprained body part.
  • Ice. Apply an ice pack (or a bag of vegetables) to the sprained area for 20 minutes or less every 3-4 hours.
  • Compression. Without cutting off circulation, wrap the injury snugly with a stretch-bandage. This should only be used in early treatment of the sprain, as compression can prevent the drainage of excess fluid from the injured area, potentially prolonging inflammation around the joint.
  • Elevate. Place pillows under the sprain to elevate it higher than the heart. This helps promote fluid drainage from the injured limb. If possible, move the muscles near the sprain to increase blood circulation.

The goal of the RICE method is to reduce swelling in the injured area. But once the swelling has gone down, the tactics used in the RICE method can actually suppress healing. Because of the risks associated with long-term treatment, most doctors specializing in sports injuries only recommend using it for the first 4-12 hours of treatment. Then, they propose switching to the MEAT method.

The MEAT Method

The MEAT method for injuries is an acronym for movement, exercise, analgesia, and treatment. Here’s a breakdown of how MEAT works:

  • Movement. Move the injured body part to increase circulation and prevent the formation of adhesions. A widely recommended exercise is drawing the alphabet with the injured body part.
  • Exercise. Without overdoing it, strengthen the sprained body part with gradual exercise. For example, someone with a sprained ankle might progress from putting weight on the foot to slow walking. This promotes blood circulation and activates nerve fibers, which can help restore strength in the surrounding muscles.
  • Analgesia. Use natural or pharmaceutical medications to decrease pain. For mild pain, Tylenol is suitable, while more acute pain might require an over-the-counter nutritional supplement or prescribed medications.
  • Treatment. Home treatments of alternated heat (2 minutes) and ice (30 seconds) will help speed healing. Do 3-4 reps of this treatment 3-4 times per day. Treatments such as acupuncture, prolotherapy, and mesotherapy can also help with acute injuries.

The main risk of the MEAT method is doing too much, too soon. A slow-paced recovery that does not push the body too quickly helps heal the injury faster. The principal benefit of using the MEAT method is that the sprain will heal correctly, which will prevent re-injury in the future.

Seeking Further Help

Using these methods, a mild sprain should heal within two to three weeks. But there are several indicators that a patient should seek further consultation with a specialized physician after a sprain, including:

  • If the patient experiences severe pain when he or she tries to move or puts any weight on the injured joint
  • If, once the swelling has gone down, the injury looks different (crookedness, bumps in odd places) from the uninjured joint
  • If the same joint or tendon has been injured multiple times
  • If the area around the sprain injury is numb, tender, or if there are red streaks spreading out from the injury—these are indicators of a potential infection
  • If there is any confusion about how serious the injury is or doubts about how best to treat it
  • If the limb with the injured joint buckles as the patient runs through his or her movement exercises
  • If the patient cannot move the injured joint

While most sprains can be treated fairly easily with a combination of physical therapy and the RICE or MEAT method, some sprains — especially repeat injuries — can lead to weakened joints and might require an operation to fix. A consultation with a physician is recommended in cases like this. Family and friends can also help the patient during the recovery process by ensuring that the injury is fully healed and allowing the patient time to ease back into his or her activity.

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