Alternative medicine - have you/would you try it? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-15-2016, 06:07 PM
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Alternative medicine - have you/would you try it?

On another thread, the subject of acupuncture came up, and was dismissed as pseudoscience - only as effective as a placebo. Sure, the traditional medicine community is skeptical. But traditional medicine doesn't offer much to chronic pain sufferers - without potentially dangerous side effects or addiction. I suffer from osteoporosis in my hands, specifically in several finger joints and in the base of my thumbs. Until recently it was more of a annoyance than a problem, but recently I've noticed that my grips, especially in my right hand, are weaker and less reliable (I've been dropping the remote on my poor dog when we snuggle on the couch!!!)

So I've gone for acupuncture for the past four weeks. I see a naturopathist, who is a certified acupuncturist. The health survey I completed before my first appointment was extensive, and we talked in depth about my concerns and expectations. I did not experience any pain relief after the first session for a full 24 - 48 hours, but then oh my, what a change! My left hand feels brand new and my right hand feels much better, with a bit of a twinge still in the base of the thumb when I carry weight in my hand. I am so glad I tried this alternative before I agreed to have cortisone shots.

In addition to acupuncture, my doc prepared a custom tincture with herbs designed to relieve stress, help with sleep and deal with post-menopausal symptoms. I'm definitely sleeping better and I feel much lighter than I normally do at this bleak time of the year.

So what alternative medicines have you tried? What were the experiences like and were they effective? What would you like to try? If a therapy cannot be tested for effectiveness by traditional methodology, would that change your mind about trying something alternative?

(And please, this is meant to be supportive for those who choose to seek help outside of the box, not for criticism and disparagement.)

If you'd like to read more about the effectiveness of acupuncture, here's an interesting article: https://www.theguardian.com/science/...-effective-nhs
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#2 Old 02-15-2016, 06:13 PM
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I've had it done once, and it had no effect on me. I've had back/neck/shoulder problems for a long time, and the physio tried things like cupping and acupuncture and both had no effect. The only thing that really helped was pilates as it helped strengthen all my muscles and my posture.
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#3 Old 02-16-2016, 02:57 AM
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I have had some positive and some negative experiences with alternative medicine. I have never tried acupuncture but did hear good things about it from others.

In 2007 I had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and was in constant pain. In the end it turned out to be from surgical menopause at a young age (hysterectomy and both ovaries removed at the age of 33 two years prior) and the profound effect it had on my body, and the fact that I could not find any hormone replacement my body would absorb at the time. I felt like I was 90. At any rate, I was put in a pain program at a traditional hospital/clinic, however, there were many "alternative" treatment components to the program. One was Feldenkrais, another was meditation and deep breathing, another was accupressure. I was also started on an exercise program by a physical therapist who worked with me (I had also been just diagnosed with severe osteoporosis as my bone density took a real nosedive after losing my ovaries). All of those things made a huge difference in how I dealt with stress and the trauma my body had been put through. The exercise especially did wonders amazingly, though at first it was painful and hard. Exercise regulates metabolism, energy flow, blood pressure, and also helps regulate hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain that affect mood. It is one of the best methods of caring for oneself and overcoming some health issues. I was fortunate to have a highly trained physical therapist with a Masters degree who had experience with people with severe health issues, and not some quack personal trainer half my age at a fitness center with a six month certificate. I learned how to work around my health issues and how to listen to my body.

I went to a naturopathic doctor and had both positive and negative results. I paid out of pocket for everything because my insurance would cover none of it. and I was not rich. She also had me believing I had candida overgrowth because I had some stool tests that showed an imbalance of gut flora. So she put me on a strict anti candida diet. this was in 2006 and I was not vegan at that time. I was allowed to eat only fresh meat (not cured), and low glycemic vegetables, nonstarchy. No potatoes, no fruit, no grains, no dairy, no condiments or canned foods, limited nuts without skins (that can harbor bacteria). In fact such a strict diet was the start of my 8 year battle with anorexia nervosa. I had never had an eating disorder in my life before that, and it seemed to trigger my ability to obsess. I was miserable on that diet and had no energy to speak of. I was on it for six months. It did nothing for my chronic yeast infections, migraines (that I never had in my life until I lost my ovaries), hot flashes, night sweats, joint and muscle pain, abdominal pain and nausea (which turned out to be adhesions and scar tissue from my previous hysterectomy and I went in a year later for more surgery to remove that plus active endometriosis that was missed from the previous surgery). So at any rate, I became disillusioned with the whole concept of "candida overgrowth" and the anti candida diet. It was ridiculous actually. However, that naturopathic doctor did eventually become my regular doctor and combined traditional medicine with alternative, and she stuck by my side for seven years while I went through all kinds of battles to regain my life after losing my ovaries and the trauma that followed. She saw my weight plummet to dangerously low numbers, saw the grief I felt and then saw me through periods of recovery and ED treatments. She really worked with me to help me find a hormone replacement my body could absorb. That meant going to a compounding pharmacy (classified as alternative) to find alternative methods of getting much needed natural hormones into my body. It meant allowing me to try over the counter progesterone, and whatever I could to help myself. She was willing to go different routes and do blood tests on my estrogen, progesterone, and testoterone levels, which many traditional doctors will not as they claim those tests are unreliable. Ultimately I went with a hormone patch that FINALLY increased my hormone levels to a place where I could function and between that and the exercise my joint/muscle pain disappeared, night sweats and hotflashes and migraines disappeared, emotions became more stable.

I also use things like Valerian root to help with sleep (still an issue since losing my ovaries). I use pure essential oils...peppermint oil for digestive upset and also for invigorating my body; lavender oil for calming; tea tree oil for cleansing. I use herbal teas for upset stomach or nerves and so on. I have been trying natural supplements for sudden headaches I have been having, such as curamen. I use trauma oil (arnico) for exercise injuries.

I saw a chiropractor when I injured my pelvis twice...once from stress fracture running (and due to low bone density) and earlier from being hit by a car and knocked to the side on my bike when someone pulled out of a driveway without looking for a cyclist coming. The chiropractor turned out to be a total quack. At that time I was vegan, and he kept trying to sell me fish oil and was adament I needed it, especially as a vegan. Sighs. I warned him NOT to crack my back or do anything extreme because of my very low bone density there. He had me do these "alternative" xrays and claimed my bones were fine. Which was ridiculous because traditional xrays showed quite the opposite when I was xrayed for my pelvis, and the radiologist who knew nothing about me but just read the films was alarmed at how bad my bones were for my age. You can even see on a traditional xray the areas of less density in my spine. And the DEXA scans I had had before told a very different story too. My T score was -3.2 at that time (much worse later after being underweight for a long time). At any rate, this chiropractor promised he would be careful, and so he used a different technique on my back at first. None of it did a thing for my pain and misalignment in my back from being jarred by the vehicle. One time he had me sit up and was manipulating my spine and suddenly he cracked my back hard and without warning and I screamed in shock and pain. I am a very passive person, usually cautious and give others the benefit of the doubt. But I was so angry at being lied to and violated I screamed and yelled at him. I couldn't even breath as he knocked my back so hard. It took a minute or so and it was terrifying. I really let him have it and walked out of there never to return. I will NEVER go to another chiropractor again. Never. The idiot it turns out has already been sued over money issues. I should have done my homework.

On the other hand, I went back to a physical therapist in early 2013. By then I was deathly sick with anorexia, very very thin. I was still suffering with pelvic pain. No surprise as I was pushing my body through relentless exercise. But she was very compassionate and gentle, and she messaged my body and gave me tips on how to care for myself (regarding nutritional needs and gentler exercise etc). She showed me ways of moving and realigning my body. Everything she did was natural, no drugs or medicine. With the exercises and gentle manipulation of my legs and pelvic area, she was able to help me realign my body and begin to heal. I finally had stopped the relentless exercise long enough to allow this to happen. The opposite of what I said earlier, using exercise to feel better. There is a fine line between healthy exercise and too much. The work she did on my body lasted a very long time and I felt so much better! This woman also had a masters degree in physical therapy and I trusted her expertise. It seems I have had my best experiences with physical therapists of this caliber. And my health insurance pays for that. I'm not a fan of drugs or surgery, given my past experience with those lol. It can be tough to find relief from physical pain as a vegan when so many drugs are off limits to us. Especially for chronic conditions where you need therapy for years. If I have to take a traditional medicine for my body (as I am right now for the osteoporosis that is beyond self help) I do. But wherever I can find natural ways to help I do that too. Hot/cold therapy is great for physical pain. I try to take in healthy fats too for my joints, and when I had Achilles tendinitis and my pelvic fracture, I consumed a TON of pineapple (for it's bromelain which acts as an anti inflammatory) and turmeric. I can literally eat an entire pineapple in one sitting lol. Both helped. I also have the beginnings of osteoarthritis in my hands, but it is very very mild and barely noticeable at this point. Being vegan over the years has really helped my body as far as less inflammation, shorter recovery from exersion, and far fewer digestive issues.

Anyway, those are my experiences with alternative medicine.
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#4 Old 02-16-2016, 04:40 AM
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Most modern practitioners, especially Western acupuncturists, do not believe in or practice with the concept of Qi any longer.
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#5 Old 02-16-2016, 04:48 AM
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Naturebound, you are to be congratulated on your dedication to finding better health. You've had some awful experiences and I hope they are all behind you!
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#6 Old 02-16-2016, 10:26 AM
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My wife grew up in Kerala, India. She is all about Ayurveda and regularly reminds me how to address whatever ailments I may have from simple headache to high blood sugar. In 2014 I went to our doctor (who also happens to be a Malayali from Kerala) and was told my blood sugar was quite high to the point of being borderline diabetic. My A1c was 6.3. The doc said I needed to cut out sugar completely and reduce carb intake. She also said it would take some time to get the number down to an acceptable level and that if I could not push it down through diet and exercise, she would prescribe medication (Our doctor prefers not to use drugs if she doesn't have to).

Anyway, when I told my wife about my blood sugar she instantly knew what to do. She went to the Indian market and got me a giant bottle of bitter gourd juice. The Hindi name for bitter gourd is 'kerala'. In Kerala it is called 'pavakka'. Fresh bitter gourd is native to, and grows naturally in Kerala, is used in Indian cooking and the Ayurveda indicates certain special properties are found in it. In India, ayurvedic practitioners use bitter gourd and its juice to treat diabetes, liver disease (it stimulates liver bile production), digestion, skin infection/disease such as eczema.

So I had this bottle of juice and I had to drink an ounce of it every morning. It's EXTREMELY bitter! I did this for 8 weeks. I did cut back on the sugar (although I have never stopped putting two sugars in my coffee) and I tried to cut back on carbs with limited success.

When I returned to the doctor after two months she did a follow up test and my A1c had dropped to 5.5. She was somewhat surprised until I told her about my wife making me drink bitter gourd juice. She not only had heard of it, she told me to keep drinking it and that in her opinion it would be a healthier treatment than any drug she could prescribe me.

Note: she didn't mean bitter gourd was better than diabetes drugs, she was referring to someone who is borderline diabetic. Severe diabetes would require a more aggressive treatment (drugs).

Does bitter gourd work? I think so. I drank it because my wife insisted and it made her happy, not because I believed in it or wanted it to work. My blood sugar now is around 5.1 and while I don't drink the juice anymore, my wife puts bitter gourd in our menu rotation fairly regularly. It's quite tasty when cooked in a curry.

Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
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#7 Old 02-16-2016, 12:39 PM
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I dont believe in 'alternative medicine'
Thats not to say I dont use and study what is widely considered 'alternative medicine', but that I find the very concept in itself an artificial, political, and often racist one. I use any healing methodology I reasonably expect will have a good chance of working.
People who think western allopathy (so called "modern", "western", or "main stream" medicine) is the gold standard and has been the one and only effective form of healing since its inception clearly havent studied its history or its modern usage very much. It started only about 120 years ago and in those first decades even its own practitioners, when they were honest, admitted that it was barbaric and largely ineffective. It initially grew to dominance not by its effectiveness, but by political maneuvering, smear campaigns, propaganda, and overt bigotry. Legitimate healing methods that were scientifically proven to have worked better were suppressed and ignored. It wasnt until world war 2 and the following years and the introduction of sulfa drugs, penicillin, and the salk polio vaccine that the allopaths had anything they could be genuinely proud of. Even then, effective medicines and scientifically valid theories from other schools were ignored and suppressed for political reasons. And even now they ignore and suppress anything they have not been magnanimous enough to test for themselves and give their stamp of approval on (and often claim of ownership over).
Cheering for one system of medicine over others is no different than selecting a favorite football team and cheering for them. I wouldnt bet my life on the outcome of the superbowl, I wont bet my life on some divisive and tribalistic fight between medical schools.
If I happen to watch a sport I cheer for whoever is playing well, I dont care who wins.
If I'm sick I study the problem and use whatever treatment seems best, I dont care what medical fraternity feels they get an ego boost by my selection.

One major criticism people have is their belief that 'western' medicine is the only scientific system of health care. This simply isnt true.
'Western' medicines scientific methodologies conform most closely to their own definition of science because they are the ones defining it. Science is an evidence based process that requires an underlying theory of how things work and must grow by continuous peer reviewed evaluation of new evidence. Western materialist reductionism in its current form is only one way of doing that. Other systems do the exact same thing but with different ways of conceptualizing the issues involved, thats all.
When I was learning about chinese medicine it was hard to wrap my head around energies, winds, philosophical livers that were not livers, and philosophical spleens that were not spleens until I took a step back and realized they were talking about processes and relationships instead of individual components in isolation. After that it made a lot more sense.

For myself I collect medicines out in nature, I grow medicines from over a dozen cultures, I synthesize personal-use antibiotics in my own lab, things like fasting, meditation, and massage are all viable options if they make sense in the context of the medical issue at hand. If anything counts as 'alternative' medicine to me, its whichever medicine I expect to be second or third best in effectiveness and reserved as a backup plan. Often that is going to the hospital and seeing an MD.
My system most certainly isnt for everyone, but it beats the hell out of the pathetic care I got from 20 different 'main stream' doctors growing up. I'm now the healthiest I've ever been.
Different ways for different people.
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#8 Old 02-16-2016, 02:22 PM
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I'm open to using alternative medicine, though I feel there are definitely techniques and practices out there that fall under that category that I just can't believe in and probably wouldn't try. I used to go to a chiropractor back in high school as I suffered hip injuries from competitive sports; while I didn't find relief with every person I went to, I did find a chiropractor that helped me get back on track. I've been using essential oils and herbal supplements for several years for various things. I practice yoga and I honestly feel better from that. And I have recently been reading into Ayurvedic principles for funzies. I would never go around and tell everyone to take this and that, or start practicing this or that, because I don't believe there's a single thing that will work for everyone. On that same note, I don't think it's fair to go around saying something absolutely won't work because it's not a traditional practice or that it hasn't been scientifically backed. As a college student who has conducted her own research, I know that there are things in this world that are just plain difficult to measure.

I'm glad you've found some success in using acupuncture.
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#9 Old 02-16-2016, 04:57 PM
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We should be focused on how much ancient rituals and medicine are now being researched and formulated into modern science.
I don't know about acupuncture, however I use acupressure spots to bring relief to headaches, sinus pressure, foot pains,
I have seen a chiropracter, with little relief, but my son swore by his manipulations.
My kickboxing/kung fu teacher actually gave me a manipulation similar, but different, that immediately cured my pain.

While the folklore behind the medicine may be wrong, many old time medicinal cures have real science behind them- the practitioners basing results on practice.

Look at the diagram of nerves-the nerve pathways that cause pain in one area are often triggered far away

I say as long at there's nothing that can go wrong, and it's within your budget, it's worth a try.
Kinda like oil pulling- it does sound hoaxy, but I saw no downside to trying it, and it does feel like theres something to it, even if just cleaner teeth!
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#10 Old 02-16-2016, 05:00 PM
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@Auxin --anything you would recommend to take the place of chewing gum?
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#11 Old 02-16-2016, 05:36 PM
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Now, I have to admit that is a question I've never asked myself, lol

In the ethnobotanical literature I have repeatedly seen references to inner bark from certain trees and the sap from some trees chewed like gum, both for medicine and for recreation. I never paid much attention to the latter, tho, as I'm not really a gum person.
The plants for a future ethnobotanical database lists more plants than I expected as sources of chewing gum [Link]
I never realized I could make chewing gum from the sap of my local milkweed species
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#12 Old 02-16-2016, 05:51 PM
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@Auxin --anything you would recommend to take the place of chewing gum?
When I quit smoking in 2006, I chewed gum to compensate, until I was chewing over a pack a day lol. It went on for years, chewing loads of gum. Then I went vegan overnight in February 2011 and that day stopped chewing gum just like that and have never looked back. Why I couldn't do that all the years before when I tried is beyond me. I really learned a lot though about all the crap in gum, especially aspertame in many of them, when I had begun to research veganism. I believe some gums even have gelatin but I'm not sure. I do know that it is VERY addicting. It was almost as hard to quit as smoking. Now I drink way too much coffee to compensate for the gum, and I am now trying to transition off coffee with green tea lol. By the time I die hopefully I'll be done with addicting substances.
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#13 Old 02-16-2016, 05:52 PM
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Wow, great information!
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#14 Old 02-16-2016, 05:58 PM
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When I quit smoking in 2006, I chewed gum to compensate, until I was chewing over a pack a day lol. It went on for years, chewing loads of gum. Then I went vegan overnight in February 2011 and that day stopped chewing gum just like that and have never looked back. Why I couldn't do that all the years before when I tried is beyond me. I really learned a lot though about all the crap in gum, especially aspertame in many of them, when I had begun to research veganism. I believe some gums even have gelatin but I'm not sure. I do know that it is VERY addicting. It was almost as hard to quit as smoking. Now I drink way too much coffee to compensate for the gum, and I am now trying to transition off coffee with green tea lol. By the time I die hopefully I'll be done with addicting substances.
Yep, there are gums with gelatin! Trident layers specificly! I really liked Stride sweetmint, then their gum with B12.They seemed to discontinue both, replaced by 'intense' mint or overly sweet fruit flavors. I looked at the ingrediants in regular Trident and was fine- then at the last minute saw a watermelon/dragonfruit I picked up and it had gelatin!
Anyway, I like to chew gum after eating at work, but am so fussy with flavors and textures I don't
I'd be willing to try something more natural, but NOT that one they sell at NFS regiser aisle!

What I found better than coffee or tea is matcha! I've been adding a scoop to smoothies in the morning and it gives an even awakeness and alertness all day
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#15 Old 02-16-2016, 06:00 PM
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I also wanted to mention, Western medicine and "scientific evidence" about hysterectomy as a cure for endometriosis helped influence me to give in to one when I was desperate to be rid of the pain, my health insurance would not cover just having the endometriosis removed by a specialist, and drugs and hormones just made me sicker. I didn't look into diet (specifically being vegan) as I should have. I was brainwashed into a quick and permanent fix, and hysterectomies are very widely overdone on women all over the world. All of my reproductive parts were removed, and I STILL had to go back for another surgery one year later for continuing pain. I still had active endometriosis inside me, and scar tissue and adhesions from the hysterectomy. In addition, I had a whole host of new and permanent problems brought on by losing my ovaries and being in surgical menopause. My doctor had promised that hrt would take care of those problems but he lied. Science is not perfect, and it is often used for profit and power. In this day and age surely there are better ways to manage common reproductive health issues like fibroids, endometriosis, heavy bleeding, than simply taking all of a woman's parts out. Our reproductive organs are important endocrine organs that serve our bodies in far more ways than simply producing babies. And yet hysterectomy is still the gold standard treatment for these ailments, and the statistics on just how many women are getting them is alarming. Western medicine is hardly more reliable than alternative methods. It is often just as unregulated, or it is manipulated by powerful drug and surgical lobbyists.
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#16 Old 02-16-2016, 06:41 PM
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My story is not nearly as consequential as yours, NB. Years ago, I had carpel tunnel problems and was told by my doctor to take Aleve twice a day. The Aleve helped the pain, but I developed severe acid reflux due to taking it for a few months (I'm pretty small and have a history of side effects with drugs). So, I was told to take omeprazole to help with the reflux. It worked great! But at the time, the recommended dose of omeprozole was one tablet once a day for three weeks. The problem was if I stopped after three weeks, the acid reflux would come roaring back because I was still taking the Aleve. I spent several years trying to get off both the Aleve and the Omeprazole and finally decided to go cold turkey from both. It was awful. (And now, long-term use of omeprazole is linked to dementia - especially among women).

So when I went through menopause a few years ago, and started with the post-menopausal pain in many of my joints , but especially my hands, I knew that nsaids were not going to be my drugs of choice. I tried the anti-inflammation diet, avoided nightshades, and took a very occasional Advil with a ranitidine to help with the acid build-up, but nothing helped for more than a few hours. So that's when I looked into treatment options for arthritis. Based on everything I read, doctors were mostly likely going to recommend cortisone shots and stabilization.

When I was considering cortisone shots, a friend was having them too - in her back, for an injury resulting from lifting a moose (I have some interesting friends!). She broke out in a bad and severe case of plaque psoriasis. Her doctor now assumes the cortisone shots must have triggered an autoimmune response and caused the previously unknown disease to break out. Now she's likely to deal with plaque psoriasis for the rest of her life.

So needless to say, cortisone shots scared me. When I did some searching on the internet, I found out that acupuncture had very favorable results in improving chronic pain, especially in the hands. I found a local, natural medicine practice - where every doctor is indeed a graduate of a college with a degree in naturopthy. I thought the cost was very reasonable, the doctor presented me with a treatment plan that was reasonable and reduced the number of visits over time, and she listened carefully and addressed every single one of my concerns.

So I've now had five weekly 40 minute sessions. Since I've had excellent results I will now start to go every other week, then monthly. The needles are placed in both legs and feet (from the knees down), on my arms, wrists and hands, and occasionally on my ears and between my eyebrows. She's usually used approximately 12 - 15 needles each session, although today's was closer to 20. I thought it would be painless, but it's not. It's not painful exactly, but you do experience the sensation of having something sharp and foreign in you.

Acupuncture is thought to be helpful for people with chronic pain, especially arthritis. It doesn't work for everyone nor for every health issue. As for arthritis, the studies show that acupuncture is slightly better than a placebo, and significantly better than having no treatment. Whether it really works or whether my mind is simply pleased I'm addressing my pain in a holistic manner, I cannot say. But my hands feel much better and I don't have any acid reflux, so I'm quite happy.
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#17 Old 02-16-2016, 08:07 PM
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Many years ago I had a chronic amoeba and giardia infection. I took every antiprotozoal drug known to man and regularly saw one of the world's top tropical disease physicians. It kept coming back. It was really debilitating.

After the last drug failed, I researched natural medicine. I tried fasting on lemon juice and honey for a week, with two quart goldenseal enemas every day.

I was permanently cured. Was it coincidence, and the infection had finally just run its course? Could be, but I seriously doubt it.
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#18 Old 02-17-2016, 02:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Poppy View Post
My story is not nearly as consequential as yours, NB. Years ago, I had carpel tunnel problems and was told by my doctor to take Aleve twice a day. The Aleve helped the pain, but I developed severe acid reflux due to taking it for a few months (I'm pretty small and have a history of side effects with drugs). So, I was told to take omeprazole to help with the reflux. It worked great! But at the time, the recommended dose of omeprozole was one tablet once a day for three weeks. The problem was if I stopped after three weeks, the acid reflux would come roaring back because I was still taking the Aleve. I spent several years trying to get off both the Aleve and the Omeprazole and finally decided to go cold turkey from both. It was awful. (And now, long-term use of omeprazole is linked to dementia - especially among women).

So when I went through menopause a few years ago, and started with the post-menopausal pain in many of my joints , but especially my hands, I knew that nsaids were not going to be my drugs of choice. I tried the anti-inflammation diet, avoided nightshades, and took a very occasional Advil with a ranitidine to help with the acid build-up, but nothing helped for more than a few hours. So that's when I looked into treatment options for arthritis. Based on everything I read, doctors were mostly likely going to recommend cortisone shots and stabilization.

When I was considering cortisone shots, a friend was having them too - in her back, for an injury resulting from lifting a moose (I have some interesting friends!). She broke out in a bad and severe case of plaque psoriasis. Her doctor now assumes the cortisone shots must have triggered an autoimmune response and caused the previously unknown disease to break out. Now she's likely to deal with plaque psoriasis for the rest of her life.

So needless to say, cortisone shots scared me. When I did some searching on the internet, I found out that acupuncture had very favorable results in improving chronic pain, especially in the hands. I found a local, natural medicine practice - where every doctor is indeed a graduate of a college with a degree in naturopthy. I thought the cost was very reasonable, the doctor presented me with a treatment plan that was reasonable and reduced the number of visits over time, and she listened carefully and addressed every single one of my concerns.

So I've now had five weekly 40 minute sessions. Since I've had excellent results I will now start to go every other week, then monthly. The needles are placed in both legs and feet (from the knees down), on my arms, wrists and hands, and occasionally on my ears and between my eyebrows. She's usually used approximately 12 - 15 needles each session, although today's was closer to 20. I thought it would be painless, but it's not. It's not painful exactly, but you do experience the sensation of having something sharp and foreign in you.

Acupuncture is thought to be helpful for people with chronic pain, especially arthritis. It doesn't work for everyone nor for every health issue. As for arthritis, the studies show that acupuncture is slightly better than a placebo, and significantly better than having no treatment. Whether it really works or whether my mind is simply pleased I'm addressing my pain in a holistic manner, I cannot say. But my hands feel much better and I don't have any acid reflux, so I'm quite happy.
I'm really happy to hear you found something that has worked for you! I remember in 2011 for a Christmas present for myself and my sister we got massages at an alternative center. While in the waiting room, we were talking with an older man who was there for acupuncture. He had rheumatoid arthritis. He said that the sessions had really been helping him a lot. I really think that insurance should be willing to cover these types of services, which are far less invasive than drugs and surgery.
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#19 Old 02-17-2016, 05:24 AM
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Anyway, I'm a Reiki practitioner and informal teacher. I used to use reiki healing (healing touch) on NICU babies when I worked there. They are subjected to many painful treatments and procedures, and often can't be held or touched much because of their fragility. I used reiki above the infant, not touching the skin, and usually the vital signs improved, and the babies off ventilators would breathe more deeply and their oxygen sats improve. Mothers said their babies fed better after a reiki nap. I could see the babies tiny muscles relaxing and feel the calmness.

For myself, if chiropractic is alternative, I had treatment for a constantly sore neck. Two treatments and stopping all shoulder bags and backpacks (thanks tp my mom for that advice ) took away the pain. I still do the neck exercises and stretches that the chiro recommended. She wanted me to continue treatment, I didn't, but the neck is still ok some dozen years later.

I use nausea bands to avoid my seasickness and did with my son's carsickness when he was a kid. They are wristbands with a little bead or button that presses on a point in your wrist that helps with nausea. One brand "nomo nausea", has aromatherapy in the bead.

I also used the much ridiculed homeopathy when my kids were young. It worked for them, for teething, colic, arnica for sudden shocks, etc. Haven't used any in years, really, but I used it a lot when the kids were young.

I use crystals with my reiki with people who like them.

I also take echinacea if I begin showing symptoms of a cold. And vitamin c, garlicky soup, zinc.
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#20 Old 02-17-2016, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lipps View Post
... She is all about Ayurveda and regularly reminds me how to address whatever ailments I may have from simple headache to high blood sugar. .
I took a night course at the local college on Ayurveda and totally think it's wonderful. I'm one of those people that really thinks alternative medicine is very helpful. I pray I never get a major disease but if I do I believe I would try alternative medicine. Someone I knew had incurable cancer and told only a short time to live, 6 years later she is still alive, still living with cancer but the alternative practices she uses, she believes, have extended her life.

Became a vegan on September 2014, best decision ever!
I know humans consider it a grave insult to be called an animal. Well, I would never give a human the fine distinction of being called an animal, because an animal may kill to live but an animal never lives to kill. Humans have to earn the right to be called animals again.”
― David Duchovny, Holy Cow
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#21 Old 02-17-2016, 08:32 AM
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While doing a yoga video this morning, it occurred to me that yoga might be considered an "alternative medicine". And sure enough, it is. Undoubtedly the most main stream of alternative medicines, the focus on a mind-body experience through movement, breath and meditation is used not only as exercise, but as a treatment for depression, stress and anxiety, to name a few. I know yoga enhances my life, makes me feel strong and flexible, and eases minor aches and pains. And now that my hands feel better, I'm able to enjoy it more.

It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities. ~A. Dumbledore
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#22 Old 02-17-2016, 10:34 AM
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Looking at this thread I noticed something ironic.
The one, and apparently only, person dispensing specific medical advice is jose. Everyone else is speaking in the abstract or about personal experience.
Advising against a specific procedure does count as medical advice in a court of law, just as much as advising for a specific procedure.
And Jose is also the one who said dispensing specific medical advice is against the forum rules.

I just found that amusing
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#23 Old 02-17-2016, 11:01 AM
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Deluded or not, supporters of superstition and pseudoscience are human beings with real feelings, who, like the skeptics, are trying to figure out how the world works and what our role in it might be. Their motives are in many cases consonant with science. If their culture has not given them all the tools they need to pursue this great quest, let us temper our criticism with kindness. None of us comes fully equipped.
-Carl Sagan
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#24 Old 02-17-2016, 08:21 PM
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Hey guys, just a reminder from the mods that the OP has posted this thread in the Veggie Patch NOT The Compost Heap.

From the original post:

Quote:
(And please, this is meant to be supportive for those who choose to seek help outside of the box, not for criticism and disparagement.)
If you want to start a debate about alternative medicine you are free to make a new thread in The Compost Heap, otherwise please be respectful and supportive. As my mom used to say if you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all.

Several posts have been deleted and if more fights break out the thread will be closed.
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