One of the most well-known uses of acupuncture is to relieve pain. People who suffer from chronic pain can sometimes benefit from the ancient practice of acupuncture. The Chinese have used this form of treatment for centuries, but western medicine is just getting around to recognizing it as a viable tool to treat pain.
Rather than treating pain with mind-altering drugs, results have shown that the techniques used in acupuncture have a higher degree of success when administered properly. It works by targeting certain trigger points of pain. By gently inserting thin needles into these trigger points of the nervous system, the pain is relieved.
Highly trained acupuncturists study these trigger points and know exactly where to insert the needles to gain the most relief. According to Chinese medicine, there are over 2,000 puncture points within the body and channels that run in between. When needles are placed at one end of the channel where the pain originates, the pain is lessened.
It’s believed that when the acupuncture needles are inserted at the trigger points they release endorphins and other natural painkillers. Studies have also shown that after an acupuncture treatment, glucose, and some bloodstream chemicals vital to the immune system are elevated.
Acupuncture isn’t painful – in fact, some patients take a nap during the treatments. The needles are extremely thin and patients usually don’t feel them being inserted. Where the needles are inserted depends on where the pain is located in your body. For example, if you’re experiencing knee pain, the needles may be inserted in the toe, arm, and certain areas of the face.
Serious illnesses such as fibromyalgia, stomach cramps, carpal tunnel syndrome, and shingles can all be treated by acupuncture with positive results. Sometimes acupuncture is used successfully in conjunction with other treatments for serious illnesses like cancer.
Acupuncture is a safe and effective alternative to other forms of treatment that uses drugs and harmful chemicals. It’s a holistic method that will promote the natural healing of the body by releasing endorphins and producing natural steroids.
Natural healing methods can be much more effective than drugs, and rather than masking the pain, helps to relieve it naturally. If you suffer from chronic pain, give acupuncture a chance. It can augment other treatments that you might be taking and will give you a sense of well-being.
Some of us suffer from common, everyday ailments that can be treated effectively by herbal remedies rather than an expensive trip to the doctor and resulting prescriptions. Specific herbs can be made into healing salves, tonics, and teas not only to relieve irritating symptoms that accompany these ailments but also to cure them.
Herbal remedies have innate benefits that can work for a variety of common ailments from acne to warts. Below are some herbal treatments for everyday ailments:
Acne – There are a number of conditions that can perpetuate acne, but the most common causes are hormonal imbalance (such as in adolescence), stress, and some medications. Effective herbal remedies include:
- Echinacea – Reduces inflammation and has healing qualities.
- Witch Hazel – Used as a topical astringent.
- Aloe Gel – Topically applied as an antibacterial (and astringent) agent.
Bladder infections – This type of infection occurs when bacteria enter the urinary tract — generally, in women. Some symptoms include constant or painful urination. Treat bladder infections with the following herbal remedies:
- Barberry – helps the immune system fight infection.
- Cranberry juice – Inhibits bacterial growth by increasing acid in the urine.
- Dandelion – Detoxifies the bladder
Indigestion – Some types of food cause this digestive problem when the body has difficulty breaking them down. The use of cigarettes, processed foods, and too much coffee or alcohol can also cause rebellious digestive organs. Some herbal remedies for indigestion include:
- Turmeric – Helps relieve stomach irritation.
- Peppermint – Soothes the stomach and relieves symptoms such as bloating.
- Angelica – Relieves cramping and gas.
Warts – Most warts are caused by viruses such as papillomas and are simply a common infection of the skin. Effective herbal remedies include:
- Bloodroot – Can be made into a tincture or paste to remove warts.
- Comfrey – Used as a cream or tonic to treat warts.
- Astragalus – boosts the immune system.
There are thousands of herbal remedies available to treat a number of common ailments. The research will provide you with the herbal formula you need to treat almost any disorder.
Headache pain can be a precursor to something more serious happening in your body – but most headaches are not life-threatening and are caused by temporary maladies such as allergies, stress, tension, or diet. Migraine headaches are in a different classification, but some natural remedies can be helpful in alleviating the intense pain.
Over 45 million Americans have headaches that make them reach for over-the-counter medications. Many times these analgesic products can have side effects that are ultimately more serious than the headache itself, especially if you’re taking other medications.
There are natural ways to treat headache symptoms without taking a chance of having a negative reaction from prescription or OTC medicines. Here are some natural remedies that might help your occasional headache:
- Lemon – Drink a cup of tea in which you’ve squeezed the juice of about four slices of lemon. You can also try making a fine paste of lemon rind by placing it in a blender or food processor, then rub the paste on your forehead.
- Avoid Allergy-Inducing Foods – Foods such as milk, chocolate, alcohol, cheeses, and chicken can cause headaches. If you sneeze or have bouts of diarrhea after eating these foods, you’re probably more inclined to get a food-caused headache.
- Herbs and Spices – Cinnamon, made into a fine paste by mixing with water, then applied to the forehead can relieve headaches caused by exposure to cold temperatures. Rosemary should be boiled in water and inhaled until the headache subsides. A cup of tea made from the herb, marjoram, can be used for headaches caused by tension or nervousness.
- Hot Foot Bath – Putting your feet in a bucket filled with hot water for at least fifteen minutes can be extremely beneficial in relieving the pain of headaches.
- Apples – Remove the core of the apple, but leave the skin on. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and eat first thing every morning to relieve chronic headache pain.
The best prevention of headaches is to practice a healthy diet, physical exercise, and periods of quiet meditation. Yoga techniques such as deep breathing and drinking lots of water on a regular basis can also drive headaches away and keep them from returning.
Consult your health professional if you have recurring headaches. They could be a sign of high blood pressure, eye strain or allergies.
There are “feel good” foods that are exceptionally good for your mind and your body. Whether you’re a college student facing finals week or a senior citizen concerned about memory loss and lack of concentration, you’ll benefit from knowing which foods to eat that will give you a memory boost.
Foods that are good for your mind usually contain “tryptophan,” a chemical that controls the all-important serotonin levels in the brain. Some foods that contain tryptophan are soy products, fowl, pineapples, eggs, cheese milk, and avocados. Some bread, potatoes, and cereals also have tryptophan.
Chocolate bars and drinks with caffeine may give you a temporary boost but will cause your body and your brain to become imbalanced. Another chemical, Thiamine (Vitamin B1), promotes healthy brain cells, and will also promote balance.
Folic acid, found in foods such as oranges, lemons, and bananas help your brain to function healthfully and the mineral, Zinc, promotes concentration as well as keeping your immune system healthy. Zinc can be found in red meat, peanuts, and oysters. Omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish (especially salmon) is a great “brain food.”
It’s best not to eat saturated fats contained in many fried foods and fatty meats such as bacon. They alter the neurotransmitters in your brain and can clog your arteries. Too many saturated fats, combined with an unhealthy diet and lifestyle can also cause obesity and early death because of stroke or diabetes.
A diet rich in the following foods can be healthy for your brain as well as your body:
- Soybeans – Soy provides fiber, fats, and proteins.
- Nuts – contain monounsaturated fats that keep your arteries clear and your mind infused with serotonin.
- Tomatoes – Lycopene and folate, good for the arteries, are found in tomatoes.
- Dark Chocolate – Real chocolate increases artery cleansing flavonoid and also releases dopamine which provides a sense of well-being.
- Oils – Olive, flaxseed, fish, avocado, and nut oils all contain monounsaturated fats.
Eating a mind-boosting diet can also benefit your body. If your diet doesn’t contain enough of the vitamins and minerals you need, supplements are readily available.