ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: FENGSHUI

The Eastern philosophies, but particularly the Chinese and Japanese, believe strongly that the universe is connected through immeasurable energy. This Qi emanates from all living organisms and permeates all matter. The forces of the universe, the movement of water, light, wind and everything else in the natural world – all these things have an energy … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: FELDENKRAIS METHOD

Moshe Feldenkrais was a Russian physicist and engineer who came to England in 1940. He theorized that from infancy our brain develops patterns of movement. Bad posture or gait in a parent could therefore be passed on to a child, and this incorrect structure can have an effect on the neurological and muscular systems. His … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: ENZYME-POTENTIATED DESENSITIZATION

Those doctors who practise enzyme-potentiated desensitization would probably be surprised at my putting this treatment into a section on alternative therapies. I do so simply because at the time of writing this is not a well-established therapy, even though the first treatments were carried out at St Mary’s Hospital Allergy Clinic in Oxford, UK, in … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: DOWSING

Dowsing is the use of an instrument, be it pendulum, rods or a fork-shaped stick, that picks up some presently immeasurable energy. At the end of the nineteenth century it was realized that, if dowsers can locate the sites of water, metal and other substances under the ground, then they ought to be able to … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: DANCE THERAPY

We are all aware of how body movements can relate concepts and express feelings. When trying to communicate with a speaker of another language, for example, sign language and gestures are invaluable. Eastern cultures, especially the Indian and Balinese cultures, integrate movement and dance very much more than the West into their lifestyle. Most tribal … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: CRYSTAL AND GEM THERAPY

The ancient belief that certain stones and crystals have healing properties has been held by many cultures. For example, the American Indians were given special stones at birth which were thought to have particular powers. We now know that all objects have a vibrational action: the electrons in the most ‘dead’ of substances are vibrating … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY

Craniosacral therapy, effectively a branch of osteopathy , supports the view that the skull bones are not completely fused and immobile. Whereas the orthodox world considers the only mobile joints involving the skull to be at the point where the cranium attaches to the spinal column and at the jaw, this is in fact not … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: COLOUR THERAPY

Colours affect the mood and emotions, and can therefore influence health. Many studies have shown that colour can have a profound effect on the function of brain waves and on the levels of circulating stress hormones such as adrenaline and Cortisol. Colour therapists use colour or coloured light to treat illness. At a simple level, … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: COLONIC IRRIGATION AND ENEMAS

Colonic irrigation, also known as colonic hydrotherapy, is becoming an increasingly popular technique for clearing out the bowel. Water is passed through a tube into the bowel via the rectum, and used to flush out the bowel contents. Most people report feeling distinctly refreshed and more energetic after having the procedure. The principle is that … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: CLINICAL ECOLOGY

Clinical ecology, also called environmental medicine, developed from research into allergies in the early 20th century. I believe that it was Hippocrates in the 5th century BC who suggested ‘let food be your medicine and medicine be your food’. Most practitioners of holistic medicine would agree that the bulk of our ill-health stems from that … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: CHIROPRACTIC

Chiropractic, derived from the Greek words ‘kheir’ and ‘praktikos’ , is a manipulative technique which corrects the alignment of the bones of the spine in order to treat a wide range of health problems. By adjusting the position of the spinal bones and joints, and thereby the muscles and nerves attached to them, mobility is … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: CHINESE AND ORIENTAL MEDICINE

The ancient traditions of Eastern medicine have developed over many centuries. While there are differences between them in terms of methods of diagnosis and treatment, they all have the same basic philosophy. This has its foundation in a belief that the body is controlled by energy, and not by anatomy or physiology as it is … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: CHELATION THERAPY

Chelation is the bonding together of a toxin, usually a metal, into another molecule. Nature has many compounds that chelate, but chelation therapy uses a chemical called ethylene-diamine-tetra-acetic acid . This is used to remove heavy metals and toxins from the bloodstream. This compound, given by intravenous drip, is used in the orthodox world to … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: BUTEYKO THERAPY

A scientist in Russia by the name of K P Buteyko has spent his life showing that breathing can alter the acid/alkaline levels in the bloodstream by adjusting the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. In principle, hyperventilation causes a depletion of carbon dioxide . Low levels of C02 cause blood vessels to spasm and tissues … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: BIOFEEDBACK

Biofeedback is a method of monitoring minute changes in bodily functioning by means of various small electronic machines. The machines are attached to an individual via electrodes and may be used to measure heart rate, brain-wave patterns, body temperature or respiratory rate. This information – about the autonomic nervous system -shows the level of relaxation … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY

This is one of the four main branches of psychotherapy . Sometimes known as stimulus/response psychology, the behavioural approach is based on ‘learning theory’ which grew out of research with animals. Basing his work on Pavlov’s earlier studies of conditioned reflexes in dogs, the American psychologist B F Skinner made further studies of animal behaviour … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: BATES METHOD FOR EYES

The Bates method of eyesight training, named after Dr W H Bates, an eye specialist of New York, is a natural way of improving and maintaining eyesight using particular exercises to relearn proper habits of vision. Dr Bates published his bestseller, Better Eyesight without Glasses, detailing these exercises, in 1919. He argued that perfect vision … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: BACH FLOWER REMEDIES

These are herbal remedies derived from flowers. They promote healing by reducing negative states of mind, seen as the cause of disease, and increasing positive emotions. Physical problems are thought to derive from a mind/body energy imbalance that nature can correct through its effects on plants when they are taken in the right combination. The … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: AYURVEDA

Ayurveda is a word derived from one of the oldest known languages, Sanskrit, and means the ‘knowledge of daily living’. There is mention of Ayurveda in the Vedas, the world’s oldest literature, which suggests that this healing system has been practised for over 5,000 years. Ayurveda considers human beings to be part of the ‘whole’, … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: AUTOGENIC TRAINING

The word ‘autogenic’ is derived from the Greek for ‘coming from within’ and is principally a self-relaxation/hypnosis technique. Devised in Berlin by Dr J Schultz in the 1920s, the training consists of learning a set of six simple exercises designed to induce deep relaxation and thereby promote self-healing. The exercises include the repetition of certain … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: ART THERAPY

A branch of psychotherapy , art therapy is used as a means of understanding emotional and psychological problems and gaining release from them. People know intuitively that creative self-expression is a way of healing oneself, and artistic expression is one such way of doing so. No artistic skill is needed, but through the creative process … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: AROMATHERAPY

Aromatherapy is the use of plant extracts, known as essences or essential oils, to treat a range of common ailments and for their effect on the emotions and mental well-being. There are about 30 commonly used oils, ranging from basil and bergamot to lavender, rose, sage and teatree. These highly aromatic oils can penetrate the … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: ANTHROPOSOPHICAL MEDICINE

Anthroposophy, derived from the Greek words meaning man and wisdom, is the spiritual and mystical teachings of the Austrian philosopher and scientist Dr Rudolf Steiner . His ideas have been particularly influential in education, but they also inspired a new approach to healing. Anthroposophical medicine is practised mainly in continental Europe, although there are doctors … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE

The Alexander technique was developed in the 1890s by an Australian actor named Frederick M Alexander who found that he could correct his voice loss by adjusting his posture. He realized how his poor habits of movement had interfered with the body’s healthy functioning, and that learning to move well and with the head and … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: ACUPUNCTURE

Acupuncture is one aspect of Chinese and Tibetan medicine. Using acupuncture outside of the full discipline of these medical philosophies can be likened to using physiotherapy and no other treatment when dealing with orthodox medicine. Acupuncture is thought to have originated from the observations by Chinese physicians of their warriors who had been stabbed, speared … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: CHOOSING YOUR HEALER

Most main branches of complementary or alternative medicine have a regulatory body or a college to which a practitioner may be affiliated. Some are more officious than others but all demand a basic standard of technique and stipulate a certain amount of time spent in training to be able to join. Unfortunately, many healing arts … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: PANCREATIC EXOCRINE TESTS

See Gastrograms and pancreaticograms It is of immense benefit for a complementary medical practitioner to know the individual patient’s ability to digest foods. Many conditions may be associated with deficiencies that may be due to a lack of digestive capability rather than insufficient ingestion of a particular compound that is deficient. The orthodox world pays … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: IRIDOLOGY

Iridology is the study of the colour and patterns on the iris of the eyes. This technique has been in use for thousands of years and probably has its origins in the East. However, a Hungarian doctor, Ignacz von Peczely, studied the possibility of the iris being a mirror of the body’s health following changes … Read more

HUMORAL PATHOLOGICAL LABORATORY TEST

The HLB test, I am sure, will be one of the most beneficial investigations in the future of holistic medicine. It, like so many great ideas, was based on a simple observational fact, which is that blood, its cells, plasma and serum, change and react in relation to chemical factors released from diseased tissue. A … Read more

HAIR ANALYSIS

A tablespoon amount of hair may be used for two investigations. Mineral and toxic metal analysis Hair analysis for mineral deficiency or excess has a well-established scientific background but it is poorly used in orthodox medicine because of the marked underestimation of mineral deficiency, or toxic excess, as a cause of illness or disease. Samples … Read more

GUT PERMEABILITY TEST

This investigation is being pioneered at a laboratory in London. Brilliant in its simplicity, it is a test to assess the permeability of the intestine and is particularly important in establishing leaky gut syndrome , which may be responsible for food allergy that can lead to so many disorders. A patient passes the first morning … Read more

GLUCOSE TOLERANCE TEST

This test is generally used to show a tendency towards diabetes. The holistic practitioner can also use the GTT to confirm a hypoglycaemic state . An individual is given a 75-ml loading dose of a glucose solution after having fasted for at least 6 hours. Blood samples are taken every 30 minutes for 2.5-5 hours … Read more

GASTROGRAMS AND PANCREATICOGRAMS

A gastrogram is a measurement of the amount of hydrochloric acid produced by the stomach and a pancreaticogram measures pancreatic enzyme release. At the moment the assessment of this is an invasive procedure requiring samplings from the stomach. However, a non-invasive method is being developed that involves nothing more than drinking a particular solution which … Read more

ALLERGY TESTING

Orthodox medicine uses the skin to reflect the possibility of allergies more so than it does the use of blood tests. These prick or scratch tests seem to be sensitive to allergens found in the air but are generally less sensitive than blood tests for food allergy. It is important to distinguish between an intolerance … Read more

ALTERNATIVE

DIAGNOSTIC INVESTIGATIONS If Madame Curie had listened to the derision piled upon her we would not have X-rays. Her experimentation carried the price of her life because she died from the effects of radiation. She is the most well-known example of scientists who have come up with ideas in medicine that have been doubted, ridiculed … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: SPECIMENS AND SAMPLES Urine samples

Urine is the filtration product of the blood, which, in turn, picks up toxins from around the system. Measurement of the toxicity and contents of urine gives a clear indication of the state of the body. In days gone by, simple examination by visual assessment, microscopy, measurement of density and even taste were of great … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: Blood tests

Medics have been studying blood since the advent of the microscope and possibly before. High-power magnification and computers have now made the observing and measuring of the components of the bloodstream extremely easy and swift. Almost anything can be measured, ranging from the number and type of red blood cells to the presence of pesticides … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: INVESTIGATING

What does that young doctor mean on the TV series ER when he blurts out ‘We need a CBC, Chem 7 and lytes, LFT, drug screen, AP and Lat, swab and call the OR tell’em we’ll need a room STAT’? Answer: He is asking for blood and urine samples to be taken and sent to … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: Reflexology

Gentle pressure applied to the feet and hands may give vital information about the underlying areas of weakness from an energetic point of view. Training is academically quite simple but experience is what counts. There may be very subtle differences in the texture of the tissue where the energy point lies and a lump or … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: Chinese and Ayurvedic Pulses

In Ayurvedic medicine, the balance of our doshas determines our constitutions. Vata relates to the nervous system and the body’s energy, pitta to digestion, acid and bile, and kapha to mucous, moisture, fat and lymph. A close parallel between the Chinese and Ayurvedic systems is clear. Ayurvedic, Tibetan and Chinese philosophy believes that different systems … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: TOUCHING

A lot can be gleaned from physical examination. The orthodox world uses the term ‘palpation for the pushing and poking that goes on over the abdomen and a doctor will tap around the chest and abdomen to test for the amount of air contained. This is called percussion. Congestion in the lungs will sound like … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: LISTENING

Orthodox doctors are taught that 90 per cent of diagnoses are concluded from the history of the condition and the story the patient tells. Eastern philosophies, as I mentioned with regard to experienced Chinese physicians who only take the pulses, often pay little heed to the patient’s complaint and concentrate on the signs and diagnostic … Read more

ALTERNATIVE DIAGNOSTIC TECHNIQUES

If there is one area of modern medicine that has to be lauded it is the advance in diagnostic investigation and technique. Whether it is through indirect means such as a blood test or direct visualization through ultrasound or endoscopy, the ability of today’s doctors to diagnose a problem is incomparable with the options available … Read more

HEALTH ASPECTS OF WATER

The importance of water is discussed in the section on dehydration . The quality of the water that we take in is of extreme importance to our health. It is very rare that natural sources of water are available and most Western societies are now drinking water that may have been recycled up to seven … Read more

HEALTH ASPECTS OF VITAMINS

VITAMINS – Dosage and Toxicity Vitamin Maximum permissible dosage Toxic signs and symptoms Vitamin A Infants 10,000iu Appetite loss, headache, Adults 50,000iu blurred vision, unusual bleeding, dry cracked skin, loss of hair, muscular stiffness and pain Vitamin B group See individual compounds below Niacin 100mg Flushing, headaches, cramps, nausea, vomiting and burning or itching skin … Read more

HEALTH ASPECTS OF SPICY FOODS

Like all food groups, spicy foods have their place. They are generally eaten in hot climates where they raise the body temperature, making the external heat comparatively less intense. Those in cooler climates who enjoy spicy foods should eat them only in moderation and preferably with a cooling food to compensate. Excess heat in the … Read more

HEALTH ASPECTS OF SUGAR

Sugar is a carbohydrate . In its natural form it is enjoyable to taste and a swift and excellent source of energy. Sugar, whether in the form of glucose or fructose , or a variety of combinations, is usually found in nature in association with a variety of other nutrients and is bound up with … Read more

HEALTH ASPECTS OF SOYA

There is a lot written and discussed concerning soya, the bean originally grown in the East. Commonly found in its natural form, soya sauce, torn and soya milk, it contains protease inhibitors and isoflavins and other chemicals, all or any of which may act as an anticancer and anti-atheroma compound. Soya has been the main … Read more

HEALTH ASPECTS OF SALT

Salt is made up of two elements: sodium and chlorine. It is the sodium component that is particularly relevant because this small molecule controls a multitude of biochemical processes but principally maintains the bloodstream and tissue-fluid integrity. Dehydration of the body, blood pressure and permeability of nearly every cell in the body is dependent on … Read more