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

NITRATES

Of all additives and preservatives, one of the most prominent found in our food are the nitrates. They are used to colour and preserve foods, especially meats. It has been found that these destabilize the body’s oxygen supply, with potentially fatal results if eaten in sufficient quantities. Blackouts are uncommon but can occur because of … Read more

MILK AND HEALTH

Opinion is divided as to whether milk is of great benefit – only to calves or a wonderful multi-faceted food? The proteins casein, lactalbumin and lac-toglobulin are known to be the cause of allergies and are not easily broken down by the human gut. If a protein is not well broken down it can be … Read more

GLUTEN AND GLIADIN

These two proteins are found predominantly in wheat but also in varying amounts in other grains. They are accepted as the main cause of allergic, intolerant or inflammatory responses in the human being, often caused by introducing wheat too early in an infant’s life, the large quantity of grain that is eaten, or to the … Read more

GENETICALLY ALTERED FOOD

Over the last decade the enormously powerful food industry and its political lobbyists have been researching, producing and promoting genetically altered food. Scientists have methods of altering the genes in the nucleus of the cells of the foods that we eat. This provides the foods with abilities such as faster growth, yeast and fungus resistance … Read more

HEALTH BENEFITS OF FRUIT JUICE

Fruit juice is without doubt one of the best and healthiest products available to human beings. Fruits are nature’s vitamin suppliers, eaten by most herbivores in preference to any other foods. Each fruit contains a variety of vitamins, nutrients, minerals and even proteins, which make it a vital part of the food chain. In juiced … Read more

FOOD ALLERGY AND INTOLERANCE

It is important to differentiate between food allergy and food intolerance. An allergy is a blood response to a foreign body. A substance that is in the bloodstream that does not belong to the body will have immunoglobulins produced against it. These immunoglobulins, more commonly known as antibodies, attach to foreign matter and make that … Read more

FATS FOR OPTIMUM HEALTH

Fats are good for you, in fact fats are essential to our well-being. That is not the impression we would get from the media although explanation of the concept of good and bad fats is becoming clearer. Fat is only a problem if it exceeds more than 15 to 20 per cent of our diet. … Read more

FASTING FOR OPTIMUM HEALTH

Fasting is becoming an increasingly popular activity which can range from a total fast where nothing passes the lips to a variety of semi-fasts ranging from an intake of water and fruit juices to fruits and vegetables. The benefits of a fast are manifold. Time without imbibing allows the mouth a period of time to … Read more

SPECIFIC FOODS AND NUTRIENTS

There is a lot of disinformation put out by various groups whose motivation is the profit factor. I think it necessary to make mention of some of the more common and possibly dangerous pieces of advice that are fed to us by ‘the powers that be’ through the media. The following covers some of the … Read more

ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES TO NUTRITION

There is a plethora of books on nutrition lining the shelves of every bookshop and healthfood shop. They all have their merits and failings and I would not presume to comment on the expertise of my colleagues and their interpretation of a healthy diet. I do feel, however, that there is no set diet that … Read more

COMPLEMENTARY MEDICAL TREATMENTS FOR CONFUSION

Confusion in the elderly is often due to the natural process of brain tissue diminution . Confusion can, however, be caused by metabolic changes such as an inability to control sugar levels, poor nutrition, fevers and illnesses such as coughs, colds and flus and drug reactions such as those found by people taking sleeping pills … Read more

COMPLEMENTARY MEDICAL TREATMENTS FOR STROKE

A stroke denotes the onset of a neurological deficit, most frequently the paralysis of one side of the body with or without an effect on the contralateral side of the face. This weakness may develop within minutes and is usually associated with an arterial problem or may develop over a much longer period of time, … Read more

COMPLEMENTARY MEDICAL TREATMENTS FOR PARKINSON’S DISEASE

Parkinson was an English physician in the 18th century. He described a clinical state that has taken on his name. Parkinson’s disease is characterized by an expressionless face, infrequency of blinking, a poverty and slowness of voluntary movement, rigidity of muscles with a rhythmic 3-4 per second tremor that is more pronounced at rest, a … Read more

COMPLEMENTARY MEDICAL TREATMENTS FOR MOTOR NEURONE DISEASE

This condition – which is medically known as progressive spinal muscular atrophy – is a progressive wasting of individual muscles or groups of muscles due to the degeneration of nerve cells and pathways affecting the spinal column and parts of the brain that control muscle movement. It is a particularly distressing disorder because it slowly … Read more

COMPLEMENTARY MEDICAL TREATMENTS FOR POLYMYALGIA RHEUMATICA

This condition describes an inflammatory process that affects the muscles. It is characterized by stiffness, pain and limitation of movement of the hips and shoulders in particular. General malaise, weight loss, night sweats and fevers may also be associated. The condition is often association with inflammation of blood vessels. Arterial inflammation may be found in … Read more