Light Box Therapy

July 29, 2008

Light Box Therapy–A Favorite Light Therapy Product

There are several types of light therapy products, with the Light Box Therapy fast becoming one of the favorites, especially in the treatment of depression. Not acceptable in the past 25 years, antidepressant medication and psychotherapy have taken the front seat for acceptable depression treatments until the last ten years, when light therapy has quickly approaching a substantial position of respectability for the treatment of depression.

In 2005, the American Psychiatric Association in Washington, D.C., had come to the conclusion that in trial experiments, a daily exposure to bright light which utilizes natural sunlight or Light Box Therapy. It is considered just as effective as any of the antidepressant drugs in the treatment of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which is also called “winter depression”, along with other forms of depression.

Over the past years, treatments such as the Light Box Therapy had been scoffed at by mainstream psychiatrists in the claims of “diminishing signs of depression” when exposed to daily bright-light exposures. These Light Box Therapy exposures ranged in early morning treatments from 30 minutes to one hour, with the trial results. When the tests were completed, they demonstrated pronounced and remarkable easing of the SAD symptoms upon awakening in the morning and apply dawn simulations of the Light Box Therapy or natural sunlight.

The latest research does not show yet results for severe depression, or whether certain colors can cause any eye problems or issues, even though there is a major agreement that it will not. And new treatments such as the Light Box Therapy combined with one night of sleep deprivation followed by a week’s normal sleeping patterns, are increasing recovery for those who are presently receiving antidepressants for bipolar or major depressions. But the maximum of long-term benefits are achieved with Light Box Therapy or natural sunlight in addition to sleeping with a regular schedule in order to balance the biological clock.

Shorter days with less sunlight began around October 30, 2007, in certain areas–Alaska, Maine, Vermont, and some other northern U.S. states–right after daylight saving ended. Approximately 14.5 million Americans are diagnosed with SAD, with feelings of suicide, lack of interest in anything around them, extreme fatigue, or feelings of worthlessness. To many of them, the Light Box Therapy with either white light or a full spectrum light to simulate the sunlight, will offer them a better feeling–depending on where or not they can stick to it or not.

Some of the more recent treatments of SAD include the Light Box Therapy combined with cognital-behavioral therapy, or CBT, which has results in the high 80% range bracket. They also have been proven to show less depression after a one-year follow up than either treatment alone.

Alternative Medicine Careers

July 29, 2008

Alternative Medicine Careers Can Start At Home

Are you looking for a different kind of medical career? One of several alternative medicine careers may be perfect for you. There are many to choose from, and if this is the career path you choose, you must be especially careful to choose a good school. At first glance, this can seem to be an intimidating task, but if you break it down into small steps it becomes much easier.

Alternative medicine careers require specialized education – education that you can’t get at a regular academic college. There are schools that have been established just so that promising students can receive training in the area of their choice. If you are looking to make a career change, there are programs that allow you to earn a certificate or diploma from the comfort of your own home. This is possibly the smartest way of all to work your schooling into a busy lifestyle. You can study on your own time, whenever you choose… in the evenings, on the weekends… whenever it is convenient.

One of the many alternative medicine careers that you can study for at home is called a Holistic Health Practitioner or HHP for short. You will learn how to treat not just symptoms, but the whole person. An HHP first meeting with a patient is usually to discuss any lifestyle concerns, and nutrition problems. Since the holistic healer is taught that the body can heal itself, tour job will be to set the stage for healing for each of your patients. You do this by recommending a proper diet, specific exercises, and coming up with innovative ways to balance that person’s stress levels.

This is one of the alternative medicine careers that teaches you that healing can take place when the environment is right. An HHP is also armed with an arsenal of knowledge concerning vitamins, herbs, anatomy and physiology, and a huge heart. A good HHP genuinely cares about his patients.

Another one of the popular alternative medicine careers that you can study for at your leisure and enjoy thoroughly is that of the Master Herbalist, or MH. As an herbalist, you will know exactly how to prepare herbs for medicinal use, grow herbs for your own use, and learn herbal therapies in the three main branches, which are Chinese Traditional, Ayurvedic, and Western. You will also be taught about how herbal preparations can interact with prescription drugs in positive and not-so-positive ways. An herbalist also learns not to suggest herbs for symptoms, rather, an herbalist attempts to locate the reason for the symptom in the body, and treats this imbalance with herbs in order to diminish or do away with the symptom.

Alternative medicine careers can be quite lucrative. If you study for one of the above careers, or one of the many others that are available, you can expect to enjoy a satisfying job where you will be much in demand.

Music Therapy Degree

July 26, 2008

Do You Want a Music Therapy Degree?

More people are choosing the music therapy degree path than ever before because of its ability to help people in a therapeutic setting. Not only will you be able to work with people from different backgrounds, but you will also be able to help in a variety of therapy situations. By taking the time to learn more about how to pursue your music therapy degree, you will be able to make the decision as to whether this field is something that’s right for you.

A music therapy degree is a multi-faceted study. Not only will you learn how to listen to music in order to use it for therapeutic purposes, but you will also be learning how to use singing, writing lyrics, and dancing as a part of your sessions with patients. With so many applications, music therapy allows you to custom fit the therapy to the patient, no matter what their obstacles or mental concerns.

But a music therapy degree isn’t for everyone. Because you need to interact in a personal way with patients, you need to have excellent communication skills as well as patience. You need to be willing to work with a patient at a speed that works for them. While you might create a plan of action for the patient, you need to be ready and willing to change the plan if the patient is unable to make the goals you have both set.

It takes a special person to finish a music therapy degree. You must love to work with people and you might also have a genuine love and appreciation for music of all kinds. Since different patients are going to respond to different kinds of music, you will need to know various types of music intimately to help choose the right songs or sounds for your particular patient.

You can find music therapy degree programs at many local universities and colleges. Simply look at the psychology department to see if they offer a specific program in this therapy. If not, you might be able to take a course or two in the practice of music therapy and utilize it within a traditional therapy degree.

There are many opportunities for those with a music therapy degree, including private and group practice as well as nursing homes and rehabilitation services. The diversity of your employers allows you to choose the setting that works best for you and for the clients you hope to help.

By majoring in music therapy, you are getting into a growing field of professionals who want to harness the power of the mind to change the life of a patient. While not everyone responds immediately to any therapeutic practice, you can know that you are doing your part to help someone in need of help.

Reiki Massage

July 24, 2008

Reiki Massage – The Hands On Relaxation Mode

The term reiki massage is a bit of an oxymoron when it comes right down to it simply because in reality reiki is NOT massage. However, some regard it as “massaging” the energy field. But to mention reiki massage is confusing, as this is nothing like a conventional remedial massage therapy from a licensed massage therapist.

In most instances reiki healing (not reiki massage) is the use of spiritual energy to heal a person’s aura or situation. Massage on the other hand is the process of rubbing or kneading different parts of the body for therapeutic reasons or purposes. Now having said this, there are indeed many massage therapists who are trained in reiki and who combine the two disciplines to get an even better result for the client. In instances like that, then you could aptly describe what you are receiving as reiki massage.

Licensed massage therapists who take reiki are learning how to better use their already existing healing energies to promote the spiritual well-being of their clients, as well as their physical well-being. Their treatments then become a blend of reiki massage – but this is really the only instance where those two things go together in the same sentence. So keeping this in mind, when we refer to reiki massage in this article, we are referring to a massage therapist giving reiki using the usual hand positions.

The usual treatment of reiki massage starts at the head and then works down the front of the body and down the back of the body through the seven different chakras. Where the hands are placed coincide with your seven major chakras or in other words, the energy centers of your physical body. Reiki massage helps you manage pain, deal with stress and relaxes you on a very deep level. The hands of the reiki practitioner will either be laying on you gently or working just a few inches above your body. The healing energy is sent through/channeled by the practitioner into you.

There is no need to be nervous about a massage treatment combined with reiki at the same time. The reiki will not hurt you in any way. It is actually used to help treat conditions such as lockjaw, muscle pain, tension, stress, injury healing and well over 60 other types of ailments. In the Western world you will discover there are four areas/chakras used for treatment – the head, body, legs/feet and back.

It is safe to say that reiki treatments are one hundred percent safe and do not have any side effects, nor do they incur injuries. Some will experience sensations like warmth, tingling or cold during their session, but these sensations will not hurt you. Depending on the patient, Reiki treatments have been known to show results immediately or at a later time.

The “ABCs” of Homeopathy

July 22, 2008

What is ABC Homeopathy? It is defined as:

A – alternative medicine effectiveness
B – best medicine
C – classic homeopathy

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE

Alternative types of treatment are generally not acknowledged and covered by conventional medicine. It is often even considered “quackery”. In general, this is because alternative medicine is based on method or practice and conventional medicine is based on predetermined effectiveness.

ABC Homeopathy is mostly alternative medicine because it works with infinite small dilutions to treat illnesses and diseases. For some skeptics, the ABC Homeopathy treatment is hard to accept.

BEST MEDICINE

ABC Homeopathy principles can be extracted from nature and those principles are still considered best practice. Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of ABC homeopathy medicine, created the following principles, often adapted for schools and other institutions that teach classical homeopathy:

1. If the physician clearly perceives what is to be cured in diseases. (knowledge of disease, indication)
2. If he clearly perceives what is curative in medicines (knowledge of medical powers)
3. If he knows how to adapt according to clearly defined principles and find the most appropriate medicine (choice of the remedy, the medicine indicated)
4. Also in respect to the exact mode of preparation and quantity required (proper dose)
5. And the proper period of repeating the dose
6. If he knows the obstacles to recovery in each case and is aware how to remove them so that the restoration may be permanent

CLASSIC HOMEOPATHY

Classic homeopathy is based on five principles: Similarity, Homeopathic dilutions, Miasms, Totality Symptoms and Strange, Rare and Peculiar Symptoms.

Similarity – In the homeopathic treatment, a remedy must be found which produces in healthy people the symptoms it can cure with diseased people. The difficulty for the homeopath practitioner is finding the right remedy. Unlike conventional medicines, the remedy fits the whole person, not just the symptoms.

Homeopathic Dilutions – All natural medicines, derived from mineral, plant and other natural substances. The preparation is repeatedly diluted and shaken numerous times. This process increases the stimulation of the body’s own immune system and enables the effect in a much deeper way.

Miasms – The source of chronic diseases. A chronic miasm, left unchecked, increases and grows worse causing aggravated sufferings. According to Hahnemann there are three miasms: psora, sycosis, and syphilis. Later Homeopaths added the Tubercular, Cancer and Aids.

Totality symptoms – all symptoms must be considered when treating a patient. A homeopathic practitioner will study the patient’s physical, mental and emotional health and recommend a remedy based on his/her findings. By dealing with roots causes, rather than symptoms, and finding the appropriate remedy, the disease/illness will lessen and eventually dissipate.

Strange, rare and peculiar symptoms – When searching for a specific homeopathic remedy, the more striking, singular, uncommon and peculiar characteristics and symptoms of the case are to be kept in clear view. This will ensure the remedy is most suitable for bringing the cure.

The Use Of Acupuncture After Knee Surgery

July 20, 2008

Acupuncture is a Chinese medical theory dating back to the 1st millennium. It is widely used in all the Asian countries today as a traditional medical practice for many ailments. Acupuncture is being widely used today in the Western world as a non-traditional form of medicine. The World Health Organization endorses acupuncture as long as it is performed by a qualified practitioner. Acupuncture works by normalizing the free flow of vital energy throughout the entire body.

The philosophy is that there are eight meridians of energy which flow through the body and when these meridians are blocked, pain or illness occurs. Illnesses and especially pain are treated by attempting to remedy the local deficiencies of this energy. The feeling of pain indicates a blockage or slower flow of the vital energy; therefore, no pain, no blockage. Acupuncture is used to treat a multitude of ailments in the Western world and is has been proven by several endorsed studies that acupuncture after knee surgery is quite effective.

Painless Remedy

A study conducted with 18 patients having 20 treatments using the traditional Chinese Medicine Technique after arthroscopic knee surgery showed significant improvement at the end of the study. The study concluded that for patient comfort, acupuncture after knee surgery was by far the best remedy for pain. Not only was the remedy itself painless, but there were no side effects resulting with the use acupuncture after knee surgery.

Acupuncture after knee surgery is performed with disposable stainless steel needles of a fine diameter. The diameter of these needles is usually .007 to .020, and .18 mm to .51 mm. They are sterilized with an autoclave or ethylene oxide. The needles used in acupuncture after knee surgeries are much finer in diameter than the traditional needles that are used to administer shots. The acupuncture needles are thicker at the top and are wound with a copper wire or covered in plastic in order to give the practitioner a more stable grasp for insertion into the skin.

The only type of sensation the patient feels is a stimulus known as the Chinese “deqi”, or the arrival of the vital energy. When the patient feels this energy then the practitioner knows that he has effectively located the desired point. The feeling that the patient has experiences when using acupuncture after knee surgery, are feelings of pleasure or relaxation when the needle is inserted. There is no feeling of a prick or sting, as when receiving a shot. The experienced practitioner is very skilled in inserting his acupuncture needles.

The practitioner is trying to relieve the pain using acupuncture after knee surgery; therefore, he is not going to inflict pain to achieve that relief. Not only is acupuncture used after knee surgery, but it is also used frequently when treating ailing knees in general. Acupuncture for the treatment of knees has become very widespread with athletes and the general public. Many trainers and physical therapists will send their patients to acupuncturists in order to relieve their particular symptoms.

Choose Your Category of Alternative Medicine

July 17, 2008

If you are considering choosing alternative medicine for your health care needs, you may be a bit confused as to which category of alternative medicine would best suit your needs. First, you need to be aware of just what your medical needs are. Then, you also need a working knowledge of the category and type of the alternative medicine that best suits your diagnosis.

There is a huge range of categories of alternative medicine. Many of these categories were developed because there is no conventional, allopathic cure or treatment for many medical anomalies, and people are looking for something… perhaps not a cure, but a glimmer of hope for their ailment. Even for diseases where a cure is sometimes possible, alternative medicine is sometimes the better choice.

Take a cancer patient, for example. There are documented studies in the research books where more than one cancer patient under the care of an oncologist went through chemotherapy and radiation only to be told to go home and get their affairs in order, for there was nothing more that could be done for them. The patient, refusing to give up, embraced a regime of alternative medicine that included herbs and/or natural plant matter such as seeds. In a short period of time, tests revealed that the cancer was either greatly reduced in size, or had disappeared completely. Now, what person, upon hearing a testimonial like this, wouldn’t want to give any category of alternative medicine a try?

It is also little wonder that some people mightily distrust conventional medicine after an experience like this, and pass their feelings on to others. Alternative medicine’s popularity is growing by leaps and bounds, possibly due in part to bad experiences with allopathic doctors and their role as healers in our society.

However, and this must be said, it is impossible to know how many of the successes with alternative medicine were due not only to the fact that so many categories of alternative medicine are available for any illness or disease imaginable, but also to that peculiar and unexplainable phenomenon that both types of medical doctors have seen all too frequently. That is the power of the mind. While alternative medicine has both the scope and the power to be of assistance in healing, how much of its success is due to the fact that its devotees believed they would be made well so strongly that a virtual miasma of hope came forth from their soul to join with the branches of alternative medicine and initiate a healing?

We may never know how much power our minds have when it comes to alternative medicine. Suffice it to say that alternate medicine does indeed work, and for many patients, that in itself is quite enough.

Jung–Art Therapy

July 16, 2008

Carl S. Jung–Art Therapy in the Making

Carl Jung, known for the Jung art therapy theory, was one of the colleagues of the famous Austrian psychiatrist, Sigmund Freud, the founder of the psychoanalytic school of psychology. Freud became internationally recognized with his groundbreaking theories regarding the conscious vs. unconscious parts of the mind. Simultaneously beginning his Jung art therapy theories, Jung felt that even though Freud made the goal of his therapy the unconscious conscious, he felt that it was made to sound as if it were an unpleasant “cauldron of seething desires.”

But according to the American Art Therapy Association, Inc., Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud together, along with many other psychiatric individuals at the time, had a big hand in the development of art therapy. It was thought that these historical practitioners had the same insight that entered into the development of art therapy, along with its application of conflict resolution. The healing and learning that was derived from the “talk therapy” these men eventually became known for, was thought to have built a base for uncovering the unconscious levels of the mind. But many feel that it was the Jung art therapy that seemed to be the method upon which today’s art therapy received its roots.

One of the tools Carl Jung used for his patients to express their unconscious feelings was art, bringing forth the Jung art therapy method. Influenced by both psychology and psychiatry, Jung’s influence was based on his devotion to the psychological meaning that was inside of each art piece. Freud himself never had his patients do their own artwork, but Carl Jung encouraged it. “To paint what we see before us, ” Jung wrote, “is a different art from painting what we see within.”

Totally rejecting Freud’s theories, Jung expanded the field of psychoanalysis on a personal level. The Jung art therapy included artwork of all levels, the interaction of mythology and its influence on the present moment, and the thoughts of native people which included the round spiritual mandala and the Sanskrit. Many felt he had more common sense than Freud, as the he felt the individual’s psyche had more than one interacting systems. One of these was the ego, as he dismissed Freud’s superego and id, feeling that the ego alone was considered a personal unconscious state of the mind but as a fundamental collective unconscious one.

With much more of an optimistic view of art than did Freud, with his Jung art therapy views Carl Jung felt that psychological art originated within the psyche and was considered to be intelligible to the general mass. But even more, he discovered that another style called visionary art, dew on the collective unconscious and was a lot deeper and with less individual nature. This sort of art were of images–appearing in dreams and in the art form–and were more spontaneoius and were considered to be more fulfilling images. He considered them as metaphors that held the troubled individual’s separate worlds together in a world of trauma and chaos.

Music Therapy Autism and Children

July 16, 2008

Music therapy Autism is a very important part of the treatment for this serious disease. Most the music therapy autism patients are children and this makes the application of the treatments even more integral to the successful results of the therapy. Since Autism is generally discovered in children three years old or younger, many Autism patients begin treatment at a very young age. This is quite beneficial as there is some research to suggest that early treatment of Autism can greatly improve the child’s ability to function on his own in a more “normal” way. Music therapy autism is generally used with children – and even sometimes with children as young as three to five years of age – because a child can appreciate music at a young age.

Of course, not all types of music therapy can be used in young autism patients. Those treatments that require coordinated actions and activities might be too advanced for young children. But other types of music therapy can be used to treat autism in children. For example, some methods of music therapy for Autism patients are used to engage the patient; some children respond well to this type of music therapy autism.

The reason music therapy autistic is used with children is because there is a very high success rate. Autistic children tend to have extremely high aptitudes for music. They are unusually talented in the music area, and many are natural instrument players and singers. By using music therapy to treat Autism, music therapists can help the Autistic child build his or her language skills.

Music therapists will play a musical note and the child will respond by singing the same note. There has been extensive research on this phenomenon and some of the research even shows that some of the children in the studies even progress past just singing a solitary note. Music therapy autism treatments are used to teach autistic children who cannot communicate in more than grunts or hums to form small words. This technique was researched in one study where a therapist matched combinations of consonants and vowels to musical notes and taught an Autistic child to speak simple words by singing them.

Similar techniques are used to help Autistic children to communicate in more complex ways as well. Music therapy autism professionals will create repetitive songs that they teach to the child. The words of the song create a way for the child to communicate his wants and needs through singing. The repetitive nature of the songs works with the way the Autistic mind understands and remembers things.

Herbal Medicine Chinese

July 15, 2008

Herbal Medicine Chinese Practices Centuries Old

The traditional herbal medicine Chinese use includes a variety of techniques such as herbal formulations and acupuncture. The Chinese system of growing, processing as well as the clinical usage of herbs is referred to as the Chinese herbal sciences. The herbal medicine Chinese use has a 2,000 year history that includes continual evolution and refinement. It is true there is nothing special about herbal medicine Chinese use because many of them are imported from other countries, what is special is the science behind the herbs. What makes Chinese herbal science unique is that it integrates the patient’s sensations and perceptions with the perceptions of the herbalist perceptions and experience to arrive at a common sense solution. Chinese herbology is considered one of the most sophisticated systems in the world when it comes to analyzing both clinical indicators and patterns of symptoms with repeatability and consistency.

Herbal medicine: Chinese practices make the difference.

Properly trained Chinese herbalists follow several essential techniques which then allow them to tailor herbal formulas to each individual body characteristic in addition to the primary symptoms and chief complaints. For example the palpation of the radial pulse is monitored at several positions and depths on both wrists. The tongue is inspected for overall color, thickness, distribution of the tongue coating as well as color and texture of the tongue tissue. The tongue is inspected using a bright, full-spectrum lamp so the herbalist is sure that they do not misinterpret what they see. Besides inquiring about the patient’s main complaint and the symtoms they are currently experiencing, the Chinese herbalist will also ask about the patient’s metabolic and neuroendocrine characteristics. These characteristics include the patient’s appetite, general energy level, current moods, mental states, thirst, urination and bowel movements as well as their perception of their body heat or coolness. The crucial philosophical and scientific difference between the Chinese herbal sciences and traditional Western medicine is that Chinese herbalists do not recommend herbal formulations that are based solely on the chief complaint. The formulations are not based on the medical condition that a physician may have diagnosed either. When it comes to herbal medicine, Chinese style techniques work to improve the patients overall health by attempting to restore balance to the body. Because all the body’s components are interdependent the entire complex of symptoms and clinical signs must be considered in determining a strategy for restoring health. In the practice of herbal medicine, Chinese herbalists believe that once the body is in balance, the result will be a patient that is healthier in mind, body and soul.

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