Music Therapy Cancer

October 30, 2008

Music Therapy Cancer Treatments

One of the most interesting applications of music therapy is in cancer treatment. Music therapy cancer treatments are very helpful to a wide variety of patients who suffer from a large range of cancers. While music therapy cancer treatments don’t actually affect the disease itself – meaning that the tumor will not show any physical signs of improvement – the treatments and therapies will greatly affect the mood of the patient, and sometimes that can make all the difference in the way the patient deals with and feels about the disease.

The American Cancer Society has published several articles about the benefits of music therapy cancer treatments. One from 2004 discusses some of the more specific research done on cancer patients who have received music therapy. The music therapy cancer treatments used were diverse, as were the types of cancers that the patients suffered from. Most of the patients in the study suffered from multiple myeloma, Hodgkin disease, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The reason the study chose to work with these particular cancer patients is because they were undergoing typical medical cancer treatments like autologous stem cell transplant and high-dose chemotherapy. These treatments are exceptionally rigorous on the patient, causing symptoms like anorexia, fevers, and fatigue. But more than these problems, most intense are the emotional rigors of the treatments. These were the symptoms that were best helped by the music therapy cancer treatments.

The music treatments commonly used to treat cancer patients are varied; however, most patients in this study received music therapy in the form of live music played by a trained music therapist. The results of the music therapy cancer treatments in this particular study were fascinating. According to the researchers, patients reported a great improvement in mood. The more anxious patients reported a lessening of their anxiety symptoms. Meanwhile, patients who were experiencing other mood-lowering symptoms like depression reported having an overall elevated mood.

Because of all of the positive results from the multiple successful music therapy cancer treatments used all over the country, music therapy is now offered in many hospitals. There are more therapies than just the live music therapy discussed above. Some patients have used music therapy cancer treatments like music activities. Music activities – often involving writing song lyrics or playing an instrument – have been shown to greatly decrease anxiety in cancer patients. Of course, as with all types of therapy, these music therapy cancer treatments should be done with the help of a trained music therapist. Music therapists work with the individual patient to find the best therapies for that patient.

The Benefits of Articles on Alternative Medicine

October 28, 2008

Anyone who would like to learn more about the discipline of one of the most controversial yet effective types of health care would do well to seek out articles on alternative medicine. The Internet is brimming with such articles, and they can easily be found by doing a search with a comprehensive search engine such as Google.

The study of articles on alternative medicine can serve to increase your knowledge on this fascinating, multi-faceted subject. If you are interested in improving your health or that of a loved one, you cannot have too much knowledge. The old saying “Knowledge is power” is especially true in this case. As you learn, you will gain the power to take your family health matters into your own hands.

Once you have pinpointed which disease or condition you wish to find out more about, you can break down your studies into categories. For example, let’s say you want to find out if there is a way to control pain using alternative medicine instead of pharmaceutical drugs. Articles on acupressure, joint pain, acupuncture, natural remedies for chronic pain, tension headache, back pain, osteoarthritis, the stress and pain connection, or natural pain control could all contain facts that could help you to form an opinion as to what your best options would be.

There are so many aspects to this fascinating subject that one would do well to study articles on alternative medicine in depth, one at a time for better retention of the knowledge you will gain. The information in the articles you have sought out will more than likely surprised you with its thoroughness. You should read articles that look at the subject from more than one point of view so as to better clarify in your own mind how you wish to proceed.

Naturally, not everyone who takes the time to write articles on alternative medicine is going to have the same viewpoint as you do. As such, you should read the articles intelligently and possibly with a “grain of salt” as well. Who knows what the author of the articles you read had on his or her agenda?

Your best bet is to gather facts relating to you subject while you are reading articles on   alternative medicine. Take detailed notes; make an outline. Approach your research as seriously as if you were writing a college thesis. Once you have your facts in hand, compare which ones seemed to turn up the most. It’s possible that the most popular facts are also the most true.

You are on a mission – a mission to unearth information on a very important subject – your health. Articles on alternative health really can be your ammunition in the war against sickness.

Chinese Herbal Medicine Hair Loss Options

October 26, 2008

Chinese herbal medicine hair loss treatments include alternative techniques such as massage and meditation in addition to herbal formulations that are designed to help hair re-grow. One of the most common herbs used is the root of a common vine, polygoni multiflorum also known as Foti or He Shou Wu (Old Mr. He). The common name of Old Mr. He refers to a story about an older villager who became lost in the woods. It is said that he survived by eating the root of polygoni multiflorum. When he was finally rescued by members of his village, his white hair had turned black and his youthful appearance and vitality had returned. This story has made polygoni multiflorum the traditional herb for Chinese herbal medicine hair loss formulas.

Causes of hair loss

Hair loss happens when the flow of blood to the scalp is compromised. This is known as a blood deficiency and happens when the blood lacks nourishing components. The Chinese herbal medicine hair loss belief is that healthy hair depends on an abundant flow of qi which is the body’s energies, electrical, chemical, magnetic and radiant properties. A constrained flow of qi happens when stress and emotional constraint are present. This restricts the flow of blood and qi to the chest, neck, shoulders, face and head according to the Chinese. The flow can be restored through the use of alternative herbal medicine such as massage, meditation, relaxation techniques and herbal formulations. Besides blood flow and qi, sometimes genetic factors such as weak or tiny blood vessels can play a part in hair loss.

Herbs for external use

If you prefer not to take a medicine internally, there are external options for Chinese herbal medicine hair loss. Aloe vera, onion, red pepper and safflower oil are popular herbal remedies for hair loss that are used externally. Aloe vera gel activates the production of nitric oxide. Aloe vera gel also contains an enzyme known as superoxide dismutane. Together these two substances stimulate hair re-growth. Aloe vera gel is especially effective on men who are losing their hair due to the male pattern type of baldness. Allium cepa, commonly known as an onion, has a high sulfer content which is believed to help hair heal. Red pepper, when used on the scalp, is believed to help draw blood and nutrients to the scalp. It is believed this helps encourage the release of histamines which help to stimulate cell division and hair growth. Safflower oil is believed to help dilate the blood vessels which allows more blood and nutrients to reach the hair follicle. The use of Chinese herbal medicine hair loss techniques have been used for centuries, rather they will work in your case is not known, however historical data seems to prove there is a pretty good chance that they will.

Herbal Sexual Medicine

October 24, 2008

When it comes to herbal sexual medicine it is important to know what the working principals of the chemical compounds in the herbs are. It is also important to know what part of the human body those ingredients have an effect on. Herbal sexual medicine can stimulate the neural system, improve blood circulation, stimulate tissue growth or regeneration, stimulate feelings in the genital organs or stimulate the production of hormones. Herbal sexual medicine can be purchased as a tea, pills, tincture or even loose herbs.

Types of herbal sexual medicine

There are six general kinds of herbal sexual medicine on the market today and each one does something different. It is important to know what you want the medicine to do as well as know something about the various herbs that the medicine contains. The six types of herbal sexual medicine currently available claim to do the following:

• Increase sexual desire.
• Increase feelings in the genitals.
• Offer better sexual performance.
• Offer better lubrication.
• Increase the strength or the size of the genitals.
• Increase fertility.

About the herbs

Sexually stimulating herbs typically work on both men and women although there are some that work better on a man than a woman. Many times, sexually stimulating herbs will stimulate the human organism at more than one point which means they will have various effects. Here are a few of the most common herbs and what they do sexually.

• Catuaba, which stimulates the central nervous system, especially the functions that control sexual response, is the most important sexually stimulating plant in South America. It has also been used as an aphrodisiac by the Indians.
• Cayenne pepper, a common spice, stimulates tissue regeneration and growth. Because of this it is believed that cayenne can make the sexual organs stronger and more efficient.
• Damiana is especially effective for women because it strengthens and stimulates the female hormone progesterone.
• Ginseng stimulates and normalizes the blood flow in the sexual organs. It also stimulates sperm production which results in stronger arousal, better genital functions and stronger physical feelings.
• Hawthorn fruits stimulates blood circulation which in turn improves sexual functions.
• Epidemium or horny goat weed, as it is commonly called, is an East Asian herb that is used to stimulate the sensorial bodies in the sexual organs. This increases sperm production, gives better fertility and gives stronger genital feelings.
• Peppermint stimulates the secretion of lubricating substances in the genital system.

Herbal sexual medicine, as with any herbal or pharmaceutical medication, should be used under the supervision of a health care provider and should not be used long term.

Acupuncture And The Body

October 21, 2008

How many acupuncture ‘entry points’ are there on the human body?

There are approximately 360 acupuncture points on the body. There are other extra points that exist as well, so at last count no one is quite sure how many acupuncture points. But traditionally speaking, somewhere between 300 and 400 classically described acupuncture points. These points are located literally all over the body. There are points on the scalp, There are points on the head, there are points on the chest, abdomen, extremities. So from head to toe these points exist.
What are ‘endorphins’?

Endorphins are chemicals that are produced by our own bodies that help do a lot of positive things for us. Primarily they help in controlling pain. For instance, when we exercise a lot, when we’re running long distances, that can trigger a lot of muscle related pain. And what helps to get through that pain is the endorphins throughout our body. So endorphins are pain-killing chemicals that our own bodies produce. The other things that endorphins can do is also elevate our moods. Endorphins are feel-good hormones so people with a lot of endorphins usually have an elation of positive feeling, maybe more energy as well.

Acupuncture: Acupuncture And The Body

What is ’serotonin’?

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is part of our natural being. We all have serotonin floating around. Its primarily thought of as a neurotransmitter, meaning that its a chemical involved in our nervous system and in our brain. Of the many chemicals that we think controls our mood serotonin is one of the major things to determine whether we’re anxious or depressed or felling normal.
How does acupuncture affect endorphins?

Acupuncture is used to treat not only pain but mood issues as well. And we think that it has this effect by boosting endorphins in our bodies. So, similar to the high that you get when you have a good aerobic workout, acupuncture can give you that same elation, that pickup, as well as the pain modulation effects that endorphins normally give.
How does acupuncture affect serotonin?

Acupuncture boosts serotonin levels throughout the body. As a result, it’s often used to treat mood issues such as anxiety or depression, also, to elevate energy levels throughout the body.
What is ‘cholecystikinin CCK’?

Cholecystikinin, which is known as CCK for short, is sort of the opposite hormone or chemical that is produced by the body to balance out endorphins. So, whereas endorphins help to lift our mood and control pain, CCK tends to neutralize those effects. It’s thought that acupuncture causes a shift in the balance between endorphins and CCKs, in favor of the endorphins, so that we have a net beneficial effect of having better mood and pain control.

What neurological disorders are helped by acupuncture treatments?

There are may neurological disorders that can be helped by acupuncture. The major one that is also endorsed, for instance, by the National Institutes of Health for Acupuncture Use are headaches — migraine headaches, tension headaches, cluster headaches — generally acupuncture is good for all types of headaches. And it can almost have immediate effect. And it’s also very good for preventing recurrent headaches, for people who are chronic sufferers of headaches. It can also be helpful, in terms of, neural degenerative disorders. These are disorders, where the nerves stop functioning. Again, one of the ways to try to stimulate nerve function is to insert a needle, into that nerve area to try to wake it back up. If that’s not strong enough, we can also use electrical stimulation. Other neurological conditions that acupuncture can help treat include: stroke rehabilitation and when there’s been damage following a stroke. It can also be helpful for things such as tremors.
What respiratory disorders are helped by acupuncture treatments?

Respiratory conditions that acupuncture can help treat include things such as asthma. In fact, for asthma, the studies are so convincing that the national institutes of health recommends acupuncture for use in treatment. Can also help for something as common as the common cold, bronchitises, things such as that.

Can acupuncture be used to treat ‘addiction’?

Acupuncture can be very helpful for addiction issues, such as smoking cessation, such as food addiction, and certainly drug withdrawal. In fact, its origins in use for addictions goes back to China, where they were trying to treat opium addicts. Acupuncture was adopted here in the United States back in the 1970s in a local drug rehab program in New York. And since then, it’s been shown to be helpful in curbing cravings. And as such, we’ve now applied it for tobacco as well as food.
What gastrointestinal disorders are helped by acupuncture treatments?

There are several studies that show that insertion of acupuncture needles into specific digestive-oriented points can do many things to the body, including decreasing stomach acidity as well as promoting smooth contraction of our bowels.

What muscle-skeletal disorders are helped by acupuncture treatments?

Muscular-skeletal issues are probable one of the most common things that acupuncture is used to treat, because it has such great effects on modulating pain, on reducing pain. So, for instance, conditions such as myofascial pain syndrome, which is a fancy word to describe severe muscle tension and knots all over the body in the neck, upper back, low back. Great therapy is acupuncture for the treatment of these conditions. In fact, it’s NIH-endorsed.The other muscular-skeletal conditions that acupuncture is wonderful for are things such as tendonitis, strains, inflammation of the bursum, any of these inflammatory conditions. Finally, the other thing that studies have shown that acupuncture is very strong for is the treatment of osteoarthritis, which is the inflammation that we get when we overuse our joints or as we age.

Is acupuncture a suitable treatment for pain management?

Acupuncture is a great pain management therapy. It has so many effects on pain controlling chemicals in our body. It helps to stimulate endorphins, dynorphins and kefalins, our own indigenous opioids, which are natural pain killing hormones. Acupuncture helps to stimulate anti-inflammatory chemicals in our body. So it can be used for the vast majority of pain conditions including nerve related pain, muscle related pain, inflammation related pain, as well as conditions such as fibromyalgia which is thought to be an imbalance in neurotransmitters and causes hypersensitivity to pain.

Can acupuncture be used in conjunction with western medicine?

Acupuncture can be used very safely and effectively with conventional therapy. For instance, with medications that generally have side affects we use a goal to try to take our patients off medications or try to decrease the dose so they suffer less from the side effects. The nice thing about acupuncture is, generally speaking, it doesn’t interact with these medications and it works through mechanisms and pathways that can help us to control the symptoms and to heal the body, and in doing so decrease the requirements that someone needs for medications.

Can acupuncture be used in conjunction with cancer treatment?

Acupuncture is actually a very nice therapy to be used in cancer patients for a variety of reasons. The first reason is most chemotherapy and radiation therapies can trigger nausea in patients and studies have found time and time again that acupuncture can help alleviate vomiting and nausea rates in patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. In fact, this is probably the strongest reason why the National Institute of Health recommends acupuncture use. The other thing too with acupuncture is that again it doesn’t interfere with or interact with the chemotherapeutic agents. So in patients who are already on a lot of medications, which is the case in most cancer therapies, we really want to minimize yet another medication to control some of the symptoms that really weigh in on cancer patients such as nausea, vomiting, fatigue and pain.

Reflexology Mapping

October 18, 2008

Reflexology Mapping

Aromatherapy Oil Supplies

October 18, 2008

Aromatherapy has been used in a holistic way for centuries and now this ancient natural complimentary therapy is gaining even more popularity as we all become aware of the benefits available if we incorporate it into our daily lives.

The oils are obtained from flowers, trees, leaves, roots and stems by way of steam distillation. When purchasing aromatherapy oil supplies it is important to ensure that the oils are pure as there are less expensive versions, which are not as conducive to good health.

Most people will have heard of an aromatherapy massage and may have even enjoyed the experience; apart from the benefits of general relaxation, the oils are absorbed through the skin and then into the blood stream improving the circulation of the blood. Essential oils can also be used in a number of different ways too, such as in crèmes and lotions, in diffusers and oil burners. They can be used at home or in the office and provide an instant pick-me up if the correct oils are used.

There is an abundance of information relating to this therapy through books, DVD’s, magazines and numerous articles on the Internet, so it may seem like information overload to the complete beginner. But in reality, very little basic knowledge is required initially when just starting to learn how to use aromatherapy. In the first instance, it is worth checking just what aromatherapy oil supplies are required, obviously essential oils will be needed but which ones are dependent on the task you require them for. If it is for massage purposes and for healing, then it is worth reading up on the individual properties for each oil, in addition to the oils, you will need a good base oil such as sweet almond or grape oil as most oils are not to be used directly on the skin. If you wish to use the oils in a burner or diffuser, then choose the oils by scent and not necessarily for their healing properties.

Aromatherapy oil supplies can be obtained from many reputable sources; it is worth shopping around so that you get the best deal for you. There are also good starter packs, which will give you all the basics to get going. Travel packs and wooden storage boxes are useful too as oils need to be kept out of direct light be it artificial or natural daylight.

Keep all of your aromatherapy oil supplies in a safe place and they will last for a long time. Remember though that just because they are natural products, this does not mean they are automatically safe to use on everyone. The oils should not be taken internally, used on young children or babies without knowing a great deal about applying and mixing oils for young skin and other supplies such as candles and oil burners should be kept out of reach from little fingers.

Aromatherapy and it’s many uses can be an addictive practice, so it is worth while investing in the best aromatherapy oil supplies as possible and gaining a healthy respect of this therapy right from the start.

Bright Light Therapy

October 16, 2008

The Body’s Acceptance of Bright Light Therapy

More than 15 medical agencies doing research on Bright Light Therapy have shown success with light therapy in patients, with improvement in about a week or so. Bright Light Therapy has shown the medical fields that therapeutic levels of illumination have now recognized physiological effects on the human body.

According to blood tests the hormone melatonin, known to be exceptionally high at certain times of the day, are rapidly reduced by levels of light exposure. This has demonstrated that Bright Light Therapy affects the daily rhythms of body temperature, hormone secretion, and sleep patterns. To sum it up, it refers to a treatment used for individuals who suffer from circadian rhythm sleep disorders, with a normal circadian referring to a cycle of approximately 24 hours which makes one feel sleepy or alert at daily regular times. A circadian rhythm sleep disorder causes this natural sleep patter to overlap into a person’s regular awake activities–work or school.
Where all of this originates from is because scientifically, the body’s clock is located in the body’s brain, is a junction where the nerves travel to the eyes called the SCN. It is this clock that controls the “circadian rhythms” of the body, in turn controlling the body rhythms.

Bright Light Therapy when balancing the body’s rhythms sets the internal clock by its exposure to bright light, similar to sunlight. A goal for combination therapy includes a healthy sleep pattern and an internal clock that works at the right time. The purpose of the Bright Light Therapy is to reset the body’s clock that is not working, but is considered only part of the treatment plan. The other part of the treatment plan is to include a doctor who knows what he or she is doing and specializes in sleep disorders. At this time, there are four basic groups of products for light therapy:

1. The Light Box
2. The Desk Lamp
3. The Light Visor
4. The Dawn Simulator

Another disorder that Bright Light Therapy is good for is the depressive phase of bipolar. Women with bipolar disorder were examined by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine’s Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. Previously the women had used Bright Light Therapy treatments in the morning or at midday on a daily basis for 15 minutes, 30 minutes, and 45 minutes for a period of two weeks. Six of the women had significant improvement, with several recovering 100% from the symptoms of the bipolar depression. The ones with the highest rates of success were in the midday light range, with a few responding to the early morning light.

Prescription for Natural Healing

October 14, 2008

Is There a Prescription for Natural Healing?

The question as to whether there is a prescription for natural healing is something that may be worth thinking about. Since natural healing is an alternative kind of medicine, it is not likely that you can get a prescription for natural healing. Isn’t a prescription a written order by a licensed physician for a certain treatment or medication? If only licensed medical experts who practice conventional and modern medicine issue prescriptions, how can there be a prescription for natural healing?

When the word prescription is defined, it actually means a few things. It can mean a formula that directs a person to prepare something. The word prescription can also mean a prescribed treatment or medication, which can mean a whole world of different things. Therefore, it is highly possible that a prescription for natural healing does exist. In reality, there is a book that goes by the title “Prescription for Natural Healing”, and this book focuses on the science of preventative as well as natural medicine. It contains numerous guides on how to care for oneself with proper diet, exercise and bodywork, as well as advice on the use of natural alternatives in place of modern medicines through the consumption and application of herbs that are effective in curing ailments.

A prescription for natural healing can also mean a guide to natural living. In this sense, it encourages the use of natural substances to cure the different ailments that people suffer from as well as help maintain a healthy life. Such a prescription includes a list of the many different common illnesses in the world and the natural remedies for these illnesses. The phrase ‘prescription for natural healing’ can also mean a single recipe used for healing one particular ailment and it can be given by a natural healing guru or someone who practices natural healing methods on himself. He may teach you how to overcome a certain ailment with the help of a home made recipe of herbs and natural ingredients, and this may be easily called a prescription because it fits the description of what a prescription is.

There are many different ways to interpret the phrase ‘prescription for natural healing’, but generally, emphasis is being placed on the word ‘natural’. People who wish to get a prescription for natural healing can look for a list of recipes that will help cure ailments the natural way, a guide to natural living, or even a single recipe for a specific ailment. It is important that you know what remedies you need before you try out any particular prescription for natural healing.

The Benefits of Alternative Medicine and Radiotherapy

October 12, 2008

Alternate medicine and radiotherapy are a combination that is growing in popularity. Radiotherapy treatment is normally used in cancer patients, with the most common type known as external beam therapy. This name evolved because the treatment consists of a beam of radiation that comes from a very sophisticated machine. The beam is focused on the part of the body that contains the tumor, and the largest amount of radiation possible is used to kill the cancer cells.

Radiotherapy is very hard on the body. The treatments are short in duration, no more than 10 to 15 minutes. There is no pain involved with these treatments, but the side effects afterwards can be brutal, depending on the individual. Extreme tiredness and nausea, pain, hair loss, and red and tender skin are a few of the most common. The use of alternate medicine and radiotherapy together is indicated when the patient wants natural relief from the ravages of radiation side effects.

Nausea is one of the most severe side effects of radiotherapy treatments. Most of the people who must go through the treatments would do anything to get some relief from the seemingly never-ending sickness. Alternative medicine and radiotherapy research has been done on a test group of cancer patients to determine whether or not acupuncture was effective in diminishing the persistent nausea and vomiting.  Patients reported that they could tell a dramatic difference in the frequency and amount of nausea they had.  Written records were kept by each patient of the times they were sick, and at the end of the research, these records were collated. The final analysis in this study was that acupuncture is useful in preventing nausea in radiotherapy patients.

Acupuncture has also been tested on groups of alternative medicine and radiotherapy believers to see if it could possibly be of help in the relief of pain, another unwelcome side effect of radiation treatments. Nearly all patients undergoing radiotherapy reported various degrees of pain that was definitely related to their treatments. Acupuncture once again proved to be effective in helping cancer patients undergoing treatments for their condition.

The Chinese medicine called acupressure works well with alternative medicine and radiotherapy in helping cancer patients control nausea. This natural technique involves massaging certain areas on the body, normally just under or on top of the skin. These areas are called acupoints, and they are supposedly interconnected with each other as well as to various organs and systems of the body. Devotees to this 5000 year old healing method say that a careful massage in a certain area can stimulate a person’s essential life force, which flows from area to area rather like the circulation of blood.  A look at an acupressure chart reveals that the areas that control nausea and vomiting are directly above the kneecap, on the wrist, and about 2 inches above the wrist. People who have tried acupressure are both surprised and delighted with how quickly it relieves their symptoms.

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