"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."
- Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 - 1860), German philosopher

Pharmacological

Certain drugs or exogenic chemical compounds are known to affect inflammation. Vitamin A deficiency causes an increase in inflammatory responses, and anti-inflammatory drugs work specifically by inhibiting normal inflammatory components....

Leukocyte defects

Due to the central role of leukocytes in the development and propagation of inflammation, defects in leukocyte function often result in a decreased capacity for inflammatory defense with subsequent vulnerability...

Resolution of inflammation

The inflammatory response must be actively terminated when no longer needed to prevent unnecessary damage to tissues. Failure to do so results in chronic inflammation, and cellular destruction. Resolution of...

Morphologic patterns

Specific patterns of acute and chronic inflammation are seen during particular situations that arise in the body, such as when inflammation occurs on an epithelial surface, or pyogenic bacteria are...

Insuline Resistance, Pre-diabetes

Blood Sugar & Insulin: The Essentials Blood Sugar You have approximately 5 liters of blood traveling around in your blood vessels and heart at any given moment. In these 5...

Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis, formerly considered a bland lipid storage disease, actually involves an ongoing inflammatory response. Recent advances in basic science have established a fundamental role for inflammation in mediating all stages...

The amazing health benefits of drinking lemon water

After visiting some friends recently who drank copious amounts of water spiked with fresh organic limes and lemons from trees in their yard and freely offered this delicious concoction to...

Cancer

Inflammation orchestrates the microenvironment around tumours, contributing to proliferation, survival and migration. Cancer cells use selectins , chemokines and their receptors for invasion, migration and metastasis. On the other hand,...

Cell derived mediators

Name Type Source Description Lysosome granules Enzymes Granulocytes These cells contain a large variety of enzymes which perform a number of functions. Granules can be classified as either specific...

Types of inflammation

Comparison between acute and chronic inflammation:   Acute Chronic Causative agent Pathogens, injured tissues Persistent acute inflammation due to non-degradable pathogens, persistent foreign bodies, or autoimmune reactions Major cells...

Hydrogen Peroxide

Excerpt from "101 Home Uses for Hydrogen Peroxide" by Rebecca Mundt Before we go diving off into the deep end of the pool... Just wanted to share a few thoughts...

Spit on an iPhone

To self-diagnose, spit on an iPhone29 November 2011 by Paul MarksMagazine issue 2840. Subscribe and saveHANDHELD gadgets could one day diagnose infections at the push of a button by using...

Glutamine maintains gut barrier integrity following E. Coli exposure

Glutamine continues to shine as a stellar nutrient for GI tract health, both in terms of assisting GI tract immunity and helping the health of the GI tract lining.  The...

Exudative component

Exudative componentThe exudative component involves the movement of plasma fluid, containing important proteins such as fibrin and immunoglobulins (antibodies), into inflamed tissue. This movement is achieved via the chemically induced...

Food Allergens

Food Allergens People who are allergic to some food need to be aware of the alternative and relatively unknown names on food packaging. Food allergens and common alternative names: Eggs Albumin,...

     

Various remedies

Which form of healing do you use most often?
 

Natural Healers' Association

Energy Medicine falls under the Natural Healers Association.

Established in February 1999, the Natural Healers Association, was founded by Dr H. Zungu, Katharine Lee Kruger and Chris Rall in Johannesburg . This national organization was registered as a Non Profit Organization on 22 May 2003 by the Department of Social Development. 

NHA aims to widen the window of opportunity to influence the development of healing legislation in South Africa to recognize the spiritual elements of International Traditional, Indigenous, Spiritual, Energy and Natural Healing Methods. By obtaining Government Recognition members will be able to provide a more cost effective and efficient healthcare service for all South Africans and others.

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The new langauge of medicine
First Section PDF Print E-mail

The new language of medicine: Part I

By William Collinge, M.P.H., Ph.D. WebMD)


This is the first in a two-part series on integrative medicine, the combination of conventional and alternative therapies.

When Lisa Duhl was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1982, it seemed she had two treatment options. She could have a mastectomy and undergo chemotherapy, or she could give alternative medicine a try.

Instead, the then-36-year-old Berkeley resident decided on a course of treatment that was quite unusual for the day: She decided to do both. Now, 17 years later, she's still free of cancer and hasn't had a recurrence.

Today, many people are finding that a combination of conventional and alternative therapies is the best bet for fighting serious diseases such as cancer and heart disease. It's a new brand of medicine: integrative medicine.

Ahead of her time

At the time Duhl learned of her cancer, advocates of conventional and alternative medicine were at odds with each other, leading many people to believe they had to choose between the two kinds of medicine.

Duhl didn't see the situation that way. Her life was on the line, and she was willing to try any and every approach to stay alive. She decided to combine elements of both conventional and alternative medicine into a treatment plan that best addressed her physical, mental and emotional needs.

"I felt a lot of pressure ... to use alternatives instead of conventional medicine," recalls Duhl, who just completed her doctorate in psychology. "People said chemotherapy would kill me, and that if I didn't do alternative medicine, I'd die.

"I told them I had a 10-year-old daughter who wouldn't forgive me if I didn't do everything I could to save my life."

Duhl's treatment regimen included visualization, the use of mental imagery to stimulate healing responses in the body. She practiced a Chinese form of meditation called Chi Kung and relied on acupuncture to reduce the nausea caused by chemotherapy. She also worked with a Native American medicine woman and several spiritual healers.

The cheering section

Fortunately, Duhl had the support of her husband, who was no stranger to integrative medicine. As a professor in the University of California-Berkeley's School of Public Health, Dr. Len Duhl had always encouraged his medical students to open their minds to the world of unconventional health practices and to integrate them into a more complete approach to healing. "We depended upon the best and most advanced chemotherapy protocols available," he said. "We also found that while conventional medicine was important and excellent, it ignored certain issues that were important.

"The alternative practitioners supplemented Lisa's treatment, and as a team they were formidable."

Redefining medicine

This formidable combination of conventional and alternative medicine is fast gaining mainstream acceptance. In fact, insurance companies and HMOs now provide coverage for acupuncture, massage and other treatments that were considered "unconventional" when Lisa Duhl was diagnosed with breast cancer.

As early as 1993, researchers at Harvard Medical School reported in the New England Journal of Medicine that one-third of all Americans used some form of unconventional medicine, such as mind/body therapies, chiropractic, massage, spiritual healing, nutritional and herbal medicine, homeopathy or acupuncture.

Most medical universities and hospitals are now incorporating many of these practices. At the same time, patients are demanding them. And, under the direction of integrative-medicine guru Dr. Andrew Weil, the first formal training program in integrative medicine for physicians is in full swing at the University of Arizona. With this atmosphere, medical students across the country are appealing for more education in the alternative arena.

By any other name

The pleas of patients and medical students are not without basis. Since the 1980s, researchers have been mounting scientific evidence that integrative medicine often works better than conventional treatment alone.

Dr. Dean Ornish's program at the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California, is famous for reversing heart disease with a combination of diet, moderate exercise, stress management, meditation, group support, yoga, and conventional diagnostic procedures and drugs as needed.

At the Stanford University Medical School, Dr. David Spiegel and his team of researchers have found that women with advanced breast cancer doubled their survival time by participating in group therapy while undergoing conventional treatments.

People living with AIDS are also benefiting from integrative medicine. Dr. Jon Kaiser at the Davies Medical Center in San Francisco, California, starts his patients on a program of diet, nutritional supplementation, herbs, acupuncture, exercise and mind/body medicine. He then incorporates drug therapies only if the rest of the program proves not to be sufficient. Almost 90 percent of Kaiser's patients improved or have been able to keep the disease at bay.

 

Copyright 1999 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 August 2013 11:03
 
Second Section PDF Print E-mail

The new language of medicine: Part II

By William Collinge, M.P.H., Ph.D.

(WebMD) -- This is the second in a two-part series on integrative medicine, the combination of conventional and alternative therapies.

Mysterious diseases that neither seems to have a single cause nor a single cure is the most compelling forces behind the rise of integrative medicine. The diseases, called "complex chronic illnesses," have confounded doctors, who attempt to treat patients suffering from the conditions for which one form of medicine doesn't seem to be enough.

Complex chronic illnesses affect more than one system in the body. Because of this, patients recover most successfully with the use of an amalgam of therapies that involve both conventional and alternative approaches.

Prime examples

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia are leading examples of complex chronic illnesses. Both conditions involve the immune, circulatory, digestive and nervous systems, which interact with each other in bewildering ways.

The immune systems of persons afflicted with CFS churn out abnormally high levels of the hormones normally responsible for stimulating immune cells into action. But high levels of these hormones can also create a deep sense of fatigue. Individuals with CFS can also have serious problems with memory and concentration ("brain fog"), sleep, pain and digestion.

Widespread bodily pain is the most characteristic symptom of fibromyalgia. While sufferers of the condition perceive the pain they experience as coming from their muscles, the muscles don't show any signs of disease. The pain occurs when the brain encounters disturbance while processing normal nerve impulses. Fibromyalgia sufferers can also experience CFS-like symptoms.

One haystack, many needles

A labyrinth of factors causes the two illnesses. While each factor by itself may not be sufficient to cause the illness, a multiplicity of factors can conspire to establish an insidious pattern of chronic symptoms that can be difficult to dislodge. With a sudden trauma or injury, extreme or chronic stress, environmental toxins, possibly certain germs and a person's genetic vulnerabilities, the factors all join together to wreak havoc, and a complex chronic illness results.

Because conventional medicine is based on diseases that have a single cause, mainstream physicians have, for the most part, failed to treat complex chronic illnesses. Individuals with CFS and fibromyalgia need more than a single drug, surgery or other high-tech solutions.

Complex chronic illnesses involve a "web of causality" with many factors that "are not linked to each other in a linear, predictable manner," explain researchers Pierre Philippe and Omaima Mansi of the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Montreal.

A foggy brain, a book in the refrigerator

Abby, who didn't want her last name used, knows all about the result of interlaced factors. The 43-year-old psychotherapist received whiplash from an auto accident 11 years ago. For more than one year she suffered pain, which caused disturbed sleep and chronic stress, and it was during this time that she also became pregnant.

After giving birth, the Greenwich, Connecticut resident developed a series of bacterial infections. Her doctors put her on a heavy course of antibiotics, and one year later she developed a flu that never seemed to leave.

Abby was on a downward spiral, one that led her into a seven-year sojourn through CFS and fibromyalgia. At her worst she was barely able to get out of bed to go to the bathroom. Her brain fog was so severe that she once found a book in her refrigerator.

The promise of integrative medicine

With the help of a naturopath, Abby turned to herbal medicines and supplements and an organic, no allergenic diet to support her digestive system. She practiced meditation and breathing exercises every day and received acupuncture regularly to stimulate her body's healing process.

To complement the alternative therapies, an understanding physician prescribed medications to treat depression, pain and sleep disturbance.

"I don't know what I would have done without those medicines, because they restored my sleep, when nothing natural would," Abby says. "Then my immune system had a chance to heal."

Today, while Abby occasionally suffers from mild symptoms during stressful times, she is able to jog three times a week, and she lives a full life with her husband and 10-year-old son. She continues to use herbs, supplements and a healthy diet.

Integrating the strengths of conventional and alternative therapies has been the key to Abby's healing and holds promise for countless others who face the challenges of complex chronic illness.

William Collinge, M.P.H., Ph.D., is a consultant for integrative health care and behavioral medicine. He has conducted research in behavioral medicine for cancer, AIDS and chronic fatigue syndrome. He is also the author of several books, including "The American Holistic Health Association Complete Guide to Alternative Medicine," "Recovering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Guide to Self-Empowerment" and "The Mind/Body Medicine Library."

Copyright 1999 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved.

 


Last Updated on Thursday, 01 August 2013 11:00
 


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