By Natural Advocate | January 31, 2007 - 8:54 pm - Posted in Alternative & Herbal Health News

I just read in a news story the other day about how one of the biggest Ivy League colleges around, Yale University, would like to be known as the greenest college around.  What does that mean?  It usually refers to the fact that an establishment is eco-friendly, and all policies, offerings, and buildings are as green as they can possibly be, as good for the earth and the students as they can possibly be. 

Namely, Yale would like to focus its efforts on reducing greenhouse gas emissions as an organization, as they feel the government here in the US has not done enough to prevent the further global warming epidemic that is occurring right before our eyes today.  So far, the president of the big university says the university as a whole has reduced emissions by almost 6% in just one year. 

That’s quite impressive for a relatively small operation, and I’m sure Yale is hoping this sets a precedent for other large organizations to stop waiting for government intervention, and take global warming prevention into their own hands now, before it’s too late. 

By Natural Advocate | - 4:28 am - Posted in Natural Pain Relief

Is pain merely a series of electrical currents, perceived as an unpleasant force, that silently but quickly travels through our bodies in different affected areas? Well, pretty much, on a purely scientific level, this is exactly what pain is.

Inflammation and other injuries cause pressure. This pressure in turn affects the surrounding nerve endings, which send signals (like electric currents, if you will, as an analogy) to the brain that are translated into something we all know as pain and discomfort.

No one wants to be in pain, whether it be the dull, throbbing kind that often comes with muscle injuries or the sharp, sudden pain that can come from deeper, more severe damage that has actually affected nerve endings.

Either way, drug companies have definitely capitalized on the fact that we do not relish the idea of living in pain, even moderate, consistent pain, and narcotic and over the counter pain relievers have enjoyed hefty sales since their introduction to market. But are there ways, more natural and healthier ways, to effectively treat and alleviate joint, muscle and back pain?

Yes, there are, and not only do they usually have other health benefits besides the obvious one of relieving pain, but they also have long term implications in your life as a pain free, healthy and productive person.

The first naturally therapeutic method for relieving pain, which has actually been used in Asian countries for thousands of years, and many people find highly effective, is called acupuncture. Acupuncture, and acupressure, are two different practices which apply the concept of pressure points and nerve manipulation.

Acupuncture actually “punctures” the skin and penetrates to cause a manipulation of nerve endings which are supposedly housed in specific locations on the body and whose location is known only by experienced practitioners.

The same concept applies with acupressure, but only no needles are used, and there is no puncturing of the skin and penetration, but instead a pressure is applied to these areas where the nerve endings are housed which are causing the specific pain a person is experiencing.

Two other natural therapies for pain relief are slow moving exercises which focus on smooth, even breathing. Even breathing techniques combined with stretching and slower, graceful movements can really help to increase the circulation, decrease muscle tensions, increase the endorphins (pleasure chemicals) circulating, and mitigate any feelings of pain that are going on in the body.

Examples of this are yoga, tai chi, and pilates. Strengthening the body also can help to relieve pain by increasing the muscle strength, and helping to counteract weak muscles which lead to pain as well as damaged nerves endings. 

By Natural Advocate | January 28, 2007 - 6:37 pm - Posted in Alternative & Herbal Health News

CAMs, or Complementary and Alternative Medicines, are rarely discolosed to people’s physicians if the patient is using a complementary or alternative therapy, current surveys are showing as reported by news stories.  Apparently most of the age group of fifty plus uses some form of alternative of complementary medicine, whether it be an herbal supplement, a vitamin therapy, massage, energy therapies, or other alternative therapies like acupuncture and other unconventional methods of treatment.

It is important that you disclose any alternative therapies as such to your physician when you are seeing them, because especially with herbal preparations being orally ingested, there can be the potential for interactions with prescribed drugs.  Believe it or not, the physician really does need to know this stuff.  For me, the reluctance to tell my regular physician about the herbal supplements stems from a belief that they will scoff at it or undermine it, and yes, sometimes different physicians have done this to me.

But, with that being said, doesn’t your health and safety come first?  So, it is advisable that you maintain an open communication about things like this with your physician, even if you are embarrassed, or think they don’t want to hear about it.  If you don’t feel comfortable enough with your physician, or they really are not open minded enough to accept it, maybe you should consider getting a new family doctor.

By Natural Advocate | January 26, 2007 - 12:28 pm - Posted in Alternative & Herbal Health News, Foods

Yeah, when I read this one, it actually sounded a little too futuristic and scary to be true, but apparently this new little experiment is in the works.  This really is stuff straight outta science fiction, I gotta tell you, but it’s also kind of exciting…

Supposedly scientists are working on engineering hens who will produce eggs which offer a genetically altered protein which can help to fend off cancer cells and alter cancer genetically to make it less harmful.  It is specifically being tested on malignant melanoma cancerous cells right now.  The proteins that result from their genetic tinkering will produce an eggwhite that is actually pharmaceutical in nature.

These hens are called “transgenic”, and right now researchers are seeing if the succesfully transgenic-made hens will produce offspring which exhibit the same transgenic features, but only in the oviduct, where eggs are produced, so that they may produce the theraputic proteins in their eggs as well. 

The pharmaceutical proteins act as a sort of natural interferon, and the hope is that if this process is successful, there can be a less expensive way to pay for cancer treatment that is still high tech in theory, and take care of one of the biggest problems in cancer treatment today – high costs. 

By Natural Advocate | January 24, 2007 - 6:08 pm - Posted in Alternative & Herbal Health News

I recently read an interesting article on how mistletoe has been thought to be a possible anti-cancer food to consume.  I had never heard this sort of odd theory before, but then again, there are many foods, especially green leafies and brightly colored fruits and veggies, which have been linked to having anti-cancer properties, so it did not surprise me that mistletoe, the stuff we have the tradition of kissing under for the holidays, was pegged as an anti-cancer food.

I guess that in Europe, there is a methodology of treating cancer where a patient takes an actual mistletoe preparation.  Not only that, the mistletoe cancer treatments are covered by many insurances over in Europe (who knew?)

After doing a series of studies on the mistletoe treatment for cancer, researchers are now saying that the evidence it may deter cancer, stop cancer, or even help reverse the signs of cancer is very weak, and that taking mistletoe preparations may even do more harm than good for a cancer patient’s health. 

The strange thing is, the mistletoe can be administered via needle, so patients can actually inject themselves with the treatment.  Concern started that this may not be all that great an idea when one patient developed a mass in her abdomen, where she had been administering the weekly treatments to herself of the mistletoe preparation.

As with any other natural remedy, you should research any alternative cancer therapy.  After all, this is a serious health issue you are dealing with, and could easily become a life and death issue if the wrong treatment for your personal situation is chosen.  Research, and consultation with an accomplished naturopath, and even solicitation of feedback from other survivors who got healthy by alternative means would probably be the best way to go about researching alternative methods for cancer therapy. 

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