HERBS FOR HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IMPACTS PSYCHOLOGICAL HARDINESS

Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.

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ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…

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As for screening, the American Cancer Society (ACS) released a new guideline saying women with an average risk of breast cancer should begin having annual mammograms at age 45 years and can change to having them every other year starting at age 55 years. Women can start screening as early as age 40 years if they wish. The American Medical Association and the ACS decided to wait longer to screen based on weighing the risks and benefits of the mammogram. For example, while screenings undoubtedly save lives, they can sometimes detect something suspicious that requires more testing, only to have the exam prove it was not something harmful. The clinical breast exam was also removed from the recommendations; the organizations felt these do not provide a clear benefit.


Another recent change is having the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) weigh in about screenings. Since high breast density is a risk factor that is usually detected on a mammogram, the FDA proposes mammography facilities inform women if they have high-density breasts. This can help them make the most appropriate personalized decisions with their healthcare provider about screenings and risk reduction.  

BREAST SELF-AWARENESS CAN GUARD YOUR HEALTH

JAMIE LOBER

Jamie Lober is a Staff Writer for Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by Jamie Lober

The National Cancer Institute noted breast cancer is one of the only cancers for which an effective screening test such as the mammogram is available. Researchers continue to strive to improve the test and make sure it incorporates the latest technologies. One exciting advance is 3-D mammography, also known as breast tomosynthesis, in which pictures are taken from different angles and then turned into a 3-D image. Researchers are also taking into account each individual woman’s risk level as well to decrease the chance of over-diagnosis. The goal is that screenings will become more personalized over time, just as cancer treatments are.


The ACOG encourages women to schedule a well-woman visit every year with the main purpose of discussing healthy lifestyles and minimizing health risks. Screening and counseling is all done at this time. The more you share with the gynecologist, the better she is able to guide you as you navigate through the different ages and stages. She should be aware of any medications you take as well as your family, social and sexual and reproductive history. The breast and pelvic exams are typical components of the visit, so it is a great opportunity to be reassured you are in good health or to treat an issue early for the best prognosis.

According to KentuckyOne Health, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women today, next to skin cancer. The best defenses against breast cancer are knowing your body and getting appropriate screenings, such as a mammogram and breast ultrasound, so you can detect any issues when they are early and most treatable.


The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says breast self-awareness means knowing how your breasts normally look and feel. If you notice any new lumps or skin changes such thickening, dimpling, unexplained reddening or pain especially in one place or if it is getting worse, contact your health care provider. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says while there are some factors that are out of your control – such as age, genetic mutations, having dense breasts, having your first menstrual period before age 12, starting menopause after age 55 and family history – there are some things you can control. Research suggests other variables such as smoking, being exposed to chemicals that cause cancer and working the night shift can increase cancer risk.


Start making good lifestyle choices such as maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, not drinking alcohol at all or having no more than one drink a day and breastfeeding your children if possible.