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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6. Meditate. Relaxation techniques and meditation can help reduce arthritis pain. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), practicing mindfulness meditation is helpful for some people with painful joints. Researchers also found people with depression and arthritis benefitted most from meditation.


7. Get a good massage. According to the Arthritis Foundation (www.arthritis.org), regular massaging of arthritic joints can help reduce pain and stiffness and improve your range of motion.


8. Add turmeric to your dishes. Turmeric contains a chemical called curcumin that may help reduce arthritis pain. The secret is turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties. The NIH reports turmeric given to lab rats reduced inflammation in their joints.


9. Try herbal supplements. Many herbal supplements touted for arthritis pain include ginkgo, devil’s claw, thunder god vine, bromelain, boswellia and stinging nettle. Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any of these supplements.


You should also talk to your doctor to formulate a medication plan for your specific pain symptoms. Over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) can help relieve occasional pain triggered by activity your muscles and joints aren’t used to. A cream containing capsaicin may be applied to the skin over an aching joint to relieve pain. Use it alone or with oral medication.


References:


pain and prevents future damage to the joints.


3. Try acupuncture. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical treatment that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on your body, which supposedly reroute energies and restores balance in the body. Acupuncture is recommended by the World Health Organization for the treatment of over 100 different conditions, including arthritis.


4. Use hot and cold therapy.  Long, warm showers or baths help ease joint stiffness. Use an electric blanket or a moist heating pad at night (no more than 20 minutes at a time) to keep your joints loose. Cold treatments are best for relieving joint pain, swelling and inflammation. Wrap a gel ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables in a towel and apply it to painful joints for quick relief.


5. Include the right fatty acids in your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce arthritis pain. Fish oil supplements, which are high in omega-3s, also reduce joint stiffness and pain. Another fatty acid that can help is gamma-linolenic acid or GLA, which is found in the seeds of certain plants such as evening primrose, borage, hemp and black currants.   

COPING WITH ARTHRITIS PAIN NATURALLY

HARLEENA SINGH

Harleena Singh is a professional freelance writer with a background in teaching and education. She has a keen interest in food and health related issues and can be approached through her website freelancewriter.co. Checkout her blog and network with her on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.

more articles by harleena singh

For many people who are living with arthritis, managing pain is a part of daily life. Arthritis is a group of degenerative conditions marked by inflammation in the joints, which causes stiffness and pain.


Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, is caused by wear and tear over the years. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the immune system attacks the joints as if they were foreign tissues. Because of this, rheumatoid arthritis is classified as an autoimmune disease.


Doctors usually treat arthritis with anti-inflammatory medications and painkillers. However, some medications cause side effects, so a natural approach to pain relief is becoming more popular. Here are a few suggestions:


1. Exercise more. Regular movement helps maintain joint flexibility. Choose activities that build the muscles around your joints but don’t damage the joints themselves. Try low-impact exercises such as water aerobics or swimming to flex your joints without adding further stress rather than weight-bearing exercises such as running, which can be damaging.


2. Lose weight. Extra weight puts more pressure on your joints, especially your knees, hips and feet. When you lose weight, you reduce the stress on your joints, which improves your mobility, decreases