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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With a diagnosis of cancer come significant changes in a person’s life, including the potential loss of caring contacts and social needs. Several social media platforms, including email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and online groups, provide support. Some patients, family members and friends who use social media found it beneficial because it provided an avenue for patient engage- ment and empowerment, increasing psychoso- cial and informational support, strengthening patient-clinician relationships and relaying opportunities for clinical and research advances in cancer care and treatment.


Another well-respected social media site is CaringBridge. This site was founded by Sona Mehring, who sought a vehicle to connect and update friends and family about the health of a friend. Instead of making numerous time-consuming phone calls, Mehring created a website that allowed friends and family to get updates and offer support and encouragement. Patients can provide an interactive journal account of their progress and maintain the caring and connection with friends and family. CaringBridge is now available in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.


Sources and Resources:


SOCIAL MEDIA OFFERS CARING CONTACT FOR PEOPLE WITH CANCER

One of the best ways to break through your sense of isolation is to open up about your feelings in a safe space with a professional who specializes in the emotional effects of cancer. Mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and advanced practice nurses, have the professional training to assist you in facing the complexities of cancer diagnosis, treatment and management.


Seeking spiritual guidance and support may provide a sense of life’s deeper meaning, and this higher perspective can go a long way toward relieving the loneliness of your cancer journey. Religious gatherings are some of the best antidotes to isolation, offering a welcoming community that can be far more accepting than other types of social groups.


The Cancer Support Helpline is staffed by counselors and resource specialists who are available to provide emotional support as well as information and referral to local, regional and national resources to anyone impacted by a cancer diagnosis. Professional counselors and resource specialists can be reached toll free at 1-888-793-9355 or via live chat Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Services are provided in English and Spanish.

DR. THOMAS W. MILLER, PH.D, ABPP

Thomas W. Miller, Ph.D., ABPP, is a Professor Emeritus and Senior Research Scientist, Center for Health, Intervention and Prevention, University of Connecticut and Professor, Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine and Department of Gerontology, College of Public Health, University of Kentucky.

more articles by Dr thomas w. miller

The loneliness that often accompanies a cancer diagnosis is rarely talked about. Cancer patients report friends often begin to treat them differently and reduce or even eliminate contact, calls or visits.


At the same time, cancer patients may feel cut off because they are not well enough to take part in activities they previously enjoyed. Even if they are surrounded by people who love them, some patients feel isolated because others cannot understand what a cancer diagnosis really means. Loneliness can be particularly acute if the patient is single, living alone or widowed.


Some friends may feel awkward at first about relating to you as a cancer patient, so take the lead by reaching out to them. It’s okay to be honest about your feelings. When friends want to help, let them know what you need, but be understanding of their own schedules and limitations.


No matter how caring one’s friends and family are, if they have not been through what you are facing, they may not fully understand what adjusting to cancer is like. You can find support groups locally, regionally and nationally. Get in contact with them. Whether you take part online or in person, a support group is a great place to share experiences, learn from others who have been there, too, and find access to resources you might not have known about otherwise.