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Category Archives: Alternative Medicine
Posted: June 21, 2017 at 4:13 am
The June 16 Politics & the Nation article Risky Lyme treatments on the rise read like another hit on alternative medicine by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It had all the key words favored by the CDC: risky, dangerous, expensive, unorthodox and its standard phrases, according to a new report, Officials ... are alarmed. Then there was the CDCs gold-standard complaint: unproven treatments. Well, not to put too fine a point on it, but proof is reserved for mathematics and logic.
The article said, Many of the treatments ... have no evidence of effectiveness. Thats better. Talk about evidence rather than proof. But it didnt list all of the many treatments with no evidence of effectiveness. Obviously, the clinicians using unorthodox therapies would not be able to stay in business if they were not getting positive results from some of the treatments. The article mentioned a few anecdotal accounts of doom but didnt provide information about other factors that could have played a role in the unfortunate outcomes. Nor did it cite any cases in which people were cured or their health improved by the unorthodox therapies.
And since when did garlic supplements become dangerous and expensive?
William Cates, Charlottesville
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Posted: at 4:13 am
Alternative medicine practitioner charged with sexual assault in ...
Halton police have charged a 42-year-old alternative medicine practitioner with sexually assaulting a patient.
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Suffering from severe pain? Experts say THIS form of alternative medicine will work just as well as drugs! – Zee News
Posted: June 19, 2017 at 7:15 pm
New Delhi: The phobia of needles is something many people will confess to, but, the alternative medicine of acupuncture that involves thin needles being inserted into various points on your body, adheres to effective healing of many health problems.
A new study conducted by researchers RMIT University in Australia has revealed that the form of holistic medicine is also a safe and effective alternative to painkillers in providing long-term relief for patients with severe pain.
Researchers conducted a trial in the emergency departments of four hospitals involving about 528 patients with acute low back pain, migraine or ankle sprains.
Acupuncture is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine.
Patients who identified their level of pain as at least four on a 10-point scale randomly received one of three types of treatment acupuncture alone, acupuncture plus pharmacotherapy (treatment using drugs) or pharmacotherapy alone.
Researchers noted that one hour after treatment, less than 40 percent of patients across all three groups felt any significant pain reduction, while more than 80 percent continued to have a pain rating of at least four.
However, 48 hours later, the vast majority found their treatment acceptable, with 82.8 percent of acupuncture only patients saying they would probably or definitely repeat their treatment, compared with 80.8 percent in the combined group, and 78.2 percent in the pharmacotherapy-only group, researchers said.
"Our study has shown acupuncture is a viable alternative, and would be especially beneficial for patients who are unable to take standard pain-relieving drugs because of other medical conditions," said Marc Cohen, professor at RMIT University.
While acupuncture is widely used by practitioners in community settings for treating pain, it is rarely used in hospital emergency departments, researchers said.
"We need to determine the conditions that are most responsive to acupuncture, the feasibility of including the treatment in emergency settings, and the training needed for doctors or allied health personnel," Cohen said.
The study was published in the Medical Journal of Australia.
(With PTI inputs)
Posted: June 18, 2017 at 11:10 am
WHAT IS COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE (CAM)?
Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) is defined as a medical system, practice or product that is not usually thought of as standard care. Standard medical care is care that is based on scientific evidence. For thyroid cancer, standard care includes surgery, radioactive iodine and thyroid hormone suppression therapy. For patients with other thyroid diseases, standard care may include thyroid hormone suppression or supplementation.
The National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NIH NCCAM) defines complementary medicine as being used along with standard medical treatments, and alternative medicine as being used in place of standard medical treatments. Integrative medicine is a comprehensive approach to care that includes a patients mind body and spirit; this combines standard medicine with CAM practices.
The NIH NCCAM uses five categories to describe the different types of CAM. It would be difficult to create a comprehensive list, but some examples are described below:
These are based on a belief that the mind is able to affect your body. Examples include:
These include things most often found in nature, and includes dietary supplements and herbal products. Examples include:
A note about Biologically-Based Practices. Its common for patients with thyroid cancer or thyroid disease to be recommended to practice a special diet that avoids foods that contain iodine. In fact, use of iodine either in liquid form or as a supplement is not recommended. Its also common for patients to be told to take Vitamin D or calcium supplementation. In one sense, physicians who treat patients with thyroid disease are therefore recommending a few highly selected biologically based practices. While these practices can be helpful, its important to note that there is no one special diet or vitamin that has been proven to eliminate cancer or remove thyroid disease. Because of these special reasons, its important to talk with the doctor managing your treatment about any special diets or supplements you are thinking about using.
These are based on working with the body and are thought to have underlying benefits for the mind as well. Examples include:
Energy medicine invokes the belief that the body has energy fields that can be manipulated for healing and wellness. Examples include:
These systems include beliefs and approaches to healing and wellness that come from all of the world and from many cultures. Examples include:
There are few studies that have looked at why patients with thyroid disease choose CAM. Some of the reasons they state are to:
A diagnosis of thyroid cancer or thyroid disease can be stressful or worrisome. Some patients who are newly diagnosed may want to add to their physicians recommendations or even avoid allopathic treatment entirely. Its natural to want to be well and to think about what else you can do to improve your health. There is a lot of information available, and new approaches for treating thyroid cancer and thyroid disease are always being tested. It can be hard to tell the difference between what is standard care and what is complementary and alternative medicine. This brochure is intended to help you understand what to consider as you make these choices. The most important message is to talk with your doctor about what you are already using and before you try anything new.
Some patients are afraid their doctor wont understand or approve of the use of CAM; some physicians may not understand or approve of this in their patients. But physicians know that their patients want to take an active role in their treatment. We want the best for our patients and would prefer an open line of communication. Talking with your physician about CAM is particularly important because we want to ensure that your treatment works well, and some CAM that may seem safe could potentially interfere with your treatment.
Do you know what types of CAM might help me deal with the side effects of treatment?
Will CAM interfere with my treatment or medicines?
Can you help me understand what I have read/ heard about CAM?
Supplements do not have to be approved by the federal government before being sold to the public, and a prescription is not needed to buy them. The same is true for most CAM practices. There are ads and claims that a certain product has been used for years, or that they are effective in fighting cancer; these claims do not prove that these approaches are safe or effective. Some of these therapies can cost thousands of dollars. Its important for you as a consumer to decide what is best for you, but you should be careful. Tell your physician if you are using any form of CAM, no matter how safe you think it is. Here are some facts about biological products you may find surprising:
CAM practitioners are people who should have training and experience in CAM treatment. You should choose one as carefully and thoughtfully as you choose your physician. Be careful of products advertised that claim they have a cure but do not give specific information about how well their product works or claim they have only positive results without side effects. Here are some approaches to remember when finding a practitioner:
There is a lot of information about CAM and its difficult to know who to trust. Good places to start are listed to the right. Here are some key questions to ask as you evaluate CAM information:
Posted: at 11:10 am
EVER since the start of the Modern Age, it has always been a debate whether whats the better treatment: herbal medicine or synthetic drugs.
When you ask your mothers and grandmothers, theyll tell you that the natural way is the right way in treatment. But, when asking the more modern-minded people, theyll pick the scientific drugs over any alternative medicine. So, whats the real deal?
According to a World Health Organization, there are 250,000 practitioners of traditional medicine in the Philippines. Natural medicine users have been growing ever since the Traditional and Alternative Medicine Act of 1997 (or Tama) was implemented. Because of this, the country has been majorly supporting the use of alternative medicine, and is more inclined towards it over the latter years.
There are a lot of advantages to herbal medicine, according to Health Guidance. Its a lot less cheap than most synthetic medicine and its also very easily attainable. Most, if not all, herbal medicines are mostly considered over-the-counter medicine, which do not need any doctors prescription to buy it. These alternative medicines also dont really have serious side-effects and are mainly promoting general wellness.
But, they have disadvantages as well. Its ineffective against very serious conditions. You cant really fix a broken arm with herbal medicine, can you? It may also trigger allergies, if youre not careful.
Steven Salzberg, a prominent biology researcher at University of Maryland, calls alternative medicine as cleverly marketed, dangerous quackery.
He even said that the more time they spend getting fraudulent treatments, the less time theyll spend getting treatments that work and that could save their lives.
This brings us to the advantages of modern medicine.
According to Elizabeth Blackburn, a biologist at the University of California at San Francisco and a Nobel laureate, modern medicine was formed around success in fighting infectious diseases. This means that while alternative medicine promotes the general well-being of a person, modern medicine aims to attack a specific disease.
The biggest advantage of modern medicine is actually the biggest disadvantage of alternative medicine its effective on more serious conditions.
Imagine breaking a leg. Would you consider going to an herbalist instead of a doctor whose expertise are more inclined towards your injury?
In the Philippine Health System Review for 2011, it is said that in the 2006 FIES, the average Filipino household spends about P4,000 per year on medical care. Drugs account for almost 70 percent of total household out-of-pocket (OOP) payments while less than 10 percent of total OOP is spent on professional fees. Especially in the world today, most people opt to go to modern medicine.
But, it has its disadvantages as well. Modern medicine is more expensive when it comes to the more serious diseases. There are other cases where the chemicals are too strong for some bodies to handle.
So, with the advantages and disadvantages of both interchanging, which really is the better one?
"For as long as BFAD approved, okay lang man yan (Herbal medicine is okay. Meron yang (It has) scientific basis na pwede siya for consumption. Pero, hindi parin (But it is not) priority ang non-medicinal [Herbal] over medicinal [Synthetic] because there are illnesses or medical conditions that cannot be treated or managed using non-medicinal or herbal regimens, Mari Pearl Agawin, an obstetrician/gynecologist, shared.
Dr. Agawin also added that there are no scientific bases that the synthetic medicine is proven more effective if not any, over the herbal medicine. With this, as long as your illness gets cured, the opinion of the more effective treatment depends on you.
Whether human-made or natural, the most important criteria for a medicines use is safety, effectiveness and quality: identity, purity, potency and stability, Joe Albers, Pharmacist, Pharm.D., Ph.D., said. (Fhrea Zenntine Malinit)
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Posted: June 15, 2017 at 7:16 am
Zhang Yans lecture introduces ways traditional Chinese medicine which can treat your children, and which also help enhance the relationship between the parent and child.
Paediatric massage in China has a long history. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) lends its unique understanding of childrens physiological and pathological development and changes, so that particular acupressure points, meridians and different techniques combined would effectively relieve symptoms of various conditions and even cure some children from certain ailments.
Zhang Yan, a lecturer from Shanghai University of TCM affiliated with Pudong Longhua Hospital, has 20 years experience in clinical practice of TCM, including acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping and other traditional therapies, combined with nearly 10 years of psychological counselling experience.
She is acclaimed to be one of the best fourth generation inheritors of Lus Acupuncture, which is one of the protected intangible cultural heritage items of China.
Yans lecture introduces ways with TCM which can treat children and which also help enhance the relationship between the parent and child.
The lecture will take place tomorrow at the Multi-function Hall at the China Cultural Centre, Valletta, at 7pm. Entrance is free but it is on a first-come, first-served basis. To book your place, send an e-mail to [emailprotected] or call 2122 5055.
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Parents who believe in ‘alternative nutrition’ convicted after baby dies of malnutrition – Telegraph.co.uk
Posted: at 7:16 am
A Belgian court on Wednesday convicted two parents in the death of their infant, who succumbed to malnutrition and dehydration because his parents were firm believers in unconventional nutrition.
The court gave both a suspended six-month sentence because they failed to take adequate action to take care ofbabyLucas, who died at sevenmonths old with organs shrunk to half their size and without any fat around them.
Judge Mieke Butstraen said the demise of thebabywas "the result of the systematic offer of food that was not suitable."
Because of that, "his health was seriously impeded and he eventually died" three years ago, weighing only 9lbs 7oz, barely 2lbs 3ozmore in weight than when he was born.
The case has caused a major uproar about the use of alternative medicine and the responsibility of parents in raising their children.
The parents could still appeal the sentence, but the court said it already showed some leniency by giving the minimum six-month sentence.
"It is clear that the defendants have already been severely punished because they need to proceed with life in the knowledge that they are responsible for the death of their son, who they truly loved," Butstraen said.
The parents own a natural dietary shop and backed alternative food to the fullest, applying it to their newly born third child.
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East meets West: Stanford students invited to sample Tibetan medicine during clerkships – Scope (blog)
Posted: June 14, 2017 at 4:12 am
Stanford medical students must master genetics, biochemistry and immunology, among other disciplines. But school leaders dont want these future doctors to be stumped when their patients describe their acupuncture sessions, or have questions about herbal supplements or other alternativetherapies.
To help familiarize Stanford medical students with these practices, the students spend a day shadowing a practitioner at a participating integrative medicine clinicduring their family medicine clerkship.
We want to introduce students to the idea that the patients they see in clinic are using these other health-care systems, said Art Johnson, coordinator for the family medicine clerkship. They need to partner with patients in managing their health in the best way possible, and utilize all available resources.
The Kunde Institute, a center for Tibetan wellness and healing located in Daly City. is one of these participating clinics. It offers a unique opportunity for students because most integrative medicine clinics in the Bay Area focus on Chinese medicine, Johnson said. About 10 Stanford students per year shadow practitionersat this center, said Tracy Rydel, MD, who directs the family medicine clerkship.
Tibetan medicine, which originated more than 4,000 years ago, attributes the roots of all disease to an imbalance of the three Nyepas(rlung, tripa and peken) thatemanate from the three mental poisons of desire-attachment, hatred-anger and closed-mindedness. Treatments at the Kunde Institute include herbal medicines, hot oil therapy, acupuncture, copper cupping and individualized counseling on diet, nutrition and lifestyle behaviors.
At the Kunde Institute, participating students learn fromMenpa Yangdron Kalzang, LAc, who has a Tibetan medicine degree from the Tibetan Medical University in Lhasa, Tibet and a masters in traditional Chinese medicine from Five Branches University in Santa Cruz. They learn about the connection between the physical, emotional and mental health of patients, one student told me.
Stanford medical student Victoria Boggiano first learned about Tibetan medicine when she attended a symposium at Stanford, she said. When she shadowed Kalzang, she told me she became very interested in how Tibetan medicine can complement the biomedicine traditionally taught in medical school. Boggiano described her experience via email:
I spent an afternoon with Menpa Kalzang, shadowing her as she saw patients with a variety of ailments. I remember really distinctly that two separate patients we saw that day had very bad plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of thick tissue in the foot that leads to pain in the heel and bottom of the foot. Before coming to the institute, neither patient had been able to walk without feeling terrible pain that had been resistant to any of the medications or physical therapy that their primary care physicians had provided them. Both patients started seeing Menpa Kalzang to receive acupuncture and herbal remedies, after which they both saw dramatic reductions in their symptoms. It was incredible to see how much Menpa Kalzang had helped them!
Since 2008, about 100 Stanford students have visited Kunde, Kalzang said. She said she plans to continue with the program.
I do this to build bridges between the Western and Eastern medical systems, Kalzang told me. We need to establish integrative medical systems that allow providers from different disciplines to share information and put in referrals for both types of treatments. This is particularly important for patients with complex cases when Western or Eastern medical systems alone cant answer or solve the problem.
Boggiano hopes to be part of this vision of integrative care. After medical school, she plans to specialize in family medicine and work in a primary care clinic. She explained:
I am eager to learn more about alternative medicine, and particularly Tibetan medicine, both by continuing to work with Menpa Kalzang and by gaining additional clinical experience. It would be incredible to work at a clinic where both biomedicine and alternative medicine are practiced side by side. Tibetan medicine encourages us to view patients in a holistic way and reminds us that mental health and physical health are incredibly intertwined. Patients deserve to receive both types of health care.
Previously:A look at integrative medicine with Stanfords David Spiegel,Exploring the role of integrative medicine in treating chronic health conditions andAsk Stanford Med: Pain expert responds to questions on integrative medicine Photo by Unsplash
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Posted: June 12, 2017 at 8:07 pm
Support for alternative medicine research: CM
Alternative systems of medicine declined in popularity due to the over-emphasis given by the public to allopathic medicines. Now a days, the people are recognising the importance of alternative medicines as a complete solution for every health issue ...
Posted: June 11, 2017 at 5:10 pm
In a major breakthrough, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has unearthed a fake "council of alternative medicines" in Behala that had been giving forged MBBS certificates against a huge sum of money.
The investigating agency raided the office situated in a rented apartment on Biren Roy Road at Behala late on Saturday night. The investigating officers found several documents including a few forged MBBS certificates and other relevant documents from the office that they have sealed after conducting the search operation.
According to a senior officer of CID, accused Tapas Biswas had taken a portion of the house on rent nine months ago to run the office of the fake council which he had named "Council of Alternative System of Medicine".
Investigation revealed that he used to issue forged certificates on behalf of the fake council using which several began to practice allopathy. The CID officers are also looking for these fake doctors.
The investigating officers further came to know that Biswas stopped coming to the office 10 days ago and on the last day of his visit, he had left with several documents. The officers found the office locked from outside when they went to conduct the raid late on Saturday night.
The officers also went to his residence on Moore Avenue in South Kolkata and found it locked from outside. His neighbours informed the officers that Biswas along with his wife and other family members went out of station 10 days ago.
Biswas also runs an institute named Institute of Health Science. There are branches of the institute at Moulali and Gariahat as well. CID officers came to know that Biswas used to give some sort of training to the people who used to approach him to get forged MBBS certificates against a certain amount of money.
Moreover, the accused's father Pradip Biswas, who died a few years ago, was known to the locals as a doctor of alternate medicine. He also used to run an institution and got arrested five years ago by policemen from Regent Park police station, sources added. Interestingly, the investigating officers came to know that his wife also claims herself to be a doctor. His brother, who also passed away, used to run a similar type of institution in Cooch Behar.
The CID officers have questioned the owner of the house at Behala where Biswas had opened his office.
According to sources, the landlord told the officers that the accused had he had been kept in the dark while the house was being taken on rent by Biswas.