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Archive for April, 2017

NEW STUDY SHOWS PROMISE FOR ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

If you’ve ever had pain that lasts for several weeks, you may be surprised to know that you are not alone.

Not by a long shot. In a typical year, around 100 million adults in the United States have episodes of pain that that last for 12 or more weeks. Of those, 40 million are classified as in severe chronic pain.

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According to Dr. Jeff McQuaite, millions of people rely on pain medications to help them deal with these episodes, but those medications can have significant side effects — including, the risk of addiction. Because of that, a lot of pain sufferers have been investigating alternative methods of pain relief, including yoga, Tai Chi, and acupuncture, among others.

These methods have not been studied as thoroughly as traditional medicine strategies, but recently the results of a major study were released that were promising.  Richard L. Nahin, Ph.D., of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and a team of researchers published their results in a leading medical journal, Mayo Clinic Proceedings, and here is what they found.

After studying the results of 150 U.S. clinical trials of non-drug therapies for chronic pain, Dr. Nahin and his team found there was evidence to conclude that yoga and acupuncture are effective for back pain. In addition, they found that acupuncture and tai chi have some beneficial effects for people with pain triggered by osteoarthritis of the knee.

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These are encouraging findings for people who are seeking non-drug solutions to chronic pain management, like those offered by a chiropractor in Central Bucks County and hopefully there will be more studies in the future that demonstrate even stronger links between these alternative therapies and pain relief.

MAGNESIUM MAY HELP WITH MIGRAINES

Migraine headaches can be very debilitating, and even though millions of people suffer from them, there is no foolproof method for getting relief. Migraine sufferers try medications, herbal remedies, and various alternative therapies offered by a chiropractor in the area, but there is no single thing that works for everyone.

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Now, however, there is some evidence that magnesium supplements from a local chiropractor may help. According to Richard Lipton, M.D., vice chair of neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and a neurologist with the American Migraine Foundation, scientists think that migraine headaches may be related to a deficiency of the mineral magnesium. Studies have shown that during a migraine attack, people have low levels of magnesium in their bodies. In addition, magnesium is known to block certain neurotransmitters that cause a state of excitability in the brain, which has been theorized to be the cause of migraines.

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The results are not 100 percent conclusive, and more research needs to be done, but at this point some headache specialists are recommending¬† that people with a history of migraines take oral magnesium supplements, up to 500 mg a day. You can also get your magnesium from eating a healthy diet, of course — foods with a lot of magnesium include dark leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, almonds, avocados, and figs.

This is not an overnight cure, because it can take a month or more for magnesium levels to build up in the body. If you stick with it, though, you could lessen the frequency and intensity of your migraines, which is certainly a good reason to supplement your diet.

AROMATHERAPY FOR YOUR STRESS

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We live in an increasingly stressful world, and yet science tells us that stress can be bad for our health. Stress has been linked to a range of physical ailments, including hypertension, headaches, asthma, diabetes, depression, and anxiety, to name just a few.

There are many remedies for dealing with stress, and things like meditation, yoga, exercise, massage at your local chiropractor office and even a cup of herbal tea work for various people. Aromatherapy is another stress reliever, and many people swear by its calming properties.

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The aroma from essential oils is believed to penetrate cell membranes in the brain and reach the emotional centers quickly. Certain smells can trigger feelings of peace and serenity, and they can bring you back to calmer times in your life, which immediately slows your heartbeat and breathing, and makes your mind more peaceful.

There are many varieties of essential oils available, each with its own properties. The ones most commonly associated with stress relief are: Lavender, Patchouli, Citrus Oils, Clary Sage, and Ylang-Ylang.

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However, the very best way to find a good de-stressing oil is to simply sample it. Smell the oil, and pay attention to how it makes your body and mind feel. The ultimate test is how it affects you, not what the label says. Once you find an oil that works, purchase it from a Jamison chiropractor and put a few drops of it on a handkerchief. That way you can carry it around with you all day long, and pull it out for a sniff whenever you need to de-stress.