It seems like everyone is taking pharmaceuticals, and although they are effective, these drugs are finding their way into our drinking water. In 2008, an Associated Press investigation showed that mood stabilizers, sex hormones, antibiotics, etc, were found in at least 41 million Americans’ drinking water supplies. Because of this water quality issue, it’s important to acknowledge that many health problems can be resolved through lifestyle changes (such as proper diet, exercise and stress reduction regimes) as well as natural medicines. Effective alternatives that have less of an impact on our water supply include but are not limited to essential oils, flower essences, acupuncture and Chinese herbs.
Having a baby, losing your job, relocating and other major life events can cause dysfunction and chaos in your life. You might not even feel like yourself, but instead of resorting to anti-depressants, sometimes a holistic approach will suffice.
Essential oils are liquids distilled from plants and flowers, and they have powerful healing properties. Some massage therapists integrate these oils into their treatment, but you can create a personalized aromatherapy session at home. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, “Research has confirmed that lavender produces calming, soothing, and sedative effects.” For example, if you’re stressed out or anxious, a few drops of lavender essential oil in your bath or vitamin E body cream may calm your nerves. Bergamot and Neroli have a reputation for uplifting your energy and relieving depression, so these oils can be diffused in your home or office.
However, do keep in mind that although each oil has certain properties or a reputation, your body might react to them differently. Also, when using essential oils, it’s important to purchase 100 percent therapeutic grade oil. Still, regardless of the oil’s quality, certain types such as cinnamon and peppermint can burn if applied directly to the skin. Essential oils are versatile and each oil has several health benefits, and if you visit a massage therapist or holistic practitioner, you’re sure to find a blend of oils to meet your needs.
Another option is to use flower essences. Dr. Edward Bach was a British physician who created Bach Flower Remedies. These flower essences are 100 percent natural and are made by sun-steeping or boiling spring water infused with wild flowers. In comparison to essential oils, they don’t have a fragrance and are completely safe. If you have any emotional imbalances or undesirable feelings such as fear, worry or aggression, a couple drops of flower essences in your water may help bring peace back into your life.
Diseases may initially affect a specific part of your body, but eventually they cause other organs and bodily functions to malfunction or shut down. Because diseases are complex in nature, holistic cures for serious illnesses often attempt to treat the body on multifaceted level.
Jeffrey Bond has been practicing acupuncture for 20 years, and people of all ages with various ailments seek his expertise. Bond explains that acupuncture can treat many different problems, because it “treats the person as a whole system.” Often times another system in the body is neglected or cannot be properly treated by Western methods. Bond says this is when “chi and channels are key,” because the “matrix of channels throughout our body (blood, circulation) influence emotions.”
Chinese medicine understands this connection and this is why acupuncture can treat back pain and stress as well as more severe ailments such as Ménière’s disease. This disease is an abnormality of the inner ear, which often affects only one ear. In 1861, French physician Prosper Ménière described the following symptoms of the disease: pressure or pain in the ear, variable hearing loss, severe dizziness or vertigo, and a roaring sound in the ears.
Bond once treated a woman with Ménière’s, and the disease caused her to experience severe vertigo, migraines and tinnitus (a ringing sound in the ears). In addition, the imbalance made her violently sick to the point of collapse. According to Bond, acupuncture helped her manage the disease, and he says the symptoms no longer plague the patient.
If needles deter your interest in trying acupuncture, visiting a Chinese herbalist is an alternative. After the herbalist diagnoses you, he/she will prepare your herbal remedy by measuring a concoction of leaves, twigs and other dried plants, which you boil down to tea. According to the Rocky Mountain Herbal Institute, composing the herbs is a methodical process, and you can’t simply choose herbs for a single symptom. Some herbal doctors such as Dr. Bob Shen, OMD, LAC have created formulations to help combat certain ailments such as diabetes, asthma and herpes as well as prevent high blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease, cancer and osteoporosis.
There are a variety of affordable ways to heal your ailments without traditional medicines. Plus, these alternative treatments can have a lower impact on your body and the environment. Whether you choose traditional or natural medicines, it’s best to do plenty of research and discuss your treatment options with a doctor. Pharmaceuticals are powerful drugs that we are lucky to have available, but it’s comforting to know that you have other options that are not as harmful to our drinking water.
Source: About My Planet