Alternative Medicine Modalities

AYURVEDIC MEDICINE is a system of healing that originated in ancient India. In Sanskrit, ayur means life or living, and veda means knowledge, so Ayurveda has been defined as the "knowledge of living" or the "science of longevity."

I worked with an Ayurvedic practitioner years ago when I first became interested in alternative medicine and was avidly practicing yoga. The herbs (such as Triphala, turmeric, amla) are an effective adjunct to a healthy lifestyle and longevity. Many swear by Ayurvedic healing practices, such as the detoxification treatment, panchakarma, as well as the Ayurvedic diet regimen. For more information, check out Deepak Chopra's Chopra Center.

 

CHIROPRACTIC CARE is a system of complementary medicine based on the diagnosis and manipulative treatment of misalignments of the joints, especially those of the spinal column, which are held to cause other disorders by affecting the nerves, muscles, and organs.

Chiropractic care can be all encompassing, and every single chiropracter I have been to is entirely different. It's important to find one you resonate with and has success in the area where you are looking for relief. In my experience, chiropracters care for the spine and attend to structural imbalances, often as they relate to organs, energy meridiens, hormones, and more. Many tend to have a strong background in nutrition, supplements, and diet. I have worked with quite a few in Los Angeles who also specialize in energy work or have training as a shaman. The possibilities are endless, and I've had great success on so many different levels with each practitioner.

 

HELLERWORK is a method of "Structural Integration that realigns and balances the body to its natural and optimal shape and function; thus creating greater ease of movement, improved posture, mind/body awareness and a transformed experience of life. Each session focuses on the release of chronic tension patterns previously held in the body. To achieve this rebalancing, a practitioner skillfully uses fingers, knuckles and elbows to work on your connective tissue at very specific depths, pressures, angles and speeds. Hellerwork originally developed from Rolfing." (From Dan Bienenfeld's book, Align For Life). Check out Dan's comprehensive, easy to do practices in his book, Align for Life, as well as his series of e-books on topics such as back pain, neck pain, TMJ, etc. Hellerwork can also be an important practice for children as they develop especially after injury or trauma. You can read an excerpt from Dan's book, "Hellerwork for Children." Search for a Hellerwork practitioner near you at hellerwork.com.

Hellerwork was a gift for me after a chronic knee issue that plagued me for decades. Once my practitioner addressed the muscular imbalances within my body, my posture corrected itself, and my knee issue healed without any invasive procedures or bandaids such as orthotics or adjustments that wouldn't hold in the long-term (all of which may be appropriate and helpful but not in my case). Before signing up for surgery or a long term pain killer prescription, check your posture and any structural imbalances that may be at the root of your symptoms.

 

HOMEOPATHY is a medical science developed by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), a German physician. It is based on the principle that  “like cures like”. In simple words, it means that any substance, which can produce symptoms in a healthy person, can cure similar symptoms in a person who is sick. This idea is referred to as the “Law of Similars“, and was understood by Aristotle and Hippocrates and mentioned in ancient Hindu manuscripts. It was Hahnemann, however, who turned it into a science of healing. A second principle of homeopathy is that you should give the least amount of medicine necessary to evoke a healing response. This is called the “Minimum Dose”.  We all know that normal medicines can cause side effects, leading to much suffering or even death. In an effort to prevent side effects, Hahnemann began successive dilution with agitation of his medicines, to find the point at which they would be therapeutic, but not toxic. Currently there are three thousand substances used as homeopathic remedies to treat everything from colds and cough to arthritis and cancer. For more information, visit http://hpathy.com/abc-homeopathy/what-is-homeopathy-definition-and-details

I have been so enamoured with Chinese Medicine this past decade or so, I've only recently begun to experiment with homeopathy beyond the obvious and most common remedy, arnica for injuries/bruises/aches. I am beyond impressed with the effects of homeopathy and love that there are no side effects. Hypericum perforatum is amazing for any nerve issues, and especially great for protecting/saving the nerves in your teeth after intense dental work. Silicea helps improve the quality and health of hair, skin and nails. There are mixtures for detoxing anesthetic after surgeries or for detoxing radiation after flying, x-rays/MRI's, etc. There are remedies for mold exposures, parasites/worms, allergies, Epstein-Barr, and so much more. 

 

IV VITAMIN THERAPY is an intra-venous infusion of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and/or amino acids into the vein. IV drips or injections can be used for viral infections, cold, flu, nutritional deficiencies due to malnutrition or malabsorption, detoxification, and boosting the immune system. It can also be used to fight chronic disease (i.e. studies show intravenous vitamin c is a successful way to heal cancer in some cases or to reduce inflammation after chemotherapy/radiation).

 

NEUROMUSCULAR THERAPY/STRAIN COUNTERSTRAIN technique eliminates protective muscle spasm in skeletal muscles. It has been used for over 50 years to improve range of motion and flexibility in athletes and other patients. Strain counterstrain is a manual therapy whereby the clinician uses only his own hands for the treatment of muscle and joint pain. He uses passive body positioning of hypertonic (spasmed) muscles and dysfunctional joints toward positions of comfort or tissue ease that compress or shorten the offending muscle. The purpose of movement toward shortening is to relax aberrant reflexes that produce the muscle spasm forcing immediate reduction of muscle tone to normal levels. This allows the joints influenced by the now relaxed muscle to function optimally increasing their range of motion and easing muscle and joint pain. Read more at www.gadibody.com/treatments, and check out Gadi Kaufman’s manual for self treating low back pain, Back Pain Relief in 90 Seconds.

I've used this technique to help with a tight psoas muscle and neck issues. I especially love it because the work focuses on working in tandem with your nervous system. The goal is to get your nervous system to communicate effectively to balance the body as opposed to defensively compensating due to the muscle spasm causing the imbalances in other parts of the body.

 

TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM) encompasses many different practices, including acupuncture, moxibustion (burning an herb above the skin to apply heat to acupuncture points), Chinese herbal medicine, tui na (Chinese therapeutic massage), dietary therapy, and tai chi and qi gong (practices that combine specific movements or postures, coordinated breathing, and mental focus). TCM is rooted in the ancient philosophy of Taoism and dates back more than 2,500 years. (nccih.nih.gov/health/whatiscam/chinesemed.htm)

TCM is my first love. I had amazing results with a TCM herbalist years ago when I was improperly diagnosed with a bladder disease. My practitioner's herbal modality was exact in a way that Western Medicine was lacking especially on issues like Auto-Immune, Chronic Fatigue, Epstein Barr, Interstitial Cystitis, MS, Autism, IBS/G.I. diseases and the list goes on. With a knowledgeable practitioner and high quality, clean Chinese herbs, it is possible to experience immediate results with NO side effects. I keep herbal preparations at home for emergencies, such as an herbal antibiotic for infections or herbs to prevent/clear mold exposure. I also love the benefits of acupuncture and cupping. Both have helped me tremendously with major/minor injuries over the years.