Tag Archive | Holistic remedies

Ancient and Contemporary Approaches to Treating Menopause Holistic Health

Words: Bill Reddy, LAc, DiplAc. Source: www.althingshealing.com

You’re sitting comfortably in a restaurant waiting for your appetizers to arrive when it happens.

Holistic HealingIt feels as if someone abruptly set the thermostat 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Beads of sweat begin to form on your forehead and neck and you wonder if your face is getting beet red. Or maybe you’re at home watching TV and when a little boy hugs his dog in a commercial you suddenly feel like crying.

If this sounds like you, you’re not alone, although the symptoms are different for each woman. The most common are hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, fatigue, forgetfulness, mood swings, vaginal dryness or itching and weight gain. Menopause usually occurs in women between the ages of 45 and 55, but can vary widely based on a number of variables.

A human female is born with 1-2 million follicles that will eventually develop into ova (eggs). By the time she reaches puberty and begins her menstrual cycle she has less than a ½ million remaining. Every month close to 1,000 follicles perish, with one or more developing into a viable egg for fertilization. When there are few remaining follicles, menstruation ceases and menopause begins. Some sources define menopause as the natural cessation of a woman’s period for one year.

MDs will often recommend Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) but this trend has decreased in recent years following studies suggesting that HRT may increase the risk for gallbladder disease, stroke, and cancers of the liver, uterus, and breast. 1,2

Natural Strategies to Ease Symptoms

A comprehensive and holistic approach can address the acute symptoms with with fast-acting herbs while also looking at lifestyle and dietary changes for long-term benefit. Modify your diet to avoid sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods, and emphasize a variety of whole foods such as lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, beans and healthy oils such as flaxseed, coconut, and fish oil. Eliminate sodas from your diet. The phosphoric acid in soda creates an acidic environment in your body. This, in turn, may cause calcium to leach from your bones, which can contribute to osteopenia or osteoporosis. Plant lignans are incredibly important against cognitive decline, cancer and hypertension (high blood pressure) and are found in whole grains, flaxseed and vegetables. Don’t underestimate the power of whole foods – they can change your life. Additionally, make sure to stay hydrated and to get 40-60 minutes of exercise that you enjoy each day, for optimal cardiovascular and bone health. These dietary and lifestyle additions will go a long way to improve your general sense of well-being and reduce symptoms.

Chinese dietary strategies

Holistic TherapyIn traditional Chinese medical theory, the symptoms associated with menopause fall under the category of a Yin deficiency. Foods that build or “tonify” the Yin would include mung bean and mung bean sprouts, black sesame seeds, barley, kidney beans, fermented tofu, millet, black beans, seaweed, spirulina, string beans, and wheat germ.

Black Cohosh

Black cohosh is a common herb that can be effective in relieving menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings. A recent study comparing the effectiveness of black cohosh extract to typical hormone therapy (transdermal estradiol) found that the two were equivalent in effectiveness in reducing hot flashes. In addition, the estrogenic effects of black cohosh have been demonstrated to have a positive impact on bone density without the risk of increasing the probability of estrogen receptor type cancers such as breast or uterine cancer. Begin with 20mg of the dried root powder twice per day, ramping up to 40 mg twice a day if no improvement in symptoms is noted within a week or two at this dosage. There are no known drug interactions that I’m aware of, and side effects of abdominal discomfort, dizziness, headaches and nausea are only reported at high doses (several thousand milligrams per day). It’s contraindicated for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Licorice, root, depression and osteoporosis

Licorice root is one of the more popular herbs in the Chinese herbal pharmacopeia. The deglycyrrhized version, known as zhi gan cao, is found in most modern formulas and does not elevate blood pressure. It has been shown to reduce depression and slow the progression of osteoporosis. A study published in the Journal of Molecular Neuroscience evaluated compounds of the Isoflavene and isoflavan groups (contained in licorice root) and found that they had an effect on serotonin reuptake and may be beneficial for mild to moderate depression in pre- and post-menopausal women. An added benefit of licorice is that it helps support digestive health and can heal stomach ulcers.

Dong Quai

Angelica sinensis, or dong quai is another example of a commonly used Chinese herb that manages gynecological conditions. A book entitled “Pharmacology and Application of Chinese Materia Medica” referred to a Chinese study involving dong quai among other botanicals in a specific formula that demonstrated a reduction in hot flashes and other menopausal complaints by 70%. Some sources refer to dong quai as a phytoestrogen (plant based estrogen like compound) but it actually is an adaptogenic herb. This means that it has a balancing effect on the female hormonal system. The only reported side effect is that it may cause fair skinned people to be sensitive to sunlight, and may interact with blood thinners such as Warfarin or Heparin. Before taking any Chinese herbs you should consult a Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.) who is properly trained in traditional Chinese medicine to prescribe individualized herbal formulas.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been well studied for its positive effect on menopausal symptoms. There are over 18,000 journal articles on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) PubMed database pertaining to acupuncture, and over 150 specific to acupuncture’s effect on menopausal symptoms. A review of clinical research regarding acupuncture and menopausal symptoms concluded that “The recent systematic reviews on acupuncture in menopausal symptoms suggest that acupuncture is an effective and valuable option for women suffering from menopause.” My personal experience supports this statement. A recent Iranian study stated: “Application of the combination of Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture proved as effective as hormone therapy in the treatment of menopause-related symptoms, and it achieved better outcomes than herbal medicine alone.” I’m impressed with the fact that western (allopathic) medicine is trying so hard to study and understand the underlying mechanisms of acupuncture, but millennia of brilliant Chinese thought led to an ingenious holistic medical system that works. Instead of drugs, which interfere with the natural processes of the human body, it works WITH your body to accelerate healing, balance the endocrine system (responsible for hormones) and create homeostasis (balance and harmony).

Menopause is a natural part of life for women, but that doesn’t mean they must suffer through it. Nature offers a number of options to ease the transition, and working with an acupuncturist in addition to your doctor will help optimize your health and reduce the incidence of a variety of cancers, osteoporosis, and stroke.

About the Author

AuthorBill Reddy is a nationally board-certified licensed acupuncturist who studied under graduates and professors from Beijing and Shanghai medical schools. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium. He is the former President of the Acupuncture Society of Virginia and professor at the Virginia University of Oriental Medicine. He is the author of over 60 publications, lecturer, an avid practitioner of Qi Gong and Tai Chi, and practices at the Pinecrest Wellness Center in Annandale, Virginia.

Usui Method Reiki… Universal Energy

                                                               Principles

Natural HealingJust for today, do not worry

Just for today, do not anger

Honour your parents and elders

Earn your living honestly

Show gratitude to every living thing

Reiki is concerned with healing at all levels of a person’s being by connecting with the life force within.

Every person has ‘universal life force energy’, for it is our birthright. And anyone has the ability to lay their hands on another person and to become intuitively aware of another person’s energy field.

The healer works directly with the client’s force field to restore a person to emotional, mental, physical and spiritual wholeness of being. The healer strives to help the recipient find their balance again and to create awareness for one to become more of who they truly are.

Illness is not some accidental or disagreeable upset along the way, nor is it a sign of weakness. Instead it is an opportunity for growth and evolvement towards wholeness. Never resist illness. Rather, learn from it and use it to look at your life, to see what needs to be released or what attitude needs realization.

Profound and simple, Reiki offers and teaches the basic treatment useful for any dis-ease.  It brings peaceful values back to the recipient. It comforts, calms, soothes, relieves pain, speeds physical healing and releases emotional trauma from the past and present. It cannot be misused or twisted for evil and can never be taken away from the healer.

Reiki is not only good for you, it is also essential for your children, animals, plants, environment and for energizing the food you eat.

I, myself have felt the upward spiral of positivity in my life since stumbling across Reiki in 1996. I suffered from severe whiplash after a car accident and wasn’t able to lift my head for a year. Fortunately for me, I met a Reiki practitioner and after 1 session and 3 days the whiplash disappeared completely. This is when my amazing journey with Reiki began. Since then I qualified as a Reiki Master and have helped hundreds of people to realise their true potential.

I believe Reiki is worth every second invested. It could possibly be the best investment you can make when it comes to your health and wellbeing.

Love and light xx

Lynette Mullins

Independent Traditional Reiki Shiki Rhoyo Usui Method Master

Developing an Attitude of Gratitude

Developing an Attitude of Gratitude

Healthy quotesDeveloping a “Gratitude Attitude” enables us to find the positive in those situations we perceive as being negative, says self-help author.

“I’m thankful for the promotion I received at work.” “I am grateful for the good health I enjoy.” “I am appreciative of the relationships that are part of my life.”

Sit down at any table this Thanksgiving and chances are you will hear some variation of the above statements. After all, it’s easy to recognize positive outcomes and express our appreciation for them. But recognizing and appreciating the good in those situations we perceive as negative is more difficult, or at times, downright impossible.

That’s where a “Gratitude Attitude” comes into play, helping us focus on what we gain from every occurrence in our life, says Nancy Christie, author of The Gifts of Change (Beyond Words Publishing).
“The benefit of having a ‘Gratitude Attitude’ became very apparent to me this past year, when my mother suffered a recurrence of the cancer that had plagued her since 1999,” explains Christie. “For six years, we had taken a positive approach, and expressed our thanks to God and the doctors each time it looked like she had beaten the odds. But following her last surgery in June, we all had to accept the fact that her condition was terminal. And to be quite honest, the concept of thankfulness didn’t initially seem to be relevant.”

But as she helped her parents cope during the last weeks of her mother’s life — a time she described as both heartbreaking and healing — Christie realized that there was still much to be grateful for. “Although it was very difficult to help my mother through this final transition in her life, it also gave me so many precious memories. Being able to provide some measure of comfort to her — not just medically but by talking and caring for her physical needs — comforted me as well. And although my Dad and I had always been close, this time of shared grief truly enhanced our relationship and made me realize anew how fortunate I am to have him as a father.”

That’s the whole point of developing a “Gratitude Attitude, she explains. “I could have spent those last weeks condemning the medical profession for failing to heal my mother or berating God for taking her from me.  But that would have kept me from making the most of the time I had with her, and in the end, wouldn’t have changed the outcome. Instead, I tried to focus on the positive experiences those weeks gave me, which ultimately helped me deal with the loss.”

The Gifts of Change explores the idea of seeking out the good in all situations. In the chapter entitled “The Hidden Advantage of Hindrances,” Christie uses a quote from Elizabeth Kübler-Ross to illustrate the choice we all have when confronted by difficult experiences.

“In Death Is of Vital Importance, Kübler-Ross wrote that tragedies are not really tragedies unless we choose to make them so,” says Christie. “She pointed out that we can also see them as opportunities for growth and transition, as hints that our life needs to change.”

But adopting that approach isn’t easy, Christie admits. “When things don’t have the outcome we desire, we all tend to be what my husband calls ‘members of the Whiny Family.’ We complain about it, we blame others for it, we metaphorically kick the situation which only hurts us in the process.”

Knowing how difficult it can be to develop a “grateful approach” to life, Christie has created a “Developing a Gratitude Attitude” worksheet as part of the Workbook for Change available atwww.communityofchange.com.

“It’s a real test of one’s ability to uncover the positive in the face of adversity,” she notes. “We tend to dismiss that approach as ‘Pollyanna-ish’ but it’s really an empowering attitude. What we are saying in effect is that, while things may not be going the way we planned or hoped, we still have control over our responses and the ability to make even a bad situation work for us. A ‘Gratitude Attitude’ keeps us from wasting our mental and emotional energies fighting against what can’t be changed, and instead, encourages us to mine the situation for ‘hidden gold’ that enrich our lives.”

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Need help making a change? Visit the Community of Change site for tips and strategies or to sign up for a “Rut-Busting” Workshop!

For more information about Nancy Christie and The Gifts of Change, visit her web site or contact her via e-mail

“Knowledge comes from questions, not answers”…Nancy Christie
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Source: hhnews.com