Complementary and alternative medicine
Medical marijuana is controversial, in part because many people aren’t aware of how and why it is used. Most commonly it is used to ease pain, and doctors need to be prepared for the questions their patients will have about it.
At one time there was hope that omega-3 supplements in the form of fish oil capsules might prevent heart disease, but 15 years of research has found this belief to be untrue, and taking fish oil could even be harmful to some people.
Because stress and inflammation are so harmful, researchers have been studying how yoga might help ease them. If you’re looking to de-stress, this breathing exercise is simple and can be done anywhere.
Many treatments fall under the term “complementary and alternative medicine,” and many of those treatments are helpful. Yoga, meditation, and acupuncture are a few examples, but parents should be careful and consult their child’s doctor when using these approaches.
Men who participated in yoga classes twice a week while being treated for prostate cancer reported less fatigue and better urinary and erectile function, compared to other men in the study who did not do yoga.
With recently revised guidelines recommending that people with low back pain not take medication, it’s natural to wonder: what should I do, then? There are many options, among them heat, massage, yoga, and acupuncture.
The benefits of yoga for the body and mind are well documented. If you have been thinking about trying yoga, this simple routine includes breathing techniques, movement, and beginners meditation and will help you start your day.
Though some people surely benefit from acupuncture for the treatment of pain, its drawbacks (cost, length of treatment sessions, short duration of relief) mean that it may be a less effective choice than physical therapy or a medication.
Sometimes a home remedy (one making use of inexpensive items already on hand or easy to obtain) can be as effective as a medical treatment, and far less costly. Because seemingly benign home remedies can have dangerous side effects you may want to check with your doctor to see if there are any risks involved.
The history of medicine is filled with remedies that were relied upon for hundreds of years until they were eventually proven ineffective or possibly even dangerous, while legitimate practices and treatments were disregarded or ridiculed until evidence outweighed skepticism. The bottom line is that medical interventions — from tests to treatments — should neither be recommended nor condemned without considering and weighing the evidence. A future post will discuss what physicians look for when evaluating “the evidence.”