Alternative & Complementary Medicine

Alternative & Complementary Medicine Articles

The healing power of touch

Men may think of massage as a once-in-a-while treat, but this type of therapy could be a natural way to treat chronic pain, such as low back pain, headache, cancer pain, and arthritis pain, by helping to reduce muscle soreness and inflammation. Massage therapy also can help with recovery from injury or surgery as well as easing stress and anxiety.  (Locked) More »

Treating pain with your brain

Mindfulness—concentrating on a sensation and analyzing it objectively—can help relieve pain by changing the way we experience it. The technique has been demonstrated to relieve headache, fibromyalgia, and low back pain. (Locked) More »

Non-opioid options for managing chronic pain

If you started taking prescription opioids to manage chronic pain, then you will need new pain relief options when you cut back or stop taking opioid drugs. Following are options that alone, or in combination, may help. More »

Using acupuncture for pain relief

  The ancient art of acupuncture has been practiced for centuries in Asia and has more recently spread to the United States and other Western countries. According to traditional Chinese beliefs, acupuncture works by affecting the flow of energy (called qi or chi), through 12 channels, or meridians, that run lengthwise through the body. Acupuncture involves the insertion of extremely fine needles into the skin at specific "acupoints" along the meridians. This action, some scientific evidence has shown, may result in pain relief by releasing endorphins, the body's natural painkilling chemicals, and may affect the part of the brain that governs serotonin levels, the brain transmitter involved with mood. More »

Therapeutic massage for pain relief

Therapeutic massage may relieve pain by way of several mechanisms, including relaxing painful muscles, tendons, and joints; relieving stress and anxiety; and possibly helping to "close the pain gate" by stimulating competing nerve fibers and impeding pain messages to and from the brain. Therapeutic massage is an active area of research. In particular, it has been studied for its effect on pain in the back, hands, neck, and knees, among other areas. A study published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice showed a reduction in hand pain and an improvement in grip strength among people who had four weekly hand massage sessions and did self-massage at home. They also slept better and had less anxiety and depression than people in the control group who didn't receive hand massage. A study published in Annals of Family Medicine in 2014 found that 60-minute therapeutic massage sessions two or three times a week for four weeks relieved chronic neck pain better than no massage or fewer or shorter massage sessions. More »

Should I take a potassium supplement?

People should avoid potassium supplements unless their doctor prescribes them. Eating potassium-rich fruits and vegetables is a better way to get adequate amounts of this mineral, which is important for regulating blood pressure and many other bodily functions.  (Locked) More »

Yoga: Another way to prevent osteoporosis?

A 12-minute routine, involving holding each of 12 yoga poses for 30 seconds, done at least three times a week for two years, increased bone density in a small study of postmenopausal women with low bone density. More »