Alternative & Integrative Health Archive


U.S. adults like integrative medicine, but few discuss it with their doctors

A 2022 poll found that two-thirds of Americans ages 50 to 80 use integrative medicine, but many don't talk to their doctor about it. Respondents used massage, yoga, meditation, and other integrative techniques to address physical and mental health conditions.

Drug-free solutions for pain

Relying on pain pills for persistent aches, pains, and soreness can come with side effects and increase the risk of drug dependency. A solution is to try any of several available drug-free therapies to help manage and even treat common types of pain, such as physical and massage therapy, yoga, acupuncture, and therapies that help change your perception and reaction to pain.

Overeating? Mindfulness exercises may help

It's possible to overeat and not even realize it until you've finished a meal and doing so does not mean you have an eating problem or disorder. Mindfulness exercises can help you slow down and enjoy eating, making it easier to avoid overeating.

Help for your aching back

Short-term (acute) and chronic back pain can be managed through a variety of strategies. For short-term pain, over-the-counter pain relievers, heat, and moving as much as possible can help. Chronic back pain may require assistance from a doctor, which could include medication, physical therapy, and rarely surgery. People considering surgery for back pain should consider getting a second opinion. Surgery sometimes is not successful at relieving pain.

Are home pain relief gadgets safe for use?

It’s best to talk to one’s doctor before buying a pain relief gadget. The product may not work, it may cost a lot of money, it might be dangerous, or it might encourage the user to delay medical treatment. Some high-tech pain relief devices may be effective for some people, such as a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) machine. And some low-tech devices may also help relieve pain, such as foam rollers, handheld massagers, and heat or cold packs.

Can acupuncture help my menopause symptoms?

Ask the doctors

Q. I've been experiencing some menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes. Can acupuncture help?

A. There is some evidence that acupuncture may be able to provide short-term relief from some menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes. Acupuncture is a long-used type of Chinese medicine in which a trained practitioner inserts thin needles into specific locations on your body.

Common ways to fight the common cold

These three remedies may reduce symptom duration and severity.

While there's no cure for the common cold, everyone seems to have a surefire remedy they embrace.

Some of the popular ones are sucking on zinc lozenges, boosting your vitamin C intake, and even slurping up steaming bowls of old-fashioned chicken soup.

Can home remedies help my sciatica?

Ask the doctors

Q. Is there anything I can do at home to ease sciatica pain?

A. Sciatica is a condition that causes pain that radiates down the buttock and the leg. It occurs when one of the two sciatic nerves in your body, which run from your back down to your toes, is compressed or irritated. Most often the problem is triggered by a ruptured disc or arthritis in the lower spine. This condition can be quite painful, but there are some strategies you can use at home to ease your discomfort.

5 Internet recommendations for joint pain: Do they work?

Some ideas seem reasonable, but that doesn't mean they'll help.

People increasingly consult the Internet about medical problems. If you're looking for approaches to relieve joint pain and inflammation caused by wear and tear (osteoarthritis) or an immune system attack (such as occurs in rheumatoid arthritis), you may find methods that sound promising and even sensible. But will they work? Here's advice on five pain relief methods commonly touted on the Internet.

1. Music therapy

Listening to music can evoke powerful emotions that help people relax or heal, which is the basis of music therapy. Research has found that music therapy is associated with less anxiety before surgery or during chemotherapy, and better functioning during physical rehabilitation.

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