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Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-26-2006, 11:48 AM   #1
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Use of Alternative Healing

Just curious; now that many of us are aging (gracefully of course) and developing various aches and pains what alternative forms of healing are you using. I'm referring to everything other than standard medical treatments through an MD.

In my case I use acupuncture, Chinese herbal remedies, and Reike (a form of energy healing).

What have you tried and has it helped?

Grumpy
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-26-2006, 12:17 PM   #2
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

I find that Happy Hour does wonders for my aches & pains and disposition . Also daily walks, especially barefoot on the beach. And frequent changes of scenery and company via traveling, visiting, camping, and so on.

(Not making light of your question.)
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-26-2006, 02:54 PM   #3
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

This is a great question as individuals will probably have some interesting medications and healing activities.

I am pretty converntional in using medicine. I have noticed how my wellness corresponds to my nutritional activities. I have started to feel sick on occasion and taking things like vitamine C, garlic, tea, soups and the like seem to help.
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-26-2006, 02:56 PM   #4
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

Not really alternative, but my MD recommended a set of stretching exercises for lingering back pain that seems to have done the trick. More like self-guided physical therapy. I imagine massage therapy would also do the trick for the kind of back pain I have. (feeling old at 26! )
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-26-2006, 03:28 PM   #5
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

I take glucosamine/chondroitin for my joints even though recent studies question the value. I had a dog with bad hips and G/C helped her dramatically. There was no way I could write it off as the placebo effect - although I suppose it is possible the improvement was a placebo impression on my part.

I would welcome any suggestions for lousy joints. I don't have arthritis, just sensitive joints. I tried jogging when I was in my 20s and 30s but all of my joints would get sore. In fact, it got so bad I went to a Rheumatologist to see if arthritis was the culprit. I love to walk and could easily put in 10-15 miles in a day walking around someplace like New York or Paris, but that causes problems with my feet. If I walk that much one day, I am practically crippled the next. I already have shoe orthotics - that helped but I still have to be careful. Any miracle cures out there?
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-26-2006, 03:32 PM   #6
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
I had a dog with bad hips and G/C helped her dramatically.* There was no way I could write it off as the placebo effect - although I suppose it is possible the improvement was a placebo impression on my part.
G/C makes a big difference on polo horses, too. I just don't know if that translates to humans-- even just the attention of the researchers studying a patient receiving a placebo has an effect. But it's a lot cheaper than surgery.

You might want to try bicycles (both upright & recumbent) and elliptical trainers. Both give plenty of knee/ankle exercise without off-axis stress or impact. Squats & lunges (without weights but with max flexibility) will also build up atrophied quadriceps & hamstrings.
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-26-2006, 03:45 PM   #7
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
I take glucosamine/chondroitin for my joints even though recent studies question the value.* . .
I take this too and have noticed dramatic reduction in joint pain after I started taking it. Unfortunately, I started taking it at the same time that I got serious about exercise and diet. I lost 30 pounds and started regular workouts. So I've always wondered whether it was the exercise, diet or G/C that had the effect.

The recent reports made me question the role of G/C even more. But if you get past the popular reporting of the studies and look at what they really say, you come to a different conclusion. Most of the people in the studies complained of joint pain that could not be quantified by objective metrics (limited movement capability, for example). The study could not find any quantitative reason to believe that these people benefited from G/C any more than they did from a placebo. But the study did indicate that G/C had some positive impact on the group of people who suffered quantifiable joint pain.

So I'm not sure that I take these new results that seriously. I keep thinking I'll just stop taking G/C for a month or so and see if I feel the same, but then I think . . . why risk it?
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-26-2006, 03:59 PM   #8
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

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Originally Posted by sgeeeee
I keep thinking I'll just stop taking G/C for a month or so and see if I feel the same, but then I think . . . why risk it?
I took G/C for several years and recommended it to others. After reading about it's questionable value, I stopped and I could feel no change. Either my improvement with G/C was a placebo effect or it gradually lost its effectiveness.

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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-26-2006, 04:52 PM   #9
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
I take glucosamine/chondroitin for my joints even though recent studies question the value.* I had a dog with bad hips and G/C helped her dramatically.* There was no way I could write it off as the placebo effect - although I suppose it is possible the improvement was a placebo impression on my part.
We had a dog with hip problems and tried the G/C and it also worked wonders. He went from barely being able to stand up and limp along for a block before he had to stop to jumping up and running to the door for his walk. I had to hold him back the whole 2 miles walk we went on. It was truly amazing.

I have been taking it for years too. I have had some serious foot surgery that ended with me losing almost all the cartlidge in my big toes on both feet. I have avoided a bilateral transplant up to now and it has been almost 8 years since the surgery. I also take it for my lower back and neck due to spinal injuries and who knows what I would have been like without it?

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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-26-2006, 07:12 PM   #10
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

I had a lab that it worked wonders on, like SteveR's dog he was like a puppy again. I tried it with this lab and all it did was make his stomach upset, after 3 months we saw no difference so we stopped.
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-26-2006, 07:51 PM   #11
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

Since I started having health problems, I have been trying acupuncture. Hard to say what the effect is - who knows what it would have been without?

Also have been taking Omega 3 for immune system.

I would like to be disciplined enough to do more yoga, in the past that has been hugely helpful for me. I also have been reading about the positive effects of T'ai Chi and may do that if I can find a good teacher.
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-26-2006, 07:55 PM   #12
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords

You might want to try bicycles (both upright & recumbent) and elliptical trainers. Both give plenty of knee/ankle exercise without off-axis stress or impact. Squats & lunges (without weights but with max flexibility) will also build up atrophied quadriceps & hamstrings.
I do the elliptical trainer and I found the back/posture excercise web site you mentioned in another thread - thanks for that one. I can do most of the sports I am interested in since they are either low impact, or I am able to keep the impact effects to a minimum (or just wuss out before I put in much time). But what I really want is a cure for lousy joints so I can comfortably walk for 5-8 hours a day, several days in a row on vacation

Sorry for hijacking this thread with my joint issues. As for alternatives, my wife gets a lot of mileage from a woman who does great massages.
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-26-2006, 08:30 PM   #13
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

Pressure of work made it difficult for me to get to sleep at night so I started drinking a couple of glasses of wine before bed time. Haven't had a problem getting to sleep since.* * Burp.................
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-26-2006, 08:37 PM   #14
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

Placebo effect in most studies of subjective outcomes is about 30%, and surprisingly consistent.

That doesn't mean it is bogus, though. It may be that expectation or hope of relief creates neurochemical reactions that actually bring relief to many, esp when it comes to pain, fatigue, depression and the like. Endorphins and the like.

A big problem for alternative treatments for me is that the safety factor is often poorly studied. This is less the case with traditional, FDA-type treatments. Remember tryptoppan? OTC herbal sleeping pill that killed hundreds due to a contaminant at the Japanese manufacturing factory. "Nutritional" or "alternative" or "herbal" don't automatically mean useless, but nor do they main "save and natural" either.

Caveat emptor.
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-26-2006, 09:07 PM   #15
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Placebo effect in most studies of subjective outcomes is about 30%, and surprisingly consistent.
Are dogs and horses affected by the placebo effect? My dog is a believer in glucosamine.
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-26-2006, 09:21 PM   #16
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
Are dogs and horses affected by the placebo effect? My dog is a believer in glucosamine.
Only if you can read their minds. .

Seriously, the statistical "noise" is very high when you are talking about individual anecdotes. Lots of conditions wax and wane. It is fruitless to try and convince folks that their one impressive observation doesn't reflect the "truth."

I am not anti-alternative treatment, just think that to the extent it is anecdotal and of uncertain safety, I'd err on the side of healthy skepticism. Not downright rejection, but more toward the approach that if there is something there, let's test its effectiveness and safety best we can. My dog, getting a little old for a Dobey, has good days/weeks and bad; some days acts like a pup, and other days lies around and moves little. Don't know why.

That's not to doubt your observation but rather to be cautious about attributing it to an unproven remedy. Maybe so, maybe not. I guess I feel it is consistent to appy the same scrutiny to an alternative treatment as you would to a conventional treatment.
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-26-2006, 09:35 PM   #17
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
But what I really want is a cure for lousy joints so I can comfortably walk for 5-8 hours a day, several days in a row on vacation
I hear ya-- by day four of our vacation's DC Mall Marathon my left knee was ready to grind its meniscus smooth. 800 mg ibuprofen 3x/day with stronger stuff as needed. I recovered fine once I stayed off it for a couple days.

I don't know what area of the country you're in, but have you tried swimming/surfing?
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-26-2006, 09:53 PM   #18
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Not downright rejection, but more toward the approach that if there is something there, let's test its effectiveness and safety best we can.
But once you have gone past anecdotal evidence and subjected it to rigiorus testing using double blind experiments, control groups and all that good stuff, is it really still "alternative"?*
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-26-2006, 10:09 PM   #19
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

I suck down lots of EmergenC just for general well being and certainly if I feel a cold coming on. I swear it gives me energy.
Multi vitamin daily for the last 15 years.
5 cups of coffee--great antioxidant.
Ample wine, beer, and rum based drinks

Oh yah, had to edit to include water---lots



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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-26-2006, 10:24 PM   #20
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

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Originally Posted by JPatrick
. . .
Oh yah, had to edit to include water---lots
I don't think I've ever seen any scientific testing that would prove this to be safe.
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