Category : Health

A Better Way to Protect Yourself

We have the power to heal ourselves. Such is the belief of the principle of holistic health and there is much evidence to support it. We also have the power to destroy ourselves and inflict considerable harm. When I saw a gunshot victim in the emergency room adjacent to where I take medical school classes, it started me thinking about the price of self protection. It causes vast numbers of people to possess lethal weapons. In the course of being constantly on the defensive, someone inevitably gets shot. Many die while some live with minimal damage. If you don’t believe in violence, by all means reject gun ownership, even if you fear for your life. There are other ways to practice self defense and to ward off a mugger or attacker. Whether you are out at night or in the privacy of your own home, there are many products vying for the title of best home defense weapon (not a gun). They are readily available and affordable.

Many men who don’t want to feel vulnerable practice one or more martial art like Karate, Tae Kwan do, Jiu Jitsu or other form of combat. Women are slowly gravitating in the same direction. There are numerous approaches involving kicking, punching, jabbing, and grabbing various parts of the body. Ideally, you can disarm someone without incurring retaliation. I doubt if the average thief is well versed in the martial arts. You can save yourself in a dire situation with a swift blow to the crotch or a poke in the eye. It is a matter of audacity rather than training. It seems grotesque.

I would feel more comfortable with various personal security devices like a stun gun, Taser, body alarm, brass knuckles or pepper spray. Any of these would give me the confidence to live normally without fear of attack. New on the market is a megavolt “zap” flashlight you can keep on a keychain or in your pocket. It can be used at close range in contrast to a stun gun (at fifteen feet) or a Taser at twenty or more. There is such a thing as a metal collapsible baton like the police use that packs a wallop and a zap cane. I would not be afraid to use any and all of this items. I am most familiar with pepper spray, noted for its quick and devastating pain to the eyes, nose and mouth. The burning sensation lasts for up to an hour allowing a victim to call 911 or escape.

I approve of these products as an alternative to a gun. While it may be every citizen’s right, I still prefer another choice. Come with me to the ER and you will see why. Even when the criminal is the victim, it pains me to witness the suffering. Holistic medicine has taught me compassion for all mankind. It has helped me focus on gun control rather than self defense at the extreme.

Non-Medicinal Ways to Fight Asthma and Allergies

Let’s give a shout out for holistic health. As an alternative to traditional medicine, it is invaluable. There are so many ways to deal with certain illnesses so why limit yourself to one. Holistic medicine is an international phenomenon that address health and wellness first and foremost. It is not esoteric, exotic, bizarre, or dangerous. It doesn’t mean limiting yourself to poisonous herbs or bogus potions. It is not about what you find as a cure-all on the Internet. It doesn’t mean you can’t take antibiotics when you have an infection or you can’t have surgery when it is recommended. It does, however, offer a wonderful opportunity to improve your health in a new way. It is by no means experimental, and many treatments and protocols have been around a very long time. There is a body of scientific evidence to support holistic medicine so give it a try.

Today I am going to take one way that holistic cures are applicable. They are helpful to people with asthma and allergies. When over-the-counter pills don’t work, it is nice to know that you have recourse. If prescribed medicine is not sufficient, you need to adopt some new practices. A commonsense response to these health problems include getting rid of carpets in preference for hardwood floors. You must also change out your bed pillows (do down please), eliminate stuffed animals unless labelled hypoallergenic, change your mattress and dust over, especially if it is old, and wash curtains and blinds at least once a month. These are of course all non-medicinal solutions but they work in conjunction with medication. As such they are holistic practices.

One final suggestion is to rush out and get a HEPA filter vacuum. If you have pets, this is a must. It must be powerful enough to attract pet hair. Most pets do it all the time so you can’t avoid it. If you don’t want to get a short-haired dog or cat, you must vacuum at least every other day to keep on top of the shedding hair. This appliance, with the proper filtering system, will do your allergies a big favor. You can take allergy pills like Claritin that are known to be safe, but often you must regularly engage in a Pet Hair Clean Up. Don’t expect miracles from OTC drugs.

No one likes the constant sniffling and sneezing of allergies. They loathe the watery nose and eyes. They detest the redness that spreads across their faces. Pets can make breathing difficult. For those with asthma, you may have to completely avoid dogs and cats. You can’t even go to a friend’s home if they own these animals. As for allergies, while some people have had a series of shots to acclimate them to dust, spores, and pets, you still don’t want to provoke attacks unnecessarily. The symptoms may be less severe, but they can still exist. I am thinking of itchy skin or eyes.

A Fond Farewell

Special people require special gifts when there is a celebratory occasion. Such is the case of one of my favorite professors who is retiring. I want to give him something appropriate, not too fancy or expensive, but shows that I care about this major life change. Certain milestones are rather significant and this one, while about a professional relationship, is nevertheless very personal to me. I want to send him off in style with a small party to which everyone brings a little token gift.

I thought of a book on holistic medicine. There is a new one on the market that he probably doesn’t own. I think this would be appropriate and I can write an inscription inside the cover. Something like this:

Retirement is a time of reflection and new beginnings. May you enjoy your moments of freedom with gusto and ease. I will miss your constant presence, but will always remember you fondly with esteem.

Then I will sign my name.

The last day of class, I brought the book wrapped in festive paper. There was going to be a party nearby to send him off in style. He took the book and said he would treasure the gift from a favorite student. I was so flattered, but not as much as I was when he bestowed upon me a surprise present. I was humbled that he had thought of me with a Flashlight Pro model – a very nice high-end rechargeable pen light. This was so useful, perfect, and a gift to cherish. This kind of consideration doesn’t always happen in an academic environment. As a matter of fact, I didn’t have a penlight, but it was more than that. The gift was symbolic of a long-standing, solid relationship. You welcome these moments in life as they are few and far between. It was a fond farewell and a bit sad.

I love the penlight. When I am out late at night and am trying to find my way or get the key in the car door, I can get it out in a second. For a small item, it has surprising range. I also like to use it to read menus in dimly-lit restaurants or a newspaper or book while on the bus. Some small practical devices become a staple of utility in your life. I will never regift it, but would consider buying a few for future presents. I know my colleagues and friends, even family, will enjoy it as much as I have. It comes in handy when you least expect it. Plus, who wants to carry around a giant flashlight. Where do you put it? I suppose in your backpack, but frankly mine is already full what with my wallet, keys, cell phone, bottled water, and appointment book. I have dark glasses, sometimes a snack, and a dictionary.

Thank you, professor, you were a good mentor and friend. It is hard to say goodbye. You made me enjoy your teaching subject and I will retain the information no doubt for life.

Holistic Alternatives

Holistic alternatives sometimes really do work better than the mainstream medications. Some mainstream medications really are not the product of sound science. Lots of the treatments that people take for their skin today, for instance, basically don’t do anything that petroleum jelly wouldn’t do, and yet people end up paying so much more for it all.

The modern medical industry is a big business. Holistic health remedies can be, but for the most part, there’s really no money in telling people to listen to their bodies and to try to find what works for them. There is also no money in really curing people. Keeping people sick or at least giving them stuff that is not going to keep them healthy is actually better from a business perspective. For these reasons and more, if people don’t really need to take the risks associated with the modern medical industry, they should try the holistic remedies first.

There are some holistic alternatives that are actually dangerous and that have their own side effects. I hope that most people know now that colonic irrigation is bad for you, even though it was one of the biggest holistic health crazes of the 1990’s. People could perforate their colons with that kind of procedure.

However, there are lots of other holistic health remedies for problems that can affect the lower bowel. People who use tea tree oil to address hemorrhoids, for instance, are going to be taking fewer risks than the people who try to address them using most other treatments. Tea tree oil can even work better than Preparation H and a lot of other over-the-counter remedies.

When you’re in reasonably good health, you can try to go for the holistic health remedies that are not going to tax the body too much in the beginning. Holistic health remedies can help you stay healthy. For a lot of people, that is really the most important part of the process.

If you think that herbal remedies are all bad, you should remember that lots of medicines that were made in a lab actually were based on herbal remedies to begin with, and you can still get a lot of use out of the herbal remedies that have not been altered in any way. Lots of herbs have medicinal effects and active ingredients. As long as there is some actual explanation for how the effect works and the studies that show that it works are not simply correlative, you can trust that the holistic remedy in question might work for you.

Lots of medical studies show correlative health benefits rather than causal health effects too, which is something that people should remember. Medical studies are not perfect either, even though a lot of doctors like to pretend that this is the case. People can never be sure that they’re going to be able to benefit from a particular medication or a particular herbal remedy. However, the side effects for most herbal remedies are pretty minor. You can’t usually say that about the side effects for a lot of medical remedies.

Don’t have faith in medicine. Always look at the evidence. Don’t have faith in holistic medication either. Look at the evidence. If you look at the evidence, you will be that much more likely to stay healthy long-term and to avoid medical problems and the new medical problems caused by side effects.

An Interesting Conversation

I am interested in studying traumatic brain injuries as a medical student. I know some things about it, but not holistic treatments yet. I rely on traditional medicine for basic approaches but want to extend my research to new ways of coping and curing this malady. Few people think about TBI unless they know someone affected. I am interested in helping a young boxer my fellow students and I know from our gym. We see him at the punching bag every evening and he has shared the fact that he has the condition and enjoys a workout to alleviate symptoms. Thus, the first piece of the puzzle is in place: exercise. He also jogs for his training and this compounds are certainty that working out helps TBI in many cases. We will test our hypothesis. We have interviewed him extensively and also some of his friends, many of whom served in the armed forces in the Middle East.

We know that traumatic brain injury means that brain cells die from some kind of trauma such as might occur in combat, or from lack of oxygen. This is most common in children. Blood plasma seeps into surrounding brain tissue resulting in dangerous inflammation and a compromised blood flow. The damage area then can become dormant or fully non-functional. Hyperbaric oxygen is the recommended treatment and can bring out significant healing. I am going to suggest to the boxer that he seek this road to recovery.

With boxers, a TBI can happen after a sudden jolt which may occur after a fall or a wayward jab. This occurs as well with motorcycle and bicycle riders. The brain in effect hits the skull. It can cause TBI or a concussion, a mild version. Most of you have heard of this. If the jolt is strong enough, the afflicted may experience a reduction in cognitive abilities including loss of emotional control, limited mobility, and compromised speech and use of the senses. It is a serious illness. Fortunately, our boxer didn’t get this far and he can enjoy the sport at any time. It often then comes down to treating mental health.

People with TBI can have emotional outbursts, experience difficult sleeping, feel dizzy, have headaches or memory loss and confusion. They may have trouble concentrating and are sensitive more than normal to light and noise. Controlling one’s environment is part of holistic treatment. Every patient has a different combination of symptoms and so there is no one formula for a cure. Psychiatric treatment is in order in many cases since behavioral problems often are symptomatic. It was heartening to see that our young boxer is not an extreme case and that he copes quite well as a result of his favorite sport. Research shows that the cure rate can be high if the right methods are used for treatment. My fellow students and I have learned a lot from our frequent conversations and observations. There is much more to know.

Antibiotics Aren’t for Everything

Don’t get me wrong: I love antibiotics. I couldn’t call myself a doctor in good conscience if I didn’t. Antibiotics have saved countless lives. They’re part of the reason why we live in an age where people don’t dread every single infection and people don’t have to live through certain diseases these days. Antibiotics have improved our lives.

However, doctors prescribe them too much. I’ve seen doctors prescribe antibiotics for a cold, even though colds are viruses and antibiotics are not going to do anything for a cold. I see people take antibiotics for everything. We do that, and we end up with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. Researchers keep coming up with new antibiotics all the time. We’re always racing against the evolution of the bacteria. It is true that we keep on winning the race.

However, this is a race that isn’t fun, and your prize is that countless people don’t die from bacterial infections. I’d rather just not race to begin with, and doctors prescribing antibiotics less often is going to be part of the solution. We’re still going to need to keep on prescribing antibiotics for a lot of conditions. We’re also going to need to keep on coming up with new ones when the bacteria populations change.

If you have an infection, I don’t even think that antibiotics are always the answer. If it’s a minor infection, try treating it at home first. If you have a little paronychia on your fingers, for instance, you’re actually better off just soaking it in warm water, keeping the wound elevated, and trying to use some mildly salted water in order to kill all of the bacteria.

If the swelling goes down, you might be able to avoid the doctors altogether. If there’s some drainage, then you might not even need to get the wound lanced, which might just put you at risk for an additional infection. While some infections are more severe, many of them are also nowhere near severe enough to justify an immediate antibiotic prescription.

I mean, in addition to the fact that doing this is going to slow down the rate at which society at large gets a resistance to yet another antibiotic, you can save money and you can avoid putting yourself at risk for additional infections by going to the doctors.

Hospital-acquired infections are common these days, and hospitals don’t like to talk about them. Hospitals don’t want to admit that they’re not the safest places for people either, and people are usually better off staying home in some cases.

I want people to get antibiotics for those occasions where the body’s immune system is just not up to the task, and there are plenty of occasions where this is the case. However, sometimes you really can get by on your body’s own immunity and a few home remedies and if you can, save your money and make yourself feel better when you are still at home.