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Pain relieving alternatives to modern medicine

Western medicine has us reaching for pain relievers, from aspirin and ibuprofen to more severe pain relievers, for reoccurring body aches. A recent study published in JAMA shows that nearly half of Americans experience considerable aches and pains in any two-week period, from headaches and backaches to joint pain. If you are a pain sufferer, there are alternatives to help ease you pain. Herbs, acupuncture, and visualization are safe, natural forms of healing that can produce effective results.

Butterbur, also known as Petasites hybridus root, an herbaceous plant with large heart-shaped leaves that grows in moist areas in Europe and parts of North Africa and Asia, has been used to treat migraines since the 17th century. It is thought that butterbur prevents blood vessel inflammation, which is a large part of migraine pain. Recently it has been put to the test by American and German researchers. They found that when administering butterbur and placebos to 58 migraine sufferers, the migraines dropped to half as often in those taking butterbur, while only a twenty-six percent drop was found in the placebo group.

Another all-natural healing technique that can be used for headaches is visualization, also known as guided imagery. Visualization CDís are widely available and are known to help relax and calm the mind and body. A recent study took 260 subjects who experience frequent and debilitating headaches and had them listen to guided imagery tapes for 20 minutes a day. Twenty-two percent reported that their headaches had subsided and that they felt much better. Guided imagery can be as simple as picturing yourself enjoying warm, ocean waves, or it can be as direct as guiding you to find your and visually remove it from your body. There are thousands of visualization techniques.

Acupuncture is well known to reduce pains of all types. Recently, researchers took 22 people who had been suffering with severe tennis elbow for over a year and gave them four acupuncture treatments. Eighty percent received total, long-term relief, while ten percent noticed improvement. Many of these test subjects had already tried various drugs and even surgery. Acupuncture is an ancient practice developed by the Chinese, in which very fine needles are inserted into the skin at strategic points on the body to stimulate energy flowing through the body and internal organs.

For inflamed joints, try a mix of plant and tree bark extracts. Research has shown that that an herb blend such as Phytodolor, an herbal anti-inflammatory created for the relief of lower back pain and osteoarthritis, works just as well as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, with less side effects such as dizziness and stomach pain. German researchers have also found that Phytodolor is twice as effective as aspirin when it comes to arthritis pain.

There are a wealth of alternatives to modern medicine for everything that ails you. Be sure to always inform your doctor of alternative treatments that you may be trying. It is important, especially with herbal treatments, to make sure that you are not taking a prescription that may interact negatively with the herbs.

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