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A Health, Nutrition, and Alternative Medicine Blog

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Placebo Effect: Magnetic Bracelet Therapy

Written by Tena Moore



If you or a loved one has arthritis you’ve probably heard about the magic of magnetic wrists straps and copper bracelets to relieve joint pain associated with arthritis (see: "Does Acupuncture help Arthritis? "). The bracelets can range in price from cheap to expensive, and most claim that they are effective for pain associated with stiff joints, especially during cold or wintery weather. To test out this theory scientists from the University of York, led by Stewart Richmond, put together a controlled trial composed of 45 patients.

Surprisingly, since the bracelets are so popular, this study was the only study using treatment and placebos conducted on the bracelets since the 1970s. What were the results of the trial? The researchers concluded that the bracelets do not provide any relief whatsoever. If any relief is experienced, researchers say it is only due to a placebo effect.

According to research, the bracelets are of no true value and showed no relief from joint pain at all. Each of the 45 patients was tested using two magnetic strips, a copper bracelet, and a placebo bracelet over a sixteen-week period. All participants were age 50 and older and all were diagnosed with osteoarthritis. Neither the copper bracelet, nor the two different magnetic wrist straps, showed any difference in effectiveness from the placebo bracelet that contained no copper or magnetic properties. The study was reported in the alternative medicine publication Complementary Therapies in Medicine.

Today more than ever, patients of all types are looking for complementary and alternative healing methods for treatment of all diseases and disorders. While many complementary and alternative treatments are in fact helpful for the patient, not all treatments hold the same effectiveness. For this reason, scientists and doctors are hoping that people will consider clinical tests and trials when deciding which treatments to test out. Although the bracelets are harmless if worn, the cost of the bracelet can be avoided and more effective treatments can be chosen.




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  • As a phytoestrogen, genistein mimics the effects of estrogen in the body



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    Wednesday, July 1, 2009

    Is complementary and alternative medicine Safe For Kids?

    Written by Tena Moore


    It’s no secret that complementary and alternative medicine (otherwise known as CAM) is growing in the United States. A recent study showed that nearly 36 percent of adults and 12 percent of children have used some form of CAM. The study was the very first study that included children. These treatments and therapies can range from yoga, acupuncture and hypnosis, to herbal tinctures, dietary supplements and homeopathic medicines.

    While the use of CAM is growing, some are wondering if CAM therapies are safe for their children. To address this issue the American Academy of Pediatrics published a report urging pediatricians to advise their patients toward therapies that are best suited to them, whether or not the therapy is considered conventional or CAM. Although many doctors want more studies performed and more statistical data to back up CAM therapies, nearly 64 percent of medical schools are now offering CAM classes in their medical department.

    What is a parent to do while studies are still being conducted and doctors still aren’t in agreement about CAM therapies? Seek out a well-informed CAM practitioner, talk to your family physician about CAM therapies and if possible, find a doctor or medical center in your community that deals with integrative medicine so that your children can benefit from conventional medicine and complementary or alternative medicine.


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    Alternative Medicine and Lyme Disease

    Alternative Medicine and Lupus



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    Wednesday, March 25, 2009

    Complementary and Alternative Medicine Study

    Written by Tena Moore


    The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is a Federal agency that funds projects, conducts research, trains researchers, and shares findings and information with the public about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Under this agency CAM is defined as health care that is not regarded as a component of conventional medicine. This can include products such as herbs and teas, practices such as meditation and yoga, and systems such as Acupuncture and Reiki energy healing. The four major categories of CAM study are: Manipulative (Body-Based) Practices, Biologically Based Practices, Mind Body Medicine, and Energy Medicine.

    To find out how much CAM is growing in the United States NCCAM conducted a study as part of the annual National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), involving over 23,000 adults and over 9,000 children. The study found that CAM is on the rise; 38.3 percent of adults polled have used some form of CAM, up from 36 percent in 2002. This was the first time the study involved children under the age of 17. They found that 12 percent had used some form of CAM.

    Many in the medical profession are starting to incorporate CAM into their practices, due to the high amount of people who are experimenting with these forms of healing. If you are using a form of CAM, inform your doctor so they can be aware of your overall health.




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    Most people do not get enough chromium in their diet



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    Alternative Medicine Gaining Clout

    Written by Tena Moore


    It’s taken quite a long time, but conventional medical doctors are starting to take notice of, and even incorporate, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) into their treatments. They pretty much have to – their patients are using it with or without them. A recent study found that nearly 40 percent of adults and 12 percent of children polled were using some form of CAM. Whether patients are taking certain herbs for their ailments, going to an acupuncturist or chiropractor for pain, or meditating for stress and anxiety, they are involving these mind-body-spirit therapies into their lives.

    This is a definite case of the public changing the way a system works. So many people are incorporating CAM into their lives; doctors need to educate themselves so they can help their patients stay healthy. Many are reporting that these therapies are helping their clients, not as the only method, but used in addition to conventional medicine. This integrative style of medicine (for instance, a doctor prescribing prescription asthma inhalants, as well as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and the herb mullein) is becoming mainstream. In addition, more studies are being done to determine the safety of these alternative healing therapies, and more influential medical schools are teaching an integrative approach.





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    Thursday, March 19, 2009

    Complementary and Alternative Medicine On The Rise

    Written by Tena Moore


    A recent survey on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has shown some results that aren’t too surprising: CAM use is rising among American adults and children. Almost 40 percent of American adults over the age of 18 have used some type of complementary or alternative therapy or medicine, while nearly 12 percent of children aged 17 and under have used CAM. That is nearly four in every ten adults, and one out of every nine children.

    CAM therapies have not been studied extensively in the United States like pharmaceutical medicines, but that is not stopping the public from using them, and using them on their children. Perhaps the survey results will prompt the medical community to head the call of more research for CAM therapies, along with a more integrative medical approach.

    Complimentary medicine is used as a compliment to conventional medicine, such as acupuncture treatments or chiropractic work being used to treat pain in addition to pain medicines, or a nicotine-free herbal tincture being used in addition to the stop-smoking drug Chantix.

    Alternative therapies are used to replace conventional medicine altogether, such as someone using St. John’s Wort tincture, 5-HTP supplements, yoga and meditation to control their depression and low moods, instead of using prescription medicine.

    Back pain was the leading reason that Americans reported using complementary and alternative medicine techniques, followed by neck and joint pain as well as arthritis, according to the survey by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.




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    Glutathione deficiency can be devastating on the nervous system,



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