Orlando Health Explores Telemonitoring as an Alternative to Hospital Admissions

In-Home-Hospital-1-300x300While other hospitals are trying to comply with a new Medicare policy by assuring recently discharged patients don’t have to be readmitted, Orlando Health is trying to prevent inpatient admissions in the first place by sending some patients home from the emergency department with telemonitoring equipment.

The Central Florida health system is a month into a planned four-month pilot of home-based videoconferencing units tied to simple vitals monitors and a visiting nurse program, Continue reading

Is the Medicinal Herb Kratom Safe, Effective and an Alternative for Treating Pain, Anxiety and Depression?

Mitragyna speciosa, also known as “kratom,” is a plant native to the rainforests of Southeast Asia that has long been used in traditional herbal medicine to treat pain, boost energy, alleviate anxiety and depression symptoms, and promote feelings of wellness and happiness. But because Continue reading

Fire Cupping a Painless Alternative To Acupuncture

Did you know…that an alternative, needle-free kind of acupuncture can cure chronic pain and ensure good health by optimizing circulation?

An Eastern acupuncture therapy called fire cupping may sound like medieval alchemy, but it is actually quick…painless…and extraordinarily effective for a range of health conditions, including severe muscle stiffness Continue reading

Bronchitis – Conventional, Nutritional and Alternative Treatments

Conventional Treatment

Don’t think that you’re going to walk into your health care practitioner’s office and walk out with a prescription for antibiotics in response to your bronchitis.

Since the usual cause of bronchitis is a viral infection, antibiotics aren’t effective at treating this respiratory problem.  Antibiotics can only defeat bacterial infections. So most cases of bronchitis don’t require this form of treatment.  Continue reading

Why you May Want to Choose an Alternative Organic Sunscreen

This time of year, people are going to pools, water parks, and golfing, riding horses, and enjoying time at lakes and beaches. Many people are enjoying the sun for the vitamin D benefits. Enjoying the sun can also restore optimal levels of melatonin in the brain. Summer is a time in which to respect the sun and to understand the chemicals and possible side effects of various sunscreens. It is also a time to examine alternatives to toxic sunscreens.

Many individuals use sunscreen to protect the skin from a sunburn, premature aging, and skin cancer. However, what if the sunscreen itself caused other physical issues? What if different companies are touting their ‘safe’ and effective sunscreens, but they are not warning the public that it also contains chemicals that disrupt hormones and the thyroid and can cause skin issues? If the companies did advertise this, it would disrupt their monetary flow. Again, it seems that money is the motivating factor here, rather than the truth.

A few chemicals that are listed as ingredients in some sunscreens are Homosalate, Octinoxate, and Oxybenzone. Different companies  Continue reading

Alternative Food Sources that Bestow Availability, Nutrition and Other Uses

Alternative food sources in a world of shrinking resources are those that offer a diverse profile in terms of availability, nutrition and other important uses. Some food plants grow well in marginal soil, offer high nutrition, and have medicinal uses that could make them high priority in years to come. Easy propagation, tolerance of diverse growing conditions, multiple uses of its products, and beneficial nutrition would be earmarks of life-saving food crops. Another food source already utilized in other countries is insects. An online search for nutritious foods yields results such as broccoli, kale, avocadoes, bee pollen and others equally well-known. While these all-stars undoubtedly have a place in the pantheon of nutritious foods, a few other candidates could nose them out.

Moringa oleifera, also known as horseradish or drumstick tree, is a miracle tree grown throughout the tropics that can nevertheless withstand frost and frozen soil. It propagates easily from stumps, seeds, direct sowing, cuttings or natural regeneration. It is drought-resistant and fast-growing.  Continue reading

Biotech Treatments for “Non-Curable” Diseases

Going beyond remedies that reduce the symptoms of common cold or heal common ailments, there are now treatments that target those diseases that still haven’t found a medical solution. It is here that biotechnology offers little known but no less effective alternative.

These are drugs that have as their primary mission support to attack serious symptoms and complications of these diseases and improve the quality of life of the patients. Synvisc One, for example, is a medical treatment to treat osteoarthritis or the wear of the knee cartilage, which most commonly occurs in older adults and young athletes or patients with significant degrees of obesity.

It was recently launched in Chile at a seminar  Continue reading

Definitions of Herbal Properties

adaptogen: a non-toxic substance which helps the body to adapt to stressful situations while also normalizing physiology

alterative: gradually alters the body towards health, also often referred to as a blood cleanser. Alteratives work directly through the metabolism

anodyne: pain relieving

antibacterial: effective against bacteria

anticoagulant: prevents blood from clotting, blood thinner

antidepressant: relieves depression

antifungal: effective against fungal infections

anti-inflammatory: reduces inflammation

antimicrobial: inhibits micro-organisms

antioxidant: prevents free radical or oxidative damage

antiseptic: prevents growth of microbes

antispasmodic: stops spasms

anti-tumor: inhibits growth of tumors

antiviral: inhibits growth of viruses

aphrodisiac: increases libido

aromatic digestant: promotes digestion through aromatic actions of moving energy and relieving stagnation (promoting peristalsis, expelling gas, etc)

astringent: tightens tissues, useful for toning organs, stopping diarrhea and other excessive fluid loss

bitter: a taste that stimulates salivation and the secretion of bile and HCL to promote

carminative: expels gas from the intestines (often an aromatic digestant)

cell proliferant: promotes cell growth

cholagogue: stimulates bile flow from the gall bladder

circulatory stimulant: promotes circulation

demulcent: internally soothing, often times a mucilaginous that coats and protects the

diaphoretic: a relaxing diaphoretic relaxes the exterior to allow for heat to leave the body a stimulating diaphoretic engages the tissues to help push the heat out.

digestant: aids digestion

diuretic: stimulates urination

emetic: promotes vomiting

emmenagogue: promotes menstruation

emollient: soothing and softening to the skin

expectorant: promotes the expulsion of mucous from the lungs

hemostatic: stops bleeding

hepatoprotective: protects the liver

hypotensive: lowers blood pressure

immunomodulator: promotes health in the immune system by modulating extremes in hyper or hypo action

laxative: promotes bowel evacuation

lymphatic: promotes lymphatic movement; an example is reducing enlarged lymph glands

mood elevator: promotes a happier disposition

nervine: can be relaxing or stimulating. A relaxing nervine relaxes constricted or contracted tissues in the nervous system. . A stimulating nervine stimulates stagnant or overly relaxed tissues of the nervous system.

nutritive: contains a high amount of vitamins and minerals

sialagogue; promotes the salivary glands to secrete saliva

styptic: stops bleeding usually through astringent actions

tonic: gradually increases organ tone and is often considered invigorating

trophorestorative: a nourishing herb or food that usually has an affinity to a particular organ or system of the body, it acts on the particular system to bring it into balance and can also restore function

vulnerary: heals wounds

Stimulate Female Sexual Drive Naturally

An estimated 40 percent of U.S. women suffer sexual dysfunction, according to a 2008 survey in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Losing interest in sex would be unfortunate for most people, but for Linda Poelzl it was a professional hazard.
“I just wasn’t feeling much interest in sex, and this was very disturbing to me,” says Poelzl, who lives and works in San Francisco. “I have to have a certain amount of interest in it because of my work.”
Poelzl’s describes her work as a “sex educator and coach,” helping men, women, and couples work through their sexual problems. She says she usually possesses a great lust for lust, but then her libido started dissipating a few years ago when she was in her late 40s.

Shocked and not quite sure what to do, she turned to medical doctors, and found there wasn’t much they could offer, as there’s no prescription medicine like Viagra to help a woman when her sex life gets stuck. The greatest hope for a so-called “female Viagra” was a drug called flibanserin, but it was nixed by a panel of Food and Drug Administration experts on Friday, who said the drug didn’t seem to really help women with sexual dysfunction.

This was the second time a so-called “female Viagra” failed to make it on the market; in 2004, an FDA panel said no to Intrinsa, a testosterone patch meant to hormonally help women with a lack of desire for sex.

Given these two rejections, it could be a while before another pharmaceutical company decides to sink money into developing a new drug for women with sexual problems. One company, BioSante Pharmaceuticals, hopes to bring a testosterone gel to the market in 2012, but there aren’t many other products on the horizon.

“There hasn’t been much action in this area, and that certainly has to come up when a company is thinking about dumping money into researching a drug for female sexual dysfunction,” says Phyllis Greenberger, president of the Society for Women’s Health Research, which received money from Boehringer Ingelheim, the company that makes flibanserin.

That’s despite a seeming need for such medication. In 2008, a survey of more than 30,000 U.S. women in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology found that nearly 40 percent reported that they’d had a sexual problem at some point in their lives, most often a lack of desire.

Linda Poelzl, a sexual educator and coach, says Chinese medicine has helped her sex drive.

After seeing medical doctors but getting few results, Poelzl decided to take another route. She visited alternative practitioners and began experimenting with Taoist exercises used in Chinese medicine. She practiced six minutes of exercises every morning, such as sitting quietly in a chair massaging her lower abdomen.

While there’s no hard science that shows that Taoist practices will improve a woman’s sex life, Poelzl says it worked for her.

“I noticed I started feeling more energy in my body, and more libido,” she says. “But it took at least six weeks of almost daily practice. You have to be committed.”
In fact, for nearly all alternative practices there are no large-scale studies saying if they work or not. But in the absence of a drug to help women with sexual problems, here’s what’s recommended by some practitioners.

1. Acupuncture

Jill Blakeway, a licensed acupuncturist who practices in New York City, started out doing acupuncture to help women get pregnant. But then a few years later she started noticing something interesting.
“After having a couple of kids, patients were coming back to me and saying, ‘I just never feel like it anymore,'” Blakeway says.
She then developed a specialty in acupuncture to help women lift their flagging libidos. She says acupuncture, like Viagra, increases blood flow to the genitals, but unlike Viagra, it usually takes four to six weeks to see results.

“If your sexuality has been lying dormant for a while, then it’s going to take a while to wake it up,” Blakeway says. “And when it does wake up, I tell women not to see this as goal-oriented orgasmic sex, but rather as a way of connecting to their partner.”
One of Blakeway’s patients wrote an article for the magazine, Cookie, about her experience with acupuncture for her flagging sex life.
To find an acupuncturist near you, go to the website of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and check off “Chinese Herbology Certification.”

2. Chinese medicine

Blakeway says she often has success combining acupuncture with Chinese medicine. To find a practitioner familiar with Chinese medicine, go to the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Blakeway says between acupuncture and Chinese medicine, she’s able to help about 65 percent of the women who come to her with sexual problems.

3. Maca

Maca is sold in several forms including powder and capsules.

A root vegetable grown in high elevations in the mountains of Peru, animal studies have shown that maca increases sex drive. It’s widely marketed in Peru as an aphrodisiac, where it’s sold in several forms, including capsules and powdered form.

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital are studying maca in women with sexual dysfunction.
Here’s more information on the sexual effects of maca from New York University Langone Medical Center.

4. Ginkgo biloba

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, found that the herb ginkgo biloba was useful in helping women who had sexual dysfunction brought on by antidepressants.
Here’s more information on ginkgo, including its sexual effects, from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health.

5. Herbal combinations

Dr. Craig Koniver, a Charleston, South Carolina, family physician who specializes in alternative medicine, says he has success treating women with sexual dysfunction with herbal combinations. Several companies, including one owned by Koniver, make herbal combinations.

You can also visit a practitioner familiar with herbs to make a combination for you. You can find a practitioner through the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, or if you prefer a medical doctor, visit the website of the American College for Advancement in Medicine, where you can put in your ZIP code and find a doctor who specializes in integrative medicine.

Whatever you try to get your libido back, remember that your first attempt might not work.
“Different things for different women,” Blakeley says. “It’s not a one-size-fits-all situation