Continued from last post:
7: Guided Imagery – the use of relaxation and mental visualization to improve mood and/or physical well being
“Visualization, or guided imagery, is a practice that’s gaining ground for cancer patients, stroke victims and those who suffer from anxiety and stress. Doctors direct patients to focus on a specific image or concept to improve the connection between the mind and body. In medical studies, brain scans of patients who follow this practice show that visualizing an activity promotes the same brain activity as actually performing the activity. This provides strong evidence for using guided imagery to help stroke patients relearn basic actions, or to treat patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Researchers also hope that visualization techniques can make the cancer treatment process easier for patients and help address a number of psychological and stress-related conditions
[source: Mayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicine].”
6: Ayurveda – treating the life energy
“People in India have relied on the ancient practice of Ayurveda for thousands of years to prevent and treat illness. Ayurvedic practitioners use herbs, diet, breathing, massage and meditation to treat the whole self and restore balance in the body. They focus on maintaining a healthy prana, or life energy, which shares many characteristics with the qi of Chinese medicine. A poorly managed prana is believed to cause illness, and this illness can only be treated by realigning the mind, body and spirit to rebalance the prana.”
“For the most part, Ayurveda remains a relatively safe practice, and shows promise as a way to boost memory and focus [source: Mayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicine]. However, practitioners should be aware that no scientific evidence exists to support most health claims associated with Ayurveda, and some supplements used in this practice can be dangerous [source: University of Minnesota]. The FDA warns of heavy metal content in some herbal remedies, and other natural supplements can interfere with medications used to treat blood pressure or other conditions. Before you undergo Ayurvedic treatment, consult a licensed physician to learn more about the associated health risks.”
5: Massage – manipulation of the muscles
“Massage has become a mainstream part of the modern lifestyle, but few recognize it as a legitimate medical treatment. During a massage, therapists manipulate muscles to ease pain and tension, but some types of massage may also help improve a variety of other health conditions. Perhaps most promising is a University of Miami study showing improved immune function in HIV patients after massage therapy [source: National Institutes of Health]. Certain types of massage also ease cancer treatment symptoms and help reduce the severe pain of fibromyalgia [source: Mayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicine]. For professional athletes and weekend warriors, sports massage eases muscle soreness, speeds recovery and may even improve performance.”
4: Meditation – concentrated focus
“During meditation, patients focus on slow, even breathing and keeping the mind clear of distraction. Some also use a trigger word or idea to help them ease into this practice, while others may even incorporate prayer or spiritual teachings. For the majority of practitioners, meditation provides a free, personalized and versatile method of stress relief that can be performed virtually anywhere and at anytime. For others, this practice may also have far-reaching health effects. And it seems there’s a growing body of scientific evidence to support its effectiveness.”
Check back in a few days to see the remaining 3 popular forms of alternative care!
If you would like more information on the Virginia workers’ compensation system, or if you need help settling your workers’ compensation claim, order my book, “The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia,” or call our office today (804) 755-7755.
Michele Lewane, Esq.