American obesity has reached epidemic proportions. Over one-third of the population (35.7%) is obese, according to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and as this number continues to rise among both children and adults, so too will serious health risks and astronomical healthcare costs. Amidst a consumer-driven culture inundated with fast food sugary drinks and fatty, salty snacks, fighting obesity in children and adults is certainly a challenge. But if patients and families approach the subject of balanced nutrition and safe weight loss from a holistic perspective, they will find that achieving better health is not only an accessible and affordable goal, but one that is also fascinating, delicious and empowering.
Type 2 diabetes affects nearly 26 million Americans, and currently stands as one of the top ten causes of death nationwide. In the face of such statistics, researchers are hard at work studying alternative diabetes treatments in an attempt to reduce patient risk; and now, according to a recent report from Medical News Today, a new study on naturopathic care options shows promising results that may help diabetes patients lower blood sugar levels, achieve emotional balance and improve overall well-being.
Most of us have dealt with allergies at some point in our lives, either personally or through the experience of a friend or family member. Food allergies and dietary intolerances are especially common, and can result in uncomfortable and inconvenient symptoms. Individuals who suffer from such conditions may worry that daily medication is the only solution; but for those seeking natural allergy relief for GI complaints and food allergies, the best and safest place to begin is with a healthy diet.
As powerful prescription pain relievers become ever more accessible, so too becomes the potential for drug misuse and abuse among patients. Such is the concern raised in a recent report for the Sacramento Bee, which notes the rising prevalence of prescription drug abuse and subsequent popular interest in alternative therapies for pain. As of 2009, 16 million people aged 12 and older reported taking prescription drugs – including stimulants, sedatives, pain relievers and tranquilizers – for non-medical purposes; and not only that, many of the younger individuals polled reported accessing these drugs from friends or relatives. Faced with the mainstream nature and dangerous potential of such trends, many people are eager for a more holistic alternative for pain relief: and while the effects of natural therapies can differ between individuals, a new study suggests that integrative methods are most common and successful when used to treat pain and related conditions.
Alternative therapies and integrative medical practices prompt frequent controversy among medical professionals, patients and media commentators alike, with some individuals and doctors decrying non-traditional methods as useless while others praise the proven benefits of certain herbs, supplements and therapeutic modalities for enhancing physical and emotional well-being. Just recently, the Los Angeles Times published an article questioning the viability of continued funding for alternative medical research; and then, mere days later, the paper ran another story detailing the precise scientific reasons why massage therapy is so effective in reducing inflammation and aiding recovery. Clearly, there are arguments on both sides of the issue: but what is the “answer” for patients seeking optimal health?