Costmetic Dentistry and Other

Costmetic Dentistry and Other

Dentistry is the widely used “practical application of knowledge of dental science (the science of placement, arrangement, function of teeth and their supporting bones and soft tissues) to human beings.” I'm sure you can see why in most countries, many years of training are required in university in order to become an actual dentist. A dentist is what we call a professional practitioner of dentistry. This “Dentist” has normally studied between 4-8 years at university and will normally also have alot of practical experience with working on actual patients, often times accompianed by a more experienced dentist.

There is nine different specialties that are branched out from dentistry which all require initial education after the initial dental school. These are:

Dental Public Health – Which is the study of dental epidemiology and social health policies
Endodontics – Which is root canal therapy
Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology – Which is the study, diagnosis, and often the treatment of oral and maxillofacial related diseases
Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology – Which is the study and radiologic interpretation of oral and maxillofacial diseases
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery – Which is the extractions and facial surgery
Orthodontics – Which is straightening of teeth
Pedodontics – Which is pediatric dentistry for children
Periodontics – Which is treatment of gum disease
Prosthodontics – Which is the replacement of missing facial anatomy by prostheses such as dentures, bridges and implants

Often times visiting the Dentis is an un-nerving situation. Rest assured that if you are going to a qualified dentist, they have all of the training that is required to perform what it is that you require. If you are still un-easy or having a problem choosing a dentist in your area, you might want to talk those around you and find out who has had good and bad experiences and where.

Individual Dental Insurance 101

Individual Dental Insurance 101

Finding providers who offer individual dental insurance plans may be difficult but not impossible. So do not let this minor point stop you from finding an insurance provider, because having dental insurance fulfills two great benefits:

Excellent Oral Health
ADA studies have shown that cleanings and regular dental check ups is one of the best ways to keep ones’ teeth and gums healthy, and safe from diseases. Many plans provide and pay for the insured to go for regular dental check ups.

Relief From Costly Dental Bills
Cavities, root canals, crowns and teeth extraction are an unpleasant reality. Without dental insurance, these simple procedures can become expensive. Many dental insurance providers offer plans where they pay for a bigger percentage or pay for the entire dental procedure.

What To Consider In The Search For Individual Dental Insurance Providers

Short or no waiting period
Some dental insurance providers impose a waiting period, to ensure that the old problems from the previous provider are not carried over to the new plan. This can be a problem for you if you need to undergo a procedure, but the new dental insurance has a waiting period of 6 to 8 months before you can avail of the coverage. You will end up paying for this treatment out of your pocket. So, do not delay your search for a dental insurance plan.

Buyer Plans or referral plans
Consider third party companies, which offer referral plans. Under this arrangement, the individual pays a monthly fee to a third party to gain access to dentists who have agreed to a reduced fee schedule. The third party’s services involve securing individuals to dentists. The individual pays the discounted dental fee directly to the dentist.

Independent insurance carriers
You can easily find these carriers on the net or the yellow pages. The better ones offer a flexible dental insurance plan, which can be written as stand-alone coverage or as a part of your present dental insurance plan.

Some of these carriers provide plans with the following benefits:
• The flexibility to seek treatment from your preferred dentist, but they will offer you bigger discounted fees if you choose a dentist from their network.
• Inform you what the contracted rate is for the treatment before you undergo this.
• Provide you complete coverage from preventive services such as check ups to major procedures like full dentures.

Have A Cracker With Chiropractors

Have A Cracker With Chiropractors

Chiropractic healing is a kind of healing that taps the body’s ‘inner intelligence’ – that innate sense of balance the body has when a person is physically, emotionally and mentally healthy. A healing art that was developed in the United States , chiropractic healing operates on the belief that the body can heal itself if there is an uninterrupted flow of energy or nerve impulses from the brain to the rest of the body.

It’s interesting to note that chiropractic healing came to the fore when David Palmer was able to cure deafness by manipulating a misaligned vertebra. This miraculous healing led more and more researches into the field of chiropractic healing. Modern chiropractors trace the beginnings of this art of healing to Hippocrates, who said, “Get knowledge of the spine, this is the requisite for many diseases”.

Chiropractors work primarily with the joints that lie along the spinal column. They believe that when the vertebrae and adjoining bones are misaligned in relation to the joints, the flow of impulses from the nerve is impeded or blocked. This in turn drains the body of its ability to stay healthy. What chiropractic healing does is quite evident from the name itself; ‘cheir’ means “hand” and ‘practikos’ means “done by” – healing manipulations that seek to correctly align the bones of the vertebra to restore total health. Chiropractic philosophy grew out of a ‘wholism’ which considers the body to be a single unified organ.

During therapy, a patient may hear his joints crack however the sessions are pain-free and quite refreshing too. This ‘crack’ is actually a vacuum-created nitrogen bubble that is bursting within the joint. The actual manipulations are often very gentle, and make use of a technique called ‘non-force’. Depending upon the nature of the problem and its longevity, multiple sessions may be needed. These techniques have been found to be very effective not only in restoring strength to the spine and vertebra, but also in restoring good health so that there is vigorous flow of energy throughout the body.

Chiropractic healing is an effective treatment for muscle, joint and bone problems. It is very effective when used to treat conditions such as headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome. It is the single most effective treatment for lower back pain. In fact, it has been so effective that it is the third largest health care profession after medicine and dentistry. Of the 36+ million Americans visiting chiropractors every year, 70% are treated for back pain, 20% for head and neck disorders and the rest are treated for other disorders. Chiropractic healing even soothes colicky babies, thereby giving harassed mothers a well-deserved break.

Chiropractic healing may also help people who are partially paralyzed. Therapy is not contained to the paralyzed parts of the body. Many confined individuals suffer from excessive shoulder and arm related injuries that come from the stress of using a wheelchair. Strengthening exercises help to prevent future injuries and harden the areas that are prone to over-use.

While one branch of Chiropractic healing keeps itself strictly within the parameters of hand-manipulation, another branch called Osteopathy actively uses heat, massage, nutrition and other therapies to achieve the same results. Chiropractic healing coaxes the body to heal itself, thus it is a great adjunct to traditional medicine.

Accomplish Your Weight Loss Goals With This Advice

Accomplish Your Weight Loss Goals With This Advice

If you always seem to be on one diet or another, it is time to get off of the diet roller coaster and break the cycle of weight loss. This article combines some of the best tips, tricks and advice to help you reach your goal.

Walking can be a great way to burn calories and lose weight. If you wear a pedometer as you walk throughout the day, you can track how many steps you take. Experts say that people trying to lose weight should take 5000 steps a day. Wearing a pedometer can also give you the inspiration to take more steps each day and continually take more than the day before.

If you are looking to lose some weight a great tip is to make the foods you already love a little healthier. Rather than avoiding your favorite dishes altogether, find ways to make those dishes a little lighter. For example, try low fat ice cream, or pizza with reduced fat cheese.

Use red pepper flakes early in the day. Spicy foods in general help give a little boost to your metabolism. In addition, research has shown that if you eat foods that incorporate red pepper flakes earlier in the day, you will eat less food later in the day. So, spice up your breakfast, late-morning snack or lunch with a little kick!

You can supplement your weight loss plan by adding extra steps into your day. When you go to the grocery store or to work, park further away from the building than you usually do. By doing this small thing, over time those steps add up to extra calories burned and extra pounds shed.

If you are having trouble losing weight, then you might want to try natural health supplements which can boost your metabolism. These fine supplements give your metabolism a boost, helping you digest food more quickly, allowing you to lose more weight more quickly. Make sure you check out weight loss supplements today.

Consider a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast! Oats have been shown to help keep blood sugar levels steady, and they're full of fiber which is excellent for you when you're trying to lose weight. I like to bake with oats so I include them in my no-sugar banana muffins recipe.

If you want to jumpstart your weight loss, try cutting down on the amount of carbohydrates you eat. Decreasing the amount of carbohydrates you consume, means that the body has to start using fat for energy, instead of the carbs that it usually uses, which means that your weight begins to drop.

Try not to eat all the food on your plate. Ignore the advice you grew up with. Do not clean your plate during every meal. Try to leave something on it. Pay attention to your body. It will tell you when you are full. Do not keep eating past that point.

Say goodbye to diets once and for all. It is time to get serious and to lose the weight for the last time. Use the advice offered here to get on track and break the seemingly never-ending cycle of weight loss and gain. Roller coasters are fun, but when it comes to weight loss, that is one roller coaster you do not want to be on.

Glucosamine – The Arthritis Cure?

Glucosamine – The Arthritis Cure?

Glucosamine sulphate has been around a long time now and as each year goes by more and more claims are made telling us about this miracle joint lubricant. Are all the claims true? Will it cure Arthritis? What is Glucosamine anyway? And what about Chondroitin?
Glucosamine is a naturally produced amino sugar which is found in small amounts in foods. It plays an important role in maintaining the cartilage gel-like material between our joints. The body also produces a carbohydrate called Chondroitin, which is thought to promote water retention and elasticity as well as blocking the enzymes that break down cartilage.
As we get older the body's ability to manufacture and synthesize Glucosamine and Chondroitin decreases. This probably contributes to the joint problems we have all come to associate with growing old, a fact that health food companies did not take long to latch on to.
Although studies have been carried out in numerous countries to try to prove conclusively that Glucosamine is effective in treating arthritis and joint problems there have been an equal number of questions raised about the methodology of many of these studies. One such study, in Europe, took X-rays to measure the size of the gap in the knee joint before and after taking Glucosamine. Even though the results showed that the size of the gap was significantly larger, in a group of people taking Glucosamine compared to a group taking NSAIDs, critics said that the study was not large enough to draw firm conclusions. They also claimed the X-ray evidence was too difficult to interpret.
Many Vets and pet owners have been using Glucosamine to treat joint problems in horses and dogs for a number of years now. They swear by the effectiveness of this form of treatment for their animals. While there is no placebo effect in animals it is equally difficult to find well documented, and conclusive, scientific evidence to confirm the effectiveness of Glucosamine.
While there might be limited good, accredited, scientific proof as to the effectiveness of Glucosamine there is an abundance of people as well as pet owners who swear by the effectiveness of Glucosamine. Even though Glucosamine is often used in combination with other supplements, or treatments, the general feeling among most users is that it does help. Results of empirical studies in various countries have shown that arthritis sufferers report significant improvements when taking Glucosamine supplements. The same is also true for people who have other types of joint injuries or back problems. Some countries now sanction Glucosamine as a treatment for people with mild to moderately severe osteoarthritis.
To date no study has found any serious side effects from either Glucosamine or Chondroitin when taken as a supplement in humans. However people with diabetes are advised to keep a check on their blood-sugar level. While there have been no reports of allergic reactions to Glucosamine, since it's made from shellfish shells, it may not be suitable for people with seafood allergies. It may also increase a person's daily salt intake level – something people with high blood pressure may want to watch. Chondroitin on the other hand may sometimes cause bleeding in people with bleeding disorders or taking blood-thinning drugs. Like many supplements insufficient data is available about the long term effects and hence it should be not be taken by children, or pregnant or breastfeeding mothers.
The United States Food and Drug Administration embarked on a study involving 1500 people earlier in 2005 to determine the effects of Glucosamine and Chondroitin on people with arthritic problems.
There are many claims that taking Glucosamine will slow and possibly halt osteoarthritis-related damage to joints, speed healing of strains and sprains, control back pain and help promote healthy aging. Whether this is true or not, the overall rhetorical evidence is probably stacked in favour of the use of Glucosamine as a supplement – so maybe it's worth a try – for a trial period anyway!
This information in this article should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease. You should always consult with your health care professional especially relating suitability of supplements or drugs and on all health matters that may require diagnosis or medical attention.

The World of Sports Nutrition

The World of Sports Nutrition

Advancements in medicine and an increase in capitalism in the world as well as other factors all contributed to the development of the field of sports nutrition.

As scientists learned more and more about our bodies and the optimum level of strength and physical fitness they can harbor, businessmen jumped the gun and manufactured products and services that actually help athletes meet these optimum levels. The media joined in the ruckus and published materials leading to the promotion of both the scientific and the commercial side of the field.

Sports nutrition has been changing through the years around the world. It’s not just that the topics are different – the emphasis and approach have also changed.

Peak Performance, a sports magazine carried an article on dehydration in runners on October 1990, its maiden issue. This article compared the benefits of plain water with those of dilute glucose solutions, which are more isotonic and therefore absorbed more rapidly.

Today, go into almost any supermarket, convenience stores and even school cafeterias and you’ll find a ready supply of sports drinks aimed at maintaining hydration just like glucose solutions.

The difference is that by using soluble long-chain glucose polymers instead of simple glucose, it’s now possible to create an isotonic hydrating drink which also supplies significant amounts of carbohydrate to working muscles. And, the good thing is, sports drinks also taste better.

More than 10 years ago, it was made public that muscle damage brought about by free-radicals may be reduced by having supplements of antioxidant vitamins A, C and E. Years after, antioxidant supplementation became a norm in the world of sports nutrition.

Now, researchers are also beginning to understand that muscle damage is a more complex subject. It is difficult to assess free radical damage in athletes and it has been found out that large amounts of antioxidant nutrients may actually cause cellular damage and impair performance.

The “Carbo loading” technique has been widely used over the years by athletes all over the world. A carbohydrate-rich diet is important in maintaining muscle glycogen stores thus ensuring high endurance levels.

However, in the 1990’s it became clear that the ‘glycaemic index’ and release rate of different carbohydrates had important influence on when they should best be consumed in relation to physical activity.

The relationship of carbohydrates and proteins were also discovered namely that carbohydrates promote protein-sparing in the body. It was also discovered recently that consuming carbohydrates before and during prolonged bouts of strenuous exercise can help protect the immune system.

One of the most exciting recent developments in sports nutrition has been the rise of creatine supplementation. The use of creatine is now very common. Creatine renews the muscles essential energy source, ATP or adenosine triphosphate. Increased levels in muscles optimizes energy turnover meaning you’ll more energy for high power exercise and faster recovery during and after workouts. Creatine also increases the athlete’s maximum effort, delays fatigue and therefore prolongs endurance.

New wisdom and therefore new products have definitely enabled athletes to fuel themselves better, work harder, train longer and recover more rapidly. However, as in any kind of innovation there will always be downsides.

Nutritional supplements available to most athletes in the 80’s were very straightforward. Some athletes took drugs but the boundaries between nutritional supplements and drugs clear. Today, the race to find new formulas to boost performance has resulted to the availability of sports nutrition supplements which do not really occur naturally. The result is that the distinction between a nutrient and a performance-enhancing substance has become increasingly blurred.

Some of these supplements contain ingredients that can cause athletes to violate the rules and regulations governing their sport because of unintentional contamination by other, ‘exotic’, substances present in the supplement manufacturing environment.

More developments will be created in the world of sports nutrition and these will definitely spawn ethical questions. “Nutrigenomics”—the relationship between genetics and nutrition—will be more researched upon.

As scientists become more skilled at discovering the processes of our genes, it will be possible that rather than adopting a general approach for sports nutrition, athletes around the world will be genetically tested to help them determine precise individual requirements for optimum health.

The next years will predictably be more exciting for the world of sports nutrition.

Issues Regarding Gout Treatment

Issues Regarding Gout Treatment

Due to improper diet, sedentary lifestyle and obesity, many people suffer from gout these days. Gout predominantly affects men and the disease is most likely to occur at a more advanced age. Men with ages over 50 usually develop forms of gout. In some cases, women can also develop the disease after the age of 60.

There are many factors that facilitate the development of gout, but the actual cause of the disease seems to be the body’s excessive secretion of a substance called uric acid. Uric acid is a residual product that is excreted from the body through urine. The surplus of uric acid inside the body leads to its accumulation in the form of uric crystals. These crystals deposit in different regions of the organism, causing inflammation. Gout mainly affects joints, especially those of the lower body limbs. Gout causes inflammation, swelling and intense pain of the affected areas.

Although the disease can be corrected through an appropriate gout treatment, there is no specific cure for it. Many medicines prescribed for gout usually control its symptoms, rather than the actual causes. However, some of the causes of gout can be overcome through the means of a good, healthy diet. It is very important to reduce the consumption of alcohol when suffering from gout, as it interferes with renal activity. Smoking is known to cause damage to arteries and it can also slow down the process of healing.

Gout usually involves intense pain of the joints. Pain episodes tend to become more intense during the night and sometimes people with gout have trouble sleeping. Although some medicines don’t prevent pain attacks from reoccurring, they are effective for temporarily reducing it. Common medicines prescribed in gout treatments are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (indomethacin, ketoprofen, diclofenac, ibuprofen, and naproxen). They are efficient in calming the inflammation and also ameliorate the pain. Anti-inflammatory drugs are usually well-tolerated by the body. They are administered orally, in the quantities prescribed by the doctor.

Another substance used in gout treatment is Colchicine. Although it considerably reduces pain and discomfort of the regions affected by gout, it also has a lot of side effects. Due to this fact, Colchicine is only administered to patients suffering from acute gout or to those who don’t respond well to gout treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Corticosteroids are also used in some gout treatments. They quickly relief the pain and they can usually be injected directly into the affected joint. However, they are used only in extreme cases, due to their multiple side effects.

Although proper diet and drinking larger quantities of water are a natural way of getting rid of the surplus of uric acid from the body, some medicines can also help to normalize the levels of the substance. Such medicines are usually used in chronic gout treatment. Allopurinol is an inhibitor that decreases the quantities of uric acid secreted by the body. Uricosuric Agents like probenecid and sulfinpyrazone improve the activity of the kidneys, aiding the process of excretion.

Many symptoms of gout can be ameliorated by following an appropriate gout treatment. However, when suffering from chronic forms of gout the symptoms reappear after certain periods of time and ongoing treatment is necessary.

Natural Remedies for Losing Weight – Guarana

Natural Remedies for Losing Weight – Guarana

Guarana (Paullinia cupana) is another herbal promoted as a natural remedy for losing weight and is made from the seeds of a plant native to Brazil. The seed of the Guaraná is a central nervous system stimulant with thermogenic and diuretic properties.

Basically what is in guarana is caffeine – up to two to three times the amount of caffeine that coffee has. Guarana is the richest-known source of caffeine. You can find guarana as a major ingredient in energy drinks, which don't state there is caffeine in the drink, but rather say it provides an energy boost. Rather an understatement, as it's more like a major buzz. Coffee contains 100 mg of caffeine, Coke or Pepsi 36 mg, and Energy Drinks any where from 169 to 259 mg. That's a rush.

Guarana falls into a category of weight loss supplements called thermogenesis right along with ephedra, caffeine and salicin. Basically it boosts your metabolic rate, causing your body to burn calories faster plus curb the appetite. Body fat that isn't burned is stored on your hips, thighs, stomach, etc.

If you are going to go for this kind of product in your weight loss journey, you will need to find one strong enough to curb your appetite, that zips up the metabolism to burn more calories, create heat to burn more fat, and doesn't give unwanted side effects such as: jitteriness, nervousness, or heart palpitations.

Taking a higher dose doesn't mean you lose weight faster. Instead, you just have more side effects. With thermogenesis based products drink more water (due to the heat factor), do not skip meals (low blood sugar), and do not take late at night (it will keep up awake) What you also need to remember with products that stimulate is stimulants burn calories, but increases heart rate and blood pressure. Caffeine suppresses the appetite, but gives you the jitters, mood swings and tension.

What to choose? You will face some hard choices when it comes to deciding what might be the right natural remedy for losing weight for you. Guarana (or caffeine) may suppress appetite to a certain extent at high levels. On its own it's not a very effective supplement to create thermogenesis. Combine it with Ma Huang (Ephedra), and it appears the caffeine extends the appetite suppressing action of Ephedra and increases caloric expenditure. But you might not want to be combining two powerful stimulants together. And you most definitely do not want to be taking this if you are on blood thinner medications like Coumadin.

Nylabone Durable Dental Dinosaur Chew Toy (Dinosaur Varies)

Nylabone Durable Dental Dinosaur Chew Toy (Dinosaur Varies)

Nylabone, the makers of quality chew toys for your dog comes with a new product to make the pet’s chewing experience a whole new dimension. This is a toy that is designed for powerful chewers that is up to 50 pounds and is available in three classic dinosaur designs.
This chewing product is designed with the chewing needs of your dog. The design is geared towards the gnawing and safety concerns of your precious pet and friend.Nylabone Durable Dental Dinosaur Chew Toy’s different design is very and your pets will surely love this.
Note that dogs have different styles on their chewing. Some dogs want a soft chew and there are dogs that want it hard. It is important that you are able to choose the chew toy in accordance to your pet’s preference. Of course, there would be chew toy that runs smack to your pet’s choice and Nylabone is definitely has the answer for your need. The bristles of the toy allow good dental health for your dog. The product helps cleaning the teeth of your pet which controls tartar build-up and decrease the possibility of having plaque.
There are instances that small shavings of Nylabone will find itself to be ingested by your pet. It is important that you change the toys when it is already worn out. The durable construction may wear down but it should not be mistaken as a food item for your dog.
Having a chew toy is a great alternative for your pet that likes to gnaw at your table legs, shoes and any other things around the house. It will also help you save on worries that you will lose your security deposit because the dog chews on some parts of your apartment just for enjoyment. Nylabone is a priceless piece of tool that will keep your dog’s teeth marks where it should be.
So what’s in it that people love? What makes this product is great is the fact that it is a wise investment which is quite attractive for dog owners. It is a wise investment if you think about it aside from the fact it will help your dog with its dental health. You have a choice of designs that your dog will surely love.
The cost to durability ratio is something laudable about this product which makes this product a great buy. The nylon material is sturdy and will surely last a long time before there would be a need to change it.
While it may help your dog with their teeth, you need to check with your dog’s vet if the product is a good fit. It is important that you know the gnawing preferences of your dog so that it will not do more harm than good. There are complaints about the product being harmful to dogs’ teeth. It may be an isolated incident however you need to take a look at these instances with great caution.
There are dogs that would like to have texture to the gnawing bone so shave it a little to have some texture and customize it to your dog’s preference. See if they dog likes it that way.
Overall, what is Nylabone Durable Dental Dinosaur Chew Toy? It’s a great product if your dog has the capacity to make it work for them. After all, a good chew toy is a big help to your dog’s teeth.

Alternative Approaches to Pain Relief

Alternative Approaches to Pain Relief

Pain. The great leveler. The rich feel it. So do the poor, the happy, the sad, tall, and short. And, of course, article writers, too. It’s therefore not surprising to note that since the dawn of time, humans have attempted to discover ways to reduce pain. In some respect, our ability to experience pain, and seek ways to solve it, connects us more than anything else. But what exactly is pain and how do we deal with it?
Pain is a message sent by the body to the brain, signaling the presence of disease, injury or strain. Without pain, you would be unaware of many problems – from torn ligaments to appendicitis. Pain is simply, Mother Nature's way of telling you something is wrong.
Many of us kill the messenger with narcotics, anti-depressants and tranquilizers that take care of the symptoms, but not the cause of the pain. This kind of treatment cannot only mask symptoms of serious disease, but can also create a cycle of chronic pain.
Not all pain though, serves a useful function. While acute pain, as described above can alert us to a serious problem, chronic pain can linger long after an ailment or injury has healed in the body. Examples of chronic pain include backache, migraines and arthritis. In these cases, pain management, as opposed to a cure, may become the goal of treatment.
The psychological effects that accompany recovery from a disease or injury heighten chronic pain. A loss of confidence is often triggered by prolonged periods of rest and inactivity that cause a loss of physical strength, endurance and flexibility. If the injury has prevented you from performing your usual duties, you may succumb to frustration and depression. Impatience is chronic pain's best friend as many individuals overexert themselves before they have completely healed, thus triggering more pain.
Various treatments can help alleviate chronic pain. Some treatments do so on a purely physical level by interfering with signals from the nerves to the brain or desensitizing the nerves. The following sections are meant to introduce you to some of the ways of dealing with pain without relying on non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, narcotics, tranquilizers or anti-depressants.
For many people, particularly those in the western world, pain relief solutions such as acupuncture, and herbal medicine are novel concepts. However, the rest of the world is probably wondering what the fuss is about, because these traditional approaches to pain relief have been around for thousands of years; Traditional Chinese Medicine, which relies on various techniques and herbs in order to balance the body’s internal energy, is over 5,000 years old.
Acupuncture: the ancient Chinese Practice of acupuncture is based on the belief that health is determined by the level of chi (vital life energy) that is in t he body. This energy is thought to move through the body through pathways called meridians, which connect to specific organs in the body. Acupuncturists insert needles into points on the body that connect to these channels to release blocked “chi” that might be the cause of pain. During acupuncture treatment, the acupuncturist inserts thin needles for anywhere from a few minutes to a half an hour into specific points on the body. This practice is thought to stimulate endorphins, the body's natural painkillers and is useful for the treatment of a variety of disorders including backache, sinus pain, jaw pain, spinal disorders, withdrawal and mental disorders.
Herbs: another important part of traditional Chinese medicine is herbal medicine. Herbs have been used for centuries for their pain relieving qualities. Here are some herbs that are recommended for common disorders:
Cramps & Spasms: angelica, cramp bar, kava, rosemary, valerian root.
Nerve Pain: capsaicin, chamomile, gotu kola, licorice, white willow.
Back Pain: hops, wood betony, passionflower.
Migraine: feverfew, linden, skullcap.
Headaches: peppermint, spearmint.
Joint pain: ginger, sea cucumber.
Meditation: meditation, which has also been practiced for thousands of years, is a conscious attempt to calm the mind so that it is not cluttered with thoughts and anxieties that might be contributing to an unnecessary belief in the existence of pain. There are hundreds of different meditation techniques, but mostly they all into three categories: concentrative, mindful and transcendental meditation. During concentrative meditation, focusing on a single sound, object or one's breath, produces tranquil mind that facilitates the production of pain-relieving endorphins. During mindful meditations, the mind is encouraged to become aware of, but not reactive to thoughts, feelings and sensations in order to achieve a tranquil state of mind.
Nutrition: eating a well balanced diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables is thought to be the best way raise your pain threshold or resistance to pain. A deficiency in any of the main vitamins (A, B, C, D or E) can cause chronic pain. Vitamin E is used to treat joint pain. A deficiency in calcium, iron, magnesium and other minerals may also lower your pain threshold. A calcium magnesium supplement taken in a 2:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium is thought to relieve joint pain and headaches. Manganese is a vitamin that is sometimes used for chronic headaches and neuralgia. A deficiency of the B vitamins is also thought to cause nervousness, headaches and chronic pain.
Aromatherapy: sniffing or applying essential oils is thought to change an individual's brain chemistry so that pleasurable neuro-transmitters called endorphins are released to relieve pain. Geranium, jasmine, juniper, lavender, peppermint, rose, rosemary and thyme are oils commonly used for this purpose.
Guided Imagery: research has indicated that bodily functions that were previously thought to be beyond conscious control, such as chronic pain, can be controlled thorough the use of visualization. Guided imagery encourages the sufferer to think in pictures that eliminate negative thoughts thus raising levels of pleasurable brain chemicals, such as serotonin, decreasing anxiety and increasing the effectiveness of the immune system. Through guided imagery, the mind conjures up mental scenes in order to better direct the body's energy. For instance, if an individual is suffering from a stabbing pain, he or she might want to imagine a knife being removed from the spot and a subsequent glowing feeling of relief. Guided imagery has been used successfully to manage the pain of headaches, sinus problems, arthritis and cancer.
Biofeedback combines a variety of relaxation methods, such as guided imagery and meditation with the use of instruments that monitor the individual's responses to the therapy. After many treatments, biofeedback is thought to train the individual to consciously regulate autonomic functions such as heart rate, blood pressure and other processes that are commonly believed to be out of our control. During a session, electrodes connected to a monitoring unit are taped to the skin. The monitor measures skin temperature, pulse, blood pressure, muscle tension and brain activity to determine the success of the relaxation technique. Eventually, over time, biofeedback can train an individual to control the pain of such disorders as TMJ, headaches and migraines.
It is difficult to imagine a world without pain; where would our poetry come from? What would divas sing about? Given that pain is probably always going to be a part of our world, it is of critical importance that we understand the various methods that exist to manage that pain. For some of us, that remedy may lie in the traditional realm, while for others it will be through prescription drugs or some other alternative. Regardless of what remedy you choose, make sure you inform yourself of the various pain treatment options open to you, and by doing so, you may just reduce the amount of suffering in your life. And isn’t that, in some respect, the goal that we all strive towards?
It is important to note that the above suggestions do not represent cures for conditions, but more represent strategies and opportunities to manage your chronic pain. It is also recommended that you consult with your health practitioner before embarking on any new pain management program.