The Mayo Clinic has its list; we have ours. Which complementary and alternative medicine modalities are most important to you and your family?
Hot off the presses is the Mayo Clinic Guide to Alternative Medicine 2011 (New York: Time Home Entertainment, Inc., 2011). One article, titled “Our Top 10 Alternative Therapies,” offers this list:
- Guided imagery
- Music therapy
- Spinal manipulation
- Tai chi
We certainly agree with the Mayo Clinic’s approval of acupuncture, and some forms of therapeutic massage. And we cannot find a great deal of fault with other items on the list—there are proven benefits to many, if not all, of them. One’s spirituality, like one’s mental outlook, has a great deal to do with one’s health. Tai chi or qigong, yoga, meditation, guided imagery—all of them are extremely helpful in forging a strong body-mind connection, which can indeed be curative.
However, we can’t help but note that the Mayo Clinic’s list leans toward the “soft” end of alternative medicine. It’s great that their list recognizes the very potent ability of the human mind to create—or destroy—our health. But what we’re not seeing there is much of the “hard” end of the spectrum: integrative, nutrition-based medicine, backed by scientific studies and peer-reviewed research, to address illness and reverse the disease process.
We would suggest a slightly different approach: therapies that have proven medical benefits, but which are usually found in complementary or alternative medicine rather than standard Western allopathic medicine. Our list would include:
- Acupuncture and therapeutic massage
- Emphasis on healthy food, dietary supplements, and exercise, together with the general avoidance of prescription drugs
- Key nutraceuticals like vitamins B, D, and C, fish oil, resveratrol, and CoQ10
- Identification and elimination of food allergies
- Herbs for a great many health issues, including the treatment of allergies and prostate health
- Annual multifactor blood testing (which is different from and more extensive than conventional tests), including tests for heavy metal and chemical exposure, and omega 3 and vitamin D levels
- More acid in most cases for stomach problems, not acid blockers; the use of probiotics for stomach and colon health
- Natural Hormone Replacement (NHR) therapy rather than conventional hormone replacement products like Premarin, which is a dangerous mixture of horse estrogens
- Avoidance of harmful heart surgery (research suggests that far too much heart surgery is counterproductive) and other unnecessary elective surgery; avoidance of many conventional cancer treatments
- General avoidance of antibiotics; use of effective and largely forgotten bacteriocidal agents, which do not lead to drug-resistant bugs
The fact that the Mayo Clinic has set up a department to deal with alternative therapies is not all that unusual. Many leading hospitals have them. They especially like the kinds of things listed by Mayo Clinic because they don’t compete directly with drugs and surgery. Call it “Integrative Medicine Lite.”
So here is a question for you, our readers: What are your Top Ten therapies in complementary and alternative medicine? Which integrative medical treatment modalities do you and your family find the most important and effective? Please give us your thoughts in the comments below, and share this article with your friends—we’d love to hear from you! You don’t even have to give us ten—just send us your list of favorites, however long or short. We’ll compile the results and report back in a future issue.
108 thoughts on “Top Ten Integrative Medicine Therapies”
My top ten:
Organic Whole Food prepared in a balanced menu Plan.
Supplements with Curcumin and Probiotics and Vitamin D as top three.
Pure, clean, cleaning products
Meditation / Prayer
Elimination of Food Allergies with NAET
Eastern Medicine such as Acupuncture, Medical Qi-Gong
The above has helped me stay medicine free for almost 1.3 years.
Therapeutic touch, Reiki and Energy workers also need to be included in alternative/complementary medicine.
Here’s my top concerns:
•healthy food, dietary supplements, and exercise, together with the general avoidance of prescription drugs
•Key nutraceuticals like vitamins B, D, and C, fish oil, resveratrol, and CoQ10
I suspect without healthy nutrition all the Tai Chi in the world wouldn’t be enough to keep me healthy.
I would like to see superfoods included. Eating more of these is preferable to popping more pills (even supplements!) There are more & more to choose from, too!
The supplement that has profoundly impacted my health the most is taking 50 mg per day of a combination iodine/iodide product. It has healed my fibrocystic breasts, helped the quality of my skin, stabilized the beginnings of macular degeneration in my eyes, given me energy to spare, removed any swelling in my thyroid, and improved my hypothryoid condition. I also feel better knowing it is anti-parasitic and anti-cancer.
Acupuncture has been very effective for pain; so has chiropractics
Vitamins, especially vitamin C
Yoga, tai chi, walking, & strength training
Pets & family
Energy Therapy is one of the best holistic choices. Why? All living beings have an energy system made up off 3,400 chakras not just the 7 Majors and the meridians that connect the organ and joint chakra energy system. Energy therapy includes Healing Touch that has been accepted by the AMA and the Holistic Nurses Association, Traditional Usui Reiki and Therapeutic Touch. Like all professionals in the health care industry Western or Holistic we have the well trained and not so well trained so look for the best. Remember each of us must be pro-active in our own health for the best results. It is a Perfect Balance. Tarri Otterlee
The word is “orthomolecular,” coined by Linus Pauling meaning correct molecules. Conventional Allopathic medicine can’t stand it because their doctors deal with toximolecular solutions. They haven’t a clue about how the body works because their medical education was preordained to teach concepts promoted by companies that control the curriculum of medical schools—pharmaceutical companies. Furthermore the laws governing medicine are corrupted by bias concepts of medical treatments that are supported by insurance companies to exploit the sick. That’s why the public’s ideas about alternative modalities are so feeble … to protect the status quo. Face it, the US is a greedy country that treats people like cattle?
2. Homeopathy (including flower essence therapy)
3. Alternatives to antibiotics, such as ozone, IV C and the scenar device
4. Avoidance of all Big Pharma drugs
5. Dietary supplements (vitamins and herbs)
7. Energy medicine generally (including the scenar device mentioned above)
Combining the 2 lists would work well.
Digestive enzymes & probiotics
Avoidance of antibiotics and prescription medicein
Vit. D (drops), B12 (sublingual), C
Wholefood based supplements, Chlorella
healthy food (avoidance of pasteurised dairy products & wheat)
No hormone replacement whatsoever (hot flushes keep me warm in winter!)
1 – Reiki
2 – Other energy healing
3 – Vitamins
4 – Diet
5 – Exercise
6 – Herbs
7 – Water (drink lots!)
8 – Spirituality
9 – Affirmations
10 – food allergy eliminations
Since I find that I cannot tolerate antibiotics and that both MRSA and candida infections do I remain alive with the help of customized nutitional supplements,daily allicin concentrate,daily probiotic, daily resveratrol concentrate,generic vinegar (used externallyfor draining the MRSA lesions),bulk tissue paper (for sopping leakage from candida and MRSA) paper towel sections (for covering my MRSA lesions while I sleep) and paper tape to hold them in place.
Well, Mayo is in the grip of Big Pharma, AMA and so forth. They have too much at stake to bite the hand that feeds them. So they want to look proactive without doing much. When I read a newspaper report yesterday I just shook my head. Your list makes a lot more sense. And, it is not endangering folks.
Another protocol of the utmost inportance and significance is heavy metal detoxification and mineral balancing of the tissues. Take a look at our website.
1. Acupressure/chinese medicine 2. massage 3. Healthy diet(organic, free range poultry/eggs, fish, vegetables/fruit, non-gluten whole grains(soaked), and some nuts/seeds. 4. Eliminating allergens/sensitivities. 5. Holistic exercise(yoga, Qigong, Taiji) and walking/hiking 6. Herbal tinctures and infusions 7. Supplements 8. Eliminating toxic chemicals where possible–such as using natural cleaning and lawn care products 9. Meditation 10. Balance with work/family/play time.
1. DNA custom guided nutrient blend 2. Exercise/stretching/yoga/pilates 3. Massage 4. Chiropractic care 5. Acupuncture 6. Holistic medicine 7. Organic foods 8. Food Allergy elimination/avoidance
9. Detoxification 10. Spiritual counselling
I would like to find the natural healing therapies that will take the place of prescription.
For instance: What are the alternatives to Plavix? Symvastatin?
Why are all heart patients put on blood pressure AND cholesterol medicine even if their cholesterol levels are already low? (204-209)
As for the therapies: I’ve always been a fitness buff so this would be right up there. Certainly a good diet and supplements for all that is deficient in our foods. Using nutritional therapies before any surgeries are contemplated. In my case, keep the carbs limited. The actual Dr. Atkins diet or the Banting diet of 1860 would be suitable for most people. Limit all drugs, chemicals, Rx, and artificial additives of any variety. And I’d say practice moderation in all things including dedication to one’s health!!
Most used by our family and in our practice:
Shamanic Healing (we are 30 years active in this field: it is a ‘spiritual’ form of healing).
Herbal Healing (we are practicing herbalists)
Nutritional Healing, including dietary supplements and dietary guidance such as Blood Type and
Regular Exercise Regimes
A simple, green, lifestyle avoiding as many extraneous chemicals (in cleaners, cosmetics, foods, etc.) as possible.
A focus on sustainability and local sourcing of, where possible, organic foods.
You missed Chelation therapy. It saved my fathers legs who was a sever diabetic and was looking at having to remove his legs.
Top 10?, wow that’s a lot of therapies. Hmmm.
I guess my top 10 might me
Clinical Nutrition (not dietetics)
Alexander Technique; Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils; CranioSacral Therapy; Visceral Manipulation (and other work of Osteopath/PT Jean Pierre Barral); and many other things on your list.
The beautiful art of Jin Shin Jyutsu is my favorite complementary therapy. It is an all inclusive energy modality that works fully in its most simple techiques, which can be learned by all and implimented on one’s self, as well as it can be a life time study into all its complexity. All tissue, sbutle and physical are addressed by this art and its self help aspect makes it more assessable for home use than some other modalities.
I have been a Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner for 15 years and along with excellent nutritional practices, meditaiton and cranial/sacral work I have maintained better health than I had as a child and young adult for a total of 28 years. I am very thankful to know these harmonizing practices which support the body’s own healing systems. Sheryl
My list could be quite long!
Vitamins & Minerals/trace Minerals
Chinese Herbals in combination with
Ayurvedic, American Indian and Rainforest Herbals
Co Enzymes CoQ10, Ribose
Amino Acids in powder
Green Super Foods in powder
Suma G Nathan, Certified Registered Holistic Nutritionist
Certified Chinese Herbologist, Holistic Health Journalist 30 yrs Professionally
Chiropractic all the way! Especially upper cervical:-)
I nominate ENERGY MEDICINE, which can be defined as working with the subtle energies of the body, including the aura, chakras, the meridians, and the electrical energies in non-invasive ways. Typically, we use specific hand gestures, movements, and acupressure to affect changes. This would include correcting problems related to electromagnetic pollution, stress, and toxins. ENERGY MEDICINE is something that everyone can use on self and others. There are schools that give advance training. Eden Energy Medicine Certification Program is one (started by Donna Eden). See http://www.innersource.net if you are interested for more info. ENERGY MEDICINE is a dynamic and growing field as well as an ancient one.
I’m quite surprised homeopathy [which has been my mainstay and that of my cats for the past 45 years] isn’t mentioned.
It would be my first one, with acupuncture second. Chiropractic/osteopathy next.
As far as I’m concerned, spirituality isn’t a “therapy,” it’s a way of being, a way of life.
Thank you for all your constant and diligent work, for your caring, for your integrity.
It is sad that so called Meca of medicine are still on the fringes.my top are
tcm & Accupunture
manipulative therapies including massage, chiropractic
Mind body medicine, includinding meditation and Yoga
nutritional medicine, medicine is your food and food is your medicine
All of the above have lot of years of experience with benefits without the side effects of the drugs and the unnecessary surgeries like to hear from other. TCS, MD
I would like to see Homeopathic medicine and naturopathic medicine on this list. I also use herbs a lot. You talked about eliminating allergies, and I wanted to recommend a treatment called NAET. It is a very effective combination of kinesiology and accupressure/accupuncture.
#Accupuncture, accupressure, chiropractic, therapeutic massage and reflexology
# Emphasis on healthy food, dietary supplements, and exercise, together with the general avoidance of prescription drugs and environmental toxins
# Key nutraceuticals like vitamins B, D, and C, fish oil, resveratrol, and CoQ10
# Identification and elimination of food allergies
# Herbs for a great many health issues, including the treatment of allergies and prostate health
# Annual multifactor blood testing (which is different from and more extensive than conventional tests), including tests for heavy metal and chemical exposure, and omega 3 and vitamin D levels
# More acid in most cases for stomach problems, not acid blockers; the use of probiotics for stomach and colon health
# Natural Hormone Replacement (NHR) therapy rather than conventional hormone replacement products like Premarin, which is a dangerous mixture of horse estrogens
# Avoidance of harmful heart surgery (research suggests that far too much heart surgery is counterproductive) and other unnecessary elective surgery; avoidance of many conventional cancer treatments
# General avoidance of antibiotics; use of effective and largely forgotten bacteriocidal agents, which do not lead to drug-resistant bugs
In no specific order
homeopathy reiki chiropractic nutrition herbs supplements tcm ayurvedic
You left out oxygen therapies – hyperbaric chambers – ozone injections. I’m being treated for hallax rigidus. Injections into the joint with ozone and other nutrients are resulting in gradual improvement.
You left out chelation therapy. Many of us have heavy metal toxicity that is only revealed by a chelation challenge. I had been told that my problems were all in my head. It turned out that I had a high lead level and that my mercury level was off the chart.
You also left out important forms of energy medicine – homeopathy, magnets, bio-geometric integration, etc. My chiropractor does BGI. It feels wonderful – balances my energy flow, relaxes tight muscles, drains tension. Before BGI, my chiropractic adjustments would not hold for more than a few minutes.
I definitely agree with your assessment of the Mayo Clinic list as the “lite” or soft end of the spectrum of alternative therapies. Certainly, these are no threat to their allegiance to allopathic techniques. I’d include as my own “old reliables” on the “alternative” list the following:
* Conscious NUTRITION awareness, including especially keeping sugar and white flour intake low, emphasizing other grains than wheat and corn, like brown rice & quinoa; plenty of vegetables, legumes & fresh fruits.
* Yoga, Tai Ch’i, walking, and water-based exercises such as Aquatics
* Meditation and a spiritual focus in life
* Acupuncture and therapeutic massage
* Colonic hydrotherapy and the use of pro-biotics
* Homeopathic remedies
* Osteopathic (gentle) manipulation of the spine, muscles & joints
* Avoidance of antibiotics except in life-threatening situations, and of most prescription drugs
* Oral colonic cleansing and fasting periodically
Your list sounds about right. I would add vegetable juicing to increase intake of raw foods and certain detox methods. Liver flush, colon cleanse and the much maligned coffee enema can be very helpful.
My favorite therapies include:
acupuncture & Chinese herbal medicine
Another important factor: Avoidance of GMO foods, fast foods, HFC syrup, meats laced with antibiotics, & hormones
Emphasis on organic foods, raw milk, pasture raised meats and eggs, healthy fats, etc.
1Acupuncture and TCM
2Homeopathy, Naturopathic, Aruveydic practices
5Nutritional services including assessment and training for a whole foods diet in line with organic, sustainable practices
6 herbs, supplements with a preventive model and also first line treatment for most minor ailments
7exercis and lifestyle management incorporating cardio workouts and flexibility training
8 mind/body/spirit practices of meditation, tai chi, qi gong, yoga
9Energy medicine including such practices as Breathwork, reiki, etc.
10hypnotherapy and other forms of work to help clear and integrate systems
The order is not according to importance! In fact, energy work may be the most essential!
Detoxification through herbal cleanses and detox foot baths in addition to the above practices
As a research junkie, my research always led me back to the work of Dr. Carey Reams, a biophysicist who discovered the biochemical formula for perfect health. Through a simple test of the urine and saliva, he could identify mineral deficiencies and organ malfunction. Even though he worked with the pharmaceutical based medical industry in his day with amazing results, he was shut down by the AMA and FDA. It is called RBTI. Check out CareyReams.com
I like your list but would add Thermography. Squeezing breasts and exposing them to radiology on a regular basis may be harmful; thermography is much safer.
On this list you have listed #2,3,4,5,6,7. Our choice in treatments. Mary Dybdahl
I would definitely include Homeopathy–very powerful at times!
We need to see Homeopathic Medicine, essential oils and emotional balancing on this list. I use
thieves oil in my hot tub so I can relax in a spa and not stress about breathing the chlorine fumes. I keep telling my city living daughter to get a water filtering shower head. I want her to stop gassing my grandchildren. We need to get the pesticides ( peoplecides are still made by the same WWII companies that sold to the Nazis) out of our food and personal care. Cancer tumors frequently contain pesticides. One of the original morning after pills WAS a pesticide in a pill. We can not get well if our world is sick.
natural/organic/local foods,…vitamins/nutritional supplements,…avoidance of processed/damaged foods and chemical additives,…knowledge of and appropriate use of foods to enhance health,…simple commonsense practices, as appropriate exercise and spiritual matters, that affect our overall health and well-being,…protection of our personal freedom of choice in these matters,…thank you,…
Thank you for suggesting therapies more in tune to healthy living. Here are my most important therapies (I consider them basic actions to happy living).
1. Re-establishing some highly desired goal one has lost sight of. Getting that goal back into the forefront of his/her life. This is important at any age.
2. Successfully educate individuals on their own truly desired skills which result in their own competency and creativity throughout their life. Skills that enable them to exchange with others for enhanced survival.
3. Reducing, if not totally eliminating toxic chemicals, polluted air and water from their living environment, reducing the over taxed immune system.
4. Ensuring food is nutritious and free of synthetic pesticides, chemicals and other non-food items in their diet.
I consider the above four points basic to attaining lasting results with therapies using complementary or alternative medicines.
Bowen Therapy is wonderful and very effective. It will address the whole body.
You have most of mine on both lists…I use chiropractic, definitely use nutritional supplements with the assistance of a chiropractic nutritionist and bio-meridian testing. Vitamin D and CoQ10 are on my daily list, too.
Have just discovered a therapy that is not well-known, but should be…Prolotherapy. Caring Medical in Oak Park, IL is one of the prime sites for this therapy. I suggest that this be the topic of a future issue.
Thanks for all your hard work to keep these issues important and vocal!
I would add homeopathy to the list.
Personally as a chiropractor, and alternative practitioner of 29 years, for me and my family of 4 kids (2 M.D.s, spouse and 2 other adult children) we use primarily use roughly in this order, but dependent upon condition and availability ( no therapy is ever used exclusively) including 150,000 treatments to 2500+patients;
1. chiropractic spinal manipulation 2. nutritional therapies
3 flower essences( Psycho-spiritual Bach and Flower essences)
4 herbal remedies 5 acupuncture
6 lab testing- hevy metals , detoxifiction, hormone balancing, allergy food and inhalant testing
7 appropriate diet therapy
8 exercise Aerobic, Yoga, Tai Chi Ch’uan
My chiropractor is who I depend on. He is well educated in nutrition and natural healing, kinesiology, supplements. I think that chiropractors deserve a big spot on your top ten list – many of your top ten choices seem to be what I was raised on during the past 35 years of chiropractic care.
My top ten complementary therapies are:
Exercise including Zumba dancing, Vegetarian diet, supplements, tai chi, acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, Bio-identical compounded hormone cream, relaxation techniques, avoiding food sensitivities.
Proper AROMATHERAPY application of therapeutic-grade essential oils for physical, emotional and spiritual health combined with eating a varied diet of colorful whole foods and nutritional supplements enhanced with therapeutic-grade essential oils.
I have been a Bach Flower Essence counselor since 1985. I guide emotional sufferers toward an effective choice among the 38 English flower essence preparations which Dr. Edward Bach, English physician researched in the 1930’s. They are subtle non invasive adjuncts in droplet form to other natural protocols for body and soul. Bach famously noted that the remedies foster a more conscious connection between the personality and the soul. Therefore, this therapy crosses between the physical and spiritual like a darning needle of wholistic care.
The second list is better. However Istudy alltypes of qi gomng and I am now doing Tai Chi short form yang style, Very gentle qi gong followed by tong ren healing—I ahve done Iron shirt QI Gomg, ix healing sounds inner smile, Fusion of the 5 elements–sll very dinamic and very mcuh using guided imagery. Guided imagery is unbeleivably stron. And Tong ren helaing is used in conjunction with chemnmotherapy so the chem does not kill tha patients immjune system. BUT only the mind body things are missing too much. One of the most important elements is our diet. All the JUNK put into our food–even the most expensive meat–tgrasin fed animals have the wrong ratios of omegas 6 to 3. If you ate correctlyu alot of asthma and arthritis and CVD would disappear-so I think tghe ANH list is more comprehensive. We have so much more knowledge and info to go beyonjd the mond body connection approach. This info however tagets big agra and bog pharma aas the culprits ruining our health.
Chiropractic saved my liofe when all the MDs could offer me “Was learn to live with it.” At 27 with a blinding headache 24/7 non stop for 2 months after an auto accident that was like a death sentance. Chiropractic saved my life.
I also believe that Chiropractic should be at the top of any list of health care traditions. I have been told that it is the second largest healing art profession in America and is the largest one that is safe, natural, gentle and effective. I suspect that M. Cyr is now a Chiropractor himself.
“Complementary” and “integrative” medicine: the continued efforts by the medical community to control the innate power of the body to heal itself….
I think Chiropractor is the best treatment for back and many other issues. I to fill chiropractor is a life saver.
I would take the healthy food one step further, and emphasize healthy ORGANIC food, which not only has more nutrients but also avoids the toxic overload of our planet and our farmworkers, in addition to ourselves. Avoiding toxins of all kinds needs to be on the list also, so filtered water is crucial, and plenty of it.
Exercise!! Sleep!! Love!!
As a homeopath, I am also continually astounded by the breadth of problems which homeopathic care can resolve, and the depth of healing which it elicits.
Kate, is there any data the can explain what the common factors might be in the conditions that homeopathy can resolve? Inflammation? And if so, brought on by what? Where is the damage done (cells, etc.) ? Likewise, what are the conditions, if any, that you’ve seen for which homeopathy can’t make a dent in? Thanks!
DHEA, IV chelation, acupuncture, HBOT, wide range of nutritional supplements and related blood testing, yoga stretch and flex workouts
#1 healthy food oganic, raw, mostly vegan, local when possible – I garden too, food combining ie. eat fruit separate from other food, I am trying to learn more about sprouting as a source of micro nutrients and protein.
#2 yoga and stretching I Bikram Yoga 3 times a week and at least 20 minutes of stretching everyday
#3 walking and using weights
#4 social interaction talking to people, hugs, massage, petting my dog, humor, prayer
#5 herbs and spices use in cooking and for medicinal purposes esp. like black elderberry syrup, oregano oil, yellow dock, arnica
#6 supplements -multi vitamen, lysine, glucosomine sulfate, DHEA
#7 time outdoors -gardening, walking
# 8 natural cleaning products and body care products ie white vinegar, glycerin etc.
# 9 try not do anything that would be harmful and to be helpful when ever possible
1. Faith in God
2. Adequate water consumption
3. Eating whole, fresh fruits and vegetables. Raw dairy, organically raised animals for meat.
5. Plenty of restful sleep
6. Non-invasive medical treatment; herbs, homeopathy, massage, acupuncture.
7. Traditional osteopathy treatments.
8. Food supplements.
The list: Body structure- nutrition- toxins- electromagnetic polution- emotions- allergies and sensitivities- For more healing, light therapy, low level cold laser,( I understand the Mayo clinic uses this also)- exercise, physical and mental. Thanks for including me. Mack
NATUROPATHY, the broad use of naturalist therapies and naturalist (plants including herbs, minerals, vitamins, food, etc) substances to keep one healthy. It’s in our best interests to license it in all states. CHINESE BODYWORK. Unpolluted, unprocessed fresh raw FOOD including sprouts, green-juicing, etc. CHIROPRACTIC. HOMEOPATHY. EAV/EDT TESTING to discover the diagnosis and to compare treatments for the individual’s best use. DETOX. OXYGEN THERAPIES such as ozone and hydrogen peroxide. EXERCIZE such as barefoot running and hooping. MUSIC THERAPY.
I agree with all on your list ! There is only one therapy I would add.
Aromatherapy, using only therapeutic grade essential oils. The grade of oil is very important because 95% of all essential oils distilled in the world have been altered in some way, either with extenders or solvents. Know the company you use. I have had many amazing health benefits using essential oils and I never leave home without them ! Oh, I use the French method of aromatherapy.
“Identification and elimination of food allergies” I am assuming would include detoxification and cleansing ? If not I would include those.
How about education ? I feel most people really don’t understand how thier bodies work. How can we take care of ourselves and take responsibility for our own health without education?
When you say “most people really don’t understand how thier bodies work,” I think you articulate one of the great truths about the limitations in the assumptions made by practitioners in alternative, complementary and integrative health. There is no reason why people should understand how their body works. Certainly not like many CAM and integrative healers understand it.
And yet there is always a sense of disappointment when I read such comments, as though people have no interest in their health; they’d just prefer to take a pill. But I submit there has never been a time when people understand how their bodies work. We are in a powerful evolutionary period right now in which such knowledge can be promulgated and understood. But there has never been an era when personal optimal health and how it is maintained was a common understanding among people.
It will be interesting to see how we as individuals, members of families and of communities find and absorb the information that is out there, participate in the experiences that are available, and understand that we are now in fact in an age when technologies enable us to see and understand our own biology and what affects it.
So you bet, education about one’s optimal personal wellness needs to get into the K-6 curriculum asap.
Top ten so-called Alterntive Medicine to do what? Come back from the nearly dead? Cure cancer or at least contain it? MAINTAIN health? I guess my list will be those that address each.
1. Chelate heavy metals (MCP, Modifilan) We are all loaded with these.
2. Change diet to increase pH
3 bowel cleansing
4. Probiotics and stool analysis to determine good and bad flora status
5. Modify diet to control blood glucose. SERIOUS modification for 95% of Ameicans.
6. Meditation and mindfulness training
7. Incorporate good vibe behavior such as expressing gratitude hourly and expressing appreciation for loved ones……hourly.
8. Exercise and massage
9. Get off Drugs of all kinds gradually by supplementing correctly and with guidance
10 Hormone Balancing
None of this is ranked higher or lower. all of these are outside mainsream “medicine” And except for Exercise…only one in 100 M.D.s will advise to pursue these basic lifestyle changes and things to do if a person wants to improve their health.
I take a complete nutritional or “food Science” product called Reliv. The original formula was developed by Dr. Theodore Kalogris, a microbiologist who was shot in the back when he was parachuting into Germany near the end of WWII. He spent 18 months in an English hospital and was sent home in a wheelchair with morphine and told that would be his life from then on. However, he thought he could overcome that prediction because he had used to nutrition to help animals. He applied for a ten year grant from the World Health Organization. He tried over 800 formulae until he managed to get up and walk — with a cane, but he finally overcame that, too. This product was the first food product to be patented in this country! Now, our company has six of the eleven food patents. We can’t say that it will “cure” anything, but I know many people who don’t get sick anymore! I used to have a sore throat several times each winter. I have not had one simce I started taking Reliv three and a half years ago. I finally gave in to a friend and had my labs done. They were perfect! I have heard many stories about people who had been given a death sentence and who are still alive! BTW, I also eat broccoli and carrots and drink green tea every day I have found that I don’t crave some of the “bad food” anymore. I do believe that, if your Immune System gets the nourishment it needs, your body can work miracles! However, if I ever do get cancer and incresing my Reliv doesn’t do it, I will brush up on my German and head that way. I liked it over there anyway.
Great list you put togeather. I use all these therapies you listed. It costs me a fortune and I get tired of having doctors try to bullie me into using drugs. They don’t want to hear about what your doing if it isn’t their idea. I think it’s really because they don’t have a clue and think Centrum one a day is the gold standard. Please use your list for my vote.
Thanks for your good work
Lahny McCray in Oregon
My top approaches to staying healthy:
1. Tai Chi and stretching every morning. Stretches mostly from “3 minutes to a pain free life”.
– probiotics to help me digest everything else
– lypospheric C (absorbs more C than any other method including intravenous)
– lyposheric AGE (contains mostly B’s and selenium)
– iodoral (I have low thyroid)
– fish oil
– A tab with herbs to help eyesight
3. Good food:
– fresh things daily
– as much organic as I can get
– zero fast food
4. Staying away from doctors
– they have been programmed to push things I don’t want, eg cancer screening of
people without symptoms (see fabulous book by H. Gilbert Welch called “Should I
Be Tested for Cancer? Maybe Not and Here’s Why”)
– integrative doctor outrageously expensive, does not use insurance (because they
would push her to do things I don’t want), and still pushes for cancer screening.
5. Self reliance, since I am trusting no doctor with my regular health problems
– subscribing to at least 5 health newsletters
– searching the web anytime I have a problem
– thinking about what changed recently anytime there is a sudden symptom. Reversing
that change where possible
6. Avoiding as many chemicals as possible
– no weed poisoning
– pay extra to have a cleaning service that uses no chemicals
– no skin cream with a collection of unpronouncable things – I just use virgin coconut oil.
– no shampoo. My dry hair does better if I just wash in water every day
– no toothpaste. My dental hygeinist says my brushing in water and flossing every day
leaves my teeth cleaner than most of her other customers.
– Using Brita water filter to drink. Should install reverse osmosis.
– using chlorine filter in shower
7. Maintaining a network of wonderful friends and family, of which someone is generally
available anytime I need emotional support.
– Studies have shown that the #1 thing people over 100 have in common is not diet or
exercise, but having a large number of friends.
– Recent report showing Hispanics live longer is almost certainly due in large part to
stronger family support than non-Hispanics in the US.
8. Playing and listening to classical music. Music keeps me going! Work is what I
do to support the music habit, and also to support visiting family around the world.
Rhodiola rosea for my husband who has Parkinsons (unfortunately he also need the drug sinemet), eating organic the top 10 pesticide treated foods (such as cranberries, apples,celery,lettuce,spinich,etc.), taking purified fish oil capsules, detox pills made from modified citrus pectin,and lutein&zeaxanthin for macular degeneration,flax seeds daily, multivitamins & minerals, eating whole grains and grass fed beef, and walking a mile/day. Also, taking 1/2 tsp baking soda in 4 oz of water whenever I feel a cold coming on. (Haven’t had a cold in several years. Baking soda makes the whole body less acidic, and colds need acidic environments to prosper).
Hasyour husband tried high doses of CoQ10? Check in with your favorite integrative doctor or ND, but there is much research and promise using 400 mg – even 1500 mg or more- CoQ10 with Parkinson’s.
I am a 70 year old identical twin. We are both in very good health. He still works as a courier while I am retired but very busy with tasks, projects, wood working, etc. My wife says I am ADHD and I say thank God. When I retired at 65 and began drawing Social Security and using Medicare, I got the initial physical which was my first since my induction into the Navy at age 18. My doctor asked why I had not had a physical since I was 18. I told him that doctors and hospitals kill people so I have always tried to stay away from them. He agreed and emphasized the role hospitals play in killing people. Other than being overweight (5 ft. 10.5 inches and 200 lbs) I was in great shape although he said he would have to put me on blood pressure medicine in a couple of years. He hasn’t! I had a follow up blood test about one year ago and my blood pressure was excellent.
I have been interested in alternative approaches to health since the 1980s. Over the years, I have faithfully taken probably 10 to 12 supplements daily but only take egg yolk lecithin and selenium presently. I have eaten only one to two meals a day for most of my adult life (nutritional type is mixed) and have always had plenty of energy. I also have eaten pretty much anything I wanted.
When my wife (she’s a nurse! interesting perspectives here but I am the healthy one) experienced pain in her neck whenever she would turn her head to the left and her doctor couldn’t resolve it, I started her on organic grape juice and liquid pectin (Certo). Very quickly the pain went away. She kept taking the treatment for several months preventatively but stopped several months ago. Still no pain.
My health has always been so good that I could never tell if a supplement was helping me with anything or not. The only one I am certain helped me was Glucosamine/Chondrotin. I did ten key work at the post office entering zip codes and developed carpel tunnel syndrome. I was struggling with it for a couple of months when I increased my G/C intake to 2 tablets a day. In a matter of a FEW days, I was pain free and free of carpel tunnel syndrome.
However, early this year I started the One Minute Cure taking H2O2. At the time, I was having a problem with a wisdom tooth. It had been paining me for a couple of months, was sensitive to cold, heat and pressure. Probably within one to two months (with almost immediate improvement at the start of the program) I had no pain, no cold/heat sensitivity and no pressure sensitivity. I now eat hard foods on that side of my mouth with no discomfort. I still have 3 wisdom teeth.
Other benefits of taking H2O2 ( 3 drops of only 35% food grade in 6 6o 8 ounces of distilled water) three times daily was losing about 10 lbs and having endless energy and no evidence of any health problems at all.
What’s interesting about all this is that I smoked from age 14 to age 65 when I went cold turkey on the night of my retirement. I don’t know if I am just unusually blessed or if my very loose adherence to alternative health strategies has kept me healthy. I am, however, very happy about where I am!
I have been receiving BodyTalk for 10 years. As a Licensed Massage Therapist I have been using the this combo /integrated approach for 16 years, but with BodyTalk systems approach there is a more detailed approach now being used that gives and extra bonus to the treatments. It makes my job a lot easier than before. . The body’s self healing capacity works faster when we use more than one technique per session. For example, when I use the combo work clients notice a faster recovery time. less pain, more movement and better quality life. A preventative approach to getting well and staying well.
When using a BodyTalk and Massage combo session that is integrated helps lower the need to take as many pharmaceuticals as the body and mind are functioning better. I do not prescribe or diagnose any medicine craniosacral therapy, nmt, manual lymph drainage, energy work -Reiki , Shiatsu, Reflexology, Direct Fascial Release, and TMJ] sessions for 10 years. I believe it is one of the best modalities in the field that looks at the whole person and allow us to integrate any form of health care to the mix, it has the components that affects the aspects of our spirituality, mental, physical , emotional selves all rolled up into one technique. For my clients, it is one of the quickest and most effective results to help the body and mind balance. BodyTalk is Good for all people- from children to Seniors.. and all those in between.
My favorite therapies include:
good nutrition, avoidance of GMO’s and processed foods
avoidance of pharmaceuticals including antibiotics
First, and by far the most important is sauna/charcoal detox.
Second is Vitamin C to bowel tolerance.
Third is magnesium, zinc, potassium and selenium supplements.
Fourth is sticking strictly to organic food, especially avoiding genetically modified substances.
Fifth is avoiding fluoridated water.
Sixth is taking the nerve-restoring combination St. John’s Wort, Vitamin B6, folic acid and Vitamin B12.
Seventh is use of the good fats: salmon or krill oil, and olive oil, and avoiding hydrogenated fats.
Eighth is avoidance of the common sugars from beet, corn and cane sugars, and avoiding wheat, rye, and most other common grains with the exception of occasionally oats and organic corn.
Ninth is frequently eating some sprouted organic peanuts or pomegranate seeds and some beans. Eating at least some animal protein is also important.
Tenth is particular exercise: 3 – 4 short spurts (each about 4 minutes) of high energy exercise every other day, and to preserve joints, NOT more than 20 minutes of running, repetitive equipment use or walking as exercise routine (though as occasional recreation is OK). Frequent full body stretching and weight lifting are also important.
Eleventh is avoiding toxic exposure of any type as much as possible including especially avoiding people’s smoking, use of aluminum for cooking, exposure to solvents and pesticides, lead, mercury, cadmium, BPA, vinyl and phthalates.
Twelve is avoiding electromagnetic fields and radiation as much as possible.
Thirteen is getting checked for need for bio-identical hormones and getting supplements if needed.
CranioSacral Therapy and SomatoEmotional Release as well as Sound Healing definitely needs to added to the top ten list. Karen
My top therapies in complementary and alternative medicine would be:
Natural path doctors
Arcing Light Energy Healing – we manifest what we think and destructive thoughts appear as dis-ease
Massage and acupuncture
diet and nutrition including vitamins and minerals
I agree with your list as well.
In general, taking responsibility and charge of your own health. Each person needs to find what works for them.
This list of modalities are great and I practice most of them, however, one therapy that I find effective is colon hydrotherapy.
The HUGE lacuna in all the “alternative” therapies, and in my opinion what should be the primary modality, is Exercise! I think all readers of this site realize the far reaching effects of movement!
In second place would be Nutrition Education. Never mind about all the poor food choices we have. If people were well educated about proper nutrition, my feeling is that fast food consumption would greatly diminish, if not disappear.
How can you compile this list and not include chiropractic? Is it no longer consider an alternative? It has be the PILLAR of the fight against the power of medicine since the early 1900s, resisting takeover that homeopathy and osteopathy both fell to. Have you no sense of history or understanding of the natural healthcare market? Chiropractors have been a beacon of true health in this country much longer than we have even had food issues in this country.
I agree that the hard end of the spectrum should be studied more. I personally am big on nutraceuticals like omega-3, CoQ10, resveratrol, and supplements that thwart glycation such as carnosine, benfotiamine, etc. Amino acids that raise GH and supplements like SAMe that an indivdual can really feel the difference in energy, stability, etc. I practise Tai chi and other martial arts, I use an inversion table for spinal decompression, and i use an infrared sauna for detox, etc.but, these are secondary to supplementing with anti-oxidants and various nutrients.
I would like to hear more discussion about the use of oxygen enriching therapies and their difference with anti-oxidants. Seems to me that some people think that taking anti-oxidants diminshes the oxygen content in your body and they mistakingly take less anti-oxidants in fear of not being oxygenated. Anti-oxidants are just that, anti ‘oxidant’, not anti ‘oxygen’ !! I would like to see more articles with some insight into the pros and cons of the two therapies.
The Mayo list includes “spinal manipulation” in which chiropractic would fall.
How about an alternative practice of scheduling a regular 1 or 2 or 3 IV chelation sessions a year?
Chiropractic and Homeopathy are the 2 I’d ad to that list.
Cranial Sacral Therapy is awesome. What about Quantum Feedback?
Staying healthy is a full time job, between avoiding what is harmful, purging out the toxins, and finding the right things to do, consume, wear, and believe. I certainly agree with everyone’s comments, but I believe that a few essential things are missing from everyone’s list:
1) Biological Dentistry that addresses biocompatible dental materials, safe mercury removal, focal infections in the jawbones, structural imbalances in the bite, neuromuscular system, and TMJ
2) Therapies and products to reduce the effects of electromagnetic fields or frequencies (EMF). With more wireless technology in use, we have not yet seen the cumulative effects on health. Add that to heavy metal poisoning, and we become our own antennae.
3) Thermography for breast examination pre-screening to reduce the amount of mammographies
4) Far Infrared Saunas and Ionic Foot Cleanses to more safely pull out toxins
5) Education regarding chemical ingredients in foods, personal care and cleaning items, construction materials
6) Getting sunlight especially during cold winter months or use of full spectrum lighting
7) Avoiding the news and volitile politics which tend to be inciteful and stressful
8) Prophylactic chiropractic adjustments – 1-4 times a month
9) Keep bowels regular with probiotics, fiber, and cleansing
10) Lymphatic drainage with massage, chi machine, rebounder augmented with homeopathic lymphatic drainage, liver support and followed up with sauna, foot bath, or other routes of elimination
11) Healing relationships – forgiveness is key
12) Dealing with addictions
That’s more than 10, but the list is always evolving. It’s good to see that we are all on this path.
1. Therapeutic bodywork
2. Bio-oxidative therapy
3. pH therapy
4. Bio-genic food
5. Detoxification therapies (colonic irrigation, sweats, natural diuretics).
6. Trace colloidal minerals
7. Vit D3
8. Elimination of processed foods, vaccines, and drugs from normal daily life.
Ayurveda is a MUST for anyone serious about total and balanced approach to natural health. This approach is over 5000 years old and only natural and balanced herbal formulas, along with diet, exercise (yoga), seasonal variances, as well as body type special needs to maintain balance in the total body system. Ayurveda is actually the precursor to Chinese medicine practices, from where most of the Chinese herbal uses are drawn.
I would also emhpasize TRANSCENDENTAL meditation, since this systematic, natural technique is the technique on which MOST research is done showing the wide range of total body benefits.
Both of these above bring far-reaching and widely inclusive benefits.
Nutrition is number 1 for me. There may be value to the mind bending therapies but I don’t have much experience with them. In the nutrition category are:
>eating home cooked natural food, organic to the extent I can afford it….too many people buy a few items from the health food store, expecting it to counteract the 90% of their diet which is junk..that doesn’t work
>take individual supplements…if you depend on a multi, you’ll never learn what is really good for you, or in what amounts and ratios to other nutrients. Everyone is different & has different requirements & tolerances…what you read in a book or on the web can only be a starting point for what you have learn by yourself.
>strontium for the bones and teeth….saved me a load of dental bills and lots of misery
>a higher intake ratio for magnesium to calcium than I previously used has banished my foot and leg cramps at nite and greatly improved my sleep
>increased vitamin D supplementation to keep me from getting sick…going on 15 months now
>borage or evening primrose oil + manganese + zinc/copper + biotin to prevent acne.
I use energy therapy every day. There are a number: theraputic touch, Reiki, etc. I use Healing Touch. Keeping the awareness of my energetic health has become almost automatic and therefore I am very much in touch with the most subtle indicators of my health. These are still considered ourside the main stream, but are really very natural and there for our well being.
The most important alternative medical therapies, Nost of which compete with and hopefully will displace the more costly and marginally effective conventional medical therapies, those which I want to be available to me if I need them are:
1- Chelation Therapy for Removal of Heavy Metals-Hearty Disease etc.
2-Hyperbaric Oxygen-for Stroke-Slow wound Healing
3- Intravenous Vitamin C-rebuilding Immune system
5-Antineoplastons-Dr.Burzynski’s cancer therapy.
The more conventionally accepted modalities such as accupuncture, massage and chiropractic that serve to not displace current high technology high cost medical will always be readily available and even promoted by the major mainstream medical centers in theie public relations effort to say “we’re also alternative”.
Great inroads are being made with stem cells but not much is being made public. Stem cell therapy can be done in a doctor’s office and may take an hour or two. The benefits are many.
I personally use herbs, neutraceuticals, flower essences, aromatherapy, diet free of common allergenic foods like wheat, dairy, corn etc, organic fruit and veggies when possible and regular exercise.
1) Chiropractic care – my chiropractor uses the Pettibon Method, after 20+ years of going to chiropractors, this is the most effective spinal adjustment care I have ever experienced. I am so grateful I found it, it corrected things I’d struggled with since an auto accident 27 years ago!
2) Naturopathy – I use an ND as my “primary care” physician, the perspective is the only one that makes sense to me for true health care. “First, do no harm”! and Education, taking responsibility for my own health – I have the most to benefit from doing so!
3) Clean diet, avoid genetically modified foods wherever humanly possible (unfortunately GMOs are ubiquitous in our food supply) – I buy organic wherever possible. “Unlimited vegetables” if I cannot do anything else (travel alot with work). High protein grains, non GMO of course, such as quinoa. I have followed a vegetarian diet for 33 years, it works best for me. My general diet is high in fiber, and I avoid refined flour breads, and watch carbohydrate intake as much as humanly possible. Protein from almonds, soy, some whey, sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
4) Supplementation – including potent probiotics, a great multi rich in minerals (it’s a doctor brand called q.s. – quantity sufficient – after decades of taking supplements, I’ve never seen anything else quite like it). Big fan of minerals, I am convinced many modern diseases are related directly or indirectly to mineral deficiencies.
5) Exercise – something physical every single day, because I sit alot at computers, in the car, or on planes. Gym, cardio, some weights, swim (at least 3 miles a week), walking the dog bike rides – something physical every day.
6) SLEEP. The best health plan God designed!
7) WATER – good clean water, my ND turned my attention to Kangen water, but any water, Smart water, electrolyte water, pure water – our bodies are 75%+ water, it is by far the BEST health food on the planet!
8)COLONICS AND ENEMAS. Big fan of cleanses, we spring clean, why not clear out the pipes? Fiber, modified fast regularly, I do it once a year and should do it more, with green drinks, powders, fiber, flax meal.
9) Enemas, colonics. If it is true that 80% of all pathology begins in the colon as Dr. Paavo Airola said (and many others have echoed) – and I believe the % is higher than 80% – why not help the elimination system clean out? I notice my eyes and skin are more clear after a cleanse, I think more clearly, feel great, have more energy!
10) LAUGHTER AND JOY! No matter what is going on, I find a way to have a hearty laugh every single day! (and lest the reader question, of course I not avoiding reality and the harshness that sometimes comes our way! One sister of mine is dying of breast cancer, chose chemo, my sis in law is struggling with bladder cancer, my dad passed on from – IMHO- the cocktail of drugs thrown at him for the side effects of the prostate cancer treatment he chose! – and my husband’s mother has dementia and is in assisted living, ) yet – we find a way to laugh daily.
11) NATURE. (some call it GOD) simple things are gifts from the CREATOR WHO RUNS THE WHOLE SHOW – Sunsets. Breathing! Taking moments to simply BE (some call this Meditation). Simply walking. taking a moment to look up at the sky – every single day.
12) GRATITUDE. I am grateful. There are always things to be grateful for. Seek them out daily.
LOVE the Chiro, but I also love Digestive Enzymes, general Nutritional Therapy, and Acupuncture. Something I’d like to call anti-toxicology or just: keep it natural whenever possible. It’s helped a lot of my health problems.
Would like to expand a little on this:
“The fact that the Mayo Clinic has set up a department to deal with alternative therapies is not all that unusual. Many leading hospitals have them.”
Hospitals are beginning to incorporate these therapies, into wellness centers or into wellness programs. In large part for their marketing powers — drawing people to standard care services after receiving CAM treatments. But it is unusual for a conventional medical center of the stature of Mayo to actually put it all into a book, which has to be seen within the professions as a bellweather indicator, raising the credibility profile of these therapies — and by inference many of those not on the list but mentioned by commenters above — to the next level.
Longer term I believe that this movement — driven completely by consumer preferences and choice (i.e., 99% out of pocket) — will continue down a path on which hospitals will position themselves as a local and regional resources for the wellness-inducing affects of many CAM therapies. Many are already incorporating such language into five year plans; they want to be relevant apart from the restorative work that is their traditional mission. I know that may seem hard to believe (!), but the forces that have driven these therapies into hospitals, at whatever level they now commit to, are also circulating through the med schools, the nursing schools and thus the next generation of health care professionals.
After a lifetime of chasing after the symptoms of fibromyalgia, using every imaginable alternative and conventional health treatment, the thing that helped me the most to pull all the benefits of those treatments together and make them work, was discovering ionized alkaline water. I did the mind/body/supplement/manipulation/homeopathic/orthopedic/neurologic/chelation/dental/detox/allergy plus a few drugs, before I started drinking this water, and still had all the symptoms. I spent $20,000 and 35 years of my life, with little improvement; but one week drinking this water and all my symptoms were gone and have stayed gone for over a year. If you study about this water you will see that it works for every health problem, so my vote is for alkaline ionized water as the foundation for every other health care treatment. It makes everything else you do for health, whether alternative or conventional, more effective.
My would be the same as your list: 1. Healthy food, supplements, exercise
2. Herbs for specific and general well being.
3. Chiropractic manipulation
4. Avoidance of unneeded surgery and pharmaceuticals.
5. Multifactor blood testing
6. Therapeutic message and acupuncture
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Tried innumberable therapies, rated in order of effectiveness:
1. Acupucture- 10 sessions permanently removed lower backpain (permanent change)
2. Panchkarma intensive live-in- 10 days revolutionised my energy levels, aches, dizziness, constipation and mental outlook (10/10)..felt happy and childlike….but normal lifestyle brings back the problems progressively.
3.Intensive yoga residential program- 1 month- works on all levels of the body, can reach an unbelieveable level of happiness that needs to be experienced to be believed.Again normal lifestyle brings back the problems
4. Juicing -organic -even once a week -notice improvement in immunity levels of my 4 family members
5. Past Life Regression+ a spiritual wksp- 1 session – unknotted a lifelong, rigid attitude towards a parent…felt free and a weight life off me..(permanent change)
6. Naturopathy- effective as long as followed- reduced mucus, bloating and gas, constipation,..
7. Homeopathy- 1 remedy for 5 weeks and ongoing- cure apparent, but varies from day to day
8. Chiropractic care- 2 years- improved well being noticed, reduction of aches, but could not eliminate acute lower back pain- finally cured through accupucture
9. Emotional therapy (the journey)- effective in revealing underlying unsupportive beliefs and emotions
10. Jinjitsyu-2-3 sessions- improves emotional/mental/spiritual wellbeing for a while
11. Deep tissue massage- 1 session- reached deep, hidden tight knots and kneaded them- did not continue
12. Various herb therapies- range from extremely effective, to on-going effective, to mildly effective
13.Bach therapy- noticed changes, improved and then stopped….will try again (after an improved health status)
14. Hypnosis- 1 session- no change, abandoned therapy