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Op-Ed: Holistic health options for a better you

For this, and many other reasons, it is essential to take your health into your own hands, and here are a few holistic and inexpensive options to help you manage your health on a day to day basis, without medication!

Essential Oils
Essential oils may soon replace antibiotics, and when used in conjunction with antibiotics, these oils can actually help you get better sooner.
Essential oils are simply plant extracts that are used in many personal care products and by the food industry as a preservative thanks to their antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Essential oils are beneficial in a number of ways and have found to be effective in relieving migraines, skin disorders and nausea.
Perhaps one of the most promising benefits of essential oils is the ability to help in “countering the growing antibiotic-resistance crisis,” as explained in an article in The Atlantic. This is important news since in the U.S. alone, “antibiotic resistance caused more than two million illnesses in 2013,” according to report conducted by the CDC, “and an estimated 23,000 deaths,” which means an extra $20 billion in healthcare costs. When essential oils are used in combination with antibiotics, the essential oils weaken the cell walls of the resistant bacteria which then damages/kills those cells while allowing the antibiotics in, meaning a lower dose is necessary. So, using essential oils in combination with or in place of antibiotics can save you money and help to avoid your body building up a resistance to antibiotics.
Wondering which essential oils are best to use? Oregano and rosemary are among the most popular that have also shown to be the most effective.

Cupping is one of the oldest forms of traditional medicine, dating back to the Egyptians in 1550 BC. Cupping therapy is an alternative medicine where heated cups are placed onto the skin to create suction, typically using glass or silicon cups, which creates a vacuum when cooled that pulls the skin up into the cup. Cupping works by pulling the muscle up into the suction cup, allowing blood to flow to the area to increase circulation and blood flow, and reduce inflammation. There are two types of cupping: dry and wet. Dry involves only suction whereas wet involves a combination of suction and controlled medical bleeding.
Cupping therapy has been shown to have a number of benefits and may help with: blood disorders, infertility, skin problems, high blood pressure and anxiety/depression disorders. However, for major disorders or health problems, this treatment has been found most effective when combined with other treatments. But if you are just looking for relief from sore muscles or if you want to stop taking so much pain or anti-inflammatory medication, cupping therapy may be the answer. In fact, athletes have even started using this form of alternative medicine to help with injuries and sore muscles by mobilizing blood floor to relieve tight and sore muscles.

Chiropractic Care
A chiropractor is “a specialized health care professional that focuses on various ailments that stem from the musculoskeletal and nervous systems.” Chiropractic treatment can treat ailments of the neck, back and joints which include headaches and chronic pain related to the nervous and musculoskeletal systems.
Chiropractic therapy is an effective alternative to pain medicine and as a way to not only manage but also eliminate pain. The idea behind chiropractic care is that structural degradation of the spine can create problems within the entire nervous system so by manipulating and adjusting the spine, the body will be able to heal itself without surgery or medication. Chiropractors can also help to avoid the need for muscle relaxers, pain medicine or anti-inflammatory drugs, which may have negative side effects.

Acupuncture is another ancient form of alternative medicine that “can cause multiple biological responses” that occur at the site of the needle which leads to the “activation of pathways affecting various physiological systems in the brain as well as in the periphery.” The technique of acupuncture involves placing thin needles into various pressure points throughout the body to stimulate these pressure points (called acupoints), to stimulate the body’s natural healing capabilities.
The benefits of acupuncture are far reaching and include: infertility, migraines, insomnia, various pain throughout the body, and various digestive issues. Research has even found that regular acupuncture can help to alleviate the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease which include pain, anxiety, depression, hot flashes and sweating.

All of these holistic approaches have been proven effective in various situations, and even if you have to go the traditional approach, these holistic treatments can help to alleviate the duration of medication or severity of disorders.

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