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Gua sha: Scraping of back is said to relieve pain and ease other medical problems

Gua Sha Scraping BruisesGua Sha Scraping Bruises

Gua Sha (“scraping bruises”) is an Asian folk remedy that is often used as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Like any other therapy, this is not suited for everyone or every condition. But it does offer another option for healthcare consumers who want to build their own holistic health regimen.

“Did it cure my sinus infection? No,” Hamacher says. “Did my overall well-being feel better? Yes . . . the all-encompassing sickness feeling left immediately.”˜

Hamacher had undergone gua sha [pronounced “gwah sah”], an East Asian home remedy for respiratory problems and other ailments. Often called “scraping,” the technique is beginning to find fans in the West.

Like most alternative therapies, gua sha has not been subjected to extensive scientific studies. One small study, published last year in the journal Pain Medicine, found short-term benefits for chronic neck pain when compared to a thermal heating pad.

Some patients turn to gua sha with a “why not?” attitude.

Brian Lowit, 37, a manager at a record label in Arlington, says he has had back pain for more than two decades. He tried gua sha last year as part of a regimen that included massage, visits to a chiropractor and structural integration, another alternative therapy that manipulates the body’s connective tissues.

Lowit estimates that Fazio treated him with gua sha about five times in one month.

“I’m skeptical of a lot of stuff,” Lowit says. “I’ll try whatever, but in the end I’m like, ‘Why would this work?’ ” But he was pleasantly surprised.

Source: Gua sha: Scraping of back is said to relieve pain and ease other medical problems

As always, if you are under medical care please consult your care team before adopting any additional therapy! Gua sha scraping can cause bruises or reddened skin. In Traditional Chinese Medicine gua sha scraping helps break up stagnation and promotes flow through injured areas.

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Partners In Healing- Cancer survivor testifies to the ways of healing

Partners In Healing

Mary Katzke’s film explores the healing power of integrative medicine.  We originally prepared a title with “integrative medicine” for this article. However, as we reflected on Mary’s story we realized she has the right title… Partners in Healing. This isn’t about any medicine really. It is very much about partnerships, respect, even human kindness. Health is holistic.

Experiencing the stark contrast between my first visit to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and with my naturopathic practitioner is when I began this journey of integrative medicine.

The first thing I noticed in Western medicine is the donning of the uniform. The gown that is generically sized and designed, netting the immediate stripping away of individuality. Second is the room temperature: almost always cold. Sanitary disposable paper covering everything. Third is the clipboard with all the boxes to check  — again because even though you just did it in the lobby, the doctor doesn’t have time to read it. Fourth is the lack of any interest whatsoever in the “rest of my life.” Then begins the poking, prodding, cutting and burning and poisoning. All of which hurt, not just immediately but for a long time afterward.

On the other hand, my naturopath met me at the door wearing a sweater and holding a warm blanket that he wrapped me in before personally leading me to a living room setting where tea was waiting. We spent an hour talking. Not about disease but about who I am, what matters to me, both now and in the future. Then we eased into the medical realm. His offerings of Chinese herbs to build my immune system, a referral for reflexology for hormonal balance and relaxation, meditation, and dietary changes — all felt good. They felt healing. I left feeling like I mattered, more than like the ticket to an insurance bonanza the front desks in other places had felt. I’m not saying it was free but I am saying everything added to my well-being.

Source: Cancer survivor testifies to the ways of healing

 

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The HealthCare Too model provides for a holistic approach to health. We look for articles and knowledge to help consumers and their care teams make holistic health decisions and also shop for the best deals in holistic health so you can find them here!  We appreciate the value of surgery and pharmaceuticals but want to make more pathways available for your HealthCare Too. See our model for Holistic Health for more information!

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WellCare Unveils New Holistic Health Brand – “Beyond Healthcare. A Better You.”

Holistic Health BrandHolistic Health Brand

What happens when large health plan decides health is more than clinical visits? They form a new holistic health brand and announce it to the world! WellCare’s new “Beyond Healthcare. A Better You.” says it so well!

For more than 20 years, WellCare has been helping members live better, healthier lives by taking an integrated, holistic approach to care and connecting them to needed programs and services – many of which go beyond just healthcare. This unique approach resulted in the company’s new brand promise.

“At WellCare, we understand being healthy is affected by so many parts of your daily life,” said Ken Burdick, WellCare’s CEO. “We pride ourselves on connecting members to the right care, at the right time and in the right setting. Whether it’s helping them find the right doctors or specialists to manage their conditions, or connecting them to needed social services through care management to help address social and economic barriers to care, we believe an integrated approach means a better you.”

Source: WellCare Unveils New Corporate Brand Positioning Focused on Holistic Health

Beyond Healthcare

A new holistic health brand is a great start in the health plan market. It is especially interesting that an established player like WellCare has decided its services have moved “Beyond Healthcare”. We hope more health plans see a holistic path for their members as well!

Our Model

The HealthCare Too model provides for a holistic approach to health. We look for articles and knowledge to help consumers and their care teams make holistic health decisions and also shop for the best deals in holistic health so you can find them here!  We appreciate the value of surgery and pharmaceuticals but want to make more pathways available for your HealthCare Too. See our model for Holistic Health for more information!

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Federal agencies partner for military and veteran pain management research

nondrug pain managementNondrug Pain Management

The U.S. military and VA often lead the way for complementary therapies. The referenced article looks at nondrug pain management research for chronic pain.

U.S. agencies partner on research that focuses on nondrug approaches for pain management in military personnel and veterans; NCCIH is the lead for this multi-agency initiative.Studies report nearly 45 percent of soldiers and 50 percent of veterans experience pain on a regular basis, and there is significant overlap among chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and persistent post-concussive symptoms. Data from the National Health Interview Survey shows that American veterans experience a higher prevalence of pain and more severe pain than nonveterans. Although opioids are often prescribed to treat chronic pain, research has not shown them to be very effective, and there are many issues with long-term use. Thus, there is a need for nondrug approaches to complement current strategies for pain management and to reduce the need for, and hazards of, excessive reliance on opioids.

“Pain is the most common medical condition requiring treatment for military personnel. Current drug treatments have limited efficacy and are often associated with severe adverse events, significant cognitive and physiological side effects, and pose a significant risk of abuse, misuse, addiction, tolerance, and diversion. The proposals funded under this interagency partnership will provide a significant step forward in pain management in our wounded service members. We are pleased to be working with our interagency partners in driving changes to clinical practice that will impact the military, our veterans, and the Nation as a whole,” said Dr. George Ludwig, principal assistant for research and technology, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC).

Source: Federal agencies partner for military and veteran pain management research

Time for Holistic Health

Starting with nondrug pain management makes so much sense. Obviously, in acute situations there is every reason to manage pain with drugs. However, so many chronic conditions go the drug route without trying more holistic approaches. The current opioid crisis in the US is an unfortunate example of this. In our model, we see all therapies working together… as necessary. Less-invasive, less-risky, lower-cost options are available. Consumers should demand them. Providers should gladly integrate them. Payers should eagerly pay for them.

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Over 80% of your health is determined by non-clinical factors. Let us help you take care of your HealthCare Too.

The HealthCare Too model provides for a holistic approach to health. We look for articles and knowledge to help consumers and their care teams make holistic health decisions and also shop for the best deals in holistic health so you can find them here!  We appreciate the value of surgery and pharmaceuticals but want to make more pathways available for your HealthCare Too. See our model for Holistic Health for more information!

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It’s time to talk about Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Seasonal Affective Disorder

The fall season has crept up entirely too fast. One minute it was 80 degrees and bright, the next it was cold and dark before 8 p.m.  The new season comes with the usual head colds, classes and late nights. As summer gives way to fall, it’s important to remember that 4 to 6 percent of people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder and may need resources to try to push through the oncoming seasons.

Humans revolve around a day-night cycle—also known as circadian rhythms—and when that gets interrupted by the shorter days and we see less natural light, it can affect sleep, mood and cognitive performance, according to a May 23, 2014, Everyday Health article. A specialized SAD lamp or light therapy box gives off artifical light that mimics natural sunlight, which helps the affected combat negative thoughts, sleep better and balance a healthy diet. The benefits of light therapy, also known as phototherapy or helioptherapy, have been proven to replace medicine for those with SAD, according to the same article. By sitting near a light therapy box for just a few hours, your mood can improve greatly.

Source: It’s time to talk about Seasonal Affective Disorder

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Over 80% of your health is determined by non-clinical factors. Let us help you take care of your HealthCare Too.

The HealthCare Too model provides for a holistic approach to health. We look for articles and knowledge to help consumers and their care teams make holistic health decisions and also shop for the best deals in holistic health so you can find them here!  We appreciate the value of surgery and pharmaceuticals but want to make more pathways available for your HealthCare Too. See our model for Holistic Health for more information!

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Holistic health care shift underway

Holistic health care shiftHolistic Health Care Shift

There is a holistic health care shift underway that is disrupting conventional medical care. In the early 1900’s the leading causes of death were infectious diseases. In this century, the leading causes of death are non-infectious chronic diseases. These illnesses, like heart disease, are often the result of our hectic lifestyles. Unfortunately, the medical community still focuses inside the clinic. Fortunately, consumers and a $3.7 trillion dollar industry focus on the whole person.

A new research report from Ogilvy’s Health & Wellness Practice points to a societal shift toward holistic healthcare “in a world where everyone is grappling with the stress of a 24/7 always-on culture.”

There’s plenty of doom and gloom to study, which notes that more than 2 billion people overweight; more than 80 percent of the world’s teens lean toward couch-potatodom; 11-hour workdays are boosting the risk of a heart attack by more than 60 percent; and stress and social media are both taking their own tolls on health.

And there are plenty of disconnects between the direction medicine is heading and what people are seeking to help themselves heal. Ever-increasing specialties in the medical field vie with patients’ quest for a more holistic approach, and the health care industry isn’t nimble enough to respond to this change in patients’ needs. People are searching in five major areas: radical compassion, mind and body becoming one, social fitness, somatic spaces and the convergence of health and technology.

Source: Holistic health care shift underway

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The HealthCare Too model provides for a holistic approach to health. We look for articles and knowledge to help consumers and their care teams make holistic health decisions and also shop for the best deals in holistic health so you can find them here!  We appreciate the value of surgery and pharmaceuticals but want to make more pathways available for your HealthCare Too. See our model for Holistic Health for more information!

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The effects of holistic health group interventions

Holistic Health Group InterventionsHolistic Health Group Interventions

New research shows that culturally sensitive sessions of holistic health group interventions help mild cognitive impairment.

Persons with mild cognitive impairment (PwMCI) are at a higher risk of developing dementia than those without cognitive impairment. This research study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a holistic health group intervention, which is based on the holistic brain health approach as well as an Eastern approach to health care, on improving the cognitive ability of Chinese PwMCI.

In a randomized controlled trial (RCT), 38 Chinese PwMCI were randomly assigned to either a 10-session holistic health intervention group or the control group. The holistic health treatment group attempted to promote the acceptance of their illness, enhance memory and coping skills, develop a positive lifestyle, maintain positive emotions, and facilitate emotional support among participants. The 10-session holistic health group intervention was structured, with each session conducted once per week and ~90 minutes in length. Control group patients and their family caregivers received standardized basic educational materials that provided basic information on cognitive decline for them to read at home. The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) test was used to assess the cognitive ability of PwMCI in the pre- and post-treatment periods by a research assistant who was blind to the group assignment of the participants.

….the holistic health group treatment was significantly more effective than the control intervention in improving the MoCA score, with a moderate effect size, and improving the delayed recall (ie, short-term memory), with a strong effect size, after controlling for age, sex, education, and marital status.
Conclusion: This present RCT provides evidence to support the feasibility and effectiveness of the holistic health group intervention in improving the cognitive and short-term memory abilities of PwMCI.

Source: The effects of holistic health group interventions on improving the co | CIA

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The HealthCare Too model provides for a holistic approach to health. We look for articles and knowledge to help consumers and their care teams make holistic health decisions and also shop for the best deals in holistic health so you can find them here!  We appreciate the value of surgery and pharmaceuticals but want to make more pathways available for your HealthCare Too. See our model for Holistic Health for more information!

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The shorter your sleep, the shorter your life: Need for healthy sleep

Healthy SleepHealthy Sleep

In a bustling 21st century world, we often do not appreciate healthy sleep. However, a good eight hours can not only make you more productive but also healthy.

Leading neuroscientist Matthew Walker on why sleep deprivation is increasing our risk of cancer, heart attack and Alzheimer’s – and what you can do about it.

Walker has spent the last four and a half years writing Why We Sleep, a complex but urgent book that examines the effects of this epidemic close up, the idea being that once people know of the powerful links between sleep loss and, among other things, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity and poor mental health, they will try harder to get the recommended eight hours a night (sleep deprivation, amazing as this may sound to Donald Trump types, constitutes anything less than seven hours).

But, in the end, the individual can achieve only so much. Walker wants major institutions and law-makers to take up his ideas, too. “No aspect of our biology is left unscathed by sleep deprivation,” he says. “It sinks down into every possible nook and cranny. And yet no one is doing anything about it. Things have to change: in the workplace and our communities, our homes and families. But when did you ever see an NHS poster urging sleep on people? When did a doctor prescribe, not sleeping pills, but sleep itself? It needs to be prioritised, even incentivised.

Source: The shorter your sleep, the shorter your life: the new sleep science

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Over 80% of your health is determined by non-clinical factors. Let us help you take care of your HealthCare Too.

The HealthCare Too model provides for a holistic approach to health. We look for articles and knowledge to help consumers and their care teams make holistic health decisions and also shop for the best deals in holistic health so you can find them here!  We appreciate the value of surgery and pharmaceuticals but want to make more pathways available for your HealthCare Too. See our model for Holistic Health for more information!

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Free Webinar– Homeopathic Medicine Research

Homeopathic Medicine ResearchHomeopathic Medicine

The Office of Integrative Medicine and Health at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences and the American Institute of Homeopathy will host a 90-minute research presentation reviewing new research findings in the field of homeopathic medicine and the developing understanding of the biological basis for homeopathic remedy response.

Iris Bell MD, PhD, integrative medicine researcher, and Peter Fisher, MD, rheumatologist and homeopathic physician, are international leaders in the field of integrative and homeopathic medicine and their work has shaped the profession for over two decades.

Homeopathic medicine is used by tens of thousands of physicians and millions of consumers worldwide. While growth in its use continues, there is a great need for understanding the growing body of research around homeopathy and the homeopathic remedy response.

“More and more patients are asking their physicians for information on homeopathic remedies,” said John Pan, MD, founding medical director of OIMH and the moderator for the webinar. “It is important that today’s medical practitioners understand the evidence that exists behind this modality.”

Office of Integrative Medicine and Health at the GW School of Medicine and the American Institute of Homeopathy to Host Event Examining Groundbreaking Research in Homeopathy

An Open Mind

Homeopathic medicine often generates heated debate, even within the complementary and integrative medicine community. This is an opportunity to join into a free webinar on Sept 27, 2017. We hope the presenters will make this webinar available as an archive.

Both researchers have exemplary credentials:

Bell has been a researcher in areas related to complementary and alternative medicine for 30 years. She has served on the faculties at Harvard Medical School, University of California San Francisco, and the University of Arizona. She graduated magna cum laude in biology from Harvard University and then received her PhD in Neuro- and Biobehavioral Sciences and MD from Stanford University. She has published scores of papers and book chapters on her clinical research in addition to a monograph on environmental illness.

Fisher is director of research and consultant physician at the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine (RLHIM) in London, England. He is accredited in homeopathy and rheumatology. The RLHIM is part of University College London Hospitals, one of the largest academic medical centers in the UK, and is Europe’s largest public sector center for integrated medicine. He also serves as Physician to Her Majesty The Queen. Additionally, he is a member of the World Health Organization’s Expert Advisory Panel on Traditional and Complementary Medicine and helped to draft its Traditional and Complementary Medicine Strategy from 2014-2023.

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Over 80% of your health is determined by non-clinical factors. Let us help you take care of your HealthCare Too.

The HealthCare Too model provides for a holistic approach to health. We look for articles and knowledge to help consumers and their care teams make holistic health decisions and also shop for the best deals in holistic health so you can find them here!  We appreciate the value of surgery and pharmaceuticals but want to make more pathways available for your HealthCare Too. See our model for Holistic Health for more information!

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Tibetan yoga practice may improve sleep quality for breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy

Tibetan YogaTibetan Yoga

Participating in twice-weekly practice of Tibetan yoga may reduce sleep disturbances and improve sleep quality in breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, according to a study from researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The research, published in the journal Cancer, found that women who practiced Tibetan yoga at least two times a week reported less daytime disturbances, better  and sleep efficiency over time, compared to those practicing less often and to women in an active control group receiving usual care.

Sleep disturbances and fatigue are two of the most frequent and debilitating side effects experienced by cancer  undergoing chemotherapy.

Source: Tibetan yoga practice may improve sleep quality for breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy

Encouraging

Breast cancer patients have enough worries. Tibetan yoga helped study patients with side effects, even with just two sessions per week. This is a great example where a non-clinical therapy, Tibetan yoga here, complements clinical treatment. It is also heartening that the study recognized the importance of sleep as part of healthcare. In a holistic health model, the person and all that impacts that person is the center. The study helps demonstrate that we cannot separate what happens inside the clinic from what we do outside the clinic.

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Over 80% of your health is determined by non-clinical factors. Let us help you take care of your HealthCare Too.

The HealthCare Too model provides for a holistic approach to health. We look for articles and knowledge to help consumers and their care teams make holistic health decisions and also shop for the best deals in holistic health so you can find them here!  We appreciate the value of surgery and pharmaceuticals but want to make more pathways available for your HealthCare Too. See our model for Holistic Health for more information!

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