Friday, August 31, 2012

Alternative Medicine Types

With the advent of the Internet, the world has opened up to us a plethora of alternative types of medicine that have been in existence for many years, but simply never had the means to reach us. There are millions of people around the world today who opt for healing their diseases and curing their illnesses using these types of alternative medicine. The primary method of treatment of these medicines and therapies is to reinvigorate the body and aid it in warding off the diseases and illnesses using its own defense mechanisms.

The modern drugs and medications that are available to us today are an external source of combating these diseases, and in some cases display some very unpleasant and adverse side effects. More and more people are getting increasingly unsatisfied with the effects of these medications and are finding themselves unable to deal with these side effects. This has made the need for types of alternative medicine much more profound and much more intense.

Classification of Alternative Types of Medicine

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Types (NCCAM) has helped people around the country by classifying these various forms of complementary and alternative medicine types into 5 broad categories. These categories make it simpler for a layman to understand these medicine types and to decide which one is most suitable for them. To have a standardized and generalized classification helps as far as this area is concerned. These 5 categories of types of alternative medicine are listed and explained here below.

Alternative Medical Systems
Alternative medical systems are therapies and practices that have been around for many many centuries, especially in Eastern countries. The amount of time that these therapies have been present simply means that they are complete bodies of practice. There is a lot known about them, and they are widely and popularly followed by many people around the world. The effects of these therapies are clear, and so are the methods, hence there is absolutely no ambiguity as far as these alternative types of medicine are concerned. Here are the commonly used alternative medical systems in place.
  • Homeopathy
  • Ayurveda
  • Acupuncture
  • Naturopathy
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Tibetan Medicine
  • Native American Medicine
Energy Therapies
These methods of treatment and therapy commonly employ the use of energy fields in the healing process, and it is further divided into 2 parts - 'Biofield Therapies' and 'Bioelectromagnetic-based Therapies'. Bioelectromagnetic-based therapies utilize electromagnetic fields in order to heal the body. Biofield therapies, on the other hand, claim that the energy forces present inside the body can be stimulated and manipulated to heal the human body. Some examples of this form of medicine are Reiki, Therapeutic touch and Qi Gong.

Biologically Based Therapies
This form of therapy normally involves the use of items that are found in nature, that benefit the body and boost its resistance and defense. These items could be various kinds of herbs, various dietary supplements, and many other products that are found in nature but have not been scientifically proven to aid the body. This is one of the types of alternative medicine that require the intake of some form of medications or supplements into the body.

Mind-Body Interventions
This form of therapy focuses on using the power of the mind and sending signals from the brain to the body that heal the body. Controlling the mind is the key to making a successful recovery from all illnesses according to these doctrines, and there are various ways to achieve this. These alternative types of medicine use the mind's ability to enhance the power of the human body to heal itself naturally. The various types of mind-body interventions are as follows.
  • Music therapy
  • Dance therapy
  • Prayer therapy
  • Humor therapy
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Art therapy

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Benefits of Natural Chelation Therapy

Molecules of certain compounds have the ability of forming more than one bond with a metal ion. Such compounds are known as chelating agents which form a stable ion complex. The soluble complex formed is known as a chelate, in which the metal ions forming the complex get inactivated, thereby failing to undergo their normal reaction with other ions. This ability of chelating agents of forming complex molecules with metal ions is used in Chelation therapy. This therapy was first used during World War I, to diffuse the effects of poison gas containing the heavy metal - arsenic. However, the chelating agent used for treatment showed up severe side effects. Medical advancement lead to the development of chelating agents which were safe, effective and beneficial. Various benefits associated with this therapy are discussed below.

Removal of Heavy Metals
Heavy metal poisoning is very dangerous and can prove to be fatal. Chelation therapy is carried out to treat heavy metal intoxication in the body. Chelating compounds are administered into the body orally, intravenously or intramuscularly. These compounds form chelates with toxic metal ions, forming soluble complexes, which are excreted out of the body via urine after going through filtration in the kidneys. Metals like mercury, iron, lead, zinc and copper can lead to organ failure which is why, their removal becomes essential.

Reduction of Free Radicals
The production of free radicals in the human body is not acceptable. Free radicals cause aging, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, oxygen deficiency due to which cells deteriorate. Heavy metals lead to the production of free radicals in the body which are controlled by administering chelating agents which remove these metals from the body. Free radical reduction ultimately leads to cell repair and healthy body.

Reduction in Blood Stickiness
Chelation therapy using ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) is thought to reduce the formation of blood platelets. Reduced platelet content makes the blood more fluid which is capable of easily passing through partially blocked or narrow arteries.

Removal of Unwanted Calcium
Hardening of arteries is caused due to the deposition of plaque in the blood vessels. Plaque formation greatly reduces the efficiency of the heart. Calcium is one of the constituents of plaque, which is required to be removed. Use of chelating agents reduces calcium content of the plaque, making it softer thereby, depleting its layers from the blood vessels. Chelation therapy has proved its utility in some cases of heart diseases. Even then, the American Heart Association does not recommend it for the treatment of heart-related problems.

Optimization of Cholesterol Levels
High-density Lipoprotein (HDL) is considered as good cholesterol while Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL) is considered bad for the body. Chelating agents are used to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol and increase the quantity of good cholesterol in the body. In this way, it helps in maintaining cholesterol levels in the body.

Improvement in Mental Health
Researchers suggest that chelation therapy improves mental well-being of an individual. People who have undertaken this therapy were found to be more attentive, active and happy. Reason behind this change is attributed to improved functioning of brain due to removal of toxins and improved cellular activity. However, some researchers do not buy this point and consider it as a "placebo-effect".

Prevention of Cancer
Presence of free radicals in the body can lead to the development of cancer. By controlling free radical production, chelating agents indirectly reduce the incidence of cancer in patients. Some researchers claim that the incidence of death is reduced in patients after treatment with chelating agents even though, the mechanism of action is not clear.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How Whey Protein Helps in Your Weight Loss Program

Research into using whey protein for weight loss indicates that protein influences the feeling of fullness. This reduces the temptation to snack in between meals.

Whey is a by-product obtained during the cheese making process. It is a liquid containing protein, lactose, minerals, and a small amount of fat.

Before processing, whey has a relatively low protein content. But by efficient filtering most of the lactose and fat are removed. The next stage is to spray-dry the filtered whey, which yields a powder rich in protein. The powdered protein is a convenient way to use whey protein for weight loss.

There are three main types of whey supplements available:
  • Whey Concentrate
  • Whey Isolate
  • Whey Hydrolyze
Each type undergoes a different processing procedure. And the more complicated the processing, the more expensive the powder.

The concentrate is the cheapest type with the lowest percentage of protein content, but with the highest amounts of fat and lactose.

By using better quality filtration more fat and lactose can be removed from the liquid whey, resulting in a powder with a higher protein content. This better quality protein powder is known as whey isolate. The isolate is more expensive.

But blends of concentrate and isolate powders are available, which have an improved protein content compared with the cheaper whey concentrate. These blends are cheaper than the pure whey isolate powder, but have a lower protein content.

The hydrolyze, which is a pre-digested form of whey protein, is the most expensive because it needs more processing.

Hormones and Hunger Signals

Hunger and the amount you are able to eat before feeling full are controlled by hormones, psychological factors and physiological needs. Secretion of the hormone cholecystokinin in the intestine is stimulated, when partly digested fat or protein enters the part of the small intestine closest to the stomach. This hormone stimulates receptors distributed throughout the central nervous system, resulting in a feeling of fullness. Because of its high protein content, a whey supplement is able to delay the desire for food through the actions of cholecystokinin on the nervous system. This stops the craving for snacks and drinks rich in sugar, but lacking in nutrients, which sabotages any attempts to lose weight.

Whey Protein and Insulin

Experiments show that not only do animals fed on whey protein lose weight because of its appetite satisfying qualities, but their insulin sensitivity increases, producing healthy blood sugar levels.

Whey Protein and Exercise

Effective weight loss programs combine dieting and exercise. To some, the thought of exercising may seem daunting. But even simple tasks such as walking the dog, or digging the garden, all burn calories.

The more strenuous activities such running, cycling and weight training, benefit even more from the use of whey protein, because of its muscle-building properties. Supplementing a balanced diet with whey powder, combined with an appropriate exercise program, creates a lean body with a healthy muscular development.

Before starting a vigorous exercise program, please consult your doctor.

Can Whey Protein Put You in a Better Mood?

There is evidence that whey protein may help you become less anxious and stressed by raising your level of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter. By helping you to feel in a better mood and more relaxed, it removes the urge to comfort-eat. This is another benefit of using whey protein for weight loss. With comfort-eating the more you eat, the more weight you gain, and the more depressed you get; so the urge to comfort-eat is reinforced.