The latest National Health Interview Survey available, from 2012, shows an annual expenditure of $30.2 billion in out-of-pocket costs for complementary health approaches, benefiting 33 percent of adults and 12 percent of children, and representing about 10 percent of out-of-pocket U.S. healthcare costs. Insurance rarely covers complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in full. As provider networks shrink, premiums rise and the future of healthcare reform remains uncertain, health-conscious consumers yearn for innovative ways to afford this kind of care.
Eat less, move more. These words have been the cornerstone of diet advice for decades, leading millions of Americans to greet the new year with vows to cut calories and hit the gym. In all, one in five U.S. adults are dieting at any given time, according to the international market research firm The NPD Group, and 57 percent would like to lose 20 pounds or more. Yet few will reach that goal.
Fatigue due to physical or mental exertion is common in those beleaguered by stress, poor eating habits and insomnia, struggling to balance the needs of family and career and too often using caffeine and other stimulants to artificially rebound energy. James L. Wilson, Ph.D., a doctor of chiropractic and naturopathy, educates medical professionals about an even more serious health issue he identifies as “adrenal fatigue”; it’s characterized by below-optimal adrenal function induced by an overload of such stressors.
Powerful Ways to Avoid Mental Decline Lisa Marshall A slow descent into dementia seemed inevitable for a 66-year-old man that had been misplacing his keys, missing appointments and struggling at work. He failed doctor-administered cognitive quizzes and tested positive for a gene variant linked to an exponentially higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease. A brain scan revealed scattered clusters of sticky, amyloid plaque—a hallmark of the disease. His hippocampus, or memory center, had shrunk to rank in the lowest 17 percent of men his age. Told there wasn’t much that could be done, he sought the help of University of California, Los Angeles Alzheimer’s researcher Dale Bredesen, a neurologist and founding president of the independent Buck Institute for Research on Aging.
Chiropractic care corrects spinal alignment abnormalities as a means of treating a wide range of health problems. Addressing skeletal and muscular disorders and relieving pain are just the beginning. Research studies reported in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics and the journal of healing science Explore have found chiropractic beneficial in treating connective tissue abnormalities, infant lactose intolerance and even autism.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, as many as 50 million Americans are affected by seasonal or year-round nasal allergies. Additionally, 56 million suffer from eczema, psoriasis or rosacea. Prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs may help, but aren’t a cure. Salt therapy can be a gentler, all-natural solution for easing associated symptoms.
While eating too much salt is bad for the body, breathing it is a healthy activity. The Greek word for salt is halos, and halotherapy provides a welcome alternative to conventional pills, sprays and injections.
Chilling Out Revives Body and Soul April Thompson Here’s something to add to our to-do list: nothing. Americans today work more hours than ever before, foregoing hardearned vacation days and spending more time with electronic devices than with friends and family. The temptation and pressure to do more at the expense of needed rest are great, but failing to take time out to recharge our minds and bodies can have serious consequences, according to experts. Downtime is most acutely needed in the workplace. In a survey of nearly 20,000 workers, The Energy Project and Harvard Business Review found that 59 percent of them were physically exhausted, emotionally drained, distracted and lacking purpose.
The average head holds about 120,000 to 150,000 strands of hair, and it’s normal for both men and women to lose 50 to 100 strands daily. We lose hair for several reasons. Chiefly, aging weakens hair and makes it more brittle; it also decreases hormone production, slowing hair growth. According to a study published in the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, anything that interrupts the normal hair cycle can trigger diffuse hair loss. Triggers include physiologic trauma and emotional stresses, nutritional deficiencies, endocrine imbalances and illness, as well as genetics, including pattern baldness. Even air and water pollutants and sunlight’s phototoxic aging effects may facilitate alopecia (sudden hair loss).
While it’s impossible to completely stop natural hair loss catalyzed by aging and genes, the rate can be controlled and abnormal loss may be reversed while stimulating growth.
There is little agreement about the optimal levels of iodine people need. The U.S. Department of Agriculture maintains that we need 150 micrograms a day, but iodine advocates are quick to point out that a person eating a typical Japanese diet (where hypothyroidism, or low thyroid activity, is rare) ingests 12.5 milligrams of iodine each day—83 times the amount recommended by the government.
Natural Ways to Boost Libido Lisa Marshall Underlying health issues aside, a hectic schedule packed with work deadlines, kids’ sporting events and household chores can leave little time for intimacy. Letting that pattern go on too long can become a problem. “There’s a use-it-or-lose-it phenomenon that occurs,” says Dr. Anita Clayton, a University of Virginia psychiatry professor, neurologist and author of Satisfaction: Women, Sex, and the Quest for Intimacy. Despite what hyper-seductive female media stereotypes suggest we believe, in the real world, 39 percent of women feel they lack sex drive, and nearly half experience some kind of sexual dissatisfaction, according to a survey of 32,000 women published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. About one in eight women are significantly distressed about it. “The truth is, many of us don’t have great sex lives,” confirms Clayton.