Relief with Essential Oils Monday, Dec 14 2015 

Days like today are typically painful head-to-toe. I have fibromyalgia, and the low air pressure literally weighs heavy on me. I’m sensitive to prescription pain medication and aspirin, and am allergic to anti-inflammatory drugs including Naproxen and Ibuprofen, so I look for alternative ways to deal with the pain. A warm shower and the stretching of yoga and other low-impact exercises are helpful. I’m also getting relief from essential oils.

I mix a few drops of an essential oil called Panaway into a dollop of coconut oil and then massage it into the bottom of my feet and my most painful spots. When used before bedtime, I can sleep comfortably through the night. Without it, on my bad days, the weight of a bed sheet causes pain.

Essential oils are highly-concentrated, distilled or cold-pressed plant products. They are rich in antioxidants and nutrients. They’ve been used for thousands of years for cosmetic purposes, well-being, and food preparation. There are over 200 references to aromatics, incense, and ointments throughout the Bible.

Panaway is a 100% pure, therapeutic-grade essential oil by Young Living. This company uses only unadulterated essential oils. Their distillery is the largest and most technologically advanced in North America. They state that their Seed to Seal® process preserves the integrity and potency of essential oils through every step of the production process.

If you are on prescription medications, or have health problems, check with your doctor before trying any of the oils.

You can visit the Young Living site here.

©2015, Mary K. Doyle

Magnetic Therapy Thursday, Oct 18 2012 

Can a pretty piece of jewelry really be a health remedy?

While strolling through a farmers market in Telluride, Colorado I was drawn to a sign that claimed relief was possible from arthritis, fibromyalgia, stiffness, injury, acne, migraines, and  high blood pressure by wearing magnetic jewelry. The Simply Magnetic booth displayed an array of attractive bracelets, necklaces, chokers, and anklets in single and double strands as well as pet collars. Some were all black. Others also contained colored beads. Prices ranged from $25 to $40.

I liked the look of the bracelet and can’t take common pain relievers, so I gave it a try. I’ve been wearing the bracelet 24/7 as prescribed since the end of September and I do believe it’s helped. Typically in the spring and fall my pain level increases due to barometric fluctuations and dampness but I’m not experiencing as much right now.

Magnet therapy, also known as magnetic field or bioenergy therapy, has been used for thousands of years. In the 16th Century physician Paracelus believed magnets attracted and eliminated disease. Magnets were recommended at that time to treat gout, arthritis, poisoning, and baldness. It became popular again in the 1970s when Albert Roy Davis, PhD., noticed positive and negative magnetic charges affected the body differently. He claimed their use killed cancer cells in animals and cured arthritis, pain, glaucoma, and infertility. High quality magnets are said to create a less acidic environment, decreasing the ability of infections and diseases to thrive. They are commonly used today in Japan and China.

The few clinical studies conducted on magnetic therapy show mixed results. They are criticized for the limited population tested and the preexisting conditions of many of the participants. Overall, magnetic therapy is difficult to study. Normally participants unknowingly receive either an authentic medication or a placebo but all would know whether a bracelet is magnetic or not.

The FDA has taken action against several producers and sellers of magnets for making unproven health claims. According to the American Cancer Society website, some believe that magnets can correct the electromagnet impulses disrupted in the body by illness and injury. It also says that the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) generally considers magnets safe but of no medical use.

You may want to consult with your doctor before wearing the jewelry. Magnetic therapy is not recommended for young children, pregnant women or anyone wearing a pacemaker, defibrillator, or infusion pump. The effects on these subjects are unknown. And all alternative remedies should be used with caution because there is no regulation of product contents, strengths, or effects. Nor should alternative remedies be used in replace of conventional medical treatment without serious consideration.

©2012, Mary K. Doyle

What a Pain Monday, Apr 9 2012 

More than 116 million Americans suffer from chronic pain according to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. This results in hundreds of billions of dollars in health care costs in addition to lost wages. Although there are a number of remedies, more than half the people questioned say they have little to no control over their pain.

I number among the statistics suffering from chronic pain due to fibromyalgia and arthritis. I cannot tolerate any over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers, so I seek relief from alternative methods. I also do my best to prevent the pain from getting unmanageable by following a few simple practices.

Here is my personal pain prevention and management plan:

  • Prayer. I begin every day in prayer. The quiet, calming effect of meditative prayer is relaxing and encourages deep breathing. Plus, I always have a list of things to talk about with God. Putting my  worries in God’s hands is so much easier than trying to solve everything myself.
  • Warm bath or shower. I shower in the morning. The warm water helps relieve aches and pains and aids flexibility. After a day of strenuous physical activity I will take another one or soak in the tub.
  • Moderate Exercise. My husband and I walk every day. This is beneficial on many levels. We have time alone together without the distractions from home and home office, we get exercise, when outside we absorb sunshine and fresh air, and we enjoy the scenery and people around us. I also attend yoga classes for stretching.
  • Move Throughout the Day. I get stiff if I sit at my desk too long so I drink a lot of water which has the two-fold benefit of keeping me hydrated and forcing me to get up to go to the restroom.
  • Balanced Diet. I eat a healthy range of fruits, vegetables, and proteins and feel best if I don’t overeat, skip meals, or consume fatty foods.
  • Friends and Family. Time with loving, supportive friends and family encourages optimism, laughter, and feeling loved. It also encourages thinking of others rather than myself.
  • Soft Music. In my office I listen to classical or other instrumental music which I find inspirational and relaxing.
  • Avoid Stress. Stress is believed to aggravate all illnesses but avoiding it is a tremendous challenge in this fast-paced world. I try to limit unnecessary commitments and over-scheduling.
  • Sleep. I fall short here often staying up way too late but know I feel better after a good night sleep. If I am in a lot of pain, I have no choice but to give in and get some rest.
  • Massage. Massage relieves the tender spots that acquire due to fibromyalgia. I cannot work them out on my own and am very thankful for my therapists who do.

Here’s wishing you a pain-free, happy day.

©Mary K. Doyle

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