Alternative Medicine Treatments

An introduction to some complementary and alternative approaches that can help heal the body, mind and soul.

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Here are some of Dr. Oz's favorite CAM therapies that energize, sooth and support the body, mind and spirit.

Muddy Waters

Therapeutic mud baths have been a staple at many health spas around the world, some dating back centuries. A homemade bath made of clay, peat moss and sulfur-dense mineral water can have anti-inflammatory effects that might provide comfort for people with damaged joints or arthritis. You can enjoy this comforting slurry at home or dash off to a mud bath spa. You can also try a bath containing Dead Sea or Epsom salts, which provides a high concentration of magnesium that acts to relax muscles.

Aromatic Oils

Aromatherapy uses the power of distinctive-smelling essential oils derived from fragrant plants. These wonderful smelling oils hijack stress and promote relaxation by affecting parts of the brain that control mood and emotion. They can be inhaled directly, used in a diffuser that atomizes droplets into the air, or diluted in a solution that is applied on the skin. Essential oils are also used during Shirodhara, a form of Ayurveda medicine developed by Hindus now practiced in the West.

Essential oils can be used to promote general wellbeing and as a supportive therapy to help ease side effects of treatment, particularly helpful during cancer chemotherapy. Certain essential oils are thought to have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties and can help to reduce muscular aches and pains caused by inflammation.

Popular Aromatherapy Oils

  • Lavender - A few dabs of lavender oil at the base of your thumb and neck, between the eyebrows, or along pressure points in the wrist and can ease the stress of the day and is helpful during migraine attacks.
  • Eucalyptus - Used to help clear nasal passages and airways in people with colds, flu and allergies. Add a few drops while taking a hot shower or add it to the medicine well of a humidifier.
  • Lemongrass - Dilute this essential oil in a spray bottle and use it as a natural insect repellent
  • Tea tree - This oil is a popular for it's antimicrobial activities. Look for it in skin products soaps and shampoos.

[Note: Lavender and tea tree oils can behave like certain hormones such as estrogen and block the male hormone testosterone, so use them sparingly on children.]