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Heal Yourself At Home
DIY SOLUTIONS FOR YOUR HEALTH
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EXERCISE Untitled 1

HOW-TO: Physical Therapies

Physical therapies unblock energy pathways (called meridians) in the body -E.g. Deep tissue massage, rolfing, reflexology, exercise, chiropractic, acupuncture, acupressure, applied kinesiology, Reiki, Tai chi, yoga, spinal manipulation.

–   Acupuncture – In this treatment from traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncturists insert thin needles into strategic, energy-balancing points on the body. These acupuncture points have a dramatically reduced electrical resistance compared with the surrounding skin (10 kilo ohms compared to 3 Mega ohms).Acupuncture can prevent and treat nausea and vomiting and help relieve many types of pain, including that from osteoarthritis, low back pain, neck pain, headaches and postsurgical pain. Patients who receive acupuncture typically receive up to 12 treatments, usually given once or twice a week.

German researchers tracked more than 3,000 patients with hip or knee osteoarthritis and found that those receiving acupuncture experienced significantly more pain relief than those who did not receive acupuncture treatments.

–   Acupressure - Along the meridians are a large number of pressure points that act as "valves" for the flow of chi. The stimulation of these points, when properly performed, acts to restore balance to the internal environment, thereby relieving symptoms.

Acupressure

–   Deep Tissue Massage Therapy - A massage therapist manipulates the body's soft tissue (i.e. muscle, skin and tendons) using fingertips, hands and fists. Massage treats anxiety and low back pain and improves postsurgical healing. Studies conducted at the University of Miami's Touch Research Institute show that massage can help relieve back pain and strengthen the immune system in women with breast cancer by increasing levels of natural disease-fighting cells.

–   Spinal Manipulation - Practiced by chiropractors, osteopaths (medical doctors whose training allows them to correct structural problems in the musculoskeletal system) and physical therapists, this hands-on technique adjusts the spine to properly align the vertebrae with muscles, joints and nerves. Spinal manipulation is an accepted medical practice for low back pain, but the evidence supporting its use for other medical problems has been somewhat conflicting.

At the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Public Health, a study of 681 patients with low back pain showed that chiropractic care was as effective as medical care, including painkilling drugs, in relieving discomfort.

–   Tai chi - This gentle exercise, derived from Chinese martial arts, consists of a series of defined postures and movements performed slowly and gracefully. Medically, it is used to improve balance in older people who are prone to falls.

In a study of 278 elderly people at Vrije University in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, those who performed tai chi three times a week for six months had 50% fewer falls and fewer injury-causing falls.

–    Yoga – specific stretching postures and breathing exercises, which originated in India, help calm body and mind. Yoga is particularly effective for stress relief, low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis, anxiety and depression.

In a study conducted at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, 98 people with heart disease or diabetes who practiced the postures and breathing techniques of yoga had significant reductions in total cholesterol and blood sugar.

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