Massage, yoga and alternative therapies used to relieve pain

Found this article on  I hope this helps explain, complementary vs. alternative and the growing bond between these therapies and western medicine when it comes to medical conditions like cancer. – jess

Dr. Michael Adolph

COLUMBUS, Ohio — When it comes to relieving the nausea, pain and fatigue often associated with cancer treatments, some patients look beyond conventional remedies to alternative therapies such as acupuncture, massage and yoga.”And that’s just fine, as long as the patients let their oncologists know what they’re doing, before proceeding,” said Dr. Michael Adolph, a palliative medicine physician at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.

“It’s always in the patient’s best interest to let their physicians know what they’re doing, so as to have the best treatment possible,” Adolph said. Complementary and alternative therapies are tools that patients may choose to promote wellness, help control symptoms and take control of what’s happening to them during their cancer experience. But not all complementary therapies can be endorsed for all patients.

Complementary medicine is used together with conventional medicine, while alternative medicine is used in place of conventional medicine. Integrative medicine combines mainstream medical therapies with complementary and alternative therapies that have been scientifically proven to be safe and effective.

“The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies, such as vitamin and herbal supplements, along with mind-body therapies, and others, has been gaining mainstream popularity in recent years,” Adolph said.

For example, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, established by Congress in 1999 as part of the National Institutes of Health, supports clinical and basic science research projects in CAM, with more than $120 million in funding in 2006. Congress began funding the study and validation of CAM therapies in 1991.

“Studies have shown that up to 70 percent of cancer patients acknowledge practicing some form of CAM at their homes, including meditation, guided imagery, prayer, dietary changes and exercise in an effort to improve their quality of life,” Adolph said.

“Patients report substantial relief, and we support patients in their endeavors to cope and conquer in cancer survivorship,” said Adolph, who specializes in alleviating cancer patients’ pain and other symptoms during and after the entire course of cancer treatment. “We’re here to assist oncologists with any suffering the patients have incurred with the cancer process and treatment.”

“Many patients often are hesitant to discuss alternative methods they’re trying on their own,” Adolph said. Yet good communication between doctor and patient is key to incorporating CAM safely and successfully as part of treatment, he said.

Some herbal supplements can cause unwanted drug interactions, provoke bleeding during procedures or alter the efficacy of certain cancer-fighting drugs such as chemotherapy, Adolph said.

Summer Travel for Moi

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I have a few trips scheduled this summer which ultimately makes scheduling a bit nuts.   But hey, these trips represent the well deserved break that I need in order to remain fresh, enthusiastic and energetic for your sessions.

First trip is this month, leaving June 22nd and returning to my practice on July 5th – heading to Idaho to support my husband as he races his 5th Ironman.  And yes, my husband gets massage – every week as a matter of fact and we continually manage to keep him an injury free highly functioning zombie during his Ironman prep.  This is going to be exciting, I will be updating MB’s facebook page throughout the race!DSC00068

Next, I will be departing on August 5th for my annual east coast ocean fix and returning to my practice on Tuesday, August 17th.  As a Pisces, Rat and water lover this vacation is nothing less than necessary.  I plan to visit one of the neighboring islands, shop authentic Cape goods with my mom, love my little nephew Vinnie Louis and eat a ton of seafood (see photo from last year’s visit).

My suggestion is the earlier the better for scheduling and I will do everything I can to accommodate all requests.

Be well all and get your well deserved vacations scheduled too!

Blackberry Scones: Oh my yum!

Similar to massage, these tasty treats will make you feel good but unlike massage these are an indulgence, not a necessity. In line with all of the cooking I do, I recommend going as organic as you can with these.Blackberry scone

Blackberry Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter (I melt and cool = easier)
1 cup fresh blackberries
3/4 cup half and half cream
1 egg

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2) Add butter into mixture of flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Add blackberries and toss to mix
3) In separate bowl beat together cream and egg, and slowly pour into dry ingredients stirring with rubber scraper until dough forms.  Knead just until it comes together, 3 or 4 times.  Don’t overhandle.
4) Divide dough in half.  On lightly floured board, shape each half into a 6-inch round.  Cut into 6 wedges.
5) I like to sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar on top
6) Bake on ungreased sheet about 20 minutes at 375 degrees (convection oven: 16-17 min).

Serve warm!

Practice Optimism

optimismAn optimist is a person who generally believes that life on earth, people and events are inherently good, so that most situations work out in the end for the best.

My entire life I’ve been told that I am positive and optimistic. I agree I am, but it’s not without effort, conscious choice and lots of letting go. I understand quite well that life is full of challenges but I believe there is a learning experience within each challenge and always good things to take away. I feel that practicing optimism has allowed me to view life in a more balanced manner.

Here are some of the facts, benefits and bonuses I found online regarding optimism:

– Optimists have superior health
in a study of 99 Harvard University students, those who were optimists at age 25 were significantly healthier at ages 45 and 60 than those who were pessimists.

-Optimistic athletes have greater achievement
In a study of competitive swimmers it was found that pessimistic swimmers who were never satisfied with their times, always thinking they should have done better were prone to future poor performance. Optimistic swimmers didn’t have this vulnerability.

– Optimists experience less stress because they believe in themselves and expect good things to happen

– Optimists do not give up as easy as pessimists therefore are more likely to be successful

– Optimists live longer
A study of heart health showed that the heart of an optimist stays healthy longer than those of pessimists.

Practice optimism right now. Here’s a good article to get you started – READ ARTICLE