Tag Archives: medicine

Back to basics with Bach Flower Therapy

Bach flower remedies is a system of 38 flower remedies that are said to correct emotional imbalances. Considered alternative medicine you can pick or choose what you like from this blog post but we thought it would be interesting to check out.

Doctor Bach(1886-1936), a British Doctor set out to research immunology but developed an interest in homeopathy and joined the laboratories of the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital in 1919. He felt dissatisfied with the way doctors were expected to concentrate on diseases rather than the people who were suffering them. Bach believed that illness is the effect of disharmony between body and mind and that symptoms of an illness are the external expression of negative emotional states.

In 1928 he began work on his own remedies made from plants and two years later at age forty-three he gave up his lucrative practice in London to pursue his vision. This boldness resulted in the 38 different types of Bach remedies. Each remedy is associated with a basic human emotion. Mimulus, for example, is the remedy for when we are anxious or afraid about something specific. Taking the remedy helps to overcome the fear and face it with courage.

The 38 different remedies and their bundled mixes are available in liquid form at most health stores, pharmacies and online. The Bach flower remedy most people know is arnica, a plant from the sunflower family, used to treat bruising, muscular strains, wounds and swelling.

The bundled mixes of remedies commonly y known as “Rescue Remedies” such as Rescue Sleep and the standard rescue remedy for stress and emotional imbalance are fairly well-known in Australia.

Rescue sleep is said to calm your restless mind providing natural relief of occasional sleeplessness caused by stress and repetitive thoughts. Active ingredients in the rescue sleep product include white chestnut to help ease a restless mind, star of Bethlehem for trauma and shock, clematis for the tendendency to pass out, cherry plum for fear of mind giving way or anger, impatiens for irritability and tension and finally rock rose for frozen terror and panic.

The standard rescue remedy is also a combination of 5 Bach flower remedies. Allegedly, beneficial when you find yourself in traumatic situations, such as, emergencies, after getting bad news, feeling impatient and irritated, feeling tension and pressure, before an exam or job interview and all other kind of situations where you find you lose balance mentally.

Rescue remedy is said to help you to relax, get focused and get the needed calmness. Dr Oz recommends rescue remedy for stress and it has been endorsed by many celebrities such as Jennifer Anniston, Selma Hyak, Cate Blanchett, Martha Stewart and Van Morrison. We’re not saying you should try it because the celebrities’ do we are just showing that it is not a product only used by alternative medicine or homeopathy supporters.

Although homeopathy has recently been slammed as scientifically implausible and theoretically week in recent media reports by the Sydney Morning Herald and other major metropolitan newspapers. However a draft statement by Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council said homeopathy which uses a large range of animal, plant and mineral products should not be confused with herbal remedies.

At the end of the day you are free to make up your own mind on whether you take homeopathic medicines or not. We just like to educate you on what is out there in the healthcare world so you are better informed to make decisions about your own health.

References

BachFlower.com. 2012. The Original Bach Flower Remedies. Retrieved 13 November 2012 from http://bachflower.com/wordpress/?page_id=293

The Bach Centre. 2009. All about Bach remedies. Retrieved 14 November 2012 from http://www.bachcentre.com/centre/firstpag.htm

Medew, J. 2012. Alternative medicine crackdown. Retrieved 14 November 2012 from http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/alternative-medicine-crackdown-20120313-1uyiw.html

Tagged , , , ,

Sleep, sleep, glorious sleep

Sleep is a much valued commodity in most people’s lives. For the majority, myself included, we can’t get enough. But for some getting to sleep and staying asleep is a really big problem which has negative consequences in their lives. For others too much sleep can be detrimental. It seems a little complicated too little and you’re tiered, too much and you’re sluggish. But really like most things in life it is all about balance.

All though everyone’s individual sleep needs vary in general most healthy adults require at least eight hours of sleep a night. However, some people are able to function without sleepiness or drowsiness after as little as six hours and others can’t perform at their peak unless they’ve slept ten. So pretty much anywhere between 7 to 9 hours is average. The goal is to wake up feeling refreshed and to stay awake and alert throughout the day without relying on stimulants or other pick-me-ups.

In today’s lifestyle people are so concerned with exercise, healthy diets and stress management but sleep is equally important to these areas in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Sleep aids the brain with learning and memory retention, metabolism and weight management, cardiovascular health, mood and quality of life, safety, immunity and cancer prevention.

Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory. A Harvard University study showed that those who slept before a cognitive task did better. In others, subjects discovered more insightful or creative ways to problem-solve after a good night’s sleep. Chronic sleep deprivation can cause weight gain by altering metabolic functions it also contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime which has the potential to cause accidents.

The symptom of sleep loss, whether long or short term, we’ve probably all experience is moodiness. Irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate and moodiness that can lead to psychological problems such as anxiety and depression are all linked to lack of sleep. Too little sleep can leave you so tiered you don’t want to do the things you enjoy and effects the ability to work effectively.

Serious sleep disorders such as insomnia have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, cardiac arrhythmias and increase inflammation which are linked to heart attacks. Sleep deprivation also alters the body’s immune function. For example sleep loss around the time of a flu vaccine has shown to reduce the production of flu-flighting antibodies. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer. Harvard researchers have shown that women who work at night are at increased risk of breast and colon cancer.

So getting a good night’s sleep is clearly very important. However for some getting a decent night’s sleep is very difficult. Docmate strongly suggests consulting your GP if you are experience regular insomnia or difficulty with sleep. However some tips for a good night’s sleep include:

  • Regular exercise, but not within 3 hours of bedtime
  • Not using alcohol as a sleep aid
  • No caffeinated drinks after noon
  • Keeping your bedroom temperature cool
  • Establishing a sleep routine for going to bed and getting up
  • If your head is swimming with thoughts when you lay your head down keep a note pad by your bed to write them down and deal with them in the morning
  • A touch of relaxing oils such as lavender oil on your pillow case
  • Relaxing herbal tea before bed such as camomile or lavender tea

On the contrary too much sleep can also be a problem, although it is not as common a problem as lack of sleep. Depression plays a large role in sleeping too much as well as prescribed medications which may make you feel drowsy and feel the need to sleep all the time. Too much sleep can cause headaches, high blood pressure, higher death rate, obesity, poor dietary habits, heart disease and diabetes.

So it is a fine line between too little and too much but everything in moderation is the key here. If you are ever worried about your sleep patterns Docmate strongly advises to consult your GP for their advice. Happy sleeping everyone!

References:

All Sleep (2012). Oversleeping. Retrieved 13 October 2012 http://www.allsleep.com/sleep-disorders/oversleeping-too-much-sleep/

American Psychological Association (2012). Why sleep is important and what happens when you don’t get enough. Retrieved 13 October 2012 from http://www.apa.org/topics/sleep/why.aspx?item=3

Harvard Medical School (2012). Six reasons why you need your sleep. Retrieved 13 October 2012 from http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/HEALTHbeat_011806.htm#art1

Tagged , , , , ,

The danger of self diagnosing on the internet

In the midst of a booming Google and smart phone loving society people tend to increasingly self diagnose over the internet.

Lucy Martin of the ABC reports that an Australian Medical Association (AMA) study from 2011 found nearly 80% of Australians get health information from the internet with almost half of those doing so to diagnose a medical condition.

The problem with self diagnosing is consumers do not always refer to credible sources such as forums and personal opinions rather than legitimate healthcare sites such as The Health Departments which typically always recommends seeking professional advice. Although often consumers do not seek a medical professionals advise and risk misdiagnosing themselves either creating hysteria or wrongly assuring themselves that nothing is wrong.

It is the latter consumer who is of the most concern to medical professionals. Doctor Richard Chong of the AMA told Martin “at least with the first group of people, we get to discuss their symptoms because they always come in…the people that don’t are the ones putting their health in their own hands..if they get the diagnosis wrong, any condition they have could be mis-managed or not treated at all, which is very dangerous in some cases.”

Some people self diagnose via the internet due to convenience thinking they will save some time by going to the doctor or to save money. People who consult the internet to save time need to be educated and made aware of the inconsistencies of the internet and learn to make their health a higher priority.

People who self diagnose due to financial pressure of paying for an appointment and/or prescriptions need to be assisted with more GP clinics offering bulk billing and subsidised prescriptions combined with education campaigns on what options are available.

Mr Palmer of the Salvation Army told Martin “some of our most marginalised residents don’t actually have a full grasp of what options are available to them. So, they perhaps don’t have a healthcare card and therefore can’t access bulk billing.”

DocMate supports this call for more affordable healthcare for lower socio-economic groups and always recommends consulting with a medical professional over seeking internet advice when you are worried about a health issue. To make an appointment today click here.

Tagged , ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 44 other followers