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"alternative" or "holistic" medicine.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Ok, so i have a pretty good crash the other day, and im pretty banged up, bruises and concussions and that sort of thing. So my Neice gives me some herbal cream (starts with an "a") to put on my bruises and tells me she's a Reiki practioner and would I like to have reiki done on me?

blink, blink.

not sure what to say, I told her I didn't need it, but i do have two large trees in my back yard and she could come over in the fall and Rake-y all she wanted. (she was not amused and muttered somehting about my irreverence.)

but it got me thinking and I wonder, we all do the ice and massage and physical therapy for our skiing injuries and aches, does anyone use alternative methods, like Reiki or acupuncture, aromatherapy, that feet touching thing...(forgot what that was called) or anything like that? does it work for skiing? thoughts? experiences? twighlight zone episodes?
post #2 of 10
Depends on the alternative.

The medical community is so far behind when it comes to human performance, it's ridiculous. 98% of docs don't know jack about recovering from an injury, training to prevent an injury, or proper nutrition to go along with. Their solution for everything is ice, ibuprofin, and maybe a corticosteroid injection. And, if it's bad enough, all the surgeons want to invade the joint space! I wouldn't advocate Reiki, acupuncture, or any of that other strange crap. The only good alternative is to take medicine into your own hands! [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]

The information is out there, and since most docs and physical therapists are too busy or unwilling to stay current, it's up to you. Better therapies are out there if you're willing to dig a little.
post #3 of 10
Arnica maybe useful in situations such as bruising - but DO NOT apply it to open wounds...

I have made a rub for one of my ski instructors who was beaten up by a snowboarder & could not take NSAIDS ....
I use the Arnica oil & a suitable carrier...
post #4 of 10
Arnica is excellent for bruises; my daughter uses it regularly after her fencing classes. It has no side effects whatsoever.

Disski - sorry about your instructor. I guess self-defence should be added to the set of skills instructors should learn (no joking intended here).
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
yea, Arnica...thats the stuff!what is it, an herb? No open wounds though? is it over the counter or perscription? good stuff. it seems to be healing the bruises alot faster than normal.

(which is a good thing, as the most horrible ones are where my goggles slammed into my face...my neice tells me I look like a battered wife...)nice big shiner.

not sure if the reiki helped or not but the arnica seems to be!
post #6 of 10
Arnica is over the counter in health food stores.

BTW, I found a great treatment for chronically sore joints (not so "holistic" though). It is over the counter at any drugstore. It goes under different names, but the core is capsicum (I use the Capzasin version of it).

I usually put it (just a little) on the joint that I know will hurt by the middle of the ski day and once the muscles around that joint have warmed up, it stores the heat for another 24 hours, releasing it as needed. Don't overuse it though: it may burn your skin. I don't think there is any really effective way to wash it off; I think it gets removed through the body's elimination system. Don't go to jacuzzi or sauna unless you take a shower and remove it from the places of application. Don't try removing or worse yet inserting contact lenses when you have this stuff on your fingertips: it stings.

But if you want a day of worry-free skiing without ibuprofen - go for it!

[ February 19, 2003, 06:23 PM: Message edited by: AlexG ]
post #7 of 10
www.quackwatch.org is a good place to check if you ever get curious on what types of "alternative" medicine can be a ripoff or hazardous to your health.

I realize that it's trendy-hip to be "anti-corporate" these days, but traditional Western medicine isn't the horrific gambit some claim. Doubtless it's way too expensive, but to settle that issue we can't stop at the MDs and Huge Hospital, Inc. folks -- we have to attack trial lawyers, insurance companies, and health care folks who participate in the insurance fraud. What's funniest though, is that it's only trendy-hip-liberal to be anti-corporate, and politically, it's the liberals who have long funded trial lawyers because of the classic historical tie between liberal lawyers and labor unions.

Anyway, there are plenty of herbal/naturopath supplements that one can eat/drink and have more than placebo effects. Spirulina, arnica, ginseng and bee pollen are some that I have used often enough to feel the differences attributable to eating/drinking them. Whether that would pass muster in every highfalutin' Disciples of Science confab, I don't know.

What I do know is that MANY types of alternative medicine are scams, through and through. Examples: reflexology, aromatherapy, feng shui, reiki, past life therapy. At the level where these scams operate, they should be called "alternative religions," because the only way you can justify following their holdings is through an act of faith. You won't be able to measure it scientifically.

Eat bee pollen! Drink ginseng! Arnica + Vitamin I + lots of water is my standard post-battery pain relief. Spirulina tabs should be in your pack for every longish ride you take, because it's given me great recoveries from bonks that I thought were fatal. Why? Don't know. Might be the concentration of molecules, the manner in which they are bound within spirulina, don't know.
post #8 of 10
Lots of stuff out there, and lots that I'm not familiar with... but I've used a cream called Aboriginal Gold that I find rather amazing. My wife calls it 'magic cream' and I've seen some very impressive results.

Something to do with a plant in Australia that the aboriginese have used for hundreds of years....

Sadly, most physicians are too focused on drugs and prescriptions and not open to (or knowledgeable about) complimentary treatments. Should we be surprised, with the drug industry's $Multi-billion advertising budget?

I know a doctor who uses arnica on her horse. (That kinda takes away the placebo effect, doesn't it?)

On a recent trip (9 days of HARD skiing) I took extra vitamin C, E, CalMag, and anything else I thought would help with mucscle/joint recovery (in addition to Vitamin I and hot soaks). Don't know how much it helped, and I was still pretty 'beat up.' Want to believe I'd have been worse off without it, but I'm interested in learning what has worked for others...
post #9 of 10
The problem with alternative therapies is the near complete lack of good quality double blind medical studies on the efficacy of the therapy. This is true whether the therapy is herbal or anything else. This means the therapy MAY work but there no proof of efficacy. It also means that the deleterious side effects are not known or tracked. Every few years another herbal remedy is removed from the shelves because it causes a serious medical complication.

Also, while some above have made the blanket statement that this or that herbal therapy has "no side effects" that is not possible. Herbal remedies are simply drugs (ok, potentially drugs) in a natural unpurified state. All useful drugs have wanted and unwanted effects.

The other problem with herbal remedies is the lack of standardization for ingestion, compounding and absorption of the herbal drug by the body. So, how do you know how much you are actually getting and how much you should be getting? You don’t you just guess and hope it works and doesn’t hurt you. Not the most confidence instilling process.

Last, the placebo effect is often pooh-poohed by people as "not real." But it is real and it is perhaps the most powerful single therapeutic effect in medical care. If an herb works for you why care if it is placebo or an actual chemical effect. Just be pleased something works. The comment about the use of an herbal remedy on a horse proves it works is a bit humorous. It only proves that the horse trainer thinks it works. Anecdotal evidence like this is the worse sort of rubbish. Also, why would anyone believe that what works on a horse would work on a human? If that were the case we would trial all drugs on horses then go immediately to human sales.

post #10 of 10
Thanks maddog - saved me from having to do it!
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