COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
After he wrote Cancer and Nutrition in 1981, Dr. Simone was thrust into the alternative medicine arena. He searched the major rain forests for cancer treatments. He helped to shape the early days of the Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM), National Institutes of Health. At the request of the OAM, he pursued and received FDA approval to investigate the use of shark cartilage in advanced cancer patients. He also helped to organize Departments of Alternative Medicine for other Medical Colleges.
Since 1981 Dr. Simone asserted that proper nutrition, supplements containing the proper doses, chemical form, and correct ratio of one nutrient to the other, and other lifestyle factors should be integrated with effective conventional therapies for patients, especially those undergoing radiation, chemotherapy, cardiac and other treatments. Dr. Simone was compelled to develop and manufacture these special nutritional formulae. Lifestyle modification improves health and outcome.
Complementary and alternative medicines encompass multiple approaches to health care. These practices are considered "alternative" because they have not been adopted by American mainstream allopathic medicine. Cultural, social, economic, and/or scientific perspectives are responsible for their peripheral position in the arena of health care.
The word allopathy is derived from the Greek roots "allo" meaning opposite, and "pathos" meaning disease, suffering, or feeling. In essence, the method of conventional Western allopathic medicine is to oppose disease. For example, blood pressure lowering medicines are used to treat a person with hypertension. Antibiotics may be used for a person with a bacterial infection. In the case of cancer, chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery may be used, all aimed at "opposing", i.e., removing, a malignant tumor or cells. Ultimately, the aim is to eliminate the apparent problem with which the patient presents.
A number of alternative and complementary modalities operate within this allopathic framework. Others, however, are distinctly different such as Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, homeopathy, and naturopathy. The following is a list of the most common complementary and alternative modalities, with descriptions of theory and methods.
Acupuncture / Acupressure originated in multiple Asian countries over four thousand years ago. Acupuncture is viewed as a regulator of the flow of Qi. The manipulation of needles or pressure at specific points along the meridians is thought to re-establish any imbalance, excess or deficiency, or lack of fluidity in the flow of Qi.
Alexander Technique is a method that works to change habits in our everyday activities. It is a simple and practical method for improving ease and freedom of movement, balance, support and coordination. The technique teaches the use of the appropriate amount of effort for a particular activity, giving you more energy for all your activities. It is not a series of treatments or exercises, but rather a re-education of the mind and body.
Aromatherapy has been used in one form or another since the beginning of civilization. It is the art and science of using oils extracted from aromatic plants to enhance health and beauty. Apart from the physical benefits, essential oils can have subtle effects on the mind and emotions.
Art Therapy provides an alternative means of expression that provide individuals with information and insight into the self.
Avurvedic Medicine has evolved from Vedic religious scriptures of 1200 B.C., and is considered the traditional medicine of India. Central to Ayurvedic philosophy is the notion that optimal health consists of physical, mental, and spiritual harmony. The approach is individualized, and involves determining an individual's predominant " dosha," or constitution. Disease management is accomplished via four primary methods: cleansing and detoxification, palliation, rejuvenation, and mental and spiritual hygiene. Diet is a fundamental element of Ayurvedic practice, and is prescribed according to the individual' s primary constitution, and according to the season. Treatment methods may include dietary changes, herbal preparations, massage, yoga, meditation, and pranayama, or breathing exercises.
Body Image is self-acceptance through body esteem work.
Chiropractic practice had its early roots in ancient Egypt, where spinal adjustments were practiced for health maintenance. Based on the notion that proper spinal column alignment is necessary for optimal health, the practice involves manual manipulation of the spine to correct subluxations, or spinal misalignments. Because of the central role that the nervous system plays in both involuntary and voluntary function, practitioners treat a wide variety of conditions, and believe that preventive treatments are appropriate for maintaining health.
Chelation therapy using EDTA is a widely used alternative therapy for ischemic heart disease. However, based on exercise time to ischemia, exercise capacity, and quality of life measurements, there is no evidence to support a beneficial effect of chelation therapy in patients with ischemic heart disease, stable angina, and a positive treadmill test for ischemia (Journal of the American Medical Association. January 23, 2003; Vol 287, pages 481-486).
Chinese Medicine has its roots in the Taoist traditions spanning four thousand years. There are several key components to the practice that have no counterpart in Western medicine.
Central to this philosophical context is the notion of "Qi," or "vital energy" as translated in the West. Qi is considered to be the substantive element in living systems, an essential element permeating all of space. A significant aspect to this notion of Qi in human life involves interaction with one's environment. The body is thought to contain a supply of Qi that flows through circular channels or meridians, and that is exchanged with the Qi in one's surroundings. From this perspective, optimal health results from an unobstructed flow and appropriate balance (neither a deficiency nor an excess) of Qi.
The concept of "yin and yang" is a second essential element in describing the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The terms derive from the Taoist concept regarding the interrelationship and interdependence of opposites. The practitioner uses these terms to describe the function of the organs and organ systems, as well as to describe various conditions or illness.
The essence of the approach is in the prevention of health problems, although Traditional Chinese Medicine is most commonly used in the West to treat illness. Methods include diet, herbs, exercise (T' ai Chi and internal Qigong), massage, and acupuncture.
Dance Therapy is an expressive way to provide individuals with information and insight into the self.
Diet and Nutritional considerations are fundamental to some "alternative" approaches. For many Eastern cultures, there is little distinction between medicine and food, because the role of diet is fundamental to health care practices, in both prevention of illness and in treatment. Among the dietary and nutritional approaches are macrobiotics (developed from Asian concepts), vegetarianism, orthomolecular medicine (uses larger doses of nutritional supplements), and individualized dietary programs. Many alternative and mainstream practitioners support the use of nutritional supplements in order to replace what may be lacking in the diet.
Energetic Therapies describe a number of practices that involve no physical contact with the patient. These include Reiki, external Qigong, Therapeutic T ouch, and bioenergetics. Many of these practices have evolved from non-Western cultural traditions, while others have been developed in the West, often relying on non-Western concepts in their synthesis. The practitioner does not touch the patient but rather, uses sensory information in order to modify the particular problem with which a patient presents. Often, the method is viewed as a means of detecting and emitting "Qi," as in the case of Qigong, one of the methods of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Exercise and Physical Therapy help to restore function, improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities of patients suffering from injuries or disease.
Feldenkrais Method is a way of working with the awareness of one's body to improve movement and enhance human functioning.
Foot Reflexology uses massage and acupressure techniques on the foot to improve well-being.
Guided Imagery utilizes imagery, the natural language of the unconscious mind. It is a powerful modality helping a person connect with the deeper resources available to them at cognitive, affective and somatic levels. The guide’s role is to help facilitate an enhanced awareness of the unconscious imagery the patient already has, and help patients learn to effectively work with this imagery on their own behalf. This process is capable of bringing about psychological and physiological change, as it simultaneously empowers and educates the patients.
Herbal Therapy is one of the most ancient forms of health care. Botanical products derived from plants are used widely, and their use varies in extent and in method. Herbal preparations come in many forms: teas, capsules, tablets, extracts or tinctures. However, the research that needs to be done is to define the active component(s) of each botanical that elicits the desired response. Right now, the word “standardized” may appear on the label of an herbal, but all that means is that some certain Spike of the molecules is reproducible, not necessarily the active component(s).
Homeopathy is a Western modality that originated approximately 200 years ago with the work of the German physician and chemist Samuel Hahnemann. The term is derived from the Greek roots "homeo" meaning same, and "pathos" meaning disease, suffering, or feeling. Unlike allopathy, homeopathy involves treating like with like. Relatively small, nontoxic doses of a substance are given to an individual in order to stimulate the body's innate healing process. The substance given is chosen because it mimics those symptoms in a healthy person, at toxic doses.
Humor Therapy is an expressive way to provide individuals with information and insight into the self.
Massage allows relaxation and helps to alleviate pain, discomfort, stress and anxiety.
Mind-Body Approaches are practices that have evolved in the West to evoke self-responsibility, and consider the relationship of mind and body as essential in the mediation of health. Recent advances in psychoneuroimmunolgy, the field that studies the biochemical and molecular relationships of psychological states to health, have further promoted these approaches as meaningful health care practices. They include meditation, yoga, guided imagery, relaxation techniques, biofeedback, and hypnosis.
Movement and Expressive Techniques use movement to support well-being, self-acceptance, and inner peace.
Music Therapy is an expressive way to provide individuals with information and insight into the self.
Naturopathy is a comprehensive system of health care traced to a number of non-Western cultural traditions, including Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, and Native American healing practices. Embodied in its philosophy are several key concepts: health is a composite of mental, physical, and psychological well-being; the body has an innate ability to heal itself; disease is an expression of the body's attempts to heal itself; causes, as opposed to symptoms of disease should be treated; and prevention is the most optimal cure. Among the modalities considered to be part of the naturopath's practice are acupuncture, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, botanical medicine, dietary and nutritional considerations, as well as counseling and lifestyle modifications.
Nutrition Counseling reviews all nutritional factors that initiate and promote health.
Osteopathy practice rests on the notion that the mechanical structure of the body is inherently linked to its function and is the most important factor in maintaining health. Diagnostic methods rely on detecting structural abnormalities of the musculoskeletal system, and are followed by manual manipulations that aim to correct the structural problem. .
Prayer Therapy is based on simple faith and prayer practices that are thousands of years old. It is a direct connection from our hearts to our lives. Prayer Therapy puts power in your hands that may change anything from a loved one's pain to your success in relationships.
Rolfing Structural Integration is named after Dr. Ida P. Rolf and helps to alter a person's posture and structure. People seek Rolfing as a way to ease pain and chronic stress, and improve performance in their professional and daily activities.
Sexuality can enhance your immune system. More than 100 undergraduates between the ages of 16 and 23 were asked how frequently they had sexual occurrences. An antibody (IgA) of the immune system was measured in their saliva and found to be the highest for those who had sexual occurrences one or two times per week. The antibody IgA was lower for those who had more sexual occurrences – three or more times a week. In another study, promiscuity actually impaired the immune system (The Truth About Breast Health Breast Cancer, Charles B. Simone, M.D., Princeton Institute).
Shiatsu is a traditional Japanese healing therapy. It can help in a wide range of conditions including specific injuries to more general symptoms of poor health. Shiatsu is a deeply relaxing experience and regular Shiatsu sessions help to prevent the build up of stress. The philosophy underlying Shiatsu is that vital energy (known as Ki in Japanese) flows throughout the body in a series of channels called meridians. For many different reasons Ki can stop flowing freely and this then produces a symptom.
Therapeutic Touch is the laying on of hands to reduce pain and induce relaxation.
Trager Method uses gentle, non-intrusive movements of the body to release deep-seated physical and psychological patterns. It was developed by Dr. Milton Trager. The practitioner moves each part of the body in a light rhythmical fashion so that the patient can experience the feeling of this light, effortless and free movement on their own.
Yoga is a means of achieving physical, mental and spiritual well-being and Self-Realization.
Zone Therapy is the simple application of touch to the feet, hands, back, or head.