Thursday, December 14, 2006
Alternative Therapies - An Introduction
See more of Emma's cartoons in DOCTORED ACCOUNTS
Recovery from candida through DIET
Finding a doctor who is open-minded and willing to support you with your candida recovery diet and your developing interest in alternative therapy would be nice - although you may have a job finding one. Be cautious and try to be discerning. Many mainstream doctors might claim to be practitioners in natural therapies, however, mainstream hospitals and universities are really the worst place to learn about the alternatives.
For example, in France the medical establishment has seemingly introduced alternative therapy into its programme. The truth is though that many of these mainstream doctors use alternative therapy as a secondary, 'less effective and slower' means to help the patient. Their methods are questionable in that they often liberally prescribe pharmaceutical products on the one hand and on the other stick a few needles in people as a lame gesture to oriental medicine.
Candida sufferers, unaware of the truth of their condition, are frequently prescribed antibiotics for their health problems, the very same products that caused their illness in the first place. Most 'natural' therapies that you find in the average French pharmacy are, on the whole, of a poor quality and are often ineffective. The choice of natural therapies that they do offer does not include most of the products that could help overcome candida overgrowth. It is likely that they do this is in order to destroy people's faith in immunotherapy (naturotherapy) and to have them return to the pharmaceuticals counter.
SUPPLEMENTS AND ESSENTIAL OILS
Owing to pressure from the pharmaceutical giants, who wish to impede and dominate the supplements market and alternative medicine in general, governments worldwide are giving in to such financial pressures and are passing laws that prohibit the sale of many supplements and medicinal plants
It is not only the supplements and plant remedies that are being outlawed but alternative medicine practices altogether. Alternative practitioners are frequently targetted by the establishment and harrassed. Even macrobiotics therapists have been singled out and labelled as a 'dangerous sect' by certain politicians and members of the press.
It is even illegal in some countries to grow and produce your own home remedies.
Opinions vary as to the use of supplements and remedies. Being a sufferer of severe candidiasis myself over these last twenty years I have experimented with most supplements and can honestly say that they are not the answer to candida recovery. The only really effective remedy is to follow the candida recovery diet. The quixotic quest for the ultimate cure, the magic pill, is a leftover from our faith in modern medicine which promotes its latest products as miracle cures for diseases caused by poor diet and over exposure to toxic products including pharmaceuticals.
Spirulina and Chlorella: good for cleansing the intestines
Garlic: strong anti-fungal and anti-bacterial.
Essential oils: tea tree, oreganum, eucalyptus, lavender. Always useful to have around for sterilisation. Oreganum is very powerful but burns, so get advice from a qualified aromatherapist for how to use it.
Colloidal Silver: best to make your own with a kit. There is no point in using it daily because it is not particularly helpful for the fungal overgrowth and overdosing on anything is risky. It is however fantastic for getting rid of colds, flus and gastric bugs which candida sufferers tend to be more vulnerable to. Always take it at the first sign of symptoms, the longer you wait, the less effective it will be at killing the bug. Watch out for rip off prices, don't pay anything over 100 dollars/euros.
Green gazpacho and green smoothies as a regular staple for green gazpacho cut up two peeled cucumbers, quarter onion, either one small carrot or 1/2 red pepper, optional tbs goats yogurt, optional lemon juice, sea salt, olive oil, fresh mint leaves, or coriander leaves etc, add water till it is the thickness desired.
Whether or not you find certain extrapolations about yin and yang, Taoism and Zen to your philosophical tastes, what is undeniable is the effectiveness of the basic nutritional guidelines in macrobiotic cooking for the relief and prevention of illness. The contribution of macrobiotics to the modern health-foods movement and alternative medicine in general is immense.
Some people practise macrobiotics as a way of life and consider it to be a philosophy as well as a way of eating. As with all oriental medicine, macrobiotics offers certain philosophical explanations for illnesses as well as nutritional and lifestyle recommendations.
However, even if your philosophical convictions lie elsewhere, studying macrobiotic cook books is nevertheless an excellent way to get a basic training in the cooking of grains, vegetables and sea vegetables. It is also a good introduction to the use of vegetable proteins such as tofu and seitan.
Because Candidiasis can produce very severe carbs intolerance, including intolerance to fermented products such as shoyu or miso . . . the diet may need to be modified to relieve this by cutting out cooked pulses that aggravate the gut and increase fungal load ... sprouting them instead (sprouted mung beans, lentils etc) greatly reduces a reaction ... the aversion to salads in the mainstream macro diet is sad . . . fresh salads being one of the greatest remedies for candida.
Sometimes seen as austere and restrictive in the past, the modern macrobiotic movement has evolved over the last few years and has seen the emergence of a new generation of cooks across the world who all contribute to the growing diversity and variety of recipes.
'Eating wide'is the expression used for those who have a basic knowledge of macrobiotic cooking and who diversify. 'Eating clean' is the term used for when our health is more fragile and we wish to eat more strictly. Above all, it is necessary to avoid becoming 'Macro-neurotic'. Any macrobiotic cook will tell you that the term 'macrobiotic' itself means 'Big Life'. Variety, freedom and diversity are essential parts of the macrobiotic philosophy.
Recomended reading for beginners who are shy with traditional Japanese cooking and prefer something more 'Western':
'Practically Macrobiotic' by Keith Michell 'Cooking the Whole Foods Way' by Christina Pirello, 'Mostly Macro' by Lisa Turner.
Whether you choose mainstream or macrobiotic shiatsu, it is effective and very enjoyable. Of all the forms of massage, shiatsu has the redeeming quality of being accessible to those who are uncomfortable about taking their clothes off. Practised traditionally by the Japanese in the family, shiatsu massage can be done discreetly and fully clothed! It follows the same basic principles as acupuncture and is based on the system of meridians and acupuncture points. The good news for the squeamish is that it uses the thumbs, elbows and feet to apply pressure to the points instead of needles.
Recommended reading: 'The Shiatsu Handbook' by Shizuko Yamamoto and Patrick McCarty
Yoga is one of the oldest forms of exercise known to the human race. It is renowned for its rejuvenating qualities. Yoga corrects a multitude of ailments. It not only relaxes the body and mind but also regulates the immune system, the lymphatic system and massages the internal organs as much as it relieves and strengthens the muscular system. Like most oriental medicinal arts, yoga offers not only physical and respiration therapy but also spiritual practices. Some people practise yoga as a way of life, others use only the physical therapies.
Recommended reading Christina Brown 'The Yoga Bible'
ART THERAPY - Art Attack
Art therapy is a great way to complain without getting on other people's nerves. By expressing our feelings in a visual, creative form we surprise ourselves and can even please ourselves. What better way to get out of a bad mood? Copying something exactly is really not what art is about anymore, especially since the invention of the camera. Art is about self-expression. Colours and shapes become vehicles for our thoughts. Symbols become our vocabulary. It matters little whether our art is abstract or figurative, sensual or conceptual. If you want to do a Leonardo da Vinci and it comes out looking like you accidentally dropped your paint-box on a piece of paper, call it 'naïve'. Naïve art is very trendy at the moment. You could make a fortune.
If we believe that every human being has infinite potential, we should therefore understand that every human being is potentially an artist. There's no point getting our knickers in a twist about 'what is art?' or 'what is an artist?' What people like and buy one day, they despise the next, what they find rubbish one year, they fall over themselves to buy the next. Tastes are fickle and if we try to base our definition of art on them we are likely to end up in a blind alley.
Anyone saying painting is dead has never been to Haiti. Haiti is a country that is full of artists. Despite its poverty it has never lost its Caribbean sense of fun and the joy of life. As a result many of the buses, taxis and buildings are painted with elaborate works of art, often by their owners. Why have an old and boring car when you could be driving around in a masterpiece?
The most important question is how can we use art in our own lives in order to become happier and more fulfilled? Art is a very effective way to overcome feelings of being trapped or blocked. We cannot always change our circumstances, or at least not immediately, so it is better to change how we feel about them instead. Expressing our thoughts and feelings through painting, sculpture, photography, dance, music or writing is one of the best ways for getting out of a depression.
This is why writers with 'writer's block' are miserable. The 'tortured artist' stereotype is proof that if you feel tortured you'll feel better if you express yourself creatively. Artists are not the only ones to feel tortured. It is part of the human condition to experience suffering and to have emotional baggage to deal with. The other advantage of doing art is that when you have a temper tantrum, instead of feeling guilty about it you can just say 'I'm being artistic.'
How to start? By going to an art shop. Be careful not to get ripped off. Go to a shop that provides for students where you are more likely to get larger quantities of materials for a lot less money. Ask the sales person if they have a section with students' prices. Keep in mind that asking questions is a sign of intelligence and that thinking questions are not necessary is a sign of stupidity.
Recommended reading: 'Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain' by Betty Edwards