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Affordable Holistic Medicine Can Lower Health Costs

July 14, 2011 by  

Some holistic medicine can be cost effectiveMany people may want to try holistic medicine treatments instead of what their doctor is prescribing; but for some, alternative medicine is unaffordable. While insurance companies will pay for some alternative treatments such as acupuncture, those looking to take herbal supplements instead of medication will typically find themselves paying out of their own pocket.

The New York Times recently published an article on using fish oil capsules to relieve arthritis pain, a low-cost option when compared to the price of prescription pain relievers.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information recently published a story showing CAM therapies (complementary and alternative medicine) that may be considered cost-effective compared to usual care for various conditions: acupuncture for migraine, manual therapy for neck pain, spa therapy for Parkinson’s and more.

According to the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine, studies done in Psychosomatic Medicine and The American Journal of Managed Care show the cost benefits of alternative treatment. The studies found that the practice of Transcendental Meditation lowered health insurance utilization, hospital inpatient days, hospital admissions and hospital outpatient visits for all categories of disease studied.

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  • C130 Gunship

    The American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine failed to mention the important studies and contributions from the Zip the Pinhead & Oofty Goofty institute of Comedic Medicine. While they may cure your headache, you might also lose your butt (LMAO).

  • C. R.

    Interesting because I work in Traditional Chinese Medicine and it is true we can solve and prevent so many health and mental conditions at a very reasonable cost. However, some insurance companies are covering TCM treatments because it is less expensive and far more effective. It is a pleasure to see a patient come in in misery and go out feeling great. Some, of course, need a course of treatment, but still more effective and less expensive than dangerous killer drugs and, in some cases, avoids surgery as well. Never have seen anyone get rid of migraines and lose their butt!, including myself which I why I am in TCM. Of course, there are cowards who are afraid of a needle no thicker than a hair, but they are afraid of a lot of things.

  • ph

    Well said C R…anything that works without poison (dope)is good in my book.
    I can’t wait for the day when most people will tell the CDC,AMA,WHO to take their propaganda,pills & needles & put ‘em where the sun don’t shine. These people are not about curing anything but the thickness of their wallet

  • coal miner

    Science News:

    Indirubin, Component Of Chinese Herbal Remedy, Might Block Brain Tumor’s Spread, Study Suggests
    ScienceDaily (July 12, 2011) — The active ingredient in a traditional Chinese herbal remedy might help treat deadly brain tumors, according to a new study by researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center — Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC — James).

    Tumor suppressor gene
    The researchers discovered that the compound, indirubin, both blocks the migration of glioblastoma cells, preventing their spread to other areas of the brain, and the migration of endothelial cells, preventing them from forming the new blood vessels that the tumor needs to grow.

    Glioblastomas occur in about 18,500 Americans annually and kill nearly 13,000 of them yearly. Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common and lethal form of the malignancy, with an average survival of 15 months after diagnosis.

    The research is published online in the journal Cancer Research.

    “We have pretty good methods to stop glioblastoma from growing in the human brain, but these therapies fail because tumor cells migrate from the original site and grow elsewhere in the brain,” says co-principal investigator Dr. E. Antonio Chiocca, professor and chair of neurological surgery and co-director of the Dardinger Center for Neuro-oncology and Neurosciences.

    “Our findings suggest that indirubins offer a novel therapeutic strategy for these tumors that simultaneously targets tumor invasion and angiogenesis,” Chiocca says.

    “This study shows for the first time that drugs of the indirubin family may improve survival in glioblastoma, and that these agents inhibit two of the most important hallmarks of this malignancy — tumor-cell invasion and angiogenesis,” says co-principal investigator Dr. Sean Lawler, senior scientist and group leader of the Translational Neurooncology Group at the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine.

    Indirubin is derived from the Indigo plant. It is the active ingredient in the Chinese herbal remedy called Dang Gui Long Hui Wan, which is used to treat chronic myeloid leukemia.

    Chiocca, Lawler and their collaborators used multiple glioblastoma cell lines and two animal models to examine three derivatives of indirubin. Key findings include the following:

    When human glioblastoma cells were transplanted into one brain hemisphere of mice, indirubin-treated animals survived significantly longer than controls and showed no migration of tumor cells to the opposite hemisphere.
    In a separate experiment, indirubin reduced the migration of tumor cells by 40 percent in treated animals versus controls.
    Treated tumors showed a lower density of blood vessels, and new blood-vessel growth was reduced up to three-fold in intracranial tumors, depending on the tumor-cell line.
    A laboratory assay showed that indirubins reduced endothelial-cell migration by 52 to 41 percent compared with untreated controls.
    “Overall, our findings suggest that indirubins reduce tumor invasion and tumor vasculature because of their antimigratory effects on both tumor and endothelial cells,” Chiocca says.

  • coal miner

    Science News
    Natural Pain Relief from Poisonous Shrub?
    ScienceDaily (July 11, 2011) — An extract of the poisonous shrub Jatropha curcas acts as a strong painkiller and may have a mode of action different from conventional analgesics, such as morphine and other pharmaceuticals. Details of tests are reported in the current issue of the International Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Technology.

    Omeh Yusuf and Ezeja Maxwell of the Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture in Umudike, Nigeria, explain how J. curcas, also known as the “physic nut” is a perennial shrub that grows to 5 meters in height and belongs to the Euphobiaceace family. It is native to Central America but grows widely in other tropical and subtropical countries of Africa and Asia. The plant’s fruit is combined with the stem bark of Cochlospermum planchonii in Nigerian medicine for treating diabetes mellitus and is also used traditionally as a painkiller. Other medicinal activities have been reported. The plant’s seeds have been used for making soap, candles, detergents, lubricants and dyes and the seed oil is used in biodiesel.

    The researchers extracted what they believed to be the physiologically active components of the leaves of J. curcas using methanol as solvent. They compared the effects of this extract at 100, 200 and 400 milligrams per kilogram of body mass, against 400 mg/kg of acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) in standard laboratory animal tests for assessing the strength of painkillers.

    They found that 100 mg/kg was an inadequate dose, however, 200 and 400 mg/kg doses produced analgesia comparable to aspirin, affirming the use of the plant for pain relief in traditional medicine. The team suspect that the extract may be acting through both peripheral and central pain mechanisms. Yusuf and Maxwell are now carrying out more work on isolating and characterizing the active ingredient in the extract and in determining the precise mode of action.

    The search for novel analgesic drugs that have a different side-effect profile and lack the tolerance and addiction problems associated with morphine and other opiates is an important avenue of research in drug discovery science. Very few leads from traditional and herbal medicine are successful in generating a new product, but it should be remembered that aspirin and morphine themselves were both originally derived from natural sources.

  • The Supplement Warehouse

    We all need to push our elected officials to include vitamins and supplements in insurance plans. The FDA which is controlled by the drug companies only want what is beneficial to “Big Pharma”. We hear politicians take about lowering the cost of health care and this is a very effective way to do it.

  • Granny Franny

    Hey C130 Gunship

    Wake up, Since the early nineties more than one third of USA people have tried some alternative treatments. Why do you think the Big Pharma run FDA is trying to outlaw natural supplements. Haven’t you ever seen the 60 second TV commercials with 30 seconds being side effects.

  • s c

    There are some disturbing, contradictory elements in this article. The worst one deals with the idea that people in America are getting adequate healthcare via inexpensive “care” [socialized medicine, Medicare, etc.]. Time after time after time after time, the W H gang keeps telling us that American healthcare is ungodly EXPENSIVE. So which is it?
    Second, “modern” American science has a pathetic track record, and that’s the main reason why so many people are turning to ‘alternative’ healthcare. The ONLY thing that matters is whether or not something works. Just because something isn’t taught in medical school (aka medical ‘gospel’) doesn’t mean it’s scientific or true.
    Isn’t it bad enough that the FDA lies to us? Isn’t
    it bad enough that Big Pharma tells the FDA what to do and how to do it? I’d gladly settle for knowing whether or not the gang of criminals in Washington have decided if American healthcare is EXPENSIVE or not. It sounds like they want it both ways – as usual. Any defective ultralibs out there who can explain it?

  • Tlccabin

    I truly believe holistic practices including; eating OG foods, drinking pure water, exercise, yoga, herbal and vitamin supplements, meditations (such as transcendental meditation) are hands down the most cost effective way to prevent illness, treat illness if it arises and maintain good health and happiness in life. The more folks can educated and experience using holistic practices the further we’ll move (as a society) away from the sad unhealthy state of ‘health’ insurance, Big Pharma and rampant disease.

  • mary aspinwall

    With healthcare it’s important to focus on results. My family and I have used homeopathy for 20 years and have saved a small fortune during that time in prescription charges and insurance costs. I’m a professional homeopath and I designed some remedy kits in the 90s that are really inexpensive to use and over the years I have had lots of feedback from customers saying they have saved thousands of dollars,too.


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