By Dave Armstrong
My wife Judy and I are very much into a health food diet (sugar-free, semi-vegetarian, and for her, also gluten-free and dairy -free), holistic health, herbalism, homeopathy, a full regimen of daily vitamins and minerals, preventive and alternative medicine, and chiropractic. We follow these practices because they work. I had hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in the early 80s and vastly improved my health by going sugar-free (i.e., table sugar): as did Judy shortly after we got married in 1984.
Judy has had a variety of ailments through the years (so many I have even forgotten some of them), and almost always I have managed to either cure them or greatly alleviate symptoms through natural supplements. These include fairly serious depression (originally post-partum), overall menopausal symptoms, pleurisy, hot flashes, and fibromyalgia.
The latest thing was an extremely painful shoulder, apparently brought on (longterm) by a fall on the ice some weeks back, and (immediate cause) lifting a good number of books (that I obtained for free) last week. Yes, I told her not to do it three or four times (for those of you about to blame me!). The next day she woke up and couldn't move her left arm at all, and had extreme pain in the shoulder: so bad that she thought it was dislocated.
So she went to the chiropractor, who "put it back into place" (thinking it was dislocated). But it seemed to make it worse. She took codeine (which we had around the house from one of my son's injuries), which only helped slightly, and gave her nausea. She took Tylenol (aceteminophen) and Advil (ibuprofen), and they didn't take the pain away at all. Ice packs and hot baths offered only minimal relief. We then went to the doctor, hoping at first to get a shot of cortisone or something (which she never got). The doctor recommended an x-ray. This revealed a calcium deposit of 1 cm in the rotator cuff area of her shoulder (pretty much like the photo above). It's called calcified shoulder or calcified tendonitis. Thus, the original chiropractic diagnosis of a dislocated shoulder was erroneous.
One we got the definitive diagnosis, I immediately went to work, doing research on natural remedies. Judy was still in constant severe pain and couldn't even lie down in bed at night. She had to sleep on our reclining loveseat. I came up with a regimen of seven natural supplements (mostly herbs and homeopathic). Lo and behold, within hours and certainly by the next morning of the regimen starting, Judy experienced dramatic improvement. She could start to move her arm again. Last night, after a few days' treatment, she reported that she had no ongoing pain at all; only if she attempted to move her shoulder much. The improvement is gradual but steady and getting better all the time
Once again, then, conventional medicine could offer no quick solution and no help at all other than a diagnostic x-ray. Had we pursued that route, it would be weeks of physical therapy with an orthopedist (most of which can be done at home). Even chiropractic (which usually works for us) failed. But holistic medicine, from an hour or so of Internet research, brought about dramatic improvement. Yet to this day, many doctors and conventional medicine as a whole remain significantly hostile to these methods, because they are alternative and not controlled by the health industry.
It's slowly changing, with some doctors combining conventional and alternative methods, but the hostility is still a major phenomenon. Those of us who find cures and relief don't care. Let the doctors and scientists fight amongst themselves, while we feel better and save lots of money in so doing, also. The proof's in the pudding, I always say. While these methods are put down and dismissed as quack medicine or based on no scientific studies and "anecdotal" only, or "snake oil salesman" stuff, we feel better and are cured of our ills. We don't care (in terms of getting cured) how it works, or what the scientific explanation is (though the more of that the merrier). All we care about, bottom line, is feeling better.
Here is the regimen I used. Those of you suffering acute joint pain / arthritis / symptoms of gluten intolerance / rheumatism and related problems may benefit from it.We obtained all of these supplements from the local Vitamin Shoppe. It has a large site online to order from if you don't have one near you. It currently has a "buy one, get one 50% off" sale till the end of April: a sale that comes around twice a year. I have linked each supplement below to Wikipedia articles (with one exception), for general information, and to Vitamin Shoppe for purchase of the exact supplement we used.
[all taken with meals unless indicated otherwise]
Boswellia serrata [buy] 250 mg 4x
White Willow Bark [buy] 400 mg 3x
Turmeric (95% circumin) [buy] 300 mg 4x
MSM [buy] 500 mg 2x
Arnica Montana 6c or 6x [buy] [buy] (between meals) 3 4x or 5 3x depending on brand
Rhus Toxicodendron 6c or 6x [buy] [buy] (between meals) 3 4x or 5 3x depending on brand
The only problem we had was headaches. I looked up turmeric and MSM, which I was less familiar with, and discovered that MSM can be accompanied by headaches, especially when introducing it. It's thought that they are a result of the body detoxifying (which is a good thing). But we reduced the dosage by half (what it is, above) and her headaches went away. If you experience a seeming side effect, simply search the supplements with the side effect, and if they are widespread, several pages will be found, to confirm the problem. This is where the Internet becomes an amazing font of knowledge, allowing almost "doctor-like" analyses and diagnoses and treatments: at least in terms of these kinds of supplements. It's an amazing synthesis of ancient, time-honored healing methods and modern searching / Internet capability.
I found most of the cures we have used simply by typing in a symptom into Google and searching with "natural remedies" or "holistic medicine" or "alternative medicine" etc. This will yield lots of information, and then one can reach a conclusion from cumulative evidence.
Once again, the "proof's in the pudding." With herbalism and homeopathy, the idea is trial and error: you do what works, and if it doesn't, you modify until it does work; or if it fails, you begin again in a different direction. If you have side effects, search those with the suspected cause till you can isolate it. But combinations of remedies means that several of them probably are working, and working together for a cure.
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