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Women's Health

Mercy Women's Care at St. Anne
3404 W. Sylvania Avenue
Toledo, OH 43623

Mercy Women's Care at St. Charles
Navarre Medical Plaza
2702 Navarre Avenue
Suite 101
Oregon, OH 43616

Mercy Women's Care at St. V's
2213 Cherry Street
Toledo, OH 43608

General Health

separator You are Now Healthy…
People have had successful hypnotherapy treatment for phobias, to recover from traumatic events, to quit smoking, to manage weight, manage pain, get relief from allergies …

The idea behind hypnotherapy is that when a person is in a “trance” state, he or she is more open to suggestion and can focus the mind more easily.

Often, people who perform hypnotherapy are also qualified to treat other health problems. In other words, a hypnotherapist may also be a mental health care provider, or a dentist, nurse, doctor, etc.

If you think hypnotherapy may be helpful for you, be sure to see a licensed practitioner, not simply a certified practitioner. Licensing indicates that the person has met standards that your state has set.

Source: K. Pelletier. The Best Alternative Medicine, Simon and Schuster, 2000

Depression and St. John’s Wort
Many people find it tempting to try a non-prescription medication for symptoms of depression. No doctor’s appointment necessary, no need to talk about what’s going on…That’s been one appeal of St. John’s wort, an alternative medication for depression.

The problem is, a recent large-scale clinical trial showed that St. John’s wort was no more effective than placebo (sugar pill) in the treatment of major depression of moderate severity. And an earlier study, in 2001, produced similar results.

St. John’s wort does have side effects, and it can decrease the effectiveness of some prescription medications. It’s extremely important to talk with your physician before taking St. John’s wort.

According to the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), it’s not clear at this time what role, if any, St. John’s wort should play in the treatment of depression. Plans are underway to study the medication’s effectiveness in the treatment of mild depression.

Sources: National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine; Journal of the American Medical Association, 2002; 287:1807-14; and 2002; 285:1978-86. 

Finding an Alternative Doc
Are you searching for an acupuncturist, someone who knows about Chinese herbs, or maybe a therapeutic masseur? How do you know these people are qualified? You can investigate in the following ways:

  • Ask your doctor, nurse practitioner or other healthcare provider you trust for a referral. Now that complementary treatments are becoming more mainstream, many healthcare providers are able to refer you to qualified, respected alternative practitioners.
  • Examine the practitioner’s qualifications and education. State licensing (rather than a general certificate) is one benchmark to look for.
  • Ask people you know for referrals. If you know someone who has had successful acupuncture treatment, starting with that particular acupuncturist is a good idea.
  • Talk with the alternative practitioner yourself. Make sure you feel comfortable asking questions about qualifications, the treatment, payment plans, etc.

Source: National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Massage for Headaches
If you get headaches regularly, massage therapy might be a good treatment for you. Massage can

  • Reduce tense muscles (tension in the head, face and neck muscles can contribute to headache pain)
  • Relieve stress
  • Improve sleep

A doctor should evaluate the cause of your headaches, but don’t rule out massage as a potential way to relieve your pain.

Source: Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Acupuncture for Allergies?
The practice of acupuncture, a traditional Chinese medicine, is based on the belief that stimulating certain points on the body helps to circulate healing energy. Acupuncture encourages the central nervous system to release chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord and brain. It’s believed that acupuncture can relieve pain, build the immune system and in general help the body achieve a healthy balance that enables it to heal itself.

There’s not a great deal of research on the effectiveness of acupuncture as a treatment for allergies. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a try if you have trouble controlling your symptoms. Talk to your doctor and to a respected acupuncturist for advice.

If you do seek acupuncture treatment, make sure the practitioner is highly qualified. Two respected accrediting bodies for acupuncturists include the American Association of Oriental Medicine and the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture.

Source: National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

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