By Julie Taylor
Millions of self-help books are sold in this country each year, offering advice on how to be thinner, smarter, richer, more successful... the list goes on and on. Sadly, many of us spend an inordinate amount of time trying to fix ourselves in one way or another. Why do we focus on the negative instead of the positive? “Most of us have been taught that we [have to] be perfect to be good enough,” says psychotherapist Dorothy Martin-Neville, Ph.D., founder of the Institute of Healing...
Many CAM therapies have been around for centuries. But do they really work?
There is research to show that some CAM techniques can help with problems like pain and nausea. But other alternative therapies don't have enough medical evidence to determine if they are effective.
Before you try CAM, read this overview. Learn which treatments might actually help you feel better -- and which ones may not be worth the money.
What it is: This traditional Chinese medicine technique uses thin needles to stimulate various points around the body. Each point corresponds to a specific condition. The aim of acupuncture is to restore a balance of energy and good health to the body.
The evidence: More study needs to be done into the benefits of acupuncture. However, evidence suggests that acupuncture holds promise for relieving vomiting caused by cancerchemotherapy. It also may help ease some chronic pain conditions, including:
What it is: Chiropractors specialize in adjustments -- manipulating the spine to put the body into better alignment. People typically visit the chiropractor when they have pain in their lower back, shoulders, and neck. But many chiropractors claim adjustments can also improve overall health.
But there isn't much data on the effectiveness of chiropractic medicine for some general medical conditions. For example, there's no solid evidence that it can treat asthma, high blood pressure, menstrual pain, or fibromyalgia.
Energy therapies use magnets and therapeutic touch to manipulate the body's energy fields and improve health.
Here's a round-up of some common energy therapies:
Magnetic Field Therapy
What it is: Magnets are thought by some to have healing abilities. Centuries ago, people believed magnets could treat everything from gout to baldness. Today, they're worn inside bracelets, shoes, and other accessories.