Natural healing, natural wellness

Archive for February, 2010

Magnetic Therapy

In order to preserve her youth, Cleopatra supposedly wore a magnetic amulet on her forehead, as seen in practically every picture of this ancient Egyptian queen. The ancient Greeks also used magnets for healing; even Aristotle was convinced of their healing power. In the 15th century a physician named Paracelus used magnets extensively for healing. A visionary, he is recognized as having brought medicine to the Dark Ages.

Magnetic therapy has been around for thousands of years and many cultures have used magnets for their alleged healing and therapeutic properties, including the Chinese, Indians, Hebrews, Arabs, besides the Egyptians and Greeks.

I’ve been a sceptic of magnetic therapy for years. To be honest, I’ve pooh-pahed many alternative remedies. Then cancer hit, and my mind opened to natural, non-invasive therapies. After all, acupuncture was practised by the Chinese since ancient times, yet it is only in recent years that mainstream Western medicine accepted it as a legitimate form of treatment for various ailments.

So recently, after doing considerable research into the subject of magnetic therapy, I bought a magnetic bracelet for my sister who lives overseas. She’s been suffering from pain in her knees for a long time and I hope the bracelet will help alleviate her pain. She bought a cheap magnetic bracelet for herself some years back and it did absolutely nothing for her.

NewTeq4 ladies braceletThe one I just gave my dear sister cost considerably more as it incorporates four kinds of technologies into one bracelet – Unipolar Neodymium Magnets, Far Infrared Therapy (FIR), Negative Ions and Germanium. Unipolar Neodymium Magnets – a recent discovery – are rare earth magnets which are 10 times more powerful than magnets commonly used in most magnetic jewelry. My sister’s new NewTeq4 magnetic bracelet uses 1,500 Gauss neodymium magnets. As for the other three technologies, well I’ll write about them another time. It’s late and I have to walk my dog :)

Magnetic therapy has its sceptics as well as its supporters. According to medical researchers reporting in the British Medical Journal in 2004, magnetic bracelets, worn by many for their supposed health benefits, do reduce the pain of osteoarthritis.

The researchers, from the Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth in the United Kingdom, had conducted a study on 194 patients, aged 45 to 80, who had osteoarthritis of the hip or knee. In the randomised controlled trial of magnetic bracelets for relieving pain in osteoarthritis of the hip and knee, patients were either given a standard strength magnetic bracelet, a weak magnetic bracelet or a non-magnetic, dummy bracelet.

The researchers found pain was significantly reduced in the patients wearing the standard magnetic bracelet compared to the dummy one. There was little difference between the weak magnet group and those wearing the dummy magnets after 12 weeks of the study.

Writing in the British Medical Journal, the researchers said: “Pain from osteoarthritis of the hip and knee decreases when wearing magnetic bracelets.” Their magnetic therapy research suggested that the benefit of magnetic bracelets was clinically useful, but higher strength magnets seemed to be needed.

They said: “We cannot be certain whether our data show a specific effect of magnets, a placebo effect, or both. Whatever the mechanism, the benefit from magnetic bracelets seems clinically useful.”

They pointed out that the benefits were in addition to existing treatments and these should not be stopped without the patient speaking to a doctor.

Will the magnetic bracelet I chose for my sister work for her? We’re giving it three months to find out. Fortunately, it was really elegant and expensive-looking, crafted in stainless steel with gold plating. My sister gasped at its beauty when she opened the sleek and stylish gift box. It looked lovely on her wrist, so I don’t think she’ll have any problem wearing it to work everyday. An ordinary piece of costume jewelry would have cost around the same price, so even if this magnetic bracelet turns out not to have any significant therapeutic or healing properties, at least it looks beautiful and will give my sister pleasure for a long time to come. Pat on the back for me!

Chocolate Lovers Rejoice!

dark chocolateBeing healthy doesn’t necessarily mean having to deny yourself tasty treats. I always have dark chocolate in the fridge, which I enjoy a small portion of every few days. Recent research has got me thinking that perhaps I should be consuming more of the stuff, for my health’s sake.

At a recent conference, the head of Angiogenesis Foundation, William Li, said that dark chocolate and red grapes join blueberries, garlic, soya bean and tea as ingredients that starve cancer while nourishing bodies. The foundation works at identifying foods containing natural chemicals that choke off blood supplies to tumors, starving them to death.

It pitted some foods against approved drugs and found that soya bean, parsley, red grapes, berries and other comestibles (foods containing essential nutrients which help to maintain life) were either as effective or more potent in battling cancer cells. Eaten together, the foods were even more effective in fighting cancer.

If you’ve never tried it before, red wine and dark chocolate go really well together. Why not treat yourself to this powerful cancer-fighting combination tonight? If you’re not much of a drinker, like me, try to keep your fridge stocked with red grapes. After indulging in a handful or two, treat yourself to a piece of really dark chocolate. Mmmm. Now that’s what I call good medicine!

Dye Another Day

Please excuse the corny title, but I’ve been watching James Bond movies recently :) I’m sitting at my computer now waiting for my hair to be done. My dear hubby just helped me dye my hair with henna. We’re experimenting with natural ingredients like lemon and coffee and are curious to know how my hair will turn out. Last time I henna dyed my hair I didn’t use anything acidic like lemon or vinegar – which is supposed to help bring out a richer, deeper color – so  my hair ended up looking pretty much the same, except I had some pale amber highlights. My hair was nicely conditioned and shiny, though.

Commercial hair dyes come in a wide variety of colors and shades these days, but I’ll never allow toxic chemicals to touch me. Traditional chemical-based hair dyes are loaded with cancer-causing agents and other harmful ingredients, so saturating your hair in them is like soaking yourself in poison. Horrors!  Henna has been used for centuries to dye and condition hair safely, and you can achieve quite a nice range of colors if you know what to use. Next time, I plan to add beetroot juice or even hibiscus flowers to see if I can achieve a burgundy tint. I didn’t have any handy this time so I decided to go for coffee. Apparently that will give me chestnut tones.

Oops! Time for me to wash the henna out of my hair. Gotta go!