Adding natural medicine can be part of a holistic approach to wellness. But it’s important to remember that natural doesn’t necessarily mean better — or even safe. Always talk to your doctor or pharmacist before incorporating natural products or therapies into your treatment plan.
Here are three natural approaches with potential health and wellness benefits:
Chronic pain is a problem for many people. Acupuncture — the application of needles, heat, or pressure along points on the skin — can help manage pain, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). It can lessen lower back, neck, and knee pain. While studies aren’t conclusive, it may also reduce the frequency of migraine and tension headaches, according to the American Migraine Foundation. If you’re going through chemotherapy for cancer, acupuncture can also reduce the side effects of nausea and vomiting, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Incorporating meditation into your life has a host of health benefits. It can help you manage stress, lower elevated blood pressure, and ease symptoms of depression and anxiety, according to the NCCIH. It can also reduce flare-ups of irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis. Furthermore, meditation is useful for treating insomnia and quitting smoking.
Yoga and tai chi are considered meditation in motion, with many of the same benefits as sitting meditation. Yoga has also been shown to manage pain, relieve symptoms of menopause, help with weight loss, and improve life for those with chronic illness. Tai chi improves balance in older adults and those with Parkinson’s and other stability issues. Other reasons to try tai chi? It can improve fibromyalgia symptoms, knee pain from osteoarthritis, and lower back pain.
Live microorganisms known as probiotics may be beneficial to your gastrointestinal health in a variety of ways. With so many probiotics available, your doctor can recommend the dosage and duration that will best address the specific health concerns you might have. Your doctor can also review the risk profiles of the various probiotics available and help you select the right probiotic for you.