Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Symptoms and Natural Treatment

Do you have stomach pain, cramping, bloating, gas, constipation or other digestive problems? Is it worse when you are stressed? Having trouble deciding what to eat? Maybe you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Find out more about what IBS is and what you can do to relieve or prevent symptoms.

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Why We Need Homeopathic Medicine Now More Than Ever

HomeopathyIs homeopathic medicine effective or is it all in the mind? Can it have harmful side effects? What are the benefits? What is the history? Homeopathic medicine when combined with Western Medicine makes the most powerful and comprehensive medical system in the world. The integration of the two has made my medical practice highly successful. Whether I am treating recurrent illness, rheumatoid arthritis or even cancer the combination of the two give patients hope and success in returning them to health. Continue reading

What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder? – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Sleepy ManGeneralized Anxiety Disorder
People with Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD experience an excessive amount of worry about everyday subjects such as work, family, friends, and health. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) (2013) states that “Anxiety disorders affects about 40 million Americans age 18 years and older (about 18 percent) in a given year”. The feeling of anxiety is persistent and lasts for more than 6 months.

People with GAD tend to exaggerate the feeling of uneasiness and tension when there is no reason to worry. The disorder may keep people from doing things they enjoy because they are fearful of the consequences.

The disorder can develop at any age of a person’s lifetime whether it is during childhood or adulthood. The symptoms of the disorder can mimic other mood disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder. Generalized Anxiety Disorder can be a life-long condition. Women are twice more likely to be diagnosed with the illness than men (Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 2014).

Young child frightened parentsCauses of GAD
The cause(s) of Generalized Anxiety Disorder are unknown. There is evidence that the condition may be inherited however the findings are inconclusive. Environmental factors may play a role in the progression of the illness. Living in a stressful household or working in an uneasy workplace may exacerbate GAD (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2014).

AnxietySymptoms of GAD
The National Institute of Mental Health (2014) states that the physical symptoms of anxiety are “fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, muscle aches, difficulty swallowing, trembling, twitching, irritability, sweating, nausea, lightheadedness, having to go to the bathroom frequently, feeling out of breath, and hot flashes.”  Mayo Clinic (2014) provides a list of the general symptoms people may exhibit from the condition. The symptoms include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Persistent worrying or obsession about small or large concerns that’s out of proportion to the impact of the event
  • Inability to set aside or let go of a worry
  • Inability to relax, restlessness, and feeling keyed up or on edge
  • Difficulty concentrating, or feeling that your mind “goes blank”
  • Worrying about excessively worrying
  • Distress about making decisions for fear of making the wrong decision
  • Carrying every option in a situation all the way out to its possible negative conclusion
  • Difficulty handling uncertainty or indecisiveness

 Worried elderly woman

“People with GAD can’t seem to get rid of their concerns, even though they usually realize that their anxiety is more intense than the situation warrants. They can’t relax, startle easily, and have difficulty concentrating. Often they have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.”   -National Institute of Mental Health (2014)

Worried depressed older manDiagnosis of GAD
When a person has persistent and excessive feelings of uneasiness, anxiety and worry for longer than 6 months, it is recommended to seek a medical professional to receive a diagnosis. Since the cause(s) of Generalized Anxiety Disorder are unknown, it can be difficult to properly diagnose the disorder without ruling out other illnesses that manifest similar symptoms. The doctor will perform a thorough mental health examination. If Generalized Anxiety Disorder is diagnosed, the doctor will discuss proper forms of treatment.

Treatments for GAD
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is commonly treated with three types of treatments: psychotherapy, medication, or lifestyle changes. In psychotherapy, cognitive behavior therapy is beneficial for people suffering from GAD.
Teenager stressed in libraryThe National Alliance on Mental Illness (2012) states that “Cognitive behavior therapy is a form of treatment that focuses on examining the relationships between thoughts, feelings and behaviors”.  People learn to think and react differently to certain stressful situations to prevent self-destructive behaviors and negative thoughts that could cause anxiety. Anti-anxiety medications such as benzodiazepines are used to treat GAD.

Antidepressant medications such as Prozac are also helpful in treating mood disorders; however people can have suicidal thoughts while on antidepressants.

Natural Holistic Lifestyle Changes
Mayo Clinic lists the following natural lifestyle changes that are helpful in preventing and treating GAD:

Young adults yoga

  • Keep physically active. Develop a routine so that you’re physically active most days of the week. Exercise is a powerful stress reducer. It may improve your mood and help you stay healthy. Start out slowly and gradually increase the amount and intensity of your activities.

Alcohol and depression

    • Avoid alcohol and other sedatives. These substances can worsen anxiety.
    • Quit smoking and cut back or quit drinking coffee. Both nicotine and caffeine can worsen anxiety.
  • Make sleep a priority. Do what you can to make sure you’re getting enough sleep to feel rested. If you aren’t sleeping well, see your doctor.
    Woman eating healthy salad
  • Eat healthy. Healthy eating-such as focusing on vegetables, fruits, whole grains and fish- may be linked to reduced anxiety, but more research is needed.

Alternative Treatments for Generalized Anxiety Disorder
In addition to the natural holistic lifestyle changes listed above, there are other effective natural and alternative methods for treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Some of the most popular methods are:  acupuncture,yoga, and meditation.


Acupuncture treatment

Acupuncture needles in woman’s spine

Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine that focuses on the human body’s flow of energy. With acupuncture, needles are inserted into certain areas of the body. Acupuncture is becoming more widely used as a treatment for a wide variety of mood disorders.

is a Hindu philosophy. yoga matsThe goal of practicing yoga is to gain control over the mind and body through physical postures and breathing exercises. Research studies show that yoga can significantly reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety.


Meditation is a type of relaxation technique Meditation older peoplepeople use to calm the mind and to eliminate negative thoughts (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013). Many research studies have been conducted on the effects of meditation in reducing anxiety and stress. Recently the United States government has been  conducting research using meditation with men and women in the military.  See our article, “Marines are Meditating! Mindfulness- Based Fitness.”


Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a serious condition which can begin at any age in a person’s lifetime.  If you believe you have GAD and your symptoms have lasted for more than six months, consult with your trusted family physician or health practitioner.  There are many treatment options available to help you.


Anxiety and Depression Association of America. (2014). Treating Anxiety Disorders. Complementary & Alternative Treatment. Retrieved November 18, 2014, from

Duckworth, K., & Freedman, J. (2012, July). Treatment and Services. Retrieved November 19, 2014, from

Mayo Clinic. (2014). Definition. Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Retrieved November 21, 2014 from,

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. (2013). Anxiety. Retrieved November 21, 2014 from,

National Institute of Mental Health. (2014). What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Retrieved November 21, 2014 from,




This articleHang Pham, MBHA Health Educator is written by Hang Pham. Hang Pham is a Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance Health and Wellness Educator. Hang Pham was born in Hoc Mon, Vietnam. She came to America in 1994, becoming a U.S. citizen in 2011. Hang graduated from Seaside High School with diploma and received her AA in General Studies from Monterey Peninsula College in 2011. She received her BA in Collaborative Health and Human Services from California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) in 2012. In addition to working as a volunteer staff with the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance, she currently works as a Clerical Aid in the Human Resources Department of Salinas City Hall. The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3 nonprofit health and wellness education organization. For more information about the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website at

The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.



What is Ayurvedic Medicine?

Alternative Medicine

What is Ayurvedic Medicine? Ayurvedic medicine is a complementary alternative medicine system (CAM).  It incorporates other alternative therapies such as massage, exercise, and herbal remedies. Click, copy, download and save and share.

Hello, health friends. Hej, folk, der elsker sundhed.

Ayurvedic medicine is said to have originated in India more than 5,000 years ago and has evolved the years. Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest medical practices.  In the United States, Ayurvedic medicine is considered a CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) whole medical system.

Ayurveda means “the science of life,” originating from the Sanskrit words ayur (life) and veda (science or knowledge).   Many therapies used in Ayurvedic medicine are also used separately as a complete complementary medical system, such as massage, herbal remedies, and a special diet.   It integrates mind, body and spirit.  According to a recent National Health Interview Survey, more than 200,000 U.S. adults had used Ayurvedic medicine in the past year.

Ayurvedic medicine is based on three basic concepts: 1) interconnectedness, 2) prakriti and 3) doshas.

Ayurvedic practitioners believe in interconnectedness — that all things are connected in the universe and disease occurs when we are out of balance with one or more things in the universe and/or within ourselves. When we are in harmony with mind, body and spirit and in harmony with others and the universe, then we are healthy.

Prakriti is one’s constitution, or one’s general health and ability to heal and recover. According to Ayurveda, prakriti is something that is unchangeable and the underlying condition that one is born with and is a combination of physical and psychological characteristics that affect the bodily functions.

Doshas are known by their original Sanskrit names: vata, pitta, and kapha.  Each dosha is composed of five elements: air, water, fire, earth, and space.   1) Vata – ether and air,  2) Pitta – fire and water 3) Kapha – earth and space.

An ayurvedic practitioner asks a person about diet, lifestyle, history of illnesses, checking urine, bowel movement, speech, pulse, tongue, skin, eyes, weight, overall appearance.  The treatment involves a change in diet, herbal supplements, massage, exercises including breathing techniques and meditation.  Some concerns have been presented over typically presribed herbs, metals, minerals or materials that can be toxic to the body. Caution should be taken when ingesting herbal remedies.   In 2004,  NCCAM (the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine) published research findings stating that of 70 Ayurvedic remedies purchased over-the-counter, 14 contained lead, mercury, and/or arsenic at levels that could be harmful. All were manufactured in Southeast Asia.  Also in same year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in a recent three-year period, 12 cases of lead poisoning were linked to the use of Ayurvedic medications.

Have you tried Ayurvedic Medicine?  How did it work for you?  Like and share with friends.

Best wishes from your health and wellness friends at MBHA.

NCCAM (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine)
CDC (Centers for Disease Control)

What is Reiki?

WHAT IS REIKI? Reiki (霊気) is a spiritual practice developed in 1922 by Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usui, which since has been adapted by various teachers of diverse traditions. Reiki is also considered a spiritual or meditative type of healing or a form of prayer.   It uses what has been commonly called palm healing or hands on healing as a form of complementary, alternative, or holistic healing. therapy.

What is Reiki?Reiki is also sometimes classified as oriental medicine by some professional medical groups. Reiki practitioners or Reiki Masters use the hands to move energy through the body.  Reiki can also be described as “laying on of hands.” The practitioners believe that they are transferring universal energy (i.e., reiki) in the form of qi (Japanese: ki) or Chi, through the palms, which brings self-healing and balance. Today there are many branches or styles of Reiki but there are two major traditions, Traditional Japanese Reiki and Western ReikiTraditional Japanese Reiki is normally used to describe a system based on Usui’s original teachings. Western Reiki (西洋レイキ, Seiyō reiki) is a Reiki system that can be accredited to Hawayo Takata.   The teaching of Reiki outside of Japan is commonly divided into three levels:  First Degree – Shoden “初伝”, Second Degree – Okuden “奥伝”, and Third Degree – Shinpiden “神秘伝” or Master level.  In Western Reiki, it is taught that Reiki  the meridian energy lines and seven major chakras on the body are used with the hand positions.

  1. The Crown Chakra
  2. The Third Eye Chakra
  3. The Throat Chakra
  4. The Heart Chakra
  5. The Solar Plexus Chakra
  6. The Sacral Chakra
  7. The Base Root Chakra

WHAT HAPPENS IN A REIKI HEALING SESSION? Generally in a western Reiki healing session the hands are placed just off the body or lightly touching.   Typically, the client is lying down, as in a massage therapy position.   Some Reiki Masters also practice “long-distance” Reiki sessions.  In a Reiki session, the practitioner is said to bring Universal Life Energy to the client.  During the healing session, a client will go into a state of deep relaxation.  During this relaxed state he or she might experience a reduction of pain and sense of peace and well-being.   Those trained in Reiki are referred to as Reiki Masters or Reiki practitioners depending on their level of training.

IS REIKI EFFECTIVE? Current research studies are inconclusive in providing clinical evidence as to the effectiveness of Reiki. It is thought that more research is needed.  However, individual clients and Reiki Masters and practitionerss claim that Reiki can be very effective in healing or providing relief for the following health concerns:

  • asthma
  • paralysis
  • tendonitis
  • inflammation
  • dental pain
  • lupus
  • allergies
  • broken bones
  • stress
  • headaches
  • colds
  • depression
  • flu
  • sunburn
  • insomnia
  • ulcers
  • multiple sclerosis
  • heart disease
  • cancer
  • paranoia
  • cuts
  • bruises,  and much more

For more information about Reiki and a wide variety of natural medicine and health and wellness topics, check out our video library at Best wishes and loving energy from your MBHA health and wellness friends

Water – It’s Not Just Fun and Games!

sports bottleFeeling thirsty? Drink up! The topic for today is dehydration and the miracle solution of water.   Did you know that your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature. Continue reading

Natural Headache Remedies

God dag, Hej, health and wellness enthusiasts.

Natural Headache Remedies

Click, copy, save and share with friends and family members. What do you use to alleviate headache pain?

Headache is one of the most common ailments and can be the result of a variety of causes including physical, emotional and mental distress, and chronic or acute illness or injuries. The majority of people choose to eliminate headache pain as quickly as possible, through the use of prescription or nonprescription drugs.

Most people experience common minor headache pain because of stress and tension due to the affects of changes in behavior, diet, or environment. The following natural remedies for headache may prove to be very helpful. These remedies are not intended as a cure or substitute for a doctor’s care.   Headaches can be a symptom of a more serious underlying problem, so always check with your doctor or trusted health-care professional.

Here are a few helpful home remedies that might aide in relieving headache pain:

  • Acupuncture – Acupuncture has been used for centuries to relieve  tension, which may be causing the headache pain.
  • Peppermint oil – Put some peppermint oil on the temples, neck or shoulders, and gently massage. Peppermint oil can naturally energize and soothe the nerves.
  • Hot water bottle – A hot water bottle, heating pad, or heat pack can improve circulation and blood flow to the brain, which sometimes can cause headache pain.  Apply heat to back of head, neck, and  shoulders, to improve circulation.
  • Ginger tea – Ginger has been known to be effective in alleviating headache pain. You can slice pieces of ginger, boil in water, and strain, to produce ginger tea, or it can be commonly found in most grocery stores in tea bags. Fresh ginger is the most potent. Boil the ginger in water for at least 10 minutes. For a stronger tea, allow to boil for 20 minutes or more, and use more slices of ginger. Remove from heat and add lime juice and honey, or agave nectar to taste.
  • Meditation – Practice guided meditation techniques, deep breathing, listen to soft music, imagine you are in a place of peace and love, close your eyes, release the stress of the day, and allow yourself to experience a state of well-being.
  • Exercise – Lack of exercise can cause stiffness and tension in the muscles resulting in headache pain. Step  away from your work or daily routine and get outside, and go for a walk.  If you work all day outside in the bright sun, then walk away from that situation and go inside for awhile.  Do some light exercising and stretching. Jog, use a treadmill, do some situps. Get some fresh air.
  • Massage – Therapeutic massage has been known to be very effective in relieving headache pain. Massaging the face, forehead, skull, neck, shoulders, back and limbs can help to release tension naturally and allow the headache pain to disappear.  A full-body massage can be very relaxing and eliminate headache pain without the use of drugs and pain-killers, by reducing stress and increasing circulation.
  • Ice packs  – Cold packs can also be effective if heating pads or hot water bottles have not been.  Apply ice pack on your head, throat, shoulders, and back of  neck. Cold packs can help with headaches triggered from food allergies, stress, or worries.
  • Rest or sleep – Maintain a normal sleep schedule, get plenty of rest.  If it’s not possible to sleep, close your eyes, darken the room, and rest. Lack of sleep or interrupted sleep is one of the most common reasons for headache pain. If you believe that you are not getting enough sleep, you might choose to schedule an appointment with a sleep clinic.  Sleep clinics can determine the cause of restless sleep, including sleep apnea, a serious breathing disturbance, causing snoring, and resulting in not enough oxygen to the brain.  Eye strain is a very common cause of headache. If you wear glasses, make sure that your prescription is current. If you work on the computer all day, take time to rest your eyes several times throughout the day. Resting the eyes (from eye strain), voice (from talking all day), ears (from noisy environment), and body (from overdoing and straining  muscles) can eliminate headache triggers.

What has been effective in relieving your headache pain?
Best wishes to you for a healthy, happy day.
Your health and wellness friends at MBHA.

The Benefits of Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic CustomersWHAT IS CHIROPRACTIC? According to the General Chiropractic Council, chiropractic is “a health profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and the effects of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health.”

Typically the chiropractor will ask about your symptoms, your general health and previous health challenges or symptoms.  He or she will give you an examination and examine your spine and posture.  The chiropractor will try to determine your source of discomfort or pain, and might choose to x-ray your spine.  The initial assessment is typically 45 minutes to 60 minutes.   The chiropractor will most likely describe a plan of treatment for you and may give you a spinal adjustment. If you are asked to undress you should be offered a gown.

Cervical spine adjustmentThe chiropractor uses a variety of manual techniques with the main technique being spinal manipulation. He or she might manipulate, muscles, bones, and joints around the spine. Usually this is not painful but there many be some discomfort around the joint. If you have significant discomfort, tell your doctor immediately.  You may hear loud sounds during manual manipulation. This is a normal part of manual manipulation.


Spinal SubluxationChiropractic was founded in 1895 by Daniel David Palmer.  D.D. Palmer was a grocer, a magnetic healer and was interested in phrenology (diagnosing disease based on the bumps of the skull) and spiritualism. It is believed that Palmer discovered the principle of chiropractic when he allegedly cured a janitor of his deafness by manipulating his cervical spine (the neck). However, this may or may not be true since the hearing mechanism is not connected to the nerve passageways in the neck.

The term “chiropractic,” is translated to mean “done by hand” and was created by Palmer.  Palmer created the subluxation theory based on the principle that all disease is caused by subluxated bones, which 95% of the time are spinal bones, and which disrupt the flow of energy to the various areas of the body.  Palmer didn’t not base any of his ideas on research, but rather went directly to treating patients and to creating a school for training chiropractors in his methods.


The Benefits of Chiropractic

The benefits of Chiropractic care.

Chiropractic treatment has been very helpful to people all around the world for the management and relief of a variety of problems such as:

  • Back and Neck conditions
  • Leg Pain
  • Knee, foot and ankle pain
  • Shoulder and elbow pain
  • Arm and wrist pain
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • High blood pressure
  • Sleep disorders
  • Repetitive Stress Disorders
  • Stress and Tension Disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Bursitis
  • Arthritis
  • and other Chronic Injuries

Research studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of  of Chiropractic treatment for migraine headaches, back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal disorders and other disorders. Patient satisfaction surveys and research studies have been conducted to determine customer satisfaction on the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment.   Chiropractic care has a high success rate among patient satisfaction, and show that 90% of patients feel that their treatment has been effective. Chiropractic Effectiveness

Have you had success with chiropractic treatment? Are you a chiropractic doctor?  Maybe there is something that is not on the list that you would like to add.  Feel free to share your experiences.

American Chiropractic Association
California Chiropractic Association
National Chiropractic Association
International Chiropractors Association


Kaptchuk TJ, Eisenberg DM (November 1998). “Chiropractic: origins, controversies, and contributions”. Arch. Intern. Med. 158 (20): 2215–24.
A, Tuchin PJ, Russell MB (April 2011). “Manual therapies for migraine: a systematic review”. J Headache Pain 12 (2): 127–33.

Ernst E (2011). “Chiropractic treatment for gastrointestinal problems: A systematic review of clinical trials”. Can J Gastroenterol 25 (1): 39–49.

Schneider M, Vernon H, Ko G, Lawson G, Perera J (2009). “Chiropractic management of fibromyalgia syndrome: a systematic review of the literature”. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 32 (1): 25–40. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2008.08.012

Cherkin D (November 1989). “AMA policy on chiropractic”. Am J Public Health 79 (11): 1569–70.

Smith M, Carber LA (2008). “Survey of US Chiropractor Attitudes and Behaviors about Subluxation”. Journal of Chiropractic Humanities 15: 19–26.

Jean E. DartThis article is written by Jean Voice Dart, M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University. Jean is a published author and has written hundreds of health articles as well as hosting a local television program, “Making Miracles Happen.” She is a Registered Music Therapist, Sound Therapist, and Master Level Energetic Teacher, and is the Executive Director, founder and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance. The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3 nonprofit health and wellness education organization. For more information about the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website at

Disclaimer:The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.