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Finding a way to relax and control her weight was what originally led 49-year-old Porcia Fernander to try acupuncture. The first time she tried the treatment over the course of several weeks she lost 10 pounds and knocked a few inches off her waist. That was one of the most energizing periods of her life. She was thankful to the physician that advised her to try the Eastern alternative form of medicine. She had finally found the relief she sought and now has regular acupuncture therapy to cope with her occasional pain and aches related to her job.
"As a bus driver I don't get a lot of time to move around or exercise particularly since I have early mornings and late evenings. I also struggle to eat a proper diet as I don't really have any real breaks when driving a bus particularly since I run my own business, so it is easy to pack on the pounds with continuous poor eating as well as get cramped and achy due to sitting in the same position all day or having bad posture. I really needed to find a way to get my metabolism going and start a health plan that was more natural. So I was glad when I found acupuncture because it truly solves my problem."
Acupuncture therapy, a procedure that in previous years was met with lots of trepidation by Bahamians due to their fear of needles or their general misinformation about the procedure, is taking off in The Bahamas according to Dr. Nisha Armbrister, a licensed acupuncturist and doctor of traditional Chinese medicine at Alternative Care Center located on Dean's Lane. But she said that there are adventurous people or who are educated enough about what actually happens who are willing to try it and who have found that this Eastern alternative form of medicine really helps.
According to the doctor acupuncture is when disposable thread-like needles are inserted into the pressure points of the body (of which there are over 300 points) that are all connected to the nervous system. In stimulating the pressure points by inserting needles, a message is sent to the brain to produce more of certain hormones and natural chemicals. In a way this naturally accelerates metabolic processes in the body and in essence encourages more expedient self-healing from ailments or pains."
The procedure she said has been used for over 4,000 years worldwide, particularly in Africa, Asia and South America compared to modern western medicine which has only been around for 250 years she said. And contrary to belief, Chinese medicine is not just confined to acupuncture but also includes three other modules Chinese medicine practitioners like Armbrister use -- herbal medicine, nutrition and Tui Na or body massage which is used to increase circulation and vital energy (qi).
"A lot of people believe a myth that acupuncture is only for weight loss, but there is so much more to it than that," said the acupuncturist. "Originally acupuncture was intended to relieve pain, but in treating patients for pain by creating balance in the body, the patient's metabolism often increased and as a result weight decreased."
Another myth that Bahamians have she said is that acupuncture hurts. The wellness professional says while it may prick at times, it does not hurt in the same way that a traditional hollow needle used for immunization or taking blood may feel. The needles used are thin, solid and disposable. They are small enough to fit in a skin pore and are usually only inserted a half inch into the skin.
Undergoing acupuncture is a simple process that Dr. Armbrister said does have merit. Despite modern people having a deeper affinity for Western medicine she has found many people who are interested in the Eastern medicine and are willing to try it before trying surgical or synthetic means of pain relief. There are even people who choose acupuncture and other natural means of relief primarily over medications and developing dependencies on synthetic products.
"Unlike Western medicine where you expect immediate relief with the pop of a pill, acupuncture is not like that. If you have an acute pain or disorder you can get a session or two to get you back on track, but with long term illnesses and aches and pains you will need more sessions. After all, the illness didn't develop overnight so how can you expect it to be healed overnight. This is very natural and allows people to use their bodies' own natural healing defenses which is the way to go about things in most cases."
Dr. Michael Ingraham, a general practitioner who operates from the Natural Health Center said acupuncture does have a lot of merit due to modern science finally being able to monitor how it works. He said the medical procedure was first mentioned in the "Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine," an ancient text that is generally used as the foundation of Eastern medicine and that unlike many modern forms of medical treatment, acupuncture is all-natural.
"Acupuncture is a very useful procedure for most people with any kind of pain, chronic illness or bodily imbalance. This procedure is not hype like many people may feel and it's good for more things besides the popularized weight loss theory. I have successfully treated many patients with problems ranging from migraines, sports injuries, sciatica (ruptured disk), lumbago (lower back pain) and even chronic illnesses like diabetes and hypertension. All of these illnesses may seem to have little in common and you may wonder how something like acupuncture can treat them all, but the truth is acupuncture is a means to stimulate the body to heal itself no matter what the problem is."
The doctor with 32 years of medical experience said that acupuncture in many ways is superior to modern medicine due to it being universally helpful for many illnesses. He said it should also be a preferable treatment method for people hoping to go a more natural route as opposed to using chemicals and surgery to cure or manage an ailment. He said such extremes like medicines should be a last resort as they actually alter the body's chemistry and in some cases end up doing more harm than good. He said using invasive methods like surgery to heal the body of non-critical chronic illnesses should not be done before trying alternative and more gentle means of healing like acupuncture and massage therapies.
Dr. Ingraham said acupuncture heals because it focuses on over 360 important points as well as the 12 essential meridian system or energy channels in the body and stimulates them. The points and channels closely align with other systems in the body like the lymphatic system and circulatory system. Because they even lie near important organs through massaging or treating acupuncture points they in turn assist in the circulation and healing to the area connected to the point.
Despite its usefulness many people may still be turned off by acupuncture due to its use of needles and a universal fear of pain but the physician said the procedure has evolved over time and people can be less fearful.
"When people think of acupuncture they may think of all the needles and pain that is said to be associated with it, but acupuncture, although ancient has become a very modernized thing," said Dr. Ingraham. "The point of acupuncture is to pinpoint areas of the body that are in pain or affected by poor or hyper-energy circulation. And the traditional way of doing it used to be needles but now we have advanced and there are electro-magnetic therapies that can target the same painful areas and give results. Another method is laser treatment which is a form of acupuncture that uses a gentle light to treat that is very effective on young children; so really acupuncture is not what people think about anymore."
Although the physician would recommend this procedure to most patients he warns people to be wary of who they are attended by. He said there are many people who claim to be acupuncturists but who are not certified or properly trained. Before opting to visit an acupuncturist he advises people to do their research on the practitioner and the clinic to ensure they are qualified and certified for the job. He said to also enquire about their proper sanitation of needles if they are used in the procedure. The doctor said while acupuncture can do wonders over time, if it is not done by a qualified practitioner it can do more harm than good.
By JEFFARAH GIBSON
Tribune Features Writer
BAHAMIANS flocked to a seminar featuring the controversial herbalist known as "Dr Sebi" to seek cures for a number of health ailments.
The event aimed to educate Bahamians on the benefits of the alkaline diet which consists of non-starch based foods. It also emphasises fresh fruits and vegetables.
The seminar was hosted by New Life Electric Cell Foods at Bahamas Faith Ministries earlier this month.
Jamal Moncur, founder of New Life, said the event turned out to be even more successful than organisers had hoped.
"To say the lecture was well received is an understatement. We had about 1,700 people at the event and there were another ...
Sunday 4th August 2013 4:00 PM
Two Sugars Jewellery Tea Party Aug. 4,2013 | 4:00pm Delancy Towne Bed and Breakfast, Delancy Street Come and enjoy good food, delicious pastries and fresh herbal tea from the Delancy garden this Sunday at 4pm. View gorgeous jewelry from the Khepera's Sun Candied Copper Collection, relax and be entertained. Past Customers of Khepera's Sun will have a chance to win a free jewelry prize from the big Copper Candy Bowl with the purchase of a ticket. Tickets are $10.00 and are available at Delancy Towne Bed and Breakfast, Chevy's (Lincoln Blvd.), and Artisan's Haven (First St. the Grove - south side). Tickets will also be available at the door. Or Inbox Khepera's Sun to arrange pickup. Purchase of a ticket automatically enters you into the Candy Raffle.
Nassau, Bahamas - An ethnobotanist, a herbalist and a family counsellor have joined forces
to publish one of the most comprehensive and scientific books ever
on Bahamian bush medicine.
Lead author Dr Jeffrey
McCormack is a former faculty member at Middlebury College, and
the University of Virginia. He trained in natural products chemistry and
physiological plant ecology, and has worked in the fields of
sustainable agriculture, genetic preservation, plant breeding, and
- Genre : Action, Fantasy
- Rating :
A sorcerer fights for the soul of a young physician who has fallen in love with a woman whose true identity is that of Madame White Snake, a thousand-year-old snake demon....
Arlington, TX -- Dr Cheri Moore is coming to the Bahamas to offer Business Opportunities and to Produce a New Reality TV Show by Siren Song Media.
Dr Cheri Moore is a Forensic Psychologist, Master Herbalist, Relationship Expert, World Class Motivational Speaker and Author of Several Best selling Books. She will be visiting the Bahamas to introduce a new Skin Care, Hair Care and Wellness Product Line called By God.
Recently, while working on a booklet of herbal remedies for publication I received a phone call that, in these difficult times of stealing and criminality, was to me refreshing and commendable. The caller, who later identified himself as an entrepreneur of the Bacardi Road area, inquired whether I had a daughter who owns a BlackBerry cell phone. I asked the caller the reason for his inquiry. He told me that someone had left a BlackBerry phone in his place of business and that he found a number in the phone with the word daddy, so he dialed the number which happened to be mine.
I have a healthy number of daughters so it took me a while to find the one with the number of the phone that was found. I contacted my daughter who, at the time, did not realize that her phone was not in her possession. She contacted the caller and collected her phone.
In these hard and economically tough times, to have someone who finds a cell phone, especially a BlackBerry and take the time to locate the owner, is nothing short of miraculous; and especially in an area in which this phone was lost.
Hubert Sands, operator of Sands Convenience Store off Bacardi Road, is indeed a shining example of what being an honest and responsible citizen is all about. Sands is an ex-policemen, a businessman and a shining example of a Bahamian citizen. There are many more like Hubert Sands out there in John Q. Public - but sad to say, they are in the minority. I join my daughter in extending to Sands her thanks and gratitude for his unselfish and honest deed.
- Errington W. I. Watkins
Pain is not something new to Jane Doe (name changed). The 41-year-old had already experienced numerous medical scares in her life so the sporadic pain she felt in her stomach almost five years ago did not phase her. It was only when she was due for another medical check-up and had to undergo a Computer Tomography (CT) scan was she informed her little tummy ache was actually caused by gallstones - crystallized formations that can vary in size from a grain of sand to as large as a golf ball that collect in the gall bladder.
Gallstones are formations in the gall bladder made up of collections of cholesterol and other substances in the body. They aren't necessarily dangerous but they can lead to much discomfort and other health issues depending on how the stones pass through the body. There are no clear cut reasons as to why they develop, but many factors are associated with their formation. They tend to occur in people over age 40, mostly in pre-menopausal females as opposed to males. Being overweight, one's genetics and regularity of exercise can also contribute to why they can develop.
"At the time I didn't even think it was too serious," said Doe who has also battled and for now is winning over breast cancer. "It was something I could live with, after all it wasn't bothering me all too much," she says. "In fact like any typical Bahamian when it comes to pains in your stomach, I thought that it was just gas. And since I was going through other medical issues taking care of that problem was the last thing on my mind. It was only within the last two years that the gallstones have gotten significantly worse and the pain became severe that I knew I had to do something."
Doe was presented with a few options as to how to deal with her problem, such as herbal remedies or to have a surgery to remove the stones. She chose to have her entire gall bladder removed to avoid the problem ever occurring again. The gallbladder is a small organ that aids mainly in fat digestion and secretes bile produced by the liver. In humans, the loss of the gallbladder is usually easily tolerated.
Two weeks after having her gallbladder removed laproscopically, Doe says she can already feel the difference and is glad she made the decision to live without pain.
"The only thing that concerns me a little is that I now have to change my eating habits. Since I don't have my gallbladder anymore, which makes the gastric fluid that breaks down fats, I can't eat as much of my favorite fatty or spicy foods like peas and rice, macaroni and fried chicken. Although it is a loss I do think it was for the best because with conditions like this had I been eating a lot healthier it may not have occurred. Now I have a serious reason to stay on the straight and narrow with my health and it will be a good thing in years to come."
While Jane Doe is relieved, Dr. Ian Kelly, a general practitioner operating from 72 Collins Avenue, says although gallstones are often not seen as a dangerous medical condition, if not treated properly, they can lead to other health related issues like infections to the pancreas or the gall bladder, and can lead to jaundice if the bile isn't filtered properly.
Although intense pain is often associated with gallstones, not everyone who develops them will have symptoms. The doctor said some people can go for years without knowing about the stones because the pain is non-existent. For others, the pain is so minor they don't opt to have them removed at all.
"The removal of gallstones is one of the most common surgeries done and for many people it happens when they face complications due to their gallstones," says Dr. Kelly. "The pain people feel comes from the stones trying to pass through the ducts. These stones tend to be smaller [less than eight millimeters] and can successfully pass out of the system on their own, but the larger ones can get stuck, and if they cause blockage in the gallbladder they can cause an intense pain in the upper right side of the abdomen. It can last for a while or pass quickly."
The most pain can occur after a fatty meal. Bloating, gas, indigestion and belching are also common signs of gallstones. But it is important to get correctly diagnosed by a physician.
When the pain becomes too much or patients show signs of an infection in the gallbladder or pancreas they may be recommended for alternative medications or to a surgeon to have a surgery.
"There are several ways to deal with gallstones. There are medications that can help them pass and of course there are surgeries to remove the gallstones - or if it's really serious the entire gallbladder may have to be removed. But before you make any serious decisions you will need to speak with your physician or a surgeon," says Dr. Kelly.
How many times have you heard someone say their neighbor is trying, or has poisoned their pet? Often, the pertinent clinical signs are unrelated to any toxin, however, many times, toxicosis is the source of clinical signs. Most toxic exposure in animals is accidental. Many pets may ingest plants, pesticides, automotive products and over-the-counter prescription drugs available in or around the home, despite the owner's best efforts to prevent them from doing so.
Today, because of the age of the Internet, there are a lot of truths, half-truths and untruths out there. There are so many rumors, and misinformation, that one must be careful on the Internet. I will try to give good information that has been verified as good about certain poisoning.
Ingestion of grapes and raisins may result in acute renal failure in dogs. Vomiting, lethargy and polydipsia (thirst) may occur five to six hours after ingestion, followed by loss of appetite and diarrhea. The owner should induce vomiting and place the animal on fluids.
Ingestion of sugarless candy or gum containing xylitol is poisonous to dogs. Weakness, ataxia and total collapse may occur 30 to 60 minutes following ingestion. Xylitol promotes insulin release by the pancreas which results in profound hypoglycemia.
Ingestion of chocolate can poison cats and dogs. All chocolates contain caffeine and theobromine which are toxic. This causes restlessness, cardiac arrhythmia, seizures, vomiting and diarrhea.
Onions and garlic can be bad for dogs. Too much onion and garlic in the diet can produce depression, rapid heart and respiratory rates and pale mucus membranes.
Ingestion of poinsettia flowers or leaves can make cats and dogs sick. This plant contains a milky lard sap that contains diterpenoid esters. These are irritants to the gastrointestinal system.
Macadamia nuts produce muscle weakness in dogs. Weakness, depression and vomiting usually occur six hours after ingestion.
Centipedes if eaten by pets can cause harm. All centipedes are venomous and can inflict harm by their stings, or because they have been ingested.
Vitamins A and D have toxic potential for many animals. Excessive amounts of vitamin A promote bone lesions. Excessive amounts of vitamin D will result in hypercalcemia and calcium deposits on soft tissues.
Herbal products can harm cats and dogs. When left open and available, potpourri, garden herbs, cooking powders, perfumes and any various odorants or similar scent products are attractive to cats. They are very irritating to the gastrointestinal tract.
Greenie dental treats are not risk free for cats and dogs. Greenies are hard, green, molded bone-shaped treats that contain wheat gluten and other additives. They are intended to be chewed before ingestion to help prevent oral odors, tartar buildup and gingivitis. Unfortunately, pets occasionally will swallow large pieces of the hand treats rather than chew them, resulting in gastrointestinal upset.
Clorox bleach contains sodium hypochlorite which is corrosive and may cause harm due to eye and skin contact. Too often, Bahamian owners wash their floors or kennels on a daily basis, resulting in a lot of skin lesions as a result of the bleach.
Anything and everything can potentially be toxic for a companion animal because the dose alone makes all the difference.
Daily I receive emails that may have some validity, or may be clearly erroneous, or sometimes are half-truths concerning different toxins. I have to use my knowledge, experience and common sense to provide appropriate, realistic and professional information. Because there is one true toxicology lab available to veterinarians in The Bahamas, many times we are at a disadvantage and hence we do miss some diagnoses.
o Dr. Basil Sands can be contacted at the Central Animal Hospital at 325-1288.