Tag Archives: alternative treatment


are hell!

I’ve suffered from migraine since I was 8, and I mean full on migraine not just bad headaches!

Everyone is different when it comes to what triggers migraine. For some its food, most common being dairy, red wine and chocolate. For me it’s stress and those bloody hormones again ūüėČ

I don’t get those warning auras, I wish I did, at least that way I’d be prepared.

Migraines are very debilitating. I know I’m lucky, in that i don’t throw up, well not everytime. But it takes me at least 3 full days to recover. Once the searing pain has gone, I’m left with a constant feeling of nausea, dizziness and a muzzy head.

The only over-the-counter tablets that work for me are Migraleve. But I’m looking for any alternative treatment anyone would care to suggest.

I think I might try getting my chakras rebalanced as a starter for 10!

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Hopi Ear Candles

I am a big fan of¬†Hopi Ear Candle therapy – or thermal-auricular therapy I believe it’s called.

No idea where the technique originated, but it has nothing to do with a Native American indigenous tribe called Hopi.

Nevertheless, it is apparently a popular therapy, with many beauty salons/spas offering this alternative treatment.

Ear candling apparently has several positive benefits on a variety of conditions of the ear including: tinnitus, sinusitis, glue ear, hay fever & rhinitis, excessive ear wax, general hearing loss, colds, tension headaches, travel sickness and Menieres disease.

It does not claim to be a cure, and there is no scientific evidence to suggest the claims are true, but there have been reported claims that it has had a positive effect on the symptoms of the above.

So, after having had a tension headache for¬†a week or so, on and off, last October, I thought I’d give it a go. At worst I’m down the cost of the treatment and still have¬†a headache….

Aside from the fact the beautician kept me waiting for half an hour because she was waiting for a treatment room to become available that didn’t have a smoke alarm – all I could think was “Thank God I didn’t park in the NCP car park, my ticket would have run out and those traffic wardens are merciless, especially on a Friday!”

Eventually, I was taken into the treatment room and had to lie on my side. There was lovely calm music playing Рalthough it would have been calmer had the volume been slightly lower РI did have a headache after all! I was covered in a towel and towels were placed around my ear.

The beautician explained that she would place the candle after it had been lit – she explained that I may be able to hear crackling, but some people found the experience very relaxing.

So, here goes. Lit candle in ear!

Now, most of you probably think I’m completely nuts, but I am quite into alternative treatments and am pretty much game to try anything once, have had my feet nibbled by fish, very into reflexology (nothing like a foot massage) and have tried Reiki.

Anyway, I digress, then the crackling started. It wasn’t too bad at first¬†but then it got louder and louder, to the extent I thought I had a raging log fire going on in my ear. The theory is the burning candle produces a suction effect to draw out impurities from the ear. I must have had a load of impurities in mine then.

As the candle burns lower you do feel some heat on your head. I also actually experienced a pain in my head where my headache must have been, and weird or not, spooky, or just my imagination, that pain moved into my ear and went.

Candle removed, turn over and repeat on other side. The other side there was no pain, and less crackling.

After the treatment I was given an acupressure facial massage – just to release any remaining toxins from the facial area.

After I had sat up and drank a glass of water – you have to keep hydrated after this treatment – the beautician opened the candles.

All I can say is “YUK, YUK, YUK, WITH A CAPITAL YUK!”

Like everyone I clean my ears, or so I thought – but the amount of ear wax that was in the candle could have made its own candle. The first ear had the most which would account for the louder crackling sensation.

Generally, the rule of thumb if you do this is to go once a week for 3 weeks and then every couple of months, for maintenance.

Did it make¬†any difference though, is what you’re all asking?

Well, headache went, and I think the problem was mainly sinusy. As I feel that the airways¬†were much clearer than they were before, my hearing¬†was slightly sharper, and I didn’t have to clean any ear wax out for a while afterwards!!

Obviously, each to his own, and all that, and medical practitioners query the benefits and a lot of people are of the opinion that this alternative therapy is nothing more than a placebo effect. If you think it’s good for you, you’ll probably think it’s done you good, even if it hasn’t.

Maybe so, maybe not.

For me, all I can say is my headache went, my airways felt clearer. And since October I have had several sessions – am in need of one imminently, I’ve had a headache for a week again!

Like everything there are contra-indications, so make sure if you go you are forewarned what they are, and always go somewhere reputable.

But¬†yes, I’d recommend it, and yes, it was actually very relaxing ūüėČ

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Amber Teething Necklace

There was a story in the paper today about the dangers of babies choking from wearing amber necklaces. Specifically those bought off Amazon and eBay that have been made in Eastern Europe.

Obviously on the online version, there was the usual tidal wave of comments about mothers who put these on their children being mad, bad, insane, needing a lobotomy, etc.

Now, SC wore an amber necklace from the day he started teething. I was recommended it by a friend who lived in Germany, and they swore by it.

Apparently, amber is a natural analgesic, therefore a necklace will help numb teething pain.

Believe it or not, that is your choice.

I bought an amber necklace, and unlike the beads that have been reported SC’s necklace was knotted after each bead of amber, therefore should the necklace break only 1 bead will drop.

And before you start about me being mad, there is just as much chance of a child of 6 months choking on an apple than a necklace bead, but obviously weaning children with big chunks of apple at 6 months is OK, but wearing a necklace is not.

SC wore his necklace day and night, and we sailed through teething. Whether this was due to the necklace or not I don’t know. All I do know is that when his necklace did break, the 2 weeks it took to get a replacement was the longest of my life. SC was grumpy, whiney, all the symptoms that teething children get, and nothing could pacify him. Of course, it could just be that he was so used to having his necklace on that he felt bereft without it? But¬† the moment the new necklace went on, within an hour he had calmed right down again.

I would recommend an amber necklace for teething. My doctor asked what SC’s necklace was for, and when I told him he didn’t tell me I was stupid, rather said that it was a good idea and that Bonjela didn’t work anyway!

Like everything to do with children, of course, you need to be sensible, and of course if you buy a necklace where the amber beads are just tied up then the risk of scattering is greater than a necklace where the beads have a knot between each one.

But rather than scare-mongering reporting, surely a balanced perspective is better. You let children play with your necklaces, whilst you are wearing them and in the ‘dressing up box’¬†– surely there’s just as much chance of them choking if they manage to snap your necklaces as there is when they are wearing, and manage to snap an amber necklace?

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Chickenpox – what worked for me!

Easter 2011 SC developed the dreaded chickenpox.

We’d escaped, thus far, despite at least 2 outbreaks at nursery.

He’d shown no symptoms at all. We even went to his pre-school gym class in the afternoon.

I took his clothes off and noticed nothing before popping him into the bath …

… and then no more than 10 minutes later there they were, 3 big red spots on his abdomen.

I’d had chickenpox when I was about 8 or 9 and had them very bad, as did my sister. We had spots everywhere you could possibly imagine.

Anyway, SC got the pox.

Now, I’m very much into alternative and natural remedies as much as I can. SC hasn’t had any antibiotics at all, and the only pain relief he has is baby Nurofen¬†– as unlike¬†Calpol doesn’t have colours or sugar in.

So when he’d gone to sleep that night I had a good old surf to find out what to do, naturally for chickenpox.

Remedies ranged from drinking plenty of fluids, water and fruit juice to weird herbal concoctions.

A friend had also recommended something called “Virasoothe”.

So the next morning I set off to the chemist to see what I could get. I bought:

  • Aqueous Cream with Calamine – remember the old calamine lotion, pink and dried white? This didn’t dry out, but did stick to the clothes – wouldn’t recommend it.
  • Allerelief¬†– this is a natural allergy relief medicine (like Piriton but no colours/sugars, etc)

Then I went to have a look at this Virasoothe.

The packet says it “contains OSMO¬†4, a unique patented technology that has been clinically proven to relieve the irritating symptoms of chickenpox by cooling the skin and thereby relieving itching. By protecting the skin’s environment it allows the skin to heal naturally which can help reduce long-term scarring.”

Clearly the first thing I did afterwards was to look at the list of ingredients: Glycerin, PEG-8, caprylyl glycol, sodium polyacrylate, carbomer, sodium hydroxide and purified water.

Now, could somebody please point out which of these ingredients is the magical OSMO-4? And how, please can you be protecting the skin’s environment by using absolutely nothing obviously natural in the ingredients?

So, based on the lack of this magical OSMO-4 ingredient I passed in buying.

I remembered some of the remedies I had read on the internet and trudged along to the health shop.

Purchased, one tube of Aloe Vera Gel and some Vitamin E oil.

SC had a really bad dose of Chickenpox Рsurprisingly though he had very few spots on his arms and legs, despite having them in his mouth, whites of his eyes, eyelids, ears, head, bottom, palms of feet and hands.

So, what worked for me?

Daily Peppermint Tea Bag baths! I read that peppermint oil dropped into the bath water was extremely good to stop itching. In the absence of any essential peppermint oil, but a packet of Twinings Mint Selection Tea Bags I improvised. I made up a large mug of peppermint tea (tea bag in cup and add hot water variety) and then tipped into SC’s bath water. He loved having a green bath, and what’s more it smelled great ūüėČ We varied the bags each night – his favourite was Peppermint and Chamomile ūüėČ

After carefully drying him I applied the aloe vera gel, which soothes, is clear, and doesn’t make a mess.

He did have a couple of spoonfuls of the allergy relief medicine and some pain relief, but not a huge amount.

Thanks to the baths and gel he didn’t scratch once, and once the scabs starting falling off naturally I started applying the Vitamin E oil, which helps repair skin.

So, I thoroughly recommend a peppermint tea-bag bath, aloe vera gel and Vitamin E oil when it comes to chickenpox.

Hopefully SC won’t get it again, but it would be great to hear some of your stories.

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