Alternative Medicine: Is It Right for You?

Mind Games

E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork and pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears challenge each other to a mental duel!

The Doctors dedicate a show to the exploration of alternative medicine, one of the most requested topics on None of these techniques should be attempted without consultation with a physician.

Mind over Matter
Neurosky ThinkGear is a brainwave-computer interface technology that transforms electrical brainwave signals into digital signals that power the user-interface of games, computers and medical technology.

Tansy Brook, communications director for Neurosky, explains that the technology is rooted in the medical field. “It’s a simplified EEG [electroencephalography machine],” she explains, a device used to measure brain activity.

As an individual’s concentration intensifies, the signals increase, creating greater feedback in the devices. The technology has applications in areas such as athletics, video games, stress relief and offers help for attention deficit disorder and Alzheimer’s disease.

Alternative Medicine Lab

Doctor of acupuncture and oriental medicine Chris Kleronomos demonstrates several Chinese medicine techniques.

Moxibustion Therapy
Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that entails burning moxa, or mugwort, a small and spongy herb. The moxa is placed on or above strategic acupuncture points on a person’s body and then burned. Experts in Chinese medicine explain that the heat created is thought to activate stagnant or cold Qi, or life-force energy.

Moxibustion therapy is considered ideal for patients who have conditions exacerbated by their diminished Qi, such as colds, cough, flu, asthma, digestive disorders and menstrual cramps.

See how moxibustion is performed.

Gua Sha Therapy

Healing Recipes

Doctor of acupuncture and oriental medicine Chris Kleronomos shares his recipes for homemade remedies!

Gua Sha therapy is performed by a practitioner using a round-edged instrument to palpate and scrape certain areas of a patient’s skin. “Gua” means to scrape or rub and “sha” is the word for the small, red patches that result from the irritation. Experts in Chinese medicine explain that the creation of “sha” is thought to stimulate Qi and increase blood flow.

“The intensity of the reaction, traditionally, is said to be based on how deep or how severe the pathogen is,” Chris explains. “The more severe it is, the more reaction you’ll see.”

Gua sha therapy is used for patients who suffer from chronic pain, poor circulation, respiratory problems, inflammation, fatigue, stress and lymphatic congestion.

See how Gua Sha is performed.

Energy Medicine
Energy medicine is based on the philosophy that the body's energies are the key to health, vitality and well-being. In keeping with this theory, energy fields can be measured and can also be used to diagnose possible problem areas of a patient’s body.

Experts in energetic medicine explain that a person’s energy can be blocked, disrupted or weakened by a variety of factors such as environmental toxins and emotional or physical stress. Energetic imbalance can cause poor health and disorders, while repairing or restoring energetic fields can help promote wellness.

Dr. Thom Lobe, founder and medical director of the Beneveda Medical Center, says that as a Western-trained physician, he uses traditional Western medicine but likes to integrate alternative therapies when and where he deems appropriate.

“As a university professor teaching in medical schools for 30 years, I’ve had the opportunity to observe that there’s more to healing than the technology that we learn in Western medical schools.”

Energy Enhancement
Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears visits the Beneveda Medical Center and undergoes a series of energetic evaluations and procedures:
Thermographic Body Scan
Thermography is an imaging technique that uses a high-resolution infrared camera to measure the distribution of heat on the surface of the body. The technique allows practitioners to assess how well a patient’s autonomic nervous system is functioning, as evidenced by the distribution of blood flow in his or her body.

Neuroacoustic Therapy

Neuroacoustic therapy is a form of audio-visual entrainment, or synchronization, which helps re-set brainwaves to more desirable frequencies to facilitate healing and wellness. Patients lie in an anti-gravity chair, wearing headsets programmed with binaural beats and glasses programmed with multi-colored lights that flash according to the programmed frequency. The stimuli override a patient’s brainwave frequencies, re-setting them to the desired pattern.

Spa Ocean Therapy
Patients lie in a hydro-sensory pod and are exposed to infrared heat, steam, and color therapy. “We can actually bring your energy up or calm your energy down,” Dr. Lobe says.

Electro-Photonic Aura Imaging

Electro-photonic imaging uses a process known as gas discharge visualization (GDV) to provide an electronic picture of an individual’s human energy field, or aura. The test provides an image of a patient’s energetic balance and may reveal root causes of health problems.

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OAD 3/31/10