National Naturopathic Medicine Week

National Naturopathic Medicine Week, from October 7th to the 13th, has been a long time coming. Over the course of the past fifty years, naturopathic medicine has made a miraculous integration into many mainstream venues of medicine as people start to seek out natural alternatives to prescription medications. To celebrate National Naturopathic Medicine Week, renowned TV personality and celebrated surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz covered alternative medicine techniques and explained how they’re making their way into the traditional medical world all over the country.

Neti pots, an ancient Indian invention used to help with sinus pain and congestion, get a blue ribbon for allergy relief from Dr. Oz. “They’ve gone from a holistic happening to a mainstream movement,” he says, and for good reason. Mucus buildup and pollen stuck in the sinuses are notorious for exacerbating illness symptoms and allergy issues, as well as stubbornly retaining infected fluids even after the rest of a virus has been flushed out of the body. The neti pot, without the help of pharmaceuticals, flushes out the sinuses by channeling water through the nostrils. It’s a simple, natural, and most importantly, effective solution for an issue that plagues many.

Pain can be a tricky thing to address, especially in the traditional medicine world. Many common pain relief prescriptions can double as powerful narcotics when misused, and come with a host of discomfiting side effects and potential risks. A technique long used in Chinese medical practices, however, could be just the answer to this dilemma. Acupuncture uses extremely thin needles to pierce shallowly into specific points in the tissue, helping break up muscle spasms and relieving all sorts of pains: “everything from migraine headaches to menstrual cramps,” according to Dr. Jill Blakeway, even including postoperative pain. With over 20 million Americans swearing by acupuncture, it’s no wonder it’s Dr. Oz’s blue ribbon alternative treatment for pain relief.

Stress is an increasingly prevalent concern in the lives of many, with social, monetary, and general free-floating anxiety becoming debilitating for a huge portion of the population. It’s not all in your head: stress has been proven to cause headaches, sleep issues, irritability, and even hair loss. Prescription medications for anxiety, like those for pain, can be a slippery slope, the many different variations coming with just as many alarming potential side effects. With all of these considerations, it’s no wonder so many people have been looking for a natural, non-chemical alternative, with many of them coming up with a Dr. Oz favorite, ujjayi breathing.

Used frequently in Taoist and Yoga practices, it helps relieve many kinds of stress from many different sources. This simple method broadly encomasses all different kinds of anxiety. Placing your right hand on your stomach and your left hand on your clavicle, you take a deep breath through your nose and then exhale forcefully, making a point of expelling all the air in your lungs and compressing your stomach and chest back towards your spine. Remove your hands once you get the feel of things, and continue the motions. It’s simple, quiet, and best of all, as Dr. Oz interjects, “nobody knows you’re doing it.” Trapped in a crowd, feeling crowded in a subway or terrified of an upcoming event, ujjayi breathing can be used anywhere at any time, improving quality of life for people all over the globe.