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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Nature’s Essence

September 26, 2008

By Purvi Malhotra

HEAD SLAM

It can leave you clutching your head in pain, looking for relief from any pocket. But instead of popping pills, try soothing away a headache through alternative treatments.

1. Ayurveda: Treatments like Shirodhara, which is a consistent flow of warm aromatic oils on the forehead, followed by a neck and shoulder massage helps cure lifestyle problems like headaches or migraines. It works as a sedative, providing relief from nervous fatigue and irritability.

2. Yoga: Try the trikona asana, which is the triangle pose that involves stretching the torso and rib cage. The spine twist, where you twist and compress the belly, can also work wonders.

3. Naturopathy: Go herbal with feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium), a member of the sunflower family. It can lessen the frequency of attacks. Dim the lights, put your feet in hot water and place a towel soaked in cold water and eau de cologne on the back of your head. This draws the blood to the feet and decreases the pressure in the head.

THE SNUFFLER

Instead of going through the day with a tissue to your nose, try beating the sinusitis blues with these simple remedies.

1. Aromatherapy: A refreshing steam bath with eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, pine, or thyme oil in water can help clear the nasal passage. Steam inhalations are also useful.

2. Acupuncture: Gently massage the hoku or hegu region, which is the mount between your index finger and thumb. It helps relieve the pressure to avoid a sneezing bout. Also try pressing the region below the nostrils. It helps reduce internal swelling.

3. Naturopathy: A simple steam inhalation and salt water gargle will show best results. Also ease the stress with lemon, ginger and honey tea or clear soup with cardamom and ginger.

4. Ayurveda: Massages increase activity in the lungs. Mucous and bronchial secretions can be eliminated by percussive movements on the back and over the lungs.

SPINE WISE

Slouching in your chair or spending hours behind the wheel all of it can cause bad posture, leading to lumber (lower back ache) and cervical (neck region) spondylosis. A tip to remember: while sleeping, keep your head on the mattress.

1. Naturopathy: For quick relief, dip a towel in hot saline water and massage the sore areas. If heat aggravates the pain, switch to a cold pack. You can also alternate between the two.

2. Homeopathy: Have to turn your entire torso due to a stiff neck? Then a course of rhustox will hasten the recovery. And if an injured or a weak back is your albatross, get a dose of arnica and phosphoric acid.

3. Yoga: Feel the back muscles expand and stretch with the bhujanga asana or the cobra posture. You lie straight on the stomach and gently lift the upper part of the body, balancing on your arms. To strengthen the arm, shoulder and upper back muscles, the chakra asana, wheel or raised bow posture is the best.

BRITTLE BONES

If you feel your knees straining to make it up a flight of stairs, try going natural for treatment.

1. Acupuncture: The degenerative or inflammatory process can be reversed by focusing on the influential points of the bones and joints and the local points around the affected region. It can also save you the expense of a joint replacement surgery.

2. Aromatherapy: Buy a lantern or mini lamp and use rosemary, yellow perch or juniper oil instead of the normal oils and absorb the scent. It’ll help calm you down. These can be added to the bath, massaged into the skin, or applied as compresses as well.

3. Yoga: Healing energy comes from within. And generating this energy is best done with yoga. Along with the bhujanga asana and the chakra asana, do the surya namaskaar a couple of times, as it helps strengthen the entire body.

TUMMY TROUBLE

Suffer from irritable bowel movement or get diarrhoea after a meal out? Keep it simple. Have one cereal at a time and drink enough water well before a meal.

1. Naturopathy: It might not taste good, but aloe juice that is derived from the outer layer of the aloe leaf contains substances that have strong laxative effects. But don’t use it frequently as it causes cramps. Other herbs that help are burdock root, dandelion, flaxseed and ginger

2. Homeopathy: If you’re suffering from constipation, due the high intake of laxatives, then take nuxvomica. But if you’re complaining about cramps, start a course of plumbum metalicum.

3. Ayurveda: Peristaltic massage (wave-like motion) in the colon region enhances the digestive process. It strengthens intestine and abdomen muscular walls. And stimulates the secretion of digestive juices from liver, pancreas, stomach and intestines.(With inputs by Ravi Tuli, Head, Holistic Medicine, Apollo Hospital, New Delhi; Rachna Singh, Lifestyle Management Expert, Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon; Mini Thapar Shastri, yoga trainer; Anita Bhartiya, Amatrra Spa)

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