Help ‘Em or Hokum?

I believe in alternative therapies to improve health and generally enhance one’s life. I haven’t tried a lot, but will do a little muscle stretching and adjust my diet before I pop a pill to cure what ails me.  I just got an accupressure mat. I admit when I pulled it out of the box and looked at the circles of sharp plastic points, I cringed. It looked like a torture device. Supposed to relax, increase circulation, increase energy levels and help aching muscles. I’ve tried it twice now, and I’m hooked. It deeply relaxes me (and doesn’t hurt; much), and I think it would be great for calming a headache, or sore muscles ( of which I have many; started exercising a month ago).

It got me to thinking about all the gadgets and geegaws out there designed to help us without actual medicine. My mother-in-law and I went into WalMart the other day and she made a beeline to the jewelry dept. where she excitedly announced she didn’t have that magnetic bracelet, or that one! She got them both. I asked what the magnets were supposed to do for her. She couldn’t remember, but she knew they helped somehow.  🙂

Yoga is an indisputable alternative therapy that requires little in supplies beyond patience and some flexibility. I have the mat and the foam brick, but you know, yoga bores me. (though it is a good workout when done the P90X way).  That pose to the left? That’s about the only one I can do well.

What about healing crystals?  I love crystals and have many, but I forget what they mean and what chakra or emotion they are good for. I keep a clear crystal pyramid sitting below my computer monitor to send it good vibes.  No major crashes yet.  Anyone swear by crystals to improve health and mood? Tell us your favorite crystal and what it’s used for.

Tea is another therapy I can get behind, if only for the wellness of mind it grants, and perhaps the benefits to heart health. And isn’t that good enough?

What about homeopathy? I’ve tried the droplets, but it seems like you have to take so many throughout the day that you might as well just chug the whole thing at one time. I know, cynic rearing its head here, but I do think herbs provide medicinal effects, because don’t most pharmaceuticals originate from plants and herbs anyway?

I like to think that a good diet and positive attitude will cover you 99% in health and wellness. That other 1% I’ll leave up to you.

So what’s your favorite alternative gadget or therapy? I love to hear about them, and if you use it often, or maybe you tried something and thought it was hokum?


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14 Responses to Help ‘Em or Hokum?

  1. Leanne Banks says:

    I like meditation and guided imagery, but I don’t do either often enough. Great for stress and anxiety. I love yoga. Just got a new DVD for Christmas. Yes! I requested it!:) Great topic Michele! xo, Leanne

  2. michelehauf says:

    Leanne, I used to do guided imagery for headaches when I had terrible migraines. It does help! Go you, with the yoga! To really do the poses well and hold them extended periods is tough! I’ll stick with the P90 X.

  3. loisgreiman says:

    I like yoga too. It’s much harder than I thought it would be though I’m back into running now. And that’s ridiculously therapeutic for me. Sometimes I love it. Sometimes I hate it but it always makes me feel accomplished and strong.

    We used to give our show horse drops of homeopathic oil. The one we used most was called ‘courage’. Seriously. We put them on his treats….didn’t help at all, he was still as flighty as a canary, but he got a lot of treats and he loved that.

    I’m with you though, Hauf, go natural if you can.

    Does everyone realize how FANTASTIC Michele looks these days? She’s amazing.

    Good job, you.

  4. Kathleen O'Donnell says:

    Someone gave me one of those bracelets. Said it would help my pain…Maybe for someone with moderate pain, but unfortunaley did nothing for me.. I know there are lot of people that believe in homapathic medicines, again i think they work for people who do not have sevre problems. I tried a couple of remidies for my psoriasis… Ended up in in worse condition than before.. Now I am on a needle I give myself every two weeks and it has worked wonders.. So what works for one, does not work for another…
    But more power to you for trying these things out…

    • michelehauf says:

      Kathleen, that’s it exactly. To each his own. And some things will work great for some and other things for others. We just have to get to know our bodies and learn what works best for it.

  5. catslady says:

    My husband falls for some gadgets – we all got the bracelets and even a second one which I’m still wearing but only because it’s really pretty lol. The one thing we both swear by is concentrated dark cherry juice. Cherries are one of those fruits with a lot of antioxidants and since it’s hard to find dark cherries year round and eat enough of them the juice works well. I add mine to a glass of water to get more liquids (something I don’t do enough of) but you can pour it on ice cream even lol. It’s great for joint pain – really! And for digestion I swear by Activia (or probiotics). It’s really been a lifesaver for me. I should do a commerical with Jamie Lee lol.

    • michelehauf says:

      Oh, cherry juice, how I miss you! I gave up juice because it was so high in sugar, but I continue to hear amazing things about cherry juice. And yes, cut your juice with water, that’s a smart trick. On ice cream sounds absolutely decadent!

  6. Cindy Gerard says:

    Tried wearing a copper bracelet once – the only thing it did was turn my wrist green. Having said that, however, I think that if something works for whoever uses it then more power to them. I’m neither a doubter or a believer in anything specific but I do think the mind set makes the difference. I have friends who swear by magnets for pain.

    • michelehauf says:

      I think the magnet thing must have merit because of the whole ‘body electric’ thing. I imagine there’s a clear scientific explanation for how it all works, but sometimes I think believing increases efficacy as well.

  7. Marilyn says:

    I’ve used a homeopathic remedy called “Rescue Remedy.” It just kinda smoothes you out without leaving you dazed or too out of it to function. A massage therapist friend suggested it. I’m a great believer in massage as well. And last year I took training in Reiki. According to, “Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.” That energy is the same as what accupucture uses and Reiki also works with your chakras. I’ve had accupuncture and it worked for the purpose intended — an inflamed muscle in my back. And I use a guided meditation/progressive relaxation track on my iPod sometimes to help me fall asleep at night.

    Like Cindy, if it works for you, then great. Reiki has helped me with relaxation and stress. And I’m using it now on some injuries from a car wreck I was in last Friday night. I’m beat up and banged up and my car is totaled, but I am alive thanks to seat belts and air bags.

    Great post! It reminded me I need to email my massage therapist and see if she can work on my neck and shoulders.

  8. michelehauf says:

    Marilyn, good to know you were only banged and bruised by the accident. Cars are replaceable. I’m sort of a freak about massage. Don’t like people to touch me. But that said, I just got back from having my hair done and I almost fell asleep as she was washing my hair and massaging my scalp. So good. One of these days I’ll break down and get a massage, but I think I have ‘touch’ issues to get past first. 😉
    I’d love to learn more abou the chakras. Must have been a fascinating course!

  9. Kylie Brant says:

    I’m ready to try acupuncture for chronic sinus infections. I’ve been on medication three times in the last two months and it’s back again. My daughter has stage four endometriosis and acupuncture has saved her, literally. So if it works for her, maybe it will work for me? I’m ready to give it whirl. It would be nice to be able to breathe through my nose again!

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