The conventional wisdom about how to age well still holds true. But research on many natural remedies and alternative mind-body therapies has been revealing benefits that can enhance this wellness.
Dr. Andrew Weil, Director of the Center for Integrative Medicine of the College of Medicine, University of Arizona, has recommended a few natural remedies for women dealing with menopause, and associated aspects of aging.
Soy's isoflavones may balance hormones and replicate estrogen. Weil suggested soy milk, roasted soy nuts, tempeh and tofu.
Lignins in flaxseed regulate hormone metabolism. The best way to access lignins is by grinding flaxseed.
Black cohosh (Cumicifuga racemosa) may ease menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, apparently regulating hormone levels. Lack of estrogenic action may make black cohosh a safe herb for women with a history of breast cancer.
Evening primrose oil and black currant oil contain gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). GLA is an essential fatty acid that eases symptoms of menopause.
Dong quai (Angelica sinensis) regulates female hormones. Weil cautions women to avoid dong quai if they've had heavy bleeding.
Dr. Adrian White, editor in chief of the scientific journal Acupuncture in Medicine, has asserted that acupuncture can enhance health and well-being. He said that acupuncture affects nerves in the brain and spinal cord and triggers the release of opioids and serotonin.
Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Michael Roizin have thrown their support behind acupuncture. It can induce peaceful sleep in insomniacs.
Acupuncture can bring relief to arthritic joints. It can bring relief to back pain and migraines.
Acupuncture reduces side effects from chemotherapy or radiation treatments. It releases endorphins into the brain and bloodstream, enhancing the flow of nerve impulses.
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine recently endorsed rhodiola rosea, a plant extract used to reduce anxiety, relieve fatigue and enhance cognition.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) advocates the health benefits of herbs and supplements, and mind-body therapies.