Alternative Medicine


Aug. 31 2007, Published 1:00 p.m. ET

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While some people are skittish about alternative remedies, celebrities seem to embrace them full-force. Sheryl Crow turned to acupuncture to help her through her battle with breast cancer; Pamela Anderson sought natural treatment when she found out she had hepatitis C; and Gwyneth Paltrow has long been known to use acupuncture and other nontraditional treatments for various aches and pains. Gwyneth’s favorite holistic guru, Dr. Joshi, owner of Joshi Clinic in London (he’s the man responsible for those cupping marks on Gwyn’s back a few years ago), talked to OK! about the most popular treatments the stars seek out.

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What is it? Cups are attached to specific areas (usually on the back), and the air is evacuated (with a small flame in the cup that creates a vacuum) to suck the skin in and increase local blood flow. Cups are left on for 20 minutes and cause the blood to be drawn into the small vessels just below the skin. This procedure may cause round bruises to form, but they go away shortly.

What can it treat? Cupping is great for muscular aches and pains, as well as for detoxing and cleansing blood. It is used in many countries to cleanse the body and stimulate the immune system.


What is it? Fine needles are inserted into the skin and underlying tissues to stimulate specific points on the body. This is believed to uanblock the flow of chi (spiritual energy) and restore the balance between yin and yang. It’s not painful, but you may feel some tingling.

What can it treat? Various problems, including skin conditions, addictions, infertility, body pain and even weight-loss issues.

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What is it? Direct stimulation by a therapist’s fingertips, knuckles or hands, or even blunt instruments, on specific points of a patient’s body.

What can it treat? It relieves stress and tension and reduces blood pressure and anxiety while increasing your energy, mental clarity and awareness.


What is it? You may not have heard of this one, but it’s been the traditional medical system of India for thousands of years and is based on the theory that illness results from the imbalance of the body’s life force. Ayurveda uses herbs, massage, yoga and internal cleansing to restore balance within the body. It involves complete detoxification.

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What can it treat? It is used to alleviate medical conditions, various ailments and diseases without the added side effects of traditional medicine.

Crystal therapy

What is it? Depending on the body’s energy, specific crystals are selected for the healing process. They are placed around the body, working on the layers of the aura through vibrations. This procedure focuses on particular organs and parts of the body that need a boost of vital energy.

Gwyneth Paltrow
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What can it treat? It balances the chakras (the seven energy centers of the body), which are seen to have a direct influence on

hormones and general well-being.

Did you know?

Some of us practice alternative healing and don’t even know it!

Yoga By focusing on the mind and body at once, you create

harmony and balance.

Massage therapy Through massage, tissues are manipulated to relieve pain and stress and promote wellness.

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Meditation By stilling the mind and body, you allow for greater self-awareness. This can reduce anxiety, stress and pain.


“There is a tendency not to tell doctors about natural supplements. But it’s important that they know what you’re taking,” says Dr. Daniel Grosz, a psychiatrist who is board certified in holistic medicine. Dr. Grosz tells OK! about some of the supplements you can take to cure common ailments. But, he warns, “some supplements can affect medications you’re currently taking.” So make sure to fill your doc in!

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Need a pick-me-up? Ginseng is a natural stimulant and can boost energy levels. It has also been shown to reduce stress.

Depressed? Omega-3 fatty acids in high

doses (about 2 grams a day) can

help elevate your mood and control

mood swings.

Can’t sleep? Our bodies naturally

produce melatonin, but sometimes we

need a little extra (about 3 milligrams

before bed) to help us get a better

night’s sleep, without feeling drowsy

in the morning.

Anxious? St. John’s wort, which is

commonly used to treat depression,

is also good for treating anxiety.

By Karen Berg


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