Complementary Alternative Medicine for Holistic Treatment Options for Addiction

As someone who has been practicing spiritually based integrative therapies since 2006, looking into using complimentary alternative medicine (CAM) for holistic treatment options as part of an addiction treatment program intrigues me. Personally, in my own recovery, not from addictions, but from complex post traumatic stress disorder or CPTSD, these therapies I credit for saving my life, reduced my need to be medicated and potentially reduced my risk for addictions.

In this post, I was hoping to learn more about how effective these therapies are in treatment for addiction, but have found limited scientific data.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)[1], approximately 23 million Americans require treatment for a substance use problem, but only 2.5 million people in the U.S. receive treatment which includes:

  • pharmacotherapy, including medications to treat addiction or related mental health conditions;
  • behavioral therapy, including well-known techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy(CBT),\
  • motivational enhancement therapy (MET),
  • and contingency management(CM);
  • or a combination of pharmacotherapy and behavioral therapy.

As we are learning to understand, due to the complexity of how addiction affects each person, there is not one single treatment right for everyone.

With that said, even the best treatments cannot guarantee complete remission of addiction and drug-seeking behaviors, which is why integrating CAM approaches as part of the treatment option might improve the recovery outcomes.

Types of CAM approaches are separated into two categories:

  • Natural products such as mineral, vitamins, herbals, Adaptogens like Ashwagandha and probiotics.
  • Mind and body therapies such as yoga, chiropractic, osteopathic, meditation, massage, acupuncture, Thai chi, expressive arts, reiki, Chinese medicine, Ayurveda medicine, homeopathy, naturopathic medicine and more.

CAM treatments can benefit addiction treatment in at least three ways[2]:

  • addiction prevention,
  • increasing treatment compliance,
  • and boosting treatment outcomes.

In the case of prevention, CAM interventions can be implemented to treat underlying conditions that commonly occur in association with addiction, such as mental illness and chronic pain. If these issues are addressed and managed early, addiction may never develop. For mental illness, there is good evidence to support that CAM strategies are effective in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety.[3]

The Benefits of Adaptogens

Adaptogens like Ashwagandha[4] root are natural substances that help the adrenal system regulate hormones and manage stress. Over recent years, I have seen how well Ashwagandha works for so many especially those with diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, addictions, and sleep issues that have astounded me and have had reports of some in recovery who have used this as part of their treatment effectively.

One of the attributes of ashwagandha is its ability to induce calmness and clarity by regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin and the stress hormone cortisol.  Research has shown that consuming ashwagandha may “substantially” reduce chronic stress to help your body adapt to and alleviate the stomach-churning anxiety stress can cause. (Mercola)

Research indicates there’s a likelihood that ashwagandha may be useful for helping patients in opioid withdrawal as well as reducing or eliminating dependence on benzodiazapene drugs such as Xanax and Valium[5].

Equine Assisted Therapy

Statistics, data, and research is lacking in the field of complimentary alternative medicine. However, CAM approaches can be helpful by keeping the individual engaged and active in their course of addiction treatment.

One such technique is horse-assisted therapy (also known as equine-assisted therapy), an intervention that actively involves horses during the therapy process. Results show that people stayed in treatment for twice as many days and were much more likely to complete treatment than those in traditional programming.[6]

Mindfulness Based Approaches

According to NCCIH, mindfulness-based approaches have shown some success when applied to the treatment of substance abuse and addiction by improving distress tolerance.[7]

Available data suggest that mindfulness-based interventions may help significantly reduce the consumption of several substances including alcohol, cigarettes, opiates, and others compared to control groups; however, many studies have had small sample sizes, methodological problems, and a lack of consistently replicated findings.

Other types of CAM treatments studied with effectiveness include[8]:

  • Mindfulness meditation has been effective in reducing cigarette use and reducing cravings.
  • Mindfulness Based for Reduction in Pain: 2016 review also found that mindfulness-based interventions effectively reduce pain intensity, improve functional status, improve pain-related psychological consequences, and improve quality of life; they can also be used as adjunct therapy aimed at improving health-related quality of life in individuals with substance use disorders interested in self-management strategies.
  • Mindfulness Based For Reduction of Consumption:2014 systematic review of 24 studies found evidence suggesting that mindfulness-based interventions can reduce the consumption of several substances including alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, marijuana, cigarettes, and opiates to a significantly greater extent than wait list controls, non-specific educational support groups, and some specific control groups.
  • Hypnotherapy study in 2014 found that hypnotherapy patients were more likely than nicotine replacement therapy patients to be nonsmokers at 12 weeks and 26 weeks after hospitalization.
  • Yoga has been shown to reduce cravings and to ease withdrawal from nicotine, with stronger results in women.
  • Thai chi seems to enhance mindfulness and one’s ability to break the cycle of nicotine addiction.
  • Acupuncture has been studied with a number of addictions.Most notably, electric acupuncture has helped to reduce relapse rates for people addicted to opioids.

Several studies have used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine the effects of mindful attention on the anterior cingulate and prefrontal cortex in smokers, the areas of the brain associated with cravings and self-control.

In a 2017 study of 23 participants who completed either mindfulness training or cognitive behavioral treatment for smoking cessation, the researchers found that stress reactivity in several brain regions including the amygdala and anterior/mid insula was related to reductions in smoking after treatment.[9] The findings suggest that reduction in stress reactivity may be one of the underlying mechanisms of mindfulness-based treatments.

The Benefits of Tibetan Singing Bowls

Tibetan Singing Bowls[10] have been used by Tibetan monks for centuries for healing and meditation purposes. These bowls create a range of sounds to restore the normal vibratory frequencies of diseased and out-of-harmony parts of the body, mind and soul.

A 2016 study examined the effects of sound meditation, specifically Tibetan singing bowl meditation, which “concluded that Tibetan singing bowl meditation may be a feasible low-cost low technology intervention for reducing feelings of tension, anxiety, and depression, and increasing spiritual well-being. This meditation type may be especially useful in decreasing tension in individuals who have not previously practiced this form of meditation.”[11]

Although the study results are brief, I find it promising.  I began using Tibetan singing bowls in my work in 2015 as something I felt drawn to do on an instinctual basis for my own healing. As someone who has a history of trauma resulting in CPTSD, I welcome this study.

I went through the traditional medicinal route and felt I was given a band-aid with a wound that continued to grow and fester with no relief in sight. So since 2005, I began looking into me. Who I am, and how can I heal especially when my very trust in humanity was so broken. I went up into the spiritual unknown to  build my trust in my spirituality.

“If we accept that sound is vibration and we know that vibration touches every part of our physical being, then we understand that sound is heard not only through our ears but through every cell in our bodies. One reason sound heals on a physical level is because it so deeply touches and transforms us on the emotional and spiritual planes. Sound can redress imbalances on every level of physiologic functioning and can play a positive role in the treatment of virtually any medical disorder.” — Dr. Mitchell Gaynor

Reiki For Addiction

Other potential viable options also include reiki.  Since traditional nonwestern forms of reiki (Jikiden Reiki[12]) has been prevalent in my own personal healing path as well as with those I have treated and/or taught who are in recovery, I looked into reiki research.  Jikiden Reiki® is the “direct teaching” of Reiki from Japan that is free from Western influence. The word Reiki itself means “soul energy”, which is the natural, vital healing force found in all life.

Jikiden Reiki® sessions focus on removing toxins from the body and guiding it towards wholeness. Jikiden Reiki is known for its effective treatment of acute and chronic conditions, as well as to address deep rooted beliefs, habits, traumas and addictions.  Reiki has been effective treatment option like alleviating pain, pre-op and post-op surgery recovery, anxiety, skin conditions and post-traumatic stress.

Unfortunately, I was unable to find a quality study on the effectiveness of reiki for addiction, but found numerous individual accounts of addiction and recovery on how reiki helped their own recovery as evidence.

According to the Rehab Center which offers reiki therapy, states “alternative medicine, like Reiki therapy, for addiction has been successful for some individuals, but is likely only effective when it meets the unique needs and beliefs of the person”.[13]

Benefits include according to this site:

  • may help an individual with some aspects of recovery
  • boost energy
  • lower stress
  • reduce pain
  • help with symptoms of withdrawals
  • reduce agitation
  • promote relaxation,
  • may also help a person remain calm during the early and stressful stages of addiction treatment.

According to Sober Nation, if done within the few first days of detox, Reiki therapy may help make withdrawal symptoms more tolerable to endure. Secondly, people are better able to deal with stress of recovery and life in a healthier manner.[14]

Additionally, Reiki therapy for drug and alcohol addiction also helps those newly recovering deal with anger and resentments which are common triggers that can lead people back into active addiction. I have personally witnessed this aspect in my own practice when reiki is used effectively from a qualified practitioner. Reiki therapy also helps repair the physical and psychological damage that addiction causes and allows the individual to get back on a path towards a healthy lifestyle.[15]

I did find one recovery site that had concerns regarding reiki “detoxication” which can be explained simply from my experience.[16] Most Americans are trained in some form of  “westernized” reiki which is NOT the full scope of training as it was taught in Japan with many added “new age” concepts. When the traditional training is adhered to which takes decades to master, the so called “reiki detoxification” mentioned has been reduced by 90% with a 90% reduction of intensification from my own personal experience of doing THIS work since 2006.

Final Thoughts

Overall, there is a lack of evidence to support the use of many forms of CAM despite numerous individual claims of benefit. I can personally attest to this so-called phenomena.  For this reason, most of the sites I researched urged “caution” in initiating CAM treatments due to lack of safety.

This only makes me question is this due to the lack of research or money lobbied by big business, wall street and Big Pharma. I say this because known therapies such as meditation and yoga have repeatedly been shown to be effective and safe and have been effectively practiced as part of a spiritual based practice for thousands of years.

I also feel that how is it possible to quantify and make quantitative something that is spiritually based like yoga, reiki, Thai chi, or meditation just to name a few which can vary based on personal beliefs, spiritual beliefs, and experiences that at the end of the day are all personal.

This is not a one shoe fits all approach. It takes someone skilled at knowing their clients, their needs and belief systems to know which approach is best suited for them. It is part of what I consider the spiritual journey. These therapies are different from other forms of spiritually based therapies as they are free from religious indoctrination and dogma and tap into the something that links all spiritual beliefs that are our innate BE-ing.

Based on what my research is showing and from my own personal experiences, the results of implementing complimentary alternative medicine as part of a treatment plan can be very promising with much less serious if not deadly side effects seen in traditional medical approaches and can be used as part of a treatment program during ALL stages addiction treatment.

I am hoping you found this guide helpful. This is just the tip to what is possible and plausible.

I would LOVE to hear from you as to what you found most resourceful for you

With appreciation,

Laura

Spiritual Medium, Healer, Speaker, Writer, Metaphysician, Advocate, Holistic Health Practitioner, Facilitator, Trauma Specialist, Empowerment Specialist and Spiritual Badass.


For more information about classes, click here and our events calendar, click here.

To book a private session, click here.

SIGN UP FOR MONTHLY E-NEWS

Follow me on FacebookInstagramLinkedInYouTube.


Disclaimer

Please note that content on this website is intended for informational purposes only, and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional, not is it meant to diagnose or treat a health problem, symptom or disease. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read on this website. Information provided on this website DOES NOT create a doctor-patient relationship between you and any doctor affiliated with our website.


RESOURCES:

[1] U.S. Department of Health & Human Services; The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; (2014); https://www.samhsa.gov/;  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK385055/pdf/Bookshelf_NBK385055.pdf

[2] National Rehab Directory by American Addiction Centers; Complementary and Alternative Treatment for Drug Addiction; Eric Peterson; (November 4, 2019); https://www.rehabs.com/complementary-alternative-medicine-for-addiction/

a href=”#_ftnref3″ name=”_ftn3″>[3] National Rehab Directory by American Addiction Centers; Complementary and Alternative Treatment for Drug Addiction; Eric Peterson; (November 4, 2019); https://www.rehabs.com/complementary-alternative-medicine-for-addiction/

[4] Why Ashwagandha Root Could Be The Cure For The Western Epidemic of Stress Related Illness; Laura Joseph; November 2018; https://laurahealingwithspirit.com/why-ashwagandha-root-could-be-the-cure-for-the-western-epidemic-of-stress-related-illness/

[5] How the War on Drugs Has Caused More Harm Than Good; April 7, 2016; Dr. Mercola; https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/04/07/war-on-drugs-opioids.aspx

[6] Kern-Godal, A., Arnevik, E. A., Walderhaug, E., & Ravndal, E. (2015). Substance Use Disorder Treatment Retention and Completion: A Prospective Study of Horse-Assisted Therapy (HAT) for Young AdultsAddiction Science & Clinical Practice, 10, 21.; https://ascpjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13722-015-0043-4

[7] National Institutes of Health; National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health; Mind and Body Approaches for Substance Use Disorders; (April 2018); https://nccih.nih.gov/health/providers/digest/Substance-Disorders<

[8] National Institutes of Health; National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health; Mind and Body Approaches for Substance Use Disorders; (April 2018); https://nccih.nih.gov/health/providers/digest/Substance-Disorders-science#hed5

[9] National Institutes of Health; National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health; Mind and Body Approaches for Substance Use Disorders; (April 2018); https://nccih.nih.gov/health/providers/digest/Substance-Disorders-science#hed5

[10] Vibrational Healing/Tibetan Singing Bowls; Healing With Spirit; https://laurahealingwithspirit.com/services/meditation/vibrational-healing-tibetan-singing-bowls/

[11] Medical Study of the Effects of Singing Bowl Sound Meditation on Mood, Tension, and Well-Being; Healing With Spirit; November 18, 2016; https://laurahealingwithspirit.com/medical-study-of-the-effects-of-singing-bowl-sound-meditation-on-mood-tension-and-well-being/

[12] Jikiden Reiki Services; Healing With Spirit; https://laurahealingwithspirit.com/services/reiki/jikiden-reiki-services/

[13] Addiction Campuses; Reiki Therapy For Addiction; Medically reviewed by Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC; (January 24, 2019); https://www.rehabcenter.net/reiki-therapy-for-addiction/

[14]Behavioral Health Innovators; Sober Nation; Holistic Therapy Spotlight: Reiki Therapy for Addiction; Tim Powers; (3/24/2016); https://sobernation.com/holistic-therapy-spotlight-reiki-therapy-for-addiction/

[15] Behavioral Health Innovators; Sober Nation; Holistic Therapy Spotlight: Reiki Therapy for Addiction; Tim Powers; (3/24/2016); https://sobernation.com/holistic-therapy-spotlight-reiki-therapy-for-addiction/

[16] Axis Recovery; Reiki Detox Therapy; https://axisresidentialtreatment.com/drug-detox/reiki-therapy/

Why Ashwagandha Root Could Be The Cure For The Western Epidemic of Stress Related Illness

I have decided to post about this important herb as a resource for our growing community searching for healthy alternatives.  Over recent years, I have seen how well it works for so many especially those with diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, addictions, and sleep issues that have astounded me.

I began talking to others and exploring success ratios to my astonishment, which led me to begin working with many practitioners in the traditional broken American healthcare system educating them regarding my experiences personally and professionally. I am pleased to see some doctors, nurse practitioners and psychiatrists/licensed mental health prescribers beginning to consider this herb as a viable alternative to barbiturates, tranquilizers, anti-depressants, or other drugs such as the gabapentin.

As a matter of fact, I was recently diagnosed with chronic autoimmune thyroiditis, and I had stopped taking the Ashwagandha root personally too. As a result, I have decided as part of my own personal treatment plan to start taking this again (including my daily meditation, thyroid anti-inflammatory diet, jikiden reiki practice, and mindfulness as well as increasing my daily Vitamin D3 to attain a more optimum level).

So, here is more information compiled from some trusted sources (listed below) for you regarding this amazing herb.

Disclaimer: Always consult with your healthcare practitioner before using supplements if you have any health conditions.

 

What is it?

Ashwagandha, one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing, has been used in India for nearly 5,000 years for a wide variety of conditions.  One of the best known is its use as an adaptogen, meaning that it helps you manage emotional and physical stress.

The name Ashwagandha is from the Sanskrit language and is a combination of the word ashva, meaning horse, and gandha, meaning smell. The root has a strong aroma that is described as “horse-like.”

In Ayurvedic, Indian, and Unani medicine, ashwagandha is described as “Indian ginseng.” Ashwagandha is also used in traditional African medicine for a variety of ailments.  Don’t confuse ashwagandha with Physalis alkekengi. Both are known as winter cherry.

A member of the Solanaceae family, or nightshade family, ashwagandha is related botanically to potatoes, pepper, and tomatoes.

Why Use Ashwagandha?

Do any of these common symptoms sound familiar?

  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Poor memory
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Low libido
  • Frequent illness
  • Anxiety
  • Low endurance (mentally or physically)
  • Joint pain
  • Neurological condition

The use of ashwagandha can help alleviate these symptoms and support an energetic and rejuvenating sense of well-being.

Ashwagandha as an Adaptogenic Herb

In Ayurveda, there are specific herbs with adaptogenic benefits—ashwagandha is one of them.

Adaptogens are substances (a combination of amino acids, vitamins, and herbs) that modulate your response to stress or a changing environment. Adaptogens help the body cope with external stresses such as toxins in the environment and internal stresses such as anxiety and insomnia.

One of the attributes of ashwagandha is its ability to induce calmness and clarity by regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin and the stress hormone cortisol.

One of the attributes of ashwagandha is its ability to induce calmness and clarity by regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin and the stress hormone cortisol.

Research has shown that consuming ashwagandha may not only reduce cortisol levels but also, as an adaptagen, can “substantially” reduce chronic stress to help your body adapt to and alleviate the stomach-churning anxiety stress can cause. (Mercola)

Research indicates there’s a likelihood that ashwagandha may be useful for helping patients in opioid withdrawal as well as reducing or eliminating dependence on benzodiazapene drugs such as Xanax and Valium.

 

Benefits of Ashwangdha

Ashwagandha contains many useful medicinal chemicals, including withanolides (steroidal lactones), glutathione (powerful antioxidant), alkaloids, choline, fatty acids, amino acids, and a variety of sugars.

While the leaves and fruit have valuable therapeutic properties, the root of the ashwagandha plant is the part most commonly used in Western herbal remedies.

Medical researchers have been studying ashwagandha for years with great interest and have completed more than 200 studies on the healing benefits of this botanical.

Animal studies have found constituents of the herb, including alkaloids, steroidal lactones, and saponins, to reduce inflammation and calm the nervous system.

Ashwagandha, today, is used for arthritis, anxiety, bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), balance, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), trouble sleeping (insomnia), tumors, tuberculosis, asthma, a skin condition marked by white patchiness (leukoderma), bronchitis, backache, fibromyalgia, menstrual problems, hiccups, Parkinson’s disease, and chronic liver disease. It is also used to reduce side effects of medications used to treat cancer and schizophrenia. Ashwagandha is used to reduce levels of fat and sugar in the blood.

Ashwagandha is known to help people strengthen their immune system after illness, chemotherapy, or surgery. It is a highly effective, evidence-based remedy for anxiety and stress—by lowering cortisol levels and mimicking the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA.

Some people also use ashwagandha for improving thinking ability, decreasing pain and swelling (inflammation), fertility problems in men and women and also to increase sexual desire.

Ashwagandha is applied to the skin for treating wounds, backache, and one-sided paralysis (hemiplegia).

Some key examples of the healing effects of Ashwagandha are:

  • Protects the immune system
  • Helps combat the effects of stress
  • Improves learning, memory, and reaction time
  • Reduces anxiety and depression without causing drowsiness
  • Helps reduce brain-cell degeneration
  • Stabilizes blood sugar
  • Helps lower cholesterol
  • Offers anti-inflammatory and analgesic benefits
  • Contains anti-malarial properties
  • Enhances sexual potency for both men and women
  • May be an effective anti-tumor agent
  • Promotes new nerve growth

 

How does it work?

(Per WebMD)

Ashwagandha contains chemicals that might help calm the brain, reduce swelling (inflammation), lower blood pressure, and alter the immune system.

Stress.Taking a specific ashwagandha root extract (KSM66, Ixoreal Biomed) 300 mg twice daily after food for 60 days appears to improve symptoms of stress.

Reducing side effects associated with medications called antipsychotics. Antipsychotics are used to treat schizophrenia but they can cause levels of fat and sugar in the blood to increase. Taking a specific ashwagandha extract (Cap Strelaxin, M/s Pharmanza Herbal Pvt. Ltd., Gujarat, India) 400 mg three times daily for one month might reduce levels of fat and sugar in the blood in people using these medications.

Anxiety. Some clinical research shows that taking ashwagandha can reduce some symptoms of anxiety.

Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).Some clinical research shows that a combination herbal product containing ashwagandha may improve attention and impulse control in children with ADHD. The effect of ashwagandha alone is unclear.

Bipolar disorder.Taking a specific ashwagandha extract (Sensoril, Natreon, Inc., New Bruswick, New Jersey) for 8 weeks might improve brain function in people being treated for bipolar disorder.

A brain condition called cerebellar ataxia.Preliminary research shows that ashwagandha in combination with an alternative form of medicine known as Ayurvedic therapy might improve balance in people with cerebellar ataxia.

Fatigue in people treated for cancer (chemotherapy).Early research suggests taking a specific ashwagandha extract 2,000 mg (Himalaya Drug Co, New Delhi, India) during chemotherapy treatment might reduce tiredness.

Diabetes. There is some evidence that ashwagandha might reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

High cholesterol.There is some evidence that ashwagandha might reduce cholesterol levels in patients with high cholesterol.

Male infertility.Some preliminary clinical evidence suggests that ashwagandha might improve sperm quality, but not sperm count, in infertile men. It is not known if taking ashwagandha can actually improve fertility.

Osteoarthritis.Early research shows that ashwagandha taken along with a zinc complex, guggul, and turmeric might improve arthritis symptoms. The impact of ashwagandha alone is unclear.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).Early research shows that ashwagandha root extract might reduce symptoms of OCD when taken with prescribed medications for 6 weeks better than taking the prescribed medication alone.

Parkinson’s disease.Preliminary research suggests that a combination of herbs including ashwagandha improves Parkinson’s symptoms. The effect of ashwagandha alone in Parkinson’s is unknown.

Rheumatoid arthritis. Early research shows that ashwagandha powder taken for 3 weeks followed by 4 weeks of sidh makardhwaj (a mixture of gold, mercury, and sulfur) slightly improves symptoms in some people with RA. The impact of ashwagandha alone in RA is unclear.

Increasing interest in sex.Early research shows that taking ashwagandha extract daily for 8 weeks along with receiving counseling increases interest in sex and sexual satisfaction in adult women with sexual dysfunction better than counseling alone.

Also, ashwagandha has shown to be beneficial for:

  • Altering immune system function.
  • Inducing vomiting.
  • Liver problems.
  • Preventing the signs of aging.
  • Swelling (inflammation).
  • Other conditions.

 

How to Add Ashwagandha to Your Diet

angelorosa / Pixabay

According to Ayurveda, our bodies are woven from food. The nutrients we ingest are metabolized into the energy and information that form our cells, tissues, and organs. Every day our bodies need essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to maintain our body’s delicate balance.

Ashwagandha is classically taken as a fine powder mixed in honey or ghee. In western countries, it typically ingested in capsule form.

The typical recommended dose is 500 to 1,000 mg. For people who suffer from insomnia and anxiety, having a cup of hot milk that contains a teaspoon of powdered ashwagandha or an ashwagandha capsule before bedtime is beneficial.

 

Special Precautions:

(discuss with your physician before taking Ashwagandha)

Prescription Medications – American Pharmaceutical DRUGS

qimono / Pixabay

Before I go to precautions with Ashwagandha, let’s look at the side effects of some commonly prescribed medications before we judge the side effects of this powerful herb.

Let’s compare. Then you decide which is safer.

What I see as the alternatives being prescribed daily in our traditional healthcare system carry MORE serious concerns.

Many traditional medicinal prescriptions carry side effects ranging from leading to addiction to causing dementia or increase risk for suicide. Yet the medical community is concerned about recommending Ashwagandha because why????

Commonly prescribed medications that carry serious side effects include:

  • Gabapentin (Seizures, Nerve Pain, Fibromyalgia, Anxiety, Depression, Pain): dementia, addiction (which is rarely listed but increasing problem),  suicidal thoughts, life threatening rash, organ failure, blurred vision, kidney problems, could make moods worse, aggressive behavior, chest pain, bloody stools, and more.
  • Lamictal (Seizures, Bipolar, Depression, Anxiety) :carries a black box label that can cause life threatening rashes to meningitis to suicidal thoughts. Irritable bowel type symptoms which is NOT listed.  – – – My story: I was given this drug for PTSD and Anxiety. My IBS symptoms went from 7 days a week to 1-2x a mo instantly when I stopped this drug several years ago.  This drug is also listed on Psycom as “The side effects of Lamotrigine are relatively harmless as compared to other options” REALLY?  “Lamotrigine induced mania is usually treated with Topiramate or lithium” (Pscycom) REALLY? Another DRUG to treat a side effect of this drug?
  • Paxil (Depression, PMS, PTSD, Anxiety): decreased interest in sex, changes in sexual ability, hallucinations, loss of coordination, severe dizziness, numbness/tingling, easy bruising/bleeding, fast/irregular heartbeat, seizures.
  • Xanax (Anxiety, PTSD): hallucinations, thoughts of suicide, slurred speech or difficulty talking, loss of coordination, trouble walking, memory problems, and can lead to addiction.
  • Adderall (ADD/ADHD):  Psychosis Caused By A Drug, hallucinations, thoughts of suicide, high blood pressure, seizures, anger outbursts, and can lead to addiction.
  • Synthroid (thyroid): hair loss, nervousness, mood swings, tiredness, diarrhea, shaking (tremor), headache, shortness of breath, bone pain, easily broken bones, chest pain, fast/irregular heartbeat, swellingseizures.

Ashwagandha Precautions:

Pregnancyand breast-feeding: Do NOT use ashwagandha if you are pregnant. There is some evidence that ashwagandha might cause miscarriages.

Diabetes: Ashwagandha might lower blood sugar levels.  If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar closely.

High or low blood pressure: Ashwagandha might decrease blood pressure. Ashwagandha should be used cautiously if you have low blood pressure or take medications for your blood pressure.

Stomach ulcers: Ashwagandha can irritate the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. 

“Auto-immune diseases” such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Ashwagandha might cause the immune system to become more active, and this could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. If you have one of these conditions, it’s best to avoid using ashwagandha.

Surgery: Ashwagandha may slow down the central nervous system. Healthcare providers worry that anesthesia and other medications during and after surgery might increase this effect. Stop taking ashwagandha at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Thyroid disorders: Ashwagandha might increase thyroid hormone levels.

Moderate Interactions

(discuss with your physician before taking Ashwagandha):

Ashwagandha may increase the sedative effects of benzodiazepines such as Valium, Ativan, Xanax, and other depressants. It may also interact immunosuppressant medications. Talk with your doctor before beginning a supplement regimen that includes ashwagandha.

In animal studies, high dosages have been linked to toxicity, including impacts on thyroid function; however, human studies are limited.

Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants) interacts with ASHWAGANDHA – Ashwagandha seems to increase the immune system. Taking ashwagandha along with medications that decrease the immune system might decrease the effectiveness of medications that decrease the immune system. Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.

Sedative medications (Benzodiazepines) interacts with ASHWAGANDHA – Ashwagandha might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Drugs that cause sleepiness and drowsiness are called sedatives. Taking ashwagandha along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness. Some of these sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), and others.

Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interacts with ASHWAGANDHA – Ashwagandha might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking ashwagandha along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness. Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others. 

Minor Interactions:

Thyroid hormone interacts with ASHWAGANDHA – The body naturally produces thyroid hormones. Ashwagandha might increase how much thyroid hormone the body produces. Taking ashwagandha with thyroid hormone pills might cause too much thyroid hormone in the body, and increase the effects and side effects of thyroid hormone.

Medical Caution:  Always consult with your healthcare practitioner before using supplements if you have any health conditions. Laura Joseph and Healing With Spirit are not licensed medical physicians. Ashwagandha is not recommended for women who are pregnant.

 

Need More?

Need some guidance or direction?

Want a holistic health consult?

 

Laura has been providing spiritually based integrative holistic health enrichment services, classes, and programs since 2006. She has experience as a domestic violence advocate, college educator, and over 15 years working in the healthcare industry with multiple certifications in  areas in holistic health, spiritually based practices, healing, and more.

Her primary office is located inside Cohasset Medical in seaside Hingham, MA.

To book a consult, contact us here today.

Recommended Resources:

WebMD: Ashwagandha Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning

The Chopra Center: What is Ashwagandha

Dr. Weil: Ashwagandha

Dr. Mark Hyman:  Are You Suffering From Adrenal Dysfunction?

Dr. Mercola, DO.:  The Healing Wonders of Ashwagandha


Follow me:

Twitter 
Facebook
Instagram

Did you know we now have a YouTube channel?

Please subscribe to our channel and scroll for complete playlists on spiritual vlogs, spirit messages, energy updates, nature meditations, mindfulness in nature, reiki and more.

Click here to view my channel and to subscribe.

To schedule a private session, to book a corporate wellness event, or speaking engagement, please private message me

SIGN UP FOR MONTHLY E-NEWS


 © 2015-2019 Laura Joseph. All Rights Reserved. This information is for general educational uses only. It may not apply to you and your specific medical needs. This information should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation with or the advice of your physician or health care professional. Communicate promptly with your physician or other health care professional with any health-related questions or concerns. This article does not share the opinions of Healing With Spirit or its affiliates.  Be sure to follow specific instructions given to you by your physician or health care professional.

Where the American Healthcare System Meets Jikiden Reiki®


So this just happened, and I am still in awe …

I just left my endocrinologist’s office for a follow-up visit and was pleasantly surprised that THIS happened.

During the visit he opened my chart and my eyes could not believe what I saw. I had to take a double take. What was it? It was the word Reiki written in kanji.

My doctor began to tell me that after my last visit with him, he was so taken back by my last visit that he decided to do some research on Jikiden Reiki® in his own. He even went on to show me his written notes from my last visit where he wrote the word Reiki in kanji. I was pleasantly surprised as this was unexpected.

So TODAY he inquired more about Jikiden Reiki® and how it has helped me overcome some of these “issues” where the American healthcare system was unsuccessful.

He was very curious and inquisitive which was refreshing to see from someone in the medical field. He said as a physician, he is limited in scope of care and there are many things that in the healthcare system, people just have to live with and listed many examples on why that is – eluding to how broken the system is.

My reply was “But it does not have to be so and this is why”. He said he’s never met a patient like me before in all the years he has practiced medicine.

I thought wow. I made this much of an impression on this western doctor so much so that after my last visit, he took it upon himself to research how reiki works medically.

Granted what I have overcome throughout the years shocks many. I explained to him that I am not a doctor, and looking to solicit his assistance to help working together to find out what this last issue that is hindering me to back to myself fully 100%. It is my belief that he can help me do that with appropriate tests and a diagnosis so I know how to treat possibly myself either via Jikiden Reiki®, nutrition, supplements, etc.

To give you a little back story about me and how I landed here…

Some of you know my story, but most of you don’t. To summarize, I left an abusive relationship in 2005 only to have my abuser use the system to continue patterns of abuse until 2014. As a result, I was officially diagnosed with complex PTSD.

In search of “healing the broken me” as I would like to call it, I originally delved into the traditional American Healthcare System in hopes I can quickly return to my unbroken self. Like many others, I have felt that I was not getting better and band-aids were being applied to my mental, emotional, and physical symptoms that were not getting better and began to spiral out of control.

This affected everything with many bizarre symptoms that I felt or manifesting physically as a result of the trauma and abuse I endured.

Some of these symptoms include:

  • From my ability to swallow
  • Choking on water and own saliva
  • Enlarged thyroid
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Intestinal issues
  • Bladder issues
  • Hemorrhagic uterine bleeding
  • Low stress tolerance
  • Heart flutters and palpitations while in a calm state
  • Avoidance issues and fear
  • Nightmares and flashbacks
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Chronic physical pain
  • Memory issues
  • Vision disturbances
  • Left sided weakness
  • Fluctuating weight
  • Circulatory issues

So I increasingly became very frustrated with our system and their ability to help me put myself back together with each new physical symptom that popped up. No one seem to be able to connect the dots to whole picture.

I am more than my uterus or brain or thyroid etc. My body is a miraculous being that is interconnected and multi-functional.  There is NO one shoe fits all as the system attempts to do. Just look at how separated our system is designed by specialists in areas of body parts. Where is the physician who can tie into the link between what is going on in my inner ear with my gut for instance? That what might be going on in one area of my body my actually be caused in another area of my body?

I realized there had to be more to all this and began looking into the spiritual aspects of my issues that the healthcare system couldn’t figure out.

I started reconnecting to my spiritual path. I began meditating. I eliminated inflammatory foods. I sought out reputable teachers and healers. I started connecting with the divine within me and my divine team. I learned and studied multiple holistic health modalities and spiritually based practices.

It wasn’t until I learned Jikiden Reiki®, my entire life drastically changed. I had already been practicing and teaching the more westernized cousin of reiki for 6yrs. But this was different, and in a league of its own.

I’ve learned over the last several years that we have become a culture that will take something that is pure in its roots and traditions … that is connected somehow deep to some ancient wisdoms and healing … and “Americanize” it or westernize it. This is when we have lost the magic aka medicine for the soul to fully heal those deep wounds that escape our awareness.

While practicing all these other westernized forms of healing and spiritually based practices, I didn’t quite understand this until recent years. As time goes on and I work on my craft and my own personal healing, the clearer that gets.

Needless to say, today I see my health almost fully restored thanks to these alternative treatments.

I avoided a hysterectomy, a root canal, 3 rounds of antibiotics for infections due to these therapies and saved my body from additional physical traumas and toxins that would stifle the work I am doing to restore wholeness in my life.

So sometimes, there is more to what’s going on with you than meets the eye.

My question for you is this … when the healthcare system is unable to help you restore “wholeness ” in your life, do you or would you consider alternative therapies to help you?

Do you believe there is more to illness and disease than what’s presented in the way the healthcare system categorizes it?

I come away with a few thoughts:

  1. Don’t give up on you docs who are AT LEAST open to learning, supporting, and aligning with the concept of mind-body medicine or proven alternative therapies
  2. Be a good patient. Walk the walk. Do the work to improve your life physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually without spiritually bypassing, and watch everyone around you ask you how you did that. Best testimonial is your own story.
  3. When you take responsibility for your life and health – eat right. remove toxicity – foods, thoughts, poisons, environment, etc. not only employ therapies such as yoga, reiki, meditation, thai chi, etc, but embody them… your health care team will want to learn more on how you do that without the need to “sell” them.
  4. A pill and/or a procedure will fix very few things so called, wrong. When we understand this and understand how to support our body’s ability to heal itself, and actually choose to live a better healthier life, toxic pills and harmful procedures will be lessened and the burden on our health care system financially will be significantly reduced. This is not to mention the side effect of a lessened burden on our ecosystem and environment due to reduction of medical waste.
  5. Trust your instincts and listen to the wisdoms of the body.
  6. I can keep going on, but won’t. This is a long enough post. The rest may just be added into a chapter in the book I am writing. So stay tuned …

Have you had a good experience like this bridging western medicine with holistic therapies? Please share.

Thank you for sharing this journey with me and supporting my life’s work

With love and appreciation,
Laura

To learn more about Jikiden Reiki, click here.

To learn more about Trauma, click here.

To read more about my reiki stories, click here.


Follow me:

Twitter 
Facebook
Instagram

Did you know we now have a YouTube channel?

Please subscribe to our channel and scroll for complete playlists on spiritual vlogs, spirit messages, energy updates, nature meditations, mindfulness in nature, reiki and more.

Click here to view my channel and to subscribe.

To schedule a private session, to book a corporate wellness event, or speaking engagement, please private message me

SIGN UP FOR MONTHLY E-NEWS


 © 2015-2018 Laura Joseph. All Rights Reserved. This information is for general educational uses only. It may not apply to you and your specific medical needs. This information should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation with or the advice of your physician or health care professional. Communicate promptly with your physician or other health care professional with any health-related questions or concerns. This article does not share the opinions of Healing With Spirit or its affiliates.  Be sure to follow specific instructions given to you by your physician or health care professional.

Shifting Health And Wellness Whole-istically

**** Laura was invited as a guest on a webinar by Zandra Matthews of “Exploring Your Goddess Nature” – This is a FREE event for women age 18+***

Are you tired of being sick and tired? Are you seeking healthier alternatives? Do you suffer from autoimmune disease, cancer, unexplained back pain, anxiety, depression, relationship challenges, fatigue, lack of vitality, etc? Is there buried trauma personally, generationally, or karmicly?

Trauma isn’t what you may think. Laura will share her experience of healing multiple illnesses including complex PTSD and colds and averted surgeries such as root canals and hysterectomy using various spiritually based holistic health therapies. Learn also what to look for in finding a qualified practitioner to work with and how to avoid potential predators masquerading as healers.

About Laura

Laura is a trauma survivor, healer, writer, speaker, spiritual medium. She has been providing spiritually based holistic health enrichment at Healing With Spirit since 2006. She has over 15+ cumulative years in health care and experience as a college educator and domestic violence advocate. She’s also a Shihan through Jikiden Reiki Institute in Kyoto Japan. Shes based in Hingham, Ma.

To join this FREE online gathering:

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/517991917

Or iPhone one-tap :
US: +16699006833,,517991917# or +14086380968,,517991917#

Or Telephone:
Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 669 900 6833 or +1 408 638 0968 or +1 646 876 9923

Meeting ID: 517 991 917
International numbers available: https://zoom.us/u/aB9m6xaGk

LOTS of BIG stuff happening in MA & RI from as well as the launch of my spiritual mugs & t-shirt line. ..💜 Sun March 11th: SPRING HEALTH AND WELLNESS FAIR; Free Demonstration At 4:15pm; The Purple Cat Winery in RI. ..🇨🇮🎂 Fri, March 16th 6:30-9:30pm; join me for some played by my Arnie & his group & share my w me at Players in, Ma ..💙 Mon March 19th; REIKI VIBRATIONAL HEALING w/ in. ..💙 Mon March 19th; OPEN.. 💓 Sat March 31st 1-4pm; LEARN HOW TO BLESS YOUR JUNK AND TAKE YOUR LIFE BACK NOW. ..💜 Sun April 8th; HEALTHY LIVING EXPO AND CONFERENCE. Featured Presenter Through the System of Reiki at Hotel 1620 Ma ..💕 Sun May 20th; SURRENDER TO, JOURNEY INTO SELF DISCOVERY, & NURTURE YOUR SOUL – RETREAT w Laura & Deneen; Plymouth, Ma

LOTS of BIG stuff happening in MA & RI from as well as the launch of my spiritual mugs & t-shirt line. .
.
💜 Sun March 11th: SPRING HEALTH AND WELLNESS FAIR; Free Demonstration At 4:15pm; The Purple Cat Winery in RI. .
.
🇨🇮🎂 Fri, March 16th 6:30-9:30pm; join me for some played by my Arnie & his group & share my w me at Players in, Ma .
.
💙 Mon March 19th; REIKI VIBRATIONAL HEALING w/ in. .
.
💙 Mon March 19th; OPEN
.
. 💓 Sat March 31st 1-4pm; LEARN HOW TO BLESS YOUR JUNK AND TAKE YOUR LIFE BACK NOW. .
.
💜 Sun  April 8th; HEALTHY LIVING EXPO AND CONFERENCE. Featured Presenter Through the System of Reiki at Hotel 1620 Ma .
.
💕 Sun May 20th; SURRENDER TO, JOURNEY INTO SELF DISCOVERY, & NURTURE YOUR SOUL – RETREAT w Laura & Deneen; Plymouth, Ma

Instagram filter used: Normal

Photo taken at: Healing With Spirit

View in Instagram ⇒

Thoughts During Trying Times in American Health Care System

Where are we going with our health care system? As a society?

Lately, I have been seeing lots of posts on social media with people having long bouts with illness, frustrations with care, and procedures galore with many times experiencing harsh side effects or complications. This is not to mention the uncertainty of the quality of care under the current political climate.

This is just a thought as I see so many people put on drugs or “needing” procedures …

My Story

  • I was told i needed a root canal about 9mo ago. I drank turmeric tea and gave myself jikiden reiki and never ended up needing root canal.
  • I also cleared up 2 bacterial infections last year without use of antibiotics.
  • I was also told I needed a hysterectomy too 2 years ago. I employed spiritually based therapies such as Jikiden reiki and happy to report no hysterectomy needed.

My point I’m trying to make is why NOT try holistic therapies FIRST before putting something into your body that carries a host of other issues or a procedure that carries risks or complications.

Or is what you are doing REALLY going to “fix” the underlying cause of your problem? If not, then pause a moment and listen to the body as it holds a wealth of information and knowledge.

Our western culture has become numb and has forgotten that our bodies have everything we need built in and are designed to heal themselves. We just need to sometimes help the body remember.

I’m not saying in some cases drugs or procedures are not necessary, but in my own journey I have assisted my body in healing and therefore, averted unnecessary drugs or procedures as listed above.

A drug or a procedure in SOME cases is NOT necessary.

This is not to mention, imagine if ALL Americans began to reclaim their health, and employ spiritually based holistic health therapies into their life, the savings to the sky-rocking health insurance premiums could theoretically begin to significantly drop.

GOT PETS? 

My 11yo dog who had a punctured salivary glad due to being attacked by another dog that caused what is called a salivary mucocele. I was told she needed surgery to remove the gland. I employed jikiden reiki therapies, and happy to report NO surgery needed.

I wrote a blog post on this for anyone interested in reading titled “Effectiveness of Reiki For Wounds on a Dog; Zygomatic Salivary Mucocele”.

I hope this short but brief post guides you to be more self empowered and more in control of your own health.

 


Follow me:

Twitter 
Facebook
Instagram

Did you know we now have a YouTube channel?

Please subscribe to our channel and scroll for complete playlists on spiritual vlogs, spirit messages, energy updates, nature meditations, mindfulness in nature, reiki and more.

Click here to view my channel and to subscribe.

To schedule a private session, to book a corporate wellness event, or speaking engagement, please private message me

SIGN UP FOR MONTHLY E-NEWS


 © 2015-2018 Laura Joseph. All Rights Reserved. This information is for general educational uses only. It may not apply to you and your specific medical needs. This information should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation with or the advice of your physician or health care professional. Communicate promptly with your physician or other health care professional with any health-related questions or concerns. This article does not share the opinions of Healing With Spirit or its affiliates.  Be sure to follow specific instructions given to you by your physician or health care professional.

Thoughts During Trying Times in American Health Care System

Lately, I have been seeing lots of posts on social media with people having long bouts with illness, frustrations with care, and procedures galore with many times experiencing harsh side effects or complications. This is not to mention the uncertainty of the quality of care under the current political climate.

This is just a thought as I see so many people put on drugs or “needing” procedures …

My Story
I was told i needed a root canal about 9mo ago. I drank turmeric tea and gave myself jikiden reiki and never ended up needing root canal.
I also cleared up 2 bacterial infections last year without use of antibiotics.
I was also told I needed a hysterectomy too 2 years ago. I employed spiritually based therapies such as Jikiden reiki and happy to report no hysterectomy needed.
My point I’m trying to make is why NOT try holistic therapies FIRST before putting something into your body that carries a host of other issues or a procedure that carries risks or complications.

Or is what you are doing REALLY going to “fix” the underlying cause of your problem? If not, then pause a moment and listen to the body as it holds a wealth of information and knowledge.

Our western culture has become numb and has forgotten that our bodies have everything we need built in and are designed to heal themselves. We just need to sometimes help the body remember.

I’m not saying in some cases drugs or procedures are not necessary, but in my own journey I have assisted my body in healing and therefore, averted unnecessary drugs or procedures as listed above.

A drug or a procedure in SOME cases is NOT necessary.

This is not to mention, imagine if ALL Americans began to reclaim their health, and employ spiritually based holistic health therapies into their life, the savings to the sky-rocking health insurance premiums could theoretically begin to significantly drop.

GOT PETS?

My 11yo dog who had a punctured salivary glad due to being attacked by another dog that caused what is called a salivary mucocele. I was told she needed surgery to remove the gland. I employed jikiden reiki therapies, and happy to report NO surgery needed.

I wrote a blog post on this for anyone interested in reading titled “Effectiveness of Reiki For Wounds on a Dog; Zygomatic Salivary Mucocele”.

I hope this short but brief post guides you to be more self empowered and more in control of your own health.

Effectiveness of Reiki For Wounds on a Dog; Zygomatic Salivary Mucocele

By: Laura Joseph, Healing With Spirit

Have you ever wondered if reiki could be used on your pets or even if it would be an effective treatment option?

I am sharing with you my story and personal case study using reiki to heal my 11 year old sheltie, Ava, after she was attacked by another dog that resulted in two lacerations on the head and one puncture wound to her salivary gland in her face.

Sometimes when bad things happen, something magical may come out of it. In this case, despite all I already know, I learned to trust more in the power of healing within.  By writing and sharing this experience, I hope to accomplish a few objectives:

  • My hopes is to shed light on the benefits of reiki as a viable treatment option especially in the area of wound care.
  • Many times I encounter loving pet owners struggling with the health of their pets spending thousands of dollars of medications and procedures. So my goal here is to show how beneficial reiki can be for our beloved pets on many different levels without the heavy cost. Reiki is complementary to traditional medical and veterinary care.

The Story 

Ava one day after attack

So just before the holiday, my small dog, Ava, that I use periodically as a therapy dog was attacked by another dog. This stunned me and shocked me on many levels as I did not see it coming. Usually my intuition kicks in any time I feel a dog nearby has aggression or dominance issues. Not this time. There were no warning signs.

I just happened to be talking with the other dog owner about coyotes and how to watch out for them, protect their dog, while living in harmony with them when this attack happened.

There is some irony here. The night before while taking Ava out for her final walk, we came within 15 feet with a coyote, but with no incidence. The coyote who trotted past did not have a care in the world or take interest in my dog. I live in an area abundant with wildlife of all kinds. So learning to live in harmony with awareness is key.

Above:  Ava’s head wound one day
after attack.  Below: Puncture wound
to the salivary gland

We have come in contact with a coyote by itself at least a dozen times and on at least two occasions with a pack, with no incidence. I have chosen to learn to live in harmony with these magical beings that some would like to call vermin. Coyotes are omnivores whose diet vary primarily of deer, rabbits, hares, rodents, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates. Since I live near the water, we tend to have a pest issue too. So I welcome the coyote who naturally take care of the problem.

I am not naive as I take precautions when I am out especially at night and take added measures to protect my pets. It starts with awareness and vigilance. I do not fear the coyote so it does not smell fear on me. There was one occasion where a coyote stopped and stared at me as if he was going to challenge me. I picked Ava up in my arms and chased him yelling just to let him know who the alpha dog is around here.

So, I was stunned that what appeared to be a nice domestic dog would just attack and rip my dog’s head open with no warning or signs. Everything I ever knew and trained for came into question.

If you recall how the year 2016 ended, you might recall how chaotic the energies were then too. The cosmic energies and planetary alignment were quite intense and people were feeling it, I wondered if this seemingly nice dog did too. I am not sure as I can only presume.

So instead of getting mad or upset at that moment, I stepped into action for immediate medical care for her. I chose to step back emotionally and reflect on what happened which was hard for me to grasp. I even felt a sense of sadness for the other dog and could not only get the image of the attack out of my head, but when the other dog sniffed my hand with blood on it, it had the look like “Oh crap. I did that?” with the ears back and eyes saddened.

THE CARE

Christmas Day – 5 days after attack
After the initial emergency veterinary care, it was discovered the puncture wound in the mouth area could not be closed since it punctured a salivary gland.  Ava was sent home with the instructions of  frequent warm compresses and medications.
At one point, I was extremely emotional due to the ongoing ever changing wound care needs questioning every moment whether or not I was giving enough to this dog who has done nothing but give unconditional love and healing to me and so many.
A mucocele that developed
about the size of a walnut

At first, I did not initiate reiki for the simple reason that the puncture wound of the salivary gland needed to drain and was concerned it would seal faster than needed in this case.

I know how effective reiki can be, especially the Jikiden Reiki®, in healing wounds. However, in this case I struggled with the decision to refrain because in one hand, we want the wounds and the gland to heal, but on the other hand, we want the puncture wound to remain open and not close.

Everything using traditional veterinary care was working up to this point and she finished her medication. However, one week post attack, things began to change. The puncture wound became harder to drain and she developed a zygomatic mucocele.

At one point we were wondering if she would need surgery to repair a salivary gland and even consulted a surgeon on day 8. Upon further research, we discovered that there are only two options for her situation.

  1. To surgically remove the entire gland. This would prevent the mucocele from returning. However, despite no veterinary research to validate, I was concerned about digestive, teeth, and gum issues. How can there not be any secondary problems if the salivary gland is removed? If you understand physiology, it is a logical concern.
  2. To aspirate the mucocele to get it to drain. To do this showed benefits that could last months. However, from what I discovered, these results were temporary according to the veterinary medical articles I read.

Day 7, I began adding a holistic regimen which comprised of the following:

  • I began adding turmeric to my dog’s food 2 times a day – once in the morning and once at dinner time.
  • We all know the power of prayer so I called upon the community for prayers.

Within one day, day 8, her wound is suddenly improved and the surgeon opted to “wait and see” since the wound was draining fine. It was recommended to continue the warm compresses every 2-3 hours and holistic remedies. At this time I still have not administered reiki. The turmeric seemed to be helping keeping the mucocele down.

However, by day 12, the puncture wound sealed and the mucocele returned preventing the accumulation of saliva to drain. THIS IS WHEN I ADMINISTERED REIKI as I was determined to not put my dog through something more traumatic of having surgery.

Day 12 – The Administration of Reiki

I initiated reiki treatments as follows:
  • 20-30 minutes in the morning
  • 20-30 minutes in the evening
Reiki never ceases to amaze me, yet I was still astounded at the level of toxins I felt in the wound site.  There is a technique we use exclusive in Jikiden Reiki to help move the toxins in the body. I was trying to figure out how to adapt the technique suitable for a 25 pound dog.
Day 15 – Jikiden Reiki

By day 15, her mucocele was stable, and not increased in size. Redness had also diminished greatly. I then decided to do an abbreviated version of this technique seen in Jikiden Reiki to see if we could help Ava enhance her healing process.

Results

  • Within 24hrs, the mucocele was more than 50% reduced.
  • Within 36hrs, the mucocele opened and completely healed.
  • One week after initiation of this technique (day 22), still no mucocele.

Today’s plan:

  • Reiki 20-30 minutes daily
  • Turmeric once daily in her food
  • Warm compresses as needed
18 days post attack running and playing the recent 2017 blizzard

Because of the medical research showing chances of relapse, I am choosing to continue this routine as long as necessary.  At the bottom of this post, you will find links for more information regarding the mucocele and reiki.

Despite my years as a reiki professional with over 10+years of experience, I find what happened here with Ava in regards to the Reiki was undeniable.
So right now, I take it one day at a time with NO SURGERY or gland removal or aspiration of the mucocele planned in the future. That makes for one happy dog owner and hopefully for one happy senior dog.

I hope you will consider reiki as part of your wellness and health not only for yourself, but for your beloved pet.  After all, they give us such unconditional love.

If you are a reiki practitioner, I hope this personal case study helped broaden your view of the reiki practice. If you are new to reiki, I hope this inspired you with options. In the end, I hope your eyes have been opened to possibilities.

Remember, just because someone suggests surgery, keep in mind the following:
  • That individual may or may not be schooled or taught in the methods of holistic healing options or alternatives.
  • Procedures and surgeries are costly and may or may not be necessary. So please trust your instinct and when in doubt, get a second opinion.
  • Also, as the medical literature alludes to, procedures and surgeries seem to be the easy option many times. Hence, more convenient. If you are too busy to give your pet the care it needs, then maybe you ought consider what it would feel like if your loved one was too busy to care for you when you were hurt or sick. I apologize if this offends some of you, but it is a sad reality in our culture. All you have to do is look at the filled animal shelters to see. I am hoping this brings awareness so we can change our own behaviors. It begins within.

If you would like to learn more about obtaining reiki, learning reiki, or just more information about reiki, please visit the various other posts on this blog or visit my website.

With love and appreciation,

Laura  Joseph
 SIGN UP FOR MONTHLY E-NEWS

www.laurahealingwithspirit.com 

RESOURCES:

  1. Zygomatic salivary mucoceles in the dog; Schmidt GM, Betts CW.; PubMed; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/649488
  2. Swelling of the Salivary Gland in Dogs – Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost; Vetaryhttps://www.vetary.com/dog/condition/swelling-salivary-gland 
  3. Learning Jikiden Reiki in a Western Reiki World; Laura Joseph; All About Reiki;  http://healingwspirit.wpengine.com/learning-jikiden-reiki-in-a-western-reiki-world/
  4. What is Reiki; Jikiden Reiki Institute; http://www.jikiden-reiki.com/en/info/info0.html

Disclaimer:  Reiki is not a substitute for medical care or veterinary care. Please note: Seek medical attention when necessary. These are opinions based on a personal case study and Laura’s alone.


Follow me:

Twitter 
Facebook
Instagram

Did you know we now have a YouTube channel?

Please subscribe to our channel and scroll for complete playlists on spiritual vlogs, spirit messages, energy updates, nature meditations, mindfulness in nature, reiki and more.

Click here to view my channel and to subscribe.

To schedule a private session, to book a corporate wellness event, or speaking engagement, please private message me

SIGN UP FOR MONTHLY E-NEWS


 © 2015-2018 Laura Joseph. All Rights Reserved. This information is for general educational uses only. It may not apply to you and your specific medical needs. This information should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation with or the advice of your physician or health care professional. Communicate promptly with your physician or other health care professional with any health-related questions or concerns. This article does not share the opinions of Healing With Spirit or its affiliates.  Be sure to follow specific instructions given to you by your physician or health care professional.

Effectiveness of Reiki For Wounds on a Dog; Zygomatic Salivary Mucocele

Have you ever wondered if reiki could be used on your pets or even if it would be an effective treatment option?I am sharing with you my story and personal case study using reiki to heal my 11 year old sheltie, Ava, after she was attacked by another dog that resulted in two lacerations on the head and one puncture wound to her salivary gland in her face.

Sometimes when bad things happen, something magical may come out of it. In this case, despite all I already know, I learned to trust more in the power of healing within.  By writing and sharing this experience, I hope to accomplish a few objectives:

  • My hopes is to shed light on the benefits of reiki as a viable treatment option especially in the area of wound care.
  • Many times I encounter loving pet owners struggling with the health of their pets spending thousands of dollars of medications and procedures. So my goal here is to show how beneficial reiki can be for our beloved pets on many different levels without the heavy cost. Reiki is complementary to traditional medical and veterinary care.

The Story 

Ava one day after attack

So just before the holiday, my small dog, Ava, that I use periodically as a therapy dog was attacked by another dog. This stunned me and shocked me on many levels as I did not see it coming. Usually my intuition kicks in any time I feel a dog nearby has aggression or dominance issues. Not this time. There were no warning signs.

I just happened to be talking with the other dog owner about coyotes and how to watch out for them, protect their dog, while living in harmony with them when this attack happened.

There is some irony here. The night before while taking Ava out for her final walk, we came within 15 feet with a coyote, but with no incidence. The coyote who trotted past did not have a care in the world or take interest in my dog. I live in an area abundant with wildlife of all kinds. So learning to live in harmony with awareness is key.

Above:  Ava’s head wound one day
after attack.  Below: Puncture wound
to the salivary gland

We have come in contact with a coyote by itself at least a dozen times and on at least two occasions with a pack, with no incidence. I have chosen to learn to live in harmony with these magical beings that some would like to call vermin. Coyotes are omnivores whose diet vary primarily of deer, rabbits, hares, rodents, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates. Since I live near the water, we tend to have a pest issue too. So I welcome the coyote who naturally take care of the problem.

I am not naive as I take precautions when I am out especially at night and take added measures to protect my pets. It starts with awareness and vigilance. I do not fear the coyote so it does not smell fear on me. There was one occasion where a coyote stopped and stared at me as if he was going to challenge me. I picked Ava up in my arms and chased him yelling just to let him know who the alpha dog is around here.

So, I was stunned that what appeared to be a nice domestic dog would just attack and rip my dog’s head open with no warning or signs. Everything I ever knew and trained for came into question.

If you recall how the year 2016 ended, you might recall how chaotic the energies were then too. The cosmic energies and planetary alignment were quite intense and people were feeling it, I wondered if this seemingly nice dog did too. I am not sure as I can only presume.

So instead of getting mad or upset at that moment, I stepped into action for immediate medical care for her. I chose to step back emotionally and reflect on what happened which was hard for me to grasp. I even felt a sense of sadness for the other dog and could not only get the image of the attack out of my head, but when the other dog sniffed my hand with blood on it, it had the look like “Oh crap. I did that?” with the ears back and eyes saddened.

THE CARE

Christmas Day – 5 days after attack

After the initial emergency veterinary care, it was discovered the puncture wound in the mouth area could not be closed since it punctured a salivary gland.  Ava was sent home with the instructions of  frequent warm compresses and medications.

At one point, I was extremely emotional due to the ongoing ever changing wound care needs questioning every moment whether or not I was giving enough to this dog who has done nothing but give unconditional love and healing to me and so many.

A mucocele that developed
about the size of a walnut

At first, I did not initiate reiki for the simple reason that the puncture wound of the salivary gland needed to drain and was concerned it would seal faster than needed in this case.

I know how effective reiki can be, especially the Jikiden Reiki®, in healing wounds. However, in this case I struggled with the decision to refrain because in one hand, we want the wounds and the gland to heal, but on the other hand, we want the puncture wound to remain open and not close.

Everything using traditional veterinary care was working up to this point and she finished her medication. However, one week post attack, things began to change. The puncture wound became harder to drain and she developed a zygomatic mucocele.

At one point we were wondering if she would need surgery to repair a salivary gland and even consulted a surgeon on day 8. Upon further research, we discovered that there are only two options for her situation.

  1. To surgically remove the entire gland. This would prevent the mucocele from returning. However, despite no veterinary research to validate, I was concerned about digestive, teeth, and gum issues. How can there not be any secondary problems if the salivary gland is removed? If you understand physiology, it is a logical concern.
  2. To aspirate the mucocele to get it to drain. To do this showed benefits that could last months. However, from what I discovered, these results were temporary according to the veterinary medical articles I read.

Day 7, I began adding a holistic regimen which comprised of the following:

  • I began adding turmeric to my dog’s food 2 times a day – once in the morning and once at dinner time.
  • We all know the power of prayer so I called upon the community for prayers.

Within one day, day 8, her wound is suddenly improved and the surgeon opted to “wait and see” since the wound was draining fine. It was recommended to continue the warm compresses every 2-3 hours and holistic remedies. At this time I still have not administered reiki. The turmeric seemed to be helping keeping the mucocele down.

However, by day 12, the puncture wound sealed and the mucocele returned preventing the accumulation of saliva to drain. THIS IS WHEN I ADMINISTERED REIKI as I was determined to not put my dog through something more traumatic of having surgery.

Day 12 – The Administration of Reiki

I initiated reiki treatments as follows:

  • 20-30 minutes in the morning
  • 20-30 minutes in the evening

Reiki never ceases to amaze me, yet I was still astounded at the level of toxins I felt in the wound site. There is a technique we use exclusive in Jikiden Reiki to help move the toxins in the body. I was trying to figure out how to adapt the technique suitable for a 25 pound dog.

Day 15 – Jikiden Reiki

By day 15, her mucocele was stable, and not increased in size. Redness had also diminished greatly. I then decided to do an abbreviated version of this technique seen in Jikiden Reiki to see if we could help Ava enhance her healing process.

Results

  • Within 24hrs, the mucocele was more than 50% reduced.
  • Within 36hrs, the mucocele opened and completely healed.
  • One week after initiation of this technique (day 22), still no mucocele.

Today’s plan:

  • Reiki 20-30 minutes daily
  • Turmeric once daily in her food
  • Warm compresses as needed
18 days post attack running and playing the recent 2017 blizzard

Because of the medical research showing chances of relapse, I am choosing to continue this routine as long as necessary. At the bottom of this post, you will find links for more information regarding the mucocele and reiki.

Despite my years as a reiki professional with over 10+years of experience, I find what happened here with Ava in regards to the Reiki was undeniable.

So right now, I take it one day at a time with NO SURGERY or gland removal or aspiration of the mucocele planned in the future. That makes for one happy dog owner and hopefully for one happy senior dog.

I hope you will consider reiki as part of your wellness and health not only for yourself, but for your beloved pet. After all, they give us such unconditional love.

If you are a reiki practitioner, I hope this personal case study helped broaden your view of the reiki practice. If you are new to reiki, I hope this inspired you with options. In the end, I hope your eyes have been opened to possibilities.

Remember, just because someone suggests surgery, keep in mind the following:

  • That individual may or may not be schooled or taught in the methods of holistic healing options or alternatives.
  • Procedures and surgeries are costly and may or may not be necessary. So please trust your instinct and when in doubt, get a second opinion.
  • Also, as the medical literature alludes to, procedures and surgeries seem to be the easy option many times. Hence, more convenient. If you are too busy to give your pet the care it needs, then maybe you ought consider what it would feel like if your loved one was too busy to care for you when you were hurt or sick. I apologize if this offends some of you, but it is a sad reality in our culture. All you have to do is look at the filled animal shelters to see. I am hoping this brings awareness so we can change our own behaviors. It begins within.

If you would like to learn more about obtaining reiki, learning reiki, or just more information about reiki, please visit the various other posts on this blog or visit my website.

With love and appreciation,
Laura  Joseph

Usui Reiki Master Teacher, Shihan Kaku Jikiden Reiki® Practitioner and Teacher, 
Public Speaker, and Teacher

RESOURCES:

  1. Zygomatic salivary mucoceles in the dogSchmidt GMBetts CW.; PubMedhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/649488
  2. Swelling of the Salivary Gland in Dogs – Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost; Vetaryhttps://www.vetary.com/dog/condition/swelling-salivary-gland
  3. Learning Jikiden Reiki in a Western Reiki World; Laura Joseph; All About Reiki;  http://hwsreiki.blogspot.com/2016/07/learning-jikiden-reiki-in-western-reiki_5.html
  4. What is Reiki; Jikiden Reiki Institute; http://www.jikiden-reiki.com/en/info/info0.html

Disclaimer:  Reiki is not a substitute for medical care or veterinary care. Please note: Seek medical attention when necessary. These are opinions based on a personal case study and Laura’s alone.

Adventures in Reiki with Surgery

Have you ever employed reiki for surgery?

I don’t normally share my personal stuff publicly, but feel this might help another somewhere somehow and felt compelled to share my surgical story and the power of reiki healing.

For years I suffered from various issues that ultimately led to surgery recently involving my ovaries. Leading up to the surgery itself, I had been experiencing an increasing amount of anxiety and insomnia. I was stumped as to what was possibly causing such a surge of emotions, because I do practice what I preach with lots of rest, ‎healthy eating, exercise, meditation, and self reiki‬. So I was a little surprised as to why the sudden increase.

I feel the source could be part karmic‬ and part life changing. I really don’t want children at this stage in my life, but at same time, I mourn the loss of my own. Without going into details, I suffered years of abuse much of my life. Although, I have spent the last 10 years  working on healing the roots from all the traumas associated with abuse.

So I decided to just sit and embrace whatever emotions‬ surfaced at that time. This is important to pause and ‎nurture‬ the child within while staying present at all times. If this was so called past stuff emerging, I embraced what is. I accepted and through mindfulness based techniques, reiki, and other energy work, I lovingly assisted these issues to past through me.

I also chose two mantras to repeat:

The first one: “I accept‬ what is. I  surrender‬ to what was, and I have faith‬ in what will be. … and so it is.”

The second one is the Gokkai in Japanese or the Reiki Precepts in Japanese: “Kyo dake wa (Just for today).

Ikaru na (Do not anger).

Shinpei suna (Do not worry).

Kansha shite (Be grateful).

Gyo o hageme (Work diligently/dutifully).

Hito ni shinsetsu ni (Be kind to others).”

The surgery experience

I went to the hospital and experienced a phenomenal staff with some profound spiritual experiences which is a story for another time. I will say my surgery was more than a medical procedure for the physical body. That part went superbly well and experienced no pain afterwards. This was part of a larger spiritual journey and healing karmic cords not just in my life, but the lives of those nurses brought into my life to care for me pre-op and post-op.

I recently had my post-op follow-up with my surgeon. Since my surgery, I’ve been doing lots of reflecting and realization.

  1. The more I partner with my soul, unite with soul, live soulful, the more I reclaim my power. I no longer accept the demands or perceptions of what society wants to dictate to me. Instead I trust my soul, and lively more authentically.
  2. The Power of energy healing such as reiki‬ is way under estimated. It is because of the self reiki prep I did pre-op and all the distance healing sent from all of you, I experienced no pain after the day of surgery. I had some discomfort, but nothing worth taking even a motrin for that reiki couldn’t do.
  3. The only complications I had were due to being told by the surgical prep team, I was not going to be fully incubated due to history of brain bleeds only to wake up to realize I was completely out for over 2 hours. I experienced some unanticipated brochiospasms, difficulty in speech and breathing, and faintness. If I knew I was going to be fully put under anesthesia, I would have prepared there too. This only goes to the power of reiki again, because of what i did experience when reiki was used.
  4. My surgeon, although an Osteopath, was a little shocked I took “no” pain meds after surgery. I told her I had a wonderful team of healers and reiki practitioners behind me so it was not necessary. I thought to myself, if modern medicine and our society as a whole would embrace again the ideology and belief that our bodies were designed to heal themselves and used treatment options to embrace this, the drug use in America may look different.

I wanted to share my story, because I wanted everyone to be reminded that our bodies are designed to heal themselves. The power to heal lies within us all.

Not only doing reiki, but living reiki and being reiki is even more important. I thank you for being a part of my spiritual‬ journey‬.

Have a great reiki filled fall day.

With light, love, and appreciation,

Laura
Healing With Spirit 

To schedule a private session, to book a corporate wellness event, or speaking engagement, please private message me

SIGN UP FOR MONTHLY E-NEWS

 Follow me on Facebook

 © 2015-2018 Laura Joseph. All Rights Reserved. This information is for general educational uses only. It may not apply to you and your specific medical needs. This information should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation with or the advice of your physician or health care professional. Communicate promptly with your physician or other health care professional with any health-related questions or concerns. This article does not share the opinions of Healing With Spirit or its affiliates.  Be sure to follow specific instructions given to you by your physician or health care professional.