Archive for the Natural Treatments Category

Natural Treatments

Posted in Body and Spirirt, Natural Treatments on January 10, 2008 by icangel

*Note: I am not a medical professional.  Any and all information in my blog are from to my own experiences only.  Any treatments natural or otherwise should be brought to the attention of your Dr. 

In my 2 years of going in and out of natural remissions that can happen with IC, I have tried a handful of unconventional and natural treatments for my symptoms.  Some with little success and others with moderate success, but all worth looking into for the chance of stumbling onto something that can improve the quality of life.

Upon first receiving the diagnosis of IC, I was given the advice to change my diet.  Cutting out spicy and acidic foods.  Drinking water and veggie juices as apposed to sodas, coffee and teas and eliminating as much potassium as possible.  The idea is to find which foods irritate your bladder and which can be tolerated.  Then slowly incorporating or avoiding certain things.  There are lists miles long of foods that have shown to irritate the bladder, involving, my beloved chocolate and aged cheeses.  The IC diet can at times be very helpful in controlling my symptoms but I also find that sometimes it doesn’t matter what I eat, any food being moved through my body can cause pressure, bloating, pain and just a feeling of overall yuck! Not to mention that the permanent exclusion of chocolate, good cheese and an occasional glass of wine is detrimental to my overall happiness and well being.  Thus cheating, and having to deal with the consequences.   Now that’s the strange perplexing thing about the bladder and certain foods.  One day your body can tolerate the yummy foods and the next day keep you sitting in the bathroom regretting every bite.  This is the most depressing fact of all for me…only indulging in what I consider the food of the Gods, so seldom I forget what they taste like.  But there is an upside.  Managing to get myself into a remissions means my bladder can tolerate just about any taboo food on the naughty list.  Short of rubbing down a steak with chili pepper.

Some other non medicinal treatment’s that have helped sooth my bladder at times are herbal teas.  Chamomile and marshmallow root are widely available.  Chamomile is great at helping relax the body and aiding with sleep when you just cant seem to fall asleep on your own.  Marshmallow root can also be used as a tea and has many benefits beyond helping IC symptoms, including fighting infections and boosting the immune system.  Another natural help for IC is St. Johns wort.  Though IC is not caused by stress, keeping the daily stress level in check can help reduce flares and tension throughout the body which can lead to muscle spasms.  It can also help reduce cramping and stress during my most feared week of every month, PMS.   while none of these herbal options have worked successfully alone for my symptoms, they have shown to improve certain days of mild irritating pain that seems to fall through the cracks of my prescribed medical treatments.  But regardless of whether they are successful for my IC, they have a great benefit to my overall health and outlook of available options.  For me it has been important to know there are options that I can use that do not include a prescription. 

In my quest for symptom relief and remissions I have also tried acupressure, reiki and Native American healing.  Though they are not right for everyone especially those who do not believe that there can be benefits in such treatments.  I do believe in energy or “chi”(the energy life force) and that those energies can be harnessed to improve anyones health and quality of life.  And while chi was once a word rarely heard in the west, it has been an idea now widely accepted and used in North America by those who participate in yoga and Tai Chi. 

I can honestly say that reiki has been beneficial for short amounts of time.  The idea in reiki is that the administer is harnesssing  energy( or Chi) which travels through the palm of there hands and into your body finding the areas which are in need of healing or even just a little rejuvenation.  The idea behind reiki is also the same idea to many “alternative” healing techniques . One of the most beneficial healings I have ever had includings an ancient form of healing called Chi Qong.  Chi Qong harnesses chi that is thought to flow in an infinite amount throughout the universe. By collecting this Chi through certain movements you are able to improve the amount and strength of your own chi or life force energy flowing through your body and vastly improve certain ailments and overall health.  Chi Qong masters are known to live well into their hundreds.   Although these ideas seem strange to our western society, they have been successfully used and practiced in the Eastern world for thousands of years.  It is only recently that they’ve begun to be  accepted by our society.

Along these same lines are the Native American healings I have received.  Although in ways they are completely different from most eastern healing techniques, the ides seems to be the same.  Harnessing and releasing built up energy which is believed to block the balance of someone spiritually which is said to indefenitly lead to all types of physical ailments.  The native American healing I was given was hands on and used an acupressure type of technique.  I’d have to say that at times it could be uncomfortable to down right painful but the discomfort only lasting a few moments.  Afterwords I felt light and tension free.  The effects seemed to last for only 24-48 hours, but any break in IC pain is a wonderful feeling. 

I’m not suggesting that everyone run out and find an alternative or spiritual healer.  Everyones beliefs and needs are different. But I’ve found with IC there is a huge mind, body and spirit connection as with any medical problem.  And for me, treating only the pain and not how the pain has effected my all around life or the outlook its given me leaves me feeling out of balance and a bit depressed.  Alternative treatments whether or not they improve physical pain offer a huge benefit to the emotional and mental state of mind. 

Sometimes I feel that I can not say I’ve run out of options when I havent tried everything out there.  Including the altenative routes.  Up until a year ago I had never heard of Chi Qong.  That makes me wonder what else dont I know about.  Is my miracle cure being used somewhere in the world? I wont expect it, but I’ll defenitly hope for it.