Growing old can sometimes feel as if your body’s warranty has expired. Aches emerge where aches never were, cholesterol spikes, eyesight weakens and memory is challenged. Tasks slow down and the world seems to lightning by.

Soon, prescription bottles line up where you used to keep your toothbrush and you begin to wonder if there is another way.

Maybe a natural approach, something your body can embrace rather than struggle through, avoiding side effects and medical diagnoses you just do not understand.

But where does a senior go for natural treatment and how does it differ from a medical doctor’s approach? How do you know if ‘natural’ is reputable and trustworthy let alone a capable choice?

Speaking with a trained naturopathic doctor is the first step in safely and effectively integrating a balanced healing program into your life. Using simple remedies geared to your specific ailments is how a naturopathic doctor can help on many levels. It is never too late to begin this course of treatment. Frank Guarino of Mineola, Long Island was eighty-six years old when he turned to acupuncture for an aching back. He began taking long walks with his wife shortly after he started treatment, something he had not been able to do for years. An Ohio State University study reveals that a surprising 70% of older Americans have tried alternative medicine. The problem is that many seniors are taking herbs and vitamins that sometimes interfere with their prescribed drugs. Your naturopathic doctor will be able to assess your individual needs and concerns to slowly instill holistic treatments that may very well enhance the quality of your life and possibly replace synthetic prescriptions. Below are a few examples of the long list of age related challenges and some remedial approaches that could be recommended.

Arthritis, Aches and Action

Inflammation due to decreased hydration, low joint synovial fluid or RUS (repetitive use syndrome) can be approached by using Chinese herbs such as: anjelica, cinnamon, ginseng, red peony, rehmannia, licorice and persica kernel. Western herbs are also turned to for their joint relieving properties and these may include: devil’s claw, bogbean, bromelain and nettles. Acupuncture treatments are highly effective and can increase ROM (range of motion) considerably.

Specific acupuncture points that may be approached for arthritis and other joint pain related syndromes could be:

Knee Pain:

–          Stomach 35 (inferior and medial to the patella)

–          Gallbladder 34 (lateral lower leg)

Elbow Pain:

–          Large Intestine 11 (lateral elbow)

–          Lung 5 (elbow crease)

Nutraceutical supplementation for arthritis would be specific dosages of such remedies as:

Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM:

The following may be a prescribed combination or an individual dose to strengthen cartilage, ligament and tendon tissue.

–          Glucosomine sulfate (naturally found in joint fluid. Derived from shellfish or synthetic formulas)

–          Chondroitin sulfate (component of cartilage derived from cows, pigs, sharks and more)

–          MSM –methylsulfonylmethane (a source of organic sulfur found in the human body and some foods)

Hyaluronic Acid: Component of the cartilage matrix.

Type II Collagen: A natural and effective anti-inflammatory

Memory, Focus and Alzheimer’s

To re-call yesterday’s events can sometimes be a great effort. There are a vast amount of studies done on specific herbs and other remedies to improve memory and focus. Your naturopathic doctor can gauge what may be best for you. Some are even being studied in the prevention or treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Ginkgo Biloba Extract – This extract has received high marks for increasing circulation, especially to the brain. Components called terpene lactones (a/k/a gingkolides and biloblides) are mainly responsible for this result. Other advantages of GBE are: nerve cell protection, antioxidant, and artherosclerosis prevention.
  • Ashwagandha (Winter Cherry/Indian Ginseng) – This rigid branched shrub abundant in parts of India has been used for over 4000 years for everything from tumors and inflammation to memory loss and clarity rejuvenation.
  • Biota Seed – This seed is derived from a slow growing Chinese tree. It is associated with treating heart and digestive ailments but also is an excellent when applied for memory loss and depression.
  • Bu Nao Wan – This Chinese herbal tonic is a combination of many herbs that work together to improve poor memory. Some of the ingredients includes: Dragon Tooth, Sour Jujube Seed and Lycium Fruit.

Hypertension

High blood pressure can put unnecessary strain on the heart and greatly reduce your quality of living. Being vigilant of your diet is an optimal way to address and remedy hypertension. Your naturopathic doctor can set up a specific food program geared toward your individual needs and tastes. It can be a long awaited education that will empower your energy, clarity and overall outlook. Learn self-control and the chemical reaction the body has to some hidden toxicity of foods you may be reaching for to satiate your sweet tooth or salty palette. In addition, specifically prescribed herbs for hypertension may include: garlic, yam, cinnamon, ginger, licorice, saffron, valerian root and lime blossom. Acupuncture points can also be used in conjunction with herbal remedies as a dual pronged approach. Some points for hypertension would be GB20 (superior posterior neck), LI11 (lateral elbow) and BL15 (upper spine between the shoulder blades).

Healthy Sexual Function

Age should not impede a healthy sex life. Herbs, vitamins and acupuncture can create an accumulative approach that in due time, can enhance libido and performance. Some useful herbs and vitamins include: dong quai (hormone stabilizer); damiana, saw palmetto, sarsaparilla and yohimbe for men; pumpkin seed (aphrodisiac); evening primrose oil; the 4 ACES (vitamin A, C, E (great for hot flashes) and selenium). Drink plenty of water and limit caffeine, alcohol and antihistamines as these are associated with drying mucous membranes.

Do not let your golden years slow you down and schedule your naturopathic or acupuncture
appointment with Dr. Fred Lisanti of Integrative Med Solutions (IMS). It’s with the intention of inspiration and integrity that our highly trained doctor creates customized health plans that synergize the best of healing arts with contemporary natural medical science. IMS is located in Eastchester, Westchester County, New York with close proximity to New York City (close to the Metro North railroad Tuckahoe stop), Southern Connecticut, and parts of New Jersey. Please call us at 914.337.2980 to make an appointment or feel free to email appointment queries to info@intmedsolutions.com.

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