• By Laurel J. Kelly

Housecall: Understanding complementary and alternative medicine therapies

May 20, 2019
a stack of smooth stones in a pool of water, illustrating relaxation, meditation, balance, peace

THIS WEEK'S TOP TOPICS
Complementary and alternative medicine 
Complementary and alternative medicine therapies are categorized in three types: natural products, mind and body practices, and other complementary health approaches. What's included in each category changes as treatments undergo testing and move into the mainstream. From herbal remedies and dietary supplements to meditation, relaxation and ancient healing systems, learn more about complementary and alternative medicine, and see what might be right for you.

Stroke: First aid
A stroke is a medical emergency, and prompt treatment is crucial. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted or severely reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die. It's important to recognize the warning signs of stroke because prompt treatment is crucial to minimize brain damage and potential complications. Use the acronym "FAST" to help remember the warning signs. Here's what you need to know.

EXPERT ANSWERS
Will an air purifier eliminate cigarette smoke?
If you're trying to avoid secondhand smoke by buying an air purifier to eliminate it, there's something you should know. Tobacco smoke is made up of gaseous pollutants and particulate matter. Most air purifiers, also called air cleaners, are not designed to remove gaseous pollutants. Learn more from Dr. J. Taylor Hays, a Mayo Clinic internal medicine and nicotine dependence specialist.

Do cortisol blockers aid weight loss?
The connection among stress hormones, cortisol and weight gain is largely based on anecdotal evidence. And the Federal Trade Commission charged the marketers of some cortisol blockers with making false and unsubstantiated claims about their products' effectiveness. As a result, the companies had to refund millions of dollars and stop making unproven claims about their products. Learn more from Katherine Zeratsky, a Mayo Clinic registered dietitian nutritionist.

PLUS ADDITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS
Hand-washing do's and don'ts
Ingrown hair
Hiatal hernia
Slideshow: Melanoma pictures to help identify skin cancer

HEALTHY RECIPES
Spinach berry salad
Carne asada
Avocado salsa

Nonalcoholic margarita

HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK
Take headache relief into your own hands
Nearly everyone experiences occasional tension headaches. But frequent tension headaches can interfere with your daily life. Aside from medication, do you wonder what you can do to stop the pain? These self-care strategies may help:

  1. Eat healthy foods.
  2. Exercise regularly.
  3. Get enough sleep.
  4. Cut back on caffeine.
  5. Reduce stress.
  6. Massage tense muscles.
  7. Take a break when you feel overwhelmed.

Need practical advice on diet and exercise? Want creative solutions for stress and other lifestyle issues? Discover more healthy lifestyle topics at mayoclinic.org. 

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