Articles

Benefits of Herbal Medicine after Spinal Cord Injury

By helping to maintain health, treat disability-aggravated ailments, and reduce exposure to drug side effects, people with spinal cord injury (SCI) can benefit greatly from herbal medicine. Years ago, a friend shared with me his herbal health regimen in which he prevented SCI-related urinary tract infections (UTIs) by taking cranberry extract. If he started to get the flu or catch a cold, he took echinacea, and when he was depressed, he consumed St. John’s wort. At that time, my scientific...

Chiropractic Healing from Spinal Cord Injury

Overall, back pain is a huge societal problem. It is the second most frequent reason people use the health-care system and the most common cause of work loss and disability. Experts have endorsed chiropractic as one of the most effective ways of treating such pain, discouraging traditional approaches of bed rest, medication, and surgery as counterproductive. With 35 million Americans visiting 60,000 chiropractors each year, chiropractic is the nation’s third-largest health-care profession...

Daily Life with Scoliosis

This article offers ways to work with scoliosis in daily life. Many of the suggestions will seem like the opposite to what feels natural and familiar. The idea is to develop and sustain a discriminating mind that can perceive the action of the body and its habits, and offer new and healthier choices. Study yourself daily. Get to know your habits, what feels comfortable and habitual, and what feels different and, perhaps, not so comfortable but, on the overall, more organized. Take in the...

Treating Spinal Cord Injury with Acupuncture

People with spinal cord injury (SCI) can benefit from acupuncture just as readily as able-bodied individuals. In addition, acupuncture provides a valuable treatment option for their unique health problems. Furthermore, evidence suggests that acupuncture has the potential to restore some function in both acute and chronic SCI. Virtually all chronic injuries have some intact but dormant neurons running through the injury site. Acupuncture may work by somehow turning on these dormant neurons....

You Are Not Your Disability

In the ways that really matter, disability does not change you. Rather, disability threatens concepts you have held about who you are. You bring to your disability whatever mix of attitudes, beliefs, fears, talents, charisma, or social skills you have—or have the capacity to develop. Who you are in the essential ways that really matter will inform your adjustment to disability. Notes a man who has been on wheels for years: "The most common question I've been asked by people...

Family Communication about Disability

Openness and honesty is a challenge for many families. Difficult as it is—because letting people know how you are feeling is often a very vulnerable thing to do, fearing criticism or being misunderstood altogether—there are compelling reasons for everyone sharing the experience of a recent disability to know what each is going through. This is an easy trap to fall into for well-intentioned reasons. Often everybody is so concerned that they will overwhelm someone with their feelings—especially...

Adjusting to Disability: Your Rehab Team

You have arrived at rehab, which means that a group of dedicated and highly trained professionals are at your service—the rehab team. The team consists of a case manager and others in patient services, a physician, and a range of therapists, depending on your needs. The team is committed to helping you reach the highest possible level of function with your disability. You, your family, and peer supporters will also function as part of the rehab team. ...

Balancing Your Life with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

For people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), balancing your life with rest and activity makes for a more stress-free lifestyle. It also calls for making changes to your current one. Think about what you would change to nurture yourself. Consider the following supports that can help you do so. Get a handicap sticker for your car to save steps walking to your destination. Do not make too many commitments. Learn how to say no and to delegate tasks. Consider...

Your Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Health Care Team

For people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), there are a variety of health care professionals (HCPs) to choose for your health care team. Initially, you need to find someone to diagnose your illness and help manage your symptoms. To build your team, you may begin with one HCP as an overseer, perhaps a physician called a general practitioner or primary care physician, or an advanced practice nurse. In the United States, medicine is specialized, so a common approach to managing a multisystem...

Avoiding Postexertional Malaise with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

People with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are prone to postexertional malaise (PEM), an extreme, prolonged exhaustion that is the result of a worsening of symptoms following any kind of physical or mental exertion (not necessarily from intense or strenuous activity). To try to avoid PEM, get an overall picture of how you spend your energy dollars (EDs). Every activity has an energy cost. The goal is to have some EDs left at the end of each day. For example, if you begin with 10 EDs, aim to...