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COMPLEMENTARY ADVICE; with Dr Yvonne Majury.

MANY people are arriving at the clinics these days admitting that they have 'overdone it slightly' over the holidays.

And it's not all down to the extra eating and drinking.

The poor musculo-skeletal system has taken its fair share of all that running about over Christmas and New Year.

Anyone who previously suffered with back pain and muscular aches will certainly know all about it if there are further demands placed upon the body.

Understandably, reaching for the painkillers or anti-inflammatory medication is the first thought, but most people want to avoid long-term use of such pills.

While these measures help to switch off the discomfort, some side-effects can leave the sufferer very reluctant to continue taking them.

Complementary remedies have an advantage in that they can be taken in conjunction with conventional treatment, and are not suggested to be an alternative. So there is no need to discontinue current medication.

Hopefully, as the symptoms subside, you will be able to reduce pain management systems and eventually you won't need anything.

If it is simply the case that you feel that you have overexerted yourself, the homoeopathic remedy Arnica is highly recommended, particularly if there is a sensation of weakness and weariness as if the area is bruised.

Older people who tend to tire easily or do too much will often benefit from starting off with at least a three-week course of Arnica. Take the 30c dose, one tablet twice daily.

Thereafter, the herbal preparation, Harpagophytum, better known as Devil's Claw, is an excellent remedy to ease any painful or inflammatory conditions, especially musculature.

It has been shown to be beneficial in both acute and chronic ailments. The components in Harpagophytum give it anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-rheumatic properties.

Remarkably, its action has been demonstrated to be equivalent to that of cortico-steroids, but without the adverse effects, even during long-term use.

To achieve maximum benefit, it is likely that Harpagophytum will have to be taken for several months.

Adults are advised to take 15 drops in a little water three times a day just before or just after meals.

Children can safely use around half the adult dosage.

To treat a problem, it is usually preferable to deal with it from the inside out. But, whenever our muscles are painful, it is comforting to know that we can rub something on to bring relief.

Many lotions and ointments serve to give only temporary respite and, as soon as they are stopped, the discomfort returns.

Toxeucal oil is somewhat different. It possesses a specific action in that it eases the pain and stiffness in the muscles as well as having a soothing effect to help them relax. In addition, the oil provides the strained muscles with a lot more stamina so that they tire less easily and therefore can keep us on the go for that bit longer.

Studies involving sportsmen and women have shown that it can really make a significant difference. Simply warm it up and massage it gently into the affected areas as often as needed.
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Title Annotation:Health
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 13, 2002
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