This frequently debilitating, recurring problem, more common in women, can often be helped by complementary health care approaches. The prognosis for migraine headaches is favorable if your doctor takes the time to perform a thorough assessment and helps you learn to avoid migraine triggers, along with developing an individualized program for you which addresses the underlying biochemical factors in your system which increase the likelihood of migraines. With proper understanding of your nutritional status, your hormonal status, the stressors in our life, and your personal history with migraine (including therapies tried), your “alternative” health care provider will be able to develop a course of metabolic therapy for you. If you have frequent and severe migraines it is important to “rule-out” certain conditions.

Q: I’m 50 and starting the “change of life.” I’m very upset that I can’t make a decision about whether or not to take hormones. If I don’t take hormones maybe my bones will all shatter. But if I do take hormones maybe I’ll get uterine cancer. So maybe I should get a hysterectomy. But I could still get breast cancer. Help!

For starters, here is a handy list which could be called the “Ten Commandments for Sleepers:” Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Make sure your sleep environment is as comfortable as possible. Keep your bedroom as dark and as quiet as possible. Avoid caffeine — in coffee, tea and soft drinks — in the evening. Don’t drink alcohol or smoke before going to bed. Get some exercise every day — but not in the late evening. Don’t nap in the daytime. Develop a sleep ritual — a nightly routine that eases you down from the day’s activity. Use your bedroom for sleeping instead of working, worrying or watching television. If you can’t sleep, get out of bed and do something relaxing, like reading, deep breathing or yoga.

Natural immunity is something we’ve all heard of, and want to know more about. It’s a major buzz-word of the health-awareness movement because it represents an alternative to chemotherapies, radiation and surgery, vaccinations, hospital convalescence, untreatable chronic fatigue or degenerative diseases, and a host of other unpleasant, expensive options on today’s medical industrial menu. This essay will give basic parameters for wellness through immune support, as well as a brief introduction to three special modalities, namely nutritional supplements, botanical medicine and hydrotherapy.

Q: Answer the following for how they may apply to you: Do you laugh a lot? Do you have road rage? Do you consider yourself to have a dynamic personality? Have you ever been told that you seem too competitive? or too anxious? Are frustration and resentment common feelings for you? Do you struggle with aggressive impulses or hostile tendencies? Do little things frequently bug you? Do you get chronic headaches towards the end of the day? Can you ever feel your heart pounding in your chest just thinking about being confronted or challenged? Do you get hot and bothered when other people try to manage your schedule or activities? Are you a woman on hormone replacement therapy or using the pill? Do you regularly eat dairy products or red meat? A: If you answered “no” to the first question or “yes” to more than one of the other questions, you MAY have or be at risk for elevated blood pressure. If you haven’t had a basic physical exam in over a year, do it soon. Or, check your local...

Why is heart disease the number one killer of the Western world? Because we Westerners love to eat fats that are solid at room temperature. Butter, marbled steak, cheese, lard. Lard? It’s in most commercially available baked goods. “Heart disease” covers a lot of territory: high blood pressure (more technically know as hypertension), congestive heart failure, coronary heart disease, arrhythmias, angina and myocardial infarctions. Many of these are due to a combination of high blood pressure and so-called hardening of the arteries. “Hardening of the arteries actually means narrowing of the space inside the arteries. Our arteries are responsible for carrying freshly oxygenated blood out of the heart, into the tissues. So, less blood flow means less oxygen to our hands, feet, internal organs, and ultimately starving the brain. The culprits causing the stenosis, meaning narrowing of the vessels, are basically “bad” cholesterol (low density lipoproteins and very LDL’s) and the cellular debris of inflammatory reactions. For you science whizzes, high blood pressure is a function of “cardiac output” (the pliability of the heart muscle plus actual blood volume) multiplied...

An important aspect of wellness and radiant health, which of course includes healthy breasts, is POSITIVE ATTITUDE. Some women have said to me, “I don’t want to check my breasts for lumps every month; that seems very negative.” The idea is not to set out to look for lumps, but to check in with your breasts, tenderly and regularly. Maybe after a warm bath, standing naked and admiring yourself in front of a mirror. Gently hold your breasts and start by a greeting, “Hey there, girls; just checking in. Anything you want to tell me?” This ritual is not only sensual and entertaining, but very helpful in giving your body the message that you care about yourself.A diet for healthy breasts includes plenty of water, restful sleep, adequate intake of essential fatty acids, very limited intake of other fats, easy on the chocolate, and plenty of kale, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, collard greens, squash, organic carrots, seasonal fruit. All that good stuff. For young mothers or mothers to be, please breastfeed, or plan to. There is no better nutrition for your...

Q: I’ve heard about acupuncture, and that it helps people to get better. But I just don’t get it. How does it work?

Q: I have this head cold that has been around all winter. What should I do? Do I need antibiotics?

This could be a B-vitamin deficiency, an endocrine problem, a stress response or even heavy-metal poisoning. Cindy was starting to think about investing in a wig. At age 45, she was single with a career in research that she enjoyed. Lately, she had taken to not leaving the house without a hat or scarf on her head. Naturally shy, the prospect of dating or socializing was even more agonizing now since over the past 18 months the hair on her head, once quite thick and lustrous, was noticeably thin. She used to enjoy brushing and “fixing” her hair, which she had considered one of her best features. She came to me quite depressed about her on-going hair loss, because the problem was progressing. I confirmed she had not recently had a Hepatitis B shot series. An article appeared last year in the Journal of the American Medical Association (278:117-8, 1997) linking the Hep B vaccine to increased incidence of alopecia (balding) in women. No, she hadn’t had the Hep B series. I asked if she had ever had cancer and...