The use of alternative therapies is becoming more and more popular as more folks recognize that natural methods of curing and treatment have sound medical foundations. These are the folks who remember that aspirin originally — with the ancient Greeks — started as a distillation of willow bark. In short, nature often provides the resources to fix what’s wrong with you.
How’s Your Weight?
Be honest, now. If you’re having sleep apnea problems, there’s a very good chance that you’re overweight by at least 15 pounds. That extra weight often goes to the neck (“double chin” anyone?) and results in a restricted airway. If you’re overweight, try losing those extra pounds and see whether that doesn’t resolve the problem. There are other benefits to losing the extra weight, too; but you probably already know — you’ve already heard way too much from friends and family — about those benefits, so I won’t go into them here.
In addition to losing weight, or while you’re in the process of losing weight, you might also try sleeping on your side. This tends to help keep the airway open as it makes it more difficult for the musculature to collapse.
How’s Your Diet?
Homeopathy practitioners believe that there is a connection between sleep apnea and loss of energy. Thus, diet is something that you should pay attention to if you’re struggling with sleep apnea. You should probably consider reducing the amount of sugar in your diet, along with foods you may be mildly allergic to — perhaps so mildly allergic that you’re unaware of it. A homeopathic practitioner will consider your situation and may recommend other foods and additives that you should stay away from.
The homeopathic practitioner may recommend one or more herbal medicines. These recommendations are often based upon your particular personality. Lachesis is frequently recommended to extroverted individuals. If you’re extroverted, charismatic, swift to anger and other mood swings, then you may be the perfect candidate for lachesis. On the other hand, if you’re introverted or have a history of pain and discomfort — either emotional or physical pain — then you may be susceptible to treatment with homeopathic opium.
How Does the World Smell To You?
Aroma therapy has been shown to be useful in dealing with sleep apnea episodes. Using vervain essence in oils, candles, and atomizers has a tendency to relax you. In addition to helping you deal with your sleep disorder, this relaxation also tends to lower stress and high blood pressure. Vervain and assorted other flower/essence remedies can be found at most health food stores or can be found on-line. If you are not already familiar with aroma therapy, you should investigate this form of non-invasive alternative therapy for yourself.
How’s Your Serotonin?
There evidence that sleep apnea is sometimes related to your serotonin levels. The nerves that control your breathing require a certain amount of serotonin in order to be effective. Additionally, your body’s serotonin receptors control which hormones are released into your body, and when they’re released, and in what amounts. Cortisol is one of those hormones controlled by serotonin — and cortisol controls, among other things, the muscles that make breathing possible.
Researchers have concluded that sleep apnea often results from failures within the serotonin system. They further contend that the use of a serotonin precursor, such as 5-HTP, can be highly beneficial if you’re suffering debilitating sleep apnea. Doctors who recommend 5-HTP suggest that you consume 100 to 300 mg (milligrams) of 5-HTP before you go to bed so that your sleep will be more restful and less disturbed. 5-HTP is also alleged to improve your concentration and productivity throughout the course of the day.
How’s Your Skepticism?
There are those who, in their own minds, tend to equate “alternative therapy” with “quack medicine.” Hopefully you’ve come to recognize — as has much of “the medical establishment” — that alternative therapies such as acupressure, acupuncture, aroma therapy, and many more have a scientific basis underlying their effectiveness. If you have not yet considered alternative therapies as a potential treatment, perhaps it’s now time to do so. Alternative therapies should be an adjunct to traditional medical treatment, not a replacement for consulting your doctor.