7 Alternative Medicine Treatments for Animals: A Short Guide for Caring for Your Pet Naturally (Lisa Taylor)

7 Alternative Medicine  Treatments for Animals: A Short Guide for Caring for Your Pet Naturally (Lisa Taylor)

Kenzo had been paralyzed in all four legs for two weeks.

He wasn’t eating, slept only on his side and he never even tried to get up. Prescription medications had no effect.

His owners were on a mission to find a solution, and that’s when they found Dr. Valérie Trudel’s acupuncture and osteopathy clinic. When Kenzo arrived at the clinic, he seemed to be in pain.

Dr. Trudel’s first instinct was to prepare his owners for the possibility of euthanasia. Obviously, that’s not a reality any pet owner wants to face, so they made up their mind to try everything they could. They knew the journey ahead would be long.

Dr. Trudel performed acupuncture on Kenzo and his owners decided to wait a full 24-hours before making a snap judgement about the results.

Kenzo arrived lying on his side. After the first treatment, he left lying on his stomach. Dr. Trudel saw him again two weeks later; he was walking.

Alternative medicine specialists can recount many stories like this one.

“I want people to know that euthanasia is not the only solution,” explains Dr. Trudel. “When medicine or surgery are not an option, or there is advice against them, it is really worth the effort to try an alternative medicine. There are of course, many animals that are not euthanized because we have otherwise treated them.”

Are you looking for a solution for helping your pet?

Would you like to try the most natural treatments possible but are confused by all the options? This short guide is for you.

Like you, many pet owners have found that traditional medicine is either not enough or too harsh on their pets. Like you, these owners consider their pet like a member of the family, and they will do everything in their power to give them the best care and, in the worst-case scenario, avoid euthanasia.

Animals quickly become part of the family. They fill an essential emotional need; we establish a real relationship with them. They remind us of our connection to nature and bring us back to what is essential.

What can touch your heart more than genuine concern from our dog when you’re feeling sad? What is more heartwarming than a cat nuzzling up to you after you’ve had a long day.

Animals force us to stop and enjoy the moment. 

Recent surveys* show that the United States has over 310 million pets of all sorts, most of these being dogs, cats and fish. More than 44% of households own a dog and more than 35% own a cat.

Traditional veterinary medicine has made spectacular advances in the past few years and remains essential to the well-being of our companions. However, this is also the case for the different alternative medicines.


Dr. Hélène Haltrecht, a holistic veterinarian and professor in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Montréal, practices at the Centre DMV in Montréal. She defines herself as a veterinarian specialized in COMPLEMENTARY medicines. All so-called alternative medicines can indeed be truly compatible and helpful, even if your pet is also treated with traditional medicine.

The main advantage of alternative medicines is that they can treat a number of ailments in a natural way without chemicals that could have adverse side effects. 

Before you start any kind of treatment, be aware that the web is full of all kinds of information. It is important to consult with professionals who can direct you towards the right treatments.

Also keep in mind that, in more serious situations, your pet may need additional tests (blood tests, CT scans, ultrasound, etc.) or surgical procedures, which remain the specialty of veterinary medicine.

Alternative medicines are very effective for treating certain chronic illnesses, but in the case of an emergency, you should always consult a professional veterinarian. Furthermore, certain illnesses (like a serious heart condition) require medication.

In all cases, alternative and western medicines be completely beneficial when used together! A natural treatment can often be administered in addition to a medication (always under the advice and supervision of a professional). Natural approaches can also often improve the efficacy of a drug therapy.


Alternative (or complementary) medicine is characterized by two things, whatever the specialty:

♥ Its holistic approach
♥ Its natural approach

This holistic approach is what we call holistic therapy, i.e. taking into account the whole (or totality) of the individual in order to treat them.

The idea behind this approach is to understand the weaknesses in order to prevent issues instead of curing them.

Non-conventional, alternative, natural and holistic medicines (the terms are not lacking) are not only concerned with the physical aspects of your pet, but also its emotions and experiences, which can have a major impact on its physical health.

Cécile Jean, doctor of veterinary medicine, practices osteopathy, acupuncture and phytotherapy in France.

“Practicing holistic medicine consists of understanding the patient as a whole. Care through alternative medicines such as osteopathy, phytotherapy and acupuncture enable this approach, which is ultimately very complementary to the allopathic medicine traditionally practiced,” she explains. “Like most holistic medicines, the objective so little used in the western world, is not to care for an illness, but to avoid the individual falling ill… it would be even more logical that a doctor or a veterinarian be paid to keep their patient in good health.”

This is confirmed by Hélène Haltrecht, already mentioned above.

“I aim for a comprehensive approach. According to the case, I look at what medicinal treatment or what combination would be the most appropriate for treating the animal. For example, acupuncture combines well with herbal remedies, especially for chronic problems (like neurological problems, herniated discs, paralysis, etc.) which are often difficult to treat with traditional medicines. Some animals do not respond well, or well enough, to medications. At this point, surgery is often required, but this is sometimes too costly for the client or perhaps they want to try to avoid surgery altogether.”

Alternative medicine offers other options, or at least complementary options, to traditional care.

“I always offer all of the options that I think could be beneficial to the animal. This can also include medications. If I think that surgery might be a good option, I will recommend it as well.”

Dr. Anne-Marie Potrawiak, a holistic veterinarian, practices at the Animomedic Clinic in Montréal. She considers her practice in osteopathy, acupuncture, homeopathy and phytotherapy to be an integrative medicine, meaning a holistic approach that treats the animal using different types of alternative medicines.

Many veterinarians now offer a combination of traditional medicine and alternative natural treatments, with fewer side effects.

Perhaps you are asking yourself, what can you treat with natural medicines? Most doctors and therapists agreed that the most frequent problems they encounter in animals are problems of chronic pain: herniated discs, osteoarthritis, older animals who don’t move as well, skin conditions, colitis, allergies, etc.

Would you like to treat your animal in the most natural way possible? We will now take a quick look at the different natural approaches available to you in order to help you make your therapeutic choices.

1. Phytotherapy for Animals

I have dealt with phobia / aggression problems in dogs through the combination of acupuncture and phytotherapy and exchanges with the pet’s owner,” says Dr. Jean.

Plants to treat your pet? Is this even possible? Yes!

The use of plants to care for humans AND animals is not new. For millennia, humans have cared for their animals with plants.

Phytotherapy is the use of medicinal plants in various forms for the therapeutic benefits of their chemical components.

Animals living in the wild have a tendency to eat the plants that they find in fields, forests or groves in order to heal (in an instinctive way) some of their particular ailments. It is by observing wild animals that the medicinal properties of certain plants have been discovered.

Phytotherapy can be useful for strengthening the immune system, detoxifying the body, treating stress and anxiety, supplementing a proper diet in order to strengthen the body, or regulating the specific activities of certain systems or organs.

It should also be noted that, when used in combination, several plants can have synergistic effects that can influence an animal’s health in the long-term. In short, phytotherapy can be used preventatively in order to promote the overall health of an animal.

In this field, Chinese medicine uses herbs in combination with other treatments. This enables a reduction in the use of chemical medications (even replacing them) and therefore greatly reduces the harmful side-effects.

“I will often recommend Chinese herbs in combination with my other treatments. With that, we can give less medication, or it can even replace the drugs. Therefore, we have fewer side-effects,” explains Dr. Haltrecht.

Remember that a plant can be safe for a human but not for an animal and vice versa, so be careful about giving your pet a phytotherapy treatment you have taken. The metabolisms of animals and humans are different. Always consult a professional before starting treatment. Furthermore, as is often the case with alternative medicines, the therapies are meant to span from mid-to-long term.

If you choose phytotherapy for your pet, make sure to always choose reliable, proven professionals and suppliers.

2. Acupuncture for Animals

Phytotherapy is often practiced in association with acupuncture. More familiar to the general public, this ancestral therapy is very well received by animals, contrary to what one might think.

“Acupuncture is one of five branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM),” explains Dr. Jean. “It is a medicine that has been established empirically over the course of centuries (more than 5000 years of existence!) and whose founding principle is the harmonious circulation of energy (or Qi) in the body. TCM is based on the idea that effective treatment can only be achieved by addressing the pathology and the patient in a comprehensive way. Disease is therefore, according to the Chinese, both the expression of a problem involving the organ to which it is linked and also the sign of a more general imbalance within the body. Or, even more widely, of the patient with his ecosystem (owner, other animals, habitat).”

“Acupuncture is a medicine in its own right, and can therefore be appropriate in almost all situations. However, there are situations where its therapeutic advantages stand out: dermatology, osteoarticular pathology, behavior, geriatrics, weak organs (kidney, liver, etc.). TCM, along with all holistic medicines, allows a comprehensive look at the patient, whatever it might be, and does not stop at the symptoms. It is therefore very useful in many pathologies”.

There are more than 300 acupuncture points recognized in animals and each provokes a specific reaction in the body. We use needling, heat, lasers, electric current and sometimes injections to treat the animal. Acupuncture allows the healing and regenerative mechanisms of the body to function to their full potential. It also stimulates certain nervous reflexes, which in turn stimulate certain organs. Like many alternative medicines, acupuncture offers a holistic approach, working with the animal according to its personality and experience.

Another benefit of acupuncture, as stated by Dr. Trudel, is often to treat the cases where the owners do not have the means to pay for surgery. Cases of ruptured cruciate ligaments or paralysis are great examples where acupuncture has shown great results. These surgeries, to name but a few, cost anywhere between USD 1,500 and USD 4,000. Even if the owners have the means to pay, the consequences of surgery may be as restrictive as the problem itself. Acupuncture allows a natural treatment and avoids many undesirable side-effects. It also proves very useful as relief for aging animals, allowing them to see out their final days without suffering due to lack of energy, joint pain, or stiffness.

3. Physiotherapy for Animals

Dr. Olivia Lannou is a physiotherapist at the clinic PhysioVetCare in France and recounts that “Coben had triggered a polyradiculoneuropathy, an autoimmune inflammatory disease of the peripheral nervous system, which led to a generalized flaccid paralysis. When he first came to PhysioVetCare, it had been almost three months since he could walk, he could barely hold his head up and was extremely amyotrophic. After one month of rehabilitation, neurological and muscular, and a lot of motivation, the results have met our expectations!”

“As a result of a cervical hernia, and despite the surgery, Canelle was paralyzed in all four limbs. Thanks to physiotherapy, her motivation and the perseverance of her owners, after two months of work, we have the joy of seeing her walking around again!”

She has many stories like these to tell! She and her team have seen animals arrive unable to walk into the clinic who are now fine.

Physiotherapy is now one of the alternative medicines which is developing more and more in veterinary clinics, in addition to other more traditional treatments. It is particularly noted for cases of neurological or orthopedic disorders.

Physiotherapy encompasses manual and instrumental techniques to diagnose and treat functional disorders and injuries. Physiotherapists use techniques such as massage and stretching as well as ultrasounds, electrotherapy, or hydrotherapy, etc. If your pet seems to have a neurological or orthopedic problem, physiotherapy could help.

The first objective is to ease the pain with various natural treatments and physical manipulations. The next goal is to help the animal regain its fitness. This is done a gentle way with manipulation by hand, or using natural elements like water, vibrations, heating/cooling or light.

Physiotherapy can also be combined with other natural treatments like homeopathy or phytotherapy to preserve the long-term health of the animal.

Physiotherapy will be noted in the case of arthritic animals or older animals who can no longer undergo an operation.

In the case of more serious orthopedic problems, surgery can sometimes be necessary. However, physiotherapy will often be used in addition to the surgery, or in post-operative treatment to allow the animal to recover as quickly as possible.

In fact, physiotherapy and functional rehabilitation are equivalent to the care given by kinesiologists in sports medicine. It is particularly interesting to use in post-surgical rehabilitation (orthopedic or neurologic), in rehabilitation of degenerative processes (osteoarthritis, degenerative myopathy, cauda equina syndrome, etc.), or in the preparation of sports dogs (specific pathologies of sports dogs, prevention of injuries, specific training program) as explained by Dr. Olivia Lannou, therapist at PhysioVetCare.

Physiotherapy is based on the use of passive kinesiotherapy (joint mobilization), active kinesiotherapy (exercises for stimulating balance, proprioception or targeted muscle building), electrotherapy, ultrasounds, hydrotherapy (walking in water which enables important muscular movement without putting weight on the joints) and therapeutic laser.

4. Homeopathy for Animals

Dr. Potrawiak is interested, like all specialists in homeopathy, in all aspects of the animal before administering any sort of treatment.

Homeopathy treats, in effect, the individual and not the disease in taking a holistic approach. In homeopath, providers are interested in the animal as a whole and not only in symptoms. It is what we call the law of individualization. Homeopathy is as concerned with the psychological as the physical aspects of the individual. This includes their experiences (trauma or otherwise) and hereditary traits as well. It paints a unique picture of your pet and proposes a treatment that takes all of these things into consideration. Homeopath differentiates itself from traditional medicine, which treats symptoms separately instead of considering the body as a whole.

How does the treatment work?

Homeopathy for animals (dogs, cats, horses, rabbits…   Source: homeoanimal.com) consists of treating animals by means of remedies in small doses obtained by dilution. These remedies, in higher doses, are capable of producing similar symptoms in man (or in animal) to those of the disease, in order for the body to fight back.

The goal is to stimulate the body’s ability to heal itself (vitality). Homeopathic remedies aim to stimulate this vitality to help the body fight against disease.

The homeopath seeks to understand how symptoms manifest and also considers what aggravates them, what calms them, and at what times the symptoms appear. They take all of this into account in order to find a suitable homeopathic formula. Two animals suffering from the same problem could therefore be prescribed different homeopathic formulas.

This natural approach can be a good alternative to medications, particularly in cases of digestive disorders, psychological problems like anxiety, or hormonal imbalances to name but a few examples. Homeopathy helps limit many side-effects that you may see with drug treatments. It is also completely possible to use homeopathy in addition to conventional treatments.

Most animals react very well to homeopathic treatments. Many physical or psychological health problems can be treated with this approach, which has been used in Europe for a very long time and is becoming increasingly popular in North America.

5. Aromatherapy for Animals

Dr. Nelly Grosjean, doctor in naturopathy and author of the book Veterinarian Aromatherapy, explains in an interview, “Aromatherapy is used particularly against ailments like coughs, digestive problems or alopecia, and is very effective antiseptically speaking (for fighting against bacteria, parasites, fungi, etc.). I strongly recommend it for the treatment of tendinitis, itching, joint pain, digestion, or even for strengthening the immune system or helping the animal recover after excessive physical exertion (for example racehorses).”

Aromatherapy is the process of using aromatic plant extracts (essences and essential oils) for therapeutic purposes, unlike phytotherapy which uses all the elements of a plant.

However, be aware that some animals can be allergic or sensitive to certain essential oils. You should never use essential oils for the therapeutic care of your pet without the advice of a specialist in aromatherapy. Furthermore, they will sometimes advise you to try it on a small area of the body before using a treatment. The specialist will also let you know if certain oils should be avoided at particular moments in your pet’s life (pregnancy, lactation, etc.).

What is an essential oil? Essential oils are a concentration of active ingredients derived from the distillation of an aromatic plant. Aromatherapy can not properly be called a ‘soft medicine’, because in fact, essential oils are a real package of energy! Oils used in aromatherapy must be of excellent quality and taken from healthy plants. Always check that the bottle indicates the exact name of the plant and its place of distillation.

Essential oils can be used for antiseptic, antimicrobial and anti-infectious purposes such as detoxifying, revitalizing or regulating the nervous system or hormonal glands. They increase resistance to illness, improve immune defenses and prevent infections and contagions. They can be used in prevention or in curative treatment in three different forms: diffusion into the air, through friction, or by internal absorption. Obviously, only healthcare professionals will be able to recommend which oils are suitable for your pet and how they should be used.

“My aromatic compositions have helped and continue to help the studs of the princes of England, the studs of a Jordanian princess, veterinary biotherapy clinics and equine osteopaths and dentists,” says Dr. Grosjean… Enough to convince the most skeptical amongst us, is it not?

6. Osteopathy For Animals

Osteopathy is an alternative medicine which uses manual techniques and, like other natural medicines, is based on the principle that the body is an entity and that it is the patient (the animal) who is treated instead of the disease.

Osteopathy attaches a great importance to the vascular system and the self-healing power of the individual. It starts from the principle that all bodily systems interact with each other. In being able to treat all kinds of conditions, osteopathy often allows us to avoid taking medications. By focusing on the cause of the illness and not just the symptoms, osteopathy enables treatment of the problem at the source in order to avoid its recurrence. Knowing that certain health conditions require traditional medical interventions, osteopathy can be used in addition to other procedures.

“By regularly consulting an Osteopath, you allow your pet’s body to manage the disturbances which occur at a low level before the symptoms manifest (…),” explains Dr. Jean.

Osteopathy is also very complementary to acupuncture, as Dr. Trudel explains.

“It is rare that I treat only with acupuncture, given that the medicines are very close to each other in nature and are complementary. By combining the two approaches, I have treated, for example, a dog who had suffered with limping for several months and had been seen by several specialists. In two sessions, his problem was solved. It was a cervical vertebra that was stuck and which had pressed on the nerve. Another cat was limping on its back leg and was unable to put weight on it. Its owner was on the verge of euthanizing it. Three treatments later, the cat was walking.”

7. Naturopathy for Animals

Naturopathy is also based on a holistic approach to illness and considers the body and the individual as a whole rather than only treating the health problem itself.

Animal naturopathy is concerned with the physiological needs of the animal as well as its well-being and comfort. A naturopath will often propose an overall health check of the animal while considering its diet, experiences and mental health before proposing any treatment. They will then propose the use of plants, flowers, aromatic essences, homeopathic remedies or trace elements to treat the animal. In all cases, the approach will be entirely natural.

The principal interest of naturopathy is its 100% natural approach. You will be certain, in consulting with a good animal naturopath, of providing your pet with non-invasive and completely natural care. The naturopath is a specialist in various natural medicines. They can propose different approaches for you to choose from (aromatherapy, homeopathy, etc.). The naturopath will consider all aspects of your pet’s life.

Like any alternative medicine, in specific urgent cases or in the case of certain disabling diseases, naturopathy cannot replace traditional treatments. However, it can work complementary to traditional treatments and may even improve their effectiveness.

As you can see, in terms of alternative medicine, there is no shortage of choices! From phytotherapy to osteopathy and covering naturopathy, physiotherapy, homeopathy, aromatherapy and acupuncture, you can find the natural approach that suits the personality and health needs of your pet.

All the experts we interviewed have told us the same thing: all these approaches are often linked to one another. This is why in your research you will find that many therapists are both osteopaths and acupuncturists, or naturopaths and homeopaths. In short, these complementary medicines each have their strengths and can act on different levels, and sometimes also in parallel with more traditional treatments.

Each case is unique and must be studied as such in order to find the best suited therapy. However, each case can be treated as naturally as is possible, if that is your wish for your most loyal companion.

“I treated a 10-year-old dog with osteoarthritis and an acute posterior limp, pain and associated tremors,” says Dr. Jean. “Well, classical medicine, and even osteopathy associated with phytotherapy did not seem to relieve it. On the other hand, after two close sessions of acupuncture, the limp disappeared (without any other associated treatment). It may not be obvious and, in some cases, we do not find in the first instance the care that is appropriate for the animal and its problem at that time, but when we do, the effectiveness can really be very impressive! There are also animals treated with oncology and, in some cases, we obtain remission with the combination of acupuncture or phytotherapy.”

We all want the best for our pets and, if possible, to avoid chemical drug treatments and the undesirable side-effects that come with them. This is a beautiful gift that we can give them!

Dr. Trudel ends with this advice, “Consult your veterinarian before starting an alternative treatment.” Why? “A lady called me for her three-month-old Bernese mountain dog who had a limp in its hind leg. However, it turned out that the dog did not need acupuncture or osteopathy. It had, in fact, had a broken heel for one month.” In cases like this, only traditional veterinary medicine will be able to help your pet, then alternative care can be used to complete the treatment. So always be alert to the signs observed in your pet.

We’d love it if you could share your personal experiences in alternative medicine with us and our readers! Your story can help others make more informed decisions as they learn more about the benefits and limitations of natural approaches.

Also, feel free to send us any questions you may have. There is nothing like talking to other animal lovers!

We invite you to share your experiences, comments, questions and references in the section below. Thank you very much! Your contribution to the discussion will make a difference!

Source: American Pet Products Association's 2015-2016 National Pet Owners Survey

25 Uses of Melaleuca/Tea Tree Essential Oil

25 Uses of Melaleuca/Tea Tree Essential Oil

Melaleuca or Tea Tree Essential Oil (Melaleuca alternifoliais) is a topical or aromatic essential oil that is knowns for its antiseptic, anti-fungal and infection-reducing benefits. It also has antibiotic properties and helps aid against aliments such as skin dermatitis, infections, rashes, burns, and dry, flaky scalps including dandruff.

25 Uses for Tea Tree Oil

☑ Helps heal and soothe sunburns.
☑ Heals skin dermatitis naturally by reducing allergic reactions.
☑ Relieves itchiness from rashes as well as helps reduce rashes.
☑ Can be used as an all-purpose cleaner: Fill a spray bottle with 1-2 tsp. of tea tree oil and the rest of the bottle with water.
☑ Treats skin acne.☑ Helps to prevent lice naturally; just add a few drops to your shampoo.
☑ A few drops in your pets’ crates or beds keep the fleas away.
☑ Removes ticks, just add to skin and the little stinker will usually unlatch.
☑ Rids fungus in feet and Athlete’s foot.
☑ Found to help remove skin tags.

☑ Naturally cures bad breath. (Swish some tea tree oil and water in your mouth.)
☑ Can be used in a baking soda and essential oil toothpaste/powder.
☑ Has been found as an effective treatment for warts.
☑ Soothes insect bites.
☑ Treats lice/scabies/ringworm.

☑ Treats skin dermatitis like eczema and psoriasis and other skin conditions.
☑ Relieves asthma or other breathing conditions when a few drops are added to a humidifier.
☑ Works as antiseptic on small cuts.
☑ Keeps living areas fresh by riding airborne pathogens (like mold) at bay.
☑ Relieves earaches: mix 1 drop of tea tree oil with 1 tsp. olive oil, drop mixture into the ear and then remove by tilting head.

☑ Freshen laundry: Add a few drops in your washing machine to scent your clothes. Also, if you forgot to put the clothes in the dryer, run again with tea tree oil to remove mildew. You can also scent wool dryer balls with tea tree oil.
☑ Helps freshen inside of shoes and area walkways like carpet.
☑ Can be used in several  kitchen cleaners with vinegar and distilled water.
☑ Cleans mold: Mix apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil and scrub mold; place outside to sun-dry.
☑ Can be used in homemade deodorants.

Sources: WEB MD, Keeperofthehome.org

Acceleration Training: The Power Plate

Acceleration Training: The Power Plate

My new favorite piece of equipment for fitness, flexibility, whole body circulation, muscle strengthening, conditioning, and recovery is the Power Plate.

Okay, maybe I am so attracted to this doctor's scale looking vibrating machine because it started out so foreign to me, and it promised the world  and would reduce cellulite?

The Power Plate company uses the ideology and science of accelerated training...

...(vibration plate technology) to naturally stimulate the body's reaction to vibration (in as little as 15 minutes, three times a week).

It is not just a fad, however.

In Europe, acceleration training has been scientifically proven to help people of all ages, genders, and professions recover and has also been approved by the EEC in Europe (which holds the highest standards in rehabilitation medical devices).

There are so many ways you can use the Power Plate.

You can stretch (like you would normally)—even go through an entire yoga routine, but the vibrations (measured by G Factor, or the up/down and side to side movement of the vibrating plates) would enhance the stretch many times over, so you would get a deeper and more effective stretch.

Oxygen would reach every muscle fiber, and the instability in which the vibrations cause would allow blood flow and oxygen to relieved a more effective stretch.

The richly oxygenated blood helps speed up recovery time (especially if you are an elite athlete, up to 57%). Vibrating also helps the body to shell out the toxins (especially those caused by exercise and physical stress on the body).

The Power Plate Pro7 is the one I utilize regularly.

It has a series of exercises built into the color interactive screen. You can follow along a very detailed workout that targets each part of the body for body fat loss, for flexibility, balance or rehabilitation.

Once used only by astronauts training for muscle strengthening to combat muscle and bone loss in zero gravity conditions, its effectiveness and popularity spread like wildfire to elite athletes.

Now more than 100 global offices are open to deliver this technology to anyone who has the ability to access. It is quite incredible.

It does get some getting used to. The vibrations are caused by vertical displacement and also side to side dissipation. The Power Plate technology works because of the tension it creates.

Tonic Vibration Reflex (TVR) allows our bodies to maximize benefits by our bodies' reaction to the vertical and side to side movements.

All this vibrating may be a little too strong for some, so I suggest first timers to start light (beginner) and chose a low G Factor (1 or 30 Hz) and ask a fitness professional for tips and oversight the first few times.

Keeping soft knees if standing will mitigate the vibrations traveling too strongly into the head (which make many people feel uncomfortable).

Your body does eventually get accustomed to the feeling, very much like people become used to the Sonicare toothbrush after using it a few times (but remember the first time you used it?)

For more information, check out powerplate.com and view some of their Power TV exercises and explanations of how this unique power plate works and the great benefits that can be gained.

Sources and Photo Credits: PowerPlate.com

The Garcinia Cambogia Promise

The Garcinia Cambogia Promise

If you have a facebook account, you have probably clicked on an article that is really a hidden ad for Garcinia Cambogia, a weight loss miracle that is said to have no negative side effects but help you become shredded.

Yes, this sounds too good to be true (so probably is).

What is Garcinia Cambogia?

It is a plant where the fruit rind is used to make medicine.

Marketed as a very inexpensive and natural (even organic) pumpkin-shaped fruit native to Indonesia, this miracle supplement is all the rage. I think the words, "scientifically proven to tear away fat from your body" is its mission statement.

Let's look at the promises:


❧ An Effective Weight Loss Supplement
❧ Boosts Metabolism
❧ A Good Appetite Suppressant
❧ Lower Blood Cholesterol
❧ Help People Deal With Stress
❧ Promotes An Increased in Muscle Mass
❧ Helps People With Diabetes
❧ Improves Immune Function
❧ Rich in calcium, phosphorus, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin
❧ Caffeine Free
❧ Stimulant Free

Possible Side Effects?

❧ Nausea
❧ Digestive tract discomfort
❧ Headache

Where to get it?

Because the internet is so pervasive and companies can deliver to even the most remote places of the world, most people will find this supplement available online or at local health food and supplement stores.

Like all supplements, there is little to no oversight and regulation on the ingredients and production process, so pretty much you should assume all the risk when making purchases.

If it is from China, I would pass, no matter how big the promise and low the dollar amount.

When researching for Garcinia cambogia supplements, but those that are at least 60% HCA-Hydroxycitric Acid, a substance found in tropical plants that aid in fat loss. (the active ingredient for weight loss)

The most basic recommended Garcinia cambogia supplement is Garcinia Pure, which is packed with the highest-quality Garcinia sold anywhere. It has 500mg of Garcinia Cambogia per capsule standardized at 50% HCA.

It is recommended that you take 2-3 capsules per day (one before each meal). People new to this supplement should start off with 1 capsule a day before meal time.


The appropriate dose of garcinia depends on several factors:

❧ The user's age
❧ Overall body health
❧ Existing chronic disease
❧ Presence of liver and metabolic disease

I always suggest that no single food product or supplement will deliver whole body weight loss. There is no magic formula in the scientific world when it comes to inside and outside functional health.

No pill will do that for you. It's good ole' hard work.

Expectations with Garcinia Cambogia

This pure Garcinia Cambogia extract works in so many different ways. Not only does it help with suppressing appetite, but it helps prevent fat from being made and produced while increasing that feel good feeling.

People should expect to feel full longer, and in time, allowing the consumer to eat less.

3 Steps to follow before making a purchase:

1.       Avoid brands that claim to be “Dr. Oz” brands.

This is a clear scam indicator because Doctor Oz does not endorse any specific brand names.

2.       Avoid supplements that are coming from China.

I am Chinese and I am saying this. It is not a secret that they are usually of a lower quality and filled with various fillers.

3.       Do not skimp on high-quality supplements.

Though many times it may be hard to decipher which brands are the best. Go with reputable brands.

Remember that It is expensive to produce high quality and powerful garcinia cambogia. High-quality product should cost at least $50-$60 USD.

Liposuction: Where Does the Fat Go? 11 Risks, Side Effects & Dangers

Liposuction: Where Does the Fat Go? 11 Risks, Side Effects & Dangers

Fat in the body.

It is most often determined by heredity, gender, health, diet and activity levels. These factors determine how much mass and where this mass may be located in people.

Generally, people stop developing new fat cells after puberty, unless a person reaches 200% of their ideal body weight and need more lipid "storage space" or they undergo experimental fat-stem cell therapy for adipocyte-genesis.

The Yale Medical Core Curriculum states that

"Hypertrophic obesity results in an increase in the size of the fat cells, without a change in their number. It is usually a post-adolescent phenomenon, and holds true until total body fat exceeds 40 kg (morbid obesity - greater than 200% ideal body weight), at which point new fat cells are produced to accommodate the enlarging lipid reserves."

Surgeons report that getting liposuction does not cause more fat to grow elsewhere, though people may feel as though it does.

A note to remember for people considering liposuction or who have received treatments is that if the calories eaten are more than those burned off, the body will have to store the calories in the form of fat.

Because liposuction removes the fat cells from the hips, thighs - wherever, and the fat needs to be stored SOMEWHERE, it gets stored in the treatment area and in other areas.

People do not grow more fat cells. The fat cells left over just expand.

So if it appears that you just pasted on that greasy, fatty meal to your butt, thighs and other areas that have never previously gotten fat before, move your body and exercise.

For every 3,500 calories, people consume and do not burn off, a pound of fat is gained.  Let's use my body in a hypothetical situation as an example:

In the desire to shed the extra body fat and obtain a shapely figure, the dangers of liposuction are sometimes overlooked.

The lure of gaining a trimmer tummy and slimmer thighs sans dieting and exercise seems an attractive proposition.

Possible side effects of this procedure are bruising, swelling, temporary numbness and discomfort in the surgically treated area.

There is a possibility of serious complications such as blood clots, infection or allergic reactions if the procedure is not performed by an experienced and board-certified plastic surgeon.

Risks and Dangers of Liposuction

What is Liposuction?

Liposuction is a medical procedure which removes excess fat from specific areas of the body to improve its shape and contours.

A blunt tube similar to a straw is inserted through tiny incisions in the skin. A suction pump is connected to the tube, which is moved in a side-to-side motion, vacuuming out the excess fat.

Though the popularity of plastic and cosmetic surgery, especially in the media and with celebrities, is growing at an expedient rate, there are many side effects and dangers associated to the get skinny-quick method of these medical procedures.

First of all, the dangers of liposuction increase in proportion to the amount of fat removed. The risks and dangers of liposuction are increased if the large area is to be treated.

There is also a chance that vital organs can be perforated or injured. Other dangers of liposuction can occur during the recovery process, in which the patient can incur infection or have unfavorable drug reactions.

Limiting the dangers of liposuction means being an ideal liposuction candidate.

An ideal candidate is close to their target body weight, within 10% to15%, exercises regularly, maintains a healthy diet, and has fairly elastic skin with either one or a few stubborn fat deposits.

By removing fat cells, people will have less bulk, be slimmer, and have fewer tendencies for fat to accumulate in that area in the future. Also, people who have a chronic medical condition such as heart or kidney disease should avoid liposuction.

The biggest dangers of liposuction procedures have been related to three factors: the risks associated with general anesthesia and sedation, risks associated with blood loss and fluid replacement, and risks associated with excessive liposuction.

Board certified surgeons agree that dangers of liposuction are reduced or eliminated by adhering to specific methods, but even the drugs used for general anesthesia, for example, may pose a great risk.

The drugs used for general anesthesia are relatively more dangerous than those used for local anesthesia.

The dangers of liposuction associated with these medicines, including respiratory arrest and allergic reactions, are eliminated by not using them.

Local anesthesia is considerably safer, and tumescent liposuction provides better comfort requiring only Tylenol for pain relief during healing.

The biggest and most frequently occurring dangers of liposuction surgery, are often related to the risks involved with sedation and general anaesthetic, with the loss of blood and fluid replacement and risks involved with excessive liposuction treatment.

If the tumescent technique is followed, then these particular dangers associated with liposuction can be reduced for eradicated.

Any dangers associated with sedation (ie drugs used for general anaesthesia carry more risks than those used for local anaesthesia), such as allergic reactions or respiratory arrest, are eliminated when they are not used.

Other potential side effects of liposuction are temporary numbness, swelling, bruising, and general discomfort in the treated area.

Serious complications such as allergic reactions, infections or blood clots are possible if the procedure is not correctly performed.

Liposuction dangers can increase in proportion to the size of the area to be treated and the amount of fat to be removed.

If the area to be treated is relatively large or includes multiple areas, the potential dangers can be substantial as there is always the possibility that vital organs can be injured or punctured.

The recovery process too is not free of its potential dangers, either. Patients can react adversely to certain drugs, or possibly get an infection. Post-operative liposuction scars are most definitely permanent; but could fade in time.

Below is a summary of the top 11 risks and dangers associated with liposuction:

1.  Contour Irregularities

Some common and unfortunate results of liposuction procedure surgery are asymmetry and irregular contours of the treated area, and this may warrant further operations.

2.  Excess Skin

This can be an unwanted result after a liposuction procedure, by patients whose skin has poor elasticity.

Stretch marks can sometimes be a sign of poor skin elasticity and this is perhaps an indication to a candidate that maybe their skin is not suitable for this procedure.

And whilst this is generally not a danger nor a complication for younger patients, those prone to stretch marks may indeed end up with an excess of loose skin and thus they may require further surgery to remove it.

It is possible to remove excess skin at the same time as the liposuction procedure is performed.

3.  Swelling after Liposuction

Oedema or swelling may continue for some weeks or even months after surgery.

Swelling can result in a tingling feeling or numbness being caused by pressure on nerves within the body.  Because of this, it is important to wear a compression body garment to help reduce any swelling and to speed the recovery process.

Sometimes pockets of fluid, also known as seroma, can gather in spaces within the treated areas and these will need draining.  The likelihood of swelling and seromas forming are reduced when a compression garment is worn.

If the knee or inner part of the upper thigh is treated, bumpy and raised veins (known as thrombophlebitis) can appear after surgery, but they should settle down within a few weeks. The ankles can swell too.

4.  Bruising after Liposuction

Bruising can sometimes be considerable, is generally painful and can often take more than 4 weeks to disappear.

5.  Burns from Ultrasonic Liposuction

Ultrasound-assisted liposuction uses a probe which heats to an intensity that can cause burns, however, the risk of burns is reduced if the probe is not used too close to the surface of the skin and if it is not kept in one place for too long a period of time.

 6.  Infection after Liposuction

Infections can occur after liposuction procedures are performed.  Antibiotics are often prescribed post-operatively as a preventative measure against infection occurring.

Indications of an infection would be increasing tenderness, inflammation of the area treated, red blotches or streaks on the surface of the skin, a high temperature and vomiting.

 7.  Pulmonary Embolism

It is possible that fat can break free during the procedure, getting into the blood vessels and make their way to the lungs.

This can cause a blockage, known as a pulmonary embolism and can cause difficulty with breathing or even fatality.  This risk is at its highest within the first three days after liposuction.

 8.  Organ Damage

There is the possibility that internal organs such as the intestines can be damaged as a result of the cannula puncturing them because the surgeon is actually operating beneath the skin through a tiny incision, and he is unable to see where the cannula is probing as he performs the procedure.

If any organs are damaged during the procedure, it is possible that they would need to be repaired with further surgery.

If the patient has a hernia (intestines protruding or pushing through the abdominal wall) the possibility of damage is greatly magnified.

9.  Overdose of Lidocaine

It is possible that an accumulation of lidocaine can result if too much is injected into the area during liposuction.

Indications of this are drowsiness, slurred speech, muscle twitching, convulsions, shivering, light-headedness, numbness of the tongue and lips and eventually even cardiac arrest.

Fortunately, nowadays, instances of lidocaine toxicity are quite uncommon due to more and more patients opting for tumescent liposuction where small concentrations of lidocaine are used, thus reducing these risks.

10.  Fluid Imbalance

Large quantities of fluids are injected into the area to be treated during tumescent liposuction.

Some of this fluid is then removed in the fat tissue at the same time that the fat tissue is suctioned out, potentially resulting in an imbalance of fluids.

If this is not noticed and is left untreated, it can lead to serious problems, for example, heart or kidney failure or dysfunction, or fluid in the lungs.

A build-up of fluid in the lungs, known as pulmonary oedema, can occur as a result of the fluid injected into the body during the liposuction procedure.

 11. Possibility of a Liposuction Death

The risk of liposuction death cannot be ruled out.  The chances of death during this procedure can increase when other surgical procedures are carried out at the same time.

Resources: Medicinenet.com, beautysurge.com, abcnews.com

Why the Mind Matters Most

Why the Mind Matters Most

Our lives are formed with the thoughts that we think. Life is a reflection of each thought, and with each thought (conscious, unconscious or subconscious), the physical structure of our brain changes.

It actually does. The brain expands, grows, new neurological pathways are being created, synapse is firing and hormones (oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins) begin pour in.

May it be thoughts of abundance or lack, poverty, wealth, safety, danger, bliss, trauma, love or hate, our thoughts form our feelings (expressed in life as what we experience), which then form our experience, and then turn into our beliefs.

The more thoughts about our experience, the stronger our feelings and the more we believe it to be true.

Beliefs are thoughts that we repeatedly think. If we can champion ourselves to think better thoughts (ones that lift us up and empower us, and serve us), then we can change our feelings and thus change our experiences for the better.

How to be happy” seems to be a common topic among the many stages of human these days, from children to adults.  We should be aware and mindful to use our minds to form thoughts that will form into the life we choose and aspire to lead.

Mind matters most, even beyond the physical actions we choose to take daily, because all the “to do’s”, “to be’s”, “to have's”, and “have to’s”, will become clear, and fruition organically from within us, instead of outside influences.

If we are to hold our thoughts steadily fast and unwaveringly certain, the path that leads to our desires will be an easy flowing downstream river. Then the attitude shift becomes “get to”. We “get to” use our thoughts to shape our idea of the world and hold that space with confidence and freedom.

Our mind is a powerful generator of our thoughts.

The most powerful generator of our bodies.

Using it as a resource to shape the life we so deeply desire and choose. We are simply artists using our minds as the canvas to draw, paint, color and shade in the masterpiece of our beautiful every days.

What is Vedic Meditation? (Christian Bevacqua)

What is Vedic Meditation?

by Christian Bevacqua

Vedic Meditation

is renowned for being easy and effortless as it doesn't require any concentration, contemplation, focusing or imagining. Other forms of meditation often require the practitioner to either concentrate, focus, contemplate, or imagine something.

These activities are known to excite the mind as opposed to relaxing the mind. The technique utilizes the natural tendency of the mind to become quiet and experience bliss.

Research shows that it is more effective than other meditation and relaxation techniques in releasing stress and promoting mental and physical well-being.

Where does this technique come from?

This technique originated from the Veda.

The same ancient knowledge base that brought us yoga, Ayurveda and much of eastern philosophy. And like yoga, Vedic Meditation can be practiced and enjoyed by anyone, regardless of cultural or religious beliefs.

So I don't have to join or worship a particular religion in order to meditate?


And you don't have to shave your head either - or wear funny clothes, change your name, sit in uncomfortable yoga positions, give away all of your possessions, be soft spoken or become a vegetarian.

Whereas many meditation techniques are specifically designed by and for monks sitting in a cave, Vedic Meditation is for people engaged in the world - for people who have families, jobs, homes, and things to do.

How do you practice the technique?

You sit comfortably in a chair with your back fully supported and your eyes closed for about 20 minutes twice a day - once in the morning and once in the evening.

During the meditation, your mind and body settle down into their least excited state. This phenomenon triggers a deep and profound state of restfulness. To an outside observer, you will appear to be simply resting.

What kind of benefits will I get from meditating?

The deep levels of rest acquired by using this technique create powerful, measurable changes in the physiology. Meditators have reported experiencing the release of stress, more energy, clearer thinking, better health, and improved personal relationships.

Here are some other notable benefits:

❧ Improved memory, energy, creativity, intelligence
❧ Relief from migraines, headaches, and asthma
❧ Faster reaction times
❧ Reduced cholesterol levels
❧ Relief from fatigue
❧ Stronger immune system
❧ Reduced risk of heart disease
❧ Normalization of blood pressure
❧ Relief from depression and anxiety
❧ Improved sports performance
❧ Reduction of biological aging
❧ Reduced addictive behaviors
❧ Normalization of weight
❧ Relief from insomnia and other sleeping disorders

What if I have too many thoughts when I try to quiet my mind?

If you feel like your mind is always active, you are a perfect candidate for this technique because you don't have to "try" to stop thinking or "try" to do anything for that matter.

"Trying" is actually what excites the mind and causes thinking.

Vedic Meditation is designed to effortlessly de-excite the mind in the most natural and immediate way. Once the mind de-excites, you'll notice that thoughts spontaneously get fewer and fewer.

Have these claims been proven by science?


Over 600 published scientific research studies verify and validate the benefits of Vedic Meditation in every area of an individual's life including mind, body, behavior and environment.

How much time will it take to learn?

A basic meditation course is run over 4 consecutive days with each segment lasting approximately 90-minutes.

By the end of the four days, you will be a completely self-sufficient meditator. However, a lifetime of unlimited follow-up is available to all those who complete the course.

For those who prefer one-on-one instruction, private courses are also available upon request.

How long will it take until I feel benefits?


You will feel benefits from the very first time you meditate. Many people report increased energy, increased calmness and greater clarity in the first weeks, and friends and family will often notice differences as well.

The Four Agreements

The Four Agreements

One of my favorite reads is a Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, a short, poignant and profound read by Don Miguel Ruiz "The Four Agreements."

This book is my daily reminder to live in my heart space of compassion to myself and to let go thoughts of what does not serve me, go. It is simpler than that, however.

It breaks down how to approach daily situations on a fundamental and elementary level (so much so that even a first grader can understand it).

I am writing a short summary of The Four Agreements and a few solid takeaways.

The First Agreement:

Be Impeccable with Your Word.  

Pretty much, be honest, truthful and follow through with what you say you are going to do.

My yoga teacher, Anthony, used to say, "be so impeccable, that if you say chair pose, a chair literally falls out of your mouth."

I truly believe that. Don't flake. Don't say words or statements that are not necessary, kind or true. Use the power of words to build yourself and others up.

Refrain from gossiping or lying.

If it does not apply to all the above, just stay mindfully quiet. People who listen are always learning. People who constantly talk are just repeating what they know.

The Second Agreement:

Don't Take Anything Personally  

This is a very good agreement to have written on a post-it and placed in your purse, car or workstation.

Ruiz says that letting situations around you affect you negatively is to trap yourself in personal importance, which is the maximum expression of  selfishness because you are assuming things are about you.

Don't take the responsibility for other's feelings and actions. Free yourself from feeling offended or wronged. It's not you, it's them 🙂

The Third Agreement:

Don't Make Assumptions

"95% of the beliefs we have stored in our minds are nothing but lies, and we suffer because we believe all those lies." says Ruiz.

Ruiz reminds us that it is always better to communicate and talk about situations that do not make us feel good, rather than making assumptions, because assumptions set us up for suffering.

Unless you are a mind reader, save yourself the angst, difficulties, sleepless nights and misunderstandings and ask questions. Not everyone sees situations like the way we do, feel the way we do, and judge the way we judge. Talk it out, don't assume.

The Fourth Agreement:

Always Do Your Best 

Not just a parent mantra for their children, this is a universal mantra to human kind.

I really honor this agreement, because of the way Ruiz frames it. He says, "When you do your best, you take action.

Doing your best is taking action because you love it, not because you are expecting a reward or feel obligated."

This is the difference between people who wake up and say "Yes" to the day verses people who say "Oh, no."

Lastly, action is about living fully, expressing who you are and what you find passion in, how you express your dreams, goals and truly how to live. That's where the happiness lies. That's where truth and authenticity lie. That is where we should live. Always do your best.

Meditation: Knowledge is for Action (Christian Bevacqua)

Meditation: Knowledge is for Action

by Christian Bevacqua

In the tradition of Vedic Meditation, meditation is practiced for twenty minutes, twice daily.

In doing so, we are locating the deep inner silence we call Being. In the early days of meditation, we must close our eyes in order to have this experience.

As we progress with our meditation practice, Being stabilizes in the eyes-open state. It becomes imprinted on our waking state and we are no longer dependent on sitting quietly in meditation in order to experience it.

We notice an overall inner calm while engaged in an activity, and near unlimited reserves of adaptability which results in a stress-free existence.

Through this progression, dynamic activity outside of meditation is the necessary ingredient which causes stabilization.

We meditate, engage in an activity, meditate again, engage in more activity, and on and on.

Like a cloth that is dipped in dye and then hung out in the sun to fade, repeating this process causes the cloth to become colorfast - no amount of dye or sun impacts the color of the cloth.

Like that, the alternation of meditation and activity stabilizes Being in the eyes-open state. Simply leaving the cloth in the dye for hours or days will not make it colorfast, and the same is true for meditation.

Meditation is knowledge of the Self, and that knowledge is for action.

Desires are the delivery mechanism which puts this knowledge into action, and charm is the navigation system. A desire bubble up in our awareness, and we follow charm that which is intuitively attractive and experientially frictionless, leaping into the unknown while letting go of any attachment to specific outcomes or timings.

The vast majority of the population uses on average between 2% and 10% of available brain power.

Scientific studies have documented that within and outside of meditation, meditators use more and more of the brain's organizing power.

We are unleashing our full potential, making ourselves available for the type action worthy of our high-quality attention - something that will bring more awareness to the world consciousness.

To bring more awareness to yourself, and to the world, go to www.greentreemeditation.com and inquire about the Introduction to the Veda course.

Happiness: Getting Into the Flow (By Christian Bevacqua)

Happiness: Getting Into the Flow (By Christian Bevacqua)

Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D. writes a wonderful book called Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment. He is also the author of the pursuit of perfect. There are many great points in his books and I wanted to share a quick chart he explains which according to psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, exemplifies flow—a state in which one is immersed in an experience that is rewarding in and of itself, where action and awareness are merged, and where happiness tends to find us.

It is in this flow, where our pleasure senses are most stimulated, but we are at ease. It is where peak experience and performance merge and where we perform at our best.

Where focusing is effortless, where we, in turn, are learning, expanding, growing and improving toward a future purpose. Because of the ebbs and flows of our everyday life, staying stoic in this perfect flow is unrealistic and we find ourselves struggling to stay in this bliss of effortless being.

The hard thing about flow is keeping it real in our forefront and staying present to feel and experience it.

Focusing too much on past and future will push that flow further away from your grasp. Csikszentmihalyi suggests that having goals, a clear sense of purpose, a distraction-free and healthy inner dialogue, and commitment will help individuals attain flow better.

I encourage people to feel out their anxiety and pain. There is no self-benefit storing up emotions, hurt and feelings. A healthy outlet is always encouraged. Csikszentmihalyi says that soaking in the pain will diminish peak performance and overexertion and under exertion will both destroy the ability to get into your flow.

According to the chart, there is a zone where people perform the best and enjoy doing what they are performing. Too difficult of a task or too easy of a skill level will either create some sort of anxiety or boredom, if not balanced to the vibrational equivalent of the individual at that moment in time.

The constant challenge is to stay in the balanced zone. If meditation is your new task, it may bring about anxiety at first because the learning curve is steep. But will prove easier once practice has taken place, but there is always a way to keep learning and growing. The same meditation will out grow even the best meditators. Then there are advanced methods. (That's another story).

When do you experience flow? How can you optimize your flow by decreasing your anxiety, step back from your hectic schedule a bit or perhaps charging your day with a few more tasks that keep you challenged? Want to find that tangible happiness? First, find your indivisible flow. Happiness will follow suit closely behind.