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New Education Programs, Treatments and Technology Could Address Healthcare Costs | Commentary

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New Education Programs, Treatments and Technology Could Address Healthcare Costs
Commentary
New Education Programs, Treatments and Technology Could Address Healthcare Costs

Regardless of what one may think about the changes happening with the country's healthcare, there's no denying that the cost of medical care is rising. Fortunately, advances in education, science and technology are changing the way many people think about their health, or at least provide more options to consider besides traditional medical treatments. Consider the growing popularity of electronic cigarettes (e-cigs), which are widely believed to be far healthier than cigarettes, and the interest in locally grown foods without added chemicals. Also consider the fact that a school for aromatherapy -- The New York Institute of Aromatherapy -- has recently opened (their site contains lots of useful resources as well). Or newer vapor treatments that make use of aromatherapy.

So what exactly is aromatherapy? It consists of using essential oils or dry herbs (botanicals) such as sage, thyme and rosemary to help treat common ailments. It can come in the form of massage, inhalation and other methods. Many believe it's not a real treatment, but studies have shown it can work. A study funded by NASA using peppermint oil found decreased feelings of fatigue, frustration and anxiety. Another study from the journal Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology shows support for the link between rosemary and an improvement in cognitive function along with various forms of congestion.

One of the more advanced developments in aromatherapy is vaporization (explanation from an industry perspective at the linked Vape World site), where dry herbs (instead of liquid oils) are heated without burning, making for a more direct contact method that can be more effective. An example of how technology can play an important role is found in the Ploom Pax, a vapor device that resembles an iPod. This type of device makes aromatherapy accessible and adds some style.

Those wanting a more personalized approach can find one of a growing number of aromatherapists being trained at schools such as the one mentioned above. A search for a local aromatherapist can be done at the Aromatherapy Registration Council and various other sites.

It's worth being cautious, however, considering many of the store-bought products labeled for aromatherapy use synthetic ingredients -- only pure essential oils or botanicals should be used. Medical advice or specialist input should be sought before starting new treatments, particularly for those with allergies. However, aromatherapy is generally considered safe, and may at least be worth considering as an alternative to medications and other standard treatments.

 

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