You don’t always need to pop a pill to cure what ails you. There are plenty of natural remedies that work just as well as meds, and are endorsed by The National Institute of Health. Here are four effective cures, courtesy of Prevention Magazine:
- A massage can cure depression. The truth is, depression is often caused by stress, and massages are great stress relievers and mood-boosters. Researchers say the physical manipulation of a massage releases mood-boosting endorphins, and some studies show that massage therapy is as effective as anti-depressants like Prozac and Paxil. Massage therapy also relieves stiffness and pain, and can speed the healing of sports injuries.
- Next, Tai Chi can improve insomnia. Tai Chi is aslow, meditative exercise regimen that originally developed as a martial art in China 2,500 years ago. The practice has been shown to reduce stress – which is often the reason people lose sleep. Researchers found that people who practiced Tai Chi for four months improved their quality of sleep significantly. Tai chi also helps improve balance and reduces the risk of falling.
- Want to ease chronic back pain or headaches without pills? Try acupuncture. Researchers found that people who suffer from chronic tension headaches saw their symptoms disappear after just six sessions, and people with recurring lower-back pain who received acupuncture had less pain and improved mobility than those who didn’t. Acupuncture also relieves pain and improves mobility in people with osteoarthritis of the knee — and that’s big news because the condition is considered irreversible. Why does acupuncture work? Because the needles cause your body to release natural pain-killing chemicals.
- Finally, can cocoa really help with high blood pressure? Yes. The flavanols in cocoa improve blood vessel function by helping artery walls relax. If you drink it daily for at least two weeks, cocoa can reduce blood pressure among people with severe hypertension. It does NOT replace taking medication – you’ll still need that – but it augments the effects. For the best results, get 450 milligrams – or two cups of hot cocoa a day.