This health video is focusing on alternatives to traditional medicines that are available to help you.
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Jay Butler: This kind of chronic pain is the fact that you feel like you are loosing control over your life. Host: What happens when traditional treatments fail? Many seek help using alternative or complimentary medicines, treatments range from herbs to hypnosis, to common foods. Well, patients must be cautious, researchers are studying options for those seeking choices. New age -- Male Speaker: We don't really know what the hypnotic state or the transfer really is -- Host: Becomes main stream. Male Speaker: Some studies looking at that, you know how effective it is. Host: Alternative or complimentary medicine is now being widely practiced. Jay Butler: This has given me a lot of control over my life. Host: According to the National Institutes of Health, 36% of Americans use some some form of alternative or complimentary medicine, if you add in those using megavitamins and prayer, that number jumps to 62%. Jay Butler: Those feel like someone is stabbing my eye from the inside. Host: Jay Butler gets migraines. Jay Butler: I went to three headache specialists and they pretty much did everything they could think of and nothing really helped. Host: Her family physician referred her to an Anesthesiologist. Dr. Sebastian Schulz-Stubner: You can just close your eyes. Host: Who uses hypnosis to ease chronic pain. Dr. Sebastian Schulz-Stubner: Hypnosis is affective, probably in the range of 65%-70%. Host: Research suggests hypnosis may work by changing the way the brain receives impulses. Dr. Sebastian Schulz-Stubner: When I pinched Ms. Bulter, you would expect an activation in the so-called pain network and if you would do an MRI under hypnosis, you don't see that activation. Host: A lot full of medicines did not ease Lisa Jacobson's migraines. Lisa Jacobson: The vomit -- we had to immediately go to a dark room. Host: Now a new option is being studied for people like Lisa. Richard Lipton: The butterbur plant has been used as a folk remedy for migraine and other conditions for hundreds of years. Host: An international research team found an extract of butterbur called Petadolex reduced migraines. Richard Lipton: This agent may work by keeping the blood vessels in the head from becoming inflamed. And we found that 70% of people who we gave butterbur to achieved our standard of success. Host: Butterbur comes in various forms and there are cautions that go along with it's use, especially if you take other drugs or are pregnant or nursing. Richard Lipton: It's worth checking with the doctor though before starting a natural product and it's important to remember that even thought it is a natural product, it is a real drug. Host: Researchers are also looking at food with potential to fight diseases, one is soy. Nagi Kumar: We took the early stage prostate cancer patients and gave them 16 milligrams of whole soy protein. We noticed that over 70% of them reduced PSA. Host: PSA is the indicator of disease progression, researchers continue to study how isoflavones found in soy kill off prostate cancer cells. The forest may yield another cancer fighter. Cynthia Wenner: This turkey tail mushroom actually promote the immune system to fight off cancer. Host: A study funded by the NIH at Seattle's Bastyr University is trying to determine, if an extract from the mushroom can do just that? Cynthia Wenner: It's actually checking your body in a way to respond to the fungus but the fungus also is, the mushroom is also, targeting the cancer cells for the immune cells to fight them off as well. Host: Well, turkey tail is not a culinary mushroom, other more readily available mushrooms may have similar qualities. Cynthia Wenner: Shataki, oyster mushroom, button mushrooms, all of them have these same kind of anti-cancer, anti-viral effects. Margarette: Just came out for us. Host: At age 94, Margarette Galonetie (ph) still works to help others feel better. Margarette: What a beautiful one! Host: But last year a stroke nearly stopped