Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.



Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.



Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…


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Some patients suffer blindness for up to four months due to faulty injections near the crow’s feet beside their eyes. “If the product gets injected too close to the eyeball and the product migrates, it can affect the little muscles that control the focusing of the eyeball inside its bony orbit,” said Tachmes. This can cause temporary blindness.

Unlicensed physicians inject fillers or perform other cosmetic procedures. In a 2008 survey by the American Academy of Facial and Plastic Reconstructive Surgery, more than 75 percent of doctors said they knew of a medical spa with a medical director who was nowhere to be seen – not onsite performing or even overseeing medical procedures. That means a lot of risky procedures are being performed by poorly trained employees in unregulated offices.

Doctors at these spas sometimes give patients local rather than general anesthesia and end up overdosing the patients because the pain gets too intense. “Non-plastic surgeons are performing liposuction on patients in these medical spas and clinics and killing them,” said Tachmes. The patients die right there on the table from respiratory depression.

Before electing for a cosmetic procedure, research the doctor and his or her suggested plan. Make sure the doctor is either a board-certified plastic surgeon, ear, nose and throat specialist or dermatologist. Ask which hospital the doctor is affiliated with and call the hospital to ensure the certification is current and recognized by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), the only board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialists (ABMS) to certify physicians for the full range of plastic and reconstructive procedures. ABMS is a nonprofit organization that is considered the gold standard of physician certification. To be ABMS certified, a physician must have at least five to six years of approved surgical training, including a two-to three-year residency in plastic surgery; have been in practice for at least two years; and pass comprehensive written and oral exams dealing specifically with plastic surgery. Dermatologists should be certified by the American Board of Dermatology, part of ABMS. Also ask how many of the proscribed procedures they perform a day – if it involves surgery and they schedule more than three a day, it’s likely the doctor will not be with you throughout the duration of the procedure.




Angela is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

more articles by Angela s. hoover

from non-board-certified professionals, according to a study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal in August. Schierle was a senior author of the study.

“All you need is an M.D. to buy the filler from the company,” said Dr. Daniel Maman, a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York. “The problem with that is they’re injecting this substance below the skin into an anatomic area that they have no idea what the underlying anatomy is.”

“A lot of these doctors are not familiar with the anatomy of the face and the muscles of facial expression – they are just out to make cash,” said Dr. Leonard Tachmes, chief of the Department of Plastic Surgery at Larkin Community Hospital in South Miami. “They do a course for a few days and off they go injecting patients, but it takes more than just learning how to inject.”

“When a plastic surgeon or ear, nose and throat surgeon injects the material, we know exactly what layer we’re in; we know where the nerves are; we know the potential pitfalls, where the dangerous blood vessels are,” Maman said.

Cosmetic procedures can entail surgery, lasers or injections. All come with risks. Approximately 0.5 percent to 4 percent of all patients have some sort of problem. Although this is a small percentage of negative outcomes, when considering nearly 15 million procedures were performed in the United States in 2013, this means there were at least 600,000 patients who had problems, if not more.

“Adverse events are supposed to be reported to the Federal Drug Administration,” said Dr. Clark Schierle, a board-certified plastic surgeon who is director of aesthetic surgery at Northwestern Specialists in Chicago. “That being said, it is limited by the fact that such reporting is voluntary and may not be as comprehensive as we would like.”

Some procedures are performed at spas and out-patient medical clinics by practitioners who are not plastic surgeons. “If you’re an under-the-radar, non-board-certified practitioner, you’re probably also less likely to report the adverse event properly to the authorities,” Schierle said.

Doctors can take weekend courses in certain procedures and then advertise they provide those services. This includes family practitioners, dentists, nurse practitioners, gynecologists, dermatologists – almost any specialty you can imagine. On Instagram, for instance, only 17.8 percent of plastic surgery-related posts in the United States and Canada appear to come from board-certified plastic surgeons; the majority are