Qi Mail

Digestive Health Issues?

In This Issue March 2015
– Strengthen Your Digestive Health with Acupuncture
– Relief for Ulcerative Colitis
– Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Acupuncture
– Crohn’s Disease Symptom Relief
– Acid Reflux? Try Acupuncture!

 

Strengthen Your Digestive Health with Acupuncture
More than 95 million Americans suffer from digestive disorders ranging from constipation, diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome to more serious conditions such as acid reflux (GERD), ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. In fact, more than 35 million physician office visits a year are due to gastrointestinal complaints. Reports confirm that acupuncture and Oriental medicine can offer relief from even the most complex digestive problems.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Digestive Disorders
Evidence that Oriental medicine has been used for digestive disorders can be found in early medical literature dating back to 3 AD, where specific acupuncture points and herbal formulas for borborygmus (rumbling or gurgling in the intestines), abdominal pain and diarrhea with pain are discussed.

According to Oriental medical theory, most digestive disorders are due to disharmony in the spleen and stomach. The spleen plays a central part in the health and vitality of the body, taking a lead role in the assimilation of nutrients and maintenance of physical strength. It turns digested food from the stomach into usable nutrients and Qi (energy). Many schools of thought have been formed around this organ; the premise being that the proper functioning of the “middle” is the key to all aspects of vitality.

By taking into account a person’s constitution and varied symptoms, a treatment plan is designed specifically for the individual to bring their “middle” back into harmony and optimize the proper functioning of the digestive system. A variety of techniques can be used during treatment including acupuncture, lifestyle/dietary recommendations and energetic exercises to restore digestive health.

Is your digestive system functioning as well as it could? Acupuncture and Oriental medicine are extremely effective at treating a wide array of digestive disorders. Call today for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Relief for Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis is part of a category of diseases called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and it presents with inflammation in the lining of the large intestine, specifically the colon and sometimes the rectum. The lining becomes inflamed due to small wounds or ulcers, which then produce mucus and pus.

To be more specific, the condition occurs when the body mistakenly identifies food or other substances as foreign invaders. White blood cells are called up as part of an immune response, which proceed to cause inflammation and damage in the large intestine. Flare-ups may be triggered by stress, infections and certain anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen. However, the exact cause of ulcerative colitis is not known, but medical researchers suspect a link between a person’s genetics, general state of the immune system and environmental factors.

Most people start showing symptoms in their 30’s since the disease advances slowly over time, and men and women are equally as likely to be affected. Children are also at risk and, in general, the younger a child is the more likely the symptoms and complications will be severe. Growth and mental development may be a problem in this case.

As there can be weeks or even months without a patient experiencing symptoms, when they do occur, they are referred to as flare-ups. The inflammation and ulceration associated with ulcerative colitis can cause pain and different problems, including frequent, watery diarrhea, persistent diarrhea with pain and bloody stool, urgent bowel movements, incomplete evacuation of the bowels despite a feeling of urgency, abdominal cramping, loss of appetite, weight loss, body fluid depletion, fatigue, fever or urgent diarrhea that wakes you up in the middle of the night.

The symptoms and how long they occur for can vary widely for each patient. Many sufferers report only minimal or moderate symptoms, while others experience life-threatening complications such as severe dehydration and major bleeding from the colon.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine is equipped to handle the symptoms of ulcerative colitis as demonstrated by a meta-analysis of different scientific studies conducted since the 1990’s. A team of researchers conducted a wide-scale analysis of 43 randomized, controlled trials investigating the efficacy of acupuncture and moxibustion for the treatment of irritable bowel disease. Of those 43 trials, 42 specifically analyzed and addressed ulcerative colitis.

Researchers then focused on 10 scientific studies that compared the use of acupuncture and moxibustion to the use of oral sulphasalazine for symptom relief. Sulphasalazine is a doctor-prescribed pharmaceutical drug that is commonly used in the treatment of ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis. After analyzing the studies, researchers concluded “acupuncture and moxibustion demonstrated better overall efficacy than oral sulphasalazine in treating inflammatory bowel disease.” This meta-analysis was performed by a team at the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Shanghai, China. The study was published in the 2013 issue of Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a peer-reviewed medical journal covering alternative medicine.

Crohn’s Disease Symptom Relief
Crohn’s disease is a medical condition that can cause chronic inflammation anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract–from the mouth all the way to the rectum. Often, but not always, the inflamed tissue is specifically found in the ileum (the end of the small intestine) and the beginning of the colon. Inflammation can spread into the deeper layers of the tract and frequently has what is known as a “cobblestone appearance.” This refers to the fact that some patches of diseased tissue are found next to patches of healthy tissue.

Although all age groups are equally at risk, people 15-35 years old are most commonly affected. Crohn’s is a difficult condition to cure, so the main focus of treatment is to help manage symptoms with medication and dietary changes and, in some cases, surgery to repair or remove affected areas of the gastrointestinal tract. Because the disease is chronic, the individual may experience periods of flare-ups and aggravating symptoms, while at other times the person will have periods with no apparent symptoms at all.

Symptoms vary from patient to patient, and may include persistent, recurrent diarrhea, bleeding from the anus, urgent need to evacuate the bowels, constipation or feeling of incomplete evacuation, abdominal cramping, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, mental and physical developmental delays (in certain cases occurring amongst children), fever, night sweats, or irregular menstrual cycle

It is important to receive an early diagnosis as untreated Crohn’s disease can eventually cause life-threatening symptoms such as tears in the lining of the rectum and fistulas. Fissures can cause excess bleeding and pain. Fistulas happen when inflammation erodes tissue, causing the formation of a tunnel starting from the intestines, going to the urinary bladder, vagina or even the skin.

A study called Acupuncture Helps Crohn’s Disease Patients was published in the journal World of Gastroenterology, and it had some very promising results. It concluded that “acupuncture provided significant therapeutic benefits in patients with active Crohn’s disease, beyond the placebo effect and is therefore an effective and safe treatment.” Even more encouraging, researchers also discovered that both lab scores and quality of life scores improved. This means that acupuncture and Oriental medicine is adept at handling the physical and emotional symptoms that often accompany the disease.

For the study, the acupuncture points selected for treatment focused on reducing inflammation in the intestinal tract. Each participant received three treatments per week for a total of 12 weeks. Additionally, moxibustion (moxa) was also used on four acupuncture points on the stomach. Moxa is a traditional technique that uses the smoke from the herb mugwort to penetrate the skin. In this way, it stimulates the body’s immune system. Often, the warm smoke provides a pleasant, comforting experience for the patient.

Diet is very important and the right choices can help reduce some symptoms. In general, acupuncture and Oriental medicine suggests refraining from eating raw and cold foods.

Call today to learn more about how diet can impact the symptoms of Crohn’s.

 

Acid Reflux? Try Acupuncture!
For some people, eating a heavy, spicy or fatty meal can produce the unmistakable signs of acid reflux. Symptoms can vary from a burning pain in the chest to a sour taste in the mouth as stomach acid and/or regurgitated food flows upward through the esophagus into the oral cavity. Although some may refer to these symptoms collectively as heartburn, the process is the same no matter what it is called. Additionally they may experience difficult or painful swallowing, sore throat, a dry, rough voice, or feeling of a lump in the throat that cannot be cleared away.

It is estimated that more than 20 percent of the general population is affected by acid reflux. While other groups are impacted, at least half of all asthmatic children experience symptoms, and pregnant women tend to suffer more than the average population, with half reporting severe symptoms during their second and third trimesters.

While it’s true for some people that symptoms can be mild or pass quickly, others go on to experience more severe ones. Sometimes, symptoms of acid reflux can mimic the symptoms of a heart attack. This includes severe chest pain and a crushing sensation in the chest. Also of concern is the presence of black, tarry stools or black material in vomit. These are signs of bleeding in the stomach, a serious medical concern.

An acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioner may recognize the symptoms of acid reflux as relating to the stomach organ. Two examples of diagnoses would be rebellious stomach Qi and food accumulation in the stomach. Qi is a vital energy necessary for all life to exist. Both of these diagnoses call for an acupuncture treatment that will redirect energy downwards, as should naturally happen just after eating or drinking. Rebellious stomach Qi is a perfect description for some of the symptoms of acid reflux.

The stomach, according to the philosophy of acupuncture and Oriental medicine, is needed to ripen and rot food. After this process of fermentation occurs, only then may the nutrients be extracted during the next phase of digestion. Without strong stomach Qi, issues regarding malnutrition may arise. This is why an acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioner will need to evaluate a patient with acid reflux and address any nutritional deficiencies that may be present. Diet is very important in helping to calm symptoms.

Suffering from acid reflux? Call today to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you!

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Staying Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

In This Issue – November 2013
– Staying Healthy during Cold and Flu Season
– Protect Your Lung Qi
– Defensive Qi

Staying Healthy during Cold and Flu Season
This year it is predicted that there will be 1 billion colds and 95 million cases of the flu in the United States alone. While the misery of cold and flu season might be inevitable, one thing is changing: where we look for relief.

The easiest way to protect against the flu is to have a healthy immune system. However, that doesn’t mean you still won’t come into contact with airborne virus particles. That’s why your first line of defense against the flu, or any other illness, is to strengthen your immunity.

When it comes to staying healthy during cold and flu season, acupuncture and Oriental medicine have a lot to offer. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help prevent colds and flu by strengthening the immune system with just a few needles inserted into key points along the body’s energy pathways.  

In Oriental medicine, disease prevention begins by focusing on the protective layer around the exterior of the body called Wei Qi or defensive energy. The Wei Qi involves acupuncture points known for strengthening the circulation of blood and energy to boost your body’s defenses.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can also provide relief and faster healing if you have already come down with a cold or the flu by helping to relieve symptoms you are currently experiencing including chills, fever, body aches, runny nose, congestion, sore throat and cough. While bringing some immediate relief, treatments will also reduce the incidence of an upper respiratory tract infection and shorten the length of the illness.

  • Boost your Wei Qi and Stay Healthy

 


”To treat disease that has already developed is comparable to the behavior of those persons who begin to dig a well after they have become thirsty, and of those who begin to cast weapons after they have already engaged in battle. Would these actions not be too late?” – Huangdi Neijing

 

Seasonal changes affect the body’s environment. With wind, rain and snow come the colds, flu viruses and the aches and pains that accompany them.

If you catch colds easily, have low energy and require a long time recuperating from an illness your Wei Qi may be deficient. Through the process of evaluating subtle physical signs as well as the emotional condition of a person, practitioners of acupuncture and Oriental medicine can detect health problems in their earliest stages, before a person becomes gravely ill.

Once the nature of an imbalance has been determined, a customized program can be created for you. Your treatment may include acupuncture, herbal therapy and Tui Na, as well as food, exercise and lifestyle recommendations.

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Schedule a Seasonal Tune-Up:

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can prevent colds and flu by building up the immune system with just a few needles inserted into key points along the body’s energy pathways. These points are known for strengthening the circulation of blood and energy and for consolidating the outer defense layers of the skin and muscle (Wei Qi) so that germs and viruses cannot enter through them.

  • Wash Your Hands:

Good lifestyle and hygiene habits are also proven to reduce your risk of getting sick. Studies have shown that one of the main reasons that we catch colds and flu in cold weather is that we are indoors and in closer vicinity to others. Protect yourself from picking up germs by washing your hands regularly and remembering not to touch your face.

  • Sleep In:

The Nei Ching, an ancient Chinese classic, advised people to go to sleep early, rest well and rise late, after the sun’s rays have warmed the atmosphere a bit. This preserves your own Yang Qi for the task of warming the body. Even busy, working people can boost their health by sleeping in on weekends.

  • Stress Less:

Find a release valve for your stress. According to Oriental medicine, stress, frustration, and unresolved anger can play an important part in throwing the immune system off and allowing pathogens to affect the body. Find a way to relax and release stress on a daily basis. Such methods may include yoga, meditation and exercise. Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in the treatment of stress, anxiety and depression.

Seasonal acupuncture treatments also serve to tonify the inner organ systems and can correct minor annoyances before they become serious problems. Call today to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you stay healthy this season!

Protect Your Lung Qi
Lung 7 is one of the most powerful points on the lung meridian points. It is a popular acupuncture point to use for stopping a persistent cough and relieving a sore throat. 

Besides treating those symptoms, LU 7 is often used to treat conditions related to the head and neck, such as headaches, migraines, stiff neck, facial paralysis, and toothache.

 LU 7 is considered to be the “command point” of the head and neck and is also used to improve circulation in the brain and stimulate memory.

This acupuncture point is located above the wrist on the inside of the arm. To find this point, interlock your thumb and index finger of one hand with those of the other, the point lies on the edge of the index finger, in a depression between the sinew and the bone.

Stimulate this point on both hands with the tip of your index finger for approximately 30 seconds or until your cough subsides.

Defensive Qi
To boost the Wei Qi, the protective or defensive layer around the exterior of the body, there is one particularly important point to attend: Dazhui or Du 14.

Often used to ward off as well as shorten the duration of colds and flu, Dazhui (DU 14) is located below the spinous process of the seventh cervical vertebrae, approximately at the level where the collar of a T-shirt sits on the neck.

Dazhui (DU 14) activates the circulation of blood and Qi to strengthen the outer defense layers of the skin and muscle, to protect your system against germs and viruses.

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Acupuncture for Musculoskeletal Health

In This Issue – October 2013
– Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine for Musculoskeletal Issues
– Essential Nutrients for Musculoskeletal Health

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine for Musculoskeletal Issues
The musculoskeletal system consists of connective tissues including joints, ligaments, and tendons. Problems with the musculoskeletal system can result in inflammation and pain and, ultimately, reduce the body’s overall health.  Increasingly, people are looking for more natural approaches to help relieve painful musculoskeletal conditions instead of relying on medications. 

 Acupuncture is a good therapy choice because it has no side effects and can be helpful for all types of pain, regardless of what is causing the pain or where the pain is located.

Some studies have shown the pain relief provided by acupuncture can last for months. 

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain before and after acupuncture treatment for pain shows dramatic decreases in brain activity, up to 70 percent. This decrease in brain activity in certain areas of the brain is thought to be the reason for the reduction of pain caused by the acupuncture treatments.

Some musculoskeletal issues that have been successfully treated with acupuncture and Oriental medicine include:

  • Low Back Pain


Low back pain is an extremely common concern, affecting anywhere from 75 to 90 percent of people at some point in their lives. Low back pain is second only to the common cold as a cause of lost days at work and is one of the most common reasons to seek medical care, including acupuncture. 

In a German study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, 1,162 adults with chronic, lower back pain were divided into groups treated with either the standard pharmaceutical and exercise therapy commonly used in conventional medicine or acupuncture. The researchers reported that acupuncture provided relief and lasting benefit to nearly twice as many lower back pain patients as drugs and exercise. Forty-eight percent of the acupuncture patients reported at least a one-third decrease in pain along with improvement in their ability to function, versus twenty-seven percent of the patients treated with conventional methods reporting such benefits.

In another recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine analyzed 33 studies covering more than 2,100 patients from around the world on acupuncture for low back pain. They found acupuncture provided definite pain relief sustained for three weeks after the end of the acupuncture sessions.

  • Arthritis

A complex disorder, arthritis comprises more than 100 distinct conditions and can affect people at any stage of life. Two of the most common forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. While these two forms of arthritis have very different causes, risk factors, and effects on the body, they often share a common symptom—persistent joint pain. 

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine have been found to be extremely effective at treating the pain and inflammation associated with all types of arthritis. The acupuncture points and herbs that are used depend on whether the blockage of Qi (arthritis) is caused by wind, cold, damp or damp-heat.

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is far more than just being tired. It is a frustrating, complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that may worsen with physical or mental activity and does not improve with rest. Those affected with CFS can get so run down that it interferes with the ability to function in day to day activities, with some becoming severely disabled and even bedridden. In addition to extreme fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome encompasses a wide range of other symptoms, including but not limited to, headaches, flu-like symptoms and chronic pain. 

If you suffer from CFS, Oriental medicine can help relieve many of your symptoms. Exceptional for relieving aches and pains, acupuncture and Oriental medicine treatments can help you avoid getting sick as often, and recover more quickly, as well as improve your vitality and stamina.

Repetitive Stress Injuries
Repetitive stress injuries (RSI) are responsible for the highest number of days lost among all work-related injuries. Symptoms of repetitive stress injuries include tightness, stiffness, pain, tingling, numbness, coldness and loss of strength.

Acupuncture is extremely effective for treating repetitive stress injuries including carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS); eliminating the need for surgery or the use of anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids. In fact, one of the most common reasons that people get acupuncture is for repetitive stress injuries. Recent studies even suggest that acupuncture may be more effective than corticosteroids when it comes to treating CTS.

  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)


Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders are problems or symptoms of the chewing muscles and joints that connect your lower jaw to your skull. Patients suffering from temporomandibular joint disorders can find relief from acupuncture. 

Research conducted at the Ribeirão Preto Dental School, São Paulo University in Brazil, found that after three months of acupuncture, patients with TMJ experienced significantly less pain, increased strength of their bite and decreased EMG activity of the masticatory muscles.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a musculoskeletal disorder or wants to improve their musculoskeletal health, call today to schedule an appointment or get more information on how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you!

Essential Nutrients for Musculoskeletal Health
A healthy musculoskeletal system is important for everyone as the system is continuously tested by stress and exercise. Incorporate these nutrients into your diet to improve your musculoskeletal health.

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Vitamin C: Essential for the formation of collagen, Vitamin C is a major component of all connective tissues and essential to the musculoskeletal system. Correct levels of vitamin C help to combat stress, build the immune system, and reduce swelling. 

Vitamin C is found in a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables including citrus fruits, green vegetables, tomatoes and berries.
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium, helping to form and maintain a strong musculoskeletal system. 

Found in fish, eggs, fortified milk, and cod liver oil, vitamin D can also be synthesized by the skin when exposed to ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from the sun. As little as 10 minutes is thought to be enough to prevent deficiencies.
  • Essential Fatty Acids: The essential fatty acids Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9 directly affect cellular, cognitive and kidney function. Their anti-inflammatory effect on the body helps keep joints healthy, reduce pain and swelling. They have also been found to be beneficial in dealing with depression, stress, arthritis and menopause. 

Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids include: salmon, sardines, tuna and other cold water fish; nuts and seeds, notably flaxseeds, hemp seeds and walnuts; and winter squash.
  • Water: The average adult is comprised of 50 to 65 percent water. Not getting enough water can affect the ability of the body’s cells to function properly. 

Water increases the circulation of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body and helps eliminate waste. Keeping your body well-hydrated can help your musculoskeletal system function better.
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Acupuncture for Heart Health

In This Issue – September 2013
– Acupuncture for Cholesterol Management
– World Heart Day
– Pomegranate Juice
– Green Tea
– Healthy Diet Tips for High Cholesterol

Acupuncture for Cholesterol Management
What is cholesterol and how is it bad? Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in your body and many foods. Your body needs cholesterol to function normally and makes all that you need. Too much cholesterol can sometimes build up in your arteries. After a while, these deposits narrow your arteries, putting you at risk for heart disease and stroke.

Since you can have high cholesterol without realizing it, it’s important to have your blood cholesterol levels checked. Most of the 65 million Americans with high cholesterol have no symptoms. All adults age 20 and older should have their cholesterol levels checked at least once every five years, or more frequently if cholesterol levels are elevated.  

High cholesterol can also develop in early childhood and adolescence, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the risk increases as weight increases.

In the United States alone, more than twenty percent of youth aged 12–19 years have at least one abnormal lipid level. Children over the age of two should have their cholesterol checked if they are overweight or obese, have a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease, have diabetes, high blood pressure, or certain chronic conditions such as kidney disease, inflammatory diseases, congenital heart disease, and childhood cancer.

Research has clearly shown that lowering cholesterol can reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Whether you have heart disease already or want to prevent it, you can reduce your risk for having a heart attack by lowering your cholesterol level.

According to the American Heart Association, exercise and a healthy, balanced diet low in cholesterol and saturated fats is important to lowering risk and improving your cardiovascular health. Speak to your health care providers to make sure your cholesterol is being monitored and find out how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you stay healthy.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be used to treat many of the health conditions known to drastically increase the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol including smoking, high blood pressure, excess weight, and diabetes.

 The main goal in treating high cholesterol is to lower your LDL level. Studies have proven that lowering LDL can prevent heart attacks and reduce deaths from heart disease in both men and women.

Being physically inactive contributes to overweight and can raise your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is known as the “bad” cholesterol. Inactivity lowers your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol. Regular physical activity can raise HDL and lower triglycerides, and can help you lose weight. In that way, activity can help lower your LDL.  Participate in physical activity of moderate intensity—like brisk walking—for at least 30 minutes on most, and preferably all, days of the week. No time? Break the 30 minutes into three, 10-minute segments during the day.

Don’t smoke. If you do smoke, contact our office to discuss ways in which acupuncture can help you quit.

 Call today to see how Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you with your cholesterol management goals!

World Heart Day
Created by the World Heart Federation, September 29th is World Heart Day, which focuses on informing people around the globe that heart disease and stroke are the world’s leading cause of death, claiming 17.3 million lives each year, and the numbers are rising. According to the World Heart Federation, it is expected that by 2030, 23 million people will die from cardiovascular diseases each year. It is also predicted that at least 80 percent of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke will be avoided if the main risk factors–tobacco, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity–are controlled.

Cardiovascular Disease can affect people of all ages and population groups, including women and children. In fact, one in three children in the United States is overweight or obese. Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems–such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease–that were once seen only in adults.

Reduce your family’s risk for heart disease and stroke by making basic lifestyle changes in these areas:

  • Maintain a Healthy Weight

Obesity is associated with diabetes, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease, all of which increase the risk of developing heart disease. Studies have shown that excess body weight itself (and not just the associated medical conditions) can also lead to heart failure. Even if you are entirely healthy otherwise, being overweight still places you at a greater risk for developing heart failure.

 Acupuncture and Oriental medicine are an excellent tool when it comes to losing weight. They can help to energize the body, maximize the absorption of nutrients, regulate elimination, control overeating, suppress the appetite, and reduce anxiety.

  • Reduce Stress


Stress is a normal part of life, but if left unmanaged, stress can lead to emotional, psychological, and even physical problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, chest pains, or an irregular heart rate. Medical researchers aren’t exactly sure why stress increases the risk of heart disease. Stress itself might be a risk factor, or it could be that high levels of stress make other risk factors worse. For example, if you are under stress, your blood pressure goes up, you may overeat, you may exercise less, and you may be more likely to smoke.

Numerous studies have demonstrated the substantial benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of stress, anxiety and mental health.  In addition to acupuncture, Oriental medicine offers a whole gamut of tools and techniques that can be integrated into your life to keep stress in check. These tools include Tui Na, Qi Gong exercises, herbal medicine, dietary therapy, meditations and acupressure that you can administer at home.

  • Improve Sleep


Poor sleep has been linked with high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart failure, heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, and obesity. Researchers have shown that getting at least eight hours of sleep is needed for good heart health. Getting less than eight hours of sleep can put you at a greater risk for developing heart disease.

Acupuncture can successfully treat a wide array of sleep problems without any of the side effects of prescription or over-the-counter sleep aids. The acupuncture treatments for sleeping problems focus on the root disharmony within the body that is causing the insomnia. Therefore, those who receive acupuncture for insomnia achieve not only better sleep, but also an overall improvement of physical and mental health.

Come in for a consultation to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can optimize your heart health and help you to live a long, healthy life.

Pomegranate Juice
In China, the pomegranate fruit symbolizes longevity. Now there is scientific evidence for the fruit’s restorative powers.

Scientists have tested the juice in mice and found that it combats hardening of the arteries (atherogenesis) and related diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes.

According to results published in the August 2006 issue of Atherosclerosis, subjects who drank 180 ml (6 oz.) of pomegranate juice per day for three months experienced a reduced risk for atherosclerosis, a condition that leads to arterial wall thickening and hardening.

Scientists have long known about the health benefits of pomegranates. The latest studies show that the juice limits the genetic tendency toward hardening of the arteries.

“We have established that polyphenols [antioxidant chemicals] and other natural compounds contained in pomegranate juice may retard atherogenesis,” said Claudio Napoli, a professor of medicine and clinical pathology at the University of Naples, Italy. “The protective effects of pomegranate juice were higher than previously assumed.”

Green Tea
Green tea contains several powerful antioxidants that reduce bad cholesterol and boost good cholesterol, improving an individual’s overall cholesterol profile. 

Researchers have also found that green tea appears to protect against oxygen-induced damage to bad cholesterol. 

Drinking green tea also seems to enhance cardiovascular health by improving the consistency of platelets in the blood and may even lower blood pressure.

Healthy Diet Tips for High Cholesterol
A healthy diet is one way to manage your cholesterol. Making a few simple changes in your daily diet can help lower your cholesterol:

  • Increase intake of fiber-rich foods such as oatmeal, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes (beans).
  • Consume soy products to help lower cholesterol levels, thanks to their isoflavone content.

* Include garlic, onions, avocados, salmon, almonds and walnuts in your diet.
  • Use omega-3 oils such as flaxseed oil and fish oil.
  • Consume seafood, seeds and nuts to get more copper and chromium–minerals that can lower cholesterol levels.
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Acupuncture for Autoimmune and Endocrine Disorders

In This Issue – August 2013
– Treating Autoimmune Disease with Acupuncture
– Enhance your Endocrine Health with Acupuncture
– 6 Food Tips for Autoimmune Disorders
– Cultivate Optimal Endocrine Health

Treating Autoimmune Disease with Acupuncture
Over 50 million Americans suffer from autoimmune disease; an autoimmune disease occurs when the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue. Autoimmune disorders include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, thyroid disease, Addison’s disease, pernicious anemia, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis and Guillain–Barré syndrome. Due to the complexity of treating autoimmune disorders, integrative medicine solutions including acupuncture and Oriental medicine have received much attention as successful therapies in their treatment. Acupuncture is specifically noted for its use in pain relief, regulating the immune system, managing symptoms and improving quality of life.

What Causes Autoimmune Disease?

Under normal conditions, an immune response cannot be triggered against the cells of one’s own body. In certain cases, however, immune cells make a mistake and attack the very cells that they are meant to protect. This can lead to a variety of autoimmune diseases. They encompass a broad category of over 100 diseases in which the person’s immune system attacks his or her own cells and tissue.

The exact mechanisms causing these changes are not completely understood, but bacteria, viruses, toxins, and some drugs may play a role in triggering an autoimmune process in someone who already has a genetic (inherited) predisposition to develop such a disorder. It is theorized that the inflammation initiated by these agents, toxic or infectious, somehow provokes in the body a “sensitization” (autoimmune reaction) in the involved tissues.

 As the disease develops, vague symptoms start to appear, such as joint and muscle pain, general muscle weakness, possible rashes or low-grade fever, trouble concentrating, or weight loss.

The following symptoms may also indicate that something is wrong with the immune system:

  • numbness and tingling in hands and feet
  • dry eyes
  • hair loss
  • shortness of breath
  • heart palpitations
  • repeated miscarriages.

How Acupuncture Treats Autoimmune Disorders



According to Oriental medicine, autoimmune disorders occur when there is imbalance within the body. Imbalance can come from an excess or deficiency of Yin and Yang that disrupts the flow of Qi, or vital energy, through the body. Acupuncture is used to help the body restore balance, treating the root of the disorder, while specifically addressing the symptoms that are unique to each individual.

Clinical research has shown that acupuncture causes physical responses in nerve cells, the pituitary gland, and parts of the brain. These responses can cause the body to release proteins, hormones, and brain chemicals that control a number of body functions. It is proposed that, by these actions, acupuncture affects blood pressure, body temperature and the immune system.

In addition to acupuncture, your treatment program to manage your autoimmune disorder may involve a combination of therapies including stress reducing exercises, moderate physical activity, herbal medicine, nutritional support and bodywork.

  To learn more about how acupuncture can safely and effectively be incorporated into care for people with an autoimmune disorder, please call for a consultation today.

Enhance your Endocrine Health with Acupuncture
The endocrine system is responsible for hormonal functions in the body and produces 30 distinct hormones each of which has a very specific job to do. This system controls your physical growth, mood, hormone output, reproduction, mental functionality, and immune system. When not working properly, you become more susceptible to disease and your ability to fight off infection is weakened. Endocrine glands and their functioning impact every area of your health.

The keystone of acupuncture and Oriental medicine has always been awakening the body’s natural intelligence to heal itself and restore balance to the system of energy pathways (called “meridians”) in the body. If the meridians within your body have become depleted, you can suffer from tiredness, infertility, weight gain, depression, digestive problems, hair loss, arthritis, and feeling chilled no matter the temperature.

What are the endocrine glands and what do they do?

The major endocrine glands include the adrenals, pancreas, pineal, pituitary, reproductive and thyroid glands.

  • Adrenals – Adrenal glands regulate the body’s response to stress and are made of two parts, each of which secretes a separate set of hormones. The outer part produces corticosteroid hormones that regulate the balance of salt and water, stress response, metabolism, immune function, and sexual development and function. The inner part secretes adrenaline hormones that increase blood pressure and heart rate in response to stress. Over time, chronic elevated stress levels can lead to weight gain, decreased resistance to infections, fatigue, muscle aches and low blood sugar.
  • Pancreas – The pancreas produces insulin and glucagon–two hormones that work together to provide the body`s cells with a constant supply of energy in the form of glucose.
  • Pineal – The pineal gland is also known as the epiphysis cerebri, epiphysis or the “third eye.” It produces the serotonin derivative melatonin, a hormone that affects the modulation of wake/sleep patterns and seasonal functions.
  • Hypothalamus and Pituitary – A collection of specialized cells that provide the primary link between the endocrine and central nervous systems. Nerve cells and hormones signal the pituitary gland to secrete or suppress the release of various hormone messages to the other glands. The pituitary gland is also responsible for secreting growth hormones.
  • Reproductive – These glands secrete hormones that control the development of male and female characteristics. In males these glands secrete androgen hormones, most importantly, testosterone. In females they produce estrogen, progesterone, eggs and are involved in reproductive functions.
  • Thyroid – Thyroid hormones control the growth, temperature and function of every cell in the body. The gland acts as the metabolic engine of the body – if it secretes too little hormone, the body slows and dies; if it secretes too much, the body burns out and dies.

When treating a suspected endocrine condition with acupuncture and Oriental medicine, the practitioner seeks the root cause of the patient’s imbalance. The endocrine system is closely tied to the internal balance of the Yin energy and the Yang energy. Imagine that the Yang energy is like gasoline that fuels a car, and Yin energy is the engine coolant. Without the coolant, the engine overheats and burns out. Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine work to make sure the Yin and Yang are equal within the body to restore balance.

he root of the body’s energy in Oriental medicine is the Kidney meridian so strengthening that meridian also restores nourishment to your endocrine glands. Acupuncture can be used to restore hormonal balance, regulate energy levels, smooth emotions and help manage sleep and menstrual problems.

Many patients benefit from an integrated Eastern and Western medical approach to endocrine health. The strong point of Western medicine is intervention in life-threatening illness, whereas the strong point of Eastern medicine is increased quality of life. Therefore, it is optimal to have both Eastern and Western medicine options available for the most comprehensive care. 

A healthy endocrine system that continues to secrete adequate amounts of hormones will slow the aging process and keep you vibrant and healthy as you age.

Come in for a consultation to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can assist you with your endocrine health and help you to live a long, healthy life.

6 Food Tips for Autoimmune Disorders
A class of plant chemicals — known as bioflavonoids — has been found to dramatically reduce inflammation and improve symptoms associated with autoimmune disorders.

  1. Tea: Both green and black tea contain the flavonoids catechins and theaflavins, which are beneficial in autoimmune disease.
  2. Apples: Apples (with the skin on), contain the flavonoid quercetin, which can reduce allergic reactions and decrease inflammation. Quercetin also occurs naturally in other foods, such as berries, red grapes, red onions, capers, and black tea.
  3. Carrots: Carotenoids are a family of plant pigments that include beta-carotene. A lack of carotenoids in the diet is thought to promote inflammation. Good sources of carotenoids include apricots, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, spinach, kale, butternut squash, and collard greens.
  4. Ginger: Recent studies show that ginger reduces inflammation by inhibiting prostaglandin and suppresses the immune system’s production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, reducing disease severity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
  5. Omega-3: Omega-3 essential fatty acids can counter the formation of chemicals that cause inflammation. Good natural sources include flaxseed oil and salmon.
  6. 

Fiber: A healthy and active colon can decrease food sensitivity, which, in turn, can lighten the burden on your immune system.

Cultivate Optimal Endocrine Health
The endocrine system regulates the body through hormonal secretions. Cultivating your endocrine health, combined with proper nutrition and diet, can boost energy, improve appetite, reduce insomnia, relieve depression symptoms, improve circulation, relieve muscle aches and assist in recovering from endocrine disorders. An easy way to look after your endocrine system health is to eat nutritious meals and a well balanced diet.

A few basic steps you can take to improve your endocrine health are:

  • 
Eat Slowly: Don’t rush through your meals. Allowing your body to properly digest food reduces after-meal fatigue, boosts your immune system, and enables your endocrine system to properly process nutritional intake.
  • 

Exercise: Regular exercise boosts the immune system, improves cardiovascular health, muscle mass, and prevents bone loss. Stress-reducing exercises such as yoga, Qigong, or Tai Chi can also be beneficial.
  • Manage Your Stress: An important part of maintaining a healthy endocrine system is stress management. Stress can cause the overproduction of hormones, leading to the malfunction of endocrine organs.
  • Rest: Take a day out of the week for rest and rejuvenation, allowing your mind and body to recover.

Sleep: Get 6-8 hours of sleep per night in order to reduce stress and keep hormones balanced. Stress and a lack of sleep may cause some of the glands to malfunction.
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