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|Posted on November 11, 2018 at 7:25 PM||comments (22)|
Winter Health Suggestions:
We are into the coldest part of the year and this corresponds to the time of the year when we want to focus on the Kidneys.
At this time of year it makes sense to rest and sleep more. Sleep is the best way to restore and preserve Kidney Yang, the underlying motive force of the metabolism. It makes sense to do less activity at this time of the year and to conserve energy. This is a regeneration time and a preparation for the coming new year and warmer months. If you think about the hibernation behaviors of other mammals, you will see what I'm describing here.
For those who suffer from allergies and respiratory infections in the spring time, this is also a good time to begin strengthening your system in preparation. Acupuncture, Qigong and herbs are very useful in this regard.
Focus on warming foods at this time of year and try and eat more legumes, meats, soups made from bones, eggs and nuts. All of these will benefit the Kidneys. Bones are considered to contain Kidney essence and yin and will strengthen your Kidneys and physical structure. All of the foods that are egg-like/seed-like, that contain life essence food, that new life will germinate from, are considered good for the Kidneys. The therapeutic flavor of the Kidney is "salty" and you may notice a craving towards more savory flavors at this time. A little salt is good, but be prudent.
Dried seaweeds (nori) are also very good for the Kidneys.
Remember to dress warm, protect the warmth of your lower back where your Kidneys are situated and where your foundational Source Qi is located. Protect the back of your head and neck and upper back as well- a particularly vulnerable area that we in Asian medicine consider the area where cold will enter the body and cause illness.
Acupuncture and herbs are very useful for a number of ailments including those we most associate with this time of year with the onset of cold weather, when fatigue sets in and as we participate in holiday indulgences: respiratory infections, arthritis, influenza, headaches, insomnia and digestive issues. If you are someone who suffers from a weak immune system and battle chronic sinusitis or bronchitis during these months, there are herbal formulas that are quite effective at boosting immunity.
Warming Ginger Tea for Energy and Improved Digestion:
This recipe is good if you are cold and tired. It also helps the digestion during this time of feasting.
1 large piece of ginger root
2 TBSP of honey
Take a ginger root and cut it into 1/8" thick slices.
In summertime place these slices in the sun and dry them thoroughly. They will absorb the Yang Qi.
At this time of year place them on a cookie sheet and leave them in the oven over night to dry out a bit.
Fill a small pot with water and place 4 slices of the dried ginger in the water.
Bring to a boil and steep for 20 minutes.
Pour into a hot mug and add honey and lemon to taste.
You may use fresh slices of ginger, but the dried ginger has a more pronounced warming quality and will help warm the interior and the organs. Ginger tea is particularly good for digestion, for helping to resolve phlegm, for calming inflammation, and its good for helping to ward off a cold at the initial onset. Ginger, citrus and honey all have anti-microbial properties.
If fending off a cold, add the sliced-up stocks of two scallions to 6 fresh ginger root slices and boil for 20 minutes, add honey and lemon, then drink.
Take a hot shower, put on several layers of clothes and get into bed and sweat. When the sweat subsides, change to dry clothes.
Thank you Mike Ishii, L.Ac.
|Posted on July 25, 2016 at 11:00 AM||comments (152)|
The Traditional Chinese Medicine’s View
Orthopedics and Acupuncture Potential Relationship:
1) After surgery, why pain and/or discomfort continue?
As acupuncture is not a biochemical, mechanical or structural medicine, it addresses the body’s energetic presentation. Acupuncture, a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), contends all pain is the result of an energetic blockage, like debris collecting in a stream’s eddy, or similar to a kinked garden hose that prevents normal water flow, acupuncture treatment, using specific selected points, will increase energy flow which aids in patient recovery.
2) Phantom Pain:
Energy blockages according to TCM theory, can explain phantom pain. For example: Even though a limb is no longer present, from an energetic perspective, it’s energy flow essentially remains. Western medicine now believes the body communicates internally with light or possibly a form of micro-electrical current.
So acupuncture seeks to restore balance and harmony to the body’s system
energetically and by rebalancing the body’s energetic function, the patient’s body ability to communicate, it can heal itself. By selecting specific acupuncture points, balance is improved and corrected.
3) Why does an older patient’s post-surgical outcome lag behind a younger
From a TCM perspective, as one ages, the body’s energy flow called qi (“chee”)
declines. Good qi flow is the result of genetic potential and lifestyle choices like
good, exercise and levels of stress, all known to affect the body’s energetic potential. Acupuncture can work directly on a patient’s so called underlying energetic (constitutional) imbalance to improve the patient’s qi (their energetic
function) either pre-op to improve their response to surgery (recommended) or post-op when recovery is slow, incomplete and/or continues to be painful.
Traditional Chinese Medical (TCM) Diagnosis of Pain:
Acupuncture is part of the vast and ancient science of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which also includes herbs, feng shui, moxabustion (heated herb), tui na (a form of massage and adjustment), cupping and dietary recommendations.
Pain that is the result of trauma, according to TCM, causes strain to the body’s qi (its vital force) where is first shocked energetically and is no longer “moving,” which leads to a congestion and stagnation of the body’s energy (i.e. a diagnosis of “qi stagnation”). As a result of the body’s qi stagnation, the blood circulation then becomes “blocked” causing the blood to stagnate in place causing a more severe condition that is at a “deeper” level diagnosed as “blood stasis.”
When qi and blood have both become blocked and left untreated (in TCM terms), the body’s fluid can then become involved, causing it to become “disordered” energetically. This disorganization can then lead to a further chronic condition where the body produces “turbid phlegm” which then blocks the overall meridian channel energy flow causing the patient to complain of pain and numbness in the neck, back and extremities.
In TCM, the first stage of pain diagnosis is termed “Stagnant Qi and Blood” (which is considered more superficial and exterior) to the second stage of trauma is termed “Blood Stagnation combined with Congestion of Qi and Fluids” in the local area(s) which causes stiffness and pain.
However, if the second stage of pain is not resolved, then the patient enters the third stage, which is marked by the need to rebuild tissue and dispel exogenous (outside) elements. In TCM terms, those exogenous elements would be wind, cold and damp. Those elements are known to transform pain, especially in a traumatic injury into a more chronic “bi” syndrome presentation (“bi” is TCM term/diagnosis for various forms of arthritis).
At the third stage, there often some residual blood stasis that is contributes to lingering pain. Impaired qi and blood are both conditions that are often the result of an underlying imbalance of liver and kidney function from a TCM perspective. Such an imbalance can give rise to symptoms of fatigue, tiredness and lingering pain and soreness. In older patients, such pain conditions are further compounded by an underlying constitutional kidney yang (yang cause the body to be warm inside), and spleen and liver qi deficiencies. All conditions that can cause the body to be colder internally which contributes to the body’s inability to derive full benefit from surgery and/or cause slower recovery time, especially in older people
In TCM terms, one of the liver’s functions is to insure the “smoothness of flow.” As joints and tendons are governed by the Liver, a deficiency in liver function can prevent the organ’s ability to insure the smooth of flow of energy, which leads to various kinds of Liver patterns that can result in pain in the joints and tendons.
In TCM terms, the bones and the spine are associated with kidney function. When kidney function is strengthened (as well as warmed), it will improve both the condition of the bones, joints and the disc structures, which then stops pain and expedites healing.
|Posted on February 13, 2016 at 11:22 PM||comments (0)|
Acupuncture can be an invaluable tool for women for menstrual issues, fertility issues, during pregnancy, postpartum and maintaining a new mom's well-being. Here is a link to an article with more information.
|Posted on October 15, 2013 at 1:02 PM||comments (0)|
Getting a cold or the flu? Here is an inexpensive and easy tea that can help-
Getting a cold and if you are not feeling up to going to your local licensed acupuncturist for treatment and you do not have any Chinese herbs on hand? Here is an easy and inexpensive way to help yourself and your family. This is a great tea that I devised many years ago and have recommended it to all my patients and family.
THYME TEA PROTOCOL FOR COLDS and FLUS:
You will need:-Dried thyme-honey-fresh lemon-cayenne
1) Take about an 1/8th of a teaspoon of dried thyme and let it steep for about 10-15 minutes in 2 cups of hot boiled water. After steeping, strain off the thyme and put the water into a mug
2) Then add a pinch of cayenne pepper, about a tablespoon of honey and the juice of a lemon
3) Drink the tea fairly quickly
4) Go take a hot shower
5) Dry off quickly (so that the pores of the skin stay "open"), put on a thick terry cloth robe and get into bed and (hopefully) sweat. Sweating allows the *pernicious influence to leave the body via the skin,
6) It is advisable to stay warm and eat lightly and avoid ALL dairy products (makes phlegm)
This tea can be taken throughout the day as well to help strengthen the body's defenses. Thyme tea has often stopped or shortened the duration of a cold or flu. *Traditional Chinese Medical (TCM) Principle states that colds and such are considered an "external pernicious influence." and that such influences can be "released" by the body from the inside out by sweating them out.
External invading forces like cold, heat or dampness can create an illness or a "disharmony." If the body is already weak, the pernicious influence can overpower the body’s natural protection against disease. A cold or flu, which might be initially mild could then migrate deeper into the body and become more serious, this happens according to TCM when the external pernicious influences (cold and flues, etc) overpower the body’s natural protection against disease. This treatment is one of many herbal and nutritional protocols, based on Chinese Medical Principles, which are easy and inexpensive to use.
|Posted on April 21, 2013 at 1:31 PM||comments (0)|
Beet Root Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Safe, available and without side effects!
|Posted on October 14, 2012 at 10:34 AM||comments (0)|
"The Bergen Work Addiction Scale," means you spend much more time working than originally intended"
Many of my patients say they feel so relaxed after acupuncture treatment, why? Largely because most people are stressed out and work far too hard and too long,
Workaholism is a huge contributor to stress, and stress often leads to disease, depleting our energy reserves (qi). Attitudes towards workaholism have changed and it is no longer considered a "respectable" addiction.
The Truth About Workaholics
By Chris Wright
October 13, 2012
You're sitting at your desk, scrolling through the Alcoholics Anonymous website, when your boss walks up behind you. Not the best career move you'll ever make, perhaps. But let's say you're looking at the Workaholics Anonymous site instead, the section about how even when you're not in the office you're still toiling away. What then? Does your boss give you a talking to, or does he give you a raise?
This rather glib question captures something important about how society views work addiction. Recently, a business strategy website published an article with the headline "Four Famous Workaholics (And The Secrets of Their Success)." It's hard to imagine any other addiction eliciting this kind of approach: "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Junkies," say, or "The Sipping Point."
The fact is, people see workaholism in a different light from other dependencies. It's known as the "respectable addiction," but this doesn't quite capture the prevailing attitude toward the condition. Indeed, many balk at the idea that it is a condition. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders—which lists caffeine as a dependency—doesn't even recognize work addiction. Workaholism is something Bill Gates has, and surely no one's going to suggest that this guy needs to go to a support group.
Support groups, nonetheless, exist. Founded in 1983, Workaholics Anonymous (or WA) currently has a little over a thousand members, and holds meetings around the world—Paris, Sydney, London, Reykjavík, Bangkok. Testimonials in its newsletter contain lines like "I was addicted to activity. How to grapple with this baffling malady?" Well, there's the requisite 12-step program, for one, and the equally familiar appeal to a higher power. But, again, WA must contend with the fact that many people don't view the malady as baffling so much as they do either virtuous or slightly comical.
"People don’t take this seriously—they either laugh at workaholics or dismiss them," says psychotherapist and Chained to the Desk author Bryan Robinson, who is widely recognized as being one of the world’s leading experts on workaholism. “The work ethic is an ingrained idea in our society. What’s wrong with working hard? Hard work got us to the Moon!” He goes on to call this attitude “the glorification of an illness.”
Things, however, may be about to change. This year, research institutes from around the world have released a slew of studies clarifying what work addiction is and how it affects the people who have it.
In April, Norwegian and British researchers developed what they call "The Bergen Work Addiction Scale," a standardized list of criteria ("You spend much more time working than originally intended") aimed at helping people identify if they have an actual addiction rather than a tendency to work too much.
In March, meanwhile, Psychology Today cited recent research that outlines four basic types of work addict, namely (to paraphrase): The manic perfectionist, the stress junkie, the muddled multi-tasker, and the guy who never seems able to let a project go.
An article in the same publication last year explored the narcissism and sundry neuroses that underlie the disease. Such categorizations may, on the surface, seem largely academic, but there is real-world aim here: namely to make people aware that they have an identifiable condition, and therefore make it more likely that they will seek help.
And it is becoming increasingly clear that workaholics do indeed need help.
Researchers in New Zealand have found that people who work at least 50 hours a week are up to three times more likely to face alcohol problems. Earlier this month, the American Journal of Epidemiology reported on a global study showing that over-workers are between 40 and 80 percent more likely to suffer heart disease than others. The lead researcher of that study had previously found that middle-aged people working more than 55 hours a week tend to be disproportionately slow-witted, and to be more at risk for dementia.
"We’re beginning to look at work addiction from a cellular level now," says Robinson. “The workaholic operates on the fight-or-flight response, which leads to a drench of cortisol, norepinephrine, and adrenaline. It can lead to heart disease and heart attacks, diabetes, compromised immune systems, and gastro-intestinal problems. We know this, the studies are pouring out.”
To some extent, we don't need people in white coats to tell us this—we've all seen how people "unwind" after a long day at the office. We're aware, too, that over-workers tend to consume too much coffee, to be susceptible to stress and depression, to have broken marriages, to exercise infrequently, to get less sleep and eat more bad food, etc. More and more, there's research to back up the conventional wisdom, but the end result is what it's always been—ill health.
The Japanese have a word for this: "Karoshi," or death by work. Yet, according to figures from the International Labour Office, American workers put in more hours per year than their Japanese counterparts (1,792 hours compared to 1,771). A recent Expedia poll found that fewer than 40 percent of Americans use up their annual vacation time. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reports that Americans are putting in 20 percent more hours than they were in 1970. Increasingly, 60-hour work weeks are becoming the norm.
What this spate of new studies is telling us, though, is that work addiction is a global problem rather than an American one. This month, researchers in Spain predicted that the percentage of work addicts in that country’s work force would rise from the current 4.6 percent to 11.8 percent in 2015. And this fact—given Spain's especially precarious economic position—may help us get to the root of the sudden interest in the issue.
If workaholism is the rise—and evidence suggests that it is—then we need to take a look at what role the global economic downturn has played in this. For sure, people are working longer hours to make additional income, and to make themselves indispensable enough that they skip the next round of redundancies, but can we make the leap from necessity and anxiety—or even obsession—to addiction?
This is one area where the research is a little thin, possibly because the question is philosophical rather than clinical. It could be argued that an upturn in over-work leads to an increase in usage—inasmuch as workaholism is said to have a chemical dependency side to it.
As for the big psychological factor—what WA describes as "deriving our identity and self-esteem from what we do"—the ever-growing spectre of personal financial ruin, and the humiliation this entails, would seem to play into this.
Either way, to read the scientific papers making the rounds, and the hand-wringing media reportage they inspire, we are in the midst of an epidemic, surrounded on all sides by work junkies, harried, unhappy, smartphone-clutching individuals whose major arteries are just one company report away from exploding.
As always, though, there are dissenters. A study out of France last year proposed that workaholism "can be constructive, generating welcoming outcomes for individuals, organizations and societies." A recent British study found that clock-watchers are more susceptible to anxiety and apathy than those who throw themselves into their work. A professor in the Netherlands, meanwhile, has coined the term "engaged workaholic." If you love what you do, the Dutch professor argues, where's the harm in doing too much of it?
Which is something else you probably wouldn’t say about an alcoholic, drug addict or compulsive gambler.
|Posted on October 11, 2011 at 1:05 PM||comments (3)|
Moxa is a highly effective herb
burned during many acupuncture treatments, why?
Moxa is used in various forms by acupuncturists around the world. This ancient art using moxa (also known as mugwort or Artemisa Vulgaris/Artemisia Leaf) is called the “doctor's grass." Moxibustion (the burning of moxa) is believed to emit “yang” (dynamic and active) energy when burnt. Since ancient times, burning moxa has been used to disinfect the air to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. In olden times, hospitals and the like would be placed sticks of burning moxa in all four corners of the room to keep treatment areas sterile.
Another important attribute of moxa is its proclivity to detect moisture. In ancient times, the Chinese army would use this knowledge to find underground springs during times of war when constant movement made finding water sources difficult. Soldiers would burn the moxa and watch where the smoke would settle. Wherever the smoke accumulated, that is where they would dig a well for water.
The ancient art of acupuncture also takes advantage of this special property to help dispel “dampness” from the body. Herbalists associate dampness with decay and toxin retention which is considered conducive to fungi-growth. Common damp conditions are often indicated by phlegm, sinus problems, snoring, respiratory and digestive problems.
The effects of acupuncture and moxibustion are unique forms of medicine as they do not add any additional elements into the body. Instead, acupuncture and moxibustion help readjust the body's natural mechanisms to effectively raise its functioning abilities to help the body heal itself. In this respect, acupuncture and moxibustion are the purest and most natural forms of treatment because they do not introduce foreign elements into the body thus avoiding side effects.
In addition, using acupuncture and moxibustion improves the body's functioning and therefore may also increase the efficacy of any herbal treatment protocol. For example, a person may be taking herbs to improve their health or a specific condition, but if the body is not functioning well, there may not be any real benefit. Like a poorly tuned 6 cylinder car just working on 3 cylinders, regardless of the quality of gas used, an untuned car will not work well. Acupuncture, along with moxa, fine tunes to body and the patient will then begin to derive a real benefit from herbs, supplements and even pharmaceuticals!
Moxibustion works so well because it allows the body to absorb the energy emitted by the moxa. By holding the moxa stick over the acupuncture points, the body is able to take in, store and slowly release this energy into the body.
Please note, on entering a licensed acupuncturist’s office you may notice a smell somewhat akin to marijuana, this is what moxa smells like but as you can see, it has many unsung benefits and it used in most styles of acupuncture around the world.
|Posted on October 3, 2011 at 11:52 PM||comments (4)|
Conditions Treated by Acupuncture:
Eye, Ear, Nose, Dental
|Posted on March 16, 2011 at 11:54 AM||comments (78)|
Miso Helps Protect the Body Against Atomic Radiation and Heavy Metal Poisoning
InstanceEndEditable It may have been our fear of fallout from the impending nuclear holocaust or from nuclear power plant meltdowns that first attracted Westerners to miso. During the 60's, students of macrobiotics and Zen began hearing about Dr. Shinichiro Akizuki, director of Saint Francis Hospital in Nagasaki during the second World War. Although Akizuki spent years treating atomic bomb victims just a few miles from ground zero, neither he nor his staff suffered from the usual effects of radiation. Akizuki hypothesized that he and his associates were protected from the deadly radiation because they drank miso soup every day. In 1972, Akizuki's theory was confirmed when researchers discovered that miso contains dipilocolonic acid, an alkaloid that chelates heavy metals, such as radioactive strontium, and discharges them from the body. However, the most convincing evidence demonstrating the protection miso offers to those exposed to radiation was published in Japan in 1989. Professor Akihiro Ito, at Hiroshima University's Atomic Radioactivity Medical Lab, read reports of European countries importing truckloads of miso from Japan after the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Ito reasoned that if people were protected from radiation by miso, then rats that were fed miso and radiated should develop less cancer than radiated rats that were not fed miso. Professor Ito was not surprised to find that the liver cancer rate for rats that were not fed miso was 100 to 200 percent higher than that of rats that were fed miso. Ito also reported that rats that were fed miso had much less inflammation of organs caused by radioactivity.
Seaweed and Iodine: More Ways to Protect Your Family from Japan’s Nuclear Crisis
Seaweed, seaweed, seaweed!
Since I can’t seem to focus on anything other than the nuclear crisis in Japan, as everyday there is more somber news of fires, I decided to share with you more ways you can protect your family from radiation in addition to yesterday’s post. Finding potassium iodide in the United States may be next to impossible, and we’ve been told by local health food stores that any surplus is being shipped to Japan, as it should be. There are other options that may be more appropriate for the amount of radiation that will reach the United States.Here’s a summary of posts I have encountered today that are worthy of sharing.Natural News: Iodine protects thyroid and glandular system from radiation damage: Here’s where to get some
Why you need to boost your iodine levels to protect against radiation
Green Upgrader: Radiation is Rising: High-Iodine Recipes to Relieve Your Thyroid
Nature Moms Blog: Natural Ways to Reduce Radiation Exposure
Stocking up on seaweed right now is a good idea, even if you don’t feel you need it for radiation protection. Pacific seaweed and marine life is sure to absorb radiation, and most seaweed is sourced in Asia. Atlantic seaweed is harder to come by for consumption.In addition, avoid pre-made seaweed salads that are bright green. They usually contain artificial food colorants, as well as high fructose corn syrup. I have seen natural seaweed salad at Whole Foods, which you can distinctly tell by its browner color. Even high end sushi restaurants often serve the dyed seaweed salad.I was accused yesterday by a reader of overreacting. I do not feel that being informed and prepared is overreacting. Three Mile Island had a significant influence on my early life, not because of radiation exposure, but because of timeliness during my childhood at a stage of growing awareness. Focusing on more sea vegetables in our diet is not alarmist, and when we can eventually get KI, we will keep it in our medicine chest.