The bladder can have a mind of its own. Normally, the bladder relaxes as it fills and contracts only when you need to urinate. Bladder spasms can occur when the bladder muscles suddenly contract causing a sudden need to urinate. In some people this can also cause pain. The symptoms of bladder spasms can be [...] read more..
Friday, 30 March 2012
The art of electro-acupuncture is in the details of how one uses the therapy. An effective electro-acupuncture treatment comes from what electric stimulation machine is used, proper selection of acupuncture points, how long you use the stimulation, and the proper frequency. Acupuncture Microstim In our New York City Acupuncture clinic, we use the Pantheon Research [...] read more..
Wednesday, 28 March 2012
As an acupuncturist, here is a conversation I seem to have almost daily: A patient is struggling with a health condition, and their Western doctor has prescribed a medication that the patient will need to take long-term, which they don’t want to do. Or a patient has been on a prescribed medication, doesn’t like the side effects, and is trying to decrease their dosage or go off altogether. They want to know if acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help them avoid taking these drugs. The reality . . . ? Read More: Acupuncture and Western Medications read more..
Tuesday, 27 March 2012
This study's title is about pelvic pain and Chinese Medicine but it lists other issues that are resolved by acupuncture and/or herbs and that may require more study so that these therapies are more accessible to women. There is NO reason to suffer through what we commonly call "women's issues".
Call 303-947-6224; email DrMLucas@AcupunctureWoman.com, or go to www.AcupunctureWoman.com for a consult or appointment. I offer the service of health insurance billing. http://www.asianscientist.com/health-medicine/rcog-opinion-paper-acupuncture-herbal-medicine-relieves-chronic-pelvic-pain-2012/
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Sunday, 25 March 2012
Traditional Chinese Medicine is a term that refers to medicine practices developed in China and other parts of Asia. Traditional Chinese Medicine generally covers many types of modalities including acupuncture and moxibustion, Chinese Herbal remedies, Tui Na or Chinese Medical Massage, as well as other manual therapies including gua sha (spoon massage or coining) and [...] read more..
Saturday, 24 March 2012
Over the years that I’ve been in acupuncture practice, I have worked with a number of patients who are caregivers to others. These are the people who care for an aging parent, a sick spouse, or a disabled child. Many caregivers are exhausted, burnt out, out of patience, and see no end in sight. They may feel worried, guilty, frustrated, resentful, or just plain angry at their situation. The reality is that many people don’t choose to be caregivers; it’s a job that has . . . ? Read More: Caring for Caregivers read more..
I love these studies that show how acupuncture affects the brain. Yes, it's true. Why do you think it works so well to reduce the effects of stress? If that's not a strong enough reason to receive acupuncture, how about these?- it improves immune system function- reduces inflammation (one of the ways it improves the immune system)- rebuilds digestion so you make better quality qi (energy)- can help you avoid surgery for chronic issues like back pain (true!!)- got sciatica? Acupuncture works!- and it can help reduce lines and wrinkles if you are interested in maintaining your youthful appearance.Call 303-947-6224 or email me at DrMLucas@AcupunctureWoman.com.We bill health insurance.Follow this blog at http://www.feedblitz.com/f/?Sub=777691 read more..
Wednesday, 21 March 2012
A conversation with a (western) medical student spurred my thoughts about just what Chinese medicine is about, especially on the topic of herbs. read more..
Defining Placebo: the Saint Jude Thaddeus of Medical Terminology
After reading an article by one Andy Ho, I am appalled at how many people don't understand placebo effect. read more..
Eleven Things My Patients Have Taught Me
Every single patient I see in my acupuncture clinic is unique. They have their personal lifestyle, specific struggles, and each has very different needs. The one thing that never changes from patient to patient is that I learn something from each and every one. Most of the time I learn little bits and pieces about being a better acupuncturist, but every once in a while, I am dealt a major life lesson. Mostly what I learn is about the practice of acupuncture and Chinese . . . ? Read More: Eleven Things My Patients Have Taught Me read more..
New research demonstrates acupuncture's affect on regenerating brain cells post-stroke.http://www.healthcmi.com/index.php/acupuncturist-news-online/495-acupunctureceusbrainstrokerepair?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed read more..
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to reduce joint pain, swelling, and stiffness which comes from arthritis. Acupuncture and Arthritis Symptoms Pain and stiffness are the most common symptoms from arthritis. Arthritis can effect both small joints, such as the hands and feet, as well [...] read more..
In San Fran teaching Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture. also teaching practitioners how to more effectively treat fertility issues. read more..
Stonewell Acupuncture News Winner Top Acupuncture Blog 2010!
Stonewell Acupuncture News has been chosen by the Blogging Awards in partnership with Medical Billing and Coding as one of the top 40 Acupuncture Blogs of 2010. Selection was based on nomination by readers and judged criteria.Thank you readers for your interest and support! read more..
I know I haven’t blogged in a while – very hectic schedule and all – but I simply must greet my handful of readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! read more..
Testing wordpress app
Hi all, not much in terms of tcm blogging. Not that there hasn’t been much to comment on; more of too busy to set my thoughts on virtual paper. In the meantime I’m trying wordpress for iOS. This should make blogging easier hehe. read more..
Depression, Bupleurum, and Your Chinese Liver
In my acupuncture practice, I see a number of people who struggle with emotional symptoms, such as stress, depression, anxiety, or irritability. Jolene* is one of those people. She works long hours at her sales job, takes care of unappreciative ailing parents, and struggles to make ends meet. Essentially, her life is not going how she would like, and it makes her depressed and irritable. Jolene comes in for acupuncture every couple of weeks, and she feels better for a while. However, the circumstances . . . ? Read More: Depression, Bupleurum, and Your Chinese Liver read more..
Tuesday, 20 March 2012
The military using acupuncture to help treat the new types of trauma that soldiers are suffering. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703561604576150110202228764.html read more..
Dry needling is acupuncture. ALWAYS ask about your medical practitioner's training.
This is a cute little video where a PT and a practitioners of Chinese Medicine/Acupuncturist are discussing whether dry needling is indeed acupuncture and the very large discrepancy in training. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygtOBE_qkZ0 read more..
Can You Work Too Much?
I recently read an article in my local newspaper about manual laborers in Nicaragua who are suffering from an epidemic of kidney failure that has been killing thousands. (Worked to Death? Minneapolis Star Tribune, Sunday February 19, 2012) Doctors and scientists are struggling to find the cause of this chronic kidney disease that is affecting workers throughout Central America. One theory is that these workers are being exposed to toxic substances in the course of their work. However, those who are getting sick come . . . ? Read More: Can You Work Too Much? read more..
This is one of the most common questions I get in my NYC acupuncture clinic. The acupuncture point prescriptions will differ between patients, but also will change over time within one treatment plan. Acupuncture is highly focused on treating the correct imbalance at the correct time. As the acupuncture treatment progresses, the imbalances will change [...] read more..
Physiological affects of acupuncture: It affects our brains ... why do you think it's so relaxing?
I tell my students all the time that acupuncture affects the brain. Here is an interesting read about MRI studies and acupuncture.http://www.healthcmi.com/index.php/acupuncturist-news-online/474-mristudyrevealsacupuncturemechanisms read more..
Acupuncture reduces negative effect of stress on the body.
Have some stress in your life? Acupuncture reduces negative effect of stress on the body. I tell people this all the time but no Georgetown U says so!http://www.healthcmi.com/index.php/acupuncturist-news-online/473-acupuncturestressgeorgetownstudy read more..
Monday, 19 March 2012
With more than 2 million survivors of prostate cancer in the U.S., it’s important to recognize that September is Prostate Cancer Awareness month. It’s even more important when you realize that 1 out of every 6 American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Thankfully, prostate cancer can be successfully treated for [...] read more..
Could Acupuncture be the Key to Aging Gracefully?
Growing older – we all do it. Some of us more begrudgingly than others. As time marches on, joints begin to ache, energy can fade and the face looking back at us in the mirror every morning can look…well…older. As we age, everyone wants to stay healthy and with September being Healthy Aging Month, I [...] read more..
Explaining Qi to MDs
It is but natural for many people to consider their personal philosophies and worldviews as the standard against which others must measure their versions. I recall an incident from my first year in college. For me, it was my first time to have classmates who did not know any Chinese, and for them, it was [...] read more..
Many people don’t know that ovarian cancer is the ninth most common cancer in women and that about 22,000 new cases of ovarian cancer that will be diagnosed this year. While doctors are working to develop promising new treatments for ovarian cancer, the American Cancer Society estimates that there will be more than 15,000 deaths [...] read more..
Thanksgiving wishes a day early
I'm sending this wish today because tomorrow may be a very busy day for everyone! Many of us have so much for which to be grateful. Here's wishing that you have the experience on Thanksgiving that offers you the most growth, happiness, Spiritual wellness, and calm that you deserve. Remember, the important things in life aren't things. read more..
Natural cures: this one for diarrhea. More to come!
One of my patients and I were talking about natural cures (or treatments) for various conditions and she shared this natural cure for diarrhea that she's used since she was a child in Europe. http://m.voices.yahoo.com/natural-cures-treat-diarrhea-pomegranate-555760.html read more..
Let’s face it, while they are indeed “merry & bright”, the holidays can also be a stressful time of the year. Big spending, big eating and big chunks of time with family, work colleagues and friends can be a volatile mix and can wreak havoc on your ability to keep cool, calm and collected. With [...] read more..
Featured in British Journal of Urology
I wanted to share recent article in BJUI which I am interviewed about integrative urology and acupuncture for Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome. Acupuncture is gaining acceptance in urology. Copyright © 2008 This feed is for personal, non-commercial use only. The use of this feed on other websites breaches copyright. If this content is not [...] read more..
Chinese herbs shown effective for treating fertility issues!
A recent study from the Adelaide University titled “Efficacy of Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine in the management of female infertility: A systematic review” found that that “Chinese herbal therapy improved pregnancy rates as much as 2-fold in just a 4-month period in comparison with Western Medical fertility drug therapy or IVF.” read more..
Sunday, 18 March 2012
Acupuncture is an effective alternative to conventional orthopedic treatments for chronic shoulder pain, according to a new study from Germany’s Ruhr University Bochum, a public university. For the study, 424 patients were examined in 31 orthopedist offices. The participants were … Continue reading ? read more..
Chinese Herbs For Allergies
Complementary and alternative medicine may give allergy and asthma sufferers new options for treating symptoms, according to allergists at the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) in Phoenix. Allergists discussed how herbal treatments … Continue reading ? read more..
The Body Acupuncture
Acupuncture can target chronic pain in any location of the body. Sometimes, an acupuncturist will put needles in the place of the pain. But other times an acupuncturist will place needles far away from the location, such as in acupuncture points on the legs and feet for chronic headaches. The primary way acupuncturists can focus [...] read more..
Thursday, 15 March 2012
The magic pill medicine to which we have all become accustomed started w/ the emergence of infectious diseases. Then, because it seemed like such a miracle that we could be "cured" w/ a pill, everyone wanted a magic pill for everything. Hence the development of diet pills, pain pills, birth control pills, etc. etc.
Chinese Medicine's magic pill is prevention - MAINTAINING GOOD HEALTH. Can I make your symptoms go away? Almost certainly. But then, it is so important to maintain your good health state. Why only deal w/ symptoms all the time? Why wait until you are sick or in excruciating or constant pain (physical OR emotional) to pay attention to your body? Does that even sound as though it makes sense to you?
No, it doesn't. And, that type of healthcare is a huge strain on the body. It takes your body a lot more energy/qi to recover than it does to maintain. It's true; think about it.
Example case study: Patient in his 60s with kidney disease from childhood. Had done all he can w/ allopathic medicine, surgery recommended, taking prednisone 10 days a month etc. Basically there was nothing else he could and, frankly, taking that much prednisone each month didn't agree with him. He started to come for acupuncture and hasn't had to take prednisone for 5 years!!!! His commitment is to acupuncture every week and look how dramatically his life has changed. He is HEALTHY; he's NOT JUST TREATING SYMPTOM with any "magic pill" he can find.
Chinese Medicine Rocks!! Follow this blog at http://www.feedblitz.com/f/?Sub=777691www.AcupunctureWoman.comwww.CosmeticAcupunctureFacelifts.com read more..
Wednesday, 14 March 2012
.. you have BCBS Group #105 (and I think Group 106 as well). That's right - they cover between 22 and 26 visits per year! Think about it. You could resolve any symptoms that you are having AND do what Chinese Medicine has been doing for centuries - prevent illness! Maintain good health! I have to say that this is one of the best acupuncture coverage plans I have found.
So, check your plan - it may even be worth your upgrading since your premium increase may still not be as much as receiving acupuncture every other week would cost. That's natural, powerful health care every other week - feeling fantastic and warding off illness all year. Can't ask for more than that.
If your insurance is through another carrier I can check your coverage for you. Call 303-947-6224 or email DrMLucas@AcupunctureWoman.com. You may subscribe to this blog at http://www.feedblitz.com/f/?Sub=777691 read more..
Many so-called "immune boosting" formulas have an herb called Huang Qi (astragalus) in them. No. Do not take a formula containing Huang Qi during a cold; it may drive the bug deeper and extend the length of time it takes you to get well. This is one of the most frequent misunderstandings that I hear people talk about. They think that it is good to take an immune booster during a cold. Remember: it depends upon the ingredients! Wu Wei zi (schisandra) is another such ingredient; okay to take when you are not experiencing cold symptoms.
The good news is that there are herbs that will help fight a cold and you can get these from your licensed Chinese medicine practitioner or Acupuncturist. Ban lan gen (isatis root) has antibiotic properties, jin yin hua (lonicera - honeysuckle) has anti-inflammatory properties so it can help with some symptoms. Gan cao (licorice root) is another individual herb can help break a cold right at the beginning.
Here's a good place to clarify that Chinese herbs are prescriptions and should be prescribed by a knowledgeable practitioner. In my most humble professional opinion, they should not be sold over the counter. One of the most frequent stories I hear is that a person bought a Chinese medicine formula in a grocery store and then didn't understand why it didn't work. Well, if you take a formula that is designed to deal with the beginning energetics of a cold midway through your cold, you're right, it's not going to work! Or, if you have a runny nose kind of cold but you take a formula designed for a phlemy, sore throat kind of cold, it's not going to work and might even extend the length of your cold or flu. Please talk with a licensed Chinese medicine practitioner before purchasing Chinese herbal formulas. Taking herbal formulas, especially those containing herbs used in Chinese herbal prescriptions is one case where checking the training and credentials of your alternative medicine practitioner is important.
Remember, this information is based on my training, clinical experience, and licensure as a practitioner of TCM and is not something with which the FDA would necessarily agree or suggest. read more..
Tuesday, 13 March 2012
Greetings all! I know it’s been a while since I’ve blogged, so here we go – merry christmas, happy hanukah, happy new year, happy chinese new year happy valentine’s day yada yada been there done that. What I wish to write about to day is a sharing of a personal experience with some research I’m [...] read more..
How to Choose Acupuncture Points?
Patients in my New York Acupuncture clinic are always curious how acupuncturists choose the correct acupuncture points. There are a number of ways to choose the acupuncture points. The basic idea with acupuncture is to correct the underlying imbalance in the body. This can help to stimulate the body to heal itself. We acupuncturists will [...] read more..
Dry needling is acupuncture. ALWAYS ask about your medical practitioner's training.
Dry needling is acupuncture. ALWAYS ask about your medical practitioner's training.This is a cute little video where a PT and a practitioners of Chinese Medicine/Acupuncturist are discussing whether dry needling is indeed acupuncture and the very large discrepancy in training. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygtOBE_qkZ0 read more..
Digestion is one of the main reference points for gauging one’s overall health. Some frequently asked questions about acupuncture for the treatment of digestive disorders: What causes digestive disorders? Digestive disorders can be caused by diet, disease and stress. What … Continue reading ? read more..
University Of Western Sydney, Australia-Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicines-Traditional Chinese Herbal Remedies
Many traditional Chinese herbal medicines can be effective in the prevention of diabetes, a study conducted by researchers from the University of Western Sydney, Australia, and published in the journal Cochrane Library has confirmed.
Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 16 previously published studies conducted on a total of 1,391 adults who suffered from either impaired glucose tolerance or fasting glucose, both of which lead to the mildly elevated blood sugar levels known as pre-diabetes and raise the risk of full-blown diabetes. In most of the studies, participants were assigned to control their blood sugar with either a combination of traditional Chinese herbal remedies and lifestyle changes or with lifestyle changes alone. A total of 15 different herbal mixes were tested, including Jiangtang Bushen, Xiaoke huaya and Tang Kang yin.The researchers found that participants who took Chinese herbs were twice as likely to achieve normal blood sugar levels as those who used lifestyle changes alone, and two-thirds less likely to develop diabetes over the course of a given study. The average length of the studies examined was nine months.
None of the studies found any serious side effects to traditional Chinese formulations. Grant advised that anyone seeking to use traditional Chinese herbs take them under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. Traditionally, Chinese Medicine practitioners have prescribed herbs based on the health history of a given patient, she noted. Therefore, it is not possible to recommend a collection of herbs that can be expected work for all people with a given condition. read more..
Monday, 12 March 2012
When you read about acupuncture and Chinese medicine, frequently you will find a lot of discussion about the importance of Qi, or energy, and how its flow is vital to good health. Blood, however, is considered to be equally as important in this medicine, because it is responsible for nourishing and moisturizing every organ in your body. Both Qi and Blood flow together, but Qi is considered lighter and more active, and blood is more nourishing and concrete. For example, in your muscles Qi . . . ? Read More: When Blood Goes Bad read more..
Saturday, 10 March 2012
The energy of the Yang Water Dragon year: it's likely to be a good one!
The Yang Water Dragon year is here! I am so excited about this year's energy that I started to feel it even before today.
Dragons are associated with power and good fortune. When we examine Chinese lore, we see that Dragon years can be dramatic. Why? In Chinese astrology, the Dragon is the mightiest of the signs. Dragons symbolize character traits such as passion, dominance, and raw ambition. They are unafraid of challenges or change and do everything on a grand scale.
What does a Yang Water Dragon year have in store for you? If you enjoy Chinese astrology, then this could be an exciting year, providing you read the landscape with attention. You would do well to complete unfinished business from 2011 as quickly as possible. When Dragon begins its procession through 2012, you want his route unimpeded and smooth, even though it may climb and twist.
The Dragon is a sign of good fortune and the Year of the Dragon is considered an auspicious time for new beginnings. Be watchful for opportunities that present in late January. Entrepreneurs and new ventures are particularly favored to experience success this year – business, marriages, projects, children born in 2012 or in previous Dragon years all benefit from the outstanding luck often associated with this zodiac sign. 2012 can also be an auspicious year to plan a celebration or throw a big party. Those compatible with the Dragon — Rat and Snake in particular — will also find 2012's circumstances inspiring them to greater personal happiness and professional success. But, the Dragon, perhaps because of its passion, may also bring a rougher style of communication - less diplomacy and more directness, so be prepared
The energy of the year will move grandly and quickly right away, and you want to be ready for it. The Dragon is associated with Spring, and the energetic high point of the year is the Dragon Moon, from May 20th (New Moon) to June 18th. Dragon energy favors the bold. The grand scale of Dragon energy encourages you to reach for the proverbial brass ring or to act on your dream. If you want to succeed at something major, according to Suzanne White, author of THE NEW ASTROLOGY, start early in the year and persist. Don’t give up; express yourself openly. She writes, "Any and all events will be dramatic and charged with a rare intensity. In short, 2012 will be a year of derring-do, hell-raising and exorbitant fun.
What of the Yang and Water aspect of 2012? Water has a calming effect on Dragon’s fearless temperament. Yang Water is like a flowing river rather than a still lake. Things move, ideas flow, creativity abounds, business booms, and love blossoms in this environment. It is likely to be an exciting year. Because this year is the Year of the Water Dragon, affairs maybe tempered because water helps calm the Dragon’s fire. That’s why Water Dragons tend to be less stubborn than your regular old Dragons. But just as the ceremonial dragon is put away after the festival, the dragon “effect” can be fleeting. A project or relationship or romance may be more transitory than long-term. This year can point to either spectacular successes or epic fails. Your luck can be good or bad, and your actions may enhance your fortune or derail it. While this is, of course, true in any circumstance, it’s the extreme nature of the outcome that is attributed to Dragon. Remember that Dragon is mythic and larger than life; so are Dragon-based experiences. Be mindful and try to understand your circumstances deeply and with insight. Consider risk carefully, for an extravagant gesture can leave you at risk when the moment passes.
Summer will present as a relatively quiet period in 2012, but one should not relax during this period since all activities of the unfolding year have acquired a certain momentum and intensity. Therefore vigilant management of your affairs is needed. Fall is read more..
I would like to point out a slight error in your statements as quoted here: http://www.gmanews.tv/story/213171/chinese-embassy-court-sustains-death-sentence-on-3-pinoys “(A Chinese ambassador told me that) they are very, very strict when it comes to drug laws because it’s a major concern of theirs. Iyung sa shabu, iyung ephedrine is a natural, comes from a plant that grows primarily [...] read more..
What does acupuncture feel like?
This is one of the top five common questions in my NYC acupuncture clinic. Acupuncture does not hurt. We use very thin sterile solid needles which means they do not feel like a doctor’s needle. Upon insertion, some points can feel a prick, but many do not feel anything. The acupuncture needles remain in the [...] read more..
Dr. Oz agrees that acupuncture works for weight loss
I've been telling people this for years but now that Dr. Oz says it, it must be true!http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/acupuncture-and-weight-lossNotice though that he says that it is a commitment both in terms of time and behavior.Call me, I help people lose weight and tone up! 303-947-6224 read more..
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has long been used to manage pain, treat disease, boost fertility, and prevent miscarriage. Traditional TCM remedies include acupuncture and herbal medicine, among other therapies. Tel Aviv University researchers have discovered that a combination of TCM … Continue reading ? read more..
As you all probably know, October is breast cancer awareness month. What you may not know is that according to the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) latest statistics, Pennsylvania women have a slightly higher chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer than the U.S. average and more than 1,100 Philadelphia women are diagnosed with the disease [...] read more..
Gut Hormone And Acupuncture Leads To Weight Loss
Giving overweight individuals a gut hormone that suppresses appetite can lead to beneficial weight loss as well as reduced blood pressure and cholesterol levels, according to a bmj.com study. For individuals combating weight gain, acupuncture can aid in weight loss … Continue reading ? read more..
Acupuncture Reduces Pain
The brain’s capacity for memory, reasoning and comprehension skills (cognitive function) can start to deteriorate from age 45, according to research published on bmj.com. Acupuncture can sharpen memory and reduce pain by deactivating areas within the brain associated with the … Continue reading ? read more..
Thursday, 8 March 2012
I'm a trained classical musician and I started playing the horn when I was 10 years old. We were taught to clean and bathe our instruments, but in reality most brass players don't clean their instruments as regularly as is advised. I recently came across an article on the respiratory problems that one can develop from mold and bacteria growing in musical instruments. I was alarmed. As a horn player and health practitioner, I just feel its important to share this information with my fellow brass players, especially if you have any respiratory problems.
Click on the link embedded in the above text and it will take you to the article. read more..
We all live with some amount of stress. In fact, a little stress keeps life interesting, keeps you on your toes, and can be an agent for change. It’s when stress overshadows everything in your life, that it becomes a problem. Unrelenting stress can impact your health in countless negative ways, from insomnia to poor digestion. In Chinese medicine, stress almost always is described as a disharmony between the Liver and Spleen organ systems. Very simply, your Chinese Liver system is responsible for regulating . . . ? Read More: Ten Ways Less Stress Can Improve Your Health read more..
Wednesday, 7 March 2012
Now that we have entered the autumn its time to start thinking about adjusting the diet so that the foods we eat are appropriate to the seasonal changes and in turn, our immune system is strong for the cold/flu season.
In the autumn there are two main considerations to think about:
1. Warming the BodyIts time to cut back on so many of the cold and raw foods that are appropriate during the hot summer months. This is especially true if you live in an area that experiences true seasonal temperature changes. (I'm living in the northern hemisphere so we are now entering the autumn.)Its time to start incorporating more warm and cooked foods into the diet. Something warming at every meal is a good way to think about building Qi in your body and keeping the digestion and constitution strong.
2. Combatting DrynessDifferent times of the year have different metabolic concerns. At this time of the year we are concerned with keeping the lungs and large intestine strong and functioning well. (Refer to my earlier posting on Metal Phase for more on this).Its also a time of the year that we deal with the issue of "dryness". Think of the leaves on the trees, they are slowly drying and withering. This is the time of the natural cycle of decay in our environment. If you notice the natural world at this time, things begin to dry out. The Qi of the environment also reflects this.This environmental shift affects our bodies as well and we may notice drier skin, drier eyes and drier mucous membranes. Our lungs are considered the most external of our internal organs in East Asian Medicine, because the respiratory system connects to the outside world through our sinus and nasal passages. These delicate tissues can become dry in the autumn and more susceptible to invasion and infection. Our lungs can also become drier and some people develop chronic dry coughs at this time of year.
1. Drink more warm fluids at this time of year. Ginger tea is a good tea to take at any meal.2. See your acupuncturist/herbalist at this time of the year to make sure that your lungs and large intestines are functioning well. This will help keep your immune system strong for the colder months ahead.3. Asian pears are a good fruit for this time of the year because they nourish the yin of your lungs and keep the delicate tissues moist. Cook them or bake them as you would apples.They are sweet, crunchy and have a lovely crisp and light fruity flavor.
Here's my recipe for a hot breakfast porridge that keeps the digestion strong, warms the body and moistens the lungs!
Asian Pear CongeeThis is a lovely, warming and mildly sweet porridge. Good for the morning or for a snack. The rice porridge is strengthening for the digestion and helps the body transform dampness in the body, the ginger root is warming and strengthens the Spleen. The Asian pear nourishes Lung Yin. The cinnamon warms the interior and invigorates Qi circulation by opening the collateral channels.I recently made this recipe for an open house at my clinic and my patients loved it!
Ingredients:1/2 cup of white sushi rice1/2 cup of arborio rice
4 cups of water4 cups of pear nectar (get Asian pear nectar/juice if you can find it, at your Korean grocer).4 slices of fresh ginger root, chopped into slivers1 cinnamon stick
Directions:In a large pot, add the rice, water and 2 cups of nectar. Bring to a boil then turn down to a very low simmer and cover with lid. Cook for 1 1/2 hours. If the flame is too high, it will burn. This is a very low heat cooking process.After 1 1/2 hours, add the ginger, cinnamon stick, sliced pears and 2 more cups of pear nectar. Continue to cook for another 1 1/2 hours. This will allow the rice to cook down into porridge.
Chinese like this porridge a little bit on the thin side but you can adjust the liquid to your liking. If you like your porridge thicker- use less liquid. If your porridge is too thick, add more li read more..
My Grand Experiment: No Gluten, No DairySummary:Stopped eating gluten and dairy foods for 8 weeks. Result so far: No annual respiratory infections, no nasal congestion, drier lungs, loss of 10 lbs.
So, I want to discuss an experiment that I've been conducting on myself. I decided 8 weeks ago to stop eating gluten and dairy. I have a history of respiratory infections and am particularly susceptible to catching colds which would often turn into bronchitis and this often started in the autumn. (Read earlier posts about Metal phase of year).Confession moment: So, this year I decided that instead of just thinking "Do as say, not as I do" when counseling my patients about their health and diet lifestyles- I really needed to follow my own advice, be a model, and think actively about what consequences my food choices were having for my health.
I'm classically Spleen Qi deficient in Chinese medicine terms. That means that my digestion tends to be weak and that my ability to transform food into Qi and Blood is not efficient. It also means my body's ability to regulate and transform fluids in the body is sluggish and I have an accumulation of viscosity in my fluids: mucus and phlegm.Classically speaking, Chinese medicine points to the Spleen, its role in EAM as the chief of digestion, and the general strength of the digestion as the foundation of strong immunity. The famous Jade Windscreen decoction which we give to people to strengthen immunity especially during seasonal transitions, is based on this premise- of strengthening the Middle Jiao (digestion).The Spleen is also paired with the Lung. Together they are the Taiyin channel and their partnership regulates Qi in the body. So, when the Spleen is weak, often the Lung suffers as well- so one can see how weak digestion can lead to lowered immunity which often results in respiratory infections.
Ancestral Qi, Health History, LifestyleOver the years I've pondered how as a child I contracted walking pneumonia. I think this early illness weakened my Taiyin system. In palpating my Lung channel one can feel adhesions in the channel that indicate long term chronic weakness of the Lung Qi.I find similar indications in my Spleen channel.My family also has a history of diabetes which in our case correlates to weakness of the Middle Jiao (Digestion).So, I think that both my genetic background and my ancestral Qi lead me towards immune system vulnerability and Taiyin deficiency.
Lifestyle choices over time also have probably contributed to vulnerability in my Taiyin system. The Spleen is responsible for organizing principle of the mind and is also involved in maintaining the blueprint of the body (our genetic code perhaps?). It does this at night and if the Spleen is overtaxed (poor food choices) and lack of sleep, and over-thinking- then it becomes exhausted.I'm certainly guilty of not sleeping enough, of staying up too late, of eating unhealthily at times.
So, pondering all these things and wanting to try and not get sick this autumn, I undertook an experiment of giving up gluten and dairy.
I'm not sure that I'm really gluten intolerant- I certainly don't suffer from Celiac disease. I do think that I may have an allergy to wheat, however. I know that dairy definitely gives me mucus. But I decided that going off gluten and dairy would just be a simple way to establish a baseline.
In Chinese medicine we often say that dairy contributes to Dampness in the body. In fact, its good to consider that humans are the only species that continues to drink milk and eat milk products past infancy. A lot of people seem to also have dairy allergies. In East Asia, until recently, milk was not a common food. The mythology that came out of advertising in the U.S. during my childhood was that milk was equated with health- so every child was supposed to drink multiple glasses per day. What this did for saturated fat intake and its related health consequences is well documented. read more..
Several years ago, I went on a kayaking trip in the canyon country of Utah and Arizona. Our kayaks were loaded down with camping gear, food, and far more stuff than we would ever need for a week in the wild. Fully loaded, my kayak rode a little low in the water, so when I was paddling, I was constantly sitting in about three inches of water. About half way through the trip, a muscle in my butt seized up so badly that I . . . ? read more..
My patients are preferring the combination of acupuncture plus LLLT to the cortisone or lidocaine injections that they have received for their acute or chronic pain. And, a massage therapist to whom I refer people says that they are much easier to work on after the addition of the LLLT. Research recently published demonstrates the effectiveness of low level laser therapy for treating carpal tunnel syndrome. This is a big deal because so many people suffer with carpal tunnel and it is often extremely debilitating. The effective clinical protocol consisted of 24 treatments which is consistent with the time frame and number of treatments demonstrated in the literature. If you or someone you know has carpal tunnel find a doctor that uses low level laser therapy (ME) … otherwise, you are likely suffering needlessly.
24 treatments?! you say ...... Acupuncture works but is it a miracle, one time treatment cure? Not very often. Chronic pain, chronic health issues require treatment to get your body into a balanced, healthy, pain free state. Back pain that you have had for 10 years will take time to cure, not 3 treatments. But often, because for some things we can "take a pill", the immediate cure is an expectation. But the problem w/ some pharmaceuticals (pills) is that they are NOT curing, they are ameliorating a symptom. Face it. It may be a late-life-long effort to keep it in the kind of shape that allows you to continue to live the active lifestyle that you enjoy. I know it is for me so that I can continue playing soccer.
In my practice we talk a lot about a healthy life plan - it's not a magic pill. To those of you who say "but I don't have to go see my MD twice a week or three times a week or even once a week to get well" ..... really? If you are taking daily medication, that pill taking is akin to seeing your physician EVERY DAY and sometimes the pharmaceuticals are just treating the symptom. Get to the cause! A Chinese Medicine practitioner with good diagnostic skills can help you do that. read more..
Tuesday, 6 March 2012
Here at Empirical Point Acupuncture, we are fortunate to get inquiries from patients, researchers, physicians and reporters on a fairly regular basis. We love that people want to know more about acupuncture and Chinese Medicine and we are proud to be a resource, engaging in conversation and providing our thoughts and educational information on health [...] read more..
With All Hallows’ Eve right around the corner, it’s a good time to look at frightening things…you know, ghouls, goblins, ghosts…and your health and wellness routines. There really is nothing more important than your health, so here are some tips to keep you feeling BOO-tiful and SPOOK-tacular: 1. You are what you eat – so [...] read more..
10 Healthy Holiday Tips
How to find peace and well-being during this festive (and hectic!) time of year It’s the most wonderful time of the year…it’s also the season of heartburn, headaches and hangovers. So, as you enjoy the season, be sure to keep your health in mind. Here are 10 healthy holiday tips that can help keep you [...] read more..
Healing, Health and Self-Responsibility
Look around. You may have noticed that our lives are faster and more hectic than ever before. The pace of everyday life has accelerated and we want quick results. This is true in our professional lives (how many emails did you have to answer today?), our personal lives (instant status updates on Facebook, anyone?) and [...] read more..