Acufinder.com has good articles for every season this one is written By: Diane Joswick, L.Ac., MSOM
Recharge Your Battery this Winter with Acupuncture
If you feel tired and drained, you are not alone. "Lack of energy" is one of the top five complaints that doctors hear in their offices. According to Oriental medicine, the cold months of winter are the perfect time to recharge your battery and generate vital energy – Qi - in order to live, look, and feel your best.
The ancient Chinese believed that human beings should live in harmony with the natural cycles of their environment. The cold and darkness of winter urges us to slow down. This is the time of year to reflect on health, replenish energy and conserve strength.
Winter is ruled by the Water element, which is associated with the Kidneys, Bladder and Adrenal Glands. The Kidneys are considered the source of all energy or “Qi” within the body. They store all of the reserve Qi in the body so that it can be used in times of stress and change, or to heal, prevent illness, and age gracefully.
During the winter months, it is important to nurture and nourish our Kidney Qi; it is the time where this energy can be most easily depleted. Our bodies are instinctively expressing the fundamental principles of winter – rest, reflection, conservation and storage.
The Nei Ching, an ancient Chinese classic, advises people to go to sleep early 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 in the face of cold.
Eating warm hearty soups, whole grains, and roasted nuts help to warm the body’s core and to keep us nourished. Sleep early, rest well, stay warm, and expend a minimum quantity of energy.
Seasonal acupuncture treatments in winter serve to nurture and nourish kidney Qi which can greatly enhance the body's ability to thrive in times of stress, aid in healing, prevent illness and increase vitality.
Here are some dietary suggestions that can lead to an increase in vitality and radiant health
Water - The Kidneys are associated with the Water element. Drink ample water, at room temperature, throughout the day.
Kidney Shaped Foods - Black beans and kidney beans are excellent examples of kidney shaped foods that nourish and benefit Kidney Qi.
Blue and Black Foods - The colors blue and black correspond to the Water element of the Kidneys and are thought to strengthen the Water element. Include blueberries, blackberries, mulberry and black beans in your diet.
Seeds - Flax, pumpkin, sunflower and black sesame seeds relate to fertility and growth which is governed by Kidney Qi.
Nuts - Walnuts and chestnuts have been found to be especially effective for increasing Kidney Qi.
Vegetables - Dark, leafy green vegetables are the best choice for Kidney Qi. Other Kidney Qi boosting veggies include asparagus, cucumbers and celery.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Acufinder.com has good articles for every season this one is written By: Diane Joswick, L.Ac., MSOM
Friday, January 29, 2010
Did you know that the average banana contains a whopping 467 mg of potassium? Potassium is an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Bananas also help protect against stomach ulcers and ease constipation. Plus they are a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. Below is a delicious and healthy recipe from my good friend Hedy, try it out.
Best Banana Bread
2 cups spelt flour
1/2 cup Garbanzo bean flour
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 tbsp apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp apple pie spice
5 ripe bananas (that means each loaf of banana bread you make will have an avg. of 2335 mg of potassium!)
Preheat oven to 350. Mix dry and liquid ingredients separately. Then combine. Fill loaf pan and Bake 60-65 minutes.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
We just marked the 1 year anniversary of President Obama's Inauguration, so everyone has been reviewing his performance during this time. It seems fitting to share a post that was written by a fellow TCM blogger (Chinese Medicine Notes) in Israel when Obama won. The post is 1 year old - see if you think that it was accurate. Yael analyzes our President by using the theory of the five Chinese elements and describes his characteristics in terms of the wood element.
Barak Obama and The Wood Element
You have a new president, Barack Obama. I have to admit, I’m jealous. What charisma! Such promise! I think this is the first time when a political leader has spread so much joy around the world. I watched president Obama in Washington today, and I was thinking, that he is a wonderful example of the Wood element.
Hope, dreams and the man with the plan
President Obama has a plan- for the USA and for the rest of the world.
The fact that he has a plan is so Wood element- being the one in charge, knowing what needs to be done and plan the way to do it. This plan is not designed for war. When we think about the Wood element we sometimes think of the general in the army.
This is not the case. In this case, the plan is directed for a better world.
Barack Obama represents hope.
The fact that he is Afro-American and president is a song of Morrissey coming true.
But also a man who is charismatic, who I’m sure will not remain a man of words, but will also be a man of action. The Wood element gives hope, and president Obama gives hope for millions around the world. How blessed must he be, to be able to inspire so much hope around the world.
When I was a child, I heard a lot about how America is the place where dreams come true. I see now that those aren’t just empty words! Whether we talk about dreams as night or dreams as what you hope and wish for yourself, this is all the Wood element, mainly the Hun.
Wait, there’s one more thing
The ability to start and/or restart is very much the Wood element.
The economy, the fight in terrorism, Iraq- these are just examples of the things that need to be done, and the only way to start dealing with those problems is to start doing it. Doing that first step, taking action. That’s all Wood. President Obama says he’ll do all that. Call me naive, but I believe him.
The other 4 elements
As always, in each person we can see the 5 elements, and Obama is no different.
The Earth element is being expressed with the strong family he has and with the actual change he already made.
The Metal element was expressed in his speech, he talked about his father not being served in certain places 60 years ago, but he- his son- is now president. And as you know, the Metal element is represented, among other things, with the father’s role of giving a deep sense of meaning.
The Water element is being expressed along the way with a lot of ambition, persistence along the way.
The Fire element is being expressed with the wonderful verbal ability and the fact that you immediately love this man.
One man can make a difference
Every now and then you hear of someone who can change the world.
Everyone talks about these new days as historical. Not only because it’s the first black president in America (which is an amazingly wonderful and important thing), but because this is a man who already made a difference.
Barack in Hebrew means lightning ; sparkle, glint, gleam, shine.
President Obama has all those inside of him, and he is able to let it show on the out side. Millions around the world felt it too, otherwise, how can you explain the change that everyone around the world feel right now?
Over to you
So what do you think? President Obama is more Wood or is he more Earth?
Would love to read your thoughts in the comments!
To read more from Yael be sure to visit her blog Chinese Medicine Notes.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
My title, borrowed from Bob Dylan’s 1964 mega hit song applies again today for proponents of Traditional Chinese Medicine. A national survey, published online in the journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that three-quarters of the med students (future physicians) surveyed believe that conventional Western medicine would be improved by integrating more complementary treatments such as: massage, herbal medicine, yoga, acupuncture and meditation.
The data was gathered by researchers at UCLA and UC San Diego from 1,770 surveys received from students at 126 medical schools throughout the United States. There was some hesitation however and students wanted more scientific evidence about the effectiveness of the treatments, not surprising since their training is based on Western studies.
We have come a long way.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Last month I wrote about how alternative medicine has come a long way in the last decade. It seems I am not the only acupuncturist/blogger taking notice. This recent post from the Portland Acupuncture Blog by Amy Chitwood Burslem is exciting and informative.
The global spread of Chinese Medicine is taking place before our eyes! Acupuncture is becoming more accepted into the mainstream every day – it’s a great time to be an acupuncturist, and I can’t wait to see where we are in 10 years.
*If you are interested in more acupuncture articles, go to WellWire.com and look in the ‘News‘ section. WellWire has a stream of new articles and ideas posted daily on the site, written by naturopathic doctors, acupuncture practitioners, top herbalists, and a lot of other amazing authors! I’m honored to be a part of this project and be connected with other practitioners who also love what they do.
*The economy needs acupuncture to heal itself. Well, not exactly in those words, but pretty close! The New York Times posted this article discussing how we need to prevent instead of treating the symptoms of the problem, which is exactly what Traditional Chinese Medicine does. We help prevent injuries to that already unstable knee, take care of the imbalance within the body that is causing digestive problems or difficulty getting pregnant, and preventing colds and coughs. Prevent the crisis you see coming BEFORE it happens!
*I know this has been in the news for a while, but women who are undergoing treatment for breast cancer and are using the drug Tamoxifen often suffer from hot flashes as a side effect. Acupuncture has proven to help with these side effects safely and effectively – read more about the study in which two treatment groups were divided into either the anti-depressant drug Effexor (the standard treatment) or acupuncture alone. The results were that the women in the acupuncture group experienced less side effects and had relief from the hot flashes.
Acupuncture is becoming more widely used, it prevents problems we can’t foresee, and it really works! These are just three great reasons to give acupuncture a try this year!
Sunday, January 17, 2010
A survey done in Hong Kong found that more than half of the cancer patients studied combined Western medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine with the Western treatment they were undergoing (reported in 7th Space Interactive ).
Data was collected from almost 800 cancer patients in Hong Kong. Of those, 42.9% used Western medicine practices for cancer treatment exclusively. The remaining 57.1% used at least one form of Traditional Chinese Medicine and 5 patients used TCM exclusively. Interestingly, many of the cancer patients did not tell their doctors that they were using TCM along with the Western treatments. The Chinese patients were not comfortable talking about their preferences, at least with their doctors who are practicing Western medicine. Some of my patients have experienced the same discomfort talking to their Western medical doctors about alternative treatments, but they are becoming fewer and fewer. Today, more physicians are knowledgeable about TCM, many are comfortable and some are actively curious. I believe that patients have led this change and am happy to see us move toward a more integrative approach to health care.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Here is a great article about acupuncture from the Telegraph Journal.
Stick it to whatever ails you
January 2nd, 2010
What do Cher, Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams and Titan, the world's tallest dog, have in common? Like more than 20 million Americans and Canadians, they're on pins and needles. Acupuncture needles, that is.
This therapy involves inserting hair-thin needles into specific points on the body to treat countless problems, ranging from easing chronic pain and insomnia to reducing the side effects of cancer treatments and helping smokers quit. Acupuncture's been around longer than 60 Minutes has been airing: Archeologists have unearthed 5,000-year-old stone needles in Inner Mongolia.
But we like this popular form of energy medicine because it's backed by an impressive body of 21st-century research. Energy medicine? Yes, it seems to change the electric currents or nerve impulses in your body. And often, acupuncture can help when drugs can't be tolerated or when conventional treatments fail. It's a team player that works well alongside other treatments - an integrated approach used successfully for everything from sinusitis and allergies to infertility, asthma and beyond. One of us - Mehmet - even uses acupuncture as an add-on treatment during open-heart surgery, and the other - Mike - uses it to treat chronic pain as well as pain and nausea post surgery.
Here's what acupuncture has been clearly shown to help so far - other studies are ongoing, so expect to see this list grow:
* Peaceful sleep. Just months ago, a Hong Kong University study of 60 insomniacs found that those who got acupuncture fell asleep faster and were more likely to stay that way (instead of waking up at 4 a.m. to worry about the stock market) than those who got a fake version of the treatment.
* Relief from arthritis. British researchers who analyzed five well-designed studies of 1,334 people with bum knees have confirmed that acupuncture relieves debilitating joint pain related to arthritis.
* Squelching pain. In a landmark German study of 1,162 back-pain sufferers, twice as many got relief from acupuncture as from conventional fixes such as drugs or physical therapy. Acupuncture also has been proven at least as effective as pain drugs not only for treating migraines, but for preventing them, too - making it a great choice if you can't tolerate the side effects of migraine-preventing meds like beta blockers.
*Reducing treatment side effects. Dozens of studies show that acupuncture helps quell pain, nausea, fatigue, hot flashes and dry mouth in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation.
How can one therapy do so much? Eastern and Western medical philosophies merge when a licensed acupuncturist inserts those sterile, disposable needles - painlessly, we promise! - into your skin. Eastern practitioners say the needles remove blockages so that the body's energy, called qi (pronounced "chee") flows freely. Western science shows that acupuncture boosts levels of pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory chemicals called endorphins in the brain and bloodstream. And that changes how your nerve impulses flow.
You don't even have to believe in it for acupuncture to work its magic. Case in point: Veterinarians know that acupuncture often helps ailing horses, goats, cats and dogs (including Titan, the world's biggest Great Dane) in measurable ways - such as being able to walk and run again. With animals, there's no placebo effect. It either works or it doesn't. Same goes for people. Many skeptical consumers who've tried acupuncture as a last resort become believers when they see results.
to read the rest of the article click here
Friday, January 8, 2010
The King of Rock'n Roll he would have been 75 today.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Hot flashes plague many women during menopause and also during breast cancer treatment because the women experience fluctuations in hormone levels. Well, it looks like acupuncture is now recognized as providing relief from this miserable symptom.
The following article is worth reading and sending along to any family or friends who are being treated for breast cancer. The study with cancer patients confirms that acupuncture helps hot flashes and is more effective than other treatments because it has no side effects so women retain their sex drive, energy levels, and clarity of thought.
By Jennifer Warner
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD
A new study shows acupuncture was as good as drug therapy with Effexor (venlafaxine) at easing hot flashes in breast cancer patients, but it also improved sex drive, energy levels, and clarity of thought.
"Acupuncture offers patients a safe, effective and durable treatment option for hot flashes, something that affects the majority of breast cancer survivors. Compared to drug therapy, acupuncture actually has benefits, as opposed to more side effects," researcher Eleanor Walker, MD, division director of breast services in the department of radiation oncology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, says in a news release.
According to the National Cancer Institute, one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Typical treatment for breast cancer involves chemotherapy and five years of hormone therapy that often causes unpleasant side effects, such as hot flashes, night sweats, and decreased sex drive and energy levels.
Researchers say these side effects of breast cancer treatment significantly decrease a woman's quality of life and may cause some women to discontinue treatment.
Acupuncture has already been shown to reduce hot flashes in menopausal women, but researchers say this is the first study to compare acupuncture to drug treatment in easing hot flashes in breast cancer patients. The results appear in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.To read the rest of the article click here
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
I’ve been getting increasing numbers of questions about pet acupuncture. Although this is not something that I practice, I can give you some accurate answers about the procedures.
Q. Do all acupuncturists do pet acupuncture?
A. No. In fact, in most states you must be a veterinarian to treat pets with acupuncture.
Q. Is it legitimate or some weird hoax?
A. It can be very effective. And animals are a wonderful control group to compare with humans because a horse is certainly not going to be talked into experiencing a placebo effect.
Q. Is this some American offshoot of the Chinese practice?
A. No. Pet acupuncture has been and is practiced in China, usually on large animals.
Q. What is pet acupuncture used for?
A. Vets say that it helps reduce pain and swelling, relaxes muscles, clears nasal passages, increases muscle relaxation, reduces nausea, and increases appetite.
Q. What are the risks?
A. There are always risks. Your vet would tell you that there is always a small chance of puncturing a vessel or organ, having an animal escape, or having an unattended animal swallow a needle. Like any other health care procedure, always go to a skilled professional who you trust.
To read some stories about pets and their successful treatments click here
Monday, January 4, 2010
While celebrity watchers immediately think of 2009 as the year of golfer Tiger Woods and his woes, I want to look positively toward the Chinese Zodiac that declares 2010 as the Year of the (other type of) Tiger. For those of us in U.S., our New Year has begun. However in China, they are finishing up the year of the OX. The Year of the Tiger begins on Feb. 14th and ends on February 2, 2011.
Are you a Tiger?
You are if you were born in: 1902, 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, or 1998.
The Tiger symbolizes character traits such as bravery, competitiveness and unpredictability. This courageous and fiery fighter was admired by the ancient Chinese as the zodiac sign that kept away the three main tragedies of a household: fire; thieves; and ghosts. The Tiger has other strong qualities and is: a natural leader; generous, intelligent and always alert. Tigers love to be the center of attention and are very charming, although they have a slight tendency to be selfish. Just as their jungle counterparts rely on instinct, so do individuals born in the Chinese Year of the Tiger. The best jobs for Tigers are those that will lead them towards positions of leadership. Tigers make interesting partners – they are creative, passionate and will never bore their mates. They’re expressive, polite and trustworthy, but watch out. Partners need to have a high energy level and a sense of adventure to keep up with a Tiger.
Fast Facts About Tigers
*Celebrities born under the sign of the Tiger include: Emily Bronte, Leonardo DiCaprio, Karl Marx, Marilyn Monroe, Marco Polo and Queen Elizabeth II.
*Those individuals born in the Year of the Tiger are compatible with the Chinese astrological signs of Horse, Dog, and Dragons. They are incompatible with Goat and Ox.
*Colors are Green, Purple
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Acupuncture Improves Memory and Learning Capacity
By: Diane Joswick, L.Ac., MSOM
From the informative website Acufinder.com
Acupuncture can significantly improve learning and memory capacity that has been impaired by hyperglycemia and cerebral ischemia, according to a new study. The study that was published in the October 2008 issue of the journal, Neuroscience Letters, reported on whether electroacupuncture (acupuncture needles stimulated with a mild electrical current) could improve learning and memory which was typically impaired in diabetic rats with cerebral ischemia.
The effects of the acupuncture treatments were measured with a passive avoidance test, an active avoidance test, the Morris water maze and electrophysiology. Significant improvements were seen with all the tests. The researchers remarked that previous investigations have demonstrated that electroacupuncture can improve primary and secondary symptoms such as peripheral neuropathy and diabetic encephalopathy in diabetic rats. They believe that the positive results of this study warrant further investigation.
Source: Neuroscience Letters Volume 443, Issue 3, 10 October 2008, Pages 193-198 doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2003.10.071