Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
From the blog ~ Life Ain't For Sissies
By ~ Dr. Linda Edelstein
How do we forgive and move on? It is certainly a process that takes time and energy. In the lists below, I have made a small beginning by spelling out what forgiveness is, and what forgiveness is not.
- A method (a process) of coping with your hurt and your experience of being treated poorly.
- For your benefit, not anyone else’s; it is not for the person who hurt you.
- A different way to think about your emotions and actions toward the person who offended you.
- A way to let go of some bitterness.
- A way to feel freer from the hurt and offenses done to you.
“Forgiveness is letting go of negative feelings (i.e. hostility), negative thoughts (i.e. revenge), and negative behaviors (i.e. talking badly) in response to genuine injustice against you. You may, or may not, eventually respond positively toward the offending person.”
Whenever I talk about forgiveness in meetings or in groups, someone always asks, “What if I can’t forget?” or, “Does this mean that I have to excuse the behavior that hurt me?”
Forgiveness IS NOT
- Forgetting – you do not have to make yourself forget the behavior or its consequences.
- Condoning – you do not have to say or believe that the behavior was okay with you.
- Accepting its continuation – you do not have to continue to tolerate the behavior.
- Denying – you do not have to deny or overlook the behavior.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Right now the 2010 team of eight volunteer acupuncturists is in Nepal providing hundreds of treatments and medical support to the people of this region. By the end of their stay in March 2011 the team hopes to have completed 6000 acupuncture and herbal treatments.
This is a great cause and a small tax deductible contribution makes a big difference. Only $10.00 provides for treatment for 10 people. To make a donation or learn more about the Acupuncture Relief Project click here.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Now if only President Obama would give it a try, than maybe we could get better health care coverage for Chinese Medicine here in the U.S..
Read more from China Daily about the growing popularity of acupuncture in Brazil.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Earlier this month ABC 7 did a story on Sloan Kettering Cancer Center where they have been using acupuncture to reduce complications for breast cancer patients. The story followed Diane Miller, her doctors had to remove lymph nodes in her armpit and as a result of her breast surgery she has experienced fluid buildup in her arm. Diane has been receiving regular acupuncture treatments and found it helpful in relieving her symptoms. In the story two Doctors at the cancer center talked about their pilot study and agree that acupuncture maybe a beneficial treatment for cancer patients.
*Check out the story about acupuncture for breast cancer patients.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Many people search the internet for good food choices and recipes. Chinese Medicine believes in eating in harmony with the season. In this post from ~ Are You Ready to Thrive? Becca Seitz, MAcOM, LAc gives some TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) tips for eating well in the fall and winter.
*Eat foods that have been warmed. I know it's tempting to eat that raw salad, but try to avoid it during the cooler months - they're difficult to digest and can cause symptoms such as gas and bloating.
*Eat foods that are "in season." Apples, Pears, Winter Squashes, etc. are all foods that will help strengthen our bodies for the upcoming winter.
*Stews are your best friend. The foods in stews have already been cooked, making it super easy to digest, plus there's nothing better to warm you up on those cooler nights than a steamy bowl of soup. Num!
*Read more ~ Chinese Medicine dietary suggestions and a easy recipe for Stuffed Acorn Squash from Becca
Some of my most popular posts involve acupuncture and celebrities. So I thought it was creative of Lynn Jaffe L.A.c. to write this post about Linsey Lohan. From Acupuncture Health Insights:
*Lynn has some more advice for Lindsey here.
Looking to get a better workout or loose some weight ? Acupuncture might help, from tcmdirectory:
Most of us have heard of the potential benefits of traditional acupuncture with respect to aches and pains, but have you heard that acupuncture may also help support a regular program of physical exercise? Several recent studies have shown promising results in at least two areas related to exercise related pain or discomfort.
*Find out more about the benefits of combining acupuncture with your exercise program.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Is pregnancy not what you expected? Are you surprised by the changes in your body ? Join the crowd. In my Chicago acupuncture practice I see a lot of pregnant women. Most of them have concerns over what is happening to their bodies. Being well informed can ease the fears that sometimes come with pregnancy. The following post by Amy Chitwood Burslem, gives great insights into and suggestions for a healthy happy pregnancy.
“Pregnancy is such a special time.”
It certainly is, I’m not doubting that at all in writing this post. Growing a human inside your own body for 40 weeks is certainly an incredible feat that women have been doing since…forever! While there are often many different ways of getting pregnant, the end result of carrying a child is a journey all on it’s own. Some parts of it are very fun and mind-blowing (seeing the first ultrasound, feeling the baby move), others are a little less exciting to experience (constipation, nausea, breast tenderness) .
There are a lot of books out there that tell you what to expect when you are pregnant, and I found some of them quite scary, personally! Several people with very good intentions recommend the old-school books their mothers gave them, thinking that they would be helpful. In this age, with all of the amazing tools and practitioners that we can If something comes up, I want to be able to look it up in a book, then then ask my practitioner about it. I didn’t want to panic about things that might happen, then not have a solution, which is what I found in a lot of the older books.
What I want to do is talk about a few things that happened to me while being pregnant, and give solutions or at least reasons why they happened. Some of them are a little humorous, and a few things are a little unusual. Either way, it’s all happening with something wonderful to look forward to in the end! Like I keep saying to myself and others: it’s not forever, it’s just for now. And it’s worth it. You’re only pregnant for a few months, and a lot of things that we may consider inconvenient have solutions.
Check out the ABC’s of what I wish I’d known might happen to my body:
Abdominal Pain: I read this in a few books, but it’s still not at all what I expected with my very first pregnancy. Diastasis recti, or abdominal separation, is common in women who have had multiple pregnancies, and none of the mothers I spoke with had experienced it with their first pregnancy. What happens (slowly), is that the muscles that comprise the “six-pack” of the abdomen slowly separate from the midline of the abdomen. This occurs because of the enlarging uterus pushing against the abdominal wall, and the many hormones secreted during pregnancy that cause the connective tissue to relax.
To be fair, it’s not uncomfortable all of the time. It feels like there is a tiny tear in the abdomen, at first on the midline, and now, after 6-7 months, occasionally on the sides. My wonderful midwife, Sara, told me to get a belly support band if the pain continued. However, I’ve found if I just support the belly myself for a bit, it helps with those little pains. There are some really great online resources about what we can do after the baby arrives.
-Be Fit Mom has some great information on the abdominal separation, and I just found this great class that I’m definitely signing up for after birth! It’s pilates for moms, and you bring the baby to class- check out the Mamalates!
-Self-massaging the belly with pregnancy massage oil (I was given Mother’s Special Blend) has also been helpful. Use long strokes from the outside of the ribs to the midline of the body -it’s very comfortable and soothing. Take your time when applying oil or lotion, and try to find an organic oil- what’s going on the outside of your skin also gets to the baby inside!
Breasts. Wow. That’s all I can say. I was told they would become larger, but doubling in size? Really? The breast tenderness many women experience in the first trimester does go away, but can come and go throughout the pregnancy. Leaking small amounts of colostrum from the breasts is also very common in the weeks leading up to birth. However, some women experience it sooner (a friend of mine leaked from 16 weeks on!). You can use breast pads to help with the leaking- there are both reuseable and disposable breast pads. It’s also very important to make sure you are fitted properly for a bra. Things will change the further you are along in your pregnancy, but it’s definitely worth it to have at least one bra that actually fits!
Constipation. This shouldn’t be early practice for birthing, ladies…), and constipation is unfortunately very common at any point in the pregnancy, especially the last trimester. The reason for constipation is that your digestion slows down as the uterus grows and expands in the pelvic cavity and the hormones (mostly progesterone) relax the muscles, which slow down the digestive process. So eat plenty of dried, non-sulphured apricots or plums, and be sure to drink as much water as you can! I know that with some of us, even plain water causes nausea and vomiting, so having a sports drink or electrolyte replenishing drink to get you started and keep you hydrated is fine. If none of these solutions work, be sure to talk to your practitioner about something else that will address your specific needs.
Discomfort in Morning sickness and nausea that lasts for longer than 12 weeks. Sometimes it happens. Several mothers I’ve treated or interviewed experience either nausea or vomiting in the first several weeks, but a few have both for the first 20 weeks and beyond.
I’m one of those who have had it from week six on, but strictly in the morning. I’ve found the best thing to do is to keep snacks on hand at all times, learn what may trigger the nausea (water, coffee….really?!), and be prepared in case vomiting does occur. There are a few teas that really helped, such as Wellness Tea by Earth Mama Angel Baby, and having some tasty ginger products on hand. What has truly helped the most is acupuncture- it’s very safe during pregnancy, and so effective! I recommend weekly treatments to help with any discomforts of pregnancy.
PLEASE let your practitioner know about any discomfort you might be having- you don’t have to suffer through a lot of discomfort through your pregnancy. There are a lot of great options out there that work very well – don’t be afraid to ask around for help, and check out your alternative health care options. Your happiness and well-being through your pregnancy are transferred to the little one growing inside you, so be sure to take good care of yourself at this “very special time.”
Read more from Amy on the Portland Acupuncture Blog.
Friday, October 15, 2010
I was watching Thinintervention on Bravo and saw Jackie (Trainer Extraordinaire) insist that the overweight, exhausted participants run holding the amount of their excess body weight on their shoulders. It was grueling just to watch !
When they were done and finally able to drop the weight to the ground she asked how they all felt getting rid of all that excess weight - "FREE" was the cry. This metaphor works well for mental excess as well. How many pounds of extra weight are you carrying on your shoulders ? This is the time to drop it!
You may not have Jackie Warner cheering (screaming) for you as you make the effort, but we can all survive the boot camp life sometimes puts us through.
Autumn is the time to let it go ! Nature is constantly showing us about the cycle of creation and letting go: Trees in autumn don’t stubbornly hold onto their leaves. Yet how many of us try to defy the cycle and hold onto what we’ve collected over the year - those decayed leaves in the form of old grudges, harsh attitudes, or fears? How can we hope for a healthy new year unless we release the old, and start fresh with renewed focus?
The lesson of this season, more than any other, is to release the waste, the old, and useless aspects of our lives in order to uncover all that is meaningful and possible.
Autumn is a time of bringing in and letting go. The Chinese system uses five elements to assign meaning and describe the workings of the body (see graphic.) Metal is the element the Chinese assign to Autumn. The metal element organs are the large intestine and the lungs. The large intestine is an example of letting go of toxins. The lungs are an example of breathing in, receiving fresh air, and breathing out, getting rid of the carbon dioxide. The balance of bringing in and letting go keeps us healthy.
|The Five Elements|
My food recommendations come from Traditional Chinese Medicine, not Jackie. In addition to these, be sure to eat fiber-rich foods. Good choices for Autumn include:
soups made with vegetables
Try not to be sad about the changing of the seasons. Though we may long for eternal warmth (at least I do), here in Chicago, it’s important to appreciate the energy of each season and to take advantage of the qualities each one offers.
Start today ~ What can you let go of right now ?
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Many times I have written about the many health benefits of ginger on my blog. This study done a few years ago in Taiwan gives hope to hundreds of thousands of young children in impoverished countries. WOW !
Ginger: Tool in Global Fight Against Childhood Killer?
Could one of the most widely used herbs in cooking around the world be just the right medicine for one of the deadliest conditions children face around the world?
That’s the promise pointed at by a study published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
In this study, researchers in Taiwan looked at the role of a ginger extract in blocking the toxin that causes 210 million cases of diarrhea worldwide. The toxin is produced by enterotoxigenic E. coli, which accounts for 380,000 worldwide deaths annually. The study found that zingerone, a compound in ginger, was the likely compound responsible for blocking the toxin.
Further study is needed to confirm these findings and determine appropriate dosage, especially for infants. But this natural wonder offers a very inexpensive alternative to drug therapy and great hope to thousands of children in poor countries around the world.
Source: American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2007
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
"Wise men don't need to prove their point.. men who need to prove their point aren't wise."
Famous sixth century philosopher from China
Monday, October 11, 2010
1* Rush Medical Center, here in Chicago, is offering acupuncture to their pediatric patients with chronic illnesses. These treatments are part of a study to find out how acupuncture might help reduce pain in children and increase their quality of life. The acupuncture is used to relieve pain, nausea and fatigue. to read more click here
2* A German study has found that acupuncture can improve exercise tolerance in patients suffering from chronic heart failure. Dr. Johannes Backs, is the study director at Heidelberg University Hospital in Germany. Dr. Backs said: ‘ This is the first indication that acupuncture may improve exercise tolerance in CHF patients- when given in addition to optimized standard heart failure medication.’ To read more click here.
3* This study about acupuncture has gotten a lot of attention. The research was published in Nature Neuroscience on May 30 2010. This study links acupuncture to the stimulation of a chemical compound called adenosine in the body. Adenosine is a painkiller the body makes when we are injured. to read more click here.
4* Yale University and a company called PhytoCeutica, Inc., recently published a study that has great potential for people who are undergoing chemotherapy. The researcher made a drug from boiling peony root, licorice root, red dates and skullcap root, all Traditional Chinese Medicine remedies that help the gastrointestinal tract, especially when you are suffering from diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. To read more click here.
5* And just last week this landmark study came out - identifying how acupuncture can regulate the stress hormones that impact ovulation and help women become pregnant. To read more click here.
6* Acupuncture has been shown to prompt changes in the "mood regulation" area of the brain, pointing to a possible and potent treatment for depression. At the University of New South Wales, healthy patients underwent MRI brain scans while they received acupuncture. The portions of the brain related to “mood regulation” were affected. To read more click here.
Friday, October 8, 2010
There is no going back from understanding.
I have a new book coming out early next year, What Do I Say?: The Therapist’s Guide To Answering Client Questions. It’s a book for graduate students and early career clinicians in psychology, counseling and social work. I wrote it with Charlie Waehler and we are now in the process of our final, final, almost final edit. Rereading it has made me think about some of the ideas I found compelling in the original writing.
Today, I edited a section that mentions the idea of “unknowing.” The following was the example from our book that illustrates the point and got my wheels spinning.
“There is one lie I used to tell (I don’t say this anymore) to clients in the beginning of therapy. It would occur after we had talked about aspects of their lives that they said they wanted to change, whether it was emotions, personal behaviors or interpersonal relationships. If someone asked, “What if I don’t like the change?” I often responded, “Then you can change back.” This is not true. They certainly can continue to change but the idea of undoing change, as if you were untying a shoe, is equivalent to unknowing. How can you reclaim unknowing?”
There are some many times in life when we learn something that is unwelcome. It could be as small as finding out we are tone deaf. It could be as gigantic as a medical diagnosis or a betrayal. And, surprising, unwelcome news doesn’t have to only come from the outside – it might come from inside ourselves. For example, when we realize that we no longer love our partner, we know that we have reached the end of a job, we finally understand that our parent is an addict, or we comprehend that our child is not the person we had hoped. Information like this changes our world. Just as my client who asked, “What if I don’t like the change?” we can’t go backward, we can’t ‘unknow’. We can’t reclaim innocence.
I’m convinced that the inability to ‘unknow’ is one reason people fight against understanding their situations. They realize that they will have to live with their knowledge and probably act on it, even if that action is acceptance, not leaving, screaming or throwing things. So, it becomes preferable to never gain the knowledge. That is probably what denial is all about. There are things in life that can be undone – hair grows back and possessions can be bought and sold. Other things, if not undone, can be fixed by apologies, better behavior, and future improvement. But certain knowledge exists in that category of, “Oh no, what do I do with this?” That last category compels us forward.
To read more from Dr. Edelstein check out her blog here
What do you think, do you have something you wish you could "unknow"?
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Let me go over some basics. Chinese Medicine encompasses more than just Acupuncture. It also includes Cupping, Moxabustion, Chinese Herbal Medicine and Tuina. I will give a brief description of each.
*Acupuncture – Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles into specific points on the body. For thousands of years, practitioners of TCM have mapped out your body’s 12 main meridians, pathways that carry Qi (vital life energy pronounced ‘chee’) throughout your body. Each meridian is connected to one specific organ, or group of organs, that govern particular bodily functions. Acupuncture points are located along these meridians and, when needles are inserted, they promote your body’s healing abilities by regulating the flow of Qi through these meridians. When Qi flows freely, well-being is restored.
Yin and yang is also essential to understanding Traditional Chinese Medicine. It’s all about balance and when I insert needles at the correct points, balance is restored to your body. If you have a chronic problem, several treatments maybe required. If your problem is acute, a couple appointments may do the trick.
*Chinese Herbal Medicine - Herbal medicine is the use of plants, flowers and minerals for healing. Herbs are highly specific in their actions and possess diverse qualities and properties that target different aspects of an ailment. Herbs are classified as hot or cold, bitter or sweet, and more. When your illness is warmer in nature, cooling herbs are appropriate. As an example, let’s take the common cold. Your cold may have heat signs, such as fever, yellow phlegm and a sore throat. So, your herb formula would include herbs of a colder nature to clear the heat from you. From this simple example, you can see how herbal formulas have to be specifically tailored to the individual needs of each patient. Herbs come in many forms, most popularly pills and teas. When used correctly under the guidance of your TCM practitioner, they are generally safe and rarely have side effects.
*Cupping - Cupping is an ancient technique that involves placing jars on the skin, suctioning out the air and creating a vacuum. The underlying tissue is raised, or sucked, partway into the cup. The purpose of cupping is to enhance circulation, help relieve pain, remove “heat,” and pull toxins from your body’s tissue. You usually feel a tight sensation in the area of the cup and that often feels good and relaxing for aching muscles. Cups are generally left in place for 5-20 minutes. Cupping causes the skin to temporarily turn red, blue or purple, especially if there is an energetic blockage under the cups. The skin discoloration may last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. I have had particular good results for patients with the flu, colds, back pain, muscle pain, red itchy skin conditions, allergies, fevers, aches and pains.
- To check out a photo of an Olympic Athlete with cupping marks, click here.
*Moxabustion - This technique involves burning the herb known as mugwort a safe distance from the skin to warm an acupuncture point. The Moxa plant, in Chinese is called Ai Ye and is made from the wool of the Mugwort plant.
Moxa creates a comfortable sensation of heat. It helps warm the meridians, opens channels, regulates Qi and blood flow in the body, expels cold and dampness and warms the uterus. There are many forms of moxa. It can be a stick, used atop a needle or used in conjunction with ginger or a moxa bowl. Moxa is Yang in nature and is therefore used mainly to restore deficient Yang conditions.
Some of the main disorders treated with Moxa include; asthma, diarrhea, rheumatic pain, abdominal pain, vomiting, certain gynecological disorders (it is often used to improve fertility), and any kind of pain due to cold or deficiency.
In my Chicago practice I will often show my patients, who I think would benefit from moxa, how to use it on their own so they can keep up their treatment at home.
*Tuina - Is a form of Asian bodywork that involves a massage that can sometimes feel like a cross between Shiatsu and acupressure. It's especially effective for joint pain (such as arthritis), sciatica, muscle spasms, and pain in the back, neck, and shoulders. It also helps chronic conditions such as insomnia, constipation, headaches, and the tension associated with stress.
Today the style of Tui Na practiced in China is closer to the work of chiropractors, than to that of massage therapists. Most western trained Tui Na practitioners do not do "bone setting," as do their counterparts in China. It's taught as a separate but equal field of study in schools of Traditional Chinese Medicine, requiring the same level of training as acupuncturists and herbalists.
What would you like to know about Chinese Medicine ? Let me know by commenting below, and I will answer your questions.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Most of us have assumed that stress has a negative impact on ovulation – it makes sense. Well, we were right. But better than being right, a new study identifies how acupuncture can regulate the stress hormones that impact ovulation and help women become pregnant.
From: The PRweb
By: Mairi Campbell - Acubalance Wellness Centre
Dr Paul Magarelli, a reproductive endocrinologist who is presenting at the Vancouver 2010 Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society Meeting (CFAS), has co-authored a groundbreaking study, published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, that identifies how acupuncture regulates the stress hormones that impact ovulation. This coincides with another recent study showing that elevated markers for stress are associated with decreased pregnancy rates.
Dr Paul Magarelli's groundbreaking study, published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, identifies how acupuncture regulates the stress hormones that impact ovulation.
"We've suspected that stress affects fertility for a long time," says Dr Magarelli. "What's new about our study is that it indicates that acupuncture may positively adjust the levels of the stress hormones Cortisol and Prolactin during the stimulation phase of IVF. In other words, acupuncture "corrects" for the negative changes and brings a woman's body into balance, optimizing the chances of conception."
To read the entire post click here
To read more research regarding acupuncture and IVF click here
Posted by Jennifer Dubowsky at 11:47 AM
Labels: Acupuncture, Acupuncture and Fertility, Acupuncture and IVF, Acupuncture Research, Acupuncture/Chinese Medicine Research, Chinese Medicine, Chinese Medicine and Fertility, Chinese Medicine and The Menstrual Cycle, Fertility, Infertility, IVF