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Acupuncture and Endocrine Health

February 9, 2011

 

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

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

What are the endocrine glands and what do they do?
The major endocrine glands include the adrenals, pancreas, pineal, pituitary, reproductive and thyroid glands.

Adrenals – Adrenal glands regulate the body’s response to stress and are made of two parts, each of which secretes a separate set of hormones. The outer part produces corticosteroid hormones that regulate the balance of salt and water, stress response, metabolism, immune function, and sexual development and function. The inner part secretes adrenaline hormones that increase blood pressure and heart rate in response to stress. Over time chronic elevated stress levels can lead to weight gain, decreased resistance to infections, fatigue, muscle aches and low blood sugar.

Pancreas – The pancreas produces insulin and glucagon-two hormones that work together to supply the body`s cells with a constant supply of energy in the form of glucose.

Pineal – The pineal gland is also known as the epiphysis cerebri, epiphysis or the "third eye". It produces the serotonin derivative melatonin, a hormone that affects the modulation of wake/sleep patterns and seasonal functions.

Hypothalamus /Pituitary – A collection of specialized cells that provide the primary link between the endocrine and central nervous systems. Nerve cells and hormones signal the pituitary gland to secrete or suppress the release of various hormone messages to the other glands. The pituitary gland is also responsible for secreting growth hormones.

Reproductive – These glands secrete hormones that control the development of male and female characteristics. In males these glands secrete androgen hormones, most importantly testosterone. In females they produce estrogen, progesterone, eggs and are involved in reproductive functions.

Thyroid – Thyroid hormones control the growth, temperature and function of every cell in the body. The gland acts as the metabolic engine of the body – if it secretes too little hormone the body slows and dies; if it secretes too much the body burns out and dies.
When treating a suspected endocrine condition with acupuncture and Oriental medicine, the acupuncturist seeks the root cause of the patient’s imbalance. The endocrine system is closely tied to the internal balance of the Yin energy and the Yang energy. Imagine that the Yang energy is like gasoline that fuels a car, and the Yin energy is the coolant for the car’s engine. Without the coolant, the engine overheats and begins to burn out. Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine work to make sure the Yin and Yang are equal within the body restoring your essential internal balance. The root of the body’s energy in Oriental medicine is the Kidney meridian. Treatment used to strengthen the Kidney Meridian also restores nourishment to your endocrine glands.
Acupuncture can be used to restore hormonal balance, regulate energy levels, smooth emotions and help manage sleep and menstrual problems. Treatments take all symptoms into account and are aimed at balancing the energy in your body, optimizing your health, restoring immune function and balancing the production and release of hormones through a variety of approaches ranging from acupuncture and herbal remedies to lifestyle changes and special exercises. Many patients benefit from an integrated Eastern and Western medical approach to endocrine health. The strong point of Western medicine is intervention in life-threatening illness, whereas the strong point of Eastern medicine is increased quality of life. Therefore it is optimal to have both Eastern and Western medicine options available for the most comprehensive care.

A healthy endocrine system that continues to secrete adequate amounts of hormones will slow the aging process and keep you vibrant and healthy as you age.
Come in for a consultation to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can assist you with your endocrine health and help you to live a long, healthy life.

Cultivate Optimal Endocrine Health

The endocrine system provides regulation of the body through hormonal secretions. Cultivating your endocrine health combined with proper nutrition and diet can boost energy, improve appetite, reduce insomnia, relieve depression symptoms, improve circulation, relieve muscle aches and assist in recovering from endocrine disorders. One of the easiest ways to look after your endocrine system health is to eat nutritious meals and have a well balanced diet.

A few basic steps you can take to improve your endocrine health are:
Eat Slowly – Don’t rush through your meals. Allow your body to properly digest food reduces after-meal fatigue, boosts your immune system, and enables your endocrine system to properly process nutritional intake.
Exercise – Regular exercise boosts the immune system, improves cardiovascular health, muscle mass, and prevents bone loss. Stress reducing exercises such as yoga, qigong, or tai chi can also be beneficial.
Manage Your Stress – Another important part of maintaining a healthy endocrine system is stress management. Having a lot of stress in your life can cause the overproduction of hormones that can lead to the failure or malfunction of many endocrine organs. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine offers many tools and techniques that can be integrated into your life to keep stress in check and allow you to enjoy a more peaceful life.
Rest – Take a day out of the week for rest and rejuvenation allowing your mind and body recovery time. You will be more productive the rest of the week.
Sleep – Allow six to eight hours of sleep per night in order to reduce stress and keep hormones balanced. The combination of stress and a lack of sleep may cause some of the glands to malfunction. If you are experiencing difficulties sleeping acupuncture has shown great success treating a wide array of sleep problems without any of the side effects of prescription or over-the-counter sleep aids.

Holistic Wellness Center Of Charlotte

Blog post courtesy of Acufinder.com

Rest, Renew and Reflect on Your Health!

January 13, 2011

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. ~ Confucius

Reflection is the process in which an image or idea comes back to us, such as looking in a mirror, rethinking an event, or reviewing an idea. We have the opportunity to take a closer view and reconsider our original thinking.

The new year is a perfect opportunity to reflect and use that knowledge as a catalyst for change. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help achieve the change you seek as it assists in illness prevention, stress relief, minimizes aches and pains, improves energy and you find yourself in better balance. This calm and clarity strengthens your resolve as you start the new year with new goals.

Reflection has other connotations in acupuncture and Oriental medicine. Outer appearances reflect inner health so a well trained practitioner of acupuncture and oriental medicine will observe very different aspects of your appearance than you typically study when you look in the mirror. In acupuncture and oriental medicine, bodily observation includes looking at the face, eyes, body type, demeanor, and tongue. Two thousand years ago, when acupuncture and Oriental medicine was in its infancy, there were no x-ray machines or the very sophisticated magnetic imaging of today. These healers and diagnosticians depended on their finely tuned observational skills in order to assess their patients. Some of those early ideas seem simplistic today but many elements of diagnosis persist because outer appearances do provide clues to a person’s health.

Stick Out Your Tongue
Oriental medicine has used tongue diagnosis for thousands of years. An experienced practitioner can look at your tongue and begin to understand your internal problems but you can also be aware of information that your tongue provides. Look for changes in the color of your tongue, teeth marks, shape, and coating. These changes may indicate that something is amiss. A healthy tongue is naturally the same pink-red color as your lips. Someone who is very stressed or irritable may have a tongue with a red tip and sides. Teeth marks may indicate a deficiency or insomnia. Note any changes in the shape of your tongue. If it’s too pale, puffy or red it may indicate an imbalance.

Healthy tongues have a thin white coating. If you see a thicker coating developing, you may be catching a cold or flu. If the coating appears yellowish the illness has a hotter nature and you can also expect a sore throat and yellow phlegm. If the coating is thick and white, this indicates a cold with chills and clear/white phlegm but without a sore throat. So if you see a thick coat developing take precautions, rest, sleep more, and keep warm.

Seasonal acupuncture treatments serve to nurture and nourish your kidney Qi which can greatly enhance the body’s ability to thrive in times of stress and aid in healing, preventing illness and increasing vitality. Call for your appointment today and let us help you prepare for the year ahead!

Difficulties Sleeping? Resolve to Put Insomnia to Rest!

Our society puts a premium on our waking hours and has the tendency to underestimate the importance of a full-night’s sleep. Often, good sleep hygiene is an afterthought for many people. Millions of people are besieged with insomnia and look for quick fixes instead of exploring the root causes of the problem.

Evening is a time to allow our minds and bodies to turn inward to our subconscious. Excessive lighting at night, evening shift work, evening computing, video games, television and late-night eating all serve to counteract the body’s natural rhythms. It’s no wonder people have trouble sleeping. Exposure to early morning light and dusk helps to regulate sleep hormones in the body. Rather than embrace nighttime we tend to let our minds wander from one element of stress to another keeping us up for hours or perhaps an entire evening. We are then forced to approach the new day without having benefited from the regenerative powers that night time brings.

In Oriental medicine sleep occurs when the yang energy of the day folds into Yin – nighttime. Yin energy of the body is cooling and restorative. It is the time of day when our bodies turn inward and regenerate. This is the time we dream and explore the caverns of our unconscious mind. Conversely, daytime is yang, which is expansive. We expend the energy we have built up from the process of sleeping. Together, this is the cycle of yin and yang.

To apply the concept of yin and yang to your everyday life try eating your last meal at least three hours before going to bed. If you are a hot excess type, you can cool your body down by avoiding hot and spicy food and drink. Avoid alcohol, coffee, chocolate any other stimulants, especially late in the day.

Help circulate your body’s energy by working out or by gentle exercising. Build your body’s nutritive aspect by eating marrow based soups and stews, dark pigmented vegetables and fruits. Avoid overworking or over rumination as well.

Meditation is an invaluable tool to help your brain unwind. Helping the body create a sense of calm meditation can reduce stress, increase feelings of well-being, and improve overall health. It is of specific use to help one increase alertness, relaxation and reflection even in “waking” states. Meditation is best practiced during the day to help ease your sleep patterns at night.
One contributor to insomnia, stress, weakens the function of the liver, which in turn affects the health of your nerves. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine have a calming effect on the nervous system clearing obstructions in the muscle and nerve channels, assisting the flow of oxygen-enriched energy and relaxing the system. Common noted benefits include deeper breathing, improved digestive abilities, better sleeping patterns, and a general sense of well being.

Energy Renewing Ear Massage

Ear Massage is an extremely relaxing and effective therapy aimed at reducing stress, promoting wellbeing and addressing various health issues. It can be enjoyed by all and promotes a deep sense of peace and tranquility. Ear massage triggers the release of the body’s natural painkillers, endorphins. Studies have demonstrated that ear stimulation increases levels of endorphins in both the blood and cerebrospinal fluid.

Ear acupuncture is used throughout the world to calm anxiety, manage pain, reduce substance cravings and assist in the detoxification of addictive substances.
Here is a great ear massage that you can do for yourself or your loved ones:
1. Rub in small circular motions with your thumbs inside the widest upper part inside the ears, holding them from outside with the index and middle fingers.
2. Use your index finger to massage inside the smaller crevices if your thumbs don’t fit and along the front of your ear where it attaches to the head.
3. Lastly, massage the earlobes by gently pulling them down and also making circles with your thumb and index finger.

 

Tips for a Restful Night


Practicing good sleep hygiene and keeping your body in sync with the rhythm of day and night can help your body cope with sleep deprivation give it an opportunity to get stronger and heal.
By implementing just a few of the suggestions you should notice a great improvement in your sleep and how you function in the daylight hours.
• Maintain a routine sleep schedule
• Make your bedroom a sanctuary. Keep it dark, cool, and quiet
• Establish a sense of safety with your surroundings
• Reduce nicotine, caffeine and alcohol use
• Avoid rigorous exercise 3-5 hours prior to bedtime
• Avoid heavy meals near bedtime
• Position clock away from the bed
• Limit television and computer use to early evening

Holistic Wellness Center Of Charlotte

First visit is free for the month of January worth $12o
10% of profits go to the local Charlotte charity – GirlsOnTheRun!

 

This newsletter was provided by acufinder.com

Treating Holiday Stress and Depression with Acupuncture

December 18, 2010

Qi Mail™ Provided by Acufinder.com
The Acupuncture Newsletter
December 2010

According to Oriental medicine, the cold months of winter are the perfect time to recharge your battery and generate vital energy, or 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.

Ruled by the water element, winter 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.

Winter is the season where all living things slow down, conserve their energy and prepare for the outburst of new life and energy in the spring.

Eat warm hearty soups, whole grains, and roasted nuts to help warm the body’s core and to keep nourished. Sleep early, rest well, stay warm, and expend a minimum quantity of energy.
While optimal health and well-being in the winter season calls for rest, energy conservation and the revitalization of body and spirit, your holiday activities may have a different agenda.
The holidays can be filled with a dizzying array of demands, visitors, travel and frantic shopping trips. For many people, it is also a time filled with sadness, self-reflection, loneliness and anxiety. Compound the usual seasonal pressures with the constant barrage of bad economic news and you may find this to be one of the most emotionally trying times of the year.

Stress, anxiety and depression can cause a disruption in the flow of vital energy, or Qi, through the body. These energetic imbalances can throw off the immune system or cause symptoms of pain, sleep disturbances, abnormal digestion, headaches, and menstrual irregularities, and, over time, more serious illnesses can develop.

Acupuncture treatments can correct these imbalances and directly affect the way your body manages stress and your mental health. 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.

 
Studies Show Acupuncture Effective for Stress and Depression

Since the early seventies, studies around the globe have suggested that treating mental health disorders with acupuncture has a positive and holistic effect on depressed patients, particularly when used in combination with psychotherapy and herbal treatments.
Psychologist John Allen, from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and Acupuncturist Rosa Schnyer, conducted the very first pilot controlled study on treating depression symptoms with acupuncture in the Western scientific world. In a double blind randomized study, 34 depressed female patients who met the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria were assigned to one of three treatment groups for eight weeks.

The first group received acupuncture treatment specifically tailored to their depression symptoms. The second group received a general acupuncture treatment not specific to depression, and the third group was placed on a waiting list for acupuncture treatment, but received no treatment. Those in the tailored acupuncture treatment group experienced a significant reduction in symptoms, compared to those in the non-specific treatment group. Moreover, over 50% of the participants no longer met the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for depression after the study.

Study findings suggest that using acupuncture alone could be as effective as other types of treatments for relieving depression symptoms typically used in Western medicine, such as psychotherapy and drugs.

Numerous studies have demonstrated the substantial benefits of acupuncture specifically in the treatment of stress.

In 2008 Anesthesia & Analgesia published a study finding that an acupuncture point alleviated preoperative anxiety in children while a 2003 study conducted at Yale University showed that ear acupuncture significantly lowered the stress level of the mothers of children that were scheduled for surgery.

A German study published in Circulation found acupuncture significantly lowers both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The extent of the blood pressure reductions by acupuncture treatments was comparable to those seen with anti-hypertensive medication or aggressive lifestyle changes, including radical salt restrictions.

The University of New Mexico measured the affects of acupuncture on 73 men and women with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The researchers found the acupuncture treatments to be as helpful as the standard treatment of cognitive behavioral therapy.

If the stress or depression in your life is throwing you off balance, consider acupuncture therapy to regain peace of mind, regulate your immune system and stay healthy.

 
Three Super-Stress Busting Foods

Over 1400 chemical changes occur as stress hormones, such as cortisone, deplete important nutrients such as B vitamins, vitamin C and magnesium from the body.
Here are three foods that can replenish your supply of these nutrients and enhance your ability to manage stress:

Cauliflower – Cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, and kale are chock full of stress-relieving B vitamins. Cauliflower is also one of the very best sources of vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid.
Pantothenic acid helps turn carbohydrates and fats into usable energy and improves your ability to respond to stress by supporting your adrenal glands. Fatigue, listlessness, numbness and tingling or burning pain in the feet are all indications that you may need more vitamin B5 in your diet.

Salmon – Salmon is a healthy and delicious way to get your dose of B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamin B12 supports production of red blood cells, allows nerve cells to develop properly and is essential to the synthesis of the “happy” brain chemical serotonin.
Among the many benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, a 2003 study published in Diabetes & Metabolism found that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids significantly reduced the stress response and kept the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine in check.

Blackberries – Blackberries are jam packed with Vitamin C, calcium and magnesium. Vitamin C has shown to be a powerful stress reducer that can lower blood pressure and return cortisol levels to normal faster when taken during periods of stress.
Blackberries have more than double the amounts of vitamin C, calcium and magnesium than their popular cousin, the blueberry.

Holistic Wellness Center Of Charlotte

10% of profits go to the local Charlotte charity – GirlsOnTheRun!

The Adrenal Glands

October 18, 2010

What is the adrenal glands?

Ad-renal means on top of the renals (kidneys). The adrenal gland is an endocrine gland that is split up into two parts: the adrenal cortex and the adrenal medulla. The adrenal medulla secretes nor-epinephrine and epinephrine. The cortex secretes cortisol, aldosterone, adrenosterone, and DHEA. The adrenal glands are known as the ‘fight or flight’ glands.  The adrenal glands release cortisol in a circadian cycle. The levels are high in the morning (normally around 7am) to wake us up and then are lower at night so we can fall asleep.

So if I avoid being chased by a tiger, then surely my adrenal glands are fine.

Unfortunately, the adrenal glands does not recognize good or bad stress. Even when you are sitting at home watching TV, the adrenal glands still releases hormones to help you focus. In our fast paced lives,the amount of stress we put ourselves under whacks the adrenals and can thus cause multiple conditions.

Immune health

White blood cells follow the cortisol cycle and flow in and out of the spleen and bone marrow for instructions or regulation. If the cortisol rhythm is thrown off so will this immune rhythm.

Thyroid function

Cellular levels of cortisol regulate thyroid hormone production. Hypothyroid symptoms such as low body temperature and fatigue are normally due to an adrenal maladaptation.

Joint and muscle function

Due to the adrenals job in releasing corticosteroids, weak adrenals are known to compromise the healing time for our joints and muscles. Most adrenal supplements 50 or so years ago were invented specifically for athletes for tissue and joint repair. This is where the link between the adrenals and fibromyalgia comes in.

Sleep quality

If the cortisol levels are reversed (which happens regularly) we see patients who cannot get up in the morning and cant go to sleep at night.   

 

These are some medical symptoms associated with the adrenals:


  • Fatigue
  • Migraines
  • Muscle pain
  • Low body temperature
  • Joint pain
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Osteoporosis
  • Insomnia
  • Poor memory
  • Inability to handle stress
  • Osteoporosis
  • Low libido

 

In our next  blog post we will discuss how acupuncture, herbology, nutritional supplementation and Diet can help treat the adrenal glands.

Acupuncture News!

September 15, 2010

Acupuncture and ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common behavioral conditions among children. In the United States alone, approximately 4.5 million children between the ages of 5-17 years old are diagnosed with ADHD each year. Research indicates that when treating ADHD, a multidisciplinary approach is most effective; combining behavioral therapy, exercise, dietary changes and medication. Now acupuncture can be added as one of the treatment methods that can successfully manage ADHD.

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) is a condition of the brain that makes it difficult to concentrate or control impulsive behavior.

Children with ADHD generally struggle with paying attention or concentrating. They can’t seem to follow directions and are easily bored or frustrated with tasks. They also tend to move constantly and are impulsive, not stopping to think before they act. These behaviors are generally common in children. But they occur more often than usual and are more severe in a child with ADHD. The behaviors that are common with ADHD interfere with a child’s ability to function at school and at home.

Adults with ADHD may have difficulty with time management, organizational skills, goal setting, and employment. They may also have problems with relationships, self-esteem, and addictions.

Treatment for ADHD

Treatment for ADHD is multifaceted. It consists of ADHD medications, behavioral therapy and lifestyle and dietary modifications. ADHD is best managed when families, educational and health professionals work together to meet the unique needs of the child or adult who has ADHD to help them learn to focus their attention, develop their personal strengths, minimize disruptive behavior, and become productive and successful. Acupuncture is an excellent addition to any treatment plan as it is used to help the body restore balance, treating the root of the disorder, while also diminishing the symptoms of ADHD.

What acupuncture can help with:

• Improve focus and attention

• Manage moods

• Reduce fidgeting

• Lower hyperactivity

• Augment mood management techniques

• Enhance concentration

If you would like to learn more about acupuncture in the treatment for ADHD or one of the childhood ailments listed below, please call for a consultation.

Treating Children with Acupuncture

Children respond extremely well to acupuncture treatments for many conditions. When treating children, their comfort is of the utmost importance. Treatments tend to be shorter and acupuncture points are usually stimulated gently with very thin needles or with other techniques that do not involve needles.

Needle-free acupuncture treatments may include stroking, rubbing, tapping, and pressing the acupuncture points with tools such as brushes, rollers and blunt probes.

Common childhood conditions treated with Oriental Medicine:

• Failure to thrive syndrome

• Weak constitution

• Colic, excessive night crying, temper tantrums

• Indigestion, GERD, constipation, and diarrhea

• Night terrors

• Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

• Allergies, asthma

• Cough and colds

• Eczema and hives

• Ear infections

• Bedwetting

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

Information Provided by Acufinder.com

Are My Supplements Any Good?

September 15, 2010

What is the most important part of a car?  The normal response would be “the engine.”  Take the engine out of the car and then how far are you going to get?

 

Take the cogs out of a watch? How good is a watch then?

 

Take beta carotene out of a carrot, how good is the beta carotene now?

 

This is what pharmaceuticals and 98% of all supplement manufacturers do. They take out the nutrient/vitamin that is thought of as the most powerful and then increase the grams of the “isolated fragment,” to create ‘high potency’ vitamins.  At first you would think, “That’s a pretty clever idea!” But the car without the engine, or even the engine without the frame and tires, will not get you far! We are the sum of our parts. Nature has perfectly made fruits, vegetables, and herbs which do not need to be manipulated.

 

Did you know there are over 200 nutrients, phyto-chemicals, vitamins and minerals inside a carrot? When we take beta carotene out of this natural envelope the body sees it as a foreign element. We are now finding that beta carotene is much stronger when left in its natural envelope with the other 200 nutrients a carrot contains. These other nutrients serve to balance each other out and reduce any possible side affects. It is the whole carrot and all of its synergistic cofactors which make beta carotene famous! Think of beta carotene as a famous movie star that can’t really act. It was beta’s agents and great marketing that made her powerful and rich!

 

Ephedra is a drug that is now banned by the FDA and can only be used by Chinese herbalists. Why? We use the whole ephedra leaf or stem. Not just the isolated chemical that stimulates rapid biochemical changes within the body – that is the substance that is banned. When ephedra was taken out of its natural envelope and its potency increased in the laboratory -  side affects occurred.

 

We all know who wins in a fight between enriched flour versus whole flour. Taking the surface layer off the flour is once again another great example of humans trying to better something that is already perfect. These are the same things that your supplement companies do to create ‘mega dosage’ vitamins.

 

It is common knowledge that eating organic whole foods is our best dietary option. So its now time to use this same notion when we chose our supplements and herbs.  Whole supplements may have small grams on their labels but with all of the other nutrients, phyto-chemicals, trace minerals and synergistic co-factors there is no need to increase the grams. These other nutrients increase the bioavailability of the desired substance thus giving the cells a chance to heal. High grams are just that – heavy. Isolated substances change the biochemistry too rapidly, do not heal tissue, and are not anywhere near as bio-available as whole foods or herbs.

 

Please don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with the human desire to improve and invent new things. But the old saying ‘don’t change something if it is not broken,’ needs to be applied here. The environment, our bodies, herbs and foods are finely tuned.  Choosing whole food supplements is the way to go.

Emotions And Our Health

August 29, 2010

We all know that we need to keep our emotions in check to stay healthy. In today’s fast paced, highly strung society, this can be hard to do. Most parents have no help at home. People work overtime just to provide for their families. The levels of stress within our society are immense. In Chinese medicine, there are 7 major emotions that are the main pathogenic factors of endogenous diseases. They are: grief, shock, joy, worry, pensiveness, anger and fear. It must be said that under general circumstances, these specific emotions will not cause disease. It is only when these emotions become constant ‘stimulants’ that they can then instigate endogenous diseases. Through thousands of years of clinical evidence, Chinese medicine practitioners know that specific emotions will effect different organs.

Anger and the Big, Bad Liver
This is one we all have seen before: the college frat boy stumbling out of the bar after a few too many drinks. Someone says to the boy: ‘you look nice tonight.’ The boy completely misunderstands the compliment and rages into a massive fit, thinking the person said he looks like Vanilla Ice tonight! This is a great example on how a certain emotion can stem from an organ imbalance. Opposite to this, anger can also cause a liver imbalance. So emotions can be caused by an organ imbalance or can cause the imbalance themselves; either way, this often leads to self-perpetuating cycles. Other emotions associated with the liver are irritability, depression, and  mood swings. When a bout of anger occurs, the circulation and Qi will rise to the head, resulting in red eyes, headaches, and sometimes dizziness. When someone has repressed anger, the circulation and detox pathways in the liver become ‘stuck’ and this can cause depression or menstrual disorders.

angry_baby_head

The Kidney Is Scared!
Fear is related to the kidneys. When you were young, do you remember being terrified at that monster under the bed? In children, this can manifest as bed-wetting, which most psychologists have regarded as signs of anxiety. Just to clarify… there were never any monsters under my bed!

The Grad School Student’s Pensive And Worried Spleen
I’m currently over-thinking as I write this blog post. As a result my spleen is not too happy. The spleen controls the level of our intellect and thus when we overthink or worry excessively, the spleen will be impacted. Because the spleen’s major role is instigating the breakdown of food and its nutrients, when the spleen is injured, symptoms such as fatigue, loose stools, poor appetite, and bloating after eating will occur.

studying

I’m Shocked You’re Such a Killjoy!
Sorry to say, but even joy in excess can cause endogenous problems. The disorders from this emotion are normally caused by the imbalance that comes from too much stimulation or excitement, or even sudden good news that can cause a shock to the system. Have you ever heard of the person having a heart attack upon realizing they has won the lottery? Upon moments of shock, the fight or flight response is regulated by the adrenal glands. The excessive release of adrenaline will stimulate the heart to palpate faster. Over a period of time, it is obvious that both shock and excessive joy can cause further medical issues.
A graduation or marriage is obviously a happy occasion, but also a source of stress. Someone who is always ‘on the go’ living a life of excess can eventually develop heart imbalances such as anxiety, insomnia, and palpitations.  So try not to get married every week and graduate every other week!

Grief And The Lung
The famous Deepak Chopra discuses how asbestos and grief affect the body in similar ways on the quantum level. The feeling is of a dense and heavy sensation in the heart ribs and lungs. Many patients feel grief as physical sensations. Aside from the feeling of heaviness in the chest, patients notice painful rib-cages, frequent sighing, or a lump in the throat. In Chinese medicine, grief is the underlying cause for most chronic lung problems and it is quite common for symptoms to appear within the first year after losing a loved one.

 

Kristien Boyle L.Ac.,MSOM.,Dipl.O.M.,Dipl.C.H.,Dipl.Ac. has just opened The Holistic Wellness Center of Charlotte. Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Herbology services are available.