Posts Tagged ‘acupuncture’

Mellow Yellow

 

 

Turmeric. It’s the spice that makes your curry yellow. This little yellow root is a powerhouse of healing properties. So many, in fact, that it would be hard to list them all.

 

Benefits

 

 

* Anti-inflammatory
* Antibiotic
* Skin conditions- eczema, psoriasis, and hives
* Pain reduction
* Metabolism
* Blood detoxifier
* Helps cough and asthma
* Gas & bloating
* Speeds up wound healing
* Heals stomach ulcers
* Prevents cancer
* Gallstones
* Slows progression of Alzheimer’s and MS
* Reduces side effects of chemotherapy
* Lowers cholesterol

 

Fresh is always best. But powdered and capsules will still help. Turmeric can be added to soups, stews, grilled veggies, tofu scramble, and, of course, curry. Juice a small amount with some cucumber, carrots, lemon and lettuce for a delicious, immune boosting treat every morning. You can also make into a paste with aloe vera to reduce itching from bug bites and chicken pox.

 

Isn’t it amazing how the things we have in our kitchen cabinet can keep us healthy? Every time we cook, we have the opportunity to improve our quality of life. Food can really be thy medicine.

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

The Big C

 

 

So you’ve gotten the big C diagnosis. Now what? Whether you decide or not to go with Western treatments- surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation, Chinese medicine and nutrition should be a part of your healing plan.

 

Chinese medicine can help with any cancer related symptoms and side effects associated with chemotherapy and radiation, including: nausea/vomiting, burns, weakened immunity, stress, anxiety, detoxification, pain, bruising, hair loss, skin issues, hot flashes, fatigue, digestive issues, loss of appetite, and anemia.

 

You don’t have to take my word for it. Even the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has proven that acupuncture used on cancer patients improved their immune system response. Their studies also showed that acupuncture reduced pain levels in some cancer patients. Clinical trials performed all over the world have determined that acupuncture reduces nausea and vomiting caused by chemo and anesthesia.

 

What can you do?

 

Eat & Drink


* Immune boosting- astralgus root, probiotics, lemon, aloe vera, bell pepper, kiwi

 

* Nausea- ginger, mint, dry crackers, apples

 

* Calming- beets, radish, carrots, yams, melons

 

* Detoxifying- dandelion greens, cucumber, kale, beets, seaweed, tumeric, garlic

 

Avoid


* Sugar- cancer loves to feed on sugar.

 

* Dairy- casein, which is a milk protein, encourages tumor growth.

 

* Non- organic- pesticides and steroids cause and promote cancer.

 

* Toxins found in beauty and household cleaning products.

 

Most importantly, do what makes you happy. Find support from people who will keep you on track. All experts agree that having a positive outlook on your diagnosis and treatment is vital to recovery.

 

These tips are meant for prevention as well. Whether or not you’ve gotten diagnosed with cancer, you can use this opportunity to take charge of your health and even come back healthier than ever before.

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

Sleep, Glorious Sleep

 

In the hectic, fast paced world we live in today, most of us don’t get enough sleep. Sleep is key to a healthy body and mind. Keep in mind that alcohol, caffeine, sleeping pills and some medications can lead to unrestful sleep.

 

If you’re tired after a solid 8 hours, something else may be going on with your health.

 

Lack of quality sleep can lead to:

Weight gain: Chronic insomnia can cause weight gain by elevating cortisol (stress hormone) levels, which stimulate fat production. How we process and store carbohydrates can be compromised as well.

 

Cardiovascular Health: Insomnia may cause hypertension and irregular heartbeat.

 

Poor Memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory.

 

Mood: Lack of sleep can cause anxiety, irritability, and poor concentration.

 

Illness: Poor sleep weakens our immunity, make you more prone to illness. Getting enough rest is also vital to fighting cancer.

 

So turn off the tv and computer early, take a relaxing bath, drink some herbal tea, and get in to bed.

 

Sweet dreams.

 

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

Happiness. Your Goal for 2013.

 

 

I’m writing this article based on a FRED talk I’m giving tonight. I realized 6 minutes isn’t enough to share all of these great tips, so here they are on my site. Have you made any resolutions? Is the thought of committing to them stressing you out? Then this list is perfect for you. Now and throughout the year.

First, I’d like to point out that stress makes you sick. It keeps you awake at night. Makes you crave the bad stuff even more. It even makes you gain weight. I’m not saying don’t put pressure on yourself to do better and more. But setting yourself up for failure and then beating yourself up isn’t going to make you healthier. And definitely not happier.

 

* Make realistic goals for the year. Make goals that you know you can keep. You know what you’re capable of. If going cold turkey on alcohol, sugar, or coffee or maybe all of the above terrifies you, then don’t do it. Pick one thing you want to give up. Commit to it daily. Set the intention to keep this commitment every morning. For all of you twelve steppers reading this- one day at a time does help. Thinking- “I can never have another pint of ice cream ever again in my entire life” will make the most sane of us go crazy.

 

* Want it. You’ve got to really, really want it. What ever your goal or commitment is- every cell in your body should crave it. Whether it’s adding a daily yoga practice or giving up meat. People come to me all the time to get over an addiction. Unfortunately, most of them aren’t really ready. They usually do it out of pressure from loved ones. If that’s the case, you might not even last a day. A great example- someone came in to quit smoking a few weeks ago. They called me the day after their first treatment to tell me acupuncture wouldn’t work for them. They had a cigarette on the way home from my office. They hadn’t even gone 2 hours. They still had cigarettes in the car. So of course acupuncture didn’t help. It reduces cravings, detoxes your body quickly, and helps you deal with any emotional stuff that comes up. But you have to be ready to let go. So, if you really want to give something up, don’t have any of it in your home. Throw it away. Give it to a neighbor. Make that commitment.

 

* Stop buying stuff. Yes, I said it. Stop shopping. Buy only what you need. If you see something you like, wait a week. Stop buying stuff. Yes, I said it. I know that’s considered blasphemy in our culture. But it can be done. Stop shopping. Obviously, uy what you truly need. If you see something you like, wait a week. If you can’t stop thinking about it, then indulge. Give away whatever is in your home that doesn’t inspire you. Go through your closets and cabinets. If you don’t love it or haven’t worn it, it’s time to say goodbye. Many charities will even come pick up for you.

 

* Eat more plant based, locally grown whole foods. I don’t consider this a diet. It’s a lifestyle. Going to your local farmers market or even having organic produce delivered to your doorstep by a CSA- Community Supported Agriculture. You can find recipes for anything online. Start today. Why not? Your body, the planet, and our fellow earthlings will all thank you.

 

*Give yourself a treat. I’m not talking about cupcakes or a third cocktail. I’m talking a massage or a day off in the middle of the week. Visit your best friend. Go to your favorite restaurant or yoga class regularly. You deserve it.

 

* Volunteer. A lot of my readers already do this. There’s nothing more fulfilling than helping others. Whatever your cause. Getting out of your head and giving back will definitely bring more joy in to your life. It helps gain perspective on our own lives. An added benefit is that we end up learning so much. So whatever your passionate about- protecting children, the environment, animals, find a group. Maybe use your expertise to help your favorite cause.

 

*Consume less caffeine and sugar. They might make you feel great in the moment. But believe me there are consequences. No way around it. The crash can make you cranky, tired, and want more of it. So why not just stay away? I have to say that all that I’ve written, the one on coffee upset the most people. It wasn’t the ones on giving up plastic, meat, or sugar. It was coffee. Luckily, I’ve never had it. But I can relate when it comes to sugar. Especially after all the desserts I had in the last week.

 

*Nature. Most of us are so busy; we don’t take the time to get outside. Which is really sad for any of my followers living in southern California. We can comfortably be outside 300 days out of the year. Go on a hike. Get to the beach. Or just go to your local park in put your bare feet in the grass.

 

* Forgive yourself and others. Do a meditation apologizing to yourself and the person. I like this guided meditation to help. Visualize the person you feel has hurt you. Forgive them. Then apologize to them for any harm you may have caused them. Then forgive yourself. Pick one person or event a night. See how the weight has been lifted.

 

What I want you to end with this thought- what are you wiling to change in 2013?

 

Live natural. Live Well.

 

Heather

Adrenal Fatigue

 

Do you feel tired all the time? Do you get plenty of sleep and still don’t feel rested. Do you have difficulty focusing? You might be experiencing adrenal fatigue.

Your adrenals are two small glands that sit on top of your kidneys and give you energy. They regulate your stress response and secrete hormones, including aldosterone.

The adrenal glands can become fatigued for several reasons: Lack of quality sleep, stress, medications, alcohol and drug use, caffeine, and more.

Some adrenal fatigue symptoms

 

1. Chronic fatigue
3. Insomnia
4. Easily overwhelmed
5. Craving salty and/or sweet foods
6. Sensitivity to light
7. Difficulty concentrating
8. Poor digestion
9. Irritable bowel syndrome
10. Frequent Colds
11. PMS and Menopause
12. Low blood pressure
13. Sensitivity to cold
14. Allergies
15. Arthritis
16. Anxiety, Panic Attacks, and/or Depression
17. Low libido
18. Dark circles under the eyes

 

Does this sound like you? Chinese medicine and nutrition can help heal your adrenal glands. Some lifestyle changes are necessary as well. Find ways to reduce stress, get enough quality sleep, stay hydrated, reduce your coffee intake, and you’re on your way.

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

Food Allergies. Your Questions Answered.

 

The incidence of food allergies is on the rise. Mostly likely you or someone close to you suffers from some level of food sensitivities. Many of my patients come in for this very problem. Many of them don’t realize allergies might be causing or contributing to other health issues. (See list below.)

 

Why is this increase occurring?

 

I’ve found through research and clinical experience different reasons. A few of them include:

1- Over-consumption of or too early exposure (under 6) to high allergen foods.
2- Genetically modified foods.

3- Side effects of certain vaccines.

4- Weakened immunity, if not breast-fed or exposed to high allergen foods through breast milk.

5- Overuse of antibiotics- either as medication or in non-organic animal products.

Eight foods or groups of foods cause about 90% of all food allergies.

 

* Dairy products

* Eggs

* Shellfish (shrimp, crab, lobster)

* Fish (tuna, salmon, cod, halibut)

* Tree nuts (almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts)

* Peanuts

* Soy

* Wheat

 

One of the tricky things about food allergies is that they don’t always show up how you’d expect. Not everyone responds with an upset stomach, digestive complaints, or fatigue after eating. This is not something many doctors know, unfortunately and they may be slow to diagnose.

 

Food allergy symptoms

 

• Digestive: Diarrhea, Gas, Abdominal Pain, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Ulcers, Gallstones, Leaky Gut Syndrome, Celiac Disease, Weight Gain

• Emotional: Depression, ADD/ADHD, Autism, Panic Attacks, Anxiety

• Skin: Eczema, Psoriasis, Rosacea,

• Immunity: Ear Infections, Asthma, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Frequent Flus & Colds

• Other: Infertility, Migraines & Headaches, Multiple Sclerosis, Epilepsy

 

If you have any of the above health concerns, please consult a qualified physician for diagnosis and treatment. There is hope! Healing or minimizes food allergies is now possible. Abstaining from those foods, acupuncture/acupressure, detoxification, proper nutrition, and appropriate supplementation are a part of the protocol. Boosting your immune system, cleansing your body of toxins, and healing any damage done to your digestive tract from the exposure to allergen foods will bring you optimal wellness. The result will most likely be at minimum a reduction in allergy symptoms, and at best a complete elimination of your allergies.

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

Simple Steps to Healing Leaking Gut

 

Leaky gut? Sounds pretty gross, doesn’t it? Well it is. And it’s just what it sounds like, too. The intestines become permeable, allowing toxins, bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites to enter the blood. Ewww! Leaky gut can cause a whole host of health issues, usually misdiagnosed and mistreated. (See symptoms below.)

 

Causes of leaky gut

 

* Gluten intolerance & food sensitivities
* Use of antacids, antibiotics & non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs- Ibuprofen, aspirin, Naproxen)
* Smoking
* Over consumption of alcohol
* Parasites
* Candida
* Regularly overeating

 

Symptoms of a leaky gut

 

* Digestive complaints, including: gas, constipation and/or diarrhea
* Chronic fatigue
* Skin conditions, including rashes, rosacea, & eczema
* Fuzzy thinking
* Mood swings
* Weakened immunity
* Chronic joint or muscle aches
* Asthma, bronchitis, respiratory infections
* Sinus congestion
* Food allergies

 

Foods to Avoid or Minimize

 

In order to heal  leaky gut it is necessary to temporarily eliminate all of the following:

 

* Dairy
* Junk & processed foods
* Refined grains, especially white flours
* Legumes
* Starchy vegetables- beets, carrots, potatoes, pumpkin, turnips, yams
* High glycemic fruits-banana, dried fruits, fruit juices
* Refined & fake sugars
* Alcohol, sodas, and caffeinated drinks

 

Foods to Eat

 

Make sure to eat as much organic as you can. Take a look at my posting on which foods are most important to eat organic.

 

* Lemon in water daily

* Non-starchy vegetables, including: alfalfa sprouts, artichokes, asparagus, bean sprouts, beet greens, bell peppers, bok choi, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, chives, cilantro, collard greens, cucumber, dandelion greens, eggplant, endive, escarole, fennel, garlic, ginger, green beans, horseradish, kale, leeks, okra, onions, radish, romaine lettuce, mustard greens, parsley, pickles, sauerkraut, scallions, snap peas, snow peas, spaghetti squash, spinach, summer squash, Swiss chard, tomatoes, watercress, zucchini.

* Fresh fruits, including: apples, apricots, berries , cantaloupe, cherries, currants, dates, figs, grapefruit, grapes, honeydew melon, kiwi, limes, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papaya, peaches, pears, persimmon, pineapple, plums, pomegranate, tangerine, watermelon.

 

Supplements to Take

* Digestive enzymes
* Probiotics
* Chinese herbs
* L-Glutamine
* Plant Source Omega 3s
* Multivitamin

 

There is hope! The microvilli in the small intestine can be repaired. They normally regenerate within four to five days. The healing process may take longer, depending on the severity of the damage.

 

Live Natural. Live Well.

 

Heather

The Truth About Dairy

 

Another question I get asked a lot: “Don’t you need milk for calcium?” The answer is a big “NO.” On top of dairy not having much calcium compared to many plant foods (see below), a lot of people are allergic/lactose intolerant. This means they can’t access the calcium in dairy anyway and it can make them really sick. Dairy has also been linked to heart disease, prostate cancer, and Type 2 diabetes.

 

The dairy industry paid almost $200 million in the US in 2011 on advertising. So that’s pretty much everyone believes you can only get enough calcium from eating dairy. Marketing. The guys at Mad Men would be proud.

 

A staggering statistic that also disproves this myth- On average, Americans eat the most dairy and have the highest rates of osteoporosis. According to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, we eat almost 300 pounds of dairy per year.

 

Besides not having the highest levels of calcium, eating a lot of dairy and animal protein makes your body acidic. To alkalize itself, the body leeches calcium from your bones.

 

Inuits have the highest dietary calcium intake of any other people in the world– above 2000 mg per day from fish bones. Their diet is also the highest in the world in protein- up to 400 g a day mostly from fish and have the highest rate of osteoporosis in the world.  The Bantu of Africa consume an average of 350 mg of calcium a day and have almost no cases of osteoporosis.

 

Still don’t believe me? Look at these numbers.

 

Calcium Sources

In milligrams per 100 gram serving

Butter                                 20
Whole milk                       118
Chickpeas                        150
Collard greens                203
Parsley                              203
Soybeans                         226
Almonds                           234
Sesame seeds                1160

 

In milligrams per 8 oz (1 cup)

Soybean sprouts            50
Alfalfa sprouts               25
Nori                                 1200
Kombu                            2100
Wakame                         3500
Tofu                                350
Quinoa                           80
Kale                                72
Okra                                81
Corn meal                     50
Oats                               40
Carrot juice                  57
Navy beans                  140
Pinto beans                  100
Lima beans                 60
Black beans                 60
Lentils                           50
Hazelnuts                     450
Walnuts                         280
Sunflower seeds          260

 

 

Recommended Daily Allowance

 

* 0-6 months                           200 mg

* 6-12 months                         260 mg

* 1-3 years                               700 mg

* 4-8 years                              1000 mg

* 9-18 years                            1300 mg

* 19-50 years                          1000 mg

* pregnant/lactating               1300 mg

* 51-70 years male                1000 mg

* 51-70 years female             1200 mg

* 70+ years                             1200 mg

 

So as you can see, ‘Milk it does the body good” campaign just isn’t true. Do yourself a favor. Go to your local farmers market this weekend. Try some fresh, green veggies. Buy yourself a juicer and enjoy. Grab a handful of almonds. Eat some hummus. Your bones will thank you.

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

 

Note: Oxalic acid, which is found in spinach, rhubarb, chard, and beet greens binds with calcium and reduces its absorption. They should not be considered good sources of calcium.

Got Pain? Acupuncture. It Does the Body Good.

Do you get headaches or migraines? Is there anything worse? Headaches can ruin your quality of life. Not only do they suck, but the medications that ‘fix’ them don’t always work and can have drastic side effects.

 

Has your doctor still not figured out why you have them? “Take a pill” is probably their response.

 

Have they ruled out all these potential causes?

 

* Dehydration- most people are dehydrated
* Hormonal imbalances
* Food allergies
* Stress
* Neck tension & misalignment
* Mercury/heavy metal poisoning
* Adverse reaction to medications
* Tumors
* Head colds and sinus infections
* High blood pressure

 

How Chinese medicine can help

 

Acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and proper diet can all relieve or fix any of the above causes. How? Chinese medicine is able to regulate hormonal imbalances, detoxify the body, relieve stress, lower blood pressure, improve the immune system, reduce pain & inflammation, and minimize tumor size & growth. Pretty amazing, right?

 

Have you been living with headaches or migraines for years? It’s time to give Chinese medicine a try.

 

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

Balancing Your Hormones Naturally

 

I’ve seen a drastic increase in hormone related illnesses in the last ten years. Unfortunately, no matter how clean our diet is, we can’t completely avoid all pollutants. Just in the last 3 months, I’ve seen 15 new female patients in their 20s. All of them got their first period between the ages of 8 and 10. All of them. This is just one symptom of how all the toxins and pollutants we’re exposed to are damaging all of us.

Some simple steps to minimize your risk

* Minimize or eliminate your consumption of:
-animal products (especially non-organic)
-sugar (real & fake)
-trans-fats

* Avoid all plastic, especially in food packaging. See my blog post for more info.

* Do a liver cleanse at least once a year.

* Make sure you get plenty of healthy fats in daily. See my blog post for more info.

* Organic produce as much as possible. See my blog post for more info.

* Put a water filter on your taps and showers.

* Exercise that helps get your blood pumping & de-stressed 3-5 times per week.

* Have your hormones tested. If anything is off, you can naturally treat almost any imbalance.

* Get active. Whatever your political beliefs, we all what safe food, water, and air for ourselves and our children. Contact your state and federal representatives and let them know you vote and you want to see changes.

 

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

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