Posts Tagged ‘alternative medicine’

Do You Need to Detox?

Cleanses and detoxes seem to be the latest trend. I’m constantly hearing about the latest fad to get rid of toxins and lose weight. After living for over 20 years in Los Angeles I heard them all. Only eat cabbage. Don’t eat broccoli. Drink only sweetened lemon water. All promising to be the miracle cure to all of your woes. Does it sound too good to be true? Then it probably is.

 

So why cleanse? Do you need to do one? Many of my patients who eat organic, plant based, alcohol free, and/or sugar free are less likely to need to support. But unfortunately our planet has become so toxic, that our bodies need added support from time to time.

 

The incidence of chronic disease is ever increasing. What we put into our bodies is important. So is the air we breathe, the clothes we wear, and our homes. We are exposed to poisonous substances all day long. Sorry to sound so negative. But the reality isn’t so pretty.

 

Statistics on Toxin Exposure

 

Chemicals

 

* Less than half of the almost 80,000 chemicals in existence today are tested for safety.

 

* We’re exposed to more than 50,000 chemicals daily.

 

* Your home may contain over 1,000 chemicals.

 

Heavy metals

 

Symptoms of heavy metal poisoning may include

 

*Depression, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, irritability, lack of concentration, memory lapses, and nervousness

 

*Damage to vital organs

 

*Mental retardation, Cerebral palsy, autism, deafness, blindness

 

*Trembling hands, numbness in the hands and feet, loss of muscle coordination

 

Sources of Mercury

 

Silver Fillings

 

• Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Norway have all banned mercury fillings. The World Health Organization has found that the average individual could absorb as much as 120 micrograms of mercury per day from their amalgam fillings, which is considered a toxic.

 

Fish

 

• Vaccines

Mercury is found in any vaccines w/ thimerosal, a preservative.

 

Some illnesses that are becoming all too common

 

Cancer

• Obesity

• Heart disease

• Asthma and allergies

• Digestive issues

• Thyroid disorders

• Infertility

• Chronic fatigue

• Adrenal fatigue

• Skin issues

• Autoimmune diseases such as hypothyroidism, rhuematoid arthritis, lupus, Type I diabetes, and MS.

 

What Can You Eat?

 

 

1. Try to limit your calories to 1200 per day. If exercising, know your limits and listen to your body. Do cleanse for at least 3 days and up to 30 days.

 

2.Eat only whole, plant based foods. Raw as much as possible at least once per day.

 

3.Focus on dark leafy greens at every meal or drink. These include

broccoli, spinach, kale, collard greens, chard, arugula, and watercress.

 

4. Organic only! If your budget is tight, at least avoid the Dirty Dozen.
5.Vegetable broth. Drink this soup throughout the day when hungry.

 

Biehler’s broth

1 lb. cut up green beans
3 celery stalks
4 medium zucchini
2 bunches of parsley
4 cups of water

 

Place ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer
for 10-15 minutes until veggies are tender.
Take off heat and let sit with lid off for 5 minutes.
Puree soup.

Enjoy hot or cold.

 

6. Smoothies daily with unsweetened nut milk. Be sure to include greens such as kale, spinach, or lettuce and healthy fats such as chia seeds.

 

7. Flax, chia, and/ or hemp seeds: 2 tablespoons per day in your salad, on steamed veggies, or in smoothies.

 

8. Juicing 16 to 64 ounces per day, if you have a juicer or access to a juice bar. Include turmeric and ginger in your drinks.

 

9. Raw apple cider vinegar: 2 tablespoons in 8 ounces of water 3 times per day before meals.

 

10.Herbal teas- detox or digestive support teas. One of my favorite brands is Yogi Tea.

 

10. Lemon juice in your water all day, especially first thing in the morning.

 

11. Water: drink a minimum of glasses daily per day.

 

Other Tips

 

* Supplements- milk thistle, coriander

* Epsom Salts

*Eases stress by replenishing magnesium in the body. Magnesium helps produce serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical.
*Flushes out toxins and heavy metals- 2 cups in your bath every week for just ten minutes

*Relieves cold symptoms
*Relaxes muscles/reduces inflammation- relieves pain/ asthma, treats bruises/sprains.
*Prevents hardening of the arteries
*Makes insulin more effective by balancing magnesium and sulfate levels.

*Epsom salts can also be taken internally with some water for constipation

* Gall bladder cleanse, nightly until no stones

1/2 cups Extra virgin olive oil

4 oz of fresh limes, lemons or grapefruit juice

 

Epsom salt – 4 tablespoons

 

Other Support

 

*Sweat: steam, baths, sauna, and exercise

 

* Massage: to stimulate the lymphatic system

 

Colonics: Most people are constipated or use coffee to get their digestion moving. A buildup of toxins in your large intestine is the result.

 

What to Avoid during a Cleanse (and always)

 

Sugar

• Alcohol & caffeine

• Processed food

• Hydrogenated oil

• Preservatives

• Fried food

• Animal products, especially non-organic

Sodas

• Genetically Modified Foods

 

 

Feeling Sick while Detoxing?

 

If your body is full of toxins that need to be released, you may feel nauseous or even get sick during a cleanse. This is completely normal (unfortunately), especially if it’s your first time. If you do feel sick, take activated charcoal 3-4 times a day on an empty stomach.

 

Feeling very weak? Stop.

 

Please consult a physician before doing a cleanse, especially if you have cancer, are pregnant, are taking medication, have issues with your immune system, or other chronic illness.

 

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

Fiber for Life

 

 

 

Did you know that we’re supposed to get at least 30 grams of fiber a day? The average American eats only 15 grams per day. No wonder everyone is bloated, irregular, and at high risk for heart disease. Also, if you don’t poop, your body reabsorbs toxins it’s trying to flush out. One of the results- Colon cancer is now the third leading type of cancer related deaths in the US.

 

Keep in mind that that fiber is found only in plant foods and never in animal products. No wonder those who consume the Standard American Diet (SAD) are clogged up. We’re supposed to go three times a day. I can tell you most of my patients are lucky, if they go #2 once a day. I’ve seen some cases of once every ten days!

 

Health Benefits of Fiber

• Prevents colon cancer, constipation, colitis, hemorrhoids, gallstones, and varicose veins.

• Lowers cholesterol and helps prevent and manage diabetes.

• Slows the absorption of food. Thus, reducing blood glucose levels and increasing weight loss.

• Removes heavy metals and toxins and reduces the side effects of radiation.

 

Sources of Fiber


Fruits and vegetables- 1 medium size, unless otherwise noted.

 

Apple with skin                           3.0 g

Banana                                         2.0 g

Pear with skin                              4.5 g

Orange                                          2.0 g

Prunes                                           3.0 g

½ cup Brussels sprouts              4.5 g

1 large Carrot                                2.9 g

½ cup Broccoli                            1.5 g

Potato with skin                           4.0 g

1/ 2 cup Corn                               1.5 g

Beets                                             1.85 g

 

All half cup for legumes, grains, nuts and seeds

 

Barley                                   4.0 g

Black beans                        5.5 g

Brown rice                           1.5 g

Garbanzo beans                6.0 g

Green peas                         6.9 g

Hemp seeds                    16.8 g per serving

Kidney beans                     6.5 g

Lentils                                4.5 g

Lima beans                       6.5 g

Oats                                     3.0 g

Pinto beans                       5.9 g

 

Tips

 

As you increase your fiber intake, pay attention to your use of medications and certain minerals- calcium, iron, and zinc. You may need to adjust your medications, especially insulin. If you take a fiber supplement, never take your medications or supplements at the same time.

 

Your body could take a little while to adjust to getting the fiber it needs. So you might be a bit gassy at first. This will pass. Drinking plenty of water and chewing on fennel seed will reduce the toots.

 

See how important it is to get enough fiber? And how easy it is? Stock up on hummus, carrot sticks, and split pea soup, and you’ll be good to go. No pun intended.

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

ADD and your child

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8 percent of children aged    4 to 17 are diagnosed with ADHD.  Many of these cases are prescribed Ritalin.  For those  of you without kids, Ritalin is a drug made up of methylphenidate which is a stimulant affecting the central nervous system.

As more and more kids are being prescribed Ritalin, more and more parents wonder:  What am I giving my child?  Most can agree that the number of children under 17 that     are taking drugs to treat ADHD in this country is surprising.  However, Attention Deficit Disorder and hyperactivity is a real problem and parents feel a burning need to ensure the wellbeing of their children. I fervently believe that these mental health issues in children are real, and must be treated, but I would like to recommend acupuncture, herbs, and proper nutrition are safer, long lasting approaches.

While doctors will often refer to the drug as a “mild” stimulant, the fact is, Ritalin is a stimulant.  While some stimulants can indeed yield positive results in adults and children, it is important to understand what’s going on physiologically, and to be aware of potentially harmful side effects.  Here are some of the basics:
- Stimulants can raise heart rate, temperature, and blood pressure.
- Stimulants are often addictive.
- Stimulants can lower appetite thus compromising a child’s sense of proper nutrition.
- Prolonged use or abuse of stimulants can have mental side effects as well,
including anxiety, paranoia, and may cause aggression.

If your child is currently using Ritalin and experiencing unpleasant side effects, ask your physician about alternative treatments.  As a healthcare professional, I know that first and foremost is your child’s wellbeing.  Whenever using acupuncture for kids, I like to show them that it is safe by placing the needles on their parents.  This eases some of the worry that children may have when it comes to needles.  Any licensed acupuncturist will make sure to move slowly and adjust for a child’s comfort level.  Most kids feel triumphant after undergoing the treatments and their parents proudly report a new sense of calm that has swept over their household.

Acupuncture for kids (or acupressure as an equally effective no-needle alternative), has been growing and the results are incredible.  Over 150,000 kids received acupuncture treatments last year alone, and recent studies are showing that these treatments have been effective for almost two thirds of patients, according to the 2008 report published by the National Center for Health and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health.

I have seen these results firsthand.  For the past decade of my practice I have been so inspired by the children who have come through my doors.  Children who could not sit still, had no interest in studying, and who’s mood swings were off the charts.  These are special, sometimes brilliant children whose hyperactivity has crippled their performance in school and put strain on their social development.  Chinese medicine has provided kids and parents with a working solution that is painless, and side effect free.

Please, if you have more questions about Attention Deficit Disorder or anxiety, do ask.  Because when it comes to the health of you and your children, communication is key.

Live natural.  Live well,

Heather

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