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Four Chinese Medicine Diet Tips That Will Make You Healthier

iStock_000018336633_LargeThe fall season is just around the corner so it’s important to think about arming yourself against the things that make this fun season a little less fun. Things like head colds, the flu, and upper respiratory infections can really slow you down and hinder your enjoyment of the excitement that the harvest season brings. To help you prepare for fall, here are five Chinese medicine diet tips that will help prevent seasonal bugs and help you feel healthy throughout the season:

1. Eat A Balanced Diet. Eastern medicine relies heavily on the concept of balance and moderation. Chinese medicine along with its tangential practices like acupuncture and qigong emphasize the healthier ideal of eating a truly balanced diet. These practices can help you become more aware of your bodies true hunger signals that will help you determine what your body needs and really craves. Eat foods that offer a mix of healthy fats, vegetables, fruits, and grains and you will feel better, have more energy, and be able to fight off infections more effectively. Also, drinking bone broth during the fall season is highly recommended. Focus on eating until you are 70% full, rather than filling up to the point of uncomfortable.

2. Treat Allergies With Diet, Herbs and Acupuncture. What you eat can play a major role in making allergies better or worse during the fall season. Allergies happen when a foreign body from the wind or air is introduced into your system and your system produces unpleasant reactions to this foreign body in the form of sneezing, watery eyes, and more. Allergies cause major mucous buildup which can in turn cause things like sinus infections and chest infections. It’s best to avoid foods like ice cream and yogurt during allergy season as dairy foods can cause excessive mucous to build up in your system which can stimulate a more intense allergic reaction in your body. Things like vegetable based soups and broths, warm vegetables, and grains will keep your digestion running smoothly which can also help prevent mucous buildup. Introducing regular acupuncture sessions into your weekly round can also help you prevent unwanted allergens and germs.

3. Eat Based On The Seasons. Your body is a truly amazing machine that is already in touch with the natural cycles of life and the seasons if you learn to listen to it. During the fall and winter months, we have a tendency to want to hibernate and remain inactive to focus on staying warm. Warming your body up with cooked, steamed root veggies like sweet potatoes, carrots, and beets, for example, can warm you up and insulate your body against the cold while you absorb life-giving vitamins and nutrients. Looking to nature as a seasonal food guide will provide you with foods that will help build your immune system while aiding digestion and vitality.

4. Get Moving. Perhaps one of the most important Chinese health tips that you should keep in mind is to keep your body moving during the hibernation season. Inactivity of the physical body promotes stagnation of the bodies’ energy, digestion, and blood cells which can cause illness and disease. Moving your body through even gentle exercise like yoga or walking will keep the oxygen, blood and digestion flowing which will help prevent sickness. It will also make you feel energetic and healthy. Acupuncture can also help remove blockages and keep your life forces running efficiently. It’s also important to keep the neck and shoulder areas covered as exposure to the upper back area is where pathogens enter the body according to Chinese medicine. So stay covered, and don’t sleep directly under air conditioner vents and fans.

To learn more about how Chinese medicine and acupuncture can help with your overall health and diet, call 832.282.3306 or email us today.

September 28th, 2015|Healing Acupoints News|

Why Acupuncture May Be The Best Skin Treatment

Portrait of a beautiful woman in acupuncture therapyThere are a number of things that cause damage to skin cells like exposure to free radicals, dietary choices, stress, hormonal imbalances, and more. Skin is an often neglected part of our bodies, but it can be a telltale sign of our overall health and its condition can positively or negatively affect our self-image and self-esteem. A variety of environmental conditions such as heat, dry air, cold air, dampness, and more, along with the internal balance of the body, can all affect the overall health of an individuals’ skin and acupuncture works to harmonize the internal and external body. For those that feel like their skin needs a little TLC, but they want an all-natural therapy, acupuncture may be the best way to go. We know that acupuncture has been proven to treat a number of health conditions and symptoms, but we now know that it also can be a remedy for a number of skin conditions.

Before diagnosing and treating skin conditions, most practitioners of acupuncture will meet with an individual to ask questions, do a physical examination, and assess their exposure to certain environmental, emotional and physical factors. Generally speaking, the practitioner will diagnose the person based on disharmonies in the environment or physical body and then prescribe a course of acupuncture appropriate to the skin condition along with other possible special instructions, like dietary instructions or herbal supplements, for example.

What makes acupuncture such a unique form of skin treatment is that it seeks to address both the cause and the symptoms of a skin condition. So, rather than simply treating the symptom such as a rash with an ointment that may stop the itching but not stop the rash, acupuncture often in combination with Chinese herbs aims at getting to the very bottom of a skin problem. Treatments are tailored to a person’s individual symptoms and constitution, and the number of sessions may vary depending on each individual’s progress.

Here are some common skin maladies that can be prevented or helped with regular sessions of acupuncture:

• Acne and Stress Breakouts. This troublesome condition can begin as a young adult and sometimes continues into adulthood for some people. Acne can be caused by the skin’s reaction to bacteria, oils, hormonal changes, heat, and more. Acupuncture can clear the blood stagnation and heat which can help clear up the acne.

• Wrinkles and sagging. The minor trauma of the needles to the skin in acupuncture actually helps stimulate cell re-growth and helps to stimulate the body’s own production of collagen.

• Eczema and Dermatitis. Eczema is an uncomfortable and often painful condition where the skin becomes inflamed, itchy, red and sometimes blistered. It’s caused by the skin’s reaction to allergies or environmental forces like wind and heat. Again, acupuncture works to stimulate skin cells and to reduce swelling and inflammation.

• Skin Dullness. If you’re looking for an all-natural facelift, acupuncture can be the answer as it can help bring new energy and life to your skin cells.

In addition to the conditions above, acupuncture can help with enlarged pores, dark spots, and even some hair loss issues. An ideal alternative to using antibiotics, topical creams, or other chemicals that may only mask the symptoms of the skin problem, acupuncture can get to the root of the issue and correct the problem.

Find out more about how acupuncture can help your skin by setting up a personal consultation. Call 832.282.3306 or email us today.

September 2nd, 2015|Healing Acupoints News|

Five Benefits of Acupuncture That May Surprise You

iStock_000017889609_Full (1)Slowly but surely, Eastern medicine is becoming more accepted by popular culture in the US and other countries as Westerners continue to look for non-medical remedies for a myriad of physical afflictions and emotional issues. People are actively seeking healing alternatives to health issues that don’t include pills with hefty price tags or unsavory side effects. Acupuncture, a form of traditional Chinese medicine that involves inserting hair-sized needles into key acupuncture points, can be one of the most effective, healing alternative medicines in existence when practiced by the right ‘hands’. You may have heard of many of the benefits of acupuncture already such as pain relief and stress relief but regular practitioners know that the benefits go way beyond this. Here are five benefits of acupuncture that may surprise you:

  1. Help with weight loss. Obesity and extreme weight gain are maladies that unfortunately plague the masses in the US today. Weight-related health issues like Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease are on the rise and the ready availability of processed and high sugar, high fat foods makes getting rid of unwanted pounds almost impossible for many. One of the triggers for weight gain in many people is the hypothalamus, a section of the brain that regulates hunger. Acupuncture, if done correctly, can help stimulate the hypothalamus which can help control hunger signals and help maintain a healthy appetite. Also, thanks to its help with controlling stress hormones like cortisol, acupuncture can also help people control overeating due to stress.
     
  2. Counteracts the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy. It’s bad enough that cancer patients have to deal with the disease itself, but the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy treatments can wreak havoc on the immune system and the patients’ state of mind. Acupuncture has been scientifically proven to help people deal with the perception of some of their worst symptoms from their treatments such as having a very dry mouth and queasiness and nausea. Of course the added benefit of stress reduction can work wonders for someone who is dealing with something traumatic like cancer.
     
  3. Treats digestive issues. It’s fascinating to note that acupuncture, if done repetitively with many sessions, can actually help treat symptoms of stomach maladies like acid reflux. Although the research in this area is still in the preliminary phases, people that suffer from symptoms like nausea and sore throats from acid reflux and GERD could really benefit from acupuncture sessions geared toward treating these symptoms. Acupuncture actually alters that secretion of acids, which affects gastrointestinal movement.
     
  4. Having sleepless nights? You likely knew that acupuncture can help reduce stress and lower stress hormones, but it’s got the added benefit of helping you catch more shuteye. There is nothing more nightmarish than lying in bed unable to sleep, staring on the clock, and counting the hours you have left before your alarm beeps for your morning wake-up buzz. Research has shown that acupuncture improves the quality and duration of sleep by increasing the production of serotonin.
     
  5. Improves mood and depression. Acupuncture has been proven to boost your mood and help deal with feelings of depression. Data suggests that acupuncture helps in the release of neurotransmitters, such as endorphins, serotonin and dopamine which can aid in the alteration of mood and depression.
     

Find out more about how acupuncture can benefit your health and overall well-being by setting up a personal consultation. Call 832.282.3306 or email us today.

July 24th, 2015|Healing Acupoints News|

Helpful Tips for Managing Stress

Acupuncture for StressWe’ve all heard how stress is bad for us. Did you know that stress not only can cause high blood pressure (hypertension), but also insomnia, fatigue, digestive issues, aches and pains, cancer, and it can also worsen the diseases or symptoms that you may already have?

Many people deal with stress in different ways by means of alcohol, tobacco, drugs etc. But, instead of bringing the body back into a balanced state, these substances maintain the body in a stressed state and cause more damage internally.

While it is normal to have a little stress in our lives, it is important as in how we react to it. Some people manifest stress emotionally or psychologically and have a hard time coping, while others become so familiar with it that it starts to feel normal. At some point, it can become so overwhelming, that it can take a toll on relationships at work, home, and even at school.

Some of the changes to look out for when we or our loved ones are stressed are: mood and behavior changes, angry outbursts, withdrawal, lack of focus or concentration, memory problems, frequent colds/ flus, palpitations, changes in sleep habits and eating habits, nervousness etc. to name a few.

Once you have identified the signs and symptoms, look for the causative factor. The next step is to look for options on how to deal with the situation. If the stressor is due to the environment you find yourself in, try altering it. Sometimes, it’s not possible to change the environment if it’s a job situation or a family concern. Look for the next best option. Can the situation be avoided? Is it possible to limit the time when faced with the stressor, or are you able to walk away from it? Try to write down how you feel about the stressful situation. Sometimes writing in a journal helps to process our emotions and I find that it may even help in realizing whether the stressor is a big enough deal or not

Now that you’ve gone through the initial steps, it’s time to take care of your physical and emotional health. Acupuncture can help alleviate stress and even some of the physical manifestations due to stress. From a traditional Chinese medicine perspective, acupuncture can smooth the energy blockages and regulate the flow of qi (energy) through the channels or meridians. From a western scientific viewpoint, it has been noted that acupuncture releases endorphins in the brain and also improves the blood circulation throughout the body thereby removing toxins. Over time, not only will the symptom manifestations diminish, but so will the stress itself.

In addition to getting regular acupuncture, set some time aside for exercise, incorporating deep relaxing breathing techniques and meditation. Do some activity that you enjoy, like reading or listening to music, and make sure to get plenty of rest and a good night’s sleep!

February 24th, 2015|Healing Acupoints News|

Four Simple Steps for a Healthier Life

women in yoga poseI can’t believe it’s already February!   Didn’t we all just make our new year’s resolutions to take care of our health, exercise more and be more pro active. But, how many of us slack and fall back into our patterns, whether it’s due to our work, stress, family, or time constraints etc. and before we know it, we find that stress over takes our life.

Here are four simple steps to maintain a better lifestyle!

Be Active!

It is important to incorporate some type of daily exercise into your routine. Not everyone can take time away from work, home or family to go to the gym. But, there are other ways to stay fit.   If your job requires you to sit for long periods, get up and walk around. Take a short walk during your lunch time. Park your car the farthest in the parking lot and walk, or take the stairs. Taking a brisk walk for 20 minutes everyday will get your blood circulation moving. Getting outdoors with the kids and doing some type of activity will not only increase your quality time with your children, but will also keep your joints mobile and will release endorphins to help keep your stress levels low.

Take a Breather!

Oxygen plays a vital role in our circulatory and respiratory systems. Just doing ten minutes twice a day of deep breathing exercises can help improve the flow of oxygen through your entire system and help get rid of toxins in your body. Most of us don’t know the correct way of breathing as we breathe through our chest. This can cause waste products to remain in circulation, which ultimately leads to fatigue and stress and deterioration of health. By learning proper breathing techniques, not only do we rejuvenate our internal organ systems, but also counter act the unhealthy effects of stress on our body.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep!

Lack of sleep can have important effects on health and wellbeing. Stress also effects our sleep patterns. Many people lie awake at night, tossing and turning, thinking about the daily stress in their lives. This can lead to exhaustion , which can lead to increased stress levels at work making it into a vicious cycle. There are ways to lower stress and manage sleep. And if you find yourself having difficulties falling asleep, fixing the sleep patterns will also have a beneficial effect in coping mechanisms of stress related issues.

Eat Right!

We all want to eat healthy and keep fit, but how many of us don’t have time to fix ourselves a healthy meal, so we go through a drive through as it’s quick and easy. Or we grab the first thing we see at the deli as we don’t have time to wait and gulp it down.. More and more people are eating processed foods which contain all kinds of preservatives and additives. These foods are high in sodium, sugar and fat and GMOs.   This leads to allergies, digestive issues, low energy, and different types of cancer. It is important to maintain a food diary to realize how much junk we are putting into our body everyday. We need to be more mindful of what we put into our mouth and learn to chew and savor every bite. The more we are conscious of what we eat, the better we will start feeling. I always tell my patients to take baby steps in altering their diet as habits are hard to change. Start by packing your own lunch for work, and for your family. Alter healthy snacks instead of potato chips and sodas. Once you take charge of your diet, not only will you start to feel better, but you will also notice that the taste for the foods you once savored will have changed.

Incorporate these small changes into your daily life and you will find that not only will you start to feel better, but you will add more energy and vitality to your health and well being!

-Seema

February 5th, 2015|Healing Acupoints News|