The ketogenic diet seems to be the hottest diet out there currently but the paleo diet is also still very popular. And of course the vegan diet is not far behind and represents the other side of the spectrum. And there are literally hundreds of other diets that people have invented that may or may not contribute to good health. Maybe the best thing about adopting some sort of diet or way of eating is that doing so makes you concentrate more on what you are eating. And just this can greatly improve what you are eating and most likely make you healthier (unless you have adopted the all-sugar diet). Many people do not think about what they are consuming really until it is almost too late, when the weight and blood pressure and other markers are out of control. I have met people who think that if its labelled as food than it is OK to eat. Most people do know however that its the processed food and junk food that is making us fat and sick and even depressed. Most people know that Taco Bell is not really concerned about your health. But maybe choosing a diet and trying your best to stick to it might be a helpful way to push us in right direction.
Anxiety and/or Stress is really hard on our body. One of the more common symptoms of anxiety effecting the body is digestive issues. Many to most people have this issue to some degree. In our medicine we have a name for this: liver overacting on spleen, which just means that stress or anxiety is beating up on a weaker opponent - the digestion. In some severe cases I have seen patients whose hair is falling out due to stress. This is stress that has effected the kidney energy. It is well known that high levels of stress can do this. High levels of anxiety and stress can in really a fairly short time wreak havoc on the immune system which protects us from everything from colds to cancer. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are a natural and effective way to reduce anxiety and stress and at the same time reduce the detrimental effects on the body. It does this by regulating the energy of the body, the Qi, and also by protecting the organs most likely effected.
Here at the Acupuncture Center we are dedicated to getting you as well as possible as quickly as possible. Some things however, like chronic disease, can take some time. Our approach to defeating any disease is to promote health. To try and 'kill' the disease or cut it out rarely works or rarely works well. Health must be promoted from within and there are many things you can add to your lifestyle that will make you more resistant to disease and give you a good chance of overcoming any disease that you have. When you add a bunch of healthy things together that you do often that is the best way to become or remain healthy. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are two health promoting things that we are fond of. Proper diet is another. Bringing the body into better balance and promoting the immune system as these things do are very effective. The overall health of the body is always taken into account with our patients. This is really the meaning of holistic medicine, that the patients is treated as a whole person.
Actually I am not sure why I put the 'again' in the title, because coffee has had a good run in the last few years as far as being a health drink. And it appears that the more you drink the better. I just brought this up because I like coffee but I don't drink it much for a couple of reasons. First of all coffee hurts my stomach. That should be enough reason not to drink it but it doesn't seem to be. The second reason is an ayurdedic medicine reason. Ayurvedic medicine is the folk- medicine of India and is probably even older than Chinese medicine. The thing I like to use from this medicine is the concept of doshas, which is your body type. My body type is called pitta, and pitta types tend to overheat easily, are usually on the verge of it actually. This fits me pretty well and things which are hot in nature like say hot peppers or tomatoes and as it turns out coffee are foods that will push me over into overheated. So, I would like to drink coffee every day, I do think the antioxidants are good for you, but for me it just doesn't work out. If you are interested in your dosha type and learning what you should or should not be eating just google 'ayurvedic dosha test' and take one or more the the tests you will find. I find it useful for myself and also for many of my patients. And its seems very accurate for many people.
My 2 month self-experiment into the ketogenic diet is over. My goal was to lose 10 pounds and I lost 12 (which is a significant amount - I only weigh just over 150 pounds). So what are my takeaways? Bottom line is that I think it is a really good way to eat, for most anyone but especially if you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, insulin resistance, or PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). There are some who say that this diet might even cure these ailments and I believe it might be possible. But even if you are perfectly healthy I think this is a good diet. It is also a really good way to lose a few or even many pounds (I dropped most of the weight in the first month). And I felt really good on the diet, meaning more energy, consistent energy, and a noticeably clearer mind. Do I think it is healthy? Yes, because it is the carbs that are really damaging our bodies. From here on out I plan on modifying the diet some but incorporate many of the principles that I felt were good. It taught me to eat hardly any sugar, something I plan on not forgetting. I will eat much less carbs than I did before. I also have incorporated some weekly fasting into my diet recently and this feels like a good thing. One of the main things that this diet helped me improve upon was control. I learned that I am in charge of what I eat, not my cravings. I learned to resist when my mind really wanted me to have desert.
Monte Jackson, owner Acupuncture Center of Richmond