I see a lot of patients that have heart burn or acid reflux. I'm not exactly sure why this is such a problem in our current society but of course, I have a few ideas and hopeful solutions. First of all like so many other issue we need to look at our diets. Some foods are known to exacerbate this condition like spicy foods, garlic and alcohol. One of the tenants of Chinese medicine is that we should not eat large meals and that we should not eat late at night, two suggestions that I give my patients with these issues. As our portion sizes have crept up over the last 20 years so have the prescriptions for protein pump inhibitors such as Prilosec and Nexium. This class of drugs might help the condition but their side effects can be deadly, including kidney failure and higher risk of dementia. And another issue with this class of drugs is that it is very hard to stop taking them once you have been on them for a while. Another possible issue leading to this condition that is often overlooked is stress. So all of these issues can be treated using acupuncture. And there are several Chinese herbal formulas that we carry that can be a more gentle but effective alternatives.
We have more than one acupuncturist at the Acupuncture Center. We do not all charge the same prices and we do not offer the same specials. Because of this we do not publish our prices on our website. Please call us for prices and also to answer any questions you might have. Often prospective patients will want to have a consultation before starting treatment and we offer this for free. You can sit down with us for 20 minutes or so and tell us in detail what is going on and ask us for our opinion as to whether acupuncture would be a good fit or not. A consultation also gives you the chance to meet us and make sure we are on the same page regarding your goals with acupuncture and Chinese medicine. At the Acupuncture Center we always want our patients to feel at home and taken care of. Our patients, literally, come first.
Getting Off Meds
Hardly a day goes by without someone asking me if I think they can get off some or all of their meds. By meds I mean of course pharmaceutics. Most people do not want to be on meds, maybe because of cost, but usually because of the short and long-term side effects and the unnatural way they make them feel. This says something important about our current health care system, which is mostly drug (and surgery) centered. As far as getting off of your meds that is always between you and your doctor. We are not legally allowed to tell anyone to stop taking their medicines, nor would we want to. However, I do believe that health can be created, and our main goal is to make you healthier, to help you not need any artificial means to keep you healthy. Of course this starts with basic things like diet and exercise and reducing stress. All of these things we can help you with. Also, the main supplier of our Chinese herbs, Dr. John Chen, is a Chinese herbalist who also has a PhD in pharmacology. Dr Chen owns Evergreen Herbs, and his specialty is developing herbal substitutes for pharmaceuticals. So, it is possible to get off all or some of your meds when the right steps are taken first.
It seems that the holiday season starts earlier every year. And the level of stress this time of year at least for many people is some of the highest of the year. Acupuncture can help cut your anxiety and stress level. If you have ever had an acupuncture treatment you know of the deep relaxation that results. If you haven't had a treatment before it just takes one to start the effects. There is a reason for this effect of course and, from a Chinese medicine perspective, has to do with acupuncture causing the energy in our body, the Qi, to move more smoothly. This smooth flow of Qi reduces stressful and anxious feelings in our body and as an added benefit it boosts our immune system (similarly stress and anxiety can lead to illness). Many of my patients tell me that they become healthier overall after doing acupuncture for a while. I find this to be true of myself as well.
YouTube for Your Health
Like most things with as much content and power as YouTube, there is plenty of good and bad to find there. But there are some channels for learning about health that I watch and often recommend to my patients. Most of them are not too controversial but most are on the cutting edge of alternative medicine, diet and workout physiology . Of course exercise is good for you and YouTube can be an easy and effective way to get your workout in. I do a lot of yoga on YouTube and one of my favorite channels for easy but effective yoga is the very popular Yoga with Adrian. Adrian doesn't take yoga or herself too seriously. She moves a bit slow for some but I tend to add some moves while she is talking (she doesn't know this). Doing yoga at home you don't have to worry about what the teacher or other students think of you, or if you are dressed fashionably, But there are literally thousands of yoga videos to choose from. To learn Tai Chi try the Taiflow channel. For Qi Gong I recommend my teacher Master Li Feng (Qi Gong is similar to Tai Qi). Just try a few videos and maybe subscribe to a channel that is right for you. The variety is endless. I also watch a great deal of videos from Thomas DeLauer. This quite in shape guy is also really up on cutting edge things like diet, intermittent fasting and getting the most out of your workouts. His posts are backed up by the latest scientific research. Some other good health related channels are Dr Eric Berg and Dr Boz (not Oz, Boz). And of course you can choose from hundreds, maybe thousands, of TED talks on any subject imaginable by experts in their field. Of course YouTube can take you to some darker places if you let it, so just watch the videos you pick and don't let YouTube steer you down the wrong path.
Monte Jackson, owner Acupuncture Center of Richmond