Now that we are into the cold and flu season, it's important to stay healthy. One of the things that drew me to Chinese medicine is it's emphasizes on prevention. One result of any acupuncture treatment is that it will immediately boost your immune system. This sounds like a bold claim, but it is just due to way acupuncture works. And coming in for a treatment that emphasizes the immune system is even better. Our long time patients tell us that they rarely if ever get sick any more and this is something that you can experience. It's a bit complicated to go into here, but acupuncture works by enhancing and moving the Qi, or the basic energy of our body. The Qi also makes up your immune system. And the strength and free-flow of Qi strengthens your immune system. Some of our patients (and us as well) will also take Chinese herbal supplements this time of year to further boost the immune system. We have our favorite formulas that we always have around just in case.
These are good findings because most of us can run some, maybe? The findings are encouraging and I think most of us know at some level that exercise is good for us. But evidence is mounting that it may be much better for us than we think and for various reasons. In this study, or really a meta-analysis of many studies (which is usually more accurate), they looked at the effects of running. But it seems that other studies always conclude that whatever exercise you do it is good for you. Walking, running, weight training, they all seem to be good. I think that really anything that we could reasonably call exercise probably has similar benefits. Maybe there is something special about running that is better than say yoga or gardening. Or maybe not. So do what ever exercise you enjoy, because it's better for you, most likely, than you even realize. The important thing is that you do it on a regular basis.
I will just say the results were positive. And that, of course, we are not in the least surprised. In fact we treat menopause with herbs all the time. The Chinese figured this out a long time ago. There are many symptoms that go along with menopause and an increase in overall inflammation can effect things that we don't usually associate with menopause, like shoulder pain, or plantar fasciiitis. So, it usually helps to keep this in mind when you are treating women in this age range.
This article is interesting in that it tells us another way that we can be healthier that is relatively simple to do. There are so many of these things that if we just tweak the way we are doing them can benefit us. I know that some people do not cook. But if you can learn to cook a few things at home I think that you will overall be healthier. The food that we get in restaurants isn't all bad. But the goal of a restaurant is not to make you health, its to make money. And usually corners will be cut in quality and sometimes sugar will be added to just improve the flavor so you will come back. It is a treat to eat out. But it is also a treat to be able to cook at home where you control the ingredients and where you can use better cuts of meat grown without antibiotics and hormones, and organically grown veggies. If you cook at home you can improve on each ingredient. You will not cut corners to save money if you cook at home because you will be saving so much money by not eating out. And so, as the article suggests, you can control what is going into your food. Plus it's just a great feeling to have cooked a healthy quality meal for yourself and your family.
I've blogged in the past about how acupuncture seems to be really good at helping acute injury heal much faster. My partner here, Remee, was telling me recently about a patient she treated for a broken limb, and that when she went to the doc for her follow-up he was amazed that she had healed so quickly - and asked her what she did! I hear this from my patients all the time, that an injury that should have really taken a good while to heal has taken much less time than expected. Acupuncture can certainly help accelerate the healing process. This is why we are getting more and more doctor referrals for acute injury and pain.
This article makes me feel really hopeful. It basically says that we in the west are finally looking to herbal remedies to treat common ailments such as hypertension. The vast cornucopia that makes up the world of Chinese herbs (and Western herbs as well) is vast and varied. There are over 3000 Chinese herbs that have been used and studied in the East for thousands of years. I think it is great that we in the West are studying them and trying to find alternatives to some of the drugs we use that may have problematic side effects. The main things I like about Chinese herbs is that there are no real side-effects and that they treat the underlying or root cause of a condition as well as the symptoms.
New research shows that red meat is most likely not bad for you after all. In Chinese medicine we are all about the health of the blood. And we often will tell our patients who are what we call 'blood deficient' that maybe they could eat a bit more red meat. Nothing seems to build the blood faster. So, even though this study is likely not good news for the environment, I do agree with the findings. But, the amount of red meat that we recommend is a small amount. It doesn't take much. Women are overwhelmingly more likely to be blood deficient then men.
Interesting discussion about research trying to determine if there is any different effect of the microbiome from eating cooked versus raw food. If you are a really technical person read the actual research paper here. From a Chinese medical perspective we suggest that most of our food should be cooked.
Diabetes can be reversed! - according to a growing number of health-care providers including many doctors. And, as this report shows, only a mere 10% reduction in weight can kick people into remission. So if someone weights 200 pounds all they need to do is lose 20 pounds and they might be done with diabetes. At the Acupuncture Center we use acupuncture and herbs and diet to help you lose weight. If you are ready, whether you have diabetes or not (or are just trying to avoid it) give us a call and lets get started.
Huh? Actually, this is a pretty interesting article (linked to above) which is another example of how important healthy bacteria is to our health. Most of what we hear about is our gut bacteria which numerous studies have shown to be important. But whether we like it or not bacteria live pretty much everywhere in our bodies. And this story reports on a study that found that our mouth bacteria is also important. So mouthwash indiscriminately kills these bacteria causing things not to work quite as well. Similar to how antibiotics mess with our gut bacteria. So the takeaway is to be kind to your bacteria!
Monte Jackson, owner Acupuncture Center of Richmond