What is Arthritis?

As one of the most pervasive diseases in the United States, arthritis affects  one out of every three Americans, or roughly 70 million people. For most people, arthritis pain and inflammation cannot be avoided as the body ages. In fact, most people over the age of 50 show some signs of arthritis. Joints naturally degenerate over time. Fortunately, arthritis can often be managed Acupuncture, Nutrition, and sensible exercise programs.

Arthritis isn’t just one disease; it’s a complex disorder that comprises more than 100 distinct conditions and can affect people at any stage of life. Two of the most common forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. While these two forms of arthritis have very different causes, risk factors, and effects on the body, they often share a common symptom—persistent joint pain.

Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Osteoarthritis ~

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. OA begins with the breakdown of joint cartilage, resulting in pain and stiffness. OA commonly affects the joints of the fingers, knees, hips, and spine. Other joints affected less frequently include the wrists, elbows, shoulders, and ankles. When OA is found in a less frequently affected joint, there is usually a history of injury or unusual stress to that joint. Work-related repetitive injury and physical trauma may contribute to the development of OA. If you have a strenuous job that requires repetitive bending, kneeling, or squatting, for example, you may be at high risk for OA of the knee.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) ~

The other arthritis is Adult and Juvenile Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). They are a type of autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the synovial fluid membranes surrounding the lubricating fluid in the joints (there are at least another 100 lesser known subtype autoimmune arthritic diseases such as ankylosing spondylitis AS).

RA can affect many different joints and, in some people, other parts of the body as well, including the blood, the lungs, and the heart. Inflammation of the joint lining, called the synovium, can cause pain, stiffness, swelling, warmth, and redness. The affected joint may also lose its shape, resulting in loss of normal movement. RA can last a long time and can fluctuate between flares (active symptoms) and remissions (few to no symptoms).

Strengthen Your Resolve

This period of reflection and renewed resolve may be challenging, but it can also be productive and rewarding. If health is a big issue, try to give a shot at acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help achieve the change you seek as it assists in illness prevention, stress relief, minimize aches and pains, improve energy, and you find yourself in better balance. Seasonal acupuncture treatments serve to nurture and nourish your kidney Qi, which can greatly enhance the body’s ability to thrive in times of stress and aid in healing, preventing illness, and increasing vitality.

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Here are a few ways that acupuncture can help you achieve your goals:

Eliminate Stress

Stress reduction is always on the top 10 list for New Year’s resolutions, and for a good reason–it is often the cause of illness and deterioration of health. Numerous studies have demonstrated the substantial benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of stress, anxiety, and lowering blood pressure.

Improved Quality of Life

If pain is keeping you from living life to the fullest, acupuncture can help and can be helpful for all types of pain, regardless of the cause or where it is located. Increasingly, people are looking for more natural approaches to help relieve painful conditions instead of relying on medication. In addition to reducing pain, acupuncture also hastens the healing process by increasing circulation and attracting white blood cells to an injured area.

Get in Shape

Renewed enthusiasm to exercise in order to enhance fitness levels, train for a competition, or lose weight can come at a painful price for those who try to do too much too quickly. Recent studies show that acupuncture effectively treats sports injuries such as strains, sprains, musculoskeletal pain, swollen muscles, and shin splints.

Lose Weight

Losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help you reach your goal weight and maintain it by promoting better digestion, smoothing emotions, reducing appetite, improving metabolism, and eliminating food cravings–all of which can help energize the body, maximize absorption of nutrients, regulate elimination, control overeating, and reduce anxiety.

Reduce the Impact of Arthritis

The Arthritis Foundation recommends the following to reduce the impact of arthritis:

Get Active – Regular physical activity helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints. Tai Chi is a Chinese exercise that strengthens muscles, improves balance and flexibility, promotes relaxation, and has been shown to relieve chronic joint pain.

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Control Weight – Maintaining an appropriate weight or reducing weight to a recommended level reduces the risk of osteoarthritis. Losing just 10 pounds relieves 40 pounds of pressure on knees. For those living with symptoms, losing 15 pounds can cut knee pain in half.

Modify Job Tasks – Try to modify your movements, since repeated use of joints in jobs that require bending and lifting is associated with an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis.

Speak with a health care professional about ways to reduce strain on your joints.

Nutritional Support During Allergy Season

Here are inexpensive, effective, and easy ideas in alleviating allergy symptoms.

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Apple Cider Vinegar

Raw, unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar has long been used to treat many respiratory diseases including allergies and asthma. Depending on the severity of symptoms, the dosage will vary. The best way to use apple cider vinegar for your allergies is on a consistent basis. Mix 1 tablespoon ACV with 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1/2 tablespoon of raw bees honey and drink three times a day.

Manuka Honey

Manuka honey produced in New Zealand has been used to treat many conditions ranging from stomach ulcers to tinnitus (ringing in the ear). Manuka honey is a strong anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal. Since most of allergy symptoms are caused by bacteria, mold and yeast, and parasites, using Manuka honey makes a perfect sense. Some claim that locally-grown honey is a good alternative, however Manuka honey is known to be far more potent than any other honey brands.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice that belongs to the ginger family. It is a natural nutritional supplement that helps to cure many health problems, including allergies, because it contains curcumin, a compound that acts as a decongestant. Tumeric also acts as anti-histamine in reducing the mast cell de-granulation or histamine release.

Dandelion Tea

Dandelion root and leaves are natural detoxifiers and blood cleansers. The Chinese use the greens and roots of dandelions to “cool the blood.” Drinking the tea on a daily basis in the springtime can help to detox the body, purify the blood and is helpful for allergy-prone people.

Vitamin D

Optimizing your vitamin D levels is absolutely crucial in dealing with allergies. In fact, research suggests that vitamin D deficiency may be a primary underlying cause of asthma. 1000-2000 iu of Vitamin D is recommended, however during high pollen counts season, it can go up to 5000 iu per day.

Eucalyptus oil

This pure essential oil can be healing to mucus membranes. You can apply a drop on a cotton ball and sniff it several times a day, add a few drops to water for a steam treatment, or use a few drops in your bath water.

Avoid pasteurized milk products, all forms of sugar, and wheat

Dairy products are notorious for increasing phlegm and making allergies and asthma worse.  Sugar and wheat products tend to cause inflammations within the body and to reduce body’s natural immune capabilities.

Get Regular Exercise

Exercise regularly, especially out in fresh air, as it helps to boost your overall immune functions.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

A common disorder affecting 10 to 20 percent of adults at some point in their lives, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has a combination of symptoms that may include constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, fatigue and headaches that can be worsened by certain foods, stress and other irritants.

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IBS is the end result of nervous interference with the normal function of the lower digestive tract. Symptoms can be managed by avoiding overeating, exercise, identifying trigger foods and reducing stress.

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Inserting acupuncture needles on certain points on the liver and spleen meridians, along with some points on the stomach meridians often produce astounding results in handling IBS symptoms.

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Tips for Maximizing for Your Cardiovascular Health

There’s really no reason to take statins and suffer the damaging health effects from these dangerous drugs. Adopt a holistic approach that will benefit your overall health—which includes a healthy cardiovascular system.

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  • Optimize your vitamin D levels. Appropriate sun exposure is critical in maintaining a healthy heart.
  • Reduce grains and sugars in your diet.
  • Eat plenty of cruciferous vegetables such as kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, radish, turnips and cabbages.
  • Eat at least three cloves of garlic a day.
  • Consume a moderate amount of high-quality animal (organic grass-fed) fats.

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  • Other heart-healthy foods include olive oil, coconut and coconut oil, organic raw dairy products, eggs, avocados, raw nuts and seeds.
  • Exercise daily. Make sure you incorporate peak fitness, which also optimizes your human growth hormone (HGH) production.
  • Address your stress level through yoga, Qi-kong, or Emotional Freedom Tapping(EFT). Daily meditation for only five minutes can dramatically reduce your stress level.
  • Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol excessively.
  • Be sure to get plenty of good, restorative sleep.

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General Tips for Optimal Endocrine Health

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Eat Slowly – Don’t rush through your meals.

Exercise – Regular exercise boosts the immune system, improves cardiovascular health and muscle mass, and prevents bone loss.

Manage Your Stress – An important part of maintaining a healthy endocrine system is stress management.

Rest – Take a day out of the week for rest and rejuvenation, allowing your mind and body to recover.

Sleep – Get 6-8 hours of sleep per night in order to reduce stress and keep hormones balanced. Stress and a lack of sleep may cause some of the glands to malfunction.

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Foot and Ankle Pain and Acupuncture

Let’s Talk About Foot and Ankle Pain

Your foot is an extremely complex part of your body. A single foot is made up of 38 bones. Which makes both feet hosts to 76 bones!! This multitude of bones is connected by joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments, making just one foot even more complex than just the 38 bones! Your foot is subject to many debilitating stresses throughout any given day.

Foot pain and ankle pain account for almost 5 million doctor’s office visits every year. That’s a staggering amount of pain, which can become debilitating in that it will limit your range of normal motion, and seriously limit your quality of life.

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What Is Foot and Ankle Pain Caused By?

A wide variety of conditions can cause foot and ankle pain. The quest for fashion, and improper footwear, such as high heeled shoes, can cause much pain. Tight shoes or improperly fitting shoes are the usual culprits responsible for pressure, friction and stress.

Exercise and sports can cause very painful foot and ankle injuries, some of which are temporary, some of which stay with you and end up causing you chronic pain. Improper warm up techniques, improper footwear when exercising, or improper foot usage during sports or exercising are just a few of the most common examples.

Other causes of foot pain are less dependent on outside factors such as those noted above. The more inherent foot problems which involve foot joints, ligaments, nerves, tendons, toes and heels which can cause severe or chronic foot and ankle pain are:

  • Abnormal Pronation – your foot does not meet with the ground or leave the ground properly
  • Bunions – bone or tissue that protrudes from a foot joint
  • Corns – callous growths on top of your toes0
  • Hammertoes – middle joint of any given toe pops out
  • Heel spurs – abnormal growths attached to the heel bone
  • Neuromas – tissue buildup on the nerves of the long bones of the foot

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Who Is Most Affected By Foot and Ankle Pain?

Almost everyone is affected by foot and ankle pain at some point in their lifetime, be it simply stepping down wrong, leaning wrong, bad posture or by subjecting their feet to undue stress.

Foot and ankle pain affects two segments of the population mainly. Those whose feet are brand new such as babies and toddlers who are learning to walk, and individuals over the age of 50. Once you are over the age of 50, things start to wear down and feet are no exception.

So How Does Acupuncture Help Foot And Ankle Pain?

Acupuncture is a pain management treatment that has been around for thousands of years. Acupuncture treats the pain both locally and systemically, with acute and chronic pain responding well to the treatment, especially where conventional medicine did not provide an effective treatment.

Acupuncture as a foot and ankle pain treatment can stimulate blood flow to your feet, ankles and lower legs. Different acupuncturists use varying techniques when working to provide pain relief to your ankles, ball of your foot and your heels as well as when working to provide you with chronic foot and ankle pain relief.

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Always discuss your particular condition first with your acupuncturist before beginning any treatment. Not everyone responds the same to all treatments. Your acupuncturist will create a customized plan of foot and ankle pain relief with you before treatment is initiated.

Understanding Pain in Relation to Traditional Chinese Medicine

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, pain and it’s relation to acupuncture is relatively simple and straightforward.

Pain is considered to be a stagnation or blockage of Qi, (energy). Qi runs in what is known as energy channels and meridians throughout your body. When an energy channel or meridian is blocked, Qi is then blocked, and pain will be experienced.

Acupuncture helps to break up the blockages and to establish or re-establish the smooth balanced flow of Qi.

Contact us today at Allendale Acupuncture and Nutrition Center for more information on how we can help you with your foot and ankle pain. Give us a call – 201.760.8811!

Managing Diabetes with Nutritional Response Testing Procedure

In managing diabetes, are there any other issues we need to be concerned about in addition to “too-well-known” factors such as diet changes and healthy life-style?

Instead of just controlling one’s sugar metabolic rates, what if the most deep-rooted cause of diabetes is parasites lodged in one’s liver or intestines?

What if someone has too much metal toxicity(from their tooth fillings) which affected his or her pancreas, as a result, this person ended up being a diabetic?

What if too much estrogen due to a hormonal therapy has caused disruption in one’s pituitary glands so that production and distribution of insulin in one’s body has been compromised?

diabetis and nutrition testing

Although diet changes and exercises will bring immeasurable benefits in managing one’s diabetic conditions, there are ways to determine precisely the real causes of diabetes(or any disease for that matter). Our bodies are intricate and complex beyond measure.

Nutrition Response Testing is designed to address the most fundamental health issues at cellular level. Based on an assumption that “anything can cause anything,” Nutrition Response Testing can decipher whether one’s diabetes is caused by:

  • Food allergies(most common issues are sugar and wheat)
  • Pathogen embedded in organs and tissues(such as bacteria, virus, fungus/yeast, or parasites)
  • Metal toxicity
  • Chemical toxicity
  • Scar tissues (that disrupt the flow of energies in one’s body).

Typically, a complex condition like diabetes is caused by multiple causes, all of which affect each other at many different levels.

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In Nutrition Response Testing, the most fundamental causes of diabetes are determined through a series of applied kinesiology techniques.

After the No. 1 causes are determined, most appropriate nutrition support system (based on Real Food Based Supplements) such as virus removal protocols, metal toxicity removal system are introduced.

Patients are expected to be tested on a weekly basis to gauge improvement as well as to find out whether there is a need for further analysis.

In the majority of cases, diabetic conditions can improve dramatically only after 5 or 6 sessions.

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Do you or someone you know suffer from diabetes and/or peripheral neuropathy?

Call Allendale Acupuncture today at 201.760.8811 to find out how acupuncture and nutritional response testing can help!

Managing Diabetes with Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

It is estimated that 25.8 million people in the United States have diabetes, a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin.

Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life.

Untreated diabetes affects the whole body and can lead to other medical problems, including heart disease, kidney failure, blindness, peripheral neuropathy, digestive disorders and periodontal disease.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 4 people remain unaware that they live with diabetes. Sometimes the body will give warning signs that a person’s sugar metabolism is out of whack. Common signs of Type II(adult-onset) diabetes include:

  • Increased hunger (especially after eating)
  • Dry mouth
  • Frequent urination or urinary infections
  • Unexplained weight loss (even though you are eating and feel hungry)
  • Fatigue (weak, tired feeling)
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches

Diabetes is Called “A Wasting Disease” in Oriental Medicine

Acupuncture and Oriental medicines have been used to treat diabetes for over 2000 years.

According to Oriental medicine, diabetes is called “a wasting disease” caused by an imbalance of the cyclical flow of Qi within the meridians and organ systems.

This particular imbalance produces heat that depletes the body’s fluids and Qi, causing symptoms such as extreme fatigue, lethargy, unexplained weight loss, excessive thirst, excessive urination, excessive eating, slow healing of cuts and wounds, infections, irritability, tingling or numbness in the extremities, and blurry vision—all of which are signs of a person being “wasted.”

The treatment for diabetes will focus on regulating the circulation of blood and Qi and balancing the organ systems to improve pancreatic function and address internal heat and the depletion of fluids.

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In addition, acupuncture can treat peripheral neuropathy, one of the most devastating symptoms of diabetes.

Common signs of peripheral neuropathy include tingling, numbness, loss of sensation, muscle weakness and pain. For some people, it is experienced as the uncomfortable sensation of “pins and needles”, or burning pain (especially at night) of their hands or feet. Others may suffer even more extreme symptoms such as muscle atrophy, paralysis, or organ or gland dysfunction.

Oriental medicine teaches that peripheral neuropathy is due to dampness moving to the limbs, where it obstructs the flow of Qi (energy) and blood within them.

The treatment is twofold: to treat the underlying factor that is causing this dampness to accumulate, and to directly facilitate the circulation of Qi and blood in the affected area.

By improving circulation, the nerve tissues of the affected area can be nourished to repair function and reduce pain.

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Well-Known Procedures in Managing Diabetes

There are a number of well-publicized recommendations in managing diabetes.

1. Diet Changes

Anything too sweet must go. While a sweet taste delights our taste buds, overindulgence can cause or worsen digestive problems and upset our metabolic and emotional balance. In Oriental medicine, meats such as pork and chicken are considered sweet.

Vegetables such as yams, sweet potatoes, corn, snow peas, squash and even turnips are also considered sweet.

Anything heavily processed or too greasy must be abstained. Too much dairy, deep-fried foods or canned foods must be avoided. Even fruits are recommended only in moderate amounts due to their relatively high sugar content.

2. Adopt Healthy Life Habits

Healthy habits such as maintaining optimal weight, avoiding exposure to toxins, following a well-supervised exercise program, and limiting or avoiding alcohol consumption can reduce the physical and emotional effects of diabetes.

3. Boost Circulation with Massage (for neuropathy patients)

Massage can help boost circulation, which is generally poor and leaves these areas vulnerable to trauma. You can stimulate your feet, lower legs, hands and arms with gentle massage using light pressure.

4. Relax to Reduce External Triggers

Consider relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, self-hypnosis or biofeedback.

5. Soak for Pain Relief

A warm foot bath with Epsom salt may also help relieve pain. If there is loss of sensation in the hands or feet, you should avoid extreme temperatures, as you may not feel the damaging effects.