Overcoming Addiction with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

Any addiction, whether to drugs, alcohol, food, work, or other activity or substance, effectively blocks intelligence and suppresses healing abilities. Through these behaviors we choose to rely on the demands of addiction to dictate our lives, rather than taking responsibility to conduct ourselves in a healthy, life-affirming way.

addiction

Is there a body/mind connection to willpower? According to the principles of Chinese Medicine, there is. The zhi () represents willpower, drive, and determination. It manifests as the urge to persist in one’s efforts and, when in deficiency, feelings of defeat, pessimism, and depression may occur. Without strong willpower, or zhi, one may easily succumb to the temptations of addiction.

In acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, several approaches may be used when treating addictions, generally starting with therapies that help cleanse and balance. Sometimes a vague, uneasy sensation takes over after or during the process of releasing an addiction. Perhaps for the workaholic patient, it is strange and alarming to experience leisure time. Addicts require fortitude to find replacements for the dependence on substances or addictive behaviors. This is why willpower, or zhi, needs treatment, to provide support and determination to discover the power within oneself–a universal necessity for overcoming any addiction.

To aid your transformation from addiction and addictive behaviors to healthier practices, try focusing on routine. Routine provides stability, and a new routine is necessary to break old habits. If your first thought in the morning is to reach for a cigarette, replace that action with another, healthier ritual.

The replacement ritual could be anything from reaching for warm water with lemon and a pinch of cayenne to refresh your system, or singing your favorite song or stating out loud your plans for the day. As long as the action is positive and consistent, it will serve your new routine and changing thought processes.

Deep breathing with visualization can also strengthen willpower and be used as a tool to curb hunger and cravings. Most patients report a marked decline in appetite and cravings with acupuncture treatment alone, but special herbs, healing foods, and exercises can definitely enhance the efficacy of the treatments.

Remembering the power of zhi, how much do you have it, and how much you are willing to augment it are the keys in overcoming any addiction.

Are there cravings or an addiction you are working to overcome?

Call today to learn how acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help you reach optimum health!

6 Food Tips for Autoimmune Disorders

A class of plant chemicals — known as bioflavonoids — has been found to dramatically reduce inflammation and improve symptoms associated with autoimmune disorders.

Tea
Both green and black tea contain the flavonoids catechins and theaflavins, which are beneficial in autoimmune disease.

Apples
Apples contain the flavonoid quercetin, which can reduce allergic reactions and decrease inflammation. Quercetin also occurs naturally in other foods, such as berries, red grapes, red onions, capers and black tea.

Carrots
Carotenoids are a family of plant pigments that include beta-carotene. A lack of carotenoids in the diet is thought to promote inflammation. Good sources of carotenoids include apricots, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, spinach, kale, butternut squash and collard greens.

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Ginger
Recent studies show that ginger reduces inflammation by inhibiting prostaglandin and suppresses the immune system’s production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, reducing disease severity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Omega-3
Omega-3 essential fatty acids can counter the formation of chemicals that cause inflammation. Good natural sources include flaxseed oil and salmon.

Fiber
A healthy and active colon can decrease food sensitivity, which, in turn, can lighten the burden on your immune system.

autoimmune and nutrition

Nutrition and Skin Conditions

Here at Allendale Acupuncture and Nutrition Clinic, we’ve treated a number of skin conditions including extremely dry skin, eczema, acnes, and hives.

With applied kinesiology, we’ve found that the deep causes of these conditions are usually the combination effects of toxins in the intestines, pathogens spread throughout the body, and food intolerance. Since each patient displays different pathological syndromes, it’s difficult to generalize.

However, the most important thing any patients with skin conditions must do is: stay away from wheat and sugar. Wheat produced by GMOs tends to create toxic-environments in both small and large intestines; sugar seems to be biggest culprit in helping yeast, fungus, and mold flourish.

Through a systemic approach integrating diet changes, food-based-natural supplements, and some homeopathic aids, most skin conditions demonstrate dramatic improvements.

food that look best

Foods to Help You Look Your Best

Be sure to integrate these items into your diet to help keep your skin look its best:

Vitamin A: Acting as an antioxidant to neutralize harmful elements in our skin, vitamin A helps to prevent wrinkles, resist infection and maintain the skin’s elasticity. One of the best places to get vitamin A is from vegetables that are deep orange in color, such as carrots or sweet potatoes.

Blackberries, Blueberries, Strawberries and Plums: Antioxidants and other phytochemicals in these fruits can protect cells from damage and disintegration, thus guarding against premature aging. In a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, these four fruits weighed in with the highest “total antioxidant capacity” of any food.

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs): Responsible for skin repair, moisture content and flexibility, and because the body cannot produce its own, EFAs must be obtained from one’s diet. Fish, walnuts and flaxseed oil are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Selenium: An antioxidant mineral responsible for tissue elasticity and healthy skin, selenium can be found in brown rice, turkey, tuna and Brazil nuts

Green Tea: Green tea’s ability to slow down the development of some signs of aging is attributed to its high levels of polyphenols, which have been well-documented for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Water: Essential to maintaining your skin’s elasticity and suppleness.

Fight Fibromyalgia with Nutrition Response Testing

As in any other imbalances in the body, we believe the root cause of Fibromyalgia can be found in one of the following areas:

  • Immunological challenges (virus, bacteria, yeast, or parasites)
  • Food issues (too much of sugar, wheat, eggs, meat, dairies, etc.)
  • Metal toxicity
  • Chemical toxicity
  • Scar tissue

In my clinical experiences, metal toxicity, especially mercury poisoning on the nervous system, makes the top of the list when it comes to treating Fibromyalgia.

fibromyalgia

Typically, it takes six months to a year to experience tangible, long-lasting effects.  In most cases, we strongly recommend diet and life-style changes for Fibromyalgia patients.

Some key nutrients in fighting Fibromyalgia include:

B-Complex

Found in whole grains, beans, nuts, chicken, fish and eggs; B complex vitamins directly influence the nervous system’s proper functioning and combat nerve problems such as tingling and tenderness.

Magnesium

Found in nuts, grains, beans, fish, meat and dark green vegetables magnesium is needed for muscle flexibility and bone, protein and fatty acid formation. Magnesium is also integral in making new cells, relaxing muscles, clotting blood, aiding in calcium absorption and activating B vitamins.

Omega 3

Directly affecting cellular function, this fatty acid found in fish minimizes nerve sensitivity and improves cognition.

Vitamin C

Helps combat stress, builds the immune system and reduces swelling. Vitamin C is found in a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables including citrus fruits, green vegetables, tomatoes and berries.

Water

Increases circulation of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body and helps to eliminate waste.

Call us today – don’t delay, don’t live in pain – we are here to help you! Call us at 201-760-8811!

Nutrition Response Testing for Digestive Health

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine offers extremely effective means of combating both acute and chronic digestive disorders. However, when it comes to identifying specific diet changes or eliminating pathogens from the GI tract, Nutrition Response Testing offers far more detailed, individually-tailored information.

nutrition response testing for digestive heqlth

For instance, Nutrition Response Testing can immediately identify which food items wreak havoc on one’s digestive health, and whether or not one’s digestive system needs additional enzymes.

Typically, “wheat and sugar” are the major culprits, although eggs, dairy products, soy, rye, nuts, and other grains can cause violent reactions for some people. Once identified as “threats,” patients are advised to stay away from those food items for at least 90 days. In the mean time, various real-food-based supplements are introduced to neutralize “overly sensitized” tissues in the GI tract.

nutrition response testing for digestive heqlth 2

Not only food items, Nutrition Response Testing can easily detect whether one’s digestive disorder is caused by pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, yeast, fungus, and/or parasites. Metal and/or chemical toxins embedded in the GI tract can be identified as well.

We have found that most of digestive disorders are caused by combined effects of food items, pathogens, and toxins. We HIGHLY recommend Nutrition Response Testing for anyone who experiences digestive issues.

nutrition response testing for digestive health 2

Is your digestive system functioning as well as it can? Call (201)760-8811 today for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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.

diabetes and acupuncture

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.

diabetes and acupuncture2

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.