Most of us have experienced an exorbitant amount of anguish, stress, and anxieties lately. When we are under stress, our bodies produce high amounts of stress hormones, which in turn, suppress our immune functions dramatically. In other words, the more we’re stressed out we are, the more likely we will catch this horrific virus.
But how could we be Not anxious and Not worried in the height of the covid drama? Throughout the pandemic, the dominant theme of society was “fear.” The media have done a remarkable job in pushing us toward a state of fear, adding far more dramas onto the drama itself.
As FDR postulated, fear is the worst sucker of all. Let’s not give in to fear, regardless how much the media shouts at us to stay fearful. Since fear is an emotional reaction when we perceive potential threats, there’s nothing really “tangible” in the sense of fear.
Maybe now is the best time to take a good care of our emotional/perceptive fields by actively replacing the negatives with the positives. Let’s make a conscious effort to choose hope over fear, smile over frowning, and compassion to our wounded selves and others. Feeling good in the midst of adversities is a pretty cool thing to experience. It takes a lot of practice, but certainly doable. Daily spiritual tune-in will provide extra fuels in restoring your emotional health.
Nei Guan (P6 or PC6) is commonly used to help relieve nausea, upset stomach, motion sickness, carpal tunnel syndrome, and headaches. Nei Guan (P6) is located three finger breadths below the wrist on the inner forearm in between the two tendons. To find and use this acupressure point, (1) locate the point by turning your hands over so the palm is facing up then (2) apply downward pressure between the two tendons, massaging and stimulating the area for 4-5 seconds.
The point is located at the medial aspect of the hand.
Three-finger space below the wrist.
For Pain Control (Large Intestine 4/He Gu)
He Gu (LI4) is commonly used for stress, facial pain, headaches, toothaches and neck pain. It is an extremely important point in pain reduction. He Gu (LI4) is located on the highest spot of the muscle when the thumb and index fingers are brought close together. To use acupressure on this point, (1) locate the point then (2) use a deep, firm pressure to massage and stimulate the area for 4-5 seconds.
The point is located at the highest point of the muscle when thumb and index fingers are held together.
Locate the point between the web of the first and second finger.
For Reducing Anxiety (Yintang)
Place your thumb or middle finger between your eyebrows at the root of your nose (see figure). That is acupoint Extra 1.
Apply gentle pressure to the acupoint for 10 minutes. Less time is fine if you don’t have 10 minutes to spare.
For added relaxation, focus on your breathing and consider visualizing yourself in a peaceful place, such as in a garden, by a stream or on a cloud.
Over years of practice, I have encountered many people suffering from depression and anxiety disorders. More distressing is that a growing number of adolescents and children seem to be affected by these conditions. Although it appears to affect only one’s emotional state, depression is manifested in all areas of one’s life: physical, mental, and emotional.
Despite intensive research, scientists still do not know the real cause of depression. A general belief is that a combination of genetic, psychological, and environmental factors can trigger imbalances in brain chemicals. These chemicals include serotonin, nor-epinephrine, and dopamine. What is not known is whether these imbalances are a result or a cause of depression.
Medications and psychological therapies are the most commonly recommended procedures. Let me add my own recommendations: A balanced diet, the right amount and type of physical exercise, singing and laughing therapy, and MEDITATION. Also, regardless of whether it is clinical depression or stress-induced depression, one may want to seek help from an acupuncturist.
How can acupuncture help patients with depression and anxiety? According to Chinese medical theory, depression can be defined as “Disturbed Shen.” What is Shen? It can be roughly interpreted as “Spirit.” This Spirit is so delicate and powerful that without a balanced shen, we cannot be happy, healthy, or maintain a normal daily life. Disturbed shen is most often displayed through the Heart meridian, yet the real causes may also come from the Liver, Spleen or Kidneys.
Example 1. A person with a major blockage in the Liver meridian: This person will experience a high level of stress, frustration, or repressed anger. The liver imbalance can spill into the heart meridian, as a result, this person may experience intermittent heart pain and/or irregular heart beats. In this case, an acupuncturist may focus on pacifying the liver first. When the liver meridian is more balanced, the heart meridian will be strengthened naturally.
Example 2. A case of menopause: Women going through menopause often experience severe mood swings along with hot flushes and night sweats. Depression during this period is very common; a woman’s body is going through a major upheaval which disrupts energy flows in all meridians. Typically, a woman’s kidneys cannot provide enough support to other organs, including the heart. In this case, priority should be given to tonify her kidneys first. The kidneys will, in turn, strengthen her heart.
Example 3. Troubled digestive functions: A person with chronic digestive issues is more likely to be depressed than the one with healthy digestive organs. It is common to see cranky, whining people among those with chronic digestive disorders. The basic sustaining power of our bodies is provided through our digestive organs. Low energy level and fatigue caused by weak digestive functions impact one’s Shen negatively. So, the most important organs to treat for this person are the stomach and spleen, along with the intestines. When the digestive functions improve, the energy flow through the heart meridian will become much stronger.
The above examples show how Chinese medicine approaches depression/anxiety issues. Most acupuncture patients feel incredibly relaxed and peaceful after treatment. If you have not tried acupuncture, or if you want to have a really good handle on your depression/anxiety issues, you may want to visit an acupuncturist’s office.
Arthritis isn’t just one disease, but a complex disorder comprised of more than 100 distinct conditions that can affect people at any stage of life. Two of the most common forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. While these two types of arthritis have very different causes, they often share a common symptom: persistent joint pain.
For many 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 as joints naturally degenerate over time. Fortunately, arthritis can frequently be managed with acupuncture and nutrition programs.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting an estimated 21 million adults in the United States. Beginning with the breakdown of joint cartilage that results in pain and stiffness, osteoarthritis usually affects the joints of the fingers, knees, hips and spine. The wrists, elbows, shoulders and ankles are less frequently affected and when osteoarthritis is found in these joints, there is typically a history of injury or unusual stress to the joints. This may include and be attributed to work-related repetitive injury and physical trauma. For example, if you have a strenuous job that requires repetitive bending, kneeling or squatting, you may be at high risk for osteoarthritis of the knee.
Rheumatoid arthritis can affect many different joints and, in some people, other parts of the body as well, including the blood vessels, lungs and heart. With this kind of arthritis, inflammation of the joint lining (called the synovium) can cause pain, stiffness, swelling, warmth and redness. The impacted joint may also lose its shape, resulting in loss of normal movement. Rheumatoid arthritis can last a long time and is a disease characterized by flares (active symptoms) and remissions (few to no symptoms).
Diagnosis and Treatment of Arthritis with Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
According to Oriental medical theory, arthritis arises when the cyclical flow of Qi (energy) in the meridians becomes blocked resulting in pain, soreness, numbness and stiffness. This blockage is called “bi syndrome” and is widely studied and successfully treated using a combination of treatment modalities. The acupuncture points and herbs that are used depend on whether the underlying cause of the blockage of Qi(arthritis) is caused by wind, cold, damp or damp-heat.
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine aim to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual using a variety of techniques such as acupuncture, bodywork, lifestyle/dietary recommendations and energetic exercises to restore imbalances found in the body. Therefore, if 10 patients are treated with Oriental medicine for joint pain, each of these 10 patients will receive a unique, customized treatment with different acupuncture points, different herbs/supplements, and different lifestyle and diet recommendations.
Your acupuncturist will examine you, take a look at the onset of your condition and learn your signs and symptoms to determine your diagnosis and choose the appropriate acupuncture points and treatment plan.
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.
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.
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.
February is the American Heart Association’s Heart Health Awareness Month. The cardiovascular system consists of the heart and blood vessels, and is responsible for carrying nutrients and oxygen to the tissues and removing carbon dioxide and other waste from them.
Diseases affecting the cardiovascular system include arteriosclerosis, coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, arrhythmia, heart failure, hypertension, orthostatic hypotension, and congenital heart disease..
Cardiovascular disease is the leading health threat, with heart disease and stroke topping the list of leading causes of death worldwide. One out of every two men and one out of every three women will develop heart disease sometime in their life.
By integrating acupuncture and Oriental medicine into your heart-healthy lifestyle, you can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by as much as 80 percent. Let’s take a look at how acupuncture can assist your cardiovascular health.
1. Manage High Blood Pressure
Acupuncture has been found to be particularly helpful in lowering blood pressure. By applying acupuncture needles at specific sites along the wrist, inside the forearm or in the leg, researchers at the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California, Irvine, were able to stimulate the release of opioids, which decreases the heart’s activity and thus its need for oxygen. This, in turn, lowers blood pressure.
2. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity is associated with diabetes, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease–all of which increase the risk of developing heart disease. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine is an excellent adjunctive tool when it comes to losing weight. They can help to energize the body, maximize the absorption of nutrients, regulate elimination, control overeating, suppress the appetite and reduce anxiety.
3. Reduce Stress
In Chinese Medicine, the Heart is the King of all of our physiological, emotional, and spiritual health. Excessive stress can easily damage the heart so that people with a high degree of stress often suffer from high blood pressure, chest pains, or irregular heartbeats. Numerous studies have demonstrated the substantial benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of stress, anxiety and mental health.
4. Improve Sleep Quality
Poor sleep has been linked with high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart failure, heart attacks, stroke, diabetes and obesity. Acupuncture has shown great success treating a wide array of sleep problems without any of the side effects of prescription or over-the-counter sleep aids. The acupuncture treatments for problems sleeping focus on the root disharmony within the body that is causing the insomnia. Therefore, those who use acupuncture for insomnia achieve not only better sleep, but also an overall improvement of physical and mental health.
5. If You Smoke, Quit
Most people associate cigarette smoking with breathing problems and lung cancer. But did you know that smoking is also a major cause of coronary artery disease? In fact, about 20 percent of all deaths from heart disease are directly related to cigarette smoking.
Acupuncture has shown to be an effective treatment for smoking. Acupuncture treatments for smoking cessation focus on jitters, cravings, irritability and restlessness–symptoms that people commonly complain about when they quit. It also aids in relaxation and detoxification.
The fundamental premise of alternative/complementary medicine is centered on the notion of treating causes of disease instead of treating symptoms, and in the attempt to identify these root causes, thousands of testing procedures, treatment protocols and techniques have been developed. Nonetheless, finding the true cause of any disease is extremely difficult because our bodies are made up of so many layers, organs and tissues, all of which affect each other at all times. It is more akin to detective’s work, and often the findings appear to be irrational, unlikely, or even absurd.
Outside of stress, which may well be the single most important cause, there are five major causes of all human diseases, regardless of age, geographic location and DNA disposition. They are food sensitivity, pathogens, metal toxicity, chemical toxicity and scar tissue. The root cause of any disease can be found among these five factors.
Food sensitivity: Certain foods wreak havoc on our health. Foods that can cause major troubles include wheat, sugar (including fruit sugar and honey), dairy, nuts, eggs and certain seafood. GMOs, animals being fed on growth hormones and antibiotics and the dumping of chemical and medical waste into soil and water have made many foods incompatible with our DNA. Gluten intolerance is a merely an outcry of the body telling us that it hates chemically-processed proteins. Not only wheat, but grains like barley, soy, corn, rye, millet and rice, as well as many different vegetables, are grown out of GMO seeds.
Pathogens: Our bodies are inundated with many types of pathogens, notably viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungus/yeast. Many of these pathogens are buried deep inside our tissues and never leave our bodies. Among all pathogens, overgrown Candida (fungus/yeast) is perhaps the most challenging medical issue in modern times.
Metal toxicity: Heavy metal toxicity is usually caused by lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium. We absorb metals through exposure to industrial products, polluted air and water, medicine, paint products and jewelry. When it comes to heavy metal toxicity, the most notable is mercury poisoning caused by amalgam tooth fillings (made of 50 percent liquid mercury and another 50 percent a powdered alloy composed of silver, tin and copper).
Chemical toxicity: We are exposed to hundreds of different toxic chemicals. The water we drink contains fluoride, chloride, medical waste, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) and dioxin. The air we breathe is mixed with toxic fumes, chemical sprays and other harmful chemicals. All kinds of plastic materials, food coloring, dry cleaning materials, paints, heavily scented lotions and shampoos contain chemicals that are harmful to our bodies. The most harmful chemical toxin is in nail polish remover, commonly known as acetone.
Scar tissue: Scar tissue formed by surgeries or injuries essentially blocks the flow of energy and blood in our bodies. Scar tissue that has not healed properly continuously excretes body chemicals that can be extremely harmful to surrounding tissues and organs.
Using a cookie-cutter approach based on conventional medical knowledge and previous research findings to determine the main cause of any medical condition among these five common factors can be dangerous and costly, because each individual has a uniquely different genetic makeup, diet and medical history. Even if two people demonstrate almost identical symptoms, what one person’s body needs can be vastly different from what the other individual needs.
However, we can find the deepest cause of any medical condition through applied kinesiology. When done properly, applied kinesiology yields extraordinarily accurate information about our health by allowing us to tap into our body’s “infinite intelligence”. Regardless of the severity and length of illnesses, at any given moment, our bodies are ready to point out the areas needing the most attention. Once the root causes are known, diseased bodies can be effectively treated by using real-food-based nutrition programs. When being fed with the right amount and type of nutrients, our bodies never fail to utilize their incredible self-healing power.
Dr. Susanna Eun, LAc, Ph.D., offers free seminars on nutrition response testing every month. For more information, visit AllendaleAcupuncture.com, or call 201-760-8811.
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.
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.
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.