What is Autoimmune Disease?

An autoimmune disease occurs when the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue. Over 50 million Americans suffer from autoimmune disease including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, thyroid disease, Addison’s disease, pernicious anemia, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Many of these autoimmune disorders are considered to be extremely difficult to treat.

What Causes Autoimmune Disease?

Under normal conditions, an immune response cannot be triggered against the cells of one’s own body. In certain cases, however, immune cells make a mistake and attack the very cells that they are meant to protect. This can lead to a variety of autoimmune diseases. They encompass a broad category of over 100 diseases in which the person’s immune system attacks his or her own cells and tissue.

The exact mechanisms causing these changes are not completely understood, but bacteria, viruses, toxins, and some synthetic drugs may play a role in triggering an autoimmune process in someone who already has a genetic (inherited) predisposition to develop such a disorder. It is theorized that the inflammation initiated by these agents–toxic or infectious–somehow provokes in the body a “sensitization” (autoimmune reaction) in the involved tissues.

As the disease develops, vague symptoms start to appear, such as joint and muscle pain, general muscle weakness, possible rashes or low-grade fever, trouble concentrating, or weight loss. Numbness and tingling in hands and feet, dry eyes, hair loss, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, or repeated miscarriages may also indicate that something is wrong with the immune system.

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How Acupuncture Treats Autoimmune Disorders

According to Oriental medicine, autoimmune disorders occur when there is an imbalance within the body. Imbalance can come from an excess or deficiency of Yin and Yang that disrupts the flow of Qi, or vital energy, through the body. Acupuncture is used to help the body restore balance, treating the root of the disorder, while specifically addressing the symptoms that are unique to each individual.

Clinical research has shown that acupuncture causes physical responses in nerve cells, the pituitary gland and parts of the brain. These responses can cause the body to release proteins, hormones and brain chemicals that control a number of body functions. It is proposed that, by these actions, acupuncture affects blood pressure, body temperature and the immune system.

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How Nutrition Response Testing Can Help Autoimmune Conditions?

Despite notable advancement of medical science, when it comes to our physical bodies, we still do not understand most of incredibly complex and intricate processes of our body mechanisms. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to speculate that overgrowth of some pathogens such as bacteria, virus, yeast, or accumulated metal/chemical toxins in certain organs can trigger chain reactions in surrounding tissues. Over time, this “confusion” in the tissues sends “confusing” signals to the central nervous system, which subsequently sends other “confusing” commands to our immune functions. When this “confusion” persists over a long period of time, our immune functions can no longer identify which agents they need to “fight against” or to “fight for”. The results are typically displayed as autoimmune conditions such as allergies, arthritis, or lupus.

The nutrition response testing is designed specifically to identify the most fundamental, prominent causes of autoimmune conditions. For instance, the real culprit of chronic thyroid conditions may be some “retro-virus” stuck on someone’s liver. Under this scenario, unless this virus issue is resolved, this patient cannot get better even if she religiously follows medical protocol prescribed by her endocrinologist. Can MS (multiple sclerosis) caused by mercury toxins in someone’s teeth? Is adrenal exhaustion (Addison’s disease) caused by none other than parasites in the kidneys? With nutrition program, there are virtually unlimited different situations since “anything can cause anything” in our bodies.

Real food-based nutrition program, combined with accurate testing based on not our “learned knowledge,” but on “mysterious intelligence” within our bodies, will provide us with a safe and effective route to combat any diseases, especially autoimmune conditions.

To learn more about how acupuncture and nutrition program can safely and effectively be incorporated into care for people with an autoimmune disorder, please call for a consultation today.

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.

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Insomnia, Acupuncture and Nutrition Response Testing

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that is characterized by difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. People with insomnia have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Waking up often during the night and having trouble going back to sleep
  • Waking up too early in the morning
  • Feeling tired upon waking

Major Causes of Insomnia

  • Significant life stress (job loss or change, death of a loved one, divorce, or moving)
  • Illness, pain, or discomfort at night
  • Environmental factors like noise, light, or extreme temperatures (hot or cold) that interfere with sleep
  • Medications (notably those used to treat depression, asthma, or high blood pressure) may interfere with sleep
  • Interferences in normal sleep schedule such as jet lag switching from a day to night shift
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Hormonal imbalance

Millions of people suffer from insomnia these days. Sleep deprivation is the root of many health issues like memory impairment, a weakened immune system and stress that can lead to cardiac disease, heart disease and digestive disorders. Sound sleep is the foundation of good health. We need 6-8 hours of sleep every night to recharge our batteries. Practicing good sleep hygiene and keeping your body in sync with the rhythm of day and night can help your body cope with sleep deprivation and give it an opportunity to get stronger and heal.

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We can address the root cause of insomnia by applying the yin-yang principle. In Chinese medicine, sleep occurs when the yang energy of the day folds into the yin energy of night time. Yin energy of the body is cooling and restorative; it is the time of day when our bodies turn inward and regenerate. Conversely, day time is yang, which is expansive. We expend the energy we have built up from the process of sleeping. This yin-yang principle provides invaluable tips to improve our sleeping patterns.

What to Do:

Keep your body and mind as much Yin as possible by following: Exposure to the diminishing light at dusk, eating your last meal at least three hours before going to bed, gentle and slow-moving exercise such as yoga or Tai-Chi, and Unwind your mind through meditation (Meditation is best practiced dung the day to help improve your sleep patterns at night.)

What to Avoid:

Cool your Yang energy down by avoiding hot and spicy food and drink. Avoid alcohol, coffee, chocolate and any other stimulants, especially late in the day. Excessive lighting at night, evening shift work, evening computing, video games, television, and late-night eating all serve to counteract the body’s natural rhythms.

Nutrition:

Just like any other human health issues, insomnia can be caused by: improper diet, immunological challenges, heavy metal or chemical toxins in your body, and unhealed scar tissues. Fruits and vegetables, seaweeds, bone-marrow soup, foods rich in minerals, and Vitamin B Complex can induce peaceful sleep at night..

If you or someone you know suffers from insomnia, call today to see what Acupuncture and Nutrition Response Testing can do for you!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.