According to the latest report, the USA has the highest obesity rate in the entire world, with more than 70 percent of population struggle with weight issues. Diet changes, rigorous exercises, and other lifestyle changes–all are great in losing weights, but they also require pretty big mental, financial, and physical investments. There’s the easiest, safest, cheapest and healthiest way not only to lose weight, but to improve all of your body functions, just through “long breathing.”
I’ve been practicing this exercise daily and realized many unexpected benefits: I was able to breathe deeper and longer, my sinus cleared up, my waistline got smaller, my digestive functions improved, and all the muscles in the lower and upper body became very well toned. It really is so easy to do–you can do this exercise anywhere (even when you’re driving, or sitting on a chair at office), anytime. This exercise program will also lift your mood, make you feel empowered, at the same, deeply relaxed.
Known to be one of the most effective weight loss/detoxification program, the Standard Process 21-day protocol has been around for decades. Unlike numerous weight-loss programs that promote a quick weight loss–most people gain back their weights plus many extra pounds, this program truly “resets” one’s metabolic rates and make people adopt completely different eating patterns.
The dietary modifications throughout the Standard Process program consist of:
unlimited fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits and preferably twice as many vegetables as fruits (nothing else is allowed for the first 10 days)
at least 64 oz of water a day.
After day 10, ½ cup of cooked lentils or brown rice along with a small portion of protein (poultry or fish) is allowed.
Participants consume a protein–based shake as 2 or 3 times per day.
Supplements designed to cleanse the liver, kidneys, small and large intestines.
The whole program is designed to release toxins gradually and safely. Regardless how much we try to eat clean and healthy, our bodies are loaded with toxins. Naturally occurring toxins that build up in the body can contribute to:
Food cravings and weight gain
A stuffy feeling in the head
Fatigue or difficulty sleeping
Indigestion and other temporary gastrointestinal upset
Just like all other physical exercises, this exercise program needs consistency and persistence. In the beginning, some pain and uneasiness are expected, especially when you have tight sacrum and shoulders. If you cannot withstand for five minutes, it’s OK as you can gradually increase the length of time. Do not continue if pain persists, but the level of uneasiness will decrease dramatically as the spine adjusts itself during the course of 5 minutes. Chronic neck pain can be reduced by placing the towel underneath the cervical spine. You can also put the towel under the upper and mid thoracic area to release tightness on the upper spine and shoulders.
Do not rise up quickly as this exercise. After the exercise, roll to your side, and sit up slowly to make sure your “adjusted” spine position will withhold.
The developer of this exercise claimed that this exercise will optimize one’s metabolism by letting the spine adjust itself to an optimal position (hence losing weight), strengthen one’s core (lose the belly fat), improve digestive functions, calm the central nervous system, and strengthen one’s hormonal production. In a nutshell, there’s no reason not to do this exercise if you have lower back pain.
Please share with me about your experiences with this exercise program. I am particularly interested in the effects of this exercise in weight control.
The signs and symptoms of ulcerative colitis vary depending on the severity of inflammation, and where it is located. The most common symptoms include abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea, ranging from mild to severe. They may come on either very suddenly or more gradually.
Other common symptoms include:
Frequent, even continuous diarrhea
Urgent need to defecate
Abdominal cramps and pain
People with ulcerative colitis are at increased risk for malnutrition. The condition is also associated with other health problems, including arthritis, eye infections, liver disease, skin rashes, blood clots, or gallstones. Although western medical doctors cannot figure out why such problems occur outside the colon, if we take a look at this disease from a Chinese medical perspective, cross-functional aspects of different organs will make sense.
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.
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.
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.
Crohn’s disease is a medical condition that can cause chronic inflammation anywhere in the GI tract–from the mouth all the way to the rectum.
Often, the inflamed tissue is specifically found in the ileum (the end of the small intestine) and the beginning of the colon. Inflammation can spread into the deeper layers of the tract and frequently has what is known as a “cobblestone appearance.”
Symptoms vary from patient to patient, and may include persistent, recurrent diarrhea, bleeding from the anus, urgent need to evacuate the bowels, constipation or feeling of incomplete evacuation, abdominal cramping, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, mental and physical developmental delays (in certain cases occurring amongst children), fever, night sweats, or irregular menstrual cycle
Crohn’s is a difficult condition to cure. In some cases, surgery to repair or remove affected areas of the GI tract is necessary.
It is important to receive an early diagnosis as untreated Crohn’s disease can eventually cause life-threatening symptoms such as tears in the lining of the rectum and fistulas.
Fissures can cause excess bleeding and pain. Fistulas happen when inflammation erodes tissue, causing the formation of a tunnel starting from the intestines, going to the urinary bladder, vagina or even the skin.
I cannot stress enough how important diet is in reducing some symptoms.
Ulcerative colitis is part of disease called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It presents with inflammation in the lining of the large intestine, specifically the colon and sometimes the rectum. The lining becomes inflamed due to small wounds or ulcers, which then produce mucus and pus.
The inflammation and ulceration an cause pain and different problems, including frequent, watery diarrhea, persistent diarrhea with pain and bloody stool, urgent bowel movements, incomplete evacuation of the bowels despite a feeling of urgency, abdominal cramping, loss of appetite, weight loss, body fluid depletion, fatigue, fever or urgent diarrhea that wakes you up in the middle of the night.
How can Chinese medicine help patients with ulcerative colitis?
An article published in the 2013 issue of Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine concluded that “acupuncture and moxibustion (a traditional technique that uses the smoke from the herb mugwort to penetrate the skin) demonstrated better overall efficacy than oral sulphasalazine in treating inflammatory bowel disease.”
Sulphasalazine is a doctor-prescribed pharmaceutical drug that is commonly used in the treatment of ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis.
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.
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)
Frequent urination or urinary infections
Unexplained weight loss (even though you are eating and feel hungry)
Fatigue (weak, tired feeling)
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.
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.
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.