Treating Acne Naturally

Basic definitions:

Acidophilus: A microorganism that is added to dairy products or prepared as a dietary supplement, is part of the normal intestinal and vaginal flora, and is used therapeutically especially to promote intestinal health. (In Chinese Medicine acidophilus has a “cooling” nature. Meaning, if taken for long periods of time it will cool the digestive system, reducing metabolic function.)

Bifidum: A type of “friendly bacteria” that helps maintain health in the large intestine. Increases the acidity of the region it inhabits and makes the area inhospitable to dangerous bacteria.

Source: Merriam-Webster’s Medical Dictionary, © 2007 Merriam-Webster, Inc.

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There are some critical components to skin health. Here are some ways to treat acne naturally:

Incidentally, for individuals dealing with acne,

  1. Build function-Acupuncture and herbs,
  2. Seasons change: cleanse (we recommend the “ultimate cleanse” by Nature’s secret),
  3. Acidophilus/Bifidum complex,
  4. Tea tree oil gently applied in small dosages to lesions.

One of our acupuncturists, David, recommends the following:

The two types of Echinacea (Angustifolia and Purpurea) taken regularly through the course of the day will fight the bacterial cause of acne.

  1. Take 1 (Augustafolia) every 2 hours.
  2. Alternate with 1 Purpurea every two hours.

Mix 8 oz. of carbonated spring water with 1 teaspoon of baking soda every morning to help alkalize the blood, which helps to prevent acne breakouts.

Note: it seems with acidophilus, like many supplements, it is important to chose the highest quality available where you shop. When shopping at a health food store for such a thing make sure it’s in the refrigerator. It seems the more expensive versions use products with a wide variety of different intestinal flora, including at least acidophilus and bifidum. For example, we’ve seen patients do very well after a course of antibiotics by taking an entire  60 capsule bottle (say, 2-4 capsules per day), using the recommendations on the bottle. The good news is if you get acidophilus that was not refrigerated and happens to be dead there is no negative effect. It simply passes through the digestive system causing no positive or negative effects.

Best of health to you! If you have any questions on this topic or anything else, don’t hesitate to call. 414-322-8888

 

 

Note: Nothing in this document is intended as a substitute for your doctor’s diagnosis and/or treatment. This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA.

 

One Hot Topic: Coffee

At the risk of infuriating millions of Americans (likely because of the fear of the headaches they will experience from withdrawal if they discontinue use), I am writing this to offer one perspective. Then, you should make the decision that is best for you.

The downsides to coffee: it is highly acidic, leading to inflammation which can cause many health problems. Also, it is apparently very difficult grow, therefore massive quantities of herbicides and pesticides are used in its cultivation. Additionally, the “buzz” you get from coffee is not the caffeine; rather it is the caffeine stimulating the release of adrenaline. Over time, this leads to depleted kidney/adrenal function.

The solution (should you decide to kick the habit): start gently on the following steps. Watch out…at some point it may get bumpy, as withdrawal isn’t very pleasant!

Note: To minimize any withdrawal symptoms, it is important to make the following transitions:

  1. Drink only organic regular coffee for a few days.
  2. Drink half organic, half organic steam-distilled decaf for a few days.
  3. Drink organic steam-distilled decaf only for a few days. (FYI: there is still caffeine in decaf coffee. The decaffeination process never removes all of the caffeine.)
  4. Drink green tea for a few days.
  5. Drink Chai tea (Indian Spice tea with little or, better yet, no black tea). We have a fantastic recipe on our website’s blog, as well as in our clinic.

Call if you have question or concerns, as always.

 

Oriental Medicine and your Emotions

Thousands of years ago, physicians in China began to explore the nature of human emotion and discovered a direct link between emotion and the organ system.  Having helped many people resolve emotional imbalances over the years, we’ve found the following to be accurate from the point of view of the physical body (obviously many factors exist in life that may trigger bodily malfunction which, in turn, could then trigger an emotional response).  What is described below is the relationship between the emotions and physical body.

  •  Ÿ An  imbalance in LIVER function can cause a person to experience excessive or inappropriate    anger, irritability, frustration, impatience, and/or depression.  For example, a person could have experienced multiple emotional stresses over many years that suppressed liver function.  Then, the loss of a loved one could cause liver function to drop dramatically, and the person could then begin to experience  frequent bouts of depression.  On the other hand, a well-functioning liver will cause one to be generally relaxed, patient, and emotionally even.  It is interesting to note that intense     cardiovascular exercise pushes blood and energy through the liver thereby benefiting it greatly (this is one reason people feel so mellow after exercising).
  • Ÿ The HEART is the “king”  of emotions.  An imbalance in heart function can cause a person to experience short-term memory loss, excessive/inappropriate anxiety or panic attacks.  Normal heart function will provide one with good short-term memory.
  • Ÿ An imbalance in SPLEEN/PANCREATIC function will cause one to worry excessively or to over-think; strong spleen/pancreatic function will yield clear and crisp thinking at a normal pace.
  • Ÿ An imbalance in LUNG function will cause one to experience inappropriate or excessive grief, sadness, and/or melancholy.
  • Ÿ An imbalance in KIDNEY function will cause one to experience excessive or inappropriate fear; conversely, strong kidney function will cause a person to trust easily.

 

As  you can see, in many cases, excessive or inappropriate amounts of emotion can be caused by a breakdown in organ function, not simply an imbalance in brain chemistry, which is the typical     western medical view of emotional imbalances. The view of western medical theory can be quite  limited and, ironically, leads to further difficulty in resolving the problem.  For example, if one takes a medication for depression (which may be caused by a liver imbalance) and that medication reduces liver function, it makes it more difficult to treat the depression.  This is often why a person may take a medication for the length of their life… and the issue never fully resolves!

 

If you know someone suffering with any of the above problems, do not hesitate to have them call and ask questions!

 

 

Sugar

This newsletter answers the commonly asked question, “What does sugar do to my body?”  This is a tricky one: people love sugar.  Companies use sugar to sell their products.  Amazingly, people consume an average of 150 pounds of sugar each year.  As you can imagine, prior to the discovery of Hawaii (by European explorers) people consumed very little sugar, if any.

Q:  Where is sugar?

Everywhere.  Basically it is the basic substance that the body uses to create energy.  Almost everything you eat turns to sugar.  Crackers, cookies, fruit, bread, brown rice, you name it.

Q:  How does sugar affect the emotions?

Consuming sugar releases brain chemicals called beta endorphins, which have the same molecular structure as opium.  The release of beta endorphins yields a state of calm and relaxed connection.  Shortly afterwards beta endorphin levels crash and then the emotions can crash, which leads to an unknowing desire for more sugar.  Interesting…a difficult cycle to break.

Q: How does sugar affect the physical body?

Consuming sugar or simple carbohydrates causes an immediate release of insulin from the pancreas/spleen system.  This, in turn, affects the function of the kidney/adrenal system.  Over time, these systems can become very taxed leading to a variety of complaints, including night sweats, hormonal imbalances, arthritic pain conditions, headaches, high cholesterol, digestive trouble, candida overgrowth, fatigue, insomnia, lack of ability to concentrate and others.

Q: Am I Sugar Sensitive?

Here are the questions to answer.  If you answer “yes” to one or more, you’re probably sensitive to sugar.

Q: What can I do about my sugar cravings?

There are many things that you can do!  The easiest is to drink lemon water (in Oriental Medicaltheory, sour controls sweet).

For longer term solutions, follow these seven steps:

  1. Keep a food journal, logging everything you eat for 7-10 days.
  2. Eat three meals per day at regular intervals.
  3. Take vitamins.
  4. Eat a minimum ratio of one part protein to two parts carbohydrates every time you eat (snacks too).
  5. Increase consumption of complex carbohydrates.
  6. Eat a baked russet potato w/o proteins or fat three hours after a protein-heavy evening meal. Do this for 10 days to increase the brain chemical serotonin, which gives you impulse control.
  7. Reduce and eventually eliminate sugar and alcohol (much more possible with high serotonin levels).

 

Read Potatoes Not Prozac, by Kathleen DesMaisons or go to http://www.radiantrecovery.com for more information.  To get started, look at these resources.  For a more in-depth look at this with some guidance, don’t hesitate to call and set up a time to meet with me in a Nutritional Consultation.  To do this, call the front desk and get a food journal, fill out the journal for 7-10 days, and we’ll meet for 30 minutes.  Do what’s recommended and your life will dramatically change!