What is  the difference between acupuncture and acupressure?

The answer to that is quite simple. Acupuncture affects your body in a very precise way and on a deeper level then acupressure. Acupuncture can stimulate as deep as the organ system, for example the liver or the kidneys. When we place an acupuncture needle into a specific point, say on the top of the foot, it can actually cause a functional change in the liver.

acupressure

Acupressure, although potentially powerful, may not cause as deep and as precise of a change. As a result, acupuncture’s results tend to be more permanent than acupressure.

We find that in certain cases, you may get much faster results utilizing both scopes of practice. With some patients, we recommend continued stimulation of certain acupuncture points outside of the clinic for best results, although in many cases, it is not necessary.

In short, one is neither better or worse than the other. Depending on the condition, they can both be very helpful.

If you have any questions about acupressure, we’re always here to help. Give us a call or shoot us an email and we’d be happy to assist you.

Good and bad fluids in the body

water in bodyFluids and water can take many forms in the human body. Good forms of “fluid” in the body are many-fold and include the substance that lubricates your eyes, the material that surrounds the baby in the uterus before birth and many more.

Bad forms of water/fluids in the body would be the many things that people experience that cause discomfort, including a sensation of foggy–headedness, nasal congestion, runny nose, a productive cough, edema, excessive urination, excessive fatty tissue in the body (one way to think of fatty is a condensed version of phlegm, interestingly), and even cysts and or tumors.

So no, water is not simply just the stuff that you drink out of a glass and is not in the body easily replaced by simply “drinking more water.”

There are key systems in the body such as the spleen/pancreas, the stomach, the lungs and the kidney/adrenal that are in charge of the distribution, metabolism and elimination of water throughout the body. If you get those systems working, and you eat a diet that doesn’t increase dangerous fluid production in the body, you will have a balance of fluids and not experienced negative effects of “bad” fluids.

Do antidepressants have limitations?

 

antidepressant medicationPatients often times report to us that the antidepressant medications they are taking have limitations.

Western medicine oftentimes looks at problems such as depression as merely a problem related to brain chemistry. While clinically it seems to be accurate the brain chemistry is involved, our experience shows that particular theory simply scratches the surface.

The following seems to be a bit more accurate:

  • A person may have some kind a predisposition, based upon many possible factors including trauma and other previous experiences. Genetics may play some part possibly.
  • There is a potential breakdown and function internally under those stresses which changes liver function, the liver being very important when it comes to a person’s emotional outlook and the ability to deal with the mental and emotional stresses of life, according to ancient and accurate findings of Chinese medicine.
  • When the liver loses function, many symptoms may arise, including depression, irritability, frustration, angering easily and/or impatience.

From everything we have seen, the reason that occurs lies in the liver’s relationship with blood leading to a change in blood chemistry and therefore a reduction in the number of amino acids going to the blood brain barrier (those amino acids would normally convert into chemicals called neurotransmitters in the brain that apparently give one a particular outlook on things).

So, as you can see, it is possible that in certain cases addressing only brain chemistry is simply looking at the tip of a very large iceberg.

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.

New Year’s Resolution: Seasonal Eating

Every January many of us resolve to make changes to better our health. One of the most common of these goals is to eat right in order to lose some extra weight. Sadly, only about 8% of us actually manage to achieve this goal long-term. There are a few ideas of proper diet in Chinese Medicine that can help many more make this particular goal a reality.

Seasonal Eating

In Western culture, we use lots of salads, raw veggies and cold smoothies to cut calories, increase fiber intake and hopefully, shed some pounds. While these foods are all very nutritious, their raw state and often “cold” quality can cause digestive function strain that, in the long run, will hurt rather than help attaining an appropriate body weight by disrupting fluid metabolism and making the body collect unwanted fluids.

steamed vegetables
Steamed Veggies. If you want some recipes, feel free to email or call us.

When it’s cold outside, we should be putting warm foods inside to support the natural temperature of our digestive process. It’s best to choose foods that would have been available at this time of year before the invention of refrigeration, freezing and long-distance shipping. This means we should be eating more things like root vegetable (beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, onions), fermented or pickled foods (sauerkraut, pickles), healthy grains (rice, oats, quinoa or wheat if you tolerate it), legumes (beans and peas), and lean organic meats, fish an poultry. Warm the food up! It’s cold outside, and your insides work best when warm. Lightly saute, stew, steam, or roast meals. Soups are awesome in the winter. Try some new spices like ginger, curries or chilis. Experiment with a steamer, slow cooker, or pressure cooker.

By eating appropriate, fresh, freshly prepared foods we strengthen and protect the digestive system in the body. This will reward us with less cravings, better digestive health, a more even metabolism, less puffiness and fluid buildup, and long-term healthier weight and energy regulation. By thinking long-term for our bodies we set ourselves up for lasting success and good health into the new year and beyond.

Chai

Winter is a time for chai, which is one of the most wonderfully warming and stimulating and good tasting thing is you can drink in winter that is truly healthy for you.

chai tea

Literally translated, Chai means “tea”, funny enough. As you can see, calling it “chai tea” is a bit redundant.  Funny, no?  This article over at Mental Floss will give you some very interesting chai word history: Don’t “Chai and “Tea” both mean the same thing?

Give the following recipe a try at home in your crock pot. Ingredients are easily found at any health food store including the Outpost, Whole Foods and such. Done right, this is far better and healthier than the often over – sweetened, syrupy versions that you may find it coffee shops in United States.

This is a recipe to be modified to suit your taste.

First, buy the following ingredients from the Outpost store (or other health food store):

  • 4 TB Green Cardamom Pods, crushed
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 10-15 2” cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp black pepper corns
  • 6 quarter-sized pieces fresh ginger root
  • 4-6 cups milk alternative (almond milk or cashew milk)
  • Optional: few drops stevia extract as sweetener (stevia can also be bought in a powder form)
  • 2 black tea bags

Directions: Bring 1 ½ gallons of water to a boil in large pot.  Add above herbs.  Lower heat to a simmer & simmer for 60 minutes.  Strain herbs.  If you prefer to add black tea, at this point steep black tea bags for 5-10 minutes (steep: to let tea bags sit in hot  water). The final step is to add milk substitute & stevia & serve warm.  Refrigerate remainder of tea, for later use (re-heat before drinking again).

How Chinese Herbs Work

Many people take Chinese herbs, but there is much confusion as to how they actually work.

Chinese herbs
Fundamentally, Chinese herbal formulas restore circulation and build organ function. The way that a formula is composed includes combining specific herbs to cause a very specific outcome and having those herbs complement each other.

In fact, the original basis of Chinese herb formulation was patterned after the hierarchical governmental system in China:

  • as an example there may be an “emperor” herb that has the most powerful effect,
  • a “general” herb which directs the activities of the formula,
  • and “envoy” herb that carries the herb to the correct location (for example if the person had knee problems this would drive the formula into the knee directly).

A typical Chinese herbal formula could have anywhere from three to twenty-five herbs in it, depending on the person and the complexity of their condition.