How to get the most out of supplements you take

It seems that a lot of patients have been asking us lately: “How can I get the most out of the supplements and herbs I take?”

A lot of people take supplements and herbs with all kinds of drinks, and oftentimes either those drinks are cold or on ice.

human body temperature at 98.6 degrees
The temperature of the human body is 98.6 degrees

That can go OK, but the most optimum way to take herbs and/or supplements would be with warm water. The reason for this is that the human body’s temperature is at 98.6°F. The body would best absorb  supplements and herbs at close to that temperature, without burning yourself obviously.

What’s best: Ice or Heat?

Knee injury

We treat A LOT of injuries. The one question gets brought up every time: “Should I use ice to help treat my injury?” The answer isn’t always simple.

In the West, healthcare providers often times recommend applying ice to areas of swelling and/or inflammation. Sometimes that is the best thing to do, but not always. Other people only apply heat, and, again, it may help in some cases, but not in every case.

To help decide what is best for you and your specific situation, here is some basic data about injuries and pain:

  • First, in our clinical experience, we have seen that inflammation (swelling) after an acute injury to a joint is generally the body’s attempt to immobilize the joint to prevent further damage. Therefore, in simply applying ice to eliminate that inflammation, one is also reducing the body’s healing ability.
  • Next, it is important to realize that different pain conditions are either worsened or improved by hot or cold. Sometimes, cold makes an injury better. Other times, heat can make an injury heal faster.
  • Another useful piece of information is to understand that cold generally reduces circulation whereas heat increases circulation.

It is our stance that each case needs to be taken individually. Talking to an acupuncturist would help to guide you in the decision-making process. As a general rule, you could probably most safely alternate applying hot and cold. In cases of significant inflammation, ending with cold may be best.

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.

Chinese Herbs and YOU

picture of Chinese herbs

People in America often times wonder how Chinese herbal formulation is done. What are Chinese herbs? Why take them? How do you take them? Why can’t I just go to the Vitamin or Health Food Store and take a mixture of supplements?

The answer to all of these questions is simple: each person, and their individual life stresses, is unique. There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach when it comes to getting your body healthy. Herbs and supplements are not recommended for everybody. A good practitioner will be able to accurately assess each patient’s state of health and recommend things that will benefit them specifically.

Now, on to answering the questions.

What are Chinese Herbs? How do you take them?

In Oriental Medicine, Chinese herbs have been used for thousands of years to help with many different health concerns. The earliest known literature containing herbal prescriptions, found in a tomb in China, dates back to almost 200 BC.

Modern day herbs are often a mixture of plant and animal parts, prepared in a certain way, and mixed in an exact formula to benefit the patient’s individual health needs. Not all acupuncturists are licensed to  mix herbs; it requires additional education and licensing, depending on which state the acupuncturist is practicing.

patent herbs
Chinese Patent Herbs come pre-made in pill form.

Patent herbs, the type you find most commonly at an acupuncturist’s clinic, come pre-mixed in pellet/pill form. These formulas and generally more standardized and cannot be modified to fit each patient’s individual needs. Many TCM practitioners use this form of herbs because it does not require the rigorous schooling and licensing, but they are able to prescribe them to the patients because they are not physically mixing the herbs themselves, rather ordering the premixed formula from an herb company. (Read more about TCM HERE)

chinese herb granules
Chinese Herbs in granule form- mixed specifically fro each patient.

Chinese herbal extracts, on the other hand, are individual herbs that can be mixed specifically for each unique patient. These extracts are often made into a granular form, which the Chinese herbal practitioner then keeps in their herbal pharmacy to compose formulas specific of the patient. To take these herbs, the patient mixes them with hot water and drinks it like a tea. These formulas are very individualized and highly effective for the patient to whom it was prescribed. (This is the form of herbs we carry in our clinic.)

Why Take Chinese Herbs?

Not all patients take herbs, and on some occasions, herbs are not recommended. If herbs are prescribed, they help reinforce what the acupuncture is doing, and, in the case of patients who cannot do acupuncture, there are many benefits. Herbs can be helpful in the treatment of pain, arthritis, inflammation, digestive trouble (IBS, colitis, diverticulitis, etc.), migraines and headaches, anxiety, depression, weight loss and metabolism deficiency, PMS and menopausal symptoms (cramping, bloating, irregular periods, hot flashes, mood swings), and many other health concerns.

Because they can be mixed based on each unique patient, we can address many health problems with a single formula. 

Why can’t I just go to the Vitamin or Health Food Store and take a mixture of supplements? 

Well, technically you can, but you possibly will end up spending more money on supplements that may not be right ones or the correct dosages for your individual needs. Chinese herbs require additional licensing for a reason: a qualified professional must assess each individual and prescribe them, much like a doctor prescribing a medication (although, with herbs, there are rarely any side effects like you may experience with medication).

 

As usual, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have.

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.

Acupuncture and Children

Kids often times respond very well to Oriental medicine!

happy-group-of-kids

In our clinic, we perform acupuncture on children five years of age and older. Often times, they can receive additional benefit from Chinese herbs.

For children under the age of five, a Chinese herbal prescription is best (without the acupuncture).

We also train parents on pediatric massage and give specific dietary recommendations that can be life-changing for the child. Kids generally respond very well to treatment. Our theory is that they haven’t had as much stress as your average adult, therefore there’s less to sort out internally, leading to a faster response.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding treating children with Oriental Medicine, do not hesitate to ask us. We can give you our recommendations and then you can make an educated decision for your specific situation.

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.

 

Acupuncture Flu Shot

Annually, we field questions from many concerned patients regarding flu shots for themselves and their children.

This may be a difficult decision to make; what follows are viewpoints to help you in the decision making process:

“There are three main types of flu virus, and each type can mutate, or change, from year to year. Thus, there are literally thousands of possible strains. (Each strain is thoroughly analyzed and given a proper name, often a title associated with the place where it was initially discovered.) Every year health officials produce a new flu vaccine containing three mutated strains of flu virus. To determine which strains to use, officials travel to China at the beginning of the year to assess circulating flu viruses in that region of the world. They try to guess which strains will reach the United States by the end of the year. Production begins, and the new vaccine is usually available by October.”*

We, unfortunately, treat quite a few people each year for the side effects of the flu shot.

*Source: http://thinktwice.com/flu_lie.htm

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.

 

This year, we wanted to provide you with a way that you can boost your immune system naturally at home. In this video, Mindy explains a technique called “The Acupuncture Flu Shot.”

Your Thyroid! Free Workshop on May 6th

thyroid workshop

Many Americans suffer with thyroid gland imbalances. Often, they are treated with Western pharmaceuticals that only superficially address a much larger problem having to do with the kidney/adrenal system. To solve the problems of a malfunctioning thyroid, you must address the cause of the problem!

What follows is the actual sequence of body activities related to thyroid function:

The kidney/adrenal system stimulates Pituitary gland function; in turn, the Pituitary gland releases Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) to the Thyroid. While TSH is being released, iodine in the blood stream is used in the Thyroid to create Thyroxin.

Thyroxin (T4) is 20:1 with Triiodothyronine (T3) in the blood; eventually T4 converts into T3. T4 regulates metabolism and affects growth and rate of function of other body systems.

Triiodothyronine (T3) regulates growth, development, metabolism, body temperature and heart rate.

Overall, the Thyroid controls how the body uses energy, how the body makes proteins and the body’s sensitivity to other hormones. The Thyroid also releases Calcitonin which causes calcium in the blood to be deposited in the bones.

Be sure to attend our FREE Workshop on May 6th to learn more about natural remedies to boost thyroid function!

In this workshop, you will learn:

-What factors play into thyroid function
-What causes your thyroid to malfunction in the first place
-How conventional doctors treat thyroid malfunction
-Natural and healthy alternatives to treat thyroid function, which will ultimately prolong your life!

When: Tuesday, May 6th @ 6:30 pm
Where: Whitefish Bay Public Library
5420 N Marlborough Drive
Milwaukee, WI 5321

Call Anna by Monday, May 5th to reserve your seat!

(414) 332-8888

Who is speaking: Curry D. Chaudoir, Diplomate in Acupuncture

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 Chronic Pain Treatment

In our clinic, we are constantly investigating and learning new techniques for the treatment of health problems. There is one thing that about half of our patients have in common: chronic pain. 50% of people who come into our clinic! While we get GREAT results using acupuncture, it sometimes takes a long time to treat the extremely difficult or extremely chronic conditions. Our staff has recently undergone training to deliver a new technique called The Rapid Release Technique.

Watch the following video to learn more about this cutting edge technique for natural pain relief:

If you are in pain or are suffering in any way, please call us. Even if we are not in  your area, we may know someone near you who can help with your condition.