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Archive for October, 2018

Chinese Medicine And The Need To Have A Balanced Diet

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Studies involving specific herbal remedies and herbs by Chinese healers were meant to restore balance preserve health or restore the state of health of an ill person once again. The healer may utilize other means of treatment including massage therapy, acupressure or acupuncture, Chi Kung, exercise, as well as nutrition and diet, which will be the focus of this article. According to Chinese medicine, unless an emergency arose, for most illnesses, there was no need for surgery. As is done in the West, the Chinese did not actually have a profound knowledge of anatomy, but instead used the energy channels or meridians within the body. From modern physics we now know that our physical body is not solid at all and in fact, is nothing but a swirling and oscillating mass of energy, as we might have observed through our senses. The meridians move bodily substances in a perfectly, unobstructed, and continuous flow from one organ system to another. However, only by living an emotionally satisfied and balanced life, performing the right exercise, and eating the proper foods and drinks, can this be so. Barring any misfortunes, we can then be almost guaranteed of a long life and one free of disease.

Unfortunately, most of us don’t follow a healthy diet, do not do regular exercise, and may not comprehend what being healthy really means. We may follow lifestyles that have been shown in the western medical sense to be damaging to our health (such as overindulging in sensual activities; drinking alcohol, and smoking. Yes our sex life can be a significant factor on our health, mentally, physically as well as longevity-wise. After passing the age of 40, a person needs to be concerned about his or her sexual health and for men, this is especially true.

While we may all belong to the same family of humans, each of us is different and unique in itself. The differences may be familial, religious, cultural, geographical, cultural, religious, familial, and even genetic. For instance, we may have different blood types like B, O, AB, and A, so the constitution of our blood may vary from person to person. Studies have shown that the drinks and foods we ingest can impact us biologically and medically, particularly when it comes to our blood type. For instance, studies have shown that blood A types do not live longer than 60 years of age. A types have a high risk of heart disease and cancer that kill off these people at a very early age. The culprit has shown to be a proclivity for eating foods rich in saturated fats. Should A type blood people be advised to eat a diet with lots of vegetables? This suggestion is certainly worth considering. This is actually the job of a diet therapist and not your family doctor. While some Western medical physicians have been educating themselves in the field of nutrition in the recent past, many of them are not really trained in this discipline. An excellent source for counseling and advice would be a nutritionist trained in providing holistic therapies.

When it comes to real nutrition, blood typing is just the tip of the iceberg. As stated previously, each person needs to be evaluated for their nutritional requirements. Herbs and food are the main sources for well being and health and they need to be customized based on the needs of the individual. For people suffering from chronic illnesses, this is extremely vital and likewise essentially important for people who may seem to be healthy but have not been properly examined for their nutritional requirements. In its approach to health, Chinese Herbal Medicine is truly a holistic therapy. It considers the person as a whole as well all the body’s organ systems, including the mind and heart. Balance is important and you are not in balance if you are ill. The wholeness of your being is fully addressed in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

 

Balance Within – Integrative Acupuncture
16200 Ventura Blvd
Encino, CA 91436
(818) 478-9401
http://www.balancewithinyou.com/

Written by Valerie

October 30th, 2018 at 6:27 am

Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatments For Prostatitis

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At time of birth, the prostate is the size of a pea but it grows to the size of a walnut during young adulthood. During their mid- to late 40s, most men experience the next phase of prostate growth. The cells near the center of their prostate starts to reproduce much rapidly at this time. This rapid growth usually tends to obstruct the urethra and partially block the flow of urine. The medical term for this disorder is BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia. The swelling of the prostate can also be attributed to bacterial infection, a condition medically termed as chronic or acute or bacterial prostatitis. Another form of chronic prostatitis is one that is not caused by bacteria has no known cause and actually occurs more commonly than its counterpart.

The enlargement of the prostate impacts about 50 percent of men around the age of 60 and most men (90 percent) around the ages 70 and 80. The absence or occurrence of the prostate gland enlargement is usually not associated with the rise of prostate cancer.

Conventional remedies are usually based on the patient’s symptoms and signs and may involve drugs, surgery or non-operative therapies such as nutritional supplements, herbs, and acupuncture.

Symptoms & Signs

The enlargement of the prostate can vary in degree of severity from man to man, and more often than not the swelling is not always serious. Around 50 percent of men with prostate swelling experience symptoms and signs that can turn bothersome or obvious enough for them to warrant treatment. These symptoms and signs can include:

  • Chills and Fever (infection)
  • Pain during ejaculation
  • Lower stomach pain
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Hematuria or blood in the urine
  • Inability to empty the bladder completely
  • Urgent desire to urinate
  • Nocturia or increased number of urination at night
  • Frequent desire to urinate
  • Dribbling at the end of urination
  • Starting and stopping again while urinating
  • Difficulty initiating urination
  • Weak urine stream

Traditional Chinese Medicine

According to Fort Lauderdale Traditional Chinese Medicine the cause of prostate swelling is either a buildup of Heat and Dampness in the lower jiao or lower part of the torso, or cold infiltrating the Liver meridian or Liver energy channel, usually accompanied by Deficient Kidney as an underlying cause. This health issue gives rise to all the aforementioned urinary symptoms. Laser acupuncture, moxibustion, and traditional acupuncture have led to improvements in the restoration of the function of the urinary system. On the other hand, Chinese herbal medicine has demonstrated the ability to cure the underlying reasons of prostate swelling. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapy used together is an essential choice in winning the battle versus prostate swelling. This was proven in one specific study when electro-acupuncture was shown to help cases of chronic prostatitis that did not respond to conventional treatments.

Acupuncture modalities (laser, electro, traditional) as well as heat therapy (moxibustion) can be utilized once a week except when significant pain is felt. In this case, two to three sessions each week for one to three weeks may be recommended. Chinese herbal medicine can be taken in the form of daily drops, powders, pills, and tea. Western herbal medicine and certain nutritional supplements can also be a good plan of treatment. Diet may also be monitored from a traditional energetic perspective in order to remove anything that tends to exacerbate the prostate problem.

Chronic non-bacterial prostatitis

According to recent medical studies, there is no known cause for chronic non-bacterial prostatitis. The bad thing about this is that this problem is a more common occurrence than chronic and acute bacterial prostatitis, its infectious analogues.

Symptoms of chronic non-bacterial prostatitis include an unfinished feeling after urination, polyuria (frequent urination), low back pain, and CPPS or chronic pelvic pain syndrome or discomfort and pain in the pelvic area. Usually there is no redness, no history of UTI (urinary tract infection), and patients won’t find relief from their symptoms with antibiotics.

A patient with chronic non-bacterial prostatitis may also experience a feeling of ‘coldness’ (instead of “heat,” which can then be connected to infectious bacterial prostatitis). More often than not, the patient can also experience emotional disorders such as erectile dysfunction and depression which thus ought to be diagnosed and addressed properly.

Clinical Research and Studies

There are patients who experience relief from chronic non-bacterial prostatitis by taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAID’s, but since these drugs tend to suppress the immune system, they cannot be used in the long term.

According to the Merck manual, two other great ways to experience relief from symptoms is by getting a prostate massage and taking hot sitz baths.

The benefits of acupuncture, phytotherapy (bee pollen, quercetin) and alternative therapies have demonstrated the effectiveness of these therapies. Acupuncture treatment proved that chronic prostatitis has a neuromuscular component to it. This is further validated by one study done by Nickel and Chen in Ontario Canada at the King Street Medical Arts Centre in Mississauga. In this study, acupuncture led to the successful relief of symptoms in men suffering from chronic pelvic pain syndrome/chronic prostatitis.

A laser acupuncture study performed in Hangzhou, China by Shen, Liu, Gao, and Chen revealed encouraging results.

Recently, some herbal supplements have garnered acknowledgement in the scientific community; to help urinary flow beta-sitosterol, for pain quercetin and saw palmetto, and for urinary symptoms, pygeum.

Decades of empirical proof also shows promise to men seeking the aid of a reputable practitioner of Chinese herbal medicine.

Written by Valerie

October 30th, 2018 at 6:16 am

Chinese Nutritional Therapy And TCM

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The acknowledgement of individuality is one of the things most liked about traditional Chinese medicine or TCM. This also stretches to the realm of Chinese nutritional therapy. Here, in Chinese nutritional therapy, there is no “one size fits all” or diets or herbal regimens. Each is customized to the needs of the person, and it’s known that each individual needs can vary widely.

A balanced diet, from the perspective of the Chinese, is quite different from that in the West. A balanced diet for the Chinese is one that integrates the five 5 tastes – salty, sweet, bitter, sour, and spicy. Herbs and foods that have a specific taste or flavor are likely to possess specific properties. For instance, bitter foods and herbs tend to be Cold and drying making them ideal for addressing Damp Heat problems, but not recommended for individuals who are too Dry and/or too Cold. Most bitter foods and herbs have antibiotic-like qualities while Salty foods and herbs are more inclined to moisten and warm. They therefore can be used to treat people suffering from Dryness and Cold, but are contraindicated for people who are Damp and Hot.

There is also such a thing as a bland flavor that goes with the five basic flavors. Bland foods and herbs tend to possess qualities that help drain Dampness. Some experts make a distinction between astringent and sour, clumping both these flavors under sour. Foods and herbs that have a sour taste tend to be moistening and possess heating energy. Astringent foods and herbs tend to be drying and cooling.

There are certain herbs and foods that possess more than one taste. The Wu Wei Shi herb, for example, is highly valued because it possesses all the five tastes. Actually, its name literally translates to Five Flavor Seed. (The scientific name for Wu Wei Shi is schizandra or Fructus Schizandrae.)

A balanced diet, according to the Chinese, is one that contains all the five tastes. However, the proportionality of those flavors/tastes tends to differ based on the season of the year and the needs of the person. A person suffering from Yang deficiency requires a higher ratio of foods that have Yang energy compared to other individuals. These Yang energy foods can furnish Yang energy to a yang deficient individual and aids him or her in obtaining balance. A person who has a Yin Deficiency problem will, on the other hand, require a larger ratio of Yin energy foods. Someone suffering from Dampness is required to go easy on herbs and foods that have sour, salty, and/or sweet flavors as they tend to be moistening. If you have problems with Dampness, it’s not necessary to consume a huge amount of herbs and foods that have moistening properties that tend to exacerbate the Dampness. These flavors and foods are recommended for some individuals who have problems related to Dryness. (There are exclusions). Each diet is thoroughly customized for the person. It’s also important to remember if the person is too Cold or too Hot. Despite the fact that all three flavors have a tendency to moisten, sweet is likely to be cooling while sour and salty tend to be heating. Sour has a more heating property than salty; therefore, one needs to avoid sour in instances of Damp Heat.

Foods that have bitter, spicy, and astringent properties can be excellent for individuals suffering from excessive Dampness but only good for people with excessive Dryness. One should also consider the thermal energy of food. Foods with cooling properties include astringent herbs and foods. Bitter herbs tend to be even more cooling than the astringent herbs and foods that tend to be too much heating.

This article shows show how a significant part of TCM involves the balancing of opposites. To balance deficient Yang, one needs to eat foods replete with Yang energy. Since winter is the most Yin time of the seasons, eating foods rich in Yang foods is appropriate. During summer, the most Yang time of the season, eating Yin rich foods is then recommended. Sometimes, however, it’s a good idea to be in harmony with the season. Therefore, during winter, eat Yin foods and during summer, eat Yang foods. Traditional Chinese medicine is custom made based on the needs of the person.

Generally speaking, meats are Yang and vegetables, Yin. Also, the manner in which food is prepared substantially influences the quantity of Yang or Yin energy of the food. Yang tends to increase when food is fried, and yin tends to increase when food is steamed. Therefore, veggies that are stir-fried have more Yang energy in them than veggies that were steamed. If you suffer from Yang Deficiency, it is a good idea to stir-fry your vegetables. On the other hand, if you are deficient in Yin energy, it’s a good idea to less of stir-fried veggies and lots of steamed veggies. Food served warm and cooked tends to be more warming compared to cold and raw food. Celery cooked in a stir-fried dish served warm, for instance, has greater warming quality and possesses more Yang energy than raw celery served in a cold salad.

Some flavors also have a certain association with some of the Organ systems in the body. The salty taste, for instance, has a close relationship with the bladder and Kidneys. Some foods are sometimes salted to help derive the qualities of the food to the Kidneys. It’s widely believed that a person suffering from Kidney imbalances can feel better after just eating a little salt and drinking herbal teas that have tonifying properties to the Kidneys. In general, the sour flavor has a close association with the Gall Bladder and Liver. (You should be careful as this may lead to Damp Heat affecting the Liver or gall stones). Bitter has a relationship with the Small Intestine and Heart, sweet, for the Stomach and Spleen and spicy for the Large Intestine and Lungs.

In Chinese nutritional therapy, there is absolutely no such thing as “one size fits all” or forbidden foods. From time to time, sugar may be even added in an herbal remedy because it is needed by the person. (In America, this rarely happens, but in other countries, sugar is deemed as medicine for some people. But the use of sugar in the US is so overdone that it is classified as a “poison”).

There are no “one size fits all” diet therapies even in the West. People have this erroneous belief that we’re all the same – like transposable components on a factory line. Salt, for instance, is deemed harmful for a lot of people and can increase blood pressure in many of them. Most of these people are strictly on a low sodium diet. However, a low sodium diet can create havoc to people suffering from NMH or Neurally Mediated Hypotension or adrenal insufficiency. Most of us require lots of water to rehydrate ourselves or to survive; for others, however such as people suffering from epilepsy, drinking too much water can be dangerous. There are people who need to lots of fat in their diet more than others. This is especially true with children in particular, who may develop growth and health problems when impetuous parents restrict the eating of too much fat in their child’s diets. Because of an assault to our systems or as a result of genetics, some of us have more than an average need for taking certain minerals or vitamins. A deficiency of iodine in our body can result in goiter, but excessive amounts of iodine can bring about instances of hyperthyroidism. You can basically exacerbate an existing illness if you consume the wrong foods at the wrong time.

Certain preventive measures are required when selecting these foods as they tend to be eaten on a regular basis over the long term which can have a long lasting and profound effect on the functions of the body. If a specific herbal remedy is used over a long period of time, the same precautions apply. This means there’s prudence in following a diverse diet not only based on the Western perspective of range of nutrients and/or allergies, but also from the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine).

Salty food should be avoided in deficient blood as they tend to dry the Blood.

Pungent foods disperse Chi and in deficient Chi syndrome should be avoided.

Sweet foods settle on the muscles and too much of it can lead to muscle weakness.

Bitter foods settle on the bones and to avoid diseases of the bone, too much of it should be avoided.

Sour foods settle on the nerves and can disturb the Liver, therefore, if a person suffers from chronic pain, it should be sparingly used.

Salty foods settle on the Kidneys, if you suffer from a diseased Liver, you need to avoid pungent foods, salty foods go to the Kidneys, pungent foods go to the Lungs, sweet foods goes to the Spleen, bitter foods go to the Heart, and sour foods go to the Liver. According to Chinese nutritional therapy, do not eat pungent foods if the Liver is diseased, you should not eat bitter foods if the Lung is diseased, if you have a diseased Kidney, you should not eat sweet foods, you should not eat sour foods if your Kidney is diseased, if you have diseased Heart, refrain from eating pungent foods.

In instances of Liver disease, you may be wondering about limiting or avoiding the consumption of spicy foods, limiting salty foods in cases of Heart disease when salt flavor has an affiliation with the Kidneys, limiting sour foods for Spleen disorders, when the Liver is affiliated with the sour taste.

These constraints all deal with the five elements theory of the Victor-Vanquished rule. This rule essentially deals with the Organ systems that have opposite affiliations with each other. In a Victor-Vanquished relationship, one gets weakened while the other gets stronger. For instance, if there is excessive amount of energy in the Liver, it can invade the Spleen. This disharmony is known as Liver attacking the Spleen (this means a very strong Liver causes it to attack the Spleen, which is very weak). In this instance, the attack of the Spleen by the Liver causes damage that can be painful and can wreak havoc to the digestion. If sour foods (which are affiliated with the Liver) are eaten by someone with a weak Spleen, it’s weakening the Spleen and energizing the Liver even more because of the inverse effect of the Victor-Vanquished relationship between the Spleen and the Liver. There are occasions in which the Element that usually is the Vanquished will reverse the tables on the Element that’s typically known as the Victor. This is known as “Insulting”. In this instance Spleen (Earth) Insulting Liver (Wood).

It’s important to remember that the first line of defense in health matters is Chinese nutritional therapy in . Occasionally, before the medicinal herbs are given or before the herbs can work properly, the individual will need to straighten out his/her diet.

Christina Prieto is an Orlando acupuncturist, a certified Yoga instructor and the founder of Harmony Wellness center in central Florida.

Written by Valerie

October 30th, 2018 at 5:52 am