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Robert Wallace LAc, LMT 773.248.4489

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Looking For Allergy Relief?

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014
 

Relief for Allergy Sufferers

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine have been used to treat allergies for centuries, and studies have confirmed that it can be helpful for allergic conditions including allergic rhinitis, asthma, eczema, hives and food allergies. According to Oriental medicine, treatment is directed toward clearing the nasal passages, supporting the immune system and strengthening the systems of the body to prevent allergic reactions from recurring. Sufferers of seasonal allergies also find relief using acupuncture and traditional medicine.

What Are Seasonal Allergies?

Commonly called hay fever or allergic rhinitis, a seasonal allergy is an allergic reaction to an environmental trigger that is typically only present for part of the year, such as spring or fall. Pollens that are spread by the wind are usually the main cause of seasonal allergies. People who are allergic to pollens are also often sensitive to dust mites, animal dander, and molds.

Spring is traditionally the main season when allergies blossom because of new growth on trees and weeds. Fall ushers in a whole different set of blooming plants, and is also a time of increased leaf mold, so is the second-worst season for allergy sufferers. Airborne mold spores can be found almost year round, along with other common allergens such as dust, dust mites, and animal dander.

About 26 million Americans endure chronic seasonal allergies, while the number of people with milder symptoms may be as high as 40 million, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

Seasonal allergies are caused by the body’s hypersensitivity to substances in the environment. Symptoms primarily involve the membrane lining the nose, causing allergic rhinitis, or the membrane lining the eyelids and covering the whites of the eyes, causing allergic conjunctivitis.

While there are many medications to treat the symptoms of seasonal allergies, these treatments can cause unwanted side effects, such as drowsiness and immune system suppression as well as an over-reliance on medications. These side effects have motivated many people to search for alternative approaches like acupuncture and Oriental medicine to manage their allergies.

How Acupuncture Treatments Provide Relief from Allergies

According to Oriental medicine, allergic rhinitis is related to Wind and a deficiency of the protective Wei Qi.Wei Qi is the energy that flows at the surface of the body as a protective sheath and is responsible for resistance to colds and other respiratory infections. People with a deficiency of Wei Qi catch colds easily and are more susceptible to allergens.

When treating with acupuncture, underlying imbalances within the body are addressed. A treatment plan is developed to relieve the acute symptoms of allergic rhinitis while also treating the root problems that are contributing to the body’s reaction to allergens. Treatments often include dietary modification, the use of specifically chosen herbal formulas, and acupuncture.

Seasonal acupuncture treatments just four times a year also serve to tonify the inner organ systems and can correct minor annoyances before they become serious problems. If you experience seasonal allergies, now is the time to schedule an appointment. Call for a consultation today!

Acupuncture Is Effective for Allergic Rhinitis 

The American Journal of Epidemiology recently published a study that showed that acupuncture can significantly relieve allergic rhinitis symptoms.In this German study, 5,237 men and women were analyzed to evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture in addition to routine care in patients with allergic rhinitis, compared to treatment with routine care alone.

In this trial, patients with allergic rhinitis were randomly allocated to receive acupuncture for a three month period or to a control group that received no acupuncture. All patients were allowed to receive routine medical care. The Rhinitis Quality of Life Questionnaire (RQLQ) and general health-related quality of life (36-Item Short-Form Health Survey) were evaluated at baseline and after three and six months.

Improvements were noted at the three- and six-month evaluations for the patients receiving acupuncture. The authors of this trial concluded that treating patients with allergic rhinitis in routine care with additional acupuncture leads to clinically relevant and persistent benefits.

Source: European Journal of Integrative Medicine. 2008 Nov;101(5):535-43.

Acupuncture Shows Promise in Treating Children’s Allergies

In a small Hong Kong-based study, allergy sufferers between the ages of 6 and 19 showed clear evidence of improvement after being treated with acupuncture as compared with those treated by “sham” acupuncture, as was reported in the journal Pediatrics in 2004. Some of the children in the study were able to quit using antihistamines and other medications during the study, as well.Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 2004

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In This Issue

  • Relief for Allergy Sufferers
  • Acupuncture Is Effective for Allergic Rhinitis
  • Acupuncture Shows Promise in Treating Children’s Allergies
  • Foods for Seasonal Allergies

Foods for Seasonal Allergies

Having a healthy diet is one of the best ways to support your overall health. When possible, incorporate the following foods into your meals to give your body additional tools to fight allergies.

Ginger: Ginger is a natural antihistamine and decongestant. It may provide some relief from allergy symptoms by dilating constricted bronchial tubes.

Apples: Apples (with the skin on) contain the flavonoid quercetin, which can cross-react with tree pollen. Quercetin can reduce allergic reactions by having an antihistamine effect. It also decreases inflammation.

Quercetin also occurs naturally in other foods, like berries, red grapes, red onions, capers, and black tea.

Carrots: Carotenoids are a family of plant pigments that include beta-carotene. A lack of carotenoids in the diet is thought to promote inflammation in your airways.

Good sources of carotenoids include apricots, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, spinach, kale, butternut squash, and collard greens.

Omega-3: Omega-3 essential fatty acids can counter the formation of chemicals that cause inflammation of the air passages. Good natural sources include flaxseed oil and salmon.

Yogurt: Food sensitivities seem to be connected with seasonal allergies. In a study conducted at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, patients who were fed 18 to 24 ounces of yogurt a day experienced a decline in their environmental allergic symptoms by 90 percent.

Fiber: A healthy and active colon can decrease food sensitivity, which, in turn, can lighten the burden on your immune system and may reduce the impact of seasonal allergies. For maximum colon health, increase the fiber in your diet.

Reduce Migraine and Headache Pain with Acupuncture

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012
December 2012
www.chicagoholisticmedicine.com
Robert Wallace LAc, LMT
Chicago Holistic Medicine
1619 W Montrose
Chicago IL 60613

Reduce Migraine and Headache Pain with Acupuncture

Are you plagued by chronic headaches? More than 45 million Americans (one in six) suffer from chronic headaches, 20 million of whom are women. Scientific research shows that acupuncture can be more effective than medication in reducing the severity and frequency of chronic headaches.

The pain that headache and migraine sufferers endure can impact every aspect of their lives. A widely accepted form of treatment for headaches, acupuncture can offer powerful relief without the side effects that prescription and over-the-counter drugs can cause. Headaches and migraines, as well as their underlying causes have been treated successfully with acupuncture and Oriental medicine for thousands of years. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be used alone in the management and treatment of headaches, or as part of a comprehensive treatment program.

Traditional Chinese Medicine does not recognize migraines and chronic headaches as one particular syndrome. Instead, it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual using a variety of of techniques such as acupuncture, tui-na massage, and energetic exercises to restore imbalances found in the body. Therefore, your diagnosis and treatment will depend on a number of variables including:

  • Is the headache behind your eyes and temples, or is it located more on the top of your head?
  • When do your headaches occur (i.e. night, morning, after eating)?
  • Do you find that a cold compress or a darkened room can alleviate some of the pain?
  • Is the pain dull and throbbing, or sharp and piercing?

Your answers to these questions will help your practitioner create a treatment plan specifically for you. The basic foundation for Oriental medicine is that there is a life energy flowing through the body which is termed Qi (pronounced chee). This energy flows through the body on channels known as meridians that connect all of our major organs. According to Oriental medical theory, illness or pain arises when the cyclical flow of Qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced. Acupuncture stimulates specific points located on or near the surface of the skin to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions that cause aches and pains or illness.

The length, number and frequency of treatments will vary. Typical treatments last from five to 30 minutes, with the patient being treated one or two times a week. Some headaches, migraines and related symptoms are relieved after the first treatment, while more severe or chronic ailments often require multiple treatments.

Do you or someone you know suffer from headaches or migraines? Call today to find out how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you! 

 

Headaches Dramatically Reduced by Acupuncture

Since the early seventies, studies around the globe have suggested that acupuncture is an effective treatment for migraines and headaches.

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center analyzed the results of more than 30 studies on acupuncture as a pain reliever for a variety of ailments, including chronic headaches. They found that acupuncture decreases pain with fewer side effects and can be less expensive than medication. Researchers found that using acupuncture as an alternative for pain relief also reduced the need for post-operative pain medications.

In a study published in the November 1999 issue of Cephalalgia, scientists evaluated the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of migraines and recurrent headaches by systematically reviewing 22 randomized controlled trials. A total of 1,042 patients were examined. It was found that headache and migraine sufferers experienced significantly more relief from acupuncture than patients who were administered “sham” acupuncture.

A clinical observation, published in a 2002 edition of the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, studied 50 patients presenting with various types of headaches who were treated with scalp acupuncture. The results of this study showed that 98 percent of patients treated with scalp acupuncture experienced no headaches or only occasional, mild headaches in the six months following care.

In a case study, published in the June 2003 Issue of Medical Acupuncture, doctors found that acupuncture resulted in the resolution or reduction in the frequency and severity of cluster headaches, and a decrease or discontinuation of pain medications. It was concluded that acupuncture can be used to provide sustained relief from cluster headaches and to stimulate the body’s natural production of adrenal cortisol to aid in discontinuing corticosteroids.

According to the July 2005 issue of the British Medical Journal, a randomized controlled trial in Germany found that acupuncture cut tension headache rates almost in half. Researchers divided 270 patients who reported similarly severe tension headaches into three groups for the study. Over the project’s eight-week period, one group received traditional acupuncture, one received only minimal acupuncture, and the third group received neither treatment. Those receiving the traditional acupuncture reported headache rates of nearly half that of those who received no treatments, suffering 7 fewer days of headaches. The minimal acupuncture group suffered 6.6 fewer days, and the non-acupuncture group suffered 1.5 fewer days. The improvements continued for months after the treatments were concluded, rising slightly as time went on.

 

www.chicagoholisticmedicine.com

Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Reiki, Qi Gong, Massage Therapy, Mindfulness Meditation & Diet/Lifestyle Counseling.

In This Issue

  • Reduce Migraine and Headache Pain with Acupuncture
  • Headaches Dramatically Reduced by Acupuncture
  • 7 Healthy Habits of Headache Sufferers
  • Staying Healthy

7 Healthy Habits of Headache Sufferers

Headache sufferers can reduce the intensity and frequency of their headaches or migraine episodes by following a few simple steps:

Nutrition – Eat regular meals, avoid foods and drinks that are known to trigger headache attacks.

Sleep – Practice good sleep habits. Maintain a regular sleeping schedule, including weekends and vacations.

Stress – Implement stress reduction techniques into your daily life.

Education – Stay apprised of the latest treatment options and headache relief news.

Headache Diary – Keep a diary of when your headaches occur, along with any triggers, and share the information with your healthcare provider.

See Your Healthcare Provider –Make an appointment with your healthcare provider to specifically discuss your headaches.

Be a Partner in Your Headache Care – Stay informed, so you can be a participant in your treatment and an advocate for improving your own headache care.

Staying Healthy

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help prevent illness by building up the immune system with just a few needles inserted into key points along the body’s energy pathways.These points are known for strengthening the circulation of blood and energy and consolidating the outer defense layers of the skin and muscle (wei Qi) so that germs and viruses cannot enter through them.Seasonal acupuncture treatments also server to tonify inner organ systems and correct minor annoyances before they become serious problems.Call to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you stay healthy

 

Alleviate Arthritis Suffering with Acupuncture

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012
www.chicagoholisticmedicine.com
Robert Wallace LAc, LMT
Chicago Holistic Medicine
1619 W Montrose
Chicago IL 60613
 

Arthritis isn’t just one disease, but a complex disorder comprised of more than 100 distinct conditions that can affect people at any stage of life. Two of the most common forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. While these two forms of arthritis have very different causes, risk factors and effects on the body, they often share a common symptom — persistent joint pain.

For many people, arthritis pain and inflammation cannot be avoided as the body ages. In fact, most people over the age of 50 show some signs of arthritis as joints naturally degenerate over time. Fortunately, arthritis can often be managed with acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting an estimated 21 million adults in the United States. Beginning with the breakdown of joint cartilage that results in pain and stiffness, osteoarthritis commonly affects the joints of the fingers, knees, hips and spine. Other joints affected less frequently include the wrists, elbows, shoulders and ankles. When osteoarthritis is found in a less frequently affected joint, there is usually a history of injury or unusual stress to that joint. Work-related repetitive injury and physical trauma may contribute to the development of osteoarthritis. If you have a strenuous job that requires repetitive bending, kneeling or squatting, for example, you may be at high risk for osteoarthritis of the knee.

Rheumatoid arthritis can affect many different joints and, in some people, other parts of the body as well, including the blood, lungs and heart. With this form of arthritis, inflammation of the joint lining, called the synovium, can cause pain, stiffness, swelling, warmth and redness. The affected joint may also lose its shape, resulting in loss of normal movement. Rheumatoid arthritis can last a long time and is a disease characterized by flares (active symptoms) and remissions (few to no symptoms).

Diagnosis and Treatment of Arthritis with Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

According to Oriental medical theory, arthritis arises when the cyclical flow of Qi (energy) in the meridians becomes blocked resulting in pain, soreness, numbness and stiffness. This blockage is called “bi syndrome” and is associated with “bi” type pain. It is widely studied and successfully treated using a combination of treatment modalities. The acupuncture points and herbs that are used depend on whether the underlying cause of the blockage of Qi(arthritis) is caused by wind, cold, damp or damp-heat.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine aim to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual using a variety of techniques such as acupuncture, bodywork, lifestyle/dietary recommendations and energetic exercises to restore imbalances found in the body. Therefore, if 10 patients are treated with Oriental medicine for joint pain, each of these 10 patients will receive a unique, customized treatment with different acupuncture points, different herbs/supplements and different lifestyle and diet recommendations.

Your acupuncturist will examine you, take a look at the onset of your condition and learn your signs and symptoms to determine your diagnosis and choose the appropriate acupuncture points and treatment plan.

Call today to learn how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be incorporated into your treatment plan for arthritis!

 

Studies of Acupuncture for Arthritis

Several studies have shown that acupuncture can help people with arthritis and related auto-immune diseases.

Scientists found that acupuncture can reduce pain and improve mobility in arthritis patients by 40 percent based on results from a major clinical trial that investigated the ancient Chinese needle treatment. A total of 570 patients aged 50 and older with osteoarthritis of the knee took part in the American study. All had suffered significant pain in their knee the month before joining the trial, but had never experienced acupuncture. By the eighth week, patients receiving genuine acupuncture treatments showed a significant increase in function compared with both the “placebo” treatment and self-help groups. By week 14, they were also experiencing a significant decrease in pain.

In a German study, 3,500 people with osteoarthritis of the hip and/or knee received 15 sessions of acupuncture combined with their usual medical care. The results showed that the patients that received acupuncture had less pain and stiffness, improved joint function and better quality of life than their counterparts who had routine care alone. The improvements occurred immediately after completing a
three-month course of acupuncture and lasted for at least another three months, indicating osteoarthritis is among conditions effectively treated with acupuncture.

Another study, published in the journal Pain, looked at the effects of acupuncture among 40 adults with osteoarthritis of the knee. Among the patients in the study, those who had a daily acupuncture session for 10 consecutive days reported greater improvement in their pain compared with patients who received a “placebo” version of the therapy.

In one Scandinavian study, 25 percent of arthritis patients who had been scheduled for knee surgery cancelled their operations after acupuncture treatment. In the study, researchers compared acupuncture with advice and exercise for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the hip. Thirty-two patients awaiting a total hip replacement were separated into two groups. One group received one 10-minute and five 25-minute sessions of acupuncture, and the other group received advice and hip exercises over a 6-week period. Patients were assessed for pain and functional ability: Patients in the acupuncture group showed significant improvements, while no significant changes were reported in the group that received advice and exercise therapy. The results of this study indicate that acupuncture is more effective than advice and exercise for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the hip.

A University of Maryland School of Medicine study showed that elderly arthritis patients with knee pain due to arthritis improved significantly when acupuncture was added to their treatment. The randomized clinical trial determined whether acupuncture was a clinically safe and effective adjunctive therapy for older patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. The study addressed the addition of acupuncture to conventional therapy to determine if it would provide an added measure of pain relief, if the effects would last beyond treatment and if treatment would have any side effects. Seventy-three patients were randomly divided into two groups. One group received twice-weekly acupuncture treatments and conventional therapy for eight weeks, and the other group received conventional therapy only. Patients who received acupuncture had significant pain relief and showed improvement in function. Those who did not receive acupuncture showed no significant change. No patients reported negative side effects from any acupuncture therapy session.

Call today to learn more about the benefits of acupuncture and Oriental medicine for arthritis!

 

www.chicagoholisticmedicine.com

Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Reiki, Qi Gong, Massage Therapy, Mindfulness Meditation & Diet/Lifestyle Counseling.

 

In This Issue

  • Alleviate Arthritis Pain with Acupuncture
  • Studies of Acupuncture for Arthritis
  • Reduce the Impact
  • Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Reduce the Impact

 

The Arthritis Foundation recommends the following to reduce the impact of arthritis:

Get Active – Regular physical activity helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints. Tai Chi, a Chinese exercise that strengthens muscles, improves balance and flexibility, promotes relaxation, and has been shown to relieve chronic joint pain.

Control Weight – Maintaining an appropriate weight or reducing weight to a recommended level reduces the risk of osteoarthritis. Losing just 10 pounds relieves 40 pounds of pressure on knees. For those living with symptoms, losing 15 pounds can cut knee pain in half.

Modify Job Tasks – Try to modify your movements, since repeated use of joints in jobs that require bending and lifting is associated with an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis.

Speak with a health care professional about ways to reduce strain on your joints.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

A balanced, varied diet can help ease the pain of arthritis by providing vitamins and minerals that keep your joints healthy. Avoiding “damp” foods such as dairy products and greasy or spicy foods also helps joints.Here are some healthy and delicious choices to include in your diet.

Ginger – Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory. A fresh ginger tea can be made by combining a half teaspoon of grated ginger with 8 ounces of boiling water. Cover and steep for 10 to 15 minutes, strain and add honey to taste.

Fresh Pineapple – Bromelain, an enzyme in pineapple, reduces inflammation. Be sure the pineapple is fresh, not canned or frozen.

Cherries – Recent research has shown that tart cherries are an excellent source of nutrients that may help to reduce joint pain and inflammation related to arthritis.

Fish – Cold-water fish such as salmon and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep joints healthy as well as reduce pain and swelling.

Turmeric – A natural anti-inflammatory, it can be used in many food preparations including soups, sauces and salad dressings.

Where There’s Smoke

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Where There’s Smoke…

If you are like most people, you probably tend to measure your level of health by whether or not you are sick.  In other words, if you are sick or have obvious symptoms, you consider yourself unhealthy.  Once you have rid yourself of an illness and you are symptom-free, your pendulum swings back toward healthy again.  This is the model of health that most of us were raised on.  The media creates images of the family physician on house call, rushing to the ailing patient’s bedside, black bag in tow and magic elixir at the ready. It’s larger than life. It’s nostalgic. And it’s flawed.

First of all, contrary to what you may have been taught, symptoms are not meant to be used as a barometer of health.  When a roast burns in the oven, you don’t smell the smoke until after the meat has been charred.  In other words, the illness occurred first, creating damage before the symptoms even showed up.  There are billions of dollars spent every year in this country on drugs or products designed to take away our symptoms, implying that this is the equivalent of being healthy.  In actuality, this is like using a fan to divert the smoke out of the kitchen window while the roast continues to be reduced to charcoal.  Sure you might feel better, but your health remains in shambles.

Secondly, while the way you feel might change from day to day, your underlying level of health, albeit changing itself, is considerably more stable.  So it is erroneous to think that you can go from healthy to unhealthy and back again in a few days time, based simply on the symptoms expressed by your body.

Finally, it is unrealistic to describe health as black and white, sick or not sick.  According to this logic, as soon as the scales barely tip to the symptom-free side you are as healthy as you can be.  What an immense letdown life would be if reaching the pinnacle of health meant barely treading above the waters of sickness!

So what does it mean to be healthy?  Health is a state of optimum physical functioning, spiritual enlightenment, social well-being, and mental aptitude. True health is so much more than settling for mediocrity.  It’s not about living life just barely above the doldrums, or hoping against hope that you won’t get sick or that you’ll finally feel better.

Understand that your body was designed to be healthy and in balance.  This is your natural state.  If you are struggling with your health, you have most likely, throughout the course of living, allowed your body to get out of balance. Taking medicine to treat a symptom will never create balance within the body.  Acupuncture works with the body to return it to its natural state of balance so that it can heal from the inside out.  Don’t divert the smoke, put out the fire!

Robert Wallace LAc, LMT
Chicago Holistic Medicine
1619 W. Montrose
Chicago IL 60613
773.248.4489
www.chicagoholisticmedicine.com

Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Qi Gong, 
Reiki, Massage Therapy, Mindfulness 
Meditation & Diet/Lifestyle Counseling.
Please note our 24 Hour Cancellation Policy.

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Acupuncture and Your Respiratory Health

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012
www.chicagoholisticmedicine.com
Robert Wallace LAc, LMT
Chicago Holistic Medicine
1619 W Montrose
Chicago IL 60613

Prepare for Allergy Season with Acupuncture

 

Acupuncture has been used to treat seasonal allergies for centuries with great success. According to traditional medicine, treatment is directed toward clearing the nasal passages, supporting the immune system and strengthening the systems of the body to prevent allergic reactions from recurring.

What Are Seasonal Allergies?

Commonly called hay fever or allergic rhinitis, a seasonal allergy is an allergic reaction to a trigger that is typically only present for part of the year, such as spring or fall. Pollens that are spread by the wind are usually the main cause of seasonal allergies. People who are allergic to pollens are also often sensitive to dust mites, animal dander, and molds.

Spring is traditionally the main season when allergies blossom because of new growth on trees and weeds. Fall, which ushers in a whole different set of blooming plants, as well as leaf mold, is a close second. Airborne mold spores can be found almost year round, along with other common allergens such as dust, dust mites, and animal dander.

About 26 million Americans endure chronic seasonal allergies, while the number of people with milder symptoms may be as high as 40 million, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

Seasonal allergies are caused by the body’s hypersensitivity to substances in the environment. Symptoms primarily involve the membrane lining the nose, causing allergic rhinitis, or the membrane lining the eyelids and covering the whites of the eyes, causing allergic conjunctivitis.

While there are many Western medications to treat the symptoms of seasonal allergies, these treatments can cause unwanted side effects, such as drowsiness and immune system suppression as well as an over-reliance on medications. These side effects have motivated many people to search for alternative approaches like acupuncture and Oriental medicine to manage their allergies.

How Acupuncture Treatments Provide Relief from Allergies

According to Oriental Medicine, allergic rhinitis is related to Wind and a deficiency of the Protective Wei Qi.Wei Qi is the Qi, or energy, that flows at the surface of the body as a protective sheath and is responsible for resistance to colds and other respiratory infections. People with a deficiency of Wei Qi catch colds easily and are more susceptible to allergens.

When treating with acupuncture, underlying imbalances within the body are addressed and a treatment plan is developed to relieve the acute symptoms of allergic rhinitis while also treating the root problems that are contributing to the body’s reaction to allergens. Treatments often include dietary modification, the use of specifically chosen herbal formulas, and acupuncture.

Seasonal acupuncture treatments just four times a year also serve to tonify the inner organ systems and can correct minor annoyances before they become serious problems. If you experience seasonal allergies, now is the time to schedule an appointment. Call for a consultation today!

 

Foods for Seasonal Allergies

Ginger: Ginger is a natural antihistamine and decongestant. It may provide some relief from allergy symptoms by dilating constricted bronchial tubes.

Apples: Some foods contain the flavonoid quercetin that can cross-react with tree pollen. Quercetin can reduce allergic reactions by having an antihistamine effect. It also decreases inflammation. Quercetin occurs naturally in certain foods, such as apples (with the skin on), berries, red grapes, red onions, capers, and black tea.

Carrots: Carotenoids are a family of plant pigments that include beta-carotene. A lack of carotenoids in the diet is thought to promote inflammation in your airways. Good sources of carotenoids include apricots, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, spinach, kale, butternut squash, and collard greens.

Omega-3: Omega-3 essential fatty acids can counter the formation of chemicals that cause inflammation of the air passages. Good natural sources include flaxseed oil and salmon.

Yogurt: Food sensitivities seem to be connected with seasonal allergies. In a study conducted at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, patients who were fed 18 to 24 ounces of yogurt a day experienced a decline in their environmental allergic symptoms by 90 percent.

Fiber: A healthy and active colon can decrease food sensitivity, which, in turn, can lighten the burden on your immune system and may reduce the impact of seasonal allergies. For maximum colon health, increase the fiber in your diet.

 

www.chicagoholisticmedicine.com

Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Reiki, Qi Gong, Massage Therapy, Mindfulness Meditation & Diet/Lifestyle Counseling.

In This Issue

  • Prepare for Allergy Season with Acupuncture
  • Foods for Seasonal Allergies
  • Colds and Influenza
  • Point: Dazhui

Colds and Influenza

 

This year there will be 1 billion colds and 95 million cases of influenza in the United States alone. While the misery of colds and flu might be inevitable, one thing is changing: where we look for relief.

Get Better Faster
If you have already come down with a cold or the flu, acupuncture treatments can help relieve symptoms you are currently experiencing including chills, fever, body aches, runny nose, congestion, sore throat and cough. While bringing some immediate relief, treatments will reduce the incidence of an upper respiratory tract infection and shorten the length of the illness.

Prevention
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can prevent colds and flu by strengthening the immune system with just a few needles inserted into key points along the body’s energy pathways.

If you catch colds easily, have low energy and require a long time to recuperate from an illness your wei qi may be deficient.

Call today to see how Acupuncture can help you!

Point: Dazhui

One particularly important point for supporting the Wei Qi is Dazhui, or Du 14. Translated as “Great Vertebra” in English, it is located below the spinous process of the seventh cervical vertebrae, approximately where the collar of a T-shirt sits on the neck.Du 14 activates the circulation of blood and Qi to strengthen the outer defense layers of the skin and muscle (wei qi) so that germs and viruses cannot enter through them.This point is often used to ward off, as well as shorten, the duration colds and flu.

The Ups and Downs of Relief-Based Care

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

We are probably all familiar with a yo-yo dieter.  This is someone who needs to shed a few pounds, so they instill changes in their diet and lifestyle designed to quickly bring about results.  As long as they stick to a healthy plan the weight will start to come off.  At the first sign of weight loss, however, they begin to grow content and abandon the very strategy that helped them in the first place.  At this point their weight balloons up again and the whole cycle starts over.

What these people fail to realize is that healthy living is not an event, but rather a lifestyle.  Until they make a lasting commitment to finally follow through with and maintain a program of healthy eating and exercise, they will always bounce up and down like a yo-yo.

People who utilize acupuncture merely for symptom relief are much like yo-yo dieters.  At the first sign that their symptoms are gone they back off their care, only to find themselves with the same painful problem a short while later.  They then go back to the acupuncturist, feel better, slack off on their care, and start the same vicious cycle all over again.

Not only is this ineffective from a corrective standpoint, but the full benefits of acupuncture are never realized.  In addition, the longer a condition is left to fester just under the surface, the more potential it has to develop into something more serious.  It is typical to find that each time the problem resurfaces it is a little more severe than the previous incident, until finally, a more comprehensive schedule of care is no longer an option, but a necessity.

Lasting results, whether in acupuncture, weight loss, or any other of life’s endeavors, come from committing to a set of long-term goals and then having the discipline to follow through.

Make the commitment to maintenance acupuncture care and a preventative wellness program, and avoid the painful ups and downs of the yo-yo syndrome.

Are you ready to take charge of your health and life once and for all?
Call 773.248.4489 or Contact Us to set up your initial appointment or
complimentary phone consult.

Give Your Cardiovascular Health a Boost with Acupuncture

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012
February 2012
www.chicagoholisticmedicine.com
Robert Wallace LAc, LMT
Chicago Holistic Medicine
1619 W Montrose
Chicago IL 60613

Nurture Your Cardiovascular Health

 

The cardiovascular system consists of the heart and blood vessels and is responsible for carrying nutrients and oxygen to the tissues and removing carbon dioxide and other waste from them. Diseases affecting the cardiovascular system include arteriosclerosis, coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, arrhythmia, heart failure, hypertension, orthostatic hypotension, shock, endocarditis, diseases of the aorta and its branches, disorders of the peripheral vascular system, and congenital heart disease. February is the American Heart Association’s Heart Health Awareness Month, emphasizing the importance of cardiovascular health and the dangers of cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading health threat with heart disease and stroke topping the list of the first and second leading causes of death worldwide. One out of every two men and one out of every three women will develop heart disease sometime in their life. Despite dramatic medical advances over the past fifty years, heart disease remains a leading cause of death globally and the number one cause of death in the United States. Cardiovascular disease is not just a man’s disease, in women, the condition is responsible for about 29% of deaths, reports the CDC. Although more men die of heart disease than women, females tend to be under diagnosed, often to the point that it’s too late to help them once the condition is discovered.

By integrating acupuncture and Oriental medicine into your heart healthy lifestyle, you can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by as much as 80%. Steps to prevention include managing high blood pressure and cholesterol, quitting smoking, eating healthy, maintaining a healthy weight, physical activity, reducing stress and improved sleep – all of which can be helped with acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

5 Steps to a Healthy Heart with Acupuncture

1. Manage High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure makes the heart work harder, increasing its oxygen demands and contributing to angina. This excessive pressure can lead to an enlarged heart (cardiomegaly), as well as damage to blood vessels in the kidneys and brain. It increases the risk of heart attacks, stroke and kidney disease.

Acupuncture has been found to be particularly helpful in lowering blood pressure. By applying acupuncture needles at specific sites along the wrist, inside the forearm or in the leg, researchers at the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California, Irvine, were able to stimulate the release of opioids, which decreases the heart’s activity and thus its need for oxygen. This, in turn, lowers blood pressure.

2. Quit Smoking

Most people associate cigarette smoking with breathing problems and lung cancer. But did you know that smoking is also a major cause of coronary artery disease? In fact, about 20% of all deaths from heart disease are directly related to cigarette smoking.

Acupuncture has shown to be an effective treatment for smoking. Acupuncture treatments for smoking cessation focus on jitters, cravings, irritability, and restlessness – symptoms that people commonly complain about when they quit. It also aids in relaxation and detoxification.

3. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Obesity is associated with diabetes, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease, all of which increase the risk of developing heart disease, but studies have shown that excess body weight itself (and not just the associated medical conditions) can also lead to heart failure. Even if you are entirely healthy otherwise, being overweight still places you at a greater risk of developing heart failure.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine are an excellent adjunctive tool when it comes to losing weight. They can help to energize the body, maximize the absorption of nutrients, regulate elimination, control overeating, suppress the appetite, and reduce anxiety.

4. Reduce Stress

Stress is a normal part of life, but if left unmanaged, stress can lead to emotional, psychological, and even physical problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, chest pains, or irregular heart beats. Medical researchers aren’t exactly sure how stress increases the risk of heart disease. Stress itself might be a risk factor, or it could be that high levels of stress make other risk factors worse. For example, if you are under stress, your blood pressure goes up, you may overeat, you may exercise less, and you may be more likely to smoke.

Numerous studies have demonstrated the substantial benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of stress, anxiety and mental health. In addition to acupuncture, Oriental medicine offers a whole gamut of tools and techniques that can be integrated into your life to keep stress in check. These tools include Tui Na, Qi Gong exercises, herbal medicine, dietary therapy, meditations and acupressure that you can administer at home.

5. Improve Sleep

Poor sleep has been linked with high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart failure, heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, and obesity. Researchers have shown that getting at least eight hours of sleep is needed for good heart health and getting less than eight hours of sleep can put you at a greater risk for developing heart disease.

Acupuncture has shown great success treating a wide array of sleep problems without any of the side effects of prescription or over-the-counter sleep aids. The acupuncture treatments for problems sleeping focus on the root disharmony within the body that is causing the insomnia. Therefore, those who use acupuncture for insomnia achieve not only better sleep, but also an overall improvement of physical and mental health.

Come in for a consultation during Heart Health Awareness Month to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can assist you with your heart health and help you to live a long, healthy life.

 

Acupuncture for Cholesterol Management

It’s important to have your blood cholesterol levels checked since you can have high cholesterol and not realize it. Most of the 65 million Americans with high cholesterol have no symptoms. All adults age 20 and older should have their cholesterol levels checked at least once every five years. If you have elevated cholesterol, you’ll need to have it tested more often.

Research has clearly shown that lowering cholesterol can reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Whether you have heart disease already or want to prevent it, you can reduce your risk for having a heart attack by lowering your cholesterol level.

According to the American Heart Association, exercise and a healthy balanced diet low in cholesterol and saturated fats is important to lowering risk and improving your cardiovascular health. Speak to your health care providers to make sure your cholesterol is being monitored and find out how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you stay healthy.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be used to treat many of the health conditions known to drastically increase the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol including smoking, high blood pressure, excess weight, and diabetes.

Excess weight tends to increase your low density lipoprotein (LDL) levels, raise triglycerides, a fatty substance in the blood and in food, and lowers your high density lipoprotein (HDL) levels. Regular physical activity can help you lose weight and raise HDL, lower triglycerides, and lower LDL.

Call today to see how Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you with your cholesterol management goals!

 

www.chicagoholisticmedicine.com

Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Reiki, Qi Gong, Massage Therapy & Diet/Lifestyle Counseling.

In This Issue

  • Nurture Your Cardiovascular Health
  • Acupuncture for Cholesterol Management
  • Heart Healthy Foods

Heart Healthy Foods

Having a healthy diet is one of the best ways to support your cardiovascular health and prevent heart disease.

Here are some suggested foods which will support your heart healthy lifestyle:

Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables such as kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, radish, turnips, and cabbages are a gold mine of antioxidants and other heart-saving phytochemicals. Make sure that cruciferous vegetables are part of your heart health diet every day.

Fish
Fatty fish such as salmon and anchovies are loaded with the omega-3 fatty acids that will help your heart maintain a steady rhythm. Having a serving of fish a week could reduce your risk of death from a heart attack by 52%.

Flaxseed
Flaxseed is one of the most potent sources of heart health-promoting omega-3 fats. Studies indicate that adding flaxseed to your diet can reduce the development of heart disease by 46% while helping keep red blood cells from clumping together and forming clots that can block arteries. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp of flax-seed a day on your cereal or salad.

Fruit
Oranges contain folic acid that helps lower levels of homocysteine, a heart attack risk factor.

Grapes are loaded with flavonoids and resveratrol, both potent antioxidants that may discourage red blood cells from clumping together and forming an artery-blocking clot.

Pomegranates are chock-full of potassium and polyphenols, which promote heart health and have been shown to help lower cholesterol. The latest studies are showing that the juice limits the genetic tendency toward hardening of the arteries.

Garlic
Just one clove a day, or 300 mg three times daily, reduces the risk of heart attack at least three ways: It discourages red blood cells from sticking together and blocking your arteries, it reduces arterial damage, and it discourages cholesterol from lining the arteries and making them so narrow that blockages are likely.

Green Tea
Green tea contains several powerful antioxidants that reduce bad cholesterol and boost good cholesterol, improving an individuals overall cholesterol profile. Drinking green tea also seems to enhance cardiovascular health by improving the consistency of platelets in the blood and may even lower blood pressure.

Nuts
Studies have found that those who eat more than 5 oz of nuts a week are one-third less likely to have either heart disease or a heart attack. Just don’t overdo it as nuts can pile on the pounds.

Red Wine
Scientific studies overwhelmingly show that a daily glass of wine can reduce your risk of a heart attack. Both plant compounds called saponins and antioxidants in the “fruit of the vine” work to protect arteries. Researchers have found that red is much more effective than white for improving heart health.

Are You Stuck in First Gear?

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Imagine you are driving down the road with your gas pedal to the floor.  Your car runs great and gets you to where you need to be. All is good.

But then you look around and notice that everyone else is whizzing right by you.

Determined to keep up with those around you, you take your car into the shop and have the mechanic give it a good once-over.

The mechanic finds that while you have been getting to where you need to be, you have been doing so while driving in only one gear.  In actuality, he discovers that your car has an entire set of gears that have never even been utilized!

Many people live out their lives the same way; stuck in first gear and never living up to their full potential; not quite hurting, but definitely not at their best.  The problem is that while most people realize that they simply are not living up to par, they don’t know how to access their hidden gearbox to take their health to the next level.

These are the people that need to be under acupuncture care!

The old misconception that acupuncture care is just for those in pain or battling symptoms is quickly being exposed for the fallacy that it is.

Those who get the most out of their acupuncture treatments are the ones who take their care beyond the relief phase and work with their acupuncturist to maintain lifelong health and wellness.

The true essence of acupuncture actually has nothing to do with the treatment of pain and symptoms.  Acupuncture treatments remove meridian system blockages by detecting and correcting imbalances in the meridian system.  Symptoms are relieved as a byproduct of building a healthier body.

A blockage within the meridian system, ones that are continually out of balance, will never allow the body to run at maximum speed and efficiency.   The blockage and imbalance in effect acts as a governor on your body’s engine, limiting it to a certain speed that it can’t rise above.

You are not designed to sputter through life in first gear.  You are created to live all out at full throttle.  Settle for any less and you not only short-change yourself, but also those who depend upon you.

Your meridian system is housing a whole new set of gears that most of us never even tap into.  By unleashing the full scope of your body’s innate potential, acupuncture can help you take your health and your life to unparalleled heights.

Robert Wallace at Chicago Holistic Medicine has been helping people get out of 1st gear for over 15 years. Call 773-248-4489 or Email Us to find out if acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine can help you or to schedule your appointment now.  www.chicagoholisticmedicine.com