Chicago Holistic Medicine
Dr Robert Wallace LAc, DACM 773.248.4489

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Acupuncture For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Relief~

Monday, November 4th, 2019

Acupuncture: A Viable Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Repetitive stress injuries (RSI) are the most common job-related injuries and are responsible for the highest number of days lost. One of the most well-known types of repetitive stress injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) accounts for over two million visits to physicians’ offices and approximately 465,000 carpal tunnel release operations each year, making it the most frequent surgery of the hand and wrist.

Symptoms of repetitive stress injuries include tightness, stiffness, pain, tingling, numbness, coldness and loss of strength in the arm. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a repetitive stress injury that refers specifically to the inflammation of a specific ligament that puts pressure on the median nerve.

Acupuncture is extremely effective for treating repetitive stress injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome, and often eliminates the need for surgery or the use of anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids. In fact, one of the most common reasons that people get acupuncture is for repetitive stress injuries.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

The carpal tunnel is suitably named as it is literally a tunnel located in the lower arm, that encases and protects part of the median nerve. The median nerve controls sensory functions and enables the palm, plus all fingers (except the pinkie), as well as impulses to some small muscles in the hand that allow the fingers and thumb to move. Even though some repetitive motions such as typing on the computer or using the phone are not strenuous activities in and of themselves, if performed often enough, a cumulative effect builds up.

Carpal tunnel syndrome, also known as median nerve entrapment, occurs when swelling or irritation of the tendons in the carpal tunnel results in pressure on the median nerve, causing pain in the palm side of the wrist and pain and tingling in the fingers. These symptoms often, but not always, result from inflammation due to frequent, repetitive physical movements. However, inflammation can also be a product of an injury, such as a wrist sprain, or certain diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Symptoms usually start gradually and become worse over time, especially if the same motions are repeated on a near daily basis. Those with carpal tunnel syndrome usually experience frequent burning, tingling, or numbness in the palm of the hand and the fingers, especially the index, middle and ring fingers. Pain can sometimes travel up the arm and affect the shoulder. The symptoms often first appear during the night. As symptoms worsen, people might feel pain, weakness, or numbness in the hand and wrist, radiating up the arm during the day. Decreased grip strength may make it difficult to form a fist, grasp small objects, or perform other manual tasks. If not properly treated, CTS can cause irreversible nerve damage and permanent deterioration of muscle tissue.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with Acupuncture

From an Oriental medicine perspective, a repetitive stress injury is seen as a disruption of the flow of Qi and Blood (Xue) within the area, and is associated with cold, dampness or wind penetrating the muscles and sinews. Acupuncture points, stretching exercises, herbal remedies and nutritional supplements are chosen to treat accordingly.

In addition to reducing the swelling, inflammation and pain, acupuncture addresses any headaches, neck pain, shoulder stiffness and sleeping problems that often accompany this condition. Your treatment may also take into account any underlying conditions that contribute to its development, including posture, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid problems, diabetes and hormonal changes of pregnancy and menopause.

If you or someone you know suffers from a repetitive stress injury, please call to find out more about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you. 

Exercises for Carpal Tunnel Relief

If you are on a computer all day, or if you are engaged in any other repetitious daily activity, consider setting an alarm for every 20 minutes. This will help remind you to change your posture, perform some stretches, or just take a break. Keep your head up and your shoulders relaxed, but not slouched. Maintaining good posture, whether sitting or standing, can help keep symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome at bay. Here are some easy exercises to help relieve pain and other symptoms.

The first exercise is called the prayer stretch. Put the palms of your hand together, press lightly and hold the pose for 30 seconds. Take a break for 10 seconds, then repeat up to four times. In a variation of this pose, you can hold your hands out in front of you as though you were pushing them up against a wall. Hold for 30 seconds, then shake your hands out. Repeat up to four times.

To stretch in the other direction, make your hands into fists and bend your wrist downwards. This can be done for about 30 seconds, and then the wrists should be straightened and the fingers relaxed. Do this up to four times. Another very simple technique is to make a fist, then open it up and fan out your fingers. Do this as many times as feels good.

This last exercise can also help give your neck a good stretch. Take one hand, with the palm side up, and extend it to your side. If using your left hand, then extend it to your left side. With your arm completely extended at the level of your shoulder, with your palm still facing upwards, point your fingertips downwards. You should feel a good stretch throughout the entire length of your arm. To increase this stretch, gently tilt your ear towards the opposite shoulder. If your left hand is extended, then you will tilt your head to the right.

If you are concerned about any symptoms you may have contact us for an appointment today! 

In This Issue

  • Acupuncture: A Viable Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Exercises for Carpal Tunnel Relief
  • Reduce Your Repetitive Stress Injury Risk

Reduce Your Repetitive Stress Injury Risk

Managing repetitive stress injuries often requires some lifestyle changes, and it can take time to work out a strategy that works best for you.

Here are a few minor changes you can implement to minimize stress on your hands and wrists:

Alternate Tasks

Avoid doing the same task for more than a couple of hours at a time and alternate between tasks that use different muscle groups where possible.

Fatigue is a sign that you need to take a break. Take small breaks to gently stretch and bend your hands and wrists and readjust your position.

Reduce Pressure

Many people use more force than needed to perform tasks involving their hands, which can increase pressure and cause irritation.

Be mindful of the speed and amount of pressure used to perform tasks. Ease up, slow down and grip using your palm or whole hand to distribute the load.

If using tools such as riveters or jackhammers for extended periods, take frequent breaks or operate the tool at a speed that causes the least amount of vibration.

Cultivate Good Posture

Incorrect posture can cause your shoulders to roll forward, shortening neck and shoulder muscles and compressing nerves in your neck, which can affect your wrists, hands and fingers.

Shoulders and neck should be relaxed to open the chest and allow your head to float upwards without strain.

When using a keyboard, wrists should be in a relaxed middle position and in a straight line with your forearms at elbow height or slightly lower.

Maintaining Optimal Health & Vitality as You Age

Saturday, October 12th, 2019

Healthy Aging and Living Life with Vitality

Oriental medicine has a long history of healing and rejuvenation that teaches us a great deal about aging well. Two thousand years ago, ancient Chinese scholars described the stages of aging in the Huang Di Neijing (The Yellow Emperor’s Internal Classic). They remind us that we cannot change our genetics, but we can change how we live to extend and improve the quality of our lives.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine emphasize prevention over treatment. This makes a great deal of sense because treating an illness that has already damaged the body is much more difficult than preventing the illness from occurring in the first place. It is never too late. You can begin today.

One of the basic tenets of acupuncture and Oriental medicine theory is the belief that all disease results from the imbalance of yin and yang forces. Yin qualities include darkness, quiet, moisture and formlessness. Yang qualities are represented by light, noise, dryness and form. Running is a yang activity, whereas the rest that comes afterwards is a function of yin. Resting allows for the renewal of depleted energy reserves, which, in turn, makes activity possible. This is one way to describe how the dynamic relationship between yin and yang powers our life force.

The challenges of aging also result from this lack of balance between yin and yang energies. This means that some conditions and symptoms of disease associated with advanced aging may be mitigated by bringing these two energies into harmony again. For example, dry eyes and poor vision can be addressed by acupuncture treatments that focus on nurturing yin and increasing yang. Yin fluids will provide lubrication to the eyes, while an increase in yang helps ensure more energy can reach the top of the head to help improve vision.

A healthy mind and body need not decline with age. Oriental medicine promotes living a balanced life and the basic components help point you on the path toward a long and quality life. Prevention of age-related cognitive and physical issues involves safeguarding the yin, yang, and jing (adrenals, hormone balance, and genetic endowments) throughout your life span by maintaining a healthy diet and active lifestyle, avoiding toxins, keeping harmony in your environment and relationships, and maintaining balanced activity and rest. Whatever your starting point, you can make positive changes to enhance the quality of your life.

Call today to learn how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help maintain your health and improve your vitality as you age! 

Managing Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition that causes brittle or porous bones due to a reduction in the bone mineral density. Bone is comprised of living tissue, which is constantly dying and renewing itself.

Normally, old bone is cleared away as new growth occurs. However, when new bone cannot be generated, bones become soft and weak. So, should a fall or coughing fit occur, a fracture may arise. In more severe cases, a break can occur without a noticeable event.

Usually the early stages of osteoporosis do not include noticeable signs or symptoms. In later stages, back pain, loss of height, poor posture or easily occurring bone fractures may happen.

Although anyone can develop osteoporosis, it occurs most frequently among post-menopausal white and Asian women.

Other contributors include low calcium intake, prolonged use of corticosteroid drugs, heavy alcohol consumption, smoking and an inactive lifestyle.

A patient suffering from the consequences of brittle and porous bones may be diagnosed by a practitioner of acupuncture and Oriental medicine with a deficiency of yin. Healthy bone depends on a system of blood vessels to deliver nourishment.

Considered a thickened form of body fluids, blood falls under the domain of yin. When yin is in short supply, dryness is the natural result. A disruption or deficiency in the blood supply to the skeletal system may interfere with its ability to properly lubricate and nourish bone.

In addition to receiving acupuncture treatments to help nourish yin, there are some things you can do at home to address your symptoms of osteoporosis, including increasing physical activity and consuming foods high in calcium that support the skeletal system.

An increase physical activity that includes resistance, flexibility and weight-bearing exercises will strengthen muscles, improve stability and balance, help slow mineral loss and improve cardiovascular health.

If you have osteoporosis, work with a therapist to select appropriate exercises for your health. Choosing exercises with slower controlled movements such as Tai Chi or Qi Gong and avoiding high-impact exercises with jerky movements will reduce the risk of fractures.

To learn how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can assist in prevention and provide osteoporosis support, call for a consultation today! 

Bladder Health and Incontinence

Incontinence and urinary tract disorders commonly arise as one gets older, especially for women over 50. One reason the risk for incontinence increases as we age, is because the bladder lining starts losing elasticity which, in turn, reduces its ability to store urine. This can result in frequent and urgent bouts of urination. If this occurs at night it is called nocturia.

In some cases, coughing, sneezing or pressure on the abdomen may cause an involuntary voiding of urine, known as leakage. Those suffering from incontinence also endure a greater risk for repeated urinary tract infections (UTI).

A UTI occurs when bacteria enters the urinary system through the kidneys, urethra, ureters and/or the bladder. Although signs and symptoms vary according to the location of the bacteria, some common signs include the urgent, persistent urge to urinate, burning on urination, and cloudy urine. These conditions not only signal a malfunction of the urinary tract system, but may lead to social isolation and/or loss of self esteem.

Fortunately, acupuncture and Oriental medicine can address bladder health and reduce the symptoms of incontinence. The July 2005 edition of Obstetrics and Gynecology detailed a study called “Acupuncture for overactive bladder: a randomized controlled trial.” The study aimed to compare acupuncture treatments versus placebo acupuncture for an overactive bladder.

Out of the 85 women initially enrolled, 74 completed the four weekly sessions. The researchers concluded that women who received four weekly bladder-specific acupuncture treatments had significant improvements in bladder capacity, urinary urgency and frequency, and quality of life as compared with women who received the placebo acupuncture treatments.

To maintain bladder health, increase water consumption and avoid irritants such as coffee, orange juice and most soft drinks, which can stimulate the bladder. Kegel, or pelvic floor exercises, can tonify the muscles used in urination.

If you or someone you know struggles with bladder health and incontinence call today! 

In This Issue

  • Healthy Aging and Living Life with Vitality
  • Managing Osteoporosis
  • Bladder Health and Incontinence
  • Health Boosting Foods

Health Boosting Foods

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins are part of any healthy diet. Here are six nutrients that can enhance your health and vitality.

Garlic – Garlic boosts your immunity, increasing your ability to fight off infection. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels. One or two cloves of garlic a day is recommended for optimum health, so include it in your cooking!

Ginger – Ginger has been taken as a medicine by numerous cultures for thousands of years.

This amazing spice is anti-inflammatory, reduces pain, and is excellent for many types of digestive distress (especially nausea.) More than one study has found that ginger may also be a potent cancer fighter.

Goji Berries – Small fruits that grow on evergreen shrubs in the Himalayas, Gou Qi Zi are slightly chewy and have a mild flavor.

High in fiber and containing the highest antioxidant powers of any berry or fruit, they are used in Chinese medicine to increase longevity, strengthen the immune system, improve vision, protect the liver and improve circulation.

The goji or wolf berry is widely available dried, and easily found as whole fruit or juice in natural-food stores.

Green Tea – There has been much research on the anti-carcinogenic properties of green tea. Studies of people in Asia who drink copious amounts of green tea daily have shown a correlation between green tea consumption and lower rates of a variety of cancers.

Green tea is easy to find and can be purchased in most grocery stores and health food stores. It is refreshing iced or hot.

Honey – Known as Feng Mi in Oriental medicine, honey has many health benefits, and is often used in combination with other herbs. It contains anti-oxidants and the darker the honey, the higher the anti-oxidant content and deeper the flavor.

Honey can be eaten or applied topically. It is anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal.

Throughout history, honey has been used to soothe and clear the skin, and encourage the growth of healthy tissue. You might enjoy trying raw honey as a facial mask.

Organic raw honey that has not been pasteurized, clarified or filtered is your best choice.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids – Anti-inflammatory essential fatty acids help keep joints healthy, reduce pain and swelling and can also help with depression, stress, arthritis and menopause.

Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9 oils are fats that directly affect cognitive, cellular and kidney function.

Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids include: salmon, sardines, tuna and other cold water fish; nuts and seeds, notably flaxseeds, hemp seeds and walnuts; and soybeans and winter squash.

Tips To Treat Insomnia~

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019

Get Relief from Fibromyalgia with Acupuncture!

Saturday, September 21st, 2019

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease known for causing extensive musculoskeletal pain that is debilitating and quality-of-life reducing. The disorder affects both the soft tissue and the joints. While the majority of patients are women, anyone with a family history of fibromyalgia, a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD), or a diagnosis of a rheumatic disease such as lupus are at increased risk.

Of the estimated 2 percent of the population diagnosed with fibromyalgia, research shows that up to 90 percent use complementary or alternative medicine to manage their symptoms. Acupuncture, in particular, has become a popular and effective treatment choice.

Characterized by chronic widespread pain fibromyalgia sufferers may also experience a heightened and painful response to pressure, insomnia, fatigue, and digestive problems. Emotional health and mental clarity may also destabilize causing mood swings, anxiety, brain fog, and memory loss.

Symptoms usually appear after physical or emotional trauma but a trigger is not always evident. It is diagnosed when there is widespread pain throughout the body for a minimum of 3 months, and when pressure is applied to 11 out of 18 specific body sites.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine offer pain relief for the body, emotional balance for the heart, and mental clarity for the mind. According to acupuncture and Oriental medicine, pain is seen as a disruption to the flow of Qi within the body. This is best expressed in the Chinese saying: “Bu tong ze tong, tong ze bu tong” which means “free flow: no pain, no free flow: pain.” The disruption that presents as fibromyalgia is often associated with disharmony of the Liver, Spleen, Kidney and Heart systems.

Oriental medicine focuses on treating each individual based on their constitution, emotional state, the intensity and location of their pain, digestive health, sleeping patterns, and an array of other symptoms. Treatment often includes a combination of Oriental medicine modalities, including acupuncture.

Are you suffering from fibromyalgia? Acupuncture and Oriental medicine may be what you’ve been looking for to ease your symptoms and reclaim your health and vitality. Call to schedule your appointment today! 

Use Self-Acupressure to Relieve Fibromyalgia Symptoms

For anyone suffering from fibromyalgia, knowing where to apply self-acupressure may help ease some of the symptoms associated with the disorder. It is important to recognize that psychological stresses can play a significant role in the presentation of fibromyalgia. Employing self-acupressure can help one regain emotional well-being and better control the onset of symptoms.

For best self-acupressure results, apply gentle yet firm pressure from your middle-finger as you make tiny circular motions. This may be done as little as once a day or as much as once every hour.

Here are a few areas self-acupressure can be applied to provide symptom relief:

Yintang – located between the eyes, at the level of the eyebrows. This point is renowned for its ability to soothe anxiety and promote a general relaxation of the body. Stimulation of this point may help with obsessive and unproductive thoughts.

Ear Shen Men – located on the upper portion of the ear in the triangular fossa, nearly a perfect fit to gently place a fingertip and press. The name of this point speaks for itself, stimulation here brings the potential for great relief from any kind of physical and/or emotional pain, metaphorically allowing the patient to enter “heaven.”

Ren 17 – located in the center of the chest at the level of the fourth intercostal space, at the same level as the nipples. This is a great point to help relieve the sensation of rising anxiety and help the body physically relax as well.

Pericardium 6 – located on the side of the arm, four finger widths from the wrist crease and between the two tendons in the middle of the arm. Gentle pressing can help promote a sense of well-being and relief from nausea.

Stomach 36 – located about four finger widths down from the outer eye of the knee, then over about the width of the middle finger from the shin bone. This invaluable point is known for its ability to promote general wellness by stimulating the immune system, stopping pain anywhere in the body and calming the shen. “Calming the shen” refers to the stabilization of negative mental and emotional states.

To learn more about self-acupressure for your specific symptoms of fibromyalgia, call to make an appointment today! 

Study Recommends Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia Pain

The study “Fibromyalgia syndrome treated with acupuncture at the acupoints of the affected meridians and heavy moxibustion at painful points: a randomized, controlled trial,” published in the February 2016 issue of Zhongguo Zhen Jiu, yielded positive results.

The acupuncture/moxibustion (AM) group underwent treatments every other day, for a total of 4 weeks. The drug therapy group (DT) took their prescribed medications everyday, also for a total of 4 weeks. Before and after every treatment, researchers determined the patient’s level of pain using the visual analog scale (VAS) and the revised fibromyalgia impact questionnaire (FIQR). Both the VAS and FIQR were completed 4 weeks post-treatment.

Although there was a decrease in pain for both groups during the test period—only the AM group maintained a remarkable drop in pain levels 1 month after the study completed. Researchers recommend the use of acupuncture to manage pain associated with fibromyalgia. Long term, it is more effective than drug therapy, with little to no adverse effects.

Source: Li D, Yang L, Li J. (2016). Fibromyalgia syndrome treated with acupuncture at the acupoints of the affected meridians and heavy moxibustion at painful points: a randomized, controlled trial. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27348913 

In This Issue

  • Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine for Fibromyalgia
  • Use Self-Acupressure to Relieve Fibromyalgia Symptoms
  • Study Recommends Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia Pain
  • 5 Tools for Symptom Relief

5 Tools for Symptom Relief

Although fibromyalgia is a disorder that can be disabling for many due to chronic widespread pain and fatigue, there are some things you can do to alleviate the symptoms and improve your overall quality of life.

Learn and Practice Stress Reduction Techniques
Chronic stress can lead to fatigue, depression, a weakened immune system, and a host of serious physical and psychological ailments.

When under stress, your muscles contract and tense affecting nerves, blood vessels, organs, skin and bones. Chronically-tense muscles can result in a variety of musculoskeletal conditions and disorders, including muscle spasms and pain.

While it isn’t always possible to remove the external forces causing stress, the ability to effectively deal with stress is a choice. Take time for yourself and cultivate the energy you need to handle your stress more effectively.

Eat a Well-Balanced Diet
Managing your diet may seem time-consuming, but the benefits it offers make it worthwhile. Many fibromyalgia sufferers find relief through a properly-managed diet.

Make sure you are including nutrients in your diet shown to combat nerve sensitivities, improve cognition, boost the immune system, and reduce swelling.

Exercise
While even basic movements may be painful, exercise helps restore strength and endurance. Tai Chi, Qi Gong or Yoga are great for easy stretches, careful strengthening, deep breathing, as well as relaxation techniques.

Gentle stretching will clear tension that builds when muscles tighten and will improve overall circulation. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

Meditate
The practice of meditation is a proven stress-reducer that helps the body create a sense of calm and a continuing sense of well being. While 15 minutes daily is recommended, even 5 or 10 minutes can have a powerful effect on your day.

Restorative Sleep
Get at least 8 hours of restorative sleep. Maintain a routine sleep schedule and make your bedroom a sanctuary from everyday stress.

Practicing good sleep hygiene will give your body an opportunity to get stronger and heal.

Revitalize Your Digestive Health With Acupuncture~

Wednesday, September 4th, 2019

Revitalize Your Digestive Health with Acupuncture

Millions of Americans suffer from digestive disorders ranging from constipation, diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome, to more serious conditions such as acid reflux (GERD), ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Evidence that Oriental medicine has been used for digestive disorders can be found in early medical literature dating back to 3 AD, where specific acupuncture points and herbal formulas for borborygmus (rumbling or gurgling in the intestines), abdominal pain, and diarrhea with pain are discussed.

According to Oriental medical theory, most digestive disorders are due to disharmony in the spleen and stomach. The spleen plays a central part in the health and vitality of the body, taking a lead role in the assimilation of nutrients and maintenance of physical strength. It turns digested food from the stomach into usable nutrients and qi (energy). Many schools of thought have been formed around this organ, the premise being that the proper functioning of the”‘middle” is the key to all aspects of vitality.

By taking into account a person’s constitution and varied symptoms, a treatment plan using a variety of techniques is designed specifically for the individual to bring their “middle” back into harmony and optimize the proper functioning of the digestive system.

Is your digestive system functioning at its best? Make an appointment today to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you! 

Can Acupuncture Help Patients with Celiac Disease?

More than 3 million Americans are affected by celiac disease and up to 30 percent of the global population carries a genetic predisposition to it, according to the American Gasteroenterological Association. In a nutshell, celiac disease is a severe allergy against the gluten proteins found in wheat. The immune system mounts an intense reaction, which causes inflammation in the small intestine. This damages the small finger-like projections that line the small intestine, and thus interferes with the small intestine’s ability to absorb the nutrients the body needs to sustain itself.

Some people are asymptomatic and don’t know they have celiac disease until after they experience serious complications. In fact, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation, as many as 97 percent of sufferers are not aware they have it. The person may have what’s called non-celiac gluten sensitivity, in which they react negatively to gluten but do not suffer from intestinal inflammation. This makes diagnosis and getting treatment difficult.

Over time, if the condition is not diagnosed and goes untreated, it can become chronic and the person can find themselves dealing with long-term health conditions like anemia, miscarriage, neurological complications, infertility, mineral and vitamin deficiency, lactose intolerance, cancer of the intestines and gastrointestinal tract, reduced spleen function, deficiency of the pancreas, and gall bladder malfunction.

Research maintains there is no cure except to refrain from eating foods with gluten. But gluten can be found in many foods that may not be apparently obvious, like salad dressings, soy sauce, and even some medications. Even when gluten-containing foods are removed from the diet, sometimes the intestinal inflammation and symptoms may persist. Relief from gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, weight loss, and acid reflux may take up to several months for some.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help manage the symptoms of celiac disease by addressing the inflammation in your intestines through regular treatments. Of vital importance is a discussion concerning diet and how to avoid gluten while still eating nutritious, complete meals.

One basic step you can take at home to support your digestive health is to establish a routine. According to acupuncture and Oriental medicine, the spleen is responsible for transforming food into nutrients and then transporting them to other areas of the body. Ritualize your eating habits with regular meal times, avoid hunger and don’t overeat. Try to have your last meal at least three hours before going to bed. Breakfast is considered an important meal of the day and should not be skipped. 

Optimizing Digestive System Function

Consider the idea that maintaining an optimal digestive system involves more than eating a healthy diet — it’s just as vital to know why, when and how to eat as what we eat can either promote healing or cause damage to our digestive system.

Using the rhythm of the Oriental medicine circadian clock, based on 2-hour increments in which each organ performs at its best, you can plan your meals and snacks to help your entire body run well.

The large intestine functions best from 5 am to 7 am, which makes this the ideal time to eliminate waste from the body and provide the colon enough energy to function at full force. Immediately upon waking up, drink a glass of lukewarm or room temperature water to rehydrate the intestinal organs.

The time of the stomach is from 7 am to 9 am. As one of the first digestive organs to receive food, this is a perfect time to enjoy a good breakfast. Warm, cooked food is advisable as opposed to dry cereals with cold milk or smoothies. Both the stomach and spleen thrive on food that is warm.

Cold causes contraction, which interferes with their ability to digest food properly. A simple omelet, oatmeal, or warm, moist porridge can make for a filling, hearty meal. Try not to get too complicated with heavy sauces, spices or oily, fried foods. If you indulge in coffee or warm tea, wait until after you eat so your digestive juices remain undiluted and full of power.

The time of the heart is from 11 am to 1 pm. A healthy lunch can contain pungent and spicy foods as the energy of the heart hours can easily metabolize heat-producing foods. Consider swapping out cold salads and sandwiches for hot meals or warm soups.

Between the hours of 3 pm and 5 pm many people experience a slump in energy. This corresponds to the energy of the urinary bladder. During this time, the metabolic waste in the body is beginning to enter the kidneys for processing. To help initiate the kidney filtration process, enjoy a salty snack. A savory snack washed down with a warm herbal tea is a nice treat for your bladder and kidneys.

From 5 pm to 7 pm is the time of the kidneys. Kidney energy is about reserving and storing. The energy of the body is focusing inward as it begins to settle into the quietness of nighttime. A tranquil dinner focusing on whole grains, roasted meats, and legumes can satisfy the nutritional needs of the kidneys.

After dinner, keep calm and don’t exert energy for the rest of the evening. This doesn’t mean you have to forgo going out with friends but, it does mean it shouldn’t be part of your regular routine. Parties and nighttime celebrations can be nurturing and joyful experiences, and they have their proper place.

Striving to eat in tempo with this circadian clock provides a structure for the whole day and helps to harmonize other aspects of your life.

Call to schedule an appointment today and learn more about how you can give your digestive health a tune up! 

Meta Analysis Shows Oriental Medicine Controls IBD Symptoms

The ability of acupuncture and moxibustion to control symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) was examined in a 2013 study called Acupuncture and Moxibustion for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials, which was published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Inflammatory bowel disease is a group of chronic diseases that inflame various parts of the digestive tract to produce symptoms of abdominal pain and diarrhea. Moxibustion is an Oriental medicine therapy in which smoke from the burning of the herb mugwort penetrates through the skin and into the body.

The meta-analysis compiled evidence from 7 major databases from all over the world. Researchers investigated 43 scientific studies. Ten of these studies compared the use of moxibustion with a popular pharmaceutical drug called sulphasalazine (oral SASP), which is used to address the irritation in the large intestine. The heat therapy produced statistically significant benefits for symptoms of IBD over the use of sulphasalazine.

The other trials also yielded results favoring the use of acupuncture to manage the pain and other symptoms of IBD. Researchers stated in their analysis of overall clinical efficacy that whether utilizing acupuncture alone, moxibustion alone, or a combination of the two, they all demonstrated superior results over the drug sulphasalazine for addressing symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. Although this is a very promising conclusion, researchers also make clear the importance of future studies to further advance the use of acupuncture and moxibustion for inflammatory bowel disease.

Source: Ji, J., Lu, Y., Liu, H., Feng, H., Zhang, F., Wu, L., … Wu, H. (2013). Acupuncture and Moxibustion for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM, 2013, 158352. http://doi.org/10.1155/2013/158352 

Find Relief from Irritable Bowel Syndrome

A common disorder affecting 10 to 20 percent of adults at some point in their lives, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or “spastic colon” is the end result of nervous interference with the normal function of the lower digestive tract. Women are 2-6 times more likely than men to develop IBS, and the American College of Gastroenterology suggests that women may be more sensitive to inflammation in the GI tract.

In general, irritable bowel syndrome involves alternating constipation and diarrhea with a noticeable and sustained increase or decrease in frequency of elimination. Those with IBS may experience fatigue, pain during stool elimination, cramping, nausea, bloating, gas, headaches, and backaches. These symptoms are variable, can appear in any combination, may change over time, and can be worsened by certain foods, stress and other irritants.

While other patterns may be present, irritable bowel syndrome is generally considered a disharmony between the liver and spleen meridians. The liver meridian is responsible for the smooth flow of qi and blood throughout the body. This flow can be upset by emotions or stress, causing stagnation of qi or blood. Oriental medicine views the spleen meridian as being associated with the function of digestion and transforming food into energy (qi and blood). The spleen meridian can be weakened by a number of factors including overeating unhealthy foods, overwork, stress, fatigue, and lack of exercise. When the spleen meridian is weak and the liver meridian is not moving smoothly, the liver overacts on the spleen and can manifest as symptoms of IBS.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine support qi flow throughout the body, ensuring that all physiological and emotional processes run smoothly. Tension can result in a qi stagnation, irregular qi flow, uneven physical processes (including bowel movements) unpredictable flare ups, and uncomfortable or irregular bowel movements. For a healthy qi, focus on taking care of yourself and ask for help when needed. Treatment focuses on alleviating symptoms and correcting any underlying imbalances using a variety of Oriental medicine techniques including acupuncture, stress management, dietary changes, and exercise.

Acupuncture points can help relieve IBS symptoms, according to researchers from the University of York in the U.K., who found that integrating acupuncture into a treatment plan led to less severe symptoms. On the herbal front, patients receiving individualized TCM herbal formulas may experience the most benefit, according to an Australian study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers in this study offered either standardized or customized formulas to patients with IBS. Patients receiving customized herbal formulas experienced fewer IBS symptoms, even after the treatment period had ended.

Sources:
Bensoussan A, Talley NJ, Hing M, Menzies R, Guo A, Ngu M. Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome With Chinese Herbal Medicine: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA. 1998;280(18):1585–1589. doi:10.1001/jama.280.18.1585

MacPherson et al. Acupuncture for irritable bowel syndrome: primary care based pragmatic randomised controlled trial. BMC Gastroenterology 2012 12:150. doi:10.1186/1471-230X-12-150 

In This Issue

  • Revitalize Your Digestive Health with Acupuncture
  • Can Acupuncture Help Patients with Celiac Disease?
  • Optimizing Digestive System Function
  • Meta Analysis Shows Oriental Medicine Controls IBD Symptoms
  • Find Relief from Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Nutrition for Optimal Digestive Health

Nutrition for Optimal Digestive Health

Basic digestive issues often respond well to what is colloquially referred to as ‘kitchen medicine.’

Find delicious and nutritious ways to treat bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, and more by making a trip into your own kitchen.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Add a tablespoon of unfiltered, raw apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water.

There is evidence that apple cider vinegar helps regulate blood sugar levels and may contribute to weight loss when combined with a low-calorie diet.

The important thing to remember is to drink this on an empty stomach. Drinking it before a meal can interfere with digestion and a glass too close to bedtime can irritate the esophagus.

According to the acupuncture and Oriental medicine theory, the sour taste delights the liver and helps it function at its best.

The liver is responsible for removing harmful substances from the bloodstream, producing bile, and is an important part of many metabolic processes.

An overworked liver may provoke bouts of diarrhea, heartburn, bloating, gas, and many uncomfortable problems related to digestion.

Fermented Foods

Include fermented foods like sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi, kefir, and yogurt in your diet. They are rich in nutrition and come in a variety of tastes and forms.

Eating these types of foods help your body metabolize, extract, and absorb nutrients easier as the fermentation process involves the breakdown of food by yeast, bacteria or other microorganisms.

Probiotics

Pickle fibrous vegetables such as cauliflower, onions, cucumber, or cabbage at home.

The ultimate product is chock full of probiotics — microorganisms that provide health benefits for the digestive system and enhance immunity.

Simply add salt to water to make a brine and add the veggies in a sterilized jar. For extra flavor, mix in a small quantity of apple cider vinegar, mustard seeds, or a bay leaf.

Burp the jar every day by opening it up to let out excess gas produced during the fermentation process. Wait 2 or 3 days, and soon you’ll have tasty condiments that support your intestinal flora.

Pectin

Problems with constipation? Pectin, the fiber naturally occurring in apples, adds bulk to the stool to help keep things moving.

The more efficient, regular, and complete a bowel movement is, the less chance there is for infection and inflammation to occur in the intestines.

Have an apple to unblock stagnation in the large intestine. Eating an apple on an empty stomach is an excellent way to handle a bout of constipation and ensure regular evacuations.

Honey

For children over 1, a tablespoon of honey is a delicate, yet effective way to promote bowel movements as it helps moisten the intestines and dissolve stagnation.

Ginger

Ginger has been found to increase the secretion of gastric juice. In fact, ginger can be used for most digestive upsets that involve nausea, vomiting, cramping, abdominal pain, indigestion or diarrhea.

This means that food is digested more quickly, creating an unfriendly environment for bacteria that could wreak havoc with your stomach and intestines.

Mint

Mint is a versatile herb that has a cooling nature. Fresh mint leaves can be made into a tea to ease digestive symptoms such as pain, bloating, gas, borborygmus, acid reflux, and bad breath.

If you’ve eaten a spicy meal or one that was just a little too oily, you can stave off any potential digestive problems by enjoying a cup of warm mint tea after your meal.

On hot summer days, try sipping mint tea in the shade to get your body to cool down. In colder months, add a little bit of fresh ginger, which is warming in nature.

Ginger balances out the coolness of the mint, and this combination provides a double whammy of nutritional benefits for your stomach.

Both herbs are renowned for their ability to aid in digestion and combat nausea and are gentle enough that pregnant women can safely consume them.

Get Pain Relief With Acupuncture!

Saturday, July 13th, 2019

Get Chronic Pain Syndrome Relief

There are 100 million Americans experiencing chronic pain, of which 25 million have chronic pain syndrome. While pain is a perfectly normal reaction to certain events, when it persists for over 12 weeks and additional debilitating symptoms arise, the condition is pathological and treated as chronic.

Chronic pain syndrome is not just a longstanding battle with pain. Over time, the constant discomfort and progressive disability take a mental and emotional toll and may cause anxiety, depression, sleeping issues, guilt, fatigue, thoughts of suicide, or substance abuse.

Typically, pain starts after a traumatic event, injury, surgery, or during a chronic illness such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, cancer, or irritable bowel syndrome. Sometimes the cause of chronic pain is a mystery. The risk for developing chronic pain increases if you are a female over the age of 65, smoke, or already have a painful condition such as osteoarthritis.

According to acupuncture and Oriental medicine theory, pain is caused by the stagnation of Qiblood, or both. When Qi, the most basic unit of energy found in all living beings, is dormant, pain moves around and can feel like a distending, dull or cramping sensation. Sluggish blood is more visible, such as when bruising occurs on the skin and the pain felt is fixed, sharp or stabbing.

Once the type and severity of pain are assessed, a treatment plan will be developed. Acupuncture coordinates the entire body to restore the balance between opposing forces on a physical, mental and emotional level. Even complex cases that include a combination of chronic headaches, insomnia, and mood swings are addressed in a single, eloquent treatment plan.

Are you in pain? Call today to schedule an appointment and see what acupuncture and Oriental medicine can do for you! 

Reduce Pain, Improve Flexibility and Strengthen Joints

Your joints are the points in the body where two bones are attached. They are mostly composed of fibrous connective tissue and cartilage, and their purpose is to provide structure and allow for articulation.

Maintaining strength and suppleness in the joints is critical to preventing bursitis, sprains, tendonitis, dislocations, and other injuries.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine offer treatments and strategies that can help.

Tui na, roughly translated as ‘pinch and pull,’ is an excellent way to give a boost of power to ailing joints as well as the surrounding structures. It encompasses a wide range of therapeutic massage techniques.

Traditionally used as a tool to treat illness and injuries, words such as pulling, pinching, rolling, shaking, stretching, pressing, and kneading accurately describe the way a patient’s body is manipulated during a session.

There are many reasons why tui na is utilized for treating joint issues. It can reduce inflammation, control pain, help with the symmetry of movement, and relieve pressure on joints by applying its techniques to the muscles that support those joints.

As pain and inflammation reduce, proper articulation of the joint is attained. As joints strengthen, the body begins to move properly, ensuring no undue tension is placed in the wrong spots.

Increase your intake of healthy fats commonly found in fish, nuts, avocados, and olive oil to help your joints stay pliable and lubricated. Avoid or limit refined sugars and carbohydrates like pasta, pastries, bread, white sugar, and soda which are known to cause irritation and inflammation.

Make time for proper rest and relaxation. One of the foundations of Oriental medicine is meditation, a mindfulness technique that is ideally practiced daily. It comes in many different forms and not all of them involve sitting down with your eyes closed but, they do require a time of quiet contemplation and regeneration.

Any activity done with a conscious intention qualifies as meditation. Walking with deliberate steps, staring intently at an object, and noticing the flow of your breathing are all easy to perform. These meditations can be done for as little as 1 minute, or longer if it feels right.

Immediate effects from even the most modest of meditations can cause a lowering of the heart rate and a pleasing, relaxing sensation. Or, it could be, there is a physical or mental pain that had previously been suppressed but is now surfacing. This is normal. Disharmony or pain may arise in order to be dealt with.

Meditating shortly after a tui na treatment could prove advantageous to further amplify the healing energy generated for improving joint health.

If you find your activity is proving difficult on your joints, call today for a holistic treatment that benefits your body and mind. 

Meta Study Confirms Acupuncture Effective for Chronic Pain

In May of 2018, The Journal of Pain published a study called “Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Update of an Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis.” This large-scale project analyzed 39 scientific trials with 20,827 study participants. Researchers narrowed their focus to the patient’s pain levels and their ability to physically function. They also put great importance on the effect of acupuncture to produce results after the conclusion of treatment.

Researchers discovered that real acupuncture treatments showed significant results in the reduction of chronic pain, when compared to sham acupuncture or no treatment at all. Additionally, these outstanding results lasted for 1 year after the therapy ended and could not be attributed to the placebo effect. There was only a 15% reduction in its ability to alleviate pain, leading researchers to conclude that acupuncture is a viable, effective therapy to treat different kinds of chronic pain including bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves and the head.

Source: Vickers AJ, Vertosick EA, Lewith G, MacPherson H, Foster NE, Sherman KJ, Irnich D, Witt CM, Linde K; Acupuncture Trialists’ Collaboration. (2018). Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Update of an Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis. Journal of Pain, 19(5):455-474. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2017.11.005. Epub 2017 Dec 2. Retrieved online at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29198932 

In This Issue

  • Get Chronic Pain Syndrome Relief
  • Reduce Pain, Improve Flexibility and Strengthen Joints
  • Meta Study Confirms Acupuncture Effective for Chronic Pain
  • Get Relief from Frozen Shoulder

Get Relief from Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, begins with stiffness and pain in the shoulder. Over time, the pain gradually increases until the whole area is no longer able to move. This is due to a thickening of the connective tissue surrounding the shoulder joint. The final stage results in extreme stiffness that greatly reduces or completely eliminates the full range of motion.

Lack of physical movement of the arms and shoulders can increase the risk for developing adhesive capsulitis. A simple remedy before any symptoms set in includes exercises that utilize the full range of motion for this area of the body. Sometimes, however, injuries or other medical conditions can prevent this from happening.

For those who can, give your body a nice, deep stretch by raising your arms as high as they will go. Swinging your arms in all directions, even just for a minute or two, will help stimulate blood flow and keep your muscles supple.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can also assist in bringing mobility back to the shoulder and reducing pain. Two excellent acupuncture points include a point on the leg called Yanglingquan and another one on the front of the shoulder named Jianqian.

The main function of Jianqian is to treat shoulder pain, stiffness, diminished mobility, and even paralysis. This acupuncture point encourages Qi and blood to move into the area. When Qi flows unimpeded into an injured part of the body, blood follows and brings with it the healing and lubricating agents needed to reduce the symptoms of frozen shoulder.

This healing process can be further enhanced with the needling of Yanglingquan. Even though it is located on the lower half of the body, it is widely regarded for its special effect on the sinew, soft tissue, and joints of the body. It is particularly useful in the case of adhesive capsulitis to help lubricate and soften the area surrounding the shoulder joint.

While a little pain and stiffness in the shoulders and arms may not be cause for alarm, especially at the end of a stressful day or a good work-out, sustained discomfort and an inhibited range of motion may be something more serious.

If you experience shoulder stiffness, pain or immobility, call today to find out how acupuncture can help you!

Chronic Fatigue? Acupuncture Can Help!

Saturday, April 13th, 2019
Acupuncture, massage,Chinese Herbal Medicine, Reiki, Qi Gong, Diet/Lifestyle Counseling in Chicago
Dr. Robert Wallace LAc, DACM
Chicago Holistic Medicine
1619 W. Montrose
Chicago IL 60613
773.248.4489
Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Qi Gong, 
Reiki, Massage Therapy, Mindfulness 
Meditation & Diet/Lifestyle Counseling.

GET RELIEF FROM CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME

Over one million Americans live with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a frustrating, complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that may worsen with physical or mental activity and does not improve with rest.

Chronic fatigue syndrome is far more than just being tired. Those affected can get so run down that it interferes with their ability to function in day to day activities; some become severely disabled and even bedridden. In addition to extreme fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome encompasses a wide range of symptoms including, but not limited to, persistent headaches, throat irritation, flu-like symptoms, enlarged lymph nodes, poor sleep quality, and chronic muscle and joint pain.

The cause of CFS has not been identified, but factors such as hormones, viruses, elevated stress or a compromised immune system are thought to be contributors. Despite no cure, acupuncture and Oriental medicine can give sufferers the relief they need to improve their quality of life. Treatments help you avoid getting sick as often, reduce recovery time, improve your energy and stamina, soothe emotions, and enliven the mind.

According to acupuncture and Oriental medicine, a condition known as Damp-Heat may be the culprit. Symptoms of Damp-Heat include fatigue, a general feeling of heaviness throughout the body, sore throat, dull headache, decline in mental acuity, and thirst.

An unhealthy spleen produces excess dampness that disrupts the proper metabolism of fluids and stops vital nutrients from entering the cells. The condition known as Dampness is highly viscous and as it clumps together heat tends to build up. Treatment typically includes points on the Large Intestine and Spleen meridians that will clear heat and tonify the spleen.

Once the spleen starts functioning properly, it naturally clears dampness from the body, ensuring the proper flow of Qi to the head, which clears up muddled thinking and brings clarity to the mind. Limbs feel more fluid and easier to move without dampness obstructing their movements. As food metabolism improves and the cells become stronger, fatigue lessens and the quality of sleep improves. As heat leaves, symptoms such as sore throat and muscle pain subside.

If you feel fatigued without an obvious reason, or currently have a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome, call today to see what acupuncture and Oriental medicine can do for you!

STUDY FINDS ACUPUNCTURE BENEFICIAL FOR CFS

A 2017 meta-analysis, titled “A Systematic Review of Acupuncture for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,” revealed encouraging news for patients suffering from symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Published in the Journal of Acupuncture Research”, the study found that acupuncture treatment can significantly alleviate fatigue and pain.

Researchers evaluated the effectiveness and safety of using acupuncture therapy to treat fatigue in CFS patients. In this analysis, researchers scoured through 15 medical databases worldwide, specifically choosing studies that tested acupuncture as a lone treatment. Ultimately, 11 randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) were chosen, which included a total of 869 participants. Of the 11 RCTs, 9 were compared with sham acupuncture; the remaining 2 were compared to a wait-list group and medication group.

Researchers were able to evaluate the efficacy of treatment by observing several medical tools that were employed during the various trials. To evaluate the symptoms of chronic fatigue, the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) was used. This is a self-survey given to patients before and after treatment so there is an accurate measurement of symptoms on record.

Other self-survey tools included the Stress Response Inventory (SRI) and the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI). The SRI measures a patient’s emotional, behavioral, cognitive, and somatic responses. The ISI rates the level of sleep quality for each patient.

The acupuncture point selection for the real acupuncture treatments varied across the trials–a total of 21 acupoints were used. It was noted that a point on the stomach meridian, the path that energy traverses, was the most highly utilized. The urinary bladder was the most frequently treated meridian.

It was determined that real acupuncture treatments, when compared to sham acupuncture, did significantly alleviate fatigue, reduce levels of pain, improve quality of life, and positively affect mood.

The study concluded with researchers affirming the outstanding results acupuncture plays in reducing extreme tiredness and alleviating pain for patients suffering from CFS. Acupuncture was also noted for its safety, with no serious side effects reported.

Source: Kim HG, Ryoo DW, Jeong SM, et al. (2017). A Systematic Review of Acupuncture for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Journal of Acupuncture Research. Retrieved online at https://www.e-jar.org/journal/view.php?number=2367

 

MINIMIZE STRESS WITH MEDITATION

The practice of meditation is a proven stress reducer that can help you overcome anxieties, agitation, and habitual thought patterns. To meditate, create a quiet, relaxing environment with comforting items around you.

Sit upright with legs folded, or on a chair with your feet firmly planted on the ground. Breathe easy and freely. Relax your shoulders and gently place your hands on your knees or in your lap.

Tuck your chin in slightly and keep your eyes half open. Your gaze should softly focus downward, about four to six feet in front. Keep mouth slightly open.

Focus on your breathing. Try belly-breathing from the navel. Don’t accentuate or alter the way you are breathing, just let your attention rest on the flow of your breath.

The goal is to allow the chattering in your mind to gradually fade away. If you’re distracted by a thought, gently bring your mind back to your breathing.

Continue to focus on your breathing for 10 or 15 minutes. Stay relaxed, yet awake and attentive.

Remember to be gentle and patient with yourself. Meditating for even 5 or 10 minutes can have a powerful effect.

 

IN THIS ISSUE

  • Get Relief from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Study Finds Acupuncture Beneficial for CFS
  • Minimize Stress with Meditation
  • Self Acupressure for Pain Relief

SELF ACUPRESSURE FOR PAIN RELIEF

These simple and effective methods of acupressure can be safely used to alleviate chronic pain.

As always, when engaging in self-acupressure, find a comfortable position before beginning. Take a minute or two for focused deep breathing to ease into a peaceful state.

Head Corner
for Headache Relief

You can find the Head Corner point on your hairline, roughly in the area just above the end of your eyebrows. If there’s not much hair to judge by, take your best guess. If you imagine your head as a square, the points are at the corners.

Apply gentle pressure in a circular motion with the pads of your three middle fingers. Gradually increase the pressure if needed.

In addition to alleviating headaches, rubbing here can soothe tired eyes and alleviate nausea.

Welcome Fragrance
to Open Sinuses

This point is nestled very close to the nose, at its base, just off to the sides. It is well-known for its ability to open up the sinuses.

Try experimenting here with your fingertips by delicately pulling the skin towards your ears, or in a slightly upward direction.

The free flow of air can help reduce chronic headaches induce a calming effect by allowing you to deep breathe through your nose.

Union Valley to Move Qi
This point is located near the thumb and is a highly effective point when addressing any kind of pain.

To locate, put the thumb and first finger in a position where they are straight but touching each other. The fleshy mound between the two should be visible to the eye and easily located.

Apply steady, strong pressure with your opposite thumb, as you make tiny, circular motions.

Commanding Middle Point
for Back Pain

This point is conveniently located at the back of the knee, in the center, right where it bends. Use your thumbs to press with moderate to strong pressure.

Circular motions or directly pressing this area can help bring relief to chronic lower backache and the pain associated with osteoarthritis.

How to Practice Mindfulness Meditation~

Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

A profoundly simple practice that works for experts and amateurs alike.

1. Choose a quiet and uplifted place to do your meditation practice. Sit cross-legged on a meditation cushion, or if that’s difficult, sit on a straight-backed chair with your feet flat on the floor, without leaning against the back of the chair.

2. Place your hands palms down on your thighs and take an upright posture with a straight back, relaxed yet dignified. With your eyes open, let your gaze rest comfortably as you look slightly downward about six feet in front of you.

3. Place your attention lightly on your out-breath, while remaining aware of the environment around you. Be with each breath as the air goes out through your mouth and nostrils and dissolves into the space around you. At the end of each out-breath, simply rest until the next breath goes out. For a more focused meditation, you can follow both out-breaths and in-breaths.

4. Whenever you notice that a thought has taken your attention away from the breath, just say to yourself, “thinking,” and return to following the breath. In this context, any thought, feeling, or perception that distracts you is labeled “thinking.” Thoughts are not judged as good or bad. When a thought arises, just gently note it and return your attention to your breath and posture.

5. At the end of your meditation session, bring calm, mindfulness, and openness into the rest of your day.

BY LION’S ROAR STAFF| AUGUST 8, 2018

Tips To Treat Insomnia~

Monday, March 11th, 2019

Acupuncture to Achieve a Healthy Weight: A Total Health Program

Thursday, March 7th, 2019

Finding the motivation to start or stick with a weight loss program can seem overwhelming, but using a multi-faceted program is a good approach. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine address system imbalances that can cause weight gain and create hurdles in achieving a healthy weight with effective tools to control appetite, improve digestion, knock out unhealthy food cravings, increase energy, and decrease bloating.

When the spleen cannot efficiently break down food, an excess of body fluid or mucus results. This is a condition known as dampness. Damp conditions also interfere with how well nutrients are extracted from food. Without proper nutrition, the body is unable to provide energy to its cells and in comes the onset of fatigue. Moreover, dampness causes stomach distention and interferes with digestion. If you can imagine how heavy and difficult your footsteps would be while trudging through knee-high thick mud, you can begin to see how unwieldy a debilitated digestive system can become.

The Spleen channel enjoys regularity. Aim to have meals around the same time every day. Balancing the Spleen and Stomach channels will correct energy imbalances throughout the digestive system and result in a physical shift toward more natural energy and less food cravings.

Each acupuncture and Oriental medicine treatment is customized to your needs and focuses on overall well-being, with the objective of correcting imbalances, increasing circulation, stimulating metabolism, and calming the nervous system. Techniques and points vary and are chosen, each session, based on the symptoms or triggers you are experiencing at that time. For instance, you may need help addressing a desire to overeat during your menstrual cycle or increased stress one week.

Deep breathing with visualization can strengthen willpower and be used as a tool to curb hunger and cravings. Most patients report a marked decline in appetite and cravings with acupuncture treatment alone, but healing foods and exercises can definitely enhance the results.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine are powerful tools for achieving a healthy weight, by itself or as a supportive treatment for other weight management programs.

Call today and schedule a consultation to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can assist you with your weight management goals and help you to live a long, healthy life!

 

Curb Your Food Cravings with Acupuncture

It’s a challenge to eat healthy when there is junk food readily available. It only takes a single glimpse or thought of a sweet treat or salty, savory snack for a ravenous craving to kick in.

Over time, these binges, if not controlled, can lead to weight gain, fatigue, muddled thinking, and moodiness, to name a few.

A balanced meal, according to according acupuncture and Oriental medicine, consists of foods that represent all five tastes—sweet, sour, bitter, salty, pungent. Each taste corresponds with a specific organ channel. By understanding their connection, you can move toward maintaining a healthy appetite.

The five tastes are:

Pungent
Associated with the Lung and Large Intestine pungent tastes include the dry, hot taste found in garlic, ginger, and onions needed to help the lungs properly circulate energy throughout the whole body.

Sweet
Sweet tastes are associated with the stomach and spleen. Fruits, sweet potatoes, and some vegetables like carrots aid in digestion and reduce the toxicity of all foods.

Sour
Liver and Gall Bladder are associated with sour tastes. Sour foods, like pickles or vinegar, help your body metabolize fats better.

Bitter
The bitter taste found in dark chocolate, radish, and bitter gourd removes excess heat from the Heart and Small Intestine helping them function better and pacify negative emotions.

Salty
The salty taste associated with the Kidney and Bladder has a big impact on moistening hard bowels and regulating their movements.

Curbing your cravings takes knowing which system is out of whack. If there is an intense hankering for sweet and salty, this implicates the Spleen, Stomach, Kidney, and Urinary Bladder. The desire for rich, fatty foods can be traced back to the Liver and Gall Bladder.

Since the Spleen and Stomach are associated with obsession, which can certainly be the case in an inability to restrain oneself from devouring all cookies and chips in the kitchen, these are usually the culprit behind every craving. An acupuncture treatment typically includes points to help bolster a sluggish Spleen and other lagging organs.

To learn more about using food as medicine and how to address your food cravings call for an appointment today! 

Dr. Robert Wallace LAc, DACM
Chicago Holistic Medicine
1619 W. Montrose
Chicago IL 60613
773.248.4489
Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Qi Gong, 
Reiki, Massage Therapy, Mindfulness 
Meditation & Diet/Lifestyle Counseling.

In This Issue

  • Acupuncture to Achieve a Healthy Weight: A Total Health Program
  • Curb Your Food Cravings with Acupuncture
  • Self Acupressure for Weight Loss

Self Acupressure for Weight Loss

Using self-acupressure allows you to directly assist your digestive organs and provide a respite from unhealthy food cravings.

By pressing on certain areas of the body, Qi is activated and blood flows more freely. Your internal organs will feel invigorated and be able to perform at optimum levels.

Before starting a session of self-acupressure, always be seated and in a calm state of mind. Tension only impedes the technique.

Activate Your Lungs

It may be surprising to learn that the lungs are responsible for excreting the vast majority of fat from the body–up to 84%! This fact more than presses the point on how important exercise is. The more you breathe out, the more fat you release.

To activate lung power and really get your Qi flowing throughout your entire body, look down at your chest. On the same level as the nipples, in the middle of the chest, is a wonderful point called Chest Center. Apply moderate pressure here to stimulate the area.

If you’re feeling like you need a more vigorous shake-up of your energy, try beating your chest like King Kong. The area you want to hit is higher than Chest Center. Aim for the breastplate in the center and a little off to the sides. You can even let out a sustained low noise as you do this for a little extra mileage.

Give Your Digestion a Boost

To give your internal organs a massage, stimulate the acupressure points surrounding your belly button.

On either side of your belly button, about 1-2 inches away, are points that assist your Large Intestine. Simply press and make small circular movements. Do this for a couple of minutes.

If you line up eight fingers directly above the belly button, there is a point directly above the stomach that stimulates it. Be careful not to apply pressure here after a big meal.

Gently massage this area with the pads of three fingers. Use both hands if you’d like, just switch from a clockwise to a counter-clockwise direction.