Category Archives: holistic health

Holistic Medicine Considers Everything That Affects Your Health

Don’t Reduce Your Health Issues To Just One Cause

There is a large host of factors that influence the body’s ability to maintain the delicate balance of health and disease. There are so many variables that contribute to our overall health. Be sure to consider all of the stressors and outside factors that may also be affecting your health.

Holistic medicine considers everything that affects your health.

Click on the image to watch a video to learn more about the factors you may have never considered. If you still have questions about holistic medicine and are worried about your health, contact our Tigard office to make an appointment.

Holistic Acupuncture Treatment for Lack of Motivation

Addressing Lack of Motivation Through Holistic Health Practices

A study published by the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine looked at the holistic effects of acupuncture treatments. The study looked at how acupuncture treatments were conducted and evaluated. One of the areas this study looked at is how acupuncture influences the function of the brain. By using functional MRI imaging, the researchers were able to see certain areas of the brain were stimulated during the acupuncture treatments. The study confirmed acupuncture on specific points can activate motivation centers in the brain, thus leading to increased physical motivation in the participants.

Lack of motivation holistic treatment with acupuncture.Everybody experiences times where they have no motivation. Lack of motivation can be caused by many things: weather, depression, nutritional deficiencies, rejection, and even not exercising.

Lacking motivation can be detrimental to your health. Even though everybody knows they should be exercising and eating right and getting proper sleep, many of us choose not to. This becomes a bad habit that can actually develop into depression, fatigue, insomnia, and even nutritional deficiencies that can cause even worse physical problems. We tell ourselves we don’t have time or we have no motivation or willpower. These are just stories we tell ourselves. EVERYBODY has time to care for themselves. It’s just a choice we have to make.

Acupuncture can help put the “pep” back in your step when it comes to motivation. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), lack of motivation is considered some sort of blockage along the energetic pathways that run throughout the body. Over time, this lack of motivation frequently develops into depression. When the body is depressed, nothing seems possible. But the fact of the matter is that there are underlying causes of depression that begin with the lack of motivation.

The reason TCM works so well at addressing and correcting motivation problems is that it addresses the body holistically. When people go to their doctor and tell them that they have no motivation, they are frequently prescribed antidepressants. But the problem with antidepressants is they don’t address the underlying causes of the issue. TCM looks at everything: the body, the mind, the environment, and the emotions. This allows for treatments to be customized to the needs of the patient instead of a one size fits all approach.

One of the first things to happen when then emotions become involved, our body begins to send signals to the digestive tract. This is why those who lack motivation or become depressed often have no appetite. Energy comes from eating healthy foods. When we have no appetite, we tend to reach for those things like sweets and carbohydrates. These foods give us the quick “emotional high” that temporarily sedates the depressive feelings. But the excitement quickly goes away, leaving us right back where we started.

If you or someone you love is lacking in motivation, make an appointment at our Tigard office, acupuncture and holistic health techniques may be able to put the “pep” back in your step!

Eastern vs. Western: How the Health Practices Differ

Which is More Holistic – Eastern or Western Health Practices?

Almost everybody knows there are two very unique ways of treating disease and maintaining health. But not everybody knows how these two methodologies differ from one another. And depending on where you live in the world, there may be one that is more prominent than the other. Both systems have their pros and cons. So let’s differentiate between the two. This is the battle between Eastern and Western medicine.  Let’s get ready to rumble!

Holistic Eastern Health Practices.To begin, we have to look at the history of both systems. Eastern medicine has been around for nearly 5,000 years and began when ancient herbalists experimented with plant substances and their effects on humans. There are substances that have been found to enhance health, beauty, energetics of the body, and the mind. Western medicine has only been around, in its current form, since the 19th century, although the roots began in ancient Greece and Egypt. It wasn’t until World War II that the development of synthetic drugs really began. This is also when the current Western health system discovered it can manipulate certain actions in the human body through the use of synthetic pharmaceuticals. This difference is huge, as Eastern philosophy uses whole food formulas to nourish the body’s ability to heal itself, while Western philosophy isolates and forces therapeutic actions throughout the body by utilizing laboratory modified medicines.

Next, we compare the examination methods. Eastern medicine is much more holistic in this regard, as it takes every aspect of the body into account. Because the body cannot be compartmentalized based upon the disease, it makes sense to consider how each bodily system is affecting the others. Eastern medicine does not evaluate an illness purely based on the symptoms a person is showing, but rather, on complex patterns of disharmony in the body.

The process of determining a person’s diagnosis begins with an evaluation according to the Eight Principles, which describe the basic qualities of a disease – Yin/Yang, Interior/Exterior, Hot/Cold, Deficient/Excess.

Western medicine compartmentalizes a person’s diagnosis, looking at each system individually rather than how they work together. This could be why there are more specialists in Western medicine, such as a psychiatrist, an endocrinologist or an orthopedic surgeon. Also, Eastern medicine practitioners are trained to listen with the whole body and pay attention to every ounce of sensory input.  This is quite different from Western medicine, where the focus is generally only on the system affected. Because of this way of thinking, pharmaceuticals and surgical procedures are based on how they affect each individual organ or organ system, instead of considering how the systems are intertwined with one another.

Another difference is the ultimate goals of each health system. As Western medicine is all about fixing the physical body, the mind is also considered an organ, the brain. If the body is missing a substance, the Western health approach is to supply that substance.  And while things like nutrients may be necessary to be supplemented sometimes, most man-made pharmaceuticals have far too many adverse side-effects.

The Eastern health approach is to engage and support the body’s own self-healing mechanisms. This is done by balancing the energetics of the body and ridding the body of energetic blockages. If the body is missing a substance, the Eastern approach is to stimulate the body to create it, thus allowing the body to heal itself. However, when the body is severely compromised, as with trauma and severe illness, the body is undermined and the capacity to heal itself may be impossible.

Obviously, there are several differences between the two health systems. But if the two can work together, then humans will be ultimately better off. However, since Western medicine focuses so heavily on physical proof and Eastern medicine is more subtle focusing on the energetics of the body, the two systems have a long way to go until meeting eye-to-eye and working alongside one another. In the meantime, it is the decision of the patient to decide which route he or she will take. But it should be noted that the two systems can and do work very well together.

Learn more about our holistic health services at our Tigard office.

Drink Water is Important For Your Holistic Health

Holistic Look at Health Benefits of Drinking Water

Holistic Look at Health Benefits of Drinking WaterEverywhere you go these days, you see people carrying bottled water.  And because of the emphasis that has been placed on drinking water, it is now the second most popular drink in the United States.  This is really important because every cell in our bodies depends upon water to function.  And with every hour that passes, our bodies lose water.  Unless we replace that, we literally can shrivel up and die.

Water intake is important for so many reasons.  Water helps maintain the balance of bodily fluids.  Every time we breathe, eat, urinate, defecate or sweat, we are using water in some way.  There are also ways that we use water that we don’t see, like the circulation of our blood and lymphatic fluids, the transportation of nutrients in our bodies and the regulation of our body temperature.  For all these processes to occur, water is needed.  This is the number one reason that drinking water is so important.

Drinking water also helps us control our caloric intake.  For many people, weight loss is a big deal and not necessarily an easy battle.  But drinking water with every meal instead of some other beverage that is full of calories is always the best option.  Not only do you avoid ingesting unwanted calories that can possibly turn into unwanted pounds, but you can also feel fuller faster.  This makes it less likely that you will eat as much and this can help keep the waistline slim.

As mentioned before, every cell in our bodies needs water to function and the muscles are no different.  In fact, drinking water actually helps to energize the muscles.  Muscle fatigue is frequently caused by a lack of water in the cells themselves. And while we’re discussing the muscles, the elephant in the room needs to be addressed. Many people believe that drinking water after a massage helps flush toxins out of the muscles. This is actually not true and science has proven it.  In fact, the process of massaging the muscles actually creates a slightly toxic effect within the muscles known as rhabdomyolysis. And no amount of water will change that because rhabdomyolysis is an unavoidable side effect of massage that occurs just like after an intense workout.

Another reason to drink water is an obvious one. Water helps to keep your body regular.  This includes urination and defecation.  But on an even deeper level, when we are properly hydrated, our kidneys and intestines can function properly and help remove waste products from the body.  A buildup of waste products can lead to illness and death.

Lastly, staying hydrated keeps your skin looking healthy and vibrant. Dehydration makes the skin look dry and wrinkled.  But this doesn’t mean that overhydrating will reverse those wrinkles completely.  Getting enough water can definitely help, but once the body is fully hydrated, the kidneys will get rid of the excess fluid.

Any of these are great reasons to drink water, but do you really need a reason?  When people are properly hydrated, they look and feel better.  So pick up that glass of water and take a big gulp.  Your body will appreciate the attention and continue to support you in return.

If you have an interest in other holistic health benefits, make an online Tigard area appointment with us today.

Holistic Health Tips as Winter Changes to Spring

Stay Healthy This Season with these Holistic Tips

Holistic health tips to stay healthy during the season. For most people, the change of seasons from winter to spring is something to look forward to. But it also means a time when people tend to get sick or seasonal allergies start to flare up. This can make things miserable for a lot of people. As the weather fluctuates between freezing cold and warmer, sunnier days, it also wreaks havoc on our immune system and our sleep. Frequently, our bodies can’t keep up with the constant changes and we get physically run down. But there are some things everybody can do to help during the time of transition from one season to the next.

One of the most common things we hear during this transition time is to stay warm.  This may seem like common sense, but so many people who are sun worshippers just waiting for the warmer days to return, forget this bit of advice as soon as the days start to warm a little. By wearing less clothing or clothing that is not as heavy and warm, we make ourselves susceptible to illness. Even if it’s warm out, you still need to dress appropriately. Save the shorts for a little later in the season.

Another way to stay healthy during the changing seasons is to make sure that you’re getting enough sleep. This is another common sense statement, but with longer hours of daylight, many people’s sleep cycles become disrupted. This can cause the immune system to become compromised, making it easier to get sick or for seasonal allergies to flare up.

A study from the National Institute of Health showed that dry winter air allows cold and flu viruses to survive longer and transmit more easily once everything starts to warm up.  With this being said, hydration is important. If dry air makes it more convenient for germs to remain dormant, then flushing them out by keeping your body hydrated is a great way to avoid an infection.

Eating according to the seasons is very important too. As the weather gets warmer, most people gravitate towards healthier food options in an effort to lose some of the winter weight. For spring, eating lighter, more natural foods will actually give the liver a chance to repair itself and that alone can help us feel more energetic and improve our clarity of thought. The immune system also functions better when excess sugar and dairy are removed.

Acupuncture is another great tool that can help make the transition from winter to spring easier. Acupuncture can balance the body as it reacts to the changes in the weather and activity levels. Regular acupuncture treatments have also been shown to boost immunity. Spring can also cause flare ups associated with seasonal allergies and acupuncture treatments can help with the inflammation, sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes that accompany the allergic reactions.

For more information on how we can help you as the seasons change, make an appointment for more information on our holistic health services.

Holistic Health Treatments for Respiratory Issues

How Holistic Health Can Help Respiratory Problems

Our lungs are incredibly important. Without properly functioning lungs, we cease to exist. In the United States alone, nearly 200,000 people die every year from forms of respiratory disease. Respiratory diseases include both acute and chronic conditions, everything from the flu to emphysema. While many of these ailments can be prevented, there are others not avoidable due to things like genetics.

In holistic health, the lungs play a very strange role because they are considered the most external of the internal organs. With every breath taken, the lungs come into contact with the outside world. Also, any part of the body that has anything to do with breathing can be considered part of the respiratory system. This includes the nose, bronchi, sinuses, the diaphragm and even the skin, to some degree.

Holistic health treatments for respiratory issues.What’s nice about holistic health, is it approaches the treatment of any condition on a very individualized basis. Every person gets a different treatment protocol depending on their symptoms and diagnosis. There are also accessory modalities like cupping that can help pull toxins out of the lungs and herbal formulas that can be added to treat almost any respiratory condition. Here are some ways that holistic health can help those suffering with respiratory issues.

Acupuncture for Respiratory Issues:  Acupuncture helps build or tonify the energy within the respiratory system. This energy is called Qi (pronounced “chee”). When lung Qi is strong and the body is balanced, then respiratory issues rarely become an issue.  Acupuncture stimulates blood flow which carries oxygen to every cell in the body. The increase blood flow boosts the immune system, dilates the bronchioles and produces anti-inflammatory agents that help improve breathing by relaxing the muscles.

Acupuncture Points for Respiratory Issues:

  • Kidney 27 – This point is located bilaterally on the chest, just below the collarbone. Kidney 27 is used to open the lungs, reduce coughing and encourage full breathing.
  • Lung 5 – Lung 5 is located at the end of the outer crease of the elbow, just to the outside of the tendon. This point opens up the airways and the throat, while reducing coughing and wheezing.
  • Ren 17 – This point is located in the middle of the chest, midway between both nipples. It is used to open the chest, loosen up congestion, stop coughing and encourage full breathing.

Chinese Herbals Formulas for Respiratory Issues:  Combinations of herbs, known as formulas are used frequently in holistic health. One of the most commonly used individual herbs is Wu Wei Zi, also known as Schisandra. This herb is used to treat asthma, wheezing, and boost immune function.

A popular formula choice of holistic health practitioners is Bi Yan Pian. This formula works to clear the nasal passages and it usually accomplishes this within five days to a week. The herbs in Bi Yan Pian work to disperse wind, expel toxins, relieve inflammation and dissolve phlegm.

Nutrition for Respiratory Issues:  For the lungs and respiratory system to be strong, they need proper nourishment, just like the rest of the body. Certain foods are good for increasing immunity, while also opening up the lungs and increasing circulation. Foods like garlic and onions reduce inflammation and fight off infections. Chili peppers open up the nasal passages, stimulating the mucus membranes and fighting invasion of nasty bacteria and viruses. Carrots and pumpkin are rich in vitamins A, C and lycopene. All of these vitamins affect lung health by lowering the chances of developing lung disease.

As you can see, holistic health is a great way to deal with respiratory issues. If you are having difficulties dealing with these types of conditions, contact our Tigard office to learn more about holistic health.

 

CITATIONS:

https://sunwarrior.com/healthhub/foodsforlunghealth

https://www.modernacupuncture.com/news/2017-07-05-breathedeeplyacupunctureforrespiratoryissuesallergies-45

https://www.acufinder.com/Acupuncture+Information/Detail/Energetics+of+Foods+for+Health+and+Healing+-+Part+II

https://www.livestrong.com/article/69650-chineseherbsstrengthinglungs/

http://www.modernreflexology.com/acupressurepointstotreatlungdiseases/

http://acupuncturewellness.net/respiratorydiseasesandchinesemedicine/

http://www.touch2cure.com/acupressurepointsforasthma/

 

Winter Holistic Health Tips for a Balanced Qi

Holistic Health Tips for a Tigard Winter

Holistic health tips for winter.Winter’s element is water and is associated with the kidneys, which in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is considered the source of all qi and energy within the body. Winter is also associated with the bladder and adrenal glands.

Focusing on inner reflection, rest, energy conservation and storage during the winter months is when it’s most important as it helps us to properly nourish our Kidney Qi.

Below are a few holistic health methods you can learn about and apply during this season in order to maintain a balanced qi.

Balancing your lifestyle

For most people, a reduction in activity is common during the winter months whether it’s due to the frigid temperatures, damp weather, or lack of activities available in the area where you reside.

Given that reduced activity is likely a factor for many, it’s important to also consume less food this time of year to avoid unnecessary weight gain. Food that should be gravitated towards would be warmer foods such as beans, ginger or garlic, and even soups and stews.

Rest & Relaxation

Although the days are shorter during the winter, it’s important to stay in line with our circadian rhythm. This can be done by having an earlier bedtime and waking up after the sun has had time to warm the earth in the morning. Not only does getting more sleep helps with balancing our Yang Qi, it helps give our body the necessary rest we need in order to prevent common winter illnesses such as the flu, colds, and general aches and pains. Not only that, but according to TCM, unresolved anger, stress and frustration can throw your immune system thus off allowing pathogens to affect the body.

Relaxation is also a way to stay balanced during this time of year.

Drink Plenty of Water

We’re all aware that drinking water is extremely important to our survival, but it does more than simply keeping us alive.

Drinking water has many benefits including the fact that it’s essential for proper kidney function and can even prevent kidney stones. It’s also known for lubricating the joints, delivers oxygen through the body, regulates body temperature, and maintaining blood pressure.

If you have a hard time drinking water, try adding lemon to it to amplify the taste, drinking tea, or adding a vitamin flavor enhancer.

Wash your hands

Winter time is the time of year where we are in close proximity with others because we tend to stay indoors more. That being said, we are more likely to spread our germs to others and vice versa.

Washing your hands often can help prevent the spread of germs and keep you healthy. Other ways to avoid coming in contact with germs is to keep a container of sanitizing cloths with you so you can wipe down door knobs, grocery cart handles, and even condiment containers at restaurants before handling them.

Acupuncture Points

The acupuncture point that we suggest catering to is Du 14. It helps regulate blood circulation and can also strengthen the outer defense layers of the skin and muscle to prevent the intrusion and duration of germs and viruses.

Du 14 is a crucial point that is used to release the Exterior and treat Wind-Heat.

Applying holistic health to your active lifestyle is beneficial for your winter health. To learn more about how we can help you improve your winter health, make an appointment at our Tigard office.

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Five Holistic Health Self Care Tips for Winter

Live in Harmony with the Winter Season with Holistic Health Medicine

5 holistic health tips for winterHolistic health medicine teaches that humans should live in harmony with the seasons. According to holistic health medicine there are five seasons: winter, spring, summer, late summer and fall. Each season has many associations that help us change our habits, allowing for a more balanced mind and body. When these systems were being developed, people were living in harmony with nature. People rose with the sun, ate what was available during the different seasons and they were much more aware of their natural environment. What to wear, when to wake up, when to go to sleep and what activities to engage in were all dependent on the weather and the environment. Because of this, people were capable of staying healthy throughout the year and their immune and organ systems were strong enough to ward off disease.

  1. Get some rest

In holistic health, the season of winter is a time of repair and rejuvenation. Winter is associated with the kidneys, which hold the body’s fundamental energies. Rest is important for revitalizing the kidneys.This is why some animals hibernate during the winter months. We should also spend more time resting during the winter months to help prepare our bodies for the months ahead when most people expend more energy.

  1. Incorporate self reflection

Winter is a really good time to turn inward and do some reflection. Practices like tai chi, qi gong and yoga can be very beneficial during the winter season. These practices help us connect to our inner selves, while supporting the kidney energy. They also help relax the mind and calm our emotions. Things like journaling and meditation are other ways of reflecting during the winter months. Long term, these practices can be very helpful at extending a person’s life.

  1. Drink water, lots of water

The kidneys are closely associated and ruled by the water element, which is the element associated with winter, so it is important to remember to drink water during wintertime. Drinking room temperature water is a vital step to maintaining sufficient kidney qi throughout the winter months.

  1. Eat warm, seasonal foods

Choose foods that grow naturally during the winter. Items such as squash, potatoes, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, root vegetables like beets, greens, carrots, mushrooms, apples, pears and cabbage are great. During the winter months, cold foods like salads and raw foods should be avoided as they will deplete the immune system. There are also foods that specifically target and nourish the kidneys, including kidney beans, beef, goose, duck, black beans, lamb, chicken, dark leafy greens, garlic, ginger, walnuts, quinoa, asparagus, celery, onion, fennel, scallions, cloves, watercress and turnips. Sea salt is also helpful, because salty is the taste associated with the kidneys. As with anything, moderation is key. Too much salt can actually tax the heart, which then causes the kidneys to work overtime.

  1. Treat yourself to some Holistic Health

Holistic health utilizes numerous modalities and tools to help keep the body balanced and prepped for the seasonal changes. Acupuncture and moxibustion are two of the tools that are regularly used to boost the kidney qi. Moxibustion is a practice where dried mugwort is burned very near the skin to warm and boost the qi within the body. There are certain acupuncture points that are essential for boosting kidney qi. Most are located either on the lower abdomen, below the umbilicus or on the lower back above the hip bones, in the areas of the kidneys. Applying moxibustion to these areas is a wonderful way to boost the energy reserves of the kidneys.

When we align ourselves with the natural processes of life and the seasons, our bodies will adjust and perform optimally, just as they are intended to. If you have questions about holistic health, make an appointment at our Tigard office.