Health WellNews

Acupuncture for Weight Loss

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acupuncture and tcm for weight lossAn article published in the Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, substantiates the usage of acupuncture and traditional Chinese herbal formulations can help in the treatment of obesity and weight loss. The article reviewed four clinical studies and 16 animal studies on the effects of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for treating obesity. There were different methods, but the results were ultimately the same.  Obesity can be a result of total body inflammation or hormonal imbalances, and because of this, all the studies that were reviewed, had different approaches for treating the disease. All of the studies confirmed obesity can be managed utilizing Traditional Chinese Medicine techniques.

Obesity has become an epidemic in the United States. As many as one quarter of all Americans are considered overweight. And because of this, nearly $33 billion will be spent annually on weight loss programs. However, almost 85 percent of those trying to lose weight, will fail. There are many reasons why Americans are getting larger waistlines, but ultimately, the burden falls upon the individual. There are methods that can help people lose pounds and maintain a healthy weight though.

TCM is a non-invasive, safe and effective method for helping with weight loss. Unfortunately, a vast majority of people tend to look for the “quick fix” and this is definitely not what TCM provides. But, if a person is willing to take control and be held accountable for their actions and decisions, then TCM can be quite helpful with regards to shedding pounds.

Multiple studies have shown when TCM modalities, such as acupuncture and herbal formulas, are combined with traditional methods of weight loss, the patients actually lose more weight. TCM views the body and how it functions differently than Western medicine. Everything in TCM is based upon the fact that every cell in the human body is a form of energy.  When there is an imbalance of energies throughout the body, then disease or illness may arise. Obesity is a disease that requires balancing.  When it comes to weight loss, there are two or three main areas that TCM practitioners focus on, the spleen, liver and kidney meridians.

The three areas that focus on weight loss in TCM, the spleen, liver and kidney meridians, are the powerhouses of the body. The kidney meridian equates to the endocrine system and this is treated to reduce water retention and to rebalance hormone levels. The spleen meridian is targeted to regulate sugar metabolism. The liver meridian is treated to reduce stress, which can lead to binge eating and other unhealthy eating habits. Increased levels of stress can also deplete the hormones that are responsible for metabolism in the body.

Acupuncture for weight loss is not a silver bullet and traditional methods should be used in conjunction with acupuncture. Obviously monitoring the diet and getting proper exercise and rest are all crucial when trying to lose weight. But if all these things are done together, losing weight should not be extremely difficult. It will still take time, but it can be achieved.

Seven Ways to Protect Against Skin Cancer

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natural skin cancer preventionSkin cancer can be deadly if you let it manifest. The leading cause of skin cancer is overexposure to the sun. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways we can prevent against skin cancer. Check out these tips that you should be practicing to avoid getting skin cancer.

  1. Sunscreen. Sunscreen is integral to preventing skin cancer. When you are going outside in the sun for extended periods of time you should make sure to apply a good sunscreen. Avoid spray types of sunscreen and use lotion types, also, make sure to use a sunscreen at least 40 SPF or above.
  2. Dermatology check-ups. Schedule annual dermatology check-ups just to ensure you do not have skin cancer or another problem with your skin.
  3. Avoid sunbathing. I know, I know, this may be one of the sole reasons you go to the beach. But, it has been proven that sunbathing is bad for you…even if you have applied sunscreen! Ultraviolet rays are harmful to the skin and it is important to protect against them however possible.
  4. Say bye-bye to the tanning salon. Radiation is terrible for our skin, and radiation is found aplenty at tanning salons, it has even been shown that some tanning beds produce radiation stronger than the sun! So think about that the next time you decide to go into a tanning bed…   just don’t do it!
  5. Wear protective clothing. It is one thing to apply sunscreen, but you should also combo that with protective clothing. Wear hats, sunglasses and garments with a ultraviolet protection factor rating.
  6. Use essential oils. Use lemon, sappan wood and mate leaf essential oils in order to encourage healing and repair of damaged skin in order to prevent potential patterns of skin cancer.
  7. Detoxify your liver and kidneys. Your liver and kidneys are major players in converting vitamin D from the sunlight and the food you eat. One way to guarantee you are consuming enough vitamin D is to drink milk thistle tea or taking a milk thistle tea supplement.

Three Ways to Protect Your Kids From the Sun

Skin cancer is no joke. Sunburns received as a child can end up resulting in skin cancer as an adult. The good thing is both sunburns and skin cancer are easily preventable, you just need to take action against the sun’s powerful ultraviolet rays. Follow these tips in order to protect your children from the power of the sun.

  1. Choose the right sunscreen. Choosing the right sunscreen is very important, you want to make sure you are selecting a sunscreen that is water-resistant and at least 40 SPF. Also choose a lotion type of sunblock as compared to the spray kind. Spray sunscreens can miss spots sometimes and don’t always guarantee protection.
  2. Dress appropriately. Make sure to dress the right way when you will be experiencing lots of exposure to the sun. Wear hats, sunglasses and garments that have a ultraviolet protection factor rating.
  3. Reapply! Reapply! Reapply! Make sure to always reapply sunscreen during your outings in the sun. This is the most important step, if you only put sunscreen on initially you could still get burned. So avoid this, and make sure to reapply.

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Spring

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Spring is generally regarded as a happy season, especially for those that live in areas where winter is cold and dark. Spring brings with it longer days, more sunshine, the rebirth of plants and more activity. But for many, the months of spring can also bring irritability, anxiety, sinus issues, allergy flare-ups and even colds.

Traditional Chinese Medicine has been around for nearly 3,000 years, which gives the medical system, as a whole, a lot of credibility. TCM classifies things in many different ways. There are five seasonal associations in TCM – winter, spring, summer, late summer and fall. Each season has its own unique set of properties and associations. Spring is associated with the wood element. The wood element governs the liver and the gallbladder and their energetic pathways in TCM. The five seasons and their corresponding elements interact with one another daily, creating balance and harmony or complete chaos within the body.

The season of spring is a time of expansive movement and growth. Spring is a time of creativity and planning. Since the liver and gallbladder are associated with the tendons and are responsible for the smooth flow of energy and blood throughout the body, our daily activities should reflect this. Being more active and spending more time outside can be great ways to strengthen the liver and gallbladder energies during the months of spring. We should imitate the budding trees and flowers and allow ourselves to grow and reach for bigger and better goals during the spring.

The color green is the color of spring in TCM. During these months, fresh greens are abundant. It is highly recommended that we incorporate more fresh greens into our daily diets. Greens have been shown to be very beneficial for helping the liver do its job, detoxifying the blood. Dandelion greens, in particular, are a good source for detoxification, which ultimately strengthens the liver and gallbladder meridians.
It is also recommended to avoid excessive stimulants during the spring months. Things like coffee are considered expansive and energizing, which can be somewhat helpful during the cold winter months. But during the spring, when life is abounding, excess energy can actually be harmful to the body. It can create headaches, insomnia, anger and more.

When a person is completely balanced, transitioning from one season to another is not such a big deal. However, knowing what elemental type you are can also be very beneficial in determining how you will react to each passing season. For instance, a person who has a wood element constitution, may experience anger during the spring. This is because the wood element is already closely associated with the emotion of anger and spring brings added stimuli that can trigger fits of rage.

One way to keep the body balanced is through acupuncture and TCM. The body is designed to maintain proper balance, but we tend to not pay attention to the warning signs until we experience pain or illness. Getting regular acupuncture treatments can work as preventive medicine, providing harmony throughout every season of the year.

If you experience feelings of anxiety, anger or even self-loathing, acupuncture can help. It can also help with those seasonal allergies that might flare up. Acupuncture is a wonderful way to maintain health and balance all year long. Be sure to find a fully licensed acupuncturist in your area, so you can enjoy spring without any emotional or physical impairments.