Monthly Archives: February 2021

Acupuncture sounds scary, but there’s proof it could help — a lot

If you’re new to holistic healing as a type of treatment, acupuncture can seem a bit terrifying. How could pressing needles into your skin possibly make you feel better? Doesn’t that hurt?

Well, no, it’s definitely not the overtly painful procedure you may be imagining, and considering that it’s been studied and practiced for over 2,500 years Trusted Source, it seems acupuncture enthusiasts could seriously be onto something. Some people swear by acupuncture, citing it as a “miracle” to improving their quality of life because it’s said to be able to treat everything from depression and allergies to morning sickness and cramps.

If you listen to devotees, the prickly treatment sounds almost like a wonderful cure-all — but is it? Let’s take a closer look.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine-based approach to treating a variety of conditions by triggering specific points on the skin with needles. Paul Kempisty, licensed acupuncturist with a MS in traditional Oriental medicine, explains, “[Acupuncture is] a minimally invasive method to stimulate nerve-rich areas of the skin surface in order to influence tissues, gland, organs, and various functions of the body.”

“Each acupuncture needle produces a tiny injury at the insertion site, and although it’s slight enough to cause little to no discomfort, it’s enough of a signal to let the body know it needs to respond,” Kempisty says. “This response involves stimulation of the immune system, promoting circulation to the area, wound healing, and pain modulation.” Contemporary research on acupuncture relies mainly on this theory.

What’s the philosophy behind acupuncture?

The Chinese philosophy behind acupuncture is a bit more complicated, as the ancient practice isn’t traditionally based in science and medicine. “They believed that the human body was filled with and animated by an invisible life-giving force which they called ‘qi’ (pronounced ‘chee’) and when the qi was flowing well and going to all the right places, then a person would experience good mental and physical health. When the qi was flowing incorrectly (blocked or deficient) that would result in illness,” says Kempisty.

The concept of qi isn’t too out there — think of it as your body’s natural inner workings. Sometimes you’re more prone to illness when feeling stressed or anxious. When you’re relaxed and healthy, your body physically reflects that too. After all, your mood, mental health, and general well-being do affect your physical health. Thus, acupuncture aims to assist people in achieving balance, or qi, and, as a result, provide relief for many ailments.

What does acupuncture do?

You may be interested in acupuncture for a variety of reasons — for example, I sought treatment for my chronic headaches and sinus pressure — as there are countlessconditions and symptoms that acupuncture has been said to help with. Here are just some of the many claims:

  • allergies
  • anxiety and depressionTrusted Source
  • osteoarthritisTrusted Source
  • chronic pain often in the neck, back, knees, and head
  • hypertension
  • insomniaTrusted Source
  • menstrual cramps and PMSTrusted Source
  • migrainesTrusted Source
  • morning sickness
  • sprains
  • strokes

Some studies even suggest that acupuncture can help with cancer treatment and multiple sclerosis, however research for these conditions is limited and requires larger studies to confirm the benefits.

While there’s no evidence that acupuncture is a miracle cure-all, it does seem to have some evidence as a worth-while treatment for people who may have multiple conditions and illnesses. There’s a reason it’s been around for more than 2,500 years and as research grows, so will our knowledge of exactly what works and what does.

ORIGINAL POST – https://www.healthline.com/health/acupuncture-how-does-it-work-scientifically#TOC_TITLE_HDR_1

Anxiety- Big Picture Exercise

I have a powerful exercise for you today. This exercise is not an easy one but none of the powerful ones are.

It is called the Big Picture Exercise and it will give you the motivation to achieve a full recovery from anxiety. This is an imaginary exercise but I really want you to play along with it in order to get the full benefit of doing it. You will need a pen and paper for this exercise.

The Big Picture

The exercise begins with an ending… I want you to imagine your life has suddenly ended! This very second without any warning, you have just passed away (from natural causes). You now find yourself in the peaceful celestial realms of the afterlife. In your hands you find a beautiful book with your name inscribed on the front of it.

As you open it and look inside, you find snapshots of your entire life. The snapshots start with your birth and lead right up until this very moment. Start at the beginning of the book and take as much time as you need to go through it all in your imagination. Close your eyes if it helps to achieve this.

Recall as much of your life as you can. Events from your early childhood leading up and through your adolescence and into your adult life. It does not matter if you can’t remember much from certain periods. The idea is to just get a nice overview of your life.

Flow with whatever comes to mind. As you do this exercise pay attention to any feelings that arise.

What moments do you remember that bring you joy? Are there regrets? Are there things you wished you could have said or done? Is this more difficult now that you have passed away and can no longer change anything about your life? What would you give to have just one more shot at life?

Write down whatever comes to mind down. Now lets focus on just the anxiety you experienced in your life. I want you to, as honestly as possible, see what effect anxiety has had on your life up until your imaginary passing.

As painful as it might be, consider what the cost of anxiety has been to your life. I don’t mean in financial terms, (that’s pretty irrelevant now that you have passed away), I mean more so in terms of how it affected your sense of freedom, or friendships , career, love, or family. Be as honest in your feelings as possible and allow whatever comes up to surface and just sit with it.

I understand how hard this can be but trust me it is important to get a proper perspective and understand of the impact anxiety has had on your life. Take some time and write down whatever comes to mind. Now… by divine intervention, your life has been miraculously returned to you. You find yourself back in your old life alive and well!

What is it like to suddenly have your life back?

If you really threw yourself into this imaginary journey you might have a few things that you want to address. Maybe people you want to communicate with or maybe things you want to put right. Maybe no such things have come to mind and that is ok too. I want to keep the focus now just on the anxiety aspect of your life. You might now have a clearer understanding of the impact anxiety has had on your life in general.

If your anxiety is only a recent problem then that impact will be negligible but if it has been going on for many years the impact has probably been quite significant. Now with the same paper and pen I want you to set some goals for the life that has been given back to you. You are the master of your fate.

How do you wish your remaining years to be? What are the obstacles anxiety has created that you now wish to finally overcome?

Write it all out on a new page. Go into detail about the things you want to achieve with the time that has been given to you back on this earth. Each person is different. Some may map out small goals others will have really big ones. These goals are going to become your motivation to keep you focused on achieving a full recovery from anxiety.

What you write here will give you the power to achieve what you want and to get you through any setback. Keep this piece of paper someplace private that you can revisit any time you need a reminder.

Your brave new life is waiting for you.

ORIGINAL POST – https://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/public/934.cfm

How to remove 87% of toxins from your air at home?

When it comes to air quality in your home I commonly recommend a good hepa filter like the Austin brand (http://austinair.com). However there is another good alternative that many people are doing and may not be aware of the benefits.

This includes filling your home with house plants. NASA has found that some species of houseplants can eliminate up to 87 percent of toxins from the air, including formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, trichloroethylene, carbon monoxide and even dust. The best plants found to be the most effective for optimal air quality include: English ivy, spider plants and the Boston fern. One or two plants won’t make that much difference. It is recommended to have many plants through-out your home.

ORIGINAL POST – https://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/public/1291.cfm

What do the numbers 3,4, 8 and 9 have to do with your health and wellness?

You know those little stickers on fruits and veggies? They’re called price look-up (PLU) codes and they contain numbers that cashiers use to ring you up. But you can also use them to make sure you’re getting what you paid for. If you are interested in staying healthy, here’s what to look for:

  • • A five-digit number that starts with a 9  means the item is organic. Eating organically—or better yet, biodynamically—grown produce is paramount. This can be identified at the grocery store by a five-digit bar code starting with the number “9,” or purchased from your local biodynamic grower.
  • • A four-digit code beginning with a 3 or a 4 means the produce is probably conventionally grown. For example, regular small lemons sold in the U.S. are labeled 4033, large are 4053; small organic lemons are coded 94033, large are 94053. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of food quality when it comes to the prevention of disease. Sure, a conventionally grown bell pepper (identified by a sticker with a four-digit bar code starting with the number “4”) will contain the healthy compound beta-cryptoxanthin, but it will also come with a whole host of cancer-causing chemicals on it. 
  • • A five-digit code that starts with an 8 means the item is genetically modified (it has genes from other organisms). You won’t see many of those because only genetically modified versions of corn, soybeans, canola, cotton, papaya, and squash are now widely sold. And because PLU codes aren’t mandatory, companies can label those items as conventional. 

ORIGINAL POST – https://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/public/1290.cfm