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Do I really need supplements?

Before we start looking at the potential need for supplements, let’s look at nutritional deficiencies in general Factor 1This results from either eating foods that do not contain adequate nutrition or food that leaches certain nutrients from the body. An example of a food that leaches nutrients would be refined foods such as sugar. For your body to convert sugar into energy, it needs magnesium as a co-factor. Since refined foods have been stripped of this nutrient, your own body’s reserves of magnesium are used to facilitate the chemical process. In the long run, you become magnesium deficient. Factor 2Our soil is over-used, and modern farming techniques reduce the quality of the soil itself. As a result, the fruit and vegetables we eat today have far fewer vitamins and minerals than they did only 50 years ago. Here is a chart showing how some of the nutrients have become deficient. The table shows the differences in the calcium and magnesium content of various fruit andVegetables in 1999 compared to the same foods back in 1963: What does this mean? What this essentially means is that if your granny ate an orange to get the benefit of the Vitamin C to increase the immune system, then we now need to eat about 6 oranges to get that same quality and quantity of the Vitamin C. This is one of the reasons why supplementation has become so important. Factor 3Fruit and vegetables are picked green to extend their shelf life. Since fruits and vegetables are often grown far from your dinner table, they are picked green, so they don’t rot on the way to your table. Why does that matter? Look at the difference in the amount of vitamin C contained in three common fruits when they are harvested early, compared to when they are allowed to ripen on the tree. Comparison of Vitamin C levels of Green and Vine ripened fruit:  What accounts for these differences?When fruits and vegetables are picked early, they haven’t fully developed some of the nutrients, and they lose their supply of nutrients prematurely. This means these foods contain fewer vitamins and

12 Tips for Overcoming Anxiety

Anxiety is part of the human condition. Try to find someone that never feels anxiety. Some people are more resistant to anxiety than others, but everyone can strengthen their ability to manage anxious feelings. Developing a high level of anxiety is a skill. Lowering anxiety is a skill, too. The key to managing anxiety is to begin minimizing it as soon as possible after it hits you. The more it builds, the more challenging it is to control. Deal with anxiety quickly and easily: 1.     Break your day into small chunks. Only worry about the small amount of time in front of you. If you’re sitting in a meeting at 9:00 AM, there’s no reason to worry about how you’re going to pay the electric bill or what you’re going to have for dinner. Take the day one minute at a time and keep your attention on that minute. 2.     Create a mantra and use it. Have a positive and uplifting phrase you repeat to yourself.       “I’m happy and capable of handling any situation.”             “My life is filled with joy and positive energy.” 3.     Exercise.The quickest way to relieve anxiety is to exercise enough to sweat. A casual walk is better than nothing, but to get the greatest benefit, it’s necessary to get your heart beating hard. You fool your brain into thinking that you just got away from the stressor. Many years ago, your brain would have thought you just ran and got away from the lion that was about to have you for lunch. Running up and down a few flights of stairs can do the trick as well. 4.     Make use of distractions. Distractions never solve the underlying issue but can provide relief. Watch a movie, play cards, or do a crossword. Spend time with a close friend. Give yourself a break and put your focus elsewhere. You can live in the moment and become fully immersed in what is happening by using all your senses. Let’s imagine you are sitting at your desk. You suddenly feel anxious because you just saw an email coming in from your boss. Focus on deep diaphragmatic breathing and start using all

Tune into health

Remember the days of rabbit ear antennas on your television sets? If you were lucky enough to find the exact seating position in your living room to optimize your body’s own magnetic field, these beauties could tune in to your favourite show with the crystal clarity of a thick Midlands fog.  If – heaven forbid – you wanted to tune to another channel, this required a coordinated, 2 handed effort of spinning and rotating the antennas, the likes of which would rival even the most skilled of Olympic fencers.   The point here is that no matter what show you wanted to watch, you could pick it up on your set, but only if the antenna was functioning properly and only if it was aligned in the right position.  The signal was always in the air, but whether or not your show came in clearly depended upon the antenna’s ability to transfer the signal to your TV set. For those of you struggling with your health, keep in mind that you always have the potential for improvement.  Your body was created by an intelligence that is unerring, infallible, and always on the job, and this intelligence is expressed through the body’s energetic meridian system.   Research shows that acupuncture can help with many more health problems other than just for pain and aches. The problem is usually not with the meridian system itself but rather with the transmission of energy through the body.  Just like the old VHF signals being broadcast over the air, the energy is always present; the signal is always there.  Remaining healthy is a matter of transferring that signal as efficiently as possible to all parts of your body, and in this case, your meridian system functions as the antenna.  The farther out of balance your system becomes, the weaker the signal gets. Bringing the meridians back into its proper balance allows for the signal to broadcast at full strength.   Imbalances choke off vital energy traveling throughout the body, but instead of a fuzzy picture, you get sciatic pain, headaches, asthma, fatigue, numbness, digestive disorders, allergies,

Obstacles to cure

What is potentially holding you back from completing healing? 9 Common reasons – why am I not getting better? There are several obstacles to cure that may be preventing you from getting better. Each section has some introspection of questions to ask yourself. TimeNot allowing enough time for the effect to take place and for your body to heal. There is a very general rule of thumb. For every year you have had a problem, you need to give it one month of treatment. Commitment to the timeline is very important to get the results you desire. If you have a chronic problem example, autoimmune, endometriosis, arthritis ect.  problems had the problem for 5 years and have seen no improvement for 3 months you need to keep going. It got you a while to get into this state it will take a while to get out of this.How committed to the timeline have you been? DietFood is medicine. Or food can be a poison. One of the hardest things that I have observed from patients is changing diets. For sure most negotiations come from this conversation.  “Just one glass of red wine, doctor”. If a person has candida, the recommendation is no wheat, sugar, dairy, mushrooms, alcohol and the list goes on and on. So it is not an easy one to do. And then when the person receives the news, it will be for 3 months I totally get the negotiations. I let you in a little secret I would be doing the same thing. Taking conventional might appear to sort the problem out short term, but it always rears its head again.  Candida is a fungus we all have inside of us, but sometimes it goes out of balance and causes many problems. Eating all the food feed the candida. One can take medicine to help kill it, but if the diet is not followed, the results will not be the best. If you tend to get sore joints, how much refined foods and sugar are you consuming?How is your diet in regard to your condition? MindsetNow, this

Why sticking out your tongue is good manners

Have you ever wondered why I ask you to stick your tongue out when you come for a consultation? In Chinese Medicine, this is one of the major diagnostic tools used to make a diagnosis. The tongue can reveal so many different imbalances: Anxiety Too much worry Infection Liver issues Blood stagnation (fatigue, period problems, pain in the body) Digestive system issues Anger issues Bladder problems We look at the shape of your tongue, color, cracks, coating, and movement of your tongue. When a person is very stressed, they can’t keep their tongue still. I bet you just looked in the mirror 😉 A deep groove in the middle of the tongue indicates digestion weakness. Under the tongue one wants the colour of the blood vessels to be less purple. Purple blood vessels indicates stagnation which may show sluggish blood flow, for females period problems etc. Overtime the tongue can change shape and colour as healing improves or if the condition is not treated and gets worse. As a side note, when your tongue is white, it indicates ‘ cold’ whereas yellow indicates ‘heat’. Antibiotics have a cooling action so if you are already ‘cold’ and take anti-biotics, it will make you ‘colder’ and in theory take you much longer to resolve the issue. Here is an example of a tongue diagnosis with a case: Heart Fire Flaming Upward (Xin Huo Shang Yan) Western diagnosis – High blood pressure, glossitis (burning tongue) Symptoms: Intense emotional symptoms such as inner restlessness, anxiety, sleep disorders with nightmares, emotional instability and impulsiveness, red face, erosion and ulceration in the mouth area, bitter taste in the mouth, and dark urine. Tongue: Red tip, yellow fur, red dots Causes Too many overly spicy and warming foods Strong emotional agitation and strain, such as long-suppressed fears and worries, can suddenly discharge as heart fire flaming upward. Avoid: Thermal nature Warming foods and cooking methods Flavor Bitter–hot, acrid–hot Alcohol, acrid spices Recommended: Thermal nature Cool and cold foods Fruit Rhubarb, watermelons, lemons Vegetables Raw vegetable salads, tomatoes, dandelion Black and green tea Comment/Prognosis: In its acute stage, this syndrome

Prevention / Cure

Cure / Prevention Billions of dollars are spent every year looking for the cure to disease, whether cancer, AIDS, heart disease, or any of the other devastating afflictions that perpetually plague us.   While the noble efforts of these research scientists are certainly appreciated, perhaps our focus has been a bit skewed.  It is not suggested that we give up on the quest for effective treatments, but rather that we bolster our understanding of creating and maintaining health. After all, does it make more sense to continually contract diseases and disorders and then fight an uphill battle to regain some semblance of health and wellness; or to consistently take positive, proactive steps to drastically reduce your chances of getting ill in the first place? It is understood that there are no guarantees in life.  But at the same time, you can significantly improve your odds of living your healthiest life possible by adopting the proper set of habits and educating yourself on the steps that lead to longevity. The unfortunate truth, however, is that many people feel that their efforts would be all for nothing.  Since their parents and grandparents developed heart disease, and diabetes, and cancer, that they themselves are destined for the same eventuality in the absence of a miracle cure.  They feel that their actions are fruitless; that they are helpless in their fight against an already sealed fate. If you live in the “rust belt” of the South Africa, the odds are pretty good that your automobile will develop some body damage over its lifetime.  Does this mean that you never wash your car because it’s going to rust out anyway?  Of course it doesn’t.  If you care about your car, it means that you’ll fight extra hard to protect your investment. The reality is that most of the top killers today are lifestyle related, regardless of your family history.  Just because you inherit the genes doesn’t mean that you have to continue the lifestyle.   Cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, auto-immune disorders…all of these conditions are greatly impacted by diet, lifestyle habits, depressed nervous systems, our

The health benefits of journaling

The health benefits of journaling How to help manage emotions I am sure you would agree that the last few months have been a roller-coaster and quite challenging in many ways. What has been sad to see is how many more children and teens are struggling with anxiety during these times, besides adults. I want to share with you a tool that works well to manage and work through emotions. You might ask what the purpose is of releasing emotions, it is so much easier just suppressing emotions. According to Chinese Medicine If you hold on to the emotion of particularly anger and unresolved anger your liver will take the strain. Over time this will affect your digestive system. Anything from IBS to abdominal pain symptoms will appear. In fact, in Chinese Medicine, there is a belief that emotion precedes the symptom. Have you heard of some people who become diabetic after having a terrible shock? The body’s physiology changes with emotions. One of the ways to release emotions is journaling – ok I can see you rolling your eyes at this one. So I guess I will need to pull out the research on this one. But let me explain first how this works.  A study conducted in 2013 found that 76% of adults who spent 20 minutes a day journaling for three days in a row before a scheduled medical biopsy was fully healed 11 days later. On the other hand, 58% of the control group had not yet recovered. The study concluded that just one hour of writing about a distressing event helped the participants to better understand the events and reduce stress levels. Ok, now that I have your attention please try this one. The basic premise is that as you write, and that is with your hand not on an electronic device your brain slows down and by doing this you can process all the emotions. And then by the act of writing, you release emotions. Remember you can throw the notes away if you want to do so afterward. Another advantage of journaling is that it increases Self-Understanding

Benefits of knowing your DNA

Benefits of knowing your DNA Have you heard of DNA testing or already had a gene test? Was it something you were able to get practical advice from, or was it an academic exercise that used big words like Epigenetics and Nutrigenomics? I feel smarter just getting that spelling right. At our practice we are here to help you translate the DNA reports into practical take home advice. That’s our jobs, as a health practitioners who have both done the DNA training we can help you interpret your report so that you understand and apply it to your daily life. Knowing your results is helpful because your genes are reacting to the environment, which you are partly in control of. Think of a bath, what you are bathing your genes in overtime, can influence whether or not certain genes will be switched on or off. Here are some examples of what your report could tell you and how that could impact your daily life choices : Should I limit my coffee intake? If you’re a fast metaboliser you can have your morning cuppa but if you are a slow metabolizer … I won’t tell you that would be really mean. Can I eat dairy and gluten, I have always wondered if these foods aggravate me? DNA tests can tell us if you are lactose or gluten intolerant. Am I wasting my money on all these supplements? Maybe. If they are not necessary then you are. Targeting nutrition by personalising what you do need and reducing what you don’t. Why do I hate eating broccoli? Maybe you taste it differently to others, your taste is determined by your genes as is your sensitivity to salt and sugar. This can influence whether or not you are going to add sugar, salt, or what diet is going to be possible for you to follow. Am I going to get Diabetes, Alzheimer’s or Heart disease and how will knowing that help me? We can identify the red flags indicating where to make changes early on that prevent these diseases from becoming your reality. Knowing and owning this information can be very

Do carrots deserve to be the star?

Do carrots deserve to be the star? Our eyes are the windows into our overall health with eye health being linked to other organs and systems within the body. Diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and autoimmune conditions are some that affect our eyesight. Following a healthy diet and lifestyle are the best ways to preserve your vision. The below lists are foods and nutrients that especially benefits the eyes: ·       Leafy Greens like Spinach, Kale, Collard Greens are rich in plant nutrients. These nourish the eyes. ·       Berries with a particular focus on the colour purple. The colour purple provides antioxidants for the eyes. Anti-oxidants keep the tissue healthy. ·       Avocado healthy fats in avo’s with glutathione which is an antioxidant ·       Broccoli contains sulforaphane that is good for liver detoxification. As a side note in Chinese medicine, the eyes are the organs associated with the liver. So we treat the liver also to treat the eyes. ·       Salmon has healthy Omega oils which lubricate the eyes and reduce inflammation. ·       Almonds are rich in anti-oxidants and also include glutathione. Glutathione is your master detox nutrient. ·       B vitamins for blood flow and nerve health. Optimal blood flow is needed for great eye health. ·       Antioxidants such as A, C, E. ·       CoenzymeQ10, L-carnitine help for energy production within the cell, and therefore the eye can function optimally. ·       Omegas 3’s healthy fats for the eyes which are anti-inflammatory ·       Probiotics and Prebiotics for immune health. 80% of your immune system comes from your gut so essential to keep your gut in check. ·       Getting enough exercise and sleep are also important lifestyle factors for overall health – but you know this already don’t you!

How food affects your mood

9 Foods that can affect your mood positively 9 Foods That Can Enhance Your Mood Your food doesn’t just impact your waistline, it can also affect your mood. Consider that everything you eat is broken down and absorbed by your body. Of course, it can certainly have an effect on your mood. The food you eat impacts how you feel. For example, consider how eating a piece of chocolate impacts your mood differently than consuming a plain baked potato. See how what you put into your body matters to your body and your mind: Fermented foods. Fermented foods are for the health of the good bacteria in your gut. There is evidence that these bacteria play an important part in mental and physical health. Some examples of fermented foods include sauerkraut, yogurt, tempeh, and kombucha. Even a tablespoon a day will give you benefits. If none of those foods appeal to you, there are over-the-counter probiotic supplements that are likely to provide the same benefit. Not just salmon, but other cold-water fatty fish including mackerel, herring, sardines, and tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids which have been shown in some studies to boost health. It only takes one bite of chocolate to know that it makes you feel better than you did right before eating it. Dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa (70% or higher) is actually quite healthy when eaten in moderation and can give your mood a great boost. Chocolate reduces cortisol, too, which is a primary indicator of stress. Leafy green vegetables. Those green leafy vegetables are high in magnesium, which has been shown to reduce anxiety. As a general rule, the darker greens like spinach are healthier than lighter greens like lettuce. Try a mixture of greens to get the greatest benefit. Nuts are loaded with healthy fats, proteins, and even some fiber. The most important nutrient found in nuts regarding mood is tryptophan which is used to produce the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is one of the positive-mood brain chemicals. Bananas in particular have been shown to boost mood, but all fruits are worth trying out as


Is your digestive tract feeling a-okay?

Is your digestive system feeling A-okay? Having a properly functioning gastrointestinal (GI) tract is critical to good health If your digestion is not working 100% it can lead to other health problems that can cause more than just stomach aches, gas and bloating, or diarrhoea. Chronic health problems might stem from GI issues. Examples may include autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes, skin problems such as eczema and acne rosacea (red cheeks), and heart disease (just to name a few). So in the bigger picture, how can we deal with all that can go wrong in the Gut area? In Functional Medicine we use a program that goes by the simple acronym of the ‘5Rs’: Remove Replace Re-inoculate Repair Rebalance When applied to various chronic health issues, the 5R program can lead to a dramatic improvement in symptoms, and sometimes even complete resolution. Each program, as with all our treatments is formulated to be designed for you the individual. Because health is not a cookie-cutter approach. Some interesting facts: ·       80% of your immune system is related to your gut ·       Your gut is also referred to as your 2nd brain – and 70% of your happy hormone, serotonin is made in the gut. The elements of the 5R program are described briefly below. 1. Remove Remove stressors: get rid of things that negatively affect the environment of the GI tract including allergic foods, parasites, and potential problematic bacteria or yeast. This might involve using an allergy “elimination diet” to find out what foods are causing GI symptoms, or it may involve taking medications or herbs to get rid of a particular bug. 2. Replace Replace digestive secretions: add back things like digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid (low stomach acid which is very common), and bile acids that are required for proper digestion and that may be compromised by diet, medications, diseases, aging, or other factors. 3. Re-inoculate Help beneficial bacteria flourish by ingesting probiotic foods or supplements that contain the “good” GI bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacillus species, and by consuming the high soluble fiber foods that good bugs like to

The benefits of meditation

Benefits of meditation As we start to unwind from the year we hopefully can look forward to more time to relax. Why not try to fit in a few meditation sessions this holiday? Meditating doesn’t have to feel overwhelming by setting aside long periods of time. The benefits of meditating include: ·       Reducing pain, anxiety, depression and stress ·       Strengthens the immune system ·       Improves concentration and creativity ·       Decreases pain and blood pressure ·       Gives you clarity on your life purpose and helps in decision making How do I start? ·       Set aside only 3 minutes ·       Schedule the time around an activity like waking up, after breakfast, or at the end of the workday. You can set a quiet tone on your phone to keep track of time. ·       Choose a location where you feel comfortable and unlikely to be interrupted. ·       Get comfortable, you can sit, lie down, stand or walk. ·       Take deep breaths to focus on your breathing deeply. Some people count their breath, while others prefer to repeat a word to themselves (silently or aloud). ·       Be kind to yourself there is no wrong way to meditate, so be accepting of whatever happens, if you find your mind wandering bring it back to your breathing and how your body feels. ·       Pay attention to how your body feels from the scalp all the way down to your feet. Identify the area that feels relaxed or tense, and how you are holding your body. ·       Reflect – after meditating take a deep breath and think about how you feel. Do you feel different? Is your breathing slower? Are you more relaxed? ·       Figure out what works for you. A rich array of advice can be found about how to meditate. Take only what you find works for your daily routine. Common Obstacles : ·       Not enough time – but you only need 5 minutes ·       Don’t know how – we’ll now you do! ·       Too stressed out – that’s the perfect reason to begin ·       It’s not for me- most human cultures have mediated

Why this small organ plays a major role in your health

Why this small organ is very important for your good health A quick guide to keeping your gallbladder healthy  You’ve probably heard plenty of advice about how to take care of your heart, but how often do you think about your gallbladder? This little organ rarely makes headlines, but it’s important for your digestion and overall health. Its main job is to store bile and add it to the food in your small intestine so your body can break down fats. Most complications arise when cholesterol builds up and creates gallstones that block the duct between the gallbladder and the intestines. Another important job is to help and assist with detoxification. The reason it is so important to pay extra attention to your gallbladder is that we eat less bitter foods than before. Each time you eat bitter food your gallbladder secretes more bile, helping digestion and also helping to keep the bile duct nice and clear. Fortunately, caring for your gallbladder is mostly a matter of following the same habits that make up any healthy lifestyle. Find out more in this quick guide to your gallbladder and you. Pain and other symptoms of a gallbladder problem It usually occurs in the mid to upper-right section of your abdomen. Nausea or vomiting. Chronic gallbladder disease may cause digestive problems, such as acid reflux and gas. Fever or chills. Chronic diarrhea Stool abnormality. Discolored urine. Preventing Gallbladder Conditions: Limit saturated fat. A diet high in saturated fats puts a heavy burden on your gallbladder, so cut back on fried foods, red meat, and butter. Unsaturated fats have the opposite effect. Try to get most of your fat calories from sources like olive oil, salmon, and nuts. Increase fiber. Dietary fiber provides many health benefits including lowering the LDL type of cholesterol that can block your intestines, as well as clog your arteries. Feast on fresh produce and whole grains. Focus on vitamins. In addition to fiber, many fruits and vegetables contain essential micronutrients that help fight gallstones. Add more vitamin C and E to your diet with cantaloupe, kiwi, and spinach,

Food allergies, food sensitivities, or food intolerances. Why it is important to know the differences

The differences between allergies and intolerances Are you suffering from any of the following conditions:digestive problems,headaches,chronic sinus drainage,low energy,depression,mood swings,eczema,skin irritations,joint aches,asthma,and/or weight gain? Food allergies, food sensitivities, or intolerances can be the cause, and knowing the differences will help treat and alleviate symptoms. Let’s simplify and unpack these terms so we can better understand and help treat you in our practice. ·       Food Allergy reactions occur immediately after eating the food. This is a food allergy an immune reaction mediated by an IgE hypersensitivity (like a bee allergy IgE = bee) it can be a severe anaphylaxis response. Think of people who eat peanut butter and immediately their chest closes up and it is an emergency situation. ·       Food sensitivity symptoms may be delayed by several hours or even days. This is also an immune reaction of the IgG or IgA hypersensitivity. You may not even be aware of your immune symptoms. ·       Food intolerance is not an immune response but a lack of digestion for example lactose intolerant. Usually, your response is digestion related like diarrhoea or cramps with lactose.  Lactose is one of the ingredients in milk. And sometimes people can tolerate certain amounts but once they get over the threshold (eating too much too often) it becomes a problem. How our immune system chooses to respond to foods can depend on many complex factors like our genetics, our baseline level of health, our gut immunity, and general inflammation. That’s why you can be intolerant to certain foods but your friend tolerates everything you can’t. Stomach acid is a major factor in helping prevent food allergies and sensitivities, the acid in your stomach helps to predigest the foods and make them more tolerable. So one thing to consider is weaning off ant acids. What can we do? ·       Blood tests to check on both the allergy and sensitivity, Vitamin D and inflammation markers. ·       Try the Elimination Diet. The Elimination Diet helps to uncover food(s) that may be the culprits. ·       Do a food sensitivity test to determine which foods are the worst culprits.

Detox your mind

Detox your mind Whether you realise it or not, one of the most powerful forces in your life is your self-image. A positive, healthy self-image can carry you to heights you’ve never imagined, while a negative self-image will pin you down like a lead weight. To a large degree, your self-image is influenced by the pictures and messages you continually feed into your mind. Positive, uplifting messages help to foster a healthy self-image, while stories of doom and despair are sure to bring you down. Your mind, just like your body, is conditioned by the pattern of your daily habits.  If you get into the routine of exercising every day and putting wholesome nutritious food into your body, it is inevitable that your level of health will improve.  By the same token, feasting on donuts and soda every day while taking up permanent residence on the couch is like punching your ticket on the express train out of here. By treating our minds like our bodies, that is feeding them what makes them healthier and exercising them the right way, we can make a complete shift in our mental make-up. Detoxing your mind takes practice and discipline, but the payoff is invaluable.  The eventual goal should be to always ooze positivity, but sart by challenging yourself with a few days to a week of elevating your attitude and build from there. Journal your progress and take note of the changes that you see in yourself and in those around you. Start by replacing the “junk food” that you force feed into your head with outrageously nutritious material.  Focus on feeding nothing but positive, motivating things into your mind.  This goes for what you watch, read, listen to, and most importantly, what you think. Replace the dread and corruption reported on the evening news with a motivational reading, spiritual study, or uplifting music.  Breakaway from gossip and get into the habit of passing out compliments. If negative thoughts about yourself or someone else enter your mind (and they will) work on eliminating them or putting a positive spin on them.  For example, instead of complaining that your water

Is there a magic elixer

What is the magic elixer? There is no magic bullet, the easy way out is the wrong way, and quick fixes never stand the test of time.  We all know this to be true yet, astoundingly, we have been led to believe the exact opposite when it comes to our health and well-being.   Medicine has become our magic elixir, our get-out-of-jail-free card.  Why exercise your bones and joints when you can pop a pill instead?  Sure you risk abdominal cramping and bone degeneration, but at least you don’t have to get off the couch.  Hair loss, obesity, short temper, shyness, itchy skin, dry eyes… You can bet that whatever ails you, no matter how trivial, there is a pill marketed for it. The reason acupuncture continues to thrive for the past 2,500 years, even at times in the face of fierce opposition, is because it is built on solid, lasting, time-tested principles and theories. The health of your body is in direct proportion to the health of how your body’s innate healing energies travel throughout your meridian system. Energy flows throughout your body by way of an intricate network of pathways called the meridian system. Taking migraine medicine for a headache requires that your body not only fight the cause of the migraine but now also the dangerous chemicals you are dumping into it.  We have essentially been trained to put out a fire by dousing it with gasoline.   We have been led to believe that the work that the body has been accomplishing over thousands of years with amazing efficiency is suddenly no longer possible in the absence of drugs. As much as we tend to overcomplicate it, staying healthy is really pretty simple. Getting well requires that we optimise the function and flow of energy within our meridian system and then maintain its integrity to allow the body to do what it was created to do.  The reason that so many of us struggle with our health is because as simple as the concept is, actually following through requires a high level of commitment and necessitates specific action steps on a daily basis.  Everyone knows the formula

Orthodontics for your health

Orthodontics for your health One of the biggest myths about acupuncture is that “once you start, you have to go forever.” First of all, it is entirely up to you how long you choose to continue to get treatments. Of course, like any other healthy habit, the longer you maintain it, the better your quality of life.  But just to clear up some confusion, let’s look at the process of a comprehensive schedule of acupuncture care in another light. Perhaps the most apt analogy for continuing care for the meridian system is reconstructive orthodontics for your teeth.  Both disciplines consist of an initial phase of care that usually involves overcoming a weakness, followed by a reconstructive or rehabilitative phase of care, and finally culminating in wellness or maintenance. The earliest phase of your care usually consists of the highest visit frequency. In cases of chronic imbalances within the meridian system, it is common to initially require treatments a few days a week until your body’s energy is properly balanced and restored. Using our orthodontic analogy, this would be the point at which the brackets and wires are put on your teeth, and you are seen for check-ups every couple of weeks. Since there is no wire affixed within your meridian system, your acupuncture visits occur more frequently than orthodontic appointments and are instead “wired together” by specific exercises, herbal prescriptions, self-care recommendations, etc. As balance returns to your body, your visit frequency is diminished.  This is the phase in which the orthodontist would also begin spacing out his visits and begin to “tweak” the wires to make fine adjustments to your teeth and allow them to settle into their new structural pattern.  In both cases, this is a critical phase of care in that it is setting the stage for lifelong wellness or maintenance. In regard to orthodontics, this is when you would be fitted for a retainer to be worn at least nightly for the rest of your life, or for as long as you wish to maintain healthy teeth. As for acupuncture, this marks the transition to a schedule of wellness or maintenance

The secret weapon to treat and diagnose food sensitivities and allergies

Food sensitivities and allergies So often the symptoms associated with allergies fail to respond to conventional medical therapy and will resolve by following an Elimination Diet. The Elimination diet involves strictly eliminating common trigger foods like dairy, gluten, sugar, and eggs for a period of time. Followed by slow reintroduction to test your response to each food group. After the initial period of eliminating foods, many chronic symptoms should improve or disappear. The diet is strictly followed for 21 days to allow the immune system to recover and clean up immune complexes.  These foods might have been building over years and years of eating foods your body sees as a ” stranger”. The reintroduction and testing period of foods is done one by one for 3 days at a time. When the burden on the immune system is decreased, the body has an opportunity to heal. Along the way, it is important to learn how to eat an enjoyable and nutrient-dense diet while starting on the road to optimum health. Different conditions also respond to different foods to eliminate. Find out what is best for you how to follow an elimination diet.

Are you a slow simmer?

Are you a slow simmer? There’s an old metaphor about a frog in boiling water. If you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water, he will immediately jump out because of the sudden, drastic change in temperature.  If, however, you put a frog in a pot of tepid water and slowly bring it to a boil, the temperature change will be so subtle that the frog will never know what hit him as he boils to death. People are very similar to the frog when it comes to identifying underlying health problems and seeking help. Based on the perceived severity of the problem, you are either driven to action or more prone to let the problem continue as a mere annoyance. Those who have suffered a major trauma such as an auto accident, work injury, or slip and fall are like a frog dropped in boiling water.  Because they have undergone such sudden and massive physical change they seek immediate action in correcting the damage done and look to professional help without delay.  Bear in mind that these are the same people who would normally overlook more minor aches and pains without a second thought. Why does one act so quickly in a situation like this?  The injury happens so suddenly and swings them so far from their comfort zone that they will do whatever it takes to bring things back to normalcy as quickly as possible.  After all, a knock in your engine is something that you would typically let go of for a while, but a sudden cloud of smoke billowing from under the hood would likely spur you to immediate action. The majority of people, however, are like a frog in tepid water, on a slow simmer until eventually being brought to a boil.  Most imbalances develop over time, and because they are often very subtle, and many times painless, the danger of their impact on our bodies goes unnoticed. Over time, however, these imbalances are no less devastating to us than boiling water is to the frog.  A slow drip in your attic might not seem like a big deal, but its

Fiber is fabulous for your health

Fiber is fabulous for your health! Learn how to easily get more of it into your diet We need to be reminded of the simple steps we can take to improve our health using food first. One of these basics is fiber. We should be aiming for 10 servings of colourful fruit and veg in our diets daily. Eating a diverse range of different colours will provide fiber and healthy healing powers of the phytochemicals in vegetables and herbs. Why is fiber so good? Fiber allows our bodies to detoxify through regular healthy bowel movements. Starting with the elimination of bad toxins for example the fake estrogens we are exposed to through our environment, plastics, hormones, chemicals – we need to be getting rid of these each day, and the way to do it is by having two normal regular bowel movements each day. Fiber is like the vacuum cleaner of the gut scooping up all those bad toxins and clearing out the bad stuff. Having enough fiber protects you from estrogen dominance and related cancers. Fiber is fabulous for this. The range of vegetables through what you eat is going to give you that fiber You can also add fiiber by doing the following at home: In a large jar fill up equal amounts of the following: ·       Flax seeds ground or whole, ·       Chia seeds ·       Coconut flour Mix it up and take 2 tablespoons daily. You can either sprinkle it over salads, or add it after you blend your smoothie or simply swallow with a gulp of water. Partnering with you in health,

Thoughts become things, including your health

Thought become things, including your health Your mind is the most powerful tool you can use to have good health. What you focus on will grow.  Your body is listening to all your thoughts. Affirmations are one way you can communicate with your body and improve your health. AFFIRMATIONS Today, I give my full attention to my health. I make choices that support my health and physical fitness. My body is stronger and healthier each day. My body is stronger and healthier each day. My health is a priority. I know that a strong and healthy body is important if I want to enjoy my life as much as possible. I give my health the attention it deserves. I visit my doctor as often as required. I take my appointments seriously and make the time in my life to avoid missing these visits. I see my doctor, dentist, and eye doctor regularly. I listen to the health advice I receive and make the necessary changes in my life. I focus my diet on healthy foods. I know what type of diet works best for my body and I follow it consistently. I know that healthy food is the foundation of good health. I love the taste of healthy food and limit the amount of unhealthy food in my diet. I sleep enough each night. A good night of sleep is an important part of good health. My body needs to be restored each night, and I ensure I give it the sleep it requires. A full night of sleep is imperative to good health. My body is growing stronger through regular exercise. Possessing a strong and fit body feels good. I am proud of my body. Self-Reflection Questions: 1.   What are my greatest health challenges? What am I doing to minimize them? 2.   When did I last go to the doctor? Did I follow their advice? 3.   What type of exercise do I most enjoy? How often do I do it?

Complementary Medicine (CAM) – 7 Benefits

Half the global population uses some form of alternative medicine annually and here are some of the reasons why. 1. CAM gives patients choices. You as the patient can feel empowered because you have other alternative or complementary choices available to you that can go along with your prescribed medications and treatments. We make sure it’s safe. 2. You as the patient partner with the health practitioner it’s a two-way relationship. Gone are the days when the doctor is the authoritative voice alone. Your voice matters and this partnership creates a way where we can share your health decisions. You can feel supported and in this way make the difficult lifestyle changes that may be needed. 3. You are heard with more time offered during the Complementary Medicine consultations. So your health story can be analysed to get to the root cause of your symptoms. 4.  CAM methods of treatment allow for stress reduction for example acupuncture increases feelings of relaxation. Once we can reduce the stress load on our bodies we feel much better overall. 5. Developing positive health self-confidence goes a long way towards making health shifts. Telling yourself, “I am healthy, I feel well,  I sleep well, I am a healthy person”. Opens up new choices you can make rather than living in self-defeating mindsets with low health confidence and ill health. 6. Fewer side effects from herbal and homeopathic medicines. This gives you peace of mind that some pharmaceutical medications may be replaced if tolerated with far fewer bad side effects. Sleeping tablets are a good example as we work on stress, sleep hygiene, and herbal replacements we can reduce or eliminate sleeping tablets altogether, which are associated with memory issues. 7. In the long run Complementary Medicine is cost-effective by being preventative medicine. It may require an initial investment but thereafter you and your family see doctors much less frequently.

Loss of function over time

Loss of Function over time

Loss of function over time Ok, how did you get yourself in this spot where it is taking longer to get rid of symptoms than before? The most important thing about where you ended up now is to consider where you have come from—your health history. In fact, side note – keeping a record of this for yourself will serve you well in the future, mainly if you deal with a Functional Medicine practitioner. So let’s look at what can impact your future health. This could be an excellent time to make a note for yourself as we go along. Firstly 80% of births are traumatic. Think about how that affects your nervous system – creating a state of fight-flight from day 1. 40% of children fall on their head by the age of 1. Yikes, this is significant. A child between the age of 2 – 5 falls at least 2000 times. I kid you not – a person has done a Ph.D. on this. But remember it could still be ok for them with the high amount of blood flow in their bodies. They are slightly ‘rubbery.’ At the age of 5 years, a child would have had a sports accident, like gymnastics, biking, soccer, etc. Now, as we get older, more stiff and rigid, less blood flow and less blood = less and slower healing. 12 – 18 years –  Now we deal with stress, car accidents. 70% of teenagers are in an accident within two years of receiving their license. Do you remember the 1st time you were on your own in a car after you got your license? Was a bit nerve-racking. 18 – 21 Party time !!!! Varsity, bad eating, drinking alcohol, not enough sleep. Need I say more? Then from 21 – we have work stress, don’t exercise as much as we should, financial burden (how is any new worker supposed to get out of debt, buy a house, and provide for marriage and children in the beginning stage of their careers? Phew – I am exhausted just talking about it.) So now you can see what we have to deal with before we even start dealing

Doggy in blanket

7 Ways to improve your immune system

7 Ways to improve your immune system without spending a cent 7 Ways to improve your immune system without Spending a Cent    These days it has become even more essential for us to focus on our immune system and keep it healthy and let it do what it is designed to do.  So let’s look at seven ways to improve our immune system daily.  Hydration You must stay hydrated for your body’s chemical processes to work effectively, so let’s see what involves proper Hydration.  Water,  vegetable juice, and herbal teas are your best ways to stay hydrated.  caffeinated drinks, including coffee and tea, dehydrate your body.   The secret is to slow during the day to give your body the time to absorb the water. From a Chinese medicine point of view, what ideally wants to avoid ice drinks.  These ‘injure’ the spleen.   The spleen is responsible for the digestion of food. 2. Sleep  Sleep times differ between people.  The average sleep a person needs is between 7 and 9 hours.  Some people claim they can get away with only sleeping 3 hours a night, but long-term, this will affect your adrenal glands, which indirectly will affect your immune system. When you go to bed, you want the room to be as dark as possible for your body to secrete a hormone called melatonin. Melatonin is a potent antioxidant as well, and this also helps your immune system. Other good sleep hygiene would be to turn off screens, ensure that the room is cool, quiet, and set the reminder to help yourself go to bed on time. 3. Eating like the rainbow.  One wants to eat a variety of fruit and vegetables, as this helps protect your immune system. During winter, we want to focus on the citrus fruits which contain Vitamin C. Oh, and by the way, we are the only mammals that cannot make vitamin C on her own, and we have to take it in via food.  Foods that include high in vitamin C include oranges, kiwi,  lemon,s, and naartjie.  Research indicates that brightly colored vegetables and

Supplements to help your immune system

Supplements to help your immune system I have researched and found that the following are the leading supplements to help your immune system. Interesting enough, only one of these would not have been on my list for general flu prevention in previous years. What I have also done as look at the most therapeutic and cost-effective way for you to take these supplements in the next months. Vitamin D –  Vitamin D works 500 different ways in the body. One of the most important ways is the immune system. As I mentioned in my previous newsletters, a lot of people become vitamin D deficient during the winter times due to two reasons. The first one is that we spend more time indoors because we cold and therefore have less sun exposure. The second reason is that the sun’s angle is different in winter, so we get less sun. It is recommended, for adults, 5000iu during this time. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means if you’re taking high doses, you do want to monitor it, so once we get into summer, it might be a good idea to do a blood test just to see where your levels are. You might ask me, isn’t it strange that in sunny South Africa, there is vitamin D deficiency? What he has a surprise for you most likely 90% of patients that I test for vitamin D is deficient in this. Again modern-day society leans ourselves to spending less time in the sun,  and the other factor is if you use sunscreen, you block out 90% of the benefit of what the sun could have given you. So you would be surprised how many people are vitamin D deficient in South Africa. Zinc Zinc has shown to shorten the duration of a cold or flu. And it also boosts your immune system. Even though I write little on zinc trust me it is vital. Vitamin C First, let us address why Vitamin C is so essential. We are the only mammals that cannot make vitamin C and have to take it in via food. Some research has shown



Heartburn and acid reflux Acid reflux or acidity is one of the most common conditions that many people suffer from in our society today. This condition occurs when stomach acid moves up into the esophagus or does it? Conventional treatment is an ant-acid, which eliminates the surfacing symptoms but never treats the root cause. So many causes are outlined, which contribute immensely to acid reflux – including the food choices people make, smoking, obesity, stress, or eating close to bedtime. Chances are high; you could be acidic and not know that because of the lack of understanding of what acidity entails, what causes it, and its red flags. Below are a few of the symptoms of acidity that you should pay attention to : Heartburn: Cramping and GERD Belching/burping after eating Release of gas within an hour after eating Constipation Chronic intestine infections Fatigue Hair loss especially in women Weak or cracked nails Weight loss for an unknown reason Dysphagia: the sensation that food could be stuck in your throat However, from a Traditional Chinese Medicine [TCM] perspective, acidity or having acid reflux symptoms is an indication that there is an imbalance in the body. Your spleen/stomach, gallbladder/liver, and kidney/bladder meridians need to have a harmonious relationship to have a healthy digestive system, thus reducing the chances of you experiencing acidic symptoms. The picture below represents the perfect relationship that these three organs should maintain to promote and support the functioning of the digestive system and have a healthy gut : Once the root cause of your particular acidity has been discovered, it is addressed to restore balance in your body, promote harmony, and minimize the acidity and any other symptoms from resurfacing. An uncomfortable experience of bloatedness after eating, heartburn, belching, or burping is a message sent by your body that your digestive function is imbalanced. Interestingly, with so much acid in your gut being a cause for concern, on the flip side, once your acid levels are too low, that becomes a problem as well. You, therefore, need to strike a perfect balance not to have too much nor too little acid in your gut. Below are

Chinese Medicine and liver

The Liver and detox

The Liver and Detoxification In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it is almost difficult to talk about and analyse physical symptoms that any patient presents without intertwining them with emotions. The seven main emotions fundamental to understanding TCM are joy, anger, worry, thought, sorrow, fear, and fright and all these have a particular organ that they are intimately connected to. Today we focus more on the liver and how it is perceived from a Traditional Chinese perspective. We look at its main function in the human body as a whole, the emotions it’s associated with, and the effects of its poor function. The liver has many functions. It works to filter toxins from the body, store energy in the form of glycogen (fat) and produce biochemicals necessary for digestion. One of the primary functions of the liver is to regulate the movement of blood and energy “qi” in the body which is essential for all other organs and also to ensure the proper functioning of the body as a whole. The liver is the organ most affected by emotions and excess stress, alongside its core partner, the gallbladder. It is regarded as the most important organ in the human body as a whole. The main emotions that are affected by the liver include stress, anger, unexpressed emotion, and irritability. Here is a detailed graphic of some of the functions of the liver.   The liver also plays a fantastic role when it comes to managing emotions, and in fact, one of its essential needs is for feelings to flow and not become stuck. It is when emotions become stuck that we start manifesting physical symptoms. We now know that the chemicals produced by any emotion only take up to 90 seconds to flow throughout the body – in other words, acknowledging the feelings for 90 seconds, genuinely feeling them, puts us in a position to choose to step out of those feelings – or want to repeat the chemical cycle, placing an additional burden on the liver. In TCM, it is believed that excessive exposure to the primary emotions as identified by TCM, can affect

Sugar on cocaine

Sugar – the good, the bad and the ugly

Sugar – the good, the bad and the ugly Did you know that the average person in the early 1900s consumed 4 teaspoons of sugars compared to the …. Drum roll …28 teaspoons that an average person in today’s world has become accustomed to … twenty-eight teaspoons !!   You might ask how is this even possible? The answer solely lies in the day to day foods we consume which most of the time are labeled as “NO HIDDEN SUGARS “. Quite often we are misguided by this punchline such that it diverts the true fact that there are sugars added to most food items consumed every day. These obviously are extremely bad for one’s health. To kick start the year, l want to bring your attention to the hidden truth about the effects of consuming too much sugar on how you can stabilize your sugar levels in order to stay healthy and how much is too much sugar for your body. In your effort to keep healthy and adhere to a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle, below are some of the foods you might need to pay a little more attention to which contain what could seem as little sugar and yet, once it accumulates, it becomes a disastrous little dynamite in the body. This brings you down to the ” what should we then eat ” question in order to try and cut down on sugar. Get me right, it’s not all rooted in the fact that you have made bad diet decisions but, there are some deemed healthy foods that also contain sugar which is unhealthy. The picture below illustrates the different amounts of sugar levels in every liquid item that you possibly resort to on a dry day and also shows you how safe you can be if you settle for water. So you might be opting to go for a ‘healthy’ ice tea not realising it nearly has as much sugar as a tin of coke. Oh yes, and a tin of sugar has the equivalent of 33grams of sugar, which is about 7 teaspoons of sugar. 4 Years ago a study was

Happy females


Endometriosis This one is for our lovely female patients We now live in a society where we are exposed to a lot of xenoestrogen “foreign” estrogens, substances that are close enough in molecular structure to estrogen that they can bind to estrogen receptor sites with potentially hazardous outcomes” which comes in forms of perfumes, shampoos, creams and a whole lot of different body products that are full of chemicals which are harmful not just harmful to our bodies, but our immune system as well. Some animals are fed with a lot of hormones and antibiotics which are used to make them grow faster, and their fodder has more often than not high levels of pesticides. These xenoestrogens enter our bloodstream and disturb our hormonal system, promoting estrogen dominance which in turn paves the way for tissues to grow in areas that they are not supposed to, ie the birth of endometriosis.  Symptoms that symbolise estrogen dominance include the following : This tissue that grows outside the uterus lining sometimes continues to act in the same manner it would do while within the uterus that is thickening, breaking down, and sometimes bleeding. The discomfort you get during this process, which is usually a result of the inflammation and irritation in the area, can lead to the extreme pain, especially during the period days. Symptoms of Endometriosis It’s funny because sometimes there can be no symptoms of endometriosis at all unless you have been diagnosed through a laparoscope. This is where an instrument is inserted through the abdominal wall to visualise the uterus and surrounding structures. However, some of the common symptoms that you might experience include the following : Extreme pain before, during, and after a menstrual cycle. Nose bleeds with cycle. Dark menstrual blood Fatigue Anemia Depression Infertility These symptoms may vary in severity, but they are usually of long term duration, and as many women have discovered, very resistant to many forms of treatment. There are several standard conventional solutions that have been adapted and are often used to treating endometriosis, and the below three are also considered as the solution to endometriosis. Visanne Pill Over the

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