I am frequently asked if acupuncture can help with weight loss. The simple answer is this: acupuncture can help to support your chosen weight-loss regimen, which must include a healthy diet and moderate exercise to be successful.*
For example, acupuncture can help to boost your metabolism by improving digestive function, give you more energy for your workouts, and help you handle cravings.
If you lead a sedentary lifestyle and eat junk food, acupuncture may be able to help with some of your health problems (such as back pain or insomnia); however, it is unlikely that you will drop any weight.
Your diet and exercise programs do not need to be extreme. In fact, intense exercise and crash dieting are seen as very unhealthy in Chinese medicine. Here is a great article from the New York Times about how to change your perspective about food and dieting.
You should commit to at least 10 weekly acupuncture sessions to really see results. Your acupuncturist may also suggest herbal supplements and recommend some diet changes based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (this is not the same as seeing a dietician/nutritionist).
*Â Be sure to check with your physician before modifying your diet or starting an exercise program
This Saturday, September 20, River Valley Acupuncture will have a table at the Leicester Harvest Fair.Â Come visit us from 10 am – 2 pm.Â Sign up forÂ a free health consultation, ask questions about Chinese medicine, and pick up informational literature.
Â Many thanks to the Leicester Lion’s Club for allowing us to join them!
Usually, I like to keep my blog posts focused on Chinese medicine. But when I do health research I come across a lot of great information about other natural therapies. Here are links to several articles that I’ve found interesting.
Yoga Eases Physical and Mental Menopause Symptoms (Reuters)
Yoga Helps Survivors of Natural Disasters (Reuters)
Meditation Slows AIDS Progression (Reuters)
Lotus Therapy (New York Times)
Alexander Technique Does Ease Back Pain (Reuters)
Exercise Plus Relaxation May Ease Migraine Pain (Reuters)
Hypnosis May Ease Inflammation in Colitis (Reuters)
Listening to Music Found to Lower Blood Pressure (Reuters)
It seems that we are facing an early start to the cold season this year; I have already come into contact with a half dozen sick patients and friends.
Everyone has their favorite methods of preventing and treating colds. In this article, I will share some tips from a Chinese medicine perspective.
Take care of yourself. While this is basic common sense, many people forget to follow it. Get plenty of rest, stay hydrated (with plain water, herbal teas, and fruit juice that has been diluted with water), and eat healthy foods including lots of fruits and vegetables. Avoid greasy, rich, and sugary foods. Manage your stress level; several research studies have shown that stress negatively impacts the immune system.
Avoid cold and drafts. This may seem like an old-wives tale, but there are scientific reasons why it is true: when your body is struggling to maintain a stable temperature, it has fewer resources to support the immune system. Also, anything that dries out your mucus membranes makes them less effective at trapping bacteria and viruses. Moisten your sinuses with nasal rinses and steam treatments.
- Stay away from fans and open windows.
- Don’t walk around barefoot.
- Keep your head, neck, and upper back covered.
Acupuncture can help kick a cold. There are many acupuncture points and other treatments that can help to reduce the severity or length of cold symptoms. In my office, I encourage patients to come in if they have a mild cold. However, if you have a severe and highly contagious illness such as the flu, conjunctivitis (pink eye), strep throat, or infectious diarrhea, please call us to reschedule your appointment.
Chinese Herbs can treat a variety of illnesses. Many herbs have anti-viral or immune-strengthening properties. Some formulas can be taken in the months preceding cold season to help prevent sickness. Other herbs can be used once you contract a cold; the popular over-the-counter remedy Airborne contains herbs from these traditional Chinese herbal formulas.
Share your favorite cold treatments; please leave us a comment!
Several months ago, I wrote a post about how acupuncture and massage can help with post-surgical pain relief. Recently, another study came out supporting that finding.
The study, done by researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, involved 70 participants. All were patients who had received surgery for head or neck cancer. Compared with the control group, patients who received acupuncture after surgery had less pain, better mobility, and fewer problems with dry mouth (a common side-effect of radiation therapy for these cancers).
This research points to several interesting uses of Chinese medicine: post-surgical pain relief, cancer support, and dry mouth. Often, people are not aware of the broad range of conditions that acupuncture can treat. Many times I have heard patients say, “I didn’t know acupuncture could treat that!”
So, if you are unsure if Chinese medicine can help your condition, feel free to ask! You can contact us with this link.