Sunday, December 27, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
As we met with various reps of different supplement companies I learned one thing: everyone has the best vitamins on the market. As we poured over research data and stats and catalogs we went back to the simplest way to know if a product is worthy. We started using the vitamin samples left behind by all those reps.
I'm not going to lie, I'm not a very good supplement taker myself. At least I didn't used to be but we'll get to that. In many circles there is still controversy over the need to take vitamins. Some people feel they are a waste of time and all of those nutrients should be received from the foods we eat. Which in theory is good but who eats fresh fruits and vegetables everyday? Others argue that our soil is so depleted that vitamins are a necessity for health. Still others are starting to take note of vitamin deficiencies and their relation to certain ailments. (for example did you know if you have pain conditions many times a part of the culpret is a vitamin B deficincy?) Anyways I started taking Shaklee vitamins. They had a good reputation, they had research backing them, and as always, I wanted to see for myself. The result was I didn't really feel much of anything. I went on to another brand, this one was a powder that I mixed with water called isotonix. The result, a big sticky mess. Again I didn't feel much during the process of taking them as directed or after I stopped.
Now I was starting to get discouraged thinking that maybe vitamins weren't really all that big of deal and I should just stick with chinese herbs and call it a day. I might have if it weren't for my background in nutrition. It was around this time that I met Tyanna Cannata of Usana vitamins doing a presentation on her vitamins. She had some great information to share that I will now pass onto you.
First, the label on your vitamins that tells you what percentage of your daily requirements are in your vitamins tells only half the story actually more like 20%. Vitamin companies are only required by law to put 20% of what the label actually says is in each pill in the entire bottle. 20%! No wonder I wasn't feeling anything with these vitamins there might not have been anything in them to feel. Second, most companies use byproducts of petrochemicals (think about scraps after making a tire) as binders to keep the vitamins together in a pill form. I don't know about you but that is pretty gross. What's worse is that Tyanna had a visual of all of this. She calls it the apple test.
In three seperate jars there contained half of an apple soaking in water. The first jar had a regular old apple in water. This represented the natural aging process. The apple was starting to turn brown as apples do when they've been out for awhile. The second jar had an apple in water with a Centrum complete vitamin. This apple was floating in murky blackish gray water and the apple itself was blackish gray. This was a demonstation of the "additives" that the body absorbs when taking a vitamin that is not up to par and what it is doing to your body. The last jar held an apple floating in water with a usana vitamin. The apple had not turned brown, instead it looked as if it had just been cut. This represented using a vitamin with actual vitamins in it and how it can slow down the aging process and keep your cells healthy.
You might think big deal, so what who cares about apples. Me too. I was more intrigued by the results Kara was feeling on the vitamins. She was reporting having more energy to get more things done (she has 2 kids 1 who still doesn't sleep through the night and owns a business) and having 3 bowel movements a day and on and on. I went through my last round of trials myself, this time with Usana. I started to notice my energy levels pick up. It occured to me when it was midnight and I was laying in bed while Christian slept watching tv not because I was restless and couldn't sleep but because I wasn't tired. What was even more surprising is that I was waking up in the morning with the sun shine during the fall without an alarm clock because I wanted to not because I had to. Getting up in the morning has always been a struggle for me, to say the least.
Vitamins are rated on a star scale 0-5. 5 star having the best potentancy and purity.
Lyle MacWilliam MSc, FP has published a great book called NUTRISEARCH COMPARATIVE GUIDE TO NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS it contains over 1500 products available in the US and Canada. You can find this book just about anywhere, Borders Book, Barnes and Noble, Amazon etc.
Below are the ratings for the vitamins mentioned above taken for this book.
Shaklee = 1 star
Isotonix = 2 stars
Centrum = 0 stars
Usana = 5 stars
Now I know what its like to take vitamins with vitamins inside of them. It makes a difference to me. But don't take my word for it, try it yourself or try the apple test.
For more information visit Tyanna's website: http://www.tyannacannata.usana.com/
Sarah Zender LAc LMT
Whole Health Acupuncture 50 Turner Ave Elk Grove Village IL 847.357.3929 http://www.wholehealthprograms.com/
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Harriet Beinfield LAc and Efrem Korngold LAc OMD compare the body in "Between Heaven and Earth: A Guide to Chinese Medicine" as a garden and your acupuncturist as a gardener vs western medicine being more like fixing a machine with a mechanic. Acupuncture helps to achieve balance for the whole system not just specific "parts." The goal is to remove the root cause of imbalance not just the symptom. Healing is a process and it takes time. Think of Acupuncture as planting that bamboo seed, watering and nurturing it consistently. Somedays it may seem like nothing is happening or changing because the work is happening underneath the surface. The "all of a sudden" growth can be thought of as a long, healthy life.
Watch Whole Health Acupuncture's new youtube video, planting the seeds to help you grow!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
In modern times, cupping therapy mostly uses a glass jar attached to the surface of the skin to cause local congestion through negative pressure created from a vacuum. This vacumm can be created by a heat source or a manual pump. There are several ways to cup. Flash cupping is a quick contact to the skin and release using one or two cups at a time in a specific area. This encourages blood flow to the area and can confuse the muscle to assist it in relaxing. Stationary cupping uses specific acu points where cups are left for several minutes pulling old blood and stagnation out of an area. Sliding cupping feels wonderful and helps to lengthen the muscle tissue while spreading out the fasica.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
The most common shape in nature is a circle, the cells of your body are circles and healthy DNA spins clockwise. The ancient Chinese also used circles to explain balance. The element circle looks like this: Water grows wood, wood grows fire, fire makes ashes or earth, inside of the earth is metal, and water condenses on metal. The Chinese applied this cycle and these elements to what they believed to be the organs of the body. Wood is the liver and gall bladder. Fire is heart and small intestine. Earth is spleen and stomach. Metal is lung and large intestine. Water is urinary bladder and kidney. In this way, the body was seen as being supported by each organ. Blood and energy, or qi, flowed through the body like water. When one organ became unbalanced every other organ was affected. When the smooth flowing circulation got blocked somewhere in the body from an imbalance, disease festered like a pond of still water growing full of sludge.
Based on the observations of the tongue, pulse and assessment of questions an Acupuncturist will devise a treatment plan that might include acupuncture, moxabustion and herbal remedies. Through this observation “western diseases” are not being treated, instead, the body is being brought back to balance. Chinese Medicine looks at a “symptom” like a branch of a tree, and looks deeper to find the root cause. In this way, the “symptom” is addressed, as well as, what caused the symptom in the first place. The advantages of this philosophy are the “side effects.” For example, a patient being treated for back pain might also report higher energy levels, better sleep, reduction in hot flashes or heart burn, a more regular and less painful menstrual cycle and/or improved emotional wellbeing. This means that Chinese Medicine can treat virtually any condition aiding in bringing the body back to harmony. While this is true, Chinese Medicine’s true genius is preventative. Ancient Chinese doctors were responsible for keeping the community healthy; it was the doctors who had to pay if a patient was sick.
Chinese Medicine is by no means a quick fix; however it is an opportunity to impact not only one’s body, but lifestyle as well. Expect a course of treatment to last 10 sessions with treatments a couple times a week. (You wouldn't take one antibiotic pill and wait to see if it worked, you would do a full perscritption and you also wouldn't take one asprin and hope the pain would go away, you would probably take a few a day and gradually tapper off. Acupuncture is much the same way.) Massage Therapy (tui na), Exercise, Meditation, Feng Shui, and Nutrition are also key components of this system that can contribute lasting harmony. Acupuncturists recommend receiving quarterly treatments as a “tune up” when the energy of the Earth is changing to maintain wellness.