Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Chinese Medicine Helps Turn Breech Babies

Acupuncture is a safe non-invasive drug free way to move through a healthy pregnancy. Acupuncture is useful for morning sickness, constipation, dizziness, heart burn, aches and pains, labor induction, and assisting in turning a breech baby. In Europe many women see an acupuncturist for mother-warming which helps condition and nourish the body after pregnancy and delivery especially for energy depletion, depression, and lactation.

A patient recently came in because her baby wasn't in the proper position, not quite breech: transverse. Burning a moxa stick over urinary bladder 67 (the lateral side of pinky toe nail) can assist the baby in turning on its own. Watch the video below for a better understanding of what is done during this treatment. On this occasion the patient reported sensations of the baby moving during the treatment and was sent home with her own moxa stick to continue. The baby did turn after a few days and she came back for one more treatment, this time to induce labor. The next day she called to cancel her appointment from the hospital because she was in labor.

This video shows some simple yoga postures you can do at home to help your baby turn if in the breech position. Remember to honor your body and what feels right for you.

Sarah Zender LAc

Whole Health Acupuncture 50 Turner Ave Elk Grove Village IL 847.357.3929

The Karate Kid Uses Chinese Medicine Too

A patient just told me that the Karate Kid has a scene in it where cupping is done. Cupping was first made fashionable to the masses when Gwenth Paltrow was seen with cup marks. I explained what cupping is in a previous blog. Check out the video for a live demonstration of flash cupping.

Just like in the Karate Kid many martial artists have used acupuncture, cupping, and herbal therapy to recover from injuries and fight most optimally. One of my teachers belonged to a fighting club in the 70s and they would decoct special topical herbal liniments to use in between fights to heal faster in addition to acupuncture. These very same recipes are used in our office to treat a wide variety of aliments from broken bones, swellings, arthritis, bruises, acute and chronic injuries. The most amazing story I've seen with the liniments are as follows.

A patient came in for a massage several years ago and had a 3rd degree ankle sprain. She had fallen off the train coming home from work one day and her ankle was swollen three times the size as her other ankle and was dark purple. I soaked her ankle in a liniment and did very light massage around the area. Within two days her bruises were just faint remnants and slightly yellow; she could walk without any pain.

A liniment is similar to a raw herbal formula. Instead of cooking as a tea and drinking the herbs they are slow cooked and mixed with alcohol and must sit for several months before they can be used. The longer the herbs soak like this the more potent they become. We encourage people to soak what ails them for as long as they can and to sleep with the liniment on if its possible.

I once sprained my wrist and wrapped a liniment around it. Around about 30 minutes it felt like the pain in my wrist was being drawn out and felt warm and tingly.

Sarah Zender LAc

Whole Health Acupuncture 50 Turner Ave Elk Grove Village IL 847.357.3929

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bug Bite Relief with Acupressure and Aromatherapy

Its the season of the great outdoors and with it comes bugs. Many patients have recently come in complaining of itchy bug bites. The good news, of course, is that acupuncture or acupressure might offer some relief.

Baichongwu "hundred insect burrow" is an acupuncture point on the leg that helps to alleviate itching. According to A Manual of Acupuncture by Peter Deadman this point was first discussed in the Great Compendium of Acupuncture and Moxibustion and is an important point for the treatment of skin diseases especially when it comes to alleviating severe itching.

The picture above shows where Baichongwu is located above the knee on the inner thigh as a red dot.

Aromatherapy can also be quite helpful with keeping insects away or as relief when they do nibble on you because the essential oil is actually the defense mechanism of the plant and is exactly what the plant uses to keep bugs away as well. Make sure that if you are going to use aromatherapy that your essential oils are specifically therapeutic grade. I can't say enough about the quality of Young Living Essential Oils.

For insect repellent that is natural and safe for your body mix:
6 drops of peppermint
6 drops tea tree
9 drops eucalyptus radiata

These oils all have a cooling affect on the body so if you have sensitive skin and it feels too intense mix these oils with a smidge of olive or coconut oil.

Purification Essential Oil is a blend that is great for relief from bug bites as well and contains citronella, lemongrass, lavandin, rosemary, melaleuca, and myrtle. I put a drop or two of this oil on my plants whenever little bugs or mold happen to show up. It has properties that are antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, immune supporting as well as beneficial to the skin, just to name a few.

If you're itching place a drop of purification essential oil on the area of discomfort and/or on top of Baichongwu and massage the area until it feels achey or turns slightly red and warm.

I'm curious, what are your natural remedies for bug bites and insect repellents?

Sarah Zender LAc

Whole Health Acupuncture 50 Turner Ave Elk Grove Village IL 847.357.3929

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Heartburn Medications and Potential Risk: What Can You Do

If you are taking Prilosec, Nexium, Protonix, Losec, Zegerid, Prevacid or omeprazole then you'll want to read this article and recent findings of taking these medications and your bones, especially if you use one of these for heartburn without ulcers or gastroesophageal reflux disease.

In Chinese Medicine we say food is our first medicine. This may seem like a foreign concept in the land of fast food on every corner but many times if we change our diet even just slightly we won't have an use for these medications that come with a price. What is most alarming is that these medications will reduce a symptom but they are not treating the cause of discomfort. Louise Hay argues that heartburn is about holding onto fear.

If you are suffering from heartburn take note of what triggers it. Look at what you are eating and how. Review the blog about stress and your spleen/stomach system.

You might give apple cider vinegar a try. Hippocrates used it as a cure all and it has often been called a "wonder drug". What is most important when choosing a brand is to make sure it has the mother in it. The most nutrient rich apple cider vinegar will have a brown tinge to it and will be slightly cloudy with particles floating in it, this is the mother. I've personally been a big fan of apple cider vinegar for quite some time and get mine from Trader Joe's. It can help immensely with urinary tract infections. Other health benefits of apple cider vinegar include: relief from hair loss, weak finger nails, brittle teeth, sinusitis, and a permanently running nose, joint pains, constipation, headaches, arthritis, weak bones, indigestion, high cholesterol, diarrhea, eczema, sore eyes, chronic fatigue, mild food poisoning, hair loss, high blood pressure, helping one maintain firmer skin and a youthful appearance as well as lose weight.

Proflavanol 90 by Usana is another supplement worth mentioning. It is a grape seed extract and is great for inflammation of all kinds.

Sarah Zender LAc

Whole Health Acupuncture 50 Turner Ave Elk Grove Village IL 847.357.3929 www.wholehealthprograms.com