Posted by: Scott Stewaret, MSAc., Dip.Ac., LAc.
Considering there arn't that many worthy probiotics out there, and taking probiotics can be quite expensive; it should be the consumer’s priority to know what they’re buying and whether it will be beneficial to them or not. Below are three questions you want to answer before spending your money on a probiotic.
Here are 3 important questions you want to answer when choosing a quality probiotic:
1. Is it alive/active? This is pretty simple. A dead bacterium will have zero health benefits, so don’t bother buying or taking it. You want to look for the words, “live cells”, “live organisms”, “active cells” or “viable cells”.
2. Is the potency of the product guaranteed until the expiration date? Aside from question #1, this is probably the most important question you want a clear answer to. Frequently, a manufacturer will label their probiotic supplement as “guaranteed potency at time of manufacture”. If you see this on the label, DO NOT buy! It’s completely irrelevant if it’s potent at the time of manufacture; that does you no good. Along the same lines as “alive” or “dead”, if a product loses its potency while it’s sitting on a shelf, there’s no reason to take it. You want probiotics that are potent for the entire “shelf life” of the product. This means that you will get exactly the amount of probiotic (ex. 50 billion CFU), the label says you will get at the time of consumption.
3. How many CFUs are there? CFU stands for colony forming units, which is the number of viable probiotics contained in a supplement. This number is usually given as the total amount contained in the product. It is preferred if the manufacturer gives a CFU number for each strain the product contains, but this is rarely the case.
The CFU number is very important because you need a certain amount of probiotic in order to achieve the desired therapeutic effect. Different illness' require different amounts of probiotic based on research. Also, keep in mind that a larger number doesn’t always equal greater efficacy. Most probiotic studies only used products that contained 1 -10 billion CFUs.
Here are the probiotic brands that I personally use and recommend to my patients.
These can all be purchased online at: The Healing Lotus Store.
Posted by: Scott Stewart, MSAc., Dipl., Ac., LAc.
A small Virginia University study published in June examined the effects of tai chi on a small group of women at risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The randomized trial included 63 women participants between the ages of 35 and 50.
The intervention lasted 8 weeks and measured behavioral factors associated with CVD risk such as; fatigue, digestive symptoms, perceived stress, mindfulness, spiritual thoughts & behaviors, and self-compassion. Biological measures included: lipids, C-reactive protein, inflammatory markers, fasting glucose and insulin.
At the end of the study it was found that tai chi decreases fatigue and after a two month follow-up, it was found that there was a significant decrease in inflammatory markers associated with CVD, as well as, increases in spiritual thoughts & behaviors, mindfulness and self-compassion.[i]
Even though this study was small, showed an age bias and had an ineffective control, it adds to an already growing number of studies showing the many benefits of tai chi, which are not limited to: increasing lower & upper body muscle strength[ii], improving balance and stability[iii], decreasing the fear of falling[iv] & decreasing falls in older patients[v], decreasing pain[vi], and improving the quality of life in chronically ill patients[vii].
Regardless of what the studies say, tai chi has been around for thousands of years, there’s a reason for this - it’s beneficial to one’s physical & mental health. Tai chi should be combined with other positive lifestyle choices like, eating healthy, exercising, yoga, meditation, etc., etc., in order to improve your health and prevent disease.
This is a great little formula that combines Chinese herbs with a Western Botanical to manage a commonly experienced symptom among women who are going through that uncomfortable time of transition, known as peri-menopause / menopause.
Some of the symptoms associated with menopause are:
In Chinese medicine, this naturally occurring transformation represents a relative change between Yin and Yang energies. In the majority of cases, as a woman enters into menopause the Yang energy becomes more predominate (most common presentation), and signs of heat become more prevalent.
Other factors which determine the severity of menopausal symptoms depends on the woman’s constitution, her lifestyle, and how she deals with stress. The good thing is, that all these symptoms can be easily managed through herbs, acupuncture and lifestyle changes.
Meta-Balance contains 3 well-known and well-researched herbs that have a long history of use in Chinese gynecology, plus an additional Western Botanical used for over a century in Europe for reproductive and gynecology conditions.
1. Dang Gui is sweet, acrid, bitter and warm. Therapeutically, Dang Gui is best known for being a blood tonic that can move blood by improving circulation. It also regulates the menses, alleviates pain, reduces swellings, and for those who suffer from constipation, Dang Gui moves the bowels and moistens the intestines.
2. Shan Yao, also known as Chinese wild yam, is sweet and neutral. Its therapeutic actions focus mainly on tonifying and stabilizing the Qi & Yin of the Spleen, Stomach, Lungs and Kidneys. It also helps generate fluids (moisten dryness), which is great for women going through these symptoms, because heat usually drys up the fluids in the body.
3. Sheng Ma, also known as black cohosh, is sweet, acrid and slightly cold. Its therapeutic actions include: releasing the exterior & venting rashes, clears heat & resolves toxicity and raises Yang.
This herb’s ability to clear heat and vent it through the exterior of the body makes it very useful for hot flashes and night sweats. Also, it helps regulate the body temperature by balancing the neuroendocrine system (raises Yang).
4. Chaste Tree Berry, which has been approved by the German Commission E, has a long history of use throughout Europe for gynecological and reproductive conditions such as, PMS, migraines and menstrual irregularities.
Chaste tree berry is very similar to the Chinese herb Man jing Zi, which is bitter, spicy and cool. Its therapeutic actions include: Clearing heat and dispersing wind, especially in the Liver channel, and draining dampness.
This formula also contains a phyto - chemical called heperidin, which is a bioflavinoid found in large amounts in citrus fruits. Hesperidin is primarily used to strengthen capillaries. *It is also known to stabilize vasomotor activity associated with menopausal hot flashes.*
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In a small randomized Controlled clinical trial, 50 patients who had been diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the knee were randomized into an acupuncture group and a physiotherapy group. The acupuncture group received electroacupuncture once every other day for 4 weeks, while the physiotherapy group received treatment 5 times per week for 4 weeks.
Physicians found that the acupuncture group had significantly lower pain, stiffness and physical function scores than the physiotherapy group by the end of the trial, as well as, compared to the acupuncture group’s baseline.
Imaging of the patient’s knees taken before and after the trial showed that electroacupuncture was able to promote cartilage repair, whereas physiotherapy did not.
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Contact Scott at our office for more details and our Patient Direct Code. Call (309) 764.4753 or email email@example.com.
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Posted By: Scott Stewart, MSAc., Dipl.Ac., LAc.
Vitamin C (a.k.a. ascorbic acid) is one of the worse supplements you can buy over – the – counter (OTC). Like other OTC supplements, you never know what you’re truly getting in the ingredients, because most all OTC brands use low-quality ascorbic acid that has been sourced from China, the world’s largest producer of ascorbic acid. Between the years 2013 and 2015 China contributed 80 – 90% of the world’s vitamin C supply.
If you remember, China does not have a very solid reputation when it comes to quality, especially as it pertains to keeping chemicals and unknown substances out of their products; i.e. recent examples include lead in toys, contaminated infant formula and powdered milk.
To make this problem worse, the U.S. government does not test imported vitamins and supplements or their ingredients. For cheap OTC supplement brands this is a plus, because they can adulterate the products with unknown substances.
This is just one of many reasons I strongly recommend patients and consumers alike to purchase physician grade supplements, which are held to a much higher standard of scrutiny.
Thorne Research is recommended for 3 main reasons:
Posted by: Scott Stewart, MSAc., Dipl.Ac., LAc.
Spice up this Easter with Chinese tea eggs!
Meet Chinese fast food. These hardboiled eggs are flavored with tea & spices making them a tasty and portable snack..
Eggs are one of the best super-foods around and that's why this snack gets an A+ for being nutritious!
Great for breakfast or a snack - to - go!
Tea Egg Recipe #1
Rinse the eggs with water and place them in a pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the flame and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and place them in a in a strainer. Run cold water over them and set on the counter until room temperature. Using the back of a spoon, gently tap the outer shell of the eggs, creating uniform cracks around the entire egg, but don’t remove shells. Return the eggs to the pot with the water and add the remaining ingredients. Bring the liquid to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes; stirring occasionally. For a stronger, richer taste, soak the eggs for 4 to 10 hours, and then serve. Left – over eggs may be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 -3 days.
Tea Egg Recipe #2
Place eggs in a large pot, cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 8 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and soak in cold water for a couple of minutes. When cool, gently tap eggs with the back of a spoon to crack the shells, but do not remove the shells.
In a large pot, combine tea leaves, salt, sugar, Sichuan pepper, star anise, tangerine peel, cinnamon powder, cooking wine and cumin with water and egg. (about 4-5 cups of water, enough to cover all the eggs). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Remove from heat and let them steep overnight or longer.
*Tips: Before combining the tea leaves with the spice liquid, soak them in warm water for 15 minutes, drain and remove. This can remove the bitter taste.
job's Tears or Yi Yi Ren (a.k.a. Chinese pearl barley), is one of the greatest herbs in Chinese medicine for aiding in weight loss!
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, all foods have their own properties, some more therapeutic than others. In the case of Job's Tears, it has a sweet and bland taste, cool in temperature and has an affinity for the Spleen, Lung and Kidney meridians; all three heavily involved in water metabolism.
The reason job's tears is so effective in a weight loss program is due to the therapeutic actions of the food / herb. The 3 most relevant actions in weight loss are: Strengthening the Spleen, Resolving dampness and clearing heat and damp-heat. Keep reading to learn more about these three actions and at the end you will find 2 recipes for weight loss that can be added to a comprehensive individualized weight loss program.
3 Key Actions of Job's Tears that Can Aid in Weight Loss
Tonifies (strengthens) the Spleen - In TCM, the Spleen is a crucial organ system that plays a critical role in maintaining gut health, proper digestion, providing nourishment to the tissues, and overall well-being. When the Spleen becomes dysfunctional, as it is in many Western patients, its ability to perform the all – in – important function of transformation & transportation (T&T) becomes inhibited. This function, with the help of the Stomach and Pancreas, is responsible for breaking down food, extracting nutrients, delivering those nutrients throughout the body, and sending the “clear” (nutrients) upward and the “turnbid” (metabolic waste downward.
Resolving dampness - As mentioned above, one of the main causes of the accumulation of dampness is a dysfunctional Spleen. Dampness, if untreated, can transform into phlegm, which can cause many pathological issues. Both damp and phlegm can be complicated by combining with either cold or heat. Pathogenic damp is one of the hardest pathogens to clear – up due to its sticky and turbid nature.
Dampness can be correlated to adipose tissue, the retention of water, metabolic waste, a decline in beneficial bacteria, fungus, turbid bodily discharges, and elevated levels of cholesterol.
Clear heat & damp-heat - In general, job’s tears is really useful for clearing heat away. This heat can be generated by physiological processes that are overworking due to stagnation (metabolic pathways that have become obstructed or micro stasis of blood / dead blood). If there is an accumulation of pathogenic damp and the presence of pathogenic heat, these two can combine into damp-heat, which is double trouble.
Job's Tears Soup
Drink soup and eat grains. You can add some honey for taste.
Tips: If you soak the Job's tears 2-3 hours in advance, it'll take shorter time to cook it. But I don't think it's necessary if you have enough time.
After boiling, you must turn to low heat, otherwise the water will evaporate very fast.
You can add more water if you want to drink the soup.
Job's Tears and Red Bean Soup
Small red bean is very effective for removing edema. It also helps to lose weight. When Job's tears and small red bean are cooked together it strengthens the therapeutic function.
WESTERN THERAPEUTIC ACTIONS
CHINESE THERAPEUTIC ACTIONS
Magnolia Clear Sinus is formulated to treat allergies, sinusitis or rhinitis due to wind-cold and fluid congestion. Clinically, patients will have a stuffy nose, clear watery discharge, sneezing, loss of smell and headache.
Xin Yi Hua (Flos Magnoliae) unblocks nasal congestion and treats loss of smell with its pungent, dispersing and warming properties.
Cang Er Zi (Fructus Xanthii) helps Xin Yi Hua (Flos Magnoliae) to relieve allergy symptoms of sneezing, white watery nasal discharge, and/or nasal obstruction.
Bai Zhi (Radix Angelicae Dahuricae), Gao Ben (Rhizoma Ligustici), and Chuan Xiong (Rhizoma Ligustici Chuanxiong) are used to alleviate sinus pain and headache.
Gan Jiang (Rhizoma Zingiberis) warms the interior, transforms congested fluids and dispels nasal congestion.
Jing Jie (Herba Schizonepetae) and Fang Feng (Radix Saposhnikoviae) expel lingering pathogenic factors and prevent allergies from turning into a cold or triggering an asthma attack. With its ascending property,
Sheng Ma (Rhizoma Cimicifugae) is used as a guiding herb.
Che Qian Cao (Herba Plantaginis) drains nasal obstruction and postnasal drip caused by dampness and water congestion through diuresis.
Zhi Shi (Fructus Aurantii Immaturus) unblocks sinus congestion by regulating qi, while
Jie Geng (Radix Platycodonis) dispels phlegm, expands the chest, and relieves constipation.
To counter-balance the strong dispersing property of this formula, a small amount of Wu Wei Zi (Fructus Schisandrae Chinensis) is added to prevent the leakage of Lung qi.
Lu Cha (Folium Camellia Sinensis) is used to relieve sinus headaches commonly associated with sinus congestion. Lastly,
Gan Cao (Radix Glycyrrhizae) harmonizes the formula.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Approach
Rhinitis and sinusitis are effectively treated with herbs that drain the sinus cavity, reduce nasal mucous secretions, and desensitize allergenic reactions. These herbs may be given before, during, and after episodes of sinusitis and rhinitis. These herbs are very effective, and do not have the stimulating side effects that drugs have.
In addition to using drugs or herbs to treat rhinitis and sinusitis, it is also important to identify the cause, especially in individuals with allergic rhinitis and sinusitis. Whenever possible, avoid or minimize exposure to these allergens. It is important to remember that drugs and herbs do not cure allergy, they are only effective as preventative and symptomatic treatments.
On sale until the end of April!
(while supplies last)
Posted by: Scott Stewart, MSAc., Dipl.Ac., LAc.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the uterus is called zi bao and is located in the lower dantian (lower abdomen) between the urinary bladder and the anus; and between the acupoints Ren 4 and Ren 6, which are 1 hand-breadth below the umbilicus and 3cm below the umbilicus respectively. In TCM, the uterus incorporates all the woman’s reproductive parts including the Fallopian tubes and ovaries.
The Chinese character for zi bao is made-up of two separate characters. The character on the left is zi, which represents flesh and muscle or connective tissue. On the right we have the image bao that represents the concept of wrapping, in terms of a container, bag or sack; something that can wrap around an embryo so that it is protected and contained within the mother’s womb.
The Uterus as an Extraordinary Organ
retaining, storing, binding and condensing Qi and later letting it rise as a mist to form clouds in the heavens.
In keeping with this metaphor, the body’s tissues are nourished by the same processes, which are performed on Qi, Blood, Jing, Shen, Marrow and Body Fluids by the 6 Extraordinary Organs.
Why is the Uterus extra special
The uterus is extra special, because it functions both as a Yin and a Yang organ. To clarify, Yang organs (fu: Urinary Bladder, Stomach, Lg. and Sm. Intestines, Gallbladder and San Jiao) perform the task of receiving, transforming and transporting substances. Yin organs (zang: Lungs, Liver, Spleen, Heart and Kidneys) store and reserve substances.
In the case of the uterus, its Yin functions consist of storing blood and the embryo / fetus, while its Yang activity includes discharging blood during menstruation and the baby at childbirth.
Physiological functions of the Uterus
Stay tuned for our next installment, which will cover the relationship between the uterus & heart and the uterus & the Kidneys.
Healing Lotus Acupuncture (inside Moline Chiropractic Clinic)
4300 12th Avenue | Moline, IL
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