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This week is International Infection Prevention Week. So we at Healing Lotus Acupuncture would like to remind everyone (health care providers, patients, parents, kids and the general public), of the extreme importance of washing your hands with soap and water to prevent the spread of disease.
Germs (viruses, bacteria, fungus) can easily be spread by not washing your hands correctly. These germs can promote the spread of gastrointestinal and respiratory illnesses like:
Below is a great video I use to educate kids on how germs are spread.
When to Wash your Hands
Different situations where people can pick up "germs" include:
Proper Hand Washing Technique
Please share this important public announcement with your family and friends.
Scott Stewart, MSAc., Dipl.Ac., LAc.
Healing Lotus Acupuncture
This is one of my patient's favorite seasonal formulas, Ortho Molecular's Natural D-Hist, because it helps relieve both sinus and respiratory irritations during those difficult months of the year when environmental allergens are at their highest levels.
This formula contains a powerful combination of flavonoids, antioxidants, proteolytic enzymes and other botanicals that help:
Posted by: Scott Stewart, MSAc., Dipl. Ac., LAc.
For thousands of years acupuncture practitioners have been guided by family knowledge passed down from one generation of doctor to the next, by invaluable manuscripts - many of which have been destroyed, and more recently, by the Chinese medical classics, which have guided modern practitioners in every aspect of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), even in the midst of our modern age of science and technology.
Our knowledge of point locations comes from the same classical books, and the wisdom from present day lineages that share their observational & clinical experiences. For the most part, the methods and techniques of the modern day practitioner are still the same as they were thousands of years ago; the only difference is that we have more sophisticated technologies that can illuminate the internal world of our bodies by displaying it on a computer screen. These high-resolution three dimensional images show us what the ancient ones amazingly discovered through much cruder means.
For example, around 2200 BCE, there was no technology to aid primitive man in their exploration of the human body, but yet they still found a way to discover some of its secrets. At that time, tribal shaman were responsible for healing the sick. Amazingly, they had no tools or innovative pieces of equipment to help them distinguish one acupoint from another or even a real acupoint from a non - acupoint. Instead, they used their tactile sense of touch as they palpated the patient’s skin and body, noticing differences in skin texture, temperature, resilience and shape. They used this information to formulate therapeutic strategies, and as hundreds and thousands of years went by they began to record this data into manuscripts; depicting the location, actions and indications of each point they had carefully discovered.
Later, during the Shang Dynasty (1700 - 1100 BCE) a new technology emerged that reshaped every one’s life, including acupuncturists. The Bronze Age had arrived and the stone needles & animal quills of the past were being replaced with bronze medical needles, and later these would be followed by iron, and then gold and silver needles. The use of metal needles, which were heated up, led to the discovery of the meridians; because the patient was able to sense the heat as it flowed through the body along specific pathways.
This is just one of many examples that can be found all over the world, in which technology led to new discoveries that essentially propelled, in this case, acupuncture into a new era of diagnoses and treatments.
Now, fast forward to our modern medical age, in which we are on the cup of a new futuristic era that is being driven by microprocessors, complex algorithms, higher resolutions, advanced 3D imaging, and the start of a new biotech chapter with the integration of artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and 3D printing. These technological innovations will have positive repercussions throughout both Eastern and Western medicine.
Recent Technological Innovations and Acupoint Research
Over the last few decades one of the biggest driving forces behind the success in acupuncture point research, has been due to the progress made in imaging technologies. A considerable amount of the accumulated data that we have on point specificity has been the result of these improved imaging devices like functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), Positron Emission Tomography (PET), and the latest in the state - of - the - art computerized tomography (CT) scans with enhanced 3D imaging capabilities. As these devices continue to develop, they provide researchers with powerful and invaluable tools that can be utilized in the investigation of the intricacies that underlie acupuncture’s therapeutic influence over the body.
Fast forward to our modern medical age, which is driven by microprocessors, complex algorithms, higher resolutions and 3D imaging.
New discoveries almost always follow technological innovations, and this is no different in the field of acupuncture research. Over the past 10 years, there has been increased interest in using the latest advances in diagnostic imaging technologies to study acupuncture points and meridians, in order to reveal their morphological structures, their unique features, and their hidden mechanisms. In the following paragraphs, you will read about some of the most important research of the last decade that has exploited these new technologies and led investigators to a more profound understanding of the mechanics that govern acupuncture.
The bulk of the studies below focus on validating point location by comparing verum (real) acupoints to sham points (non-acupoints) in terms of whether they activate the same areas of the brain or not. This indicates that needling at a particular point location as opposed to a randomly chosen area of the body elicits a very specific effect that can only be obtained by needling that acupoint.
FMRI evidence of acupoints specificity in two adjacent acupoints
Manual acupuncture was performed on the three points during an fMRI scan. As seen in figure 2 and figure 3, Both LR3 and ST44 were shown to activate specific cerebral patterns in the contralateral primary somatosensory area (SI) and the ipsilateral cerebellum. LR3 and ST44 also elicited specific regions in the brain that were distinct from one another. 
Verum and sham acupuncture exert distinct cerebral activation in pain processing areas: a crossover fMRI investigation in healthy volunteers
Another study examined ST44 compared to a sham point (figure 1), using fMRI to investigate neural activity. Stimulation of ST44 showed increased activity in the prefrontal cortex, parietal cortex and the temporo-occipital regions of the brain. (figure 2, A. ST 44)
Remarkably, the sham point also showed stimulation, but this occurred in the primary and secondary somatosensory (s1 and s2) cortex areas. (figure 2, B. Sham)
Fig. 3 Cerebral effects of acupuncture, contrasting verum and sham stimulation. Blue-coded activation sites: increase for Sham minus ST44; red-coded sites: ST44 minus sham. The most important activation sites were marked with a circle and indicated by a number: 1—primary somatosensory cortex (S1); 2 post—posterior insula (y>0); 2 ant—anterior insula (y<0); 3—anterior cingulate cortex (ACC); 4—ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC); 5—inferior parietal cortex (IPC); 6—thalamus. R right; A anterior
These findings validate the location and therapeutic potential of ST44, and interestingly demonstrate the possible reason why some sham procedures produce some therapeutic value. The brain region associated with the stimulation of the sham point is known for being responsible for affective pain processing. Whereas, the true (verum) acupuncture point elicited a reaction from parts of the brain that process discriminative somatosensory and cognitive pain. 
Point Location and Action
Specific cerebral activation following true and sham Waiguan (SJ 5) needling functional magnetic resonance imaging evidence
In 2010, research was conducted with fMRI on 18 healthy student volunteers, who were put into 3 groups of 6. One group received true acupuncture at Triple Energizer 5 (TE5, a.k.a. Waiguan). Sham needling was administered to the second group at TE5, and the third group was treated with true acupuncture at a nearby sham acupoint.
The fMRI demonstrated that stimulation of TE5 compared to sham needling activated the right superior frontal gyrus (BA8), and the left cerebellum. More specifically, needling at TE5 activated the right parietal lobe pertaining to the post-central gyrus (BA2), left cerebellum, and the right inferior semi-lunar lobule. 
This area of the brain is referred to as the Broadmann area (BA8). It’s responsible for writing, language and auditory functions , movement of the upper limbs , impulsive and aggressive behavior (via the insular cortex) ; the cerebellum controls coordination in the limbs and trunk, as well as, playing a role in posture & maintaining balance. BA2 as part of the post-central gyrus is related to the appreciation of sensation on the opposite side of the body.
According to TCM theory, TE5 or Waiguan is indicated for pain of the neck, shoulder and arm, impaired movement of the arm, shaking of the hand, impaired hearing and other ear disorders, anger, headache, dizziness, redness, pain and swelling of the eyes, etc. 
As the field of medicine becomes more entwined with technology, we will read about many more new discoveries and validations of theories in both Eastern and Western medicine. These high tech developments, which arise in exponential waves, can expand our knowledge of human anatomy and neuroscience, as well as, all other corners of medical science, aiding researchers in making new discoveries and clarifying misconceptions. This is certainly the case in Eastern medicine, in which we now are slowly uncovering the magnificent truth about the mechanics of acupuncture which operate at many different levels of physiology, ranging from the grossest materialism to the other extreme of immaterialism, which was once considered occult, but now more appropriately may be associated with the realm of quantum mechanics. The horizons are grand, but there is still much work to do in terms of fine tuning research designs and diversifying study participants.
As can be seen in the small sample above, most of the research that has come out over the past 10 years has focused on small populations of healthy individuals and only investigated single, double or triple acupoint cerebral activation.
There is a strong need to expand and improve study design, by examining unhealthy individuals across different age groups who are suffering from various diseases, including both psychological and physical illnesses, in order to truly understand the significance of acupoints and their affect on varying regions of the brain they activate.
Another area that should be high on the research list, is the investigation of acupoint combinations, especially those that are commonly used in clinical settings. What is the effect of these combinations when they stimulate multiple brain regions simultaneously? And do they activate the same regions as they do when stimulated as a single acupoint?
After Thought on Technological Innovations and the Human Ego
Even with all the intended benefits, the irony of technological advancement still remains, it will always be limited in its capabilities to keep pace with our own unquenchable curiosities to deconstruct our bodily terrains. Medical science continues to pursue the reduction of the material body beyond the naked perception which is obliterated by a digitized pixelation under a macro zoom, just so we can better comprehend the body's mysteries; and more to the point, control and manipulate those mysteries. In this sense, technology becomes irrelevant as a tool due to its failure to keep up with humanities thirst for omnipotence.
Posted by: Scott Stewart, MSAc., Dipl. Ac., LAc.
Gumgig Pean (甘桔喉糖片) is a simple, compact Chinese formula designed for acute cough and sore throat due to wind-heat, which is understood as the combination of wind and a bacterial or viral pathogen that enters the body.
Wind-heat signs include: red eyes, sore scratchy throat, thirst, productive cough with yellow phlegm, or nasal discharge that is yellow. The formula takes advantage of some great herbs that are commonly combined for the above indications.
The ingredients are as follows:
1. Glycyrrhiza Glabra L. – Licorice root (Gan Cao /甘草)
Gan Cao is a honey coated licorice root that has been baked until dark. It’s sweet, neutral and enters all 12 meridians, but primarily the Heart, Lung, Stomach and Spleen channels.
Chinese herbal actions include: Tonifies the Spleen & boosts Spleen Qi; moistens the Lungs, dispels phlegm and stops cough; stops spasms and alleviates pain; clears heat and reduces toxins; used as an antidote for various forms of poisoning such as, food, drug herb and chemical poisoning; and guides herbs into the 12 channels.
The biomedical actions are: Anti-inflammatory, anti-allergen, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and antitussive.
2. Platycodon Grandiflorum A. DC. – Balloon flower root (Jie Geng /桔梗)
This herb has a bitter and acrid taste with a neutral temperature, and an affinity for the Lung meridian.
Chinese herbal actions include: Opening up the Lungs, disseminating or spreading Lung Qi, dispelling phlegm, expelling pus, raising Lung Qi and helping guide other herbs to the upper body; particularly the Lungs.
The biomedical actions are: Anti-inflammatory, expectorant and inhibits cough.
3. Tea – This is most likely green tea, because green tea contains a chemical constituent called theophylline, which acts as a bronchodillator, and has both an anti-inflammatory and an antitussive effect.
4. Mentha Arvensis L. – Common mint (Bo He /薄荷)
Bo he is an acrid, aromatic and cooling herb that enters the Lung and Liver meridians.
Chinese herbal actions include: Dispersing wind-heat, cools and clears the head and eyes and benefits the throat; vents rashes and disperses Liver Qi.
The biomedical actions are: Antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, relieves sinus congestion, and promotes perspiration.
The herbs in this simple formula work together to quickly bring you relief from some common irritating symptoms that can make your holiday very unpleasant. You can find it in most Boots pharmacies or in locally run pharmacies that carry Chinese patent medicine products.
A great formula to have in your backpack when traveling through Southeast Asia!
We are offering 15% off all supplements through our Online Wellevate store, including high-quality brands such as; Metagenics, Orthomolecular Products, Pharmax, Thorne, Protocol for Life Balance, and many more . . . (Promotion ends June 30th 2018)
Hurry and stock up on your favorite supplements!
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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Healing Lotus Acupuncture (inside Moline Chiropractic Clinic)
4300 12th Avenue | Moline, IL
(309) 764.4753 firstname.lastname@example.org