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Most women don’t realize that their #1 health threat is heart disease, which happens to be the leading cause of death for women in the United States. According to the centers for Disease Control (CDC), 610,000 people die from heart disease every year, of these, 289,758 are women. That means 1 in 4 women will succumb to heart disease this year.
This fact is often overshadowed by misleading media coverage and even some healthcare professionals that would have you believe that “heart disease” is a predominantly male disease, and women are not as susceptible as men, because they have higher estrogen levels, which protect them. Not a fact!
The truth comes in the form of research data that indicates both sexes are actually affected equally. Although, it’s most likely the case that more women than men are affected by heart disease because of the following: Symptoms are more subtle and often ignored in women, symptoms in women can differ from those of men, women are underrepresented in clinical trials, women usually have a later onset of the disease than men (as much as 7-10 years), and the fact that women slightly outnumber men (almost 2:1) in most states.
The good news is that heart disease is a preventable disease, and the first and most important step in disease prevention is always self-education. Hopefully, by the end of this article you will have the basic knowledge to identify symptoms of heart disease, especially those that are more gender specific, you will learn what factors put you at risk; and you will gain the knowledge to modify your lifestyle, in order to help prevent heart disease from happening to you.
As mentioned above, the symptoms for women differ slightly from those of men and tend to be more subtle. Below, is a general list of symptoms, followed by the more subtle symptoms experienced by women.
General Signs & Symptoms of heart disease for both men and women:
Gender Specific Symptoms Often Ignored by Women:
And of course . . . make sure you continue with your maintenance
visits with your acupuncturist.
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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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 a recent meta-analysis, researchers analyzed the results of 29 trials and 17,922 patients suffering from chronic pain. Conditions included: neck pain, shoulder pain, low-back pain, headaches & migraines, and osteoarthritis of the knee.
From the original data set, 20 trials and 6,736 patients were used for the final conclusions, due to the fact that they included long-term follow-up data, which ultimately demonstrated that after a course of treatment, the effects of acupuncture treatments persist over a 12 month period.
Posted by: Scott Stewart, MSAc., Dipl. Ac., LAc.
There’s a reason why acupuncture has been used successfully for over 2,000 years for the treatment of pain and other conditions and continues to become more popular today in our modern society - because it works, and it works without the need of drugs.
Not until the last couple of decades has the West begun to understand the mechanism behind this non-invasive natural treatment, as well as, its clinical importance as a drug-free alternative for the treatment of chronic pain.
In one study, when acupuncture was compared to conventional primary care for the treatment of non-specific chronic low back pain, it was determined that acupuncture treatments are safe, more efficacious than conventional care, provided longer lasting results, and a more cost-effective intervention for reducing chronic pain.[i] Similar results have also been found in studies pertaining to headaches / migraines[ii], neck pain[iii], osteoarthritis pain[iv], etc.
In 2012, the Memorial Sloan – Kettering Cancer Institute undertook a meta-analysis of patient data, which showed that acupuncture was an effective treatment for the following pain conditions: back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, chronic headache, and shoulder pain. It also concluded that acupuncture was an acceptable alternative for the treatment of chronic pain.
The Final Verdict of Experts
America’s chronic pain epidemic will only get worse, with increased painkiller and heroin addictions, and higher rates of depression and suicide. This is the only future for people who choose to remain within the “sick care” system, which is unethically encouraged by big-pharma, insurance companies, doctors and MDs, and the U.S. government; all of whom seek to keep Americans on drugs for the rest of their lives.
This system of medicine, which is driven by profit and strongly opposed to disease prevention and treatment, will continue to prescribe dangerous drugs that only have the sole purpose of suppressing symptoms, instead of upholding the Hippocratic Oath, which every practitioner takes upon graduation, and solving the root cause of chronic pain.
It’s time for chronic pain sufferers to realize that we already have an evidence based solution for pain, one that has been utilized for thousands of years. It’s been proven to be more efficacious, more cost-effective and safer than conventional medicine - it’s called acupuncture!
Make Your Pain go Away!
Call Now for an Appointment: (309) 764.4753
Posted by: Scott Stewart, MSAc., Dipl.Ac., LAc.
Millions of people in America suffer from hypothyroidism and don’t even know it, because their doctor has missed the diagnosis as a result of not ordering the correct lab work. The majority of physicians opt to follow a subminimal protocol when ordering labs, and in the case of the thyroid, this only includes looking at thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), which is a hormone produced in the pituitary.
Unfortunately, this is not enough to make a diagnosis of hypothyroid, because a patient’s TSH can be in the normal range in hypothyroid cases that involve under conversion of T4 (thyroxine) into the bioactive thyroid hormone T3 (triiodothyronine); the majority of which is metabolized in periphery.
What exactly is conversion?
The thyroid gland itself produces very little T4 and T3, in fact, 90% of what the thyroid releases is in the form of T4, which is converted into T3 (10xs more potent than T4) in peripheral tissues like the liver, kidneys, heart, brain, etc. This means that about 80% of the active thyroid hormone (T3) is produced outside the thyroid gland itself, with most of this taking place in the liver. When certain enzymes (iodine, tyrosine, glutathione, selenium, zinc, etc.) act on T4 it’s converted into bioactive T3, which is then pushed onto the receptor by vitamin D; of which many Americans are deficient.
What does thyroid hormone do?
What are some of the main causes of under conversion?
In my experience, under conversion in the American population is caused by a combination of factors that stem from the American lifestyle and the Standard American Diet (SAD diet). Contributing factors include:
Why Free T4 and Free T3 have to be tested?
Total T4 and Total T3 are not accurate indicators of how much of the hormone is availablefor the body to use, because they are bound to protein in the blood.
In contrast, Free T4 and Free T3 are not bound to any proteins, and therefore can be utilized by the body.
What should be tested and what are the optimal health ranges?
The only way to make an accurate assessment is to order a complete thyroid panel, which includes not only TSH, but also Free T4 and Free T3; all of which must be tested together, NOT SEPARATELY, since they are all relative to one another and can fluctuate due to certain variables.
For patients who have a history of autoimmune symptoms it is strongly recommended to also test for antibodies:
Take your health into your own hands! Go to DirectLabs.com and order THE CORRECT tests for thyroid, as part of a general check-up, or to monitor existing thyroid disorders.
The thyroid panel is on sale this month for $99, you still have 5 days left to take advantage of this great offer! Direct Labs uses Quest Diagnostics on Jersey Ridge Road in Bettendorf, Iowa.
If you need test results interpreted, please give a call and set up an appointment to evaluate this particular test ($25). This can be done in the office, by phone or email.
Healing Lotus Acupuncture
4300 12th Ave
Posted by: Scott Stewart, MSAc., LAc., Dipl.Ac.
Don’t be one of those stubborn people who decide to wait and see if their cold or flu symptoms go away after a day or two, because most likely they won’t.
As soon as you feel any symptoms, that’s your cue to come in to the clinic and get an acupuncture treatment and an herbal formula designed specifically for colds and flu symptoms.
What does acupuncture do?
7 easy habits to prevent colds & flu
1. Wash your hands regularly – Always use soap and water to reduce surface germs on the hands. Also, don’t rub your eyes or pick your nose, these habits introduce pathogens into the system.
2. Eat healthy – Stay away from the standard American diet (SAD Diet). Eat organic whole foods, lots of vegetables (6 servings / day) and fruit (3 servings / day). Avoid high fructose corn syrup, processed foods, sugary foods, and try to eat your last meal before 6pm.
3. Stay hydrated – Our bodies need water to moisten tissues and to keep electrolytes in balance.
4. Exercise - Regular exercise improves the immune system and improves circulation.
Get plenty of quality sleep.
5. Keep stress levels low - Make sure you have healthy ways to manage stress when it occurs.
6. Get acupuncture treatments as a preventative measure to maintain your health. Every month or every other month is strongly recommended.
7. Supplement with Herbs - Talk to your acupuncturist about herbal formulas to give your immune system an extra boost prior to cold & flu season. It makes all the difference in the world!
What to take?
Two great formulas to have in your medicine cabinet for the cold & flu season are: Loncera Complex and Respitrol (Cold). The instant you start feeling any symptoms is when you want to start taking the formula, which will push the invading pathogen out of your body and prevent it from going deeper into your system and making you sicker over time. The deeper the pathogen goes, the longer it takes to recover.
Lonicera Complex is based on an ancient herbal formula that has been used for centuries for external invasion of wind-heat type colds with the following symptoms: high fever, sweating, slight aversion to wind, aversion to heat, sore throat, thick - yellow nasal discharge, cough with thick - yellow phlegm, dry mouth, thirst, thin – yellow tongue coat, and rapid floating pulse.
This formula has the following actions:
Respitrol (Cold) is a special combination of herbs used in cases of external invasion of wind – cold, which produces such symptoms as: aversion to cold, absence of sweating, absence of fever or a low – grade fever, nasal congestion, sneezing with clear nasal discharge, cough with thin – white / clear phlegm, thin – white tongue coat, and a floating – tense pulse.
This formula has the following actions:
Both of these formulas are available in our clinic, as well as, herbal formulas and pharmaceutical grade supplements that boost the immune system.
Give us a call to set – up an appointment at: (309) 764.4753.
Stop by and visit our clinic store at:
Healing Lotus Acupuncture
(inside Moline Chiropractic Clinic)
4300 12th Ave
Posted by: Scott Stewart, MSAc., Dipl.Ac., LAc.
Both chronic and acute shoulder pain are common complaints in the clinic. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that shoulder pain is easily treated with acupuncture, which has been proven more effective than conventional medicine, and most importantly, does not produce the side-effects that Western medicine does.
This past June, a joint study by Chinese Universities and the University of Maryland conducted a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to determine the effects of contralateral manual acupuncture on chronic shoulder pain.
Patients with chronic shoulder pain were divided into two groups. Group 1 received contralateral acupuncture for 4 weeks, and group 2 was placed on a waiting list for acupuncture, but received orthopedic therapy for 4 weeks.
Patients reported their pain levels before and after the study, and also took a health survey prior to and after the 4 week period.
The results of the RCT indicated that contralateral acupuncture for chronic shoulder pain significantly reduced pain scores and improved shoulder mobility.
Call for a Free Phone Consultation: (309) 764.4753
It is a well-established fact that chronic pain causes changes in brain connectivity between specific regions in the brain that are associated with increased attention to pain, emotional rumination, nociceptive memory and avoidance learning.
In a recent Harvard Medical School study, based on this research, clinicians found that repeated verum (true) acupuncture compared to sham acupuncture was able to restore balance in connectivity between the dysregulated brain regions associated with pain.
In other studies, acupuncture has been found to more efficacious, produces longer lasting results, and more cost-effective than conventional medicine in the treatment of pain.
Also see chronic low-back pain
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Posted by: Scott Stewart, MSAc., Dipl.Ac., LAc.
An interesting study came out of Australia this past year that investigated G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), which are usually found in the oral & nasal cavities, and associated with bitter taste receptors (Tas2r).
In this ongoing study, researchers discovered the presence of 12 taste receptors that respond to bitter compounds (Tas2r) in both mouse and human heart tissue.(1) Dr. Foster, who originally discovered the receptors as a Phd student at the university of Queensland stated, "This is quite remarkable, as the human genome only has 25 of these bitter taste receptors, and we wanted to find out why half of them were located in the heart."(2) This new research has the potential for developing new therapies for cardiovascular disease.
What does this have to do with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)?
In TCM theory, there is a specific taste associated with each organ. The sweet taste goes with the spleen, pungent is paired with the Lungs, salty with the kidneys, sour with the Liver, and you guessed it, bitter goes with the Heart.
To make this even more interesting, the Chinese character for bitter is kŭ (苦) and is often translated as; misery, miserable, suffering, pain, painful, hard, bitter or bitterness.(3) According to Giovanni Maciocia, the Chinese character has an emotional implication related to “bitter” life experiences. He goes on to say that, frequently a Chinese patient complaining of a bitter taste hides some deep emotional scar related to a “bitter” life experience . . .(4)
In the clinic, when a bitter taste in the mouth is associated with the heart, the patient often experiences this in the morning after a sleepless night. They will often have a red tongue tip (area of the tongue related to the heart), a midline crack that extends towards the tip of the tongue, thin yellow coating or a dry tongue coating that may be peeling in areas; rapid and forceful pulse or one that is rapid and thready.
These patients often report suffering from insomnia, restlessness and anxiety. This pattern represents Heart fire and is usually seen in patients with emotional problems such as: resentment, jealousy, guilt, and frustration.
Slowly, but surely, Western medicine is catching up with the hundreds of years of clinical experience of TCM. This study highlights just one of a plethora of secrets that TCM has to reveal through modern day technological advancements that allow us to gain a better understanding of how the amazing human organism functions.
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