Want to Lose Weight? Get More Sleep

Want to lose weight? Include getting enough sleep into your diet and exercise plan say the studies. Too many of us don't get enough sleep, instead relying on (cups?, pots of?) coffee to get through the day. Lack of sleep causes lots of health problems: lower immunity (get sick easier), reduced ability to handle stress, decreased cognitive function, increased irritability - basically the body is too tired to function optimally. As Elizabeth Gilbert analogizes in Eat, Pray, Love (#22, p66) overworked soil needs a fallow season. Likewise the overworked body (which all of us stressed out Westerners have) needs rest. If we don't get it, we eat more (esp. carbs and sugar) to get the energy our bodies need, and hence gain weight. Studies cited in this…

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Duke University Uses Acupuncture Anesthesia During Surgery

NBC video ran an interesting report about Duke University's use of acupuncture anesthesia during surgery. Duke has a large, respected integrative medicine department, and I'm always pleased to learn what comes out of it. Acupuncture anesthesia has been used in China for many years. Needles are put in the ear and at various points on the body. In his 1980's 4 part PBS special "Healing in the Mind", Bill Moyer devoted one segment to China, showing an open heart surgery using acupuncture for part of the anesthesia. Typically 30-50% less anesthesia is used. In the video, the patient is lucid and incredibly able to talk and answer basic questions (name, where are you, what is happening) during surgery. A screen was up below his head so that…

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Wall Street Journal Gives Acupuncture the Green Light

This week's Wall Street Journal features a much awaited article praising acupuncture and hypothesizing how it might work from a western scientific point of view.http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704841304575137872667749264.htmlIt also includes a couple of 2 minute videos showing an acupuncture treatment:http://online.wsj.com/video/testing-acupuncture/C66816BC-2110-402B-B254-61668040B9D0.htmlAnd another discussing acupuncture, what it does and how it might work:http://online.wsj.com/video/news-hub-unraveling-acupuncture/9505EDF3-A422-42F0-94A5-B930E3999267.htmlThis is a favorable article about acupuncture, discussing it's value and a few of it's uses. For a larger list of many of the conditions acupuncture effectively treats, please visit the Resources of my website www.AcupunctureAsheville.com KB

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Beat the Winter Blues

This has been quite a winter in Asheville. I've been hearing many complaints about all the snow, cold and cloudy weather, and about how everyone is ready for spring. It's almost here. Personally, I've enjoyed this winter, and all the snow and cold. I've used this as a time to stay indoors, and enjoy yin activities, such as taking long Epsom salt baths (so soothing on aching muscles, backs and joints), reading and meditation. Often I combine all 3: reading and meditating in the bath tub: delicious. And when I say a long bath, I mean several hours. I fall asleep and wake up because the tub's cold.Another precaution I've taken to guard against the winter blues is to change out all my light bulbs in my…

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Acupuncture Reduces Treatment Side-Effects in Breast Cancer Patients

Here's another study showing the benefits of acupuncture in supporting breast cancer patients in comparison to those on drug therapy. The chemo drugs typically cause hot flashes for women being treated for breast cancer. To address the hot flashes, the women are given another drug, Venlafaxine (Effexor) which also has side effects. So Dr. Eleanor Walker and her team decided to study acupuncture's effect in treating hot flashes for breast cancer patients.The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, found that the acupuncture and drug group had similar results in reduction of symptoms (mainly hot flashes and depression are noted here) during treatment. But the post treatment follow-up is where it gets interesting. The drug patients symptoms returned within two weeks from when they stopped taking…

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Study Shows Yoga Practice Reduces Inflamation Associated with Age Related Diseases

Those who have been following by blog know that I am a yogini: a female yogi, or yoga practitioner. As such, this study demonstrating the benefits of yoga in reducing inflammation, stress and aging caught my eye. I thought others would find it interesting, too. This study looked at yoga, but i believe similar results and benefits would be found with tai qi and qi gong (literally 'qi work' or energy work/cultivation: yoga is a qi gong exercise). I recently ran across some old "Yoga Journal" articles showing the benefits of restorative yoga for chronic illness, AIDS and auto immune disorders. Restorative yoga are relaxation poses requiring little to no muscle work, so that one lies in the pose for an extended period of time (5-10min. The…

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How Chinese Medicine Treats Autoimmune Disorders

Here's an interesting paper written by a CA practitioner about how Chinese Medicine addresses autoimmune disorders, particularly chemical sensitivities. KBAutoimmune Disorders, Multiple Chemical Sensitivitiesand Chinese Medicineby Matt Van Benschoten, O.M.D., L.Ac.https://elotus.org/lotus_2010/downloads/articles/2010/article_02_0107_Matt_Final.html____________________________________________________________________About the AuthorDr. Van Benschoten is a graduate of the California Acupuncture College of Los Angeles, with 28 years of clinical, research, and teaching experience in acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and medical Qi Gong. He is the author of more than fifty papers on acupoint diagnostic methods, chronic fatigue syndrome, AIDS, autoimmune disease, breast cancer, mercury toxicity, and indoor mold exposure. His clinical practice focuses on multi-drug resistant infections, immune dysfunction, and environmental illness.

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Dietary Basics: Do's and Don'ts

This is the one year anniversary of my blog. I began this blog at New Year's last year with a popular post about yoga practices and lifestyle suggestions for health and longevity (see January '09 archives). The response encouraged me to continue blogging, and i discovered that i enjoyed it: averaging 4-6 posts/month. Readership has increased throughout the year and I've attracted a few comments and followers. I'm pleased to learn that there is an audience interested in my point of view.Like most of the world, I've been in slow gear this past week+, working a reduced clinic schedule. I've been using the leisure time to rest and watch old movies, a yin activity for winter solstice.Today I've picked up a book that's been on my shelf…

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Vinegar & Acids Help Lower Blood Sugar

The "Really?" column in today's Science Times (NY Times) reports on studies showing that including vinegar in a meal will help lower blood sugar. One Italian studies showed including vinegar as salad dressing with a meal that includes bread and other carbs will reduce blood sugar by 30%. The results were verified in another study by the American Diabetes Association. You can check the results yourself by eating 2 identical carb meals. With one, add 2 teaspoons vinegar with the other do not use vinegar. Check your blood sugar after each meal, and see if there's a drop in the meal eaten with vinegar.The author's of the ADA study concluded that: The data indicates that vinegar can significantly improve postprandial insulin sensitivity in insulin-resistant subjects. Acetic acid…

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Studies Show Meditation Reduces Heart Attacks, Strokes & Hypertension

Two recent studies have demonstrated that meditation reduces heart attacks, strokes and hypertension. Many past studies have shown health benefits of meditation, including decreased depression, anxiety and improved sleep and ability to handle stress. These two studied the effects of the Transcendental Meditation technique. I have posted the NY Times report about the studies and abstracts of them below.Here's a little bit about TM from Wikipedia:The Transcendental Meditation technique, or TM technique is a form of mantra meditation introduced in India in 1955[1][2][3][4] by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1917-2008).[5] It is reported to be the most widely researched and one of the most widely practiced meditation techniques in the world today.[6][7][8][9] Taught in a standardized seven-step course by certified teachers, the technique involves the use of a sound…

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