A team of Japanese researchers revealed study results at the Experimental Biology 2012 meeting that show how acupuncture therapy mitigates skeletal muscle loss and holds promise for those seeking improved mobility through muscle rejuvenation.
Vitamins are more than just little pills to pop; they are the building blocks and support system of our bodies. Well-rounded, healthy diets can provide all a growing body needs, but the reality of our busy lifestyles and sometimes finicky eating patterns can lead to vitamin deficiency. Knowing what to look for is part of the battle. The following signs of vitamin deficiency in children are by no means complete, but it will give you a good idea of potential problems. Signs your child lacks Vitamin D Vitamin D deficiency in children is a common problem. My niece was recently diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency after exhibiting some puzzling symptoms. Signs that your child is not producing enough include late teething, irritability, poor growth, and muscle cramps. Seizures and breathing difficulties could also be traced back to insufficient vitamin D.
Combat vitamin D deficiency with exposure to sunlight, milk, cheese, yogurt, and egg yolks.
Signs your child lacks Vitamin A Vitamin A deficiency can lead to serious vision problems. In children a vitamin A deficiency can start to show up as tiredness, hair loss, weakness, and weight loss. Other symptoms include dry eyes, scaling of the skin, and respiratory infections.
Combat vitamin A deficiency by ensuring children eat plenty of yellow-orange vegetables such as carrots, yams, and squash, as well as eggs and cheese.
Signs your child lacks vitamin B 12 Deficiencies in vitamin B 12 in children shows itself in a wide variety of ways. Specifically, vitamin B 12 greatly influences the nervous system and affects the functions of the brain and heart. Signs your child lacks the proper amount of vitamin B 12 include abdominal pain, edema, weakness, insomnia, and they may begin to lose their voice.
Signs your child lacks vitamin B 6 Manifestations of a vitamin B 6 deficiency in children include diarrhea, anemia, weakness, irritability, and seizures. Researchers have also pointed to a lack of vitamin B 6 as the culprit behind inattention, impulsiveness, hyperactivity, temper tantrums, and other inappropriate behaviors.
Combat vitamin B deficiencies by offering a wide variety of meat, chicken, fish, nuts, eggs, milk, cheese, beans. Vegans and Vegetarians should look into supplementation in order to maintain a healthy amount of vitamin B.
Signs your child lacks vitamin C Easy bruising is one sign that your child is not getting enough vitamin C. Additionally they may experience joint pain, have dry skin, and poor appetite. Frequent nose bleeds, infections, and illness can also be traced back to a vitamin C deficiency.
Combat vitamin C deficiency by providing plenty of opportunities to eat a wide variety of citrus fruit, strawberries, tomatoes, kiwi, and green vegetables like broccoli.
While the problems caused by vitamin deficiencies are shocking, it is important to note that excessive amounts of vitamins taken in supplement form can be toxic to the body. If you suspect any of these signs point to a deficiency, check with your physician before administering extra vitamins to your child to avoid an overdose.
Joanne Mc Govern – Dip Ac., Lic Ac., Dip. Chinese Herbs, Dip. Nutritional Adviser, Dip Stress Management.
Psoriasis is a noncontagious skin condition that produces red, dry plaques of thickened skin. The dry flakes and skin scales are thought to result from the rapid proliferation of skin cells that is triggered by abnormal lymphocytes from the blood . Psoriasis commonly affects the skin of the elbows, knees, and scalp.
TYPES OF PSORIARIS
The most common form of psoriasis, plaque psoriasis, affects eighty percent of all psoriasis sufferers. Its symptoms are the “classic ” psoriasis symptoms: patches of raised, inflamed red skin covered by silver-colored scales. The scales are actually dead skin cells that build up on the surface of the psoriatic inflammation. Over time, the scales flake off, revealing the red skin beneath, and new scales form. In black Americans these psoriatic plaques are often the same color as the skin.
Although a special psoriasis diet is debatable, studies have shown that certain nutrients and minerals are a great help in the management of the disease and there are certainly some foods to avoid for the prevention of the attack.
Researchers have 5 major nutrient recommendations to include in your psoriasis diet. These are:
TCM AND PSORIARIS
Definition? Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that is characterized by elevated, red, inflamed patches that are sometimes covered with silver scales. Often there is itching, pain, and burning sensation as well. Psoriasis can happen anywhere on the body but most commonly on the knees, elbows, and scalp. Psoriasis tends to affect men and women equally and although it can affect all age groups, it primarily affects adults.
Possible causes? In western medicine, the possible causes of psoriasis are still not clear but the following are a few possibilities that scientists have come up with:
- Autoimmune condition: In psoriasis, a type of white blood cell, called a T-cell, are put into action by mistake and become so active that they can trigger other immune responses, which lead to inflammation and rapid turnover of skin cells. This means that skin cells quickly rise from their origin below the surface of the skin and pile up on the surface before they have a chance to mature. Usually this takes about a month in the average person, but in psoriasis, it may only take a few days.
- Family history: one-third of cases; Researchers have identified genes linked to the disease after studying a large number of families affected by psoriasis.
- Emotional stress
- Skin damage
- Cold weather or changes in climate
- Physical illness
- Some medications including lithium, quinidine, and those that treat high blood pressure and inflammation can trigger an outbreak or worsen psoriasis
Biomedical treatment? Doctors treat psoriasis based on the severity of the disease, size of the areas involved, and type of psoriasis, and the patient’s response to initial treatments. This is called the “1-2-3″ approach. In step 1, topical medications are used. In step 2, light treatments are used (phototherapy). In step 3, oral medications or injections that treat the whole immune system are used (called systemic therapy). Over time, affected skin can become resistant to treatment and will no longer work, especially when topical steroids are used. Also, many psoriasis patients say that they have either not yet found a treatment that really works or they are afraid of the adverse reactions they will have to the medications.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for Psoriasis? In my practice, I see many patients with psoriasis. In most cases, the patient has tried every ointment or medication without success and is seeking an alternative. In the initial visit, I ask the patient many detailed questions and talk with them about the course of treatment. Chinese herbal medicine is my first treatment of choice but quite commonly I will also recommend acupuncture once per week. In all cases, I advise them regarding their diet and supplement intake.
In TCM theory, the skin lesions of psoriasis is mainly caused by an excess of “heat” which can manifest as blood-dryness, heat in the blood, blood stasis, damp-heat, or fire and toxic-heat. The “heat” is often resulting from pathogenic wind entering the body and invading the yin and blood. Also, Qi (energy) and blood obstruction throughout the body due to stress for example, can result in heat accumulation. Liver and Kidney weakness may also lead to the deficiency-type psoriasis. The TCM approach to psoriasis is to differentiate the syndrome and decide on what the underlying cause is. The aim of TCM is to result in a permanent solution after treating the root cause of the illness.
How fast can you see results? The results of TCM treatment will vary depending on each case, although most patients notice visual changes within 1 – 4 weeks. It is very important that patients comply with all treatment requirements for maximum effectiveness including nutritional changes, stress-relief exercises etc.
Nutritional Therapy for Psoriasis? In my practice, the nutritional recommendations I give are detailed and customized for the individual patient. However, the following are just some general therapies for all people suffering from psoriasis:
- Omega 3 essential fatty acids – may reduce inflammation, lubricate skin, and regulate prostaglandins (2000mg per day)
- Zinc (25mg per day
- Folic acid (1mg per day)
- Quercetin (500mg three times per day before meals)
- Avoid red meat, dairy products, and simple refined sugars
- Avoid acidic foods like tomatoes, citrus foods, eggplant, and coffee
- Avoid highly allergic foods such as corn, wheat, eggs
- Avoid alcohol and smoking
Research study: Acupuncture for Psoriasis 61 cases of psoriasis were treated with acupuncture, including 25 patients with complications of joint involvement, and two cases of scleroderma additionally. All of the patients had failed to respond to their western medical treatments. 25 patients were males and 36 were females. Their ages ranged from 22 to 84 years, with an average of about 52 years. Most of them (about 61%) had quite extensive involvement of the body. The average duration of their illness was over 16 years, ranging from 2 to 65 years.
They received an average of about 9 acupuncture sessions.
With the acupuncture treatment, about one-half (30) of the 61 patients had complete or almost complete clearance of the skin lesions. About a quarter (14 patients) of them had a clearance of about two-thirds of the skin lesions. Eight of them had a clearance of one-third of the skin lesions. Only nine patients had minimal improvement. This indicates that acupuncture is an effective therapeutic modality for psoriasis, particularly when the western conventional treatment was ineffective
On your first visit a detailed assessment is carried out. This includes Chinese tongue pulse and facial diagnoses, past and current medical history, nutrition diet and lifestyle assessment. We also check for food intolerances/allergies. Allergies and food intolerances can cause symptoms including, rash, itch, inflammation, irritation, toxic overload, bowel and digestive upset low immune system, nutritional deficiencies, organ and system imbalances, raised PH levels and chronic fatigue. This can lead to illness or trigger existing conditions. The testing used is non-invasive and pain free. It incorporates Chinese medicine, bio-resonance muscle testing and Nutrition therapy
We test for a wide variety of foods, chemicals, and airborne substances We also check for nutritional deficiencies, organ imbalances, and toxins, PH/ acid balance, intestinal flora and the immune system. Depending on the diagnoses, a treatment plan will then be advised for you. This may involve exclusion diet, acupuncture / needle free acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, nutrition diet and lifestyle changes. Any exclusion diet will be fully explained and include recommendations for alternative foods. All consultations are strictly private and by appointment only.
Joanne Mc Govern – Dip Ac., Lic Ac., Dip. Chinese Herbs, Dip. Nutritional
Advisor, Dip Stress Management.
Chinese medicine improves blood cell count in Cancer patients
For many women period pains are the bane of their existence. At least one day per month, they find themselves laid up, coping with pain that ranges anywhere from mildly inconvenient to borderline unbearable. They have accepted this unfortunate pattern as unavoidable, their penance for opting against birth-control pills. It doesn’t have to be this way. Women really can have their cake and eat it too: Acupuncture gets rid of menstrual cramps once and for all, no Pill required.
Acupuncture and the management of dysmenorrhea pain/painful periods:
In a controlled test over a year, a group of women were split into 4 groups. Only group 1 were given acupuncture for dysmenorrhea pain. 90.9% of group 1 showed a reduction in pain. Conclusion: Acupuncture can help to reduce pain in primary dysmennorrhea.
Acute pain, which often starts quickly, may be caused by an infection, accident or surgery. Chronic pain, on its part, could be the result of a specific condition and often fails to diminish with conventional therapies. Even the passage of time fails to overcome it. Whether acute or chronic, pain is a warning sign that something is wrong.
Help is however available through acupuncture.
Do you suffer from high BP??
Acupuncture in military medicine is a growing phenomenon
researched by Joanne Mc Govern – Dip Ac., Lic Ac., Dip. Chinese Herbs, Dip. Nutritional Advisor, Dip Stress Management.
Chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS, is a condition that causes severe feelings of tiredness. It is not known how many people live with CFS, but one study in the US estimated the number to be between 75 and 265 people for every 100,000 in the general population. CFS is observed in women far more than in men. However, it may be that women are more likely to seek help and report their symptoms more often than men. The condition varies a great deal and can last several months, or it can persist for more than a decade.symptoms may include
Poor concentration Short-term memory problems Joint and muscle pain Flu-like symptoms,Tender lymph nodes Headache Word-finding problems Impairment of speech Blurring,Sensitivity to light, sound or odours, Depression Diarrhoea and/or constipation, Irritability, Anxiety, Panic attacks, Personality changes, Mood swings, Dizziness, Sensitivity to heat and/or cold, Irregular heartbeat, Chest pains, Ringing in the ears, Muscle twitching.
Other factors known to increase a person’s risk of developing CFS include
An overworked, “stressed immune system caused by recent acute illness, chronic health problems, emotional factors (anxiety, depression), and/or poor nutrition. Exposure to certain environmental pollutants and contaminants.High levels of oxidative damage caused by free radical exposure. Uncontrolled, chronic inflammation within the body caused by toxicity, leaky gut, poor diet, autoimmunity or allergies. Extreme and/or prolonged emotional stress.
There are numerous disorders associated with CFS, eg Lupus, and Fybromyalgia,
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and TCM
As with all diseases, the TCM approach to CFS is individualised to each patient; treatment begins with a detailed consultation in which the therapist discusses all aspects of a patient’s health, takes their pulse and looks at the tongue which can provide a wealth of information about the inner workings of the body. This enables the therapist to come to some understanding of how the patient’s Qi is impaired and how to redress their natural inner balance.
Often CFS patients are suffering from what is known in TCM as a ‘Retained Pathogen’. This is an originally external pathogen which has invaded the body and is lurking inside. ‘Pathogen’ here means an energetic entity which blocks the free flow of Qi; this is something more subtle than the western concepts of bacteria or virus, although it may well come along with them. It is conceptualised by analogy with climatic factors; just as extreme weather inhibits natural processes outside, so pathogens have the same effect in the body.
The patient may or may not have experienced acute symptoms when the pathogen invaded, and although any symptoms will have abated, the pathogen has not been expelled. This might be due to not taking time to recover properly after the illness, to constitutional weakness, or to exposure to damaging climatic conditions. It may also be due to the use of antibiotics, which kill the bacteria but trap the pathogen.
This retained pathogen is typically ‘Damp’ and/or ‘Heat’. Damp in TCM refers to a build up of bodily fluids which are not metabolised and circulated properly. It causes heaviness, lethargy, poor concentration and dull headaches. It can easily interfere with the digestion, leading to symptoms such as bloating and weight gain. Damp is difficult to move – hence the chronic nature of CFS – and it often combines with Heat which can interfere with sleep patterns, and cause symptoms such as excess sweating and a sore throat.
In this situation treatment will aim to ‘drain’ Damp from the body and clear Heat if necessary. This will involve the use of acupuncture points specific to these tasks as well as herbal therapy if appropriate. Appropriate dietary choices will be encouraged; certain foods can help to clear Damp or Heat, whilst others can exacerbate the symptoms.DOES DIET MATTER?
Diet can be a huge part of CFS. All aspects of the diet needs to be examined. This includes, food intolerance’s, nutritional deficiencies, poor eating habits, and weather nutrition and energy are being absorbed from the foods your eating.
Foods such as white bread, white pasta, white potatoes and rice are rated high on the glycemic index. When these types of food are eaten in abundance and often, they tend to elicit a state of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Symptoms of hypoglycemia include fatigue, moodiness and mental fogginess. Selecting lower glycemic index grains such as whole grains that have not been refined (e.g., kamut, spelt or 100 per cent whole wheat), sweet potatoes and brown rice will help to keep your energy up and weight down. As a general rule, check the nutrition facts label — a good bread will contain 2 to 3 grams of fibre per slice.
Not only is green tea loaded with antioxidants and a terrific addition to any weight-loss program, it also contains natural caffeine that fights fatigue, as it mimics the same feelings you get from coffee. Looking to quit or decrease your morning java? Turn to some delicious green tea to avoid coffee withdrawals and keep energy up.Eating the right amount of protein helps to balance blood sugar, which in turn avoids energy fluctuations. Optimal sources of protein are those that are lower in saturated fat, such as low-fat dairy products (yogurt, cottage cheese, low-fat cheese), chicken, fish, turkey, soy and egg whites. On average, men need approximately 5 to 7 ounces of protein per meal while women need approximately 4 to 6 ounces of protein per meal. For an approximate measurement technique, the palm of your hand (without fingers or thumb) is equivalent to 3 ounces of protein.When selecting your foods, try to make your plate look as colourful as a pack of Crayola markers. Nature is very wise and has made our healthiest food — loaded with nutrients and vitamins — bright and beautiful. Tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, broccoli, sweet potatoes, carrots, oranges and spinach are just a few of the nutritional superstars that will leave you feeling full of life. iron There are two sources of iron in food:One is found in iron-enriched cereal, dark green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and some dried fruit. The other is found in red meats.
There are numerous causes to this condition. Some are not known. It is therefore imperitive to look at all aspects. Diet, Lifestyle, Nutrition Levels, Stress, food intolerances, etc
Depending on the results, a treatment plan will be advised for you. This may involve exclusion diet (for allergies / intolerances ) acupuncture / needle free acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, nutrition diet and lifestyle changes.
Any exclusion diet will be fully explained and include recommendations for alternative foods. All consultations are strictly private and by appointment
Joanne Mc Govern – Dip Ac., Lic Ac., Dip. Chinese Herbs, Dip. Nutritional Advisor, Dip Stress Management.
Researchers conclude that acupuncture is beneficial for the treatment of vascular dementia. Vascular dementia is caused by brain damage due to impaired blood flow to the brain. This is common after a stroke or a series of mini-strokes. Any condition that damages blood vessels that feed oxygen and nutrients to the brain may cause vascular dementia.
The study compared scalp acupuncture with standard body acupuncture. In this multi-center randomized controlled clinical trial, 184 subjects with vascular dementia due to Liver and Kidney deficiency received either scalp acupuncture or body acupuncture. The scalp acupuncture group showed significantly greater improvements in cognition than the body style acupuncture group. Social behavior scores improved significantly in both hthe body style and scalp acupuncture groups. TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) differential diagnostic conditions improved significantly in both acupuncture groups as did the ADL (Activities of Daily Living) score. Overall, scalp acupuncture received higher improvement scores due to its ability to improve cognition. The researchers concluded that scalp acupuncture substantially improves the overall condition of patients with vascular dementia including cognition, activities of daily living, TCM signs and symptoms, mental state and social behavior.
Joanne Mc Govern – Dip Ac., Lic Ac., Dip. Chinese Herbs, Dip. Nutritional Advisor, Dip Stress Management Consultant.