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Healthy Foods for Fall

traditional chinese medicine foods for fall

The season of fall brings cooler weather and shorter days. As with any season, the world adjusts accordingly. Plants begin to go dormant, animals begin scrounging for food to store to get them through the upcoming winter months and humans start winterizing everything.

As fall descends on the land, it reminds us we need to start cutting back on the numerous cooling foods that are consumed during the summer months. Things like raw foods, salads, juices and fruits should be decreased because they can create too much cold in the body, according to traditional Chinese medicine. continue reading »

Five Reasons to Get Acupuncture for Low Back Pain

Statistics show eight out of 10 people will experience low back pain at some point during their life. Seeking medical treatment for back pain is very common. Typically back pain is fleeting and can be easily resolved with rest, heat and an occasional anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen. However, once the damage is done, the recurrence of back pain can be as high as 50 percent. Part of this is because as we age, things like muscles and tendons become less flexible and pliable. It is also very well known in the United States, people are too sedentary and this leads to excess weight gain that can create added pressure on the body, especially the low back. continue reading »

6 Tips To Reduce Your Blood Pressure

Affecting one in three adults, high blood pressure is one of the most common health issues in America and most often the result of busy schedules and high-stress jobs. Sometimes it can be hard to slow down, however, addressing high blood pressure is very important to improving overall health and quality of life. Below are natural ways that can help lower your blood pressure.

Work less
Working less hours is one of the hardest commitments for Americans for multiple reasons. According to a study done by the University of California, Irvine, those who worked more than 41 hours a week had an increased risk of hypertension by 15 percent. Try to stick to 40 hours a week in the office. Take advantage of those vacations days when you can, you deserve it!

Drink less caffeine
A study done by Duke University Medical Center found that consuming around three cups of coffee has a lasting effect on blood pressure. Caffeine tightens blood vessels, which results in an increase in blood pressure. When caffeine increases blood flow, it magnifies the feelings of stress you are probably already feeling. Try to cut down on the coffee and turn to decaf.

Tune in
Researchers at the University of Florence in Italy found that listening to calming music for 30 minutes daily can help lower blood pressure. Listeners who practiced this daily ontop of deep breathing lowered their average systolic reading by 3.2 points. Taking the time every day to listen to music and relax is simple and effective.

Acupuncture
Acupuncture is an effective natural treatment for hypertension. Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that when one has high blood pressure, the body is out of balance. Acupuncture works to relax the body and mind and return the body’s natural energy flow back to balance. TCM believes the Liver and Kidney organs are associated with high blood pressure and focuses on these acupuncture points to relieve stress.

Massage therapy
Massage therapy is well known for reducing stress and hypertension. A study done at the Wirral Metropolitan College Department of Medicine found that patients experienced less muscle tension and a lower heart rate after massage therapy treatment. Massage is non invasive and not only relaxes the body, but the mind as well.

Lowering your blood pressure is not something that happens overnight. Sticking to a healthy diet and exercise plan and finding a natural treatment that works for you can help you get back on the road to health and reduce stress and hypertension.

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6 Healthy Foods For The Heart

Changing the way you eat is one of the best ways to improve heart health. By making an active choice to improve your lifestyle, you can see your heart health improve greatly as well. Below are superfoods to incorporate into your diet.

Salmon
Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help decrease the risk of an irregular heartbeat, lower plaque build-up in the arteries and decrease triglycerides, the main type of fat in our bodies. It is recommended by the American Heart Association to eat salmon or other fatty fish at least twice a week.

Potatoes
Believe it or not, potatoes can be very beneficial for heart health. Potatoes are packed with potassium and fiber, which can help lower blood pressure and risk for heart disease. As long as they are not fried, potatoes can be a great food option.

Nuts
You can’t go wrong with nuts. Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, peanuts and macadamia nuts are rich with fiber and vitamin E, which helps lower cholesterol. Don’t be skeptical by the high fat content of nuts, those who eat nuts regularly have been shown to be leaner than those who don’t. Walnuts among other nuts also contain high amount of omega-3 fatty acids.

Green Vegetables
There are many benefits to vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and kale. These vegetables can especially help your heart because of the high amounts of vitamins, minerals and carotenoids, which act as an antioxidant. Including green vegetables into your diet every day not only can improve overall health but give the heart a boost.

Avocado
Avocados are packed with monounsaturated fats that can help lower the risk of heart disease and help control cholesterol levels. This fruit is also rich in antioxidants and potassium, making it a superfood that can be easily incorporated into meals.

Oatmeal
Oatmeal is not only practical and affordable, but high in soluble fiber, which can help lower cholesterol. Choose oatmeal or plain oats with no added sugar. Make sure to be especially careful with instant oatmeal, which a lot of times contains added ingredients.

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The Heart According to TCM

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the heart can be considered the most important organ in the body. All other organs connect to the heart and help the heart function as best it can. According to TCM, regulated blood circulation depends on the heart’s energy flow, or Qi. When the heart does not have enough Qi and is deficient in Yang, it can result in poor blood circulation, weak pulse, palpitations and chest pain.

A Heart Yang deficiency is associated with coldness. When Yang is not in balance, circulation slows resulting in extreme coldness and a pale face. A Yin deficiency happens when one is overworked and does not give the body and mind a chance to slow down. Fatigue and anxiety are symptoms of a Yin imbalance.

Imbalances in the heart can result in many other issues as well. When one is stressed, a domino effect happens in the body. The liver’s function decreases when the body is in high stress, therefore it cannot support the heart.

According to TCM, the heart is also the source of consciousness and thinking. When one’s blood circulation is in balance, their thought processes and mental activities function well. If the heart’s energy is deficient, one can experience anxiety, insomnia and restlessness.

TCM believes that acupuncture treatment can reduce stress and return the heart to health. When one is consistently stressed, there is an increased level in adrenaline and cortisol due to a raised blood pressure. When these stress hormones increase in the body, one is more susceptible to blood clots and a risk of heart attack.

Acupuncture works by lowering the body’s blood pressure and heart rate, which then can lower cortisol and adrenaline levels. Specific acupuncture points are used on the body to relax the mind and address problems like hypertension and symptoms of heart disease.

Acupuncture works by addressing the body as a whole. When there is an imbalance in the heart, acupuncture points work to return the body back to its normal energy flow, which improves the function of the organs.

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