Category Archives: Blog

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Spring Clean Your Diet

Category : Blog

Spring Clean Your Diet

Spring is here and naturally many of us feel compelled to do a deep clean at home and start new. This year, try putting your Spring Cleaning fever to use on your diet, a powerful way to springboard towards your health goals. Here are our best simple tips for spring cleaning your diet to cover all the bases of your everyday life:

In the Kitchen-

  1. Clean out the fridge. Time-consuming, we know, but get rid of the things you don’t use like that 3-year-old bottle of pickles. Give each shelf and drawer a good scrub down as harmful bacteria can accumulate over time, even in cold temperatures.
  2. Check your equipment. Rusty baking sheets? Chipped Teflon pots and pans? Toss them out! Try upgrading to healthier cooking equipment such as glass, ceramic, and stainless steel. They are a better investment because they will last longer and give you a healthier way to cook.
  3. Encourage plants. Create zones in your fridge for plenty of fruits and veggies. Try cutting back on dairy, meats, and processed foods. Leave plenty of room for pitchers of your favorite homemade beverages like infused water and iced tea. In the freezer, cut back on prepackaged foods and add in your own meal prep items like homemade soups, smoothie packs, and entrees. I like storing nuts and seeds in the freezer as well to give them a longer shelf life.

Pantry-

  1. An organization is key. If you can’t see it, you won’t remember it’s there and you end up hoarding and wasting food. To avoid this, try transferring shelf stable grains and the like to labeled clear glass containers displayed for easy access. When you do this, eating and cooking at home become a much easier task, saving you time, money and improving your health.
  2. Give back. For those short-dated cans and shelf-stable items, make up a box for donation. Most communities have food banks nearby and will even come pick up if you’re short on time.
  3. Make room for supplements. Create an organized and easy to access space for supplements. The kitchen is usually the hub of the house and if your supplements are right in front of you every morning at breakfast, you are more likely to take them.

Eating Out-

  1. Eating out is inevitable, so here are a few good pointers to try to keep your diet clean.

-Avoid dressings, use lemon or vinegar instead.

-Don’t order meat and dairy unless the restaurant can guarantee it’s organic, humanely raised, and/or wild caught.

-Add lemon juice to your water.

-Skip dessert, go for an espresso or tea instead.

-Keep digestive enzymes with you and take them before meals.

  1. Know your restaurants. Research restaurants that offer healthy and environmentally responsible options so when you do need to eat out, you know where to go.

At Work-

  1. To avoid the predictable box of donuts or crusty grocery store pastries, keep a stash of your favorite clean treats around. I like having a box of bite-sized organic chocolate squares in my desk for when I’m having a craving for sweets. My other Achilles heel is ice cream, so stashing a box of no sugar added, vegan ice cream sandwiches in the freezer has saved me on many occasions.
  2. Forgot your lunch? Not an excuse to tag along with co-workers on a fast food run. Try keeping a bottle of your favorite protein/meal replacement powder with a shaker bottle at work when you’re in a pinch. Bonus, you save money too.

For the Family-

  1. Keep it clean. Eating healthy and clean is hard enough for yourself, let alone the people in your life. When you keep junk food around, falling off the wagon just becomes inevitable. To avoid this, keep easy to access healthy snacks readily available. A snack lazy Susan or jars, veggie terrariums, and bowls of fresh fruit are great options to keep you and your family on track.
  2. Prep, prep, prep. Yes, it can be time-consuming, but when you have healthy and fresh snacks and meals ready to go, life can be oh so healthy and easy. Tour Pinterest for some clever meal prep ideas and recipes, but keep it simple and only make recipes that you know will be super delicious. One of the pitfalls of meal prepping in unappealing food that doesn’t get eaten and eventually just wasted.

 


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Acupuncture Provides True Pain Relief in Study

Category : Blog

Acupuncture Provides True Pain Relief in Study

BY ANAHAD O’CONNOR

SEPTEMBER 11, 2012 12:53 PM September 11, 2012 12:53 pm 159

Acupuncture may be helpful in treating migraines, arthritis, and chronic pain. Credit Gordon Welters for The New York Times

A new study of acupuncture — the most rigorous and detailed analysis of the treatment to date — found that it can ease migraines and arthritis and other forms of chronic pain.

The findings provide strong scientific support for an age-old therapy used by an estimated three million Americans each year. Though acupuncture has been studied for decades, the body of medical research on it has been mixed and mired to some extent by small and poor-quality studies. Financed by the National Institutes of Health and carried out over about half a decade, the new research was a detailed analysis of earlier research that involved data on nearly 18,000 patients.

The researchers, who published their results in Archives of Internal Medicine, found that acupuncture outperformed sham treatments and standard care when used by people suffering from osteoarthritis, migraines and chronic back, neck and shoulder pain.

“This has been a controversial subject for a long time,” said Dr. Andrew J. Vickers, attending research methodologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and the lead author of the study. “But when you try to answer the question the right way, as we did, you get very clear answers.

“We think there’s firm evidence supporting acupuncture for the treatment of chronic pain.”

Acupuncture, which involves inserting needles at various places on the body to stimulate so-called acupoints, is among the most widely practiced forms of alternative medicine in the country and is offered by many hospitals. Most commonly the treatment is sought by adults looking for relief from chronic pain, though it is also used with growing frequency in children. According to government estimates, about 150,000 children in the United States underwent acupuncture in 2007.

But for all its popularity, questions about its efficacy have long been commonplace. Are those who swear by it experiencing true relief or the psychological balm of the placebo effect?

Dr. Vickers and a team of scientists from around the world — England, Germany, Sweden and elsewhere — sought an answer by pooling years of data. Rather than averaging the results or conclusions from years of previous studies, a common but less rigorous form of meta-analysis, Dr. Vickers and his colleagues first selected 29 randomized studies of acupuncture that they determined to be of high quality. Then they contacted the authors to obtain their raw data, which they scrutinized and pooled for further analysis. This helped them correct for statistical and methodological problems with the previous studies, allowing them to reach more precise and reliable conclusions about whether acupuncture actually works.

All told, the painstaking process took the team about six years. “Replicating pretty much every single number reported in dozens of papers is no quick or easy task,” Dr. Vickers said.

The meta-analysis included studies that compared acupuncture with usual care, like over-the-counter pain relievers and other standard medicines. It also included studies that used sham acupuncture treatments, in which needles were inserted only superficially, for example, or in which patients in control groups were treated with needles that covertly retracted into handles.

Ultimately, Dr. Vickers and his colleagues found that at the end of treatment, about half of the patients treated with true acupuncture reported improvements, compared with about 30 percent of patients who did not undergo it.

“There were 30 or 40 people from all over the world involved in this research, and as a whole, the sense was that this was a clinically important effect size,” Dr. Vickers said. That is especially the case, he added, given that acupuncture “is relatively noninvasive and relatively safe.”


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Acupuncture for Ageless Skin

Category : Blog

 

Everywhere you look there is a new trend in skin care.  Retinol, peptides, lasers, peels, fillers, neurotoxins, and countless other modalities which promise to be answer to aging skin flood the market each year.  Many of these are effective, some are safe, and others have risks involved.  However, they all have two things in common, they only work on the area of the skin which they treat, and they are not specific to the individual receiving the treatment.

Recently cosmetic acupuncture has been getting a lot of media attention.  Celebrities such as Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Demi Moore, Kim Kardashian, Angelina Jolie and Julianne Moore all have used Facial Acupuncture to maintain and improve their appearances.  More and more popular magazines such as Vogue are featuring articles on acupuncture facial rejuvenation.

Facial Acupuncture represents a safe and natural method to promote youthfulness and enhance natural beauty. For stars, the ability to express themselves through their face is vital; however, many popular procedures such as Botox injections can make it impossible to frown or make other expressions. Chemical peels, laser treatments or surgery are painful and involve downtime. By using Acupuncture to refresh your appearance you can take 5-10 years off the look of your skin, but you will still look like you! Acupuncture facial rejuvenation requires no downtime and is safe and painless.

Each of us are aging differently, some of us sag, some wrinkle, some get puffy, red or dark spots and some get loose skin.  Each person has a unique rate at which they age and a unique quality to their skin.  Diet, lifestyle, (sun exposure, smoking, sleep, etc.) and heredity all play a part in how our skin ages.

Acupuncture, which has been practiced for thousands of years, works on the entire body, and treats the individual person’s needs.  An acupuncturist specially trained in facial acupuncture will spend time understanding your unique aging process, and will create a treatment plan designed to work with your body, to address your specific needs.  Treatments are not limited to your crow’s feet or your saggy neck (although they can be treated very effectively with acupuncture), they will address the health of your major organs (lung, stomach, kidney, liver, heart, large intestines etc.) to keep them functioning at peak performance.  The more effectively your organs are functioning, the better your skin will look because your digestion, blood flow, fluid levels and amount of oxygen reaching your skin will improve.

A few acupuncture points are used for the sole purpose of anesthetizing the face and relaxing the patient. With acupuncture facial rejuvenation, nothing is put into or taken out of the body (besides the needles). The needles are left in place for about fifteen minutes during which time my patients typically fall into a deep state of relaxation. After the needles are removed, facial cupping and facial gua sha are used to invigorate the blood flow to the face, reduce inflammation (puffiness under eyes), and smooth deep fines such as on the forehead.

Additionally, facial acupuncture is extremely relaxing, and helps to melt away stress and anxiety.  The simple act of receiving a treatment can refresh your appearance through the relaxation response your body has to the flood of endorphins and the anti-inflammatory effect of acupuncture.

Facial Acupuncture treats the face and neck directly, gently, naturally, lifting saggy jowls, reducing frown lines, and under eye bags.  It can do this without injecting anything into you, or taking anything out of you, without harsh chemicals or painful surgery.  Studies have shown the effectiveness of Facial Acupuncture and its ability to brighten a dull complexion, change the depth of facial lines and improve the overall texture of the skin.

Is there any proof that it works? A 1996 report in the International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture reported that in 300 cases treated with Facial Acupuncture, 90% had marked effects with one course of treatment (12-20 sessions). Not every Acupuncturist practices facial rejuvenation

7 Ways Acupuncture Can Help Your Appearance:

1) Stress Reduction

We all are exposed to stressful situations in our lives. When the stress is extreme, or if it lasts a long time, our physical health begins to suffer. Some common stress related illnesses are: irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, depression, insomnia, hypertension, stroke, migraine, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and autoimmune diseases. Acupuncture effectively treats stress by unblocking stuck energy and allowing it to flow properly throughout the body. As our tension is relieved, so are our symptoms. Acupuncture releases stress reducing, natural pain killing chemicals in the brain, called endorphins. The calming nature of acupuncture also decreases heart rate, lowers blood pressure and relaxes the muscles.

2) Improve Sleep

Ruminating thoughts, hormonal imbalances, anxiety, depression, and overstimulation are a few of the reasons why we can have trouble sleeping at night. One of the immediate gifts of acupuncture is its ability to calm the mind, lift the spirit, reset our body clock and allow us to get our restorative “beauty sleep”.

3) Younger Looking Skin

As you age, the 57 muscles in your face gradually lose their tone causing the sagging, deep wrinkling and tired look associated with aging. Acupuncture stimulates the muscle function, and the face lifts itself; returning the face to a healthier, revitalized, and youthful appearance.

4) Better Sex

Acupuncture can bring back the spark in your sex life too! The needles can help to allow for a smoother flow of energy and blood to the genital area, thereby increasing pleasure and desire. Additionally, acupuncture can balance your hormones to a more youthful state, increasing estrogen and testosterone levels. This can result in a reduction in prostate enlargement, less vaginal dryness and many other benefits.

5) Reduce Pain

On a physical level acupuncture reduces pain by improving blood flow and releasing pain-relieving endorphins and serotonin. Pain that is chronic can be mentally and physically exhausting. Our emotions can wear us down, and cause us to be weak and unable to heal. It is impossible to effectively treat chronic conditions without addressing a person’s state of mind. Acupuncture addresses the negative emotions (such as anger, and fear), thereby decreasing stress hormones, which cause pain.

6) Stronger Immune System

Acupuncture can help to naturally boost your immune system. Scientists have been able to determine that acupuncture enhances the production of natural killer cells, which is the primary defense mechanism against organisms that make us sick. It also regulates white blood cells directly linked to the fight against infections, allergic reactions, and even autoimmune disorders. Regular acupuncture treatments are a great preventative measure to ward off colds and flu.

7) More Energy & Vitality

Although the immediate effect of acupuncture treatment is very relaxing, the long-term effects are more energy, and vitality. The reason for this has to do with a concept in traditional Chinese medicine called Jing, the energy of the Kidneys. It is the power that keeps us going. How much Jing you have determines your energy levels, how you will age and how healthy you will be. If your kidney energy is deficient it can lead to premature aging, dried up wrinkled skin, and dark circles. Additionally, it can affect your head hair and bones, so osteoporosis and premature greying are signs of kidney imbalances.

For more information, Please contact us at 520-505-1442 or visit our Web-Site

http://www,bluemoonacupuncture.com


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Acupuncture for Tendonitis Relief and Recovery

Category : Blog

Acupuncture for Tendonitis Relief and Recovery

Tendonitis is a painful condition resulting from inflammation of the tendons. Tendons are thick bands of strong fibrous tissue that link bone to muscle. Although they are designed to withstand extreme pressure, certain circumstances will produce swelling and pain in the area. Sometimes performing the same movements repetitively over a long period of time can lead to tendonitis. At other times, a sudden or jarring traumatic event can be the cause.

Repetitive motions from activities like gardening, cleaning, typing, and using the computer can lead to achy, inflamed tendons. Bad posture and not properly stretching before a substantial workout may also be a factor in the condition. As well, some diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or diabetes may lead to tendonitis.

Those over 40 years old are at a higher risk for developing tendonitis. Collagen fibers provide the force that binds all the components of the tendons together, but become weaker and less resistant to stress as we age. The result can be more tears and trauma inflicted on the tendons.

The areas most commonly prone to tendonitis include the base of the thumb, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees and the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon is located on the back of the foot, just above the heel. No matter what body part is affected, acupuncture and Oriental medicine may help provide relief and speed up recovery time.

According to the philosophy of acupuncture and Oriental medicine, conditions of pain may be caused by cold or heat, so one of the first things to be determined is whether the afflicted tendon is suffering from a hot or a cold condition. To help explain this, envision an avid tennis player with a red, swollen elbow. The pain is so bad that the arm cannot be used properly. There is visible swelling and the area is warm to the touch. This would clearly indicate a condition of heat, so massage and heat therapies would only aggravate the pain.

Now picture a retired gardener with pain in his right elbow. The pain is in a fixed location and slight swelling is visible. His body often feels cold, especially his hands and the elbow with tendonitis. Chilly, damp nights increase the levels of pain to the point where he needs to take pain relievers. Light massage and heat therapies alleviate the pain and feel good when applied. All factors point to a condition of cold. These two patients will receive largely different treatments since they do not share the same diagnosis.

The tennis player could have an acupuncture point called Heart 8 activated by a needle. Utilizing Heart 8 can help reduce heat and inflammation since it is located right near the elbow.  It is one of the ying spring acupuncture points, meaning it has the ability to clear heat from the entire channel. A channel is a fixed pathway which transports life-sustaining energy. This energy is also known as Qi. Once the inflammation is reduced, the pain, redness and stiffness should follow suit.

For the elderly gardener, moxibustion therapy may provide the best solution. This therapy provides medicinal heat and smoke by burning small amounts of the herb mugwort. It is believed that smoke and heat from the burning herb penetrate the skin and enter the body. Once inside, an immune response is initiated which helps disperse any painful blockages. Once blood and Qi are able to flow freely, the pain should decrease as the mobility and range of motion increase.

There may be some acupuncture points that are appropriate to treat both these patients. A practitioner of acupuncture and Oriental medicine may find the use of the point Gall Bladder 34 beneficial in both these cases. This point is credited with the ability to nourish and restore all the tendons and sinews of the entire body, regardless of whether there is an issue with hot or cold.

If you experience stiff thumbs worsening on cold, winter nights, find your knees unable to take the pressure of your workout routine or worry you may have other symptoms of tendonitis, contact at 520-505-1442 to see what acupuncture and Oriental medicine can do for you!


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Flu season is coming

Category : Blog

 Flu season is coming

Hey Flu – Bug Off! Tips for Preventing Seasonal Flu, Naturally

 

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  When it comes to Seasonal Influenza, A.K.A: flu – we agree! Fever, fatigue, cough, headaches, runny nose and a sore throat – we get chills just thinking about it. Flu season peaks in February, so bone up on your “Flu I.Q.” to ward off the bug from biting in the first place!

 

First, don’t forget the basics of flu prevention. Grandma’s advice still stands – diligence in hand-washing, avoiding sick people, covering the mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, and getting adequate rest and exercise significantly decrease the risk of contracting the flu.  It’s all about building the best flu prevention system there is – the body’s very own immune system.

 

Not to be discounted, food is medicine (or a toxin, depending on your choices) . The gastrointestinal tract is an essential immune system component, so the first line of defense is to reduce sugar intake. Sugar tends to create a fertile breeding ground for pathogenic bacteria, yeast, and fungi that can leave the immune system vulnerable to respiratory virus. Just say no to sugar!

 

A balanced diet rich in colorful foods is a top contender for flu prevention.  But, our convenience driven society requires supplements to ensure adequate intake of the vitamins and minerals found in nature’s medicine cabinet.   That’s where Natty P comes in! We know where you can get the world’s purest, most potent supplements.  Check out our top 5 picks – supplements with sturdy reputations for stopping the flu bug in its tracks.

 

Kung Fu” for Flu – Put up a Fight with the Right Supplements

 

Omega 3’s:  There’s nothing fishy about this!  Be certain to choose a high-quality Omega 3 supplement. Essential fatty acids help reduce inflammation that can prevent the immune system from achieving its full potential.

Vitamin D:  In the winter, most people don’t get enough sun exposure for adequate Vitamin D levels even if they hail from sunny Scottsdale, Arizona where Natty P is headquartered.  In addition to supplementation, good sources of Vitamin D are fish and fortified diary. Turns out, many of us are deficient in the sunshine vitamin, which can yield higher rates of upper respiratory infections.  In addition to regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, Vitamin D promotes a normal functioning immune system during flu season and beyond.

Astragalus Herb:  Funny name, but incredible medicinal benefits!  A traditional Chinese medicine, astragalus has long been hailed for its ability to boost the immune system, so take the extract all season long in liquid, powder or chewable form.

Zinc:  The most vulnerable among us – the elderly and children – often don’t get adequate levels of zinc, a mineral found plentiful in beans, nuts, spinach and grains.  Zinc bolsters the immune system. So, if the kids turn their noses up at the table, the right supplement, under the right supervision, will do the job.

Ginseng:   Known for its preventative and also healing agents, the two types – American ginseng and Asian or Korean ginseng – can be taken before and after the arrival of flu (or cold) symptoms for a few weeks at a time. (Across traditional Chinese medicine, American ginseng is considered less stimulating than the Asian variety.) A popular medicine throughout the world, ginseng is touted for its immunity boosting support, and cannot be found in food sources.

For more information Call Bluemoon Acupuncture Wellness Center at 520-505-1442


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Serenity Tibetan Herbal Foot Soaks

Category : Blog

I’ll keep this brief, as I’m writing a comprehensive Blog about exciting goings-on at our Bluemoon Acupuncture and Wellness Center.

For the past 6 months, I’ve been learning from a team of colleagues who are Chinese Medical practitioners who’s love of herbs have inspired the creation of the formulas some of you are now using. I’m on a serious mission to get these amazing herbal formulas to help leverage the acupuncture treatments. Plus, your purchase supports the “farm to clinic” methodology. It’s a more direct means of supporting the farmers who grow and cultivate these medicinal plants high in the mountains of Tibet and China. My colleagues also are investing in a Tibetan community where the plants are grown by financially underwriting much needed supplies for orphaned children with special needs.

If you purchased The Serenity Tibetan Herbal Foot Soaks, here are some reminders or best practices to get the results you desire (i.e., rid pain all over the body, joint pain, neuropathy, headaches, painful/irregular menses, etc):

-Soak every night, but not too late. People who report difficultly sleeping after soaking is too much blood moving (stagnation of blood=pain). If you find yourself in this category, soak earlier in evening or in the morning.

-Herbs are activated between 110-115 degrees. You must keep it at this temp consistently when soaking. You must have a thermometer (infrared is easiest to use and affordably on Amazon). Gingerly add your feet and have a kettle of hot water nearby because you will acclimate fast to the temp.

-Don’t use if you have open wounds, think you are pregnant, are pregnant, on blood thinners.

-One bag is sufficient but soak for 30 min.

-Not quite feeling the effects? Use 2 bags, minimum 20 min.

-You can reuse the water up to 3x. Just reheat to 115 degrees.

Please contact us at 520-505-1442 for per order.


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Category : Blog

Male health problems can be treated, and sometimes prevented, with acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. The five most common health problems for men include heart disease, stroke, suicide, prostate cancer and lung cancer. 

A practitioner of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine balances the yin and yang energies that make up each patient’s constitution. Men embody yang energy, and women embody yin energy. Yang energy is expressed in the qualities of movement, heat, dryness, giving and masculinity. It is also associated with natural phenomena such as the sun, daytime, summer and high noon. In contrast, yin manifests the qualities of rest, cold, wetness, receptivity and femininity. The moon, nighttime, winter and darkness are expressions of yin.

Heart Disease

Treating heart disease with acupuncture and Oriental Medicine improves blood circulation and energy flow in the chest. Heart disease affects the structure and function of the heart and its blood vessels. Heart attacks occur when oxygen is blocked from entering the heart, which is often the result of a blood flow restriction. The average age for a first heart attack is 65 for men, and 72 for women.

Acupuncture needles used on the upper chest can encourage a robust blood flow to oxygenate the heart. Additionally, treatment can be sought for smoking cessation, which is an important step to heart health. Men are more likely than women to smoke. Acupuncture treatment can strengthen the willpower to quit and provide physical relief as the body experiences nicotine withdrawal.

Stroke

Acupuncture is a safe and viable treatment to regulate high blood pressure, which can help prevent a stroke. Strokes share similar risk factors with heart disease, such as smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise and high blood pressure.

A study entitled “The Effect of Acupuncture on Patients Using Antihypertensive Drugs,” published in 2013, revealed a significant reduction in the blood pressure of its study participants. The patients (10 female and 24 male) all received acupuncture treatments every other day for one month.

Depression and Suicide

Suicide rates are higher for men in many countries around the globe, but acupuncture and Oriental Medicine can help treat emotional and mental conflicts caused by an imbalance of yang energy. The natural inclination of yang is to give, move and animate. Depression, anger or suicidal thoughts may take hold when this yang energy is imbalanced.

To help address emotional and mental conflicts which may lead a man to attempt suicide, a practitioner of acupuncture may choose to use points found on the ears. Several auricular points have particularly strong abilities to address psycho-emotional issues. The heart ear point can help decrease anxiety and allows patients to deal with their fears.

Prostate Cancer and Lung Cancer

Acupuncture was shown to be effective in the treatment of cancer according to an encouraging 2011 study called “Acupuncture May Stimulate Anticancer Immunity via Activation of Natural Killer Cells.” An acupuncture point in the lower leg called ST36 proved particularly useful by increasing the production of white blood cells. This action compelled the researchers to dub ST36 as the “immuno-enhancing acupoint.”

The study showed acupuncture can also mitigate side effects such as fatigue, pain and severe dry mouth which often accompany standard therapies. Making use of ear points to soothe fear can also be beneficial for men that have symptoms of cancer.

Early detection is a key component to fighting off disease, but men can be more likely than women to avoid medical help and put off regular check-ups. This means less time is available for preventative medicine and therapies. With the appropriate treatment and lifestyle changes, heart disease, strokes, suicide and even cancer may be avoided or mitigated.

If you want to get a head start on addressing any health issues which may present a problem in the future, or already have a diagnosis of a serious illness, For more information Call Bluemoon Acupuncture and Wellness Center at 520-505-1442


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Stress and Acupuncture

Category : Blog


As a normal part of life, stress enables us to get things done. If left unmanaged, stress can lead to emotional, psychological, and even physical problems. Stress causes a disruption in the flow of vital energy, or Qi, through the body. These energetic imbalances can throw off the immune system or cause symptoms of pain, sleep disturbances, abnormal digestion, headaches, menstrual irregularities, aggravation of already troublesome health conditions and, over time, more serious illnesses can develop.

Stressful situations that last over a long period of time can create an ongoing low-level stress that puts continual pressure on the nervous system, increasing activity, and can cause the overproduction of hormones. The extra stress hormones over an extended period of time may wear out the body’s reserves, lead to fatigue, depression, a weakened immune system, and a host of serious physical and psychological ailments.

Here few signs of stress overload include:
• anxiety or panic attacks
• feelings of constant pressure, hassled and hurried
• irritability and moodiness
• physical symptoms such as stomach problems, headaches, or even chest pain
• allergic reactions, such as eczema or asthma
• problems sleeping
• overindulgence in food, alcohol, smoking, or drugs
• sadness or depression

Stress is often the cause of illness and the deterioration of health. Finding a release valve for your stress can help you stay healthy. According to Oriental medicine, stress, frustration, and unresolved anger can play an important part in throwing the immune system off and allowing pathogens to affect the body. Through acupuncture, these energy blockages can be addressed. Acupuncture points can help energy flow smoothly, and alleviate not only the symptoms of stress and anxiety, but the stress and anxiety itself.

Numerous studies have demonstrated the substantial benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of stress. Acupuncture improves circulation of blood throughout the body, which oxygenates the tissues and cycles out cortisol and other waste chemicals. The calming nature of acupuncture also decreases heart rate, lowers blood pressure and relaxes the muscles.

In addition to acupuncture, Oriental medicine offers a wide range of tools and techniques that can be integrated into your wellness plan to keep stress in check. These tools include Tui Na, Qi Gong exercises, dietary therapy, meditations and acupressure that you can administer at home.

While it isn’t always possible to remove the external forces causing stress, the ability to effectively deal with stress is a choice. Take time for yourself to cultivate the energy you need to handle your stress more skillfully and effectively.

Would you like to learn more about how acupuncture can help you, please contact Bluemoon Acupuncture and Wellness center in Oro Valley Arizona
(520-505-1442) or info@bluemoonacupuncture.com


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Botanicals Can Boost Your Health

Category : Blog

Ancient healers moving to the forefront of modern medicine

By Michelle Simon, PhD, ND

Did you know that when you pop an aspirin, you are making use of the healing power of plants? Most of us don’t realize how intertwined modern medicine is with ancient plant wisdom. For example, aspirin’s active ingredient, salicin, originally came from willow bark, the use of which dates back to the Greek physician Hippocrates (400 BC) who advised his patients to chew on the bark to bring down fevers.

These days most medications are synthesized in a laboratory. But for as many as half of them, their backstory is to be found in the wild. During the last three decades, up to 50 percent of the drugs approved for use in humans have been sourced either directly or indirectly from plants. As science turns a more appreciative lens towards the potential of plants, in tandem with  advances in research, plants are moving back into the forefront of healing.

It’s not only in pharmaceuticals that plants exhibit their healing power, though. In 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 80 percent of people worldwide relied on herbal medicines for some aspect of their primary healthcare needs. Roughly 21,000 plant species have the potential for being used as medicinal plants, with many more being identified each year.

Although we tend to take plants for granted, they are, of course, indispensable. Humble healers, plants are made up of roots, stems, and leaves, and many produce flowers, fruit, and seeds. Plants are the original sun worshippers, deploying photosynthesis, a process that involves sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide, to produce their own food. Packed with bioactives and phytochemicals, plants contain dynamic, healing compounds such as alkaloids, glycosides, terpenes, and phenols. These molecular structures have evolved over millennia to enhance the plants’ survival.

When we look at the way plants interact with the human body, we see an ongoing relationship. Information is carried by the plant’s cellular structure to the informational systems of the human body. Our dependency on plants, used for both food and medicine over millennia, means we have evolved along with them.

As science catches up with herbal medicine, its rigorous investigative methods shine a light on how plants actually work. Now, there’s more understanding of the active chemistry of a plant, both how the various parts function as isolated extracts and as a synergistic whole

Plant medicine has its advantages: It is less toxic than synthetic drugs and has fewer adverse side effects. And for almost every medicinal need you can imagine, there is often a viable plant-based approach that can complement—or sometimes even replace—conventional medications. (Of course, please consult your doctor or healthcare provider before making any changes to your medicines. And pay attention to potential herb-drug interactions as well.) Here are three major categories of medicinal plants—and what you need to know about them.

Antimicrobial

This class of plants can be thought of nature’s sanitizer: they kill or inhibit growth of microorganisms. Traditional systems of medicine the world over depend on plants as their main source of healing. In some parts of the world, antimicrobial and antibacterial plants are the only resources available to treat different infections. Many of these kinds of antimicrobial plants are spices, which not only flavor food, but also keep it from spoiling. Spices have compounds in them that keep food from becoming contaminated by bacteria and other microbes. Often, a plant’s resins can be extracted into an essential oil—think basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary—that can prevent microbial growth.

Garlic is one of the most powerful antibacterial botanicals, given to soldiers in both world wars to prevent gangrene.Today, garlic has uses as diverse as promoting cardiovascular health and repelling mosquitos. Research has also been done on its ability to bolster immune function. Some studies have found evidence that it may show promise in the battle against antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as MRSA, by curtailing the bacteria’s ability to reproduce.Unlike antibiotics however, garlic does not wreak havoc on the body’s intestinal flora balance.

Try it: To unleash garlic’s healing powers, you must consume it in a certain way. Garlic must be crushed, cut or minced to release the allicin—its volatile, active component. Cooking destroys allicin, which means eating garlic raw is essential. Garlic supplements do not seem to be as potent as eating fresh garlic raw. Try adding raw minced garlic to your salad dressing, or mix it with olive oil and lemon juice to make a sauce to drizzle over vegetables.

Adaptogens

Naturopathic medicine utilizes a synergistic approach to stress. For millennia, plants have been used to help the body self-regulate its stress response whether in relation to external physical substances, toxins, or internal stress molecules, such as cortisol. For over half a century, the term adaptogen has been used to describe an elite class of herbs: safe, nontoxic plants that specifically modulate our ability to withstand stress. The bottom line? Like their name implies, their main role is to facilitate a fluid, adaptive response, introducing a happy middle ground amidst the fight or flight continuum.

In an integrative approach to medicine, adaptogens are frequently used to address a range of common issues. All adaptogens have an overall toning affect, offsetting the inflammatory aspects of stress by strengthening and stabilizing the body. Adaptogens are the best kinds of generalists: They have a nonspecific agenda, working to balance how the body functions as a whole, rather than as a collection of discrete parts.

Green tea, ginseng, rhodiola, ashwagandha and eleuthero, a few of the big name adaptogenic herbs, have played a starring role in ancient plant-centric practices such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Other adaptogens, such as maca, tulsi and turmeric, have in the last decade become herbal stalwarts in the United States.

Try it: Originally from Peru, maca is a root sold in powdered form. Once used to boost Inca warrior’s endurance, it’s now prized for modern-day benefits, such as supporting sexual function and balancing hormones. Maca’s mild taste makes it easy to add to a wide array of recipes. Try putting a teaspoon in your smoothie or mixing it with yogurt. Try Chef Lauren’s Pumpkin Spice Maca Milkshake.

Digestive Support

The digestive system is coming into a new prominence, thanks in part to all the research done on the importance of the microbiome—the ecological community of microorganisms that live in our gut. Many healing traditions consider digestion the cornerstone to health. Carminative plants are natural digestive aids, helping reduce gas, cramps, and bloating. Rich in volatile oils, carminatives can stimulate and relax receptors in our gastrointestinal tract, moving food along in rhythmic waves toward assimilation or elimination.

Carminatives tend to be aromatic—to wit anise, cardamom, coriander, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, ginger, orange peel, and peppermint. These kinds of herbs soothe the stomach and stimulate bile flow, which facilitates food absorption. Carminatives are good to have in your toolkit to mitigate to support healthy digestion. Peppermint oil, an antispasmodic, settles the muscles and can be mildly effective for abdominal pain.

Try it: In general, to have an impact on digestive difficulties, studies suggest you need to take two tablets of enteric-coated peppermint oil twice a day for a minimum of four weeks. (It’s always best to consult your doctor before self-administering peppermint on a regular basis, as well as incorporating nutritional supplements into your diet.) For the occasional relief of an upset tummy, you can also try brewing a cup of peppermint tea, which can exert a calming influence on a belly in distress.

Our humble plant cousins, it turns out, are more sophisticated than a lot of what we produce in a lab. As plants’ potential to heal continues to find increased acceptance, advances in medicine may come to look like updated methods to harvest ancient plant medicine.


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How Acupuncture can Relieve Your Stress

Category : Blog

Relieve Your Stress with Acupuncture and Oriental Remedy

As a normal part of life, stress enables us to get things done. If left unmanaged, stress can lead to emotional, psychological, and even physical problems. Stress causes a disruption in the flow of vital energy, or Qi, through the body. These energetic imbalances can throw off the immune system or cause symptoms of pain, sleep disturbances, abnormal digestion, headaches, menstrual irregularities, aggravation of already troublesome health conditions and, over time, more serious illnesses can develop.

Stressful situations that last over a long period of time can create an ongoing low-level stress that puts continual pressure on the nervous system, increasing activity, and can cause the overproduction of hormones. The extra stress hormones over an extended period of time may wear out the body’s reserves, lead to fatigue, depression, a weakened immune system, and a host of serious physical and psychological ailments.

Here few signs of stress overload include:

  • anxiety or panic attacks
  • feelings of constant pressure, hassled and hurried
  • irritability and moodiness
  • physical symptoms such as stomach problems, headaches, or even chest pain
  • allergic reactions, such as eczema or asthma
  • problems sleeping
  • overindulgence in food, alcohol, smoking, or drugs
  • sadness or depression

Stress is often the cause of illness and the deterioration of health. Finding a release valve for your stress can help you stay healthy. According to Oriental medicine, stress, frustration, and unresolved anger can play an important part in throwing the immune system off and allowing pathogens to affect the body. Through acupuncture, these energy blockages can be addressed. Acupuncture points can help energy flow smoothly, and alleviate not only the symptoms of stress and anxiety, but the stress and anxiety itself.

Numerous studies have demonstrated the substantial benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of stress. Acupuncture improves circulation of blood throughout the body, which oxygenates the tissues and cycles out cortisol and other waste chemicals. The calming nature of acupuncture also decreases heart rate, lowers blood pressure and relaxes the muscles.

In addition to acupuncture, Oriental medicine offers a wide range of tools and techniques that can be integrated into your wellness plan to keep stress in check. These tools include Tui Na, Qi Gong exercises, dietary therapy, meditations and acupressure that you can administer at home.

While it isn’t always possible to remove the external forces causing stress, the ability to effectively deal with stress is a choice. Take time for yourself to cultivate the energy you need to handle your stress more skillfully and effectively.

Would you like to learn more about how acupuncture can help you, please contact Bluemoon Acupuncture and Wellness center in Oro Valley Arizona

(520-505-1442) or info@bluemoonacupuncture.com


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