In this issue you will find:
- Important PCOM Dates
- Great American Smokeout 2006
- Enjoy the Energy of Fall
- Traditional Chinese Medicine and Bone Health
- Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day
- November 2 – 5 – Pacific Symposium 2006
- November 4 – Pacific Symposium Open House
- November 4 – Doctoral Open House at Pacific Symposium
- November 8 – New York Open House
- November 14 – Chicago Open House
Great American Smokeout 2006
Quit Smoking For Good With Acupuncture
Cigarette smoking is the most preventable cause of death in the U.S. says the American Cancer Society, but each year it kills more Americans than AIDS, alcohol, car accidents, suicides, murders and fires combined.
According to current research an estimated 45 million Americans smoke. Continual use of tobacco can cause lung cancer, as well as heart disease and lung disease. Smoking is responsible for 1 in 3 cancer deaths, and 1 in 5 deaths from all causes. Another 8.6 million people are living with serious illnesses caused by smoking.
The Great American Smokeout provides smokers with the opportunity to quit. Smokers who quit smoking gain almost immediate benefits, regardless of age, or how long you have been a smoker. Within 20 minutes, blood pressure and pulse rates drop to normal. Eight hours after quitting, the oxygen level in the blood increases to normal. One day after quitting, the odds of having a heart attack start to drop. Within 48 hours nerve endings start re-growing and the ability to smell and taste is enhanced. Within two weeks, lung function will have increased by up to 30 percent. Two weeks to 3 months after quitting, circulation improves and walking becomes easier. One year, the body's energy level increases and the risk of coronary heart disease will be half that of a smoker.
One alternative to help quit smoking permanently is acupuncture. The Pacific College Clinics utilize auricular (ear) acupuncture, where four to five very small needles are inserted into points corresponding to the lung, kidney and nervous system. It is thought that these needles increase the flow of endorphins, morphine-like hormones that induce a deep state of relaxation. This state is prolonged and leads to a lessening of cravings for nicotine and other drugs. Acupuncture can also aid in relaxation and detoxification.
For the last 30 years the American Cancer Society and Citizens for a Smokefree America have sponsored the Great American Smokeout TM, an event based on the idea that smokers who can manage to quit for a day can quit for good.
Millions of Americans will stub out their cigarettes on November 16. For individuals truly motivated to stop smoking, acupuncture can be just the help they need. Join Pacific College and make the Great American Smokeout the first day of your smoke-free life!
Enjoy the Energy of Fall
By Steven Sonmore, L.Ac. OBT (NCCAOM)
“In ancient times those people who understood Tao (the way of self cultivation) patterned themselves upon the Yin and the Yang (the two principles in nature) and they lived in harmony…” The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine
There is a slight nip in the air. The days are starting to get shorter. And just as the squirrels have gotten down to the business of storing nuts for the winter, we find ourselves a little more serious and less carefree than in summer. Whether you’re preparing for school or preparing for a new business venture, you know that Fall has arrived.
Fall is the beginning of the yin cycle when the daylight lasts less than twelve hours. It’s a time of harvest when we gather the colorful fruits and vegetables for winter storage. Pumpkins and squashes are our symbols of bounty. We also store wood for the fire and get out our warm clothes for the colder, darker days of winter.
According to Oriental medicine, the season of autumn is associated with the element of Metal, which governs organization, order, communication, the mind, setting limits, and protecting boundaries. It’s a good time to finish projects that you began in spring and summer – harvesting the bounty of your hard work. Of course, it’s also the perfect time to begin more introspective, indoor projects.
During the summer, which is ruled by the Fire element, we deal more with the external – traveling and playing outdoors. Fall, on the other hand, is a time of organizing your life for the winter season ahead and coming more inside your body and mind to reflect on your life.
The lung and large intestine are the internal organs related to Fall and the Metal element. The Lung is associated with the emotion of “letting go.” This process is difficult for those who love the summer. They find it hard to give up the long days of sunlight, warm temperatures, and open windows. Others feel differently and love autumn, from the crisper air to the vivid red, orange, and yellow leaves on the trees. If letting go of summer is hard for you, extra support from your licensed acupuncturist may be in order to help you make the transition. That’s right…acupuncture works on releasing emotional issues as well as physical ones.
Various systems of self-mastery teach that by controlling your breath, you can achieve and maintain physical vigor, mental clarity and emotional tranquility. The ancient Taoists developed a practical discipline of breathing called Qi Gong to increase vitality, extend lifespan, and prevent disease. This is a wonderful skill to learn as the Summer gives way to Fall.
Sleep is another important aspect of staying healthy in the Fall. The ancients advised that people should retire early at night and rise with the crowing of the rooster during the autumn. “Soul and spirit should be tranquil and to keep their lung pure they should not give vent to their desires.”
The Lung is considered by Oriental medicine to be the “tender organ.” This is because the lung is the uppermost organ in the body and especially susceptible to wind and cold. During the change in temperature, be sure to dress for the weather! I see too many people still dressed for summer at the beginning of autumn, which is an open invitation for coughs, sore throats, and the common cold.
The lungs control the circulation of the Wei-Qi, which is the defensive Qi that protects you from the invasion of flu and colds. The Wei-Qi circulates on the surface between the skin and muscles and works to warm the body. If the Wei-Qi is weak, the skin and muscles will not be warmed properly. This is why people tend to feel cold when they’re sick. A weakness in the lungs can lead to a weakness in the Wei-Qi, making a person prone to frequent colds.
The nose is the opening to the lungs, and you can prevent colds by keeping your nose and sinuses clean and clear. Using a netti pot with some sea salt and water helps rid the nose of excess mucus. If you suffer from a runny nose or sinus infections, acupuncture and Chinese herbs are wonderful for alleviating that problem.
What you eat also greatly affects the health of your lungs. Eating excess cold and raw foods creates dampness or phlegm, which is produced by the spleen and stored by the lungs. Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, cream, and butter also create phlegm, while moderate amounts of pungent foods like garlic, onions, ginger, horseradish, and mustard are beneficial to the lungs.
The transition from Summer to Fall is a time when the Qi is instable. The Qi from healthy lungs should descend. If the Lung Qi goes upward, it is “rebellious,” and the person experiences a cough. The Lungs inhale the Heavenly Qi (air) and exhale the “dirty “Qi (carbon dioxide). Now is the time to strengthen your Qi to prepare for winter and get a “tune-up” from your licensed acupuncturist to strengthen your immune system.
“There was temperance in eating and drinking. Their hours of rising and retiring were regular and not disorderly and wild. By these means the ancients kept their bodies united with their souls, so as to fulfill their allotted span completely, measuring unto a hundred years before they passed away.” Huang Ti Nei Jing Su Wen
For more than 19 years Steven Sonmore helped people transform their health problems into solutions for attaining better health. Steven is a licensed acupuncturist, Oriental bodywork therapist and herbalist. He offers complete health care with acupuncture, Chinese herbs, nutritional counseling, Oriental massage, and facial rejuvenation. He is licensed by the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice and certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
For more information call 612-866-4000, visit www.orientalmedcare.com or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Traditional Chinese Medicine and Bone Health
Ten million Americans over the age of 50 suffer from osteoporosis. In addition, 34 million are at a serious risk for developing this debilitating bone disease. The severe loss of bone mass and breakdown of the architecture of the bone, osteoporosis thins the bones to a point where a mere cough can cause a fracture. Twenty percent of those suffering with osteoporosis will die within a year after sustaining a broken hip. Within 15 years, half of all Americans over age 50 will be at risk for osteoporosis-related fractures, according to the Surgeon General.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers a holistic approach to preventing and eradicating the source of bone disease. TCM theory states that “The kidneys are in charge of the bones.” Essentially, the skeleton’s growth, development, and repair are closely related to the kidneys. These organs promote the growth of marrow and flow of vital energy (qi) through the skeleton.
Post-menopausal women experience both bone loss and kidney weakness. Studies performed at the Traditional Medicine Research Institute in China have found that “the increase of bone mass in amount and density and the increase of age have a close relationship with the abundance of, or decline of, kidney qi.” Individuals suffering kidney failure will also experience lower bone density, according to the study.
The second factor that contributes to bone disease is blood flow. Blood flow and qi circulation throughout the body are directly related. Promoting blood circulation may remove such stasis and encourage the production of new bone material. Like Western medicine, TCM promotes vigorous exercise for general well-being, and weight exercises for bone strength and health. An American study concludes that athletic and active women maintain bone mass longer later in life. Further, a study at the Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver suggest that, “Moderate physical activity in people with osteoporosis can reduce the risk of falls and fractures, decrease pain and improve fitness and overall quality of life. It may also stimulate bone gain and decrease bone loss.”
Traditional Chinese Medicine has developed time-proven remedies and formulas that strengthen health and longevity. Some formulas originating in the Yunnan province focus on strengthening the qi, the kidneys, and the bones. “The ancients were keenly aware that bone remedies, in addition to strengthening the kidneys and overall vitality (qi), had to include herbs that would specifically be directed to the ends of the bones, where callous tissue grows and new bone cells can contribute to bone growth.” Traditional Chinese Medicine may be the answer for osteoporosis.
Ancient Chinese remedies address the wide range of bone disorders plaguing our country. These herbs, as prescribed by a herbologist or acupuncturist, combined with regular exercise may help overcome osteoporosis and encourage health, vitality, and longevity.
J C Prior, S I Barr, R Chow, and R A Faulkner. Prevention and management of osteoporosis: consensus statements from the Scientific Advisory Board of the Osteoporosis Society of Canada. 5. Physical activity as therapy for osteoporosis. CMAJ. 1996 October 1; 155(7): 940–944.
Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day
“Tea tempers the spirit, harmonizes the mind, dispels lassitude and relieves fatigue, awakens the thought and prevents drowsiness."