In this issue you will find:
- Important PCOM Dates
- Great American Smokeout, 2009
- TCM and the Gluten-Free Lifestyle
- Black Tea Aids Oral Health Care
- Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day
November 5th: (Thursday) DAOM Open House at Pacific Symposium
- November 20th: (Friday) Great American Smokeout
According to the 1982 Surgeon General’s Report, cigarette smoking is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. That report is still accurate today. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 46.2 million American adults are current smokers – that is 22.8% of all adults; that's nearly one in four people. Even though lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, since smoking is a voluntary act, the mortality rate is preventable.
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine wants to help defeat this high mortality rate and to celebrate the strength of those that have managed to quit smoking completely. With the aid of Oriental medicine, Pacific College offers help to those trying to quit and encourages giving up cigarettes for good.
One of the most effective methods to help quit smoking is acupuncture. These treatments help to curb cravings and ease the stress of quitting by utilizing 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.
Since 1977, the American Cancer Society and Citizens for a Smokefree America have sponsored the Great American Smokeout, an event based on the idea that smokers who can manage to quit for a day can quit for good.
Pacific College’s San Diego campus will be celebrating the Great American Smokeout, 2009 on Friday, November 20, 2009. On this day, San Diego will be offering $15 acupuncture treatments; geared toward addiction problems to help people quit smoking habits.
On November 20, 2009, Pacific College’s Chicago campus will also be celebrating by offering free auricular acupuncture treatments from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Auricular acupuncture in particular can lessen a person’s addictive tendencies and provide a sense of calm and purpose. Since the best results of acupuncture are achieved with consistent treatments, Chicago’s clinic is offering a package of four auricular acupuncture treatments for smoking cessation, valued at $140, for only $110.
Pacific College’s New York campus offers auricular acupuncture treatments, known for assisting in smoking cessation, for only 12 dollars.
Traditional Chinese Medicine can be helpful in treating a number if ailments. One common condition that many people suffer from is intolerance to gluten. What is gluten? It's the protein part of wheat, rye, barley, and other related grains. And for some people, gluten can be very hard to digest. When it comes in contact with the small intestine, it can create a condition known as celiac disease, which can injure the lining of the small intestine. This injury can ultimately result in weight loss, diarrhea, gas, abdominal cramps, or vitamin and mineral deficiencies. The University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research estimates that at least 10 million people in the US are gluten-sensitive.
For those suffering from celiac disease, TCM would first eliminate gluten from one's diet. Doing this would allow the lining of the intestine to heal. This would be followed up by some traditional Chinese herbs. While many herbs contain gluten, some are gluten free.
TCM herbs that have been used to treat celiac disease include trifoliate orange, which would address bloating and digestive upsets. Fennel seeds are also recommended, as they can help regulate digestive tract functions. And nutmeg, which can easily be added to beverages, can be beneficial as well, for it tones the small intestine. Regardless of which TCM herb you choose, you should consult a Chinese herbal practitioner to advise you on the proper dosage.
Another condition often linked to gluten intolerance is dermatitis herpetiformis, an extremely itchy rash of bumps and blisters. These usually appear on the elbows, knees, back, and buttocks. In addition to antibiotics prescribed by your medical doctor, TCM would recommend a strict gluten-free diet to help control the disease. Such a diet may even remove the need for some medications and can prevent later complications.
For those with a gluten intolerance, adopting a gluten-free diet isn't easy. It means giving up many tasty, processed, shelf-stable foods. These include fattening wheat treats like soft chocolate chip cookies, take-out pizza, and donuts. On the other hand, it also means eating more fruits and vegetables to help your body fight off many common diseases.
To complicate matters, many who have chosen a gluten free diet have discovered that the offending grains are "hidden" in many foods. This is because food labeling is fraught with brand names that can be misleading. And adding insult to injury, staying gluten free can also up your grocery bill. But there is hope. Increasing numbers of health conscious shoppers have pushed the demand for gluten-free products. In 2008, more than 1,000 new gluten-free foods and beverages were introduced. So a gluten free lifestyle is becoming increasingly tasty, less boring and hopefully less expensive.
Those who enjoy Chinese food but still want to stay on a gluten free diet can enjoy Lo-Mein. Made with rice-stick noodles, Lo-Mein (a Chinese dish with noodles, vegetables and beef, chicken, pork, shrimp or wontons) is gluten free. That's because Lo-Mein's rice-stick noodles are made using only rice flour and water. So you get the taste without the gluten.
Black Tea Aids Oral Health
According to the latest research, black tea is beneficial for overall oral health. Black tea, the most common among the three types of teas –black, green, and red – help to prevent bad breath and facilitates the well being of your teeth and gums.
As you relax with your cup of tea, the brew is actually getting rid of oral bacteria in your mouth. Polyphenols, one of the key components of black tea, have been found to inhibit growth of oral bacteria. New research presented by Christine Wu and Min Zhu of the University of Illinois states that catechins and theaflavins—polyphenols present in tea leaves—inhibit the growth of the oral bacteria. The bacteria killing action takes place over a 48-hour incubation period.
Research further reports that the two tea compounds also help to eliminate bad breath. The compounds inhibit the proper functioning of an enzyme that acts as a catalyst in the production of hydrogen sulphide, which contributes to bad breath. These research findings were presented at the 103rd General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in Washington, D.C.
Black tea also comes in handy to ward off mouth infections such as strep throat and dental cavities. Researchers have found that polyphenols in combination with green tea extracts inhibit bacterial growth. These compounds when added to toothpaste or mouthwash increase their efficacy many times in combating microbial agents. Random surveys have reported that black tea reduces the incidence of dental cavities. Tea is a natural source of fluoride, therefore helping to promote healthy tooth enamel. Also, tannins present in black tea inhibit the growth of plaque-causing bacteria apart from inhibiting the action of salivary amylase, thus making their contribution in cavity prevention.
Components of tea such as tannins, caffeine, tocopherol and catechin are known to raise the acid resistance of tooth enamel. And their combination with fluoride, which is, as we said, a component of black tea heightens this effect. Studies have thus concluded that black tea may safely be recommended as a substitute for more acidic beverages, which contribute to dental erosion.
Black tea also has a role to play in prevention of oral cancer. People with a precancerous condition termed oral leukoplakia can cut down on the risk of oral cancer by drinking black tea. A study funded by the National Tea Research Foundation of India, has revealed that the polyphenols in black tea reverse cancer-causing changes to the DNA of cells lining the mouth. Oral leukoplakia is characterized by white patches or plaque in the mouth that are tough to do away with.
When taken with milk, black tea is also a good source of calcium. It contains traces of vitamin B2 and B6, manganese, potassium and zinc. As more research is done on the benefits of black tea, it is becoming more apparent that incorporating tea into our daily lives can benefit our health in a number of ways.
“He who depends upon himself will achieve the greatest happiness.”
~ Book of Odes