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Acupuncture, Massage, Newsletter - October 2006 | Issue 29






In this issue you will find: Important PCOM Dates
  • October 24 – North American Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Day
  • October 24 – New York Open House
  • October 28 – Chicago Fall Open House
  • November 2-5 – Pacific Symposium

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Pacific College Celebrates North American Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Day

In an effort to increase public awareness of the progress, promise, and benefits of acupuncture and Oriental medicine, each Pacific College campus is supporting this day in a unique way.

Both San Diego and Chicago will offer $10 treatments to new patients in the clinic, and $10 off treatment for current patients on Tuesday, October 24, 2006.   These treatments will be by appointment only.

New York will be hosting a celebration from 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 24, 2006.   The festivities will include complimentary community style acupuncture for relaxation and stress relief, Qi gong/energy exercise workshops, massage therapy demonstrations/workshops and lectures on acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

To join us for any of these celebrations or for more information please call (800) 729-0941.

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Pacific Symposium 2006: Offers The Popular Restoration Track & Advanced Acupuncture Techniques Workshops

The 18th annual Pacific Symposium returns this year, November 2 –5, 2006 at the beautiful Catamaran Resort Hotel in San Diego for four days of learning and sharing. This year features new faces, and old favorites, all of who are recognized leaders in the Oriental medicine field.

A highlight of this year’s Symposium is the popular Restoration Track.
The Restoration Track is a hands-on, relaxing series of workshops that provides an in-depth exploration of bodywork and massage. In addition to the restoration track, for the first time a new series of Advanced Acupuncture Techniques Workshops is being offered to provide the opportunity to learn advanced needling, palpatory diagnosis, pulse analysis, and pain management methods.  This tract is invaluable to practitioners due to its diverse techniques taught by the most experienced professionals in the field.  Both the Restoration Track and Advanced Acupuncture tracts provide two alternatives to the general session lectures.

The keynote speaker for this Symposium is Ted Kaptchuck, author of The Web That Has No Weaver, whowill be discussing how man’s view of illness and health have changed from the religious traditions of pre-Confucian times to the rational perspectives evident in the Nei Jing.  Kaptchuck will also discuss the quality of Eastern medicine care versus the quantitative approach in biomedicine.

Ted Kaptchuk, was involved with the first Symposium in 1989, and each time he has been a speaker he has been in high demand. Currently, Kaptchuk is the associate director of the Center for Alternative Medicine Research and Education at Boston 's Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. 

Come join us for the 18th annual Pacific Symposium.  Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from the best speakers from around the world.
                                                           
To register for this event go to www.Pacificcollege.edu/Symposium or call (800) 729-0941.

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Knee Pain Decreased with Acupuncture

Knee pain is an ailment that is commonly experienced, especially in active adults. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, more than 11 million visits are made to physicians' offices each year because of a knee or knee-related problem. It is the most often treated anatomical site by orthopedists, and one of the most oft-examined sites among general practitioners.

The knee is one of the most frequently injured joints due to its size, and the complexity of the structure.  Knee injuries can be caused by several factors. Most complaints of knee pain result from some form of trauma, such as a torn or ruptured ligament; a broken or fractured kneecap; torn cartilage; or an accident that causes damage to the area or strains the knee beyond its normal range of motion. Other conditions that can lead to knee pain include infections; arthritis; hemarthrosis (blood in the knee joint); cysts; and bone tumors. Being overweight can also contribute to knee problems by causing excess strain on the ligaments and cartilage.

Studies have shown acupuncture to be effective in relieving certain types of knee pain, especially arthritic conditions of the knee and knee joint.

On December 21, 2004, the Annals of Internal Medicine published the results of an NCCAM-funded study of acupuncture for osteoarthritis of the knee. The study team was led by Brian M. Berman, M.D., Director of the Center for Integrative Medicine and Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.

The randomized clinical trial at the University of Maryland followed 570 participants for 6 months, making it the longest and largest study of acupuncture to date. In the study, 190 of the participants received acupuncture treatment and 191 received a "sham" acupuncture procedure that the team had developed and tested in earlier research. A third group (189) attended an educational program developed by the Arthritis Foundation. All participants were allowed to continue using some conventional care for osteoarthritis, such as certain anti-inflammatory medicines. By week 8, the acupuncture group had better function than either the sham or the education group. By the 14th week, the acupuncture group also reported significantly less pain than the two other groups.

Also, a 1999 study comparing electroacupuncture to ice massage and transcutaneous nerve stimulation (TENS) for subjects with osteoarthritis found that acupuncture decreased pain and stiffness levels and increased muscle strength and flexion in the knee. Smaller studies have confirmed that acupuncture is beneficial in reducing knee pain, stiffness and physical disability in patients with knee and knee-related problems. It can ease the discomfort some subjects feel while waiting for knee surgery, and in some cases, it may even be considered an alternative to surgery.
As with any other form of care, however, remember that not all patients will respond to acupuncture. Make sure to discuss the situation thoroughly with your acupuncturist before undergoing treatment for knee/leg pain (or any other condition).

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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.

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.  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.

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Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day

“Flow with whatever is happening and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.”

- Chuang Tzu

Acupuncture, Massage, Newsletter - September 2006 | Issue 28

In this issue you will find: Important PCOM Dates
  • September 26 – New York Open House
  • September 30 – San Diego Open House
  • October 28 – Chicago Fall Open House

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Tea Benefits for Transplanted Liver

The liver has multiple functions such as creating bile for digesting fats, storing glycogen for conversion to glucose, and secreting enzymes that aid in digestion and absorption of carbohydrates and proteins.  A healthy liver is essential to maintaining health and living a long life. 

The most common causes of liver breakdown are excessive alcohol intake, overeating, and poor diet (one high in complex sugars and fats).  These things accompanied by a sedentary lifestyle can also harm the liver because when the liver’s capacity to store energy is exhausted it begins to change the glycogen (converted food energy) into fat for storage.  A fatty liver or hepatic steatosis is the most common reason a person needs a liver transplant.  The liver becomes so clogged with fat that blood, bile, and other excretions can no longer flow freely through it and normal function stagnates becoming self destructive.   

Recently scientists have been testing the efficacy of using tea, especially green tea, in reducing the number of liver transplant rejections.  Specifically scientists are putting their attention on the polyphenols and anit-oxidants in green tea in an effort to discover if they have an effect on the scavenging of liver free radicals that react with fat cells such as those associated with high cholesterol, and if they improve circulation necessary for creating healthy liver grafts. 

Many donated livers are from accident victims, and many of these accidents are ones in which the benefactor was under the influence of alcohol.  The likelihood of a donor recipient accepting a healthy liver is only about 75%, and there is a far lower success rate for fatty/alcoholic livers.  If blood can not move freely through the transplanted liver it will not be afforded the necessary nutrients to heal and graft properly.  However, as the waiting list for liver transplants is so long, and one fifth of Americans suffer from fatty liver, compromised livers are being used in transplant surgeries.

In a study conducted on rats by Zhi Zong PhD at North Carolina Chapel Hill, it was shown that soaking fatty livers in a green tea solution prior to transplant greatly increased the success and acceptance rate of the transplant.  The green tea is thought to give rise to hepatic energy stores (glycogen in liver) and help activate the living tissue in the liver.  There is a definite adjustment period for donated livers that can vary greatly between individual recipients and can sometimes last for months, even years.  The tea is thought to act as a crutch for the body when it comes to integrating and revitalizing inert liver tissue so the body can maintain natural function.  EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) is the anti-oxidant found in green tea scientists believe is responsible for this process.  Some of its attributes are it protects against digestive and respiratory disorders, blocks actions of carcinogens, is anti-bacterial, helps lower cholesterol, increases fat metabolism, and it stimulates the immune system.  In EGCG rats, fatty liver content was reduced by up to 55% and there was a higher acceptance rate of transplant and production of healthy grafts.

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Acupuncture for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders

The word functional disorder refers to a disease or disorder when a body part functions in an abnormal manner. The Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders affects many people around the globe of different age groups, and of all genders. Western physicians have accounted that Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders are the most common illness found in most individuals in primary care or gastroenterology.

The most common Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders include the following:
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Dyspepsia
Constipation
Diarrhea
Pelvic Floor pain
Abdominal bloating
Biliary disorders
Esophageal disorders and GERD

Causes of Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders are not found through a blood test or x-ray, but are identified based on the symptoms.   As there is no little understanding to these types of disorders, Western medicine uses drug and nutritional therapy to provide relief for the discomfort.  However, as each set of symptoms is different, it may take several different drug combinations, before a patient finds complete relief. One alternative therapy to help alleviate symptoms is acupuncture. Practitioners and patients around the world have successfully been using acupuncture to treat Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders for years.

Acupuncture is defined as a technique to insert and manipulate the needles in the acupuncture points on the body. This helps in curing the gastrointestinal problems and helps in healing the pain. Patients suffering from gastrointestinal disorders find acupuncture effective because it revises the acid secretion, GI motility, and visceral pain. When you apply acupuncture to the lower limbs it causes muscle contractions through the somatoparasympathetic pathway. Additionally, when you apply Acupuncture to the upper abdomen, it causes the muscle relaxation via the somatosympathetic pathway.

Acupuncture is based on the theory that there are patterns of energy flow through the body that are essential for health. Disruptions of this flow are believed to be responsible for the Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. Acupuncture helps correct this disruption in flow at identifiable points close to the skin. Acupuncture also helps to focus on a holistic, energy based approach to the patient rather than a disease - orientated diagnostic and treatment model. There have been various studies on human beings as well as animals to indicate the fact that Acupuncture causes the multiple biological responses. These multiple responses can occur at various places such as close to the site of application, at a distance, or mediated mainly by sensory neurons to many structures within the central nervous system. This helps to activate the pathways affecting various physiological systems in the brain. Additionally, Acupuncture may also activate the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, which results in a broad spectrum of systemic effects.

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Herb of the Month -- SALVIA OFFICINALIS - RED SAGE / SAGE

The Common Sage can have white, greenish-grey or purplish-red leaves. Often, Sage products and preparations refer to, or contain 'Red Sage'. This is not a different species, it is still Common Sage, but the plants with purplish-red leaves have been used. According to medical herbalists, the red leaf sage is the preferred medicinal variety.

From at least as far back as the Middle Ages, Sage has been documented as a 'cure-all' with references to longevity in folk medicine.  Commercially, Sage has always been very popular for culinary use, with its very strong, distinctive taste and aroma. In more recent years Sage has become increasingly popular for its therapeutic use, especially with symptoms associated with the menopause.

USES OF RED SAGE
Research has suggested that the presence of volatile oil in Sage is largely responsible for most of its therapeutic properties, especially its antiseptic, astringent and relaxing actions. This also gives Sage an oestrogenic action which is partly responsible for hormonal effects, such as reducing breast-milk production.  In Chinese medicine, Sage is a 'Yin' (female) tonic with a reputation for supporting the Nervous System. Like all aromatic/culinary herbs, Sage can soothe the Digestive Tract.

HORMONES - Red Sage can;
   * Improve irregular and scanty periods
   * Promote stronger menstrual flow
   * Reduce sweating, especially during the menopause
   * Reduce hot flushes and generally help the body to adjust to
     hormonal changes

GENERALLY - Red Sage;
   * Relieves sore throats, taken internally and used as a very
     effective gargle
   * Encourages the healing process, especially for mouth ulcers,
     sore gums and external wounds in general
   * Aids digestion. Sage acts as a digestive tonic helping to
     stimulate or soothe the Digestive Tract
   * As a Nerve tonic, helps to both calm and stimulate the
     Nervous System
   * Is useful for stings and bites, especially if the fresh
     leaves are rubbed onto the affected area
   * Was traditionally used to help asthma; the dried leaves are
     often used in herbal smoking mixtures
   * Can alleviate mild diarrhoea, because of its astringent
     (drying) properties

DOSAGE
Infusion: Half - 1 teaspoon dried herb to each cup boiling water, infuse 15 minutes. Use 1 cup three times daily or used as a gargle and mouthwash as often as required.
Tincture: 30-60 drops, in water or juice three times daily.
Fluid Extract: 15-30 drops, in water or juice three times daily.
Capsules: Powdered herb min 325mg, 1-4 capsules three times daily.
Or follow the instructions on any proprietary pack of a Red Sage
product being used.

COMBINATIONS
Like all herbal products, Red Sage can be found with other herbs in combination products. For example, Echinacea and Myrrh may be combined with Red Sage in a gargle mixture to enhance its healing properties. Or, it may be combined with other 'female' herbs known to assist with symptoms of the menopause, such as, Agnus Castus or Wild Yam.

Find a product which works for you - either the single herb or a combination of herbs - and continue for a full course of treatment.

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Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day

“If you breathe partially, you live partially”

-- Unknown

Acupuncture, Massage, Newsletter - August 2006 | Issue 26






In this issue you will find: Important PCOM Dates
  • August 4 – New York MSTOM Open House
  • August 8 – Chicago Massage Open House
  • August 13 – New York Graduation
Upcoming CEU Events in San Diego

November 2 through 5  -- 18th Annual Pacific Symposium featuring the popular Restoration Track and a new series of Advanced Acupuncture Techniques Workshops.

Don’t miss out on four days of learning and sharing with the best in holistic health.  Register online now: 

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Acupuncture for the Relief of Arthritis Pain

Acupuncture is a very effective form of pain control in that it can relieve soreness in three ways. First, it causes the body to produce chemicals called endorphins, which inhibit the perception of pain naturally. Second, it blocks the transmission of pain signals to the brain through the nervous system. Thirdly, it deactivates trigger points. Trigger points are tender and extremely reactive areas that develop within muscles. The result of acupuncture is widespread relaxation of both mind and body.

Arthritis is a pervasive disease that causes pain and inflammation in joints and can be widely spread throughout the body. Arthritis isn’t just one disease, it is a complex disorder that comprises more than 100 distinct conditions and can affect people at any stage of life. The common thread among arthritis symptoms is persistent joint pain and inflammation of the joints.  While arthritis pain and inflammation cannot be avoided as the body ages, with the aid of acupuncture and Oriental medicine the pain can be managed to a greater degree and improve functioning.

The latest study by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) is one of the largest and longest clinical trials to show such conclusive effects and patients who underwent acupuncture treatment reported a 44% average reduction in pain and a 40% improvement in mobility.

Combining acupuncture with standard drug therapy can relieve pain and improve movement in people with arthritis of the knee, according to a new study conducted by Dr Brian Berman, from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, and was funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS).

In the trial, Dr. Berman and his colleagues studied 570 patients with an average age of 65 who had osteoarthritis of the knee. Participants were randomly assigned to receive one of three treatments for 26 weeks, in addition to standard care such as anti-inflammatory medications and pain relievers:

  • Acupuncture – inserting thin needles into certain body points to stimulate improved health.
  • Sham acupuncture – patients feel some sensation from a needle but it isn't actually inserted.
  • A self-help course for managing pain.

 
Throughout the 26 week trial, participants continued to receive their normal standard medical care, including anti-inflammatory drugs and pain relievers.

By the eighth week, acupuncture patients showed a significant increase in function compared with both the sham treatment and self-help groups. By week 14, they were also experiencing a significant decrease in pain. By the end of the trial overall pain was reduced by about 40% and function improved by almost 40% in the volunteers receiving acupuncture.

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Summer and Traditional Chinese Medicine
By: Andrew Pacholyk, L.Ac. www.peacefulmind.com

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we have a healing methodology called the 5 Phases (Elements). Summer is ruled by the Fire element and is expressed in nature as well as in the body. Growth, joy and spiritual awareness between the heart and mind are the focus during this season. Summer-heat belongs to the element of fire and is predominant during the summer season.

Symptoms of summer heat are excess body heat, profuse sweating, parched mouth and throat, constipation, and heart palpitations.

Strengthening the immune system should be a part of any seasonal ritual! Any tonic formula that strengthens the essence, nourishes the Qi and regulates the heart is appropriate.

Remember, the best form of medicine, is preventative. Learn how to heal with the seasons and how Traditional Chinese Medicine can bring your body back into balance!

The Fire Element

The element, Fire is associated with the Summer season and with heat.  The element is associated with the heart, pericardium, small intestines and related to the tongue.

Emotionally, this element is associated with the mind and it's stability. The heart is the "seat" of the mind and therefore, its highest expression is love. Enthusiasm, warmth in human relationships and conscious awareness.

The heart Chakra is in the center of the Chakra system and is the integrator of opposites in the psyche: mind and body, male and female, persona and shadow, ego and unity.

When imbalanced, we may either lack joy (depression) or have an excess of joy (maniac condition). Fire is symbolic of maximum activity or greatest Yang; nature at its peak of growth, and the motion is upward. Agitation, nervous exhaustion, heartburn and insomnia are other indicators of imbalance in this area.

Physically, when the fire element is balanced, the heart properly governs and circulates the blood and insures proper assimilation of the beginning breakdown of food in the small intestines.

Emotionally, when the fire element is balanced, sensitivity and expression, true fulfillment and the equilibrium between heart and mind are our greatest rewards.

Late Summer

Late Summer is considered the "dog day afternoons" when in late August and "Indian Summer" are hotter and damper days rich in humidity and a feeling of heaviness in the air. This often parallels the way our bodies feel during this period.

Dampness is associated with the element earth and is most active in late summer. Ailments of excessive dampness can be induced by sudden exposure to fog or mist, immersion in water or exposure to rain, and living in excessively damp locations or climates. The surface pores on the body are open. Because summer is humid, the pathogenic factors, which cause diseases in this season always mix with dampness. The symptoms include abdominal pains, vomiting, intestinal spasms, diarrhea, lethargy, aching joints, and heaviness in the chest - are characteristically heavy and sluggish in nature and tend to block the flow of energy throughout the body.

"Inner-dampness" is caused by excess cold consumption of liquor, tea, cold melons, and sweet, greasy foods. These impede spleen functions.

Consider a healthy, nutritional diet, getting good quality sleep and moderate exercise this can keep our physical form at it's best, always. Consider Traditional Chinese Medicine, herbal medicine or homeopathic medicine.

Remedies for Heat Exhaustion

The summer heat can sneak up on you and not only zap your energy, while you are outdoors, but it can cause dehydration, sunburn and actual exhaustion! Children under four, people over 65, and those who are obese, already ill, or taking medications can especially be affected very easily. Prolonged exposure to heat and insufficient body fluid can result in heat exhaustion. Its symptoms can include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness headache and nausea or vomiting. Here are the best remedies for heat exhaustion:

  1. Carry water with you and sip it throughout the day. Dehydration can set in and we don't even realize it until we begin to feel thirsty!
  2. Pace yourself when working outdoors, exercising or just having fun. Those who participate in regular exercise over time, allowing their bodies to adjust to hot conditions, may better tolerate exercise on hot days.
  3. Replace salts and minerals with electolytes such as Gatoraide or other power drinks that have potassium. Avoid drinks with large amounts of sugar. Dehydration can stress the heart and impair the kidneys' ability to maintain the correct level of fluids and balance of electrolyte. Electrolytes are charged elements—like potassium, sodium, phosporous and chloride—essential for the normal function of every cell in the body.
  4. Wear lightweight clothing the lighter the colored clothing (white,being ideal) the more sunlight is reflected away from you. Darker colors absorb the light and heat.
  5. Seek air conditioning, cool breezes under the shade and/or take cool showers in order to bring down your body temperature.
  6. Sunburn can happen very easily if you are not careful. Dilute one part Tea Tree Oil with ten parts of olive oil or coconut oil and spread freely over the affected areas. This is soothing and pain-relieving and to reduce blistering and peeling. People have also applied tea tree oil full strength to sunburn.
  7. Use common sense Schedule your outdoor activities to avoid the hottest parts of the day, and use a buddy system if necessary to keep watch on those at high risk.
  8. If you feel dizzy and/or stop sweating, quit all activity and get out of the sun fast. Drink cool, not cold water with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in it. The vinegar helps to replace electrolytes and minerals like sports drinks do.
  9. In ancient Egypt, China and the Far East, watermelon juice and its seeds were traditionally offered to thirsty travelers, and they are still important today in times of drought or water pollution. This flavorful fruit is one of the best remedies for dehydration and summer heat symptoms, which include thirst without desire to drink, band-like headache, nausea, low appetite, heavy, weighted body sensation, low motivation, sluggish digestion, increased body temperature, sticky sweat, surging pulse, and red tongue with thick white or yellow coating. Watermelon cools and cleanses the system, clearing summerheat and acts as a natural diuretic.
  10. Take a cool bath. Run a cool bath and relax in the water for 15-20 minutes. Try to submerge as much of your body as possible.

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Chai Tea for Digestion

Legend and lore suggest Chai Tea was invented by a royal king in India who kept his recipe undisclosed and sacred.  In fact Chai Tea is a product of Ayurveda, a science of India that dates as far back as five thousand years.  Chai does not refer to a particular type of tea but the manner in which it is prepared and served, with milk/cream and honey/sugar.  Traditionally each family would have their own recipe of herbs and spices to mix and boil with tea leaves.  This recipe was based on available ingredients and the constitutions of family members.  Typically this is a highly potent blend that has myriad medicinal and health promoting properties.  Among these benefits of consuming Chai regularly is to increase the digestive fire, sooth and relax the digestive tract, increase waste and toxin excretion, elevate metabolism, and decrease appetite.

Science is finding Tea (Black, Green, and Oolong), the main ingredient of Chai, is an excellent source for anti-oxidants, good for the heart, and reducing cholesterol levels.  In addition numerous herbs are combined with the Tea to give it its unique flavors and healing properties.  It isn’t one herb or spice in general that aids in digestion but the combination of many acting together.  The result is a delicious, piquant, and often times dark brew. 

Chai Tea, like the human body, is a homogenous mixture of many compounds acting and reacting together to create harmony.  As with soup, the ingredients when boiled in water draw out and enhance the flavors within one another before fusing together to form one wholesome decoction you can drink.  Digestion begins with the mouth and usually we tend to equate bad tastes and smells with being good for us.  Such is not the case with Chai.  It represents a harmonious blend of all five tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, salt, and spice) recognized by the taste buds that is also pleasing to the other senses.

As stated previously there are virtually endless combinations of herbs and spices that can be used to create Chai.  However, there are some staples used in nearly all, from the family recipe to store bought.  A breakdown of ingredients in many Chai Teas and their homeopathic applications will help elucidate how the unlimited amalgamations can be used to remedy various individual constitution disruptions and ailments, most specifically those related to digestion.

Black Pepper is one of the first ingredients to stimulate the body as it works with the taste buds and their relationship to the stomach.  The taste buds signal the stomach to excrete hydrochloric acid which is necessary for digestion of proteins and other food components.  If food goes undigested by the stomach it can sit sedentary for hours.  This leads to symptoms of indigestion and/or heartburn.  If undigested food moves into the intestinal tract it begins to rot.  The intestines are meant for absorbing nutrients not digesting them.  As the food begins to rot it becomes an ideal place for gas producing, diarrhea inducing, and constipation causing gut bacteria.  In addition the outer layer of the peppercorn helps stimulate metabolism and breakdown existing fat cells. 

Cinnamon is considered to be one of the world’s oldest known spices.  There was a time when it was considered such a commodity it was used as a type of currency.  It is found in nearly every Chai.  It aids in digestion by calming the stomach, fighting bacteria and fungus.  It has been shown to increase production of insulin in test tube trials and has anti-nausea and diarrhea attributes.  Cinnamon also enhances the effects of other herbs and bridges the gap between flavors. 

Fennel has also been well known for centuries by the Greeks, Egyptians, and Eastern cultures for its culinary and medicinal uses.  It is one of those super foods as it contains Vitamin C & B, supports liver, gall bladder, and spleen function, as well as aiding in digestion by dispersing flatulence causing bacteria.  Fennel is also a good source of fiber so it helps to keep the large intestine and colon healthy.

Ginger is the only root employed in medicine and cooking.  It has a mild, cool flavor that helps settle the stomach.  The gingerols and shogaols found in Ginger have been proven to ease the effects of motion sickness.

Cloves are often found in various Chai Teas.  They are revered for their ability to kindle the digestive fire.  Cloves are also good for soothing the throat and mouth and are sometimes incorporated into lozenges or sprays for such purposes. 

Chai Tea is available in store bought teabags or if you are into making your own the herbs are quite tangible and can be found year round at your local health store.  When preparing Chai it can be served hot or cold.  Traditionally it is served with milk or cream and honey.  The milk softens the flavor of the many potent herbs and the honey, sometimes referred to as “Perfection of Sweet,” balances the spices.

For more information on the health benefits of tea, visit www.RoyalDynastyTea.com

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Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day

“The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal name”

- Lao Tzu

Acupuncture, Massage, Newsletter - August 2006 | Issue 27






In this issue you will find: Important PCOM Dates
  • September 10 – San Diego Commencement Ceremony
  • September 12 – Chicago MSTOM Open House
  • September 26 – New York MSTOM Open House
  • September 30 – San Diego Open House

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Cancer Patients Find Relief Through Massage

The battle with cancer can be daunting and traumatic. Family members, caregivers and patients are asked to endure the difficulty and uncertainty of treatment and recovery. For many patients, added physical pain may develop from the cancer or from treatments.

Cancer pain is complicated because it can arise from a variety of sources. It can come directly from a tumor that destroys or presses on tissues, bones, and nerves. Muscle aches can result from the physical inactivity a patient may experience during or after drug treatments or surgery. Pain unrelated to cancer, such as headache, backache and arthritis, can significantly increase the discomfort of the patient. A massage-licensed therapist can relieve these types of pain, greatly improving the wellbeing of the patient.

Twenty percent of all cancer patients in the U.S. seek massage therapy. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York collected patient response to their massage therapy program. After two days, the benefit of massage was evident -- anxiety levels dropped 52 percent, pain 40 percent, fatigue 41 percent, depression 31 percent and nausea 21 percent.

Treatments for cancer-related pain are varied and are often used in combination for the best results. Massage therapy is one avenue of treatment that permeates a deeper level of healing. Massage reduces stress and anxiety levels, relieves insomnia, decreases nausea, eases depression, manages pain and lessens the need for medication.

The benefit of massage cannot always be measured. Patients can experience a deep sense of wellbeing through bodywork. They gain a sensation of being cared for and being held. As the body fights against disease, stress and trauma accumulate. Massage helps to ease the effects of cancer pain out and away from the body.

Comfort, quality of life and sense of calm and wellbeing -- each of which are a benefit of massage -- should not be undervalued. These conditions are fundamental in changing a patient's outlook, which can have incredible healing powers. Feeling and looking healthy are other aspects of keeping a patient's sprits up. The visually evident benefit of massage includes its anti-inflammatory effect. The sooner patients receive massage after surgery, the less swelling they develop.

Due to the nature of their disease, cancer patients can be viewed as too fragile for massage, but massage has proven safe and beneficial at many stages of cancer. A responsible, massage-licensed therapist knows the patient's condition and what is involved in his or her other treatments. The therapist also researches the drugs the patient is taking, as well as the resulting side effects, in order to provide the most complete and beneficial treatment possible.

A massage-licensed therapist can also serve as an early warning system. Therapists occasionally find lumps that have not shown up on medical scans. In addition, massage is often as effective, cheaper, less invasive, more comforting and side-effect-free than drug treatments for common cancer pain problems.

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Red Tea Is Beneficial For Tension And Depression

The Chinese scholar Lu Yu in his Cha Shung, the earliest treatise on tea, says, “When feeling hot, thirsty, depressed, suffering from headache, eye ache, fatigue of the four limbs or pains in the joints, one should only drink tea. Tea tempers the spirit, harmonizes the mind, dispels lassitude, relieves fatigue, awakens thought, prevents drowsiness and refreshes the body and mind.” What else would be the most effective way to help you cope with the stress of day to day living in today’s competitive world?

Red tea is known to have a soothing effect on the central nervous system and is a safe, long term herbal remedy for headaches, irritability, disturbed sleeping patterns, insomnia, nervous tension, stress, hypertension, panic attacks and even mild depression.

India is the largest producer of Red tea while Sri Lanka ranks second. Kenya and Vietnam are the new entrants. The best variety of Red tea is grown in Darjeeling located in the Himalayan region of India. In the West, Darjeeling has become synonymous with tea.

Rooibos or ‘red bush’ from South Africa is found to be a very potent variety of red tea prepared from the leaves of the herb Aspalathus linearis. Indigenous to the Cape of Good Hope region of South Africa, Rooibos is the only red tea that undergoes a fermentation process similar to black tea. Fermentation turns the green leaves into a garnet colour and lends a very sweet flavor. Rooibos endowed with a very high magnesium (‘Nature’s tranquilizer’) component, acts as a natural adaptogen i.e., that which helps the body adapt to stress.

Incidentally, Rooibos is almost caffeine-free. Research shows that 60 per cent of tea drinkers experience insomnia and anxiety due to the high caffeine intake, especially when they consume large quantities regularly. Rooibos has less than 1mg caffeine per cup as compared to even decaffeinated green tea that contains 30 mg caffeine per cup.

The Tibetan herbal red tea varieties, Sorig and Loong,are found to be very effective for alleviating stress when taken with salt and honey.

A common offshoot of Stress and depression is a weak immune system. Certain types of the Oolong variety of tea contain high concentrations of a particular amino acid which help strengthen the body’s immune system response when fighting off infection.

Red tea also has a high concentrate of Thiamine, an amino acid, which enhances blood circulation to the brain, and thereby has a tranquilizing effect, and an increased cognitive activity and brain function.

Regular consumption of tea thus leaves you refreshed during the day and relaxed at night.

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Chinese Extract May Yield Diabetes Treatment

Traditional Chinese Medicine is fast emerging as one of the most potent treatment for diabetes. A new research report published by Bradford B. Lowell from Harvard Medical School, Michael Wheeler from University of Toronto, and Chen-Yu Zhang from Nanjing University, show that Gardenia fruit extract can effectively help treat type II diabetes. The fruit extract contains a chemical that can aid in overturning pancreatic malfunction.

Diabetes is caused by abnormalities in pancreatic cells, especially the insulin producing beta cells. Type II diabetes often results from the pancreas’ inability to produce enough insulin. This shortage of insulin is attributed to the presence of a substance known as uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2). Presently, different diabetes therapies are focused only on controlling the disease. However, with this new extract, Diabetes may one day become a fully reversible disease.

Researchers conducted laboratory tests on two groups of mice. The extract stimulated pancreas cells taken from normal mice to secrete insulin. However, cells from mice engineered to lack UCP2 didn't respond. These results suggested that the extract contained the UCP2 inhibitor that the researchers were seeking.

After further analysis of the extract, the researchers have attributed the UCP2 inhibiting action to genipin, a small molecule isolated from the fruit extract. Researchers further report that adding genipin to isolated pancreatic tissue reverses high glucose and obesity-induced dysfunction of insulin-producing beta cells. The fact that a derivative of genipin that lacked the chemical's cross-linking activity continued to inhibit UCP2 presents great scope for developing genipin-related compounds for therapeutic use. Researchers, however, point out that further work will be needed to examine whether inhibition of UCP2 itself might also have some negative consequences.

It is likely to take some time and further research before we see a new stream of drugs for treatment of diabetes. The research findings, however, do send a direct message of hope to all those waiting for a cure for diabetes.

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Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day

“When planning for a year, plant corn. When planning for a decade, plant trees. When planning for life, train and educate people.”

-- Anonymous

Acupuncture, Massage, Newsletter - July 2006 | Issue 25






In this issue you will find: Important PCOM Dates
  • July 8 & 9 – 2nd Annual NY STUDENT SYMPOSIUM Many Paths, One Medicine: East Meets East
  • July 11 – Chicago Open House
  • July 14 & 16 – San Diego Vietnam Veteran Stand Down
  • July 16 – International Massage Week

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Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, New York presents, Many Paths One Medicine

For the second year, Pacific College, New York is pleased to present the student Symposium, Many Paths, One Medicine: East Meets East, July 8 and 9, 2006.

These two days will feature inspiring speakers, hands-on workshops, and knowledgeable exhibitors that may help you to improve your practice, and obtain valuable CEU’s.

Featured speakers for this event include, Bob Flaws, Nigel Dawes, Eric Brand, Marilyn Allen, Jeffrey Yuen, in addition to several other notable professionals in this field.

This event will also provide an opportunity for attendees to visit with some of the best and most knowledgeable vendors in holistic medicine today.

For more information on this event or to register click here:

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Quit Smoking with Acupuncture
By: Diane Joswick, L.Ac. / www.Acufinder.com

Each year, people across the globe vow to finally quit smoking for good only to watch their resolution go up in smoke. If you have tried to quit smoking, you know how difficult it can be. It is hard because nicotine is a powerful addiction. For some people, it can be as addictive as heroin or cocaine.

Acupuncture as an alternative approach to smoking cessation has a growing number of converts. In fact, acupuncture is often a court mandated treatment for drug addicts because of its ability to curb withdrawal symptoms and manage cravings.

It is estimated that most smokers will attempt to quit 2 or 3 times, or more, before finally kicking the habit. When conventional methods to quit smoking, such as nicotine gum or patches, have failed, smokers often look outside the mainstream and turn to alternative medicine.

Acupuncture is not a panacea or a magic cure in the treatment of any addiction, including smoking. But, acupuncture is effective in making it easier to quit and remain smoke-free. If you are highly motivated and ready to quit, acupuncture can empower you to take control and begin a healthy and smoke-free life!

A Formidable Addiction
More than 50 million Americans smoke, and nearly 7 million more use smokeless tobacco. The numbers are even higher in other parts of the globe, with worldwide statistics showing that one out of three men and women over the age of 18 are smokers.

The reasons to quit smoking are endless. Cigarettes have 4000 known poisons, any of which can kill in high enough doses. One drop of pure nicotinic acid can kill a man. According to the CDC, tobacco kills more than 440,000 people each year, in the US alone. Not to mention the chronic illnesses and diseases that are associated with smoking. Emphysema, lung cancer, high blood pressure, shortness of breath, chronic cough, an increased frequency of colds and flu; these are just a few of the widely known risks associated with smoking.

Many people decide to quit because of the enormous expense of a cigarette habit or are just plain tired of being dependant on a substance. There is also considerable social pressure not to smoke. I am sure that most smokers can recall a dirty look or rude comment from someone that was nearby when they lit up.

How Does Acupuncture Help Break the Cigarette Habit?
Acupuncture has turned a growing number of cigarette cravers into permanent ex-smokers. As said before, acupuncture is not a panacea or a magic cure in the treatment of smoking. It can, however, reduce the cravings and lessen the withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting. A successful acupuncture program will include patient preparation, patient commitment, and education about what acupuncture will and will not do.

Oriental Medicine aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual using a variety of techniques such as acupuncture, Chinese herbs, bodywork, lifestyle/dietary recommendations and energetic exercises to restore imbalances found in the body.

Your acupuncturist may do an interview to learn about your unique smoking habits and perform a physical examination including blood pressure, taking the pulse and observing the tongue. The emotional and physical symptoms that you are experiencing will help create a clear picture on which your practitioners can create a treatment plan specifically for you.

The acupuncture treatments will focus on the jitters, the cravings, the irritability, and the restlessness that people commonly complain about when they quit. It will also aid in relaxation and detoxification.

 

Are There Herbs To Help Me Quit Smoking?

Often you are prescribed herbs or supplements to control cravings or withdrawal symptoms.
There are three areas to address for herbal support; dryness and tissue repair, irritability and cravings.

*          A Lung Yin Tonic such as Ophiopogonis Combination (Mai Men Dong Tang) is often used to moisten the lungs and mouth which can prevent cravings and repair tissue damage caused by smoking.
*          A Chinese herbal formula to calm the spirit may be used for irritability. Bupleurum plus Dragon Bone and Oyster Shell (Chai Hu Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang) can help relieve irritability and anxiety associated with detox. Many people use this formula to help them through stressful situations and prevent relapses.
*          Lobelia Tea (Ban Bian Lian) or Green Tea can be sipped daily during the detox period to keep tissues flooded with elements that discourage nicotine cravings. (Lobelia is traditionally used to rid the body of a strong toxin such as a snake bite.)

NOTE: The improper use of Chinese Herbs can be dangerous. Please consult with a licensed acupuncturist and herbologist before taking any herbal products.

What Lifestyle and Dietary Changes Should I Make?

Exercise is encouraged and dietary and support systems are recommended to rid the body of toxins and avoid relapses:

*          Get plenty of fresh fruit and vegetable juices and miso soup to neutralize and clear the blood of nicotinic acid and to fortify blood sugar.
*          Carrots, Carrot juice, celery, leafy green salads and citrus fruits promote body alkalinity and decrease cravings.
*          Avoid junk food, sugar, chocolate, coffee and cooked spinach. They can upset blood sugar levels and increase blood acidity which can aggravate smoking-withdrawal symptoms.
*          Lobelia Tea (Ban Bian Lian) or Green Tea can be sipped daily during the detox period to keep tissues flooded with elements that discourage nicotine cravings. (Lobelia is traditionally used to rid the body of a strong toxin such as a snake bite.)
*          Drink water - Research shows that dryness causes cravings. Sip water frequently throughout the day.
*          Deep Breathing Exercises – to increase body oxygen
*          Support Person - The decision to stop smoking can elicit uncomfortable emotions. Ask someone who is available to you in the next few weeks to act as a sounding board and provide encouragement when needed.
*          Affirmation - An affirmation is a positive statement repeated often to create desired changes in your life. Repeating the affirmation helps not only to remind you why you are no longer smoking but imprints a new image of health so that the body can then produce health. Examples: "I am a non-smoker. I make healthy choices in my life."
*          Setting Boundaries - Set up contracts with other smokers to refrain from smoking in your presence. This includes spouses. When possible, stay away from smokers during the first few weeks.
*          Managing cravings – Plan what you will do during a craving. Examples: Chew licorice root sticks or gum; repeat your affirmation; breathe deeply; exercise; sing a song; dance; call your support person.

How Many Treatments Will I Need and How Long Do they Take?

The length, number and frequency of treatments will vary. Typical treatments last from five to 30 minutes, with the patient being treated one or two times a week. Some symptoms are relieved after the first treatment, while more severe or chronic ailments often require multiple treatments.

A stop smoking program will often consist of 4-6 initial treatments scheduled in the first few weeks followed by monthly treatments for four to six months.

Find an acupuncture provider to help you quit smoking on www.Acufinder.com

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Green Tea enhances overall health

Green tea is often lauded for many amazing health benefits.  Most notable is a study by Japanese scientists of the Saitama Cancer Research Institute relating the delay of cancer onset with the consumption of green tea.  The study shows that early stage breast cancer spreads less rapidly in women with a history of drinking five or more cups of green tea a day.  As a result, there is a lower recurrence rate and a longer disease-free period.

Green tea is beneficial for health due to the antioxidant epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG), the main component considered good for one’s health which is preserved in green tea but lost in oolong and black varieties when fermented.  Antioxidants are thought to prevent free radicals.

Discover what vitamins, amino acids and other nutrients and active ingredients exist in green tea.  Results from these studies suggest that green tea may be useful for the following health conditions.

Atherosclerosis
Studies indicate that the antioxidant properties of green tea may help prevent atherosclerosis, particularly coronary artery disease.

High Cholesterol
Green tea had demonstrated an ability to lower total cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol in both animals and people.

Cancer
Researchers believe that polyphenols help kill cancerous cells and stop progression.

Bladder Cancer
A follow-up study by the same group of researchers revealed that bladder cancer patients (particularly men) who drank green tea had a substantially better 5-year survival rate than those who did not.

Breast Cancer
Polyphenols in green tea inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells.  They also found that women with early stages of the disease who drank at least 5 cups of tea every day before being diagnosed with cancer were less likely to suffer recurrences of the disease after completion of treatment.

Skin Cancer
The main polyphenol in green tea is EGCG.  Scientific studies suggest that EGCG and green tea polyphenols have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties that may help prevent the onset and growth of skin tumors.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Green tea may help reduce inflammation associated with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, the two types of IBD.  Also, if green tea proves to be helpful for preventing colon cancer, this would be an added benefit for those with IBD because they are at risk for colon cancer.

Diabetes
Green tea has been used traditionally to control blood sugar in the body.  Green dea helps regulate glucose in the body.

Liver Disease
Green tea also appears to protect the liver from the damaging effects of toxic substances such as alcohol.

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Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day

"To worry before the common people worries; To enjoy only after the people can enjoy."

-- Fan Zhongyan