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  • Here's Comes the Sun
    Sunlight and Vit D Prevents Cancer
  • Eczema can be relieved by acupuncture
  • "I Don't Sweat"
  • A-H1N1 or Swine Flu
  • February and March 2009



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    Chronic Inflammation - what are the signs?

    What is inflammation? Inflammation is the natural way that your body reacts to an injury or an infection. So, it is part of being human and it helps us manage life. It’s important to remember though that we need a healthy balance of inflammatory as well as anti-inflammatory responses going on in our bodies. The important concept to keep in mind is balance. And this is where the problem lies because there any many aspects of our food, environment and lives that tend to put us all at risk for inflammatory states.

    Let’s walk through this process. There’s external inflammation which occurs on the outside of your body and it’s pretty easy to see. You get a cut, it bleeds, it hurts, it gets red, and then it heals. Bravo! Inflammation working in our favor. But there’s also internal inflammation which occurs in the tissues of your body right down to your organs. And this is the inflammation that I want to bring to your attention. Just because you can’t see this type of inflammation doesn’t mean it’s not there - because it could be lurking in your body. If you are one of the many affected, it robs you of your health. The good news is - it is manageable and may even be reversible. You can restore your own health! Like anything else, the sooner you catch the issue of inflammation, the better off you are. Any day is a good day to make a positive change. So remember, it’s never too late!

    I want to share with you some of the warning signs
    1. Fatigue - now I’m not talking you got a bad night’s sleep and you feel off for one day. This is a down and out feeling of complete exhaustion that you feel day after day. You may even notice that around a certain time of day, every day you are down for the count. Your tiredness may occur after eating a meal or a snack. It’s important to keep track of this.
    2. Pain - this is the type of pain that you cannot attribute to an accident or any recent trauma. You may feel joint pain or abdominal pain or even chest pain. This pain can affect how you function. You may not be able to do the exercises that were part of your normal workout routine. Or cleaning around the house is becoming much more difficult because your hand grip is affected.
    3. Feeling of heat - you notice that you are feeling hot and this can be a constant state for you or it could be at certain times of the day. It may only occur or get worse when you eat certain meals. Some parts of your skin feel warm to the touch or you even notice redness in certain areas. Mouth sores may even occur.
    4. Swelling - you may notice swelling in your hands upon waking in the morning. This may be referred to as edema which can be linked to skin inflammation causing increased vascular permeability and vasodilation.
    5. Poor circulation in your extremities - you may notice that your hands or feet get very cold. They may even have numbness or tingling. You fingers, toes, or tips of your fingers may even turn a shade of blue or white. This may be very painful as well.

    Is everyone susceptible to inflammation? Living in this day and age, we can all fall victim to an inflammatory condition. I say this for a number of reasons. One major player is consuming food that lacks nutrition or is just not good for us. Anything processed is pretty much just garbage, so why are we ingesting these items? I wonder about this. If it comes in a package and you cannot pronounce its ingredients, then it is not for human consumption. Other reasons for increased inflammatory states is the exposure to toxins in our environment doing daily activities such as driving in the car, the air we breathe, EMFs ( electromagnetic fields), hair dye, nail polish, work hazards, etc. The heavy metals slowly overtime build up in our systems and contribute to inflammation. Some conditions that are inflammatory include autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, celiac, sjogren’s, multiple sclerosis, ankylosing spondylitis, vasculitis, crohn’s, and ulcerative colitis just to name a few. It also includes allergies, asthma, IBD, and hepatitis.

    So I am sure you’re asking yourself, ‘How do I know my inflammation is in check?’ Inflammation is one of those issues that creep up slowly and in a strange way. And it can vary from one individual to the next. Inflammation is a wonderful way of warning us that there is something that we are doing in our lives that is causing a hyper-inflammatory state. The trick is being in tune with our bodies. The reality is if you have any one of those signs listed above, you may be suffering from anything. Chronic inflammation is in fact the root cause of most diseases nowadays. By tackling the inflammation, you can ward off a disease that may be lurking in your body just waiting to cause havoc. It is important to go to a doctor you trust and get some testing done.

    Chronic inflammation is a state of health that needs our attention right now. There are things you can do everyday to help ward off an inflammatory state. Eating healthy, exercising, meditating, laughing, mild detoxing daily, and taking time to smell the roses are some ways to fight the battle against inflammation that doesn’t serve you. Remember it is important to seek treatment from a health practitioner such as a naturopathic doctor ( ND) that is properly trained in the management of chronic illness. Find an ND in your area and make an appointment today to reach your optimal state of wellness!

     


    Benefits of Cupping for Pain, Lung Health and What Ails You

    by Peter Bongiorno ND, LAc and Pina LoGiudice ND, LAc - 12-3-2017

    Many patients have seen magazine covers of celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow or Michael Phelps with cupping marks, and have us asked if cupping might be good for his or her's particular health issues.

    See Gwyneth Paltrow's cupping marks here
    and Michael Phelps' marks here.

    Well, cupping has a thousand-year-old history of healing, and has helped millions of people over these millennia. Chances are it can help you too.

    Cupping is an ancient healing method where a glass cup is applied to the surface of the body to help move your vital energy or ‘qi’ (pronounced “chee”). Because the inside of the cup is heated, there is no air in the cup. So, when it touches the skin, it creates a vacuum that literally sucks the skin up into the cup. This will pull the fascia (muscle coverings) off tight tissue, allowing more circulation to the area. This has been shown to be very relaxing to the muscles while it helps increase nerve conduction, clearing toxins, and replenishing blood flow to the area and surrounding tissue.

    The fascia which covers your muscles holds a lot of vessels and nervous tissue and is often constricted with medical conditions. Uniquely moving this tissue with cupping can have create profound healing. While other forms of physical medicine like massage and cranial sacral therapy can help relax muscles, cupping is the only form we know that can actually pull the fascia away from the muscles to create this amazing effect.

    While cupping is most associated with acupuncture and Chinese medicine, cupping had actually developed independently among many different cultures. In fact, our Sicilian grandmothers used cupping on our parents and aunts/uncles as an old-world remedy. In fact, if you watch the Godfather II, there’s a scene where cups are used on Vito Corleone’s newborn Fredo to fight severe infant respiratory illness (

    see Godfather II movie clip here.

    Recent studies show cupping’s benefit for treating chronic pain, herpes zoster, facial paralysis, acne, plantar fasciitis, and even difficult to treat cervical spondylosis. Traditionally, it is also used for lung and respiratory conditions. One author (PB) uses it regularly to effectively stave off low back pain.

    Cupping is very safe and usually pleasant and relaxing, but is sometimes will cause momentarily uncomfortable tight feeling. Usually, it will create surface bruises that go away within a week. So, remember this if you plan on wearing your bathing suit after cupping, for people may see the marks - although, this doesn’t bother Michael Phelps or Gwyneth Paltrow!

    If you haven’t tried it for what ails you – give it a go. You might find it really helpful.

    References:

    Chi et al. The Effectiveness of Cupping Therapy on Relieving Chronic Neck and Shoulder Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016 2016: 7358918.

    Cao et al. An Updated Review of the Efficacy of Cupping Therapy. PLoS One. 2012 7(2): e31793.

    Please share PDF of this article HERE

     


    Keep Cool in Summer with Cooling Foods and Spicy and Pungent Herbs

    Summer is definitely here and with it, the heat and humidity. Many people find the heat very uncomfortable and even fatiguing. Chinese Medicine offers wonderful solutions on how to stay comfortable, no matter in the environment we may find ourselves.

    In the tradition of Chinese Medicine, each season is associated with an element. Appropriately, summer is associated with the element of fire. This makes sense, for the chief environmental factor in summer is quite obviously heat. When in balance, some heat can be good for us, but for many, too much heat can accumulate in the body and contribute to many common maladies. For example, heat in the body can contribute to sleep difficulties, irritability, skin irritations, restlessness and a host of other discomforts.

    Staying hydrated is the best way to stay cool during the summer. The bounty of fruits and vegetables available in summer is a great resource. Watermelons and cucumbers, in particular are very helpful. These stars of the summer fruit world are cooling in nature and have the added benefit of helping replenish body fluids.

    Another climatic factor in summer is humidity. Humidity can make you feel heavy-headed, sluggish and promote water retention (swelling). Pungent herbs help move energy upward and outward to the periphery of the body. The pungent flavor opens the pores so the body can cool down. Cooling or neutral pungent foods like mint, turnips, radish and kohlrabi can help keep internal humidity at bay. Other great summer pungent selection are basil and dill.

    Many people think spicy foods will make you hotter. In fact, the spicy stuff can actually cool you down. Spicier options like hot peppers, chilies and fresh ginger will help open the pores and allow us to perspire and release heat. This is a classic strategy for keeping a feeling of coolness. Remember, with these hotter choices a little can go a long way. Moderation is key.

    Summer is a season of expansion, growth and outward activity. Engage with others. laugh, enjoy the bounty of nature, and play just for the heck of it. And to keep in balance with the heat and humidity remember your:

    * cooling foods to keep heat at bay: watermelon, cucumber, celery,
    tomato, leafy greens, kiwi, mung bean, mung bean sprout and zucchini

    * spices to help release heat: hot peppers, chilies and fresh ginger

    * pungent herbs for humidity and swelling: basil, dill, peppermint, turnips, radish and turnip and radish leaves, lemon and tangerine zest, kohlrabi and green tea


    about the author: Cynthia Hewett LAc, Cert Herb brings her gentle blend of healing using Chinese Medicine, acupuncture, individualized Chinese Medicine formulas and Cranial sacral therapy. She practices at Inner Source Health in New York City. Click to learn more about Cynthia here

     


    Black cohosh contamination causing liver problems – what can we learn?


    Patients often ask me “is there really a difference between the herbs and vitamins you use in your practice, and the supplements I can get at Whole Foods or at the Vitamin Shoppe?”

    My answer is: “yes, often there is.”

    Federal laws regulating vitamins and supplements do not require that companies check their sources for quality, quantity or toxic contaminants. And generally, companies that sell vitamins and herbs do not test these for quality themselves they rely on the manufacturer of the supplement to do it, which is akin to allowing the fox protect the hen house.

    Does Black Cohosh Really Cause Liver Damage?

    Black cohosh is an herb well known for its help with hormonal balance in peri-menopausal and menopausal women. It is also helpful for mood disorders, especially depression.

    A recent article from the American Botanical Council highlights some of the on-going problems within the natural products industry (1). In this article in particular, several reports claimed an association between black cohosh and liver damage.

    When examined more thoroughly, it appears that the products implicated were made of other herbs in order to keep costs low. Poor quality control and false labeling is not new. It has happened before with other herbs like bilberry (used for diabetes and eye care), echinacea (used for immune support) and gingko (used for circulation support).

    What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?

    The best way to protect yourself is to be an active consumer and research the companies that you are using. Call their quality control departments and partner with us by letting companies know that you care.

    At Inner Source Health, we would not give a patient a supplement we would not take ourselves. We screen companies based on their testing methods, their raw batch tests and their finished batch analyses. The vitamins we use are all independently tested and verified, both for content (making sure the right herbs and vitamins are in there) and quality (making sure that common toxins like heavy metals and pesticides are not).


    Dr. Anne Williams is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist at Inner Source health in New York City. She graduated from Bastyr University in Seattle, and is well-known for her work with skin health, children and chronic disease care. More about her can be found by visiting: http://www.innersourcehealth.com/anne-williams.aspx

    References:

    1 - American Botanical Council Press release: Herbal Quality Consortium Publishes Major Article on Black Cohosh Adulteration. May 28, 2013
    http://cms.herbalgram.org/press/2013/ADU_Black_Cohosh_PR.html

     


    Gua Sha - for pain, musclar tension, colds and more

    Ancient chinese remedy for modern day issues

    05-30-2103 by Cynthia Hewett LAc, Certified Herbalist

    When we think about Chinese medicine, we usually think about acupuncture needles and herbs. Another wonderful tool and healing technique used in Chinese medicine is Gua Sha.

    Gua Sha is performed by swiftly rubbing (called ‘Gua’ in Chinese medicine) the surface of lubricated skin with a round-edged, comb-like instrument in downward strokes. This action intentionally raises a small temporary rash (known in Chinese as ‘Sha,’ also known as petechiae/rash in Western terms) in the treated area. You will feel a rubbing and slight burning sensation, but it is not painful.

    In Chinese medicine, pain and disease are said to be caused by stagnation or congestion of qi and blood. Gua Sha increases the movement of qi and blood and allows the body to restore its natural functioning.

    What Conditions Can Gua Sha Help?

    Gua Sha can help release unwanted neck and shoulder tension that comes with computer work and the busy-ness of our day (like running around and commuting). It is also prescribed for chronic muscle tightness from overuse or injury. It can be effectively used in the treatment of colds and coughs to relieve congestion and help increase the body’s immune response.

    How Does Gua Sha Do This?

    The secret of gua sha lies in how this treatment encourages the vigorous movement of blood to the surface of the body. When blood moves and circulation is enhanced, the body can help heal the area that needs to be healed. This is how gua sha helps the body’s own healing process.

    Is there Scientific Research About Gua Sha?

    In the last decade, Western studies have started to investigate how Gua Sha works. A study from 2007 confirms that Gua Sha increases the surface circulation of blood by 400% and that increased surface circulation continued at a significant level for 25 minutes following treatment. Each individual experienced a subjective decrease or complete resolution of pain [1]. A 2009 study showed that as enzymes are released to breakdown the petechiae (small broken blood vessels under the skin created by the Gua Sha treatment), an anti-inflammatory effect is created [2]. This helps explain why Gua Sha is useful in the treatment of colds and even allergy symptoms.

    Other studies have looked at Gua Sha in the treatment of migraine [3], neck and lower back pain [4], chronic neck pain [5], and hepatitis [6]. Current studies have been small but warrant further investigation especially in understanding Gua Sha’s effects on the body’s immune process.

    Gua Sha Conclusion

    Gua Sha is a safe, non-invasive treatment that is usually applied to the back of the body or the limbs. The rash usually fades in 2-4 days and patients are advised to relax the day of treatment, avoiding working out, fasting or large meals and alcohol, to allow the body to repair.

    1. Nielsen, A., Knoblauch, N., Dobos,G., Michalsen, A., Kaptchuk, T. (2007),The Effect of Gua Sha Treatment on the Microcirculation of Surface Tissue: A Pilot Study in Healthy Subjects. Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, 3: 456-466. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2007.06.001)

    2. Kwong KK, Kloetzer L, Wong KK, Ren JQ, Kuo B, Jiang Y, Chen YI, Chan ST, Young GS, Wong ST. (2009), Bioluminescence imaging of heme oxygenase-1 upregulation in the Gua Sha procedure. J Vis Exp. 2009 (30): 1385. doi: 10.3791/1385.

    3. Schwickert ME, Saha FJ, Braun M, Dobos GJ. Gua Sha for migraine in inpatient withdrawal therapy of headache due to medication overuse. Forsch Komplementmed. 2007 Oct14(5):297-300. doi:10.1159

    4. Lauche R, Wübbeling K, Lüdtke R, Cramer H, Choi KE, Rampp T, Michalsen A, Langhorst J, Dobos GJ. Randomized controlled pilot study: pain intensity and pressure pain thresholds in patients with neck and low back pain before and after traditional East Asian "gua sha" therapy. Am. J. Chin. Med. 40, 905 (2012). DOI: 10.1142/S0192415X1250067X/000107731.

    5. Braun, M., Schwickert, M., Nielsen, A., Brunnhuber, S., Dobos, G., Musial, F., Lüdtke, R. and Michalsen, A. (2011), Effectiveness of Traditional Chinese “Gua Sha” Therapy in Patients with Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Pain Medicine, 12: 362–369. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4637.2011.01053.x

    6. Chan ST, Yuen JW, Gohel MD, Chung CP, Wong HC, Kwong KK, (2011) Guasha-induced hepatoprotection in chronic active hepatitis B: A case study. Clinica Chimica Acta, Volume 412, Issues 17–18, 17 August 2011, Pages 1686-1688. doi:10.1016/j.cca.2011.05.009

    Click Here for PDF version of article

     


    Pycnogenol for GREAT SKIN

    Dr. Pina tells us what she taught Dr. Oz about having the healthiest and most beautiful skin

    12-31-2013

    Want the healthiest looking skin?

    Beautiful skin is multifactorial: water intake, good food, stress work, exercise, and nutrition.

    Dr. Pina LoGiudice shares with you her research about one supplement that can help you move towards younger and beautiful skin.

    Click HERE for ARTICLE

     


    Glycemic Load and Acne

    A Post by Anne Williams, ND, LAc

    monday, January 14, 2013

    In its article “Facing Facts About Acne,” the FDA says that “acne is not caused by diet” since to date, no research has proven a direct link. The food link was presented as a myth, with the implication being that diet should not be given much attention.

    Certainly, food is not the whole story. But a lack of evidence about its role is not proof for the conclusion that it plays no role at all.

    A lack of evidence typically serves as a call for further, better-designed research with larger studies, which is in fact just what the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology and Clinics in Dermatology recommend. In 2010, they reported a “lack of randomized controlled trials in the literature” and that “unfortunately, after reviewing the existing data, there are no answers but there are definitely more questions.”

    One example that has been more recently supported by research, are the roles of insulin and a meal’s glycemic load. Glycemic load can be roughly defined as the rise in blood sugar after a given meal. Insulin sensitivity refers to your cell’s ability to recognize and respond to insulin, which rises in response to increased blood sugar. Insulin resistance can occur when insulin rises too often and in too great a quantity. In short, what the research has found is that in addition to other effects, insulin resistance and meals with a high glycemic load may be risk factors for acne.

    Both Chinese and naturopathic medicine have long recognized the role of diet, exercise, stress and sleep in the development of acne. I would also maintain that more often than not, these traditions have refrained from making simplistic causal associations between these factors and the disease itself – rather, they have compiled a wholistic pattern of lifestyle modifications that together, rather than apart, can significantly improve the health of one’s skin.

    Though the picture is complex, diet clearly plays a role for some people and it’s a great place to start. As Hippocrates said, “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.”

    References:

    Bowe WP, et al. Diet and acne. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2010 Jul.
    Davidovici BB, et al. The role of diet in acne: facts and controversies. Clin Dermatol. 2010 Jan-Feb.
    Del Prete M, et al. Insulin resistance and acne: a new risk factor for men? Endocrine. 2012 Dec.
    Epstein SS. Unlabeled milk from cows treated with biosynthetic growth hormones: a case of regulatory abdication. Int J Health Serv. 1996
    FDA Consumer Updates: Facing Facts About Acne. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm174521.htm Accessed 12/4/12.
    Ismail NH, et al. High glycemic load diet, milk and ice cream consumption are related to acne vulgaris in Malaysian young adults: a case control study. BMC Dermatol. 2012 Aug.
    Jung JY, et al. The influence of dietary patterns on acne vulgaris in Koreans. Eur J Dermatol. 2010 Nov-Dec.
    Kwon HH, et al. Clinical and histological effect of a low glycaemic load diet in treatment of acne vulgaris in Korean patients: a randomized, controlled trial. Acta Derm Venerol. 2012 May.
    Melnik BC. The role of transcription factor FoxO1 in the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris and the mode of isotretinoin action. G Ital Dermatol Venereol. 2010 Oct.
    Saleh BO. Role of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-I in hyperandrogenism and the severity of acne vulgaris in young males. Saudi Med J. 2012 Nov.
    Veith WB, et al. The association of acne vulgaris with diet. Cutis. 2011 Aug.
    Wei B, et al. The epidemiology of adolescent acne in North East China. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2010 Aug.

     


    Inner Source Detox and Upcoming Events

    January 2013

    Inner Source Health is excited to introduce their new Detox program. Make Mine Detox is a 28 day gentle cleanse of the body designed specifically for you.

    Many symptoms we experience in our daily lives are due to toxic overload. The liver becomes overburdened with the daily struggle to eliminate the harmful substances we are exposed to. When this occurs we begin to notice symptoms of fatigue, headaches, allergies, constipation, joint pain, poor concentration, irritability, skin and hair changes.

    Make Mine Detox supports the liver and kidneys in their ability to neutralize and eliminate toxins. When we remove this heavy burden we can see weight loss, increased concentration, anti-aging effects and a decrease in the severity of many diseases.

    Make Mine Detox is structured to be individualized. We will address your needs and teach you which foods will benefit your body and increase metabolism. You will be given easy to follow instructions and additional detox tips to enhance your experience.

    Click HERE for NEWSLETTER

     


    Pycnogenol for GREAT SKIN: Dr. Pina on the Dr. Oz Show

    12-31-2013

    Do you want GREAT LOOKING SKIN?

    Dr. Pina LoGiudice explains on the Dr. Oz show her latest secret for amazing skin!

    Click HERE to WATCH video on Dr. Oz's website

     


    Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

    by drs. Pina LoGiudice, Siobhan Bleakney and Peter Bongiorno

    11.01.2012

    Learn how coconut oil can help you with:

    - weight loss

    - cholesterol

    - skin

    - aging

    and more

    Click Here to READ this ARTICLE

     


    Anti-Anxiety Drugs - Worth Risking Your Life?

    Anxiety medications increase risk of death by almost 40%

    Dr. Peter Bongiorno Psychology Today blog of 07-19-2011

    Read Dr. Peter's Psychology Today entry where he discusses the risk of anti-anxiety drugs. Learn about natural remedies that can help the underlying cause of anxiety, without increasing the risks associated with the drugs.

    Click Here for Article

     


    Lingonberry - The New Superfruit for 2012: Dr. Peter Bongiorno interviewed on FOX NEWS

    berry berry good for you

    Dec 21, 2011

    Here’s……. the Lingonberry…..

    One of new berry kids on the block being seriously looked at by medical research is the lingonberry. Lingonberry appears to have higher concentrations of plant polyphenols, and may confer even greater health benefits than its other berry cousins. Native Americans in North America have a history of using this berry to help their people suffering with diabetes and cardiovascular illness. Modern research is starting to catch up with what the Native Americans already knew.

    A 2010 Canadian study with First Nation Cree subjects found that lingonberry was able to reduce the effect of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs). AGE’s are by product of sugars and heated protein molecule in the body’s that accumulate in patients with high blood sugar. These AGE’s contribute to the damage in a diabetic’s vessels. This damage is a major contributor to kidney disease, eye disease, and circulation problems that can lead to skin sores and amputation.

    Learn more about the healthy benefits of lingonberry by clicking below and watching Dr. Peter Bongiorno introduce the benefits of this berry to the nation.

    Click Here TO WATCH VIDEO

     


    What to Do If Your Child Has Cradle Cap?

    Article on www.optiderma.com

    Are you worried about scaly patches on your baby's scalp? Read what Naturopathic Doctor Pina LoGiudice recommends to parents whose infant has cradle cap.

    Click here to read the article.

     


    Here's Comes the Sun

    Sunlight and Vit D Prevents Cancer

    March 18, 2010

    Nature provides us with what we need to keep our bodies healthy. Along with fresh water, exercise, sleep and good food, adequate sunlight is an important part of nature to help keep our circadian rhythms in healthy motion, as well as help convert vitamin D in our skin.

    One study from the National Cancer Institute in 2002 showed that ovarian and prostate cancers occurred less in people who get regular sun. And people who received regular sun as a part of their work day have even greater reductions in breast and colon cancer too (1). The only group that had increased cancer rates was in non-melanoma skin cancer – so people at higher risk for skin cancer may need to limit exposure.

    One of the reasons sunlight may be helpful is due to the increased levels of vitamin D in our bodies from sunlight. Very recent and encouraging animal research even shows that tumors can start to disappear when injected with vitamin D (2). Other studies have shown deficiencies in vitamin D will contribute to breast cancer (3) and colo-rectal cancer (4). It seems when there is not enough vitamin D around, the cancer cells keep a signal going that allows them to grow further. Furthermore, the immune tends to remain more balanced with adequate vitamin D, which may be a reason it is helpful in autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis.

    To allow nature to heal, remember to go out and get regular sunlight – a reasonable amount is 15 minutes every morning during non-peak hours. Those at higher risk for skin cancer should speak with their doctors first.

    1. Freedman DM, Dosemeci M, McGlynn K. Sunlight and mortality from breast, ovarian, colon, prostate, and non-melanoma skin cancer: a composite death certificate based case-control study. Occup Environ Med. 2002 Apr59(4):257-62.

    2. Clarke S. In Tests, Vitamin D Shrinks Breast Cancer Cells. http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/study-vitamin-d-kills-cancer-cells/story?id=9904415 accessed March 18, 2010.

    3. Li Laine O. et al. Vitamin D Deficiency Promotes Human Breast Cancer Growth in a Murine Model of Bone Metastasis. Cancer Research 70, 1835, March 1, 2010. Published Online First February 16, 2010

    4. Bischoff-Ferrari H. Health effects of vitamin D. Dermatol Ther. 2010 Jan23(1):23-30.

     


    Eczema can be relieved by acupuncture

    Date: Jan. 5, 2010

    Eczema can be relieved by acupuncture, according to a German study in 30 people. Acupuncture seems to calm the feeling of itchiness after allergen exposure. When patient were exposed a second time, there were decreases in the flare up reactions.

    This study used three conditions: one where had their skin exposed to either pollen or dust-mite allergens, where patients received points used in Chinese medicine to lower allergic reaction. The second was placebo points, not correlated to Chinese medicine, and the third was a control, which received no acupuncture.


    Reference: Pfab et. al. Allergy 2009.

     


    "I Don't Sweat"

    September 6, 2009

    A number of patients we have spoken with claim: 'well, I just don't sweat'. This may be true if you are canine, for dogs do not have sweat glands, and must pant and keep their mouth open for regulation of temperature. There are certain human conditions that can cause lack of sweating: medications such as anti-psychotics or calcium channel blockers, significant nerve damage, or a rare disease called hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia. The rest of us should be sweating it out. If you exercise, and believe you still do not sweat, you may not be exercising hard enough yet - or possibly you are dehydrated, so your body is conserving its water.

    The truth is, many of us do not sweat enough. Only 3 in 10 adults get the recommended amount of physical activity. We live and work in temperature controlled environments all day, then ride in trains, cars and buses with more air conditioning. Typically, we 'don't sweat' because we are not given the chance. There are very few methods humans can use to get rid of chemicals from the body: pooping, peeing, exhaling, and sweating it out. In us humans, sweat glands are known mostly to help regulate temperature by bringing warm moisture to the surface of the skin, which causes cooling as the water evaporates. But the secondary role as detoxifier is not a minor role. Known as the 'third kidney' your skin has over 2.6 million tiny pores that can help clear as much as 30% of bodily wastes through perspiring. Sweat is composed mostly water, but also has urea (a breakdown product of proteins the kidneys also discard), and trace metals and minerals.

    Although experts believe sweating is mostly for temperature regulation, it has been shown that trace toxins do appear in sweat glands. Some evidence does suggest that the ability to sweat and excrete toxins like mercury will increase with repeated use of exercise or sauna. It see that hot wet steam saunas are more effective than dry saunas. Steam saunas create beads of moisture which adhere and coat the skin almost instantaneously. These prevent the body from losing heat through the process of evaporation. This may accelerate the detoxification and healing processes which take place within the body when body temperature rises. More studies on this are needed.

    To help get the sweating going, consider starting an exercise routine if you do not currently have one. If you are not sweating during this routine, consider increasing the intensity of your workout: this could mean increasing your pace or possibly increasing the angle of incline of your cardio machine. Sometimes, working with a trainer will also help you safely find inspiration for perspiration. For those who have an exercise routine, consider adding a steam sauna for increased detoxification effect. Yoga enthusiasts may try bikram yoga, a yoga practiced in a 105 degree temperature for 90 minutes.

    In Chinese medicine, sweat does contain qi (pronounced "chee") energy – so if someone is already expecially weak, extra sweating through exercise and saunas can deplete a person and make them even weaker. Accordingly, one needs to adjust any effort to sweat with their current health status.

    references:
    Department of Health and Human Services. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (Healthy People 2010)
    Ely J. Well Mind Association Special Report - March 1994. Heavy Metal Detox: Sweating
    Guide4home.com Dry Saunas - A Comparison. Dry Sauna vs Steam Sauna. Accessed Sept. 6, 2009
    International Hyperhydrosis Society. No Sweat? It’s Not Always a Dream Come True. November 2006. http://www.sweathelp.org/ accessed on September 6, 2009
    Mosher HH. Simultaineous Study of the Constituents of Perspiration and Urine. November 16, 1932
    Woolston C. You sweat, but toxins likely stay. The halthy skeptic. Los Angeles Times, Jan 2008

     


    A-H1N1 or Swine Flu

    Thursday, April 30, 2009 7am

    Thoughts, Natural Approaches, Underlying Causes

    Many patients have been asking us about this swine flu also known as Mexican Flu. The fact of the matter is that information is low, and unfortunately, media hype is high. This type A-H1N1 virus seems to be a combination of a pig, human and bird virus. As of this writing, there are 51 confirmed flu cases in New York State and 91 in the US, and 12 countries in total. Please remember as testing continues, the numbers will increase. To keep things in perspective, it should be remembered that in any given year, about 40,000 people in the US die from the common flu. This number has been consistent for many years. But, although worrisome and these are profoundly unfortunate deaths, we do not consider the common flu a pandemic. It is also important to note that even thought the World Health Organization states that 'pandemic is imminent', this description refers to the pattern of spread, not the severity of the virus. Thankfully, all cases of the H1N1 in the US seem to be relatively mild. The possibly worrisome piece about this particular flu is that in Mexico, it seemed to kill healthy young people. Normally, flu illness tends to kill people with lowered immune function, especially the elderly and very young. With this flu, it seems the immune reaction, known as a cytokine cascade - cytokines are molecules of the immune system components responsible for raising inflammation - causes lung swelling and damage which can cause death. Some doctors report that distinguishing this flu from others are difficult, but diarrhea and vomiting may occur in the swine flu. So, from a natural perspective what can we do? Unfortunately, there is very little direct information or research about using natural medicines to fight viral illnesses like this. Here are a few thoughts about this.

    1 - STAY INFORMED - the CDC regarding local outbreaks in order to avoid these when possible. The H1N1 outbreak in our area is mild, and right now we have no reason to think it will become more virulent, but it is still good to avoid exposure it when possible. Try to not over-inform to the point that you are stressed - see point number 6. If you are not sure about symptoms you have, see a physician who can decide if treatment may be warranted. The World Health Organization website is: http://www.who.int/en/ and the CDC website is: http://www.cdc.gov/

    2 - Observe the recommendations to WASH HANDS thoroughly. Use warm water.

    3 - DO NOT TOUCH FACE and NOSE to avoid spreading virus to your mouth, eyes or respiratory system.

    4 - Take your FISH OIL – fish oil is known to balance an over-inflammed immune system, and may be helpful to lower the overall cytokine cascade. Cod liver oil may be the best choice for it has extra D and A. Vitamin A helps protect respiratory passages and is anti-viral itself.

    5 - VITAMIN D, VITAMIN C, ZINC – may be useful. According to Johnathan Wright MD, vitamin C and D may be a more potent anti-viral choice than even medications. Zinc is an anti-viral mineral that has inhibited viral replication in research.

    6 - STRESS REDUCTION helps to lower our stress hormones and balance our immune function to help properly deal with any virus.

    7 - Get plenty of SLEEP – sleep is another important immune balancer.

    8 - AVOID SUGAR – which can lower your immunity and allow easier catching of any virus.

    9 - Consider regular NASAL WASHES – if the virus is typically transmitted into the upper respiratory tract, clearing that area may help lower the load that enters our system.

    10 - AVOID INFLAMMATORY FOODS – foods like milk and dairy, wheat for some people, and any food you know you are sensitive too. Excess inflammation in your body may contribute to more of an inflammatory cascade than is healthy.

    11 - EAT ANTI VIRAL FOODS: garlic, onions, berries, green tea.

    12 - There are a few ANTI-VIRAL HERBS worth considering. Licorice, PauD’Arco and Lemon Balm. These have a history of being helpful with flu and colds. There is no research using these in this swine flu period in place of conventional medications and we are not suggesting forgoing conventional medicines.

    14 - EXERCISE – helps move your lymph tissue and blood in your body, which is needed to keep your immune surveillance at its best.

    15 - Consider N95 masks if you need to go to a hospital or place with people who have the virus. The CDC has instructions for homemade mask at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol12no06/05-1468.htm#Figure. It is uncertain how well masks protect us, but a simple barrier like a mask may lower load that enters the nose and mouth.

    From a naturopathic perspective, we may need to address the underlying causes of these viral illnesses. Some people believe it is really media hype that scares people not the actual illness, others think close-quarter farming practices have spurred avian and swine flu issues to become problematic and need closer monitoring, while others more suspecting people believe it is government hype used to spur pharmaceutical company contracts for anti-viral drugs and vaccine programs. Even more, some people suggest that these strains are actually man-made biologic weapon agents. There are certainly many theories, and some information to support each of these. Our hope is the authorities are looking for the best interest of the public and will begin to focus on possible underlying issues once this crisis has passed.

     


    February and March 2009

    Acupuncture Bailout - Itchy Skin during Pregnancy

    Clearly, one of the areas most challenged by the financial crisis is New York City and its environs. Many of you have found the solace of meditation, acupuncture and natural medicines more useful than ever. For most people, the feelings of anxiety, fear and sleeplessness are nothing more than our body telling us that something is unbalanced, and it is strongly encouraging to us to change something. The pharmaceutical path suggests the use of Xanax, Lexapro, Ambien and or Wellbutrin. However, this condition of stress and anxiety is really not a deficiency of these medications. ...more....

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