Cinnamon has been all over the wellness-news lately for a plethora of health benefits. From blood sugar regulation to anti-inflammatory properties, Cinnamon is the current “it” herb. Gui zhi, as I like to think of it, has been in the Chinese medical materia medica for thousands of years and has always been an important part of Chinese herbal medicine. [Read more…]
Ask The Naturopath…
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Summer is a time to grow and expand. We see trees blossoming and the sun shining radiantly. We can match our internal energy too by waking early in the summer, playing in the garden, and exploring the natural world around us. Traditional Chinese Medicine places great importance on eating right for the season. Eating less and eating light foods on hot days is a natural way of being in tune with the rhythms of the summer months. There are also specific foods that keep us in balance during this time.
These foods are sure to keep us hydrated so that our bodies can handle the heat of summer :
Fruits: apples, watermelon, lemons, lines
Fresh Foods: salads, sprouts, cucumber, tofu
Teas: chrysanthemum, mint, chamomile
4 Cups cooked brown rice
1 green onion, chopped
2 teaspoons parsley, finely chopped
1 Cup peas, slightly cooked
2 Tablespoons umeboshi vinegar, 1 Tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon olive oil (optional)
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds (toasted) or pine nuts
Mix ingredients together, toss gently with dressing, marinate for several hours
Let marinate several hours
Recipes from Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford
A few moments with Eran Reznik
Q: Tell us a bit about your background and how you got into massage.
I knew for quite some time that I wanted to help people through practicing some kind of holistic medicine. Living in Israel at the time, the most serious training program was Traditional Chinese medicine. I studied to be an acupuncturist. I also wanted to be able to connect and help people through touch so I joined a Shiatsu program
Q: What makes your massage unique?
I believe touch is an essential tool in healing and have always been told I have gifted hands!. When I graduated from TCM school I wanted to expend my tools and went to study massage therapy.
The treatments I do are very different from the average massage. I combine techniques from massage, shiatsu, the use of acupressure points and the vast knowledge I have received in my Chinese medicine training. I look at the body as a whole and make the connection between the emotional and mental state to the physiological condition and the way the body is aligned.
Q: What type of conditions do you see in your practice?
I see many orthopedic issues involving lower back or hip pain and lots of shoulder and neck tension that are accompanied by chronic headaches and migraines. Most of them are inner connected to emotions that, when aligned, allow for the proper movement of energy in the body.
Julie Shindler-Cohen, MSTOM, Dipl. C.H., Dipl. Ac.
In Chinese medicine, the impact of seasonal allergies are related to the qi energy of the lung. The lung’ qi is our “defensive qi” and thereby prevents environmental factors from invading the body. Whenever the body is affected by any outside influence (like weather, mold, cats, dogs), this is a sign that the “lung qi” is not strong enough to protect the body. This is why there are two treatment strategies for seasonal allergies!
First, when symptoms are severe, the treatment strategy is to release the pathogen from our body. Acupuncture is the #1 way to accomplish this. Most patients notice an immediate difference in their allergies after acupuncture.
The second treatment strategy is to support the lung qi so that allergy symptoms will be reduced or eliminated in the future. Acupuncture, along with Chinese Herbal Medicine and diet can make a significant difference! This is a strategy that we work on as maintenance treatment before allergy season begins!
Acupuncture and Fertility Study
“Doctors with expertise in reproductive medicine have recently published that acupuncture and herbs are useful in the treatment of infertility, complications related to childbirth and for several other gynecological concerns. The doctors cited research stating that acupuncture and herbal medicine improve the success rate of in vitro fertilization. Pregnancy rates are improved in subfertile women undergoing IVF and in women with PCOS wherein ovulation may be restored using acupuncture. In the latter, acupuncture is noted as a treatment option for both reproductive issues and endocrine disturbances for women with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).”
According to Reproductive Medicine Specialists from Penn State University, University of Gothenbery and Heilognjiang University
Make this a happy & healthy Summer.
Don’t take a vacation from your health.
Call for an appointment today.
JULY Office Specials!
Naturopathic Medicine Consultation:
$20.00 off your consultation with Dr. Diana Quinn!
$55.00 for new patients first massage with Eran Reznik!
In early January, on a beautiful winter day, I broke my collarbone while enjoying an afternoon of snowshoeing. What I learned after visiting the ER is that the collarbone cannot be casted or set. It is in a precarious place with interdependency on many other bones and ligaments. It has to heal by itself. I was given a necessary prescription for medication and told to rest and come back in 3 weeks.
Fortunately I knew better and knew, through a combination of modalities, I could do a lot better than “just resting”. Don’t get me wrong – rest is critical when you are recovering from an injury! However, I knew it alone would not be enough help me heal. [Read more…]
I recently held a seminar with Dr. George Nicoloff, who is board certified in Integrative Holistic Medicine. We were so excited to have over 60 people attend! We agreed to speak on the connection between the gut & immune system, as we know how deeply interwoven they are. We shared a lot of information in just a short time. So although this is not comprehensive, here is a portion of our presentation:
In Chinese Medicine, the relationship between the Lung (immune) and Large Intestine (gut) meridians:
Ways to care for the Large Intestine:
- Maintain regular bowel movements through diet and exercise (and if needed, acupuncture & herbs)
- Eat foods that are warm and easy to digest (temperature is important to gut) Steam vegetables as opposed to eating them raw (only eat raw in spring and summer)
- Be careful with food combinations: Protein, fat, complex carb at every meal. Protein the size of your palm, carbs the size of your fist, fats the size of your thumb. See “Game On Diet” by Krista Vernoff
- Eat slowly & intentionally. Chew thoroughly.
Lung Meridian =
- Practice deep breathing
- Avoid toxic substances that are inhaled (toxic candles (lead and paraffin which is a petroleum biproduct), fumes, toxic household products)
- Cardio exercise (strengthen lung and increase capacity)
- Break a sweat (releases toxins)
- Keep neck covered in wind/cold/rain
Good foods: Rice, carrot, sweet potatoe, ginger, garlic, seaweeds, fibrous foods such as apples & oats
Not so good foods: Heavy dairy, excessive citrus
From Dr. Nicoloff’s slides:
Healing Leaky Gut
There is a simple solution to help transform unhealthy intestinal function back to health:
L. acidophilus NCFM / B. lactis BI-07 = Reinoculate with probiotics to balance immune function, combat microbial overgrowth, improve lactose digestion, reduce bowel distress.
Nutritional & Botanical Therapeutics=
I feel so fortunate to have found such a great doctor who takes time with each of his patients and has a background in holistic medicine. And between acupuncture visits and supplements/herbs, the immune & digestive system can be truly repaired.
Those who think
they have no time for healthy eating will sooner or later have to find time for
(1826-1893) from The Conduct of Life
2013 was a big year for our family because we welcomed our son, Myles, into the world. Before having my daughter I really didn’t know anything about children’s health and since having her, I’ve done additional training in pediatrics and alternative medicine. This time around, I implemented all my tools from the start. When my son has had issues with sleep, I used homeopathy & essential oils. When I had to work hard to maintain my milk supply, I used acupuncture and herbs. When he had a fever that was not too high, I allowed it to break naturally, instead of using medication. When he was having constipation, I used massage, probiotics, fish oils, and diet changes. And for everything from fussiness to teething, I use the most natural healing aid I’ve been given, breastfeeding. This year has allowed me to use what I’ve learned about natural health for my children and ignited my passion to share it with others.
Natures First Aid Kit
Our health food and grocery stores shelves are lined with many different supplements and medicines – trying to determine what to take can be overwhelming. There are many choices that extend beyond the supplement aisle! There is much to learn about the food universe – even plants, herbs and spices have medicinal benefits!
Tea Tree Oil is an essential oil. Essential oils are the oil of a plant from which it is extracted from. The usually carry a specific scent or “essence” of the plant. When used topically, tea tree oil is thought to have anti viral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial benefits. To this end, tea tree oil can be very helpful in treating fungal infections (athlete’s foot), acne, dandruff (when added to shampoo), and yeast infections. I experienced the benefits of Tea Tree Oil personally during a recent beach trip. My legs were bitten over 100 times by sand flees and I found recently found the topical application of tea tree oil to be very effective in reducing itching and swelling. Tea Tree Oil is also good for inflammation and as an assistant in recovering from injury.
Turmeric , a spice (often used in curry) has widespread use in preventative medicine. According to the American Cancer Society, “Some proponents believe turmeric may prevent and slow the growth of a number of types of cancer, particularly tumors of the esophagus, mouth, intestines, stomach, breast, and skin.” Turmeric’s active ingredient is curcumin and both are thought to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. In addition, the American Cancer Society’s web site states that “ Early research has suggested that curcumin may help lower “bad” cholesterol, reduce inflammation, help ulcerative colitis, and reduce arthritis symptoms, although more reliable human studies are still needed”. Turmeric can be used liberally in one’s daily diet and can also be taken as a supplement at a dose of 500 mg 1-4 times a day. [Read more…]
It’s happening. Kids have been in school for less than 2 months and already the bugs are beginning to fly—the stomach flu, the common cold, etc. And it’s barely even October! But don’t worry, it’s not too late to support your immune system. In fact, by adapting certain dietary and lifestyle practices we can reduce or avoid getting sick at all!
In Chinese medicine (CM), immunity is strongly related to digestion. Immunity has to do with the state of energy (qi) in the body—the more qi, the stronger the immune system. Qi is created via digestion and thus, food choices are critical in boosting the body’s immunity. Specific foods have the ability to support (or take away from) overall immunity. Take a look at some of our favorite immune-supporting foods and dietary tips! [Read more…]
|FERTILITY, INFERTILITY, PREGNANCY, OVULATION – Micronutrients, Vitamins, Minerals|
|Reference:||“Prospective randomized trial of multiple micronutrients in subfertile women undergoing ovulation induction: a pilot study,” Agrawal R, Burt E, et al, Reprod Biomed Online, 2011 Oct 14; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: University College London and The Royal Free Hospital Medical School United Kingdom).|
|Summary:||In a prospective, randomized, controlled trial involving 56 subfertile women who were undergoing ovulation induction using standard treatment regimens (including clomephene citrate/gonadotrophins), adjuvant treatment with multiple micronutrient supplementation was found to be associated with significantly higher cumulative clinical pregnancy rate (66.7%) compared with those on folic acid (39.3%) alone. Women who received multiple micronutrients were found to require fewer attempts to achieve pregnancy, as compared to women on folic acid alone. The authors conclude, “The implications of the study are potentially far reaching as they suggest MMN supplementation in women undergoing ovulation induction improve pregnancy rates. Larger studies are now required to confirm these preliminary findings.”|
I recently had an interesting herbal encounter with a patient. She was telling me that she’s taking a Chinese herbal formula from her physician that was full of Chinese herbs that are “adaptogens”. I was absolutely intrigued. When I asked her exactly what was in it, she couldn’t remember any specific herbs but was sure that it contained a long list of Chinese herbs. My understanding of Chinese herbal adaptogens is new and still in progress. This understanding of herbs is a modern approach to Chinese herbalism and I often struggle to find a balance between classical and modern Chinese herbalism.
Classically, Chinese herbs are arranged into categories that describe the general function of herbs. For example, herbs that tonify qi, drain dampness, clear heat, etc. Within each category, each individual herb has its own taste, temperature and specific function. The properties of each herb are important in herbal formulas and modifications. Herbs are always prescribed as formulas, or combinations of herb that achieve a specific treatment principal. (In fact, the text book for formulas is called “Formulas and Strategies” because a formula is indeed a strategy for treatment.) The effectiveness of a formula comes from the synergistic qualities of all the herbs. This is important to keep in mind when new research comes out regarding specific pharmaceutical properties of individual herbs. Sometimes people hear in the news about a Chinese herb that has “estrogenic effects” or have questionable side effects. This sort of information completely discounts the nature of classic herbal formulations. Sure, one herb contains a variety of actions but when it is used in a formula with several other herbs, specific effects of single herbs become moderated. That’s the beauty of Chinese herbalism! Formulas were designed to offset any “negative side effects” and to balance the herbs to yield the best effect for the patient (and, ideally, with NO side effects).
Now back to adaptogens. Needless to say, the classic material medica (Chinese herbal compilation) did not identify those herbs that can be classified as adaptogens. It is very exciting to practice Chinese herablism in an age where scientific research is able to determine these more fine-tuned properties of herbs. However, it can become overwhelming when writing formulas for my patients. I welcome these discoveries and always include the modern strategies in my formulas. However, I stay focused on the classic Chinese medical approach in choosing the basis of formulas and incorporate the modern approach in making modifications. I hope that by balancing old and new strategies, my patients will find relief in their symptoms and make better progress towards healing!
I was fortunate enough to attend a luncheon for The Pink Fund on Saturday and walked away feeling blessed and inspired. The Pink Fund is a michigan based charity organization that provides short-term financial aid during the brief period of active treatment and recovery. The help that the Pink Fund offers people during a time of crisis is desperately needed and I applaud them for taking a stand for people’s lives.
Kris Carr was chosen to be their speaker because of her journey and her courage. She was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer that was considered untreatable. They couldn’t do chemotherapy or operate. So, she decided to research other cultures to see what they ate and how they exercised to promote longevity. What I loved about her was her honesty and vulnerability. She told us that before her cancer diagnosis she would eat very unhealthy food, including spam. “Spam, people!” she screamed to us to remind us how disgusting it was! For her to be considered a health guru now shows she certainly has come a long way.
I was also really inspired by her attitude regarding diet and lifestyle. She said that we should strive for perfection but never be a slave to it. When it comes to diet, exercise, and meditation, we would all love to make goals and stick to them. But oftentimes we are too busy with the many demands of our lives. She reminded us that we should always aim to meet our goals but shouldn’t beat ourselves up if we don’t. I really liked this because in my healthcare practice I’ve seen how easy it is for people to engage in negative self talk if they don’t live up to their own standards. And really, how does this serve us? It truly doesn’t. Guilt does nothing to move us forward in our spiritual journey. Rather, as spiritual beings, we can do our best to take care of ourselves and know that our best is always good enough.
Please take a moment to pay it forward and donate to this amazing Michigan charity.
Be inspired at