Monday, March 26, 2012

Acupuncture and Depression

Depression is a mood disorder characterized by both physical and psychological symptoms that can be detrimental to one's normal daily functioning. Depressed individuals often suffer from poor sleeping habits, crying spells, anxiety, worry, poor memory, inability to concentrate, body aches, stomach disturbances and a lack of interest in activities previously enjoyed. In most cases, the treatment involves antidepressant and/or counselling.

So can Acupuncture help with low mood and depression? A recent study on acupuncture in the treatment of major depressive disorder shows that acupuncture could be a safe and effective treatment for depression, even when standard antidepressant medications aren't suitable, giving hope for the thousand of people suffering from depression every year.

Firstly, it is worth to note that Chinese medicine does not recognize depression as an illness as such. But it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual to restore balance within the person, addressing at the same time body, mind and emotions.

As a general rule, Chinese Medicine associate depression with Deficiency and 2 organs, the Heart (the organ associated with Joy) and the Spleen (the organ associated with being grounded and content, or its opposite worry). Quite often, there is also involvement of the Liver (the organ associated with stress) so not only people are feeling bad but they can also experience more stress!

Once the patterns (diagnosis) are determined, the acupuncturist can select a combination of points which are specific to that individual. The practitioner can also advise on dietary changes and lifestyle changes.

This can include gentle exercise such as yoga to help move the Qi in the body, finding an activity that the person finds pleasurable to nourish the Heart or ensuring that the person follows a simple, easy to digest diet to support the Spleen.

As a general rule, it is better to stick to a diet with few raw vegetable/fruits as they put more strain on the digestive system and ensure that about 20~30% of the diet is made of protein. Reducing the amount of wheat and dairy products can also be beneficial.

Because depression is usually associated with deficiency, avoiding excesses is best! So extremely strenuous exercises are out and so is going to bed after midnight. Alcohol should be avoided too.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Acupuncture Therapy and Healing Process

Acupuncture therapy has been around for more than three thousand years, tracing its roots to ancient China. Acupuncture is an effective technique of the oldest healing traditions in medicine and has gone through many studies before it was used to treat different ailments. This is done by balancing the body's harmonious wellbeing.

The acupuncture therapy has always been a very effective and fascinating healing method, which was introduced around the world. It's been 200 years that this therapy has effectively been used to treat chronic pain. However, over the last 3 decades, the popularity of this therapy has increased dramatically. Today, physicians, and health practitioners are recommending acupuncture pain relief therapy to patients in order to get treated for their back and neck pain.

The crux of the matter on which the whole treatment is dependent is a belief that the body has certain pathways that carry with it some sort of energy. When this energy flows continuously and uninterruptedly, it leads to good health.

Acupuncture treatment requires the use of several needles that are injected in the body in order to remove any blockages so that the energy flows without any interruption. This is done in order to achieve the vitality of the body.

The Acupuncture Therapy Process
Chronic pain is treated with the stimulation of central nervous system that helps to get rid of back and neck pain. According to a recent study, the body has two nerve fibers that benefit from the acupuncture treatment. These key fibers are 'A Delta' and 'C'.

The meridians in a human body are connected to three hundred pressure points. They get to the targeted organ and effects energy flow. Acupuncture treatment restores the energy flow and balances the functions of the body. Moreover, electrical stimulations are usually combined with acupuncture to produce better results.

Electro Acupuncture and Its Benefits
Acupoint is another name for electro acupuncture. In this form, needles that are electrically charged are used for the treatment of areas affected with chronic pain. The healing process is enhanced since the transfer of electric impulses is given to the body through the electrically charged needles. These needles are basically allied with a device that generates pulse according to the required frequency and intensity of electronic waves. The frequency and intensity are adjustable and can vary according to the disease.

Monday, March 19, 2012

10 Uses for Lavender Essential Oil

Scientific name: Lavendula Augustifolia. Lavender is perhaps the most well-known and least understood of the essential oils. Practically everyone knows that lavender is great for burns, but few understand that there are over 30 (some say 40) different species of lavender and that many of the lavender essential oils are not even lavender, they are lavenda essential oils (smell similar, very cheap to produce, and containing very few if any of the healing properties of true lavender). The best lavender essential oil is from true lavender plants (Lavendula Augustifolia, previously known as Lavendula Officinalis Vera {Vera optional}) grown at altitudes of 5,000 feet or higher. This is the truly universal oil, a natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial (being currently tested against MRSA), antimicrobial, hormone balancing, skin cell regenerating, diuretic, muscle feeding, histamine blocking, anti-fungal, and overall body tonic essential oil! A true, pure lavender essential oil will contain properties that will affect all ten of the body's systems and still be gentle enough to use with a newborn baby (remember to dilute appropriately 0-2 years 1 drop essential oil to 3 drops carrier oil, 2-3 years 50/50 dilution, 3+ no dilution needed), earning it the name of The Universal Oil.

1. The first oil to grab for any kind of burn. If the burned area is large and tender to the touch you may want to add 5-10 drops of Lavender to one ounce of purified water in a spray bottle, shake well (and often) and spray the burnt area.

2. Reduces scarring and assists in removing old scars. Simply apply to the affected area several times a day. If you are preventing a scar from forming you have the added bonus of its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties!

3. Insect repellant and great for bites and stings. It soothes the wound, calms the emotions, reduces any inflammation, and has an antihistamine affect. (Note: if you have a known life-threatening allergy to stings please visit the emergency room, but go ahead and apply the Lavender oil on the way.) You can also use it in a sachet to repel bugs that may be hiding out in your dresser or closet.

4. Not only is Lavender great for all skin issues, it has the double benefit of addressing hormonal imbalance skin issues (not just acne, but any way the hormone imbalance may present itself, psoriasis, rashes, cold sores, even boils). While you are using it on your skin it is also prevents wrinkles, scars, and encourages skin cell regeneration!

5. Diffuse Lavender in a sick room, it relaxes both the patient and the caregiver, strengthens the immune system, and it cleanses the air. A great disinfectant, it was carried by soldiers and medics in World War I and II to use on wounds.

6. Assists in reducing the pain associated with migraine or tension headaches. Apply to the back of the neck, temples, and tops of the ears to relax the muscles and the emotions and thus reduce (or eliminate) the headache. Also great for emotional imbalances, mood swings, and depression that often accompany headaches.

7. A drop or two applied to the pulse points of the wrists can drop high blood pressure or calm someone who is overexcited. Great for use before visiting the doctor, not only will it protect you from any germs you may be exposed to, but it will also help calm any fears you may experience by being there. Also great to use before visiting the dentist. You can even apply it directly to a toothache and it will help relieve the pain there!

8. Great for insomnia! Add 5-8 drops to 1/4 cup Be Young Starflake Bath salts (highly crystalized bath salts that are great for absorbing essential oils), then add to a tub of water, soak for 20 minutes (or more), rinse off (because the soak will bring toxins out of the body and to the skin and you do not want to reabsorb them) and you will be ready for bed. Don't want to soak? Put a drop on the back of the neck, temples, and tops of the ears. Add 5-10 drops to one ounce of water in a spray bottle, shake well and often and lightly spray your pillow, bed linens, or just spray around the bedroom. This also works well as "Monster spray" to scare away the monsters who are keeping your little ones from sleeping. It will calm their emotions and allow them to relax and go to sleep.

9. Great for any respiratory challenges, clears mucus, calms spasms, even aids in stopping an asthma attack or in dealing with hay fever challenges. Take a whiff; apply to the chest and under the nose.

10. Marvelous for muscle aches and pains, it feeds the muscles by increasing nitric oxide in the body (a free radical, one of those marvelous chemical molecules produced during lightning storms that makes the world so fresh and alive afterwards); this enables the muscles to perform with more strength. Additionally, it reduces inflammation and muscle spasms.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Aromatherapy With Lighting a Candle

If you are a newcomer to aromatherapy and have searched the web for information, it can seem a daunting task to find a simplified breakdown of what aromatherapy really is. A search of aromatherapy books will produce millions of results. So how does one make sense of the plethora of information available?

First, let's start with the definition of the word aromatherapy. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the broad definition is: the use of aroma to enhance the feeling of well-being. This definition seems so simple and straight forward. Yet for a word so simply defined there is such an abundance of information available on the subject. On alone, a search in books for aromatherapy returns 2,264 results. Why all this amazing information on a subject with such a simple definition? Whereas the definition of aromatherapy appears to be very simple, aromatherapy use and practice varies greatly and can become the subject of great debate.

There are professionals who practice aromatherapy. They are called aromatherapists. There are professional holistic medicine practitioners who suggest aromatherapy to their patients. Then there is an individual at home who lights their favorite fragrant candle and sits back to enjoy. Is this practicing aromatherapy? To many professionals and holistic medicine aficionado's the answer is no. And so the debate begins.

Going back to the Merriam-Webster's broad definition, the use of aroma to enhance the feeling of well-being, why then would burning a candle not be considered practicing aromatherapy? No one can dispute that the aroma of coffee brewing in the morning gives some people the feeling of "I can face this day" energy. No one can dispute that the aroma of bread baking in the oven gives some the people the "Oh, it is good to be home" relaxed feeling. These are examples of aromas enhancing a person's feeling of well-being. One could then conclude that there is no difference between that brewed coffee and an aromatic citrus sage candle filling a room with a soothing aroma that provides a sense of well-being.

A person can fully embrace the belief that aromatherapists and holistic practitioners are an important and integral part in helping to attain the greatest benefit from the therapeutic properties of aromatherapy and still believe that the simplicity of burning a candle or soaking in a warm tub with aromatic oils added to the water can also be beneficial.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Water Ionizers

An ionizer is a device used to produce ionized alkaline water perfectly safe to drink - it is even a better option than normal drinking water as liquids containing alkaline have minerals while normal drinking liquid has none and may even contain a little acid, therefore contributing to the amount of acid your body already has. The ionizing process includes the separation of the alkaline and acid substances in water.

How does an ionizer work?

Basically, the process only includes two steps, therefore, only doing two things to liquid: filter and ionize.

Once normal water from the tap enters the machine, the first thing that the machine will do is to filter it, thus, getting rid of any impurities present. Charcoal is used to filter the liquid as it is capable of eliminating bacteria, pesticides, germs, viruses, detergents, chemicals and other harmful substances.

What water ionizers don't take out are the alkalized minerals which is why these devices are so much better compared to the usual ones, like filters and distillers, because these produce fluids that get rid of everything including healthy minerals, therefore, giving their products an acidic pH level of 5.2 to 6, which is acidic enough to be used for car batteries and irons. This is something you don't want to be putting into your body, do you? The best water to drink is alkaline, with a pH level of 8 to 10, as these have healthy minerals such as calcium and magnesium which is needed by the body to function well.

Alkaline and Acidic Water

Water ionizers produce both alkaline and acidic liquids, separating them from one another, therefore, both can be used so neither will go to waste, but, they should not be used for the same purpose.

Alkaline for Internal Use

As previously mentioned, alkalized liquid is the ideal one to be used for drinking rather than acidic, one of the reasons being it is an antioxidant which is good for the body. It evens out pH levels of the body, therefore, reducing dangerous health risks from occurring such as certain illnesses and diseases like cancer and high blood pressure which is the effect that high acid levels have on the human body. Alkaline fluids can also strengthen bones and one's immune system due to the minerals it contains such as calcium and it also promotes better absorbing of nutrients into several organs in the body, therefore, increasing one's immune system. Alkaline water can also be used in cooking and preparing meals which will further enhance a person's health.

Acid for External Use

Acidic liquid can be used to disinfect certain items to get rid of and eliminate bacteria. It can also be used to disinfect certain wounds and cuts. When the level of acid is increased, it can then be used to clean dirt off roads, pathways, mirrors, countertops, bathtubs, shower areas, sinks, toilets and burns and stains from pots and pans used for cooking. Acidic liquid, in the form of soaps and shampoos, can be used to treat hair and facial problems such as pimples and dandruff.