The Spirit of Renewal: Spring Lifestyle Advice

I have a special affinity for spring, as my birthday falls on the first day of spring. I enjoy watching all of the buds start to emerge from the plants, listening to the birds rejoice at dawn and seeing the earth come alive after the grey of winter.

Within the Chinese calendar, we have already stepped into the Spring season which is associated with the Liver organ. In nature, the Earth begins to wake up and renew as the Yang Qi starts to move to the surface. This also occurs in our body as we mirror nature’s activity.

If you currently are experiencing fatigue, cold hands & feet, digestion problems (diarrhea), catch a cold easily, or excessive emotions (effect)  – it means, your yang qi has not risen up yet due to  stagnation of Liver  Qi and  a blockage of the Yang Qi.  These symptoms mean you did not store Qi well during the winter season (cause). In Chinese philosophy, we need to look at the next step (the next season). Now, we begin to prepare for Summer, otherwise more symptoms will present at that time.

Below is Master Liu’s advice for this season:

1. Every night soak your feet in very warm water – this helps the yang qi rise.

2. In the morning after breakfast, drink ginger tea (warming- for yang qi) and  mung bean water (cooling-release liver qi stagnation).

3. Massage Liver 3 to Liver 2 in a downward motion (releases anger).

4. Get up early and walk until the body warms up (at least 45 minutes) – avoid excessive sweating.

5. In the spring, everything needs to be free – it is best to wear loose clothing.

6. Fly kites – this provides far vision and free-flowing qi.

Wishing you a free flowing Spring!

Treating Autoimmune Disorders with Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine

Acupuncture is helpful in treating autoimmune disorders and the article below is great for explaining the basics of that.  I love to use my bioresonant EAV machine as an adjunct to acupuncture for treating complicated disorders.  Why? Because it helps me eavesdrop on a person’s body and reveals where they have inflammation, where they have degeneration and what treatments, herbs or homeopathic remedies resonate with that individual at this point in time.  I love it because it really helps me hone in on what remedies are going to best serve that person, instead of the patient wasting precious time, energy and money on remedies that are generally known to treat a given disease but may not be the right fit for that individual.

By: Diane Joswick, L.Ac., MSOM

Autoimmune diseases are a group of disorders in which the immune system attacks the body and destroys or alters tissues. There are more than eighty serious chronic illnesses in this category including rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, lupus, thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel disease, Addison’s disease, pernicious anemia, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis and Guillain–Barré syndrome. According to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) twenty percent of the population suffers from autoimmune disorders. Each disease appears uncommon on an individual basis but, as a group, the disorders make up the fourth-largest cause of disability among women.   Due to the complexity of treating autoimmune disorders, integrative medicine solutions including acupuncture and Oriental medicine have received much attention as successful therapies in their treatment particularly for use in providing pain relief, regulating the immune system, managing symptoms and improving overall quality of life.

What Causes Autoimmune Disease?

Under normal conditions, an immune response cannot be triggered against the cells of one’s own body. In certain cases, however, immune cells make a mistake and attack the very cells that they are meant to protect. This can lead to a variety of autoimmune diseases which encompass a broad category of over 100 diseases in which the person’s immune system attacks his or her own tissue.   The exact mechanisms causing these changes are not completely understood, but bacteria, viruses, toxins, and some drugs may play a role in triggering an autoimmune process in someone who already has a genetic (inherited) predisposition to develop such a disorder. It is theorized that the inflammation initiated by these agents, toxic or infectious, somehow provokes in the body a “sensitization” (autoimmune reaction) in the involved tissues.   As the disease develops vague symptoms start to appear, such as joint and muscle pain, general muscle weakness, possible rashes or low-grade fever, trouble concentrating, or weight loss. The following symptoms may point toward something being wrong: numbness and tingling in hands and feet, dry eyes, hair loss, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, or repeated miscarriages can also be caused by an autoimmune response.

Acupuncture Treats Autoimmune Disorders

According to Oriental medicine, autoimmune disorders occur when there is imbalance within the body. Imbalance can come from an excess or deficiency of yin and yang that disrupts the flow of Qi, or vital energy, through the body. Acupuncture is used to help the body restore balance, treating the root of the disorder, while specifically addressing the symptoms that are unique to each individual.

Clinical research has shown that acupuncture causes physical responses in nerve cells, the pituitary gland, and parts of the brain. These responses can cause the body to release proteins, hormones, and brain chemicals that control a number of body functions. It is proposed that, by these actions, acupuncture affects blood pressure, body temperature and the immune system.

In addition to acupuncture, your treatment program to manage your autoimmune disorder may involve a combination of therapies including stress reducing exercises, moderate physical activity, herbal medicine, nutritional support and bodywork.


Robins Not Only Sense, But Can Actually See Magnetic Fields

I was visiting my relatives in Minnesota this summer who have a dairy farm. They were sharing a fact that I found fascinating. They recently invested in a new barn which has a clean and efficient system for milking the cows. When they first installed it, they were having problems with something in the electrical system not being grounded and the cows refused to enter the barn: they could sense a disturbance in the electro-magnetic field. Read on about how robins can actually see magnetic fields.


Now here’s a word you may never come across in your lifetime (unless you enter a lot of spelling bees): Magnetoception (also called magnetoreception). Do you know what it refers to? It describes the ability to detect a magnetic field to identify direction, altitude or location.

Magnetoception is a skill only a handful of creatures seem to have, including bacteria, some invertebrates (fruit flies, honeybees, and lobsters), homing pigeons, domestic hens, certain mammals, turtles, sharks and stingrays. Humans may or may not possess the ability, depending on who you ask.

Robins Not Only Sense, But Actually See Magnetic Fields…But in Only One Eye

Some birds can sense the Earth’s magnetic field and orient themselves accordingly. As you can imagine, this is a huge benefit for the “frequent flyers” of the avian world, migrating birds.

But one type of bird in particular, the robin, can actually see magnetic fields thanks to a special molecule called a cryptochrome in the retina. The fields appear as patterns of light, shade or color superimposed onto what the birds normally see.

Scientists have learned that in robins, the magnetoception ability is dependent on good vision in the right eye. If the right eye is covered, the birds become disoriented when they fly, but if the left eye is covered, they navigate without a problem. This means the robin’s vision in the right eye acts as a doorway for its magnetic sense. If there is darkness or cloudiness in the right eye, the door stays shut, but light in that eye opens the door and activates the bird’s internal compass.

The guidance mechanism seems to work in such a way that the magnetic field-generated patterns of light, shade or color overlaying what a robin normally sees change as the bird turns and tilts its head during flight. This provides a visual compass composed of contrasting shades of light. But the compass doesn’t depend solely on light – the birds must also have a clear image with their right eye in order to accurately navigate. Their magnetic sense is only a transparent overlay to the images their normal vision provides. If that vision is impaired in any way, the magnetic sense is of no use. (Imagine trying to follow your car’s GPS navigation instructions with a couple inches of heavy wet snow covering your windshield.)

Experts believe robins probably require a clear, focused image to distinguish between inputs from their visual and magnetic senses. Since the magnetic field lies on top of what is seen through normal vision, and both incorporate differences in light and shade, it would seem the birds could become easily confused. However, the images the birds see through normal vision tend to have sharp transitions between light and shade, whereas changes in the patterns superimposed by magnetic fields are smoother and more gradual. Birds are probably aware that sharp changes in contrast are due to the boundaries of actual objects, while more subtle changes are the result of magnetic effects.

Baby Robins Possess a Magnetic Compass in Both Eyes, But Lose the Left One As They Mature

While adult robins have a magnetic compass in their right eye only, as babies, they had a compass in each eye. It seems they lose the left one as they mature.

The change from both eyes to just the right eye occurs gradually. In robins that are no longer babies but not fully grown, the magnetic compass in the left eye can be revived for a time by covering the right eye. According to scientists, this means the eyes themselves aren’t changing. Instead, the brain begins processing input from the eyes in different ways.

A near equivalent in humans is right- or left-handedness. The hand we ultimately prefer as adults only becomes dependably dominant around the age of four or five.

By: Dr. Becker 

Suffer from Eczema?

Make sure you’re choosing the right personal care products.

Personal care products are used every day and can be a primary source of daily, repetitive exposure to harsh chemicals and xenoestrogens – chemicals that mimic the effects of estrogen and compromise normal hormone function.

Because products used in the shower can have a significant impact on the skin, it is important to be aware of the products that eczema patients are using and the ingredients they contain. The more organic and moisturizing a product is, the less irritating it will be on eczema-prone skin.

Product Recommendations

— Avoid anti-bacterial and deodorant products, as these can be extremely drying.

— Avoid shower gels, shampoo, conditioners, and soaps with synthetic dyes and perfumes – they usually contain harsh chemicals that are known hormone disruptors (xenoestrogens), can irritate sensitive skin, and are drying.

— Avoid  products that contain sodium lauryl sulfate, a foaming agent found in most soaps and shampoos. Sodium lauryl sulfate can be highly irritating and drying, especially in atopic patients. It also breaks down the skin’s natural proteins, making skin more vulnerable to outside contaminants.

— Avoid products with methylparaben or propylparaben preservatives, penetrants, abrasives, and volatile solvents, which are known to cause skin irritation and pose multiple other health risks.

Helpful Links

Harsh Ingredient “No List”

National Eczema Association: Ingredients to Avoid Guide

Common Harsh Ingredients: U.S. National Library of Medicine

Characteristics associated with human health and illness

The “Microbiome Project” is not just a hot trending topic. It is changing the face of medicine. Take a closer look at these developments:

What is the “Human Microbiome Project?”  A branch of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), launched a 5 year, $153 million, federally funded research project in 2008. This project was designed to identify and characterize all of the microorganisms that are associated with human health and illness. Scientists tracked 242 people over the span of 2 years and studied the genetic material of microbes recovered from 15 or more sites on each subject’s body.

What does “Microbiome” mean? Microbiome refers to the combination of microbes (bacteria, viruses, parasites, and yeast) with their genomes and environmental interactions in a defined environment. Genome refers to all DNA instructions used to make an organism.

Microbes. Where? What? That’s right. The ones on and inside of you! 100 trillion microbes call us home. Human microbes may outnumber our own cells by as much as 10 to 1. Most are bacteria but there are also protozoa (1 cell organisms with animal-like behavior), archae (1 cell organism with no nucleus), bacteriophages (a virus that replicates within bacteria), parasites, and yeasts. Scientists have discovered more than 10,000 species!

So, what does this all mean? The goal was to understand how these microbes are associated with human health and disease. The results have changed our thinking on the nature of microbes and the important part they play in human life.

View human microbiome infographic.