Health Tips

Drinking Enough Water:

Our bodies are made up mostly of water, so drinking enough each day is essential. Many people have trouble drinking water this time of year because when they drink water they opt for ice water, or chilled water from a refrigerator dispenser. These will cool or chill you. Warm or hot water will warm you up. When people drink room temperature or warm water in cold weather it’s easier to drink more during the day, which gives your body what it needs.

Use filtered water, but not distilled water, which can flush vital trace minerals out of your body.

Other liquids are not a substitute for water.

If you have trouble remembering to drink water find tricks to remind you; like setting an alarm on your cell phone, drinking a small glass each time you enter the bathroom or kitchen, complete a task at work, or when you leave or arrive at your home. Drinking small amounts, about 4 oz, more frequently during the day makes it easier to utilize, and won’t send you running to the bathroom so often.

Those not drinking enough water due to problems with frequent, urgent, night time or accidental urination can try Plum Flower brand, Shou Wu Pian. Available at The CoOp, Market of Choice, or Shop N Kart, this formula strengthens the energetic function of the Kidneys to help resolve urination issues. If problems persist consult a health care professional.

People who aren’t drinking enough water because they don’t feel thirsty should minimize dairy, nuts, nut butters, alcohol, fruit and fruit juices, too much raw food in cold and damp times of the year, sugar and other sweeteners.

These foods can cause fat and phlegm in the body and impair the assimilation of water preventing normal thirst.

Constipation:

For constipation be sure you are drinking enough water every day. People are typically dehydrated first thing in the morning. Two glasses of room temperature or warm water, when you first wake up, and before consuming anything else, helps rehydrate your body. You can add fresh squeezed lemon juice to the water if desired. Yes, plan to use the bathroom afterward, but this is a good way to clean you out first thing in the morning.

Try minimizing or temporarily avoiding grains. Grains can be difficult to digest, especially when they aren’t soaked, sprouted, or fermented, and are a common source of constipation.

Increase the amount and variety of vegetables. Vegetables are the best source of easily digestible fiber.

For constipation eat a piece of fruit after each meal; apples and pears are especially good because they contain pectin. Eat an apple or pear, first thing in the morning, about 15 – 30 minutes after drinking your two glasses of water. Fruit is digested in about 20 minutes, much faster than other foods, so it helps move the bowels.

Chronic constipation causes the body to reabsorb toxins it’s trying to get rid of. It could be caused by a problem assimilating fats, starches, or protein. So if the above tips don’t work, make an appointment to see me for further help.

Diarrhea:

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) says, “Rice Binds the Bowels”. So for diarrhea rice can help. White rice is the best for this purpose.

Minimize or temporarily stop consuming fruit. As I mentioned above fruit is digested quickly. It’s good for speeding up as opposed to slowing down the digestive process: good for constipation bad for diarrhea.

Acute diarrhea could mean the body is trying to quickly rid itself of toxins. Common culprits include; stomach flu from a virus, the type of bacteria that causes food poisoning, or non-food additives such as preservatives, hormones, antibiotics, artificial sweeteners, chemical additives or hydrogenated oils. In all such cases acute diarrhea is the body’s way of quickly expelling these toxins.

Chronic diarrhea can result from a number of things such as eating too much fruit.

Coffee is a strong purgative and can cause diarrhea, especially non-organic coffee that contains pesticides.

If the above remedies don’t help it might be food allergies. Try avoiding wheat, or all grains, corn, soy, dairy, sugar, and other sweeteners. By process of elimination you might find the culprit. A food allergy doesn’t necessarily mean you will always be allergic to that food. After avoiding a certain food for a year or so, and healing the gut lining (The Leaky Gut Syndrome), the body can often reset and recognize that this food is no longer a threat.

Diverticulitis: pockets in the intestines that become infected, are another common cause of chronic diarrhea. I prescribe various Chinese herbal or nutritional formulas to resolve this issue.

Another prevalent reason for chronic diarrhea is parasites. They are actually quite prevalent in our society, obtained from pets, occasionally water sources, people not washing their hands after using the bathroom, including food handlers when harvesting, stocking, or preparing food.

Parasites don’t always show up in stool tests since they have active and dormant periods. Some types of parasites are more active around the full moon and can cause an increase in any number of seemly unrelated health issues during that moon phase. My protocol for treating parasites includes a series of different herbal and nutritional formulas, and liver support.

Colds and Flu:

Colds and flus are viruses. The CoOp, Market of Choice, and Shop N Kart all carry the Plum Flower brand of Gan Mao Ling. It kills viruses. If you think you are getting a cold or flu an adult dosage is 6 pills every 3-4 hours until the virus is gone. Avoid dairy as it creates more phlegm. Avoid sugar as it compromises the immune system.

Ginger helps expel phlegm and warms the body. So, especially for the kind of flu with predominant chills, ginger tea and ginger in your food can help. Peppermint cools the body so is good for a virus with fever and heat.

For a dry cough, cooked pears with walnuts can, as the TCM saying goes ” Moisten the Lungs” and ease the cough.

If phlegm invades the sinuses causing pressure or pain, or the lungs causing a cough, get in to see me for specific herbal formulas and Acupuncture to resolve these symptoms.

Reoccurring bronchitis or early stage pneumonia can also be resolved with herbal formulas and Acupuncture.

The CoOp, Market of Choice, and Shop N Kart also carry the Plum Flower brand of Jade Screen. This is a formula to build up the immune system and protect you from viruses. A maintenance dose of once a day throughout cold and flu season can be increased to up to four times a day when in direct contact with family members or coworkers who have a cold or flu. This formula can be taken on a regular basis. If this isn’t enough to prevent reoccurring illness come and see me to work on your immune system.

Nail Fungus:

Apply several drops of Tea Tree oil under the effected nail 1-2 times per day. Rub excess oil into sides and top of nail.

Hiccough:

Massage area on chest, directly under the nipples, about an inch below the breast. This is a point about where a bra would end if you were wearing one.

You can also look this Acupuncture point, Liver 14, up in Google images. It’s the last point on the Liver Channel. The first point, Liver 1, begins on the big toes. Most acupuncture points are bilateral (on both sides of the body). These Liver points reside on either side of the stomach. The energetic function of the Liver is to circulate all the energy in the body. When the Liver Qi (energy) is constricted, usually due to stress, the Liver energy can flow up instead of around the body. When it flows up it can reverse the natural flow of the Stomach energy, which is supposed to go down. The result can be, what TCM refers to as “Rebellious Stomach Qi”. This includes vomiting, nausea, burping and hiccoughing. Massaging this point can redirect the energy and reverse these occurrences.

Best Wishes for Health and Happiness in the New Year,

Nancy Burton, L.Ac. (Licensed Acupuncturist)