The month of June is National Headache and Migraine Awareness month which made me want to write a blog post regarding the reasons we get headaches and migraines and what we can determine by paying attention to the symptoms. According to the Mayo Clinic there are two classifications of headaches. There are Primary headaches and Secondary headaches. A Primary headache is the most common and is typically caused from: stress, a skipped meal, dehydration, lack of or change in sleep, high blood pressure, alcohol, or something you ate. Primary headaches are not due to an underlying disease in the body, they are due to lifestyle factors. These headaches are a sign your body is sending as a way to inform you that something is wrong.
If you are getting headaches regularly but know that it isn’t due to one of the lifestyle factors listed above, it could very well be a sign from your body that there is a larger underlying issue at hand. Secondary headaches are a symptom of a disease that can activate the pain-sensitive nerves of the head. Any number of conditions – varying greatly in severity – may cause Secondary headaches. These headaches are important to pay attention to. Most people suffering from these types of headaches will grab any over-the-counter medication to help with the pain, while others will go see a neurologist for consultation, advice, and of course prescription pills. What if these headaches and migraines could be effectively treated without the need for pills or costly specialists?
Surprisingly for people in the Western world, acupuncture has been used for treating migraines and headaches for the last 2,500+ years and now it has taken a foothold in the medical community. According to a new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, “Acupuncture helps reduce days with migraines and may have lasting effects.” While there are many undesirable effects associated with medication and traditional treatments, acupuncture has no associated side effects at all, which gives the patient a sense of hope. The better news, however, is that many migraine patients express a sense of relief after receiving a acupuncture treatment, and many more say that continual acupuncture sessions can lessen the intensity and frequency of these intense and painful headaches. This is very exciting news for those suffering!
If you want to learn more about how acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help you get rid of your headaches or migraines for good, visit our website or give us a call for a Free Consultation.
Bone broth, or soup as I call it, is one of my favorite diet recommendations to give to patients. I have been recommending it for years and it is finally hitting the mainstream consciousness. One reason why I recommend this to so many people is that it is an easy way to add a lot of nutrition to any diet. It is also loaded with good fats, and is easy to digest, which makes it a perfect food to promote healthy weight loss.
My favorite way to make bone broth is the method I learned during my nutrition class in Chinese Medical School. You basically take a whole organic chicken and several slices of ginger and simmer these in water for 2-4 hours. At the end you need to cut up the meat and add any mushrooms or veggies you want and soy sauce for flavor, but that is pretty much it.
I try to make broth every week or two, and keep it in the refrigerator. Sometimes I use it as soup, but mostly I like to use it to replace water in cooking rice, steaming veggies, etc. I find that it adds good flavor to pretty much any recipe.
The importance of getting bones from non-toxic (organic or free range) animals is vital for good results from bone broth. This is true both for the taste and the nutritional value or the broth. These days I usually get the organic chicken from Costco, although I noticed that Trader Joe’s has these at a great price as well. I also like to simmer the organ meat that comes with these chickens when making soup as it adds to the overall nutrition of the soup.
The most complete resource on Bone Broth, that I know of, is the book, Nourishing Broth, by Sally Morell. (It’s available online at amazon.) This book is loaded with information on the health benefits of bone broth. Dr. Mercola also has a great article about bone broth including a couple of recipes which you can find here.
Visit our website if you want to learn more about Chinese dietary therapy and how it can help you achieve permanent weight loss.
Before writing this post I did a quick web search for news about weight loss, diet, and exercise. I was amazed by what I found. Here are the headlines from articles that are based on research that came out in the last three months: “Exercise is good…but it won’t help you lose weight“, “Exercise beats dieting for Weight Loss“, and “Diet and Exercise are not enough” Wow talk about confusing! No wonder people struggle with weight loss.
The truth is that all three of these headlines and articles are true, but need to be understood a little deeper.
The first article is making the point that no matter how much you exercise if you eat a diet full of sugar and other refined carbohydrates you will not lose weight. Unfortunately, this is exactly what comprises the standard American Diet (or SAD). As the author of the study says, “You cannot outrun a bad diet.” The authors also correctly conclude that a diet high in fat and low in sugar and carbs is best for weight loss. Let me repeat that; a high fat diet, low carb diet is best for weight loss.
The next headline, “Exercise beats Dieting for Weight Loss”, is talking about data that shows that as people age they usually become less physically active. Most Americans do not reduce their food intake so this inactivity seems to lead to weight gain. The conclusion that if you don’t exercise you will tend to put on unhealthy weight (such as increased BMI and waist size) is correct, but by not explaining WHY this happens this article misses something very important. Guess what else changes as we age, our hormones. And are hormone levels affected by exercise? You bet! So the actual mechanism for this weight gain is that as hormone levels go down unhealthy weight goes up.
Now the third headline makes sense. The authors of this study conclude that Diet and Exercise are not enough because there seems to be a “biological cause” that limits the effectiveness of diet and exercise in some individuals. Hormone imbalance is the biological factor that can make weigh loss very stubborn. One of the most common hormones that can be out of balance and lead to difficulty losing weight is Thyroid hormones. The stress hormone cortisol is another.
So to lose weight you do have to eat well, exercise regularly AND have healthy, balanced hormones.
If you have questions about Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, or if you have struggled with weight loss and want to see if your hormones might be the reason why, visit us at Orlando Acupuncture.com