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Building Kidney Yang and Jing
Kidney yang, if we include mingmen fire, is the energy and heat source for the whole body. Jing is the essence of yang, and is stored in the kidney, extraordinary channels, and in the bone marrow, which in TCM also includes the brain.
A Very New Year: It's Time to Track
As we enter 2017, we find "affordable care" is not so affordable for many individuals. They are discovering what employers learned long ago: Health care is expensive – and keeps getting more expensive.
Change on the Horizon? New White House Spells Shift in Health Care Policy
On the morning after Election Day, many in our country were surprised to learn that not only did the Republican nominee win the White House, but also that the House of Representatives and the Senate remain under GOP control.
The Key to Recovery
Starting in the 1970s and developing over a decade of assessment and improvement, the South Bronx's Lincoln Recovery Center staff refined the method of using five basic ear-points, which became the NADA protocol for the treatment of addiction.
Herbs for Digestion: The Power of Bitter
Many cultures (and indeed herbal clinicians) around the world have long respected the role of bitter herbs and foods for promoting digestion.
What Are Prebiotics – and Why Should You Care? (Part 1)
In previous articles, I spoke about the different kinds of fiber and their effects, and the potential risks of taking probiotics without also consuming prebiotic soluble fiber (PSF) in foods and/or supplements [see August & October 2016 issues].
Case Study of Benign Hand Tremors
Patients without degenerative diseases causing tremors are often given the diagnosis of essential tremors, for which treatment options are limited to lifestyle changes and medications.
Increase Your Practice Income With Retail Products
With only so many hours in a day, there is a cap on the revenue an acupuncturist can generate by way of appointments. Once your appointment book is filled, you can't really add more without burning yourself out.
The Mysterious Divergent Channels
The divergent channels are among the most mysterious entities in all of Chinese medicine. They are rarely mentioned, lacking reference in modern TCM study, and rarely used within popular Chinese medical treatment.
Losing Your Mind? Try Coconut Oil
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is currently the 6th leading cause of death in America according to the CDC. It affects over 5 million Americans and 50 percent of nursing home residents (2014), and is projected to spike to 16 million by 2050.
Top 2017 Health & Fitness Trends
We really did sign up for a career of learning and development. Now that you have built a strong foundation of your manipulation skills, nutrition base, movement assessments and business knowledge, it's time to keep up with the American College of Sports Medicine's 2017 worldwide health and fitness trends.
MD-DC Affiliations Under Fire
I am George P. McAndrews, lawyer for the chiropractors in the Wilk, et al., v AMA, et al., antitrust suit that resulted in an injunction against the AMA and others, banning them from interfering in lawful professional relationships between medical physicians and doctors of chiropractic.
Your Patients With Cancer Need You
It was a chilly Minnesota morning in March 1999 when she asked to speak to me alone. My then-busy chiropractic practice wasn't built for much privacy, but I quickly scooted the 60-some-year-old, white-haired patient to my exam room, as the open adjusting area was buzzing with excitement.
An Education in Stroke Risk and Chiropractic
Dr. Steven Shoshany's ninth appearance on "The Dr. Oz Show" may prove to be his most significant, as he addressed questions related to the death of Katie May, who suffered two strokes in February 2016, hours after her third visit to a chiropractor for what she described in a Twitter post as a pinched nerve in her neck experienced during a photo shoot days earlier.
Scope of Chiropractic Practice: Time for Change?
The University of Bridgeport, College of Chiropractic Student Government Association sponsored a panel discussion on Oct. 25, 2016.
Acute Locked-Back Syndrome: Cause and Correction
As we all know, occasionally a patient will present with acute-onset low back pain with or without a precipitating incident. A distinguishing feature of the presentation is visible lateral antalgia, both standing and walking.
Scar Reduction With Acupuncture & Microneedling (Part 1)
Applied correctly, modern skin needling techniques can form part of a holistic treatment and incorporate the principles of Chinese medicine.
Clinical Outcomes & Safety for TCHM
The practice of Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine (TCHM) may appear archaic to those who misunderstand the theories and principals that guide it. In fact, TCHM continues to evolve and new systems are consistently being discovered and applied within the tradition.
June, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 06
Glimpses of the Big Picture: Leptins
By Leon Chaitow, ND, DO
The topic covered in this article is relevant to practitioners of all disciplines, particularly those who are providing health care services to people who suffer from conditions as diverse as chronic inflammatory conditions, autoimmune diseases, neuropathic pain, obesity, diabetes, thyroid hormone resistance (e.g., unexplained hypothyroidism), many cardiovascular diseases, syndrome-X, food cravings ...and more. Before getting to the unlikely link that can connect these apparently unrelated diseases and conditions, a background setting is called for.
An image I like to use when explaining contextual issues in relation to health is that of an iceberg floating in the ocean. The visible portion of the iceberg - perhaps 20 percent of its total mass - simplistically can be seen to represent those aspects of the patient that we observe, palpate, assess, discuss and evaluate. These divinations result in a greater understanding of the unseen inner workings of the patient - equivalent to aspects of the unseen, underwater portion of the iceberg.
And then there is the ocean itself, in which the ice mountain floats. In relation to the iceberg, this would include elements such as the relative salinity, temperature and pH of the water, as well as the weather, currents and more. In relation to the patient, the context includes multiple influences - environmental; psychosocial, biochemical and biomechanical; past and present; intermittent and constant; acute and chronic - that affect the individual from cradle to grave.
The complexity of such interacting influences, overlaid on the person's genetic and acquired characteristics, as well as the symptoms being manifested, often seem too daunting to make sense of. Hence, the reductionist approaches of so much of health care, whereby modifications of single aspects of this confusing edifice are attempted in order to nudge it toward more normal function. This may be done via diet, medication, nutritional supplements or herbs, needles, manual treatment, exercise, hydrotherapy, better breathing or posture, homeopathy, and many other options. Any of these interventions might modify etiological features sufficiently to encourage the self-regulating functions and systems of the body toward better health.
Lifestyle changes might be suggested that appear to offer more fundamental health-enhancing possibilities. Here, treatment is not a feature, but rather the initiation of changes that aim to align the individual more closely with evolutionary imperatives - offering a chance for homeostatic functions to operate more efficiently. Such changes might involve reforming nutritional, exercise, sleep and other basic behavior patterns.
Many such changes are common sense. Practical lifestyle modifications have been demonstrated to lead to profound influences on well-being and health enhancement. These suggestions range from more exercise, adequate sleep, balanced/reformed dietary habits (avoiding or modulating intake of high-sugar, high-fat junk food and stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol), as well as better breathing and relaxation methods. Other simple choices also are now available, backed by solid scientific evidence; much of it relating to hormones produced by white adipose tissue (fat), such as leptin.
The Leptin Story
I am grateful to Judith DeLany, LMT, with whom I have happily co-authored three books, for drawing my attention to the rapidly-evolving area of leptin research and putting together a summary for use in one of our revisions. Credit for collating a great deal of the information outlined below belongs to her. Recent research points toward basic lifestyle changes that can have profound influences on the evolution of diseases. Due to space constraints, I will outline only some of the most pertinent information, with appropriate references that can be used to expand on the summary below:
A simple plan has been devised8 to help regain normal leptin levels and thereby, balance the hormonal cascade discussed above. Although this plan may not be ideal for every one, it is presented here for the majority who it is suggested should benefit from its use. The foundation of the plan contains five basic rules. Breaking any of the rules or guidelines (below) can lead to setbacks.
Rule 1: Never eat after dinner, not even a snack or glass of wine or juice. Allow 11-12 hours between dinner and breakfast. Generally, finish eating dinner at least three hours before bed. This rule is designed to allow leptin, melatonin, cortisol and other chemicals to balance during the night. Individuals with night-eating syndrome have abnormal hormonal patterns apparently associated with nocturnal eating.9
Rule 2: Eat three meals a day. Allow 5-6 hours between meals. Timing is crucial, so that insulin levels can drop, glucagon (produced by the liver) can rise, and fat metabolism can kick in. If this occurs a couple of hours before more food is eaten, fat stores can be utilized until the next food is eaten. Snacking between meals sends the insulin back up and fat stores remain untapped. Therefore, snacks are to be avoided. Protein and carbohydrate portions are the size of the palm of the hand and most vegetables can be eaten as desired. Peas, carrots and corn are taken in moderation.
Rule 3: Do not eat large meals. Eat slowly and, if overweight, always try to finish a meal when slightly less than full. Eating slowly allows time for hormonal signals to reach the brain before overeating occurs. Smaller meals allow for better digestion. Do not overstretch the stomach and reduction in overall caloric consumption can be achieved.
Rule 4: Eat a breakfast containing protein. This helps set the hormonal cycles for day and night. Compromising this can have hormonal effects during the day and into the night, disturbing sleep. Weigle, et al.,10 showed that an increase in dietary protein from 15 percent to 30 percent of energy produced significant weight loss, presumably "mediated by increased central nervous system leptin sensitivity."
Rule 5: Reduce the overall amount of carbohydrates eaten. Unless one already is on a low-carb plan, chances are that too many carbohydrates are routinely consumed. Regarding carbohydrate influences, Garg, et al.,11 note, "Compared with the low-carbohydrate diet, the high-carbohydrate diet caused a 27.5 percent increase in plasma triglycerides and a similar increase in [very low-density lipoprotein]-cholesterol levels; it also reduced levels of HDL cholesterol by 11 percent."
This brief summary suggests that eating regular, balanced (low-sugar, for example) meals, including a protein breakfast; avoiding snacking between meals and reducing overall carbohydrate intake; and getting enough sleep can beneficially impact a huge range of diseases, including those that involve excessive inflammation.
If you or your clients are overweight, suffering from inflammatory conditions and/or any of the long list of conditions mentioned by researchers investigating leptin, these simple changes could offer a way of beneficially influencing health. When they do, this represents an example of contextual health care, as discussed at the start of this article.
Click here for more information about Leon Chaitow, ND, DO.
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