Hands On Newsletter: April 2014

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Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture

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written by Chimene Bonhomme

*Our spotlight this month is our resident acupuncturist and Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner,  Chimene Bonhomme. Chimene has a Bachelor of Traditional Chinese Medicine from University of  Technology Sydney (UTS). Since joining Hands On Superhealth, Chimene has developed a loyal client base  by sharing her unique vision in TCM which is to empower all her clients with knowledge to boost their  immunity, increase vitality and well-being. Chimene is also very outspoken and passionate about Chinese  herbalism and can always be found offering advice to clients should they have any concerns or queries  about active herbs used in supplements.

 

 

   For five thousand years of history, development and experience, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been providing holistic healthcare for a vast array of chronic and acute conditions affecting the Mind, Body and Spirit. It is a system of healthcare that includes acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, remedial massage (àn mó tuī ná), cupping, moxibustion, exercise, breathing therapy (such as qì gōng), and diet and lifestyle advice.

   The hallmark of TCM is that good health is not merely the absence of disease and the treatments do not necessarily cure the condition, TCM attempts to intelligibly restore the body’s ability to self-heal and adapt to internal and environmental change through the restoration and maintenance of normal bodily functions, regulating the immune system, improving vitality, longevity and general well being.

What is Qì and how does it affect the body?

   When healthy, an abundant supply of Qì (pronounced chee) or “life energy” flows through the body’s meridians (a network of invisible channels through the body) and organs. If the flow of Qì in the meridians or organs becomes blocked or there is an inadequate supply of Qì, then the body fails to maintain harmony, balance and order, and illness follows. This can result from stress, overwork, poor diet, disease pathogens, weather and environmental conditions, and other lifestyle factors. TCM practitioners look carefully for these signs and symptoms, paying particular attention to not only the presenting condition, but also the medical history, general constitution as well as the quality of the pulse and tongue.

What conditions can TCM treat?

   According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Chinese Medicine has the ability to treat a wide range of clinical presentations such as cardiovascular, dermatological, ear, nose and throat, gastrointestinal, gynaecological and obstetric, psychological, musculoskeletal, neurological, respiratory and urogenital conditions.

   It is thought that by selectively accessing points of the body in the form of Acupuncture that these conditions can be treated through the identification and careful manipulation of the body’s systematic correspondences between the meridians, organs, flow of energy and substances. From a western point of view, clinical trials suggest that Acupuncture innervates the neurotransmitters, the immune and circulatory system and creates an additional stimulus in pain-gate theory to have these reactions.

TCM treatment decision making

   The vigilant practitioner is constantly focusing and reassessing the needs of the client and guiding them on their health journey. This is achieved through thorough clinical assessment, diagnosis, and treatment principles based on the theoretical frameworks of TCM which seeks to identify underlying symptom patterns that indicate how the body is or has become dysfunctional. Treatment is focussed on the underlying condition as well as treating the presenting symptoms. Clinical decision-making and patient management strategies are also influenced by contemporary Western approaches to health care, including infection control practices and known interactions of herbal medicines with pharmaceuticals and other therapeutic practices.

Patient-centric view on integrated care

   Without integration at various levels, all aspects of health care performance suffer. Each new medium of practice and virtues does not replace its predecessors so much as complement them. Accordingly, TCM practitioners meticulously reference on the vast history of knowledge of TCM in combination with the most recent findings in modern research to tailor the most appropriate treatment methods to your particular condition.

*** Special offer: Call 0292513411 now to book in a complimentary Intro to TCM and Acupuncture with Chimene!

Resources and further information

1. Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association (2013) Traditional Chinese Medicine http://www.acupuncture.org.au/Health_Services/Traditional_Chinese_Medicine.aspx 

2. The National Centre for Biotechnology Information (2002)Integrated care: meaning, logic, applications, and implications – a discussion paper http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1480401/ Int J Integr Care. 2002 Oct-Dec; 2: e12.

3. World Health Organisation (2003) Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials http://apps.who.int/medicinedocs/en/d/Js4926e/5.html


Nutrients, alkalising greens and detox – Part II

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(Adapted from FX Medicine, Bioceuticals Trade Journal: Summer 2014 Vol 72)

Here are some recommended nutrients and greens to consume during your detox process:

High quality protein such as whole brown rice or whey protein provides a complete amino acid profile that is essential for phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification pathways. The chief detoxification amino acids are cysteine, glycine, glutamine, methionine and taurine.

Lipotrophic nutrients such as choline, methionine, folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 are useful to promote the flow of bile from the liver – which is one of the primary routes for the elimination of modified toxins. Once the liver has processed toxins, most waste molecules are placed in the bile and sent to the gallbladder en route for faecel excretion. If the flow of bile is inhibited (cholestasis), toxins cannot be efficiently removed.

Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin E zince and B vitamins present in fruits and vegetables are involved in the first and intermediate phases of liver detoxification. 

Broccoli sprouts (broccoli plants that are 3-4 days old) are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and sulforaphane (SFN). SFN is a potent inducer of phase 2 detoxification enzymes and assists in the protection against carcinogens. 

Chlorella which is very rich in flavonoids chlorophyll is valuable in detoxification. Chlorophyll can for tight molecular complexes with selected chemicals, such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons, heterocyclic amines and aflatoxin-B1. The tight binding of chlorophyll to toxins may interfere with their absorption from the gastrointestinal tract and consequently reduce the amount that reaches susceptible tissues. Chlorella also binds to heavy metals (mercury, lead and cadmium) and other toxins to help remove them from the body.

When the body is acidic, it is more susceptible to diseases. Eating foods that have a higher pH than others, such as alkalising greens helps the body keep the pH in balance.

Nettle is high in betacarotene, vitamins C and K, calcium and potassium, which is involved in the fluid balancing function of the kidneys.

Spirulina is nutritious blue – green algae that have high concentrations of protein, B vitamins, phenylalanine and iron and other minerals, with the ability to modulate immune functions and exhibit anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting the release of histamine by mast cells. Controlled trials and systematic reviews suggest that this algae may improve several symptoms and may even have anticancer, antiviral and anti-allergic effects.

Alfafa is a good source of vitamins A, C, E and K, and minerals calcium, iron, phosphotus and potassium. Alfafa leaves also contain tripene glycosides including medicagol, which appear to have antifungal and antibacterial activity and its diuretic action, may assist with the detox process.

Wheatgrass contains vitamins A, C and E, iron, calcium, magnesium and amino acids, with high amounts of chlorophyll. Wheatgrass is used orally for removing deposits of drugs, heavy metals and carcinogens from the body as well as neutralising toxins, removing toxins from the liver and removing toxins from the blood stream.

Acai berry contains several fatty acids; the most abundant being monounsaturated fatty acid. This berry also contains several anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins and other flavonoids, which are natural antioxidants. Acai has more antioxidant content than cranberry, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry or blueberry.

Kale is a leafy green vegetable that belongs to the brassica family. Researchers have identified over 45 different antioxidant and anti-inflammatory flavonoids in kale, as well as high amounts of vitamin K, vitamin C and fibre.

For Part I of the article, please click here.

 

 


Hands On Newsletter: March 2014

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Nutrients, Alkalising Greens and Detox – Part I

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(Adapted from FX Medicine, Bioceuticals Trade Journal: Summer 2014 Vol 72)

During the last century, we have seen an unprecedented chemical revolution as we are increasingly becoming reliant on synthetic and often toxic chemicals to meet the needs of modern society. Industrial pollutants, petrochemicals, heavy metals, pesticides, food additives, pharmaceuticals, cleaning products, hygiene products, cosmetics and plastic compounds are part of everyday life.
Every tissue and system in the body is susceptible to damage by these toxins, with symptoms ranging from non-specific headaches, fatigue and mood disturbances, to directly related cancers, neurological problems, fertility issues and birth defects. Emerging research suggests that these toxins not only have an immediate and significant impact on our generation, they may also promote epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of adult-onset disease in subsequent generations following ancestral exposure.

Whilst the human body has the natural capacity to process toxins, today’s polluted environment may overburden the natural detoxification processes, especially when combined with endogenous toxins that are created due to poor dietary and lifestyle habits.

Organs involved in detoxification

Detoxification can be described as a chain of events. When a toxic molecule enters the body it is sent to the liver for processing. Hence, the liver is our primary organ of detoxification. Once a molecule has been processed in the liver, it is returned into circulation to be removed via the kidneys or through the intestines (Via bile) where it is eliminated with the faeces. This process occurs in two steps: phase 1 and phase 2 liver detoxification. If any links in this chain are missing or broken, the elimination of toxins will be impaired and absorbed toxins will be retained by the body. Also involved in detoxification processes of the body are the lungs, skin and lymphatic system.

Warning signs of toxicity

Specific symptoms can be directly related to the exposure to a particular compound and are therefore relatively easy to diagnose. Non-specific symptoms on the other hand, can present a real challenge for the clinician as they are poorly defined and greatly overlap with many other clinical issues.

These may include:

  • Allergies, intolerance or sensitivities
  • Constipation/diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Fertility issues
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Mood disorders, irritability
  • Muscle pains/generalised aches and pains
  • Poor concentration and short term memory 
  • Recurrent infections
  • Runny nose, sinus, congestion
  • Skin rashes, hives
  • Nausea, vomiting

 

Stay tuned for Part II of the article for recommended nutrients and alkalising greens which are essential for detox!



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