Chinese Medicine Theory

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New Year ResolutionsWelcome to the New Year! What are you going to do with the bright new days ahead of you?

This is the first post in a series of three of simple ways to to get healthier in 2012.

I know many people balk at making New Years Resolutions but I think most of us do use this time to reflect on the past year and what we would like to build upon and what we would like to change. Consider the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective on this season. Winter is a time for gathering strength in the stillness. For instance, taking more time for rest by going to bed earlier and waking after the sun has risen brings extra energy to the internal organs, thus fortifying the body for the rest of the year. Yin energy is at is peak in this season, drawing energy inward, making it an opportune time for reflection. Contemplation in the quiet of winter can bring peace to our minds and spirits and prepare us for the changes we want to make.

What would you like to enhance or change in your lives in the coming year? How can we all bring more peace, joy, and satisfaction into our lives?

No matter what you are facing, acupuncture will bring vitality to your effort and sustain you on your way!

A seminal study published last month by Experimental Biology and Medicine, http://explore.georgetown.edu/news/?ID=61392&PageTemplateID=295, showed that blood levels of neuropeptide Y (NPY), a protein linked with chronic stress, were diminished following acupuncture. This is thought to be the first study to show molecular proof that acupuncture reduces stress. The author, Ladan Eshkevari, Ph.D., an assistant professor at Georgetown’s School of Nursing & Health Studies is also an acupuncturist. She got the idea for the research when she noticed that most of her patients were reporting a “better overall sense of wellbeing — and they often remarked that they felt less stress.”

Maybe this past year you have been struggling with a chronic illness and you are feeling strained. Acupuncture will not only help by healing the imbalances contributing to the problem, it can refresh and sustain you by carrying away those unwelcome stress proteins and leaving wellbeing in their place. What could be better? Maybe you are considering giving up smoking or coffee. Acupuncture will help with withdrawl symptoms and again, the stress that occur when making changes. Or perhaps you have made wonderful accomplishments this year such as leaps in your career or a steady commitment to exercise.

Reward your self and sustain your health with a feel-good session of acupuncture. You deserve the support and happiness and we wish you much of it this New Year!

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Absolutely! Here’s what one Nest mother had to say:

Our daughter has Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome. The syndrome causes her to grow faster than other children and she has experienced a great deal of discomfort in her few short months of life as well as a lack of sleep. We knew that there was a happy baby underneath it all and turned to Jennifer when western approaches to upset tummies and general discomfort failed. Within a few short weeks, our happy baby emerged!!! Not only have her gastrointestinal issues settled down but she now sleeps as a baby should – peacefully. We cannot thank Jennifer enough for using her wonderful gift to help our little girl.
— MW

Many of our new clients have questions about how acupuncture functions in restoring and maintaining health. Here is a brief explanation: The life energy flowing through the body, which is termed Qi (pronounced “chee”), can be influenced and balanced by the stimulation of specific points on the body (via needles or other means). These points are located along channels of energy known as meridians that connect all of our major organs. According to Chinese medical theory, illness arises when the cyclical flow of Qi along the meridians becomes unbalanced or is blocked. This is true for children as well as adults, and children often derive great benefit from Chinese medicine (Pediatric Acupuncture).

Correcting these imbalances at a young age serves to promote well-being and prevent further health and wellness issues in adulthood. Many common childhood conditions which are resistant to conventional medicine respond well to TCM therapy. Chinese medicine is a safe, drug-free, holistic and curative approach to promoting your child’s wellness, using massage, herbal medicine, acupuncture, needle-free acupuncture, nutrition and/or lifestyle therapies to treat both acute and chronic conditions as well as helping to prevent your child from developing future ailments.

When children come for treatment at The Nest we spend time looking at the child’s history—everything from conception to birth and after. All of these elements are vital clues in understanding the child’s constitution and current state of health, and aid in the development of  a treatment plan.

The actual treatment time depends on the age of the child and the severity and duration of the current symptom or complaint. For the very young (infants and toddlers) the treatment can last a minute or less—acupressure is often used instead of needles. If needles are used, they are not left in but merely touch the selected points. For older children we may use acupressure or acupuncture, again, it really depends on the condition that we are treating. If needles are used, they are hair-fine and most children do not even feel them going in. The reaction we get the most is “are the needles in? Wow. Cool.” Older children report feeling very relaxed and calm. One 10-year old patient said, “If there is anywhere in the entire world to relax, The Nest is the place.”

Here are a few of the pediatric health concerns that we treat at The Nest:
• Chronic, recurrent colds, flu, ear infections
• Pre and post immunization treatment (immune system support)
• Allergies, asthma
• Eczema, hives
• Colic, reflux
• Failure to thrive
• Insomnia
• Constipation or diarrhea
• Bedwetting
• ADD/ADHD
• Anxiety and depression
• Headaches
For teens:
• Sports injuries
• Test anxiety
• PMS
• Irregular menstrual cycles
• Headache/migraines
• Eating disorders

Give us a call for more information about how Traditional Chinese Medicine can help these or other ailments, or to set up an appointment: 773.267.0248.

Pediatric pricing is $85 for the initial visit, $50 for follow ups.

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Though the cold (and occasionally snowy) weather here in Chicago may make us doubt, Spring is truly right around the corner. As the seasons shift, our bodies need to shift and adjust along with them—practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine can observe these shifts by examining the pulse. A change of season causes the rate, rhythm, volume, and tension of the pulse to vary. The pulse tends to be taut in spring, full in summer, floating in autumn, and sunken in winter. TCM physicians will take this into account when distinguishing the abnormal pulse from the normal.

In the parlance of TCM, Spring is the season of new birth and new growth, belongs to the wood element, and dominates liver functioning. If we don’t adapt to the changing climate in spring, we may be susceptible to seasonal health problems, such as flu, pneumonia, or a relapse of chronic diseases.  The midwest region has been hit hard this winter with lingering upper respiratory illness, so those of us here need to be extra mindful in taking care of our bodies during this shift in season.

To help our clients (both existing and new!) stay healthy this season, The Nest is offering a Spring special: 3 Seasonal Balance Acupuncture treatments for $250 ($30 savings).* The treatments will specifically focus on balancing, strengthening, and harmonizing the 12 energetic meridians of the body.

Call 773.267.0248 today to schedule your Seasonal Acupuncture tune up!

*Note this special is for SEASONAL BALANCE TREATMENTS ONLY. A seasonal session with an acupuncturist can help improve overall health by enhancing the body’s immune system to keep illness at bay.  It can also provide a boost in energy levels, lifting mood and improving a person’s sense of well being, allowing the body to function more effectively.

According to TCM philosophies, if we consume seasonal foods that are similar in nature to the external environment, we remain in harmony with the environment, adapt better to the weather changes, and remain healthy. Examples of recommended foods for the spring include onions, leeks, leaf mustard, Chinese yam, wheat, dates, cilantro, mushrooms, spinach, and bamboo shoots. Fresh green and leafy vegetables should also be included in meals; sprouts from seeds are also valuable.

In addition, uncooked, frozen and fried foods should only be taken in moderation since these are harmful to the spleen and stomach if consumed in large amounts.

And to help you inject some delicious greens into your diet, here is a beneficial recipe featuring an underappreciated wild green: Dandelion!

Salad of Dandelion and Fresh Goat Cheese
adapted from Uncommon Fruits and Vegetables by E. Schneider

1 bunch dandelion greens, cleaned and dried
about 1/4 pound fresh white goat cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes
1/3 cup or so of chopped red onion, or chopped scallions
2 T sherry or other light vinegar
2 T walnut or other nut oil, can use a good olive oil if that’s what’s on hand
½ t sugar
3-4 T toasted and coarsely chopped walnuts
Cut off and discard stem bases. Cut each stalk into 2-inch pieces. Pile on a serving dish; intersperse with cheese. Sprinkle with onion to taste. In small, non-aluminum pan combine vinegar, oil, and sugar; bring to a boil, stirring. Pour over salad and toss lightly. Sprinkle with nuts and serve at once.

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