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Acupuncture & Natural Health Solutions Newsletter   Providing Natural Health Care for the Entire Family
Issue #2016-12c

Don't wait till the end of the year to use your flex dollars. If you don't use your flex spending or insurance by the end of the year you lose it! Give me a call today so we can get you scheduled for acupuncture treatments and you can take advantage of those tax-free dollars you've set aside for your health.
Why am I so TIRED...and how to fix?

A very common complaint that acupuncturists hear from our patients is that they constantly feel tired. Sometimes this fatigue is related to lack of sleep, but sometimes no amount of rest seems to alleviate the sleepiness.

From an acupuncture and Chinese Medicine perspective, there are numerous imbalances in our bodies that can cause the constant fatigue. Here are some of the most common imbalances that can lead to fatigue, lethargy, lack of energy and motivation, and tiredness.

Systems in our body are compromised
Your energy is weakened or struggling
Simply put, when systems in our body are compromised (through illness, heredity, stress, or lifestyle choices), they can't produce the abundance of good, positive energy our body (and mind) needs to function. 

Qi of our Spleen and Lungs is compromised
Many different systems in our body can produce a feeling of fatigue when they are weakened. When the Qi of our Spleen and Lungs is compromised, we often feel like we don't have enough energy to get through the day. This sort of fatigue often improves with good sleep, hygiene and a healthy diet. 

When our Liver Blood energy is weakened (through overwork, poor sleep, poor diet, illness, or excessive bleeding), the fatigue we experience is hard to shake. We may feel restless, and have a hard time falling asleep even though we are tired. This type of fatigue is improved by eating more dark leafy greens and more organ meats, to nourish the blood energy. 

A deficiency of either Kidney yin or Kidney yang - our two most fundamental energies - can also result in fatigue. This kind of fatigue manifests as true exhaustion. It is very important to give yourself ample time to rest, to recover from this type of tiredness. Dietary changes, as well as herbal medicine, can also be very helpful.

Your energy is stuck
Fatigue does not always stem from a weakness in your body's energy. Sometimes fatigue comes from energy not moving properly. Health, in Chinese Medicine, is all about the smooth flow of energy through the body. When something alters that smooth slow - illness, injury, trauma, stress, poor lifestyle choices, etc - fatigue can be a result.

Qi Stagnation
When your body's energy is not flowing the way it should be, your body actually has to exert a lot more energy to keep you running well. The kind of fatigue that comes from Qi Stagnation (energy not flowing well) can present as a fatigue that is actually better with exercise or movement. It is the kind of fatigue that makes it really hard to get to the gym, but completely disappears once you complete your work-out. Qi stagnation fatigue can make us feel "tired but wired," and can also be closely related to feeling overwhelmed or run down by stress. This sort of fatigue is helped by exercise, movement, and stress-reduction techniques.

You are damp
Dampness is a concept somewhat unique to Chinese Medicine - it refers to an abnormal processing of fluids in the body. Dampness can "lodge" itself in many different areas, and as such, can lead to numerous symptoms. When dampness is pervasive throughout the whole body, usually one experiences a kind of constant fatigue - this can be both physical and mental. Patients who are tired from dampness describe feeling "sluggish," "heavy," or "fuzzy." This kind of fatigue is greatly improved by making dietary changes, such as reducing the intake of dairy, cold temperature or raw foods, and greasy or fried foods. Dampness is also helped by regular exercise - which helps to break through that sluggishness, and also trying to remove yourself from damp environments.

In all of these situations, acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine can be a huge help. Acupuncture and herbs focus on creating balance in the body to restore energy and vitality, rather than giving you false energy like coffee or an energy drink. You don't deserve to be tired all the time - the combination of diet, lifestyle changes, and Chinese Medicine can get you back on the road to health, vitality, and feeling great!

Recipe Corner

Ginseng Chicken Soup

TCM Functions:
  • Tonifies Yuan Qi
  • Tonifies Spleen Qi and harmonizes Stomach
  • Tonifies Lung Qi and strengthens the Wei (defensive) Qi
Ingredients (4 Serving):
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 20 g (0.71 oz) ginseng (read) or American ginseng
  • 20 pieces jujube (red)
  • 30 g (1.1 oz) lyceum
  • Salt, to taste
  1. Remove giblets from cavity of chicken. Wash the chicken thoroughly.
  2. Place 10 g ginseng, 10 pieces jujube, and 10 g lyceum inside the chicken
  1. Place the chicken (breast-side up) in a stock pot.
  2. Add 1000 cc of water, 10 g ginseng, 10 pieces jujube and 20 g lyceum to the stock pot
  3. Cover the lid then bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat.
Research Update

Rhodiola Rosea for Mental and Physical 
Fatigue in Nursing Students

Corey Schuler, MS, DC, LN, CNS

Punja S, Shamseer L, Olson K, Vohra S 

Rhodiola rosea for mental and physical fatigue in nursing students: a randomized controlled trial. 
PLoS One. 2014 Sep 30;9(9). 

Parallel-group randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial.

A total of 48 students from the Faculty of Nursing from the University of Alberta (aged 18-55 yeas) were randomized to R. rosea (n = 24) or placebo (n = 24) for 42 days. 
Study Medication and Dosage:
Participants received either two capsules of 
R. rosea (182 mg/capsule) or placebo at the start of their wakeful period each day for 42 days. Participants self-determined their need for one additional capsule (a half dose), to be taken within four hours of the initial dose. 

Primary Outcome Measure: 
Vitality-subscale of the generic health-related quality of life instrument, RAND-36, was completed at baseline, on days 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42 and four weeks (day 70) following the study. The vitality-subscale is comprised of 4 items collectively aimed at measuring fatigue/energy. A 10-point Visual Analogue Scale was also used to measure fatigue (VAS-F). The VAS-F was completed concurrent with the RAND-36.
Key Findings: 
Participants in the R. rosea group experienced worsened symptoms of fatigue compared to placebo. The mean change in scores on the RAND-36 Vitality-subscale was significantly different between the study groups (-17.3 (95% CI -30.6, -3.9), p = 0.011), in favor of placebo. Fatigue measured using the VAS-F also significantly improved in favor of placebo (1.9 (95% CI 0.4, 3.5), p = 0.015). 

Practice Implications: 
Rhodiola rosea of the family of Crassulaceae, and often referred to as simply "rhodiola," has been a part of traditional medicine systems in parts of Europe, Asia and Russia for centuries. It has a reputation for improving depression, enhancing work performance, and reducing symptoms of physical and psychological stress.[1] More recently, rhodiola has received attention from the scientific community for its potential therapeutic capacity as an adaptogen. Adaptogens are natural herbal products which have a normalizing physiologic influence and help adapt to various stressors on the body.[2]

Rhodiola appears to also have an effect on learning and memory in animal studies. In subjects with experimentally-impaired memory, rhodiola improved several parameters leading researchers to conclude that improvement of learning and memory by a short rhodiola treatment is probably due to its anti-oxidative and neuroprotective effects.[3] Scopolamine-induced amnesia is thought to be a representative model for the aging human brain as it blocks cholinergic neurotransmission. This mechanism may also be responsible for its therapeutic potential for mental and physical fatigue. In fact, there is a hypothesis regarding a cholinergic deficit in chronic fatigue syndrome and an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor has been studied to test this hypothesis.[4]

One study of 101 adult subjects with life-stress symptoms were given 200 mg of rhodiola twice daily and reported reduced symptoms in as early as three days. Generally, improvements continued and resulted in statistically significant improvement between baseline and week four.[5]
A number of clinical trials have demonstrated rhodiola exerts an anti-fatigue effect, but many have methodological flaws such as a lack of randomization, blinding, inappropriate outcome measurements, inappropriate analytic approaches, and a lack of transparency in reporting.[6] This study attempts to overcome these limitations.   
Rhodiola has demonstrated a very low occurrence of side effects and a lack of interaction with other drugs which make it potentially attractive for use as a safe supplement with low toxicity.[7,8] The dose used in this study ranged from 364-546 mg per day, with most participants taking 364 mg per day. This is not considered a high dose. Other research assessed significant improvement in mental fatigue in participants who received about 575 mg per day of rhodiola versus placebo.[9] Therefore, the dose may not have been consistently high enough to produce anti-fatigue results. 
The design of this trial was rather strange, providing subjects significant latitude in regards to their dosing. It appears the dosing pattern was potentially the target of investigation but investigators spent little time on this aspect of their published paper. The subjects were rather unique in that they were fourth year nursing students beginning their first swing shift or overnight rotation. This may result in significant confounding as rhodiola may suppress cortisol as well as stress-activated protein kinases.[10] In the cases where subjects are experiencing hypercortisolism, the reduction of, or rather normalization of cortisol production from the adrenal cortex as mediated via ACTH secretion from the posterior pituitary, may result in a subjective experience of fatigue. However, this return to more appropriate homeostatic responses would normally be seen as healthful. This study failed to measure objective markers of the neuroendocrine stress response which rhodiola is thought to modulate. Because cortisol production is based on diurnal patterns, timing of the dose is hypothesized to be an important consideration. Most clinicians suggest early morning and early afternoon dosing of rhodiola but when considering swing shift workers, the duration of the shift work (i.e. how long the subject has been on that schedule) plays a role in timing of diurnal-based therapeutics.[11]
Patient selection criteria for the use of rhodiola may require more complexity rather than a single symptom of mental or physical fatigue. And monitoring of therapeutic success should also be more comprehensive. For example, perhaps these symptoms due to excess life-stress or poor stress response or even aging may be worthwhile secondary characteristics. Due to rhodiola's safety and low cost it may be beneficial to add to an anti-fatigue protocol; however, integrative practitioners should be mindful of a potential additive effect with other substances. Using rhodiola is typically used with additional nutritional and lifestyle interventions when used for reducing physical and mental fatigue.

[1] Perfumi M., Mahioli L., Adaptogenic and CNS effects on single dose of 3% rosavin and 1% salidroside Rhodiola rosea L. extract in mice.
Phytother Res. 2007, 21, 37-43

[2] Ishague S, Shamseer L, Bukutu C, Vohra S. Rhodiola rosea for physical and mental fatigue: a systematic review. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012 May 29;12:70.

[3] Huang SC, Lee FT, Kuo TY, Yang JH, Chien CT. Attenuation of long-term Rhodiola rosea supplementation on exhaustive swimming-evoked oxidative stress in the rat. Chin J Physiol. 2009 Oct 31;52(5):316-24.

[4] Turan T, Izgi HB, Ozsoy S, et al. The effects of galantamine hydrobromide treatment on dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate and cortisol levels in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Psychiatry Investig. 2009 Sep;6(3):204-10.

[5] Edwards D, Heufelder A, Zimmermann A. Therapeutic effects and safety of Rhodiola rosea extract WS 1375 in subjects with life-stress symptoms--results of an open-label study. Phytother Res. 2012 Aug;26(8):1220-5.

[6] Panossian A, Wikman G, Sarris J. Rosenroot (
Rhodiola rosea): traditional use, chemical composition, pharmacology and clinical efficacy. Phytomedicine. 2010 Jun;17(7):481-93.

[7] Panossian A, Wikman G, Sarris J. Rosenroot (Rhodiola rosea): traditional use, chemical composition, pharmacology and clinical efficacy. Phytomedicine. 2010 Jun;17(7):481-93.

[8] Ishague S, Shamseer L, Bukutu C, Vohra S. Rhodiola rosea for physical and mental fatigue: a systematic review. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012 May 29;12:70.

[9] Olsson EM, von Schéele B, Panossian AG. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of the standardized extract shr-5 of the roots of Rhodiola rosea in the treatment of subjects with stress-related fatigue. Planta Med. 2009 Feb;75(2):105-12.

[10] Panossian A, Hambardzumyan M, Hovhanissyan A, Wikman G. The adaptogens rhodiola and schizandra modify the response to immobilization stress in rabbits by suppressing the increase of phosphorylated stress-activated protein kinase, nitric oxide and cortisol. Drug Target Insights. 2007;2:39-54.

[11] Sadeghniiat-Haghighi K, Aminian O, Pouryaghoub G, Yazdi Z. Efficacy and hypnotic effects of melatonin in shift-work nurses: double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial. J Circadian Rhythms. 2008 Oct 29;6:10.

The information contained within the  newsletter is only used to educate and inform. This newsletter is  not a substitute for the advice of a licensed and registered health  care provider. Seek prompt attention for emergencies. Consult  a health care provider for specific health concerns, and before  starting a diet, cleanse or exercise routine.
Monthly Acupuncture Column Featured in SW Florida's Health & Wellness Magazine 
Toni Eatros, AP,
Acupuncture Physician, 
is the  featured acupuncture columnist in the popular SW Florida's Health & Wellness Magazine.

Be sure to check out December's issue, about The 24 Hour Qi Clock
Click the link to view November's Article: The Season of the Lung and Large Intestine Meridians

Acupressure Point
Acupressure Points
Rubbing acupuncture points with your finger for 30 - 60 seconds can stimulate and promote the circulation of Qi within your own body, restoring health and well-being.
Lung 2  (LU 2)


Yu Men , or the Gateway of Gathering Clouds is the gateway where we are able to receive fresh sunshine, the rain and cloudy days. This point is very useful for balancing energy when you are overwhelmed with stress, it calms the body.

LU 2 is located below the acromial extremity of the clavicle in a depression. The depression can be found by extending your arm to locate the delto-pectoral triangle. Below the clavicle is the point. Apply pressure there to harness the balancing powers of this acupressure point.

Reference Books

#2. Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires - Foreword By Dr. Wayne W. Dyer  - Esther Hicks and Jerry Hicks

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#3. Iodine why you need it why you can't live without it by MD David Brownstein

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#4. The Guide to Healthy Eating, by M.D. David Brownstein

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#5. Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions & Modern Nutrition

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Meridian Yoga Poses

4 Meridian Yoga Poses to go with Acupuncture 

Meridian Yoga is a form of yoga that actively works with the same meridian system as acupuncture. This form of yoga uses poses to activate and balance energy in the 14 meridian paths. These meridian paths are known as the energy pathways in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), they allow your body and energy to flow and function properly. Meridian Yoga will improve the function of your organs and allow your body to be in its healthiest state physically and mentally. Below are a few of many yoga poses that can increase your energy flow.

1. Downward dog

In your yoga practice, downward dog can always be the home base pose. It is a staple that can be used in almost every yoga practice. 

This pose focuses on the arms and shoulder meridians, which can improve heart and lung function. Increased function of these organs can help fight against allergies, viruses, anxiety and trouble sleeping. Downward dog can also help digestion and allows for increased blood flow.

2. Warrior II

Warrior II focuses on the lymphatic system and the hips and knees. The emphasis on these joints are related to the gall bladder, spleen and stomach meridians. These organs help the lymphatic system by increasing digestion and immune fluid. 

3. Wheel and other back bends

Wheel and other back bends can effectively and sometimes very intensely stretch the stomach and spleen meridians. This pose can help prevent your body from acid reflux, heartburn and other stomach issues. 

4. Tree pose 

Tree pose is a standard balancing pose that can be adapted based on your skill level. It focuses on the small intestine meridian and increases abdominal circulation. Tree pose can also calm and relax the mind and nervous system, bringing more self-awareness. 

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