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Acupuncture & Natural Health Solutions Newsletter   Providing Natural Health Care for the Entire Family
Issue #2017-1a
Accepting Testimonials

I always like to keep the website current by adding new articles and newsletters. New patients regularly mention that the testimonial page was critical in their decision to come in to my office for acupuncture. I would love to add some fresh testimonials to the website.

Many people are looking for a different approach to their health concerns and are exploring acupuncture as a possible treatment. Some of these people are concerned about the actual needling and fear may be preventing them from finding pain relief and achieving their health care goals.

Please take a moment to share your experience with treatment, your experience with me as an Acupuncture Physician, and your treatment outcome. You could change the course of someone's life. You can reply to this newsletter or email me at Toni@AcupunctureSolutionsOnline.com .  
Thank you in advance.
Going Deeper - The Kidneys
     
The organs in Chinese medicine are more than just a physical representation. The organs include not only their physiological function, but also mental, emotional, spiritual and elemental qualities that align with nature and the seasons. Let's explore the kidneys.



The kidney element in Chinese medicine governs water and is associated with the season of winter, where the energies are turning from the hotter yang months to the more yin of winter. It is common for imbalances of the kidney energy to be more pronounced during the winter months.

When there is an imbalance of the kidney energy, often a person will experience low back pain and knee pain, bone issues, frequent urination, especially at night, premature graying of the hair, decrease in hearing or ringing in the ears. This person may speak with a groaning voice, crave salt, and struggles with fear and phobias.

The kidneys are the body's root and contain both yin and yang  energies. Yin is associated with what is dark, still, cold, feminine and is inward. Yang is more outward, hot, bright, moving and masculine. The kidneys control reproduction, growth and development and are associated with bones and marrow. The kidneys are said to store jing, which is likened to essence, what you're born with and what's inherited from your parents. 

There are two types of essence:  

1. Pre-natal is from your parents and can be likened to one's basic constitution and DNA. 

2. Post-natal is what is transformed from the food you eat and lifestyle. 

The second type you have more control over health-wise. Ideally, there is a nice balance of kidney yin and yang energies, but if there is yin deficiency, there will be symptoms such as heat, sweating, dryness, irritability, insomnia and low back pain. If there is yang deficiency there are more cold signs such as cold extremities, cold and painful lower back, increased urinary frequency, fatigue, premature graying, water retention and low libido. 

There can also be an emotional component manifesting as increased phobias and anxieties. Many of the above mentioned symptoms can be tied to the thyroid and adrenal fatigue in Western medicine.

How to care for your kidney this winter:

Keep warm : The kidneys are affected by exposure to cold. Try a nice scarf to protect your neck from the elements, and keep your feet and low back warm in those frosty winter months.

Eat warm: Foods that are beneficial to the kidneys (in moderation) tend to be dark in color such as black beans, sesame seeds, seaweed, kelp, lamb and beef. Other beneficial warming foods include ginger, cinnamon, miso soup, soybeans, walnuts, chives and Goji berries. 

It's best to see your acupuncturist or other health care professional to get an idea of foods that are good for your particular constitution, as some of these foods can be harmful if taken in large amounts (kelp and seaweed, in particular). It's also best to not eat too many cold, raw vegetables or cold smoothies. Also try to ingest food and drink at room temperature. There are wonderful herbal formulas to assist the kidneys that your acupuncturist can include in your treatment plan.

Light exercise : Light exercise such as tai qi, qi gong or walking has wonderful health and anti-aging benefits and won't cause exhaustion.

Avoid overwork, overexertion, high stress : Overdoing it depletes your kidney energy, and you might experience ill effects of burnout that are usually associated with adrenal fatigue. Ancient Chinese medical texts also recommend curbing excessive sexual activity to keep kidney energy strong and vibrant and to increase longevity.
 
  
  
What Should I Eat? 
Winter Food Suggestions

 
Traditional Chinese Medicine views things differently than other medical systems. In TCM, there are guidelines that are considered very logical when it comes to the seasons. These guidelines lay out what foods and activities are best for each seaso n of the year. Chinese medicine teaches us to live in harmony with the seasons. In TCM, there are actually five seasons - summer, late summer, fall, winter and spring.  Every season has many associations which help guide people to create a more balanced life.  When TCM was being developed, people lived in harmony with nature and they lived healthy, balanced lives. In modern society, we have gotten away from our connection with nature and we have many more distractions that have ultimately led us to become unbalanced and unhealthy.

Winter represents the most yin aspect of Chinese medicine. The properties associated with yin include darkness, cold, slow movement and inward energy. Winter is associated with the kidneys in TCM. The kidneys hold the body's fundamental energy or Qi. By balancing ourselves with the corresponding seasons, we can prevent disease and stay healthy. So for the season of winter, we should take note of what happens in nature and do the same. To keep the kidneys strong, we must rest. This is why many animals hibernate during the winter. It is also a time to reflect inward and perform activities such as meditation, tai chi and qigong. These are the kinds of practices that help us connect with our inner selves and also support kidney energy. 



When it comes to foods most beneficial for the body during the winter months, there are many to choose from. These should also be ones that naturally grow during this season.  Items such as squash, potatoes, pumpkin, sweet potato, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom,  beets, greens, carrots, mushrooms, apples, pears and cabbage. 

During the winter months, cold foods like salads and raw foods should be avoided as they will deplete the immune system. Instead, our bodies need warming foods like soups made with hearty vegetables. Bone broth is also very beneficial and becoming more mainstream. There are also foods that specifically target and nourish the kidneys. These include kidney beans, beef, goose, duck, black beans, lamb, chicken, dark leafy greens, garlic, ginger, walnuts, watercress and turnips. Sea salt is also helpful. Salty is the taste associated with the kidneys. But as with anything, moderation is key. Too much salt can actually tax the heart, which then causes the kidneys to work overtime.

You should cook for longer periods of time and on low heat with less water, so things like stews are perfect for this time of year. The longer cooking times will infuse the foods with more heat, which will help keep the body warm. It is recommended to bake, roast, stew and slow cook foods in the winter. Hearty soups, roasted nuts and whole grains should be consumed when possible because they offer nourishment that feeds the body as well as the kidneys specifically.

By taking cues from nature and ancient healing practices, better balance can be achieved and health can be maintained. Those that went before us may not have known everything, but they did know how to survive or we would not be here today. Trusting the teachings of our ancestors will allow us to continue to survive also.
  
Recipe Corner

Chai

This version of chai is not the caustic throat stripper served on every street corner in India. Instead here is a blended teat that will enliven, delight and refresh, Try it at breakfast for an uplifting start to the day.

Chai stimulates the circulation, warms the body and expels cold. It also stimulates digestion and supports the Kidney Yang.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Makes 4 cups
 
   

INGREDIENTS: 
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon bark
  • 1 TBSP cardamom pods
  • 1 TBSP dried orange peel
  • ½ TBSP fresh ginger
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds
  • ⅓ tsp black peppercorns
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 whole star anise
  • ½ tsp black tea leaves (optional)
  • 1-½ pints water
     
 
PREPARATION:
  • Simmer all the ingredients together for 15 minutes with the slid off so that the liquid reduces slightly. A few black tea leaves can also be added. Serve sweetened with honey. A little warmed coconut milk can be added when serving, if desired.
 


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 January's issue, about Reasons Why You Should Come in for an Acupuncture Tune-Up
  
Click the link to view December's Article: Exploring the 24 Hour Qi Clock
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.
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Kidney 3 (KD 3)



Location:

Located on the inside of the ankle, in the depression between the medial malleolus and the tendo calcaneus, this point is aptly named because it is located in the valley between the achilles tendon and the malleolus.

 The tibial artery can even be considered a "stream" running through the valley.

Function

Kidneys would include the kidney-urinary system, as well as the endocrine system. The kidneys would also be where you would find the adrenals. 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the kidneys are also the storehouses of our Qi and have a direct relationship to reproduction and aging.

Locally this point can be used for heel and ankle pain, including plantar fasciitis.

 For reproduction, the kidneys are essential for sperm and egg health and Kidney 3 can help with impotence as well as irregular menstruation and endometriosis. For urinary health it can treat nighttime urination issues, as well as incontinence, chronic cystitis, frequent urination and even dry stools!

The kidney is related to the lungs and Kidney 3 can work for certain types of asthma, especially when there are issues taking deep breaths. It can help alleviate coughing as well as reduce wheezing. 

The kidney meridian has an internal branch that goes to the throat and Kidney 3 can be indicated for sore throats, dry mouth, throat, cough and laryngitis.

On a more emotional and spiritual level, Kidney 3 can help when there is an imbalance between the kidney and heart in cases of anxiety, insomnia, dream-disturbed sleep and forgetfulness. For imbalances with the liver and kidney yin, this point can help with irritability.

 For people who need to be grounded, Kidney 3 can be combined with Stomach 36 for a very calming effect.
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