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Healing Path Acupuncture

With You Every Step Of The Way

Healing Path Acupuncture
243 S. Central Ave
Suit 108
Marshfield, WI 54449
(262) 989-8083

Water: 4 Tips for Staying Hydrated

Water is vital to our survival. Water makes up about 60 percent of our bodies by weight. Fluid must be constantly replenished in order for the body to do its job. Proper hydration helps:

  • Regulate body temperature
  • Assist in flushing bodily waste
  • Metabolize and transport carbohydrates and proteins in the bloodstream
  • Act as a shock absorber for the brain and spinal cord
  • Lubricate joints
  • Form saliva

With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few ways to make sure you are getting enough water.

1. Watch for Signs

Did you know that fatigue could be a sign of dehydration? Next time you are feeling tired, try drinking a big glass of water before you reach for that sugary, caffeine-laden beverage.

Besides fatigue, there are other signs that you may need more water. When you feel thirsty, it is an early sign of dehydration. Feeling hungry? Many times a hunger pang is just the body’s way of asking for a drink of water. Other signs include “brain fog,” dry mouth, lightheadedness, constipation, and muscle cramps. One study even linked dehydration with degraded mood, increased perception of task difficulty, lower ability to concentrate, and headache symptoms.

2. Know How Much

To determine how much water you require each day, divide your body weight in half. The result is the approximate number of water in ounces you should drink daily. So if you weigh 180 pounds, aim for at least 90 ounces of water a day. That’s about 12 cups. This total can vary depending on the climate you live in, the environment, your physical activity level, or other factors. Ask your health care professional to be absolutely sure.

To see how much water you are getting, keep a record of your daily intake or use a smartphone app. Tracking the water you drink might surprise you with how little you are actually getting.

3. Make It a Habit

Get in the habit of drinking water throughout the day and with every meal. Many people find that carrying a water bottle at all times is a great reminder that they need to drink. Water bottles with measurement markings are also handy in adding up how many ounces you are consuming each day.

You can also gain fluids from foods you eat, such as broth soups and foods with high water content like celery, tomatoes, or melons.

4. Add Some Flavor

If plain water is too bland for you, it’s easy to create infused water with fresh ingredients. How does strawberry kiwi mint water sound? Want to try refreshing lemon lavender? Basil cucumber can also hit the spot. Have fun and create your own flavor concoctions with some of these ingredients:

  • Sweet fruits like kiwis, watermelons, strawberries, or melons
  • Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, or oranges
  • Veggies like cucumbers, jalapenos, or celery
  • Herbs like basil, mint, or rosemary

Wash your ingredients (organic if possible). Cut them into chunks or slices as needed, and place those in a pitcher (preferably glass), Mason jar, or even your water bottle before filling the container with water. Place the container in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight to steep. The result is fragrant, flavor-infused water with no added calories, sugar, or artificial flavors or colors.

If you do not drink the infused water within 24 hours, strain the liquid to remove the added ingredients and keep up to three days. Enjoy!

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General nutrition: Are you eating right?

We all need a balanced diet for optimal nutrition, health, and well-being. For many people, however, a healthy diet is hard to achieve.

We spoke with Bruce Bond, DC, DACBN, about the nutritional challenges that many patients face and how supplements can help fill nutritional gaps.*

Q: Why do many people struggle with eating a healthy diet?
A: One of the issues people are faced with today is the lack of time brought on by a busy lifestyle. People are dealing with work, relationships, and obligations, and it’s not always possible to eat right and at the right time. I see patients who eat out way too much, which means they can’t control portion sizes or ingredients the same way they could at home. Many restaurant meals, especially fast food, are highly processed and can be high in calories, carbohydrates, sugar, unhealthy fats, and sodium.

Q: Why is nutrition so important?
A: Your body is made up of trillions of cells. Cells take nutrients from food and convert them into energy. Cells have specialized functions to make what your body needs. If you don’t feed the cells, your body can’t make what it needs.

Q: What do you recommend for patients with poor eating habits?
A: A balanced diet is crucial for overall health. I recommend that my patients eat a wide variety of lean meats, healthy oils, fruits, vegetables, and grains. This is how one obtains beneficial nutrients, antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and fibers.

Q: What if patients just can’t maintain a balanced diet?
A: It is hard for many people to eat right, so I recommend nutritional supplements. General Health Daily Fundamentals packs provide foundational maintenance support. The packets contain Catalyn®, Tuna Omega-3 Oil, and Trace Minerals-B12. The prepackaged formulas are very convenient. Grab a packet to go along with breakfast and a packet with dinner, and you’re good to go.*

Q: Do you recommend herbal support for patients?
A: When I see patients who aren’t eating well, I recognize their immune systems may not have the support they need. MediHerb’s Echinacea Premium supports and promotes healthy white blood cells. Echinacea has many benefits but it is especially beneficial when your system is stressed and you need a healthy immune system response.

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Good Night: Tips for Healthy Sleep

We’ve all been there: tired, irritable, and finding it hard to think clearly. Not getting enough sleep can affect your work, personal relationships, physical abilities, and more. But did you know that if you consistently miss out on quality sleep time you could be harming your health? Insufficient sleep has been linked to the development of many chronic diseases and conditions, including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and frequent mental distress.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third of adults do not get the recommended amount of sleep on a regular basis.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society suggest that anyone between the ages of 18 and 60 sleep at least seven hours per night to support optimal health and well-being.

“I see patients with sleep challenges at least five to seven times a week,” said Martha Hall, DAOM, ACN. “Sleep is essential for physiological energy in the brain and body. It affects you in so many ways.”

Fortunately, some lifestyle changes may help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. When her patients experience nighttime challenges, Dr. Hall recommends the following helpful tips.

Sticking to a Routine
Create an evening ritual so you can relax and prepare yourself for sleep every night. This winding-down routine may include:

  • A cup of herbal tea
  • A warm bath
  • A bite-sized protein snack (like sunflower butter on celery)
  • Meditation

“I often suggest my patients repeat a simple mantra over and over right before bed or while in bed,” said Dr. Hall. “It helps calm the mind and body.”

Sleeping in the Bedroom
The bedroom should be reserved for sleeping only with no television or reading while in bed. Dr. Hall also recommends that you do not listen to music before bedtime unless the music is relaxing or meditative. Make sure the bedroom is dark and quiet or use an eye mask and earplugs.

Limiting Stimulants
After 3 p.m. do not consume caffeine, which can be found in coffee, tea, soft drinks, and chocolate. It is also wise to avoid nicotine and alcohol close to bedtime. While alcohol may help you fall asleep, it can interrupt your sleep later in the evening.

Unplugging
Laptops, tablets, and cellphones emit artificial blue light that can throw off the body’s natural circadian rhythm, a 24-hour cycle of physiological processes. A good habit to get into is shutting down devices two to three hours before bedtime.

“Social media can be distressing. One article can lead to more and more articles,” Dr. Hall said. “It’s better to unplug before bedtime.”

Exercising
Aerobic exercise, strength training, and yoga can all help improve your quality of sleep. If stress keeps you awake at night, the rhythmic stretching and relaxing poses of yoga can help you fall asleep faster.

Eating Healthy
“When they aren’t sleeping well, my patients often eat more fast food or prepared foods because they don’t have the energy to cook a good meal,” Dr. Hall said. “It’s a bad habit to get into. When you are feeling healthy and well-rested, you tend to eat healthier foods.”

Your diet should include foods that can increase serotonin levels and get your body ready for sleep, such as:

  • Complex carbohydrates: whole-grain bread, cereal, pasta, crackers, and brown rice
  • Lean proteins: low-fat cheese, chicken, turkey, and fish
  • Heart-healthy fats: peanuts, almond butter, walnuts, almonds, cashews, and pistachios

Try some of these healthy lifestyle changes tonight and you may wake up to a brighter tomorrow!

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All About Moxibustion

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a medical system that incorporates numerous methods for treating disease and illness. One of the tools found in the toolbox of the TCM practitioner is known as moxibustion.

 

Moxibustion is a technique that involves the burning of mugwort, known as moxa, which is an herb that facilitates healing. The purpose of moxibustion is to stimulate the flow of Qi (pronounced “chee”), strengthen the blood and maintain general health. Qi is translated as life energy. There are two types of moxibustion, direct and indirect. Direct moxibustion uses moxa shaped into a small cone and is placed on top of an acupuncture point and burned. This type of moxibustion has two subcategories, scarring and non-scarring. Scarring moxa burns until it distinguishes on its own. This may lead to localized scarring and blisters. Non-scarring moxa allows for the moxa to be placed on the acupuncture point, lit, extinguished and removed before it burns the skin.

 

Non-scarring moxibustion creates a pleasant heating sensation that penetrates deeply into the skin, but does not create a scar or any pain. Indirect moxibustion is the more popular of the forms. In indirect moxibustion, a practitioner lights one end of a stick of moxa and holds it close to the acupuncture point for several minutes until the area turns red.

 

Moxibustion is used to help people with cold or stagnant conditions. Burning moxa is believed to expel cold and warm the energetic meridians, which creates the smooth flow of Qi and blood. Moxibustion also supports the yang energy, which strengthens and increases the original Qi. Moxibustion can be used to treat many conditions including back pain, muscle stiffness, headaches, tendonitis, arthritis, digestive disorders, anxiety, menstrual cramps, irregular periods and infertility. Moxibustion is not recommended for diabetic patients, since they have decreased sensitivity to pain and compromised circulation.

 

Moxibustion is very effectively used in patients that have a cold constitution.  Many chronic conditions, even the ones that manifest as heat conditions, can have chronic cold as the underlying situation. A cold constitution is triggered or aggravated by over cooling the body systems. Because of technological advances, our bodies are exposed to cold at a much higher rate than in the past. Things like refrigeration, air-conditioning, iced beverages and even ice cream have created a society of people with cold constitutions. Also many pharmaceutical drugs including over-the-counter pain medications are known to decrease body temperature. Large consumption of fruits and raw vegetables and ongoing mental and emotional stress can also create cold constitutions. Therefore using moxibustion is frequently warranted in the treatment of many illnesses and diseases.

 

Moxibustion on the acupuncture point Stomach 36 also has the function of preventing diseases and maintaining health. In ancient China, this technique was known as reverse moxibustion. Even if a person is quite healthy, regular moxibustion on this point can invigorate healthy Qi and strengthen the immune system, thus increasing longevity.  Perhaps this is why the point has been nicknamed the “longevity point”.

 

As with acupuncture, only a licensed practitioner should be called upon for treatments such as moxibustion. If you believe that moxibustion may be helpful with your medical conditions, be sure to discuss it with your acupuncturist.

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Heart ‘ A fire: The Fire Element

The organs in Chinese medicine are more than just a physical representation. The organs include not only their physiological function, but also their mental, emotional, spiritual and elemental qualities that align with nature and the seasons. Let’s explore the heart.

 

The heart season is summer, and heart is considered the most yang: hot, bountiful and abundant. Yang is what is bright, moving, outward, hot and loud. Yin is what is more in-ward, still, dark and cooler. The color of the heart is associated with red, the climate is heat, the flavor is bitter and its paired organ is the small intestine (many urinary issues are due to “heart fire” heat descending). The sense aligned with heart is the tongue, and the vessels associated with heart are the tissues. The heart sound is laughing, and the emotion is joy. The heart houses what is known as the shen, which is the mind and spirit. You can see a person’s shen in a healthy complexion and radiant eyes that are clear and bright. The heart is in charge of circulation and keeps the tissues well nourished. It is also associated with mental clarity, memory and strength. The motion of this fire element is upward, like a flame. Many who have this element dominant in their personality have red hair that is curly or spikes upward. The heart is also connected to speech. An imbalance in heart energy can result in stuttering, speaking excitedly or talking excessively.

 

A healthy heart energy exudes a sense of joy, fun, enthusiasm, action, warmth, charisma and fun. These people are the “life of the party,” and love to have a good time with friends and to be the center of attention. When the heart is balanced, sleep is sound and one is well rested.

 

On the other hand, when there is an overabundance of fire this can result in restlessness, anxiety, sweating, excitability and symptoms such as palpitations, irregular heartbeat, insomnia, disturbing dreams, mouth sores, thirst, red face, constipation and dryness. This person might shrink if not in the limelight and would constantly seek attention and need activities that produce a lot of excitement. He or she might have trouble being introspective and could not be alone. “Overjoy” is an imbalance of heart energy and is likened to manic behavior. A dominant fire may also be extremely sensitive to heat. A lack of the fire element, on the other hand, can result in a lusterless complexion, low energy, inertia, depression, feeling cold, low libido and the personality may lack warmth. This type may seem cold, frigid, lack drive and may be prone to addictions.

 

How to help your heart stay in balance? Red foods have been shown to help the heart biochemically; foods such as hawthorn berries, strawberries, cherries, raspberries, tomatoes, watermelon, peppers and goji berries keep your heart happy with lycopene and anthocyanin, antioxidants and beneficial vitamins. Other helpful foods include garlic, cayenne, cilantro, basil, magnesium (found in leafy greens, nuts and soy) and green tea. Also try ginseng, jujube dates, reishi mushrooms, dong quai, seaweed and schizandra berries. Calming activities such as walking, tai qi, or qi gong help calm the shen.
It is best not to self-diagnose, so see your healthcare provider to see if those foods are right for you. You don’t want to assume you have too much of one element and end up eating the wrong foods. A Chinese medical specialist can give you a proper diagnosis as far as the Five Element theory goes to see which element is dominant in you, and they can treat your condition with acupuncture, herbs and offer advice for beneficial changes in diet and lifestyle.

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