Monday, October 28, 2013

Three Easy Tips for a Healthy Autumn

It’s happening...the weather is changing and everyone here in Iowa City has pulled their fleece jackets out of the closets. So, here are some easy, surefire tips to a healthy Autumn.

1) Eat warmer foods and seasonal foods - Instead of summer’s raw salads which can cause gas and bloating, try to eat more stews, soups and steamed vegetables. This is beneficial for your digestion, warms you up on cold nights and supplements your qi. Good food suggestions for Autumn include spicy/pungent foods like onion, garlic, radish, and ginger. Apples and pears (especially Asian pears) benefit the respiratory system. Pumpkins, winter squash and sweet potato warm your yang energy as the weather becomes cooler.

2) Let It Go - Whatever it is! Nature instructs us about the cycle of creation and letting go every year. Autumn marks the end of the growing season and is a time to turn inward, conserving energy. Trees lose their leaves in preparation for winter. How can we expect a healthy harvest next year if we don’t release the old and stagnant aspects of our lives? The most powerful lesson of Fall is to release the clutter that unnecessarily complicates our lives in order to discover all that is meaningful and fresh.

3) Protect - As the weather changes, it’s easier for us to catch colds and flus. Certain areas of our bodies are more vulnerable when left exposed, so it is particularly important to protect the back of your neck and chest from the wind with a scarf or collar. Also, no bare feet, especially if you have hardwood floors. Walking around on cold floors chills the entire body.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Acupuncture eases symptoms of severe depression

Acupuncture therapy combined with anti-depressants has been found to relieve symptoms of depression more effectively than drugs alone

Acupuncture alongside anti-depressants can help ease depression, a British study found.
New research, conducted by Dr Hugh MacPherson and colleagues from the University of York, found patients who had acupuncture alongside their antidepressants improved more after three months than those who simply took medication.

Their symptoms reduced on the same scale as those who had counseling alongside their normal treatment. The researchers felt the study was of great importance as many patients would like to be offered non-pharmacological treatment options such as acupuncture or counseling.

At present, the vast majority of sufferers are only offered antidepressants, which are ineffective for 60 per cent of people. 

The study included 755 men and women with moderate to severe depression. The patients were divided in groups to receive up to 12 weekly sessions of acupuncture plus usual care (302 patients), up to 12 weekly sessions of counseling plus usual care (302 patients) or usual care alone (151 patients).

The findings, published in the PLoS Medicine Journal, found that the 2,000-year-old Chinese method improved symptoms for up to six months.

It is thought that it alleviates symptoms such as overwhelming sadness and hopelessness, by stimulating the release of endorphins and other "feel-good" chemicals.

Mandy Laing, a qualified member of the British Acupuncture Council comments: "For some anxiety sufferers, life is extremely tough. A lot of people don't realize that this condition can cause a considerable amount of stress and disability for the person... Traditional acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment choice."

The illness currently affects more than 350 million people worldwide and about one in six people will have an episode of depression during their lifetime.

For people who are clinically depressed, feelings of severe sadness, anxiety, hopelessness, and worthlessness can last for months and years. And affected individuals lose interest in activities they used to enjoy and sometimes have physical symptoms such as disturbed sleep, leaving many unable to work.

This research could open up new treatment options for those who suffer from moderate or severe depression.

If you or someone you knows suffers from depression, let them know that acupuncture with Health On Point may help!
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