Powerful Natural Therapies for Preventing and Stopping Sore Throat Infections

Sore throats can really be very annoying and those who suffer from relentless sore throats should begin to find ways to stop and prevent this condition before it develops.

How Can One Stop The Rise Of Sore Throat?

Acupuncture

To stop or prevent sore throat we need to utilize a comprehensive approach to wellness and natural health. This may entail the reduction of stress, good nutrition, fitness, and regular acupuncture checkups. Your acupuncturist can help correct any imbalance in your body that may lead to pathogen infiltration that may cause sore throat. Regular acupuncture treatments can help boost blood flow in your body, balance and normalize the function of all your body systems and boost your immune system, which can make you more resilient to microorganisms that may lead to sore throat or other bacterial or viral conditions.

Besides acupuncture, there are also several other alternatives that can help prevent or at least soothe a sore throat. The really good therapies are the ones that can stop the condition at the source. Therefore, drugs are excluded in the list because besides failing to address the underlying cause of the problem, they only mask the symptoms and have potentially adverse side effects. One very good treatment to consider is herbal therapy. Listed below are some good recommendations to help soothe the extremely sore throat symptoms. However, you should remember that what works for you may not be as effective for others. It’s also important to note that children have dosages that are much lower to those allowed for adults. This is to rule out any counter-indications.

1. Echinacea – The purple cornflower echinacea purpurea is one type of herb has healing properties that is widely known. Herbal practitioners agree that this herb strengthens the immune system, enabling the body to recover faster from flus and colds that often accompany a sore throat. One to two 400 mg tablets or capsules twice a day is recommended. If you’re taking it in liquid form, add two to three drops of the herb and drink it as a tea or juice. For children, it can also come without the alcohol. A person suffering from an autoimmune disease should not take Echinacea and it is not recommended to take this herb for more than three weeks at a time.

2. Calendula – For dry and irritated throat, this herb in spray form can provide quick relief. Calendula spray is derived from the orange petals of the flower Calendula officinalis. It heals sore throat-related swelling and can help overcome viral infections. The alcohol derivatives in Calendula are shown to possess anti-inflammatory qualities, based on certain studies. Please follow instructions as Calendula spray comes in various strengths. It is not wise to use the spray on open wounds.

3. Tea Tree Oil – A derivative of an Australian tea plant, tree tea oil has the ability to kill pathogens such as viruses, fungi, and bacteria. It do this by spurring the production of leukocytes (white blood cells). The oil destroys microorganisms that are responsible for sore throat. One of the best features of tea tree oil is that it addresses the source of the throat pain. This herb is extremely powerful lab experiments have revealed that it can kill the very resilient strains of Staphylococcus which are bacteria that have are resistant to antibiotics.

4. Astragalus – The astralagus herb is considered a Chinese medicinal plant that has been used for millennia in China. The root of the astragalus membranaceous has healing properties that’s used for the prevention of recurring sore throats. The plant is known to strengthen the immune system. It possesses a wide range of immunopotentiating effects. People suffering from autoimmune disease you should not take Astragalus. A daily dosage is one 500-mg capsule twice or thrice a day is recommended.

5. Berries – Tea derived from the leaves of blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, or blackberry can reduce the pesky symptoms of sore throat. Tannins are chemicals that can heal throat infections and can be found in berry leaves. When heated, the can help quell the sore throat irritations. Two to four cups daily is the recommended dosage. I recommend buying dried leaves that have been organically grown in order to avoid ingesting any residual pesticide. Pregnant women should not drink berry teas as it may stimulate delivery. Stay away from these products if you are allergic to berries.

6. Garlic – This herb or spice will work wonders for your sore throat even if it may not help your social status. Garlic is a virus killer and so it is useful in helping fight throat infections caused by fungus, bacteria, and virus. It can prevent the rise of future infections by boosting and increasing the immune system. Two to five cloves each day is recommended if you have sore throat. You can eat the spice by adding it to your favorite foods. You can include garlic to salad dressings, pasta salads, soup, and to any food you love to eat. Garlic has a more powerful effect when it is eaten raw than in powder or cooked form.

7. Green tea– Green tea is extremely effective in treating sore throat symptoms. This is a powerful tea that has extremely powerful antioxidants that can prevent cellular reactions that lead to disease. The pathogens that cause sore throat are killed by green tea. Heating it can bring about extra comfort. Drink one to four cups a day. You can choose a low dosage caffeine type or a caffeine free variety if you have caffeine sensitivity.

DeJongh Acupuncture Clinic
2929 SW 3rd Ave #610
Miami, FL 33129
(305) 677-3214

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Overcoming Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Herbs and Acupuncture Treatment

The UK-based University of York Department of Health Studies did a recent study showing acupuncture’s ability to improve the condition of Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) sufferers. Although the study report showed the typical pandering that consigns alternative therapy as mere complements to mainstream Western medicine, it also revealed some interesting outcomes.

The study had 233 participants who were all suffering from IBS by an average of 13 years. In their SSS (symptom severity scores), each patient measured 100 or more. Half of them received conventional treatment plus a weekly session of acupuncture for 10 weeks while the other half was treated with conventional care only also for 10 weeks.

The one’s treated with acupuncture plus standard care manifested much better results in their SSS scores, which endured for up to a year during follow-up testing.

The question is why did the report categorize acupuncture as a potent but merely adjunct treatment for patients who had been suffering IBS for more than a decade when the study clearly shows that conventional treatment hasn’t worked at all? After more than a decade of use by these patients, the mainstream type of treatment obviously didn’t cut it.

More often than not Western modes of treatment have little to offer people suffering from IBS, which forces these people to rely on measures (such as observing their diets) to avoid setting off the symptoms.

A traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) physician will advice IBS patients to reduce their stress and watch what they eat, the same advice that Western doctors will give. But, unlike Western doctors who prescribe ineffective medications, TCM physicians treat their patients with Chinese herbal formulas and acupuncture to harmonize spleen and liver which are the underlying causes of the problem.

What is Acupuncture?

For a lot of Westerners, it is a bit difficult to understand Traditional Chinese Medicine. For Western trained doctors it’s especially hard to understand the fundamentals that underlie a 5,000-year-old healing practice. Ayurvedic medicine and TCM are both very ancient treatments. They are based on similar paradigms that are entirely different from the constructs that Western medicine is founded on.

TCM diagnoses are based on chi functions or organ energy rather than physical or biochemical causes which Western medicine relies on. TCM practitioners will prescribe herbs that are specific to the condition being treated. Acupuncture in Austin is designed to stimulate the flow of chi energy in order to clear blockages and restore the smooth flow of blood and chi through energy channels known as meridians.

TCM practitioners are trained to determine excess, blocked, or deficient chi and how health is affected in relation to the state of chi movement. They determine health conditions by palpating the quality of your pulse with their fingers instead of invasive biopsies, X-rays, and numerous blood tests.

Also, they notice signs about your symptoms that are usually ignored by making a thorough observation of your tongue.

One would be astounded at the symptoms that could be identified with just the examination of your pulse and tongue. These practitioners can even tell you about the trend of your health trend and the consequences that would entail before any medical technology in the West can. So, we can see that when we diagnose at the levels of chi, we can detect a health issue in its early stages which, can be cured completely before it becomes a full blown physical disease.

Herbs and acupuncture are recommended for the treatment of the underlying cause of the condition as well as the symptoms. Addressing the core of the problem is one big reason why more and more people are abandoning Western conventional therapies and turning to Chinese medicine.

The pharmaceutical cartel has a very powerful hold on the FDA and the AMA and because of this the cartel can maintain its toxic monopoly that generates more sickness than cures. And, even though alternative health practices are much cheaper, the insurance industry refuses to cover them.

This unhealthy monopoly generates a way of thinking that equates symptomatic relief to a cure, never mind the side effects people have to endure from the drugs or from the dangers they are exposed to from X-rays, MRIs and CT-scans. For people who really want to stop the cycle of becoming sick and taking drugs to become even sicker, Chinese medicine is a safe, effective, and oftentimes, much more superior treatment they can turn to.

Alternative Treatments That Can Be Useful in Relieving COPD Symptoms

Although COPD can not be cured with alternative treatments (nor with conventional), alternative treatments, nonetheless, can be useful in ameliorating symptoms as well as boost the person’s quality of life. When used in conjunction with Western conventional treatments, alternative treatments can enhance the quality of the outcomes. However, scientific studies still has not proven the efficacy of alternative treatment and so before you try it, you should first talk with your doctor to avoid potential drug interactions or complications.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a healing technique that is part of a system known as TCM or traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture works by stimulating specific points on the body known as acupoints or pressure points. Reed-thin needles are used to stimulate these points. A qualified practitioner is trained to locate the acupoints specified by the symptoms manifested by the patient. Clinical trials reveal that patients with COPD experienced improvement of some of their symptoms when they were treated with acupuncture. Similar results can be gained with acupressure, which follows the same principle as acupuncture but instead of needles, pressure is used to simulate the acupoints.

Supplements & Herbs

Several beverages, foods, over-the-counter dietary supplements and herbs can help alleviate some COPD symptoms. They can be utilized along with your main medical treatments. But before taking any supplements or herbs, make sure you consult with your doctor first as these products can interact with your drugs or set off side effects.

– Eucalyptus oil: This oil is a popular expectorant. You can breathe easier if you add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to your humidifier.
– Antioxidants: Foods that are known antioxidants include kale, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, turmeric, green tea, and red grapes. They all can relieve inflammation and oxidative stress.
– Vitamin E: In some COPD-patients, this vitamin is related to better lung function.
– Omega-3 fatty acids: Lessens inflammation. Omega-3 has been known to improve the breathing of COPD patients. Sardines, mackerel, herring, salmon and other cold-water fatty fishes as well as walnuts, canola oil, soybeans, and flaxseed are rich sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. Bleeding problems may arise if you ingest high doses of vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids. This is especially true if you’re currently taking blood-thinning drugs. So, before taking these supplements talk to your doctor first.

Yoga & Breathing Techniques

Controlled proper breathing is a very important aspect of yoga practice. Pranayama or yoga breathing exercises can involve hundreds of deep-breathing exercises. COPD patients can find Pranayama yoga helpful in that it can reduce stress and promote deep breathing by instructing them to expand their lungs.

Mind/Body Approaches

It has been proven in so many occasions that mind/body exercises can improve a COPD sufferer’s overall quality of life help and relieve some of his/her symptoms.

Based on a 2006 study, about 40% of COPD patients suffer from anxiety and depression. The thought of living and suffering everyday from an incurable and deadly disease such as COPD causes enormous stress on these patients. COPD treatment, therefore, should not only focus on the relief of symptoms but also on the lowering of stress, fears, and negative thoughts of the patient. Relaxation therapy, guided imagery, meditation and other relaxation techniques can significantly ease symptoms for many COPD sufferers.

Other Things You Can Do

Listed below are extra measures you can do that can slow the damage to your lungs and make you feel better:

– Get plenty of sleep
– Avoid breathing cold air
– Avoid crowds to stay away from germs that can irritate your lungs
– Do some controlled-coughing to clear your airways. Use a humidifier and drink lots of water
– Stop smoking; avoid lung irritants such as secondhand smoke
– Perform regular exercises to improve overall strength and beef up the muscles that help you to breathe.

Balance Within – Integrative Acupuncture
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Encino, CA 91436
(818) 478-9401
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Acupuncture Is A Very Useful Treatment for Childhood Asthma

Acupuncture is less commonly considered as a viable form of pediatric healthcare although it’s quite famous for its use in the alleviation of pain, whether acute or chronic. Nowadays, scientists are exploring the viability of acupuncture on pediatric healthcare, specifically, its effectiveness against childhood asthma. We need to first know, though, what acupuncture is all about and how it works from a physiological point of view.

The Chinese healing technique known as acupuncture involves the use of filiform needles inserted into acupuncture points (acupoints) related to the relief of a specific ailment. The needles are left inserted in the body for around 15 to 20 minutes. The average depth of the needles is around a third to an eighth of an inch deep.

What Makes Acupuncture Work?

From a Western medical standpoint, acupuncture works by stimulating the circulatory system and the sympathetic nervous system along with several other physiological systems in order to normalize the functions of the body. The acupoints commonly used are found on the body, face, and on the ears.

Hsiao chuan is the Chinese medicine term for asthma. It means dyspnea and wheezing in English. These two symptoms are deemed to be distinct illnesses and are addressed as such. People suffering from wheezing will also have shortness of breath. This does not mean that people who have shortness of breath also suffer from wheezing. A person with Hsiao chuan has a wheezing “whistling” sound during breathing.

From the point of view of Chinese medicine, the pathogenesis and etiology of childhood asthma is based on three main factors. Infiltration of external pathogens is the first factor. The pathogens may be allergens, cigarette smoke, pollen, heat, and cold. In treating these external pathogens, the initial step is to take an allergy test. If they are discovered, it is important to remove from your home any items that may contain the allergens in question. Cold type asthma, from the viewpoint of acupuncture, is marked by cough with clear sputum, rapid breathing and wheezing along with other possible signs and symptoms. The heat type asthma is characterized by sticky and yellow sputum along with a full cough along with other possible signs and symptoms. Diet is the other factor in childhood asthma. An asthma attack becomes highly likely when the person eats large amounts of fried, greasy, or raw foods as well as certain sea-foods and shellfishes. Knowing the foods that can trigger childhood asthma in a child and excluding them from the child’s diet can drastically reduce the frequency of asthma attacks. Underlying deficiency, from an acupuncture standpoint, is the third factor. Chronic illnesses or congenital issue, which results in weakness, can cause these deficiencies to arise. Phlegm accumulation can result from this internal weakness, since the water metabolism of the body is compromised. When this happens, the phlegm storage and production is located in the lungs, making this organ mainly responsible for recurring asthma attacks.

In the treatment of childhood asthma, Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists can have several herbal formulas and specific acupoints to choose from that are helpful. Chinese pediatric massage or acupressure may be used in lieu of acupuncture depending on the health and age of the child. It is important that you seek help only from a licensed acupuncturist. Your child may benefit so much from this powerful and time-tested treatment.

Galina Semyonova is a licensed acupuncturist and massage therapist in New York City. She has studied extensively in the fields of biofeedback therapy, SCENAR therapy, Chinese herbal treatments and Chinese and Western nutrition.

The Movements of the Universe and Earth Reflect the Circulatory Movements of Energy Within the Body

TCM or Traditional Chinese medicine can be quite abstract for people who are only familiar with Western medicine. But are not all the planets turning simultaneously each on its own axis and revolving around the Sun? And is the Galaxy not like a revolving giant wheel?

Let’s consider the Earth. In summer, it’s very hot here. But, if you draw a bucket of water from a well, you’ll find that the well’s water is quite cool. Coldness wraps the earth during winter. The water’s well has frozen this time; however, miners inside a coal mine can feel very hot even during this season. Plants begin to bloom in springtime, and trees start shedding its leaves in autumn. Don’t these natural phenomena seem to indicate dual types of energy existing on earth that are converting into and circulating with each other?

I want you to observe the earth and the universe in order to show you that since the circulatory movements inside the human body cannot be detected by the human eye, TCM or traditional Chinese medicine can only employ analogy to enable you to see and comprehend the human body’s internal workings, and not merely for the intention of making you interested in astronomy.

The ancient Chinese, by observing Nature, came to understand that man must obey the laws of Nature since he is also part of Nature. They therefore, put forward the view of “correspondence between the natural environment and human beings.” A person who generally enjoys good health if he/she goes to work when the sun rises and stops working to rest when the sun sets is one the simplest examples of this view.

When they have made these observations, the ancient Chinese began to be aware that there are circulatory movements inside the human body similar to those of the heavenly bodies in the universe, and that man is a product of Nature. These movements require energies. The Chinese call these energies yin and yang. Yin or yang energy is determined by the direction of energy flow. If there is equivalence in the way these two energies transform into each other in circulatory movements, the body is deemed to be in good health; if such is equivalence does not exist, disease will plague the body.

What is Qi in TCM?

If we carefully observe the universe, we know that despite being invisible, air’s power can be felt whenever a powerful hurricane arrives. The ancient Chinese understood from observations that there must be matter which carries energy that makes air sometimes powerful. They concluded that man needs air, water, and food to live since these are the three factors in which the human body’s energy comes from. In TCM, this energy is referred to as “blood and qi.” Inside the human body, the circulatory movements that help maintain yin and yang equivalence depend on invisible energy qi and not only on the energy of the tangible blood for propulsion. The invisible energy qi can been represented as the functional activities of the kidney which TCM experts refer to as “kidney qi,” as well as other viscera. Qi also denotes man’s life-power or vital energy.

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Two Auriculotherapy Protocols Used to Treat Addictions

In 1972, Dr. H. L. Wen, a Hong Kong neurosurgeon found that an acupuncture procedure he utilized as an analgesic on a surgical patient also led to the reduction of the patient’s opium cravings and withdrawal symptoms. The good doctor used ear acupuncture also known as auriculotherapy in he surgery. This type of acupuncture sticks acupuncture needles into pressure points on the outer ear to diminish pain on specific parts of the body.

With auriculotherapy, Dr. Wen experimented on different addicts. He found that the treatment was very effective for all types of addictions and led to a high rate of recovery for around 85% of addicts who tried it. Two years after it was introduced in the United States, acupuncture in the form of ear acupuncture was used by the South Bronx Lincoln Memorial Hospital in New York City as an adjunct treatment protocol for methadone by the hospital’s addiction recovery and detoxification clinic.

Eventually, methadone was dropped. Ear acupuncture proved to be so effective in treating drug addiction that drug addiction detoxification and recovery clinics in several cities of the US have been established using this protocol.

Medicaid was publicly funding these clinics. A ruling by the FDA stating that acupuncture was “experimental” effectively excluded this treatment from being given public and private insurance coverage.

What is TCM?

Traditional Chinese medicine or TCM has five components:

1. Tui Na massage
2. Qi gong
3. Dietetics
4. Herbal pharmacopeia
5. A unique mind/body psychology

TCM is centered on the philosophical notion of chi or Qi, vital energy that circulates along a dozen energy channels known as meridians. These channels have over 100 major acupuncture points lying just above them. Qi is a unique form of bioelectrical energy that possesses innate intelligence, the same as the forces of nature.

The energetic and subtle body is where these 12 energy channels are located. This body serves as the energetic blueprint for the physical body. Chinese medicine considers an ideal state of health to be one where Qi is flowing smoothly through the meridians and in ample amounts. Western medicine considers this optimum health, while Chinese medicine sees this ideal state as organic harmony or balance.

On the other hand, when Qi flow is blocked, illness will occur initially in the subtle body and then eventually affect the physical body. Illness is thus considered as a state of disharmony in which the innate energetic intelligence of the body is unable to optimally function. With the aid of strategically placed needles, blockages are cleared and Qi flow is restored.

Auriculotherapy is based on the belief that the full body is a mirror of the body’s meridians found on the ear. The ear, hands, and feet energetic systems are mini-maps of the entire body’s 12 meridian energetic systems.

Basic auriculotherapy procedures for addictions

Each session will use a combination of unique pressure points that is determined by the practitioner. In addiction rehabilitation, however, the protocol used for recovery never changes. For all addictions, there are only two basic auricular acupuncture protocols used which non-TCM practitioners are allowed to perform. These protocols are:

1. The NADA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association) treatment protocol: This protocol makes use of ear acupoints Liver point, Lung 2, shen men and C. kidney. The shen men is used to treat oversensitivity, anxiety, and stress. The autonomic acupoint is used for balancing blood flow, as well as balance of the parasympathetic and the sympathetic nervous systems.

2. The ACACD (American College of Addictionology and Compulsive Disorders) treatment protocol: Besides using the three NADA points (C. kidney, autonomic point, and the shen men), the ACACD utilizes three other acupoints: Point zero for homeostatic balance, brain point for endocrine glands and the limbic system point for aggressive compulsive behavior.

Dr. Vickery is a licensed acupuncturist in Tarzana, CA., and the founder and clinical director of Vickery Health and Wellness.

How The Ancient Chinese Viewed the Emotions

In Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM, the seven emotions commonly cited are:

1. Grief
2. Fear
3. Sorrow
4. Worry
5. Anger
6. Fright
7. Joy

If they are in excess, these psychological factors can lead to ill-health and disease.

Grief

Too much shock or grief is related to the Lungs. Severe shock affects the entire body since the Lungs are in charge of the flow of Qi.

Symptoms of grief include the ones associated with the Western notions of shock. These include a sense of suffocation in the chest, breathing problems and pallor as well as urinary problems, constipation, and loss of appetite.

Fear

The Kidneys and Fear are closely linked to each other. Too much fear can reverse the upward, normal movement of Kidney Qi. Symptoms such as a desire for solitude, urinary problems, lower back pain, and listlessness can occur. Children who wet their bed can be explained in this type of condition, with shyness and timidity often being related symptoms. Fear can damage the Kidney in women, which can lead to irregular menstrual flow.

Sorrow

The Lungs and Sorrow are intimately connected to each other. Sorrow, in excess, can lead to the depletion of Lung Qi which can result in respiratory problems and blood and energy stagnation. Following the 5 element relationship, Lung Qi depletion can affect the function of the related organs.

It is quite common to see the Lungs affected by sadness and it may manifest as bronchitis and asthma problems and other respiratory conditions. These illnesses seem to commonly follow bereavement, while those chesty coughs are commonly experienced by people who are unhappy.

Worry

When we concentrate so hard for too long or dwell too long on a particular problem, what we do is we worry.

Spleen Qi stagnation is the outcome of this worry. In Chinese medicine, this results in menstrual irregularities in women, a bloated stomach, weakened limbs, poor appetite, anxiety, and depression.

The Heart is where pensiveness is believed to originate; therefore, too much pensiveness or worry can damage the Qi of the Heart. The syndrome “depressed Heat in the Heart and Spleen” is a common occurrence related to too much worry and can lead to symptoms like constipation, palpitations, and insomnia.

Anger

Anger is associated with the Liver organ system, according to Chinese medicine teachings. The Liver Qi will rise if a person is with too much anger. This will lead to symptoms such as red eyes, dizziness, a flushed face, and headaches.

The liver, in the Western tradition is related to the strong emotions of bravery and love. A lot of people living in the West have imbibed a few of the Chinese imagery for these two emotions which can be seen in their use of the word gung-ho. Westerners associate this term to military aggression and excess activity. This word is believed to be derived from the Chinese words Gan (Liver) and Huo (Fire) or “Liver Fire.”

Fright

Sudden fear or panic due to a dramatic external event can also be linked to the Heart.

This connection can be readily comprehended in Western societies in what is known as a “panic attack.” With associated symptoms such as cold sweats, mental restlessness, and palpitations. Fright in the context of Chinese medicine is believed to cause the Heart Qi “to wander about, adhering to nothing.” This causes the heart to race and hence increase the heart’s burden even more.

Joy

The Heart is inextricably linked to Joy.

In the West, joy is an emotion considered as something positive and cheerful that is almost impossible to be seen as damaging. There are certainly benefits one can derive from the positive side of Joy.

The Chinese society of yore was deeply conservative and excessively hierarchical. They therefore considered Joy to be damaging as it was seen in terms of inappropriate behavior and over-exuberance. Talk about being “killjoys”. In China, there is an expression which goes like this: “Sorrow is borne out of too much joy.”

In the Chinese sense of the word, Joy can be a metaphor for a group of excited and rowdy teens noisily shouting in the street and angering elderly people passing by, instead of light-heartedness and a happy sense of contentment.

Joy’s negative aspect is its “inappropriateness” and excessive amounts of it can damage the Heart and the Lungs both of which are which are located near the Upper fiao.

A damaged Heart Qi associated with excessive Joy can result in an inability to concentrate, while some forms of mental disorder can be associated with some sort of hysterical laughter which the Chinese also blame on a damaged Heart Qi caused by Joy.

Dr. Yelena Pakula is a licensed acupuncture doctor and the medical director of Vita-Health Acupuncture and Wellness Center in Pembroke Pines, FL.