Blogs by Topic: General Health

This page is our grab bag, covering random aspects of health and wellness that don't exactly fit into the other categories. Our greatest passions are Traditional Chinese Medicine, nutrition, and essential oils...but we're also fascinated by health topics outside of these key interests (and like to write about them occasionally).

Eastern and Western Health Perspectives

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Adrenal Fatigue: What is it and how do you fix it?

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), we don't have the concept of adrenal fatigue because thousands of years ago hormones weren't on health practitioners' radar. They did, however, realize that long-lasting stress, improper diet, too much or too little exercise, and other poor lifestyle choices could cause a person to become chronically rundown, which they diagnosed as "Kidney deficiency". Really the two conditions are one in the same, which means we can treat adrenal fatigue from both perspectives!

 

First, though, what is adrenal fatigue? The adrenal glands sit on top of our kidneys and produce a few key hormones, some of which are involved in our "flight or fight" response. This adaptation was invaluable to our ancestors as they would face predators and other dangers. Nowadays, our common stressors are minor in comparison - traffic jams and work deadlines, for instance - and prolonged, but they still trigger the same response. The changes in our heart rate, breathing, muscle tension, etc. are in part due to our adrenal glands pumping out hormones to help us fight or flee from the stressful situation. When our stress is chronic, the adrenal glands will constantly pump out these hormones and become fatigued over time, leaving us feeling constantly drained and exhausted.

 

Of course, prevention is the best medicine! Practice regular self-care and stress management so that your body won't feel like it's under attack. (If this is difficult for you, read our previous posts on meditation and stress busters.) If you're past that point and already experiencing symptoms, supplementation is often needed to reset the body. Acupuncture will help regulate hormone levels and give you a chance to relax while the body builds up Qi (energy), and Chinese herbal formulas containing herbs that tonify the Kidneys will build up Yin, Qi, and/or Yang to help your other accompanying symptoms as well. From a Western holistic perspective, supplements containing adrenal extracts give the adrenal glands more support and fill in nutritional gaps that are often missing in our modern diet. 

 

If you've been feeling exhausted for a long time, especially after going through a stressful situation, consider trying some - or ideally all - of these methods to build yourself back up again. Each of us only has one life to live; don't you want one that's full of vibrant energy?

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What's your health perspective?

How do you view the design of your body? Is it meant to gradually lose value and function, a depreciating asset like a car? Or is it something that should be working well at (almost) all times?

 

Plenty of patients will attribute their issues to age, even when they're in their 30s! Or, even worse, I've had patients answer, "Not yet," to questions about pain or other conditions when we go through their intake. Now, I'm not saying that we should expect to feel and act the same as we did when we were teenagers, but I am saying that with a healthy lifestyle and mindset, you should anticipate that your body will work optimally despite your age.

 

So, keeping this in mind, what is your train of thought when something happens to your health? If you catch a cold, pull a muscle, feel the effects of stress, etc., do you just say, "Oh well, that's just part of life," or do you take charge and do everything possible to fix the issue? We're not meant to live with pain and fatigue and menstrual cramping and terrible sleep and all of the other health issues that society tells us are normal. We were designed to feel great and accomplish great things because of it. If you don't believe me, I encourage you to think more deeply about why you don't...

 

All this being said, we'll all feel our best when we eat nutritious meals, stay active, rest, and balance work and fun. When you hit a health roadblock, don't give in to negative thinking but instead do everything in your power to get over it as quickly as possible so your "machine" can start running properly again. Live your life to the fullest and seek professional help - massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, etc. - if your body isn't cooperating because of an injury, poor choices, or whatever else it's been through up to this point. We often hear amazing stories of men and women who accomplish unheard of things in their "Golden Years" (running a marathon, winning a body-building competition, landing that difficult yoga pose); why can't that be you? 

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Educating and Empowering Yourself

Yesterday morning I (Kathleen) woke up with back pain, probably from working out the day before. I booked an appointment with a chiropractor and gave myself a mini acupuncture treatment, but I also worked on it without professional help first with acupressure and essential oils, as well as a few stretches that I quickly researched. 

 

I think everyone should have an arsenal of practitioners that can provide assistance when something comes up, like what happened with my pain, but I also believe very, very strongly that it's everyone's responsibility to be aware of his or her own body and know at least a few basic methods to try when the body gets mixed up. A lot of times, the body just needs a little push in the right direction, whether that be a small diet change, a few stretches, self-massage, or essential oil application. (If something persists or is severe, then call up one of your trusted practitioners, of course.)

 

Don't know any techniques that you can use on yourself at home? Start coming to our classes! We'll be teaching almost every Saturday, and what we go over can be immediately applied to your life. This Saturday (the 21st) we're going over acupressure and diet therapy - two easy tools that you can use to balance your body at home - and next Saturday (the 28th) we'll talk about how essential oils benefit and support the body. 

 

At Beachside Community Acupuncture, we want to build a community of empowered, health-minded individuals that aren't afraid to take their health in their own hands. If your vision for yourself includes being confident, healthy, and resourceful, sign up for our classes each month and take the first step toward making that dream a reality!

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