Meditation Qigong Exercise

At 1st Choice Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine in Bellevue, we focus not only on the treatment results, but patients’ lifestyle and diet and virtually everything relevant to their medical complaints.  We constantly make recommendation to change their dietary habits and lifestyle making them feel healthier each day. This is our secret ingredient to our success in helping so many people to thrive in their recovery.

One thing we also do is teaching meditation Qigong technique to all our patients.I personally have been trained by the world’s renowned Qigong Master Zhao Xue-Zhong (http://www.masterzhao.com) as one of his advanced disciples. I have been teaching patients simple Qigong exercises for many years and receive great feedback. One thing I often hear  are things like “Wow, I never knew this was that easy!” Indeed, Qigong practice is not as hard as you think especially Master Zhao’s Qigong. He basically simplified traditional Qigong exercises to pure breathing techniques. Patients do not need to remember the moves like Tai Chi, and it can be done almost anywhere (except driving of course).

Below is the meditation that we teach to all our new patients. This has helped many people to relax their body and quite their mind in just a few minutes. Try this at home and let us know how you do. We only teach this to our patients but since there have been many requests from our patients asking us to share it on our website so more people can benefit from it, so here it is! We also do weekly acupressure workshop, if you want to find out more about this amazing medicine please call us and come in for free consultation!

 

Counting Meditation

This counting exercise is a simple exercise to help you sharpen mental focus, eliminate stray thoughts, and calm the mind especially at the end of the day when you need to unwind and prepare for a good sleep. Before you begin, find a comfortable, quiet place such as a bed. Lie down with your hands on both sides. Make sure there will be no interruptions for the following 10 minutes including the telephone so that total focus can be achieved.

This easy exercise involves three simple steps:

1.    Count from One to Ten, then from Ten back to One – This is the easiest part, everyone knows how to count.

2.    Count upon inhalation OR exhalation – So how do we know which one to pick? Let’s say it’s the end of the day and you are trying to sleep but you just have so many things running in your mind that keep you from  falling asleep. You would count on exhalation – as if you are using this technique to get rid of the stray thoughts and quite your mind; In the morning when you wake up, but you are feeling so tired and seem to have no energy to get up, you would count on inhalation- as if you are trying to inhale the energy from outside to replenish your own.

3.    During counting, if any stray thoughts pop up count from the beginning again – this is the hardest part. When you begin to practice this exercise, just focus on your counting. But very soon stray thoughts might begin to pop up. When that happens, please go back to One and start all over again. This also is a good exercise to test how long you can stay concentrated on one thing.

Please practice this exercise daily and you will find yourself counting further and further from One. Please note, if you are absolutely cannot focus on counting, do not stress yourself out. Just stop the practice, do it tomorrow when your mind has quieted down.

100 Years, And Counting!

 

Would you like to live to be 100?  You would be surprised at how many people would answer “no” to that question.  Many people are in such poor health that it is a physical and emotional struggle to get through each day, let alone an entire century.  It doesn’t have to be that way. With 1st Choice Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine, we offer many ways to improve your health even as you age.

Actually, if we are living properly, enjoying the rich quality of life that we are entitled to, we should all be thrilled to live to 100!  In fact, the hard part should be figuring out how to squeeze all of our goals and accomplishments into such a relatively short period of time.

It’s true that we are living longer than our ancestors, but while the medical profession is quick to point out that our lifespan is increasing, what remains hidden in the fine print is the atrocious quality of life that our senior population must endure.  Twinkies® have a long shelf life, but it would be a stretch to call them healthy.

A balanced meridian system is the foundation of health and longevity, and it is like a bright light glowing deep within.  Dim the light and your quality of life dims along with it.  Extinguish the light and you die.

The key to living a long, healthy life is to maximize the function of the meridian system as long as possible.  Acupuncture does exactly that.

Understand that longevity is built right now.  Today.  This very day is part of your 100 years.  Your state of health at this moment is a result of your actions yesterday and the days prior.  Your state of health tomorrow depends on what you do today.

Health is not black and white.  It is a continuum, with death at one end and complete wellness at the other end.  We are never stagnant, we are constantly moving back and forth along the scale.

Every action you take either move you toward health or away from it, and the key to longevity is to habitually engage in those activities that drive you in the right direction.  Things like acupuncture treatments, daily exercise, proper nutrition, gratitude, a positive mental outlook, spiritual fulfillment, love, and so on.

It’s been said that success is a journey, not a destination.  The same can be said of longevity.  If a long, healthy life is a goal of yours, then don’t just let your life play out and hope for the best.  Longevity is not about dragging out an existence just to make it to a certain age.  Longevity is a byproduct of living the right way every single day until, before you know it, a hundred years have passed.

At 1st Choice Acupuncture, 35% of our patients are over age 60. We are so thrilled to have seen many senior friends here who are conscious about their own health, and are taking preventative measures to keep themselves strong and healthy. If you are, or know of anyone around you who are age 60 and beyond, please schedule with our front desk for a free consultation.

Ra Beauty Hour Radio Interview on Acupuncture 08-02-2013

Ra-Beauty-Hour-logo

The Ra Beauty Hour talk show airs on the popular KKNW 1150AM radio station on the Chat With Women network with over 36,000 listeners on every Friday of every month at 8:00 to 9:00 AM. Our medical director David TJ Lin was invited to their program last Friday to give an overview of acupuncture in the program. Click the following link to listen to this 15 minute interview!

CWW 08-02-13 1st Choice Acupuncture

(original page: http://chatwithwomen.com/ra-beauty-hour-08-02-2013/)

24 Hours To A Better Life

24 hours. One day.

What if you only got one? What would you do with it? Who would you see? How would you act? Where would you go?

Fortunately most of us get more than one day to live out our lives. But for too many of us there seems to be something wrong with every single day we are given. It’s too long. It’s too short. It’s cold. It’s rainy. It’s boring. It’s too busy.

If it were your last day, do you think you would give things like the weather a second thought? If you had just one day to live, your focus would undoubtedly shift from complaining and complacency to productivity, love, and thankfulness.

Well, the truth of the matter is that every day is of equal value. Today is no less important than your last day. Each day is a brand new start and we are all given the same 24 hours to make of them what we will.

All of this may sound a little too cliché, but consider that billionaire powerhouses like Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett are given the same 24 hours every day that you are. They are afforded no more time and no less time. The difference comes in how they choose to utilize their hours. And if you think they just somehow happened to arrive at their success by chance or privilege, read up on their life histories and you’ll find that this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Now your goal might not be to become a billionaire, but most people are longing for something more out of life, but are either waiting around for it to come to them, or just don’t know how to go about getting it.

The good news is that it doesn’t take a genius to create an extraordinary life; just persistent focused action on a daily basis.

Maybe you would love to write a best-seller, but are intimidated by the whole process. If you got to work and wrote just one page a day, in a year’s time you will have completed a 365 page book! Even if it took you 2 days per page, you would still have a substantial 180 pages.

Advancing your life simply requires that you prioritize and change your focus. Evaluate your typical day and find those “lost moments” or “voids” in which nothing meaningful seems to take place, and then plan the night before how you are going to better utilize that time. Listen to educational programs during your commute. Instead of surfing the web, study your field of business. Turn the TV off in favor of some quality family time.

You may not be destined to change the world, but by focusing 24 hours at a time it is easily within your power to change your life!

Cinnamon Helps Reduce Blood Glucose

Cinnamon is known as a wonder spice as it can astoundingly raise body’s temperature, increasing metabolism and burning more calories. In addition, cinnamon balances the blood sugar levels, thus amazing popular spice among diabetics.

 

A new study shows evidence that cinnamon helps reduce blood glucose levels after eating, according to the most recent Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Researchers at Ball State University in United States found that the addition of 6 grams of cinnamon (about 2.5 teaspoons) to hot farina cereal reduced blood glucose concentration by 24% during a two-hour period after eating.

For the randomized crossover study, 30 men and women ages 18 to 30 years were given one of two test meals: plain hot cereal or hot cereal with cinnamon. Participants were tested two times, receiving each breakfast once. Blood samples were taken seven times over a two-hour period after the start of the meal. The addition of cinnamon to the cereal helped to flatten the glycemic response and reduce fluctuations in blood glucose in both the normal weight and obese study participants during the time following the meal.

Critical questions for future research, the authors wrote, are whether the reduction of blood glucose is maintained with long-term cinnamon supplementation and, if so, whether the reduction can delay or prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. They concluded that cinnamon “may offer nutrition and dietetics practitioners and their clients a unique botanical-based preventive approach to modify blood glucose.”

If you suffer from diabetes and are wondering how acupuncture and Oriental Medicine may be an option for you, please contact 1st Choice Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine at (425)392-8881. We offer free consultation for all our new clients!
Source: cdapress.com

TCM Herbal Medicine Story

All our friends at 1st Choice Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine in Bellevue know about the importance of taking herbal medicine between acupuncture sessions. Herbal medicine works slightly differently than acupuncture although they are based on the same principles. Just think about if you want to lose weight but maintaining good health, you will do exercise (acupuncture), and on a balanced diet (herbal medicine). It won’t work if you solely rely on just one of the two. We will be covering some interesting stories about herbal medicine from time to time so you get a chance to learn about them.

Some of our patients express their concerns towards the safety issue of herbal medicine. Here at 1st Choice Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine, we only use the finest herbal medicine available in the U.S. All our herbs have been tested for heavy metal and harmful chemicals. On average our herbs are tested 15 times before they are delivered to our clinic. More details will be covered on the next article.
In ancient time there was a man named Mo Yao.  One day, he saw an old elephant lying beside the reeds and was groaning with pain.  The elephant noticed Mo Yao passing by and raised his feet, which had a sharp nail stuck in it.  In order to relieve the elephant from pain, Mo Yao pulled the nail out, but blood started gushing from the wound.  Seeing the blood, the baby elephant nearby quickly grabbed some Artemisia and passed them to Mo Yao.  Mo Yao then placed the herb on the wound and the blood stopped shortly.

In order to express their gratitude, the old elephant and the baby elephant often visited Mo Yao and assisted with plowing after recovery.  More importantly, Artemisia was now being recognized as a herb with medicinal value.

Artemesia is the leaf of Artemisia argyi Levl. Et Vant.  Its properties are bitter, acrid, and warm.  It enters through the spleen, liver, and kidney channels.

Actions & Indications:

  • Warms the womb and stops bleeding.
  • Warms the womb and pacifies the fetus.
  • Disperses cold and alleviates pain.

Caution & Contradiction

Use with caution in cases of heat in the blood or yin deficiency.

To find out how Oriental herbal medicine may address your health concerns, and to schedule for your free consultation please contact us today at 425-392-8881! Our office is located conveniently on Bel-Red Rd. in Bellevue, WA.

The original article is from Brion Research Institute, translated by Sun Ten Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

Are You Stuck in First Gear?

Imagine you are driving down the road with your gas pedal to the floor.  Your car runs great and gets you to where you need to be. All is good.

But then you look around and notice that everyone else is whizzing right by you.

Determined to keep up with those around you, you take your car into the shop and have the mechanic give it a good once-over.

The mechanic finds that while you have been getting to where you need to be, you have been doing so while driving in only one gear.  In actuality, he discovers that your car has an entire set of gears that have never even been utilized!

Many people live out their lives the same way; stuck in first gear and never living up to their full potential; not quite hurting, but definitely not at their best.  The problem is that while most people realize that they simply are not living up to par, they don’t know how to access their hidden gearbox to take their health to the next level.
These are the people that need to be under acupuncture care!

The old misconception that acupuncture care is just for those in pain or battling symptoms is quickly being exposed for the fallacy that it is.

Those who get the most out of their acupuncture treatments are the ones who take their care beyond the relief phase and work with their acupuncturist to maintain lifelong health and wellness.

The true essence of acupuncture actually has nothing to do with the treatment of pain and symptoms.  Acupuncture treatments remove meridian system blockages by detecting and correcting imbalances in the meridian system.  Symptoms are relieved as a byproduct of building a healthier body.

A blockage within the meridian system, ones that are continually out of balance, will never allow the body to run at maximum speed and efficiency.   The blockage and imbalance in effect acts as a governor on your body’s engine, limiting it to a certain speed that it can’t rise above.

You are not designed to sputter through life in first gear.  You are created to live all out at full throttle.  Settle for any less and you not only short-change yourself, but also those who depend upon you.

Your meridian system is housing a whole new set of gears that most of us never even tap into.  By unleashing the full scope of your body’s innate potential, acupuncture can help you take your health and your life to unparalleled heights.

To find out how acupuncture may address your health concerns, and to schedule for your free consultation please contact us today at 425-392-8881!

Chinese Herbal Medicine Helps Menopause Symptoms

A new study in the journal Menopause suggests that a Chinese herbal medicine preparation called Dang Gui Buxue Tang can help relieve menopause symptoms like hot flashes.

The phase II clinical trial was intended to investigate the dose-response relationship of the Chinese medicine with short-term menopausal symptoms and quality of life in postmenopausal women.
The randomized double-blind and multiple dose trial involved 60 postmenopausal women who suffered severe hot flashes and night sweats at the time of enrollment.  Participants were asked to use the Chinese herbal medicine at 1.5, 3.0, or 6.0 g/day for 12 weeks.

Primary outcomes monitored in the study included vasomotor symptoms, Greene Climacteric Scale  score, and Menopause-Specific Quality of Life  score, and secondary outcomes were serum hormones and lipid profiles.

There was a difference in the effect of the Chinese medicine observed in different dose groups.  The greatest improvement in psychological/psychosocial experience was found in the group receiving 6.0 g of Dang Gyui Buxue Tang per day.

Both 3.0 and 6.0 grams of Dang Gui Buxue Tang per day were associated with significantly reduced frequency and severity of hot flashes and night sweats, 14.5 to 21.2% reduction in hot flashes and 28.6 to 39.6 % reduction in night sweats among the group receiving 3.0 g per day, compared to 34.9 to 37.4% reduction in hot flashes and 10.1 to 12.8% reduction in night sweats among the group receiving 6.0 g per day.

No within- or between- group difference was observed in hormones and lipid profiles.

The researchers concluded “DBT (Tang Gui Buxue Tang) preparations at 6.0 g/day significantly improve physical and psychological scores and significantly reduce vasomotor symptoms from baseline. The treatment was well tolerated, with no serious adverse events noted during the 12-week intervention period. The changes do not affect hormones and lipid profiles.”

The common treatment for menopause symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats is hormone replacement therapy, which is effective, but long term use can increase risk of heart disease and breast cancer.

Bioidentical hormones are also used by some women.  It should be noted that according to the Food and Drug Administration, use of bioidentical hormones has not been proved to be safer than the conventional hormone replacement therapy.

Women with menopause symptoms who need to be treated may want to consider non-hormone remedies as a priority.  Please contact 1st Choice Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine (425.392.8881) to know about your options!

 

References:

http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Nutrition/Supplements/herbs/chinese_herbal_medicine_helps_menopause_symptoms_0929120941.html

Wet Socks Treatment

Wet Socks Treatment

by Dr. Judy Lin

A natural and drug free method of stimulating the immune system and zapping a cold or flu that has begun to gain its popularity is called the “wet socks treatment.” This is a home treatment has been commonly prescribed by physicians involves putting on ice-cold socks and … sleeping in them! I know, I know!!! Try it.

It may sound strange, but it works because it rallies the body’s defenses to battle against the affliction or condition – the body reacts to the cold socks by increasing circulation, which also stimulates the immune system. Stimulating the immune system, with the cold socks, systemically enhances the entire system, and enhances the battle against the nasty virus or condition, minimizing the suffering and length of the condition.

The ‘Wet Sock Treatment’ has been utilized successfully for hundreds of years. I recommend the Wet Sock Treatment to my patients of all ages often and find many experience positive outcomes from it.

Purpose of the Wet Sock Treatment:

  • To draw blood and lymphatic flow away from the head towards the feet.
  • To stimulate the immune system.
  • To induce fever.
  • To create a sense of calmness.

Effects of Wet Sock Treatment:

This treatment acts to reflexively increase the circulation and decrease congestion in the upper respiratory passages, head, and throat. It has a sedating action and many patients report that they sleep much better during the treatment.  This treatment is also effective for pain relief and increases the healing response during acute infections.

Contraindications for the Wet Sock Treatment:
These are general contraindications. Exceptions can by made only by your skilled integrative physician.

  • Neuropathy: may burn or freeze feet.
  • Asthmatics: may cause an asthmatic attack due to cold exposure and/or improved immune system.
  • Temperature 100 F or higher: may cause higher fever
  • Pregnancy: may cause fever
  • Cachexia: those who are very weak or wasting should not perform this stimulating procedure

 The warming phase is especially important for these patients. Please consult your physician:

  • Raynaud’s
  • Diabetes
  • Arterial insufficiency
  • Advanced intermittent claudication

Items Needed for the Wet Sock Treatment:

  1. Thin cotton or polypropylene socks that come up to the level of the mid-calf
  2. Bowl of ice water (or freezer)
  3. Thick warm socks – preferably wool – that come up to the level of mid-calf
  4. Bucket which reaches up to mid-calf
  • Filled with Hot Water – as hot as can stand without burning yourself or your child. Be sure to test.
  • Epsom salt – 2 to 6 cups (optional)
  • Moor Mud – 250 to 500 ml (optional)

Symptoms which may improve from the Wet Sock Treatment:

  • Headache
  • Migraine
  • Cold Feet
  • Sinus/Nasal Congestion
  • Earache and Ear Infections
  • Chronic Low Grade Fever (less than 100 F)
  • Sore Throat (or any inflammation or infection of the throat)
  • Upper Respiratory Infections
  • Coughs
  • Bronchitis
  • Insomnia
  • Stress / Anxiety
  • Weakened Immunity

Instructions for the Wet Sock Treatment:

  1. Take a pair of cotton socks and soak them completely with cold/ice water. Be sure to wring the socks out thoroughly so they do not drip. (May place the wet, wrung out thin socks in the freezer as well. Hang them on a freezer shelf so they are easy to remove).
  2. Warm your feet first. This is very important as the treatment will not be as effective and could be harmful if your feet are not warmed first. Place and soak your lower legs into the bucket of hot water which you have prepared (be sure the water is quite hot (an indicator for the proper temperature is one may slowly place their lower legs into the bucket as they tolerate the heat).
  3. Soak your lower legs in the bucket for approximately 3 to 5 minutes or taking a warm bath beforehand can accomplish warming.
  4. Dry off feet with a dry towel.
  5. Remove socks from the ice water bucket. Wring out well. – OR have someone remove your socks from the freezer and bring them to you.
  6. Place cold wet socks on feet.
  7. Cover with thick wool socks.
  8. Go directly to bed, lay down and watch a movie, or read a book. Avoid getting chilled.
  9. Keep the socks on overnight. Place the second set of pajamas next to the bed.
  10. During the night, you may wake up with your whole body wet from sweat. If so, change into the dry pajamas, but leave on the socks. You will find that the wet cotton socks will be dry in the morning.
  11. Do nightly if your symptoms have not yet improved
  12. Stop the Wet Sock Treatment if your symptoms have abated or gone altogether

Note: It’s best to start the wet sock treatment on first day of an illness, ideally repeating it for three nights in a row. People with chronic conditions or a compromised immunity should consult with a doctor before starting the wet sock treatment.

What to look out for while performing the Wet Sock Treatment:

  • Increased sweating during the night. Recommended to wear sweatshirt and sweatpants in bed to encourage sweating. If sweating at night, remove the wet clothes and put on dry ones.
  • Elevated Fever – above 104 F. Do not do the Wet Sock Treatment if the oral temperature of the individual is 100 F or higher.
  • If socks are still cold or damp in the morning after wearing them all night, perhaps:
  • you need to warm up your feet better before putting on the cold socks
  • the cold socks are too thick – use thin cotton or polypropylene socks
  • the cold socks were too wet – wring them out very well
  • your immune system and vitality is too weak at the moment so do not repeat
  • Increased Chills at Night: bundle up with blankets if needed and wear warm sweats. If you get wet from sweating, take those clothes off and put on new ones.

This information is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a licensed health care practitioner is recommended for anyone suffering from a health ailment. Your physician may have different directions than what you find above – if so – please follow their recommendations.