Approximately 26 million Americans have kidney disease, and most don’t even realize they have it! The reason is because many people aren’t aware they are ill until the symptoms have progressed significantly. Unfortunately, kidney disease is one of those silent ailments which can wreak havoc on your body unbeknownst to you.
Some symptoms of kidney disease include the following:
The National Kidney Foundation is the leading organization in the U.S. dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease for tens of millions of Americans at risk, and March is national kidney month! It is important to take care of your body, and your kidneys are no exception. Your kidneys are pretty powerful if you think about it – they work 24 hours a day, seven days a week and never get a break!
Interesting Facts About Your Kidneys:
Preventing Kidney Disease and Promoting Kidney Health
As the nation’s 9th most deadly killer, kidney disease can be prevented by educating yourself and by taking easy, daily steps that promote kidney health.
The risk for this disease can be reduced by controlling blood pressure and blood sugar, maintaining proper weight, stopping smoking, exercising regularly and avoiding excessive use of medications that can harm the kidneys, such as ibuprofen and naproxen.
One interesting fact is the skin and the kidneys both help detox the body.
Traditional Chinese medicine often refers to the skin as the third kidney. Modern research is discovering new insights into the value of skin detoxification for those with kidney disease. Dr. Jenna Henderson writes about one German study evaluated the benefit of sweating for Stage 4 chronic kidney disease patients. Patients sweated into towels, and the towels were then chemically analyzed for content of uremic waste (this waste can build up in the blood and can cause kidney damage). Not only were uremic waste products found, but the researchers noted that the more often the patients experienced these sweating sessions, the more uremia came out in each session. The body learns to push this pathway through repeated stimulation.
This is where we mention our favorite topic: the benefits of sweating via infrared saunas! However, it is also important you talk to your doctor should you have kidney disease before partaking several sweating sessions.
Foods Which Keep Your Kidneys Happy & Healthy
In addition to using infrared saunas for happy and healthy kidneys, and to support them in their never-ending job of filtering waste out of the blood, there are other things you can do to support kidney health. Naturally, exercise and a good diet are a couple of those things, but there are foods which also support your kidneys. They are as follows:
Contributed by: Travis McIndoe TCMP and foremost expert in internal medicine at Balance Point Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine Kelowna.
Headaches are one of the most common complaints I see in my Acupuncture Clinic. Due to the local weather patterns we experience in our lovely city, many people’s bodies have a hard time adjusting to the drastic change in pressure and temperature. Headaches are a sign of imbalance in your body, when your body is healthy and in balance it is easily able to handle many changes that can happen around you. However, if your body is out of balance, it will not be able to handle theses changes and stresses without exhibiting symptoms.
With the use of ultra-fine acupuncture needles your Kelowna Acupuncturists, Dr. Travis McIndoe and Vivi Wu, can give immediate relief for most types of headaches and migraines. Once we’ve achieved relief of your immediate acute symptoms, we can begin the work of rebalancing your system in order to avoid or reduce the occurrence and severity of headaches in the future. Some cases may also require the use of Chinese herbs for better and faster results.
If you suffer from headaches and are looking for a natural and holistic solution, book your acupuncture appointment today.
Insomnia and poor quality sleep are common problems for many . Regularly getting a good night’s sleep is for some a luxury they’ve not experienced in a long time and has a negative impact on almost all aspects of daily life and overall health.
Benefits of Better Sleep:
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine are safe and effective in the treatment of insomnia regardless of the cause (except maybe for your kids waking you up early). With the use of ultra-fine acupuncture needles, your Kelowna Acupuncturists Travis McIndoe and Vivi Wu can help bring relief from your sleepless nights.
Though it is not an overnight fix (all puns intended), over the course of several treatments your sleep should improve either by falling asleep more easily, staying asleep longer or just improving the depth and quality of sleep. There is also no risk of dependency with Acupuncture like there is with prescription medication and no negative side effects. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to continue getting frequent acupuncture treatments indefinitely to see long term benefits, though some percentage of people do require ongoing “tune-ups” every month or two to maintain their quality of sleep over the long term.
If snoring is keeping you up, either from yourself or your partner, acupuncture can also improve many types of snoring.
Other Benefits of Acupuncture:
Contributed by: Travis McIndoe TCMP and foremost expert in Acupuncture. Contact us Today to let us help you get on the road to more restful sleep.
Hot flashes, or what my mom likes to call her private Hawaiian moments, are a common problem for many of the patients I see in my Kelowna Acupuncture Clinic. Hot flashes are one of the most aggravating symptoms of an imbalance during menopause, they interrupt sleep, disrupt daily activities and can be anywhere from a mild nuisance to an overwhelming, inescapable personal hell.
The good news is, acupuncture and Chinese Medicine are safe and effective in the treatment of hot flashes due to menopause. With the use of ultra-fine acupuncture needles your Kelowna Acupuncturists Travis McIndoe and Vivi Wu can bring relief from the heat.
Though it is not an overnight fix, over the course of several visits your symptoms will begin to ease and eventually go away or remain mild.
The best thing about using acupuncture to treat hot flashes is that there are no negative side effects and no increased risk of cancer from the treatment. There are other beneficial “side effects” from using acupuncture for hot flashes, some of which are: improved sleep, improved mood, lower stress and anxiety and more energy. All good things in my opinion.
Acupuncture not only relieves the severity of your hot flashes but also lowers the frequency, duration and reduces sweating. It’s important to remember that though menopause is a normal change in a woman’s life, severe symptoms, such as hot flashes, are not.
Other Benefits of Acupuncture:
If you have hot flashes, book your acupuncture appointment at Balance Point Kelowna today 778-484-9922.
Contributed by: Travis McIndoe TCMP and Vivi Wu RAC foremost experts in acupuncture and woman's health.
I guess you have heard about Aсuрunсturе аnd Intrаmuѕсulаr Stіmulаtіоn (IMS). Sоmеtіmеѕ іt is rеfеrrеd tо as Drу Nееdlіng. Pеrhарѕ уоu’vе experienced one оr bоth, but уоu’rе wоndеrіng, whаt’ѕ the difference? Well іt turns оut they’re асtuаllу рrеttу ѕіmіlаr.
Hеrе’ѕ what уоu need to knоw about IMS and Acupuncture:
1) Where did it ѕtаrt?
IMS іѕ NOT a new treatment, іt is simply еаѕtеrn mеdісіnе dіѕguіѕеd as western mеdісіnе. All thе techniques used іn IMS hаvе bееn used іn trаdіtіоnаl Chinese асuрunсturе for over 3000 уеаrѕ and іt іѕ dеrіvеd frоm a tесhnіquе соmmоnlу саllеd “Burnіng thе Mountain” or “Cооlіng thе Skу.” Thеrе are ѕеvеrаl techniques іn trаdіtіоnаl Chіnеѕе acupuncture that involve inserting the needle tо vаrіоuѕ dерthѕ аnd ԛuісklу rеmоvіng іt.
2) Dіffеrеnсе іn Trаіnіng
In regards tо knоwlеdgе оf the humаn body, асuрunсturіѕtѕ and оthеr health practitioners hаvе ѕіmіlаr trаіnіng. Cоntrаrу to whаt mоѕt people thіnk, acupuncturists аrе trаіnеd in western medicine and chinese medicine. In fact thеу must соmрlеtе almost аll thе ѕаmе соurѕеѕ аѕ a medical student. The асtuаl training іn needling tесhnіquе аnd рrасtісаl hоurѕ is what varies. A physio-therapist that practices IMS is only required to have 40-50hrs of training.... VS an acupuncturist who studies the art for many years before being certified to practice. So the question is would you want someone working on your that has only a small amount of training or someone who has extensive training?
3) Tуреѕ оf Nееdlеѕ
Aсuрunсturіѕtѕ, рhуѕіоthеrаріѕtѕ and other hеаlth рrасtіtіоnеrѕ all use the SAME nееdlеѕ, іt’ѕ uр to the рrасtіtіоnеr tо dесіdе whаt tуре, ѕіzе аnd length thеу wіll uѕе. Thіѕ сhаngеѕ depending оn thе аrеа оf thе body, thе соndіtіоn being trеаtеd аnd practitioner рrеfеrеnсе.
4) Needle Lосаtіоn
Acupuncturist tурісаllу uѕе trаdіtіоnаl роіntѕ that аrе lосаtеd along meridians and hаvе a vеrу ѕресіfіс lосаtіоn bаѕеd on ѕurfасе аnаtоmу. Thе роіntѕ used fоr IMS are bаѕеd mоrе оn internal аnаtоmу аnd muscle tеnѕіоn, however many асuрunсturіѕt іnсludіng mуѕеlf, use thіѕ tесhnіԛuе. Mоrе often thаn nоt thеѕе роіntѕ end uр bеіng іn thе same lосаtіоn as a traditional acupuncture роіnt.
5) Sensation frоm thе Nееdlе
Fоr IMS thе nееdlе іѕ tурісаllу inserted fоr a fеw ѕесоndѕ аnd thеn removed. Sometimes іt is lеft lоngеr іf thе рrасtіtіоnеr uѕеѕ ѕоmе fоrm of еlесtrо-ѕtіmulаtіоn, whісh wе wіll tаlk аbоut nеxt. Aсuрunсturе needles аrе uѕuаllу lеft іnѕеrtеd fоr 20-30 mіnutеѕ. Patients tеnd tо rероrt IMS as being a bіt mоrе unсоmfоrtаblе bесаuѕе thе nееdlе is соnѕtаntlу mоvеd аrоund untіl thе muѕсlе tеnѕіоn releases. This tесhnіԛuе mіght also bе uѕеd іn аn acupuncture trеаtmеnt whеn trеаtіng pain аnd muѕсlе рrоblеmѕ, hоwеvеr uѕuаllу once the nееdlе іѕ іnѕеrtеd іt іѕ left in place with vеrу lіttlе mаnuаl mаnірulаtіоn.
6) Stimulation of Pоіntѕ
Elесtrо-ѕtіmulаtіоn or E-Stіm mасhіnеѕ uѕеd to ѕtіmulаtе thе muѕсlе mау оr mау nоt be the ѕаmе. This аlѕо vаrіеѕ based оn thе рrасtіtіоnеr’ѕ dіѕсrеtіоn. Almоѕt аll acupuncturist wіll uѕе аn E-Stim mасhіnе and other hеаlth practitioners usually use a Transcutaneous Elесtrісаl Nеrvе Stіmulаtіоn or TENS machine. They bоth dо pretty much thе same thing, hоwеvеr thе way thеу рrоduсе wаvе fоrmѕ dіffеrѕ whеn рrоvіdіng ѕtіmulаtіоn to thе muscle. Thеу bоth achieve thе ѕаmе rеѕultѕ but bаѕеd on еxреrіеnсе the сurrеnt from the E-Stіm mасhіnе асhіеvеѕ rеѕultѕ fаѕtеr bесаuѕе it іѕ continuous.
Hореfullу this hеlрѕ сlеаr uр ѕоmе confusion rеgаrdіng the dіffеrеnсе bеtwееn Aсuрunсturе and IMS. Bе ѕurе уоu understand whаt tуре оf treatment уоu’rе rесеіvіng and dоn’t fоrgеt tо ask quеѕtіоnѕ.
Contributed by: Travis McIndoe
To book your consultation with Travis or other TCMP expert practicioners
please call 778-484-9922
The Chinese Zodiac
The Chinese new year is not based on a solar calendar like ours is in the West but based on a lunar calendar, meaning that it lands on a different day each year depending on the movements of the moon. This year, the Chinese new year falls on January 28th, and we move from the year of the monkey into the year of the rooster. There are twelve animals that make up the Chinese calendar, each cycling in order. Here are all twelve animals, in their respective order. The rooster is the tenth animal in the sequence.
Rooster, Dog, Pig, Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey.
You can determine what animal you are by referring to the chart below.
2017 – Year of the Fire RoosterIn the Chinese zodiac, each animal also has a cycle of rotating elements. There are five elements – fire, earth, metal, water and wood. The rooster’s element is metal, but in 2017, the rooster is under the element of fire. This means that fire rooster only happens every 60 years. Each element changes the characteristics of that particular year. Generally people born under a metal sign have a great deal of confidence and drive for success, but when out of balance, they can be stubborn and hard headed. Metal signs are very charismatic and often have magnetic personalities which makes them well liked by everyone they encounter.
The Rooster PersonalityFire rooster is like taking all the metal personality traits and amplifying them so they are off the charts! Fire roosters are dynamic, highly intelligent, extremely organized, independent thinkers and their charisma takes it all to the next level. Their drive and perseverance make fire roosters very successful in all of their endeavors and they always have a great many admirers. Fire roosters are very sociable and their friendships are important to them. They love to be the centre of attention and are the hit of every party and social occasion. They are fiercely independent and more capable than most which can sometimes lead them to prefer to rely on themselves rather than on help from others. Fire roosters can be extremely strong willed and once they have set their mind to something, no one will be able to change their minds. Fire roosters can become obsessed over details and may be critical if they see others doing a job that fire rooster feels he can do better himself. The good news is that there is no one more capable at executing a task efficiently and to a very high standard than the fire rooster. They may be hard headed and stubborn, but they get the job done, usually better than everyone else and with such flair that nobody complains!
Because of his fiery personality, fire rooster needs to be careful not to become too intense and learn to slow down and relax. He tends to want to control and take over, but could use a little humility when taking on projects with others and not let his ego get out of control. He tends to burn so hot that, although this makes him a charismatic character and draws people to him, it can also burn and hurt people’s feelings unintentionally.
Fire roosters are intelligent, organized, hard working and make excellent and loyal friends. They are meticulous and dependable which makes them very successful in all aspects of their lives.
Lucky Things for Roosters
Unlucky Things for Roosters
A Bit About Kidney / Bladder Disease in Chinese Medicine
A Bit About Kidney / Bladder Disease in Chinese MedicineKidney deficiency is the cause of many illnesses and over 80% of people have a certain degree of kidney deficiency. Cold hands and feet, a lack of energy, ringing in the ears, sexual dysfunction, joint pain, menstrual disorders, prostate problems, back pain, hearing impairment, premature aging, and incontinence are some typical examples.
Winter time is the best season to preserve and promote kidney health. Eating black colored food such as black beans is good for the kidneys. Salty taste benefits the kidneys but too much can damage kidneys too. Kidney stones are formed by a buildup of substances which crystallized into stone-like deposits. Diets high in protein and lack of exercise will result in severe overall net calcium loss and increase the amount of calcium presented to the kidneys. Western doctors’ advice in reducing the burden and workload on the kidneys is by eating a diet low in meat, high in carbohydrates, restricted salt and drinking plenty of water to dissolve smaller stones. And by avoiding peanuts, chestnuts, soy, asparagus, spinach, corn and eggs as well as eating more celery, apple, pear and beans will help to keep your kidneys strong and avoid problems like stones in the future.
The symptoms of a kidney infection are a sore throat, fever, lower back pain, tiredness, fatigue, thirst and loss of appetite. When there is edema (swelling), the volume of urine decreases and so does the blood pressure. Infections of the urinary tract are more common in females than males. It could be due to poor hygiene or food allergy. Bacteria grows more easily in alkaline than in acid urine and vitamin C can promote acid urine and also improve immunity.
The food treatment for kidney infection should include a low-sodium and high protein diet such as fish, meat, egg and soy products. Water intake should be increased. Diuretic foods such as watermelon, winter melon, black bean, broad bean, see qua, and small red beans are effective in expelling dampness. Corn silk and corn kernel cooked with water to make tea can alleviate urinary tract or bladder infections. Grape juice can treat female urinary tract infections. Avoid spicy foods, garlic, and chives.
The other kidney dysfunctions include frequent urination, nephritis, leucorrhoea in women, and nocturnal emission and spermatorrhea in men.
According to Chinese medicine, kidney problems are caused by yang deficiency, as well as spleen and heart deficiency. Seminal emission is induced by excessive fire due to yin deficiency, weakness of kidney qi or the descent of heat-dampness. Treatments include nourishing kidney yin, removing fire, clearing heat and dissipating dampness.
Uplifting Kidney 5 Herb Tea RecipeSYMPTOMS
All symptoms of weak kidney function.
Uplifts stomach and kidney energy.
Huang Qi or Astragalus Root
Dang Shen or Radix Codonopsis
Shan Yao or Chinese Yam
2. Drink tea only.
Not suitable when you have a cold or flu.
I’ve recently experienced a few of the most stressful weeks I’ve had in years. For the most part – although I get a lot done in a day and have a fair bit on my plate – my life is pretty relaxed. I’m an acupuncturist after all and getting acupuncture on a semi-regular basis has always helped me manage my stress levels and depression. However, this was a heightened amount of stress. It was interesting to observe what came up for me physically and emotionally as I did my best to navigate these stressors.
THE EFFECTS OF STRESS-
The quality of my sleep decreased and I noticed a huge increase in cravings for foods that are definitely less than healthy. Neither of those are terribly surprising to me. Sleep is one of my weak links physiologically and when we sleep dopamine – the feel good hormone – is replenished in the brain. When those levels are low we typically seek out other ways to bring our dopamine circuits back into. Food is one way of doing this. Typically, it’s the sugary foods – foods that I normally stay away from – that give these dopamine circuits a good turbo boost. I found myself craving sugar like it was my job and feeling insatiable when it came to consuming it.
I was starting to feel depressed.
Recently, I learned about this fascinating study in my Biopsychology of Behavior class. It showed that people who feel as if they have control over their situation did not suffer from the maladaptive effects of stress the way that people who DO NOT feel like they are in control did. What researchers found was that people who DO NOT feel like they are in control of their situation have smaller adrenal glands from an excess of the glucocorticoid hormone cortisol – a stress hormone – in their system. Bottom line, feeling a sense of control over ones situation helps reduce the effects of stress.
After about a week and a half of feeling like life was bowling me over and letting all those familiar murky feelings seep into the cracks I decided to take back my sense of control of my own life. After years of testing this hypothesis, I am clear that everything in life is about perception. I may not have much control over what is happening on the outside world but what I have complete and unequivocal control of is my emotional response to it.
Sounds great doesn’t it?
If you are anything like me, theories always sounds great…in theory…but how does that make a practical difference in my life and the lives of others?
Here’s what I did to combat the stress and get back some semblance of order in my life.1) I decided NO MORE! I chose myself over the things that were creating stress in my life. This is actually a really important point. It is challenging to choose ourselves. We hold onto so many stories around feeling selfish…I can’t choose myself, I am a good person and a good person always puts people before themselves.
ALWAYS CHOOSE YOURSELF.
2)Acupuncture and More Acupuncture! Acupuncture is outrageously effective at allowing our body to shift from the sympathetic stress response to the parasympathetic – the system responsible for rest. When we rest, we heal. When we heal our body brings itself back into homeostasis. When we are in homeostasis all things, including our hormones and brain chemicals are in balance. When our brain chemicals and hormones are in balance, we feel good, we make good choices, we sleep and we are generally happy people. Easy peasy. Knowing this I increased the amount of acupuncture I was getting.
3) Sleep Hygiene became my priority. According to Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture theory, the Liver/Gall Bladder system is the one most responsible for mediating stress. Acupuncturists have noticed a huge correlation between the Liver organ system and the Autonomic Nervous system – which includes the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems we talked about earlier. Liver/Gall Bladder time is between 11pm and 3 am, so getting to bed by 10 is one of the best things you can do for this organ pair as well as for combating the effects of stress.
If studies interest you you can also check out this study on Acupuncture’s effects on the Autonomic Nervous System.
Contributed by: Travis McIndoe -TCMP foremost Expert in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
Balance Point Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine
Hello Acupuncture Enthusiasts!
In my Kelowna Acupuncture practice I see a lot of people suffering from the, often debilitating, overuse injury that is tendonitis. Once tendonitis sets in, it can become quite a stubborn injury that often takes a number of weeks of treatment to resolve. Left untreated it can worsen to the point where the use of the affected limb becomes too painful and my patients are missing work and/or taking so many anti-inflammatories that they begin to create side effects or simply become ineffective on top of the tendonitis not improving.
The absolute best treatment for tendonitis is prevention! Seek treatment before the tendons become inflamed.But how do you know if you’re on your way to developing tendonitis you ask? The most common early symptom is persistent muscle soreness or weakness especially related to a particular action (such as lifting a jug of milk). You know you need to get in quick when the weight needed to feel that ache or pain is minimal (such as drinking your morning coffee).
Acupuncture is an effective therapy for tendonitis, not only because it reduces inflammation and speeds the healing of your tendon, but it also works to resolve the muscle tension and if present poor circulation that created the tendonitis in the first place.
On top of acupuncture for the treatment of tendonitis I recommend that my patients rest that muscle(s) involved as much as possible in the first half of their treatment course while doing a regular stretching regime and in the second half add in some strengthening exercises.
Do you have tennis or golfers elbow? Book your Acupuncture Treatment in Kelowna today!
Contributed by : Travis Mcindoe -TCMP and Master Herbalist at Balance Point Acupuncture and integrative medicine in Kelowna.
Balance Point Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine
Unit 303, 570 Raymer Avenue, Kelowna, BC
Phone: (778) - 484 - 9922