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
2080B Springfield Road
Kelowna, BC. V1Y 9N7
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
2080B Springfield Road, Kelowna, BC. V1Y 9N7
Phone: (778) - 484 - 9922
The psoas (so-as) muscle is a large muscle that attaches on the anterior portion of your entire lumbar spine, as well as the bottom thoracic vertebrae. It travels down your spine and hip, to the inside of your femur bone. It is part of a group of muscles, commonly known as your hip flexors. Although this muscle’s primary action is to flex the hip, it commonly causes pain in the low back.
The psoas crosses many joints including the joints in your spine, SI joints, and your hip socket. When it gets tight, it can cause your pelvis to rotate forward, which increases the natural curve in your low back, compressing the joints in your lumbar spine, causing pain in your low back. Down the road, this postural dysfunction can lead to other health issues such as facet joint irritation, disc herniation, spondylolisthesis, and other complications.
There are many different reasons as to why this muscle can become tight and shortened. Sitting or standing for long periods of time, desk jobs, cycling, and bad posture are a few. Another one that people can overlook is our body’s stress response, the sympathetic nervous system. You’ve probably heard people mention that hips can store our emotions. The psoas muscle can hold a lot of our stress, causing it to stay in a contracted position.
Massage Therapy can help release this muscle both directly and indirectly. It’s no surprise that receiving a massage increases your body’s relaxation response, your parasympathetic nervous system. This, in turn, will help relax your psoas, releasing the stress within the muscle. Another way to approach it is by working through the abdomen to get to this muscle directly. For some, it can cause discomfort during the massage but is very effective in releasing this muscle. Therapeutic exercise is another great way to help obtain the results gained by massage. This is given to you by your therapist to do at home.
Lauren Billey RMT
Seaweed - Studies at McGill University in Montreal have shown that seaweeds bind to radioactive wastes in the body so they can be removed. Seaweeds also bind to heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and cadmium "chelating" them to help eliminate them from the body. In addition, seaweed is a powerhouse of minerals and trace minerals. Seaweeds are also high in minerals and trace minerals such as zinc and selenium which also chelate toxins such as mercury from the body and help support the body's detoxification pathways. Many sea vegetables such as kelp are high in iodine which regulates your thyroid and other glands as well as displacing toxic halogens such as bromine, chlorine, and fluorine from your system.
Lemons - Lemons are excellent liver detoxifiers and contain high amounts of Vitamin C which is needed by the body to produce glutathione. Glutathione is the body's antioxidant which helps the body eliminate all manner of toxins and free radicals from the system. Vitamin C and other antioxidants found in lemons are integral to ward off cancer and fight the effects of pollution and cell damage. Fresh lemon juice provides more than 20 anti-cancer compounds and helps alkalize the body’s pH levels. It also helps dissolves and shed congestive mucus which provides a breeding ground for viruses, bacteria, and fungi to proliferate.
Kale - Kale contains powerful anti-cancer and antioxidant compounds that cleanse the body of harmful substances. Chlorophyl which is found in high concentrations in kale acts like a sponge mopping up toxic residues. Chlorophyl is also antiseptic and cleansing to the blood thereby promoting a higher oxygen state in the body. The molecular structure of chlorophyl is actually very close to that of hemoglobin the body's oxygen carrying protein. Kale is also high in fibre, which acts like a broom sweeping putrefied debris out of the intestinal tract. Like cabbage, kale helps to neutralize poisonous compounds found in cigarette smoke thereby preventing cancer and other degenerative diseases. It also jump-starts the liver’s production of cleansing enzymes.
Beets - Beets contain a unique mixture of potent phytochemicals and minerals that make them superb blood purifiers, and liver cleansers. They also increase the body’s cellular intake of oxygen, enhancing all functions of the cell. Considered one of the best blood cleansers, beets stimulate and heal the liver as well as increase the secretion of bile helping toxins to be eliminated from the body through the large intestine. As legend has it, Aphrodite ate beets to retain her beauty. Having a healthy and highly oxygenated bloodstream positively affects every aspect of health and it shows with glowing and radiant skin.
Apples - Apples increase bile production which stimulates the liver to cleanse itself. A clean liver is thought to be like a "toxin magnet" drawing poisons out of the rest of the system. Apples also contain lots of soluble fibre, specifically pectin, which absorbs poisons and removes them from the body through the colon. Soluble fibre such as pectin also acts like a vacuum drawing toxins, old fecal matter, and pockets of infection off the intestinal walls for removal through the bowels.
If you experience pain and numbness and tingling in your hands, especially at night, you may have what is called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). Carpal tunnel is one of the most common hand conditions.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The carpal tunnel is a structure in the wrist where different tendons and the median nerve pass through. Compression of the median nerve causes the numbness and tingling in the thumb, middle and index fingers, and half of the ring finger.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is due to:
What causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Repetitive movements such as:
How can massage therapy help?
From Stephanie LeClair, RMT at Balance Point Integrative Medicine:
“In several cases where I have treated carpal tunnel syndrome I look at the muscles and structures that can compress the median nerve starting where the nerve exits the spinal cord. One often-overlooked area of compression of the median nerve is at the elbow. Here there is a muscle called the Pronator Teres and when it gets tight from using our forearms it can also compress the median nerve and cause carpal tunnel-like symptoms. Surgery for carpal tunnel can be avoided when these muscles are properly treated.
After doing a full assessment of a patient with carpal tunnel syndrome I treat the areas of compression of the median nerve using a variety of techniques including myofascial release, neuromuscular release techniques, manual lymph drainage, stretching and strengthening, and hydrotherapy. I see significant improvement even after one or two treatments.”
Testimonial about massage therapy treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
“I had an extreme flare up of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome 2 and a half years ago, although the signs had been there for several years already and I had chosen at the time to ignore them. When the pain and numbness was so awful that I had to finally do something about it, I started with research online, and felt the best place to start was physiotherapy. I was told to use braces while working, which were uncomfortable, and also at night while sleeping, which were more comfortable. I was given nerve glide exercises, told to do contrast soaks once a day for a total of 15 minutes, plus was taking high dosages of Advil for the anti-inflammatory. This all helped, and my symptoms decreased. I continued to use the nighttime splints, and still do. Over time, I started to have stomach issues which I think are related to the over use of Advil. I occasionally take a prescription anti-inflammatory which helps but does not work as well as Advil.
A little over a month ago, I had another major flare up and felt it was time to try something more. I decided to try massage, even though the research I had done online stated that some people claimed it was helpful, but led me to believe that it wouldn't be a significant improvement. I have now had 3 massage treatments aimed specifically at treating the carpal tunnel and wish I had tried sooner. I felt a big improvement immediately and in the days following. I would not be able to continue working as a caterer had I not done this. I recommend that everyone suffering from carpal tunnel try massage to help treat it. I am continuing to do the stretches my massage therapist, Stephanie Leclair gave me to do, as well as the contrast soaks and am feeling so much better.
Thank you so so much Stephanie!
Rattray, F., & Ludwig, L. (2005). Clinical Massage Therapy: Understanding, Assessing,and Treating Over 70 Conditions (11th printing).
Elora, Ontario: Talus Incorporated.
Carpal tunnel syndrome. Median nerve dysfunction; Median nerve entrapment. A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. 2010. Online.
Luchetti, R. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. 2007. Online. http://www.springerlink.com.proxy.lib.uwaterloo.ca/content/978-3-540-22387-0/contents