Are you skeptical about whether acupuncture works? Have you ever wanted proof that it helps your body heal itself? Then you’ll love how I use AcuGraph to chart your acupuncture meridians and track your progression to wellness.
You don’t have to believe in acupuncture for it to work, but it never hurts to have scientific proof to share with family and friends!
Aroma AcuPoint Therapy
The right oil on the right point at the right time can truly be a life-changing experience. Did you know that one fingertip of a specific oil on a specific point on your ear can clear worries from your mind within seconds and leave you feeling carefree all day? Once you learn about it, you can even do it at home!
Professional athletes love fire cupping for its ability to maximize muscle recovery and optimize their performance. Celebrities, billionaires, and your favorite Grandma love it too, because it’s awesome! The telltale circles may leave you looking like you lost a fight with an octopus for a few days, but it relieves muscle tension, improves circulation in your body’s tissues and muscles, and feels just as good as (or even better than) a massage.
Which one of these tools do you look forward to experiencing at your next appointment?
Want to improve your health? Stop using antiperspirant!
Wait, I know what you’re thinking….
Let me give you 3 reasons to ditch the antiperspirant:
Now you’re probably thinking how is this possible? Let me tell you a few things you probably didn't know about perspiration! What a fun topic!
Skin is the largest organ in the human body. It serves as a protective layer for our organs, bones, and cartilage. It acts as a barrier to external bacteria and viruses. It allows toxins and metabolic waste to exit the body via perspiration (more on this later). It also regulates our body temperature. When it’s cold, blood vessels in the skin constrict and retain warmth keeping the body temperature higher than the external environment. When it’s warm, sweat glands under the skin excrete a mixture of water and salts we commonly call sweat that pools on the exterior surface of the skin and cools us down.
There are actually two different types of sweat. Exercise-induced sweat is produced by the eccrine glands and is actually sterile and odorless as it passes through skin pores, then gets increasingly stinky as it mixes with bacteria living on the skin. The thicker type of sweat that really stinks comes from the apocrine glands. In times of emotional stress, these glands get revved up and secrete sweat containing water, salt, lipids (fatty acids), sterols (waxy solids), and proteins. Sweat from the apocrine glands has been shown to be so pungent, it can literally clear a room of your friends, family, work colleagues, or strangers. It serves as a primitive non-verbal warning to anyone in your proximity that they should back off because you’re under stress.
Obviously, no one wants to smell so bad that they repel others. I’ve seen patients apply and reapply clinical strength antiperspirants throughout the day to combat sweaty body odor. The not-so-funny thing is, antiperspirants can actually make sweat smell worse, according to Dr. Joseph Mercola:
“Those who used antiperspirants saw a definitive increase in Actinobacteria, which are largely responsible for foul-smelling armpit odor. In some participants, abstaining from antiperspirant caused the population of Actinobacteria to dwindle into virtual nonexistence.”
In Oriental Medicine, sweat is a fluid of the Xīn (心). When the Xīn has the correct balance of qi and blood, sweating is regulated. Antiperspirants can wreak havoc on the Xīn ability to regulate sweat because the mineral-chemical compounds actually block skin pores from releasing sweat (hence the name anti-perspirant). The pores become plugged and will not allow any fluids to escape. Wearing an antiperspirant essentially traps sweat inside your body, inhibits body temperature regulation through perspiration, and prevents the body from clearing toxins (including heavy metals like arsenic, mercury, cadmium, and lead) through the skin.
A little known fact is that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies antiperspirants as a drug because they affect the function or structure of the body. Drugs usually have side effects and antiperspirants are no exception. The side effects I most often see from antiperspirant use in my clinic involve sleep disorders such as insomnia or waking up the middle of the night, anxiety, panic attacks, heart palpitations, memory issues, night sweats, acne, excessive worrying, and depression. These symptoms all occur when the Xīn is suffering from imbalance.
If you suffer from any of these symptoms, isn’t it worth a try to give up antiperspirants for a month and see if you sleep better, look better, and feel better? The first few days may be “fragrant” as the body clears out weeks/months/years of accumulated sweat, but over time most people discover they actually sweat less and smell better all over!
These are products I recommend to my patients when they ditch the antiperspirant:
 Dr. Joseph Mercola. Retrieved in June 2017 from: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/05/07/sweating-detoxification.aspx
My family eats organic food whenever it’s available and affordable... it’s not affordable or available, we find a healthy alternative.
These are the top 3 reasons why my family eats organic fruits & veggies:
1.Conventionally-produced produce is laden with synthetic pesticides (not to mention other dangerous stuff like synthetic herbicides and genetic modifications)
What is a pesticide and what does it do? The World Health Organization (WHO) defines pesticides as “chemicals used in agriculture to protect crops against insects, fungi, weeds and other pests” and claims pesticides “may induce adverse health effects including cancer, effects on reproduction, immune or nervous systems.”
Who wants to eat pesticides? Not me! Not my family!
Even more frightening are recent reports from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) about the prevalence of pesticide residue on produce. This was posted on WebMD:
“The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) analysis of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data found that nearly 70% of samples of 48 types of conventionally-grown produce were contaminated with pesticide residues. The USDA found a total of 178 different pesticides and pesticide residues on the more than 35,000 produce samples tested. The pesticides remained on fruits and vegetables after washing and, in some cases, peeling. More than 98% of samples of strawberries, spinach, peaches, nectarines, cherries, and apples tested positive for residue of at least one pesticide. A single sample of strawberries showed 20 different pesticides.”
20 different pesticides on one sample of conventional fruit? That’s 20 reasons why I only buy organic strawberries.
2.I don’t want to risk my family’s health (short-term and long-term)
According to the WHO, “Pesticides can be classified as carcinogenic (can cause cancer), neurotoxic (can cause damage to the brain), or teratogenic (can cause damage to a fetus).”
Cancer-causing, brain damage-inducing, and dangerous to the health of the unborn… the evidence is clear, pesticides and humans don’t mix at any stage of life. Period.
But, if you need more convincing…
In his book AntiCancer, author David Servan-Schreiber summarized a clinical study where over 20 children had their urine tested after eating conventional fruits/vegetables for several days. Their urine samples showed evidence of pesticides. After eating organic foods for several days, their urine samples were clear of pesticides. When they started eating conventional produce again, their urine revealed the return of pesticides.
If you're eating conventional produce and collecting pesticides in your body, this study shows that making the switch to organic has measurable results.
3. Some of my favorite fruits and veggies are only safe enough for my family when they’re organic
According to the EWG, in 2017 these conventional fruits/vegetables had the most pesticide residue: strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, peaches, pears, cherries, grapes, celery, tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, and potatoes.
For more details, check out: EWG's 2017 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce http://bit.ly/2r4imSQ
Given this scientific evidence, I’m not willing to jeopardize my family’s health by buying conventional produce at the supermarket to save a few dollars or complete a recipe.
Do you choose organic for yourself and your family?
If you're interested in making an easy investment to your family's health, consider trying Sunbasket! They offer up to 3 meals a week designated as organic, gluten-free, paleo, and/or dairy-free, delivered to your door, and ready to eat in less than an hour. No grocery shopping required! Last night's dinner was wild salmon with sumac spiced orange and jicama salad. Now doesn't that sound good?
Try it out here and get $35 off your first order!
 World Health Organization. Retrieved in June 2017 from http://www.who.int/features/qa/87/en/
 Web MD. Retrieved in June 2017 from http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/news/20170309/ewg-dirty-dozen-pesticides
 World Health Organization. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/features/qa/87/en/
 Lu, C., K. Toepel, R. Irish, et al., “Organic Diets Significantly Lower Children’s Dietary Exposure to Organophosphorus Pesticides,” Environmental Health Perspectives 114, no. 2 (2006): 260-263. Also see www.anticancerbook.com
 Environmental Working Group. Retrieved in June 2017 from https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty_dozen_list.php
When I started studying Chinese Medicine, I realized that not only is it important what I put into my body, it’s also important how I put it into my body.
Water is the ultimate example of this lesson, since it can consumed hot, warm, room temperature, cold, or frozen.
Here are 3 reasons why I don’t put ice in my water:
1. Cold is the Stomach’s enemy
The Stomach is warm and has an abundance of fluids. It receives and breaks down food, turning it into Gu Qi (aka Food Qi). We can’t survive without Gu Qi, so for optimal performance, it’s best to give the Stomach the right temperature of liquid and food (room temperature, warm or hot).
2. Cold impairs digestion
Cold or frozen water inhibits the Stomach’s production of Gu Qi, simply because it cools the Stomach down too much. If you add ice to very cold water, the water can actually cool enough to transform into more ice. Now, I’m not suggesting that ice-cold water crystallizes anything in your digestive track. But, think about it… if you continually drink ice-cold liquids, your Stomach has to work harder to stay warm. Working harder will create an imbalance elsewhere in your body, most likely the Large Intestine.
An imbalance of Stomach qi may manifest as difficulty digesting foods with symptoms such as stomach cramps, hiccups, abdominal pain before bowel movements, or loose stools. Or it could manifest as food retention (aka a food baby) as the burrito you ate for lunch hangs around much longer than you wish. You might notice your pants feeling too tight from abdominal bloating. Or you could feel tired and mentally fatigued. These are all symptoms of qi imbalance.
3. Cold reduces fertility
For women: In Chinese Medicine, the Yang partner of the Stomach is the Uterus (including the ovaries). The Uterus is the most fertile when it’s warm. Therefore, cooling down the Stomach leads to cooling of the Uterus, which reduces fertility. Symptoms of a cold Uterus include painful menstrual cramps or an irregular menstrual cycle (too short, too long, or varied).
For men: Too much cold in the abdomen can impair fertility by disrupting production of quality sperm in the testes. Too much heat is not good for the testicles either. In fact, the testes are just like Goldilocks… the most healthy when they are at just the right temperature, which happens to be a few degrees cooler than body temperature.
Now that you know the effects of ice water on the body, keep in mind that other cold foods such as ice cream, frozen yogurt, and iced-smoothies have the same effect.
To keep your Stomach warm and active, drinking warm liquids (hot water with lemon) 30 minutes before a meal is a great idea. Try it for a few days and see how you (and your Stomach) feel.
Life happens and sometimes it’s hard to resist that perfect ice cream or glass of ice water on a hot summer day. If you indulge in any ice-cold beverages or foods, do so sparingly and drink a warm liquid afterwards to keep your Stomach from feeling the freeze.
Dr. Michelle Wendt, L.Ac., DACM
Dr. Michelle Wendt, L.Ac., DACM practices Oriental & Chinese Medicine in Hawaii and Texas.