Dr. Lea Kelley, DC, LAc, MTOM, DiplAc
Research Update: Acupuncture and Intestinal Health
A study conducted by researchers at the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and published by the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, revealed the possible mechanism by which acupuncture treats Crohn’s Disease. This mechanism had been previously unknown, although studies concluded acupuncture and moxibustion can relieve intestinal inflammation in patients suffering from the disease. This study identified there are two subsets of T-lymphocytes, Th17 and Treg cells, that are involved in the development of Crohn’s Disease and that acupuncture and moxibustion can help restore the balance between the cells, which could lead to a breakthrough in treatment of the disease.
More than 95 million Americans suffer from some sort of digestive disorder. This includes diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. There is evidence suggesting many of the ailments affecting the digestive system are occurring because of increased pesticides, artificial colorings, additives and preservatives that are being found in our food. Also the overuse of antibiotics has led to an epidemic in the United States that is actually killing the healthy intestinal bacteria that is needed to keep the body functioning properly.
TCM has been used to treat digestive disorders for centuries. According to Chinese medical theory, most digestive disorders are caused by a disharmony of the spleen and stomach. The spleen plays a vital role in the health of the body and it helps to assimilate the nutrients from the food that we ingest. The spleen turns digested food from the stomach into vital energy that is known as Qi (pronounced “chee’).
More and more scientific data is coming out that shows the gut is acting like a second brain. The ability of the gastrointestinal system to constantly transform us is being studied extensively. Specifically the bacteria within the gastrointestinal tract is a major focus. The project known as the Human Microbiome Project may have a lot to teach us about our bodies and also how we utilize medicine. This project is confirming that microscopic bacteria colonies within the digestive tract play important roles for both our mental and physical health. The project is confirming that when we nourish these bacterial colonies, we also nourish our bodies.
Research shows we can actually reshape and repopulate damaged bacterial colonies within the gastrointestinal tract. This can be accomplished by tonifying the spleen and stomach during regular acupuncture sessions. One such way to do this is by using a point along the stomach meridian in every single acupuncture treatment. Stomach 36 is a wonderful tonifying point that can help with nearly every intestinal issue. But in addition to utilizing regular acupuncture treatments, acupuncturists can provide dietary supplements and herbs that may help, such as probiotics. Also recommending foods like sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha may be helpful in repopulating the gut flora.
If you deal with gastrointestinal issues, acupuncture and TCM can be of benefit to you. Just be sure to locate a fully trained and properly licensed acupuncturist for all of your health and wellness needs.
How Positivity Positively Affects You
There is nothing more important than having a positive attitude. The attitude you display toward your day-to-day activities can make a huge difference in improving the quality of your life! Positivity makes the world go round and helps to ensure everything functions harmoniously. It’s a no-brainer that positivity, well, positively affects you.
You should allow the enhancing effects of positivity to start impacting your day as soon as possible. Start your day by letting small amounts of sunlight into your room, enjoying a cup of warming herbal tea and just reflecting on what it is you plan to accomplish today. A simple morning routine such as this can boost productivity and positivity throughout the day.
Once your day is started you should make sure to keep the positive energy going. It’s easy to allow the stress of your work day to get to you, and, this can crush the positive energy you have worked so hard to embody. The funny thing about this is positive thinking works to eliminate stress and improves well-being. So, in order to not let the work day stress get to you, simply think positive!
Positive thinking will not only eliminate stress, but it will improve your skills, your work ethic and the amount of success you will achieve in life. In addition to the morning routine, there are some other tips and tricks to help you gain a more positive mindset and apply consistent positive thinking to your lifestyle.
Exercise. Exercise is very important to both your physical and mental health, make sure you schedule time throughout your day to get some exercise or play-time in, by doing this you can help maintain a positive lifestyle.
Meditation. Meditation can be extremely beneficial to enriching your life with positive energy. If you do not happen to be an expert on meditation yourself, or you have never done it before, reach out to those in your community who can assist you with mediation and help you harness its benefits.
Writing. Writing down your thoughts and journaling can help reduce stress and induce positivity. It is important to catalog our thoughts, this way we do not bottle them up. So, start a journal, a blog or even write some poetry. A little writing can go a long way to making you stay positivity.
Learn to live as one with positivity and you will succeed in all your long-term goals.
Three Daily Rituals to Stay Positive
It’s so important to start your day off on the right foot. A healthy and happy morning can lead to a successful and productive day. Sometimes the key to starting off your day right can be practicing a few daily rituals in order to stay calm, collected and focused. Not only will making these rituals part of your everyday routine help your morning, but it will greatly increase the overall quality of your whole day.
1. Write - Keep a Journal
Right when you start your day it can be helpful to write out a small list of goals that you have for the upcoming 24 hours. Keep a small notebook or journal by your bed and when you wake up write down some goals for the day that will help you stay positive and focused.
Exercise is key. You need to make sure to get your blood moving when you begin your day. The smallest amount of exercise can make a big difference as to whether or not your day is positive, productive and successful.
3. Morning herbal tea
Having something nice and warm to start your day can ensure positivity throughout the rest of it. Start your day with a soothing cup of herbal tea and think positive thoughts as you drink every sip. The combination of a good tea and positive thinking can be very beneficial for staying positive.