Wow - I Ate All That! Teas for Digestion and Chinese Herbal Medicine to the Rescue This Thanksgiving!
On Thanksgiving Day, we are actually encouraged to stuff ourselves and certainly one day a year, such indulgence can’t do us too much harm. For many, these temporary feelings goes away by the next day once our body has dealt with it. But sometimes a bout of overeating can create problems that stay around for days or even weeks. In Chinese medicine indigestion due to overeating is termed as "food stagnation".
Symptoms of Food Stagnation:
Bao He Wan Saves The Day
This inexpensive Chinese herbal formula translated as preserve the harmony pill can help ease the bloating, cramping, heartburn, or other forms of indigestion that usually accompany large, rich meals.
Sound too good to be true? It's really not. Here's how it works - Bao He Wan contains herbs that help the body's digestive system break down meats, grains, and fats; stimulating peristalsis, which is the abdominal movement that keeps food moving through the digestive tract properly. You'll feel good enough to get out for a healthy, post Thanksgiving walk (I strongly recommend this).
If Bao He Wan sounds like something you'd be interested in for this Thanksgiving or for other big meals this holiday season (or anytime!) - give me a call today at (510) 210-3822 or schedule online to come in for an herbal consultation!
Teas for Digestions
But chances are, you won't have an acupuncturist or Chinese herbalist in the house Thanksgiving day. So, what to do? Below are a few different teas your can probably stock up on at your local grocer.
Tummy Soothing Tea
Combine the chamomile, fennel, ginger, and peppermint in a tea pot or mug. Pour boiling water over. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Strain tea, then sweeten with honey, if desired.
The recipe below is for a single serving, but you could also make a big batch of the dry tea blend and store it in a jar for easy access.
While teas are generally safe, not all herbal teas are safe for everyone. Some herbal teas, such as those made with dandelion, chamomile, black cohosh or dried ginger, may not be safe during pregnancy.
Peppermint tea may not be a good idea for people with reflux or those taking blood pressure or diabetes medications, and ginger should be avoided by those using blood thinners or blood pressure or diabetes medications. Avoid dandelion tea if you take diuretics, blood thinners or diabetes medications.
I was out of town this past weekend for a wedding and while at the ceremony I met a lot of great people but also helped to answer their questions about acupuncture and Chinese medicine. The most common question that came up: how often and how long will I need to get acupuncture before seeing results?. Unfortunately, this is my most difficult question to answer and there isn't always exact timeline.
But after hearing this question so many times, I realized that the time commitment aspect involved with acupuncture is really important, but also unclear, to a majority of people. This week I sat down to try and organize an answer this question the best way I could. I broke it down into two different ways of viewing it: by levels and different types of common treatment plans.
3 Common Acupuncture Treatment Levels
Level 1: Pain Relief - Treating the Symptoms
Level 3.1: When Seasons Change
I'm sneaking this one in here. Have you ever felt slightly off and then suddenly realized its during a seasonal transition like from winter to spring? Just like the environment around us, our bodies react to the changing seasons. Seasonal acupuncture tune ups help the body to cope with shifting energy and emotions, changing temperatures, allergens, and increasing daylight or night time.
Different Types of Treatment Plans
Acupuncture treatments work cumulatively. Number of visits depends on the intensity and origin of the imbalance.
As a condition improves, the recommended frequency of treatment decreases. Acupuncture helps the human body function more efficiently so you can better manage stress, prevent and fight illness, and heal from injury. Together we will fine tune and customize your treatment to help you become happy, healthy, and balanced.
Any questions? Don't hesitate to email or call me!
While I love history, I am no historian. Furthermore, where acupuncture is concerned I am definitely not an impartial observer. Once began to settle and open my private practice Oakland I realized I didn't have the faintest clue regarding the historical roots of acupuncture, not only California but the United States. In my everyday life I've thrown around phrases like “2000 years old” and “ancient medicine with modern practicalities” which are all true but these statements are so obtuse that at times I even have a hard time connecting to them to a historical context.
For most of us in America, we can date acupuncture to landing on our shores in 1972 when then President Nixon traveled to China while accompanied by a journalist from the New York Times. While in China the journalist, James Reston, fell ill and required an emergency appendectomy that was performed in Chinese hospital. To relieve his pain before and after surgery doctors administered acupuncture. Reston was so impressed with the pain relief that acupuncture provided, he wrote about his experience upon returning to the United States.
What James Reston, and even I, didn’t realize was that acupuncture and Chinese medicine mostly likely were introduced to Europe and the United States sometime during the 17th century. While still limited, by the 19th century European physicians, especially in France, began publishing detailed accounts of their experiences practicing acupuncture not only on themselves but on their patients as well. Although largely unnoticed, published papers from Europe began to arrive on eastern sea board of the United States in the early 1800’s. In 1829, the American edition of Tavernier’s Elements of Operative Surgery, includes a three page article on how and when to perform acupuncture and an operation similar to electro-acupuncture.
The first documented acupuncturists and herbalists in the U.S. were Ing Hay and Lung On. In 1887, Ing Hay arrived in the mining town John Day, in Eastern Oregon. He soon began practicing Chinese medicine with fellow practitioner Lung On, serving both the Chinese and Caucasian community there. Doctor Hay and On were both arrested several times for practicing medicine without a license but due to their popularity in the community, each case brought against them was dismissed.
Fast forwarding, there are a couple pioneers from the twentieth century that helped to advance and legalize the practice of Chinese medicine in America. I’m proud to say that not only did major developments take place in California but they were also accomplished by women.
Efforts to legalize acupuncture began with the American born Barbara Bernie. Suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome Barbara traveled all the way from Silicon Valley, California to Canada in 1971 to receive acupuncture treatments for her condition. The treatment worked so well that she accepted a referral to an acupuncturist practicing illegally in San Francisco. From 1971, she tirelessly pursued legislation culminating, in 1975, in the legalization of acupuncture in the State of California. Barbara Bernie later traveled to the United Kingdom to attend a school of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture becoming one of the first licensed Caucasian acupuncturists in the United States.
In 1966 Miriam Lee immigrated to the United States and quietly started a revolution that would help to lead to the legalization of acupuncture in California, and set a precedent for the rest of the United States. When arrested in 1975 for practicing medicine without a license, her patients lined the courtroom to testify on her behalf and days later California Governor Ronald Reagan legalized acupuncture as an experimental procedure. In 1976, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation legalizing acupuncture as an accepted medical practice in California, and Lee became one of the state's first licensed acupuncturists. Miriam Lee ran the Acupuncture Association of America from its inception in 1980 until 1998.
In the past 40 years:
· Over 46 states have legalized and regulated acupuncture and Chinese medicine
· Since the mid-1980s acupuncture schools have accepted national accreditation standards
· In the mid-1980s a national examination in acupuncture began, which most states accept for licensing
· There are approximately 50 accredited schools of acupuncture / Chinese medicine in America
· Thanks to the hard work of acupuncturists like Bob Flaws and other Chinese medicine pioneers, hundreds of new books have been published in English, including many translations of classic and modern Chinese works
· The World Health Organization published Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials, listing over 30 symptoms, diseases, and conditions that have been shown through controlled trials to be treated effectively by acupuncture.
· As of 2004, nearly 50% of Americans who were enrolled in employer health insurance plans were covered for acupuncture treatments and with Obama Care that number is increasing.
· There are currently over 20,000 licensed acupuncturists practicing in America
For me it’s easy to envision the future of acupuncture and Chinese medicine here on my home turf. I can see it becoming a part of everyday life, no longer boxed in as an alternative form of health care. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine is cost-effective, provides a safe, virtually side effect-free method of recovery from pain after surgery, lessens postoperative nausea, constipation, and urinary difficulties, and can manage existing conditions like hypertension, anxiety and insomnia.
 Cassedy, J.H. Early uses of acupuncture in the Uniter States, with an Addendum (1826) by Franklin Bache, M.D. Bull N Y Acad Med. 1974 Sep;50(8):892-906