Latest Weight Loss Protocol

It has been understood for quite some years now that the basic way to lose weight and keep it off, which means through shifting the metabolism into a healthier state, is by combining a moderate to high protein intake with eating lots of vegetables and relatively little starch. In terms of starch intake, this protocol is sometimes divided into two main stages: the first stage with virtually no starch intake other than that which is pretty much unavoidable; and then the second stage, with a somewhat higher starch intake.

There is an underlying purpose to this regimen. The body burns two things for energy and two things only: sugar and fat. And the important thing about this is that each person’s body either emphasizes burning sugar or burning fat. When we consume a high amount of sugars, the body keys to burning sugars, which means that the fats in our diet are left relatively untouched, and thus stored (around our middle somewhere!) in gradually increasing quantities. And all any starch is chemically is a series of sugars strung together. If instead, fat predominates in the dietary intake over sugar, then the body emphasizes burning its fats, and thus fat does not accumulate in the body’s storage cells. And it takes three to four weeks of depriving the body of  sugar/starch intake as much as one can stand in order to convert a body from keying to burning sugar over to keying to burning fat. Once this is accomplished, then starch may be reintroduced into the diet in moderate fashion.

Now, science has come to see that doing not only the above, but also upping the fiber intake as far as reasonably possible, will more quickly and thoroughly make a body shift to fat-burning mode, and thus accelerate the combined health benefits and weight loss of this overall weight-loss protocol. Turning the body into a “fat-burning machine” causes the proper regulation of the hormonal system, including insulin and a less prominent but at least as important hormone known as leptin, which–among many other things–has everything to do with how much and when we feel hungry. In any case, the real trick to weight loss is to do it through making oneself healthier.

Whatever your health concerns, you can take action about them by booking an appointment online.

2014-2015 Flu Season in Full Swing

2014-2015 Flu Season in Full Swing
First, something happy to say: We hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday season and that you and yours are doing exceptionally well in the New Year! Now the not-so-happy stuff: Sadly, and true to form, the first major wave of cases in the 2014-2015 flu season hit just as the holidays ended. This year’s flu vaccine did not hit the mark as far as predicting the flu strain which appeared as the main carrier, so the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is calling the widespread and numerous flu cases a full-blown epidemic. Unfortunately, a number of people have died from the flu already. At first, the CDC predicted that the flu epidemic would peak in February, but now they are saying that it may instead peak in January.

A recent article highlighted a marvelous study which was done, investigating the role of cold weather and rhinoviruses, which are the typical cold viruses. These viruses are called rhinoviruses because they flourish in the nose and sinus cavities, and “rhino-” is the Latin prefix meaning “nose”. It appears that when dealing with many rhinoviruses, the body’s immune system is compromised by having to interact with the viruses in conditions where the temperature is less than 98.6 degrees F.—normal human body temperature. Since the nose breathes in chill air, rhinoviruses can thus flourish by staying in the inner nose area, which tends to be cooler than most of the rest of the body. So—especially when the weather outside is a bit frightful and chill, and you or your loved ones have to be out in it—it is a smart idea to do something to keep the nose area covered and warmed up.

As stated in last month’s newsletter, North Scottsdale Acupuncture has its Winter Care Kit for sale—a set of Chinese herbal formulas designed to prevent and/or treat colds and flus, along with directions for use. But IF YOU SHOULD begin to COME DOWN WITH a COLD or FLU, and you have not bought the Winter Care Kit—PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE to COME INTO THE OFFICE to see Nancy about the right herb formula for you, or to get an acupuncture treatment, or both. In the great majority of cases of colds/flus, Chinese medicine will STOP THEM RIGHT IN THEIR TRACKS!

There is a true story about a group of Chinese doctors who were invited to tour America several years ago. After they had been here awhile, they were asked what they thought of America. The Chinese doctors said that America is an amazingly abundant and energetic country, but there was one thing they were astonished by: the fact that American medicine thinks that there is no cure for the common cold!

Often, clients will think that they are doing acupuncturists/herbalists a favor by staying away from us when they have a cold or flu, and that is nice of you. But you needn’t worry: We take Chinese herbs to keep ourselves healthy, and this works for us! You can’t make us sick with your colds and flus, so don’t let them stop you from an office visit!

Speaking of office visits, when you want to set one up with Nancy, you can do so by booking online.

Avoid Flu Season Early, Before It Really Begins

It is an annual fact that in every early January in America, the flu season starts, or starts to really take off. Why is this the case? You could say that it’s the weather, but most places in this country have already been thoroughly cold and snowy for quite some time prior to early January. And the flu season begins or gets going strong at the same time in southern Arizona, which is hardly wintry compared to elsewhere. (Just ask a snowbird, or anyone from Buffalo: they will laugh scornfully at our winter.)
Is it not more likely that we experience a post-Holidays reaction? We have not only been tending to indulge in way more sweets and alcohol then we usually do; we have also tended to stress about Christmas in all the ways we so often do.

Now, is it likely that we will indulge less, or stress less, no matter what advice we get? The chances are slim, and who wants to be a party pooper anyway? But something we can all do is to deliberately schedule in some quiet time for ourselves—as much as we reasonably can, even if it takes a shoe horn to make it fit for us. And then stick to that plan! Winter is the time when Nature quiets down, and we are part of Nature and its ways. And even though—in some ways—southern Arizona works a bit backwards for us seasonally, winter here is still a time which contains an element of annual rest and recuperation.

Flus and colds always hit us when we have over-extended ourselves and are, therefore, somehow worn out. Thus, Nature forces us to stop or slow down and refresh ourselves by invading our weakened immune systems until we must take a break. So, give yourself some judicious breaks during our wintry high-stress Holiday time, and odds are that you will either avoid the usual colds or flus, or else experience them with a distinctly lessened severity.

We also have our winter herbal kits available for sale from our website to help you in dealing with winter’s chills and fevers. The winter herbal kit has a thoughtful assortment of Chinese herbal formulas, some of which are intended to prevent winter illness, and some of which are to help if winter gets the better of us, along with detailed instructions on how to use the kit to optimum advantage. No one understands herbs in such a practical and personally useful way as the Chinese and those who have studied their herbal methods. Our experience for many years now is that the best thing anyone can do to avoid flus and colds is a combination of proper rest and Chinese herbal formula fortification.

You’ll be glad you did. Especially when your sick friends and relatives are jealous of you for having fun while they’re not, and you get to act all wise and knowing. Because you are. So please be wise and book an appointment online by

Acupuncture for Weight Loss

acupuncture for weight lossLoosing weight has traditionally been one of the most difficult human endeavors. Unfortunately, as we all know, putting the weight on is far too easy. As a result, 70% of the American population is seriously over-weight or obese. This is a percentage that is difficult to digest, (sorry about the pun). The fact that food is so cheap and Americans are so eager to get the most food for least amount of money has made the all-you-can-eat and Super sized meals a family favorite. While folks are saving money on food they are paying dearly in health. The advent of processed foods means that now you can get high blood sugar after every meal. For those who do not yet know it, this is a really bad thing.

How do we gain weight? It is simple, when you eat starchy, high carbohydrate or high sugar foods and beverages blood sugar levels rise too high for the body to metabolize. The surge in insulin causes your body to grabon to that excess glucose and store it as fat. The biggest problem for people trying to loose weight is that the media has been telling them to cut calories.

Cutting calories will not allow you to loose weight unless you cut the right calories, namely carbohydrates and sugar. The thing that most people cut is fat. Fat and protein are the main nutrients that you need to consume in order to loose weight. It is so frustrating that popular media does not spread this well studied, well known fact. [Read more…]

Seasonal Allergies and Chinese Medicine

allergies and acupuncture

To start with, it is important to clarify semantics. Whenever we are talking about Chinese medicine it is important to understand that the Chinese language is conceptual rather than literal. Therefore when I write about a Chinese concept, I capitalize the word to highlight that there is a larger concept behind the use of the word than what we are used to in the English language. Words that are to be read as concepts in this article are: Blood, Lung, QI, Fluids, Dampness, Yin and Yang.

Why Do We Have Allergies In The Fall?

Fall is one of the major allergy seasons. The paradigm of Chinese medicine views this in terms of the organs and their seasonal relationships. For example, autumn is the season in which the Lung system is most prominent. Lungs are energetically in charge of making sure that the air we breathe descends into the lungs and goes through its normal passage, bringing oxygen into the blood stream to supply the cells in the body. Often times, when a person has weak Lung energy, the breath doesn’t descend properly and it comes back out in the form of coughing or sneezing. We think of this as being in response to certain irritants but it can be just about anything in the air at the time that the Lung energy is weakest.

Sinuses are an extension of the Lung, so Sinusitis and Rhinitis are common complaints in Fall. Here in Arizona we are in a dry climate and Fall is naturally a dry time of year, so there is always dryness playing a roll in allergies here. This is hard to understand because of the fluid coming out of the nose, eyes and sometimes even cough but in treating these issues here, if the dryness is not respected the treatment will not be effective.

[Read more…]