Tag: stress

Natural Remedies for Insomnia

Natural remedies for insomnia are a holistic approach for getting a great night’s rest.

Insomnia is a growing problem among people who struggle to fall asleep or who toss and turn throughout the night.

4 Types of Insomnia

Insomnia describes both the common symptoms of poor sleep quality or quantity. But has more recently been expanded to refer to a syndrome which has four basic types:

•Sleep onset insomnia (difficulty falling asleep)
•Seep maintenance insomnia (frequent or long awakenings)
•Sleep offset insomnia (waking too early in the morning)
•Nonrestorative sleep (persistent drowsiness despite adequate sleep duration)

Types of insomnia or sleep disturbance are referred to as transient if symptoms last for no longer than one month and chronic if they persist longer than one month.

Balance in the Body

Regulating the balance between Qi and Xue as well as the equilibrium of Yin and Yang is a frequent way to approach sleep disorders. Unhealthy diet or stress, anxiety and otheremotions are believed to stagnate qi and damage the heart while affecting the spleen,gall bladder, liver and kidney energy to result in sleep disturbance and insomnia. A weak spleen and gall bladder are thought to prevent a patient from feeling refreshed upon waking. According to Chinese medicine, the liver is responsible the smooth flow of qi/energy and blood.

It’s energy is at it’s peak during the night, so weak or stagnated or excessive liver energy might result in a struggle to fall asleep.

Acupuncture is a Natural Remedy for Insomnia

Studies from the University of Pittsburgh seem to conclude that acupuncture may help with insomnia. Several weeks of acupuncture treatment can help to increase melatonin secretion in the evening which helps improve the total amount of time asleep.

Acupuncture can also help to relieve low back aches associated with sleep disturbance. Acupuncture can also aid nausea, dizziness and headaches which may result in better sleep and the feeling refreshment.

Learn more about Acupuncture for Sleep Disorders HERE.

Beebalm and other flowers float in a cup of herbal tea made with catnip, motherwort, beebalm, lavender, and lemon balm.

Herbal Medicine is A Natural Remedy for Insomnia

Multiple herbal formulas are reported to assist sleeping pattern. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners will select an appropriate herb blend based on a patient’s symptoms, constitution and medical history.

Chinese herbalists have a Master’s Degree in TCM herbalism.

Be sure to work with a competently trained herbalist and avoid medicating yourself without guidance of a qualified herbalist.

Some common herbs your herbalist might use include:
•Zao Ren (sour date seed)
•Bai Zi Ren (Arborvitae seed)
•Fu Shen (Poria Paradicis)
•Wu Wei Zi (Schizandra fruit)
•Wulinshen (herbal compound)

These herbs can be ingested as capsules, pills, tinctures, water extracts or teas. In The Classic Art of Tea, LuYu writes, “Tea tempers the spirit, harmonizes the mind, dispels lassitude and relieves fatigue, awakens the thought and prevents drowsiness.”

MP900313729Nutritional Remedies for Insomnia

An old Chinese proverb advises, “he that takes medicine and neglects diet, wastes the skills of the physician.” The Eastern viewpoint is that a balanced diet includes spicy, sour, bitter, sweet and salty foods and herbs that are chosen for their antibiotic properties. Different foods can contain any mixture of the five tastes plus the taste of bland.

The great principles which can be applied from this diet are primarily the ideas of holistic healing with whole foods. Whole foods can be used for repairing and revitalizing the organs and systems. Rather than a “miracle diet,” a holistic approach attempts to listen to the body.

 

Contributor bio:  Jessica Socheski is a freelance writer who loves finding ways to improve health naturally and is passionate about private medical care. You can connect with her through Google+.

The Health Benefits of Laughter Therapy

It is more than six years now since the first “Laughter Club” was set up. There is a growing demand for such clubs in India and abroad. Almost everyday more and more people are joining Laughter Clubs and are reaping its benefits. One of the benefits is that laughter puts the members in a positive frame of mind and gradually makes them positive thinkers. People suffering from a variety of stress-related diseases have benefited in some way or another. But we don’t claim that long-standing ailments have been cured by laughter therapy. Laughter is more of a supplementary and preventive therapy.

Anti Stress: Laughter is one of the finest, most economical and easy ways to reduce stress. Laughter is one of the best muscle relaxants. Laughter expands blood vessels and sends more blood to the extremities and other muscles all over the body. A good bout of laughter also reduces the levels of stress hormones epinephrine and cortisol. It is used as a form of dynamic meditation or relaxation. For meditation one has to put in a concerted effort to completely detach oneself, on mental and emotional levels, from one’s own feelings and thought processes, as well as from the physical world to prevent distractions. While laughing we do not have any conscious thought process and all our senses naturally and effortlessly combine in a moment of harmony to give joy, peace and relaxation. In other types of meditation you need to concentrate a lot to take your mind away from distracting thoughts, which is easier said than done. Therefore, laughter is, if I may say so, the easiest form of meditation and one which brings you instant relaxation.

Strengthens the Immune System: The immune system plays an important role in maintaining good health by keeping away infections, allergies and cancers. It has been proven by psychoneuroimmunologists that negative emotions like anxiety, depression or anger weaken the immune system of the body, thereby reducing its fighting capacity against infections. According to Dr. Lee S. Berk from Loma Linda University, California, laughter helps to increase the count of natural killer cells (NK cells – a type of white cell) and also raises the antibody levels. Researchers have found that after laughter therapy there is an increase in antibodies (Immunoglobulin A) in the mucous of the nose and respiratory passages, which is believed to have a protective capacity against some viruses, bacteria and other micro organisms. Many members of Laughter Clubs have noticed that their frequency of common colds, sore throats and chest infections has decreased. The effect of laughter on the immune system is considered to be very significant with regard to deadly disease like AIDS and cancer by improving quality of life.

Aerobic Exercise: The one benefit almost everybody experiences is a sense of well-being. After 15 minutes of laughter in the morning, they feel fresh throughout the day. There is no medicine like laughter which gives you such an instant result. The reason for the sense of well-being is that you inhale more oxygen while laughing. Laughter can be compared to any aerobic exercises except you don’t have to wear fancy shoes or clothes. You don’t need to sweat hard on the jogging tracks. According to Dr. William Fry from Stanford University, one minute of laughter is equal to 10 minutes on the rowing machine. Laughter stimulates heart and blood circulation like aerobic exercise. Laughter exercise is suited for sedentary people and those who are confined to a bed or wheelchair.

Depression, anxiety and psychosomatic disorders: The stress and strain of modern life are taking a heavy toll of the human mind and body. Mind-related diseases like anxiety, depression, nervous breakdowns and sleeplessness are on the rise. Laughter has benefited many people who were on heavy anti-depressant pills and tranquilizers. Now they are getting better sleep and their depression has reduced. People with suicidal tendencies have started living with more hope.

High Blood Pressure and Heart disease: There are a number of causes for high blood pressure and heart disease like heredity, obesity, smoking and excessive intake of saturated fats. But stress is one of the major factors. Laughter definitely helps to control blood pressure by reducing the release of stress-related hormones and bringing relaxation.

© Used with Permission

Dr. Mandan Kataria
http://www.laughteryoga.org
Mumbai, INDIA. 2003.
Phone : +91-22-26316426
E-Mail : laugh@laughteryoga.org

 

Stress, Anxiety, & Panic Attack Relief with Acupuncture & Herbs

Woman Sitting with Tea Cup

Anxiety and Panic Attack Treatments with acupuncture and Chinese herbs are fast acting, safe, effective. Chinese medicine recognizes that a variety of causes and conditions continually arise in life which shift our energy. Because of these shifts we may not feel happy all the time, nor are we expected to according to the Chinese medical perspective.

In fact, the person in optimal health will experience the full range of emotions, but without getting stuck in any one emotional state. When stress, anxiety and panic attacks get in the way of life, patients need fast acting treatments. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs offer a natural, safe and effective method of treatment.

In clinical practice, the patients I treat recover quickly from stress, anxiety and panic attack treatments. When I treat people with stress and emotional disorders using acupuncture and Chinese herbs I tailor an individualized and focused treatment strategy to the specific imbalances of each person.

Ready to release the anxiety? Call 646-504-2251 for an appointment.

I gently place acupuncture needles in the body to open up blockages in energy flow, and to support systems that are weak or out of balance with the rest of the body. My approach allows the body to heal itself naturally, and the tailored treatment provides effective. Treatment also aims to resolve the problems from the root cause, for lasting relief. I also teach home care stress reduction techniques.

“After my second appointment with Juliette I never suffered from another anxiety attack again, and it has now been almost a year since I first visited her. I am so grateful to Juliette. I admit I went into this a little skeptical but Juliette Aiyana is so knowledgeable and easy to talk to, as soon as I met her I was immediately glad I made the appointment. Each week I would look forward to my appointment, it was such a relaxing experience. I have such faith in Juliette that I have referred her to friends with various ailments who have also had great results with her. I highly recommend Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac. without reservations.” – Christine READ MORE PATIENT ENDORSEMENTS HERE

 

 Many people are not aware that when stress builds up in their system they experience physical or emotional symptoms. Some symptoms of stress are heart palpitations, muscle tension, headaches, fatigue, or problems with digestion, sleep, memory, or motivation. Sometimes stress or a traumatic event leads to general anxiety or panic attacks.

 

Stress, Anxiety & Emotions

 Emotions only cause imbalance if they are extreme, or if the patient holds on to them for long periods of time. If a person’s body experiences symptoms of imbalance, it means the energy flow is either blocked, deficient, or out of balance. Both physical and emotional wellness depends on a smooth flow of energy throughout the body. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs balance energy by harmonizing the flow the energy, the result of which is smooth flow and thereby reduces and/or eliminates stress, anxiety and panic attacks.

One way to achieve emotional balance is through treatment based on the Chinese Five Element system. Each of the five systems is interrelated, and the health of each one depends on balance between all of them. The five elements are fire, water, wood, metal and earth. Within the elemental relationships, each emotion relates to a specific organ. The five emotions are joy which affects the heart energy, fear/fright which affects the kidney energy, sadness/grief which affect the lung energy, anger/frustration which affects the liver energy, and worry/over-thinking which affects the spleen energy.

Stress, Anxiety & Pain

Physically, stress has several effects on the body. The main problem it causes is stuck or blocked energy, also known as stagnation. When symptoms appear, it signals that energy in one or more pathway is blocked. Some symptoms of qi stagnation are neck and back pain, fatigue, PMS, menstrual cramps or infertility. Over time symptoms become more severe and spread to other systems in the body. Treatment with acupuncture and Chinese herbs will resolve the cause of energetic disharmony to heal the physical symptoms and prevent future disease.

At-Home Stress Relief

 To “wash” your body and mind clean of stress and less than desirable experiences, emotions and events, try the following tips to help bring harmony back to your physical and emotional self, by smoothing out energy flow:

  1. Sitting in a comfortable position, close your eyes and visualize sitting by stream of water flowing gently by. When thoughts come into your head, they are part of the stream, just flowing by you. Allow yourself to consider the thought and then let it go on its way down the stream, not getting caught or lingering too long in your mind.
  2. Breath slowly and deeply. On the inhale, fill your lungs, chest, and belly completely with fresh clean air. On the exhale, release out all the air, along with the tension and built up thoughts and stresses from the day. Oxygen will circulate throughout the lungs and entire body, opening clogged areas and releasing tension from your mind and muscles. Many times during the day we don’t realize how shallowly we have been breathing.
  3. Firmly brush your limbs off, from the trunk of your body outwards. Start at the shoulders and brush out to fingertips, and past them, as if brushing a thick dust off each sleeve. Then, sitting with your legs straight out in front of you, start at the hips and brush all the way down to feet. Energetically, this releases negative or stagnated energy, and refreshes the natural balance of the body, enhancing circulation and washing impurities out of body and mind.

Acupuncture facial rejuvenation

Try Acupuncture & Herbs for Panic Attack Treatments.

It Works!

 

Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac., Herbalist, Author

I Know Why Dave Chappelle Quit His Job

Dave quit his job to escape the stress. No amount of money is worth selling your soul for work nor is it worth not being allowed to manifest your soul’s work.

No. It was not because he was smoking crack as the media rumor mill tried to convince us. Did they think the only reason someone would walk away from a multi-million dollar job is because they were on crack? Or did they think that the only reason a black man would do that was because he was on crack? The media does a great job of manufacturing public thought especially when it is racist or sexist thought. And that is one of the reasons Dave quit- as you will read below.

Dave Chappelle joined the few who realize that putting up with certain pressures from work are not worth it. Stress is not worth the money, physical illness or emotional distress it can induce. It is not worth doing things which you consider unethical or uncreative.

Stressed? Try Acupucture, It Works!  Call 646-504-2251 for an appointment.

I watched Dave on Oprah and Inside the Actor’s Studio. He talked about the pressure his company placed on him to do certain things with the show that he completely disagreed with. He specifically mentioned a skit shown on the “Lost Episodes” which he believed only confirmed racial stereotypes rather than, in his usual style, mirroring them to us so we can stop using them. I saw the skit and I completely agree with him in spite of the audiences vote. Dave took the bold stance against popularity and financial gain. Dave stands for creative awareness and freedom, cultural awareness and freedom, and self-awareness and freedom.

Many of my patients are ill because of work related stress. They suffer fatigue, anxiety, headaches, frequent colds, insomnia, skin conditions , infertility, weight gain or loss and digestive problems such as IBS, and the list goes on. We

Stress from work or at home can compromise mental and physical health

all live in a society in which we must work to survive. So the very thought of quitting our jobs to find something more spiritually fulfilling can be scary. We worry about our bills, family responsibilities and financial freedom. But the truth is that we cannot have any of those things without our health in body and mind .

As I work with patients who are suffering from physical and emotional pain and illness we discuss lifestyle choices. Many of them decide to make the bold decision to change their lifestyle so that they can free themselves of this suffering. They make personal revelations about how daily choices effect their relationships with friends, family, co-workers, partners- or how choices block them from developing deep relationships because they are working 60 (or more) hours per week .

Lifestyle change is a branch treatment within Chinese medicine. For some people, lifestyle change does not need to be as  drastic as leaving a job. Maybe you can cut work to part-time or take breaks during the work day, stop eating lunch at the desk and go outside to eat, exercise, or use earned vacation time no matter how many pressing client jobs are on the plate. Your employers give you vacation time for a reason. If they get upset because you use the time you are entitled to, that is their problem, don’t make it yours. The government made labor laws for a reason. These laws protect our rights to breaks during the work day .

Are there ways you can reduce your stress, cultivate a sense that you are working toward the greater good for your self, your family or society? Take some time to think about this for yourself. Maybe even journal your thoughts and reflect on them. How much do you lose because of your job? And how much of that is worth the money? Do you know now why Dave Chappelle quit his job?

Stressed? Try Acupucture, It Works!

Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac., Herbalist, Author, Creator of HealthyStuffU.com
Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs
41 Union Square West, Suite 519
New York, NY 10003
(212) 894.0767

9 Tips to Lower Your Blood Pressure Now!

You don’t always have to wait to quit your job or to lose weight before lowering your blood pressure. Use these natural techniques to re-gain your health and to reduce your stress.

    1. Reduce Intake of Processed Table Salt and Increase Potassium Intake.
      Reduce or eliminate colas from your diet. Use low or no sodium soy sauce or other seasonings products. Avoid pre-packaged, pre-made foods such as boxed frozen and canned foods which are high in processed sodium (20% or more of you daily value). When choosing salt, try unrefined sea salt which retain important minerals. Increase potassium rich foods such as bananas, avocados, cantaloupe, apricots, raisins, beans, figs, winter squash and tomato sauce. (Most tomato product brands are packed in B.P.A. lined cans so be sure to avoid those brands by choosing jarred sauces, making your own from farm fresh tomato. As of the writing of this article canned Glenn Muir do not use B.P.A. can liners. You can also try boxes of Pomi brand tomato product). Food is the best medicine, but you can also consider taking a potassium supplement daily.
    2. Exercise Daily. Studies show that cardio vascular exercise reduces blood pressure and relieves stress. Sometimes due to health reasons or time constraints we cannot work out often or engage in a vigorous cardiovascular program. That is okay. Start by walking for 5-15 minutes per day. Slowly increase your walking time and soon you may be able to go to the gym again. Also try hatha yoga, qi-gong or tai-chi.
    3. Use Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs. Scientific research studies show that acupuncture reduces blood pressure by reducing stress hormones, such as cortisol and by releasing good hormones called endorphins. Chinese herbs are often used in combination with acupuncture to balance the root cause of energy disharmony which may contribute to high blood pressure.
    4. Take Breaks At Work. To reduce your stress, walk out of the office for a few minutes, breathe deeply and let go.

  1. Reduce Exposure to News Media. Cut down on T.V. news shows, newspaper and magazine reading and internet news media. News sources such as T.V. news, news magazine shows, Court TV, Cops, Unsolved Mysteries and other crime shows as well as glossy news magazines thrive on inducing fear and anxiety which causes blood pressure to rise as stress levels rise.
  2. Give Yourself Alone Time.Even five minutes a day of quiet time can help. Try any of the following; meditate, walk, sit in a garden, breathe, go for a drive or bike ride.
  3. Engage in Low Stress Activities You Enjoy. Knitting, golfing, gardening, playing with pets, fishing, dance, sing, play an instrument, walk in the park or meet a friend for tea.
  4. Breathe. Become aware of your breath. Do you stop breathing when you are stressed or do you sigh a lot? Do you take short breaths into the top of your chest? Or do breathe deeply filling down to the bottom of your belly? Take time to just breathe and relax. You don’t always have try some special breathing exercise because sometimes just sitting and feeling the sensation breath moving through your body can be enough. Inhale through the nose, feel the air move through, is it cool or warm? Can you feel it move through the throat? Notice your chest expand, your lungs fill and ribs expand. As you exhale notice your belly soften, ribs soften, chest relax and warm air move out of your mouth.
  5. Develop Mindful Awareness. Become mindful of your reactions to stressful situations. What raises the hair on the back of your neck? What causes you tense up your shoulders or jaw? What situations or people cause your blood to boil? As you become aware of your stress reactions to people, places and things, take a breath and consider this advice Tibetan monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, writes in his book Anger. Wisdom for Cooling the Flames:‘The first function of mindfulness is to recognize, not fight. “Breathing in, I know anger has manifested in me”. And breathing out, “I will take good care of you.” Once we have recognized our anger we embrace it. This is the second function of mindfulness, and it is a very pleasant practice. Instead of fighting we are taking good care of our emotion. If you know how to embrace your anger, something will change.’

Integrating just a few of these many tips into your daily life can help blood pressure control and reduce stress.

Sounds True, Inc.

 

Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac., Herbalist, Author, Creator of HealthyStuffU.com
Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs
32 Union Square eAst, Suite 615 n
New York, NY 10003
(646) 504.2251

The Treatment of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) with Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs

Together with changes in diet and exercise, acupuncture treatments and Chinese herbs are empowering women with PCOS to lead healthier and more satisfying lives.

For women trying to become pregnant, either naturally or through IUI/IVF treatments, treating PCOS will help with fertility and overall balance through harmonizing hormones and regulating the menstrual cycle.

While there is still no cure for PCOS, the good news is that Chinese medicine offers many effective ways to manage polycystic ovary syndrome.

All of Juliette Aiyana’s PCOS patients have restored their menstrual periods and many of them become pregnant naturally through natural treatments including Chinese herbs, dietary adjustments and acupuncture!

Overview of Healthy Ovarian Physiology

Thee ovaries are two organs on each side of the woman’s uterus which contain follicles, tiny fluid filled sacs (also called cysts), that hold the eggs. Each month approximately twenty eggs start to mature but usually only one egg fully matures; when the fully mature egg is ready, the follicle breaks open to release it. The fully mature egg then travels through the fallopian tube to the uterus for fertilization and implantation.

E-mail from a PCOS patient, “Just got my period!!!! Two weeks ago the cramps and moods meant I must have been ovulating! This explains why perhaps why I yelled a bit at my boss. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! And have a good weekend.”

Overview of Women with PCOS
In women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), the ovary doesn’t make all of the hormones it needs for any of the eggs to fully mature. Follicles may start to grow and build up fluid but no one follicle becomes large enough. Instead, some follicles may remain as sacs/cysts. Since no follicle becomes large enough and no egg matures or is released, ovulation does not occur.

The distinctive appearance of PCOS is a thick, shiny, white coating overlying many rows of cysts on the surface of the ovary. These ovarian changes give PCOS its name (“poly” = many, “cystic” = cysts). PCOS is believed to be the most common hormonal abnormality in women of reproductive age and affects approximately 1 in 10 women (an estimated 5 to 7 million women in the United States).

Have you been diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome?
Call Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs for treatment.
646-504-2251 
or Book Now Online 24/7 

 

What are the Causes of PCOS?

The cause(s) of PCOS is unknown at this time; research suggests that many women with this condition may have decreased sensitivity to insulin. When cells are resistant to insulin it means that the effect of insulin on sugar, and other functions, is deficient. More insulin than normal is required to be produced to ensure that the body cells absorb enough sugar. This leads to high insulin levels in the blood stream which, among other effects, make the ovaries overproduce male hormones, called androgens, leading to hormonal imbalances that lead to symptoms of PCOS.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of PCOS?
PCOS is considered a syndrome because it has a number of unrelated symptoms. For this reason, PCOS often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.

Symptoms include:

  • Irregular menstrual cycle (infrequent menstrual periods, no menstrual periods, and/or irregular bleeding)
  • Infrequent or no ovulation
  • Weight gain or obesity
  • Increased levels of male hormones, called androgens, which may lead to excessive hair growth on the face +/or body (especially the face, chest, abdomen, nipple area, or back)
  • History of diabetes, over-production of insulin, and inefficient use of insulin in the body
  • Acne, oily skin, or dandruff
  • Patches of thickened and dark brown or black skin on the neck, groin, underarms, or skin folds
  • Skin tags, or tiny excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area

Polycystic Ovarian SyndromeHow Does PCOS Contribute to Infertility?

In short, if you are not ovulating regularly every month, the chances of fertilizing the egg are reduced. Because the egg is not released, there is no egg ready for fertilization and implantation in the uterus. Because PCOS affects the quality of the follicle and the state of the endometrium, the result will be that menstrual cycles become more erratic and less predictable. Women with PCOS will often very long cycles and very heavy bleeding, amenorrhea (missed periods), or anovulation (no ovulation) with scanty bleeding. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs help to regulate the menstrual cycle and harmonize the hormonal cycles of the body.

How Do Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs Help PCOS?

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs provide a safe, effective, drug-free and natural whole body approach.

This natural approach helps strengthen and (re)balance the hormonal systems of the body, encouraging conception and a healthy pregnancy.

“Years ago, I saw Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac., Herbalist, when I wanted to be come pregnant. A fertility specialist told me I needed IVF, but after 3 months of acupuncture, I was pregnant. Since then, she has helped me though morning sickness, colds, and allergies. Each time, I’ve found her comprehensive and effective. She takes time with her patients and you always feel as if you are being well cared for“. -N.C.

 

Etiology of PCOS in Chinese Medicine

In traditional Chinese medicine, the treatment of PCOS is seen as an excess condition, a deficient condition, or clinically PCOS is seen as mixed excess and deficiency syndrome.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Acupuncture & Chinese herbs are effective treatments for PCOSmore of a combination of both an excess and deficient condition*.

Excess conditions:

  • Phlegm dampness
  • Liver qi stasis
  • Blood stasis

Deficient conditions:

  • Kidney yang deficiency
  • Kidney yin deficiency
  • Spleen qi deficiency

*It is important to note that most women will have both excess and deficient conditions as their root cause of PCOS.

 

Polycystic Ovarian SyndromeSelf Care Tips:

  • Avoid processed foods and, when you can, eat organic foods. People who have PCOS already have a hormonal and/or chemical imbalance, and processed foods contain chemicals, additives and artificial colorings, which make conditions worse
  • Avoid sugar, artificial sweeteners, soda, fruit juice and refined carbohydrates, which impact insulin resistance. Eat only complex carbohydrates, such as whole wheat or grains, oatmeal, and brown rice
  • Avoid cold food and ice cold drinks. Cold food and drinks take longer to go through the digestive system and slow the body’s metabolism. People who have PCOS usually also have a low metabolism
  • Eat Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) help to regulate hormonal balance, this is very important when trying to conceive. Eat plenty of fresh vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and dark green vegetables, which contain high amounts EFA
  • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption. Alcohol can lead to a disturbance of hormonal balance
  • Don’t smoke cigarettes or stop smoking. Smoking may affect the fertility in tubal pregnancies, cervical cancer, pelvic infection and early menopause

The Art of Breathing

Breathing seems pretty basic. You inhale… You exhale… You repeat.
It seems odd that one would need lessons on how to breathe, but more and more I am finding myself educating new patients on the importance of deep abdominal breathing. Usually, the topic of breathing first comes up while the patient is lying comfortably on the acupuncture treatment table. As I ask them to take a relaxing deep breath in, I usually see only their upper chest expand and rise.

Imagine a baby breathing; they resemble a little baby Buddha with their belly extending in and out. The breath is deep, even and slow, easy and calm. You will see that it is not the chest that is rising and falling, but rather it is the abdomen moving in and out.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine we refer to this area of the body as the Tan Tien. It is described as an important focal point for internal meditative techniques and refers specifically to the physical center of gravity located in the abdomen three finger widths below the navel and two finger widths deep within the abdomen.

Over the years, life in a crowded city with chronic pollution problems, lack of fresh air, stationary work environments and overall stress can result in the gradual shift from abdominal breathing to chest breathing. To figure out if you are breathing correctly place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. When you take a deep breath in, the hand on the abdomen should rise higher than the one on the chest. This insures that the diaphragm is pulling air into the bases of your lungs.

Instructions for proper abdominal breathing:
Inhale slowly and deeply through your nostrils into the bottom of your Tan Tien When you’ve inhaled fully, pause for a moment and then exhale fully through your mouth. Purse your lips and imagine that you are blowing on a hot spoonful of soup. As you exhale, just let yourself go and imagine your entire body going loose and limp. It should take you twice as long to exhale as it did to inhale.

Learning and using proper breathing techniques is one of the most beneficial things that can be done for both short and long term physical and emotional health. Abdominal breathing helps to relax the nervous system, reduces stress and tension, lowers blood pressure, and calms the mind. Practicing abdominal breathing also massages and tones the internal organs – particularly the digestive organs.

We all live in and around this city together and experience the stresses and crowds that come with it. Stress is inevitable; coping is the key. Here are a few simple techniques that I have incorporated into my life and have shared with my patients:

  • If you work in an office desk environment, place a sticky note on the corner of your computer that simply says “sit straight and breath deep,” to remind you to practice abdominal breathing throughout your day.
  • When you find yourself in a store waiting on line, use that time to practice your abdominal breathing. Incorporate the breathing techniques while commuting; chances are you won’t mind the wait or the commute as much.

Getting back to proper breathing isn’t hard but it does take practice. So, make it a point to integrate abdominal breathing at least two to three times into each day and you will see a transformation in your physical and mental health transform.

 

By Sharon Wyse, LAc. Sharon practices acupuncture in NYC.

 

Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac., Herbalist, Author, Creator of HealthyStuffU.com
Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs
32 Union Square East, Suite 615 N
New York, NY 10003
(646)504.2251