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Mountain West Wellness Health Tips, Issue #038
March 08, 2016

Happy March! Are you starting to get some Spring Fever? We are here, that is for sure. The warm weather and sunlight is great.
We are also excited to announce that this is the 15 Year Anniversary of Mountain West Wellness! For the last decade and a half Jack has been working hard to bring the best Chinese Medical care to the Front Range. Did you know that he has, and continues to spend time traveling to work with the best practitioners he can find in China and the US?
While this clinic has been Jack's dream, none of it would have been possible without all of our wonderful patients and the trust they have in him. For that we humbly say "Thank You!" As a thank you we have a little appreciation scheduled. Make your appointment for anytime the week of March 21st and you will get a little gift!
Now on to the newsletter. This month we have chosen to focus on

7 Tips For Healthier Eyes

Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that eye diseases are related to deficiencies in the liver and kidney organs and result from an imbalance in the body. There are many ways to improve eye health and prevent damage down the road. Finding the root of the problem and taking preventative measures is important when it comes to eye health. Below are simple ways for healthier vision.

Eat right. Certain foods are great for eye health. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables has been known to improve eye health. Specifically, try adding in more spinach, kale or collard greens into your diet. Fish such as salmon, tuna and halibut are filled with omega-3 fatty acids, which are also great for eye health.

Give it a rest. If you’re like most working adults and spend hours on the computer every day, make sure you’re taking breaks from screen time to reduce eye strain.  The best strategy is the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes looked 20 feet away from your computer for 20 seconds.

Protect your eyes. Protect your eyes just like you would your skin when in the sun. Make sure to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from damaging UV rays. Make sure to find sunglasses that offer both UVA and UVB protection.

Quit smoking. There are many health reasons to quit smoking. A lot of people aren’t aware that smoking can expose your eyes to high levels of oxidative stress, which damages blood vessels. Smoking can increase your risk for many health problems that affect the eye. Contact a doctor to discuss ways to quit.

Know your history. Many eye problems can be genetic. See if family members have any eye conditions and make sure to get regular check ups if this is the case to help maintain healthy vision.

Take care of your contacts. It is easy to get into bad habits when it comes to contact wearing. Make sure to replace your contacts at the recommended time. Wash your hands before touching your contacts and take them out at night to give your eyes the rest and oxygen it needs.

Acupuncture. A number of studies found that acupuncture may have positive effects on people who suffer from chronic dry eye. One study showed that acupuncture could help reduce tear loss that those with dry eye usually experience. Common eye problems that acupuncture can treat include glaucoma, cataracts, chronic dry eyes, macular degeneration, optic neuritis, optic atrophy.


Acupuncture and Colon Cancer

Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States with about 60,000 deaths from it every year. Like all cancer, treatment can be long, uncomfortable and come with many side effects. Those getting chemotherapy may experience nausea, vomiting, postoperative pain, cancer related pain, insomnia and anxiety. The chronic pain can significantly impact quality of life. Most patients are prescribed medications such as opioids for pain that have side effects and are highly addictive.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is believed that colon cancer comes from a number of underlying factors such as spleen yang deficiency, kidney yang deficiency, kidney yin deficiency and liver yin deficiency. Acupuncture works by addressing these deficiencies to return the body back to balance. Using specific points on the body related to these organs, acupuncture stimulates the body’s natural energy flow, Qi, and blood flow to improve organ health.

Going through chemotherapy treatment can cause severe fatigue. One study showed that acupuncture resulted in a 30 percent improvement in a baseline fatigue score.

Insomnia and anxiety are one of the most common symptoms that cancer patients experience. Acupuncture has been proven in numerous studies to be just as effective, if not more, than prescription drugs in improving sleep and decreasing stress and anxiety levels. This alternative treatment has also been shown to improve overall mood.

Acupuncture can help boost the immune system. Chemotherapy can greatly lower the body’s immune defense, leaving one in a vulnerable state due to a decrease in white-blood cell count. By increasing blood flow and stimulating Qi, acupuncture is a great way to improve immune function.

Cancer and cancer treatment is nothing to take lightly. A diagnosis can drastically change one’s life not only physically but mentally as well. If you have been diagnosed with colon cancer and/or going through chemotherapy, it is important to remember that there are alternative, safe treatments that can help make the process easier. If a loved one is going through treatment, support is the best thing you can do for them. March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and there is no better time to get tested and become educated on the facts.


Chinese Medicine For Sleep

If you are suffering from insomnia or unable to get a good night’s rest, you are not alone. Around 60 million Americans experience insomnia and sleep related problems on a daily basis. Prescription sleeping pills are one of the most highly overused medications and can lead to side effects and addiction. Acupuncture is a centuries-old practice that has been proven to help sleep disorders without the risk of addiction or putting chemicals in the body.

How acupuncture works Acupuncture works by addressing the root of the problem to return the body back to health. One clinical study found that patients with anxiety had increased sleep time, quality of sleep and felt less stressed with acupuncture treatment. Traditional Chinese Medicine uses the meridian system, the body’s channel in which energy flows through, to stimulate Qi to return the organs to balance. When there is an imbalance in the body, illness such as insomnia arises. Acupuncture uses specific points on the body related to sleep problems to treat underlying issues.

There are many problems that contribute to insomnia such as chronic pain, depression and stress. Acupuncture is known to be a great alternative treatment for these related issues. In TCM, insomnia is looked at as a heart and liver imbalance. Acupuncture especially addresses these organs to help calm the nervous system and improve the muscle and nerve channels by increasing blood flow.

Chinese herbs for sleep There are many Chinese herbs that have been known to help insomnia and to get a better quality sleep. These herbs are easy to find at the store and are widely safe to use.

Chrysanthemum tea: Chrysanthemum is known to help the clean the liver. When the liver is not working properly, it can cause insomnia, irritability and dizziness.

Ginseng tea: Ginseng is used for a number of health benefits. It is commonly used to help fatigue, dry mouth and shortness of breath. Although ginseng is typically known as being a stimulant, the root works by normalizing your body’s stress levels. Because of this, when taken during the day, studies have shown that it can help increase quality of sleep at night.

Schisandra tea: Schisandra berry tea can be found at health stores and is known to promote lung and kidney function. Because of this, it is a great tea to help insomnia and fatigue.

There are many options when it comes to treating insomnia. Traditional Chinese Medicine offers an effective treatment that leaves out the dependency of sleep-aid medications.


7 Tips For Better Sleep

Many of us find it hard to fall asleep at night and stay asleep, as a result we often wake up feeling groggy and not rested. Sometimes improving sleep is as simple as changing your habits during the day. Below are easy ways that can dramatically help you get a good night’s rest!

Cut yourself off in the afternoon. Believe it or not, even having caffeine at 2pm can affect your sleep. Make sure to get that last cup of coffee in beforehand and watch out for certain drinks you may forget have caffeine in them such as soda and many teas.

Try restorative yoga.Practicing deep breathing and stretching before bed can help relax the mind and body. Try spending even just ten minutes to stretch and practice mindfulness.

Limit your screen time. Let’s face it, we are all addicted to our phones and computers. It’s tempting to look at your phone until the moment you fall asleep. Turn off all electronics an hour before bed to help the brain get into sleep mode. The screens on your devices make it hard for the brain to relax.

Acupuncture. If you are finding yourself struggling with insomnia you may want to consider acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture is non invasive and has been proven to reduce stress, help chronic pain and increase quality of sleep.

Aromatherapy. Lavender has been proven to lead to a better, deeper sleep and help those with insomnia fall asleep more easily. Sniff or rub lavender oil on your wrists before bed to feel the effects.

Exercise. Exercising regularly has many health benefits. It can also help you get a better sleep. Even just 20 minutes of some form of exercise a day can make a difference.

Cut down on the alcohol. Although some drink a glass of wine before bed to unwind and fall asleep, you are actually more likely to get a poorer quality of sleep. If you do decide to drink, do so earlier in the night to ensure a deep sleep.


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Stay Healthy!

Jack, Kim, and Lynn

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