Sleep Disorders? Acupuncture Can Help

16 Feb


Sleep disorders occur when difficulties and complications interfere with the quality and length of sleep. One reason why it is so important to consistently have a proper night’s sleep is because without it, other medical issues may worsen. Even a single restless night can leave one feeling mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted. While a complete catalogue of sleep disorders is long and varied, some of the most common ones that respond well to treatment with acupuncture and Oriental medicine are insomnia, sleep apnea, jet lag disorder, snoring, night terrors, narcolepsy and restless leg syndrome (RLS).

According to acupuncture and Oriental medicine, the cycles of sleeping and waking demonstrate the dynamic interplay of yin and yang forces. Yin qualities include contraction, cold, inactivity and nighttime. Yang qualities are represented by expansion, heat, activity and daytime. During sleep and states of relaxation, yin exercises the dominant force. After yin energy has refreshed the body and mind, it is then time for yang energy to increase. When yang springs into action, it is now possible to wake up restored and ready for the day.

One way in which a practitioner of acupuncture and Oriental medicine may help a patient regain control of their sleep is by balancing the body’s internal forces of yin and yang through the use of acupuncture. For example, if a disharmony is discovered in the Yang Qiao channel, manifesting as an overabundance of yang energy, and since this energy is always active, it would be appropriate to decrease yang and increase yin. This can help alleviate symptoms of certain sleep disorders, such as insomnia. A channel is an invisible pathway on which energy is necessary for healing flows. The Yang Qiao channel has traditionally been used to address sleep pathologies.

However, in some cases, there is also an emotional component that must be addressed. A study entitled “Acupuncture Increases Nocturnal Secretion and Reduces Insomnia and Anxiety: A Preliminary Report”, printed in the 2004 edition of the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, yielded some very encouraging conclusions. The test subjects, all of whom complained of insomnia and anxiety, received regular acupuncture treatments for a total of five weeks.

Melatonin is a hormone produced in the pineal gland that controls the waking and sleeping cycles. It was documented that the patients’ nightly levels of melatonin production increased, which, in turn, caused a rise in the amount of time spent dozing. This also resulted in a better quality of sleep than before the treatments began. At the same time the length and quality of sleep improved, there was a significant reduction in their levels of anxiety. This led the researchers to conclude that acupuncture is a valuable and effective treatment for certain kinds of insomnia.

If you can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep call today to see what acupuncture and Oriental medicine can do for you!

Christina Sarlo LMT, L.Ac., NCCAOM
Experience Your Chi

How To Take ‘Berry’ Good Care Of Your Heart Health

15 Feb


Blueberries. Blackberries. Raspberries. Some of your favorite berries aren’t just super tasty, they also provide many powerful health benefits too. A powerful source of antioxidants, berries are also rich in elliagic acid, a natural phenol antioxidant that is also a powerful anti-cancer, anti-viral and anti-bacterial compound. Some of the health benefits of eating berries include the following…

    • Support for Blood Pressure. One study published in the journal Nutrition looked at 45 pre-hypertensive patients randomized into three groups. One of the groups was given a capsule of dried black raspberry powder at a moderate dose equivalent of 1500mg every single day, while the second group received a higher dose to the equivalent of 2500mg and a third group received a placebo. After a period of 8 weeks it was found that those taking the high dose of black raspberry experienced significantly reduced 24-hour systolic blood pressure and nighttime systolic blood pressure, when compared to the control group [1].


    • Reduce Heart Attack Risk. Research shows that women who have more than three servings of blueberries or strawberries have a 32% lower risk of having a heart attack [2]. Benefits of flavonoids within the berries are known as anthocyanins and these are antioxidants that give fruits their red or purple colors. Anthocyanins benefit the endothelial lining of the circulatory system and it does this by possibly preventing plaque build-up within the arteries and therefore promoting healthy blood pressure.


    • Protects Against Cholesterol in the Blood. Oxidative damage isn’t limited to the cells and DNA, it also becomes a problem when the circulating LDL lipo-proteins (the “bad” cholesterol) are oxidized. Oxidation of LDL is a crucial step within the process of heart disease. A 50g serving of blueberries was shown to lower LDL cholesterol by 27% within obese participants, after a period of 8 weeks [2]. Meanwhile a study showed that eating 75 grams of blueberries with a meal can significantly reduce the oxidation of LDL lipo-proteins. [3]


  • Controls Blood Sugar Levels And Has Anti-Diabetic Effects. The anthocyanins in blueberries can have beneficial effects on both insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism. These various anti-diabetic effects have also been noted on both insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism. Anti-diabetic effects were shown with taking both the blueberry extract and the juice. Meanwhile a study of 32 obese subjects found that in those who had insulin resistance, drinking a blueberry smoothie was shown to cause major improvements in insulin sensitivity. [4] When insulin sensitivity is improved, then there is a lower risk of having metabolic syndrome and developing Type 2 diabetes – one of the world’s biggest health problems. Diabetes can also lead to complications and heart disease, actually doubling the risk of heart attack or stroke. For this reason it’s recommended to protect your blood sugar health to avoid any complications.



Adding dark berries such as blueberries, blackberries and strawberries into your diet is one of the best ways to protect your heart health in the long-term. For best results, Robert Redfern recommends eating 5 portions of dark skinned fruits every day. Make sure to include avocados – preferably 2 every day for best heart health!

Robert Redfern


10 Top Foods That Prevent Inflammation in Your Body

14 Feb

f you have heart disease, high blood pressure, bacterial or viral infections, osteoporosis, arthritis, acid reflux, candidiasis, or acne, then you could also have chronic, low-grade inflammation. In fact, if you have any number of other diseases, it is likely you have inflammation. And if you want to get or remain healthy, you definitely want to reduce the damaging effects of it!

Diet is a key part of your inflammation-fighting plan, and some foods have amazing anti-inflammatory properties.

What Is Inflammation?

Inflammation has a positive and negative affect in your body. Inflammation has a positive side because it helps your body respond to stress. But chronic, low-grade inflammation is thought to be one of the leading causes of disease, premature aging, and illness.

When you get a cold, your body responds with inflammation in the form of a fever that helps you heal. The inflammation does its job, gets rid of the virus, and disappears. But if your immunity is compromised and your body is constantly stressed, you might experience chronic low-grade inflammation that leaves you more susceptible to illness and disease.

Foods That Fight Inflammation the Natural Way

You can help your body fight inflammation by reducing stress, eliminating sugar and processed foods, and getting enough sunshine. Diet is a key part of your inflammation-fighting plan, and some foods have amazing anti-inflammatory properties.

Here are 10 excellent inflammation-fighting foods and ways to incorporate them into your lifestyle:1

  1. Fermented foods and liquids  should be at the top of your list of inflammation-fighting foods. They are anti-inflammation superstars for many reasons. One example is that they build immunity and help control infections that are often an underlying cause of inflammation.

2. Broccoli has tons of vitamin C and plenty of calcium. It also fights eye inflammation. Make sure you lightly steam your broccoli to digest it well.

3. Hemp oil (and all other oils with omega-3 fatty acids) reduce inflammation. Most Americans consume too many omega-6 fatty acids, so it’s important to incorporate more omega-3 fatty acids. Hemp oil also has gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) to further fight inflammation. Remember to look for unrefined organic oils.

4. Wild-caught salmon is another way to get beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. You can also try other fatty fish like cod and sardines.

5. Tart cherries can reduce inflammation ten times better than aspirin! Once your inner ecosystem is well underway you are in. Tart cherries help reduce your risk for heart disease. They are certainly more delicious than the popular over-the-counter pill you are likely familiar with.6. Soaked walnuts make a delicious and inflammation-fighting snack when you are ready for stage 2 of Body Ecology because of vitamin E and more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Soak your walnuts and other nuts before you eat them to remove the enzyme inhibitor. This makes them easier to digest.







7. Onions and garlic. Onions not only provide a sweet taste to your savory meals, but also they have lots of quercetin, a potent antioxidant that can help your body fight inflammation. Try onions with your grain dishes, or prepare with eggs and greens. Garlic has long been a folk remedy for colds and illness, and its anti-inflammatory properties are amazing! Garlic contains sulfur compounds that stimulate your immune system to fight disease.


8. Pineapple is a tart fruit that has bromelain, an antioxidant that boosts your immunity naturally.

Of The Most Important Health Benefits of Pineapple | Live Love Fruit





9. Spinach has plenty of carotenoids, one kind of inflammation-reducing antioxidant and it also contains vitamin E.  Make sure to steam your spinach for ultimate digestion.

10. Spices: Ginger and turmeric. Turmeric is a spice used extensively in other cultures, and for good reason. It contains curcumin, a substance that actively reduces inflammation. Try sprinkling turmeric onto cooked squash or quinoa for a different flavor. Ginger works in a way similar to turmeric to lower inflammation and in some studies has been shown to reduce pain associated with arthritis.






While processed foods may seem like the easier choice at first, they deplete your health over the long haul. Developing a healthy eating plan can sometimes seem difficult but like anything that is new, it becomes second nature over time. And the payoff is well worth it: With a proper diet, you can take a proactive stance against inflammation, aging, and disease by incorporating these superfoods into your life.

Donna Gates

Live Longer and Boost Your Health With Nattokinase

10 Feb



Nattokinase is a powerful proteolytic enzyme that is known for its amazing fibrinolytic (anti-clotting) capacities. It’s most commonly used in promoting cardiovascular health and its ability to restore healthy fibrin metabolism and to reduce blood clotting in the process. Due to its powerful all-natural way of providing enzymatic support, this means that it can potentially help in the prevention of heart disease and strokes.

As more than 700,000 people are estimated to have a stroke every year according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control it’s essential that solutions into improving cardiovascular health are taken into consideration. As we get older one of the areas we may more frequently require support in is with reducing blood clotting, rejuvenating healthy fibrin metabolism and receiving all-natural enzymatic support that can aid with preventing or deterring heart disease and stroke.

Scientific studies have also confirmed and proven that Nattokinase can provide powerful pain relief from joint inflammation. This means it’s an ideal solution for anyone looking to improve their health naturally and without the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that may have many unintentional or even negative side effects. Natto has also been shown to prevent fractures and sustain bone mineral density in with osteoporosis.

So What Is Nattokinase?

Extracted from “natto”, a fermented soy-based food most commonly found in Japanese cuisine, it is an organism that produces nattokinase and made by a fermentation process incorporating the Bacillus subtilis bacteria. This is a natural remedy that was discovered by a Japanese research scientist Dr Hiroyuki Sumi who found it when looking for a natural remedy to dissolve blood clots that were related to heart attacks and strokes.

How Does It Work?

Nattokinase acts as an enzyme with the basic function of hydrolyzing proteins. As proteins have a fairly complex organic amino acid structure, they are often required to break molecules into more absorbable and digestible amino acids. Nattokinase can also break down the adhesive substance that makes arterial plaque sticky, while supporting a preventative and reversing effect on blood clots and plaque build-up within the arteries. This means it can help you to stay healthy from the inside out.

Nattokinase Health Benefits

Nattokinase is highly beneficial for cardiovascular diseases including:

  • Heart Disease
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Strokes
  • Chest Pain
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
  • Varicose Veins
  • Poor Circulation
  • Hardening of the Arteries
  • Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
  • Protection from osteoporosis
  • Enhanced immune function
  • Lowered cholesterol levels
  • Reduced risk of hormone-dependent cancers like breast and prostate cancer, etc


Including Nattokinase Improves Longevity

Including Natto in your diet is a good way to receive nutritional and health benefits, while increasing your longevity. The Japanese people on average have the longest life span in the world, with statistics revealing that the average female life span is 85 for a female and 78 for men. In comparison, the average age for an American female is 79.1 years and for men there is a life expectancy of 74.1.

The World Health Organization reports that many people within Western cultures are more likely to have a higher risk of developing unexpected blood clots compared with people in Asian countries who have much lower rates of deaths due to heart problems and this is much lower within Japan than in the USA.

For these reasons, taking Nattokinase is highly recommended for anyone looking to improve their general health and longevity in the long-term. However, it’s not always possible for people to get the required nattokinase from their diet especially in many Western countries that do not prioritize use of natto in their culture or cuisine.

This is why taking a Nattokinase supplement is highly recommended as it can prevent many of these problems while helping the body to stay in optimal health, improving longevity in the long-term.

Robert Redfern

Acupuncture Provides Pain Relief MORE Powerful Than Opioids

8 Feb



Acupuncture can provide powerful and effective pain relief that according to one latest study was found to work even faster than powerful painkillers such as morphine.

The study on 300 emergency room patients found that using a natural treatment involving a set of tiny needles placed along the body can manipulate pain signals – otherwise known as acupuncture.

Painkillers are often provided when someone goes into A&E because they’re experiencing a pain that seems to have come on suddenly. They can’t wait to alleviate the pain so the painkillers are usually given as a “quick fix”.

This latest study however shows that acupuncture doesn’t only alleviate patients’ pain but that it also worked EVEN FASTER than such powerful painkillers as morphine. The 300 A&E patients who had moderate to severe pain, were treated with intravenous morphine or acupuncture.

Some people might find it shocking that acupuncture helped to relieve pain in more patients (92% versus the 78% who were treated with morphine) and they experienced pain relief in LESS time (at a rate of 16 minutes versus a half hour).

This Ancient Chinese medicine has many amazing health benefits and certain health practitioners have been incorporating acupuncture into their practice for this reason. However, while this treatment isn’t readily available in a medical office, the results speak for themselves. The study shows how acupuncture treatment can reduce inflammation within the body while releasing endorphins and these are the body’s way to boost moods and pain-relieving hormones.

Anyone in any significant amount of pain knows how important it is to find relief as soon as possible. Indeed, every moment counts and this study shows that acupuncture can relieve pain in sight minutes or less, while morphine took up to 42 minutes to become effective. Sometimes the morphine didn’t work at all. Even when the morphine did work, it was often accompanied by various side effects such as dizziness, nausea or vomiting.

Acupuncture on the other hand was shown to have practically no side effects. The only risk is that the acupuncture needle may break during insertion which can be fairly common during an acupuncture session. However, many patients can’t feel anything when it does which suggests that this is barely even a ‘side effect’.

Unfortunately, the medical establishment is more than happy to hand out painkillers and chances are low that you will be given an acupuncture treatment to experience pain relief. Despite the many health benefits of acupuncture, they simply won’t provide this as an option as it would invalidate the effectiveness of the painkillers.

The good news is that regardless of if your pain is at “emergency” levels or not, or more minor, it’s possible to receive good health benefits from an acupuncture session that can relieve pain and boost your immunity in the long-term.

Robert Redfern

10 Cancer Fighting Foods

6 Feb


Eating a healthy diet is one strategy that is completely in our control and this includes eating healing foods, vegetable juices, taking probiotic foods, immune boosting supplements, relieving stress and practicing healing prayer. All of these can encourage you to feel empowered and hopeful in the process of battling a disease.

Studies have suggested that 30-40% of cancers can be prevented by following a healthy lifestyle and taking the right dietary measures. Some sources claim that this number is much higher but it is believed that around 75% of cancer cases are lifestyle related.

Foods that are believed to increase inflammation and that of cancer risk include sugars, refined oils, refined carbohydrates, conventional dairy products and farm raised meats.

Foods that are known to lower inflammation include plenty of cancer-fighting foods with high levels of antioxidants and natural anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. Put simply, this means avoiding foods with dangerous phthalates and concentrating on foods that do not contain any antibiotics, chemicals or toxins. Choosing to buy foods that are grass-fed, organic, pasture-raised along with being additive-free can lower the toxic load within your diet.

2010 findings from the EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) found that dietary factors associated with high cancer risks showed there were significant associations between cancer risk a low intake of certain nutrients. Data from this investigation was published in The European Journal of Cancer and also showed an inverse association between a high intake of Vitamin C, a-tocopherol, carotenoids, retinol and fiber with overall cancer risk.

Research into over 519, 978 participants in 10 European nations has also shown that those following a lifestyle similar to the Mediterranean diet were more likely to be protected. It was also shown that eating plenty of cancer fighting foods such as vegetables, fresh fruits, fish, calcium rich food and those high in fiber were also associated with a decreased risk of colorectal, lung and breast cancers. Eating red and processed meat, alcohol and having an unhealthy BMI meanwhile were all associated with an increased risk.

Here are 10 of the best cancer fighting foods to consider…

  1. Cruciferous vegetables. Known to be a powerful cancer killer and high in Vitamin C, many of these foods have high free-radical scavenging abilities. Along with being a nutrient rich source of phytochemicals called isothiocyanates linked with cancer prevention, cruciferous vegetables also contain sulforaphanes and indoles, two kinds of antioxidants that can stimulate the detoxifying enzymes protecting the DNA structure. Eating plenty of cruciferous vegetables is a good way to lower your cancer risk.
  2. Dark berries. The ORAC score for dark berries is high, meaning they are a high antioxidant food and this includes blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, goji berries and strawberries. Berries are rich in proanthocyanidin antioxidants and have also been observed to have anti-aging properties that several studies have shown are capable of lowering free radical damage. The high amounts of phenols, lutein, lycopene, cryptoxanthin, polysaccharides and zeaxanthin have many other benefits of eating berries.
  3. Leafy green vegetables. Kale, Collard Greens, Spinach, Romaine, Arugula Salad and Watercress are rich in antioxidants that can help to combat cancer along with providing plenty of Beta-Carotene (a kind of Vitamin A) and Vitamin C. There are natural sources of glucosinolates as they also contain antibacterial and antiviral properties that can inactivate carcinogens while reprogramming the cancer cells to die off and preventing the formation of tumors and metastasis. These are powerful chemicals that can help to break down the chewing and digestive process into biologically active compounds that can prevent cancer cells from growing and these are referred to as indoles, thiocyanates and isothiocyanates. The Isothiocyanates (ITCs) that are found in leafy greens have been reported to help detox the body at a cellular level.
  4. Brightly orange colored fruits and vegetables. Carotenoids such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and cryptoxanthin are all derivatives of Vitamin A and this is found in citrus fruits, berries, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and squashes. An essential nutrient, this can support immune function and this includes detoxification, liver health and fighting cancers of the eyes, skin and organs. Two nutrients in particular can give these foods a signature dark hue and this include lutein and zeaxanthin that can help to prevent eye and skin related disorders. These act as antioxidants that can filter any harmful high-energy blue wavelengths, while protecting the healthy cells in the process. Carbohydrate rich vegetables have shown in studies that as complex carbs, this includes carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, tubers and other whole grain foods. This is related to a reduced risk of several types of cancer especially in the upper digestive tract. This is most likely because fiber plays an important role, although this is still open to being discussed. High glycemic load foods are also associated with an increased risk of different types of cancer and this includes breast and colorectal cancer.
  5. Wild Caught Fish. Higher fish consumption has been seen as an indicator of improved immune function. The 2004 study conducted by the Richerche Institute of Pharmacology also investigated the cancer-fighting effects of following the Mediterranean diet and that people who were reported as eating less fish and frequently eating red meat were shown to have several common neoplasms in their blood, therefore suggesting higher susceptibility. Fish such as mackerel, salmon and sardines contain inflammatory omega-3 foods that have been associated with improved brain, healthy hormones and nervous system health. Omega-3s have anti-inflammatory effects and recent studies have connected this with preventing cancer.
  6. Fresh Herbs and Spices. Turmeric in particular has been shown to contain curcumin, an active ingredient that can decrease tumor size and fight breast and colon cancer according to various studies. Absorption of turmeric has been shown to enhance and fight inflammation. Herbs such as oregano, basil, thyme, raw garlic, ginger, parsley and cayenne pepper can all act as immune system boosters and are ideal when added to recipes such as smoothies, dressings and juices.
  7. Nuts and Seeds. Hemp seeds, walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, are full of healthy fatty acids. Chia seeds and flaxseeds are nutrient-dense and a good source of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and various important minerals.
  8. Healthy Unrefined Oils such as Coconut Oil, Cod Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Flax Oil can help to nourish the gut while promoting better immune function that also helps with weight maintenance, and essential Omega-3 fatty acids that can help to energize cells. The brain and nervous system controls the function of the body and 60% of the nervous system which is made up of fatty acids.
  9. Cultured Dairy Products. Considered to be a rich source of “good bacteria” probiotics,  microorganisms can promote a natural bacterial balance within the body while increasing immunity. As 80% of the immune system is housed within the gut, it’s therefore unsurprising that probiotic foods can help to prevent tumor growth and help with cell renewal. Probiotics such as raw milk products like cheese, kefir, yogurt are recommended. It’s important to avoid dairy foods as they are loaded with hormones, antibiotics and painkillers that can create pesticide residue. For this reason, buying organic produce is highly recommended. Taking probiotic yogurts or increasing foods such as cultured vegetables, kimchi, coconut kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut or natto are all good ways to increase probiotic food intake.
  10. Mushrooms can vary in their nutritional benefits and species but they are known to be immune enhancers and these have been used for centuries to fight cancer. Mushrooms such as Reishi, maitake and cordyceps can improve the immune system’s functioning and promote cell regeneration. Taking a capsule or tincture form or even cooking with mushrooms, preferably whole, is the ideal recommendation

The Health Benefits of Cinnamon

3 Jan


Cinnamon may be relegated to your kitchen cupboards, but this popular culinary herb also deserves a place in your medicine cabinet. Let’s take a closer look at some of the health benefits of cinnamon and how you can put this tasty spice to use.

Health Benefit of Cinnamon #1: Lower Blood Sugar

Cinnamon benefits people with diabetes in a big way. Clinical trials have found that consuming as little as one gram (about 1/2 teaspoon) of cinnamon per day can lower blood sugar by an impressive 20 percent.

Health Benefit of Cinnamon #2: Reduced Blood Pressure and Lipid Levels

Another health benefit of cinnamon is that it positively effects lipid levels. This versatile compound has also been shown in scientific studies to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as blood pressure. It’s an all-around winner when it comes to cardiovascular health.

Health Benefit of Cinnamon #3: Boon for the Brain

Much of the latest research focuses on cinnamon’s benefits for the brain. In addition to enhancing learning in animals, cinnamon compounds have protective properties against neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and dementia and have been found to improve motor function and inhibit the buildup of proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

How to Reap the Health Benefits of Cinnamon

As you can see cinnamon benefits several aspects of health and well-being. To start reaping the health benefits of cinnamon today, sprinkle it on foods like oatmeal, sweet potatoes, or unsweetened applesauce; add it to coffee, tea, or other beverages; or take it in capsule form. (Look for cinnamon supplements in health food stores or online.) Aim for a total daily intake of ½ teaspoon daily or 1,000 mg.  Another option is to incorporate it into tasty recipes like this one modified from Enjoy!

Crock Pot Spiced Lentil Soup


2 cups chopped onions
2 cups chopped carrots
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for extra spice)
6 cups vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
3 cups chopped cauliflower
1 3/4 cups lentils
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups chopped fresh spinach or one 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lemon juice


Combine onions, carrots, garlic, oil, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, pepper, and cayenne pepper in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Add broth, water, cauliflower, lentils, tomatoes, and tomato paste and stir until well combined.

Cover and cook until the lentils are tender, 4 to 5 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low.

During the last 30 minutes of cooking, stir in spinach. Just before serving, stir in cilantro and lemon juice.

Serves 8.

Cinnamon and diabetes management are natural partners, thanks to an ingredient the spice contains called methylhydroxy chalcone polymer (MHCP) which, in addition to being a potent antioxidant, improves insulin sensitivity in people with diabetes.

Cinnamon and Diabetes Control

The undesirable compounds that cinnamon contains are eliminated when mixed in hot water. Therefore, drinking cinnamon tea or adding cinnamon to ground coffee before brewing are other great options.

The suggested dose is ¼ to ½ teaspoon (or the supplement equivalent) twice a day.


Dr. Whitaker

5 Ways to Protect Joint Health This Winter

30 Dec



Protecting joint health during the winter season can be challenging as the cold weather sets in. This can result in a wide range of problems that seem to come from nowhere, but the good news is they are actually manageable by following some basic healthy lifestyle tips.

Find joint pain relief by following these suggestions and take good care of your joints this winter…

Regular exercise. We move our bodies a lot less during winter and it’s this lack of physical activity that makes our joints become painful and stiff. We can avoid this by partaking in exercise regularly and thankfully, it doesn’t have to be a stressful workout routine; it can just include gentle yoga exercises or jumping up and down on a rebounder to keep the body healthy and the joints limber.

Take Omega-3’s. Found within fish oil or flaxseed, Omega-3 essential fatty acids can reduce stiff, tender and swollen joints, reducing pain in the process. Known as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), these  EFAs can improve blood flow and decrease inflammation along with the progression of inflammation and osteoarthritis, cartilage cell metabolism etc.

Take Serrapeptase.Reducing pain within the body is easy with Serrapeptase. As a proteolytic enzyme, it can dissolve inflammatory tissue, enabling it to be safely eliminated via the body’s organs. In the process healthy tissue stays intact. This is why Serrapeptase is highly efficient at reducing joint pain that may be associated with various health conditions including rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Maintaining a Balanced Diet means eating healthy foods including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes. This is highly beneficial for anyone with joint pain. In particular it’s essential to include foods rich in Vitamins C and K if experiencing joint pain. Cabbage, oranges, spinach and tomatoes amongst other colorful fruits and vegetables are known for their ‘superfood’ properties and can help with providing relief from joint pain. It’s also a good idea to include sulfur into your diet as this plays an active role in the energy factories or mitochondria of cells. Sulphur can help with reducing chronic pain and fatigue.

Drinking plenty of water is ideal as around 2/3 of the human body is made up of H20. Being dehydrated can mean your body becomes more dry and water itself plays an integral role in lubricating cartilage between the joints, while ensuring it is smooth and with the appropriate amount of friction. The recommended daily intake of water is 6-8 glasses, with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda for good health

Robert Redfern

Protect Yourself from Fatigue With Magnesium

27 Dec



Feeling fatigue and exhaustion all of the time? This could be one of the major signs of magnesium deficiency. Many health experts agree that when the body is deficient in magnesium, it tends to work harder to meet the demand.
Yet many of us are not getting enough of this critical mineral that plays an integral role in hundreds of biochemical reactions.

Magnesium plays an essential role in keeping bones healthy and strong, while keeping the nervous system functioning smoothly. Significant findings into the effects that magnesium depletion can have indicate that it’s linked with energy metabolism within the body. Inadequate levels of magnesium have also been found to be linked with an increased demand for oxygen during exercising. According to the researchers from ARS’s Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, they found that during their research, those who undertook moderate activity and had low levels of magnesium were more likely to require an increased need for oxygen during exercise as their muscles tired easily compared to those with adequate magnesium levels.

The study’s first phase involved 10 post-menopausal women with a controlled diet who were taking sufficient amounts of magnesium for 35 days. The next phase involved a low-magnesium diet with less than half the recommended daily magnesium intake for 93 days. While the last phase were provided with a magnesium-adequate diet for 49 days. The study’s participants were also advised to undertake exercise tests at the end of each dietary phase, conducted with physiological and biochemical tests. From the research, they found that a low-magnesium diet resulted in significant loss of magnesium levels, while the participants with reduced muscle levels of magnesium were found to have red blood cells more towards the low-end of the normal range.

For these reasons and many more, it’s highly recommended to supplement with magnesium, where a diet of magnesium-rich foods may be lacking. Especially because most modern foods are depleted of vital nutrients, that are essential for good health. It’s more important than ever to consider adding a Magnesium supplement not just over the festive season when demands and stress levels are high meaning we are more likely to feel exhausted, but also as part of your diet and lifestyle regime as part of your daily routine.

Robert Redfern

Treatment of Neurological Disorders with Acupuncture

2 Dec

A neurological disorder refers to a problem with the nervous system, which is a complex, sophisticated system that regulates and coordinates the body’s activities. Nerve pain can arise from trauma, inflammation, stroke, disease, infection, nerve degeneration, exposure to toxic chemicals and nutrient deficiencies. 

Nerve pain is usually a sharp shooting pain or a constant burning sensation. Typically occurring in the same location with each episode, it can often be traced along the nerve pathway. Sometimes weakness or impaired function in the affected area occurs and the skin may be either overly sensitive or numb.

Some neurological disorders acupuncture can provide symptom relief from include:

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an irreversible neurological disease that destroys the nerve cells, or neurons, that invigorate our muscles. Neurons are found in the brain and spinal cord, which comprise the central nervous system (CNS).

As these cells weaken and wither, so do the muscles associated with them. Ultimately, this leads to a paralysis of those muscles.

Early warning symptoms of the disease include weakness and fatigue of the arms or legs, and sometimes difficulty with speaking clearly.

Other symptoms that may appear in early stages of ALS include:

● Problems walking, including tripping and dragging the feet

● Tired and weak feet, ankles and knees

● Cramping, trembling, and twitching of arms and shoulders

● Tongue spasms

● Difficulty keeping head upright

In later stages of the disease, more severe symptoms reveal themselves. The muscles responsible for breathing, swallowing and moving the body deteriorate to the point where they can no longer function.

There is no known cure as of yet. The causes of ALS are not well understood, but it is accepted that genetics and chemical imbalances within the brain may play a role in developing the disease.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can assist in managing the symptoms of ALS, including muscle weakness and cramping, fatigue and emotional issues.

According to acupuncture and Oriental medicine, the kidneys are responsible for the production and control of a vital substance called marrow, which, in turn, produces essential components that make up a healthy central nervous system.

The brain is considered a repository for marrow, and is thus termed the sea of marrow. When the kidneys are deficient, this condition can negatively impact the central nervous system.

When kidney deficiency occurs, it is important to nourish and revitalize them, so they can in turn help nourish and revitalize the brain.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Also known as median nerve entrapment, it occurs when swelling or irritation of the nerve or tendons in the carpal tunnel results in pressure on the median nerve.









Headaches – Headaches that can be treated with acupuncture include migraines, tension headaches, headaches occurring around the menstrual cycle, sinus headaches and stress-related headaches.


Myasthenia Gravis

Myasthenia gravis is a neuromuscular disorder causing muscles under voluntary control to tire and become easily fatigued. This happens when the muscles and the nerves that enervate them miscommunicate. More than half of those diagnosed with myasthenia gravis present with eye problems as their first symptoms. This primarily includes droopy eyelids (ptosis) and double-vision (diplopia). However, roughly 15 percent of sufferers reported their first symptoms started in the face or throat muscles. These symptoms included difficulty talking, chewing, swallowing and breathing.

Someone who has difficulties with the face or throat muscles as a result of having myasthenia gravis, may experience altered speech, limited facial expressions, difficulty swallowing, and chewing may become an exhausting activity. The most severe symptom is what is called a ‘myasthenia crisis,’ in which the muscles used for breathing no longer function. This is a life-threatening condition and emergency medical help is needed immediately.

As myasthenia gravis may affect any muscle under voluntary control, weakness could occur in other areas besides the face and throat. The arms generally are more affected than the legs, and symptoms may present in the hands and feet, although this is not as common.

The exact cause of this condition is unknown, but researchers have learned that the disease prompts the immune system to block signals from the nerve to the muscles. There is also evidence that a protein helping the muscles to receive messages is prevented from doing so. It is also believed genetics may play a role.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be used to support the treatment you receive from your primary care provider. As this disease is complex, all the things that bother you are reviewed, not just the signs and symptoms specifically related to it. This may include questions about your quality of sleep, digestive functions and emotional state.

Let’s say, for example, that you first notice fatigue in the legs becoming a problem and then over the next few months poor appetite and frequent diarrhea are added as the latest symptoms, the diagnosis may be one of Qi deficiency in the stomach and spleen. Qi is the most fundamental, indispensable energy needed for life to exist. Treatment may focus on strengthening the Qi in the stomach and spleen to help the body produce a high-quality, healthy supply of blood to aid weakened leg muscles. An improved stomach and spleen can bring back the appetite and help stop diarrhea. It can also help make extracting nutrients from food more efficient, which, in turn, supports the immune and nervous systems. It is important to maintain realistic expectations as treatment is only used for symptom management.

Peripheral Neuropathy – Presenting as damage to the peripheral nervous system, which transmits information from the brain and spinal cord to every other part of the body, this kind of neuropathy can be caused by diabetes and often affects the feet.

Trigeminal Neuralgia – Facial pain, sometimes called Tic Douloureux, affects the trigeminal nerve, which is responsible for impulses of touch, pain, pressure and temperature sent to the brain from the face, jaw and gums.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine have been found effective as a conjunctive therapy for several neurological disorders and in treating pain and inflammation.

Christina Sarlo LMT, L.Ac., NCCAOM
Experience Your Chi