Laughter is the Best Medicine

I love to laugh and I would not like to have a day where I did not at least laugh once. I find it quite easy to laugh, especially since I am normally laughing at myself. I believe that if you cannot laugh at yourself, then you are missing out on more than half of the humor in the world. Laughter has many therapeutic effects that can help to improve health as well as overall mood.

A good belly laugh can help you to get rid of stress in more ways than one. When you first meet a person it can be stressful. Normally after you have had a good laugh with each other the stress is diminished. On the internal aspect of stress relief, while laughing the body will reduce cortisol and epinephrine being released into the body. These are hormones produced in the body to help cope with stress. Cortisol will increase the blood sugar of the body and over prolonged time can lead to diabetes. Epinephrine will constrict blood vessels, increase heart rate and dilate the bronchia in the lungs to increase airflow. Epinephrine will over prolonged time causes hypertension, headaches, tachycardia, arrhythmia, tremors, anxiety and pulmonary edema. Laughter has been shown to reduce both of these hormones.

Chuckling aloud can help to reduce pain. The body will release endorphins when you laugh. The endorphins will produce the sensation of well-being and relief from pain. When physical trauma first happens to the body endorphins are released to help a person to cope with the pain.

A healthy snicker can help your immune system. Antibody-producing cells are increased while laughing as well as the effectiveness of T-cells. These cells are major players in the immune system working properly.

I hope that this article will make you think about how important laughter is for your own health. Find something that will make you laugh and help you to enjoy your life more and live longer.

Diabetes – Wasting and Thirsting Part 2

Lifestyle Changes

Diabetes as with any major disease you will need to make lifestyle changes. More than likely it was the way that you were living your life that caused the problem to begin with. The Western concept of living is to work as hard as possible and then have a sedentary life when not working. Many people work really long hours or even have more than one job just to survive and then when they go home they will sit for hours in front of the television or computer for hours and then go to be. This is really not a lifestyle that is productive for your body and mind.

The changes that you will have to make may not be an easy transition, but it is something that you will need to do to preserve your life. Exercise is one of the things that you will need to do. It can be as simple as just walking around the block a few times to using a gym. There are many exercise programs that are out there. Some people need to have others around them to motivate them and others can do it on their own. For the ones that can do it on their own there is no excuse for you not to be exercising. The ones that need the support there are many types of classes you can get involved in that can be fairly reasonable to very expensive, but you can also just have a few friends that are willing to help keep you motivated. I do suggest having a few friends. This way if one of them is busy, then there are others that can help. You should tell your friends why you are doing this as well, so they will also take initiative to keep you motivated.

You should not make excuses for not exercising, such as you are too tired because you work too much or think that you get plenty of exercise while you are working. If you get into a routine of exercising you will gain more energy as well as have a more positive outlook. The exercise that you do at work is not the same as exercising for your body and mind. Whatever you are doing at work is going to be very repetitive and only working part of your body as well as leaving your muscles out of balance. You will also be focusing on work, which will be placing a mental strain on your mind at the same time. Exercise should be balanced for the body and help to clear the mind.

Your lifestyle should not be sedentary. There are times to sit and do nothing, but if this happens to often then you are just “Wasting” your life away. Life is meant to be full of many feelings and experiences. To go through life without experiencing it as well as making it shorter from having diabetes and not doing anything to help prevent the “Wasting and Thirsting Disease” from taking your life would be a real shame. Every moment of life should be cherished and lived to the fullest. Diabetes can be controlled, but it starts with you taking control of your lifestyle.

Diabetes – Wasting and Thirsting

Diabetes is something that is running rampant in our culture. The worst part is that most people think that it is just part of life and all you have to do is take insulin to fix the problem. Insulin is what you need to take if you have diabetes type I. But if you have type II and have not started taking insulin, look at your diet and lifestyle. This is most likely why you have gotten diabetes type II. This is something that can be fixed.

The title of this blog I picked because it is the English translation of what the Chinese call this disease, Xiao Ke. If you have ever seen what happens when this disease advances you will understand the name. With Diabetes, the fluids of the body start to dry up and this will create the thirst and without the fluids the body starts to break down and a person can get gangrene, blindness, kidney failure and heart disease. This is definitely not something that you will want to happen to yourself or others. Just by knowing that this can happen to you means that you should make a drastic change in your life and diet.

One of the hardest changes for most will be the diet. You will need to eat on a very regular basis. Eating 5 to 6 small meals a day will help to keep the body in balance. Skipping meals or eating sporadically will have you feeling more fatigued or can even make you faint. Other symptoms are blurred vision, increased appetite, increased thirst and increased urination.

You will need to be conscious of what you are eating. The common diet in the US is fats, carbs and sugar. People do not even look at the labels that are on the food we get at the supermarket and if they do, most do not know what the ingredients are. One easy rule would be if you cannot pronounce it, you should not eat it. The body does need to have a certain amount of fats and carbs, but you need to make sure you are eating the right type. With carbohydrates they should come from fruits and vegetables. Carbs that you get from most breads and pastas are not good, they are normally processed. If you do eat breads, pastas or starchy vegetables, then only eat in small amounts. Fats should be from lean meats and smaller portions. The sooner that you change your diet the more likely you will not need to be insulin dependent.

Next article will be Part 2 Lifestyle Changes

Sleeping Problems

There are two main categories of sleep disorders; insomnia and somnolence. Insomnia is where a person will have problems sleeping and somnolence is where a person will sleep too much. Most people are more familiar with insomnia and I will start it.

Insomnia is broken down into different types such as inability to fall asleep, restlessness at night, difficulty falling asleep, frequent waking and dream disturbed sleep.  There are also a lot of factors that will lead up to causing insomnia. Stress is one of the more obvious reasons. When a person is stressed there is a tendency to overthink. It is understandable to try and figure out a solution to your problems, but if there is not one that is readily available then constantly thinking about it is not going to help. Most people will notice that when you actually stop thinking about a problem is when an answer will show up. This is not always true, but it is more than it is not. There are a few things that you can do to help with this. Learn to focus and breathe. Breathing is a great way to get the body to relax and if you are focusing on a single aspect, such as counting your breath. You will be able to calm the mind and sleep. If this has been going on for a while you will need to do more. You will need to eat food that will strengthen the spleen. Foods that will help the spleen are normally very bland in flavor, but that is what your body will need.

Foods that will help to strengthen the spleen are:

Congee                                                                                  Rice syrup

Oats                                                                                       Barley malt

Spelt                                                                                      Molasses

Sweet rice                                                                             Cherry

Mochi (pounded sweet rice)                                                 Date

Winter squash

Carrot                                                                   Small Amounts prepared in congee

Rutabaga                                                                             Mackerel

Parsnip                                                                                 Tuna

Turnip                                                                                   Halibut

Garbanzo beans                                                                   Anchovy

Black beans                                                                          Beef

Peas                                                                                      Beef liver or kidney

Sweet potato                                                                         Chicken

Yam                                                                                       Turkey

Pumpkin                                                                                Lamb

Onion                                                                                    Butter is the only recommended Dairy


Black pepper







Dream disturbed sleep is another problem that will cause insomnia. When I started studying Chinese medicine, I found out that dreaming on a regular basis is considered as abnormal. I always thought there was something wrong with me because I would only dream about one time a year. Now I know that it is actually healthy.  I am not saying that dreaming is bad, but if you constantly dream or are being woken up by your dreams, then there is some problems. Dreams are an aspect of your subconscious overworking. Your body at sleep is meant to be relaxed, healing and restoring itself. During the night the liver will store the blood and help to recycle the red blood cells. With Chinese Medicine if there is a liver Yin or blood deficiency there is a good chance that you will be having too many dreams.  There are certain kind of food that can help to strengthen Liver Yin and Liver blood they are:

Foods that build Liver Blood

Gelatin/Jell-O                                                   Blueberries

Blackberries                                                     Dark Grapes

Raspberries                                                      Spirulina

Foods that build Liver Yin

Mung Beans                                                    Seaweeds

Mung Bean Sprouts                                        Watercress

Cucumbers                                                     Plums

Millet                                                               Flaxseeds and Flaxseed Oil

Borage Oil (supplement)

Include food that builds Liver Blood as well


Frequent waking at night can be caused by a few different aspects. One of these is waking up at night and feeling extremely hot and covered in sweat. The body has created. This is basically considered as a Yin deficiency. Yin is the substance of the body and when the Yin is deficient it can make the body sweat at night. The Yin is also the anchor for Yang. And since the Yang is not anchored it will disturb the mind and wake you up. There are many types of Yin deficiencies and it would be best to get this diagnosed properly through a Chinese Medicine practitioner. Extreme shock or fright can also cause frequent waking at night. The shock or fright will cause anxiety and palpitations. You most likely will wake up early in the morning. It will take time and patience to get the body to relax from this kind of experience. Tai Chi and Yoga are good ways of getting the body to get back under control and relieving the stress caused from the shock or fright.

The last frequent waking that I will discuss is sleep apnea. Most people do not even know or realize that they are waking up at night. They will just feel really tired as if they never actually got any sleep. This can also be considered as part of somnolence, because of the need to sleep. The western aspect of this is that the tongue and throat will press against each other when you are sleeping and it will stop your breathing. The body will wake itself back up to get you to start breathing again. Most people that have sleep apnea are overweight.  With Chinese Medicine it is a buildup of non-substantial phlegm in the body and more specifically in the throat. Controlling your diet and avoid eating fried greasy foods as well as dairy products can help.

Somnolence means too much sleep. This will have tiredness throughout the day, mental fatigue and inability to stay alert during the day. As I mentioned about sleep apnea it can be considered as both insomnia and somnolence, because you are not really sleeping throughout the night.  Other aspects are caused by the body not developing enough energy and creating a need to sleep, excessive dampness in the body and/or phlegm accumulation.

Somnolence caused by your body not getting enough energy is going to be, in Chinese Medicine, a Spleen Qi deficiency. The food that I listed above can help with strengthening the Spleen Qi. When your body becomes even more Spleen Qi deficient then dampness will set into the body. This dampness can cause more fatigue as well as some discomfort in joint, dizziness, poor appetite and/or loose stool. When dampness is happening in your body, you should avoid eating raw, cold, sweet foods as well as dairy and fried foods. Foods that can help to dry out the dampness are:

Foods that dry dampness

Rye                                                                                        Kohlrabi

Amaranth                                                                              White pepper

Corn                                                                                      Raw honey

Aduki beans                                                                         Chamomile

Celery                                                                                  Micro-algae dunaliella

Lettuce                                                                                Wild blue-green algae

Pumpkin                                                                              Raw goat’s milk




Although most will not want to do exercise, it is something that will help to generate energy and move dampness out of the body.

Over time the dampness can accumulate and then change into phlegm. This is more difficult to clear out on your own and you should seek out someone that has experience with herbal formulas to resolve the phlegm from the body.

I hope that this information will help you to understand what is causing your sleep disorder. I do suggest getting help if you do have a sleep disorder and you should not self-diagnose yourself. I know from personal experience that you will normally miss something important when you try to self-diagnose. If you have any question please feel free to call or email me. My goal is to help as many people as I can and this blog is just way of achieving it.

Understanding What Your Acupuncturist Is Saying

If you have gone to an acupuncture physician before he has probably said something about organs and Qi and Blood. As you are listening you may think that does not sound like the same thing that my western doctor has said. You would be correct. Western and eastern terminologies are different. Western doctors are talking about physical manifestations and chemicals balances. Eastern doctors are talking about the energetic balance of the organs, channels and blood. So if you tell your western doctor that you were told that you have kidney problems by your acupuncture physician. Then he is going to look at you and tell you that from their test, there is nothing wrong with your kidneys. From his stand point he would be correct, but so is the acupuncturist. The acupuncture physician probably told you that you had a Kidney Yang deficiency. They would have diagnosed this through the pulse, questions that you had answered and through palpation of the lower back and knees. Now I am not going to explain how we diagnose a patient, since it will take quite a few years to explain. I will give you a bit of understanding as to some of our terminology that is being used.

In Oriental Medicinal or more precise Chinese Medicine, there are multiple ways of diagnosing. They are questioning, observation, listening and palpation. There are a many questions that will be asked, especially during your first consultation and some of them will not seem to make sense to you. The questions are important and it will help the acupuncture physician to get a better understanding of what is going on with your body. Observation is by looking at the body posture, color and texture of skin, and looking at the tongue and its coating. Observation can tell a lot about what is happening to body right now. Listening to how a person is talking as well as breathing can help with understanding a bit of the nature of a person’s constitution.  And finally palpation, by feeling areas for tenderness, tightness, weakness or softness can tell different aspects that are happening with in the channels of the body. The pulse is also felt for the rate and for qualities that will tell about the overall problems going on in the body. All of these tools are used to diagnose.

Now I mentioned that I would help to give a basic understanding of what is being said for the diagnosis. There are different aspects that will be mentioned and each one has its own aspects of health. There are the 12 meridians, 12 organs (which will correlate with the 12 meridians, but are not the same), the 6 conformations, the 6 pathogenic evils, five elements, the four levels, San Jiao (triple burner),the eight principles and  Qi, blood and body fluids.  I will give a brief explanation of these which should help, although I know it will not answer all your questions.

The 12 meridians are channels that pass throughout the body and have points that can be accessed through manipulation of needles or even pressure. Each point on the meridian is used for very specific reasons and is chosen only with much thought and training of the physician. The meridians have a connection to the organs and are named after a specific organ. There is also a connection to the body in multiple layers of muscles, sinew, skins and much more.

The 12 organs or Zangfu are Lung, Large Intestine, Stomach, Spleen, Heart, Small Intestines, Bladder, Kidney, Pericardium, San Jiao, Gall Bladder and Liver. When these are mentioned we are talking about the actual energetic natures of the organs. Some of these are not even considered as an organ in western as well as not even being named, such as San Jiao. We are taught how the energetics of these organs work and how they will react in the body when there is a disharmony.

The 6 confirmations are a pairing of organs there are 6 yin organs and 6 yang organs. These are broken down into 3 yin pairing and 3 yang pairing. They are Tai Yin- Lung and Spleen, Shao Yin- Heart and Kidney, Jue Yin- Pericardium and Liver, Yang Ming Large Intestines and Stomach, Taiyang-Bladder and Small Intestines, Shao Yang- San Jiao and Gallbladder. The understanding of these pairings helps with certain patterns that affect the body as well as knowing how to treat with herbs.

The 6 pathogenic evils are the aspect of how disharmony and disease are in the body. These are wind, cold, dampness, summer heat, dryness and heat. Each of these alone can cause problems with the body as well as combinations. Each one can attack different parts of the body at the same time. The nature of each is very distinct and will show up within the body very distinct signs.

The five elements are earth, metal, water, wood and fire. Each element correlates to specific organs, tissue, sound, taste, odor, season, color, climate, time and character. The understanding of the elements helps with the diagnosis as well as certain treatment principles. For example if a person has a problem sleeping and constantly wakes up between 11 pm and 1 am then there is most likely a problem with the Gall Bladder.

The four levels are Wei, Qi, Ying and Xue. This aspect of understanding has to do with excess heat and where it is affecting the body. Each level is deeper than the last as well as more serious symptoms. The treatments protocols focus on herbs and acupuncture to clear the heat built up in the body.

San Jiao is considered as a special organ in the body as well as sections. San means three and there are three Jiaos. They are upper, middle and lower Jiao. All three Jiaos are located in the torso of the body.. Each section or Jiao is responsible for moving fluids around in each Jiao. When the fluids are not moving properly then there will be disharmony in that part of the body. Again this understanding will help in making the proper diagnosis.

The eight principles are considered the basics of Chinese medicine. They are interior and exterior, hot and cold, excess and deficiency, and Yin and Yang. Each grouping is an opposite of each other. By knowing which one is happening will help to make the diagnosis. The hard part is the fact that humans are complex individuals and you can have more than one going on at once. An example of this is the Taiji symbol of Yin and Yang. The symbol seems to be very simplistic, but it is very complex at the same time. The symbol shows a circle of half black and white, where one becomes the other and each has the other inside. The body is also the same it needs to have the Yin and Yang and a bit of each in the other as well as Yin will turn into Yang and vice versa. Without this happening then there will be disharmony and disease.

Qi, blood and body fluids are each different from each other, but yet they need each other to make the other. Qi is the energy of the body, but it is also what everything is made of. Without Qi nothing would be here. Qi is also what moves everything. If Qi does not move it creates what is called Qi Stagnation. There are multiple aspects of Qi Stagnation, but most obvious is normally a distention, bloating or pain normally dull. Qi can also become deficient and a person will normally feel fatigue. Qi can also flow in the wrong direction which will cause acid reflux, coughing, vomiting, hiccups, diarrhea and so forth. The blood can be deficient causing dizziness, blurred vision, poor memory and other issues. Another blood issue is blood stasis, which will normally cause sharp fixed pain. Body fluid includes essence, normal fluids of the body and phlegm. Essence is what you are born with and comes from your parents. You have a specific amount when you are born and when it is gone so are you. The normal fluids of the body are Jin and Ye. Jin is sweat, tears, saliva, nasal discharge, intestinal fluids and so forth. Ye is synovial fluid, spinal fluid and marrow.  These fluids are to protect the body and without them there will be complications. Phlegm can be considered another pathogenic factor. There is substantial and non-substantial phlegm. Substantial phlegm is the substance that will come up from coughing or sneezing, as well as pus from infected wounds. Non-substantial is within the body and normally caused by stagnation and heat of fluids. Each has its own signs that will show up.

I know that this seems like a lot of information and it has probably even created more questions than you had before. Most acupuncture physician will explain and help you to understand what is going on within your body. Your understanding is the key to you helping yourself and being compliant to the treatments, exercises, food therapy, herbs and other information that will be told to you. All of it is meant to help you get better as quickly as we can possibly help you. If you have questions, please feel free to ask and I will answer them to the best of my knowledge and if I do not know, I know many who do. Knowledge is something that should be shared.

Enduring Summer Heat

The summer brings a lot of enjoyment to most, but for some it brings the thought of I should just stay inside because it is too hot. The reason I am decided to write this, besides being asked by a friend, was to help people be able to handle and enjoy the summer this year and into the future.

I will start by telling you about food therapy as a way to help keep cool. The summer is known for being hot as well as damp. To be able to clear out heat from the body, bitter food is the best way. A lot of people will not like the taste of some of these, but you can build up a tolerance and even possibly start to like some. Bitter melon is one of the foods I acquired a taste for when I was in Chengdu during the summer. Chengdu is very hot and humid during the summer and is located in a valley, so it just lingers. One of our first meals there I was told that I should eat bitter melon to help. My first bite of it almost made me spit it back out. It really was bitter. I figured that I should at least try to get it down and actually after a couple of bites, I did not really mind the taste. I even started to notice that I was not feeling as hot a little while later. Another thing that I was told to do was drink barley tea. I did not really have much of a choice with drinking barley tea. Every place that you went served it instead of water. Asking for water was like pulling teeth. So, you just get used to drinking hot barley tea as your beverage. The tea did help to reduce the heat in my body.

Other bitter foods that will help to clear out heat are:

Unsweetened cocoa, coffee, South American mate, marmalade, beer, bitters, olives, citrus peels, dandelion greens, wild chicory, lemons, alfalfa, romaine lettuce, rye, scallions, turnip, white pepper, amaranth, asparagus, celery, lettuce, papaya, quinoa and vinegar.

Bitter foods also will help to increase your appetite. This is also good during the summer, considering that in the summer the appetite can be suppressed.

Do not over eat bitter food, because they can create nausea, vomiting or stomach discomfort.

Other foods to eat would be spicy and pungent. You are probably thinking why would I want to eat something hot when I am already hot. The reason is simple. This type of food will help to open up the sweat glands and then release the heat through these pores. You will sweat, but that is one of the purposes of sweating. Sweat comes out of the pores releasing heat and toxins, but also the fluid cools quickly and then in turns cools off the skin. Of course you do not want to over sweat, since that will create dehydration and can lead to other complications.

Some spices that are ideal to help disperse heat are:

Red and green peppers, cayenne red pepper, fresh ginger (not dried), horseradish and black pepper.

More foods that are great to eat that will help cool the body from the summer heat are:

Salads, sprouts, fruits, cucumber, flower and leaf teas and herbal infusions, mung bean soup.

Try not to eat too many heavy foods such as meat and eggs. It is important to still have them, but just not large amounts.

Acupuncture and herbal remedies can help as well. The body sometimes will be warmer than it should be. I used to be that way myself. I am originally from up north and it took me a very long time to get used to the temperature of Florida, especially in the summer. The air conditioning in my home was set at 68 degrees. Up north this is a normal temperature, but in Florida that is considered very cold. So, for about 16 years I lived this way and then found out that I could get my body temperature to regulate better and had both acupuncture and herbs. About two weeks later I had my home temperature set between 76 and 78 degrees. I felt better and save a lot of money on electricity.

I know there are many other aspects to keeping cool in the summer and plenty of web pages that can be searched to learn how to keep your home and car cooler. I hope that these will help you to keep you cooler.


There are many kinds of headaches. They can be dull, sharp, throbbing and debilitating. They can affect different areas of the head such as the crown, sides, base of skull, forehead, around the eyes and behind the eyes. They can last a couple of minutes or even days. Some people will need to lie down and cover their eyes to keep light. Even the smallest type of headache will cause disruptions in your daily life, such as making it difficult to concentrate or focus.

Headaches are caused by many factors. The main factor is lack of blood flow to the head. Pain itself is typically because of a lack of blood flow in an area. Pain signals the body of a lack of blood flow and the body responds by increasing the flow.

During a woman’s menstrual cycle she may get headaches. This is due to blood loss. Less blood means there will be less blood to go up to the head. Of course, not all women will get headaches during their cycle. This is because their body is more in balance and the body is producing and circulating blood more readily for the body.

The scalene muscles, located at the side of the neck, can pinch the blood vessels and slow the flow of blood to the head.  This type of head ache will normally manifest in the back of head around the base of skull.

Headaches located on the top and sides of head are normally due to stress and high blood pressure. Stress causes the pressure in the blood vessels to increase and in turn causes headaches. High blood pressure is caused by maintained high stress levels, improper diet and the arteries may be clogged.

Headaches in the forehead area are normally caused by digestion issues or even food that does not agree with you.

Migraine headaches will occur normally around or behind the eyes and there can be some sensitivity to light. Normally there is quite a bit of imbalance in the body with migraines and it if they occur on regular basis, I suggest getting professional help.

If you are suffering from headaches around the base of skull and neck then getting an acupuncture or massage treatments will help.  You can also do stretches for the neck. One that will help is to roll up a towel into a log and place it behind neck as you are lying down. This will tip the head back and your chin should be pointing up. After holding this position up to 90 seconds you will leave the towel where it is and turn the head to the left or right side and hold up to 90 seconds and then repeat to the opposite side. You should feel the muscles in the front of the neck stretching and the muscles in the back of the neck contracting. You may feel a bit of discomfort in the back of neck at first, but this will go away. You can easily adjust the towel’s thickness to help get your neck into the proper position. The use of the towel is there to give the spine the proper support.

Headaches are often caused by lack of blood flow; in Chinese medicine we simply call this blood deficiency. If you have some blood deficiency, changing your diet will alleviate symptoms. You can also see an acupuncturist for treatments as well as to be prescribed herbs that can help to build blood. They can also help build a very specific diet plan for you. Nutrition aspects that you need to have in your diet are iron, folic acid and vitamin B12. To get proper absorption of iron you will also need adequate copper, B vitamins as well as vitamin C. Foods that will help are spirulina, seaweeds, sprouts, leafy greens, and chlorophyll-rich foods. These should be taken raw or lightly steamed. Other foods are grains, legumes, and most vegetable. Severe blood deficiency will need to eat animal products such as beef, lamb or chicken (livers of these are the best source). Royal jelly, gelatin, carp soup, mussels and oysters are also foods that will help with blood deficiencies.

If you are having headaches around your forehead area you should pay special attention to the food that you are eating. Keep a list of the foods that cause the headaches and avoid them. If this does not eliminate the headaches, an acupuncturist can assist you in regulating your digestion.

Headaches that form around the sides and top of head are normally going to be stress related. Learning how to manage and control your stress is going to be a key factor to eliminating this kind of headache. You can look at my other blog about stress to get ideas for this (Stress). You should also have blood pressure checked to make sure there are no complications. If blood pressure is high, then you should go and get professional help to reduce the high blood pressure.

Overall balancing our bodies is something that we all need to learn to reduce health issues from disrupting our lives. If you have any questions please feel free to post it or call and I will help guide you to a solution.

The Problem of Stress (Is Not Breathing)

I know that this is a problem that everyone has, even the ones that say “No, I do not have any problems with stress.” Stress is more than just a feeling of being “Stressed out.” That is the first thing people will think when they are asked about being stressed. When you actually feel the sensation of being stressed out it is just the outward appearance of a symptom of your body. Symptoms do not show up until after there is a problem and the problem does not go away just because the symptoms do not appear. The body is a complex structure and you should not expect just because everything seems to be alright that it actually is alright. I do not really know anyone that can say, I do not have any problems at all. Even myself, I would like to think that I am stress free, I know that I am not. I just try to use the preventative approach that I need to keep my stress levels as low as I can make them. So, with this blog I am going to discuss some of the things to be aware of as signs and things that you can do to help with your own stress levels.

One breathing sign of stress is yawning. I know I probably just made you yawn by having you read this, but it is ok. You just got a bunch of fresh air into the body. Yawning is a sign that the brain is not getting enough oxygen. The first thing that happens is that you take a deep breath in and then you exhale. This is what you should be doing anyways, just without the mouth opening quite so much.

Another breathing sign of stress is sighing. I know this was one thing that I used to do a lot. I would not even notice that I was doing it. My roommates at the time would constantly ask me if there was something wrong and I never understood why they kept asking me until I asked them why they thought something was wrong. They both told me that they heard me sighing a lot. Well I had no idea that I was even doing this, worse is that I had no idea that this was even a sign of a problem. At the time I had a very demanding job and I would feel stressed all of the time, but I did not know what to do about it except to just deal with it, meaning that I did nothing. This over time caused aspects of depression and me secluding myself away from people. I should have went and done something about it, even if it was just talking to someone about it, but I got lucky and my circumstances changed. I know now different tools that would have helped me then and made the process go by a lot smoother.

The last aspect of breathing signs is medical problems. There are many medical problems that will decrease your breath. One of these is sleep apnea. Most people may not even know that they have this problem. There is a good chance that if you snore heavily all the time then you may have this. Sleep apnea reduces the amount of air you breath in when you are sleeping. Other medical problems would be allergies, sinus issues, bronchitis, asthma, tuberculosis, and other lung complications. These should be taken care of by a professional.

The first step is breathing. Pretty much everyone has heard of taking a step back and taking a breath. Unfortunately, most people when they are told this take it as an offense that they are being told that they are wrong or that something is wrong with them, instead of taking it as an aspect of preventative treatment. What is really wrong with being told this? Why should you feel as if you are being attacked when someone tells you this? Unfortunately, your mind is what did this to you, not the other person. If you would actually take the moment and really step back and take that breath you would actually be able to calm down and let your brain work better. How would that happen? This is easily done when you take deep breaths of air you are actually bringing more blood to the brain. Blood brings nutrient and oxygen to the body and the first stop is the brain. Do you think the brain would be able to work better if there was more nutrients and oxygen? You bet it will. So, next time instead of waiting for someone to tell you to take a step back and breath, you should already be doing it.

The next step is to know how to breathe. You are now reading this thinking I do this every day and I do not even need to think about it, so why do I need to be taught this? That is simple. We have lost the ability to breathe properly. This is easily shown by watching a baby breathe. When a baby is lying down on his back it is easiest to notice. The first part of the inhale the baby’s belly will rise up and then fill the chest. The exhale will go in the opposite direction. Somewhere when we were growing up we lost the ability to do this without thinking. You are getting a smaller amount of air into your body the way you are breathing from just the chest. The chest only expands a small amount, because you are only using the width of your lungs to bring in air. If you were breathing with your diaphragm then you would be using the length of your lungs, which is longer than the width, you are able to bring more air into your body with each breath. Other aspects that happen when you breathe this way are the massaging of the internal and the engaging the transverse abdominal muscle. The massaging of the internal organs comes from the movement of the diaphragm and abdominal muscles. When they engage they will move the organs and in the process of them moving they are being massaged. The transverse abdominal muscle is the muscle that wraps from side of the spine around the abdominal cavity to the other side of the spine. This muscle is only engaged fully after you are breathing in a deep breath of air and the belly expands out and you contract it in to help to exhale the as out of your lungs. It is one of the core muscle that is infrequently used.

There are a couple thoughts on where you breathe in and out. Meaning, should I breathe in and out through my mouth or nose. I practice breathing in through the nose and out thought the mouth. Medically this is how you are supposed to breathe as well. The medical reasoning is that when you are breathing in through the nose you are able to filter and moisten the air as it comes into the body. The nose has a mucus lining that will catch foreign object to keep them out of the lungs. And it normally will stay moist. With exhaling the mouth is the easiest path out. So, why would you want to keep the carbon dioxide in your body any longer than you need? There are many reasons for other ways of breathing and I am not going to argue for or against them. I am only telling you the reasoning for my choice. You can make your own choices.

The last part that I want to discuss is exercise. There are many types of exercises and all of them you will need to learn how to do some form of breath control to get the best results. If you pay attention to your body it will normally help you figure these out. The main point I am trying to make here is that you should do some form of exercise to help with stress. It can be as easy as taking a walk every day to going a very difficult work out class. You just need to do it. This is off the subject with this topic slightly, but I need to say it. Watching TV is not a stress reliever. Your mind will process the visual aspects as if they are happening to you. Whether you want to believe this, it is true. I am not saying that you should not watch it, because I know that is one of things that I will do later in the day myself. But, I am only doing it for entertainment. It will be done after I have already some form of distressing myself.

I hope that I have given you at least some things to do and/or to think about to help you with the stress you have acquired. Please send me some feedback on what you think about my blog either good or bad. I only wish to improve myself and hopefully that means I can help to improve you as well.

Weight Loss Problems

There are many problems that are happening within our society and the one that most people can see on a daily basis is the health problem of obesity. More and more people are having difficulty with controlling their weight. There are multiple symptoms that come with gaining weight such as loss of energy, localized pain in knees and/or lower back, difficulty breathing, and even a shorter life span. I know I personally would like to know that my life span will not be shortened just because I was the one negligent about it. First thing that you need to is find out is the reason why you have gained the weight.

One reason for gaining weight would be stress. Stress is of course the number one cause of many illnesses and obesity is on that list. There are a lot of people that as soon as they get stressed out they want to eat and the food that they normally will eat is considered as comfort food. Even the terminology of comfort food sounds like it should be good for you by creating a sense of feeling good. Some comfort food that comes to mind for me is potato chips, ice cream and chocolate. Everybody has their favorite, but you do not normally hear someone say that their comfort food is broccoli or a peach. The bad part of obesity is that it also creates stress. So now you have a vicious cycle and may even gain more weight.

Another reason for weight gain would hormones of the body. Your body creates and distributes specific chemicals that help to regulate and control your body functions. The thyroid and pancreas are two of these glands. They can cause hypothyroidism and diabetes. When they do not work then your body gets out of whack. I know this is a generic statement of what happens, but just know that it can and you can always look up more information yourself. At least I know that I have given you something to investigate yourself. Without these being managed properly then you will also fall into a loop since one of the symptoms is energy loss. Without energy you cannot exercise and again you are more likely to gain weight.

One thing that most people do not even think about as how people gain weight is pain. When you are in pain you normally do not think about doing much of anything, but rest. It is not easy to motivate yourself to exercise when you have pain. Pain can also cause stress that will make you want to eat your comfort food. Oh the vicious cycle of it all.

Not only can these problems be the cause of your weight gain but also be contributing to you not losing the weight when you try to lose it.

Things that you need to do to help lose weight.

1. Be conscience of what you are eating and what it does to your body: An easy way to do this is to keep a journal every time you eat and review it daily. Just by taking the time to write down what you are eating can make you think twice about whether or not you should eat it. YOU SHOULD WRITE IT DOWN BEFORE YOU EAT IT, not after. If you do it after you are just causing a sense of guilt, which can cause unwanted stress.

2. Exercise: Most people think that exercise means you have to go to a gym. I personally do not like going to gyms. I think that people are looking and judging me for being there. I know that there are many other people that will think this as well. There are many ways of getting exercise and the easiest way is just walking. It is normally easier to do any kind of exercise if you have some kind of support or someone that will do it with you. You can get a few friends that will take walks with you. I said a few friends, so if one cannot make it there are others that will be there for you. You can also join different types of classes. Some types of classes that might help would be martial arts, Tai Chi, yoga, or dance. There are many kinds of ways to exercise just find one that will work and help motivate you.

3. If you have pain then you need to take care of it: I, of course am going to advocate acupuncture and massage. I am an acupuncturist and a massage therapist. So it only makes sense to me, but I also get treatments myself. There are many ways of learning to manage and relieve pain. The one that I do not advocate is pharmaceutical drugs. Drugs are chemicals that cause many other problems in the body. Just watch a TV ad for any them and they will tell you themselves that there are side effects.

4. Have some kind of support: It is always easier to do something if you have help. Support comes in different forms. It can be as simple as a friend just encouraging you or even a group. Support can be from a trained professional that can tell you what foods will help you and what foods will hinder you. The person that helps you should be someone that you trust. Trust is important, even in the trained professional. Trust can be earned through actions as well as through the referral from someone else. When your friend trust someone it is easier to trust that other person through that acquaintance.

Now my little plug on how Chinese medicine can help. Basically with the knowledge of Chinese Medicine, we can give you a dietary program to follow. We can show you different exercises and help encourage you to do them. Pain is one of the things most people know that acupuncture can help. We can help to harmonize the metabolism to work properly as well as help when you get to a plateau, where the body does not want to lose any more weight. And we will also offer support to help you with your needs of losing the weight.

Now that I have given my little promotion, just know that there are lots of natural ways to lose weight. The thing that you have to do first is start.