Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Lindsey Lawson’

Many of you know that I have a pear tree. Every year it produces abundantly and I have an Iron Chef Pear competition with myself. Joel helps out as well and it’s pretty fun.One of my best “invented” recipes to date is this soup. Feel free to vary the spices according to your taste. ( Less garlic and no chilies for those less inclined toward spice.)

2 large organic onions diced

2-3 medium organic pears cut in to 1/2 in. pieces

2 tablespoons butter

32 fl. oz. organic chicken stock (or veggie stock)

3 cloves garlic minced

1 teaspoon dried chilies

salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onions and butter over low to medium low heat until translucent ( Do not brown) I like to salt my onions a little too.

Add pears and garlic, and cook for 10 min.

Add chicken stock and dried chilies. Simmer for 1 hour uncovered, stir every 10 or so minutes. If you like a thicker soup use an immersion blender and pulse until desired consistency.

Variations: Add chicken for a rich stew, garnish with fresh fried sage or toasted walnuts.

Commentary:

This soup is perfect for fall not just because pears are in season. Autumn is the metal time of the year. Time to letting go, pulling inward,of pruning off that which is no longer fills us with life. It’s time to store up food and prepare for the coming winter.

In “Healing with Whole Foods”,Paul Pitchford says, “Everything in nature contracts and moves its essence inward and downward. Leaves and fruits fall, seeds dry, and the sap of trees goes into the roots.The earth’s grasses start to lose their deep green color turning lighter and drier.”

In Chinese Medicine the organs associated with the Metal element are the lungs and large intestine. It is a good time strengthen the immune system and regulate digestion for vitality. These organs can be easily damaged by “dryness” and pears are protective and nourishing. Cooling, sweet and slightly sour in nature they eliminate mucus, ease a dry cough and moisten the lungs and throat. They can be slightly cloying for the digestion which is why the onions are the perfect addition.

Onions are powerful immune system boosters. Again according to Pitchford, they are traditionally used to ease coughs and bronchial aliments, lower cholesterol, treat dysentery, induce sweating, inhibit allergic reactions, and as a cure for the common cold.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Those of you who are Kombucha drinkers already know you are special. You know how much you look forward to your nightly “Booch,” you favorite flavor or brand, the familiar healthy “buzz.” So I know I wasn’t alone in my disbelief at seeing  my beloved beverage disappear from the shelves this past June. No one seemed to know much except that “certain” bottles had been tested with higher then labeled .5 % levels of alcohol.  Could it be that my healthy “buzz” was really an alcoholic buzz? No wonder I liked it!!

Why did my Kombucha get pulled from the shelves? I’d always been curious about the miracle that is Kombucha. Curious and a little wary that is. I knew it was easily brewed at home from a Mother. (Insert alien theme song here.) But exactly what are people brewing up in their basements anyway? No thanks. I’d rather pay for a nice GT created bottle of yumminess. That is until this was no longer an option. I decided to find out for myself why these products were pulled and when they’d be back.

I really nerded out about this friends. I mean really. I read for hours searching high and low for everything Kombucha. I’d lay awake at night thinking about things I didn’t quite get that I’d have to clarify later. It’s a complicated subject and like any form of brewing both an art and science. Most of what I now know can somehow be traced to Ed Hardy and his website happyherbalist.com. He’s been brewing kombucha tea, beer, vinegar, wine as well as other fermented products for many years. If you have a real interest I recommend starting with his info.

What does it taste like? For those of you who are Booch virgins or maybe just don’t like the stuff, here’s the skinny. I didn’t like it the first time I tried it either. But did you like beer the first time you tried it? Or stinky cheese? It’s really an acquired taste. At once sweet, sour, slightly bubbly, but waxing poetic aside I thought it tasted like the bottom of my compost container. Now? Ambrosia.

How do you brew it? It turns out that there is plenty variation in Kombucha taste and brewing techniques. I’ve come to believe that my favorite bottled variety is made in the tradition of Champagne kombuchas. It has a slightly higher alcohol content than the teas, highly effervescent and is a party in a glass. Other varieties I’ve tried lately are more in the tradition of kombucha tea and are like drinking slightly bubbly juice. Also pleasant, but not quite my thing.

Why is is healthy to drink it? Other side notes of my obsession, I mean “research”, include the discovery that the kombucha ” mushroom” is no mushroom at all, but a biofilm of bacteria and yeast. The mother, or SCOBY is a synchrinistic combination of yeast and bacteria. It ferments the tea and sugar to produce a beverage full of healthful acids and probiotics. A living tonic. The benefits (which are proported to be many) seem to be derived from the probiotics and acetic acid (see study done by Cornell), but it also contains gluconic acid. Gluconic acid is thought to cause the liver to secrete glucoronic acid and thus promote detoxification. All I know for sure is I sure feel good when I drink it.

Lindsey Lawson MS EAMP is an Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist and Clinic Director at Glow Natural Health and Seattle Fertility Acupuncturist. She is passionate about healthy , happy living and a regular blogger. For an appointment call Glow at 206 568 7545.

Read Full Post »

Expect to be hearing more from me on this subject. As the extent of the disaster becomes apparent I’ve turned my ear toward what we can do to help. Many of you may remember that I volunteered in the aftermath of Katrina treating post traumatic stress disorder with Acupunturists Without Borders. Plans are in the works again for another volunteer trip to the gulf. I love being able to be proactive. It’s the antidote to feeling helpless. Shore efforts are still in the early stages but they will be protracted to be sure.

Myself and all of us here at Glow urge you to give assistance in any way you can. In the short term it could be as easy as making sure your hair salon is donating hair to make floats, or maybe  adopting a bird yourself.

Click here for a complete guide of how to help or become a volunteer.

Read Full Post »

Contrast hydrotherapy  is a simple therapy which uses alternating hot and cold water to create a pumping action in the body. The hot water dilates the blood vessels and the cold causes them to contract and reduces inflammation. This helps repair tissues faster and detoxifies the body. It’s very effective, cheap and easy to do. I especially recommend it for sprains and strains (use the” localized version” in this case) and for use  with a detox diet to promote the release of toxins (use the “full body” version in this case.)

Localized Contrast Hydrotherapy I have had great results healing bad sprains with this treatment especially in conjunction with electro acupuncture. For acute conditions use ice only until swelling begins to go down. Submerge affected area in very hot water for 3 min. Plunge area into very cold water for 1 min. repeat three times. Do this 1-2 times daily until bruising, swelling and pain have subsided. For best results use ice water.

Full Body Contrast hydrotherapy Can be done in the shower or even better at one of our local spas like Olympus (women only), or Banya 5.

Shower version (less intense) Finish your daily shower with 3 min. of very hot water followed by 1 min.. of very cold water. Do this three times and end on cold. You will feel invigorated.

Spa version (more intense) This therapy can leave you feeling tired and should be done with caution the first few times especially if you feel run down. Start in the warmest hot tub or stream room available and stay in until you are very warm then move to a cold plunge and stay in for 1 min. Then move immediately back into the hot area. Do this three times. Make sure you are drinking lots of water. Stop if you feel lightheaded. This in my own personal approach and does not take into account health issues that may be present. This is a vigorous therapy not for the faint hearted. DO NOT DO THIS IF YOUR ARE PREGNANT HAVE OR HAVE HIGH OR LOW BLOOD PRESSURE. IF IN DOUBT, CONSULT A HEALTH CARE PROVIDER BEFORE DOING FULL BODY CONTRAST HYDROTHERAPY.

Lindsey Lawson is an Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist and Shamanic Practitioner at Glow Natural Health Center.

Read Full Post »

Chinese medicine is not just a collection of dusty books or archaic techniques. It is a living medicine. An example of this is the use of far-infrared energy to promote healing.  Many of you may be familiar with the heat lamps (TDP lamps) used by our acupuncturists. These lamps emit far-infrared heat which penetrates deeply into the body to promote the healing of tissues.

Did this therapy begin thousands of years ago? No. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about the history of the TDP lamp.

History of inventionTDP is an acronym for “Teding Diancibo Pu” which loosely translated means special electromagnetic spectrum.

The TDP mineral lamp was invented in China in 1978 and exhibited at the 1986 Zagreb International Fair in Yugoslavia in competition with 560 inventions from 18 countries by the inventor Mr. Gou Wenbin. It was also exhibited at the 1986 Brussels Eureka World Fair for Invention. Mr. Wenbin died in the late 1980s.

The story told about the discovery of TDP mineral lamp therapy begins in a black clay factory in rural China, where in spite of a work environment where workers were exposed to extremes of cold, wet, and heat, they had a very low incidence of illness. Upon further investigation, the differentiating factor was determined to be the beneficial far-infrared radiation from the hot clay. Analysis of the clay and later experimentation led to the development of the medical device now known as the TDP mineral lamp.

Experimentation with TDP mineral lamps started and by 1979, 36 universities, 45 graduate schools, 41 research institutes, 250 hospitals, and 3000 thousand medical doctors and researchers formed an international TDP society[1] for the purpose of performing clinical studies related to the effects of TDP mineral lamp therapy.

The state of research in 1985 showed TDP mineral lamp therapy to have been successfully used to treat over 30 different human and animal diseases and disorders. Thirty million people had received medical treatment from TDP mineral lamps. Clinical evidence[2][3][4] confirmed that TDP mineral lamp therapy would reduce inflammation, calm pain, and improve micro-circulation, and balance metabolism. Evidence was gathered substantiating TDP mineral lamp use promoted cell growth, reproduction, and repair, concurrently with promotion of specific enzyme activity levels and immune function.[5]

Now once again Chinese medicine is growing and changing. Far-infrared technology has expanded from the TDP lamp to include a unique fabric that can be worn over an affected area. Touted to relieve pain, promote circulation and repair tissue, ThermoFlow® products are made with a special fabric that is made of 5% ceramic minerals. It is the mineral which reflect the body’s natural far-infrared energy back into the area which is affected. This reflected energy has been shown to penetrate through layers of skin, deep into tissues. According to Thermoflow® “this stimulates micro-vibrations which initiate a thermal reaction to elevate tissue temperature. The body responds by dilating micro-vessels and major blood vessels. Chinese Medicine believes that Qi is the key to good health. Far-infrared energy improves qi flow. By improving the qi flowto an area, pain is relieved.These functional fabrics accelerate your treatments and provide relief for patients between visits.”

We’re ordering some soon. If you’re interested in being a test subject let us know! They are available to treat pain in the knee, wrist, ankle and torso. Stay tuned for updates!!

 

Read Full Post »

 

Decoding an Ancient Therapy

High-Tech Tools Show How Acupuncture Works in Treating Arthritis, Back Pain, Other Ills

  • By MELINDA BECK

Acupuncture has long baffled medical experts and no wonder: It holds that an invisible life force called qi (pronounced chee) travels up and down the body in 14 meridians. Illness and pain are due to blockages and imbalances in qi. Inserting thin needles into the body at precise points can unblock the meridians, practitioners believe, and treat everything from arthritis and asthma to anxiety, acne and infertility.

WSJ’s health columnist Melinda Beck tests out acupuncture as an alternative means to reduce her neck and back pain.

Does It Work?

While scientists say further research is essential, some studies have provided evidence of acupuncture’s effects.

  • Arthritis of the Knee: Acupuncture significantly reduced pain and restored function, according to a 2004 government study.
  • Headaches: Two 2009 reviews found that acupuncture cut both tension and migraine headaches.
  • Lower Back Pain: Acupuncture eased it in a big study last year, but so did a sham treatment where needles didn’t penetrate the skin.
  • Cancer: Has proven effective in reducing nausea and fatigue caused by chemotherapy.
  • Infertility: Improves the odds of pregnancy for women undergoing in-vitro fertilization, according to a 2008 review of seven clinical trials.
  • Addiction: Often used to help quit smoking, drinking, drug use and overeating, but there is no conclusive evidence that it works.

 

After decades of cynicism, Western medical experts are using high-tech tools to unravel the ancient mysteries of how acupuncture works. WSJ’s Health columnist Melinda Beck joins Simon Constable on the News Hub to discuss.

As fanciful as that seems, acupuncture does have real effects on the human body, which scientists are documenting using high-tech tools. Neuroimaging studies show that it seems to calm areas of the brain that register pain and activate those involved in rest and recuperation. Doppler ultrasound shows that acupuncture increases blood flow in treated areas. Thermal imaging shows that it can make inflammation subside.

Scientists are also finding parallels between the ancient concepts and modern anatomy. Many of the 365 acupuncture points correspond to nerve bundles or muscle trigger points. Several meridians track major arteries and nerves. “If people have a heart attack, the pain will radiate up across the chest and down the left arm. That’s where the heart meridian goes,” says Peter Dorsher, a specialist in pain management and rehabilitation at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla. “Gallbladder pain will radiate to the right upper shoulder, just where the gallbladder meridian goes.”

Many medical experts remain deeply skeptical about acupuncture, of course, and studies of its effectiveness have been mixed. “Something measurable is happening when you stick a needle into a patient—that doesn’t impress me at all,” says Edzard Ernst, a professor of complementary medicine at the University of Exeter in England and co-author of the book, “Trick or Treatment.” Acupuncture “clearly has a very strong placebo effect. Whether it does anything else, the jury is still out.”

Even so, the use of acupuncture continues to spread—often alongside conventional medicine. U.S. Navy, Air Force and Army doctors are using acupuncture to treat musculoskeletal problems, pain and stress in stateside hospitals and combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan. Delegations from Acupuncturists Without Borders are holding communal ear-needling sessions to reduce stress among earthquake victims in Haiti. Major medical centers—from M.D. Anderson in Houston to Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York—use acupuncture to counteract the side effects of chemotherapy.

In a 2007 survey, 3.2 million Americans had undergone acupuncture in the past year—up from 2.1 million in 2001, according to the government’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

The most common uses are for chronic pain conditions like arthritis, lower back pain and headaches, as well as fatigue, anxiety and digestive problems, often when conventional medicine fails. At about $50 per session, it’s relatively inexpensive and covered by some insurers.It is also generally safe. About 10% of patients experience some bleeding at the needle sites, although in very rare cases, fatalities have occurred due to infections or injury to vital organs, mostly due to inexperienced practitioners.

Most states require that acupuncturists be licensed, and the Food and Drug Administration requires that needles be new and sterile.

Diagnoses are complicated. An acupuncturist will examine a patient’s tongue and take three different pulses on each wrist, as well as asking questions about digestion, sleep and other habits, before determining which meridians may be blocked and where to place the needles. The 14 meridians are thought to be based on the rivers of China, and the 365 points may represent the days of the year. “Invaders” such as wind, cold, heat, dampness, dryness factor into illness, so can five phases known as fire, earth, metal, water and wood.

Using Acupuncture to Treat Stress

“It’s not like there’s a Merck Manual for acupuncture,” says Joseph M. Helms, who has trained some 4,000 physicians in acupuncture at his institute in Berkeley, Calif. “Every case is evaluated on an individual basis, based on the presentation of the patient and the knowledge of the acupuncturist.”

Dr. Helms notes that Western doctors also examine a patient’s tongue for signs of illness. As for qi, he says, while the word doesn’t exist in Western medicine, there are similar concepts. “We’ll say, ‘A 27-year-old female appears moribund; she doesn’t respond to stimuli. Or an 85-year old woman is exhibiting a vacant stare.’ We’re talking about the same energy and vitality, we’re just not making it a unique category that we quantify.”

Studies in the early 1980s found that acupuncture works in part by stimulating the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals, much like vigorous exercise does. Now, a growing body of research suggests that it may have several mechanisms of action. Those include stimulating blood flow and tissue repair at the needle sites and sending nerve signals to the brain that regulate the perception of pain and reboot the autonomic nervous system, which governs unconscious functions such as heart beat, respiration and digestion, according to Alejandro Elorriaga, director of the medical acupuncture program at McMaster University in Ontario, which teaches a contemporary version to physicians.

[healthcolJ] Vitaly NapadowA specialized MRI scan shows the effects of acupuncture. The top two images show the brain of a healthy subject. In the middle two images, a patient with carpal tunnel syndrome registers pain (indicated by red and yellow). The bottom images show the calming effect (indicated by blue) in the brain after acupuncture.

“You can think Western, you can think Eastern. As long as your needle goes to the nerve, you will get some effect,” Dr. Elorriaga says.

What’s more, an odd phenomenon occurs when acupuncture needles are inserted into the body and rotated: Connective tissue wraps around them like spaghetti around a fork, according to ultrasound studies at the University of Vermont. Helene Langevin, research associate professor of neurology, says this action stretches cells in the connective tissue much like massage and yoga do, and may act like acupuncture meridians to send signals throughout the body. “That’s what we’re hoping to study next,” she says.

“ My former spouse had shingles. Doctors told her that the terrible pain would probably last 2 or 3 years. She got acupuncture treatments, plus some Chinese herbs, and the pain was totally gone with 6 weeks.:

—Alan Agardi

Meanwhile, neuroimaging studies at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston have shown that acupuncture affects a network of systems in the brain, including decreasing activity in the limbic system, the emotional part of the brain, and activating it in the parts of the brain that typically light up when the brain is at rest.

Other studies at the Martinos Center have shown that patients with carpal tunnel syndrome, a painful compression of nerves in the wrist, have heightened activity in parts of the brain that regulate sensation and fear, but after acupuncture, their brain patterns more closely resemble those of healthy subjects. Brain scans of patients with fibromyalgia show that both acupuncture and sham acupuncture (using real needles on random points in the body) cause the release of endorphins. But real acupuncture also increased the number of receptors for pain-reducing neurotransmitters, bringing patients even more relief.

The fact that many patients get some relief and register some brain changes from fake acupuncture has caused controversy in designing clinical trials. Some critics say that proves that what patients think of as benefit from acupuncture is mainly the placebo effect. Acupuncture proponents counter that placebos that too closely mimic the treatment experience may have a real benefit.

“I don’t see any disconnect between how acupuncture works and how a placebo works,” says radiologist Vitaly Napadow at the Martinos center. “The body knows how to heal itself. That’s what a placebo does, too.”

Write to Melinda Beck at HealthJournal@wsj.com

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

So, you ate your beans just like me and then thought to yourself, “I wonder what the health benefits of these lovely beans are?” Lucky for you, I too had this thought, and then thought I’d pass some info along to you.

Beans help lower cholesterol (lots of bile binding fiber), in turn fighting heart disease, and lowering the risk of heart attack. A study conducted at the University of Kentucky has shown that only three weeks of increased bean intake (3/4 cup of navy and pinto beans) lowered the men’s cholesterol by an average of 19%. This reduces the risk of heart attack by almost 40%. Studies have also shown that there is a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, breast and colon cancers.

Beans are high in protein and fiber but low in fat and surprisingly high in antioxidants. Black and pinto beans beat out powerhouses like blueberries! Here’s a comprehensive post on the health benefits of beans. http://heart-healthy-recipes.fitsugar.com/Health-Benefits-Common-Beans-1090505 (Why reinvent the wheel I say!)

Here’s a excerpt…

“In one analysis of dietary data collected by validated food frequency questionnaires in 1991 and 1995 from 90,630 women in the Nurses Health Study II researchers found a significant reduced frequency of breast cancer in those women who consumed a higher intake of common beans or lentils. That was not surprising, what was surprising was that only beans and lentils seemed to offer protection. Intake of tea, onions, apples, string beans, broccoli, green pepper, or blueberries had not protective effect. Eating beans or lentils two or more times per week was associated with a 24% reduced risk of breast cancer.”

And… check this out

USDA Ranking of Foods by Antioxidant Capacity

1 Small Red Bean (dried) Half cup: 13727
2 Wild blueberry 1 cup: 13427
3 Red kidney bean (dried) Half cup: 13259
4 Pinto bean Half cup: 11864
5 Blueberry (cultivated) 1 cup: 9019
6 Cranberry 1 cup (whole): 8983
7 Artichoke (cooked) 1 cup (hearts): 7904
8 Blackberry 1 cup: 7701
9 Prune Half cup: 7291
10 Raspberry 1 cup: 6058
11 Strawberry 1 cup: 5938
12 Red Delicious apple One: 5900
13 Granny Smith apple One: 5381
14 Pecan 1 ounce: 5095
15 Sweet cherry 1 cup: 4873
16 Black plum One: 4844
17 Russet potato (cooked) One: 4649
18 Black bean (dried) Half cup: 4181
19 Plum One: 4118
20 Gala apple One: 3903

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: