Eye Health

eye-1173863_640

I confused the hell out of my ophthalmologist a while back.  

“Hmmm…this is unusual.”  He was checking and rechecking some things.  “Huh.  Normally at your age people’s eyesight gets worse, but yours is going in a more ‘favorable direction.’  Whatever you’re doing, keep it up!”  

The prescription for my near-sightedness on both eyes was 1/4 a point better (from -3.25 to -3 on the right eye and -2.5 to -2.25 on the left eye), and my astigmatism in both eyes improved.  No sign of any far-sightedness yet.  

So, here’s what I’ve been doing 🙂

RELAXING MY EYES

We’re so unaware of how much tension we hold in our faces through the day.  The main reason I even started caring about this was to prevent wrinkles, but I think the benefits have extended beyond the superficial.  

There is a theory on natural eyesight healing that near-sightedness and far-sightedness is due to tension around the eyeball.  The current medical model says that your cornea is either too strong (near-sighted) or too weak (far-sighted), but this theory goes a step further to say that the cornea changes in strength due to straining to see.

So I consciously decided not to strain to see things.  If something is blurry far away, I just go closer.  I look away from the computer several times an hour when I’m working on it to relax my eyes.  If I’m reading or watching a movie and it’s hard to keep my eyes focused, I stop trying to focus and do something else (like go to sleep!).  I even try, when I’m at home and not doing much, to go without glasses or contacts to totally relax my eyes.  

EYE FOODS

We’ve probably all heard that carrots are good for your vision, but there are some other Eye Foods I would recommend for your diet regime.

abstract-1238667_640Fish:  the omega 3 oils in fish contain DHA, EPA, and ALA acids.  Studies prove that deficiencies of these vitamins in infants cause future eye problems.  Freshwater fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, cod liver, or sardines are great sources of omega 3s.  Flax seeds and flax oil, walnuts, and dark leafy greens are too, although in smaller amounts.  Babies get omega 3s from breast milk, raw milk, or a formula that includes omega 3s.  

Our brains, and in particular, our visual cortex is made out of DHA.  Our bodies have to obtain DHA from a food source.  

If you have macular degeneration or dry eyes, start taking a high quality fish oil immediately! 

kale-438964_640Cruciferous Vegetables:  In addition to being anti-cancer foods, cruciferous veggies like kale, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage, dark leafy greens (bok choy, collard or mustard greens) and broccoli have been shown to help with vision.  When we think of vitamin A, we tend to think about carrots, but mustard greens and kale have way more vitamin A than carrots.  

Plus, these colorful vegetables are very rich in anthocyanins which help vision.  Part of the reason why you  can’t replace a whole food with a synthetic vitamin is because you’re going to end up missing some important parts.  It’s not just the vitamin A or C in the vegetables that’s good for you, it’s the essential essence of the vegetable itself.  There’s no way to replicate that in a pill, unless you bottle up the food itself (which is one of the things I love about Standard Process vitamins).  

So how can you cook these types of foods so that they’re actually tasty?  Well, just wait for my cookbook / nutrition book to come out, but in the meantime, I’ll give you an idea.

You need 3 ingredients:  2 – 3 cups of dark, leafy greens, chopped up in about 1″ pieces; grass-fed butter (like Kerry Gold); and sea salt.  

Put some butter (1 – 2 teaspoons is good) in a pan (I use a cast iron pan) on medium heat.  When it’s melted, stir in your chopped up vegetables and a pinch of salt.  You can add a spoonful of water or white wine to steam it up.  Cook for just a couple of minutes.  Yum.  Simple, easy, delicious, and healthy.  You can cook any vegetable like this, you just need to add more cooking time for more hearty ones like broccoli.  

 

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Qi Gong Workshop

taichi hughesMaster Jeff Hughes has been training martial arts since 1974.  He has been teaching Chinese Kung Fu in Austin since 1995 to thousands of students.  His own health journey led him to practicing the Asian art of Qi Gong.

There are different types of Qi Gong exercises.  At this workshop, you will learn the “8 Brocade Qi Gong.”  There are 8 movements, each of which strengthens and conditions a different organ or body part.

This Qi Gong is a gentle exercise used to heal your internal organs and improve your health.  It’s considered “medical Qi Gong” that almost everyone can practice it regardless of your current health condition.

Conditions benefitted from Qi Gong exercises:

  1. Anxiety / Stress / PTSD / Insomnia / Depression
  2. Joint Pain (back, hips, knees, ankles, fingers, elbows, shoulders, neck, wrist, etc.)
  3. Weight Gain
  4. Immune Disorders
  5. Fatigue

SATURDAY, MAY 13

10 am – 12 noon





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Acupuncture and Science

aiguille-1280088_640I love the skeptics:  “I’m a scientist, so I have a hard time believing in acupuncture.”

My response:  “People used to not believe in bacteria, but they would still get sick.”  

What I remember from 4th grade science class is that the scientific process consists of these steps:

  1. make an observation (I had a headache, then I had acupuncture and now my headache is gone.)
  2. form a question (Does acupuncture get rid of headaches?)
  3. form a hypothesis (Acupuncture gets rid of pain in the body, including, but not limited to headaches.)
  4. conduct an experiment
  5. analyze the data and draw a conclusion

We’ve had tons of steps 1 through 3, but not too many steps 4 and 5.  Why?  

Because it’s very time-consuming and expensive AND because there’s very little money in natural healing.  Not like the pharmaceutical industry anyway.

hexanol-835644_640One single clinical trial for a new medication can run $100 million (Forbes, 2/10/12, The Truly Staggering Cost of Inventing New Drugs).  I’m not sure if we added up the money made by every single acupuncturist in the US for one year if we could come up with $100 million.

Some studies have been done on acupuncture, and have shown favorable results, but the studies are limited.  The population tested was limited and the acupuncture techniques tested were limited.  The health conditions tested were limited.  Limited not by imagination or desire but….money.

I know plenty of under-employed acupuncturists who would love to run a clinical trial.  The problem comes down to funding.  Most acupuncturists, if they’re not busy treating patients or hustling up new patients, have no money!  Not big money, anyway.  Not $100 mill by far.

anatomy-254120_640Then you have to consider the economic and political climate this is happening in.  

If a very thorough experiment on the effectiveness of acupuncture is ran, and proven(!), then what happens???

Results get published; more people start using acupuncture instead of prescription drugs and surgeries; and the medical and pharma industries become outraged.

Maybe nothing would happen then except a big shift in the medical world, a shift that if you ask me is long-overdue.  

But usually when these big companies take a hit, they don’t go quietly out; they come back swinging.  I’m sure you could come up with some imaginative movie-plot-like ideas of what they could do.  Like buy out all the acupuncture schools and either make it obsolete or make it highly exclusive and hard to learn.  Or change the laws governing acupuncture and make it more difficult to obtain a license.  I don’t know.

I still think acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine as well are worthy of studies but maybe we don’t even need that.

Traditionally, Chinese medicine research and development was based on real-life experience.  Instead of the scientific process, it’s more like

  1. theorize
  2. try
  3. adjust theory
  4. try
  5. successful?  Yes:  done; proven.  No:  Repeat steps 1-5.History-of-Acupuncture

 

 

 

And continue this for 5,000 years.  Another scientific theory, the theory of evolution states that organisms change over time as a result of changes in physical or behavioral traits. Changes that allow an organism to better adapt to its environment will help it survive and have more offspring.   China has the most populous country in the world, right?  Also, if a characteristic is ineffective for human evolution, it becomes extinct.  Acupuncture is showing no signs of slowing.

What do you think?  Should we do more clinical trials proving acupuncture’s effectiveness?  Is just knowing that it works good enough?   

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Superfoods

grocery-store-aisle-2While I think we all know which foods we need to eat less of to stay healthy (hello, Cheetos!), what about the foods we need to be eating MORE of?

These 5 superfoods are items I could recommend for everyone to add into their diet.  Your need for dietary supplementation (herbs and vitamins) will be reduced according to how much of these superfoods you regularly consume.  Shoot for 3 – 4 times a week per item.

If there’s a superfood that just really grosses you out, no worries.  You can always take these in pill / supplement form.  “Take it or eat it!”

1.  Fermented foods.  

Fermented foods like saurkraut, kombucha, pickled vegetables are full of naturally occurring probiotics.  So, do you need a probiotic for your gut health?  Not if you’re regularly eating these.  Probiotics are the healthy bacteria that live in your intestines.  If they get out of balance you end up with problems like poor immunity, skin issues, and even cancer.  I wrote this article years ago on how to make your own fermented vegetables.

1NzPuhBl2.  Organ meats.

To be honest, this is one that I just take in pill form.  They’re so good for you, but I just can’t stomach the taste.  If you want to eat it,  you can find good quality organ meats, even in ground meat or sausage form at  www.uswellnessmeats.com.  Organ meats have a lot of the vitamins and trace minerals that we become deficient in on a regular basis.

 

  • Adrenal Gland:  great source of Vitamin C.  Your adrenal glands are your stress glands.   That’s why when you are stressed out, you tend to get sick.  You use up your adrenal energy which is Vitamin C.
  • Liver:  if there was one food I wish I could eat it’s Liver.  It’s a great source of Vitamin A, B-vitamins, zinc (eating sugar depletes your body of zinc), folate, and iron.  Anyone with chronic Liver problems such as anemia, fatigue, menstrual irregularities, skin problems, or moodiness should take Liver on a regular basis.
  • Heart:  the best source of CoQ10.  CoQ10, which you can also buy in pill form, is the enzyme that your body stops producing when you take cholesterol medication.  CoQ10 is food for your muscles, including your Heart.  To prevent or treat Heart dis-ease, especially if you’re on statin drugs, eat Heart organ.  Heart is also a good source of animo acids, B12 and collagen for your skin and tendons.
  • Kidney:  source of Vitamin A, B12, riboflavin, and iron.
  • Tendon:  in general, if you have a problem area in your body, eat that type of animal organ.  It helps to heal on a cellular level.

3.  Bone broth.bonebroth

I know this is the hottest new food fad, but bear with me here.  Remember back in the old days when people would make “stock?”  That’s what bone broth is.  It’s vegetable broth + bones.  To make it on your own, you’re going to need 48 hours of preparation time.  You can Google how to do it if you’re super-motivated.  OR you can do what I do and what lots of other lazy cooks who happen to want to eat healthy do:  we buy it already made.

Once you have your bone broth, you use it as a base for soup recipes or any type of recipe that calls for “broth.”  You can have it by itself as a drink as well.  Bone broth is full of trace minerals that are difficult to get through a regular, American-ized diet.  It helps heal your joints and digestive tract because it is super-alkalizing and ph-balancing.  The minerals help your nerves communicate better.

4.  Seaweed.

Seaweed is the #1 way to heal your hormones, thyroid included.  Seaweed is nourishing with tons of trace minerals that help your body work better.  At the same time it is cleansing, helping your body get rid of excess fluid and toxins, especially those in the hormone areas, like cysts, fibroids, and goiter.

Good seaweed options are nori (those wrap-thingies they use on sushi); kelp (I take this in tablet form twice daily); kombu (def an acquired taste, but I cooked it into a soup once); you could put spirulina into a smoothie; use seaweed flakes for seasoning; or make / order a seaweed salad.

file00014534741975.  Raw dairy.

Pasteurization of dairy (milk, cheese, cream, yogurt) kills bacteria, but it also kills off the precious enzymes that allow your body to digest dairy products and absorb the nutrients.  

If you’re looking for a place to find raw dairy around you, check out www.realmilk.com.  You can also check your local farmer’s market.

If you haven’t had raw, full-fat dairy before, you’re in for a treat!  This stuff is yummy.  And so good for you and your family.  90% of the time, even people who are lactose-intolerant can digest raw dairy.

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Beauty and Aging

Suresh Natarajan

Suresh Natarajan

When the 10s unit of your age goes up one digit, you stop and pay attention.  10s…almost an adult!  20s…party time!  30s…oh, so mature.  40s…wise and not-too-old yet.  50s…distinguished.  60s…been there, done that, and going to do some more.  70s…this could be a good thing / could be a bad thing.  80s…look at me, I’m 80!  90s…I need an award or something.  100s…would you like to know my secrets?

I love to read Vogue magazine and I subscribe to it even, but I absolutely can’t stand their articles on “beauty,” because they’re always about how to mask your age with lasers, chemical-based potions, and other invasive – albeit high-tech –  procedures.  Can’t a woman (or man) age naturally anymore?

I never in my life worried about my skin (except in the 80s when “everyone” was tan and I was – at the most – slightly less white in the summer) until recently when I had to face the fact that I had wrinkles.  My face was looking my age.  So I did what any other sane person would do and go to my hippy-cosmetics store (everything there is so natural you could eat it, I think), and buy a $400 face cream.

The good news is that I think it’s working.  But in the meantime I have some other (mostly free / affordable) snippets of wisdom for maintaining fresh-ish skin as you age.

These I hope you already know:  drink more water and less alcohol / caffeine / junk beverages.  Alcohol, caffeinated drinks, and those god-awful sugary drinks dehydrate you.  Dehydrated skin is dry, wrinkled skin.

Same goes for smoking.  More smoke –> more wrinkles.

Other foods that are super-hydrating for your skin:  vegetables.  Vegetables literally make you more beautiful.  There’s a phytonutrient in vegetables called astaxanthin that has been found to make your skin more resistant to sun-damage and aging.  Also, chlorophyll literally helps regenerate your skin cells.  

Exercise.  An essential part of staying young (physically and mentally) is with regular exercise and movement.  Exercise improves circulation; and circulation to your skin is what keeps the cells turning over and staying fresh.  Studies show that exercisers over age 40 have skin with elasticity that resembles those in their 20s and 30s.  Other studies have found a link between regular exercise and the lengthening of the telomeres, the part of your chromosomes that control aging.  Aging occurs as your telomeres shorten.  Plus, the endorphin release of exercise reduces stress and we all know that stress will age you.  

Relax your eyes.  Have you ever looked in a mirror when you’re pissed off at someone?  That line people get between their eyebrows is from being chronically pissed off.

There’s a time to be angry and a time to just let it go.  Learn the difference and when you’re not pissed off, practice letting your eyeballs just hang out in their sockets.  Don’t try to strain your eyes too hard to see something or understand someone.  Just let them hang out.  Trust me; it’s easier said than done.

When you’re walking and sitting, make sure your neck is in a straight line with your spine.  From there, your eyes should be perfectly positioned to look straight ahead and shouldn’t need to strain too hard.

Sleep.  They don’t call it beauty rest for nothing.

Quality skin care products.  Read your labels!  Don’t use anything on your skin that you can’t pronounce or that is based in alcohol.  All those toxins and alcohol dry your skin up.  Dry = wrinkles.  Unfortunately, this also means you can’t buy like 90% of the beauty products on the market because they’re all full of alcohol and other crap ingredients.  I’ve found a few brands at the health food stores that are good and I also like W3LL cosmetics for their makeup as well as cleaners and moisturizers.  Yes, it’s pricey, but there are less expensive options out there too; you just have to look.

elixir vitae

“Tata Harper” – the infamous $400 cream / worth every penny

one love

“One Love” – awesome daily cleanser

clean-dirt

“May Lindstrom Cosmetics” – clean dirt is made of spices and you can literally eat it! Plus, exfoliation.

may-lindstrom-skin-the-honey-mud

also May Lindstrom – honey mud. I want to eat spoonfuls of this stuff. Can be used as a mask or cleanser.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last but certainly not least:  facial acupuncture!  This is how the illustrious empresses and concubines of ancient China kept their beauty.  No, not “Pearl Cream” with “special Oriental ingredients.”

Facial acupuncture consists of several super-tiny needles, like the smallest needles we have, going into the upper most layer of skin.  

facial acupuncture

This resurfaces the skin cells via collagen release, which is a process that slows down as we age.  Instantly you see brighter, softer, and more toned skin.  It’s really quite amazing.  You look more relaxed and awake.  And all so very natural.  You will not look like you had a facelift, but rather like a spa vacation!  See typical results below:

before_after before_and_after

 

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Testimonials

Pain in the Neck – GONE

I’ve had chronic neck pain for over 20 years.  Conventional doctors masked the pain with muscle relaxers and pain killers.  Chiropractors aggravated it with their treatments.  Just a few visits to Natural Health Center has it feeling better than it has in years.  Thanks so much!

Kevin M.

Stomach Soothed

I started coming to the Health Center for issues I was having with my stomach.  Even while making the initial appointment I felt like the person I was speaking with was empathetic about my situation.  I had gone to two medical doctors before trying NAET and acupuncture, but had not seen results.  After my treatments at the Health Center, my stomach feels better than it has in years and continues to get better every day with the help and support of the staff.  I am thankful for all they do for me and our community.

Kristina U.

Baby is Better

My son came here for treatment for eczema when he was 3 years old.  He is 4 now and completely cured of it.  My youngest son has the same issue at age 1, so we’re back!

Jane D.

Stress Less!

Stress!  Stress!  & More Stress!  Coming to this office gives me one hour to decompress and slow down.  I look forward to my visits.  They are the highlight of the day and week for me.  Positive energy. 🙂  This has given me another (or better) avenue to release tension and bad mojo.  Thank you.  The doctors really connect with you and truly care about your well-being.

Kerri T.

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