IMS Summer Newsletter 2016

“Dare Yourself To Find Your Inner Summer”


summer funGood health to you this brand new summer. After a true spring in the Northeast, where days could rollercoaster from sun to rain and warmth to cold, summer has finally stepped out of the shadows. Cool coat-less breezes with a hint of heat foretelling some of its more dog days to come. This is a season filled with the potential of a new passageway toward optimal health.

Hopefully, during spring you rebalanced and rebooted to take advantage of this next seasonal wave, if not, no worries. It’s never too late to find your inner summer any way you can. Maybe by remembering one that left you years ago or forging a new path you can explore, this is the season to let your creative spirit surge.

Dare yourself to find your inner summer, transforming your body and mind by utilizing mindful exercise, Classical Chinese Medicine, a clean diet, acupuncture, and a variety of naturopathic therapies.

Summer Acupuncture: Stimulate Your Brain / Alleviate Allergies / Lose Weight

The start of a new season is a gateway for holistic modalities, particularly acupuncture, to be effective. During this summer transition, using acupuncture to open pathways that may have been dormant, sluggish, or stuck during spring can be highly beneficial. This is particularly important if you just couldn’t get around to tuning into your health through spring.

Fire Up Your Mind With Acupuncture

Acupuncture can be a great start to enhancing your summer acupuncture handexperience. It is has been linked to stimulating the brain to strengthen focus, memory and rapid response as well as prime the body to wake up many senses.

In a study published in the journal PLoS One, research of the affect of acupuncture on the brain concluded that,

“Brain response to acupuncture stimuli encompasses a broad network of regions consistent with not just somatosensory [physical response], but also affective and cognitive processing.”

Acupuncture Allergy Relief

Prevent spring allergies from spilling over into summer.

The Department of Medical Research, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, conducted a multi-center, randomized, controlled trial testing the effects of acupuncture on allergic rhinitis [allergies].

The results, published in Allergy (3/13), stated that,

“Active acupuncture showed a significantly greater effect on symptoms of allergic rhinitis than either sham acupuncture or no active treatment. The symptoms of allergic rhinitis decreased significantly after treatment in the both acupuncture and sham acupuncture groups. Acupuncture appears to be an effective and safe treatment for allergic rhinitis.”

Summer Slim Down: Acupuncture For Weight Loss

Avoiding processed foods and sticking to an exercise program are two great health additions for summer (and beyond). Add in a tailored acupuncture protocol to address healthy weight maintenance and it could be a beneficial trifecta.

In a study of acupuncture and weight loss, researchers at Shanghai Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China showed that,

“The results suggest that acupuncture reduced body weight in the obese women, and the weight loss occurred earlier in the treatment process for simple obesity than perimenopausal obesity.”

Facial Clues Describe Small Intestine Health

A good naturopathic doctor trained in Classical Chinese Medicine will be able to determine your current health status simply by looking at your face.

Here are some facial clues that may correlate with the small intestines, one of summer’s associated organs.

Lips and Mouth

lipsPinkish or red lips = Healthy Intestine
Vivid red lips = Inflammation of the Intestine
Black spots = Tumor formation and toxicity
Purple or dark lips = Blood stagnation
White and discolored lips = Anemia and poor blood circulation

This Summer, Get Happy With More Negative

There’s a good reason why you may like a summer dip now and again. Yes, you’re probably hot but the lure of large bodies of water are believed to produce negative ions. These are some feel good, naturally occurring reactions that make humans happy.

WebMD reports that, according to author Pierce J. Howard, PhD,

“Generally speaking, negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain; resulting in higher alertness, decreased drowsiness, and more mental energy,”

Negative ions are also found replicated in certain products such as hairdryers, air purifying machines as well as from a simple shower. Don’t you always feel good after being under that flow of H2O?

According to ion researcher Michael Terman, PhD, of Columbia University in New York,

“The action of the pounding surf creates negative air ions and we also see it immediately after spring thunderstorms when people report lightened moods,”

In a study by JAMA Psychiatry (Journal of the American Medical Association) it was found that,

“High-density negative air ionization also appears to have a specific antidepressant effect. If the latter result is sustained in replications, the method may serve as an alternative or adjunct to light therapy and medications.”

Summer Association Quick View

Each season is connected to a list of associations. These are particular connections cited by Classical Chinese Medicine (CCM) texts such as the The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine (the Neijing Suwen) ~240 B.C., as having a variety of natural occurrences found to correlate with that season. If guided by a naturopathic doctor, utilizing these associations could be advantageous and beneficial to your health.

Although there can be a wide variety, these are the main summer associations:

  • Element: Fire – Fire is about moving forward through heated energy displayed with an outgoing, open heart
  • Color: Red – Look for red foods like watermelon and raspberries; Wear cool reds to embrace seasonal energy
  • Nature: Yang – The active part of your yin/yang cycle is yang which dominates these months assisting a variety of body functions
  • Organs: Heart, Small Intestine – The heart is the ruler of the five organ networks. The small intestine is known as known as the Separator of the Pure from the Impure. Eat foods that nourish these organs like broccoli, spinach, and corn.
  • Emotion: Joy – Find joy through your creative side; appreciation for your friends and family; and by being part of a naturopathic/acupuncture maintenance protocol to feel joy arise from a well tuned body and mind

Elemental Eating

As people begin to realize the health and environmental benefits of seasonal eating it is slowly becoming more utilized. For summer, there are specific flavors that correlate with summer’s association of the element of fire which could strengthen your yin/yang balance.

Fire Foods

Red – Red foods can cool down the stomach and liver channels which could get overheated during the summer months. Tomatoes are a great red food source containing vitamin C and lycopene. Other red foods include: Beets, strawberries, raspberries, pomegranates.

Bitters – Western cuisine tends to stay away from bitter foods yet these may hold some highly beneficial health attributes.

These foods are considered in the bitter family and linked to cooling built up systemic heat and dampness.

  • Swiss chard
  • Collard greens
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Dandelion
  • Broccoli
  • Arugula
  • Endive
  • Collard greens

A combined study by researchers from Southern Cross University in Australia and Shanxi Provincial People’s Hospital in China found that, “herbs traditionally categorized as “bitter” and “sour” in flavors carry more antioxidants than others” (Chinese Medicine News 11/24/08)

Bitters are also affiliated with nourishing summer’s organ association of the heart and small intestine.

How Certain Foods Affect the Heart Organ

Below are some foods that can impede or strengthen the summer heart channel.

Coffee – Should be used moderately as it has an accumulated weakening affect on the body. It may seem like quick, available energy but over time it can take its toll if overused. Reach for botanically caffeinated Yerba Mate’ or green tea instead.

Ice Cream – This should be another moderate choice, if at all. High animal fat from dairy risks artery clogging high cholesterol. Although the summer beat-the-heat draw of ice cream is everywhere, look for just as tasty without the dairy residue, non-dairy options made from rice, coconut, cashew, almond, or soy.

Nourish Your Organ Qi – The associated summer organs, heart and small intestine, are nourished by specific grain choices, namely corn, red millet and quinoa. Noodles in broth are a good summer choice as well.

Stimulate Your Heart – Russian root sourced Siberian Ginseng has been linked to stimulating the heart, particularly during the summer months. Consult with your naturopathic doctor for proper assessment and dosage.

3 Fast-n-Easy Summer Recipes

Tomato and Cucumber Salad

cucumber tomatoe dandelionThis is a favorite dish for summer when the yang is naturally high and you need to cool down a bit. Tomato and cucumber are high yin vegetables that are readily available during this season.

Dice red or white onion and chop up tomatoes and cucumbers. Mix up the ingredients with virgin olive oil, and add some dill, salt, and pepper to taste. It is simple to make and great for hot summer days. (Recipe courtesy of China Highlights)

Chilled Cucumber Soup

4 cups cucumber, chopped
2 cups water or broth
1 cup yogurt
1 clove garlic (optional)
Several fresh mint leaves

Puree everything in a blender. Serve chilled. Serves 4-6.

Jade Green Soup

1/2 cup tofu, diced
2 cups leafy greens, chopped
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon oil (optional)
3 cups broth

Sauté or steam tofu 5 minutes. Add salt.
Add greens. Sauté 2 minutes.
Add broth and simmer until greens are bright-colored.

(Recipes  courtesy of AMOA)

News and Noteworthy

Another Benefit Of Grape Seed Extract

Grape seed extract has been linked to strengthening circulation, helping lower high cholesterol, used for relief of diabetes related eye disease and as a natural anti-inflammatory.

Now there’s another benefit of grape seed extract.

According to the American Association for Cancer Research,

“An extract from grape seeds forces laboratory leukemia cells to commit cell suicide, according to researchers from the University of Kentucky. They found that within 24 hours, 76% of leukemia cells had died after being exposed to the extract.”

Mediterranean Diet May Improve Sex Drive for Women

A study by Italian researchers published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that after two years of following a Mediterranean diet, “female sexual function index improved”. The Mediterranean diet includes fruits and vegetables, legumes, olives, nuts, grains, olive oil (instead of butter), and grilled or steamed tofu, tempeh, chicken or seafood (as opposed to red meat).

Tai-Chi and Qigong Alleviates Dementia

The two gentle martial art practices, tai-chi and qigong, have been found to alleviate the slow ravages of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. A study of how these practices affected the brain yielded beneficial results.

Sandy Burgener, a professor of nursing at the University of Illinois and lead author on the study, comments,

“We saw gains in self-esteem in the treatment group and pretty severe declines in self-esteem in the comparison group, Those in the treatment group also had sustained and slightly improved mental status scores, which meant we were impacting cognitive function.”

At Integrative Med Solutions, we will design an acupuncture and naturopathic treatment program that works for you. In many cases, insurance covers portions of the acupuncture treatment. Allow us to support you to achieve optimal health.  To make an appointment or find out more about how acupuncture and naturopathic medicine can benefit you, please call our office at 914.337.2980 or CLICK HERE to schedule an online appointment.

*Please CLICK HERE to see a current list of Insurance Companies that commonly carry acupuncture benefits for its members. Please call 914.337.2980 or securely email to verify your specific benefits. If you are emailing, please include your full name, date of birth and insurance identification card number.

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