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FAQ Listing

Q: HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?

A:  Acupuncture works by coaxing the body's own healing mechanisms into action. The ancient Chinese (like many other cultures) discovered that stimulating certain points on the body had healing effects. Fortunately for us, the Chinese  recorded their early observations and methods of healing. These writings offered great wisdom in the understanding and treatment of disease for future generations.

We know from modern research that stimulating acupuncture points can:

1. Increase T-cells and other parts of the immune system

2. Change the electrical conductivity of tissue

3. Increase the release of anti-inflammatory and pain reduction factors

4. Increase the release of endorphins and enkephalins (your body's own potent feel good 'drugs' )

From the ancient point of view:

1. Stimulating points (in an acitivating or quieting mode) balances the flow of 'Qi' in the body. "Qi' can best be described as the body's electromagnetic energy. This energy flows in a systematic way comparable to a river system. Imagine  energy flowing through the body along a system of energy pathways or 'waterways'. The river's waterways and tributaries are all connected - it is a closed system.

If a dam appears on one of the rivers  we get a build up of excess water (Qi) above the dam and too little water (Qi) below the dam.

Areas of excess Qi generally  are areas that create pain.

Areas of too little Qi are generally areas that have sluggish function (e.g. constipation).

Acupuncture essentially removes the dam and allows for a balancing of the energy.

Areas that tend to 'dam up' are acupuncture points.

Acupuncture points do talk to us. They may ache or itch, causing the owner to rub or scratch them, thereby effecting a self treatment that helps to balance the point.

Points can be stimulated in a variety of ways, each having a slightly different effect. These include:

1. Rubbing

2. Tapping

3. Applying local heat

4. Using an acupuncture needle

5. Using an electrical current

6. Applying a magnet

7. Applying herbs

8. Applying homeopathic remedies

9. Using focal light and laser

9. Etc.

 

Q: HOW DOES APPLIED KINESIOLOGY WORK?

A:  Applied Kinesiology is the study of how the body's muscles both affect and reflect how the body works.

The body's nervous system responds to our external and internal environments continually. If there exists a stress to the body in the environment the response of the body also involves the muscles. Just as we tighten up with fear, or faint with shock, we can tighten up or go weak with bad food, chemical irritants, or other stressors. Testing the muscles gives us a window into the body and how it is responding to the world we place it in.

Dr.George Goodheart observed in the 1960s that there was an intimate relationship between muscular function and internal physiology. 

He noticed that a muscle could be weak for reasons other than physical injury.

For instance, a pectoralis (chest) muscle could be weak due to poor liver or gall bladder function. This in turn would cause  other shoulder muscles to compensate for that weakness. This compensation would require some muscles  to work harder than they normally would and in an unbalanced manner - much like an unbalanced game of tug of war with one side having far more 'pullers' than the other. Eventually, this muscular stress would cause other muscles to weaken or even give out as in a bad sprain. This is a common cause of frozen shoulder syndrome.  

Muscle strength is evaluated using orthopedic muscle testing -  a time tested procedure used by Chiropractors and Orthopedists for decades. Changes in muscle strength can be elicited instantly by applying acupuncture point stimulation, a change in posture, adjusting the associated spinal level, stimulating the tendon or muscle belly,  placing a nutrient on the patient's tongue until tasted, having the patient inhale a scent, having the patient think of a stressful event, among other methods.

It is these changes in muscle strength that offer the doctor information about body function. If a strong muscle weakens in a particular posture in which it normally should be strong  we know there is a problem.

If a strong muscle weakens while a patient tastes a substance such as wheat flour in their mouth  we know that this patient has a problem with wheat. The brain receives information from the nerves in the mouth and relays that data all over the body. It can cause a type of 'electrical short' or momentary stress if the item in the mouth is a problem.  It does not tell us what the problem is (e.g. enzyme deficiency, sensitivity to pesticides in the flour, ...) Further evaluation brings more specific information as to the cause. This is an example of  how changes in muscle strength reflect function.

In a 'pure' frozen shoulder injury the body has balanced muscles that are asked to do too much and one or more give out or tear (sprain). The techniques of AK doctors quickly and effectively can correct such injuries using Golgi tendon  and Spindle cell techniques. However, if the injury occurs in a body with unbalanced muscles from for instance, liver dysfunction, then the muscles will not respond to these measures. The associated organ requires attention and corrective action so that the muscles can once again work normally. Cleaning up the diet, taking specific herbs and supplements for liver correction will result in the liver associated muscles regaining their strength. This is a case of muscle weakness reflecting organ dysfunction and affecting joint function.

In cases of joint problems that do not respond to standard exercise and physical therapy it is recommended that one inquire as to whether there exists an associated organ that is not functioning up to par and causing the unresponsive weakness.

Dr.George Goodheart was a WWII pilot and Chiropractic Physician. His discovery of the phenomenon of what became known as Applied Kinesiology has helped millions of people. His applications of muscle testing are now practiced by millions of professional and lay people all over the globe.

Q: HOW DOES CHIROPRACTIC WORK?

A: Chiropractic works by restoring nerves to normal function. In disease, abnormal nerve activity is part of the disease picture. This is because nerves are like the electrical system of your computer. They carry information to and from all parts of the body.  When disease or injury occurs, the nerves are affected. Sometimes, their aberrant  activity is due to disease and sometimes their aberrant activity is the cause of the disease. In any case, normalizing the activity of the nerves assists in the healing of the body or cures the condition outright.

Chiropractors use a variety of methods to normalize nerve function.  First and foremost they work with the spine. All nerves start from within the spine or skull. It is no surprise that the condition of the spine was the primary concern of Hippocrates ( the father of medicine). The condition of the spine was also the primary concern of many spiritual disciplines. A healthy spine always equates with a healthy mind and healthy body. Even minor aberrations of the spine have deleterious effects upon human health. Think of sitting in an uncomfortable chair for a long time. After a while you do not feel very good. Maybe your neck starts to hurt or your low back. Those are the structural parts of the body that are part of the spine. However, every muscle of the body is associated with and functionally related to your internal organs. The nerves causing the pain in your neck or low back are also causing 'discomfort' i.e. abnormal function in your internal organs. Prolonged sitting can cause digestive problems for instance.

Prolonged poor posture does lead to disease. It also works vice versa. If a person receives an emotional shock and becomes depressed the nervous system is immediately affected and continues to affect progressively more parts of the body if the trauma is not resolved. Poor posture can result from mental illness as well as cause it. Note the bent forward posture of the depressed human being compared to the erect posture of a happy human being.  By making correction to the spine and skull we make corrections to the function of the nerves and via them the affected organs of the body.

The spine can be corrected in many ways including: manual and mechanical techniques, nutrition, electricity, exercise, yoga, meditation, among others. 

Analyzing the spine as a method of diagnosis is an ancient technique utilized by humans for thousands of years. Even Hippocrates used the spine as an instrument of diagnosis. Areas of misalignment, discoloration, pain, temperature differentials etc. all indicate underlying functional problems. For example, a pain between the shoulders - though felt in the muscles of the back - can be due to a heart condition, a lung condition or a liver condition. Closer analysis will pinpoint which organ.

Treating the spine directly  will either eliminate the underlying condition (if the condition was due to injury of the spine such as a fall) or treating the ill organ will allow the muscles to properly reposition the spine if the spinal problem was due to an ill organ. For example, if one acquires a heart condition following a blow to the upper back,  it is due to the nerves from the spine to the heart being affected. Restoring the spinal column to normal will eliminate the heart condition. If a person lives and eats poorly and thereby aquires a heart condition the nerves from the abused heart to the spine will be affected causing the muscles to spasm and bring about misalignment and pain to the upper back. Restoring proper living habits and good nutrition  will eliminate the spinal pain.

Keeping your spine healthy - flexible and well aligned - is your best insurance against disease and dysfunction. Whether you use chiropractic, exercise, yoga, nutrition, or just good living practices, a healthy spine is always a sign of good health.

Q: WHICH PLANTS HELP PURIFY THE HOUSE OF AIRBORNE TOXINS?

Spider plants, rubber plants, orchids, bamboo palm and corn plants all absorb dangerous toxins from house air. For a more comprehensive list of plants and the chemicals they absorb I recommend:

HOW TO GROW FRESH AIR  by Dr. B.C.Wolverton

Q: WHAT CONDITIONS CAN ACUPUNCTURE HELP?

A: Acupuncture can be helpful in most conditions. HOWEVER! Please be aware of the fact  that acupuncture was originally an active part of a very holistic system of health and healing which included stress management, diet, exercise, and a clean environment. Even in ancient times people were aware of the importance of fresh air, clean water, a happy home life, a proper balance of food, and outdoor physical exercise. It was only after these basics were addressed that herbs were prescribed (these were the predecessors of our modern prescription drugs), manipulation of the joints was done, and acupuncture points were stimulated (with needles, heat or tapping, etc.).

In our modern age many tend to think of acupuncture as an entire system onto itself. This is unfortunate, for this is certainly not its historical manner of application. 

By itself, acupuncture can be very effective  but it is most effecctive when combined with other methods of natural healing which when all used together address the core causal issues of any given condition.

For instance, acupuncture is very helpful with arthritis. Depending on other factors in the patient's life acupuncture can:

1. Cure the problem permanently after 1-6 treatments

2. Provide temporary effective pain relief and an increase in range of motion.

3. Have no effect. 

If all factors of a patient's life are addressed and corrected the acupuncture's effect on inflammation, joint distortion and decreased range of motion can be complete and lasting.

If only some parts of the patient's life are addressed acupuncture can provide effective, non-toxic and safe  relief of discomfort and increased quality of life with regular usage (e.g. 1-4x per month).

It is quite rare for acupuncture to have absolutely no effect. (See Q. "How does acupuncture work?"

The above scenario can be applied to: injuries, digestive disorders, behavioral problems, reproductive problems and pain syndromes.

Q: WHAT BOOKS DO YOU RECOMMEND?

A: Recommended Books:

(We do not necessarily agree with everything in these books, but they all have something good to offer.)

FOOD RULES, An Eater's Manual, Michael Pollan

 Dr. Bernard Jensen (any of his books)

 Paavo Airola (any of his books)

 Matthew Wood (any of his books)

  ENCYCLOPEDIA OF NATURAL HEALING, Gursche

  ALTERNATIVE HEALTH CARE FOR WOMEN, Blad

  NATURAL HOUSE CATALOGUE, Pearson

  MEDICINAL SEASONINGS, Scott

  NATURAL HEALING THAT WORKS, Saul

  AMERICAN INDIAN HEALING ARTS, Kavasch

  NATURAL HOME PHARMACY, Scott

  PLANETARY INTELLIGENCE, Hein

  LAW OF NATURAL HEALING, Gilson

  GETTING PREGNANT THE NATURAL WAY, Feingold/Gordon

  AYURVEDA, Lad

  HEALING WITH WATER, Roede

  HEALING MIRACLES GREAT AND SMALL, Rude

  FIVE ELEMENT THEORY, Connely

 

Q: WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A NORMAL MENSTRUAL PERIOD?

First - a definition of 'normal'.' Normal' as used here refers to a standard of health that is reflective of optimal health both in the short and long term. This may differ from a statistical 'average' . The 'average' female may have some PMS preceding her menses but that is not what we would consider 'normal' since PMS will disappear when good health is achieved.

Therefore:

A normal menstrual period has these characteristics:

- occurs on the full or new moon

- lasts 3 to 5 days

- blood is red

- no symptoms of discomfort

A not normal menstrual period may have any or all of these (preventable and reversible) symptoms:

- irregular

- does not occur on full or new moon

- shorter than 2 days or longer than 5

- need to change pad or tampon more than once every four hours (heavy flow)

- blood of various dark or pink colors

- presence of mucus 

- cramps

- headache and or migraine

- clumsiness

- PMS of any type (moodiness, anger, depression, sadness, teariness,..)

- fatigue

- weakness

- tender breasts

- miscellaneous pains - ovarian, inner thighs, low back, right shoulder, etc.

Each of these symptoms indicate that something needs to be done to correct the involved organs. When the involved organs are operating properly again these symptoms disappear. The three organs we tend to need to correct most often are : liver, spleen and kidney. 

A woman's menstrual cycle is a wonderful gauge of her present and future  general health!

Q: WHAT ARE THE BASIC RULES FOR SPRING CLEANSING?

HERE THEY ARE:

1. Anytime after the first thaw is a good time to start a cleanse and up until about the end of May (here in the Midwest)

2. Do not start a cleanse during very cold weather. It takes energy to cleanse.

3. When cleansing be sure to stay warm and comfortable so that the body can concentrate its energy on housecleaning itself.

4. Drink a lot of water. Drink a lot of water. Drink a lot of water. (Pure water, distilled is even better.)

5. You should feel really good during a cleanse. If not, see your health care provider. You should feel more energy, clear headed, the skin will feel better and will clear if blemished, BMs should improve as should urination; sweat may initially smell worse as the body throws off toxins but then it will become very pleasant; eyes will be shiny and clear; hair will have more body and shine, etc.

6. If you develop any of these symptoms:  dizzy, weak, lightheaded, bad headache, constipation or severe diarrhea, itchy rash or any other uncomfortable symptom stop whatever cleanse you are doing, sip some broth,  take some steamed vegies and a bit of protein if you have been fasting and see your health care provider for guidance. Some folks need a bit of preparatory work before they can do a cleanse. Some discomfort can be acceptable during a cleanse but if you don't know what you are doing seek help until you understand your body enough to know the difference between acceptable and non-acceptable discomfort.

7. There are many different cleanses on the market. We are very fortunate to have so many prepared ones easily available to us. Different bodies require different cleanses. If you don't feel well with the one you are doing first change the dosages and see if you can make it more amenable to your system. If that does not work,  try another cleanse or seek aid from a health care provider.

Q: WHAT IS A SPRING TONIC?

A spring tonic is an herbal or food based drink that enhances metabolic activity in the body. Tonics help you digest more efficiently, sweat better,  urinate better and have better BMs. All of this helps the body with its usual job of ridding itself of daily waste product. Tonics tonify the body. Increased energy is the normal result of taking a tonic.

The body naturally speeds up the expelling of waste in the spring. Taking a tonic helps it to do so.

Popular tonics in the past included:

- unsulphured blackstrap molasses - 1 T per day straight, or diluted with apple cider vinegar or lemon juice; often an antiworming herb was added, also.

- hot tonics - a combination of cayenne pepper, onion juice, garlic juice, horseradish juice in a base of apple cider vinegar and a bit of honey if you wish; 1/4 tsp or more 3 - 12 times day(not suitable for  'hot' people)

- birch sap - this may be drunk straight as it comes from the tree

- sarsaparilla  - a pint or two per day

- dandelion - available as a tea or drink (Dandy Blend); also, juice the fresh leaves in springtime, or eat them raw or steamed.

- alfalfa  - sold commercially as liquid chlorophyll; take 1-6T per day

- nettle  - sold commercially as chlor-oxygen; follow directions or make your own with fresh nettles which can be juiced (usually added to a combination of other greens), chopped raw into a fresh liver pate, or steamed like spinach and served with butter.

- fresh young spring greens eaten raw including: cress, dandelion, nettle, chickweed, burdock

- various cleansing teas available at the food coops and natural health food stores

Most tonics are taken for 1-6 weeks during the spring season (when temps start to go above zero F during the daytime).

One should feel energized from the tonics. Work with your health care professional if necessary.

Q: SPRING CLEANING and your HEALTH

Studies show that  indoor air pollutants have a serious effect upon our health. Problems such as asthma, sinusitis, eczema, headaches, fatigue, depression and others can be the direct result of dirt, mites and chemicals in our homes.

Studies (not to mention common sense) also show that symptoms decrease or disappear with  regular housecleaning. Homes should be cleaned weekly and a deep clean should be done every spring and fall.

Cleaning a room or a house can have an immediate effect upon one's health - especially asthma and allergies. We recommend the following once -typical 'spring cleaning' regime as practiced by many  households. (Do one room at a time until every room has  been cleaned.)

First:

1. Open windows and 'air' the house. This should be done daily anyway during nice weather and weekly in cold weather.

2. Remove and wash* or (green) dry clean all curtains and window treatments. This includes blinds.

3. Remove all throw rugs, beat and wash/hose or green dry clean them. Then sun them for a day.

4. “Air' and 'sun clean' all upholstered furniture by placing outdoors on a sunny (and preferably, windy) day. Once outside take a beater and beat out as much dust as you can. Follow this with a scrubbing with a cotton cloth barely dampened with white vinegar water (check a corner first). Be sure to remove cushions and clean/sun both sides. Wipe down all hard surfaces of furniture with a natural cleaner or scrub with hot water and soap followed by a wipe down of vinegar  water. Turn furniture, be sure all sides get sunned.

5. Take mattresses and sun both sides, half a day per side.

6. Remove  pictures hanging on walls. Wipe down each picture front and back with a damp cloth. Clean glass with newspaper and a vinegar water spray. Clean wall hangings like curtains or throw rugs.

7. Take a mop and put an old flannel (for smooth surfaced ceilings) or regular (for textured ceilings)  cotton pillow case over it. Spray the pillow case surface with vinegar water or other house cleaner and wipe down all ceilings, molding, and walls down to where you can reach by hand.

8. Clean all ceiling light fixtures.

9. Using a damp cloth wipe down all walls and molding.

10. Clean all wall light fixtures and light switches.

11. Wash all windows, both sides.

12. Wash all window screens, both sides.

13. Wipe down all window frames.

14. Using a damp cloth wipe down all hard surfaces of  furniture.

15. Wash the floors or steam clean the wall to wall carpets.

16. Using the above techniques clean anything else that has not been cleaned yet. Use common sense and use other more appropriate manufacturer techniques for various materials.

 

At this point every surface in the room should have been cleaned. Replace all curtains, rugs, furniture, bedding, etc. and enjoy the wonderful scent! 

Repeat the above procedure with every room in the house. Do this deep clean each spring and fall.

 

Once a year clean the outside of your house according to manufacurer recommended methods. This can include hosing down siding, wiping down window frames, washing windows, cleaning gutters and so on.

 

*Use non-toxic natural environmentally friendly cleaning solutions. Some possibilities: Dr.Bronner's all purpose soap; Murphy's Oil soap; Bon Ami ; white vinegar and water.

 

Q: WHAT DOES ONE USE AN ONION PACK FOR?

In traditional natural medicine onion packs were most commonly used for bronchial and lung infections.

For sick folk with green sputum being coughed up from the lungs it was an effective treatment. Usually, only one overnight application was needed to turn the sputum clear, relieve the heaviness in the chest and break the fever if there was one. It was used for what we now recognize as bacterial, viral and fungal infections.

Onions are a wonderful antibiotic. They do not harm the good bacteria of the body. They have been used as antibiotics for thousands of years. They are safe, cheap, readily available, non-toxic and non-polluting.

Q: HOW DOES ONE MAKE AN ONION PACK?

You need:

- a medium to large yellow onion (organic, preferably)

- cheese cloth

- vegetable oil

Chop the onion well, mashing the pieces to release as much juice as possible.

Take the mashed onion and place on one layer of cheesecloth. Fold the cheesecloth over the onion to make a pack 8X8 inches (larger or smaller depending on the sick one).

Rub some vegetable oil onto the chest of the sick one. (This helps prevent burning of skin.)

Put the pack on the chest that has been lightly coated with oil.

Place a towel over the pack; A hot water bottle on the towel; another towel over the hot water bottle, then cover the sick one snugly with warm blankets.

Check the chest at 5 and 15 minutes to make sure the skin is not reddening. (This is very rare.) If the skin feels like it is burning or is uncomfortable, remove the pack and wash the skin with cool soapy water. If the skin burned apply fresh aloe vera gel from a living plant. (In 30 years I never saw a patient's skin burned.)

If the pack is well tolerated it may be left on overnight. Remove and wash skin with warm soapy water in the morning.

The antibiotic properties of the onion are absorbed into the body through the skin.

Q: I EXERCISE, AM NOT OVERLY STRESSED AND EAT A VERY GOOD DIET. WHY DO I STILL HAVE MY HEALTH PROBLEMS?

This is a very common question.

SHORT ANSWER: Whatever your current lifestyle and diet they do not adequately meet YOUR body's specific needs. 

LONG ANSWER: Many of us have taken the time to learn (from books, media, friends, family, the healing professions, etc.) those standards of lifestyle and diet that are defined as 'healthy choices'.

This is very good.

Healthy lifestyle choices presumably do one or both of two things:

Ay, and there's the rub.

If you grew up eating and living  in ways that led to the acquisition of your current health problems then those ways are not appropriate for you.  If appropriate therapeutic restorative measures are taken  your problems will resolve. Therapeutic measures are just that – therapeutic. Once the remaining problems have resolved they are no longer needed and should be stopped. For example, if you need to stop all fruit to correct a problem of Candida overgrowth, at some point - after your body regains its balance,  that measure would need to be stopped and fruit reintroduced as it is necessary for maintaining good health. Once good health is restored with therapeutic measures then good health can certainly be maintained with the appropriate diet and lifestyle. Whether your current diet and lifestyle fits as a maintenance method would become obvious after you had finished any therapeutic regimes. If after a time your  health problems come back then your system doesn't fit your body's needs. 

All good medicine,

Dr.R.

 

Q:  WHAT DO DARK CIRCLES UNDER THE EYES OF MY KIDS MEAN?

SHORT ANSWER: The  owner of the dark circles is stressed

LONG ANSWER: I use the word 'stress' here as a term denoting a challenge that the person cannot handle without some distress to the body/mind.

Any stress that affects the kidney/adrenal system can result in these circles. These are innumerable but in children they include :

lack of sleep

worms

food allergies

inhalant allergies

hormonal imbalances

worry

etc.,etc.

Why the kidney/adrenals? Stress in the body sets off a very specific series of physiological reactions as the body tries to handle the problem. If you are suddenly charged by an aggressive dog your body produces adrenaline to give you the strength, wit, and energy to run and try to escape it.  This stressful effort can overtax the adrenal glands (which produce adrenaline) and you may have circles under your eyes for a day or two after the event until you catch up on sleep and  rest. Any intense or chronic stress (physical , emotional, or chemical)  can eventually overtax the adrenals.

It used to be (and is still a very wise thing to do) that folks would take some down time to 'get their strength back' after a major stress – illness, injury, campaigns, work projects, etc. This recuperation included, most importantly, rest and food appropriate for the problem plus other modalities such as spending a week at the sea or in the mountains to take in some 'good air' (air high in negative ions), walks and meditation in nature, massage, baths, etc. Europeans still use their many spas for this purpose as they have for generations. We are still learning. These rests restore normal function to the adrenals. Not allowing the body/adrenals to recuperate leads to chronic weakness (and circles) and eventually more illness . In Chinese medicine kidney health is key to longevity. When the kidneys go we go. You can go your whole life with dark circles under your eyes, but your life will be much more pleasant and longer if you do not. 

If dark circles run in the family it simply means that there is a stressful habit that is being learned and passed down be it food or emotional responses or ....

To get rid of  dark circles, analyze the stresses, try to correct them and if you do what fits the  body's needs they will disappear.

All good medicine,

Dr.R.