In Oriental medicine, summer is symbolic of maximum activity or greatest yang, which means that it is a time of heat, outgoingness, and moving outward in nature and in our lives. This is the season to nourish and pacify our spirits while maximizing our potential as we find joy in the hot summer days and warm summer nights.
Summer is ruled by the fire element. The fire element corresponds to the heart and small intestine, the southerly direction, the climatic condition of heat, the color red, the emotion of happiness or joy, the sound of laughter, the taste of bitterness and the odor of burning. Fire controls the blood vessels and is reflected in the face and complexion.
Signs that the fire element is in balance include a strong and healthy heart, a calm mind and the ability to sleep soundly. When the fire element is imbalanced, we may either lack joy (depression) or have an excess of joy (mania). Indicators of an imbalance in the fire element also include agitation, nervousness, heartburn, and insomnia.
This is a great time to schedule your acupuncture summer tune up! Call for more information.
Mango and Peach Salsa
An easy and healthy peach and mango salsa recipe. The delicate flavors of mangos and peaches combine with onions and garlic in this sweet-and-savory salsa recipe. Try it with chips for a light snack on a hot summer night, or add to a vegetable burrito for an unusual twist.
2 mangos, peeled and chopped
2 fresh peaches, peeled and chopped
1 sweet onion, diced
1 medium tomato, diced (optional)
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
dash salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. If you have a food processor, you can process all the ingredients in chunks, rather than dicing and chopping.
Chill for at least one hour, to allow flavors to combine, and stir well before serving.
Serve chilled and enjoy!
Benefits of Acupuncture in Cancer Care
On Sunday June 6th, cancer survivors celebrated the 23rd annual National Cancer Survivors Day, sponsored by the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation. The event, which includes hundreds of gatherings across the US, is a time to celebrate life. Here are some ways that acupuncture can help while being treated for and recovering from cancer.
Cancer treatments are aggressive and cause numerous unwanted side effects as well as a lowered immune system. Acupuncture is an excellent adjunctive therapy in cancer treatments because of its ability to relieve pain, reduce side effects, accelerate recovery and improve quality of life.
What Acupuncture is used for during Cancer Treatment
Acupuncture provides a total approach to health care for people with cancer. It can be used to address many of the concerns that come up during and after chemotherapy, radiation, biological therapy and surgery.
According to the National Cancer Institute, acupuncture may cause physical responses in nerve cells, the pituitary gland, and parts of the brain. These responses can cause the body to release proteins, hormones, and brain chemicals that control a number of body functions. It is proposed that, by these actions, acupuncture affects blood pressure and body temperature, boosts immune system activity, and causes the body’s natural painkillers, such as endorphins, to be released.
Areas that acupuncture has shown the most promise include:
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Dry Mouth, Night Sweats and Hot Flashes
- Stress, Anxiety and Fatigue
- Pain Management
- Increasing White Blood Cell Count
To learn more about how acupuncture can safely and effectively be incorporated into care for people with cancer, please call for a consultation today.
Source: National Cancer Institute. www.cancer.org
Chemo-Induced Nausea Study
Effect of Acupuncture on Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting
According to the National Cancer Institute, of all the investigated effects of acupuncture on cancer-related or chemotherapy-related symptoms and disorders, the positive effect of acupuncture on chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting is the most convincing.
Numerous studies have consistently shown acupuncture to be effective in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting as well as as postoperative and morning sickness nausea and vomiting.
A randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial investigated the effect of electro-acupuncture on chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in 104 patients with breast cancer who were undergoing a highly emetogenic (causes vomiting) chemotherapy regimen. The patients were randomly assigned to receive low-frequency electro-acupuncture at classic acupuncture points for nausea and vomiting once daily for 5 days, minimal needling at control points with mock electro-acupuncture on the same schedule, or no adjunct needling. All patients received concurrent antiemetic drugs (prochlorperazine, lorazepam, and diphenhydramine) and high-dose chemotherapy (cyclophosphamide, cisplatin, and carmustine).
The main outcome measures were the total number of emesis (vomiting) episodes and the proportion of emesis-free days occurring during the 5-day study period. The data revealed significantly fewer emesis episodes in the electro-acupuncture treatment group compared with those in the minimal needling and drug-only control groups.
Source: Shen J, Wenger N, Glaspy J, et al.: Electroacupuncture for control of myeloablative chemotherapy-induced emesis: A randomized controlled trial. JAMA 284 (21): 2755-61, 2000.