How would you like to live a long and healthy life? Want to know the secrets to living to over 100 years old and to not being sick? Want to know the diet and lifestyle tips to being happy and healthy!
Download a copy of my FREE E-Book and get 20 diet and lifestyle tips to help you live a happy and healthy lifestyle, which are used by the many 100 year olds by following secrets of these centenarians around the world and modern day science and research into the secrets of optimal wellbeing!
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With spring here, so is pollen season, which is not good news for hay fever sufferers. Hay fever, or seasonal allergic rhinitis, is one of the most common chronic respiratory conditions in this country, affecting three million Australians. Now is a great time to get some with acupuncture if you suffer from hay fever or allergies
Hayfever is caused by an antigen-antibody reaction in the nasal mucosa, the antigens responsible are the pollen particles in the air. There is also an over-activity of the immune system to certain allergens, this is weakened with retention of chronic wind in the nose cavity.
The main hayfever symptoms are as nasal congestion, sneezing, profuse runny nose with white watery discharge, pale complexion and slight headaches. In a few cases it affects the eyes and conjunctiva may become red and itchy. These are classified as wind cold symptoms according to Chinese Medicine. We aim to expel these wind cold symptoms and restore the energy of the Lung. The Lung organs weakness is either hereditary or due to problems during pregnancy or childbirth (Maciocia, 2000).
Some other tips to reduce hay fever and allergy symptoms naturally and without medications include:
Eat kiwifruit is extremely high in Vitamin C, which is an effective natural anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory. Kiwifruit also supports healthy immune function and protects from secondary respiratory conditions. Other foods containing Vitamin C and bioflavanoids include citrus fruits, strawberries, red capsicums, broccoli, papaya, guava and mango.
Green fruits and vegetables contain beta-carotene, which gets converted to Vitamin A. This vitamin is important for healthy mucous membranes throughout the respiratory tract. It also helps promote healthy immune function, prevent secondary respiratory infections and reduce inflammation.
Take garlic to helps clear nasal congestion. Its strong antibiotic properties also help prevent secondary respiratory infections in chronic suffers. It is also a good source of quercetin, a natural anti-histamine.
Reduce or eliminate cow’s milkand other dairy products as they can increase the production of mucus in the respiratory tract and exacerbate hay fever symptoms. Try alternatives such as rice, almond, quinoa and coconut milks.
Reduce stress levels and calm down. There have been links of stress to the severity of hay fever symptoms.
Exercise more. Regular exercise can reduce your hay fever. It is suggested that people with hay fever who exercise most have the mildest symptoms. Exercise will help reduce your stress levels, too.
Eat well. People with hay fever who eat a healthy diet are less likely to get severe symptoms. Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables.
Reduce alcohol intake. Beer, wine and other spirits contain histamine, which can make symptoms worse.
Have a good night sleep. Try to avoid too many late nights during the hay fever season. People with hay fever who sleep well tend to have milder symptoms.
Reduce excessive sugar intake. This causes inflammation around the sinus.
Do not have cold drinks or foods for dinner especially before bed e.g: ice creams, cold fruits
In the old Chinese medical texts is it said that spring is the beginning of things, when the energy of the body should be kept open. In spring on a physical level, we need to exercise more frequently and wear loose fitting clothing. Stretch to loosen up tendons and muscles from the cold winter. Spring is the season of the liver, and excess anger, frustration, depression, sadness or excess emotions can injure the liver. Violating the natural order of spring will cause cold illness during summer.
We should all treat disease by preventing illness before it begins, rather than treat an illness after it has begun. An ancient proverb says: “If someone digs a well when thirsty or forges weapons after becoming engaged in battle, one cannot help ask, ‘Aren’t these actions too late?’”
Vitamin D or the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’because it’s produced in your skin in response to sunlight is a fat-soluble vitamin in a family of compounds that includes vitamins D1-3. It’s function can affect as many as 2,000 genes in the body. It is extremely important we have enough Vitamin D as it helps our immune system. This vitamin is usually deficient in most adults. It is not about being in the range, but being in the optimal range of Vitamin D; which should be around 120-150nmol/L.
Benefits of Vitamin D:
Regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorous.
Not enough Vitamin D will increase risk of bone fractures, soft and fragile bones and osteoporosis.
Helps boost immune system function and fights disease.
It reduces risk of MS, can decrease your chances of a heart disease, reduce colds and flus.
It is great at regulating mood and reducing depression symptoms. Those with sub-optimal levels of Vitamin D have significantly increased levels of anxiety, stress and depression.
How do you get enough Vitamin D
Your body produces vitamin D naturally when it is directly exposed to sunlight. A little can go a long way. All you need is 10-15 minutes a day of midday, pre-sunscreen sun exposure, especially if you have fair skin.
Besides getting vitamin D through sunlight, you can also get it through certain foods and supplements to ensure adequate levels of the vitamin in your blood.
Beware of Deficiency
Many lifestyle and environmental factors can affect your ability to get sufficient amounts of vitamin D through the sun alone. These factors include:
use of sunscreen
spending more time indoors
living in big cities where buildings block sunlight
having darker skin
These factors contribute to vitamin D deficiency in an increasing number of people. That’s why it’s important to get some of your vitamin D from sources besides sunlight.
The symptoms of a Vitamin D deficiency in adults include:
general tiredness, aches and pains, and a general sense of not feeling well
severe bone or muscle pain or weakness that may cause difficulty climbing stairs or getting up from the floor or a low chair, or cause the person to walk with a waddling gait
stress fractures, especially in the legs, pelvis, and hips
weak immune system and frequent colds/flu
You can find out if you have adequate amounts through a simple blood test. If you don’t have optimal levels (under 80ng/mL) you should take daily Vitamin D supplements and get enough sunlight. If you have a deficiency, your doctor may order X-rays to check the strength of your bones.
Very few food sources contain natural Vitamin D, some has been fortified these include:
orange juice (fortified)
It can be hard to get enough vitamin D each day through sun exposure and food alone, so taking vitamin D supplements can help.
Are you suffering from poor sleep, insomnia, or do you find it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep? Are you waking up tired and not refreshed? These are common issues amongst many adults and children today.
Are you ensuring your body is as relaxed before bed? Are you doing the necessary steps and routine to ensure you get the best nights sleep and wake up rested and refreshed?
Read below on the tips to getting a better night’s sleep:
1. Stick to a consistent Sleep Schedule
Pick a bedtime and a wake-up time and try to stick to it as much as possible even on weekend.
Bedtime should be no later than 11pm. If you do have a sleep in, try not to sleep in for more than an hour or two so that you can stay on track. That way, your body’s internal clock—also called the circadian rhythm (body clock) can get accustomed to a new bedtime, which will help you fall asleep better at night and wake up more easily each morning.
2. Turn off all screen time 1-2 hours before bed
This is hard for many adults as we are constantly on our phones. However our phones and laptops emit a blue light which sends the wrong signals to our brain to indicate its time to sleep. Our body operates on a body clock and light plays a big part to our brains to let it know when its time to sleep and produce melatonin. The blue light which is emitted from mobiles, tablets, computers and tv tells your body’ clock its not quite sleep time. So turn off all screens at least 1 hour before sleep.
3. Dimming the night lights
Having yellow lights instead of the bright white fluorescent globes will tell the body its time to make more melatonin and that it’s bedtime. Switch off bright white lights after dinner and only use yellow globes or dimmers.
4. Have a light dinner at least 2.5-3 hours before bed
Its not just what you eat, it is also WHEN you eat.. Having a heavy meal too close to bedtime means your organs are overworked when they should be resting while you sleep. Try and have something light for dinner such as a small piece of white protein and vegetables or soup. If you do choose to eat before bedtime then a very small snack such as cereal with banana, cheese and crackers or whole grain toast with natural peanut butter are some light options.
5. Avoid stimulants and drinking before bed
Don’t have any fluids an hour before bed to limit your trips to the bathroom at night. You should also avoid nicotine, caffeine, green or black tea and alcohol in the evenings, since those stimulants take hours to wear off. Instead opt for a herbal tea such as chamomile if you do need a drink and have it more than 1 hour before bed.
6. Avoid desserts and sugar after dinner
Its common to have dessert such as ice cream or cake after dinner. However this just spikes your blood sugar levels. Fruits should be eaten before dinner and avoid anything too sweet before sleep. Save your desserts for early afternoon instead.
7. Take magnesium at night
Running a warm bath with epson salts will relax you before bed. But if you are time poor or don’t have a bathtub, taking magnesium at night will help you to relax. Magnesium is well known for its ability to help insomnia. It helps to decrease cortisol, the “stress hormone” that can keep you up at night. It also helps the muscles to relax, to give you that calm “sleepy” feeling and help you unwind after a long stressful day.
8. Black-out blinds
If you find you can’t sleep after 5am, then your room might be too bright. Having a very dark room allows you to wake up slightly later if you find you can’t sleep in the early hours of the morning. Use dark curtains, blackout blinds or eye shades to keep the room as dark as possible.
9. Check Your Bedroom Environment
Make sure your bedroom is comfortable and ideal for your sleep environment. It should be set to a cool and comfortable 19-21 degrees celsius. Your bedroom should also be free from any noise that can disturb your sleep and free from any lights. Check your room for noises or other distractions. This includes your partner’s sleep disruptions such as snoring. Use ear plugs, ‘white noise’ machines, humidifiers, fans and other devices to help block out noise.
10. Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillow
Make sure your mattress is comfortable, firm and supportive. Most mattresses only last 10 years. Having comfortable supportive pillows also help and make the room attractive and inviting for sleep but also free of allergens that might affect you.
11. Try acupuncture
Acupuncture has been shown to relax the body, mind and spirit by restoring balance and harmony. Acupuncture is nay also help for those suffering from pain which is the source of many people unable to get a good night’s rest.
You’re never too young to start looking after your skin, and if you’re skin is already starting to show the damage caused by our busy, stressful lives in polluted cities, then it’s time to start rewinding the clock and begin your beauty regime to naturally more beautiful younger looking skin.
Some tips are ones we already know, while others may be new and unfamiliar.
1. Lemon water/water
We all know the benefits of water for your skin – drinking at least two litres of water daily is rule #1 for clear, hydrated looking skin. But did you know that you can maximise water’s ability to clear toxins in your body? It’s simple! Every morning before breakfast, drink a large cup of very warm water with two slices of lemon added to it. The lemon water flushes out toxins, alkalises the body and awakens your digestive system for the day ahead.
2. Dark leafy greens
Dark leafy greens are nature’s own skin tonics. These include kale, lettuces (romaine, green leaf, rocket, butterhead), spinach, mustard greens, cabbage and broccoli. As well as excellent sources of magnesium, folate and Vitamin K, they are rich in antioxidants, which is great news for your skin. For full benefits, go organic as much as possible.
3. Vitamin A serum (Retinol)
One of the best known anti-ageing secrets, Retinol (or Vitamin A) helps to minimise the damage caused by the sun and ageing by reversing the skin damage. It helps to restores the skin’s youthful appearance, minimise wrinkles, reduce pores and even treat acne breakouts. Best to use this serum at night time only. Click here to buy.
4. Vitamin C serum
Vitamin C is also another serum which does wonders to assist ageing skin. It can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, build up collagen, accelerate skin renewal, reduce pigmentation and even out skin tone. It helps to protect from UV damage. Best to use this serum in the morning. Click here to buy.
5. Get 8 hours’ sleep a night – minimum
Lack of sleep is your skin’s biggest enemy. When we get adequate sleep, our skin can restore and heal and look fresh and well rested. You don’t need a scientist to show the effects of lack of sleep on your skin. And don’t think ‘Oh, I can catch up on my sleep later’. Although some sleep experts disagree, a Harvard Medical School study showed it was near impossible to catch up on sleep after two poor nights’ sleep in a row.
6. Cut sugar and coffee
Too much sugar (also including natural sugars like fruit/fructose) can cause glycation. When there is excess, the proteins combine with the sugar and begin to shut down the production of collagen. Too much sugar also causes inflammation in the body which is shown to be the number one cause of ageing.
Whilst coffee appears to have anti-inflammatory properties and has been linked to lower depression levels, it’s also too stimulating to the adrenal glands. In short, coffee causes the adrenals to release cortisol – the stress hormone – whether you’re stressed or not. An overload of cortisol ages the body, so if you do drink coffee, keep it down to one cup a day only.
7. Reduce spicy foods
To much spicy food also has a taxing effect on the body. Excessive spicy foods such as chilli, curries, ginger etc can dilate blood vessels, causing facial redness, puffiness and spider veins. Minimise the amount of spice and always have adequate water with a spicy meal.
8. Light therapy
Emerging as one of the more popular and promising anti-ageing beauty treatments today, light therapy rejuvenates and heals the skin by increasing the production of collagen reducing pigmentation, evening out skin tone, and increasing skin elasticity and oxygenation. There are many types of light machines on the market so do your research and use ones with minimal side effects and from reputable clinics. In our clinic we use ‘bioptron‘ light therapy.
9. Regular facials and peels
These can often work as a pick-me-up and are ideal before any special occasion. There are many types of facials and peels for the difference skin concerns. Facials which target ageing, treat dehydrated or sensitive skin, pigmentation or discolouration, ageing puffy eyes or even natural peels which help to even out skin tone and treat acne and scarring. Facials and peels are recommended as regular treatments for all skins, not just ageing or problem skin. Click here for details on our facials and peels.
10. Jade Rollers
Used by Chinese nobility since before the 12th century, Jade Rollers are an Asian beauty secret that the west is finally finding out about. Using the rollers for a few minutes each day on the face and neck will improve blood circulation and the flow of qi, bringing oxygen to your skin. A cooling, cleansing stone, jade helps improve circulation, smooth out lines and reduce under-eye puffiness. Results are immediately noticeable. Click here to buy
11. Acupuncture and micro-needling
The ancient art and science of acupuncture has much to offer the skin. Cosmetic facial acupuncture rejuvenation is a natural, non-toxic treatment to to assist with your ageing and skin concerns. It works from the inside out. Find out more here.
An affordable alternative to medical anti-ageing treatments is micro-needling procedures. Micro-needling uses a cylindrical-shaped, drum studded roller with multiple ultra-fine needles. The needles help to stimulate blood flow, assist tissue regeneration and smooth skin texture. Use weekly to see results.
If you have any questions on our anti-ageing treatments, or would like more information about how cosmetic acupuncture may help with ageing skin and other concerns contact Acupuncture & Beauty Centre to make an appointment on 9728 6176 or send us an email via our contact form. ORBook Online
As the temperatures change suddenly, Winter’s challenge is to stay away from colds and flus which many of us find hard to avoid. Most people don’t realise how important the right diet is to prevent and treat colds and how the wrong diet can prolong the cold longer than necessary. Less sick days means more productive days!
Many patients that have a cold or flu are eating the wrong foods. Here we discuss the foods to avoid when you are suffering from a cough, sore throat or flu. These are all different in nature and the foods we must stay clear of when we have a cough or flu.
In Chinese Medicine, foods are classified as either hot, cold or neutral in nature. This means it can cause inflammation and heat in the body, cause phlegm or essentially cool the body down chemically.
Here we discuss foods to avoid for different types of flus:
RUNNY NOSE– at the early onset of a runny nose or cold you can take ginger, garlic and some hot tea to prevent it getting worse. A warm bath and getting under the covers with plenty of blankets to sweat it out help.
SORE THROAT– if you are suffering from a sore throat, avoid anything spicy and sweet foods. This includes garlic, horseradish, fennel, onions and red meat. We should be eating more cooling foods like fresh green vegetables, lemon, honey, apples, pears, peppermint, fish etc. whilst drinking plenty of fluids, aim for 3L a day.
DRY COUGH – if you are already coughing, you must avoid anything spicy and sweet in nature. This includes garlic, ginger, onions, chilli, sugar, chocolate etc. This can cause the cough to be worse if we have anything spicy or sweet as well as fried foods. Drink plenty of fluids and soups.
PHLEGMY COUGH – if we have phlegm you should be avoiding all dairy, cold and sweet foods including ice cream, milk, cheese, chocolates, sweets, etc. This causes more phlegm and mucus to build up in the nose and throat.
Other Tips to Preventing Colds:
– Remember to dress warmly when outside and wear a scarf
– Get plenty of rest and sleep to regenerate and build up the immune system
– Minimise spread by washing your hands more.
– Eat warm cooked foods, avoid raw cold foods like Salads.
– Reduce dairy, alcohol and refined sugars
For a full list of foods to avoid please download this Food List pdf.
Spring is the season of a new birth and new growth. It corresponds to the “Wood” element and is related to the liver and gallbladder organs. In Chinese Medicine the liver organ is responsible for the smooth flowing of Qi (energy) in our bodies. This qi circulates throughout the whole body system, when the liver functions smoothly, all physical and emotional actions throughout the body also runs smoothly. So, for optimum health this spring, move your Liver Qi (Energy)!
We are more susceptible to season health problems such as allergies, flu and pneumonia during the spring. If the liver is not healthy, it could affect the spleen and the lung organs. These symptoms can include: sneezing, hay fever allergies, running nose, itching eyes, chest congestions and other allergy related problems. It is very important, especially during spring, to cleanse the liver and lungs and bring balance to these organs.
Tips for a healthy Spring Season:
Pay attention to weather changes– It is an extreme change to our body from winter to spring. With spring, there is usually some extremely windy conditions. Health conditions tend to occur during or immediately following a change of season.
Do some stretches! The liver controls the tendons. The liver stores the blood during periods of rest and winter, now is the time to invigorate and body and increase exercises such as yoga, tai chi, swimming etc.
Change the diet – We should change our diet according to the season. Spring means eating green foods that cleanses and strengthens the liver. These foods include young plants that are fresh green leafy vegetables, onions, leeks, mushrooms, celery, carrots, dandelion, variety of fruits such as citrus fruits, pears, apples, bananas, pears.
Sour foods and drinks – sour tasting foods stimulate the liver’s energy. Add lemon slices to your water, have orange and citrus juices, use vinegar and olive oil for salad dressings and add fermented vegetables to our diet.
Watch the eyes – the liver organ’s energy is connected and opens into the eye. Take frequent breaks from the computer screen and do some eye exercises and look at some greenery.
Sour Tasting Foods – Foods and drinks with sour tastes are thought to stimulate the liver’s qi. Put lemon slices in your drinking water, use vinegar and olive oil for your salad dressing. Garnish your sandwich with a slice of dill pickle.
Outdoor activities – fresh air helps move liver qi. Try taking a hike, brisk walks by the beach or park are good for the body.
Get Acupuncture – now is the time to get that seasonal tune up.
Winter is upon us and in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it’s believed we should live harmoniously with our environment and adapt to this change. Winter is inactive, slow, cold and damp. It is the season of slowing down. Winter relates to the kidneys, and feelings of fear and depression. We need to deeply nourish ourselves, eat well, keep warm and be well rested so we are renewed for the vitality and coming of Spring.
People are more susceptible to colds and flu during the winter season. You are 80% more likely to get a cold in winter as the cold weather challenges the immune system. So follow these tips to help prevent getting sick this winter.
1. Don’t underestimate the power of a scarf
Keeping warm this winter is key to preventing a flu. Make sure you do not expose your body to wind especially your belly, back or neck. Always wear a scarf when outdoors. A scarf protects our neck area from wind and cold getting into our body system.
2. Reduce the use of a heater and hot showers
The use of heaters, electric blankets and very hot showers can dehydrate already very dry skin. Instead use extra blankets and wear layers of clothing. Excessive heat can aggravate skin conditions and asthma. If you do use heat and electric blankets turn them off before you sleep.
For dry skin, try using organic coconut oil which is natural and hydrating.
3. Rest up
We generally sleep around 6.5-7 hours a night. However, in winter, we naturally want to sleep more because of the longer nights. Therefore use this time to catch up on more sleep, it is perfectly natural to sleep 8.5-9 hours. Poor sleep, especially in winter, can affect our energy, mood, concentration, stress levels and weight gain. Aim to get into bed early and enjoy deep sleep.
4. Cut down on dairy
Milk and dairy products such as cheese, yoghurt and cream can cause phlegm to build up in your system. Therefore if you have any phlegm or tickle in your throat, cut out the dairy.
5. Eat nourishing and comforting foods
When it’s cold and dark outside, you can be tempted to eat unhealthy foods such as deep fried foods, burgers etc. It is very important to maintain a healthy diet with nourishing foods, fruits and vegetables each day. Warming foods help warm the body, expel cold and increase circulation. Eat more winter vegetables and soups such as carrots, parsnips, pumpkin and turnips. Use cooking methods such as roasting, mash or soups for a comforting winter meal. Have more ginseng, ginger, cinnamon and gou qi berries.
6. Keep exercising
Just because it is cold outside, it is not an excuse to stay indoors and lounge around. Instead get out go for walks, runs, indoor sports or try embracing winter sports such as ice-skating. Regular exercise helps control the winter weight and boost your immune system.
7. Get enough vitamin D
Make sure you also get adequate amounts of Vitamin D. Reduced Vitamin D levels results in anxiety and depression which are more prevalent during winter months due to lack of sun exposure. Women often experience mood changes more than men and it results in depression, lack of energy, irritability, and weight gain. Take a Vitamin D supplement if you are not getting adequate sunlight and open your curtains at home during the day to allow sun in.
8. Have a warm breakfast
Winter is the perfect season for porridge. Having a warm bowl on a cold morning isn’t just a delicious way to start your day, it can also help boost your intake of fibre. It also contains many vitamins and minerals.
9. Drink warm lemon water and increase vitamin C
Make it a priority to drink a glass of warm lemon water before breakfast. This helps to eliminate toxins, clear your system and increase digestive function better.
Vitamin C is great to help prevent colds and flus and increase our immune system. It reduces acidity in the body, and is an anti-bacterial. Make sure you get enough vitamin C in your diet, if not, take a supplement.
Remember to stay hydrated throughout the day and drink at least 1.5L of water, preferably warm water.
10. Meditate More
Winter is the perfect time to explore deep issues and to meditate. Meditation helps us to slow down, relax and take time off our crazy thoughts. Meditation practices help us to calm the mind and heart. When we truly relax, our bodies naturally come up with “stuff” that has been under the surface for a long time. Doing this during winter will allow us to be cleansed and renewed for spring. Health is a state of complete physical and mental well-being. Do not ignore your emotional health. Always take the time to stop, relax and breathe. Be in the present moment.
Try acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine this winter to help with your cold symptoms. Acupuncture helps to relieve cold stuck energy, and help move the blood circulation in the cold weather. Remember to stay warm, hydrated and nourished. Get to bed early and rise after the sun has risen to help preserve warmth your health and vitality this winter season.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that you should limit less than 10% of your daily calorie intake from sugar. This means that for an average adult it equates to 25g or less or around 6 teaspoons of sugar for women and 9 teaspoons for men. A can of coke consists of 39g of sugar! However we far exceed this amount recommended amount.
In the USA the average adult intakes around 27 teaspoons a day, that is almost 5 times the recommended daily intake recommended by WHO. So in the past when we thought FAT was bad, studies now show that sugar does more damage than fat!
So what happens to our bodies when we consume excess sugar? Too much can actually KILL US!
Here are the reasons why we should cut down on sugar now:
1. Insulin Resistance – Excess sugar can make you Insulin Resistance, which could eventually lead to metabolic syndrome or diabetes. Studies show excess sugar consumption is associated with insulin resistance, especially when it is consumed in large amounts. When glucose builds up in the blood, we can experience high blood pressure, tiredness, hunger and brain fog.
2. Diabetes– Type 2 Diabetes is becoming more prevalent. In Australia 280 people develop diabetes daily; over 100,000 Australians developed diabetes in the past year and it is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia according to Diabetes Australia. When we drink sugary beverages such as COKE we have an 83% increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes!
3. Zero Nutrition – Added sugar is the WORST ingredient in the modern-day diet. It has such harmful effects on our body and metabolism and causes many types of chronic illness in our bodies. Added sugars like sucrose and high fructose corn syrup contain a whole bunch of calories with NO essential nutrients. This is why it’s called ‘empty calories’. They contain no proteins, essential fats, vitamins or minerals. Only PURE ENERGY. When we eat sugar it contributes to nutrient deficiencies in our bodies. So even though sugar contains a lot of calories it has no beneficial essential nutrients.
When people eat up to 10-20% of calories as sugar (or more), this can become a major problem and contribute to nutrient deficiencies.
4. Liver Overload – Eating too much added sugar will lead to liver overload which is high in fructose. When we have a small piece of fruit this is fine as it is stored in the liver, but if it’s overloaded it turns the fructose into fat and can lead to fatty liver and other serious health issues. You can’t overdose on fructose in fruit.
5. Inflammation – Sugar causes a lot of inflammation in our cells. Certain cells feed off sugar and in turn, grow and proliferate. Sugar is also a cause of ageing in the body.
6. Sugar is Highly Addictive– Sugar is as addictive as heroin and 8 times more addictive than cocaine! It is one of the most addictive and deadly narcotics out there yet it is readily available and legal. This is because it causes large amounts of dopamine to be released in the brain. This is why people become strongly addicted to sugar. In obese people, they need to consume even more sugar to get the same effect. Sugar is the MOST dangerous drug of the modern times which is still easily accessible everywhere!
7. Damages Organs – The damage from sugar in the body is a slow process, but very destructive, however since we take in such large quantities it can do widespread damage to our organs and body function. This can cause problems with our kidney function and can even lead to kidney failure.
8. Obesity– The hormones in our brain from excess sugar leads to fat gain as we lose control over the consumption. When we consume too much sugar we usually become overweight or obese. One daily serving of a sugary beverage leads to an increase of a 60% risk of obesity! If you want to lose weight, CUT DOWN on Sugar! Remove that soft drink from your diet.
9. Heart Disease – It’s no longer fat that is the number 1 cause of Heart Disease. Sugar is the culprit. This is because sugar affects our metabolism. Large amounts of fructose increases our triglycerides and LDL (bad cholesterol), raises blood glucose levels and insulin levels. Excess consumption of added sugars are the cause for diseases that kill millions of people each year.
10. Increases depression – when you have sugar and carbs your mood improves as it triggers your body to release the hormone serotonin. However, having excess sugar seems to reverse this effect. When you have a sugar-heavy diet you are more likely to have massive changes in your behaviour, your blood sugar levels go up very high but they also fall very low rather quickly. This yo-yo effects your metabolism and mood.
11. Reduces immunity – Your immune system defends your body against potential infections. When we eat too much sugar it can damage and compromise the function of your immune system to fight bacteria, virus and other parasites. When you consume sugar at every meal your immune system is essentially functioning at only 50%.
12. Increases yeast infections – yeast grows by feeding off sugar. With every can of soft drink your body is the perfect breeding ground for yeast infections, both in the urinary tract and in your mouth (oral thrush). This is caused by the overgrowth of candida. When your immune system is working properly, bacteria does not get out of control, however if your blood sugar levels are too high, all the extra sugars in your saliva and urine provide the perfect environment for breeding bacteria.
13. Alzheimer and Dementia – excess sugar can cause a decrease in cognitive brain function and lead to memory impairment.
We all know excess sugar is unhealthy for us and may lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and auto-immune disease. Sugar or high fructose corn syrup is found in almost any packaged food, soft drinks, fruit juice, baked goods and condiments.
How to Avoid Sugar:
Start reading the labels on food and drinks before you buy! Know what sugar content is in your food. Avoid high fructose corn syrup or glucose/fructose.
Avoid everyday items like bread, salad dressings, canned tuna, canned vegetables, biscuits, sauces, yoghurt, sugary drinks such as coke, ice teas, energy drinks etc.
Avoid processed packaged foods and start making your own. These are usually high in sugar, preservatives and salt.
Avoid and cut down foods made from processed carbs or processed sugars.
Bake your own cookies, chocolate, sweets and make your own dressings so you control exactly how much you put in.
Have foods which don’t contain artificial colours and/or flavours.
Switch from soft drinks to water or green tea. It will make you feel better and you will lose weight too.
Avoid ‘sugar-free’ and ‘diet’ products. They usually contain aspartame which is highly dangerous for your health as it is a neuro-toxin if you consume too much.
Drink warm lemon water every morning to change the acidity from too much sugar in your diet to a more alkaline environment.
Switch the sugar to honey or stevia
Too much sugar is like POISON to our body and is slowly killing your body. So CUT out that extra sugar intake and start getting your body back to good health.
If you require help cutting down on your sugar intake or feel you are addicted to sugar, speak to us about how we may be able to help you.
Autumn is upon us! In Chinese Medicine this seasonal change brings about changes to one’s health and we need to be careful so as not to get sick at this change of season. Chinese Medicine describes the nature’s seasonal changes with a big emphasis on energy. We need to make our own changes within our body and lifestyle as each season shifts so we can be as healthy as possible and not fall ill. As autumn sees a big increase in colds, coughs and allergies.
Each season the health challenge for us is to harmonise our energy and body with the greater energy of nature. Seasonal changes represents a move between yin and yang. Autumn is the yin energy replacing the big yang energy of summer. This energy is moving inward and downwards in autumn towards the earth, as opposed to out and up in summer. Therefore with the new season upon us we need to balance our health with the right diet and lifestyle. As summer is slowing down and autumn approaching our bodies are also going through a change in energy internally.
Autumn is related to the metal element. This means dryness, coolness and winds are more extreme. With autumn comes organs connected to the Lungs and Large Intestine, as the Lungs need oxygen from the air and the large intestines removes waste. Lung and skin issues are more prevalent at this time with dry skin, dry cough and constipation.
Metal relates to the emotion of grief and letting go. This is the time to let go of emotional baggage you have been carrying and remember to breathe (from the belly). Just like the trees of nature do not hold onto their leaves for next year. Be receptive to the new, eliminate what you no longer need!! Just like our large intestine function is to also enable us to let go of our waste products.
Foods to eat in autumn include cooked organic root vegetables such as beetroots, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, squash, yams, celeriac etc. Things that grow under the ground. Avoid raw and cold foods such as ice-cream, cold drinks, cold vegetables, juices, salads etc and op for foods that are warm soups, stews, bakes, braising and warm drinks. Foods that are warm and nourishing will be better for the health and the lungs.
Eat more foods that can moisten our lungs and digestion including pears and apples. You can also add onions, fresh ginger to the diet to assist with colds or allergies.
With exercise try to avoid heavy aerobics as it can drain your vital energy and weaken your immune system. Instead do more gently forms of exercise such as walking, tai chi and yoga.
Remember to go to bed early during autumn and rise early. In Chinese theory, one’s sleep habits should also adjust with the seasons. As the days get shorter in autumn, sleep earlier to avoid the cold nights and wake up to the early morning sun. As the weather cools more, remember to avoid the cold by wearing a scarf or light jacket when outside in the wind.
NOW is the time to come in for your acupuncture seasonal tune up.
The above symptoms may be affecting the proper functioning of your liver and digestive systems.
In this modern western society, it’s hard to find someone without symptoms of digestive disorders.
The liver gallbladder cleanse is beneficial as it could remove some of the toxins stored in the liver, since the organ itself has a small capacity to store toxins and it is a solid organ. It’s like a metabolic factory that has hundreds of different functions, such as breaking and metabolising toxins in the body. The liver is the “factory” so the “warehouse” of the toxins are the bowels (Kraats 2010). The bowels are hollow organs, and with its convoluted surface the actual internal surface area is around the size of half a tennis court! That is a huge area to store toxins and bacteria. If the bowels are ignored and build up with toxins, it could manifest into many symptoms.
Increasing fibre in the diet may not necessarily be well tolerated, as it could result in increased bloating, wind, loose bowels, abdominal cramps and pain.
Doing the cleanse will involve around 5-20 bowel motions depending on the blockage and condition of each individual’s liver, gallbladder and colon.
It is a simple cleanse and has no adverse side-effects, although some may find drinking the Epsom salts rather unpleasant. After the cleanse you should feel more energised, cleaner, less bloated, and if you suffer from gallstones, the cleanse may assist in removing them. Do not be surprised to see greeny coloured stones in the stools.
What should we eat? What is too much and what is too little? What time should we eat? What should we eat for an everyday diet so that we can be healthy and live to be 100?
Should we go back to the old food pyramid or should we all be eating organic and gluten free foods now?
With so much contradicting evidence out there we are confused as to what diets and fads to follow. As practitioners in Chinese Medicine, we talk to our patient’s daily about good eating habits and healthy lifestyle. We find too many people out there eat excessive sweets and spicy and not enough bitter and sour flavours.
The typical Chinese diet usually consists or a variety of foods, meat, fish, vegetables and carbs. We should be eating a little from each food group and not only having excessive meats or carbs. We should also be having different flavours in our diets such as salty, sweet, spicy, bitter and sour, which is able to balance each organ and energy in our bodies.
My top tips to healthy eating are:
* Glass of warm lemon water first thing in the morning
* Have a good breakfast to kick-start your metabolism
* Cut down on alcohol (1 wine night max), coffee (max 2) and too much caffeinated teas
* Have 1-2 portions of red meat a week
* At least 3 servings of fruit and vegetables daily
* Cover all 5 flavours of food in your diet
* Don’t eat too much complex carbs after dark
* Have at least 2-3 litres of warm water daily
* Have a few servings of fish a week
* Switch processed foods for raw organic foods where possible.
* Reduce dairy intake
* Reduce gluten intake
* Eliminate processed sugar