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Cold got you down?

by Jeanne Dixon, DOM

It's the "catch a cold" time of year. What should you do if you feel a cold coming on? What kind of symptoms let you know that you have a cold?   Should you take a sick day from work?

These are all common questions I hear my patients ask. The best way to treat a cold is to start treatment as soon as the first symptoms appear. This may be a feeling of tightness in the back of the head or neck, mild achy feelings or headache, chills or feverish feeling.

When symptoms like these start, you can start treatment. Eat lightly! A busy digestion takes energy away from fighting the cold. Chicken soup or porridge are both nutritious and easy on the digestion. Drink lots of water. Bundle up and try to induce a sweat, even if a mild one. A raised body temperature will help your immune system fight the pathogen. Hot herbal teas like chamomile, hyssop, ginger, lavender, mint, or fenugreek are diaphoretics. Diaphoretics help induce sweating and these herbs also have antimicrobial properties and help fight viruses and bacteria. Vitamin C (500mg every hour or two) is also helpful.  

Taking the time to take care of a cold before it develops into a big problem really is the best solution. Once a cold sets in it is more difficult to stop and usually symptom relief and immune stimulation is the only course of action while the cold takes it's course.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are well suited to treat and prevent colds and flu. There are many ready made formulas and formulations specific to the patient condition that can be very effective in stopping a cold, or making the process of the cold much easier to handle.  

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are also very suited to strengthening the immune system of people who easily catch colds, or have never recovered from the nasty cold they had a while back.  

Get off the antibiotic treadmill and use natural medicine that works with your body to strengthen your own defenses!

Change of Season: Spring

by Jeanne Dixon, DOM

    So you may ask-why is Jeanne posting a Spring article when there are still snow storms in the news?  Well, the transition to Spring starts much earlier than our calendar tells us.  The very first hint toward Spring happens sometime in February, when nature's hold on winter begins to wane.  The body and spirit know this change well before the calendar proclaims that Spring is here!

    Spring is the time when the energy of the Liver system becomes active.  The Liver is considered a Wood phase in oriental medicine and like a tree in the Spring, Liver's energy wants to flourish and move outward.  People who have Liver issues may find that Springtime is an especially difficult time for them, as their deficient and/or excess Liver function can't keep up with the demands that Spring places on it.  Headaches, emotional disturbances, dizziness, high blood pressure aggravations, and rashes are some of the typical Springtime Liver functions disturbances that can occur.

  The Liver is especially affected by wind.  And we all know that here in Central New Mexico Springtime is synonymous with wind.  So those of you out there who notice that their health is worsened in the windy weather- you are not crazy.

  Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine treatments can be very helpful to nourish and course the Liver, expel the wind and prevent the worst of Springtime complaints.  Ideally, treatment should begin before the peak of the Spring.

   The water in the irrigation ditches turns on March 1st!

Can acupuncture and herbal medicine help eliminate kidney stones?

I have had the opportunity over the years to help several patients with the passing of kidney stones.  This area of medicine is an example where western medicine and oriental medicine work wonderfully together. 

Recently I had a patient come to me with intense lower abdominal pain.  Initially, I attempted to relieve the pain with acupuncture but it did not subside after a quick attempt.  I directed the patient to the emergency room where, through a CT scan, a large (6mm) kidney stone was found stuck in the urethra.  The patient was given pain killers and an appointment was made with a urologist for the following day. 

The patient returned to my office and an herbal formula based on his condition, along with twice weekly acupuncture was given.  After his first acupuncture treatment he was free of pain.  The patient's visit with the urologist the next day confirmed the 6mm kidney stone, along with several more smaller stones in his bladder. 

The patient elected to continue with the acupuncture, and delay the surgery the urologist suggested.  After 2 weeks of treatment, he returned to his general practitioner who, through imaging, found no trace of stones.  Through his treatment with us, he had no pain.  He was able to avoid surgery.  In addition, he reports that he feels better than he has in "a long while".