Archive for March, 2013

Our Environment and Health

Posted on March 28, 2013. Filed under: Acupuncture Information, Depression, Healing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

~by Dr. Greg Steiner

What surrounds us affects how we feel, and how we feel affects our health.  When push comes to shove; environmental health is a subset of stress management. Environmental health, in its most common usage, concerns itself with toxicities which ‘poison’ the body, and ergonomics, which is the study of how  our bodies do what they do at work when sitting at desks, operating machines, or making the motions required of work.

One of the first things any doctor or nurse learns is the basics of how the body regulates itself towards health.  The fancy word for this is homeostasis. One example is how our bodies regulate our temperature to 98.6 degrees no matter what happens to it. However, it’s more accurate to say that our bodies attempt to regulate our temperature to 98.6 depending on whether its infected, its hormones are working as a team, its properly hydrated, and whether its dressed appropriate to the environment outside.

Eastern medicine and naturopathic Western medicine both put a great emphasis on how the person interacts with their environment. Western medicine does emphasize this to some degree, all depending on the exact discipline and the practitioner himself.  But Western medicine can also look at a person like an experimental variable, more like a statistical or laboratory problem than a living, changing, ‘inexact’ being constantly influenced by an ever-changing environment.

Both approaches have their uses and abuses – for promoting good, general health the naturalistic way is hard to beat- good food, rest, exercise, ‘natural’ remedies if needed,  which are usually easy on the body and have few side effects. The downside is that sometimes, whatever is wrong with a person is just too much for that person’s own repair system to fix without substantial help.  In this situation, naturalistic remedies may just not be strong enough. For the most part, good health practices help healing overall, even when a stronger intervention is required.

Modern medicine can and does provide those stronger remedies, but at times the weakness is that some doctors see the patient as a ‘lab rat’ in a laboratory setting, as though the patient were a specimen living in a fully predictable and fully controlled environment, or perhaps as an engineering problem needing correction. In orthopedic surgery this approach is largely true – if a knee is worn out,  it needs to be replaced, but the story doesn’t end there. Even with a new knee, the ‘person’ needs to recover, strengthen, feel good internally, and do everything possible to help their overall body heal itself.

The real key though, is how a person feels about their environment. However, in this context we’re not speaking of everyday ‘feeling’, but a deep interpretation and gut-level love-hate, like-dislike of their physical and social environment.  I speak of that  place deep inside where we know the unvarnished truth about ourselves and what we really like, fear, hate, and love. This ‘place’ is a combination of thought, interpretation of events, self-judgment, and habitual feelings whether good and bad.

The point is this – it’s in that place, largely dependent on our overall environment and our reactions to it that creates the hormones that create health, or destroy it.

Eastern medicine continues to put a strong emphasis on the person-environment interaction; if that dynamic is out of balance, it acts to restore it with acupuncture, herbs, and good health practices.

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Can Eating Local Honey Reduce Seasonal Allergies?

Posted on March 7, 2013. Filed under: Allergies, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Health Experts have long touted the wonders of using honey for ailments.  It’s been slathered on wounds to prevent infection and hasten healing and even been used as a natural cure for diarrhea and upset stomachs.  It’s even recommended today as a way to help the body overcome seasonal allergies and hay fever.

Allopathic Medicine utilizes a process called “Immunotherapy”  wherein an allergen is injected into the body to help an individual become desensitized to it by building up an immunity toward it. This is the premise for the “Allergy Shot”. The same process can be done in a natural, painless, and healthy way by eating local honey.

Local honey is produced by bees usually within several miles of where the person eating the honey lives. There’s no rule of thumb on what the exact proximity needs to be, but proponents suggest the closer, the better. The reason you want “local honey” is that this increases the chances that the varieties of plants and flowering grasses that give the allergy sufferer trouble are the same kinds the bees are including in the honey they produce. By consuming this honey, you are creating a natural form of “immunotherapy”. Because the honey includes the pollen spores which so many allergy sufferers are affected by, introducing them into the body in small amounts by eating honey can help make the body accustomed to their presence and decrease the chance of an immune system response like the release of histamine. Since the concentration of pollen spores is low, ideally, the production of anti-bodies shouldn’t trigger symptoms similar to an allergic reaction.

In addition to finding “local honey”, be sure to purchase “raw” honey. This means that it has not been pasteurized, or heated to more than 120 degrees. While pasteurization can help keep the honey from fermenting, it kills the active pollen spores that your body needs to help build up its immunity.

Recommended amounts are about 1-2 teaspoons per day. Try to start taking it at least a month before allergy season, or take it throughout the year. Adding the honey to a cup of green tea is a great way to incorporate it into the diet.

Scientific research has not determined honey to be the cure for seasonal allergies, namely hay fever, but many people claim that their intake of local honey has had a direct correlation to the reduction in their allergy symptoms.

Note: Be sure not to serve honey to infants under 2 years of age.

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