Staying on Target with Your New Year’s Health Resolutions

Posted on December 2, 2014. Filed under: Acupuncture Information, Exercise, Weightloss | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

bigstock-Winner--Success-concept-Hike-38730274By Dr. Gregory Steiner
CA Acupuncture & Chiropractic Clinic

It’s now January and many of us have made some resolutions for a happier and healthier new year.  But whether your resolution is losing weight, quitting smoking or stopping bad habits, there are steps you need to take to ensure success of those goals.

Many people make weight loss part of their resolution, but many people give up their goal after the first month or two.  So how do you make sure you don’t give up your resolutions by Valentine’s Day?

Write it down & be specific.  People often make abstract resolutions:  “Enjoy life”, “Be happier”, etc… Instead, look for a specific measurable action.  “Do 50 pushups every day”, or “Drink 10 glasses of water daily”.  Just writing down “stay fit and healthy” doesn’t provide enough direction for you to follow to achieve success.

Place your resolutions where you can see them constantly.  Out of sight, out of mind comes into play here.  When you see your written resolutions every day, you’re more likely to follow through with them.

Hold yourself accountable.  Accountability is important to success with resolutions.  That’s why Jenny Craig and AA are so effective.  Make a calendar & check off your list each day or exchange updates with your spouse.  If you miss the mark on one of your resolutions that day, make up for it the next, but don’t beat yourself up for it.

Do what it takes for the best success & follow through.  Making a statement like “Losing Weight” doesn’t give you enough information to help you be successful.  Think about what “Losing Weight” will entail.  By providing smaller steps to achieve the big picture, you can ensure greater success.  Think, “eating 1/3 smaller meals than I usually eat”, “only eating bread once a week”, “eating 4 different vegetables daily (nothing fried)”.  Also consider what you can do in addition to help aid the success of your goals.  Exercise will help with weight loss, but additional therapies like acupuncture (great for suppressing appetite and curbing cravings) and herbal therapy can also support the process.

Don’t quit.  Easier said than done, but even if you’ve slipped backwards and feel like you fell of the wagon.  Get back up and keep going!  Think positive and positive things will happen.

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How Acupuncture Can Help Weight Loss

Posted on September 16, 2014. Filed under: Acupuncture Information, Exercise, Healing, Health, Weightloss | Tags: , , , , , , , |

~by Dr. Greg Steinerweightloss
CA Acupuncture & Chiropractic Clinic

How does it work?
Acupuncture can help weight loss in many ways. Success usually comes from a multi-faceted approach which involves measures designed to:

• Curb appetite
• Reduce cravings
• Boost metabolism
• Improve digestion
• Regulate obesity-related hormones
• Strengthen liver function for better digestion
• Reduce stress
It is the culmination of several techniques combined that produce the overall weight loss effect. There’s not one main acupuncture point that will do everything.

For example, many people eat because they are stressed. Oftentimes, it’s called “comfort eating” because they believe that certain types of foods will in fact make them feel better and eat them even when they aren’t really hungry. This is often a “psychological” response instead of “physical hunger”. There is a “need” to want to feel better or comforted. Acupuncture has been thought to help stimulate the release of endorphins, the body’s natural “feel good” hormones. This can create a calming, relaxing effect, which counteracts the need for excessive eating brought about by increased stress, frustration, or anxiety.

Stress is known to release the chemical cortisol. Cortisol is designed to help reduce inflammation, but if stress is too high and for a sustained period (like high pressure jobs, dealing with family issues, etc…), the body pumps out too much cortisol and imbalances occur. We see that tissues start to degrade faster; the immune system gets depressed, and combined with long term inflammation puts fat around the mid-section. That “spare-tire” develops. Too much stress alters brain chemistry and is strongly related to an imbalance in hormone function as well.
Cravings also make it difficult to lose weight. These come in many forms including sweet or salty, carbs and protein, or even specific cravings for a certain food. Often these cravings involve the ingestion of processed, de-natured food providing us with too many empty calories and an excess of carbohydrates. And because the body doesn’t get the right nutrients that it needs, the person can still be hungry after they eat.

Acupuncture can overcome these cravings by helping improve digestion. When digestion works more efficiently, the brain gets the message that the body has been fed, and with that message, reduces the cravings. The metabolic pathways work better and nutritional intake increases. There are a variety of acupuncture points that are very effective for overcoming cravings and even acupressure points that the individual can learn to do while at home, away from the clinic.

Hormonal balancing is also key to successful weight loss. Correctly balancing hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, the thyroid and insulin can improve the results significantly. If insulin is better balanced, the person is less likely to be reaching for unhealthy snacks during the day. When blood sugar fluctuations go up and down drastically throughout the day over a long period of time, insulin levels in the body can be severely affected. Studies have linked type 2 diabetes to this, which is largely preventable. We look at insulin as a fat storage hormone; too much of it makes the body gain weight.
How many visits will it take?
The length of treatment varies from one individual to another. Cravings control can actually come pretty quickly, ranging from the 1st visit to 2 weeks. Stress reduction is the next tier which usually occurs within 2-3 weeks. Hormone balancing is more complex and will take longer. One of the biggest advantages to using acupuncture is that there are no side effects or addiction and it’s a completely natural process.

Taking care of our body is like tuning our car. If you tune it up but don’t change the oil and run a bunch of garbage gas in there, you’ll have trouble. Look at the food we eat as the gas. Make it good.

The first step to weight loss is using acupuncture to help you to start feeling better. By combining proper exercise and eating healthy foods, you can create an upward spiral. Acupuncture can jumpstart the process and speed it along faster. Contact our office to set up your first visit and get started on your weight loss journey.

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Increasing Your Longevity – Are You Moving in the Right Direction?

Posted on June 18, 2014. Filed under: Acupuncture Information, Aging, Exercise, Fatigue, Healing, Health, Weightloss | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Will you live a long & healthy life?

Will you live a long & healthy life?

By Dr. Greg Steiner
CA Acupuncture & Chiropractic Clinic

Living a long life sounds like a great thing, right? Fortunately, our society has made leaps and bounds in finding ways to preserve the lifespan (medical procedures, devices, medications, etc…) but what is truly important is the quality of the life you have left.  In this case, quality can lead to quantity (translated: living better=longer # years alive).  There are many ways to deal with the aging process, and following a pro-active approach to optimal health and fitness can be your means to extended longevity.

The “Quality” of food you eat can make a big difference in your health.  Much of our food today has been grown with a considerable amount of pesticides and chemicals.  Opting for organic whenever possible can increase the quality of the food you consume.

The “Quantity” of food you eat can also determine how overweight you may be.  I firmly believe that if the diet is right, our appetites should be as well.  If diet is correct and we are sedentary and not expending much energy, then our appetite should be less.  We should require a lower quantity of sustenance than if we were exercising regularly.

The “Composition” of our food, or the type of food we eat, also affects health.  I personally follow a lowered carb approach.  Choosing the right type of carb is important.  I prefer broccoli and spinach along with a lot of vegetable carbs, but not much corn or potatoes (too starchy).  If a person follows a solid diet with protein like chicken & fish, they can get full and be satiated for a while but if they stuff themselves with bread or potato chips until they’re half sick, 30 minutes later they’ll want to eat again when their blood sugar spikes.

The “Structure” of our bodies, how we’re put together, our skeletal structure, muscles and joints can define how we move and the quality of our bones & cartilage as we age.  It can also determine how comfortable you are when you try to become more fit.  If you hurt too much, you’re not going to want to exercise too much, and if you can’t exercise enough, you won’t be able to take care of yourself the way you should.

All in all, the older individuals who look good, live good.  If you decide you want to increase your longevity, some of the aforementioned suggestions can help.  Consider undergoing a thorough chiropractic examination by a qualified professional to determine how fit you currently are and to make sure to catch any potential structural problems before they develop or to correct issues you may already have. Also, modifying your nutrition and eating habits can result in more youthful skin, increased vitality, and subsequent weight loss.  And lastly, I’ve found that acupuncture is a great therapy to tie everything together increasing energy and overall balance.


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Why You Should Cleanse & Detox

Posted on June 6, 2014. Filed under: Allergies, cleanse, Depression, detox, Healing, Health, Pain, Uncategorized, Weightloss | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

bigstock-Sad-woman-get-abdomen-pain-aft-35464244By Dr. Greg Steiner
CA Acupuncture & Chiropractic Clinic

Cleansing & detoxing seem to be all the rage these days.  There are 2, 5, 7, 10, or even 21 day cleansing programs available that promise to clean out all those harmful toxins that are currently ravaging your body and wreaking havoc on your immune system.  But if you think about it, our body is seemingly bombarded on a daily basis from toxins we get from water, household cleaners, air pollution, chemicals, food additives and the list goes on and on.  Some of these things become neurotoxins in our systems and impair proper nerve function, cause tremors, lack of sleep, inability to focus, unexplained weight gain, etc… Or they can become hormone disruptors, interfering with testosterone or estrogen.  What these neurotoxins & hormone disruptors do is block or disrupt normal metabolism.  They build up within your system and the effect can be cumulative.

What happens if you’re toxic?

The two organs most affected are usually the kidneys and the liver.  The liver is the metabolic powerplant, but a lot of these toxins get stored in the fat as well.  When you go on a diet to lose weight and detox yourself, some of these toxins can still be released into your system and be metabolized or even remetabolized in the body.  If they get into the liver, metabolic pathways may not function optimally.

These symptoms can be very broad and vague with headaches, muscle pain, body odors, or fatigue. Sometimes it’s hard to nail down exactly the issue, but you know you just don’t feel right.  In my own practice, I’ve seen many people vigorously & diligently clean up their diet, use a detox regimen along with drinking lots of water, allowed a little bit of time (patience being a key ingredient in this process), go through almost miraculous changes.  They feel a whole lot better and many have been able to minimize the medications they’re on and in some cases even come off of them.


How do I benefit from doing this?


Detoxification  is a lot about supporting organ function while minimizing exposure.  When you support the kidneys and liver and give them a rest from exposure to toxins or even regular food,  the theory is that your body will work to get rid of the garbage in your system and allow itself to recover and heal.  The real benefit is that while going through your “cleansing & detox” process, the herbs, clean “green” type drinks, and ample supply of water you drink help create the bridge over to living a better lifestyle afterwards.  Cravings for caffeine, sugar, and salty foods become greatly reduced, energy increases, and even your attitude towards exercise and staying healthy becomes predominately positive!

Be sure to do your “due diligence” in research when you start a cleanse/detox.  There is no magic drink or pill.  You’ve got to combine the program with the right type of nutrition for optimal success.


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Losing Weight – the Right and the Wrong Ways

Posted on May 21, 2013. Filed under: Acupuncture Information, Exercise, Weightloss | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

eating the right diet=weightloss~by Dr. Gregory Steiner

It’s summer again, and without fail my clinic (and every other doctors’ as well) are filled with people who need help losing those last 10…or 50 lbs. Sometimes they are looking to trim up because of a soon-to-be event such as a wedding, and other times they are wanting to make a complete renovation of their lifestyle to something healthier – and sleeker.

Every year I also categorize patients into two distinct groups – those who have recently gained a little ‘paunch’ or ‘tummy’ and those who have been struggling for years, if not most of their lives. In our demographic, most people are reasonably well-educated and have a background in sports or fitness to levels varying from casual to competitive. However, every local gym is filled with people whose last really fit day was probably the day they graduated college.

Then came work, and kids, and expense accounts, and houses, and  more kids, and promotions, and…and…

Then came the extra 30 lbs that seems harder and harder to get rid of.

There are two main ways to lose weight, the right way and the wrong way. What we DO want to do is lose extra fat; what we DON”T want to do is lose muscle along with the fat. In other words it is definitely possible to lose weight, shrink, and actually end up less fit than before the ‘diet’ started.

A professor from MIT once told me something I had never heard, and that was this: “If you have to exercise to lose weight or keep trim, then your diet is wrong.”

I had always followed the standard formula to eat less and exercise more, which does work – until one gets injured or can’t exercise for some reason. Later on I asked him to explain. What he told me was this – that ideally if our appetites are working naturally our food intake should be in exact proportion to our energy output, and that further, we should naturally and consistently select the foods we need to keep us at our optimal weight.

Well, I don’t know about you but what I see each and every day are disgruntled people who can’t seem to exercise enough to keep off the fat, or who have been injured and have ballooned up in size.

Two years I ago I put this counter-intuitive learning to a test. I had gained some size for a bodybuilding competition – some was fat and some was muscle. So, I dieted and did heaps of cardio, and lost 23 lbs in about 6 weeks….NOT pleasant.

I had 9 weeks before the next contest, and decided to quit the cardio and focus, focus, focus on fine-tuning my diet. At the end of that period at contest time I had trimmed another several pounds and lost several percentage points of body fat to compete at about 5.5 %. Again – no cardio. I decided I liked the leaner weight, and have found that with correct diet keeping about 7-8 % body fat is doable as a lifestyle, with or without cardio…and even after a knee surgery.

Not that I’m recommending bodybuilding – that’s a specialist interest for those people so inclined, but I mention it as  strong test of the theory of diet vs exercise for keeping lean.

Of course what helps is finding out exactly what nutrients a person is deficient in, and that streamlines the process greatly and gives us something to measure. When I undertook this ‘project’ two years ago, we did not have the advantage of some modern testing that shows exactly what micro-nutrients are at a good level, and which are low – only elite athletes usually have that level of nutritional analysis. Knowing saves time and effort  over educated guesswork.

What I do in my clinic then, with patients wanting to lose fat is to recommend a dietary template to provide a general basis for food selection, acupuncture certain points which alleviate cravings and facilitate metabolism, and perform blood nutrient analysis to see where the exact weak spots in need of dietary strengthening or supplements are.

Summer is coming…..

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The Mystery of Weight

Posted on June 11, 2012. Filed under: Weightloss | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

By Dr. Gregory Steiner~

As another hot summer descends upon us, the calls for weight loss become even louder; many frustrated women and men continue to seek the Holy Grail of losing unwanted weight and keeping it off. If only it were that easy….

Probably the most frustrated of all are the sincerely dedicated people who exercise, watch their diet, and sigh every time they look at the unmoving, heartless scale!

Over my 21 years of clinical practice I have noted there are actually three common weights people speak of and desire, not just one.

First, is what could be called a best ‘athletic’ weight, in which a person is at his or her strongest (e.g. a weight lifter), or has the best endurance (e.g. a runner). This weight is achieved by a combination of consistent exercise and diet specific to the sport they are engaging in.

Second is the best cosmetic weight which is the most common desire. Most patients will tell me they want a healthy weight – which they do – but on further examination what they really, truly want is to achieve their ideal ‘visual’ weight, which us usually – but not always – quite thin.

Then there is the third weight, which is where a person actually feels and functions the best in daily life; they feel very energetic, they have few aches and pains, and they rarely get sick. Often this weight is a bit heavier than their ideal weight, and occasionally it is less. Interestingly enough it is usually not the best athletic weight, because a sport-specific weight demands that a body be tip-top to the demands of that sport, not for daily living. For example, I have known more than one weight lifter who could lift 600 lbs., yet who could barely walk up stairs without losing breath or downstairs without pain.

It’s a lucky person (genetically that is) where all three are the same.

“Ideal’ weight then, is particular to what you want and is determined by bone structure and hormones, and then by your activity level and what you eat. Where people run into frustration is when they want a weight -either too big or small – for what their skeletal frame will support, or when they have hormonal issues that hinder fat loss and muscle gain. For example, I often see a larger framed female who wants to be model-thin, or a small framed lanky man who wants to have Mr. Universe muscles. Their desires are real, and they spend no small amount of time and emotional energy fretting about not getting their dream body; it’s no wonder cosmetic surgery is such big business in the Metroplex.

Hormonal imbalances are frequently talked about, as the prevalence of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone excess and deficiencies become more known to the general public. Debates rage over the causes of hormonal irregularities and the resulting obesity, diabetes, premature puberty and low testosterone, but the ‘natural health community’ usually points to the use of hormones in food, plastics that leach into the system, and the persistent stress of modern  American culture as likely culprits that either cause or exacerbate the situation.

Living in such an environment makes it challenging to defend against such hormonal ‘imbalancers’, but the natural medicine approach includes herbs to defend against the toxicities, acupuncture to balance the body’s energetics, chiropractic to do the same to the nervous system, and following a solid nutritional program day after day, meal after meal. Correction and re-balancing is the first step, but real nutrition and defense against the ‘bad stuff’ is the key to long lasting results and keeping the weight you want.

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Too Hurt, Too Fat, Too Tired

Posted on September 13, 2011. Filed under: Weightloss | Tags: , , , |

If there are three things that bring patients into the clinic these are the Big Three, an un-holy trinity of suffering and illness.  You can experience one, both or all, and lots of times they work together; let’s have a look at how they work.

The easy one to understand is the ‘hurt.’ The easiest of all to understand is injury – you bend over at a funny angle, you hear a ‘pop – and next thing you know it you can’t straighten up any more. If there is no pain in the leg you have probably pulled a muscle. If you feel a pain in the leg you probably have torn a disc which is now pressing on a nerve.

Ok, you take an ibuprofen; put an ice pack on it and it feels better. Probably not a big-deal injury. You do those things and it still hurts or even starts getting worse – it probably is a bigger deal after all.

Weeks go by and let’s say you are one of those people who think ‘it will get better by itself.” (Translated – this usually means you have a fear that treatment will cost too much or you feel that you just don’t have the time to deal with an injury at this exact time).

During that time the pain keeps you awake. Did you know that sleep really is important? It’s not a myth – you have to sleep at a certain depth to turn on the repair process of the brain, which in turn on the repair processes of the rest of the body. So, if you can’t sleep, you can’t repair. As the weeks pass you start to notice a pervasive, general tiredness that caffeine only fixes for a short time.

You used to work out, but with a hurt back and a tired body , who can blame you if you don’t make it to the gym as much as before….or if you even don’t make it at all anymore?

You’ve got it – the weight starts piling on, a few pounds at first, and more later. And so the spiral starts. Injury has caused pain, pain has reduced sleep, both pain and reduced sleep have reduced the activity level, which retard whatever level of healing is going on, which increases and prolongs the whole negative spiral.

The good news is that the spiral can be broken at any point – if you can increase your sleep you can better your repair. If you can gently increase your activity you improve your circulation and also improve your repair. If you improve your nutrition you can also benefit both sleep and repair. Of course, if you fix the injury properly the other issues will benefit because you will have less pain.

Keep in mind that the interactions of these factors can work from any direction; for example, if you eat poorly you won’t repair well and will be more likely to get injured. If you neglect sleep you body won’t repair properly and again it’s easier to get hurt.

Therefore, a good thing to review are the very basics of good health – good food, good activity, and good sleep. Everything after that – including what I do – chiropractic for your spine, skeleton and nerves, and acupuncture –for balancing energy – is something extra, something therapeutic. Nature can use some healing help from time to time, but nothing beats the basics.

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