Fatigue, Qi vacuity and Chinese Medicine

In the traditional Chinese medical paradigm we see that many diseases can be caused by one of two malfunctions in our bio systems. Either there is an imbalance between the needs and the availability of substances that nourish that organ and tissue or there is an obstruction to the delivery of those nourishing substances.

If there is an obstacle to the delivery of nutrient, herbal and acupuncture therapies can be used to break through whatever is causing the blockage while simultaneously nourishing that which is deficient. If there is a simple a lack of available nutrient and nourishment, herbal tonics can be used to supplement and restore the function of the organs and tissues.

Fatigue is always due to either obstruction of needed substances or their unavailability and can usually be treated quite easily with Chinese herbal tonics and acupuncture.

Fatigue is a Qi (bio energy) and or blood vacuity. Qi and blood have a mutually dependent relationship, blood cannot move without Qi and Qi cannot be formed without blood.

The most important signs of Qi vacuity are fatigue, weakness, low voice, shortness of breath and spontaneous perspiration. Depending on the origin of the fatigue there will be other signs that help guide us to the correct medicines and acupuncture for treatment. For instance, if the lung Qi is deficient there will be more marked shortness of breath along with wheezing, cough, sputum and thirst. If the heart Qi is vacuous there will be palpitations and irregular heartbeat, anxiety and depression because the Qi and blood are unable to nourish the mind. If the digestive qi is deficient there is decreased appetite, loose stools, anorexia or weight gain. If the kidney Qi is vacuous there may be low back pain, weak legs and impotence in men and irregularities in the cycles of women.

Because Qi is a yang substance, its nature is movement and warmth. If there are signs of cold like cold limbs and aversion to cold, easily chilled and a desire for hot foods and warm drinks a more profound Qi deficiency is indicated.

All foods build blood but there are few foods, by themselves that directly build Qi. Here at Atlantic Acupuncture, we have developed Strength & Stamina as a tonic that nourishes essence, promotes digestive functions, nourishes blood, protects the liver, enhances blood circulation, and calms the mind.

Strength & Stamina is used for invigorating all organ functions and enhancing strength and endurance. Strength & Stamina is an adaptogen and research on the herbal medicines in this formula show that Strength & Stamina; decreases stress levels, adrenal hypertrophy, and vitamin C depletion. Improves swimming time to exhaustion and increases stamina.

Strength & Stamina enhances immune system function, protects the brain, Increases bone density and strength. Protects the liver Increases levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain (tied to mood and energy levels)

Elite runners given the key ingredients in Strength & Stamina finished their 10-kilometer race in 45 minutes, versus 52.6 minutes in the placebo groups. Anyone who takes part in running knows that this is a huge improvement.

In elite cyclists, a similarly profound effect was observed: 23.3% increase in total work performed and a 16.3% increase in time to exhaustion. This means the athletes not only worked longer but harder as well.

In elite skiers, the ingredients in Strength & Stamina improved tolerance to lower oxygen levels and enhanced adaptations to exercise.

The trend here is simple: studies were conducted in highly active, well-trained persons, and the ingredients in Strength & Stamina consistently exemplified a profound ergogenic, performance-enhancing effect.

In otherwise healthy persons, Strength & Stamina reduced the changes in heart rate and blood pressure associated with states of chronic stress. In patients with chronic fatigue, the ingredients in Strength & Stamina were found effective not only in reducing fatigue, but also in improving quality of life. In elderly subjects, Strength & Stamina improved cognitive function, social functioning, and quality of life.

The ingredients in Strength & Stamina have been shown to; increases strength, flexibility and bone density, lower resting heart rate, stabilize blood pressure, reduce LDL cholesterol, and improves microcirculation, peristalsis, decrease stress response while showing marked improvements in memory and concentration.

Strength & Stamina is only available at our Vero Beach clinic or through our online store.

Yours in good health,

Cindy & Robert Kienitz

Summer Heat Syndrome

On these hot and humid summer days in Vero Beach Florida, nothing beats a nice cool glass of water!

Most of us know that we need to stay hydrated, especially when we are working outdoors during the heat of the day. What a lot of people are not aware of is, that drinking a lot of water is good but water can push electrolytes out of our systems through perspiration and urination. Deficient electrolytes in our bodies can result in fatigue, cramping, nausea, dizziness, irregular heartbeat and eventually convulsions and coma. In Traditional Chinese Medicine these symptoms all fall under the disease category of “Summer Heat Syndrome”.

Electrolyte is a scientific term for salts, specifically ions. Electrolytes are important because they are what your cells (especially nerve, heart, muscle) use to maintain voltages across their cell membranes and to carry electrical impulses (nerve impulses, muscle contractions) across themselves and to other cells. Your kidneys work to keep the electrolyte concentrations in your blood constant despite changes in your body. When you exercise heavily, you lose electrolytes through perspiration and drinking plain water, though refreshing, does not replace them. The major electrolytes in your body are: sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, phosphate and sulfate.

These electrolytes must be replaced to keep the electrolyte concentrations of your body fluids constant. So, many sports drinks have sodium chloride or potassium chloride added to them. They also have sugar and flavorings to provide your body with extra energy and to make the drink taste better but many people find sports drinks too sugary and instead use the various forms of Pedialyte. Another alternative to sports drinks and Pedialyte are electrolyte replacement packets that you can find in camping supply or army surplus stores. One electrolyte replacements found in most drug stores is Emergen-C.
The traditional Chinese approach to Summer Heat Syndrome is simple, tasty and good for you. Rich in electrolytes, fiber and refreshing goodness, watermelon (xi gua) is the first choice of Chinese herbal medicine to treat and prevent Summer Heat Syndrome.
Whatever your choice of electrolyte replenishment, be sure to recharge every day and more often if you are engaged in outdoor activities of any kind.

Yours in good health,
Robert Kienitz, D.Ac.
www.atlantic-acupuncture.com

Summer Heat Syndrome

On these hot and humid summer days in Vero Beach Florida, nothing beats a nice cool glass of water! Most of us know that we need to stay hydrated, especially when we are working outdoors during the heat of the day. What a lot of people are not aware of is, that drinking a lot of water is good but water can push electrolytes out of our systems through perspiration and urination. Deficient electrolytes in our bodies can result in fatigue, cramping, nausea, dizziness, irregular heartbeat and eventually convulsions and coma. In Traditional Chinese Medicine these symptoms all fall under the disease category of Summer Heat Syndrome.

Electrolyte is a “medical/scientific” term for salts, specifically ions. Electrolytes are important because they are what your cells (especially nerve, heart, muscle) use to maintain voltages across their cell membranes and to carry electrical impulses (nerve impulses, muscle contractions) across themselves and to other cells. Your kidneys work to keep the electrolyte concentrations in your blood constant despite changes in your body. When you exercise heavily, you lose electrolytes through perspiration and drinking plain water, though refreshing, does not replace them. The major electrolytes in your body are: sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, phosphate and sulfate.
These electrolytes must be replaced to keep the electrolyte concentrations of your body fluids constant. So, many sports drinks have sodium chloride or potassium chloride added to them. They also have sugar and flavorings to provide your body with extra energy and to make the drink taste better but many people find sports drinks too sugary and instead use the various forms of Pedialyte. Another alternative to sports drinks and Pedialyte are electrolyte replacement packets that you can find in camping supply or army surplus stores. One electrolyte replacements found in most drug stores is Emergen-C.

The traditional Chinese approach to Summer Heat Syndrome is simple, tasty and good for you. Rich in electrolytes, fiber and refreshing goodness, watermelon (xi gua) is the first choice of Chinese herbal medicine to treat and prevent Summer Heat Syndrome.
Whatever your choice of electrolyte replenishment, be sure to recharge every day and more often if you are engaged in outdoor activities of any kind.

Yours in good health,
CIndy & Robert Kienitz, D.Ac.
www.atlantic-acupuncture.com

Summer Golf Facts and Tips

One of the most popular sports played here in sunny Florida is golf and one of the two most common sports related sources of injury is, you guessed it, golf. Here are a few fun facts and tips related to  this wonderful pastime.

If you choose to walk, rather than ride 18 holes, you will not only walk roughly four miles, but also burn 2,000 calories. To compare, golfers that ride carts burn about 1,300 calories.

To this day, golf is one of only two sports, along with the javelin throw, to have ever been played on the moon. Back on February 6, 1971, Apollo 14 member Alan Shepard hit a ball with a six-iron, swinging one-handed as a result of his pressure suit.

Every year, roughly 125,000 balls are hit into the water surrounding TPC Sawgrass’ world-renowned island green 17th hole.

The first ever golf balls were made of thin leather, stuffed with goose feathers. ‘Feather balls’ were used up until 1848, when they were replaced with the ‘guttie’ ball, named for the rubber-like sap of the Gutta tree, found in the tropics.

Each modern golf ball manufacturer creates different numbers of dimples on their golf balls but there are 336 dimples on a regulation, tournament golf ball.

When it comes to dimples, more is definitely better, as the dimples reduce wind resistance and allow the ball to fly higher. There is a trade-off, however, between possible height and possible distance: very dimple-dense balls will fly high but not go very far.

Golf balls travel much farther when the day is warm, so if you need a little extra umph to backup your swing, play on a hot day. The rubber components of a golf ball are more resilient when they are warm. Additionally, warm air is less dense than cold air and provides less resistance. So, if you’ve got a ball with the ideal number of dimples and it’s warm enough to make you sweat, you’re good to go.

53% of amateur golfers and 30% of professional golfers will play with an injured back this year. Golf injuries can result from a combination of poor posture, lack of muscle flexibility and coordination and incorrect equipment.

Most common golf injuries occur in the lower back, elbows, shoulders, hands and wrists, and are generally defined as either cumulative (overuse) or acute (traumatic) injuries. The impact and stress of the repetitive motion of the swing is sometimes hard on the muscles and joints, especially if you ignore the early warning signs of an injury such as; joint pain, tenderness, swelling, reduced range of motion, comparative weakness, and numbness and tingling.

Of the top ten injuries that can occur when playing golf, Acupuncture treats the first nine directly and very successfully. The tenth, fracture of the hamate bone, can be treated indirectly by decreasing both pain and healing time.

Acupuncture improves flexibility, circulation & coordination which will help keep you injury free and helps reduce down time after any injury.

Acupuncture is safe, effective and works quickly. Many of the Senior PGA players I have treated say that acupuncture also has the added benefit of helping to get them into that zone of mental clarity and relaxation that is so important to their game.

Whether you want to tune up your back or tune up your game or both, Acupuncture can help you arrive on the fairway pain free and on par.

Yours in good health,

Robert & Cindy Kienitz

Atlantic Acupuncture

Vero Beach, FL

www.atlantic-acupuncture.com

Brain Food for the 21st Century

Atlantic Institute has developed Brain Food, an herbal formula that is made up of the most effective balance of the finest and most potent brain enhancing herbal medicines in a concentrated (5:1) formula.

Brain Food has the best potential for deterring all of the signs and symptoms that are associated with dementia, senility and Alzheimer’s.

Brain Food is a proprietary blend of the following herbal medicines.

Acorus root has been shown in clinical trials to positively treat attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity. This herb is also used to treat other kinds of brain dysfunctions, including epilepsy, mental retardation, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Gingko leaf has been extensively evaluated and shown to enhance brain functions (including in those with Alzheimer’s disease) by improving brain circulation. It has also been reported to be helpful in treating depression, peripheral neuropathy, and other blood circulation disorders.

Hericium mushroom is an antibiotic, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-diabetic. It also promotes endurance, regulates blood pressure, is anti-aging, protects the heart, liver and kidneys, reduces anxiety and depression, and greatly improves cognitive function.

Siberian ginseng in Russia and other Asian countries Siberian ginseng has been used to enhance the strength,  performance and endurance of Olympic athletes for the last fifty years. Benefits include improved energy, better sleep, and improvement of digestive functions and all bowel conditions. Siberian ginseng invigorates blood circulation, lowers cholesterol, and is used to treat anemia, constitutional weakness, and helps offset conditions like macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts.

Although these herbs are often marketed individually, it has been found that using these herbal medicines in specific combinations actually gives the best results. For instance, the leaf of the ginkgo tree is particularly useful for increasing long term memory but not so much for short term, while acorus root is very good for short term memory but not as good as the gingko for long term memory. We have found that a comprehensive approach presents a more powerful alternative than simply taking ginkgo or other single herb extracts.

You can order a 30 day supply of concentrated Brain Food for $30.00 + Shipping today by visiting the Atlantic-acupuncture store.

Yours in good health,

Robert & Cindy Kienitz

Chinese Medicine Vs. the Opioid Epidemic Part III

In 1874, English researcher, C.R. Wright, first synthesized heroin by boiling morphine and acetic anhydride. Wright’s early testing of heroin – then known as diacetylmorphine – showed very undesirable side effects such as anxiety, sleepiness and vomiting immediately following administration in all participants. Accordingly, Wright discontinued his research.

Over 20 years later in 1895, German scientist Heinrich Dreser and his colleagues at the pharmaceutical company Bayer continued Wright’s studies and declared diacetylmorphine successful in treating many common respiratory ailments. Bayer began manufacturing diacetylmorphine and marketed it under the brand name Heroin. Heroin was unregulated at the time and soon became widely available in many over the counter forms.

 Considered another miracle drug, Heroin was used to treat headaches, colds and other common ailments. Many doctors prescribed Heroin to women suffering from premenstrual syndrome, hysteria and other so-called “female complaints.” Most of heroin’s biggest users at this time were wealthy, upper-class individuals.

Ironically, in the early 1900s Heroin was given to active morphine and codeine addicts as an alternative to – and as a solution for – their addiction. The philanthropic St. James Society even mounted a campaign to mail free samples of heroin to morphine addicts. As one might imagine, this “miracle drug” mindset and ever widening distribution resulted in an alarming drug epidemic particularly in northern industrial slums, Heroin was no longer the vice of the rich, and everyone was now welcome to the drug.

By 1924, the New York deputy police commissioner reported that 94 percent of those addicted to drugs who were also arrested for criminal activity were using heroin. Heroin and crime became synonymous and, as a result, that same year Congress unanimously passed a law banning the manufacture, distribution and import of heroin in the United States.

 Big corporations like Bayer and Merck took another fifty years to get back into the heroin business with the help of the US government but this time they made a synthetic version, a chemical copy with clean marketing names like oxycontin, vicoden and fentanyl that were distributed in shiny packages of clean white pills. They couldn’t market it for getting high so they said it was for pain, everybody has pain. As a result America has been flooded with hundreds of tons of synthetic heroin in pocket sized blister packs or little amber bottles. Most of the drugs go to the right people initially for the right reasons but one cannot underestimate the appeal of an opiate high and there is an ever growing illegal trade in the drugs. But, do not be misled to believe that the majority of addicts are of the black market variety, the vast majority got hooked via prescriptions from their doctors and only resort to the black market when their prescriptions run out.

So, once again the United States is facing a national opioid epidemic, and medical systems are in need of non-pharmacologic strategies that can be employed to decrease the public’s opioid dependence. Acupuncture has emerged as a powerful, evidence-based, safe, cost-effective, and available treatment modality suitable to meeting this need.

Acupuncture has been shown to be effective for the management of numerous types of pain conditions, and mechanisms of action for acupuncture have been described and are understandable from biomedical and physiologic perspectives. Further, acupuncture’s cost-effectiveness can dramatically decrease health care expenditures, both from the standpoint of treating acute pain and through avoiding addiction to opioids that requires costly care, destroys quality of life, and can lead to fatal overdose.

Numerous federal regulatory agencies have advised or mandated that healthcare systems and providers offer non-pharmacologic treatment options for pain. Acupuncture stands out as the most evidence-based, immediately available choice to fulfill these calls. Acupuncture is already being successfully and meaningfully utilized by the Veterans Administration and various branches of the U.S. Military, in some studies demonstrably decreasing the volume of opioids prescribed when included in care.

Mechanisms underlying acupuncture’s analgesic effects have been extensively researched for over 60 years. Acupuncture has been shown in studies to be effective for the alleviation of inflammatory, neuropathic, cancer related, and visceral pain. Mechano-transduction of the needling stimulus at specific points on the body triggers the release of ATP and adenosine, which bind to local afferents. Among the non-opioid neuropeptides, substance P, vasoactive intestinal peptide, and calcitonin gene-related peptide have been investigated for their roles in both the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of acupuncture. What all that science means is that acupuncture analgesia activates the production and release of endogenous opioids like endorphins. It is proven that acupuncture, used in conjunction with Opioid Like Medications (see Corydalis), alleviates pain with a lower OLM dose for patients.

So there it is; acupuncture and herbal medicines with absolutely no harmful side effects, that are cost effective, readily available and already active in a community near you. At Atlantic Acupuncture we have been successfully treating patients with pain, addictions and any combinations thereof for over twenty five years and look forward to working ever more as the needs continue to arise.

Yours in good health,

Robert & Cindy Kienitz

Atlantic Acupuncture

Vero Beach, FL

Chinese Medicine Vs. the Opioid Epidemic Part II

Morphine is the prototypical opioid and is the standard against which all other opioids are tested. Morphine was first isolated in 1803 by Friedrich Sertürner this is generally believed to be the first isolation of an active ingredient from a plant.

Going straight to human trials, Sertürner tested small doses of morphine on himself and “some boys” and found that the effects of the drug were pain relief and euphoria. He also noted that high doses of the drug could lead to negative psychiatric effects, nausea, vomiting, depression, cough, constipation and slowed breathing. Pain relief with the use of this compound, however, was ten times greater than that experienced with opium use.

The pharmaceutical company Merck began marketing the drug commercially in 1827.  Sertürner originally named the substance morphium after the Greek god of dreams, Morpheus, as it has a tendency to cause sleep. Physicians labeled the drug as “God’s own medicine” for its reliability, long-lasting effects, and “safety”. Morphine became more widely used after the invention of the hypodermic syringe in 1853 which happened to coincide with the advent of the American Civil War. Thousands of civil war soldiers, who were wounded during combat, or more commonly became sick in camps, were first dosed with morphine in field hospitals during the war. Many came home struggling with addiction to narcotics that were first tasted on the battlefield or in a hospital.

Since about 1596 Chinese doctors had been using different types of pain relievers primarily from the class of medicinals that invigorate blood. There are many herbals medicines in this category but one of the most useful and most promising in modern times is Corydalis rhizome or Yan Hu Suo. Corydalis YHS invigorates the blood, promotes the movement of qi bio-energy and alleviates pain.

Pharmacological and chemical research has shown that Corydalis is a very strong analgesic and is 40% as effective as morphine when similarly dosed. The herb is a very mild hypnotic and sedative so it has been used for sleep disturbances but with no after effects such as grogginess or lowered reflexes.

While Corydalis has no known central nervous system effects its known side effects are reductions of menstrual flow in women with menorrhagia, reduction in headaches and fatigue.

YHS is very widely used in the treatment of pain in China and, more important to this discussion, is being used as a replacement for opioids. Modern medical research shows that YHS is effective in suppressing nociceptive responses to thermally induced acute pain; chemically induced inflammatory pain as well as injury induced neuropathic pain. Because one of the major drawbacks of the narcotic analgesics is the development of tolerance, YHS was tested for the development of tolerance (addiction) to its antinociceptive effect. It was shown that unlike morphine YHS does not result in development of tolerance after long term daily administration.

So there we have a traditional herbal medicine that is both effective in combating pain, has no addictive properties, withstands the scrutiny of modern science and is inexpensive.

We use YHS as well as other herbal medicines and acupuncture therapies in our Vero Beach clinic for pain management and to help with withdrawal from narcotic addiction. Our results have always been very successful and as the opioid epidemic continues to grow we expect to see more and more cases of this sort.

In our next installment we will again look at the evolution and future of narcotic addiction in the west and how acupuncture therapy plays a part to combat this far reaching social and human problem.

Yours in good health,

Robert & Cindy Kienitz

Atlantic Acupuncture

Vero Beach, FL

Chinese Medicine Vs. the Opioid Epidemic Part I

In this series of articles we would like to explore the history of opioid use, some of the hidden reasons its use has become epidemic and how traditional Chinese medicine can help with the resolution of personal opioid addiction.

Opium was first introduced to China by Turkish and Arab traders in the late 6th century CE. Originally opium was used in drug combinations and compounds made by the Arabs and prescribed orally to relieve tension and pain. During this period opium was experimented with by Chinese physicians but seen to have “little worth, as would be expected, having come from barbarians”. The drug was used in very limited quantities in China until the 17th century at which point, the practice of smoking tobacco finally spread from North America, through Europe and into China. Opium laced tobacco smoking soon became popular throughout the country.

Chinese medical texts from this period describe the making and smoking of opium/tobacco/hemp products in detail and one author wrote, “After one has smoked opium tobacco twice, it is impossible to free oneself from it”. The same text went on to say, “Their (opium users) bodies and limbs become emaciated, the bodies’ depots and palaces (organs and tissues) dry out and one cannot stop until the body has been utterly destroyed”.

Britain and other European countries undertook opium trafficking because of their chronic trade imbalance with China. There was tremendous demand in Europe for Chinese tea, silks, and porcelain pottery, but there was correspondingly very little demand in China for Europe’s manufactured goods and other trade items. Consequently, Europeans had to pay for Chinese products with gold or silver. The opium trade, which created a steady demand among Chinese addicts for opium imported by the West, solved this chronic trade imbalance. This is possibly the first instance of Big Business (East India Trading Company) and Government (Great Britain) using the highly addictive properties of opium products for profit to the detriment of the common person and the common good.

Along with the slave trade, the traffic in opium was the dirty underside of an evolving global trading economy. In America as in Europe, pretty much everything was deemed fair in the pursuit of profits. Such was the outlook at Russell & Company, a Boston trading company whose ultra fast clipper ships made it one of the leaders in the lucrative American trade in Chinese tea and silk by trafficking in British opium.

British opium trafficking thrived, opium addiction increased, and opium importations grew rapidly during the first century of the Qing dynasty (1644–1912). By 1729 opium had become such a problem that the Emperor prohibited the sale and smoking of opium. That failed to hamper the trade, and in 1796 opium importation and cultivation was harshly outlawed. In spite of such decrees, however, the underground opium trade continued to flourish.

The Chinese government continued to curtail the entry of opium into the country resulting in embargos and seizures of British ships carrying opium as cargo in 1839. The British, in the defining moment of “gunboat diplomacy”, began the opium wars. It is a fact that the opium wars are what began the so called “century of humiliation” in China and led to the Chinese eventually adopting Communism as its national political party.

Ya-P’ien was the proper Chinese name for medicinal opium. It was considered sour, astringent, toxic and warm in nature and used primarily for chronic diarrhea and premature ejaculation in males. Mixed with other herbs, opium was used for paralysis, pain in the joints, dizziness, malarial fevers and chronic cough. Opium was also said to have “A miraculous effect in cases of pain in the stomach and bowels”.

In modern Chinese medicine the herb Ying Su Ke is the dried opium poppy husk which nature is considered sour, astringent, neutral and toxic and is used for chronic cough, chronic diarrhea, vaginal discharge and any kind of pain especially in the sinews and bones. The truth of the matter is that there are many herbal medicines that are as effective for these conditions but do not have the toxic side effects of Ying Su Ke so the herb is learned in schools but not much used in clinical practice even in China.

In our next installment we will look at the continued refinement of opium into ever more effective pain killers with more efficient delivery systems, greater profits for the pharmaceutical industry and increased dangers of addiction.

Yours in good health,

Robert & Cindy Kienitz

Atlantic Acupuncture,

Vero Beach, FL

Senility, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Part IV

In this last Blog in our series on the subject of senility, dementia and Alzheimer’s we want to focus on some other measures that can be taken to keep our minds healthy and active during our full 120 year term on this planet.

It has come to our attention that the people who seem to have the longest lasting and best minds are those who engage in lifelong learning

For years, researchers have noticed that people with more education and intellectually demanding careers, tend to have a lower risk of dementia. But the evidence had been less clear on whether intellectually engaging activities may be protective when started later in life.

In recent studies, researchers separated lifetime intellectual enrichment into two categories: early to mid-life and mid to late-life. Not surprisingly, high lifetime intellectual enrichment was associated with higher cognitive function. However, people who engaged in mid to late-life cognitive activity also had less cognitive decline over time.

The effect of mid to late-life cognitive activity was particularly strong in people who did not have a high score of cognitive enrichment in early to mid-life. In other words, it’s never too late to start training your brain!

The studies specifically looked at people with certain genetic risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. As expected, older people with those genotypes had lower cognitive function overall, but older people with the risk factors who had a high level of lifetime intellectual enrichment were shown to have their cognitive impairment delayed by nine years on average.

So what kind of intellectual enrichment can be effective? Trials have found that elderly people at risk of cognitive impairment that volunteered in elementary schools experienced gains in cognitive function and improved executive function. And, while brain training games and crosswords are popular and also show benefit, one should also consider other types of intellectually challenging activities, such as learning a new skill or activity, particularly in the context of a social environment and all the better when the social setting is among younger people.

Another important factor in continued long term mental acuity is the use of specific Chinese herbal medicines. As we mentioned in our last blog, the use of herbal medicines for specific conditions should be managed by a doctor of Chinese medicine, but for prevention of senile conditions there are several herbs that can be very helpful.

Herbs like acorus, ginkgo, Siberian ginseng and many species of edible mushroom all have shown to increase cognitive function and memory in numerous scientific studies.

Although often marketed individually, it has been found that using these herbs in specific combinations actually give the best results. For instance, the leaf of the ginkgo tree is particularly useful for increases in long term memory but not so much for short term, while acorus root is very good for short term memory but not as good the gingko for long term memory.

Edible mushrooms like hericium, ganoderma, reishi, shitake and miatake have long been used for longevity and mental acuity in Asian cultures and for the past sixty or so years we have learned that about any edible mushroom produces these same benefits to some degree.

Here at Atlantic Acupuncture, we have developed a formula we call “Brain Food” that is made up of the most effective balance of the four major brain enhancing herbs. In a concentrated (5:1) formula we have engineered and compounded a proprietary a blend of acorus root, gingko leaf, hericium mushroom and Siberian ginseng into a formula that has the best potential for deterring all of the thirty-one patterns of diagnosis that are associated with dementia, senility and Alzheimer’s.

You can order a 30 day supply of concentrated Brain Food for $30.00 + S&H today by visiting the Atlantic-acupuncture store.

Yours in good health,

Cindy & Robert Kienitz

Atlantic Acupuncture

Vero Beach, Florida

Senility, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Part III

In our last Blog we explored the way dietary modification and exercises like Qigong can help prevent senility, dementia and Alzheimer’s. In part three of this examination we want to speak of how more specific conditions and therapies are arrived at by the diagnosis of their signs and symptoms.

Of the thirty-one patterns of diagnosis that are associated with dementia in Chinese medicine, nine patterns pertain specifically to the heart, three pertain to the liver and seven pertain to the kidneys. The remaining patterns have causative factors that range from trauma to age related stasis and stagnation of blood and Qi.

Due to the complexity of diagnosis of these conditions we advise the expertise of a Doctor of Chinese medicine. We are trained to understand and diagnose the various patterns and their signs and symptoms through the use of specific diagnostic tools, especially tongue and pulse diagnosis.

The science of diagnosis by inspection of the tongue was chronicled as far back as the Shang dynasty (1700 BCE) and has been continually updated and perfected since that time. There are four basic aspects of tongue analysis that include the tongue body, its color and shape, the coating including color, thickness, distribution and root, moisture showing the condition of body fluids and the ‘spirit’ which is kind of the Gestalt of the tongues presentation.

All of these signs allow us to determine not only the organs involved in disease progression but also the probable causes and prognosis of the disease.

Pulse analysis developed during the same period as tongue diagnosis but has more of a focus on the channels and pathways of Qi and their relationship to the organ and tissue systems of the body.

The Chinese pulse is taken at the radial artery of both wrists. There are 31 pulse types that can be felt at three different positions and at three different depths on each wrist for a total of 279 possible pulse presentations that relate to the major channels of Qi flow in the body.

The combination of tongue and pulse diagnosis is an incredibly sophisticated tool for finding the precise cause, location and prognosis of any disease and with this skill set Chinese doctors are able to parse out which of the thirty-one types of dementia may be present or about to occur.

In example, a person presenting with forgetfulness, absent mindedness, short attention span, inability to concentrate, insomnia, anxiety, agitation, heart palpitations, loss of appetite, a pale tongue with a white coat and a thready rapid pulse will be diagnosed with a heart blood and spleen Qi deficiency.

Based on that diagnosis the treatment principle would be to reinforce and benefit the heart and spleen, nourish the Qi and calm the mind.

An appropriate herbal remedy for this condition would be Gui Pi Tang or ‘Restore the Spleen Decoction’.

This determination of pattern diagnosis, treatment principle and remedial medicine would be followed for any possible condition that a person might present with and is what makes traditional Chinese medicine so very effective in treating any condition.

Because dementia takes so many forms it is important to get the appropriate diagnosis before any remedial herbal medicines are prescribed.

In our fourth and final installment on the subject of dementia we will look at prevention and the things that can be done to keep our minds and spirits clear, calm and healthy.

Yours in good health,

Cindy & Robert Kienitz

Atlantic Acupuncture

Vero Beach, Florida