What is Snoring?

Snoring is a common condition that affects over 40 million Americans as they sleep. Snoring is the result of obstructed airflow of breathing during sleep, and the wheezing, gurgling, and snorting noises that accompany snoring are made by the soft palate as air is forced through the oral and nasal cavity at high speeds. Snoring, while not a particularly serious condition itself is often associated with sleep disorders of a more potentially harmful nature, such as sleep apnea—a condition in which the sufferer stops breathing for up to 90 seconds. Other conditions and activities that may cause snoring are obesity, asthma, smoking, drinking alcohol, and eating a poor diet. If left untreated, snoring may create a greater risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

How can I treat Snoring?
Traditional Chinese medicine considers snoring to be the result of dampness. Living in Vero Beach on the Atlantic coast, we live and breath in an environment that is continually damp and that damp can lead to Qi (energy) stagnation. Treatment focuses on dispelling the dampness and unblocking the energy through a treatment plan that includes a wholesome diet rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates. Preferred foods for preventing snoring include quinoa, brown rice, yams, beets, carrots, spinach, broccoli, papaya, mangoes, citrus fruits such as limes and grapefruits, black mushrooms, ginger, and chrysanthemum flowers. Other remedies include gargling with warm salt water and drinking green and chamomile teas. Recommended exercise includes 30-minute walks, meditation and practicing Tai Chi or Qigong.

What should I avoid in my lifestyle for Snoring?

It is important to avoid foods that produce mucous and dampness, including cold and raw foods, oily and greasy foods, dairy products, white flour and sugar, soft drinks, wheat, chocolate, shellfish, potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants. Other things to avoid are evening snacks, alcohol, antihistamines, stress, and lack of sleep. Perhapse the worst causitive factor I see among patients is cigarette smoking.

Green Tea and Snoring?

Many people assume that the “green” in green tea means herbal. The fact is that there is actually a tea plant, Camellia sinensis, which is related to the ornamental shrub known for its beautiful and fragrant flowers. Manuscripts in Asia harking back to 3000 B.C., relate the use of C. sinensis as a beverage plant. Its real popularity did not begin until around the second century A.D., and up until the 18th century all tea was green tea.

There are hundreds of distinct varieties of green tea and one can become as much a connoisseur of green tea as of fine wine (which also has medicinal value). The top producers of tea in the world are China, Japan and India. Depending on the region and elevation in which it is grown, the time of year it is harvested, it’s processing and environmental conditions such as rainfall and days of sun all combine to produce differences in flavor and quality.

The “green” of green tea indicates that it is processed to retain its fresh color. Black tea is usually dried and fermented which gives it the black color. Green tea is processed very little and the best types are processed by hand and either sun dried or pan fried. A great deal of art goes into the processing of green tea and shaping the leaves and the processing often contributes to the name given the tea. “Gunpowder tea” is rolled into tight balls resembling gunpowder pellets, “eyebrow” tea is shaped into crescents and “silver needle tea” is a thin rolled leaf with a silver color. The shaping and processing of tea also controls the release of flavor as the tea is brewed.

The beneficial properties of green tea are due to antioxidant polyphenols, researchers believe that drinking 4-5 cups of green tea a day may help reduce cholesterol and lower high blood pressure. In addition studies have shown that cardiovascular disease, blood sugar disorders and the body’s resistance to infection can all be helped by daily ingestion of green tea.

Caffeine content of tea is a concern to a lot of people but green tea contains 1/3 to 1/2 the caffeine of an equal amount of coffee. There is also growing evidence that the caffeine itself is not the responsible component of coffee jitters, rather it is the tannins in coffee that are virtually absent in green tea.

The Chinese and Japanese cultures have refined tea brewing into a high art that can take years to master, but if you want a cup quicker than that you can start with a cup (Glass or ceramic), of water that has been brought close but not quite to a boil. If there are tiny bubbles just forming from the heat, the water temperature is just right. Then take a small amount of green tea, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon should be about right, and gently drop the leaves right into the water. My Chinese teachers used to let the tea soak until it sank to the bottom of the cup, then the tea was done. My Japanese teachers, on the other hand, only let the tea steep for one to two minutes depending on the desired potency and then they dipped out the leaves. The length of brewing will obviously affect the taste and character of the tea so you have to experiment a little but the rule of thumb is longer steeping will produce more bitter tea.

Weather you try Japanese of Chinese styles of brewing, adding tea to your diet is considered by all to be highly beneficial to your overall health. Bottoms up!

Yours in Health,

Robert Kienitz, DTCM

Atlantic-acupuncture.com

Health for Body and Pocketbook

The other day I was standing in line at the local Vero Beach market and the man in front of me was purchasing cigarettes for he and his wife, one pack each. The cashier rung him up and said “that’ll be $12.73 please”. I was surprised, I had been vaguely aware that cigarette prices had been going up over time but, because I don’t smoke, I had no idea as to how expensive a habit it had become.

Setting aside the health implications for one minute we’ll do the math; twenty cigarettes a day (not an unusual amount for most smokers), for he and his wife, was costing them an average of $89.11 per week, $356.44 per month or $4,633.72 per year! Buying by the carton and switching to generic brands might drop that price by a few hundred dollars, but they are still looking at about four grand a year for the privilege of putting dangerous chemicals into their bodies that have been proven to cause diseases ranging from asthma to emphysema and cancer.

It took a great deal of personal effort to keep from accosting the man and telling him about the wonders of acupuncture and Chinese medicine for the treatment of addictions, especially nicotine. For years we have been using acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine to successfully help people quit smoking without side negative effects.

Conventional Medicine Agrees

A recent study published in the medical journal Preventive Medicine showed the use of acupuncture for smoking addiction. This ambitious study followed 46 participants for five years. About half of the group was given acupuncture at points that corresponded to smoking. The other half of the group also received acupuncture but they were given treatment for their skeletal and muscular systems (so called “placebo” or “sham” acupuncture).

During the course of the study several people in the test group and in the control group quit smoking. The scientists studied the blood levels of smoking-related chemicals in both groups and found that the test group had less of these chemicals in their systems even if they continued to smoke after treatment.

The First Step

“Ya gotta wanna” quit. If you are not ready to stop smoking, you won’t. But if you do want to stop, acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help by reducing the desire for nicotine, clearing the free nicotine and other chemicals from your body quickly and calming the mind to make the process less stressful. Most people we treat quit within three sessions and those that fall off the wagon usually don’t take more than a session or two to get back on track

What Your Neighbors Say

“Over a period of two years, I have tried several programs to quit smoking. I have even tried to quit cold turkey without success. After one visit with Robert and Cindy Kienitz, I lost the desire to smoke. Wanting to quit was the first step, Acupuncture, and Breath-work sealed the deal. I have not felt the need to smoke since.”

~MB
Sebastian, FL

“I went to see Dr. Robert for help with stopping smoking and was so amazed with the results that I’ve sent half the population of Orchid Island to see him. Keep up the great work Doc!”

~JR

Orchid Island, FL

 

Even if you don’t smoke (good for you!), you probably know someone who does. Pass this information on to them and help them save their lives while also saving money.

 

When you are ready, we are here.

 

Cindy & Robert Kienitz, DTCM

www.atlantic-acupuncture.com

 

Eight Tips to Beat the Heat

Here in Vero Beach Florida, the summer heat can sneak up on you and not only zap your energy, while you are outdoors, but it can cause dehydration, sunburn and actual exhaustion! Children under four, people over 65, and those who are obese, already ill, or taking medications can especially be affected very easily. Prolonged exposure to heat and insufficient body fluid can result in heat exhaustion. Its symptoms can include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness headache and nausea or vomiting. Here are the best remedies for heat exhaustion:

  1. Carry water with you and sip it throughout the day. Dehydration can set in and we don’t even realize it until we begin to feel thirsty!
  2. Pace yourself when working outdoors, exercising or just having fun. Those who participate in regular exercise over time, allowing their bodies to adjust to hot conditions, may better tolerate exercise on hot days.
  3. Replace salts and minerals with electrolytes such as Gatorade or other power drinks that have potassium. Avoid drinks with large amounts of sugar. Dehydration can stress the heart and impair the kidneys’ ability to maintain the correct level of fluids and balance of electrolyte. Electrolytes are charged elements—like potassium, sodium, phosphorous and chloride—essential for the normal function of every cell in the body.
  4. Wear lightweight clothing the lighter the colored clothing (white, being ideal) the more sunlight is reflected away from you. Darker colors absorb the light and heat.
  5. Seek air conditioning, cool breezes under the shade and/or take cool showers in order to bring down your body temperature.
  6. Sunburn can happen very easily if you are not careful. Dilute one part Tea Tree Oil with ten parts of olive oil or coconut oil and spread freely over the affected areas. This is soothing and pain-relieving and to reduce blistering and peeling. People have also applied tea tree oil full strength to sunburn.
  7. If you feel dizzy and/or stop sweating, quit all activity and get out of the sun fast. Drink cool, not cold water with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in it. The vinegar helps to replace electrolytes and minerals like sports drinks do.
  8. In ancient Egypt, China and the Far East, watermelon juice and its seeds were traditionally offered to thirsty travelers, and they are still important today in times of drought or water pollution. This flavorful fruit is one of the best remedies for dehydration and summer heat symptoms, which include thirst without desire to drink, band-like headache, nausea, low appetite, heavy, weighted body sensation, low motivation, sluggish digestion, increased body temperature, sticky sweat, surging pulse, and red tongue with thick white or yellow coating. Watermelon cools and cleanses the system, clearing summer heat and acts as a natural diuretic.

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, 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 excercise 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, DTCM

Acupuncture Measurements . . . Location, Location, Location.

A question I am frequently asked is “how do you find the hundreds of acupuncture points on the body?”

In the Compendium of Acupuncture and Moxabustion it was written “Methods of locating points are based on standard measurements. An acupuncturist must have a clear understanding of these measurements, the patients build and a mastery of the anatomical landmarks of the body”.

The three main factors involved in point location are: proportional measurements, anatomical land marks and finger measurement.

Proportional measurement has the widths or lengths of the various parts of the human body divided into standardized numbers of equal units of proportion. These standards are applicable to any patient regardless of age, sex, width or height.

Anatomical Triangulation is the use of anatomical landmarks for point location. There are two types of landmarks, the first are fixed landmarks that include sense organs, hair, navel and the prominences and depressions of bones. For instance the point at the tip of the nose is Suliao or Du 20, the point at the center of the navel is Shenque or Ren 8.

Photo of Flexed Arm  showing Quchi or Large Intestine 11 acupuncture point.
Flexed arm showing Quchi or Large Intestine 11 acupuncture point.

The second uses of anatomical landmarks are moveable or require movement to find. To locate Quchi or Large Intestine 11, the arm is flexed and a crease appears at the bend of the elbow, the point is at the outer part of the crease on the outside. When the palm is flat and the thumb and forefinger are held together there is a bump of flesh between them, the apex of that lump is Hegu, Large Intestine 4.

Finger measurement; the width of the first joint of the thumb is referred to as 1 cun (pronounced tsun). This is the standard measurement used in both proportional measurement and anatomical triangulation. The distance from the center of the knee to the tip of the outside ankle bone is 16 cun, the distance between the inside crease of the elbow to the wrist is 12 cun.

Using these measurements we can locate points using references like; the acupoint Neiguan, Pericardium 6 is located 2 cun above the wrist crease between the two tendons.

There are many shortcuts we learn to find the hundreds of acupuncture points in TCM College but the bottom line is that to be an effective acupuncturist it is all about location, location, location.

________________________
You may contact Dr. Robert Kienitz of Atlantic Acupuncture in Vero Beach, Florida at 772-217-0990.