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,

Robert Kienitz, DTCM

Senility, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Part II

In our last Blog we explored the way Chinese medicine looks at the pathology of senility, dementia and Alzheimer’s diseases with the focus on the movement of Qi (bio-energy) and the formation and movement of blood and its components or essence.

Now we would like to look at preventative measures that we can all take, regardless of family history and age, to help keep our minds active and clear for our full 120 year life span!

Brain Foods

Dietary tips to improve brain health begin with the adage “a little bit of everything and not too much of anything”.

The foods that have been shown to directly improve micro-vascular circulation are avocado, beans of any kind, beets, blueberry,  broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cayenne pepper, coffee, dark chocolate, eggs, fish, garlic, green tea, goji berries, nuts of any kind, oranges, spinach, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, turmeric and watermelon.

Adding one or more of these foods into your daily diet, in moderation, have been shown to greatly benefit the circulation of the entire body and of course, the brain.

Breath and Movement

We are only as healthy as our breath is good. Richly oxygenated blood comes from two sources, the food we eat and the air we breathe. Any exercise that increases the flow of blood systemically will also increase flow of blood to the brain and that exercise should be a daily occurrence.

We recommend bringing your heart rate up to twice its resting level, so if my resting heart rate is 60 beats per minute I would perform my preferred aerobic exercise to bring it up to 120 beats per minute and maintain that for 20 – 30 minutes every day.

This number can change depending on your age, weight general fitness level etc. but doubling the resting heart rate is a very attainable goal for just about everybody.

Another part of the equation for better mental health is Qigong. The practice of Qigong in ancient times was primarily to promote longevity and mental development through promotion of the whole body system. The combination of posture or movement, controlled breathing and, what the Chinese call mind-will, are the three principles of Qigong exercise.

Qigong styles have been constantly scientifically studied since the 1950’s and have been shown to improve microcirculation and peripheral circulation, prevent vascular spasm and help in treating conditions like Reynaud’s syndrome, angina and migraines.

Jade Dragon Qigong in particular increases slow, high amplitude brain waves and improves cerebral blood flow so that there are fewer incidences of stroke.

Qigong practice decreases stress response, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder, while subjects show marked improvements in memory, concentration and interpersonal sensitivity.

Jade Dragon Qigong practice regulates blood pressure, cholesterol and hormone levels as well as mental acuity, vision, hearing, skin elasticity and bone density. Qigong also enhances immune function and physical strength moving one toward a longer, healthier life span. Sixty plus years of research in China shows that daily Qigong practiced by geriatric persons significantly increases life span and quality of life.

Jade Dragon Qigong instructional DVD’s can be purchased through our website, at our office in Vero Beach Florida and at

Yours in good health,

Robert Kienitz, DTCM

Senility, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Part I

Many people are confused about the terms senility, dementia and Alzheimer’s. The terms are often lumped together under the overarching tent of dementia, with senility seeming to be on the lower and milder end of a continuum and Alzheimer’s being at the higher or more profoundly affected end of that same spectrum.

While the term “senility” is no longer popular among conventional medical professionals, further confusion arises when we are told that there are many other cognitive disorders associated with aging that fall under this rubric like, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases, Frontal-temporal dementia, Creutzfeldt-Jakob syndrome, Dementia with Lewy bodies, Pick’s disease and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome to name a few.

Based on many years of research and clinical experience I have come to understand that the conventional medical model of the decline of the internal organs and the brain does not fully describe the causes and circumstances of senility, dementia and conditions like Alzheimer’s.

Traditional Chinese medicine tells us that birth, growth, youthful vigor and the decline and debility of aging are all related to the relative balance of Qi (bio-energy) and blood. In fact the chief mechanism of senility and related conditions is the loss of harmony of Qi and blood and those disharmonies and imbalances are mainly due to what Chinese doctors refer to as blood stasis.

Blood stasis simply means that the blood is not transported to where it is needed because it is physically blocked; certain components of blood are missing or incomplete, or there is a combination of blockage and deficient blood factors.

Physical blockage of blood can be due to many causes, vessels may experience narrowing or collapse, there may be occlusions such as accumulations of fats or plaque deposits within the vessels causing atherosclerosis and there may be frank blood clots. Frequently we see some combination of weakened vessel walls and narrowing due to deposits as major causative factors.

Qi and blood are the basic substances that constitute the human body and maintain the activities of life. Qi is the basis for all metabolic and physiological functions and blood is fundamental to constructing, enriching, moistening and nourishing the body. Without blood there is no Qi and without Qi the blood cannot perform its functions.

The Qi mechanism is responsible for getting the blood to where it is needed. The heart Qi in particular has that duty along with the governance of the entire vascular system. With advancing years the Qi and blood tend to undergo pathological changes such as loss of balance, stasis and obstruction which may lead to the occurrence of various diseases and senility of the organism.

The constituent blood factors are referred to as essence. In Chinese medicine these factors can be everything from vitamins and minerals to various types of blood cells, Ph levels and body salts. Essence is the broad spectrum of these components and is part of what the Chinese refer to as the “three treasures” which are Qi, blood and essence. If any of these treasures are in decline disease is soon to follow.

Chinese medicine looks to signs and symptoms to tell us what systems are affected in order to determine treatment principles. Changes in what we term “spirit and spirit orientation” include cognitive ability, memory, positive outlook and adaptation to change. This is probably the most important symptom and may be seen alone or along with palpitations, chest pain, stroke or hemiplegia, cough and asthma, dizziness, vertigo, difficult sleep, hair loss, diminished visual acuity and auditory power, senile patches (aka liver spots), varicosity, fatigue, poor appetite, edema, impotence, numbness, aching and body pain. These symptoms may occur singly or in groups and lead us to determine the type of condition and kind of treatment.

Preventative treatment is always our first choice but we can treat most conditions at any stage of the continuum. Next time our focus will be on prevention using dietary therapy, exercise and Chinese herbal medicines.

Yours in good health,

Robert Kienitz, DTCM

The Healing Power of Zoup!

An ancient Chinese proverb states that a good doctor treats with food first, then resorts to medicine.

A healing zoup can be your first step in maintaining your health and preventing illness. The therapeutic value of zoup comes from the ease with which your body can assimilate the nutrients from the ingredients, which have been broken down by simmering.

Here are some healing zoup tips that will preserve your wellness and longevity:

Lose weight with zoup
Obesity is on the rise throughout the industrialized world, resulting in a startling increase in the rates of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes. You can count yourself out of the statistics if you eat a bowl of zoup at least once a day. Nutritious low-salt zoups will nourish you as they flush excess wastes from your body. It has been found that people who eat one serving of zoup per day lose more weight than those who eat the same amount of calories, but don’t eat zoup. Homemade zoup is your best bet, because canned zoups tend to be loaded with salt and chemicals. My advice is to use organic vegetables whenever possible. The herbicides and pesticides that can be present in conventional produce can assault the immune system and overload it with toxins.

Build your immunity
Your immune system needs a lot of minerals to function properly and the typical Western diet does not always hit the mark. When you slowly simmer foods over low heat, you gently leach out the energetic and therapeutic properties of the foods, preserving the nutritional value of the foods. Keep in mind that boiling can destroy half of the vitamins found in vegetables, so cook zoup over a low heat.

Immune-Boosting Zoup
In a chicken or vegetable stock simmer these ingredients for 30 minutes: cabbage, carrots, fresh ginger, onion, oregano, shiitake mushrooms (if dried, they must be soaked first), the seaweed of your choice, and any type of squash. Cabbage can increase your body’s ability to fight infection, ginger supports healthy digestion, and seaweed cleanses the body. Shiitake mushrooms contain coumarin, polysaccharides, and sterols, as well as vitamins and minerals that increase your immune system’s function and the remaining ingredients promote general health and well-being. Eat this zoup every other day to build a strong and healthy immune system.

Detoxify your body
Zoup, as a liquid, is by nature helping you flush waste from your body. When you choose detoxifying ingredients, such as the ones featured in the recipe below, you are really treating your body to an internal cleanse. The broth below boasts many benefits: it supports the liver in detoxification, increases circulation, reduces inflammation, and replenishes your body with essential minerals.

Super Detoxifying Broth
Simmer the following for 1–2 hours over a low flame: anise, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, Swiss chard, cilantro, collards, dandelion, fennel, garlic, ginger, kale, leeks, shiitake mushrooms, mustard greens, daikon radish, seaweed, turmeric, and watercress.

Drink 8 to 12 ounces twice a day. You can keep this broth in your fridge for up to one week; however, it is always best to serve zoups when fresh because each day, the therapeutic value tends to decrease.

In addition to using cleansing herbs in zoups, you can take cleansing herbs in supplements. For a gentle but powerful cleanse using Chinese herbs, Internal Cleanse increases the ability of the liver to cleanse the body of internal and environmental toxins.

Warm up with a hearty zoup
One should always want to eat for the season. Even in the relatively mild winters of Vero Beach, Florida, zoups provide warmth the body craves in cold weather. When you cook foods into a zoup, you are adding a lot of what Chinese nutrition calls “warming energy” into the food. Warming foods to feature in your zoups include: leeks, onions, turnips, spinach, kale, broccoli, quinoa, yams, squash, garlic, scallions, and parsley. As a spice, turmeric aids with circulation, a great boost against the cold weather.

Get well faster
As your mother may have instinctively known, when you are sick, there is no better healing food than zoup. The reason for this is that zoups and stews don’t require as much energy to digest, freeing your body up to fight the infection.

It would be impossible to talk about zoups healing abilities without putting the spotlight on homemade chicken noodle zoup. Studies have found that chicken noodle zoup does seem to relieve the common cold by inhibiting inflammation — helping to break up congestion and ease the flow of nasal secretions.

While chicken zoup may not cure a cold outright, it does help alleviate some of the symptoms and can help as a preventative measure. Many of my patient’s keep herbal formulas for cold & flu in their medicine cabinets so they are there to support recovery when a cold strikes.

In Chinese medicine, you would traditionally be given a tonic zoup specifically tailored to your needs, and for that level of personal care, this level of dietary therapy involves using Chinese herbs in conjunction with traditional zoup ingredients. Some of my patients have been known to grind up add their tablet or pill medicinals that we prescribe and add them to zoups or “zmoothies”

Yours in good health,

Cindy & Robert Kienitz


Dietary Dilemmas…

This time of year, at our clinic here in Vero Beach Florida, we get a lot of queries about weight loss as a New Year’s resolution.

Dietary modification can be very difficult, as is the feeling of being overweight. Many fad diets may promise instant and significant weight loss results, but most of them rely on depriving your body of certain key nutrients and disrupting the natural function of your body’s metabolism.

There are many fad diets that promise to help you lose weight in almost no time at all. After two or three weeks on the diet you find yourself losing enough to be able to brag to your family and friends about it, and you’re so optimistic that this new lifestyle will be your ticket to a smaller waistline that you start to browse the stores for new clothes.

As you continue to lose weight for another couple of weeks something unforeseen happens: you start to feel sluggish, you begin craving something that your diet absolutely forbids you to have, or the general sense of optimism begins to transform itself into a feeling of constriction, frustration, and even dietary imprisonment.

You may decide to have just one snack, or spend just one day eating whatever you want with the intention of going back to the diet the following day. What happens then is that you feel such satisfaction from that treat that the entire effort falls apart and you put the weight back on in practically no time at all.

Does this scenario sound at all familiar?

These five herbs make a harmonious blend of function and taste. From an Oriental medical point of view they are essential in keeping the body in balance because they provide nutrients people often lack, acting not only as medicine, but as also nutritional supplement.

  1. Millet: A well-balanced diet should consist of whole grains instead of refined grains like white rice and pasta, and millet is a beneficial and delicious staple of this category of food. This non-glutinous grain is over 10-percent protein, has high amounts of fiber and B-complex vitamins, and because it isn’t an acid forming food, is easy to digest.
  2. Asparagus: When losing weight, it’s important to favor chlorophyll-rich foods, including asparagus. Asparagus is a nutrient-rich vegetable packed with folate, vitamins A, C, and K, and fiber. Asparagus also contains a carbohydrate known as inulin (not to be confused with insulin) that promotes healthy bacteria in the large intestine – which in turn promotes a healthier digestive function.
  3. Pomegranates: Eating a balanced diet to lose weight should include eating fresh fruits, and pomegranates are a wonderful example of a healthy, nutritious fruit that has antioxidant properties and will help prevent cancer. While the benefits of drinking pomegranate juice have gained a lot of attention recently, you will be more likely to lose weight by eating the fruit fresh to increase your fiber intake and keep the calories down.
  4. Pine Nuts: Pine nuts are the edible seeds of pine trees and are considered an essential ingredient in the tasty Italian mixture pesto. Chinese medicine uses pine nuts to improve gastrointestinal tract and digestive functions, and pine nut oil is even used for appetite suppression. Pine nuts and other nuts are a tasty part of a well-balanced diet intended for weight loss.
  5. Green Tea: It has been found that consuming large amounts of coffee and caffeine can lead to food cravings, increase one’s appetite, and induce stress-related eating. Green tea is a wonderful alternative to coffee in that it does provide a little caffeine but also contains beneficial antioxidants. So drink up!

A healthy diet also includes lean proteins like chicken breast, legumes such as lentils, and other whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. While fad diets may promise a large amount of weight loss in a short period of time, there’s almost a guarantee that you will put that weight back on-and then some!

Eat five smaller meals a day, avoid processed foods, chew more slowly, and incorporate more healthy foods into your diet-starting with these five.

Yours in good health

Robert & Cindy Kienitz


Mindful Eating…

Several years ago, before Cindy and I relocated to Vero Beach FL, we conducted a series of Weight Management workshops in conjunction with the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. The workshops were eight weeks long and the participants received acupuncture and psychological counseling as well as training in Qigong, walking therapy, Chinese dietary therapy, cooking classes and classes in mindful eating. At the end of one of the workshops one of our participants had this to say.

“When I faced my own obesity several years ago, I knew I had to do something that would really look at the prime cause of my weight problem. Instead of turning to the old diet answers (“the light is better here”), I asked myself HOW I was eating my food. And I was horrified at my answers to this question.

I considered food as a throwaway commodity, something to get through to get on with the next thing in life. I gulped, shoveled and barely chewed food. I overate at every meal and I had no thoughts about the origins, effort or sacrifice that went into each bite.

For me, the results of this workshop were nothing short of amazing. I began to slow down as I ate, genuinely appreciating my food. I had a new respect for food, its origins and the efforts behind its production. I began to tune in to my own body and my own hunger and to learn to stop eating when my hunger was satisfied (instead of using the empty plate as a signal to stop eating or worse, get second helpings). Slowly, I began to recapture control over my eating and make choices about when to stop.

All of this had a profound effect on my weight. Slowly, two to four pounds a week disappeared. It was as if my body was saying to me, “You finally got it right.” And through it all, it hadn’t been so much that I changed WHAT I was eating it was a change in HOW I was eating. “

 If we disconnect mind from stomach, the mind doesn’t receive signals of repletion. Normally, as the sensation of taste, smell and food texture reach the brain, they contribute to our feeling of satiation. But, when the mind is disconnected and disenfranchised, it’s difficult to feel satiated.

There are two distinct types of overeaters: The ‘Gourmet’ and the ‘Let’s get on with it’ eaters. We need to find a healthy balance between the two.

The ‘Gourmets’ need to learn that they cannot have three, five-course-gala meals every day and the ‘Let’s get on with it’ eaters need to add more festiveness and mindfulness to meals.

10 Tips for Mindful Eating

At home, eat only at a designated place, which supposedly is your dining table. Whenever you eat, sit down. Standing, walking or driving while eating fosters the habit of mindless eating.

  1. Eat at scheduled times as often as possible, people tend to sacrifice their scheduled eating time for unscheduled activities.
  2. When you eat, let that be the only activity you do. This obviously precludes multitasking such as writing checks, reading, watching TV or talking on the phone while eating.
  3. Have rituals around your meals, such as beginning and ending meals with thanks or a moment of meditation. Meals are family-time, talking about the day’s events is a good way to reaffirm you connectedness.
  4. Mind the presentation, a little garnish goes a long way to help appreciation.
  5. Attend to the quality of your food, not the quantity.
  6. Eat slowly and chew the food at least 30 times per mouthful, learn to savor.
  7. Take the next bite only after you’ve swallowed the food that was already in your mouth.
  8. Until you develop a strong mind-stomach connection, eat with full awareness and concentration, which is, mentally registering the whole process from picking the food up, putting it into your mouth, chewing it and swallowing it down.
  9. In order to develop proper control over eating, mindfulness about eating or any other behavior, you have to be totally non-judgmental. You can’t criticize, chastise and dislike yourself and still be able to observe yourself accurately. When negative emotions or any type of emotional excitement gets hold of a person, his or her faculty of self-observation is significantly compromised.

Additionally, we know from our studies of Traditional Chinese Medicine that the mind and body are connected in such  way that any mental emotional state affects the body and that  always includes the digestive system.

Bon Apatite,

Robert & Cindy Kienitz

The Three Treasures

Wisdom and treasures of the East are said to have been bestowed during this Holiday season. In addition to gold, frankincense and myrrh we offer these three treasures.

Treasure One: Eat

You have control of the food you eat and the water you drink. We are not talking about going on a diet, you already tried that and, well, we don’t need to go there. Taking control of your food is simply that, you grow it or buy it, you prepare it and you enjoy it.

Eat close to the source of your food. Fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains and organic protein sources whenever possible. Don’t give control of your food to fast food outlets and prepackaged, preprocessed pseudo foods. If you have concerns over the price of organic foods, remember that those costs are greatly offset by not purchasing the unwholesome, empty calories of fast and processed foods.

One of the other keys to controlling your food is intake. “A little bit of everything and not too much of anything” is our mantra when it comes to food. Avoid food preferences and restrictive diets that take the fun and adventure out of eating

Treasure Two: Move

Daily movement is not an exercise program, exercise programs fall under the same heading as “going on a diet.” What we are talking about is, get up and; walk, dance, skip, bike, practice Yoga, do Qigong, swim…just M-O-V-E !

Start out with small bits of time and work your way up to at least 20 minutes a day, every day for the rest of your long and healthy life. Vary what you do a few days a week especially if you get bored easily, otherwise stick to a routine and try to move at the same time of day each day, within twenty-one days moving will have become a habit.

Treasure Three:  Breath

Daily deep relaxation is not taking a nap, although that might also be a good idea on occasion. Quiet mindfulness can be meditation, receptive prayerfulness, or just sitting and breathing.

The important thing is to stop the continual dialogue your mind wants to have with you about every subject under the sun. To simply sit and focus on the breath is an excellent starting place, but going down to the beach, sitting on the sand and watching the waves with no agenda will also work wonders on your mind and spirit.

Again, you want to start with small bits of time and work your way up to twenty or thirty minutes a day, every day, for the rest of your long and healthy life.

Regardless of your constitution and general state of health the Three Treasures will enhance your life. Over time they will help to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, regulate your blood sugars, raise your metabolism, enhance your immune system, relieve stress, help you sleep more soundly, clarify your mind and bring you into closer contact with your divine self…AND IT’S ALL FREE !

                 The Three Treasures are some of the best ways to take charge of your health and help you to realize that you are ultimately accountable for your health. This in turn allows us to help coordinate your ongoing wellness in partnership with you. This is a unique approach to wellness that asks that you be a fully engaged and fully informed participant and allows us to offer you clear lifestyle choices and true medical alternatives for the rest of your long and healthy life.

Wishing you the happiest of Holidays and a wonder-filled New Year,

Robert & Cindy Kienitz

Atlantic Acupuncture

900 20th Place

Vero Beach Florida 32960

How to Beat the Winter Blues

Even in Vero Beach, in the middle of Florida, winter is the season when nature sleeps, and everything experiences the slowing of natural processes. Especially in our bodies, inactivity leads to an accumulation of toxins, carbon dioxide and a drop in our immune systems. People are more inclined to colds, flu, poor circulation, and lower vitality in the winter months.

To avoid the winter blues, Chinese medicines advice is: go to sleep early and wait to let the sun bathe the house before rising from bed, dress warmly, engage in physical exercise, refrain from eating cold and raw foods and reduce salt to protect the kidneys. Chinese medicine links the winter season to the kidneys, the adrenal glands, and the bladder. All winter vegetables are valuable this time of year and an increase in foods with bitter flavors, found in foods such as rhubarb and kale, and eating seasonally available foods is one of the surest ways to good health.

Positive Activities for a Positive Mood

The best way to regulate your mood is through eating a proper balanced diet and practicing a good exercise program. These are a few specific measures you can take to maintain a positive outlook all through the winter:

  1. Eat smaller meals, more frequently, and drink more liquids.
  2. Avoid dairy, alcohol, coffee, sugar, and fatty foods. Excessive spicy foods are also not recommended, but a certain amount of pungency is beneficial.
  3. Begin your day with a 20-minute brisk walk in the fresh air.
  4. Get at least 8 hours of quality sleep every night. Take a 30-minute walk 1 hour before bed, not for exercise, but to help you sleep more soundly.
  5. Movement is essential for proper metabolism and energy circulation. Consider learning and practicing some form of Tai Chi or Qigong exercises; these exercises in particular are very effective in balancing energy. However, any exercise will be beneficial in keeping your energy up and avoiding stagnation.
  6. Don’t try to do too much in one day. Over planning is an energy-depleting activity. Try making only one or two items a priority every day. This way you can build on success instead of failure.

Fire Up Your Vitality with Ginger Tea

Since ancient times, Chinese physicians have regularly consumed ginger tea to keep their vitality fired up. Not only will ginger tea give you a boost with its pungent taste; it also has many significant healing properties. Besides its popular application for digestive distress, ginger has been found to contain geraniol, which may be a potent cancer fighter. It also possesses anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve pain, prevent blood clots, and inhibit the onset of migraine headaches.

How to make fresh ginger tea:

Cut a 2-inch piece from a fresh ginger root. Thinly slice this piece. Bring 4 cups of water to boiling in a saucepan. Add the ginger and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover for about fifteen minutes. Strain the tea and serve.

We hope you will be able to integrate these strategies into your winter program. I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with us.

Yours in Good Health,

Robert & Cindy Kienitz

Four Fall Foods…

As the autumn temperatures begin to drop here in Vero Beach Florida, we may notice a change in the foods our bodies crave. The desire for an ice popsicle just might be replaced by a yearning for a warm bowl of soup. In Chinese medicine consuming foods that correspond to each season is a way to create harmony and balance in the body. Fruits and vegetables contain the most concentrated nutrients and flavor when they are consumed in season. Autumn is the perfect time to try new produce that is packed with delicious phytochemicals to keep your taste buds and health in shape throughout the entire season!

Whether you enjoy apple picking or perusing through a pumpkin patch, you will fall into health with these tasty picks!

An Apple a Day Keeps the Weight Away

These shiny gems are not just for your teacher anymore! A recent USDA-funded study assigned 160 women from ages 45 to 60 to eat dried apples daily for one year. The results demonstrated a 23% drop in LDL cholesterol and lower levels of C-reactive protein and lipid hydroperoxide. The women dropped an average of three pounds, despite consuming the extra calories from the dried apples. This miracle fruit may be enjoyed raw, dried, or baked, but limit the apple pies if you want the full benefits.

Tasty Tip: Chop a crispy apple into your hot oatmeal and sprinkle with walnuts and your favorite spices for a boost of fiber and heart-healthy omega three fatty acids.

Brussels Sprouts Defend from Cancer and Disease

You may want to rethink feeding Fido your Brussels sprouts under the table! Countless studies link Brussels sprouts to cancer prevention and protection from disease. Chock full of vitamin A, C, E, and powerful antioxidants, it is time to invite these mini cabbages back to your dinner table. Their cardio protective and anti-inflammatory benefits make them a perfect fall side dish. You may also want to try a variety of cabbages for their digestive health benefits. Studies demonstrate that cabbage contains a multitude of nutrients that benefit our stomach and intestinal linings.

Delicious Dish: For a colorful meal, shred red and green cabbage together. Then add some sesame oil, lemon juice, and your favorite spices. Enjoy with baked fish for a wholesome meal packed with phytonutrients and flavor!

Root Your Way to Health

If you love to chomp on bright orange carrot sticks or savor the terrific taste of turnips, you will be happy to take advantage of the root vegetables that are staples of the fall season. Tasty tubers like sweet potatoes, yams, cassava, and taro pack a punch of potassium, fiber, beta-carotene, iron, and folic acid, supporting a healthy immune system. Baking, roasting, or adding these delicious roots to stews is a great way to enjoy these nutrient powerhouses. Make a mélange of roasted beets, turnips, rutabaga, and parsnips for a low-fat side dish that will keep your belly—and taste buds—satisfied.

Chew on This: Beets contain powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, thanks to betalains, the pigment that gives them their deep red hue. Grate raw beets into your favorite salad or steam and serve them with lemon juice and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for a tasty side dish.

The Perfect Pear for an Antioxidant Boost

In season through October, this juicy and sweet fruit comes in a variety of colors and textures. This fragrant fruit is a member of the rose family and is a great source of copper and vitamin C, which can help protect our bodies from free radical damage. To enjoy the full antioxidant benefits of pears, it is best to eat them ripe. How to tell if it is ripe? Check the neck! Gently press your thumb against the neck. If it yields to slight pressure, it should be ready to eat. Pears are also an excellent source of dietary fiber, which has been shown to promote colon and cardiovascular health.

Mouthwatering Meal: Add a chopped pear to a warm bowl of quinoa, sprinkle with toasted sunflower seeds, and drizzle with honey.

Yours in good health,


Robert Kienitz, D.Ac. DTCM


Atlantic Acupuncture and Island Wellness Clinics


The Eyes Have It…

Zheng Guang Xia is a Chinese medical category that includes Macular Degeneration and other “loss of vision with no abnormal appearance of the eye” diseases. Some of the other conditions that fall within this category are glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and degeneration of the optic nerve.

Macular degeneration is the deterioration of the central portion of the retina, the inside back wall of the eye, that records the images we see and sends them, via the optic nerve, to the brain. The retina’s central portion, known as the macula, is responsible for focusing central vision in the eye, and it controls our ability to read, recognize faces or colors, and see objects in fine detail.

If one compares the human eye to a film camera, the macula would be the central and most sensitive area of the film. When it is in good health, the macula collects highly detailed images at the center of the field of vision and sends them through the optic nerve to the brain, which interprets them as sight.  If the cells of the macula deteriorate, images are not received correctly and the center of the focal field becomes distorted and eventually nonexistent. In the very early stages, macular degeneration does not affect vision, but later, if the disease progresses, people experience wavy or blurred vision in the center of the visual field. If the condition continues to worsen the blurred area becomes darker and larger and eventually central vision may be completely lost.

People with very advanced macular degeneration can be considered legally blind. Even so, because the rest of the retina is still working, they usually retain their peripheral vision which is not as clear as central vision but there is still some vision.

At Atlantic Acupuncture we treat macular degeneration and other visual conditions with Traditional Chinese Medicine at our Vero Beach office using both herbal medicine and acupuncture.

The Chinese medical understanding is that disharmonies of the liver and kidneys cause or exacerbate conditions like macular degeneration. We have found that herbal medicines made up of substances like celosia, chrysanthemum, gentian and prunella can be used in combination with other herbs to nourish the eye and stop the degeneration of the macula. If caught in the early stages we have been able to restore the central vision and in later stages we have been able to arrest the deterioration of the macula. These herbs and formulas that regulate the liver and kidneys harmonize and balance their functions to restore visual health.

Acupuncture is also very effective in the treatment of disharmonies of the eye. Acupuncture points with names like pupil bone hole, eye window, eye ascension, bright eyes and tear overlook all have the function or stimulating the flow of Qi and blood to the eyes, optic nerve and brain. Scientific studies in China and other Asian countries focusing on these acupuncture points have verified that they do indeed increase vascular dilation and blood flow to the eyes and specifically the macula.

Although the use of Chinese medicine for degenerative eye diseases is not a quick fix, there is nothing in conventional medicine that compares to the safety and efficacy that Chinese medicine has for the treatment of degenerative eye diseases.

Yours in good health,

Robert Kienitz, DTCM