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.”

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!”


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.

Yours in good health,

Robert Kienitz, DTCM

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.

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.

Yours in good health,

Robert Kienitz, DTCM