Treating a sinus infection

Antibiotics shouldn’t be your go-to treatment, according to a new set of guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Turns out, anywhere from 90 to 98 percent of the infections aren’t caused by bacteria, meaning antibiotics won’t work. Furthermore, the over use of antibiotics leads to the continuing problem of super germs.

Traditional Chinese Medicine has treated sinus infections effectively for a very long time. Acupuncture can relieve the pain and pressure in the frontal and maxillary sinus. Often this relief is instantaneous. Soon after the needles are in many of my patients will say, “ah I can breathe through my nose again.” You may be thinking, those needles in the face must hurt. The needles I use for the face are extremely thin and do not cause pain. In fact the sinus pain is worse than the needle sensation!

Chinese herbs are extremely effective for treating virus’ which are the most common cause of a sinus infection. Chinese herbs clear heat and dispel cold, they dispel damp and phlegm, and they dispel wind from the body. These are some of the terms we use to describe the assaulting pathogens that cause a sinus infection.

It is always best to consult with your Doctor of Oriental Medicine about which herbal formula is appropriate for your condition. Chinese herbs are always used in a formula, meaning there will be many different single herbs used in one formula. This is unique to Chinese herbal philosophy and makes for a very balanced approach to healing the body.

Additionally, from a dietary perspective, it is best to avoid dairy products and sugar when you have a sinus infection, allergies or a head cold.

Breathe Deep Everyone!

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White House Petition

Your signature is needed by February 10th!
This White House petition is to designate “Acupuncturist” as a recognized health care provider under the Social Security Act.
Please sign it today and pass the word. Thank you.

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Happy New Year

winter skyHappy New Year. I hope you all felt the shift; letting go of fear and opening to love is the “mantra” for this Aquarian age.

Winter is the element of water, the organ of kidney and Urinary Bladder. Winter is yin. Yin energy is receptive and introspective; it is a time to restore our spiritual energy and to store physical energy.
The emotion is fear, the color is blue/black. It is the time to observe your fears and let the silence of snow soften your mood and quiet your mind.

Caring for your body during the cold and long winter days can be challenging. We need to rest and restore; but we need to keep this balanced with movement. Days spent inside with forced air heat can be drying to our skin and nasal passages. Leaving for work and getting home from work in the dark can leave us drained and unmotivated. The qi(vital force) in our body needs movement in order to keep our immune system strong. I prefer to ski and snowshoe for activity, but if you do not like the cold, you can work out indoors, fast walk in the mall,or do qi gong or yoga. Whatever you chose, do it daily. I recommend acupuncture at least once a month to help balance your qi and strengthen your immunity.

Eat warm hearty soups and stews, whole grains, aduki and black beans; and eat warm, salty, bitter foods.

Enjoy the winter! Listen to the silence and meditate. Blessings to all.

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The Change of Seasons

Chinese medicine theory includes the use of metaphors relating our health to the seasons.  Autumn is the element of metal; the organs involved are lung and large intestine.  It is a time of letting go; just as the leaves fall from the trees and we prune our plants; we must also “prune” that which is no longer needed.  This can be old ways of thinking, habits, and lifestyle choices.  When we prune trees for the winter, we are helping to bring all the energy of the tree to her roots.  This helps the tree or plant survive the long cold nights.  We humans also need to think about what which will help us to survive the winter, and how can we nourish our root qi.  Eat warm cooked food, as opposed to raw cold foods.  Eat root vegetables and lean meats. Eat sour foods such as, sauerkraut, olives, pickles, leeks, aduki beans, black beans, lemons, pears and apples. Go to bed earlier and awake with the sun.

It is also the time to acknowledge the past year, your accomplishments, your joys and sorrows, and your lessons learned.  In a sense, to reap the benefits of your harvest.  Then to lay the soil to rest.  Giving yourself permission to rest this winter.  Be willing to go inward and trust that the trees and plants are not dead, but resting.  Just as you can trust that going inward and nurturing your qi will help you to sprout new growth in the spring.

Enjoy the darkness and trust the process of renewal!

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Springtime Juicing

Springtime is the perfect time of year to add fresh vegetable juice to your daily nutrition routine. As we move out of winter and into spring, our adrenal glands can get a bit stressed.  This can happen as a result of pollen allergies, and as a result of the seasonal changes in temperature and light. We tend “jump into” high gear and we can easily exhaust our adrenal glands.

Juicing is a powerful way to get many nutrients into your system, supporting your adrenals, immune system and your liver.

If you own a juicer, and have the time, juice fresh each morning.  My favorite organic combination is: 8 carrots, 1 apple, and 1 beet.  Chose any organic vegetable.

If you don’t own a juicer, or you have time constraints; I recommend “Green’s First”.  It is a powder that you mix in water; it couldn’t be any easier, it provides 11 servings of leafy greens, and it tastes great.  I do this everyday. It will help your energy level, adrenals, immune system and  metabolism.  You can find this on my website in the Qi, Inc store.

Happy Spring everyone.  Go out and enjoy nature; let it inspire you.

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Springtime Allergies

Now is the time to start preparing your body for allergy season. Here in New Mexico the warm days are confusing the trees and the pollen is building.

Reduce your intake of sugar and dairy; and eat more protein and root veggies. Drink plenty of water, hydration is important.
Take B vitamins specifically B5, panothenic acid. B5 helps to support the overworked adrenals. The adrenal glands go into flight mode if you have allergies, adding an adrenal glandular is helpful, too. Take 2-5,000 mg of Vitamin C, or Quercetin/day. Using a homeopathic nasal spray and or a netti pot is very useful.

Here at Qi, Inc. we carry many chinese herbals and homeopathics which can help to relieve your allergy symptoms. Acupuncture reduces headache, fatigue and nasal and lung symptoms. I recommend once a week treatments during allergy season.

When you come in to your house after an outdoor activity, remove your shoes and outer clothing immediately, to reduce the pollen debris in your home. Wipe your animal’s fur with a damp towel, as well.
Be mindful of any stressors that may be further depleating your Qi.
As always bring meditation to your daily life. Even 5 minutes a day can do wonders for your immune system.

Happy Spring to all.

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Happy New Year

I love a new year. It is a time to “start again”. It is like the beginner’s mind in buddhism, which encourages us to be fresh in our listening, to let go of judgment, to be present with something as though it is your first experience.

Many people make resolutions this time of year and many of us struggle to meet those expectations. This of course can lead to failure and disappointment. This year, I invite you to be mindful with your intentions. Let go of judgment and expectation’. Instead use this time to reflect on the past year. Honor your experiences, all of them without labeling them as good or bad, just honor them.
Ask yourself, how these experiences did or did not serve you. Ask yourself, did they serve others. Ask yourself, what you would like to experience in 2012.
Visualize yourself experiencing those intentions with happiness, love and adventure.

In my next blog, I will talk specifically about good nutrition in the new year.

Meanwhile, Happy New Year to you and yours.

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Misleading Vitamin Study

I want to comment on the recent and very misleading study regarding vitamins.

The date collected from a group of women in Iowa was observational data.  Meaning that they were asked three times over eighteen years-this is every six years which vitamins they were taking.  This is very random and did not take into account any other situations or health events in their lives.

Furthermore, the women did not have to specify what multivitamin they were taking; whether it was synthetic or food based, how much they were taking or for how long they took it.

Life Extension Foundation also did its own scientific analysis of the Archives of Internal Medicine study. Among other things, it pointed out that copper and iron are pro-oxidants, so their overuse should be expected to lead to earlier mortality. It also noted that many people start taking supplements only after they become ill, which is not controlled for in any way, and that a sizeable minority of the supplements users were also taking drugs that have since been proved to be highly dangerous—patented hormones in particular—although no attempt whatever was made to control for drug use.

I have used vitamins and supplements personally and in my private practice for 21 years. I closely monitor what my clients take, what brand, what dosage, and what allopathic medicines they take.  I monitor their signs and symptoms along with their Oriental Medicine diagnosis and change  their vitamin program accordingly.  Vitamins can help make a positive change in people’s health.  I carry only the highest grade vitamins and supplements, and where they are available the food based vitamins.  Brands do make a difference.

It is important to let your MD know what vitamins you take, even if they don’t agree with what you are taking.  It is important for your complementary medicine doctor to know what allopathic medicines you are taking.  And as also it is important to pay attention to how you feel when taking vitamins.


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Fighting Inflammation

Many diseases are caused by inflammation in the body. It can be the cause of anything from arthritis to cancer. What causes inflammation? To name a few, prolonged stress and excess cortisol being excreted, and poor nutrition.
We live in a stressful world, our lives can be very stressful. A regular Meditation practice is the balance to this overwhelming stress. Meditation is not really about quieting the mind, although that is terrific if it happens. I like to think of it as a gentle returning to the breath, this present moment. Even 5 minutes a day, of deep breathing and being mindful of your breath, can help slow down the cortisol production and help to relax your body and mind. Start practicing today!
Begin with 5 minutes of deep breathing, focus on your breath, the inhale and the exhale. As your mind wanders, which is going to happen, simply gently bring your mind back to your breath-return. You will soon find that you will be doing more than 5 minutes a day, because it feels good.

Processed foods, wheat, and sugar can cause inflammation in your body. Try eliminating even 40% of those foods from your diet and I know you will feel better. Shop the outer section of the grocery stores, that is where you will find the fresh fruits and veggies. Eat complex grains like quinoa. Try using coconut or almond flour. If your grandmother wouldn’t recognize what you are eating, you probably should not eat it.

Maria Emmerich has written a couple great books; Secrets to a Healthy Metabolism; and she has a Facebook page. She offers wonderful recipes.

Reduce the inflammation and feel more alive.

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Menopause and my personal friend Peri

To all you ladies out there who are experiencing any phase of menopause whether the beginning Peri phase, that’s me, or you are already past it, we need to share our experiences.
In Chinese medicine we think of menopause as a yin deficiency syndrome, usually of the kidneys and the liver. Yin is the moistening and cooling aspect of the body. This explains why we get sweaty and hot, the yin in the body is not in harmony with the yang. Yin deficiency also explains why many of us have trouble sleeping or experience anxiety and feel emotionally out of balance. The yin is what calms us.
Herbs and acupuncture can help to balance your body’s yin and yang. It is also important to nurture yourself with yin activities. This can be taking a bath and lighting candles or curling up on the sofa with a good book, or napping, or taking a nice walk in nature. I find meditation is extremely helpful. It slows me down and it is me doing something just for me,no agenda, no pressure, just the non-action of mindfulness and being present.
Menopause is not a disease, it is a natural shifting of the hormones. It requires patience, perseverance and a lot of loving kindness and self care.
If you have any personal experiences to share, I would love to hear them.
If you’d like any herbal advise, send me an email.
Blessings, Dr. Alix

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