Chinese Medicine considers preventative care as important as treating the disease itself. If we cultivate our health we can prevent illness and injury from occurring and minimize their consequences when 'disease evils' do attack us. Join Kath Bartlett, MS, LAc as she shares thoughts, news articles, recipes & tips derived from a wide variety of source material, as it relates to Chinese medicine and cultivating optimal health for the body, mind and spirit.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Health Reform?

Why is it ok to have mandatory auto insurance and mandatory flood insurance but those who are against health care reform think it's not ok to require mandatory health insurance to ensure that everyone has access to affordable health care? And why is it that those who are against universal health care are the one's who already have health insurance? KB

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cinnamon Oil is Antiseptic

Here's an interesting one: essential oils have antiseptic properties and have such medical uses as hand cleaners in physicians offices to preventing post surgical infections (rather than antibiotics) in hospitals. Intrigued, I googled around on the subject and found a few additional recipes to the Thieves Oil discussed in the Time's article. I made one up using lemon, rosemary, eucalyptus and tea tree oils (12 drops or so each/ 4oz of water in a mister bottle) that I use as a hand sanitizer in my clinic.

The one I made also seems to be keeping the ants out of the kitchen. I mist the counters with the spray. Last year someone some recommended cinnamon for ants, so i got a few 12" sticks and placed them around the kitchen where the ants hang out. It seemed to reduce the population markedly. I got the idea of using the spray from my eco-exterminator who says wintergreen, thyme and rosemary deter insects, especially ants.

Here's a link to the NY Time's article about cinnamon oil's antiseptic uses:

Here's a video from NBC that shows how to easily make the thieves oil discussed in the Times article:

Below is an abstract of one of the studies cited in the Times article.


Reducing Breast Cancer Risk: Excercise, Veg Diet & Limited Alcohol. New York Times Article

Here's a short piece from the NY Time's Science section about a study showing that living a healthy life style decreases breast cancer risk. This study emphasizes maintaining a normal body weight.

Obesity dramatically increases a woman's risk of developing breast cancer by 50-100%, the risk increasing "the older the woman gets and the longer she remains obese." (1) The reason being is that the abdominal fat cells convert steroid (fat soluble) hormones to estrogen. In the breasts, the additional estrogen created binds to the breast cells, promoting "cell division and potentially tumor growth." (2)
Cancer cells are abnormal cell growth: the additional cell division cause the tumor growth. Adipose tissue (fat) contains an enzyme, aromatase, that converts steroid hormones into estrogen. After menopause, the ovaries and pituitary gland are no longer signaling for estrogen production through the monthly menstrual cycle. To compensate, the amount of aromatase in the adipose tissue increases to step up estrogen production. Obese women have higher levels of estrogen production taking place in the body fat of the hips and stomach, which increases during menopause, which raises the risk of tumors developing in the breast.

"Glucose [blood sugar] is the preferred substrate for cancer cells. . . [In a study] mice injected with aggressive mammary [breast] tumors were placed on 3 diets. After 70 days 95% of the mice on the low-sugar diet were alive. Of the mice on the moderate-sugar diet 67% were alive. And only 33% on a high-sugar diet were alive. Also 'moderate' alcohol consumption is associated with elevation in the risk for breast cancer from 50-100%." (3)

Phytoestrogens have a chemical structure similar to estrogen. They bind to the receptor sites on the breasts, preventing the body's estrogen from binding and causing tumor cell growth. The phytoestrogens that bind to the breast cell estrogen receptor sites have a weaker influence on breast cell production, so that it is less likely that tumors will form. Common food sources of phytoestrogens include: soy (tofu, tempeh, miso), flax and raw pumpkin seeds, clover and mung bean sprouts. Avoid powdered soy concentrate, these have caused some to develop Hashimoto's thyroid disease. (4)

Studies have shown that phytoestrogens increase the effectiveness of breast cancer treatments. Borage oil has shown to decrease the growth of breast cancer cells. (5)

Eating an organic diet, and limiting exposure to chemicals, including household cleaners, detergents, pesticides, food packaging (plastics leach into foods, especially when warm foods are put into plastic containers) is also important to reduce cancer risk. Chemicals and pesticides can change the DNA of cells, causing them to mutate into cancer cells. Studies have shown higher levels of pesticides and pollutants in fat and blood of women with breast cancer than in healthy women. (6) KB

1-6. Lahans, T. Integrating Conventional and Chinese Medicine in Cancer Care. Elsevier 2007; 92-102.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Study Shows How Acupuncture Stops Pain

This article from the website discusses a western scientific study designed to explain acupuncture's pain relieving effect. It's a quick, interesting read. I would offer the caveat that no acupuncturist would recommend using morphine or other opiates after treatment, a conclusion a quoted researcher mistakenly draws from the study findings. It is validating to see western studies that scientifically verify acupuncture's results. KB

SOURCE: University of Michigan Medical School, news release, August 2009