Saturday, October 19, 2013

Prevention goes a long way to keep colds at Bay...

The Dr. Oz Show

An Acupuncturist Can Help Keep Your Cold at Bay

‘Tis the season for colds and the flu, but luckily we have ways in which we can boost our immune systems to ward off illness. Acupuncture is oftentimes thought of as a pain-relieving treatment, but did you know it could also help to naturally boost your immune system?

Acupuncture, a branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), has been used for thousands of years to help enhance the immune system. As an acupuncturist, I assess the health and well-being of my patients much differently than my Western Medical counterparts. I think in abstract concepts, as I look for imbalances of Qi (pronounced “chee,” which is loosely translated as vital energy) as it pertains to the universal principles of Yin and Yang.

Qi takes on many forms in our body, one of which is called “Wei Qi,” or “Defensive Qi,” better known as our immune system here in the West. The main function of Wei Qi is to protect the body from external pathogens that can make us sick. When our Wei Qi is strong, our bodies can easily ward off illness.

From a TCM perspective, your body could potentially go through six stages of sickness when you catch a cold. Depending on where you are in the progression of your cold will determine where I insert hair-thin needles to help boost your immune system, helping your body to strengthen itself so you can feel well again.

Conventional medicine has begun paying closer attention to acupuncture as there have been numerous research studies explaining the complex mechanism of action it has on the body.

Most recently, scientists have been able to determine the role acupuncture plays in boosting the body’s immune system by enhancing the production of natural killer cells, which is the primary defense mechanism against organisms that make us sick. It also acts on a complex immune building system that regulates white blood cells directly linked to the fight against infections, allergic reactions, and even autoimmune disorders.

For patients who are seeking to boost their immune system to protect them from getting sick, oftentimes a multidisciplinary approach is best.  Acupuncture can easily be incorporated into your conventional treatment plan, working in tandem with your physician.

You do not have to wait until you are sick to benefit from the immune-boosting benefits of acupuncture. You can begin regular acupuncture visits now as part of your preventative regime to ward off colds and the flu.  Optimally, several acupuncture treatments are needed for the body to respond, and “tune up” visits would be beneficial until cold and flu season is over.

If you are interested in a natural way to boost your immune system, you may want to consider an integrative treatment option like acupuncture.

Severe Ski Accident Spurs Aetna CEO to Bring Yoga to Work


Faced with a lifetime on painkillers and long-term disability following a near-death experience while skiing, Aetna's CEO embarked on a quest to improve his life through nontraditional remedies, including yoga. After making nearly a full recovery, he sought to apply similar techniques to the stressed-out workplace.

"When you read the literature, the literature says you need to be active at work, you need to have a purpose, and so I wanted to get back to work, but I couldn't do it on the seven different drugs, most of which were narcotics, that I was taking every day to try and control my pain," said Mark Bertolini, chairman and chief executive at Aetna, on CNBC Tuesday.

To heal his neuropathy, or nerve damage, he turned to alternative treatments, including acupuncture, yoga and naturopathy, a form of alternative medicine based on a belief in vitalism. This drug-less cocktail now enables him to live in a relatively pain-free world.
(Read More: How Some Companies Keep Employees Healthy)

Not 'Voodoo Medicine'

After realizing that such methods were not "voodoo medicine," he wondered what would happen if yoga and mindfulness were applied to the workforce.

To prove the effectiveness of these practices at work, Aetna collaborated with eMindful and the American Viniyoga Institute to craft a 12-week study, during which Aetna employees practiced alternative techniques to reduce stress as measured by cortisol levels and heart-rate variability.
"And of course, the rumor running around this place was, well, because Mark does yoga now we're all going to do yoga," Bertolini said.
Companies have a vested interest in lowering employees' stress, and as a result their bottom lines too.
"When employees are in the highest quintile of stress, their health care costs are $2,000 a year on average higher than the average employee," he said.
(Read More: Who's Hiring: Health Care, Yes; Wall Street, No)

Lower Stress, Higher Productivity
Stress also impacts their ability to fight and resist illness and lowers their productivity.
"We saw dramatic drops in stress after the program was over, and we saw a 69-minute gain in productivity of our employees over a year," he added.
The increased productivity along with reduced health-care costs and lowered employee stress yielded an 11-to-1 return on the program's investments, Bertolini said, which added up to a savings of about $3,000 per employees per year.
"The other part that we couldn't measure that I think is far more important is being present in the work environment, and by being present making better decisions for the organization and those decisions depending on where you are in the company take a longer time to have an impact, and we'll see that over time" he added.

Following the study's success, Aetna has opened up its stress-management programs to the insurance company's customers and their employees.

— Written by CNBC's Katie Little. Follow her on Twitter @Katie_Little_
© 2013

Driftwood Acupuncture & Wellness WINS for best Alternative Medicine !!