Category Archives: Conditions

Tips to Strengthen your Lungs and Immune System

As we move into November, there is a chill in the air, the days are getting shorter, autumn has arrived and with it the potential or upper respiratory illnesses that come with the changing seasons at this time of year.

According to Oriental medicine, the season of autumn is associated with the element of Metal, which is associated with the Lungs. The lungs control the circulation of the Wei-Qi, (way chee) which is the defensive Qi that protects you from the invasion of flu and colds. The Wei-Qi circulates on the surface of your body between the skin and the muscles, keeps your body warm and strengthens your immune system. If you keep the Lungs and Wei-chi strong during this time of year you will be much healthier and avoid colds, flu and bronchitis.

 What you eat also greatly affects the health of your lungs.

  •  Eating pears, especially the Asian variety, helps to moisten the lungs and keep them clear
  •  Avoid cold drinks and instead try warm teas. A great winter drink is a squeeze of lemon with a little ginger and a little raw honey, or organic maple syrup mixed with hot water.
  • Eating excess cold and raw foods creates dampness or phlegm.
  • Sugar and dairy products also create phlegm. Avoid these when you get sick and you will get well faster.
  • Garlic, onions, ginger, horseradish, and mustard are beneficial to the lungs. Garlic is a powerful antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal. Try miso soup with green onions and root vegetables.

Dress for the season– Bring out your scarves and sweaters.

The Lungs are the upper most organ in the body and are affected by wind and cold. The back of the neck is also vulnerable to cold and wind, so make sure your neck is covered with a scarf or turtleneck sweater. Any kind of drastic temperature change is shocking to the system, even when it takes place over a few days. So bring out your warm clothes to help your body adjust to the change.

 Autumn is the time to strengthen your Lungs and Wei-Qi and prepare for the coming winter. An Acupuncture “tune up” and Chinese Herbal Medicine can:

  • strengthen your immune system
  • prevent colds and flu from happening all together
  • prevent full-flown infection moving into the lungs
  • shorten the duration of your illness

Early treatments with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can significantly shorten the duration of your illness and keep you healthy.

At the first sign of a cold or flu come to Berkeley Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Clinic of Nancy Rakela for an acupuncture “tune-up” to strengthen your immune system.  Dr. Rakela will also determine the suitable herbal formula for you. Some herbs are appropriate to take for prevention, while some are best taken at the onset of symptoms.
Call at 510 540-6267 to set up your appointment.

Secrets for Staying Healthy during the Cold and Flu Season

Why should you waste your time being ill with a cold or flu? I am always surprised when people come to my Berkeley Acupuncture Clinic and say that they have had a cold for over a month. Unless you have a compromised immune system, you should be able to get rid of your cold in a few days or a week.

Although I see many patients in my clinic with colds and flu at this time of year, rarely do I get sick. I want to share with you my secrets for staying healthy during the cold and flu season. My staff and I have avoided catching colds many times by using this protocol. Continue reading

Weight Loss–How to Lose that Belly Fat!

Have you noticed lately that more and more people seem to be gaining weight around the belly? In the early 1980’s scientific research and new weight loss plans proclaimed “Fats are bad for you!” and a dietary shift began to the low-fat diets. Now for about 30 years people have been avoiding fats but have been filling up on carbohydrates. Low-fat snacks are usually high in carbohydrates and loaded with sugar. When you eat sugar-loaded carbohydrates you are never satiated and have continuous craving for sweets or more carbohydrates.

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Acupuncture for Stress and Anxiety

Our bodies are designed to react to stressful events by turning on the “flight or fight” responses of the sympathetic nervous system. This gets our heart rate going, our blood pressure up, impedes our circulation causing pain and muscle tension, and over time this causes the body to release the stress hormone cortisol.  When cortisol is elevated our sleep patterns become disturbed causing insomnia and our anxiety increases.  This constant state of stress begins to deplete us, and we eventually become exhausted.

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