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Plastic is Still Toxic

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Leaky Gut, Inflammation and Autoimmune Disorders

“According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, more than 27 million Americans suffer from thyroid dysfunction, half of which go undiagnosed. Of the detected cases of hypothyroidism, more than half are due to an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto’s disease, in which the immune system attacks and destroys thyroid gland tissue.”

Have you gone to multiple doctors, only to hear everything is within range on your labs and still feel exhausted, depressed, have abdominal distention, brain fog and weight gain? According to Datis Kharrrazian in “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When my Lab Tests Are Normal”, this can begin with inflammation of the gut, which is the immune system’s response to antigens from viruses, bacteria or foods. You may have heard about leaky gut syndrome, where there is excess permeability in the intestines. When a person can’t digest proteins such as gluten-grains or casein-dairy, these antigens trigger the immune response. Therefore eating triggering foods on a regular basis will lead to chronic inflammation throughout the body.

All too often patients are put on thyroid hormone supplemental medication to help them remain in functional range, although the thyroid gland still remains swollen. The symptoms of insomnia, palpitations and fatigue may remain. This is the core reason with thyroid conditions of why simply taking a thyroid medication and forgetting about Hashimoto’s thyroid has no real effect on the autoimmune disease itself. The immune system will continue to attack the thyroid more and more, year after year, leading to adjusting the thyroid medication up and as the thyroid gets destroyed it will decline. Meanwhile the body is creating autoimmunity to its own tissues. Once you get one autoimmune disease you are likely to get others for the fact that you are activating the genes to make antibodies to your own tissue and those genes don’t turn off very easily. We need to be able to reduce the inflammation and all the genes that have turned on the cytokines so that the body does not create new autoimmune diseases.

In 1999, the Gastroenterology Department of Pediatrics, University of Trieste, stated that “The prevalence of autoimmune disorders and celiac is in relation to the duration of exposure to gluten.”

The first step is to reduce the immune response and slow the attack on the thyroid gland. At TLC Acupuncture & Natural Medicine, our prescription to healing is not the easiest or the quickest, which is why we ask our patients to commit to following our suggestions for at least 6 months. Inflammation and leaky gut can be neutralized and healed with nutrition, supplements and Chinese Herbs.

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Why Acupuncture vs. Allopathy

First let’s look at the Merriam-Webster Medical Definition of allopathy which is;  “a system of medical practice that aims to combat disease by use of remedies (as drugs or surgery) producing effects different from or incompatible with those produced by the disease being treated.” Basically we refer to allopathy as western medicine.

Next let’s look at what acupuncture is; Acupuncture is a 3,000-year-old healing technique of Traditional Chinese Medicine that has been documented and publicized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for its safety and effectiveness for a wide variety of conditions. Over the years millions of people have turned to the benefits of acupuncture over western medicine to treat their various ailments. But what makes acupuncture a more attractive treatment than western medicine? To answer this question, we must examine how acupuncture works.

The process of acupuncture involves inserting hair-thin needles into certain pressure points on the body to maintain and correct a person’s flow of natural energy, stimulating the body’s natural healing processes and promoting a healthy balance. This energy, known by ancient Chinese philosophy as qi (pronounced “chee”), is believed to flow through specific pathways throughout the body, called meridians. When these meridians become blocked, it disrupts the qi flow and can cause pain, illness, or lack of function in certain areas of the body. Relieving the blockage through acupuncture can cause a person to experience a wide range of benefits, including: reduced pain, improved sleep, enhanced digestion, feelings of wellness, and decreased stress.

While western medical techniques have changed the world by virtually eradicating certain diseases and introducing invaluable treatments for traumatic injuries, there are certain health problems that are not addressed particularly well through western medicine. In the case of many chronic disorders and diseases, western medicine only offers temporary relief from symptoms through medication or surgeries – leaving the underlying cause untreated. With that being said many pharmaceutical drugs tend to have adverse side effects and can end up causing a patient to develop an entirely new problem, eventually creating more issues that were not present in the first place.

Western medicine takes a strategy of pinpointing symptoms in distinct parts of the body and treating them apart from one another, whereas eastern medicine techniques like acupuncture operate on the philosophy that no single ailment can be identified without taking into account how the different parts of the body interact with each other, ensuring that the parts of the body operate together in harmony.

Treatment with acupuncture needles is the most commonly used technique. However, other forms of treatment such as Moxibustion (a form of heat therapy), or Cupping (involving a suction technique used to manipulate the soft tissue releasing toxins), and Tui Na (a form of Chinese massage). The treatment may also involve dietary modification, nutritional supplements, and Chinese herbs.

In addition to its effectiveness in pain control, acupuncture has a proven track record of treating a variety of endocrine, circulatory and systemic conditions. Today, acupuncture is receiving wide acceptance as a respected, valid and effective form of health care. According to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, 51% of medical doctors understand the efficacy and value of acupuncture, and medical doctors refer patients to acupuncturists more than any other alternative care provider.

If you are involved in a severe car accident, you want to be treated in a well-equipped and modern western hospital or clinic to properly address your immediate concerns like a concussion, broken bones, blood loss, etc. However, it might be more beneficial in the long run to follow-up with an acupuncturist after you are released from the care of your western doctors to address some of the issues caused by the accident, rather than just to keep taking your pain medication.

Most modern medical approaches focus on treating or medicating the symptom, and in many cases the symptom or related symptoms may recur over time because “root” causes have not been effectively addressed. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) identifies the origin or “root” of the symptom and focuses on treating the root, thus eliminating the cause and resolving the symptom.

I hope to see you soon to get to the root of your cause.

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10 Health Benefits of Ganoderma Lucidum

Also known as Ling Zhi or Red Reishi Mushroom, ganoderma lucidum has been popular in Chinese Medicine for over 2000 years.

Cancer Prevention: some laboratory studies have shown ganoderma lucidum may prevent cancer metastasis as well as fighting the proliferation of cancer cells.  They may inhibit angiogenesis which is the formation of blood vessels made to supply nutrients to the tumor or the migration of cancer cells.  Studies on breast cancer cells have found that combining ganoderma lucidumwith green tea augments the mushroom’s power to retard the growth of cancer cells.

Immune System: In studies on patients with advanced tumors, red reishi was prescribed for 30 days with a significant positive effect on the immune system.  Patients had an increase in T lymphocytes and decreased CD8 counts as well as fewer side effects from chemotherapy and radiation.

Cardiovascular Health: Ganoderma lucidum has been prescribed for centuries for people with stress and angina.  Studies in China show that the mushroom promotes blood flow and lowers your oxygen consumption in the heart.  Reishi contains a chain of acids called triterpenes that are known to reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol and prevent blood clots.

Ganoderma lucidum is a potent source of antioxidants, one of the highest concentrations of any food.  Polysaccharide and phenolic components of reishi are responsible for their antioxidant strength.

Liver Protection: In one study of patients suffering from Hepatitis B, patients were given ganoderma lucidum for three months.  Within a month, significant reduction in SGOT and ST were seen and three month later all values were within a healthy range.

Antibacterial: Direct anti-mictrobial effects against Aspergillus niger, bacillus cereus, Candida albicans and E-coli have been reported with the use of ganoderma lucidum.

Antiviral: Evidence suggests that ganoderma lucidum exhibits direct effects with herpes simplex 1, 2, the influenza virus and vesicular stomatitis.

Lower Cholesterol: Ganoderma lucidum mushrooms may cause the liver to suppress its production of cholesterol.  Researchers at the Nestle Research Center in Switzerland called the mushroom “a renowned medicinal species” as their study showed oxygenated lanasterol inhibited synthesis of cholesterol.

Radiation Protection: Research indicates that ganoderma lucidum mushrooms enhance the effects of radiation therapy while acting directly against the tumor.  It also improves the quality of life for the patient by easing symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, headaches, fever, infection, weight loss and hair loss.

Urinary Tract Support: Ganoderma lucidum was significantly superior to placebo in providing UT symptoms relief.  It also is said to improve urine flow and inhibit 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone which can lead to a swollen prostate and all the ills that accompany it.

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It’s NOT All In Your Head

When Kate* (name changed for privacy), visited TLC Acupuncture & Natural Medicine, she explained during the evaluation that she had been suffering from fatigue and depression since giving birth to her second child five years earlier. Kate had gained weight and had a hard time losing the weight. She experiences mood swings and a complete loss of any romantic desires. Her sleep was restless and she had brain fog.

She had a lifelong history of cold hands and feet and sensitivity to the cold, which is tough in the mountains. Her body temperature always ran low. Kate was experiencing some hair loss, was constipated and had a severe muscle aches. Since her last pregnancy, Kate’s menstrual cycles had become irregular.

Kate also experienced recurrent sinus infections and headaches for several years, which she had taken many rounds of antibiotics. She complained of abdominal cramping and bloating associated with the ingestion of sugar, milk and bread products, which she craved.

Kate had sought the care of numerous physicians who told her that her “blood tests are normal”. They diagnosed her as being depressed and prescribed her with anti-depressants, anti-anxiety and sleep medications. She had been referred to TLC Acupuncture & Natural Medicine by a friend, while looking for a natural solution for her problems.

People should feel healthy, vibrant and strong throughout their lives.

Maybe you have been told, “It’s all in your head” or learn to live with it”


Kate’s name could easily be changed and replaced with the names of thousands of other people who have been diagnosed with thyroid issues, diabetes or any other autoimmune disorder. Kate’s doctor had made her feel like she was a hypochondriac and emotionally inadequate. I explained to her that her symptoms were very common and were caused by hypothyroidism, hormonal imbalance, nutritional deficiencies and lack of essential vitamins and minerals.

Her hormonal imbalance triggered her allergy disorder, which in turn led to recurrent sinus infections. The antibiotics that she had taken for her infections also killed normal bacteria in her body, leading to Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth in her colon.

Kate was prescribed a thyroid supplement and was placed on a nutritional plan along with vitamins and minerals to heal her colon according to her Biofeedback Scan. Her allergies were addressed with Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Within a couple months, Kate’s fatigue, depression and other symptoms had disappeared and she was able to discontinue her antidepressants. She said “I have not felt this good in years. Thank you for giving my life back!”


I hope to see you soon to get to the Root of your Cause!

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