Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Herbal Medicine for Pets?

Often, my clients tell me about the antics of their beloved cats and dogs. Sometimes they tell me about how their pets are receiving acupuncture for their pains. Acupuncture for animal pain relief seems to work really well!

Also, they will tell me about the general health complaints of their furry children. They will ask if Chinese Herbal medicine is something that could help them. I have had to say, yes, there are people that will prescribe Chinese Herbal medicine for cats and dogs (and even horses). And now I can say that I am one of them!

Recently, I took a course on using Chinese Herbal medicine for common veterinary complaints. It was really informative. I am looking forward to further improving the lives of my patients by improving the health of their pets! I'll write about specific conditions in later blog posts. I'm really excited to get some feedback from my patients on how their pets respond to Chinese Herbal medicine! I know firsthand that people respond very well, and now I look forward to hearing about how the animals do after treatment!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Back from Hiatus?

I can't believe it's been almost a year since I've posted!

This is due to the new addition to my life. Baby Benjamin was born in January of this year. This has lead to lots of changes upon the demands of my time, but also lots of pediatric research!

I know this was started as an acupuncture and alternative medicine blog, but I hope that adding posts on baby care and wellness will be a welcome addition to the material available here. I'll experiment with content and see how it goes!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Neti Pot, Part 2

In my last post I discussed what a neti pot is, what it's for, and theories behind it's efficacy. But what I was most curious about this thing was: does it work? How does it feel?

As I've stated, I have a fear of drowning. So, I was not looking forward to intentionally running water up my nose. But desperation overtook worry and I decided to go for it. I went to my local drugstore/pharmacy and found a neti pot. This one happened to come with solution packets. I have also experimented with making my own saltwater solution, which for me works just as well as their packets. As making my own is more ecological than opening a tiny packet every day, when I run out I will continue with my homemade solution.

It took me a few tries to let the water run through. The first night I tried about 4 times and only succeeded in rinsing out one nostril at a time. The next day, I was able to get some flow through. The sensation does take a little getting used to, but after this first flow through attempt, I was already breathing remarkably better. I didn't even realize that I was having a problem breathing before my rinse. So, even if you have a great dislike of water up your nose, I think you will find the result to be worth it.

After a few days of daily rinsing, did I feel any difference? Yes! My nasal passages were definitely clearer, and my post nasal drip was significantly reduced. I consider the neti pot a lifesaver. I also immediately stopped feeling the need to constantly clear my throat. My husband was very happy with that. Next week: Devil's advocate... are there negatives to the neti pot?

I'm thinking that for those with allergies that acupuncture does not seem to help - this may be a good addition to their personal care routine. Could it be that acupuncture does help these people, but that, anatomically speaking, they are still retaining too many allergens to stop their symptoms? I think it's a great theory...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Oral Hygiene Linked to Heart Health

Do you need some more inspiration to floss daily? How about a healthier heart?

A study published in the British Medical Journal in May 2010 showed a link between cardiovascular disease and poor dental hygiene. According to their survey, people that do not brush their teeth twice a day were more likely to have cardiovascular events and their blood showed inflammation markers.

One theory is that the build up of germs in the mouth can lead to irritation in other parts of the body. One thing we know for sure - chronic inflammation of the body is not a good thing - so brush and floss your teeth! The study abstract can be ready here:

Are you interested in staying well? Regular acupuncture sessions can help! Visit my website, for more info on acupuncture and wellness.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Nasal Congestion: What's a Neti Pot?

As many of you may well know, this has been a horrible year for allergies. Allergies to things like pollen lead to symptoms like runny rose, post-nasal drip, and sneezing and irritated eyes.

Driven by desperation, I decided I needed to take action for my post-nasal drip. My Western doctor said the only things she had to offer were nasal steroid sprays or pills for allergy relief. These would need to be taken whenever my allergies acted up. This would not do, as I was looking for a way to deal with the real problem, not just ignore the symptoms.

And so I have turned to the neti pot. What's a neti pot? It's a small pot that people put a salt water mixture into and run through their nose. The liquid goes in one nostril and comes out the other.

I have a great fear of being underwater and of drowning, so this is especially challenging for me. After doing some reading, I discovered that there are theories out there that stuff that is stuck on the surface of the mucous membranes could lead to allergies and the offending post-nasal drip. Rinsing this offending build up would then remove the actual source of irritation. Tune in next week for how this feels and if it works for me!

If you are willing to put in the time, acupuncture is effective for most people for allergies. It does take some patience, as the results are not immediately apparent as they are with many other conditions. For more info please visit my website at

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What Women Need (Nutritionally) Part 2

So what is the difference between a women's multivitamin and a men's multivitamin? If you run out of yours, is it a big deal for you to sneak a few of the other for a few days, until you can run out to the store again?

Our last blog post talked about how it's probably best to get nutrients from food, although this can be difficult. So, if you decide to take a supplement, such as a multivitamin, what's the difference?

Different companies will come up with different formulations, so it's important to check to label to be sure that if there is a specific nutrient that you are looking for, that it's in there in the amounts that you would like. Also, there's a huge difference in the absorptivity of different supplements, so that's important to keep in mind, if you've been taking a certain brand consistently for a while, but find that you do not feel any difference from it. All vitamins and supplements are definitely not created equal.

Now, here are a few key points for women's supplements:

Calcium: Needed to support strong bones and prevent bone density loss, which can lead to osteoporosis. (Have you heard a story of how an old lady fell and broke her hip? Her hips were weak from not enough calcium, and so broke from the small impact of a fall.)

To aid in absorption of calcium, it is recommended that calcium be taken with Magnesium and Vitamin D.

Iron: When women menstruate, they lose some iron. For this reason, women's vitamins have more iron that those for men. Women that are past menopause do not need this extra iron any more. The extra iron is not included in men's vitamins because excessive iron can build up in the body, causing undesired things to happen.

These are just the basics, a small taste of general nutritional information for you. I provide guidance for my clients with personalized goals and requirements. Visit Dorothy Pang, L.Ac's website at for a full list of services provided.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What Women Need (Nutritionally) Part 1

Men and women are different. Emotionally and physically, and this also means nutritionally!

Why are there multivitamins that are targeted specifically towards women? Are these really necessary?

Of course it is probably best to get all of the nutrients that your body needs from food sources, instead of a supplement when possible. However, the nutritional profile of the food that is available to us is definitely in decline. The things that we grow to eat do not have the same nutrient value as 50 years ago. Generally we believe that the effects of commercialized farming are stripping the earth of it's minerals faster than they can be replenished, which means less nutrients for our food to absorb and therefore contain. Studies are showing that generally organic foods contain more nutrients that non-organic foods. One example can be found here:

So, what's in a women's multivitamin that is not in a men's formula? Of course, this will vary by company, so it's important to check the label. Our next blog post will go over a few key differences.

Interested in upping your personal wellness factor? Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture are a fabulous, natural way to do so. Check out Dorothy Pang, L.Ac's website at for more info on these ancient, time tested secrets to better health!