Why we all should eliminate refined sugar from our diets

Sugar comes in all forms, the most beneficial are those from whole foods. These are the good sugars that are beneficial and necessary to our body – in moderation. It is the refined sugars that, frankly, have no place in our diet.

Refined sugar in your body

1. Increases inflammation in the body. Ingesting refined sugar triggers the release of inflammatory messengers called cytokines.

2. Mineral imbalance. “Refined sugar passes quickly into the bloodstream in large amounts, giving the stomach and pancreas shock. An acid condition forms which consumes the body’s minerals quickly” – Healing with whole foods. An example is a loss of calcium from the system resulting in bone problems.

3. Sugar has been known to compromise the immune system. It lowers the efficiency of white blood cells.

4. Excess sweet foods (or poor quality sweets) promote unhealthy mucus conditions in the body which makes a wonderful living situation for yeast and fungi.

5. Addictive. Dopamine is released in the reward centre of the brain when sugar is consumed. “Consuming sugar produces effects similar to that of cocaine, altering mood, possibly through its ability to induce reward and pleasure, leading to the seeking out of sugar”.

Health issues related to the intake of large amounts of refined sugar include but are not limited to: obesity, hypoglycaemia, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, tooth decay, bone loss, immune deficiency, anemia, male impotence, cancer, PMS, menstrual problems, yeast infections, herpes outbreaks, negative thoughts, loss of memory and concentration, fatty liver disease… to name a few.

Other words for sugar

Anhydrous dextrose, brown sugar, cane crystals, cane sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, crystal dextrose, evaporated cane juice, fructose sweetener, fruit juice concentrates, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, liquid fructose, malt syrup, maple syrup, molasses, raw sugar, syrup, white sugar, fructose, lactose, maltose, carbitol, diglycerides, disaccharides, erythritol, fructooligosaccharides, galactose, glucitol, glucoamine, hexitol, inversol, isomalt, maltodextrin, malted barley, malts, mannitol, nectars, pentose, raisin syrup, ribose rice syrup, rice malt, rice syrup solids, sorbitol, sorghum, sucanat, sucanet, xylitol and zylose.

References:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/aug/25/is-sugar-really-as-addictive-as-cocaine-scientists-row-over-effect-on-body-and-brain

Healing with Whole Foods-Paul Pitchford

The Wisdom of Your Tongue

When you have an acupuncture treatment – no matter what part of the world – it is quite common for the practitioner to ask to see your tongue. It also is quite common for the patient to feel silly, surprised, or confused when you ask to see their tongue. That is until I explain why the tongue is so important to me.

The tongue is a micro system of the body, and contrary to popular belief,  all tongues are not the same.  The colour, size, coat, and moistness level all vary dependant on the person.  Even if there are a few physical symptoms that seem contradictory and make a diagnosis more difficult, a tongue is extremely reliable.

toungue

Lets start with Body Color:

This is the colour of the physical tongue, not the coat it may have.

  • Pale: Deficiency of Yang or Blood.
  • Red: Heat.
  • Deep-Red: Severe Heat.
  • Purple: Blood Stagnation.
  • Blue: Cold leading to Blood Stagnation.

Tongue Size:

I will go over only the common ones, because there are a lot!

  • Thin: Blood Deficiency, Chronic.
  • Swollen: Dampness or Phlegm.
  • Long: Heat.

  • Short:Cold, Extreme Yin Deficiency.
  • Cracked: A crack can indicate a few things, but the easiest to understand is if the crack is in the middle of your tongue can indicate stomach issues.
  • Toothmarks: These are along the sides of your teeth and look like your tongue has moulded your tongue. This indicates the very common Spleen Qi Deficiency.
  • Quivering: Also Spleen Qi Deficiency.

Tongue Coat:

A great example of this is that thick tongue coat you have that you try to brush off but never really goes away… well thats because it represents what is happening in your body.

  • Yellow: Heat.
  • White: Cold.

Sometimes the coat is only on specific parts of your tongue too.

Tongue Moisture:

  • Too Wet: Dampness, Yang Deficiency.
  • Too Dry: Heat or Yin Deficiency.
  • Slippery/Sticky: Phlegm/Dampness.

Organs on the Tongue:

  • tongue_diagnosisCentre: Spleen/Stomach
  • Sides: Liver/ GallBladder
  • Root/Back: Kidney, Bladder, Intestines
  • Tip: Heart
  • Between tip and centre: Lung

 

I know that is a lot to take in, so here is an example.

If two people come in experiencing pain, I will look to see what the tongue looks like. If one is purple that represents a Blood Stagnation and will require a different treatment than patient #2 with the pale tongue. The second patients’ tongue would  indicate a Blood Deficiency. Even though both patients come in with the same complaint, it would be a different treatment because of how the tongue looks.

 

– Stomach trouble? This one is for you-

Who doesn’t love to eat?! I know I do, I love every aspect of it – food preparation, smell, taste! But its a lot less enjoyable when you experience digestive disturbances. I would estimate that about 90% of my clientele come in with what they commonly call “stomach trouble.” Bloating, gas, nausea, loose stool, gurgling in the stomach, the list goes on…. it is uncomfortable and can be embarrassing.

There are a number of reasons that can lead to digestive disturbances. Firstly,  it is important to be aware of what you are ingesting. It is amazing what our digestion tells us about everything going on in the body. A lot of digestive issues, along with other ailments, can be eliminated or greatly decreased when you take a look at your diet and alter it based on what your body is telling you. I personally have a poor digestive system and have used acupuncture to help regulate it along with being aware of what I am eating. An example is preservatives! My body has a strong hate-on for preservatives it would seem. So (for the most part) I simply eat food that comes from the earth, preferably organic. I started changing what I was putting into my body and bing, bang, boom – my digestive disturbances decreased tenfold. I have become quite passionate about learning different ways to prepare food, or different foods to eat all together. Food is not always the main reason for digestive disturbances, but it does tend to be common with the way food is prepared/ packaged today.

A second, common reason for digestion troubles is the Spleen. When I speak of the Spleen it is notSpleen the physical Spleen that we commonly know from Western Medicine. In Chinese Medicine, the Spleen (not your anatomical Spleen but the Spleen Qi) is very sensitive, and has large control over digestion symptoms. In our world we are constantly on the go and rarely take time to rest or to create a space of stillness to calm our bodies and minds.  This does not benefit the Spleen and when the Spleen becomes deficient we will start to see more digestive abnormalities. Acupuncture has been proven to be very efficient to help alleviate the symptoms of poor digestion. From person to person, the treatment will be slightly different depending on the pathology. Acupuncture helps tonify the Spleen and regulate the Qi in the body, but you still need to do your part to eat less raw fruits and veggies and to do relaxing activities.

A third possibility is if there is heat in your stomach… meaning in your physical stomach and also the Stomach Qi. If you come in with symptoms that look like heat in your stomach, then along with weekly treatments to regulate the stomach and expel heat, you also need to decrease spicy and hot food (temperature and energetics) from your diet.

And lastly, another way we can look at bloating, gas, bowel movement abnormalities, pain in the abdomen, and more is to look at your emotional well-being. Our emotions can easily derail pretty much every aspect of our physical body if we don’t deal with them and let them go. What I love about acupuncture is how wellness is seen as a complete package – you may just think you have pain after eating, but so often your body is reacting to something your mind hasn’t wanted to process.

I could go on and on about digestive disturbances, but at least now you know a bit more about it. If you are experiencing “stomach trouble,” pay attention to what your body reacts to, take note of the stress and business in your life, or any emotional or mental duress that may be coming up. And of course, I am always happy to help as well.