Specialties and Systems Overviews


Acupuncture is one of the best-known alternative health care systems, and at our clinic in Delaware we use it for many of our patients. It was developed in ancient China and is based upon the concept of a natural vital force that flows through the body called chi (or qi). Needles are inserted into specific points to relieve pain and balance the flow of energy throughout the body. Although many people know about acupuncture in a general sense, they often do not grasp how and why it works ...
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According the Ayurveda, the eye is one of the five sense organs, and is connected directly with the brain.  It is a highly sensitive organ, very closely related to the functioning of the mind.  The mind is not visible, but its activity can be partially monitored by observing the eyes.  Fear, grief, lust, anger, peace, happiness, and suffering reveal the state of the mind as they alter the facial muscles around the eyes.  Observation of the patient’s eyes is very important for the Vaidya (Ayurvedic doctor) to understand physiological problems ...
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The respiratory system consists of the lungs and the associated organs and tissues which surround them. The lungs themselves are tender and spongy, divided into five lobes. They rest on the diaphragm, the thick muscle-like organ that divides the upper chest from the lower digestive organs. Air travels from the mouth and nose into the pharynx and trachea, then down into the bronchial tubes into the lungs. TCM doctors believe that the lungs also absorb Qi (vital force) from the air. This Qi rides into the body on the air, like wetness rides on water ...
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Fighting cancer with natural medicines means to (1) strengthen immune function with diet, lifestyle changes (including mind-body methods) and nutrients (2) support your doctors chemotherapy, surgical or radiation protocols when used (3) weaken or interfere with tumor growth, (4) prevent metastasis and (5) eliminate the cancer completely. Methods used are general and cell type specific, and are broken down into categories for easier understanding of purpose and rationale ...
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Once cancer develops it is very difficult to treat, as the cancer cells take on lives of their own. Currently, prevention is our best defense. Therefore, it is extremely important to follow the myriad of preventive health practices known to foster prevention ...
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Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that contain an odd number of electrons. These dangerous chemicals can damage cells, cell membrane surfaces and even our genetic material (DNA). If you imagine your body as a house, you can think of free radicals as iron ping pong balls bouncing around inside, knocking over lamps, denting the furniture, and chipping the paint on the walls. However, free radicals are not always completely bad. Your body generates these molecules as by-products when your immune system destroys bacteria, viruses and other foreign substances ...
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The sense organs are our window into the world. Few of us truly realize how precious sight and hearing and our other senses are until we are threatened with their loss. For example, vision loss is the one of the greatest fears of our aging population, second only to fear of cancer. The variegated cacophony of lights and sounds in the modern world distorts and alters our senses, too often separating and thus barring us from appreciating Nature’s true beauty and healing power. The sound of a bird's chatter, the rustling of the leaves in the wind, and the glint of the last ray of sunlight over a still lake have become sought-after luxuries in this chaotic modern world, when long before they were a daily blessing ...
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To test for a hidden food allergy, remove the item completely from your diet for two weeks, making sure to real all labels to ensure compliance. After two weeks, eat a moderate to large amount of the food in question and see if the re-introduction of the food causes a noticeable adverse reaction over the next 24-48 hours ...
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Understanding of the importance of lymph tissue in immunological function throughout the body is gradually increasing, with researchers focussing on the functions of LALT (larynx-associated lymphoid tissue), MALT (mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue), and VALT (vascular-associated lymphoid tissue). I think of these lymph tissues as immune governments or police stations, where lymphocytes go to get their orders, identify criminals, coordinate activities, transmit information and receive nutritional paychecks ...
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In the simplest of simple understanding, the immune system can be overactive or underactive, in exact concordance with the ancient concepts of excess and deficiency. Immune deficiency states render us more susceptible to infections and tumors, and immune overactivity makes us vulnerable to unnecessary inflammation and tissue destruction. Another aspect of immune dysfunction is now being recognized in diseases such as amyloidosis, in which abnormal deposits of proteins from fragments of immunoglobulins appear in tissues. Recalling that one of the purposes of the classic divisions of Ayurveda is to help us recognize universal patterns within the whole, we can divide immune problems into three large categories for ease of understanding, broken into both positive and negative manifestations ...
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Many people still believe that the effects of herbs are either very weak, or can only stimulate or suppress immune function in a general way. We are now learning that individual herbs have powerful and often very specific effects on immune function—another exciting area of natural medicine. The ability to see these effects both in the clinic, with regard to blood tests and patient response, and in the laboratory, is gradually changing our understanding toward greater respect for herbal medicines, awareness of potential dangers, and a desire to understand in greater detail what these medicines are capable of doing. However, it is still true that herbs, because they are complexes, tend to act in multi-faceted ways. Here we will examine the various immune system players, and give examples of herbs that can modify or enhance their actions ...
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Longevity has been a cherished goal of humankind since the beginning of time. Perhaps the oldest known comprehensive medical text is the Charaka Samhita, the Ayurvedic encyclopedia compiled by the physician Charaka based upon the original work of the sage Atreya, who lived about 2500 years ago. The book begins, "Now I shall expound upon the subject of longevity. . . .When disease appears, it creates great impediments to penance, abstinence, study, religious observance and lifespan. The holy sages, out of sympathy for all living creatures, assembled at the side of the Himalayas to seek a solution." ...
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The musculoskeletal system is composed of muscles, connective tissue, bones and joints. The tough, dense and protective character of these tissues contrasts sharply with the softness of our internal organs. The bulk of the musculoskeletal system develops during the third trimester of pregnancy, forming a coating the shape and strength of which is intimately connected to our sense of self, as well as to our mobility, physical power, vital force and general well being ...
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Nutrition is the foundation of all herbal medicine treatments, and specific nutritional advice should be included in all treatment plans. Herbs themselves are simply specialized food sources. Studies of nutrition clearly demonstrate a direct causal relationship between diet and health. Sensible, healthy dietary habits can help prevent disease. By the same token, poor dietary choices can contribute to the deterioration of general health and lead to many diseases ...
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I developed a list of six diets that address the most common energetic imbalances seen in the clinic. It is based upon the common TCM and TAM diagnostic concepts of heat, cold, dampness, dryness and wind. If you figure out the major causative factor(s) in an illness, you can easily prescribe a diet that will help overcome the problem. A simple example--if you have stomach inflammation, you would not eat a chili pepper, and if your digestion is weak and sluggish, you would not want to eat a heavy steak ...
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She called him, and the old farmer came by. He listened to her story and looked over the field, and said simply – you need to check your well – might be something wrong with the water. Sure enough, she checked her well and found that there were some contaminants leaking in. The he told her he could give her some quality topsoil at $25 a bag. He explained how healthy water, sunshine and good topsoil were the basis of plant health, and that , while chemicals sometimes were needed, this had to be handled first. Not only that, if these three pillars of plant health were followed, often no chemicals were needed. Once she fixed this problem and added the topsoil, like a miracle, the plants began to grow and thrive ...
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