Last month I told you I had heard the definition of FEAR, which was described to me as, “Fully Expecting Awful Results.” Boy, did that get attention! Thanks for reading my blog and emails.

As a result of that idea I shared, I  got wonderful positive words to change “awful” to a positive word. They suggested the word “awful” is changed to “awesome.” They were reading my mind!

Like Yin/Yang, negative and positive thoughts, things and events have equal space until they change. This ebb and flow continues constantly in everything — our bodies, the weather, our lives – everything! When we are in the middle of something we see as “negative,” our brain perceives real at the time. We can help ourselves through the bad times by with changing directions and making different decisions.

I have been a positive thinker since I was 23 years old (for a long time!). But, I learned many years ago that simply saying positive affirmations did not fully make situations disappear. My experience was that things were awful at that time. So, I decided to acknowledge that I was in a mess, and that it would be temporary and that things would get better. My brain accepted this better and I was able to come around quicker. In other words, I said aloud or to myself something that felt real, like: “I Am Fully Expecting Awful Results and I am fearful.” Then, once I gave myself permission to realize I was afraid, I was able to replace it with, I am Fully Expecting Awesome Results.” I repeat that as much as possible, and at times, I even write or type it over and over. 

Bad things do happen to good people…that’s life. Coping with bad things can be difficult. Some people turn to drugs, alcohol and food. But, I can tell you after 17 years in practice, after seeing more than  7,500 patients ,and inserting over 1 and a half million needles, drugs, alcohol and food DOES NOT WORK. A lot of my patients rely on prayer, and many mediate. Some exercise…and some do all three.

Talk to yourself in a positive way! We often talk so negatively to ourselves. We talk to ourselves in a way we’d NEVER talk to our loved ones! How about this month we all try to talk to ourselves as if we are the most important person in our lives. We must be! After all, we are always with ourselves.

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Winter takes extra care of the Kidney and Bladder Meridians. These Meridians do much more than just Kidney and Bladder “stuff”; they take care of the spine, ears, head, hair, brain, reproduction/sex, joints, knees and feet.

Well, here we are again in one of the sweetest and busiest months of the year: December. It can be stressful. Is it a coincidence that the emotion for the Kidney/Bladder Meridian is fear and anxiety? Definitely not!

Throughout the past year, you have read in my articles that each season governs a couple of meridians. Winter takes extra care of the Kidney and Bladder Meridians. These Meridians do much more than just Kidney and Bladder “stuff”; they take care of the spine, ears, head, hair, brain, reproduction/sex, joints, knees and feet.

Kidney and Bladder Meridians’ acupuncture points go up the leg from the bottom of the foot, up the tummy and chest to underneath the collar bone. The Bladder Meridian starts at the eye and goes up over the head, down along the spine, back of the leg to the outside of the foot by the little toe. (That last Acupoint is famous for turning a “breech baby.”)

You can help the above functions…
You can help your health and problems with the above functions by rubbing your feet. Start at the bottom up around the ankle bones, move to the inside ankle bone. And, rubbing along your spine and on your head to the eyebrows will help the Bladder Meridian. Rub your foot for about one minute and move to the other. You can’t do it wrong or miss the points – there are so many Acupoints on the feet. For low back pain or kidney bladder problems, sit on a chair and rub your low back up and down for a minute.

Food that helps, too…
Foods to help your Bladder Meridian are grapes, pears, strawberries, watermelon, celery, eggplants, chives, raspberries, water chestnuts, green beans, walnuts, carrots, lettuce and onions. Foods to help your Kidney Meridian are black sesame seeds, celery, chives, clams, caraway seeds, dill, plums, pork, string beans, tangerines, walnuts. For kidney stones, eat star fruits and walnuts. For kidney weakness, eat kidney beans and sweet potatoes.

Foods and emotions of the season…
Foods for the winter season are artichokes, barley, clams, crabs, millet, oysters and seaweed. If you are on a restricted diet and cannot eat one of the above foods – don’t!

The emotions for the season are fear and anxiety. Remember to breathe in deeply, hold for the count of four, exhale deeply, and repeat four times – as often as possible. Try to work up to a count of 7, 14, and then 32. Be sure to ask for my help when you come in for your Kidney and Bladder Meridian tune up.

Wishing you all the best to get healthy, be healthy and stay healthy!

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December 2010
Debra Pardee Gaffney Ph.D., A.P., DCN, CCPA 339 E New York Avenue Deland, FL 32724 1-386-734-4126

Treating Holiday Stress and Depression with Acupuncture

According to Oriental medicine, the cold months of winter are the perfect time to recharge your battery and generate vital energy, or Qi, in order to live, look, and feel your best.
The ancient Chinese believed that human beings should live in harmony with the natural cycles of their environment. The cold and darkness of winter urges us to slow down. This is the time of year to reflect on health, replenish energy and conserve strength.
Ruled by the water element, winter is associated with the kidneys, bladder and adrenal glands. The kidneys are considered the source of all energy or “Qi” within the body. They store all of the reserve Qi in the body so that it can be used in times of stress and change, or to heal, prevent illness and age gracefully.
Winter is the season where all living things slow down, conserve their energy and prepare for the outburst of new life and energy in the spring.
Eat warm hearty soups, whole grains, and roasted nuts to help warm the body’s core and to keep nourished. Sleep early, rest well, stay warm, and expend a minimum quantity of energy.
While optimal health and well-being in the winter season calls for rest, energy conservation and the revitalization of body and spirit, your holiday activities may have a different agenda.
The holidays can be filled with a dizzying array of demands, visitors, travel and frantic shopping trips. For many people, it is also a time filled with sadness, self-reflection, loneliness and anxiety. Compound the usual seasonal pressures with the constant barrage of bad economic news and you may find this to be one of the most emotionally trying times of the year.
Stress, anxiety and depression can cause a disruption in the flow of vital energy, or Qi, through the body. These energetic imbalances can throw off the immune system or cause symptoms of pain, sleep disturbances, abnormal digestion, headaches, and menstrual irregularities, and, over time, more serious illnesses can develop.
Acupuncture treatments can correct these imbalances and directly affect the way your body manages stress and your mental health.
Seasonal acupuncture treatments in winter serve to nurture and nourish kidney Qi which can greatly enhance the body’s ability to thrive in times of stress, aid in healing, prevent illness and increase vitality.
Call now and schedule your seasonal tune-up today!



Studies Show Acupuncture Effective for Stress and Depression

Since the early seventies, studies around the globe have suggested that treating mental health disorders with acupuncture has a positive and holistic effect on depressed patients, particularly when used in combination with psychotherapy and herbal treatments.
Psychologist John Allen, from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and Acupuncturist Rosa Schnyer, conducted the very first pilot controlled study on treating depression symptoms with acupuncture in the Western scientific world. In a double blind randomized study, 34 depressed female patients who met the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria were assigned to one of three treatment groups for eight weeks.
The first group received acupuncture treatment specifically tailored to their depression symptoms. The second group received a general acupuncture treatment not specific to depression, and the third group was placed on a waiting list for acupuncture treatment, but received no treatment. Those in the tailored acupuncture treatment group experienced a significant reduction in symptoms, compared to those in the non-specific treatment group. Moreover, over 50% of the participants no longer met the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for depression after the study.
Study findings suggest that using acupuncture alone could be as effective as other types of treatments for relieving depression symptoms typically used in Western medicine, such as psychotherapy and drugs.
Numerous studies have demonstrated the substantial benefits of acupuncture specifically in the treatment of stress.
In 2008 Anesthesia & Analgesia published a study finding that an acupuncture point alleviated preoperative anxiety in children while a 2003 study conducted at Yale University showed that ear acupuncture significantly lowered the stress level of the mothers of children that were scheduled for surgery.
A German study published in Circulation found acupuncture significantly lowers both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The extent of the blood pressure reductions by acupuncture treatments was comparable to those seen with anti-hypertensive medication or aggressive lifestyle changes, including radical salt restrictions.
The University of New Mexico measured the affects of acupuncture on 73 men and women with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The researchers found the acupuncture treatments to be as helpful as the standard treatment of cognitive behavioral therapy.
If the stress or depression in your life is throwing you off balance, consider acupuncture therapy to regain peace of mind, regulate your immune system and stay healthy.


Read the Latest on Acupuncture!!

In This Issue

  • Treating Holiday Stress and Depression with Acupuncture
  • Studies Show Acupuncture Effective for Stress and Depression
  • Three Super-Stress Busting Foods

Three Super-Stress Busting Foods

The foods that you eat play a crucial role in your overall well-being as well as your ability to handle stress.
Over 1400 chemical changes occur as stress hormones, such as cortisone, deplete important nutrients such as B vitamins, vitamin C and magnesium from the body.
Here are three foods that can replenish your supply of these nutrients and enhance your ability to manage stress:
Cauliflower – Cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, and kale are chock full of stress-relieving B vitamins. Cauliflower is also one of the very best sources of vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid.
Pantothenic acid helps turn carbohydrates and fats into usable energy and improves your ability to respond to stress by supporting your adrenal glands. Fatigue, listlessness, numbness and tingling or burning pain in the feet are all indications that you may need more vitamin B5 in your diet.
Salmon – Salmon is a healthy and delicious way to get your dose of B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamin B12 supports production of red blood cells, allows nerve cells to develop properly and is essential to the synthesis of the “happy” brain chemical serotonin.
Among the many benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, a 2003 study published in Diabetes & Metabolism found that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids significantly reduced the stress response and kept the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine in check.
Blackberries – Blackberries are jam packed with Vitamin C, calcium and magnesium. Vitamin C has shown to be a powerful stress reducer that can lower blood pressure and return cortisol levels to normal faster when taken during periods of stress.
Blackberries have more than double the amounts of vitamin C, calcium and magnesium than their popular cousin, the blueberry.


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