Are Your Beauty Products Green?

At Carolina Holistic Health, we are concerned with your health and the long term effects that certain chemicals, colorings, and preservatives pose. Did you know that only 11% of the 10,500 chemicals in your body care products have been tested for safety (FDA 2000, CIR 2003)? According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control in 2003, more than 116 different chemicals linked to cancer and impaired reproductive function were found in a variety of personal care products used by adults and children in the sample group.

Information on the possible detrimental effects of TEN offenders in most beauty products is widely available. Companies such as Suki, Avalon, Aubrey Organics, Devita,  Desert Essence Organics, Mineral Fusion and W3ll People are approved safe by EWG.org. EWG is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. Articles written on this subject can also be found in popular magazines such as Alternative Medicine, Better Homes and Gardens, O, Mother Earth News, Energy Times, and Shape. A wealth of information is available on the website for The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (http://www.safecosmetics.org). They are a coalition of public health, educational, religious, labor, women’s, environmental and consumer groups with the goal to protect the health of consumers and workers by requiring the health and beauty industry to phase out the use of chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects and other health problems, and replace them with safer alternatives.

Some ingredients to watch out for and why are:

1. Sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate
Carcinogenic, skin irritant, contains aluminum salts, acne producing
2. Methyl, propyl, butyl, & ethyl parabens
Petro-chemicals, estrogenic, carcinogenic, allergen, possibly stored in fat cells
3. Petrolatum, mineral oil
Acne producing, interferes with skin's ability to eliminate toxins, slows down skin function and cell development, resulting in premature aging
4. Propylene glycol (PG) & paraffin
It penetrates the skin and can weaken protein and cellular structure. Commonly used to make extracts from herbs. PG is strong enough to remove barnacles from boats! The EPA considers PG so toxic that it requires workers to wear protective gloves, clothing and goggles and to dispose of any PG solutions by burying them in the ground. Because PG penetrates the skin so quickly, the EPA warns against skin contact to prevent consequences such as brain, liver, and kidney abnormalities. But there isn't even a warning label on products such as stick deodorants, where the concentration is greater than in most industrial applications. From Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS): Health Hazard Acute And Chronic INHALATION: May cause respiratory and throat Irritation, central nervous system depression, blood and kidney disorders. May cause Nystagmus, Lymphocytosis. SKIN: Irritation and dermatitis, absorption. EYES: Irritation and conjunctivitis. INGESTION: Pulmonary edema, brain damage, hypoglycaemia, intravascular hemolysis. Death may occur.
5. DEA (diethanolamine) & TEA (triethanolamine)
Carcinogens, can cause nitrosamine contamination, irritant, sensitizer
6. FD&C dyes made from coal tar
Carcinogenic, contains heavy metal salts that deposit toxins onto the skin, causing skin sensitivity and irritation
7. Artificial fragrances
Possibly carcinogenic, symptoms reported to the USA FDA include headaches, dizziness, allergic rashes, skin discoloration, violent coughing and vomiting, and skin irritation. Clinical observation proves fragrances can affect the central nervous system, causing depression, hyperactivity, and irritability.
8. Imidazolidinyl urea & diazolidinyl urea
Nitrosating agent, irritant, releases formaldehyde (a known carcinogen, causes allergic, irritant and contact dermatitis, headaches and chronic fatigue. The vapor is extremely irritating to the eyes, nose and throat)
9. BHT & BHA
Carcinogenic, endocrine disruptor; skin sensitizer, can cause lipid & cholesterol levels to increase, encourages the breakdown of certain vitamins
10. Talc
Linked to ovarian cancer, respiratory toxin, may contain asbestos, do not use on infants

With so many choices on the market today, let us do the research on your behalf to provide you with the purest, therapeutic products available.

Cosmetics Ingredient Review (CIR) (2003). 2003 CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (2000). Prohibited Ingredients and Related Safety Issues. Office of Cosmetics and Colors Fact Sheet. March 30, 2000. http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/cos-210.html.
http://www.oprah.com/xm/jchatzky/200703/jchatzky_200070316.jhtml
http://www.organicconsumers.org/bodycare/index.cfm
http://www.motherearthnews.com/Natural-Health/2005-02-01/Natural-Body-Care.aspx
http://www.ewg.org/issues/cosmetics/20070208b/index.php
http://www.mbcc.org/content.php?id=130

Research Update: Staying Focused is easier with Acupuncture

A recent study published by the Journal of Neural Regeneration Research found acupuncture treatments can lead to improved cognitive function. Functional brain MRIs showed an increase in the communication areas of the brain associated with higher level cognitive function and memory. When cognitive function is improved, so too is one’s ability to stay focused and on task. This study also concluded acupuncture treatments can increase neural plasticity, which decreases naturally as we age. All of this demonstrates acupuncture can indeed improve overall brain function, allowing people to live more fulfilling lives.

Staying focused can be challenging in the world we live in. We are constantly bombarded with sights, sounds, smells, interruptions and more. It can be really frustrating. A recent study by Microsoft found the average human has an attention span of only eight seconds! By comparison, a goldfish has a nine second attention span. We, as a species, can’t even remain focused as long as a goldfish. This speaks volumes about the state of the world.      

Part of the problem is our bodies were designed to move and we have become too sedentary. Our nervous system doesn’t know how to respond to this. And it also affects our muscles, tendons and circulatory systems. The more time we spend on our phones, tablets, etc., the more stagnant everything becomes. Our muscles shorten, tighten and atrophy, our circulation becomes sluggish and our brains foggy. For everything to function properly, you have to get up and move. But there are other ways to increase focus and concentration.    

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can be very helpful when it comes to improving focus and concentration. There are specific acupuncture points, as well as individual herbs and herbal formulas that can be utilized.      

One of the most commonly used acupuncture points for improving focus is called Du 20 or Governing Vessel 20. This point is located on the top of the head, midway between the apexes of both ears. Du 20 has been noted to improve mental clarity and awareness, while also enhancing memory.    

Yin Tang is another favorite point of licensed acupuncturists. Yin Tang is located between the inner ends of both eyebrows. Yin Tang improves concentration and memory, while also clearing the mind and lifting the spirits.        

There are a couple of individual herbs used in TCM that can be very helpful for improving focus. The first is known as Dan Shen or Salvia. TCM uses this herb to increase blood flow and a study done in 2003 showed focus and memory were improved on subjects who used this herb.      

An herbal formula known as Bu Nao Wan is frequently prescribed for people who have memory problems related to weakness in the kidney system of TCM. Several of the herbs in this formula have been used for centuries to calm the mind and improve focus.

If you or somebody you know suffers from attention deficit issues, acupuncture might be exactly what they need to get back on track. Ask me to find out how acupuncture can help!

CITATION: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5361509/

Boost Metabolism with Chinese Medicine

 

Acupuncture and Your Metabolism~Research Update

A study published by The National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health looked at the effects of acupuncture on the regulation of lipid and glucose metabolism in patients suffering from metabolic syndrome. The study followed 76 metabolic syndrome patients over a period of time and divided them into two groups. The first group received only conventional medical treatments/pharmaceuticals, while the second group received conventional medical treatments plus regular acupuncture treatments. The body mass index (BMI), blood lipid, blood glucose and comprehensive therapeutic effects were compared before and after treatment in both groups. The results revealed the group that received acupuncture plus conventional medical treatments had superior improvement over the group that only received conventional medical treatments. The subjects showed improvement in BMI, triglyceride, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, fasting blood glucose, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, fasting insulin and insulin resistance index. This study provides strong evidence that acupuncture can greatly improve the health of patients suffering from metabolic disorders, when coupled with conventional medical treatments.

Metabolism is defined as the chemical processes that occur within a living organism in order to maintain life. That’s not something that most people consciously think about. It just happens and we automatically assume it will happen, regardless of what we do on a daily basis. But this isn’t always the case. Some people are born with genetic defects that can mess with their metabolism. Others develop metabolic disorders over time from not taking proper care of themselves. Metabolic disorders can also be trauma induced.

As with most health issues, conventional medicine typically treats metabolic issues with pharmaceuticals. For some this works very well. But there are always side effects with pharmaceuticals and the body can also develop a resistance to them over time. So when it comes to metabolic disorders, a natural approach is usually a better long term choice. This is where acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can be very beneficial.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), all disease occurs in the body due to either a lack, excess or blockage of energy. TCM treats these energy imbalances using a host of modalities, but acupuncture is the most commonly known and used. Most metabolic diseases are a result of an imbalance of hormones such as insulin, glucose and thyroid hormones. These three components are key to keeping the body functioning properly and can easily be thrown off. Too much stress, poor dietary habits and lack of exercise are all reasons why the body’s metabolism may not be functioning correctly.

Acupuncture has been shown to balance hormones when accompanied by lifestyle modifications. Acupuncture helps control food cravings, boosts metabolism, improves digestion and helps the liver function optimally. The liver produces chemicals that help break down fat, while filtering out toxins that can slow our body’s ability to digest and regulate. Excess stress can lead to a slower metabolism, an increase in body fat and poor sleep. Regular acupuncture treatments can help reduce stress

If you’re feeling tired or sluggish, put on some weight, or are dealing with stress and depression, acupuncture can definitely help.

201 West Stone Ave. Greenville SC
(864) 516-6868

Relocating Carolina Holistic Health LLC ~ June 2, 2018

New Office Location
201 West Stone Ave. Greenville SC 29609

This year is shaping up to be a year focused on business growth, reunions, dependability and loyalty in work and relationships. As I reflect on the past 3 years since I moved to SC, I am delighted to say that I have made some great friends, helped many people on their healing journey, added a few amazing healing technologies to the clinic and enjoyed getting to know the people and culture of South Carolina. I am thrilled to now be able to offer a diverse blend of holistic healing services in a tranquil central location. There is plenty of parking behind the building and on the street. It is handicap accessible and easy to find. I am still working on getting a sign made and so for now I will post a sign in the front window. I want to encourage restorative behavior in all its forms and I would love for you to see the new office so I am offering 50% off one Acupuncture treatment when you mention this email (month of June 2018 only/1 per customer).

Stay Tuned In For Future Plans:
Adding another Acupuncturist
Adding Group Acupuncture for $30 a session
Adding another Lymphatic Drainage therapist
Adding an Ampcoil technician
Adding a receptionist
Adding treatment packages for additional savings off the already low prices

Suggestions welcomed and appreciated as are Google and Facebook testimonials. Thank you for your continued interest in holistic health!

Recover Quicker From Injuries

Acupuncture and Thermography for Injuries

We’ve all heard of and maybe even experienced a sprain or a strain. Do many know the difference? A sprain is defined as a stretch or tear of a ligament. A strain, on the other hand, is defined as an injury to a muscle or tendon. Sprains can result from a fall, a sudden twist or a blow to the body that forces a joint out of place, while a strain can happen from twisting or pulling a muscle or tendon.    

There are specific ways of telling the difference between a sprain and a strain based on the symptoms that appear. Symptoms of a sprain include pain, swelling, instability, bruising and loss of functional joint ability. Sometimes there is an audible pop when the injury occurs. There are different levels of sprains too. A Grade I or mild sprain is generally caused by overstretching or the minor tearing of a ligament, but the person will still have joint stability. A Grade II or moderate sprain is more intense, but the person only experiences some loss of joint function. A Grade III or severe sprain occurs when there is a complete tear in the ligament and the person is unable to put any weight on the joint.    

Strains, on the other hand, have very different symptoms. Most people who experience a strain, will report pain, limited range of motion, muscle spasms and possibly muscle weakness. There may also be cramping, swelling and inflammation.

Medical Thermography has been shown to be useful as a diagnostic tool in the differential diagnosis of neuromusculoskeletal injuries and their prognosis for return to participation and/or competition.

Since Medical Thermography is noninvasive, risk-free, and portable, it is a very practical tool in the clinical setting and may be used in the sports medicine clinic, private practice or the training room to assess injury and make clinical decisions. Medical Thermography not only helps confirm a diagnosis, but can be used as a gauge to clinically assess progress and treatment response of Acupuncture, Chiropractic and even herbal therapy. Studies at Carolina Holistic Health LLC involving Thermography guided Acupuncture versus Acupuncture alone revealed a quicker response time and decreased number of treatments needed to heal a number of different injuries and ailments when compared to Acupuncture alone.

Medical Thermography has been recognized as a viable diagnostic tool since 1987 by the AMA council on scientific affairs, the ACA council on Diagnostic Imaging, the Congress of Neurosurgeons in 1988 and in 1990 by the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. A number of studies have been done to determine DITI’s inter-examiner reliability and validity. A study of Medical Thermography in low back pain patients found 96% inter-observer reliability. In a study of patients with knee pain, 98% test efficiency and 94% inter-rater reliability was found.

Instinctively, when a person experiences a sprain or a strain, learned first aid skills take over. Things like taking the pressure off the joint, raising the joint and applying ice to alleviate swelling and inflammation are all great places to start. Icing a sprain or strain is only good for the first 48 to 72 hours, as it will help decrease swelling. However, prolonged use of ice may impair movement and also interfere with the healing process because it constricts the tissues and impedes blood flow.   

Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners use acupuncture and other modalities to help loosen up the muscles and increase blood flow to the area, which brings in tissue-healing oxygen and nutrients. 

Increasing blood flow is just one way Traditional Chinese Medicine can help. There are also specific acupressure points that reduce swelling, decrease inflammation and alleviate pain. Through the use of regular acupuncture treatments following a sprain or strain injury, the body can heal faster.

Carolina Holistic Health LLC
New Location starting June 4, 2018:
201 West Stone Ave Greenville SC

5 Foods For Spring

Spring is the season of growth, regeneration, increased activity and new beginnings. During the season of spring, people experience many changes. Allergies, high blood pressure, headaches, sinus pain and congestion, anger, irritation and tendon problems are just some of the issues common to the spring months. Many of these problems can be attributed to increased wind in the environment. And while there is nothing that can be done about external wind, internal wind can be addressed and diminished using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and the many modalities it incorporates.

In TCM, there are lots of correspondences and associations. Spring is the season of wood, the liver and the gallbladder. The liver is in charge of detoxification and keeping the energy or Qi (pronounced “chee”) flowing smoothly. The gallbladder governs decision making and controls the sinews of the body.

When the liver and gallbladder are not functioning properly, the Qi becomes blocked and disease can occur. Both the liver and gallbladder also help with digestion. But it frequently happens that repressed anger and excessive stress can lead to the development of gallstones.

To keep the liver and gallbladder working smoothly, things like acupuncture, herbal formulas, nutritional counseling, tai chi and qi gong are all recommended. Acupuncture utilizes over 300 different pressure points on the body to help keep it in alignment and free from disease. And there are specific points that can be used to help balance the body during the season of spring.  Let’s look at a few of them.

1.   Liver 3 – This point is located bilaterally on the top of the foot, in the depression about one thumb-breadth from the edge of the webbing between the first and second toes. This point can be used to decrease headaches, nasal congestion and depression.

2.   Large Intestine 20 – Found bilaterally on either side of the nose, in the nasolabial groove, level with the lower border of the nostril. This point is very effective for decreasing nasal pain and obstruction, as well as helping decrease rhinorrhea, also known as a runny nose. These symptoms are quite common with allergies that occur during spring.

3.   Gallbladder 34 – This point is located bilaterally on the outer side of the lower leg, in the depression behind the head of the fibula. Gallbladder 34 is the influential point of the tendons and is used specifically for pain in the lower extremities. The tendons can freeze up during spring after they have been somewhat dormant during the winter months.

4.   Liver 14 – Located bilaterally on abdomen, directly below the nipple, four thumb-breadths from the midline, in the sixth intercostal space. Liver 14 promotes the smooth flow of liver Qi and benefits the digestive tract.

5.   Urinary Bladder 18 – This point is located bilaterally on either side of the spine, at the lower border of the ninth thoracic vertebra, about one and a half thumb-breadths from the spine. This point benefits both the liver and the gallbladder, smooths liver Qi and decreases anger and irritability.

Any of these points can be used alone or in conjunction with others. They can be manually stimulated using pressure from a finger or dull, rounded tool. But for best effects, it is recommended acupuncture be applied. 

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