SOMA Natural Health News

March-April, 2005

In this Issue:

Naturopathic Detoxification: Spring Cleaning From the Inside Out

Spring is in the air, and you want to do something healthy for yourself! SOMA Acupuncture and Natural Health Clinic is offering a detoxification program to assist you in feeling your best. A spring cleanse is a great opportunity to jump start your body into a healthier diet and exercise program, and maybe shed a few of those extra winter pounds.

Many people find value in doing detox programs on a regular basis. Springtime is especially appropriate because our energy is more outward and the natural world is waking up after the quieter winter. Seasonal conditions like allergies can be eased greatly by cleansing the body at this time of year. Detox programs offer rest and healing to the GI tract and can help with digestive problems such as acid reflux, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. Because of the liver's role in processing hormones, symptoms of PMS and menopause can also be greatly relieved. Other conditions including skin rashes, fatigue, joint pain, and emotional stress will benefit from a detoxification program.

Everyday we are exposed to toxic chemicals in our air, food, soil and water. Some of the most common substances we face are heavy metals such as lead and mercury, pesticides, drugs and alcohol, food additives, and microbial toxins. We may also be disturbed by negative thought patterns and unprocessed emotions. A naturopathic detoxification program will help you to minimize exposures while supporting the breakdown and release of toxic challenges.

In the body, the liver handles the breakdown and preparation of toxins for elimination. The bowels process and excrete solid wastes. The kidneys filter the blood and eliminate water-soluble toxins through the urine. And the skin secretes oils and sweat. The main goal of a detox is to increase each of these important functions. The program will include a simplified diet or modified fast, lifestyle changes, mild exercise, relaxation, and dietary supplements to support the organs of elimination. During the program, your body will greatly increase its ability to detoxify and eliminate.

Your program will be individually designed for you by one of our naturopathic doctors. The length of the plan will vary based on your specific case, usually 10-14 days. After an evaluation of your current state of health and your goals, your doctor will suggest a detoxification program that is right for you.

Over the course of your program, you will gradually ease into and out of the cleanse. For example, the first phase will help you clean up your current diet and prepare your body for the detox. In the second phase, you will be resting your digestive system by eating very simple foods or no solid food at all. You will be supplemented with juices, soups or smoothies to provide basic nutrients and enhance detoxification. In the third phase, you will slowly reintroduce foods back in to your diet. This is a great opportunity to test yourself for food sensitivities by noting changes in your symptoms as you start to eat certain foods.

Throughout your cleanse you will be encouraged to take time for yourself for relaxation and self treatments. This is also an excellent opportunity to do some personal work through journaling, meditation, yoga, qi gong, prayer or any spiritual or relaxing practices with which you are comfortable.

The long-term goal of a detoxification program is to help you feel energized and motivated to incorporate healthier choices into your daily life. Come experience a renewed sense of wellness and vitality with a spring cleanse.

by Amy Day, ND


Part 5-Simple Things You Can Do To Stay Healthy: Express Your Emotions Appropriately

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has always recognized that emotional factors play an important role in health and illness and notes seven emotions that particularly affect the body: joy, anger, sadness, grief, pensiveness, fear and fright. These emotions are not by themselves thought to be pathological and all constitute emotional aspects of healthy people. However, if any of these emotions are excessive over a long period of time or arises suddenly with great force, it can generate imbalances and illness.

Many theories of disease causation in TCM are based on inappropriate expression of emotions which leads to physical and mental symptoms. For example, inappropriate expression of anger is thought to affect the Liver. People who feel frustrated or irritable are often not expressing their underlying anger appropriately by talking about it or by creating change in their lives to relieve their frustration. This affects the function of the liver which helps promote the smooth flow of qi, or life energy, in the body. Consequently, this can lead to depression, achiness in the body, constipation, and inappropriate outbursts of anger. If the imbalance persists long enough, western diagnoses such as hypertension or tension headaches may result.

If holding in emotions or expressing them in inappropriate ways can lead to health imbalances which may lead to illness, endeavoring to express our positive and negative emotions in appropriate ways can be as preventive as exercising or eating a balanced diet. In our society, this takes awareness and careful choices of words as the expression of "negative" emotions such as anger or sadness is often discouraged socially. Nonetheless, it is important to be in touch with our feelings and to express them in an authentic way.

One way to appropriately express anger is through the use of "I" messages. Instead of saying "You make me so angry when you...," try instead saying "When you ...., I feel......" This takes ownership for feelings and provokes less defensiveness in the other person.

Learning to be in touch with emotions, expressing ourselves appropriately, and letting things go-it is not easy but produces rewards in enriching our emotional lives and our relationships and connections with others.

by Carl Hangee-Bauer, ND, LAc


GYN Exams Are Now Available

As promised months ago, SOMA Acupuncture is now scheduling appointments for annual GYN exams with Dr. Amy Day. The one-hour exam includes a GYN history, a review of risk factors, physical exam, breast and pelvic exams, and a PAP smear. Additionally, Dr. Day will discuss your history with you and answer any questions that you may have. She will take time to explain and help you to feel comfortable with the exam. Please call for more details.


Upcoming Talks with Our NDs

The doctors are busy spreading the word about naturopathic medicine. Please join them at the following talks:

Wed. March 30 Dr. Amy Day will be speaking on Digestion: A Naturopathic Medicine Perspective. The lecture will provide an overview of naturopathic medicine; digestion as the foundation of health; and guidelines for a detoxifying spring cleanse. This is a Whole Foods-sponsored talk to be held at the Peet's Coffee below the Whole Foods store on California Street. Please call Whole Foods at 674-0500 to sign up for this 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. free talk.

Monday, April 4 Dr. Hangee-Bauer will be speaking at a Starfish panel discussion on Allergies and Diet: The Link. This talk will be at the San Francisco Bay Club from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. There is a $10 admission fee in advance or $20 at the door; however, we have a few free tickets. Call us first to reserve one free ticket while they last. Then call Starfish at 461-1849 to register. Please see attached pdf for further details.

Wed. April 27 Dr. Hangee-Bauer will speak on the topic of Natural Medicine for Allergies, also at a Whole Foods-sponsored talk to be held at the Peet's Coffee below Whole Foods on California Street. Please call Whole Foods at 674-0500 to sign up for this 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. free talk.


Breast Thermography - April 7

Our next scheduled date for breast thermography is Thursday, April 7. If you wish to schedule, please call the office. For more information on breast thermography, please see our web site.


Did You Know . . .

Acupuncture Improves Knee Arthritis. The longest and largest randomised, controlled clinical trial of acupuncture ever conducted has found that acupuncture can significantly improve the symptoms of arthritis of the knee. The NIH-funded study of 570 patients randomly assigned them to receive 23 treatments of either true or sham acupuncture or a 12-week knee osteoarthritis education course. At the end of the study, the true acupuncture group had the greatest reduction (40%) in knee pain and the greatest improvement (nearly 40%) in knee function.

Acupuncture for Neck Pain. A very large German study (over 10,000 patients) treated neck pain with acupuncture over a three-month treatment period. At the end of the period, chronic pain and disability scores and quality of life scores improved significantly in the acupuncture group compared to controls.

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Carl Hangee-Bauer, ND, LAc
1615 20th St • San Francisco CA 94107 • 415-643-6600
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