Acupuncture Can Help Ailing Baby Boomers

| July 31, 2010 | 0 Comments | 273 views

 

Bill, a Cancer Survivor

I have a patient named Bill who is a cancer survivor. He recently beat Lymphoma.  Bill is a new patient who is aware of "doing everything natural". Bill comes to see me for a health maintenance package. He's healthy today; we need to keep him that way. 

Luckily, Bill has an open mind.  He now knows he has to eat organic, and, maintain the 3 peg points to health: Diet, Exercise and NO Smoking.   At 60, Bill looks at least 10 years younger, he does not smoke, walks a mile a day, eats lots of organic green leafy vegetables, and fruit. He stays calm and sleeps approximately 6-7 hours a day. Not all baby boomers I've met, and, treated are like Bill. He is lucky to have good genes, a loving family, and, keeps busy with his investments. He proclaims, "I'm saving money when I come here for my monthly health tune-ups. I know I was diagnosed and, treated for cancer and I need all the help I can get. I think it helps me stay calm and clean “He knows he has the best of both worlds Chinese medicine complementing his regular health plan.  He realizes that whatever disease he may already have can get cleaned up, and, he get to live a longer healthier life.

Most baby boomers are not so lucky. There is a recent study that reports a small percentage of baby boomers that are having trouble with health insurance, or, healthcare costs, money management, and, debt problems.  The study also proclaims that a lack of confidence in the healthcare system is growing.  Alternative medicine can help, it can be a solution because it is cost effective, efficient, and, works quickly. It is safe, affordable, and, treats the person as a whole.  

 
Medicine is a business. Furthermore, older workers and their spouses who do not have large incomes are concerned and worried.  A recent study states that 72% are interested in receiving Medicare before they reach 65. Two-thirds of those who make $60,000.00 and over are “very or somewhat interested” in early enrollment in Medicare. Healthcare has become a big issue.  The report also o says that one-fifth of older workers and their spouses 7 million Americans -- either have no healthcare insurance or have been uninsured at some time since age 50.

 

Raul, My Retired Baby Boomer

Let's talk about Raul, my other Baby Boomer. Raul is young at 67. He is retired, and, lives alone. Raul has numbness on one side, from the right thigh down to his foot. He fell down the stairs of his residence, and is unable to walk without a cane.  He was referred to me by his physician for his stubborn pain and numbness.

 

Raul’s problem was dense. Raul lives alone, and, does not eat enough greens with his meals. It was suggested that he consume 20 ounces of fresh greens and squashes, weighed before cooking, with 4 ounces of protein three times a day, or, about the size of your palm.  I asked that 1 of those three meals include fresh fish, steamed, baked, or grilled and preferably not fried.  We worked twice a week for 4 months with acupuncture treatments ~ his progress was consistent ~ he eventually stuck with the diet of GREENS, and fish. Because of the trauma he suffered with the fall, it took us 4 months to free his lower limb of its channel obstruction, for Raul to walk normally.   If he did not choose to use acupuncture, I believe Raul would have developed arthritis in his right leg.

Since he was a child, Raul worked in his father’s businesses. He is used to running between jobs and home. Single in the big city, Raul has not always had the opportunity to cook or prepare his meals. Now that he is able to relax and take better care of himself, Raul's health turned around with acupuncture and nutrition, literally. In 3 months, he has more energy, has a balanced gait having regained the use of both his legs.  He now lives a new life balanced with dark green vegetables, squashes, fresh fruit, fish, and nuts.

 

 In a report to The Commonwealth Fund, The National Institute of Health states that over 60% of adults, ages 50 to 64 who are working (or who have a working spouse) have been diagnosed with at least one chronic health condition. This ailing population suffers from many of the following ailments: Arthritis, Cancer, Hypertension, Heart Disease, and High Cholesterol.

I think integrated medicine is worth trying, it’s worth the exploration by the ailing baby boomer population.  One of the main obstacles to this exploration is that acupuncture and its herbal prescriptions are not always covered by health insurance.  If the health plan covers it, it’s not enough.  One popular plan limits acupuncture visits to 22 visits a year.  Unfortunately herbal supplements are not covered. 

In Chinese medicine, it may require a month of 2-4 times a week of treatments for a year’s history of the pattern, or problem. The patient more often than not could suffer more than one problem or pattern in a year and 22-visit plan may not be enough.   In China, they treat the patient every day, for 10 consecutive days. Because the body naturally changes with its nutrition and stressors, Chinese medicine outlines disease patterns, instead, of giving it a name.  There is also the obstacle of perception, that of "quackery".  Quickly noting that this obstacle is almost non-existent because of the direct result of public demand for Oriental therapies.  Now it is known as Integrative Medicine.  It is becoming, growing in the mainstream with the support received from recognized institutions like The World Health Organization and other government entities like the National Institute of Health.  
 

In my personal practice, in addition to providing Oriental therapies and prescribing natural herbal solutions I also preach the importance of diet, specifically a diet I refer to as “The Greens Diet” which is also referred to on this website.  The Greens Diet consists of 20oz of fresh green leafy vegetables (i.e. Spinach, Kale, Mustard Greens, Swiss chard, and Beet tops) and squashes ~ weigh uncooked.   4 oz of protein 3X a day.  A fruit a day is allowed in this diet but the main component is the consumption of a large amount of vegetables.   
  
I use this diet to treat diabetes, moodiness, depression, ADHD, and, the overweight.  In Oriental Medicine there is the concept of the “Five Element Protocol”. In this protocol, greens or the energy of wood nourishes the liver organ.   It's energy and emotion is: to go forward, to spring up, to re-start, to grow, to bring in freshness, to “do”.  Without getting into too much detail, the liver organ is the general, directing other organs where to send their energies.  With the liver nourished, it can effectively assist other organs including the pancreas in its work of food and drink digestion.

 

By being proactive, there's that old, and simple reminder about taking care of one’s health: incorporating elements of the “Greens Diet” into one’s current diet, refraining from smoking, and exercising moderately.   Integrating your approach to medicine, including alternative medicine like Traditional Chinese Medicine with your health plan, may in the long run decrease a baby boomer’s high health insurance costs.  Costs go down when the much healthier and more buff baby boomer's visits to the health care provider are decreased.  Trying natural remedies helps prevent illness, healing safely with less adverse effects.  Traditional Oriental Medicine treats more than the symptom; it goes to the root cause, it strengthens the problem organ.  Without a doubt some conventional medications are very effective in addressing symptoms, but, may have side effects including:  damage to the liver, stomach lining, and drug dependence.

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