Thursday, January 13, 2011

Chronic Fatigue - Part 2

Chronic Fatigue

CFS consists of persistent fatigue unrelated to exertion, and not relieved efficiently by rest. It is also accompanied by the presence of other specific symptoms which range from neurological, immunological, and endrocrinoligical for a minimum of six months.

Issues that arise in CFS sufferers are that they can place unrealistic demands or expectations on themselves. Eg “I don’t want to be alone, or “I don’t want to be board”. Or they may have negative connotations’ around not doing anything productive.

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Nutrition

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) combined with Nutrition is one of the best treatment therapies for CFS. TCM tailors every treatment to the individual, and takes all factors such as environmental, mental and social into account. TCM not only treats the physical body, by boosting immunity and digestive capabilities in CFS, but can also treat underlying emotional upsets that may be exacerbating the condition.

Acupuncture, herbs and diet reinforce each other. Acupuncture reprograms the body and the herbs support that reprogramming.

A low stress diet is a simple diet that consists of foods that contain no artificial colours, preservatives, Salicylates , Amines or flavor enhancers, takes into consideration foods you may have a sensitivity or intolerance to, is easily digestible, nutritionally advantageous to boost immunity and generating energy, and also aids in clearing toxins from the system.

Even though many patients have been debilitated by CFS for many years, TCM looks at a recovery rate in 6 to 12 months of treatment.


Taking a closer look at what we eat is crucial for CFS suffers, or getting back into the kitchen and taking control over what goes into our meals.

A useful tool to return to home style cooking, and cutting out the time of cooking every meal may be helpful by using a Thermomix. This machine chops and cooks meals in minutes. Preparation is cut from minutes to seconds and cooking is gentle ensuring the flavours, vitamins and minerals are locked into the food as the Thermomix cooks foods at such a low temperature that it does not denature your food. Through this process natural flavours are also enhanced.

Best of all, you'll have the peace of mind of knowing exactly what is going into everything you eat. If this machine is not for you, then try to put away more time in your life to dedicate to cooking.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Six Step Chinese Medical Weight Loss Guide

1. Eat when hungry

Hunger is a sign of health digestion, listen to your body. If you eat when you are not hungry then you are eating for an emotional filler. Try drinking some water, stretching or going for a brisk walk instead of ‘emotional’ or ‘boredom’ eating habits.

If you do not eat when you are hungry, eg. skipping meals to lose weight, then your metabolism will start to slow and no longer burn calories efficiently. The chances of permanent weight loss with this method are next to zero.

So, eat meals on a regular basis! Five smaller meals are better than 2 or 3 larger meals as it will keep your blood sugar constant and help to prevent cravings by preventing spikes in your appetite.

When you are hungry your body has built up digestive enzymes readying your body for digestion. This means your body is more capable of digesting food when you are hungry. If you tend to eat without listening to whether your body actually is hungry and asking for food, you are more likely to gain weight and suffer from indigestion, bloating and gas.

The Indian yogis say that indigestion is the cause of 90% of diseases. When food is not properly digested nutrients are not fully absorbed from food, leaving the body malnourished, fatigued, and causing poor memory and concentration. Indigestion also leads to weight gain, as poorly digested food will sit in your stomach and intestines and cause bloating. When food is poorly digested in the stomach it is sent, undigested to the intestines, the intestines then attempt to break down the food by secreting intestinal digestive enzymes, these enzymes when released cause gas, this in turn leads to further bloating and pain.

2. Chew properly.
There is an enzyme contained in saliva that aids in protein digestion. If you chew on your food properly, your mouth will secrete more saliva, and the food will start to break down before it hits the stomach and duodenum. It is said by many traditional cultures and modern day nutritionists that 30 chews a mouthful is adequate. Take a short brisk walk after dinner to aid digestion.

Eat pickles, radish or ginger with meals to increase digestive enzymes.

Swedish bitters, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar with hot water 30 minutes before meals, also increases your digestive capabilities, and is good for people who suffer from indigestion and bloating.

Try not to drink liquid with meals as fluids wash away digestive enzymes, cold drinks especially, as they cool down the ‘digestive fire’ in the gut.

3. Avoid foods that are difficult to digest

.... such as dairy, soy milk, sugar and refined wheat products. Ice cream, cheese and cream are extremely taxing on the digestive system. You can supplement your calcium intake with salmon, sardines, collard greens, spinach, okra, rhubarb, white beans, broccoli, peas, brussel sprouts, sesame seeds, bok choy, almonds and by adding lightly fried sesame seeds with salt on your meals, or sesame paste – tahini, which is great used as a dressing.

4. Avoid cold foods and drinks
Try not to eat or drink foods and liquid that are cold in temperature, again, as they cool down the ‘digestive fire’. (except small amounts in summer)
cold drinks from the fridge.
Ice cream or icy poles
Food from the fridge that hasn’t been left to sit to warm up to room temperature or heated before consuming.
When the digestive fire has been dampened by these types of foods these types of symptoms will occur:
Weight gain
Abdominal Pain
Mucous build up
And immune problems

5. Don't Eat Too Late

Make a habit of not eating after 8pm, or 3 hours before retiring. The digestive system is at its peak from 7am until 11am, then starts to decrease to its weakest from 7pm until 11pm in the evening. To take advantage of the peak digestive strength the largest meal of the day should be breakfast, finishing with a light snack at dinner. Eating late at night means that food will sit in your digestive system for longer, undigested, and much of the energy for night time restoration of hormone production, balancing your brain chemistry, building blood, along side a great many other processes, goes to digesting your dinner.

6. Avoid eating when angry, upset, tired, walking, driving, reading or concentrating.

If you eat at these times you will likely suffer from weight gain and bloating due to poor digestive capabilities at these times. You may also suffer from poor concentration and poor memory, as the nutrients from your food will most likely not be readily absorbed. The digestive system slows when the heart rate increases, however when the heart rate slows and the body switches from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic nervous system, the mind and body are calm and the digestive system becomes strong, and more digestive enzymes are secreted. Calming the mind and body before eating is essential for good digestion.

Lose weight naturally and keep it off with Traditional Chinese Medicine

Australia is now one of the top countries in the world that suffers from obesity. Recent studies estimate that more than half of all Australian women (52%) and two-thirds of men (67%) are overweight or obese. That is almost 60% of the adult population in Australia. Rates of childhood obesity in Australia are also at one of the highest amongst developed nations. ‘15.2% of Australian preschoolers are estimated to be overweight and 5.5% obese’

With these alarming statistics, Australians are beginning to look into ways of lowering their weight permanently and taking their health, and their children’s health seriously.

How does being overweight affect your health?

There are over thirty serious medical concerns related to obesity. Obesity takes its toll on the entire body. Some of these issues include:
Sleep Apnea
Fatty Liver Disease
Chronic headaches
High Blood pressure, hypertension
High blood cholesterol
Diabetes Type 2
Congestive heart failure
Heart disease
Gallstones and gallbladder disorders
Some types of cancer -such as endometrial, breast, prostate, and colon
Complications of pregnancy
Poly cystic Ovarian Syndrome
Bladder control problems
Varicose veins
Metabolic Syndrome

What is Metabolic syndrome?
Many people find they carry excess weight only around their belly. Belly fat, or visceral fat, is dangerous as it lies deep in your abdomen, surrounds your organs and secretes toxic hormones. 
The liver, your body's detox center, also seriously suffers if you have too much abdominal fat. "When the liver gets infiltrated with this fat, it can have a harder time filtering out harmful substances” (3). This can lead to toxic build up in the body, mood disorders, fatigue and many other health concerns.

Do I have Metabolic Syndrome?
If you have a waist circumference greater than 102 cm (men) or 88cm (women), you may be suffering from metabolic syndrome.

                            Ways losing weight will benefit your health:
               Increased energy level
                            Lower your cholesterol levels
               Reduce your blood pressure
               Reduced aches and pains
               Improved mobility
               Improve your breathing
               Help you sleep better and wake more rested
               Prevention of angina, chest pain caused by decreased oxygen to the heart
               Decreases your risk of sudden death from heart disease or stroke
               Prevention of Type 2 diabetes
  Improved blood sugar levels
Improve self esteem and quality of life
Losing weight with Traditional Chinese medicine
With all the associated health risks with being overweight why not begin on your path towards a longer, more energetic and healthier life, by going on a natural weight loss program today?
Learn how to regain insulin sensitivity through dietary changes and other natural methods, and how to resolve sugar cravings by utilising natural therapies.

Chinese medicine tailors a program to suit every body type, whilst treating underlying health concerns, aiding your body’s natural ability to loose weight with dietary planning, acupuncture and herbal supplementation.

(1) A. Dowling, 2009, ‘Obesity’, The Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society.
(2) M Wake, 2009, ‘Obesity and girth of Australian preschoolers: prevalence’, International Journal of Obesity, Nature Publishing group
(3) M.Kelly, ‘Weight gain around the waistline poses health risks’ Fitness Magazine, The Arizona Republic Newspaper.