Natural Qi Newsletter
Staying Healthy Inside and Out
Melani Bolyai, L.Ac.Hello!
The winter blues: they can come upon you especially when winter seems endless. Often a sense of feeling bogged down exacerbates stressors in your life. It is especially important to pay attention to feelings of fatigue or mild depression. Acupuncture and herbs can help ease the feeling of needing to “spring-clean” your body before spring is here. In this newsletter, know more about postpartum depression, as well as other post-childbirth issues. Also discover how chemicals can affect your health, as well as the health of the earth!
I am always available to talk about making healthy diet changes for improved health and discuss approaches to your acupuncture and herbal treatment that can help you feel more energized and balanced.
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact Natural Qi at 917-533-2097 with any questions, or to schedule an appointment.
Acupuncture for Postpartum
Labor and childbirth require a tremendous expenditure of energy and resources. For a new mother, allowing herself to recuperate and rest is as important as caring for her newborn. Just after childbirth, a woman recovers during a post-natal period of 6 weeks. She can experience many symptoms of the imbalance of Qi (the body’s natAcupuncturePostpartumural healing energy), including aching, numbness and heaviness of the extremities, fatigue and mood swings including depression.
Just as receiving acupuncture treatments prior to birth is beneficial for the body to be working at its optimum potential, continuing treatment after birth is important. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs not only can help a new mother feel better initially after the event of childbirth, but an acupuncturist’s perspective can provide her with a deeper understanding of the progress of her recovery, as well as preventative healthcare and maintenance.
These are some of the challenges that women face after giving birth that can be alleviated with postpartum acupuncture treatments:
· Breastfeeding problems, milk production, Mastitis
· Pain and healing of incisions from Cesarean section
Medical studies have shown that acupuncture can significantly help depression that often accompanies other postpartum challenges. Acupuncture helps regulate hormones and enzymes, increase blood flow and the healing chemistry of the brain, relax the body and release endorphins. Treatments are very similar to those used to treat non-postpartum depression and balance out mood swings, with the added focus on increasing energy and nutrient uptake and strengthening the immune system, so that a new mother has the capability to provide the best care to her child.
Unless there were complications with the birth, in which case acupuncture treatment can start almost immediately postpartum to assist the healing process, recommended visits (home visits are best) start 3 days after the birth, and then continue weekly for one month. If regular home visits are not an option, Chinese herbal recommendations can be made after an initial visit, with follow-up phone consults every couple of weeks.
Treating yourself with as much joyful care as you are giving to your new baby is key: health for you makes you healthy for two!
Toxins Inside and Out
Despite our best efforts at being a “green” community from the way we eat to the way we clean our home, synthetic chemicals are all around us. About 1,000 new chemicals are introduced into the environment each year, and the reality is that about 85% of these chemicals are untested for their effect on human health. These chemicals show up anywhere from pesticides to plastics, from detergents to cosmetics.
Who knew doing our part to be healthy by drinking water could affect us? Tap water in the United States is more highly regulated and monitored for quality compared to bottled water. While it is a wise environmental choice to reuse your water container, be aware that some reusable containers are made from plastic containing BPA, a synthetic chemical that has been shown to have negative effects on health, and it is best to shop wisely. You should avoid using polycarbonate bottles that have the recycling code “7” on the bottom. (The code “7” includes a number of other plastics as well as polycarbonates.) Most single-use water bottles sold in the United States are made from BPA-free plastic, but according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, only about 20 percent of disposable plastic water bottles are recycled. When you consider the additional energy and resources to bottle and ship water, it is probably the best choice to drink water from the tap, from safe, reusable containers.
Although freezing plastic does not release dioxins into food, eating or drinking from a heated plastic container is never a good idea, whether it means it’s from the microwave or been left in your car on a hot summer day. Chemicals can be released from plastic packaging materials like the kinds used in some microwave meals. And be aware of your plastic eating utensils, too! Only use plastic meant for cooking, and choose biodegradable or stainless steel utensils.
Newborn babies, and those in-utero, are particularly susceptible to BPA. It is best to be watchful during pregnancy, and choose to breastfeed. If infant formula is needed, powdered kinds have lower levels of BPA than liquid formulas. As a precaution, glass bottles or BPA-free plastic bottles can be used for bottle feeding. Never heat plastic bottles, and let cool after washing.
Even though my mom’s a vegetarian, I eat meat!
It’s important to find meat that comes from healthy, happy animals in a clean and natural home. Healthy meat ideally comes from local (as close as possible to NYC) and sustainable farms, where emphasis is put on animal health, earth health, and your health! You can look for the best flavor and best nutrition in your beef, chicken, turkey, pork and dairy products by looking for these watchwords:
Free Range or Roaming
No added hormones or antibiotics
Some nearby places selling healthy meat:
Garden of Eden
7 East 14th Street
New York, NY 10003
Commodities Natural Market
165 First Avenue
(between 10th and 11th Sts.)
New York, NY 10003
Chelsea Court Meat Market
166 9th Ave
Between 20th and 21st Streets
New York, NY 10011
Even though I can’t read, I know there’s great food for thought in Michael Pollan’s exceptional book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”. Learn the ins and outs of the food industry and fast food, organic food, and sustainable farming, and what REALLY goes into your body!
For more good stuff, visit:
And for an easy and entertaining way to learn more, watch my friends Moopheus, Leo and Chickety take on the meat industry in www.themeatrix.com!
Curry Beef Stew
Since spring and warmer weather isn’t here quite yet, it’s important to eat warm foods to satify not only your hunger, but also your health! This yummy beef stew is jazzed up with a little curry powder and ginger to provide some heat.
· 1 pound lean beef, cut into small cubes
· 1/3 cup flour
· 1 scant teaspoon curry powder
· 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
· 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· dash pepper
· 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
· 2 ribs celery, sliced
· 1 medium onion, diced
· 3 cups beef broth
· 1 small to medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
· 2 carrots, chopped
· 2 small to medium potatoes, peeled cut into small cubes
· 1/2 cup baby lima beans
· 1 can (14.5 ounces) tomatoes with juice
In a plastic food storage bag, combine cubed beef, flour, curry powder, ginger, onion powder, salt, and pepper; set aside. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add celery and onion; saute until just tender. Add the beef and any excess flour, stirring well. If necessary, add a little more oil. Continue cooking, stirring, until beef is lightly browned. Add beef broth; cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add sweet potato, carrots, potatoes, and lima beans. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add tomatoes. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes longer.
Serves 4 to 6.
If you have questions, or would like to discuss anything you read here, please feel free to contact me. Take Care and Be Well!
Natural Qi Acupuncture and Herbs