Dr. Hsu says

Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese/Lunar New Year! Happy Spring Festival! I wish everyone health and prosperity in this, the Year of the Snake!

Dispel your winter woes naturally!

In winter the Chinese use a customizable herbal paste made from a special formula of 30-40 herbs called Gao Fang. Gao Fang is used to strengthen the immune system and to ward off infection. Ask your practitioner to make you a custom Gao Fang.

What if you already have a cold with a sinus infection or sinusitis? Acupuncture and herbs are an effective solution. Herbal formulas with antibacterial properties can work very well instead of penicillin. Herbs such as Baical Skullcap root (huang qin) have been shown to be effective against MRSA or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Cocklebur fruit (cang er zi) can inhibit the growth of staphylococcus aureus.

Acupuncture is an excellent way to both stimulate the immune system while suppressing the signs and symptoms of a cold. You can also use acupressure on yourself if you can’t get to your practitioner. Here are a couple of acupressure points for you to press when you have a cold: Three Mile Leg point – This point is 3 or 4 inches below the knee cap on the muscle to the right of the shin. This point strengthens your immune system and improves digestion at the same time. Use your thumb or knuckle and press hard. Pool at the Bend – Bend your arm. This point is on the outside of the arm at the end of the crease. It relieves fevers and constipation and strengthens the immune system.

Winter and Vitamin D

The winter months are upon us. There isn’t much daylight for us to enjoy, and unfortunately, our bodies aren’t getting enough vitamin D from sun exposure.

Why do we need vitamin D? Vitamin D-rich foods can help maintain strong bones and teeth as well as help regulate the activity and growth of your cells and can help prevent excessive inflammation in the body.

How can you tell if you’re low in Vitamin D? Your doctor can check the major circulating form of vitamin D in your blood, your 25(OH)D3. There should be no less than 30 nanograms per milliliter in order to have a good supply of vitamin D.

Recently, the Institutes of Health recommended that people up to age 70 require 600 international units of Vitamin D. People age 71 and over may need as much as 800 international units a day.

So how can get vitamin D naturally from foods we eat? Nine of the top ten sources of vitamin D come from fish and other kinds of seafood.  Fish like herring, catfish, trout and salmon are very high in vitamin D. Oysters and mollusks are also rich in D. Soymilk and tofu can also be a good source of D.  But the one thing that’s richest in vitamin D is grandma’s old favorite: cod liver oil!

8 Ways To Boost Your Back-To-School Immunity!

The summer is over and the kids are back in school. Soon, they will be spending extended periods of time indoors in large groups. This allows them to trade cold and flu viruses faster faster than text messages!

Here are 8 ways reduce the frequency and duration of colds and flus:

  1. Hand Washing. Washing one’s hands is probably the single most important thing to avoid contact with cold viruses. Teach your kids to use warm water and soap and wash for at least ten seconds.
  2. Exercise. Exercise is not only important for overall health but it is also important for boosting the immune system. So, do it on your own or better yet, play ball with your kids. 30 minutes a day is all it takes!
  3. Cut the Fat and Sugar. The amount of sugar in two cans of soda can reduce the ability of white blood cells to fight invaders. That leads to #4.
  4. Lose the Extra Weight. Excess fat cells put people at risk of developing diseases. Too much fat also increases inflammation in the body and impairs the immune system.
  5. Sleep. Lack of it increases inflammation. Getting enough of it boost your immunity. Try to get at least 7 hours.
  6. Eat Healthy Foods. Foods high in nutrients and antioxidants will boost your immunity and fight infection. Eat brightly colored fruits and vegetables to get a good dose of antioxidants every day. Tell your kids to eat every color of the rainbow every day! And believe it or not, chicken soup will also boost your immunity and get you well faster. To make the soup even better at boosting immunity, you can also add #7.
  7. Herbs. Astragalus Root (Huang Qi) is traditionally added to chicken soup to help boost the immune system. Mushrooms such as Shitake, Miatake, and Reichi can also be delicious additions to chicken soup.
  8. Acupuncture. Acupuncture is a powerful tool to reduce inflammation and to boost the immune system. And it does not take much. Five to ten sessions of acupuncture can boost your immune system for over a month!

Autumn is upon us! Learn how to make a classic herbal tea to help boost your energy and to help fight illness.

Delicious and Healthy Autumn Herbal Tea

Here is a recipe for a classic fall herbal tea to boost your energy and to help fight illness.
The ingredients you will need are:

  • Green Tea
  • Dried Chrysanthemum
  • Dried Goji Berries (wolfberries)
  • Dried Longan fruit
  • Astragalus Root
  • American Ginseng
  • Honey

Step 1: Prepare about 2 cups (~500ml) of green tea.
Step 2: Boil 3-4 chrysanthemum flowers for 3 minutes in a separate pot in the same amount of water.
Step 3; Mix equal amounts of the green tea and the chrysanthemum tea.
Step 4: Add 10 Goji Berries, 2-3 Longan Fruit, and honey to taste.
Step 5: Enjoy!

Summer is here! Enjoy the sun safely!

Skin complexion, time of day, age, diet, cloud cover are among the many factors that determine how quickly you can get sunburned when the UV Index Scale is high.

If unprotected, most people can get sunburned in minutes between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest

Wear a wide-brimmed hat. How wide, you ask? The wider, the better!

Wear sunglasses with proper UV protection (UV400) that cover your eyes as well as the sensitive skin below your eyes.

Sunscreen is great for skin protection. But in order to have optimal protection, you need to apply it thick and often!

Tired of constantly slathering or spraying on sunscreen after going in and out of the water? Wear a long sleeve swim shirt or rash guard. Most of the top brands have great UV protection. You will be fashionably protected from the sun’s damaging rays all summer long!

How can Acupuncture help with stress?

Acupuncture can help with your stress. It works by releasing your own natural feel-good chemicals! Watch it here on Sharecare.com where top experts answer your health-related questions: http://www.sharecare.com/question/how-can-acupuncture-help-stress#answer_PRD__4d80264f648b83_19512729

Herbs for Autumn

Autumn will soon be here and so will be the dry weather. Chinese foods and herbs can help you stay moisturized.

Autumn’s dry weather can severely dry out your skin, your nose and your throat. Try these delicious and useful foods and herbs to protect yourself from the ravages of dryness.

  1. Lotus Root. Popular in Southeastern Asia and especially good for the elderly and children, lotus root is no only one of the best foods for moisturizing the body but also one that is rich in iron, antioxidants, polysaccharides, polyphenols and vitamin C. It is also believed to have powerful cancer fighting properties. They’re great in soups or stir fried. But be careful if you have IBS. The fiber in lotus root may be too much for you!
  2. Black Sesame Seeds. 90% of a black sesame seed is made up of unsaturated fatty acids and linoleic acid, both of which promote heart health. The sesamin in the seeds can even help to lower bad cholesterol and prevent skin cancer. Just make sure the seeds are ground well before eating!

Herbs for Summer

Summer is here and so is the heat. Did you know that Chinese herbs can keep you cool when it is hot? Here are just some of the drinks the Chinese have used for thousands of years to beat the heat. Ask your practitioner about their favorites!

  • Bo He or peppermint is a universally popular addition to summer drinks. It can be added to teas, lemonade and juices.
  • Da Mai or roasted barley tea widely used in China to cool and aid in digestion during the dog days.
  • Lu Dou or Mung Bean soup are slightly sweet and a great cooling as well as nourishing snack enjoyed all over the Far East.
  • Bai Ju Hua or White Chrysanthemum makes a great cooling tea that is also traditionally used for hypertension and headaches.
  • Jin Yin Hua or Honeysuckle Flower Tea is great for cooling and detoxifying as well as reducing swelling, sore throats and headaches
  • Suan Mei or Sour Plum Decoction has a mixture of herbs that by themselves are good for you but when put together create an ancient cooling drink. Ingredients: Sour plum, Chinese Osmanthus, hawthorn fruit and licorice root.

Tai Chi is good for heart patients…and more!

Tai Chi Chuan, the ancient Chinese martial art has been practiced for thousands of years in China to improve health and well-being. Recent research has now confirmed the many health benefits of Tai Chi Chuan. Among its many benefits are improved mood, decreased blood pressure, reduced pain, fibromyalgia symptom relief, and improved balance. And you can do it at home!

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