The Blog of Minnesota Community Acupuncture

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Acupuncture in the News: Treating Chronic Heart Failure, Pain, Migraines and IBS!

???????????????????????????????????????? Acupuncture provides not only relief from pain and healing from illness but also prevents disease and promotes overall health and well-being. Over 5,000 years, acupuncture has been an effective modality to achieve all of these results. Western medicine has struggled to understand the focus of traditional Chinese medicine because it is based on paradigms that are completely different from Western medical constructs. However, acupuncture is gaining ground as a viable referral from medical physicians, in part due to research and studies funded and conducted by respected institutions and researchers throughout the United States, Germany, Canada and the U.K.

In October 2010, the medical journal Heart published results of a study which showed that acupuncture can dramatically improve exercise tolerance levels in patients suffering from chronic heart failure. After acupuncture treatments, “the patients could walk far longer than those in the placebo group” and “they recovered more quickly after exercise and reported they felt far less exhausted.” (http://www.naturalnews.com/z029377_acupuncture_heart_failure.html)

In December 2010, findings using functional magnetic resonance imaging were presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America which clearly showed a positive change in the metabolic activity of patients’ brains receiving acupuncture treatment. Observing areas of the brain that are activated during pain perception, “The team found that the pain activation centers in the participants’ brains became less active and even deactivated in the presence of acupuncture treatment.” (http://www.naturalnews.com/z030736_acupuncture_chronic_pain.html) Continue reading

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Asparagus Salad with Shrimp, a Perfect Springtime Recipe

Shrimp and Asparagus Springtime is just around the corner, as evidenced by our state’s recent transformation into the land of 10,000 puddles. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) recommends eating foods that move upwards (primarily warm and sweet foods) in order to stay in harmony with the Spring season. By eating foods that energetically move upward, you harmonize with all living things in the spring which have a tendency toward upward movement as they begin to sprout and grow. Green foods, and foods that correspond to the liver are also beneficial during this time. The following recipe’s main ingredients are all ideal during this seasonal transition (they also happen to be easy to prepare and absolutely delicious). The recipe is as follows:

1 pound asparagus, woody stem ends removed
1 pound of shrimp
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced (1/2 teaspoon to 1 1/2 teaspoons, depending on how much you like fresh garlic. If you don’t like the spice of fresh garlic, use roasted garlic.)
1 Tbsp lemon juice (more to taste)
1 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
Salt and black pepper to taste

1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and salt it well. Add the asparagus to the boiling water and boil for 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the asparagus to a bowl of iced water. Shocking the asparagus in an ice bath at this point will leave it perfectly cooked and delicious. Add the shrimp to the pot of boiling water. If they are pre-cooked, remove after 30 seconds—this is just to warm them. If the shrimp are uncooked, boil them for 2-3 minutes for small shrimp, 3-4 minutes for medium shrimp, 5-7 minutes for large shrimp until cooked through. Remove the shrimp and add them to a large bowl.

2. Slice the asparagus spears thinly on the diagonal until you get close to the tip. Cut the asparagus tips off in one piece. Put the asparagus in the bowl with the shrimp. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Add more lemon juice if desired, to taste. Continue reading