Alternative Medicine News – August 13, 2012

Time once again for a summary of the latest alternative medicine news.

Today’s offering includes…
Acupuncture Helps Athletes

A fair number of athletes use acupuncture.

The reason is that it can strengthen body function and restore internal harmony and balance.

Professional sports teams and top athletes often have an acupuncturist on staff to treat injuries and keep them performing at their peak. For example, some professional football teams have a team acupuncturist.

And it shows up in the Olympics as well. Chinese swimmer, Wang Qun, was photographed doing some last minute training in Beijing. She had round marks on her back from a traditional Chinese medicine treatment called cupping.

Cupping is a technique where a glass cup or bamboo jar is suctioned onto the body. It is used to relieve muscle pain, especially back pain from stiffness or injury; and to clear congestion in the chest, which can occur with common colds and influenza.

Some of the best Olympic athletes are incorporating acupuncture into their wellness programs. China’s most popular sportsman, the 7 foot 6 inch China basketball center, Yao Ming, used acupuncture and Oriental medicine to help him recover after undergoing surgery on his ankle in April, 2007.

For a list of common athletic problems acupuncture can treat, see the article on The article is here.

Natural Society
The Problems With Corn Syrup (Infographic)

HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) is everywhere.

This is a problem since there are multiple health issues associated with it. And an amazing amount of corn is grown to create it.

Of all grains grown in the U.S., the vast majority is corn. 316 metric tons a year last year. That’s 4 times more than wheat, cotton and rice combined. And an estimated 85% of corn is genetically modified. A sizeable portion of all the corn grown goes into HFCS.

The problems with HFCS are a bit hard to understand because there just so many. And it is in everything from processed food to pharmaceutical drugs. It’s hard to escape.

Why is there so much of this in foods? Put simply, it’s cheap. But there’s a health price to pay.

Natural Society has a good article detailing the problems with HFCS. The article covers the multiple issues. There is also an interesting info graphic if you scroll down the page. It gives you a visual peek at what the numbers mean.

Thanks to Judy Persin for pointing this article out to me. The details are here on the Natural Society website.

Environmental Working Group
How Healthy Are Your “Green” Cleaners?

In recent years the problems with harsh cleaning products is more in the news. They cause environmental issues, but also expose users to toxic chemicals.

This has sparked the creation of “green” cleaners. Problem solved, right?

Apparently not.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) just came out with their “Hall of Shame” list. It’s called this because the cleaners on it claim to be safe, non-toxic or green. But they’re not. At least not as much as you’d think.

There are some familiar names on the list. Categories include All-Purpose Cleaners, Rust Stain Removers, Degreasers and Oven Cleaners. You can also download a PDF file of the list.

Environmental Working Group has the details. The link is here.
Nine Ways to Make Yourself Smarter

These days it pays to be smart. And each of us has our own unique talents.

But no matter how smart you are, it makes sense to do everything you can to do what you can to keep or even improve your mental abilities.

This surely helps you today. But it also helps prevent problems down the line. Alzheimer’s, dementia and strokes are worth avoiding. has a good list of ways to support a healthy brain. You’ve read about some of these on Balance Point before. However this list has some additional ideas you can benefit from.

One of the surprising ones is probiotics. These are also known as acidophilus, etc. Amazing that gut flora improves your brain!

You can get the full list here.

Functional Medicine University
Why You Need To Know About hsCRP

The idea that cholesterol is the cause of heart disease is mostly a myth. Even so, the $33 billion industry built on the idea goes on.

But the problem isn’t fats. The most recent studies show inflammation and oxidation are the culprits.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t check your lipid levels. However you also need to check two other factors. One is homocysteine. If high, heart attacks and strokes are more likely.

The other is even less well known. It’s called CRP. That stands for “C-reactive protein.”

CRP is a marker for inflammation. The inflammation can be from any part of your body. And since it is a primary factor in heart disease, it’s best to keep it in check.

You can check your levels with a test called hsCRP. The “hs” part means “high sensitivity.” Don’t use the other test (CRP Quantitative). It won’t tell you what you need to know.

If you test high, one of the best ways to lower it is easy. Just exercise. And the best exercises for this are interval training and strength training.

There are juicy details about what to look for in this article on the Functional Medicine website. Get the details here.

All the best to you for your health and happiness,

Dr. Bruce Eichelberger

Dr. Bruce

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