Tag Archives: innovative treatments

Acne clear up

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Acne clear up

beth and ron, by lisa 2015I have struggled with acne since my twenties.
My experience is that traditional or conventional dermatology practices and products have been largely unsuccessful at stopping or treating my outbreaks.

In my twenties, I had good success with proactive products.  But these stopped working after ten years and my acne transformed from clogged pores to cystic acne.

The cystic acne became intractable.  I would have between 1 and 4 cysts at a time, predominantly on my cheeks and my chin area.  These erupted when I was stressed, around my period, or I had too much sun.  They would become inflamed, and then not come to a head or resolve for weeks and sometimes months.  At other times, they might resolve and then after a reprieve of about a week another form in the same place.  So I would have relatively no time when I did not have either scarring or acne showing on my face.

This was a painful process physically but also emotionally as it distorted my face and left me dealing with scarring and discoloration to cover when facing the public.  Sometimes when I would get a flareup the cyst would be so inflamed I would have pain from the pressure on my face or cheek, or on very few occasions I would have difficulty seeing out of my eye.

The scarring was very difficult and left a light red, blue or purple tinge on my face.

Although this was a useful way to practice my meditation and self-esteem skills, it was deeply challenging when I had to put my face out there in a world so focused on smooth, uncluttered skin as a sign of beauty and health.

For the most part my acne has not been helped by retin-A, or any of the typical dermatological topicals and in some cases these made the acne worse.  In fact, they would cause redness which resulted in a dermatologist inaccurately diagnosing me with rosacea.  The products for rosacea made my acne worse as well.

internal guidance systemI gave up on these products ten years ago.  I have recently reviewed the literature from conventional medicine and although there are many new products these are predominantly along the same lines of retin-A, antibiotics by mouth, topical antibiotics and topical anti-inflammatory.

As an Oriental medicine practitioner I investigated Chinese Medicine treatments.  The focus of this medicine is to treat stagnation, and deficiency as well as inflammation and stress.

The traditional patents were not beneficial for the type of acne I experienced.

In the process of investigating natural, alternative, and home remedies for the treatment of acne I discovered a commonly accepted picture of underlying causes of acne based on where on the face the outbreaks occurred.  This is a common practice in Chinese Medicine to observe where the acne is breaking out to understand the underlying deficiency or stagnation.  Here is one chart/ picture of this facial map:  http://www.skinacea.com/acne/acne-face-map.html#.VS6EETt4qxM

Here is another: http://www.youbeauty.com/skin/face-mapping-what-acne-is-trying-to-tell-about-your-health .

I knew that acne across the chin had to do with stress and liver stagnation.  Once I changed my diet and increased my meditation and exercise to keep moving my liver Qi, it got better.  Also, I added milk thistle to my daily supplements, along with a soothing Liver Qi oriental medicine patent.  After a short time, I had no more break outs on my chin.  This has continued for a period of two years.

I continued to have break outs under my left eye on my upper cheek. These were very painful and on two occasions resulted in so much inflammation I had difficulty seeing out of my left eye.  These lasted 6-9 weeks at a time and when the inflammation began to resolve it would leave a dark red-purple discoloration on my cheek.  Additionally, the inflammation cause my skin to loosen and my pores around the area to enlarge and disrupt.

acne face mapThis chart identified that I still had a respiratory problem:  http://thelovevitamin.com/5335/where-your-acne-is-and-what-it-looks-like-can-tell-you-whats-causing-it/ .  I have a long standing lung, metal respiratory problem since childhood, so I immediately understood that this was my underlying problem.  Because I was also dealing with broken capillaries and I knew I had a long standing blood deficiency I wanted to investigate how to strengthen my circulatory system, focus on my stress, and build my lung Qi.

I decided to investigate what possible foods or supplements I could add to my diet to help with this and my pore enlargement.

I found an amazing chart that indicated which kind of skin issues might be treated by various supplements.  I immediately added a b100 supplement to my diet as well as a zinc supplement.  Now when I can’t control my stress, or lack of sleep and I get a cystic acne I simply use zinc and b100 ( b2,4,6,folic acid, and 12) to my diet and the cyst resolves in 3-7 days, without the intense swelling.  Here is a great article about these supplements and acne:  http://www.livestrong.com/article/463015-b-6-zinc-acne/

zinc - acne and bumps on arms

Here is one of my favorite charts>

This is another excellent article about the positive effects of A, C, B and zinc on skin problems.  http://chriskresser.com/nutrition-for-healthy-skin-part-1 .

 

Here is what I have done, and my face is glowing in response.

  • First, I wash my face twice a day using a mild cleanser and a clay product to help keep my pore size smaller and clarify my skin tone.  This also keeps the cystic acne at bay.
  • Second, I use a vitamin C serum on my face mixed with a sweet black tea and ginger moisturizer to assist with my pore size and clarify my skin tone.
  • Third, I take a supplement of zinc, vitamin C, B100, Magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D daily.  I increase the B100 and zinc when I have extra stress, sleep deprivation and too much sun and get an acne break out.
  • Fourth, I use a daily vitamin C tint makeup mixed with zinc oxide sunscreen to protect my skin from the sun (I have a history of melanoma insitu and train in the sun 2-4 hours a day, so have to have a good sunscreen protocol.)
  • I use a mask to clean, clear, calm,heal, moisturize at night.  I vary these according to my skin’s needs.

Here are some of the products I use.IMG_9997 IMG_9993 IMG_9994 IMG_9995 IMG_9996 IMG_9998 FullSizeRender

 

 

The first two are Vitamin C and sweet black tea and ginger moisturizer; the second picture shows two sunscreen products; the third picture shows two excellent pore smoothers and detoxifying masks; I wash my skin with the Kiehls clay mask and it as greatly reduced acne breakouts, rather than using it as a mask); the fourth picture are other helpful masks to help with pore diminishing and clarifying tone and color; the fifth picture shows excellent daily products for younger skin (teenage, twenties to mid thirties); the sixth picture is a whole plant moisturizing product that is beneficial at night for all age skin; the final picture shows supplements, it doesn’t include a vitamin D3 product.

I receive no support from any of these companies for putting these pictures here.  You may find other products that are better for you.

This strategy bridges knowledge in Chinese medicine, alternative medicine, and conventional medicine.  If you are having difficulty clearing your acne, you can use these charts and the information above to discern what may be causing it to be intractable.  Then institute these strategies.

One final note, consider the use of benzyl peroxide and salicylic acid in a short term.  Most respond best to one over the other.  If you get too dry or too red with one then the other is probably better for you.

I find if it’s more about inflammation then the salicylic acid is your best bet.  You may also find that witch hazel, tea tree oil, neroli oil, or cucumber oil are helpful also.

Best of luck, hope this case study is helpful to you, dr beth gineris.  beth 2014

You can find out more about beth at http://www.bethgineris.com

 

Brain food – REALLY

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Welcome to our site:

My Herb professor at my chinese medical school used to say – look at the fruit, leaf, seed or think about what it does in nature to know what to use it for.  And this strategy holds true when discovering  foods that support brain function.  Another trick – think deep red, purple and deep blue – these colors support blood, and good blood flow supports brain function.

So here are my top ten:

Walnuts, look like little brains and it turns out they contain  ala- alpha-linolenic acid, and important anti-oxidants:  “Walnuts are a nutrient dense food that contain numerous potentially neuroprotective compounds including antioxidants, polyphenols and the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid. These components may all work together to promote brain health,” says lead researcher Dr. Peter PribisPR Newswire (http://s.tt/1sbDU).  This study corroborates a previous study,  Willis L, Shukitt-Hale B,Cheng V, Joseph J. Dose-dependent effects of walnuts on motor and cognitive function in aged rats. Br J Nutr. 2009; 101:1140-1164, (British Journal of Nutrition, 2009) that indicates about an ounce of walnuts a day can have anti-aging effects, protect against oxidative stress, Pribis. PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1sbDU).

Pecans, also have a corrugated  brain look, and it turns out they are super food for your brain with high in omega-3 and also promote neurological protection through vitamin E and 19 other vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and several B vitamins that are key in supporting brain health.  And they are super rich in antioxidants.  http://organicjar.com/2010/2567/

Cacao beans when opened have the same visual quality of the walnut and pecan.  It turns out that chocolate high in cacao has as much antioxidant effect as red wine and green tea, raw cacao.  Studies have shown that the naturally occurring flavonols in cacao can increase blood flow and help to promote brain health and have protective effects on cognitive function, medical news.

Coffee Beans, they look like little smooth brains.  Turns out coffee is great for brain function.  Unprocessed coffee beans have been found to have 1000 antioxidants, 100s more are developed though in the roasting process, onemedical.com.  And studies indicate it can defer cognitive decline and curb depression – both brain functions.  See also, Protective effects of coffee, Life extension 2012.

Eggs  because of  just the ‘right kind’ of cholesterol for brain cellular function- it incorporates into the myelin sheath, which is a protective covering for your nerve cells. As part of the myelin sheath, cholesterol plays a role in helping your brain cells communicate effectively.

  • Choline is another great reason to eat eggs. Choline is a fat critical to maintain brain cell structure and incorporates, like cholesterol, into the myelin sheath.  It’s also used to produce acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter.
  • Acetylcholine plays a role in concentration, focus, learning, and memory.  As a matter of fact, age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s are often characterized by low levels of acetylcholine.

Kidney beans, dark red and lobe-like, the image will make you think of the kidney but a well-functioning brain requires lots of kidney power according to Chinese medicine so these guys are a go to food for brain health.  Turns out they have highly positive effects on the brain through choline, acetylcholine, and “good” fat and glucose to power the brain.

White Beans help brain-cell communication.  They’re a great source of phosphatidylserine, a brain-building nutrient.

  • Phosphatidylserine supports cell to cell communication, which is important for your brain cells. And, like acetylcholine, it’s also important for concentration, learning, and memory.
  • In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, researchers gave 300 mg of phosphatidylserine daily to people experiencing cognitive decline. After a period of several months, the treatment group showed significant improvements in learning and memory.(Aging (Milano). 1993 Apr;5(2):123-33).

Here is one you may not have heard about Goji Berries – also known as wolfberries.  I learned about these in Chinese medical school – these dark red berries are perfect for brain health and are loaded with antioxidants.

  • Studies show that goji berries help support cognitive function in animals and protect brain cells against amyloid plaque,5 a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease.  (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16139464)
  • Goji berries have also been shown to protect brain tissue from low oxygen states and strengthen the blood-brain barrier — a specialized membrane protecting the brain from dangerous toxins.(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22438957)
  • Goji berries are also worthwhile in treating prenatal stress: ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20131093).

Of course beautiful blueberries have loads of antioxidants and are powerful brain food.

Here’s one that doesn’t fit the map:  avocados – they are dark green – but don’t let that fool you – Avocados are fantastic for brain health.  The monounsaturated fat in avocados contribute to healthy blood flow.  Healthy blood flow increases brain health.  Avocados also lower blood pressure.  Hypertension can be a risk factor for decline in cognitive abilities so lowering blood pressure can increase brain health.

The final brain food to consider is cauliflower.  Cauliflower looks like a brain and it is high in Choline like white beans and eggs.  Also high in potassium, which is essential for good nerve function and cognitive function, and phosphorous, and vitamin B 6 which is a building block for a range of neurotransmitterscauliflower brain food, livestrong.

So think about using your visual sense to discern what foods might be great for your brain by looking for the brain image in the food.

You can use this technique to support other organs in your body through the powerful medicine of food.

See you next time, dr beth gineris, www.bethgineris.com and dr ron romanik.

Mood disorders: Using tongue color, quality to anticipate a change in mood

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New Case report:  Treatment of mood-disorder through tongue color and pulse diagnosis.

Mood disorders include Depression, Bi-polar I and Bi-polar II disorders.  Think of these as disorders of mood – which is to say that the individual suffering with these feels their mood overtakes them rather than the other way around.  These are frequently treated with anti-anxiety, anti-depressant, and mood stabilizing psychiatric medicines.

Sometimes, for various reasons, the individual finds that he is behind the curve and a switch in mood is overtaking him.  When this happens one option is to change or adjust medication.  The best thing to do is to avoid the need to increase and decrease dose in a cyclical way to deal with the mood swings.

Using acupuncture, homeopaths, herbs, yoga, and biofeedback can be essential in getting out of this cyclical med-adjustment patterning.

Here are some steps to shift into a more integrative strategy.

First, identify specific triggers for mood changes – these may be emotional, physical or nutritional.

Second,  it is helpful to identify cues that a shift is occurring.  Here is where tongue and pulse can be utilized.  Cues may be emotional or feeling related:  a sense of fatigue, feeling uncomfortable or irritable.

These first two steps assist the individual to get a head of the curve and stave off a shift into Mania or Depression.

Tongue and Pulse keys to CUES:  Typically the tongue change that may indicate a person is shifting into the swing uP may be a red or dark purple – peeled, and dry tongue – black, dark brown, dry tongues are indicative of internal heat and this is the interior of an upward manic swing.  Pulse changes here might be fuller, ropy, and bigger.  The feeling might be irritable, unable to sit, or lay down, a feeling of restlessness.  Remember that hypomania is below (hypo) mania (but above a relaxed normal mood) so irritability, rapid speech, restlessness, and liver yang rising signs and symptoms (red eyes, increased anger, frustration) are present in this state.

Helpful treatments to return to balance for an UP swing:  Biofeedback, acupuncture points that clear heat and calm shen are useful as well as ghost points that feel tight and stagnant on palpation and points that help to anchor the yang and Du 20/kidney 1.  Using exercise and Yoga are very helpful to move the Qi and help to anchor the person.

The tongue change involved in a shift into the swing dOWn may be pale, pale purple, puffy, thick white coat – may be dry or damp with scalloping – the thick white coating and pale color signify a downward swing – this indicates a lack of transporting and transforming and Qi deficiency which are the interior components of a downward depressive swing. Pulse changes may be weaker, slower, and spinny heart pulses.  The feeling might be lack of energy, fatigue, discouragement and a desire for sleep without rest.  Depressive thinking is a sure sign of a depressive swing downward.

With depressive thinking: thinkings and feelings are skewed to the negative, with little to know recollection when things felt better or positive.  Even memories of being successful or things working well are not accessible.  When addressing important aspects of depressive thinking, look for ways to argue with the negative thinking.  Read this short blog for specific ways to work through depressive thinking, Applying Mindfulness to depression, www.instinctivehealthmedicine.com.

Biofeedback, acupuncture to tonify and strengthen – especially the use of moxa – as well as calm shen with a focus on building the middles and stomach/spleen points, and the yuan points are most useful.  Again ghost points can be of service, especially if they are puffy and deficient when evaluated.  Using exercise especially swimming, walking, and Yoga are helpful in rebalancing the person.

The acupuncture treatments can immediately positively affect the person, often in one treatment properly focused, so that the exercise, biofeedback or meditation, journaling, and nutritional therapy can move the person to balance quickly, averting the swing in either direction.
Working directly with the individual’s psychiatrist or therapist will allow a thorough rebalancing for the individual.
We have a number of different protocols that we have developed to deal with these changes and mood fluctuations.  Please contact me through my website,www.bethgineris.com, if you want more specific detail, or you may comment on this blog below.
Remember these structures are spirit, mind, and body integrated so utilizing an integrative medicine strategy will create the best and most effective results.  
Best of luck and see you back here for our next case study posting.  dr beth gineris, dr ron romanik.

Meet your contributors

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Meet your contributors

Dr. Romanik has been in private practice as a board certified psychiatrist for over 25 years.  And was recently named Best Psychiatrist by his colleagues in the Albuquerque Living Monthly Magazine, March 2012 “TOP DOCs” issue.

He taught at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine for 5 years following his residency and has enjoyed throughout his practice mentoring and guiding psychiatric medical students as well as PhD Psychologists and Masters Level therapists in the Art of medicine in the field of psychiatry.

His East-West studies have spanned the whole of his life, beginning in his teens where he pursued Yoga and throughout his medical training where he trained with MD/Acupuncturists.

Dr Romanik has presented papers at the World Psychiatric Association and other conferences.  He uses an innovative and integrative approach to looking for the areas of confluence in Internal Medicine and Psychiatry.

Dr. Gineris has over 20 years of experience as a psychotherapist, communication skills trainer, and parenting trainer, she has over 15 years experience as a strategic management trainer, seminar provider and consultant, and seven years experience as a Doctor of Oriental Medicine.  Her focus is the innovative integration of east-west philosophies to promote health.

Her East-West studies have spanned the length of her career; including a strong emphasis on mindfulness, meditation, and Yoga.

She is an author and has developed and provided education and training seminars since 1992, with a east-west integrative focus to promote health, since 1996.

Dr. Gineris and Dr. Romanik have teamed up to develop  Integrative Medicine Strategies to assist individuals with psychiatric diagnoses.  They work with individuals who have all kinds of issues so you may find great ideas about how to treat sleep disorders, weight loss issues, asthma, intestinal inflammation, blood pressure imbalances and various kinds of pain disorders.

They have collaborated with patients since 2000, and have developed this model over the last seven years.

The blogs that follow will provide insights and techniques that are easily incorporated into integrative medicine practices as well as ideas that individuals can develop with their own practitioners.

The key as you will ascertain is communication.  Team work, excellent listening and observation skills, innovation, and a willingness to follow the thread of information to its unique end, and of course the capacity to paradigm shift in real time  are all important attributes to create a successful complementary – integrative model.   Always address various concerns within a balanced whole perspective to allow for a return to balance fot the patient or individual who is suffering.