Issue 51

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 Procedure Performed at MWA by Emma McGowan, M.D. & Martin Gallagher, M.D.

WHAT IS ACUPUNTURE?

Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine in which thin needles are inserted into the body. It is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Acupuncture is a pseudoscience because the theories and practices of TCM are not based on scientific knowledge. There is a diverse range of acupuncture variants originating in different philosophies, and techniques vary depending on the country in which it is performed. The method of acupuncture codified under Mao Zedong and used in TCM is probably the most widespread in the United States. It is most often used to attempt pain relief, though it is also recommended by acupuncturists for a wide range of other conditions. Acupuncture is generally used only in combination with other forms of treatment.

The conclusions of numerous trials and systematic reviews of acupuncture are largely inconsistent, which suggests that it is not effective. An overview of Cochrane reviews found that acupuncture is not effective for a wide range of conditions. A systematic review conducted by medical scientists at the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth found little evidence of acupuncture's effectiveness in treating pain. Overall, the evidence suggests that short-term treatment with acupuncture does not produce long-term benefits. Some research results suggest that acupuncture can alleviate some forms of pain, though the majority of research suggests that acupuncture's apparent effects are not caused by the treatment itself. A systematic review concluded that the analgesic effect of acupuncture seemed to lack clinical relevance and could not be clearly distinguished from bias. One meta-analysis found that acupuncture for chronic low back pain was cost-effective as an adjunct to standard care, while a separate systematic review found insufficient evidence for the cost-effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of chronic low back pain.

Acupuncture is generally safe when done by appropriately trained practitioners using clean needle technique and single-use needles. When properly delivered, it has a low rate of mostly minor adverse effects. Accidents and infections do occur, though, and are associated with neglect on the part of the practitioner, particularly in the application of sterile techniques. A review conducted in 2013 stated that reports of infection transmission increased significantly in the preceding decade. The most frequently reported adverse events were pneumothorax and infections. Since serious adverse events continue to be reported, it is recommended that acupuncturists be trained sufficiently to reduce the risk. Scientific investigation has not found any histological or physiological evidence for traditional Chinese concepts such as qi, meridians, and acupuncture points, and many modern practitioners no longer support the existence of life force energy (qi) flowing through meridians, which was a major part of early belief systems. Acupuncture is believed to have originated around 100 BC in China, around the time The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine (Huangdi Neijing) was published, though some experts suggest it could have been practiced earlier.

Over time, conflicting claims and belief systems emerged about the effect of lunar, celestial and earthly cycles, yin and yang energies, and a body's "rhythm" on the effectiveness of treatment. Acupuncture fluctuated in popularity in China due to changes in the country's political leadership and the preferential use of rationalism or Western medicine. Acupuncture spread first to Korea in the 6th century AD, then to Japan through medical missionaries, and then to Europe, beginning with France. In the 20th century, as it spread to the United States and Western countries, spiritual elements of acupuncture that conflict with Western beliefs were sometimes abandoned in favor of simply tapping needles into acupuncture points.

 

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 DID YOU KNOW...

All sunscreens are not created equal!

One of the more concerning sunscreen ingredients we've identified is oxy-benzone, a toxic chemical that is linked to hormone disruption, allergic skin reactions and coral bleaching.

Check out the sunscreens in our Health Food Store!

 

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CHIROPRACTIC
Performed at MWA by Michael Steinhauser, D.C. & Martin Gallagher, M.D., D.C.

This is a general review article on the fact that alternative therapies are gaining in popular interest. These therapies include naturopathy, acupuncture, chiropractic techniques, homeopathy, nutritional therapies and biofeedback. Many individuals do not feel that they are getting their questions answered by traditional medicine and go to alternative therapies. Medical doctors in general are very unaware of the different variety of alternative medical therapies available, since their training is so focused on symptom and disease care.

There are 4 main categories of alternative therapies which include:

1. Psychological or spiritual approaches, use of trances, hypnosis, biofeedback, stress reduction, and/or visualization.

2. Nutritional approaches.

3. Biological approaches, which include non-approved drugs, serums such as live cell infusions, and chemotherapies like chelation or antioxidant therapy. These therapies are to enhance immune function and detoxification systems. Homeopathy may fit into this category.

4. The fourth category is all treatments based on the use of physical forces or devices, which includes chiropractic and other manipulative care, acupuncture and acupressure, electrotherapies, and magnetic therapies.

There is increasing evidence that poor diet, psychological factors, and environmental toxins are major contributors to chronic disease. Many of the alternative medical therapies are trying to standardize their programs, such as naturopathy, which has two federally accredited 4 year postgraduate medical colleges. Doctors should ask their patients if they are utilizing alternative therapies and then educate themselves on that particular topic.

 

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Dr. Gallagher's Custom Formulas

Circulation Factors

 DESCRIPTION

Circulation Factors, exclusively from Medical Wellness Associates, is a natural oral chelating agent that improves circulation, lowers blood pressure, and strengthens the heart and muscles.

FUNCTIONS
Vitamin C is very beneficial in lowering blood pressure, lowering total cholesterol, strengthening collagen structures of the arteries, raising HDL cholesterol levels and inhibiting platelet aggregation. Vitamin B6 lowers blood pressure and helps to maintain the level of pyridoxal-5-phosphate levels in the blood. This decreases homocysteine levels, a causative factor of heart attacks.

Niacin is necessary in production of energy. It reduces the risk of coronary heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels. Magnesium is critical to many cellular functions, including energy production, protein formation and cell function. Potassium, an important electrolyte, is necessary for proper heart function; it maintains the electrical charge within a cell and is also essential to the conversion of blood sugar into glycogen, which is necessary for energy. It also helps to lower blood pressure.

N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine is an important antioxidant useful in reducing stress. L-Taurine is an essential amino acid that is important to liver detoxification. It is also important to metabolism.

Hawthorne helps to dilate peripheral and coronary blood vessels because it is rich in flavonoids. It also helps to lower blood pressure, spasm of the arteries, and irregular heartbeats.

Gingko Biloba is useful in increasing blood flow to the brain as it inhibits red blood cell clumping; therefore, enhancing the fluidity of the blood for better circulation in the body. It is recommended for its numerous nutritional benefits for the brain and circulatory system.

Dandelion promotes health circulation, blood vessels cleanser, and strengthener. Bearberry is helpful for urinary tract infections. Horsetail provides silicon, which is important to bone calcification. It strengthens bones and connective tissues.
Dimethylglycine is an antioxidant involved in converting glycine to creatine, which is used by the muscle tissue and the central nervous system.

L-Carnitine is essential for breakdown of fats into energy. It also allows heart muscle to use oxygen more efficiently and aids in recovery from heart attacks.

Chondroitin Sulfate is a cartilage extract effective in treatment of osteoarthritis.

Coenzyme Q10 is used for treating cardiovascular disease such as congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, angina, mitral valve prolapsed, diabetes, immune deficiency, weight loss aid, muscular dystrophy, and as a performance enhancing agent in athletes.

INDICATIONS
Circulation Factors is a dietary supplement that may be useful in lowering blood pressure, improving circulation, and strengthening the heart and muscles.

FORMULA
Three capsules of CIRCULATION FACTORS contain:
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)……………………100mg
Niacin………………………………………..100 mg
Vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate)………25 mg
Magnesium Aspartate Complex…………………50 mg
Potassium (from potassium Aspartate Complex)….99 mg
N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine…………………………200 mg
L-Taurine…………………………………….150 mg
Hawthorne (Crataegus oxycantha) (fruit)……500 mg
Ginkgo Biloba (leaf)…………………………100 mg
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinate) (leaf)…….100 mg
Bearberry (uva ursi) (leaf)……………………100 mg
Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) (entire plant)…….100 mg
n,n Dimethylglycine………………………….100 mg
L-Carnitine…………………………………...300 mg
Chondroitin Sulfate…………………………..100 mg
Coenzyme Q10……………………………….. 15 mg

SUGGESTED USE
As a dietary supplement, adults take 1 or 2 capsules, 3 times daily or as directed by physician.

** Must be taken on a full stomach to alleviate the “Niacin Flush” (feel warm with red, blotchy, itchy skin).

 

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The Truth about the Sun

Vitamin D is our beloved “Sunshine Vitamin”. I hear it all the time that we need to limit exposure from the sun because it will cause skin cancer. Experts fail to recognize that avoiding the sun increases your risk of cancer because it does not allow you to get the appropriate amount of vitamin D. Vitamin D is designated a vitamin, but it is a steroid. When vitamin D is low, skin cancer rates rise and other cancers such as breast and prostate also increase. Low vitamin D also increases your risk of coronary artery disease, diabetes and osteoporosis and depression. A primary risk factor for skin cancer is intermittent overexposure not appropriate exposure. Appropriate exposure consists of not getting a sunburn. 

Sunscreens that are on the market frequently have synthetic chemicals that may be cancer inducing and or endocrine disruptors. The sunscreen ingredients one may wish to avoid are as follows: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octinoxate, doxybenzone, phenbenzimodazole, OMC, PABA, cinoxate, parabens, homosalate, octosalate and homosalate. Studies show that oxybenzone may disrupt sperm count and may contribute to endometriosis production.

What should we do for protection?
Zinc oxide is the safest sunscreen that is available. We need zinc for many chemical reactions that our body needs to flourish if it were to be absorbed. The risk for zinc oxide absorption is low.
Exposure to sun increases nitric oxide and it relaxes blood vessels, lowers blood pressure and makes your blood thinner and less likely to clot. One’s risk for clot from a heart attack or stroke is less. Nitric oxide increases immune function. Red and infrared rays are critical for our thriving. Red rays at 660 nm and near infrared at 830 nm have critical roles for mitochondrial activation and for ATP production which allows us to have better energy when we are in the sun and when our vitamin D levels are higher.

Some of the benefits of appropriate but not excessive sun exposure include:

One should check their Vitamin D level at least in the summer and winter to get a range of what the environment does to alter our inner make up. I would like clients to have between 70-100 ng/ml of vitamin D to be optimized.
One can also reduce sunburn by taking internal sunscreens. This involves agents such as astaxanthin. One study showed that 4 milligrams of astaxanthin per day for 2 weeks showed a decrease in the time it takes the UV radiation to create a sunburn.

Advice for Summer Fun

 

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Refreshing Beverage for the Summer!

Limeade Apple Cider Vinegar Drink Recipe
1 ½ tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tablespoon fresh organic lime juice or organic lemon juice
1 Teaspoon Sweetleaf Stevia
2 cups of cold water

This is for one serving. However, if you wish to make more, just multiply the amounts by the amount of people that you wish to make for.

Similar beverage amounts on the market sell for 4 dollars, and this tastes better and costs less. 

 

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Exercise Makes Us Happy by Dr. Mark Gerold

At Medical Wellness Associates, Health problems never has one solution, but rather practioners approach each problem via a multifactorial approach. One such modality is exercise. In a hospital study, 100 volunteers, who suffered from depression, were offered exercise before psychiatric pharmaceuticals. The results were astounding. Ninety-five percent of patients reported feeling better, while 63 percent reported feeling happy and or very happy. This study reinforces that as a community we do not exercise enough. Previous studies have shown that lifting weight lifts depression and anxiety also. The efficacy of antidepressants is full of side effects, and its effect diminishes with time. Depression has a multifactorial approach at MWA that involves seeking out the true cause of depression. This involves food, chemical and environmental allergy testing, hormone testing, vitamin testing via a urine OATS, parasite testing, Lyme panels, microbiome analysis, adrenal profile, methylation profile and heavy metal testing. As humans, we have been gifted with communication and the ability to walk upright which has allowed us to thrive as technology evolves. However, we also need to take a break from technology and exercise our bodies for a stronger spirit energy.

David Tomasi, Positive Patient Response to a Structured Exercise Program Delivered in Inpatient Psychiatry, Global Advances in Health and Medicine, May 21, 2019: Volume 8:1-10

 

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I.V. Glutathione

Glutathione is a protein called a tripeptide - a molecule composed of three amino acids. It is a potent antioxidant and quenches dangerous free radicals. It also binds to dangerous toxins through a process called "conjugation" so that they can be safely eliminated.

IV Glutathione Shows Promise in Treating Parkinson's Disease and Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

In Parkinson’s Disease, dopamine-producing neurons in an area of the brain called the substantia nigra die-off as a result of free radical-based oxidative damage. Researchers observed that a high proportion of Parkinson's patients are deficient in glutathione. Glutathione protects against oxidation by free radicals. Clinical studies now clearly demonstrate that IV glutathione significantly improves Parkinson's symptoms, and may very well retard progression of the disease.

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic neurodegenerative disease in which the neurons are stripped of their myelin. This inflammatory process leaves lesions called plaques throughout the neurons in the spinal cord and brain. The inflammation is also thought to be caused by free radicals. A wealth of experimental evidence shows that glutathione is severely depleted in the brains of MS patients, making repletion with IV glutathione a rational therapeutic approach.

 Which conditions may benefit from IV glutathione treatment?

 

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FEEDBACK FROM OUR PATIENTS!

Respectful and attentive care.
After being diagnosed with breast cancer, I started consulting with Dr. McGowan to complement the other types of medical care I was receiving. She is excellent with patient education and has always demonstrated a willingness to answer my extensive list of questions. She is very knowledgeable about homeopathy, nutrition and IV therapies to manage the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. I highly recommend Dr. McGowan to anyone contending with a cancer diagnosis.

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