Fall Special Issue
Vol.5 September 2006


  • Another Perspective on How the Great Power of Nature Impacts Our Health
  • Pacific Wellness Institute Underwent Another Makeover
  • Research: Acupuncture to Enhance Fertility Rates
  • Success Stories: Migraine Headaches
  • Brain Power
  • Our Naturopath in the Media
  • Success Stories: Prenatal massage
  • Autumn Garden
  • TIP: How to Make the Most of Your Insurance Benefits
  • Seasonal Recipe: Vietnamese Salad Rolls



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PACIFIC WELLNESS QUARTERLY promotes health and wellness by providing the latest health and nutrition news, healthy Japanese cooking recipes and important updates on insurance and office information. Please pass this newsletter along to your friends and associates so that they can enjoy the information on good health as well.

This newsletter is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice.

Publication of The Pacific Wellness Institute www.pacificwellness.ca

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Another Perspective on How the Great Power of Nature Impacts Our Health
Tim H. Tanaka, Ph.D., D.Ac., RMT, RNCP, BCIAC
Director

fall

As the days become shorter, the temperature slowly cools down, and the leaves change into beautiful fall colors, the barometric pressure becomes increasingly unstable each day before the winter settles in. I have noticed that during this time of the year, more people visit our clinic with acute back pain, flare ups of arthritis and previous injuries, and aggravations of various internal and hormone related conditions. Why is this? Possibly because our body is greatly influenced by the power of nature and more specifically, the barometric pressure.

According to renowned immunologist, Prof. Abo of Niigata University Medical School, the balance of our autonomic nervous system (which controls virtually all of our internal organic function) is influenced by the changes in the barometric pressure. Through autonomic receptors attached to different immune cells, it can also affect the distribution of white blood cells, which play an important role in immune and inflammatory processes. It has been shown that our nervous system shifts more towards sympathetic and granulocyte dominance (active mode) on high pressure days, and parasympathetic and lymphocyte dominance (relaxation mode) on low pressure days. Interestingly, this could be the reason why many historic meditation centers and regions known for longevity are located in mountains at a higher altitude. Have you ever noticed yourself feeling more relaxed or down on rainy days and more energetic and even somewhat hyper on dry, sunny days? If you have chronic pain or illness, you may have also noticed more pain or discomfort on some days for no apparent reason. There are some scientific explanations for the fluctuations of mood or symptoms on a day to day basis.

Our physiological functions are not designed to be stable. They have been shown to fluctuate in a dynamic fashion not only on a daily basis, but also in specific trends corresponding with various cyclic rhythms of nature, which are influenced by our solar system. The variety of rhythmic fluctuations in our biological process are now being studied in a recently evolved field called chronobiology. Many doctors have noticed that patients respond differently to pharmacological interventions depending on the time of administration. Drug administration protocols which coordinate with the patient’s chronobiological rhythms (i.e., chronotherapy) are increasingly used in many modern medical settings, with one example being cancer treatment centers. A number of studies have demonstrated that time-adjusted chemotherapy (circadian rhythm-modulated chemotherapy) provided more efficient absorption and utilization of the drugs while minimizing the side effects when compared to traditional chemotherapy administration.

It should be noted that the concept of chronotherapy has been a fundamental universal tenet of ancient Chinese medicine for thousands of years. In our Japanese acupuncture system at The Pacific Wellness Institute, we actively utilize the moment by moment fluctuation of patients’ biological rhythm in order to fully maximize the treatment effect with the least amount of stimulation. Some of my old patients may have noticed a very bulky watch I used to wear everyday. It tells me the time but it is actually a wrist altimeter and weather detection device with a sensitive barometer inside. In some cases, we further fine tune the treatment depending on the day and weather conditions.

Autumn is a season of transition and is often a stressful period for many people. In a physiological perspective, it is also a stressful period for our body which must adjust to the change in barometric pressure and temperature. Some individuals react more than others to such environmental changes and a variety of uncomfortable symptoms may occur as a result. It is important to strengthen our internal homeostatic regulation systems and keep our bodies within an ideal balance in order to cope with stress from environmental changes.


migraineAutumn may be one of the most difficult times for many migraine sufferers, because changes in barometric pressure are one of the most well known triggers for migraine attacks. In the article posted on Acupuncture-Treatment.com , Dr. Tanaka explains the unique nature of migraine headaches in detail and the effective treatment approach offered at The Pacific Wellness Institute.




Renovations at the Pacific Wellness Institute Are Now Complete

Recently, The Pacific Wellness Institute underwent another makeover. We now have three shiatsu rooms with private Japanese shoji screens. Please visit our website at www.pacificwellness.ca and take a tour of our facility. If you would like to experience a shiatsu massage in a cozy Japanese style shiatsu treatment room, call (416) 929-6958 to set up an appointment. We are committed to ensuring not only the comfort and privacy of our clients, but most importantly, the best possible experience.

shiatsu rooms



Research: Acupuncture to Enhance Fertility Rates
Tim H. Tanaka, Ph.D., D.Ac., RMT, RNCP, BCIAC
Director

meridiansIn the Orient, acupuncture has long been utilized to promote fertility and treat a variety of gynecological conditions. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in acupuncture among reproductive specialists in the West. The attention has especially intensified since 2002 when German researchers announced significantly higher pregnancy rates among women undergoing In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) in conjunction with acupuncture[1].

The May 2006 issue of the journal, Fertility and Sterility, featured eight acupuncture related articles (three original research papers and five commentary articles) [2-9]. Two of the original articles reported higher pregnancy rates among patients who received acupuncture in conjunction with their IVF cycles versus patients who received “placebo acupuncture” or no treatment. One study found no significant difference in pregnancy rates between the acupuncture group and control (placebo) group. While it is encouraging to see the additional data supporting the efficacy and safety of acupuncture use in conjunction with IVF, some experts have raised a number of issues and questions regarding the somewhat contradictory evidence on acupuncture. They are urging for more rigorous studies.

It should be noted that a simplified acupuncture protocol used in one previous study is not likely the best possible approach for everyone. Acupuncture works by very complex mechanisms and responses are influenced by numerous factors. It would take years to clarify the exact underlying mechanism of acupuncture and to create standardized treatment protocols according to the conditions. Although there is a plethora of anecdotal evidence on the efficacy of acupuncture on fertility, more scientific studies are needed. In the meantime, sensible experienced acupuncturists develop individualized treatment plans based on scientific and traditional empirical knowledge combined with the latest research information available.

At The Pacific Wellness Institute, we have been conducting our own study evaluating the efficacy of acupuncture on fertility. Although we have not been able to follow-up with every single patient, we have been able to count 67 reported pregnancy cases* among patients who received acupuncture specifically for fertility concerns over the past 2 years (Jan 2004-Dec 2005). The data is currently in the process of further detailed review and analysis. This type of retrospective study is not regarded highly in most scientific journals (and there are some valid reasons for this), however, periodic review of cases within the practice is still one of the most important processes to consistently deliver the highest quality of care possible.

*Cases when pregnancy occurred more than one cycle away from the last acupuncture session were not included in the data. Pregnancy cases which were considered to be ‘chemical pregnancy’ were also not included in the data.

  1. Paulus, W.E., et al., Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy. Fertil Steril, 2002. 77(4): p. 721-4.
  2. Westergaard, L.G., et al., Positive effects of acupuncture in assisted reproductive technologies are not mediated by changes in ovarian and endometrial production of estradiol, progesterone, and placental protein 14. Fertil Steril, 2006. 85(5): p. 1368-9.
  3. Westergaard, L.G., et al., Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer significantly improves the reproductive outcome in infertile women: a prospective, randomized trial. Fertil Steril, 2006. 85(5): p. 1341-6.
  4. Smith, C., M. Coyle, and R.J. Norman, Influence of acupuncture stimulation on pregnancy rates for women undergoing embryo transfer. Fertil Steril, 2006. 85(5): p. 1352-8.
  5. Myers, E., Acupuncture as adjunctive therapy in assisted reproduction: remaining uncertainties. Fertil Steril, 2006. 85(5): p. 1362-3.
  6. Domar, A.D., Acupuncture and infertility: we need to stick to good science. Fertil Steril, 2006. 85(5): p. 1359-61; discussion 1368-70.
  7. Dieterle, S., Invitation to an international multicenter study of the effect of acupuncture on the outcome of in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Fertil Steril, 2006. 85(5): p. 1370.
  8. Dieterle, S., et al., Effect of acupuncture on the outcome of in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection: a randomized, prospective, controlled clinical study. Fertil Steril, 2006. 85(5): p. 1347-51.
  9. Collins, J., The play of chance. Fertil Steril, 2006. 85(5): p. 1367-4-7.



Success Story – Migraine Headaches

ClaireClaire has been suffering from frequent migraine headaches for many years, which have sometimes interfered with her artistic abilities as a graphic designer. Here she describes her remarkable healing journey towards recovery with the help of acupuncture treatments at The Pacific Wellness Institute. All of us at The Pacific Wellness Institute would like to express our appreciation to Claire for sharing her inspiring story. We wish her good health and all the best for a happy future.

Before seeing Dr. Tanaka I had suffered for almost ten years with severe migraines. Some months I would have as many as 15 migraines and often feel unwell on the other days. I had to miss work frequently and take a lot of expensive medication including daily beta blocker medication. The side effects of this medication included a persistent feeling of tiredness and weight gain and I also still needed to take zomig/medication a few times per month for migraines. I tried numerous health treatments and saw various specialists with no success and finally tried acupuncture with Dr. Tanaka. I found Dr. Tanaka's treatments to be very comfortable and Claudia at reception very friendly and helpful. I began to have less frequent and milder migraines. I was in the habit of charting my migraines to enable myself to pinpoint possible migraine triggers, so I could clearly see the results in my charts. The month before I started treatment I had 12 migraines. After the first month of treatment with Dr. Tanaka I only had two! Dr. Tanaka also helped me gradually reduce the beta blocker medication until it was no longer necessary. Without the medication I recovered my energy and found it much easier to lose the weight I had gained without going hungry. I now rarely have migraines and when I do they are usually mild and respond to over-the-counter headache medication. It's wonderful to feel healthy again. I attribute my recovery to acupuncture in general but also Dr. Tanaka's skill in particular because it's obvious to me that he is extraordinarily competent and a gifted healer!



Brain Power
EeVon Ling ND


Brain PowerWith summer quickly becoming a thing of the past, many of us are gearing up for the fall. Children and students are starting school. Recent graduates are starting new and challenging jobs. Everywhere, everyone is snapping out of vacation mode. This means we must shake the sand out of our ears and use our brains again.

But seriously, memory and cognition are common concerns for everyone, from children to the elderly. School and work performance as well as everyday tasks can become more difficult when our memory or concentration decrease. How can we improve it? Should we expect a decline as we age?

What is memory and cognition?

Our brain cells, called neurons, communicate electrically and chemically with each other via a synapse (the space between two neurons). Memory is stored information within networks of associated neurons. Specific areas of the brain are devoted to different types of memory such as long term and short term memory (eg. remembering your childhood home versus remembering to turn off the oven). Cognition is the ability to access and use both stored and incoming information.

The brain itself uses glucose as energy and relies on good circulation to nourish these brain cells. The cells themselves are made up of fats and proteins and are protected by insulating fat cells. As we age, cumulative oxidative damage can affect the nerve cells, the insulating fat cells, the blood circulation to the cells and the glucose metabolism needed to feed those cells—thus affecting memory. The aging process can be affected by diet, lifestyle, health history and family history.

In children, cognition is a main concern for normal mental development and school performance. Nutrition, lifestyle, family and physical environment all play a part in cognitive development. Chemicals, infections, unstable home environment, inadequate rest, stress and a poor diet can have a negative impact on a child’s mental and emotional development.

In adults, memory becomes more of a concern for normal day to day living and work performance. The same factors that affect children’s cognitive development can also affect adult memory.

I read about “gingko” and “memory power products.” Do these things reallywork?

There are many things that can be done to improve memory, but the trick is to find out what products or methods are appropriate for you. Gingko and other pharmacologically similar herbs, may help increase blood flow and circulation. Herbs and certain vitamins can help in cases where lowered memory or cognition is related to cellular damage (eg. stroke) or reduced cellular energy production (eg. chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia) and blood flow (eg. diabetes, heart disease). Of course, before you start to use such herbs, you must check first with a qualified professional, especially if you are taking other medications (blood pressure medication, blood thinners, birth control etc.) Cognitive based products such as computer programs or “mental exercises” help activate your brain cells into communicating more efficiently with each other.

Aside from such products, a naturopathic doctor can help you more accurately address your memory and cognition concerns by making a full lifestyle and dietary assessment. Neurological and cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, certain medications and drugs, sleep problems and high stress can all impact our mental abilities.

If you would to like improve your memory and concentration or you are concerned about your child’s academic performance, naturopathic medicine may be able to help. Please contact The Pacific Wellness Institute for an appointment.


Our Naturopath in the Media

Over the last year or so, our naturopathic doctor, EeVon Ling, has been busy appearing in various media spots. She has been appearing in seasonal segments on the nationally broadcasted The Weather Network. If you have been up early on Saturday or Sunday morning, you may have caught her talking about health and the weather around Christmas time and in the spring. For those of you with young children, you may have caught her in the fruit eating episode of “This is Daniel Cook”, a popular children’s show. Dr. Ling has also been invited to appear on Global Television, Sun TV and other health related TV shows. Aside from television, Dr. Ling is often asked to be interviewed for various newspapers and has appeared in The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, Now Magazine and Vitality Magazine.

We at The Pacific Wellness Institute look forward to many more future appearances in the media by our naturopathic doctor. Be on the watch out for her!




Success Story
It's a Baby Girl!


baby girlCongratulations to Debbie, one of our clients, who recently delivered a healthy baby girl. Here she comments on the therapeutic benefits of massage treatments she received during her pregnancy from Rahel Kay, RMT. We thank Debbie for letting us share the photo of her precious baby girl. All of us at The Pacific Wellness Institute would like to welcome the new addition to the family and send our best wishes to the new bundle of joy.

Thanks very much to Rahel and Pacific Wellness for the wonderful back treatments during my pregnancy. The massages provided great relief to my sciatica pain, and Rahel's professionalism and adaptability to the changing pain was very much appreciated. Looking forward to seeing you again in the future!

Debbie

Rahel Kay, and our other experienced registered massage therapists are available for pre and post-natal massage treatments. Please call us at (416) 929-6958 to book an appointment.




Autumn Gardens
Tony Ho-Tong B.Kin, RMT


harvestPlant a seed. Add some water. Presto! Vegetables in autumn. It's just that easy.... isn't it? For those of us who do not have a magical green thumb, we have to work harder to end up with a handsome bounty. There's nothing like harvesting your fruits and vegetables, and using them for your meals. So we must not forget to give attention to the garden throughout the growing season. From raking and weeding to watering and feeding, we will have put our bodies through lots of kneeling, bending and lifting.

When Autumn arrives, daylight hours will slowly shorten. We will have a shorter period of time in each precious day to care for our garden. So we put forth a little more effort and work a little faster, all in the name of gathering the produce from the growing season of hard work. With this in mind, may I suggest that you enjoy the fruits of your labour. As you have taken care to receive treatments throughout year, do not forget to continue throughout the harvesting season as well. Your body and mind will thank you for it.

Reminder Points

  • Even though the weather may be pleasant when you set out, it may change quickly. Best advice is to always dress in layers, so they can be added or removed accordingly.
  • Some people believe in "shocking" their garden a couple of weeks before the harvest (adding fertilizer to help with late growth). Other people like carrying heavy loads around the property. Whatever your reason, proper carrying techniques should be employed. Bend at the knees, then stand with a straight back.
  • Speaking of bending, do not bend at the waist to reach the ground (it is much worse if the bend at the waist is coupled with a twist, as in reaching downwards and sideways). Invest in a pair of knee pads, kneeling pads or cushions. Your knees and back will thank you afterwards.
  • Do not rush! Make sure you are working at a steady pace. This will minimize muscle fatigue, and it will be more enjoyable.
  • Lastly, do not forget to store you harvest appropriately. If you have too much, I'm sure your friends and family will appreciate some of your bounty that you worked so hard for.



TIP: How to Make the Most of Your Insurance Benefits

Many will agree that December is the most stressful and busiest month of the year. It may be too early to talk about it; but the holiday season is just around the corner. Every year as the days get closer to Christmas, we have a flood of patients coming in who are looking for last minute massage treatments so that they can fully utilize their extended benefits (it is important to remember that any unused benefits do not carry over to the following year). If you would prefer to avoid the December overflow and make it less stressful on yourself, why not start coming for your regular massage appointments now, so that you can get ready for the pre-holiday season.

Please keep in mind that the clinic will be closed from December 24th/2006 – January 2nd/2007. Call (416) 929-6958 to set up an appointment.




Seasonal Recipe: Vietnamese Salad Rolls
Karen Nguyen BSc, ND (Candidate)


veggiesThis delicate yet delicious appetizer is not only quick and easy to make, it is also packed with essential nutrients artistically rolled into one. Its combination of fresh herbs and crisp, cool vegetables make it a great source of vitamin A, C, iron, niacin, magnesium, and fiber. Herbs not only add aromatic flavors to any meal, but they also have a high antioxidant activity without the extra calories. For example, cilantro has recently been called the ‘natural chelator’ as it has been associated with reducing heavy metals from the body and decreasing the incidences of colds and flus. Mint, another herb found in this recipe, contains properties that give it a history of healing common digestive complaints such as dyspepsia.

This recipe is very versatile and allows you to be creative by adding other types of favorite vegetables and herbs that are found in your garden, or meats such as grilled chicken or salmon. Personalize the roll to your liking. With the minimal preparation and cooking time required, you can make the perfect light meal that will surely tantalize your tastebuds with its healthy, wholesome goodness. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz rice vermicelli
  • 300g cooked, peeled, and de-veined shrimp, cut in half lengthwise
  • 8 rice wrappers (8 inches)
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • ½ cucumber cut into thin strips lengthwise
  • 1 carrot, julienne or shredded
  • Optional herbs: Approx. 3 tbsp of mint, basil, or cilantro
Sauce:

  • ½ cup hoisin sauce
  • ¼ cup peanut or almond butter
  • ¼-½ cup water depending on desired consistency
  • Optional: hot sauce, 1 tbsp finely chopped peanuts, and 1 tbsp shredded carrots
Preparation:

  • Cook rice vermicelli according to package and set aside. This usually takes approximately 5 minutes to cook.
  • Fill a large bowl with hot water and dip each wrapper so that it is completely submerged. Then lay it flat on a plate for 20-30 seconds or until it has softened.
  • Place desired amount of noodles, shrimp, and remaining vegetables and herbs lengthwise close to the center of the wrapper. With one end of the wrapper, begin rolling the ingredients tightly. Once you have ¾ of the wrapper left, fold over both edges then continue rolling to secure. Makes 8 rolls.
  • To make the sauce, mix the hoisin and peanut/almond butter together until smooth. Add water to desired consistency then mix in hot sauce, peanuts, and shredded carrots.


PUBLISHER The Pacific Wellness Institute, Tim Tanaka, Ph. D., Director
CONTRIBUTORS FOR THIS ISSUE EeVon Ling BSc, ND, Karen Nguyen BSc, ND (Candidate), Tony Ho-Tong BKin, RMT
EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS Meera Dossa B.Sc. ND (Cand), Noah Bunnett ST, Ritu Deol, BSc, ND (Candidate)
GRAPHIC DESIGNER Yayoi Mizuno
THE PACIFIC WELLNESS INSTITUTE
80 Bloor Street West, Suite 1100, Toronto, Ontario M5S 2V1
T.416 929 6958 F.416 929 6365

www.pacificwellness.ca