If you suffer from back pain you probably would not consider acupuncture as a treatment until you have exhausted many other alternatives. However, acupuncture is a type of ancient Chinese medicine that’s been around for over 2,500 years and throughout this time it has been used for back pain relief, increasingly so in these modern times.
While it is not traditionally a part of western medicine, nowadays your doctor is quite likely to send you for this treatment if you are suffering from back or neck pain either persistently or due to accident or injury.
If you are going to have this therapy you may want to know a little about how it works. The general belief is that the body has 20 energy flow patterns called meridians or pathways. Through these pathways it is thought that the life force or vital energy flows, this is known as the qi (it is pronounced chee) and is considered to be essential to maintain good health. There are over 2,000 points on our bodies that connect with these pathways and it is at these points which the hair-thin needles are inserted, this is done in varying specific combinations depending on the treatment required. These actions are believed to either correct the flow of qi or to reinforce it.
Even though it cannot be proven that this works as a type of pain relief, it is thought that as a result the central nervous system is stimulated. Most patients say that they get a pins and needles sensation on the insertion of the needles and indeed into the duration of the treatment, which usually lasts about 15 to 30 minutes. Some people report that they feel energised or even very relaxed so it appears as if the effect can be is somewhat different depending on the individual.
The acupuncturist will use up to 20 metallic needles during a treatment session and the depth they are inserted is dependent upon the area, deeper muscular or fatty areas need more penetration and the scalp for example would be just below the surface. The practitioner may turn the needles one way or another depending on what they are trying to achieve, in my personal experience they were turned on insertion, then again about half way through the treatment. At no point is the treatment painful, there is a mere sensation of the needles going in and they do not feel sharp at all, this is because unlike needles used for injections, an acupuncture needle’s tip come to a smooth point without sharp edges. They are also very thin, about 20 times thinner than a hypodermic needle. In my experience the most troublesome part of the treatment is lying in the same position without moving for up to 30 minutes, especially if you suffer from back pain or similar.
Although there are many medical experts who believe acupuncture is an effective way to treat certain conditions such as back pain, there is no true consensus. Some adhere to the theories of qi and meridians whilst others attribute acupunctures’ benefits to the biological changes that are brought about in the body as a result of treatment. Needless to say there will always be the sceptics who deny that acupuncture has any effect at all, but in my opinion if you are suffering from ongoing back pain it is certainly worth trying.
When Gabrielle Anwar was a little girl, growing up in a Middlesex, England country village, she made more caterpillar egg cartons than she can remember. It wasn’t that the actress’s family couldn’t afford toys. “We’re not big spenders and we lived a very simple life,” she says. “It was the 1970s and Greenpeace wasn’t hip, but it was an emerging movement. However, I always found the green movement to be normal and necessary and I was born into it.” Anwar is easy-going and down to earth. She is known for her roles as Margaret Tudor on “The Tudors” and as Fiona Glenanne on USA’s “Burn Notice.” She is also famous for dancing the tango with Al Pacino in “Scent of a Woman,” but there’s no dancing around the fact that Anwar is concerned about the environment and passes down that passion to her children.
“I dread the holidays and birthdays, because it just seems like an unnecessary amount of spending and manufacturing with the packaging and shipment,” she says. “There’s a large paper trail that’s detrimental to our environment and it almost repulses me that we could have so much product. All of these products that are manufactured with plastic are not doing our carbon footprints much good.” Instead, she encourages her children to create a gift of their own sensibility and conscious awareness. “I have them put together a gift that comes from their own inspiration, preferably using materials that are recycled,” she says. “We are literally digging up gift wrap that we used a million times.”
Her passion for the environment also comes through in the form of a hobby that fans didn’t even know about until now. Anwar loves to purchase older properties – especially those built before 1950 – and remodel and resell them. “You can’t go to Home Depot and buy new door handles for these properties,” she says. “To find the right piece, you have to explore vintage hardware stores or salvage yards and I’d rather go to the salvage yard than a good mall. You’ll find incredible treasurers and history, and there’s no damage to the environment doing so.”
The beautiful actress, who has been named one of the sexiest women by People magazine, is careful about what food she puts into her body too. “I have a little obsessive-compulsive disorder when it comes to produce,” she says. “I feel disinclined to purchase fruits and vegetables that look too pretty. The fact is that produce that’s been genetically modified is unappealing to me. It’s not pretty. I am always drawn to the spots on apples. I feel cleaner with farm to table and I feel unhealthy, lethargic and overweight when I’m not being careful with my diet.” Since coming to the United States a few decades ago, Anwar admits that shopping in grocery stores in England is completely different than in the States. “I actually have a hard time grocery shopping here,” she says. “I frequent local farmers markets as often as I can and I don’t buy products with more than 10 ingredients. If I can’t pronounce the ingredients, I don’t purchase it.”
HOLLYWOOD AND THE GREEN MOVEMENT
If you watch many television news or talk shows, you’ll see that the green movement is catching on in Hollywood, but Anwar admits it has a long way to go. “I don’t care what anyone’s incentive is to be green as long as they do it,” she says. “Businesses and individuals who are not moving in this direction are behind-the-curve and are ignoring the facts and their own bodies. It’s sad when it comes to the generation that’s coming up. I’m all about walking the walk, but I think that it’s just incredibly important to start thinking beyond the convenience of now.”
In her Florida community where she lives, Anwar is frustrated at the lack of recycling programs. “It’s mind boggling,” she says. “I want my kids to know that this container of food they’re throwing away is not going into the outer hemisphere and dissolving. It’s filling up this earth they’re living in.” On the set of “Burn Notice,” she admits the cast and crew were going through way too many water bottles. “Trucks would deliver crate after crate of water bottles and I’ve spoken to the mayor and producers and the kids’ school, but I’m fighting an uphill battle on all of this because we’ve all become so lazy,” she says.
Anwar reluctantly says the greening efforts on the “Burn Notice” set, including bringing a water cooler onto the set and offering organic salads for lunch, were only temporary. “I love the idea of being the change you want in the world,” she says. “I start with me and hopefully it will lead into the children and the community, but here there are lots of cultures who come here from other communities and countries where recycling is the last priority.” Anwar says that one of the things she would still like to see more of is eco-friendly clothing.
“It’s very difficult to find sustainable products,” she says. “It’s also very difficult to sacrifice creature comforts when the sustainable products don’t work.” Anwar wants to start an eco-friendly yoga clothing line. “I prefer organic, not man-made, fabrics,” she says. “But I don’t look hot and sexy in bamboo drop crotch pants.”
With more and more people putting more concern on their health and wellness, detoxification products such as detox teas are becoming all the more popular.
Why Detoxify? The human body is created with its own detoxification system, which includes the skin, liver, kidney and the colon. The liver and the kidney filter out the toxins in the body which goes out through the urinary system, the digestive system or as sweat through the skin. The body’s waste management system works well under normal circumstances, but given today’s fast paced lifestyle and extensive exposure to waste and toxins, the body can only deal with so much. This brings us to the need to detoxify, or cleanse the body and get rid of toxins and waste.
Detox Teas Help Detoxification There are plenty of ways to detoxify the body and detox teas are just one of them. Regular consumption of these detoxification teas produce a number of positive effects on the body, and these include:
- Healthier Organs. Drinking this types of tea help speed up the detoxification process, which lessens the pressure and the load on the liver, kidney and the colon. This, in turn, reduces conditions such as acne, bloating, indigestion, menstrual problems and other organ-related problems.
- Better Bowel Movement. These teas wash away plaque and waste formation on the colon, making bowel movement easier. This also aids in the reduction of water retention and better weight loss results.
- Better Skin and Hair. A body that is full of toxins manifests itself in numerous ways such as acne in the skin or brittle nails and hair. Drinking detox teas can help balance the body’s system, and clears out the skin making you look better and giving you that overall glow.
- Calm and Relaxation. These teas do not only detoxify the body and cleanse it, but also give you a feeling of calm and relaxation. This is very helpful especially if you are always stressed out.
Detox Teas To Use Choosing detox teas isn’t really difficult as there are plenty of flavors and varieties in the market. Some types of herbal teas include green tea, ginger tea, chamomile tea, peppermint tea and Hawthorne berry tea. Each of these teas has its own distinct taste and has varying effects on the body, which is great considering the fact that you can try each of them for the purpose of variety.
If you’re thinking of trying detox teas to cleanse the body, start with one variety first and drink just one cup a day. This is crucial so that you can see its effects on the body. When you have finally settled with a tea that you like, you can eventually amp up your intake to at least two to three cups. Drinking three cups is the maximum for herbal teas, so make sure that you do not go beyond that.
To make sure that your detoxification is a success, drink detox teas along with a healthy and sensible diet to make sure that you get the best effects of the cleansing and detox process.