Category: Acupuncture + Herbs

3 Reasons to Get More Sleep

So how’s that sleep thing going for you? Do you feel rested?

You’ve probably heard this, but sleep really, truly is important. Getting enough sleep is vital for optimal health and wellbeing. Yet most of us don’t manage to sleep enough, or sleep well. This can be complicated by hormonal shifts, especially for women.

For everyone, though, sleep deprivation can lead to trouble both instantaneously and over time. From accidents to chronic health problems, sleep deficiency can be dangerous. Let’s look at why good sleep is so important. Sleep affects:

  • Brain function
  • Physical health
  • Performance and Safety

Brain Function

Research reveals that the brain actually shrinks when you don’t get enough sleep. With less sleep, cognitive function declines and ventricle enlargement grows (a marker for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease).

Recent work by Oxford neuroscientist Russell Foster even links abnormal circadian rhythms to mental illness, including schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder.

Additional studies show that lack of sleep has a direct impact on memory, focus and the ability to make decisions and control your emotions. It has also been linked to depression and mood swings.

On the upside, studies also clearly indicate that proper sleep improves learning and problem-solving abilities. In fact, when you sleep well, your brain actually forms new learning and memory pathways.

Physical Health

When it comes to disease prevention, good sleep is key. Studies show that getting six to eight hours of sleep per night lowers your risk of developing:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Hypertension
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke

In fact, it’s estimated that 30 – 40 percent of all medical problems that a general practitioner sees are, directly or indirectly, related to lack of sleep.

Sleep affects healthy growth and development, immunity, hormones (including stress hormones), the body’s reaction to insulin and more.

It might surprise you to learn that getting good sleep is essential for weight control. It’s been shown that sleep directly influences the level of hormones that make you feel full (leptin) or hungry (ghrelin). When you don’t get enough sleep, your levels of ghrelin go up and leptin down, resulting in you feeling hungrier and more likely to overeat.

Performance and Safety

Lack of sleep not only affects us individually, but it also affects those around us—our families, coworkers and even our communities. Insufficient sleep can lead to everything from lack of concentration, moodiness and reduced physical performance to a public safety hazard.

A study led by Dr. Charles Czeisler of Harvard Medical School’s Division of Sleep, for example, found that hospital medical errors could be reduced by as much as 36 percent when limiting doctor’s work shifts to 16 hours and reducing their total work schedule to a maximum of 80 hours per week.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conservatively estimates that driver fatigue is responsible for 100,000 reported crashes each year (other data suggests that it the numbers are closer to 1 million crashes and 8,000 deaths per year). Sleep deprivation was also identified as a significant factor in the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident, and the 1986 nuclear disaster at Chernobyl.

Getting More Sleep

It’s clear that sleep deprivation is a serious matter. So what can we do to improve our quality and quantity of sleep? You can purchase our on-demand video Sleep, Body Repair and Dreaming to learn more.

Also, you can download Aerin’s guided mini-moves to practice on bed and fall sleep easily and wake up refresh.

For now, how much sleep is enough sleep? Studies show that for most adults, six to eight hours per night is optimal.

Wishing you good sleep,
Dr. Reid

Turn off to Stay on Top of Your Game

As a doctor in a busy clinic, I often find myself in a similar predicament as my own patients, that is, how to stay focused and stay present, without feeling that there is not enough time to take care of all that is on my plate. From early morning professional meetings to a lively stream of patients throughout the day, to important time with family, it’s key for me to be vital in every moment—to be physically, mentally and emotionally present.

I need to engage in active listening, critical thinking, business planning and fine motor skills and deliver medical interventions at the same time. As I do all of this, I need my heart to be open and connected, and my spirit to be grateful and joyful. I need my memory to be clear, my muscles to be relaxed yet springy, my body functions to perform in balance, and in general to generate the necessary energy to sustain my day. This is just the basic demand, without any additional emotional or relationship experiences that might be playing out in my mind at any time. Welcome to modern life! And hold on to your seat because this ride is just going to get more intense over the next few years. Time is accelerating.

No matter what is happening in my life, I am sustained by the practices that I learned from my teacher Carlos Castaneda. In particular, he taught me various series of movements to revitalize the body and mind. One of his favorites was a very simple yet powerful one he called Turning on the Body. A practical, descriptive name (quintessentially Castaneda).

To “turn on the body” means to first completely relax the body and then, in a split second upon a sudden command, engage the totality of ones muscles, joints and even internal organs, followed by turning everything off again. The effect of this on the nervous system is to trigger a state of readiness and ease at the same time—much in the same way as taking a short cold shower and then drying the skin briskly to warm it up again creates a circulatory flush from the blood shunting, which is very invigorating. The idea of turning on is alluring, but the real gem lies in the corresponding opposite state: turning off. Our capacity to be on wears off unless there is an equal and opposite capacity to turn off.

Radiant Health2016“You have to turn off to turn on,” Carlos Castaneda told me. The longer the distance between the off muscle state and the on muscle state, the stronger the activation of the body awareness. When we apply this to the heart muscle, we call it Heart Rate Variability (HRV), and the longer the variability, i.e., the more distance between the heart beats, the healthier the long term outcome of not only the heart, but of health markers across the board in all bodily systems.

Biologically, turning off is a given. Though we may have forgotten how, we are naturally designed to be able to turn off with no effort of our part. That is our nature. That is what I saw with my very own eyes while on safari once in the Serengeti plains. A pack of female lions chased a group of Impala. The gazelles seemed to freak out and run everywhere. The lions finally caught one of them, rounded up to eat it, and then, right beside this, the rest of the Impala returned to grazing, as if nothing had happened. So why is it then that when, for example, we feel betrayed by what someone said to us, we stay contracted and anxious for days or months or even years?

Peak performers know that the ability to turn off is as important as that moment when they turn on. Elite tennis players are a great example of this. How does a player sustain energy throughout a match that lasts hours? They cycle through being on and being off from moment to moment. With some players, it can seem like they have all the time in the world to return a serve across the net.

We, too, can have all the time in the world and operate at our highest level.

In our September Radiant Energy + Radiant Health Los Angeles Retreat, we will show you how to retrain your body to turn off when it doesn’t need to be on so that you can get deep rest, tap into your well of energy and move with suppleness. You’ll learn how to identify holding patterns held in your fascia, the fascinating network of soft tissue that turns on to help us do all the things we need to do in life, and release these patterns so that they no longer interfere with the on-off cycle that is required for you to perform at your best.

Group-4b

Times have changed, and in our world today, learning how to better adapt to the growing demands that life places on us is vital. It’s also of great help to receive specialized treatments to help your body restore and investing time in seeking neurological balance. These things are not luxuries. They are now, more than ever, necessities.

In health, joy and energy,

Dr. Miles Reid

Mind over Matter?

How powerfully do our thoughts influence our health and wellbeing?

The intricate connections between mind and body are only beginning to be scientifically understood. What we do know at this time is:

  • Our emotions affect our physiology
  • The brain is an amazingly adaptable and powerful organ
  • Regular exercise can improve memory and cognitive functioning

Studies continue to illuminate the interrelationships between the mind and body, and suggest that we only understand a small fraction of what we’re capable of (see what Drs. Deepak Chopra, Dan Siegel and others say on Discovery). What has become clear is that what we think, feel and believe plays a role in how our DNA expresses itself.

So what can we do with what we do know? We can be self-empowered in our own healing process. We can think loving thoughts, be compassionate in our relationships with others, exercise and eat healthfully. We can recapitulate, meditate and form health partnerships with caring and knowledgeable health-care providers.

The relationship between psychology and the immune system, between mind and body, is at the core of my medical practice, and helps inform my Energy Life Sciences classes.

Cool It Down! Foods to Eat for Summer Vitality

We’re thinking about longevity lately, and sustainability.

Can what you eat really make a difference to your longevity? Yes! In fact, your daily food choices affect your mood and health both in the moment and well down the road.

First and foremost, aim to eat according to the season. This is a key for aging with vitality. It gives your body the necessary nutrients to function at its best at any given time.

In the summer heat, it’s smart to focus on cooling foods. In fact, in both the spring and summer, you want to nourish your yang energy and eat foods that are cooling by nature. Whereas the fall and winter are the yin-predominant seasons—so when we move into the fall season (just around the corner!), it will be time to nourish your yin energy with warming foods. 

Spring and Summer Diet

For those of you in the southern hemisphere, or when the season turns for us here in the north, keep these recommendations in mind.

Springtime is a perfect time to nourish the liver, and do our Being Energy Detox Program!

Also, you’ll want to eat pungent foods to help your liver—ginger, onion, garlic and chives are good. But avoid excessively spicy, hot, greasy, fried and sour foods throughout the spring and summer.

Though you want to eat cooling foods during the spring and summer months, note that it’s best to avoid ice water (ice water damages the stomach energy). Instead focus on foods with cooling energy, like cucumber, watermelon, celery, tomatoes, strawberries and mung beans.

Recommended Foods for the Season                      
  • Vitamin C
  • Cucumber
  • Melons
  • Squash
  • Celery (juice is great)
  • Jicama
  • Zucchini
  • Corn
  • Water chestnuts
  • Aloe vera
  • Beets
  • Watercress
  • Clam or oyster shell soup
 Foods to Avoid
  • Barbecued, toasted, baked foods
  • greasy and/or fried foods
  • hot spices
  • alcohol
  • coffee (replace with green tea)

Fall and Winter Diet    

As we move into the cooler months, it will be time to focus on warming our bodies. A simple and enjoyable way to do this is to eat more soups and stews. Walnuts and lamb are also excellent foods for the season (lamb is the most warming of all red meats).

Especially during the fall, favor sour foods and avoid spicy foods. Incorporate more pears, yams, aloe vera, soy and honey into your diet.

Recommended Foods for the Season                                        
  • Baked or roasted foods
  • Meats–game meats and lamb are best
  • Ginger, cardamom, fennel, clove, scallions, anise, pepper
  • Cherries
  • Walnuts
  • Seeds (any kind)
  • Green beans
  • Chinese chives
  • Horseradish
  • Azuki beans
  • Supplement with green algae or chlorophyll powder (2 spoonfuls)
Foods to Avoid
  • cold, raw foods
  • dairy products

800px-Celery_1We think these tips will help keep you balanced throughout the seasons, which is a key to a long and healthy life.

For more in-depth nutrition and health information, we invite you to participate in Being Energy’s Nutrition + Health classes—these classes are taught live online about once a month.

Our next class airs live on September 19 at 8:30 a.m. Pacific Time, and will be all about the senses.

Yours in health,
Dr. Miles Reid

 

The Fountain of Youth: 3 Ancient Formulas that Work

Some things stand the test of time, while others fade away. When it comes to staying youthful, Chinese Medicine offers an herbal treasure trove for our bustling modern lives. What’s more, Chinese herbs can be used together with key nutritional supplements for broad support of your health and longevity.

The following supplements, herbs and herbal formulas are safe, yet potent, and some even have a centuries-long track record. Incorporating some of these into your daily routine may be an investment that pays huge dividends.

From Vitamin D and calcium to ginseng and Zhi Shi, these powerhouse products reduce inflammation, strengthen the organs and more to slow and even reverse biological aging. (Of course, check with your doctor before taking any nutritional supplements or herbs—you’re always welcome to contact our clinic for an in-person or Skype consultation: 310-231-3500 or admin@tilomedical.com.)

Nutritional Supplements

These supplements, taken in a split dose, half in the morning and half in the evening, have been proven effective in reducing inflammation, regulating cortisol and more.

  • Vitamin D3 (1000 IU)
  • Calcium (600 mg)
  • Magnesium (200 mg)
  • Multivitamin (we likeUsana Essentials)

Chinese Herbal Formulas

The following are also recommended in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and have proven their worth over time:

  • Gingseng
  • Cordyceps
  • Ashwaganda
  • Reishi mushroom
  • Astragalus
  • Schizandra

In fact, TCM provides a deep well of knowledge with respect to anti-aging and longevity, with herbal formulas that are tailored for maximum effect. These are three of my favorites:

  • Zhi Shi (circulatory promoter)
  • Mu Xiang (circulatory promoter)
  • Shan Zha (digestive herb)

For the ideal supplements and dosages for you, contact us to schedule a consultation. Acupuncture treatments work in conjunction with supplementation to promote youthful energy, and address specific health concerns.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a remarkably powerful tool for restoring balance, maintaining health and promoting longevity. It stimulates the flow of qi (energy), improves organ function, reduces inflammation, regulates hormones and relaxes the mind and body.

To schedule your consultation or acupuncture treatment, contact us at 310-231-3500 or email admin@tilomedical.com.

Also, check out our Nutrition + Health class series for the latest information and tips on a variety of topics.

To your longevity,
Dr. Miles Reid

How to Be Flexible to Stay Strong

Movement. Energy. Health. Vitality. It’s all tied together. At Being Energy, we think it’s important to take the whole into consideration. But to understand the whole, you must look at the parts, and vice versa.

Movement is a key part of what we teach in our classes and workshops because movement, in one way or another, is a fundamental part of life, and a key for staying healthy and happy.

We want to cultivate flexible movement. To be flexible is also to be strong. So we offer the practices we do ourselves every day in Being Energy’s live online daily Mind + Body + Spirit classes.  We also just launched a new Video Library, with a collection of daily 30-minute classes, many of which focus on movement.

In a presentation during one of Being Energy’s Nutrition + Health classes this year, our colleague Jordan Hoffman shared some philosophy and simple exercises of Aikido. Jordan is a longtime Aikido practitioner, and 2nd Degree black belt, in addition to being an outstanding acupuncturist. He shared some valuable insights.

Aerin and YelenaBecause the class theme was bones, tendons and muscles, Jordan spoke about keeping the tendons and ligaments nice and open, and how this enables energy to flow throughout the body.  In every healthy joint there is space. That space allows for comfortable, easy movement. When we’re stressed, tight or tense, we tend to contract, reducing that space, which results in more tightness and tension. This also slows us down, and creates an environment ripe for injury. But if we’re supple, we can move faster with more fluidly and grace. When presented with an obstacle, the more supple we are, the better we can navigate in the situation.

Think about the branch of a young tree. You can bend it and it won’t break; it remains flexible; but an old branch can snap. Just so, we want to keep our bones and joints supple. We want to be able to move easily with the winds of change and challenge.

An inspiring example of flexibility and grace at any age is Aikido’s founder, Morihei Ueshiba (December 14, 1883 – April 26, 1969). In this video from 1935, these qualities, and more, are made clear.

Here, you can see his last public demonstration, in 1969, at the age of 85 (it’s a little fuzzy, but nonetheless worth watching).

So how can we embody this? What can we do to meet the challenges of life with power and grace? We can start with awareness.

At the end of every day, you might notice that you feel shorter, tighter, contracted, more compressed. Cultivating awareness is an important step in remaining strong yet flexible. Hold the image in your mind of spaciousness in your joints. Think of elongating your spine. If you’re standing and notice that your knees are locked, soften them, letting the energy flow through the joint and through your body.

To your health, strength and suppleness,
Dr. Miles Reid

3 Days to Reboot, Renew and Realize Your Dreams

What are your dreams? What do you wish for your life? You have more power to create your life than you may realize.

From September 4 – 6, Being Energy presents Radiant Energy + Radiant Health—a retreat designed for you. Over three days, we’ll work with you one-on-one and in dynamic group classes to help you:

  • Detoxify your mind and body
  • Renew your energy and vitality
  • Rewrite your story about who you are and what you can accomplish

This is something completely new! Our signature Los Angeles retreat is designed to deeply nourish you and liberate your full potential. The retreat will be personalized to support each participant, and space will be very limited to support an individualized experience.

Why are we doing this? What ripples out from each of us matters in the world. Starting with our bodies, research clearly shows that our lifestyle choices do make a difference in our health, even at the level of our DNA. Take these three days to reboot your system, reduce your biological age and learn simple things that you can incorporate into your daily life to positively affect your DNA.

figure-03-05-02Modern science, ancient wisdom and the bridge between the two will play into the content of this very special retreat. It is an experience for the whole of you: body, mind and spirit.

For a taste of how fundamentally this may affect you, think about your dreams for your life. Are you living your dreams? Even going back to the beginning of this year—did you set any New Year’s resolutions? If so, how have they been going? For most of us, nearly six months later, those resolutions are but a distant memory.

Now is our chance to consciously steer our life experience. There are many things that may influence the course of our lives. But the simple truth is that there is nothing that we wield greater control over than our conscious goals and intentions. These make way for the direction of our individual paths in life.

You can certainly float along and navigate through life as it comes, but why not use a paddle to steer your boat in the direction you want to go? Or even better, hoist a sail and travel with speed? Your conscious intentions put the paddle in your hands or—when they are clear and strong—the wind in your sails.

In our Being Energy Detox Program, we include potent daily intentions and observations as a key part of the program. Maybe they are ones that you’d like to consider setting for yourself so that you may more easily sail toward your dreams? Maybe give them a try and see what happens! For even more joyful sailing in life, consider joining our LA retreat in September.

Intention: Today, I can formulate what I want to dream for my life.
Associated self-observation: What do I want for my life? What do I long for? What are my inner desires?

Intention: Today, I dare to tackle any challenge that faces me.
Associated self-observation: I accept that every challenge in front of me is an opportunity for growth. It is a chance to evolve and reclaim my power.

Intention: Today, I am a happy boat on the river, traveling toward the ocean of infinity.

Associated self-observation: I am thrilled with the fluidity of life, and am as light as a feather.

RB_Sail_Boat_1Every day is full of possibility.

We wish you well on your journey through life and are here to support your health and well-being through all of the classes, workshops, retreats and products that we offer.

Dr. Miles Reid

Jump the Gap! How to Live Fully Right Now

“If your mind stops on the sword your opponent is swinging at you, a gap opens up; and in that gap your action falters. If there is no gap between your opponent’s striking sword and your action, the sword of the adversary will become your sword. A mind like a spark means the state of mind where there is no gap. When flint is struck, sparks fly at once . . .  There is no interval for the mind to linger . . .  If attention lingers, your mind is taken over by others.” Zen Master Takuan (1573 – 1645), from The Unfettered Mind

Taiso_-_Ronin_fending_off_arrows_cph.3g08655Are you living the life you want to live? Is there a gap in your mind? A falter in your action?

For many of us, there is a divide between the life we are living now and the life that we want to live. How do we jump that gap? A state of joy, balance and harmony involves the body as much as it does the mind, spirit and emotions.

As a healthcare provider, I look at helping my patients fortify their bodies to bring greater joy to their lives.

I advise all of my patients to have an annual physical that includes systems-based laboratory testing. This type of testing gives you and the doctor a comprehensive picture of your current state of health, and identifies nutritional imbalances and toxicities that underlay chronic disease.

  • Are you getting enough of the basic nutrients for maintaining optimal health?
  • Are you absorbing what you take in through your food?
  • Is your body eliminating toxins properly?
  • Are your systems in balance?

The answers to these questions can be found through some key medical tests. For example, an Essential and Metabolic Fatty Acids Analysis evaluates the level of red cell membrane fatty acids. Imbalances in these fatty acids significantly affect inflammatory and other disorders.

Knowing your baselines will act as the guide for making important changes in your dietary and lifestyle choices, and reveal the nutritional supplements that will help you feel and be your best. Fortified with this information, I can recommend specific supplements and an acupuncture protocol that will help you thrive.

Doing this testing once a year is a key step in closing the gap between the life you’re living now and enjoying the life you want to live, with energy, clarity and balance.

LA_Featured_2We invite you to experience a state of being where there is no gap. We’re offering our first Los Angeles Being Energy retreat, September 4 – 6. This retreat is unlike any we’ve ever done. Each participant will have personalized health treatments as well as enjoy dynamic group classes.

Take just three days to revitalize and close the gap to live more healthfully and joyfully. Learn more and register.

One Powerhouse Supplement for Glowing Health

Called the “Mushroom of Immortality”, reishi is a powerhouse supplement with a variety of benefits. From its immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties to help with cancer and AIDS, it’s one of my favorite products. We incorporate reishi in our detoxification programs, and recommend it to help boost the immune system during flu season.

ChenhungshoGANODERMAReishi may be the most highly respected medicinal mushroom in Asia. In ancient times, it was reserved for Chinese royalty to extend life and improve health, and it is just as highly regarded today—but now you don’t have to be a royal to enjoy its benefits. Reishi mushroom has been used to treat:

  • Cancer
  • VIral infections
  • Inflammation
  • Hypertension
  • High cholesterol
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Fatigue

To find out if reishi mushroom supplements might benefit you, you’re welcome to schedule an in-person or Skype consultation. To contact our clinic for a session, email admin@tilomedical.com or phone 310-231-3500.

You may also be interested in reading what the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center says about the benefits of reishi in cancer treatment.

Wishing you vitality,
Dr. Miles Reid

7 Reasons to Try an Infrared Sauna Session

What can boost circulation, ease muscle tension, promote weight loss and activate the release of toxins from your system? An infrared sauna session. What’s even better: You get to relax while the sauna does all the work!

DSC_0601Detoxification is a big theme for us right now—the spring season is a perfect time to detoxify and activate rejuvenation. There are so many tools to help us reenergize with a “spring cleaning” and each has its role to play. What we love about the infrared sauna is that it offers multiple benefits all wrapped up in the feeling of giving yourself a spa treatment.

In fact, an infrared sauna session is one of the most popular detox services at our clinic—either enjoyed on its own or in conjunction with other treatments such as acupuncture and massage.

An infrared sauna provides a deep and gently penetrating heat. It operates at a lower temperature than traditional saunas and so can feel more comfortable, and yet has even greater benefits. It emits a red spectrum wavelength that research shows to be safe and therapeutic (far infrared rays are even used in hospitals to warm newborn babies).

Benefits include:

  1. Detoxification
  2. Weight loss
  3. Improved circulation
  4. Reduced stress and improved sleep
  5. Joint and muscle pain relief and faster injury recovery
  6. Uplifted mood
  7. Stronger immune system

These are seven great reasons to give the infrared sauna a try.

Detoxification

Studies show that the sweat you release in an infrared sauna session contains less water and up to six times more fat, toxins and impurities than regular sweat.

Weight Loss

When you produce sweat, you expend energy. An infrared sauna session also activates your metabolic rate so that you burn calories at a higher rate for hours after your session. Of course, in any sauna, you’ll lose water weight, which is readily regained, but the calories that you burn can translate into real and sustainable weight loss.

Improved Circulation and Heart Health

The sauna naturally stimulates circulation, increasing blood flow to the surface of the skin to dissipate heat.  Your heart rate and metabolic rate increase while blood pressure drops. In fact, research has shown that a 15 – 30-minute infrared sauna session can result in dramatic reductions in blood pressure.

In a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, repeated infrared sauna sessions resulted in improved vascular and cardiac function, and reduced symptoms of  chronic heart failure (CHF) in patients diagnosed with CHF.

Reduced Stress and Improved Sleep

An infrared sauna session promotes relaxation and stimulates endorphins, effectively reducing stress and resulting in improved sleep for many who try it.

sauna1-520x258Joint and Muscle Pain Relief and Speedier Injury and Wound Recovery

The therapeutic heat from far infrared waves penetrates deeply into the tissues, helping to relieve joint and muscle pain. The increased blood flow also promotes wound healing and recovery from injury.

It’s also be shown to reduce pain from chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, chronic back pain, fibromyalgia and more.

Uplifted Mood

Far infrared rays are said to mimic the benefits of natural sunlight and chase the blues away. An infrared sauna session can uplift your mood and combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), symptoms of which include depression, irritability and lethargy.

Stronger Immune System

The heat from the sauna creates what might be called an “artificial fever”–the body’s core temperature increases to the point beyond which certain microbes can tolerate. Blood circulation and the production of white blood cells increase to combat colds, flu and other infections.

All this, and it also improves the look and feel of your skin. The increased blood flow and collagen production from an infrared sauna session, combined with the flushing out of toxins can improve skin health and give you a glowing appearance.

Curious to give it a try? Call our Los Angeles clinic to schedule a session: 310-231-3500.

Dr. Miles Reid