What should I do to stay healthy with diabetes?

Follow a very low glycemic diet.  Take your medicines as directed.  Monitor your blood glucose every day.  Record the number in your record book.   Control your blood pressure and insulin resistance (Type II, Diabetes Mellitus) by exercising 5-6 times per week (active, vigorous aerobic, meaning walking at rapid pace to get your heart rate up, yet make sure you can talk to friend and not get too winded; swim laps if you have Bad Back, Hip or Knee or Ankle joint problems).  There are Chinese herbs to help control cholesterol and you, your PCP and I can create a plan to Re-balance the Ratio of your LDL to HDL levels (which add up to your Total Cholesterol).  Also- it’s best if you don’t smoke.  Acupuncture treatments support quitting smoking.

What can I do to take care of my feet?

Wash your feet in warm water daily, ensure the water is not too hot by testing the temperature with your elbow.  Do not soak your feet.  Dry your feet especially well including between your toes.  There are topical remedies for nail fungal issues.  If you have nerve damage or poor blood flow, routine acupuncture can enhance blood circulation. 

Acupuncture can move the qi (vital energy) and blood throughout your entire body and focus can be on movement of the circulation in lower extremities (from knees to toes).  Inflammation and swelling may respond well to Electro-Acupuncture (Avoid if you have a Pacemaker!).  There are topical Chinese liniments which may be applied to improve circulation, reduce heat and swelling or warm up cold limbs and feet.  Always report to your Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.) whether you are taking any blood thinners (e.g. Coumadin, Warfarin, even Aspirin) as they must carefully consider and may alter which liniments they select for your Treatment Plan.


How can diabetes hurt my nervous system?

Elevated blood glucose for many years may damage the blood vessels that bring oxygen your nerves.  High blood glucose can damage the covering (myelin sheath) on the nerves.  Once nerves are damaged, they may stop sending messages.  Additionally, they may send messages at the wrong times or too slowly.  “Diabetic neuropathy” is the medical terminology for damage to a diabetic’s nervous system. 

Acupuncture is very effective in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy via needling acupoints which move qi and blood through various regions of the body.  There are nutritional facts that I can share which you may not be aware of (artificial sweeteners are proven to make neuropathy worse).


What are some Chinese Nutrition food therapies I can follow?

Rou Gui (cinnamon bark, ground into fine powder) is a spice which helps balance blood sugar levels.  Stir fried Bitter Melon (Asian vegetable) is exceptional too and has been heavily researched in Japan for it’s benefits to diabetics.  Brown Rice balances blood sugars far better than glutinous or white rice.  Chinese Yam is best choice, far more nutritious as compared to russet or new potatoes.  And for those with a sweet tooth, Chinese yam/sweet potato can substitute dessert too (bake in oven, add real butter afterward and sprinkle cinnamon and a touch of brown sugar)!


What can I do for Burning, Tingling, Numbness in extremities?

I am a proponent of frequent acupuncture to enhance one’s circulation.  Together, we’ll determine where your pain or numb patterns are and I’ll tailor acupuncture along the corresponding region(s) of your spine.  There are also topical applications which invigorate blood flow and remove toxins. 


Are there any additional supplements that can help control blood glucose?

Yes! There are very effective supplement (herbal blends) which can support blood sugar stability.   Call today for an appointment at (971) 322-8575. 


Why is Exercising so vital to management of my diabetes?

Routine exercise (5-6 times/week) is especially important to maintain health because it helps to decrease ‘insulin resistance’ and in effect, improves transport of sugar (glucose molecule) into all cells. Once cells have been fed sugar, they generate ATP (energy).  A diabetic that exercises often improves their overall energy!  Their brain is fed sugar more effectively and as a result, they experience less mental fog or sluggishness.

Acupuncture is NOT a substitute for routine exercise, but it does invigorate blood circulation.  NOTE:  If you have Hypertension (high BP), make sure your Acupuncturist monitors your blood pressure at each visit so as to be safe. 


How can I help my family members to prevent or slow down diabetes onset?

Visit your PCP and check your fasting blood glucose levels (HgA1c) via lab testing.  Follow a low sugar diet, avoid soda and concentrated juices which are very high in sugars.  Minimize caffeine consumption to lower cortical (hormone) levels which if high, deposit more fat around the waistline. This raises ones risk for diabetes as well.  Move your Blood! (Get routine exercise: walk briskly; you don’t have to be exercise gym rat!)


Feb 14, 2015 11:30 AM

What is Foot Reflexology and how does it work?

Recently, a patient asked me about foot reflexology. Here is some basic information on the subject as explained in “TUINA - A Handbook for Students and Practitioners" by Yan Lu, L.Ac. and Joyce E. Shields, L.Ac., Christina Walker Smith, L.Ac., M.Ed.. Heilongjiang Science and Technology Press:

Foot Reflexology is an applied pressure therapy that involves stimulating reflex points that are located on the foot.  These foot reflex points correspond to specific areas of the body and when used singly or in combination, produce therapeutic benefit.

The history of Foot Reflexology is lost in antiquity; however, there is substantial information to suggest its use as long ago as 5,000 years in China, Egypt, and India.  In modern times Foot Reflexology was explored and promoted through the research of Sir Henry Head of London in the 1890’s.  Later in the 1920’s, an American doctor, William Fitzgerald incorporated Foot Reflexology into his “Zone Therapy”, a theory in which the body and its organs and tissues are divided in to five zones, all five of which are represented on the feet.

In the Chinese system of Foot Reflexology there are four basic theoretical approaches used to explain the benefits of the system.


Substances such as uric acid are retained in the feet where they settle due to the effects of gravity which will cause obstruction of circulation and make the heart work harder.  This results in malnourishment of the tissues and organs.  After a long period, the function of the organs will decrease and discomfort will be felt.  After massage of the foot, the temperature of the foot will increase.  The blood will flow faster, from 12 mm per second to 25 mm per second.  At the same time, the deposits can be broken apart, and along with increased blood circulation, can be expelled from the body through the urinary system and other dispelling organs.  After massage of the feet for 3 to 5 days, the urine will be turbid and have a strong odor.  The patient will feel comfortable and energetic.  This illustrates how Foot Reflexology can increase blood circulation, reduce heart burden, and increase metabolism.


When certain organs are not functioning well, there will appear abnormal changes in certain areas of the feet, such as an “air bubble” feeling, cord, granule, or nodule feeling.  Stimulating these areas can cause pain.  By nerve response, a series of nerve and humoral regulations will occur which stimulates potential energy, increases immunity and anti-disease effect.  This can also stop the original pathogenic response.

If there exists a pathogenic area of excitement in the brain, stimulation of the feet can form another area of excitement.  As the time of massage increases, the newly formed area of excitement will also increase and inhibit the pathogenic area of excitement and even make it disappear.  This illustrates how Foot Reflexology can treat disease.


There are six regular foot channels, Yin Wei Mai, Yin Qiao Mai, Yang Qiao Mai, and Yang Wei Mai, that start and at the feet.  There is a theory that if the channels and collaterals are clear, there is no pain.  If there is a blockage, there is pain and discomfort.  Massaging the feet will open the channels and collaterals and remove the stagnation.


The foot is a microcosm of the body and contains all the information for the entire body.  With the two feet side by side and viewing the plantar surfaces, an image of the human body can be superimposed, sitting with the soles of the feet together, knees, flexed, arms relaxed across the thighs, and looking straight ahead.  Some believe that the feet contain more information than the ear or the hand because they are larger.  

I am trained in the practice of Foot Reflexology Treatments through my Master's-equivalent education in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. My three years of training in Chinese Tuina massage includes Foot Reflexology and Pediatric Tuina.

Get in touch with me today if you think you’d like to give Foot Reflexology a try!

                                        —Julie M. Goss, L.Ac.

May 14, 2012 9:11 AM

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