October is Healthy Lung month, timely as in Chinese Medicine, the Lung energy relates to Autumn. It is considered the most delicate organ, as it is the only organ with a direct opening to the outside world. Along with our skin, it is responsible for inspiration and elimination, as well as spreading vital energy to all the other organs.
Keeping our lungs healthy is crucial to our overall health. Here are some simple steps to ensure lung health:
- A diet high in cruciferous vegetables like cabbages, kale, broccoli, bok choy, and cauliflower help keep the lungs healthy due to a phytochemical called sulforaphane that actually detoxifies carcinogens before they damage cells.
- Move! Regular exercise allows the heart to better keep our lungs oxygenated.
- Avoid VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, that exist in paints and other household products. Wear a protective mask if you do have to work with VOCs.
- Invest in a good air filter to remove mold, pet dander, dust and other allergens. Avoid artificial air fresheners and make sure your home and work place are well ventilated.
- If you smoke cigarettes, QUIT! If you don’t smoke, don’t start!
Quitting smoking is one of the best things we can do for our lungs, body and mind. Within just a few weeks after quitting, our lung tissue begins to repair. The first couple of weeks after quitting can be the most challenging, but Acupuncture and herbs can help!
One of the most commonly used Acupuncture treatments for smoking cessation is the NADA protocol. NADA stands for the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association. The NADA protocol uses acupuncture points in your ear.
Did you know that we all have a microcosm of our body imprinted on our outer ear? Acupuncturists can effectively treat the whole body using ear points. Ear points also stimulate our brain’s release of feel-good chemicals, such as dopamine and endorphins. The NADA protocol works effectively for drugs & alcohol withdrawal, weight loss, insomnia and anxiety. The protocol consists of the following five points, located on the outside of each ear: Shen Men, Sympathetic, Kidney, Liver and Lung.
Shen Men and Sympathetic points address psychological imbalances and calm the nervous system. The Kidney point strengthens our core energy. The Liver point assists the smooth flow of qi. Lastly, the Lung point helps invigorate the Lung energy.
We use a special herbal remedy at Balance Integrative Health to help ease the transition for cigarette smokers who want to stop the damage to their lungs. One of the constituents in our formula is lobeline, a nicotine-like substance that eases cravings without being addictive. It also contains other ingredients that act as an effective expectorant to speed the release of toxins from the lung tissue.
Throughout the fall, we will be offering a special smoking cessation package, featuring Acupuncture and our Stop Smoking tincture. Celebrate Healthy Lung Month by calling us at (504) 522-9645 or scheduling your appointment today!