Tag Archives: Camden County acupuncture blog
Functional Health and Acupuncture Institute: Welcome to the Blog!
If you are new to the Functional Health and Acupuncture Institute website, and the site is pretty new itself, I’d like to welcome you to my blog. My name is Glenn Gruby and I am excited to be able to share information and tips about healthy living and hope to have fun doing this. I also hope it will be engaging and hope you will add your comments and suggestions. Tell me what you like and don’t like about what you read, and about this website. There is so much that is not known about Chinese Medicine in America, after all most Americans had never heard anything about it prior to 1971.
So how did I get interested in this stuff? Well I think it started back in the 80’s with Ralph Macchio when Mr. Miyagi told him “You must focus!” if he wanted to be good at karate. I felt like I was always easily distracted by the smallest things and thought that someday I, too needed to go to Japan to learn to “focus”.
After getting an engineering degree and working in the pharmaceutical industry, I found myself increasingly being interested more in natural health, and a growing curiosity about Asia in general. But instead of Japan, I went to Korea and lived in an area called Gangnam. No joke! its a real place in Seoul, fairly stylish but this was years ago. I did also have the intention to learn as much as I could about acupuncture, but there was very little information available there in English. Nevertheless it was interesting to see all the Korean hand acupuncturists in their tents in the parks, and I did get to observe some acupuncture doctor friends at a clinic for about a month.
My first personal experience with acupuncture in Korea was when I had seriously clogged ears after a particularly nasty cold. Trying to be Mr. Natural, I tried everything for about a month to unclog my ears. Fasting, massive amounts of raw garlic (I think my girlfriend left me around then), a raw juice diet, but nothing worked. So I broke down and went to the hospital, where the GP wanted to stick a long tube in my ears to pull out the fluid that would not drain. No thanks, I said, but I did reluctantly go for the antibiotics. A week later, still no change. Back to the hospital to see the specialist who said the first doctor made a mistake and should not have used that obsolete antibiotic, and she wanted to give me a different one. At this point I balked, and contacted my acupuncture friend. He treated me on Monday, Wednesday and Friday on the left side, and by Sunday the left ear had perfectly cleared up. The next week, he did the right ear. And that’s how I got into acupuncture.
There are many styles of acupuncture. I guess due to the mix of my training at PCOM in San Diego, I practice a combination of styles. Traditional Chinese Medicine as a basis, but I often incorporate orthopedic testing and treatments, which means trying to find out which muscles are weak, where range of motion is restricted, what motions cause pain, and finding acupuncture points (that may correspond to trigger or “motor” points) to improve the situation. I find this useful for musculoskeletal problems, especially in healthier, athletic types. Other times, or often in combination, I use Japanese or Balance styles. This means using points far away from the site of the problem, often on the other side of the body. This can be an incredibly powerful and amazing tool that gives testament to the Chinese understanding of the “meridian” network.
I feel blessed to be able to work in a field that can help people live healthier, more balanced lives and pain-free lives. But there is so much to do in terms of educating people about the options available. And that’s what I hope to do in this blog.
Thanks for reading!
Functional Health and Acupuncture Institute: Fight Cold and Flu season with Chinese Medicine.
Functional Health and Acupuncture Institute: Fight cold and flu season with Chinese Medicine.
If you live in the Cherry Hill/Haddonfield, NJ area and are worried about getting sick this winter, Functional Health and Acupuncture Institute will show you how to stay healthy. At FHAI we use time tested principles of acupuncture and Chinese medicine to help you shift towards a higher state of health, balance and immune function.
Cold and flu season is around the corner. You are already hearing all the warnings.
When the dreaded season of doom drapes its black curtain over us, whatever you do, don’t come within sneezing distance of anybody, don’t even think about shaking anyone’s hand or otherwise engaging in bodily contact, and NEVER, EVER touch a doorknob, shopping cart, or any other object that might have possibly come into contact with any human at any point during its existence.
Buy into the hype and you’ll find yourself locked away in a dark room waiting for the hazmat team to give the “All Clear.” Time to get nervous, right? Wrong.
The reality is that more than germs making you sick, your body’s inability to fend off germs and foreign invaders is what results in you succumbing to illness.
Think about it… How is it possible that a family of 5 people living under the same roof can have completely different reactions during flu season? Assuming that everyone is exposed to the same germs and viruses, if the sickness were attributed completely to the virus, everyone would get sick and exhibit the same reaction and symptoms. What happens in reality is that one or two family members get ill while the others don’t. Clearly the issue is not the germs, but the body’s response to them.
Chances are the last time you got sick you were running yourself ragged; missing sleep, eating improperly, slacking on your nutrition, all stressed out from work, skipping your acupuncture sessions, and neglecting your workouts. This is a vicious pattern that many of us fall into and it’s one that weakens the body and allows germs to take hold.
Your best defense against the flu, colds, or any other germ-borne illness is not to drug yourself, but to bolster your internal defenses. You stand your best chance of being at your healthiest when you have an optimally functioning nervous system and immune response.
So come in for an acupuncture tune-up, keep your lifestyle habits in good order, and maintain a positive attitude. Do so, and those pesky little germs don’t stand a chance!
Functional Health and Acupuncture Institute: Gluten, Inflammation and Health.
If you live in the Cherry Hill, NJ area and experience unexplained headaches, aches and pains or an overall lower level of wellbeing, Functional Health and Acupuncture Institute may be able to help you. At FHAI we use time tested principles of acupuncture and Chinese medicine to help you shift towards a higher state of health, balance and immune function. We also embrace nutritional approaches that facilitate our goals.
Increasingly these days one hears about the problems associated with gluten. It is easy to find lots of gluten free products in all of the supermarkets. Today I want to address this and share with you my own story.
So what exactly is gluten? The word itself comes from the Latin word for glue, and no wonder because it is what gives dough and grain products the ability to stick together. Think pizza. The pizza guy probably couldn’t toss that extra large in the air without gluten. Gluten is a composite protein found in grains, mainly wheat, rye and barley. This is a major source of protein in the world, but the problem is that gluten is quite inflammatory to the body. It can be inflammatory to the gut, and for people with less than perfectly healthy gut linings they can experience gluten sensitivities. These, and food sensitivities in general are hard to pinpoint because they often don’t exhibit as immediate, acute symptoms as in acute allergic reactions. But if you experience things like unexplained headaches, body aches, tiredness, mental fog, seasonal allergies, and digestive discomfort, these are often improved by eliminating foods that cause sensitivities.
Since I was a teenager I have experienced some level of seasonal allergies. The worst was in my early 20’s but they got significantly better when I eliminated dairy products from my diet and then ate a vegetarian diet. In the last few years as I added back more bread products at times I had allergies year round, though not as bad as in the spring season when I was younger. But I did notice that if I ate even one meal at an Italian restaurant (with all that bread and pasta) I would feel absolutely terrible the next day – almost as bad as the worst hangover I could imagine.
In the past 5 years or so I had experienced morning headaches with increasing periodicity, something that never happened when I was younger. I couldn’t explain it, except when I knew I overate complex carbohydrates (grains) the day before. Just out of curiosity, last October I decided to do a one month gut repair program using the Repairvite program from Apex Energetics, a company that provides educational and nutrition resources to licensed healthcare practitioners. But do to the program I would have either had to basically eat just vegetables for a month (the vegetarian option) or reintroduce animal products, something I had more or less avoided for the past fifteen years. So I changed my diet completely, adding meat and eliminating grains and other foods known to cause food sensitivities. The two largest culprits are gluten and dairy.
Amazingly, within 4 days I noticed profound changes. No more headaches. No more feeling like I needed a nap in the early evening. No more shoulder pain when trying to sleep on my side. Much more restful sleep- I wasn’t waking up much like I had been. I experienced significantly reduced joint cracking. And the best thing was a lifting of a mental fog. I seemed to feel much sharper than I had been feeling. This season has been the best allergy season of my adult life with no symptoms whatsoever. If I have a day where I eat more than just a slight bit of wheat products, I usually wake up with a headache. Rice, which does not contain gluten, doesn’t seem to affect me though I am careful not to eat too much.
The only reliable way to find out if you have food sensitivities is to try an elimination diet. Blood testing may not be as reliable because sometimes people that show negative results still have problems, and there is also a concern that other grains with proteins similar to gluten may cause sensitivities. An increasing number of healthcare practitioners that incorporate nutrition are recommending to remove grains from the diet.
I like the Apex program because it accomplishes 3 things- it eliminates potentially problematic foods, it reseeds the gut with beneficial bacteria, and it helps soothe and heal the gut lining in attempt to eliminate problems associated with leaky gut. This lowers the inflammatory load in our bodies and helps to improve the functioning of our immune system. The end result is that often food sensitivities can be reduced and some foods can be reintroduced to the diet that previously had caused problems. And other symptoms, those nagging conditions that we just learn to live with, are decreased or eliminated.
Your Body Is A Garden
While I was living in Japan I had a nice plot of land where I could grow my own organic vegetables. Growing vegetables in Japan is no easy feat- the weather in summer offers up monsoon rains followed by brutal heat and humidity. The soil is not great because it contains a lot of volcanic ash – Mount Fuji is still technically an active volcano- and this is not ideal for growing. But I felt lucky and excited to be able to have a garden while living in a big city like Yokohama. Even in the urban areas of Japan some landowners rent out their land instead of building houses so you may have 10 separate garden plots connected that are rented out to different gardeners
The first year went OK – some things grew very well and some did not. But the second and third years were very tough. In spring my lettuce seedlings would be an inch high – same as my garden neighbors – but a month later while everyone else was eating delicious (and radiation free!) lettuce, I was looking at my puny frozen in time seedlings, wondering why they would not grow. And when plants did grow, like the tomatoes, they would quickly decay or be eaten by bugs before they were ripe enough to pick. So I paid for a soil test and the results came back saying that my soil was dead – nothing could grow there. There was literally NO calcium or magnesium in my soil, really not much of anything but there was an overabundance of nitrogen. Oh, and in 4 years I almost never saw an earthworm in my soil, so they must have realized it was dead too.
However, the one place where things did grow great was my compost pile, which was really just decomposed fruit, veggie and plant waste. Here, where the plants got the best of nutrition, they grew healthy, quickly, large and tasted great. And so it dawned on me: if plants can’t be healthy without proper nutrition , how can people? Our “soil” is our food! And our soil isn’t so healthy these days. Most fruits and vegetables are grown on depleted, chemical laden soil. Most meals have all the real nutrition processed out of them and most things we eat have little resemblance to the foodstuffs we were meant to eat. That is why I think eating a whole foods, organic diet is so important. And why proper supplementation is sometimes also important. When we have the wrong “soil” we are more likely to get colds and flu, more likely to experience things like headaches, aches and pains, stress and anxiety, improper weight, sleep troubles, etc. And more susceptible to chronic disease.
So spring is here! I don’t have a big garden now- just a few plants on the terrace- but I am excited to grow a bit of my own soil again. I hope you can, too.