Health Articles

The Cleansing Route to Weight Loss

Offering a detox strategy can help you regain health and vitality!

A whopping 7 out of 10 Americans are overweight. Excess fat is linked to many diseases including heart disease, cancer and diabetes. None of us can ignore these troubling trends, especially if you are interested in living a long and happy life.

People who are seeking solutions for weight loss try weight loss products online, on TV and crash diets.  And many will lose some weight, but it almost always comes back with a vengenance. Some will even consider gastric bypass or gastric lap-band surgery.  Both, never fix the underlying problem and can cause serious health issues such as osteoporosis, hair loss and anemia. They need not go that route. Instead, they may benefit from a system of gentle cleansing that can help them lose unwanted pounds and regain their health.

We have available in our practice a proven weight-loss system that will help you lose weight and regain your vitality.

The secret about weight loss.  The body regulates its weight through the use of a fat-burning hormone called leptin.  Leptin is actually produced by body fat. Leptin tells your brain to burn fat to use as energy. Leptin is also associated with suppressing appetite and regulating the metabolism, two factors that play a major role in weight control.

How leptin works. Simply put, leptin tells the brain when to burn fat. When researchers first discovered this, they assumed that overweight individuals were leptin-deficient and drug companies scrambled to develop a synthetic form of leptin. It was soon discovered that overweight people weren't deficient in leptin at all.  In fact, they had elevated leptin levels.  



One of the most traumatic events that the body can experience is a spinal cord injury. The aftermath of this debilitating injury is usually severe and in the most extreme of cases can result in death or permanent paralysis. When the nerve roots or fiber tracts of the spine are damaged, signals to and from the brain fail to occur or have difficulty happening, thus causing the impedance of certain motor functions.  Throughout history, humans have searched for various procedures to aid victims of spinal cord injuries, but one of the most ancient long-lasting and thoroughly used methods would be oriental medicine via acupuncture and massage therapy.

The road to recovery after a spinal cord injury can be a long and enduring ordeal that requires faith, will power, hope, stamina, patience and above all, an effective treatment, such as the combination of oriental medicine and physical therapy.  Acupuncture is a virtually painless procedure where hair thin needles are inserted into the trouble areas of the patient, stimulating muscles and areas where qi (or energy) moves through the body from one point to another.

In a clinical study carried out in 2003, a team of doctors directed by Alice M.K. Wong, MD began spinal cord therapy through acupuncture on a group of patients recovering from their injuries. The doctors found that after beginning treatment at various acupoints including the bilateral Hou Hsi (SI3), Shen Mo (B62), the antihelix, helix, and lower portion of the ear-back areas, patients were showing significant improvements. Neurologic behaviors including sensory and motor skills improved greatly in the patients who were put through the regimen of oriental medicine including acupuncture, massage and physical therapy.  In their conclusion, the team of doctors and researchers determined this stunning medical breakthrough:

The use of concomitant auricular and acupuncture therapies, when implemented early in acute spinal cord injury, can contribute to significant neurologic and functional recoveries.

Many other clinical studies which have been highly cited and respected occurred before and after this groundbreaking research in oriental medicine, all of which determining the same conclusion. Acupuncture and massage in conjunction with physical therapy greatly improved the conditions of those suffering from a spinal cord injury.

One of the most critical and important pieces of evidence in the specific recoveries was the increase in ASIA impairment scale ratings. The ASIA impairment scale rates a patient on levels of how damaging their paralysis is due to their spinal cord injury. When this rating increased in patients who had undergone acupuncture treatments, the scientific evidence revealed that oriental therapies such as acupuncture and massage did improve the body's neurological response times and helped patients with spinal cord injuries on the long road to recovery.

Acupuncture Improves Memory and Learning Capacity

By: Diane Joswick, L.Ac., MSOM
Acupuncture can significantly improve learning and memory capacity that has been impaired by hyperglycemia and cerebral ischemia, according to a new study. 
The study that was published in the October 2008 issue of the journal, Neuroscience Letters, reported on whether electroacupuncture (acupuncture needles stimulated with a mild electrical current) could improve learning and memory which was typically impaired in diabetic rats with cerebral ischemia.
The effects of the acupuncture treatments were measured with a passive avoidance test, an active avoidance test, the Morris water maze and electrophysiology. Significant improvements were seen with all the tests.
The researchers remarked that previous investigations have demonstrated that electroacupuncture can improve primary and secondary symptoms such as peripheral neuropathy and diabetic encephalopathy in diabetic rats. They believe that the positive results of this study warrant further investigation.
Source: Neuroscience Letters Volume 443, Issue 3, 10 October 2008, Pages 193-198
Time, Attention, and Reassuring Touch
Dr. Josephine P. Briggs, Director of NIH NCCAM, noted the following in a recent public message: "The most common health problem for which people turn to complementary and alternative approaches is chronic pain. Pharmacological management of chronic pain, while important, has hazards. Evidence is showing, based on carefully controlled studies, that there is promise in certain complementary treatments as adjuncts to conventional pain management. For example, the pain of osteoarthritis may be relieved by acupuncture; tai chi has been found to be helpful in reducing the pain of fibromyalgia; and massage and manipulative therapies can contribute to the relief of chronic back pain."

The goal of NCCAM's research is to ensure the development of a strong, objective evidence base that offers patients, providers, and health policymakers with the information they need to make informed decisions. This knowledge is vital, given the widespread and frequent self-care use of complementary and alternative medicine. As Freedman describes, the benefits being observed with complementary and alternative therapies may yield important lessons for our health care system: the time, attention, and reassuring touch traditionally provided by caring health care providers is in short supply and is a highly important commodity.
Much High Fructose Corn Syrup Contaminated With Mercury, New Study Finds  

Press Release: Brand-Name Food Products Also Discovered to Contain Mercury 

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), Minneapolis, Jan 26, 2009- Mercury was found in nearly 50 percent of tested samples of commercial high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), according to a new article published today in the scientific journal, Environmental Health. A separate study by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) detected mercury in nearly one-third of 55 popular brandname food and beverage products where HFCS is the first or second highest labeled ingredient-including products by Quaker, Hershey's, Kraft and Smucker's.

HFCS use has skyrocketed in recent decades as the sweetener has replaced sugar in many processed foods. HFCS is found in sweetened beverages, breads, cereals, breakfast bars, lunch meats, yogurts, soups and condiments. On average, Americans consume about 12 teaspoons per day of HFCS. Consumption by teenagers and other high consumers can be up to 80 percent above average levels.

"Mercury is toxic in all its forms," said IATP's David Wallinga, M.D., and a co-author in both studies. "Given how much high fructose corn syrup is consumed by children, it could be a significant additional source of mercury never before considered. We are calling for immediate changes by industry and the FDA to help stop this avoidable mercury contamination of the food supply."

In the Environmental Health article, Dufault et al. found detectable levels of mercury in nine of 20 samples of commercial HFCS. Dufault was working at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration when the tests were done in 2005. She and co-authors conclude that possible mercury contamination of food chemicals like HFCS was not common knowledge within the food industry that frequently uses the sweetener. While the FDA had evidence that commercial HFCS was contaminated with mercury four years ago, the agency did not inform consumers, help change industry practice or conduct additional testing.

For its report "Not So Sweet: Missing Mercury and High Fructose Corn Syrup," IATP sent 55 brand-name foods and beverages containing HFCS as the first or second ingredient to a commercial laboratory to be tested for total mercury. Nearly one in three products tested contained detectable mercury. Mercury was most prevalent in HFCScontaining dairy products, followed by dressings and condiments. Attached is the summary list of the 55 products and their total mercury content.

In making HFCS, caustic soda is used, among other things, to separate corn starch from the corn kernel. For decades, HFCS has been made using mercury-grade caustic soda produced in industrial chlorine (chlor-alkali) plants. The use of mercury cells to produce caustic soda can contaminate caustic soda, and ultimately HFCS, with mercury.

"The bad news is that nobody knows whether or not their soda or snack food contains HFCS made from ingredients like caustic soda contaminated with mercury," said Dr. Wallinga. "The good news is that mercury-free HFCS ingredients exist. Food companies just need a good push to only use those ingredients."

While most chlorine plants around the world have switched to newer, cleaner technologies, many still rely on the use of mercury cells. In 2005, 90 percent of chlorine production was mercury-free, but just 40 percent of European production was mercury-free. Four U.S. chlor-alkali plants still rely on mercury cell technology. In 2007, then-Senator Barack Obama introduced legislation to force the remaining chlor-alkali plants to phase out mercury cell technology by 2012.

The Environmental Health article by Dufault et al. can be found at:

"Not So Sweet: Missing Mercury and High Fructose Corn Syrup," by David Wallinga, M.D., Janelle Sorensen, Pooja Mottl and Brian Yablon, M.D., can be found at:

IATP works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems.

2007. Copyright Environmental News Network    

CALL DR. SHEILA SCOTT, AP, MSOM, AT (407) 682- 4454, NOW!  


A small, but intriguing studyt published in Acupuncture in Medicine found that traditional Chinese acupuncture curbed the severity of hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.  Fifty-three middle-aged, postmenopausal women were divided into two groups; one group received such treatments twice weekly for 10 weeks, while the other group experienced "sham" acupuncture with blunt needles that did not penetrate the skin.  In both groups, levels of estrogen and other hormones were measured before the study began and before and after the last session.  Manopausal symptoms- hot flashes, vaginal dryness, urinary tract infections and mood swings-were also measured before and after the treatments, using a 5-Point menopause rating scale (MRS) in order to assess their severity.

At the end of the study, the women receiving Chinese acupuncture scored significantly lower on the MRS scale, with hot flashes seeing the sharpest decrease.  The researchers explain that acupuncture boosts production of endorphins, which may stabilize the temperature control system of the body.  They say that more investigation is needed because the study was small, but note that its results seem promising, suggesting that traditional Chinese acupuncture could be an alternative for women unable or unwilling to use hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to reliever menopausal symptoms.

Natural Awakenings Central Florida

Health, Diet & Weight Loss Articles:

This section of PURE Acupuncture & Natural Medicine is designed to give you up to date articles on diseases, and help you improve your health by changing general lifestyle habits. This section is also here to help eliminate the confusion found in today's dietary recommendations. There are so many different views and suggestions of what foods are healthy and what is not.

We are putting together a variety of nutrition related articles to help you find the answers to general day to day nutritional questions.

If you have any questions that are not answered please submit your questions to us and we will try to place more information about that nutritional subject.

Call 407-682-4454 for more help with your health and making lifestyle changes. Dr. Sheila L. Scott can help!
How Low Carb Diets Affect Your Metabolism

Low carb diets have been around for some time now and the idea behind them makes sense from a weight loss perspective. After all it is a proven fact that the way the body reduces it fat stores is when there is a calorie deficit. In other words the body burns more calories then it takes in when we eat.

Since we get the majority of our calories from carbohydrates it only makes sense that by limiting them in our diets we can lose weight. And it’s been proven to work, ten of thousands of people who have tried various types of low carb diets and lost weight proves that.

But how low carb should we go? Everyone's body is different and finding what works best for each individual is not always easy. There is an optimum amount of calories the body needs to function each day. If we go above or below this level it can affect our metabolism, which is the engine that runs the body. It is a complex energy creating and burning system that affects every aspect of our lives because without it working correctly we can suffer from a variety of symptoms and conditions that if left unrecognized can have serious consequences to our health.

We all know what happens if we eat too many calories, we gain weigh because the body stores those excess calories as fat. But what happens when our carb intake is to low? One of the first things that happens is the body responds to this sudden loss of energy by slowing down its metabolism. Not quite the desired affect someone who wishes to lose weight wants. This is a reaction that has evolved over thousands of years and is the normal response to a body trying to conserve its energy in a time of famine.

If our carbohydrate becomes to low the body responds even farther. A normal metabolic process known as lipolysis is accelerated. Lipolysis is the process by which fat is pulled from adipose tissue and broken down into two components, fatty acids and glycerol. These two components of fat are the main source of energy for the liver, cardiac muscle and resting skeletal muscles.

As our caloric intake decreases with a reduction of carbs the body turns to its fat stores for its energy supply. Lipolysis is the process by which this happens. The problems begin during the chemical process of lipolysis in which oxaloacetic acid that is normally used to transport acetyl coenzyme A is instead converted to glucose which the brain needs as its energy supply.

As the supply of oxaloacetic acid diminishes the fat oxidation process of lipolysis is unable to complete the liver converts the excess acetyl CoA to ketones in a process called ketogenesis. These ketone bodies are released into the blood stream and can lead to a condition known as ketosis. Ketosis is common in the malnourished and those who suffer from diabetes. Ketosis, if not treated, is a potentially fatal condition that first leads to a coma as the nervous system becomes depressed because of the blood pH drop caused by the ketones in the blood stream. Low carb diets can lead to a drastic weight loss, but anyone attempting to use such a program should do so carefully. Cutting too many carbs from ones diet can have life threatening affects just as consuming to many calories and obesity do. Moderating the intake of carbs to provide the body the amount of energy to needs to function is a much better strategy then starving it of its most important energy supply.

Call 407-682-4454 for more help with your health and making lifestyle changes.  Dr. Sheila L. Scott can help!

Eat Correctly, Exercise More, Lose the Weight

Lose weight now! Use this patch! Burn 600 calories in 20 minutes no dieting, no exercise Eat whatever you want and still lose weight!

These are just some of the many claims about weight loss that bombard us every day. Everywhere we turn, there is some new fancy product on the market promising salvation, allowing you to miraculously shed weight without lifting a foot onto that elliptical trainer. People spend thousands of dollars buying such gimmicks with the hopes that it will affect their weight issues. And despite the $10+ billion weight-loss industry, diet books, sweating and slimming products, weight loss centers, retreats, surgeries, we still struggle, determined to overcome the weight challenge with minimal effort.

Here's the hard reality. There is no magic pill to weight loss or maintenance. There are, however, two main perspectives on dealing with weight loss:

From the Western perspective, there is an extremely simple formula it is Eat Less, Exercise More. In order to lose excess weight, the level of energy output (calories expended) must be higher than energy input (calories taken in through food and drink). Also, toxins are typically stored in fat cells. If the body cannot flush out excess toxins through its filtration organs such as liver, kidneys or lymphatic system, it will store them as fat. That growing spare tire around the middle is actually toxic excess, not aging.

Traditional Chinese Medicine looks at this formula but goes deeper. It takes a holistic approach and focuses on the underlying causes of obesity and weight gain. It not only looks at over-consumption of food, but also at the types of food ingested, personal constitution, organ dysfunction, changes in internal body environment, trauma or emotional state, all leading to energy stagnation, deficiency and ultimately weight gain. TCM treats the underlying pathological conditions of obesity and weight gain.

Like the Western concept, changing your food and exercise habits are key. However, exercise and the correct foods and amounts are what stand out in the TCM approach. The concept of one can even eat cake on this diet does not apply here. So constitution aside, what are some things you can you do directly?

1. Drop the greasy, spicy, rich, heavy, alcoholic, sweet and fatty foods. They all contribute to spleen, stomach, liver and kidney dysfunction. These organs cannot handle the super size, on-the-go, sugary, meat or pasta with cream sauce type meals. They become burdened under the weight of these foods, and cannot carry out their proper function of digestion and transformation. When the body is overloaded with foods it can't digest it and it creates an overheated or even over chilled internal environment much like our external weather. Food, water and fluid excesses accumulate in the middle, resulting in a dampness and sluggish qi/energy and blood.

2. Drop the White stuff. Yes, I said white. White bread, white flour, white sugar, starchy and processed food. They have little to no nutritional value, and simply burden the digestive process. Even consumption of dairy products such as milk cheese can create excess mucous or phlegm in the body. If over consumption continues, this will over time also lead to an internally damp environment with accumulation and stagnation of fluids which gets distributed all over the body.

3. Do not eat foods that are extreme in temperature " too hot or too cold"

Cold salads, hot drinks or anything extreme can contribute to internal imbalance. Allow your food to warm up or briefly cool down before consuming it. Your organs will thank you for it.

4. Get moving! Get your body going regular exercise is vital. Remember calories expended need to be greater than caloric intake in order to burn and shed excess fat. Whether it is cardio, resistance training, walking, running, Pilates, or dancing, the key is to move. At least 30-60 minutes every second day is an excellent start.

A TCM practitioner will utilize a number of approaches for treatment of weight loss. Body or Ear Acupuncture is one way to start stimulating the digestive process, regulate organ function to aid toxin removal, tonify qi/energy, increase blood circulation to remove stagnancy, and remove excess phlegm and induce diuresis (excretion). Lifestyle and dietary therapy changes are stressed. Herbs sometimes can be prescribed as well.

So remember this simple formula: Eat correctly, Exercise more consistently, and Eliminate excess weight. The Three rules will help you much more than gimmicks, and cost a lot less as well.

Dr. Sheila L. Scott, Apopka Acupuncturist can help you achieve the health, body and longevity you deserve!

Call today for an appointment 407- 682 - 4454

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