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Want some good luck to help you through the year?
Find out what lucky foods to eat and display to ensure a prosperous and happy new year!
Eat more of these foods to attract more luck in your life.
The Chinese New Year is an opportunity to honor family and friends and enjoy some of China’s traditions. Some foods are considered lucky because of the similarity of their names to other words in the language, such as the fact that the Chinese word for “orange”, 橙 chéng, sounds like the world for gold, 金 jīn, or that the word for “tangerine”, 柑橘 gānjú, sounds like the word for “luck”, 运气 yùnqì. The bright orange color of the fruits also represents the metallic sheen of gold.
Money luck: bamboo shoots; clams; oranges, tangerines and pomelos (especially with the leaves attached); potstickers and egg rolls; whole fish. The head and tail of the fish also indicate a good beginning and end to the year.
Prosperity: lotus root; dried lily buds; sea moss.
Abundance: greens and rice.
Happiness: dried bean curd.
Good omens: daikon radish; sweets; lettuce.
Relationships and marriage: chicken.
Fertility: lotus seeds, and eggs for creativity as well.
Longevity: noodles and peanuts.
Wishes: shiitake mushrooms.
Lucky colors: brown, red, purple
Lucky numbers: 2, 7
Lucky flowers: carnations, primroses
Lucky direction: north
This year we celebrate Chinese New Year on February 19, 2015. The animal that represents the year 2015 is the Wood Goat. If you were born in the following years: 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, then you were most likely born in the year of the goat.
People born in the year of the Goat are generally believed to be gentle, mild-mannered, shy, stable, sympathetic, amicable, and brimming with a strong sense of kindheartedness and justice.
They have very delicate thoughts, strong creativity, and perseverance, and acquire professional skills well. Although they look gentle on the surface, they are tough on the inside, always insisting on their own opinions in their minds. They have strong inner resilience and excellent defensive instincts.
Though they prefer to be in groups, they do not want to be the center of attention. They are reserved and quiet, most likely because they like spending much time in their thoughts. Goats like to spend money on fashionable things that give them a first class appearance. Although goats enjoy spending money on the finer things in life, they are not snobbish.
People born in a year of the Goat are very serene and calm. Therefore they tend to have fewer health problems.
If goat people are in mental and emotional good spirits, this should have a positive effect on their physical health. Eating fresh and organic produce, and eliminating red meat from their diet when possible, is an effective way to keep healthy. They should get out among nature and commune with the great outdoors. Fresh air, trees, and sunshine will all do wonders for their health. Goat people should have a regular schedule for meals and keep their sleep and waking times consistent.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 40 percent of U.S. women and 30 percent of U.S. men suffer from insomnia, a condition characterized by difficulty falling or staying asleep. Fortunately, the traditional Chinese medical therapy of acupuncture may provide safe, effective relief and help millions get a good night’ s sleep.
Lack of sleep can have a wide variety of negative consequences, from daytime drowsiness, irritability and occupational impairment to depression and an increased risk of various health problems. Unfortunately, the most common treatment for insomnia in the United States consists of pharmaceutical drugs such as sedatives, hypnotics and antidepressants, which may carry serious and dangerous side effects.
In contrast, acupuncture is considered noninvasive, safe and side effect free. It consists of inserting thin needles into specific parts of the body (“meridians”) that vary depending upon the problem being treated.
A component of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is also increasingly recognized as an effective, evidence-based therapy by the Western medical establishment. Traditionally, it is often combined with other Chinese therapies such as herbal treatments, diet and lifestyle modifications, and energy practices (such as Qigong).
An early review on the effectiveness of acupuncture as an insomnia treatment was conducted by a postdoctoral student at the University of Pittsburgh and published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing in 2003. The researcher reviewed 11 separate experimental studies published in the English language between 1975 and 2002. Every single study found that acupuncture treatment significantly improved the symptoms of insomnia.
Most of the studies had been led by Chinese medical doctors and published in either the International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture or the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The researcher noted that few of the studies reviewed, however, were randomized clinical trials.
Addressing this concern, a review of six separate randomized, controlled trials was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2009. All six studies were conducted in Hong Kong or mainland China, and all compared auricular (ear) acupuncture with either a placebo or another treatment. In four of the studies, auricular acupuncture was compared with pharmaceutical drugs, in another it was compared with routine non-interventionist care, while in another it was compared with “sham” auricular acupuncture (in which needles are inserted into random locations rather than the prescribed to meridians).
In contrast with the 2003 review, five of the studies included in the 2009 review had been published in Chinese.
The researchers found that across all six studies, auricular acupuncture performed better than the comparison or placebo treatments. Acupuncture produced better outcomes in terms of sleeping for at least six hours per night, remaining asleep during the night, and feeling refreshed at the time of waking.
In addition, patients who underwent auricular acupuncture actually recovered from their insomnia better overall than those who received treatment with the pharmaceutical drug diazepam (originally marketed as Valium).
Further evidence suggests that acupuncture may improve not just sleep duration, but also quality. One study, conducted by researchers from China’s Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University and published in the Chinese Medical Journal in 2009, found that four courses of electro-acupuncture therapy led to significant improvements in sleep quality (including REM sleep and slow wave sleep time) and in daytime social function. Notably, 67 percent of participants were still free of insomnia one month later.
“Electroacupuncture therapy could be a promising avenue of treatment for chronic insomnia,” the researchers wrote.
Acupuncture treatments are now covered by many private health insurance plans in the United States.
(Source: Gutierrez, David, 4/21/2013, Natural News.)
In the 2,500+ years that have passed since acupuncture was first used by the ancient Chinese, it has been used to treat a number of physical, mental and emotional conditions including nausea and vomiting, stroke rehabilitation, headaches, menstrual cramps, asthma, carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis, to name just a few. Now, a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials which is being published this month in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), indicates that acupuncture can affect the severity and frequency of hot flashes for women in natural menopause.
An extensive search of previous studies evaluating the effectiveness of acupuncture uncovered 104 relevant students, of which 12 studies with 869 participants met the specified inclusion criteria to be included in this current study. While the studies provided inconsistent findings on the effects of acupuncture on other menopause-related symptoms such as sleep problems, mood disturbances and sexual problems, they did conclude that acupuncture positively impacted both the frequency and severity of hot flashes.
Women experiencing natural menopause and aged between 40 and 60 years were included in the analysis, which evaluated the effects of various forms of acupuncture, including traditional Chinese medicine acupuncture (TCMA), acupressure, electroacupuncture, laser acupuncture and ear acupuncture.
Interestingly, neither the effect on hot flash frequency or severity appeared to be linked to the number of treatment doses, number of sessions or duration of treatment. However, the findings showed that sham acupuncture could induce a treatment effect comparable with that of true acupuncture for the reduction of hot flash frequency. The effects on hot flashes were shown to be maintained for as long as three months.
Although the study stopped short of explaining the exact mechanism underlying the effects of acupuncture on hot flashes, a theory was proposed to suggest that acupuncture caused a reduction in the concentration of β-endorphin in the hypothalamus, resulting from low concentrations of estrogen. These lower levels could trigger the release of CGRP, which affects thermoregulation.
“More than anything, this review indicates that there is still much to be learned relative to the causes and treatments of menopausal hot flashes,” says NAMS executive director Margery Gass, MD. “The review suggests that acupuncture may be an effective alternative for reducing hot flashes, especially for those women seeking non- pharmacologic therapies.”
A recent review indicated that approximately half of women experiencing menopause-associated symptoms use complementary and alternative medicine therapy, instead of pharmacologic therapies, for managing their menopausal symptoms.
Critics of the ancient Chinese therapy say it is no better than a placebo. But a new study using brain-mapping shows it has a similar effect to standard Western medicines.
Skeptics have long claimed that acupuncture is all in the mind. But a ground-breaking new study has found that the ancient Chinese practice is as effective as popular painkillers for treating disabling conditions such as arthritis.
A team of scientists from two British universities made the findings after they carried out brain scans on patients while they underwent the 2,500-year-old treatment. The scans showed differences in the brain’s response to acupuncture needles when compared with tests using “dummy needles” that did not puncture the skin.
Doctors found that the part of the brain that manages pain and the nervous system responded to acupuncture needles and improved pain relief by as much as 15 per cent.
Dr George Lewith, from the University of Southampton’s Complementary Medicine Research Unit, said the improvement might seem modest, “but it’s exactly the same size of effect you would get from real Prozac versus a placebo or real painkillers for chronic pain. “The evidence we now have is that acupuncture works very well on pain,” he said.
The findings, which will be published today in the scientific journal NeuroImage, have been welcomed by acupuncturists, who have long faced skepticism from scientists that the benefits are derived from the placebo effect. Although some clinical trials have shown an improvement in pain relief, the practice remains controversial. Other trials, for instance, have found little difference between acupuncture treatments and placebos.
Persis Tamboly, of the British Acupuncture Council, said: “We’re really thrilled about this research. There will be critics of this subject until our dying days, but research like this substantiates what we’ve always maintained – that acupuncture works.”
The council hopes the findings will help to make acupuncture become accepted as a National Health Service treatment. Despite its controversial status, more than two million acupuncture treatments are performed each year. Its supporters include Cherie Blair, Kate Winslet and Joan Collins.
The 14 patients who participated in the study were put through three tests in random order, while “brain maps” were created using sophisticated positron emission tomography, or PET, scans at University College London. In one test, researchers used blunt needles that pricked the skin, but which the brain registered as the sensation of touch. Dummy needles, where the tip was pushed back once it touched the skin, were then used, and in the third test the patients underwent acupuncture treatment with real needles.
The acupuncture needles had two measurable effects on the patients’ brains: as with the dummy needles, the brain released natural opiates in response to the expected effect of the needles. But the scans showed that the real needles had an extra effect and stimulated another part of the brain called the ipsilateral insular. This improved pain relief by 10-15 per cent – similar to the effect of taking conventional analgesic drugs.
The study, though, does not explain how acupuncture treats other problems such as stress or disease.
DR Lewith said: “Further research is definitely planned. This is a very interesting area. I have been involved in acupuncture research for 25 years, and I’m now getting a very realistic understanding of the effects of this mechanism,” he said.
At the sharp end
* Developed in China about 2,500 years ago, using stone needles at first and later bronze, gold and silver. The first medical reference was in The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, written around 300BC.
* There are about 500 acupuncture points on the body, which can affect the body’s “chi” or energy. A headache can be treated with needles inserted in the hand or foot.
* Fine needles are inserted into “energy channels” in the body called “meridians”. Needles help natural healing processes or relieve pain.
* Other techniques include the use of massage, smoldering herbs, and tapping with a rounded probe, as well as lasers and electro-acupuncture
Source: Carrell, Severin, At Last The Truth About Acupuncture: It’s As Good As Drugs For Treating Pain. © Copyright 2005 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd