Monday, December 30, 2013

Homeopathy for the Holidays


Christmas and the New Year can bring a lot of joy and celebration - and sometimes a lot of pain and discomfort. Our overindulgence can leave us bloated and our missing of loved ones can leave us empty. Homeopathy, a very safe and gentle medical system, can help turn our holiday blues into holiday cheer.

Photo of Christmas decorations
Homeopathy help for the holidays
Sometimes the stress and anxiety of the holidays can get to us, producing even fear and anger. Homeopathic Aconite is good for stress, anxiety and fear during the holiday season, particularly with a pounding heart. Homeopathic Gelsemium can be helpful for anxiety related to performance, whether pre-performance jitters before a play or chorus or anxiety over performing at a family meal or a get-together. For children who cannot sleep with the excitement of anticipation, homeopathic Coffea can help. Homeopathic Cocculus is indicated for the stress of shopping for everyone, staying up late at night, attending too many parties, and depriving yourself of sleep.

Quite often we will overindulge in both food and drink. One of the best remedies for overindulgence is homeopathic Nux vomica. Nux vomica is particularly indicated if one is grouchy or irritable with indigestion or a headache. Nux vomica may be helpful with symptoms from heartburn and stomach pain after eating to hangovers and constipation. Homeopathic Pulsatilla is indicated for overindulgence in too much sweet or fatty foods, particularly rich and creamy foods.

The holidays can sometimes bring sadness and grief, especially if we are missing a loved one during this special season. Homeopathic Ignatia is a common remedy for grief, and can be helpful for someone who is missing a loved one over the holiday season.

Many people also travel during the holidays. To avoid jet lag, some people find homeopathic Arnica helpful, taking a dose before departure and a few doses the day of arrival. Homeopathic Cocculus can also be used for travel, for both motion sickness and jet lag. Homeopathic Gelsemium is used for fear of flying, especially if there is a lot of weakness and trembling associated with the fear of flying.

Homeopathic remedies are available in some grocery stores, many health food stores, and in some pharmacies. They are easy to take for both children and adults, and many people find them very helpful for their health and well-being. Let’s try to stay healthy over the holiday season.

                                                                                                                                   

Les Moore is a naturopath, homeopath, and licensed acupuncturist practicing in Pittsford.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"Rochester's Complementary Medicine Guru" Article

Dr. Moore has been featured in the current issue of "In Good Health." Pick up a free copy at local grocery stores and other locations that feature free local newspapers and magazines. You may also read the entire issue and Dr. Moore's article online at:

http://issuu.com/ingoodhealthrochester/docs/gv-igh-99-nov13


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Dr. Moore is moving!

Dr. Les Moore is moving his practice to a new location on August 19th. His new location and number
is:

      Dr. Les Moore, ND, DHANP, LAc.
      55 Sully's Trail, Suite E
      Pittsford, NY 14534

      New Phone Number: 585-267-7339

Please continue to contact Dr. Moore via the Clifton Springs Hospital location and number until August 16th. After that date, please contact him via the new phone and address.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Health Care for the Soul in Stressful Times


At times it feels like we hear some kind of bad news almost every day -- tragedies across our country, ongoing global wars and conflicts, economic woes, increasing political strife. Add this constant stream of negative information to the daily stress of managing jobs and families, and it can definitely affect your health. So how do you tend to the health of your soul with all this turmoil swirling around you?

Classically, we are made up of body, soul and spirit, with the "soul" consisting of our mind, will, emotions and imagination. The soul needs "health care" just as the physical body does. Research shows that caring for the soul directly affects our health in many ways. Some methods that we use to help our soul's health are prayer, meditation and faith.

Prayer has been used in hospitals and clinics, and medical journals have published studies on the healing effects of prayer. The two most common forms of prayer are petitionary and intercessory. Petitionary prayer is asking something for one's self, while intercessory prayer is asking something for others. Research has demonstrated that prayer can be beneficial in heart disease, decrease asthma, decrease side effects of surgery, decrease anxiety and depression, and help many other ailments.

Meditation is a type of prayer. When meditating, we become silent and listen instead of actively presenting our petitions and concerns. Research involving meditation has shown that it decreases the heart rate, lowers metabolic rate and lowers breathing. Meditation has also been shown to decrease stress, improve the mood, lower blood pressure, decrease emotional distress, improve psoriasis, improve acid reflux, improve the immune system, decrease fibromyalgia and decrease pain.

Many people believe that their faith keeps them whole. Numerous research studies have demonstrated that those belonging to faith communities generally enjoy greater health and lower rates of illness, and they recover quicker from illnesses and surgery. Faith substantiates things that are hoped for. It has been said that the prayer of faith is the one force by which the world is governed, stronger than gravity, light or heat; it controls all other forces and brings blessings to us. This is how and why people use faith to find hope and joy in the midst of stressful times.

Les Moore holds a master's of science in Oriental medicine and is a naturopath, medical hydrologist and licensed acupuncturist. He is director, Integrative Medicine, at Clifton Springs Hospital, Ontario County.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Healing Power of Play

Play engages both our minds and bodies

All of us have played before, though for some of us it may have been ages ago. The creativity and spontaneity of play releases an excitement and joy that allows us to rekindle the spark within us. Children play inside and outside, laughing, giggling, running around and jumping. But research shows that we are not playing as much as we used to, and that can be detrimental to our health.

The science of the role of play in healing is growing by leaps and bounds. Research has shown that play contributes to the physical, mental and social health of young people and adults. Play can help us develop normally and healthfully as children, improve and maintain our health, boost our immune system and improve our memory and cognitive function.

Play stimulates nerve growth in the portion of the brain that executes function and processes emotions. Play also improves our imagination and creativity, helping with and developing problem-solving skills. Play helps children learn how to be friends and cooperate and play fair. Research has shown that playful activity helps our emotional health, reducing depression, anxiety and stress.

Play is not just for children
Physical and mental play delays mental decline in older age. Regular exercise and playful exercise increases cognitive function, and doing crossword puzzles, brain teasers, and board games can improve cognitive function. Playing musical instruments and singing also improve mental focus, concentration, cognitive function and physical health.

Playing outdoors has a host of benefits. It increases fitness levels and improves distance vision. It raises vitamin D levels, helping prevent bone and heart diseases, diabetes and other health issues. Exposure to natural settings and green space can improve focus and decrease hyperactivity and stress. Students who attend schools that have environmental-based programs have improved critical thinking skills and do better on standardized tests in reading, writing, math and listening skills. Playing outdoors has also been shown to make us nicer, improve our social skills and improve our value for close relationships and community.

How do we play? We send our children outdoors. We arrange play dates. We play in the snow. We play sports. We go to the gym and play. We have game nights. We join a club or league that plays an activity. We do fun things. And, most important, we do them regularly and enjoy ourselves.

Les Moore holds a master’s of science in Oriental medicine and is a naturopath, medical hydrologist, and licensed acupuncturist. He is director, Integrative Medicine, at Clifton Springs Hospital, Ontario County.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Frankincense and Myrrh Also Used to Treat Maladies


Frankincense olibanum resin
(Wikimedia Commons: Peter Presslein) 
Many of us know of frankincense and myrrh from the biblical account of the wise men from the east bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to Jesus. What many don’t know is frankincense and myrrh have medicinal uses. Frankincense and myrrh have been prized for their alluring fragrance, but both have healing benefits with a long history and a lot of research behind these benefits.

Frankincense and myrrh are both resins — saps from trees. Although they were used historically for thousands of years, they are still used today for health purposes and are some of our top economical botanicals.

Frankincense is more often recognized by its scientific name, Boswellia. This common herbal supplement is used for arthritis and joint pain. In traditional Indian medicine, known as Ayurveda, frankincense is used for arthritis, wound healing and hormonal disorders. Modern research shows that frankincense can be as effective as opiates for joint pain and may significantly improve osteoarthritis symptoms in a few days. It can be used forulcerative colitis and asthma as well. Frankincense is also used as an essential oil with antiseptic and antimicrobial properties.

Myrrh is also a top economic botanical, often found in a form used to help with cholesterol levels. In the form called guggul, myrrh has been shown to lower bad cholesterol levels and increase good cholesterol levels. In Ayurvedic medicine, myrrh is quite often used in rejuvenating formulas. It is also used for rheumatic complaints, circulatory problems, and nervous system disorders. Myrrh is used as an antiseptic in toothpastes and mouthwashes for the prevention and treatment of gum disease and also in liniments for abrasions, sprains, aches and bruises.

Classical Chinese medicine quite often combines frankincense and myrrh in liniments and poultices for circulation problems, arthritis and rheumatic complaints. In many clinics, a frankincense and myrrh poultice is used for neuropathy, from either diabetes or chemotherapy.

Not only were the wise men from the east bringing gold as a gift, but also healing herbs, which were at some times in history worth their weight in gold.

Les Moore is a naturopath, licensed acupuncturist, medical hydrologist and holds a master’s of science in Oriental Medicine. He is director, Integrative Medicine, at Clifton Springs Hospital, Ontario County.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Find Therapeutic Healing in 'Forest Bathing'


As the last of the leaves are falling, the cooler weather is perfect for hiking through our parks and forests and enjoying the scenery, the fresh air, and the sounds of nature. We seem to know instinctively that a walk in nature or simply sitting in nature generally makes us feel better, but did you know it can also affect our health positively?

The Japanese have a therapeutic practice called Shinrin-yoku, or "forest bathing," which is a short, leisurely trip to a forest for its healing benefits.

A growing body of medical evidence is supporting this practice of "forest medicine." Early research showed us that having greenplants in a work environment increased productivity, but forest medicine research goes beyond that. Exposure to a forest environment has been shown to reduce stress, improve the immune system, reduce blood pressure, decrease blood glucose levels, improve autonomic nervous function, relax the mind -- and even have an anti-cancer effect in the body.

When you visit a forest, you breathe in volatile substances from the trees and plants, called phytoncides. There are many different phytoncides, such as alpha-pinene, beta-pinene and limonene, which have healing properties. Breathing in phytoncides from the forest can decrease stress hormones and may increase immune system function.

Research demonstrates that simply being in a forest environment is relaxing and has stress-relieving effects. In a forest environment, blood pressure and heart rate are significantly lower and heart rate variability improves. It also produces comfortable, calm and refreshed sensations. Salivary cortisol, a stress hormone, is also lower in a forest environment. These physiological changes show that sympathetic nervous activity is lowered and parasympathetic nervous activity is improved, thus reducing stress levels.

Forest medicine can also effectively relax our minds. Research has shown that brain activity is slowed down after only 20 minutes in the forest. Forest medicine also has psychological effects, lowering both hostility and depression, and improving liveliness. In fact, the higher the stress level, the greater the effect of stress reduction.

Walking in a forest can also effectively decrease blood glucose levels in diabetic patients. Research has shown that the forest environment can decrease both blood glucose values and hemoglobin A1C.

The forest environment also significantly improves the immune system, and has shown to have anti-cancer effects. Being in the forest improves an aspect of the immune system called natural killer cells; both the activity and number of these immune cells are increased. It also increases anti-cancer proteins in the body. These effects can last up to seven days after being in the forest.

With all of this evidence supporting the healing effects of forest medicine, make some time for your own forest bathing trip today and see how you feel afterward.

Les Moore holds a master's of science in Oriental medicine and is a naturopath, medical hydrologist and licensed acupuncturist. He is director, Integrative Medicine, at Clifton Springs Hospital, Ontario County.