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November-December 2005

A Child is Born

Dr. Wang is proud to say he’s instigated more than 20 pregnancies in 2005!  By that, I mean he’s assisted couples with fertility problems by giving acupuncture treatment and herbs.  Those who read a previous newsletter about infertility realize that acupuncture has proved to be extremely effective in helping couples conceive.  It can benefit both men and women.  Baby Ryan James was born to his proud parents on October 17, 2005, and they sent Dr. Wang a photo Christmas card with their thanks.  As the handsome little fellow to
 the right shows, acupuncture works for

Text Box: Little Ryan James

If you would like a copy of the recent fertility newsletter either phone the office at the above number or email Laura at, and we will be happy to send one to you.

Now onto everyone’s favorite subject come January 1st:

Nutrition & Diet for 2006

As the New Year approaches and waistlines expand we start making resolutions regarding our eating habits.  Have you ever looked at the word “resolution”?  If a solution solves the problem, why do we have the same RE-solutions each year?   Maybe, instead of taking the same path that failed year after year, it’s time to put the “solution” back into resolution.

Modern Americans have an ongoing problem with nutrition.  Our diets tend toward processed foods, salt, fats and sugars.  We then try to fight the physical effects of our unnatural diets by taking medications to reduce the negative impact, or supplements to make up for the nutrients our chosen foods lack.  We all know that paying attention to our diet takes vigilance, that moderation is key, exercise is essential, etc. 

On a recent radio show Paula Poundstone joked that her kids had never seen an ingredient.  It seems amusing at first, but the reality is startling – we buy pre-made soups, frozen dinners, protein shakes, candy bars.  Do you know what you are consuming?  When you read a list of ingredients, do you understand?  Why is it so important nowadays for our foods to have ADDED vitamins and minerals, and why is a daily multivitamin essential?  It’s because we don’t get the nutrients we need in a processed-foods diet.

America is blessed with superabundance – a mixed blessing indeed.  Our problem is we don’t know how to portion this wealth when it comes to food.  We revel in quantities: all-you-can-eat, supersize, Big Mac, Big Gulp, Whopper.  What we lose is quality.  The younger generations are growing up considering fast food not a rare indulgence but a way of life.  We’ve forgotten what REAL FOOD is. 

Food is cultural.  Historically, people ate what was close, convenient and abundant.  They ate according to the geography, the climate, the growing season and the migration of wildlife.  The Inuit still exist on a diet that would clog most arteries: whale and seal blubber are staple foods.  Depending on the area, they supplement their diet with fish, reindeer, and birds, while carbohydrates and fresh fruits or vegetables are almost nonexistent.  The area provides such food as is needed for the people living there – in the freezing, inhospitable North, fat is a necessary component of the diet to maintain energy for hunting, as well as important body heat.  The body is meant to metabolize the fat because it is in an extreme condition.  Someone in balmy San Diego could not survive healthily on the same type of diet.

The Japanese, being island people, are accustomed to eating a lot of seafood.  The seven mainstays of the Japanese diet are fish, vegetables, rice, soy, noodles, tea, and fruit.  Foods are eaten separately and enjoyed for their flavors as well as their eye appeal.  Japanese walk and bike in the course of their everyday lives – going to work or school, doing errands, etc. They also have a concept called hara hachi bunme, or eating until you are only about 80% full.  And they are notoriously slender.

The Chinese diet is generally regarded as a healthy one. There is a Chinese proverb, "Illness starts from what goes into one's mouth while trouble starts from what comes out of it."  A typical Chinese diet, which includes a lot of vegetables, fish and seafood but very little sugar or dessert, is proved to be healthy. Besides stir fry and deep fry, the Chinese use a wide variety of cooking methods: steam, boil, stew, roast, and bake, and, contrary to what you might find in some “Chinese food” restaurants in the U.S., they generally avoid excessively greasy food.  There are several Chinese concepts of healthy eating habits. The most basic one is the balance of yin (feminine) and yang (masculine). Failure to maintain this balance is the root to many illnesses: excessive yin leads to weakness, while excessive yang to restlessness manifested in inflammation and ulcers. Yin food includes fruits and vegetables whilst yang food includes meat.

The traditional Greek diet is not a Big, Fat Greek Diet, but is instead extremely healthy.  In a 44-month study of more than 22,000 Greek men and women ages 20 to 86, researchers from the University of Athens Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health found that higher adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet was associated with a lower risk of dying from heart disease and cancer.  The diet emphasizes vegetables, whole grains, fruit, beans, nuts and fish and derives up to 40% of total daily calories from olive oil and other healthy fats. It also allows for a glass of wine or two.

The French tend to eat bread with every meal and consider it a dietary staple, while Americans try to avoid it as full of fattening carbs.  The French also tend to eat meals of good food in small portions, including decadent sauces and choice ingredients, preferring quality to quantity.  Even more importantly, they walk.  A physically active lifestyle coupled with a moderate approach to eating allows them to literally have their cake and eat it, too.

The U.S. trend for the past decade has been to shun carbs and push protein.  If protein is the answer we should all be skinny as posts: we eat more red meat by far than any other nation, yet we are by and large, well, large.  We also set records for high levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and heart disease.  So much for the currently popular high-protein diets. 

It really isn’t difficult to get the nutrients you need when you know what to look for.  The problem for most people is preparation time and difficulty.  Still, if you want to improve your health, you have to improve your diet.  Pills to lower cholesterol or blood pressure, to suppress the appetite or stimulate the nervous system are only Band-Aids, not healing balm.

What to do, then?  We’re back to the basics: pay attention to the ingredients that make up your diet, staying as close as possible to “real” foods instead of processed foods.  Eat fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables and whole grains.  Be moderate in your eating and drinking.  Exercise as your abilities allow. 

The biggest, most difficult part of putting the solution back into the resolution, though, is not hunger, or lack of energy for exercise, or “falling off the wagon.”  No, the biggest obstacle to achieving your goal is maintaining focus and being patient. 

This is one problem acupuncture can’t solve.  Dr. Wang can offer herbs and acupuncture treatments to help curb the cravings and distribute the nutrients and energy from the food you eat, but, as most dieters know, there is more hunger in the head than in the belly.  The only way to make a real difference in your weight and your health is not to go on a diet, but to change your lifestyle.  Health is not a destination, but a continual journey.

Office Update/Email Requests

Our office renovations are mostly complete.  We hope you’ll come and see us in our newly decorated clinic! 

We’d also like to know how many patients would be more interested in receiving the newsletter in their email boxes rather than by U.S. Post.  Anyone who would rather the newsletter be sent via email as an MS Word document, please email your request to with the email address you prefer.  Please write NEWSLETTER EMAIL or something similar in the subject line so that I know it is not SPAM email.  Thank you! 

Dr. Wang is fortunate to have patients from all walks of life.  However you celebrate, have a happy holiday season and a wonderful New Year!


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