Diabetes diagnoses have more than tripled since 1980, now affecting over 29.1 million people or 9.3% of the US population. At this rate, one third of America will have diabetes by 2050. This staggering number, measured against the fact that a majority of type 2 diabetes cases are treatable and preventable, illustrates one of the greatest health emergencies our country has ever faced. Diabetes mellitus is a group of diseases that affects the way the body metabolizes sugar – glucose, specifically. Glucose is the primary source of energy for every cell in the body, whether in the brain, the heart, or the muscles that help you walk. People with diabetes have too much glucose in their blood, which, if left unmanaged, can lead to serious health problems and can be life-threatening. At Tao of Wellness, we have helped many people control their blood sugar. Our natural approach incorporates acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and nutritional therapy as first-line therapies for many sufferers. We are an integrative clinic that will also work with your endocrinologist to prevent and treat any complications from your condition.
How We Successfully Treat Diabetes
Diabetes is a complex syndrome involving many of the body’s systems and has the potential to damage the heart, kidneys, nervous system, and hormonal system. If left unmanaged, diabetes can cause many complications including blindness, heart disease, kidney failure, decreased wound healing, skin ulceration, and infections that sometimes lead to gangrene and amputation. There are two types of chronic diabetes conditions: type 1 diabetes and the more common type 2 diabetes. Pre-diabetes is a reversible condition where blood sugar is slightly elevated but may still respond to diet, lifestyle changes, and Chinese medicine. Another condition called gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy but often resolves after delivery of the baby. Conventional management of diabetes may include blood sugar monitoring, oral medications, and insulin injection therapy.
With proper diet and an approach that integrates Western and Eastern medicine, type 2 diabetes can be controlled and sometimes reversed. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form, where the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin (a hormone made in the pancreas that helps glucose move from your bloodstream into the body’s cells), or it becomes resistant to the effects of insulin. While there is no cure for type 2 diabetes we have observed clinically that a patient’s condition can improve to the degree that they no longer need pharmaceutical medication.
At Tao of Wellness, we work with endocrinologists to reverse or control diabetes – our patients are given a detailed diet plan as part of our nutritional therapy. Patients are advised on cardiovascular exercise as well as meditations to keep stress levels low. We administer regular acupuncture treatments and Chinese herbal medicine to strengthen organ function and improving the body’s ability to absorb and metabolize sugar. As glucose levels normalize, it is often possible to reduce or eliminate diabetes medications.
The best approach to diabetes is, of course, prevention. With simple changes to your diet and lifestyle, along with regular check-ups, you can keep this debilitating condition from taking over, ensuring you live your best life.
Our Customized Therapies for Overcoming Diabetes
Customized Treatment Program
There is no singular diabetes treatment as Chinese medicine focuses on treating the person, not just the disease. Our doctors will give you an individualized treatment plan based on your unique body and condition. Each time you visit, you will receive a customized acupuncture treatment and a personalized herbal prescription. We will take your needs and lifestyle into account when creating your diet and exercise plan.
Acupuncture is a powerful therapy to help the body balance blood sugar and manage the symptoms of diabetes. Acupuncture is effective at treating symptoms such as low energy, slow wound healing, neuropathy, and frequent urination. Additionally, acupuncture treatment can relieve stress and modulate hormone levels. Most people find acupuncture treatments very relaxing. Learn more about acupuncture.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
A number of select herbs have been found to be effective for the treatment of diabetes, and your Tao of Wellness practitioner will prescribe a customized herbal formulation for you according to your individual needs. Traditional herbs used to treat diabetes include rehmannia, Asian cornelian cherry, Chinese yam, poria, mouton, ganoderma, astragalus, ginseng, cinnamon and water plantain. Learn more about Chinese herbal medicine.
All patients at Tao of Wellness will receive dietary recommendations to help manage their condition. Additionally, comprehensive nutritional consultations are available including assessment of your condition, lifestyle, and individual needs; and then a detailed eating plan will be devised for you. Nutritional supplements may also be recommended for you, which have been specially formulated by the doctors at Tao of Wellness.
The key to maintaining normal sugar levels in the body is to eat a balanced diet of complex carbohydrates, organic sources of protein, and healthy fats. We will discuss these principles when we give you a customized eating plan to maintain a healthy weight and to prevent and control diabetes. Every patient receives nutritional information but Nutritional Counseling goes further to provide a custom eating plan, complete with meals and snacks, using diabetes-healing foods. We also take into account your current food choice and preparation habits and work with you to make the changes you need to reach your optimum weight and blood sugar.
We will advise you on which supplements are safe and effective to help you prevent or control your diabetes. Sugar Leveler and Metabolism Boost are two common supplements we have formulated and regularly use for diabetes. As part of your initial consultation, we will review any supplements you are currently taking and make recommendations for you based on your condition. Learn more about nutritional therapy.
Mind Body Exercise
Keeping fit and maintaining proper weight are the best things you can do to prevent diabetes. Exercise plays a critical role in how your body stores and uses the sugar you consume. A daily 30-minute cardiovascular activity that stimulates circulation, strengthens the heart, and builds muscle will encourage your body to properly use up the sugar, helping to prevent high blood glucose or diabetes. Studies show that the relaxing and strengthening exercises of tai chi and qi gong have a beneficial effect on the blood sugar balance and the metabolic-hormonal system. With daily practice of qi gong exercises such as Qi Gong for Weight Loss, you can increase metabolism, balance your blood sugar levels, and achieving weight wellness while avoiding serious complications of diabetes. At Tao of Wellness, we offer individualized tai chi and qi gong sessions where we can teach you targeted exercises to prevent and control diabetes. Learn more about tai chi and qi gong.
Diabetes Patient Success Stories
Walk Your Walk, Eat Your Veggies
“I’m not going to die… soon, at least not of Type-2 diabetes thanks to Drs. Mao and Chen. Before my physical, I was a 218 pound, sedentary 58-year-old who ate what I wanted and walked at a measured pace a few times a week. Today, I’m a 190-pound, 45-minute-a-day fast-walking 60-year-old with normal blood glucose levels, who eats a lot of lean chicken, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussel’s sprouts, and yams.
First, they talked me down from the anxiety. Type-2 diabetes, they assured me, is not a death sentence. Second, they taught me the proper actions in the face of high blood glucose: diet and exercise. Given the will—and it doesn’t take that much will if you’re thinking death, blindness, or losing some toes, which are the consequences of non-action—the Tao of Wellness method (including acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine) can help you eliminate high blood glucose in three months. I went from numbers north of 200 down to daily readings in the 75-105 range.
The Tao of Wellness process is surprisingly simple. After Dr. Mao sends you to an outside lab for a blood panel, just to see what other factors you might be dealing with, you’ll meet Dr. Chen, who’s an expert in nutrition. She’ll ask you to keep a log for a week of meals, snacks, secret trips to Godiva or Starbucks—in short, an honest inventory of what you put in your body, including vitamins—and of your exercise, bedtime, blood glucose, and energy levels. The two of you will review your food list and you’ll receive gentle suggestions of ways you can alter the habits that need altering. She will show you how to read the labels on food containers.
And of course, she’ll steer you away from sugar. Carbohydrates, or saccharides, are sugars and starches, which come in two types: simple (monosaccharides) and complex (polysaccharides). You’ll want the complex kind because they take longer to digest and thus keep insulin/glucose levels balanced in the blood. You’ll be seeing Dr. Chen at least once a week for acupuncture, and you’ll bring your food list. It will be easy, really.
When your glucose levels have dropped to normal, you’ll begin visiting less frequently because you’ll have successfully integrated the few changes (walk your walk, eat your veggies) it takes to achieve your life-saving balance. You, too, deserve to live to be 120. I can’t be the only one.”
Natural Healthcare for Diabetes
Tao of Wellness was established in 1976 as a resource to address diabetes. We strive to support you in mind and body, and invite you to make an appointment for your health and wellbeing. It would be our pleasure to serve you.