Blog Posts by TheDailyZeel

  • Ask the Expert: Acupuncture for IBS

    By: StacyAtZeel

    Learn more about IBS!Learn more about IBS!No ordinary bellyache, the stomach gurgles that accompany Irritable Bowel Syndrome-otherwise known as IBS-can be both painful and frustrating to endure. Zeel Expert Jennifer Aubert, a licensed acupuncturist with a San Francisco-based practice, offers an in-depth look at the widespread condition, from its symptoms to how Eastern therapies may help kept IBS at bay.

    What does IBS feel like? How can you tell if you have it?

    IBS varies wildly among those suffering from it. Some people experience loose stools while others experience constipation. Additionally people may experience gas, cramping, bloating, stomach pains and nausea. There is not a clear cause in Western medicine as to why people suffer from IBS, and in my opinion IBS as a diagnosis ends up being a catch-all when one cannot clearly determine through tests why a person is suffering from this list of symptoms.

    When I was diagnosed back in 1994, I fortunately had a forward-thinking general

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  • Your Ultimate Guide to Acupuncture for Injury

    By: StacyAtZeel

    Whether you're an injured athlete or you pulled your back while changing the light bulb (hey, it happens!), we talk to Zeel Expert Aram Akopyan to learn how acupuncture can be a paramount part of the recovery process.

    Injured joints and tendons are a common complaint of many of my patients. Wear and tear is a normal part of life, and these injuries vary in severity and require different levels of intervention. For example, a simple joint injury from hyper-extension or overuse does not necessarily imply underlying structural damage, and can be easily addressed with rehabilitation, reduced activity, massage techniques and acupuncture.

    A more severe injury, however, can occur when chronic overuse or extreme activity has caused structural damage, such as torn ligaments, worn joint substrates or even injury to the meniscus or the joint capsule itself. These often require longer rehabilitation times, extended integrative treatment approaches and, if all

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  • 4 Ways Massage Can Enhance Your Workout

    By: StacyAtZeel

    Post-workout pain is something we can all relate to. You lunged, you lifted, you sprinted, and now, all you really want is to find relief from the aches that inevitably ensue. While your initial instinct may be to head straight for the medicine cabinet, pharmaceutical products are no longer the only solution.

    Not long ago, we touched on a study that essentially dubbed massage the new Advil. But what exactly can a good rubdown do for you? Zeel Bodywork experts explain the benefits of massage after hitting the gym, punching bag, pavement, or whatever else it is you do to maintain your chiseled physique.

    Lactic acid removal. "A properly performed sports massage can speed recovery by increasing the flow of blood into and (most importantly) out of the area," says licensed acupuncturist and massage practitioner Daniel Cook. "This allows the reduction of the lactic acid build-up that leads to muscle soreness and brings fresh blood into the muscles,

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  • Meat Your Match: Does Beef Really Kill?

    By: StacyAtZeel

    Some scientists are thinking that "Meatless Mondays" may not be enough. According to a recent, somewhat morbid, Harvard study, entitled "Red Meat Consumption and Mortality," any increase in the amount of red meat consumed on any given day can contribute to the risk of an early grave.

    As stated by one of the postdoctoral fellows involved in the research, "Any red meat you eat contributes to the risk." But as Zeel Nutrition Expert Laura Cipullo explains, "When someone makes such bold and dramatic statements, it is important to go back to the source or study it was derived from."

    Laura, a registered dietitian and blogger behind Mom Dishes It Out, points us toward the reaction of Carol Koprowski, a professor of preventative medicine at USC's Keck School of Medicine. Carol cautions that with studies like these (the study examined the eating habits of more than 100,000 adults over two decades), there's plenty of room for error in the way specific

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  • 4 Fit Tips for Tightening the Post-Baby Bulge

    By: StacyAtZeel

    So you've had a baby, and you're looking to not only get back to your pre-pregnancy bod, but it'd also be nice to tighten the belly bulge too. What's a mom to do?

    First, ditch the celebrity mentality. Most mortals won't be Posh Spice-skinny within a month of giving birth (and for many of us, ever, for that matter). Getting your body back requires hard work, a realistic attitude and these four tips, brought to you by Zeel Experts in the fitness and wellness fields.

    Perfect your plank. V-method founder Vicki Vara goes back to basics and recommends plank pose. "Planks are an amazing way to tighten the belly bulge," she says. "Support yourself on your forearms and hold a plank position as long as you can. To add variety, try tapping both knees to the ground and lifting back up again."

    Total body workouts. Says New York City personal trainer Spencer Hughes: "The best way to fight that post-baby belly bulge is to do full-body exercises and exercises

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  • Ask the Expert: Treating Spring Allergies with Acupuncture

    By: StacyAtZeel

    Normally harmless, but your body may not think so...Normally harmless, but your body may not think so...Itchy eyes and sniffly nose? We talk to Zeel Expert Aram Akopyan to find out how acupuncture can be of utmost help this spring.

    What are seasonal allergies?

    Allergies are on the rise in the western world, and I often get asked the question as to why that is. The word allergy is derived from the Greek words "other" and "activity." Our immune system develops a unique template of "self" versus "other" during the early youth. Under normal conditions, that template serves quite well to protect us from these other, outside invaders.

    However, in light of exaggerated stress, increased exposure to industrial and environmental pollutants, and overdependence on medications, your immune system can go into a state of hyper-alertness. In this case, even a harmless invader is treated as a danger, and the system mobilizes in all its furry. This releases the histamines and other immune modulators, which then cause the telltale signs and symptoms of an

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  • It's a Stretch: A Safe Bikram Yoga Practice

    By: StacyAtZeel

    Bikram YogaBikram YogaWhile most beginners of Bikram are more concerned with not drowning in a pool of their own perspiration than anything else, there are a plethora of other more practical, serious concerns when it comes to this scorching style of yoga. For example, can Bikram yoga cause your muscles to overstretch because of the heat, and how can this be avoided?

    New York City's own Bikram Yoga guru Denise Nann says, no sweat! Here's what you need to know.

    Overstretching is a possibility in many different forms of exercise, and Bikram yoga is no exception. To avoid this, it is important first to not compete in class. Many yoga students get hurt while trying to keep up with the instructor or other students.

    Yoga is not a competition so don't let yourself get pressured to compete with anyone else. It is better to practice a partial pose with good form than a full pose with poor form.

    Try to focus on your breathing rather than how far you stretch. Listen to your

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  • The Real Massage: 5 Pivotal Quotes from the WSJ

    By: StacyAtZeel

    It's not that massage isn't a luxury; it's that this once primarily spa-inspired service is emerging as a major player in the health care industry, capable of treating such serious concerns as stress, injuries and disease. If you haven't caught the recent Wall Street Journal rundown of why we might reconsider using the word "pampering" when describing massage, here are five facts to take away, in an easily digestible, quote form.

    Serious health improvements. "Research over the past couple of years has found that massage therapy boosts immune function in women with breast cancer, improves symptoms in children with asthma, and increases grip strength in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome. Giving massages to the littlest patients, premature babies, helped in the crucial task of gaining weight."

    Pain management. "The American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society now include massage as one of their recommendations for treating low back

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  • Underweight: How Can I Gain 20 Pounds (Or More)?

    By: StacyAtZeel

    The very notion of wanting to gain weight may seem counterintuitive to most. But for some, weight gain can present a serious problem, especially as we continue to move toward the philosophy that appearing strong may indeed be sexier than appearing skinny. (See popular blogger Fit Chick in the City's "Phrases that Irk Me: Long and Lean.")

    While 20 pounds is considered a tremendous amount to gain for someone naturally with less meat on their bones, when it comes to increasing weight-and doing so in a proper, healthy manner-you won't exactly be chowing down on Big Macs and lard. Zeel experts in fitness and nutrition weigh in.

    Find the right trainer. To learn appropriate exercises for building mass, trainer Ryan Jankowitz suggests seeking out a certified strength and conditioning coach-"someone who has had success working with athletes," as he puts it. Not only can a good strength coach offer the proper fitness regimen, but they'll also be able to offer

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  • Miso: Spring's Salt-Busting Superfood


    Miso is often ate as a soup.Miso is often ate as a soup.Last week, Zeel nutrition expert Natasha Uspensky gave us three diet myths to toss this spring as we revamp our nutritional mindsets. Today, we delve into one ingredient that's AOK to add to your diet: miso, Japanese for "fermented beans."

    New York Times contributor Mark Bittman recently described miso as the "Parmesan cheese" of Japanese products. For those of us with less imaginative palates, however, that anomalous description doesn't quite make the cut.

    One Zeel member still wanted to know how to buy "fresh" miso-a superfood (or ingredient) of sorts that, despite its high sodium content, has been shown to markedly improve our health. Much of the research surrounding the advantages of miso points to its cardiovascular benefits. While some studies say that miso decreases a major type of stroke, others suggest that it may also inhibit the onset of certain types of cancer.

    As Natasha explains, "Miso is a healthy food made of fermented soy, salt and

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