Saturday, July 31, 2010

Acupuncture proven effective in treating side effects of breast cancer treatment

borrowed from

New research reveals that acupuncture is more effective for treating hot flashes than venlafaxine (Effexor) for patients receiving conventional antiestrogen hormone treatment for the treatment of breast cancer. The Department of Radiation Oncology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan published its finding in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The study cites research proving the effectiveness of acupuncture for the treatment of hot flashes during menopause and therefore investigates the effects of acupuncture during breast cancer treatment. Results showed that acupuncture had successfully eliminated all cases of hot flashes and benefitted patients suffering from mental depression. The study also documents that there were no side effects due to the acupuncture treatments but that venlafaxine caused adverse effects including nausea, dry mouth, dizziness, and anxiety.  The study further documents that acupuncture increased sex drive, mental clarity, and the overall energy levels in the patients.

Out of a study group of 50 patients, 25 were randomly given 12 weeks of acupuncture and the other 25 were given 12 weeks of venlafaxine. After two weeks, the venlafaxine group continued to experience hot flashes but, like the acupuncture group, had less mental depression. The study concluded that acupuncture “appears to be equivalent to drug therapy” and is “a safe, effective, and durable treatment.”

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Looks like I'm going to Israel

An International Conference on Integrative Medicine will be held in October 2010 in Jerusalem.
The Conference will deal with ways to unite the scientific principles of modern medicine with the holistic principles
of alternative medicine, hosting a dialogue between professionals and participants from around the world.
In order to give all those interested the possibility to participate we hereby announce that the registration has started.

The Scientific Committee of the convention is still open to accept additional abstracts and topics .
Details and registration forms are available in...

So I sent them a proposal to talk about The Asian Diet.  Then I got their response.


Dear Jason Bussell,

You have sent a proposal to the The Jerusalem International Conference on Integrative Medicine.

We are happy to inform you that the Scientific Committee has reached its decision and that your paper has been accepted and you will be able to present your lecture. . .

Avraham Fried
The Jerusalem International Conference on Integrative Medicine


So I'm going to fly half-way around the world to tell about 900 physicians why they should focus more and diet, lifestyle, and attitudes to help their patients prevent the diseases that have become so prevalent in our culture.  A lot of people still look to the US as role models.  In some ways, that is a good thing.  But NO ONE should be following our dietary habits (and other habits as well).  Balance and moderation are the keys to health.  The Chinese figured that out a long time ago. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Invited to international conference

I just received a formal invitation to present a lecture on "The Asian Diet" at the The Jerusalem International Conference on Integrative Medicine. They sent me an email a few weeks ago asking for a proposal, and after reviewing it, have extended this invitation to me.  Unfortunately, they do not have the budget to fly me in.  So I will have to pass on this opportunity. It's still nice to be asked though.

Uh-oh. BPA found in paper receipts

article borrowed from

As lawmakers and health experts wrestle over whether a controversial chemical, bisphenol-A, should be banned from food and beverage containers, a new analysis by an environmental group suggests Americans are being exposed to BPA through another, surprising route: paper receipts.
The Environmental Working Group found BPA on 40 percent of the receipts it collected from supermarkets, automated teller machines, gas stations and chain stores. In some cases, the total amount of BPA on the receipt was 1,000 times the amount found in the epoxy lining of a can of food, another controversial use of the chemical.
Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst with the environmental group, says BPA's prevalence on receipts could help explain why the chemical can be detected in the urine of an estimated 93 percent of Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"We've come across potentially major sources of BPA right here in our daily lives," Lunder said. "When you're carrying around a receipt in your wallet for months while you intend to return something, you could be shedding BPA into your home, into your environment. If you throw a receipt into a bag of food, and it's lying there against an apple, or you shove a receipt into your bag next to a baby pacifier, you could be getting all kinds of exposure and not realize it."
What remains unknown is how much of the chemical that may rub off onto the hands is absorbed through the skin or whether people then ingest BPA by handling food or touching their mouths.
Among those surveyed, receipts from Safeway supermarkets contained the highest concentration of BPA. A receipt taken from a store in the District contained 41 milligrams of the chemical. If the equivalent amount of BPA was ingested by a 155-pound adult, that would exceed EPA's decades-old safe exposure limit for BPA by 12 times.

Brian Dowling, a Safeway spokesman, said the company is researching the issue and consulting with its suppliers of receipt paper.
First synthesized in 1891 and developed in the 1930s as a synthetic form of estrogen, bisphenol-A has been widely used in commercial products including plastic bottles, compact discs and dental sealants. While it was regarded as safe for decades, recent research using sophisticated analytic techniques suggests that low doses of the compound can interfere with the endocrine system and cause a range of health effects, including reproductive problems and cancer.
Federal regulators have been focused on BPA and whether it leaches from containers into foods and beverages at levels that may cause health problems. Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration expressed "some concern" about BPA and joined several agencies in conducting $30 million in studies to try to answer questions about its safety. Lawmakers on the local, state and federal levels have moved to ban BPA from food and beverage containers made for infants and children.
The American Chemistry Council, which represents the chemical industry, said that while BPA can transfer from paper receipts to the skin, the level of absorption is low. "Available data suggests that BPA is not readily absorbed through the skin," a spokeswoman said. "Biomonitoring data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control shows that exposure to BPA from all sources, which would include typical exposure from receipts, is extremely low."
The Environmental Protection Agency, however, recognizing that paper coated in BPA may be a significant route of exposure, launched an effort this month to work with paper manufacturers, the chemical industry and environmental groups to encourage companies to find alternatives to BPA in receipts.
Appleton Papers, the nation's largest manufacturer of "thermal papers," the type often used for receipts, dropped BPA from its formulation in 2006 out of growing concerns about the safety of the chemical, said Kent Willetts, the company's vice president of strategic development. "We just realized we'd rather move away from it sooner than later," Willetts said.
The Environmental Working Group's report can be found
online at

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Misleading reporting wrongly maligns acupuncture

There is a strong anti-acupuncture effort in Britain.  I don't know why, but the majority of reports I read concluding acupuncture is ineffective seem to come from the UK.  Here is another example of how data is twisted to make it seem that acupuncture is a waste of time.  The national average success rate for IVF is around 30-35%.  Subjects who received acupuncture in this study got pregnant at a rate of 45%.  They tried to needle another group in points that are supposedly inactive and called that group the "sham acupuncture" or control group.  Their success rate was even higher (52%).  So the headline reads that acupuncture does not help, but I read it that some acupoints increase success by 10% and others increase it by 20%.  The study was done at Northwestern in Chicago, but the interpretation that acupuncture is a waste of time comes from this British group.  The article follows.

Women given acupuncture during IVF treatment are no more likely to become pregnant than their counterparts who undergo needle stimulation to body areas not used in acupuncture, a US study has shown.
Dr Irene Moy and her team at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois, gave 160 IVF patients either 'true' or 'sham' acupuncture before and after embryo transfer, and compared the outcomes. The women who underwent the sham procedure had a higher rate of pregnancy (52.7 per cent) than those who underwent the true procedure (45.3 per cent), although this difference was not statistically significant..
Despite showing a lack of evidence that it can improve outcomes, Dr Moy and her team reported that 'there were no significant adverse effects observed during the study, suggesting that acupuncture is safe for women undergoing embryo transfer'.
The British Fertility Society (BFS) has previously warned couples undergoing IVF that there is no evidence to show acupuncture increases the chance of getting pregnant. In a study by BFS researchers earlier this year of 2,000 people, no matter what stage the acupuncture was given, it made no difference to the pregnancy or live birth rate.
Professor Adam Balen, head of the BFS's policy and practice committee, said that there was 'a great deal of discrepancy' in the way trials were designed and the type of acupuncture used, and that IVF patients need to be aware of the lack of evidence on acupuncture before undergoing the treatment.
The British Acupuncture Council issued a statement in support of the therapy, saying 'fertility focused acupuncture treatment has been found to help increase blood flow to the reproductive organs, balance hormone levels, regulate the menstrual cycle and help improve the lining of the uterus and the quality of eggs released'.
However, Professor Edzard Ernst an expert in complementary medicine from Exeter University in England, called these latest studies 'long overdue clarification' that Chinese medicine cannot help infertile women get pregnant.
Of the BFS review, Dr Ernst said: 'Infertile women have been misled for some time now to think that traditional Chinese medicine can help them get pregnant'.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Reviews of the Asian Diet

Redwing books has compiled a nice selection of reviews for my book, The Asian Diet.  

Endorsements and Recommendations
From Acupuncture Today, January 2010 By Andrew Rader, LAc, MS “Choices can be broken down into what to eat and how much . . . Because we in the Western industrialized world can have these choices, we can consider them a blessing or a curse. To this end, I will refer to a new book, written by Jason Bussell, an acupuncturist from Chicago. The Asian Diet is a book many of us wished we had written.”
Book review by Michael Abedin “Like any book about food, The Asian Diet has a section at the end with recipes and the benefits of different foods, and this is where Bussell will most likely open up a whole new market for the idea of a healthy diet from the mysterious East.”
From Christy Bonstell, Chicago beauty and health examiner for “The book is not about dieting, it's about respecting food and the way your body uses that food. Supplements, lifestyle and other subjects that affect your health, happiness and weight are also addressed. The book is easy to read, chock full of helpful information and is actually fun to sift through. If you've been looking for a way to improve your eating habits that may actually last a lifetime, this book is for you.”
From Positive Health Online “The information within The Asian Diet is a compilation of the information Bussell tries to impart to all his patients. It is filled with advice on how to change your diet, lifestyle and attitudes to improve your health, vitality and longevity. What are the benefits of buying this book?
Learn how your food choices affect the functioning of your body and mind Learn how to make proper food choices Learn how to adjust your lifestyle and attitudes to promote health and well-being

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Asian Diet. Now featured on Redwing Books

My non-acupuncturist friends will probably not know this, but Redwing Books is the #1 catalog for books related to acupuncture and Oriental medicine.  I am very proud to see that my book is featured prominently on their home page (2nd row, center.  Also known as "the awesome-est spot").  Check it out at  While you are there, if you could order 100 copies or so, that would be great ;)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Who's reading in the Asian Diet?

I don't know.  But I can track who is coming to the website.  I just checked the Google Analytics for .  Almost 7000 visits in the past 10 months from 110 countries.  People have visited from:

United States
United Kingdom
New Zealand
South Africa
United Arab Emirates
South Korea
Hong Kong
Saudi Arabia
Czech Republic
Puerto Rico
Sri Lanka
Costa Rica
Macedonia [FYROM]
Trinidad and Tobago
Dominican Republic
San Marino
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Isle of Man
Northern Mariana Islands
Netherlands Antilles
El Salvador
Myanmar [Burma]

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sidewalk Sale 2010 report

I just realized that I posted on Facebook about the Sidewalk Sale, but did not put it on my blog or twitter.  I apologize to anyone who would have liked to receive Free Acupuncture.  Come see us next year.

Every year, my office, A Center for Oriental Medicine, participates in the Wilmette Sidewalk Sale.  It is always the Friday and Saturday after the 4th of July holiday.  We offer Free Acupuncture to all comers.  We have done this every year since 2004.  Every year, we administer between 100-120 treatments over the two days.  This weekend was a record-breaker.  Friday, I had our associate Lisa Alvarez with me, and we together administered 81 treatments.  I was alone on Saturday (with the assistance of my receptionist/brother Michael) and gave 59 treatments.  So together we provided 140 treatments.  Of those, 2 reported that they found acupuncture to be painful.  10 reported that it was not effective.  That means that 99% reported that it was not painful and 92% reported that it was effective.  We treated back pain, elbow pain, foot pain, leg pain, sinus pressure, digestive discomfort, menstrual cramps headache, anxiety, stress, fatigue, shoulder tension, post-operative dental pain, arthritis, asthma, carpal tunnel, pinched nerves, weight loss, and several other conditions.  I really love helping people, and this is the most people that I have been able to help in a two-day period.  Even if none of the recipients become patients, it's still good to expose more people to acupuncture.

People tend to be so afraid of acupuncture, that a couple of time a year, we have to actually give it away to get people to try it.  I don't blame people for being averse to needles- the only one's we've ever experienced were big ones that hurt.  If, every time I saw a dog- it bit me, then I would conclude that "Dogs Hurt".  Not all dogs are the same.  Our dogs don't bite.  The needles we use are 50-100x thinner than a hypodermic needle (the ones used to draw your blood or give you a shot).  Most of the needles we insert are reported as painless.   Once people actually feel (or don't) what acupuncture feels like, then they realize that it is nothing to fear.

I am a bit wiped out from giving so many treatments, but some Tai Chi is helping to keep me together.
Be well.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

America's Deadliest Sweetener Betrays Millions, Then Hoodwinks You With Name Change

Another great article from Dr. Mercola, borrowed from

Aspartame is the most controversial food additive in history, and its approval for use in food was the most contested in FDA history. In the end, the artificial sweetener was approved, not on scientific grounds, but rather because of strong political and financial pressure. After all, aspartame was previously listed by the Pentagon as a biochemical warfare agent!
It's hard to believe such a chemical would be allowed into the food supply, but it was, and it has been wreaking silent havoc with people's health for the past 30 years.
The truth is, it should never have been released onto the market, and allowing it to remain in the food chain is seriously hurting people -- no matter how many times you rebrand it under fancy new names.
The Deceptive Marketing of Aspartame
Sold commercially under names like NutraSweet, Canderel and now AminoSweet, aspartame can be found in more than 6,000 foods, including soft drinks, chewing gum, table-top sweeteners, diet and diabetic foods, breakfast cereals, jams, sweets, vitamins, prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
Aspartame producer Ajinomoto chose to rebrand it under the name AminoSweet, to "remind the industry that aspartame tastes just like sugar, and that it's made from amino acids -- the building blocks of protein that are abundant in our diet."
This is deception at its finest: begin with a shred of truth, and then spin it to fit your own agenda.
In this case, the agenda is to make you believe that aspartame is somehow a harmless, natural sweetener made with two amino acids that are essential for health and present in your diet already.
They want you to believe aspartame delivers all the benefits of sugar and none of its drawbacks. But nothing could be further from the truth.
How Aspartame Wreaks Havoc on Your Health
Did you know there have been more reports to the FDA for aspartame reactions than for all other food additives combined?
In fact, there are over 10,000 official complaints, but by the FDA's own admission, less than 1 percent of those who experience a reaction to a product ever report it. So in all likelihood, the toxic effects of aspartame may have affected roughly a million people already.
While a variety of symptoms have been reported, almost two-thirds of them fall into the neurological and behavioral category consisting mostly of headaches, mood alterations, and hallucinations. The remaining third is mostly gastrointestinal symptoms.
This chart will familiarize you with some of the terrifying side-effects and health problems you could encounter if you consume products containing this chemical.
Unfortunately, aspartame toxicity is not well-known by doctors, despite its frequency. Diagnosis is also hampered by the fact that it mimics several other common health conditions, such as:
How Diet Foods and Drinks CAUSE Weight Problems
In recent years, food manufacturers have increasingly focused on developing low-calorie foods and drinks to help you maintain a healthy weight and avoid obesity. Unfortunately, the science behind these products is so flawed, most of these products can actually lead to increased weight gain!
For example, researchers have discovered that drinking diet soda increases your risk of metabolic syndrome, and may double your risk of obesity -- the complete opposite of the stated intention behind these "zero calorie" drinks.
The sad truth is that diet foods and drinks ruin your body's ability to count calories, and in fact stimulate your appetite, thus boosting your inclination to overindulge.
Unfortunately, most public health agencies and nutritionists in the United States recommend these toxic artificial sweeteners as an acceptable alternative to sugar, which is at best confusing and at worst harming the health of those who take their misguided advice.
Even More Toxic Dangers of Aspartame
Truly, there is enough evidence showing the dangers of consuming artificial sweeteners to fill an entire book -- which is exactly why I wrote Sweet Deception. If you or your loved ones drink diet beverages or eat diet foods, this book will explain how you've been deceived about the truth behind artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose -- for greed, for profits, and at the expense of your health.
As mentioned earlier, almost two-thirds of all documented side effects of aspartame consumption are neurological.
One of the reasons for this side effect, researchers have discovered, is because the phenylalanine in aspartame dissociates from the ester bond. While these amino acids are indeed completely natural and safe, they were never designed to be ingested as isolated amino acids in massive quantities, which in and of itself will cause complications.
Additionally this will also increase dopamine levels in your brain. This can lead to symptoms of depression because it distorts your serotonin/dopamine balance. It can also lead to migraine headaches and brain tumors through a similar mechanism.
The aspartic acid in aspartame is a well-documented excitotoxin. Excitotoxins are usually amino acids, such as glutamate and aspartate. These special amino acids cause particular brain cells to become excessively excited, to the point that they die.
Excitotoxins can also cause a loss of brain synapses and connecting fibers. A review conducted in 2008 by scientists from the University of Pretoria and the University of Limpopo found that consuming a lot of aspartame may inhibit the ability of enzymes in your brain to function normally, and may lead to neurodegeneration.
According to the researchers, consuming a lot of aspartame can disturb:
  • The metabolism of amino acids
  • Protein structure and metabolism
  • The integrity of nucleic acids
  • Neuronal function
  • Endocrine balances
Furthermore, the ester bond in aspartame breaks down to formaldehyde and methanol, which are also toxic in their own right. So it is not surprising that this popular artificial sweetener has also been found to cause cancer.
One truly compelling case study that shows this all too well was done by a private citizen named Victoria Inness-Brown. She decided to perform her own aspartame experiment on 108 rats over a period of 2 years and 8 months.
Daily, she fed some of the rats the equivalent (for their body weight) of two-thirds the aspartame contained in 8-oz of diet soda. Thirty-seven percent of the females fed aspartame developed tumors, some of massive size.
How to Ditch Artificial Sweeteners, and Satiate Your Sweet Tooth
If you suffer from sweet cravings, it's easy to convince yourself you're doing the right thing by opting for a zero-calorie sweetener like aspartame. Please understand that you will do more harm than good to your body this way.
First, it's important to realize that your body craves sweets when you're not giving it the proper fuel it needs.
Finding out your nutritional type will tell you exactly which foods you need to eat to feel full and satisfied. It may sound hard to believe right now, but once you start eating right for your nutritional type, your sweet cravings will significantly lessen and may even disappear.
Meanwhile, be sure you address the emotional component to your food cravings using a tool such as the Meridian Tapping Technique (MTT). More than any traditional or alternative method I have used or researched, MTT works to overcome food cravings and helps you reach dietary success.
And, if diet soda is the culprit for you, be sure to check out Turbo Tapping, which is an extremely effective and simple tool to get rid of your soda addiction in a short period of time.
Non-Acceptable Alternative Sweeteners
I have written a few articles on fructose earlier this year, and I will be writing many more, so please be aware that I am absolutely convinced that fructose ingestion is at the core of our obesity epidemic.
And I'm not only talking about high fructose corn syrup, which is virtually identical to table sugar. The only major difference between the two is HFCS is much cheaper so it has contributed to massive increase in fructose ingestion, far beyond safe or healthy.
Please understand you need to keep your fructose levels BELOW 25 grams per day. The best way to do that is to avoid these "natural" sweeteners as they are loaded with a much higher percentage of fructose than HFCS.
  • Fruit Juice
  • Agave
  • Honey
Please note that avoiding these beyond 25 grams per day is crucial, even if the source is fresh, raw, and organic. It just doesn't matter, fructose is fructose is fructose ...
Acceptable Alternative Sweeteners
For those times when you just want a taste of something sweet, your healthiest alternative is Stevia. It's a natural plant and, unlike aspartame and other artificial sweeteners that have been cited for dangerous toxicities, it is a safe, natural alternative that's ideal if you're watching your weight, or if you're maintaining your health by avoiding sugar.
It is hundreds of times sweeter than sugar and truly has virtually no calories.
I must tell you that I am biased; I prefer Stevia as my sweetener of choice, and I frequently use it. However, like most choices, especially sweeteners, I recommend using Stevia in moderation, just like sugar. In excess it is still far less likely to cause metabolic problems than sugar or any of the artificial sweeteners.
I want to emphasize, that if you have insulin issues, I suggest that you avoid sweeteners altogether, including Stevia, as they all can decrease your sensitivity to insulin.
Lo han is another sweetener like Stevia. It's an African sweet herb that can also be used, but it's a bit more expensive and harder to find.
So if you struggle with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or extra weight, then you have insulin sensitivity issues and would benefit from avoiding ALL sweeteners.
But for everyone else, if you are going to sweeten your foods and beverages anyway, I strongly encourage you to consider using regular Stevia or Lo han, and toss out all artificial sweeteners and any products that contain them.
If you have experienced an adverse reaction to any aspartame product, call the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator in your area.
Dr. Joseph Mercola is the founder and director of Become a fan of Dr. Mercola on Facebook, on Twitter and check out Dr. Mercola's report on sun exposure!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Acupuncture increases exercise tolerance

Borrowed from Times of India

A new study indicates that acupuncture can improve exercise tolerance in patients suffering from chronic heart failure.

Dr. Johannes Backs, physician and study director at the Department of Internal Medicine III (Cardiology, Angiology, and Pneumology - Medical Director: Professor Dr. Hugo Katus) of Heidelberg University Hospital conducted the clinical pilot study.

Patients with this disease suffer from shortness of breath and fatigue brought on by physical exercise.

The needles do not increase the heart’s pump function, but they seem to have an influence on skeletal muscle strength and thus can increase the walk distance that heart patients can cover.

In a study where patients were given ten sessions of acupuncture on points that boost general strength according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the results showed that these patients could walk longer distances, recovered more quickly and tended to feel subjectively less exhausted.

The scientists now plan to study whether relatively low-cost acupuncture can improve the prognosis for cardiac patients over the long term.

The findings have been published in the medical journal Heart .