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May 25

How to Maintain Your Health

Posted on: May 25th, 2018 by drwhittle 6 Comments

Are you a one hit wonder?how to maintain your health

We all love a quick fix…and discovering how to maintain your health takes education and commitment:

One shot at the doctors office…

One silver bullet pill to make all the pain go away…

One winning lottery ticket…

One magic relationship that solves everything…

Learning how to maintain your health takes practice. As modern people, we often want it now, right now, while in our souls we know that healing takes time. When we plant a seed, we can’t expect that seed to germinate overnight. We can’t expect a small tree to be a giant oak in a day.

Perhaps it is time to wake up and smell the flowers, to stop and take the long view, the ecological approach to health.

To attain lasting healing and freedom from pain of all sorts: physical, emotional and mental, we must practice a way of life that starts by understanding the true value of health.

People often say that health is true wealth…but think about it…can you imagine anything more important than your health?

You could have all the money in the world, and not be able to enjoy a cent of it without your health.

You may want to travel the world, how much better will travel be without constant pain?

Over last 20 years I have worked with patients, I have developed a set of health principles that I consider the most important actions for maintaining and creating true health.

Health is something we have to practice, it is work…it is maintenance.

No serious gardener expects to grow things well without tending the garden…

So too, if we want good health…we have to maintain it…

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are practices that evolved to maintain and maximize a person’s health.

Once we use acupuncture and Chinese medicine to restore a person to a pain free state by treating the root and branch of the problem, we maintain a person’s health by treating them periodically even when they are well.

We treat a person when they are well with acupuncture so that a problem does not come back…we work with you to maintain a stress free and pain free state.

Is it time to commit to your health?

Is it time to learn how to maintain your health, rather than just keep fixing problems?

Is it time to remove stress and to clear the obstacles that block your own ability to heal?

If so…here are what I consider to be the most important principles for a healthy life:

How to Maintain Your Health

James Whittle’s 7 principles of total wellness:

1. Practicing Fun, Joy and Love: (saying “I don’t do stress”). This principle I like to call “life design.” How many of us could use more fun, more lightening up and more love and joy in our lives? Strive to live with a full and open heart every day, and let the past go immediately. We can choose to learn to be more and more optimistic and positive and then live our lives from a place of happiness…for some people this is an uphill climb, but obviously it is so worth it. Acupuncture treats a person at the level of their spirit, helping  a person open to their innate joy.

2. Being in Nature: (includes short periods of sunbathing) The mind calming and stress reducing impact of being in nature is so powerful. The scents and aromas of a dense forest will do wonders for your health and peace of mind. Additionally, research shows that putting your skin in direct contact with the earth is beneficial for the flow of ions through the system. The Japanese call it “forest bathing” which is inspiring and poetic. So take off those shoes in the yard once and a while and breathe!

3. Breathing and Meditation: The simple practice of taking 4 or 5 deep breaths every hour really helps eliminate toxins from the system and helps oxygenate the body and blood. Deep breathing also reduces stress and induces the relaxation response. Breathing correctly is the central principle of tai chi, qigong, and yoga and can truly change your life. Further, breathing deeply can be done anywhere…in the car, in the line at the grocery store etc. I heard a qigong expert once say that if we all did deep breathing in all the lines we wait in, we could all be qigong experts in a short time.

4. Adequate Rest: Overwork and lack of proper rest is one of the most common causes of stress and disease. We need to think of overwork as a major cause of stress. Rest and the proper use of rest needs to be a key part of any health care plan. I recommend a short nap if a person is able to build this into their schedule. But even if we are not able to make time to nap, we should set aside a certain amount of time every hour to stop what we are doing, rest our eyes and practice deep breathing. Sometimes even taking 2 minutes of conscious relaxation time can really help. Sleep is critical to human health. I created The Chinese Medicine Sleep Solution, so click here to see my 9 Keys for Deeper Sleep.

5. Moderate Exercise: sometimes less is more. I always suggest people find a form of activity that they really enjoy and stick with that. Walking and swimming are great. Weight lifting and building lean muscle mass is also really helpful.

6. Balanced Nutrition and Regular Elimination: This could also be at the top of the list because nutrition is so central to human health and well being. If your digestion is causing problems, we can help you restore it without drugs. Digestion is a complex event requiring not only proper food, but requiring eating foods at the right times. The timing of meals is really important. Also, how you absorb food and eliminate it is critical to health and energy levels.

7. Good Water: your water must be free of contaminates, toxins, even chlorine. You must also hydrate well: I recommend half of your body weight in ounces per day. It is also extremely important not to drink liquids with meals. Drink at least an hour before meals so that the water has time to exit the stomach before you eat. Also, wait at least 2 hours after meals to drink water so that the food has had time to exit the stomach.

Jan 5

NBC calls James an expert in Chinese medicine

Posted on: January 5th, 2018 by drwhittle No Comments


cupping therapy AshevilleI was thrilled to be quoted by NBC news and called an expert in Chinese medicine when they did a story on Olympic athletes, including Michael Phelps, who were using cupping therapy. As a result of the article (waaaay back in 2016!), many people have come in to the clinic to receive cupping and many have called asking “what is cupping” “How can cupping help my pain” etc. IF you are curious about cupping you can check out the article here…and enjoy all the cupping marks on Michael Phelps :)…

Here is a link to the article:

Jul 20

Acupuncture for Dementia

Posted on: July 20th, 2017 by drwhittle No Comments

acupuncture for dementiaThe Los Angeles Times today reported on a new Lancet study that proves that 1 in 3 cases of dementia can be prevented. Nearly 8% of dementia cases can be prevented through early life education. In midlife, risk factors for dementia include hearing loss, hypertension and obesity. And in late life significant risk factors include smoking, depression, physical inactivity, social isolation and diabetes. Thirty five percent of dementia cases are potentially modifiable according to the study. Prevention requires education and a focus by health care professionals on encouraging lifestyle changes like proper nutrition and exercise. Holistic forms of medicine are well suited to provide patients with comprehensive approaches to disease rather than surgical or pharmaceutical fixes. Research on acupuncture for dementia demonstrated that acupuncture may stop memory loss that precedes it:

Acupuncture for dementia

In Chinese medicine, dementia often occurs in cases where there is a problem with what ancient physicians called the “kidney Qi.” These doctors were able to see functional disturbances within the organs and treat them with acupuncture. Since acupuncture is a form of healthcare that focuses on education and prevention, it makes sense for insurance companies to cover it. When a person sees an acupuncturist, they will not only be treated with a natural, safe, effective treatment, but they will also be educated about attaining a healthy weight, stopping smoking, and maintaining a healthy blood pressure. Acupuncture for dementia would include treating a person’s memory and might include ear acupuncture, or auriculotherapy and electro-acupuncture.

Additionally there is research that indicates a relationship between air quality and pollution and dementia. More studies should focus on toxins and their contribution to dementia and Alzheimer’s. To see the article about air pollution and dementia, check out this LA times article:

To see the LA Tomes article about preventing dementia click here:

To see the research in the medical journal, The Lancet, go here:

Jul 17

Acupuncture for Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Posted on: July 17th, 2017 by drwhittle No Comments

Acupuncture for Gastroesophageal reflux diseaseGastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a very common, pervasive digestive issue, especially in countries eating a typical modern diet high in sugar, salt and fat. Acupuncture for Gastroesophageal reflux disease has been used in hospitals in Britain and has recently been proven effective. I do not think of Gastroesophageal reflux disease, as a disease, despite the name, because it is so easy to cure and heal with natural medicine. Perhaps we should rethink the way we apply the word disease. In the case of GERD, it can usually be stopped by simply not drinking liquids with meals. Also, GERD is commonly treated by stopping coffee, chocolate, alcohol and tomato based foods, like pasta sauce. If a disease simply disappears by stopping a few foods, maybe the foods are the problem, not your body. The body is an elegantly designed miracle and it needs the proper fuel. GERD is biofeedback that you are not treating the body well, not proof that your body has a disease and is malfunctioning.

Acupuncture for Gastroesophageal reflux disease

Acupuncture has been shown, in a major systematic review of the research, to be a safe and effective treatment for Gastroesophageal reflux disease. I like to use acupuncture, nutritional therapy and in some cases herbs to help a person stop acid reflux. In many cases a person with GERD will also have gastritis or inflammation of the stomach and esophageal lining, and this is why a comprehensive healing approach to the entire GI tract is necessary. It is important to stop the symptoms: burning and reflux, and treat the underlying inflammation. If you have have been diagnosed with GERD, and don’t want to simply take prilosec or other acid-inhibiting drugs, give us a call. And by the way, you need stomach acid to properly digest your foods….simply decreasing stomach acid, especially in the elderly, can decrease B12 production. Acupuncture will help heal the inflammation in the gut, reduce acid reflux, reduce stress and improve the functioning of your digestive system.

The research proving that acupuncture for Gastroesophageal reflux disease is effective was recently published in the British Journal of Medicine. What was the conclusion of the researchers?:

“This meta-analysis suggests that acupuncture is an effective and safe treatment for GERD.”

You can see the original study on the British Journal of Medicine website:


Jun 21

Acupuncture Relieves Pain In Emergency Room Patients

Posted on: June 21st, 2017 by drwhittle No Comments

This is HUGE: World’s largest randomized controlled trial of acupuncture in emergency departments finds it is a safe and effective alternative to pain-relieving drugs……/2017/…/170618103517.htm

Apr 12

Acupuncture Improves Heart Function

Posted on: April 12th, 2017 by drwhittle No Comments

Acupuncture improves heart functionNovember 14, 2002. ANAHEIM, Calif.

American Heart Association:

Acupuncture Improves Heart Function And Inhibits Sympathetic Activation During Mental Stress in Advanced Heart Failure Patients…

Acupuncture improved the health prospects of individuals with severe heart failure, according to a unique study reported today at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2001 conference. Acupuncture is the practice of piercing the skin with needles at specific points to treat illness or relieve pain. In this study Acupuncture dramatically reduced sympathetic nerve activity among heart failure patients. The sympathetic nervous system regulates involuntary movements such as heartbeat and blood pressure. Over-activation of sympathetic nerves is common in heart failure patients and associated with a poor prognosis because it forces the weakened heart to work harder and predisposes the heart to potentially lethal heart rhythms.

“There is an ever-increasing interest in alternative medicine. But until now, no one had looked at acupuncture’s effect on the very sickest heart failure patients. Our research represents a promising first step”, says lead author Holly R. Middlekauff, M.D., associate professor of medicine at the University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine. Advanced heart failure patients often have two or three times more sympathetic nerve activity than normal individuals,” she says.

“It has been shown that the greater this activity is, the worse the outlook for the patient, so reducing it could be crucial. Sympathetic nerve activation was significantly reduced in the acupuncture group,” she says. “in our clinical experience, acupuncture has been used successfully and with long-range results in improving hypertension, and it also is useful in lowering sympathetic nerve activity.”

Animal studies completed in recent years demonstrate that acupuncture works very well in the extreme cases of sympathetic nerve increases, also known as stress, but the factors that increase stress and nerve elevation are complex and are being researched, Middlekauff notes.

Other doctors and researches who demonstrated that Acupuncture Improves Heart Function:

Jun Liang Yu; Kakit Hui, M.D.; Michele Hamilton, M.D.; Gregg Fonarow, M.D.; Jaime Moriguchi, M.D.; and Antoine Hage, M.D.

To see the article on pubmed click here:

And to obtain a PDF of the article as originally published in the Journal of Cardiac Failure Vol. 8 No. 6 2002, click here:

Jan 12

Sweeping the mountain of nerves

Posted on: January 12th, 2017 by drwhittle No Comments

sweeping the mountain of nervesFor many of us, it is time, simply time, to end the petty stresses of our lives. Can we truly commit to the awareness that happiness is eternally free from our circumstances? Are many or most of our problems “first world” problems? How many of us have visited a “third world” nation and noticed that people seem much happier there, less attached to fame, wealth and the future? Of course suffering can exist in anyone’s mind, in any location on earth…and our compassion to our own suffering and the suffering of others gives rise to wisdom.

How can we sweep the mountain of nerves daily and find inner peace…to realize right here and now that this present moment is the greatest gift and that things don’t always work out in time…but in the awareness in which time arises?

I like to breathe and see how soft and relaxed my breath can become…try ten deep, soft breaths right now…your mind will relax.

One friend loves to grab the binoculars and set out to find unique birds right there in his own neighborhood…tiny miracles rarely seen or noticed.

What simple thing or act can you do to bring you simple and present peace today?

Perhaps this year we could all take more time to nourish ourselves. We offer massage and acupuncture sessions at our clinic, not only to help people get rid of pain or other symptoms, but to find that through nourishing the body, they are nourishing the mind. And that when the body and mind are deeply relaxed, our innate peace and joy can arise like a clear mountain stream.

Aug 11

Acupuncture for Acute Pain

Posted on: August 11th, 2016 by drwhittle No Comments

<ahref=””>The effectiveness of acupuncture for acute pain has recently been proven. Many people erroneously think that acupuncture can only treat chronic pain, like chronic backpain, chronic elbow pain, or fibromylagia that has become a chronic condition. And it is true, multiple studies in China and the U.S. have focused on using acupuncture to treat chronic pain, but a recent study sheds light on the effectiveness of acupuncture for acute pain. In fact, patients responded faster and better to acupuncture than to intravenous morphine! Over 300 people were recruited for the study, and it is in press to be published in the prestigious American Journal of Emergency Medicine, August edition.

acupuncture for acute pain in ashevilleOver my many years of practice I have treated thousands of cases of acute pain. A medical doctor comes to see me when the pain of his plantar fasciitis nags at him after playing basketball. A mom comes in to receive acupuncture for acute back pain after the simple injury of bending over incorrectly to pick up her child. Athletes come to see me with torn rotator cuffs, sprained ankles, carpal tunnel flare ups, and the list goes on.

Think for a moment about what this study could mean in light of the opioid crises we are experiencing in America. The patients in this study that received acupuncture had more pain relief, in a quicker fashion, than those who received the morphine. This is astonishing…the results should be plastered over all the news media, and more research should be conducted in major hospitals. Alas, that is not what we see happening, and this is why it is so important for citizens to educate themselves about acupuncture research like this, and share it with others. If you can think of one person in pain right now, imagine how they might benefit from acupuncture, instead of opioids. You might save a life by recommending acupuncture to someone in pain.

We treat acute pain very successfully and efficiently here at our Asheville acupuncture clinic. If you know anyone in acute pain, let them know that acupuncture can help. You can also show this medical study to your doctor and help educate people about the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of acute pain.

To see the abstract of the study, click here:

Dec 2

Acupuncture Actually Works for Neck Pain, Study Says | TIME

Posted on: December 2nd, 2015 by drwhittle No Comments

People who practiced acupuncture or the Alexander Technique had greater pain reductions than those who got standard treatment

Source: Acupuncture Actually Works for Neck Pain, Study Says | TIME

Jan 14

How To Do A Coffee Enema

Posted on: January 14th, 2015 by drwhittle No Comments

Coffee EnemaIntroduction:

Scroll down to see the steps below…

I learned about coffee enemas from gastroenterologist Dr. Hiromi Shinya M.D. Dr. Shinya invented the colonoscope and noninvasive surgery for the large intestine. He has looked into the colons and stomachs of more than a half a million patients, and so he knows a thing or two about large intestine health. Dr. Shinya says that a coffee enema will help your large intestine repopulate itself with beneficial bacteria, or probiotics. The good gut bacteria love the acid in the coffee and feed on it, helping them to multiply rapidly. Dr. Shinya always recommends organic coffee.

You can use the coffee enema for general health purposes and total wellness, during a detox or cleanse protocol, or if you have bowel movement issues like constipation or diarrhea. Like any new experience, it takes a few tries to feel comfortable with doing an enema, so there is a learning curve and it is helpful not to get discouraged if it takes a while to perfect.

Interestingly, I have also found in my clinical experience that performing a coffee enema can help dramatically with sinus congestion and sinus problems. In Chinese medicine, ancient physicians recognized the connection between the lung and the large intestine. The classics of Chinese medicine state “the lung opens into the nose.” And since the lung and the large intestine are paired energetically, when bowel movements are smooth and easy, the sinuses will remain unclogged and flow easily as well. Deep breathing can also help relieve constipation by helping to create a peristaltic wave that allows the bowels to move.

Here are the step-by-step instructions for doing a coffee enema:

Step 1: If you have not done an enema before and do not have an enema bag, then you need to purchase the equipment necessary to do a coffee enema. You can call your local drugstore to see what they have in stock, or try Wal-Mart if you are willing to shop there. The one I use is by a company called Cara. It was very inexpensive, the bottle is made from dry natural rubber, and it can be purchased online at Amazon. The Cara enema bottle can also be used as a hot water bottle, or a douche system for women.

Here is the link if you want to purchase this online. As of this writing, the Cara enema kit was less than $5:

Step 2: If you do not have organic decaffeinated coffee, you need to buy some from the grocery store. Make sure it is certified USDA organic so you are sure it is free of pollutants including heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides and other toxic contaminants.

Warning: If you use regular coffee, the caffeine content will be absorbed by the large bowel and can give you quite a caffeine rush that may include palpitations and anxiety in some cases.

Step 3: Brew 3 cups, about 0.75 quarts, of the organic decaf coffee, and let the coffee sit until it becomes room temperature.

Step 4: If the enema bottle is new or used: rinse your enema bag thoroughly with warm, filtered water: fill 2/3 full of filtered water, insert stopper and shake well and empty to remove any debris from manufacturing or previous use. Add 3 cups of decaf organic coffee to the rubber enema bag. Insert the adapter into the top of the enema bag: the adapter is what connects to the tube that will be inserted into the anus.

Step 5: Make sure that the shut-off-clamp is closed and locked onto the tubing. Insert the enema pipe into the tip of the tubing. Note: If you are using the Cara enema kit, there is also a vaginal pipe that can be used for the douche.

Step 6: You are going to lie down on the floor and most people choose the bathroom. You can also lie down in the bathtub, and I recommend the bathtub in case there is any leakage from the bottle, and for other possible leakages! Hang the enema bag up using the hook on the rubber bottle so that the bottle is several feet higher than your position in the tub or on the floor. I use the shower pipe behind the showerhead as a place to hang the enema bag.

Step 6: Once you are in a comfortable reclined position in the tub or on the floor and the enema bag is hung several feet above you, insert the enema pipe into the anus. It is helpful to use a small amount of coconut oil, or olive oil on the tip of the enema pipe to allow it to insert into the anus easily. Note: If you use Vaseline or another thicker lubricant, the lubricant might block the tubing and prevent the coffee from flowing out freely. Once you are comfortable and the enema pipe is inserted into the anus, simply release the shut-off-clamp and allow the decaf coffee to flow into the large bowel.

Step 7: Once all three cups have entered the large bowel (large colon or intestine), simply relax and retain the coffee from 3-5 minutes. After 3-5 minutes has passed, tighten the anal sphincter, arise and sit up on the toilet. Release the coffee from the large bowel by relaxing the anus and allow the liquid to flow into the toilet.

You have now learned to self-administer a coffee enema!

For a free consultation about how Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help your digestive issues, call us at (828) 254-4405. Or click the “Schedule Now” button to the right of this page to schedule your free consult 24/7!