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What is pH balance? How do you know when your body is not balanced? What can be done to maintain pH balance? These are the questions so many people ask and wonder what to do about it.

As a medical doctor and now as an Oriental medicine practitioner, I want to explain pH balance. First and foremost, pH (potential of hydrogen) is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution; in this case it is our body. pH is measured on a scale of 0 to 14, with 7 indicating neutral. The closer the reading is to zero, the more acidic the substance, and the closer it is to 14, the more alkaline. In the human body, the normal pH of blood is 7.36, slightly on the alkaline side. (pH can also be determined via saliva or urine.) When the blood’s pH is 7.36, it is balanced—your body is healthy and you are happy, calm and rested and you are working with your environment in a harmonious way.

But when the body’s pH falls below 7.4 and becomes acidic, it is a sign that the human body has begun to accumulate toxins that are due to lack of good nutrition, the right amount of exercise and appropriate sleeping patterns, and insufficient meditation or spiritual support. When the body becomes acidic, it reacts with inflammation in the legs and feet. Swelling follows the inflammation and, later, frequent infections. The body’s cells cope with the chronic inflammation that will change the morphology (structure) of the human cells that have contained a lot of toxins in the cytoplasm and have already started to experience changes like metaplasia (transformation), dysplasia (abnormal growth) and finally cancer. Other illness, e.g., hypertension and diabetes, also result from an acidic body.

These are just some of the body’s responses as it tries to cope with the unbalanced inner environment that occurs when we do not take the correct measures, which include exercising, internal cleansing, adding good nutrition to one’s diet and giving the body the rest it needs, that help the body attain balance. These basic actions are also what help keep our bodies alkaline and healthy.

Oriental medicine has been working for more than 5000 years to look for ways to keep this homeostasis steady. Even though some believe that Oriental medicine is an old-fashioned, out-dated healing tradition, it is important to understand that this approach to good health is one of natural healing that works dramatically to bring about pH balance because it acts on different aspects of the human body.

To help, Oriental medicine is using different techniques on the human body to avoid illness and discomfort. Techniques such as acupuncture, Asian body works and cupping can help with shoulder pain, insomnia and allergies, all of which are signs that the body is toxic, that it is acidic.

With so many Americans dying from cancer, diabetes, hypertension and heart attacks, it is essential to consider all the ways that can keep us healthy, fit and balanced. We are only given one body to enjoy life to the fullest, so we must do what we can to preserve it.

At Behavioral Wellness Center, I will be glad to answer your questions and help you bring your body into balance so you can live your life to the fullest.

By Consuelo Camarillo De G., Lic. Ac.