Author Archives: Meridian Acupuncture

Guilt & Grain Free Natural

A Healthy Guilt-free, Grain-free Snack You Will Love

Healthy, natural grain free crackers.

Everybody loves to snack! It is a common misconception that snacking while eating healthy can be daunting and somewhat bland. This recipe for grain-free crackers will prove that eating clean doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all of the flavorful foods you love.

Watch today’s video to try this amazing recipe for yourself! For more information on natural, healthy eating, make an appointment at our Portland area office.

Natural & Healthy Zucchini Salad

Perfect Healthy Summertime Zucchini Recipe

Natural healthy zucchini salad recipe.

This light and tangy zucchini salad is perfect for summer. Thinly sliced zucchini is tossed with a burst of lime, then topped with pistachios and drizzled with avocado dressing. Wow! Not only is it delicious, but it makes a beautiful presentation. Something new and fresh, you’ll love it.

Find out how natural health options can help you and make an appointment at our Portland area office.

Holistic Medicine Considers Everything That Affects Your Health

Don’t Reduce Your Health Issues To Just One Cause

There is a large host of factors that influence the body’s ability to maintain the delicate balance of health and disease. There are so many variables that contribute to our overall health. Be sure to consider all of the stressors and outside factors that may also be affecting your health.

Holistic medicine considers everything that affects your health.

Click on the image to watch a video to learn more about the factors you may have never considered. If you still have questions about holistic medicine and are worried about your health, contact our Tigard office to make an appointment.

Help Your Health & Learn the Half Truths About Salt

Natural Salt vs Refined Salt

It’s a common misconception that the salt in our every day diets can cause more harm than good. Diets low in salt can often have an adverse affect on your health. What many fail to recognize is that unrefined salt, unlike refined salt, contains minerals that are critical to our bodily functions. Believe it or not, unrefined salt can often help lower cholesterol. Click the image to watch a video on the benefits of salt.

Health benefits of natural salt in your diet.

Want to know more? There are many opportunities to add natural, healthy foods to your diet. Contact our Portland area office and make an appointment.

Holistic Acupuncture Treatment for Lack of Motivation

Addressing Lack of Motivation Through Holistic Health Practices

A study published by the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine looked at the holistic effects of acupuncture treatments. The study looked at how acupuncture treatments were conducted and evaluated. One of the areas this study looked at is how acupuncture influences the function of the brain. By using functional MRI imaging, the researchers were able to see certain areas of the brain were stimulated during the acupuncture treatments. The study confirmed acupuncture on specific points can activate motivation centers in the brain, thus leading to increased physical motivation in the participants.

Lack of motivation holistic treatment with acupuncture.Everybody experiences times where they have no motivation. Lack of motivation can be caused by many things: weather, depression, nutritional deficiencies, rejection, and even not exercising.

Lacking motivation can be detrimental to your health. Even though everybody knows they should be exercising and eating right and getting proper sleep, many of us choose not to. This becomes a bad habit that can actually develop into depression, fatigue, insomnia, and even nutritional deficiencies that can cause even worse physical problems. We tell ourselves we don’t have time or we have no motivation or willpower. These are just stories we tell ourselves. EVERYBODY has time to care for themselves. It’s just a choice we have to make.

Acupuncture can help put the “pep” back in your step when it comes to motivation. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), lack of motivation is considered some sort of blockage along the energetic pathways that run throughout the body. Over time, this lack of motivation frequently develops into depression. When the body is depressed, nothing seems possible. But the fact of the matter is that there are underlying causes of depression that begin with the lack of motivation.

The reason TCM works so well at addressing and correcting motivation problems is that it addresses the body holistically. When people go to their doctor and tell them that they have no motivation, they are frequently prescribed antidepressants. But the problem with antidepressants is they don’t address the underlying causes of the issue. TCM looks at everything: the body, the mind, the environment, and the emotions. This allows for treatments to be customized to the needs of the patient instead of a one size fits all approach.

One of the first things to happen when then emotions become involved, our body begins to send signals to the digestive tract. This is why those who lack motivation or become depressed often have no appetite. Energy comes from eating healthy foods. When we have no appetite, we tend to reach for those things like sweets and carbohydrates. These foods give us the quick “emotional high” that temporarily sedates the depressive feelings. But the excitement quickly goes away, leaving us right back where we started.

If you or someone you love is lacking in motivation, make an appointment at our Tigard office, acupuncture and holistic health techniques may be able to put the “pep” back in your step!

Acupuncture for Regulating the Immune System

Research of Acupuncture Methods Shows Decreased Inflammation

Acupuncture research shows decrease in inflammation.A study published by the National Institutes of Health evaluated the efficacy of acupuncture for stimulating or regulating the immune system by comparing the results from several studies that each used different methods of acupuncture. Through the use of electroacupuncture, moxibustion, herbs, and acupuncture, the studies concluded Traditional Chinese Medicine, TCM, can be helpful for the immune system. The combined studies demonstrated that moxibustion helped repair the gut mucosa of rats suffering from ulcerative colitis, electroacupuncture can increase the number of T cells in the body and that general acupuncture can decrease inflammation, which plays a vital role in the immune system.

Your immune system is what keeps you healthy and helps you ward off pathogens like the flu or a cold. Most of us don’t spend a lot of time worrying about our immune system until we’re sick. Then we reach for the over-the-counter medications to help relieve our symptoms. By looking to TCM instead, we can be proactive about supporting our immune systems in a safe and natural way.

According to TCM, the body is protected by something known as the Wei Qi (pronounced “way chee”). The Wei Qi, or Defensive Qi, is comparable to the immune system in conventional medicine. It acts as the first line of defense when the body is under attack from external pathogens. If the Wei Qi is strong, then the body is capable of fighting off bacteria and viruses. Extreme stress, lack of sleep and a poor diet can all play into how strong the body’s Wei Qi is and how well it performs.

There are multiple tools in the TCM practitioner’s toolbox that can assist in keeping the immune system strong and healthy, including acupuncture, moxibustion, electroacupuncture, herbs, cupping, and nutrition.

Each of these tools has a similar effect on the body. TCM can regulate immune function, while also treating the underlying causes of the disease. This is done by reducing the symptoms, speeding up the healing, decreasing excess phlegm, decreasing inflammation, and boosting the immune-mediated cells in the body that help ward off invasions.

Studies show regular acupuncture treatments can actually increase the number of T cells the body produces. T cells destroy harmful bacteria and viruses in the body. Acupuncture needles stimulate the brain into thinking an invader (virus or bacteria) has entered the body. The brain signals the increased release of T cells and white blood cells to fight off the intruder. The amazing part is the increased cellular response lasts for several days after the acupuncture treatment. Thus, receiving regular acupuncture treatments can actually prevent the body from getting sick.

To learn more about how acupuncture can help your immune system, contact us for an appointment at our Portland area office.

7 Naturopathic Ways to Supercharge Your Immune System

Naturopathic Tips to Help Your Body Fight Off Illness

Naturopathic tips to fight off illness.

The immune system can get bogged down for a number of reasons, whether it is from being overworked, or chronic allergies, we all are looking for ways to improve our overall health and wellbeing. Below are tips to improve and strengthen immune function to keep the body in its best shape and fight off illness.

Lemon and Peppermint oil

Both of these oils have detoxifying and healing properties for the body. Part of a strong immune system is cleansing and ridding the body of toxins. By adding a few drops of lemon oil to your water every day, the oil will help clean the blood and toxic buildup in your body.  Peppermint oil is known for its healing properties for headaches, indigestion, and a large variety of stomach ailments. Add peppermint oil or peppermint tea to your daily routine to aid digestion and help reduce cravings of sugary foods.

Probiotics

Good bacteria, such as probiotics, are necessary for a healthy digestive system and as a result, overall immune function. When you take antibiotics to kill bad bacteria in your body, you are also killing the good bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium along with it. When this happens, the body can become out of balance and result in chronic stomach pain. Taking a probiotic supplement or drinking liquids with probiotics in it such as kefir and kombucha can help keep your digestive function inline and improve your body’s food absorption.

Reduce Stress

Emotional stress can cause a number of physical problems like insomnia, stomach pain, and headaches. Because of this, the body can become very sick from chronic stress. Ways to reduce stress include exercise, meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been shown to increase the white blood cell count in the body and stimulate the immune system. By placing acupuncture needles in specific points of the body, acupuncture works by bringing the body back to balance and increasing blood and energy flow.

Echinacea

Echinacea is an effective natural herb for preventing illness. The herb has been shown to increase the body’s white blood cell count, boosting the immune system. You can find this flowering plant at most stores in liquid or pill form.

Exercise          

Exercise is good for the body and mind in just about every way, one of them being immune health. Moderate exercise promotes circulation and blood flow, which keeps the body’s cells moving and working. Try adding just 20 minutes of exercise to your daily routine, whether it is walking, yoga, or jogging.

Are you or someone you love interested in Naturopathy? Make an appointment at our Tigard office to see how we can help you.

Eastern vs. Western: How the Health Practices Differ

Which is More Holistic – Eastern or Western Health Practices?

Almost everybody knows there are two very unique ways of treating disease and maintaining health. But not everybody knows how these two methodologies differ from one another. And depending on where you live in the world, there may be one that is more prominent than the other. Both systems have their pros and cons. So let’s differentiate between the two. This is the battle between Eastern and Western medicine.  Let’s get ready to rumble!

Holistic Eastern Health Practices.To begin, we have to look at the history of both systems. Eastern medicine has been around for nearly 5,000 years and began when ancient herbalists experimented with plant substances and their effects on humans. There are substances that have been found to enhance health, beauty, energetics of the body, and the mind. Western medicine has only been around, in its current form, since the 19th century, although the roots began in ancient Greece and Egypt. It wasn’t until World War II that the development of synthetic drugs really began. This is also when the current Western health system discovered it can manipulate certain actions in the human body through the use of synthetic pharmaceuticals. This difference is huge, as Eastern philosophy uses whole food formulas to nourish the body’s ability to heal itself, while Western philosophy isolates and forces therapeutic actions throughout the body by utilizing laboratory modified medicines.

Next, we compare the examination methods. Eastern medicine is much more holistic in this regard, as it takes every aspect of the body into account. Because the body cannot be compartmentalized based upon the disease, it makes sense to consider how each bodily system is affecting the others. Eastern medicine does not evaluate an illness purely based on the symptoms a person is showing, but rather, on complex patterns of disharmony in the body.

The process of determining a person’s diagnosis begins with an evaluation according to the Eight Principles, which describe the basic qualities of a disease – Yin/Yang, Interior/Exterior, Hot/Cold, Deficient/Excess.

Western medicine compartmentalizes a person’s diagnosis, looking at each system individually rather than how they work together. This could be why there are more specialists in Western medicine, such as a psychiatrist, an endocrinologist or an orthopedic surgeon. Also, Eastern medicine practitioners are trained to listen with the whole body and pay attention to every ounce of sensory input.  This is quite different from Western medicine, where the focus is generally only on the system affected. Because of this way of thinking, pharmaceuticals and surgical procedures are based on how they affect each individual organ or organ system, instead of considering how the systems are intertwined with one another.

Another difference is the ultimate goals of each health system. As Western medicine is all about fixing the physical body, the mind is also considered an organ, the brain. If the body is missing a substance, the Western health approach is to supply that substance.  And while things like nutrients may be necessary to be supplemented sometimes, most man-made pharmaceuticals have far too many adverse side-effects.

The Eastern health approach is to engage and support the body’s own self-healing mechanisms. This is done by balancing the energetics of the body and ridding the body of energetic blockages. If the body is missing a substance, the Eastern approach is to stimulate the body to create it, thus allowing the body to heal itself. However, when the body is severely compromised, as with trauma and severe illness, the body is undermined and the capacity to heal itself may be impossible.

Obviously, there are several differences between the two health systems. But if the two can work together, then humans will be ultimately better off. However, since Western medicine focuses so heavily on physical proof and Eastern medicine is more subtle focusing on the energetics of the body, the two systems have a long way to go until meeting eye-to-eye and working alongside one another. In the meantime, it is the decision of the patient to decide which route he or she will take. But it should be noted that the two systems can and do work very well together.

Learn more about our holistic health services at our Tigard office.