Drink Water is Important For Your Holistic Health

Holistic Look at Health Benefits of Drinking Water

Holistic Look at Health Benefits of Drinking WaterEverywhere you go these days, you see people carrying bottled water.  And because of the emphasis that has been placed on drinking water, it is now the second most popular drink in the United States.  This is really important because every cell in our bodies depends upon water to function.  And with every hour that passes, our bodies lose water.  Unless we replace that, we literally can shrivel up and die.

Water intake is important for so many reasons.  Water helps maintain the balance of bodily fluids.  Every time we breathe, eat, urinate, defecate or sweat, we are using water in some way.  There are also ways that we use water that we don’t see, like the circulation of our blood and lymphatic fluids, the transportation of nutrients in our bodies and the regulation of our body temperature.  For all these processes to occur, water is needed.  This is the number one reason that drinking water is so important.

Drinking water also helps us control our caloric intake.  For many people, weight loss is a big deal and not necessarily an easy battle.  But drinking water with every meal instead of some other beverage that is full of calories is always the best option.  Not only do you avoid ingesting unwanted calories that can possibly turn into unwanted pounds, but you can also feel fuller faster.  This makes it less likely that you will eat as much and this can help keep the waistline slim.

As mentioned before, every cell in our bodies needs water to function and the muscles are no different.  In fact, drinking water actually helps to energize the muscles.  Muscle fatigue is frequently caused by a lack of water in the cells themselves. And while we’re discussing the muscles, the elephant in the room needs to be addressed. Many people believe that drinking water after a massage helps flush toxins out of the muscles. This is actually not true and science has proven it.  In fact, the process of massaging the muscles actually creates a slightly toxic effect within the muscles known as rhabdomyolysis. And no amount of water will change that because rhabdomyolysis is an unavoidable side effect of massage that occurs just like after an intense workout.

Another reason to drink water is an obvious one. Water helps to keep your body regular.  This includes urination and defecation.  But on an even deeper level, when we are properly hydrated, our kidneys and intestines can function properly and help remove waste products from the body.  A buildup of waste products can lead to illness and death.

Lastly, staying hydrated keeps your skin looking healthy and vibrant. Dehydration makes the skin look dry and wrinkled.  But this doesn’t mean that overhydrating will reverse those wrinkles completely.  Getting enough water can definitely help, but once the body is fully hydrated, the kidneys will get rid of the excess fluid.

Any of these are great reasons to drink water, but do you really need a reason?  When people are properly hydrated, they look and feel better.  So pick up that glass of water and take a big gulp.  Your body will appreciate the attention and continue to support you in return.

If you have an interest in other holistic health benefits, make an online Tigard area appointment with us today.

Natural Medicine Sees Seaweed as the Next Superfood

Seaweed: Natural & Sustainable Food

Seaweed has been consumed as a natural medicine and food enhancer for years in Asia, but recently there has been a growing interest in seaweed as a health superfood and for sustainable farming.

Seaweed is the next natural medicine superfood.Seaweed, otherwise known as Hai Zao in natural medicine, is known as a marine algae, or sea vegetable that grows primarily in salty waters. Three main classifications of seaweed are brown, red and green. Brown seaweed includes kombu, which is eaten widely in Japan, the red variety includes nori (which is seen in sushi wraps) and dulse. Green is the most common, and is known as wakame.

In natural medicine, seaweed is used to balance the yin and yang of the body. Your yin encourages fluid, lubrication, moistening, cooling and stillness. Yang is associated with more heat, dryness, warming and movement. As one gets older, it is common to get yin deficiency. When you have yin deficiency, heat rises due to yin depletion not balancing the yang energy. Many menopausal women experience this yin deficiency in the form of hot flashes, low back pain, night sweats, poor memory, fatigue, ear ringing, dry skin and loss of vaginal lubrication. One food that has been shown to help is seaweed. Seaweed is in the category of “cold and salty” of food quality and temperature in natural medicine. It is said to nourish the yin and is eaten along with other foods like yams and black sesame seeds that help balance yin and yang.

In addition to helping yin deficiency, seaweed “softens hardness” and loosens phlegm. What this means is seaweed helps dissipate nodules and soft swellings, as in lipomas, cysts, lumps and fat accumulation. Clinically, seaweed is used for swelling of the thyroid gland seen in goiter. See your acupuncture provider to get a diagnosis, formula and diet specific to your body’s needs.

Seaweed has been shown to have loads of essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, calcium, iron, B vitamins, potassium and folic acid. Most importantly, seaweed has a lot of iodine. Iodine helps the thyroid for growth, metabolism and the immune function. When your thyroid is functioning at a low level, you may experience fatigue, muscle weakness, palpitations, sensitivity to sun, weight gain and goiter. Iodine used to be abundant in rich soil but has been depleted nowadays.

Promising research indicates seaweed helping edema, fibroid tumors, limiting cancer growth due to phytochemicals called lignans and boosting immunity. In addition, it has been used as an anti-inflammatory aid for arthritis, to lower blood pressure and high cholesterol and to aid the respiratory system. Seaweed in Asia has been traditionally used for menopausal signs and symptoms, to reduce swollen lymph glands and to boost libido. But in general it is great for the skin, hair, teeth and bones. Seaweed is very alkaline and helps the pH balance of the body.

Despite the benefits, there is a strong contraindication if you are hyperthyroid. In addition, moderation is key in all aspects. Too much iodine can raise the thyroid-stimulating hormones, and individuals who are sensitive can get heart palpitations, nervousness, irritability and sweating. Check with your doctor to be sure an increase in iodine is right for you. Eat small portions about once a week.

You can buy seaweed dry, powdered or in supplements. Be mindful where it comes from and buy organic to reduce metals, arsenic and toxicity found in waters around the world.

An added benefit for seaweed is sustainability. Kelp is considered the perfect crop, as it requires little care and feeding to grow abundantly. With all the health benefits and easy farming, it just might be the superfood of the future. If you are interested in natural medicine, make an appointment to learn more.

How Food Color Helps Your Natural Health

Understand Natural Food Relationships With Your Organs for Good Health

In Chinese medical theory, food is considered medicine. Food has qualities and functions biochemically and energetically that target specific organs. Not only that, but the action a particular food takes to benefit that organ in terms of taste, color and temperature is what is included in Five Element theory. Food has a relationship to both the natural elements as well as the organs in the body and balances the elements of fire, earth, metal, water and wood to healthy, generating cycles.

Learn how natural food colors can help your health.In natural health medicine everything is thought of in terms of yin and yang theory. Yin is often dark, cooling, moist, still, and internal where are Yang is bright, hot, moving, dry, and outward; Our bodies are constantly trying to achieve a balance between these two forces. There are even some foods that are considered a force of yin and some food is considered more yang. Depending on one’s constitution, some foods might exacerbate a hotter constitution while others would promote a cooling effect. Each person realistically needs a unique approach to food intake, as not all foods deemed “healthy” are good for everyone across the board. It is not recommended to self-diagnose, so see your natural health medical provider to get a proper diagnosis of your particular constitution and advice on foods that may be right for you according to this theory.

Color is one way to determine which organ a food will target. Ideally, one eats what is in season and includes a wide variety of flavors and colors. Colors in vegetables have beneficial antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents as well as phytonutrients:

Green: Green goes to the liver channel, a wood element. Foods that are green are spinach, lettuce, green beans, broccoli and avocado. Generally, these foods are more cooling and contain sulforaphane, an anti-cancer compound, as well as important vitamins like beta-carotene, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B complex, vitamins C, A and K.

Red: Red food tends to benefit the heart, a fire element. Red foods include tomatoes, carrots, strawberries, peppers and apples. Hawthorne berries and goji berries have been shown to benefit the heart and prevent heart disease, and vegetables with red color often have lycopene, a substance shown to help prevent cancer. Orange vegetables like carrots have carotenoids and lutein, powerful phytonutrients.

Yellow: Yellow benefits the spleen/stomach, the earth element, involved with digestion. Yellow foods include soy, barley, egg yolks, yellow peppers, lemons, summer squash and cantaloupe. Yellow foods boost your mood and contain bioflavonoids, carotenoids and vitamin C.

White: White benefits the lungs, a metal element. These foods moisten the lung and include white beans, radish, wild rice, garlic, cauliflower, potatoes, mushrooms and jicama. These are packed with potassium, magnesium, fiber, and antioxidants. Garlic contains allicin, which when crushed or chopped is anti-fungal and an antibiotic.

Black: Black benefits the kidneys, the water element. Examples of these beneficial foods are seaweed, black beans, black sesame seeds, kelp and black rice. These foods are loaded with vitamins and minerals that strengthen bones, benefit the thyroid, and promote longevity.

The next time you create your meal, include a combination of colors and flavors to not only delight your palate but also to keep your organs happy and balanced. Eat what’s in season, cook your vegetables, as cold, raw vegetables are harder to digest, eat slowly and include some kind of exercise during the day.

Contact our Portland area office to learn more about natural health and how it can help you.

Holistic Health Tips as Winter Changes to Spring

Stay Healthy This Season with these Holistic Tips

Holistic health tips to stay healthy during the season. For most people, the change of seasons from winter to spring is something to look forward to. But it also means a time when people tend to get sick or seasonal allergies start to flare up. This can make things miserable for a lot of people. As the weather fluctuates between freezing cold and warmer, sunnier days, it also wreaks havoc on our immune system and our sleep. Frequently, our bodies can’t keep up with the constant changes and we get physically run down. But there are some things everybody can do to help during the time of transition from one season to the next.

One of the most common things we hear during this transition time is to stay warm.  This may seem like common sense, but so many people who are sun worshippers just waiting for the warmer days to return, forget this bit of advice as soon as the days start to warm a little. By wearing less clothing or clothing that is not as heavy and warm, we make ourselves susceptible to illness. Even if it’s warm out, you still need to dress appropriately. Save the shorts for a little later in the season.

Another way to stay healthy during the changing seasons is to make sure that you’re getting enough sleep. This is another common sense statement, but with longer hours of daylight, many people’s sleep cycles become disrupted. This can cause the immune system to become compromised, making it easier to get sick or for seasonal allergies to flare up.

A study from the National Institute of Health showed that dry winter air allows cold and flu viruses to survive longer and transmit more easily once everything starts to warm up.  With this being said, hydration is important. If dry air makes it more convenient for germs to remain dormant, then flushing them out by keeping your body hydrated is a great way to avoid an infection.

Eating according to the seasons is very important too. As the weather gets warmer, most people gravitate towards healthier food options in an effort to lose some of the winter weight. For spring, eating lighter, more natural foods will actually give the liver a chance to repair itself and that alone can help us feel more energetic and improve our clarity of thought. The immune system also functions better when excess sugar and dairy are removed.

Acupuncture is another great tool that can help make the transition from winter to spring easier. Acupuncture can balance the body as it reacts to the changes in the weather and activity levels. Regular acupuncture treatments have also been shown to boost immunity. Spring can also cause flare ups associated with seasonal allergies and acupuncture treatments can help with the inflammation, sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes that accompany the allergic reactions.

For more information on how we can help you as the seasons change, make an appointment for more information on our holistic health services.

Holistic Health Treatments for Respiratory Issues

How Holistic Health Can Help Respiratory Problems

Our lungs are incredibly important. Without properly functioning lungs, we cease to exist. In the United States alone, nearly 200,000 people die every year from forms of respiratory disease. Respiratory diseases include both acute and chronic conditions, everything from the flu to emphysema. While many of these ailments can be prevented, there are others not avoidable due to things like genetics.

In holistic health, the lungs play a very strange role because they are considered the most external of the internal organs. With every breath taken, the lungs come into contact with the outside world. Also, any part of the body that has anything to do with breathing can be considered part of the respiratory system. This includes the nose, bronchi, sinuses, the diaphragm and even the skin, to some degree.

Holistic health treatments for respiratory issues.What’s nice about holistic health, is it approaches the treatment of any condition on a very individualized basis. Every person gets a different treatment protocol depending on their symptoms and diagnosis. There are also accessory modalities like cupping that can help pull toxins out of the lungs and herbal formulas that can be added to treat almost any respiratory condition. Here are some ways that holistic health can help those suffering with respiratory issues.

Acupuncture for Respiratory Issues:  Acupuncture helps build or tonify the energy within the respiratory system. This energy is called Qi (pronounced “chee”). When lung Qi is strong and the body is balanced, then respiratory issues rarely become an issue.  Acupuncture stimulates blood flow which carries oxygen to every cell in the body. The increase blood flow boosts the immune system, dilates the bronchioles and produces anti-inflammatory agents that help improve breathing by relaxing the muscles.

Acupuncture Points for Respiratory Issues:

  • Kidney 27 – This point is located bilaterally on the chest, just below the collarbone. Kidney 27 is used to open the lungs, reduce coughing and encourage full breathing.
  • Lung 5 – Lung 5 is located at the end of the outer crease of the elbow, just to the outside of the tendon. This point opens up the airways and the throat, while reducing coughing and wheezing.
  • Ren 17 – This point is located in the middle of the chest, midway between both nipples. It is used to open the chest, loosen up congestion, stop coughing and encourage full breathing.

Chinese Herbals Formulas for Respiratory Issues:  Combinations of herbs, known as formulas are used frequently in holistic health. One of the most commonly used individual herbs is Wu Wei Zi, also known as Schisandra. This herb is used to treat asthma, wheezing, and boost immune function.

A popular formula choice of holistic health practitioners is Bi Yan Pian. This formula works to clear the nasal passages and it usually accomplishes this within five days to a week. The herbs in Bi Yan Pian work to disperse wind, expel toxins, relieve inflammation and dissolve phlegm.

Nutrition for Respiratory Issues:  For the lungs and respiratory system to be strong, they need proper nourishment, just like the rest of the body. Certain foods are good for increasing immunity, while also opening up the lungs and increasing circulation. Foods like garlic and onions reduce inflammation and fight off infections. Chili peppers open up the nasal passages, stimulating the mucus membranes and fighting invasion of nasty bacteria and viruses. Carrots and pumpkin are rich in vitamins A, C and lycopene. All of these vitamins affect lung health by lowering the chances of developing lung disease.

As you can see, holistic health is a great way to deal with respiratory issues. If you are having difficulties dealing with these types of conditions, contact our Tigard office to learn more about holistic health.

 

CITATIONS:

https://sunwarrior.com/healthhub/foodsforlunghealth

https://www.modernacupuncture.com/news/2017-07-05-breathedeeplyacupunctureforrespiratoryissuesallergies-45

https://www.acufinder.com/Acupuncture+Information/Detail/Energetics+of+Foods+for+Health+and+Healing+-+Part+II

https://www.livestrong.com/article/69650-chineseherbsstrengthinglungs/

http://www.modernreflexology.com/acupressurepointstotreatlungdiseases/

http://acupuncturewellness.net/respiratorydiseasesandchinesemedicine/

http://www.touch2cure.com/acupressurepointsforasthma/

 

4 Beneficial Herbs to Grow and Use In Natural Medicine

Rosemary, Parsley, Basil & Mint Natural Herbs for Your Portland Indoor Garden

Add basil to your Portland natural herb medicine garden. Depending on where you’re located geographically, it may be that time of year where it’s nearly impossible to keep a garden thriving. That being said, hope is not lost for a indoor herb garden! Even if you don’t consider yourself to have a green thumb, the following herbs are hardy enough to last through harsher growing conditions.

Herbs that tend to thrive more in winter climates include Rosemary, Parsley, Basil, Mint and Thyme and are also highly regarded in traditional Chinese medicinal practices.

Rosemary

Being a hardy perennial herb that generally takes 14-21 days to germinate, this plant will thrive year-round even in colder temperatures and is cheap to replace if it does parish for whatever reason. This herb should be started in flats roughly 10-12 weeks before the last frost, be grown in plenty of sunlight and have adequate soil moisture (but not soil that is soaked). Eventually, they will need to be transplanted for continued growth.

Rosemary is known to be beneficial to help aid with migraines, poor memory, and digestive issues among other various ailments. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Rosemary is said to treat wind-damp-cold, resolve phlegm, and tonify yang. It also enters the Lungs, Spleen, Kidney, Heart and Liver.

Pair this herb with roasted garlic, lemon and olive oil to drizzle over chicken for a fresh and filling meal.

Parsley

Although Parsley tends to grow more slowly over the winter taking nearly 2-4 weeks before it even germinates, it blooms continuously to give you a fruitful supply of herbs. Because it’s a slow-growing herb, we suggest planting plenty of it to ensure you have enough to last over the winter. It grows best in moist, fertile soil and can be over-wintered.

In TCM, Parsley is known for eliminating toxins, regulating water, and tonifying blood. It’s also known for entering the Stomach, Bladder, Kidney and is warm in temperature.

Prepare this herb with garlic, olive oil, and lamb to indulge in a savory delight.

Basil

If you live in a climate that has limited sunlight during the winter, such as the pacific northwest, this annual herb may be slower to grow but generally takes 5-10 days to germinate. It thrives more when it’s direct seeded versus being transplanted and is not drought tolerant and does not do well under the stress of heat.

Basil can be used to resolve dampness, phlegm, promote qi circulation and disperses cold. In ancient Chinese medical texts, it’s said to enter through the Lung, Spleen, Stomach, Large Intestine and Kidney.

Sweet Basil is the most common type of basil used and makes a delicious snack when paired with mozzarella, tomatoes and a drizzling of your favorite balsamic dressing.

Mint

We recommend planting this herb 6-8 weeks before placing them outside in early spring, as they can withstand some freezing but not much and thrive best in partial sun. Be sure to plant it in its own pot as mint will take over the entire planter.

Mint’s aromatic, pungent and cooling properties enter through the Lung and Liver. It also aids in promoting qi circulation, clearing heat, rashes, head and eyes as well as expelling wind. It’s also been known to reduce digestive irritations such as irritable bowel syndrome due to its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties.

Add mint to your chamomile tea with a splash of lemon for a tasty winter beverage. If you are interested in natural medicine, make an appointment at our Portland area office.

https://www.johnnyseeds.com/growerslibrary/growingcenter.html

http://chinesenutrition.org/

5 Acupuncture Points to Help Stress This Winter

Relieve Stress with Acupuncture Acupoints in Beaverton

There are several acupressure points that are known to treat stress and stress related symptoms. It’s important to understand that acupressure is not the only form of treatment and having a balanced diet, exercise regime and lifestyle will also decrease the chances of stress being a factor in your life. Acupuncture points for stress relief this winter.

ACUPOINTS
The following five acupoints are known to help alleviate stress and other related symptoms.

LU 1—Zhong Fu
GV 24.5—Yin Tang
KI 1—Yong Quan
LI 4—He Gu
S 36- Zu San Li

THE BREAKDOWN

Lu 1, Zhong Fu- This point is often used to treat vomiting, stops coughing, disperses fullness in the chest, stops pain and regulates Lung Qi. It’s located in the upper chest in the space below the first rib, six cun from the midline. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Lu 1 regulates Lung Qi and stimulates the Lung Qi to descend. It also disperses fullness in the chest and stops coughing.

KI 1, Yongquan, Bubbling Spring- This acupoint is located on the sole of the foot approximately at the junction of the second and third toes. Indications that this acupoint will aid you are if you’re experiencing headaches, dizziness, loss of voice, blurring of vision and so on. In TCM, this acupoint is known to subdue wind and empty-heat, clear up the brain, and tonifies yin.

LI 4,  Hegu, Joining (Union) Valley- The LI 4 is known to treat swelling and pain of the eye, nasal obstruction, toothache, facial swelling, deafness, sore throat and much more. In TCM, it’s said to dispel exterior wind, stimulate the dispersing function of the lungs, removes pain, and harmonizing descending and ascending functions. This point is located on the back of the hand at the apex of the webbed triangle between the thumb and the index finger.

ST 36, Zu San Li- This acupoint is often used to treat vomiting, stress and fatigue and gastrointestinal discomfort. This point is located along the outside of your shin bone about 4 finger lengths from the knee cap. You will know you’re in the right location because a muscle will mom out as you move your foot up and down. In TCM, this point is stimulated frequently to promote health and longevity.

GV 24.5, Yin Tang, Third Eye- This point is located about one finger above the point between the eyebrows and will be almost directly in the middle of the forehead. Working this point is said to calm the mind, clarify ideas and intuition as well as strengthen mental projection. It can be used to alleviate dizziness, stress, vertigo, sinusitis and headaches.

TREATMENT

Each of the above points can be used to aid in relieving stress and/or other symptoms that can cause stress. It’s helpful to bring a list to your Acupuncturist of any symptoms you may have or are looking to treat, any information will be helpful in curating your individualized treatment plan. Please communicate with your Acupuncturist if you are pregnant or looking to become pregnant as some pressure points may affect you.

If you are wondering how acupuncture can help with your stress, make an appointment at our Beaverton area office.

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Add To Your Naturopath Lifestyle with Meditation

How Regular Meditation Can Help Your Naturopath Exercise

Life is full of ups and downs. And everybody tends to get overwhelmed at times. But there are many ways of dealing with what happens. Some people go to the gym to workout. Others meet up with friends and enjoy a nice meal with lots of conversation.  But sometimes it comes down to what we can do by ourselves, for ourselves. Many things are beyond our control. However, we can take responsibility for the state of our mind and meditation is a wonderful tool that helps us do that.

Add meditation to your naturopath lifestyle.Meditation has been around for millennia. The earliest written records of meditation come from the Hindu traditions around 1500 BCE. Other forms of meditation developed in Taoist China and Buddhist India around the sixth and fifth centuries.  The exact origins are subject to debate. But regardless of the origin, meditation practices have stood the test of time and are used all over the world.

Meditation is a way to transform the mind. Meditation practices can increase concentration, emotional positivity, clarity and a sense of calmness. Meditation can also give us the ability to see the true nature of things around us. There are many different forms of meditation, but they all have the same purpose, to calm the mind and help us find our center. When we engage in a particular form of meditation, we learn the habits and patterns of our minds and then we can actually change old habits.

Scientific research tends to focus on two types of meditation, mindful meditation and focused-attention meditation. Through the use of MRIs, scientists have developed a more thorough understanding of what actually takes place in our brains when we meditate. The most dramatic effect is that our brains stop processing information like they normally would. The frontal lobe, which is responsible for reasoning, planning, emotions and self-consciousness, tends to stop functioning during meditation. The parietal lobe, which processes sensory information, slows down. The thalamus, which is the area that focuses our attention by interpreting sensory information, actually shows a slowing of incoming information. So all of these things combined, allows our brains to relax.

Meditation is a practice of focusing our attention and being aware of when it meanders and because of this, meditation can improve our focus when we are not meditating also.  It’s a lasting effect that comes from regular meditation practices.

Another positive effect of meditation is that it allows us to have less anxiety and stress.  The more we meditate, the looser the connections of certain neural pathways become.  The area of the brain that triggers strong reactions becomes less “tight” and in contrast, the frontal lobe strengthens, allowing us to more easily look at things rationally.  For example, sometimes when we experience pain, our minds go to the worst possible scenario and we become anxious. The more a person meditates, the more rational their thinking becomes and thus the feelings of anxiety decrease.

Probably the most studied benefit of meditation is compassion. People who practice meditation regularly have been shown to have more empathy. The part of the brain that processes emotional stimuli, the amygdala, normally slows down during meditation. But just like the aforementioned lasting effects of meditation, compassion and empathy are also affected long-term. Thus those who practice regular meditation tend to look at others differently and show them more understanding and compassion.

Memory is another area that is helped through the regular practice of meditation.  Studies have shown that those who meditate are able to adjust the brain waves that screen our distractions and therefore increase their productivity. Part of this is because meditation actually increases the amount of grey matter in the brain. The greater the amount of grey matter, the more positive the emotions, the less age-related diseases affect us and the less our cognitive functioning decreases.

Over time, meditation can greatly improve the quality of life in numerous ways.  Researching the different forms of meditation is the best way to get started. Try as many as possible and go with the one that resonates best with you. If you are interested in other naturopath treatments, make an appointment at our Tigard office to learn more.

Winter Holistic Health Tips for a Balanced Qi

Holistic Health Tips for a Tigard Winter

Holistic health tips for winter.Winter’s element is water and is associated with the kidneys, which in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is considered the source of all qi and energy within the body. Winter is also associated with the bladder and adrenal glands.

Focusing on inner reflection, rest, energy conservation and storage during the winter months is when it’s most important as it helps us to properly nourish our Kidney Qi.

Below are a few holistic health methods you can learn about and apply during this season in order to maintain a balanced qi.

Balancing your lifestyle

For most people, a reduction in activity is common during the winter months whether it’s due to the frigid temperatures, damp weather, or lack of activities available in the area where you reside.

Given that reduced activity is likely a factor for many, it’s important to also consume less food this time of year to avoid unnecessary weight gain. Food that should be gravitated towards would be warmer foods such as beans, ginger or garlic, and even soups and stews.

Rest & Relaxation

Although the days are shorter during the winter, it’s important to stay in line with our circadian rhythm. This can be done by having an earlier bedtime and waking up after the sun has had time to warm the earth in the morning. Not only does getting more sleep helps with balancing our Yang Qi, it helps give our body the necessary rest we need in order to prevent common winter illnesses such as the flu, colds, and general aches and pains. Not only that, but according to TCM, unresolved anger, stress and frustration can throw your immune system thus off allowing pathogens to affect the body.

Relaxation is also a way to stay balanced during this time of year.

Drink Plenty of Water

We’re all aware that drinking water is extremely important to our survival, but it does more than simply keeping us alive.

Drinking water has many benefits including the fact that it’s essential for proper kidney function and can even prevent kidney stones. It’s also known for lubricating the joints, delivers oxygen through the body, regulates body temperature, and maintaining blood pressure.

If you have a hard time drinking water, try adding lemon to it to amplify the taste, drinking tea, or adding a vitamin flavor enhancer.

Wash your hands

Winter time is the time of year where we are in close proximity with others because we tend to stay indoors more. That being said, we are more likely to spread our germs to others and vice versa.

Washing your hands often can help prevent the spread of germs and keep you healthy. Other ways to avoid coming in contact with germs is to keep a container of sanitizing cloths with you so you can wipe down door knobs, grocery cart handles, and even condiment containers at restaurants before handling them.

Acupuncture Points

The acupuncture point that we suggest catering to is Du 14. It helps regulate blood circulation and can also strengthen the outer defense layers of the skin and muscle to prevent the intrusion and duration of germs and viruses.

Du 14 is a crucial point that is used to release the Exterior and treat Wind-Heat.

Applying holistic health to your active lifestyle is beneficial for your winter health. To learn more about how we can help you improve your winter health, make an appointment at our Tigard office.

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How Acupuncture Treats Lower Back Pain

Portland Acupuncture Treatment for Back Pain

A study published in the British Medical Journal examined how acupuncture can be beneficial for low back pain. The researchers split 241 people into two groups. One group received acupuncture treatments and the other group only received conventional treatments for pain. Over the course of the two-year study, researchers found that those participants receiving acupuncture reported their pain levels were less and that they needed less medication. While the differences in pain scores were not astronomical, this study does demonstrate that the addition of acupuncture to conventional treatments for low back pain can be helpful.

Lower back pain treatment with Portland acupuncture.Statistics show that almost eight out of ten people will experience low back pain at some point during their life. Seeking medical treatment for back pain is very common. Typically back pain is fleeting and can be easily resolved with rest, heat and an occasional anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen. However, once the damage is done, the recurrence of back pain can be as high as 50 percent. Part of this is because as we age, things like muscles and tendons become less flexible and pliable. It is also very well known that in the United States people are too sedentary, and this leads to excess weight gain that can create added pressure on the body, especially the low back.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a medical system that dates back nearly 3,000 years. Despite its age, TCM has a lot of validity to offer in the age of modern medicine. Thousands of studies have proven that acupuncture, just one of the modalities used in TCM, can be very beneficial in the treatment of low back pain.

Acupuncture uses hair-thin needles to stimulate specific pressure points on the body. By invigorating these points, the brain is triggered to release endorphins, which are natural painkillers. The energy within the body is also moved and adjusted. According to TCM medical theory, when the energy is blocked or weak, then pain and illness can attack the body.

One of the advantages of utilizing acupuncture to treat low back pain is that the acupuncturist doesn’t need to diagnose the cause of the pain before treating it. Since acupuncture has no real adverse side effects when performed by a qualified and professionally licensed practitioner, pain relief can begin the very first time a patient is treated.

The treatments are very customizable because this medicine is not a “one size fits all” type of solution. This means that as the pain shifts and changes, the patient will receive customized treatments that not only address the pain and inflammation, but they also work on resolving the root of the problem. Most patients who are dealing with pain also have added stress, insomnia and depression or anxiety. Acupuncture is great at treating all of these conditions. So the patient gets more than just pain relief.

Acupuncture is so effective at treating and relieving pain that it is now showing up in hospitals and emergency rooms. In fact, Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota is now successfully using acupuncture in its emergency room to treat conditions ranging from low back pain to car accident injuries to kidney stones. Their initial results show that pain scores are just as low with acupuncture as they are with analgesic painkillers. Another positive action regarding the utilization of acupuncture came just recently. The Food and Drug Administration released proposed changes that plan to educate health care providers about treating pain. The new guidelines recommend that doctors get information about acupuncture and suggest it to their patients before prescribing opioids.

With these kinds of recommendations and testimonials, it is hard to believe that only about ten percent of Americans have ever tried acupuncture. But that statistic is slowly changing as more and more people are seeking natural and alternative methods of dealing with low back pain. If you are having problems with lower back pain, make an appointment with our Portland area office to learn more about acupuncture treatment.