NEW T-SHIRTS ARE HERE!

We are excited to announce we’ve produced a new t-shirt to sell in support of the Oregon Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine’s (OAAOM) legal fund. 
The OAAOM’s mission is to advance our profession and honor the tradition of acupuncture and oriental medicine in Oregon.  They work to keep acupuncture safe, legal and accessible in Oregon. 

The OAAOM is currently working to:

Guarantee that insurance companies don’t cut off access to care: Working directly with legislators and insurance companies to combat the new pre-authorization systems used by insurance companies to cut off patient benefits.

Protect patients from unsafe practitioners: Fighting hard to keep untrained chiropractors and physical therapists from practicing unsafe acupuncture

Insure that acupuncturists earn a fair wage: Making sure insurance companies can’t limit reimbursement and unfairly discriminate against acupuncturists.

Provide quality continuing education: Advancing knowledge, techniques and ethics through education. 

The shirts are preshrunk cotton and come in a sizes S to XL. 
The Shirts cost $17 and are available now at the front desk. 

 

Five Exercises that Won't Feel Like Work

You want to get fit, but going to a gym just isn’t your idea of fun, so you can’t find the motivation to actually workout. If this sounds familiar, then perhaps you need to change your idea of working out. If you find an activity that pushes your body out of it’s comfort zone and increases your heart rate, then it counts as exercise.

1. Fencing
The sport of fencing is nicknamed "physical chess with speed of light,” says PAFC - Western Sydney Fencing Club. You have to think smart, act fast, and be strong. Fencing gives you a full-body workout from your feet and legs up to your arms and neck. It’s great for cardio and helps improve strength, flexibility, endurance, and coordination. Fencing works your brain too, increasing focus and concentration by honing strategic thinking and decision-making skills. Challenge your friends to a fencing session or attend a class to meet new friends.

2. Kayaking
Although you may think kayaking only works your arms, Kayak Base notes that rowing utilizes the chest, shoulders, abs, and thighs. It’s particularly great for your abs because rowing involves a torso twisting movement. They also add that many people find kayaking a meditative and peaceful activity where they enjoy the beauty of nature, whether they’re alone or with family and friends.

3. Barre
A barre is the bar you see ballerinas using to warm up, but ballerinas aren’t the only ones using it. Barre-based exercises are rapidly gaining popularity across the country. Shape says most barre-based classes are a combination ballet, yoga, and Pilates. The barre is used as a prop to balance while doing exercises, and some classes incorporate dumbbells and mats into their routines. A barre workout strengthens your muscles, improves posture, promotes weight loss, increases flexibility, and reduces stress. Find a studio and attend with your friends or use a piece of furniture as a barre and workout at home.

4. Dog walking
If you own a dog, don’t just open your door and let him do his business; put him on a leash and take him for walk. It’s not just for his benefit – you benefit from walking your dog too. You’re obviously getting exercise from walking your dog, but a study shows there’s more to it. Participants who started consistently walking their dogs walked more often and for longer distances than those without dogs. If you don’t own a dog (or even if you do), become a (paid) dog walker or volunteer to walk the dogs at a local animal shelter.

5. Skateboarding
Although you’ll get a better workout if you add in some tricks, even just pushing around a skateboard on a flat surface for 30 minutes increases your heart rate and burn up to 360 calories, states Men’s Fitness. Skateboarding is a great cardio workout because it switches back and forth between pacing to more explosive efforts. It also strengthens your quads, hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and abs. Skate parks are located outdoors or indoors, and you can bring your own equipment or rent equipment there.

It’s easy to get fit while enjoying your workout if you rethink what exercise means. Head to your home gym for a self-paced workout, lace up your sneakers and take your dog for a walk, or learn a new skill like fencing. Just remember to have fun, and the rest will follow!

Great Prices on Fish Oils

Inner Gate Acupuncture carries Nordic Natural brand fish oils because of their great reputation, and third party testing.  The testing verifies purity, quality and establishes whether or not heavy metals are present.  

Inner Gate Acupuncture offers fish oils at prices lower than Whole Foods and New Seasons.  We carry the Pro line of products, which is the top line and is not available in retail stores.  Buy your high quality fish oils here for less.  We carry ProEFA, ProEPA and ProDHA oils.  

  • ProEPA:  Lowers cardiovascular risk, reduces inflammation, and manages healthy blood sugar levels. 
  • ProDHA: Benefits the brain and brain development, great for pregnant and breast feeding women. Benefits good cognition, clear thinking and memory.  
  • ProEFA: This formulation is great for joint health, lung & immune support.  

 

Fish Oils Have Many Great Benefits!

  • Prevent Risk of Heart Disease:   The Omega-3 oils contained in fish help counteract the inflammatory effect of Omega-6 oils found in many meats and cereals.  They also slightly thin the blood reducing the risk of clots associated with heart disease.  
  • Reduction of Asthma Symptoms: Asthma is associated with a narrowing of airways due to inflammation.  Asthma symptoms include wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing.  The anti-inflammatory effects of Omega-3 reduce asthma symptoms for some asthma sufferers.
  • Control Depression and Anxiety:  Early research suggests that some people who suffer from anxiety and depression have low levels of Omega-3 oils in their bodies.  The research suggests that for those people increasing Omega-3 oils reduces anxiety and depression symptoms.  
  • Reduce Arthritis Pain:  The anti-inflammatory effects of Omega-3 throughout the body are significant in both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.  While they won't reverse the process, they do control inflammation and therefore reduce pain.  
  • Improve Vision:  The tiny vessels in the eye and in the retina benefit greatly from the mild blood thinning and anti-inflammatory effects of fish oils.  The oils are associated with avoiding age related macular degeneration. 

Antibiotics Associated With Nerve and Tendon Damage

There are many health concerns surrounding the use, and overuse, of antibiotics.  We worry about the health of our digestive tracts, the development of antibiotic resistant super bugs and the health of our antibiotic-consuming livestock.

Some important side effects associated with the use of antibiotics are severe tendon and nerve damage.  In particular, fluoroquiolones have become associated with cases of permanent damage to tendons and nerves. The fluoroquiolones family of antibiotics includes the drugs Cipro and Levaquin.  

These are common drugs that are used to treat a wide variety of infections.  These medications are prescribed to treat everything from pneumonia to urinary tract infections.  Experts and medical institutions are encouraging doctors to avoid the overuse of these medications as the association with severe nerve and tendon damage is becoming more clear. 

No one completely understands how these drugs damage tendon and nerve tissue.  It is suspected that the drugs may limit blood flow to the these tissues, starving them of nutrition and causing an inability to recover from normal levels of activity.

These reactions are rare but severe!  When combined with all the other risks associated with antibiotics, it is worth first considering other options before starting a course of antibiotics.  Of course there are dangerous conditions that should always be treated with antibiotics such as pneumonia, ear infections, and strep throat.  But for other less dangerous conditions fortifying the immune system and treating infections with herbal remedies may be the best first line approach. 

Chinese herbal medicine has many formulas used to treat infections. Many berberine rich plants are used in these formulas.  Berberine is a yellow alkaloid that has natural antibacterial properties. These herbal formula are a potent tool for knocking out many infections and avoiding the use of prescription antibiotics.  Talk with your acupuncturist if you feel you are coming down with something and want to employ the herbal approach first.  

Infections treated well with herbal therapies:

  • Sinus infections

  • Cough with sputum

  • Urinary tract infections

  • Diverticulitis

Herbal therapies should be used under the guidance of a skilled practitioner who can monitor results with the understanding that if symptoms worsen antibiotics may be the correct course of treatment.  

Ice May Slow Injury Recovery

New research rejects the use of ice in injury recovery protocols.  Dr. Gabe Mirkin, who coined the acronym RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) for injury care, reversed course and begun arguing that ice actually delays healing.  Dr. Mirkin is now advocating a much more limited role of ice in the recovery of injuries.
 
After an injury your immune system is imperative for a speedy recovery.  The same system that destroys viruses also heals injuries.  Your body sends immune cells to the damaged tissue to begin the healing process.  Macrophages, one of these immune cells, release chemical messages to the body that promote local inflammation. 
 
Inflammation is one of the first components of injury recoveries.  During the inflammatory phase of recovery macrophages release a hormone known as Insulin like Growth Factor (IGF-1).   IGF-1 then activates other human growth hormones that stimulate the recovery of the damaged tissue.  These growth hormones trigger other cells called fibroblasts to begin building new tissue. 
 
Ice directly delays macrophage activity therefore delaying the effects of IGF-1.  This slows the production of growth hormones and the activity of fibroblasts.  By reducing inflammation ice has a secondary effect of slowing recovery.  In fact, anything that delays the immune response will slow down injury recovery. 
 
 
Things That Slow Injury Recovery Include:

  • Steroids: Cortisone injections
  • All nsaid medications: Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, etc.
  • Immune suppressants: Cancer medications and Rheumatoid arthritis medications, etc
  • Ice

 
It should be noted that ice is a pain killer and the application of ice in the short term helps reduce pain.  We recommend ONLY applying ice post injury for short periods of time (5-10 minutes) to reduce pain, and then allowing the tissue to warm back up for the next 20 minutes.  In this way you can use ice to reduce pain but you won’t significantly slow the healing process. 

Incorporate Alone Time into Your Health Journey

Whether you are single, in a relationship, a parent to a child or a four-legged companion, spending time alone touts several benefits, and can be incorporated into your fitness journey as you strive to get off the couch and get active. Perhaps you had a sedentary winter season, or maybe you just want to get moving. Whatever your reason for getting active, there is nothing wrong with going solo.

 

Alone Time Improves Mental Health

 

With the advent of technology and social media, we are never technically alone. We can reach out to friends and family with the click of a mouse. However, sometimes it is beneficial to disconnect from the world, and spend time alone with yourself. Solitude gives your brain a chance to rest, unwind, replenish, and reboot. When you remove all distractions, you can clear and focus your mind, and improve your concentration, which will be beneficial when you are tackling work, chores, and other daily activities. Spending time alone can also help you think deeply and work through problems more effectively. Your daily responsibilities and that ever-growing to-do list can make it seem like there is no end in sight, and when you are distracted by incoming information from other people and electronics, it can be impossible to think of effective solutions to your problems.

 

Finding time to both spend alone and engage in physical activity may sound easier said than done, but there are several ways to incorporate a little bit of alone time and movement into your day. Get up early and a jog around the neighborhood. Use your scheduled breaks productively. For example, if you typically eat lunch at your desk, try eating lunch outside and using the remaining time to fit in a brisk walk to clear your mind and prepare yourself for the rest of the day. If you are still struggling to get in that alone time, schedule solitude by literally marking it on your calendar. It could be something as simple as a 15-minute stretch, a walk around the mall parking lot, or a short bike ride.

 

Get Moving On Your Own

 

Just like distractions are detrimental to the benefits that can be reaped by spending time alone, it applies to getting active as well. When you work out with others, it is easy to get caught up talking or catching up on the latest news, distracting you from the task at hand, which is to work up a sweat. You may also find that by working out with others, you are distracted by the intensity at which others are going. It is important that you work at your own pace, and pushing yourself too hard, too fast could result in injury. Each person has their own unique fitness goals, so if you are finding it difficult to focus solely on yours alone, working out alone could be beneficial.

 

Going solo also means that you get to call the shots and be flexible with your workouts rather than being at the mercy of the busy life of someone else. If you want to fit in a quick boxing session late at night or go for a run before the sun comes up, you don’t have to worry about coinciding with others schedules. Getting active can help reduce stress and clear your mind, and sometimes it is easier to fit in quick bursts of activity when it is most convenient for you.

 

Getting active doesn’t have to mean sticking to the generic gym routine. Any form of movement is activity. Consider learning a new sport, community service, participating in an obstacle course race, learning a new dance, or walking to places you would typically drive. If being completely alone in your workouts feels too boring for you, bring your pooch along, or if you don’t have a dog, start up a dog walking service--it’s a great way to workout while making a few bucks at the same time!

 

You can also track your success and stay motivated by incorporating technology like a pedometer to track your steps and set goals each week, or follow along with an exercise video or a fitness video game. Find what you enjoy and turn it into a mental and physical health benefit.

6 Creative Ways to Get Fit

Getting fit is a commitment, but sometimes you just don’t have enough time to get to the gym. Fortunately, participating at the gym isn’t the only way to get fit! If you are pressed for time, or bored with your current routine, it’s time to shake it up! Exciting new ways to exercise are all around you. Here are some fun and creative ways to keep you in shape.

Ditch the Elevator

As convenient as the elevator is, taking the stairs is a great way to add exercise to your day. Walking up a flight of stairs burns calories and improves cardiovascular fitness. Stair climbing is considered a vigorous form of exercise because it engages your abs, legs and arms. Effort is required as you are pulling your body against gravity. If you have a staircase at home, make a cardio workout by repeatedly climbing in 10-minute increments. While you are out in public, opt for taking the stairs to sneak in a quick bout of exercise.

Walk the Dog

Every dog should be walked once a day, and you can benefit from this too! Walking with your dog is a great low-intensity cardio exercise that requires no equipment. A daily routine of 30 minutes can decrease your risk for high blood pressure, high blood sugar and eliminate excess fat around your waist. As for your dog, walking is a great way to burn off energy, which maintains good behavior. Creating a habit of walking at the same time each day will quickly become an activity you both will enjoy. As you build your stamina through walking, you can try running with your furry friend!

Play with Your Children

The high energy that children have seems to never cease! There’s no better way to get your heart-pumping than to join them for some fun. A playground is a great place to workout! Pushing your kids on the swing is an awesome arm-strengthening exercise. You can also do a few reps of pull-ups on the monkey bars. If you want to work on your core, hang upside down from the monkey bars, and curl your body up toward your legs.

Don’t have a playground nearby? No worries! Hide-and-seek and hopscotch are fun ways to get fit as well! Along with the opportunity to exercise, playing with your kids will create lasting memories!

Dive In

Maybe you’ve tried swimming before but found doing laps to be too monotonous. Well, don’t give up your time in the pool just yet. There are tons of fun ways to get fit in the water. From water basketball to pool yoga, exercising in the pool can be preferable to land workouts because it’s easier on the joints. So, see what options your local indoor pool offers and dive in when you have a chance.

Try Indoor Bouldering

Bouldering is similar to rock climbing, but it doesn’t require that you climb quite so high. Instead, “boulderers” work their brains and their bodies, as they solve problems to progress along their climbing route. If you’re up for trying something new and challenging, bouldering is a great choice.

Ride a Bike

Driving is convenient as it saves time, but there are no health benefits because you are idle. The next time you are on the way out, opt for your bike rather than the car keys (Don’t forget your helmet!). With biking, you will be able to take in scenery while giving your lower body a full workout. Your legs will become stronger, and your body fat levels will go down. Biking also improves your posture and coordination. As you ride your bike the risks of cancer, diabetes and other diseases decrease. As a beginner, start out with short routes, and as your endurance increases go for longer rides. Soon you will be a pro and biking will become your preferred method of transportation!

Getting fit goes beyond the walls of the gym and the latest fitness craze. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need much to lead an active lifestyle. Playing with your children, walking your dog, and biking are all effective methods of exercise that easily blend into your day. Incorporating creative ways to exercise presents an exciting feeling as you challenge yourself to come up with even more clever ways to stay fit. 

Article Written by Paige Johnson

Paige is a fitness nerd and shares her insights on LearnFit.Org

Golden Milk Recipe

INGREDIENTS

 

This recipe makes 2 cups

  • 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk, preferably coconut milk or almond milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1  cinnamon stick
  • 1-2 inch piece of turmeric, unpeeled, thinly sliced or crushed, or 1/2 teaspoon dried turmeric
  • 1/2-inch piece ginger, unpeeled, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon honey (added after cooking)
  • 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

PREPARATION

  1. Whisk together coconut milk, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, coconut oil, peppercorns, and 1 cup water in a small saucepan.  When it comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and serve in a mug.  
  2. The milk will store well if refrigerated for up to 5 days.  
  3. The drink can be modified in countless ways!  Try adding cardamom, or other spices, or increasing the ginger and turmeric. 
  4. The coconut oil and peppercorns are important ingredients as they aid in the digestion of turmeric.  
  5. Enjoy!!!

Golden Milk!!!

Despite hundreds of years of use in India, we at Inner Gate have only recently discovered golden milk and it's wonderful health benefits.  Golden milk is simply made from the combination of coconut milk, coconut oil, ginger and turmeric.  Many recipes include honey and black pepper for enhanced flavor and better absorption of the turmeric.  

The health benefits of golden milk come mainly from turmeric and the polyphenol curcumin that turmeric contains.  Known as the spice of life in India, Turmeric has potentially hundreds of benefits to our health. These include controlling many inflammatory processes.  This affects conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, and gout.  Turmeric has been shown to control cholesterol levers, suppress the symptoms of diabetes and alzheimers, and inhibit tumor growth! 

Read more about turmeric HERE

Making Golden Milk is easy.  There are many recipes online which all seem to follow a similar format.  This recipe is one that we tried and really enjoy.  it includes a few other ingredients to make the drink more warming for these cold winter months. 

Year of the Fire Rooster

Twelve years ago I was in China for the first time.  My wife and I had just arrived as New Year celebrations were underway.  It was the year of the wood rooster. I remember fireworks, great noodles and large rooster effigies all around town.  This year January 28th marks the beginning of the Chinese New year 2017.  This time around it be the year of the fire rooster. Every year the animal changes and every two years the element changes.  The elements are water, wood, fire, earth and metal, in that order.  
 
The rooster is thought to be an opinionated fellow.  He is known for quick and decisive decisions.  It is said that the rooster will always boldly speak his mind.  However, his brash opinions are often presented without the benefit of tact.  The fire quality of this year’s rooster could amplify the bird’s impetuous nature. 
 
He also has the interesting combination of being a hard worker and a daydreamer. Unfortunately, he runs the risk of having too many dreams, the desire to achieve them and the frustration of not being able to achieve them all.  During the rooster year we should all work on setting reasonable and tangible goals.  These can give us a great sense of accomplishment.  
 
During the year of the rooster it's important to remember to not be overly opinionated, and if we just can’t control our opinions we should be careful to present them tactfully.  In this time of strong opinions we should take a moment to self-reflect on our words before we say them.  

The rooster can be a proud, loyal, and stalwart friend.  He is fierce defender of his community.  Let us all do our best to embody the positive aspects of the rooster in the coming year.  

Best of luck to you all in 2017!

Managing Stress: It's so Important!

Stress has profoundly detrimental effects on our bodies and our lives.  Many of us are under a greater amount of stress than we know.  Understanding the many effects that stress has on our bodies can help us more accurately assess how much stress we are under.

Effects of Stress:

  • Headaches
  • Anxiety, panic attacks and depression
  • Increased risk for cardiovascular diseases
  • Stomachache, heartburn and digestive changes including diarrhea and constipation
  • Increased risk of diabetes
  • Low sex drive, erectile dysfunction
  • Poor immunity and susceptibility to infections
  • Irregular menstruation and infertility
  • Poor sleep, insomnia

Finding healthy ways to manage stress and making life choices that reduce stress is essential to living well.  There are many great ways to manage our stress, everything from mountain biking to meditation.  As the new year approaches and many of us make resolutions we should consider adding some resolutions that directly related to how we manage our stress levels. 

Ideas for Managing Stress:

  • Maintain a positive attitude. Accept the things you can't control and control your reaction to things that bother you. 
  • Voice your opinions and thoughts in a reasonable way.  Steer clear of passive aggressive patterns, like not saying what you feel when your upset but letting it affect your behavior. 
  • Practice relaxation techniques. Breathing exercises, meditation, qi gong, yoga, and tai chi are all great ideas.
  • Sustain a solid exercise routine.  Exercise gets us out of our heads, reduces stress hormones and improves how we sleep. 
  • Eat healthy foods. Avoid the trap of comfort foods.  These high sugar, high fat foods can lead to more problems and make us feel worse about ourselves. 
  • Think about how you manage time and try to use your time intelligently. 
  • Spend time doing hobbies that you enjoy.  Music, models, and art are great activities for reducing stress. 
  • Get sufficient sleep and rest.  
  • Spend quality time with your family, or don't if your family upsets you.
  • Be willing to say no to activities you know will disturb you. 
  • Try getting regular acupuncture or massage, these treatments have significant positive impacts on your health.  

Winter & The Water Element

In traditional Chinese thought the winter season is associated with the water element.  It is a time of reflection and introspection.

Winter is a great time for us to think about the past years achievements and shortfalls and think of ways to improve ourselves in the coming year.  

Many of us will sit and make resolutions for 2017.  When making resolutions it is best to make reasonable and measurable goals.  For instance, a goal like "I want to read more!" is a great goal but difficult to measure.  Instead, a goal of "I want to read one book per month!" is easy to measure.  

The water element is associated with willpower, perseverance and deep strength.  After all, it was water that cut through mountains to create the Grand Canyon.  It's important that all of us remember the power inherent within ourselves and nurture our roots this season for the coming year.  

The Benefits of Eccentric Exercise

What is Eccentric vs. Concentric Muscle Contraction?

Concentric Contraction: Concentric contraction occurs when a muscle is activated and begins to shorten against a load.  The raising of a weight during a biceps curl is a concentric contraction.

Eccentric Contraction: Eccentric contractions occur when the muscle is lengthening during contraction.  The lowering of the weight slowly during a biceps curl is an eccentric contraction.  Eccentric contractions occur constantly throughout the activities of daily living.  During movements such as walking the quad muscles stabilize and control the frame of the body while they are actively contracting and lengthening.

The Importance of Eccentric Contraction:
Sports Medicine research has shown that eccentric contracts are better at building muscle mass, strengthening and repairing connective tissue including tendons and ligaments.   There is evidence that eccentric contractions even help increase flexibility.  

For minor injuries and tendonitis conditions your practitioner may prescribe eccentric exercises as a home care therapy.  The practitioner will explain the exercise carefully in order to fully take advantage of the eccentric phase of contraction.  Moving very slowly and controlled during the contraction is essential to maximizing the benefit of the exercise.  Moving too quickly or using too heavy a weight can actually damage the tissue.  

 

Herbal Remedies for Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain, bloating gas and heartburn are conditions that affect many of us.  In fact, according to a Merck corporation survey, 7% of us suffer from abdominal pain on a daily basis!  Abdominal pain is caused by many complicated issues that require careful diagnosis and treatment for lasting relief. 

Many of us aren't satisfied with the therapeutic options provided by western medicine.  More and more unwanted side effects are being discovered by patients taking these medications long term.  For example, proton pump inhibitors like Priolsec and Prevacid have been linked to pernicious anemia, kidney disease and kidney failure. 

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine offer non-pharmaceutical options for people with chronic digestive disorders. At Inner Gate Acupuncture the clinicians take a careful health history, including a detailed description of your symptoms and their progression over time.  They combine this with an analysis of current diet to determine the best herbal remedies and diet changes for specific abdominal complaints.  

Below are effective herbal formulas used for abdominal pain.  Although the names may seem strange they simply reflect the Chinese names for the herbs in the formula.  These are five of the many commonly used formulas of Chinese herbal medicine for abdominal pain. 

Liu jun zi tang:  This formula is warming and aids with distention and pain in the abdomen.
Shu gan wan: This formula is moving and aids with bloating and pain. 
Shen ling bai zhu wan:  When there is heaviness and a sluggish digestion with loose stools this formula is helpful. 
Gui pi wan:  This formula nourishes and helps when patients are fatigued and feel weakness. 
Xiao yao wan: Stress can play a major role in digestion causing abdominal pain. This formula helps when stress is causative. 
Bao he wan:  This simple formula is designed to be taken when over eating leads to stomach pain.  Everyone should have this on hand for after Thanksgiving!

Remember these are medicines and although they are not prescriptions they should only be taken after being prescribed by a Chinese medicine practitioner.  We supply only high quality herbs and have the training to choose the correct formula for you.  

 

Should We Supplement Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is naturally produced in our skin when we are exposed to sunlight.  In the Pacific Northwest it is easy for us to become deficient in vitamin D during the winter months.  For many of us it is crucial that we supplement vitamin D during this time. 

Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency:  
Fatigue
Generalized aches and pains
Sense of not feeling well
Weight gain
Slow recovery from colds or flus
Restless sleep

Natural food sources of Vitamin D include many fish.  Look for wild caught fish or sustainably harvested fish. Avoid farm raised versions. 

Foods High in Vitamin D:
Salmon
Sardines
Egg yolks
Tuna
Makeral

Supplementation of vitamin D is recommended for people in our latitude:  
At Inner Gate Acupuncture we carry a high quality 5000 iu vitamin D pill.  We feel that 5000 iu a day is a safe dosage to be used throughout the dark months of the year.  Please consult with one of our practitioners about supplementation of vitamin D.  

Vitamin D has been shown to improve health in many ways:
Vitamin D is best known for helping the body regulate the absorption of calcium.  Without enough vitamin D our calcium levels drop causing weak bones and teeth.  Recent research confirms that adequate vitamin D reduces the risk of multiple sclerosis, heart disease and your likelihood of catching the flu.  Vitamin D has also been shown to reduce the symptoms of depression.

Scraping Therapy

Many athletes and sports trainers are using forms of scraping therapy or Gua Sha to speed recovery times, reduce pain and improve performance. 

Scraping therapies are known collectively as Gua Sha in traditional Chinese medicine.  Many physical therapists use the same techniques but call them Graston techniques.  The techniques were developed centuries ago by Chinese physicians to treat painful muscles and joints.

Gua sha is an effective technique that utilizes ceramic, stone or metal tools to treat many soft tissue injuries.  Acupuncturists use the technique to treat areas of chronic inflammation, fascial adhesions and areas of pain.  

Our skilled clinicians can easily adjust the intensity of the technique, getting deeply into the tissue without causing undo pain. Often localized discoloration will occur, similar to those marks seen with cupping therapy, but it will clear in a few days.   

Gua sha is a great way to:

  • Break up scar tissue
  • Restore normal range of motion
  • Reduce pain
  • Improve performance

CLICK HERE to see all of the services provided at Inner Gate Acupuncture.

Back to School Immune Support

Back to school means it time to boost everyone's immune system. As cooler weather encroaches we are all forced to spend more time indoors with other people, often with closed windows and poorly circulated air.  These are conditions that expose us to more bacteria and viruses than any of us would like. 

Here are a few practical ways for us to prevent those bacteria and viruses from getting us sick.  These methods are simple but they may prove more difficult to practice than you think. 

  • Washing hands regularly: Just using a simple soap to clean the hands a few times per day can greatly diminish our exposure to viruses and bacteria. 
  • Keep your fingers and hands off your face and mouth:  It is estimated that people touch their faces hundreds of times per day!  Much of this touching is habitual and unconscious. If we focus carefully we can break this habit and reduce our exposure to the bugs that make us ill. 
  • Click Here for a link to a video that shows the most effective way to wash hands with soap and water. 

Chinese medicine has several powerful approaches to maintaining a healthy immune system. These time tested ideas can add potent weapons to your germ busting arsenal.

  • Yin Qiao San: This ancient formula has many modern day equivalents. It serves as the base for Wellness formula and the popular product Airborne.  Taken in it's raw herbal form or as an alcohol tincture it reaches it's most potent concentration.  This formula is good for early onset colds when your throat is raw and your body is achey.  Once phlegm is present as nasal congestion or post nasal drip the cold has penetrated too deeply and yin qiao san is no longer the best formula.    
  • Cupping: Yes that popular therapy that Michael Phelps exposed to the world for it ability to relieve muscle pain and tension is also used to strengthen the immune system and defend against colds and flus. 
  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture has specific points that are used to increase white blood cell count, open the lungs, and calm the nervous system, all components of a healthy immune system.

If you do get sick, don't give up hope. There are many acupuncture techniques and Chinese herbal formulas designed to counteract colds and flus and shorten the duration and intensity of these illnesses.  Call us and we will be happy to get you in and on the road to recovery.  

 

Movember

The stated goal of The Movember Foundation is “To change the face of men’s health.” In order to achieve this goal the foundation hosts a variety of events and fundraisers. The most popular and well know event is the movember mustache growing. 
 
During the month of November men are encouraged to manage small fundraising campaigns while growing a mustache throughout the month.  The event has grown greatly since it began in Australia in 1999. 
 
With the addition of high profile athletes and celebrities the event has generated over 175 million dollars worldwide for men's health issues.  Even Snoop Dogg released a limited edition Movember t-shirt and donated 20% of the proceeds to the Movember foundation. 
 
Prostate health and cancer prevention have been a main focus of the Movember Foundation since it began.  Because many aging men face issues regarding prostate health it is important to encourage these men to seek help when they first begin to experience symptoms. These symptoms include burning or painful urination, difficulty starting or stopping urination, frequent urination, blood in the urine, or loss of bladder control.  

Other major issues that the foundation is focused on include mental health, testicular cancer, suicide and major depression.  

If you happen to notice a bit more facial hair around the clinic this November please know that we are trying to change the face of men's health.  
 
CLICK HERE to learn more about Movember

The Metal Element & Autumn

In autumn many plants die back to the earth sending their energy into their roots.  In traditional Chinese thought, autumn is associated with the metal element, the color white and the lung organ. 

The process of turning inward and returning to our roots is important after the bursting energy of spring and the fiery energy of summer.  Autumn, represented by the metal element, offers us a chance to reflect on the things that are important to us.  Like looking into a mirror, we reflect on what is beneficial and worth our time and what should be disregarded. 

The metal element is involved in discernment and the clear understanding of true value.  For most of recent history humans have used metal coins to represent money.  Looking deeper into the meaning of value we can discern which pursuits bring us happiness and which leave us unfulfilled. 

As our energy shifts away from the outward pursuits of summer it is a time to take stock of what we have accomplished and send our extra energy back to our roots where it can nourish us through the approaching winter.  

What things are most valuable in your life?  How can you shift your priorities to spend more time honoring your deeper values? Answering these questions can help us take advantage of the unique vantage point of autumn and set us up for a rewarding 2017.