Back Pain, Disc Health, and Dehydration

How does dehydration affect low back pain?

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The discs in your spine are fibrous bundles with soft liquid centers. The discs are nearly 75% water. The outer ring is more fibrous and tough while the inner ring, also known as the nucleus pulposus, is mostly water. During a normal day, due to pressure, water is slowly released from the spinal discs.  By the end of the day you may be up to a half an inch shorter than when you woke up in the morning. During the night, while the pressure on the discs is low, your spinal discs will rehydrate and expand. 

Your discs attempt to stay hydrated during the day. However, the pressure of your body, lack of movement and poor water intake all limit their ability to maintain hydration.  In order to support your discs in their effort to stay hydrated it’s important to maintain good water intake throughout the day. 

When you’re dehydrated your discs are unable to maintain properly hydration. Without hydration they shrink and cannot support and protect your spine. The soft pulp in the center of the discs absorb the downward pressure of your body and the impacts of everyday movement. When they are shrunken more stress is put on the bones of the spine which causes swelling, pain, and contribute to bulgingdiscs.

8   signs of dehydration:

·     Thirst
·     Dark Urine
·     Bad Breath
·     Fatigue
·     Muscle Cramps
·     Blurry Vision/Dry Eyes
·     Dizziness
·     Headaches

Basic Hydration Goals

·    A daily goal of ½ ounce per pound of body weight is generally accepted as a good baseline for hydration. 

·    A 200-pound person should consume 100 ounces of water per day to stay hydrated. 

·    If you increase exercise and other activities this number may need to be adjusted upwards!

SUGAR, IT’S NOT GOOD FOR YOU!

Many of us have been searching for the best diet to help us achieve optimal health. Some of us have tried plant-based diets, while others have explored eliminating certain foods. Traditional diets from all around the world, some completely plant-based and others heavily animal-based, have all produced healthy populations. All of these diets have one thing in common:  no or little sugar or processed foods. 

What is Sugar?

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Many foods we don’t think of as containing sugar actually convert to sugar. For example, all carbohydrate foods such as breads and pasta are converted to sugar by the body. 

The glycemic index is a great tool for understanding the effects of sugar on the body.  The index is a measure of how quickly a particular food turns to sugar in the body.  High levels of sugar in the blood are associated with kidney failure and increased cardiovascular risk. 

White sugar or glucose, which enters our blood stream very quickly, is given the index of 100.  All other foods are rated relative to glucose.  

The highest glycemic foods are the worst for your blood sugar, these include:

·     White Bread 

·     White Rice

·     Potatoes

·     Processed Corn Foods

·     High-Glucose Corn Syrup

How Does Sugar Cause Diabetes?

When we eat sugar, our bodies break it down and send it into our blood stream. From the blood stream, the sugar can be picked up by our cells for use.  The cells use insulin as a mechanism to move sugar from the blood stream into cells.  If the body has been overloaded with sugar for long periods of time, the cells will develop insulin resistance.  The excess sugar in the blood cannot be used by cells and begins to cause all the problems we associate with diabetes:  kidney failure, excessive urination, fatigue and headaches. 

How does Sugar Cause Cardiovascular Disease?

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Sugar in the blood stream is damaging to the cell walls of our arteries. When this damage occurs, our bodies try to repair the damage by laying down cholesterol to protect the arteries.  If the damage continues, it eventually impedes blood flow. 

Dr. Heather Krebsbach is a knowledgeable and caring resource at Inner Gate Acupuncture here in Portland. She can help you design a healthy diet and lifestyle. 

Call to make an appointment today at our
Inner Gate Acupuncture Halsey Clinic
971-279-2294

Acupuncture for Frozen Shoulder

WHAT IS FROZEN SHOULDER? 

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The shoulder is a highly mobile joint that has an exceptional range of motion.  Adhesive capsulitis, better known as frozen shoulder, is a condition in which the shoulder’s normal range of motion is greatly reduced. It is also associated with pain that can be dull, aching and constant, and also punctuated by occasional sharp pains.  Frozen shoulder can make normal daily activities like washing your hair difficult and make sleep difficult, as pressure on the affected arm is intolerable. 

HOW DOES FROZEN SHOULDER OCCUR? 

Frozen shoulder can occur after an injury or any situation that causes you to not use the joint normally. Surgeries, strokes and diabetes are all associated with frozen shoulder. In frozen shoulder, the capsule of connective tissue and tendons that surround the joint become adhered and stiff, not allowing normal movement.  In a frozen shoulder there is less synovial or joint fluid and the normal lubrication of the joint is replaced with thickened scar tissue.  

HOW CAN ACUPUNCTURE HELP FROZEN SHOULDER?   

At Inner Gate Acupuncture your acupuncturist will perform a full evaluation of your body and of the shoulder joint.  Acupuncture is used to treat fascia, muscle and the connective tissue of the shoulder joint. Then active stretching and mobilization of the joint is performed. The combination of acupuncture and mobilization has been shown to be more effective than stretching alone. 

Herbal remedies which help build blood and fluids in the body are often combined with acupuncture to improve the results. Frozen shoulder often affects middle-aged people and those with injuries or other diseases.  Using herbal therapies to correct the underlying disease process is an important part of the tool kit available to the trained acupuncturists at Inner Gate Acupuncture here in Portland.  

7 Ways To Stay Healthy This Fall

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Here are 7 ideas to naturally reduce your risk of infection from colds and flus.

  • Receive Acupuncture Treatments:

    Acupuncture is both calming to the nervous system and stimulating to the immune system. This allows the body to deeply rest and relax. Combining acupuncture points for relaxation with points known to improve immune function and promote white blood cells counts is a great way to stay healthy this fall and winter. Come visit us at Inner Gate Acupuncture here in lovely Portland.

  • Avoid Touching your Face: 

    Although this may sound easy, generally people touch their faces 2-4 times a minute. That's almost 2000 times per day!

  • Keep your Love Life Healthy:

    Research done at Wilkes University found that having sex once or twice a week is linked to higher levels of immunoglobulin A.  An important antibody, which protects us from bacteria.

  • Get Lots of Sleep:

    Making sure that you get enough rest helps your recovery time and can also prevent illness. During sleep your immune system releases important chemicals that help prevent infection.

  • Keep your mind calm:

    Stress and anxiety can greatly diminish your immune system’s ability to protect your body.  Meditation is a great way to boost the immune system.

  • Wash your Hands Regularly: 

    You don’t need special anti-bacterial soap but you do have to take the time to wash your hands after touching lots of surfaces, before eating, and after being exposed to sick people.

  • Exercise:

    Sweating and the build up heat in your body associated with exercise have been shown to improve your immune system’s responsiveness.

Introducing Dr. Heather Krebsbach Naturopathic Doctor and Acupuncturist

Dr. Krebsbach is a family practice Naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist practicing in Portland, Oregon at Inner Gate Acupuncture.

She specializes in bio-identical hormones, thyroid care, digestive health, and autoimmune conditions.

A love for medicine and cultivation of Eastern healing systems

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Dr. Krebsbach's love for medicine and Eastern healing systems developed during a six-month undergraduate sabbatical in India. These studies sparked a desire to search for the root causes of illness and implement treatments focusing on the whole person. She began learning how our health relates to the environment around us. She returned inspired to deepen her understanding of natural medicine.

Nationally board-certified specializing in women’s health

After college,Dr. Krebsbach moved to the Pacific Northwest to attend the National University of Natural Medicine. Throughout the six-year Naturopathic and Chinese medicine program, she mentored with doctors specializing in cancer care, women’s health, HIV, and endocrinology. Once Dr. Krebsbach graduated and became nationally board certified, she completed a two-year Residency program specializing in adjunct cancer care. 

As a Naturopathic doctor, she has over ten years of clinical experience treating people of all ages and has developed a family-based practice. She cherishes treating whole families, their friends and communities.

An educator, investigator, and perpetual student

Dr. Heather Krebsbach prides herself in being an educator, investigator, and perpetual student.  She inspires her patients to heal themselves with the foundations of nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. She encourages her patients to feel empowered by their health choices and strives to help her patients eliminate the obstacles to wellness. 

Dr. Krebsbach commonly treats:

  • Digestive Disorders

  • Menstrual Irregularities and PMS

  • Infertility and Pregnancy Support

  • PCOS, Uterine Fibroids

  • Hot Flashes and other Menopause Symptoms

  • Hypothyroidism and Autoimmune Disorders

  • Allergies, Asthma and Skin Issues

  • High Cholesterol and Diabetes

  • Weight-Loss or Weight-Gain

  • Anxiety, Depression, ADD/ADHD

  • Migraines

  • Fatigue and Insomnia

  • Adjunct Cancer Care

  • Acute and Chronic Pain 

Call our Halsey Clinic 
To schedule your appointment today
971-279-2294

Casey McGuire Promoted to Clinic Director at Inner Gate Halsey!

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Casey Mcguire Promoted!

Inner Gate is excited to announce the promotion of Casey McGuire to Clinic Director of our new location at 6230 NE Halsey. Along with his promotion, he will be moving full-time to the Halsey clinic in Portland and seeing patients Monday through Friday starting November 1st.

Casey has been a vital member of the Inner Gate team for over 10 years and has been dedicated to his patients while supporting the growth of the Ankeny clinic. He is committed to helping people live pain free lives using acupuncture, tuina massage, and herbal medicine to achieve results. His practice includes everyone from athletes to office workers. 
 
You can schedule with Casey or any of our wonderful practitioners by calling the Halsey clinic today at 971-279-2294.

10 Weeks Left! Take Advantage of Your 2018 Benefits

Inner Gate is Here to Help You Feel Better in 2018

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Besides helping recover injuries and resolve pain this is the time of the year when acupuncture can improve your immune system, and help you remain strong through the holiday season.

Right now is the perfect time to use your remaining benefits and get the most out of your 2018 insurance.

Give us a call and we'll get you on the path to feeling your best this fall.  

Clinics available in both NE and SE Portland!

Inner Gate Halsey is Open!!!

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Inner Gate Acupuncture now has two Portland locations to continue to deliver the highest quality acupuncture in town.

Now serving both NE and SE Portland.

In Order to improve our offering we are excited to announce the addition of Naturopathic services from 
Dr. Heather Krebsbach

Dr. Krebsbach has been in practice for 11 years.
She specializes in women's health as well as auto-immune disorders. 

The phone number for the Halsey location is 971-279-2294.

The Halsey hours are:
Mon-Tue        9 am - 5 pm
Wed-Fri         9 am - 7 pm
Saturday        9 am - 5 pm


We look forward to seeing you at our new location!!!

CLICK HERE to check out our updated website

What is Shoulder Impingement?

What is Shoulder Impingement?

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This common injury occurs when the tendons of the rotator cuff become overused and injured.  The subsequent pain and swelling reduces the shoulder mobility leading to impingement. The tendons of the rotator cuff slide between the clavicle and the humerous in the shoulder joint. When the tendons are inflamed or damaged this slide is no longer smooth and the friction causes pain and compression of the tendon leading to pain.  

HOW DOES SHOULDER IMPINGEMENT OCCUR? 

While the rotator cuff muscles are involved in moving the arm, they are also essential to stabilizing the top of the humerous in the joint socket during activity. If these muscles become weak the humerous can drift out and put the tendons in a compromised position. Imbalance between the strength of the chest and the strength of the upper back can also lead to the shoulder being poorly aligned in the joint socket. This again leads to extra wear and tear on the tendon.  

HOW CAN ACUPUNCTURE HELP SHOULDER IMPINGEMENT? 

At Inner Gate Acupuncture your acupuncturist will perform a full evaluation of your body and of the shoulder joint.  Properly identifying the main causes of the shoulder impingement, we determine the best course of treatment. Treatment focuses on calming the inflamed tissue, creating space for proper tendon glide and rebalancing the shoulder, back and chest muscles.  Acupuncture can relieve shortened muscle, active weak muscles and relieve inflammation locally. Manual therapy, cupping and tuina massage are often also used to deepen and improved the treatment.  

ACUPUNCTURE AND SHOULDER PAIN

Shoulder Pain

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The shoulder is one of the most mobile joints of the human body.  It’s superior range of motion makes it one of the most complex joints in the body. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most commonly injured joints in the body.  Symptoms of shoulder pain include achiness, dullness of heaviness in the shoulder, weakness of the arm and hand and limited range of motion.  


WHERE DOES MY SHOULDER PAIN COME FROM?

 

Shoulder pain can be caused by direct injury, or gradual irritation. Direct injury occurs often during falls when you try to break you fall with your arm, or falling from a bike onto the shoulder. Gradual irritation and repetitive strain are more common causes of shoulder pain. These occur often in athletes especially those who perform overhead sports like swimming and tennis.  But irritation and pain can occur simply from poor posture, and bad work stations. 

 

WHY IS PROMPT TREATMENT IMPORTANT?

 

Being proactive and getting treatment soon after shoulder pain begins can speed recovery and lessen the likelihood of the condition worsening.  Our staff can rule out major issue and best guide you in how to care for your shoulder at home.  By preventing long term compensation patterns early treatment will keep the problem from affecting other connecting body parts like the neck and low back.  

 

HOW CAN ACUPUNCTURE HELP?

 

Acupuncture can reach into the deep muscles of the rotator cuff opening up space for the free movement of tendons and muscles.  In fact, 66% of shoulder problem are estimated to be due to rotator cuff issues.  Using both acupuncture and dry needling techniques your acupuncturists her at Inner Gate Acupuncture can treat the muscles and fascia of the rotator cuff and the shoulder to effectively bring relief to damaged shoulders.  

Jumper's Knee

What is Jumper’s Knee

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Jumper's knee is a condition medically know as patellar tendonitis.  It is an overuse injury that results in pain at the front of the knee just below the knee cap.  Repetitive strain from either running or jumping causes inflammation of the patella tendon. The patella tendon can also be damaged by heavy strain such as hiking in mountains or too many deep squats.  Jumper's knee if left untreated can become a persistent problem leading to degeneration of the tissue around the knee.  

What Causes Jumper's Knee or Patellar Tendinitis?

Patellar tendinopathy or tendonitis is typically caused by over use and strain.  This is a common injury for athletes while training for big runs.  It can often occur after strenuous hikes without proper stretching and conditioning.  Having overly tight quads also contributes to this condition.
 

How Can Acupuncture Help With Jumper's Knee? 

The most important first step is accurate diagnosis. Your acupuncturist will first assess the kneecap and muscles of the leg.  Proper orthopedic testing can rule out other possible causes of knee pain including; meniscus tear, ACL or MCL injury, patellar femoral syndrome, or IT band syndrome.  
 

Once the cause of the pain is isolated a treatment plan will be constructed to directly and uniquely address your knee pain.  The treatment's primary focus involves relaxation of the quadriceps muscles.  These muscles form from the bulk of the patellar tendon as it crosses over the knee cap.  Tension and shortness in this tissue will directly affect the tendon. 

Acupuncture and manual therapy techniques can also be applied directly to the tendon itself.  Increasing blood flow to the patellar tendon will result in quick and complete healing.  We also teach proper stretching of the quadriceps tendon and home strengthening exercises to address the imbalance in the leg and the hip.  

Make an Appointment Now!

If pain in the front of the knee is keeping you from the activities you love give us a call we can get you quickly on the road to recovery and back to the sports and activities you're missing! Appointments available in both NE and SE Portland

 

What Is The Carpal Tunnel?

What is Carpal Tunnel

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Carpal Tunnel syndrome is one of the most common wrist issues treated in our clinic. It is estimated that 1 in 40 people have this condition, with over 8 million people diagnosed with carpal tunnel every year.  Women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with carpal tunnel as men. The carpal tunnel is the region of the wrist where the median nerve and the tendons of the finger flexors enter the hand.  The tunnel is formed by dense connective tissue and the carpal bones.  

What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
 

Carpal tunnel occurs when the tissues of the carpal tunnel become compressed and put pressure on the nerves and blood vessels passing through the tunnel.  Pain is typically experienced as nerve pain in the the hand, fingers and in the wrist.  Carpal tunnel is often associated with overuse of computer mouses and keyboards.  In fact, any repetitive and sustained activity that causes compression of the wrist can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.  
 

What Are Carpal Tunnel Symptoms?
 

The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome typically affect the wrist and the hand.  Nerve pain, numbness, aching or sharp pain are all common symptoms.  Due to the nerve compression there may be burning sensations and muscle weakness.  Accurate diagnosis will determine if your symptoms are due to carpal tunnel syndrome or something else such as wrist tendonitis.  
 

How Does Acupuncture Help Carpal Tunnel Pain?


Your acupuncturist will conduct a complete assessment of your arm, wrist, hand, shoulder and neck. After assessing your range of motion and strength they will perform hands-on orthopedic tests and palpation to differentiate carpal tunnel syndrome from wrist tendonitis or radicular pain coming from the neck.
 

After accurately determining what is causing your pain your acupuncturist will construct a treatment plan designed specifically for your condition.  
 

Treatment will generally include:

  • Hands-on techniques to mobilize the bones of the carpal tunnel and free space for the nerve.

  • Acupuncture through the carpal tunnel to release tight tissue, reduce pain locally and activate weakened and inactive muscles.

  • Advice and help with correct posture and work ergonomics that reduce the recurrence of pain.

  • Strengthening and stretching exercises for home care.

 Visit us at either our NE or SE Portland Location

Acupuncture (and Other Alternative Treatments) for Better Sleep

Nearly 35 percent of adults in the United States report getting less than seven hours of sleep, which puts them in a state of sleep deprivation. Everyone has trouble falling and staying asleep once in a while, but when it starts to interfere with your everyday life, acupuncture and other alternative treatments can improve your sleep quantity and quality.

What Happens to my Body During Sleep Deprivation?

Without sleep, your body doesn’t get the time it needs to restore and rejuvenate itself. Brain cells dampen their activity, slowing down reasoning abilities, decision-making skills, and reaction times. Sleep limits the amount of time spent in slow wave sleep, which leads to inflammation, reduced muscle recovery, and a suppressed immune system.

 

The emotional center of the brain becomes more sensitive to negative thoughts and emotions when sleep deprived. At the same time, the reasoning center of the brain becomes less active. Together, these changes often lead to higher levels of stress, which promotes continued sleep loss.

 

Lack of sleep also causes a change in appetite control altering the amount of hunger hormone and satiety hormone in the body. Even one night of sleep deprivation can lead to overeating and unwanted weight gain.

 

What Causes Sleep Deprivation?

Sleep deprivation can come from any number of sources from stress to a medical condition or fluctuating work schedule. Today, in a society that is in constant communication, stress is often at the root of sleeplessness. As sleep deprivation continues, stress levels continue to go up, creating a cycle of prolonged sleep loss.

How Does Acupuncture Help Me Sleep?

Acupuncture has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress, which in turn can help improve the quality of your sleep. In a study published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry Clinical Neuroscience, participants were chosen based on their reports of anxiety and insomnia. Those participants who received five weeks of acupuncture treatments showed an increase in the amount of melatonin in their body.

 

Melatonin is a sleep hormone that helps your body to fall and stay asleep. In the study, it shortened the time it took to fall asleep and reduced the number of times participants woke during the night. Participants also reported significantly lower levels of anxiety. The change in sleep hormone and anxiety decreased their symptoms of insomnia.

 

What Other Alternative Methods Can Help Improve My Sleep?

The effects of acupuncture can be extended when used along with other alternative methods that have been shown to help reduce stress and sleep deprivation.

 

Mindfulness meditation can help focus the mind on present sensations. This focus allows practitioners to develop the ability to let go of thoughts of the past or present the cause stress. In a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, one group followed a sleep hygiene education program while the other participated in six weeks of mindfulness meditation training. Those who participated in mindfulness meditation showed significantly less anxiety, stress, and symptoms of insomnia.

 

Yoga has also been shown to reduce the stress and inflammation that contribute to sleep loss. The Journal of Clinical Oncology published a study that examined yoga’s impact on inflammation, mood, and fatigue in breast cancer survivors. Researchers found that consistently practicing yoga reduced inflammation, improved mood, and reduced fatigue.

 

Acupuncture works to put a stop to the stress-sleep deprivation cycle. When used along with other stress-reducing methods, you can get the rest you need to feel your best.

 

Understanding Low Back Pain

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Low back pain at the Iliac crest is a common condition.  

As Sports Medicine Acupuncturists® we are well equipped to diagnose and treat this type of back pain.

The iliac crest is the top of the ilium or "hip bone" in the low back.  It is the highest portion of the pelvis. It is the bone that your hands land on when you put your hands on your hips. Pain in this region is referred to as iliac crest syndrome.

There are several muscles and muscle groups in this region.  Two of the groups which are particularly important for treating this syndrome are the iliocostalis and the quadratus lumborum.  

The iliocostalis is the more superficial of these two muscles. It is the most lateral of the erector spinea muscles. This muscle extends the back, the motion we do when arching backward.

The quadratus lumborum is a deeper muscle. It connects the iliac crest to the 12th rib, the lowest rib. This muscle bends the trunk to the side. 

As you can see in the image both of these muscles are attached to the iliac crest.  They both also become pain-producing sites. 

Hip imbalance is often involved with iliac crest syndrome. Hip imbalance occurs when the hips are tilted forward or backward increasing or decreasing the back arch. It could also mean the hips are unevenly rotated or elevated where one hip would be higher than the other hip.  

When treating iliac crest syndrome, it is essential to treat the pain producing muscles but the muscles involved in hip imbalance muscle also be treated. Acupuncture and manual therapy, when correctly applied, are great treatments for this type of pain.  

At Inner Gate Acupuncture we understand how to diagnose and treat this common type of low back pain.

Five Ways to Reduce Your Allergies

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Acupuncture reduces allergies by calming and regulating the immune system and opening the respiratory tract.  Precisely placed needles dilate and expand the lungs allowing you to breath more fully and open up sinuses to resolve congestion and itching.  Acupuncture also calms the immune system making you less reactive to allergens in the air.

Chinese Herbal Medicines work by reducing mucus production and calming the mucosal linings in the respiratory tract.  We have several formula options based on your symptoms and body type.  These herbs are a natural alternative to over the counter pharmaceuticals, which can leave you excessively dry, or amped up. 

Probiotics help protect and vitalize the digestive tract.  Maintaining a healthy digestive tract is essential to a healthy immune system.  Probiotics supply the digestive tract with healthy bacteria that aid in proper digestion and absorption.

Nasal Irrigation is a somewhat awkward a but simple and inexpensive way to reduce sinus congestion and exposure to allergens.  Washing the nasal membranes flushes away the substances that cause your allergies and diminishes their effects.  There are many easy ways to learn this technique and with a bit of courage you can be cleaner in just a few minutes. 

Allergy Elimination Diets are short-term diets prescribed to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract and detoxify and soothe the immune system.  These diets impact the entire immune system and down regulate your reaction to allergens. 


These techniques not only reduce allergy symptoms they also improve the entire immune system.   

Top Docs 2018!

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Inner Gate Acupuncturists Oliver Leonetti L.Ac., Erik Isaacman L.Ac. and Casey McGuire L.Ac. were honored to be listed again as Top Docs by the Portland Monthly magazine! 

The care provided at Inner Gate Acupuncture is exceptional.  We work hard to provide the high-quality care you've come to expect.  

By attending many hours of continuing education and fostering a supportive and collaborative environment we work hard to make sure you're getting the best acupuncture care possible every time you come to see us.  

Please continue to see us for all your aches and pains, digestive troubles, or stresses.  And please continue to refer your friends and family for care.  

Your referrals are the best compliment!

 

Spring Mediclear Sale!

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Save $5 on Mediclear
March Thru May

Why Use Mediclear?

In the last 100 years our environment has become more polluted. Unfortunately, tens of thousands of toxic chemicals have been introduced into our environment. No matter how careful we are or where we live, we all have some level of exposure. Add to this the use of alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs and you can see that this has created a challenging task for our bodies to get rid of these substances.

What Is Mediclear?

MediClear is a rice and pea protein powder with many vitamins, minerals, and specialized nutrients that support the liver and aid in the detoxification process. 

MediClear contains a high concentration of protein and amino acids to aid in tissue repair and regeneration. These proteins also assist in detoxification and elimination of harmful substances in the body. Green tea extract provides potent antioxidant and liver-protecting activity, and MSM helps detoxification and joint function.

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Just Ask Your Practitioner Today to Get Started!

A Mediclear cleanse is easy.  It consists of taking the Mediclear powder while doing a three-week allergy-free diet.  We have a booklet explaining the diet that also contains recipe ideas for the three weeks.