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!

 

What Is The 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.  

 

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. 

Spring Time!

After the depth, introspection and hibernation of Winter, Spring is always a welcome sight. Although this year winter seems to have finally shown up in February.  Despite the beauty of the late snows many of us look forward to the longer days and warmer weather of Spring. 

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THE WOOD ELEMENT

In Chinese Medicine, the spring is associated with the Wood element. The Wood element embraces the idea of upward and outward growth, of sprouts shooting from the soil and seeds breaking their slumber for growth.  A tree is a great representation of the Wood element.  A healthy tree has it's roots grounded firmly in the earth, and draws water from deep in the earth to nourish it's expanding crown of leaves.

EMOTION

Each element in Chinese medicine governs an aspect of the emotional component of human nature. The positive emotion associated with Wood is benevolence and the negative emotion is anger. Benevolence is the capacity to act for the greater good without need for personal reward.  Anger is anger.  Sometimes anger is born from frustration and personal greed, other times it is born from injustice. At times, anger may be necessary to create the momentum for transformation.  Spring time is a good time to focus on understanding and releasing past pent up frustration and anger and to prepare for new growth and exploration. 

SYMPTOMS ASSOCIATED WITH THE WOOD ELEMENT

  • Chronic tendon and ligament problems

  • Tension headaches and migraines

  • Anxiety and depression

  • Menstrual irregularities and PMS pain

  • High blood pressure

    ORGANS

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The Wood element represents growth and renewal. Wood is associated with the liver and the gallbladder in Chinese medicine. The Liver is referred to as the general of the body. The myriad functions it performs include cleansing the blood, regulating blood sugar, manufacturing various proteins, regulating the balance of hormones and the generation of cholesterol. The Gallbladder is responsible for the storage and secretion of bile which is necessary for digestion.  

From a more spiritual perspective these two organs have an important role to play as well.  The Liver, the general, is in charge of strategic planning. As a general it is the Liver's job to insure that the other organs of the body are working in harmony with one another.  The Gallbladder is in charge of actualizing the liver's plan into action.  

The Liver's gift is vision and planning. The Gallbladder provides direction and stimulation. When these two organs are in harmony and well nourished they work together to insure that our visions and dreams become reality.  

From this perspective our focus in Spring should be growth, planning and the preparation to take our plans to fruition.  

Year of the Earth Dog

Chinese New Year 2018

Year of the Earth Dog

February 16th, 2018 marks the first day the the Chinese new year. The year will shift from the fiery and aggressive rooster to the driven and intelligent dog.  In light of all the intense media focus on political craziness of the past year this shift from fire to earth and rooster to dog could be a deeply refreshing change. 

Every two years the element dominating the year shifts.  This year we will see a switch from the element of fire to the element of earth.  While fire is expansive, transformative and destructive, earth is grounding, nourishing and supportive.  This year we begin to harvest the fruits of our labor from the past few years. 

The dog is loyal and honest.  We are hopeful that 2018 will shift significantly in the direction of honesty and integrity. This is a good time to strengthen our bonds and relationships with friends and family.  Our loyalty to our deeper truths will be important to respect and nourish.  However, the dog is know to be a poor communicator struggling to express itself effectively.  As we continue to grow as conscious beings this year, it is good to remember to listen and speak more clearly.

Acupuncture and Dry needling

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What is Dry Needling:

Dry needling is a form of acupuncture made popular by physical therapists.  It involves the insertion of acupuncture needles into trigger points.

Trigger Points are described as hyper-irritable areas in the muscles that are tender to pressure. Some trigger points correspond exactly with acupuncture points while others are considered extra points in acupuncture.

If you are looking for dry needling ask an acupuncturist. 
We are the experts in the use of needles. 

Acupuncturists are the experts of dry needling. We receive over 2000 hours of training in the safe and effective use of needles. We are trained to identify and treat trigger points, motor points, and acupuncture points.  We study both western anatomy and Chinese medical philosophy.  Like physical therapists, we are trained in anatomy, biometrics of injuries and muscle imbalances. 

The difference lies in the amount of training we receive. Acupuncturists receive extensive training in the safe use of needles while, physical therapists are also highly trained clinicians, but receive minimal training for dry needling. Rather than being part of their core education, it is taught to them at weekend workshops.

 

Definitions:

·      Trigger points are sensitive areas in the muscle or connective tissue that becomes painful when compressed. Pressing on a trigger point can cause referred pain and can help identify the external area in the body generating the pain.

·      Motor points are elecro-physiologically defined, as the point with the highest excitability of the muscle.  It is thought to be the area where the motor neuron innervates the muscle. 

·      Acupuncture Points are any of the specific locations on the body that in the practice of acupuncture and acupressure are stimulated to produce beneficial health effects, such as the relief of pain or promotion of healing. 

 

Aristolochic Acid

Over the last fifteen years a clear link has been observed between Aristolochic Acids (AA) and liver damage and cancer.  In the past, herbs containing these acids were regularly used in Chinese herbal medicine.  As early as 2002, while still students at The Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, we learned about the mounting evidence and were taught never to use these herbs.

In North America responsible practitioners of Chinese Medicine no longer use any of these dangerous herbs.  In fact, with the FDA’s help most of these herbs are very difficult to find. 

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Herbs containing Aristilochic Acid:
Guang Fang Ji
Xi Xin
Guan Mu Tong
Qing Mu Xiang
Ma dou Ling
Tian Xian Teng 

Inner Gate Acupuncture carries no formulas that contain any of these herbs.  Regular continuing education keeps us on top of new developments and we have always erred on the side of safety and caution.  None of these herbs have ever been sold at our clinic. 

20% off Vitamin D Supplements this December

Vitamin D is naturally produced in our skin when we are exposed to sunlight.  In the Pacific Northwest, dark, overcast days cause many of us to become deficient in vitamin D during the winter months.   In this enviornment It is crucial that we supplement with vitamin D.
 
Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency:  

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  • Fatigue
  • Generalized aches and pains
  • Sense of not feeling well
  • Weight gain
  • Slow recovery from colds or flus
  • Restless sleep

 
Benefits of Vitamin D:  

  • Preventing seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • Strong bones and teeth
  • Healthy immune response to colds and flus
  • Supports healthy brain and nervous system
  • Supports lung and cardiovascular health
  • Deep sleep

 
We carry a high quality 5000 iu vitamin D pill.  We feel that 5000 ius of vitamin 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.  

5 Ways to Relieve Holiday Stress

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For many of us the holidays are a difficult time. Family expectations, uncomfortable political conversations, endless meal preparation, and mandated shopping all contribute to the overwhelming chaos.  

In the midst of the holiday fury, it's important that we all find windows of time devoted to relaxation and "me time."  Finding just 15 minutes a day can be a greatly regenerative to your system.  Reducing and managing our stress will lessen the likelihood of us getting sick during the holidays. 
 

Acupuncture:

This is of course an acupuncture clinic's newsletter! We see everyday how the stress relief associated with acupuncture improves people's lives.  With your phone off and an hour to yourself you can completely recharge here with us. Click here is contact us!


Daily meditation with Binaural beats:  

This relaxing music is scientifically designed to help our brains relax. These beats can be easily found on youtube, just search "binaural beats".  To get the effect you will need to listen with headphones.  Each ear will each hear a slightly different frequency of music. Reportedly, this can hep produce a more relaxed brain.  Or you can just meditate!  Click here to try a free binaural beat at youtube.com.
 

Try a float at float on: 

There are several facilities here in Portland where we can enjoy a relaxing "float." These float tanks are designed  to isolate the participant from sound and light.  The warm, highly salivated water makes you float high in the water.  Many people report that while floating time goes by quickly and that they leave feeling relaxed for days.  Click here for more information from Float On.

Put some hours into the gym:  

Exercise is always a great way to burn calories and change how to mind is processing. Stepping out of the daily routine for 45-75 minutes can greatly reduce stress and leave you feeling refreshed and renewed.  Check put classes at you local gym as these can be a great way to stay motivated and interested in workouts.  Click here for a local SE Portland gym that might have some classes that work with your schedule.  


Create some art or music:

If you're the creative type be sure to put some time aside to honor that aspect of yourself.  It may also help you get out of your home and connect with friends.   Making stained glass or soap, dance classes or jamming with friends are all great ideas.  

Volunteer at a shelter or soup kitchen:

Volunteering can make us all feel better.  Connecting with those in need can give us a greater sense of community, involvement and accomplishment.  If you have a few free hours check out one of Portland's shelters and see how you can help out.  Click Here for info from the Union Gospel Mission
 

 

4 Things to do with Halloween Candy

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Did you and your kids end up with too much halloween candy???

Here are 4 ways that you can make good use of that candy and not eat it! 

 

  1. Make a ginger bread house!  
    Gingerbread houses are fun, but they require a fair amount of work.  They are good way to use up a lot of candy and express your creativity.
    For a great recipe from Heidi at Happiness is Homemade. Click Here

  2. Donate to the homeless population.
    Local homeless Shelters are always in need of supplies.  You might have to check and see if they are accepting candy.  Due to it's lack of nutritional value some shelter might turn candy away after a certain point. 

    1. Here are four local homeless shelters: Portland Rescue Mission on Burnside, and at the Harbor, Transition Projects Willamette center, Shepard's Door and Day Break Shelter.

  3. Donate the candy to the troops!  
    There are several organizations that accept candy donations and send them to troops deployed overseas. Operation gratitude, Soldier's Angels, Operation Shoebox, and Operation Stars and Stripes.

  4. Make Ornaments:
    Holiday ornaments can be a great way to turn hard candies into pretty decorations.  They can be placed in your windows, on your tree (if you do that), or given away as gifts. Here is a recipe. 
    1. You will need to have metal cookie cutters, hard candies such as lollypops and lifesavers, vegetable spray, aluminum foil, cookie sheet and ribbon or yard to hang them. 
    2. The instructions are easy. Preheat oven to 350°. Place the aluminum foil in the cookie sheet, place the cookie cutters on the foil. Then spray the cookie cutters and aluminum foil with vegetable cooking spray. Fill the cookie cutters with a single layer of candy using as many as will fit. Be sure to think about your color patterns! Bake for 5 to 7 minutes until candies are melted.

      Remove from oven and allow candy to cool about 2 minutes. While still in the cutter Make a hole in each with a chopstick or straw.  Thread the ribbon or yarn through for hanging then continue cooling until the cutters can be handled. Carefully pull cutters away from ornament.

Summer Watermelon Idea

Gazpacho and Mojitos!

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Watermelons are know as Xi Gua in Chinese.  In Chinese medicine they are eaten to protect against heat stroke and to maintain proper hydration and electrolyte balance during the hot summer months. 

Of course, watermelons can be enjoyed simply by slicing them into wedges and serving them chilled.  But there are many other fun ways to enjoy watermelons and benefit from their hydrating properties. 

Try this amazing Watermelon Gazpacho from Happy Kitchen Rocks. 

This easy recipe is created simply in a blender, saving you lots of dish washing time.  It's also a great way to use up the extra watermelon that won't fit nicely into the refrigerator.  

INGREDIENTS:

6 slices ciabatta bread
1 pound of tomatoes
1 red bell pepper seeds removed
1/2 peeled cucumber
1 1/2 lbs watermelon with the seeds removed.
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoon tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:
Roughly chop all the solid ingredients except 4 slices of ciabatta bread.  Place them into a food processor or blender.  Add the lime juice, white wine vinegar and the extra virgin olive oil.  Blend until smooth and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Garnish with basil leaves.

Grill or toast the ciabatta bread, sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and serve.  

Thanks for the recipe Happykitchen.rocks!