In the News

Erik Isaacman L.Ac. is SMAC's Sports Medicine Practitioner of the Month

Erik Isaacman L.Ac.

Erik Isaacman L.Ac.

Inner Gate Acupuncture is excited to announce that Erik Isaacman was honored this June as the Sports Medicine practitioner of the month through the Sports Medicine Acupuncture group.

Having completed the Sports Medicine training in 2015 Erik continues to utilize and deepen his skills. He works as a teachers assistant for the foundational sports medicine courses and recently attended a 5 day cadaver lab to deepen his anatomy knowledge.

The Sports medicine training is the highest level sports medicine training designed specifically for acupuncturists. The course is a year long doctorate level training for established acupuncturist to deepen their skills.

Click here to read more about Erik Isaacman L.Ac.

Personalized healthcare

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The mapping of the human genome published in February 2001, launched healthcare into a new era of medicine. DNA sequencing paved the road for more individualized medicine and gave birth to the concept of genomic medicine.  Heather Krebsbach ND is able to utilize the growing knowledge and understaning of genetics to inform her naturopathic medicine practice here is Portland, Oregon.

 

The National Human Genome Research Institute defines genomic medicine as "an emerging medical discipline that involves using genomic information about an individual as part of their clinical care (e.g., for diagnostic or therapeutic decision-making).”

 

Genomic medicine has helped to identify: 

·     Targeted medication for individuals to decrease side effects 

·     Medications that are more effective for specific diseases 

·     Examine the relationship our environment has on our genes

·     Ways to change diet and lifestyle to support the genes we were born with 

 

Genomic medicine isn’t confined to cancer research or what medications to use, there are a number of tests that are centered on optimizing health. For instance, we now have a picture of how each individual is detoxifying as well as making neurotransmitters. With this information, supplements, diet and lifestyle recommendations can be personalized. 

 

This technology is going even further by mapping out our intestinal microbiota, or the community of bacteria, yeast and viruses living in each of our digestive tracts. Many of these organisms have a beneficial relationship that keeps us healthy and much research is going into this area to identify the effect specific organisms have on diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. There are numerous tests on the market, but it’s important to have a conversation with your healthcare provider to determine the “right” test for you.

 

Sport Injury and Sports Recovery Research and Development

The field of naturopathic medicine excels in its ability to individualize health care to combine diet, lifestyle, herbs and nutraceutical supplements. Now genetic testing is taking this quality of care to new heights by enabling naturopathic doctors to identify and treat chronic or underlying conditions in a more holistic way. 

 

 

Year of the Pig

Boar pig as symbol for year 2019

The year of the Earth Dog has past and we’ve begun the year of the Earth Pig.  The Pig is the last animal of the 12 year Chinese zodiac cycle.  Legend holds that the Yellow emperor held a race for all animals to determine their position in the yearly line up.  The Pig was the last to cross the finish line.

On February 5th we officially began the “Year of the Pig.” Being the last animal in the zodiac is like being the party at the end of the December. The pig year should be an opportunity to switch from the territorial nature of the dog to the generous perspective of the pig.  

The Pig brings new opportunities and perspectives. 


In ancient China the pig was thought of as a symbol of nourishment, generosity and abundance. If you had many pigs you could feed your children and provide for your neighbors and protect your future. They are a lazy animal that does no farm work like the ox or horse. The pig's focus is on enjoyment of life. 

Focusing on joy, art, music, food and pleasure will be a pleasant shift for many of us who have been consumed by current events, news and politics.

Click here to read much more about the pig year!

Acupuncture treatment is a great way to honor yourself and initiate the change to a move balanced and forward looking you. Embrace the ideas of joy and pleasure. All of us at Inner Gate Acupuncture would love to help!

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.

Organic Foods VS. Conventional Foods

organic vs. non organic meats, cheeses, fruits and vegetables

For many years consumers have demanded and paid a premium for organic foods. Many believed that the food was somehow healthier than food produced with fertilizers, pesticides and chemicals.  Others paid for the premium because it meant fewer pesticides and herbicides on their food and in the environment.

The European Commission, the executive body of the European Union has performed a major review analyzing differences in organic vs. non organic meats, cheeses, fruits and vegetables.

The commission found that organic meats and cheeses had 50% higher omega-3 fatty acid content that conventional meats and cheeses!

Omega-3 fatty acids are associated with a decreased risk of heart disease and inflammation in the body.  These oils are found in predominance in cold water fish like anchovies and sardines. The health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are firmly established.

Although there is no direct research on it yet, it stands to reason that a diet with organic meats and cheeses vs. conventional meats and cheeses would be healthier based solely on the omega-3 content of the foods. 

A review of fruits and vegetables found that organic fruits and vegetables had higher levels of antioxidants than their conventionally produced counterparts. Antioxidants are molecules which inhibit damaging free radicals in our bodies. Also noted was less pesticide residue on the organic produce.

 

2 Surgeries to Avoid

Complex spinal fusion for stenosis and hysterectomy for uterine fibroids are both surgeries that may be best avoided.  There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. According to the AARP. Theses two surgeries are over performed, often deemed as unneccesary  and are money makes for hospitals and doctors.

Complex spinal fusion is a surgery to manage back pain.  The surgery involves binding two or more vertebrae together with a bone graft.  It may also include a plate and screws into the spine.  Major complications of the surgery were experience by 5% of the patients.

Alternatives: Before considering a complex spinal fusion.  Make sure that all other options have been exhausted.  These other options include acupuncture, physical therapy, cortisone injections, or less complicated surgeries like a decompression.

 

two surgeries to avoid

Hysterectomy for uterine fibroids is a surgery that involves the removal of the uterus and often the fallopian tubes and ovaries.  There are many less costly procedures that can be performed that can reduce or completely eliminate uterine fibroids.  Of course, if cancer is present the hysterectomy is probably the best option.  Your doctor will determine this.  

Alternatives: The less costly and safer alternatives to this procedure include Chinese herbs, acupuncture, embolization procedure and possible focused ultrasound.  Chinese herbs and acupuncture are extremely effective when smaller fibroids, smaller than 4cm are present.  Embolization is a safer procedure that cuts off blood flow to the fibroids and shrink them.

5 Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency

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As we have heard in recent years.  Vitamin D deficiency has become epidemic.  Many of don't receive the daily allowances that provide from strong bones, healthy immune systems, and vital hearts.  It is important to spend sufficient unprotected time in the sun or supplement effectively.


Here are 5 symptoms that may indicate you need more vitamin D

  1. Dental cavities and osteoporosis: Good bone density is associated with sufficient vitamin D.

  2. Depression: These are receptors in the brain for vitamin D, in areas associated with emotional health like the hippocampus. Vitamin D may play an important role in the treatment and prevention of depression.

  3. Childhood allergies: Children with normal levels of vitamin D had reduced allergic sensitization compared with children who had low levels of vitamin D.

  4. Cardiovascular disease: Research is beginning to reveal links between increased risk of cardiovascular disease and low vitamin D. The exact mechanism is still unknown.

  5. High Cholesterol: It has been shown that vitamin D precursors are turned into cholesterol by the body in the absence of adequate sunlight.

Eat More Chocolate!

The Power of Dark Chocolate

Eating dark chocolate improves heart health, increases insulin sensitivity, and has anti-inflammatory properties.  Researchers have documented these benefits and are now exploring why these effects occur.

Eat more chocolate

Research participants ate between 8-20 grams of dark chocolate daily.  That is equal to two small squares.  It's important to remember that the research being performed is being conducted on dark chocolate, not milk chocolate, and that the chocolate has been only slightly sweetened.  Milk chocolate has a higher sugar content and will not confer the same health benefits.

Gut bacteria In the large intestine breaks down the fiber and the antioxidants in the chocolate and converts them into chemicals called flavanols.  These flavanols are absorbed in the blood stream where they reduce inflammation and improve circulation, both of which improve our overall cardiovascular health.

Researchers discovered that people eating 8 grams of dark chocolate daily, one small square, had an obvious improvement in cardiovascular function and a 14% - 23% increase in arterial flow.  Increased arterial flow is associated with a decrease in cardiovascular risk.

Enjoy a small piece of high quality chocolate everyday.  Its good for you!

Chinese Herbal Medicine Has Arrived At The Prestigious Cleveland Clinic

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Hospitals around the country have been offering acupuncture for years, but have shied away from Chinese herbal medicines.  The fears were that Chinese herbal medicine could not meet institutional requirements and not enough evidence supported their use.  Lead acupuncturist at the Tanya I. Edwards MD Center for Integrative Medicine, Jamie Starkey, and her late mentor Tanya Edwards, M.D. openly addressed all the controversial issues and, created a way to bring Chinese herbal medicine to the Cleveland Clinic.

Doctors at Cleveland Clinic refer patients to state-licensed Oriental Medicine practitioners, within the hospital, who prescribe Chinese herbal medicines, customized to patient constitution and  symptoms. The addition of Chinese herbal medicine in an upper level institution changes the cultural view of this medicine.  The move shows that trust in the principles and the manufacturing of these medicines has reached a new level.  It illustrates that doctors trained at the best medical schools in the country are beginning to value, understand and trust Chinese herbal therapy.

 

Program designer, Dr. Tanya Edwards, was insistent that Chinese herbal medicines meet the rigorous criteria of hospital standards. Bill Egloff of Crane Herb Co., who Chairs the Chinese Herb Product Committee of American Herbal Products Association, was employed to answer questions concerning identity, quality and testing of herbal medicines.   Together they were able to navigate the messy world of Chinese herbal products and find products that meet the strict clinic standards to allow their use in the Cleveland Clinic.

Anti-Cancer Mushrooms For Health

There are thousands of known mushroom species in the world but only a few have been scientifically evaluated.  And while only a small percentage of these have been studied for medicinal use, many that have been reviewed have shown a great capacity to stimulate the immune system.

Shitake: Known in Chinese as Xiang Fu, or “Fragrant Mushroom”, is a tender and delicious mushroom easily included in many meals. Shitakes are prized as a delicacy and a powerful medicinal.  Shitake mushrooms contain a glucan named AHCC (Alpha Hextrose Correlated Compound) that has been shown to enhance the T-killer cells and cytokines activity, two important chemicals in the fight against cancer. Glucans are a type of polysaccharide.  Lentinan, another polysaccharide found in shitake mushrooms, has been isolated to make anti-cancer drugs that stimulate the immune system.  Clinical studies have associated lentinan with a higher survival rate, higher quality of life and lower recurrence of cancer.

Maitake:   Known in Chinese as Hui Shu Hua, or “Grey Tree Flower”, is another culinary delight.  Originally used in Japanese cuisine, it is becoming more popular but remains rare here in the United States as well. Studies have shown that maitake mushrooms effect both innate and adaptive immunity, meaning they boost rapid immune response to infections and also improve long-term immunity. Maitake mushrooms are also rich in antioxidants, protecting cells and decreasing the inflammatory factor COX2 enzyme so prevalent in cancer physiology.  Maitake mushrooms inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells, reducing the likelihood of them metastasizing.

Cordyceps:  Dong Chong Xia Cao, which translates as “Summer Bug Winter Grass due to it’s interesting lifecycle, is not a culinary mushroom. It is one of the most commonly used mushrooms in anti-cancer formulas in Chinese Medicine.  Cordyceps stimulate the immune system by increasing both Killer T-Cells and Natural Killer Cells.  Cordyceps have been shown to prolong the life of white blood cells allowing them more time to attack cancers.  It has demonstrated anti-tumor properties and also protects the kidneys from chemotherapy and bone marrow from irradiation. Beyond its anti-cancer properties, cordyceps also increases ATP production and improves energy and endurance.

Reishi: Know in Tradition Chinese Medicine as Ling Zhi or “the Mushroom of Immortality”, this mushroom has long been thought to increase longevity and increase vitality. Reishi enhances the immune response and benefits anyone suffering from weakened immunity. The glucans present in reishi mushrooms encourage immune cells to bind strongly to tumor cells, effectively destroying them. Another substance in reishi mushrooms, called canthaxanthin, slows tumor growth.  Despite the FDA’s unwillingness to evaluate natural medicines, other countries like Japan classify Reishi as an anti-cancer medicine.

Time Spent in Nature Improves Emotional Health

Many research studies have confirmed that spending more time in nature has a positive effect on mood, wellness and depression.  Making space in our schedules to walk, sit, read or hike through natural areas can have a deeply healing effect of our emotional health.  It is a great balance to the time we spend in front of screens, in cubicles and cars, and near electrical devices.

Positive mental health directly influences our immune systems and our resistance to disease.  Being calm collected and feeling healthy is an important part of being healthy.  Nature is an easy and free way to influence our health.

Researchers have found that children who spend more time in nature have an easier time concentrating.  Children who struggle to sit still and spend too much in classrooms might benefit greatly from having nature based outdoor time built into their regular routines.

 

Time Spent in Nature Improves Emotional Health

One study, looking at office workers, found that workers who had access to windows, where natural landscapes could be seen, had higher overall job satisfaction and reported lower stress levels.  Some of these changes were even seen when workers were simply exposed to images of nature.  Had these same workers been given 15 minutes to walk in a natural landscape these effects might have been greatly amplified.

Charitably and kindness were measured by one group of researchers.  They found that people who had recently spent time in green spaces were measurably kinder and more charitable.

Portland abounds with lovely green spaces where we can walk, run, bike, sit, read and soak in the nature.  Make sure to take advantage of it while the weather is nice.

Magic Mushrooms May Help Complex Mental Disorders

From time immemorial, a great variety of mind-altering plants and fungi have been used ritualistically and medicinally by cultures the world over.  In our modern age however, the use of many of these plants and fungi, including cannabis, peyote, iboga and so-called ‘magic-mushrooms’ is illegal.  In the United States, many have been classified as Schedule 1 drugs—deeming these substances as having no accepted medicinal benefit and even potentially harmful to one’s health.

New research about the potential medicinal use of ‘magic mushrooms’ however suggests that perhaps the very reason for their illegality—that is, ingestion of the alkaloid psilocybin, present in this variety of fungi, produces subjective, psychedelic hallucinations which distort one’s sense of “reality”—might prove to be an effective therapy in the treatment of complicated mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, addiction and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).  One of the proposed reasons for this is simply that after the experience, one’s attitude towards oneself, or towards an addiction for example, changes and may free someone to think differently. And of course, as the studies suggest, there is a biological/physiological component to this subjective freeing-up/ change of attitude.

 

Inner Gate Acupuncture does not condone the use of illicit drugs.  For more information contact a licensed psychiatric provider

Magic Mushrooms May Help Complex Mental Disorders

Studies conducted by Dr. Robert Carhart-Harris, from Imperial College London, in which he scanned the brains of 30 healthy volunteers after injecting them with psilocybin, found that the more primitive regions of the brain, associated with emotional thinking, became more active and the brain's "default mode network," associated with high-level thinking, self-consciousness and introspection, was much less active.  Certainly high-level thinking, self-consciousness and introspection are not inherently good or bad/positive or negative, but this “default mode network” is associated with habitual thinking patterns, often locking those with mental health conditions like depression and OCD into deleterious thoughts and behaviors.  Although the mechanisms behind the changes are not well understood, professor Roland Griffith of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine explains that "With psilocybin people feel reorganized [after therapy] and the nature of the reorganization is such that there are effects on attitudes towards addiction… People say their addiction doesn't seem compelling anymore."