Immunity

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.

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!

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.   

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. 

Back to School Immune Support

Back to school immune system 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.  

 

Allergies & Hay Fever

Allergies & Hay Fever

Spring time in Oregon is a lovely season.  Along with the red flowering currants, tulips and lilacs come the alders, willows, and ragweeds.  Many of the diverse plant species in Oregon release significant amounts of pollen.  Sadly, this pollen find it's way into our eyes, noses and throats.  Although there is no real danger posed by the pollen, our immune systems often react or overreact to the presence of pollens in a powerful way.  Allergies can last for weeks to months but with Chinese medicine and acupuncture the misery of allergy season can be cut short!

Symptoms of Allergies

The symptoms of allergies can be difficult to distinguish from a common cold.  Even the congestion from allergies can have the same yellow mucus as bacterial infections.  The two main ways of telling allergies and colds apart is the duration of symptoms.  Colds rarely last more than 2 weeks but allergies can persist for months.

  • Runny nose

  • Itchy eyes

  • Congestion

  • Sneezing

  • Coughing

  • Wheezing

Chinese Medicine for Allergies

  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture has been confirmed in a number of studies to help regulate the immune system, open the nose and reduce the severity and duration of allergy symptoms.

  • Herbal formula: Depending on the specific symptoms present there are a number of different herbal formulas that treat everything from headaches to itchy eyes and wheezing. The skilled herbalists at Inner Gate Acupuncture can prescribe effective formulas.

Other Tools for Defeating Allergens

  • Vacuuming: Regular vacuuming with a HEPA filtered vacuum can help reduce exposure to allergens

  • Allergy proof your home: Keep windows closer when pollen counts are high. Change your cloths and remove your shoes after being outside. Shower regularly after being outside as allergens can lodge in your hair and on you skin.

  • Air filter: Having a high quality HEPA filter may reduce the symptoms of allergies.

  • Neti pot: Rinsing your sinuses 1-3 times per day can significantly reduce allergy symptoms by removing allergens from the mucus membranes in your nose and throat. Click here for an instructional video

Manage Seasonal Allergies with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine


In light of the complications and unknown risks associated with pharmaceutical medication, illuminated in the above article, it is fortunate that acupuncture and Chinese medicine offer options for natural relief from allergies.  

At Inner Gate Acupuncture we use acupuncture and Chinese medicine to improve immune function and reduce the inflammatory responses associated with allergies.  

Acupuncture works by treating and strengthening the lung organ system. When the lung is strong the immune system's hypersensitivity is quieted. Acupuncture also works by controls inflammation and reduces the aggravation of the mucus membranes.  


Acupuncture can treat:

  • Runny nose

  • Itchy eyes

  • Sneezing

  • Asthma

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Nausea/ vomiting

  • Fatigue

  • Difficulty sleeping

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine offer a natural and side-effect free way to control, prevent and eliminate allergies.  When employed by our skilled acupuncturists these modalities eliminate the need for over the counter medications and strengthen the entire body, fostering a powerful and effective immune system.  

Benadryl Linked to an Increased Risk of Dementia

What is the Problem?

There is growing evidence that anticholinergic medications may be linked to the development of dementia.  In the Journal of American Medical Association a recent study was published that examined possible links between these medications and dementia.  

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Antihistamines, tricyclic antidepressants and bladder control medications are the main classes of anticholinergic medications.  The recent study, which took place at the University of Washington, examined over the counter and prescription medications.  

What are Anticholinergic Medications?

Anticholinergic medications block the function of acetylcholine in the body.  Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter.  It functions to transmit messages throughout the nervous system.  In the body, it communicates with muscles and stimulates contractions.  In the brain, acetylcholine is associating with learning and memory.  

There is a natural decrease in the production of acetylcholine associated with aging.  Adding medications that also limit acetylcholine can have a strong negative impact on brain function and memory.  In fact, the main side effects associated with these medications include short term memory loss, difficulty with concentration and drowsiness.  

What was the Study's Conclusion?

The study which examined 3434 people over the course of 10 years concluded that there was a definite link between long term anticholinergic medication use and the development of dementia.   Taking an anticholinergic for the equivalent of three years or more was associated with a 54% higher dementia risk than taking the same dose for three months or less.

What can you do?

Geriatrician Malaz Boustani of the Indiana University School of Medicine developed the anticholinergic cognitive burden scale, which compares anticholinergic drugs according to the intensity of their effects on the mind. Click here for a link to the scale.  It is best to avoid drugs with a higher score.  

Also consider using natural therapies as a way to avoid use of these drugs.  Chinese medicine and acupuncture can be used as a drug free option for many of the conditions associated with anticholinergic medications.