Health

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!

Incorporate Alone Time into Your Health Journey

ALONE TIME IMPROVES MENTAL HEALTH

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

 

Alone Time Improves Mental Health

 

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

 

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

 

Get Moving On Your Own

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Healthy Running!

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Early morning sunlight in our bedrooms beckons many of us out the door and sends us running through our neighborhoods.  Some of us strive for 5 miles a week, others are logging longer distances in a quest to complete our 1st, 2nd of 15th marathon.  Some of us are inspired to run in the many relays and races around Portland. 

Injuries are common with running.  Especially as we age!   The repeated impact of our feet on hard cement or crooked sidewalks takes it toll on our joints, ligaments and cartilage. Often, we find that the time to recover after running grows longer.  Proper maintenance of muscle balance and postural balance along with corrective stretching and strengthening can keep us running longer and stronger. 
 

Common Injuries

There are many common injuries that occur with running.  These can be due to overuse, improper footwear and/ or direct trauma.  However, the underlying causes of these injuries are often more complicated and are connected to our posture and gait.  Below are two very common injuries and some of the underlying causes that should be addressed to properly recover and prevent re-injury. 
 

IT Band Friction

IT Band Friction

A common injury for many people is Iliotibial band (IT band) friction syndrome.  This often occurs when the tight band of tendinous tissue known as the IT band flicks over the outside of the knee repeatedly.  Underlying this condition is often an imbalance in the hip.  If the hip bone is elevated slightly on one side it will increase the length and tension of the IT band.  The elevated side is usually the side of injury.  While foam rolling the IT band may help, correcting the imbalance in the hip will provide a more long term solution to the problem.  Of course, Inner Gate Acupuncturists can correctly diagnose and treat this condition. 
 

Runner's Knee

This injury is so common to runners it is referred to as "runner's knee."  In runner's knee the kneecap is moving in an imbalanced way across the femur.  This causes inflammation and pain at or below the kneecap.  There are several common causes that lead to runner's knee. Imbalance in the quadriceps muscle, problems in the feet and hip imbalances are all contributing factors to runner's knee. Correctly identifying and correcting these contributing factors can improve the recovery time and prevent the injury from re-occurring. 
 

How Can Acupuncture Help?

At Inner Gate Acupuncture we have completed specialized training in Sports Medicine.  This training has given us the skills to accurately diagnosis and treat many sports related injuries.  By understanding the underlying postural irregularities our practitioners can develop treatment plans that both correct postural imbalances and help injured tissues heal.  Acupuncture can relax muscles locked in a shortened position and strengthen muscles locked in lengthened positions. 

Developing a proper stretching and strengthening routine that directly addresses postural imbalances is a component to long term health, injury prevention and enjoyment of a long and full running season.  Let us help you accomplish the running goals you've set out to achieve. 

Health Tips for Women

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One of our key specialties is the set of services we provide women to help them to achieve and maintain healthy bodies. By alleviating imbalances and resolving PMS, menstrual related migraine headaches, excessive menstrual cramping and stress and fatigue we help women feel great and live healthy lives.

The experts at Inner Gate Acupuncture are trained and experienced in using Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture to successfully support fertility and healthy pregnancies and to manage menopause issues and many menstrual problems.

With Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture you can:    

  • Enhance fertility

  • Increase energy

  • Promote healthy, pain free cycles

  • Relieve PMS

  • Relieve migraines

Menstrual Cycle Health

Women face many challenges in establishing and maintaining healthy menstrual cycles. We treat women with issues such as pre-menstrual pain, painful cramping, excessive bleeding and irregular cycles.  At Inner Gate Acupuncture we also deal with more complicated problems such as polycystic ovaries and endometriosis.

There are many Chinese herbs which can aid in correcting painful or irregular periods. Herbs that alleviate the pain of PMS also support regular cycles and control excess bleeding.

Fertility/ Infertility

Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture have been used for centuries to help women successfully achieve pregnancy. In order to build a healthy endometrial lining and naturally balance hormone levels the acupuncturist you work with will examine both your menstrual cycle and take a complete health history. The acupuncturists at Inner Gate Acupuncture are comfortable supporting women during IVF and IUI protocols to help increase success rates.

When evaluating fertility, the menstrual cycle is always taken into account. As acupuncturists, we look at the length of the follicular and luteal stages of the cycle. We then work to balance these two phases to promote strong and regular ovulation. We help promote implantation by using herbs and acupuncture points, which foster healthy uterine linings.

Pregnancy Support

The symptoms women experience throughout pregnancy vary with each trimester. During the first trimester women come to Inner Gate Acupuncture for support with the nausea and vomiting associated with morning sickness.

Some foods that can help with morning sickness:    

  • BRAT diet: bananas, rice, applesauce and toast

  • Ginger tea, mint tea

Women also come for the low energy and fatigue experienced during the first trimester. During the second trimester complaints are fewer and woman often feel better. They tend to return to our clinic during the third trimester where they find relief from low back pain, neuropathies down the arms and swollen ankles. Moxibustion is used between week 34-36 to turning breech babies.

At our SE Portland acupuncture clinic we buy herbs from trusted and tested sources. You can be sure that the herbs you get from our acupuncturists are free of heavy metals and are safe to take during pregnancy. There are specific formulas in Chinese medicine that effectively address morning sickness, habitual miscarriage and low energy.

Labor and Delivery Support and Preparation

Cervical ripening techniques are performed from week 36-40 to prepare the mother and regulate contractions so that inductions can be avoided.  These gentle techniques naturally encourage the ripening of the cervix.  

All of the acupuncturists at Inner Gate Acupuncture have attended births and aided in healthy deliveries using acupuncture.  If labor induction is necessary, acupuncture is a much less harsh than the synthetic hormone pitocin. Acupuncture is the best natural way to induce labor.

Menopause

When hormones begin to decline the menstrual cycles can become erratic, and women can experience hot flashes and night sweats. Many women are now thinking twice about taking replacement hormones due to the associated health risks. Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture can help balance hormones and reduce the impact of hot flashes and night sweats, sometimes eliminating them completely.