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