Eight Easy Ways Seniors Can Develop and Maintain Healthy Habits

Photo Credit Pexels

Photo Credit Pexels

When it comes to developing healthy habits, it can often feel overwhelming. However, living a healthy lifestyle can make your life much easier and enjoyable, especially during your golden years. Seniors who exercise spend 25 percent less time being injured than those who don’t, so it’s incredibly useful and important to exercise regularly. Here are a few methods to help you improve your physical and mental health in a long-lasting way. 

Start Small with Healthy Habits

After New Year’s, many people set resolutions that they eventually give up on after a month. This can be in part to trying to do too much all at once. Instead, focus on starting small. Try to change one habit instead. For example, if you’re hoping to change your diet, start doing one thing like drinking more water. This can help with skin health and overall energy.

Get to Know Your Medicare Plan

Your Medicare plan is your gateway to helpful resources and tools. Take some time to learn about its benefits, so that you can take full advantage of all that it has to offer. If you need additional coverage, Medicare Advantage has options for you. For example, Medicare Advantage plans through Humana provide supplemental benefits such as the SilverSneakers fitness program, as well as dental and vision coverage.

Create a Healthy Eating Environment

Eating well is about more than just controlling weight. The National Institute on Aging mentions that many older adults suffer from micronutrient or vitamin deficiencies that can be remedied by eating more fruits and vegetables.  

However, you need to eat more fruit and vegetables. It’s all too tempting to give in to the unhealthy snacks when they’re so readily available. Instead, fill your pantry and fridge with healthier snacks and find suitable substitutes, like replacing potato chips with carrot chips.  

Do Exercises You Love Indoors

Making walking part of a healthy daily routine can be extremely beneficial, but finding a way to walk when the weather is too cold or too hot can be difficult. You can still exercise indoors and experience the benefits. Try going for a swim or do some yoga. You can also do some strength training and improve your joint health. There’s always something to do inside. Bad weather doesn’t have to stop you from taking care of yourself.

Take Group Classes

Social isolation affects not only mental health, but it can also have a major impact on physical health. If you’re trying to exercise more regularly, take some group workout classes instead. There are strength training classes, yoga classes, water aerobics, and other classes where you can get active and meet new people. 

Get a Pet

Older adults and pets are a natural pairing, as they can provide tremendous benefits and meaning to each other. After making sure you don’t have allergies, adopt a pet that can keep you company. You’re not just limited to cats or dogs; birds, reptiles, and fish can also make for entertaining and interesting companionship.

Play Fun Brain Games

Keeping your mind sharp is always a healthy thing to do. Games like Sudoku can help to train the brain to focus and strengthen working memory. You can also do crossword puzzles or even read some new books. If you’re really want to try new skills, take a class on something that interests you. Learn to draw realistic faces, start speaking a new language, or try your hand at woodworking. There is always something new to try.

Try Positive Reframing

Having a mindset that focuses on positive aspects of life can be difficult, but doing so can help with aging and overall health. Positive reframing can help you take typically negative situations and help you see the bright side. Instead of focusing on failure, focus on what you can learn. This is vital in helping you create healthy habits, as it can help you start over when you struggle.

Healthy habits are important for all stages of life. Exercising regularly, learning new things, and maintaining social ties are all vital parts of aging well. Start with building these habits one at a time and be patient with yourself. You’ll experience the benefits soon enough and enjoy the confidence that comes with making healthy decisions.

Chiropractic Reduces Joint Inflammation

Conceptual 3D human man anatomy or health design, joint or artic

There are several different types of joints in the human body. Ball and socket joints, gliding joints, hinge joints and saddle joints all allow different types of movements. Every joint is designed slightly differently and we all endure different strains and impacts on our joints based on what types of movements and exercises we do. At Inner Gate Acupuncture our chiropractor Jerrod Puckett has been successfully treating joint inflammation with chiropractic medicine.

What Is Joint Inflammation?

Inflammation is the body’s normal reaction to stress and damage. The process is important for recovery. The process signals the immune system to send needed cells and material to injuries aiding in the repair of the damaged tissue. However, there are times when inflammation becomes chronic and this requires treatment to correct.

Arthritis is the most common form of joint inflammation. There are two types of arthritis; osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis refers to wear and tear in the joints due to injury, overuse or normal aging. Rheumatoid arthritis is an abnormal immune response where the body’s immune system attacks the joints.

Chiropractic Care for Inflammation

Jerrod Puckett DC

Jerrod Puckett DC

Dr. Puckett regularly uses chiropractic adjustments to ease inflammation and treat the underlying causes of joint pain. Every patient is an individual, and every situation is different, he is able to customized treatments to each individual to optimize results.

Reducing pressure on your joints by strengthening the involved muscles also helps reduce joint inflammation. Dr. Puckett has done additional sports medicine training enabling him to design movement therapies that both stretch and strengthen muscles to reduce inflammation and improvement movement.

Call today to make an appointment with Dr. Jerrod Puckett at our Halsey street location.

Halsey Clinic
971-279-2294


Optimize Your Thyroid Function

Heather Krebsbach ND

Heather Krebsbach ND

Dr. Heather Krebsbach is a naturopathic physician seeing patients at Inner Gate Acupuncture’s Halsey street location. She has been practicing naturopathic medicine in Portland Since 2006. She specializes in bio identical hormones and endocrine health. In this post she offers her insights on understanding and optimizing thyroid health.

The thyroid is a little butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the neck responsible for metabolism and other essential bodily functions.

The Thyroid Controls:

  • Digestive function

  • Heart rate

  • Mood

  • Muscle control

  • Menstruation

  • Body temperature

  • And much more!

The body relies on the thyroid to be balanced and secrete appropriate amounts of its hormones. When the thyroid is not in balance, there can either be too much or too little thyroid hormone being secreted, therefore causing hyper or hypothyroidism.

Symptoms of too much thyroid, or hyperthyroidism, is less common then the latter and diagnosis is typically much easier to determine due to the severity of the symptoms. Compared to hypothyroidism, which can create low-grade symptoms or mimic other illnesses.

Common Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism:

  • Heart racing or palpitations

  • Weight loss

  • Insomnia

  • Diarrhea


Common Symptoms of Hypothyroidism:

  • Fatigue

  • Hair loss

  • Weight gain

  • Constipation

  • Cold body temperature

  • Menstrual irregularity

  • Foggy thinking


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Treatment Options:

Treatment considerations for hyperthyroidism are very different from treatments for hypothyroid, it is important to be properly diagnosed for the right treatment focus. When we think about optimizing the thyroid function, we are usually talking about improving a sluggish or hypo-thyroid.

Certain nutrients, such as Selenium, Zinc, Iodine, Vitamins C, A, E and D are needed to help the thyroid function properly and to convert thyroid hormones to active forms that the body can use.


The Thyroid Loves these Foods:

  • Brazil nuts: high in Selenium

  • Pumpkin seeds: rich in Zinc

  • Green leafy veggies (spinach, collard greens and kale): have a bounty of Vitamin C, A and E

  • Fish and Seaweed: contains iodine


Consuming a diet with a bounty of veggies, nuts and seeds along with protein and a small amount of whole grains can be helpful to keep the thyroid functioning optimally.

Dr Krebsbach assesses thyroid function through blood tests as well as symptoms to determine the appropriate thyroid treatment. If lab results are out of normal ranges, medication in addition to diet and supplements may be needed to help support the thyroid and all the body’s essential functions.

Karen Lotts LMT has joined Inner Gate Acupuncture 

For the entire month of April, treat yourself or a loved one to a 1 hour massage with Karen for just $55! 

 

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Massage therapy is a hands-on therapy that promotes health and well-being through the use of pressure and movement on the body and muscles. 

Born and raised in the Midwest, Karen graduated from the University of Iowa in 2005 with a B.A. in journalism and German.  In 2011 she moved to Ashland, Oregon where she attended the Ashland Institute of Massage, graduating in 2013. 

Karen specializes in neck and shoulder, low back, and gluteal work. She has experience with myofascial release, PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation), and deep tissue. She works slowly with intention and incorporates light stretching and emotional ease into her sessions. She has experience assisting clients in healing from auto and work accidents, strains from repetitive use, and postural imbalances. 

Karen will be providing medical massage. Medical massage is somewhat different than spa massage. Medical massage focuses on resolving specific muscular and structural problems, while spa massage focuses only on relaxation. Range of motion limitations, muscle spasms, neck, shoulder and back pain are all problems addressed with medical massage.  
 
At Inner Gate Acupuncture we work with you so that you can experience improved health and wellness. We are excited to add Karen to our growing team.
 

Call today for your April massage with Karen Lotts LMT

She is available at our NE Halsey Clinic 971-279-2294

Chiropractic Care Now Available!

Jerrod Puckett DC

Jerrod Puckett DC

Inner Gate Acupuncture is excited to announce we have expanded our services with the addition of Dr. Jerrod Puckett. Acupuncture and chiropractic together are a great way to increase benefits to patients, reduce pain and speed injury recovery.

A native Oregonian, Dr. Puckett graduated from Portland State University and then went on to receive his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree along with a Master of Science in Sports Medicine from the University of Western States.  


How He Treats

Dr. Puckett has experience treating all types of injuries. He carefully tailors his treatments to each patient’s injuries and needs. His passion is promoting wellness through injury prevention, health maintenance, and patient education.  He also dedicates himself to finding chiropractic solutions to target your unique needs.

What He Treats

  • Automobile Accidents

  • Sports Injuries

  • Workplace Injuries

  • Repetitive Motion Injuries

  • Poor Posture

  • Herniated Discs

  • Sciatica

Techniques Used

  • Chiropractic manipulation

  • Manual therapy

  • Kinesio taping

  • Therapeutic exercises

Dr. Puckett is an avid long distance runner. When not in the clinic, Dr. Puckett enjoys his time running the trails of Portland, exploring the Pacific Northwest, reading and spending time with his family and dog.

Call Today To Schedule Your Appointment
Jerrod is Available at Inner Gate's
NE Halsey Clinic 971-279-2294

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!

Quality Foods = Quality of Life

Beets, peppers, onions, green beans, spices on a dark background. Fresh garden vegetables. Vegetarian, detox, diet food

What Do Diets Have In Common?

We are constantly inundated with the latest and greatest diets or food trends. All this information can make it difficult to know what we really should be eating. But if we strip away all the hype, we can see that the majority of diets have a couple similar themes; such as eating more vegetables, less refined carbohydrates and minimal sugar. For the best outcomes, we can skip the latest dietary trend and instead focus on incorporating these main principles to improve the quality of our health!

A Bounty of Vegetables, a Bowl of Grains and a Dash of Sugar

To promote optimal health, we need the cells in our body to function as optimally as possible. When we eat vegetables, they are loaded with vitamins and minerals that are essential anti-oxidants for healthy cellular function and the prevention of disease. Green leafy vegetables are rich in Vitamins A, C, K, B, Folate, Calcium and Iron. And, when we add an array of colorful veggies like bell peppers, carrots, cabbage, purple kale, radishes and squash we are eating our daily multi-vitamin. These foods can decrease inflammation to lessen pain, protect our vessels, support our brain and improve our energy level. 

On the flip side, cane sugar and high fructose corn syrup is considered to be pro-inflammatory and can damage our cells and vessels, which contributes to dementia, diabetes, high blood pressure and atherosclerosis. Refined carbohydrates, like bread, pasta and crackers increase our blood sugar levels and can have the same impact in our body when consumed in high amounts or on a regular basis. 

A 2014 review of studies examining carbohydrates and chronic disease showed that a diet low in refined carbohydrates may offer anti-inflammatory benefits to reduce the risk of type 2-diabetes and heart disease.[1]

Buddha bowl with quinoa, avocado, chickpeas, vegetables on a wood background, Healthy food concept. Top view.


How Should I Add These Foods Into My Diet?

  • Strive for 2 servings of green leafy vegetables per day. Such as spinach, kale, chard, arugula, mustard greens

  • Add 3-5 servings of colorful vegetables per day 

  • Avoid cane sugar and high fructose corn syrup 

  • Eat refined carbohydrates no more than 20% of the time. Instead choose intact grains like brown rice, wild rice, Forbidden rice, quinoa, millet, oats and squash

  • Choose organic fruits, vegetables and meat whenever possible

  • Incorporate healthy fats at every meal like avocados, avocado oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds

  • Pay attention to the cooking temperature of oils and store them in a cool, dark cabinet

Ward Off Disease by Looking In Your Refrigerator!

The old saying “you are what you eat” holds true. We now know that quality matters and not all calories are the same. And in order to spark your metabolism and improve the function of all your cells, you need proper nutrition. So, if you want your body to perform at it’s highest level then you need to fuel it with the highest quality foods. 

Research is now supporting the benefit of high quality food such as organic, free-range meat and wild caught fish. A study published in 2018, showed that eating a diet high in organic food was associated with a reduced risk of cancer.[2]And not only is the quality of our food important, but how we prepare them as well. Incorporation of healthy fats is essential, but keeping them from spoiling will reduce oxidative damage

CLICK HERE to find our more about how you can optimize your diet and improve your health with Dr. Krebsbach. 


[1]Buyken, AE, Goletzke, J, Joslowski, G, Felbick, A, Cheng, G, Herder, C, Brand-Miller, JC. Association between carbohydrate quality and inflammatory markers: systematic review of observational and interventional studies. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Am J Clin Nutr. 99(4): 2014;813-33.[2]https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/2707948

Massage Therapy at Inner Gate Acupuncture

Massage Therapy at Inner Gate Acupuncture

FEEL BETTER TODAY!

Doctor pressing the shoulder of his patient in a room

All massages at Inner Gate Acupuncture are given in a warm and private treatment room. Your therapist will discuss your health concerns and goals with you before your session. They will leave you to privately dress down to your comfort level. When you are ready, lie down on the massage table and cover yourself with the sheet. Your therapist will knock before re-entering.

Make sure to communicate with your therapist throughout the massage.   If you are cold, want deeper or lighter pressure or don’t want a certain area of your body touched let the therapist know. You can ask for changes or stop the session at any time.

Drink plenty of water on the day of your massage. This will reduce soreness and lightheadedness that can happen after a massage. Try to give yourself plenty of time for your treatment, so you can relax more deeply.  

At the end of the massage, the therapist will leave the room so you can dress in private. Take your time getting off the table and getting dressed. It’s a good idea to have a glass of water in the waiting room before you head off.  



Back Pain, Disc Health, and Dehydration

How does dehydration affect low back pain?

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The discs in your spine are fibrous bundles with soft liquid centers. The discs are nearly 75% water. The outer ring is more fibrous and tough while the inner ring, also known as the nucleus pulposus, is mostly water. During a normal day, due to pressure, water is slowly released from the spinal discs.  By the end of the day you may be up to a half an inch shorter than when you woke up in the morning. During the night, while the pressure on the discs is low, your spinal discs will rehydrate and expand. 

Your discs attempt to stay hydrated during the day. However, the pressure of your body, lack of movement and poor water intake all limit their ability to maintain hydration.  In order to support your discs in their effort to stay hydrated it’s important to maintain good water intake throughout the day. 

When you’re dehydrated your discs are unable to maintain properly hydration. Without hydration they shrink and cannot support and protect your spine. The soft pulp in the center of the discs absorb the downward pressure of your body and the impacts of everyday movement. When they are shrunken more stress is put on the bones of the spine which causes swelling, pain, and contribute to bulgingdiscs.

8   signs of dehydration:

·     Thirst
·     Dark Urine
·     Bad Breath
·     Fatigue
·     Muscle Cramps
·     Blurry Vision/Dry Eyes
·     Dizziness
·     Headaches

Basic Hydration Goals

·    A daily goal of ½ ounce per pound of body weight is generally accepted as a good baseline for hydration. 

·    A 200-pound person should consume 100 ounces of water per day to stay hydrated. 

·    If you increase exercise and other activities this number may need to be adjusted upwards!

SUGAR, IT’S NOT GOOD FOR YOU!

Many of us have been searching for the best diet to help us achieve optimal health. Some of us have tried plant-based diets, while others have explored eliminating certain foods. Traditional diets from all around the world, some completely plant-based and others heavily animal-based, have all produced healthy populations. All of these diets have one thing in common:  no or little sugar or processed foods. 

What is Sugar?

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Many foods we don’t think of as containing sugar actually convert to sugar. For example, all carbohydrate foods such as breads and pasta are converted to sugar by the body. 

The glycemic index is a great tool for understanding the effects of sugar on the body.  The index is a measure of how quickly a particular food turns to sugar in the body.  High levels of sugar in the blood are associated with kidney failure and increased cardiovascular risk. 

White sugar or glucose, which enters our blood stream very quickly, is given the index of 100.  All other foods are rated relative to glucose.  

The highest glycemic foods are the worst for your blood sugar, these include:

·     White Bread 

·     White Rice

·     Potatoes

·     Processed Corn Foods

·     High-Glucose Corn Syrup

How Does Sugar Cause Diabetes?

When we eat sugar, our bodies break it down and send it into our blood stream. From the blood stream, the sugar can be picked up by our cells for use.  The cells use insulin as a mechanism to move sugar from the blood stream into cells.  If the body has been overloaded with sugar for long periods of time, the cells will develop insulin resistance.  The excess sugar in the blood cannot be used by cells and begins to cause all the problems we associate with diabetes:  kidney failure, excessive urination, fatigue and headaches. 

How does Sugar Cause Cardiovascular Disease?

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Sugar in the blood stream is damaging to the cell walls of our arteries. When this damage occurs, our bodies try to repair the damage by laying down cholesterol to protect the arteries.  If the damage continues, it eventually impedes blood flow. 

Dr. Heather Krebsbach is a knowledgeable and caring resource at Inner Gate Acupuncture here in Portland. She can help you design a healthy diet and lifestyle. 

Call to make an appointment today at our
Inner Gate Acupuncture Halsey Clinic
971-279-2294