Acupuncture for Kids

Most kids, as well as a lot of adults, are afraid of needles. So the pairing of acupuncture and kids might not be an obvious one. However, more and more parents are seeking alternative methods of treatment for their children, because our conventional medical system is faltering a bit. Pharmaceuticals are proving to be more harmful than beneficial for many people, especially kids, whose brains and bodies aren’t yet fully developed. continue reading »

Posted in Acupuncture | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Acupuncture for Kids

3 Reasons Acupuncture Supports Couples Facing Infertility

When you consider all the changes in our agricultural practices, the increased number of medications we take, as well as our dependence on plastic and technology that is constantly emitting low-grade radiation, it’s no surprise more couples are having trouble conceiving. Current statistics show one in six couples who are trying to conceive are facing fertility issues. And while many times infertility is thought of as a female issue, it is really a factor for both the man and woman and should therefore be addressed as such. continue reading »

Posted in Acupuncture | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on 3 Reasons Acupuncture Supports Couples Facing Infertility

Five Self Care Tips for Fall

Fall is a favorite season for many people. The weather starts getting a little cooler, things are beginning to slow down and preparations for the holidays are in full swing. For many others, fall is not so festive. Many people get sick during the fall months, allergies can flare up for some, and many don’t like the steady decrease in hours of sunlight, sometimes leading to seasonal depression. Here are some tips on how to get through the season without incident. continue reading »

Posted in Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine | Comments Off on Five Self Care Tips for Fall

Healthy Foods for Fall

traditional chinese medicine foods for fall

The season of fall brings cooler weather and shorter days. As with any season, the world adjusts accordingly. Plants begin to go dormant, animals begin scrounging for food to store to get them through the upcoming winter months and humans start winterizing everything.

As fall descends on the land, it reminds us we need to start cutting back on the numerous cooling foods that are consumed during the summer months. Things like raw foods, salads, juices and fruits should be decreased because they can create too much cold in the body, according to traditional Chinese medicine. continue reading »

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Healthy Foods for Fall

The Easy Way to Grill or Roast Vegetables

 

The Easy Way to Grill or Roast Vegetables

 

Roasting
Wash, slice or cube your vegetables.  As they have similar cooking times, group watery vegetables together: summer squashes, eggplant, peppers, tomato, asparagus.  String beans, broccoli and cauliflower take a little longer to cook, but if you roast all together, you can alter the size of the slices, so that the longer-cooking veg are thinner, or smaller. The more thoroughly cooked will have a more caramelized flavor, the others will be crispier: you may find certain preferences for each vegetable.  Add onion, scallion, leek, and/or garlic. I roast root vegetables together all winter long: carrots, beets, turnips, sweet potato. Add winter squashes, broccoli, or cauliflower.

Place your vegetables and marinade in a plastic bag or glass dish to marinade for the time you have available, an hour to a couple of days, or toss them all together in the pan, then spread them out for roasting.  Moderate heat works well.  Hotter works well toward crispy.

Marinades
To start, just open your cupboards and use what you have.
If you’re ready for a change, check recipes or your supermarket condiment shelves.
Here are some ideas, try one from each line:

  • Any oil and vinegar based salad dressing, or your favorite bottled marinade
  • Extra virgin olive oil, avocado, sesame, coconut works great on root vegetables
  • Balsamic, red wine, apple cider vinegar, or your favorite flavored vinegar
  • Coconut amino acids (incredibly delicious!), soy sauce or tamari, Worcestershire, white Worcestershire
  • Your favorite fresh or dried herbs, bottled mixed herbs, seasoned salts (avoid MSG)
  • Salt and pepper, of course

Grilling
Large slices work directly on the grill, smaller slices or cubes in a grilling basket, atop or folded into aluminum foil (here you can steam them in the extra marinade).

Oven (all year round!)   
Long slices, short slices, cubes, or even diced (more for saucing).  Use roasting pans if you are using any marinade other than oil alone, as sweeter ingredients like balsamic vinegar can make a mess of your pans.  The thicker metal will also hold up nicely to high heat, but any baking pan will work, Pyrex, glass, or metal.

Sweet potatoes or potatoes can be tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper.  Thinly sliced, they can be baked till soft, which takes less than 20 minutes at about 400 degrees, crispy takes a little longer (as do cubes), but pleases the crowd.

Kale chips are my favorite version of kale: wash, thoroughly dry, devein and tear the leaves into potato-chip size pieces.  Toss in a little olive oil and salt. Bake on a cookie sheet or roasting pan at 350 for no more than 11 minutes, turning once.  They come out dark green and crispy. Overcooked get brown, then black, very quickly.
Corn on the cob can be grilled in or out of the husk.  I love this flavor. I pull the dry outer leaves and trim the ends, cutting off any trailing silks, then rinse or soak the corn so that the husks don’t end up a black mess on your grill (and floors).  This method allows a lot of leeway in terms of attendance: turn once or twice.  If you are grilling husked corn, you’ll need to be more attentive, turning them evenly. There’s no need to cook corn longer than ten minutes.  Very fresh needs less.

 

As an important note: Nightshade vegetables can give some folks achy joints.
They are potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant. For people with recurring aches and pains, or those that come and go, seemingly without pattern,sometimes moving from joint to joint, I often suggest avoiding these vegetables for a couple of weeks, but I NEVER ask them to do that this time of year.  Who can avoid a sun-warmed tomato fresh off the vine?  If you are feeling achier now, this might be the cause, so pay attention to your eating habits, and consider this later in the autumn.

These aches may also be caused by some apparently innocuous food, which you would have difficulty sleuthing out.  We do a Food Inflammation finger-prick test here.  Most results reveal only a couple of items that really need to be avoided to improve body-wide symptoms.  There is often a suspected food, such as dairy or gluten, but the unexpected shows up in most tests: lettuce, basil, salmon, and artichoke among them. The test empowers you with information to make your own choices, taking the guess-work out of food planning.

Posted in Diet, Nutrition, Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Easy Way to Grill or Roast Vegetables

TCM and Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease that disrupts normal function of the epithelial cells in the body.  Epithelial cells line the passageways of many of our vital organs, including the lungs, liver, kidneys, reproductive system and the skin. Those who have cystic fibrosis have a defective gene that impairs epithelial cell function. This can lead to a buildup of sticky mucus throughout the body that may eventually lead to lung damage and chronic coughing, affecting how patients with cystic fibrosis breathe and filter air, digest their food and absorb the nutrients from that food. In the United States alone, there are nearly 12 million people who suffer from this disease. Unfortunately, there is no known cure and most of those affected with the disease only live into their 20s and 30s. Current modern medicine treatments focus on increasing the quality of life by managing symptoms. continue reading »

Posted in Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine | Tagged | Comments Off on TCM and Cystic Fibrosis

Late Summer is a Season All Its Own

 

We have arrived in what Traditional Chinese Medicine terms the season of “Late Summer.”  Here in southern New England, this begins on some unscheduled moment in August, when the winds shift, the humidity clears, and the temperature veers away from the torpid high numbers.  We breathe more easily, and sleep more soundly. We turn our smiling faces again to the afternoon sun, no longer in fear of scorching.

 

The Spleen system, along with its pair the Stomach, is now in control.  The red hot Fire element of the summer’s heat fades into the warm golden glow of the Earth.  Heavier vegetables and fruits ripen, full of sweet flavors which easily charge our bodies with Qi after quick digestion.  This thick density of flesh and easy energy then nourishes our muscles, and builds our immune system against the colder months to come.

 

The Earth is our mother, she grounds and nurtures us.   The harvest fills us with summer’s stored energies, strengthening our bodies; memories from our active summer will entertain for months.  With a hot squash soup and a fresh bread loaf, we are cared for, supported, sustained, sated, and loved.   

 

A wonderful season for activity, exercising now will not only strengthen our muscles, but pump the lymph to clean our bodies.  Too much inactivity now will add fat to our frames and blood, slowing our metabolisms, contributing to ill health through wintertime.

 

The Spleen is in charge of our digestion, and so loves foods that are easily digested: cooked foods: soups, stews, steamed vegetables.  These foods give us quicker energy, or Qi, are often high in carbohydrates, and tend to be earth toned: winter squashes, potato, most grains, seeds, salmon & sardines, poultry & beef, dates & figs.  Other vegetables in full ripeness now also make the list, including eggplant, cucumber, and watercress.

                        

What’s the best way to nourish your Spleen/Stomach system and Earth element?  Get outside and walk. The Chinese suggest walking 1000 steps after each meal to maintain your health.  Consider getting in the habit of an after dinner neighborhood stroll, or a midday lunch break walk in the sun.  Walk with a friend or loved one, and enjoy your time. Joy is the emotion of the season, and the brain its organ, so stop overthinking, let the details go, and appreciate all that’s around you: the beauty, the bounty, the sunshine, and those you love.

Posted in Allergies, Chinese Medicine, Digestive Disorders, fatigue | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Late Summer is a Season All Its Own

Acupuncture and Autoimmune Diseases

acupuncture for autoimmune diseases

Autoimmune diseases are a collective group of disorders that plague nearly 50 million people in the United States today. When a person suffers from an autoimmune disease it means their own immune system is attacking the body and altering or destroying the tissues. Autoimmune diseases include things like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Crohn’s disease, pernicious anemia, multiple sclerosis, irritable bowel disease and Parkinson’s disease. continue reading »

Posted in Acupuncture | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Acupuncture and Autoimmune Diseases

Five Reasons to Get Acupuncture for Low Back Pain

Statistics show eight out of 10 people will experience low back pain at some point during their life. Seeking medical treatment for back pain is very common. Typically back pain is fleeting and can be easily resolved with rest, heat and an occasional anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen. However, once the damage is done, the recurrence of back pain can be as high as 50 percent. Part of this is because as we age, things like muscles and tendons become less flexible and pliable. It is also very well known in the United States, people are too sedentary and this leads to excess weight gain that can create added pressure on the body, especially the low back. continue reading »

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Five Reasons to Get Acupuncture for Low Back Pain

3 Acupressure Points for Low Back Pain

Statistics show that almost eight out of 10 people experience low back pain at some point during their life. Seeking medical treatment for back pain is very common. Typically back pain is fleeting and can be easily resolved with rest, heat and an occasional anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen. However, once the damage is done, the recurrence of back pain can be as high as 50 percent. Part of this is because as we age, things like muscles and tendons become less flexible and pliable. This can also be attributed to the fact that many people suffer from low-grade dehydration because they don’t drink enough water and they don’t ingest enough healthy fats that keep the muscles and tendons loose. It is also very well known that in the United States, people are too sedentary, and this leads to excess weight gain that can create added pressure on the body, especially the low back. continue reading »

Posted in Acupressure, Acupuncture | Tagged , , | Comments Off on 3 Acupressure Points for Low Back Pain