Stress Awareness Month

Stress01Did you know that April is Stress Awareness Month?  Stress Awareness Month has been held every April, since 1992.

Getting married, new home, new job,  new baby – all of these are happy moments, but they also cause stress, a good kind of stress.  Regardless of the cause, relationships, work, family, or money, good and bad stress can have a significant impact on your body and mind.  Too much of stress can cause a variety of health problems over time if not managed effectively.  It reduces our immune systems, making us more vulnerable for infections. The “flight or fight” response elicited by stressful situations can also be taxing.

Stress is primarily a mental reaction to your perception of life. Often, the mind will amplify this condition as it constantly deliberates the many complicated aspects of life. You actually end up creating more stress than you truly experience by these mental reactions.

To help alleviate stress, you need to have some form of stress management strategy  to de-stress your mind and body. There are various alternative methods that you can use to relieve stress, such as yoga, exercising, meditation, acupuncture, massage, etc.

Acupuncture is a natural and healthier way to manage your stress than pharmaceutical medications. If you have been taking sleeping medications, anti-depressants, or tranquilizers to help manage stress, acupuncture treatments can help you decrease or eliminate the need for these medications, under your doctor’s supervision.

Acupuncture can also relieve the physical symptoms of stress that tends to accumulate in your body – in the neck, shoulders, back, etc. causing pain and tension.  Some people experience digestive issues when stressed.  People who are under high levels of stress often have high blood pressure and headaches.

Regular acupuncture treatments can help strengthen your body so you’re better able to deal with the day-to-day stresses of life.  And regular acupuncture treatments can help heal stress related health conditions and improve the body’s immunity to defend against potential illnesses.

Call  253-252-7195 or send us email and take control of your stress and feel more relaxed today!

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Acupuncture for Immune Deficiency

ImmuneAn autoimmune disease occurs when your immune system gets confused and attacks your own body instead of protecting it.  According to the NIH over 23 million Americans suffer from some type of auto-immune disease; the American Autoimmune and Related Diseases Association puts the number closer to 50 million. Both organizations agree that the numbers are rising.

Getting a diagnosis can be frustrating and stressful.  If you think you may have an autoimmune disease and are not getting a diagnosis, don’t give up.  Immune deficiencies are hard to diagnose because of the wide range of symptoms.  It may take seeing multiple doctors to get a correct diagnosis.  There are more than 80 types of autoimmune diseases, and some have similar symptoms.  Which makes it difficult for your doctor  to know if you really have one of the Autoimmune diseases, and if so, which one.  Often, the first symptoms are chronic fatigue, muscle aches or weakness and a low grade fever.  The classic sign of an autoimmune disease is inflammation, which can cause redness, pain and swelling.

Autoimmune diseases are a chronic illness with no known cure.  The conventional approach to treating autoimmune disease has been to suppress your immune system to decrease the symptoms as well as the damage being caused by your confused immune system.  There are a variety of medications including steroids, they can be very effective but come with the cost of significant potential side effects

A natural way to ease and reduce symptoms is Acupuncture.  Acupuncture works by addressing the body as a whole.  Acupuncture can affect the release of hormones, proteins and chemicals in your body, which can affect your immune system.

Although there is no cure, immune deficiencies can be managed properly to have the best quality of life possible. Acupuncture has also been shown to help boost mood and lower stress and anxiety, which can be triggers for increased symptoms. Acupuncture is a safe, non-invasive treatment option that can decrease symptoms and improve overall well being.

Call today 253-252-7195 or send us email and start decreasing your pain and fatigue.

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Jade River Acupuncture Limited-Time New Year’s Special

2016New Years limit-timed special. $50 acupuncture treatments, from January 1st to January 31st.  

Millions of adults starts the New Year with resolutions and a healthier lifestyle is usually the number one goal that people set for themselves. Many of us start the year with good intentions, whether it be quitting smoking, exercising more, stress management, weight management, eating healthy or improving overall health. In spite of good intentions, many give up by the end of January.

The media glamorizing healthy lifestyle makes it appear so easy to achieve. In reality, we all know and understand that making major lifestyle changes can be challenging and difficult, but don’t give up. If you are committed to a healthier lifestyle for 2016, you don’t have to do it alone. Acupuncture can help you reach and maintain your goals. From January 1st to January 31st 2016, Acupuncture treatments are only $50 per treatment for new or existing patients.

If you are ready to commit to improving your health and to reach your New Years goals, call today (253-252-7195)  or send us email to schedule your appointments for January.

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The Eating Season

EatingThanksgiving meal is over, and now it’s time for holiday sweets and treats.  I jokingly refer to the Holiday Season as the Eating Season. The holidays are a time for  eating something delicious and indulgent in a party setting. With all the wonderful rich and delicious foods, it’s hard to not to over eat.

 

Five Tips For Eating Without Overeating.

Moderation:  We all heard the saying to enjoy everything in moderation, and that is definitely true when it comes to holiday foods. Don’t try to deprive yourself during the holidays, doing so may cause binging.  Having an extra holiday treat here and there won’t harm you too much. You’re allowed to indulge a bit, just keep portions small when it comes to holiday desserts and limit how often you eat them.  Downsize your plate to trick your brain into thinking you are eating more.  Use an appetizer or salad plate instead of a dinner plate.

Choose Wisely:  Choose your first buffet picks wisely.  Picking protein-packed foods are a great way to fill up without adding a lot of sugar and empty carbohydrates. Pack your plate with low-fat meats like turkey and chicken. Pick veggies and hummus over chips and creamy dips.

Pour Wisely:  The holidays are a time for celebration, which most likely means more alcohol. Not only does alcohol add on empty calories, but can also lead you to eating more while drinking. If you are at a gathering, limit yourself to one or two drinks to cut down on the unhealthy cravings you might be feeling afterward.  When pouring yourself a glass of wine, count 1-2-3 to get an estimated 5 ounces serving.  A half-filled glass of wine can be as much as 10 ounces!

Water, water, water:  Don’t forget about water! The holidays are an easy time to drink more sugary beverages than normal. Substitute drinks for water, and drink a lot of water. Not only is water essential for your health, but drinking a glass before a meal can fill you up more as well, preventing you from overeating.

Small Bites, Small Sips:  Eating too fast is one of the easiest ways to overeat. When you don’t give your body the chance to digest food and feel full before you stop eating, chances are you’re going to end up eating more than you want.  Take small bites and small sips to trick your brain into eating less.

If you overindulge and feel overly full, here’s a few stretches to aid and relieve indigestion.

  • Raise your arms above your head while breathing in and stretch backwards as much as you can without hurting yourself.
  • Count till 3 and come back to the original position while exhaling slowly.
  • Inhale and bend forward in the rag doll position while exhaling.
  • Count till 3 and come back to the starting position while inhaling.
  • Bring your arms above your head and lean your body to the right side while exhaling
  • Come back to the starting position while inhaling
  • Now lean your body to the left side while exhaling
  • Come back to the starting position while inhaling
  • Repeat this whole stretching workout 3 times to open all the digestive channels.

Enjoy the holidays and the delicious food that comes with it, don’t be afraid to indulge a little. If you find yourself with acute case of indigestion, Acupuncture can resolve the indigestion quickly with one or two treatments.

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Acupuncture Treatment for Psoriasis

PsoriasisPsoriasis is a very common skin condition and is a chronic skin disease of scaling and inflammation. It affects 2 to 2.6 percent of the United States population, or between 5.8 and 7.5 million people. Anyone can develop psoriasis, but the onset is mostly seen in 15 to 35 year old and is not contagious. Psoriasis is commonly passed down through families, so if your parents or grandparents had psoriasis, you might develop it too. Psoriasis mostly occurs on the outside of the elbows and knees, the trunk, and also the scalp, but psoriasis can affect any part of the body

This chronic skin condition can be triggered by a number of internal and external factors.

  • Bacteria or viral infections, like strep throat
  • Dry skin
  • Skin damage, including cuts, burns, and insect bites
  • Some medications, like antimalarial drugs, beta-blockers, and lithium
  • Stress
  • Too much or too little sunlight
  • Over-consumption of alcohol

Scientists don’t know the exact cause of psoriasis. They believe it’s the body’s immune system attacking the skin cells. The type of immune cell that is active is called a T-lymphocyte. The presence of these cells causes other immune responses, which leads to a more rapid than normal turnover of healthy skin cells. Rather than skin cells changing over in weeks, they change over in days.

Psoriasis is tricky to treat and affects every individual differently.  Traditional treatments include topical creams and/or oral medications – but these treatments don’t always relieve Psoriasis.  So many people are seeking out alternative therapies to get their symptoms under control. Some patients have been able to find relief using supplements, herbs, special diets, or acupuncture.

In 1992, National Institutes of Health (NIH) did a study with 61 cases of psoriasis with acupuncture. All of the patients had failed to respond to  western medical treatments. They received an average of about nine sessions of acupuncture treatments, ranging from one to 15 treatments. Almost one third of them had eleven to thirteen acupuncture treatments. With the acupuncture treatment, about one-half of the 61 patients had complete or almost completely cleared of their skin lesions. About a quarter of them had about two thirds of their skin lesions cleared. Eight of them had one third of their skin lesions cleared. Nine patients had minimal or no improvement. The NIH study indicates that acupuncture is effective for treating psoriasis.

Alternative treatments that are safe and natural and can help temporarily reduce symptoms of psoriasis are:

Herbal Remedies

  • Aloe Vera: The gel from this cactus plant can be used generously on your skin to reduce redness and scaling caused by psoriasis. Aloe Vera can be found in almost any grocery or health store.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil is thought to have antiseptic properties. It can sooth irritated skin or scalp and can be applied daily.
  • Turmeric: Turmeric has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Because of this, turmeric has been found to reduce psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis flares. Turmeric can be found in pill form as well as powder form to be added to food.
  • Dead Sea Salts: Soaking in a bath with Dead Sea salts or Epsom salts can remove scaly skin and reduce itching. It is recommended that you use warm water and stay in the tub for 15 minutes.

Home Remedies:

  • Soak a towel in cold milk and apply to affected area to relieve itching.
  • Add ½ cup ground oatmeal into a warm bath.
  • Rub the affected area with the inner side of a banana peel.
  • Apply Aloe Vera gel to affected area.
  • Slice 15 water chestnuts and soak in 3 oz. of rice vinegar crush and store in a sealed jar. Apply the paste to affected area and cover with gauze. Change daily.

Acupuncture can calm down the overacting immune system and stop it from attacking your skin cells. Depending on severity of the Psoriasis, regular treatments from 2 to 9 months will reduce the number of flare-ups. But you must commit to the treatments, if you stop the treatments before we resolve the symptoms, the condition will reoccur.

For people with psoriasis, suffering from painful symptoms like itching, burning, flaking and red skin is not pleasant.  Acupuncture can treats psoriasis.  No one should have to suffer with skin problems like psoriasis. Call  today 253-252-7195 or send us email and get relief from the itching and burning of psoriasis.

Sources:
https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1357925

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Autumn – Time To Tune Up Your Immunity

AutumnWe had a very hot summer in Pacific Northwest. It’s September and we are transitioning from summer to autumn. The first day of autumn is the Fall Equinox, which is September 23rd.  On this day the night and day are of equal length. After the equinox, the days get shorter and the night begins to get longer as time progresses to Winter Solstice.

Autumn marks the turning point between the heat of summer and the cold of winter. From August to November there is rapid give and take – one day it’ sunny and hot, the next day it’s raining and cold.  This weather push and pull is a dangerous time for your body.

The seasonal change also causes the respiratory system to constrict, leading to cough, asthma, bronchitis, and even pneumonia. Many experience the “change of season cough”. The Lungs are very susceptible to cold and illness. For this reason, it is important to stay healthy and warm during the season change.  A simple breathing exercise to keep your lungs healthy is taking a walk around your block.  When walking, concentrate on breathing in slowly until your lungs are at full capacity. Then exhale slowly until your lungs are empty.

Vegetables of autumn like carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach and kale can help purify and protect your body against free radicals. These color-rich vegetables are packed with beta-carotene, which then turns into vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for our immune system, especially as the cold and flu season rolls in. These vegetables can also strengthen your lungs and large intestine to fight illness.

The cooler autumn weather calls for warming dishes. Foods to cook that are in harmony with the season include more sour foods, as well as foods rich in protein and fats. Such as, sauerkraut, ginger, sourdough bread, yogurt and garlic.

Some find it hard to let go of summer, with the longer days and warm air transitioning into the crisp and shorter days of fall. Acupuncture not only helps the body physically, but mentally as well. Fall is a great time to see an acupuncturist as your body, mind and spirit adapt to the changing of the season

Appointment to balance the mind, body and spirit are always available. Call 253-252-7195  or send us email.

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Save Your Summertime Skin

SunshineThis topic is not necessarily directly related to Acupuncture, nevertheless it’s an important topic.

The last few days we have had hot sunny weather in the Pacific Northwest. This time of year being out in the sun becomes irresistible. As tempting as it is to spend as much time as possible in the warmth of the sun, there are a few precautions to take to protect your skin from harmful rays.

Our skin is the largest organ in the body. It reflects our health and age. Today, there’s much concern about sunbathing leading to an increase in skin damage and skin cancer.

Excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays can increase the production of free radicals that can adversely affect the integrity of collagen in the skin. Over time, our skin becomes wrinkled, cracked, aged, and brittle. For smokers, the effects are multiplied.

Research suggests that skin cancer is cumulative over a lifetime. It begins with overexposure and serious sunburns during childhood.

We can’t live without the sun. Our bodies require sunlight in order to manufacture Vitamin D needed for calcium absorption, among other things. So, we shouldn’t hide from the sun and we should enjoy what little sunshine we get in the Pacific Northwest. Here are a few helpful tips and precautions to take when you’re soaking in the sun this summer.

Use sunscreen – Choose a sunscreen with a high SPF number for greater protection. Apply it onto your skin 15 minutes before you go outside. Don’t forget your nose, ears, and neck.

Time is key – Avoid sun exposure when the sun is at its highest peak in the sky, typically from about 11:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Gear up – Wear a hat with a wide brim, t-shirt, and sunglasses that filter ultraviolet rays.

Drink up – By keeping your body hydrated you can avoid dehydration and provide moisture for the skin to prevent dryness, cracking, and aging.

Pop a pill – Vitamins such as A, E, and some antioxidants help prevent skin damage from the inside. Cod Liver oil and Flaxseed oil have also been used to support skin health.

Brush it off – Before you take a shower, use a dry skin brush. This can open pores and slough off dead skin, allowing your skin to breathe easily and work more efficiently.

Keep healthy – Some medications we take may have reactions and side effects when we’re exposed to sunlight. Acupuncture may be able to provide an alternative to these medications, keeping you healthy, safely and naturally.

If you want to enjoy the sun and not worry later, practice good sun sense.

You and your skin deserve it!

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Relieve Your Arthritis With Acupuncture

ArthritisArthritis is a painful and often times debilitating condition that’s characterized by inflammation within one or more joints. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 2 people will develop osteoarthritis of the knee by the age of 85. It’s important to note, however, that there are several different types of arthritis, with osteoarthritis being just one. Other common types include rheumatoid arthritis, gout, septic arthritis, osteoarthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.

Pain is the primary complaint of arthritis sufferers, and acupuncture is a very effective form of pain control. It relieves pain in three ways. First, it causes the body to produce chemicals called endorphins, which inhibit the perception of pain. Endorphins are produced naturally by the patient’s own body, hence, there are no side effects. Second, acupuncture works through the nervous system by blocking the transmission of pain signals to the brain. Third, it deactivates trigger points. Trigger points are tender and extremely reactive areas that develop in the muscles and fascial sheaths of the body. They are often responsible for chronic pain and are frequently found around arthritic joints.

Acupuncture is most successful at relieving pain, but it can also have a positive effect on other symptoms, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Rheumatoid arthritis it is characterized by inflammation (swelling, redness and pain) in and around joints. The degree of inflammation fluctuates, possibly following changes in the stress levels of the body. Acupuncture stimulates the adrenals to produce natural steroids, which have an anti-inflammatory effect. Since they are produced by the body, they do not cause side effects. Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by periods of exacerbation and remission, but pain often persists once the inflammation has subsided. Acupuncture is very effective at relieving this pain by inactivating trigger points around the joints.

Another form of arthritis is Osteoarthritis (OA). It involves the gradual wearing a way of cartilage in joints along with the deposition of calcium, which limits mobility of the joint. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis among adults and affects joints in the hands, lower back and neck, causing great discomfort and reduced mobility for millions. A large meta-analysis consisting of 12 trials and 1,763 patients with osteoarthritis has revealed acupuncture to be an effective way of treating arthritis pain, rivaling conventional medicine. Not only was acupuncture found to be an effective way of treating osteoarthritis but is also a safe and natural way to treat the ailment.

Acupuncture also has a very relaxing effect on the mind and body. Since much illness is the result of stress, this relaxation helps to reduce and relieve your arthritis pain. If you suffer from arthritis, acupuncture can greatly improve your quality of life by reducing your pain.

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.  Are you ready for pain relief?  Call today (253-252-7195) to schedule your appointment or send us email and start living a pain free life.

Source:
CDC Arthritis-Related Statistics
Acupuncture Calms Arthritis Pain

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Acupuncture Treatment Options For Allergies and Asthma

AsthmaDo you suffer from allergies or asthma? It’s a little-known fact that these two conditions are directly linked to each other. Asthma, which affects roughly one in 12 people according to the CDC, is characterized by spasms of the small airways and inflammation. Furthermore, about 90% of children under the age of 16 with asthma have allergies, while 70% of people between the ages of 16 and 30 have allergies, and 50% of adults over the age of 40 have allergies.

Unfortunately, most people who suffer from allergies and asthma simply mask their symptoms with drugs rather than seeking a treatment for the root cause. Both of these conditions involve an overreaction by the body’s immune system to what it believes is a foreign invader. When you are exposed to an allergen (e.g. ragweed, pet dander, etc.), your immune system produces an abundance of inflammatory hormones, which subsequently cause the symptoms of allergies and asthma to manifest.

There are several alternative treatment options available for allergies and asthma, one  is making dietary and lifestyle changes. We live in age in which far too many people choose to pick up convenient fast food as opposed to preparing and cooking fresh meals. There’s nothing wrong with an occasional fast food burger, but basing the bulk of your diet around processed foods will take a toll on your body. The lack of nutrients and increased intake of preservatives can disturb the immune system, causing greater sensitivity to allergens. A better choice is to consume a diet rich in lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains.

Of course, herbal medicine is a time-tested alternative treatment for allergies and asthma. Some of the most popular herbs used to treat these conditions include stinging nettle, ginkgo biloba, green tea, and reishi, all of which contain heavy concentrations of antioxidants. These antioxidants are believed to fight harmful chemicals in the body known as free radicals, which if left unchecked, may irritate existing conditions like allergies and asthma.

Acupuncture is an effective tool for airborne (e.g. pollen) as well as inhaled chemical allergies.  Acupuncture can decrease the bodies histamine response, which produces the allergic symptoms. Over time the physical response to these allergens can be muted producing long lasting relief.

Asthma is a disorder of two components. One component is inflammation of the airways. This is accompanied by bronchial constriction due to a smooth muscle response that lines the walls of the airways. Acupuncture stimulus produces a natural anti-inflammatory agents that move to decrease the inflammation while at the same time affects the sympathetic nervous system to ease the smooth muscle constricted airway. Acupuncture is effective in the treatment of asthma, exercise induced and cold induced asthma. Long term progress can be made in conjunction with good safe management of medication.

Call today (253-252-7195) to schedule your appointment or send us email and start breathing easier.

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Does Stress Cause Digestive Problems?

DigestionIf stress is causing you digestive problems, you must address the stress, otherwise no matter how hard you try to resolved your digestive issues, you will never feel totally well.

A 30 minute auricular stress buster is one of the best ways to relieve stress. More about our 30 minute auricular stress buster.

Does Stress Cause Digestive Problems?   by Kelsey Marksteiner, RD

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