Subconscious Imprinting

I am so excited to introduce you all to a new treatment option I will be offering. Subconscious Imprinting!

“Subconscious Imprinting Technique is one of the quickest and most effective ways to discover and remove subconscious beliefs, decisions and patterns that are negatively influencing your life.” – The Empowered Healers Academy

 

 

Who will benefit:

Literally everyone. If you have ever experienced any of the following, Subconscious Imprinting might just be what you need.

  • Chronic pain, illness, anxiety, insomnia, depression
  • Childhood trauma
  • Death of a loved one
  • Feel like you aren’t living up to your full potential or being your true self
  • Hard time trusting yourself
  • Carry on patterns from your parents
  • Sexual abuse
  • Addictions or substance abuse
  • PTSD
  • Weak boundaries – hard time saying No
  • Hard time controlling your moods – easily triggered
  • Feeling like you don’t ever have enough money or tend to attract debt
  • Toxic or experience conflict in relationships (romantic, business, family)

What a Subconscious Imprinting session will look like:

Quite similar to a Bars and/or Acupuncture treatment, we will start the treatment off with chatting a bit about what brings you in. Then, through muscle testing I will discover the root cause of your main concern. We will chat a bit more about the root and then go into some clearing statements. The clearing statements are to clear the subconscious mind and reprogram it.

What is Subconscious Imprinting:

Subconscious Imprinting reaches the subconscious mind and helps reprogram it. Every reaction we have is a learned behaviour – our subconscious mind is so extremely powerful. We can reprogram the subconscious mind to destroy and uncreate physical and emotional pain, limitations, and unhealthy patterns.

From the age of 7, a lot of our judgments and patterns have already been made. Traumas, beliefs and memories have started to create our core identity – how we perceive ourselves to be whether consciously or subconsciously. These will influence our entire adult lives.

Research has found that suppressing emotions is associated with a variety of health conditions including and not limited to; autoimmune diseases, heart disease, ulcers, IBS, etc. When the body is stressed, cortisol levels spike which then increase your heart rate, decrease your immune system, increase toxic thinking patterns, poor memory, increased inflammation, and decreased digestion.  “This pain acts as a distraction from the anger, fear, or rage you don’t want to feel or think about. The pain essentially acts as a lid, keeping unwanted emotions from erupting” – Dr. John Sarno.

The body literally never forgets, once an emotion has been suppressed it can later be triggered and can bring you back to the original trauma. Over and over again… “It doesn’t matter if it’s physical, spiritual, or emotional – 99% of the time, there’s an energetic component that is rooted in the subconscious mind that must be “reprogrammed” in order to create a new reality” – Empowered Healers Academy Practitioner Manual.

You can now book Subconscious Imprinting sessions online! 

For more information, you can email or text me. Info.tsacupuncture@gmail.com/403.741.8898

Community Acupuncture – Coming Soon!

I am so excited for this! As of September 27th I will also be offering Community Acupuncture.

What is Community Acupuncture?

Community Acupuncture makes acupuncture much more accessible to everyone.

This treatment takes place in a reclined chair in a room with a five other patients. The patients will all receive treatment at the same time. The treatment consists of feet/hand/head/ear points which means you don’t have to undress for the treatment. The treatment is 30 minutes, where you get to enjoy the relaxing sensations of acupuncture. These acupuncture treatments do not include a full one on one health history intake and I would highly suggest a 90 minute Initial Acupuncture Treatment prior to you taking part in the Community Acupuncture sessions, however, it is not necessary. If you choose not to do the full initial treatment, there will be a short form for you to fill out upon your first Community Acupuncture treatment – so please show up about 5 minutes early.

Who will benefit from Community Acupuncture?

Anyone and everyone! That’s the beauty of it. However, it is important to keep in mind that this is a basic treatment. It is not intended to replace an in-depth one on one acupuncture treatment. Listed below are the people/conditions that would benefit most from a community acupuncture treatment.

  • Stress
  • Anxiety (suggested as a maintenance treatment, not a replacement for a full treatment)
  • Addiction
  • PTSD
  • Irritable
  • Overall wellness
  • People who have lower income – making it financially difficult to have regular full length acupuncture treatments
  • People who have less free time – making it difficult to schedule regular full length acupuncture treatments
  • Want to try out acupuncture but not quite ready for a full treatment – there are six chairs so you and some friends can come!

How much does it cost?

  • $20 per session
  • $30 for the initial if you have not been in for a 90 minute Initial Acupuncture Treatment

When is it?

As of right now, starting off, I will be offering Community Acupuncture once a week. Thursdays at 5:30pm at Roots Yoga.

So, if you’re feeling; tired, stressed, irritable, or are just craving your acupuncture fix – come in on your lunch break to feel recharged. Self care is important in every and any form! And just like all my other services, you can book online to reserve your spot in the comfort of your own home.

I look forward to bringing a more accessible acupuncture option to Stettler!

As always, if you have any questions feel free to text/call/email/Facebook at any time.

Phone: 403-741-8898

Email: info.tsacupuncture@gmail.com

Facebook: TS Acupuncture

Instagram: @tsacupuncture

To book online visit http://www.tsacupuncture.ca

Why we all should eliminate refined sugar from our diets

Sugar comes in all forms, the most beneficial are those from whole foods. These are the good sugars that are beneficial and necessary to our body – in moderation. It is the refined sugars that, frankly, have no place in our diet.

Refined sugar in your body

1. Increases inflammation in the body. Ingesting refined sugar triggers the release of inflammatory messengers called cytokines.

2. Mineral imbalance. “Refined sugar passes quickly into the bloodstream in large amounts, giving the stomach and pancreas shock. An acid condition forms which consumes the body’s minerals quickly” – Healing with whole foods. An example is a loss of calcium from the system resulting in bone problems.

3. Sugar has been known to compromise the immune system. It lowers the efficiency of white blood cells.

4. Excess sweet foods (or poor quality sweets) promote unhealthy mucus conditions in the body which makes a wonderful living situation for yeast and fungi.

5. Addictive. Dopamine is released in the reward centre of the brain when sugar is consumed. “Consuming sugar produces effects similar to that of cocaine, altering mood, possibly through its ability to induce reward and pleasure, leading to the seeking out of sugar”.

Health issues related to the intake of large amounts of refined sugar include but are not limited to: obesity, hypoglycaemia, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, tooth decay, bone loss, immune deficiency, anemia, male impotence, cancer, PMS, menstrual problems, yeast infections, herpes outbreaks, negative thoughts, loss of memory and concentration, fatty liver disease… to name a few.

Other words for sugar

Anhydrous dextrose, brown sugar, cane crystals, cane sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, crystal dextrose, evaporated cane juice, fructose sweetener, fruit juice concentrates, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, liquid fructose, malt syrup, maple syrup, molasses, raw sugar, syrup, white sugar, fructose, lactose, maltose, carbitol, diglycerides, disaccharides, erythritol, fructooligosaccharides, galactose, glucitol, glucoamine, hexitol, inversol, isomalt, maltodextrin, malted barley, malts, mannitol, nectars, pentose, raisin syrup, ribose rice syrup, rice malt, rice syrup solids, sorbitol, sorghum, sucanat, sucanet, xylitol and zylose.

References:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/aug/25/is-sugar-really-as-addictive-as-cocaine-scientists-row-over-effect-on-body-and-brain

Healing with Whole Foods-Paul Pitchford

Endometriosis and Adenomyosis

‘Endometriosis affects an estimated 176 million women worldwide regardless of their ethnic and social background. Many remain undiagnosed and are therefore not treated.’

There is no exact known cause for endometriosis, the best way it is treated in Western Medicine is with hormone therapy, pain killers, or sometimes even surgery. The general consensus is that endometriosis is worsened by estrogen, so getting estrogen levels under control will help alleviate the symptoms – this is why hormone therapy is so commonly suggested.

Endometriosis is when the endometrial tissue (lining in the uterus) which should only be found in the uterus is found in other parts of the body. It can be found anywhere in the pelvic cavity including but not limited to; the ovaries, fallopian tubes, on the pelvic side-wall (peritoneum), uterosacral ligaments, and the rectal-vaginal septum. Not only can it be found in various places in the pelvic cavity, but also in the bowels, bladder, intestines, rectum, and scar tissue (such as laparoscopy of Caesarian-Section scars). Interestingly enough, there have actually been some rare cases where endometrial tissue is found on the lungs.

When your hormones stimulate ovulation, it causes the walls of the uterus to thicken. Any endometrial tissue will be affected by this hormone signal, even when they are outside of the uterus. As the tissues grows, it can cause pressure on nearby organs or nerves. As the tissue grows/thickens, it also releases blood during menstruation which can trigger the typical pain symptoms and form scar tissue.

Adenomyosis is not as well known as endometriosis. It is the benign invasion of the endometrium into the myometrium. The myometrium is the middle layer of the uterine wall – it consists mainly of uterine smooth muscle cells. Adenomyosis occurs in 15% of endometriosis patients, and the symptoms are quite similar.

Symptoms

  • Pain: before/during/after menstruation, during ovulation,  in the bowel during menstruation, when passing urine, during or after sexual intercourse, in the lower back region
  • Diarrhoea or constipation (in particular in connection with menstruation)
  • Abdominal bloating (in particular in connection with menstruation)
  • Heavy or irregular bleeding
  • Fatigue

Lifestyle changes:

  • Exercise
  • Diet – decrease/eliminate refined sugar, decrease/eliminate alcohol, quit smoking.
  • Relaxation routine
  • Emotion management

I personally have suffered from endometriosis and not wanting/being able to have synthetic hormones in my body or to be dependant on NSAIDS, I chose acupuncture to help with the pain and nausea. I have experienced the following symptoms on a regular basis during menstruation; debilitating pain, severe vomiting, whole body muscle contractions/body shakes, blurred vision, body tingling, fatigue. I have had to cancel my day short notice because of the pain and vomiting that can seem to hit so quickly some days. So, I know how bad it can get. Regular acupuncture treatments and working on regulating hormones in a natural way works for me!

How does acupuncture help?

“Researchers find acupuncture more effective than hormone drug therapy for the treatment of endometriosis.”. At a women’s optimal health, menstruation should be a painless experience. In Chinese Medicine, the Liver and menstruation are closely connected. The Liver, Spleen and Kidney channels all flow through the pelvis and can all have an effect on menstruation. If there is a blockage or stagnation in any of these channels, a patient will likely experience menstrual abnormalities. There are a few different pathologies that can result in menstrual pain in TCM such as; Liver Qi stagnation, Blood Deficiency, Cold Invasion, etc. No matter the pathology, Acupuncture can help. By having regular treatments acupuncture will help decrease inflammation, release endorphins, and bring the body back to homeostasis – whether by promoting proper Blood and/or Qi flow, or warming the lower Jiao.

References:
http://endometriosis.org/endometriosis/
http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1770-acupuncture-beats-drug-for-endometriosis-relief
https://www.pacificcollege.edu/news/blog/2015/02/26/tcm-treat-endometriosis-symptoms
Handbook of Obstetrics & Gynecology in Chinese Medicine, An Integrated Approach – Yu Jin, M.D.

Trauma – Part 3: Trauma in Chinese Medicine

Now that we have learnt about trauma in the last two posts. I am going to dive in a bit deeper to the Traditional Chinese Medicine side of things and explain how acupuncture can help someone who has been through a traumatic event.

There is actually a very significant overlap between Western and Eastern Medicine. Western psychologists call it ‘PTSD’ or ‘dissociative states’. Eastern practitioners call it ‘Shen disturbance’. But it doesn’t matter whether its diagnosed in Western Medicine or Eastern Medicine, the symptoms are the same.

  • Disconnected from Here and Now
  • Spacing out
  • Lack of connection to ones self
  • Memory distortions
  • Unclear mind
  • Dream disturbed sleep/ nightmares
  • Insomnia
  • Over/under reactions

In Chinese Medicine, trauma is stored in the ‘Lower Spirits’ this is the body and emotions as well as our instincts and autonomic nervous system (ANS). Many people don’t even remember a trauma, but acupuncture can help bring those memories up in a safe and healthy way. Emotions are not a bad thing, in moderation they are great – but it becomes a trauma when your body can no longer return to center by itself.

There are five spirits, each is connected to one Yin organ. They include the Heart(Shen), Spleen(Yi), Liver(Hun), Kidney(Zhi), and Lung(Po). You can think of the spirits as people; if the spirits experience fright/fear, they will scatter. And that is when a stressful event becomes a traumatic event in Chinese Medicine. Shen is the monarch of the spirits – I imagine it like a person strutting around, making sure everything is in place. When you experience a trauma, Shen leaves the Heart and then pretty much all chaos ensues. The other Spirits no longer have a guide so they don’t know what to do. They are kind of like sheep in that sense – they are comfortable following their leader, once their leader is gone no one knows what’s going on or what to do, so they go in all different directions. Once the Monarch (Shen) has left and the other four spirits have scattered, we have no sense of self and can not return to equilibrium – this is trauma in Chinese Medicine. Simply said, Shock scatters the Qi. The goal is the bring Shen back to the Heart and to return the body to equilibrium.

Acupuncture treatments can help someone work through a traumatic event in a variety of ways.

  • It “Bypasses the frontal lobes to open a direct link to cellular memory…”.
  • Balances the Autonomic Nervous System (for patients in hyperarousal).
  • Supports Adrenals.
  • Calms the Amygdalae.
  • Releases endorphins.
  • Allows energetic communication with the body through needles, sometimes talk therapy doesn’t help because the patient can’t/doesn’t’ want to recall the traumatic event. The needles can help a patient remember the event.
  • Helps patients become more aware of self care and mindful self awareness.
  • Helps patients develop positive relationship to body and touch.
  • Helps with physical symptoms resulting in trauma such as; digestive disorders, anxiety, depression, muscle tension, insomnia, etc.

I am not going to go into the different possible treatments, because it is different for each patient. But if you have more questions about what a treatment would look like for you; please call or text me at 403-741-8898 or book a complimentary 15 minute consultation to find out more information.

.

.

Additional Blog posts in Trauma Series

Trauma – Part 1: What is Trauma?

  • Online February 1, 2018

Trauma – Part 2: Physical Symptoms of Trauma.

  • Online February 8, 2018

Trauma – Part 4: Therapies other than Acupuncture.

  • Online February 22, 2018

.

.

.

Resources:

Trauma and Recovery in The Context of Chinese Medicine – Darren Tellier

Healing Trauma: A Five Spirit Approach – Lorie Eve Dechar

The Psyche in Chinese Medicine – Maciocia

When the Body Says No – Gabor Mate

.

.

https://suicideprevention.ca/need-help/

https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/findhealth/results.aspx?type=service&id=25&locationCity=Stettler&radius=50#contentStart

Trauma – Part 2: Physical Symptoms of Trauma

Let’s talk a little about the connection between our physical bodies and trauma.

It took me a long time to make the connection between my low back pain and trauma that I experienced as a child. I was never physically harmed to cause back pain. But a series of events – mostly emotional – that made me feel unsafe are what triggered my low back pain. It wasn’t until just a few years ago that I really started to dive into the emotional healing aspect of my physical body. I had been feeling like I wasn’t able to reach the underlying issue of my back, the best way I can describe it is a glass barrier between me and the emotional trauma – I just couldn’t reach it to work through it on my own. So then, I started doing more acupuncture and energy work to help.

Too often it is thought that our mind and body are separate entities. Sometimes in the Western Medical world, if a patient has pain but there is no known pathology it can be suggested that they are ‘making up’ the pain or that ‘its all in your head’. Fortunately, this in not the case in Chinese Medicine. The mind, body, and spirit are interconnected; in order to heal one you need to be aware of all three.

Some common physical manifestations of latent trauma include:

  • Digestive Disturbances
  • IBS
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Chronic Pain
  • Muscle Tension
  • Emotional Stress
  • Hyper-vigilance

Example: I have a patient who came in for acupuncture because she was experiencing severe muscle tension. As we went through her health history I discovered that she experiences anxiety as well. So I started to dig a bit deeper about when the anxiety started, it started at a very specific time in her life. I asked if she could remember any traumatic events that happened around her teen years. And not surprisingly, she did. She was assaulted by a man when she was in her teens. So even though muscle tension was her chief complaint, it and the anxiety were merely a manifestation of a significant trauma in her life. She had suffered from anxiety for years and was only prescribed medication – it was masking the real issue. Latent Trauma.

This example is unfortunately so common in patients that come in. Now, not all physical pain is trauma related. But for that stubborn pathology that you are experiencing and having no luck healing, it might be beneficial to look back over your past and figure out when it might have started and why. Sometimes it takes a trained professional or another set of eyes to make that connection.

It is also important to make sure you remember that if you do think your physical pain is trauma related, it isn’t your fault. You didn’t create this pain. It is simply your body’s way of coping. It is common for some people to not even know/remember they experienced a traumatic event because our brain blocks it out in order to survive. So please know that you did not do this to yourself.

Acupuncture can help decrease physical symptoms related to trauma in a few ways. It depends on the pathology – chronic pain and digestive issues are treated differently – but all the treatments will include some acupuncture points to help release the trauma and calm the mind, as well as the physical issue you are experiencing. When you come in for a treatment, I will discuss with you further what the treatment plan will look like specific to you. I will dive into it a bit more next week.

Additional Blog posts in Trauma Series

Trauma – Part 1: What is Trauma?

  • Online February 1, 2018

Trauma – Part 3: Trauma in Chinese Medicine.

  • Online February 15, 2018

Trauma – Part 4: Therapies other than Acupuncture.

  • Online February 22, 2018

.

Resources:

Healing Trauma: A Five Spirit Approach – Lorie Eve Dechar

Trauma and Recovery in the Context of Chinese Medicine; Interpretations of current Neuro-biological and Psychotherapy Models of the Traumatized Mind – Darren Tellier

The Psyche in Chinese Medicine – Maciocia

Broken Brain – Mark Hyman

.

.

.

https://suicideprevention.ca/need-help/

https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/findhealth/results.aspx?type=service&id=25&locationCity=Stettler&radius=50#contentStart

Trauma – Part 1: What is Trauma?

Trauma.

What an intense word.

I have always been drawn to the psycho emotional aspect of people. I tend to find myself constantly asking “What situation from their past triggered this..?” I started really thinking about trauma a few years ago, and then took a couple courses related to TCM and trauma this past year. This, and the next three blogs, will be solely dedicated to trauma and everything triggered by/related to it (physical pain, PTSD, etc).

So many people experience a trauma in their life, some of which we can’t even remember. There are a variety of reasons why we might experience a trauma in our life. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t traumatic to the person next to you, if it is traumatic to you then it is a trauma. “Trauma is one of the most ignored and denied cases of human suffering, it can be masked by many things”. But let’s start with the absolute basics of trauma.

What is Trauma?

We have all heard of the fight or flight response our body automatically goes into during a stressful situation. But there is actually another response called the ‘Freeze Response’. The Freeze response is a response to a traumatic stress opposed to everyday stress which triggers the Fight or Flight Response. “When the fight or flight systems cannot be activated, escape is physically or relationally impossible, fight is not an option, or traumatic threat is prolonged…” this is when the Freeze Response comes into play. One thing I find quite interesting, is that during the Freeze Response, the victim can have a decreased sensation of fear or pain – it is almost as if our mind leaves our body at this traumatic time in ones life. Once the traumatic event is over, there may be some imprints left on the brain related to the trauma.

Essentially, the nervous system is unable to return to equilibrium after a threat. Interestingly enough, brain imaging has shown that changes have occurred in the amygdala along with other parts of the brain, body and nervous system after a traumatic event. The amygdala will actually grow new neurons, this will result in it becoming more sensitive to subtle cues that remind the person of the traumatic event they have experienced. From this, the person can experience an inability to decide on safe or unsafe situations, and even everyday decisions can become challenging. Once this change has occurred in someone’s brain, it can be difficult for them to distinguish between the event that happened in the past and an event that is separate but might trigger the past event. Simply, they are always living in a state of trauma because, to their brain, there is no differentiation in time between the traumatic event and present time. Have you ever noticed someone (or yourself) seemingly ‘overreact’ to an otherwise stress less situation – this could be a trigger for them/you and they/you are instantly back in the traumatic event.

A stressful event is most likely to be traumatic if:

  1. It happened unexpectedly
  2. You were unprepared
  3. You felt powerless to prevent it
  4. You were unable to move or do something to protect yourself
  5. It happened repeatedly
  6. Someone was intentionally cruel
  7. It happened in childhood

Some common sources of trauma are the following:

  • Physical Assault
  • Rape
  • Combat
  • Sudden, unexpected death of loved one
  • Domestic Abuse (physical/emotional/financial/psychological)
  • Childhood Abuse (physical/emotional/financial/psychological)
  • Motor Vehicle Accident

When it comes to trauma, it is important to keep in mind that the event does not have to happen to you directly in order for it to be traumatic. It can still be traumatic if you witnessed it or even learned about a traumatic event that happened to a loved one.

This is a heavy post, I know. It is a heavy subject. But the important thing to remember is that there are things you can do to help in your recovery.

Can Acupuncture help?

Yes. Very simply, Acupuncture can help. Not only can acupuncture help with the many physical symptoms of trauma but also with the actual trauma. Sometimes people experience a trauma that they don’t or can’t remember, acupuncture can help bring that trauma forward in order to work through it in a healthy way. Acupuncture can help by “bypassing the frontal lobes to open direct link to cellular memory – the wisdom and knowing of the body”.

If you have been through a traumatic event, or are recently dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic event – help is available.

Red Flags – Seek help from a mental health professional if you experience the following.

  • Serious addiction (sex/drugs/shopping, etc)
  • Eating disorders
  • Persistent severe marital and/or sexual problems (more than 5 months)
  • Severe/Chronic depression (more than 5 months)
  • Grief of loosing a loved one that affects persons capacity to function (more than 1 year)
  • Severe Insomnia/nightmares (more than 3 months)
  • Flooding of traumatic memories
  • Any Suicidal thoughts/impulses or other self destructive wishes/behaviour.

.

.

.

.Additional Blog posts in Trauma Series

Trauma – Part 2: Physical Symptoms of Trauma?

  • Online February 8, 2018

Trauma – Part 3: Trauma in Chinese Medicine.

  • Online February 15, 2018

Trauma – Part 4: Therapies other than Acupuncture.

  • Online February 22, 2018

.

.

References:

Healing Trauma: A Five Spirit Approach – Lorie Eve Dechar

Trauma and Recovery in the Context of Chinese Medicine; Interpretations of current Neuro-biological and Psychotherapy Models of the Traumatized Mind – Darren Tellier

The Psyche in Chinese Medicine – Maciocia

.

.

https://suicideprevention.ca/need-help/

https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/findhealth/results.aspx?type=service&id=25&locationCity=Stettler&radius=50#contentStart

Nightshades; everything you need to know.

Have you heard of Nightshades before? Nope, it actually isn’t a window covering specific to the night – surprising, right…?

Nightshades, also known as Solanaceae, are a family of flowering plants. They include a variety of plants such as; perennials, annuals, lianas, epiphytes, shrubs, trees, weeds, spices, medicinal plants, and ornamentals. Nightshades are unique because of the potent alkaloids they contain, some are so high they are actually toxic. ‘Alkaloids are nitrogenous organic substances produced by plants as a secondary metabolite and which have an intense physiological action on animals even at low doses’.

Some of the common house hold nightshades include but are not limited to;

  • Tomatoes
  • White Potatoes
  • Egg Plant
  • Bell Peppers
  • Chilli Peppers
  • Tobacco
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne Pepper

Note: Neither Sweet Potato nor Black Pepper are Nightshades, even though white potatoes and various peppers are. This is simply because the plant is different.

To humans, alkaloids can be desirable or toxic. A large portion of the population will not have an issue with nightshades, however, nightshades can have a negative impact on people with autoimmune diseases or even people with a sensitive digestive system.

Why?

Evidence has shown that people with Rheumatoid Arthritis have experienced increased joint pain and/or stiffness associated with Nightshades. Although there is not a singular reason as to why nightshades can increase joint pain, there are a few studies that explain it well. A study was done on mice with IBS (Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome), when the mice were fed potato skins the inflammation increase substantially. The higher the alkaloid content in the potato, the worse the inflammation.

This theory suggests that Nightshades were designed specifically to contain alkaloids for the simple reason that it is poisonous. It truly is an ingenious design. Nightshades contain alkaloids at different quantities that act as their very own pesticide. With this ability, they are able to preserve themselves longer and are less likely to be overtaken by mold or insects. The higher quantities tend to be in the leafs and stem; since we don’t eat that part of the plant and we are bigger than insects, the alkaline quantity tends not to bother most people. However, a connection between higher alkaloids in a plant and increased inflammation in autoimmune diseases is quite prevalent.

Another theory suggests it has to do with Vitamin D absorption. Although Vitamin D is a necessity, Nightshades can have a very potent quantity of Vitamin D3. This can actually prevent proper calcium metabolism, therefor causing the body to deposit calcium in the soft tissue.

I can’t stress enough that Nightshades do not have a negative effect on everyone. The people that will notice the negative side of nightshades are mostly either individuals with autoimmune deficient and/or digestive disturbances. Nightshades can be extremely high in nutrients and vitamins, therefor being beneficial to individuals who don’t suffer from an autoimmune disease. So, if you don’t have an autoimmune disease or digestive sensitivities, then just keep on doing what you’re doing with Nightshades. If you do have an autoimmune disease or digestive sensitivities, then I would highly suggest cutting out night shades for about two weeks completely, and then slowly introduce one at a time back into your diet. By doing this you will be able to notice if one particular item increases inflammation/stiffness/pain/digestive issues. Once you have identified the culprit, you can confidentiality have a positive impact on your own health.

My experience with Nightshades:

As you may know, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune immune disease when I was twelve. I learnt about Nightshades about six years ago and it was such a relief to be able to help pin point what caused stiffness and pain in my body. I totally eliminated Nightshades and then introduced them back into my diet one at a time. I have noticed that potatoes and peppers are the main culprits in the Nightshade family – I have an increased discomfort and stiffness within the hour after eating them. Whereas, with tomatoes, I notice no such thing. So feel free to play around and listen to your body, it will tell you which (if any) Nightshades should be eliminated.

References:

Healing with Whole Foods – Paul Pitchford

Plants of Canada

Paleoleap.com

Diagnosis diet.com

Why I’m in love with Ginger.

gingerFresh Ginger Root (Sheng Jiang) is a commonly used herb in Chinese Medicine. The reason I am so in love with ginger root is not only because of its many health benefits, but also because of the accessibility of it. Unlike multiple other TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) herbs, ginger root can be found at pretty much any and every grocery store. It is also wonderfully easy to cook with, juice and/or apply topically. Ginger’s properties in TCM include; pungent, warm, effects the Lung, Spleen and Stomach meridians. It warms the Lung to stop coughing, warms the middle to stop vomiting and energizes the middle. And lastly, it disperses wind-cold (common cold).

Stimulates Digestion

Ginger helps to stimulate digestion, therefor helps ease digestive discomforts. It is not just that ginger stimulates digestion, but that it aids in assimilation of nutrients making them more “bioavailable” in the blood stream. Also, with it being warm and pungent in nature, it helps to unclog the channels.

“Fresh ginger is used to break down high-protein foods… and lessen the effect of uric acids in the body from eating these foods.” (Healing with Whole Foods). Adding ginger, cumin, and coriander with bean dishes diminishes problems with flatulence. You can also add ginger to mucus-forming foods, such as milk, yogurt, sour cream, kefir, etc. to help with digestion.

IMG_0687Nausea

Ginger also has the ability to combat nausea, which can range from morning sickness to the flu, and even chemotherapy. Fresh ginger is so effective at decreasing nausea because it helps regulate the direction of Stomach Qi. The stomachs natural direction of Qi is downward, so when vomiting begins that can mean Rebellious Stomach Qi, by introducing ginger into you tea or diet during that time it will significantly help decrease vomiting and nausea. Because fresh ginger root is pungent and warming, which is downward, it is a popular kitchen medicine in the east for nausea and vomiting.

Disperse Wind-Cold Invasion

A wind cold invasion, also known as the common cold, is almost defenseless against ginger. As stated above, ginger helps to warm the lungs and disperse phlegm. I don’t know about you, but I love anything that helps me get over a cold in a natural way and quickly!

Anti Inflammatory

As you may know, from discussion or previous posts, I have had a bit of experience personally with inflammation in the past. Reason #174 why I love Ginger – drum roll please…. Ginger has anti-inflammatory agents. It also has been known to treat hypertension, although must be avoided if there are heat signs.

Reduce Toxicity

In Chinese medicine fresh ginger root is used to reduce toxicity, both medical and seafood. That is why it is common in Chinese culture to steam fish with ginger root and green onion, because ginger is an antidote to fish poisoning. It is also why Japanese eat pickled ginger and horseradish/wasabi with sushi, also because raw fish has such cold energy, it needs balance by warming.

Cold Signs

 

IMG_8871If you are similar to me and you love anything warm and tend to shy away from cold ginger root is for you. I for one, use ginger to help with PMS symptoms including muscle aches and nausea. I also use ginger in my komutcha to help warm my body. I am chronically yang deficient, as I learnt more about ginger; it quickly became my best friend.

 

Cautions

Ginger should not be used in excess if you experience a lot of heat signs.

Fresh Ginger Root Tea

IMG_0706.PNG

Place a few fresh ginger slices or diced fresh ginger into 12 oz of water.

Bring to a boil.

Steep till cool enough to drink.

Sweeten with honey.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

References:
Healing with Whole Foods – Paul Pitchford
Acupuncture Desk Reference – David J Kuoch
The Foundations of Chinese Medicine – Maciocia

My Meditation Process

I have been having quite a few patients ask about my meditation routine lately. So I thought I would write a bit of a break down of my process. Remember, this is what works for me, it might not work for you and that’s okay.

So, I have meditated off and on for years, mostly in yoga, and then here or there for five(ish) minutes. It wasn’t until probably about a year ago that I started to honestly have meditation as a regular practice in my life. It takes a while, or at least for me it did, to actually get to the point of seeing how beneficial meditation can be. I knew the benefits for a long time, but it wasn’t until I really started craving meditating that I started to feel and experience the benefits.

I learned to meditating in silence, and that is what I always go to. I am fortunate because I am a very visual person and can see my breath traveling though my body. From my head to my feet, down into the roots that are grounding me to the earth. It wasn’t until I was in Victoria in September, that I did a guided meditation. It was wonderful! I can see how it is a really nice way to start meditating. But for me, silence is still my favourite.

So, to start, I sit on my meditation mat and burn some sage and then ring my singing bowl. These two rituals have just started up since I moved into our new home and I have a specific meditation space. I find this to be a nice way to start the meditation process, both sage and the singing bowl help to clear any negative energy.

Now, I sit cross legged with my spine straight/core activated/shoulders down and take about 5 nice deep breaths. As I take these 17777014_10212524140999130_529392115_obreaths, I invite only the highest and brightest to guide me. This helps to get me centred and release any stress/worries/pain, etc. From this point I begin to watch my breath travel up and down my body. As I exhale, I watch the air and negative energy travel down my body into the ground. When I inhale, I watch the clean, bright, positive energy travel from the ground up through my body to my head.

I do a combination of diaphragm and thoracic breathing.

  • Diaphragm breathing is when your belly pushes out with the inhale and in with the exhale. Usually we only use Thoracic breathing in our every day lives so its nice to take time to focus on diaphragmatic breathing.
  • Thoracic breathing is when the diaphragm doesn’t descend when we inhale, therefor the chest must expand to accommodate.

I have found a huge part of of my meditation practice is gratitude. If I feel a pain in my shoulder while I am meditating (and actually in my everyday life now) I thank it and give it permission to leave. If my mind wanders off to a thought or task that needs to be accomplished, I give it gratitude and release it. I then bring myself back to my breath, back to centre. As I’m writing this I know it can sound kind of “hokey”, but I tell you it works really well for me. Everything we experience is for a reason, so I have come to appreciate the fact that giving it gratitude is extremely important – in my opinion.

In a world where we are always connected, I strongly suggest everyone take up a meditation practice. We all have that ability to connect to our higher self, we just need to take advantage of it. If a silent meditation isn’t for you, there are other types of meditation such as walking meditation or guided meditation. Find whats best for you. If you are looking for a guided meditation, there are lots of podcasts or on iTunes that you can test and see what works.

Good luck and don’t be upset if you aren’t really focused when you start meditating. Spoiler–you likely won’t be. But, just let your ego go. You know the one telling you you’re doing it wrong or not “good enough”. Put your thoughts, ego, and phone on the shelf for ten minutes and enjoy the process!

Peace and love,

Taylore

nelson