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

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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

-Herniated Disc-

I’m sure we all know someone who has a herniated disc or perhaps you have herniated a disc yourself. Unfortunately, in our society with the lifestyle we lead, disc issues are far too common.  I will focus primarily on herniated disc syndrome in the low back.

What is a Herniated Disc?

A herniated disc can sometimes be referred to as a slipped disc or a ruptured disc. But really they all mean the same thing. A disc is the rubbery cushion between the vertebrae, it’s there to help with impact from our day-to-day lives as well as make it so we can easily move without having our vertebra grinding on each other as we move. If you imagine the disc as a jelly donut, the outside (annulus) is harder than the inside (nucleus). With repetitive strain and impact the jelly from the donut will eventually protrude out one side of the donut. This is the same for a disc. There is not one specific direction in which a disc jajawill herniate.

Once the disc has herniated, it can irritate near by nerves, and that is when you will have numbness or tingling sensations. Fortunately, not all people who have a herniated disc will experience numbness and tingling. “A study showed that as many as 1/3 to 1/2 of healthy asymptomatic young men consisted of having a disc bulge or herniation”.

Where does it happen? 

You can herniate a disc anywhere along the spine. There are 23 discs in the human spine: 6dddd in the neck (cervical region), 12 in the middle back (thoracic region), and 5 in the lower back (lumbar region). Although neither the Sacrum nor the connection between the skull-C1 and C1-C2 have discs.

Are you at a higher risk?

  • People who spend a lot of time sitting and leaning forward. Studies show, the highest amount of pressure measured within the intervertebral disc occurs while sitting.
  • Years of repetitive motion can gradually break down the annulus fibrosis, which will make it more vulnerable. Unfortunately, at that point any minor stress can induce a disc herniation or bulge.
  • If you are over weight your chances of a herniated disc can increase. In the body, the discs are partially supported by the pressure created by the abdominal muscles and organs; this pressure helps to keep the discs in place. Carrying around extra weight constantly strains your back— you’re practically doing heavy lifting all the time!

Can Acupuncture Help?

Acupuncture has been known to help alleviate pain, numbness, or tingling associated with herniated discs. The beauty of acupuncture is that the way the meridians flow, there are points that can actually help with back pain on your feet and hands. So for a severely acute case, the distal (hand and feet) points would be predominantly used to help alleviate pain.

In order for a disc to become herniated, there tend to be an imbalance between specific muscles. By addressing the motor points of the anterior and posterior muscles, it will help realign the spine. By properly realigning the spine, it will take any unnecessary pressure of your disc. Also, when you do come in for acupuncture, it is extremely important to let me know if you have a herniated and if you know which way it has herniated. This lets me know if I am able to needle along the spine as well.

 

Seeing your doctor, diligent acupuncture treatments and specific exercises can help you recover much quicker than if you were to just lie around. So, I have put together a little video of exercises to help with a herniated disc. Enjoy!

 

Resources:
Sports Medicine Acupuncture Manual
SpineUniverse.com
The Acupuncture Handbook of Sports Injuries and Pain
Yoga Body

 

What is the Meridian System?

If you have been in my treatment room, you have seen my model on the counter with the meridians all over it. A lot of the time people will think that the meridians are actually the

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Nervous System

nervous system, and thats why I get the common question ‘so you are hitting the nerve, right?’. Actually no, not at all. If I hit the nerve with an acupuncture needle it would be quite uncomfortable. I needle along the meridian system.

But what exactly are meridians?

The word ‘meridian’, as used in Chinese Medicine, is roughly translated to “to go through”, “a net”, or “something that connects or attaches”. Meridians are channels or pathways that carry Qi (Energy) and Blood through the body. It is important to keep in mind that even though meridians carry Blood, they are not vessels. They are an invisible system that links the body together. The simplest way to visualize the meridian system in the body is like a highway,

meridian-system

Meridian System

and the cars are Qi. So now that you see a highway on your body, we can move a little bit deeper.

“The Meridians move the Qi and Blood, regulate Yin and Yang, moisten the tendons and bones, benefit joints” Nei Jing.

Meridians connect the exterior of the body to the interior, this is the basis of acupuncture theory.

There are twelve regular meridians in the body. Six of them travel up and down from your toes to your head. Then the other six travel between your fingers and torso/head. The meridians are located all over the body – anterior, posterior, medial and lateral. Meridians flow deep within the body, not just superficially on your skin.

From the twelve regular meridians, there are six yin and six yang meridians. They are divided even further by three of each on each arm or leg. From those six, they are paired with each other. I know this might seem a little tricky so here is an example.

The Large Intestine meridian  is yang in nature,  it runs from the pointer finger up the arm and neck and ends at the nose. Its paired meridian, the Lung meridian, is yin in nature and runs from the chest to the thumb. So you can see that they travel similar pathways but begin and terminate at opposite sides.

So this is why if someone has back pain, there will likely be needles in your hands and feet along with your back. The points along specific meridians are indicated to help with back pain.

Unfortunately the understanding of the interconnections between fundamental connections, organs and meridians is a couple text books longer than this blog. But hopefully now you have a little bit of insight into what exactly meridians are. Feel free to ask me further questions.

Each meridian is a certain element, but we will dive into elements in the next blog. So stay tuned!

 

Resources: The Web That Has No Weaver, The Foundations of Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture, it is part of me.

I recently had a patient who has decided to enroll in the Acupuncture Diploma program- at Grant MacEwan – after experiencing the effects of acupuncture herself. This mIMG_7363.PNGade me so excited! I am in love with acupuncture and the theories behind Chinese Medicine, and that another person is going to experience that makes me so pumped! But it also brings me back to how much I appreciate my education, acupuncture and all my patients.

Don’t get me wrong, not every day is rainbows and butterflies, but I can’t imagine doing something everyday that I did not love. And the acupuncture experiences shared by my patients brings me back to that place of pure appreciation that I was able to come into a career I feel so passionately about.

As some of you may know, I thought it all started when I was twelve. I was initially introduced to acupuncture in the treatment of  Ankylosing Spondylitis. Regular treatments, exercise and a regimented diet brought me to where I am today – according to blood work and MRI results I no longer have Ankylosing Spondylitis! So that is where my intrigue towards holistic medicine and energy began.

However,  when I look back on my life as a young child, I already was aware of energy and the healing powers from the earth and my body/mind. I just didn’t know how to interpret it yet. I remember sitting outside at the farm I grew up at, just sitting in silence focusing on my breath – little did I know I was meditating. Its simple memories like this that confirms that I am doing exactly what I need and want to be doing in life.

Every day I walk into the clinic is a new day of problem solving and getting to spend time and help so many wonderful people. I love that I am able to facilitate in someone’s health, whether it is physical, emotional or psychological.

I feel so fortunate to be on the life path that I am, and I urge you to find something you love. Something that makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning. Something where you don’t feel drained when you get home at night. Something that you want to do in your spare time.

I had a patient come in Sunday for a treatment and she proceeded to tell me that she was having a conversation with her sister prior to coming in. She had to hang up because it was fe52f6b863988de3c1853ca26b2fbb91time for her to leave for her acupuncture appointment and her sister said “Really? On a Sunday?”, my patient replied, “She is accommodating”. My patient wasn’t telling me this for any reason other than making conversation, however, its words like those that make me feel excited that I am able to provide for my patients. Because, you see, I don’t mind working Sundays or late on Mondays and Tuesdays because most the time it just doesn’t feel like work. I love it so I don’t mind coming in on a day off to treat someone if their schedule doesn’t fit my schedule and they are leaving on a trip soon.

I love what I do and it just so happens I get to help people while I am at it. So I guess what I am trying to say is I felt I needed to express to all my patients and anyone reading this how grateful I am towards them. If it weren’t for all of you there is no way5d82718862128153420ecdaeb146f9c0 I would be able to have a career I am so very passionate about.

If you would like to share your acupuncture experience please feel free via Facebook (Taylore Stuckey, Registered Acupuncturist), Instagram (@TSAcupuncture), or Website (https://tsacupuncture.ca/testimonials/).

Peace and love to you all. 

 

 

 

 

A Tale of Work-Life Balance

This is not a typical post for me, it’s not about Acupuncture or Chinese Medicine modalities. It’s not about eating properly or exercising. It’s something that I have been working through myself the last few months – work-life balance.

The first building block for imbalance started about three years ago, I was in my third year of the Acupuncture program – now since I was at school thIMG_0849.JPGe imbalance wasn’t undesirable yet. However, once I graduated, moved back to Stettler and started studying for my national exams…that’s when it really hit the fan.I kept saying “just until I’m registered”. I was studying 9-12 hour days, four days a week and working the other three. My social outings consisted of getting people to quiz me. At this point in time, this behaviour was a necessity in order to successfully pass all my exams. But after eight months of constant studying and work, it was becoming normal for me. So, once I became registered I began working seven days a week – with the odd day off of course. And what did I say then? “Just until I build up my clientele”. I did this for another year.

I have always been very aware of what I eat and how active I am, but in the whirlpool of building a career I lost sight of my physical goals. I started to eat not the best foods for my body which would translate into physical pain. Night shades (bell peppers, potatoes, etc.) create inflammation in the body, which for having arthritis is a really good way to develop unnecessary pain.

As my back began to hurt more, from unnecessary stress and improper diet, my work outs diminished. I felt I had ‘no time’ to relax or meditate. One day I was on my way to work in Wetaskiwin and had taken two Advil (I hadn’t had any NSAIDs since I was 18)  for the drive, I felt almost ashamed that I had taken medication after how successful the holistic approach had been in the past. I asked myself, who am I?

I love eating healthy, exercising, acupuncture, outdoors and spending quality time with the ones I love. If it wasn’t for my love of acupuncture, I would not have been doing anything I truly enjoyed in life anymore. It was at that point that I realized that I wasn’t my priority.  My physical, emotional, and spiritual well being had been put on the back burner for much too long.

IMG_6047.jpgSo, right then I decided to decrease my working days to five days a week, make time for more than work in my life. We booked our 18 day trip to Thailand/Philippines the next week.

As some of you may know, I am in love with travelling. My perspective on so many things in life was developed while travelling. After being in my happy place for 18 days, it was a nice reset button. Don’t get me wrong – it is still a work in progress. I have to be very conscious about all my decisions. I began going to physio, chiro, and acupuncture on a regular basis. I used to say “My health needs to get back to how it was in Edmonton”. But in life you can’t move backwards, you can only continue on, slowly, one step at a time. It may not be easy, but it is always worth it. People usually need that breaking point in order to re-evaluate their lives, all breaking points are different for each person and for each phase you are at in your life. Mine right now is taking medication to do something that I have complete control over. But what if we didn’t have to reach our breaking point to change…?

So today, take a minute to evaluate each part of your life and see if you are truly happy with how much you spend on each; spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, relationships, etc. Be conscious of your choices, evaluate your happy scale on a regular basis, not just when you are saying ‘Hello!’ to your breaking point.

This was my experience, and I will leave you with a quote from my favourite book (The Four Agreements). “Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick.  Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse, and regret.”

Do your best, and love yourself. The rest will come…

nelson

Cupping Therapy

I absolutely love cupping – for so many different reasons! I will tell you why I love it so much in a bit, but first… what exactly is cupping?

What is it?

Cupping is a modality that is associated with acupuncture and traditional Chinese

Cupping

Retain Cupping

medicine. The first documented treatment with cupping dates back to 300AD. It includes using a glass, bamboo, or metal jar – I use glass- and creating suction with it to then be placed on the skin. The suction is created by lighting an alcohol swab, putting fire into the cup, and then removing the fire and quickly placing the cup on the skin – therefor effectively suctioning to your skin. But don’t worry, the flame is never near the skin or the patient nor is it lit throughout the duration of the cupping session. It is common to get marks from the cups – this is good! Coloring can vary from a bit darker than skin color to dark purple depending on the pathology. The discoloration is temporary and can last from minutes to several days.

What are the different types of cupping?

There are a number of different techniques when it comes to cupping but the ones I use most common in clinic are retain, slide, and bleed cupping.

Retain cupping is when the cup is placed on the skin in a specific area and is left

IMG_5293

Bleed Cupping for low back pain.

for a certain amount of time. Usually between 10-15 minutes. Whereas slide cupping is gently moving the cups across the skin. Bleed cupping is using a lancet to make a small incision in a specific area and placing the cup over the incision. This can be extremely beneficial for certain pathologies – I have found with sacroiliac joint pain it is very useful.

Why cup?

There are so many wonderful reasons to use cupping. A few include:

  1. Muscle Tension: The suction in the cups causes the skin and superficial muscle layr to be lightly pulled up into the cup. Cupping is wonderful in that it is much like the inverse of massage – rather than applying pressure to muscles, it uses gentle pressure to pull them upward.
  2. Common Cold: Similar to Gua Sha, cupping can be effective to help overcome a common cold. By placing cups over specific acupuncture points on the back it will help remove the cold from the body.
  3. Respiratory Conditions: Similar to treatment for the common cold, the cups would be placed over specific acupuncture points. It can help control a patients asthma and
    IMG_3725

    Fire Cupping.

    other respiratory issues.

 

Cupping therapy is not for pregnant women and patients who bleed easily and/or cannot stop bleeding. In addition, cups should not be applied to areas of the body with skin ulcers, edema, infection or large blood vessels. Everyone else, enjoy!

At Goodsense, in Stettler, you can now book a 30minute session for just cupping! A great alternative to acupuncture for muscle tension if needles concern you or if you are looking for a shorter treatment session.

Gua Sha, what is it?

For those of you who have came in for a treatment with me, you have likely experienced gua sha already. For the rest of you, time to learn something new!

Gua sha –pronounced ‘Gwa-shaw” – is an ancient modality that is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It produces transitory therapeutic pethiciae, which is a fancy way of saying little red dots caused by breaking the capillaries in the area. I will explain further down in greater detail why this is so beneficial.

What to expect?

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Gua sha for sore traps.

First, the practitioner will lubricate the specific area – I tend to use a coconut oil mixture. Then, you will experience a rubbing or scraping sensation with a specific gua sha tool repeatedly over the effected area. Be sure to keep an open mind and let your practitioner know if the pressure is too much. It feels better than it sounds! Here are a few different reasons to love gua sha….

 

PAIN:

Blood flow is deceased anytime we experience a spasm or injury. Therefor, both uric and lactic acid can get trapped underneath the skin or within a tight muscle. This is because of the lack of drainage caused by the decreased blood flow. We use Gua sha specifically to move Qi and Blood in these types of situations. Studies have found that gua sha increases surface blood circulation by 400% for 7.5 minutes following a treatment. In that same study, two days after the treatment including gua sha, the patient had decreased pain. I have found gua sha to be very effective for neck and upper back pain, it allows me to be able to get into the muscles and fascia in such a small area.

 

AUTOIMMUNE:

Gua sha also benefits the immune system and has an anti-inflammatory effect. Gua sha can reduce inflammatory symptoms of chronic illness. And Guasha can actually help treat symptoms of hepatitis – this is because of the anti-inflammatory quality that gua sha has. Other Autoimmune diseases gua sha is effective on are; Asthma, Crohns disease, Colitis, Lupus, Rheumatoid arthritis, Sarcoidosis etc.

 

ACUTE INFECTIOUS ILLNESSES IE “The Cold”:

Well gua sha can actually reduce your fever and alter the course of an acute infectious illness. Gau sha translates directly from Chinese as, “to scrape away fever.” Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that illnesses such as colds get trapped on the exterior of our bodies, this is where they meet our immune system. This is why we suffer effects on the exterior of our bodies. For example, when we get colds, we feel them as aches in our necks, headaches, and runny noses. By using  gua sha, along with Acupuncture, it will actually expel your cold and help you along a quicker recovery. Gua sha is my go to when I catch a cold!

So, now that you know a little more about what the amazing GUA SHA can do. From a common cold to muscle pains to a chronic disease, gua sha can help!

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Three different types of gua sha tools (sand stone, ceramic, metal)

Refrerences

The Foundations of Chinese Medicine: A comprehensive Text – Giovanni Maciocia

http://www.pacificcollege.edu/news/press-releases/2015/05/05/science-gua-sha

http://www.medigogy.com/archives/science-gua-sha-anti-inflammation-and-immune-protection

“When the Liver is harmonious, there is never stress or tension” – Dealing with Liver Qi Stagnation

When you hear Liver Qi ‘chee’ Stagnation, what do you think? Probably the first few thoughts that come to mind are “well I have no idea at all”, “that’s not a thing”, and/or “um… what’s wrong with my liver?”

Well, in Chinese Medicine your Liver has a very specific action on the Qi –or energy- of your body. When I speak about the Liver, Spleen, Heart, etc., it isn’t your physical heart or liver- the anatomy of those organs is probably fine- it is the Chinese Medicine aspect of the energy of the meridian and TCM organ. Each meridian is associated with an organ, hence its name.

Now that you know I’m not talking about your physical liver, we can talk about what exactly Liver Qi Stagnation is!

Your Liver is a huge player in TCM, it controls the smooth flow of Qi in your body, stores blood, controls sinews, opens into the eyes, and is affected by anger. Today, we are going to only focus on the smooth flow of Qi. The smooth flow of Liver-Qi is essential to all physiological processes throughout the whole body, in every organ and part of the body. So…. When Liver Qi becomes stagnant, there is a lot of disharmony that may occur.

Common symptoms of Liver Qi Stagnation include; PMS, distended breast before period, irritability, depression, moodiness, feeling ‘wound up’, sighing, abdominal distention, irregular periods, and potentially feeling like there is a lump in your throat.

Like the majority of our society, I am or have experienced most of those symptoms at a variety of different times. Due to our hectic lifestyles, it is quite common for people to have an underlying Liver Qi stagnation. When the Liver Qi is not moving as it should, it will slowly start to effect the Spleen, Heart, and so on. That is when the bloating, poor digestion, poor sleep, head aches can come into play.

There are a few things you can do to help yourself and your Liver. By releasing endorphins and regulating Qi, acupuncture is huge in regulating the smooth flow of Liver Qi. Reducing stressors in your life will also help- take up walking in nature, meditation, and exercise. Really, whatever it might be to help you release that stress and irritability will be huge. And of course your diet will greatly affect your Liver Qi.

Eating in moderation, not eating late meals or being stressed during or after the meal. Eating pungent such as lemon and onions as well as raw foods are ‘anti-stagnant’ and will help the Liver-Qi flow smoothly. I drink lemon water every morning, it is a wonderful way to start the day and help regulate Liver Qi. Bitter foods will also help resolve Liver-Qi stagnation.

Some suggested foods are; onions, small amounts of citrus, garlic, asparagus, sp-qiturmeric, chestnuts, beets, cabbage, celery, carrots, and dill. And now some foods to decrease or restrict include; cheese, eggs, deep fried foods, beer, spicy meals, pizza, nuts, refined sugars, and raw vegetable juices.

If any of these symptoms sound like you, I would highly suggest incorporating a few of these dietary and lifestyle adaptations along with acupuncture. I know it helped me!

References:

Healing with Whole Foods – Paul Pitchford

Foundations of Chinese Medicine – Giovanni Maciocia

Acupuncture can improve athletic performance

If you know me at all, you will know that I am very passionate about sports and living an active, healthy lifestyle. I have experienced a variety of sports injuries – the leading injury to date ended with two knee surgeries. I ruptured my ACL, tore my MCL and medial meniscus – the triple threat as the surgeon called it.IMG_3776
I am fortunate enough to have already found Acupuncture at the point of my knee injury
because I was able to use it in my pre- and post- surgery rehab. My surgeon asked what else I had been doing at my check ups and I explained my use of Acupuncture and he was thrilled! Let me explain why…

There are typically two types of sports injuries. The first type is overuse or chronic – usually the result of repetitive training.

Whether its tight muscles, recovering from a chronic injury or from an acute injury; athletes want to get back out on the court/ice/field/ etc. as soon as possible with a minimal chance of re-injuring yourself. First, lets see how acupuncture can help with tight muscles and overuse injuries.

Tight muscles can really inhibit an athlete’s performance by restricting movement and pain. When a muscle is tight, it is the Trigger points/ motor points that cause the pain. They inhibit range of motion by keeping muscles short and can also weaken the muscle. Not all trigger points are painful, but when you feel that knot in your calf or trap (shoulder area), you’re feeling the motor/trigger point. If it is left long enough, excessive muscle contraction can potentially disarticulate joints or even cause nerve entrapment. Acupuncture is veryeffective when it comes to releasing a trigger point. The needle is inserted directly into that specific area and you will actually feel the muscle jump a lot of the time – it is such a neat and unique feeling! By releasing the tension in the muscle it will allow it to ‘reset’ in a way. Combining IMG_1401Acupuncture and massage is extremely effective when it comes to tight muscles. When you come in for Acupuncture for tight/sore muscles, you will likely experience a muscle release, cupping, guasha, and/or electroacupuncture. Acupuncture helps restore the muscle to its full length therefor recovers its normal function, metabolism and blood supply. Acupuncture can usually achieve immediate results, keep in mind that it is important to continue regular treatments if you have been experiencing muscle pain for an extended period of time. It is important to know that this therapy is so much more than IMS. When you seek a Registered Acupuncturist for muscle tension, I will use trigger points to release the muscle but also Acupuncture points to help your body recover faster.

Overuse injuries occur over a period of time or from not taking care of an immediate injury, they can be linked to tight muscles as well. Typically the pain with a chronic injury is described as a deep, dull ache or numbness and tingling.

The second type of sports injury is an acute traumatic injury. These are the sprains, strains, etc. that usually initiate an inflammatory response and have a more intense pain than overuse injuries. Many professional sports teams have Acupuncturists on staff for this very reason. Acupuncture helps reduce the pain and inflammation as well as improving movement to help you move closer to your goal of playing again.

Acupuncture effectively treats sports injuries literally from head to toe. Recent studies have shown that it can also improve performance and give athletes a competitive edge.

If you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to ask, I would love to help you get back out playing your sport as soon as possible!