“You treat children?” I’m often asked this question by patients and others thinking about trying acupuncture. They are surprised that yes indeed acupuncture is used on children, in fact about 150,000 children in the US experienced acupuncture in 2007, according to the most recent large study of use of acupuncture.
“But doesn’t it hurt them?” This is often the next question. In my experience, treating children from newborns to young adulthood, the experience is not painful. The children are interested, they ask questions and they tell all of their friends about it. Results of a recent study revealed that 67% of patients and 60% of parents describe acupuncture experiences as positive or pleasant.
My practice is focused on fertility and pregnancy issues, so I often continue care by seeing my patients’ newborns. Another part of my practice is pain management. It’s through educating my adult patients about how I may be able to help their children for their pain like sport injuries that I see older children since 70% of patients and 59% of parents reported the treatment was helpful in alleviating pain. I’ve listed here the most common conditions I treat for kids.
1. Allergies: Running nose, headaches, post-nasal drip. How can we expect even the most dedicated young students to focus in school during seasonal allergies? Acupuncture works to open the nasal passages and reduce hayfever symptoms. A recent study of 72 children received acupuncture over 8 weeks. During the following three months, these children reported a reduction in rhinitis and more symptom-free days then the control group, which did not receive acupuncture. Food allergies may also be positively effected with acupuncture. Digestive issues of all kinds, from constipation to diarrhea, can be relieved with acupuncture and herbs.
2. Hormone Changes: During puberty is often when I meet my adult patient’s daughters for the first time, as they are looking for an alternative for painful periods. Acupuncture can be a wonderful solution and has been used to regulate the menses and reduce cramping for thousands of years. Often western medicine’s solution to irregular and painful menses is oral contraception. With side effects of headaches, acne, weight gain, breast tenderness and serious long-term possible effects of blood clots, breast and liver cancers, strokes and heart attacks, surely we can look at natural alternatives for our young daughters. By moving the energy, or qi, in the body, young women often respond quickly and positively to acupuncture.
3. Chronic Pain: Pain is the number one reason adults try acupuncture. Why should it be any different for young people? Well-documented studies have proven over and over the effects of acupuncture in reduction of pain. Most studies translate this effect to the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller, along with an increase in blood circulation and reduction in muscle tension. In a recent study, almost half the participants experienced a 50% reduction in current pain ratings after acupuncture. There was also a significant increase in functioning according to both child and parents’ reports, and a reduction in pain during physical activity and activities with friends. Over 140 hospitals in the US are using acupuncture for children. Common conditions treated include cancer pain, fibromyalgia, headaches, migraines, neuropathic pain, muscle pain and rheumatologic conditions.
4. Teething Pain: I asked myself during my own children’s teething pain, “why can’t we just be born with teeth already grown?” The experience of watching our little ones in pain is intense. We’ll try anything from teething necklaces, homeopathic remedies, even whiskey to help them, but how about a gentle insertion of an acupuncture needle? Small, pediatric needles can be quickly inserted and removed along the stomach meridian to expel heat, which is inflammation and pain in the gums. I’ve watched children go from red faced and screaming to calm and relaxed by utilizing acupuncture for teething pain.
5. Ear Infections: When a physician friend of mine came desperate for help for her two year old for an ear infection, I knew acupuncture was the last resort. This small child had incurred numerous ear infections and rounds of antibiotics and the ENT doctors had suggested surgery. Using acupuncture and moxibustion, a technique using a burning herb (mugwort) to warm the ear, two treatments were able to drain the dampness and fluids from his ears and allow the surgeons to withdraw their surgical recommendation. Now the happy two-year old comes to our office at first signs of an infection for the “warming stick” which he says “tickles a bit.”
This is a short list of the conditions I currently see in my practice and by no means a complete list of pediatric conditions acupuncture can treat. ADD/ADHD, autism, cystic fibrosis, and asthma are another few conditions currently being studied for pediatrics. Consult a licensed acupuncturist in your area to have your young loved ones treated with natural medicine.
Kerry Boyle Jenni is a nationally board certified and licensed acupuncturist in private practice in Montpelier, Vermont. Kerry’s practice, Integrative Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, is in affiliation with their local hospital, Central Vermont Medical Center and treats patients of all ages. Kerry is a mom of two young boys who have both experienced lots of acupuncture! Connect with Kerry at www.integrativeaom.com and www.facebook.com/integrativeaom.
Lately I have been craving some of the recipes from my childhood. Casseroles were a dinnertime staple, but many were made with the not-so-healthy cream of mushroom soup. This recipe is a healthier version of one of my favorite chicken and wild rice dishes. Easy to make and absolutely delicious, it’s sure to become one of your new favorites too.
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 pound chicken breasts (about 2), boneless, skinless, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (plus additional for sprinkling on top)
- 3 cups cooked wild rice (i cooked 1 cup uncooked wild rice in 4 cups water for 50 minutes)
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Place 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat and cook the onions for 2 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms, season with 1/2 tsp of salt and cook another 4 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender and the onions are translucent.
- Remove the mushroom mixture and place in a bowl.
- Heat 1 tsp of oil in the sauté pan and cook the chicken, garlic powder and remaining 1/2 tsp of salt for 3 minutes or until cooked through.
- Combine all the ingredients together, place in an 8 x 8 inch baking dish and sprinkle with additional shredded cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
Recipe compliments of weelicious.com.
Negligence Leads to Injury
What you don’t know about your body probably will hurt you. You should know your body better than any doctor you ever see for it. The problem is that most people don’t know how to be the healthiest versions of themselves. In six years of working with well over a hundred people, I’ve never met anyone who had one solid incident that led to an injury unless it was an accident. There is rarely one thing that causes an injury because the body is naturally resilient if it is getting the attention and maintenance it deserves. Injuries typically happen due to:
- stress on the joints due to overactive muscles
- an accident or injury from movement
This image is an example of why you need to foam roll. You can’t stretch a muscle to its full length of the muscle fibers if it has adhesions in it. Adhesions are what inadvertently lead to injuries as seen below. Adhesions are like knots in your back, only super small and they typically exist in the fascia (or muscle tissue) keeping you from having full range of motion of that muscle tightness.
Hands down, the number one reason why so many people have injuries is due to negligence of all three. Unfortunately, there is no real education for how to correctly live one’s life in a physically healthy state. In an ideal world, Physical Education in school would be to teach kids how to properly take care of their bodies via nutrition, exercise, foam rolling and stretching. As adults, the understanding is simply to exercise and eat right. Perhaps we are too impatient and are always looking for a quick fix. We live in a society that deals more with killing the pain than preventing it.
SPRING ACTION POINTS
Health really does come down to balance. Knowing your limits, physically and mentally, is essential to being the healthiest version of yourself.
Pain and inflammation happen more readily as the body starts to age. Hydration is diminished. Collagen fades and joints start creaking. The body starts to age as the boing starts to fade. One day you’ll be moving a piece of furniture, bend over to pick up something or take a misstep and your back gives out, you can’t get back up or you’ve twisted your ankle. But none of these things are going to happen to you if you’re foam rolling, stretching and balance training regularly. It just won’t. This is why we train and this is why paying attention to your body is worth the time.
Whenever I start to work with new clients I get to see the quick results that people discover from foam rolling, consistent exercise and a change in their eating habits. I get to see that tweaking one’s lifestyle (just a little) creates vast amounts of healthy change, improvement of moods, daily energy and a general sense of “I feel better.”
It’s still so amazing to me that just a few remedies exercised throughout the week can make such a drastic difference. So here they are:
1.) FOAM ROLL 3-5x a week. I foam roll (and have my clients foam roll before every workout). Check out one of our earlier blogs on stretching and foam rolling called Tight Hips Can Cause Lower Back Pain. Check out M.E.L.T for specifics on foam rolling (as seen on the Dr. Oz show). Foam rolling is for self-myofascial release. It is a technique performed with a foam roller to release adhesions in the muscle and connective tissues. Just as you have knots in your back, you probably also have them all throughout your body. These adhesions consist of liquid and toxins. You want to hold each sore spot (there might be countless adhesions in any one area) for 30 seconds. Try foam rolling your calves, gluts, IT band, quads and lats.
2.) GO TO YOGA so that you have a regular flexibility program in place at least once a week. Yoga will give you better range of motion. (Or stretch the tightest muscles on your body right after foam rolling).
3.) STAY FOCUSED on what your body needs….if you have pain in a certain area, address it. Ask your yoga instructor or other fitness professional how to properly foam roll! We have shown countless people how to have zero knee and back pain just by demonstrating to them how to properly and consistently foam roll and activate weak muscles.
With a background in dance and yoga, Mindy Berla views strength training as the ultimate method for sculpting the body. Mindy considers herself a “BODY COACH” because she believes that the key to living a healthy and balanced life starts with the body. Our bodies are a manifestation of our minds. To sharpen the mind, we must learn how to better communicate with our physical selves. Mindy has trained over 100 clients in NYC and the SF Bay Area. Mindy excels at helping her clients successfully achieve weight loss and keep it off by learning how to maintain a healthy lifestyle via nutrition. Fitness certifications include NASM-CPT, CES, TRX and Pilates Academy International. Mindy is a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant from Bauman College in Berkeley and created and produced iPhone app Pregnant and FIT! which has reached over 3,000 sales. Mindy Berla specializes in nutritional weight loss, digestive issues and back and knee pain.
So maybe you’re really not a morning person, 8 or 9am is a big enough push already and the idea of getting up at 6 or 7am is right up there on the list with bellyflopping off the high dive. Maybe the motivation isn’t there right off the bat, but why not give it a try for a few weeks. I promise you that after your early workout you will feel a heck of a lot better than when you woke up. You will feel more energized, be more productive and overall be in a better mood for your whole day. Working out early is a great way to relieve stress and start your day off on the right foot. Here are a few tips I use to make the waking up and working out a little easier.
1. Pack your things before you go to bed
For me, getting things ready the night before is a MUST! I pack my workout bag, make my lunch and snacks, fill up my water bottle and set out my clothes the night before. That way when the alarm goes off I can just roll out of bed and get dressed with as little thinking as possible. My brain is definitely still asleep first thing in the morning!
2. Eat something!
I always eat something to kickstart my metabolism, even if it’s just a shake or a piece of fruit or half a bar. It’s like turning the lights on in the house and it’s so much easier to get going when your not stumbling around in the dark. Your body has been in a fasted state for the past 8 hours or so it’s good to have at least a little fuel in the tank and then you can have a good breakfast after your workout.
3. Get moving!
I try and get myself out of the house as quick as possible! Wandering around the house in a mild stupor never helps my motivation.
Once I start my workout, I’m in it for the long run. Even if I’m lagging a little at the start, it only takes a bit for the blood to start pumping. Without fail, I finish my workout in totally different mood than when I started. By the end of then workout, even if I’m physically exhausted, I mentally feel great! I’m energized and refreshed, the light bulb in my brain is turned on and I actually feel motivated to start my day! And it’s not even 9am! Yew!
We have all heard that exercising generates endorphins which in turn make you feel good. So if you start your day with a workout you are going to be in a better mood for the rest of your day. This not only benefits you, but everyone else that’s around you!
So maybe start small, walk or ride your bike to go get a smoothie, progress to a short run, work it up to a solid workout. You never know until you try. Maybe your motivation and positive energy will inspire somebody else! And who who knows, we can all make the world a happier place!
See you bright and early!
Written by Bianca Simonetti of EZIA.
EZIA was co-founded in 2009 by Isaiah Truyman and Jason Waiton to help people achieve elite performance in all aspects of their life. Their portfolio includes EZIA Performance Labs, EZIA Mobile, and EZIA Corporate Wellness. Their Programs inspire and infect the champion in everyone.
EZIA trains and rehabilitates people at all ability levels from beginner to advanced. Their ESP Program was built on a foundation of training professional athletes. Today, they apply the same proven, scientific methods to all their members. EZIA’s athletic training team of experts includes Performance Coaches, Physical Therapists, Nutritionists and tech geeks. Together, they’ve created a family of services that personalizes the holistic approach used with Olympic-level athletes for any level of fitness and athletic performance. Visit their website HERE.
Blending chunks of watermelon and giving it a quick strain through cheesecloth yields a sweet liquid that is a perfect foil for tart lime juice. It’s normal for the watermelon juice to separate a bit in the fridge, but that’s nothing a quick stir won’t fix.
- Flesh of a 5-pound watermelon, cubed, seeds removed
- 1/4 cup lime juice, from 3 to 4 limes
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar
In two batches, pulse the watermelon cubes in a blender just until it looks like a chunky sauce, about 10 to 12 short pulses. Transfer pulp to a colander lined with cheesecloth set over a large pot, stirring occasionally until most of the liquid has dripped through. Transfer 3 1/2 cups of liquid to a large pitcher and reserve remainder for another use. Add lime juice and agave nectar to pitcher and stir to combine. Refrigerate until completely cool. Serve in ice-filled glasses, garnished with lime zest or rings if desired.
Recipe compliments of Serious Eats.
A growing number of companies, small and large, are offering their employees wellness programs. Why? Because these types of programs attract top talent and save employers time and money.
The majority (87%) of job seekers use an employer’s health and wellness benefits as a determining factor when deciding where to apply.
And over half (61%) of companies have found that wellness programs keep their healthcare costs down. With 90% of healthcare expenditures spent on preventable illnesses, it’s no wonder why.
Looking for more data to convince your execs that a wellness program is worth the investment? Our latest whitepaper provides the stats you need.
Have you heard about the benefits of acupuncture? Many people know that acupuncture, which increases circulation and stimulates the body’s own healing process, helps with back pain. But this 3,000 year-old medicine has been used for many more ailments than just back pain. Keep reading for more reasons to give Acupuncture a try.
1. Acupuncture is Anti-Inflammatory
Inflammatory diseases and conditions cause many people stress and discomfort in their daily lives and most turn to pharmaceuticals; a lot of people however don’t think about acupuncture. Continuing research and study has shown acupuncture to be an effective way of treating inflammatory diseases such as asthma, rhinitis and rheumatoid arthritis among other painful conditions. Acupuncture helps to control neuropeptides (chemical signals in the brain) which are hypothesized to regulate the process of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory reactions in the body. If you are looking for a way to avoid the pharmacy and a pill every time one of these conditions flares up make an appointment with us and break free of these problems. Source.
2. Acupuncture Effectively Treats Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
A study comparing the effects of acupuncture on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) against the effects of steroids used to treat the same condition found that both had significant beneficial results. There were few ways in which the two differed except that the acupuncture group reported less nocturnal awakening than the steroid group and the acupuncture group reported a significant decrease in distal motor latency (the time between nerve stimulation and reaction). The study concluded that acupuncture was just as effective as prescribed steroid use and in some ways had less adverse effects and side effects. CTS can be an uncomfortable and crippling issue for people working on the computer, musicians, and other people who use their hands in work. Source.
3. Acupuncture is Beneficial in Treating Neck Pain and Injuries
Recent studies have shown that Acupuncture to the neck can help restore proper spinal curvature after injuries. Not only does acupuncture help recovery from injuries to the spine but has proven to be very helpful against degenerative spinal disc disorders. One study specifically found that acupuncture significantly helps with curative effects related to Cervical Spondylosis. Cervical Spondylosis is a condition attributed to the excess wearing down of cartilage and bones in the neck and can be a leading cause of Chronic Neck pain. If you are suffering from Chronic Neck Pain then make an appointment with us and we can pin point your path to recovery. Source.
4. Acupuncture Can Lower Your Blood Pressure
Heart health in America today is a big issue and millions of people find themselves taking pills every day to regulate their blood pressure. Blood pressure to the heart is one of the most important cardiovascular functions and when it’s not watched can lead to serious health risks. Conventional medication has proven ineffective for some so researchers are looking for new ways to treat the growing problem of high blood pressure. Recent studies have revealed that acupuncture has significant statistical data proving it to be effective in reducing blood pressure. In this study acupuncture helped reduce ischemia. Ischemia is the lack of oxygen to the heart which occurs when blood vessels are blocked. If you have high blood pressure consult an acupuncturist and take steps to seriously improve your heart health. Source.
Kerry Jenni M.S., L.Ac. is a nationally board certified and licensed acupuncturist practicing in Montpelier, Vermont at Integrative Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Visit their website HERE. Keep up with the latest acupuncture research at www.facebook.com/integrativeaom.
For women, hair has many meanings. A woman’s hair is part of her style and a distinct part of her appearance. It can also be a reflection of her health and a statement about what she’s been through. When a woman goes through a period of hair loss or thinning, she can feel insecure about how she is seen in the world, and she may wonder whether she will ever have good hair again.
Over the years, I have worked with many women with hair loss. Often this is caused by thyroid disorders, hormonal imbalances, anemia, periods of high stress or insufficient nutrient absorption. In the last two years, I have seen a marked increase in the number of women concerned with hair loss. Though the same conditions are still responsible for many women’s hair loss, we now have more challenges when it comes to maintaining a full head of hair.
Normal hair growth and loss occur in cycles and not all hairs go through the same cycle at the same time. During the growth stage, hairs grow for a period of 2-6 years before being shed for a period of 3-6 months. On average, hair grows at a rate of 0.35 mm per day and when in a shedding phase, 100 hairs can be lost in a day. (NDNR December 2013 Watson) Due to the inequities of these cycles, it may look like you are losing great volumes of hair during a loss phase and then with the slow hair regrowth you may not be able to see new hairs until a substantial amount of time has passed.
The hair is more a reflection of your health history over the last 6-18 months than your current health status. With causes of hair loss ranging from systemic disease and autoimmune conditions to drug use, chemical exposure, chemotherapy, iron deficiency, fever, weight loss and severe emotional or physical stress, we need to consider the health history when diagnosing the cause of hair loss. Current hair loss may be a result of a health issue that has since resolved but you are just seeing the impact now.
In naturopathic medicine, we must first diagnose the cause of disease before treating it. Instead of suppressing symptoms, our goal is to uncover what is causing the symptoms and treat the problem at its core. Once we have determined the cause, treating hair loss can vary widely from balancing thyroid or sex hormones, to improving nutrient absorption and assimilation, managing stress, treating underlying disease or regulating an overactive immune system.
For improving the health and vitality of the hair and providing the building blocks for hair production, the following nutrients are essential:
- Biotin, a B vitamin, is crucial for the growth of hair, skin, and nails and is best used in conjunction with a B vitamin complex.
- Essential fatty acids (primarily the omega 3’s) are also important for hair growth and maintenance. Food sources include: fish (salmon, anchovy, sardine and krill,) flaxseeds, spinach, kale, walnut and pumpkin seeds.
- Iron, a mineral needed for oxygenation of the blood, is important for hair health. Iron should only be supplemented if a blood test shows an iron deficiency anemia or low ferritin count. Iron can be stored in the body and high iron levels are just as damaging as low levels.
- L-lysine, an amino acid needed for the hair, is found in beef, chicken, beans and quinoa.
- Vitamin D3. Here’s another area where vitamin D shines! Blood levels are the best way to assess current vitamin D status and to determine the amount needed for supplementation. Without a blood test it is often safe to take 800 – 1,000 mg per day.
- Zinc. This mineral is present in all of our cells and plays an important role in thyroid hormone production. Pumpkin seeds (pepitas) are an excellent source of zinc as well as providing beneficial essential fatty acids.
Herbal formulas such as those containing Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) leaves and stems, Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) stalk, Burdock (Arctium lappa) root and Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) leaves and roots provide vitamin, mineral and nutrient constituents needed for hair growth and maintenance.
Some causes of hair loss are due to insufficient circulation to the scalp which can be improved with scalp massage (plus it feels really good!) For scalp massage use a base oil that is good for the scalp such as jojoba oil, vitamin E or olive oil. You can also add essential oils such as rosemary, cedarwood or chamomile to the base oil to further stimulate hair growth. For each 1 Tbsp of base oil, add 3 drops of essential oil. Apply oil to fingertips and gently massage the scalp in small circular motions from the temples (above the ears) working your way up the sides of the head to the top (crown). Then massage from the back of the neck up the back of the head to the crown. Practice taking deep, full breaths while doing your massage and allow yourself to feel the sensation of the fingertips on the scalp while releasing any thoughts. Just be in the moment and let go of any concerns. Deep breathing will also increase the blood flow to the scalp bringing with it fresh nutrients and oxygen.
Dr. Zoe Wells is a licensed naturopathic doctor with a thriving natural medicine practice in San Luis Obispo, California since 1997. Dr Zoe specializes in women’s health particularly endocrine (hormonal) issues encompassing peri-menopause and post-menopause issues, PMS and menstrual disorders, thyroid and adrenal dysfunction. As a naturopathic doctor she works to find the cause of disease and imbalance in the body and return the body to its natural state of health and well-being. She uses herbal, homeopathic and nutritional medicine as well as craniosacral therapy to treat the whole person – body, mind and spirit.
Fire up the grill tonight and enjoy deliciously-marinated grilled chicken topped with blueberry guacamole. This untraditional guacamole is both pizazzy and healthy, not to mention you’ll want to eat it with a spoon before you have a chance to grill the chicken!
Grilled Marinated Chicken:
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups of Chobani 0% Greek Yogurt
1 tablespoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of salt
2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of chili powder
1 chipotle pepper
1/2 teaspoon adobo sauce
1 cup of blueberries
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeds and membrane removed and finely diced
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Do you find yourself eating out a lot? Frequently eating out usually happens because it is quick, convenient, and – let’s be honest – it tastes good. However, if you are wanting to eat healthier or lose weight, making meals at home is often a healthier choice. Cooking your own meals can be just as fast, or faster, than restaurant eating when you factor in waiting for your order to be taken and food to be prepared. Below are some strategies, with help from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, to help you eat at home conveniently, and in more healthy ways.
First, look at what your favorite types of foods are. Italian, burgers, Mexican, stir fry? These can be replicated at home for fewer calories, and catered to your tastes. You can find recipes all over – in cookbooks or online, on pinterest, cooking light magazine, friends and family, your dietitian and many other places.
Try convenient products at the grocery store - like whole grain, quick-cooking quinoa. Or, you can freeze brown rice after cooking for quick reheating. Buy pre-cut veggies or melons for snacking, and frozen veggies to add to pastas and stir-frys. How about pre-cooked chicken strips or shrimp? They can make meals a snap to make. What else can you think of? Make a list before you go to the store using recipes.
Write down five easy meal ideas to leave on your refrigerator. Keep the pantry stocked with the ingredients for them so you always have a plan when you are too tired to think of what to make. A quick example is bean burritos: on a whole-grain tortilla, add ½ cup of fat-free refried beans, 1/3 cup shredded cheese, tomato or salsa, shredded romaine lettuce, and microwave about 3 minutes until warm through. Add a side salad and you’ve got a meal!
Keep healthy snack and meal options at home so you have them on hand. You can’t eat healthy at home if you don’t buy any food!
Libby Parker is a Registered Dietitian(RD), certified Spinning instructor, and NASM Certified Personal Trainer working in beautiful San Luis Obispo, CA. She officially opened her private practice (“Libby’s Fit Nutrition”) for nutrition counseling and personal training in 2012, after doing personal training in client’s homes in Minnesota. Libby’s focus is mainly on people with eating disorders, and those in need of weight loss, those wanting to learn healthy nutrition and exercise habits. Libby also does work for county public health and an intensive outpatient eating disorder program. In her free time she loves to work on writing, teaches group fitness at local gyms, volunteers in the community, and spends time with her husband and two dogs, Lucy and Coco. You can find her website at: www.libbysfitnutrition.weebly.com.