When most people hear the term “foot reflexology” they think “foot massage” which is certainly accurate, but the term “reflexology” means so much more. Foot Reflexology takes a simple foot massage to the next level by using ancient theory to treat the whole body through the feet.
I incorporate a little foot reflexology into almost all of my Acupuncture sessions because it is so effective and such an easy way to improve overall treatment results. If you want to know more about what happens in a foot reflexology session and how foot reflexology works, read on!
What Is Foot Reflexology Like?
Foot Reflexology is a natural healing art based on the principle that there are “reflex zones” in the feet which correspond to every part of the body. By applying pressure to these particular foot reflexology zones, you can relax tension, improve circulation and promote the natural function of the related area in the body.
Foot Reflexology is a very relaxing therapeutic experience. After a brief intake to assess symptoms and determine areas of concern, the practitioner will treat you through the feet. They will feel your feet for areas of tension, for small bubbles, granules and blockages, and will massage these noticeably affected areas as well as other specific reflex zones specific to your symptoms, to effect change.
Pressure can be anywhere from mild to deep depending on the area being treated and your comfort. The heels, top and bottom of the feet and toes are all part of a Foot Reflexology treatment. The ankles and lower legs are also massaged to help improve circulation and remove toxins.
Chinese foot reflexology specifically is based on four basic theories:
The exact history of foot reflexology has been lost to antiquity, but it is theorized that foot reflexology goes back over 5,000 years in China, Egypt and India. We do know that researched performed by Sir Henry Head in 1890 promoted foot reflexology in London, and that a U.S. doctor named William Fitzgerald incorporated foot reflexology into something he called “zone therapy” in the 1920’s. “Zone Therapy” involved dividing the body into 5 sections all of which were represented on and treated through the feet.
Want to more? Book a reflexology session online or come in for a free consultation anytime. I promise if you come for a full 60 minute foot reflexology session, you will walk out feeling like you have a new pair of feet!
Until next time,
Everyone ages, we can’t help it, its the natural order of things just like the change of seasons from Winter to Spring and Summer to Fall. In Chinese Medicine aging is defined as the “natural decline of Kidney Qi” and the amount of Kidney Qi we enter the world with, or inherit, as well as they way we care for this Kidney Qi over time combine to determine how we age.
Sometimes we feel like we age prematurely, especially after stressful life events. In Chinese Medicine, this is because stressful life events, which often combine with declining self-care and eating habits during those stressful events, cause us to draw from our Kidney Qi more heavily than a healthy balanced lifestyle. Life happens, we’ve all been there. Thanks to Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, however, we have an amazing, effective and natural way to turn back the clock.
Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture, also called Facial Acupuncture or Cosmetic Acupuncture is a natural Botox alternative that can take years off the face. In some cases, up to a decade. Finer lines and wrinkles often completely disappear while deeper lines and furrows can fade to a gentle reminder of their former selves. It is completely natural and highly effective.
Energetically, aging is defined as above - the natural decline of Kidney Qi - but what does this mean physically for the body? How do lines, wrinkles and furrows develop in our skin and why are some people more prone?
Where Do Wrinkles Come From?
Sun damage is primary factor in aging - it thins the epidermis over time and causes collagen breakdown - and the lighter your skin tone, the less natural protection you have and the more you will be subject to “photoaging” over your lifetime. Sunlight also causes free radical damage - free radicals damage the skin by activating enzymes which further break down collagen. Collagen is what gives your skin its firmness and structure, without collagen skin feels thin and cannot hold its structure as well which contributes to increase wrinkle and sag.
Gravity and muscle use are two other primary factors that contribute to wrinkle patterns in particular. Not much can be done about gravity itself. Unless you never want to express emotion on your face, you’re always going to be fighting habitual muscle patters - furrows between the eyebrows, crinkling around the eyes and smile and laugh lines. Habitual facial expressions cause the skin to wrinkle and as collagen breaks down. Furthermore, as elastin is naturally lost over time, these wrinkles become permanent seeming fixtures. Without elastin your skin loses elasticity, stretch and “bounce back” ability.
Facial Acupuncture as a Natural Botox Alternative
Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture the closest thing to a natural Botox treatment that you can get. Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture works on multiple levels to reduce lines and wrinkles and revitalize the face and complexion by:
Botox works by paralyzing your facial muscles. The synthetic botulism toxin derivative targets the nerves in the face preventing them from communicating with the muscles thus causing a “freezing” or paralytic effect. The visual effect is one of smooth wrinkle-free skin, but Botox doesn’t actually take the wrinkles away, it merely relaxes the muscles underneath the skin by inactivating them.
As described above, Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is an incredible Botox alternative because not only does it relax the muscles in the face, it actually changes the lines and wrinkles in your skin. The effect is not as dramatic as Botox, but it is completely safe and natural, and with regular maintenance treatments after an initial series, the results can last for 3-5 years.
If you’re interested in learning more feel free to come in for a free 15 minute consultation anytime!
Food allergies plague approximately 15 million Americans, and according to a CDC study released in 2013, food allergies among children increased by nearly 50% between 1997 and 2011. There are actually just 7 food allergens that cause most of this distress: Wheat, Soy, Dairy, Corn, Eggs, Peanuts/Tree Nuts and Shellfish.
Reactions to nuts and shellfish account for most cases of allergic anaphylaxis and related ER visits, but they aren’t necessarily the most common allergens. The other 5 offenders listed above are much more common, and while the symptoms can be mild, they can also be pervasive.
Most Common Symptoms of a Food Allergy
A food allergy or sensitivity can cause a range of symptoms from anaphylaxis on the extreme end, to foggy-headedness on the low end. Here are some of the most common symptoms to look for if you want to identify a food allergy:
What IS A Food Allergy?
A food allergy is actually the formation of an Antigen-Antibody complex in the blood stream which stimulates an overactive immune response. It is this hyperactive immune response that you feel when you get itchy, puffy, nauseated and tired.
When everything else in your body is going smoothly, it actually takes two weeks for your body to naturally eliminate an allergen, meaning you can still experience symptoms for 2 weeks even if you aren’t exposed to the allergen anymore. If the specific allergen in question is Gluten (Wheat), it can take as many as 4 weeks to clear.
How To Identify A Food Allergy
There are many ways to pinpoint or identify a food allergy. Symptoms are the first clue that something may be amiss, and then it is time to pursue testing. Food allergen identification can be done by a Naturopath or Allergist through a blood test and/or scratch test to see what you are allergic to. While blood tests are accurate, it is important to note that food sensitivities can bear all the same symptoms as a food allergy but not create a strong enough blood-mediated response to show up in a blood test.
If you get a blood test and scratch test and identify allergens but find that even when you eliminate these allergens from your life and environment, you are still having symptoms a month later, it may be time to pursue an Elimination Diet.
An Elimination Diet is a food allergy identification technique that can be done at home, on your own any time. It is not fun, there is no ideal time to do one, but it gives you a crystal clear picture of what you react to dietarily and how you react to it. Full PDF instructions for an elimination diet can be downloaded below.
It takes approximately a month to complete and it involves eating a very simple anti-allergenic and anti-inflammatory diet for 2-4 weeks and then testing yourself for sensitivities by reintroducing suspect allergenic foods in a systematic manner while you watch for symptoms.
When you directly experience a food allergy or sensitivity for yourself you know exactly what causes the symptoms and you can consciously choose to eat that food and suffer or not eat that food and feel better, and if you choose to indulge you know exactly how long the symptoms will last as well.
I often recommend Elimination Diets in my clinic because I feel they give you a lot of control over your symptoms as well as a clear understanding of your food choices. Furthermore, once you’ve done it you have the information. Even if nothing shows up through an Elimination Diet, at least you know that none of these dietary factors are in play and you don’t have to worry about allergenic foods contributing to your symptoms.
Until Next Time,
Herbal supplements often make the news, and the big splash back in November about many supplements not being what they seem was something natural medicine practitioners have been aware of for some time - that manufacturer makes a BIG difference. Herbs and supplements can be of amazing benefit to your health IF you take the right ones, in the right dosages from the right manufacturers. This is one of the number one reasons you should consult with an Acupuncturist, Nutritionist or Naturopath to make sure you are getting the best herbal supplements and that your brand choice is safe and reliable.
I myself don’t let a day go by without taking herbs and supplements. As a busy mom of two, a business owner, and a caregiver for my mom who lives with us, I have to keep my nutrition tip top to be able to care for my family. Being so busy, however, I often eat on the go due to my responsibilities. Ever seen “A Christmas Story” with the scene around dinner where the mom is feeding everyone and can’t get to the table herself for a hot meal? Yeah, that’s me.
Herbs and supplements are my insurance policy so that even when my dietary choices aren’t on par due to time and circumstance, my body is still getting the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and strong. When my dietary choices are on par, herbs and supplements are an important piece of my preventative medicine plan.
I take a moderate list of things - multivitamin, fish oil, B complex, vitamin D, probiotics, green food supplement and a Reishi Mushroom complex. I recommend a similar combination for all my patients as part of my All Ways Wellness program, but I know this quantity feels like a lot to some people. That’s why I wanted to share the top 3 herbal supplement I believe can make a significant difference in your health.
The Top 3 Herbs You Should Have Right Now:
These are my top three herbal supplement tips. Vitamin D for immunity, Reishi for health and longevity, Isatis for anti-viral cold and flu prevention. For the best most personalized recommendations, you should always see a provider, but if all you do is adopt these three additions to your regime this year I guarantee you will improve your sleep, energy and immunity towards a happier and healthier 2014.
Until next time,
Its the first day of the new year, a time when many of us take a moment to review the past, take stock of the present and make plans for the future. New Year Resolutions about health and fitness are the most common resolutions made in the New Year, so I thought today I’d offer some Chinese Medicine based advice.
This year, resolve to look at your wellness differently by taking a preventative approach. Think beyond what you can do get well - resolve to achieve wellness and stay there. With over 3,000 years of data on achieving and maintaining wellness, Chinese Medicine is the perfect method to help you reach your health and wellness goals in the New Year.
East and West - Different Perspectives on Wellness
You have to realize that paradigm of Chinese Medicine is quite different from Western Medicine. Traditionally thousands of years ago, the neighborhood Chinese doctor got paid on a retainer to keep you well. If you got sick you actually stopped paying the doctor until you were well again! Can you imagine if medicine still worked this way?
When most people think of Chinese Medicine compared to Western Medicine, the first thing they think of is needles and Qi; that Chinese Medicine is an energetic medicine while Western Medicine is a scientific medicine. I believe this long standing focus on preventative medicine and wellness, however, is actually the most fundamental difference between the two.
These differences actually make Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine work very well together. Even though Chinese Medicine developed thousands of years ago to be very complete - I can actually treat everything from acute injury and infection to colds, back pain, headaches and more - Western Medicine is much better at treating acute problems. I really don’t want someone to show up broken and bleeding in my office because I’m just not going to be able to patch them up as efficiently or effectively as an ER doctor.
If you have chronic back pain, knee pain, headache, menstrual issues, or you’re just looking for help maintaining health and wellness - I’ll most likely be able to help you more effectively and naturally than your average allopathic doctor. In this way, East and West make a fantastic team and I always love the chance to work with my patient’s physicians.
Wellness in the New Year
Chinese Medicine has very subtle diagnostics for assessing health. The color and coat of your tongue, the quality of the pulse in different positions, the health of your digestion and the quality of your sleep. All this and more ads up to create a physical and energetic picture that gives clues to your constitutional strengths and weaknesses. Chinese medicine works to keep everything in balance together to get you well and keep you there.
If you’re making resolutions about your health in the new year, consider adding Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine into your plan to help you achieve and maintain optimal wellness. Whether you are dealing with chronic pain, recovery from an acute illness or surgery, or just trying to stay at peak performance for your sport, I’ve got a plan that will work.
The frequency and duration of treatment are unique for every person, but an average course of treatment is once a week for 4-6 weeks to start and then we reassess. For general health maintenance I always recommend treatment once a month along with considering herbs and supplements for health and wellness, such as those in my All Ways Wellness program.
Free consultations are always available. Book online 24/7!
Wishing you Health and Wellness in the New Year!
Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.