“Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.”- Winston S. Churchill
Acupuncture and other forms of traditional Chinese medicine can sometimes be the best form of medicine for treating sports injuries. Many studies and trials have been conducted discussing the healing properties of acupuncture. A great alternative to Western forms of medicine, acupuncture can get you back to the playing eld quickly.
A 2016 study published in the “Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy,” demonstrated the ways acupuncture can be used for limb conditions obtained through playing sports. Clinical trials were conducted to determine the e ectiveness
of using acupuncture on musculoskeletal conditions. Another key point of the study was to determine if there was a risk of bias
when using acupuncture to treat limb injury. It has been shown that musculoskeletal aggravation has been can be relieved by acupuncture.
Strains, sprains, swollen muscles and chronic pain within the limbs are all common sports injuries that acupuncture can help relieve, which is one of the reasons lots of professional sports teams have an acupuncturist on sta today. Sports injuries ranging from acute to intense levels of pain have been noted to be treated by acupuncture.
If you are experiencing discomfort from a sports-related injury, go see a local acupuncturist (like Rebecca! With her long martial arts and injury history, she understands...) today to see how they can use their form of traditional Chinese medicine to help alleviate the pain you are having.
I love sugar. Or rather I should say, my brain loves sugar and tells me I can't live without it - my body, on the other hand, not so hot on the idea but my brain's overwhelmingly strong response tends to override the truth of the situation. Battling my sugar cravings seems to be a livelong journey of mine which started with an eating disorder in my teens. I find that in the best of times with regard to this challenge, that learning the truth about sugar and how it effects my body helps me rise out of the difficult craving moments and stay strong.
So here today are some facts about the "not so sweet" side of sugar to help those of you that might suffer from my predilection. Other things that I find help? Acupuncture! Of course. Also meal planning - having a plan and having healthy snacks all queued up and ready to go can make or break me on a busy or stressful day. Therefore read on, enjoy, think about how sugar effects you and what presence it has in your life and if you have questions, don't hesitate to ask!
THE FACTS, MA'AM, JUST THE FACTS
A study published by the JAMA Internal Medicine found that more than 70 percent of Americans consume more than the recommended daily amount of sugar. Sadly, most of us are addicted to sugar, which happens to be hidden in most of the foods and drinks we consume. Added sugar can cause a whole array of problems that can be short term as well as long term. If you are experiencing health problems, lowering your sugar intake may be one of your best options. Below are 10 truths about the ugly side of sweets.
Refined sugar has no nutritional value and it is recommended to consume as little as possible. The first step in eliminating sugar is from drinks such as soda, juice and mixed alcoholic drinks. Because of the large amounts of sweetener in these drinks, it can make them very addictive and hard to quit drinking.
Harms your liver
Sugar can be just as damaging on your liver as alcohol and lead to fatty liver disease. When you consume too much fructose, your body becomes insulin resistant resulting in various problems that can cause disease.
One study done in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that participants who ate the highest levels of added sugars showed the biggest increase in bad cholesterol levels and triglyceride blood fats and the lowest levels in the good cholesterol levels.
Leading cause of obesity
In America, sugar is one of the leading culprits of obesity. It is estimated that 80 percent of food products in the U.S. contain added sugar. The best way to lose weight and lower your risk of obesity is to eliminate all processed foods and drinks.
Bad for your teeth
It should be a no-brainer that sugar is bad for your teeth. You may remember growing up having the dentist tell you as a kid to eat less candy to prevent cavities. As an adult, we know it’s not only candy that will cause cavities, but sugar that is found in your favorite drinks and everyday foods as well. Best way to sustain healthy teeth and gums? Cut the processed and refined sugar.
Can lead to type 2 diabetes
When your body is consuming too much sugar, your glucose levels become too high, which can be toxic to the body. When this happens, your body has a harder time producing enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels normal. This can then lead to type 2 diabetes.
How to make a natural sunscreen at home - Summer Tips from your Friendly Neighborhood Acupuncturist in SW Portland
Apparently this month I'm all about making things, which given the season isn't a huge surprise. The summer months for my family (now in Ridgefield instead of Portland, technically) involve a lot of entertaining, time spent outdoors and time spent with dear friends and their families. We make suet for the birds, garden, hike, gather (hooray for berry season!) and cook. Involving the kids is always key, and with a recipe like this it can be easy to do! It is recommended to keep the kids well masked or just keep them away when adding the zinc oxide, however - you can have them pre-measure everything else with you and then encourage them to go play during the cook phase, depending on their age.
The reason behind the recipe - the sun - is both friend and foe. The sun is key to life on earth and we do need all the Vitamin D we can get in the Pacific NW, but we also have one of the highest Melanoma rates in the country here. Why? We don't have a definitive answer, but I personally believe it is because we are very complacent about the sun - we don't tend to wear sunscreen in cloudy weather (YES, THE SUN's UV RAYS PASS THROUGH CLOUDS) and when we do see the sun, we feel so deprived many people don't even think about sunscreen.
Sun protection is extremely important, especially in the Pacific NW, to protect against harmful UV-rays and to prevent skin cancer. It is also important, however that the next time you pick out your sunscreen, pay careful attention to what you’re buying. Many common sunscreens actually contain chemicals that can be harmful to your body. But thanks to the recipe below, you can easily make your own sunscreen out of simple ingredients. Its fun, natural and effective!
Chemicals to avoid in common sunscreens:
Nano or Micronized mineral particles
There are several and easy ways to make effective and natural homemade sunscreen.
1 oz. Coconut oil
.8 oz. Shea butter
.1 oz. Jojoba oil or sunflower oil
30 drops ( 15 of each) Eucalyptus and lavender essential oils
.1 oz Vitamin E oil
The amount of zinc oxide you choose to use will determine the amount of SPF in your sunscreen. For more than SPF 20, use 20% zinc oxide, for SPF 12-19 use 15% zinc oxide.
Directions: First step is to combine coconut oil, shea butter and jojoba/sesame/sunflower oil into a Pyrex measuring up. Next, make a double boiler by placing the Pyrex inside a pot filled with 2-3 inches of water. Heat on low until the shea butter is melted. Remove from double boiler and let cool. After cooled, wear a mask to cover your nose and mouth when you measure out the zinc oxide to avoid inhaling fine particles. Add the zinc oxide, Vitamin E oil and essential oils to the original mixture. Stir until ingredients are mixed. The last step is to pour the mixture into a dark jar and refrigerate.
Homemade sunscreen can last for around 6 months and should be refrigerated. Apply generously to skin and reapply every few hours while during periods of sun exposure.
Until next time! - Rebecca
It can be hard to get kids off sugar and maybe you’re even trying to kick the habit yourself. There are plenty of sweet alternatives that not only taste good but are healthy as well. So, throw out all the refined sugar you have at home and try easy recipes like the one below to fulfill your sweet cravings. I can tell you that chocolate + avocado is one of my favorite combinations!
Chocolate Avocado Pudding Pops
2 ripe avocados
6 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
¼ cup powdered Swerve Sweetener*
2 btsp cocoa powder
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp stevia extract*
Dash of salt
2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate
2 tbsp coconut oil
*note - alternate sweeteners can be swapped for ripe bananas + medjool dates to taste
Either using a food processor or a blender, puree avocado until smooth. Next, add milk, sweetener, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, stevia extract and salt. Blend on low until the ingredients are mixed well.
Melt chocolate with coconut oil for 30 seconds in the microwave or until melted.
Pour melted chocolate with other ingredients in the blender or processor and run on low until the ingredients are well mixed.
Pour mixture into popsicle molds and freeze for at least three hours. Enjoy!
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.