Feet: A Map to the Body
Reflexology is one of my favorite therapies - in fact I use foot reflexology in clinic every day and I know it improves my clinical outcomes. I love it because it is so simple yet so effective - with foot reflexology I can add an entire additional whole body treatment in just 10 minutes through the feet. And when I say whole body I mean it - from head to toe (no pun intended!) the whole body is represented in the feet and every surface of the foot can be utilized for treatment!
A Map to the Body
In foot reflexology each area of the foot represents a different part of the body, both inside and outside. Massage and pressure on these reflex zones, from superficial to deep depending on what you are trying to achieve, can positively influence the corresponding organ or part of the body.
Conversely, excessive (painful) tension or tenderness and crunchy bumps - typically built up uric acid and calcium deposits - can indicate a tendency to sluggishness in the organ represented by that area, or can correspond with pain in the part of the body represented.
Looking at the map at right, you’ll see that foot reflexology zones are divided as follows:
So if you massage your feet and find tenderness in any specific area above, work on it! You might see a positive change in your health or head off various aches, pains and issues in the process.
Foot Reflexology - Try It!
I have had a number of patients over the years who are nervous about needles and I have done reflexology alone for them. I have seen especially good results in treating headaches, constipation and diarrhea with foot reflexology alone! Foot reflexology is also an excellent detoxification treatment - all those little crunchy uric acid and calcium deposits can minorly impede blood flow and hold toxins. If you break them up, your body will flush them out. You may be surprised how much more energy you’ll have after a couple of days pass for your body to clean up and clear out.
So if you massage your own feet to try it out, or especially if get professional foot reflexology treatment, don’t forget to drink extra water for the next 24 hours to help your body detoxify and make the most of treatment! If you want to know more or try a foot reflexology session in office, please don’t hesitate to contact me anytime. Booking is available online 24/7!
Until next time,
#reflexology, foot reflexology, reflexology diagnosis
More Than Your Average Vitamin C
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Immune System is interconnected with everything. Spleen Qi (or energy), Lung Qi and Kidney Qi especially each have a role to play in the immune system’s ability to do its job well and protect you from colds, flu’s and “external evils” as they’re called in TCM.
Truly, having a strong immune system is an all-year kind of thing. When you’re sick, you have to treat the pathogen. When you’re not sick, you should be tonifying or strengthening the immune system to prevent colds and flu’s, and in TCM this includes allergies as well - they can be related to the same energetic strengths and weaknesses.
Here are my 5 favorite supplements for a strong immune system that can help you stay well long term:
5 Supplements for a Strong Immune System
Boost Essence by People's Herbs
This herbal remedy is one of my favorites. It is a balanced adaptogenic tonic formula that helps the body find a natural homeostasis. It has herbs that enter the Lung, Spleen and Kidney Channels. I always keep this formula on hand in my office because it is so excellent for people who are highly stressed, fatigued and feel like they are prone to get sick easily. 2 caps per day recommended.
Liquid Vitamin D 1,000IU by Seroyal
Vitamin D is essential for a healthy immune system and here in the Pacific NW, it is virtually impossible to generate enough naturally from sun exposure. A new study found that Vitamin D actually regulates the body’s ability to fight bacteria. When you combine that with the improved energy, improved bone strength and anti-cancer properties of this supplement, it is easy to see why EVERYONE should be taking it. In the Pacific NW I recommend 2,000 IU per day.
Probiotic Pearls by Integrative Therapeutics
Did you know that immunity starts in your gut? It does! Genetic sequencing has revealed that gut microbes are closely related to immune function, not to mention Peyer’s Patches - the large immune “sensors” specific to your intestines. Good gut bacteria is essential for immune health, and if you aren’t certain about the happiness of your gut bugs, three to six months of probiotic supplementation is recommended to cheer them up. IT Probiotic Pearls are my favorite because they are highly concentrated and shelf stable. 1 Pearl Per Day.
Empowered Cordyceps by People's Herbs
Cordyceps fungus is a Lung and Kidney tonic in Chinese Medicine. It is especially strong for reducing asthma, improving adrenal function and improving thyroid function. Also, because it helps with lung function, it has been found to improve endurance in high level athletes. I prescribe this often for patients who have low thyroid, fatigue and are prone to get sick in colder weather and for my Iron Man competitors to give them an edge, especially at altitude. People’s Encapsulations represent the best in quality and purity. 2 caps per day.
Five Mushroom Formula by People's Herbs
Mushrooms have long been heralded in Chinese Medicine as longevity tonics to increase energy and vitality. We now know that Reishi in particular, a Kidney Tonic, can also decrease blood pressure, improve sleep, and that it has mild anti-cancer properties as well. For patients who have cancer, who are are highly stressed and have trouble sleeping, or for patients who are recovering after a long illness, I often recommend Five Mushroom Formula to improve immunity and vitality. Can be taken in addition to any other remedy or regime to enhance its effectiveness. 2 caps per day.
Simple Supplements, Big Results
The supplements above are safe, simple and highly effective. Their effectiveness comes from the fact that they work on both physical and energetic levels. Improving gut health, improving sleep, improving the body’s natural anti-bacterial response, and immune sensing abilities of the gut - all important for long term immunity. With herbs that focus on the Lung - our first line of defense where immune battles are fought, on the Spleen - the supply line behind the soldiers, and the Kidney - like basecamp where extra supplies are stored, these herbs ensure that you have strong Qi for maintaining an immune system that is prepared for the fight and ready to win.
If you want to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact me anytime. All the supplements listed are available in office and for shipping if interested! Email me with questions.
Until next time,
supplements for strong immune system, strong immune system, best immune system supplements
Healing from the Inside Out
When people think of Acupuncture, the first thing they usually associate it with is treatment for pain. Acupuncture, however, is far broader than that. In fact, Acupuncture can even be used to assist in emotional healing.
How can Acupuncture balance your emotions? Why would emotional healing and Acupuncture even remotely be connected? Primarily this is due to the theory of the 5 Elements.
Acupuncture for Emotional Treatment
One of the central theories behind Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture is called 5 Element Theory. This theory states that each element has a series of associations, and that these associations determine relationships between the elements and the energetic channels. These relationships then dictate a specific health balance that we strive for, and allow for specific imbalances to be recognized, and for specific treatments to be derived.
When it comes to emotions, this basic 5 Element Theory is instrumental. Within 5 Element Theory, different emotions are associated with balance or imbalance in specific energetic channels or meridians. If out of balance (as can be evidenced by emotional state) these channels can be balanced using specific acupuncture points to strengthen or calm the misbehaving element. Once balance is achieved a calmer and stronger emotional state is naturally reached.
Especially in cases of Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Depression, PTSD, coping with Grief and Loss and Mood Swings associated with hormonal issues or drug and alcohol withdrawal, Acupuncture can be very effective by following 5 Element theory point prescriptions along with “5NP” also called “5 Needle Protocol” or “NADA” Acupuncture. 5NP Acupuncture is a specific ear acupuncture treatment that is used in battlefield Acupuncture, disaster relief and detoxification treatments with immediate calming effects on the mind, body and spirit.
5 Elements in Chinese Medicine
The five elements also have generating and controlling cycles as shown in this image:
The generating cycles make a circle - Wood generates Fire, Fire generates Earth, Earth generates Metal, Metal Generates Water and Water generates Wood. Then the controlling cycle is represented by the star pattern in the center.
By following these cycles we can generate and strengthen, or calm and control, different elements and their associated emotional states.
Emotional Healing and Acupuncture
As I hope you can now see, emotional healing and Acupuncture are a natural fit. With 3,000 years behind 5 Element Theory diagnosis and treatment, Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine have a proven track record of success in emotional healing.
In my practice I find that the Liver and Heart in particular are often some of the primary meridians affected in our busy modern world. Our creative natures can be malnourished and become stagnant (Wood), while our stress and frustration (Fire) can be high leading to a Wood and Fire imbalance between these two organs. A series of 6 to 8 weekly treatments including 5NP and individual point prescriptions based on personal need can make a world of difference in your emotional landscape and enhance any other work you might be doing - be it counseling, psychotherapy, self help, meditation, yoga, or pharmaceuticals - to help manage unruly emotions.
Indeed, Zen masters often say that you cannot see your reflection in running water, only still water. Calm emotions are like that still water allowing you to see yourself and the world around your clearly towards being present. Acupuncture can give you time and space to calm the waters, and a tool that helps you stay still and practice a little of this Zen state.
If you want to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact me anytime. Until then, enjoy the beautiful Fall weather!
This advice is so simple, classic and timeless it has always been on of my favorite basic beauty "to do" lists. It is something I learned when I took my first Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture certification course back in 2006. Yes, this is a list about attitude as much as it is a list about at basic home care for avoiding facial wrinkles, but you know what - it works.
If I were to rename this list, I would call it The Zen of Being Beautiful and all of this advice is right in line with my Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture training and teachings. To truly look and feel beautiful, it has to come from the inside and then be nourished by your activities outside - that is the heart of Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture treatment.
This list is so synergistic with my work, I had to share. It comes from the book Inner Peace, Outer Beauty:
Natural Japanese Health & Beauty Secrets Revealed by Michelle Dominique Leigh
Naturally Rejuvenate Skin
In my Facial Rejuvenation treatments I seek to naturally lift, firm and tighten the skin while removing facial fine lines and wrinkles by strengthening the constitution, calming the emotions, nourishing the skin and re-sculpting the face with acupuncture, gua sha, cupping, facial massage, and natural Chinese herbal facelift treatment masques and products as needed.
I have to say that I love this advice because if you follow this advice AND do natural facial lift treatments like Facial Rejuvenation, the results are so incredible its hard to describe. The difference is visible, but more than that it is something you feel - my patients often report feeling more confident, beautiful, sexy, more themselves. Facial Acupuncture seems to help them navigate the world of aging a little more gracefully because they feel supported and nourished as their bodies age and change.
Just like the quote above - everybody gets wrinkles - but truly some are due to natural aging, and some are due to expression which does make them a reflection of our thoughts and feelings. If you change your thoughts and feelings to be more positive, you can change those expression lines too. And if you need a little help, Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture may be just the thing to help you turn back the clock and learn more about caring for your skin as the natural course of aging progresses along.
If you want to know more, please call, email or book online! Facial Acupuncture is unique and deeply healing and relaxing - everyone should try it at least once you know!
Until next time,
#facial fine lines, facial #wrinkles, best face lift, #rejuvenate skin, #facelift treatment, all ways well acupuncture, Portland acupuncture, facial rejuvenation acupuncture
Energy for the Long Haul
Exercise and wellness are intimately tied together. Truly, after quitting smoking exercise is the #1 thing you can do to improve your health on almost every level. Exercise has so many benefits, it would be labeled as a wonder drug if you could refine it, bottle it and take it as a daily pill! It is a primary recommendation for moving blood and reducing pain in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Here, take a look at the short list of what exercise can do:
So yeah, that’s the short list. There is so much more, it is dizzying, but suffice to say again - exercise is the #1 thing you can do for your health and it can help you avoid a host of other medical issues over time such as heart disease, diabetes and depression.
Yet the world of exercise can seem daunting and overwhelming. There is so much out there, what kind of exercise is best for you and how much of it do you need? Here is a quick start guide based on what I tell my patients every day.
Exercise - How Much Exercise is Enough?
Truly, any amount of exercise is good. Even 10 minutes of regular exercise can make a lasting difference in your health as the effects are so long lasting. The measureable effects of exercise in the blood stream after just 10 minutes are STILL evident over an hour later!
Regularity is key, however. I always recommend my patients try to exercise at least 3 times a week, 5 would be better and while 10 minutes of exercise is generally what I consider to be a bare minimum, somewhere between 20 and 60 minutes of exercise 3 to 5 times a week is what I believe to be ideal.
The 20 to 60 minute range gives you enough time to enter fat burning zone if weight loss is a goal, and enough time to sink in mentally for calming and focusing benefits as well. An hour of exercise can create changes in the blood stream for several hours, making the most of your sessions physically and emotionally.
Exercise - What Kind is Best for Me?
There are so many kinds of exercise out there, there is no one size fits all. Most important is finding something you enjoy. If you like it, you are more likely to stick with it. From traditional gym workouts and Zumba classes to yoga, Taiji, martial arts and free on demand TV and online workouts - there is no reason not to find something you love.
The next important thing to consider is your physical fitness level and any physical restrictions/limitations/pains. It is important to stay out of pain so as not to injure yourself. Yes, it is good to feel the muscle burn, but not good to feel any sharp ache, pain or pull that makes you feel unsafe.
...if you have knee pain, stay away from running or impact exercises like high intensity aerobics - stick with the bike, the pool, or seated yoga.
...if you have back pain, prolongued exercise in a seated position isn’t going to be your friend so stay away from seated rows and recumbant biking, try gentle yoga and swimming instead!
Next is intensity - more isn’t necessarily better. Start with a low intensity and build up to a level that feels comfortable. When trying something new, especially if you are not fit or have a history of injury, I always recommend starting with 50% of what you really want or think you should be able to do. After 2 to 3 sessions at this level, assess how you feel and add 10-20%. Continue to increase until you find a level you feel comfortable with.
Last is variety. Just like eating a variety of foods (ever heard of eating the rainbow? And I do mean FRUITS AND VEGETABLES here) is best for your nutrition, a variety of different exercise each week is good for your health. For instance:
I am also a big fan of interval or peak training instead of classic Cardio. See the Dr. Mercola article about research into this type of workout HERE. That means moderate to high intensity for about 30 seconds, then low intensity for 90, and you continue to alternate for about 20-30 minutes instead of doing consistent high cardio. Like intermittent fasting, interval or peak training has many research proven benefits on almost every level.
Check Out My Pinterest Page for More
I maintain a board of exercise tips and links on my Pinterest page - check in out if you’d like to know more! If you need more specific recommendations, please come in for a tune up. I am happy to assess your specific physical needs and suggest an exercise plan that will work for you. I have 23 years of dance, martial arts and cardio kickboxing instructor history, and also hold certified QiGong instructor status. These are combined with a storied injury history and it gives me much insight into proper exercise techniques! Please book online or email Rebecca via the Contact link at the top of the page.
Until then, enjoy the beautiful Fall weather!
#Exercise, Exercise and Wellness, How Much Exercise is Good, Exercise to Reduce Stress
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.