Digestion is something many of us think about, but few of us talk about because we feel embarrassed about some of the symptoms. Still, over 51 million doctors visits each year are for digestive complaints in the United States, and we spend over $141 billion annually on care for digestive diseases!
Western medicine has some highly effective pharmaceuticals for dealing with digestive disorders, especially inflammatory bowel conditions, but what if you don’t want to take pills to treat poor digestion or an intestinal issue? What are your other options? How can you improve your digestion in general regardless?
Here is a short list of things you can do today to improve your digestion tomorrow, and some further information about natural medicine and the benefits of acupuncture for digestion that I hope will inspire you to learn more.
How to Improve Your Digestion Today
Good digestion may seem elusive to many of us in the United States, but a few simples steps can go a long way towards improving digestion as a whole. And by “improving” I mean the following:
Interested in Learning More?
The benefits of Acupuncture are quite broad, but more than anything, Acupuncture is about improving your quality of life. Better digestion, better sleep, less pain, more emotional stability and improved stress recovery - Acupuncture can actually help you achieve all of these things through treatment, assessment, and by supporting healthy lifestyle changes.
Your friendly neighborhood Acupuncturist isn’t just someone who sticks pins in people and does wu wu stuff, they’re someone who is highly trained in the art of medicine as well as the science, and who is dedicated to helping you achieve your goals through the best means necessary for you. If you want to know more, please read through my website and blog or contact me via email anytime. You can also book appointments 24/7 online - I hope to hear from you soon!
Yours in Health,
What Is Wellness; How To Be Well.
Wellness is a word that is thrown around often and loudly these days. I myself consciously chose to name my business “All Ways Well” and I talk of Wellness often because ultimately, this is the heart of my job. As an Acupuncturist, my primary purpose is to help patients achieve and maintain health and wellness.
I believe Wellness to be something personal. I can outline it generally, and tell you the feeling that I believe wellness should elicit, but the exact components of what it means to be Well in YOUR life are going to be unique and individual. Helping my patients define and seek these personal wellness goals is what I do with joy every day!
Therefore, I am going to seek to generally answer the question “What is Wellness “ and lay an outline for you to understand how to define wellness for yourself, as well as clarify why Acupuncture for Wellness is so powerful.
What Is Wellness?
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Health as follows:
Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
Interestingly enough, this definition has not been amended since 1948! Clearly, however, it doesn’t need to be - it is a clear and concise definition of health that I believe still holds accurate and true.
But what about wellness? My favorite definition of Wellness comes from the National Wellness Institute:
Wellness is an active process of becoming aware and of making choices toward a more successful existence.
What I like about this definition is the fact that it recognizes process. It encompasess the idea that wellness is something active, participatory and conscious. It is also a big vague, which I believe is fitting because its personal - YOU have to define your own specific wellness parameters, which ultimately (as indicated) help you achieve a more “successful existence” which I will translate as happiness for sake of simplicity.
Even though I agree with the gist and like the direction, for me this definition isn’t perfect. As an Acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine practitioner, I believe that health and wellness are intimately intertwined and that to achieve one, you must also be working towards the other. For my purposes, Wellness is a feeling, a state of being in which you feel present, content, connected and satisfied with your path in health and in life.
How To Be Well? A Personal Assessment and Plan.
How to be well and achieve wellness is a personal question, and it depends on your specific health and wellness needs. Just like the WHO definition of Health above, for both health and wellness many aspects of your life must be taken into account, not just the physical. My favorite assessment for how you’re doing in different areas - the Heart Math Institute Stress and Well-Being Survey:
It examines Physical Vitality, Emotional Vitality, Social Connectedness, Spiritual Connectedness and Overall Well-being and graphs out your results for you in a simple and easy to read document.
You certainly don’t have to go through the survey, however, but I think these 5 aspects are a good snapshot to help you understand where you are and determine where you want to go. If you don’t want to take the survey, just ask yourself:
If you’ve taken the Heart Math survey, you will get very detailed information about these 5 aspects as well as recommendations from them regarding actions.
In 3-6 months, depending on how you feel, go through the questions above or the survey again and see how you’ve done!
I know this sounds very simple, yet is actually very complex. This is why it is important to prioritize and choose just 1-2 things each month to work on. The most important part is that you define a path and are walking on it, the goals will get closer with each measured step and you can take deep satisfaction in every one.
Wellness Acupuncture - Support and Active Treatment to Achieve Health and Wellness
Acupuncture, as part of Chinese Medicine, is a powerful path to achieve wellness. When you see an Acupuncturist, you don’t just get an assessment of your physical and energetic health for a sole concern - you get an assessment of everything. Your energetic channels traverse from the top of your head, to your nose to your toes - no single part of the body can be treated without at least partially addressing another.
A treatment for carpal tunnel cannot help but also treat and improve health in the Lungs because the Lung channel traverses the wrist. A treatment for shin splints cannot help but also improve digestion, stamina and energy because the Stomach channel is located in that area.
Furthermore, in Chinese Medicine each meridian or channel is also affected by different emotions, different states of consciousness, even the seasons! This means that even when we are treating physical concerns, your emotional state and the general sense of well-being or dis-ease associated will also be addressed.
Truly, this means that if you want the easiest path to Wellness available - you should see an Acupuncturist! They will do the assessment for you and be able to perform a concrete treatment which will improve many aspects of your health, while at the same time coaching you about how to map a path and achieve your goals yourself because Traditional Chinese Medicine includes dietary and lifestyle advice as well.
Ready to Find Your Wellness and Keep It? Try Acupuncture.
The NCCAOM maintains practitioner listings of all licensed acupuncturists in the US and a quick search on their site will find you someone qualified and credentialed to help. If you have any further questions or want to book in with me, please don’t hesitate to email anytime or book online 24/7! Its my true passion and pleasure to help people achieve and maintain Wellness in as many aspects of their life as they can.
Yours in Health,
5 Immune System Boosters for This Winter
5 Quick and Effective Immune System Boosters
In Chinese Medicine, Winter is governed by the Kidney, which is also the Water element of the body. This makes Winter an essential time to contemplate, restore and nourish the body physically and energetically so it is better able to handle whatever may arise in the coming year.
Another way to view this, is to say that Winter is the perfect energetic time to strengthen the immune system. Indeed, when treating allergies or asthma in particular, it is essential to tonify or strengthen your Qi during the off season (commonly Winter) to prepare for the on season of the worst symptoms (typically Spring).
Instead of getting overly deep into theory, however, and I have to warn you that “long-winded” runs in my family and did NOT skip me, let me share with you my 5 favorite immune system boosters for the Winter months:
5 Quick and Effective Immune System Boosters
Immune System Boosters and Acupuncture for Immunity - try them!
Now that you have the facts, pick at least 1-2 things off this list to try out this winter and see what Spring brings. You may be surprised at the increase in health and vitality you feel at the end of the season!
If you have any further questions, want to order supplements or book in please don’t hesitate to contact me anytime or book online 24/7!
Yours in Health,
I find that my patients are often amazed at the results of acupuncture for pain treatment. It feels really miraculous to get up off the table after 30 to 45 minutes and just feel better, but people do! That naturally leads them to say, “Wow, acupuncture works” followed quickly by, “how does acupuncture work?”
So I’ve decided to answer the question! I do in clinic every day, you know, so hey - might as well do it here too! Today my topic is BACK PAIN and how Acupuncture for back pain works. I’ll be doing new installments of this “how acupuncture works” series over the course of the year focusing on different aches, pains and ailments, so do stay tuned!
HOW ACUPUNCTURE WORKS - Part One
Acupuncture and Back Pain - How Does It Work?
Okay… so how does acupuncture actually work? Well, it works on several levels:
And the list kind of goes on but I think this is some of the more relevant information. One of the especially great things about Acupuncture for Back Pain is that the needles can go right to the heart of the problem. Sometimes back pain is quite deep and there can be sacro-iliac joint involvement, as well as nerve involvement. Acupuncture can go through all the superficial tension and get right to the heart of the issue, and on its way it helps to relax the muscular layers all the way down. Getting Acupuncture before a massage or chiropractic appointment can greatly enhance your results since much of the tension will be gone before you get to the LMT or DC.
Acupuncture and Back Pain - Treatment
So now you have the quick and dirty Rebecca-approved guide to healthcare options for 2015, but what if you actually want to understand more? How do you assess how you use healthcare and then match that up with the plans available to make the best choice? And what do all those crazy terms mean that I am supposed to be able to understand to even understand what my options are?
Well, read on for a step by step guide to answering these questions and picking a plan in 2015:
FIRST - Assess How You Use Healthcare
Look back at 2014 and tally you and/or your family’s medical care in 2014 and perhaps 2013 as well if you can do so easily. Tally how many times you went to the doctor and what types of visits they were - urgent care? ER? Annual exam? Regular check up? Make note of whether you take medications or not and if you had lab work, physical therapy, alternative care, vision, dental, etc. Keep this tally handy as you prepare to do some math and look over plan options.
SECOND - Do The Math On Premiums
Barring a major illness, your insurance premium is the most expensive part of your insurance plan so the first thing you have to look at is the annual cost of your premium. A $500/mo plan is $6,000 ($500 *12 = $6k) over the course of the year. A more expensive plan might have a lower deductible and better benefits (copay instead of coinsurance for instance), but would you actually use the benefits? How much would they save you? If you hardly ever go to the doctor, you’re better off taking a low premium catastrophic coverage type plan because even though you’ll pay more when you go to the doctor, you’ll save so much on the premium over time that you should be able to afford to pay for the care you use instead of paying high premiums all the time.
THIRD - Look At Max Out of Pocket
Each plan will have an individual and family “Maximum Out of Pocket” cost. This is the total dollar value of copayments and out of pocket coinsurance after your insurance premium you are responsible for each year before your plan will pay 100% of covered expenses. If you know you have a major event coming up such as a major surgery or a pregnancy/birth you’ll likely reach this out of pocket max.
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.