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
One of the most common things all my facial acupuncture patients tell me is that they get complimented on their complexion. Co-workers and friends will ask, “Did you go away over the weekend? You look so well rested.” Or, “Something is different about you. I can’t say what it is, but you look like you glow.”
Indeed, Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is commonly referred to as a Botox Alternative and is sought by people looking for a natural anti-aging treatment, especially to reduce lines and wrinkles, but it truly does so much more. It works both from the inside out and the outside in to brighten and improve your entire complexion.
Facial Acupuncture Balances and Brightens the Skin
Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is highly effective in balancing and brightening the skin because in Chinese Medicine, we can’t divorce the face from the rest of the body and your overall constitution. Our focus in facial acupuncture treatment is the face, to be sure, but the channels that traverse the face traverse the entire body so we cannot treat one without the other. Furthermore, the appearance of the complexion is a reflection of your internal Qi - the face is dominated by the Stomach channel which in turn is dependent upon the health and function of the Spleen (indicating digestive function), and aging in particular is governed by your Kidney Qi.
To successfully slow the hands of time and improve your skin, all of these energies must be balanced and addressed through the combination of facial and body acupuncture treatment. The result is not only a brightening effect on the face, but an overall improvement in health and wellbeing that is often palpable, even if no other specific complaints are present.
As the overall health of your Qi improves along with the increase in Qi and Blood flow to the face specifically, we address a number of skin issues. Among them:
All of these things combine to create a truly beautiful picture and noticeably improved facial appearance. Especially during hormonal shifts, when your skin can change from dry to oily or even to combination, facial acupuncture is an incredibly powerful tool because of the concurrent treatment of skin concerns and hormone balancing.
Facial Acupuncture - Not Just the Face
Remember that there is more to your face than just the face itself as well - your neck is very important. In Chinese Medicine the neck is referred to as the “Celestial Pivot” since it is very important to the communication between the body, the brain and the heavens. Ensuring that your neck muscles are relaxed so that flow between the head and body is smooth is essential. Neck pain, therefore, is very successfully treated along with facial concerns. Furthermore, neck lines and wrinkles can also be addressed, especially with cupping therapy.
Facial Acupuncture for Treatment and Prevention
Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is an amazing anti-aging therapy because it can be used both actively, for the treatment of lines, wrinkles, sagging, uneven skin tone, eye concerns, etc. and passively as prevention. Indeed, Facial Acupuncture as a maintenance treatment to reduce the formation of lines and wrinkles is traditionally how the Empress of China began using this technique - Facial Acupuncture plus tonic herbs and facial massage using a jade stick or roller was part of a regular longevity regime for the royal family.
The ideal time to start monthly facial acupuncture treatments for prevention, is actually between 25 and 30 years of age. 25 is often when we see our first fine lines and wrinkles appear, and by 35 most people have 1-2 lines that are noticeable and beginning to deepen. It is ideal, therefore, to add facial acupuncture into your regime at this time to maintain the most youthful appearance.
I have successfully reduced deep lines and eliminated fine lines in women all the way up to 60, however, and in women 70 and older I have been able to remove new lines (that formed within the last 2 months before treatment) and slow the aging process significantly. Between 60 and 70 line removal is less predictable due to genetics and lifestyle factors, but prevention of anything new is still very strong. Regardless of when you start, the results of facial acupuncture treatment can be maintained 2-5 years with regular monthly treatment after a full facial series.
Want to Know More?
Chinese Medicine is truly an ancient tradition of health, and when I say “ancient” I truly mean it! The oldest texts referring to Chinese Medicine date back to the Zhou Dynasty (1100-220 B.C.E.) and arguably, Chinese Medicine had been a mainstay in China since 3,000 B.C.E. Yet here in the West, when we hear the term “Chinese Medicine” we are often a little perplexed - what is the difference between Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture? Why are there different terms?
The answer is simple - Acupuncture is actually a part of Chinese Medicine and the term “Chinese Medicine” encompasses the whole of the medical theory and practice that Acupuncture is a piece of. It would be much more accurate in the United States for Licensed Acupuncturists to be called Chinese Medicine Practitioners or Chinese Medicine Doctors, depending on their training and degree, but that is a topic for another conversation.
What Is Chinese Medicine?
Chinese Medicine is a holistic approach to health that addresses whole body, mind and spirit wellness. This includes treatment for active acute symptoms and conditions as well as preventative care to maintain health and wellness once achieved. In total, Chinese Medicine includes:
Chinese Medicine Addresses the WHOLE You
Chinese Medicine takes an energetic approach to the body - diagnosis is based on total symptom picture across all body symptoms plus tongue and pulse picture to assess the body’s energy or Qi. A Chinese Medicine practitioner is looking for patterns that represent the overall state of each energetic channel and system in the body, and there are 12 main meridians in question. They are :
Each organ and meridian system has a job to do and it is critical for overall health and wellness that they are each doing their job optimally. This energetic diagnosis might be something like Spleen Qi Deficiency or Liver Qi Stagnation. These diagnosis do not mean that anything is physically wrong with the organ - if you went to the doctor your Spleen or Liver might test out just fine - but they represent an energetic imbalance that is either making you feel sick or creating a state where illness is likely to occur if the imbalance is not corrected or addressed with care.
These energetic channels traverse the entire body - from inside your internal organs out to your skin, hair, muscles, connective tissue and all the way out to your fingers and toes. In short, the physical body and energetic body are intimately intertwined. This means that where one goes, the other will follow and vice versa. Chinese Medicine works on the principle that if we bring the energetic body back into line, the physical body will follow suit and the system will heal.
Because the entire body is traversed with channels, and individual channels often run from the top of the head to the tips of the toes, we cannot divorce any part of the body from another in Chinese Medicine. You have pain in your back? That channel tranverses all the way down to the ankle - we have to treat not only the back but the feet for ultimate success. You have a cold? The Lung channel goes out to the fingertips and the wrist!
Each channel is also associated with different emotional states and mental states of being - adjusting the energy of any given channel can help clarify the mind, focus attention, direct will and smooth unruly emotions.
For this reason, Chinese Medicine always takes the whole body into account and will treat many parts of the body and many organ systems, from a Western perspective, to correct balance, heal illness and create a state of wellness. This whole body approach also gives Chinese Medicine a strong ability to detect illness early and therefore maintain wellness long term. Combine this holistic approach with the many tools and modalities available to the Licensed Acupuncturist or Chinese Medicine practitioner, and you can see how Chinese Medicine can be highly effective in creating and maintaining health and wellness.
Questions? Comment or Contact Rebecca
If you have questions or want to know more, please don't hesitate to leave a note in the comments section below and I'll do my best to answer. You can always email me or book an appointment or consult online 24/7. Chinese Medicine is an amazing, holistic and quite complete approach to health that can result in powerful healing and long term health and wellness.
Until next time,
Coherence. If you haven’t heard this word the context of stress before that’s okay, its really just a fancy way to say “mindful and connected.” When you feel stressed out, coherence a goal to strive for; its that place where your mind and your heart and your body are aligned and you feel it. You feel present, centered, aware and you move through any given moment with conscious purpose.
Physiologically, coherence can be recognized by a calm nervous system, low (or lowering) stress hormones and an even heart rhythm. Stress disrupts coherence and engenders the opposite — a hyperactive nervous system, stress hormone (cortisol) release, an uneven heart rhythm — and the effects of stress on the mind and body can be widespread including:
5 Practical Tips for Stress Management You Can Implement Today
How to best manage stress in your life depends on your individual needs, but here are 5 relatively universal tips that can help reduce stress and the effects of stress on your life.
Acupuncture for Stress Management - Proven Stress Relief
In Chinese Medicine stress has a specific energetic pattern that primarily affects the Liver meridian. Over time and with increased severity, stress can affect the Qi of Heart and Spleen as well and at each level, different symptoms present themselves. With 3,000 years of clinical data behind it, Chinese Medicine - with Acupuncture as a primary treatment modality - has proven techniques for moving Qi and reducing stress in the body.
In an exciting twist of events, western research is actually catching on to this fact! A study published in the Journal of Endocrinology gained press in 2013 explored the biological mechanisms involved in acupuncture’s stress-relieving abilities. They discovered that acupuncture actually reduces stress hormones in the blood stream meaning that acupuncture can actually reduce stress on a molecular level!
The research showed that acupuncture can work on both the short term and long term, chronic stress cascade in the body lending credibility to the use of acupuncture for both acute and long term stress reduction.
A Parting Note on How to Make Stress Your Friend
I hope you find the tips above useful and, if you are looking down the barrel of a new high stress time or struggling to manage stress in your life in general, please consider getting some acupuncture treatment. It works! And now there is research to prove it. Neat, huh?
I leave you with my favorite TED talk on making stress your friend - the central message here is that stress does serve a purpose in your body, and being stressed about stress is actually worse than dealing with stress itself. Does that make stress management unimportant? Certainly not, prolonged stress is not great for you, but dealing with the stress itself is enough without getting stressed about the stress!
Until next time,
A coach once gave me an analogy I never forgot - that life is a juggling act and while most of the balls will bounce, health can be made of glass; if that ball breaks, it might never go back together quite the same.
The key message? Health MUST be a priority in the juggling act we call life because of all the things we can recover from, a true health crisis can change our lives irrevocably and irreparably.
Take a Lesson from the Heart - Put Your Health First
Another good way to bring this message home, is to take a lesson from our own body processes - from the heart specifically. In our own bodies, the Heart actually pumps blood to itself first before it pumps blood anywhere else in the body. This is because the body knows that without proper nourishment of the Heart, everything else in the body will fail.
Our lives are the same - if we don’t take care of ourselves, we cannot take care of anything or anyone else in our lives. Its imperative to put your health first, to have an eye on preventative care and stress management in particular, so that you know you are doing everything within reason in this moment in time to take care of yourself. If you can do that, you are much more likely to continue leading the long and healthy life you want to live.
A Plan for Self Care that Works For YOU
If you don’t want to drop that glass ball, you’ve got to keep your eye on it, and the best way to do that is to have a plan for self care. I believe a successful self care plan needs to be simple and flexible because at different times in our lives (or even day by day) sticking to our plan can be more or less difficult. Your self care plan needs to assist and support your health, not stress you out, but you also have to be accountable to your goals to succeed in them. Having a plan can help you in all these areas.
Devising your plan can be a simple exercise in assess, plan, execute. Then revise and repeat whenever necessary.
STEP ONE - ASSESS
You might know this right off the top of your head, but if you don’t take 5-10 minutes to make a mental tally (or physical list, your choice) of the areas you feel you are successful with your self care and the areas you feel you could improve. It should be something simple like this:
It doesn’t need to be exhaustive, but I do recommend including these categories - diet, exercise, sleep and stress. You can include as much or as little detail in these areas as you want, and you can also include any other areas you like that directly affect your health, such as self care, family time, sport, etc.
If STRESS is in the “weak” list, meaning it is too high or uncontrolled, make another list like this:
Now you have a clear picture of your strongest and weakest areas. Your goal? Create a plan that will shift more into the “strong” column and the “stress reducing” columns of your lists.
STEP 2 - PLAN
You can be as simple or as complex as you want with your plan. The most important part is that you are devising a plan you can achieve. You can revise your plan as often as you want, so set goals you can reach in a reasonable period of time to ensure success and motivate you to keep making positive changes.
For example, if Sleep and Stress are the biggest items in the “weak” column, choose these two areas to focus on and pick one or two activities that will help you improve them. Better yet, choose one activity that can help with BOTH. For Sleep + Stress there are two primary activities that come to my mind - Exercise and Acupuncture. Exercise and Acupuncture can both drastically improve sleep and stress, and if you combine the two its a magic double whammy!
Schedule time for these activities as part of your plan - for example, decide that you are going to exercise 2x/week on specific regular days/times or book an acupuncture appointment once a week.
To complete your plan, choose a timeline for these activities during which you are going to focus on doing them and not worry about assessment or about what comes next. For this length of time, you are just going to walk the walk. You’ll look back and see what happened later. It could be 3 weeks or 3 months, but whatever it is set it, schedule a reminder when the time is up, and forget it.
Now its time to EXECUTE.
STEP 3 - EXECUTE
Okay, execute the plan! Some days or weeks it is going to work great, other days and weeks its going to be hard. That’s okay. Right now all you have to do is do the doing and accept that all you can do is all you can do and that’s just how it should be.
REVISE AND REPEAT
Once you reach the date you set to look back, take a moment to go back to step 1. Run your list again and see how you did. Did anything shift out of “weak” into “strong?” Are your plans working for you in your life or do they need to be revised? Do you just need to walk the walk a little longer on these goals or is it time to choose a new focus to get in line?
I know these are a lot of questions, but they will be intuitive as you look at your list and seek to shift more items into the strong column. It will only take you a few minutes, and it will help you keep that glass ball in play as long as you can bring yourself to focus on it.
You Don't Have to Go It Alone
At a minimum, I recommend doing this exercise quarterly with the change in seasons - it is a natural time to assess your health and your goals. If you reach your goals quickly or want faster change you could repeat it weekly or monthly even - its totally up to you.
If you look at this exercise and feel too daunted, then don’t do it alone - your friendly neighborhood Acupuncturist is an expert in preventative medicine (we have 3,000 years of clinical data behind us which supports living a healthy balanced life!)
In my practice, in addition to helping my patients reach their immediate health care and pain relief goals, I always have an eye on improving my patient’s health long term. As a holistic medicine tied to the seasons and body rhythms, in my mind there’s just no other way - Acupuncture can’t treat anything without treating a little bit of everything. If you’re looking to keep your eye on the ball, Chinese Medicine has a plan to help you.
If you have questions or want help devising your own plan, contact Rebecca via email anytime, or book online anytime! You can also post in the comments section and I’ll do my best to address your concerns.
Until next time,
17. Treatise on the Importance of the Pulse and the Subtle Skill of its Examination
This quote from the Huang Di Nei Jing, or Yellow Emperor’s Internal Classic, dates back to the Warring States Period, between 475-221 BCE, almost 3,000 years ago. The speaker is Qi Bo, the Huang Di’s Imperial Physician, and this text is the oldest central cannon of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The gist of this quote? Subtle skill and attentive examination will give you a complete picture of the patient’s overall health. Using the information gathered, you can prescribe a course of treatment to correct imbalances big or small, to restore and maintain health. To be concise, this is a 3,000 year old treatise on Chinese Medicine for Treatment and Prevention.
With this teaching from Qi Bo at the heart of Chinese Medicine theory and practice, TCM and has a long history of preventative medicine and proactive treatment for all concerns big and small. Indeed, 3,000 years ago you only paid your Chinese Medicine doctor when you were healthy - not when you were sick! In this way, Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture could be said to represent the oldest HMO in the world! As well as the original Health Coaching Plan. Hmm…
Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture diagnosis and treatment are based on a subtle combination of factors that combine to give an overall health picture, not only of the symptoms and effects of your current complaint, but of underlying factors. This is known as the Ben and Biao or the Root and Branch of illness. Sometimes the Ben and Biao can be treated together, sometimes the Biao or Branch needs to be resolved first, and then the Ben or Root of illness can be corrected. In either case, the goal and focus of Acupuncture treatment within Chinese Medicine is not only to make you feel better, but to proactively treat the underlying cause of illness to help you become well and stay that way.
Shifting from Reactive Treatment to Proactive Treatment
Slowly but surely there is a shift coming over our culture, from reactive treatment to proactive treatment. In a sense, this is a shift away from the standard course of Western medicine over the past couple centuries where there is a pill for every ill, and towards a more Chinese approach of learning to be more in tune with your body, pursuing regular maintenance care, putting good general health first, and heading off illness at the pass as much as possible.
If you think about it, isn’t this what we do to take care of our cars and our homes? Regular oil changes and tune ups, repairing exterior cracks and keeping the roof hale, and we know that if we don’t do these things the car will fail or the roof of our house will leak eventually. Yet we don’t apply this same principle to our bodies and we still expect them to perform.
We’ve been trained to the reactive model of healthcare so long that it is a big mental shift to think about investing in regular maintenance care for our bodies. Furthermore, the hubbub and general demands of life and work don’t seem to offer opportunity for self care, or we may feel ashamed like self care is a treat rather than a necessity.
Yet it is - self care is a necessity for health, longevity and wellbeing. We can’t ask our bodies to constantly perform without proactively taking care of them. Physiologically, the heart pumps blood to itself before pumping blood to any other organ or tissue, because if the heart isn’t nourished the rest of the system will fail. Your health is the same and you must prioritize it if you want to keep working, living and laughing with your loved ones.
Why Should I Care About Preventative Medicine?
What Should I Do To Take Care of Myself?
The basics of good health are becoming common knowledge more and more. They include:
Enter 3,000 years of Traditional Chinese Medicine to the rescue! The original HMO and the original Health Coach have lifetimes of information at your disposal.
By identifying the Root and Branch of your individual illness or health picture, Chinese Medicine uses Acupuncture to rebalance, de-stress and heal. It can support short term and long term success with proven strategies including individualized nutritional, herbal and dietary recommendations and lifestyle advice. With regular monthly acupuncture treatment once you’ve achieved the level of health and wellness you desire, you will constantly have a partner in your care who can keep you on track physically and energetically to help you stay well. When you do become ill - because it happens to all of us - you will have a guide to help you get better faster, and your body will be better able to heal because the groundwork has been laid for optimal health.
In short, Chinese Medicine including Acupuncture is a proven system of preventative medicine and proactive medical treatment. It is safe, natural, effective, gentle and will not only help you heal and stay well, but it will help to empower you as you learn to identify subtle shifts in your physical and energetic health and wellbeing over time leading to a happier healthier you.
Are you looking to get well? Get out of pain? Reduce stress and engage in preventative medicine? Acupuncture might be just what you are looking for.
Free consultations with Rebecca are always available, can be booked online.
#preventativemedicine, #proactivetreatment, #proactivemedicaltreatment
Spring is in the air - as the fragrant Daphne at my front door reminds me every day! Tomorrow, March 20th, marks the official first day of Spring 2014. Can you believe its here already? Spring is the Wood Element season in Chinese Medicine; a time for growth, change, detox, renewal and celebration of creative endeavors. For our health, Spring marks the beginning of allergy season, and the beginning of body taxing Spring cleaning projects, gardening and renewed efforts to get out and get fit as the weather warms up.
The result? A number of Spring ailments such as:
If you’re suffering from any of the symptoms above or getting ready for a Spring project requiring some elbow grease, consider including Acupuncture in your health regime in the coming months both to treat and avoid common Spring ailments. Chinese Medicine is a natural medicine which is tied to the seasons - treatments in the Spring are actually different from treatments in the Fall, Winter and Summer specifically to help the body handle the environmental and energetic changes associated with the season. Acupuncture can make you healthier this Spring by:
Spring Health Tips
As the Wood Element season, Spring is also a critical time for Liver and Gallbladder health in Chinese Medicine because the Liver and Gallbladder are considered Wood element organs. That means Spring is the perfect time to detoxify the body and focus on Liver health. Also critical to Liver health? Stress and Stress management, because stress affects the energy of the Liver first and foremost.
So here are some tips to help you manage the change of seasons and support the Liver and Gallbladder this Spring:
If you’re interested in getting some help managing stress, aches, pains, allergies or just preparing the body for the change of seasons, please come in for a free consultation or appointment. You can book online anytime! Also, check out my pinterest Healthy Eating board for more detox drinks and health recipes for the season.
Yours in Health,
#SpringHealthTips #HealthTips #AcupunctureandHealth
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!
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.