Simple Health Acupuncture's Blog

In our blog we will discuss many wellness topics such as acupuncture, massage, yoga, herbal medicine, natural cosmetic treatments, pain management, mental health, lifestyle and healthy living. We hope you enjoy reading. 

The New year is here. So you know what that means: diet and workout fads! I used to fall into many of the New Year’s resolution fads such as juice fasts and weight watchers, but by the time mid-spring came I would just give up.

Finding more interest in health and wellness as the years progress, I learned that eating healthier and regular exercise is key to happy living. Like many things, this is easier said than done. I noticed that in our society, we’re used to instant gratification--everything is rushed and we want results instantly, whether it’s from our diet regimen or our fast food drive throughs, we just don’t have any patience left!

I love yoga. I am partial to yoga. I want to say that everyone would benefit more from yoga than regular exercise, but I also realize that there are many different people with various needs, so likely not everyone will benefit more from yoga than other “workouts.” The reason I am so partial to yoga, is because there are numerous benefits in one practice. Yoga practice encompasses: stretching, breathing, movement, and meditation.

Stretching is incredibly important to help keep our bodies and minds flexible. Flexibility helps us to age more gracefully and keep us from injury. Stretching also helps to unbind the fascia, which reduces tightness and pain. Stretching is similar to receiving a massage.

During my high school years I played a lot of sports, and had a big appetite. I used to play basketball, travel ball, and also ran track, so exercise was never really too hard or a habit that I needed to pick up. After high school is when staying fit and finding the time for exercise became an issue. I found myself gaining weight and losing muscle and flexibility. 

Coming out of high school I have put on 25 - 30 lbs, maybe even more. This is by far, the most I have ever weighed in my life. Though I never really was the type to pursue a certain diet or fad diets, I have come to realize that taking care of my physical well being is important, and the right proper diet can be good for me. It's coming towards the end of the year, and I'd like to start out next year differently. I looked up a couple of diets that seemed to be the most popular in 2015 and came across the following few. 

We live in a society where an overwhelming two thirds of the population is considered to be overweight. With our increasingly sedentary lifestyles, ready availability of foods that are rich in sugars and fats, and the fact that it is often easier and cheaper to eat these foods than it is to eat healthy, it is no great wonder that we are this way. When it comes to weight loss, there is no one right answer for everyone. People often jump into one fad diet after another, looking for the easiest and fastest way to lose the weight. But the truth is, real and permanent weight loss is neither an easy nor a fast journey. But it is one that Acupuncture may be able to help with. 

The healthiest way to lose weight from a Traditional Chinese Medicine nutrition perspective, is to modify the diet and eat whole, nutritious foods. TCM philosophy is one of balance, with a respect to individual differences. Many of us tend to eat quite an imbalanced diet, with an excess of sweet, salty and spicy foods. This is a recipe for weight gain. To lose weight healthfully we should focus on eating bland flavored foods and herbs. The bland taste has the ability to drain dampness. Generally those that have the pattern of excess damp are those who have weight to lose. Too much sweet, salty and sour tastes creates dampness, as they tend to be moistening, so a person with dampness problems should not take too many of these types of foods and herbs.

"How did you get into Acupuncture?" That is probably the question I am asked by almost all of my patients. I became an acupuncturist for many reasons. But I think the most important one is that I have always loved to help people.  I love Acupuncture and the natural healing arts. I love it because it provides comfort and relief for many people when their options become limited. I love it because often times the most complex problems can be solved by the simplest of solutions. I love it because I truly believe in the healing of Acupuncture, and the power of natural medicine. 

In honor of Thanksgiving, I would like to express my gratitude for Chinese medicine. Practicing acupuncture, herbal medicine, tui na, and nutrition fulfills me. What I love about practicing is the connection with patients, the endless study, assisting the body to heal mentally, physically, emotionally, and the feeling I get when a patient feels relief. I also absolutely love the way it has and continues to help me.

Connection is a vital part of being human. My experiences strengthen my belief that having connection is necessary for happiness. In my practice, I am able to spend enough time with patients to establish a connection and to get to know them as their whole selves.

Has anything ever just changed your life completely? I never thought that this is how my life would turn out, I never thought that I could become a massage therapist.

I have always known that deep down I wanted to help people. I just didn’t know how. I was living with a friend and decided to go with her to her orientation for Fremont College. While she was doing her orientation I was in the waiting area and a teacher comes up to me and says, “Would you like a free massage session? “ What kind of person can turn down a free massage session? After my massage session I fell in love, but I also had this thought: "I can massage better than that!" By that summer my massage journey began.

As autumn falls upon us, the impending cold and flu season approaches. Acupuncture is a helpful treatment for reducing your risk of becoming sick this season. Chinese medicine can be used to increase immunity by helping your body to protect its exterior from pathogens that may attack into the interior of the body if it’s defensive layer of qi (immunity) is not strong. We are always surrounded by viruses and bacteria, but we only become sick when our immune system cannot fight the bug. Our immune system can be weakened by stress, lack of sleep, eating too much sugar and refined carbohydrates, smoking, and certain medications. Chinese medicine adds to that list, attack by wind, cold, heat, or dampness. For example, walking barefoot in cold damp grass can lead to a cold, or sleeping with a fan blowing on you, or walking outside on a cold day with wet hair, especially if you are already run down.

It definitely does not feel like winter yet, but we all know that the change in seasons is almost here. I know I’m looking forward to all the fun holidays, family get togethers, and presents, but something that I also dread is the onset of the cold and flu season. The runny noses, constant phlegm, achy bodies, and just congestion in general is something that I would love to avoid. But when I have succumbed to the flu season before, something that I have found to be very helpful for those runny noses and built up mucus is a type of massage called lymphatic drainage.

What is Lymphatic Drainage?

We’ve all heard of lymph nodes—those things that often swell up under your neck when you get sick. Well lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system in your body, but they are simply areas that provide the actual drainage for lymphatic fluid. Lymph is a whitish liquid flowing throughout our bodies. Much like blood vessels, lymph flows inside our lymph vessels. This whitish liquid flows through our body collecting metabolic wastes, toxins, excess water, as well as providing the production of antibodies that we need to fight off infections. These toxins are products in our body that cannot be absorbed through our blood capillary vessels.

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