How Herbal Formulas Make You Better, Faster

People know a lot about acupuncture, and after their first appointment, they can’t wait to come back. They learn how non-invasive and effective it is, and they love the way they feel when they walk out after a treatment. Acupuncture is familiar in Portland. But what about Chinese herbs?

We often hear patients say “I don’t really like to take anything” when it comes to their health. We get that. There are so many products out there, so many supplements and prescription medications. It’s hard to know what is right and what’s safe for you. But the truth is, sometimes the body needs a little more help. We are hard on our bodies, and people can develop various deficiencies as a result. To correct a deficiency, you need to give the body what it needs, address things from an internal perspective. This is where Chinese herbs and supplements come in. They can help speed up your healing process and push you past a plateau you might have reached in your recovery.

We are all familiar with taking a prescription medication. We are accustomed to taking a tiny pill once or  twice a day, and waiting for symptoms to subside without thinking too much about it. Chinese herbal formulas are a little different. We take them more often, they are primarily plant-based, and they sometimes smell and taste funny. They also come in various forms:

Capsules or tablets (referred to as patents or teapills) are most commonly taken at our clinic. They are easy to take, easy to pack with you to work or school, and don’t have much taste.
Granules are the powder form of formula. They are mixed with hot water and patients drink them as a tea.
Bulk herbal formulas are a mixture of whole herbs, decocted in hot water and also drunk as a tea.

Most of us don’t like taking pills. And although taking an herbal formula might seem like a lot of work in the moment, the long-term gains are huge. Back to our beloved analogy….you change the oil in your car, why wouldn’t you want to do maintenance on your body to keep it in top form? A few more reasons why herbal formulas are so awesome:

– The formulas are balanced, so there are little to no side effects
– They are natural, often plant-based, and not synthetically engineered, so our bodies process them like a food!
– They correct the ROOT of the problem so it goes away, not just treat the SYMPTOMS
– By correcting the root of the problem, you avoid taking pills the rest of your life!

In Chinese medicine, we are always striving to treat the root of the problem and restore balance to the body. Think of acupuncture as primarily treating the acute and the excess conditions. Chinese herbs and supplements treat the chronic and deficient conditions. Both methods aim to create more balance in your body, and make for a very powerful approach to healing!

Vitamin D for your health and happiness

It is amazing how many people are affected by the Northwest weather. One great tool to help maintain your outlook on these rainy days, is vitamin D. Vitamin D helps to regulate the brain’s neurotransmitters, like serotonin, melatonin and dopamine, which in turn improves your mood. Other benefits of a healthy vitamin D regimen include prevention of osteoporosis, improved immune system and prevention of allergies. There are some other compelling research findings that link low vitamin D levels to an increased risk of heart attack in men as well as high blood pressure.

Our amazing bodies naturally produce vitamin D when we are exposed to sunshine. It can also come from foods such as fish, fish liver oils, and egg yolks, as well as from fortified dairy and grain products.

How much should you take? The Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) recommended daily intake of vitamin D is 600 IU for people ages 1 to 70, and 800 IU after age 70. However evidence suggests the optimal intake is higher between 800–1,000 IU for adults.

Get your Vitamin D!

9 People Who Need Acupuncture

Acupuncture treatment for the allergy-sufferer

Let’s be honest, almost everyone benefits from acupuncture treatment. But here is some insight into specific types of patients we commonly see in our clinic. Let’s look at nine people who need acupuncture now!

The athlete – Whether you’re a serious athlete or just getting into shape, our bodies need a tune-up to perform at their optimal level. Acupuncture helps keep your muscles loose, reduce inflammation and body pain, and improve performance, no matter what your sport. Come in for treatment during training and your body will thank you.

The parent – Raising children is a full-time job; and we know you don’t get a lot of time to yourselves when you have kids. Make acupuncture treatment a time for you; a time when you can rebalance and reboot. You will feel better and your kids will benefit as well.

The 50+ hour business person – The truth is that for many people, the 40 hour workweek is a pipe dream. If this is you, it is important to carve time out to take care of yourself. Acupuncture will reduce stress levels, improve sleep quality, and provide a sense of balance that is most likely missing when you have to put in so many hours. We bet your shoulders are tense too…and we can help with that!

The injured – Injuries come in all forms, whether you were in a car accident, or sprained an ankle hiking over the weekend. But no matter the injury, the treatment principles are the same, and we can treat the acute trauma, reduce inflammation, improve circulation to the area of injury, and relieve pain. The sooner you start acupuncture treatment after an injury, the faster you are going to heal, period.

The allergy sufferer – We live in the Northwest, and pollen counts are high this allergy season. Acupuncture can clear your sinuses, relieve itchy eyes and throat and help improve your energy when your immune system seems to be rebelling against you.

The medical professional – We are betting that you tend to put other people’s health ahead of your own. But the best way to be of service to other people is to be available, which means taking care of your health too.

Your kids – It’s not always easy being a kid. Our bodies and minds grow and mature more in our first 18 years than in any other time of life. That’s a lot of transition, and acupuncture helps kids deal with these growing pains throughout all stages of development.

The teacher – Schools can be Petrie dishes for germs, and teachers often get whatever sickness is being passed around their classrooms. To stay well, boost your immune system and reduce stress levels with acupuncture. You will have better energy and an improved sense of well-being so you can stay in school.

The couple trying to conceive – Recent research has shown that acupuncture can help improve the efficacy of fertility treatments. The truth is, no matter where you are in the process of trying to conceive, acupuncture will benefit both men and women at every stage, and help you build the family of your dreams.

Shaved Asparagus With Arugula Recipe

I found this super easy and delicious recipe on The New York Times Wine & Dining page.

A couple quick tips: For those following a Cleanse Diet, you can simply omit the parmesan from the recipe and it still tastes fantastic. You can also leave out the prosciutto and it will still have great flavor as well. It is quick to put together with very few ingredients and no cooking.  For some additional protein and a great compliment – try adding some crumbled roasted Hazelnuts on top.

Bon Appetit!

– Jake (Sarah’s husband)