Symptoms of Mold Exposure

We live in a beautiful part of the world, the Pacific Northwest. We endure plenty of rain here, and we’re okay with it because it is what makes this part of the country so green and lush. However, these dark wet months also serve as the perfect environment for another kind of growth: mold. Exposure to mold can cause many types of health problems, and although most people present with mild symptoms, some of our patients have suffered major health issues as a result. Some common symptoms of short term mold exposure can include:

– Sneezing
– Itching Skin
– Redness and skin irritation
– Itchy or watery eyes
– Headache

More advanced symptoms of mold exposure can result for people who are in a contaminated area off and on for an extended period of time. Symptoms are reported to have become more severe and longer lasting directly in proportion to the length of exposure time. Some symptoms can include:

– Constant headaches
– Nose bleeds
– Feelings of constant fatigue
– Nausea or vomiting
– Diarrhea
– Skin rashes
– Sudden asthma attacks or breathing disorders
– Ear infections and pain
– Chronic sinus infections
– Chronic bronchitis
– Pain in the joints and muscles

We treat many patients who suffer from allergies, and because we live in the Northwest, mold is an allergen that we often need to address. Eliminating the source of mold from your living environment is the most important thing to reducing symptoms. Acupuncture will also help alleviate symptoms and strengthen your immune system. To read about other possible symptoms of mold exposure, click here. For common questions about mold, check out the Center for Disease Control’s fact sheet on mold.



Treat Your Kids to Pediatric Acupuncture

People are very familiar with using acupuncture as adults, but many people don’t realize how beneficial acupuncture can be for their kids. Acupuncture can treat a multitude of conditions for children (more on conditions treated here), and kids can start getting treatment as young as a couple weeks old. Because children are considered to be very yang (active, dynamic, energetic), they respond very quickly to treatment methods, and often recover faster than adults.

Needles can be a part of the treatment….but they don’t have to be. Most often, kids enjoy the idea of using tiny needles to help heal their body. They get excited about learning how acupuncture works and how to take control of their own health. We also have many other tools we use in practice that effectively treat pediatric conditions. Acupressure is great for kids, and pressing on specific acupuncture points is a technique we often teach parents to use at home. Pediatric massage or qigong can be used as well, and helps treat children who are especially sensitive to stimulus and their environments. In some cases, we use a line of pediatric herbal formulas, and they add enormous benefit to the treatment plan.

No two treatments look the same when treating children. It is always about meeting the child where they’re at that day, and we all know that when it comes to kids, you don’t always know what you’re going to get.  We can treat kids on the treatment table, in a chair, on the floor, or in their parent’s lap. Books or toys provide great distractions, and we often make a game out how we are treating that day.

For children, just like adults, you can use acupuncture and Western medicine together, in fact they are very complimentary. We often use acupuncture in combination with other conventional treatments, each method reinforcing the other. For example, we will treat a child for an ear infection or upper respiratory tract infection in conjunction with the child taking antibiotics. Kids see faster healing times, and parents see happier children.

If you have questions about how acupuncture can help your kids, call us anytime. We understand how important health care is for your little ones!

Cleanse for the New Year

It’s almost a new year, and after a season of holiday eating and drinking, there is no better time to start thinking about getting back to feeling healthy and energized. We all know about the dozens of types of cleanses out there, and it seems like everyday we are hearing about a new trend in “detoxing” for your health. Before you start drinking nothing but lemon juice and cayenne pepper, it is important to determine the purpose of why you are doing a cleanse (detoxification, identifying food allergies, etc.). It is very helpful to talk to a practitioner who can help guide you through the process of choosing the right cleanse for you, as well as pick an appropriate time in your life to follow through with the program you choose. Our patients often say they feel amazing as they are doing a cleanse, but it takes preparation and some self-discipline to get your best results.

The biggest reason for doing a cleanse is detoxification. Toxicity can occur from external or internal sources. External toxicity can result from environmental exposures, and internal toxicity is a result of production of metabolic wastes from the body’s biochemical processes, as well as from long-term emotional stress or trauma.

So what are the benefits of doing a cleanse?

    • Clearer skin, reduced acne and rashes
    • Improved energy, mental function and concentration
    • Reduced pain, including headaches, arthritis, joint and muscle pain
    • Weight loss
    • Reduced inflammation
    • Better quality sleep
    • Improved digestion, with reduction of heartburn, gas, bloating or nausea

It is common for our patients to complete a cleanse program, and feel so good that they use what they learned from the experience to start making positive changes to their diet and lifestyle. It really is a great way to get you feeling like the best version of yourself!

Balance: Yin and Yang

We are always talking to our patients about balance. Balance within our work/home lives, balance in our diets, and balance with our health. It is key to living a happy and healthy life and is a belief that is deeply rooted in Chinese Medicine theory and the practice of acupuncture.

Everyone is familiar with the idea of yin and yang, but what does it really mean, and how does it apply to this idea of balance? It is a concept that began 8000 years ago, formulated by Fu Hsi, a legendary sage who lived along the Yellow River of China. He used two symbols, a broken line and an unbroken line to represent yin and yang. Since then, we have all become familiar with the Taoist symbol of the circle, one side black with a white dot in the center, the other white with a black dot in the center.

Yin and yang shows us that seemingly opposing forces are bound together and interdependent, interconnected and complementary. One gives rise to the other, and one can only exist with the other. When one quality reaches its peak, it will naturally begin to transform into the opposite quality. Beneath it all, yin and yang is the idea that the only constant in the universe is change. Nothing remains the same; no disease, no condition, no emotion, no treatment or diagnosis.

While yin would be dark, passive, downward, cold, contracting, and weak, yang would be bright, active, upward, hot, expanding, and strong. Yin represents that which endures, nourishes and supports growth, as well as the female. It refers to the calm rather than activity. Yang is considered to be creative and generating; developing and expanding, and represents the male.

Yin and yang exist in everything, in every object, concept or state of being. Yin and yang are not static concepts, but are constantly influencing each other. There is always some element of yin within yang and vice versa. You can see this in the picture, the dot of yin within yang and the dot of yang with yin.

In Chinese medicine, yin and yang refer to energies and functions of organs and body mechanisms. Your optimal health is created by the right balance of yin and yang. When one aspect of our health or our lives becomes lopsided, like when we work too many hours, we are too stressed out, or we eat too much of one thing, there is potential to develop symptoms of disease. Acupuncture works to restore this proper balance, thereby bringing you back to the healthy state your body strives for.