Spinach & Kale Salad Recipe

This is a very flavorful recipe I came up with recently after hearing Sarah talk about a kale salad she had from Whole Foods that had kale and nutritional yeast in it. Sauteed kale provides a delicious base and compliments the spinach and garlic. I would suggest experimenting with this recipe by adding different proteins or nuts to add to the flavor. I plan to try this recipe with a few different additions like chicken, tofu, roasted almonds, roasted filberts and cilantro. (If you are doing a cleanse, tofu and nuts are typically on the “do not eat” list, so avoid these items).

The portions below are approximated.


Baby Spinach
Purple Kale – remove the spines. I found the easiest way to do this is with good kitchen scissors. Then chop it into around 1/2 inch pieces.
4 cloves Garlic – chopped finely
1/4-1/2 Onion – diced
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp tamari
1/4 C nutritional yeast
1/2 C lemon juice


-In an iron or non stick skillet. Heat up some of the olive oil on medium heat.

-Add half of the garlic and saute garlic for about 3 minutes until it starts to brown.

-Add kale and saute, stirring frequently until softened and glazed with oil –  about 3-5 minutes.

-Transfer sauteed kale, onions and garlic to large mixing bowl.

-Keep pan on stove and add the remaining garlic and diced onion to pan and saute until onions and garlic begin to brown.

-Add tamari, remaining olive oil, and a couple pinches of nutritional yeast to pan and saute for 2-3 minutes.

-Add baby spinach to mixing bowl and stir in with the sauteed kale.

-Next drizzle the contents of the pan over the top of the spinach and kale and toss, drizzling a little bit at a time while you stir the mixture.

-Finally sprinkle the remaining nutritional yeast over the top of the mixture stirring a bit in between. Add as much nutritional yeast as you like…I find it is hard to have too much. Finally, squeeze lemon over the top of the salad and toss.

Enjoy and feel free to be creative and add your favorite ingredients…Bon apetit.

– Jake (Sarah’s husband)

TMJ: Treating Jaw Pain

We have many patients who come into the clinic complaining of jaw pain. We often use the catch-all term “TMJ” to describe all kinds of jaw pain, although it technically stands for temporomandibular joint. TMJ is often a result of muscular strain, rather than a structural issue with the joint itself. It can cause all kinds of pain in the jaw, but also the neck, face and head. It can even cause symptoms with the ears, including tinnitus (ear-ringing) or a plugged feeling in the ears. We often see a connection between TMJ and sinus issues, with patients presenting with frontal headaches and sinus pressure. There are not many treatments offered by conventional medicine that provide long-term relief, and many of the therapies offered, including bite guards and medications, can be cumbersome and do not fully address the problem.

Acupuncture has been found to offer immediate relief from TMJ symptoms, as well as effectively treat stress, one of the leading contributing factors to TMJ pain. Research has been done and continues to show that TMJ is very common for people who also report high levels of stress. TMJ is also very common in women. At Acupuncture Northwest, we specialize in trigger point acupuncture, a method that allows us to find and release the tight muscles responsible for the jaw pain. Some of the most common muscles involved are the masseter (our chewing muscle), temporalis, SCM and trapezius muscles. We also address the underlying causes for the jaw pain, including muscle tension, stress, teeth grinding, sleep issues, and other factors that might be in play.

There is no need to continue to suffer with TMJ symptoms. Acupuncture is an easy and effective way to release tight muscles and relieve pain!

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!