Digestion: The Root of Childhood Illness

In Chinese medicine, it is believed that diet is one of the main causes of most children’s diseases. For children under the age of 5 or 6, the digestive system, specifically the spleen and stomach, is still weak and immature.

The spleen and stomach are responsible for the transportation and transformation of our food and drink into qi (our body’s energy). In an immature digestive system, these organs have a harder time doing their job efficiently, and this can lead to issues such as abdominal distention, stomachache, diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting. Basically, the system gets gummed up.

When the issue is longstanding, and the spleen and stomach are not working efficiently, it can lead to stagnation of food, inflammation, or the accumulation of phlegm or dampness in the body. These factors lead to a myriad of other symptoms and illnesses. Some of the most common pediatric diseases like colic, earache, cough, allergies, and pediatric asthma and eczema, can be attributed to weak digestion.

Although children have vulnerable digestive systems, they are also very quick to heal. It is important to understand that since digestion plays such a pivotal role in their health, their diet is very important in terms of treating and preventing illness. It is also important to address the digestive system as part of their treatment plan, regardless of what ails them. Acupuncture is very effective at treating the digestive system, and because kids are so resilient, they respond very quickly to treatment. Herbal formulas are also great at helping to strengthen and boost the spleen and stomach for children.

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.

Best Nutrition Cookbook Ever

Veggie Stir Fry

My favorite cookbook is “The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook.” This book is chalk full of tasty whole foods recipes and teaches you the importance of eating a heavily plant based diet. There is no understating the phrase “food is medicine.” The recipes are gluten free, dairy free, egg free, guilt free and finally – not flavor free!! For those of us with allergies, food sensitivities, diabetes or numerous other health ailments; this book is a blessing. The other insanely cool part about this book is the way they so clearly and concisely break down the foods and the how and why each food benefits your health.

Make just a few of these recipes and you quickly come to realize that the authors (Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre) took the time to build, test and refine the recipes by having their children and friends test each revision. The result is a collection of completely “eatable” meals! I think it is an especially interesting and impressive feat in that recipes in this genre are typically mundane or flavorless.

They have a great website

Here are a couple of my favorites:

Recipe for green smoothie 

Recipe for Kale sauté  … I just realized this is two kale recipes in a row. I love kale and promise to move on from it!

Cheers to good health!

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.