3 Ways to Stay Healthy this Winter Season

via New Mobility

With temperatures changing, the holiday season in full swing and the everyday stressors of life, it's important to be proactive when it comes to self-care and your overall wellness. Here are 3 easy tips to stay healthy this season. 

1. Catch it Before It Starts

If you feel a cold coming on, it's important to catch it before it starts. If weekly acupuncture sessions aren't in your wheelhouse, come in for a session if you are feeling under the weather. Acupuncture and a cupping session can cut your sick time in half. 

2. Get Your Elixir Ready

Starting to get a sore throat or just indulged too much at a holiday party? Try an apple cider vinegar elixir. Just mix 2 tablespoons of warm water with honey once a day. This will help your immune system and balances blood sugar (for those looking to maintain or lose weight, this can also be helpful). 

3. Devote Time to Rest

Be sure to rest! The days are shorter and the nights are longer; we should be slowing down and resting more this time of year. Be sure to get good, quality, uninterrupted sleep at night. If there are disturbances to this, a few weekly sessions can get you back on track. 

 

Benefits Of Incorporating Acupuncture In Your Pre & Post-Marathon Training Program

Acupuncture has been shown to speed up recovery time in athletes, as well as treat orthopedic issues and internal conditions such as, fatigue, interrupted sleep, and digestive disorders.  Some of the ways in which acupuncture does this is by increasing circulation, decreasing inflammation, and improving quality of sleep. Cupping can also be beneficial. 

Common race training conditions we see and have treated:

  • Fatigue
  • Digestive Problems (by getting ahead of the curve we can make sure there are no hiccups to regularity on race day)
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep Disorders (trouble falling and/or staying asleep)

Common musculoskeletal problems:

    •    Tight, sore or strained muscles
    •    IT Band syndrome and pain
    •    Plantar Fasciitis
    •    Calf tightness
    •    Achilles Tendonitis
    •    Knee pain
    •    Back pain

So, when should you come in for a treatment?

Come in on your rest day, after a short run, or on your cross-training day. Additionally, there is no reason you cannot have a session on the same day as a long run; however, more than likely you will not feel like running long distances afterwards, as many people feel very relaxed after a session.

Contact the office by phone, email, or schedule your first session online.

 

An Introduction to Cupping

Cupping

With all the recent buzz over cupping on many Olympic athletes, I’ve been fielding a lot of curious questions. Here are the answers to what most people are asking.

What is cupping?

Cupping utilizes small glass cups to create suction over specific areas of the body to increase blood flow, disperse stagnation, and relieve pain.

Why do you do it?

We use it on patients for chronic and acute pain, muscle soreness and knots. Its also great at the initial onset of a cold- when someone feels like they are coming down with something, or to relieve congestion. I like to explain it as pulling the stagnation up to the surface for your body to fight and push out, rather than having it sit deep in the tissues.  It improves circulation to the area so that fresh qi and blood can enter and relieve pain.  

What conditions is it helpful for?

  • Asthma
  • Chest Congestion
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Muscle and joint pain

Where do you do it?

Cups are most commonly placed on the back.  For muscle soreness and tightness, we would place the cups over the tightness, and often over related organ points to help the body rebalance and heal (think: treating the surface, while balancing any underlying cause— so that it doesn't continue to be a bother in the same area). The meridians that run down the back have points that correspond to each organ.  For example, if you came in for a cold, we’d likely put cups at the height of your scapula.  

Do you use those fire cups?

In our practice we use the suction cups, with the suction created by a pump rather than fire (as seen in the photo). We find patients to be less fearful to try and therefore reap the benefits with this method. 

What does it feel like?

We often to describe it to patients as a reverse massage, it doesn't hurt, and many feel relief as soon as the cups are on.

How long do the marks last?

This varies from person to person, for some people only a day or two, for others it can last closer to 5 days. The darker the stagnation or circle left, the longer it can take to clear.

When isn't it recommend?

  • If a patient is deficient (think overly fatigued)
  • during a woman's cycle 
  • Over broken skin

 

 

5 Chinese herbs to Have on Hand!

image via Pinterest

image via Pinterest

Interested in Chinese herbs? 

Traditionally, chinese herbs are prescribed by an herbalist in custom formulas containing 5-10 herbs, and rarely prescribed singularly.  At 8 Point Wellness, formulas are still prescribed in this traditional manner.  The other way to consume herbs is by adding them into your food or eating as a snack as some are readily available to you!

 


Goji Berry (Gou Qi Zi) 

Functions: Nourish Yin and Blood

Meaning: they help to nourish dryness- improve vision, nourish a dry cough, and nourish tendons.

What to do with them: Take a small handful- roughly ten berries and put them in a shallow pot of water, just enough to cover the berries.  Bring the water to a boil, turn it down to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.  Keep the liquid! To gain the full benefit of goji berries pour both the berries and the liquid into your oatmeal, smoothie, etc.  If you have a sensitive stomach consider eating goji in moderation as they can be hard to digest- 1-2 times a week at most.


Ginger (Gan Jiang (dried), Sheng Jiang (fresh))

Functions: Warm the middle 

Meaning: Improve digestion irritated by too many cold/raw foods (Spleen and Stomach) 

What to do with it: Add it to your smoothie to balance out the cold/raw nature of the other ingredients and protect your digestion; throw it in your marinades, or stir-fry; eat it with your sushi as it can reduce toxicity (food poisoning)


Cinnamon Twig (Gui Zhi)

Functions: Warm Yang and open the channels 

Meaning:  Improve circulation by warming the channels, and assisting in the flow of qi throughout the body; best for menstrual related pains with cold sensations, palpitations, and thin layers of water retention.

What to do with it: Add it in to your smoothies to warm them up (like Ginger), steep a stick or two in hot water to make tea.


Black Sesame Seed (Hei Zhi Ma)

Functions: Nourish Yin and Blood, Moisten Intestines

Meaning: They help to nourish dryness- blurred vision, dryness in the intestines, itching from dryness

What to do with them: Sprinkle them on your veggies, use them in marinades

 


Red Dates (Da Zao)

Functions: Tonify Spleen Qi, and Nourish Blood

Meaning: By nourishing blood it may help you sleep better

What to do with them: Add them to your trailmix, or remove the pit and stuff the nut in the date for a one-bite snack.

Quick Tip: 2 Ways to Cool off this Summer

Looking for ways to stay cool this summer? Try using these two Chinese Herbs that can be picked up at your local famers market or favorite produce store: 

1. Watermelon (Xi Gua)- clears summerheat especially with significant thirst, and generates fluids.  Eat in moderation so as not to snuff digestive fire. 

2. Mint (Bo He)- clears heat from the upper body, and can be helpful in venting heat rashes. It's a good choice for those who might feel agitated or frustrated in the heat. Add a few fresh leaves to your water.