June is Men’s Health Month and with Father’s Day coming up, now is a great time to stress the importance of men’s health. Let’s face it, men smoke more, drink more alcohol, make riskier choices and put off seeking healthcare. Some aren’t even aware of what their health risks are. When men are aware of health concerns important to them, they can do a better job of taking care of themselves.
Here’s why I think it’s important to discuss this topic.
Men are 24% less likely than a woman to have visited a health care practitioner in the last year.
Men who are overweight, obese, or physically inactive are at greater risk for high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes and other health problems.
40% of men are smokers compared to 9% of women. Smoking can not only cause cancer, but can cause erectile dysfunction and damage to the DNA in sperm which may lead to infertility.
Men make up over 75% of suicide victims in the United States. Depression may be different for men. Emotional and physical tension are signs of stress and may put you at risk for anxiety, depression and other health problems.
Over 50% of men in their 60s and as many as 90% in their 70s or older have symptoms of an enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Men are more frequently diagnosed with serious digestive-related conditions because they are less likely to seek help for heartburn, acid reflux, and other digestive symptoms until they have become a real problem.
Making Healthier Choices
Making healthy choices includes consulting health professionals and becoming educated on the preventative measures that are important for your health. This includes diet, exercise and positive mental health. Here are a few things you can do to improve your health. Continue reading →
May 6 is National Nurses Day. All month for the month of May, I’ll be offering reduced price treatments for nurses. For new patients who are nurses, I will waive the consultation fee. To schedule a new patient appointment, go online here and select New Patient – Nurse. For my existing patients who are nurses, I am offering $15 off the regular treatment fee. Select Existing Patient when you schedule your appointment. Appointments are subject to availability, so please book now to get the time you need.
Show your appreciation to a nurse by sharing this with a nurse you know and love.
You’ve probably heard all about the wild deer around our area, and if you have a garden like I do, you’ve seen the evidence that they are all around. Did you know that our area is also a hotbed for ticks – particularly those that carry Lyme Disease? There are many different kinds of ticks throughout the world and the one that carries Lyme disease is the Ixodes tick, also called the blacklegged tick or deer tick (hence my referral to the deer in our area).
Ticks are related to spiders and mites. They are arachnids, not insects. Ticks are parasites that feed on the blood of humans and animals in order to survive. They are called vectors (carriers) because they can feed on a Lyme disease-infected animal (such as a mouse), then carry and transmit the Lyme bacterium (Borrelia burgdorferi) to the next animal or person they bite. It’s estimated that about 50% of deer ticks carry Lyme.
If it wasn’t bad enough that these these ticks carry Lyme, they can also carry bacterial co-infections in addition to Lyme, such as Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis. These co-infections can complicate one’s Lyme disease diagnosis and treatment. Lyme and it’s co-infections can be really nasty if not caught early. Prevention, early diagnosis and treatment are key to reducing the chances of becoming infected and having to live with what can many times be debilitating symptoms.
Lyme is the fastest growing vector-borne, infectious disease in the US. Annual reported cases have increased 25-fold since 1982. Lyme infects 300,000 around people a year in the US. That’s 25,000 new cases a month, 5,700 a week, 822 a day, or 34 per hour!! And the CDC estimates that these numbers are actually much higher due to misdiagnosis, under reporting and poor testing. Continue reading →
Chinese medicine is the oldest documented medical system to recognize the connection between body and mind and they are considered equally important. This is why Chinese medicine, including acupuncture and herbal medicine, is a great treatment choice for those suffering from trauma where the physical condition is directly connected to the psychological one.
There are many forms of trauma. Perhaps the best known is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is a condition that results after a person undergoes a harrowing physical or emotional event such as a war experience, car crash, natural disaster, or extreme emotional loss. Trauma and shock can also derive from an incident (or multiple incidents) in a person’s life that occurred many years ago such as child abuse or birth trauma (like umbilical cord wrapped around the neck). These traumatic experiences can create difficult emotional states, such as anxiety, depression, worry, sadness, fear, anger, paranoia and confusion.
What we now know is that trauma can diminish the functioning of the immune system, digestion, sleep, learning and memory. Emotional states ripple throughout the body and it reacts by manifesting physical symptoms. Physical reactions to emotional states can include:
I’m excited to announce that I’ve been asked to go on a medical mission to Peru with local non-profit, Something New and their Nuevo Camino initiative. Nuevo Camino helps abandoned and abused mothers and their children find a new path in life. It provides the tools that these moms need to get back on their feet and give their children a shot at life. For women that are ready to work and find new living arrangements, Nuevo Camino provides life coaching support coupled with financial help to help these women get back on their feet and not just surviving, but living up to their potential. This video explains more.
Along with other volunteers, I’ll be providing health care to the moms and their children, and providing public health education and health related services to people in a remote village of the Andes. If you are interested in joining us, or would like to make a donation to help offset expenses and provide supplies, please let me know.Learn more about the trip here.
If you’ve been trying to conceive and it’s just not happening, give these tips a try to improve your chances. Of course I’m ready to help you too with Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine and Nutrition Therapy.
Clean up your diet – Focus on organic vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, whole grains and lean proteins. Minimize processed foods, caffeine, alcohol and sweets. If you have PCOS, minimize sugar and refined carbohydrates.
Warm your belly – some cases of infertility can be from “cold” in the uterus, so try warming your abdomen gently during the time after your period until ovulation. Use a hot water bottle or heating pad on low-medium for 20 minutes in the evenings.
Go easy with exercise – If you are used to intense workouts, you may want to cut back. Research shows that intense exercise more than four hours a week can decrease fertility, so reduce the intensity by 25-30% and try replacing one or two sessions with a gentle yoga or Pilates class.
Avoid drinking or eating cold foods. Cold can slow circulation around the abdomen and uterus.
Increase the quality of your blood with Chinese red dates, beef soup or beef, boiled eggs, beets and goji berries.
Spring is a time of rebirth, sudden growth, and rapid expansion; an awakening of the life process. With that in mind, my focus for this month is on Fertility.
Couples who are planning to have a baby put a lot of thought into preparing for the arrival of a new child, from the nursery, baby’s college fund and of course the baby’s name. And while these are all important, the health of parents before and during the pregnancy is the most important factor in determining the health of the baby.
Best practice says you want to prepare your body at least 4-6 months before you intend to become pregnant so that it is strong, ready to conceive and carry the child through to a healthy birth. It is said in Chinese Medicine that you need to “tend the garden”, preparing the soil for a healthy baby. This goes for both Mom and Dad. In order to have healthy baby-producing sperm, we want to make sure that the father’s “garden” is properly tended too. For women, it takes the body about 120 days to mature the eggs, and for men, it takes about 70-90 days for a man’s sperm to mature. For this reason, I stress that couples should take the time to address any imbalances before they try to become pregnant.
Along with eating a well balanced diet high in dark leafy greens and good quality protein, and reducing stress, I recommend regular acupuncture treatments and, if necessary, herbal therapy to help balance hormones, reduce stress and strengthen the body to prepare it for pregnancy.
Getting pregnant is just the beginning though. I think you’ll agree that the ultimate goal is to have a healthy child. I also provide support during the pregnancy to address any discomfort like morning sickness and back pain and minimize the risk of miscarriage.
When it’s complicated
Sometimes there are complicating factors that make getting pregnant more difficult for some. I see many patients that have issues becoming pregnant, and there can be a number of reasons for this such as:
Mushrooms are packed with healing antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components that destroy infections, slow down aging, and regenerate nerve cells. Asian mushrooms are best and shitakes are probably the easiest of them to find at your local market. Try this healthy recipe from Eating Well magazine to add some immune boosting power to your diet.
Seared Salmon with Mushroom-Shallot Sauce
4 (4 ounce) fresh or frozen skinless salmon fillets
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
⅛ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup sliced shitake, cremeni or button mushrooms
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
⅓ cup dry white wine or reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse the fish; pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with pepper and salt. Measure thickness of fillets. Cook the salmon in hot oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat for 4 to 6 minutes per ½-inch thickness or until the salmon flakes easily when tested with a fork, carefully turning once halfway through cooking. Remove from the skillet and keep warm.
Add mushrooms and shallot to the same skillet. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes over medium heat or until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and carefully add wine, mustard, and thyme. Cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes or until well combined and heated through.
Place the salmon on serving plates and top with the mushroom sauce. Serve with a side of vegetables.
Today is the first day of the Chinese lunar calendar, also known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival. The year 2019 is represented by the Yin Earth Brown Pig. Pigs are considered a symbol of wealth and their cute chubby faces and big ears denote good fortune. This is a time for new beginnings and for improving your health for the long term. Here’s wishing you a great 2019 filled with good health and good fortune!
If you or someone you know has Fibromyalgia and/or Chronic Fatigue (or really any autoimmune disease or chronic pain), you know just how frustrating it can be for them. They may experience pain and fatigue so severe they may feel like they have the flu all the time. They might have stopped doing the things they once enjoyed and are no longer spending time with those they love. The way I approach these conditions is unique because I look at the eight different causes and devise a plan that resolves each of them in a very logical step-by-step approach. I help people take their life back and offer solutions that they can do at home to improve their quality of life.
With these illnesses, the body has become so inflamed and out of balance that key functions fail, creating pain of several types, flu-like symptoms, digestive issues, circulatory problems and more. Imagine a house that has a leaky roof that eventually leads to ruined walls and carpet, mold in the house, electrical problems, etc. In order to repair the house, you’d fix the roof first right? No point in replacing the carpet before the leaks are repaired. Many people have unknowingly taken this approach with their health though, trying to fix their symptoms before fixing the underlying cause. This can cause other symptoms to reappear or get worse and results don’t last. That equals FRUSTRATION! The order we make repairs is vitally important to restore the body’s natural balance. The evidence-based methods I use when working with people who have autoimmune conditions include a combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrition, breathing exercises and qigong. I follow a specific order in applying treatments, each step lasting 2 – 4 weeks along with self care and nutrition advice. In 12 weeks or less, my patients see remarkable results when following my FibroFatigue program. This includes less pain, more energy, improved digestion, better sleep and an overall improvement in quality of life. Continue reading →