Seasonal Allergy Care in Portland, Oregon

Malia Susee Acupuncturist shares some tips on how to manage Allergies this Season.

Spring is here! Geshundheit!! If Spring and Summer allergies cloud your otherwise sunny days, here are five ways to fix the face faucet.

  1. Prevention: if you know you’re prone to airborne allergies and your symptoms have not yet started, there’s still time to herb up— Jade Windscreen Formula (a.k.a. Yu Ping Feng San) and its various modifications (formulated specifically for you by your acupuncturist) can help you ward off the sniffles, sneezes, and congestion caused by your airborne foes. Take your herbs early and often, and get acupuncture to keep your immune system balanced. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4630930/
  2. If your symptoms have already started, talk to your acupuncturist about herbal formulas to address them. You would be amazed by how many herbs and formulas we have to soothe itchy or irritated eyes, runny nose, nasal congestion, sinus congestion, sneezing, and headaches!
  3. Nasal irrigation or lavage (saline rinse in one nostril and out the other) is an effective method of ridding your mucous membranes of pollens, dust, and other airborne irritants. The less prolonged exposure your nose and throat have to allergens, the less your body will be likely to react. Here’s a handy link for more information and instructions: https://www.webmd.com/allergies/ss/slideshow-nasal-irrigation
  4. Wash your hair and change your pillow case before going to bed. Out in the world, our hair collects airborne pollens and dust, and we rub our faces in each as we sleep. Again, limiting this contact lessens our bodies’ propensity to overreact! (A clean house and clean air filter help in this way, too, but keeping those microscopic irritants out of your face at night is particularly helpful.)
  5. Get acupuncture to clear your head! Acupuncture offers quick, effective alleviation of runny nose, nasal and sinus congestion, itchy eyes, watery eyes, sneezing, and other respiratory complaints, and it can safely be used with any of the above methods to treat allergies, especially with local needling and micro-current application. Results can be immediate!

 

Call Pohala at (503) 572-4196 to make an appointment with Malia Susee, L.Ac or Dr. Paresh Shelat ND, L.Ac for more information, prevention, and allergy relief.

How Can Cinnamon Help with Warming the Body During Portland’s Rainy Season?

 

Malia Susee Acupuncturist tells us about Cinnamon:

Cinnamon v. Cinnamon

It’s cold and wet outside. I’ve been recommending cinnamon a lot these days. I have also been noticing that the internet has not been giving cassia, the cinnamon commonly grown in Vietnam and China, a fair shake.

Ceylon cinnamon, that which is grown in Sri Lanka, is touted as the truer, healthier stuff, but let’s not bark up the wrong tree (pun absolutely intended); While both are warming herbs, Ceylon cinnamon twig (a.k.a. Guì Zhī) and Cassia bark (a.k.a. Roù Guì) have different functions in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Guì Zhī (Ceylon twig) helps fight the common cold by harmonizing our nutritive and defensive chi (qi) (guiding nutrients to our immune system) and by unlocking/unblocking the chi /qi in the chest and lungs (great for lung tightness and congestion). Used as an analgesic for menstrual cramps and for joint painexacerbated by cold, wet weather, guì zhī promotes blood circulation by “warming the vessels” and by “dispersing cold and damp” Bensky, D. and Gamble, A. (1993) Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica: Revised Edition. Seattle, WA: Eastland Press, Inc..

Roù Guì (Cassia bark) warms at a deeper, more basic level. We use this when depletion, reduced appetite, frequent urination, and /or deep aversion to cold are present. Roù Guì also helps with chronic wheezing due to deficiency; conditions that present with sensation of heat in the upper body, but cold below; and diarrhea due to deficiency (see Bensky and Gamble, 1993).

Cinnamon is most effective when combined with synergistic food or herbs and best to avoid in cases of severe yin deficiency. I’ll write about yin deficiency soon in conjunction with menopausal symptoms, but if you’re wondering how best to incorporate cinnamon in your diet, read this relatively even-handed article I found:

https://www.organiclifestylemagazine.com/cinnamon-ceylon-vs…

…and consult your local acupuncturist!

Call (503) 572-4196 to schedule an appointment with
Malia Susee, L.Ac. at Pohala.

Stay warm! 🏺🏺♨️🌅

 

Acupuncture and Chronic Pain Management by Paresh Shelat Naturopath and Licensed Acupuncturist

Paresh Shelat

Need help for chronic pain in Portland, Oregon? At Pohala Clinic, we offer a variety of natural pain relief options with an emphasis on the pain relief benefits of acupuncture.

Did you know that Acupuncture can help alleviate pain from both acute and chronic conditions? Furthermore, Acupuncture continues to prove beneficial on a multitude of levels from physical ailments such as low back pain, neck pain, arthritis, etc. to mental and emotional ailments, such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse, etc).

Please take a moment to read the PubMed article discussing Acupuncture and Morphine in the management of acute pain in the emergency department.

‘This article provides an update on one of the oldest pain relief techniques (acupuncture) that could find a central place in the management of acute care settings. This should be considered especially in today’s increasingly complicated and polymedicated patients to avoid adverse drug reactions.’

Acupuncture vs intravenous morphine in the management of acute pain in the ED.

If you would like help decreasing acute or chronic pain through natural and lifestyle based approaches, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Paresh Shelat.

Call Pohala Clinic (503) 572-4196

 

Holistic Primary Care: Why does Chicken Soup heal Us? Malia Susee, Acupuncturist in Portland, Oregon

Have you ever thought why Chicken Soup is helpful during a cold or flu? It is more than an old wives tale.

You’ve already fought the cold…and lost. Why would chicken soup help now?

Traditional Chinese Medicine concepts and Cold/Flus:

Traditional Chinese Medicine sees cold and flu viruses as externally contracted “wind invasions,” fought by our Wei, Qi (our body’s protection and defense). Our immune system often elevates our temperature and create mucous to fight viral infection. Fighting makes us tired. We know rest and sleep help us heal. Chicken soup’s ingredients actually speed the healing process.

Healing Properties of Chicken Soup:

You may ask ‘So, what’s in the pot?’

  1. Chicken: In Traditional Chinese Medicine, chicken tonifies, or strengthens, chi (a.k.a. Qi, our vital energy). We lose Qi while fighting viruses. Chicken builds it back!

2.  Water: We also get dehydrated by fever; soup contains the clear fluids we need to replenish our stores and help our bodies flush out metabolic waste.

3.  Salt: In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) theory, salt “softens masses” and therefore, helps thin phlegm. Salt also helps replenish any electrolytes lost while fighting the initial stages of viral infections. Salt also encourages us to drink more water.

4.  Vegetables: Vegetables such as carrots, celery, and onions, provide nutrients our bodies need in an easy-to-digest manner, as they’re fully cooked in the soup! Vegetable fiber, along with salt, and plenty of water, help our bowels efficiently remove waste. In TCM theory, a well-functioning gut makes the body less hospitable to viral and bacterial infections.

Here are some Super-powered soup additions to tailor your healing process:

 5. Fresh Ginger: Fresh ginger releases the exterior (helps fight in early stages) and: disperses cold, strengthens defensive Qi, alleviates vomiting, stops coughing, and transforms phlegm.

6. Citrus peel: Moves Qi in the digestive tract (helping alleviate gas, bloating, and belching) and transforms phlegm.

7. Cinnamon: Releases the exterior and fights chest congestion and cough.

8. Fresh Scallion: Fights early-stage viruses by inducing sweating. Opens nasal passages blocked by cold.

Knowledge is power. This is primary care. So now that you know this, you and your family can better understand why healing through integrative family medicine, naturopathy, are chinese medicine /acupuncture are just basic common sense.

For more help in kicking the cold and flu, schedule an appointment with Malia Susee, L.Ac.. Call (503) 572-4196 today!

How is Acupuncture Used for Health in China

We recently asked Pohala Clinic acupuncturist Malia Susee to talk about the uses of Acupuncture in China. 

In China, acupuncture’s highest purpose is to promote longevity and vitality. People use acupuncture to prevent disease and to thrive throughout their lives. That said, the acupuncture wing I interned for in Nanjing, China treated many people for respiratory infections such as cough, asthma, sinus congestion and digestive complaints including diarrhea, gas, bloating and indigestion.

I also saw acupuncture used for post-operative pain, epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy, and post-stroke symptoms including paralysis, slurred speech, motor, sensory, and cognitive difficulties.  This happened in Chinese hospitals where acupuncture was a main form of treatment.

Weight loss treatment was also up-and-coming and popular with the arrival and spread of American fast food companies in big cities!

***

If you would like to work with Malia Susee, please visit our Pohala Clinic contact page to make an appointment.

 

Can Acupuncture Help with Pain? Ask the Dr. with Paresh Shelat of Pohala Clinic in Portland, Oregon

By Dr. Paresh H. Shelat, Naturopathic Physician and Licensed Acupuncturist at Pohala Clinic in Portland, OR. 

In my clinical opinion, absolutely.  Both acute and chronic pain account for a billion dollar industry. With many different therapeutic modalities and approaches to reduce pain, and subsequent disability resulting from pain, what are patients left to do? Ideally, INQUIRE and be CURIOUS. After all, it’s the job of any healthcare provider to inform patients of their treatment options and to educate them about pain and what it means to have pain so that we can come up with a healthy plan that reduces pain without adding the complications of medication side effects. In doing so, both the provider and patient can formulate a healthy plan that reduces pain without adding the potential complications of medication side effects.

The most common pain-related conditions I see in practice include:

    1. Low Back Pain: A majority of people have low back pain at some point in their life.  It’s also the most common musculoskeletal pain.
    2. Neck Pain / Mid-Back Pain.
    3. Shoulder Pain / Rotator Cuff Injuries.
    4. Knee Pain: Resulting from both acute injury or more systematic / degenerative problems such as osteoarthritis or autoimmune disease.
    5. Muscle Strains / Muscle Cramps.

What are the most common treatment options or treatment recommendations I typically see primary care providers use? Please note that there is nothing inherently wrong with the treatments in the list below. This is simply what I normally see in general health care and there is no question that they have their place in a pain management plan. My goal is to show a client all of his or her options.

    1. Pharmacologic Medications: NSAIDS, Muscle Relaxers, Opioids etc.
    2. Physical Therapy.
    3. Osteopathic / Chiropractic Care.
    4. Massage Therapy.

Why I add acupuncture to my list:

Acupuncture is the least invasive process I have found to help with acute and chronic pain.  Patients often don’t know to ask for acupuncture and are often surprised that insurance can cover the treatment depending on a person’s plan.

Acupuncture helps to reduce or minimize medications altogether as well as enhance other manual based therapeutic modalities such as physical therapy and massage. Why not try acupuncture first? It makes sense for anyone who wants a cost effective, natural treatment for pain. 

How Does Acupuncture Help Reduce Pain? 

Pain is multifactorial and spans across all aspects of healthcare: spiritual health, emotional health, mental health, physical health, and perhaps most importantly, our cognitive understanding of pain ( what it means to have pain.)  Additionally, lifestyle factors greatly impact pain and include: diet, self-care measures, cultural values, family, and external stressors of all kinds (e.g. relationships, finances, home, etc). 

Let me expand on this by briefly discussing my views on the western and eastern philosophy of acupuncture.

    • The Western Paradigm / Model: By introducing a novel stimulus (e.g. acupuncture) to the site of injury, we can impart change on the autonomic nervous system.  More precisely, we are able to provide the brain with information that is non-harmful and non-threatening. This in turn will change, and hopefully decrease, the output of pain by the brain.
    • The Eastern Paradigm / Model: Our body’s are made up of energy channels (e.g. meridians) that run up and down our body. These energy channels correspond to organs and organs systems (e.g stomach channel).  Acupuncture allows us to engage these energetic streams by needling (applying a very thin needle) specific locations to unblock and/or correct disrupted flow that may lead to pain syndromes. Furthermore, acupuncture provides us the opportunity to correct multiple imbalances at once while simultaneously supporting health on a multitude of levels as mentioned above.

Is Acupuncture Right For You?

There are times when more interventional based treatments are required (e.g. surgery) due to the extent of tissue injury.  The importance of proper evaluation (history and physical exam) cannot be over-emphasized.  By combining appropriate evaluation with physician-patient dialogue (e.g. education), often times, many patients can reduce recovery times of acute injuries, avoid unnecessary imaging, as well as reduce and significantly improve chronic pain syndromes. 

I would recommend each and every single patient to talk to a healthcare practitioner knowledgable about Chinese Medicine and how it can be integrated into your standard healthcare regimen. 

Perhaps, the most important decision you make is whether you allow yourself to be open-minded about the possibility of new ways to reduce pain and improve mobility.  I urge you to ask questions. I implore you to allow yourself the opportunity to become educated about pain. This is the first step to achieving your goals of having NO PAIN. 

In my practice at Pohala Clinic in Portland, OR, and given my background in naturopathic medicine and Chinese Medicine, I use a combination of treatment modalities to help my clients who have pain. These include but are not limited to: acupuncture, botanical medicine, homeopathy, nutraceuticals, naturopathic manipulative techniques, manual therapy, and much more! 

If you would like to learn more about ways in which you can reduce your pain, please schedule a visit at Pohala Clinic in Portland, OR. I look forward to learning more about you.

Chronic Pain Management with Julie Foster Nurse Practitioner in Portland, Oregon

Pohala Clinic Client Julie A. Fast talks about working with Julie Foster for chronic pain management help.

“Managing chronic pain is more than medications. It’s about lifestyle changes and helping a person find natural ways to exercise and work with the pain in order to have a functional life.” 

 

I’ve worked with nurse practitioner Julie Foster as my primary care physician in Portland, Oregon for over ten years. During this time, she has helped me through a variety of sport related injuries that eventually led to a problem with chronic pain.  With her help, I have regular body treatments from various processionals,  have worked on my diet and eventually got my pain under control.  Julie’s advice is always specific. We talk about sleep and natural treatments. We use homeopathic remedies and acupuncture and well.

 

She reminds me that what I put in my body will be reflected in how my body responds to injuries. I know this and am working on it daily.

I want to share my story with others who are looking for help with chronic pain so that they can hopefully work with Julie in finding a plan that works in all areas of life.

Chronic pain is with me daily. I know that without my own way of dealing with the ups and downs of energy I experience depending on my pain levels, I will have a tough time in life.

 

Do You Need Help with Chronic Pain? 

We all need a plan to help us get on with life, even when the pain makes it difficult to get out of bed. I consider myself half way through this journey of getting my body back to where it was before I had my biking accident. This is something I love about working with Julie Foster. She gives me time. There is no judgement when I tell her I’m still having trouble with sugar and there is always a celebration when I am able to better follow her advice. Her patience with me has allowed me to find help for chronic pain that got me out of my special anti gravity chair and back in the world.

 

Julie taught me that chronic pain can have a life of its own. I need to be aware of what is real in my body and what is being created by my overloaded brain.  Julie often says, “The body and mind often trade off. The mind gives us trouble and when we have this figured out, the body then sends us a message that there is still more work to do. Eventually, balance happens when the mind and the body are healthy at the same time.”

 

This is my goal. Julie allows me to be human.  When I am not able to follow the diet in a way that I know will help, she reminds me that the next day is another chance to make better choices. This has allowed me to learn more about what I need. My weight has stabilized and I am now working on finding an eating plan that helps with the pain in general. This includes the following:

 

  1. Night shades such as tomatoes and chili peppers cause an immediate flare in my body. Stopping my favorite Mexican and Thai dishes has not been easy, but for now, I am very conscious of my night shade intake and it is helping greatly.

2. Movement. Chronic pains tells us that we can’t move. This is rarely the case. Even someone like myself with multiple injuries can move.

3.  White sugar.  Julie once said to me, “Julie, the fat that is created on the body from sugar consumption becomes its own organ. It can become yet another source of pain.”  When I am free from white sugar, even for a week, my pain levels go down greatly.

4. Medication pain management.  My goal is to be pain medication free.  To do this, I continue to work with Julie and the other practitioners in my life who are helping me change my diet and work on my specific injuries.

Without Julie, this would be too overwhelming. With her, I am reminded that I can get my body healthy again. It takes a team and Julie is an important part of that team.

 

 

Julie A. Fast

 

To book a time with Julie Foster or one of our Pohala Practitioners, please call the Pohala Clinic and let the receptionist know that Julie A. Fast referred you!

 

How Does Acupuncture Help Knee Pain


Knees are particularly susceptible to pain and injury. They are a joint we often take for granted until they no longer work optimally or feel healthy. Maintaining knee health is essential as we age. Take care of your knees today through acupuncture.

Acupuncture can help ease and eliminate both chronic and acute pain. Acupuncture helps increase circulation and decrease inflammation by stimulating local acupuncture points at the knees. Distal points (other points on the body) can also be used if the knees are inaccessible.

Stimulating distal acupuncture points helps move Qi along the channels involving the knees, keeping it flowing properly through the joint.

Distal points also help address underlying conditions that lead to knee pain.

Maila Susee,
Acupuncturist

Visit our Pohala Clinic contact page to schedule an appointment with Malia

Help from Acupuncture in Portland, Oregon with Malia Susee

 

Pohala Clinic focuses on the whole body experience for every client.  Whether you visit a practitioner for a specific illness, a check up or for chronic pain, our providers specialize in treating the body, mind and the spirit. Acupuncturist Malia Susee embodies this philosophy.

If this is your first time with an acupuncturist, Malia explains the philosophy behind her work and how she came to practice the ancient healing and chi balancing technique.

I have always had a love of language, learning, and travel. Along with this, I harbor a fascination with the human body’s anatomy, physiology, and energetic potential. I was a student of martial arts and yoga when my yoga teacher invited me to become her apprentice. She suggested I take a course in Anatomy and Physiology first– and when I did, “my hair caught fire,” (not really, but I became utterly engrossed!). I had received acupuncture on many occasions and found it helpful and curative. I realized that I could make this my life’s work. Once I looked into the education and practice of Oriental Medicine, I never looked back!

Visiting Malia is a relaxing and expanding experience. For those used to acupuncture, taking the pulse, looking at the tongue and asking questions about behaviors of the body will be natural. But when it’s your first time, it can feel like a new world. One filled with possibilities and healing.  Seeking the natural approach to a healthy mind and body is one process Malia loves sharing with her clients. Her goal as a health care professional is to actively listen and work with a person to find out a plan that helps the body find balance, healthy internal function and freedom from pain. She continues, “I want to understand what my patient is experiencing and wants to achieve, health-wise, and to use Traditional Chinese Medicine to not only develop a treatment plan, but to start treatment, on the table, at that visit.”

Malia treats many people who have chronic pain along with joint and muscle dysfunction, but she also has deep clinical experience addressing a patient’s hormonal and emotional imbalances, addictions, respiratory illnesses, strokes, concussions and traumatic injuries.

Malia is available for appointments at Pohala clinic on Monday through Thursday. Please call the Pohala Clinic office for her schedule.

Malia loves the challenge of helping people reach their health goals through balancing the energy of the body and the mind.  Acupuncture provides relief for menopause hot flashes, anxiety, insomnia, addiction, colds, stroke, concussions, traumatic injuries, migraines, cramps and more.

Visit Malia and learn about acupuncture and how it can help you find relief and the health needed to live a stable and happy life.

Naturopath and Acupuncturist Paresh Shelat in Portland, Oregon

Paresh H. Shelat, ND, L.Ac

We welcome practitioner Paresh Shelat to the Pohala Clinic team. Dr. Shelat works as a naturopathic primary care physician and licensed acupuncturist with a focus on whole body health.  We asked him to tell us more about his medicine philosophy, his education and his treatment and management goals as a health care professional.

“Your Body, Your Choice”

When I first meet a person, I want to understand the stories and experiences that have led them to where they are today.  Establishing and creating a rapport that allows the person to feel comfortable in my office leads to change and optimal health. It’s about the relationship I have with the people who have come to me for help. I truly believe in the idea of your body, your choice. I help people see their available options and we work together to make a choice that creates health and well being.

A Western and Eastern Approach

I believe it is essential to have an understanding of both paradigms, sometimes the terms naturopath and allopath (a western approach to medicine)  are used to describe the differences.  I work with patients to make informed decisions about how they want to dictate the outcomes of their health- this often involves both eastern and western practices.  There are times where the western standard of care is necessary and when the deviation from the standard of care can be safely completed under proper supervision.

Naturopath and Acupuncture Education 

I started off working in massage therapy. This opened up the path of discovery to the intricate world of medicine (both allopathic and naturopathy).   Graduating with a certificate in massage therapy led me to Johnson State College where I earned my B.Sc degree in Wellness & Alternative Medicine.  From here, I was able to attend the National University of Natural Medicine where I completed a dual degree program in both Naturopathy and Chinese Medicine. (Doctor of Naturopathy, Masters of Acupuncture). Upon completion graduation from NUNM, I finished a three-year residency in 2017.

I enjoy working with patients who are motivated and open to the possibility of achieving optimal health.  Unfortunately, there is no magical protocol or technique that will work for everyone.  With that said, the patients’ ability to have patience and an understanding that finding the root cause may take time is crucial. This leads to a collaboration that creates health and well being.

Please call Pohala Clinic to book an appointment with Dr. Shelat.