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.

The Creatures that Live in Our Bodies from Vera Vos, Family Nurse Practitioner

Vera Voss

by Vera Vos

One of the most fascinating and significant biological discoveries of this century is that we are not alone in our bodies.

Human bodies are made up of approximately 37.2 trillion cells. There is an estimated 100 trillion microorganisms (single celled creatures) that live on and within us, about 3 times more cells than our own bodies! Whole ecosystems of microorganisms live in every part of our body – skin, brain, liver, lungs, etc. The ecosystem that gets most talked about is our gut microbiome (the collection of microorganisms that inhabit our gut), which when all dumped together on a scale weighs about 2 Kg and consists of at least 1,000 species of bacteria, not to mention viruses, fungi, protozoa and archaea. Two thirds of our gut microbiome is unique to us as an individual, like our finger print.

Why is this such a big deal? We still have lots to learn but all the microorganisms in our body and, maybe, especially our gut microbiome have a huge influence on our health. They are major contributors to digestion and largely responsible for extracting nutrients from food. They spearhead the production of certain vitamins like B and K and play a major role in immune function. The surprising thing is how much influence they have on today’s most common disease processes.

Due to changes in our food supply and other factors, certain strains of microorganisms are increasingly common in the human gut and may be associated with weight gain and obesity, cancers, autoimmune disorders, and mental health, especially depression, anxiety and autism.

Considering obesity is associated with increased risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some cancers, arthritits, and many other chronic diseases, the unique make-up of our own gut microbiome is very significant to our health.

So how do we maximize the health of our gut microbiome, and, coincidentally our own health? Obviously eating a healthy diet is most important. I recommend 70-80% or more of our diet be whole plants – vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Buying organic, local and seasonal or growing your own is probably best and adding lots of fresh herbs and spices, wild mushrooms and fermented foods creates a favorable gut environment for healthy microbes. There are more non-gluten grains available than ever before and sprouted, organic wheat products may be tolerable for those sensitive to wheat gluten.

If you would like to learn a whole lot more about how our microbiome influences our health and how to cultivate a microbiome that helps us thrive, check out the program below:

Click here to watch a video on how we are interconnected and the power we have to heal from within.

Please call our Pohala office if you would like to make an appointment to talk about gut health.

Vera

Steroids, Allergies and Bipolar Disorder: Q&A with Portland Nurse Practitioner Julie Foster

Julie Foster-Pohala Clinic
Julie Foster Nurse Practitioner in Portland, Oregon

Bipolar disorder author Julie A. Fast has been a client of mine for over 10 years.   We often discuss over the counter and prescribed medications that can cause mood swings for people with bipolar disorder. She’s currently writing an article on the topic and asked me to describe my process of prescribing steroids if a person has bipolar disorder or depression and what I use instead of a steroid when helping a client who has bipolar disorder or depression manage allergies or asthma.

Julie A Fast:  Julie, When you have a client with bipolar who has severe allergies, how do you talk with them about the effects of steroids on bipolar disorder if they have an allergy doctor who wants to prescribe prednisone? What is the plan if the person can’t take steroids, but they have terrible allergies?  Steroids are known to affect the mood. For many people with mood disorders, they can cause mania and depression. 

Julie Foster: In general I do everything I can to avoid steroids in the general population whether it be for allergies or other needs. However with my Bipolar patients,  I am extra cautious. Unless I have exhausted all other options and the person is finding no relief either completely miserable or their breathing is comprised I do not prescribe.

Allergies are on the rise as we are exposed to more environmental debris and toxins and the effects of modernism on our immune systems.  Here are my suggestions for clients who want to manage allergies without the use of steroidal drugs.

  1. Look at the diet. Many allergies come from the foods we eat.  Eating a healthy diet can be hard for people with mood disorders as food is often used for comfort, but small changes can make a difference. Look for what is called a clean diet, one free of preservatives, hormones and GMO food.  When possible, limit refined sugars (look at the label and if it says high fructose corn syrup- choose something else) and white carbohydrates and go for natural fruits and vegetables. This is never easy when you are not feeling well, but over time you will feel better and will hopefully have less allergies- which was the original goal!
  2. Think about your life rhythm.  This includes the circadian rhythm of sleep and the rhythm to your work and relationships. How is the stress in you life? Our bodies are connected to our minds. A high stress level can affect the immune system that then affects our ability to handle allergens.
  3. Try healthy remedies. Homeopathic remedies including Sabadila, Euphrasia comp and Allergist.  Use Vitamin C up to your bowel tolerance (if the tummy has trouble, lower the dose) and add steaming and sweating to your daily regime.  Use an air purifier at home and try a honey remedy (Julie, explain this one- what do you do with the 1 tsp of honey?)

Julie A. Fast:   Julie, when you have bipolar disorder, it’s essential you check everything you put in your body to make sure it doesn’t lead to mood swings. How do you help clients figure out this maze of treatments and medications when they are having trouble  breathing as well as having mood swings?

Julie Foster:  Some of the herbal and supplement options for allergies can affect the mood of a person with bipolar which is why I go with the above plan first.  Congestion from allergies comes up when the body cannot eliminate properly. Another natural option for managing allergies is proper digestion.    Acupuncture is a good option as well as massage and maintenance through osteopathic or chiropractic adjustments. People with bipolar disorder and depression can find steroid free ways to manage allergies and asthma.

Please call to make an appointment with Julie Foster or another member of the Pohala Clinic professionals.