Spring Cleanse with Chinese Medicine Approach by Malia Susee, Acupuncturist in Portland, Oregon

Here are some  thoughts on Spring Cleaning your Body for Better Health from a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective.

Malia Susee Licensed Chinese Acupuncturist shares three things that can help you enliven and reboot your health for 2019:

1) Start with a clean slate. “Detox” and “cleanse” diets are popular Spring approaches to reset the body’s systems after winter’s down-time and heavy foods. Seek advice from a medical provider or at least to help understand what kind of liver cleanse, fast, or detox regimen is right for your body. Saunas, detox-tea, dry-brushing your skin, and drinking plenty of water are ways you can boost the effect of your cleanses.

2) Eat your greens! Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) uses blue-green foods (chlorophyll rich dark leafy greens, algae) and slightly sour flavors (i.e., plum) to support the liver, the organ/energetic system that governs the smooth movement of chi (qi). In his book Healing with Whole Foods, Paul Pitchford also recommends radishes, lettuce, cucumber, and celery to help detoxify and cool the liver. If you don’t digest salads well, eat cooked veggies. Good digestion is key to good nutrition!

3) Move it! Acupuncture, exercise, meditation, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, and yoga are helpful ways to move chi (qi) and keep your emotional and physical health in balance. The TCM liver and gall bladder (not just the organs in our bodies, but entire energetic systems in the TCM paradigm) the are of the wood element and require movement to help you manifest your hopes and plans. (Picture trees branching out and sprouting leaves.) Without movement, these energetic systems are prone to irritability and anger and take it out on your body’s other systems (think of any health complaint exacerbated by stress). With movement, Springtime turns their smoothly flowing chi (qi) into a super-booster for your health and your efforts!

Schedule your appointment with Malia Susee, L.Ac. at Pohala (503) 572-4196 to create a plan for you!

Nettle Tea with Julie Foster

A rainy, walk last week in Oregon. I was able to collect Nettles. 🌿🌱Additionally, Horsetail, Ferns, Trillium and endless medicine surrounded me in the Forest.

Nettles:
1. Tea for Iron Deficiency and Blood Building.
2. Nettle vinegar for base of salad dressings and drinking vinegar eases digestion.
3. Add to soups
4. Saute with veggies.

My sweet rescue dog🐕 Shasta was curious about them too.

Just finished a cup🍵 of Nettle Tea. Yum!!!!

– Julie Foster

Eat Breakfast Like a King

The article Eating breakfast? Skipping a morning meal has higher risk of heart-related death from USA Today explains the importance of eating a healthy breakfast.

Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper…this is advice of which anthroposophical doctors have long been aware.

Digestive forces are strongest earlier in the day.

Are you considering intermittent fasting? For most people, eating breakfast and lunch, and then fasting the rest of the day is the best overall option.

(If you have an eating disorder, think of the structure of your meals and avoid the concept of intermittent fasting.)

Looking to improve sleep quality? Eat breakfast!

Trying to improve your cardiovascular risk and lower your blood pressure? This is the ticket!

Needing to improve blood sugar control? Eating your heavier proteins and fats earlier in the day will help them stabilize.

Another caveat: avoiding sweet tastes until the afternoon hours improves energy and cognitive powers, and can eliminate that annoying after-lunch grogginess.

 

 

Teens, Nutrition, and Acne by Vera Vos Nurse Practitioner in Portland, Oregon

 

Pohala Family Nurse Practitioner, Vera Vos talks about the article “What can you eat for clearer skin? The best and worse foods for acne,” from the Food Revolution Network. 

Stuck with Acne? Not Exactly!

The woes of adolescence! Exactly during the time of our lives when we feel the least secure about our appearance is also the time we are most likely to have problems with acne. Is acne a normal and expected rite of passage for teens? In the US 79-95% of adolescents will struggle with an acne outbreak at some point during their teenage years. Many endure the affliction for years and end up with scarring in adulthood.

Unfortunately, we are not necessarily out of the woods once we reach legal drinking age.In the US, almost half of all adult women and about 1/3 of adult men have acne, about 1/2 in each group defined their acne as moderate to severe, while the other half had mild outbreaks. A teenage only thing, it is not!

So, this must be the result of our industrialized food and toxic environment, right? Well, yes and no. Though there are traditional cultures in the world where acne is virtually unknown, many other cultures, with much cleaner food and environments than ours, still have a fair percentage of adolescents that experience acne. The abrupt change in hormones during this time period is a trigger. But, there are fewer teens affected and those that are, almost always have mild outbreaks. And, virtually everyone outgrows acne in adulthood. .

The bottom line is, of course there are things in our modern, industrialized food and personal products world, that makes acne worse and more common not only in teens but also in adults! Read the attached article  to learn what specific things you can do to improve or even cure acne

 

 

Natural Weight Loss Tips from Pohala Clinic in Portland, Oregon

Healthy eating is a big part of any medical health plan. At Pohala Clinic, we know that weight loss is not easy, but we also know from working with thousands of clients throughout the years that certain practices do work. We asked each staff member at Pohala for a natural Weight Loss tip. We hope this helps you get started on a plan you can use for life, if weight management is a goal. The answers are as diverse as our practitioners!

 

From Julie Foster, Family Nurse Practitioner

I am not a fan of the term “Weight Loss.”  What are we losing? Where does the weight go?

I would rather ask,  ‘What can we gain by having a healthy relationship with our body, mind, and spirit?’

I encourage my patients to examine their relationship with food when exploring the idea of  a healthy body.

If we are at peace with ALL aspects of our life and we structure our days with balanced,  whole plant based foods,  we can find a natural weight that suits us.

I say this to my clients: When you crave certain foods ask yourself, ‘What am I really craving? Maybe you just need to let down, cover up, or escape something and you use food to do this. Believe me it happens for most of us.  I heard a patient tell me ‘I eat my emotions’ and another say ‘I avoid eating to control my emotions.’  We cannot use food one way or the other. Food is food. It fuels us. Period.

How can we become neutral and lighthearted about food? When I work with patients about weight loss I avoid making weight loss the goal and instead encourage patients to take a path of self discovery. Once a person can see the patterns in his or her life that are a hinderance to becoming one’s best self,  healing begins.

The rest falls into place. Then, education about nutrition can be properly applied and digested (literally).

From Malia Susee, Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist…

Support the Spleen and get good sleep!

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Spleen (I’m capitalizing it to differentiate it from our biomedically-viewed organ) is responsible for the transformation food to chi, (Qi), or useable energy, and the transportation of it this useable energy to the rest of the body. Good sleep supports a healthy metabolism, whereas sleep deprivation throws off the metabolism causes us to crave sugar. Overdoing carbohydrates and sugar causes the Spleen to get bogged down and inefficient, leading to even more carb cravings and potentially less good sleep! Prioritizing healthy sleep not only helps us use the calories we have, but helps keep unhealthy cravings at bay.

 

Vera Voss

Vera Vos, Family Nurse Practitioner

When your gut is happy, you are happy! Your gut is inhabited by gazillions of microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, protozoa and others that have a huge influence on your health and, as more and more research is showing, your happiness and weight! The kind of food you eat feeds those microorganisms and the ones that like the sugar, processed foods, bad fats, etc of the Standard American Diet (SAD) cause chronic disease, mental health issues, obesity, brain fog, fatigue, etc.

The ones that make you happy, healthy and slimmer, your allies and friends have a huge preference  for high fiber stuff like vegetables (cooked and raw), fruits, legumes, nuts/seeds, healthy whole grains (quinoa, farro, bulgur, teff, etc), fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, kefir, tempeh, etc) and prebiotic foods like onions, garlic and jicama. Say Bon Appetit! to your microorganisms and start including each of these food categories into your diet every day to greatly increase your allies and friends which will heal your gut and body, make you happy and motivated, and support weight loss. 

***

We want you to feel supported at Pohala. Our clinicians are here to listen and help. We will come up with a weight loss, healthy eating and life balanced plan that fits into your life. If eating disorder help is needed, we have specialists who can help directly and connect you with outside services.

 

Please call our clinic to work with one of our health care professionals to create a plan for a healthy body.

Healthy Eating Strategies for Good Digestion from Paresh Shelat in Portland, Oregon

Healthy Eating Strategies for Good Digestion from Paresh Shelat, Pohala Clinic Naturopathic Physician and Acupuncturist. 
Food Hygiene: Have you ever wondered why the exact same meal, eaten at different periods of time, can cause a wide range of symptoms or no symptoms at all? 🤔 Unbeknownst to many, the state of our nervous system may directly impact our ability to digest and process food (ie Fight-Flight-Fright vs REST & DIGEST). One of the most important pieces of information I pass on to my patients revolves around the process of eating. This may be more important than the types of foods my patients consume at times.⁣

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Here are several lifestyle modifications to improve digestion WITHOUT medications or supplements 💊:⁣

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1.) Chew food in its entirety. (If that means chewing each bite of food 30 times until it turns to mush, DO IT! Or at least try).⁣

2.) Do not eat “on-the-go” or when you’re in a rush. (Your body will not properly digest food).🚗💨

3.) Eliminate or limit external stressors while consuming food (ie t.v, noisy environment, arguments or tense discussions etc).🗣🖥

4.) Try your best to cook your own food and add different spices that stimulate and prepare your body for digestion such as cumin, mustard seeds, and rosemary. 👨🏾‍🍳

5.) Apple cider vinegar before meals may aid in digestion.
To book an appointment with Dr. Shelat, please call the Pohala Clinic.

 

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! 🏺🏺♨️🌅

 

Healthy Books for 2019 from Vera Vos, Nurse Practitioner

by Vera Vos

I love to start the New Year with a list of books I want to read. There are so many genres to choose from not to mention fiction or non-fiction. For the most part,  I’m not particular whether a book was written recently or if it’s an old classic. But, when it comes to health related topics, I like to see what’s new in non-fiction. My favorite health sub topics are those that offer insights that can change health for the better and slow aging especially using cutting edge nutrition research. I also like those that describe the latest breakthroughs for healing chronic disease like heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disorders and mental health. 

I find new books I want to read by relying on others whom I trust to make recommendations. The Food Revolution Network is one website that I keep track of. It was started by John Robbins of Baskin Robbins fame, who left the ice cream business to focus on health and sustainability for ourselves and our environment. He is the author of numerous old classics like Diet for a New America and The Food Revolution. 

Luckily,  the Food Revolution Network has a list of 8 “must read” books about health for 2019.

Check them out and see if you find one or two that sparks your interest. 

Some of the books include:

Undo It!: How Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Reverse Most Chronic Diseases by Dean Ornish, MD and Anne Ornish

The Truth About Food: Why Pandas Eat Bamboo and People Get Bamboozled by David Katz, MD

Happy reading! 

Vera

 

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!

What is Greenwashing? from Vera Vos Family Nurse Practitioner in Portland, Oregon

At Pohala we pride ourselves in helping our patients be savvy consumers for their health.

We all know what brainwashing is, right? But have you ever heard of greenwashing?

Greenwashing is a deceptive marketing technique used to make consumers think a product is healthy, environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Regarding nutrition, companies have figured out that healthy food is good for business. Unfortunately, they have also learned that greenwashing, making consumers think it’s healthy is just as beneficial for the bottom line.

The article from The Food Revolution Network explains how to avoid being scammed by “greenwashing”.

Schedule an appointment with Vera Vos FNP to learn more about choosing healthy options for your lifestyle and nutrition.

Call (503) 572-4196