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Beating Summer Heat

Beating Summer Heat

Eating fruits and vegetables in their correct season is always the most desirable option in Chinese Medicine, as foods from each season assist with common ailments or issues that arise during that season. For example, summer squashes and zucchini have cooling properties that help with Summer Heat in Chinese Medicine.

Mint leaves are also very cooling, due to naturally occurring menthol and menthone, but mint can also be beneficial for heart health in general. Peppermint is especially helpful for strengthening the heart muscle in Chinese Medicine. Try Peppermint in this delicious squash salad!

Minty Garden Squash Salad


2 small zucchini
2 small yellow (summer) squash
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pepper to taste
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts


1.     Thinly slice or shave the zucchini and yellow squash. This can be done with a mandolin or with a peeler.  Set aside in a bowl.
2.     Cut the mint leaves into strips by rolling them together, then slicing into strips, then add to the bowl with the squash.
3.     In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil and lemon juice, then add salt and pepper and continue whisking; taste and adjust for flavor, adding more seasoning if necessary.
4.     Drizzle this dressing over the squash in the bowl, add the toasted pine nuts and toss together.
5.     Let mixture stand for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Serve in small salad bowls and sprinkle with more toasted pine nuts if desired.


What is Polarity Therapy?

What is Polarity Therapy?

Polarity Therapy works to balance the body’s energy systems, finding energy blockages and releasing energy to its normal flow. Using stretching and applying pressure to certain points, Polarity Practitioners stimulate the flow of energy along the meridians and through your other energy systems.

Polarity is deeply relaxing, and can assist with a variety of conditions such as stress and anxiety, digestive issues, and various aches, pains, and discomfort throughout the body.

During the months of July and August, we will be offering 1 hour Polarity sessions for just $45! (Normally $65) Our Advanced Polarity Practitioner, Sundina Zapata-Olsen, can assist you in finding relief from a multitude of conditions. Call today to schedule an appointment!

Over the next few weeks we will be highlighting more about how Polarity works, and its benefits for a variety of conditions. Check our blog regularly for this as well as tips on nutrition, exercise, and more!


Getting Kids off the Couch

Getting Kids off the Couch

Our world today revolves around the latest technology in the form of smartphones, tablets, and video game systems.  Big name companies compete to bring us the latest and greatest technology and it not only has an affect on adults, but children as well.

Children today are growing up in a completely different world than it was 20 years ago. There are first graders with cell phones, teens who would rather text than talk, and video games with incredibly lifelike graphics. The lure of these video games is especially strong in children and teens and brings with it the problem of little or no outside activity in this age group.  As parents, it’s important to know how to get your children involved in something other than staring at a TV screen or holding a game controller all day long.

Create a routine – A daily routine can help your child get rid of bad habits and instill some discipline in the whole family.  Talk to your child about getting on a schedule and let them be involved in creating a routine that works for all of you.  Limit the amount of time your child is in front of the television, on the Internet, or on his/her cell phone and stick to it. Make a trip to the park or a walk outside part of your daily routine.  If it’s too hot outside, play a game of tag or hide and seek just to get yourself and your child moving.  Small daily steps can help to break some bad habits and lead you into a new way of life.

Be the example – Parents can set a great example for their children if they are active in their daily routine.  If your child sees you exercising or spending more time outside than in front of the television they will most likely follow your example as they grow older.  It may take a little bit of nudging to get them to put the cell phone down but it will happen.  Likewise, if you are a couch potato, or have your nose stuck in the computer all day they will be more apt to follow in your footsteps.  Be the person that you would want your child to be.  If you keep that in mind, it won’t be hard to set good habits in motion for the whole family.

Find activities your child will enjoy – This can be anything from organized sports to a daily trip to the local gym.  Talk to your child about getting involved in school activities in the fall that will keep them moving.  If he or she isn’t much of a sports fanatic, there are plenty of other ways to keep them active.  Swimming, or simply blasting some music and dancing around the living room are great ways to keep in shape and have fun while doing it.

It may take some time to establish a routine that works for you and your family but don’t give up.  Make small changes on a daily basis to get your child used to any form of daily activity.  Pretty soon, a trip to the park or playing ball outside will be the new norm instead of coming home to play video games or surf the Internet.  Making small daily changes not only forms better habits in your child, but in your whole family.


Borage Balance

Borage Balance

Borage oil in Traditional Chinese Medicine is highly beneficial for internal gut inflammation. Due to its high concentration of Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), Borage oil has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The presence of a high ratio of Omega-3 fatty acids in addition to the high GLA also helps increase metabolism and rates of fat burn-off, the Omega-3s assisting with hormonal balance, and the GLA helping with weight reduction. Try this delicious salad with Borage oil and Borage blossoms for some of these wonderful benefits!

Peachy Heirloom Tomato Salad with Blue Borage Blossoms

1 lb ripe fresh peaches
2 lb. vine ripened heirloom tomatoes
3 green onions, cut into thin strips
2 Tbsp borage oil
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp orange zest
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup blue borage flowers, whole

1.        Clean, core, and chop the tomatoes roughly. If your collection of heirloom tomatoes includes small (cherry size) tomatoes, just cut in half.  Mix up your cutting angles and sizes to add variety. Put in large salad bowl.
2.        Scrub the peaches and slice into small wedges (removing the pit and stem as you do.) Add to the salad bowl with tomatoes.
3.        Add the thin strips of green onion to the salad bowl.
4.        To make the dressing, whisk together the borage oil, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, orange zest, and salt until smooth and frothy.  Pour this dressing over the salad, sprinkle in the mint and basil and toss to combine.
5.        Set the salad aside for 10 minutes; taste and add salt if necessary.
6.        When seasoned properly, Serve in individual salad bowls, sprinkling the blue borage flowers over each serving. You will get about 4 to 6 salad servings.

What is Life Coaching?

What is Life Coaching?

The most common misconception with Life Coaching is that it is synonymous with therapy. When picturing a Life Coaching session, many conjure up the antiquated vision of lying on a couch across the room from a practitioner with a clipboard. While some coaches may use a clipboard, the dynamics of a Life Coaching session are far from that of traditional therapy.

The fundamental difference between therapy and Life Coaching is that a coach’s job is to meet you where you are and help you move forward to get where you want to be. Traditional therapy begins where you are and goes back into your story to help heal the past. In Coaching, the goal is to always move forward! In order to move forward, it is sometimes necessary to look back into the past. However, in Coaching, we never stay in the past for long and are always working towards your present goal(s).

Life Coaching helps to break down your goals into small, achievable steps, and your coach is there to motivate you, keep you accountable, and guide you to your desired results. By using proven tools and techniques, your coach will work with you to overcome obstacles, either personal or professional, and help you to operate at your full potential!

Whether you have a specific goal in mind, or would like to discover a new passion in your life, Kalyn McDonald, our certified life coach, is here to assist you in creating the success and happiness you deserve! Book an appointment with her today to begin!


The Power of Peaches

The Power of Peaches

Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches us that the seasons have an effect on our body’s rhythms, balance and growth. Thus, eating foods in season becomes imperative to preserve our health. Currently in season, peaches are considered both a sweet and an acidic fruit in TCM. They help with liver stagnancy and their sweetness assists with a smooth flow of energy. (Ask your acupuncturist if you are experiencing Liver Stagnation).

Peaches are also very cleansing for your digestive system, which can even help with weight loss. Naturally, eating peaches exclusively will not provide weight loss benefits, but including a variety of colorful, cleansing fruits in your salads—such as peaches, pears, plums, apples, oranges and berries—can help keep your digestive system clean and balanced. Try grilling up some peaches for this recipe on Memorial Day!

 Grilled Peaches a la Rosemary over Arugula Endive Salad

2 ripe, but still firm, peaches, wash and cut in half (remove stone)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 small Belgian endive, washed and each leaf removed whole
2 cups arugula
4 fresh mozzarella balls
drizzle good balsamic vinaigrette (or olive oil and balsamic vinegar mix)
dash kosher salt and ground black pepper
  1. Prepare a grilling pan (or grates) by spraying with non-stick grilling oil, then set grill to medium heat.
  2. Put peach halves in bowl with olive oil, rosemary and kosher salt, and toss to coat.
  3. When grill is preheated, put the peaches on, cut side down, and grill for 4 to 5 minutes, until charred lightly, then flip and grill 3 to 4 more minutes until softened slightly and charred. Remove and set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Prepare individual salads by arranging endive leaves between 4 salad plates, then top each plate with 1/2 cup arugula, place one grilled peach half on top of the arugula, tear one mozzarella ball in half (for each salad) and place on top, then drizzle with a little balsamic vinaigrette and sprinkle a dash of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Spring Cooking

Spring Cooking

Spring is a time for raw and lightly prepared vegetables. Heavy and sodium-rich foods clog the liver and cause your energy to sink, and are best avoided in favor of young, raw, and sprouted foods. Spring cooking should also emphasize shorter cooking times, but at higher temperatures. A quick sauté, steam, or simmer at high heat is best. This makes salads a fabulous choice, and selecting ingredients that improve organ functions for spring provides even more benefits.

Citrus fruits such as grapefruit assist in breaking down oils and fats which takes some of the workload off the gall bladder, and its bitter sweetness is also beneficial for optimal liver function. This makes grapefruit particularly suited to assist in the transition to spring, which focuses on balancing liver and gallbladder functions.

Young beets are classified as a sweet food, and these and other sweet starchy vegetables are especially desirable during this time. Beets purify the blood and improve circulation. Used to treat liver stagnation and other liver ailments, beets are very helpful in spring liver cleansing.

Roasted Baby Beets with Greens and Grapefruit Salad


6 small garden beets with greens attached
1 medium ruby red grapefruit
1/4 cup red wine [or other] vinegar
1 medium shallot, minced very fine
1/3 cup light olive oil
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp fresh thyme


1.     Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2.     Cut green tops off beets, trim any thick stalks, wash greens, dry thoroughly, and coarsely chop. Put greens in bowl, cover with plastic, and refrigerate.
3.     Scrub the beets, trimming any extra tops or roots, then place them on a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle oil over beets to coat well, then fold the foil up to form a sealed packet around the beets. Place on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until fork tender. Remove and let cool until skins pull away smoothly, then slice into wedges.
4.     While the beets are roasting, peel the grapefruit, making sure you remove all the white pithy coating.  With a sharp paring knife, remove each segment, making sure you do not include any of the skin.  Do this over a bowl so you can capture the juice. Set the segments and juice aside.
5.     Prepare the dressing by whisking together the reserved grapefruit juice, the red wine vinegar, and the shallots. When combined, start pouring in olive oil, whisking steadily until creamy, then continue whisking and add the salt, pepper, and thyme, whisking until just combined.
6.     To assemble the salad, place the cold beet greens on salad plates, top with beets, then with grapefruit segments. Drizzle the vinaigrette dressing over the top of each salad, then adjust seasoning by adding salt and pepper if desired.
7.     Serve immediately.


Relieve Your Arthritis With Acupuncture

Arthritis is a painful and oftentimes debilitating condition that’s characterized by inflammation within one or more joints. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 2 people will develop osteoarthritis of the knee by the age of 85. It’s important to note, however, that there are several different types of arthritis, with osteoarthritis being just one. Other common types include rheumatoid arthritis, gout, septic arthritis, Still’s disease, and ankylosing spondylitis.

While most people living with moderate-to-severe arthritis resort to prescription medication to mask their symptoms, a safer and more effective form of treatment may come in the form of a 2,000-plus-year-old Chinese practice called acupuncture. Numerous studies have found acupuncture to offer relief of many different types of arthritis. And best of all, it doesn’t come with the adverse side effects associated with arthritis medication.

Studies Reaffirm Acupuncture For Arthritis

A group of German researchers conducted a study on 304,674 patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee. Researchers split the patients into two groups, one of which received traditional routine care, while the other received 15 sessions of acupuncture. Researchers concluded that patients who had received acupuncture experienced better knee function, less pain, and an overall better quality of life than their counterparts.

Another study – this one originating out of China – found that both acupuncture and electroacupuncture were effective at reduce pain, inflammation and tenderness in parts of the body by arthritis. Granted, this was a small study with just 36 patients, but it’s just one more study attesting to the healing power of acupuncture.

Give me a call today to learn how you can get back on track to better health!


5 Oils and Alternative Treatments for Your Skin

Skin issues can happen at any age. Whether you have dry, oily or sensitive skin, it can get complicated.

Although there are many products on the market that promise to “cure” your skin ailments, natural alternatives have proven to be effective and one of the safest options for skin treatment.

Here are just a few of the different oils that are easy to add to your skin maintenance routine and can help with frustrations you may be facing.

Moringa Oil

Moringa oil has been around for thousands of years and was originally used by ancient Egyptians. This oil contains antioxidants and fatty acids that help prevent the skin from sun damage and aging while being a natural moisturizer.

Argan Oil

Argan oil is used today as an effective anti-aging treatment. Regular use of argan oil can help tighten the skin and increase oxygenation and nutrients in the cells.

Rosehip Oil

Because of its high content of Vitamin C and Omega fatty acids, rosehip oil is an excellent treatment for restoring the skin and helping heal scar tissue. This oil will help your skin feel replenished and brightened.

Hemp seed oil

If you struggle with oily skin and blocked pores, believe or not, this dry oil can help. Hemp seed oil has a high content of Omega fatty acids that can reduce pore size and eliminate acne. This oil is also used to treat psoriasis and eczema because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil has many uses and benefits. Not only is it used for skin treatment, but can also be used to whiten your teeth. If you spend a lot of the time in the sun and have dry skin, coconut oil can be used to replenish and moisturize your skin. If you’re looking to whiten your teeth, doing a coconut oil rinse has been proven to remove bacteria and plaque.

There are other alternative options to improving your skin beyond what you apply on the surface. Here are some easy steps to add to your daily routine.

Here are some alternative treatments for healthy looking skin.

Avoid food allergies: Most people who have skin issues also have food allergies that can worsen their skin. Common foods to avoid include gluten, dairy and artificial additives. You can eliminate each food group one at a time to test if it improves your skin.

Replace meat and dairy: By replacing these inflammatory saturated fats with unsaturated fats, you will increase your intake of nutrients that can aid your skin. Unsaturated fats to add to your diet include avocado, olive oil, nuts and flaxseed.

Probiotics: Taking a daily probiotic supplement has been proven to reduce symptoms of dermatitis, a disorder causing itchy, red skin. Probiotics add healthy bacteria to your gut and improve your digestive tract system, which in turn improves the overall health and function of your body.

Remove sugar: Remove sugar and processed foods from your diet. Besides not having a rich nutritional value, processed foods can affect and worsen allergies and skin disorders.

Herbal tea: Herbal teas have been shown to reduce inflammation that comes with eczema. Teas to try include chamomile tea, nettle tea or drinking Aloe Vera.

Acupuncture: Acupuncture can stimulate the production of endorphins in the body, which then can improve function of the immune and endocrine systems. Improving these systems can greatly affect the skin and restore it to better health.

Like most common health issues, a healthy diet, exercise and reducing stress can be of great help. Environmental factors can have a large impact on skin and overall health of the body. By following a daily routine that includes eating natural foods, exercising regularly and eliminating excess stress, you can see your skin start to improve as well!



Alternative Treatment Options For Allergies and Asthma

Do you suffer from allergies or asthma? It’s a little-known fact that these two conditions are directly linked to each other. Asthma, which affects roughly one in 12 people according to the CDC, is characterized by spasms of the small airways and inflammation. Furthermore, about 90% of children under the age of 16 with asthma have allergies, while 70% of people between the ages of 16 and 30 have allergies, and 50% of adults over the age of 40 have allergies.

Unfortunately, most people who suffer from allergies and asthma simply mask their symptoms with drugs rather than seeking a treatment for the root cause. Both of these conditions involve an overreactions by the body’s immune system to what it believes is a foreign invader. When you are exposed to an allergen (e.g. ragweed, pet dander, etc.), your immune system produces and abundance of inflammatory hormones, which subsequently cause the symptoms of allergies and asthma to manifest.

There are several alternative treatment options available for allergies and asthma, however, one of which is making dietary and lifestyle changes. We live in age in which far too many people choose to pick up convenient fast food as opposed to preparing and cooking fresh meals. There’s nothing wrong with an occasional fast food burger, but basing the bulk of your diet around processed foods such as this will take a toll on your body. The lack of nutrients and increased intake of preservatives can disturb the immune system, causing greater sensitivity to allergens. A better choice is to consume a diet rich in lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains.

Of course, herbal medicine is a time-tested alternative treatment for allergies and asthma. Some of the most popular herbs used to treat these conditions include stinging nettle, ginkgo biloba, green tea, and reishi, all of which contain heavy concentrations of antioxidants. These antioxidants are believed to fight harmful chemicals in the body known as free radicals, which if left unchecked, may irritate existing conditions like allergies and asthma.

Acupuncture is also known to improve the symptoms for allergy and asthma sufferers. This Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) involves stimulating the body’s life force by placing small, thin needles directly under the skin. When a person grows stagnant or experiences other problems, he or she is more susceptible to disease and illness. Therefore, correcting this problem through acupuncture will naturally deter allergies, asthma and other common problems.

Give me a call today to learn how you can get back on track to better health!