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  • Begin your path to optimum wellness.

    Traditional Chinese Medicine is a fully integrated system of theory, diagnostics and treatment that can address virtually any health condition.

  • Health

    A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being beyond merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

  • One of the side benefits of my treatment at Oregon City Acupuncture is the holistic view they have of care. I am not just treated for pain or inflammation. I am treated as a whole person and when I leave, I feel more centered and in tune with who I really am. — CC

  • For the first time in many, many years, I am able to really be comfortable in my body throughout my day and find joy in life.  I have an extensive history with western medicine, having had many surgeries and been treated by many doctors.  However, nothing has given me the benefits I receive from acupuncture and Chinese herbs. — CC

  • From the first visit, we noticed improvement. Each session for each of us was fashioned for our individual needs at that time, in a relaxing atmosphere. The results were encouraging, often giving us flexibility and release from pain. — J & G

Visceral Manipulation.

abdominal massageEvery now and then we at Oregon City Acupuncture invite one of our favorite practitioners in our area to write a Guest  Blog.  This month we’d like to introduce Sarah Schlamp of MASSAGE SOLACE, 19142 Molalla Ave., Oregon City.

Visceral Manipulation.

Say what!?

My first introduction to visceral work came years ago when I was visiting my husband’s family in northern Canada. My 2 year old daughter had had constipation issues for most of her short life. Doctors weren’t too worried, because she could at least pass something 1-2 times a week. I’d tried everything I could think of. My mother-in-law told me about this woman in their community who she thought could help. I was a bit skeptical. The woman had no license of any kind and everyone simply referred to her as the woman with “the gift.” They told stories of how this gift had been passed down in her family line for generations and how she had started working on her dolls at the age of three. Hmmm.

I, too, had been dealing with some health issues: frequent bladder infections since the birth of my daughter. They seemed to believe this woman with “the gift” could help us both.

What did I have to lose? We went for a visit.

She was elderly. She wore a dress and had a thick German accent. Her name was Sally.

She started with my daughter. She felt around on my babies’ stomach and quickly declared that she had a twist in her intestine. She also felt her head: Had she bumped it recently? The bones were moved in such a way that her ear wasn’t draining properly.

Well, yes, actually she had bumped her head the day before on the slide at a park, and yes, I’d noticed her rubbing her ear.

My daughter was extremely shy at that age, so I didn’t really know if it was the discomfort of the work being done or the discomfort of having a stranger working on her. Either way, her sadness was rather short-lived.

When Sally worked on me, she said my uterus was sitting on my bladder wrong so that the bladder wasn’t draining properly or something like that. She proceeded to move it, which didn’t feel wonderful, and then told me not to lift anything heavier than 10 lbs for 6-8 wks. That was all. Come back in a week to make sure things were still in place. Thanks for coming.

Did it work?  Surprisingly, Yes! Did all our problems go away forever? No.

Fast forward a few years. I have my massage license and hear about classes that work with the abdomen. Am I interested? You bet!

Certainly there are different approaches to working with the structures of the abdomen. I’ve trained in several, but the one I’ve done the most training with is the Barral Institute. Jean Piere Barral is a French Osteopath who began working with structures of the body some 60+ years ago. This institution teaches a gentle approach of working with the structures of the body to help them function at their optimum. It’s a modality that works with restrictions in the body. Sometimes the fascia around an organ can thicken up. Have you ever injured a shoulder for example and then a few weeks later noticed it didn’t have as much range of motion? The same can be true for organs. Perhaps your liver has had to work really hard so the body sends extra fascia (connective tissue) around it to lend support. This can restrict the liver’s normal gentle movement which can then create tensions not only around the liver but also in surrounding areas. I’ve worked on several people with a chronic right shoulder and/or right arm pain that was relieved when we worked on the liver.

Here are a few commonly asked questions:

What is Visceral Manipulation? It’s a gentle technique that works to release restrictions in the body that can create tension locally and refer that tension to other places as well.

Does everyone need it? Not necessarily, though in class it was often repeated that: “everyone can use a liver lift”. It really depends on your issues. I had a client come in with severe upper back and low back pain, mostly on the right. Her other symptoms seem to point to the gastro-esophageal junction. I asked if she had any stomach issues and sure enough, she had GERD(Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease). When we worked on that area, it was very tender. Within a couple of visits, her back pain was clearing up, and she’d noticed fewer symptoms from GERD.

How do I know if I need VM? Sometimes VM is indicated when a person has had surgeries in the past, but really, we just listen to the body and see where it’s being pulled. Often times the body will prioritize a restriction; when we work the area, whether it was local to the pain or not, it often helps relieve that pain.

How does VM differ from regular massage? It’s quite different. Instead of dressing down the client will usually stay fully clothed in soft cotton clothing (not spandex). Depending on the area that the body is prioritizing, the client may be sitting up, or laying down and may be moving around a bit.

If this massage technique interests you or sounds right for you, contact Sarah at 503-756-9365.


Turmeric: The New Superfood

Turmeric powderTurmeric (Curcuma longa) is a culinary spice that spans cultures – it is a major ingredient in Indian curries, and makes American mustard yellow. Evidence is accumulating that this brightly colored relative of ginger is a promising disease-preventive agent as well, probably due largely to its anti-inflammatory action.

A comprehensive turmeric study was published by the respected ethnobotanist James A. Duke, Phd., in the October, 2007 issue of Alternative & Complementary Therapies, and summarized in the July, 2008, issue of the American Botanical Council publication HerbClip.

Reviewing some 700 studies, Duke concluded that turmeric appears to outperform many pharmaceuticals in its effects against several chronic, debilitating diseases, and does so with virtually no adverse side effects. Here are some of the diseases that turmeric has been found to help prevent or alleviate:

  • Alzheimer’s disease: Duke found more than 50 studies on turmeric’s effects in addressing Alzheimer’s disease. The reports indicate that extracts of turmeric contain a number of natural agents that block the formation of beta-amyloid, the substance responsible for the plaques that slowly obstruct cerebral function in Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Arthritis: Turmeric contains more than two dozen anti-inflammatory compounds, including six different COX-2-inhibitors (the COX-2 enzyme promotes pain, swelling and inflammation; inhibitors selectively block that enzyme). By itself, writes Duke, curcumin – the component in turmeric most often cited for its healthful effects – is a multifaceted anti-inflammatory agent, and studies of the efficacy of curcumin have demonstrated positive changes in arthritic symptoms.
  • Cancer: Duke found more than 200 citations for turmeric and cancer and more than 700 for curcumin and cancer. He noted that in the handbook Phytochemicals: Mechanisms of Action, curcumin and/or turmeric were effective in animal models in prevention and/or treatment of colon cancer, mammary cancer, prostate cancer, murine hepatocarcinogenesis (liver cancer in rats), esophageal cancer, and oral cancer. Duke said that the effectiveness of the herb against these cancers compared favorably with that reported for pharmaceuticals.

How can you get more turmeric into your diet? One way is via turmeric tea. There are also extracts in tablet and capsule form available in health food stores; look for supercritical extracts in dosages of 400 to 600 mg, and take three times daily or as directed on the product.

And, of course, you can simply indulge in more curried dishes, either in restaurants or at home. However you do it, adding turmeric to your diet is one of the best moves toward optimal health you can make.


 Year Of The Ram

 Ram IIBased on the forecasted astrological events of the period, the 2015 horoscope and the Year of the Wood Goat (Ram, Sheep) promises much more favorable times as compared to the previous year. Many astrologists conclude from the conditions of 2015 that the processes that have been unfolding and spreading chaos for the past few years are finally wrapping up; both political and economic situations in the world are starting to stabilize. Many people’s quality of life is getting higher and the crisis that has been tormenting many counties for the past several years is finally promising to be over. In other words, the year of 2015 is a crucial one! In 2015, which is according to the Oriental calendar is a year of the Ram (also year of the Sheep or Goat), one epoch is coming to replace another and the whole mankind have once again high hopes for the future. Even though we have always been hopeful and will continue to be such, this time the whole humanity do have a feasible chance to change the world for the better! It goes without saying, one would hope we would truly be deserving of the positive changes and we would be allowed to create the small paradise on earth that we dream of. It must be said once again that there has never been this many signs and favorable planetary aspects confirming the positive nature of the upcoming changes – we simply can’t ignore these signs!

The Chinese horoscope for the year of the Ram can also provide confirmation of the favorable changes in the upcoming year. 2015 will start on February 19 and end on February 7, 2016. The first thing that stands out in many oriental horoscopes for 2015 is the newly gained faith in a stable economic growth. In the Chinese traditional astrology 2015 as the year of Yui Wei or the 32nd year of the Green Wooden Ram (also Sheep or Goat) is allegorically represented as the period of a passing summer – the period of prosperity and wellbeing. Quite often one can come across the following wording: “The creative side of the Wooden Ram; its diligence applied to hard work ensures prosperity”… Let’s agree words like these don’t leave any room for doubt when it comes to the future wellbeing.

Western astrologists in their turn confirm the positive nature of 2015 by tracking positive signs of the planets’ changing aspects and their position relative to each other. Various zodiac horoscopes for 2015 highlight the overall tendency toward stabilization and general improvement; this will be aided by several astrological factors at the same time.

First, Saturn’s transition into the Zodiac sign of Sagittarius at the very end of 2014 will come into play. As early as January of 2015 all people on the planet will be able to tell the difference. Many political problems and economic issues will be viewed differently. Educational matters will move to the front seat and the main focus will be set on post-graduate education. All year long we may expect new legislative regulations which will allow for structural innovations in educational establishments as well as “order” in this branch of educational affairs. Apart from education, changes will also be introduced to the relations between countries; some of them will reach an agreement on visa-free entry and others, on the contrary, will close their borders. It should be noted, though, that this change will only be vocalized in 2015, and the main events will unfold in the following years.

Second, the tension between Pluto and Uranus that has been there since June of 2012 will finally ease up. This will bring many conflicts that have been persisting from 2012 to 2014 to an end. Surely, we can’t expect to know the winners and losers in this “war” since the underlying reason of all the outrages in the world has been of political nature. However, we can safely say that many processes that affected Europe, Ukraine, Egypt, Syria and a number of African countries will make it impossible for them to go back to their old system and maintain their political course. Let’s hope the changes in the above-mentioned countries will be more of a positive nature. The end of tension between the planets will mark the end of the whole epoch. Starting with 2015 most of the countries will be living in the post-industrial society. It should be noted that the innovations presented to us in 2015 can transform our life similar to the invention of the Internet or cell phones. The progress in the field of high technologies will make it possible to influence politics and this must be one of the crucial factors in the future formation of our society.

Third, in the first half of 2015 there will be a harmonious aspect between Jupiter and Uranus. This can have an unexpected effect on the development of the Internet technologies and wireless connections as well as those innovations that will only be presented to the key players of the high tech market. Jupiter is the planet of expansion and due to its influence many will notice that technologies have become accessible and available to practically everybody. Also, in 2015 the mankind may make some significant progress in space industry; for example, in the first half of 2015 there may be some “news” from the spacecraft sent to outer space for exploration and research. Received data can fundamentally change our interpretation of how the universe works, how life on earth came to be and whether there’s life on other planets.

Fourthly, in August of 2015 we will witness Jupiter’s transition into the Zodiac sign of Virgo. This will first and foremost positively affect the economic growth; the economics will rapidly stabilize and the markets will be quickly recovering from the losses suffered in the previous years. Another good promise of 2015 is the overall heightened attention to ecological issues, environmental protection, healthy eating habits and healthy life style. People’s health will become the focus. We can expect large-scale measures taken to improve health of entire nations. Unconventional medicine and the spheres associated with it will be of special importance.

Overall, it can be said that in the first half of 2015 the processes that have been in place for the past years will be over and in the second half of 2015 both political and economic situation in the world will be void of turmoil and conflicts. Closer to the summer months, when positive events will start overshadowing negatives ones, people of many countries will finally be able to sigh with relief and restore their faith in the future.

It is hard to report on 2015 in detail, but one thing is for sure: the events that 2015 has in store will prove unforgettable! Unbelievable striking events are ahead – we just need to be patient enough to wait for them to happen…

Reprinted from:




Wrap up in Winter

Carol in WinterScott in WinterWard Off the Winter Chills

You know that scarf your Aunt Betty gave you for Christmas several years ago? You tossed it on the shelf in your closet and forgot about it!  It is one of the best things you own to ward off winter colds.  Winter wind, cold and damp can easily invade your body through acupuncture meridians and points on your head, neck and shoulders.  Protecting them from winter weather with a scarf and a warm cap goes a long way to keeping the sneezes, sniffles, coughs, aches, chills and fever from making you miserable over the Holidays.  When you are out in the wind, cold and rain, be sure to wear that scarf and cap. and when you see Aunt Betty, tell her thanks.

Return to Spring

RETURN TO SPRINGreturn to spring

Feeling generally fatigued all the time?  Older than your years?  Memory not what it used to be?  Hair getting prematurely gray?  Are you easily startled or frightened?  Experiencing night sweats?  Low back and knees sore and achy even though you have not injured them?  Libido not what it used to be?

These are many of the symptoms addressed by the Traditional Chinese herbal formula known as Huan Shao Dan.  The name translates as “Return to Spring”, or “Return to Youth”.   This ancient herbal formula consists of over a dozen herbs which warm and strengthen the digestion, the Heart (Spirit), and the Kidney Yang Qi.  According to the original source text, “Secret Formulas of the Yang Family”, one should notice a difference between five and thirty days of use.  It is safe for long-term use as well.  As with many herbs and medications, “Return to Spring” should not be taken during pregnancy.

Winter is the best time to nourish warm and tonify the Kidney Qi.  If you are concerned about your Yang Qi, consult your friendly neighborhood acupuncturist.  Oregon City Acupuncture offers current patients a 10% discount on “Return to Spring” through February, 2015. We cannot ship.   

Jing Ball Recipe

  Herbal Tonics need not be bitter teas or handfuls of pills.  In fact, one of the best ways to nourish and tonify is by creating foods and treats one can enjoy.  The following recipe is adapted from Rosemary Gladstar’s Family Herbal:  A Guide to Living Life with Energy, Health, and Vitality.

He shou wu, or fleece flower root, is one of the chief herbs in the Chinese material medica for nourishing Jing. The name of the herb literally means “Black-haired Mr. He, and is based on the legend of Mr. He restored the color of his hair, vitality, and youth by using the herb.Jing Ball Dish II

  •  1 cup Tahini or Almond Butter
  •  ½ cup Honey
  •  2 tbsps. powdered He Shou Wu   (Sometimes sold as Fo-Ti*).
  •   1 tbsp. powdered dried nettles*.
  •  Carob powder.

*Fo ti and nettle herb can be found at The Herb Shoppe in Portland, Oregon or on-line at Mountain Rose Herbs. 


  •   Shredded Coconut
  •  Raisins, currants, or chocolate chips

Mix tahini or almond butter and honey.

Combine powdered herbs to make a thick dough.

Mix in whatever options such as coconut, chips or raisins you might like.

Add enough carob powder to thicken into dough.  Roll into small balls.  If you like, roll in coconut to coat.  Store in the fridge where they will keep for two to three months, but why wait that long?  Snack on a couple each day!  Jing balls make a wonderful holiday treat, too!

Put the Jingle Back in your Jing this winter.

Put the Jingle Back in your Jing this winter.   Sleigh bells

   We are all born with an intrinsic energy known as JingJing, or Essence, is a Chinese term for the fundamental energy of life.  Jing is stored in the Kidneys and determines our vitality and resistance to disease. In a sense, Jing is like our life’s battery.  Winter is the time to nourish kidney energy such as Jing.  As the energies of the natural world return to the roots of plant life, so to in winter should we nourish our own root energy.

Jing controls a number of essential functions such as the substances and functions of reproductive organs, power and clarity of the mind, integrity of one’s physical structure and sense organs.    Strong Jing leads to a long and vigorous life. Its loss will result in physical and mental degeneration.  Jing is easily used up, but it is difficult to replace.   Jing is burned up in the body by life itself, and even more so by chronic and acute inflammation and stress. Jing is also used up by behaviors such as overwork, excessive emotionalism, drug and alcohol abuse, chronic pain or illness, and sexual excess (especially in men).  Excessive menstrual patterns, pregnancy and childbirth can result in a dramatic drain on the Jing for women, especially in middle age.

As we use up Jing, we lose our ability to change and adapt easily and appropriately.  Therefore we easily become imbalanced, toxic, stagnant, and more susceptible to disease, inflammation, and/or cancer. Our reproductive system weakens and degenerates. Our mental energy dissipates. We lose our memory, our creativity, our motivation, our ability to focus, our mental endurance.  In short, one may age quickly and dramatically.


Life itself depletes Jing. A happy, balanced life depletes Jing slowly.


Everyone would like more vitality so everyone needs to nourish Jing.  It is most important to avoid harmful habits.  However Jing can be obtained from food and herbs to support the Jing one has from birth.  Nutrient rich foods such as micro-algae—chlorella, spirulina and blue green algae– or wheat grass are rich in nucleic acids and other constituents which protect the body from degeneration.  All seeds, according to Chinese theory, nourish Jing.  Fresh raw almonds and sesame seeds, especially black sesame seeds, are good for the Jing.  Herbs such as nettle, Solomon’s seal, and he shou wu (sometimes called fo ti) are said to nourish the Jing.  Spiritual practices such as yoga, Tai qi or qigong can also enhance the cultivation of one’s Jing.     

  Creating the best plan for nourishing your Jing requires an assessment of our general constitution and lifestyle so that herbs can be personalized for you specifically.  If you’d like to put some jingle back into your Jing, set up a free ½ hour consultation at Oregon City Acupuncture.



Don’t Be SAD This Winter

 Snow Man During the cold dark days of winter, is it hard to get up in the morning?  Do you always feel fatigued in the winter months?  Is it difficult to concentrate?  Feel less frisky in the romance department?  These are symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.  Other symptoms might include sweet and starch cravings, weight gain, irritability and anxiety.  There may also be other symptoms such as guilt, hopelessness, and headaches.  SAD symptoms return year after year and tend to come and go about the same time each year.

SAD may affect as many as half a million people in the US.  Another 10% to 20% may experience mild SAD.  SAD is more common in women. It is uncommon in those under 20.  SAD is more common in northern regions such as the Pacific Northwest.

Some scientists believe SAD may be a biological response to less winter sunlight.  Melatonin is involved in setting your biological clock.  Morning sunlight tells your brain to begin your daily rhythms.  Although Sad’s exact causes are not yet understood, it is likely that serotonin levels in the brain are disrupted leading to depression and other symptoms.

There are several ways to address SAD naturally.  One of the easiest ways is light therapy.  Light therapy uses a special light box to expose your face to light for 30 minutes in the morning simulating summer morning light.

Fight carb cravings, and eat healthy protein such as nuts, eggs, meats, and beans with each serving of carbohydrates.  Choose complex carbohydrates from whole grains and vegetables.

There is a link between low levels of Vitamin D and SAD.  Most data supports a daily dose of 2000 IU of D3.  Other sources of Vitamin D are cod, salmon, herring, sardines, fortified cereals and milk.  Adding supplements of omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, melatonin, St John’s Wort and amino acids such as 5-HTP may be useful too.  There may be potential drug interactions with these therapies, so check with your health care provider.

Exercise is an important in addressing depression.  Get out and walk for 20 minutes regularly.

Acupuncture shows promising results in treating SAD by releasing serotonin and other hormones and has no side effects.  Acupuncture is also an effective treatment for insomnia and fatigue.  A treatment plan created with your acupuncturist can improve mood and energy by restoring balance to your body’s systems.  Don’t be SAD this winter. Consult your Naturopathic Doctor or Acupuncturist if you believe you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder.


Defend Your Vital Energy This Winter

The concept of QI or vital energy is central to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).  Qi changes its form according to its location and function. The lungs are associated with Wei Qi.     Fall is the time to nourish and strengthen the lungs.   Wei Qi translates as “defensive vital energy”.   In other words, your immune system.  According to TCM theory, your Wei Qi is derived from food and water.  The lungs regulate the circulation of Wei Qi beneath the skin, and control the opening and closing for the pores.  This explains the holistic tradition of promoting sweating when one has a cold or flu.   The invading pathogen obstructs the flow of Wei Qi, blocks the pores, and impairs the controlling function of the lungs.  By promoting sweating with herbs, for example, the pores are unblocked; sweat comes out and with it the pathogenic factors causing your cold.  Then the Wei Qi is free again to circulate and defend.

When Wei Qi is weak, you can become prone to frequent colds.  It is important to nourish and strengthen the lungs and therefor the Wei Qi in the fall.  There are several herbs and formulas one may use in the fall to nourish the Wei Qi.  Depending upon your personal constitution, herbs such as Ginseng, Astragulus or Reishi mushroom or formulas including them might be recommended to strengthen your Wei Qi for the cold and flu season.  Consult your acupuncturist at Oregon City Acupuncture to find out what is best for you and avoid those winter colds and stay healthy.

                      Bean Sprout and Wood Ear Salad

 If you have one nearby, visit an Asian market and get the ingredients below.  Things will be less expensive there.wood ear fungus

The sprouts and wood ear helps those with atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, anemia, poor memory, or who want to build immunity or lose weight.  It is likely you have already tasted bean sprouts and wood ear in other dishes if you have ever eaten at a Chinese restaruant.

  •  Bean sprouts 2-3 cups. I use mung bean sprouts –those creamy white-yellow ones in bulk.
  • 1 Package wood ear.
  • Also pick up a bottle or can of sesame oil. It is a great all around seasoning for many foods.
  • Rice vinegar 2 Tbls
  • 2-3 cloves garlic – the more you use the spicier it gets
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce – try Bragg’s Liquid Aminos as an alternative to soy sauce.
  • 1 Bunch of green onions.

Soak the wood ear for 30 min in warm water. Should expand 2-5 times original size. Rinse. Cut off the fibrous base.

Cut into small pieces, ¼ inch strip

Put in 2 cups water. Bring to boil and simmer 3 min.

Remove from pot and drain.

Place bean sprouts in pot of water and cook like you did the wood ear. Sprouts should be soft but not soggy.

Remove from pot & drain.  Mix with wood ear.

In a separate bowl mix well the rice vinegar, sesame oil. Add minced garlic & green onions.  Toss with the sprouts and wood ear.

It gets stronger with marinating for a day or two. Pressing garlic makes it hotter. Adding red pepper flakes adds more heat.

Can use honey ¼ t or add 1 t. mirin sweet rice vinegar to balance the flavors.

Keep in refrigerator.  Serve at room temp.

Caution with wood ear and pregnancy or blood disorders.   Eat it in limited amounts.