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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

Exploring Camassia Preserve

Thanks to a friend, Tim Delano, I was reminded of a nearby natural area. I actually had tried to visit it 30+ years ago. I think the Nature Conservancy was thinking of acquiring or had just acquired it. It was rustic back then – only game trails, nothing cleared. We didn’t get far.

It was gorgeous with the clear fall weather we had this year. But remember that clear winter weather is a great time to get out and walk also.  Even tho it has been bone chilling you get warm when you dress appropriately and get out and walk.

Spots of gold

Spots of gold

The colors were golds, browns and amazingly lots of red from the berries on the Madrones. I didn’t realize there were so many of them in this location. I’ve noticed more as I go south on I-5 toward southern Oregon.

We decided to call the area Squirrel Heaven. Lots of those guys jumping from tree to tree. Could see their nests above also. Could have been large bird nests but I’ve seen nests like these back in the Midwest and know squirrels use them. Also met a very friendly Goshawk. He landed about 4 feet in front of my husband and didn’t spook. Then when we were driving out of the parking area he was standing on the road next to a mailbox. We drove very close to him before he decided it was better to leave the area. Very pretty bird. Don’t know that I’ve seen one before. It took the Audubon book to identify him.

Mushrooms CP 2013

Wild Mushrooms

When I visited the website they mentioned that the boardwalks may be slippery. If you go in the extreme cold there can be frost so be careful. I can see where that would be when they are wet. I like to walk with walking sticks just to give my arms a little more work and I can use one as a monopod for the camera. You do have to be careful with them if they have spike tips. Best to place your poles off to the sides of the walk but be careful of the plants.

Lots to see and hear. You just have to take the time to get down and dirty and sit and wait. How far and how fast is not always to goal. The Northwest has so many gorgeous areas to explore right in our backyards. You don’t have far to go to explore the many wonders.

Berry close up

Berry close up

DON’T GET “SAD” THIS WINTER

Snow Man During the cold dark days of winter, is it hard for you to get up in the morning?  Do you experience a drop in normal energy levels in the afternoon and feel a need for more sleep?  Is it difficult to concentrate?  Do you have a reduced sex drive?  These are symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.  Other symptoms might include appetite changes, especially sweet and starch cravings, weight gain, irritability and anxiety.  You may experience symptoms present in other forms of depression such as guilt feelings, hopelessness, and physical ailments such as headaches.  SAD symptoms come back 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 than men, and is uncommon in those under the age of 20.  SAD is more common in northern regions such as the Pacific Northwest.

Some scientists believe SAD symptoms may be a biological response to reduction in seasonal sunlight.  Melatonin is involved in a complex process that sets your biological clock.  Morning sunlight tells your brain to begin its 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.

The good news is that   there are several ways to address SAD naturally.  One of the easiest ways is through 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 the 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.

Although we may want to be indoors more during the winter months, exercise is an important part of addressing depression.  It can be helpful to just get out and walk for 20 minutes on a regular basis.

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 as well as fortified cereals and milk.  Additional supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, melatonin, St John’s Wort and amino acids such as 5-HTP may be useful as well.  There are potential drug interactions with these therapies, so check with your health care provider.

Acupuncture shows promising results in treating SAD by releasing serotonin and noradrenaline-norepinephrine and has no side effects.  Acupuncture has also been shown as 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.

 

 

FOUR THIEVES VINEGAR

THE GARDEN HERBAL REMEDY THAT SURVIVED THE PLAGUE

                          For Thieves Herbs Four Thieves Vinegar is the stuff of legends and kitchen magic.  Recipes for this concoction are as numerous as the stories behind it.   An easy version for the home herbalist is a combination of garlic, rosemary, sage, thyme, lavender, peppermint and vinegar. It creates a vibrantly herbaceous remedy that may or may not protect your family from the bubonic plague, but will definitely enliven a salad, and help ease colds       during the fall and winter.

According to one version of the legend, when the plague ravaged the city of Marseilles in the seventeenth century, four grave robbers escaped the inevitable death from plague by dousing their bodies and face masks in an herbal vinegar with strong antibacterial and antiviral properties.  Once captured, they were spared burning at the stake and granted a more merciful hanging by revealing their herbal secret.

You may have seen drawings of physicians wearing long robes, wide brimmed hats and beaked masks.  Those beaked masked held herbs, spices, and essential oils.  The robes were doused with similar fragrant concoctions.  Modern scientific evidence supports this seemingly odd behavior.  Many harmfulPlague Bird microbes cannot survive in the presence of certain herbs and their essential oils.

FOUR THIEVES VINEGAR RECIPE

Add equal part of each herb to two cups of apple cider vinegar.

  • 2 tbsps. rosemary
  • 2 tbsps. sage
  • 2 tbsps. thyme
  • 2 tbsps. lavender
  • 2 tbsps. peppermint
  • 2 to four cloves crushed garlic

Add all herbs to a large jar, top with vinegar (cover to one inch of vinegar above the top of the herbs) and set in a cool, dark place to steep for two to three weeks.  Agitate the jar daily.  Strain through several layers of unbleached cheese cloth and store in several smaller jars.  Be sure to put some plastic wrap between the jar and the lid, as vinegar may corrode metal lids.

USING FOUR THIEVES VINEGAR

  • For colds, take one tablespoon diluted in water a few times a day.
  • Add to marinades or salad dressings.
  • May be useful as a spray for toe fungus!

This legendary herbal remedy may not be approved by the FDA for the plague, but it can be useful in the kitchen and for warding off those winter colds.

NAET is Neat

Gathering for Session NAET2013-07-28The last weekend in July is the date for the annual NAET symposium. NAET is Nambudripad Allergy Elimination Techniques and it does just that. There are many who  have taken this technique and coopted their own system but I have found this to be the most consistent and tested system around. We encourage our patients to get extensive allergy blood tests before we start treatment and again after we have  been working for a few months. We are developing a solid data bank that supports our work and validates all the efforts on the part of all our practitioners and patients who work with us.

Sr Naina NAET 2013-07-28Teachers and students come from around the world. One of our favorite instructors is Sister Naina from Bangalore. She has been running an orphanage there for children with HIV. Since 2005 she has treated more and more children. Current number is around 95. Over the years 18 infants/children and turned negative and have been able to be adopted. The last year’s study group of 10 older children have all done very well. These children do not receive anti-retroviral therapy and only NAET. Half of them now have no detectable viral load. The other children have had significant improvement in their viral loads. All the children who come to this orphanage do very well and do not get other diseases because of the NAET treatments and the improved care they receive.

Lunch networking

Lunch networking

New Canadian friends

New Canadian friends

More practitioners from Canada, Florida, Texas and the Middle East.

 

 

 

The main focus this year was Inflammation. Most of us know that stress causes inflammation and gingivitis (gum disease) causes inflammation. Did you know that lack of sleep also causes inflammation? Yuck. Inflammation can kill. We all have lots of work to do to rid ourselves of as much inflammation as possible. For insomnia a NAET specialist has a lot to explore in hormones, neurotransmitters, brain receptors. All these substances can be interpreted as allergens and our bodies develop an aversion to them. Inflammation ensues. Restless leg syndrome may be due to a dysfunction of the Iron receptor leading to low iron levels. When your body says it doesn’t want a substance in its world the reaction is an allergic response. We may not interpret it as an allergy – sneezing, cough, diarrhea. A lot can be flying under the radar because there is so much that we tune. The squeaky wheel often is the only issue that gets addressed but the root goes very deep.

The NAET testing and treatment process begins with the Basic 15 to build a solid immune system allowing the body to really be able to absorb all your nutrients. Of course, a new issue that is becoming more dominant is the impact of GMO’s. They are tricky devils. These guys can infect your normal gut bugs and permanently alter them, go off and create stealth colonies and coat themselves with film so they can’t be found or easily flushed from the guts. New testing vials have been developed to address these issues and as we learn more, we will have more vials to work with.

NAET offers options to people who were convinced there were no more options. This may be you. Please contact a NAET specialist near you by checking out the website: www.naet.com. If you would like to donate to the ongoing research that Sister Naina is conducting or to the NARF Foundation for all our research please visit: www.narf.org.

Chrysanthemum Iced Tea

Cold Chrysanthemum Tea

An ideal summer drink

 Chrysanthemum flower, or Ju Jua in Mandarin, is used in Chinese herbal medicine to address early stages of colds with fever, headaches, a dry mouth and throat.  This gentle herb is also served in Chinese restaurants with dim sum to aid digestion.  As it is cooling in nature, it makes a flavorful addition to iced tea on those hot summer days and evenings.  Chrysanthemum flower can be found at Asian markets and herb shops.

 Ingredients:

  • Chrysanthemum Flowers, 15—20.chrysanthemum Tea.jpg
  • 4 teaspoons of Jasmine or Green Tea
  • Rock sugar or honey
  • 4 cups of water

Instructions:

  • Rinse the chrysanthemum flowers.
  • Add water to large pot and bring to a boil.
  • Remove from heat, add chrysanthemum, steep for 20 min.
  • Add Jasmine or Green Tea in last 5 minutes of steeping.
  • Add rock sugar or honey to taste.
  • Strain and refrigerate. Serve chilled.

                 Enjoy!

The Cholesterol & Heart Disease Myth

Heart Attack

We all have heard it for decades.  Heart disease is caused by elevated blood cholesterol and the only accepted therapy is prescribing medications to lower cholesterol and a diet that restricts fat intake. The latter, the experts have insisted, will lower cholesterol and heart disease.

The truth is, the long-established dietary recommendations have created epidemics of obesity and diabetes.

The fact is your liver manufactures 75% of the cholesterol in your body.  Cholesterol is essential for many physical functions:

  • It builds and maintains cell membranes
  • It is essential for determining which molecules can pass into the cell and which cannot.
  • It is involved in the production of estrogen and testosterone.
  • It is essential for the production of hormones released by the adrenal glands (cortisol, corticosterone, aldosterone, and others)
  • It aids in the production of bile
  • It converts sunshine to vitamin D.
  • It is important for the metabolism of fat soluble vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E, and K
  • It insulates nerve fibers

Despite the fact that 25% of the population takes expensive statin medications and despite the fact we have reduced the cholesterol and fat in our diets, more Americans will die this year of heart disease than ever before.
Statistics from the American Heart Association show that 75 million Americans currently suffer from heart disease, 20 million have diabetes and 57 million have pre-diabetes. These disorders are affecting younger and younger people in greater numbers every year.

The realization several years ago that inflammation in the artery wall is the root cause of heart disease is slowly leading to a paradigm shift in how heart disease and other chronic ailments should be treated.

Without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes. Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended. It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped, because your body uses cholesterol to repair the damage from inflammation.

Inflammation is your body’s natural defense to a foreign invader such as a bacteria, toxin or virus. However, if we chronically expose the body to injury by toxins or foods the human body was never designed to process, a condition occurs called chronic inflammation. Most of us have followed the recommended mainstream diet that is low in fat and high in polyunsaturated fats and carbohydrates, not knowing we were causing repeated injury to our blood vessels. This repeated injury creates chronic inflammation leading to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity.

The cholesterol theory led to the no-fat, low-fat recommendations that in turn created the diets now causing an epidemic of inflammation.  We now know that for 75% of people, dietary cholesterol does not change blood cholesterol at all, and for 25%, only slightly.  Mainstream medicine made a terrible mistake when it advised people to avoid saturated fat in favor of foods high in omega-6 fats. We now have an epidemic of arterial inflammation leading to heart disease and other silent killers.

What you can do is choose whole foods your grandmother served and avoid those your mom may have turned to as grocery store aisles filled with processed foods. By eliminating inflammatory foods such as those made with processed flour and refined sugars, and adding essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food, you will reverse years of damage in your arteries and throughout your body from consuming the typical American diet.

Any Questions?  Email Scotts@OCACU.net

 

Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs

Eggs have been unfairly demonized because they contain large amounts of cholesterol.Deviled eggs  However, dietary cholesterol doesn’t necessarily raise blood cholesterol and eggs have never been proven to cause harm.  If anything, eggs are among the most nutritious and healthiest foods you can eat.  They’re loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.  Studies show no association between egg consumption and risk of heart disease

So, there is no need to fear the egg.

Deviled eggs are a surefire hit at any potluck, picnic or barbecue.  How many times have you made your favorite tabouli recipe for a potluck, only to take home ¾ of it?  Deviled eggs are easy to prepare and you’ll never bring home leftovers. 

 Directions for Hard Boiled Eggs

Place the eggs in a saucepan in a single layer and fill with water to cover the eggs by one inch. Cover the saucepan and bring the water to a boil; remove from the heat and let the eggs stand in the hot water for 15 minutes. Drain the hot water and cool the eggs under cold running water in the sink then peel the cooled eggs.

Ingredients for Deviled Eggs

  • 6 eggs, boiled
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  Pepper, paprika

 Let’ Devil Those Eggs

  • Shell eggs and slice lengthwise.
  • Put cooked yolks in a bowl and mash with a fork.
  • Add mayo, vinegar & pepper to yolks and mix.
  • Re-stuff eggs, and sprinkle with paprika.

 This is the most basic recipe.  Variations are endless.  For “Southern Style”, add some sweet pickle relish.  For a more zesty deviled egg, stir in a little horse radish or chili sauce (I like Sriracha hot chili sauce).  Add a dash of Worcestershire sauce.  Garnish with smoked salmon, roasted sweet peppers, freshly minced parsley, dill, or any herb you like.  No matter how plain or fancy, your deviled eggs will be a big hit.

Making A Dandelion Tincture by Scott Stuart, L.Ac.

dandelion field II

In the late spring I decided to make a tincture from dandelion root, leaf and flower.  My friend and acupuncture colleague Carol offered to let me come out to her farm and dig all the dandelions my heart desired.   All I needed were a bag and a small hand trowel.  Dandelions roots can go deep, and the only frustrating thing was getting a hold on a large long root and having it break off.  It did not take long to get plenty of dandelions, however.  I also noticed quite a bit of lance-leaf plantain, so I gathered plenty of it, too.

dandelion harvestHere is the harvest about one hour after being dug up.  It is just starting to get a little wilted.   This is just outside my front door.  I take them inside, wash everything, spin it in a salad spinner, and select the best looking leaves and flowers.

 

The result of the cleaning and culling:  90+ grams of root, 20 grams of leaves, and 20 grams of flowers.dandelion root flower leaf

 

 

 

Here are the ingredients.  In the blender is 130 grams of plant material.  Normally I would make a 1:2 tincture of fresh herb.  That would mean for every gram of herb I would use 2 ml of menstrum—in this case brandy.  I use brandy as it is a little sweet and should help offset the bitter of the dandelion.  I still want bitter flavor, but the brandy makes a nice balance.  However, in this case I choose to make a 1:3 tincture.  I have 130 dandy tincture kitchengrams of herb, so I need 390 ml of brandy.  I round up to 400ml and end up adding just a little more to top it off.

Here’s the 3:1 tincture fresh out of the blender.   I often use 190 proof grain alcohol for tincturing fresh herbs.  But I have found that the typical 80 to 90 proof vodka or brandy works well too.   You can use apple cider vinegar, too.  Be sure to use a plastic lid, or use plastic film between the jar and the lid, as the vinegar will corrode the metal.   I plan on letting it sit for three weeks before decanting, agitating it once per day (maybe twice).  I get busy on the third weekend and end up leaving it in the jar for 4 weeks.  I decant it through several layers of unbleached organic cotton cheesecloth.  I then let it sit for a week and let the sediment settle.  I funnel it off the lees into an amber bottle with a label stating what it is, when it was made and what the ratio of plant to solvent is. dandy tincture jar

 

                                        It doesn’t taste nearly as bitter as I thought it would.  Perhaps this is due to the flowers.

It may surprise you to learn this so-called weed is a rich source of vitamins A, and C, two antioxidants.  Dandelion also contains high amounts of B complex and vitamin D, as well as the minerals iron and zinc and potassium.

Because dandelion leaves are high in potassium they can be a useful mild natural diuretic. Potassium is often lost from the body with the use of other diuretics.  These young tender leaves can be a welcome addition to a salad of spring greens, added to sandwiches or sautéed in a vegetable stir fry.

Dandelion flowers are surprisingly sweet.  They can be used to make wine, or battered and fried as fritters.  A tea made from the flowers can be used as the base of dandelion jelly.  The flowers also have medicinal properties.  They are a source of lecithin, which can increase your brain’s acetylcholine, a substance which helps maintain healthy brain function and may play a role in slowing or even stopping Alzheimer’s disease.

Dandelion root is used as a mild appetite stimulant.  It can improve upset stomach with a feeling of fullness, gas and/or constipation.  In traditional herbal medicines, dandelion root has been used to improve liver and gallbladder function.

Do not take dandelion if you are pregnant or have any acute gastric inflammation.

The dose for dandelion tincture is 2-5 ml, or between 40 and 100 drops.

 

 

Less Stress, More Balance at work

I have lots of patients who come in with neck and shoulder tightness, forearm and wrist pain and or back pain. Particularly if they have an office job where they spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen or if they are on the road behind the wheel of the car there tends to be a lot of overuse abuse of our bodies going on. Now I know we don’t want to think we are abusing ourselves but we are. We are designed to be moving much more than we do.

A tip I share with people is to set up a timer across the cubicle from them or in some area of the office where they have to GET UP and go turn it off. I suggest every 55 minutes. After turning off the timer get some WATER – not a sweet sugary fruit drink. Remember we are probably all dehydrated. Then how about hitting the john. Let’s not be growing water filled basket balls in our bodies. Add some stretches, gentle twists, squats, deep breathing.

When you are on a long road trip, use the rest stops. They are there for a reason and your tax dollars have paid for them.

All this is about keeping the qi and blood moving. Get fresh energy to the brain and you can think more clearly and keep alot of the kinks and creaks out of the joints. Remember your eyes need a break from the video monitor and staring at the road, too. 

Remember to take a break. While you’re at it – don’t work through lunch. Take care of yourself. YOU are the one in charge of you. And while your insurance doesn’t often pay for all the self- help that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of yourself and, yes, pay for it yourself. Call Oregon City Acupuncture with questions on how we can help you more to stay in balance and have less stress.

Check out this link for more ideas.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/13/work-stress-how-to-find-calm_n_2821203.html#slide=more284900

Carol K Griesmeyer

Horse hooves

Less Stress – More Balance. Nourishing Kidney Energy

Using the energy of the each season to nourish you.

This is winter. Even though it feels like spring is coming many know it is still clearly winter. Here in the Willamette Valley we’ve had our usual variation of weather with rain, cold – some severe cold, fog, and a glimpse of the sun. Winter is the season of Kidney energy and is the perfect time to nourish this aspect of you. Kidneys are the source energy organ where we get our life energy, our genetic map – essence, and Yin and Yang energies. It is the Water element, a Yin element, from which you can consider all life evolved. This definitely brings to mind the ocean. Visiting the ocean can be a very good way to nourish the Kidneys. Listening to the hypnotizing, relaxing sound of the surf and smelling the salty air (the flavor of the Kidneys is salt) makes this a very energizing outing (along with leaving work behind).

While it can be cold in the Willamette Valley it can be very warm out on the coast. It’s a well-kept secret. So during our very cold period a few weeks ago my husband and I went out to the coast. Cannon Beach looked like the hot spot – 50’s – so we headed west.

What a glorious day. It’s nowhere near as crowded now, especially if you get there early, parking is easy to find. The shops aren’t crowded and there is no wait at the restaurants. We decided to walk the beach first, even though I was hungry.

We lucked out again in that the tide was out so there was even more room to roam. We first visited the seagull flock who were taking a bath in the stream where it meets the ocean. Quite a lot of activity. Having a wide stream of water that was a foot deep was enough of a safety margin for them that you could get close and they wouldn’t fuss too much.

Seagulls at Cannon Beach

Seagulls at Cannon Beach

The rest of the beach had a lot of logs and other flotsam up at the high water line. In the recently uncovered sand there were scattered rocks, pieces of sand dollars and sea weeds and grasses. Foam created some interesting patterns around collections of “stuff”. The sun was low and bright and the sky was crystal clear. The fog was back in the mountains.We strolled the sand. No need to do a power walk. You’re at the beach to nourish Yin, the slower, calmer energy. We don’t do enough of this in our crazy, hectic lives. Besides you get a variety of workouts here depending on the hardness of the sand. The foot prints in the sand included running shoes, hiking boots, “Wellies” (high top work boots) and bare feet (it was that warm). Of course there were lots of dogs and a couple of horses.

Barefoot at the beach

Barefoot in the sand

We like to do a lot of photography though we didn’t bring our fancy cameras I was happy with my little Cool Pix and my husband was playing with his phone. The low light created some interesting shadows and I was getting down into a deep crouch to get close to the subjects. Most of the time my husband and I took turns on “water watch” but sometimes we got caught up in our subjects. One of those times when my husband looked up and I was still nose-to-the-sand he informed me that the water was coming. Unfortunately it was only about 3-4 feet away.  Being that I was in such a deep crouch it was difficult for me to get up quickly as the sand was already softening with the water coming into it. I lost my footing and went to my knees. I couldn’t get up and my husband grabbed my coat collar and I fell over onto my left side. Now I was rolling around in the water. Definitely soaked from the waist down. My rain jacket kept the upper part of me dry. But I had flannel lined pants on and they are heavy. Golly! I was still starving, soaking wet, still had a lot of beach to walk and my camera and purse were wetter than I wanted.

We stopped at a log, wrung out our sox and kept walking. It took a while for me to discover I had lost my favorite scarf in the surf. I hope no creature got caught up in it. I did have my rain pants, another coat and my hiking boots and sox in the car so I had something to change into. That was good as I still had to eat. People were getting paid with “sand dollars” out of my wallet that day.

The camera got put into ICU for the next day and it wanted to respond. We had high hopes but we lost it two days later. Salt water baths do nothing good for electronic gear although it makes good taffy.

So lessons learned: Nourish your Kidneys and Yin energy in the winter. Visiting the beach is a good way to do this. Take time to slow down, ponder, stroll, sniff the air, explore the horizon, be introspective, relax. Nourishing your Yin and Kidneys is important all year but doing it in the season it dominates provides more support. Give it a try. Just watch for the water. I was able to walk away with little harm done but sneaker waves are no joke. Stay safe.

Feather in the sand

Feather in the sand

Seaweed

Seaweed

Sand dollar

Sand dollar