Depression or Sadness, is there a difference?

Normal life has its ups and downs, and sadness is a part of life for all of us.  Perhaps you are sad because you have a romantic or family relationship that is not working out, you have not gotten the job or promotion you desire, you are lonely or isolated.  If you have recently lost a family member or someone you care for deeply, you may feel profound sadness.  There are countless reasons to experience sadness and you may ask, am I depressed?

Sadness is a normal response to a difficult time, it is normal to be sad, and sadness is not a disease state.  Sometimes the terms sadness and depression are used interchangeably.  You might feel sad or “depressed”, but if this is due to a tough incident or event, it is not the same as the clinical disease called Depression.

Depression on the other hand is an overwhelming sadness about everything.  It is a medical condition that goes beyond life’s ordinary ups and downs.  People with severe depression do not just pull themselves together after an episode of sadness.  In fact, when experiencing clinical depression, you may feel sad for no identifiable reason.

So, if you are feeling sad, we will make several recommendations.  Get outside, spend time in nature, exercise, spend time in quality social interaction, volunteer, eat foods that are nourishing, take care of yourself, however that is meaningful for you.  Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal medicine will also help you process sadness so that you can move on with your life.

Treating depression takes a more multifaceted approach.  Treatment may include therapy, medications, lifestyle modifications.  Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine are helpful in this multifaceted treatment plan.

Please let us know if we can be of help

Ann & Emily

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The Cook At Home Diet!

 

 

We are often asked what is the best diet?  How do I lose weight and get healthy?   Should I eat Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, Keto, Low Carb?????

The diet we most often recommend is the “Cook at Home Diet”.

What is this radical new diet all about?  It’s about getting healthy, saving money, and taking control of your nutrition.

So, with the Cook at Home Diet, you do not have any food restrictions, you just focus on preparing the highest quality food you can get, you control your portion size (no more Cheesecake Factory type portions made for 300 lb. football players), and you control your budget.  Win Win Win.

How do you improve the quality of the food you eat?  You start with baby steps.  Here is a list of ideas, you don’t need to incorporate them all, pick one or two and get started:

  • Avoid processed, packaged foods with multiple, unrecognizable ingredients, such as hamburger helper, packaged gravies and sauces,
  • Start incorporating some organic fruits and veggies. Check out the EWG Dirty Dozen List that identifies the most contaminated fruits and veggies in the US, and switch one or two of your favorites out for organic varieties.
  • Start incorporating meats from grass fed sources, organic free range poultry, sustainably harvested wild fish, organic free range eggs, you get the idea.
  • Select full fat dairy, organic sources are best
  • For cooking oils, select avocado, olive, coconut, ghee
  • Avoid sugary or artificially sweetened drinks
  • Avoid sugary baked goods

What does it cost to eat out on a regular basis?  The data varies, but the average is at least $13 per person per meal.  How does this compare to eating at home?  You can feed a family of four for as little as $10 per meal.  But let’s assume you want to splurge on ingredients sometimes, and allow for an average cost of $5 per person per meal.  For a family of 4, if you ate all your meals out, the cost at $13 per meal ends up with a total of $56,940 per year.  If that same family ate all their meals at home, the cost is $21,900.

Our suggestion, is to cook some meals at home, and go out and enjoy yourself once or twice a week.  If you did that, you would still save over $25,000 per year over eating out every day!!

Take care and enjoy eating at home.

Ann & Emily

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No Brainer Reasons to Visit an Acupuncturist – Reason #3 – Knee Arthritis

A study published in January 2017 identifies conditions with strong evidence supporting the effectiveness of acupuncture. Arthritis of the Knee, is one of the conditions that is very successfully treated with acupuncture – it’s a no brainer.

So, if your knee is really hurting, you might have been to your doctor searching for ways to relieve the pain.  Doctors will often give injections in the knee to relieve the pain.  For some, these injections can be quite helpful, but the relief is only temporary, typically lasting for months.

For a long-term benefit to the knee, one of the most effective strategies is to begin a strengthening program.  By increasing the muscles in your leg (especially the upper leg), you may reduce the pressure of the knee, thereby reducing pain.  One exercise that is great for strengthening the upper leg is a wall sit.  This exercise does not require any equipment, and can be done anywhere there is some blank wall space.  Here is a great example of how to perform this simple exercise: Wall Sit Exercise.

If you are carrying a little extra weight, it can be really hard on the knees, so working to loose that weight is a great strategy to eliminate knee pain long term.

Other strategies to help with pain on a shorter term basis include icing, heat packs (you can even alternate ice and heat), as well as taking anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen (Advil).

If you are looking for a medication free way to resolve the pain of arthritis in the knee, it might be time to consider acupuncture.  Acupuncture treatments will stimulate circulation, and ease inflammation, resulting in decreased pain.  Once the pain is reduced, you can increase your activity level, which helps keep weight down, and the knee joint lubricated and pain free.

 

Ann & Emily

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No Brainer Reasons to Visit an Acupuncturist – Reason #2 – Back Pain

 

A study published in January 2017 identifies conditions with strong evidence supporting the effectiveness of acupuncture. Back pain, whether it be acute pain (it just started today) or chronic pain (it’s been around for months or even years) is one of the conditions that is very successfully treated with acupuncture – it’s a no brainer.

So, what do you do between now and your acupuncture appointment to manage the pain you are experiencing?  Let’s give you some self-care recommendations.

If the pain is acute (it just happened): You can try laying down on the floor with your feet slightly elevated on a pillow.  Alternate between applying heat and then ice.  For example, 15 minutes with a heating pad and then 15 minutes with an ice pack.  There are some over the counter pain patches that might be helpful.

If the pain is chronic: try a self-massager (we have a shiatzu massager from Costco that we both use at home), do some basic stretching, nothing that hurts, here is an example of a stretching routine from Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CO3racIlTcg.

We are often asked; how long will it take for me to be better with acupuncture?  For acute pain, resolution is typically quick.  We may see you 1-3 times in a week and the pain should be gone or greatly diminished.  For chronic pain, resolution is often longer.  We will recommend an initial 4 treatment plan.  From there we will access your progress and come up with a treatment plan.

Whatever the cause of your back pain, once we see you we will make some individual self-care and/or life style recommendations to help the pain go away faster, and to keep it away.  We will also refer for additional care from a massage therapist, chiropractor, or orthopedic specialist if we think it is necessary.

Ann & Emily

 

 

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Is your laundry clean but toxic?

Oh, the smell of clean laundry.  It may bring back childhood memories of putting on fresh clothes or crawling into bed with fresh clean sheets.  But what is that smell you remember so well?

 

Commercial laundry detergents such as the top selling brands: Tide, Gain, Kirkland, and others are what we are most familiar with.  The problem with these brands is that they are full of chemicals and in some cases, chemical fragrances. The ingredient list may include, petroleum, phosphates, formaldehyde, chlorine, synthetic dyes and synthetic fragrances.

 

Dryer sheets are also a significant problem as they coat your clothes, and are made with synthetic chemicals and synthetic fragrance.

 

When your clothes are washed in these products, the chemicals permeate the materiel, and remain as a reside on the clothes.  The chemicals can result in skin irritations, affect your metabolism by disrupting hormones, possibly even affecting your immune system.

 

So, it’s time to clean out your laundry room, and bring in some less toxic products.  My current favorite laundry detergent is Molly’s Suds.  This product is made with only 3 ingredients plus organic essential oil.  Check out their website mollysuds.com.  Instead of dryer sheets, I use wool dryer balls and if I want a natural fragrance, I make my own “dryer sheets” using a recipe from Wellness Mamma, here is the link: http://ift.tt/2nN4tu2

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No Brainer Reasons to Visit an Acupuncturist – Reason #1 – Headache

A study published in January 2017 identifies conditions with strong evidence supporting the effectiveness of acupuncture.  Headache of any type including migraine and tension headache is one of the conditions that is very successfully treated with acupuncture – it’s a no brainer.

It makes us cry when we hear a patient’s story about dealing with frequent headaches.  The pain, missing time with family and friends, missing work, the “hangover” from taking drugs that only dull the pain, never taking the pain away forever.

Acupuncture is amazingly effective in eliminating headaches.  The technique we use will eliminate or significantly reduce the pain during the first treatment.  Then we develop a plan, with the patient to eliminate headaches long term.  Once your headaches are gone, there should be
no reason to use prescription or over the counter drugs.

Remember: it is not normal to have a headache (ever, unless you get hit on the head) let us help you, let us give you your life back, and become headache free, you deserve it.

Ann & Emily

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