Ally: National Love Your Pet Day

February 20, 2020: Happy National Love Your Pet Day!
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Aren’t these the cutest pets you ever did see!? Apparently, we’re a predominately dog group of friends & family but I would like to celebrate all pets!
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Ally comes from the Latin word alligare, meaning “to bind to.” If you’re a pet person I feel this is a wonderful Being Well & Balanced Ally. Throughout my life we’ve always had pets, mostly dogs and cats. However, we did have a bunny for a bit and also got to take care of stray ducklings and baby chipmunks for a small window of time since we lived in a county park with my dad being the park ranger (people think they’re helping the baby animals by taking them out of their natural habitat… this is generally not helpful).
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Anyways, pets are amazing, for so many reasons. It may be cliche to say, but pets truly become part of the family. It’s no secret- we spoil our pets!… But my thought about this is, why would you have a pet if you’re not going to spoil it!? This doesn’t mean we don’t train our pets or have rules… we definitely do (except for our cat- because he’s a cat and they do what they please), but from training our current dog, it’s very obvious they want to be trained. Dogs want to know the lines and boundaries and expectations. It helps them feel safe and loved. And when they feel safe and loved, it helps the relationship blossom into the most extraordinary experience!
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On this day (and all days, because what other health & wellness ally is better than a living being!?) take a few extra minutes to pet, cuddle, and love your pet. Because while we have our super busy, stressful, hectic lives, our pets are there through it all, just wanting to be here for us and love us, unconditionally. And in my opinion, that is the true meaning of life.

My Cold & Flu Medicine Cabinet

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* photo credit: Amanda Sengbusch

Who knows at least one person who has been sick already this year!? It seems like each year more and more people are getting sick and the symptoms are lasting longer and longer! I’m so thankful for all the categories of medicine, but I do have a very special place in my heart for more natural remedies.
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EXTERNAL PATHOGENIC INVADER
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), external pathogenic invaders (EPI) are what we refer to as cold and flu viruses/ bugs/ illnesses. In any given season there are EPIs floating about in the world. The health of your internal defense system, also known as wei qi “way chee,” will determine if you develop symptoms and become sick or if you’re able to fight off the infection and remain symptom free.
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-> If the EPI is strong and your wei qi is also strong, you may develop some symptoms but your body is most likely able to fight off the EPI.
-> If the EPI is strong but your wei qi is weak, you will get sick.
-> If the EPI is weak and your wei qi is also weak, you will get sick.
-> If the EPI is weak but your wei qi is strong, you most likely won’t get sick.
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This gives some reasoning behind why a variety of people can come in contact with a person with an EPI but only a select few develop symptoms and get sick. Luckily there are a whole host of things one may do to enhance their wei qi (future post to come).
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COLD & FLU MEDICINE CABINET
We all have our own ways of handling colds and flus. Whether you’re one who continues to work through it and just hopes to get better, or you take the very important time to rest while implementing the whole kit and kuboodle… here are my items I’m sure to give a try to battle the EPI:
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Herbs are individual to each presentation and require a diagnosis from a licensed acupuncturist/ herbalist:
– Gan Mao Ling
– Herbal ABX
– Minor Bupleurum
– Yin Qiao
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Supplements & Oils:
– C grams (vitamin C) from Advocare – or Vitamin C from your local drugstore
– Congaplex from Standard Process – a whole food supplement
– Essential Oils: eucalyptus, frankincense, immupower, lemon, peppermint, thieves
– Gypsy Cold Care Tea from Traditional Medicinals – most grocery/ health stores
– Immuno Guard from Advocare – a supplement with the health benefits of mushrooms
– Oscillococcinum from your local drugstore and Amazon – a homeopathic remedy
– Sambucol – from your local drugstore – the healing properties of black elderberry
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I’ve been using these products for years for all of my cold and flu like symptoms. Usually after using and alternating the products above, I’m able to keep the cold/flu symptoms in check. Some of these products are able to be purchased at your local drugstore at your convenience but remember it’s best to check with your licensed acupuncturist for which herbs to use along with your medical physician to determine the best products for you.
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What do you like to use to help get feeling your best during the cold and flu season!?
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Always feel free to stop into your local, favorite acupuncturist to help keep you healthy and talk about alternative ways to beat the colds and flus circulating this year. I’m sure they would love to share some of their favorite tips and tricks with you as well!
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**The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

Acupuncture Ally: Thieves Essential Oil

young living thievesTo continue our talks about the season of autumn and colds and flu, an essential oil I’m sure to never go without is Thieves from Young Living Essential Oils. 

Thieves essential oil includes clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, and rosemary. It’s known to help support the immune system at the onset of colds, flu and candida. It may also help with sinusitis, coughing and sore throats.

I really like diffusing thieves in the diffuser, as it smells amazing and reminds me of Christmas. If you don’t have a diffuser, you can put a drop on a cotton ball and inhale it periodically.Others will apply thieves topically to their feet with a carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil or coconut oil.

I also will add 1 drop to about 16 oz of water in a glass bottle (do not use plastic with essential oils, as the oils break down toxins, and will break down the plastic). This can have quite an intense taste, but when paired with peppermint or lemon essential oils, it dilutes it down a little. I will start using Thieves the moment my throat becomes sore, which can be a pretty good sign that an illness may be attempting to break through. Usually after one day of use my throat is relieved and I’m feeling better.

Please note: repeated use can result in extreme contact sensitization and can cause extreme skin irritation. Use with caution during pregnancy.

***The posts, testimonies and information provided on this site are not intended to treat, cure, diagnose or prevent any disease or illness. Please be sure to always check with your health care professional before altering any prescription medication or starting a new health care regiment regardless. The suggested use of essential oils on this page are YOUNG LIVING EXCLUSIVE. We cannot be held responsible for damage done through the use of off brand or synthetic essential oils, supplements or homeopathy suggested on this page. INGESTING SYNTHETIC or PERFUME GRADE essential oils is highly dangerous. These bottles are labeled “NOT for internal use”. Young Living essential oils are MEDICINAL grade, used internally in over 50 U.S. Hospitals and, will be noted on the label as “GRAS” by the FDA for internal use or as a food additive.

Acupuncture Ally: Lemon & Honey in Warm Water

We all know it’s important to drink plenty of water throughout the day, I mean, roughly 50-75% of our bodies are made of water! But a common complaint I hear is that water is boring or people just don’t like it.

IMG_2115A fabulous way to make water a little more flavorful is to add lemon and honey. When I make this I use about a teaspoon of local honey (I love supporting local bee keepers!) and a couple drops of Young Living Lemon Essential Oil, which is a high quality therapeutic grade oil brand that is safe for ingestion.* Another option to incorporate lemon is to add a fresh slice right to warm or hot water.

Lemon: the temperature is cold; the taste is sour; the channels of the body it affects are the gallbladder, liver, kidney, lung and spleen. This promotes Qi and blood circulation, clears heat, removes toxins and transforms phlegm.

Honey: the temperature is neutral; the taste is sweet; the channels it affects are the spleen, stomach, large intestine and lung; the effects are: nourishes Yin, tonifies Qi, supplements Qi and blood, promotes blood circulation and removes toxins.

Lemon and honey are great additions to your daily habits year round, but especially in the autumn and winter since these seasons are Yin in nature, as opposed to Yang. Yin has to do with thicker, denser, more liquid substances throughout the body. According to Chinese medicine, when you combine foods of sweet and sour properties you have a wonderful mixture to tonify the Yin of the body. With the season of autumn being dry in nature, it is so important to be sure you’re nourishing and hydrating yourself.


Temperature: It’s also important to drink room temperature or warm water. This is one of the biggest differences between western and eastern theories. While western theories may say ice cold water boosts your metabolism to burn calories, according to eastern medicine, the cold may be hard on your digestive system.

Think of the spleen and stomach as a melting pot; food and liquid needs to be warmed and mixed in order to be digested. When you eat or drink warmer temperature items, you are helping the work of the spleen and stomach. When you eat or drink cooler temperature items you are making the spleen and stomach work harder. In today’s age with diet and lifestyle, many peoples’ spleens are already a little weak, so the ice and cold temperatures add to the problem. You may be experiencing bloating, gas, or loose stools if your spleen is deficient or weak.

This is one simple change you may add into your daily life. I will say it is a tough transition, and there will be foods and drinks you always want to be cold, but if you could incorporate more room temperature to warm things in your life your spleen with thank you for it! I promise you eventually get used to it! Just remember, small steps. Change takes time, but it’s worth it to feel more well and balanced.

*The suggested uses in the above post apply only to the use of therapeutic grade, Young Living Essential Oils. Not all essential oils are the same! Be sure to consult with the product label or healthcare professional for correct usage of other.

Acupuncture Ally: Food Therapy

Every food, liquid, spice and condiment has properties that the East recognizes, including temperature of food, taste (sour, sweet, bitter, astringent, pungent), acidity, channels affects and the effect of the food. This shows us that food is more than just food; food is actually the simplest form of medicine. What we eat really does make up what our body has to fuel itself on.

Rules to Eating:

  • Eat slowly and only when you are hungry.
  • Be in a calm environment, don’t eat when you are upset or angry.
  • Stop eating when you are about 75% full. A piece of helpful advice from a previous teacher of mine: the moment you stop tasting what you’re eating and/or the moment you could ‘take it or leave it’ you should stop.
  • Be aware of how you feel before you eat and after you eat. Your body is really smart and will tell you if it doesn’t like something, although it may be difficult to pick up on these clues initially. Sensitivities may be in the form of abdominal upset and bowel movements, or things such as skin rashes or headaches.

Eat:

  • Warm foods: either cooked, steamed, baked, etc. Warm foods are easier for your spleen and stomach to digest.
  • Easily digestible foods such as soups and congee. These foods are easy on your spleen and stomach, and can actually help them work better, leading to better digestion and health.
  • For the season, in the summer it is okay to eat cooler foods, such as watermelon, to cool your body. However, if you are in the air conditioning all day long, you will want to take that into account. In the winter, it is better to eat hot and warm foods to nourish and warm your body.
  • Include protein and healthy fats in your breakfast to properly fuel your body and to reduce the amount of cravings later in the day.

Avoid:

  • Fried food, sugar, alcohol. These foods have properties that cause stagnation. When stagnation occurs, it can eventually turn to heat. Stagnation, heat and cold can damage your stomach’s ability to “rotten and ripen” the food and inpair the function of the spleen to “transform and transport” the nutrients.
  • Cold, raw foods are hard on your stomach and spleen and may cause bloating, gas and loose stools. In The Tao of Healthy Eating, Flaws explains how our body is able to absorb more of the nutrients in cooked foods opposed to raw foods.
  • Processed food. The ultimate goal should be to be eating whole, real foods. Our body doesn’t know what to do with processed food, even taking into account the artificial sweeteners. In that case, it’s better to have real sugar; at least our body knows what to do with it.
  • Speaking of sugar, we can’t stress enough how important it is to reduce our sugar consumption altogether. Sugar causes stagnation and phlegm, and therefore may cause pain, along with many other symptoms.
  • Dairy… yes dairy. It can also cause phlegm and stagnation. A little dairy is ok, if your body tells you it is ok. But be aware of how it makes you feel.
  • Eating close to bedtime. If you eat too close to when you go to sleep, your body will be trying to digest the food when it should be focusing on other body systems. Eating close to bedtime may result in poor sleep. Refrain from eating two hours before bed.

Recommended Reading:

The Tao of Healthy Eating by Bob Flaws: Summarizes the theory behind Traditional Chinese Medicine and digestion and how the body works.
Helping Ourselves: A Guide to Traditional Chinese Food Energetics by David Leggett: “a beginners guide to nutrition according to the principles of Chinese medicine.”