Keeping You Healthy Through the Seasons

Getting my learning on!

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Getting my learning on!

Learning from the amazing Dr. Robert Chu thanks to Elotus webinars! More master tung information along with new insights from Dr Chu.


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8 Ways to Eat Smarter this Summer

Summer is here!  You may find yourself having a great time at the beach, barbeques or fun poolside events!  Though these fun activities are important to de-stress ourselves, we also want to be aware of what we eat so our health problems do not come raging back once Summer is over. If you’re not sure where to begin – here are a few simple tips for how to be healthier this summer.

 1. Snack Smarter.

Start by getting rid of as much processed foods as possible.  These products are usually filled with preservatives and are considered high-calorie junk food.  Fresh produce is your friend!  Fruit is abundant in the warm temperatures in the South so there is no reason not to take advantage of it!  Start by slowly adding in fruits and veggies and other healthy snack choices around the house.   Try out watermelon and other melons, strawberries, peaches, blueberries, and other fresh sweet foods as your go to snacks.  Also think about veggie snacks like celery, carrots with a scoop of almond or cashew butter.  A simple trick is to precut your fruit so it is ready to eat when you are hungry and craving something sweet and delicious   Try and stay away from the pile of cookies or pint of ice cream when your sugar cravings start.  You can do it!

2. Take control of your Portion size.

Just because we live in the south does not mean we need to eat as “southerns” do.  Big plates for a meal is not realistic for us to eat all the time.  Undo the super-size mentality and take control of your diet!  Portion sizes should be about the size of your palm cupped. This is a great guide to estimate healthy portions.

3. Slash Your Soda Intake.

Soda is not good for you.  No if ands or buts.  It would be in your best interest to stop consuming your soda.  Think of it as “diabetes in a can”.  And those diet sodas, those are even worse with the fake sugars! Did you know they will only increase your thirst and cravings for sugar? Try and commit to going soda free this summer!  Try slowly weaning yourself off these drinks.  Need help?  Switch to unsweetened ice tea, natural fruit flavored water (use slices of lemon, oranges or berries!)  If you crave the fizz try seltzer or kombucha!  Kombucha is a fermented drink meaning its full of probiotics which is great for regulating our digestion!

4. Choose Homemade Sauces, Dips and Dressings.

Did you know dips are incredibly easy to make!  All you really need is a blender, whisk or a mason jar!  This is a great way to omit processed foods from our diet and save on calories!  Instead of pouring that dressing all over your salad, just lightly coat it instead.  For homemade dressings, just put ingredients plus oil and vinegar in the jar, close tightly and shake vigoursly!  Ta-Da homemade salad dressings!  Beware of the chip table this summer.  Make smart choices like a handful of pita chips or even better, vegetable sticks with hummus or salsa.  Mmmmm!

5. Eat Breakfast.

Do you know that this is not only the most important meal but also the most important meal skipped over.  Really, I mean it.  This one can make a big difference in how many total calories you consume for the day. A healthy breakfast choice may establish your hormonal appetite regulation system for the day.  A scone or muffin with coffee might sound good, but won’t tame your cravings or temper your appetite as much as a protein-rich breakfast from eggs (6 grams protein per 70-calorie med egg), chia seed pudding, oatmeal with almond butter or yogurt (esp Greek yogurt); yogurt or cottage cheese with fruit; or nut butters with a protein-rich whole-grain (if its okay for your body) or nut bread.  Maybe even a Green Drink or Juice! Try to stay away from packaged, processed and sugar laden breakfast foods.

6. Make Mondays Meatless. 

You may have heard the “Meatless Mondays” slogan, which started as a way to help the war effort during WWI. Now it’s a nationwide movement.  Going meatless just one day a week can decrease your risk for cancer and other major health issues.  It is important for us to only eat red meat once a week.  Best if all meat can be grass fed and antibiotic and hormone free.  Here are some great companies to order from if you cannot get it from your local farmers market: Heritage Foods USAUS Wellness Meats.

7. Get to Know Your Alternative Grains!  

Did you know there are so many more grains out there besides wheat!  They are all different and fun to experiment with to find your favorite.  Quinoa is probably the most well-known non wheat grain, but now it is time to delve deeper into the rest!  Look into Amaranth, spelt, chia seeds, flax seed and millet.  Not only do they taste terrific, there are many health benefits to be gained by expanding your “Grain Universe”.  Studies show that eating whole grains instead of refined grains lowers the risk of many chronic diseases. While benefits are most pronounced for those consuming at least 3 servings daily, some studies show reduced risks from as little as one serving daily. It is good to remember that not all of us are meant for grains, so if you have digestive symptoms with wheat, try the non-wheat alternatives, but even those may cause some issues.  Just listen to your body!

8. Eat in Accordance to the Chinese Element Fire.

In Chinese Medicine, Summer is connected to the Fire Element.  It is good to increase your “cooling” foods during this time.  You can start to eat more raw and bitter foods like salads, cucumbers, watercress, dark green leafy greens and more fruits like berries.  The organs related to summer are the Heart and Small Intestine.  When the Fire element is balanced in the body, your blood will circulate better and your food will digest properly.


Enjoy and have a great Summer!!!

Emma Dan L.Ac.


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10 Key Benefits of Acupuncture Include

1. Improved Health and Quality of Life

This is achieved because acupuncture balances the body’s energy systems. Our life styles, thought patterns and diets create imbalance in the body. Acupuncture helps to balance these energy systems through acupuncture points. These points are gateways to the body’s energy flow. They help to take the “load” off of excess and redirect that Qi (loosely translated as energy) to the areas in your body that are deficient.

2. Stress Reduction
This is also accomplished by balancing your body’s energy. A little stress is actually good for you, but most people today experience far too much of it. Experience these high stress levels day after day makes it very difficult for your body to relax and balance; regular acupuncture treatments are a powerful way to enable this relaxation and balance.

3. Pain Reduction
Helping with chronic and acute pain is one of the most common applications of acupuncture. Arthritis, neck pain, back pain, menstrual pain, carpal tunnel, plantar fasciitis, joint sprains & strains, digestive pain etc. are very commonly helped by acupuncture. If you experience migraine, cluster and other headaches you can often find relief right there on the table. The results can be amazing.

4. Improved and Faster Recovery from Injury, Illness and Surgery
This can be accomplished using acupuncture to increase circulation, reduce inflammation and reduce scaring. “Weekend warrior” types of injuries are known to heal much faster with acupuncture. Many professional sports teams have staff acupuncturists.

5. Emotional Balance
Achieving emotional balance can be both the primary focus of acupuncture treatment and is also a positive “side effect” when you use acupuncture for other reasons. Depression, anxiety, frustration, and worry are a few emotional imbalances treated. Acupuncture points have a physical and emotional aspect to their function and most times both of those aspects are accessed during the acupuncture treatment.

6. Respiratory Health
This can be very effectively achieved with acupuncture! Allergies, asthma, sinusitis, rhinitis are conditions that are positively impacted with acupuncture everyday. Being aware of indoor pollutants – cleaning chemicals, out gassing of plastics & fabrics, molds etc. and taking steps to reduce them can also reduce respiratory imbalances. Nasal irrigation is also very helpful.

7. Insomnia Relief
Insomnia and other sleep issues are also very commonly addressed by acupuncture. Since insomnia and sleep disturbances can be caused from stress, injury, pain and emotional imbalance, good sleep can also be a positive “side effect” when acupuncture is used for other primary reasons. An acupuncture treatment can easily be focused on insomnia and sleep disturbances.

8. Strengthening Your Immune System
This can be accomplished through balancing your body’s energy systems with acupuncture. Stress, illness, environmental toxins, and allergies, are just a few of the causes of a weakened immune system.

9. Premenstrual (PMS) and Menopausal Symptom Relief
I would venture to say that every experienced acupuncturist has helped with PMS and relieving menopausal symptoms. These conditions are very common, of course, and acupuncture is very effective in treating the symptoms associated with them. Headaches, cramping, sleep disturbances, mood swings, night sweats, cycle length and duration, and pimples are just a few of the common symptoms.

10. Reduction of Side Effects of Chemo and Radiation Therapies
This can also be a very powerful benefit of acupuncture. Please head to and input “acupuncture” in their search box for much more detailed information including studies that have been conducted showing acupuncture’s effectiveness. The side effects acupuncture can help include (but are not limited to) coughing, fever, anxiousness, nausea, depression, night sweats, dry mouth, pain, diarrhea, and constipation. Improved quality of life is, without a doubt, experienced by every cancer patient I have treated.