Archive for April 2014

Eat Foods That Suit Your Body

24 Hours logoWhen it comes to traditional Chinese medicine, many will only think about acupuncture or, perhaps, herbs.

Cures using food are also key in this medical system. Sun Simiao, creator of one of the first encyclopedias of clinical medicine and a famous TCM doctor, said, “People who practice medicine must first thoroughly understand the source of the disorder and know what has been violated. Then, use food to treat it, and if food will not cure it, afterwards apply medicine.”

For more, from my article in 24 Hours, click here for the link or here for the PDF version.


Fennel Apple Salad Recipe

Fennel Apple Salad
Serves 4
If you ate too much chocolate, ham, turkey, or food in general over the Easter long weekend, then make this salad. Nice and light, this salad is simple to make and is also delicious. It doesn't even need a dressing. Even better, fennel will help relieve intestinal spasms or cramps, helps relieve gas, tones and strengthens the stomach, and soothes pain. Bonus points for fennel is that it's high in vitamin C, fiber, folic acid, magnesium, iron, and calcium; it helps with uncomfortable menopausal symptoms; it is anti-inflammatory; and it may help prevent cancer. Fennel has a distinct flavour--lightly sweet anise--that I have found even veggie-haters like. Even my licorice-disliking family members love this salad. It's suitable for those that are vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free.
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  1. 1 fennel root bulb, thinly sliced
  2. 2 apples, unpeeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  3. 1 orange, juiced
  4. 1-2 tablespoon dried cranberries, raisins, or golden berries
  5. 1-3 tablespoon pine nuts or sunflower seeds
  1. The original recipe I found used dried cranberries and pine nuts only as garnish, but I like mixing them all together and choosing more dried small fruit and small nuts or seeds in larger amounts.
Adapted from Joanne Capano
Adapted from Joanne Capano
Acupuncture, TCM, natural health, Vancouver, BC


Pain in the butt: Tax pain or sciatica?

meridians buttocksYou know the commercial. The one with the person pointing to his or her rear end, indicating that it hurts. The doctor then says that he cannot help with that, as it’s tax pain. Yes, it’s tax season. And no, I can’t help you with that. But I can help you with actual pain in the buttocks.

The most common cause of back side pain is sciatic nerve irritation. This kind of pain can originate in the low back or buttocks and travel down the back of the leg, even travelling as far as the foot. The cause can be a herniated disc, but any irritation of this nerve can create sciatica.

Sciatica is often sourced to an issue called piriformis syndrome, created by inflammation, scar tissue, adhesions, or tightness of the piriformis muscle, a small muscle that is located deep, under the larger gluteus muscles.

Acupuncture is one of the most effective ways of relieving sciatica. As you can see from the image here, there are many acupuncture channel points traditionally found on the buttocks. But, there are also extra points that we call “ashi” points (directly translated as “ah, yes” points—points that hurt when pressed), trigger points (specific points located in a tight ball of muscle found in a tight band of muscle), and motor points (a point where a motor nerve enters a muscle). Distal points—points away from the problem area—are also important, and chosen based on your particular symptoms and constitution.

In addition to relieving your pain by relaxing tight muscles, improving local blood flow, and supporting the healing of damaged tissues, acupuncture can also be very stress-relieving. So, though I can’t crunch numbers for you, I may be able to help you feel better about doing your taxes by reducing at least one pain in the butt.

Come in and try acupuncture—and ask me about biopuncture—to relieve your sciatic pain.

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