Health Blog

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Prevent and treat sports injuries

24 Hours Traditional Chinese Medicine and AcupunctureIf you are planning on participating in any of the many athletic events of spring or summer–from Tough Mudder to BMO Marathon, SunRun to GranFondo, or beach volleyball tournies to Grouse Grind Challenge–you are probably in training now, or at least thinking about it. Nothing will stop your plans faster than an injury. You may be making your best times one minute and having to stop to heal up an injury the next. While you’re pushing your limits, consider that your body may need a little extra TLC. Read on about things you can do to prevent injuries: Mitigate Vancouver Training Injuries Or skip that and just come in for acupuncture ;)

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Getting High on Acupuncture Research

acupuncture crazyI read this article and have decided that I need to meet the woman who wrote this. Brilliant! Funny! Poignant! 

Science should be unbiased. But unfortunately, people certainly can be. And people present their version of science. But this writer, Mel Hopper Koppelman, says it all so much better than I do, so please read this. And see if you don’t get a kick out of what she has to say.

The Journal of Chinese Medicine: Getting High on Acupuncture Research

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Is it allergies or a cold?

24 Hours Traditional Chinese Medicine and AcupunctureYou’re sneezing and sniffling. Perhaps you have a headache or cough. Is it a cold or allergies? With the flu and cold season still going on, while spring allergy season has also arrived, it’s hard to tell what’s going on. There are, however, some key symptoms that can point you in one direction or the other. There are also natural remedies that can treat both health issues, making sure you get some relief, no matter whether your immune system is under-active or overactive. Read my most recent article in 24 Hours for more: Allergy Season Arrives Early in Vancouver.

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The Besto Pesto

Pesto recipe healthy foodsWhat do you bring when you are invited to someone’s place and you want to bring food? If you’re like me, you might stress a bit about what foods most people will like, what is easy to make, and what is healthy, all while being sensitive to people’s dietary sensitivities. Ok, so this is not nut-free. But it is gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan. It takes only minutes to make. You can bring a combo of vegetables and/or crackers along with it. And, it’s also modifiable to your taste.

I recently made this pesto for 2 events I attended, and it was successful. I tried making a kale pesto before this, and was glad I didn’t have to bring it anywhere. I grew to like it, but it was pretty “kale” tasting at first, so probably wouldn’t be popular among the general population.

Here’s a picture of my dog Hana eating a leaf of basil that I dropped. What?! Who knew she’d like basil. 

Besto Pesto
Basil is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and heart healthy. Plus it's yummy!
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Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup raw walnuts (I used walnuts, but you could also try almonds or pine nuts, or I even tried hazelnuts)
  2. 1 lemon, squeezed (I found 1/2 a lemon was enough if the lemon was big)
  3. 2 pinches fine black pepper
  4. 1 pinch cayenne (optional; I skip this ingredient)
  5. 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  6. 1 Tbsp hot water
  7. 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
  8. 1 tsp nutritional yeast (supposed to be optional, but I think it tastes best with this)
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor.
  2. Blend.
  3. Yup, just 2 steps. Easy.
Acupuncture, TCM, natural health, Vancouver, BC http://www.activetcm.com/
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Happy Year of the Goat

Happy New Year! Again.Year of the Goat nutrition and digestion natural health

It’s the lunar new year for 2015, and a second chance to do the things that will help make this a great healthy and happy year!

It’s the Year of the Goat, and though we might think of goats as being able to eat and digest anything, it’s really not true. In fact, goats will choose to eat the healthiest foods they can find, so they are actually a good model for us to eat more greens and perhaps even prepare for the detox cleanse time of our upcoming spring.

Check out my article in 24 Hours Vancouver: Eating like a goat means greens

24 Hours Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture

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Long Live Your Healthy Heart!

24 Hours Traditional Chinese Medicine and AcupunctureAccording to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), your heart is king. Makes sense. Without it pumping oxygenated blood to the rest of your body, you would be dead. We now have machines that can take the place of the heart, but that was not always the case, and we would rather not have to rely on that, if we can help it. So, in honour of February’s Healthy Heart Month, here are some of my tips, as written in 24 Hours, to help your heart be healthier. Health: Honour King by Using Restraint

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Bone Broth and Vegetarian Broth

Ok, so if you’re a vegetarian, then this first recipe is not for you. Not to worry though, the second recipe will be.

If you’ve been checking out trends in the food world, then you’ll know that old is new again, as bone broths are all the rage right now. Kobe Bryant was prescribed it for an ankle sprain, and he and the Lakers have been eating it regularly since to heal injuries and recover faster. No longer a young player, perhaps he’ll be using that (and hopefully some acupuncture too) to heal his newly torn rotator cuff.

For vegetarians, here’s a vegetable stock, rich in minerals and very restorative. 

Roast Chicken and Astragalus Bone Broth
This was the simplest recipe I found, and it's very adaptable, depending on the kind of veggie scraps. No waste! I also recommend adding in some astragalus root to help support your immune system.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 leftover roast chicken carcass
  2. vegetable scraps (celery leaves, onion trimmings, carrot peels, garlic etc)
  3. 2 bay leafs
  4. 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  5. 1-3 Tablespoons of astragalus root
  6. water
Instructions
  1. Add the chicken carcass, vegetable scraps, bay leafs, and astragalus to a slow cooker.
  2. Pour filtered water over the carcass to cover.
  3. Add apple cider vinegar. The apple cider vinegar will help to extract the minerals out of the bones.
  4. Cook in your slow cooker on low heat for 24 hours or longer.
  5. By adding water to the cooker, you can continue to cook the broth until the chicken bones become flexible and rubbery.
  6. Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve and pour into storage containers.
  7. The broth should gel, but it is not necessary.
Notes
  1. Bone broths are rich in minerals, glucosamine, and chondroitin, helping to restore joint health, digestive health, skin, and immune system.
Acupuncture, TCM, natural health, Vancouver, BC http://www.activetcm.com/
Vegetarian Astragalus Broth
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Ingredients
  1. 4 medium zucchini, finely chopped
  2. 15 oz (450g) of green string beans, chopped
  3. 1 small bunch of parsley, stems and leaves, chopped
  4. 3 tomatoes, finely chopped
  5. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 2 stalks of celergy, finely chopped
  7. 1 tsp sea salt
  8. 1-3 Tbsp astragalus root (optional)
  9. 4 cups water
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a pot.
  2. Bring to a gentle boil.
  3. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes with lid on.
  4. Strain and use as broth. If you leave out the astragalus, you can keep in the veggies and eat it as is, or blend it for a thicker soup.
Acupuncture, TCM, natural health, Vancouver, BC http://www.activetcm.com/

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Improve Your Brain Power with a Mental Workout

24 Hours logoQuick, what’s your sibling’s cell number? When is the date for your next haircut? What’s the password to your online banking? No, I don’t actually want to know any of these things! But, do you know the answer without checking your phone, calendar, or personal computer? Many of us use many tools to record items that we’ll need to know, but find hard to remember. And, that mental quickness can diminish with age. But there are things you can do to keep yourself sharp, as discussed in my most recent 24 Hours article Give your body a mental workout.

 

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Treating depression, anxiety, stress with wonder

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s easy to feel wonder and awe when looking at, listening to, feeling, or tasting something new, unusual, or unique. I have had the opportunity to visit many awe-inspiring and wondrous places, both natural—like the Serengeti and Kilauea Volcano—and man-made—like Gaudi’s Familia Sagrada and Machu Picchu. That feeling of “wow!” that grabs your attention is undeniable.

But how often do we feel wonder in our normal everyday lives? The other day I was driving to yoga when I had one of those moments. It happened spontaneously, that feeling of wonder, about something that I do on a near daily basis. I felt wonder about the fact that I was moving a heavy metal object with me inside of it with just the push of a pedal and a turn of a wheel.

This was nothing new, unusual, nor unique, and yet there it was—wonder. If you think about it though, it is pretty amazing, and there are plenty of wondrous things around us if we care to look. One of the benefits of looking for elements of wonder in our day is that it brings our attention to the present moment. We need to slow down for a bit to notice. And, along with wonder is often a feeling of gratitude for just that experience.

In this fast-paced world of nose-in-phone, short-attention-span living, taking these moments becomes even more important to help us bring balance to our lives. Feelings of stress, anxiety, depression, sadness, fear, worry, anger, frustration, detachment, and loneliness can be managed. It’s hard to feel those emotions at the same time as experiencing a feeling of wonder.

The moment I had was not planned—I was not trying to feel awe. It just happened. We can, however, cultivate this by setting aside a brief time to stop, take in some deep breaths, and observe. Pay attention to nature, animals, people, and even your own body so that you can notice some of the things that are amazing. Then allow yourself to really feel that feeling.

Every day I see people at my clinic who are overwhelmed. I would like to prescribe a daily dose of wonder.

 

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