Health Blog

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Patient says “bye” to inhaler and allergies

AllergiesTraditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been in practice for thousands of years, but is ever-evolving, encompassing new modalities to continue to grow our methods of treatment. One of the decades old methods I use is called biopuncture or acupuncture injection therapy. Injections of small amounts of natural remedies can be done superficially under the skin or into muscles to stimulate the body to heal itself.

In the case of allergies, I use an ultra-low dose natural solution that is both safe and powerful, called Pascallerg, as the main remedy. A small amount of this remedy is injected into specifically chosen acupuncture points.

For a personal perspective, I’ve asked a recent patient to write about her experience:

“I’ve had asthma and allergies since I was a child and had been on corticosteroid inhalers for 20 years. I’m allergic to pretty much everything: dust, mold, trees, grass, feathers, animals- and I couldn’t function normally without taking a preventative inhaler daily. Recently, I decided I couldn’t be satisfied with the conventional medicine attitude that my health would never improve and that I would have to depend on pharmaceuticals the rest of my life. Starting to see Dr. Carr this past year was a turning point. My treatment focuses on acupuncture with biopuncture using Pascallerg, and is complemented by a good diet and other holistic methods. I have seen great results! In the course of a few months, I have been able to progressively reduce the use of my preventative inhaler down to zero! This was the first time in my life since childhood that I had a medication free week and been wheeze-free! I have also become much more resilient to colds, which used to have me wheezing for weeks afterwards. My friends and family are thrilled that I have seen so much progress as they know how frustrating my struggle with my allergies and asthma has been.”—S.F.

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Spring Cleanse Tune-Up

24 Hours logoSpring has sprung and with it comes thoughts of spring cleaning, both of household and body. According to traditional Chinese medicine principles, this is the season most connected to working on liver and gallbladder issues, so now is a great time to do a cleanse. Click here to view the actual link or here for the PDF.

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Artichoke for detoxification

artichoke detox cleanse natural healthI had never before bought an artichoke. I had no idea what to do with it, but I wanted to give it a try because I know its health benefits, including the timely one of helping to support a spring cleanse.

Why do a detox cleanse?

You may have read that the last 60 or so years have brought  another approximately 70,000 new chemicals, with only a fraction having been tested. Some of these chemicals have been tied to asthma, allergies, headaches, nausea, pain, mental confusion, sleep problems, and even cancer. It’s hard to avoid all chemicals, as they are found in plastics, electronics, carpets, furniture, food, water, and even your some clothing materials. Your body is designed to remove harmful chemicals, but with the overload that our current environment and lifestyles bring, a regular detox cleanse is an important part of your health routine, and spring is an ideal time to do it.

The awesome artichoke

Of course there are many aspects to a cleanse, but including foods supportive to the detox function, is a great foundation. Artichokes are high in fibre, helping to scrub the intestinal walls and absorb toxins. They also carry the antioxidant flavonoid silymarin–the same component found in milk thistle–a key ingredient for supporting liver health by stimulating cell regeneration. 

If you eat the artichoke leaves (remember that the it’s the inner ones you want as the outer ones are too tough), your liver will be better able to break down fatty foods as the cynarin found mostly in the leaves stimulate the liver to produce more bile. It may even help to lower your cholesterol too.

artichoke leaves healthy detox cleanseDo you have a sweet tooth?

A bonus benefit of eating artichokes is that it may help you get more satisfaction out of your food without having to add more sweetener. An old study that was later confirmed by research at Yale University found that two thirds of their subjects found even a glass of water to taste sweet after eating an artichoke.

Is there a delicious recipe for artichokes?

Of course there are delicious recipes! I tried a healthy homemade (no cheese) pizza. Make your own, and in addition to artichoke, consider adding these other detoxification support foods:

  • detox pizza healthy ingredientsavocados
  • broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • garlic
  • onion
  • peas
  • tomato
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What if you have endometriosis?

24 Hours logoMarch is Endometriosis Awareness Month, a time to bring attention to a disease that affects approximately 176 million women worldwide, including more than 8.5 million in North America. If you or anyone you know has endometriosis, then check out my article in 24 Hours. Click here to view the actual link or here for the PDF.

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I Can’t Believe it’s Black Bean Brownies

I Can't Believe it's Black Bean Brownies
The healthiest brownies that no one will guess are healthy. I often modify recipes to make them my own, but with baking, modifications are a bit trickier for me, so this is very close to the original.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups black beans (I used canned, drained and rinsed)
  2. 1 ripe banana
  3. 1/3 cup of maple syrup
  4. ½ cup date paste* (see recipe below) *allow 1 hour soaking time for date paste
  5. 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  6. ½ cup raw cacao powder
  7. 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  8. 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  9. ¼ tsp sea salt
  10. ¼ cup oat or almond flour (I used almond)
  11. 1 tsp baking powder
  12. ¼ tsp baking soda
  13. ½ cup dark chocolate chips
To make date paste
  1. Pour 2/3 cup of hot water over 1 cup pitted dates and then soak for about an hour. Throw all ingredients into a powerful blender or food processor and process until a smooth, thick paste is formed.
  2. Preheat oven to 350. Grease mini muffin tins with coconut oil.
  3. In a food processor with S-blade (I used my Vitamix with regular blade; it was iffy, but did the job), mix black beans, banana, maple syrup, date paste, coconut oil, cacao powder, vanilla, cinnamon, and sea salt until well-combined and smooth.
  4. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
  5. Fill mini muffin tins about 2/3 full and bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 10 minutes and transfer to a wire rack.
Notes
  1. High fibre and protein with no processed sugar.
Adapted from Karma Chow
Adapted from Karma Chow
Acupuncture, TCM, natural health, Vancouver, BC http://www.activetcm.com/
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Acupuncture: Getting back to basics

Connect HealthThe first question I can normally anticipate about acupuncture is, “Does it hurt?” Since Connect Health has started to ask its practitioners to write articles for their newsletters, I covered this topic.

To read that article, click here: Acupuncture–Does it hurt?

I used to keep a book where patients could write in their own words about what acupuncture felt like to them. Some of my favourite descriptions include, “gingerale slippers,” “like a marshmallow in a microwave,” “spa-like,” and “like the transition in Wayne’s World.” I don’t expect all of those narratives to speak to you, so if you have your own depiction, I’d love to hear it! 

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24 Hours Article about Making New Habits

24 Hours logoIt’s the end of February. Did you set goals, intentions, or–the foreboding word–resolutions about your health this year? I used to work in a gym, signing people up for memberships and teaching them how to use the equipment. But my most important role was to help with motivation to keep members coming in. It takes almost no effort to sign up for a membership, pay a nutritionist, or buy a treadmill. The more challenging part is usually keeping up with those desired changes. And that involves creating new healthy habits. 

This article I wrote for 24 Hours discusses some simple steps to take to create your new healthy habits. And, of course, I’m here to help you set your health goals and keep up with making them come to fruition.

To read the article, click here to view the PDF or here for the link to the 24 Hours site.

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Excited to Announce!

LogoColorTextBelowFebruary 14th is the re-launch date for Active Life Mobile Acupuncture, chosen because we want to show our love for Traditional Chinese Medicine and for your health. 

Active Life Mobile Acupuncture is a business that I started a number of years ago because I was often asked by patients if I could treat them at their location. I’ve since hired a small team of amazing acupuncturists who will go to you.

We offer acupuncture at:

  • Your workplace
  • Your retirement home or long-term care facility
  • Your hospital

We also offer Lunch ‘n Learn lectures, health seminars, and wellness lectures at your location. The topics I have found to be in highest demand include:

  • Don’t let stress stress you out
  • Healthy and easy meals
  • What element are you?
  • Will acupuncture help you?

To find out more about our mobile acupuncture services, check out www.mobile-acupuncture.com.

 

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Hawaiian Hula Shake Recipe

Hawaiian Hula Shake Recipe
Yields 2
When I came back from Hawaii, I wanted to bring back a piece of that beautiful place with me. When I saw frozen pineapple at the grocery store, I knew I could make a Hawaiian-feel shake.
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Ingredients
  1. Frozen (or fresh) pineapple
  2. 2-3 leaves of kale
  3. 1 apple
  4. High quality vanilla protein powder
  5. Greens powder
  6. Dash of cinnamon powder
Optional
  1. Krisda stevia powder (cane sugar may be grown in Hawaii, but I don't need more sugar)
  2. 6-8 drops vitamin D (a bit of liquid sunshine)
  3. Immune booster tincture (just because I could and because it's cold and flu season)
Instructions
  1. Blend it all together and enjoy!
  2. If it starts to separate, hula with it until it remixes. :)
Acupuncture, TCM, natural health, Vancouver, BC http://www.activetcm.com/
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Bring on the Borscht

I didn’t know that I would love borscht so much, but yum!

Borscht
Yields 6
Immune boosting, warming, and pretty easy to make
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Ingredients
  1. 1 medium onion, diced
  2. 4 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
  3. 1 cup water
  4. 4 medium red beets, peeled and diced
  5. 1 large potato, diced
  6. 2 carrots, diced
  7. 2 cups shredded kale (it called for cabbage, but I made it with kale and think that worked out great!)
  8. 1/4 cup fresh dill, minced
  9. 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  10. 1 bay leaf
  11. salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Warm 2 tsp olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add diced onion, saute until soft. Add water, broth, beets, potato, carrots, and bay leaf. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the veggies are cooked. Add the kale (or cabbage) and fresh dill and simmer another 5 minutes. Turn off heat. Add vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
Notes
  1. Soup is always great to make in large batches and freeze for future meals. This kind of recipe is also easy to modify to suit your own taste.
Adapted from The Year in Food
Adapted from The Year in Food
Acupuncture, TCM, natural health, Vancouver, BC http://www.activetcm.com/
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