All and One
Acupuncture Blog

  • Video: Gentle Stretches for Neck and Shoulder Pain

    April, 9th 2015

    Neck pain and tension headaches are ubiquitous in our high-stress, computer-oriented culture. One of the main culprits causing these symptoms is an overly tense trapezius muscle. Trapezius originates in the base of the neck an spreads out across the top of the shoulders and down the middle of the back. When it is overly tight or has trigger points (knots) in it, it can cause symptoms such as tension headaches, pain in the neck, temples, jaw or behind the eye, as well as dizziness and limited range of motion when turning your head. If you have severe neck problems or headaches, consider scheduling an appointment with Xander at All & One Acupuncture in NE Portland. You can also practice the gentle stretch outlined in the video to get some immediate relief from more mild symptoms.

    Read more
  • Personal Injury Protection benefits for Auto Accidents

    March, 19th 2015

    What you need to know if you get in an accident

    The state of Oregon requires all car insurance to carry a personal injury protection benefit (or PIP benefit) with your auto insurance coverage.

    So what does this mean if you are in a motor vehicle accident (MVA)? The benefit guarantees up to $15,000 in medically necessary healthcare for the year following your accident. This means if you have to go to urgent care or the hospital your care is covered. If you have injuries, such as whiplash, back pain, headaches, or other body pain, you may visit an acupuncturist, chiropractor, massage therapist, physical therapist, or other provider for medically appropriate treatment.

    The use of your PIP benefits legally cannot impact your insurance rates, and these benefits are available to you regardless of who is ultimately deemed to be responsible for the accident.

    What to do if you are in an auto accident

    If you are in a motor vehicle accident, first file a claim with your insurance company. When you file a claim the insurance company will give you a claim number and appropriate contact phone and fax number, which you should record and keep. If you seek medical care for the auto accident, you will provide the medical office with your insurance company name, phone and fax numbers, the incident claim number, and the date of the accident. I’m not sure how every medical office handles MVAs, but at All and One Acupuncture we directly bill your insurance company so you don’t have to pay for your visits.

    Now here is the detail that confuses many people: we bill your insurance company regardless of who is at fault for the accident. Even if the other driver is responsible for the accident, we still bill your insurance claim, and then your insurance company will collect directly from the other driver’s insurance. This has an advantage, namely that you and your medical providers don’t have to hassle with an insurance company that doesn’t have a vested interest in keeping your business. Your own insurance company tends to be more responsive and have better customer service than the other driver’s insurance company.

    I’ve worked with many patients who have been in car accidents. Oftentimes, the extent of the injuries aren’t fully apparent until several weeks after the accident. Even with small accidents that happen at lower speeds, headaches, back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, arm pain, and leg pain can creep up a month or more later. I recommend getting an exam by your primary healthcare provider, acupuncturist, or chiropractor right away after your accident to have your injuries objectively evaluated. This sets a precedent if medical attention is needed later. Early treatment usually results in fewer or less severe chronic issues down the road. By being proactive after your accident, and preparing for potential repercussions from your accident early on, you have a better chance at a speedy recovery.

    If you or someone you know has been in an MVA, or if have questions about your specific auto accident injury, All and One Acupuncture in NE Portland is here to help. Contact us today to learn how we can support your accident recovery.

    Read more
  • Getting Help for Seasonal Allergies

    March, 10th 2015

    Allergies in the Pacific Northwest

    Spring arrived in Portland several weeks earlier than usual this year, right on the heels of a very mild winter. I love to see Portland in bloom, and I’m not alone; so many people are out enjoying this unseasonably sunny weather. But the downside to this temperate weather is a protracted, severe allergy season.

    Springtime in Portland means the start of allergy season

    Springtime in Portland means the start of allergy season

    The western region of Oregon, especially along the Willamette valley, experiences a long hay fever season. The Pacific Northwest has some of the highest levels of grass and tree pollen nationwide. Tree pollen is an issue from early spring (this year starting in January) through April or May, and grass pollen is highest from May through July or August. Weed pollen then pops up in late summer and can last until September or October. That is a solid 9-10 months of pollen allergy season! Not to mention that many people suffer from mold allergies in the fall and winter. Allergy management can be a year round endeavor for some people.

    What can you do about allergies?

    There are two main hay fever management options if you seek seasonal allergy care from your doctor. First, your doctor will typically recommend an over the counter allergy medicine like Claritin or Zyrtec. If your allergies are especially debilitating you may be referred to an allergy clinic for series of allergy shots, which can be a 10-24 month process.

    In addition to allergy medications and injections, Chinese medicine can help reduce the severity of your allergies as well as reduce allergic symptoms. To reduce the severity of allergies, acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapy should be started six months prior to your peak allergy season. If you usually suffer from allergies most in May-June, then treatment should ideally begin in November. This phase of the treatment will focus on regulating immune response so that your immune system is less likely react to pollen.

    If you’ve missed the window to start treatment six months prior, acupuncture and herbal therapy can still be used to regulate immune response and reduce allergic symptoms like runny nose, eye irritation, and sore throat. Acupuncture can be safely combined with OTC allergy medications and allergy shots at any time to aid in the efficacy of these treatments. Chinese herbal therapy is sometimes combined with allergy medications as long as the herbs are carefully selected; some herbs can interfere with allergy medications, so always consult a board certified herbalist. Supplements such as quercetin and vitamin C may also help reduce allergy symptoms.

    Aside from allergy medications, acupuncture, herbs, and supplements, the best option for managing allergies is minimizing exposure. Keep your windows and doors closed during your allergy season, and use an air filter. Wash your clothing and take a shower after being outside, and keep your outdoor time to a minimum. Nasal irrigation, such as that with a neti pot, can help keep your sinuses cleansed of pollen.

    Nature is called “the great outdoors” for a reason. Personally, I think there needs to be a balance between staying inside all season long and suffering from allergies. Why not safely combine the allergy tools available so you can get some recreational time outside? In my family, we get acupuncture, take allergy medication and herbs as appropriate, and enjoy the great outdoors.

    If you would like support with your allergies, the acupuncturists at All and One Acupuncture in Northeast Portland can help! Call or visit us online to schedule a consultation today. 

    Read more
  • Get Allergy Relief by Healing Digestion

    March, 7th 2015

    What does your gut have to do with seasonal allergies?

    It’s that time of year again! When the sneezing, sniffling, and burning eyes of seasonal allergies have you reaching for the allergy pills and eye drops. But did you know you can greatly relieve if not banish your allergy symptoms by fixing your gut?

    It may sound crazy that your gut health would affect your allergies, but in fact the two systems are very intertwined. Both the respiratory tract and the digestive tract are immune barriers, meaning it’s their job to protect the body from outside invaders. The gut in particular influences the entire immune system. When gut health suffers so does the rest of your body, and the result for many people are allergy symptoms that flare up each spring.

    A common culprit in allergy symptoms is increased intestinal permeability, also known as leaky gut. Leaky gut is a condition in which the lining of the digestive tract becomes inflamed and porous, allowing undigested foods, bacteria, yeasts, and other toxins into the sterile bloodstream. The immune system launches an attack on these toxins, which creates inflammation throughout the body. For many people, this happens every time they eat.

    This inflammation manifests in different ways for different people. It can cause joint pain, skin problems, digestive problems, brain fog, fatigue, chronic pain, and…seasonal allergies.

    What causes leaky gut and seasonal allergies?

    Leaky gut is very common today and can cause bloating, heartburn, gas, constipation, diarrhea, or pain. However, many people with leaky gut have no digestive symptoms at all. One of the most common causes of leaky gut is eating gluten, the protein found in wheat, rye, barley, spelt, and other wheat-like grains Wheat is not like the wheat from past generations. It has been genetically altered, processed, and stored in ways that make it very damaging to the gut.

    Sometimes simply removing gluten from the diet can profoundly relieve allergy symptoms by allowing the gut to recover and repair. Because leaky gut often leads to food intolerances, you may need to temporarily remove other foods, such as dairy, eggs, or other grains. You may find significant allergy relief simply by following an anti-inflammatory diet.

    Another factor that contributes to leaky gut and allergy symptoms is an imbalance of gut bacteria. The digestive tract holds several pounds of bacteria that play a large role in immune function. When the bad bacteria overwhelm the good, inflammation and allergies result. Leaky gut repair includes nurturing your beneficial bacteria with probiotics and fermented foods to improve allergy symptoms.

    Chronic stress also weakens and inflames the digestive tract, causing leaky gut and seasonal allergies. Stress doesn’t just have to come from a stressful lifestyle or lack of sleep, although those certainly play a role. Eating a diet high in sugar and processed foods is stressful to the body, as is an unmanaged autoimmune disease, or hormones that are out of whack.

    Find seasonal allergy relief by fixing your leaky gut

    You don’t have to needlessly suffer every spring and depend on allergy medicines to function. In fact, you should see your allergies as a red flag that your body needs attention. Leaky gut can lead to much more serious conditions than allergies, such as autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, Type 1 diabetes, etc.), depression and anxiety, neurological diseases, and more. By repairing your leaky gut and improving your allergy symptoms, you can prevent or even resolve more serious problems.

    For more information on healing leaky gut or following an antiinflammatory diet, make an appointment with Eva Whitburn for a nutrition consultation at All and One Acupuncture and Wellness in NE Portland today. Call (503) 281-6909 or schedule online at allandone.com. 

    Read more
  • Video: Topical Chinese Herbs for Resolving Trauma

    February, 28th 2015

     

    Many people have had some experience with the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating acute & chronic sports injuries, but most people don’t know about the powerful role topical Chinese herbs play in resolving trauma. A variety of incredibly effective topical herbal formulas have been developed over the centuries that target specific stages of acute and chronic injuries. These formulas were created in martial arts training centers, places where injuries like sprains, strains & contusions are commonplace. Check out this video in which I discuss a few of these formulas that I make for All & One Acupuncture and Wellness in NE Portland:

    Read more
  • Podcast: Staying On Track With Healthy Eating

    February, 9th 2015

    This month, as we find ourselves walking along the path from our New Years Day to the celebration of the Chinese New Year in just a few weeks, I thought it would be a good time to discuss what many of us have set out to practice in our annual resolutions: healthy eating. I have a great deal of personal experience struggling with overeating, binge eating and being overweight for most of my life. I have walked a long way down the path of healing these wounds and I wanted to share my insights, both personally and professionally, here with you.

    And instead of reading about it in detail, you can listen to a recent interview with me on a new podcast, the Everyday Acupuncture Podcast, hosted by my colleague, Michael Max, in St. Louis, MO.

    In the interview I tell the story of my out-of-control relationship with food and the steps I took to bring my body & mind back towards balance. It was a lengthy process, but one that you might find interesting if you’ve had experiences with food addiction or have struggled with the very temporary results of fad dieting.

    Please take some time to listen to my interview. In it, we discuss in detail the importance of eating meals at regular intervals, of not eating an abundance of cold foods or ice water, and above all how important mindfulness is in one’s approach to their food. Check it out:

     

    To learn more, check out my post about Chinese medicine guidelines for healthy eating, or read about my personal struggle with food and being overweight. My hope in sharing this is that it might give people who really struggle hope that there is a sustainable way to move toward a healthier, happier life.

    If you have a real desire to do the work needed to lose weight and practice a healthy relationship with food, I would be more than happy to be part of your support network by providing acupuncture, herbal therapy and most importantly an empathetic ear. Call or visit our website to book an acupuncture appointment or free consultation at our clinic in NE Portland.

    Read more
  • How to Eat: 7 Essential Behaviors for a Healthy Relationship with Food

    February, 8th 2015

    While what we eat is certainly important, good nutrition is much more than putting the right things in our mouths. Food needs time to be digested and absorbed well so we can benefit from all the energy and nutrients it contains. Good eating habits are the bedrock of a healthy diet. How we eat is as important as what we eat. Below are some fundamental guidelines based on Chinese medicine principles that will help you achieve better digestion, sleep and overall well being.

    1. Don’t worry so much  Stress created by trying to adhere to a rigid or overly restrictive diet is detrimental to good digestion. It is far better to be imperfect and enjoy your food. Remember, food is not your enemy, it is what supplies us with the nourishment to go out and live our lives. When it comes to trying to eat in a healthy way, make sure to be gentle with yourself.
    2. Create Space for Meals It takes a lot of energy to digest a meal. Eating and digesting is best done in a state of calm and relaxation. Do your best to create a healthy environment in which to eat and digest. Try to avoid watching television, reading or doing work. Share meals with good friends and family members who relax you. After eating, spend a bit of time relaxing before jumping back into your long to do list.
    3. Eating as Meditation Pay attention to your food. Strive to make eating a multisensory experience by noticing how your food looks, feels, smells, and tastes. Listen to yourself chew. Eating is a pleasurable activity that is best savored.
    4. Eat Slowly Chew each bite thoroughly. Breathe. Take one bite at a time.
    5. Regularity The Spleen and Stomach, the primary digestive organs in Chinese medicine, like routine. Eating regular meals at consistent times each day helps them function optimally.
    6. Balance and Moderation Chinese medicine is fundamentally based on the concepts of balance and moderation. Strive for a balance between the amount you eat and your activity level. Be moderate in the amount you eat at any one sitting, stopping before you are stuffed. Experiment with leaving the table while still slightly hungry.
    7. Evolution not Revolution Make changes to your diet gradually, giving yourself time to adjust. Move slowly towards healthier eating habits that you can maintain for the rest of your life. And be gentle with yourself when you make a mistake, there is always tomorrow.

     

    Xander Kahn is a licensed acupuncturist and board certified herbalist at All and One Acupuncture in NE Portland. If you are ready to make changes to your diet or digestive health, Xander can help guide you through the process. Call All and One Acupuncture today to schedule a free consultation or appointment. 

    Read more
  • My Heart Beets For You: Brownies with Benefits

    February, 8th 2015

     

     

     

    My Heart “Beets” for you Valentine Brownies *

    Recipe by: Eva Whitburn, Nutritional Intern at All and One Acupuncture

    Gluten, grain, and dairy free

     

    Ingredients:

    5 oz dark chocolate, 72% or higher cocoa content

    ¼ cup coconut oil

    1/3 cup coconut nectar or honey

    2 omega-3, cage free eggs

    ¼ tsp almond extract

    2 tsp vanilla extract

    1 cup almond flour

    2 Tbl coconut flour

    ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

    1 ½ tsp baking soda

    ¼ tsp salt

    1 ½ cups pureed beets (to roast your own see below; or use canned or frozen).

     

    Instructions:

    To roast the beets:  preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash 4 small or 2 medium beets and wrap in foil. Place on baking sheet. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a fork easily pierces the beet.  Set aside to cool. Use a paper towel to peel off skin. Place beets in blender or food processor and puree.

     

    To make the brownies:

    1. Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 pan and set aside.

     

    1. In a double boiler, gently melt the chocolate. (If you don’t have a double boiler then fill a skillet with a few inches of water and set a small pot in the water, place over very low heat). Add the coconut oil and coconut nectar or honey. Mix until fully combined. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

     

    1. In a small bowl combine the eggs, vanilla, and almond extracts. Add the cooled chocolate mixture.

     

    1. In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Pour in the wet ingredients and mix until fully combined. Mix in the pureed beets.

     

    1. Pour battered into pan and bake for 25 minutes or until fully set. Cool in the pan and cut into 12 squares.

     

    Nutrition Information:

    1 Brownie: Calories 168 Fat: 10 g carbohydrates; 12 g protein: 4 g Fiber: 4 g

     


     

    Keep your New Year’s resolution to eat healthier this year by incorporating healthy treats into your diet, starting with Valentine’s Day.

    The key is using nutrient-dense ingredients, small portions, and eating them with joy, savoring every bite with no guilt afterward.

    Instead of the usual empty calorie, sugar-filled, binge-fest that we normally engage in on February 14th, take the opportunity to create a sweet treat that is also nutritious and will leave you feeling satisfied and energized, like these brownies.

    They are filled with protein, healthy fat, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Plus, I used a low glycemic sweetener, so you won’t have a sugar crash a few hours after eating one.

    Both dark chocolate and beets are loaded with nutrients that provide powerful health benefits, being especially protective against cardiovascular disease.

     

    Why They’re Healthy:

    Benefits of beets

    Think of beets as red spinach. This crimson vegetable is one of the best sources of both folate and betaine. These two nutrients work together to lower your blood levels of homocysteine, an inflammatory compound that can damage your arteries and increase your risk of heart disease.

    Beets contain betaine, a substance that relaxes the mind and is used in other forms to treat depression. It also contains tryptophan, which is also found in chocolate and contributes to a sense of well being.

     

    Chocolate for heart health

    Dark chocolate improves several important risk factors for  cardiovascular disease. It lowers the susceptibility of LDL to oxidative damage while increasing HDL.

    The bioactive compounds in cocoa can improve blood flow in the arteries and cause a small but statistically significant decrease in blood pressure.

     

    Choose Quality

    Quality dark chocolate is rich in Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, Manganese and a few other minerals.

    To receive all of the benefits of eating chocolate, choose quality….organic, dark chocolate with 70% or higher cocoa content.  Pick up some today and make these brownies for someone special.

     

    Read more
  • 3 Tips for Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolutions

    February, 6th 2015

    Do you set your New Year’s Resolutions full of determination and vigor but then lose steam by February? As we move days and weeks away from January 1st, it can be challenging to stay motivated and on track with your resolutions. And although changing behaviors takes dedication, these three tools can help you stay on target with your resolutions.

     

    1. Work on one specific, realistic resolution at a time

    Maybe the issue isn’t your determination or follow-through. Perhaps your initial goals were too ambitious or numerous, thus setting you up to feel overwhelmed or defeated from the get-go. When setting your goals, keep them simple, focused, and attainable. Work on one resolution at a time. If you haven’t exercised or eaten well in the past few years, it doesn’t make sense to set the goal of running a marathon and overhauling you diet all at once. Maybe just set the goal of exercising three times a week for a minimum of 45 minutes. Look over your goals, and re-adjustment them to so they are concrete and manageable. It’s ok to re-evaluate your resolutions as you go along

    2. Accountability

    Staying accountable is probably the most important aspect for following through on your resolutions.  Accountability will help you stay focused when your internal motivation starts to wane. There are many ways to build a structure of accountability with your goals, and the more accountability you create the more likely you are to succeed.

    One method of accountability includes setting up a system of rewards for yourself when you reach milestones and penalties when you miss goals. For instance, some people make a pact with a friend or co-worker that they have to pay the other person a sizable amount of money–say $20 or $50–each time they skip their planned workout routine. But rewards and penalties don’t have to revolve around money or purchases. Perhaps you have to do an extra chore that another family member does each time you miss the gym, but each week you do three workouts you get to take an extra hour for something you enjoy doing

    The best methods of accountability include bringing in a few reliable people to help support your progress. This can be a trust worthy friend with whom you can meet weekly to review goals and progress. If you have a dependable friend, family member, or colleague with some similar resolutions, you can schedule time to work together towards your shared goals (workout and cooking buddies are the best). And depending on your goals, many professionals can help keep you accountable: life coaches, personal trainers, therapists, nutritionists, and (ahem) acupuncturists can all help support your progress.

    3. Be kind  

    Yes, even with specific, attainable goals and accountability, there will be times that you slack off or lose focus. Maybe you catch a cold, so you take some time off from the gym to get well, and then your whole workout momentum is lost. So what? You can beat yourself up, or you can be kind to yourself. Don’t focus on berating yourself; just try again. Changing your routine doesn’t usually happen in one elegant burst of self-discipline. It usually takes many attempts, and missteps are an important part of the process. Congratulate yourself for your efforts, and then move on to your next attempt.

     

    If you are interested in getting support with your health-related goals this year, the team at All and One Acupuncture in NE Portland can help! Call us for a consultation to learn how we can help promote your well being wherever you are in your process.  

    Read more
  • Proper Treatment of Acute Sports Injuries

    January, 31st 2015

    Acute traumatic injuries such as ankle sprains are painful and can impact our ability to accomplish daily tasks for weeks and months. When improperly treated, they can eventually lead to other painful conditions or a limitation in range of motion. Biomedicine treats these sorts of injuries the same way it has for decades: using rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE) in order to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation. While briefly resting and elevating the injury makes sense when it comes to treating an acute injury, icing and compression of the injured tissues have some real drawbacks according to Chinese medical theory. Let’s take a look at the acute inflammatory process to see why that is so.

    The inflammatory process is the mechanism our bodies have evolved in order to repair and replace damaged tissues. When we injure ourselves there is an increase in the flow of blood to the site of injury. This additional blood brings in chemicals that mediate inflammation, as well as fresh cellular supplies to the damaged tissue to aid in repair, resulting in swelling of the affected area. Using ice and compression inhibits this process, which can adversely prolong inflammation, resulting in chronic pain or weakness of an injured area. This is one way a simple ankle sprain can persist through years or even decades as a “bad ankle.”

    Even Dr. Gabe Mirkin, the doctor who coined the acronym RICE in his 1978 book on sports medicine, has come to the conclusion that icing hinders proper healing.

    So what are we to do when facing a sports injury? Nothing? Of course not! Chinese physicians and martial arts experts have come up with some amazingly effective ways for dealing with sports injuries, including certain acupuncture and massage techniques and topical herbal therapies that excel at reducing pain and swelling while increasing circulation so that the acute inflammatory response can work for us, heal our injury and not linger to cause chronic problems later on in life. 

    One such topical therapy is called San Huang San (三黄散 – “Three Yellow Powder”), which contains three ingredients that are yellow in color. These powerful herbs (Chinese rhubarb root, Phellodendron & Scutellaria) are amazingly efficient as a substitute for icing a new sports injury. We sell it at the clinic for this purpose. It’s called “Not Ice,” for obvious reasons. Because, as Chinese sports medicine authority Tom Bisio says, “Ice is for dead people.” (For more on how Chinese medicine treats trauma, check out this great podcast episode.

    So the next time you injure yourself (and let’s hope you don’t!), stop by All and One Acupuncture in NE Portland for an acupuncture session and some “Not Ice”. See how much faster you can be back out there doing what you love!

    Read more