All and One
January, 2nd 2015
According to acupuncture and Chinese medicine, emotions originate internally from different organs inside the body. Conditions and events in the external world may provoke specific reactions but, ultimately, each person is responsible for the emotion generated. Any addiction, whether to drugs, alcohol, food, work, or other activity or substance, effectively blocks intelligence and suppresses healing abilities. Through these behaviors we choose to rely on the demands of addiction to dictate our lives, rather than taking responsibility to conduct ourselves in a healthy, life-affirming way.
Is there a body/mind connection to willpower? According to the principles of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, there is. Willpower, or “zhi,” is said to reside in the kidneys, and the state of the kidney qi directly correlates to the fortitude of our willpower.
The zhi represents willpower, drive and determination. It manifests as the urge to persist in one’s efforts and, when in deficiency, feelings of defeat, pessimism and depression may occur. Without strong willpower or zhi, one may easily succumb to the temptations of addiction. Acupuncture can help cleanse and re-balance your body and mind to overcome a variety of addictions, and can help manage cravings. The safe space provided during treatment is both literal and metaphorical.
In Chinese medicine, there is a protective layer around the exterior of the body called Wei Qi, or defensive energy. Nourishing Qi can greatly enhance the body’s ability to thrive in times of stress and can aid in healing, prevent illness and increase vitality. Recharging your battery and regeneration of vital energy, Qi, will help you live, look and feel your best!
Several approaches may be used when treating addictions, generally starting with therapies that help cleanse and balance. Sometimes a vague, uneasy sensation takes over after or during the process of releasing an addiction. Perhaps for the workaholic patient, it is strange and alarming to experience leisure time. Addicts require fortitude to find replacements for the dependence on substances or addictive behaviors. This is why willpower, or zhi, needs treatment, to provide support and determination to discover the power within oneself–a universal necessity for overcoming any addiction.
To aid your transformation from addiction and addictive behaviors to healthier practices, try focusing on routine. Routine provides stability, and a new routine is necessary to break old habits. If your first thought in the morning is to reach for a cigarette, replace that action with another, healthier ritual.
The replacement ritual could be anything from reaching for warm water with lemon and a pinch of cayenne to refresh your system, or singing your favorite song or stating out loud your plans for the day. As long as the action is positive and consistent, it will serve your new routine and changing thought processes.
Deep breathing with visualization can also strengthen willpower and be used as a tool to curb hunger and cravings. Most patients report a marked decline in appetite and cravings with acupuncture treatment alone, but special herbs, healing foods and exercises can definitely enhance the efficacy of the treatments.
Everyone experiences addiction in different ways, with varying symptoms, and treatment is adjusted to the individual needs of the person seeking treatment. Some respond better to a sudden, jarring change in habits, whereas others may require a slower process to adjust to the changes that must be made. At some point during the detoxification process, the next step necessary to your healing will be addressed, helping to ensure that your strengthened willpower and emotional balance lasts a lifetime.
Are there cravings or an addiction you are working to overcome? Call All and One Acupuncture in NE Portland today to learn how acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help you reach optimum health. Our talented, compassionate acupuncturists have experience with addiction support.Read more
December, 27th 2014
In an effort to better describe the diagnosis and treatment of male-specific health issues that arise during mid-life, a new term has been coined in the medical community–andropause. Though it is often referred to as “male menopause,” andropause is more than the male equivalent of menopause, as it presents its own unique set of symptoms, causes and patterns of onset.
Andropause refers to the process a man undergoes when the body produces fewer androgens (male hormones). The hormone most strongly affected is testosterone, as it is the most dominant of all the male hormones we know of. Testosterone not only plays a vital role in male development, it greatly affects the overall health of a man’s body and mind.
Testosterone directly influences many bodily functions and organs, including the heart, prostate, muscles, blood sugar, fat metabolism, bone density, libido, and mental cognition. Sudden mood changes, depression and anger also may result from andropause. The decline of testosterone production gradually starts in the early thirties and continues through the mid-fifties.
In contrast to menopause, which happens over a much shorter period of time, the signs of andropause creep up gradually, making an accurate diagnosis tricky. Signs and symptoms of andropause can include loss of libido, enlarged prostate, weight gain, osteoporosis, sterility, urinary problems and infections, and digestive problems.
According to Culley C. Carson, M.D., Boston University, School of Medicine, it is estimated that more than 60 percent of men over age 65 have free testosterone levels below the normal values of men in the 30 to 35 age range. While the incremental loss of testosterone represents the natural life cycle in an aging, healthy male, more severe levels of decrease can prove detrimental.
According to classical texts, the physical and emotional effects of aging in general occur largely due to, but not limited to, the decline of the Mingmen Fire. Also known as the Ministerial Fire, it resides near the spine, between the two kidneys and at the level of the umbilicus. This life-giving force is the fuel from which all the organs of the body draw from. For instance, the Mingmen Fire provides the warmth and energy needed to stimulate the large intestine. Once in motion, it can perform its job of excreting waste from the body.
One reason why a man may experience the loss of libido or infertility in his middle or later years is due to the waning of the Mingmen Fire. If this is the case and the fire is out, other signs such as frequent urination, sore lower back or knees and/or lethargy may also be present.
For men, the onset of andropause may be gradual and, as such, the symptoms hard to diagnose. The natural decline of the Mingmen Fire or Ministerial Fire may also compound or worsen symptoms of andropause. When the Ministerial Fire is out, the body becomes cold and old age sets in. However, long before that, many of the mild to more severe conditions may respond very well to different acupuncture and Oriental medicine therapies.
Call today to learn more about andropause and how All and One Acupuncture in Portland can best support your healthcare goals.Read more
December, 21st 2014
Oregon Health Plan offers some coverage for acupuncture. But getting access to acupuncture on OHP has been challenging. All and One Acupuncture has been participating with OHP this past year, and we are still learning how to navigate the system by trial and error. It’s a whole different set of rules compared to the standard medical insurance plans we have billed over the past several years. We truly want affordable access to acupuncture for as many people in Portland and beyond as possible, so this post is designed to help those with OHP understand the process for getting acupuncture coverage. If you have OHP and want to use it for acupuncture, here are your steps before booking your acupuncture appointment:
Contact OHP and ask if your specific plan has acupuncture coverage. There are many plans under OHP, and not all will cover acupuncture.
Once determining that you have coverage, contact your acupuncturist and ask if they participate in your specific OHP plan. All and One Acupuncture participates in most OHP plans. However, even though we are enrolled with OHP, we also have to enroll individually with each specific plan. Many Portland acupuncturists are finding it challenging to enroll with all the OHP plans.
Ask your acupuncturist if your specific condition will be covered. OHP authorizes acupuncture treatment for a limited scope of health issues. In the experience of All and One Acupuncture, this can vary by plan as well.
Ok you have determined that you have acupuncture coverage, and that your acupuncturist is in your plan and believes that your reason for seeking treatment will be covered. Now you have to go see your primary care provider. Your doctor will have to prepare and submit a pre-authorization for acupuncture. Your doctor will have specify the number of visits and your reason for seeking acupuncture. It can take a month or more for OHP to process and authorize your treatments.
Once this process is complete, you are covered for acupuncture, and you can book your appointment. Yay!
As you may imagine, there can be some problems with this process. Sometimes OHP says they never received the doctor’s authorization after several attempts of the doctor to submit their paperwork. Sometimes the doctor will request 12 visits, and OHP will only authorize 1 visit, requiring you to go back to your doctor. Sometimes OHP will tell you (the insured) different information from what they tell us (the provider). It can be frustrating. When this happens, the only thing to do is get on the phone with OHP. Then we will get on the phone with them, and so forth, until everyone is getting the same information. It can be time consuming, but All and One Acupuncture will work with you to make this process as clear as possible.
And if all else fails, All and One Acupuncture has a discount for OHP patients because sometimes this process is a headache.
If we can help you with your acupuncture insurance needs, call us at 503-281-6909. All and One Acupuncture also offers free acupuncture and wellness consultations. We are in northeast Portland at 2906 NE Glisan.Read more
December, 18th 2014
Good nutrition remains a cornerstone of good health, no matter what stage of life we are in. During major life transitions such as menopause and andropause, your dietary needs tend to change.
Eating well is an art that should bring you as much pleasure as nourishment. Yet somehow this art can become complicated rather quickly. You can integrate nutritional recommendations from acupuncture and Chinese medicine into your diet to ease you through the changes your body goes through during mid-life.
One of the first things to consider is the time of your meal. According to the acupuncture and Chinese medicine circadian clock theory, the most appropriate time to eat breakfast is between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. This is the time of the Stomach, when the energy in this organ is at its fullest, making it ready to receive food. Consider breakfast as the nutritional foundation for your day.
Every two hours, a different organ is poised for peak performance. Eating at the hour of the Stomach provides your body with the optimal energy needed to start the digestive process. The next 2-hour block of time, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., is the hour of the Spleen. The Spleen initiates the next phase of digestion, which further reinforces eating breakfast earlier.
Calcium is one of the most important nutrients for maintaining healthy bones and teeth. During menopause and andropause, the risk of developing osteoporosis increases. The best way to ensure your body has enough calcium is through foods rich in this nutrient. Vitamin D also aids in calcium absorption. One of the best ways to support the production of vitamin D is through adequate sunlight exposure. Try to get at least 15 minutes of sun each day. Foods high in calcium include fish with bones (such as sardines), broccoli, beans, lentils, almonds, milk, yogurt, and walnuts. Both men and women should feature foods in their diets to support the skeletal system, kidney health, and brain function during the middle years.
Regardless of your gender, or how old you are, make an effort to seek out new foods and styles of cooking. Eating a varied diet is the best way to ensure you receive all of the many nutrients your body needs. The next time you make a salad, for instance, pick one vegetable for each color of the rainbow. You can apply this concept to your meals by enjoying dishes with different colored vegetables or by using new spices. Eating is an everyday activity and one way to keep your life exciting through all phases of life is through eating interesting food.
If you want to learn how acupuncture and Chinese dietary therapy can boost your well being, contact All and One Acupuncture in Northeast Portland for a free consultation!Read more
December, 15th 2014
To celebrate our lovely new acupuncture clinic at 2906 NE Glisan we are planning our Open House party for Friday, January 16th. Please join us for an evening of yummy food, tours of the new clinic, and the company of our stellar team!Read more
December, 12th 2014
As women enter the autumn of their reproductive years, major physiological changes occur that may give rise to symptoms of menopause. Like a plant going through many changes with the cycle of the seasons, it is natural for a woman in her middle years to cease menstruating on a regular cycle and to experience mild to extremely uncomfortable symptoms as a result.
The winter season of life, or menopause, is a time to take shelter and preserve energy. This is a quieter, calmer phase of life in which a healthy woman may need extra support to feel comfortable in her body as it changes. Age should bring wisdom, not excess heat and dryness that cause unnecessary discomfort. As women move from autumn to the winter phase of their natural feminine cycle, it is reassuring to know that acupuncture and Chinese medicine can be integrated into your health plan to support this transition.
Some of the most common symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, night sweats, dizziness, insomnia, irritability, mood swings, osteoporosis, and dryness. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine provide treatments and lifestyle suggestions which may reduce the severity of these symptoms. The organ system most involved in producing these symptoms of menopause is the kidney, specifically the decline of kidney yin. Kidney yin is like a cool, refreshing reservoir of water and when it dries up, heat and dryness more readily ensue.
In general, yin represents the nourishing, cooling energies. When it reduces, metaphorically speaking, there exists in the body less water to put out the fire. Yang energy represents the moving, active principle which is like the rays of sunshine providing the sustenance needed for plants to thrive. However, when in excess, heat destroys plants and leaves them brown, dried and withered. Based on this premise, it makes sense that menopausal women can present with excess heat signs such as hot flashes and irritability.
According to the Huang di Nei Jing, the body dynamics of women significantly change every seven years. At 35 years of age, the blood and energy (Qi) of the Large Intestine and Stomach Channels start their decline. Here we see fine lines on the face and neck, thinning hair and a drier quality to the skin. For a woman of 42, these same channels weaken further as evidenced by deepening wrinkles, hair color changing to gray or white, and the continual loss of skin moisture and elasticity. At 49, a woman’s Conception Vessel and the related meridians exhaust themselves, giving rise to symptoms of menopause.
The changes in these meridians lead to the cessation of menstruation and loss of fertility. The Conception Vessel or Ren Channel is called the “sea of yin” and is closely associated with pregnancy, fetal development and reproductive health in general. The Chong Mai or Chong Meridian is known as the “sea of blood” and heavily influences blood flow in the uterus and the menstrual cycle.
In July of 2014, the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) conducted a large-scale analysis of previous scientific studies examining the role of acupuncture in reducing various symptoms of menopause. Out of the 12 studies analyzed, researchers concluded that acupuncture positively impacted both the frequency and severity of hot flashes. NAMS executive director Margery Gass, M.D. stated, “The review suggested acupuncture may be an alternative therapy for reducing hot flashes, particularly for those women seeking non-pharmacologic therapies.” While hot flashes may not pose a health risk in and of themselves, the severity of them may affect quality of life and cause great physical and emotional stress.
While Chinese and Western Medicine offer different treatments for menopause, both traditions agree on certain suggestions for lifestyle choices and diet. Avoiding spicy foods, hot beverages, caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes may help prevent the onset of hot flashes, night sweats and other symptoms. All of these foods and substances irritate the body. Additionally, Chinese medicine considers cigarettes to be particularly detrimental for menopausal women because when smoke enters the body it dries up the yin and the fluids, which need to be preserved during menopause.
If you are seeking relief from menopause symptoms, contact All and One Acupuncture in northeast Portland to learn how we can help!Read more
December, 10th 2014
We are now just a few weeks away from the shortest day of the year, so it is a good time to take a moment and consider the dramatic seasonal shifts we’ve seen in the Northwest recently. Just eight weeks ago the high was 85° and we were all happily enjoying the last days of a wonderfully warm summer. Five weeks later and we Bridgetowners were trying to justify staying in bed all morning because it was below freezing outside.
The days are shorter now and yet, out of necessity, most of us don’t take the time to slow down to match the pace of Old Man Winter. In the Taoist tradition, as in nature, winter is a time for rest and nourishment. It is the time of year when we are meant to nurture our bodies & minds, sleep a little longer, eat a little more nourishing food, and rest up for the adventures that await us in the coming spring & summer.
As we approach the winter solstice here in Portland, I encourage you to take a few extra moments for yourself to slow down and tune into your body and the winter season. Take a moment to do some abdominal breathing when you wake up in the morning and before bedtime, bundle up and take a stroll around your neighborhood and notice the sounds and smells of winter, sit and listen to your loved ones as they tell you about their day. Whether it is through cooking a hearty stew, sleeping a little longer each night, or getting acupuncture or massage, I hope you treat yourself to some silence and reflection in these wintery days.
If you could use a little seasonal support, All and One Acupuncture in NE Portland is here to help with your healthcare needs.Read more
December, 9th 2014
While a sweet taste delights our taste buds, overindulgence can cause or worsen digestive problems and upset our metabolic and emotional balance. According to acupuncture and Chinese medicine, when one or more of the organs responsible for digestion no longer functions properly, it potentially puts the other organs of the body in danger.
Diabetes is one example of a disease that has a variety of health consequences that can sometimes result from a faulty digestive system. The onset of type 2 diabetes, also known as insulin-resistant diabetes, frequently affects the overweight adult population, although one may still suffer from the disease while being a normal weight.
According to acupuncture and Chinese medicine, after taking a bite and swallowing your food, the stomach receives it and proceeds to ‘cook,’ ‘steam’ or ‘ferment’ it. The stomach is known as ‘the sea of grain and water.’ The ‘cooking’ extracts vital nutrients from the ‘grain’ and passes them on to the spleen for further processing. The spleen then distributes the nutrients accordingly throughout the body.
Diet is significant for maintaining health or restoring it, and can help stabilize blood glucose levels and curb sweet cravings by following dietary recommendations.
Foods that represent the sweet flavor aid the stomach and spleen. It may surprise some to learn that acupuncture considers meats such as pork and chicken as sweet. Vegetables such as yams, sweet potatoes, corn, snow peas, squash and even turnips are also considered sweet.
If you wish to reduce your consumption of sweet foods and to curb your sweet tooth, eating a savory dish made with coconut milk can ease the need for a dessert afterward.
Anything heavily processed, greasy or high in sugar can injure the spleen and cause a condition known as internal phlegm. This disorder represents a turbid, heavy condition that interferes with digestion and can cause belching, bloating, pain and diarrhea.
If you are following a diabetic diet, even fruits are recommended only in moderate amounts due to their relatively high sugar content. Try pairing your fruit with a high-fiber grain like oatmeal. The fiber will slow down digestion and help keep blood sugar levels stable. Or you could consider a moderately sweet dessert comprised of a yam with butter and cinnamon.
By following the acupuncture guidelines for properties of food, you can easily find lower-sugar foods that are allowed, yet still provide a sweet flavor and can replace unhealthy desserts.
If you are looking for support managing your diabetes, or want customized nutritional counseling for diabetes, All and One Acupuncture can help! Call us today at our NE Portland clinic location to schedule a free consultation.Read more
December, 6th 2014
Peripheral neuropathy describes damage to the peripheral nervous system, which transmits information from the brain and spinal cord to every other part of the body. Peripheral means ‘situated on the edge.’ Neuropathy breaks down into two separate words, both of which originate from the Greek language. Neuro means ‘relating to nerves or the nervous system,’ and pathy means ‘disease condition’ or ‘suffering.’ Nerves serve as pathways of communication between the brain and the rest of the body. When something interrupts this process, signs of peripheral neuropathy may occur.
Common signs of peripheral neuropathy include tingling, numbness, loss of sensation, muscle weakness and pain. For some people, it is experienced as the uncomfortable sensation of “pins and needles”, or burning pain (especially at night) of their hands or feet. Others may suffer even more extreme symptoms such as muscle wasting, paralysis, or organ or gland dysfunction.
In most cases, peripheral neuropathy is secondary to another condition. There are many factors that can bring about peripheral neuropathy including diabetes, malnutrition, drugs, viral and bacterial infections, alcoholism and poison exposure. Other causes of peripheral neuropathy include compression or entrapment (such as carpal tunnel syndrome), direct physical injury to a nerve, fractures or dislocated bones, penetrated injuries, and pressure involving superficial nerves that can result from prolonged use of crutches, staying in the same position too long, tumor, intraneural hemorrhage, exposure to cold, radiation or atherosclerosis.
With more than 100 types of peripheral neuropathies in existence, each with its own characteristic set of symptoms, pattern of development, and prognosis, the symptoms can vary as much as the cause. Nevertheless, peripheral neuropathy is a symptom for many different patterns of disharmony within the body and is a condition that can be managed with regular acupuncture and Oriental medicine treatments.
Oriental medicine teaches that peripheral neuropathy is due to dampness moving to the limbs, where it obstructs the flow of Qi (energy) and blood within them. The treatment is twofold: to treat the underlying factor that is causing this dampness to accumulate, and to directly facilitate the circulation of Qi and blood in the affected area. By improving circulation, the nerve tissues of the affected area can be nourished to repair function and reduce pain.
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine aims to treat each individual uniquely, depending on what caused the neuropathy and how it manifests. In addition to seeking acupuncture therapy, there are a few things you can practice at home:
Adopt Healthy Habits
Healthy habits such as maintaining optimal weight, avoiding exposure to toxins, following a physician-supervised exercise program, eating a balanced diet, correcting vitamin deficiencies, and limiting or avoiding alcohol consumption can reduce the physical and emotional effects of peripheral neuropathy.
Boost Circulation with Massage
Massage can help boost circulation, which is generally poor and leaves these areas vulnerable to trauma. You can stimulate your feet, lower legs, hands and arms with gentle massage using light pressure.
Relax to Reduce External Triggers
Consider relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, self-hypnosis or biofeedback. These can help you learn to control the external factors that trigger pain.
Soak for Pain Relief
A warm foot bath with Epsom salt may also help relieve pain. If there is loss of sensation in the hands or feet, you should avoid extreme temperatures, as you may not feel the damaging effects.
Do you suffer from peripheral neuropathy? All and One Acupuncture in Northeast Portland can help! Call today to find out what acupuncture and Chinese medicine can do for you!
December, 2nd 2014
It is estimated that 25.8 million men, women and children in the United States have diabetes, a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 4 people remain unaware that they live with diabetes. Sometimes the body will give warning signs that help your physician or acupuncture and Chinese medicine practitioner make an early diagnosis. It is important to get a diagnosis as soon as you suspect that diabetes may be a problem for you, as untreated diabetes affects the whole body and can lead to other medical problems, including heart disease, kidney failure, blindness, peripheral neuropathy, digestive disorders and periodontal disease.
In order to manage this condition, it is essential for people with diabetes to make healthy lifestyle choices in diet, exercise and other health habits. Another important factor when treating diabetes is creating a support team of health care professionals, including a licensed acupuncturist.
Diabetes According to Chinese Medicine
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have been used to treat diabetes for over 2000 years. According to Chinese medicine, diabetes is caused by an imbalance of the cyclical flow of Qi within the meridians and organ systems. This particular imbalance produces heat that depletes the bodys fluids and Qi, causing symptoms such as extreme fatigue, lethargy, unexplained weight loss, excessive thirst, excessive urination, excessive eating, slow healing of cuts and wounds, infections, irritability, tingling or numbness in the extremities, and blurry vision.
Offering a holistic approach that is beneficial in the treatment of diabetes, acupuncture and Chinese medicine provides a treatment plan specifically tailored to the needs of each individual to provide relief of the symptoms associated with diabetes. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can assist the body by helping it return to its normal healthy functioning state.
In addition to acupuncture, a variety of techniques may be used during treatment, including bodywork, lifestyle/dietary recommendations, energetic exercises and herbal medicine. The treatment for diabetes will focus on regulating the circulation of blood and Qi and balancing the organ systems to improve pancreatic function and address internal heat and the depletion of fluids.
Call today to learn more about how All and One Acupuncture can help you manage your diabetes and improve your overall health and well being.Read more