I am thrilled to announce that Acupuncture Mont Tremblant is turning 5 years old! Acupuncture Mont Tremblant has also grown in terms of therapists and services offered! Please welcome Acupuncturist, Christopher Garbrecht and Naturopath, Dani Chenier to our clinic! Together we’ve created a health team to better meet your needs!
Late summer is ragweed season and it is also the time of year that “hay fever ” sufferers tend to stay indoors until the first killing frost. If this is your “modus operandi”, please read on. There are healthy, lasting solutions to your allergies, thanks to Chinese medicine.
More than one in six Canadians suffer from hay fever, known as seasonal allergic rhinitis, which is associated with the release of pollen from trees, flowers and grasses each spring and summer. Common symptoms include itchy eyes, nose and throat, sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion and breathing problems.
Allergic reactions are said to occur when the immune system launches an attack against otherwise harmless substances. What causes this over the top response from the immune system is still unclear but our genetic make-up is seen as the greatest contributing factor. Indeed, if either or both parents have allergies, their children inherit a 60-65% chance of developing them too.
Your Immune System
The immune system is often weakened with stress, fatigue, poor diet and lack of physical exercise. Combine these factors with the increased exposure to harsh chemicals in the environment and it is no wonder that allergies of all kinds are actually on the rise in the Canadian population.
Two of the more popular treatments available to allergy sufferers are over the counter medications or immunotherapy, (allergy shots). Thankfully, other options exist for those who no longer wish to endure the side effects from medications or those who have difficulty adhering to the 3-5 year allergy shot regimen.
Here are my top 4 ways to get the jump on allergies naturally.
1). Get Acupuncture.
A series of treatments just before or during allergy season will reduce your symptoms and strengthen your immune system. Need more convincing? The World Health Organization recommends acupuncture as an effective way to treat allergies.
2). Eliminate Dairy Products
An important reduction in symptoms can be had by simply cutting back on dairy products. I mean all dairy; milk, cheese yogurt and even Kefir, as the presence of dairy in the body exacerbates the overproduction of mucous and phlegm.
3). Vitamin C
Mega doses of ascorbic acid supplements (vitamin C) have been shown to strengthen the immune system. In fact, studies have proven its use can protect against colds and flu. (source : Pub Med) See your health care professional for dosage.
4). Manage your Stress
Stress management has also proven to be an important means of coping with allergies. In fact, research over the past 30 years has demonstrated a link between chronic stress and suppression of the immune system. The practice of restorative yoga, meditation or Qi Gong, an ancient self-healing system, can calm the nervous system and reduce the stress response, thus protecting and supporting the immune system.
If you are struggling with chronic pain and anxiety, this free e-book was written for you. Discover my six soul-nourishing steps to take you from feeling stressed-out to blissed-out today. As a licensed acupuncturist and stress management facilitator, I have had the honour of helping hundreds of patients and students deal with stress. And now I would love to share the same simple tools with you. Click on the book and get your free copy of ‘From Stressed Out To Blissed Out, now.
Rosemary McDonough, L.Ac
As many of you know, I am a happy cook in the kitchen during the winter season. Once the good weather hits, though I am less inclined to spend the day creating a new soup or tending a classic Irish stew. I prefer to be out of doors playing instead. Yesterday, at lunchtime, I discovered a left over turnip at the back of my fridge, and wondered what I could do with it since I just didn’t feel like making any more turnip soup, (delicious as it was this past winter).
That’s when I came up with the idea to use sliced raw turnip as a snack with a hummus dip. Believe it or not I had never eaten raw turnip before, and I wasn’t even sure I’d like it, but of course I loved it or I would not bother to share it with you here today.
The taste is sweet, the texture is cruchy, and turnips are probably the cheapest vegetables on the planet. At cool temperatures they keep well for ages and are packed with lots of fiber, vitamin C and calcium.
All you need for this recipe is 1 turnip ( any size).
Hummus or your favorite veggie dip.
Chopping a turnip into bite sized slices is a challenge for me and if you don’t have strong wrists, I suggest:
- peeling the waxy outer layer off first.
- cutting away several outer portions and working your way to the center of the turnip, instead of trying to hack through the center straight off.
- chopping chunks into thin 1.5 inch pieces
Serve with a dip and enjoy!
Because I used to teach skiing up here in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, I know all about bone spurs and heel spurs. Many a Ski pro with whom I worked complained each winter about the pain they endured thanks to their bone spurs. Now that I am an acupuncturist, I know that you need not be an athlete to be familiar with them too.
Bone spurs, as the name implies are bony outgrowths that can occur anywhere on any bone or tendon in the body. They are most often caused by a gradual build up of bone in response to inflammation due to tendinitis or osteoarthritis. My colleagues in the ski school would often blame poorly fitting ski boots (probably causing friction and inflammation on the foot) for their woes. The medical name for bone spurs is osteophytes and, when symptomatic, their presence can be quite painful. However, many people have bone spurs that cause no pain at all.
For people experiencing pain due to osteophytes, cortisone shots are often recommended to bring down the inflammation, but more often than not, the pain returns. Unfortunately, people are often told that the only other treatment for stubborn and very painful bone spurs is surgery, where the offending spur is cut away.
Here are 2 cases where I successfully treated bone spurs and a similar condition, heel spurs, with acupuncture. In Chinese medicine, we look at such cases as a blockage of circulation in the affected areas. Our needles work to stimulate circulation and bring down inflammation. This helps not only to relieve pain, but it allows the body to heal the area itself.
In the first case, my patient was a competitive skier facing surgery for very painful bone spurs that had accumulated over a few years on the Achilles tendon of each foot. I treated him 3 times and sent him home with a moxa stick to use himself every day. Moxa is a herb that, once lit, sends an infrared quality of heat deep into the tissues. Gently warming the local area with moxa will improve circulation immensely.
He returned a few weeks later, much improved with less pain and surgery seemed no longer necessary. I had the foresight to take photos and the improvement is visible. I learned that a month or so later, his bone spurs completely disappeared and he was pain-free.
By the way, the surgery is routine but requires a long recovery period… here’s an image of what my patient could have undergone, were it not for acupuncture.
|Surgery for heel spur. Long recovery!|
Not just athletes
Another gentleman consulted me immediately after he received a diagnosis of a bone spur on the heel of his left foot . The pain was acute, having suddenly appeared a few days before he saw me. When he arrived at my door he was limping badly. He was a trucker and the pain was threatening his ability to drive and walk and make his deliveries. His spur was situated along the plantar fascia which is the fibrous tissue that connects the heel to the ball of the foot.
In this case I treated him once, attaching electric stimulation to the needles ( see photo below). He left my office with the pain 80% gone and he was able to walk out my door with ease. I saw him 2 days later for a final treatment but he was already 100% better. He was delighted and he promised to return should it ever flare up in the future. It has been 2 years and I learned from one of his relatives that he is still doing the happy dance!
|Acupuncture treatment for heel spur , (acupuncture épine de lenoir)|
The key here is the rapidity with which this man consulted. The earlier we can treat, the better and quicker the outcome. In both cases acupuncture was able to stimulate the blood circulation enough to reduce the inflammation and allow the body’s own healing to take place. When you consider that everything our bodies need to heal is found in our blood, it’s easy to understand how valuable acupuncture can be for bone and heel spurs.
Rosemary McDonough, L.Ac June, 2014
I am on a mission to limit my sugar intake and to add healthy saturated fats (coconut oil and coconut butter) at the same time. Even though this is not a sugar free recipe, as I use some honey and, of course, there is some sugar in the dark chocolate, this is my current desert of choice when I get that chocolate craving! One more good thing; they are gluten-free and dairy-free.
The ingredients are simple and no baking is required! Please note you really need toasted coconut flakes for this to work. Shredded coconut just is not the same at all.
500 g of Roasted Coconut flakes (2 packages) see image below.
Unpasturized honey to taste. ( I use about 1 TBS)
About 2/3 Cup of melted dark or semi sweet chocolate
Melt chocolate over low heat while you let your food processor blend the coconut flakes into a soft almost liquid butter. Add a bit of honey if desired.
Fill greased or lined mini muffin tins 1/3 full with coconut mixutre. Chill slightly in freezer for 5 mins. Remove from freezer and add a layer of liquid chocolate in each cup, then return to the freezer for a few minutes and top up the cups with more coco butter and chill one last time again. If you don’t devour them all in one sitting, keep the rest refrigerated!
*I use a bit of coconut oil to grease the pans when I run out of mini muffin papers.
Makes about 2-3 dozen mini cups.
* I sometimes add celtic salt to the chocolate and pop a pecan in the center before chilling. Experement and let me know how it goes!
While some stress is acceptable, too much unmanaged stress can accumulate and lead to health issues. Physical problems such as headaches, back pain, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system can be attributed to stress over-load as well as emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression. Long-term stress can have a profound impact on just about every system in your body and therefore it can also be responsible for some cases of infertility, pre-menstrual syndrome and difficulties during menopause.
How Acupuncture Can Help
Acupuncture is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the oldest health system in the world. Tiny, disposable needles, as fine as a strand of hair are gently tapped under the skin on various places on the body in order to resolve pain and to improve and maintain health. Basically acupuncture relieves pain, reduces inflammation and restores homeostasis, which is the body’s ability to maintain equilibrium.
Acupuncture works to promote proper blood flow. This is an important point when you consider that the nutrients of the food we absorb, the oxygen we breathe, our hormones, natural pain-killers and anti-inflammatory substances, everything the body needs to heal itself, gets transported via the bloodstream.
Acupuncture can reduce stress. Acupuncture calms the nervous system by regulating that ‘fight or flight’ response activity in the brain. Studies have shown that chemicals such as cortisol, which are present in the blood in response to stress, decrease after acupuncture. Isn’t that amazing? Moreover, acupuncture stimulates the release of oxytocin, a hormone that activates the parasympathetic nervous system, otherwise known as the ‘rest and digest system’,paving the way to a state of serenity, bliss and optimal health!
Getting acupuncture can actually be a very relaxing experience. Many patients doze off during treatment and report that they feel very calm and focused for days afterward. While there are many studies confirming the efficacy of acupuncture,science is at a loss to explain just how it works. When you consider that so many illnesses feature some degree of pain,chronic inflammation and suppression of the parasympathetic nervous system, you can begin to understand why acupuncture can treat so many conditions.