Regina Dehen, ND, LAc radio interview

Traditional Chinese Medicine discussed on Portland radio!

Regina Dehen, ND, LAc a naturopathic physician, acupuncture practitioner, and instructor at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. Regina is a wealth of information and and incredible instructor, as you will see when you listen to the whole interview.  Regina and Ted Douglass discuss what TCM is, Chinese Medicine in research, and how it all works together in the Western world today.

There are two parts to the interview, so be sure to scroll down to the "Oregon College of Chinese Medicine" inside the Metroscope box and listen to both!



October 24 is National Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day

Happy Oriental Medicine Day on Saturday!

Hug an acupuncturist, or try a delicious (?) Chinese herbal tea! They taste odd, but are oh-so helpful for the body.

If you are fortunate enough to live in Portland, Oregon (my beloved city), then get out there and take a look at the massive acupuncture needle in our beautiful, if not a slightly damp city!

According to Acupuncture Today, the informative new source for all things acupuncture,

October 24, 2002 marked the first annual observance of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day. Conceived of as part of a national campaign to educate the public about the benefits of acupuncture and other forms of Asian healing, many of the leading national acupuncture and Oriental medicine member associations, research organizations and educational institutions lent their support to AOM Day, in the form of open houses; lectures and demonstrations; free acupuncture treatments; and educational seminars.

A lot of cities are signed up with special rates on Saturday as well as other events- check out the homepage for the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine site, and don't forget to check out the Acupuncture Today article that lists schools around the country that are celebrating National AOM day in style!

We should celebrate this day as a time when we are able to choose what we want in terms of our own healthcare, and take matters into our own hands by using preventative medicine. Acupuncture, herbal medicine, naturopathic medicine, massage, reiki, and all of the other wonderful techniques are treatments that do so much more than "fix us." They heal us!

I still remember my personal experience with acupuncture - which is the reason I practice this amazing medicine. I was living in South Korea, where the pollution was so bad you could see and taste it! I was taking extra medications to try to control my  allergy symptoms and wheezing, but it wasn't enough. Just as I was about to throw in the towel and leave, a family member suggested acupuncture. So I walked into the nearest clinic where no one spoke English (and my Korean was very poor), but doctor was surprised to see a foreigner but was very nice. He patted my arm and said "it's okay!" He then felt my pulse, looked at my tongue, then gave me my first acupuncture treatment. It  was incredible- I still remember how much better I felt after that first treatment, and went back three times a week for four months. By the end of that treatment regime, I was off all of the medications, and was feeling great. I've been a firm believer in this medicine ever since, and started school at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine two weeks after we arrived home.

See what you can find in your city at the sites listed above, and enjoy the day!


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Traditional Chinese Medicine and Stress

Photo by Ana Santos

Stress. It’s around us all the time, whether it’s you who is the stressed, or everyone around you. Stress comes in many forms- such as work, family, hormonal changes, illness, and major life changes. While some of these changes may be positive, the stress of them interferes with your health and happiness. Having a new baby, changing to a better job, moving to a better place are all good changes, but are still stressful!

In Traditional Chinese medicine theory, stress affects the flow of energy and eventually blood flow within the body, which causes stagnation. This stagnation needs to be moved to create a stress-free environment. Many people feel immediately better after an acupuncture treatment, and are able to carry that effect over by receiving weekly acupuncture treatments.

Some common symptoms of stress

  1. anger or irritability
  2. insomnia
  3. irregular menstrual cycle, including PMS, irritability, bloating and breast distention
  4. headaches (these can be tension or migraine)
  5. gastrointestinal problems (diarrhea, constipation or a combination of the two, as in IBS)

How to Manage Stress

Acupuncture- by using very small needles at specific acupoints to move energy and blood, acupuncture releases endorphins within the brain. This has a very relaxing effect on the body, and many patients fall asleep while the needles are in!

Herbal Medicine helps manage stress and control the symptoms of stress within the body. Personalized herbal formulas in granule or capsule form can help with your symptoms effectively. Herbal medicine can be used alone, but it works best when combined with acupuncture treatments.

Exercise- Regular exercise 5-6 days per week help to move the energy in the body. Even a 30 minute walk will do the trick.

Relaxing- Learning deep breathing techniques, taking a meditation or Qigong class will help you deal with stress more effectively.

Diet and food: Try to avoid fried or greasy foods, pastries, white bread, alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine (whew!). Choose an assortment of veggies, whole grains, and drink plenty of water.

Photo by Unfurled

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Babies and Birthing Naturally

Pregnant Belly by kellyandapril

When the words "It's time!" are spoken by a pregnant woman, panic will often follow. But it doesn't necessarily have to! That is, if the baby decides to take a little time for the mother to be where she planned....

The ideal situation for an expectant mother is to make a birth plan, and to then be able to let her plan unfold completely. But babies don't always know our plans, and they sometimes have a sweet little agenda of their own.  There are some great websites for you to check out if you are looking for some advice on a birth plan, or are still deciding how you would like to deliver your baby.

A new site to check in with regularly is Natural Baby Pros. They also have a great article for the birth plan called " The Essential Birth Plan," which discusses things you may not have thought of, like epidurals, pitocin drips, and Hepatitis B Vaccines. Go to the site to read more about why they bring these topics up for parents-to-be.

My Best Birth is a site where women can share their birth experiences, read about other births, and join discussion forums.  They also have a link to a movie called "The Business of Being Born." This is definitely a movie to watch if you are seriously considering a homebirth. The film follows a midwife through several pregnancies and homebirth, and details the interesting (if not horrifying) history of birthing.

If you are considering a homebirth but want a little more information on the statistics, check out the result of this study from Birthing Spirit. The study found that birth at home with a midwife was as safe as birth in hospital and homebirth was associated with fewer adverse outcomes for mothers and babies! Two books that divulge first-hand experience and advice about homebirth are: Ina May Gaskins "Spiritual Midwifery," and Peggy Vincent's "Baby Catcher." I found both of these books to be incredibly empowering in terms of women who had many successful homebirths.

Lucky for those of us in Portland, we have Birthingway, where midwives learn their skills. Choosing midwife (or an obstetrician) is a decision that should be given careful thought. Interviewing is a great way to see if you will be able to feel comfortable with a practitioner, and if they will be able to meet your needs. Also, if you decide to have an acupuncture practitioner to help with labor, it's also a good idea to set up an appointment and see how you feel about using needles during labor.

-The Birth of an eco-mom- the story of a mother who, after the birth of her third child, realized that she needed to become a little more "green" to make a difference in the world of her children. Very inspiring!

Happy Birth-day :)

Sleep Like A Baby by peasap



H1N1 and Traditional Chinese Medicine

I wasn't planning to write a post about the flu, but the H1N1 'situation' is still around, and I wanted to spread some of the good information I've been looking into. The H1N1 flu (we'll just call it "the flu") has a lot of people talking and a good deal of media coverage (EVERWHERE!).

Now that school has started up again, parents are worried about having their kids exposed to thousands of colds and sniffles, and the hype of the flu is lingering into the fall and winter seasons. UrbanMamas blog has a good discussion going about kids and the flu- check it out if you have little ones in school. It's hard to decide if a vaccine is in your future or not. Regardless, it's best to get as much information about options before you make that decision.

Chinese Medicine: Natural approaches are great and effective options to combat influenza- there are very powerful herbs we use to treat the symptoms. Herbs are being used all over China to treat the symptoms of the flu with great success!

A good list of formulas listed on this site are:

  • Gan Mao Ling: This is definitely one of the most widely utilized Chinese patents to treat flu related fatigue, headaches, sore throats, swollen lymph glands, high fever, chills, and back and neck aches.
  • Yin Qiao: In a very similar fashion to Gan Mao Ling, Yin Chiao is generally prescribed for the same set of flu symptoms.
  • Zhong Gan Ling: This medicine is indicated for more severe conditions such as sudden, high fevers with sore throats and coughing, swollen lymph nodes, aching limbs and headaches.
  • Huo Xiang Zheng Qi Wan(Correct the Qi Pills): Primarily prescribed for stomach flus with digestive difficulties of diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, flatulence, nausea and for chills, fever and headaches.
  • Yu Ping Feng Wan (Jade Screen Pills): This medicine is prescribed primarily for insufficient immune system in the presence of frequent colds and flu, sore throat, swollen face, sinus congestion and inflammation, and sinus pain headaches.

Depending on your symptoms, the practitioner may make you an individualized formula if you are experiencing a combination of these symptoms.

Vaccines: It's completely your choice if you choose to get the vaccine- every individual has their right to choose. But I am a firm believer in knowing the facts and researching what our options are. Liz Richards, LAc of Blossom Clinic posted a note about pregnancy and the H1N1 vaccine for expectant mothers concerned with mercury in the vaccines. Liz clarifies that the single dose does not contain mercury, but the 10 vial dose does. She also has a link to a video about the vaccine.

Prevention: Treat the swine flu as you would treat the regular ol' flu, which means you must take care of yourself!!

Here is a good list of strategies to prevent spreading sickness from Dr. Lorne Brown of Acubalance:

  • wash your hand frequently
  • avoid sugary foods
  • get adequate sleep
  • reduce alcohol
  • eat a whole foods, mostly plant based diet
  • reduce stress

Nutrition: WellWire.com posted a delicious recipe for an immune-boosting soup- I'm definitely making this tonight! Remember to drink plenty of clean water, and eat lots of garlic and ginger!

Anti H1N1 Soup for 2

1 handful dry shiitake mushrooms, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 4 cloves garlic thinly sliced, 1 onion thinly sliced, 1 small piece ginger thinly sliced, 3 cups pork stock (lol kidding, this is hard to find – any stock will do), 4 glugs of sake, 2 spring onions.

Soak the mushrooms in boiling water until tender.  Remove the soaking liquid.  Saute the mushrooms, onions and garlic in a tablespoon of oil until tender but not browned.  Add the stock and the ginger and simmer on low heat for about ten minutes. Season to taste and just before serving add the sake and spring onions.

Whatever route you choose is up to you. Just make sure you have all of the correct information before you take action.

Stay healthy!

(Photo by kozumel)


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Acupuncture Relief Project in Nepal

The practitioners for the Acupuncture Relief Project Leave for Nepal this Saturday!

We are busy checking last minute arrangements and packing our bags for Nepal. Team A leaves Saturday September 26th and our clinic in Chapagoan will begin treating patients again on October 4th. Please stay tuned for updates and stories of our progress.

In the meantime please enjoy this short "kick off" documentary. If you appreciate the work we are doing please forward this video to your colleagues, friends and family. Please ask them to sign up for our news blog at http://www.acupuncturereliefproject.org


Safe travels to the group- we look forward to hearing about your journey!

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Natural Medicine and Athletes in the Northwest

Marathon Runners by Justin S. Campbell

The Northwest edition of Competitor Magazine has a great article in the September edition about the use of natural medicine for athletes. Endurance athletes in the Northwest region are discovering the benefits of using Chinese medicine along with naturopathic care to heal injuries that have already occured, and prevent more from happening.

Although it is often referred to as "new" medicine, natural medicine predates Western approaches to health care. It draws it's roots from ancient China (herbal remedies, acupuncture) and Greece (hydrotherapy). The focus of the medicine is to remove obstacles that detract from one' health. There is no cookie-cutter approach to this medicine.

While many people must pay out of pocket for these treatments, the financial restraints, especially in the depressed economy, often outweigh the health benefits of natural health practices- even though in the long run, natural medicine is less expensive because of the focus on preventing illness and injury.

Well stated. Prevention is the key to staying healthy, fit and running, cycling, or walking through life injury-free. It is worth it in the long run to keep yourself healthy and happy!

Some events in Oregon that boast natural medicine are:

-Cycle Oregon, the yearly week-long bike ride, has it's own massage team! The Cycle Oregon Massage Team worked last week to help around 2000 cyclists make it through this event. I hear there was even an acupuncture practitioner along for the ride!

-Step Out- the Walk to Fight Diabetes also had massage therapists giving sample treatments after their 1, 3, or 6 mile walk. A lot of people took advantage of it (my 7-year old niece was the spokesperson this year!!)

- I'm sure the Portland Marathon with have a little help from practitioners  of all kinds, too :)



Acupuncture and Allergies in Portland

Portland Japanese Garden by Roger Isabell

Allergy season is year round in Portland.

While that is a common joke here in Bridgetown, there really are those who suffer from allergies (especially dust and molds) year round. The use of acupuncture and traditional Chinese herbal medicine is best the way to help keep your symptoms under control. While Western medications alleviate the symptoms temporarily, they won’t treat the underlying cause of the allergic reaction, which is what we do with Chinese medicine.

A treatment from an acupuncture practitioner will help open the nasal passages, clear the excess phlegm, and reduce inflammation that causes the allergic reaction. This excessive reaction is not just the inflammatory response of the body to a foreign object (such as pollen), but also a weakened Lung, Spleen and Kidney organ system. Acupuncture strengthens these organ systems, which in turn helps the body react appropriately to the foreign object.

Common allergy symptoms may include: -Runny nose -Nasal itching -Wheezing -Red, watery eyes -Skin irritation (rashes, itchy skin)

An ideal treatment plan for year-round acute allergies is treatments twice a week, and after the symptoms are under control the treatments may be stretched to every other week. Everyone reacts differently to the treatments, and you need to give it time (Trust me- this is what got me into acupuncture in the first place)! If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you will need treatment before the your "season" begins. For example, if you suffer from hayfever in the spring, start your treatments in January to help with symptom relief before the sneezing begins.

So if you are one of those who suffers from allergies when the rains begin, call your practitioner now, or find one on acufinder.com. Also, check out Dr. Nishant Rao's post at Wellwire.com for helpful tips on how to prevent seasonal allergies.


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Late summer in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Photo by Zé Eduardo...

The heat wave(s) in Portland have passed, and the winds have started to pick up a little, making the nights a little cooler than we are used to. Sadly, this cooler weather means that summer is nearing the end, and into the season of Late Summer. But instead of mourning the loss of the sunlight, remember that now is the time to enjoy the bounty of harvest that late summer has to offer. Farmers markets and local stores have plenty of fresh and organic produce. Choose from a variety of colors and flavors, and enjoy the last of the summer fruits and veggies to begin your body's preparation for the heavier, nourishing meals in the Fall.

Late summer is a short season compared to Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer. This season represents the element of Earth, the organs of the Stomach and Spleen, and focuses on the digestive function of the body. For a detailed explanation of the TCM theory behind this short season, read the TCM World Foundation's article.

In the meantime, check out these Portland blogs for more information about acupuncture, and getting ready for fall!

-Northwest Natural Medicine's Blog has a great post about swine flu: what it REALLY is ("the flu"), and how to keep you and your family healthy. A great time to read it now that the kids are back in school!

-Over at Tensegrity Health, Kim Knight, LAc wrote an interesting post: "5 myths about Acupuncture." If you really want to try acupuncture out, but are having some hesitation due to questions like ("Does it hurt? Does it work?"), then read the post to find out the truth about our medicine.

Dr. Igor Schwartzman of Whole Family Wellness Center wrote an article about the benefits a of ginger root WellWire.com. This herb is used to soothe the Stomach, which makes his recipe for ginger tea a great idea right now!

Warming Ginger Tea:

Cut 10-12 thin slices from a fresh ginger root and place in 2 cups of water and boil for 10 minutes. Strain and drink from your favorite cup. Additionally, you can add 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon for extra flavor and have it after your dinner on cool night.

Enjoy the Late Summer while it lasts!

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PTSD Seminar with Joe Chang, LAc

acupuncture needle by howaye

Joe Chang, LAc, is the acupuncture practitioner at Ft. Bliss Restoration and Resilience Center in El Paso, Texas. He is part of the integrative approach in treating veterans diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Chang has been working with veterans for almost three years, and treats his patients every day if possible. By receiving daily treatments, Chang finds that the veterans benefit from the cumulative effect of acupuncture.

According to the National Institute for Mental Health, PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat. PTSD symptoms are usually in cluster- reliving events, avoidance, and arousal or physical stimulation due to these memories

Chang gave a lecture last weekend here in Portland, which was based on the results of working with vets. His treatment protocols are based on personal experiences in working with veterans with PTSD at Ft. Bliss, and he explained how he treated them with acupuncture points, and shared some other treatment modalities the patients have access to.

Cognitive therapies such as emotional freedom technique, where the patients are taught to tap specific acupuncture points while focusing on a specific memory instead of the recurring event is a common form of therapy. By using this technique, the veterans can learn to tap acupoints to help them through the negative memories on a daily basis. Movement therapies such as Qigong, yoga, and other therapeutic exercises are also used in conjunction with acupuncture and pharmaceutical medicine.

Many veterans with the diagnosis of PTSD are prescribed medication such as Zoloft to help with symptoms, but these meds are not without side effects. Chang reports that through the treatments of acupuncture and therapies, the soldiers are able to cut down their medications. The veterans he works with are tired of the side effects of the prescribed medications, and are very open to acupuncture.

Read this article for an in-depth look at PTSD in veterans, as well as a short interview with Joe Chang, LAc.

You can also check out previous posts on the subject, or look into the Veterans Affairs site about alternative therapies for veterans diagnosed with PTSD.



Genetic Testing Changes IVF at OHSU

OSHU has been busy! There are changes happening in how future in-vitro fertilization (IVF) transfers may take place at the Portland hospital. Women who want to have biological children, but may have eggs that carry a specific disease, such as heart disease or cancer, may soon have another option. Recent test trials at OHSU have been working to cut out the genes that carry these diseases, and replacing them with strands from primates. The OPB article stated:

"Shoukhrat Mitalipov, lead scientist for the project, and his team have taken the nucleus from the egg cell of one female monkey – with 99 percent of its DNA –and matched it with the cytoplasm of another healthy female, effectively ending up with an egg without any mutated mitochondrial DNA. Mitalipov states that, “We believe that this technique can be applied to existing human IVF techniques where a woman that carries this mutations can now have her own biological child, but her mitochondrial DNA causing these diseases can be replaced with healthy mitochondria.”

The spokesperson from GeneWatch, a non-profit group that monitors development in genetic technologies in the public interest, stated that more testing would be necessary for safety, as well as more ethical debate.

What do you think?

Read or listen to the OPB article here, and can read the BBC version here. if you would like to read the full research study, go to the Nature website to purchase the article.



Acupuncture and Menopause

Menopause is a time of transition and change in a woman's body. For some, it is a peaceful passage, with few symptoms or worries. For others, it may be an entirely different journey. Many women experience symptoms that are dif?cult to deal with during menopause, which may last a few months to several years. Symptoms vary from mild to severe, and are brought on as the body adapts to a decrease in the amount of estrogen.

Such symptoms may be: • Hot ?ushes • Mood changes, such as irritability or sadness • Insomnia • Memory loss • Headaches • Palpitations Menopause is a normal physiological process that all women enter into, and Traditional Chinese Medicine is a natural way to help with the transition. Acupuncture practitioners believe that to treat symptoms associated with menopause, we need to treat the cause of the body’s energy imbalance.

Using techniques such as taking the pulse, looking at the tongue, and interviewing the patient help us treat according to each individual diagnosis. By inserting needles at acupuncture points according to this diagnosis, we treat the reason the symptoms are occurring instead of masking them. We call this treating the "root" of the disease, instead of the "branch," which are the symptoms the patient is experiencing.

Acupuncture treatments for menopause related symptoms will involve weekly treatments, and patients will often be prescribed herbal remedies to be taken in conjunction with the acupuncture. Traditional Chinese medicine can make a big difference when trying to cope with the symptoms of menopause. I recommend you talk to a practitioner as soon as you feel these symptoms occurring. We can help make this life change better than expected!



Acupuncture and PMS

Do women REALLY have to deal with irritability, breast tenderness, bloating, and painful cramping every month when their menstrual cycle comes?

The answer is NO. Absolutely not.

Acupuncture is a very effective way to get relief from the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). All it requires you to do is lie on a soft massage table or chair, allow thin needles to be inserted into specific body points, and relax while the needles regulate the energy in your body. In Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, the Liver is responsible for these symptoms of PMS, and the stagnation of the energy in the Liver is the reason for these symptoms. This energy, along with the hormones that are bouncing wildly around, are out of balance and causing the disruption in your life for a few days out of the month.

Common symptoms of PMS are: • Fatigue • Breast and abdominal distention • Headaches • Diarrhea or Constipation • Recurring colds • Acne • Changes in appetite (cravings or a lack of appetite)

Acupuncture treatments for PMS work best when combined with Traditional Chinese herbal therapy. A woman may be given two different herbal formulas to take before her cycle starts, and one after it ends. These formulas help with the free flow of the energy before the cycle begins, then nourish and rebuild the blood that was lost. These herbs, in conjunction with the acupuncture, are a great way to keep the symptoms under control.

Another important part of keeping PMS symptoms under control is by educating yourself on what may be causing these symptoms. Lifestyle changes that can help with these symptoms are: • Reduce stress levels when possible. • Reducing caffeine and sugar intake, especially before the cycle begins. • Develop a regular exercise routine throughout the month. • Regular acupuncture treatments and prescribed herbal medicine. If you are experiencing any these symptoms and are seeking relief, please contact me and I will be happy to offer a complimentary telephone consultation.



Acupuncture and Dental Procedures

Photo by chdxx

A few weeks ago, a patient asked me to treat her with acupuncture during her visit to the dentist. She needed to have a filling replaced, and the last time she had a treatment that required anesthesia, she experienced several adverse side effects from the medication.

We arrived at the dentist office early, and I inserted the needles to give her some time before the dental procedures began. I used an  acupoint in her left jaw, and another in the hand (between thumb and forefinger), to help with pain management during the procedure. I also used ear tacks at the Jaw and Relaxation points.

Richard Knight, DMD, of Portland Family Dentistry was very welcoming, and his assistant Crystal was attentive to both the patient and myself during the procedure. When my electro-acupuncture machine had a temporary setback, they generously gave me extra batteries and waited patiently until the machine came back to life (insert momentary internal panic here.....) We were able to proceed in a minute or two with minimal sensation for the patient. We quickly found a rhythm of when the dentist and assistant began working on her tooth, I would turn up the levels of stimulation, then turn it back down as soon as they were finished. We worked using hand signals: thumbs up ("turn it up!"), thumbs down ("turn it down!"), or "ok" sign ("leave it there!").

The patient was able to have the entire two-hour procedure without any anesthetic. She is an incredibly brave woman, in my humble opinion, and I am looking forward to attending the next filling with her in a few weeks.

She gave great feedback, and asked to write a testimonial:

Recently I've had to have several fillings replaced.  I've had to carefully schedule my appointments because I don't know how I'll feel afterward from the local anesthesia.  Often I feel dull and slow as well as the usual numb face.  Twice I've had full body reactions where I have severe stomach pain.  After the last one I called Amy for help.  Since I am also studying acupuncture I decided that I needed to put my money where my mouth is.  I came out from the experience feeling very positive.  I was very fearful going in because who really wants to feel the dentist drill?  I was thankful that my dentist was open to having Amy come along.   She was very calming and not only fell into rhythm with the dentist but also did shiatsu massage on my legs between work to help ground me.  It was comforting to have an ally throughout the procedure.  It wasn't completely sensation free but I never felt anything that caused great concern, my fear was the greatest obstacle.  At the end I could help the assistant adjust my filling because I could feel my mouth and when I walked out I felt great.  I even went to breakfast right afterward.  Overall a thumbs up- we are going to do it again next time.  Thanks Amy!

My advice to you if you are interested in using acupuncture with dental procedures would be to test it out with your practitioner before the appointment. Be sure to let the dentist know you are electing to use this instead of anesthesia, and that your dentist and assistant are willing to work with an acupuncturist. I also recommend meditation and breathing techniques, as that was also a large part of the patient staying relaxed during the long procedure.

Smile by lenifuzhead


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Fertility Websites

Guan Yin photo by BotheredByBees

There is so much great information out there about fertility and natural health care that I just had to share a few! Check out these sites and the amazing people who run them:

The Yin Ova Center has developed a site that tells you how to "type" your fertility. Go to the "Making Babies Program" website and and fill in the tests (there are options for both men and women). It's an interesting way to get a basic diagnosis, and they give you some great tips for your type. Natural Fertility Info.com is holding a Fertility Smoothie Challenge! Whip up delicious smoothie recipes for 10 days and enjoy the benefits of a healthy boost in the morning. Hethir will post a new recipe daily to keep it interesting- check out the site for daily recipes.

RESOLVE just went to Washington to advocate for coverage of fertility treatments as well as more research for infertility. RESOLVE is a resource that helps individuals or couples cope with infertility. They plan support groups for infertility, and individuals are encouraged to call and speak to someone about your experience with infertility. They are a great support system for questions about fertility, the health care system, and answer your questions.

Go to Twitter! There are so many wonderful people (including those listed) who are on Twitter and sending out information several times a day on fertility. I've noticed that women who are receiving fertility treatments are very supportive of one another on Twitter, and are also connected with practitioners.

The more information and facts you can learn about your fertility, the more empowered you will feel. Do your own research, ask all of the questions you like. You have a right to know the answers!

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Acupuncture for Running Injuries

Photo by Yume Photo

Acupuncture is a great way to treat common running injuries. Many runners have suffered the wrath of sore muscles, the ever-common "runners knee" (also known as patellofemoral syndrome or chondromalacia), and hip or ankle injuries. These annoying and painful injuries put a screeching halt to training, and it's not what you want when the goal is a marathon in a month. Instead of taking handfuls of Ibuprofen, I recommend Traditional Chinese Medicine to help with the pain and speed up recovery.

By using specific needles in points surrounding the area of pain, acupuncture can help you get back on the road (or trail) sooner than you think. There are also needle techniques that can ease pain by using the "opposite" part of the body. For example, if you have pain in your right knee, a practitioner may use needles in your left elbow (It works, you'll just have to trust me. Or read this excerpt from altmd.com):

In Tung style acupuncture, distal points on the limbs are needled that can balance the Qi of the entire body. This technique is achieved though an imaging of the entire body onto the limbs, ear, and scalp. Acupuncture points on the chest and back were also used with bleeding techniques for specific conditions. Tung Style Acupuncture is growing in popularity and is considered highly-effective; however, finding a properly-trained practitioner can be difficult due to the limited transmission of knowledge from close teacher – student lines. Master Tung’s system of acupuncture is also referred to as Master Tong acupuncture or Tung’s Orthodox Acupuncture.

There are also inexpensive and wonderful plasters that Traditional Chinese medicine offers, such as Wu Yang and Yunnann Bai Yao. These plasters help move the blood that is creating stagnation in the area of the pain. Regular massages, such as Tuina treatments, can also help your injuries.  Many local acupuncturists practice Tuina techniques (see previous post) for injuries, but be sure to call and ask specifically if the acupuncturist has been trained in Tuina. Local acupuncture schools, such as the OCOM clinic, offer a full treatment of Tuina massage. Moving the energy and blood sufficiently by a combination of acupuncture, herbal treatment and massage will have you back on the road (or trail) sooner that you think.

By balancing the energy in the body, acupuncture also helps runners sleep better to repair their bodies during rigorous training. It doesn't matter if you are training for the Ironman or trying your first 5k- acupuncture will help you recover from minor injuries as long as you are you are treated on a regular basis. Happy training, and be sure to stay hydrated in this hot Portland weather!



Interview with Susan Van Wie, Reiki Practitioner


Susan Van Wie

1) What brought you to Portland?

Spirit brought me to Portland when I was 21 in 1976,  I was having a lot of spiritual experiences and no one around me, in Florida, could tell me what I was experiencing. So when my sister and her husband decided to move to Oregon I went with them, just for the adventure of going somewhere so unknown to me.  I didn't know Spirit was guiding me to the answer of what I was going through.  My first employer out here taught me how to meditate and taught me all about the eastern philosophy of life, it was what I was looking for and I didn't even know it.  From there my spiritual beliefs grew. Life happened and I became a computer technician but my spirit was always hungry for something more.

2) Why did you decide to become an Reiki healer?

Actually I didn't decide to become a Reiki master,  it choose me.  I went to a New Year's Eve Reiki circle a few years ago, even though I had never heard of Reiki, didn't even know how to pronounce it, but after my turn to receive Reiki from the group - I was hooked!  I attended circles for a few months before deciding to do a level 1 attunement.  Then after a few more months I wanted to increase my Reiki energy so was attuned to level 2.  I thought I would wait a year or more to do the Master level but soon I found Spirit was telling me I was ready. I still did not intend to have my own practice, that happened a few months later. And from there everything has fallen into place.

3) Tell us about your practice.

It seemed so often when I would be giving Reiki to someone, either at a circle or as a volunteer, I would get lots of comments on how wonderful they felt after wards.  So when I was looking for a new way to make a living - Spirit told me to start my own practice.   I have a 2 story home and was only using the upstairs so I turned the downstairs into my "Reiki Room".  I decorated it to make the client as comfortable as possible, using waterfalls and plants, crystals and music I created what I think of as an "Oasis" in SE Portland.  I try to make people comfortable when they come to me for Reiki and continue to add new techniques whenever I experience something that I enjoy.  I really try to make my practice all about the client.

4) Where does your passion for healing people come from?

My passion comes from a lifetime of helping others.  Some of us in this world are helpers and I am happiest when I am in service to others.  I do volunteer work at an Oncology clinic in Beaverton through Northwest Reiki Association, and it is the most gratifying thing I have ever done.  Knowing I am giving other people a little peace in a difficult situation is truly enough payment for me.

5) Any advice for clients?

My advice to not only clients but to everyone is; follow your heart, Spirit will guide you to those that can help you heal. I believe we are here to help each other and everyone is different - we will all feel comfortable with some healers and not others, that's OK, when a healer is right for you, you will know it. Light, Love and Reiki to all, Susan Michelle Van Wie

You can find Susan online at:


or you can call for more information about reiki and her quarterly reiki circles at: (503) 760-0364


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In Memoriam: Acupuncturist Miriam Lee

Miriam Lee, a prominent figure in the legalization of acupuncture in the US, died at the end of June 2009 in Palo Alto, California. Lee is a well-known name in the United States for allowing the legalization of acupuncture in California, and later the rest of the states (most of them, at least). She was born in China, and when she came to the United States later in life, she worked in a factory for Hewlett Packard. It was here that she began treating her co-workers out of her house, and was eventually arrested. Circle Community Acupuncture writes about important this event in their blog:

"In 1974 Miriam Lee was arrested for practicing medicine without a license. Her patient’s filled the courthouse at her hearing, and demanded to have the right to receive acupuncture. Many of them had found relief from long-standing chronic complaints, and were angered that this was being taken away from them. Miriam Lee had offered them compassion and health, and now they came to her defense. Thanks to this public outcry, acupuncture was declared an “experimental procedure” and Miriam Lee was granted the right to see patients at San Francisco University. In 1976, acupuncture was legalized in California."

We have gone from an "experimental procedure" to being recommended by doctors. It has certainly been a long road for the pioneering acupuncture practitioners.  Because of Miriam Lee's refusal to stop treating those in need, acupuncture practitioners are now allowed to work with patients in the US. Those of us who have reaped the benefits of receiving acupuncture have her to thank. She will be a missed presence in the thousands of lives she has healed and changed.

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