For as long as I can remember I have needed glasses or contacts, and for about as long as I have had glasses or contacts I have also always wanted LASIK. I asked for it for my 13th birthday and was told I need to not even think about it again until I turned 20, and then proceeded to have my doctor check at each eye visit from that point on to see if I could qualify.
Finally, this year I learned that my eyes were healthy enough, and stable enough to finally get all the tests done to determine if I was a candidate for LASIK, or if I need to go with PRK. After learning my cornea was just a little shy of the desired thickness and my severe near-sidedness (-6 and -6.5) to boot, the decision was made for me… PRK was my only option.
But regardless I was excited! I knew that the healing process would be a little longer and a little harder, but this is something I had been wanting for over half of my life! The freedom to fall asleep, travel, camp, swim without having to worry about glasses or contacts was a price worth fighting/waiting for!
I was scheduled two weeks after I found out I could receive PRK, so I immediately went into preparation mode! I saw my acupuncturist (yes most acupuncturists have their own acupuncturist!), got some Chinese herbs, Western herbs and vitamins stalked and ready! I came up with a self care acupuncture treatment that I did every other day leading up to the surgery, and started taking all my herbs and supplements to prepare my eyes and body for the procedure!
Originally, my doctor recommended doing one eye at a time so I would have mono vision while one eye healed and would have to wear my contact in the untreated eye. The reason being I have such bad eyesight the healing time for this procedure could take longer than most and he didn’t want me having to rely on people for potentially up to two weeks. Being and acupuncturist and being self employed the idea of having to take 6 days off twice was not ideal. Also, I tend to get headaches and dizzy easily and thought mono vision was a recipe for disaster. I was also confident in all the modalities I was going to use before, during, and after, to help with my healing, so I decided on doing both eyes at once!
Attached is a picture of one of my self acupuncture treatments that I did to start to bring blood and circulation to my eyes before the surgery. I also paired this with Liver 2 and Liver 3 ( in between the web of the big toe) to help the eyes with heat and inflammation.
I started taking the Western herb eye bright, Vitamin C, and Omega 3’s the two weeks prior. Along with three Chinese herbs, Nu Zhen Zi, Ju Hua, and Che Qian Zi. Nu Zhen Zi is a fruit called Ligustrum and it helps to tonify yin, specifically of the Liver and Kidney (both related to the eye) and has the general function of brightening the eyes and benefits dry eyes. Ju Hua is Chrysanthemum Flower and is great for red, painful, teary or dry eyes. Che Qian Zi is Plantage Seeds and it benefits eye problems related to Liver and Kidney deficiency, so it is good for dry eyes, diminished visual acuity, red painful swollen eyes, and light sensitivity.
I took all of these herbal supplements through the first week after the surgery, and now (three weeks after) just take Nu Zhen Zi to help with the dry eyes that are a side effect of the surgery.
PRK is kind of a crazy experience, for those who don’t know what it entails I am going to share a little about my PRK journey with you all. The difference between PRK and LASIK is instead of creating a flap and then using the laser, a small portion of the cornea is removed and then the laser procedure is done. Because of this the healing process takes a little longer, but there is no risk of issues with a flap later on.
During the surgery you are awake and your eye that is being treated is opened with a metal device, so that way there is no risk of you closing your eyes or blinking while the procedure is being done. Each eye takes less than 5 minutes in total, and honestly the most uncomfortable part is they flush your eyes with ice cold drops at the end of each laser. I did go completely blind for a few seconds which was terrifying, and then your vision comes back almost crystal clear.
After the surgery was done I sat up and could clearly see the clock across the room, which completely shocked me, I can’t even read the clock next to my bed without my glasses! But my doctor warned me that this would not stay, that it would progressively get worse as I healed over the next 3-4 days and then it would start coming back again. And that is exactly what it did. I made it home and went straight to bed with my bug eyes they provided to protect me from rubbing my eyes while I slept. I woke up a few hours later and it was already a little blurry, but still much clear than I would have been without my glasses.
To prepare for the surgery I blacked out my house (because you a very light sensitive after the surgery). So I woke up to a pretty dark house, ate some dinner that my husband brought me, took some Advil and my prescribed eye drops and then it was back to bed! Honestly the best part about this surgery was really how much sleep I got! I woke up throughout the night with extremely dry eyes and had to pry off my bug eyes to put my refresh eye drops in every few hours, but I was so exhausted I fell right back to sleep!
Day two was pretty minimal pain wise, I was blurry, and could not look at any screens so I sat and listened to an audio book majority of the day, and my mom came by to make sure I was eating and to give me some company! All I can say though is Siri and Alexa were my two best friends! They played my audio book for me, called my mom when I needed her to come over, and read me my texts throughout the day! Technology really did make the whole recovery process so much easier!
Day three the pain came, which the doctor said would happen, it felt like a piece of glass was in my eye, up until this day I was fine with just two Advil every few hours, but by about 7pm I was over the day and the pain, took my first half of a pain pill that they prescribed and slept the rest of the night! My vision on day three was the worst it had been, but it was still better than I ever was without my glasses before the surgery so that gave me some hope!
Day four the pain subsided, it now felt like there was an eyelash in my eye. But overall I was feeling pretty good, and was seeing much better! My vision was getting clearer and I could read majority of the signs around my house! This is also the first day I attempted to look at any screens. It wasn’t’t great and that night my husband increased the text size on my phone, iPad, and computer to get me ready for normal life that would be starting back up soon. Either way I was feeling pretty impressed with my recovery and thought I was up for a little adventure. It was one of my best friends engagement parties so I thought why not! I left my house in my darkest shades, a huge hat, and equipped with all of my refresh eye drops! About an hour into being out I was exhausted, and my eyes felt completely over stimulated, so we made our exit and headed straight back to the black hole that was our house! I took another half of a pain pill and was in bed by 8pm that night!
Day five I woke up seeing even clearer! And was excited for another day out in the real world. I had an appointment with my biofeedback gal and my acupuncturist that afternoon! I was still not ready to drive because of the light sensitivity and luckily I have a great family who didn’t mind carting me around! And thank goodness for Uber! I ate out for lunch and had to wear my sunglasses indoors, but otherwise I would say it was another successful day! I went to bed again at 8pm, knowing tomorrow would be the moment of truth, I had my eye doctor appointment where they would finally take out the soft contact bandage and see how the healing process was going.
Day six, the best feeling in the world was getting that contact bandage out, I really think that was a huge part of the dryness and irritation! They had me do a little eye test, at first I felt a little disheartened by the line I was able to see 20x40 but when I remembered that one eye was 20x400 before and the other eye was so bad it didn’t even have a number equivalent I felt pretty good! The doctor came in and said that he was pleased with where I was, I guess 20x40 is where he would expect people with better eyesight than me going into the surgery to be, but he expected me to be worse than that! Another win! One that I don’t think would have been possible without all of the tools I used before and after the procedure.
Since then my eyes have progressively gotten better, like I mentioned before I still have a little dry eye starting around 4-5pm and I also have some light sensitivity, and halos around lights especially at night when my eyes get tired. I am not 20x20 yet but I believe I am seeing equivalent to how I saw in my contacts, but not as good as I saw with my glasses yet! The healing process takes up to three months so I am still feeling positive that I can get there! Either way I am so grateful I was able to have the procedure, that I am able to wake up and actually see what time it is on the clock! It really has been a life changing experience, one that I truly think benefited form the preventative actions I took starting two weeks out!
Cycle living is something that I have recently become more passionate about. After getting off birth control after 10 years of being on it I realized I didn’t know much about my cycle. All I really knew is that women ovulate and have a period, I had never even heard of the other two phases, and I wasn’t even sure what my hormones did for my cycle and when they changed levels. At first, it all seemed so overwhelming, but after really breaking it down into each phase I realized how much power I had if I just payed attention to what my body was trying to tell me. I not only felt different, but also thought different during each week of the month, and instead of thinking and feeling powerless to all of this happening to me, I realized that it actually gave me an even greater control of my life.
By realizing and recognizing which phase I was in during the week I could work out, eat, and plan my social life to better fit me and how I was feeling, which in turn has led to less burn outs and break downs. I am not saying that doesn’t still happen occasionally, but it is no where near the amount I was getting before. Life will still happen in ways you can’t control, but understanding and taking the reins on the parts that you can control has been eye opening to say the least!
I have done a blog post in the past specifically around the Traditional Chinese Medicine ideas of food and the menstural cycle, so you can turn food into medicine, and since then I have gotten more and more questions in my practice about the phases in the cycle and thought this was a great way to break it down even more. There is some overlap in the food section to the previous blog, but I have added more information from a western standpoint of food as well.
***Side note: this is assuming that you have a fairly normal cycle with little to know major complaints. Additional food, herbs, and of course acupuncture can be added to this to help with cramps, late, early, or irregular menses. As well as bloating, acne, back pain and muscle pain/weakness, all of which can be related to certain phases of your cycle!
PHASE ONE: MENSTRUAL
Hormones all decline to their lowest levels. This opens up the greatest communication through the month for your left and right sides of your brain, meaning it’s a great time for your analytical (left) side and your feeling (right) side to think and feel and then create a game plan for how to proceed. It is a great time in the month to journal and reflect.
Your energy is at it’s lowest at the start of your period, so exercise may not be on the top of your list at the start of this phase, listen to your body and let it rest. As the week goes on you can move into lighter more yin exercise, such as walking or yoga.
Nutrients are important during this phase so focus on proteins, healthy fats, as well as veggies and fruits to keep your blood sugar steady. Seafood and kelp can help give you more iron and zinc which is lost during your cycle. From a TCM stand point:
Add: Comfort foods such as stews, casseroles, whole grains, root veggies
Avoid: Dairy, Alcohol, Spicy foods as much as you can
PHASE TWO: FOLLICULAR
All hormones are low and slowly are starting to increase. This increase in hormones brings the mind to a point where is is more creative and open to new things. It is a great time to start a new project and set your intentions for the month ahead. This is a great time to say YES to invites after what can be a little hibernation time during your menses. Go to an outside event or concert, anything where you can be active and on your feet!
As far as exercise goes, its a great time to try some new classes, or take a different hike. You can move more out of the yin style exercise into something a little more stimulating.
For foods eat things that make you feel light and energized. In TCM we are looking for foods that build Yin and Blood, during this phase the endometrium is being built.
The foods listed below are nourishing food for both Yin and Blood
Add: Protein Rich Foods- beans, fish, eggs, meats, cooked leafy greens, shellfish, beets, sweet rice, apricots, cherries, grapes
Avoid: Sugar, Excess salt and processed food, as well as dairy, alcohol, and spicy foods
PHASE THREE: OVULATION
All of your hormone are increasing. FSH rises followed by the rise of LH (luteinizing hormone) which stimulates the follicle to release an egg. Estrogen increases and further thickens the uterine lining. While Testosterone spikes which increases desire. Your verbal and social parts of your brain are heightened, which makes this a great time to speak your mind, your energy is magnetic during this phase. Go to dinner with friends, head out to parties, just get out and be social!
Your energy is at a high during this phase, so you have more then enough energy to burn! High impact or yang exercise is great during this phase of your cycle.
Raw veggies and fruit are great during this part of your cycle, because they are easy to metabolize and helps to get rid of excess estrogen that likes to hang around. From a TCM prospective this is when we switch from Yin into Yang so the focus for your foods during this time is to support that.
Add: Lighter foods- fish, quinoa, salads, cooked beets, whole grains, chicken, ginger, cinnamon, onions
PHASE FOUR: LUTEAL
Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are all at their peaks, and fall right before cleaning begins. Your brain is wired for task oriented projects. This is the time of the month where I love lists and crossing things off them. Organization comes much easier during this phase. PMS can occur during this phase and is usually cause from too much estrogen in comparison to progesterone.
This phase is between 10-14 days and there is two separate halves during this phase. The first half your still have energy is a good time to be around people and the second half is all about taking care of yourself. It’s ok to say no and set boundaries during the second half of this phase, because without them you may end up more irritated and down. Give yourself permission to really pay attention to your inner voice, it gives you insights into what you really need!
In the first half of this phase you will still have excess entry that works great with strength training or more intense yoga or reformer pilates. But as you move into the second half of this phase start to scale back and move into the more yin activities again.
Focus on foods rich in B vitamins to curve you sugar cravings. Dark leafy greens boost your calcium and magnesium and can also help with fluid retention. And roasted root veggies are great to help get rid of more of that extra estrogen. In TCM the food recommendations are also split into two parts. For the first half you are focused on supporting Yang since all of your hormones are at their peak.
Add: Warming foods, increase proteins, cooked veggies, brown rice, eggplant, beans, seaweed, spicy food, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts
Avoid- cold raw food and dairy
And for the second half it is all about building the Qi that is needed to move the blood during your menses. Without enough Qi there may be spotting, or your cycle may start late.
Add: Oats, rice, potatoes, squash, sweet potatoes, cherries, figs, grapes, beans, beef, chicken
Avoid: milk, cheese, raw foods, coffee, excess sugar
It’s officially Spring! Although the snow we had on Sunday didn’t feel like it, but I know in the last week or so I have started to feel the changes take place to bring us into one of my favorite seasons!
Spring a time of renewal and cleansing
Spring is the time to get up and moving after hibernating in winter. Spring cleaning is a real thing, not just for our houses, but for our bodies. After the cold months of winter where we were craving rich earthy foods, our appetite in spring eases, and we start to need less food, as there is no longer a need to store energy to stay warm during the cold months of winter. Because of this spring is a great time to reset your body and reach your weight goals. The natural trends of this season of eating less and moving more, supports you in this process.
The organs of Spring: the Wood Season
Why else is spring a great time for cleansing and renewal? Because spring is represented by the Wood Element in TCM, and that includes the Liver and Gallbladder organs. Both of these organs are incredible in their abilities to cleanse and release.
Among the livers many functions in Western Medicine is the formation, cleansing, and filtration of blood to help the body eliminate toxins. And in Eastern Medicine the Livers functions go well beyond the physical function and it includes the spiritual and emotional qualities as well. The Liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi in our bodies, its energy moves upward and outward. It is responsible for keeping the flow of blood, energy, and emotions moving to support the body, mind, and spirit.
When Qi cannot move it can become stagnant: causing stress, anger, irritability, and depression. If you do not follow the flow of the seasons, this Qi stagnation is likely to occur. Often within the transition between Winter and Spring I will have patients who come in with many of the emotional symptoms already mentioned. By regulating their bodies with acupuncture, food, and regular moment, their emotions will quickly begin to balance out!
Other problems that are associated with imbalances in the Wood element are: muscle tension, sciatica, headaches, visual issues, menstural irregularities, PMS, digestive issues, and High Blood Pressure. Spring can be a time when these can get aggravated or become worse, but it is also the time to treat and relieve these!
Wind can occur in any season, but is generally strongest in Spring. In TCM wind can penetrate and become internal wind causing symptoms such as: dizziness, cramps, inching, spasms, tremors, pain that comes and goes, twitching, pulsating headaches, and ringing in the ears. The nape of the neck in TCM is called the “wind gate.” It is the place that is most vulnerable to wind and cold, which is why wearing a coat or scarf is so important during this season.
How to Stay Healthy this Spring
Foods For Spring
1. Green Foods: During spring, it is recommended to eat foods green in color and rich in chlorophyll that help accelerate rejuvenation of the liver. This includes things like spirulina, chlorella, parsley, wheat grass, kale, Swiss chard and collard greens.
2. Radishes: Pungent in flavor, radishes are perfect for the spring time. They help move liver Qi and open up the liver meridian.
3. Sour Citrus Fruits: Foods like lemons, limes and grapefruit are all good choices that help cut fats that may have been stored up in the body during the winter months, while also keeping the liver Qi moving smoothly.
4. Bitter Leafy Greens: Spring is the appropriate time for liver cleansing, which is what the bitter flavor does. So adding things like dandelion greens, arugula, radicchio, mustard greens and spinach will help tremendously.
5. Chicken: Ever heard the term “spring chicken”? Well this is the appropriate time of year to enjoy pasture-raised, locally grown chicken. And pairing chicken with some of the aforementioned foods can make for a very healthy and liver happy meal.
This years flu season has been one of the most widespread, and according to the CDC during the third week of January, more people sought care for the flu and flulike illnesses than any other period compared for nearly a decade. Since the start of the season on October 1st nearly 12,000 people have been hospitalized with confirmed influenza. The strain this year according to the CDC is on of the nastiest strains, H3N2, which causes four types of the flu, two influenza A and two influenza B viruses. This particular strain has been around for about 50 years, and is able to change rapidly.
Symptoms of the flu include: fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue, as well as vomiting and diarrhea. Each person will experience a different range of these symptoms and does not usually include all symptoms.
The flu is very unpredictable in how long it will last, but it is know that the flu activity peeks from December to February, so we are right in the heart of the worst of it! If all this information scares you, remember there is something you can do, so even if you get the flu, you will recover quicker and have less sever symptoms!
So how do you avoid the flu?
The Flu and TCM
From a Chinese Medical perspective the flu is caused by external pathogens similar to Western Medicine) but the difference is the flu is looked at in combination with the individuals constitution. In order for someone to get the flu or be penetrated by an external pathogen there must be a deficiency or weakness to let it in. Overwork, not sleeping, or eating poorly can all lead to weaknesses allowing the pathogen to enter.
A persons constitution paired with the strength or nature of the pathogen also will determine how severe, what symptoms, and how the flu will present in each person. This helps to explain why two people in the same household can be sick with the exact same flu, but the symptoms and severity will differ.
All of this leads to explain why acupuncture is so important not just for the treatment of the flu, but also for the prevention!
As you can see above peoples constitutions vary and so their treatments for prevention and treatment of the flu varies as well. There is not one single herb or point prescription that can be used to treat the flu and boost someones immune system. First we have to look at you and your constitution to find where there are weaknesses and imbalances, and then focus on those to strengthen your immune system and get it to work optimally.
1. Prevent cold and flus
2. Treat early stages of cold or flus and shorten the severity and recovery time
3. Eliminate the need for more serious interventions such as hospitalization
4. Strengthen the body after a cold or flu to prevent roccurence
One of my favorite things when treating colds and flus is when people come in and tell me “I am getting sick, and I can already tell it’s going to be bad,” and instead of it taking them a week or two to get over it, they are well in a day or two! Acupuncture is incredible that way! But, the best time to treat the flu is before you get it!
That is why I am making February, FIGHT THE FLU FEBRUARY: and I am offering four treatments paid up front and booked for the month of February for $200, that is an $80 savings! You get one whole treatment completely free plus and extra $10 off just for good measure! Acupuncture works better in conjunction with itself, meaning the effects get stronger when it is used back to back. You can schedule your appointments in a variety of ways which we will decide together based on your needs. For example if you are currently sick I may schedule two in a week so we can really fight it off, or if we are working on immune boost and prevention we may just do one a week for the full month.
Your health is important to me and you deserve to have a Flu Free February! Schedule your first appointment and then we will book the next three of the package at the end of that session when I have evaluated the best treatment plan for you!
Also, just as a side note, we can work on other things besides immunity and flu relief during these treatments, but that will be one of the main things we focus on during each treatment!
If you have any questions about the flu of Fight the Flu February Package please feel free to contact me at email@example.com
Moxa other wise known as moxibustion is a Traditional Chinese Medical technique that I ofter combine with my acupuncture treatments, especially during winter and in-between seasons when its easy to get sick. Moxa is formed from a dried herb called mugwort. The smell is generally a distinct one especially in Colorado, because it often resembles marijuana. In my practice because of poor ventilation I use a smokeless stick that smells more like incense!
TYPES OF MOXIBUSTION
Typically in my office I use a moxa stick (that generally I describe as a cigar due to how it looks) after needles are inserted, the stick is lit with a flame and then I move the stick around the skin and needles about an inch off. This type of mona is called indirect moxa because the heat never touches the skin. Even though the stick never touches the skin the heat that is produced is very unique and deeply penetrating.
There are many other types of moxibustion, such as stick on moxa, needle moxa, and direct moxa (which is not typically done in the United States). No matter the form they are all still mugwort they may just be different qualities of it. For example the needle top moxa generally requires a higher grade of mugwort because it is loose and not tightly packed like sticks on and stick moxa.
WHAT IS IT USED FOR?
Some common acupuncture points I use moxa on are St36: to boost immunity and I often combine St36 with Sp6 to boost energy as well. KD1 is at the bottom of the foot and I generally use moxa in this location instead of needles because it can be sensitive, it is a deeply grounding and rejuvenating point!
Moxa can also be really effective for:
-Cold pain: this is pain that feels better with the application of heat: examples of this are arthritis or an injury
-Digestive Issues: especially diarrhea, and cramps
-Gynecological issues: cramps, painful, late, or irregular menses
-Obstetrical conditions such as late or breech baby in last term pregnancy
-Immunity boost: protections against cold and flus
WHAT WILL I FEEL?
When using moxa we are looking for the patient to feel warmth, not so hot it feels like a burn, but defiantly a noticeable warmth. Redness around the site is also very common and expected. Moxa, specially stick moxa should be a very pleasant sensation of warmth as it penetrates deep into the body!
IS MOXA RIGHT FOR ME?
Although moxa is very non invasive there are people and conditions it is not right for. If people or conditions are presenting with excess heat, moxa should be avoided as to not aggravate the condition!
What I love about moxibustion is that it can easily be done at home to help continue our treatments! All you need is a lighter and a window, and of course the moxa! I am able to train my patients the correct way to use the stick and the areas to focus on which make the results they see from acupuncture even stronger!
It’s beginning to feel a lot like Winter! And in Chinese Medicine Winter represents the most Yin time in Chinese Medicine opposite to Summer the most Yang time. Yin is the dark, while Yang is the light. Yin is cold, while Yang is warm. And Yin is slow and inward, while Yang is quick and expansive. As with all of the other seasons it is important to adapt your diet and activities as the seasons change, to help prevent illness.
The organ that represents Winter is the Kidneys. And in Traditional Chinese Medicine the Kidneys are what gives us our essence as we are born and holds onto our most basic energy through our lives. And since the Kidneys are the organ of Winter and it holds such an important energy that supports us on the deepest level, Winter is the best time to focus on strengthening the Kidneys. And you may ask how do I do that? Well, rest is one of the best ways to support the Kidneys, and that is why Winter forces us to slow down and relax!
The Winter is a great time to look inward; meditation, writing, reading, Tai Chi and Qi Gong are some ways that we can slow our bodies and minds, calm our emotions and raise our spirits while we support the energy of the Kidney! Another great way to do this, which is also one of my favorites (because I LOVE my bed!) is getting more sleep! Winter is the time to go to bed earlier and sleep a little later, any excuse to do that sounds good to me!
During the Winter season eating foods that are naturally grown during this season is very important: squash, potatoes, root veggies, winter greens, carrots, mushrooms, apples, and pears are all good examples of this!
But since Winter is the season of the most Yin and thus cold, warming foods should also be apart of your diet, such as soups and bone broths. You can also add in foods that specifically nourish the Kidneys such as black beans, kidney beans, bone broths, lamb, chicken, walnuts, dark leafy greens, chestnuts, and black sesame seeds. Salt is the taste of the Kidneys so adding unrefined sea salt is also a good idea, but remember moderation is key!
Now that you have an idea of the foods you can start adding for Winter, it is also important to keep in mid the cooking process. You should be cooking your food for longer periods on a lower heat, so bake, roast, strew, or slow cook. This will infuse the food with warmth that can help keep the body warm during these cold months! I use my crockpot and cast-iron pots a ton during this season!
Other tips for this season:
1.Wash Hand regularly- this is cold and flu season but this is especially important before touching your face, which can bring those bugs right inside your body
2.Get plenty of sleep- we already talked about this one but its a good reminder:)
3.Reduce stress- this is important year round, but especially important during Winter- stress depletes your energy which you need to conserve during winter, it can also deplete your immune system
Easy Asian Chicken Soup
▪ 220g thin dried egg noodles
▪ 7 cups chicken stock
▪ 3 spring onions
▪ 8 slices (15g) fresh ginger
▪ 2 teaspoons soy sauce
▪ 3 chicken breast fillets, trimmed & thinly sliced (chicken can be replaced by fish, pork or tofu)
▪ 1 long red chili, seeded & finely chopped (leave out or put in less to make child friendly)
▪ 1 bunch of broccolini or any other vegetables of your choice (cabbage, bok choy, snow peas, baby corn, asparagus, kale, and carrots work really well in this recipe)
▪ 1 clove of crushed garlic (optional)
Cook Noodles. Place stock, spring onions, ginger, soy sauce (and garlic) in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil, add chicken & chili and simmer for 5 minutes. Add noodles and veggies and cook for 1 minute before serving.
Slow Cooker Beef Bone Broth
• 3-4 pounds mixed beef bones marrow bones, oxtail, knuckles, short rib, etc. (grass fed high quality bones are the best to use- I have also used chicken bones which work well too and are a little bit cheaper to use!)
• 2 medium onions
• 2 medium carrots
• 3 celery stalks
• 1 bay leaf
• 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 Heat oven to 400°F.
2 Spread the mixed bones on a baking tray in a single layer and place it into the oven. Roast the bones for 30 minutes. Flip bones and roast another 30 minutes.
3 While the bones are roasting, chop the carrots, onions and celery. (You are discarding these later so a rough chop works great!)
4 Place roasted bones, chopped vegetables, bay leaf and apple cider vinegar into a 6-quart crockpot. Cover completely with cold filtered water. (All the ingredients should be submerged by about 1 inch of water.)
5 Cook on low for 24 hours. Add water as needed to keep all the ingredients covered in water, and periodically skim the foam off the top of the pot.
6 After 24 hours, the broth should be a dark brown color. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer and discard the bones, vegetables and bay leaf.
7 Before storing, pour into separate containers and cool to room temperature. Once cooled, chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. Skim off the accumulated fat at the top of the container, if there’s any. Store in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months
* If you can't find bones from your local store, (just ask your butcher they usually have some back there) I have used bones from the meat that I have cooked. Just save the bones for later!
Bone broth can be used to cook with or can be drank on it’s own. It has nutrients from the gelatin, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that are in it. It can help your digestive system and immune system.
In our Western culture we go to the Doctors office after we are already sick to get relief. But recently there has been a shift, people are searching for tools to support their current health and wellbeing. Acupuncture has risen in popularity since this shift has occurred. People are realizing how important maintaining their health is, and how effective Acupuncture is at resolving sickness and pain in a less invasive way.
As more people are turning to alternative medicine and specifically Acupuncture, there are and more scientific research being done. Including the Harvard Medical School (http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/acupuncture-is-worth-a-try-for-chronic-pain-201304016042) who stated that there is a clear benefit to using acupuncture for chronic pain. They provided support as well to the minimal adverse affects of acupuncture in comparison to Western medications.
Having more medical research to prove the benefit of a medical care system that has been in practice for thousands of years is important to many Westerners, but I really believe the true magic of acupuncture can be seen in just one visit. I am constantly amazed the amazing results I see after every treatment, from skeptics and believers alike, the needles don’t know the difference! But acupuncture works better and better the more you do it, the effects start compounding on itself and better results are felt after each treatment!
So how can acupuncture work for prevention?
The best way to look at how acupuncture can work as a preventative medicine is to look at your body like a car. Yes, I said car, but let me explain! You have to change the oil on your car after a certain amount of time or certain miles driven. If you drive your car hard and fast for long distances, like athletes or people who work over forty hours a week, and moms are defiantly included in this bunch because their job never ends, you may end up taking your car in more than someone who just cruises through life and ties their car in after a certain amount of time, knowing they aren’t pushing their car to its limits.
Just like your car you need to get your “oil changed” so that you can function properly and can keep maintaining which ever type of life style you lead. Without maintenance on your car at the proper times, the oil will start to break down and there will be friction which can lead to much more severe issues. In our body energy or “Qi” flows through the body, and when it gets blocked or becomes depleted health issues can arise. The goal of acupuncture is just that, to keep the energy flowing freely. When this occurs the mind, body, and spirit are all balanced.
Getting acupuncture regularly as a preventative treatment can address the issues within the body before they lead to something more severe. When you come in for a treatment for a problem that already exists, my goal and what I always tell my patients is to get you and your body to the point where the issue has resolved and you just see me on a maintenance schedule, to make sure it stays gone!
Coming in once every couple weeks to once a month for routine appointments to basically take out the trash or drain the oil, can leave your mind relaxed and recharged, leave your body free of pain and stress, and leave your spirit in a place where it can lead you to your highest self.
For more information on acupuncture as preventive medicine, you can email me at DenverMindBodyEssence@gmail.com!