Acupuncture has gained major acceptance among physicians and other medical practitioners in the United States. The PA Board of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine currently recommends trying acupuncture before medications are prescribed. The American College of Physicians also recommends using acupuncture as well as tai chi, yoga, and heat for treatment of low back pain, knee pain, neck pain, and migraines before drug therapy. The National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization have both endorsed the use of acupuncture and Chinese medicine for a number of health issues. (I can provide references if necessary)
Fine, sterile needles are placed in areas of the body that are often distal to the site of pain. Acupuncture encourages the body to promote natural healing and improved function. Pain is the most common use of acupuncture in the United States but can be used to treat many internal medical conditions as well. Acupuncture can also be used to prevent illness. In China's past, patients would pay their physician to keep them healthy and if they fell ill, they would stop paying their doctor. What a concept! Acupuncturists undergo a rigorous 3-4 year post-graduate program including 2000+ clinical hours and maintain their license through the state board of medicine and regular continuing education.
"In my practice, I see many chronic and acute pain cases, but I am not limited to just treating pain. Most common complaints are pain from overused muscles and post-surgical pain. In addition, ailments such as shoulder, hip, and knee joint pain, headaches, sciatica, neck pain are well treated with acupuncture. I have also had good success with respiratory, digestive and gynecological disorders. With more complex and chronic cases such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, patients have responded well to my treatments which have included diet and nutritional therapy." -EngKeat Teh
As a central part of Chinese medicine, herbs have been used for centuries to treat and support hundreds of different conditions. Often times different herbs could be used to treat the same illness and different illnesses were treated by the same herbal formula. Before the invention of disposable needles, herbal medicine was the first treatment of choice. Herbs are powerful and effective part and the acupuncturist may recommend them as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.
Our office provides thorough, in-depth nutritional consultations. You will be required to fill out a systems survey, 14-day food journal and a body composition analysis will be conducted. These tests will assess the function of your adrenals, thyroid and other body systems. The results of this analysis will point to which system needs to be addressed first. Again we have a "nature first, drugs last" philosophy. The recommendations give your body the opportunity and environment to produce the right things, at the right time and at the right dosage. The goal is to address the root/cause of your problems and not just the branch/symptoms.
Cupping therapy is an ancient therapy whereby the practitioner places suction cups over the affected areas to draw out toxins, cellular waste products, and improve circulation. People use cupping to decrease muscle tension and pain, reduce inflammation, and improve blood flow. This therapy can foster a sense of well being and relaxation. Many describe it feeling like a deep tissue massage.
Moxibustion is the stimulation of acupuncture points using heat, whic
h is generated from the burning of the herb Mugwort (Artemesia), on or near the skin. Moxibustion creates warmth where it is needed and strengthens the activity of the Blood.
Having roots in martial arts, Tai chi is a slow-motion, low impact exercise. It has been shown to improve balance, strength, and flexibility in all ages. Some studies have shown that it can even reduce falls. These graceful and fluid movements improve the senses by exercising stretch receptors in the muscles and ligaments and calming the body through relaxed breathing. Tai chi can be a very effective addition to any treatment program as it supports mind and body wellness. If appropriate I will recommend one-on-one sessions to begin rehabilitating patients from injury or just starting an exercise program. Because it supports the body in increasing flexibility in the pelvis and strengthening major muscle groups in the legs it can be great cross-training for other sports like golf, hockey or running. Please check with your physician before starting any exercise program.
Harvard Health the benefits of tai chi
This is an incredibly powerful tool that can be used to improve mood, reduce anxiety and help with depression. By training yourself to stay in the present moment one can begin to worry less about the future (anxiety) or dwell on the past (depression). Clearing the mind of thinking is nearly impossible as thinking is the #1 job of the brain, rather one is asked to focus attention on a single task during meditation, for example, the breath or body parts. Training your brain to concentrate on a singular task becomes the meditation. The practice of meditation is a singular focus. Meditation can help you start to observe your thoughts and feelings rather than getting caught up in their story. Our minds are great at doing that! I once saw a bumper sticker that said ¨Don´t Believe Everything You Think¨. Not everyone will be able to have a sitting meditation practice, for some knitting or golf or woodworking becomes their meditation and thatś ok. However, having a sitting meditation can dramatically improve your quality of life and increase your buffer to stress. I know it has changed my life.
Harvard Health how meditation helps with depression
My training in tai chi and practicing yoga have taught me many gentle stretches and movements that may be beneficial in the treatment of certain musculo-skeletal conditions. Based on your ability to perform these exercises, it is important to practice these stretches as directed to enhance treatment.
Natural Pain Relief
We are now offering an infrared sauna as one of our healing modalities for pain relief from, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, sports injuries and other chronic pain conditions without the use of drugs.
Using a sauna will support your immune system in the elimination of pesticides, metals, PCB’s in plastic environmental pollution and even GMO’s.
Using an infrared sauna has the same effect as running according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. It will heat your core body temperature and boosts your cardiovascular, lymphatic and immune systems creating a fat-based sweat to help your body detox.
A January 2009 study in Clinical Rheumatology showed that infrared saunas gave significant relief for patients with chronic pain (such as rheumatoid arthritis). A recent study published in Internal Medicine showed that patients with chronic pain saw their pain levels drop by nearly 70% after their first session of infrared sauna therapy.
Natural Immune Support
When using an infrared sauna you can naturally induce an artificial fever, similar to what your body does when infection strikes.
Using our medically graded sauna regularly will speed any anti-cellulite program. It will increase toxin removal up to 15% from a traditional sauna.
Fibromyalgia, Weight loss, and Depression
FOODS and RECIPES to decrease your cancer risk, boost immune health and combat fatigue.
In 2015, the journal Nature reported that 70-90% of cancers are due to lifestyle. I am still floored by that number.
In our first round I used spinach and arugula. Spinach has a lot of vitamins and minerals - especially Vitamin C, as well as two carotenoids (plant pigments) called lutein and zeaxanthin which have been shown in studies to decrease the risk of breast, lung, skin, head and neck and stomach cancer. Spinach is also rich in Vitamin B9 aka folate or folic acid. Folate is crucial for DNA and RNA production, energy production in cells, and helps to break down homocysteine, an amino acid that is harmful in large quantities in the body. Large studies have also found that diets rich in folate can decrease your colon and breast cancer risk by 40%.
In my clinic, I have also used therapeutic levels of folate to address restless leg syndrome.
Fun fact #1: B vitamins are created by gut bacteria as waste products!! So having a healthy gut and balanced microbiome helps contribute to adequate B vitamin production. Often low energy and fatigue can be linked to poor gut health and suboptimal B vitamin production. Ever wonder why you need B12 shots? Or feel better when you take a B complex? Maybe you're not getting enough in your diet and your gut microbiome is off.
Fun Fact #2: The Iowa Women's Health Study, a large prospective study of more than 40,000 women, found that those with the highest intake of leafy greens decreased their ovarian cancer risk by 56%.
6 cups firmly packed baby spinach or 1 (10 oz or up to 1 lb) bag fresh baby spinach* Or any leftover dark, leafy greens.
4 eggs (can increase to 6 if you are using more spinach)
Salt and freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp crumbled Feta Cheese for 1-2 eggs (about 2-3 Tbps in total)
Baking spray or a little oil for greasing
*You may use frozen spinach too.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly spray or grease with a little oil individual ramekins or other small oven safe dishes that can accommodate 1-2 eggs. See photo above. Set aside.
Place the spinach in a deep oven safe skillet (8" cast iron is my favorite) or a large frying pan. Add a little water (2-3 Tablespoons). Using medium heat, cook the spinach just until wilted, roughly 3-4 minutes. Use either your hand or a spatula to pack in the spinach. Drain the excess water well especially if you are using frozen spinach.
Recipe Credit: Manilla Spoon
Healthy Whole Food Recipes to Heal and Nurture Your Body and Soul. Try to use organic chicken when possible. Industrial chickens are inhumanely raised and pumped full of growth hormones and antibiotics because they are being grain fed and unable to roam freely. Organic is best.
The roasted onions are considered part of the allium family. Allium is also found in shallots, garlic, chives, scallions, and leaks. Onions may be the greatest food source of a flavonol quercetin. A National Cancer Institute case control study (an observational study where they take two groups of people with different outcomes and look for a cause), saw that those with the highest amounts of onion intake had a 50% lower incidence of lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death in women. Onions may also be effective in reducing the risk of colon, bladder, skin, prostate, stomach, and endometrial cancers as well as leukemia. Red and yellow onions have higher quercetin levels than white. Other healthful compounds found in onions are allicin, allyl sulfides, organosulfur compounds and ajoene.
Fun Fact #1: Quercetin´s benefits are not destroyed by the heating process, while heating garlic can destroy the antioxidant allicin.
Carrots are loaded with beta carotene, a well-known and studied antioxidant that is a precursor to Vitamin A. Vitamin A is crucial for the health of mucous membranes found in the nose, mouth, eyelids, windpipe, lungs, stomach and intestines, and the urethra, ureter and bladder. Your mucous membrane is one of the first lines of defense against microbes like bacteria, viruses and fungus as well as allergens, pollutants and other environmental irritants. It also protects those organs from deforming.
Vitamin A (originally known as retinol) has a major influence on the retina and helps to support vision. Carrots also are high in
Vitamin C which has been shown to lower risks of breast, head, neck and laryngeal cancers. If you smoke, you need to get more Vitamin A and C in your systems because they are depleted in smokers.
Smokers who can increase their intake of Vit A and C have decreased rates of lung cancers. But it's important to remember food sources of vitamins and minerals are the best and most of all to quit smoking altogether. Again, try to get organic if you are eating the skins of the vegetables. Other foods that are high in beta-carotene are orange and yellow foods like yams, squash, and sweet potatoes.
Fun Fact #2: Vitamin C is just the antioxidant to the whole C complex which contains Vitamin J, K and P. Vitamin P strengthens the vascular system - it makes your blood vessels tougher and more resilient and durable. Vitamin K promotes prothrombin which helps your blood coagulate and helps tissues heal. Vitamin J is the factor that increases the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. Vitamin C helps protect Vitamins J, K, and P from getting broken down or destroyed.
1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with a bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.
Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.
Recipe credit: Ina Garten
The maple syrup replaces the Karo corn syrup which can be too sweet and cloying not to mention that corn syrup has been linked to all sorts of serious diseases like type 2 diabetes, fatty liver, and weight gain. Type 2 diabetes is also a high risk factor for COVID19. Maple syrup is less processed than corn syrup, is chock full of antioxidants, and has a number of trace minerals like magnesium, zinc, calcium, iron, manganese. Maple syrup is still high in sugar so eat in moderation.
The coconut palm sugar replaces white table sugar which is devoid of any nutrients. Like maple syrup coconut palm sugar contains many minerals similar to maple syrup. It too contains many antioxidants which combat oxidative stress - sort of like rusting. An added benefit of coconut palm sugar over regular white table sugar is that it has a low glycemic index which means it absorbs more slowly into your system and won't spike your blood sugar leading to increased inflammation in the body. However coconut sugar has a similar fructose/sucrose profile to table sugar so, again, use and consume in moderation.
Pecans are a very good source of protein, fiber and antioxidants. A couple of studies have shown that it can lower ¨bad¨ LDL cholesterol in people with normal cholesterol levels.
And please people, please use a HIGH quality butter. I only use Kerrygold butter from Ireland or ghee, clarified Indian butter. You can get this at Giant Eagle, Whole Foods or Trader Joe´s. Kerrygold cows are grass fed and raised without hormones and antibiotics. After speaking with a local cattle farmer about the health of her grass fed cows, she states she never has to call a vet because her cows eat grass, not grain, and stay healthy. Cows are ruminants which means their digestive systems work best with fiber rich foraged food, like grass. Eating grass allows their system to function optimally. Feeding cows grains like corn and soy gets them fat and marbled just like when humans consume too much grain. You are what your animal eats.
Always try to buy the best, organic, local ingredients you can. It makes your food taste better and it's better for you. You would not want to go to a restaurant knowing they used the poor quality ingredients, right? Why use poor quality ingredients in your kitchen? Remember: You pay the farmer now, or you pay the doctor later.
2 cups almond flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
1 cup + 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/2 cup unrefined coconut sugar
2 tablespoons butter (Kerrygold is best)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/4 cup pecan halves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and adjust the rack to lower-middle position. Put flour and salt in a food processor or blender. Add coconut oil and 1 egg and pulse until the mixture forms a ball. Press dough into 9-inch pie dish.
Chill in refrigerator while making the filling.
Heat maple syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until syrup reaches 225 degrees. While the syrup is simmering, place coconut sugar and butter in a medium mixing bowl. As soon as the syrup reaches 225 degrees, immediately pour it over the sugar and butter. Let mix sit for 1 minute and then whisk together. Add 3 eggs, vanilla and sea salt and whisk (the mixture might look a little grainy).
Pour filling mixture into the prepared pie crust and top with pecans. Cover crust with a pie shield or foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 15 minutes. The filling will be slightly less set in the center than the edges and it might puff up in the middle a little, but will set as it cools. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!
Recipe Credit: Feel Great in 8
The stewed tomatoes reduces the weird gelatinous texture of okra. That mucous-like texture serves a very useful function though. What you may ask? It acts like a mop for your small and large intestines and scrapes the walls of the intestines, cleanses the bowels, and decreases inflammation there. By cleaning the sludge off the walls of the intestines, this allows your intestines to extract nutrients more efficiently. It’s like washing off your furnace filter so that air can more easily pass through it so your furnace doesn't have to work as hard.
Okra also contains a unique lectin (a type of plant protein) and folate which has been shown in large epidemiological studies to decrease colon cancer risk by 40%. In another Harvard-based study of more than 88,000 women found that folate decreased the risk of breast cancer in those women who drank at least one alcoholic beverage per day. In yet another cancer related study, okra lectin reduced breast cancer cell growth by 63% and killed 72% of the human cancer cells. BUT just taking a folate supplement doesn’t work the same. Folate from food sources are more effective than isolated folate supplements.
Okra is great for any one with a leaky gut. Have an autoimmune condition? You probably have a leaky gut too. I started liking okra more when I learned of its AWESOME powers. The turmeric in it helps with inflammation too! .
Let’s not forget about tomatoes! Red foods like tomatoes contain lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid whose intake has been correlated to a decreased risk of pancreatic and prostate cancers, among others. Botanically speaking, the tomato is actually a fruit because it contains seeds. Tomatoes also contain high amounts of Vit C and beta carotene, which boost immunity, help fight infection and keep your blood vessels soft and flexible.
Fun Fact -- More than 2.7 billion tons of tomatoes are produced each year in the US!
Buy organic, local and in season whenever possible. If you do use conventional fruits and vegetables wash them with baking soda - this will help remove the pesticides. Organic is best if you plan on eating the skins. If you are going to peel it then conventional is ok.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon pure chile powder, such as ancho or chili flakes (optional if you don’t want too much heat)
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (whole)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 pound okra, stemmed and sliced ½ inch thick (frozen ok)
2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped (if you use canned tomatoes take out ½ cup water)
½ cup water
How to Make it:
In medium skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the minced garlic and sliced red onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the chile powder, cayenne pepper, cumin seeds and turmeric and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 2 minutes
Add the okra and cook for 2 minutes, tossing. Add the tomatoes and cook over high heat until they release their juices, about 1 minute. Add the water, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the okra is just tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and serve.
Make Ahead -
The stewed okra and tomatoes can be covered and refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently before serving.
Serve With -
Steamed basmati rice
Recipe Credit: Soban Singh Bedla and Peggy Markel; Food & Wine February 2009
Steamed Carrots with Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette
Try meatless Monday with this steamed carrot and lemon dill vinaigrette number!
If your stomach needs a break from digesting food, especially meat proteins, this is a GREAT choice paired with a little steamed rice. Lite, clean, and healthy.
Fun fact #1: Lightly steaming your vegetables allows you to retain the nutrients, but can be easier on digestion.
Carrots are high in beta carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Both are important factors in mediating your immune response. Vitamin A is not only important for eye health but also the integrity of your mucous membranes - one of the first lines of defense against invaders like viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other nasty pollutants. When you have healthy mucous membranes found in epithelial tissues like lymph and blood vessels, lung, skin, gut lining and organ linings, it can help prevent infections in those areas.
Fun Fact #2: The largest depository of vitamin C in your body are the adrenal glands. These tiny little glands sit atop your kidneys and are responsible for your response to stress. They produce the hormones that are produced during stress aka catecholamines. So if you are under high amounts of stress (which we all are in this modern life) then you need healthy amounts of vitamin C from REAL FOOD. If you are under an intense amount of stress then you need to supplement with whole food supplements.
Your body doesn’t always need to eat 3 square meals. Many studies dating back to the 1930´s on longevity have shown that caloric needs decrease as we age and that eating less as we age can increase life span and decrease age related diseases. In addition, diets should be personal and custom fit. I personally follow a paleo/low FODMAP diet that keeps me functioning at my peak. I also follow the 80/20 rule, 80% of the time I follow my plan, 20% of the time I have some pizza or burger or chips, or wings (my weakness!). My colleague and I joke about our inflammatory Fridays and how much we enjoy them!
Mindless eating leads to excess calories. Feed your body what it needs when it needs and you’ll be less apt to eat mindlessly. Oftentimes your body tells you it’s hungry because it’s lacking nutrients from real foods or you could be emotionally eating (and we´ve all been there, am I right?!). Look, you don't have to be perfect, I am not, but healing your gut can go a long way with healing other health issues, like mood, insomnia, skin issues, brain fog, fatigue, digestive issues, even decreasing autoimmune symptoms. Trying a liquid elemental diet or semi-elemental diet can be helpful in resetting your digestion and giving it a break, just like you would with your car.
If you are interested in learning more about healing your gut, resetting your digestion or whole food supplementation, give our office a call! 724-658-6917
zest and juice of 1 medium lemon
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar (I used rice vinegar)
1 teaspoon honey (local honey best)
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (or 1 tsp dried dill or more if you really like dill)
3 pounds carrots with greens trimmed to 1-inch
1 Whisk together the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, vinegar and honey in a medium bowl until combined. Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking constantly, until the vinaigrette is smooth and thickened. Stir in the chopped dill, lemon zest and ½ teaspoon salt. Set aside.
2 Fill a medium wide-mouthed pot with 2 inches of water. Set a collapsible steamer basket insert into the pot, then bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
3 Put the carrots in the steamer basket and cook, covered, until tender when pierced with a knife, about 8 minutes. Gently toss the warm carrots with the dressing in a large shallow serving dish. Allow the dressing to absorb into the carrots for 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe credit: Food Network Kitchen