Skip to content

5 Reasons Women Should Take a Probiotic

Why probiotics For Women

 

There are a dizzying array of probiotic products out there, so how do you know which to choose? Are they all pretty much the same? When do you need them? What are they needed for?

 

Probiotics for a healthy Vaginal Ecology

For those who tend to yeast infections, odors, unusual discharge, or dryness, itchiness, or any imbalance, a probiotic geared toward female health can make a huge difference, both in treating and preventing.  The difference is that these bacterial strains are those typically found in a healthy vaginal ecosystem, versus other bacterial strains that are found in other ecosystems of the body. I typically have a patient take 1-2 capsules daily, and women often notice an immediate improvement! So easy, and there are no negative side effects.

 

Probiotics for Immunity

Our immune system is engaged every day as we encounter all kinds of viruses and bacteria and other microbes in our environment and our food. There are several places in our bodies that are susceptible, more or less for different people.  We also are walking around with varying internal microbial environments, and not always ideal. Antibiotic use is a major culprit that negatively impacts our internal microflora. Most people have had multiple rounds of antibiotics in their lives, often even in childhood.  This can set us up for a host of different problems (pun intended ;). This is why probiotics can be a smart tool for repairing our immune system. For example, someone who gets recurrent UTIs, it’s often due to an underlying imbalance of healthy and harmful or overgrown bacteria making the urethral tract an environment more suited to the wrong kind of microbes.  Another example is recurrent sinus infections – their sinuses are growing harmful bacteria because the natural defense system was compromised.

 

Probiotics can help constipation and diarrhea

If healthy elimination has been elusive for you, try a probiotic.  Again, taking a daily probiotic, and adjusting the dose as needed, and adjusting the strain combination, can work wonders for irregular bowel movements.  Frequent loose stools are often a different imbalance than slow, hard, or sluggish stools, and therefore can require different strains of bacteria and/or beneficial natural yeasts.  I work with my patients to determine what type they need if any, and to find the right quantity.

 

Probiotics Benefit Mood and Mental Health

Have you heard that the gut is your second brain? Did you know it produces a significant amount of neurotransmitters? Those are the chemical messengers such as dopamine that affect mood and mental health.   So many cases of mental health challenges including anxiety and depression are linked to a gut imbalance. I always start with the gut when working with patients as a Chinese Medicine practitioner, I see the gut as the central tube that goes from mouth to anus, and that must be working properly for everything else to work right. It can’t be ignored even in cases of depression and anxiety, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), or mood irregularities and changes.

Probiotics for a healthy body and mind.

Probiotics support Whole Body Health

 

What about foods that support a healthy internal ecosystem?

 

I often hear people say “Well I eat yogurt”.  And here’s what I say to that:

“From the store or homemade? Store bought yogurt has been pasturized, and sits in a package for a while, and you don’t really know what you are getting when you open it at home. Plus most yogurts are full of sugar, or come from commercially raised animals that are not in a humane environment.  There is definitely options for healthy probiotic foods though! I recommend homemade 24 hour yogurt. This entails starting with high quality milk, whether from grass fed/pastured cows, raw milk from a trusted source, or organic and humanely raised, or choosing an additive free coconut milk.  Then getting a quality culture starter suited to the milk you choose, and then allowing it to ferment accordingly, for 24 hours. Also making your own or buying quality lacto-fermented vegetables such as a sauerkraut.

 

I recommend the foods above especially to support an already healthy microbiome or someone who is well on the path of recovering gut health.  But probiotic supplements can be the tool that helps you overcome serious health issues.

 

Finding the Right Probiotics

For quality probiotics from my trusted sources, I do have an online store here.  When we work together I am able to prescribe a variety of beneficial bacteria that are right for you. Here’s to your health!

 

Posted in Tidbits | Comments Off on 5 Reasons Women Should Take a Probiotic

Acupressure and Foods for Cold & Flu Season

Fortify for Cold, Flu and Covid Season

So many viruses going around right now!

How about some tips to give you a better chance at muscling through this winter healthy and virus free?

 

Acupressure:

While I of course advocate regular acupuncture for immune health, you can also stimulate the points at home without needles.  Just a minute on each point once or twice a day to activate your body’s defenses and healing system.

LI-4 Hegu

This point on the Large Intestine channel is in middle the meaty part of your hand between the thumb and forefinger.  Press and rub here – this is called the Command Point of the Face – and our face is usually where all those orifices are where viruses can enter and take over if our defenses are down.  So stimulating Hegu will be like making your immune cells do pushups and jumping jacks!  Note: this is also a major point used for headaches and one of the most powerful and important points in the body for balancing energy.Large Intestine 4 acupressure point

Uses for Large Intestine 4

  • Release stagnant qi throughout the body
  • Relieve low back pain (look for a sore spot in this whole area between the thumb and forefinger)
  • Boost energy
  • Nasal symptoms including congestion
  • Headaches in the forehead and face
  • Any facial pain or problems

LU7 Lieque

This point on the Lung channel of the hand and arm strengthens and activates the lung organ and the immune system.  It is related to the Large Intestine channel via the 5 elements, both are metal, and thus are the main channels for treating and preventing colds and flus.  This point is also called the Command Point of the Neck, and is very important for neck pain and for coughs.  Ladies, this point also works with our hormones and reproductive system!

A simple way to find this is by joining your hands between the thumb and forefinger.  Your index finger should be resting along the radius bone.  The tip of your index finger will come to rest in a small notch between two tendons that lie on top of the styloid process.

We sometimes use a light pinching-up motion on this point where you grasp and release the skin over the point quickly.  But rubbing will also work. This brings blood flow and stimulates its connection to the lungs, head, and neck.Lung 7 acupressure point

Uses for Lung 7

  • Opens the chest
  • Treats issues in the head & neck
  • Phlegm & mucus in the upper part of the body
  • Headaches
  • Treats first signs of cold/flu
  • Regulates the movement of fluids throughout the body
  • Activates the lung channel and relieves pain
  • Gynecological Issues

 

Immunity Foods

Here are some foods traditionally used to circulate wei qi aka boost immunity, to clear pathogens, and invigorate intestines to clear waste): Chestnuts, raw onions, Asian pears, apples, garlic, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, mint, mushrooms, parsnips, green onion, congee rice, banana, almond, white sesame, broccoli.

hot bowl of soup

Posted in Traditional Chinese Medicine | Comments Off on Acupressure and Foods for Cold & Flu Season

Chinese Medicine Diet and Nutrition Therapy

“For Who?” “When?”

 

These questions are the key according to Chinese Medicine Nutrition Therapy.  No one diet fits an entire population. The one way of eating is individual to a person, living in a specific climate, at a certain age, during a given season.

 

In popular media, gurus will tout one diet over another – eat more of this, eat less of this, drink more water, eat less sugar, more fat, less fat, etc.

 

Ok, some of the things we hear are useful.  Sugar, in its refined form, and added to pretty much everything, is not a natural way to healthy eating. Too much sugar is pretty much one thing I think everyone can agree is a recipe for health problems.

 

But maybe you’ve heard of keto, paleo, vegan, raw, juicing, etc.  In my experience, and backed by the wisdom of the ages,  Chinese Medicine has evolved and spanned and refined what works and what doesn’t on the individual level.  What one eats depends on one’s constitution and health status.

 

Five Tips for Health Eating According to Chinese Medicine

 

Here are my 5 tips as a practitioner of Chinese Medicine, for a healthy way of eating:

 

  1. Eat According to Season
  2. Eat According to your Chinese Medicine Pattern
  3. Don’t eat until full. Eat until 3/4 full.
  4. Don’t eat close to bedtime
  5. Eat in a relaxed manner, don’t rush or multi-task during mealtimes.

 

Eating According to Season

One of the foundational concepts in Chinese Medicine is that people are a part of nature.  The environmental climate directly impacts us, and if we’re eating in a way that is out of sync, then we’ll be affected.  For example, in summer, someone who overheats easily would be encouraged to eat watermelon to help cool.  Yet the same food in winter would not be appropriate. Light fresh salads are best in spring and summer because spring in the time when new plants sprout and grow, and in summer greenery flourishes. This aids our upward and outward Liver-Wood energy that is active in the spring and feeds the Fire element of summer. Yet in winter, salads should be consumed more sparingly if at all, because winter is a time of storage.

 

Eat According to your Chinese Medicine Pattern

This one is really important, and the best example is someone who is full of mucus and congestion is encouraged to stay away from mucus-producing foods such as all dairy, refined sugar, and wheat or doughy foods.  Also, someone who is dry overall would be encouraged to eat juice moistening foods such as sweet potatoes, fats, and eggs.

 

Eat until 75-80% Full

Overeating taxes the digestive system which is often weak in many people.  Leaving room is a key to longevity according to many studies.

 

Don’t Eat Right Before Bed

If we go to bed right after eating a full meal, our energy must go to digesting that food instead of going dormant into our healing state as it should for sleep.  This can create excessive dreaming, groggy feeling in the morning, and overall sluggishness and lack of concentration the next day.  I tell my patients to allow 3 hours between the last meal and bedtime. I also recommend fasting for around 12 hours every night to allow the digestive system time to repair and rest.

 

Relax during meals

It’s important although admittedly not easy, to just focus on eating during mealtimes. It’s so tempting to read something on our phones, watch TV, be cooking or cleaning while eating.  But your Gastro-Intestinal system will thank you if you just sit, and chew, and perhaps talk lightly with friends or family.  Mindful eating is becoming a lost art, and I encourage you to try it if you tend to multi-task at mealtime!

Family Mealtime - Mindful Eating

 

 

Posted in Tidbits | Comments Off on Chinese Medicine Diet and Nutrition Therapy

The Five Senses Diet Checklist

Perhaps you’ve heard it before – but your diet consists of everything you consume through all of your senses, especially what you allow into your brain and not just what you put in your mouth!

Here’s a recap and a reset —  look for that one small change that will help you break out of an old habit that no longer serves the best version of you! 

 

What Are You Consuming?

 

Eyes: What are you reading or looking at? Can you challenge yourself not to look at billboards, or to get rid of that ugly nicknack that’s been grating on you? 

Mouth: What are you feeding your body? Yes, when we eat we are feeding our cells,  nervous and cardiovascular systems, internal organs, bones, glands, and connective tissues – remember that next time you get the urge to grab that not processed or sugary snack!

Ears: What are you listening to and watching?  Listening to the news or watching violence are things that our mind-body has to process, like we have to process a greasy or preservative-laden meal. So remember that too! 
Sensory input to your advantage - smelling roses
Nose: What home and personal care products are scented or have added chemicals that get into your lungs and bloodstream? Any synthetic scents are part of your toxic load, and I advocate to minimize chemicals in your home and on your skin and hair especially if you struggle with any health issue.  Essential Oils are from plants and are a great way to uplift your mood, relax, or energize.  Have a couple that really speak to you on your bathroom counter or nightstand, and take a whiff when you are getting ready for your day or settling in for bed at night!

Skin/Touch – What sensations do you enjoy feeling? A warm bath, a soft pet, the sun on your back, playing an instrument? How can you invite more pleasurable joyfilled feels into your daily life? 

 

Enjoy your senses by thoughtfully curating positive choices for what you read, listen to, smell, and feel! Be conscious of the toxins you let into your sensory fields, and your body and mind will thank you!

Posted in Tidbits | Comments Off on The Five Senses Diet Checklist

Manage Stress & Anxiety in 3 Minutes – a Simple Technique

Remember this Easy Technique when you’re in the moment, right after an upsetting situation, or before you head into a difficult situation, or as a daily “vitamin” for stress reduction!  Oh and by the way, you can use it for any type of physical pain as well!  This is the at home DIY version of Neuro Emotional Technique that is called FIrst Aid Stress Tool, or FAST for short.

 

  1. Identify what’s bothering you.  Rate your distress level from 0-10: 10 being the most upset and 0 feeling peaceful and calm.
  2. Line Your Fingers along the thumb side of your wrist from the wrist crease as in this picture: First Aid Stress Tool Pulse Points
  3. While holding those 3 spots with your fingers, place the open palm across your forehead.
  4. Breathe in your nose and out your mouth while concentrating on the feelings of the issue of distress. Do at least 3 complete breaths. If you are not in a hurry breathe in and out until you feel the shift.  The emotional “charge” will feel more neutral.
  5. Switch hands – touching the 3 points with your 3 fingers on the other wrist, and covering your forehead with the other hand.Repeat the breathing while focusing on the upsetting feelings. ease anxiety and stress with NET or FAST
  6. Rate your level of upset again from 0-10.  Repeat this breathing exercise as needed throughout the day.

When working through a big thing, whether it’s chronic anxiety, panic attacks, work or relationship stress, or physical ailment, stick with using FAST a minimum of twice daily every day until the situation/feelings fade and no longer created a big reaction for you.

Posted in Mindfulness Practices, Neuro Emotional Technique | Comments Off on Manage Stress & Anxiety in 3 Minutes – a Simple Technique
630-335-1069DirectionsContact/Schedule