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toronto acupuncture

Dry Skin? Try These Natural Remedies

Dry Skin? Try These Natural Remedies

With this year's extreme cold winter we have had in Toronto, you may have turned up the heat on full blast just to keep temperatures moderate indoors. As a result, you may have noticed drier skin. You might even be waking with a dry mouth and nose.

The worst part is your hands and feet are like a desert! No amount of lotion or Vaseline seems to keep them from drying up again. 

In this blog I'm going to share with you a few simple solutions to re-hydrate your body from the inside out. In doing so, you won't have to apply as much lotion continuously, and your mouth and nose should not be as dry when you wake up in the mornings. 

First let's dive into why this is happening. With dryness, there's actually 2 factors going on. 1. External dryness, 2. Internal heat. Dryness can be moistened with foods that help generate more fluid in the body. Here's a few that can help:

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1. Honey

Honey has so many healing properties. Moistening dryness is just one!

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2. Kiwis & Bananas

Great for relieving thirst. Bananas also have moistening properties that are good for regular bowel movements and help dry skin.

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3. Oatmeal

Any kind of porridge is good for restoring fluids. In asian culture congee is one made with rice and water in a ratio of 1:6.

Heat on the other hand doesn't disappear by moistening it. You actually have to clear it out of your system. 

But where is this heat coming from? It's the middle of winter, so if it's not externally generated, it must be coming from within.

"What generates heat internally though?" you might wonder. And the answer is stress.

That could be tight deadlines, or having to multi-task non-stop. You can think about a computer overheating, when it has too much to process, or hasn't been shut off in a while. Our brains need the same "TIME OFF". Otherwise, we crash and burn.

Add more meditation, or go for a weekend getaway. This is great for bringing down stress levels. In addition, here are some foods you can add to your diet to clear the heat/inflammation from your body:

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1. Peppermint

Great for clearing heat, emotional frustration, and ‘chilling you out’.

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2. Pears

Pears are a 2-in-1 combo. Not only do they clear heat, but they also moisten dryness. This is the go-to for feelings of thirst, especially if you have been eating spicy lately, or fried foods. The heat clearing properties will get you feeling refreshed and thirst quenched.


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3. Watermelon

Great for clearing heat from your system. In fact watermelon is something we typically crave during the intense summer heat. However, due to its cooling nature, it should be eaten in moderation.



I hope you enjoyed these tips. Feel free to book an acupuncture & food therapy session to dive deeper into your health concerns.

What Gluten Intolerance And Stress Have In Common

What Gluten Intolerance And Stress Have In Common

From bloating, to diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain - gluten intolerance can be a pain to live with. Trying to avoid gluten can be a mission in itself. But did you know that gluten intolerance, and stress have a common link? And that by controlling one you may be able to control the other?

Gluten intolerance is essentially a form of inflammation – the body’s hyperactive response to a protein(gluten) found in wheat[1]. What if I told you that stress also creates an environment in your body, which makes you more prone to inflammatory conditions like gluten intolerance, IBS, and celiac disease[2]? And what if that minor clue, was in itself, the solution and cure.

 

Here I’m going to discuss how you can get gluten intolerance under control by managing your stress levels and inflammation with acupuncture & food therapy.

 

Many clients of ACUSOUL who suffer from IBS, celiac disease, or gluten intolerance – have noticed that it gets worse in times of stress. More importantly, the illness itself may have began during a time of high stress.

 

For example, when you entered the workforce your stress levels may have been more elevated than when you were in school[3]. That may also be the time when you noticed the gluten intolerance began. It may not have been flaring up consistently everyday, but that’s because your stress levels also vary day by day. Paying attention to the environment, your lifestyle, and emotionally how you felt when the illness began is critical to addressing it.

 

What stress does is increase blood pressure, cortisol levels, and your body’s inflammatory response[4]. This increase in cortisol, and blood pressure has an obvious impact on your heart health. At the same time the inflammation being increased makes the gluten intolerance and IBS more pronounced in the intestinal organs.

Thus, with acupuncture we would target the Heart to bring down stress levels and the intestinal organs to control diarrhea and constipation. As a result you may notice better sleep, feeling more relaxed, and less tension in the upper back and jaw, as well as less bouts of diarrhea or constipation, and less bloating. If you’re not familiar, feel free to read our article on "How acupuncture works”.

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From a food standpoint, here are some foods that help reduce inflammation, regulate the heart, and may help with symptoms of gluten intolerance:

1. Turmeric – with high anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, digestive regulating properties, this spice is great for inflammatory conditions like gluten intolerance, IBS, or celiac disease.

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2. Beets - Calm the heart, lubricates the intestines to help with constipation.

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3. Watermelon – Clears heat from the heart, stomach, and bladder. Alleviates thirst, and induces diuresis. Essentially promoting the body’s ability to clear inflammation, and rehydrate.

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 If you’re interested in seeing what acupuncture & food therapy can do for you – book a session here. We’re an acupuncture clinic located in the heart of downtown toronto, and forest hill. We’ll discuss your health concerns in detail, come up with a treatment plan, and provide food recommendations customized to your body’s intricate needs.

1. https://nyulangone.org/conditions/celiac-disease-gluten-sensitivity-in-adults/diagnosis

2. https://www.rn.com/featured-stories/stress-inflammation-immunity/

3. https://www.forbes.com/sites/karlynborysenko/2018/11/01/generation-z-is-coming-to-work-and-their-stress-is-already-high/#40e00704273b

4. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/signs-you-are-gluten-intolerant

5. http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/1999/06/04/27924.htm 

ADAPT TO YOUR LIFE'S SEASON

ADAPT TO YOUR LIFE'S SEASON

As you attempt to adapt to the changing seasons, life can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. Learn how to manage your resources, or better yet, improve your health to better able to handle the ups and downs of life using acupuncture & food therapy.

How To Clear Plantar Fascitis With Acupuncture

How To Clear Plantar Fascitis With Acupuncture

It’s your New Year’s resolution to get fit this year. You’ve made the decision to hit the gym or train for a marathon so you can get the body you want. There’s only one thing holding you back. That annoying pain in the bottom of your foot that acts up even just during your warm up! Argh! How are you EVER going to achieve your fitness goals this year?! Every time it feels like you’re just getting started, the pain tells you you’ve got to slow down, stop for a moment, and give your foot a rest.

 

Let’s face it, heel pain sucks. You start to think “Is this what getting old feels like?” and “Am I going to be stuck with this heel pain for the rest of my life?” You may have been told before that you have "plantar fascitis", which worries you because you're not sure if there's a cure for that!

 

Relax. Take a deep breath. Heel pain ISN’T something you need to live with for the rest of your life. And guess what? It’s NOT a sign that you’re getting old.  It can be corrected, and you can get your active, healthy lifestyle back again!

 

In Chinese Medicine, pain is usually a result of a blockage in the body. These blockages are often created by stress and tension, or over-exhaustion. Here’s how:

 

Stress causes your body to tense up and your blood vessels constrict. This leads to decreased circulation and blood flow to various parts of your body, depending on where you hold your stress. Then out-of-nowhere you’re hit with pain.

 

Over-exhaustion, on the other hand, causes a different type of blockage. This drains the body’s energy. Your body is taking care of a lot of things all day, every day. Your over-used heel is likely last on the list of your body’s priorities. Which means, it never fully heals. (Pun unintended.)  

 

With many of my clients, after removing such blockages and improving circulation to the bottom of their foot through acupuncture - the pain disappears! The best part of it all is after a few sessions you can finally go ALL-OUT again in your workouts, sports, or other activities you love to experience without heel pain holding you back.

 

I also recommend a foot soak you can do at home. Simply fill a tub with hot water, pour in some epsom salts (half a cup), and soak your feet for 10-15 minutes. Not only does the warmth improve circulation, but epsom salts have minerals like magnesium that lower blood pressure and help the body to relax.

 

So, if you’re ready to get your workouts back in gear again, you can book a session at one of our acupuncture clinics in Toronto, where we’ll discuss your health concerns, and get to the bottom of that annoying heel pain.