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Chronic Pain Tips

Chronic pain is pain that lasts for more than 3 months. This is after the body has healed the tissue and life should be back to normal, but it’s not, because of the nagging pain. Sometimes chronic pain can be deep enough that no form of therapy seems to take the pain away. Pain management instead of getting rid of the pain becomes the goal. Forms of management are usually activities that are calming, non invasive and feel safe like Tai Chi, Yoga, walking, massage, spending time in nature, singing, meditation, and joining support groups. These are all great activities but in the day to day management of life, what else can one do? Dr. Diane LaChapelle outlines the 5 P’s of pain management:

Pace your tasks

Space your activities out over the day and week to avoid doing too much one day and not being able to do enough the next day.

Plan your tasks

Organize your day by setting small achievable goals. This way, you can manage as much as possible without suffering afterwards. Try to space your activity out over the day and week by breaking big jobs down into smaller tasks and taking periods of rest between each task (pacing). By planning ahead, you can get the job done without straining.

Prioritize your tasks

Figure out what is most important for you to accomplish today and this week. Then plan and pace accordingly. Remember that you have a limited amount of energy and time and that you may not be able to accomplish as much as you once did. Setting priorities is more important than ever. The page in this section entitled “Identifying Your Values” will help you identify your priorities.

Position your body and equipment correctly

For example, bend your knees when lifting and have an ergonomic computer work station. Consider consulting an occupational therapist or physiotherapist for recommendations about useful equipment and appropriate body positioning.

Problem solve to find an easier or different way to do tasks

Do you love to garden but find it too painful to kneel on the ground or to bend down to weed? Try container gardening or raised beds. Do you enjoy camping but find the ground too hard and cold to sleep in a tent? How about renting a cabin? Do you love going to the movies but cannot sit for that long? Arrive early and pick a seat in the back row so you can get up and stretch during the film. With a little creative problem solving, you might be able to continue doing many of the tasks you enjoy.

More information can be found on the Canadian Institute for the relief of pain and disability. http://www.cirpd.org/Pages/Default.aspx

Baby health tips

Baby health tips- using acupressure and gentle massage!

Fussiness/Irritability

This point on babe is right at the base of the big toe.

If baby is being generally fussy or seems irritable and is hard to please, this is a good point for grounding her and helping calm. Of course nothing beats cuddles and boobs but you can always hold this point at the same time.

In fact baby acupressure points are often best administered when babe is being soothed in other ways as it can be hard to secure an acupressure point when a baby’s limbs are flailing.   Apply moderate pressure at this point and hold for a few minutes.

Acupressure points on the feet can be good for travel, when babe might feel anxious or fed up.

Teething pain

Teething pain can be torment for mom and babe!

Although we can’t guarantee a pain free night of blissful sleep, this acupressure point can help take the edge of the nasty pain and is a good start to natural teething relief.

 

Acupressure for better learning!

This is a video

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/73887250112398021/

 

 

Acupuncture for Kids

Dr. Gabrielle Steinberg at Harmony Wellness Centre offers acupuncture, acupressure and Chinese Medicine for kids of all ages.

 

acukid

 

Article by Robin Greene, L.Ac

Acupuncture for Kids is Gaining Popularity! 

Many kids today suffer from chronic inflammatory conditions and sometimes Western medicine isn’t enough!  

That’s why parents are turning to acupuncture because it offers a safe, natural and effective approach to pediatric care. It  focuses on treating symptoms leading to a safe resolution of illness and preventing illness in the future by stimulating healing and restoring the body’s own resilience.  Modern acupuncture treatments are done using painless acupuncture and non-needle treatment techniques, so even children afraid of needles will find the treatments easy and painless.

In Chinese medicine we believe that each child is unique and we customize each treatment plan to the child’s individual needs.   Sometimes generic western treatments may not be able to adequately address the challenges faced by a child and parents may be told they’ll just “grow out of it.” No parent wants to accept such a fatalistic view when their child is suffering!

Parents may also be concerned about turning to powerful Western drugs which may have unwanted side effects, instead turning to other approaches such as acupuncture because it is less invasive and has no unwanted side effects.

Does Acupuncture Hurt?

Acupuncture for kids is virtually painless.  Pediatric acupuncturists are trained to use a special needling technique using needles so fine they are about the size of a strand of hair.  For young children a rapid needling technique is used, where the needle is inserted and immediately taken out. Babies and children do not have to sit still for more than a few seconds at a time.  Watch the video above to see what acupuncture for kids is like.

 

Even Babies Can Get Acupuncture! Watch this video of Baby’s First Acupuncture Treatment

 

Non-Needle Options are Available, Too.

Pediatric acupuncturists understand that not every child will undergo acupuncture.  A child is never forced to have acupuncture treatment and there are several other non-needle treatment techniques that your acupuncturist may use. They are easy, painless and have a similar therapeutic effect to acupuncture.

 

Acupuncture can also be used as an adjunct to conventional pediatric care.

Most acupuncturists offer well visits where they can address health issues before they become a major issue.  Well visits allows the practitioner to address some of the deficiencies of conventional pediatric care such as nutritional counseling, attention to environmental toxins, emotional health and more. After the birth of a baby, guidance is provided for parents on all aspects of the baby’s care such as decisions regarding sleeping arrangements, support for breastfeeding mothers, treatment of common problems like colic and reflux

Food & Flavour For Thought

Foods to consider to reduce the effects of wind:

There are several foods that naturally reduce the effects of wind. In early spring try oats, pine nuts, prawns, ginger, fennel and basil. Later in the season choose celery, mulberry, strawberry and peppermint. Other foods that limit the effects of wind include black or yellow soybean, black or yellow sesame seed, sage and chamomile.

The Sour Flavour:

Sour is connected to the Liver and spring time. Sour strengthen the liver and has a contracting, astringent effect and dries and firms.  Once eaten, sour heads straight for the Liver. A small amount of the sour flavour is essential for a balanced Liver, but too much will make the Liver too strong and cause imbalance in the body. Examples of sour foods include lemons, limes, hawthorn fruit, pickles and rosehip and vinegar.
A little bit of gently warming pungent foods can be good for spring. These include fennel, ginger, spring onion, chamomile, oregano, rosemary, caraway, dill, bay leaf, grains, legumes and seeds. Pungent flavoured foods stimulate circulation of Qi (energy) and blood, moving energy up and out.

Your Body is a Garden

One of the philosophies underlying Chinese medicine is that we are not separate from nature. Nature’s constant motion – its flowing seasons and cycles – coincide with our body’s natural rhythms. When we engage in gardening, we strive to be in harmony with nature’s rhythms. This allows us to reap a bountiful harvest. Life flourishes when the elements of air, water, light and earth are balanced.

There are basic principles of gardening that you can apply to facilitating the health of your body:

Fertilize: Just like plants need fertilizers, we need food in order to re-energize our bodies. In general, a healthy, balanced diet is made up of unprocessed, organic foods such as grains, fruits and vegetables.

Water: Our bodies are made up of 70% water. We need its life-giving force to cleanse our bodies of toxins, to regulate body temperature and to aid digestion and circulation.

Sunshine: Just like plants, we also need sun’s energy to grow and thrive. Sun provides our bodies with Vitamin D, which promotes strong bones, supple muscles and a healthy immune system.

Weeding: Weeding your garden is vital to keeping the soil clean and properly oxygenated. Our body also needs cleansing. One of the easiest ways to cleanse our body is sweating through exercise as well as eating meals of fresh veggies and fruit.
Your goal is to learn how to cultivate and support your inner garden. My goal as a Chinese medicine practitioner and acupuncturist and is to help balance your inner ecosystem so that it can flourish—and you can enjoy health and harmony.  Together, we garden and can identify and “weed out” any imbalances that could cause problems.
.Acupuncture isn’t a “quick fix.” It does provide you with the tools and knowledge needed to nourish the garden from within. Your participation in the process is essential. After all, you wouldn’t simply plant seeds in the ground and expect them to bloom unattended. It’s the same with your health. Working with your acupuncturist and committing to long-term care can create positive changes for your overall health.

 Do you have seasonal allergies?
If you are an allergy sufferer, I recommend avoiding mucus producing foods, such as dairy, wheat, sugar, and cold raw foods and also taking a pro-biotic. This will help minimize allergy attacks in most people. Acupuncture and herbal medicine are also great to help with allergy symptoms.