Archive for June, 2009

Summer, skeeters and sunburns

Hey everyone, I want to get the word out about two timely and unique products that we make and sell.  They are the inspired brainchildren of my genius husband John. The first is our sunburn body mist. It could be used as a nice fresh summer skin moisturizer, but the relief it offers for burns is out of this world.  I put it on a patient recently at the beginning of her treatment, and by the end, the color of her skin had changed from an angry red to brown. In addition to aloe and lavender, it contains Saint John’s wort and German chamomile which create synergy that just works.

Our catnip essential oil mosquito spray is unique in that it smells good, and it works.  It does not unpleasantly grease up your skin, and lasts until it evaporates, and can be reapplied. What makes this spray unique is that the catnip oil we use contains high levels of Nepetalactone, a constituent that rivals DEET in effectiveness.

Happy Summer Everyone!


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Rheumatology by Lynn Van Airsdale

A 2008 issue of Rheumatology published the article, Demystifying Acupuncture, which reviewed the different theories on acupuncture’s mechanism of action.  There appear to be three main ideas.  One involves acupuncture’s effects on pain inhibitory pathways of the peripheral and central nervous system.  The second idea is acupuncture’s analgesic effects from opioid and serotonin release.  The third idea is that there is a change in the muscle’s neuromatrix, or how the pain fibers respond and transmit messages.  All three help our western understanding of how acupuncture works.  There are several studies that show acupuncture’s effects on the nervous system, on endorphin and hormonal release and regulation, as well as on the combined effort of the muscle/fascia response to acupuncture needling.  There is much more research to conduct, but in the meantime we can rely on the ancient perspective of TCM and acupuncture’s ability to illicit positive change on the body.

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Foods and activities to grow the Liver-Yin by Laurel Redmon

As Bob Flaws and Honora Wolfe mention in their dietetic book, Prince Wen Hui’s Cook, the American baby boomers are at increased risk for the syndrome of Liver-Yin deficiency due to inferior nutrition in childhood as well as ‘lifestyle excesses’. I imagine that this would include various youthful binges and benders as well as managing family, full-time work and keeping up with the Joneses.

The Yin nature is by definition grounding and slow-growing: like the tortoise we must commit to long-term, consistent effort. Things like not rushing or over-scheduling one’s day can have a big impact.  Exercise like yoga and tai qi will have more benefit than over-heating and thus drying and tendon-fraying weekend warrior pursuits. Try to get enough sleep, and decide what’s enough with your body, not just your brain.

Vegetable foods are invaluable to incorporate daily.  Try different sprouted seeds and grains– there is a lot of variety out there these days, or you can easily make your own for cheap. Fruits, especially berries like blueberries, raspberries and grapes are great, as is citrusCelery, seaweeds, wood ear fungus, sesame seeds and burdock root are incredibly good.  A note on this last group of ingredients: using then isn’t rocket science. We’re so lucky to live in a culture where we have access to wonderful food traditions from all over the world. These ingredients can be locally sourced and organic.   Heat up some water, add some herbs or miso, put the ingredients in and have it for lunch, dinner a snack or even breakfast! You’ll feel really good.

Next step- get out and harvest some nettles, a great spring delicacy as a pot herb or tea, just protect your hands before you cook or dry them.


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