Saturday, October 29, 2011

Acupuncture Presentation in Arundel, Quebec

Last November I had the pleasure of making my first ever presentation about acupuncture to the community of Arundel, Quebec.  What a wonder-filled experience it was spending time with the warm hearted people of this welcoming community situated about 18 km south of  ‘ downtown’  Mont-Tremblant.



The goal of my presentation was simply to increase awareness in the local population about how acupuncture works and how it can help those in need. I expected that a small group of 5 people  might attend (and I would have been thrilled if this were the case, as the total population in Arundel is estimated to be 600.)  Indeed I was very surprised to watch as the room filled up with 23 interested people!
I had a great time, good questions were posed, I was made to feel very much at home- and was I surprised when I was presented with a gift of homemade bread and organic shea butter soap.
Thank-you, Arundel!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Liking us on Facebook Gets you 50% off on Monday Oct 24!

Monday, October 24th is International Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) Day.
On this day in both urban and rural settings, as a result of worldwide effort to promote awareness about this fantastic health system, people will be receiving acupuncture treatments, taking in tai-chi and Qi Gong demonstrations and hopefully learning something new about Oriental Medicine. In honour of this day I am offering a 50% discount on a regular treatment to those who like my page and wish to book for Monday Oct 24th.
Stop by the Acupuncture Mont-Tremblant FaceBook page, (press the 'like' if you like it!) and discover what's up with Acupuncture in Mont-Tremblant!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Why This is my FAVORITE Healthy Dessert! (recipe included)

I am not on a restricted diet but I cook for family members who are. Going gluten free, for example has been a real challenge, but one that I have taken on with zeal since my daughter showed a slight intolerance through testing several years ago.

Since then, I have learned much about how diet can be directly related to what ails you-thanks to my training in Chinese medicine. Personally, I have cut out all dairy products and avoid raw food, sugar, caffeine and processed foods.
Sometimes I feel the same way as some of my patients who ask, “Well, gee, what CAN I eat?”

The answer can be complicated but for our purposes here, I thought I would start with a recipe I really enjoy and tend to make during the fall season (when apples are in season).  I will  include other dietary suggestions in my newsletters with each season-so head to my website to sign up for that!

This is my take on Apple-berry Crisp, an old standby that you may have forgotten about or may have yet to discover! It provides the goodness of cooked fruit for those whose digestive systems are on the sensitive side while omitting wheat and using just a sprinkling of sugar!

I think the key is using very sweet apples like Spartan or Lobo types so that not much processed sugar needs to be added. Of course, if you have raw sugar or some stevia on hand, you may want to experiment further.  Instead of wheat I used buckwheat flour which is really not even a cereal grain and so contains no gluten. I do use butter in my diet as it is a healthy form of animal protein containing only traces of lactose.

 
APPLE-BERRY CRISP
5 C apples ( sliced, peeled, cored)
1C frozen fieldberries
1 tsp brown sugar ( or, even better, raw sugar)
1 tbs of buckwheat flour
*Topping
1/4 cup brown sugar ( I just use a sprinkling)
1/2 cup of buckwheat flour
1/2 cup of rolled oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp finely grated orange rind
1/4 cup of butter
1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts ( I have yet to try this ingredient, but I bet it is delish!)
In a buttered 8 inch square baking dish ( 2L), toss together fruit, suar and flour. Set aside.
*Topping
Combine sugar, flour, rolled oats, cinnamon and orange rinds in bowl.  Work in butter with pastry blender or fingertips until crumbly.  Sprinkle over fruit and add hazelnuts, if using.
Lovin' from the oven
Bake in 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes until browned or until fruit is fork tender.  ( 4-6 servings).

Friday, October 14, 2011

Kitchen Cures for the Common Cold and Flu

We all know that there is no cure for the common cold, yet these simple tactics can sometimes stop this virus in its tracks if applied at the very onset.  Having these inexpensive items in your kitchen during this time of year may come in handy should you succumb to a 'bug'.

Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that the common cold and flu come from "external cold wind" which makes our pores clamp down.  A 'cold' kind of cold makes us feel chilled-like being outside on a chilly windy day without being properly dressed. TCM principal is to open the pores to help sweat the illness out of our systems.
The following recipe will help kick that cold to the curb if used within the early stages.

GINGER and GREEN ONION TEA

Combine 4 slices of fresh ginger with the white parts of 6 green onions and 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Drink while it is warm.  This is one dose and should be repeated 2-3 times a day.  It will make you sweat slightly which is what you want so as to expel the toxins from your body.



A 'hot' sort of cold or "external heat wind" gives us a sore throat and high temperature.
In this case, use Yin Chiao pills (available at most natural food stores) within the first 48 hours. 
This is an item you should never be without. They are made from honeysuckle and forsythia fruit - known for their anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.  My family has used Yin Chiao for years with good results. Consult your natural health practitioner before taking any herbal remedies.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

5 Ways to Rev-up Your Immune System

FIVE WAYS TO REV-UP YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
 
As I write this, we in Mont-Tremblant are experiencing the first real blast of cool weather since we officially entered the fall season last week.  You know,  the kind of blustery day that makes you want to carve up a pumpkin or tend a simmering pot of stew, or just curl up with the cat!


Its also the kind of weather that prompts me to get in touch and remind you that acupuncture is preventive medicine-especially as  cold and flu season approaches.

It directly accesses the immune system to fortify it, giving you the resistance of what the Chinese call the ‘Jade screen’. I invite all of you to make a fall-winter tune-up appointment for sometime between the end of October to mid November.

In the meantime here's what you can do on your own to keep your immune system humming!

  • Remember to wash your hands frequently.
  • Be vigilant about your diet.  Cut down on sugar, a known immune system suppressor, and spend time in the kitchen cooking up healthy, homemade soups and stews.
  • Stay active but avoid exhausting yourself with exercise. 
  • Learn how to cope with stress. Research over the past 30 years has demonstrated a link between chronic stress and suppression of the immune system.  Learn and practice restorative yoga, meditation, or Qi Gong, an ancient self healing system, or just make a habit of taking a few moments for yourself to recharge and simply breathe.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

5 Tips to Improve the WAY You Eat



I've always admired people who keep themselves organized by creating helpful lists - be it a grocery list, a weekly ‘to do’ list or an outline for long term goals and projects. While I occasionally create various lists for myself, there is one list I often jot down for my patients who require nutritional advice along with acupuncture.

The elements I usually highlight are what to eat and how to prepare it and also what to avoid.  That extends beyond specific food choices and into certain mealtime habits and behaviours that can seriously affect the assimilation of our food and how easily we digest it.

While Traditional Chinese Medical dietetics is based on respecting individual differences and needs, the following list provides general guidelines to healthy eating.

Consult a qualified practitioner before making any drastic changes to your diet.

1) Drink either warm or room temperature liquids. Cold drinks weaken the digestive system because the stomach has to work harder to reheat its contents so as to prepare it for the rest of the digestive process.

2) For the same reason as above, try to prepare warm meals and limit intake of raw, cold foods. Opt for steamed and stir-fried foods more often.

3) Cut back on dairy. For many people, dairy can exacerbate the symptoms of mucus forming conditions such as frequent common colds, allergies, sinus problems, colon trouble, etc. Maintain proper calcium levels, however.

4) It seems like a "no brainer" to say eat 3 meals a day (yes, especially breakfast), but I encounter so many people who do not. Skipping meals often results in fatigue and headaches.

5) Eat with an awareness as to the atmosphere in which you take your meals. Arrange to eat in peaceful surroundings and avoid discussing business or any other topic that may engender emotional tension.  Please turn the TV off and allow your body to concentrate on doing its job of properly assimilating your food.

Rushing or EWD, (eating while driving), reading or studying while eating can all contribute to heartburn and eventual weakening of your digestive system.

I was delighted to learn that Dr Christiane Northrup recently initiated a 30 day 'mindful eating' challenge to all her Facebook fans. The idea is to sit down while you eat, a suggestion which would fit seamlessly into the list above. Taking the time to sit down to eat, she says, "improves digestion, enhances pleasure, and generally changes for the better, the way food is transmuted into your tissues and organs!"

The idea of eating with such awareness is of course nothing new to those schooled in Chinese medicine.  In fact, in the 5th century BC, Confucius expressed this notion as follows.  "When your attention is not there, the very taste of your food goes unnoticed."

Eating should be a pleasure, a time devoted to consciously nourishing our bodies with foods that enhance our health. Make proper eating a priority on YOUR ‘to do’ list.


Bon Appetit!

Acupuncture Mont-Tremblant is a holistic health practice situated in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada.

www.acupuncturemonttremblant.com

My new Treatment Room!

I moved to the second floor of our building last July and just thought it was high time to let everyone see my new digs!










It is the largest (and most quiet) room I have ever worked in and well, the building itself is quite beautiful throughout.





One day I will make sure to get pictures that include human beings in the room!

Above is the treatment table-my patients get to have a view of the surrounding cedar and maple trees.
The picture at the left is the window located on the office side of the room.

I love working here and I hope my patients benefit from the zen vibe.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fall Food Workshops In Montreal

The People at the Montreal Gongfu Research Center are holding another weekend of informative and tasty workshops!

Fall Food Workshops

Eating in Harmony with the Seasons: Fall
Chinese physicians have understood for thousands of years that disease arises when we fail to live in harmony with our environment. As summer turns to fall, learn how to cook and eat in tune with the new season. Understanding the energetics of the season and our food through the lens of Chinese medicine can empower you to make choices
that maintain health and help to cure chronic ailments.

5-8 PM Friday, September 23rd $25 / $20 with Canning & Preserving

Canning & Preserving
Savor the goodness of the harvest! Learn simple, traditional methods of canning and
preserving, as well as the artisinal craft of wild-fermentation used to make sauerkraut,
miso, yogurt, etc. Discover the many health benefits of home-preserved foods.
Snacks and take-home samples provided.
2-5 PM Sunday, September 25th $35 / $30 with Eating in Harmony

Fall Potluck
Participants of the "Eating in Harmony" workshop will return with a simple, season-
appropriate dish they've prepared. As we enjoy this meal, we'll discuss how the dishes
may interact with the energetics of the fall season.
5.30 PM Sunday, September 25th Free with a home-cooked dish to share; guests welcome
For more information or to RSVP: montrealgongfu@gmail.com or (514) 907-4591 Workshops take place in Mile End; Please RSVP by Sept. 22nd

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Join us for a talk about Acupuncture!

Come to the Arundel Library, Arundel Quebec, October 28th @ 7 pm to hear how acupuncture can help you and why you should consider making this amazing health system part of your health care!
For those who wish, a free health assessment can be arranged after the presentation.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Seasonal Allergies

 By Rosemary McDonough, L.Ac

More than one in six Canadians suffer from hay fever, known as seasonal allergic rhinitis, which is associated with the release of pollen from trees, flowers and grasses each spring and summer with the rag weed season lasting well until the killing frost of fall. Common symptoms include itchy eyes, nose and throat, sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion and breathing problems. If symptoms persist throughout the year and the allergens are dust, dust mites, animal dander or fungal spores, the condition is known as perennial allergic rhinitis.



Allergic reactions are said to occur when the immune system launches an attack against otherwise harmless substances.  What causes this over the top response from the immune system is still unclear but our genetic make-up is seen as the greatest contributing factor.  Indeed, if either or both parents have allergies, their children inherit a 60-65% chance of developing them too. 

The immune system is often weakened with stress, fatigue, poor diet and lack of physical exercise.  Combine these factors with the increased exposure to harsh chemicals in the environment and it is no wonder that allergies of all kinds are actually on the rise in the Canadian population. 
Two of the more popular treatments available to allergy sufferers are over the counter medications or immunotherapy, (allergy shots).  Thankfully, other options exist for those who no longer wish to endure the side effects from medications or those who have difficulty adhering to the 3-5 year allergy shot regimen. An important reduction in symptoms can be had simply by cutting back on dairy products as their presence in the body exacerbates the overproduction of mucous and phlegm.

People seeking a long term solution often turn to acupuncture.  That the World Health Organization recommends acupuncture as an effective way to treat allergies is not surprising as it is an approach that addresses immune system imbalances and provides a remarkable reduction of symptoms. Recently, one of my patients, who just finished a short series of allergy treatments remarked that this was the first summer he was able to enjoy being out of doors.

Stress management has also proven to be an important means of coping with allergies.  In fact, research over the past 30 years has demonstrated a link between chronic stress and suppression of the immune system. The practice of restorative yoga, meditation or Qi Gong, an ancient self-healing system, can calm the nervous system and reduce stress response, thus protecting and supporting the immune system.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Free Consultations!

As of this week, I am offering free, 15 minute consultations.  This way, you can learn about how I work and about how acupuncture can work for YOU! I am doing this to get the word out about acupuncture and there is absolutely no obligation to book a follow up treatment.
Please call (819) 681-8228 to reserve your free consultation!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Spring Tune-Up Acupuncture Treatments!

A quick reminder regarding the importance of immune system treatments just before the spring weather hits. 
The intense atmospheric fluctuations that occur each spring and fall require an enormous adaptability on the part of our resistance mechanisms.
Because acupuncture is preventive medicine and can access the immune system, it can help fortify your resistance to those nasty flu bugs and colds that often crop up in the spring. 
According to the tradition in Chinese medicine, the first 2 weeks of March is the optimum period to receive your 'spring tune-up' acupuncture treatment.
If you'd like to reserve yourself a spot at Acupuncture Mont-Tremblant, now is the time to contact me, as this has become one of my most popular treatments.  My number is (819) 681-8228.

Of course there is plenty that YOU can do yourself in order to keep your immune system humming-read my entry here for a refresher, if you like!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Réglage de Primptemps!


Bonjour!   Ceci est un petit rappel pour tous ceux qui veulent se préparer pour la saison de printemps, dites, la saison des rhumes et des grippes. 

L'acupuncture est une médecine de prévention, et exerce une influence positive sur le système immunitaire.  Un ou deux traitements vous aideront à mieux adapter aux changements atmosphériques de chaque saison. 
Selon la tradition en Médecine chinoise, les deux premières semaines du mois de mars constituent la période le plus propice pour recevoir des traitements de mise ‘au point’ saisonnière.

SVP contactez-moi pour réservez votre place. (819) 681-8228
À bientôt!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Help Your Immune System Roll with the Seasons


As I write this, we in the Mont-Tremblant region are getting our second dose of serious snow for the season.  The skier in me rejoices at the prospect of 20 cm more of the good stuff and the acupuncturist in me says, “It’s time to remind my patients that acupuncture is preventive medicine”.  Indeed, it feels as though we are in the middle of winter but this week's forecast reminds us spring is only a few weeks away.

As the seasons change, our bodies are required to meet the demands of atmospheric shifts and radical fluctuations in temperature.  On their own, weather patterns pose no problem to one's health, but in combination with overwork, poor nutrition, and ever-climbing levels of stress, seasonal changes can actually deliver a knock-out punch to your immune system.  This is why many of us get sick in the spring (as well as the fall) with the flu.

Actually, there is a lot you can do on your own to stay out of the emergency clinics and doctor’s offices.  
Some simple guidelines are:
Remember to wash your hands frequently.
Be vigilant about your diet.  Cut down on sugar, a known immune system suppressor, and spend time in the kitchen simmering healthy, homemade soups and stews. 
Stay active but avoid exhausting yourself with exercise.  
Seriously consider your work load and your stress levels.

Perhaps one of the most important ways to protect yourself from cold and flu attacks has to do with your ability to cope with stress. Research over the past 30 years has demonstrated a link between chronic stress and suppression of the immune system.  Learn and practice restorative yoga, meditation, or Qi Gong, an ancient self healing system, or just make a habit of taking a few moments for yourself to recharge and simply breathe. This can go a long way in taking the edge off.

Because acupuncture can fortify and balance the immune system, and soothe jagged nerves, it is an excellent way to prepare for the changes that any new season brings.  Usually one or two treatments suffice. The patients I treat often tell me they remain untouched by colds and flu unlike their untreated family members and coworkers, who sometimes endure complications such as asthma attacks, or long lasting fatigue and general lack of energy.
The weather forecast for Mont-Tremblant this week predicts a temperature fluctuation of 20 degrees difference between Tuesday evening, and Wednesday afternoon! Is your immune system ready? 
Reserve your "Spring Tune-Up" acupuncture treatment today by calling (819) 681-8228.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Meditation is Medicine

Apart from living my passion as an acupuncturist, I have begun to offer weekly meditation sessions in the St-Jovite/ Mt Tremblant area.
The type of meditation we practice is based on the Mindfulness Meditation format, popularized by Jon Kabat-Zinn, the doctor who brought the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program into hospitals across North America.  This program has been studied and proven effective in reducing chronic pain and anxiety.
Why Meditate?
I believe there are as many reasons to meditate as there are people who practice.
Meditation, at its very basic level, provides us with a way of coping with stress. Because stress contributes to the presence of so many illnesses and because it exacerbates chronic pain and anxiety, the regular practice of meditation has proven to be a worthwhile activity. 
If you have hesitated at getting involved in a meditation group because you feel it might be “out there”, or “woo-woo”, I am here to tell you that the practice has gone main steam and, at least as far as the groups I presently conduct, the focus is on breath work and body awareness.
This means that we mindfully bring our attention to our breathing while training ourselves to concentrate on what is actually going on at the physical level.   Once we practice conscious breathing, many changes quickly begin to take place.  We see a slowing of the pulse, a reduction of muscle tension, and a general calming of the nervous system. Because the practice of mindfulness involves being present with what is, participants also note the cessation of the usual mind chatter allowing for moments of mental clarity.
After only a few sessions together, the participants in my class are reporting significant changes in their health.  Those who are taking the time to practice in between classes are now enjoying deeper sleep, less digestive complaints, and a reduction in acid reflux, menstrual cramps, and tension headaches.
Acupuncturists routinely treat people for all of the above health issues because acupuncture accesses the nervous system and provides wonderful results.  I recommend meditation as an adjunct to any health treatment, because it provides people who are ready to take control of their wellbeing with an ongoing way to handle stress and enjoy life!