How About Here For Your “Special Place”?

Abiqua Curves

Originally uploaded by Gaz Photo’s

Since triple digit weather has arrived, I decided to mentally head for one of my favorite meditation places: the wonderful Pacific Northwest. If you’ve ever dabbled in meditation you may have come across the concept of a” special place”. This is a place you can go to in your mind to create a sense of calm, peace and well-being. It can be any place that speaks to you but I thought this place seemed pretty nifty.
Do you have a place? Have you filled in all the sensory details? What are the smells? Can you hear anything when you are there? What do the things there feel like? Do you always visit during a certain season or every season? Are you alone? If you haven’t already filled in the details don’t hurry! Enjoy the process. You can always change the details whenever you like- your place, your creation!

Turn That Frown Upside Down.

“Life is not the way it’s supposed to be.. It’s the way it is..
The way we cope with it, is what makes the difference.”

Do One Thing For Your Health…Everyday!

On the way to work this morning I had the superlative opportunity to enjoy a roasted flax seed+ almond butter (from Trader Joe’s),  fig spread (from Apple Hill), on toasted gluten-free Udi’s whole grain bread (from Elliott’s or Raley’s), pb and j sandwich. Udi’s bread is my new obsession! ( It tastes just like “real” bread! It is a totally guilt-free experience for me.  If you, like me, are gluten intolerant you know it’s a constant challenge to avoid giving in to gluten so you don’t become a  social kill-joy or to just make life easier. But boy oh boy when doing something good for yourself intersects with a, “THIS- IS- GREAT!” reaction, life becomes even BETTER.  And it’s not just about food. I know a 20 something man recently diagnosed with Crohn’s disease who has taken to heart a suggestion I made for his overall health; to do contrast hydrotherapy as often as he can. Because he doesn’t worry about his heart or have a circulation issue, I recommended he soak himself alternatively between cold-ish water and warm-ish water. It is a really great health tool. Usually you end up feeling euphoric (another of those, “this- is- great!” moments). Of course I would never recommend anyone trying it without checking first with their family health practitioner but if everything checks out as okay it can really help with health maintenance.

Do you regularly have, or have you ever had, moments like these? There are probably dozens of chances every day for each of us where an opportunity to enhance health could intersect with a potential this-is-great moment. Tell us about your moments by leaving a comment.

Elimination Diet…Try It?

If  you’ve been to the office for a visit  you may have heard me suggest an elimination diet at some point or other.  Usually, I recommend this if it appears that what you are eating may be leading to unwanted results in your health. Being sensitive to (a.k.a., your body not liking) foods can lead to a smorgasbord (…ahem…) of disorders. Unfortunately, unlike full-blown allergic reactions whose negative effects are often instantaneously experienced,  such as shellfish causing anaphylactic shock, sensitivities to food can be  nebulous. The negative health effects of food sensitivities  often start quietly and eventually show up as chronic problems,  rather than starting acutely, such as an allergy to shellfish that could send you immediately to the hospital. This makes it difficult to see a clear-cut relationship between a food to which you are sensitive and something not working properly in your health.

Patients sometimes question whether they should have scratch tests or a blood test to check for potential sensitivities. I often say whatever information you can gather about your health is usually a good idea but I always say that you know your body the best from the inside out.  If you  follow the guidelines for an elimination diet the proof is available for “immediate”  review; either your health improves or it doesn’t.  Today,  I came across guidelines for an elimination diet out of the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine and Public Health. Check out the link to the diet below and if it seems interesting to you, go and see your acupuncturist or trusted family health-care practitioner and the two of you can discuss the options that work best for your individual needs.

Call the office if you have any questions and here’s wishing you a happy summer!