Yoga for seniors can help with balance, agility and strength. But injuries do happen.

By Carol Krucoff August 18, The Washington Post, Health & Science Section


The elegant, silver-haired woman poked her head tentatively into my classroom as students were setting up their mats and chairs for a “gentle yoga” class. “Is it okay if I just watch?” she asked, then told me she had tried a yoga class to ease pain in her neck and back, only to find that actually made her problem worse.

It’s a complaint I’ve heard many times, particularly from older adults: that the supposedly healing practice of yoga caused pain. As a teacher specializing in therapeutic yoga for seniors and people with health challenges, I often work with those who have had a negative experience in a yoga class, frequently because it was an inappropriate style or level for the participant or was taught by an inexperienced or poorly trained instructor.

“Teaching yoga at a senior center is an entry-level job in many communities, which means they’re putting the least-trained people with the hardest crowd,” says Gale A. Greendale, a professor of medicine and gerontology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “There’s often a cacophony of preexisting conditions in this age group, and a yoga teacher has to be very skilled to not get older adults into trouble.”

With studies suggesting that yoga may be helpful in reducing heart rate and blood pressure, relieving anxiety and depression, and easing back pain, studios are filling up with baby boomers and older adults. Yet, seniors pose a special challenge for yoga instructors, because of their very mix of abilities and condition: Some 80-year-olds are still running marathons, and some 70-year-olds are unable to get up out of a chair.

Greendale first recognized this phenomenon when she led a study to assess whether yoga could decrease hyperkyphosis, an exaggerated curve of the thoracic spine sometimes called dowager’s hump. Her research, published in 2009, found that yoga improved the condition. However, during the six-month study, approximately 60 percent of the 120 participants — ambulatory people ages 60 to 90 — developed musculoskeletal soreness and/or pain significant enough to require modifications of their poses. Also, those with preexisting musculoskeletal conditions who hadn’t been bothered by those conditions were particularly likely to experience significant muscle or joint side effects.

“Most study participants had preexisting conditions in their hips, back, knees or shoulders that were quiescent until we started putting them through yoga poses — and we were already using versions of poses that were adapted in ways that we thought would be safer for seniors,” she recalls. “Even in robust seniors, the musculoskeletal risks were there, lying dormant until we woke them up.”

Like any physical activity, yoga has risks, Greendale says, but “I believe yoga’s benefits outweigh its risks as long as people start at the right level, don’t progress too fast and make appropriate modifications.”

Proper alignment is critical, notes Taylor, whose “Safe Yoga for Bone Health” webinar handout is offered on the National Osteoporosis Foundation’s Web site.

Safely practiced, yoga can be extremely helpful for older adults since “age and gravity are the tartar of our skeletal system,” he says. “Yoga is like postural dental floss. Just as we brush our teeth twice a day, we should do two, five-minute yoga practices a day. It doesn’t take a lot — just a few minutes to slow down, turn inward and move with attention.” This simple practice can help seniors learn — and be able to maintain — good posture, he says, which can enhance comfort, balance, respiratory function and mood.

For those interested in taking a yoga class, a good first step toward avoiding problems is to watch the yoga class and make sure the pace and moves being taught seem appropriate to your physical condition. Consider also whether the instructor explains the moves well and creates a non-competitive environment where students are encouraged to challenge themselves without straining. Be sure to start where you are — not where you think you should be — and if a move hurts, back off the pose. Talk with your teacher about modifications, and be honest and patient.

With the right class and instructor, you are likely to feel more relaxed and energized after your first class. Over time, you may experience enhanced strength, flexibility and balance. But pushing yourself to do too much, too soon can be a setup for injury.

The silver-haired woman who watched my gentle yoga class is now a regular participant and credits yoga with relieving her neck pain, easing chronic headaches and enhancing her sleep.

“The biggest surprise to me was the relaxation effect,” she says. “I had no idea how much tension I was holding in my upper back and shoulders, and yoga has helped me let go of my tendency to grip. Learning how to relax and breathe has made a huge difference in my life.”


Late Summer Fun – Don’t Forget the Sunscreen! And Some Home Remedies when you do.

Late summer and we are still going strong.  Last few weekends at the beach or hiking or kayaking.  It is easy when you are grabbing these waning days of summer to forget the sun protection or to assume that you no longer need to be diligent with sunscreen because you have “built a base tan” through the summer.  But the rule remains:  if you are going to be in the sun, apply (and re-apply often) a sunscreen with at least a sun protection factor of 30 or 35.

And if you do forget your sunscreen, here are some home remedies to calm the sting of sunburn pain:

  1. Use lotions that contain aloe Vera to soothe and moisturize skin. Some aloe products contain lidocaine, an anesthetic that can help relieve sunburn pain.
  2. Topical over-the-counter 1% hydrocortisone cream may help relieve sunburn pain, itch, and swelling.
  3. Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) to help relieve pain and inflammation.
  4. Apply cool, not cold, milk with a clean cloth to your skin. The milk will create a protein film that helps ease sunburn discomfort.
  5. Vitamin E, an antioxidant, can help decrease inflammation caused by sunburn. Use Vitamin E oil on the skin, or take a regular dose of the supplement.
  6. Apply freshly brewed tea after it has cooled to skin using a clean cloth. The tannic acid in black tea reportedly helps draw heat from sunburned skin, and also aids in restoring the pH balance.
  7. Cucumbers have natural antioxidant and analgesic properties. Chill cucumbers, then mash in a blender to create a paste, and apply to affected areas including the face.
  8. Place a cool compress on sunburned skin.
  9. Take a cool shower or bath. Add one cup of cider vinegar to a bath to help balance the pH (acid or alkalinity) of sunburned skin, and promote healing; or Soak in an oatmeal bath. This is especially helpful for itchy sunburned skin.
  10. The best remedy is PREVENTION. Always use sunscreen, wear protective clothing, and avoid direct sun exposure.

REFERENCES: Best Natural Sunburn Treatment Remedies.




by Anastasia Stephens, SMH
Reprinted from Food Matters, 7/14/2014
It’s a piece of advice yogis have given for thousands of years: take a deep breath and relax. Watch the tension melt from your muscles and all your niggling worries vanish. Somehow we all know that relaxation is good for us.

Now the hard science has caught up: a comprehensive scientific study showing that deep relaxation changes our bodies on a genetic level has just been published. What researchers at Harvard Medical School discovered is that, in long-term practitioners of relaxation methods such as yoga and meditation, far more ”disease-fighting genes” were active, compared to those who practised no form of relaxation.

In particular, they found genes that protect from disorders such as pain, infertility, high blood pressure and even rheumatoid arthritis were switched on. The changes, say the researchers, were induced by what they call ”the relaxation effect”, a phenomenon that could be just as powerful as any medical drug but without the side effects. ”We found a range of disease-fighting genes were active in the relaxation practitioners that were not active in the control group,” Dr Herbert Benson, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, who led the research, says. The good news for the control group with the less-healthy genes is that the research didn’t stop there.

The experiment, which showed just how responsive genes are to behaviour, mood and environment, revealed that genes can switch on, just as easily as they switch off. ”Harvard researchers asked the control group to start practising relaxation methods every day,” says Jake Toby, hypnotherapist at London’s BodyMind Medicine Centre, who teaches clients how to induce the relaxation effect. ”After two months, their bodies began to change: the genes that help fight inflammation, kill diseased cells and protect the body from cancer all began to switch on.”

More encouraging still, the benefits of the relaxation effect were found to increase with regular practice: the more people practised relaxation methods such as meditation or deep breathing, the greater their chances of remaining free of arthritis and joint pain with stronger immunity, healthier hormone levels and lower blood pressure. Benson believes the research is pivotal because it shows how a person’s state of mind affects the body on a physical and genetic level. It might also explain why relaxation induced by meditation or repetitive mantras is considered to be a powerful remedy in traditions such as Ayurveda in India or Tibetan medicine.

But just how can relaxation have such wide-ranging and powerful effects? Research has described the negative effects of stress on the body. Linked to the release of the stress-hormones adrenalin and cortisol, stress raises the heart rate and blood pressure, weakens immunity and lowers fertility. By contrast, the state of relaxation is linked to higher levels of feel-good chemicals such as serotonin and to the growth hormone which repairs cells and tissue. Indeed, studies show that relaxation has virtually the opposite effect, lowering heart rate, boosting immunity and enabling the body to thrive.

”On a biological level, stress is linked to fight-flight and danger,” Dr Jane Flemming, a London GP, says. ”In survival mode, heart rate rises and blood pressure shoots up. Meanwhile muscles, preparing for danger, contract and tighten. And non-essential functions such as immunity and digestion go by the wayside.” Relaxation, on the other hand, is a state of rest, enjoyment and physical renewal. Free of danger, muscles can relax and food can be digested. The heart can slow and blood circulation flows freely to the body’s tissues, feeding it with nutrients and oxygen. This restful state is good for fertility, as the body is able to conserve the resources it needs to generate new life.

While relaxation techniques can be very different, their biological effects are essentially similar. ”When you relax, the parasympathetic nervous system switches on. That is linked to better digestion, memory and immunity, among other things,” Toby says. ”As long as you relax deeply, you’ll reap the rewards.” But, he warns, deep relaxation isn’t the sort of switching off you do relaxing with a cup of tea or lounging on the sofa.

”What you’re looking for is a state of deep relaxation where tension is released from the body on a physical level and your mind completely switches off,” he says. ”The effect won’t be achieved by lounging round in an everyday way, nor can you force yourself to relax. You can only really achieve it by learning a specific technique such as self-hypnosis, guided imagery or meditation.”

The relaxation effect, however, may not be as pronounced on everyone. ”Some people are more susceptible to relaxation methods than others,” says Joan Borysenko, director of a relaxation program for outpatients at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston. ”Through relaxation, we find some people experience a little improvement, others a lot. And there are a few whose lives turn around totally.”

New Treatment: Kansa Vatki Foot Treatment



A Kansa Vatki foot treatment (or KV) is a relaxing health-care modality which balances the body, mind and spirit. This unique treatment originates from  Ayurvedic theory and incorporates the use of a small metal bowl made of Copper, Zinc and Tin. Copper helps in reducing pain and inflammation, Zinc assists with proper functioning of the immune system & digestion while Tin helps with headaches, insomnia and stress.

The heart of the treatment involves vigorously rubbing the soles of the feet with the Kansa Vatki bowl to draw out heat and toxins thereby inducing tremendous relaxation. The bowl also helps balance the body’s energies.

The practitioner works the vital energy centers –  Marma points – with the bowl and their thumbs to detoxify, energize and rejuvenate the client. Hand techniques also stimulate the blood and lymphatic flow which assists the movement of Prana (Life force energy).

Benefits of this treatment

Body                                                                               Mind

Relax tired feet                                                                Helps reduce stress

Improve blood and                                                           Enhances mental focus

lymphatic circulation                                                        Induces sound sleep

Enhance joint mobility                                                     Restores & Balances energy

Improves in condition of the ligaments & muscles        Calms & nourishes spirit

Increases strength & stamina

Helps detoxify internal organs

Duration of the session: 60 mins. You will then be given ample time to awake from your treatment.  Call today to schedule your KV treatment!  301-754-3730.

Having Trouble Focusing? Enhance Your Brain Power with Acupuncture

Having difficulties focusing, remembering tasks or organizing your thoughts? Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help optimize your brain power through a treatment approach that incorporates different modalities, including nutritional support.

According to acupuncture and Oriental medicine, the spirit (Shen) embodies consciousness, emotions and thought. Shen influences long term memory, the ability to think clearly, contributes to wisdom and presides over activities that involve mental and creative functions. When the mind is healthy we are able to think clearly. When the mind is unhealthy or unbalanced, we experience confusion, poor memory, and clouded thinking.

A healthy mind involves harmony between the brain (Sea of Marrow) and the spirit (Shen). Disharmony of the mind often manifests as anxiety, insomnia, muddled thinking, forgetfulness and chronic restlessness. You can enhance this harmony with meditation and acupuncture, as well as physical exercises such as Tai Chi or Qi Gong. The right foods can balance and strengthen the mind by providing essential nutrients such as flavonoids, Omega 3s, vitamins, folate and iron that are great for improving the quality and quantity of learning capacity, cognitive abilities, memory and overall brain function.

Acupuncture Improves Memory and Learning Capacity

Trouble focusing on your work or losing steam mid-way? Oriental medicine has innovative approaches to restoring concentration, based on an interpretation of Qi, the energy which powers the body and the mind. According to Oriental Medicine, Qi stems from four main components of diet, exercise, rest and mental activity, each of which tend to vary in terms of quality, quantity, frequency, and duration.

Looking at these components, you may realize you need to make adjustments to your diet, fitness, and relaxation strategies in order to make them more sustainable and conducive to improved brain function and overall health. If you are bloated or tired after meals or struggling to fall asleep after turning off the computer, you already know what actions you need to take to nourish your Qi and mind! Meditation and Tai Chi can also help calm and focus the mind. Try integrating these exercises, to nourish and improve your concentration.

Eye Exercise for Concentration
Prolonged focus on a fixed location can cause eyestrain as well as Qi Stagnation, impairing circulation and concentration. You should routinely change your focus from your phone or computer to a point in the distance. Additionally, try taking short breaks and rolling your eyes in circles, both clockwise and counter-clockwise,10-20 times in each direction, to relieve strain.

Hand Exercise for Concentration
Manipulating the hands can recharge the mind, according to Oriental medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Try using Baoding balls, which are small spheres made of wood, stone, metal, or clay which range from 1.8mm and up in diameter. Place one ball in the hand and try to pass it to each finger, then try rotating two balls within your palm.

Breathing for Concentration
Breathing exercises redirect your focus to the Liver, which also is the first organ and meridian system affected in times of emotional stress. As an everyday practice, try breathing in and out, holding the breath, then exhaling again. Force yourself to “let go” even more, which stimulates an even deeper inhalation. Lengthening the breath can calm the mind and redirect your focus away from stress.

Meditate to Increase Focus
Create a quiet, relaxing environment, with comforting items (candles, incense, art that has a spiritual importance to you, etc.) around you.

Sit upright on a cushion with legs folded, or in a chair with your feet firmly planted on the ground, allowing for free and easy breathing. Relax your shoulders and gently place your hands on your knees or in your lap.

Tuck your chin in slightly and keep your eyes half open, your gaze softly focusing downward about four to six feet in front, and your mouth slightly open. Observe your breath.

Try belly-breathing,  not breathing with the chest, but from the navel. Don’t accentuate or alter the way you are breathing, just let your attention rest on the flow of your breath.

The goal is to allow the “chattering” in your mind to gradually fade away. If you’re distracted by a thought, gently bring your mind back to your breathing. Continue to focus on your breathing for 10 or 15 minutes.

Stay relaxed, yet awake and attentive. Finding your balance there is not easy! Eventually, as your body understands what you are doing, meditating will become easier to enter into. Remember to be gentle and patient with yourself. Meditating for even 5 or 10 minutes can have a powerful effect on your day. Nutrition Boosts Brain Power

Looking to support your health and also boost your brain function? You can achieve both of these goals through nutrition. According to Oriental medicine (OM), good nutrition can improve mental activity, physical and emotional strength and immunity, breathing, and elimination.

Where to begin? First of all, avoid excess. According to Oriental medicine, overindulging in food or drink can impair your Qi–the energy which powers the body and the mind. Greasy, fatty, spicy, and sweet foods can also lead to “stuck” Qi, worsening any symptoms of fogginess or sluggishness. So how can you support your brain and body health with food? Consider these foods and their benefits for your brain and body:

Walnuts for Memory
Walnuts are a good source of Vitamin B and E, which may support memory function and slow cell aging. Try eating 1-2 walnuts per day for optimal brain function. Nuts and seeds are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, folate, vitamin E, vitamin B6 and zinc, all of which allow you to think more clearly. Seeds and nuts rich in thiamine and magnesium are great for memory, cognitive function, and brain nourishment.

Leafy Greens for Concentration, Recall and Understanding
Cooked leafy greens support the Yin which, according to Oriental medicine, enables better concentration and deep rest. Vegetables such as cabbage, kale, spinach, collards, turnip greens and others are rich in vitamins, folate, and iron, all of which are essential for memory recall and increasing cognitive activity. Oriental medicine considers cooked foods easier to digest, so throw them in soup, steam them or stir-fry.

Water for a Calm and Restful Mind
According to Oriental medicine, drinking water is a crucial way to nourish your Yin, calming the mind and improving your rest. Oriental medicine recommends drinking warm water, to support the body’s internal temperature.

Substitute any beverages with pure water to transport nutrients during digestion, to act as fluid between the joints, and help regulate our temperature and skin (via perspiration). As a broad guideline, drink half your weight in ounces of water.

Berries to Improve Learning Capacity
Most berries contain fisetin and flavonoids, which are great for improving your memory and allowing you to easily recall past events. Blueberries are well known for their role in improving motor skills and overall learning capacity.

What is Tui Na?

Marci Kranz, a Master’s-level trained acupuncturist, will be joining Blue Heron’s Acupuncture group practice.  Marci will bring a depth of experience in the healing arts and she will also bring to Blue Heron once again, Tui Na, a form of Oriental Medical Massage.  Below is information from that describes this ancient massage therapy.  For more information, please call (301-754-3730) to schedule a 15-minute consult with Marci.


Tuina is an Oriental Bodywork Therapy that has been used in China for 2,000 years. Tuina uses the traditional Chinese medical theory of the flow of Qi through the meridians as its basic therapeutic orientation. Through the application of massage and manipulation techniques Tuina seeks to establish a more harmonious flow of Qi through the system of channels and collaterals, allowing the body the naturally heal itself.

Tuina methods include the use of hand techniques to massage the soft tissue (muscles and tendons) of the body, acupressure techniques to directly affect the flow of Qi , and manipulation techniques to realign the musculoskeletal and ligamentous relationships (bone-setting). External herbal poultices, compresses, liniments, and salves are also used to enhance the other therapeutic methods.

Tuina has a variety of different systems that emphasize particular aspects of these therapeutic principles. The main schools in China include the rolling method school which emphasizes soft tissue techniques and specializes in joint injuries and muscle sprains, the one finger pushing method school which emphasizes techniques for acupressure and the treatment of internal diseases, and Nei Gung method school which emphasizes the use of Nei Gong Qi energy generation exercises and specific massage methods for revitalizing depleted energy systems, and the bone setting method school which emphasizes manipulation methods to realign the musculoskeletal and ligamentous relationships and specializes in joint injuries and nerve pain.

In a typical session, the client, wearing loose clothing and no shoes, lies on a table or floor mat. The practitioner examines the specific problems of the client and begins to apply a specific treatment protocol. The major focus of application is upon specific pain sites, acupressure points, energy meridians, and muscles and joints. Advanced Tuina practitioners may also use Chinese herbs to facilitate quicker healing. Sessions last from 30 minutes to 1 hour. Depending on the specific problems of the client, they may return for additional treatments. The client usually feels relaxed but energized by the treatment.

Tuina is now being popularized in this country as a powerful therapeutic extension of traditional western massage methods. Tuina’s simplicity and focus on specific problems, rather than a more generalized treatment, make it both an excellent alternative and/or extension of the Swedish-style massage. By utilizing treatments of shorter duration, it can be used in a variety of settings, including home, office, clinic or hospital. It is well suited for both the professional massage therapist or the active, health conscious individual.

A Great, Healthy, Refreshing Way to Use Jicama

Jicama Mango Slaw


2 mangos, peeled and cut into matchstick

1 carrot, cut into matchstick

1 red bell pepper, cut into matchstick

1/2 large jicama, peeled and cut into matchstick

1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon agave nectar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon minced fresh mint

1 teaspoon lime zest


1.            Combine the mangos, carrot, red bell pepper, and jicama in a large bowl. Whisk the vinegar, lime juice, agave nectar, and olive oil together in a separate bowl; pour over the mango mixture. Sprinkle the mint and lime zest over the mixture; toss to mix. Chill at least 30 minutes before serving.

Acupuncture is a Great Support During Cancer Treatment

Acupuncture for Integrative Oncology Support

The American Cancer Society has reported that half of all men and a third of all women in the United States will develop cancer during their lifetimes. Although there are many forms of cancer, all forms of the disease begin with abnormal cells that grow out of control.
Unlike other illnesses that are eradicated by the body’s natural defense system, cancer needs to be treated with powerful medical interventions. Unfortunately, most of the current cancer treatments available have some debilitating side effects.
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine have received much attention as an adjunctive therapy in cancer treatments because they address many of the unpleasant symptoms and side effects that come up during and after chemotherapy, radiation, biological therapy and surgery.
If you are currently undergoing treatment for cancer, acupuncture and Oriental medicine can provide real help, by decreasing many of the side effects associated with conventional cancer treatments.
Some of the issues acupuncture can help with include:

Pain Management
Depression and Anxiety
Dry Mouth
Night Sweats and Hot Flashes
Fluid Retention
Weight Maintenance

Acupuncture takes a holistic approach to health care and is particularly useful in providing pain relief, reducing the impact of side effects, accelerating recovery and improving overall quality of life.
According to the National Cancer Institute, acupuncture may cause physical responses in nerve cells, the pituitary gland, and parts of the brain. It is proposed that, by stimulating physical responses in these areas, acupuncture positively affects blood pressure and body temperature, boosts immune system activity, and causes the body’s natural painkillers, such as endorphins, to be released.
To learn more about how acupuncture can safely and effectively be incorporated into an oncology treatment plan call for a consultation today!

Science Provides Proof of Acupuncture’s Helpful Role in Cancer Therapy

Clinical trials have examined the effects of acupuncture on cancer as a disease, as well as the symptoms caused by cancer treatments. Results have shown that, for many patients, treatment with acupuncture relieves symptoms or keeps them from getting worse.

Relief for Nausea and Vomiting:
The strongest evidence of the beneficial effect of acupuncture has come from clinical trials that investigated its use for relieving nausea and vomiting. Several types of clinical trials using different acupuncture methods showed acupuncture reduced nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy and surgery.

Boosts the Immune System:
Human studies on the effect of acupuncture on the immune system of cancer patients showed that it improved immune system response, including an increase in the number of white blood cells.

Improves Pain Management:
In clinical studies, acupuncture reduced pain levels for some cancer patients. In one study, most of the patients treated with acupuncture were able to stop taking drugs for pain relief or to reduce their doses.

Relieves Pain and Stiffness during Hormone Therapy:
In 2010, The Journal of Clinical Oncology published the results of a small study that concluded that acupuncture helped relieve pain and stiffness in breast cancer patients who were simultaneously being treated with hormone therapies.

Minimizes Dry Mouth:
In 2009, the medical journal Head and Neck reported the results of a pilot study done at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. The subjects were people suffering from head and neck cancer. The authors concluded that the pilot study demonstrated that acupuncture can improve the subjective symptoms of radiation-induced dry mouth as early as two weeks after starting treatment. They found that benefits can last for one month after treatment ends.

Reduces Pain and Shoulder Dysfunction:
In 2008, Dr. David Pfister, chief of the head and neck medical oncology service at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, reported that patients found significant reductions in both dry mouth and pain and shoulder dysfunction after neck dissection with the help of acupuncture. Dr. Pfister highlighted the potential role of acupuncture in oncology.

Reduces Hot Flashes:
In 2011 A Yale University/University of Pittsburgh study of women with hot flashes brought on by conventional breast cancer treatment found that women who received acupuncture had a 30 percent reduction in hot flashes.

Endorsement of Acupuncture for Cancer Treatment

Acupuncture continues to receive enthusiastic testimonials from patients and health care professionals alike. Prominent names in U.S. society and the medical community have attested to the efficacy of acupuncture as a supportive therapy for oncology treatment.
When singer Sheryl Crow was diagnosed with breast cancer, she underwent a lumpectomy followed by radiation. During these treatments she also received acupuncture.
Former First Lady of Chicago, Maggie Daley, gave generously to help open the Maggie Daley Center for Women’s Cancer Care at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The center includes acupuncture as an option for the patients.
Many people are finding out that, although the treatments necessary to defeat cancer can be traumatizing and debilitating, they can get some relief through acupuncture.

Free Intro Consult

Many of us wonder how Acupuncture treatment will help with their specific issue or concern. Understanding this, the Acupuncturists at Blue Heron offer a free Intro Consult. Meet with one of our Acupuncturists and discuss all your thoughts, questions and concerns and find out if acupuncture is the treatment for you. Simply call our office (301-754-3730) to set up the Free Intro Consult. You may request a consult by phone or in person ~ it’s absolutely up to you.

You should also know that we accept many forms of health insurance. This may well include yours if you have coverage for acupuncture services. Ask for more details!

Reprinted from QiMail:An Acupuncture Newsletter

Coconut Ice Pops … Delicious Way to Beat the Heat!



1 cup coconut water
½ cup sugar
3 cups coconut milk
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup finely shredded coconut
1 cup jam or jelly (optional)

1. In a medium pot over medium heat, bring the coconut water and sugar to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
2. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and cool slightly. Stir in the coconut milk, vanilla and shredded coconut.
3. Pour the mixture into ice-pop molds. Press sticks into the center of the pops and freeze until solid, 3 to 4 hours. (If using jam, freeze the pops for 1 hour before adding 2 tablespoons jam to the top of each mold.)

Have Your Fruit & Eat it Too!

This is my first blog, in a series of blogs for the summer focusing on fruits and how it will benefit your skin’s health. This week, I’ll be sharing about rules for eating fruits. Next week, blog will be on Eating fruits for healthy skin.

Rules for eating fruits.

I was born and raised in the Caribbean, where there are abundance of tropical fruits. I grew up eating fruits everyday and I love them. There isn’t a fruit that I dislike. I truly enjoy eating fruits for breakfast, as a snack or whenever I feel hungry. I just cannot resist them. I sometime make a big bowl of fruit salad and eat that all day. But for years I have been eating it in a way that does not allow me to receive the greatest benefit from them. In this blog, I’m going to share with you how to get all those benefits depending on when and how to eat it. At the end of this blog you’ll be a fruit lover if you were not one before!

Its a well know fact that eating fruits is a very important to our well being and health. There are, however, some guidelines on how, when and why to eat fruits, so that it will benefit our health. It is more than just washing, peeling and putting it in our mouth. There is a proper way to eat fruits, so that your entire body will get all the benefits and nutrients and you will have less digestive problems and endless energy.

Fruits have lots of nutrition. They are great source of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, folate, antioxidant, natural sugars etc. These nutrients help guard against disease, lower high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease and give us glowing healthy skin. However, eating fruit whenever you feel like may cause more health problems than it will benefit the body.

Rules for eating fruits:
(1) Fruits should be eaten alone or with other fruits on an empty. Why? When
eaten alone, the stomach can easily process all the nutrients, fiber and
simple sugars contained in the fruit. Eating fruits too close to a meal or
right after a large meal, will cause the fruit and meal to combine in the
stomach with other food and will cause the fruit to rut and ferment in the
stomach, causing problems like indigestion, burping, heartburn and many
digestive problems.
(2) Fruit should be eaten 1hr or 2hrs before a meal. Heavy meals like pasta
wait 3hrs or 4hrs before eating fruit. Burgers wait until the fruit is digested.
Salads require a shorter time.
(3) A big fruit salad (my favorite) should be eaten first thing in the morning on
an empty stomach or as a meal or a mid day snack. Always wait 1 to 2
hours after eating fruit before eating another meal. Give the fruit time to
process and go into your body.
(4) Never eat fruit close to bedtime. I’ve done this many times and spend
all night up watching the ceiling. The sugars in fruit will spike up your
energy and keep you up all night.
(5) Fruit can be eaten as a mid morning snack. Eating lots of fruits at a time
is always good. So have a big fruit salad. We need about 3 to 4 servings
of fruits per day.

These same rules apply to dry fruits. The only exception, is that dry fruits can be sweet and have high calories, so use caution and limit your portion.

Benefits of eating fruits:
(1) Fruit is the best source of natural sugars needed for energy.
(2) It has tons of vitamins
(3) It has tons of antioxidants
(4) It is easier to digest than grains.
(5) It is alkaline. Although it taste acidic, after digestion the end result is
(6) It has loads of pure water to hydrate your cells
(7) It is excellent for good skin health.

I end this blog with this quote I made up, “Let fruits be your medicine, and your medicine be fruits.” Go ahead and stop by the produce section and full your basket with delicious fruits and eat to your hearts desire. Just remember the rules.

This was written by Freida Francis. Esthetician at Blue Heron Wellness