Lecture Night in Kent!

I will be giving a lecture on the fundamentals of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine at Nature’s Market in Kent. Please join me on Tuesday, March 27th, at 6:30 pm for a half-hour presentation, followed by a question-answer period.  Bring yourself, your questions, and any family members and friends interested in learning more about acupuncture!

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Embracing the Change in Seasons

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Well, it’s daylight savings time this weekend, and that can only mean one thing: spring is here.  Although Seattle’s version might disguise itself as a slightly less chilly version of winter, many people still experience one of the main tenants of the season here – springtime allergies. Why does this change of seasons wreak such havoc on our eyes respiratory passages?  Well airborne pollens may be part of the answer, but Chinese medicine also points out to the way in which our bodies prepare for the change in seasons.

Every season brings with it new temperature, weather patterns, and energy.  While winter is the most “yin” of seasons – cold, dormant, and summer the most “yang” – hot, vibrant and energetic – spring is a pivot: a time when hibernating bodies start to feel the urge to move, stretch and rejoin the world.  Shoots start to grow, animals are born, and we start to feel the urge to get back outside. 

In Chinese medicine, is it believed that illness can come from disharmony between the internal body state and the external environment.  That is, if we do not adapt to the energetic and climatic changes of the environment, we are more likely to experience illness.  To help our bodies adapt to spring, therefore, we can take our cues from the environment itself. 

Spring is a time of growth and new movement, and thus a perfect time to start moving more. Stretching regularly helps nourish the tendons and prepares the body for new movement.  Taking walks every day or returning to an exercise class help circulate energy, blood and fluids, helping to open our airways, reduce inflammation in our bodies and generally help improve our ability to cope with change.

Spring is also a time of new growth, so our diets can include fresh green vegetables as a means of staying in harmony with the season.  Sprouts, baby greens, fresh spinach, and lightly steamed chard and kale are all great additions to our diet, as are celery, dandelion, and fennel.   While starchy and heavy foods like potatoes and red meats were staples that warmed us up throughout the winter, switching to lighter, clearer foods like lightly steamed vegetables and fish is more appropriate for the spring season. Cutting back on refined and processed flours, fats and sugars will also help reduce inflammation in your body, while eating more leafy greens, fish and sticking to organic, grass-fed meats will provide you with Vitamin A, C and Omega-3 fatty acids.  Essential for reducing histamine reactions to airborne allergens!

In Chinese medicine the springtime is associated with the liver, an organ that both stores and filters our blood, and is said to help promote smooth movement of qi, or energy, throughout the body.  When liver qi is stagnant, that is, when the energy is pent-up and unable to move smoothly, it can compress and turn into heat, flaring up and creating symptoms such as red, itchy eyes. Stagnant liver qi can also overact on the lungs.  Because liver qi is strongest in the spring, those with weak lung qi may find that they may experience the worst of their symptoms at this time, including sneezing, coughing and sinus congestion. For those with digestive weakness, springtime liver qi stasis can lead to loss of appetite, fatigue and foggy-headedness.

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help – both to resolve the symptoms and to address the underlying conditions that may predispose you to seasonal allergies. While treatment can help the worst of your itchy eyes and runny nose, for best results, is generally recommended to begin treatment before your symptoms arise: so it is a great time to make an appointment with your acupuncturist today!

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Now Accepting Aetna and CIGNA health insurance!

I am happy to announce that I am now a preferred provider with both the Aetna and CIGNA insurance networks, along with Lifewise, and Premera.  I am also able to bill many insurance networks as an out-of-network provider.  Please contact me if you have a question about coverage with your health plan.

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Lifewise and Premera now accepted!

I am now a preferred provider with Lifewise and Premera insurance.  Please check in frequently as new insurance companies will also be added to this list.  If you have another form of insurance, I may be able to bill your company as an out of network provider.  Contact me with any questions about your insurance at 206-335-8017.

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New Year’s Special!

It’s a new year, and a new you.  Start this year off by taking ownership over your health and wellness.   Come feel the benefits of acupuncture – as a preventative health measure, or to treat on-going pain, illness or injury.   This January, 2012, all first appointments are half-price!  Call 206-335-8017 to schedule an appointment today.

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Holiday Newsletter!

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New Clinic Opening!

I am very happy to announce the opening of my Fremont clinic space, this Monday, November 7th!    We have been working tirelessly to prepare the clinic, which includes three beautiful treatment rooms, a spacious waiting area and a Chinese herbal pharmacy.   Open house to be announced soon!

To schedule an appointment, or to set up a free 30 minute consultation to find out how acupuncture can help, please call 206-335-8017 or email sharkeyacupuncture@gmail.com.

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