Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Northern Lights Spa Newsletter

From the Editor:

In nature, Winter is the time to store up nutrition and then slow down your life so you don't run out of supplies before Spring.  Squirrels, bears, and other mammals hoard food all fall, then hibernate or greatly reduce their activities all winter so they conserve fuel.  Trees release their leaves to "lower maintenance costs" over the winter, and work on their root systems, soaking up the water from snow and rainy seasons to use in Spring.  

Here in human civilization, we only observe half of that process.  Here in the US at least, we get the hoarding with our wonderful big holiday meals and treats while visiting friends and family.  But instead of then resting, saving our energy, and planning for springtime, we are more active at the end of the year than possibly at any other time.  Worst of all, because of all the activity, we sometimes don't take time out to take care of ourselves. 

This year, do something different!  If you must be busy, make sure you enjoy the majority of your activities.  And take time to take care of yourself--get regular massage, treat yourself to a facial, do a series of acupuncture visits to alleviate stress and keep your immune system strong.  Make your  Winter a healthy time!

Aromatherapy: Something Spicy:
This season, spicy flavors and scents are abundant--gingerbread, spice cake, peppermint, pumpkin pie spice, cinnammon oatmeal cookies, all the tastes and scents that go with increased cooking.  Those spices have tremendous health value.  Ginger is well-known as a digestive aid and helpful for nausea, cinnamon is useful in managing blood sugar, and clove is great for digestion, and is considered an anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial functions. 

You can use these spices virtually without restraint in food (unless you have specific health issues, such as using coumadin or other medications).  If you want to use the essential oils, you can add a drop or two to some hot water to scent a room.  All of them increase blood circulation, so they are also useful topically--but be sure to dilute them as they can irritate your skin if used neat (at full strength).  

We are using some of these oils this season in our treatment specials--for not one, but two specials!  Have a 30-minute Winter Wonderland Snuggle Up Heat Treatment--a detox treatment combined with warmth for extra benefit--for just $30.  We also offer a Ginger Bread Massage for $70--a massage featuring ginger to increase muscular relaxation.  Both of these specials will leave you feeling pampered and rejuvenated!

Treatment Showcase: Heat Therapy
Heat therapy is a common part of a massage treatment.  In addition to feeling great, heath therapy:
  • Dilates the blood vessels, allowing more oxygen and nutrients to the muscles.  The more nutrients to the muscles, the more healing to damaged muscle tissue.
  • Heat stimulates the surface of the skin, Heat stimulates the sensory receptors in the skin, which means that applying heat to the lower back will decrease transmissions of pain signals to the brain and partially relieve the discomfort.
  • Heat application facilitates stretching the soft tissues around the spine, including muscles, connective tissue, and adhesions. Consequently, with heat therapy, there will be a decrease in stiffness as well as injury, with an increase in flexibility and overall feeling of comfort. Flexibility is very important for a healthy back.
Heat therapy is great in the winter--it relaxes you and makes a great contrast to the cold weather outside!

New Therapies!

Thai Herbal Ball Massage 60 min...$80
Traditional Chinese herbs are wrapped inside steamed bundles of fabric. Then the Therapist applies the heated herbal balls along acupressure points and joints. This massage has a special energy flow that is both invigorating and relaxing. It opens the body's pathways to soothe aching muscles, reduce stiffness, and inflammation in the joints.

Warm Bamboo Massage 60 min...$80

Natural Bamboo sticks are heated, rolled, rubbed and pressed over the body to reduce life's everyday strain. The warmth of the bamboo rolling over your muscles will soothe and revitalize you. This massage increases lymphatic circulation, reduces stress and fatigue and leaves the skin feeling supple.

Important  Date

Elisa and Trina will offer a Couples Massage class Sunday, Jan. 23rd from 3-6pm.  The class will cover basic massage technique for a couple to practice on each other.  This is a hands on class that will teach you how to give that special someone in your life a massage! The cost for this comprehensive class is just $200. To sign up, call 757-903-4302.

Northern Lights Spa  
109 Bulifants Blvd.. Suite A
Williamsburg, VA 23118
(757) 903-4302

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

December Newsletter

Editor's Corner
So many new things to report! We discussed the new office in Williamsburg in the last newsletter.  Now the new Richmond office is up and running!  Our new office is at 9535 Kings Charter Drive.  The mailing address says Ashland, but we're actually only about 5 minutes from VA Center Commons, in the Kings Charter shopping center. We're sharing office space with Dr. Robert Brown, who has a chiropractic practice, and Tamara Sprinkle, a massage therapist.  Please be patient as we'll be making some improvements to our office, and it might look a little rough for the next few months.  On the plus side, I will have more hours  available.  Appointments are available on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday from 10am to 6pm in Richmond, and on Thursdays from 10am to 1pm.  Tuesdays I am in Williamsburg from 10am to 6pm, and will add a half day on Fridays for the month of December for "spa services"--acupressure and facial acupuncture. 

Now that Katie Larimer,  the NAET practitioner, and I will be in the office simultaneously, I wanted to remind all patients visiting the office to please refrain from wearing any perfumes or strong-smelling deodorants, hair spray, or other body care products.  I see people with chemical sensitivities, but Katie sees even more people with these problems.  For those with environmental allergies, even a tiny exposure to an allergen can cause symptoms ranging from a headache to skin conditions to breathing difficulties or even anaphylactic shock.  Please help us help as many people as possible by avoiding strong smelling body care products.

Thank you so much for letting me serve you.  I am excited by the changes this year, and look forward to all the wonderful things 2011 will bring!

Aromatherapy: Calm
This time of year, many people get carried away with visiting family, shopping, and cooking in addition to all their regular responsibilities.  Aromatherapy can help you keep calm in crowded lines, cooped up driving conditions, and frenetic activities.   I put a couple of drops of one or more of essential oil on a cotton ball and toss them into the trash cans in a room that feels stressed, or add a couple of drops to my bath water. 

Here are a few of the oils I reach for when I feel restless or stressed:

Lavender: one of the "universal oils" it's good for just about any emotional state, and is wonderful in lotions or sprinkled in bathwater to rejuvenate you skin.   I also by buy lavender buds and make tea, adding a little lemon and sugar for extra flavor.

Rose Geranium: one of the most calming oils around, rose geranium was actually shown to immediately lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients with just a whiff.  It is very floral, so a light hand is best.  

Frankincense: this is one of my favorite oils.  It is a tree resin.  In Chinese medicine we use i to move blood for pain conditions, and it seems to soothe Heart function, making it good for anxiety and feeling the need to be "on" for guests.  You can sometimes find the actual frankincense resin, and adding a piece or two to your fire in the fireplace will scent the whole house.  

Herb Corner: Prepare Now for Allergy Season
Now is a great time to prepare your body for allergy season.  Eight weeks of treatment now will greatly reduce your reaction to allergens come spring.  Acupuncture will help your immune system avoid overreacting to allergens, and herbal therapy gives your immune system the nutrition it needs to stay healthy without allergies.

Here are some formulas we use in treating allergies:

Yu Ping Fang San/Ren Shen Bai Du Wan: Highlighted in last month's newsletter, these formulas both build immune system function by increasing the energy available to your body to ward off bugs and evaluate possible pathogens.

Pe Min Kan Wan: This formula is used in the acute stage of allergy to decrease phlegm and congestion.

Xiao Yao San/Gan Mai Da Zao Wan: While not actually for allergies, these formulas help emotional balance, minimizing the effects of stress on your immune system.

Please contact Teresa for more information on herbal therapy to help your allergies.

NAET: Come in now to treat allergies before holiday parties!
If food allergies ruin your ability to chow down at holiday parties, or if environmental allergies make it hard for you to enjoy all scents of winter and cooking, come in and see Katie asap!  For many people, starting treatment now can have you significantly less sensitive to allergens in just a few days or weeks.  Call Katie Larimer at (804) 399-1700.

Northern Lights Spa
Specials this month at Northern Lights Spa (Teresa's Williamsburg office):

$30 Winter Wonderland Snuggle Up Heat Treatment
$70 Ginger Bread Massage

Call Northern Lights Spa at (757) 903-4302 for more information.

New Services (December only):
I will offer Facial Acupuncture ($150 for 1.5hr session) and Acupressure ($40 for 1/2 hour session) at Northern Lights on Fridays from 10am -1pm.  To schedule these appointments, please call me at (757) 561-1258, or schedule through the spa at (757) 903-4302.

Teresa Green, L. Ac. (804) 683-2979 / (757) 561-1258

Thursday, October 14, 2010

October 2010 Newsletter

Editor’s Corner

I love autumn! Crisper air, that different slant to the sun, the foods of fall—pumpkin, kale, apples, and the last bounty of summer.

I guess it’s the training from all those years of school, but autumn also seems to always herald new beginnings.  This fall, my new beginning is a new office in Williamsburg.  I am now located at Northern Lights Spa.  I had 4 very good years with Refresh! Center for Massage and Healing, but it’s time to move on.  Northern Lights is newly opened, and you can learn more about them at www.NorthernLightsSpa.com.    Soon I will also know where my new Richmond office will be—stay tuned for that big news!

October is National Non-GMO month, so I am temporarily bumping my essential oil column to highlight the importance of organic, non-genetically modified food.  What you eat is critical to your health, and I hope this article will help you find the healthiest food possible.

One last item.  I am now a blogger!  You can find my blog at http://taygreenbutterfly.blogspot.com/, and visit  my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sandston-VA/Green-AcuClinic/320687087145. 

Thank you for your support and patronage this year.  I hope I have been of service!
Teresa Green, L. Ac.

October is National Non-GMO Month!
A Little About GMOs

I pulled most of this info from www.nongmoproject.org.  I also have links to various other articles on GMOs on my Facebook page.
  • What are GMOs? GMOs (or “genetically modified organisms”) are made with gene-splicing biotechnology.  DNA from one species is injected into another species, creating dna combinations not found in nature and that cannot occur as part of natural hybridizing processes.
  • How do I know what foods are genetically modified?  Those who make and sell GMO products are not required to label these products in any way to differentiate them from natural products.  The only way to avoid them is to buy certified organic products, which cannot intentionally contain GMOs, or to buy food with the “Non-GMO Project” Seal.  Products with this seal have been independently verified to comply with standards of GMO avoidance.
  • Are GMOs safe? Thirty countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, require restrictions on GMO production, or ban them outright because they are not considered safe, and due to fears of cross-polination contamination of other food sources.  Human studies have not been done, but in laboratory animals, GMO diets have resulted in stomach ulcerations, liver enlargement, changes in the stomach lining, and poor growth. Some are concerned that those with severe allergies may not be able to determine if a GMO food contains genetic material from the food they are allergic to, thus putting them at risk. In one case of anaphylactic reaction to soy, the victims were not allergic to soy, but were allergic to peanuts, which had been used in genetically altering the soy.
  • How Common are GMOs:  From the non-GMO Project website:  According to the USDA, in 2009, 93% of soy, 93% of cotton, and 86% of corn grown in the U.S. were GMO. It is estimated that over 90% of canola grown is GMO, and there are also commercially produced GM varieties of sugar beets, squash and Hawaiian Papaya. As a result, it is estimated that GMOs are now present in more than 80% of packaged products in the average U.S. or Canadian grocery store.
Limiting your intake of GMO products could be vital to your health! 

"It's important to watch what you eat. Otherwise, how are you going to get it into your mouth ?"   
 — Matt Diamond

Tea Talk-Organic, organic, organic!

Tea itself is not currently genetically modified, but the flavorings used in tea may be.  Using organic tea with organic flavorings will avoid GMOs.  Buying organic also protects from pesticide residues in tea, since tea is not washed after harvesting because that affects its oxidation.  If the tea you drink was grown using fertilizer or pesticides, that’s what you’re drinking!

To buy organic tea, read the label.  The tea should be certified 100% organic, flavorings and all.  Fortunately, organic tea is not wildly more expensive than the non-organic varieties, so make a good cup of healthy, uncontaminated organic tea and ENJOY!

Herb Corner: Cold and Flu

I’ve already caught my first (and hopefully last) cold of the season, and I hear coughing and sniffles all around me.  Here are a few food tips when you are sick, and some of the herbs used to keep you well and prevent colds from occurring in the first place:

Food Cures
Simple Diet: When you first feel a cold coming on, simplifying your diet by eliminating dairy, soy, fatty foods, sweets and processed foods for a few days will allow your body to focus on getting well instead of digesting these complicated foods.  Broth-based soups are one of the best choices while fighting a cold. 
Special Tips: Drinking a blend of ginger and mint tea, and adding scallions, garlic, and citrus or other fruit high in vitamin C to your diet are also helpful in aiding your body’s defense system.  For cough and sore throat, Chinese medicine uses cooked pears sweetened with honey (added after the pears are cooked) to strengthen your lungs and immune system.

Herbal Therapy
Yu Ping Feng San: Also known as Jade Windscreen remedy, this simple formula of three herbs is recommended for long term use to build the immune system in those who catch cold easily or have compromised immune systems.  Research on the main ingredient of the formula, astragalus, suggests it has antiviral properties, as well as being beneficial in various conditions, including diabetes, HIV, and the side effects of chemotherapy. It can interact with medications, and can aggravate hypertension in some people.

Ren Shen Bai Du Wan: Classically used to treat colds, this formula is now often also used long-term to prevent colds.  Ren shen is the pinyin for ginseng, and in formulas containing ginseng herb-drug interactions can be a concern.  Many versions of this formula use dang shen, or codonopsis, which is less prone to interactions.  This formula is usually ok for people with hypertension managed by medication. 

Katie Larimer has been with Green AcuClinic for several months now, and we are excited about combining Chinese medicine with NAET therapy.  NAET stands for Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Techniques.  It is a non-invasive treatment that treats symptoms resulting from allergies or sensitivities to a variety of substances, such as foods or chemicals, or even your body’s reaction to beliefs or experiences.  We have found that using acupuncture to keep the meridians functioning at optimum levels during NAET treatment has subjects seeing greater improvements more quickly than those receiving either therapy alone.  Acupuncture works to make your entire body function better, with the various body systems acting in harmony.  NAET therapy then “clears” specific, stubborn reactions that may not respond well to other therapies. 

Because of my own NAET treatments from Katie, I have dramatically better energy, tolerate foods better, and have less pain.  NAET treatments played a major role in eliminating a problem I was having with kidney stones for the past 2 years. 

Katie Larimer is a Certified NAET practitioner with a background in massage therapy and Asian studies.  She is at the Green AcuClinic offices by appointment and can be reached at (804) 399-1700.  

Northern Lights Spa
My new office at Northern Lights Spa in Williamsburg is offering a special  North Pumpkin Patch Mud Treatment for only $70! Contact Northern Lights Spa at  (757) 903-4302 for more information

Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning.
--Thomas Jefferson

That’s it for this issue.  Hope to see you soon!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Beginnings

I have a very imperfect new website started. One of my life lessons seems to be accepting imperfect beginnings. This year, I finally started landscaping my yard, sans the huge budget I was waiting on. I didn't hire help to lay out the beds. . .I haven't even mulched. But I have some lovely hibiscus plants thanks to a friend, and several plantings that don't look great right now but will next year after they've settled in. And a lovely herb garden, since herbs are the only things the bunnies, deer, and moles don't seem to want to eat.

I've also decided to focus my practice a bit differently than in the past. I was searching for the right "specialty," since all the practice management books tell you to do that. But I love the variety of a general practice in Chinese medicine. So I will now specialize in approach. My practice will focus on positive approaches to health rather than simply sorting out illness. All holistic medicine is, or should be about promoting health rather than simply eliminating disease. I am working to learn more about using gratitude, optimism, self-awareness and mindfulness to build health bodies and minds. I will post my lessons as I go.

So thank you for reading this blog. I will be covering all kinds of info here--acupuncture, positive thinking, Chinese herbal therapy, aromatherapy, daily musings, and things I haven't thought of yet. Please let me know what you think. (I'm still grasping the technical aspects of blogging, so if there isn't a comments area yet, email me at teresa(at)greenacuclinic.com!