October Spells Opportunity

This month we've got an exciting opportunity for you. By joining the People's Organization for Community Acupuncture for as little as $25, you'll be helping the future of community acupuncture and you'll get some super perks for doing so.

Ready for the perks?  

  • 3 gift certificates to introduce friends to community acupuncture. 
  • A free birthday treatment for yourself during your birthday week. 
  • Waive the new patient intake fee when you visit other community clinics around town or when traveling.
  • Help fund affordable education for acupuncturists-in-training with your membership dollars.

But wait... there's more!

  • FCA is also offering $10 treatments during this October for returning patients that join POCA.

That's a big bunch of perks for as little as a $25 donation, wouldn't you agree?!

Joining POCA puts your membership fees to work immediately as we:

  • Develop a micro-loan program to open and support more clinics.
  • Create affordable educational alternatives to train community acupuncturists (aka punks).
  • Support punks in successfully opening, managing, and improving their clinics.
  • Promote legislative change to encourage and support community acupuncture.
  • Provide a working model for sustainable, ethical, affordable community healthcare practices.
  • Increase access to affordable acupuncture for all.  

You can learn more about POCA and join online at POCAcoop.com or you can join the next time you're in our clinic. It just takes a credit card and a few extra minutes.

Bring your POCA membership card with you next time you visit so we can make sure you get your perks.

Come on in to see us soon, book your appointments today!
We look forward to seeing you again.
All the best,
Karen, Nick, and Susie
Fremont Community Acupuncture

 

The Flavors of Five Element Theory

One of the more interesting facets of East Asian Medicine comes to us from Five Element theory. It describes how the flavor and color of food perform different functions in the body and correspond to the five major organ systems of East Asian Medicine (which do not always correspond exactly to the Western medical understanding of the organs by the same name). Each organ system corresponds to a specific flavor and color of food. For example, the Liver corresponds to sour taste and green color, so pickled cucumbers would have an effect on the Liver/Gallbladder system, and people with disharmonies in that system will often either crave or have an extreme aversion to sour foods and can even develop a sour taste in their mouth. On the other side of the coin, somebody who overdoes it and drinks a gallon of vinegar every single day risks damaging their Liver function. We'll run through each of the five major organ systems and give examples of foods that correspond to each. Food is always the very best medicine, so using these basic principles can have a powerful positive effect on your health.

Liver and Gallbladder: Green color and sour flavor

Beneficial foods include tart green fruits such as apples and grapes, vinegar (especially apple cider vinegar), broccoli, most greens (especially dandelion), scallion, fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi, pickles, olives, peppermint, strawberry, and basil. A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, or a bit of lemon juice diluted in water in the morning is an excellent way to jump start your liver function.

Heart and Small intestine: Red color and bitter flavor

Beneficial foods include red beets, endive, kale, bitter melon, cherries, strawberries, red cabbage, red onion, red grapes, red beans, and even chocolate and coffee (in moderation). A bit of coffee in the morning can pep you up, and jumpstart your digestion by stimulating peristalsis in the small intestine. Just be careful not to overdo it; jitteriness, hyperactivity, and insomnia, all possible with overconsumption of coffee, are signs of heart fire! Watermelon is an excellent choice for cooling down the heart, and great to eat during summer heat waves when you have no a/c.

Stomach and Spleen: Yellow color and Sweet/Starchy flavor

Beneficial foods include most beans, sweet fruits, grains such as rice or oats (in moderation), chinese red dates, root vegetables such as sweet potato, radishes, golden beets, gourds and squash. Spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, turmeric, and garlic have a warming effect on the spleen and stomach and can aid in digestion, but should be used in moderation during the summer and in heat conditions. Sweet cravings often accompany fatigue, as the spleen and stomach are directly responsive for turning food into qi. If they are unable to properly metabolize food, people will begin craving sugar, which is extremely energy dense and easy to break down, even if it's not very good for you. Whenever eating sweets, even a piece of fruit, try to also eat something high in fiber with it (I prefer psyllium husk), as fiber will enable healthier digestion of sugars.

Lung and Large intestine: White color, acrid/spicy flavor

Beneficial foods include spicy peppers (in moderation), horseradish, scallions (the white part), leeks, onions, almonds, pears, egg white, white sesame seeds, garlic, and ginger. Making a tea of ginger, garlic and scallions can help with a cold, and most of us have had the experience that spicy peppers and wasabi will cause the nose to run and clear out stuffy sinuses. A nice spicy bowl of Pho is my very favorite thing to eat for cold or flu. Such spicy foods should be used in moderation if you have a tendency to acne or rashes, a heat condition, or difficult digestion.

Kidney and Urinary Bladder: Black color, salty flavor

Beneficial foods include seaweed, seafood, blackberries, blueberries, black beans, bone broth, bone marrow, black walnuts, goji berries, black sesame seeds, and most meats in moderation. Lamb, beef, and chicken benefit kidney yang, while pork is more cooling and supports yin.  

American Acupuncture History X

Although acupuncture had been illegal until the 1970s, by the end of the 20th century, it had been mostly taken in by mainstream America. However, in the process of becoming mainstream, acupuncture got “stripped of its radical roots and long history as a peasant medicine, and through a lens of white privilege was being focused into an upper middle class commodity.”1

1from “A Radical History of Acupuncture in America” published by POCA coop, 2015

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Tips for Staying Balanced in Summer Heat

Dear Friends, 

The sunny, warm weather we wait all winter for is finally here! While our minds are ready for the season change, it usually takes the body a bit of time to adjust to temperature changes and a drier atmosphere. Here are some simple tips for keeping the body healthy and balanced in summer:

  1. Recognize the early signs of dehydration: thirst, headaches, nausea, fatigue, and sugar cravings. 
  2. Drinking water is necessary (remember if you feel thirsty, you're already dehydrated), but add something else to it, such as cucumber, lemon, or even a tiny pinch of salt to help your body replenish minerals lost from sweating. Plain water will not be absorbed well if you've lost enough electrolytes.
  3. Nature knows best! Eating the foods in season, such as fruits and vegetables, can help you stay cool. Time for salads!
  4. Herbs like nettle, peppermint, and chrysanthemum make delicious teas that are both cooling and hydrating.
  5. Putting a cool, damp cloth on your head and on the back of your neck can help with heat exhaustion.
  6. Acupuncture lowers the body temperature by a few degrees.

Have fun this summer! We look forward to seeing you.
All the best,
Brenna, Nick, and Susie

June Promo for School Employees

Dear Friends, 

Summer is almost here! Along with peonies, raspberries, and sunny days, summer also means school vacation. We know how tough the last few weeks of school can be for teachers as they tie up loose ends and try to maintain focus while the proximity of summer vacation tantalizes and the students get ever more restless.

To show our appreciation for educators and to help them survive those last few weeks (and maintain balance once the school year ends), we are offering a June special for anyone who works in a school or college. Returning patients can pay as low as $10 on our return patient sliding scale. For new patients, we will waive the $10 new patient fee. Anyone working in or around education can receive the discount (pre-K, K-12, college professors, etc.), just bring your school ID to your appointment. The promotion expires June 30, so book your appointments today!

All the best,
Brenna, Nick, and Susie

May promotion: 2 for 1

Dear Friends,

Spring is in full bloom, and we are happy to announce the smooth transition from Grassroots Community Acupuncture to Fremont Community Acupuncture. Thank you for your patience and support over the past few weeks as we got the new website, new appointment scheduling system, and credit card reader up and running!

As a token of our gratitude, we are offering a special 2-For-1 promotion for the remainder of May. When you bring someone new to the clinic for their first appointment on the same day as your appointment, we will charge only one $15-40 fee for both of you. Acupuncture is better with a friend, so we're making it better still. The promotion expires May 31, so book your appointments today!

We look forward to seeing familiar faces and to welcoming new ones.

All best,
Brenna, Nick, and Susie
Fremont Community Acupuncture

Achoo! Cold and Flu Prevention - by Susie

If you're like me, you don't want to have to miss work because you've caught a virus. So what steps can you take to stay healthy when everyone else is getting sick?

Prevention

The best offense is a good defense, as they say. Here are my favorite tricks to stave off infection.

R&R - That's right - good old fashioned rest and relaxation is a great preventative. When you don't get enough sleep, your body can't fight off illness very well. Stress causes an increase in your body's cortisol levels. Cortisol is known to lower your immunity. So listen to your body. If you feel tired, respect that and get a little extra shut-eye. If you're struggling with insomnia and stress, stop by for an acupuncture treatment! Acupuncture helps reduce stress and will improve your sleep. 

Diet - Avoid processed foods as much as possible. The more your food is processed, the more qi, or energy, is lost from it. You need to keep your qi at its peak in order to fight off illness. Cook your food and avoid cold beverages. According to Chinese medicine, the Spleen (which often seems very pancreatic in function) is responsible for extracting qi from your food. Cold and raw foods are harder on the Spleen - especially in the colder weather. 

Wear a scarf - In Chinese medicine, the back of the neck is vulnerable to wind, the 'pathogen' responsible for the cold and flu. Wearing a scarf in colder weather keeps you protected. I like to think of it as armor for my immune system. 

Wash your hands - Do this often. Germs can live on surfaces like door handles for a long time after they were first touched by a sick person. Make sure to use warm water and soap, and rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds, or the length it takes to sing Happy Birthday.

Take Vitamin D - People are more familiar with Vitamin D's ability to stave off depression in the winter, but it's also a critical factor in your immune system. In Seattle, we don't get enough sunshine in the fall and winter to provide enough of this important vitamin, so it's necessary to supplement.

The flu shot - Although this is controversial (and absolutely a personal choice), flu shots are safe for most people, and prevent many common strains of flu. This is especially important if you work in a field where you come into contact with sick people, like health care or education. It's also important if you are in close contact with immune-compromised people who rely on the immunity of others to keep them safe.

Getting Better

Sometimes, even the most diligent person ends up getting sick. As you know, there's no cure for the cold and flu, but there are a lot of things you can do to lessen the severity and duration of your illness.

Come to FCA! - As soon as you start to feel the first tickle in your throat, make an appointment. If you can get acupuncture at the very start of your illness, we can often stop it in its tracks. We can also provide you with Chinese herbs that not only address your symptoms with minimal side effects, but that also have antimicrobial properties.

Stay home - Other than your visits to the clinic, if you're not feeling well, stay snug in your bed at home. Not only will you give your body the recuperation time it needs, but you'll also help to prevent the spread of illness.

Drink plenty of fluids - Drink warm water with lemon, and eat chicken soup. Your body needs to stay hydrated in order to fight infection. 

Raid your kitchen - Most people don't know how many every day items they have in their pantries that have powerful anti-microbial properties. Garlic, raw honey, turmeric, thyme, and oregano are just a few ingredients  that you can add to whatever you're cooking to turn every meal into medicine.