Monthly Archives: April 2014

Acupressure for Morning Sickness

If you are pregnant and suffering from nausea or vomiting seriously consider giving acupuncture a try. It can offer serious relief with no negative side effects.

From The Essential Guide to Acupuncture in Pregnancy and Childbirth by Debra Betts,

Research by Smith et al (2002) involving 596 women confirmed the benefits of acupuncture by concluding that acupuncture for nausea was safe and effective treatment for early pregnancy. This was an interesting study as women who received a traditional Chinese diagnosis and treatment had better outcomes than those receiving needling at PC6(the seasick/nausea point) only.

Acupressure is a nice simple DIY way to treat yourself. The only real difference between acupuncture and acupressure is the tool used to stimulate the point. While needles can be retained for 20-60 minutes and offer continuous pressure to several points at once acupressure usually involves stimulating one or two points at a time for one to three minutes using finger pressure. Acupressure can also be done using what are called vaccaria seeds, sometimes refered to as ear seeds. These seeds are held in place by an adhesive and are usually used after an acupuncture treatment to help the treatment last longer.

If you’ve tried the sea bands or massaging the nausea point, PC6 on the inner wrist and didn’t find much relief here are 2 other points to try that many women have found helpful.

KD27

located just below the collar bone approximately 3 finger breadths from the sternum. Feel for a divet or tender spot and hold for 1-3 minutes.

located just below the collar bone approximately 3 finger breadths from the sternum. Feel for a hollow or tender spot and hold for 1-3 minutes.

Often times this can offer immediate relief especially if you are overcome with an episode of nausea or feel like you could throw up.

KD6

Located in the hollow just under the inner ankle bone. Sitting with the soles of feet together and legs in a diamond is an ideal position to access this point. Hold this point for 1-3 minutes as well.

Located in the hollow just under the inner ankle bone. Sitting with the soles of feet together and legs in a diamond is an ideal position to access this point. Hold this point for 1-3 minutes as well.

This point is also an useful points for insomnia, prolapse of the uterus, constipation, frequency of urination and sore throat and can be used at any point during pregnancy.

Give it a try and let me know how it helps. Need some acupuncture? I can help with that too. :)

 

 

 

 

 

Artichoke Red Chard Lasagna

This is my go to recipe when the garden starts overflowing with red chard. I’ve converted quite a few people to love red chard and even the idea of a veggie lasagna. Today with the snow coming down chard from the garden sounds really nice but I made mine with spinach instead bought from the store. :( This weather is such a tease!

What you need: 

lasagna noodles (or raw sliced eggplant)

marinara sauce (if you don’t have homemade sauce my favorite is Trader Joe’s garlic marinara sauce)

shredded cheese (Trader Joe’s quattro formaggio is best)

fresh red chard (or spinach or both!) If you are using bagged greens I usually use 2 bags 1 for each layer as it will cook down

artichoke hearts (fresh is best)

If you’ve never cooked fresh artichokes before read this  

Line bottom of 9×13 pan with a thin layer of sauce.

Layer noodles or eggplant “noodles”. sprinkle cheese lightly and half of red chard.

Add another layer of noodles. Pour sauce over noodles.

Layer the rest of red chard and all of artichokes. Sprinkle lightly with cheese.

Add another layer of noodles. Pour rest of the sauce over noodles and sprinkle with cheese. ( I find I like to use less cheese than a regular lasagna and it helps to bring out the other flavors)

Bake at 375 for 45 minutes covered. Bake addition 15 minutes uncovered or until cheese is bubbly.

We are serving with some garlic bread and arugula salad tonight. Enjoy!

Peppermint for Pregnancy

Peppermint is a very versatile oil/herb to have on hand when pregnant. Here is why, when and how to use it. Hope it helps!

Peppermint is great to combat the digestive ails during pregnancy such as nausea, the burps, heartburn and flatulence.

Some women are sensitive to smells during pregnancy, especially early pregnancy. If that’s the case the easiest way to get the benefits of peppermint oil for nausea is to simply take a deep breath while holding the bottle under your nose. Many people make the mistake of putting an essential oil bottle directly under their nose, instead hold the bottle by your heart and slowly bring it closer to the nose until you can smell it. This way it will be subtle and less overwhelming. Smelling peppermint from the bottle can be great for nausea, car sickness, indigestion and flatulence as well as if you are in an area with an unpleasant odor to help combat it. Stick the closed bottle in your purse or pocket to have on hand when needed.

PC6, "the seasickness point"

PC6, “the seasickness point”

You can also try massaging a drop of peppermint oil into the acu-point PC6. The combo of scent and acu pressure can be quite profound. From time to time you can feel free to hold your wrist close to your face and take a deep breath too.

Diffusing peppermint essential oil is another option. This can also be helpful for tummy troubles as well as fatigue, pregnancy brain, and feeling overheated. :) If you don’t have a diffuser you can place a drop of peppermint oil on a cotton ball and place in your car air vents or fill a spray bottle with water and a few drops of peppermint oil and mist into the air.

For feelings are heat you can add a drop of peppermint oil to a bowl of cool water and dip a wash cloth into the bowl, wring out and place the wash cloth on the back of your neck and/or back of knees to cool off.

Peppermint can also be added to coconut or olive oil as a massage oil for tired, achey, sore muscles. You can also try any of the above techniques for headaches too. (peppermint is very cooling in nature, if it causes discomfort cover the area with olive or coconut oil to cut the intensity of the sensation do not put water over the area as this will make it worse!)

A few drops of peppermint oil on the highest point of your belly or where baby’s head is has been known to help turn a breech baby. (especially when in combination with moxabustion)

I recommend peppermint from young living because they are super high quality and pregnancy especially is not a time to be using toxic products. You can order some here!

Have you used peppermint oil during pregnancy? Did I miss anything?

 

 

 

 

April Yogapuncture ReCap

Last month we began our discussion of the Liver/Gall bladder system and how it relates to the Spring and our physical bodies. The liver system is also closely related to our emotions, especially anger, irritability and depression.

In Chinese Medicine the Kidneys control the bones, the Spleen control the muscles and the Liver controls the tendons. In yoga theory proper alignment begins with the bones. When the bones are balanced the muscles simply hug the bones in support. What happens when misalignment occurs especially over a long period of time?

The deepest layer are the bones and they relate to fear. Constant misalignment can contribute to fear. You know those irrational fears, the ones you don’t even talk about. Fear of failure, fear of success etc etc. This can be very unconscious as our posture is always present yet we rarely pay attention to it.

The second layer are the muscles and they relate to worry. Worry is sometimes easier to pay attention to as it usually is closer to the surface and found in our thoughts. Worry can also be referred to as over thinking, ruminating and being pensive.

The last layer we will talk about are the tendons and sinews. The tendons connect the muscles to bones. When misalginment occurs the tendons are pulled and stretched often passed their normal limits. The liver controls are ability to relax, especially when its time to relax. Do you have trouble with that? Your posture could be a contributing factor. When the tendons are overworked in this way irritability, anger or depression can be present or you might find that you easily “fly off the handle” so to speak. Its literally when the body has reached its breaking point.

The body is really great at making changes. Little steps build slowly into easy habits. You might find as we move through our yoga practice old thoughts, memories or emotions float up to the surface. This happens so the body can release these old patterns and make room for the new ones. As best you can simply observe what comes up and when you are ready let it go. (the oil blends chosen for this month are especially helpful at working through these emotions) Sometimes this is instantaneous and sometimes you might work with a particular thought or feeling for awhile until it releases.

Besides practicing yoga what can you do to instill proper alignment? It all begins with awareness. Pay attention to how you sit when you drive, work, eat, relax etc. How do you feel in these postures? How does your body breathe? Do you feel balanced?

We talked about this in the winter time, feel free to reference back to the winter recaps if you were in class or you can purchase the info for $15.

The foundation of our alignment is in our pelvis. Next the femur bones of the legs and humerus bones of the arms must be grounded in their sockets. This not only allows the body to be properly oxygenated but helps keeps the emotions grounded and able to be expressed in a healthy manner.

Yoga Practice

Mountain Pose

176

Difficult Pose reach back like sitting in chair, fold from hips, bend knees, knees in lined with ankles

difficult

Wood Chopper- deep breath in through the nose as you raise hands, gusty exhale as you chop wood ( keep knees bent for low back support)

wood chopper 1wood chopper 2

Mountain Pose

176

Eagle there are many modifications to eagle pose. If this seems to intense, repeat difficult post. Start with feet first, keep hips squared (don’t hike the hip that is crossed over) You can also do this pose with hips supported by wall.

eagle

Wide Legged forward fold- keep knees bent for proper alignment if hamstrings are tight,

forward fold

Rag doll- bend knees and rest upper body on thighs, reach for opposite elbow with opposite hand

rag doll

Squat- rest heels on pillow or blanket if you can’t squat with feet rooted to ground, you can also place a block or bolster under sits bones for support

squat

Reclined Bound Angle

bound angle

Constructive Rest Pose

167

Savasana

185

Acu points

LI4- in the webbing between thumb and index finger, opens circulation to the upper half of body, helps to seperate negative thoughts

LV3- in between webbing between first and second toes. Opens circulation to the lower half of the body. Helps with relieving irritability and pain in the body

165

CV17- opens the heart and build energy, helps to relieve anxiety

042

 

GB40- helps release anger and tension in the body

Oils 

Release

release

This oil blend helps to release emotions and trauma stored in the liver. Massage 1-3 drops over the liver, soles of the feet and lower back daily or as needed. Contains ylang ylang, lavandin, geranium, sandalwood, blue tansy, olive oil.

Oola Grow

grow

Young Living and Oola have partnered together to offer this one of a kind essential oil blend Oola Grow. This blend is designed to help you reach unlimited potential and growth in many aspects of life. Whether it’s emotional, spiritual, or mental, Oola Grow gives you courage to focus on the task at hand and helps you move forward towards positive advancements and progression. Massage 1-3 drops over soles of feet, heart and crown of head daily or as needed.

Contains ylang ylang, white fir, blue tansy, cedarwood, blue cypress, jasmine, galbanum, frankincense, sandalwood, lavender, cinnamon, rose, geranium, coriander, bergamot, neroli, roman chamomile, spruce, rosewood, clary sage, juniper, idaho tansy, orange, almond oil, fractionated coconut oil.

You can order these oils here. 

 

smoothie

Homemade Protein Shake

I’ve been searching for a protein shake that tastes good, doesn’t have a whole lot of extra junk in it and isn’t super expensive. It can be hard to find. Here is what I’ve been doing. It takes a little getting used to because its not super sweet but it is for sure filling and I know exactly what goes into it. This recipe has a good amount of omega 3s in it which can have a lot of health benefits. If you have a clotting disorder or are on anticoagulants this might not be the best thing to add to your diet on a super regular basis as omega 3s can thin the blood and cause excessive bleeding with these conditions.

What you need:

2 tablespoons flax seeds

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1/4 cup fresh fruit (I’ve been using raspberries alot lately)

1/4 cup frozen fruit (I bought a bag of organic mixed berries from Trader Joes)

1/2 banana (optional for a little extra sweetness and filling)

12 ounces of water

Directions:

Place flax and chia seeds into blender and blend first into powder. Add the rest of ingredients and blend until smooth.

In the winter I like to wait a little before drinking my smoothie so its not as cold. The chia seeds will expand and the smoothie will get thick. This also has lots of fiber so you can expect a good trip to bathroom at some point too. :)

Let me know what you think!