Why you have it, how to get rid of it!

Green, White, Red, Yellow……such festive colors! But not for phlegm. Eww.

We’re back in the peak of cold and flu season here in Colorado, and our office has had A LOT of patients coming in with lingering sinus infections, cough and phlegm problems after getting sick.

The ongoing drainage, headaches and general misery are sticking around like that relative that just won’t leave after the holidays. After the holidays, most of us have had a few solid weeks of rich food and alcohol, an overstuffed schedule, and not nearly enough downtime. All of which weaken your immune system and make your body ripe to get sick.

So, the bad news is that your lifestyle is partly to blame.

The good news is that means there’s a lot you can do to help yourself feel better!

The same things that make us more susceptible to getting sick also keep us from getting better as fast as we’d like.

To stay healthy, and to get healthy again after we’ve been sick, here’s what you need to do. It’s basic and kind of boring, I know.  But it makes a big difference, nonetheless.

Things you can do at home:

  • Drink more water ( a lot more)
    • staying hydrated will thin the phlegm and keep your mucus membranes from getting so inflamed.
    • drinking warm teas will help loosen the congestion.
  • Eat better
    • Cut the Sugar, Dairy, greasy and processed foods
      • all these foods are double whammies for your health…they increase inflammation in your whole body AND increase phlegm production.
    • keep food simple but nourishing
      • your best bets are warm bone broths and soups, and simple cooked foods like sweet potatoes and steamed veggies. These are easy to digest, full of nutrients and support your immune system
  • Get some rest!
    • Seriously, just go take a nap.
    • And go to bed early for awhile.
    • Extra rest is essential for your body to heal.
    • Sleep is better than watching netflix…..while resting is better than overdoing, sleep is when your body does the deep work of healing. So, about that nap…
  • Do a Nasal Rinse at least twice a day
    • I’m gonna beat this drum til everyone knows…..daily nasal rinses help you stay healthy!
      • they rinse away germs and allergens…better out than in.
      • the warm saline soothes the mucus membranes so they can heal
  • Remove things that are irritating your sinuses and lungs
    • Those lovely scented candles, smelly fabric softeners, household cleaners, perfumes….the list goes on. Unless you’re buying all-natural products, these things are full of VOC-volatile organic compounds-that are irritating to your lungs and sinuses. Give your body a break for awhile.  Even better, stop using those chemical-based products.

If you’ve done all this, and the chronic sinusitis, cough or phlegm still won’t go away, it’s time to get some help.

Luckily, we treat chronic sinusitis, drainage, coughs and ear problems all the time. Most people feel much better by the end of the first treatment—even long-term chronic cases who’ve seen too many doctors, tried too many antibiotics and feel like it’s never going to get better.  A few treatments, some herbal medicine, and voila… better than ever!

Things we can do to help you finally get over that chronic sinus infection or congestion:

Remember, we can have a huge positive impact on our health by having good lifestyle habits. Keep it simple, and try to be consistent.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.

Here’s to feeling better!

If you’d like to know if we can help you, come meet us in person and see if our therapies are a good fit.  Book your free Initial 15-minute Consult.

Jennie Luther, L.Ac, RMT
Acupuncturist Centennial
Family Tree Acupuncture & Wellness
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If you suffer from migraines, or any chronic headaches, you’ve probably tried a lot of things looking for lasting relief. You want to get control over how much these headaches impact your quality of life. You want natural migraine relief that treats your symptoms, AND the root of the problem.

Since migraines and other chronic headaches usually have a lot of different triggers, it can make treating them complicated.

The question is…

What are the best natural cures for migraines and chronic headaches?

These natural therapies have helped dramatically relieve symptoms for many people who suffer from migraines. From throbbing, stabbing headaches, neck pain, and visual disturbance to nausea, vomiting, light and sound sensitivity and generally knocking you out for the day, these tried and true techniques can make a huge difference in your quality of life.

1. Acupuncture

Acupuncture has a centuries’ old track record of helping correct imbalances in the body.  Its whole-body approach makes acupuncture super-effective at treating the complex causes of migraines and other chronic headaches.

This study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3291665/ from the National Institute of Health shows…

“…high-quality trials involving 4419 participants…found that there is consistent evidence that acupuncture is beneficial in the treatment of acute migraine attacks and that…acupuncture is at least as effective as prophylactic drug treatment and has fewer adverse effects.”

Make sure you find a Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac), and even better, find out if they are also certified by the NCCAOM to prescribe herbal medicine, which can speed up your results. If you’re worried about what acupuncture feels like, it’s not like the shots you get at your western doctor’s office. These needles are thin as hairs and usually you barely feel them.

2. Chinese Herbal Medicine

Where pharmaceutical drugs are aimed at treating symptoms, Chinese Herbal Medicine is specially formulated to alleviated symptoms AND the root imbalances, all at the same time.

Like Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine has been practiced and fine-tuned over centuries.  NCCAOM Certified herbalists receive hundreds of hours of training in the safe and effective use of these natural substances, and even better, the formulas are customized to fit each unique patient. Herbal teas are the traditional form of delivery, but many herbalists now use capsulized dried formulas to make it easier than ever to benefit from this ancient and effective medicine.

3. Craniosacral Therapy (CST)

In a nutshell, this super-gentle technique releases tension in the tissues around your brain, spinal cord, and your skull.  This helps improve circulation to your brain and spinal cord.  More important, it helps your nervous system calm down by helping it get out of Fight/Fight/Flight mode, and into Rest & Relax mode.

Craniosacral therapy also helps release tension from injuries, like whiplash or concussion, PTSD or chronic stress. If you have a history of these kinds of injuries or issues, or if you feel a lot of tightness and tension in your upper neck and base of your head with your headaches, CST can be especially helpful.

4. Myofascial Release (MFR) and Trigger Point (TP) release for your neck and spine

Myofascial Release is a type of bodywork that releases your fascia—-the super-strong connective-tissue covering all your muscles, tendons , nerves and organs. Fascia is really strong, and when it gets tight it can put intense pressure on surrounding areas, affecting the muscles, circulation, nerves. Releasing the fascia of your neck, shoulders and head can work wonders for chronic pain and headaches.

Trigger Points are those sore knots in your muscles that send pain to another area when you press on it.  A common one is the trigger point in your upper shoulder that shoots pain up the side of your neck and head. Trigger Point therapy uses direct pressure to release tension, freeing up the muscle, reducing pain, and stopping that referred pain that can be causing part of your headache.

Do you suffer from migraines or chronic headaches?

Request your free 15 minute consultation to learn more about how we’ve been helping our patients find lasting natural migraine relief. Our years of experience and combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine, craniosacral therapy and manual techniques are a potent combination that address the many complicated causes of chronic migraines and other headaches.

“Jennie is the best hands down. She has done more for my migraines in two treatments than my neurologist had done in 10 years.”
-Greg D.

Jennie Luther, L.Ac, RMT
Acupuncturist Centennial
Family Tree Acupuncture & Wellness
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…And what to do about it

As parents of teens, my husband and I often chuckle a bit at the many ways teenagers are pretty much the same as when we were kids.

We may have pined after Guess jeans or Esprit bags instead of Lululemon yoga pants or Nike socks, but our kids remind us of our younger selves all the time.

But……in many ways this is a whole new world for teens these days.

Does your teen feel stressed all the time?

Are they having trouble falling asleep?

Are they getting a lot of headaches, migraines, or stomachaches?

Then they are likely having anxiety!

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Here are 3 of the top reasons your teens are more stressed than we were at that age:

1. The massive stress of social media and the pressure to be perfect.

When we were young, if we had a rough day with friends, we could come home and escape it for the rest of the day.

Now, teens really never get away from all the friend drama because of constant connection with their phones and devices. Even the video games are connected.

Get in a fight with your best friend?

Now it’s all over SnapChat by the time you get home from school. Then there’s a constant barrage of comments, and side-taking…..

And, they won’t log out because they suffer from major FOMO….Fear of Missing Out.

Additionally, many studies are showing that constant screen time is creating more depression and moodiness in kids and teens (and even adults,) and it’s creating a mess of emotions.

2. Sports aren’t just for fun anymore

It used to be the norm for athletes to play multiple sports, and have fun doing them all.

Now, the kids are being pushed to pick a sport as young as 8, and then devote massive amounts of time to it for years.

Not only are we seeing more major injuries due to repetitive stress, but kids are burning out before they even finish high school. Let’s not even get into the financial cost of sports these days!

Ironically, many college coaches say they look most for the multi-sport, well-rounded athletes, for precisely the reason they don’t want the injuries or burn-out.

All-together, sports have often become more of a stressor than a stress-reliever.

3. They aren’t getting enough sleep of down-time

This ties back into 1. and 2. a lot. Between the crazy sports schedules, hours spent on social media, and crazy-intense course loads, kids are not getting enough sleep, and they definitely aren’t getting time to just do nothing and let their minds rest.

I see high school kids who are doing course loads that are harder than my college classes at CU. My son’s 9th and 10th grade honors English classes were reading materials I had in my 12th grade AP English class. They often have multiple honors classes.

Then, they go to their sports practices after school, usually every day for school teams, with events on the weekends.

After that, kids are staying up til midnight to get all their homework done. They are getting 6-7 hours of sleep a night instead of the 8-9 hours they really need.

Yes, you read that right……teenagers need 8-9 hours of sleep/night.

Their brains are still growing, and so are their bodies. They need more sleep than we do, and are often getting less.
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All these things are mixing together to create some super-stressed teens who are truly suffering from anxiety.

Some things you can do to help your teen with anxiety:

  • Create screen-time limits
  • Help them go to sleep earlier
  • Get really honest about whether a sport of high-level class is worth all the anxiety in the long-run
  • Make time each week with your teen to let them talk….a coffee date on the way to school, or dinner out, just you two.
  • Look into acupuncture and craniosacral therapy to help manage an overloaded nervous system.

Acupuncture and craniosacral therapy are both excellent ways to help calm and reset our nervous system. Usually after just a few treatments, kids feel much calmer, and get relief from many of the symptoms of anxiety, from headaches and stomach aches, to irregular periods and insomnia.

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Let us know how we can help, or what questions you have. There is help for your anxious and stressed out teen!

Jennie Luther, L.Ac
Acupuncturist Centennial
Family Tree Acupuncture & Wellness, LLC
Phone: 720-507-1705
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Well, cold and flu have hit hard this year! Hopefully you’ve been taking great care of yourself and are feeling great! Prevention is always the best remedy.

If you’ve been wondering what you can do to stay healthy when people all around you are sick, here are some natural ways to keep your immune system strong, and some tips for what to do if you start to feel a bug coming on!

How to keep your immune system strong!

  • Get enough sleep!
    • I know, it’s pretty boring, but 8+ hours of sleep each night is a must for a strong, healthy immune system.
  • Hydrate!
    • Drink water or hot tea w/ honey throughout the day to keep well hydrated. When your mucus membranes are dried out, it makes a prime breeding ground for those viruses and bacteria
  • Daily Nasal Rinses
    • This is advice I give to people all year long (and most likely to get a groan.)
    • Nasal rinses, either with a neti pot or a NeilMed bottle, with warm salt water, are helpful for several reasons.
    • At least once a day, preferably twice a day, do a nasal rinse to
      • keep your nose, throat and sinuses clear of congestion
      • keep those membranes moist and healthy
      • reduce inflammation in the nasal passages
      • physically rinse away germs and allergens
  • Cut way back on sugar
    • We all love a little sugar, but here’s some good reasons to limit your intake, especially in flu season
    • sugar creates Phlegm and congestion, according to Chinese Medicine
    • sugar weakens the Immune System
    • sugar increases systemic inflammation, which isn’t good for anything!
  • Vitamin D
    • Vitamin D is essential for immune health, and most of us are low in it, especially in the winter months.
    • Take 5,000 IU daily, and make sure your supplement also has vitamin K2. We carry a great version of this. Let us know if you need some!
  • Daily exercise
    • Daily exercise strengthens your immune system.
    • It doesn’t have to be a lot every day.
      • Even 10 minutes of movement helps to keep your lymphatic system moving.
      • Sweating is an important way for your body to expel pathogens.
  • Herbs
    • We have several different Chinese herbal formulas that are excellent at keeping you healthy in cold and flu season. Depending on what’s going on with you, we can prescribe herbs to
    • boost your immune system
    • fight off bugs you’ve been exposed to
  • Regular acupuncture and massage
    • Acupuncture is excellent at boosting your immune system.
    • Acupuncture can also treat your chronic congestion, coughs, sinus issues, and more, making it easier for your body to fight off germs.
    • Massage has also been shown to improve the immune response
  • Manage your stress
    • Studies have shown that stress takes a huge toll on your immune system. Finding ways to manage your stress is important for your overall health.
    • Manage your stress with
      • daily exercise
      • daily meditation or prayer
      • keep it in perspective —don’t sweat the small stuff
      • get regular acupuncture, craniosacral therapy and massage
  • Wear scarves!
    • Keeping your neck and chest warm and protected from the wind does wonders for your health in the winter. And if you feel congested in your chest, it’s especially important to keep it warm and covered.

What to do if you feel a bug coming on

  • Start taking Cold Nip!
    • At the first signs of a bug, start taking Cold Nip every 4 hours.
      • It has strong antiviral herbs, along with 3 classic Chinese formulas that are extremely effective at treating early-stage colds.
      • The sooner you start taking it, the better.
        • The maker of Cold Nip, Six Persimmons Apothecary, has done research showing that it’s 80% effective in nipping a cold in the bud when started right away. Keep this stuff on hand! Let us know if you need some. We always keep it in stock!
  • Hot tea with honey
    • Lots of fluids are really important, and warm fluids are best.
    • Add some honey to your tea to help soothe your throat and chest, and keep your nasal passages from drying out.
    • If you have cough, add some lemon ( or even a bit of whiskey to make a hot toddy for a deep cough.)
  • Sweat!
    • In Chinese Medicine, the first thing we do for early stage colds is try to get you to sweat. The herbs and acupuncture points help your body to push the pathogen out through sweating. So take your Cold Nip, drink your hot tea, bundle up and…..
  • Get to bed early
    • Again, sleep is imperative to help your immune system.
    • If your feel a bug starting, aim to get at least 9 hours of sleep, and as many naps as you can.
      • And I mean actual sleep, not lying in bed with Netflix.
  • If it’s flu, take Oscillococcinum homeopathic or call for an herbal consult with us.
    • Don’t mess around if it’s the flu. If you haven’t had the flu (influenza) in awhile, you may have forgotten how bad it can be. And for some, it can be dangerous. So take extra care, and stay away from people as much as possible, because influenza is very contagious.

You already know a lot of this. But we all need some reminding sometimes. We get caught up in the daily grind and think we’re doing ok, until it hits us.

As always, if it starts to seem serious, and especially if you’re having trouble breathing, go to your medical doctor right away!

In the meantime, stock up on herbs like Cold Nip, and let us know if you have any questions!

Jennie Luther, L.Ac
Acupuncturist Centennial
Family Tree Acupuncture & Wellness, LLC
Phone: 720-507-1705
Find Us on Facebook

Schedule a New Patient Visit or a 15 minute phone or in-office consultation!