Spring 2014 Newsletter – We can help seasonal allergies!
Yes, We Treat Seasonal Allergies
Chicago’s spring has officially started with plants, trees and flowers blooming – and pollen is everywhere! If you are one of the lucky folks who must carry tissue to live through this season, please know that acupuncture and Chinese medicine offer help for seasonal allergies and the ensuing rhinitis, sinusitis, and possible sinus infections. Treatment focuses on strengthening the immune system as well as eliminating runny eyes, itching, sneezing and congestion.
What can you do at home to fight seasonal allergies? Try these easy suggestions:
- PracticeÂ nasal irrigationÂ at least two times a day when your symptoms areÂ mild to moderate. Most folks are familiar with the neti pot, the most common method of nasal irrigation. There are many brands out there – and if you are unsure of how to use one properly, check outÂ thisÂ video. It is important to use non-iodized salt and you can purchase distilled water if you would like. Using the neti pot once a day when you don’t have symptoms will also prevent irritation and infections from returning.
- Change your pillowcases every few days, or daily when pollen counts are high. When there’s a lot of pollen in the air you can bet it is on your hair and skin. Changing yourÂ pillow case frequently will also help reduce your exposure pollen you’ve brought into your home.
- Shower in the evening before bed – this will also help to clean your skin of pollen and reduce allergens in the bedroom.
- Keep your windows closed on high pollen count days and avoid using window fans.
- Herbs and supplements are gaining in popularity for allergy suffers as they are effective butÂ don’t have the troubling side effects of traditional medications.Â Read more about medical research on the effectiveness of natural products in thisÂ article by WebMD.
Our hours have changed.
Appointments are now available Tuesday through Saturday.
Tuesdays –Â 9 am to 4 pm
Wednesdays –Â 1 pm to 8 pm
Thursday – 9:30 am until 2 pm andÂ 4:30 to 7:30 pm
Fridays –Â 10:30 to 3:30 pm
Saturday – 9 am to 2 pm
If anyone you know is curious about acupuncture and Chinese Medicine we offer a free 15 minute consultation. Thank you for your continued referrals!
Are you in transition? These ladies can help!
Shannon Boyle, Real Estate Broker, ColdwellÂ Banker
Shannon specializes in helping her clients find a place to call home. From buying a new house or condo to guiding owners through the process of listing and selling their current property to finding a new rental home. She’s dedicated to educating her clients on the process of buying and selling real estate and specializes in Chicago’s north-side neighborhoods.EmailÂ Shannon or call her at773-817-6910Â if you want a dedicated, experienced professional to help you.
Erin Griffin, Corby Mortgage
Erin is an experienced mortgage broker with a wealth of knowledge to help you finance your next home. She specializes in “green” lending – so you can feel good about purchasing a home and helping the earth. Contact Erin atÂ 773-353-4205Â if you are ready to buy or refinance. She also has a greatÂ new appÂ that you can use to estimate your mortgage payment (and PMI) on the spot!
Shireen Girouleau, Lighthouse Financial Group
Shireen is a Certified Financial Planner and she specializes in two areas – divorce planning and college planning. Her experience and expertise will help you financially navigate these two difficult situations so you can make smart, long term financial plans. Contact Shireen atÂ 312-379-0466Â to get her help today.
Fall 2013 Acupuncture Newsletter
You Can Stay Healthy This Cold And Flu Season!
Yes you can stay healthy this cold and flu season
A few tips to boost your immune system and fight that cold or flu you don’t want to catch from your friends….
Wear a scarf – it protects an area especially vulnerable to pathogenic attacks. And if you have a sore throat, make sure to wear a scarf when inside or outside.
Fight a cold with ginger tea and hot soup – early on these can help push the cold out of your body quickly. Homemade bone broth soup will boost your immune system – here’s a great and easy recipe to try at home. For a more complex soup, try Vietnamese pho, which you can also make at home or find in any Vietnamese restaurant.
Increase your dose of Vitamin C. This water soluble vitamin is a strong anti-oxidant and boosts the immune system. When sick you can safely increase your daily dose to 3 to 6 grams, spaced throughout the day.
Get adjusted! Chiropractic adjustments have also been shown to improve immunity as they benefit the function of the nervous system. Curious about chiropractic? Check out Dr. Sarah Weber of Total Balance Chiropractic’s blog and learn more…
Come in for an acupuncture treatment. If you are just starting to feel poorly this is a perfect time to get treated as we can push the cold out and boost immunity. But don’t worry, if you have had a cold for a few days you can still benefit from treatment – it will shorten the duration of your cold and severity of your symptoms! Book your appointment online at any time of the day or night.
Acupuncture Research Update: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Know someone with IBS? This uncomfortable condition manifests as diarrhea, constipation and abdominal pain. There is good news, though, as this recent research study on acupuncture and IBS showed that treatment has significant results for sufferers. Those receiving acupuncture treatment showed a significant reduction in their IBS symptom severity score.
Yummy gluten free muffins
Have you considered going gluten free? If you suffer from inflammation (chronic congestion, infections, bloating, joint pain, digestive discomfort, headaches, polyps, etc.) then a gluten free diet may help you feel better and reduce your symptoms. It can be difficult to find delicious gluten free foods – but try these almond meal muffins next time you’re in the mood to bake. They are yummy!
Is your closet ready for winter?
Alyssa Peterson of Cashmere and Wit knows fashion – and what you need to survive this winter. She’s got a passion for helping people feel great in their clothes and loves to help them get rid of what they don’t need and into what makes them look and feel great. She’s got a special deal for winter that you might consider for yourself – or for someone you love.
We Heart Acupuncture!
Love your heart?
Acupuncture supports healthy circulation
February is the American Heart Association’s Heath health awareness month. You might be shocked to learn that cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in America and the number one cause of death for American women. Heart disease can be an insidious disease. Don’t be fooled and believe that you have to be your parent’s age to suffer a heart attack, stroke or aneurysm. Young people can suffer from these too – and even young, healthy women – this article from Self Magazine shows you are never too young to have cardiovascular disease. Don’t wait! Take care of your heart now and include acupuncture in your health care routine.
What can you do to reduce your risk of heart disease now?
First, take the best possible care of your body. Avoid developing the risk factors of high stress, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, and obesity. And if you have these risk factors now, treat them. As a woman, you should also know the cardiovascular risks associated with oral contraceptives – their use can increase blood pressure and your risk of blood clots, especially if you smoke.
How do you avoid these risk factors? Eat well, exercise, quit smoking, lose weight and pay attention to your body. A tall order, to be sure, but most of all you must reduce stress. Thankfully, acupuncture is a fantastic way to de-stress your body.
Stress is really at the heart of the issue – from eating poorly, to working too long and under difficult conditions, or not exercising enough. The ups and downs of life also contribute to emotional stress. Over time this stress takes a toll on your body. With our busy lives it is to easy to tell yourself you will deal with it later.
Again, one of the best ways to de-stress your body is regular acupuncture treatment.
The goal of an acupuncture treatment is to re-balance the body. And after a treatment you will feel and look less stressed. You will notice less tension in your muscles, improved sleep, and a better immune system. Acupuncture works to subdue the sympathetic or â€śfight or flightâ€ť part of the nervous system which in our high-stress society tends to keep running, even when we donâ€™t need it. If you love your body, give it the gift of being less stressed and incorporate acupuncture into your weekly, monthly or quarterly routine. Your heart will love it.
You are invited to a celebration of the heart!
Please join Monique Wheeler, L.Ac. and Dr. Sarah Weber
Tuesday, February 21st, 2012
5:30 to 8 pm
at Total Balance Chiropractic.
We’ll have a heart healthy happy hour,
tips for de-stressing your heart
massage and auricular acupuncture.
Total Balance Chiropractic is located at
3259 N. Ashland Ave in Chicago.
Space is limited!
Please RSVP by February 17th to
773-348-6908 or email to Marketing@TotalBalanceChiro.com.
We can’t wait to see you there!
Insights into Chinese Medicine: The Heart
The pathway of the heart channel starts in the chest and travels down the medial side of the arm, ending on the radial side of the pinkie finger.
In Chinese Medicine, like western medicine, the heart governs the vessels and circulation. Through this circulation, blood nourishes the organs and limbs as well as the spirit (shen).
Chinese Medical theory says the heart governs the spirit (shen), plays a vital role in sleep, is reflected in the face, associated with the emotion of joy and the fire element.
The pericardium surrounds the heart and is the heart’s protector. The heart is the emperor of the body and just like an emperor it needs protection. How are you taking care of your heart today?
January 2012 Newsletter
Let’s All Have a Healthy 2012!
Do you start every new year with a list of changes to make? These lists almost always have health issues – either losing weight, eating better, getting more exercise, at the top. If there’s a health problem you’ve been ignoring or putting up with, now is a great time to take action. The now is important, as it will be just a few weeks before resolutions vanish as life happens and those lofty goals drift away. What can you do to keep your new found interest in being healthy?
Lao Tzu, Chinese Taoist philosopher, comes to the rescue with two quotes: “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading,” and “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
To change the direction of your health, take small steps, and continue on the path. Be reasonable about what you can accomplish and give yourself credit for what you do well, while gently resolving to continue making changes. Life, like good health, is a journey made up of many steps that you can take anytime. Resolutions are ways we want to be but often they are too difficult to obtain and result in frustration and inaction.
If you’re reading this newsletter you’ve already started on your path to better health. Know that eventually all your small, direction changing steps, can lead you to a new place of better health, more awareness of your body and the habits that need to be changed, and awareness of improvement you have made. As an acupuncturist, it is my job and pleasure to help you along this path. Part of this job is to reflect all the changes I see in your body and health and to offer suggestions on what you might do to continue your journey.
This newsletter offers ways you can start on this path – through committing to treatment by giving yourself a package of care and by taking care of your muscles when they are tired, sore and aching. Throughout this year each newsletter will continue to offer tips, suggestions and information that can help you on your journey. Please feel free to offer any suggestions or ask any questions about acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, and how it can help you.
Here’s to a great 2012!
Treatment Packages Now Available
We now offer a variety of treatment packages to make taking care of yourself even easier. Purchasing a package of treatments not only saves you money, it ensures that you will continue to get care. It also increases the chances of lasting and significant results from treatment.
Choose one of the following options:
1. Series of Six – for new patients this includes the first treatment and 5 follow up visits. Normally $475, save $30 off when you buy the package for $445. Or you can purchase a package of 6 follow up treatments for $420 ($450 normally, $30 off).
2. Series of Ten – for new patients this includes the initial treatment and 9 follow up visits. Normally $775, save $60 when you purchase the package for $715. Or you can purchase a package of 10 follow up treatments for $690, saving $60 off the regular price of $750.
3. Monthly Treatment Package for a Year – Plus One! Get 13 treatments for $900 (one per month, with an extra treatment that you can use when you need it or give to a friend!). This is a perfect package for folks who come monthly and might need an extra treatment per year, or would like to give the extra treatment to a friend. These treatments must be used monthly and the 13th can be added at any time.
4. Year of Health – 25 treatments per year (two per month), normally $1,875, package price is $1,725 (two free treatments). These treatments can be used weekly or bi-monthly, as you need, and you can give one to a friend if you would like.
Tips for Taking Care of Sore, Tight or Painful Muscles
Did you start a new workout routine with the New Year? Your body is really glad you did, but it might be sore, tired, or tighter than normal. If you are sore, happy, and want to get right back into exercising, consider these tips:
1. Stretch before or after working out. Even though stretching is controversial – some say do, others say don’t, if it feels good to you, do it. And if you are starting to work out again after a break, take it slow and adjust accordingly. If there’s a specific part of your body that feels sore after working out, you can stretch those muscles – ask at your next treatment for muscle-specific stretches.
2. Hydrate – with plenty of water and electrolytes. You can do this by drinking mineral water, coconut water, or Gatorade. It is especially important to hydrate if you sweat a lot during a workout. Electrolytes are also found in fresh fruit and vegetables, and bananas are especially potassium rich.
3. Take an Epsom salt bath. This is especially helpful to soothe muscle pain and exfoliate your skin. Dissolve 1-2 cups of Epsom salt in warm, not hot, water, and soak for 15 minutes. To read more about the benefits of Epsom salts, click here. Epsom salt baths are not for everyone – especially those with hypertension, heart disease or diabetes. Please check with your doctor if you have these conditions and want to use Epsom salts.
4. Get a treatment. Finally, if you have injured yourself working out, we can help. Listen to your body and make sure you know the difference between sore muscles and muscle strain. A timely treatment can help and get you back to working out sooner.
December 2011 Newsletter
We will be out of the office 12/24 to 1/1/12
You don’t have to suffer through the holidays!
The time between Thanksgiving and New Years is often quite hectic. If you need a treatment, please consider scheduling soon as the calendar is filling up quickly. We will be out of the office December 24th through January 1st, 2012. That’s only a few weeks away, so if you’re uncomfortable or suffering with a sore neck, back or anxiety, come on in for treatment. To better serve you, we’re offering extended hours leading up to the holidays. We would be happy to see you and help you feel better so you can enjoy the holidays!
People often ask “Just how does acupuncture work?” There are researchers all over the world trying to answer that question. Acupuncture research continues to reveal new aspects of the body and new information on how acupuncture helps the body heal. The following article from Examiner.com is very interesting. Recent scientific research has found the existence of small nerve fibers, called C fibers, and that they are related to acupuncture points. To read more about this fascinating research, click here.
Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday season! May 2012 be a wonderful, healthy new year.
Gift Certificates Still Available
You can give a healthy gift! The gift of an acupuncture treatment is perfect for the person on your list who has everything, including stress.
Gift certificates available for one or more treatments, whatever you prefer. Just call 312-320-1968 or email me and scratch another person off your list.
Don’t lose that Flex or Health spending
If you have an FSA or HSA (Flexible Spending Account or Health Savings Account) you can use those dollars for acupuncture treatment! If you need our help getting reimbursed from FSA/HSA, please let us know.
Spring is in the air!
Spring in Chicago is a beautiful time! Birds are singing, plants and trees growing and greening our world. This season brings nature into bloom and yang is on the rise (yang is the warm energy building toward summer with longer days, warmer temps and plants growing and blooming).
In Traditional Chinese Medicine spring is associated with the wood element, connected to the Liver and Gallbladder systems. Spring is an ideal time to eat less, to cleanse or fast, after winter’s heavy and rich diet. The Liver and Gallbladder systems tend to become stagnant, which can manifest as irritation, pain, anger and frustration. Now is the time to eat fresh greens, take brisk walks, drink plenty of water with a slice of lemon to harmonize the body with the seasonal changes. Acupuncture is especially helpful at this time to help the body transition into the new season.
If you’d like more information on seasonal dietary or exercise habits, please check out Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford. Much of the information above is based on this resource and its a great place to learn more about taking care of your body at home between acupuncture treatments.
I look forward to seeing you in the clinic!
Monique Wheeler, L.Ac.
Allergies and Acupuncture
With the beautiful blooming plants and trees of springtime, many begin to suffer from seasonal allergies. If you are ready to use a more natural treatment for allergies or have experienced chronic sinus infections, acupuncture and Chinese Herbs are for you. They are gentle and effective and can stop the cycle of seasonal allergies and sinus infections.
Research has shown that acupuncture helps with allergic rhinitis; please see the following scientific study published in the journal Allergy Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in the treatment of patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis: a randomized-controlled clinical trial
Spring Open House
We’re all settled into our new clinic space and plan to have an open house for patients, friends and family to stop in and visit. We’ll announce the date soon (likely mid-May to ensure for warm weather) so keep your eyes open for an invitation with details to follow.
As always, your referrals are welcome and appreciated!
We are happy to provide 15 minute telephone consultations for anyone with questions about acupuncture and their health.
Giving Thanks Newsletter – Thanksgiving 2010
This time of year can be challenging with the arrival of colder temperatures, shorter days and (potentially) stressful holidays approaching. Practicing gratitude is one way to combat stress and enjoy life more at any time of year. A method I use is making gratitude lists including all the things, big and little, that I’m grateful for. A very good reason to practice gratitude is that it is good for your health: check out this research done at UC Davis and University of Miami, Highlights from the Research Project on Gratitude and Thankfulness.
Grateful people, their research shows, experience lower levels of stress and depression and are more satisfied with their lives. And Thanksgiving is a perfect time to begin or renew a commitment to practicing gratitude.
Thank you for including me on your health care team.
Monique Wheeler, L.Ac.
Holiday Food Drive
Between now and December 23rd, I will be collecting non-perishable food for donation to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. I will also donate $1 to the Food Depository from every treatment performed during that period. All that participate in the drive will be entered into a drawing for a free acupuncture treatment. For more information on hunger in Chicago, the Food Depository, or a list of the most needed items, please click here.
We are pleased and excited to announce the launching of a new Meridian 87 website! Please take a moment to check it out at www.meridian87.com. The new site launched on November 18th, 2010.
Clinic Schedule Thanksgiving Week
If you would like to get in for a treatment Thanksgiving week, appointments are available Monday the 22nd, Tuesday the 23rd or Wednesday the 24th. Appointment times are filling quickly so call soon if you need a treatment, 312-320-1968.
HSA/Flexible Spending Accounts
If you have money left in your HSA or Flex spending accounts, know that you can use those funds for acupuncture treatment. Some accounts permit rolling funds into the next calendar year but others do not. If you have a “use it or lose it” account, now is the time to try acupuncture!
Gift Certificates Available
Nothing is more valuable than the gift of health. A relaxing acupuncture session is the perfect gift for the person who has everything (including a lot of stress)! Certificates available for single or multiple sessions.
Fall Newsletter – October 2010
Fall Health – How to avoid getting sick!
Autumn brings wind, beautiful leaves changing colors and sometimes colds and flu. As the season changes so do our bodies and the steps we need to take to remain healthy. It is especially important to protect our body from wind which brings the colds and flu, because when our qi is taxed and/or depleted, the wind can invade bringing disease. This is especially true in the Autumn which is the season corresponding to the Lung system. It is especially important to strengthen and nourish the lungs, the spleen (or digestive system which supports the lungs) and the immune system.
There are many types of qi in the body and each type performs a specific role. Wei qi is the qi that circulates on the most exterior layer of the body, functioning as our first layer of defense against the common cold or flu. Acupuncture and chinese herbs are especially effective at strengthening wei qi – and a timely treatment can reduce the length and severity of acute conditions.
You can strengthen your wei qi outside of the treatment room by practicing the following:
- Dress appropriately for the weather and cover your neck with a scarf, especially on windy days.
- Include warm, nourishing soups and stews in your diet. Good foods to emphasize include pears, leeks, pumpkins, kale, turnip and mustard greens, carrots, sweet potatoes, yams and squash. Dark green and golden orange vegetables are high in beta carotene, which protects the body from viral and bacterial attacks as well as cancer (Source: Healing With Whole Foods, Paul Pitchford, p.313).
- Drink warm beverages and stay hydrated.
- Include a good multi-vitamin in your daily supplements.
If you feel the beginnings of a cold make sure to rest, take a warm bath, and eat a nutritious meal. If your body is still fighting the cold or you do become ill, call for an appointment. We will do our best to get you into the clinic quickly and can sometimes schedule you that day for treatment. If you are someone who catches every cold that comes around, be sure to call for an appointment and start working on strengthening your immune system.
Monique Wheeler, L.Ac.
Expanded Office Hours!
Due to increased demand, office hours have expanded to include Wednesday evenings. Appointments are available starting at 5 pm. Evening appointments are also available on Monday and Thursday, with daytime appointments available Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Call 312-320-1968 to schedule a Wednesday evening tune up!
Big changes are coming. A new website, a new space, a new year! We are launching a new website just in time to start 2011 and moving into a new space just a few blocks away from our current location. Keep your eyes open for information on these changes and treatment specials.
August 2010 – Acupuncture and Fertility
Summer is in full swing with higher temperatures and humidity. Local markets are full of ripe, colorful, luscious fruits and vegetables. Now is the time to enjoy the bounty of local farms and to eat lightly cooked foods and smaller meals. It is also time to eat cooling foods such as watermelon, cucumbers and mint. Eating a variety of colorful foods is very beneficial to our health, especially to prevent chronic diseases such as cancer.
There’s also been a rash of summer colds and sore throats and allergies are starting up again for some. If you’re feeling under the weather with a cough, cold, sore throat or constant itchy eyes and nasal congestion, don’t forget that a timely acupuncture treatment can reduce the severity of your symptoms and get you feeling better again quickly!
I’ve decided to focus each newsletter on how acupuncture and Chinese Medicine help specific conditions. This newsletter focuses on acupuncture and fertility. I’m including a link to research on how acupuncture treatment benefits IVF patients. Please feel free to ask me any questions and pass the information on to anyone you know that might be interested.
Monique Wheeler, L.Ac.
Getting pregnant isn’t always as easy. Often women start trying to conceive believing that in a few months they will be pregnant. Once a few months pass with no luck they may become frustrated. This is a perfect time to investigate acupuncture and how it may help.
I work with women hoping to get pregnant by helping them to become as healthy and balanced as possible. To do this, I start with the menstrual cycle and any menstrual issues – for example if a woman has a shortened cycle of 23 days, we work to lengthen the cycle to a normal 28 days. If a woman has very painful or heavy periods, we work to relieve those symptoms. Signs and symptoms reflect deeper imbalances in the body. Acupuncture, Chinese herbs, diet and lifestyle changes address both deeper issues and symptoms and through treatment, those symptoms frequently disappear.
I also work to help relieve stress and frustration created after months of disappointment. This level of stress is very detrimental to conception. During an acupuncture treatment, the body relaxes and during relaxation healing occurs.
Studies have indicated that women undergoing IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) may benefit from acupuncture treatment. There have been a variety of studies performed and a meta analysis of seven studies indicated that acupuncture increases the odds of pregnancy.