Turn on the Turmeric

Posted on Aug 23, 2017

Healthy Turmeric Smoothie, Turn on the Turmeric! I recall many years of patients telling me about their first signs of joint pain, it always seemed to be in the finger joints and usually the pointer or middle finger, a soreness or a feeling of stiffness.  Well, I suppose my time has come.  I’ve been having some finger joint soreness lately so I’m turning on the turmeric! I’ve been doing this morning ritual along with some extra fish oil before bed at night and it’s already helping! Turmeric is such a strong herb (anti-inflammatory and great for your liver) and strong tasting, but luckily chocolate pretty much hides the taste completely but keeps a yummy underlying kick!  YUM! An interesting side note:  In Chinese medicine, we call this herb “Yu Jin” and have a slightly bit of a different take on it.  It’s great for pain (anti-inflammatory), menstrual cramps, for all aspects of the liver, for bleeding like nosebleeds, it can be emotionally calming and helps with jaundice and gall stones. From the Chinese Medicine Classic Text: Moves Qi and Blood, Relieves Pain Especially for pain do to Qi and Blood Stasis including hypochondriac pain, irregular menses, masses (especially in abdomen and hypochondriac region), traumatic injuries, and dysmenorrhea. Also for liver cirrhosis, enlarged liver and spleen Clear Heat and Cool Blood For bleeding due to Heat in the Blood including epistaxis, hematemesis, hematuria, and epistaxis during menses Clear the Heart, Open Orifices For Shen disturbances associated with Damp, Phlegm and Heat in the Heart with symptoms like disorientation, epilepsy, mania, anxiety, agitation, seizures, and derangement Treats Jaundice, Benefits the Gallbladder Treats Damp-Heat jaundice and gall stones INGREDIENTS 1 tablespoon fresh turmeric or 1/2 teaspoon of powdered, although fresh is better! 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder 1 tablespoon of raw cacao nibs (for antioxidants and a little crunch) ½ a zucchini (skin on or off) 1 cup spinach 1/2 banana ½ teaspoon black pepper 1 scoop of protein powder 2–3 cups water, coconut or almond milk Blend in a Vitamix or another equivalent and you are good to go! If you don’t feel sold just yet, here is a list of some of it’s super duper powerful benefits! 30 Amazing Benefits And Uses Of Turmeric In Health, Christina Martin, L.Ac. Tao to Wellness Berkeley, CA Healthy Turmeric Smoothie, Turn on the...

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2017 Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen list released!

Posted on Jul 20, 2017

2017 Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen list released! If you never read any of our posts all year, read this one!  The yearly release of the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen report is a list of which foods have the most and the least pesticide residue and will save you money all year.  Who doesn’t love that? Since I’m in New York so often, I’m constantly assaulted by organic food prices here. And when I say assaulted, I really mean assaulted!  $8.99 for organic blackberries?  $4 for one organic avocado?  $5 for one head of organic cauliflower?  And even if I did spend $4 for that sad looking bunch of kale–  four wilted leaves won’t get me far. “The Environmental Working Group released the 2017 edition of the Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, also known as the “Dirty Dozen.” The guide is based on analysis of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Data Program report. “Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is essential no matter how they’re grown, but for the items with the heaviest pesticide loads, we urge shoppers to buy organic,” Sonya Lunder, EWG senior analyst, said in a news release. The group identified the following items on its “Dirty Dozen” list of produce with the most pesticide residue: Strawberries Spinach Nectarines Apples Peaches Celery Grapes Pears Cherries Tomatoes Sweet bell peppers Potatoes The group also identifies the “Clean 15” or items in the report with the least likelihood to contain pesticide residue: Sweet corn Avocados Pineapples Cabbage Onions Frozen sweet peas Papayas Asparagus Mangoes Eggplant Honeydew Kiwifruit Cantaloupe Cauliflower Grapefruit” Of course, if you can buy organic all the time it’s ideal, but sometimes it’s just too much money, like I always say pick and choose your battles. Here’s to the day New York City produce looks, tastes and costs just like the produce at Berkeley Bowl! In Health, Christina Martin Tao to Wellness 809 Hearst Ave Berkeley, California 510.883.0383 Need an appointment?  Click here 2017 Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen list released!  ...

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Tips to having an awesome lymphatic system!

Posted on Jun 23, 2017

Tips to having an awesome lymphatic system! The lymphatic system, which is a complicated network of fluid filled lymphs, glands, organs and vessels,  is rarely talked about, but so important.  It’s basically the body’s garbage man or waste management, which in New York is really code word for mafia, but I digress.  For patients who experience chronic problems, they might be a little more familiar with this slightly mysterious system. The lymphatic system’s main job is to get rid of toxins (internal and external) and protect the body against invasions.  The largest lymphatic tissue in the body is the Spleen and plays a huge part in immune defense and red and white blood cells. One of the interesting things about lymph is, unlike blood, there is no pump, it relies on relaxation and contraction of muscles and joints to move it, so the lymphatic system can get sluggish and easily stagnant.  When it becomes overwhelmed, it can lead to impaired immunity, cellulite, edema, chronic pain, fatty deposits, sinusitis and upper respiratory issues.  As you can see it’s super important to keep this system moving!  Thanks to The Chalkboard, A Guide to Living Well, here’s some easy tips to keeping the garbage men happy!   ACUPUNCTURE You knew this was coming, right?  Acupuncture is incredible for moving and balancing the lymphatic system, it’s one of the only modalities that can focus directly on the Qi and blood of the Spleen, which is the largest lymphatic organ.  We also believe that stress plays a huge part in that potential stagnating energy of the lymphatic system, so acupuncture can also address stress in the whole body and the Qi flow of the liver as well.  Remember there is no pump in the lymphatic system, so the body needs free flowing energy of Qi to transport those toxins.  Acupuncture is your answer!    REBOUNDING Rebounding is one of the easiest ways to pump the lymph. Rebounding is the practice of jumping on a trampoline (yes, remember when we did this for fun!?) for ten to thirty minutes. This passively moves the lymph while stimulating the circulation of blood throughout the body. Numerous studies have proven its efficacy, and have even shown it to improve muscle tone.   INVERSION TABLE An inversion table is a padded table that allows one to invert upside down while strapped in by the feet. The inversion process decompresses the joints of the body and stimulates the lymphatic and circulatory system. This brings blood and oxygen to the tissues, which helps to clear the muscles of toxic build-up. By inverting, gravity works with, not against, the body, encouraging the movement of the lymph. It also improves spinal health by rehydrating...

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What’s on the magical Tao to Wellness headphones?

Posted on Jun 15, 2017

What’s on the magical Tao to Wellness headphones? I wouldn’t have believed the hype, the website alone makes me cringe, you know those never ending websites with the HUGE “Try Us Now” button.  It just screams scam to me. Guess what?  It’s not a scam.  In 2000 I shared an office with crystal healer, Clifton Harrison, he introduced me to these magical tracks and I’ve been throwing noise cancellation headphones on every patient since then.  Amazing! The two tracks created by Centerpointe Institute are called Dive and Immersion, they are both 30 minutes each.  The Dive helps ‘catch’ your brain as Clifton calls it, and slows it down into a meditative state, Delta to be exact.  It then continues to take you deeper and deeper into The Matrix with Neo and Trinity, just kidding, just deeper into Delta states. Immersion follows and as the name implies brings you even deeper, however during an acupuncture treatment it actually brings you out of Delta and back to current space and time.  I don’t have a solid answer as to why this happens, but I believe it’s a combination of the two working together. Acupuncture works with the Qi or energy of the body.  It takes 23 minutes for the Qi to cycle through each organ, so it makes sense to me that in about 35 minutes or so the patient ‘returns’ since it takes most patients 10 minutes to drop into a quiet state initially.  Almost every patient loves these tracks!  And then every once in awhile, I would get a patient who felt irritated by them or a patient that couldn’t ‘drop down’.  Maybe they hated the Bells (Dive) or they preferred the Rain only (Immersion).  I came to find that these patients needed a little extra time in the initial stage, their brainwaves were moving much, much faster than others.  So, I threw the headphones on and then I came back in 5 minutes, quietly entered the room and hit rewind to the beginning of the track, and then I did it again in another 5 minutes.  It worked!  After my 2 rewinds, patients were able to relax and go deeper like everyone else.  Even more interesting is I usually only needed to do this for about 3 treatments, after that patients took to the Delta states much easier. To give you an idea of what all this feels like for a patient, here’s some quotes: I’m kind of here in the room, but not really here. I felt like I was levitating. It’s better than drugs! (my personal favorite) I felt like I was in another universe. That was an out of body experience. Since then patients always ask...

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Fertility Boosting Foods!

Posted on Jun 9, 2017

Fertility Boosting Foods! At Tao to Wellness we’ve mastered the science behind baby making through acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and nutritional support. Foods have properties just like herbal medicine.  When a patient eats certain foods at certain times of their cycle, there is an impact… sometimes positive and sometimes negative.  Since we want to give patients the best case scenario when they are under our care, we compiled a list of what foods support the two main phases of the cycle.  Below you’ll find foods broken down into Follicular, which is from the end of the period until ovulation, this is a building phase for the lining and the nourishing phase of Yin.  And Luteal, which is from ovulation until the period happens.  The temperature warms, there can be a possibility of implantation and this is a time of Yang.  An * is a food that is extremely strong and highly recommended for this time of the cycle.   FOLLICULAR phase of your cycle: Fruits Apples, Apricots, Banana, Blueberry, Fig, Grape, Mango, Pear, Pineapple, Pomegranate, Watercress Vegetables Asparagus, Beets, Dandelion, Kelp, Leafy greens*- including kale, spinach (best with a splash of citrus), Lemon, Microalgae, Millet, Mulberry, Nettle*, Parsley, Pea, Seaweed, Spinach, String Bean, Sweet potato Grains Barley, Millet, Sweet rice Meats: Beef*, Bone Marrow- Bone Broth*, Cheese, Duck, Liver, Oxtail*, Pork, Sardines Other: Black sesame*, Honey, Royal Jelly*   LUTEAL phase of your cycle: Fruits Citrus Vegetables Cabbage, Kale, Onion, Leek, Chive, Parsnip, Parsley, Mustard Greens, Winter Squash Grains Lentils, Quinoa Meats Anchovy, Lamb, Trout, Salmon (check with Seafoodwatch.org for sources) Nuts Chestnut, Pecan, Pistachio Spices Aniseed, Basil, Caraway, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clove, Cumin, Dill Seed, Fennel Seed, Garlic, Ginger*, Nutmeg, Rosemary, Sage, Savory, Star Anise, Thyme   To enjoy ANYTIME throughout your cycle! Avocado, Pineapple, Beans (Aduki, Black, Kidney), Cashews, Cherry, Dates, Eggs* and Walnuts   Keep in mind— Organic when possible Fruits and veggies that are in season Check with www.seafoodwatch.org for the healthiest sources. In Health, Christina Martin, L.Ac. Tao to Wellness Acupuncture Berkeley, California...

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Paleo Diet or Vegetarian Diet?

Posted on Jun 5, 2017

Paleo Diet or Vegetarian Diet? What’s a girl to do?  There are so many diets out there and I’m not referring to fad diets necessarily.  Just different ways of eating that work for different body types.  How to choose… I personally have been on every single diet known to man (or woman) including the fad ones.  Here’s what I came up with; eat what makes you feel good, eat what makes you feel alive and energetic.  Case in point, I did Whole30 a few years ago (basically paleo, no dairy, alcohol, sugar, grains) and by day 25 I looked like I was ready for a coffin, I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open.  Finally our acupuncturist, Nikole Maxey looked at me and said, “Why don’t you have just a little bit of rice?” What a brilliant idea, I was so hell bent on doing it right, and I obviously wasn’t thinking straight.  I ate rice and my energy perked up immediately.  So, Whole30 as wonderful as it is, is not for me.  I also gained weight during those 25 days which again is not the norm for that particular diet. I’ve seen many patients over the years with exactly this profile, vegetarians/vegans with severe fatigue and high cholesterol.  To be clear, I’m not a proponent either way of paleo or vegetarianism, I’m just more interested in a diet creating health and optimum balance for that patient.  People think that high cholesterol is a marker showing too much red meat and rich foods, it can be, but it’s not the only way to get high cholesterol.  From a functional medicine perspective, it can also be from too many carbs, not enough protein, so the body is deprived of amino acids for balanced brain chemistry, the thyroid isn’t regulated, the detoxification of the body is off and so on and so on, hence the body creates too much cholesterol.  The fix I found; is Eggs.  Eggs always seem to the harmless first step for vegetarians and vegans since so many choose that diet for moral reasons as well.  I’ve also seen vegetarian patients eventually go Paleo all the way and they are feeling great.  As the Dalia Lama says, “If you can, vegetarianism is the best way to go from a spiritual standpoint, but if protein is what your body needs, that’s fine too.”  The Dalai Lama does eat meat now due to the urging of his Ayurvedic physician. I’ve also had a patient who was on a fad shake diet, shakes for breakfast and lunch and then a sensible dinner, doesn’t sound too horrible, right?  The kicker was it had to be absolutely NO FAT, none at...

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