BCBS of TN Covers Acupuncture for Pain

BCBS of TN Covers Acupuncture for Pain

As an alternative to opioids, BCBS will now cover acupuncture in TN. North Carolina is not far behind.

Knoxville Acupuncture

Effective January 1, 2019, BlueCross of Tennessee removed Oxycontin and added acupuncture to help with the opioid crisis.

Access the story by clicking here.

Asheville Acupuncture

North Carolina Society of Acupuncture and Asian Medicine (NCSAAM) has been working with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Med Director and Chief Policy Analyst. Due to their ongoing efforts, there is good probability that BCBS of North Carolina will include acupuncture as a benefit in the next 2 years.

Pain is the most throughly researched indication for acupuncture.

Our friends at Evidence Based Acupuncture have compiled the latest state of medical research on the subject. Read Acupuncture Medical Research on Efficacy for Pain.

Are you in with Pain?

You don’t have to suffer. We can help.

Gift Cards For the Holidays

Gift Cards For the Holidays

Gift Cards for the Ones You Love (Including You!)

Gift Cards are in – just in time for the holidays!

Asheville-Acupuncture-Holiday-Gift-CardsThis is a good way – or reason- to prioritize self-care for you or someone you love.

  • We have physical gift cards you can pick up at the office (or mail to you)
  • We now have eGift cards online for ease and peace of mind. Order Here for E Cards

From our family to yours, we wish you a peaceful holiday season.

 

Stinging Nettles for Stress Support

Stinging Nettles for Stress Support

Let Stinging Nettles Help You – In So Many Ways

The Nettles plant – Urtica Dioica (commonly known as Stinging Nettles) is an interesting herbal ally. If you look closely, the needles on the leaves will let you know that it WILL sting you, if you are not mindful when harvesting. However, once the Nettles is dried, blanched, or pulverized, the sting is ameliorated. Best harvested with gloves starting in early spring, Nettles can provide us with a treasure trove of support for many conditions. However, regular use provides the biggest benefit in the long run.

This wonderful plant is safe to use, and is high in calcium, iron potassium, phosphorus, chlorophyll, vitamin C, and other nutrients. Nettles support the kidneys and adrenals making it a potent stress fighter when used regularly.  It is alkalizing and anti0inflammatory helping us with joint pain, osteoporosis, PMS, hot flashes and skin conditions like Psoriasis. Nettles contains more Calcium and Magnesium than the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance).

Nettles Works Synergistically with the Body

Nettles has an adaptogenic effect on the body. Nettles can simultaneously

  • Bring Healing to Dryness OR Drain Dampness
  • Gentle OR Fierce
  • Hemostatic OR Circulating
  • Nutritive OR Dispersing
  • Cooling OR Building Energy

Could Nettles be an Antidote for Coffee?

So much about coffee is alluring. The smell, taste and ritual of morning and/or afternoon coffee. Coffee and conversation with a friend. Coffee is string medicine. Because of this, it takes a toll on us when we consume it regularly.

I would not normally think of using Nettles to replace coffee. When I retreat (yes retreat! ) from my coffee habit,  I generally move to Decafe coffee, then black tea,  then green tea, and then once I’ve weaned from caffeine and I want that coffee taste, I drink either Dandy Blend or Four Sigmatic’s Mushroom elixir. There are a few to choose from – just don’t choose one with actual coffee in it.  These are both fairly good substitutes for the coffee taste.  Both are fairly nutritive, especially the mushroom elixir. Yet how can we repair the damage we’ve done with coffee.

Since going deeper into my studies of Nettles, I am convinced that Stinging Nettles power plant ally that can help heal the imbalances we create with regular coffee use. Take a look.

Coffee Vs. Stinging Nettles

Coffee Nettles
Depletes Minerals Increases Minerals
Acid Forming Alkalizing
Stress on the Adrenals Restores the Adrenals (Especially the seeds)
Liver Toxicity – uses the same path that stress needs to clear) Liver Supportive
Pregnancy Risk Pregnancy Supportive
Dehydrating Helps Hold Hydration

Regular use of Nettles can repair and restore the acidity and depletion that occurs from regular use of coffee.

Stimulating vs. Energizing – You get to Choose

Coffee and other caffeine products don’t really “give” us energy. They stimulate our system – but this is at the high cost of our adrenal glands. While the effect may be what we want (after all, I can get a lot done after a cup of coffee) the toll on our health is too great. When we tax our body this way, we are depleting our “jing” or essence.

Nettles, on the other hand, energizes our body and it’s many systems. It does this by nourishing our system and working synergistically with it. In fact, Nettles seed is considered an adaptogen – working to support the adrenals by nourishing and strengthening the HPA-axis – this is the Hypothalmic-Pituitary-Adrenal relationship. Adoptogens are herbs that help your body deal with stress. Other wonderful herbs in this category include Ashwaganda, Hawthorn, Schisandra, Rhodiola, Ginseng, Gingko, Astragalus, Holy Basil, and more.

70% of people Suffer with compromised Adrenal function due to stress.

Nettles for Women

Nettles can support us through all phases of the moon cycle including menopause.

  • Helps relieve cramps due to stagnation.
  • They are loaded with chlorophyl which moves the blood, increasing circulation.
  • The Hemostatic action also helps regulate and balance blood flow, lightening heavy flow and nourishing light flow.
  • Nettles supports us with pain during ovulation and helps regulate excess water, relieving bloating.
  • Excellent for Menopause as they are cooling and anti-inflammatory.
  • Great for Pregnancy – it’s like a liquid multi-mineral – Best mixed to use Nettels tea on and off with Red Raspberry Leaf tea (tones the uterus).

Other Amazing properties of Nettles

  • Bone Building Nutrients: Nettles carry 15 out the 18 Bone Building Nutrients including Boron which helps maintain and stabilize calcium in the bone.
  • High in bio-flavonoids which reduces varicose veins
  • Nettles is very supportive to all of the tissues and membranes of the body
  • Replenishes energy and builds you back up

You can use the entire plant. Leaf, seed, stalk and root.

Uses of the Seed:

  • Supports the kidneys and adrenals
  • Builds stamina and lasting energy reserves
  • Thyroid support
  • Use the seed oil for Alopecia
  • Also use for Erectile Dysfunction
  • Makes a great hair oil (crush in oil)

Eat the seeds raw or if using daily – dried (as the raw can become overstimulating).

The seed and Root can be tinctured as well as the leaf.

Uses of the Root:

  • Anti Inflammatory for Prostatitis
  • Great for gout- clears uric acid

Stinging Nettles is a smart plant and it helps your membranes be smart as well. It increases the health of your blood and helps revitalize you and flush out old patterns. It is commonly advised to brew

How to Start using Nettles Daily

You can purchase a tincture at your local health food store. Another easy way to start with Nettles is using it as a tea.

Nettles Tea (Infusion Method)


Nettles tea works best as an infusion

Keyword Adrenal Fatigue, Health, Menopause, Nettles, PMS, Stress

Ingredients

  • 2-6 TBS Dried Nettle Leaf You can purchase online or directly through us at the office
  • 1 Quart Filtered or Spring water - NO fluoride or Chlorine Feel free to make more - adjusting the nettle measurement
  • Organic Milk or Non-dairy Alternative
  • A few drops of liquid Stevia

Instructions

  1.  Add the nettles in the jar

  2.  Fill the jar with hot water just off the boil for tea


  3. Tightly close the lid and allow to steep for at least 8 hrs up to 24 hrs. - I make this at might and let sit over night. I also make more in the morning for the evening.


  4. Strain the plant material out squeezing well


  5. Enjoy warm or over ice. We enjoy it With organic milk or non-dairy milk of choice and a few drops of liquid stevia.

  6. Refrigerate and drink/use within 24 hours

Other Ways to Take in Nettles

The following are best for fresh spring nettles.  Be sure not to eat fresh nettles after it has gone to seed – this can be too taxing on the kidneys.

  • Nettles Soup
  • Nettles Pesto
  • Juicing the Nettles – You can drink the juice or use it directly on the skin
  • Add it into Smoothies
  • Nettle Chips (make like Kale chips)
The Master Tonic for Immune Support

The Master Tonic for Immune Support

The Master Tonic: Your Homemade Antiviral, Antibacterial, Anti-Inflammatory Powerhouse.

Now is the time to make this simple but powerful antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory remedy for the coming cold and flu season. It is known most commonly by the name “Master Tonic” and it is very easy to make.

 

This homemade medicine is an anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic remedy that you can make in your own kitchen. We made it  this month so that we are ready to keep our immune system strong when the season (and weather) changes.

This works as a preventative ally, keeping your immune system strong and it also works to help rally your immune system if a cold or flu strikes.

Remember: It’s best to use fresh,organic ingredients whenever possible. Especially, when making medicine.

Below are the health benefits of each ingredient. You will find the recipe at the bottom of the page.

The Health Benefits of Horseradish Root

  • Antibacterial
  • Antiviral
  • A natural Antibiotic
  • Anti-parasitic
  • Anti-anemic 
  • Helps relieve bronchitis and cough
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Stimulates the production of white blood cells
  • High levels Vitamin C

The Health Benefits of Garlic

Best used in its raw or fermented form

  • Natural Antibiotic
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-inflammatory 
  • Antioxidant
  • Rich in phytoncides-such as allicin – helping  cure infections at a faster rate.

It’s best to chop the garlic and wait 15 minutes prior to utilizing/ eating/ cooking. This allows the health-giving enzyme reaction of garlic to occur. 

The Health Benefits of Tumeric Root

Curcumin is an incredible compound found in turmeric. It works synergistically with Black pepper which increases it’s bioavailability in the blood.

  • anti-inflammatory
  • Antibiotic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antiviral- helps fight influenza
  • Protects the immune system 

Curcumin has become popular and effective anti-inflammatory but even more so it has played an important supportive role in the treatment of cancer

The Health Benefits of Ginger Root

Ginger is a widely recognized medicinal root across many cultures for thousands of years.

  • Powerful Anti- inflammatiory
  • Reduces pain
  • Helps alleviate gastrointestinal distress
  • Helps eliminate intestinal gas
  • Soothes the intestinal tract
  • Recent studies have shown promising reports of Ginger’s anti-cancer properties

The Health Benefits of Onion

  • Sulfur-rich assisting the body to detoxify
  • Anti-carcenogenic
  • Heart disease prevention
  • Immune bosting
  • DNA protection

The Health Benefits of Hot Peppers

  • Rich in capsaicin which protects cells against cancer
  • Regulate blood sugar
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Stimulate blood flow – helps relieve congestion associated with cold and sinus infections.

In this recipe we’ve used Jalepeño peppers because they were growing in our garden. However, Unripe green habaneros contain more Vitamin C than a serving of citrus fruit.

The Health Benefits of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Antioxidant
  • Antimicrobial 
  • Probiotic -rich promoting a healthy intestinal tract
  • Boosts the immune system

Master Tonic

Make this Anti-Viral, Anti-bacterial tonic for home use. 

Keyword Cold, Flu, Health, immune, Master Tonic
Prep Time 30 minutes
Author Nicole Johnson, CHHC

Ingredients

  • 1 Part Fresh Horseradish Root
  • 1 Part Fresh Garlic diced
  • 1 Part Fresh Tumeric Root (or powdered turmeric if not available)
  • 1 Part Fresh Ginger Root
  • 1 Part Onions chopped then add to food processor
  • 1 Part Hot Peppers (jalapeño or other) diced with gloves on
  • 1-2 Parts Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 9 grinds Fresh Ground Pepper (works synergistically with tumeric)

Instructions

  1. Grate, dice or add to food processor each ingredient at a time and add to jar. 

  2. Fill mason jars of your choice 3/4 of the way full. 

  3. Add in Apple Cider Vinegar to the top.

  4. Cover with lids (if using metal lids add parchment paper so the vinegar does not react with the metal lids.

  5. Store in a place out of the sun. Shaking gently once per day  for two weeks, and then filter the Master Tonic mixture through a clean piece of cheese cloth or other, bottle and label.

  6. Can be stored in the pantry indefinitely.

  7. Take 1 or 2 ounces a day during cold and flu season, You can add raw organic honey if desired. Swish and then swallow. Don’t dilute with water.

    The dosage for the Master Tonic is 1 or 2 ounces, two or more times daily. 

    For an infection, 1 or 2 ounces taken 5-6 times a day will be suffcient. It can be used during pregnancies, is safe for children (use smaller dosesand maybe a dropper full with added honey). This is a non-toxic food.

Tune into Spring, the Wood Element, and Heal Anger

Tune into Spring, the Wood Element, and Heal Anger

Spring is the element of WOOD and the color GREEN.

The ancient Taoists (Prounounced “dao-ists”) looked to nature to understand the human body, mind and spirit. They were philosophers and we need to be clear, Taoism is not a religion.

Spring- Wood – Green, Liver,
Liver out of balance = Anger
Liver in balance = Flow

In Western North Carolina and Western Tennessee, Yang is Rising

Let’s look around, what do you see? Trees leafing out, flowers blooming, greens pushing up? This is YANG rising. This is the start of the great in-breath – the height of which is the heat and outward orientation of summer. Yang is rising, the rivers are flowing, the birds are chirping and making nests, we all come out of hibernation.

The LIVER is the organ associated with spring. If our liver is in balance we experience free flow of qi (energy, emotions). If our liver needs some support, we may be quick to anger, snap at loved ones, or experience a low slow simmer of anger. Also, referred to Liver Qi Stagnation. I suffered with this for years. It’s true. Part of this is constitutional, meaning I have a tendency towards this, my family has a tendency, essentially – lots of – um- venting. Living in the south has been a balm to my constitution. I deeply enjoy – and have learned from- the kindness and generosity of spirit I have met in this region.

One of the solutions to opening up the free flow of liver qi is to take an aimless walk. This is for real, and it works wonders at opening up the free flow of liver qi. There is also a wonderful herbal formula called, Free and Easy Wanderer. Also, very helpful. These work wonder in conjunction with acupuncture which will support your liver and it’s reflexes. Ask your acupuncturist more about these remedies.

Healing Foods

Foods to add in to your diet are – Greens, Greens, Greens. Greens impart, light, flexible energy to us. Bitter Greens and herbs, support the liver directly. Dandelion, Broccoli Rabe, and Nettles are especially helpful. Chickweed is growing abundantly, add this to your salads or smoothies. When working with the more bitter greens, please be sure to have them with plenty of healthy fat, it cuts the bitterness and adds a nutritional punch. Health fats would include  Avocado oil, coconut oil, ghee, grass fed butter, and for those who tolerate it- bacon fat. A wonderful tincture to support the liver is Milk Thistle.

But truly, any greens- the fresher the better. These new greens that sprout up are here to help us clear away stagnation. Here is a fantastic Nettles Pesto recipe I LOVE to make with Fresh Nettles every spring. I am currently a green juice cleanse and my spirit and my body feel lighter and more upbeat.

Helpful Stones

A wonderful stone for this time of year that would support the free flow of liver qi is Amazonite. Known by the ancients as “Heaven flowing into the river stone.” It is calm, tranquil and supports us.

Here are some other thoughts to help us tune into the beauty of Spring.

  • Young plants
  • Spring fever- is Yang Rising
  • Moved by nature – Emotions, awakening
  • Nature sings, puts on a show
  • Slough away the old, the dense
  • Joyousness and Cheer
  • Tending to the garden can bring joy and connection

As we align our hearts with Nature, we arrive more deeply into balance.