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4424 West 29th Avenue
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Located in the Highlands in Denver, Colorado, Healing Vibes Acupuncture & Wellness offers acupuncture for back pain, cupping, health coaching, holistic medicine, massage and more.

Posts | Holistic Medicine Highlands, Denver | Acupuncture for Back Pain & Asthma

Information and helpful articles from Healing Vibes Acupuncture & Wellness. Located in the Highlands in Denver, Colorado, we offer acupuncture for back pain, cupping, health coaching, holistic medicine, massage and more.

Filtering by Tag: nutrition

7 Easiest Tips and Tricks to Follow to Start Feeling GREAT Today!

Healing Vibes

Having no energy, being bloated, weight gain or feeling just kind of blah is a common problem with majority of people. To combat these negative side effects that occur from everyday life, here are the 7 easiest tips to start feeling great TODAY!  

Tip #1. Drink up the water

Water plays such an important role in your life that I could even begin to list all the benefits here. It aides in digestion, helps your body remove waste, protects your tissues and joints, prevents you from becoming dehydrated, regulates temperature and other bodily functions. You should be drinking at least 8 cups per day…more if you are active.

 

Tip #2. SLEEP!

The importance of sleep goes way beyond just boosting your mood or banishing under-eye circles. Getting enough sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle. It can benefit your heart, mind, weight, mood, memory and more. Shooting for at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night is ideal.

 

Tip #3. Eating with Balance

When you eat a variety of different foods at each meal, you will not only eat a nutritionally balanced meal, but you will feel more satisfied. When you fill your plate with Fiber, Fat, and Protein; it takes your body a longer time to beak these down causing a slower release of energy, which will keep you fuller for longer. You find fiber through fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Avocados, nuts, and olive oils are a great source of fat. Get your protein from lean meat, fish, beans, and nuts.

 

Tip #4. Be Present

Some of us may not be able to cook every meal, but we do have time enjoy it! We must become present with our plate. Shut down your computer, turn off the TV, de-stress yourself. Distracted eating is a huge contributor to overeating. By focusing on what you are eating, you will end up eating less and enjoying your food more.

 

Tip #5. Practice Your Hunger and Fullness

Becoming aware of your bodies cues to hunger and fullness will help to increase energy levels and balance your blood sugar. You need to trust your body in knowing how much food is needed and when to stop eating. You want to start eating before you are starving…or before you become hangry! Eating past the point of hungry will cause you to over eat, which will result in blood sugar levels dropping and you going into that 2 p.m. slump.

You will want to stop eating when your fullness levels are at about a 7 or 8. You want to feel satisfied, but not so full you have to unbutton your pants. We tend to eat with our eyes and not with our stomachs; practicing your hunger and fullness will help you to STOP eating even though there is still food on your plate

 

Tip #6. Get Up and Move

Don’t think of exercise as a chore! Weather its running, tennis, or swimming; find something you love doing and use that as your exercise. But don’t think that you HAVE to go to the gym or run a marathon. Adding little bits of movement as a constant part of your everyday life will have a huge impact on your health and happiness. Take a short walk with your dog after dinner, shovel your own snow instead of paying the neighbor kid, take the stairs instead of the elevator, instead of circling the parking lot for the closest parking stall, park in the back of the lot and walk.

 

Tip #7. RELAX!

Even the healthiest people get stressed out sometimes. Find a daily strategy to shed stress. Meditate, practice deep breathing exercises, read a book, go for a run, make a dinner date with your best friend.

It’s more than OK to enjoy the occasional cheeseburger and beer… What REALLY matters is a cumulative lifestyle pattern of staying connected to others, enjoying healthful food, and keeping yourself moving.

 

If you would like to learn more eating and lifestyle tips and tricks contact our Health coach!

Importance of Sleep

Healing Vibes

Studies show that a third of Americans aren’t getting enough sleep.  That’s 1 in 3 people that are getting less than seven hours of valuable snooze time. Therefore, they  put themselves at risk of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, heart disease and other issues. Most people know that they should be eating right, exercising, or not smoking…but they tend to put sleep on a back burner, thinking it’s not as important. Little do they know, sleep has a huge impact on your health. There are a lot of great reasons why sleep is important. It helps improve memory. During a restful sleep you go through a process called consolidation. This actually strengthens memories and allows you to practice the skills you learned while you were awake. Sleeping has great anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is linked to stroke, heart disease, arthritis and premature aging. Sleep also plays a huge roll in your emotional regulations. As we all know, when you are overtired or exhausted, you are more likely to be snappy, easily upset, or even start laughing uncontrollably.

My favorite reason to get a good nights rest is that you have better control over your weight. When you're fatigued, there are good chances that you will not want to cook a healthy dinner when you get home, or hit the gym. Also, when you don’t get enough sleep your leptin levels lower and you feel hungrier. Leptin is a hormone that makes you feel full. This makes you crave those high fat comfort foods!

So, how do we ensure we are getting seven hours of peaceful slumber?  Going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning will get your body in a healthy bed time routine. Disconnect from television, cell phones, and your computer at least one hour before bed, instead try reading a book before bed. Regular exercise improves insomnia symptoms. The more you exercise, the more sleep benefits. Lastly, avoid any caffeine or alcohol before bed. While a night cap may help you relax, it actually interrupts your sleep cycle. The more liquid you consume before bed, the more often you will have to get up to go to the restroom!

Meal Prepping

Healing Vibes

With the crazy schedules that life throws at us, it is easy to make poor food choices. My way to make sure I stay on track with my eating is by eliminating the stress and time factor of having to cook every single night and day by meal prepping!  It saves you time in the kitchen and helps keep you on track with healthy eating! You can meal prep for just dinner or for all meals and snacks you eat during a day…the choice is up to you. So what is meal prepping?  Essentially it is planning and prepping your meals in advance for the next couple of days or for your whole week.  This basically means cooking items in bulk and eating leftovers.  Food prep can be anything. It can mean just simply chopping up peppers or other vegetables ahead of time for recipes, washing fruits and vegetables so they are ready for snacking. Portioning out nuts or other food items for snacks. Cutting up chicken or beef to be recipe ready, or fully making your meals. Its whatever is going to work best for you!

Healthy choices are easier to make when they are ready to be eaten!

HOW TO:

- Pick one day a week as your prep day (pick the day that you have the most time)

- Grocery shop on this day as well

Plan your meals for the week using this simple guideline:

 Protein + Complex Carb (starch) + Vegetable (and always make sure  to get your healthy fats in!)

Protein Options:

- Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless)

- Ground Beef – 90% lean or higher (Grass fed is best!)

- Ground Turkey – 93% lean or higher

- Fish – Salmon (ONLY WILD CAUGHT)

- Eggs (hard boil a bunch for the week!)

- Steak

 

Vegetarian or Vegan plant based proteins:

-Beans (black beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, etc.)

- Lentils

- Quinoa

-Oatmeal

 

Complex Carb options: opt for whole grain, complex carbohydrates as your fuel!

- Quinoa— you can add whatever flavors/spices of dish to quinoa to boost flavor

- Sweet potato (MY FAVORITE!)

- Brown rice

- Potato

- Rice Varities: Jasmine*, Basmati*, Wild Grain*, Etc.

- Buckwheat

 

Vegetable options (these are just a few):

- Spinach/Kale

- Green Beans

- Mushrooms

- Asparagus

- Broccoli / Cauliflower

- Cucumber

- Red, Yellow, Orange Peppers

- Zucchini

- Brussel sprouts

- Squash

- Carrots

- Tomatoes

 

Healthy Fats

- Advocado

- Nuts

- Coconut Oil

- Olive Oil

- Nut butters

- Grass fed meat & Wild Caught Salmon

- Organic Egg Yolk

PREP

  1. Grocery shop for the week

  2. Peel, chop, cut all veggies and fruit for the week (cook what needs to be cooked)

  3. Prep your protein/meals (Make your meat "basic" to be used in a variety of ways throughout the week)

If you just don’t have the time to dedicate to meal prepping, I would suggest picking up prepped meals from a local store! On the weeks that I know I just won’t have time to prep my meals, my favorite places to go for meal prepping in Denver are FitKitchen and Fit Foods 4 U. If you aren’t in the Denver area, there are meal prep services that will ship right to your door. One that I would recommend is Icon Meals. Give yourself time to reap the rewards and make it a habit! In order to experience the benefits, see the results, and form new habits, you need to stick with your weight loss/ health strategies! Remember, it takes about 3 weeks to form a habit. Don’t throw in the towel if food prep doesn’t work the first few times! Expect to make a few adjustments along the way!

Stress and its effects on the body

Healing Vibes

Stress O meter

Stress O meter

Stress is your bodies way of responding to any kind of threat or demand. Modern life is full of deadlines, frustrations, high demands, and crazy schedules. For the majority of people, stress is so common that it has become a way of life. Not all of it is bad though. If you experience stress within your natural comfort zone it can motivate you and help you perform under pressure. However, when the pressure becomes overwhelming its can impair your mood, your relationships and most importantly your health.

Here are just a few ways that negative stress effects your body.

  • Increased cortisol production: Associated with weight gain (especially in the belly), inability to lose weight or gain muscle, premature aging.

  • Decreased nutrient absorption: Due to decreased enzymatic production from the stomach, pancreas and liver, decreased bile flow from gall bladder, decreased oxygenation and gastrointestinal blood flow.

  • Increased nutrient excretion: Urinary loss of calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, chromium, selenium, and various microminerals.

  • Decrease in thyroid hormone: Can lead to a decrease in metabolic activity throughout the body.

  • Increase in blood cholesterol: Stress by itself will raise LDL levels.

  • Decrease in sex hormones: Can mean lower sex drive, low energy, decreased muscle mass.

  • Increase in inflammation: The basis of many significant ailments, including brain and heart disease.

  • Increase in insulin resistance: Chronic low-level stress may cause target cells to become unresponsive to insulin, a factor in diabetes, weight gain, heart disease and aging.

While unmanageable stress is undeniably harmful, you have more control than you think. You may feel like the stress in your life is out of your control, but you can always control the way you respond. There are healthy ways to cope with stress that will help you reduce its harmful effects, and prevent stress from escalating out of control.

Here are the top 6 ways to reduce stress.

  1. Conscious breathing. Take 10 slow deep breaths. You’re going to trick your central nervous system. The shortcut to turn off stress and activate a physiologic relaxation response is conscious breathing

  2. Eat a healthy diet.Well-nourished bodies are better prepared to manage stress. Start your day with a healthy breakfast, reduce your sugar intake, add plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and a lot of fresh water.

  3. Set aside relaxation time. There are many relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation that activate the body’s relaxation response, a state of restfulness that is the opposite of the fight or flight stress response.

  4. Get plenty of sleep. Feeling tired can escalate stress by causing you to think unreasonable and irrational.

  5. Limit alcohol and caffeine. These can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks.

  6. Getmoving. Physical activity plays a major role in managing stress. Movement helps get your nervous system back into balance.

Emotional Eating

Healing Vibes

Let’s be honest... are you always hungry when you eat? Or, do you sometimes use food as a comfort or distraction when you are feeling anxious, angry or upset? Could work stress, spouse arguments, or an all-around low mood be causing your waistline to expand? Many of us don’t often see that we are emotional eating. Emotional eating happens whenever someone has a strong emotion that they don’t know exactly how to handle, and they channel it into an eating experience. Don’t be fooled, stressed, angry, or upset aren’t the only emotions that cause emotional eating…happiness is another common emotion that people don’t realize can cause binge eating. Think about being around friends and family during holidays or events. You are usually happy, and tend to eat more. When you occasionally turn to food to celebrate or forget your troubles, it doesn’t mean that you have a problem. It’s when you let your emotions frequently dictate when and what you eat. This can hurt your fat loss efforts while leaving other issues or problems in your life unresolved.

There are ways to overcome emotional eating. First, you will want to figure out exactly which emotion triggers you to eat. Keeping a food journal can help you determine this. Write down exactly when you ate, what you ate, how you felt, whether you were actually physically hungry, and how you felt afterward. If you track your emotions and what you are it eating, it will help you to determine what types of feelings tend to drive you to emotionally eat.

Next, what you will want to do is figure out alternative behaviors to help deal with these emotions. Some good examples are to call a friend, go for a walk, read a book, or indulge in a hobby you have. If you are tracking your behaviors in your journal and start to feel yourself slipping into a bag of cookies, you can acknowledge that pattern and choose an alternative behavior that will help you fight the urge.

Another step is to focus on your food. Use all of your senses to really enjoy what you are eating. Don’t watch TV, talk on the phone, or be distracted in any way. Remember to always include your favorite foods regularly into your diet. If you love chocolate, allow yourself one small chocolate square after dinner. Or, if you love pizza have it one night a week. By not following a super restrictive diet and you allow yourself to indulge every once in a while you are less likely to turn to food for emotional reasons.

Overcoming emotional eating isn’t easy.  You have to commit to dealing with your feelings and not using food to comfort you. Expect some setbacks, don’t let them deter your progress. As you develop new habits, you will no longer reach for food when you become overwhelmed or stressed. In addition health coaching can help you overcome these obsticles with added support.

How to Strengthen Your Immune System

Tyson Ruhge

With the change of seasons, we can all use a boost to our immune systems.  Along with proper diet, low stress, and getting enough sleep, we can use Chinese Medicine to prepare for the change of seasons.  Many people count on Acupuncture for the Immune System. These amazing treatments include Moxibustion, Acupuncture, and Chinese herbs.  

Moxibustion is a Chinese herb called Mugwort, which is safely burned during treatments on specific acupuncture points on the body.  A really amazing scientific fact about this herb is that when used on these acupuncture points, it actually triples your white blood cell count within 10 minutes!  These white blood cells are what your body uses to help fight against many viruses and bacteria in common colds, flues, and other respiratory disorders.

Chinese herbs have truly amazing properties that help strengthen the immune system.  Most commonly used in my clinic is the formula Immune +Plus.  This herbal formula has the herbs Astragulus and Ganoderma Mushroom just to name a few.  These two herbs are very powerful at keeping your body balanced, and keep you from getting sick!  This formula is taken a few times per day in capsule form.  It’s also great to take when traveling, a time when we are confronted with many germs on airplanes and in airports.

Using these powerful natural medicine modalities to prevent our bodies from getting sick is much safer than getting sick and resorting to antibiotics.  Antibiotics harm the digestive system, making it even easier for us to get sick next time around.

immune smoothie

immune smoothie

Along with Chinese herbs, diet can play a major role in our immune system!  Here is a great example of a smoothie to make at home which will definitely benefit our immune systems.

Immunity Booster Smoothie

  • 1 orange

  • 1 apple

  • 2 handfuls of spinach or kale

  • ½ of a lemon (peeled)

  • Tip of your thumb size nodule of ginger

  • ¾ cup berries of your choice

  • 3 ice cubes (optional) (it's better to keep our bodies warm and not ingest too much cold foods during the winter months)