What’s all the hype with CBD oil?

 

CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, is one of over 100 constituents of the cannabis sativa plant, also known as marijuana. THC is another one of its main constituents, and the one responsible for producing the “high” associated with marijuana use.

CBD is different in that it does not produce any “high” or psychoactive effects. However, it is highly praised for its therapeutic value, and has been extensively studied for its use in brain health, cancer treatment, and immune system health.

In a 2011 study1 published by Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, CBD was found to inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells.

In a 2016 study2 published by Pharmacotherapy, they found that CBD exhibits neuro-protective, antiepileptic, antipsychotic and anti-inflammatory properties.

And in a 2011 study3 published by Neuropsychopharmacology, CBD was used to treat social anxiety disorder in a group of subjects, who were then able to speak in front of an audience without feeling discomfort or cognitive impairment.

And this is just the beginning, if you go to clinicaltrials.gov, you will see close to 200 studies currently on CBD for various conditions such as PTSD, Epilepsy, substance abuse and so much more.

 

So what does this mean to you, and how can you benefit from CBD?

Well, this is just the tip of the iceberg. I know of some of my own clients that are using CBD in conjunction with their cancer treatments, others are using it to manage their back pain, knee pain and others are using it for anxiety. I have personally used it to heal from a concussion.

I have also used it to treat my cat’s cancer and old age symptoms. My cat is almost 18 years old and was diagnosed with 2 types of cancer 2 years ago, and she is as healthy as ever.  

I know of other people using it to treat their pets for arthritis, anxiety and other conditions.

Because CBD treats a wide range of symptoms and conditions, I highly value CBD as a potent tonic and a must in everyone’s medicine cabinet.

 

 

But, is it legal?

That depends where and how you purchase it. The medical grade brands available through my online dispensary are 100% legal, as Natural Partners is a medical supply vendor, and we only deal with medical products.

If you'd like to purchase: npscript.com/acuvida enter access code: Acuvida to receive 10% off your order!

If you have more questions or are interested in learning how CBD can help you, please feel free to drop me a line: Zelina@AcuvidaAcupuncture.com

 

 

 

1. Shrivastava A1, Kuzontkoski PM, Groopman JE, Prasad A. Cannabidiol induces programmed cell death in breast cancer cells by coordinating the cross-talk between apoptosis and autophagy. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. 2011 Jul;10(7):1161-72. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-10-1100. Epub 2011 May 12.

 

2. Fasinu PS1, et al. Current Status and Prospects for Cannabidiol Preparations as New Therapeutic Agents.

Pharmacotherapy. 2016 Jul;36(7):781-96. doi: 10.1002/phar.1780.

 

 

3. Bergamaschi MM, et al.

 Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naïve social phobia patients

 Neuropsychopharmacology. 2011 May;36(6):1219-26. doi: 10.1038/npp.2011.6. Epub 2011 Feb 9.

 

Holiday Meal Hacks

It's that time of the year; family dinners, friendly gatherings, open bar holiday parties, cupcake towers, cold weather, fuzzy sweaters...and suddenly our pants seem a little more snug, our bellies a little more large and our burps a little more loud! Don't let the holidays ruin your digestive system! Here are a few of my own personal tips to keep the belly bloat away...

1. Plan Ahead

We all know when the big one's coming, the big dinner! The day of a big meal, start out the day by drinking hot lemon water in the morning, followed by 1 tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar, diluted in an 8oz glass of water. This practice will help keep your digestive tract strong and on point. Throughout the day, you can also drink hot ginger tea, fresh or dried, both work great at warming and strengthening your digestive system. 

2. Plan of Attack

During the meal, eating strategically can help avoid digestive upset. As a general rule, if you are eating fruit at any point, it's best to have it 30 minutes before a meal. Otherwise, it will sit on top of all your heavy foods, creating a major traffic jam in the digestive tract. During your meal, eat your protein and carbs first, and your veggies last. Practice portion control, it is always best to have a pause between smaller meals, than to eat a very large one all at once. CHEW YOUR FOOD THOROUGHLY BEFORE SWALLOWING. This is often overlooked and is a major cause of acid reflux and digestive upset. Your digestion begins in your mouth, so whatever doesn't happen there, becomes the work of the internal organs, and remember, they are already over-worked during the holidays. Give them a break. 

3. Avoid Cold Drinks 

...at all costs! Cold drinks (and food) are often the culprit of chronic, long term digestive disorders. This is because cold constricts, like tightening a water hose where nothing gets through. Give your intestines some warmth instead. Warm drinks help open up and allow things to flow smoothly. Ginger tea, cinnamon, basil, licorice, or even just hot water with lemon are all helpful to drink before or after a meal. 

4. Do Not Lay Down

...for at least an hour after a large meal. As tempting as it may seem, it's a terrible idea. Your body needs to be upright to digest properly and laying down too soon will put you at risk for acid reflux and other esophageal disorders. 

5. Damage Control 

If you tried your best with the above suggestions and you still feel bloated, heavy, sluggish or just plain full, try these tips: 

Move - take a walk, even if its just around the house. Walking increases peristalsis, the intestinal flow in your digestive tract and can help ease the bloating. 

Heat Pad - on the belly, helps to ease the discomfort. You can also put hot water in a water bottle if you don't have a heat pad. 

Rub Your Belly - in a circular clockwise motion to coax the digestive flow (if you have diarrhea, counter-clockwise to detain the flow)

Ayurvedic Remedy - boil some water, add a pinch of cumin powder, turmeric powder and dried ginger and let it steep for about 5 minutes. Sip while hot. If you don't have these ingredients, you can try cinnamon, chamomile, lavender, mint or basil.

If you have digestive symptoms that don't resolve, you may have a more serious condition. I encourage you to contact your health provider if you have any concerns. I am available as well if you have questions or concerns or if you'd like to set up an appointment to get your digestive tract on track!

 

Stay warm and cozy, everyone...and keep that digestion flowing!

 

Food Is Medicine

Food Is Medicine

Recipe: Natural Immunity Boost

It's that time of the year when we need a little extra boost for our energy and immune systems. Cold and flu season are lurking around, use food as medicine and get ready with this yummy and easy tonic: 

6 strawberries

1 garlic clove

1" ginger slice

1 cap of apple cider vinegar

lots of honey

two shakes of cayenne pepper

water

Blend all ingredients and store in a glass jar with lid and drink throughout the day. Use organic ingredients for best results. This drink is delicious and boosts your immune system to help fight off pathogens. Every ingredient has anti-inflammatory properties; this is great for when you start to feel symptoms of throat, congestion, also great for asthma and allergies, great to restore and strengthen your digestive functions, and a great overall tonic for a pick me up energy boost whenever. I recently fought off a cold in one day with this drink. 

Hit the reset button on your body. 

Variations and Substitutions: pineapple, asian pear, onion, radish, habanero pepper, turmeric

Peru: Wellness Resources Abound

This past October, I had the absolute honor and privilege to travel to Iquitos, Peru.

Iquitos is located at the basin of the Amazon Rainforest. The Amazon Rainforest is well known for its biodiversity and its vast range of medicinal plants, it is also responsible for about 20% of the earth's oxygen, which is why they call the Amazon, the Lungs of the Planet. More than half of the world's plant and animal species come from the world's rainforests, over 80% of the human diet comes from the rainforests, and over 70% of the 3000 plants identified by the US National Cancer Institute as active against cancer cells, also come from the rainforest. Over 120 pharmaceutical drugs come from plant-derived sources. As a healer who works with plant medicine, you can imagine my excitement to travel to the Amazon. 

The invitation came from a colleague at Emperor's College, where I'm completing my Doctoral degree. This colleague just completed her Capstone research on combining Acupuncture with Ayahuasca for the treatment of Depression, and designed a retreat for some of her patients in Iquitos, Peru.

I came along for the retreat, with plans of treating patients daily in between other healing modalities, while also learning more about plant medicine from the Amazon region. The jungle experience was unlike anything I've ever experienced. I had the honor of working with Shipibo shamans, who offered enlightening spiritual, as well as practical, insight. I participated in traditional ceremonies with them, and had an enriching learning experience. I performed a couple of treatments, but mainly I worked with plants. I completed multiple plant diets, plant diets facilitate healing and offer knowledge and wisdom for those who decide to work with them. Plant diets are often a part of a healer's initiation into working with plants and the healing arts. The dietary items often included juice fasts, superfood smoothies and fresh, local and organic produce, grains and legumes. Other visitors were completing gallbladder flushes, liver detoxes, fasting and other plant diets, while participating in medicine ceremonies. I was both amazed and impressed with the nutritional resources that were available, and how much healing was taking place all around me. There is something very special about the jungle, especially when you can slow down enough, isolate yourself and just be. It was a very profound journey for me to be able to feel the power of the jungle and the plants all around me. It is no wonder so many people are flocking to jungle retreats, they soothe and center the soul. 

If there was anything I took home with me, it's that a connection to Pachamama (Madre Tierra, Mother Earth) is so important for sustaining the physical and spiritual body. Illness and disease often arise because we have lost this connection. How do we do that in such a fast paced world? Certainly, things like getting out in nature, and creating rituals can help, as can incorporating plant-based foods into our diet as much as possible. There is so much more, I will be integrating my journey from the Amazon into my daily life and my healing practice. I like to explore practices and rituals to keep this connection ongoing, and it is part of my healing practice when working with patients. I will be of service through a new lens, and armed with new tools. I am honored and ready to put this new knowledge to work.

There are a multitude of ways to heal, if we can just get outside the box and explore a little. Miracles are just waiting to happen. 

Exploring plants

Exploring plants

Acupuncture in the jungle 

Acupuncture in the jungle 

Cacao fruit

Cacao fruit

Journeys in Acupuncture

I hear a lot about the journeys my patients take when on my treatment table. Some go into far off dream lands, some have conversations with their spirit guides, some see rainbows of colors punctuated with vivid light shows, and others journey into their hearts. It is not often talked about, but acupuncture treatments are also spiritual quests. Acupuncturists work with unseen energy and often this energy initiates very deep emotional healing, and may jumpstart creativity. It seems that is the type of journey local writer Abel Salas of the news publication Brooklyn and Boyle experienced during one of his treatments with me. I had the pleasure of treating Abel a few weeks ago, after which we sat down for an interview, good food and conversation. 

I am beyond humbled and honored to have been the subject of his latest experimental article. This piece was a beautifully written account of a person's healing journey from grueling bike ride in the summer heat, to heartache, and beyond. You can read the article online, and also be able to pick up a print copy in your local coffee shop or art gallery around the East Side of town. 

Click on the image below to be directed to the article on: BrooklynBoyle.com

Where will your healing journey lead you to?

 

The official launch of my Acupuncture Practice is here!

Hi everyone! It’s been a busy summer thus far! I have been gearing up for launching my acupuncture and holistic health practice. After passing board exams, there was a lot of behind the scenes work being done to be able to finally launch. I have two locations in Highland Park, and maybe more in the future.

I also have a new website, www.acuvida.life please take a look as there is pertinent information regarding treatments and the like.

For the month of July, I will be running a special promotional rate of $33 for treatments. Please book soon to reserve your space.

Referrals are always welcome.

 

Spring Forward

With Spring in full swing, I figured it was time for an update in my Acuvida world...here is what's going on since my last post: I graduated with my Masters of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine this past December 2015. Yay finally! A very long (6 years!) and one of the most challenging and arduous endeavors I have ever taken on, but alas, I did it. 1st step done.

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I passed CALE in March 2016! Woo Hoo! 2nd step done.

Wait, what's CALE? California Acupuncture Licensing Exam, a board exam administered by the California Acupuncture Board, the governing body over licensed acupuncturists in California. This exam MUST be successfully passed in order to practice acupuncture in the wonderful state of California. It's a long day of written exam questions that you prepare for months, or up to a year in advance if you're serious about passing the first time. I took an online review class, and was part of an amazing study group, two key things that helped me pass. Oh, and I pretty much sequestered myself in my home for those 3 months prior to the exam; doing nothing but studying for hours, yoga, meditation, eating, studying some more and repeating this everyday up until the exam...no joke. It paid off!

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(Did I mention the LONG wait to find out your results for CALE? It takes about a month to get those results...torture!)

I paid my licensing fee and submitted my Livescan in April 2016...awesome! 3rd step done.

...and now, I wait.

I am waiting to receive my license in the mail to practice. I am waiting to receive my license number to apply for malpractice insurance, apply for an NPI number and waiting for this number for a whole bunch of other things. The CAB states that it can take 4-6 weeks to receive the license in the mail, it's only been 2 so far.

In the meantime, I am also in the midst of taking National Board Exams through NCCAOM- The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. The NCCAOM is the national governing body for Acupuncture; being NCCAOM certified is a requirement to practice in certain states and also grants you the coveted title of Diplomate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.  I have passed 2 out of 4 so far!

Lastly, I am also in the process of setting up my business. As Healthcare Practitioners, we are also business owners and that involves a whole other set of skills and legalities that can get confusing and downright frustrating at times. Luckily, I had great business and marketing training in undergrad and many resources available to aid my business savvy. Here's hoping that all goes smoothly!

I also keep reflecting on why I am on this path, and the journey that has led me to where I am. It was rough, it was tough and it has been worth it so far. I absolutely love the feeling when a patient tells me they are feeling better, or that they are making healthier choices after a treatment or consult with me. Like one of my mentors would say, "You feel like a million bucks!"

 

 

Oh yeah, and this is also happening:

I have been accepted into the Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Program this Spring at Emperor's College of Traditional Oriental Medicine.

I have also been accepted into a Study Abroad Course hosted by the University of New Mexico. An Introduction to Mexican Traditional Medicine will take place May through June of 2016 in Oaxaca, Mexico. This course will allow me to delve deeper into another form of the healing arts and another passion of mine, all in the name of healing and wellness.

The journey continues...

When can you treat me?

I get this question pretty often and I love it! The truth is that I have been treating patients since last year!

"But you're not licensed…"

Let me back up and explain:

As a Master's student in the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program, there are several levels and requirements to graduate and qualify to sit for any licensing examination. In California, the requirements are:

"The total number of hours of all theoretical training shall consist of a minimum of 1,548 hours and the total number of hours of clinical instruction shall consist of a minimum of 800 hours, and the course work shall extend over a minimum period of four (4) academic years, eight (8) semesters, twelve (12) quarters, nine (9) trimesters, or thirty-six (36) months."

What this means, is that in addition to classroom instruction, there are several hundred hours of clinical training that must be completed and this is all done in a clinical setting with actual patients and with Licensed Doctors and Acupuncturists.

Within the University, there are levels of intern status:

Observation Level - Observe and assist with treatments, history taking, vital signs

Supervised Practice - treat patients under the supervision of a Licensed Acupuncturist and Clinical Supervisor

Independent Practice - formulate diagnosis, treatment plan and execute treatment plan independently, but with the approval of a Licensed Acupuncturist and Clinical Supervisor

I am currently in my Independent Practice level and any of you are welcome to come and have a treatment by me in the University Health Center at Southern California University of Health Sciences in Whittier, CA. I am grateful to have regular patients that come and see me on a consistent basis, and have treated patients with an array of health imbalances.

What can acupuncture treat?

The possibilities are endless, really. Here are some common cases seen in clinic:

Insomnia

Stress

Women's Health and Infertility

Weight Management

Diabetes Management

High Blood Pressure Management

Pain Management

Autoimmune Conditions

Digestive Imbalances

Emotional Wellbeing

Mental Wellbeing

Addiction

Musculoskeletal

Stroke Rehabilitation

Internal Medicine

Acne and Skin Conditions

Facial Rejuvenation

and so much more...

Besides Acupuncture, in Chinese Medicine we use other treatment modalities as well, such as: Herbal Remedies, Cupping, Moxibustion and Tuina Massage. Because we practice a holistic approach, we also offer dietary and lifestyle recommendations as needed.

If you would like more information, have questions or would like to reach out to schedule a treatment, or if you have a story to share, please don't hesitate to contact me via email, I would love to hear from you!

zelinamedina@gmail.com

With love, light and gratitude,

Zelina

Veggie Tacos

Veggies Tacos corn tortillas

can of black beans (or fresh ones!)

1 avocado

1 diced tomato

about 1 cup of chopped lettuce

1 tblsp of red onion

lime

sea salt

about 1/2 cup of cilantro

about 2 cups of sliced mushrooms

1 red pepper

cooking oil (grape seed, coconut, avocado are great choices)

a dash of coconut or rice milk, about 1 tblsp or so

To make Guacamole:

mash 1 avocado, add onion, cilantro, a squeeze of lime, a pinch of sea salt and mix well until creamy but a still a little chunky. set aside.

to make refried black beans:

in a medium sauce pan, heat about 1 tablespoon of oil, add black beans and a dash of coconut or rice milk. mash and stir the beans, not too much just enough to have a medium creamy/chunky consistency (like the guac). add a little sea salt if you wish. turn off the heat.

for the veggies:

in a medium frying pan, heat another tablespoon of oil, add the sliced red pepper and sauté for about two minutes, then add the sliced mushrooms and sauté for about another minute, leaving the vegetables somewhat soft but not overly cooked. add a little sea salt.

to assemble the tacos:

heat the tortillas on a comal (this is a surface for warming tortillas, if you don't have one, warm them however you prefer). spread a spoonful of beans, then the veggie mix, then the guacamole and then top with lettuce and tomato.

ready to serve and enjoy! yum!

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you can also modify this recipe with different veggies of your choice; squash, asparagus, string beans, sweet potatoes, etc. you can also buy or make your own salsa to add to the tacos for even more flavor. you can also use different kids of fresh veggies as toppers instead of lettuce and tomato; you can use spinach (or any other kinds of greens) and pickled onion, or cabbage.

Vegan Stuffed Peppers

Vegan Stuffed Bell Peppers with Braised String Beans 2 Red Peppers

Lentil and Quinoa Stuffing, made ahead

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

Himalayan Sea Salt

A couple handfuls of String Beans or Green Beans

garlic

optional for stuffing mix: cilantro, garlic, tomato, pepper

To make quinoa and lentil stuffing:

cook quinoa as you would rice, use water or chicken broth with a 2:1 ratio to the quinoa. for example, if you're cooking 1 cup of quinoa, boil 2 cups of water or chicken broth, after you bring to a boil, add the quinoa, and simmer until soft and fluffy, usually about 20 minutes.

cook lentils like you would beans, though much quicker. bring a pot of water to a boil, add lentils and simmer for about 30-40 minutes.

once both are cooked, you can mix them in a bowl and add any veggies and spices that you wish. some suggestions are tomato, cilantro, garlic, onion, salt, peppers, etc. or you can simply mix the lentils and quinoa, as that is quite delicious on its own. set the bowl of lentil quinoa stuffing aside.

preheat your oven to about 350 degrees.

cut off the tops of the bell peppers so that they come off like lids. remove the seeds and inner flesh. scoop in the stuffing and then put the lids back on. drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with a little sea salt and place on your baking sheet and place it on your oven rack. bake for about 20-40 minutes until the peppers are soft.

to make braised string beans:

Using a medium flame, heat oil in a wok or frying pan, dice up some garlic and sauté until golden. add the string beans and sauté until brown, about 15 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. I like to flash fry them with a high flame, but you must stir frequently. you can also sprinkle a little sea salt on the string beans for added flavor.

Once your peppers are baked and soft, and your string beans are nice and brown, you are ready to serve and enjoy!

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You can also play with this recipe and modify the stuffing with any of your choice. You can also use a different side, such as asparagus, broccoli or mushrooms, or even a vegetable medley.

Amongst The Chaos… It's Diabetes Awareness Month!

It has been a very emotional couple of weeks. In particular this week. Protests, racial wars, violence, political injustices and of course, our healthcare system, which always concerns me. It's affected me, as I'm sure it has many others on a global scale. However, this is a time to hold it together and unite as a whole for the betterment of our lives, our communities and humanity, in general. Because after all, we are ONE. Instead of just going on social media rants, I decided to contribute my knowledge to you here today, to provide solutions. Because we need our soldiers to stay healthy, and this is my role as healer. So, have you heard of Diabetes? November is Diabetes Awareness Month. November is also the beginning of the Holiday season, and with that a lot of eating and drinking and being merry. However, according to the National Diabetes Report for 2014, by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), close to 10% of the American population has been diagnosed with Diabetes. Amongst ethnic groups, Native Americans, African-Americans and Latinos lead the way. Diabetes has become very common…even I recently got told I was pre-diabetic by my doctor. Whoa. How's that for awareness…thanks November!

Friends and family were shocked, they told me "but you eat so healthy!" Well, the truth is that although I eat healthy, I have a higher risk of developing Diabetes because of genetics. This is not a death sentence and it doesn't mean that because you're Native, Black or Latino you're getting Diabetes. No. It just means we need to take extra precautions to avoid it. They're not so bad, actually. So here ya go:

Actually, first a quick background on Diabetes:

Diabetes Mellitus is a condition in which the body does not properly metabolize sugar. This is usually due to the pancreas not producing enough or efficient insulin. Insulin is a hormone that controls blood sugar levels. With the insulin unable to control blood sugar levels, the result is excess sugar in the blood stream, or hyperglycemia. So it is a hormonal, metabolic imbalance that really involves all systems, especially the digestive process because that's where it all begins. The most prominent symptoms are excess thirst, frequent urination, prolonged wound healing, and circulation problems leading to numbness and tingling of the hands and feet. Complications include blindness, heart disease, kidney failure and neuropathies. Diabetes is not something to take lightly.

So, now some simple precautions on how you can avoid it:

1. Avoiding or limiting sugar, especially processed sugar - as I stated before, Diabetes is a condition that involves too much sugar in the blood stream. Limiting sugar as much as possible is the first and most obvious solution. Less sugar in the body = less sugar in the blood stream.

2. Eating frequent smaller meals throughout the day - I'm sure you've heard this one before. However, it's especially harmful to go long periods without eating, because as I mentioned, Diabetes is affected by the digestive process. By eating frequent smaller meals throughout the day, as opposed to one or two large meals spread widely apart, your pancreatic secretions, such as insulin, are much more efficient and can work properly to maintain the balance in your sugar levels.

3. Eat a low-fat diet high in complex carbohydrates - a diet rich in complex carbohydrates such as unrefined grains, vegetables and legumes and low in fat can restore the proper functioning of the pancreas and bring insulin and therefore, sugar levels back into balance. Studies have shown that this change alone, when followed for several weeks, has allowed about 80% of diabetics to stop taking insulin and diabetic pills altogether.

4. Exercise - exercising for about 20-30 minutes per day, 3-4 times per week has significant benefits. I know I don't need to tell you, because you already know (weight management, heart disease prevention, stroke prevention, boosts immunity, anti-aging, etc). In diabetic patients, it has shown to improve their circulation, but it can also help to prevent neuropathies. Plus, it makes you feel awesome!

5. Drink Water! - instead of juice, soda or sports drinks, water is a better choice to cleanse your systems, keep your body hydrated and regulate all the hormonal and metabolic processes in the body. Another one with countless benefits that I'm sure you already know.

I have already incorporated all of these into my daily life. It's not that bad and it's not that hard. It just takes a little commitment and discipline. Start today or start tomorrow, but just do it! In addition to that, I've also started taking chlorophyll because I've read that it balances sugar levels, amongst so many other benefits (like getting rid of gray hair…yay!).

Also, these are just some basic tips to avoid Diabetes, which also keep you healthy on so many other levels. There are many other options and specifics with regards to supplements, herbs, specific foods, certain exercises, meditation techniques and other healing modalities such as Acupuncture and Naturopathic Medicine that also help to heal and restore your body into proper balance.

I encourage all of you to really take charge of your health. Doctors are not what they used to be, and cannot be relied on 100% for your healing. Ultimately, it's YOU. Food should be your medicine.  Herbs should be your medicine. The Earth provides everything that we need.

Please contact me if you have any questions, or comments. I would love to help you on your path to healing. Add your comments below!

* Please Note: The material on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. Always consult your physician before beginning any diet or exercise program.

How Yoga and Swimming Took My Pain Away.

Joint pain. Lupus. Scoliosis. A disc tear in my lumbar spine. 

Doctors told me at some point that I wouldn't be able to run or jump anymore, and that I should stick to very light hiking and yoga for the rest of my life. Although I do love yoga, and I love a light hike…I love a challenge even more. It took me awhile (about 5 years), but I have been back to running…and my hikes have gotten challenging and rugged, which I LOVE. 

It wasn't easy. I love high intensity exercise and love to do everything FAST. I discovered yoga around 2007, when I was going through my healing transformation process after being diagnosed with Lupus. I practiced every day. It was hard for me to get into it, because I didn't feel like I was exercising and it felt so slow. I've heard many people say the same thing. 

I also wasn't very spiritually connected…yet.

Eventually, I started to feel the changes. I felt my body was naturally aligned when I practiced consistently. I remember, before practicing yoga, going to the chiropractor and him always commenting on how out of alignment my spine and my pelvis were. Then, after practicing yoga for about a year, I remember my Tuina Massage professor at Samra commenting how perfectly aligned my spine was. I was blown away. I had stopped going to see my Chiropractor, so I knew that it was all because of yoga. So I kept practicing, and I got really into it. I studied it, and I wanted to learn more about it. So I went on a yoga/ spiritual retreat at an Ashram in Northern California. I learned about Classical Yoga, which I absolutely loved. Practicing yoga has provided so much insight, to my physical body and my spiritual self. I'm so much more in tune to my body because of it; I can feel where I need to soften up, where I need to tighten up and where I need to open up and relax. Also, my body feels more fluid. 

As much as yoga helped alleviate a lot of my pain and discomfort, I was still in a lot of pain. I think it's because I still kept hiking, and sometimes this would aggravate the back pain. I knew my body had to keep moving for the pain to go away, but I felt confused. I would practice yoga, and do less hiking or none at all, but I felt like it wasn't enough. Plus, I was scared. Scared that with any wrong movement, I would make the pain even worse and I would be out for days, sometimes weeks. I couldn't live like this, I knew I needed something more. I kept hearing from different people and sources that swimming was great for joint and back pain, and a great sport. So I started swimming. Again, I wasn't into it at first; but eventually I felt the difference. I could feel my muscles soften up and relax more after swimming. So I kept on swimming, I started out with going twice a week, and eventually going almost every day. 

The buoyancy you feel in the water helps you move your body without the risk of getting injured, or even feeling sore. I love swimming! Swimming has really strengthened my muscles throughout my body, I feel really strong. It has also strengthened my lungs and increased my stamina. Most importantly, when I swim consistently and combine it with yoga, it prevents and alleviates my pain and discomfort. I should mention that I have combined these efforts with regular acupuncture and chiropractic treatments. These 4 things have completely saved and restored my back. I used to think that waking up in pain and staying in pain on a daily basis were going to be a part of my life forever, but after combining these treatment modalities and therapies, I have been able to experience many pain-free days. If I can stick consistently to yoga and swimming, I am confident that I will live pain-free every day! Of course, it's important to listen to my body, sometimes I need a break, so I give myself one…but I love to push myself when I can. 

Our bodies were built for movement. Our bones, our joints, the fluids flowing through…all perfect mechanisms to create movement. If we suffer from an injury, our body instinctually knows what to do, but we gotta keep it moving. Staying still and bed rest are some of the worse things you can do for your body. Unless, of course you have to because of an illness or acute injury or surgery. Eventually though, your body has to move after you've recovered your energy. So, please…keep it moving!

If you're suffering from an injury or chronic back pain, remember to have patience with yourself and take it one day at a time. Don't get discouraged, but remember to keep it movin, even if only a little bit. Also, feel free to reach out to me! I can go into more detail on how I healed my back and joint pain, and explain the process involved. 

Leave me a comment below...I'm happy to help. :)

Here's to healing <3

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Summer Trimester is OVER!

Greetings readers, lovers, friends and family!

Wow, the summer trimester was quite the challenge, but it's now over (phew)!

I know I probably say this after every term, but man, that was rough!!!!!!! ughhhhhh…

It was my first Supervised Practice Internship, I was on academic probation (eek! :( ), I had some of the hardest classes of the program…and of course, my friend Lupus came to visit as it does every time it gets hot.

BUT, I did it and I feel awesome. :)

I worked my ass off so hard this term, but I'm feeling more and more confident in receiving the gifts of healing that I've been given, and that includes all of that book knowledge that I must retain.

I pray a lot.

and I ask for the ability to receive the gifts, because its one thing to "study" but if I'm not open to receiving the information, then it just moves right through me.

this is some serious stuff, not to be taken lightly and I am deeply connected to healing.

I had some major milestones this past term.

I have been consistently treating patients.

I have been applying the theories, just like a practitioner.

I have committed myself to this endeavor even more, on a personal level.

I have had some spiritual awakenings throughout the term that further confirm my connection to the medicine.

Along the process, I've also had to disconnect. From family, friends and the outside world…and that's hard.

Well, at first it was…growing pains I realized. I might disconnect for a little while, but I will always be back and I will always be there. (For my close friends and family, if you're reading this, then please keep that in mind!)

So, this time around, we get 3 weeks off. What to do with all this glorious time..?

Well, in the name of staying on that growing tip…I will be working on myself, I will be making up clinic hours, maybe take a little road trip, catch up with friends and family and get some good sleep. Oh, and working on this blog!

Currently, it feels good to relax at my parents house while they watch Don Francisco. Ah, the little things ;)

But, I will still be living, eating and breathing acupuncture…this is my life, after all. This is my #Acuvida

Great News! I passed my ACE exam!

That's right, I passed my ACE I Exam!!!

So what does this mean and why am I so excited?

At my school, we are required to take (and pass!) a series of Acupuncture Competency Exams (ACE I, II and III) to advance to the next level of clinical internship. Because I have passed ACE I, I can start practicing in the clinic under supervised practice!

That's right, I can provide Acupuncture treatments at my University's Health Center!

Starting in May, I will begin my Supervised Practice Internship. This means that I will be providing acupuncture treatment for patients under the supervision of a licensed Acupuncturist. 

I couldn't be happier and I'm so excited and grateful for this opportunity. It is also rewarding to know that my hard work and countless hours of studying are going to pay off and I can now put all the theories I've read about, into practice.

Along with this, comes a huge amount of responsibility. The well being of patients will now rest in my hands; their response to treatment, their trust and their confidence…it's all something that I will be responsible for. What an honor!

I feel incredibly blessed to be on this journey and so eager to help others feel good!

There is so much more to come and I'm ready and looking forward to my future in the healing arts. 

Stay tuned…  :)

Love and light, 

zely

Detox Update

My Standard Process Purification Challenge ended on Monday, just a few days ago.I'm SO GLAD that's over!

Some of the highlights: - I felt a surge of energy on some days and I felt a little weak and tired on others - I never felt hungry - I felt really bloated a lot of the time, I realized I was eating too much fiber, despite that I was only drinking 2 shakes a day (some peers were drinking 3 or 4) - check out my detox belly, which grew during my cleanse: 1601265_10152067870774355_402762826_n - my stomach felt "busy" (for lack of a better description) a lot of the time - I was very regular…but not in a bad way at all

The worse part: I had major cravings for things I normally don't eat, like donuts, brownies and bread. I followed the program as much as I could, but I gave into the cravings a lot. I think my mindset was a little thrown off and I wasn't ready for something like this right now. Also, because I'm generally a little more deficient than others because I have lupus, it was pretty tough. Your body craves what you need, and I was not getting enough carbs. Also, I'm a rebel at heart…and the idea of so many restrictions did a mind bend on me. I think that's why I do better on my own cleanses, with my own rules, because every BODY is different. I will be doing that next, I'm going on a mini cleanse, not sure when but I've been hearing and reading about bentonite, so I might try that in the coming weeks, I feel like I still have some cleansing to do. I also kinda fell off my workout routine a little bit, I have only been working out 1-2 times per week, where I was used to working out daily. Oh and did I mention, I got somewhat emotional too? Yes, that happened. Combined with the stress of exams, well let's just say it really WAS a challenge!

However, I did lose about 1.5 inches off my waistline and 1 inch off my hips, check out my after pic, taken today:

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All in all, I had high hopes for this cleanse, and I did do some progress, but not as much as I'd like and not sure if I'd like to try it again. Maybe so, but not anytime soon. Not trying to knock it though, it is a genius design of a cleanse that should benefit anyone on so many levels. My timing just wasn't right, and it's all about what you make of it.

What I did like most about it, was the challenge of getting creative in the kitchen. It was fun coming up with new recipes and meal plans. I know some of you were curious and had questions as to what I was eating. So, I will share some of my recipes with you.

    Power Green Smoothie:

1 Celery Stalk 1 Orange 1 Apple 1 Tbsp of Chia Seeds 1 Tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar Water Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth **If possible, blend in a scoop of greens powder supplement, I personally like Paradise Herbs Orac Energy Protein Greens; it is the most complete supplement that I've seen on the market and Vitacost has it for a great price and doesn't charge shipping, I have a coupon code for $10 off if anyone is interested, just leave a comment and I'll send it.

Veggie Casserole: 1 eggplant 2 zucchini 1/3 onion 4 garlic cloves about 6 mushrooms about 4 tomatoes 1-2 bell peppers basil leaves salt pepper oregano pre-heat oven to 350 heat large saucepan with oil, add garlic and onion until slightly brown, then add in the rest of the veggies, cook for about 5-10 minutes then transfer into a casserole dish. Add salt, pepper, oregano and basil and cover with foil. Bake in oven until veggies are tender, about 20 minutes.

I also baked a sauce for this, totally optional: 3 tomatoes 2 bell peppers or a handful of sweet peppers 1/3 onion 2 garlic cloves Salt to taste Blend all ingredients, pour over veggies about 5-10 minutes before they're done baking.

When it comes to recipes, I love to tweak things to my own liking, the above recipes were some I found on the web, that I adjusted by adding ingredients and my own little spin on things. Feel free to do the same and enjoy. Please also leave your feedback, I'd love to hear what you like and what you'd like to read about next.

The pics I've shared are also on my Instagram, follow me: http://instagram.com/zely13

My Detox Challenge!

February 3, 2014

Today is Monday. It’s the beginning of a new month. Sounds like the perfect day to start a detox program.... except it’s midterms week here at school!

However, nobody seems to mind, there’s a large group of us here at school that have decided to take on the Standard Process 21 Day Purification Challenge and today is Day 1.

What is this challenge, you ask? Why detox, you ask?

Well let me tell you...

The Standard Process 21 Day Purification Challenge is a detoxification program designed by the fine people at Standard Process, a supplement company that’s been around since the 20’s. This program “helps your body purify and rebuild itself from the inside out.”

It is designed to rid the body of harsh toxins, which we are exposed to on a daily basis, not only by the food that we eat, but also the toxins in the air, in your home and inside your body. Pollution, harsh cleaning products (did you know you can make your own natural cleaning products at home? Maybe that will be my next post...hmmm), free radicals.... all toxins that end up in our bodies somehow, causing us to feel sluggish, tired and more vulnerable to external pathogens i.e.; getting sick!

Springtime is a great time to cleanse. Spring is known in many cultures as a time of rebirth, growth and renewal and our bodies are designed to be in harmony with nature. In addition, it is the beginning of the Lunar New Year aka Chinese New Year...yes this is the PERFECT time for a detox. I usually do some sort of detox around springtime...I find it sets the pace for a healthy new year...plus gets you bikini ready for summer! :)

 

The holidays are always the biggest culprits in my nutritional regimen getting skewed. This year though, it was worse because I was traveling in Mexico and vacation is my biggest exception when it comes to my diet. So I pretty much ate whatever I wanted...and that sorta continued when I got back. So let’s just say I have a lot of detoxing to do!

 

This detox involves eating only fruits and vegetables for 10 days, then adding lean protein for the last 11 days. It’s a little crazy...last year I attempted to eat only fruits and vegetables for a week and I only lasted ONE DAY. What can I say? I love food. ;)

However, this time is different, I have support here on campus since there are a lot of us on this cleanse and I also have a close friend who’s decided to jump on the detox program as well. It kind of helps to have others going through this process with you. The detox program also includes various supplements; so there should be no nutritional deficiencies and I shouldn’t feel hungry...we’ll see about that.

 

A detox program should set the foundation for a clean, healthy dietary plan; it’s not meant to be completed and then followed by an unhealthy diet. What a waste...

In addition to the nutritional aspect, I will also be exercising as usual and adding acupuncture, chiropractic and steam and sauna therapies to assist the detox process.

 

I’m excited to experience such an intense and complete cleanse and the effects it will have on my body and state of mind. Wish me luck!

 

*by the way, I'm in no way affiliated with Standard Process and am not receiving any type of compensation for this post, I'm just sharing what I'm doing...