Acid Reflux & Acupuncture

What is acid reflux?

Also commonly known as heartburn, acid reflux can range from mild and infrequent to severe and constant.  There are many causes of this painful problem.  Some cases are diet sensitive, meaning the issue is caused or exacerbated by the intake of specific foods and drinks.  Some common culprits are coffee, alcohol (especially red wine), citrus fruit and juices, eggs, chocolate, and spicy foods.

Other cases involve structural problems such as a hiatal hernia.  This is when a portion of the stomach pushes up above the diaphragm.  Other people might suffer from overproduction of stomach acid.  This is also a common issue during pregnancy especially during the later months as the uterus takes up more space in the abdomen and creates upward pressure on the stomach.  Also, during pregnancy, the hormones relax the valve separating the stomach from the esophagus, allowing acid to move up out of the stomach.

Not only is heartburn unpleasant and painful, it can also cause damage to the lining of your esophagus if left untreated.  You can read about the long-term effects of untreated heartburn here:

How does Traditional Chinese Medicine help?

From a TCM perspective, acid reflux is diagnosed as Rebellious Stomach Qi.  The flow of the 12 main channels in the body all have a specific direction they follow.  The stomach channel flows from the face down to the feet.  This makes sense when you think about digestion in general.  We want the food to move down and out.  When the flow of qi is disrupted for whatever reason, the natural direction can be reversed which can cause belching, hiccuping, vomiting, and reflux. Think about when you have experienced indigestion.  Instead of food moving through your digestive tract as it should, it feels like it won’t go down and you may feel that upward movement of gas or food for several hours as your stomach and other digestive organs work hard to move it through.

Acupuncture redirects the qi in the stomach channel by opening blockages along the channel and restoring the channel’s natural downward movement.  Herbs are also extremely helpful, especially in cases of chronic heartburn.  Herbs can replace your over-the-counter heartburn medications such as Tums, Zantac, or Pepto Bismol as a natural alternative with fewer side effects and issues with long-term use.

What else can I do to lessen my discomfort?

Here are some simple tips for beating the burn:

  1. Sleep with your upper body slightly elevated.

  2. Don’t eat late at night.  Try to eat several hours before going to bed to give your body time to digest before laying flat.

  3. Try peppermint or ginger to aid general digestion.

  4. Take probiotics to ensure proper gut health.

  5. Reduce intake of exacerbating foods.  Pay attention to what flares your heartburn and remove it from your diet.
    Iris Martin, Light & Joy Acupuncture Inc.

Simple Sauerkraut

I am German and I have loved sauerkraut my whole life. My Grandmother’s Recipe is just salt and cabbage. For gut healing, I love the added caraway seed and carrots. I have included Abel James Sauerkraut Recipe for a healthy fermented food option, enjoy.

Prep time:
20 mins
Total time:
20 mins

A Simple Recipe to Reverse Leaky Gut, Lose Weight, and Boost Your Immune Function
Author: Abel James
Serves: 8

1 organic head of green cabbage (2 to 3 pounds)
1 to 2 tablespoons sea salt
1 large organic carrot, shredded
1 teaspoon caraway seeds (optional)

  1. Instructions:
    Thoroughly clean a wide-mouth mason jar, chopping knife, cutting board, large bowl, and your hands.

  2. Rinse the cabbage and carefully peel off the two outer layers.

  3. Lay the two cabbage leaves on top of your jar like a “lid.” Use a knife or clean scissors to cut the cabbage leaves about an inch wider than the jar all around. You’ll use these cabbage leaf rounds to hold the sauerkraut below the brining liquid in a later step.

  4. Quarter the head of cabbage and chop out the thick core from each quarter. Slice each cabbage quarter lengthwise into thin ribbons.

  5. Put each handful of cabbage you cut into a large bowl and sprinkle it with salt. Add salt as you go to help keep the cabbage crisp. In the end, you want to have added between 1 and 2 tablespoons of salt.

  6. Use your hands to massage the cabbage with the salt for 5 to 10 minutes, until it becomes watery and limp.

  7. Add the shredded carrot and caraway seeds to the cabbage and mix with your hands to combine.

  8. Take handfuls of the cabbage mixture and press them into the bottom of the mason jar, packing them tight with each handful so the liquid (created by salting and massaging in step 5) rises to the top over the cabbage.

  9. Take the cabbage rounds you cut in step 3) and press them into the jar so they hold the cabbage under the liquid.

  10. Wipe the jar mouth clean and cover it with a cloth, cheesecloth, or paper towel and secure it in place with a rubber band or twine. This allows air into the jar but prevents insects from getting in.

  11. Over the next 24 hours, press down on the cabbage leaves to keep the cabbage packed under the liquid as it ferments and rises. If needed, you can add more brining liquid by mixing filtered water with a bit of salt (1 teaspoon salt dissolved in 1 cup filtered water).
    Allow the sauerkraut to ferment at room temperature out of direct sunlight for 3 to 10 days, checking daily to make sure the cabbage is not floating above the liquid. Taste every few days until the desired taste is achieved.

The sauerkraut will keep in the sealed jar in the refrigerator for at least 2 months.

7 Tips for Allergy Relief

Allergy Hygiene

Remove hat, outer shirt and shoes in your garage after a walk outdoors during pollen season. Pollen will cling to your clothes and keep exposing you long after you have come indoors. Wash your face as well which will help pollen stay away from your mucus membranes.

Keep Window’s Closed and run your Air Conditioner with HEPA Filters

Consult your local HVAC professional to determine the correct filter for you and your household. You may also want to get the air ducts cleaned as this can be a source of dust and mold.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Take 1 tbsp in the morning during the allergy season. The theory is that it helps the mucous flow and cleanses the lymphatics so there is no build up.


They help balance the immune response since current research is stating that most allergies are due to an imbalance in the body. There are also studies that link large amounts of beneficial bacteria to fewer allergy incidents.

Quercetin Supplement

It is nature’s anti-histamine. It stabilizes the mast cells so they don’t release any more histamine, which is the cause of all those miserable symptoms.

Diet Changes

Going on a GAPS based diet or an anti-inflammatory diet can be enough to reduce the allergy threshold and decrease allergy symptoms. It is especially important to remove any foods you know you are allergic to.

Netti Pot or Nasal Rinse System

Put 1 teaspoon of Himalayan salt in 1 quart of boiled water then rinse (you can also buy pre-made solutions). Do 2 times daily for best results (morning and evening). It cleans all the particles out of the nose that may have collected at night with an open window or during the day while out and about.

Stomach Pain: Peptic Ulcers And Acid Reflux

What are the common causes of stomach pain?

Some of the most common causes of stomach pain are gas, acid reflux, peptic ulcers, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, SIBO, food sensitivities and over eating.

What helps to differentiate the cause of the pain?

• Gas - Bloating and pressure in the tummy that may cause flatulence or just pain.
• Diarrhea – bowel changes and frequent bathroom trips.
• Stomach flu – Bowel changes, vomiting
• Food Sensitivities – stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea or bloating.
• Constipation – bowel changes, straining during bowel movements, feel like have to go but not being able to
• Acid Reflux – burning in the throat, pain in the stomach or chest pain
• Peptic ulcers – stomach pain, burning in the stomach, belching
• SIBO – stomach pain, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, joint pain, fatigue

What is the treatment for each of these conditions?

• Gas – Activated Charcoal, removing gas causing foods, digestive enzymes or probiotics
• Diarrhea – change diet, probiotics, l-glutamine powder, food allergy testing
• Stomach flu – Drink broth and electrolytes when able, rest and BRAT diet
• Food Sensitivities – Remove irritable foods from diet, get allergy testing that tests both IgG and IgE antibodies (blood test), do a gut healing protocol with a doctor (see a standard protocol below).
• Constipation – change diet, probiotics, aloe vera liquid drink, fiber, food allergy testing, plenty of water, exercise, omega 3’s, prunes
• Acid Reflux – spoonful of baking soda (1/2 tsp baking soda in glass of water), aloe vera juice, no laying down after a meal, apple cider vinegar, stop smoking or drinking, chamomile tea
• Peptic ulcers – H. Pylori testing (stool or breath test), fenugreek, bananas, cabbage juice, DGL supplements
• SIBO – Glucose and lactulose breath testing, oregano oil, berberine, antibiotics, probiotics

When to go to the Doctor for stomach pain?

Any stomach pain that has lasted greater than 2 weeks and hasn’t responded to any of the home remedies you have tried warrants further investigation by a competent doctor. Pain that wakes you up at night is a good time to see the doctor, blood in your stool, eczema or rashes that won’t go away, not pooping daily even after taking probiotics, trouble eating or significant weight loss. If you have any of the above symptoms going on it is important to seek out a doctor. Our digestive health is very important and this is how we absorb nutrients to fight off infections. Living with an unhealthy gut can be detrimental to your overall health and your doctor will take these complaints very seriously.

What are Gut Healing Protocols? How would I do one?

Gut healing protocols usually come in several forms.
A stool sample can be taken to determine what imbalance exists. This type of individual should consult with a doctor to determine which substances can be used to help kill the harmful bacteria and restore balance to the Gut.
To determine true leaky gut, a blood test is needed and zonulin (intestinal permeablilty marker) is tested to determine if extra healing is needed in the tract to close the gaps and restore balance. If symptoms aren’t very severe you can attempt an at home protocol like the one seen below; however if more severe symptoms persist or the protocol isn’t helping, please seek a doctor for help.
Remove commonly Gut harmful foods: Sugars, wheat grains (that aren’t sprouted), Conventional meat products, Dairy products, and sometimes eggs.
Add healthy Gut healing foods: Bone Broth, Fermented Foods (sauerkraut, kombucha, veggies, kimchi), Coconut products (medium chain triglycerides are easier to digest than other fats), Sprouted seeds (Chia, flax, pumpkin, hemp etc.)
Repair with Healing supplements: L-Glutamine, DGL, Quercetin, Digestive enzymes
Probiotic Balancing: Probiotics that have diverse species count and a prebiotic either from food (Soluble fiber items: legumes, beets, okra, apples, peas, carrots) or in a supplement form

Spring Cleaning

You may not have time for a full-blown house cleaning, but we have a suggestion for 10 things you should throw out for a healthier cleaner home.

1. Make up – toss out all make up you haven’t used in 6 months.
2. Too Small Clothing – ones you haven’t fit in maybe ever. We sometimes buy clothes that don’t fit us well or aren’t that comfortable but our guilt makes us keep them. We say donate or toss.
3. Mis-Matched Tupperware – Throw it out or buy lids that fit. This takes up less cabinet space. In our office, we prefer glass containers for leftovers because there are less toxins present than in plastic.
4. Library of Magazines – Recycle this stack if you haven’t looked at them in over 6 months.
5. Art – Children’s artwork or old pictures. If you are emotionally attached to them, scan them or keep them in a digital file stored in your safe. But many pieces of paper you have around are not important and can be recycled.
6. Old shoes – There are shoes you may love but are broken or ones that don’t fit well; toss them.
7. Gifting – Get rid of your re-gifting shelf to provide a less cluttered environment in your home and life.
8. Old Electronics – Phones, MP3 or ones that you no longer use; recycle them.
9. Broken Jewelry – Send or sell and turn it into cash.
10. Bags – recycle old gift bags, grocery bags and get rid of plastic bags.

Good Housekeepings Best tips on Green cleaners

Great for: Windows and mirrors


  • 2 cups water

  • 1/2 cup white or cider vinegar

  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol (70% concentration)

  • 1 to 2 drops of orange essential oil, which gives the solution a lovely smell (optional)

How to use: Combine ingredients and store in a spray bottle. Spray on a paper towel or soft cloth first, then on the glass. Hint: Don't clean windows on a hot, sunny day because the solution will dry too quickly and leave lots of streaks.

Great for: Rust stains on porcelain or enamel sinks and tubs


  • Half a lemon

  • 1/2 cup borax (a laundry booster; find it in the detergent aisle)
    How to use: Dip the lemon into the borax and scrub surface; rinse. (Not safe for marble or granite.)

These are some of our favorite recipes from Good Housekeeping to keep your house clean.

Pregnancy Protocol for Acupuncture

Acupuncture is extremely beneficial for pregnant women.  At Light & Joy, we specialize in caring for you during this special time.  We often get questions about how it can help and how often patients should be treated throughout pregnancy.  Our basic protocol for pregnant patients is as follows:

Weeks 0-14

Weekly treatments are invaluable to support the pregnancy during the early weeks if there is a history of miscarriage and/or infertility.
For patients undergoing various western infertility treatments such as IVF or IUI, acupuncture can help to moderate the side effects of synthetic hormones the patients are taking and improve the chances of a healthy pregnancy.

For more typical pregnancies, treatment is recommended on an as needed basis for the variety of things that can come up and cause discomfort during the first trimester.  Women are often more anxious during the first trimester as they wait to get confirmation that the pregnancy is viable and the baby is healthy. Acupuncture relieves stress and anxiety and also helps with fatigue, headaches, and changes in mood as our bodies adjust to everything going on within. Chinese medicine is beneficial for managing nausea and hormone fluctuations as well.

Exercise tips: It is very important to stay active during your pregnancy.  We recommend getting some form of exercise 3-5 times per week. For the first trimester, exercise can be very difficult if you are not feeling well.  If nothing else, do your best to take walks.  You can take shorter walks 2-3 times a day if a longer walk doesn’t seem feasible.

If you are feeling good and want to be more active, just make sure you aren’t overdoing it. A good rule of thumb is to not start any new kind of exercise that your body isn’t accustomed to doing.  Stick to the basics and don’t overdo it.  The hormone relaxin is pumping through your body helping to prepare your body to carry a baby and birth it, so be careful not to overstretch as the relaxin makes your joints and muscles more mobile than normal.  Ask your health care practitioner if you are unsure about what types of exercise are appropriate for you.

Weeks 15-35

In the second trimester, pregnancy symptoms have usually subsided.  This is a time to take care of yourself and allow your baby and body to do their thing. We recommend treatments only as needed for things that may come up such as aches and pains, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, acid reflux, and dermatological changes.

During week 34 or 35 the baby is checked for position.  If you find out that your baby is breech, we highly recommend coming in for treatment as soon as possible as this gives us the best chance of helping to turn your baby to a head-down presentation with our breech protocol. For breech presentation, we work in tandem with the chiropractors of In Health Clinic to achieve the best results.

Exercise tips: In the second trimester, most women are starting to feel much better, have their energy back and can eat normally.  Take advantage of the energy spurt and consider upping your exercise frequency or intensity. Yoga and swimming are great choices for pregnancy because they are very strengthening but gentle on the joints.

Weeks 36-40+

During these final weeks, we recommend weekly treatments to prepare your body for birth.  Again we focus on relaxing and opening up the hips and sacral area, creating space for the baby to move down into the birth canal.  Depending on your doctor’s instruction, we tailor the treatments to fit your birthing schedule and will often move into labor induction treatments just before or at 40 weeks. Induction treatments are usually performed every other day leading up to the birth. If there is a set medical induction date due to high blood pressure or gestational diabetes, for example, treatment will be performed daily.

Exercise tips: Kegels are always a good idea throughout pregnancy to help strengthen your pelvic floor and vaginal muscles.  This can help to prevent prolapse, incontinence, and more.  As you get bigger and maneuvering becomes more difficult, you may need to scale down your exercise program.  Consider taking more walks, as walking is good for birth prep as well.

Iris Martin LAc.
Light & Joy Acupuncture Inc.

The WooHoo of Chiropractic

How Adjustments can benefit more than just the bones, joints and muscles.  The most common time for a patient to seek out a Chiropractor is when they are in pain or have just been injured.

We as a profession are known for our ability to treat Headaches, Neck pain and Low back pain.  For optimal health of the back, neck and head, it is suggested to get adjusted at least twice a year? We get our teeth checked twice a year but we never really think about the spine and how the nerves are affected when a spine or muscle isn’t functioning properly.  The common objection people have against seeing a chiropractor is: “if I start going, I will always have to go”.  The answer is, “Yes, if your body would only be so lucky to see a chiropractor all the time!”. The actual answer is NO, you will not have to keep coming back week after week.  We ask that you get checked two times a year to make sure you are maintaining proper function.  Every function in your body is determined by the nervous system as a whole and we know that the nervous system protector is the spine.  When a nerve is affected because your body is mis-aligned in the spine, we can measure that its electrical output goes down, meaning whatever that nerve controls will have a decrease in function.

Based on research, an adjustment of the L4 vertebra in athletes will strengthen the quad muscle.  We can measure this and see an improvement after an adjustment.  Do we know exactly how this happens?? “No” this is the WooHoo factor.  We also see that babies with constipation getting adjusted will suddenly be able to poop more effectively; we can observe it and measure it but we haven’t exactly been able to explain it yet and until our understanding of neurology expands in the medical profession we may not know, we have idea’s but no proven mechanism.

In our office I have also seen where adjusting the T9 vertebra will improve someone’s stomach pain and because I am a bit of a skeptic myself I always try this as a last resort looking for more organic and more explainable causes first.  But we are now taking a more holistic approach if someone comes in with stomach pain or a cough we will treat those symptoms and disease classically through oral supplementation as well as to adjust the patient, because there is no known way to tell by examining a patient externally if the nerve and interference to the nerve are part of that problem or not.  So we always make sure the spine is aligned so that we remove nerve impingement as part of problem, leaving other issues to be treated and dealt with.  Here is a short run down of what nerves innervate what organs:
Heart T1-T8

Lung T3-T9

Esophagus T5-T6

Stomach T5-T9

Doudenum T6-T10

Jejunum T8-T11

Large Bowel T8-L1

Appendix T9-L1

Liver T6-T11

Spleen T7-T10

Gallbladder T6-T11

Pancreas T7-T10

Kidney T9-L2

Ureter T9-L2

Testis/Ovary T10-T11

Prostate T10-T11

Uterus T12-L1

Before you go too long between your next adjustment remember two things; first, your nerves affect your organs and mis-alignment’s don’t just come from falling down but simple repetitive activity like sitting at a desk in front of a computer. Second, a joint that is unmoving for as little as one month will begin to show and develop arthritic changes (meaning that arthritis can develop from simply sitting at a desk and allowing a joint to remain stuck for long periods of time).

What is the Definition of Running?

Running: to go quickly by moving the legs more rapidly than at a walk and in such a manner that for an instant in each step all or both feet are off the ground.

What are the main Muscles and Joints Involved?

  • Muscles used during running:

  • Hamstrings – works when your foot leaves the ground and your leg moves forward to the next foot strike.

  • Quadriceps- this muscle is used when your lower leg move from bent to a straight position.

  • Gluteal Muscles – these muscles move your foot from a parallel position to the back of the body and you will especially notice the glutes when you run up hills.

  • Hip Flexors- you feel the motion after your foot leaves the ground behind you and moves it forward to the next foot plant.

  • Calves: once your foot leaves the ground when your heel is in the air behind and places behind your body, you will feel the calf muscle with running up hill specifically.

  • Tibilais Anterior- this muscle dorsiflexes the foot and plants it down on the ground.

  • Peroneals- this muscle works when your heel is elevated then drops to the ground.

  • Joints:

  • Hip joint – Acetabulum joint

  • Knee Joint- Tibiofemoral Joint

  • Ankle Joint – Talus joint

    What are the most common Injuries from running?

  • Plantar Fasciitis

  • Hamstring tendonitis

  • Shin Splints – tibial stress syndrome

  • Illiotibial band Syndrome

  • Achilles Tendonitis

  • Runners Knee – Patellar-femoral pain syndrome

    How do to prevent Running Injuries?

  • Improve flexibility by stretching after runs – will prevent most tendonitis issues by properly stretching and keeping someone flexible

  • Include strength training to keep muscles equal and balanced

  • Stay hydrated and eat proper meals to prevent a glucose crash during running

  • Warm up before any run

  • Gradually increase mileage to prevent overuse injury

  • Take periodic breaks in the training

How to Start Running?
Keep it simple, start running 20 minutes a day for 3 days. Then gradually add more time to your run and more days. Never increase either the time or the days till you feel comfortable at your current amount.

How are running Injuries treated?
This will depend on the severity of your injuries. Some injuries will require surgery, while others are treated with surgical alternatives like chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy and massage. Some botanical or pharmaceutical options can help with pain and inflammation.

In our office we use muscle release, massage and adjustments to keep our athletes healthy and running a peak efficiency.

Sports Injury Special:
Sports injuries can occur while either falling down while running or getting kicked in the shins during a soccer game, either way we have pain and want to get back on the field to continue to play. Homeopathic medicine is about healing the body at a basic level relieving the discomfort of the symptoms while allowing your body to do its natural healing process.
The following items are 3 homeopathic remedies(called the Acute injury trio) Dr. Walker suggests you have on hand to be ready to treat a young players injuries. Or for the husband/wife who likes to run half marathons, or even for work tired joints and muscles after a long day.

  1. Rhus Tox – for joint pain and inflammation take 3 pellets 4 times a day away from food.

  2. Arnica – for all over body soreness or injury 4 pellets 4-5 times a day.

  3. Bryonia – When it is painful to get back to running or back to your sport 4 pellets 4 times a day.

*If symptoms or pain persist please seek direct professional or medical care.

Top New Years Resolution for 2017

Top New years Resolutions for 2017 that people made and in-Health Clinics healthy hopeful list of Resolutions.

In Health General 2017
Move 20 minute a day Lose Weight
Have your desk ergonomics evaluated Self improvements
Drink More Water Quit Smoking
Detox your liver 1x a year Spend more time with friends
Eat 1 type of vegetable per meal Find a better job
Plan family time in your schedule Do more exciting things
Plan down time for yourself daily Better Financial Decisions

We hope that you will make changes that will benefit your health and that of your family. If you take care of yourself, then you can take better care of your family. If we at In Health Clinic can help you in any way to help with your health goals, never hesitate to call us in 2017.