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Mountain West Wellness Health Tips, Issue #037
February 11, 2016

HAPPY LUNAR NEW YEAR!! It is the beginning of the Year of the Monkey. Happy Chinese New Year! Beginning on February 8th we welcome in the Year of the Fire Monkey. By nature, monkeys are mischievous, sporadic and are known as the ‘tricksters” in the Chinese zodiac. They bring this energy with them to 2016 which means it should be an interesting and unpredictable year. This year is marked by an active Yang Fire energy which is in stark contrast to 2015 and the year of the Goat which carried a more passive Yin energy. Fire is an energy that expresses itself both positively and negatively. Positively, fire provides warmth and light while negatively it can burn out of control. The attributes associated with fire are dynamism, strength, persistence and willfulness. On the flip side fire can usher in restlessness, aggression, impatience and impulsive behavior.

Emotionally, fire has a powerful influence. If it is expressed negatively the resulting emotion is hate. Positively expressed the emotion is joy. As with all things, the goal is to seek a harmonious balance while avoiding the extremes.

When under the influence of fire energy, it is imperative to take extra care of one’s health. Many health issues and bodily organs will be impacted this year.

With a strong fire energy, the rate of angina, heart attacks and heart disease will increase. In addition, diseases that involve the blood, circulation, and inflammation of the veins and arteries may be on the rise.

The fire element depletes the water element by “burning it up” which can have an adverse effect on the kidneys and bladder. As a result, infections are expected to be on the rise such as Cystitis, as are Kidney Stones. As a result, it is imperative to stay well hydrated this year.

Expect to a noticeable increase in cases of Alzheimer’s and Dementia. On the positive side, fire energy makes its possible for big breakthroughs in treatment! The nervous system will be affected so look for more cases of nerve pain, Shingles, and Herpes Virus outbreaks. OVERALL PROBLEMS
Expect to see an increase in insomnia, hyperactivity, frustration and anxiety due to the intensity of the Fire energy. As an antidote to this energy it is vital to get plenty of rest and sleep. This will aid the nervous system and calm things down. Food, which is an Earth element has a grounding effect on the body so be mindful what you eat, treat food as medicine, and again, drink plenty of water.

As was mentioned, there is a positive and negative side to everything. With Fire energy it is possible to have a stronger spirit and to feel more energetic, vital and ambitious. While this is a great thing, use caution in not going overboard with physical activity or taking on so many things at once that they become difficult to manage. Remember, fire energy can burn and burn out whatever it touches so energetic management is the key to 2016!



Excessive heat in the body can lead to multiple health problems including the one’s listed above. Acupuncture can bring harmony to the body and the energy meridians which allows Qi to flow freely. This helps the body stay healthy so that it can manage energy fluctuations with relative ease. This is very important this year with the infusion of fire energy so maintain regular acupuncture treatments, keep your body, mind and spirit in balance, avoid excess and allow yourself to reap the benefits of this powerful infusion of energy.

Heart Healthy Tips to Reduce Stress

In this fast-paced world we find it’s pretty hard to slow down. Everyday stressors are the norm and although some stress is good, too much can hurt the body not only mentally but physically as well. Work, family, finances and everything in between can start to take a toll on your health. Below are tips that not only help to reduce stress but are good for heart health as well.


Not only is exercise a good way to relieve stress, but is great for strengthening the heart as well. Try getting some sort of physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day. Focus on activities that get your heart pumping. Exercise will reduce your stress and improve your overall health short term and long term.

Give yourself a break

It is easy to forget to give yourself time to relax when you’re busy taking care of others. Schedule time devoted to yourself and what relaxes and makes you happy. Go for a walk, read a book or take a bath. These activities can calm you and clear your head.


Meditation and deep breathing has the power to slow your body and mind down. Try meditating for even just five minutes a day. Practice deep breathing to help lower your heart rate. When you’re feeling overwhelmed and handling too much, meditation is a great way to slow down.

Break your habits

Consistent stress can lead to unhealthy habits such as drinking too much alcohol and smoking. Although you may feel these substances help you cope in the moment, the long term damage far outweighs the short term benefits. Both smoking and alcohol can cause heart damage. Turn to alternatives if you’re reaching for a cigarette or a drink and reach out to family and friends to help you break the habit.


Acupuncture is an effective alternative medicine that can help improve heart health as well as lower stress. By the specific placement of needles on acupuncture points, the treatment works to treat the entire body back to optimal health. Acupuncture can help reduce blood pressure, decrease stress and improve sleep.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is another alternative treatment that is beneficial in lowering stress. The treatment has been shown to reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure and increase blood circulation. Through manual manipulation, massage can relax not only the body but the mind as well.

Let go

It can be hard to accept that things in life don’t go exactly as planned. Practice letting go of what you can’t control and accepting that the future is unknown. It is easy to stress about the future. Remind yourself to live in the moment.

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7 ways to make your loved one smile this Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to show your loved ones how much you care. Below are some ideas to make this year’s holiday a memorable one.

Start the day off right

Make a homemade breakfast for your loved one or close family and friends in your life. Everyone can appreciate waking up to something homemade. Try doing breakfast in bed for your significant other or hosting a friends and family brunch at your house.

Show your appreciation

Don’t forget to tell your loved one how much you appreciate them. Show them how much they mean to you by making a creative list of all the reasons you are happy they are in your life.

Plan the day

Make a plan for the day! Decide to do an activity that you both enjoy whether it is getting outside, going to a museum or going out to the movies. Splurge a little for the day.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

Take this day to put everyday stressors on the backburner. Life gets busy, and a lot of times we take it out on the people we care about the most. Try to forget about trivial problems and enjoy your loved one’s company! The small things you may fight about don’t matter, especially today.

Take the pressure off

Instead of doing Valentine’s Day gifts this year, make a decision with your significant other to put the money toward something else for the both of you. Instead of feeling the pressure to go buy a gift, plan a weekend getaway together or even a day trip to enjoy each other’s company.

Take care of yourself

Your loved ones care deeply about you, so make sure you are taking care of yourself as well. Keep your health in check and remember that it is ok to be selfish sometimes. The people in your life want to see you happy as much as you want to make them happy.

Every day can be Valentine’s Day

Remember that any day is the perfect opportunity to show how much you care and love the people in your life. Strive to make your loved ones smile today and every other day as well. The small gestures can go a long way.

The Heart According to TCM/ Acu & Stress

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the heart can be considered the most important organ in the body. All other organs connect to the heart and help the heart function as best it can. According to TCM, regulated blood circulation depends on the heart’s energy flow, or Qi. When the heart does not have enough Qi and is deficient in Yang, it can result in poor blood circulation, weak pulse, palpitations and chest pain.

A Heart Yang deficiency is associated with coldness. When Yang is not in balance, circulation slows resulting in extreme coldness and a pale face. A Yin deficiency happens when one is overworked and does not give the body and mind a chance to slow down. Fatigue and anxiety are symptoms of a Yin imbalance.

Imbalances in the heart can result in many other issues as well. When one is stressed, a domino effect happens in the body. The liver’s function decreases when the body is in high stress, therefore it cannot support the heart.

According to TCM, the heart is also the source of consciousness and thinking. When one’s blood circulation is in balance, their thought processes and mental activities function well. If the heart’s energy is deficient, one can experience anxiety, insomnia and restlessness.

TCM believes that acupuncture treatment can reduce stress and return the heart to health. When one is consistently stressed, there is an increased level in adrenaline and cortisol due to a raised blood pressure. When these stress hormones increase in the body, one is more susceptible to blood clots and a risk of heart attack.

Acupuncture works by lowering the body’s blood pressure and heart rate, which then can lower cortisol and adrenaline levels. Specific acupuncture points are used on the body to relax the mind and address problems like hypertension and symptoms of heart disease.

Acupuncture works by addressing the body as a whole. When there is an imbalance in the heart, acupuncture points work to return the body back to its normal energy flow, which improves the function of the organs.


6 Tips to Reduce Your Blood Pressure

Affecting one in three adults, high blood pressure is one of the most common health issues in America and most often the result of busy schedules and high-stress jobs. Sometimes it can be hard to slow down, however, addressing high blood pressure is very important to improving overall health and quality of life. Below are natural ways that can help lower your blood pressure.

Work less Working less hours is one of the hardest commitments for Americans for multiple reasons. According to a study done by the University of California, Irvine, those who worked more than 41 hours a week had an increased risk of hypertension by 15 percent. Try to stick to 40 hours a week in the office. Take advantage of those vacations days when you can, you deserve it!

Drink less caffeine A study done by Duke University Medical Center found that consuming around three cups of coffee has a lasting effect on blood pressure. Caffeine tightens blood vessels, which results in an increase in blood pressure. When caffeine increases blood flow, it magnifies the feelings of stress you are probably already feeling. Try to cut down on the coffee and turn to decaf.

Tune in Researchers at the University of Florence in Italy found that listening to calming music for 30 minutes daily can help lower blood pressure. Listeners who practiced this daily ontop of deep breathing lowered their average systolic reading by 3.2 points. Taking the time every day to listen to music and relax is simple and effective.

Acupuncture Acupuncture is an effective natural treatment for hypertension. Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that when one has high blood pressure, the body is out of balance. Acupuncture works to relax the body and mind and return the body’s natural energy flow back to balance. TCM believes the Liver and Kidney organs are associated with high blood pressure and focuses on these acupuncture points to relieve stress.

Massage therapy Massage therapy is well known for reducing stress and hypertension. A study done at the Wirral Metropolitan College Department of Medicine found that patients experienced less muscle tension and a lower heart rate after massage therapy treatment. Massage is non invasive and not only relaxes the body, but the mind as well.

Lowering your blood pressure is not something that happens overnight. Sticking to a healthy diet and exercise plan and finding a natural treatment that works for you can help you get back on the road to health and reduce stress and hypertension.


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Stay Healthy!

Jack, Kim, and Lynn

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