Orchid General Health & Wellness

April 2014

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Spring Clean Your Life

Spring is a season of awakening and of new beginnings.

Making healthy choices that will carry you through the seasons is important this time of year. Here are a few ideas to get you started.


1. Embrace yourself honestly.  Assess the various aspects of your life, taking note where the stressors and weaknesses exist. Are they in your diet, exercise program, work or relationships? Focus on the

ones that need improvement, and begin moving away from the ones that detract from your life.

2. Examine personal relationships. Include your significant other, friends, and relatives. Think

about how you affect each other and what you can do to make each relationship more meaningful.

3. Choose to change habits.  Perhaps you want to be more positive, exercise more, or

give up junk food. Do you need help or can you do this on your own? It may be easier to make changes with support

from others.

4. Clean and organize.  Clear out the old and bring in the new. Take a look at

your possessions and give away or recycle anything that doesn’t serve a good purpose. You may be surprised at how much lighter and happier you feel when you’ve cleaned and freshened up each area of your home.

5. Get active.  Schedule more exercise into your day to improve your  health and reduce stress. Walk around your neighborhood, try a yoga class, go dancing, or ride your bike someplace new.

6. Make positive choices.  Think about what you take in every day with your eyes, ears, and heart. Consider the things that make you feel your best such as beautiful music, energetic friends, and inspirational art. Consider taking a break from TV, news, violent movies, and stressful people.

7. Feel your best.  Assess your emotional well-being. Take an honest look at your moods and emotions. Find the cause of the disharmony, and make a conscious choice to change.  Many factors, from diet and digestive health to learned behavior, can have an influence on mood and energy level.

8. Try a Detox Program.  You may want to try a 1-3 week detox program during the spring. Choose a program that works for you whether it’s a juice cleansing, fasting, cutting out dairy or refined sugars, or a more in-depth detox diet.  Talk to me, I may be able to give you helpful information about how to approach the detoxification process.

9. Consider nutritional supplements.  You might find supplements helpful for boosting your immunity and overall health. Consider taking an age and gender appropriate multivitamin and mineral daily, as well as additional antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E. Also remember to drink plenty of water and green tea.

10. Commit to a plan.  Consider what you want out of life, from your health, habits and relationships to your career and work. Create a plan to achieve these goals. Most importantly, remember to be nurturing and kind to yourself as you commit to making positive changes in your life.


April 2014

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Stress, Breathing and Massage

Paying attention to your breath can change everything!

Stress can cause an adrenaline response in our body and change our breathing patterns.  The good news is, we can correct our breathing patterns, and in turn, reduce our stress.  Try this for yourself. The next time you're feeling stressed, stop for a moment and notice how you're breathing. Is your breath high in your chest? Is it fast and shallow? Now, gently invite your breath to slow down. Start to pull breath into your lungs by letting your belly relax and expand as you inhale. Spend a few moments with yourself and your breath and look at the stressful situation again. Does it seem so bad now?  The next time you go for a massage, try these suggestions to achieve mindful breathing and enhance the benefits of your session:

*As you settle onto the table, even before your therapist enters the room, feel the weight of your body on the table. Allow yourself to be supported by the table and begin to notice your breath.

*Feel your breath moving of its own accord. Where is it most noticeable? Where could it express more? Invite your breath to move into the spaces that feel less full (without effort--just invite).

*When your therapist starts working, notice the pressure and rhythm. While maintaining a comfortable rhythm in your own breathing, notice when she lets up on her pressure and breathe in. When she applies pressure, breathe out.

*If your practitioner comes to a tender area, pay special attention to your breath. Work with the tenderness on the exhale, imagining that you're breathing out the pain.

*As your therapist works on different areas, imagine your breath moving there to meet her. Send your breath wherever she is working. Let her work on the outside, you work on the inside.

*Notice the changes as the massage progresses. Notice your thought patterns. Notice your comfort level. Notice your stress (and how it melts) as you send breath to the various areas of your body.

*When your session is complete and you sit up, notice how your breath feels. What do you notice about your body, the room, the light?
Why not use the lifegiving force of breath to make your next massage an even more beneficial experience?  Just breathe.


August 2013

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How To Deal With Diaper Rash
Tips for Helping Your Little One Heal
Diaper rash is one of those things that just suddenly appears without warning and seems to take much too long to disappear. There are many different ways to categorize and treat diseases in traditional Chinese Medicine, yet the goal is always the same: to restore balance. This balance may be between yin and yang, hot and cold, excess and deficient, internal and external, between two or more organ systems, and/or among the 5 elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.

When diaper rash presents there is always an excess of heat and dampness. Therefore, any measures taken to heal the rash should follow the principles of clearing heat and drying dampness as follows:

1. Switching to cloth diapering (even for just a short period of time). Cloth diapers (or larger disposable diapers with the lining folded outward) create significantly less friction. In TCM, friction = heat, so reducing friction is one way to eliminate some heat. If your little one is already in cloth, changing the brand of laundry detergent and/or eliminating fabric softeners and dryer sheets just may do the trick. 


2. Changing diapers more frequently, and leaving baby diaper-less as long as possible. This is especially important with disposable diapers. Even unsoiled diapers can retain moisture from sweaty summer skin. Keeping a dry bottom will help dry the dampness of the rash. 


3. Placing a cabbage leaf over the rash. Take a leaf of white cabbage and lay it flat between two kitchen towels. Either with a fist or back of a spoon or another pestle-like apparatus, firmly grind into the cabbage leaf until it begins to slightly break down. This will allow some of the moisture to be released. Then place the leaf between the diaper and the rash. The cabbage leaf will very effectively clear heat from the rash, and will act nicely as a barrier. This may be done continually throughout the day. 


4. Providing a topical barrier. This is probably the most well known way to primarily address a rash. I have tried many a diaper cream and different ones have worked at different times (depending on the season and type of rash). One great product on the market today is by Emily's. Emily brand was created by an acupuncturist for his daughter, Emily, and combines traditional Chinese herbal formulas with natural emulsifiers (olive oil and beeswax). We are proud to carry this product in our office! For more information on their products, check out their site:



5. Giving a daily probiotic. Most childhood issues can be traced back to the digestive tract. In TCM, it is believed that children have immature organ systems and especially weak digestion. Dietary changes and the use of antibiotics cause changes in the digestive system as well as chemical changes in the stool. These changes will in turn affect the skin in some manner. Probiotics help to support children's digestive health. 


The following recommendations are taken from the TCM Materia Medica, and although they are traditional Chinese herbal remedies, they are readily available to the public in local stores.


6. Qing Liang Mi, or, Millet wash. To make this decoction, take 3 Tablespoons of Millet and cook it in 4 cups of water. Cook until it is the consistency of a thin porridge, then strain the mixture, saving the liquid (make sure to save the liquid as this is the part you will wash the rash with!). Once the liquid has cooled to body temperature, wash the affected areas and then let air- dry. When the area is dry, powder with the following mixture:


7. Hua Shi, or, pure Talcum powder mixed with Bai Fan, commonly known as Alum.  This mixture is 5 parts Talcum to 1 part Alum, and will be a mixture of extremely fine powder. These Chinese herbs are cooling in nature and will help eradicate some of the accumulated heat. 


If all of these measures have been tried, and the rash will still not go away, external treatment should then be combined with internal treatment. This internal treatment is where practitioners of Chinese Medicine come in handy, as they can diagnose and treat with internal medicinal formulas each individual according to their own, very specific pattern of disharmony. 




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We are Now Offering Mayan Abdominal Massage!

Tips To Optimize Fertility: The Basics 

We are very excited to announce that Jennifer will now be offering Mayan Abdominal Massage Services! Call the office for more information or to schedule your appointment!
What is Mayan Abdominal Massage?
The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Massage is a non-invasive external massage technique to the abdomen and pelvis that helps to guide the internal reproductive organs into their proper position, and relieve tension in the diaphragm.  The massage improves organ function by releasing physical and emotional congestion, thereby helping to re-establish health in the pelvic region.

Maya abdominal massage has been known and practiced for thousands of years by midwives, healers, and shamans throughout Central America, Africa, and China.  The technique, as practiced today, was developed by Dr. Rosita Arvigo.  Rosita has lived in Belize for the past 30 years and spent 10 years learning the art of healing through plants of the rainforest, traditional massage, and spiritual healing from a traditional Maya shaman, Don Elijio Panti, until his death in 1996.  This modality incorporates a holistic approach to health care which includes massage, anatomy and physiology, herbology, nutrition, and emotional and spiritual healing. 
The Benefits of Maya Abdominal Massage

The technique is performed on the abdomen and pelvis to help bring the uterus into its proper position, soften musculature, release tension in the diaphragm, align the pelvis and release muscular armouring in the trunk.  This has the effect of enhancing the circulation of blood and lymphatic fluids, and the elimination and secretion of hormones, thereby re-establishing homeostasis in the pelvic area and surround organs.  All of these are essential for general pelvic health as well as healthy conception, pregnancy, and delivery.  When the diaphragm is tight it can constrict blood flow to the lower half of the body by as much as 40% which is a factor in varicose veins, aching, tingling legs, and sore feet and heels.  As the esophagus passes through the diaphragm, constriction will also lead to digestive problems including chronic indigestion and heartburn.  If the pelvis is misaligned it will be hampering the flow of nerve impulse to the lower abdominal area as the main nerves, which enervate the pelvic area, pass through the sacral foramen. 

The massage is very comprehensive and works on the physical, emotional, and spiritual level helping bring the body back into balance and harmony.  Practitioners have reported as much as 50% success rate for natural conception when working with couples experiencing fertility problems and many a woman has managed to save her uterus from hysterectomy through rigorous self-care and professional treatment.  There is a big emphasis on clients doing self-care, massaging their own belly on a daily basis to aid healing with support from professional instruction.  This enables women to empower themselves around their health and not just pass it over to others.  The abdomen has been ignored for too long and it is time that we start to recognize the importance of health within this area.  The technique is also useful for men as it helps to guard against prostate cancer and protects their pelvic and sexual health.