October Acutake Newsletter

October Acutake Newsletter, Jennifer L. Fockler, L.Ac. in Chicago, IL

What to Eat This Fall and Winter

Jennifer L. Fockler, L.Ac. offers Acupuncture in Chicago, IL

Hot apple cider, chunky sweaters, and crackling fireplaces. It’s becoming that time of year again, when we pull out our cozy-time favorites and huddle indoors to stay warm. As we settle into fall, colder darker days urge us to slow down, conserve energy, and rebuild our strength for the coming spring.

According to Chinese-medical theory, people should live in harmony with nature. The colder months are perfect for slowing down, resting, and becoming introspective. The food we eat also plays a key role in the conservation and rebuilding of energy this time of year.

When you think of fall and winter, think warm food.

Soups, roasted veggies, and slow-cooker meals are some of the mainstays necessary for building energy and a healthy immune system. In addition to warming your food through preparation, all foods contain certain energetic properties, so eating foods that are warm in quality is just as important as how they are prepared.

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September Acutake Newsletter

September Acutake Newsletter, Jennifer L. Fockler, L.Ac. in Chicago, IL

7 Acupuncture Tips for a Healthy Fall

Jennifer L. Fockler, L.Ac. offers Acupuncture in Chicago, IL

Fall is right around the corner.

New seasons are an opportunity to assess our states of health and realign with our natural rhythms. From an acupuncture perspective, fall is about refinement. It’s time to pare down, to let go of the excesses we allowed ourselves in summer and focus on what’s necessary for winter.

In acupuncture theory, humans are viewed as microcosms of the natural world that surrounds them. Weather and climate, particularly during the transition from one season to another, factor significantly into acupuncture diagnoses and treatment plans.

The transition into fall is especially noteworthy because it signifies moving from the more active seasons to the more passive. This directly impacts how we feel, and how we prevent and treat illness.

Here are seven acupuncture-inspired tips for staying healthy this fall.

Get the fall health tips

Late Summer 2017

by Jennifer L Fockler

spleen and stomach season

Can you believe its September already? Summer has flown by and now kids are going back to school and you can start to feel Autumn on the horizon.

This time of year is known as late summer, its element is earth and its color is yellow. The major organs associated with this season are the spleen and stomach. That’s the all important digestive engine that is the first stop for so many metabolic functions, like making blood, energy levels, clarity of thought, phlegm, and obviously effecting things later down the line like your bowel movements.

Late summer is also the time of year associated with dampness, which is a kind of Chinese medical term that can get confusing. I always think of a moldy bathroom, especially because mold allergies kick up this time of year. The air gets thick and things feel heavy, it will also smell funky if there is mold and mildew. If you took a really hot shower, it will be considered damp heat. If you are in a cold and leaking basement, that’s cold-damp. So, if you can picture those two environments, then you can get a general idea of what this could do in the body.

Allergies have really been hitting our area hard lately, that’s damp stuck in the wrong place, like your sinuses or throat. A good way to treat some of these symptoms is by heating up your digestion with things like ginger and cinnamon, avoiding dairy and cold or raw foods. This will help your spleen not produce damp, which can turn into phlegm. It will also keep your energy levels higher and keep your thoughts clearer as well.

Fluids and staying hydrated are so important to moving the damp. Picture a swamp with standing water and soggy soil, this happens because nothing is moving. A lot of times if you increase your water intake, you create movement and can flush out the stagnant water. But sometimes the water can get stuck in a specific area of the body, like edema in the ankles or a bad phlegm cough. In these situations, herbs are a crucial part of treatment. They really help the body cycle through fluids and break up phlegm to pull it out and can get very precise with the area they are targeting.

I personally, have a hard time staying hydrated and find electrolyte drinks to be super helpful. I like coconut water or smart water and I even put a few drops of salt water in my filtered water if I'm feeling really off. Some people like sipping on hot water or herbal teas all day. You have to find what works for you. And yes, you will be peeing more, there’s no way around it.

The Spleen and stomach are also the first stop for blood production. We all know blood is pretty important. If you are low on blood and fluids, you can feel weak, dizzy when you stand up, have tight muscles and cramping in the calves, muscle spasms, twitching eyelids, headaches, cold hands and feet, fuzzy thinking, trouble falling asleep, plus more!

For women especially, blood is so important, because we lose blood every month and the nature of pregnancy takes a toll on our resources. The spleen in Chinese medicine makes blood, controls blood and is susceptible to damp, in addition, the spleen is one of the first organs to get taxed by our busy and stressful lifestyles. You can see how important the Earth system of the Spleen and Stomach are, and how a little nurturing can go a long way, especially at this time of year.

Some easy ways to help your Earth organs at home is to eat simple balanced meals, really going for that Goldilocks zone of not too much or too little, not too spicy or fatty, lots of veggies and grains, with small amounts of meat and spice.

If you are trying to build blood add goji berries to everything. Eat red and purple fruits and veggies like raspberries, blueberries, and eggplants.

If you have weak digestion like acid reflux, ulcers, or other sensitivities then stay away from your trigger foods (obviously) and add pumpkin and rice into your routine. This will even work on your pet dog and cats. I also like to add probiotics and enzymes, and if you are really having a hard time try an Aloe Vera drink.

Some of you may know that I have the start of an ulcer under my esophageal sphincter that can be super painful and refer into my left shoulder. It gave me a good scare enough times that I ended up in the ER and eventually got an endoscope. Long story short, I understand how crucial the Spleen and Stomach are to our well -being on a whole other level.

This is a huge area in Chinese medicine, in fact there is a whole school of thought that “goes through the Earth” with its own text called the Pi Wei Lun. I personally find the Chinese Medical approach to be much more nuanced and detailed, and definitely less invasive. It also alleviates symptoms with out sacrificing long term health and with little side effects, but it takes work. You have to be committed and make changes.

This time of year is the perfect time to nourish your spleen and stomach for so many reasons.  If you can relate to any of the things mentioned above, come in for a treatment. We can get you feeling better with acupuncture and herbs in no time and get your body prepped for the cold and flu season. Click here to make an appointment.

August Acutake Newsletter

by Jennifer L Fockler

August Acutake Newsletter, Jennifer L. Fockler, L.Ac. in Chicago, IL

August 2017


Press This Point for Heat Stroke

Hot enough for you?! As we approach August, the summer heat may be starting to get to you. This acupressure point is a secret self-care weapon for when you can't get in to see your acupuncturist.

Pericardium 3 is the water point on the Pericardium channel, so as you might expect, it’s used to cool things off. Acupuncturists use this point to clear heat from the body—it’s indicated for fever, dry mouth, excess thirst, restlessness, and heat stroke.

Learn more and find Pericardium 3

July Acutake Newsletter

July Acutake Newsletter, Jennifer L. Fockler, L.Ac. in Chicago, IL

12 Summer Self-Care Tips from Acupuncturists

Jennifer L. Fockler, L.Ac. offers Acupuncture in Chicago, IL

Summer is here!

From an acupuncture perspective, seasons are a big deal, since humans are viewed as microcosms of the natural world that surrounds them. Weather and time of year can factor significantly into how we feel, both physically and emotionally.

Summer may be carefree, but that shouldn't mean letting go of your self-care practices. Here are some tips from acupuncturists for staying happy and healthy all summer long.

Get the summer self-care tips

June Acutake Newsletter

June Acutake Newsletter, Jennifer L. Fockler, L.Ac. in Chicago, IL

June 2017

Jennifer L. Fockler, L.Ac. offers Acupuncture in Chicago, IL

7 Ways to Kick It Acupuncture-Style This Summer
Summer is fast approaching. You may be noticing yourself having more energy, feeling more social, or experiencing all-around better moods. This is normal for this time of year, when, from an acupuncture perspective, the Yang—extroverted, lively, enthusiastic, active—aspects of a person are at their peak.

In acupuncture theory, humans are viewed as microcosms of the natural world that surrounds them. Each season is linked with a natural element, organ and emotion. The element, organ and emotion of summer are, respectively, Fire, Heart and joy.

How we feel during summer is largely determined by our constitutional expression of the Fire element. Here are some acupuncture-inspired pointers for maintaining a balanced Fire element, and staying happy and healthy, all summer long.

Get 7 tips for staying healthy this summer

May Acutake Newlsetter

May Acutake Newlsetter, Jennifer L. Fockler, L.Ac. in Chicago, IL

8 Self-Care Tips for Late-Spring Allergies

Jennifer L. Fockler, L.Ac. offers Acupuncture in Chicago, IL
The worst of the spring allergy season is behind us. However, many people are still suffering.

Especially in regions with significant temperature and precipitation fluctuation, allergies can flare up just when you think you’re out of the woods. Even into the early days of summer, acupuncturists remain busy with treating sniffling, sneezing, itchy eyes, and sinus headaches.

Since seasonal allergies tend to ebb and flow, it’s helpful to know some self-care techniques for when your symptoms act up. Here are eight tips that acupuncturists recommend to their allergy-laden patients.

                                            Get the 8 self-care tips