Warming Winter Herbs, Acupuncture for Sore Throats  , Parking Updates & Making the Most of
Winter in New England!
February 2017

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Wise Words for Difficult Times:

"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare."
Audre Lorde, A Burst of Light, 1988.
Parking Changes in Downtown Northampton
Thanks to the City of Northampton, we would like to let our patients know (or as a reminder, if you are already aware), that parking meters on Main St., downtown Northampton, are now available for 2 hours! All of the Main St. meters increased in price from .75/hr to $1/hr, however, you may stay in your spot one hour longer!
We hope that this allows for more parking options, less stress and more enjoyment of downtown. Just another FYI, word is that at some point this year, the meters will also be upgraded to accept credit and debit cards as well as payment with a smartphone app.  All meters on Main St. run Monday-Saturday from 8AM-6PM.
Herbal Remedy of the Month
Chili Pepper
Katie Oleksak, Lic.Ac.

There is no better time to discuss the benefits of herbs with warming qualities than in the winter...and it is still upon us! As you may be seeing a pattern by now, I love herbs that are beneficial both in supplement form and for cooking.

That is why I would like to discuss all of the amazing benefits of Cayenne Pepper, (Capsaicin). Although I don't like things too spicy, I use a little in my favorite chili recipe because it gives it a kick and tastes delicious. But did you know that it may also be taken in supplement form (capsules would probably be the most tolerable, especially if you have a sensitive stomach) and topically (in an oil, cream or ointment base) because it is so beneficial for pain, circulation and inflammation? 
Most notably, capsaicin may be used for: arthritis and neuropathic pain and painful, itchy skin conditions such as psoriasis. It works because the body produces endorphins in response to the heat, reacting  as it would to pain.  

I would suggest checking out Cornucopia Foods or River Valley Co-Op for a supplement that most fits your needs, and don't be shy about introducing it to your favorite recipes. I stand by the following brand: Organic ground Cayenne Pepper by Frontier Co-Op.

Thank you!

Reminder: Looking for Ideas
To our Beloved Patients,

We really appreciate the feedback that you have given regarding our Monthly Newsletter and are so glad that you are enjoying it!

Just a reminder that if you have any requests or ideas on information that you would like us to focus on, feel free to e-mail us and let us know!

Rachel & Katie
Acupuncture Point of the Month
Lung 10
Katie Oleksak, Lic.Ac.

Many of our patients come in the clinic this time of year to strengthen their immunity, as well as treat symptoms of colds: scratchy throats, fatigue, and weak lungs. Lung 10 is a classic acupuncture point that we use, specifically for scratchy, sore, burning throats or the feeling that sickness is starting in the throat.

Lung 10 is located on the pad of the thumb and can be very tender to have needled, particularly if your body 'needs' it...but it is worth it!

See the video below of Katie needling Lung 10. This may also answer one of the most often asked questions that we get:
'yes' we can do acupuncture on ourselves!
Reminder: Winter Weather Policy
Winter is upon us and we appreciate your communication, understanding and patience when it comes to the clinic, parking downtown and the weather.

We have not had to address this policy yet much this winter, but we realize that it is not over yet! Just as a friendly reminder:
If the clinic is closing due to winter weather, a notification will be posted on the home page of our website and in the voicemail greeting, if you call us.

In addition, if you are scheduled that day for an appointment, Rachel or Katie will contact you directly by phone. If you are unsure, please make sure to check your voicemail, call the clinic or check the website. If you need to cancel due to weather and the clinic has not been closed, you will not be charged for the late cancellation; however, we do ask that you please  give us
as much  notice as possible.

Otherwise, please be reminded that the cancellation policy is 24 hours in advance of your appointment, or you will be charged $30 or one treatment off of your package, due at your next appointment, unless there is an unavoidable emergency.

Thanks so much!

Health and Wellness Tips:  How to make  the most of
Winter in New England
Winter in New England can be tough for a lot of people. We don't have to explain why...you live here! It doesn't, however, have to drag you down. We hope you can learn to make the most of it and appreciate the beauty and solace that may still be found in these short-lived, colder days. Below are some tips; hopefully you will relate to some that work for you.

-Get fresh air! Bundle up and go outside. If there is sunlight and you can manage, get outside and grab that Vitamin D. Don't overdo it, but getting some fresh air with a gentle walk can do wonders for your brain and body. If you are feeling really motivated, engage in your favorite winter sport, or try a new one! Snow shoeing is gentle, yet invigorating. See if you can get out there and make the most of the snow.

-Enjoy what your community has to offer for winter/indoor activities: winter farmers markets (m aybe make a new recipe with some of the delicious root veggies the winter ground produces),
indoor craft fairs, oscar-nominated films, shows at the Academy of Music or the Calvin, special spicy lattes at your local coffee shop. Whatever it is that may be special to you this time of year, go for it. It can be a great motivator to get you out, even when the nights are long and days are shorter.

The Northampton Winter Farmer's Market runs on Saturdays from 9-2pm at Smith Vocational, 80 Locust St.

-Stay in! There is something to be said about following the natural rhythm of the seasons. If it feels right to buckle-down and snuggle up when darkness falls, do so. Go to bed early, if you are tired. Take extra care of yourself and get powered up for Spring and Summer.

-Invest in a new (reasonably-priced-within-your-budget) winter accessory, article of clothing or other item. A new scarf, hat, cozy sweater, pair of socks, dress or leggings. Maybe something as simple but necessary as snow tires, a new shovel, or a new rack for your wet boots. Flannel sheets or pillow cases, maybe string some lights in your home or get a new candle (maybe with a winter scent) to brighten things up. This will be entirely different for everyone. Add some 'life' to your indoors with some flowers or a winter plant. Any of these simple acts could bring you some comfort, provide ease for your daily activities and serve as a 'reward' for toughing it out like a true New Englander.

-Many people experience decreased mood, lack of motivation and depression, during this time. Increase your intake of Vitamin D with a food-based supplement or fish oil (we lack Vitamin D in the winter, as we normally get it from sunlight). Maybe try some Saint John's Wort or Holy Basil for a mood booster. A lot of people have success with using a light box (which provides similar light to that of the sun). Sitting in front of it for even just 15 minutes a day can make a big difference. You can also change some of the bulbs in your home to mood enhancing versions.

Or try a different approach to your shift in mood: embrace it, don't fight it. Look at how you feel, be compassionate and accepting. Sleep if you need to (see above), don't push it too hard. If you know that things pass and you typically feel better when the season changes, go with it, give yourself the break that your body is asking for!
Recipe Corner
Make Your Own Elderberry Syrup!
Katie Oleksak, Lic. Ac.

Elderberry not only tastes delicious but in my experience, is one of the most essential herbs to build your immunity against viruses-- particularly the flu--in the winter months. 

It has been a few years since I made my own syrup but recent DIY projects jogged my memory and inspired me to share this great recipe! 

-Add the following to a saucepan, bring to boil then reduce to simmer 45 minutes to an hour, until the liquid is reduced in half:

3 1/2 cups water
2/3 cup dried elderberries
2 TBSP fresh or dried ginger root
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp cloves or clove powder

-Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm.
-Pour through strainer into a bowl.
-Add 1 cup of raw honey. Mix and pour into a glass jar. Cool before sealing with a lid and keep in the fridge.

For prevention: take 1/2 to 1 TBSP, daily. Take for 5 days and then take one or two days off. If you do come down with the flu: take the same dose every 2-3 hours, until symptoms subside. 

A great way to treat and practice preventative medicine!  

Northampton Community Acupuncture  413-586-8251 nohocommunityacupuncture.com