Start the New Year Now – Winter 2015 Tips and News from Red Tree Wellness

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The holiday season is upon us, and many of us set aside our resolutions and diet choices until the new year begins. Why wait? Start now, your body will thank you. In the Chinese calendar, Winter has already begun. Take a look outside, has the cold trend started? Here in Vancouver, I’d say yes! And I am enjoying the sunny yet cool days.

We continue with our newsletter series in 2 areas: A) Healthy Aging and Longevity Tips from Sonia F. Tan who is currently completing her research doctorate in Integrative Medicine in Aging and Longevity, and B) Comparing our health choices with our bank account with our guest contributor and newest Registered Acupuncturist to the clinic Michael Yin!

Last newsletter we spoke about what exactly is healthy aging and particularly, the impact of inflammation, and what can you do. This month, let’s focus a little more on what you can do now and moving forward. Think about this. Centaurians are those people that live to be over 100 years old. There are areas of the world called “Blue Zones” in which there is a higher per capita number of Centaurians living in that area such as Okinawa and Sardina. There have been a number of studies that have examined what is it about these people or areas that increase their longevity. Here are the main commonalities that you can begin to incorporate in your life right now:

  1. Eat a plant-based diet and fermented foods. Why? Meats are acidic and cause inflammation in the body. Plants have higher nutritional value to keep our cellular processes high functioning – that’s what we need more of for healthy functioning of cells that can last longer. Meats rather, are meant to restore cells (so best end of day). Fermented foods are a natural probiotic, communicate with our immune system and can help reduce inflammation in our body. Mediterranean and Asian diets are a perfect example. More on diet in future newsletters.
  2. Exercise moderately and regularly. Why moderately? Too intense or too long duration of exercise degenerates our cells and joints (think too much wear and tear). In addition, it can create too much inflammation in the body. Did you know that there have been a number of studies that have shown Qigong have improved health benefits. You can incorporate this bit by bit. More on exercise in future newsletters.
  3. Have a purpose in life. Ask yourself, what is my purpose now, and moreover, what is my purpose when I retire? Perhaps it is learning something new or personal growth, or helping run a household. Or perhaps it is volunteering and continuing to contribute to your community. Find it and do it.
  4. Have a spiritual practice. This could be in the form of a formalized religion, or a regular spiritual practice such as meditation. This helps guide us and keep us grounded in sound mind and then body. A number of studies have also been done with meditation, and the health benefits it not only produces, but also can prevent. There are many different types of meditation out there. The key is to find they type out there that resonates with you.
  5. Have a community that you network with. Keep involved with your community. Keep those social parties and engagements. Stay engaged with friends and family keep us feeling supported. This helps us know that we are not alone in this which helps keep us balanced and engaged.

Practice makes a habit. Start with making little changes here and there in the above, and incorporating it as part of your routine.

I’ve always said, we have a choices, and our choices have a ripple effect. Ever thought about what would work out better in the long term when it comes to the getting the flu shot or not? Michael Yin will speak about deciding between taking the flu shot, or seeking TCM and Acupuncture for your cold and flu health this winter season:
Hello everyone, I hope everyone have enjoyed the blessed fall weather in Vancouver. Now that we are into November, the “Flu” season is upon us. Well no doubt there are those that state the flu vaccine to reduces the possibility of contracting the seasonal flu. However, there are also many opposed due to the side effects of flu vaccine or vaccines in general. One of the main reason people are skeptical about the vaccine safety is the data shows that the adverse effect could be higher than what the published study did according to the CDC.

Knowing the controversy of the flu vaccine, I am here again trying to make sense with Chinese medicine in preventing flu. A typical flu vaccine will cost between $20-$30 depends on where you go in lower mainland. Yes, the adverse reaction from flu vaccine is very small, a few in a million is the published data from CDC. However, one might take account that the side effect and adverse event could be higher than what the government is telling us. Ask yourself, how much are you willing to pay to have this season flu free? This is important because you have an clear cap to help you make decision analysis.

For example, Tina, a married female, in her early 40, with 2 kids and a working mother has a history of easily catching the flu during seasonal changes. Even though she eats healthy and buys organic food whenever possible, it usually takes a while for her to overcome the symptoms and recover her energy. She is an accomplished professional and she hated the fact that every time she caught a flu, she can not manage her home life and work life at the same time. She needs to take time off work for usually 3 to 5 days. So for her, 3-5 days of day off means the production and perhaps wages loss, the pride and satisfaction from work accomplishment lost, and inability to take care of her family in a manner she wants. She determined that if it costs her 3-5 days of wages to make her flu-free this winter, she will do that.

Tina could go take seasonal flu shot, which is relative cheap but she is not happy with the idea that even though with such small chance of getting adverse event from the vaccine, she doesn’t want to take flu vaccine. In addition, she still may catch the flu, since the vaccine is not the current flu bug, but in fact, sciences’ “best guess”. She could go with acupuncture and Chinese herbal supplements – here the the adverse event from acupuncture is nothing like from vaccine (nil), and she enjoys the experiences from the session. Let’s assume for her to take flu vaccine, she will only get a 0.1 satisfaction (On a scale of 0-1), and for her to take acupuncture, she will get 0.8 satisfaction.
If we perform cost utility analysis like we did in last month’s newsletter, we are calculating how much it will cost for her from take the flu vaccine versus receiving acupuncture as a preventive measure. The answer is $337.50. So for Tina, the extra cost for acupuncture should works out lower than her 3-5 days of wages.

$240 – $200.8 – 0.1=$314.30

Again, each person have different circumstances but the goal is to provide everyone a different perspective on evaluating this issue. I look forward to see you all next month. Please feel free to send me an email if you have any questions.
Michael Yin, RAc

Lastly, our new rates. Starting January 1, 2016, our clinic will be increasing our rates to ask follows:
Initial consultation with Acupuncture (90 min) $120 – $140
Any consultation less than 90 minutes will have the rate adjusted accordingly
Initial consultation without Acupuncture (45 min) $70 + GST
Follow-up Acupuncture session (50 min) $90
Tuina massage session with or without Acupuncture (40-50 min) $75 – 90
If no Acupuncture is performed, GST is applicable
These services are provided by Sheralyn and Michael
NEW! Laser Acutherapy with or without Acupuncture (30 min) $70
If no Acupuncture is performed, GST is applicable
This services is provided by Michael
What is Laser Acutherapy? Click here to learn more about Acupuncture without needles!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Yours in good health and happiness,
Sonia & the Red Tree Wellness team

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