Stop Smoking Now Group Program

Stop Smoking Now Group Program

Ready to Stop Smoking
Group Quit in 2018

As the new year arrives we have the chance to reflect back on how our previous year went and what changes we would like to make to get more out of life in the coming year.

If you want to make a lifestyle change of long term habits or addictions such as smoking, it is always best to enroll as much support as you can and have a good plan.

Let us help you quit smoking this year. For the first time ever we will be running our stop smoking protocol in a group format. We will get together and review the pitfalls of quitting smoking, your personal motivation to quit, and provide acupuncture services to help you break the addiction.

For the health of our community we usually offer a large discount on our stop smoking package that cuts the price in half. With the group format we are hoping to make this even more financially accessible by reaching a price point under $100 for all of the combined sessions. We will need a group of at least 10 people that are ready and willing to actively participate in making a positive change in their life.

If you have been thinking about quitting smoking, this could be the perfect time. We will be starting this group program after the health fair in January, so you have time to get the word out and get more people to join you. Start by letting us know you are ready to quit smoking in 2018:

We will keep you updated about the class dates and times and provide an opportunity for you to register.

2018 Health Mini-Fair at Sapphire Lutheran Homes in Hamilton

Join us Friday January 19, 2018
1:00 pm until 3:30 pm

You will have the chance to learn more about a few of our local healthcare options and what they can do for you. Then you will have the opportunity to experience free mini-sessions from the practitioners.

Details are still being worked out, so save the date and check back here for updates.

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Health Mini Fair 2018

December 2016

Meridian Point for Winter: Large Intestine 4


Large Intestine 4 is one of the most important and influential points in the entire body. The Chinese name for Large Intestine 4 is “He Gu” meaning union valley or converging valley. The point is located on the hand in the web between the thumb and index finger, also described as the depression where the index finger and thumb bones part. This area of the hand is often described as “valley like” hence the name converging valley.


The large intestine has many important functions in the body. Connected to the Western medicine function of the large Intestine, it is vital in digestion and bowel regulation, but it also has many functions above and beyond that in Chinese medicine. The large intestine is associated with the emotions of sadness and grief, it can help build immunity as it works as a paired channel to the lung meridian and has a big effect of the flow of Qi and blood in the body.


Large Intestine 4 is a strong point for building the immune system and can be used for when someone has a cold or the flu. It can be used to treat febrile illnesses, rashes from wind or heat, allergic reactions causing rhinitis, as well as sore throat and difficulty swallowing. It is the command point of the face, nose, jaw and mouth and can be used to treat many problems associated with those. Toothaches and TMJ can be painful, but Large Intestine 4 can reduce the pain without even going near the affected areas. It is one of the main points for headaches and many people instinctively press it on their hand when they have a headache, without even realizing it is an acupuncture point. If someone has suffered a stroke, this point can help with paralysis and aid in recovery.


The large Intestine has a great effect on the flow of qi and blood in the body and Large Intestine 4 is a very strong point to get everything moving. Pain, in Chinese medicine, is often when the Qi and blood are stuck and Large Intestine 4 is critical to move this stagnation, especially when coupled with another point called Liver 3. Together, this pair of points is called The Four Gates and together they are a powerhouse in getting the Qi and blood circulated. They can effectively treat pain, depression, constipation, promote labor, expel retained placenta and help alleviate menstrual disorders caused by stagnation such as endometriosis.


Large Intestine 4 is contraindicated in pregnancy because it is so powerful and moving, but it can be effectively used to induce labor. Used in conjunction with another powerhouse acupuncture point Spleen 6, these two points are commonly used together to start labor, often with electroacupuncture to stimulate the points even more than needles alone.


Once labor has started, Large Intestine 4 can be used if labor is stalled or prolonged as well as used after childbirth to expel the placenta, decrease postpartum bleeding and decrease the time between childbirth and the discharge of the placenta.


Large Intestine 4 is an exceedingly influential point and one of the most commonly used points in acupuncture treatments. It can also be effective in treating a range of emotional issues such as depression, insomnia, stress, irritability and severe PMS. This point should not be underestimated and its alternative name of Tiger’s Mouth is barely descriptive of its strength in acupuncture treatments.



November 2016

Five Ways to Alleviate Insomnia



Insomnia is a phenomenon almost everybody experiences at some point in their life. And most of us don’t know how or why it happens.  Insomnia is defined as difficulty falling asleep, despite being tired. Combatting insomnia may be easier than you think. Here are five simple ways to fall asleep faster and stay asleep all night.


  1. Turn off your phone

In today’s society, we are almost surgically attached to our phones, iPads, laptops, etc. And while the devices keep us informed and connected, they are also harm us when it comes to our sleep.  Smartphones and other gadgets emit blue wavelengths. These wavelengths suppress the production of melatonin in our bodies. Melatonin is a natural hormone that makes you feel sleepy. Also, the light given off by your devices can actually stimulate the mind, thus causing poor sleep. So as hard as it may be, buy a regular alarm clock and turn off the phone.


  1. Keep a sleep schedule

Sleep is just as important to proper health as eating healthy-wholesome foods. In other words, make sleep a priority. You don’t have to give up dinner with friends or that periodic concert, but staying out late every single night will eventually take its toll. Make a sleep schedule and do your best to stick to it.  Lack of sleep has been proven to increase blood pressure, depression, weight gain and stress. Why do this to yourself when you don’t have to? Once you set your sleep schedule, your body will react favorably.


  1. Meditation

How many of us groan when we hear the word “meditation”? Meditation really isn’t difficult but people constantly tell themselves it can’t be done because they can’t shut off their minds. But what most people don’t realize is the goal of meditation is not turning off your mind or your thoughts. Meditation helps you cope better while telling your sympathetic nervous system to relax. When the thoughts come in, you should acknowledge them but do not dwell on them. That’s what meditation helps you do. And there are many different types of meditation. For beginners, guided meditation tends to work best because you are listening to somebody guide you through the journey. Why not give it a try?


  1.  Bedtime Yoga

Yoga is an ancient Indian practice that combines physical exercise, mental clarity and spiritual beliefs all rolled into one discipline. Bedtime yoga poses are very low-key and quite simple. Utilizing yoga just before going to bed can signal to your brain that slumber time is approaching. Poses such as forward bends, happy baby pose, cross-legged bends and corpse pose all have been shown to help the body prepare for restful sleep. Also for those who are a little more skilled, inversion poses like shoulder stands can help alleviate stress and calm the mind.



  1. Acupuncture

Really? Getting poked with needles will help me sleep better? The simple answer is YES!  Acupuncture works with your own body to help bring it back into balance. If you have stress, you have an imbalance.  Acupuncture needles are strategically placed on points that will calm the mind, balance hormones and settle the nervous system. Most people will notice some change after just one treatment, but to get the full effect and truly eliminate insomnia, you should commit to several treatments. And always seek out a properly trained and fully licensed acupuncturist to get the best results.


There are many other ways to fight insomnia too, but these are some of the best. Give these five methods a try and then focus on the ones that resonate with you. Over time, your body and mind will thank you and there won’t be any harsh side effects…just good sound sleep. Sweet dreams!


October 2016

How to Prepare For Seasonal Affective Disorder

When the seasons change you have to be ready for a change in mood, especially as we move from fall into winter. Although it may not seem as drastic of a shift as you think, it matters more to our mental and physical states than you may know. Seasonal affective disorder is estimated to affect around 10 million Americans a year, and this isn’t even the full number of reported cases.


As we begin to lose the summer sun and transition into the darker months of the year, depression and fatigue seem to make that transition with us. But, there are ways to shake off the impending gloom and brighten your day, if you follow some of these steps you can combat seasonal affective disorder and find yourself being just as happy as you are in the warm summer months.


Try light therapy. Doctors have called this idea phase shifting. Because we lose sunlight so quickly as we head into the winter, you should start setting out bright lights when beginning your day. By eating breakfast and starting your daily routine under bright indoor lights, you get used to not having sunlight and can better acclimate to your new surroundings.


Exercise. Exercise. Exercise. Regular exercise works wonder for depression in general, so why would it not work for SAD-induced depression? By maintaining regular exercise habits you can work to get rid of the fatigue, depression and tiredness by adding at least 60 minutes a day of activity into your life.


These next two ideas go hand in hand, as both work together to not only combat SAD, but promote a healthy lifestyle. Maintain a heart-healthy diet and get plenty of sleep. No brainers? Maybe. But, you would be surprised at the amount of people who do not follow both or one of these guidelines, I’m sure you know someone who fits into those categories. Make sure to maintain a regular sleep schedule while keeping up with a heart-healthy diet in order to fight seasonal affective disorder.


Last, but not least, try acupuncture! Acupuncture is a great solution to combating SAD. There are various points on the body that have been known to alleviate symptoms of SAD. A primary point that should be addressed when treating SAD is Yintang, and when being treated for SAD by an acupuncturist you should be seen between one to two times a week.


Try some of these techniques and you should have no problem battling and conquering the seasonal affective disorder that may be bothering you this winter.



September 2016

7 Ways to Communicate Healthy Habits to Your Kids

As the school year kicks back into gear so should the healthy habits that you and your children have before practiced. Notice how I said “practiced,” because we all know during the summer-vacation months we tend to indulge a little. Maybe you have had one too many backyard barbeques, or three too many trips to the favorite ice cream shop down the street. Whatever your summer vice may be don’t worry about it, you can regain those healthy habits from before and introduce them into your children’s lives!


  1. Exercise. Exercise. Exercise.


Get everyone in the family moving, don’t just emphasize the idea of being active to your children without participating in the activities. In addition to making it fun for the whole family, exercising as a unit will allow you to interact with your child and help them stay healthy and active.


  1. Eat a Variety of Foods.


Don’t just stick to the same food regimen. Make sure you try a vast array of different nutrient-rich foods to boost the health of yourself and your children. There are many different vitamins and minerals out there, and if you just stick to the same old mac n’ cheese menu with the occasional lasagna, you are missing out on an abundance of healthy nutrients for your children!


  1. Limit the Screentime.


It is no stranger that we live in a world constantly absorbed by some type of technology. From work to leisure time, technology is present in our life in one shape or another almost 24/7. But, it is best to try and limit these habits. They promote a lifestyle with less movement and activity, it has been shown to lead to increased obesity and cardiovascular disease. So try and limit your child’s time behind the screen and get them moving.


  1. The Most Important Meal of the Day: Breakfast.


Fuel up! Before you send the kiddos off to school and bring yourself into your favorite place aka work, make sure to create a nutritious breakfast. A breakfast loaded with carbohydrates, milk, cereal and fruits is a great way to regain all the energy lost from the previous day.


  1. Pick Rewarding Rewards for Your Kids.


Sometimes parents tend to reward a job well done or the completion of chores with a trip to the ice cream shop, some candy or a new video game (if you’re feeling really generous). Change the types of rewards and incentives you present to your children. Maybe take them on an excursion to their favorite park, or another outdoor adventure, whatever you decide make sure it is creative and helps to influence healthy habits in your children.


  1. Eat Fruits and Vegetables with Every Meal!


We have already emphasized the importance of eating healthy, but there should also be a frame of reference for what this means. One way to encourage healthy eating is to increase the intake of fruits and vegetables into your child’s diet. A neat way to do this is to have fruits and vegetables as a snack during every meal period.


  1. Be the Best Role Model.


Your children tend to emulate and copy they way you behave, so why not exhibit healthy habits that they can catch on to and then practice themselves. Be the best role model possible for your children and work together as the both of you craft and practice healthy habits for the new school year and beyond.

August 2016

Olympians Who Receive Acupuncture How and Why



It has been shown that acupuncture can help the body in many ways. From repairing the digestive system to boosting Qi, enhancing athletic performance to mending strains and sprains, acupuncture has many uses and most of these uses are beneficial for professional athletes.

As the Olympics in Rio get closer and closer with each passing day athletes are beginning to fine tune their bodies for the upcoming events. Every athlete wants to be at their top performance level as they put everything on the line for their country. Acupuncture is one key some Olympians use to achieve that extra competitive edge and get their physical and mental aspects ready for the games. Some of the biggest names on the Olympic stage are making acupuncture part of their health regimen.

In 2012, during the London Olympics, acupuncture was widely acknowledged in the Olympic community as an extremely beneficial solution to guaranteeing a higher level of athletic performance. Since London, more and more Olympic athletes have been turning to the needle to and have been receiving excellent results.

Wang Qun, an Olympic swimmer for the Chinese team has been known to perform in events with cupping marks still present on her skin. Cupping is a form of traditional Chinese medicine, which involves applying heated glass cups to the skin to encourage smooth energy flow; it stimulates your Qi as the cups are placed along the meridian lines of your body. In addition to Qun, other members of the Chinese Olympic Team use acupuncture, most notably being windsurfer Yin Jian, a gold medalist in the 2008 Olympics. Jian attributed nightly acupuncture with helping her achieve success and curing the muscle strains she experienced on a daily basis.

Acupuncture isn’t solely practiced by the Chinese Olympic Team. This form of traditional Chinese medicine has made its way to Olympians from the U.S. and Canada as well. Bronze medalist and track-athlete Dee Dee Trotter used daily visits from her local acupuncturist to help her unlock the potential needed to win third place in the 400-meter run at the London Olympic Games.

Mark McMorris, a Canadian snowboarder, upped his game with acupuncture before his bronze-medal finish at the Sochi Olympics. After injuring his body during the X games weeks prior to the Olympics, McMorris began to attend acupuncture sessions to recalibrate his body, and by the results shown, we know it worked. McMorris went on to perform outstandingly in the Slopestyle event and brought back the bronze medal for the Canadian Olympic Team.

See, acupuncture is beneficial in many ways. Although you may be hesitant to stray away from the trusted and commonplace forms of Western medicine, you should really consider giving acupuncture a try. If it wasn’t enough that one in every 10 U.S. adults have tried acupuncture, just consider the facts, even the pros are doing it to recover, enhance and overall better their body.

July 2016

6 Truths About the Not-so-sweet Side of Sugar

A study published by the JAMA Internal Medicine found that more than 70 percent of Americans consume more than the recommended daily amount of sugar. Sadly, most of us are addicted to sugar, which happens to be hidden in most of the foods and drinks we consume. Added sugar can cause a whole array of problems that can be short term as well as long term. If you are experiencing health problems, lowering your sugar intake may be one of your best options. Below are 10 truths about the ugly side of sweets.


No nutrients

Refined sugar has no nutritional value and it is recommended to consume as little as possible. The first step in eliminating sugar is from drinks such as soda, juice and mixed alcoholic drinks. Because of the large amounts of sweetener in these drinks, it can make them very addictive and hard to quit drinking.


Harms your liver

Sugar can be just as damaging on your liver as alcohol and lead to fatty liver disease. When you consume too much fructose, your body becomes insulin resistant resulting in various problems that can cause disease.


Raises cholesterol

One study done in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that participants who ate the highest levels of added sugars showed the biggest increase in bad cholesterol levels and triglyceride blood fats and the lowest levels in the good cholesterol levels.


Leading cause of obesity

In America, sugar is one of the leading culprits of obesity. It is estimated that 80 percent of food products in the U.S. contain added sugar. The best way to lose weight and lower your risk of obesity is to eliminate all processed foods and drinks.


Bad for your teeth

It should be a no-brainer that sugar is bad for your teeth. You may remember growing up having the dentist tell you as a kid to eat less candy to prevent cavities. As an adult, we know it’s not only candy that will cause cavities, but sugar that is found in your favorite drinks and everyday foods as well. Best way to sustain healthy teeth and gums? Cut the processed and refined sugar.


Can lead to type 2 diabetes

When your body is consuming too much sugar, your glucose levels become too high, which can be toxic to the body. When this happens, your body has a harder time producing enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels normal. This can then lead to type 2 diabetes.





June 2016

Acupuncture and PTSD

PTSD is a physiological disorder that can result from being exposed to a traumatic event.  The disorder results in several different symptoms including anxiety, irritability, insomnia and flashbacks. The effects of post-traumatic stress disorder in someone’s life can be far reaching.  Feelings of hopelessness, shame and despair, problems at work or with relationships, serious health problems, depression, anxiety and drug or alcohol abuse are not uncommon. Getting help can be hard at first, but can have a great impact for helping PTSD.


A recent study into the efficacy of acupuncture as an adjunctive treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder has shown promising results. Researchers investigated the effects of acupuncture in adjunct to normal treatment approaches and the results showed significant improvement. Studies in the past have shown that veterans with PTSD are wary of seeking treatment for PTSD as many do not believe that mental healthcare can be effective. Researchers hope that with the increased efficacy of the adjunctive acupuncture treatment, veterans will be less reticent towards seeking treatment for PTSD.


The acupuncture treatment also saw secondary benefits for those treated as many reported a decrease in depression and pain as well as a general improvement in mental and physical well-being. PTSD can be debilitating and even more so with little or no treatment.

The Military Stress Recovery Project (MSRP) is a unique program that provides free community acupuncture to veterans and active duty soldiers with PTSD and their family members.


Treatment in a MSRP clinic is unique for several reasons.  Patients are treated in a group setting, sitting in comfortable chairs.  There is an environment of calm and support. The patients are treated using the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) protocol, a series of 5 needles placed in one ear. The program is designed to address all the needs of people with PTSD.


The MSRP clinics have been very successful.  Patients report stress reduction, improved mental clarity, improved energy, enhanced performance, better sleep, fewer bad dreams and headaches, less anxiety and depression, reduced anger and pain, improved general health and better relationships.


Those suffering from PTSD should consult a doctor about treatment and discuss the option of acupuncture as well because it has been proven to help.





May 2016

6 Alternative Treatments to Help with Arthritis


For those with arthritis, exercise, no matter how little you do, is one of the best natural treatments. For those with severe arthritis, even the smallest amount of walking can make a difference. Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise for those with arthritis because it puts the least amount of impact on the joints. Strengthening exercises are also recommended to keep muscles and joints strong.



One of the most common reasons people seek out acupuncture is for arthritis relief. Acupuncture can help relieve pain from arthritis and increase blood flow and circulation, reducing inflammation. Through the specific placement of needles on acupuncture points on the body, acupuncture realigns the body back to balance.


Capsaicin Cream

Made from the chemical that gives chili peppers their heat, Capsaicin cream has been known to relieve arthritis pain. The cream works by decreasing the body’s pain receptors and as a result, lessening the overall pain caused by arthritis. The cream can be bought without a prescription at your local drug store.


Fish Oil

Fish oil is beneficial for numerous reasons, one of them being its anti-inflammatory properties. Because it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, trials have found that the oil can reduce morning stiffness and the need for pain medication for those with arthritis. Fish oil is a supplement that is safe and recommended to take every day for the most beneficial effects.



Mind-body techniques like meditation, relaxation and tai chi have been seen to improve overall quality of life for those with arthritis. Tai Chi is a martial art that involves slow, easy movements along with deep breathing. This exercise can improve the body’s motion and physical fitness without being too demanding on the joints and muscles. Although meditation and relaxation do not necessarily reduce pain, they have been found to improve mood and health in arthritis patients dealing with chronic pain.



Studies have shown that some patients benefit from changes in their diet by eliminating food that may contribute to their arthritis pain. By removing allergens from the diet, overall inflammation can be reduced. Common diets that have been seen to be beneficial include a mediterranean diet rich in nuts, fish, vegetables, fruit and olive oil. Foods that are not recommended include red meat and dairy as those can cause inflammatory reactions.





Improving the community's health and well-being in Hamilton, Montana.