Relieving Pain with Wintergreen Essential Oil and Acupuncture

Relieving Pain with Wintergreen Essential Oil and Acupuncture

Wintergreen Essential OilI love the smell of Wintergreen. It’s so fresh and invigorating. Like most plants, it has a medicinal use and a fragrant influence. It’s a mainstay in my Denver Acupuncture practice because so many patients like the aroma and the pain relief. It’s something I recommend to my coaching clients for problems like arthritis, muscle and nerve pain, even hypertension.

Aromatherapy And Wintergreen Essential Oil

In aromatherapy it helps people sleep, lose weight, relax, even lessen pain; it’s no wonder that Wintergreen essential oil is popular. When I would eat mints, wintergreen was my favorite flavor. I miss not chewing gum or eating mints but my stomach and weight love me for giving both up.

I like it because it stimulates and increases awareness. Maybe that’s why I feel clearer when using it on patients with arthritis. Those same clients tell me they like the effects of this oil because it feels cool on the skin along with relieving pain.

Jacob, who had shoulder pain from swinging his daughter in the air, felt it helped with his hypertension[1] too so he took some home to ‘test’ it. Not sure if it was the acupuncture or the oil. He used Wintergreen daily. Guess what his blood pressure decreased slightly maybe Jacob was on to something. On the days, he had acupuncture for his shoulder pain his pressure went down further. For my personal care, I think this oil helps my elbow pain and if the side-benefit is it helps blood pressure I like it.

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There’s a lot of research that acupuncture lowers hypertension and along with herbs some people can avoid western drugs. Jacob was so impressed with Wintergreen essential oil he keeps it at home.

What is Wintergreen essential oil good for and what is the research?

AromatherapyIt’s great for arthritis or rheumatism. There’s no question it’s marvelous for muscle aches and nerve pain. It’s my favorite for pinched nerves. There is research suggesting it’s potent for lowering blood pressure as mentioned above.

Surprisingly it has merit for arteriosclerosis and helpful with hepatitis or fatty liver.

It’s so useful that its main ingredient, Methyl Salicylate is synthetically made and put in numerous rub-on western drugs. In my opinion though synthetically made anything isn’t as good as the real stuff. I don’t like all the hidden stuff found in these over-the-counter products.

The Many Uses Of Wintergreen Essential Oil

One other thing I love about Wintergreen essential oil is that you can use it many ways including making your own mouthwash or purchasing a safe, natural one that doesn’t contain cancer-causing ingredients. For best use Dilute 1 part, essential oil with two parts of another oil and apply to your skin. I use Grapeseed oil in the office. Use it in a diffuser, inhale it or take a drop if you aren’t finding my full strength oil too potent and use as a dietary supplement. I apply it to the Chakras for increasing my awareness and help with overall health.

1  Grieve M. A Modern Herbal. Volume II. New York: Dover Publications, 1981.

2  Wintergreen. Purdue University Center for New Crops and Plant Products website. December 6, 1997. Available at Accessed October 6, 2004.

3  Guenther E. The Essential Oils. Volume VI. Huntington, NY: Robert E. Krieger Publishing Company, 1952.

4  DerMarderosian A, Beutler JA (editors). The Review of Natural Products: The Most Complete Source of Natural Product Information. 3rd edition. St. Louis, Mo: Facts and Comparisons, 2002.

5  Plants for a Future: Database Search Results: Gaultheria procumbens. ibiblio website. Available at Accessed October 6, 2004.

6  Williamson EM. Potter’s Herbal Cyclopaedia. Saffron Walden, UK: C.W. Daniel Company, 2003.

7  Lobo SL, Mehta N, Forgione AG, et al. Use of Theraflex-TMJ topical cream for the treatment of temporomandibular joint and muscle pain. Cranio. April 2004;22(2):137-144.

8  Charles CH, Vincent JW, Borycheski L, et al. Effect of an essential oil-containing dentifrice on dental plaque microbial composition. Am J Dent. September 2000;13:26C-30C.

9  Wolowich WR, Hadley CM, Kelley MT, Walson PD, and Casavant MJ. Plasma salicylate from methyl salicylate cream compared to oil of wintergreen. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 2003;41(4):355-358.

10  Arctander S. Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin. Carol Stream , IL: Allured Publishing Corporation, 1994.

11  Tisserand R, Balacs T. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1995.

 [1] MILLICHAP, J. GORDON. “Benign intracranial hypertension and otitic hydrocephalus.” Pediatrics 23.2 (1959): 257-259.

How To Protect Your Skin

How To Protect Your Skin

How To Protect Your Skin

protect your skinIt was beautiful today outside hitting almost 80 degrees and it’s still winter here in Denver. It’s a perfect day for a run or other outdoor fun. The problem is how to protect your skin. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. My husband has developed abnormal skin cells six times in recent years. We learned what to avoid years ago it’s doing it that matters. Once the damage is done, you have no choice but to have skin checkups every three months. Until it happens to someone you love or yourself, many people just say ‘not me’. It’s not just the sun you should worry about there’s a lot of research warning you off the many popular brands that contain toxic chemicals.

Three Ways To Protect Your Skin

Protect Yourself From The Sun

We all need natural sunlight. It helps us heal and without it, we don’t make vitamin D. When the rays of the sun touch our skin something wonderful happens we begin to make vitamin D3 also known as calciferol. Supplements take months to be absorbed to the levels you need. Sunlight is natural and fast.

Part of a good fitness program includes spending time outside. In my six-month health coaching program, we look at ways even busy professionals can enjoy the sunshine daily. It’s a powerful healer of the mind when you’re depressed or not feeling your best. Besides communing with nature, taking time to walk for instance feels good and  vitamin D is essential to mood[1], and there is a link between long-term deficiency, Dementia, and Alzheimer’s.[2]

Research shows that using an SPF 30 sunscreen that is water-resistant on both sunny and cloudy days, is your best protection on bare skin. The problem is most brands that we see displayed in stores contain chemicals that interfere with hormone production and the study by Science News suggests an increase basal cell cnacer

This chemical is octyl methoxycinnamate[3]. OMC for short. OMC is found in 90% of all sunscreen brands.

One of my favorite product lines is Alba to protect your skin. It offers everything from lip protection to sunscreen. You can find this skin care at most holistic grocery stores like Whole Foods or Vitamin Cottage. At both stores, you’ll find a selection of brands beyond Alba; find the one that works best for you. Tao Skincare has a facial sunscreen that is organic and vegan. I haven’t found anything in the health food stores that come close. You simply add a few drops to your favorite moisturizer and lotion and abracadabra your desired Sun Shield.

Tao Sun Shield Tao Skin Sun Shield 30 ml
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  1. Clothes Matter To Protect Your Skin

The best bet to avoid skin cancer is what you wear. Below is a short list of ideas that I recommend.

Always wear sunglasses made for sunlight protection.

  1. Use hats to shade delicate facial skin and your neck. If you want to stay looking younger, these are key as sun creates wrinkle fast. Many vendors make lightweight clothes for wearing in the sun. These are best in darker colors.
  2. Stay out of the sun, between 10 am and 2 pm when the rays are strongest even on cloud-covered days to protect your skin. Keep in mind, the hottest time of the day though is 4 pm, when the heat of the day builds to the highest temperature.
  3. Stay out of tanning beds. Many emit up to 12 times more UVA light than the sun according to the Skin Cancer Foundation[4]. They go on to explain in literature that UVA rays damage skin cells. This adds years to the beauty of your skin by damaging the It also raises your risk of skin cancer.  Research shows that tanning indoors increases your risk by 75%.

Skin Cancer3. Scan For Abnormal Moles – They Can Be Skin Cancer

Anyone can develop skin problems, even dark complexion people. Look at your body monthly for moles that have changed in shape or size. Take note of new skin changes, skin cancer comes in many ways. Watch your back, arms, legs, neck, and face closely using mirrors when needed. If you live with someone, ask him or her to do a buddy check with you.

If you find anything unusual, talk with a dermatologist and get a full-body skin checkup once a year. Remember melanoma when found in early stages is usually curable. If skin cancer spreads to the lymph nodes or other organs, the five-year survival rate drops, to as little as 16%.

Many female health coaching clients have made this part of the body health monthly exams when they check for breast cancer. Remember our mentoring program is about living long and healthy. I can’t help you if you’re not committed to enhancing your lifestyle and investing in you.

Protect your skin even in colder climates or winter months. Use something safe.







Why Do You We Need All This Stuff? The Vitamin Craze

Why Do You We Need All This Stuff? The Vitamin Craze

Vitamin crazeI saw an ad today from a local health food store, it could be any grocery store insert in the daily newspapers. I thought to myself, why do you we need all this stuff? No wonder clients walk into their doctors’ office in a daze of confusion. There seems to be a vitamin craze don’t you think?

Vitamins are big business and marketing has gone bananas. At Denver Acupuncture Health, I do recommend vitamins but only for the right reasons. Much of the advertising targets our fears around heart attacks and diabetes. There are other reasons to supplement your food sources.

Are we really that sick though as a nation of people I hope not. If we look at Americans and their health, before the 1980’s there is little doubt that we have become a country of health issues. Obesity continues grow as a major problem, and heart attacks along with a rise in diabetes overcome many Americans. Don’t get me going on Alzheimer’s – they are now calling it – Diabetes Type 3.

The Vitamin Craze – Understanding What You Need

The vitamin craze isn’t new my aunt and mom were into it in the 1960’s it’s just reinvented for a new modern market. I think we know more today too. That can be good or bad because it sounds like we need to take handfuls of supplements.

Denver Acupuncture Health

We may need this extra boost because we eat poorly or our bodies’ don’t absorb what we consume. I believe the only way to know is proper blood testing and your own symptoms. Blood work doesn’t show everything.

What are some of some nutrients the insert said you must take and a little about how they may help you live healthy to a ripe old age.

Rising Stars In Supplements

These are the rising stars in supplements:

  • Ubiquinol – a form of bioavailabile CoQ10 plays a role in energy production in the heart muscles. Many people are on statins with horrid side-effects; short-term memory loss, joint pain, low libido, erectile dysfunction, and in recent studies are suggesting they may not help to lower cholesterol. [1]I’ve recommended Ubiquinol for years to people who don’t like drugs and are interested in improving their health through better eating.

Rising Stars In Supplements

  • Pycnogenol – Contains proanthocyanidins that protect the body’s cell’s and tissues from oxidative damage a major contributor to aging. [2] Pycnogenol naturally occurs in peanut skin, grape seed, and witch hazel bark. It helps circulation problems, allergies, asthma, ringing in the ears, high blood pressure, muscle soreness, pain, osteoarthritis, and diabetes, for instance.I don’t know for sure, but I think this helped the ringing in my ears. I’m confident my restless leg improved once I started taking Pycnogenol.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar Capsules is a tonic that promotes normal detoxification and digestion. It might help lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes by changing how foods get absorbed from the gut. [3]I have many clients who rave about these capsules especially those with high blood sugar or insulin resistance. If you’re like me though you have to be careful if your digestion is sensitive. Reducing the dose worked for me.
  • Nattokinase – supports cardiovascular health by promoting healthy circulation. It’s an enzyme (a protein that speeds up biochemical reactions) that is extracted from a popular Japanese food called natto. Natto is boiled soybeans that have been fermented.[4]This was a surprise find for me. All my years in Chinese medicine and I never tried Nattokinase until recently. It’s amazing and while I’m reluctant to call anything a wonder food, this stuff though really helped my blood pressure.
  • Yerba Prima – gentle and non-habit forming, Psyllium husks promote regularity and colon health. There is little research on Yerba Prima though it is a gluten free fiber source that aids many who have food sensitivities.For people who need more fiber this is better than the brand names that contain ‘other things’.The Vitamin Craze
  • Ashwagandha helps the body adapt and cope with stress. This is my favorite It’s an Ayurveda herb. It’s medicinal abilities include stress, strain, fatigue, pain, skin diseases, diabetes, gastrointestinal disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and epilepsy they say. [5]We use it as a general tonic and to increase energy. I’m not sure though we think it improves our health. Ancient folklore says it increases longevity.

Denver Acupuncture Health

As I expressed in the beginning, this was in the local newspaper insert.

My thought here at Denver Acupuncture Health is taking what works for you. Use food as your medicine first and get into the vitamin craze only with the rising stars in supplement that you need.




[3] Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor’s Guide to Good Health, written by D.C. Jarvis, M.D

[4] University of Chicago researcher, Dr. Hiroyuki Sumi. It is believed that he was who discovered Nattokinase.


Stop Putting Chemicals In Cosmetics – I Love My Mascara!

Stop Putting Chemicals In Cosmetics – I Love My Mascara!

A few years ago, I started reading a lot of stuff about parabens and other chemicals in cosmetics. I love makeup and looking ‘finished’. Like many girls, I freaked out! Why would companies put cancer-causing chemicals in my foundation? Worse, it was in everything, including body lotion. These scary ingredients lurked in my lip balm, they were in my mascara! Really my mascara how could they.


Chemicals In Cosmetics – Finding Affordable Safe Skin Care

Did I need to pay big bucks to get clean cosmetics [wait a minute I’m paying big bucks] or suffer from chemicals in cosmetics I wondered? It sent me on a mission to find something that made my skin care healthy and pretty at the same time.

First, I ran into a local pharmacist who created a great line of skin care after his wife developed breast cancer from the parabens and other chemicals in cosmetics. Yes, breast cancer; this is one of the high-risk areas for these cosmetic chemicals along with Leukemia.

I still often recommend these products, but I found something less expensive and vegan no less. Now I am certainly not a vegan, heck I couldn’t pass for a vegetarian but many of my clients follow these dietary styles. Finding solutions to problems is something everyone knows about me, I love to help.

So what are some of these other chemicals you may be asking, I know I was and surprised by the answers.

It’s Not Just Parabens In Skin Care

Skin CareMost people have heard of formaldehyde. It’s commonly used as an industrial fungicide, germicide, and disinfectant, and as a preservative in mortuaries and medical laboratories. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies formaldehyde as a human carcinogen and in 2011, the National Toxicology Program, an interagency program of the Department of Health and Human Services, named formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen in its 12th Report on Carcinogen.[1]

You can find formaldehyde-releasing chemicals in everyday house cleaning products and cosmetics. In beauty products, it falls under these names.

  • DMDM hydantoin
  • Imidazolidinyl urea
  • Diazolidinyl urea
  • Quaternium-15
  • Bronopol (2bromo2nitropropane1,3-diol )
  • 5-Bromo-5-nitro-1,3-dioxane
  • Hydroxymethylglycinate

There’s a rule of thumb I use when buying packaged foods that apply here too. If you can’t pronounce it, it can’t be healthy for you. I can’t pronounce any of these can you. If you can, they’re still bad for you.

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Finding Safer Skin Care

Chemicals in cosmeticsI felt it important to find a skin care line that met three desirables as I call them.

  1. No parabens or formaldehyde-releasing chemicals and low or no perfume.
  2. Plant based, containing things like pineapple enzymes or blue corn both often found in natural skin care products.
  3. Cost-effective cosmetics already cost a lot and I didn’t want to burden my clients or my wallet.

While I found many products online, I wanted something I could make available and use myself that’s when another local skin care line found it’s way into my home and office. It’s called Tao Skin Care.

It meets all three of my goals, chemical free, plant or food sourced, and vegan. That was quite a shock. Oh, did I mention they’re super affordable.Stop Putting Chemicals In My Cosmetics

It’s been almost a year now that I have used this skin care and feel it meets my ‘skin’ test where I can recommend it to others.

On my two visits to the company, I each product is made fresh when you place your order. How cool is that! With natural products, you wonder how long they ‘stay good’ she guarantees them for a full year. I found most things last about 6 or months but not 12 months so I haven’t worried about this.

Ordering is a breeze. You can select your products right from our website. We can only ship within the USA. We add shipping and handling when we confirm your order if it applies.

Facts about these things you should read


photos are Free Reuse Google – RF-LL Dreamstime – and DebraArko


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