Oct 192020

If you feel like you’re battling frequent colds, a cough that won’t quit, or just seem to be tired all the time, it may benefit you to find time for a daily walk or simple exercise routine. Doing this a few times per week can have many health benefits and help build your immune system.

Viruses such as COVID-19 take hold in our bodies when our immune systems are at their weakest points. Below are a few ways to help increase your immune function so your body can function as it’s meant to and stay balanced!


A scientific review conducted in 2019 in the Journal of Sport and Health Science found that exercise can improve your immune response, lower illness risk, and reduce inflammation.

This study reported on immune system reactions to those who partook in moderate to vigorous physical activity lasting less than an hour. The author of the study, David Nieman, stated that “Because exercise increases blood and lymph flow as your muscles contract, it also increases the circulation of immune cells, making them roam the body at a higher rate and at higher numbers.” This shows that increased exercise helps increase your immune system function thus giving you a better chance at staying healthy.

There are many reasons that exercise is recommended when it comes to nurturing a healthy immune system. One reason is because of your body temperature; as you workout, your body temperature rises during and after exercise which helps to prevent bacteria from growing, thus helping to fight infection.

Additionally, physical activity helps to flush bacteria out of your lungs and even slows the release of stress hormones (cortisol) which is also known to hinder the immune function.

Overindulging on Alcohol

If you drink everyday, or frequently, you may notice that you are more susceptible to catching colds and drinking is shown to dramatically impair the immune system.

If you have a hard time refraining from drinking, these self-massaging acupuncture points help the body release toxins, control cravings and become more grounded.

Liver 3: Located on the top of the foot. Start in the space between the big toe and the second toe, now walk your fingers back along that depression onto the top of your foot until you run into a bone and you can’t go any further. This is Liver 3. It helps to balance the liver energy of the body, and helps reduce stress.

Large Intestine 11: Located on the lateral elbow, at the end of the elbow crease. Large Intestine 11 clears toxins from the body, as well as releasing heat. It also balances digestion and helps to regulate body temperature.

Excessive Sugar Intake

When you look at a nutrition label, what’s the first ingredient you look for? For many of us, we’ve been trained to look for the calorie count per serving, but did you know that The American Heart Association recommends that we limit our sugar intake too?

The AHA suggests that men eat less than 36 grams (9 tsp) of sugar per day and that women have no more than 24 grams (6 tsp). To add perspective, the average person eats nearly 15 teaspoons of sugar each day (that’s almost double the recommended amount)!

Why is the consumption of sugar an issue? When we consume sugar, our bodies break it down and become inflamed. This decreases our immunity because it weakens the white blood cells ability to fight off infection!

If you have a sweet tooth and want to make a sweet treat that also optimizes your immune function, try making this TCM herbal tea below:
• 4 cups water
• 3 tsp dried thyme

• 2 cinnamon sticks
• 2 tbsp raw honey

Add all ingredients to a pot and bring to a low boil and then simmer for around 10 minutes. Once it’s done simmering, turn on low heat, stir in honey and then pour through a strainer. Enjoy!

Immune function has never been more important. If balancing your body is now a priority to you, schedule an appointment with us so we can create an individualized acupuncture plan just for you to help keep your immune system in tip-top shape!


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Jan 092020

by Justine Myers, Lic. Ac.

The new year is often a time of introspection and self-reflection. This process may bring up the desire to make changes or improvements in our lives. We think about habits we may want to change, aspects of our physical and/or mental health that we’d like to improve and goals for the new year and/or the future.

One thing that is great to remember is that even though the new year may be a motivating factor for change, we are all capable of making changes in our lives at any given moment. It doesn’t have to be the new year. It doesn’t have to be a Monday. It doesn’t have to be dictated by an event, deadline or date on the calendar. It’s great to realize that we ultimately have the ability to make conscious decisions about our actions at any time.

Speaking for myself, my biggest overarching goal for many years has been to achieve a sense of balance as well as I reasonably can, and this year is no different. For me this includes a balance of work, time with my family and friends, physical activity/exercise, rest and relaxation, getting to bed at a reasonable hour, outdoor time, the types and amounts of foods I eat, time spent reading/learning, time spent volunteering and giving of myself in various organizations, etc. to the best of my abilities. I have learned through experience not to over-commit myself and to set limits so that I don’t exhaust myself from overdoing it or stress myself out. I notice that I am sensitive to imbalances. As an acupuncturist, a small business owner and a mother of 2 young children I have a lot on my plate. Sometimes the to-do list is long or unexpected problems arise and I feel overwhelmed; it’s normal. We can’t control the unexpected problems that make our lives difficult. Fortunately when I do my best to do the things that help me achieve balance most days, I am better able to weather the challenging situations that come up from time to time.

For me, receiving an acupuncture treatment is an excellent way to feel more relaxed and more energized; essentially, more balanced. I use acupuncture in times when I need it (for example when I’m feeling stressed or anxious, experiencing insomnia, feeling exhausted and/or something hurts) and also as prevention/maintenance at times when I don’t necessarily feel like I need it at that moment, because I know it will help me continue to feel energetic and relaxed and to have good quality sleep. I use acupuncture as a tool in my toolbox of ways to maintain balance.

This year in addition to continuing to strive for balance my goals are to spend a little more time reading and learning, and less time on social media. In 2019 I didn’t start the year with any particular resolution or goal, but early in the year I decided I wanted to challenge myself by reading a variety of books about topics that I wanted to learn more about. That challenge was very rewarding to me and now I seem to have an unquenchable thirst to read many, many more books! Years ago (maybe 2010?) I set a goal to have more fun, and I had one of the best years of my life! Setting attainable goals is a great vessel for lasting change. Taking small actions leads to positive change in time, and it is interesting to see where our goals take us.

Whether you’re staying the course you’ve been on, are still thinking of ways you might like to change, or you’ve just enthusiastically embarked on attaining a goal this year, I hope you will find the journey fulfilling and experience a sense of balance.

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Dec 252017

 Balance your Pitta DoshaWhat is pitta? This has been described as one of the three biological humours and Pitta in scientific interpretation; pitta has been quoted as the biological fire. As regards physical attributes, pitta is usna (hot), aarda (moist) and laghu (light). Pitta executes important function in the human-body with aiding the process of digestion, regulating the body temperature, maintaining the visual-perception, process of hunger and thirst, and above all, maintenance of complexion, intelligence, courage and softness.

In aggravated state, pitta renders yellow-colouration to waste products (stool & urine), skin and the eyes and aggravated pitta results in polyphagia, polydipsia or morbid-thirst, burning-syndrome and inflammation.

As far as the primary site of pitta is concerned, it is grahani (first part of the small) intestine. Other important sites include amashya (stomach), sveda (sweat), sveda- granthi (sebaceous glands), rakat (blood), lasika (lymph) and akshi (eye).

Five types of pitta

  • Ranjaka: This variety imparts colour to the bile, stools and the blood.
  • Sadhaka: This variety is helpful in maintaining memory and intellect.
  • Alocaka: This variety is responsible for the visual-perception.
  • Bharajaka: This variety imparts colour to the skin.
  • Pachaka: This variety deals with the digestion of the food.

Caraka has mentioned 40 diseases caused as a result of aggravation of pitta.

  • A little internal burning
  • bitter taste
  • black pimples on skin
  • burning in a particular limb
  • burning of skin
  • burning of the eyes
  • burning sensation over body
  • chlorosis
  • dirty matter in blood
  • dirty matter on flesh
  • dusky sight
  • eructation of acid food
  • excess of heat
  • excess of perspiration
  • excessive thirst
  • feeling of everlasting hunger
  • Feeling of heat on sides
  • fissures of the body
  • fissures of the dermis
  • fissures of the skin
  • foul smell from body
  • furunculosis
  • haemorrhage
  • hematemesis
  • internal combustion
  • jaundice
  • pits on the skin
  • putrefied gastric gas
  • putrefied taste
  • red boils
  • semi-digestion
  • taste of blood
  • ulcer in the eyes
  • ulcer in the mouth
  • ulcer in the rectum
  • ulcer in the throat
  • ulcer of the penis
  • urticaria
  • Yellow urine/eyes/and stool
  • yellowishness

Some common pitta diseases seen in clinical practice are listed below:

  • abdominal colic
  • anaemia
  • bleeding-diathesis
  • burning sensation
  • diarrhoea
  • haemophilia
  • hepatitis
  • haemorrhage
  • hepatomegaly
  • hyperacidity
  • jaundice
  • pain
  • prurigo
  • pyuria
  • sour belching
  • toxaemia
  • tuberculosis
  • urine diseases
  • vertigo
  • Urticaria
  • Yellow skin.

Pitta pacifying diet

Fruits to be used

  • Mango
  • Sweet apples
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Sweet pineapple
  • Pomegranate
  • Sweet grapes

Fruits to be avoided

  • Banana
  • Grapefruit/oranges/lemons
  • Olives
  • Papaya
  • Peach
  • Persimmon
  • Sour pineapple

Grains (to be used)

  • Barley
  • Basmati rice
  • Oats

Grains (to be avoided)

  • Brown rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn
  • Millet

Dairy-products (to be used)

  • milk
  • ghee (clarified butter)
  • unsalted cheese

Dairy-products (to be avoided)

  • Buttermilk that is sour
  • Cream
  • Salted cheese
  • curd

Vegetables to be used

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Leafy vegetables
  • Mushroom
  • Potato
  • Sweet potato

Vegetables to be avoided

  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Hot peppers
  • Onion
  • Radish

Spices – to be used in moderation

  • Coriander
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
  • Fennel
  • Turmeric
  • Black pepper (very small amounts)

Pitta pacifying herbs








Pittas pacifying Ayurvedic formulations

  • Chandanadi Lauha
  • Chandanasva
  • Kumayasva
  • Arogyavardhini vati
  • Punarnava Mandoor
  • Navayash Lauha
  • Yastimadhuadi churna
  • Dhanyak Panchak churna
  • Dhanyakadi Hima

Agni and pitta

Agni and pitta resemble each other as far as physical attributes are concerned, just as correlation exists between kapha and ama. Agni stands for the digestive fire. It executes important physiological and pathological functions in the human body. In Tikshagni, the agni is vitiated by pitta. In case of Tikshagni, agni is high and has both pitta and agni characteristics.

Virechana treatment in pitta

Virechana is the best Ayurvedic option for pacifying vitiated pitta humour. Virechana is one of the principal steps of seasonal purification process, panchakarma. Several clinical studies have confirmed the utility of virechana in the treatment of pitta-diseases.

Clinical research

Prurigo nodularis: As per Ayurvedic concept, Prurigo vulgaris can be treated as Tridosa kustha rog (skin disease caused by vitiation of three humours) having predominance of vata and kapha. In cases diagnosed with Prurigo nodularis, virechan (therapeutic laxation) and Takradhara were administered in a specific schedule for three months. After internal administration of virechan and Takradhara for ninety days (three months), it was observed that nodules became thin and itching completely vanished. After four months of therapy, the colour of the skin became normal. It was concluded that administration of virechan and Takradhara was effective in spurning symptoms of prurigo nodularis.

Psoriasis: In Ayurveda, psoriasis is known as Ekakustha. A comparative clinical study was executed in 20 patients. Virechan karma with two different formulations was carried out in two groups.

  • Group I: Virechana karma with Ichhabhedi ras and
  • Group II: Virechana karma with Trivritadi churna.

Better results, in terms of statistical grounds, was observed in the group with Icchabhedi rasa. The reason being psoriasis is tridosha disease with prominence of vata and kapha humours. Icchabhedi rasa is vata kapha pacifying.


Pitta is one of the major biological humours of the human body. The balanced state of the three biological humours represents health. By proper diet-regimen and code of conduct, deranged pitta can be normalised. Several Ayurvedic formulations are successfully used by practitioners to pacify pitta. Virechana, as per old belief and the modern clinical research is complete solution for eradicating pitta disease.


Bera Pabitra Kumar, Kar Pulak Kanti. Role of Virechan and Takradhara in a Case of Prurigo Nodularis. Int J Ayur Pharma Res 2014; 2(5):58-62.

Shah PA Comparative Study of Two Virechana Yoga In The Management of Eka Kustha (Psoriasis). The Internet Journal of Alternative Medicine 2008 7 (2).

Find out your predominant dosha:  Dosha Calculator

To get more information and to buy ayurvedic products useful for balancing pitta dosha, click on the links below:

Pitta Oil

Organic Ayurvedic Pitta Spice Mix

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