Self care to strengthen your lungs

With the equinox a month away on Sept 22, 2017, you’ve probably felt the crisp morning air telling us we are moving from summer into autumn.

Autumn is one of the best times for a seasonal acupuncture tune up! Angie Kociolek acupuncture woman tree

Now is the time of year when energy flows in and down. You may feel melancholy or contemplative. It’s nature’s way of reminding us it’s okay to let go. Yes, like the iconic image of trees dropping their leaves.

It’s also a time of the year when our Lungs are most susceptible to external pathogens. And for us in Bozeman, this year is a moderately bad year for smoke from many burning fires across Montana. While wildfires, in and of themselves, play a beneficial role in our ecology, the smoke they produce does bring what Chinese medicine terms an External Cause of Disease, namely Dryness. If you were born with a weak constitution or get sick frequently, you’ll want to be particularly mindful at this time of year. Taking Chinese herbal supplements is a proactive way

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Ancient wisdom for today's ultrarunners

Are you or someone you know training for an ultra?Angie Kociolek of Rootstock Acupuncture Bozeman treats runners

Outside Bozeman just published my article about the importance

of moderation and prevention as part of a wise training approach. 

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5 ways to proactively stay healthy (and have fun) in Winter

1. Wear a scarf!  We all know that hand washing is one of the best lines of defense against external pathogens. But did you know that wearing a scarf owl scarfprotects you from what Chinese medicine calls “Feng.” Feng, which translates to English as “Wind," is not just the literal movement of air. It carries with it other nasty things that can cause illness like "Han” which translates as “Cold” and “Shi” which translates as “Dampness.”  By keeping your neck warm and covered, you give your immune system the edge. Plus, a plethora of styles and colors makes scarf wearing fun!

2. Exercise outside in the sunlight (or indoors, if you prefer). The key is to not overdo it and be sure to not get caught out in the cold when you are sweaty. When you sweat, your pores are open and less able to fend off Wind and other external pathogens.

3. Drink hot miso and scallion soup at the first telltale signs of a cold coming on and bundle up to break a

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Acupuncture can improve quality of life for allergy sufferers

If you and pollen don’t get along, then you probably know that tree pollen levels are high in Bozeman today and Accuweather maps our area as one of the three highest overall pollen counts in the nation.More importantly, you may be seeking relief from itchy, watery eyes; ear or throat irritation; sneezing; post-nasal drip or all of the above.

Evidence for relief without unwanted side effectstree pollen

Whatever you call it, “hay fever,” “seasonal allergies,” or “allergic rhinitis (AR),” acupuncture and Chinese herbs can bring you relief and offer an alternative to allergy medications and their unwanted side effects.

There is evidence that acupuncture is useful in the treatment of allergic rhinitis. It’s likely due to its potential to modulate the immune system.

A recent meta-analysis involving 2,365 participants found a significant reduction in nasal symptoms, medication necessity, and serum immunoglobulin E, an antibody that plays a role in hypersensitivity to allergens. Additional data “ultimately point to the efficacy of acupuncture treatment in improving quality of life in AR patients.”2

It’s best to

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Three good reasons to include acupuncture in post partum care

Last week I saw Melissa Bang’s performance of “Playing Monopoly with God” and attended her meet & greet with Bozeman area professionals to expand and diversify the medical model for post partum women.

In addition to services such as naturopathy, mental health counseling, and lactation consulting, acupuncture is a great option for post partum care. breastfeeding2

Reason #1: Replenish
Pregnancy and birthing can be fulfilling and depleting at the same time. Sleep patterns can change dramatically after baby is born and fatigue often results. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs serve to replenish a new mother’s qi (the vital energy behind every bodily function) and blood. It also promotes better sleep and can improve energy levels so that mom is in the best position to nourish the little one(s).

Reason #2: Manage milk flow
Breastfeeding is not always as intuitive as you’d think and, even with lactation support, issues can arise. Acupuncture can be used to boost milk supply1 and there are accounts that it can hasten recovery from mastitis. It may also help to stop lactation,

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Chinese medicine for ultrarunners

There will be no shortage of ultrarunners training in and around Southwest Montana this spring with three of the big “local” races already full - the 2016 Bighorn Mountain Wild & Scenic Trail Run 100 MilerThe Rut 50K, and The Devil’s Backbone 50 Miler.

The challenge for many will entail not only the obvious physical and mental demands of ultrarunning, but the commitment to train with a balanced approach. Consider two major themes of Chinese medicine: Moderation and prevention.running mountains

It’s not always easy to know when enough is enough
“Is it possible to love this sport too much?” was the question posed in the June 2015 Outside Magazine article on overtraining syndrome (OTS).1 As far back as 1990, scientific research articles existed on the subject of overtraining and there was a consensus that “undertraining is better than overtraining, and this seems to be the surest way of avoiding prolonged fatigue.”2 I’m not debating whether “fatigue” is synonymous with “OTS” but for the middle-of-the-pack runner like myself there is little difference.

My run

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When I knew I would become a mom - Despite the odds

I didn’t decide that I wanted to be a mother until I was 36 years old. It’s not so much that I was taking my fertility for granted. I was just focused more on things like travel, endurance running, and career. I was also concerned about adding to the global population problem. Having a child just wasn’t something I really wanted to do – until I did. And when that switch flipped, my quest to have a child was on.

blog1personalAt first, it was a funny realization that we could probably have been having unprotected sex for years since, without any contraception, I wasn’t getting pregnant. Then after a year or so, the humor wore off.

The questioning started – Why am I not getting pregnant? Will I ever know what it is like to be a mom? Why can everyone get pregnant but me? And, perhaps, most importantly, what can I do to boost my fertility?

Like many other women in my position, I tried assisted reproductive technology, much of which was less than

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