Canyon Medical Center

How to Get the Most From Your Acupuncture Sessions

March 09,2016

By Katerina Pozzi Baratta, MSOM


Do your intake ahead of time.

Chinese medicine is a truly holistic approach to heath, which considers everything from your mood, your past, the weather outside, and everything in between to be a vital component of your overall health.

In order for your practitioner to get as much of the full picture as possible, it’s best to fill out your intake form ahead of time so you can really give the questions some thought and spend time on the answers.

While your practitioner might not directly address every item on your list right away, everything that’s treated will influence everything else in the big picture. The more information you can give your practitioner upfront, the better they can tailor the treatment to your needs.

Wear loose, comfortable clothing.

Tight pants and itchy sweaters won’t just be a distraction during the treatment, they can actually block the flow the needles are trying to induce. Loose clothing will also make it easier to reach some otherwise tricky acupuncture points.

Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and sugar, before and after treatment.

If you are a coffee addict, feel free to enjoy your morning cup-o-joe, but hold back on any more as your appointment draws near. The less influencing factors you have in your system when the needles go in, the better.

Stay warm.

Unless it’s 95 degrees out, don’t go swimming in cold water, avoid drafts, wear a scarf, and eat warm food.

Wind can make you vulnerable to what we in Chinese medicine call “external invasions”, and cold can bring about stagnation and pain.

To get the most from acupuncture treatments, protect yourself from the elements, inside and out.

What you eat before and after treatment can affect how well the treatment works.

Make sure you’re not hungry going into treatment, but don’t gorge yourself on a heavy meal either.

Same applies to post-treatment protocol. As much as possible, eat light food like vegetables and rice and avoid overly processed and heavy foods.

Don’t make big plans for right after your treatment.

In fact, if at all possible, spend the next 12 hours relaxing.

Even if you are feeling great after your treatment and want to exercise, don’t go overboard. Your body needs some time to integrate the shifts that happened in the treatment.

If you absolutely must move, try going for a gentle stroll or take a yin yoga class. Save the cross-fit, hot yoga, and 5 hour hike for another day.

Ask your practitioner for lifestyle tips… and follow them!

No matter what’s going on with you, there are many steps you can take at home to enhance the healing effects of your treatment. Most acupuncturists are more than happy to show you some techniques specific for your situation, so don’t be shy!

Get regular treatments.

Ask your acupuncturist how often you should come in for best results. Some issues respond best to weekly treatments.

Other times you might just go in once every month or 6 weeks for “tune-up” sessions.

In acute situations you might even go in a few times in the same week.

Regardless of frequency, regularity is key to achieving optimal health and lasting effects with acupuncture.


Acupuncture and Fertility

 Chinese medicine has been widely used to improve fertility, both as a stand-alone treatment as well as in conjunction with other fertility treatments like IVF.

If you’d like to improve your fertility, it’s ideal to come in for weekly treatments for about 3 months before trying to conceive. That way your body will have time to rebalance itself, increase blood flow to reproductive organs, restore endocrine balance, and improve ovarian and follicular function.

If there are physical barriers to pregnancy such as tubal adhesions, these should first be treated by your primary care physician, but acupuncture can help you and your body deal with and heal from any treatments that may be administered.

Acupuncture and Pregnancy

Acupuncture can be very useful in reducing pregnancy symptoms, improving the health of both the woman and the baby, as well as helping to reduce the chance of miscarriage. Moreover, when the time comes, acupuncture is one of the best ways to turn breech babies and promote a healthy birth process.

Acupuncture and Women’s Health

Your period isn’t supposed to hurt.

It isn’t supposed to be irregular.

It isn’t supposed to cause you stress.

It’s supposed to be an opportunity to rest, turn inward, let go of what is no longer needed, and embrace your more receptive aspects.

Unfortunately, most women don’t have this experience.

Instead, periods are dreaded as the most painful and disruptive part of a woman’s month, and if her cycle is irregular it adds extra stress to her already overburdened life.

Luckily, Chinese medicine can successfully help many women bring a healthy cycle back into their lives.

Because of its truly holistic approach to health, Chinese medicine is an excellent modality for treating menstrual irregularity, endocrine imbalances, PMS, anovulation, and a host of other women’s health issues.

By promoting stress reduction, increased energy and blood flow throughout the body, acupuncture, herbal medicine, and other Chinese medicine modalities help bring the body into a natural state of increased balance.

After a series of regular treatments, most women enjoy improvements in their cycles as well as increased overall well-being within a few months.

Don’t let your period get in the way of your wellness!

Talk to our front desk today to set up an initial acupuncture appointment and find out if Chinese medicine is right for you.



Home Remedies that work! The Warming Sock Treatment.

January 27,2016

I have to admit that the first time this treatment was explained to me I had my doubts! Put on cool, damp socks when I’m sick?! No, thank you! But years back, as an obedient naturopathic medical student I decided to give it a try. Our professor explained a study where college students doing the treatment regularly throughout the winter months were sick less often and recovered more quickly from typical winter colds. I was attempting to get to the other side of my second damp Portland winter, and figured, why not give it a try!


The idea is to do this at the first signs of a cold or flu, and it is especially effective with head colds and coughs. It can be safely done on otherwise healthy individuals 5 years old and up, and should be used with caution if you have compromised circulation in your legs and feet. As always, this treatment can not take the place of advice or treatment from your physician.

Give it a try and post below how it worked for you!


Warming Sock Treatment

This treatment acts to reflexively increase circulation and has a sedating action and many patients report that they sleep much better during the treatment. This treatment is also effective for pain relief and increases the healing response during acute infections. The wet sock treatment is best if repeated for three nights in a row, or as instructed by your physician.


For Deeper Sleep and increased immune function.


1 pair cotton socks

1 pair thick wool socks


Warm bath or warm foot bath (optional if you run warm or have a fever)


  • Take a pair of cotton socks and soak them completely with cold water. Be sure to wring the socks out thoroughly so they do not drip.
  • Warm your feet first. This is very important as the treatment will not be as effective and could be harmful if your feet are not warmed first. Warming can be accomplished by soaking your feet in warm water for 5-10 minutes or taking a warm bath.
  • Dry off feet and body with a dry towel.
  • Place cold wet socks on feet. Cover with thick wool socks. Go directly to bed. Avoid getting chilled.
  • Keep the socks on overnight. You will find that the wet cotton socks will be dry in the morning.

What is Vascular Age Testing?

October 19,2014

Vascular age testing can look at your blood vessels and determine your “vascular age.” Your arteries may be older than you are!

Vascular age can be determined by measuring the thickness of the carotid arterial walls (Carotid Intimal Media Thickness or CIMT). Determining the thickness of the arterial walls gives you and your physician the information to prevent or even reverse cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and the #1 killer of women in America. Often, the first symptom of cardiovascular disease is sudden death. Up to 50% of Americans with cardiovascular disease have no symptoms! Vascular age testing can predict the future incidence of stroke or heart attack and may be your first step towards reversing or halting cardiovascular disease.

What to expect…

Vascular age testing is a completely non-invasive, simple ultrasound procedure. After the test, you will receive a full report including:

  • Your “Vascular Age” and cardiovascular risk profile
  • Reporting of carotid plaques if present
  • Report of pathology of the thyroid gland if present
  • Recommendations on how to reduce your risk

Who should get tested?

If you have one or more of the following, testing is highly recommended:

  • Family history of heart disease and/or stroke
  • Overweight or physical inactivity
  • Tobacco user or a history of tobacco use
  • High blood pressure
  • High LDL cholesterol
  • Low HDL cholesterol
  • Elevated triglycerides
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Diabetes

The carotid arteries are like “windows” into the coronary arteries.

Vascular age testing can predict the the future incidence of stroke or heart attack.

Carotid arterial wall thickness is reversible!

IV Nutrition & Injection Therapies

October 19,2014


Intravenous nutrient therapy is an effective treatment alone or in addition to a comprehensive health plan. Vitamin and mineral IV infusions strengthen the immune system, enhance the body’s response to stress and fatigue, support cognitive function, and improve energy levels. NCFC physicians have advanced training in IV nutrient therapy and we treat a wide variety of acute and chronic conditions with individualized formulations. Since infusions are nutrient based with ingredients commonly found in foods, they are tolerated very well. Every IV program begins with lab screening to ensure patient safety. Our treatments are excellent for improving exercise tolerance, for alleviating fatigue, and for certain chronic conditions involving the immune system such as asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, and cancer.

  • Revitalization – Whether fighting off a cold or the flu or just feeling run down by a chaotic schedule, IV nutrient therapy is one of the most effective treatments to get you feeling better and having more energy quickly. Our revitalization formulae not only support a healthy immune system, they also help support the body’s responds to stress. Everyone knows that exercise has many beneficial effects, however, your body perceives intense exercise as a form of stress. By replenishing nutrients lost during your workout, we can improve your exercise tolerance, whether you are doing a regular workout routine or even intense, competitive athletic training.
  • Detoxification – A very important application of IV nutrient therapy is supporting the body’s ability to remove toxins from the body. This is especially important for people who work or have worked around harsh chemicals or for people who are especially sensitive to toxic substances in the environment like heavy metals.
  • Stabilization of Chronic Conditions – Nourishing one’s body and supporting the immune system are very important when addressing any chronic disease. Our stabilization formulae go beyond the basic revitalization approach by targeting specific body processes that are involved in various chronic conditions such as asthma, allergies, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
  • Cancer Support – Supportive cancer care is one of the most valuable applications of IV nutrient therapy. Primary cancer treatments with chemotherapy and/or radiation have more side effects on the body than any other conventional treatment. We tailor IV nutrient infusions to both support cancer treatment and to help relieve the common side effects of conventional treatment.