Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Thanksgiving…what’s not to love? Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, apple pie…how can you not love a holiday focused on food…and LOVE! Not just love for food, but also for all the people in your life, and the many blessings that have come to you and yours!

However, if you don’t watch it, indigestion can soon follow all that love and happy eating!

To help prevent post-holiday indigestion:

• Practice mindfulness as you eat. Enjoy and savor every bite – taste the juiciness of the turkey; the creaminess of the mashed potatoes, and the sweetness of the pumpkin pie – taste the love that went into the food.
• Remember: you can always get more. Start small so you have room to try everything. Pay attention when you are full, and take breaks as needed. You can always go up for seconds and thirds throughout the day/evening.
• Be with the people you are with. This holiday is about being with those you love. Talk to those around you; use your phone to enhance the moment, not to ignore those who are there in-person. Take pictures of the event; play games using your phone or not using your phonelive in the moment.
• Stay hydrated. Balance alcoholic beverages with water. If you are hosting, set out room temperature water with slices of lemon (this will help with digestion).

If post-holiday indigestion still hits you, there are herbal formulas that can help.  

• Bao He Wan helps the body's digestive system break down meats, grains, and fats to keep the food moving through the digestive tract properly. After taking this, you'll feel good enough to get out for a healthy, post-Thanksgiving walk (I strongly recommend this). If you’re interested in trying this, email me (atran@pointsofwellness.net).
• Zypan improves your digestion by supporting your gastrointestinal system and provides enzymatic support for protein digestion.
• Acupressure also helps with digestion. Apply pressure in the spot shown in the picture below (about 3-fingers width below the wrist). This point will help relieve nausea, an upset stomach, motion sickness, carpal tunnel syndrome, and headaches.

• Also, rubbing your tummy clock-wise for about 5 minutes after eating will also help.

In addition, there are teas and beverages that also help when you aren’t feeling so good after a big meal.

• Hot Ginger Tea is excellent for soothing stomachaches and aiding digestion.
▪ About 2 inches of fresh raw ginger (use more or less, depending on how strong you want it!)
▪ 2 cups water
▪ First, prepare the fresh ginger by peeling it and slicing it thinly to maximize the surface area. This will help you make a very flavorful ginger tea.
▪ Boil the ginger in water for at least 10 minutes. For a stronger and tangier tea, allow to boil for 20 minutes or more, and use more slices of ginger. 
▪ Remove from heat and add honey to taste if you like it sweeter.

• Ginger Limeade
▪ 1.5 cups of fresh lime juice (about 10 -12 limes)
▪ 3 oz. fresh ginger, roughly chopped
▪ 3 tbsp water
▪ 1 cup of sugar
▪ 1 cup of water
▪ Pinch of salt
▪ 3 cups of sparkling water, club soda or plain water to dilute
▪ Place the sugar and 1 cup of water in a saucepan and heat over medium heat to dissolve the sugar.Bring to a simmer. Once all the sugar has dissolved and the syrup starts to boil, set it aside to cool. (You can also make a honey syrup byheating equal parts honey and water in a saucepan until the honey melts into the water.)
▪ Place the fresh ginger and 3 tbsp water in a mini processor, and pulse until well blended and pureed.
• Strain the ginger juice through a sieve, pressing down on the pulp to get the most out of the ginger.
• Set aside ¼ cup of this ginger juice.
• Alternatively, if you have a juicer, juice enough ginger to get 3 tbsp of pure ginger juice.
▪ Mix the ginger and salt with the lime juice. Add up to 1 - 1.5 cups of sugar syrup to sweeten the ginger lime juice to taste.
▪ Pour into a clean bottle/jar and chill.

Finally, I can always help with indigestion as well. Give me a call!  I’ll have you feeling better well before the Christmas season. J

Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the feast before you and the people next to you!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Winter is coming

The weather is starting to get cold in most regions of the country, and that cold air puts a lot of stress on your body. It’s time to prep your body’s defenses to keep you healthy during this time of colds, flus, and other illnesses that can hit during the Fall season, and to keep you strong as we head into Winter. 

As Mother Nature prepares for winter, we, too, must prepare our bodies for the cold months ahead. This is a good time of year to detox your body. As with the changing weather, your body is looking to makes changes as well. A detox is a good way to kick off these changes. As your body comes off the detoxmake sure to eat warmer and more nourishing foods, such as roasted veggies and warm soups.

Foods, such vegetables and herbs, can help you stay strong through the colder monthsAmp up a bowl of soup by adding garlic, ginger, fresh green onions, and chives. These same herbs are even more important to include when you start feeling a cold coming on. The pungent flavors will open up your pores to help you sweat out the cold.

Finally, be good to your body and come in for an acupuncture session. Fall is an ideal time to get back into your acupuncture routine, especially if you are sufferingfrom cold, pneumonia, asthma, depression, fatigue, arthritis, or any illness really.

Acupuncture is great to include as part of your illness prevention plan. Acupuncture directly boosts your immune system to make you less susceptible to illnessesAs you prepare your housecar, and closet for Winter, make sure to prepare yourself as well for the coming cold.

Happy Fall, everyone!


Hours are by appointment only; available evenings and weekends

Long Grove Executive House
4180 North Route 83, Suite 100
Long Grove, IL 60047

[Located east of the Long Grove historic downtown district]

Mike George Fitness System
314 West Superior Street, Suite LL-E
Chicago, IL 60654
Call (312) 943-6700 for appointments at this location.

[Located on the northeast corner of W. Superior Street and N. Orleans Street]

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July!

Summer is my favorite season – farmers markets, warm weather, swimming, and everyone is just happier (I think it’s all of the festivals and sun – wakes us up from the chill of winter)According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Summer is the season of energy and life. It is associated with the Fire elementwhich is associated with the heart, small intestines, and tongue. As much as I love summer, this season can also come with health concerns, such as excess body heat, profuse sweating, parched mouth and throat, constipation, and heart palpitations. What can you do to help with these summer health concerns? Eat cool foods, of course.

Cooling foods, like lettuce, cucumbers, and strawberries, clear heat and toxins in the body; thus, cooling and calming the blood and nourishing your yinIf you know me, then you’ve heard me say, “Eat according to the season.” One of the easiest ways to do that is to belong to a coop or shop at your local farmers market. Sourcing your food locally is excellent for your health and supports your local environment.

Keep in mind: though raw foods, like salads, are good for cooling down your body, they take more energy for your body to process. Hence, if you have digestion problems, slightly stir-fry or sauté your veggies. Balancing raw foods with hot foods is a good way to follow a moderate eating plan and is good for your well-being.

Another function of Fire is to circulate oxygen-rich blood to your whole body. Hence, getting your heart pumping keeps it strong. Take advantage of the Summer – be active outside! But, remember to have fun doing so!

Happy July 4theveryone!

One last thought: when you do get hot this summer, try these great drinks.

Cucumber Water (good for your skin)

1 cucumber sliced
4 stalks of celery
lime, sliced
Watermelon rind (a few if you can get some)

Soak all of the ingredients overnight in a pitcher of water in the fridge, and enjoy! You can eat the ingredients or toss them. Do not leave the veggies and fruits in the water too long; it will make the water a bit bitter.

Cold Chrysanthemum Tea (helps prevent sunstroke and clears heat from your body, which is great for alleviating urinary tract infections)

60 - 80 White Chrysanthemum Flowers (http://www.enjoyingtea.com/imwhitchryst.html or https://www.mayway.com/store/product.do?productId=1079)

Rock sugar (candy) or honey (if you want it sweetened) (no sweeteners if you are using for UTI issues)
4 liters of water

1. Wash the chrysanthemum
2. Pour in 4 liters of water and bring it to boiling
3. Reduce heat and add chrysanthemum into a cooking pot
4. Continue to cook for 10 minutes and add in rock sugar or honey
5. Turn off the heat and allow the tea to seep for another ten
6. Remove pot from the heat and let tea cool to room temperature
7. Strain the tea and refrigerator
8. Serve the tea chilled

Friday, May 1, 2015

Spring is upon us!

Spring, a season of growth and rebirth, is upon us. Living things, now more than any other time of the year, require good nutrients to support the growth that comes during this time. According to Chinese medicine, Spring also represents the liver and gallbladder. Hence, the green season vegetables that sprout up during this time are good for nourishing the liver.

This time of year is also when many of us do our “spring cleaning.” Besides our homes, this is an ideal time to also “spring clean” our bodies. The body hibernates during the winter months, and can use a greener diet to wake it up. The kale and lemon smoothie below is an excellent way to “wake up” the body and start your day.

Kale and Lemon Smoothie 


3 kale leaves

1 whole lemon (remove the skin)

1 – 2 slices of ginger

1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar

1 cup of water or almond milk


1.    Place ingredients in a Vitamix or blender.

2.    Blend until smooth.

3.    Store in glass bottles in the refrigerator until you are ready to drink it.

If you prefer warmer drinks in the morning, make the smoothie a bit thicker and ad warm water to it before drinking.

Some green leafy vegetables can be bitter, which is good for nourishing the liver. Use a something sour, such as a lemon, to offset the bitterness and the fast growing energy of this season.


Points of Wellness wishes everyone a happy Spring, and leave you with another great recipe below to keep you healthy and nourished through the season.

Warm Kale with Avocado oil


2 cups of curly kale leaves (de-stemmed)
2 garlic cloves sliced

Juice from half a lemon

2 tbsp avocado oil

Almond slices for topping


1.    Heat up a wok or frying pan with avocado oil.

2.    Once the oil is hot, add the garlic.

3.    Once the garlic is slightly browned, add in the kale.

4.    Lightly sauté the kale.

5.    Add salt and pepper to taste, and then squeeze in the lemon juice.




Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Happy Lunar New Year

“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” ~ Socrates

In the last few years, I have been on a journey to simplify my life. It’s been a continual work in progress.  With the Lunar New Year approaching, I want to focus this coming year on the concept of less.  

I hear from many of my patients, especially the ones I’m treating for stress or anxiety, that they want to simplify their life. YET, at the same time, they tell me about the new things they are addingto their schedules.  Of course, we all want to take the “chores” out of our lives and only do the fun and leisurely things. While that is a nice thought, it’s not realistic. 

There will always be chorestasks, and responsibilities that are not fun or pleasant, but we have to do them. Most of us, including myself, keep adding more to our hectic schedules to convince ourselves we can have and do it “all. In fact, the only thing we seem to be removing from our schedules is time for rest and sleep.

As a society, we glorify busy.  We have a knack of making even enjoyable events seem stressful because we are so overwhelmed.The following are some goals I’m setting for myself in 2015 to help me enjoy life with “less.  

• I want to take an event off my schedule and NOT replace it with something else.  

• I want to have more moderation in my life, especially in terms of food. I’d like to have a more balanced intake of food, especially sugar.

• I want to stop practicing “retail therapy” when I’m stressed.

What are your “less” goals for the year? I hope this year of less will lead to a lifetime of more happiness.

Points of Wellness would like to wish everyone a Happy Lunar New Year! Let’s welcome in the year of the Green Sheep. The sheep is seen as a symbol of peace, balance, harmony and calmness. Come and visit us if you are looking for balance and calmness in the New Year!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Feeling jolly this holiday season!

Holiday season is upon us. Our calendars are filling up with holiday dinners and parties, where many of us will gorge on a bountiful of food and drinks.

The tips below will keep you feeling jolly through this time of year.

·         Drink too much? Counteract the effects by drinking a large amount of green tea as soon as possible. Researchers have found that antioxidants (called catechins) found in green tea inhibit absorption of alcohol in the gastrointestinal tract, leading to less of an inflammatory response and faster elimination.

·         Stuffed from eating too much? Oolong tea helps settle an upset stomach, improves digestion, and prevents acid reflux.

·         Feeling under the weather?

o   Senna tea is a natural laxative, preventing constipation and relieves the discomfort caused by food that builds up in the colon.
o   Apply pressure to the following acupressure point: In the middle of your inner wrist, two-and-one-half finger widths below the wrist crease. As you press down on the point, take a deep breath and release your breath slowly. This point relieves stomachaches, indigestion, nausea, and anxiety.
o   Apply White Flower oil to your belly and rub your stomach clockwise for about 2 minutes. This helps with constipation and stomachaches.

Finally, eat mindfully. Enjoy and savor every single bite; take in the moment; and be thankful for the experience!

Points of Wellness wishes everyone a healthy and happy Thanksgiving. We are thankful for each and every one of you!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Year of the Green Horse

The Lunar New Year begins on January 31, 2014. With this new year, we welcome in the Year of the Green Horse, and say good bye to the Year of the Snake. Green symbolizes Spring, which is full of new life and energy. This Year of the Horse promises productive energies. I advise taking advantage of the positive energy this year brings by putting your goals into action, such as your health goals.

How can you improve your health this year? I hope that each and every one of you makes prevention a key part of your goalsPrevention is the key to staying well. Why wait until you have a heart attack to make changes in your life? Why not make those changes now and prevent the heart attack from happening? Think about and put into motion how you can become healthier and stay healthier this year.

Here are some tips to help you:

First, evaluate your eating habits and food intake. As many of you know, I am a big advocate of food as medicine. For example, chicken soup can help treat a cold. Natural foods have healing propertiesFor instance, fresh ginger tea is a great anti-bacterial for stomach issues, from nausea to stomach pains. Learn the basics of food nutrition and it will truly enhance your journey to better health.

Next, evaluate your lifestyleFrom how you live to what you eat, live according to the seasons. It's winter so don't be too hard on your body if it desires more rest. Your body needs to rest and get ready for Spring. Keep up with your vitamins, especially if you are not keeping up with your food nutrition. Also, if you feel a cold coming on, stop by the clinic and checkout some of our herbals to help you stay healthyBug Beater is a great herbal for helping to keep colds at bay. The winter is also a good time to eat warmer foods. If you must have a salad, couple it with a cup of soup. Try lightly sauteeing or steaming your vegetables to warm them up.  

Finally, live mindfully. Do everything with a purpose and live in the moment: enjoy what you eat and do. When exercising, listen to your body. Work your body hard, but do not over do it. Show your body appreciation by eating good, nutritious foods that not only nourishes it, but feeds your soul. Show your body and mind how to destress and enjoy what life has to offer. Choose to live.

If you are having trouble starting the Year of the Green Horse on the right track, come by theclinic and we can put you on the right track. Regular acupuncture treatments will help you maintain all your hardwork. This year, remember, prevention is key: do not let your pain or ailments get bad before you come in to see me. Let’s treat that stress before it tears down your immune system.

Use the energy of the Green Horse wisely; don’t waste it by taking on so much that you end up doing nothingSet a goal each month, or small goals each week. Do what it takes to make this year different and better!

Points of Wellness would like to you wish you and your family a healthy and productive Year of the Green Horse!