Hemp and Your Health

In the last few months, the landscape of hemp-based treatment options in Roanoke has changed DRAMATICALLY. Hemp extracts, like cannabidiol (CBD, for short) are changing the treatment of anxiety, pain, migraines/headaches, insomnia, chronic inflammation, and the list is growing. People are taking charge of their health,  and getting great results with no side effects.

The flowers and leaves of the hemp plant are extracted via alcohol or CO2, depending on the product, and then the extract is housed in an oil for the easiest absorption. This extract can be taking internally, for more systematic effects (think neurological issues, insomnia, anxiety, etc) or topically for a local effect (body pain, injuries, etc). With the topical treatment, you can feel an immediate improvement in the pain. Internally, it may take up to a week to build up in your system, but many patients experience some milder benefits right away. The compounds in the extract work on your body’s endocannabanoid system, which postitvely effects the whole nervous system. Learn more about endocannabanoids here: Endocannabinoid System

Now, there are always a few questions that need answered!

First, will I get high? No! Hemp is non-psychoactive, and all hemp oils contain only a trace amount of THC, the compound in marijuana that creates the high.

Second, is it safe? Yes! The FDA has assessed that hemp extract has no risk for dependency or overdose. There are no known negative side effects. That being said, always get your products from a reputable source. Brands like Charlottes Web have been doing this for years and years, have third-party testing on all batches, and are transparent in their growing and manufacturing processes.

Third, is it legal? Yep! In all 50 states. If you are routinely drug-tested, there is a small chance it will show up on a drug test, so it’s best to check with your employer.

Lastly, will it conflict with anything I’m currently taking? If you prescription prevents you from consuming grapefruit, you should check with your MD first.

So if you’re struggling with insomnia, acute or chronic pain, chronic inflammation, headaches/migraines, or anxiety, hemp could help get you back to feeling well. Pick some up at Queenpin at your next visit – because hemp and acupuncture are a natural pair!

LEAP Markets in Old SW

Fresh, seasonal veggies 2 ways in Old SW! Starting May 15th, Mobile Market, LEAP’s Farmers Market on wheels, will be in Old Southwest on Wednesdays between 11-1pm in front of The Haven. The market runs through Nov 1st.

Your first option is to come by the Mobile Market and pick up your fresh produce before/after your acupuncture session. There will be an assortment each week to pick from.

Your second option is to sign up for Farm Share, a CSA program – Community Supported Agriculture. A box of local fruits and/or vegetables will be ready for you once a week to pick up at the Mobile Market. This is a great way to try new fruits and vegetables and get your produce in one quick stop. 

Farm Share members will enjoy 24 weeks of local fruits and/or vegetables produced within a 100 mile radius of Roanoke. May 1st and ends October 23rd. Farm Shares are much more than a weekly box of food – it’s a powerful investment in your health, community, and local economy. This is a wonderful way to support local farmers, get fresh & seasonal food, and try something new for dinner.

How do I sign up?

Visit LEAP’s website for details and registration at www.LEAPforLocalFood.org/Farm-Share! Registration closes April 15th. Questions? Contact the LEAP Farm Share coordinator at farmshare@LEAPforLocalFood.org or 540-492-5311. Wednesday pick ups at Carilion and Department of Social Services and Tuesday at the West End Farmers Market

 

Spring Allergies Survival Plan

It’s just so VIBRANT this time of year! Grass is growing. Trees are blooming. And pollen is driving most of us totally bonkers! Spring (or fall) can be marked by severe fatigue, watery/itchy eyes, sore throat, runny/congested nose or even skin rashes as all this life sends our immune system into overdrive. There are plenty of over the counter medications to try to alleviate the symptoms but many folks notice unpleasant side effects, and the minute you stop taking them, all your symptoms come roaring back. Medications don’t do anything for the underlying issue: that your immune system thinks that pollen needs to be attacked with the full force of a typhoid epidemic. There are lots of theories and research being done about where this issue starts, with a lot of it pointing to our hyper-clean environments, more time indoors, changes in climate, and rampant use of antibiotics and antibacterial products. (CNBC “Allergies are on the rise…” and Pollen Overload from the NIH)

 

So now what? Stay inside and suffer? No way!

Here are a few things to get your immune system back in line:

 

  1. Probiotics. Immune system regulation begins in the gut, which for most of us has been trashed by multiple courses of antibiotics in our life. I recommend starting with 50 billion live cultures for at least 3 months to repopulate your biome. Refrigerated brands tend to be more potent but if you have to leave them on the counter to remember to take it, do it! This is also one of those situations where you get what you pay for. It’s worth spending a little extra on a full spectrum, high potency brand to start and you can always cut back after a couple of bottles.  You can also supplement with naturally fermented foods: kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, small amounts of yogurt/kefir.
  2. Stinging Nettle. Now be careful with this one! As is obvious, they are painful if grabbed in the wild. The easiest way to get this in your system is a nice tea. Mountain Rose Herbs has a blend that I particularly like. Brew it strong and drink two times a day.  Extra points for adding some local, raw honey (available at the Co-Op, or Garden Song Cafe)! Nettle can also be cooked, used in a quiche or in the place of any other cooked greens. Once they are cooked, you don’t have to worry about the sting.
  3. Nasal Rinse/Neti Pot. These are available pretty much everywhere. Use daily to start and then back down to every few days to keep irritants and congestion from settling in your sinuses. It can feel a bit weird at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a quick way to keep your sinuses clear for the rest of the day.  If you’re already suffering from congestion or a runny nose, a great time to start using them is after a hot shower/bath when the sinuses are at their most clear. These are best used with a mild saline solution and most pots come with a mix that can be used – don’t use your table salt! It is too coarse and has iodine in it, which can further irritate your sinuses. Nasal rinses should always be used with distilled or boiled water for safety.
  4. Limit your dairy intake. I know. No one said it would be fun. But dairy increases mucus production in the body so it’s not your friend when your head feels heavy and stuffy and your nose is running. Skip the cheese on your sandwich, try a little dusting of parmesan on your pasta instead of a cheesy lasagna, and fill your plate with seasonal veggies like ramps, asparagus and fresh peas.
  5. Last, but certainly not least, if the allergies are already out of the gate, and you’re totally miserable, stop in for some
    acupuncture. Acupuncture has been shown to even beat medications for treating allergy symptoms in some studies and we can get your immune system back on track, naturally. Results are best seen after a few visits, and can lessen the severity of future flares or even prevent them all together if you continue treatment.

My Fantastic Four

I was unprepared for how hard it was going to be for me to take care of myself once I became a mother. And I don’t just mean stealing moments, like having a night out with no kids, or taking a bubble bath, I mean basic self-care like stopping to listen to my body when I had a pain somewhere, or making sure I was getting enough nutrients when I ate.

Once I had a child, everything I had easily done pre-baby seemed to have new additional steps, and then I had another child and those additional steps were even more complicated. In addition, I was tired. Really worn out, and trying to figure out new ways to fulfil my basic needs seemed too exhausting. I had two children whose needs took precedence over mine because they couldn’t do those things for themselves. However, I knew I needed to take care of myself, because these little people needed me in the long term and putting myself last wasn’t going to keep me healthy. That’s when I started slowly building my Fantastic Four, the super powered women who were going to keep me healthy and on track. I wanted to feel healthy in my body, and I want my kids to understand that bodies are machines that we must service regularly to stay healthy. Also, why should I be last on the list because I’m the mom? A healthy family is one where all members are nurtured.  

Everyone needs their own set of Fantastic Four, the health care team that keeps them healthy. For me, it is an acupuncturist, a massage therapist, a family MD, and a chiropractor, and honestly, at this stage in the game, I have added a personal trainer to my list, but in the early mamahood years, there was no way I could swing that.  Each one of my Fantastic Four has a very specific role they fill. I do not see them all every week or even every month, but they are always there when I need them, and because I have known each of them for years, they know my personality, they know my body, and they know the demands of my life outside their office.

Finding your Fantastic Four takes time, especially when you’re juggling little ones. I tried different services to see what would fit best for me, my body, and my budget.  And even when it was an act of rebellion and revolution, I took time for myself. The important thing was that while I was sampling the menu of healthcare options available, I was learning about my body, and building a solid team to be at the ready when I was sick, or in pain, or needed some health advice for my ever changing feminine form. Some of the services (like massage and acupuncture) I go to consistently, and I only use my chiropractor when I need her. My physician is a once-in-a-while check-in. This is what works for me, but your Fantastic Four should be comprised of the healthcare providers that work for you, and the schedule that works for you. In the end, it will save you so much time, energy, and stress. Preventative healthcare will keep you healthy, and make you the super parent you want to be.  It’s easy to start your search, ask your mama friends what they do. Ask your physician what he/she does. Then make the call, or even better find places that allow you to book online, so when you’re up in the middle of the night with that sweet babe, you can book your next appointment with your acupuncturist.

-Katie

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