My 5 Favorite Self Care Rhythms

by Jen Cherewaty RAc, RTCMP
~Homeschool mom who is taking more time for self-care

1.Nourishment for the Mind~Meditation

Starting January 1st 2016, many, many months ago now, I decided I was finally going to give meditation a serious effort. I downloaded some tracks and every morning I would get up 20 minutes before I needed to and plug in my earphones and just sit and listen. I became more and more comfortable with these sittings and eventually came to look forward to them. As time went on, I began to feel more and more calmness come to my mind and being. Now, 15 months later I can honestly say that it’s the meditation that is changing the way I react or not react to so many things now. I have more focus, I am kinder to myself & my child. When I wake in the night and mind starts spinning, I am able to let the thoughts go and go back to sleep, most days. I feel more content.

Meditation is a gift to you. While many of my clients think the whole goal is not to think. I feel the real goal is to give yourself time to practice noticing where your mind is drifting. When you notice this, you pause, acknowledge that you are drifting and compassionately come back to your breath, a mantra, a poem. Coming back to this perfect moment.

Your Invitation
Give yourself a set time each to just sit and breathe. It is key to cultivating mindful presence. Start with 5 minutes and build to 20 minutes. In the western world, our minds are so busy having some tracks to listen to can help you begin to just focus. Here are some links to tracks that I find useful;

2. My Morning Elixir
Every morning, after my meditation, I go to the kitchen and boil water. I take a mason jar, place a pinch of sea salt in the bottom of the jar and then ½ fill it with hot water. The top ½ I fill with room temperature water. I take a lemon, cut it in half and squeeze the juice into the water….my morning elixir. Now the task is to drink this by 2pm and then refill it and repeat by 8pm. When I am at home in my kitchen I find drinking easy. Sometimes I set a timer on my phone to ding every hour to remind me to drink.

Your Invitation
Try filling a water bottle and setting a lovely sound on your device to remind you to drink.

3. Protein on Waking~My Morning Smoothie
I like to eat something with protein within 30 minutes of waking. Here is my favorite morning smoothie recipe that I make in a 1L mason jar;

  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • pour 1 cup boiling water over berries (to bring to room temp…the digestion loves warm or room temperature foods especially in morning)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 TBSP hemp hearts
  • 1/2 tsp spirulina (to boost my blood)
  • 2 TBSP ground flax seeds
  • handful of spinach or mixed greens
  • 1 scoop of THORNE Vegalite Protein Powder (pea & rice protein)

Your Invitation
Can you give yourself the gift of breakfast with protein within 30 minutes of waking? Try an egg, smoothie,  turkey breakfast patties, yogurt, almond butter.

4. Acupuncture

I have a dear friend and colleague who I see 1X/month for acupuncture. If I have a cold or flu or my hormones are strongly unbalanced, I see her more. When I maintain this lovely time to rest, allow my stress hormone cortisol to stop pumping and my sympathetic nervous system to settle, my parasympathetic nervous system kicks in and I flow better, I think better, I sleep better.

Acupuncture has clinical efficacy on various autonomic nerve-related disorders, such as cardiovascular diseases, epilepsy, anxiety and nervousness, circadian rhythm disorders, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and subfertility.

Emerging evidence indicates that acupuncture treatment not only activates distinct brain regions in different kinds of diseases caused by imbalance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic activities, but also modulates adaptive neurotransmitter in related brain regions to alleviate autonomic response.

Your Invitation
Look at your calendar for the month ahead. Schedule at least one acupuncture treatment with your favorite practitioner. There is nothing like acupuncture to allow you to calm and reset.

5. Warmth on My Belly at Bedtime
I absolutely love the end of the day when I can just crawl into bed with hot water bottle or my Thermafore heating pad on my low belly. I try for bed between 10-11 and most nights I make it cause I just feel so much better when my 8 year old son alarm clock calls me on waking at 7-7:30aam every morning.

Your Invitation
Stop using computers, TV or phones by 8-9pm.
•Get to bed between 10-11pm at night.
•Take a hot water bottle and place on your chest, abdomen or feet to draw blood away from head and into your heart & sole/soul.

What Self Care Works for You?
If you have a something that you like to do for self-care please share with others and me in the comments below.

Flow, Grow, Move & Hold~The Power of Acupuncture & Herbs to Boost Fertility

How Chinese Medicine & 4 Phase Treatment & Diet Boost Fertility
by Jen Cherewaty RAc, RTCMP ~Chinese Medicine Fertility Specialist

Research Proves Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture Boost Fertility
Chinese Herbs and acupuncture support the phases of the menstrual cycle to regulate any areas that are out of balance. Multiple studies have shown that acupuncture alone or combined with herbs can;

  • strengthen the immune system and support general health to promote a healthy pregnancy and baby
  • decrease uterine contractions, encourage implantation and prevent early miscarriage
  • reduce high stress hormones, which may contribute to infertility
  • improve ovarian function to produce better quality eggs and a larger number of follicles
  • increase blood flow to the uterus to promote implantation

 The Phases of the Fertility Cycle

Basal Body Temperature Charting & Chinese Medicine PhasesThe Monthly Period Cycle is divided up into 4 Phases
  1. Menstruation~The Flow / The Period (day 1-5) (based on a 28 day cycle)
    During this time, the lining of your uterus is shed. The ideal period has the following qualities;

•start without spotting (or just for a day before period starts)
•flows out in 3-5 days and then stops
•have moderate bleeding for 2-3 days and then flow lightens
•very little low back pain
•very few or no clots or pieces of tissues
•very little low abdominal pain or cramping
•red colour blood (not bright red, dark red or purplish, mucousy or stringy)

Chinese Medicine acupuncture & herbs support this process by moving blood to assist clearing the uterine lining to leave a nice clear base for the next lining to grow on.

  1. Follicular Phase~The Grow (day 6-12ish)
    The Follicular Phase  body builds yin and blood with the goal of building a nice, perfectly thick uterine lining to provide a home for a fertilized embryo to nest into.Additionally, one follicle in the ovary also develop to maturation each month, grows to the surface for release at ovulation.

Chinese Medicine. Acupuncture & herbs support this process by building blood & yin to assist growing the lining and support the development of the follicle.

  1. Ovulation~The Move (day 12-14 or from 2 days prior to LH surge)
    At this time we want to see the cervical mucous increase and become copious to provide lubrication and support sperm travel. Additionally;

•the libido also should rise during this phase
•once the egg is released from the ovary, the area left on the ovary where the egg was released-the corpus luteum begins to secrete progesterone which makes the body temperature rise and helps to support implantation

Chinese Medicine. Acupuncture & herbs support this process by moving Liver Qi and Blood and assisting the body’s transformation from yin to yang to release the egg and raise body temperature and support progesterone rising.

  1. Luteal Phase~The Hold (day 15-28) (after ovulation)

•Progesterone rises to keep body temperature elevated to support implantation
•we want the temperature to rise quickly (1-2 days) after ovulation and stay high until just before the period time
•if an embryo implants (usually around day 21) the cells are dividing and multiplying
•if there is a pregnancy the temperature usually stays high
•if there is no pregnancy, the temperature drops and a period starts

Chinese Herbs and acupuncture assist holding a pregnancy if there is one and if not, boosting hormones in the second half of the cycle to support a pregnancy in a future cycle.

Top 10 Foods For Boosting FertilityDSC_0013
Improving diet is a huge factor in Chinese Medicine. Weston Price recommends the following to boost fertility. Please keep in mind that this is a general chart and constitutional changes can be recommended by your TCM Practitioner & Acupuncturist.

  1. Full Fat Dairy
    4 cups total or whole raw milk, cheese or yogurt
    •4 TBSP butter/day
  2. Eggs
    •at least 2/day
  1. Seafood
    2-4 servings/week +fermented cod liver oil
  1. Liver
    3-4 oz 1-2X/week +fermented cod liver oil
  1. Bone Broth
    1 cup/day
  1. Beef or Lamb
  2. Coconut Oil
    at least 2 TBSP daily
  3. Fermented Foods, Drinks & Condiments
    some each day with meals
  1. Fresh Fruits & Veggies
    •plenty each day
  2. Grains
    •only if properly prepared via soaking, souring or sprouting
    •soaking beans and grains before cooking releases phytase, which allows the phytic acid to be neutralized making grains easier to digest and releasing the beneficial enzymes and vitamins from the foods

Grains-should be soaked 12-24 hours in water with 1-2 TBSP of whey, vinegar, lemon juice, yogurt, buttermilk or kefir & rinsed well before cooking

If you have any questions about how Chinese Medicine can boost your fertility, please call Jen Cherewaty RAc, RTCMP, who has specialized training and 12+ years treating fertility naturally at Crossroads Clinic 604-990-6963.

Feed Your Fertility. Emily Bartlett Lac & Laura Elrich Lac. Fair Winds Press 2015
2. Weston A. Price Foundation

Top 5 Ways to Relieve Stress with Chinese Medicine


Chinese Medicine & Top 5 Ways to Relieve Stress
by Jen Cherewaty
Registered Acupuncturist & TCM Practitioner, Fan of Calmly Rushing

Chinese Medicine philosophy carries a unique perspective on stress. Stress arises when we want something to be the way it isn’t and our mind and body have a difficult time reconciling this.

For example. we get stressed because traffic is heavy and we want to get to work on time, we want to get out the door by 8:30am but our child is taking forever to put their coat and boots on, we want it to be warm and sunny but it is cold and rainy, we want to get all our work on our task list done but there is just too much to do in one work day.

It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.
~Hans Selye

In Chinese medicine, stress affects the free flow of qi in the body resulting in stagnation which can lead to excess internal heat and poor blood circulation. Excess and/or prolonged stress may impede the delicate balance in our body and trigger severe health problems.

Stress manifests in many ways in people. The most common symptoms I see in the clinic include difficulty sleeping, anxiety, neck & shoulder tightness, headaches, fatigue, indigestion, restlessness, hypertension, acne, low or increased appetite, weight gain, decreased sexual desire or ability and increased desire for sweets and treats.

With Chinese medicine my goal is to restore balance in the body by moving energy to reduce stagnation, clearing heat, increasing circulation, improving digestion and most of all calming the mind.

Top 5 Ways to Relieve Stress
1. Acupuncture
Calms the stress response in body by;
•increasing circulation & oxygenating the tissues
•reducing heart rate & lowering blood pressure
•invites body to break down and cycle out stress hormone (cortisol)
•releases natural painkillers (endorphins) to decrease pain
•relaxes the muscles to decrease tightness & tension

2. Massage /Acupressure
Chinese tuina (tway-na) or acupressure provides gentle pressure to certain points on the body to calm the stress response just as listed above. Jen Cherewaty RAc, RTCMP uses lovely scented oils during massage to add another level of relaxation via aromatherapy.

3. Chinese Herbs
The following are my favourite formulas for reducing stress;

a/ Free & Easy Wanderer Formula (Xiao Yao San)
•nourishes liver blood and yin
•spreads and moves stagnant Liver energy
•strengthens the Spleen to improve ability to extract nutrients from food
•harmonizes the Liver & Spleen to balance digestion

b/ Free & Easy Wanderer Plus (Jia Wei Xiao Yao San)
If you have stress and its expressing with heat signs such as heartburn, anxiety, dizziness, red eyes, nausea, restlessness, skin rash this formula can reduce stress and clear heat as it;
•clears heat
•cools blood
•relaxes constrained liver energy
•nourishes and circulated blood
•disperses blood stasis
•stregnthens the spleen to improve digestion & transform phlegm
•harmonizes the liver and spleen

c/Chrysanthemum Tea (Ju Hua)
Enjoy a cup of chrysanthemum tea as a pleasant remedy for anxiety or stress that might be aggravated by spending cold winter days indoors. It also contains high amounts of vitamin C and beta carotene, helps clear the skin, reduces signs of aging and boosts the immune system.


4. Meditation /Tai Chi/Qi Gong

These practices help to induce the relaxation response in the body which;

  • makes the heart beat slower
  • relax the muscles
  • slow the breath
  • decrease blood pressure

We can all find 5 minutes. Set a time each day for 5-30 minutes and you will find over time that you become better and better and keeping calm. I listen to my meditation tracks when I am on the Seabus commuting to my Vancouver clinic from North Vancouver.

5. Calmly Rushing
I invite my patients to come out of the worry and stress of the mind by making a list of things that need to be done and taking action to calmly address each one in order of importance. Calmly rushing is the term I use to move quickly but without the stress and flutter of the heart. When you feel the heart starting to race, the stomach tightening and the mind going over the same thoughts, make and list, take 5 deep full breaths and make a choice to calmly rush.

In December I always plan time for regular acupuncture and massage session to induce calm in my body. I make a choice to not partake in the hundreds of chocolates and treats that come to the kitchen table at work in order to keep the stress of blood sugar fluctuations low and I bring and eat berries, apples, pears and bliss balls that I make to curve the sweet cravings. Additionally, the daily practice of meditation, yoga or qi gong exercises when I can and spending time walking in the trees bring me great stress relief.

May you take some of these suggestions forth to provide calm amongst the busy days of December.

Everyday brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace.
~Joan Borysenko

Recipe for Bliss Balls
From Jen Cherewaty RAc, RTCMP
Registered Acupuncturist & TCM Practitioner

I make a double batch of these and put them in the fridge and use for my son’s lunch or after activity snacks or to provide a blood sugar stabilizing treat when the Holiday Chocolates start to appear at the clinic.

Yummy Nut & Seed Balls
½ cup almonds
½ cup granola
½ cup sunflower seeds
1 cup raisins
1 cup almond butter
1/4 cup honey
1/8 cup coconut oil
grated coconut or cocoa

  1. Grind the nuts, granola, sunflower seeds and raisins together in a grinder or blender
  2. Transfer to a bowl, add almond butter and honey and mix well with hands
  3. Form the mixture into balls and roll them in coconut
  4. Chill the balls for about 20 minutes to allow them to firm up.
  5. Pop one in your mouth and enjoy!!!

Adapted from The Salt Spring Island Cookbook by Rodney Polden & Pamel Thorney

What do you do to reduce stress in you life in busy December. Let us know by posting below;

Blessings for a calm holiday season!


5 Tips to Align with Fall~My Favourite Season


Fall officially starts September 22 and every year as I watch the crisp dried fallen leaves dance circles in wind gusts I smile that my favourite season has arrived!

When the mornings & evenings turn crisp & cool and the afternoons are sunny and warm I am reminded of my university days back in the early 90’s. An image, smells, the colours of the leaves almost instantly transport me back to the colorful fall tree lined streets of Kingston, Ontario. I get nostalgic about those days in my early 20’s (I am now 45) and just as I was so keen for study and fall foods then, every fall the same passions come forth again.

Now, as a Chinese medicine practitioner, I love this time of year because it gives me the opportunity to pull out my crock pot and cook warm soups and stews again, to plan my continuing education for the fall & winter, to pull in my squash and late season veggies from the garden and prep the garden beds for next spring & summer. The fall equinox..where there is equal balance of day and night & yin and yang invites me to ask how can I bring more balance to my life.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, according to Paul Pitchford author of Healing with Whole Foods, “fall is the season of harvest, a time to pull inward and gather together on all levels, a time to store up fuel, food and warm clothing, a time to study and plan for the approaching stillness of winter”

5 Tips to Align with Fall

1. Food Preparation
•Choose foods that come ripe this time of year; tomatoes, pumpkins, squash, carrots, potatoes, yams. They have spent all spring & summer growing & gathering nutrients to nourish your body. Concentrated food and roots thicken the blood for cooler weather.
•Choose foods that reflect the qualities of autumn~abundant & yet contracting…and a little bit of sour (pickles, sourdough bread, sauerkraut, olives, pickles, leeks, aduki beans, salt plums, rosehip tea, vingar, cheese, yogurt, sour apples, plums and grapes )
•Reduce the amount of raw and cooling foods, choosing steaming, saute, slow cooking and baking, cook for longer periods of time
•Add moistening foods like pears

Chicken Bone Broth & Fall Veggie Soup
•chopped onion sauteed in grass fed butter
•1 small pumpkin peeled and chopped
•3 carrots washed and chopped
•chopped chicken pieces & bone broth from roasted chicken
•1/2 cup toasted long grain brown rice
•toasted pumpkin seeds with salt for topping

~Saute onions and carrots and add other ingredients, cook 1 hour and add spices…yum!

2. Put on Some Warm Clothing
As the mornings are crisp and the evening cool, be sure to always carry a scarf to wrap around the back of the neck to ward off cold & flu invasion.


3. Boost Your Immune System
Fall is the season of the Lung and the lungs receive the vital energy from the air and combine it with the vital energy received from food to make your overall energy. Some of this is directed to protecting the outer surfaces of the body from colds & flu bacteria & viruses.  Visit you acupuncturist for treatment to boost your Lungs and ward off illness at the first sign of a cold or flu (sneezing, chills &/or fever, sore throat, body aches, fatigue). There are some AMAZING Chinese Herbal mixes that you can keep on hand in case of early colds (Gan Mao Ling)or colds that start with a sore throat (Yin Qiao San), a cough (Sang Ju Yin) or sinus congestion (Xanthium Nasal or Magnolia).

4. Plan Studies
What have you been craving to know? This year I will likely take the Integrative Fertility Sympsium again and am also interested in learning more about the details of immune system & supporting it naturally creating space for a regular yoga practice.


5. Invite Balance & Get grounded
Everything in nature contracts and moves its essence inward and downward. Take 5 minutes to sit in the warm afternoon sun and just breathe. Draw in the warmth and let it ground you; Inhale and think “I am in balance” and exhale “calm”. I help myself stay more balanced by going to bed early and waking early…some days I am able to get myself up and do some yoga postures. Other mornings I I know I need more rest so I snuggle in with my son and breathe deep full, expansive breaths.

How do you celebrate, ritualize or keep balanced in fall? Share your comments below.

If you’d like more insight on how to Align with Fall you can contact me at

Need an Energy and Emotions Boost?

In my quest and fascination for understanding Functional Medicine, I have been reading a fantastic book called “The Mood Cure” by Julia Ross.
Today when reading about nourishing the Adrenal Glands, I read the following and was inspired to share as I have seen great results come from using acupuncture and herbs to treat fatigue & low spirits.
Acupuncture Supports Adrenal Fatigue
“Acupuncturists have been treating the adrenal glands for thousands of years. Get acupuncture from a practitioner who uses saliva testing and knows Chinese herbs. These professionals can also measure adrenal function through your pulses and treat you with acupuncture, herbs and diet, lifestyle. Not only are the adrenal glands directly supported through acupuncture, but acupuncture is famous for its ability to raise endorphin levels and we know that these pleasure-producing endorphins are depleted by stress and are needed to help regulate cortisol.”

The Pulse Reveals

“Acupuncturists call the pulse that registers the vitality of your adrenal glands your kidney meridian. If your burnout is severe, your pulse will be very weak or unsteady, in which case you should consider being treated with needles and herbs.”

Saliva Testing
This AMAZING testing, which you can do at home, gives us the levels of your stress hormone output at 4 times of day. We can also test hormone levels to assure these are thriving. From this information, we set up a plan to get your adrenals and hormones back on track so you can have more energy and feel better.
Thanks for this boost of support to the book the Mood Cure by Julia Ross.

If you are looking for answers to boosting your adrenal gland function to reduce fatigue and boost emotions, call Jen Cherewaty RAc, RTCMP at 778.877.9460. I use acupuncture, chinese and western herbs along with diet, lifestyle and salvia testing to determine levels of adrenal fatigue and then treat you to feel better, have more energy and just feel happier.

Have you had success in using acupuncture and/or chinese herbs to boost your energy, spirits and mental clarity? Leave a comment below and share your experience!

Bone Broth Soup

By Jen Cherewaty Registered Acupuncturist & Herbalist, Bone Broth Drinker

Last weekend I was honoured to attend the first Integrative Fertility Symposium here in Vancouver. One hot recommendation for fertility patients (both male and female) is to make and drink bone broth soup daily. The gelatin in the broth protects and rejuvenates the mucosal lining of the digestive tract which helps with absorption and digestion of nutrients. Turns out the broth is excellent for fertility, reducing allergies, autoimmune diseases and much more.

Bone Broth Soup Recipe
Makes approximately 8 cups.

1 organic pasture raised chicken carcass or 1 lb of chicken bones
2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
2-4 garlic cloves
8 cups water
chopped carrots, celery, onions (optional)

1. Place chicken and/or bones in slow cooker/crock pot.
2. Add vinegar, salt, garlic, water and vegetables.
3. Add more water if needed to cover bones & veggies.
4. Cook the mixture on low for 24 hours (at least) adding extra water to the top every 4 -12 hours.
5. Pour the broth through a fine mesh sieve to remove bones and veggies.
6. Store in fridge in glass jars. (You can skim off fat once it rises to the top).
7. Heat up 1 cup at a time for drinking.
8. Put any broth that won’t be used for 4-5 days in the freezer and thaw when needed.

So nourishing….happy broth making.

I drink my bone broth at lunchtime, sometime with an egg cracked in it for an egg drop soup. How do you like yours? Let us know by posting below.

5 Tips to Improve Breast Milk Flow

After a woman gives birth there is often a big loss of blood and energy. If labor is long and difficult, there can be challenges supplying enough milk. Sometimes, there is enough milk but it just can not flow properly because there are emotional issuses coming up for the mom causing the energy to be stuck stuck. As an acupuncturist and herbalist have been having more and more women come into the clinic with scanty or absent breast milk after childbirth. Whether you are not producing at all or producing a small amount, Chinese Medicine offers really effective treatment for increasing breast milk supply.

Why is Your Breast Milk Supply Low?
1. Blood Loss During Labour
Many women lose quite a bit of blood during labour and birthing. In Chinese Medicine physiology, blood is the source of breast milk and if blood is deficient, low breast milk will be too. Here, the new mom will have watery milk, soft breasts, pale complexion, dry skin and poor appetite.

2. Long Labour
A long and difficult labour can lead to qi or energy depletion which may result in insufficient lactation as there is not enough qi to get milk flowing. The symptoms here are similar to above.

3. Emotions
Strong emotions such as worry, anger, frustration or resentment cause stagnation of Liver Qi. The Liver meridian or channel influences the breast and controls the nipple, so stagnant qi  obstructs the smooth flow of breast milk. If qi flow in the breast is compromised, the breast will be distended and hard, you may have rib-side and/or abdominal distension and be irritable.

“Breast milk is a product of the transformation of qi and blood..without qi breast milk cannot be transformed, without blood it cannot be generated.”
~Fu Qing Zhu’s Gynecology

Increase Supply and Flow of Breastmilk: Improve Your Qi & Blood
1. Acupuncture

Acupuncture works wonders to tonify qi, build and nourish blood and remove obstructions from the breast. Certain points stimulate descent of breast milk. If there is strong emotions present, points can be added to smooth the flow. The acupuncture point at the end of the small finger called “shao ze” meaning smaller marsh is specific for insufficient lactation.

2. Chinese Herbs
Herbs are key for treatment here and can be prescribed in powder, capsule or tablet form.  the beauty of being able to custom blend chinese herbs is that I can add some herbs for nourishing the blood, some for moving Liver qi and some for calming the mind. All herbs chosen are safe to drink while breastfeeding.  Acupuncture and chinese herbs work as a great team to

3. Rest
In traditional chinese medicine philosophy, when you lie down and rest, your blood flows back into the liver and can be rejuvenated. When the blood is rejuvenated, it can be transformed into breast milk. Additionally, often strong emotions come in new moms due to the lack of sleep from waking regularly to feed a newborn child. Resting gives your body time to regenerate energy, qi, which not only gives you more energy, but also makes energy and emotions flow more smoothly.

4. Nourishing Foods
•brewer yeast
•nuts & seeds
•whole grains
•increase protein intake as breast milk is produced from protein drawn from either your diet or what is stored in your body (beef or chicken are especially good for nourishing blood) (vegetarians must pay great attention to eating enough protein)
•a Traditional Chinese Food Cure is Pig’s Trotters Soup
2-3 pig trotters (feet from a local butcher)
2 TBSP soy sauce/tamari
4 onions
6 garlic cloves
4TBSP fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
salt & pepper

1. Rub the chopped pig trotters with soy sauce/tamari and place in a pot.
2. Cover with 4-6 cups of water and bring to a boil.
3. Remove any of the foam that rises to the surface of the water.
4. Remove and discard bones after the meat is tender. Add garlic and onions and continue to boil for 10 minutes.
5. Add salt & pepper and sprinkle with cilantro leaves.
6. Serve with steamed rice.

5. Tea
Nettle leaf has a tonic effect and contains iron.
Alfalfa, blessed thistle, dandelion, fennel, horsetail and raspberry are excellent and safe for a breastfeeding mom.
black walnut, yarrow, sage as these can decrease milk supply.

More Breast Milk~Yeah!!!
Together acupuncture, herbal medicine, rest and nourishing foods and soups make a great team to support a breast feeding mother to nourish her growing baby. Do you have a technique or something that worked of you to increase your breastmilk? Share your story with me below in the comments section.

Jen Cherewaty Registered Acupuncturist, Herbalist, mom and doula has been helping women increase their breastmillk supply for over 10 years.

Are the “Healthy” Foods You Eat Making You Ill?


by Jen Cherewaty RAc, RTCMP (Acupuncturist, Herbal Alchemist and Food Lover)
My Son Finn

Several months ago my 5 year old son Finn was getting extensive yellow flakes on his scalp and behind his ears. Additionally, his stools were weird (more loose than normal) and he had dark circles under his eyes. I had a feeling that all his symptoms were related to food allergies, so I finally did a Food Safe (blood spot) Allergy Test and sure enough high sensitivity to eggs and all grains except oats, corn and buckwheat.

I eliminated all the foods that scored in the high sensitivity area and started him on a “gut healing protocol” and within 1 week the yellow flakes were gone, he stools went back to normal and his dark circles under his eyes disappeared. I was convinced.

Immunology 101~Food Allergy or Sensitivity?
The results from the Food Safe test provide information about your immune system and whether it is in conflict with various components of your diet. In any food reaction, the immune system reacts by releasing cells called antibodies. Two types of antibodies are produced in response to foods;
1. IgE (immunoglobulin E)
Food allergy is an immediate reaction within minutes of eating a reactive food (many peanut and shellfish allergies are common IgE reactions. See an specialist if you have serious food reactions.

2. IgG (Immunoglobulin G)
Food sensitivity reactions take hours or days to develop. In these reactions, the IgG antibodies attach themselves to the food particles. These complexes are normally removed by macrophages. If there are a many of these complexes and you are still eating the food, the macrophages just can’t remove all the complexes. They accumulate and are deposited in body tissues creating inflammation and many symptoms or diseases.

Got Any of the Following?….Common Symptoms of Food Sensitivity

  • joint pain
  • muscle pain, stiffness or swelling
  • chronic low back pain
  • bed-wetting
  • recurrent bladder infections
  • frequent cold or flus (URI~upper respiratory tract infections)
  • chronic headaches
  • fatigue, fever, feeling weak, chills, sweating
  • skin issues (itching, redness, swelling, rashes, eczema, hives, psoriasis, canker sores)
  • digestive (heartburn, indigestion, bloating, diarrhea, ulcerative collitus, irritable bowels)

Easy Peasy…A Little Squeezy
Testing is done with a blood  sample to determine food sensitivities  by the ELISA method.
1. Food Safe Bloodspot Test is a finger prick we can do at the clinic or send you in the mail and you can do it yourself. It tests 95 of the most common food that folks are sensitive too.
2. Blood Draw is a more comprehensive test that your ND can do in clinic. It tests more foods and several spices.

Recovery 101
1. Eliminate Foods
that Are in the High Category (3-9 months)
2. Eat Foods
in the Moderate Category only 1X Every 4 days
3. Nutritional supplements
like fish oils reduce inflammation. L-Glutamine, Slippery Elm, Licorice and Chinese Herb combinations like Golden Flower Pulsatilla Intestinal Formula assist macrophages in breakdown and heal the lining of the intestinal tract.
4. Acupuncture can boost digestion, reduce inflammation and address specific symptoms you may be having in relation to your food sensitivities.

Do you have any food sensitivities and if so what helped you eliminate those foods from your diet.? Did you find it improved your health?

Share & Share
Did you like this article if so, leave a comment below and share, share, share with those who you think could benefit. Thanks so much!



5 Tips to Reduce Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

Got Sneezing & Sniffles from Seasonal Allergies?
by Jen Cherewaty RAc, RTCMP~ Registered Acupuncturist & Chinese Medicine Herbalist

Beautiful pink blossoms are opening on trees all around Vancouver town. For people with seasonal allergies this invites the return of seasonal allergy symptoms including sneezing, itchy eyes and throat, frontal headache, irritability, loss of smell, a heavy sensation in the head and profuse, clear nasal discharge. If severe, there can be coughing and asthmatic breathing.

All allergy symptoms arise when your body’s immune system identifies a normally harmless substance (tree pollens, grasses) as a threat to the body and tries to expel these substances from the body.

  • Wind & Damp~While several Chinese patterns may be involved, wind (seen as itchy eyes, sneezing and sudden onset) and damp (seen as mucous and nasal congestion) are the dominant symptoms.
  • Past History~most patients with allergic rhinitis have a history or being treated with repeated antibiotics as children
  • Stress~high stress without adequate rest to recover depletes the adrenal glands and thus reduces the overall ability of the immune system to function at its best

Seasonal allergic rhinitis is divided into 3 types;

  1. Spring Type~allergens are usually tree pollens
  2. Summer Type~allergens are usually grass pollens
  3. Fall Type~allergens are usually weed pollens (the most common is ragweed)
  4. Perennial~without regard to season & usually due to fungus spores, dust containing insect feces & proteins and animal dander

Try these 3 Tips from Traditional Chinese Medicine to Reduce Seasonal Allergy Symptoms;

1. Clearing the Wind & Damp
Chinese Herbal Medicine

Oddly enough, one of the main herbs to treat the damp part of seasonal allergies is magnolia buds (chinese name xin yi hua). Other herbs such as Angelica dahurica (bai zhi) and Xanthium sibiricum (cang er zi) are also super effective. Clearing wind is accomplished by such as Japanese catnip ~Schizonepeta tenuifolia (jing jie) and Siler divaricata (fang feng).Your chinese medicine practitioner can combine a nice blend to address your specific symptoms or give you a ready made formula such as Bi Yan Pian (Nose Inflammation Pills) or Allerease (by Blue Poppy).

Western Herbs

  • Butterbur ~some studies show this to be as effective as prescription antihistamines without the side effect of drowsiness. Caution is advised if you have a known ragweed allergy, as Butterbur is of the same family, and if taken it will worsen, not alleviate your symptoms.
  • Quercetin ~ a natural antihistamine
  • Euphrasia officinalis (Eyebright) ~has been used to effectively treat the symptoms of hay fever – especially the congestion and watery eyes.

2. Acupuncture
Treatment with acupuncture varies for each person and their individual symptoms. The relief is often immediate and the effect lasting temporarily to complete remission. Insertion of points around the nose, wrists and hands is common. Shang xing (GV23), ying xiang (LI20), feng men (UB12), lie que (Lu7) and bi tong (Extra point) are commonly used points.

A study in the September 2004 issue of Allergy has concluded that a combination of Chinese herbs and weekly acupuncture sessions may be more effective than a placebo at relieving the symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis. (1)

3. Drink Green Tea
The catechins found in green tea have an antihistamine effect, and drinking green tea may alleviate the symptoms of springtime allergies.

4. A Little Dap will Clear Ya~Aromatherapy
I always dab a few drops of White Flower Oil on certain points to open the orifices of the nose, eyes and ears which often brings instant relief to congested patients.

5. Say Goodbye to Ice Cream to Reduce Your Dripping Nose~Diet
What you eat can actually decrease the amount of phlegm and congestion in your sinuses. This is because the spleen is the digestive organ in Chinese Medicine physiology and the Spleen dislikes cold and damp and too much sweet as these foods tend to increase mucous buildup. Since ice cream is cold, damp and sweet… say goodbye to ice cream and eliminate or reduce sweets, dairy and cold foods. The spleen loves soups, room temperature salads, lightly steamed veggies and boiled grains as these foods are easy to digest and create very little mucous.

About Jen Cherewaty RAc, RTCMP & Allergy Treatments;
I do online consultations and in clinic treatments in Vancouver and North Vancouver for naturally reducing your allergy symptoms. Herbs can be easily mailed.

If you liked this post, comment below and share with any allergy sufferers you know. Thanks so much! Jen Cherewaty


  1. Management of Allergic Rhinitis in the Working-Age Population . Summary, Evidence Report/Technology Assessment: Number 67. AHRQ Publication No. 03-E013, February 2003. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
  2. Treatment of Western Medical Disease with Chinese Medicine. Allergic Rhinitis. Bob Flaws