Amber Hincks LAc

Astragalus: Get to Know this Plant Ally!

Astragalus, or Huang Qi, is a tonic herb that is useful for a variety of conditions characterized by Qi deficiency and sinking Qi:

  • Fatigue, foggy thinking

  • Allergies, including skin conditions and food sensitivities

  • Frequent infections, lowered immunity

  • Diarrhea, loose stools

  • Heavy menses, or depleted blood

  • Poor appetite, weak digestion

Safety of Herbs in Pregnancy

At Vitalize, we love working with pregnant mamas.  The conditions that arise during pregnancy are unique and the treatment options can sometimes feel limited.  There is always the extra step of asking how this will impact the growing babe. It is best to assume that anything you ingest will pass to the baby, and this includes herbs and supplements.  This certainly does not mean that you have to stop all your herbs and supplements when you get the BFP (big fat positive!). And it also doesn’t mean we can’t treat your nausea, fatigue, sinus congestion, swelling, heartburn, insomnia, etc. with herbs.  Our practitioners are informed about herbal safety and can guide you.

Spring Cleanse with Vitalize!

Join us! We are offering a Spring Cleanse information session on Wed April 17, 6-7:30pm at Vitalize Clinic. We will help you choose a 10, 21 or 28-day cleanse from Standard Process, a whole-food nutrient supplement company. Join acupuncturists Amber Hincks and Molly Erickson for additional support with Chinese medical dietary recommendations for healthy spring eating, recipes, simple meal-planning and group support.

Do you have Blood Stagnation? What to look for.

According to Chinese Medicine, many chronic conditions have stagnant circulation of blood as part of their root cause. This certainly goes for pain, but also in many cases of auto-immune conditions, digestive disorders, gynecological issues, and even mental health concerns. 

Acupuncture for Migraines

Acupuncture can help redirect blood flow to reduce these patterns of vascular instability.  Acupuncture can also help balance hormones, reduce stress and the inflammation that is an underlying cause.  Then, perhaps with the help of other interventions such as herbs, identification of triggers, and some lifestyle adjustments, migraines can be a thing of the past, or at least greatly reduced. 

Winter Chai Smoothie Recipe

Winter Chai Smoothie Recipe
  • 1 large banana
  • 1.5 cups milk - I like to use a coconut/hemp milk blend
  • 1-2 raw egg yolks (you can use the separated whites in a scramble)
  • 1 Tbs heaping nut butter - sunbutter, cashew or almond butter
  • 1 tsp chai spice blend:  30% cinnamon, 30% ginger, 15% nutmeg, 15% cardamom, 10% clove  (if you want to make it yourself, or just add a pinch of each.)

Add Ins:

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 Tbs hydrolyzed collagen - collagen is great for joint health and reproductive health, high in amino acids that are difficult to find in other food sources.  Your hair, nails, skin, muscles and ligaments will thank you.
  • Cod Liver Oil - good source of vitamins A, D and K, as well as omega-3 fatty acids
  • 1 tsp ashwagandha powder - adaptogen herb that supports a healthy immune system
  • 1 Tbs pumpkin butter or puree, just because it's tasty
  • 1 tsp cacao nibs

Natural Remedies for Colds & Flus

Natural Remedies for Colds & Flus

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about cold & flu prevention, but lets face it, sometimes we get sick.  If you are like me and have a child in preschool, maybe it happens more often then you want to admit.  Here are some tips for bouncing back fast and fortified.  

·      Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant found in many foods, especially brightly colored fruits and vegetables.  It can greatly speed recovery from colds or flus.  In terms of supplementation, avoid synthetic ascorbic acid if possible in favor of mixed flavonoids or acerola powder.  (Vitamins are consistently better in their complex packages, rather than as an isolate.)

Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal Fatigue

Yesterday a patient asked me if I thought she might have adrenal fatigue.  Her friend had mentioned it when they were discussing their health and she wondered what type of symptoms are caused by adrenal fatigue.  

This is such a common question and, in our culture, a very common state of being.  Lets rewind and explore the historical aspect of adrenal fatigue; our lifestyle has evolved faster than our bodies.  We no longer have to spend our days hunting or gathering for our next meal, putting ourselves between tiger and snake in order to find food, this is the type of stress that our 'fight our flight' response was designed for.

Preparing the Immune System for Fall

Preparing the Immune System for Fall

Lets start by clarifying one thing - the body does not have an immune system, the body is an immune system, many parts working together for continued health.  There are a lot of variables to consider – the lymphatic system, which is rich with white blood cells, the skin and mucous membranes, the hypothalamus, which regulates body temperature.  So, like with most things, Chinese medicine uses a “whole systems” approach to treatment.  You can use this approach yourself, by first thinking about what you can do for the health of your whole system:

Free and Easy Wanderer

Free and Easy Wanderer

Xiao Yao San is a classical Chinese Herbal formula commonly used for a variety of issues cause by stagnation in the body, particularly in the liver.  When the liver stagnates we might experience irritability or a short temper, tension in our neck and shoulders, digestive upset which could include constipation or diarrhea, depressed mood, and an overall feeling of being 'stuck'.  We might feel stuck in life, with a partner, in our career, etc.  Its an overall lack of motivation to move forward, even if we already made the decision of what to do, though indecisiveness can also occur when the liver is stagnant.