Jenny Crissman MS L. Ac

Chronic pain syndrome (CPS) is a common problem that presents a major challenge to health-care providers because of its complex natural history, unclear etiology, and poor response to therapy. CPS is a poorly defined condition. Defining it generally involves specific time parameters, but many do not agree on the duration.  It can be any pain that has not resolved itself or lasting longer than 3-6 months.  I would define it as any pain that persist longer than reasonably expected based on the healing time for the tissues involved.

CPS is a constellation of syndromes that usually does not respond to the Western medical model of care. It takes a multidisciplinary approach, requiring good integration and knowledge of multiple organ systems. Diagnosing the source of the pain isfound through thoroughly investigating all of the symptoms and the history trying to find the origin.  It can be a result of a previous unresolved trauma, a viral infection by product, such as shingles, a degenerative issue at the joint causing osteoarthritis, a pain caused by metabolic syndromes such as diabetic neuropathy or even pain caused by autoimmune disorders such as MS. 

In TCM pain is sometimes described as improper functioning of a pathway.  This pathway obstruction can cause pain, numbness, digestive disruption and mood dysfunction.

Spondylosis or nerve impingement at the level of the spine is most common cause.  It may not be obvious to the patient or clinician especially if there has never been trauma to that specific area.  Spondylosis is a deterioration of the intervertebral disc creating stress , pressure, twisting, friction on the nerve root.  This disrupts the pathway to muscle tissue and organ function.  If the disruptions is chronic a whole "syndrome"of symptoms can develop and leave the patient with a myriad of neuropathic pain. 

Deep Aching Pain

Sudden short stabbing Pain

Desensitization or Hypersensitivity

Allodynia:   disproportionate pain response

ROM:  restriction due to muscle contractual

Trophic Changes:  derematomeal hair loss ( the metobolic pathway are effected)

The eventual end result of CPS is that the Sympathetic and the Parasympatheticsystems become imbalanced. 

Acupuncture uses diagnostic questioning, evaluationsand examinations to determine the particular segment of para spinal muscles and spinous processesthat relate to the symptom pattern.  Your practitioner will evaluate with a thorough visual examine, palpation to assess the area of pain for changes in moisture, temperature, texture and touch sensitivity to determine the specific area of the spine effected then- treatment begins!

It will involve needle insertion at the are of origin along the spinous processes effected by impingement as well as needling along the pathway to the muscles organs that createthe pain "syndrome".  The treatment may also include electrical stimulation of the of the pathway to help minimize atrophy of the muscles and to block the pain pathway to create immediate relief while simultaneously treating the origin of the problem.  This is a a way to create healing and prevent further damage caused by a structural problem that may have not traumatic origin.  An Infrared Lamp is also often used to further enhance the treatment.

It does not involve prescription steroids or opiods.  Drugs with a whole litany of complaints and side effects

Treatment may include some anti-inflammatory herbs or other supplements to treat symptoms created by the chronic pathway block.

If you or anyone you know suffers from Chronic Pain - ACUPUNCTUREis a viable alternative treatment that can be included to help manage their pain and improve the quality of their life!


FOOD and DIGESTION- pleasure or pain?

Jenny Crissman MS L. Ac.


If you have experienced what is commonly labelled IBS :Irritable Bowel Syndrome you have probably also experienced the vexing problem of how to treat it.  Consistent and often debilitating abdominal pain, distention,  diarrhea and/or constipation lead many Gastroenterologists to prescribe antispasmodics and fiber.  However, this prescription often does little to solve the symptoms.  Often the syndrome is frequently attributed to anxiety and stress and sometimes antidepressants are prescribed.   Current research is indicating that another measurable cause is the culprit:  SIBO:  Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth

The most Common SIBO/IBS symptoms:




Abdominal Pain/Cramping


Diagnosed with IBS

Food Intolerance


History of long term antibiotic use or high incidence of food poisoning

Recent studies have shown that this change in small intestine bacterial overgrowth can be treated with herbs and diet.  There are also special antibiotics that are shown to be temporarily effective sometimes with lasting effects if combined with diet.

The initial trigger for the onset of SIBO is unclear.  Some believe it may be a bout of food poisoning or simply some stimuli that lead to changes in the composition of gut flora.  With severe alteration in gut flora dysbiosis is established and immune function can be effected secondary to the by products of bacterial digestion.  These by products cause irritation of the intestinal mucosa triggering the immune system to overreact.  Some of the immune cells can start attacking the intestinal walls and the nervous system in the intestinal wall that control contractions.   Once the contractions become altered they may allow the food to sit too long and allow more bacterial overgrowth. 

Eventually the bacteria migrate from the large intestine to the small intestine and interfere with normal digestion and absorption.  These bacteria also produce large amounts of gas causing bloating, distention of the intestinal wall and further impairment of the intestinal nervous system.  All of these lead to the typical symptoms of IBS.  Eliminating the bacteria can end this vicious cycle!

How to Diagnose SIBO?:

Lactulose breath Test:

How to Treat SIBO:

SIBO Dietary recommendations:

I provide nutritional supervision to help maintain adequate intake and maximize digestion with the aid of acupuncture.


A variety of herbs may be rotated through to kill various types of bacteria and address any issues that may also be a result of candida over growth.  These will be prescribed as needed.  I use various types of antibacterial herbs,  some examples:


If you suffer from any of the above mentioned discomforts, get in touch with me! - help is an email orphone call away!




Jenny Crissman MS L.Ac.

The Chinese New Year festivities are held for several reasons:

To celebrate hard work, have a good rest, and relax with family!

To wish for luck and prosperity in the coming year!

How to Celebrate:

Eat and share a reunion with family and friends- Eating “lucky” foods for increased luck in the year ahead. FISH is a must because the Chinese word for fish sounds like the word for surplus! Again it is the symbolic meaning believed to bring a surplus of money and good luck for the coming year. Other traditional foods include dumplings, spring rolls, glutinous rice cakes and sweet rice balls!

RED is the main color for the festival, is believed to be an auspicious color.  Giving of Red envelopes or Hongbao is a custom of the Chinese New Year. It is a time to share gifts and the most common gift is the Red Envelope. It is simply a Red Envelope with some money in it most often given to children and retired seniors. They are distributed with the hope of imparting good luck ( as well as money) to the receivers.

Firecrackers- Set off firecrackers to say “ goodbye old year; WELCOME New Year”.  It is tradition to set off one string of small firecrackers, followed by three big firecrackers, which symbolize “sounding out” the old year and “sounding in” the new year. The louder the three firecrackers the better the new year!

Decorations- Red Monkeys!

New Clothes

DID YOU KNOW: San Francisco , claims its Chinese New Year parade is the biggest celebration of its kind outside of Asia? The City has had a hosted Chinese New Year celebration since the Gold Rush era of the 1860's!

I know the official date was 2/8/2016- But the festivities in San Francisco are officially just beginning!

Take time for some additional rituals and see the parade, share some food and light up some fire crackers! The Year of the FIRE MONKEY has begun!





Jenny Crissman MS L. Ac.

Trying to manage a migraine or a cluster of them can be a full time job and lead to inconclusive research and results. Intense pain, light sensitivity, auras, nausea...all while you look for the magic bullet to stop the headache!

Research has shown that many habits can trigger a migraine. It is no easy feat to manage migraine triggers. Because everyone is different and sometimes it is the cumulative effect of many triggers that will cause a full blown migraine to develop.

Trigger Hit list:

Too much or too little sleep



Certain foods ( Tyramine content)



Extreme Exercise

Excessive Heat

Barometric Changes


Neck Pain




Fluctuating Blood Sugar

We know that the relationship between migraines and triggers are multi factorial. So it is imperative to keep a headache diary.

Most often is not just one factor but a combination of triggers that cause you to get a migraine. i.e.: Premenstrual, bright light, skipped breakfast … , big change in temperature, little sleep and extra coffee, ...Overheated from a big run, dehydrated, two glasses of wine the night before...ALL of these scenarios can be the perfect combination to create a migraine!

Try to think of your triggers as individual risk factors for developing a headache. Then figure out what your migraine threshold is.   What combo of those circumstances does it takes to produce a migraine attack for you.

A migraine is complex, but basically it means your brain is “hyper-excitable”, reacting to a lower threshold than in someone without migraines. It leads to an inflammatory response that causes headaches. This hyper-excitability is often hereditary, but it is likely that there are many genes that produce migraines.

Healthy Lifestyle Habits for Prevention:

Keep your Blood sugar level balanced; eat meals and snacks on a regular schedule

Sleep on a regular schedule, avoid taking naps and sleeping in

Stay Hydrated- 40-60oz of water per day

Exercise regularly

Alternative Care for Migraines:





I have found that treatment is multifaceted and can definitely lessen the intensity, duration and frequency of a migraine. Sometimes even stop them altogether!  If you or someone you know suffers from debilitating migraines call - Help is on the way!











Jenny Crissman MS L.Ac.

Here we are, officially in the Year 2016!

I am not sure how many of you feel about endings and beginnings, but I love change and endings symbolize change, a chance to begin something new, different or the same again!!

Each and every day is full of beginnings and endings. We cycle through a multitude of these starts and stops: Our morning ritual: tea/coffee, shower, breakfast, then we have our commute, meetings, lunch, gym time, dinner, bed time... and then we start again!! Many opportunities for change, every day! So why does the end of the year create such pressure to make resolutions to change?

We can make a resolution every day. We can pick and choose some new habit to try, investigate or even implement. But, one at a time, slowly, consciously and with compassion for how difficult it might be. It does not have to be a big long list of resolutions, just gently incorporating some shifts in our lives and behaviors until they become a new habit. According to most sources New Years Resolutions fail because we are not hard wired, as in how our brains work, to implement change without a great deal of focused practice. Consistency is the key! So just as we know “multitasking” is really not efficient or maybe even truly possible, it is suggested that making a long list of New Years Resolutions is also not an effective way to actually create life changes.

This is a link to a Wall Street Journal article published in 2007, addressing how our brain executes making changes.

If we know that brain function may be at the root of change then one resolution might be to feed our brains this year!!

DHA, Omega 3 Fatty Acid: A major building block of the brain crucial to brain function and the nervous system.

Vitamin D: Can lift your mood, improve your memory and increase your problem solving ability!

B12: Improves Memory!


Anti-oxidants: Protect our brains from environmental damage and aging.- Eat your blueberries!

Everyone has an opinion about New Years Resolutions, whether you make them or not is not important. What is important is that we all have compassion for ourselves and our habits, then we might find the habits and behaviors of others more tolerable too!

Below I have included some of others thoughts on 2016 resolutions. You might find some inspiring or at the very least entertaining!

Happy Trails!




Jenny Crissman MS L. Ac.

Thanksgiving is a day that can often symbolize the start of numerous festivities and many kinds of consumption. I want to suggest we try to “consume” those things which will truly nourish all of our senses and not just that yummy sense of taste that fills our bellies!

First, consider not spending so much time preparing for the holidays that you miss the essence of them.

Then remember all the many ways the holidays can “fill” our senses.


Sound- Really listen/hear what our friends, children, neighbors and even strangers have to say.

Touch- Our loved ones, take time to hold hands and hug for even a few well- intentioned minutes.

Smell- The scent of home cooking, your Mom's favorite perfume as you hug, the spunky smell of your nieces new lip balm!

Sight- See the crisp blue sky of the Fall day, the smile in your partners eyes, the sadness of a homeless person, or the innocence of a two year old running wild!

Taste -The sweetness of Pumpkin pie, the comfort of gravy over mashed potatoes, the breath of laughter!

Finally , on this coming day of Thanksgiving , let's include the Sixth Sense, of Gratitude. It is the perfect accompaniment to all of our other senses.

In the spirit of giving thanks, and in gratitude for all of us , I have included a gift from Pema Chodron.

A short practice to do as you sit down to your Thanksgiving meal:


"You can do this anytime you eat a meal. Before taking the first bite, just pause and think of those men and women of wisdom and mentally offer them your food. In this way, you connect with the virtue of devotion.

Before taking the second bite, pause and offer your food to all those who’ve been kind to you. This nurtures the virtues of gratitude and appreciation. The third bite is offered to those who are suffering: all the people and animals who are starving, or being tortured or neglected, without comfort or friends. Think, too, of all of us who suffer from aggression, craving, and indifference. This simple gesture awakens the virtue of compassion.

In this way—by relying on our teachers, our benefactors, and those in need—we gather the virtues of devotion, gratitude, and kindness."

From her book No Time To Lose

Pema's words and works are a constant source of inspiration, guidance and comfort in my life. She has numerous books that reference compassion, forgiveness and gratitude.

Today I am Full of Thanks and Gratitude.



Jenny Crissman MS L. Ac.

If you or someone you know are experiencing difficulty getting pregnant with either known causative factors or unexplained infertility- Acupuncture can help! Acupuncture can increase fertility by reducing stress, increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs and balancing the endocrine system. Among many other benefits, acupuncture can provide better blood flow to the ovaries and uterus, creating a stronger chance for an egg to be nourished and carried to term.

Women of all ages are using acupuncture to enhance their conception process. It can be the sole method of intervention or it can work adjunctly with all types of Western fertility treatments:  Clomid, IUI, IVF.  As well as treating the complications of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Anovulation and Endometriosis.

One of the ways acupuncture infertility treatments increase fertility is by reducing stress. When people are under stress, the hormone cortisol is released in the brain. This alters the brain's neurochemical balance. Cortisol negatively effects hormone levels and disrupts the pituitary balance that is key to the reproductive cycle. Because of the delicate balance between the hypothalamus, pituitary, and reproductive glands, stress is capable of preventing a woman from ovulating entirely. This can contribute to the cause of female infertility.

Acupuncture is a process-oriented method of medical intervention. Each treatment builds on the prior treatments creating the ultimate desired effect. I encourage women to start treatment at least 3 months prior to trying to conceive.  If it is not possible to get started early with acupuncture treatments,  then at the very least, use it simultaneously with Western fertility interventions to create an exponential effect.

Two areas that appear to be more consistently helped by acupuncture treatments are in vitro fertilization and women who are infertile due to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

Two studies -- one in Acupuncture in Medicine and the other in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation -- found a benefit when acupuncture was used on the day an embryo was transferred into a woman's uterus.

The study from the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation also found that women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and men who had infertility issues with no known cause also benefited from acupuncture.

Publication: Fertility and Sterility, American Society for Reproductive Function

In practice sometimes both acupuncture and herbs are used to help balance hormones and enhance both male and female neuroendocrine functions!

My personal philosophy and practice are orientated to first creating systemic wellness for the woman trying to conceive. She must first be well in body, mind and spirit. Simultaneously we work on regulating the cycle and fortifying the ovulation and conception phases. If currently undergoing IVF or IUI we absolutely treat on the the day of the insemination or transfer, ideally both before and after.

I also encourage the use of a good Whole Food Prenatal:

Rainbow Light Prenatal

Garden of Life Raw Prenatal

New Chapter Perfect Prenatal:

If you are ready to conceive and having difficulty- get the help you need!





Don't be Tricked by your Treats!

Jenny Crissman MS L. Ac.

Let's talk about Sugar ! Don't be fooled by a name or a label!!

Instead of eating whole food, real unprocessed food, the contemporary American diet typically consists of highly processed grains, chemicals and hidden sugars! This may not be your diet but even with the best of intentions we must be diligent.

Added sugars hide in 74 percent of processed foods and lists in under more than 60 different names!1

The FDA and USDA have tried to define the term “added sugars” or those that are not naturally occurring in some foods ( for example , fruits) . But you have to be a food detective to decipher a label and actually figure out what percentage of calories sugar really represents in packaged foods.

Not only do food companies use some of the tricky sugar synonyms in the ingredient list, but they are also using several of them in one product. They add several different types of sugar in smaller portions to disguise the total content in your foods. Food labels are made with the primary ingredients listed first and the rest in descending order. If food manufacturers use more types of sugar in less quantity, it places those ingredients lower down on the products list and makes us believe that the amount of sugar in the product is actually smaller than it is!

A good example is a “Nutrition Bar”-

Chocolate Chip Cliff Bar:

Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Rolled Oats, Soy Protein Isolate, Organic Cane Syrup, Organic Roasted Soybeans, Rice Flour, Dried Cane Syrup, Organic Oat Fiber, Unsweetened Chocolate‡, Organic Soy Flour, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Date Paste, Cocoa Butter‡, Molasses Powder, Organic Soybean Oil, Barley Malt Extract, Salt, Vanilla Extract, Soy Lecithin, Natural Flavors, Cinnamon.

Vega One – All in One Meal Bar:

Complete protein blend ( organic sprouted whole grain brown rice protein, pea protein), organic brown rice syrup, organic tapioca syrup, chocolate liquor, organic cane sugar, brown rice krisps, organic dates, organic cashews, cocoa butter, organic agave syrup ( Vega blend...)

Kashi Honey Almond Flax Bars:

Rolled Whole Grain Blend (Hard Red Wheat, Oats, Rye, Triticale, Barley), Roasted Salted Whole Almonds, Brown Rice Syrup, Soy Protein Isolate, Soy Grits, Dried Cane Syrup, Chicory Root Fiber, Whole Flax Seeds, Cane Syrup, Rice Starch, Corn Flour, Honey, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Oat Fiber, Natural Flavors, Evaporated Salt, Kashi Seven Whole Grains & Sesame Flour (Whole: Oats, Hard Red Wheat, Rye, Brown Rice, Triticale, Barley, Buckwheat, Sesame Seeds), Molasses, Soy Lecithin, Peanut Flour, Whey Protein Isolate.

Another Good Example is Crackers-

Wheat Thins Original:

Whole Grain Wheat Flour, Unbleached Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Folic Acid), Soybean Oil, Sugar, Cornstarch, Malt Syrup (From Barley And Corn), Salt, Invert Sugar, Monoglycerides, Leavening (Calcium Phosphate And/Or Baking Soda)...

It is important to realize the term "Nutrition Bar" or other products touted as “ All Natural”, could are irrelevant most often. Learn to look for other names for hidden sugar!

One of the easiest ways to recognize sugar is by recognizing the -OSE suffix. When you find label words that end in -OSE there is a good chance it is sugar.

Sugars ending in -OSE:

Sucrose, Maltose, Fructose, Glucose, Dextrose, Galactose, Lactose, High Fructose corn syrup, Glucose solids...

And just because it doesn’t end in -OSE doesn’t mean it's not sugar. There are plenty of other names that may or may not sound like sugar!

The following are all sugar:

Cane juice, Dehydrated cane juice, Cane juice solids, Cane juice crystals, 

Dextrin, Maltodextrin, Dextran, Barley malt, 

Beet sugar, Corn syrup, Corn syrup solids, Caramel, Buttered syrup, Carob syrup, Brown sugar, Date sugar, Malt syrup, Diatase, Diatastic malt, Fruit juice, Fruit juice concentrate, Dehydrated fruit juice, Fruit juice crystals, Golden syrup, Turbinado,  Sorghum syrup, Refiner's syrup, Ethyl maltol, Maple syrup, Yellow sugar

6 Healthy Sugar Alternatives: 


Coconut Palm Sugar

Raw Honey


Artichoke Syrup

Lucuma Powder

The list for products and labels containing hidden sugars is endless. So all I can ask is that you start to read your labels and educate yourself on what the ingredients really are. Re-up your commitment to paying for nutrients and not added sugar!





Jenny Crissman MS L. Ac.

The idea of boosting your immunity is enticing, but the ability to do so is multi-fold. Our immune system requires balance and harmony to function well, it is not a single entity and it has many functioning parts. There is still much that research does not know about the intricacies and interconnectedness of the immune response. We can only look at the effects of our lifestyle have on a broad spectrum. But the connections between supplement use are also intriguing and convincing enough to consider!

The primary effects currently agreed upon are: diet, exercise, psychological stress, herbal supplements, and how age effect all of our immune functioning.

So let's start with the basics of general healthy- living strategies and then examine some strategic supplemental alliances to create lifelong wellness and help prevent the onset of “flu season”!


Don’t smoke.

Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, fiber and whole grains, and low in saturated fat.

Exercise regularly.

Maintain a healthy weight.

If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation. A maximum of two alcoholic beverages at any given time.

Get adequate sleep.

Keep stress and blood pressure in check.

Eat regularly to avoid blood sugar fluctuations and taxing your adrenals.

Get regular medical screening tests for people in your age group and risk category.

    I believe the most depleting or consistent factor effecting current immunity and disease fighting abilities is stress. It systemically causes irregular sleep patterns, weight gain, inflammation, fatigue and pain. It is almost impossible to avoid it with the pace of our lives and that of the degradation of our environment. The “Basics” help, but the rate at which we are stimulated and simultaneously depleted leaves us little time to try and adapt and keep our defenses up!

    The following are my list of “strategic supplemental alliances” that focus on decreasing inflammation and increasing our stress response so we can boost our ability to fight disease.


    Zinc is essential for a wide range of physiological functions, including support of the body’s defense system and tissue development and repair.

    Zinc is involved in digestion and metabolism, including healthy storage and metabolism of carbohydrates. It is also related to the normal absorption and actions of the B vitamins.

    It plays an important role in supporting the body’s defense system, promoting healthy neutrophil, natural killer cell, and T-lymphocyte function.

    Zinc plays a fundamental role in promoting collagen formation and tissue repair.


    Vitamin D's role in immune health has long been established; vitamin D receptors are found on a number of immune cells, including lymphocytes and macrophages, supporting healthy immune cell activation. Most blood test reveal a consistent deficiency for adults.


    Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years. It was often combined with other herbs to strengthen the body against disease. Astragalus is called an adaptogen, meaning it helps protect the body against various stresses, including physical, mental, or emotional stress.

    It contains antioxidants, which protect cells against damage. Astragalus is used to protect and support the immune system, preventing colds and upper respiratory infections, lowering blood pressure and aids the body in protecting against diseases such as cancer and diabetes.


    Top quality Echinacea root assists the body’s immune response in a number of ways. One of the most important is the nonspecific immune response, particularly white blood cells helping with phagocytosis. Phagocytosis is a process involving certain white blood cells that engulf and digest foreign particles or cells that might challenge the body. A practical effect is that top quality Echinacea root helps the immune response following stress or sudden changes in weather!


    Boswellia serrata, also known as the Indian version of frankincense, used for thousands of years for its ability to manage inflammatory disorders. It is procured from the sap of the Bowsellia tree, a native Indian plant.

    It is most known as a potent anti-inflammatory nutrient that can prevent the destruction of your joints while improving mobility.  However, it is a multi- talented nutrient. In clinical trails it has been noted for modulating the immune system and inhibiting inflammatory activity with a number of auto immune conditions and inflammatory health conditions: asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, osteoarthritis, and colitis. 


    While Curcumin is best known for its anti-inflammatory and cancer prevention properties, the fact that it is also a natural immune booster reinforces the reasons you will want to include it in your supplemental program!

    Many current research projects are showing for the first time that Curcumin is able to increase innate immunity. It combats germs, bacterial, viral and fungal infection. Curcumin helps your body fight invaders by aiding in increasing immune epithelial cells that line your digestive tract and sinuses.


    Most people, do not realize that a large percentage of your immune system is located in your digestive system, making a healthy gut a major focal point if you want to maintain optimal health. 

    It is often believed that one can obtain a sufficient amount of probiotic from food sources: yogurt sauerkraut, fermented foods and kombucha. I do not believe you can get sufficient amounts to correct existing intestinal imbalances. The optimal balance is about 85 percent “good” to 15 percent “bad” bacteria. Because many illnesses already stem from poor food choices and compromised nutrient absorption using a probiotic can only help create the robust immune system that is the key to defense against all disease.


    Rhodiola (Rhodiola Rosea), sometimes called Arctic root or golden root, is considered an adaptogenic herb. This means that it act in non-specific ways to increase resistance to stress, without disturbing normal biological functions.

    Numerous studies of Rhodiola have reported that it helps prevent fatigue, stress, and the damaging effects of oxygen deprivation. Evidence also suggests that it acts as an antioxidant and enhances immune system function.

    In Europe and Asia traditional medicine has long employed it routinely to treat stress, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and cognitive impairment. It is becoming increasingly more familiar in the United States and around the globe.

    My philosophy is that prevention truly is the best medicine- So let's give our bodies the best shot at wellness!



    Vitamin D3: Liquid Sunshine!

    Jenny Crissman MS L. Ac

    Vitamin D is commonly referred to as the "sunshine vitamin" because it's the only vitamin that can be made by the human body from sun exposure. It plays a very important role in health.

    Our ancestors lived naked in the sun for several million years, 50,000 years ago some us migrated north and south to places with less sun. Then we put clothes on, started working inside, began living in cities with buildings that blocked the sun. Then we started traveling in cars instead of walking or riding horses. Then, only a few years ago we started actively avoiding the sun and putting on broad-spectrum sunscreen. All this time we humans have been steadily reducing the tissue levels of one of the most potent steroid hormones in our bodies- VITAMIN D!!

    Let's examine some of the information we already know-

    There is a large body of research telling us exposure to sun causes basal and squamous skin cancers. But, there are a few specific details we must also consider; these cancers are clearly linked to sun exposure on fair skinned people, frequency of exposure and the latitude of the residence.

    Melanoma is another type of cancer linked to sun exposure but the evidence is not so clear cut. It often occurs in areas of the body that have less sun exposure . There is significant evidence that a history of sunburn can significantly increase the occurrence. But there is also evidence that those exposed to sun for longer and more consistent periods of time, occupational exposure, are less likely to develop melanoma. With this information we need to evaluate the risk-benefit ratio of possibly increased risk for melanoma, versus the overall health benefits of of extras vitamin D3 achieved by increasing sun exposure.

    Now, how do we get our Daily D3 if we do not get it from the sun?

    Very few foods naturally supply vitamin D. Beef liver, cheese, egg yolks and fatty fish, which contain small amounts of D3, are the best dietary sources of D3. Cod liver oil provides a time-honored potent source of D3, although the taste might be a turnoff.

    The current recommended dietary allowances of vitamin D established for infants and adults is somewhat arbitrary. Infant guidelines ( 400 IU/day) were established as what would be an acceptable amount to prevent rickets and the adult dosage were half of that (200 IU/day) with no evidence that this intake has any ability to affect blood serum levels of vitamin D.

    There are many benefits to vitamin D supplementation:

    Improvement in congestive heart failure

    Prevention of Breast Cancer

    Prevention of Osteoarthritis Progression

    Improvement of Multiple sclerosis

    Slowing the Progression of Prostate Cancer

    Prevention and Treatment of Influenza

    What are the optimal levels of vitamin D?

    Measurement for monitoring levels of vitamin D are done by blood draw. Ask your doctor for a vitamin D test. Be specific and ask for a 25(OH)D test. The recommended levels are established by the weight of vitamin D found in a given volume of blood. ( ng/ml) The current acceptable levels in blood are expected to be between 50-80ng/mL year round.

    The are three ways to boost vitamin D levels: sunlight, artificial ultraviolet B 9 (UVB) radiation, and vitamin D3 supplements. Supplementing with 2,000-7,00IU per day is sufficient to maintain year-round levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D has and adaptive regulatory system that is not that well understood and it should be noted that levels fluctuate between high summertime and often much lower winter levels. This can lead to body tissue levels well below the ideal set point. So the idea of supplementing to maintain year round levels has become of great interest for the sake of disease prevention and health maintenance.

    So once you have established your current levels of D, then you must figure out the right amount of supplement , from a a good source to maintain the optimal level year round. Discuss this with your healthcare provider. Remember sometimes a higher dosage is required to raise deficient levels, but regular supplementation vs sporadic large doses are the best way to keep your levels optimal.

    My favorite choice is always liquid and one that comes in a bio-available source!