Coming up for Air in Fire Season

Oct 10, 2017

As we can see and smell, October is high Fire Season. The recent explosion of fires in the North Bay has been a terrible tragedy that is far from over for this season. I send my deepest sympathies and assistance to all those affected by this year’s fires.

For those of us in NorCal, our air has been greatly impacted with smoke, ash and particulate making it hard to breathe.  Even for those without allergies and asthma, it can be difficult to get enough oxygen to act and think clearly.

Below are a few tips to help maximize your blood oxygenation and protect your lungs.

  1. Stay hydrated. Your lungs need lots of hydration and fluids to be able to stay clear and absorb oxygen from the air.
  2. Breathe intentionally. We take our breath for granted until we can’t breathe and then we tend to panic and gasp for air, triggering a stress response that only escalates. You can train your system to breathe more deeply and fully by practicing long, full, calm inhales and exhales every day. Easy times to make a habit are first thing in the morning, before each meal, and before bed.
  3. Eat oxygenating foods. Garlic, ginger, pure chocolate, green tea, cayenne, broccoli, artichokes, oranges, kale, leafy greens all effectively increase oxygen levels in the blood.
  4. Laugh. Laughter fills your lungs with air and releases happy brain chemicals into your bloodstream that flood your cells with oxygen. Even bad jokes work!
  5. Get massage. Massage increases circulation through all the cells of the body increasing oxygen to the muscles and organs, and improving the flow of blood, nerves and lymph.
  6. Supplement with iron, vitamin A, C, B complex and NAC. All these contribute to keeping your blood oxygenated. If low, they can affect your health.

For more information on respiratory health, contact Dr. Giulietta Octavio, DACM. 

Contact Dr. Octavio

 Why is it important to take care of your respiratory system, stay healthy and maximize your blood oxygen levels? 

  1. Staying healthy and functional as possible is best for your own well-being and that of your family.
  2. Protecting your respiratory health spares the use of emergency medical services that may already be overloaded by other crises.
  3. Staying healthy may enable you to volunteer or assist others in smoke filled areas.
  4. Boosting your respiratory system now will protect you from asthma, allergies, colds and flus later in the Fall and Winter.

Our health and a healthy environment are precious resources that we must continually promote and protect, for Life. 

Have Donations? I am coordinating supplies with Mira Eva and can transport items this weekend. Please contact me for more info: 415-531-8555. 

Doctoral Diaries- Research for the Medicine Nerds-

When I began my practice of Acupuncture, there was very little research. Now, 15 years later, there are quite a few  substantive  studies. I returned to school and research, to complete my Doctorate in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine this year and have been impressed by the growing body of evidence for this work.


Research into acupuncture has had ripple effects beyond the field of acupuncture. This paper identifies five exemplars to illustrate that there is tangible evidence of the way insights gleaned from acupuncture research have informed biomedical research, practice, or policy. The first exemplar documents how early research into acupuncture analgesia has expanded into neuroimaging research, broadening physiologic understanding and treatment of chronic pain. The second describes how the acupuncture needle has become a tool to enhance biomedical knowledge of connective tissue. The third exemplar, which illustrates use of a modified acupuncture needle as a sham device, focuses on emergent understanding of placebo effects and, in turn, on insights into therapeutic encounters in treatments unrelated to acupuncture. The fourth exemplar documents that two medical devices now in widespread use were inspired by acupuncture: transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulators for pain control and antinausea wrist bands. The final exemplar describes how pragmatic clinical trial designs applied in acupuncture research have informed current general interest in comparative effectiveness research. In conclusion, these exemplars of unanticipated outcomes of acupuncture research comprise an additional rationale for continued support of basic and clinical research evaluating acupuncture and other under-researched therapies.

What the Health! – Am I A Sugar Addict?

Feb 28, 2017

No Blame, But You Gotta Give the Beast a Name. Sugar Addiction.

Last month I reported on an easy to follow, effective approach to eating. Many of you tried it and many more came back to say they need more help with sugar cravings. First off, I want to tell you, sugar addiction is truly an issue of brain chemistry. Like crack, your brain and body get hooked on the fast hit of energy that leaves all too soon. Leaves you needing more.  The packaged food industry knows this and uses it against you. Because sugar is addictive, industrial foods contain lots of it, not for your health, but to intentionally get you addicted so you buy and eat more.

Capitalism, crack and your waistline. Who knew they were connected? Remember the fried egg- “Your Brain on Drugs” commercial? It should have been a pint of ice cream smothered in fudge. Think I’m kidding? Check out this NY Times Article, The Extraordinary Science of Junk Food. Look up the explosion of diabetes in this country. It strangely parallels the steady rise of consumption of prepared foods. which also parallels women working more outside the home. At .79 on the dollar of their male counterparts. With no Equal Rights Amendment. And still expected to cook, clean and raise children in all their “free time”. Dammit. I’m going to save the politics for another post. I will get back to this, but for now:

We must address the 5-25 pounds of detrimental excess weight, the emotional roller coaster and the potential for future health issues that are being created by your sugar addiction. Your life’s too sweet to be killed by sugar!


What the Health’s 3 step plan for freedom from sugar addiction.

Like your mood, everything runs better when your blood sugar can stay relatively even. Super duper highs can lead to super bummer lows, and will bring out some ugly behavior as your brain seeks A HAPPY PLACE NOW. No need for a flat line people, just a nice even, juicy flow.

Number One: Address the Food- Fuel Burn Rate

Increase protein and healthy fat.

Your body breaks down different types of fuel at different rates. Sugar and carbs are fast hitting fuel, followed by protein and fats. If you are about to sprint, sure, eat some candy, but if you’re in it (and by “it” I mean life) for the long haul, long haul foods are a better choice. The optimal time for sugar? At the end of a meal. See, your ancestors with their dessert thing were not daft. When long burning fuels are in the system, sugars are less able to spike blood sugar or create an addictive future craving. So, protein with every meal. Healthy fat with every meal. Of course, lots of different colored vegetables, some grains, and once a day, a little bit of sugar. A couple squares of chocolate, a spoonful of ice cream, a half a mango. Along those lines.

Number Two: Heal your Digestive Organs

Get your pancreas on board with targeted glandular support.

In addition to the pusher man of junk food, many of you have genetics to blame for your sugar addiction. A family history of diabetes or hormone imbalances (thyroid, adrenal, estrogen, testosterone) can bring out the sugar crazy in even the most self disciplined soul. You may not know your family background, but if you make the basic changes in diet above and have no change in cravings or find yourself shoving a chocolate bar sideways down your throat before your period, you need more support.  This is where a few key supplements can make a huge difference. A brief consult with me can get you the essential help you need to break the addiction cycle. Consult Here

Number Three: Feed your Noggin (And Your Soul). 

Increase your happy brain chemicals via happy means.

This is where things start to get really interesting people, right here. I’d like to introduce you to your Brain. (One) of your brain’s main games is TO BE HAPPY.  This means happy brain chemicals. This means dopamine, oxytocin, endorphins and serotonin. For a happy infographic on that: Meet your Happy Chemicals. You can get these from sunlight, being outdoors, having sex (even with yourself) or engaging in any pleasurable act like dancing, painting, singing, surfing, riding your bike, the list is endless. IF, however, you don’t do enough pleasurable stuff, your body will instead tun to high quantities of drug like foods to create this “high”.  Where am I going with this? YOU NEED TO HAVE ALOT MORE FUN, RIGHT NOW. This is not optional. This is absolutely essential. Oddly, this can be hard for people. I have helped 1,000’s of people with this mysterious condition called guilt. And it’s sister condition shame. I can help you too.

Easiest Diet Ever.

Feb 06, 2017

What the Health! What’s an Easy Diet for the Rest of Us?

Never diet? Wouldn’t care, except after the Holidays, your pants won’t zip?

I have the diet for you!

Low carb, high protein and veggies 2 days a week. That’s it. The rest of the time, eat what ever you want, as long as it’s healthy. In studies where people ate this way, after 6 weeks, the average participant lost 9 lbs. The best part about this is that it’s a practice you can actually continue, long term, to keep your weight at a healthy level, forever.

The fine print is 55 grams of carbohydrates per day for those two days. This can look something like, eggs with chopped tomato salsa for breakfast, a big green salad with grilled fish for lunch, some almonds and cheese for a snack and steak and green beans for dinner. Seems pretty doable, right? And even better, the two days don’t have to be consecutive. This seems amazing, but I want to know for sure. I’ll be trying  it out this month. Who’s with me?

Research Links: