Having Trouble Sleeping Through the Night?

Having Trouble Sleeping Through the Night?, Adirondack Wellness Group in Queensbury, NY

Have you said “bye bye” to sleeping through the night?

Are you feeling exhausted or “running on stress hormones” all day?

Do not fear, I have some great tips (and an amazing recipe) for you!


The science of sleep is fascinating, complicated and growing

Sleep is this daily thing that we all do and yet we're just beginning to understand all of the ways it helps us and all of the factors that can affect it.

Lack of sleep affects just about everything in your body and mind.  People who get less sleep tend to be at higher risk for so many health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer; not to mention effects like slower metabolism, weight gain, hormone imbalance, and inflammation.  And don't forget the impact lack of sleep can have on moods, memory and decision-making skills.

Do you know that lack of sleep may even negate the health benefits of your exercise program? What aspect of health does sleep not affect?

Knowing this it's easy to see the three main purposes of sleep:

●     To restore our body and mind.  Our bodies repair, grow and even “detoxify” our brains while we sleep.

●     To improve our brain's ability to learn and remember things, technically known as “synaptic plasticity”.

●     To conserve some energy so we're not just actively “out and about” 24-hours a day, every day.


Do you know how much sleep adults need?  It's less than your growing kids need but you may be surprised that it's recommended that all adults get 7 - 9 hours a night.  (Don't worry, I have you covered with a bunch of actionable tips below.)


Tips for better sleep

●     The biggest tip is definitely to try to get yourself into a consistent sleep schedule.  Make it a priority and you're more likely to achieve it.  This means turning off your lights 8 hours before your alarm goes off.  Seven. Days. A. Week.  I know weekends can easily throw this off but by making sleep a priority for a few weeks your body and mind will adjust and thank you for it.

●     Balance your blood sugar throughout the day.  You know, eat less refined and processed foods and more whole foods (full of blood-sugar-balancing fiber).  Choose the whole orange instead of the juice (or orange-flavoured snack).  Make sure you're getting some protein every time you eat.

●     During the day get some sunshine and exercise.  These things tell your body it's daytime; time for being productive, active and alert.  By doing this during the day it will help you wind down more easily in the evening.

●     Cut off your caffeine and added sugar intake after 12pm.  Whole foods like fruits and veggies are fine, it's the “added” sugar we're minimizing.  Yes, this includes your beloved chai latte.  Both caffeine and added sugar can keep your mind a bit more active than you want it to be come evening. (HINT: I have a great caffeine-free chai latte recipe for you below!).

●     Have a relaxing bedtime routine that starts 1 hour before your “lights out” time (that is 8 - 10 hours before your alarm is set to go off).  This would include dimming your artificial lights, nixing screen time and perhaps reading an (actual, not “e”) book or having a bath.

So how many of these tips can you start implementing today?


Recipe (Caffeine-free latte for your afternoon “coffee break”): Caffeine-Free Chai Latte (Serves 1-2)

1 bag of rooibos chai tea (rooibos is naturally caffeine-free)

2 cups of boiling water

1 tablespoon tahini

1 tablespoon almond butter (creamy is preferred)

2 dates (optional)

Cover the teabag and dates (if using) with 2 cups of boiling water and steep for a few minutes. Discard the tea bag & place tea, soaked dates, tahini & almond butter into a blender. Blend until creamy. Serve and Enjoy!

You can also try this with other nut or seed butters to see which flavor combination you like the best.  Cashew butter anyone?


References: http://www.thepaleomom.com/gotobed/



Happy Chinese New Year - Year of the Pig 2019

Happy Chinese New Year! What Will the Year of the Pig Mean for You?

February 5th marks the beginning of our new lunar year and this year we celebrate the Year of the Pig. You will meet different challenges and strokes of luck this year depending on your own Chinese zodiac, but let’s take a general look at what this Brown-Earth-Pig has in store for us!

End of an Era

The Pig is the last animal in the cycle of the Chinese zodiac. As the final animal, this symbolizes endings, conclusions, and finalizations. This could relate to contracts, work arrangements, or long-term projects.

If you feel the need to complete or end a relationship, job, contract, or other aspect of your life, this may be a favorable year to do it. The sense of completion may help you to move forward into brand new beginnings.

The Year of the Pig, however, is great for planning these new beginnings – not starting them. Use your intuition this year to get your ducks in a row, then launch your great new ideas in the go-getting Year of the Rat: 2020.

Friendship and Fun

Pigs are typically friendly, peaceful animals and represent good friendships and family relations. They also symbolize comfortable home environments and a love of good food! This year may be a great year to stay in a bit more and rest rather than traveling excessively.

Because the Pig loves peace, this can also be a great year to negotiate or form new bonds. Go out of your comfort zone and make some new friends. Or maybe you’d rather grab your old buddies together for a healthy, hygge, homemade dinner party?

Natural Beauty

As an earthy, yin year, beauty is highly favored in 2019. Any kind of natural or Earth-based beauty regimen will be particularly helpful. Consider natural herbal or mud masks and baths, seaweed wraps, hot-stone therapy, jade rolling, or any beauty regimen that stems from the Earth. (And book your Mei Zen sessions!)


2019 is the perfect year to get going with any domestic projects or hobbies you have been dreaming about. Take some time to de-clutter (a la Marie Kondo?), renovate, cook, bake, scrapbook, feng shui, decorate, or do anything that makes you feel at home. 

Embrace Your Yin

In the Earth Pig year, it’s time to embrace your yin energy. Many people know yin to be your feminine side, but it is more than that. Yin is calm, relaxed, nurturing, sensitive, quiet, introspective, and intuitive. This is an important energy for both men and women to cultivate and embrace as we rely on a balance of yin and yang.

This is the perfect year to start a journal, begin a meditation practice, and spend more time in quiet, natural spaces. Resist the urge to engage in arguments, release tensions or past grudges, and reduce the amount of stimulants you indulge in like caffeine.

Food, Food, Food!

This year, people will be enjoying food to the fullest. While you may be temped to indulge, try to stick to healthy, delicious, flavorful meals to avoid potential weight gain. Consider your favorite family meals and revisit the recipes of your heritage, in true Pig fashion. Gather ‘round to enjoy your meals with friends and family.

Potential Health Hurdles in the Year of the Pig

Weight Gain – Yin years tend to attract more dampness, or weight gain, in our bodies. The focus on food this year may also cause a tendency towards weight gain. Eat lots of healthy fruits, veggies, lean meats and fish; healthy grains like quinoa and rice. Exercising regularly will also do wonders for  your body and mind. 

Kidneys and Bladder issues – Due to the Earthy and Watery aspects of this year, the Kidneys and Bladder may suffer. Issues like UTIs, incontinence, or irritation might come up.

Circulation problems – We may need more help getting good qi and blood flow in the Year of the Pig. This is because of the lack of Fire energy this year and the abundance of Earth and Water. This can cause sluggishness, cold, and stagnation. Make sure to maintain good circulation by moving often with moderate exercise and including some great warming herbs in your diet like ginger, pepper, and garlic.

Happy Chinese New Year - Year of the Pig 2019, Adirondack Wellness Group in Queensbury, NYBring on the Year of the Pig!

Overall, the Year of the Pig will be a great year to build relationships, complete projects, and plan for an exciting future. Enjoy time at home and with family and pay extra special attention to your health. Gong hei fat choy!



Metabolism and Weight Loss

This word “metabolism” is thrown around a lot these days. What is Metabolism?

You know that if yours is too slow you might gain weight. But what exactly does this all mean?

Well technically “metabolism” is the word to describe all of the biochemical reactions in your body. It's how you take in nutrients and oxygen and use them to fuel everything you do.

Your body has an incredible ability to grow, heal, and generally stay alive. And without this amazing biochemistry you would not be possible.

Metabolism includes how the cells in your body:
Allow activities you can control (e.g. physical activity etc.).
Allow activities you can't control (e.g. heart beat, wound healing, processing of nutrients & toxins, etc.).
Allow storage of excess energy for later.

So when you put all of these processes together into your metabolism you can imagine that these processes can work too quickly, too slowly, or just right.

Which brings us to the “metabolic rate”.

Metabolic rate

This is how fast your metabolism works and is measured in calories (yup, those calories!).

The calories you eat can go to one of three places:
Work (i.e. exercise and other activity).
Heat (i.e. from all those biochemical reactions).
Storage (i.e. extra leftover “unburned” calories stored as fat).

As you can imagine the more calories you burn as work or creating heat the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off because there will be fewer “leftover” calories to store for later.

There are a couple of different ways to measure metabolic rate. One is the “resting metabolic rate” (RMR) which is how much energy your body uses when you're not being physically active.

The other is the “total daily energy expenditure” (TDEE) which measures both the resting metabolic rate as well as the energy used for “work” (e.g. exercise) throughout a 24-hour period.

What affects your metabolic rate?

In a nutshell: a lot!

The first thing you may think of is your thyroid. This gland at the front of your throat releases hormones to tell your body to “speed up” your metabolism. Of course, the more thyroid hormone there is the faster things will work and the more calories you'll burn.

But that's not the only thing that affects your metabolic rate.

How big you are counts too! Larger people have higher metabolic rates; but your body composition is crucial!

As you can imagine muscles that actively move and do work need more energy than fat does. So the more lean muscle mass you have the more energy your body will burn and the higher your metabolic rate will be. Even when you're not working out.

This is exactly why weight training is often recommended as a part of a weight loss program. Because you want muscles to be burning those calories for you.

The thing is, when people lose weight their metabolic rate often slows down which you don't want to happen. So you definitely want to offset that with more muscle mass.

Aerobic exercise also temporarily increases your metabolic rate. Your muscles are burning fuel to move so they're doing “work”.

The type of food you eat also affects your metabolic rate!

Your body actually burns calories to absorb, digest, and metabolize your food. This is called the “thermic effect of food” (TEF).

You can use it to your advantage when you understand how your body metabolizes foods differently.

Fats, for example increase your TEF by 0-3%; carbs increase it by 5-10%, and protein increases it by 15-30%. By trading some of your fat or carbs for lean protein you can slightly increase your metabolic rate.

Another bonus of protein is that your muscles need it to grow. By working them out and feeding them what they need they will help you to lose weight and keep it off.

And don't forget the mind-body connection. There is plenty of research that shows the influence that things like stress and sleep have on the metabolic rate. If you are having trouble in these areas, going to a gym, getting regular acupuncture treatments, spending time outside will all have a positive effect on your health and metabolism. 

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to metabolism and how so many different things can work to increase (or decrease) your metabolic rate.

Along with exercise, Dry Infrared Saunas have been shown to boost metabolism and promote weight loss.

Here's a flavor-filled protein rich healthy metabolism recipe, just for you. 

Recipe (Lean Protein): Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken Breasts

Serves 4

2 lemons, sliced
1 tablespoon rosemary
1 tablespoon thyme
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
dash salt & pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive old

Preheat oven to 425F. Layer ½ of the lemon slices on the bottom of a baking dish. Sprinkle with ½ of the herbs and ½ of the sliced garlic.

Place the chicken breasts on top and sprinkle salt & pepper. Place remaining lemon, herbs and garlic on top of the chicken. Drizzle with olive oil. Cover with a lid or foil.

Bake for 45 minutes until chicken is cooked through. If you want the chicken to be a bit more “roasty” then remove the lid/foil and broil for another few minutes (watching carefully not to burn it).

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: You can add a leftover sliced chicken breast to your salad for lunch the next day!




Kiss Fine Lines and Wrinkles Goodbye this Valentine’s Day

by Heather Schuerlein, L.Ac, Dipl.OM

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! This is usually a time when we stop to appreciate those special people in our lives we love and cherish. Maybe it’s your significant other, your kids, or gal pals. But what about you?! With the popularity of “self-care” rising, there’s no better time to treat yourself to the magical effects of cosmetic acupuncture.

Cosmetic acupuncture is sometimes referred to as facial rejuvenation because it does just that – it uses acupuncture techniques, herbal products, and other natural resources to restore your skin to its younger, more vibrant self. Cosmetic acupuncture can turn back the hands of time - or at least halt it in its tracks. If you have been feeling lack-luster or in need of a mind-body-face refresh, treat yourself to Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture at the Adirondack Wellness Group.

Acupuncture and Beauty

Acupuncture is well known for its ability to help ease pain, relieve stress, and treat a wide range of health conditions. Did you know that it can be quite miraculous in the beauty world as well? Acupuncture and the Mei Zen system takes a holistic approach to beauty, leaving you not only glowing but healthier as well.

Acupuncture has the ability to increase blood flow to certain areas which, in our case, helps to improve the tone and quality of the skin. It has also shown to increase collagen production and reduce signs of inflammation. On a more holistic level, acupuncture helps to ease stress (no more frowning!), improve sleep (nourished skin!), and improve your overall health (plenty of energy to spend on beauty).

Fine Lines and Wrinkles, No More!

One of the reasons cosmetic acupuncture is so useful is its ability to minimize fine lines and wrinkles. These are natural side-effects of a life well-lived; our wrinkles mark our smiles, laughs, thoughts, and experiences. Nevertheless, most of us would prefer to keep our skin smooth and taut as long as possible.

With the Mei Zen system, we work to bring oxygen, blood flow, and nutrients to the skin of the face. The acupuncture needles also stimulate the production of collagen in the skin. By targeting wrinkles and lines, we can plump up these areas while preventing further wrinkles.

The Mei Zen system considers each person and their individual attributes and problem areas to help them put their best face forward. Most people will need a series of treatments for the best results, but this may vary person to person. Be prepared to put in some self-care work at home with specialized products, techniques, diet, and lifestyle advice to help bring out the very best in you.

Love Your Skin, Love Yourself

There’s no shame in wanting to look your absolute best. The good news is that acupuncture provides a natural, safe, and healthy way to revitalize your skin and keep your face young and glowing for years to come. This Valentine’s Day, treat yourself to a gorgeous future and a healthier approach to beauty and get started on the Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture system!

Kiss Fine Lines and Wrinkles Goodbye this Valentine’s Day, Adirondack Wellness Group in Queensbury, NY

10 Healthy Habits for the New Year

by Heather Schuerlein, L.Ac, Dipl.OM

10 Healthy Habits for the New Year, Adirondack Wellness Group in Queensbury, NY

Happy New Year!!

It’s finally January – we’ve made it through the holiday craze and are welcoming 2019! The new year is always a great time to stop and reflect; to lay the groundwork for positive change over the next twelve months. How did you fare in 2018? Did you reach your goals? Are there still major changes you need to make in terms of your health and happiness?
We all have our own set of health issues and challenges, but there some habits that we could all take on to live a healthier life. To ring in 2019, here’s my list of attainable healthy habits to take on this year for a new, healthier you!

1. Stay Regular with Your Acupuncture and Chiropractic Care
We know how transformative regular acupuncture and chiropractic visits can be to your health – we see the magic everyday! The key with holistic therapies like these, however, is consistency. Keeping up with your recommended sessions is crucial for a substantial, long-lasting recovery so it’s best to make these your number one habits for the year. Stay consistent and regular with any kind of wellness care - that includes drinking water, going to the gym, eating healthy...long term effort generates long term results.

2. Meditate Daily
Even a few minutes of dedicated meditation practice can greatly improve your sense of well being. We often find it hard to “turn-off” and find time to meditate. Maybe you think it’s not for you or it’s too difficult (myths busted here!). In reality, everyone can spare 5-10 minutes of breathing exercise or guided meditation each day. It can improve your productivity, mood, and health – who doesn’t have time for that?!

3. Move Daily
Movement is sometimes the best medicine. Depression and anxiety rates plummet when we add exercise into our daily lives and our bodies grow stronger and healthier to boot. You can join a gym (the benefits of group exercise are many) or choose the do it yourself option: walking, running, etc.  Even a daily walk, stretch, yoga, or tai chi session will do wonders. If you can get outside, all the better!

4. Double the Veggies
Almost all of us could benefit from an extra dose of veggies. There are so many vitamins and minerals available in our cruciferous friends that it’s a shame to skip them. Make sure most of your plate is full of veggies – roasted, steamed, stir fried – and embellish with meat and healthy carbs. Doubling your veggies also means an easier time in the bathroom with all the extra fiber!

5. Try a Sauna
If you haven’t read up on all the amazing benefits of using a sauna, start here. Adding sauna into your weekly or monthly habits can make a huge difference in your health. It can reduce stress, relax tension, and even speed up the healing process. Not to mention, in this wintry weather, it’s one of the most enjoyable ways to practice self-care!

6. Learn Something New
Our brains need exercising, just like our bodies. Do you have a burning interest that you’ve never pursued? Need to catch up on your field’s latest trends? Always wanted to learn Spanish? Make this the year you take up a new skill. Whether it’s as simple as checking out an educational book from the library or more seriously jumping in and registering for a program or course, it’s time to flex your mind. Keeping our brains active and engaged will help you live a fuller, healthier life.

7. Cook for Yourself
Cooking for yourself is an act of self-care. When you do the cooking, you are dedicating time to your own health and nourishment. This also gives you control over exactly what is going in your meals. If you have any suspicion that diet may be a part of your health issues (and it often is…) contact us for a dietary evaluation. Find out what may be holding you back and learn what foods
are best for you. Then put on your apron, turn on some relaxing tunes, and get chopping!

8. Swap the Sugar
It’s common knowledge these days that sugar wrecks havoc on the body. Unfortunately, sugar is known to increase inflammation, disrupt hormones, cause weight gain, and generally cause trouble. Additionally, sugar is quite the addictive substance and can be a hard habit to quit. This year, consider ditching the sugar and opt for more naturally sweet treats. It will be difficult, but once you remove sugar from your diet you will crave it less and less. In the meantime, try this healthy dessert recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth.

9. Stay Hydrated
Drinking more water is a common New Year’s Resolution for many people. We tend to load up on coffee or alcoholic beverages, but forget to drink quality water. Our cells and tissues require water to function properly and undetected dehydration can cause a slew of issues like headaches, fatigue, irritability, nausea, poor concentration, and others. Make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day by taking a reusable water bottle with you to work or on the run.
Add cucumbers, lemons, fruit, or mint leaves to spice things up a bit.

10. Go to Bed on Time
Sleep habits are some of the hardest to break but can make a huge difference in your overall wellness. So much of our health is dependent upon good quality sleep – and poor sleep will not only cause issues but can make it harder for your body to heal. If you have struggled with getting regular sleep, this is the year to set your habits straight. Plan a bedtime and create a nighttime routine to help you wind-down. Skip any screen time 30 minutes to an hour before you hope to go to sleep to help your brain relax. Instead, read, journal, meditate, or do anything that helps you release tension. If your to-do list keeps you up at night, write down everything you need to do the next day before settling in to bed.

Healthy Habits = Healthy You
Most of our actions are determined by our habits. Life can easily fall into auto-pilot for many of us, and our state of health will be determined by how healthy those habits are. Start the year off right by working a few healthy, beneficial habits into your life. Make it easy for you to integrate this habits into your life, such as putting a glass next to your water filter reminding you to drink.  It may seem difficult at first, but soon these new ideas will become engrained habits just like putting your shoes on or brushing your teeth. You’ll soon be on the path to a whole new, healthier you!

Skin Care and Traditional Chinese Medicine

by Heather Schuerlein, L.Ac, Dipl.OM

Healthy Skin, Inside and Out

Acupuncture – and Eastern dietary therapy – is all about beauty from the inside out. We are finding more and more ties between what we eat and the health of our skin. From supporting nourished, beautiful, glowing skin to healing skin disorders like psoriasis, hives, and eczema, diet plays a major part in keeping our biggest organ nourished and healthy.

What you put on your skin and in your stomach is worth exploring. Let’s take a deeper look at how our diet affects our skin and overall health.


Skin Health in Chinese Medicine

When considering skin health and dermatology, we look mostly at the Lung and Large Intestine systems. In Chinese medicine, the Lung system pertains to both the organ of the lung, as well as the skin. Imbalance in the Lung system can cause issues and irritation with the skin and vice versa.

The Large Intestine, which is paired with the Lung system, rules the body’s elimination and some detoxification processes. Imbalances in the Large Intestine system cause a build up of waste and toxins in the body which later themselves as impurities and irritation in the skin.

In addition to these two important systems, Chinese medicine also makes use of face reading. Each area of the face pertains to a different organ system. We can diagnose imbalances by considering where on the face any blemishes, dryness, oiliness, redness, or other issues present themselves.

Overall, when considering dermatology, Chinese medicine aims to clear toxins, cool excess heat and irritation, nourish yin, and smooth the flow of blood. These aims pave the way for health skin, inside and out.

The Role of Diet In Chinese Medicine

Chinese medicine has its very own style of nutrition: Eastern dietary therapy. Within the framework of Eastern dietary therapy, each person’s individual constitution is considered when creating their dietary plan. We use food and their unique properties, as well as specific cooking methods, to balance the individual.

While a specific dietary plan is useful in treating any type of condition, there are certain dietary choices that we can make to help nourish our skin from within. Here we will discover some of these dermatology-friendly foods and habits that will benefit most people, regardless of constitution or other presenting health issues.


Chinese Medicine Diet Tips

To best support our skin, we want to eat foods that are nourishing, lubricating, and replenishing to the blood. This helps the skin to be radiant and moist by nourishing our yin. We also want to eat foods that promote healthy detoxification and blood circulation. Eating a variety of colors and flavors also helps to ensure skin health by providing the body with plenty of vitamins and minerals.


Foods to Choose

Goji berries








Lemon juice





Leafy green vegetables





Bok choy

Coix seeds


Mung beans

Adzuki beans






Black sesame seeds



Dandelion tea





Foods to Avoid

Fried and greasy foods

Very spicy foods

Processed sugars

Excessive dairy

Iced or frozen foods


(Icy or cold foods + sugar = sagging skin. Remember this next time you order a cold sugar laden coffee drink!)

Healthy Products for Beautiful Skin

What we put in our bodies has a major impact on the health of our skin – but so does what we put on our bodies. In our modern world, there are so many pollutants, bacteria, chemicals, and more harmful agents that have direct exposure to our precious skin. While we can’t prevent all of the nasties from reaching our skin, we can at least control the products that we use.

The Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture system offers not only acupuncture therapy for radiant skin, but an entire product line dedicated to helping people reveal their best selves. Different skin types will need different types of products, and this system has something for everyone. Click here for guide on starting your healthy skin care routine.

Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture is a complete unique approach to skin care. This style draws on traditional Chinese medicine as well as our modern understanding of the face, skin, and overall wellness. Read our blog to learn more about the basics of Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture treatment and how this system and acupuncture work to help you feel beautiful inside and out. For a more thorough understanding of your skin and a complete plan for radiant, youthful skin, contact us to learn more about starting your Mei Zen journey.


To learn more about how Cosmetic Acupuncture can help you, click here.


So You Think You Know Snow?

A few snow shoveling tips brought to you by the Adirondack Wellness Group.

1) Dress for Success!
          Proper footwear such as boots and traction aiding devices such as these can greatly reduce the risk of falls and injury.

2) Buy Once, Cry Once.
          Snow shovels have come a long way since we were kids. Today, a snow shovel can save your back from muscle sprains and strains that the ones from yesteryear can't. Look for snow shovels that have a second handle for better lifting ergonomics.

3) Moving forward...
          This is a big one. NEVER lift and throw the snow over your shoulder or to your side! The fastest way to back pain is to bend forward, lift and twist. Sound familiar? Always push the snow to the edge of the sidewalk or drive way first and shovel it forward. Remember to lift with your legs, not with your back.          

4) Neutral spine abdominal what?
          Your body is an amazing engineering marvel. The abdominal muscles in particular form a natural support system that hold your upper body in place. To protect your back from injury, maintain good upright posture (as if you were sitting in a chair), contract your abdominal muscles and bend forward at the waist. This is called the neutral spine abdominal brace. Use it when ever lifting heavy objects, shoveling snow, or pushing your friend out of a ditch.

5) Chiropractic care – more than meets the eye
          Lastly, remember to visit your local chiropractor. Regular spinal adjustments not only help you move better and feel great, they help increase your body's proprioception awareness which could save you from a slip or fall.


For more ways Dr. Bryan Schuerlein can help your back pain with Chiropractic, click here.