Leah proudly announces her move to Stanford Healthcare and is exclusively seeing Qualcomm employees who want Acupuncture services at the Qualcomm Health Center at 10155 Pacific Heights Road, San Diego, CA.

Warm Yourself Up with Chai Tea

how to make chai teaChai Tea is very warming and beneficial to keeping our center warm which will radiate out to the rest of our body and keep our hands and feet warm as  well.  The selection and proportion of spices used in Chai tea varies from recipe to recipe.

The most common spices used in Chai teas are:
Tea Leaves (Camellia sinensis)
Tea is full of healthy substances, including antioxidants, that may help prevent everything from heart disease to strokes to cancer. The favorite
amongst tea experts is Darjeeling, with a little Assam for color. However, any unscented black tea will work just fine. Red teas, green teas, and even
herbal teas are sometimes used, so feel free to experiment.
Ginger (Zingiberaceae)
Ginger root is believed to strengthen and heal the digestive and respiratory system, as well as to fight off colds/flu. Removes congestion, soothes sore
throats, and relieves body aches. Recent studies have shown it to be effective in preventing motion sickness as well.
Cloves (Eugenia Caryophyllus)
Derived from dried, unopened buds of a dense evergreen. Believed to invigorate and restore, helps generate heat in the body; useful during the
cold/flu season.
Cinnamon (Cinnamonum Zeylanicum)
This herb is a stimulant to other herbs enabling them to work faster. Cinnamon’s anti-microbial properties are so effective that recent research
demonstrates this spice can be used as an alternative to traditional food preservatives.
Pepper (Piper nigrum)
Imparts an underlying warmth to the body.
Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)
Stimulates the mind, gives clarity and benefits the digestive system.
Nutmeg (Myristica Fragrans)
Adds a rich flavor stimulates the blood and warms the middle. I have a nut at home that I keep in a jar and grate into warm drinks or oatmeal. It is
much fresher and more tasty than anything I have tried that is pre-grated.

How to Make Chai Tea:
1. Bring water to a boil and add solid spices. Cover, reduce heat, and allow to simmer. Ten minutes is sufficient, but soaking the spices longer will continue  to add to the flavor.
2. Bring the water back up to a rolling boil, then turn down the heat. Add tea, and allow to infuse usually 3-5 minutes, covered). Strain to remove the tea  and spices.
3. Add milk, (there is one simple rule: the thicker the milk, the richer the Chai) and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat, and add vanilla, other extracts, flavorings, and sugar or honey. Stir for thirty seconds, and then turn heat to low to keep tea warm while serving.

4. For presentation, you can sprinkle cinnamon or nutmeg on top.

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Leah Davida Krecu is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing at Circle of Life Healing Arts Center in Encinitas, California since 1997. She practices a light style of acupuncture with a heavy emphasis on bodywork. Leah is always open for questions at her office at 760-632-7728.

Acupuncture and a New Health Care System.

How can Acupuncture fit into a national health care system? There is a huge amount of discussion surrounding the creation of a national health care plan or system. Please forgive me, I am going to step onto my soap box for this topic. I am a huge advocate for Complimentary medicine. Complementary medicine is defined as a medical approach of different disciplines/therapies that are used together to enhance and improve the ability of the patient to heal or be relieved of symptoms. Examples are acupuncture, yoga, aromatherapy, therapeutic massage, meditation, and others. The first and foremost principles we are taught as acupuncturists in Chinese medicine rests on what is called the Four Examinations, or the Four Pillars of Diagnosis.

They are:
1. Looking
2. Listening/Smelling
3. Palpation
4. Asking

It is amazing what can be found out from these simple and free diagnostic tools. Much of our health care costs are bound up in VERY expensive diagnostic tools/tests. These tests such as MRI’s, Cat Scans, PET scans etc. are very valuable. Unfortunately, they are exceedingly overused and therefore are ONE big reason for the increase in healthcare costs. They are overused because of Time, Money, Insurance and Training.

1. Time: Many doctors are not allowed the time to spend with patients because they must see a certain number of people in an hour to actually get paid enough to make up the costs of running a practice. Although, It takes TIME to get to know people and their health problems

2. Money: The insurance companies only pay for a certain amount per patient visit. To make up for the cost of equipment (machines cost a great deal of money) These expensive machines must be used, especially if they are in the doctors office. There is a great deal more to this specific subject but that is what all this controversy is about anyway.

3. Insurance: Malpractice insurance is very costly and in this country our litigious society puts our doctors at a great risk so in turn they must cover their butts to make sure they haven’t missed a thing. This breeds costly requests for extreme diagnostic tests that can be dangerous in of themselves.

4. Training: In todays medical training model, doctors don’t have the time to spend with patients to actually take their pulses, listen to their lung sounds, palpate the area of concern, and observe their general state of health. It takes time to get to know your patients and most doctors can’t afford have the luxury of time.

I see Acupuncture fitting into a national health care system by being one of the avenues of preventative medicine and chronic care. People come to see me for issues like; Peri-menopause symptoms, chronic asthma, preventing another round of pneumonia, chronic digestive disorders, and of course pain anywhere in the body. These are preventative and chronic issues that are treated very effectively by Acupuncture and Herbal medicine that has been around for thousands of years at minimal cost and very few, if any side effects. In a national health care system I would want to see more of this kind of hands on care (not exclusive to only acupuncture but to include, things like massage, exercise and nutritional education). Our present system is wonderful at emergency care but we shouldn’t rely on our health care as being an emergency and pay emergency care costs.

How do we pay for this? I really don’t know. That is what much of the hulaboloo is focused on but not all. I strongly believe that if we include complementary treatments within any health care system the cost of dis-ease will go down and the satisfactory level of patients will go up. This topic has filled pages/books/talk shows and many town hall discussions with very polarizing opinions. I suggest we get back to the basics and educate ourselves by looking, listening, palpating and asking what we really want for our personal health care needs. I urge you to take into account your belief systems and make it known to your political representatives so we can have a more comprehensive cost effective health care system.

Why would I go to an Acupuncturist?

The National Institute of Health has put out a list of conditions that they have studied and concluded that an Acupuncturist treats.These include but are not limited to: addiction, stroke rehabilitation, headache, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia (general muscle pain), low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and  asthma. These are a broad range of ailments that effect many different body systems.

Why would I go to an Acupuncturist?

When I am asked this question I like to give a little different answer.  An acupuncturist treats just about everything. Although, if there is an emergency, please call 911. There is nothing better than hospitals and emergency-trained  professionals for these types of acute emergency conditions. Any other chronic or minor acute condition, please call us.

Acupuncture has over 3000 years of  clinical studies which include: needles, herbs and adjunct/external therapies such as moxibustion, cupping, and tui na (a form of massage).

What sets an Acupuncturist up for success is that we have a lot of “tools in our toolbelt”. What I mean by that is we have hundreds of single herbs and combined  formulas that have been researched and used for thousands of years for nearly every ailment one can think of.

In modern/western medicine the diagnostic machines, blood tests etc. are fabulous tools to help figure out where and what the problem is. They have relatively few categories of medicines developed that have little or no side effects to choose from. Acupuncture and herbology have a distinct advantage in the sheer number of “tools” to choose from.

I chose to be  an Acupuncturist because I am allergic to so many of these pharmacuetical drugs. I needed to find alternatives to treat my ailments or risk my health with  anaphylaxis. Acupuncture and Homeopathy gave me that alternative.


Leah Davida Krecu is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing at Circle of Life Healing Arts Center in Encinitas, California since 1997. She practices a light style of acupuncture with a heavy emphasis on bodywork. Leah is always open for questions at her office at 760-632-7728.