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October, 2010 Vol. 1 Issue #9

FREE! Take me with you.

Get to the Point of Pain In this next article in a series from Winnipeg WellNews about alternative therapies for pain relief, we explore acupuncture. The practice of inserting needles into the body is certainly invasive, yet it is relatively painless, drugfree and without side effects. It is an important part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, TCM which is itself, several thousand years old. The basic principles have not changed but techniques and certainly materials have evolved to reflect modern times as well as growing acceptance in mainstream or western medicine. Acupuncture needles are hairthin, made of stainless steel and packaged to be sterile and disposable after a single use. They pose very little risk of infection or even discomfort at the insertion point when handled by a qualified practitioner. The exact sensation a person will feel undergoing acupuncture can vary on the type of treatment they are undergoing as well as their personal sensitivity, but overall nothing more than a slight pinch — if that — and a slight warming sensation is most common. How deeply the needles are inserted, how long they remain in place, manipulation and use of heat or electrical impulses are all part of the therapy. It is widely acknowledged that acupuncture is effective for pain relief and in the treatment of symptoms

such as nausea. Unlike other holistic treatments, the indisputable fact that acupuncture does work has sparked research and study yet despite attempts to analyze and prove ‘how,’ very little is actually measurable and understood about it from a purely scientific standpoint. To appreciate the traditional view of acupuncture, it’s necessary to understand that under the TCM paradigm, the body is composed of several “systems of function”. Health is explained as a state of balance between the yin and yang, with disease ascribed to either of these forces being unbalanced, blocked or stagnant. The yang force is the immaterial qi, a concept that is roughly translated as “vital energy”. The yin is Blood, which is linked to but not identical with physical blood. There are over three hundred

acupuncture points on the classical meridians and hundreds of additional acupuncture points. Dr. Guojian Huang, a Winnipeg-based Licensed Advanced Acupuncture Therapist and a specialist of TCM explains further. “In Chinese medicine we say that where there is pain, there is a Blood flow that has been interrupted by some condition. This is why acupuncture is used in treating many conditions from allergies to digestive problems and heart problems. The process of acupuncture is about adjusting these systems from blockages so the body can come back into balance.” The process is gentle but also complex and gradual. It is not unusual in China to have a patient come in every day for a week to 10 days at a time, then take a break and resume with another

Health is explained as a state of balance between the yin and yang…

series of treatments. Dr. Huang is of two minds with regard to the growing popularity of acupuncture by non-TCM practitioners. “Of course it is very positive that more and more people learn about this treatment and that people are being helped this way. Pain that is the direct result of injury can be treated effectively. They have been trained to use a set of guidelines in certain situations. On the other hand, I think everyone needs more training. There is so much more to acupuncture than placing the needles and personally I believe that it should be practiced by a doctor. This is particularly true when we are dealing with internal causes of the pain.” He points to his own training of eleven years which included the study of TCM as well as western medicine.. Although Manitoba does not cover acupuncture treatments, other provinces do provide for limited coverage. Many private insurance companies will include acupuncture if it is part of therapy recommended by your doctor. ■ For additional resources about acupuncture, you may wish to visit these websites: Dr. Guojian Huang, MD/ PhD. China Acupuncture Foundation of Canada Institute Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Association of Canada


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Fitness Now it’s personal Gone are the days when personal fitness trainers were considered only for movie stars or elite athletes. Self-conscious about going to the gym alone? Wondering what’s best for weight-loss as opposed to toning and what’s all this about carbs v/s calories? ‘For most clients it’s all about weight loss,’ says Gerren McDonald, Certified Personal Trainer. “When they start, expectations are usually fairly high with regard to what they think is going to go on and the time frame. In most cases it comes down to being grounded and realizing that they are getting healthier and more fit.” Just like you, they want to see results but promises of rapid turnarounds and especially pushing supplements or packaged eating plans should be your first clue to start asking about their training and accreditation. “I think there is misinformation that a weekend is enough education to hang a shingle out there that says ‘personal trainer,’ says Enid Brown, a professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Applied Health at the University of Winnipeg. “Degreed trainers spend anywhere from three to four years learning all about how the body functions during exercise and how to develop a safe program.” “The Manitoba Fitness Council does an excellent job of training fitness leaders and certainly it is not necessary to have a university degree to lead a class for the general population but when you start looking at individual needs then yes, you do need more sophisticated education to make sure people are not being put at risk and that they are actually getting the expertise they are paying for, including proper liability insurance,” says Brown. There are two provincial accreditation programs, the Manitoba Fitness Council and the Manitoba Exercise Professionals Association, MEPA, that are non-profit and Brown says that’s an important distinction. There is also national accreditation through the Canadian Society of Exercise Professionals. “CSEP has been around for only 5 years. Prior to this, private companies jumped in with their own certification programs whereas CSEP is not affiliated with any business interests.” The MEPA website is good place to start in finding a certified personal trainer. There are however, others things to consider like professionalism, how well your trainer suits your own personality and of course, price. “Most trainers will have a gym that they work out of,” explains McDonald, “But they will also meet at a facility the client belongs to. (continued back page)


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Squash Your Cooking Fear

The brisk breeze and crunch of leaves underfoot are two sure signs that Fall has arrived. Another is the appearance of squash at your local supermarket. With its hard skin and variety of strange shapes and textures squash can be a daunting vegetable but there are a number of tips to make it easier to handle. For those familiar with the delicate taste and texture that lies within, it is worth a little extra effort. You will need a large, sturdy knife. Once you have washed the squash, the easiest prep tip is to microwave it whole for about 2 minutes. Pierce the skin with a knife here and there just to allow heat to escape. This will soften the vegetable enough to make either peeling it or cutting it in half much easier. Once cut in half, remove the seeds and stringy bits with a spoon or melon ball tool. Baking the squash whole or in halves for about an hour at 400 degrees with the skin intact is another way of softening the insides until cooked enough to scoop out. A quick internet search turns up several “how to” tutorials and even videos to ensure your October cooking adventure doesn’t turn into a horror story.

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For soup recipes, as the one below reproduced from Peak of the Market, it really doesn’t matter if you end up adding the squash cooked or raw, then cook to tenderness. This soup is very basic and leaves out milk or cream, an ingredient that adds flavor and velvety texture but also extra calories. Search the website www.peakmarket. com under recipes and you’ll find many others for sweet or spicy variations to suit every taste. ■

Creamy Squash Soup

30 ml 1 1 L 1 L 2 ml

vegetable oil large onion, chopped butternut squash, coarsely chopped chicken broth each salt & black pepper

2 tbsp 1 4 cup 4 cup 1/2 tsp

In a saucepan; heat oil over medium heat; cook onion, stirring, until softened. Add squash; cook, stirring for 5 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until squash is tender. In a food processor; puree in batches; return to saucepan. Add remaining ingredients and heat through. Serves 6

Squash basics Ideal storage temperatures: 50-55°F / 10-13°C Humidity between 70-75% Keep dry with good ventilation Nutritional Information per 100 g serving (175 mL sliced) Energy - 43 Cal (180 kJ) Protein -1.5 g Fat -0.2 g Carbohydrate -8.8 g Dietary Fibre -1.5 g Sodium -4 mg Potassium -350 mg

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News & Events Art of Living OCTOBER DAY COURSE Monday Oct 4 to Friday Oct 8 Mon-Wed 10.00 am to 1.00 pm Thurs & Fri 9.00 am to 3.00 pm 61 Surfside Cres, Island Lakes. You are encouraged to REPEAT this course or TAKE IT FOR THE FIRST TIME. FIRST TIMERS: Contribution of $300.00 REPEATERS:  Suggested small contribution of up to $50.00  if able. For more information contact Guy Parent or Hazrah Khan at 275-8674 Celebrate National Organic Week (October 9th – 16th) by attending the screening of FRESH -The Movie, on October 13th at the Park Theatre. See the ad on this page for details. Tickets on sale through www. and sponsoring organizations. After the screening, join a panel discussion with Manitoba farmers and distributors and find out wheat they are doing to reshape our food system. Silent Auction. Door Prizes. Tickets only $10 in advance.

The Manitoba Chapter of Osteoporosis Canada is pleased to present its annual fall public forum, The Bare Bones of Preventing Fractures, on Thursday, October 28th from 7 to 9 pm at the Masonic Memorial Temple, 420 Corydon Avenue. For more information call the office at 772.3498 or email Osteoporosis is not a natural part of aging! Please join us for the 2nd Annual Fine Dining Event Masullo – Mirlycourtois “Friends for Life Dinner” In Support of ALS – The ALS Society of Manitoba Sunday, November 7, 2010 At the Hotel Fort Garry Tickets: $175 Call: 831-1510 or Email:

Send your event information to for a free listing (as space allows)

Fitness (continued from page 2) Working out at a client’s home is still very popular and most trainers will have equipment they can bring with them.” When asked about rates, McDonald says they can vary dramatically from one trainer to the next but a client should be prepared to pay in the range of at least $50 to $100 per hour depending on the expertise and experience a CPT offers. Despite the value of the instruction, it is not uncommon for people to consider their services a luxury so many trainers including himself offer packages. “If a client wants to meet for several sessions a week of month, that’s great, but we can also arrange for a consultation, design a program and meet a couple of times. After that we can keep in touch and set up follow up sessions to keep on track and make adjustments as necessary.” ■

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The information in this publication is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice. We encourage our readers to always conduct their own research into any treatments or programs and to consult with a medical professional prior to the start of same. Winnipeg WellNews is published monthly with a current print circulation of 2,000 copies distributed through waiting rooms at most walk-in medical centers, dentists, chiropractors, alternative health practitioners, natural food and nutritional supplement stores as well as the St.Boniface YMCA and other fitness and exercise facilities. If you would like to carry Winnipeg WellNews at your business, call 887-2999 or contact us at All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. Winnipeg WellNews cannot accept any responsibility for the goods and services advertised in this publication.

October 2010  

Winnipeg WellNews is a monthly newsletter emphasizing original, local content emphasizing active living, nutrition and natural health and he...

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