May Special:Manual Lymph Drainage Massage and Detox Foot Soak

May is the Month of Detox at Heidi Ella Wellness and Massage Therapy. We will be offering a special for a 60 Minute Manual Lymph Drainage Massage with Detox Foot Soak for $100.00. This custom blended foot soak will soothe away stress while promoting detoxification in the body.

Heidi has created a thoughtful custom essential oil blend for this foot soak. It will contain Juniper, Peppermint, Lemongrass, Lemon and Grapefruit. This combination will be an herbaceous and citrus blend that will brighten up your day. Your 20 minute foot soak will leave to feeling relaxed and cleansed.

Janet will perform the 60 minute Manual Lymph Drainage Massage. In this session she will apply gentle stretching and sweeping motions to move the lymph through the body. This is most effective for those experiencing swelling and/or sore joints. It is a very gentle massage modality to leave you refreshed and energized.

Please click on this link to book!

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Seasonal Allergies

As we are exploring seasonal allergies this month, I sat down with Sarah Shupe of Acupuncture Alexandria LLC and asked her what Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can do to help you with your seasonal allergies.

(For full disclosure, I have been seeing Sarah for the purpose of treating seasonal allergies for the past few months. I will say that the treatments are gentle and relaxing and I am seeing real and lasting benefits. Despite this being a “bad” allergy season, my symptoms have been the mildest they have been since moving to the DC Metro area. I have been extremely pleased with my decision to add TCM into my self-care plan. I highly recommend seeing Sarah.)

1. Sarah, how can Chinese Medicine help treat seasonal allergies?

              According to Chinese medical theory, the symptoms and signs that indicate a Western diagnosis of allergies relate to imbalances in the meridian and Organ Systems of the body. These imbalances may stem from a variety of causes, including stress, poor diet, foods that don’t agree with your body, constitutional weakness, pollutants and environmental toxins. Over time, if imbalances remain within the body, they will affect the functions of the Organ Systems. Some of these Organ Systems are involved in the production of Wei Qi (pronounced “way chee”). According to the theories of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, it is important to have the correct quality and quantity of Wei Qi circulating around the body in order to stay healthy.

              Allergies, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), can be due to a variety of factors. Below are some of the more common TCM diagnoses that your acupuncturist may discover and treat.

  • Wei Qi deficiency
  • Spleen weakness
  • Kidney deficiency
  • Lung deficiency

              During the initial visit I will conduct a thorough exam, taking a complete health history. I will then develop a unique treatment plan that will address your specific concerns. The goals of the treatment plan will be to eliminate visible symptoms and signs, while addressing the root cause(s) and underlying imbalances affecting the quality and quantity of Wei Qi. Acupuncture treatments may be combined with herbs, dietary changes, massage (tuina), or exercise. These therapies accelerate the healing process in order to balance, build, and support the health and functioning of your body’s systems. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are a drug-free, safe, natural and effective way to eliminate hay fever, allergies or the common cold.

      2.  How often should one be treated for seasonal allergies with Chinese medicine?

                 I recommend people come for regular treatments during allergy season to maintain healthy Wei Qi. This may look like a once a week or twice a month treatment plan, depending on the needs and goals of the patient. Patients can schedule with me easily online. I have two offices: one in Burke, VA at The Wellness Center and one in Alexandria, VA at The Healing Tree.

      3. Is there any self-care you recommend to clients to help between treatments?

                  There are things the patient can do between sessions to prolong the benefit of the work that I do. I recommend that patients add moderate exercise and stretching into their daily work routine. This encourages them to maintain proper posture to keep qi flowing and optimal alignment to keep breathing passages open. I also recommend the following:

Seasonal allergy tips:

  1. Flush your nose with a Neti pot.
  2. Add spicy foods and omega-3’s to your diet.
  3. Keep your windows closed during allergy season to prevent dust and pollen from entering.
  4. Put on a dust mask when you are doing yard or house work.
  5. Do not hang your clothes out to dry in the sun, as they will gather dust, mold and pollen.
  6. Come in for an acupuncture tune-up.

Recipe of The Month: Wellness Tea Blend for Seasonal Allergies

Many of us dread each allergy season as a time where we must choose between toughing out our symptoms or taking an over the counter medicine that may make us feel foggy and sleepy. Luckily there are natural ways to help relieve the symptoms of seasonal allergies without the side-effects. This simple tea can be prepared each day to help boost the bodies own natural defenses. This custom blend contains herbs that have anti-inflammatory properties that will nourish and soothe the nasal and breathing passages.

  • 3 tbsp nettles
  • 3 tbsp peppermint
  • 3 tbsp lemon balm
  • 1 tbsp ginger root (dried)

You can buy these herbs in bulk here. Blend the herbs evenly in a large bowl and store in an air-tight jar. Each morning add two teaspoons of the loose tea to a tea ball or reusable tea bag. Add 2 cups of boiling water and allow to steep for at least 5 minutes. You can add a teaspoon of raw, local honey for sweetness and additional allergy fighting benefits. (This tea blend may not be appropriate for pregnant mothers or those actively trying to conceive.)

Natural Allergy Relief

There are natural ways you can find relief this allergy season. Read more to find more about managing your symptoms naturally!

Dietary Changes

The foods you eat during allergy season can have an impact on your allergic response. Depending on the severity of your allergies, you may need to avoid them only during certain seasons or all together.

Foods to Avoid

Dairy, while helpful for some, can cause increased mucus and swelling in the body. If you suspect you are bothered by dairy, you can try eliminating all dairy for 2 weeks from your diet to check for relief from the symptoms. Otherwise you may want to cut down on dairy consumption while experiencing allergy symptoms. Fresh fruits and vegetables can also trigger something called Oral Allergy Syndrome. This syndrome is the result of cross-reaction from certain types of pollen. For example, if you are allergic to ragweed, cantaloupe may trigger numbness and swelling in the mouth. You can find a handy chart here to help you track which foods to avoid.  

Foods that Help

Berries and onions contain a compound called quercetin. This compound can help to lower the histamine response and has anti-inflammatory properties. Pineapple contains a compound called bromelain. Bromelain is an enzyme that is responsible for providing anti-inflammatory benefits. Fish and certain types of seeds are high in Omega 3 oils. These oils are also anti-inflammatory and protect the delicate nasal passages. Local, raw honey contains pollen and propolis which can help to build immunity in the body to local allergen sources. You can also find quercetin, bromelain and Omega 3 oil supplements at your local health food store.


Nettles has been used for centuries to combat the symptoms of seasonal allergies. This herb can help to reduce allergy responses such as sneezing and itchiness. Eyebright is an herb that can be used to help relieve itchy eyes. These herbs can be used in tincture, tea or compress forms.

Physical Changes

As simple as they sound, actions like vacuuming and dusting with more regularity, not wearing shoes in the house and washing your face/showering before bed can help keep the pollen out of your living spaces and greatly increase the air quality inside your home. You may also want to try daily saline rinses to clear nasal passages of debris and/or mucus.


You can use yoga to help find relief for your allergy symptoms. Inversions such as standing forward bends, bridge pose and downward-facing dog are simple poses to help drain the nasal passages. You want to avoid staying in these poses longer than a few minutes as to not cause swelling from pressure. Fish pose can help open the chest area for increased lung capacity and balance hormones. Nadi shodhana, or alternate nostril breathing, can help clear blocked nasal passages.

Essential Oil of the Month



Essential Oil of The Month:

DoTerra’s Essential Oils Introductory Kit $22.50 (15% off the retail)

DoTerra’s Essential Oils Introductory Kit contains three 5ml bottles with Lavender,  Peppermint and Lemon essential oils. Whether you are new to essential oils or an old hat, this kit offers accessibility and value.

Benefits of Essential Oils

Essential oils have long been used to support vibrant health. They are traditionally used in one of three ways: topical (often diluted with a cold-pressed fruit or nut oil depending on the essential oils used), inhalant (often used with hydrotherapy steam) or internal (oils taken in water to help digestive upset). When choosing essential oils it is important to look for oils that have been created using stringent purity standards. As with any other therapeutic item, you want to ensure the safety of yourself and your family.

We will now take a look at the benefits of the three oils in the DoTerra Essential Oil Introductory Kit.  Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint are well known for their soothing and anti-inflammatory effects on the body. Lavender and Lemon oil are also known natural anti-histamines. This is especially beneficial during the allergy season in the DC Metro area. Peppermint is often used to calm respiratory and digestive upsets. Lemon can help to relieve excess mucus. A blend of all three in a steaming bowl of water would be a wonderful way to combat the swollen and inflamed nasal passages and sinus pressure you may be experiencing while the pollen count is high. When used appropriately, essential oils can help you use the natural world to tap into your own vitality.