NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
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Cupping Therapy

Cupping Therapy

Photo Caption: Glass cup used in fire cuppingPhoto Credit: Nikki Fleck By Nikki Fleck NTP, L.Ac. Therapeutic cupping has been around for a long time. It has been used in China for thousands of years and also in many other cultures around the globe. Cupping is the practice of creating reverse pressure or suction on the skin by using heat (fire) or manual suction with various cylindrical, hollow tools. Historically, some communities used bull horns, gourds or bamboo to cup but today tools like glass are more common. In my own practice today we use glass to allow for adequate disinfection of the cups. Cupping creates a vacuum-like action which pulls skin and muscle tissues up and away from the body which provides a delightful releasing and relaxing sensation for the patient. Many patients even fall asleep during treatment.Although many western trained providers offer cupping today, there are some notable differences when receiving cupping from practitioners properly trained from an East Asian medicine perspective. The foundational knowledge of meridians, acupuncture points and extensive anatomy and physiology training provides us with a diverse toolkit in treating an assortment of conditions. Patients often seek out cupping to address muscle pain and tightness. Many people are not aware that cupping has the potential to address issues like constipation, insomnia, the common cold, anxiety, nausea, asthma, muscle weakness and much more. It can even be useful in preventing illnesses like the flu. With skillful application, cupping has great potential to support healing and help prevent disease. Although acupuncture and cupping are great companions, cupping can be a great option for those who are needle averse.Cupping helps reduce pain and inflammation, increases circulation, calms the body and brain, promotes cellular repair and gifts the skin with healthy vibrancy. It can assist in reducing congestion that comes with allergies, bacterial and viral infections well [...]

Neighbors and Harm Reduction Groups Explore Overdose Prevention Site in Phillips

By GRACIE HALLBERG-CAIN, LEX HORAN, and KOR PACE As summer settles in, more neighbors are out and about in the neighborhood - gardening, teaching kids to ride bikes, walking dogs. Along with the relief of the warm weather, it’s also a time when some of the issues that we have in the Phillips neighborhood become more visible. Syringes are uncovered when the snow melts. Sometimes, we see folks using drugs in public areas – situations that are often unsafe for the people using drugs, as well as those around them. This year, a group of neighbors has been exploring an approach that we haven’t tried before: an overdose prevention site (OPS). Overdose prevention sites are proven to save lives and reduce syringe litter, and have not been shown to increase drug use in the surrounding neighborhood.  These issues in Phillips are part of a bigger picture. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, overdose deaths rose by 30% between 2019 and 2020 and continue to rise. In 2019, Black Minnesotans were twice as likely to die from a drug overdose as white Minnesotans and Native Minnesotans were seven times as likely to die of a drug overdose as white Minnesotans. We need solutions that center racial and health equity. Overdose prevention sites are part of a broader approach called harm reduction, which is a set of proven strategies for addressing the negative impacts of drug use. OPS are spaces where people bring their pre-obtained drugs and consume them in the presence of trained staff who monitor for overdose. Two of these sites were opened in New York City in November 2021, and they have existed outside of the US for decades. There has never been an overdose death reported at any OPS, and people who use these sites are also shown to seek additional healthcare and drug treatment at a higher rate.  From Kor and Gracie: As outreach workers with Southside Harm Reduction Services, we spend a lot of time in East Phillips. Our organization provides [...]

Spring Nettle Recipe

Spring Nettle Recipe

By Paul Morley on Mobography By NIKKI FLECKOne of my favorite parts of spring is enjoying fresh, nutrient dense nettles. They seem intimidating and uninviting because when raw, they sting! It is wise to wear gloves when harvesting and destemming, but once exposed to heat through cooking the “stingers” melt away and you're left with tasty, nutritive greens to enjoy. Nettles are rich in iron, vitamin A, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Nettles are commonly used for supporting lactation, kidney health, iron deficiency, allergies as well as joint pain. You or your neighbors may have a patch of nettles in your yard without even knowing it. They can also be found wild in nature throughout the Twin Cities and surrounding areas in the spring and summer. Most coops sell them in the spring as well. If you cannot find nettles or do not want to purchase them, spinach, collards or any dark leafy green are delicious substitutions for this recipe.5 large eggs½ cup of goats cheese½ cup red bell pepper2 cups of raw nettles, spinach or chard¼ tsp Cumin1/2 tsp CorianderSalt and Pepper to taste1 yellow onion sliced3 cloves garlic mincedOptional: freshly chopped spring chives or cilantro -Preheat oven to 350º. -Caramelize onions in sauté pan on low (about 15-20 minutes), add garlic during the last 2 minutes. Turn off heat, add in greens to lightly cook with remaining heat, sprinkle spices and stir. -While onions are caramelizing, crack eggs into a mixing bowl, chop cheese and red bell pepper into desired size. Whisk into eggs, add salt and pepper to taste. Optional: mix in chives or cilantro or both!-Add ingredients from the sauté pan to the mixing bowl, stir and pour into a 12” buttered pie dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until eggs are cooked through. Serve with a side of fresh greens, toast or fruit. Recipe by Nikki Fleck L.Ac., NTP at Perennial Acupuncture and Companion Medicine Disclaimer: Information is for informational and educational purposes only. [...]

Tips To Get Through Allergy Season

Tips To Get Through Allergy Season

Spring Blooms - Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash By NIKKI FLECK Most of us are more than ready for spring, but for allergy sufferers the anticipation of spring is often accompanied with a slight sense of dread. It’s hard to look forward to the cyclical promise of a stuffy nose, itchy red eyes, headaches, fatigue and sneezes. Due to climate change, seasonal allergies have escalated in many places extending the duration and severity of symptoms. Feeling low grade ill for weeks on end isn’t fun for anyone, but there are some simple tips and lifestyle shifts that can make the season much more bearable…even enjoyable! When we are exposed to allergens, antibodies release chemicals like histamine which are often responsible for frustrating symptoms and all of the gunky mucus that comes along for the ride. Overconsuming foods that are high in histamine or mucus forming is not ideal when allergens are high. Examples include: milk, cheese, smoked meats, bananas, alcohol, tomatoes and ultra processed foods. It’s best to enjoy these foods in moderation or take a pause altogether. If you know you have a food sensitivity, allergy season is not the time to indulge as this can also exacerbate symptoms. Showering at night and washing your bedding weekly are good ideas to avoid pollen and dust building up in your sleep space (we spend a lot of time here). If you have animals, try to resist those nightly cuddles on your bed. Set a reminder to change your HVAC filters, vacuum and clean rugs regularly to keep your household pollen count low. Changing your clothes and washing your face after being outside for a while can also make a big difference. Salt water is a cheap and effective cleansing treatment that helps to break up mucus and clear sinus headaches. Doing a sinus rinse, gargling salt water or using a neti pot regularly are all great ideas during allergy season. Salt is great at breaking up mucus while clearing pollen and dust from the nasal passageways and back [...]

Challenging Responsibility part two

Interview with Amy Koehnen of Ebenezer Senior Living, Part Two By DWIGHT HOBBES Ebenezer holds fast against COVID-19, operating its business of caring for people with exactly that – care. The alley concludes its conversation with Amy Koehnen, Minneapolis Campus Administrator. You have your hands at the wheel. I personally believe in being professionally hands-on. Early on, I went to each site, seven days a week. I keep my fingers in it. No sooner did things become reasonably manageable than the Omicron variant arrived. How do you cope with the curve balls this virus throws us? We made sure staff were vaccinated or given an approved accommodation. Otherwise they couldn’t be employed at Ebenezer sites. Every weekday at 9, 9:30 we do calls to pass along information, ask questions. February 24, the Minneapolis rescinded mask requirements. Except for city owned or managed buildings. Where did that leave Ebenezer? March 13, Governor Tim Walz declared a state of emergency. The Department of Motor Vehicles was open, the day before, when my son got his driver’s license, it was terrible. Human beings were coughing all over each other. Ebenezer had our assisted living and nursing homes shut and lock their doors. Signs said, “No visitors.” It made you want to cry. I can’t count the twists and turns, the different directives we were given. Between the Minnesota Department of Health, Center for Disease Control, Center for Medicaid and Medicare, World Health Organization we have many bosses who tell us what to do. The Ebenezer leadership team gathered all that information, giving it to us and my job was to give it to the staff. Speaking of leadership, it seems corporation CEO isn’t just a high placed suit, but rather cares about people. Absolutely. The mission we have is not just written on paper. John Lundberg and the leadership team genuinely emulate that. Which flows down to the people I work with. Dignity, compassion, innovation. [...]

Nourish Your Liver

Nourish Your Liver

By NIKKI FLECK Green garden harvest ready to support the liver (photo by Nikki Fleck)     As we transition towards spring, you may have noticed your body waking earlier, a few more birds chirping, your brain daydreaming of beautifully bold colored vegetables from the farmers market…subtle energies awakening again. From a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Perspective spring is related to the liver, or wood element. This Five Element perspective provides us with a special lens to view the seasons. This lens provides insight and wisdom on how to care for our bodies and brains throughout the ever shifting seasons. Our body's requirements in August are quite different from January for example.    In March we enter liver season which is all about waking up, expanding, cleansing, visioning the future and flowing freely. It relates to the color green and being confident and clear within the choices we make while being flexible as plans often shift.    The liver has many responsibilities from both a western medical and eastern medicine perspective. In TCM the liver plays an important role in emotional health, regulating menstruation, supporting the eyes, tendons, hair and nails. The health of the liver ensures all of the other organs are working properly and assists in protecting us against infections like the common cold. When the liver is strong and functioning properly we are much better equipped at receiving what comes our way. It’s about learning how to stay soft, open, present, even within physical pain or emotional discomfort. Signs that the liver may be stuck or not functioning optimally (in TCM)  include: irritability, depression, menstrual irregularities and mood swings. Liver disharmony may also cause sluggishness, swollen eyes or throat, headaches, chronic stiffness and difficulty making decisions.  During liver season our bodies appreciate a higher ratio of plant based foods, herbs and [...]

Kids Deserve a Shot

Kids Deserve a Shot

KIDS DESERVE A SHOT! MINNESOTA COVID 19 RESPONSE Families get $200 for getting their child 5-11 years old vaccinated. Minnesota families who get their child 5-11 years old fully vaccinated in January and February can get a $200 Visa gift card. Parents/Guardians can register their 5- to 11-year-old once they have completed their two-dose series.  Registration opens 10:00 a.m. January 24, 2022. Registration closes 11:59 p.m. February 28, 2022. Register here: https://mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/vaccine-rewards/kids-deserve-a-shot/ Eligibility Requirements:   Minnesotans must be: at least 5 years old at the time of one or both shots and 11 or younger at the time of their first shot.  Minnesotans 5-11 years old must receive both their first and second doses between January 1, 2022 and February 28, 2022.  Minnesota families are able to receive one $200 Visa gift card per each eligible 5- to-11-year-old fully vaccinated between January 1 — February 28.  Las familias pueden obtener $200 por vacunar a sus niños entre 5 y 11 años. Las familias de Minnesota que vacunen completamente a sus niños entre 5 y 11 años en enero y febrero pueden obtener una tarjeta de regalo Visa por un valor de $200.Los padres o tutores legales pueden registrar a sus hijos de entre 5 y 11 años una vez que hayan completado su serie de dos dosis.  La inscripción se inicia el 24 de enero de 2022 a las 10:00 a. m. La inscripción finaliza el 28 de febrero de 2022 a las 11:59 p. m. https://mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/vaccine-rewards/kids-deserve-a-shot/ Requisitos para la inscripción:  Los residentes de Minnesota deben:tener al menos 5 años al momento de recibir una o ambas dosisy tener 11 años o menos al momento de recibir su primera dosis. Los residentes de Minnesota que tengan entre 5 y 11 años deberán haber recibido la serie completa de dos dosis entre el 1 de enero y el 28 de [...]

New Council Brings New Hope for Environmental Justice in East Phillips

New Council Brings New Hope for Environmental Justice in East Phillips

By STEVE SANDBERG East Phillips Cultural Center gymnasium gathering, where community members gathered on Saturday, December 18th to lift up their ongoing work to bring community-led development to the Roof Depot site. As Minneapolis residents waited to see what change would result from the November 2021 election, 75 to 100 community members gathered on Saturday, December 18th at the East Phillips Cultural Center gymnasium to lift up their ongoing work to bring community led development to the 7.6 acre Roof Depot site in the East Phillips neighborhood. Led by EPNI staffer Joe Vital, the meeting highlighted EPNI’s work to save the 230,000 square foot Roof Depot building for aquaponic farming, affordable housing, solar development, and a youth-led coffee shop, event center, and bicycle repair and assembly facility. Local BIPOC businesses displaced in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd are also supporting this community led effort. The meeting featured appearances of City, County and State level representatives. Restating their long-held support for the project were State Senator Omar Fateh and Hennepin County Commissioner Angela Conley. Neighborhood resident Karen Clark, who represented the area for 37 years in the state legislature, presented compelling documentation on disparities of income and wealth, as well as extremely elevated rates of asthma, childhood lead poisoning, and other environmentally related illnesses occurring in our majority BIPOC neighborhood. Her work for environmental justice over many years was the genesis of this project. The greatest interest was in the changing political situation at the City level. This is being led by 9th Ward Councilmember elect Jason Chavez, joined by Ward 1 Councilmember elect Elliot Payne, and 10th Ward Councilmember elect Aisha Chugtai. In the weeks before the 2021 election, a resolution to tear down the Roof Depot building was reinserted for a vote and passed by a 7 to 6 margin, but 4 of those 7 [...]

East Phillips Needs Harm Reduction Solutions for the Drug Problem

East Phillips Needs Harm Reduction Solutions for the Drug Problem

By Stephen Gregg Photos courtesy of PHS Community Services Society In the eight years I’ve owned my home near 26th St and Bloomington Ave, I have been stuck by a discarded syringe, seen multiple overdoses, two deaths, and countless ambulances and police vehicles. I have watched in horror as entwined problems increase: the number of people experiencing homelessness, open air drug use, and crime. When approaching neighborhood issues, I try to practice empathy. From the beginning I’ve wanted to be involved in the work to find solutions, attending countless neighborhood meetings of all sorts. The problems here are deep-rooted  and complex. I’m not a social worker–actually I’m an agricultural plant scientist. So I also comb research for solutions to problems. And this search has pointed me strongly towards harm reduction practices and services, practices endorsed by the CDC. Harm reduction has the potential to reduce short term harms while creating space for long lasting change. The city is already funding harm reduction services, such as the work of Southside Harm Reduction, who do street outreach and provide needle exchange. According to the National Harm Reduction Coalition website, harm reduction principles are a set of practical strategies to reduce the consequences of drug use, based on a belief in rights for people who use drugs. Some of these include: acknowledging the realities of intersectional causes of drug use; ensuring that people who use drugs have a voice in the creation of solutions; NOT minimizing or ignoring the real harms and dangers caused by illicit drug use; and creating non-coercive and non-judgmental services. At this point, I can hear countless neighbors in meetings saying, “We don’t want to enable drug users.” And without much support from the city, the primary tactic that comes up is for neighbors to move people experiencing homelessness off a given block, inevitably resulting in them moving to another nearby. [...]

Cultural Wellness Center

Cultural Wellness Center

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