I recently had the pleasure of being hospitalized for 8 days. I call this a pleasure because I have never been hospitalized before and it was quite a learning experience (that I hope to never repeat). Also, because my personal experience with Western medicine is relatively limited, my hospital-stay can be likened to a fast-track course in how Western medicine operates. It was fascinating! [Read more...]
Tip #1-Have someone on your “birth team” who knows acupressure.
Anyone can learn acupressure, but most likely this person would be a doula, massage therapist, midwife, or birth partner. Acupressure has been shown to decrease pain during labor. Neurologically, the brain can only comprehend one type of sensation at a time. When a woman’s body experiences pain during labor, acupressure will block that pain because it senses a new, more acute sensory experience. Pressure receptors in the brain override pain receptors which lead to a reduction in pain. An example of this phenomenon is the natural instinct to squeeze a stubbed toe – the pressure sensation immediately reduces the pain sensation. Acupressure also helps to decrease anxiety, and reduce the likelihood of interventions during a birth. It truly supports a woman in having her best possible birth experience.
Schedule your pre-birth acupuncture session today and learn the most commonly used acupressure point.
Natures First Aid Kit
Our health food and grocery stores shelves are lined with many different supplements and medicines – trying to determine what to take can be overwhelming. There are many choices that extend beyond the supplement aisle! There is much to learn about the food universe – even plants, herbs and spices have medicinal benefits!
Tea Tree Oil is an essential oil. Essential oils are the oil of a plant from which it is extracted from. The usually carry a specific scent or “essence” of the plant. When used topically, tea tree oil is thought to have anti viral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial benefits. To this end, tea tree oil can be very helpful in treating fungal infections (athlete’s foot), acne, dandruff (when added to shampoo), and yeast infections. I experienced the benefits of Tea Tree Oil personally during a recent beach trip. My legs were bitten over 100 times by sand flees and I found recently found the topical application of tea tree oil to be very effective in reducing itching and swelling. Tea Tree Oil is also good for inflammation and as an assistant in recovering from injury.
Turmeric , a spice (often used in curry) has widespread use in preventative medicine. According to the American Cancer Society, “Some proponents believe turmeric may prevent and slow the growth of a number of types of cancer, particularly tumors of the esophagus, mouth, intestines, stomach, breast, and skin.” Turmeric’s active ingredient is curcumin and both are thought to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. In addition, the American Cancer Society’s web site states that “ Early research has suggested that curcumin may help lower “bad” cholesterol, reduce inflammation, help ulcerative colitis, and reduce arthritis symptoms, although more reliable human studies are still needed”. Turmeric can be used liberally in one’s daily diet and can also be taken as a supplement at a dose of 500 mg 1-4 times a day. [Read more...]
Acupuncture is, among many things, a transfer of energy. When we needle a point, we are using the needle to active the acupuncture point’s unique function. Each acupuncture treatment is a combination of points that are used to treat each person’s Chinese medical pathology. However, I have found that the concept of intention is just as important in an acupuncture session as the point prescription. Intention is the idea that when the acupuncturist is inserting needles, they direct their energy into the overall intention of the treatment. [Read more...]
As acupuncturists, we sit with our clients and talk with them about their emotions. Emotions are an important part of the intake process for Traditional Chinese Medicine. Emotions affect our physical health and physical health affects our emotional well-being.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine – most organ systems have an emotion associated with them. When someone is angry or irritable, we think of the Liver and how to work to balance the flow of Liver Qi. Fear is associated with the Kidneys, Grief, the Lungs, Heart - joy, and the emotion associated with the Spleen is worry. Since we so often experience many emotions, one can speculate the effect the emotions have on our health.
I want to make a pitch for making friends with our emotions. So often, we try to push our feelings away. This may be done through drugs and alcohol, food and other addictions, exercise or medications. An informal industry has been developed in order to support us in NOT FEELING. What this ultimately does is add an additional layer to our pain and suffering. We still feel the emotions we don’t want to feel and we self medicate ourselves to get away from the feelings we still feel! Doesn’t make sense! [Read more...]
In today’s world, we only think about getting medical attention once a problem has arisen. People don’t think of getting treatment for ourselves beyond our yearly physical. However as society is becoming more health-conscious, we are beginning to realize there are several ways to take care of ourselves before illness arises. Of course, there are several different approaches to do this but let’s explore the benefits of acupuncture and Chinese medicine. [Read more...]
As women, we are pressured to keep our figures intact and the world around us supports our desire to be thin and svelte. At the same time, we are watching our bodies change – most of which is beyond our control. Midlife hormonal changes take precedent to our old ways of eating what we want and being able to exercise a few times and “work it off”. Our mind and body are in conflict and there is no sense of balance between the two. In addition, the images we see in the media feed our desire to keep youthful and fight creating a healthy state of balance.
For the past 10 years I have been working in the field of Traditional Chinese Medicine. TCM looks at our body (and our world) from a viewpoint of balance. It is the goal of TCM to support our body in achieving a healthy state of balance. Balance does not mean perfection. We are conditioned to think of the perfect body as the images that we see in the media. In TCM, balance means a harmonious way of feeling, being and thinking. Everybody (and body) has their own natural state of balance and every body’s balance is different. My balance is different than your balance. I remember once, in my early days of acupuncture school, some of the senior students telling me that, after learning about TCM, I would “never look at my body the same way”. And they were right. [Read more...]
In practicing traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), there is a wide variety of methods to create a diagnosis. Perhaps the most obvious to our patients is asking questions. Many patients find that when they come in for their first acupuncture treatment, we (the acupuncturist) ask many questions pertaining to the “chief complaint” as well as other aspects of well-being. For the acupuncturist, the answers to the questions give us our first clues as to which energetic channels are out of balance and where the pathology is located. Next, palpating (feeling) the pulse and observing the tongue are more objective methods in supporting (or not) our preliminary diagnosis. [Read more...]