|I had been suffering from an incredible amount of stress due to being a full-time mom, full-time student and avid ballet dancer, when my 2 year son decided to jump on my back when I was not expecting him to. I was rushed into urgent care having to be carried like a baby due to my inability to stand alone along with the concurrent amount of breath-taking pain from my back. The steroid injection I received upon arrival provided temporary relief. Still, the pain and inability to stand-up alone re-visited the following morning. Being a holistic nutritionist, I knew my physical pain was just a reflection of something else happening internally, so I sought out acupuncture. After asking around, Monica Leibson, came highly recommended. After the first visit, she recognized the physical and the internal pain by treating both my back and my ‘flight or fight’ mechanism.
Needless to say, I was back to the gym the next day :).Thank you Monica!!! I CANNOT wait for my follow-up appointment!- Danyelle King
Acupuncture: A New Alternative for Treating Depression
Used Alone or as a Combination of Treatments
By Karen Siegel Propis
Depression is the most common of mood disorders. It is estimated that nearly 30 million Americans suffer from the often-debilitating disease and is, in fact, one of the 15 leading causes of disability in developed countries. It is widely believed that depression may the body’s response to chronic and significant stress that seems insurmountable to most people. The following descriptions would describe someone who suffers from depression, with at least five of the symptoms lasting for at least fourteen days:
- Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day
- Markedly diminished interest in pleasure in almost all activities most of the day, every day
- Significant weight loss or gain without dieting, or major changes in appetite or eating habits
- Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day
- Psychomotor agitation or retardation (anxiety or lack of desire to do anything)
- Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
- Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, desperation and psychic pain that are ongoing
- Inability to think or concentrate; indecisiveness daily
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide; a specific plan or attempt of suicide
While drugs have largely been effective in providing temporary relief from acute depression and assistance in the therapeutic process, the side-effects are proving to cause some downsides to treatment for some population groups. In fact, one of the potential side effects is increased suicide risk in certain patients. Most recent studies have shown that number to be increasingly higher in teenage patients taking anti-depressants. The drugs often take up to six weeks to begin working in the body as well.
Patients are advised to get a firm western diagnosis and then seek treatment options. As acupuncturists, we don’t get involved with our patients’ medication. It is always referred back to the referring professional.
Acupuncture has been a proven method for stimulating the production of neurotransmitters in the brain such as monoamines and endorphins. Monoamines are commonly referred to as serotonin and norepinephrine. Double-blind studies have confirmed that acupuncture is as effective as drug therapy treatments, and often used in combined treatments plans such as medications with psychotherapy. Acupuncture in conjunction with Chinese herbal medicine can also help wean patients off of medication or help reduce the dosages of the medications. Many mental health professionals have noted that their patients tend to make more progress in their therapy after starting acupuncture to remove emotional and/or physical blockages.
A referral from a psychotherapist, Debbie, 36, had been struggling with sadness, loss of interest in pleasurable activities, weight gain and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Debbie did not want to resort to taking medication for her symptoms, so she sought alternative treatment through acupuncture. Her symptoms were relieved in about 2 weeks with 2-3 treatments per week. She has been consistent in her follow up treatments for approximately three months. Her mood swings, sadness, and stomach cramps were allayed through acupuncture and herbal medicine.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it is believed that depression results from a blockage in certain meridians of the body. It is also believed that there are five elements that provide the framework in which depression can be diagnosed and treated. There is usually a combination of elements that exist within a person. The elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water.
Wood: This type of depression is typically comprised of repressed anger, disappointment and frustration from feeling lack of control. Their personalities can be arrogant, aggressive, over-confident, confrontational and driven.
Fire: This type of depression is characteristically due to “heartache” or loss of a relationship—disillusionment by love. Impulsiveness is a personality trait, which can often lead to suicidal states.
Earth: This type of depression is often associated with digestive imbalances and eating disorders. Sufferers become heavy and unmotivated, sinking deeply into depression.
Metal: This type of depression is often experienced by those who carry the weight of the world upon their shoulders. They are often grieving for people and experiences from the past and expend much of their conscious thought turned toward the past.
Water: This is the most clinically significant and potentially dangerous type of elemental depression. Patients are often unaware of the nature or origin of their pain. They often become incommunicable and suffer from severe psychological imbalances such as schizophrenia, psychoses and severe depression.
Once the eastern diagnosis has been made, treatments focusing on the corresponding organ channels can often provide relief from the varying symptoms.
Terry, 52, was suffering from a myriad of symptoms including severe depression, weight gain from binge eating, bloating, and significant aches and pains. She remarks upon her state of mind, “No one was safe from my agitation and anger. It was like being in a black hole. Around my menstrual cycle, I would become depressed, forlorn and hopeless. Then came the sugar and chocolate binges and my body would become swollen and painful. I felt everything had a sinister shadow to it.” Terry was taking Paxil prescribed by her physician, which stabilized the wide mood variances. She sought treatment through acupuncture and after approximately 6 – 8 treatments, changes started to occur, including the decrease in eating disorder episodes. Through discussions and evaluations, it became clear that the impetus of the problem was hormonal. Six months later, with nutritional counseling, the proper level of anti-depressants, and treating the root cause of the problem in the body, the symptoms and dysfunctional behavior have almost disappeared. Says Terry, “My family tells me that I can quit anything for treatment…anything but the acupuncture! They are no longer walking on eggshells.” Terry now has a more positive and optimistic outlook for the first time in years.
Creating an Intention for your Fertility
This practice is simply used to focus the mind on what we desire, rather than letting anxiety and fear get the best of us.
Step 1. Release the past: If our mind is cluttered with memories of yesterday or anxiety regarding tomorrow, we cannot truly create from a blank slate.
Breathing in, I allow myself to come into this present moment. I choose to consciously release the past at this moment. I internally declare that the past has no power over me and I release and let go. (Deep sigh of relief).
Step 2. Create an intention
With an intention, you begin by stating your desire. Be sure to use juicy adjectives like loving, nurturing, and fully self-expressed. You want your intention to feel like it really resonates with why you desire to have a child.
The flow of the intention can go something like this…
- I would love the opportunity to be a loving mother to a healthy child.
- My intention at this time is be a nurturing mother in a beautiful family with a child.
- Who I am is the possibility of peace, love, and joy.
- I am a stand for loving families on our planet.
Step 3. Release and let go.
Oftentimes this is the hardest part. But just practice it and see how your heart opens. You can speak your intention with love and gracefully follow it with a releasing meditation.
“I have shared my intention with the universe and know that it has been received. With that knowing, I release and let go. I release the attachment of my intention and choose to stay focused on who I am being, rather than what I am asking for.”
“I choose to have faith in this life. I know it is not always easy but regardless of the outcome, I choose to have faith in my journey.”
Step 4. Rinse and repeat
I recommend writing down the intention you’ve created and include the releasing meditation. You can carry it around with you in your wallet. You could put it on the mirror in your bathroom. The honest truth is that you might need to say it a lot in each day. Worry and anxiety can be so familiar to our brains that it becomes our automatic thought process. This will truly be a lesson in consciously creating your thoughts. Enjoy!
My self-care begins with creating a balanced schedule at work and at home. I keep up the activities that keep me healthy – exercise, acupuncture, healthy eating, sleep. I try not to deviate much from my regular self-care so that returning to them is no big deal. I don’t make many New Year’s resolutions – though I reflect on the past year and the year ahead. Finally, I work on being grateful and thankful!
- Julie Silver, Acupuncturist
I schedule some time to reflect on the past year and create a new vision for the future. This is my favorite form of self-care. I often journal regarding what I’ve learned from the year, be it through my own personal experiences or from the more global shifts. I then choose a few key words and ideas to be the “theme” of the next year, so that I’m able to see life through the lens of that ideology. In the past I’ve chosen words like “Joy,” “Serenity” and “Transformation.” It is an honor and a privilege to be able to create the context of our lives and shift how we view situations. Every year during this time I enjoy newly creating my goals for myself and for the world at large.
- Monica Mae Leibson, Acupuncturist
It’s inevitable. Seemingly everyone comes down with the common cold during the winter months. Conventional medicine has little to treat it and we all just suffer through the runny nose, sneezing, fatigue and “tickly” throat.
But I don’t have time for that this year.
In addition to having three small children at home, my “cold” last year turned into the flu and pneumonia. The mere thought of getting a cold is like striking a raw nerve. So, when I began to get that tickle in the back of my throat with body aches, I use EVERYTHING in the book (and then some) to fight back! [Read more…]
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onions or thinly sliced leeks (whites only)
1 cup thinly sliced celery
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3 (14.5 ounce) cans reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
8 cups mixed fresh vegetables, such as carrots, corn, green beans, lima beans, peas, potatoes and zucchini (cut larger vegetables into smaller pieces)
Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onions or leeks, celery and Italian seasoning; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, 5 to 8 minutes.
Add broth, tomatoes and their juice, tomato paste and 3 cups water; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered 20 minutes.
Add vegetables and return to a simmer. Cook uncovered until vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.
Pour remaining soup in small batches into bowl of a food processor; carefully puree until smooth and return to saucepan. Stir in cream; season with salt and pepper. Garnish with the reserved mushrooms, and serve hot. Yields 8 servings.
Imagine that someone tells you that there is a type of medicine that can proactively help support your body in healing itself. In addition, this type of medicine can prevent illness from occurring. Imagine being told that you will feel better and build a foundation of health and wellness for your body.
This medicine does not involve taking any chemicals or synthetic pills. There are no gimmicks or false claims. It’s not a quick fix or a “one-size-fits-all” prescription.
Imagine being able to achieve this while relaxing on a warm bed in a quiet room with soothing music and dimmed lights. Imagine coming out of this room feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, knowing you have done something good for yourself!
What if someone told you that there are many different health concerns this medicine can address? That it helps everything from subtle issues like insomnia, fatigue or anxiety to more chronic health concerns like inflammation, autoimmune issues and cancer?
Hey! What is this medicine, anyway?
It’s Traditional Chinese Medicine and its most respected tool: acupuncture.
As we celebrate 2018, it’s not too late to resolve to have as healthy a year as possible. Many times, we make New Year’s resolutions that are unrealistic or complicated, so we are unable to keep them beyond the first month. Simplicity is always best. Find something simple to add to your life.
Citing its “long and rich history as components of a comprehensive traditional medical system that has been used for thousands of years to diagnose and treat illness, prevent disease and improve well-being,” Gov. Rick Snyder has proclaimed October 24 as “Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Awareness Day” in Michigan.
This is the fourth year the governor has recognized the importance of acupuncture and oriental medicine, noting that practitioners are “dedicated to the highest standards of professionalism and maintain these standards through education, credentialing and a personal commitment.” [Read more…]
Fabulous Fall Food: Root Vegetable Stew
Fall vegetables consist mainly of root vegetables, which require inventive ways of cooking and preparing. We love them roasted, and also combined in this delicious stew. Of course, you can always skip the meat and try this recipe vegetarian style.