Cinnamon has been all over the wellness-news lately for a plethora of health benefits. From blood sugar regulation to anti-inflammatory properties, Cinnamon is the current “it” herb. Gui zhi, as I like to think of it, has been in the Chinese medical materia medica for thousands of years and has always been an important part of Chinese herbal medicine. [Read more…]
Hello. My name is Monica Mae Leibson and I am a Registered Acupuncturist in the State of Michigan. I know that my job isn’t a typical one and I often get funny looks when I tell people what I do. So here’s a glimpse of a typical day of mine, in pictures.
Located in West Bloomfield MI, I work in an office complex with 3 acupuncturists, a naturopathic doctor, a craniosacral therapist, and an oriental bodyworker.
They are all wonderful! Find out more about them.
When a patient comes to see me, I start by doing a thorough medical intake where I review their health history as well as daily lifestyle. Even though most patients come in with a specific chief complaint, chinese medicine views the body holistically and so I check in on how all the other body systems are functioning as well.
To understand the nature of the patients symptoms through the lens of Traditional Chinese Medicine, I feel the pulse and look at the tongue. These diagnostic tools help me to assess where a patients energy is out of balance.
To learn more about tongue diagnosis, Julie Silver wrote this great article.
To learn more about pulse diagnosis.
Then comes the fun part, the acupuncture! This is a typical looking treatment for the back, although treatments are always catered to the specific person and ailment. The patient is lying comfortably on a massage table with clean linen. For my colder patients, or during the winter months, there’s a heating pad on the table and a therapeutic heating lamp as well. Patients love it!
Acupuncture is an ancient medicine that uses small sterile needles to promote blood flow and oxygen in the body. It modulates the immune system so it is helpful for if a patient has an overactive immune system (autoimmune disorders) or underactive (chronic colds and sore throats). It releases endorphins which is helpful for getting patients out of the “fight or flight” mode in the brain and into the “rest and repair” mode. This is another reason people heal deeply with acupuncture.
There are over 365 acupuncture points in the body! The points that are most commonly used are between the knees and feet, between the wrists and elbows, on the abdomen and on the neck & back. We generally use between 10 & 20 acupuncture points in one session.
The patient lies on the table for between 20 & 25 minutes, so that deep relaxation and healing can occur.
Afterwards, patients feel relaxed and refreshed. To hear about how patients respond (in their own words), read this: http://www.acupunctureinmichigan.com/testimonials/
I hope you enjoyed my day at work!
~Monica Mae Leibson, Dipl. Ac., Reg. Ac.
Over the last 20 years, we have become more aware of the many challenges couples face in getting pregnant. Individuals are marrying later in age and couples are waiting longer to have children. In addition, Environmental toxins and our own diet can have direct impact on our health and trying to conceive. From a western medical viewpoint, advanced age and ovulatory dysfunction, PCOS, thyroid issues as well as male fertility can all play a part in having difficult conceiving.
There are many ways to take care of our bodies and support a successful pregnancy. During these times, many couples turn to integrative medicine as an alternative or in complement with western medicine.
Acupuncture has many benefits for women trying to conceive including increasing blood flow to and relaxing the uterus, improving egg quality and quantity, and increasing the thickness of the uterine lining. A study done in Germany found that acupuncture can increase the chances of pregnancy for women undergoing and IVF cycle. When we are under stress from dealing with fertility, our nervous system activates the “fight or flight” response and can cause a myriad of health issues. Acupuncture is very effective in calming and balancing the sympathetic nervous system.
Nutrition and Supplements
The essential fatty acids in flax seed has been known to lengthen the follicular phase and delay early ovulation, increase the frequency of ovulation in women who do not ovulate regularly. L-Arganine, an amino acid, taken in high doses, has been shown to improve fertilization rates in women who had previously failed cycles. Bee Pollen and its close friend Royal Jelly are both rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals and have also shown to increase fertility. Antioxidants such as OPC’s (which are bioflavanoids) stimulate our body’s own natural antioxidant defense and clean free radicals from the blood stream. [Read more…]
Most of our clients who come to the office bristle at the thought of having their tongue diagnosed. When we first ask to see the tongue, most are embarrassed. “I did not brush my teeth before I came in” or “I ate blueberries” are common responses. We are often asked to explain what we are looking for and what changes we have noticed. With this in mind, I thought I would to explain the importance of Tongue Diagnosis in traditional Chinese medicine.
Like other diagnostic methods in TCM, the skill and intuition of the acupuncturist is an important part of tongue diagnosis. It is not uncommon to have 5 acupuncturists each have a different take on the tongue. . An experienced practitioner will be able to give a more accurate interpretation.
First off, it is important to understand the relationship of the tongue to the inside of the body. The color and shape of the tongue reflects the quality of the circulation of qi and blood in the body. A pale tongue, for example, may indicate that the body is lacking some of the qi/blood nourishment it needs to flourish. The tongue coating is indicative of the body fluids (or lack thereof) in the body. The tongue is a very important diagnostic tool for the digestion – a coated tongue, for example, can reflect a sluggish digestion. A geographic/red tongue can reflect heat in the stomach which may manifest as Acid Reflux. [Read more…]
Many people hear about using acupuncture to help with addiction and smoking cessation. As acupuncturists, we’re asked how exactly acupuncture can be used to attain this goal. There are many different facets to treating addiction and one of the most powerful tools we use in acupuncture is the NADA protocol. [Read more…]
Menopause and peri-menopause are natural occurring processes which take place when the secretion of estrogen and progesterone in our body diminishes. As a result, menstrual cycles become irregular and eventually stop. Menopause becomes “official” when a woman has not had a cycle for one year. Symptoms of menopause can vary from woman to woman. However, typical symptoms include: hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, changes to skin and hair, sleep and mood. Symptoms vary from woman to woman as does the length and severity of symptoms. There are many women who are looking for an integrative approach to managing peri-menopause and menopause and there are a number of options available.
A study conducted at Henry Ford Hospital and published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (volume 28, number 4) compared the use of acupuncture vs. Effexor for the management of hot flashes for patients undergoing treatment of breast cancer. In this study, 50 patients were assigned either to receive acupuncture 2 times a week for 2 weeks followed up by once a week for 4 weeks or take Effexor. Both groups experienced significant decreases in hot flashes, depressive symptoms and other menopausal quality of life symptoms indicating that acupuncture is at least as effective as Effexor; with none of the side effects commonly associated with this medication.
Most remarkably, the duration of reduced symptoms lasted much longer with acupuncture (2 months) vs. Effexor in which most symptoms returned within 2 weeks after the medication was discontinued. [Read more…]
Ask The Naturopath…
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Summer is a time to grow and expand. We see trees blossoming and the sun shining radiantly. We can match our internal energy too by waking early in the summer, playing in the garden, and exploring the natural world around us. Traditional Chinese Medicine places great importance on eating right for the season. Eating less and eating light foods on hot days is a natural way of being in tune with the rhythms of the summer months. There are also specific foods that keep us in balance during this time.
These foods are sure to keep us hydrated so that our bodies can handle the heat of summer :
Fruits: apples, watermelon, lemons, lines
Fresh Foods: salads, sprouts, cucumber, tofu
Teas: chrysanthemum, mint, chamomile
4 Cups cooked brown rice
1 green onion, chopped
2 teaspoons parsley, finely chopped
1 Cup peas, slightly cooked
2 Tablespoons umeboshi vinegar, 1 Tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon olive oil (optional)
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds (toasted) or pine nuts
Mix ingredients together, toss gently with dressing, marinate for several hours
Let marinate several hours
Recipes from Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford
A few moments with Eran Reznik
Q: Tell us a bit about your background and how you got into massage.
I knew for quite some time that I wanted to help people through practicing some kind of holistic medicine. Living in Israel at the time, the most serious training program was Traditional Chinese medicine. I studied to be an acupuncturist. I also wanted to be able to connect and help people through touch so I joined a Shiatsu program
Q: What makes your massage unique?
I believe touch is an essential tool in healing and have always been told I have gifted hands!. When I graduated from TCM school I wanted to expend my tools and went to study massage therapy.
The treatments I do are very different from the average massage. I combine techniques from massage, shiatsu, the use of acupressure points and the vast knowledge I have received in my Chinese medicine training. I look at the body as a whole and make the connection between the emotional and mental state to the physiological condition and the way the body is aligned.
Q: What type of conditions do you see in your practice?
I see many orthopedic issues involving lower back or hip pain and lots of shoulder and neck tension that are accompanied by chronic headaches and migraines. Most of them are inner connected to emotions that, when aligned, allow for the proper movement of energy in the body.
Julie Shindler-Cohen, MSTOM, Dipl. C.H., Dipl. Ac.
In Chinese medicine, the impact of seasonal allergies are related to the qi energy of the lung. The lung’ qi is our “defensive qi” and thereby prevents environmental factors from invading the body. Whenever the body is affected by any outside influence (like weather, mold, cats, dogs), this is a sign that the “lung qi” is not strong enough to protect the body. This is why there are two treatment strategies for seasonal allergies!
First, when symptoms are severe, the treatment strategy is to release the pathogen from our body. Acupuncture is the #1 way to accomplish this. Most patients notice an immediate difference in their allergies after acupuncture.
The second treatment strategy is to support the lung qi so that allergy symptoms will be reduced or eliminated in the future. Acupuncture, along with Chinese Herbal Medicine and diet can make a significant difference! This is a strategy that we work on as maintenance treatment before allergy season begins!
Acupuncture and Fertility Study
“Doctors with expertise in reproductive medicine have recently published that acupuncture and herbs are useful in the treatment of infertility, complications related to childbirth and for several other gynecological concerns. The doctors cited research stating that acupuncture and herbal medicine improve the success rate of in vitro fertilization. Pregnancy rates are improved in subfertile women undergoing IVF and in women with PCOS wherein ovulation may be restored using acupuncture. In the latter, acupuncture is noted as a treatment option for both reproductive issues and endocrine disturbances for women with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).”
According to Reproductive Medicine Specialists from Penn State University, University of Gothenbery and Heilognjiang University
Make this a happy & healthy Summer.
Don’t take a vacation from your health.
Call for an appointment today.
JULY Office Specials!
Naturopathic Medicine Consultation:
$20.00 off your consultation with Dr. Diana Quinn!
$55.00 for new patients first massage with Eran Reznik!
Free guest columnist Amanda Koch Gregory is a 30-year-old metro Detroit high school teacher of language arts. She and her husband, Jason, have an active and inquisitive toddler, Rocco Boone. They are navigating this crazy life as a family of three who enjoy late brunches on the weekends, Michigan road trips, and dancing in their living room.
Growing up, my mom talked about her own natural childbirths and breast-feeding us kids, so I considered breast-feeding the norm. She described the benefits of her own experiences and it must have had a great impact on me because when I did become pregnant, I found a midwife and birth center in a hospital that supported natural childbirth.
My husband and I also took one-on-one classes through Embracing Birth Childbirth and Postpartum Services in Ferndale. We learned valuable, and surprising, information about breast-feeding. I had no idea how tiny a baby’s stomach is during those first few days of life. And that colostrum is enough to fill them up. We learned about good latches and cluster feeding, and we were encouraged to not give our baby a bottle until he reached at least 1 month of age.
The day our son Rocco Boone was born was a whirlwind. [Read more…]
Whenever I visit a reproductive medical office, it boggles my mind that couples would undergo infertility treatment without incorporating acupuncture and Chinese medicine. The entire process of infertility treatment can feel like an emotional rollercoaster and acupuncture is a healing modality that can benefit both the mind and body. There are countless studies coming out that show the benefit of integrating acupuncture with traditional medical treatment but, as a practitioner, I have come to realize many more benefits that are not so obvious.
First, healing touch is missing from Western treatment. Women often go through a battery of tests and procedures that are very personal but there is no human to human contact that provides any sort of healing. The power of human touch is often underestimated in its ability to affect treatment outcomes. It is a means of connecting a person’s mind with the body and to forge a deeper relationship within themselves. Especially in the treatment of infertility, this connection between the mind and body will greatly affect a woman’s experience and ability to get through treatment with less stress and more peace.
Another benefit of acupuncture for our patients is having a “guide” through the emotional and physical changes. All of the acupuncturists in our office have experience with working with women and infertility. In addition to understanding of the process as it relates to procedure, we also have a significant amount of emotional insight that we share with our patients. We spend an entire hour with each person, which allows us to talk AND listen. We learn from our patients just as much as they learn from us and we always support them physically and emotionally. Also, many women who undergo infertility treatment keep it as a “secret” and don’t share with others. Coming in for acupuncture provides a safe place for women to talk about their experience in a safe setting.
Finally, acupuncture and Chinese medicine can also increase a woman’s response to fertility medications and treatment. We have had many women come to us after failed infertility cycles who, after sessions of acupuncture and Chinese herbs, have increased response and better outcomes upon returning to traditional treatment. Chinese medical treatment focuses on each person’s unique energetic landscape. Whether it be regulating the menstrual cycle or treating chronic insomnia, Chinese medicine addresses the entire body and all of its systems. Continued treatment allows for balance of energy and to remove any pathology that block healthy outcomes. I often tell my patients who are preparing for IVF that acupuncture treatment beforehand helps to “clean up the landscape” and prepare the body for better response to the medication.
In early January, on a beautiful winter day, I broke my collarbone while enjoying an afternoon of snowshoeing. What I learned after visiting the ER is that the collarbone cannot be casted or set. It is in a precarious place with interdependency on many other bones and ligaments. It has to heal by itself. I was given a necessary prescription for medication and told to rest and come back in 3 weeks.
Fortunately I knew better and knew, through a combination of modalities, I could do a lot better than “just resting”. Don’t get me wrong – rest is critical when you are recovering from an injury! However, I knew it alone would not be enough help me heal. [Read more…]