Experiencing infertility can be so difficult to emotionally deal with. I am always speaking with patients regarding how they are doing emotionally and what they can do to bring themselves to a brighter place. One patient of mine (as well as many others) has always inspired me in terms of how she deals with her infertility struggles. She is authentic when things are hard but she does not let herself stay in that place. Rather she focuses on gratitude and enjoying her life just the way it is as she moves forward in her fertility journey. When she told me that her and her husband had started a blog, I knew I would want to share it with all of my clients. I am sure you will enjoy their honesty and humor as much as I do.
Come join Julie Shindler-Cohen at Karma Yoga to learn about Women’s health and Chinese medicine. Julie will discuss general Chinese medical theory and will explore women’s health and prevention in more detail. Attendees will gain a greater understanding of how Chinese medicine treats the body’s natural energetic balance as a means of preventing and treating an array of symptoms that arise throughout a woman’s lifecycle.
DATE: Tuesday November 22
PLACE: Karma Yoga 3683 W. Maple Road (At Lahser Road)
COST: $20 at the door/$75 for the series
Julie will be offering one course in a series entitled “Soma & Agni”, which offers information about women’s self care and lunar cycles from an Ayurvedic perspective. The course will be each Tuesday in the month of November from 2-3:15 at Karma Yoga. Please look at the Karma’s website for more details about the seminar!
Join us on Tuesday November 1st
16001 W. Nine Mile Road at Greenfield
Please join us for a free and informative birthing fair! Designed for new parents and expecting couples. Many great people will be present to meet and speak with.
A great opportunity to meet with our resident pregnancy specialist, Monica Mae Leibson (acupuncturist, birth doula, post partum doula).
A great opportunity to connect with midwives, chiropractors, acupuncturists, pregnancy massage therapists, birth & postpartum doulas, childbirth educators, prenatal yoga instructors, prenatal aqua-aerobics instructors, breastfeeding specialists, hypnotherapists, & photographers.
Speak with specialists about cloth diapers, diaper service, baby wrapping, child safety service, car seats, thermography, herbal baths, homeopathy, photographers. Meet a local author of her recent book “Natural Hospital Birth.”
There is free parking behind the Medical Office Building. From 9 Mile take Providence Dr. south to next light. Turn left. Go into parking lot. Enter MOB’s front doors. Walk through MOB, up a ramp, to the Fisher Center Info Desk. Auditorium is on your left. Feel free to tell your pregnant clients and friends about the event. The resources are from varying areas: Novi, Farmington, Royal Oak, Ann Arbor, West Bloomfield, Warren, Ferndale, Detroit, Northville, Southfield, Beverly Hills, and more.
This weekend I was lucky enough to be introduced to Shen Zhen Healing Qi Gong (Unconditional Love Healing Qi Gong). I was blown away by how transformative the practice is for physical and mental health. I am excited to write more about it and how it has shifted me. For now, I will start with an introduction to Qi Gong, written by Master Li Jun Feng.
THE MISSION OF QIGONG ©
by Li Jun Feng
1. What is qigong? It is the interexhange of qi between people and the universe. When the exchange of qi takes place, the qi works. It is this exchange of qi that creates an energy that brings about health in living beings and in the natural environment. When there is qi, there is life. When there is no qi, there is no life.
2. Qigong is a science. But it transcends modern science. Qigong as a science should be used to improve people’s lives – to teach them to be more natural and to attain a sense of total well-being. True qigong must be something that is not just an intellectual pursuit or something to study but should be applied to life.
3. What are the three functions of qigong?
Qigong is good for overall health. Through the exchange of qi, diseased qi is removed and fresh qi is gathered.
Qigong brings about the removal of negativities that lead to worry, sadness, anger, nervousness, fear, and a stressful life. As a result, one is free to lead a happy and carefree life. Modern medicine is good but only provides a temporary solution. If people want to maintain their health the energy level in the body must be in balance – the emotions must become balanced and even. Emotions can affect the physical body. The emotions and the physical body must be in harmony. This determines the quality of life.
Finally, qigong opens the heart. As one experiences the opening of the heart, this allows the qi from the universe to go to the entire body, removing the negativities that rob one of a life of perfect well-being.
4. The purpose of qigong is to bring all back to the original state, the natural state. Originally, all were in the qigong state. But today, human society and the natural environment are no longer in balance. This results in the outbreak of the sickness, wars, and natural disasters that we see today. Qi is the life force. It protects the whole world, man’s life, and the natural environment. This imbalance has brought about the deterioration in the quality of qi. When this happens, the power of the qi is diminished and the qi becomes useless, ineffectual.
5. The amount of qi in the universe is always the same. It is never more or less. But the quality of the qi can change. If the circulation is not good, if there is not enough of an exchange between man and the universe, it results in a harmful imbalance, in poor qi quality, in stale and stagnant qi, in diminished power.
6. To better the quality, to improve the circulation, human hearts must open. Unconditional love is the key that unleashes the power of qi. When the heart is open, immersed in the experience of love, the interflow of qi can take place making the qi work
7. The relationship between human beings in society can affect nature. If the family is happy it affects the community. If the community is flourishing, it affects the country. If the country is healthy, it affects the world. This, at the end is what leads to peace and harmony. Unconditional love is the root, is the key. It is to this purpose that Sheng Zhen Wuji Yuan Gong serves.
8. In the beginning, people spoke about love with ease because true love was everywhere. But now, people’s hearts have become cold – some people have become like ice. Even from the outside their façade locks the love inside. So it appears as though there is no love, that it is distant and far away. But actually, love is still there. Because people do not believe that others are capable of true love, people protect themselves by holding themselves back. Everyone wants to receive true love but people have lost the ability to trust and believe in others and in themselves as well. People are afraid to ask because they are afraid of rejection. So everyone waits and watches. It is as though true love is buried and frozen in ice. Hearts become encrusted and love is hidden from view. The competitive world has created an environment of confusion and skepticism distancing people from the experience of the love that exists in their own hearts. Can this kind of world ever reveal true love? In this world of cut-throat competition, how many people actually feel that they are leading a true life? Only when you have been awakened to love can you understand the true meaning of life.
9. The true qigong awakens understanding from the heart so people can have a natural life rooted in unconditional love. Qi is never separated from love. Through the practice of qigong, true love is always with you – the joy of the lightness of being is always with you. A healthy mind coming from the practice of qigong cooperates with the flow of qi in the body. In the end, one realizes that it is not that the heart and the mind are used to make the qi flow effectively. It just happens naturally, of its own accord. Then life is never seen apart from the qigong state. It is then that one’s life becomes established in it.
To learn more, please visit www.shengzhen.org
I recently had an interesting herbal encounter with a patient. She was telling me that she’s taking a Chinese herbal formula from her physician that was full of Chinese herbs that are “adaptogens”. I was absolutely intrigued. When I asked her exactly what was in it, she couldn’t remember any specific herbs but was sure that it contained a long list of Chinese herbs. My understanding of Chinese herbal adaptogens is new and still in progress. This understanding of herbs is a modern approach to Chinese herbalism and I often struggle to find a balance between classical and modern Chinese herbalism.
Classically, Chinese herbs are arranged into categories that describe the general function of herbs. For example, herbs that tonify qi, drain dampness, clear heat, etc. Within each category, each individual herb has its own taste, temperature and specific function. The properties of each herb are important in herbal formulas and modifications. Herbs are always prescribed as formulas, or combinations of herb that achieve a specific treatment principal. (In fact, the text book for formulas is called “Formulas and Strategies” because a formula is indeed a strategy for treatment.) The effectiveness of a formula comes from the synergistic qualities of all the herbs. This is important to keep in mind when new research comes out regarding specific pharmaceutical properties of individual herbs. Sometimes people hear in the news about a Chinese herb that has “estrogenic effects” or have questionable side effects. This sort of information completely discounts the nature of classic herbal formulations. Sure, one herb contains a variety of actions but when it is used in a formula with several other herbs, specific effects of single herbs become moderated. That’s the beauty of Chinese herbalism! Formulas were designed to offset any “negative side effects” and to balance the herbs to yield the best effect for the patient (and, ideally, with NO side effects).
Now back to adaptogens. Needless to say, the classic material medica (Chinese herbal compilation) did not identify those herbs that can be classified as adaptogens. It is very exciting to practice Chinese herablism in an age where scientific research is able to determine these more fine-tuned properties of herbs. However, it can become overwhelming when writing formulas for my patients. I welcome these discoveries and always include the modern strategies in my formulas. However, I stay focused on the classic Chinese medical approach in choosing the basis of formulas and incorporate the modern approach in making modifications. I hope that by balancing old and new strategies, my patients will find relief in their symptoms and make better progress towards healing!
Acupuncture is one of the best forms of preventative medicine available today. The goal of acupuncture is to maintain balance within the energy channels so that disease will not present itself. Maintaining balance ensures that there is not too much (an excess) of energy in one channel and a lack of (deficiency) of energy in another channel. Chinese herbs are also used for this purpose; to clear out any excess, support any deficiency or treat any resulting pathologies. From an emotional perspective, I have found that when people become stressed or emotionally vulnerable, any preexisting deficiency becomes a more serious problem. For example, the person who has a long history of digestive disorders gets severe digestive problems when they experience a loss in their life. Or a person who has a long history of allergies and frequent colds get a long standing cough that will not go away when life becomes stressful. [Read more…]
I was fortunate enough to attend a luncheon for The Pink Fund on Saturday and walked away feeling blessed and inspired. The Pink Fund is a michigan based charity organization that provides short-term financial aid during the brief period of active treatment and recovery. The help that the Pink Fund offers people during a time of crisis is desperately needed and I applaud them for taking a stand for people’s lives.
Kris Carr was chosen to be their speaker because of her journey and her courage. She was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer that was considered untreatable. They couldn’t do chemotherapy or operate. So, she decided to research other cultures to see what they ate and how they exercised to promote longevity. What I loved about her was her honesty and vulnerability. She told us that before her cancer diagnosis she would eat very unhealthy food, including spam. “Spam, people!” she screamed to us to remind us how disgusting it was! For her to be considered a health guru now shows she certainly has come a long way.
I was also really inspired by her attitude regarding diet and lifestyle. She said that we should strive for perfection but never be a slave to it. When it comes to diet, exercise, and meditation, we would all love to make goals and stick to them. But oftentimes we are too busy with the many demands of our lives. She reminded us that we should always aim to meet our goals but shouldn’t beat ourselves up if we don’t. I really liked this because in my healthcare practice I’ve seen how easy it is for people to engage in negative self talk if they don’t live up to their own standards. And really, how does this serve us? It truly doesn’t. Guilt does nothing to move us forward in our spiritual journey. Rather, as spiritual beings, we can do our best to take care of ourselves and know that our best is always good enough.
Please take a moment to pay it forward and donate to this amazing Michigan charity.
Be inspired at
Most of us eat foods because they are pleasurable and we enjoy their smell, taste and textures.
Eating is a very personal experience as it is both a source of nutrition as well as a tool for social gathering. Most of us are also well aware of the
nutritional value of food. Eating whole grains (vs. enriched white flours), fresh (vs. canned) vegetables and healthy fats (vs. trans fats) are
cornerstones of many diets. It is also valuable to look at our bodies, the importance of the temperatures and flavors of foods, and the best season to eat them
in. [Read more…]
Research Gives Insight Into How Acupuncture May Relieve Pain
Acupuncture—an ancient healing practice that has shown promise in treating chronic pain—typically involves a period of active needle stimulation, followed by a longer period of rest. It appears that the analgesic (pain-relieving) effects of acupuncture may actually peak long after the active stimulation ends. In the first study of its kind, NCCAM-supported researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital, Logan College of Chiropractic, and Kyunghee University (Korea) evaluated the effects of acupuncture on brain activity following active stimulation.
The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imagery (fMRI) to monitor brain activity in 15 healthy adults before and after true acupuncture and sham acupuncture. The procedure lasted 150 seconds, and the rest period was 5.5 minutes. They also monitored heart rate and respiration and surveyed the subjects on their perception of pain and other sensations (such as deqi, unique sensations experienced in connection with acupuncture and considered to be signs of its effectiveness).
Analysis of the fMRI images showed that following true acupuncture—but not sham—there were increased connections among the parts of the brain involved in the perception and memory of pain. The subjects also reported stronger sensations with true acupuncture than with sham. The researchers conclude that acupuncture changes resting-state brain activity in ways that may account for its analgesic and other therapeutic effects.
- Dhond RP, Yeh C, Park K, et al. Acupuncture modulates resting state connectivity in default and sensorimotor brain networks. Pain. 2008;136(3):407–418.
- More information on acupuncture from NCCAM is available here:nccam.nih.gov/health/acupuncture/.
Journal Publication Date: June 1, 2008
(Note: This article is taken from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine)
Mothers & Mothers-to-be gather to laugh, talk, & cry on our journey through motherhood. In this safe place, we discuss topics of interest, create long-lasting friendships & build community; your children are welcome as you care for them while you attend. Taught by Jahmanna Selassie. Free (occasional speaker/material fees).
Thurs Sep 29th ~ Open, Share, Review, Reflect
Thurs Oct 6th ~ Birth Talk: Mama to Mama – to – be
Thurs Oct 13th ~ The work of Mama Juggling
Thurs Oct 20th ~ Babys First Food after Milk
Thurs Oct 27th ~ Open, Share, Review, Reflect
Jahmanna Selassie is a birth & post partum doula, massage therapist, aspiring midwife, mother of 6, and has a special interest in the uniquely revitalizing qualities of ayurvedic postpartum care.
To find out more, go to http://visitindigo.com