|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
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.
There are still a few weeks left of summer. What’s your best tip for making the most of it
Our family recently moved to the West Bloomfield area and we’re enjoying our new neighborhood with lake access. I think the best tip I have is to get outside and enjoy our beautiful state!
- Monica Mae Leibson, Acupuncturist
I like to take advantage of the late sunsets and extended daylight by taking walks later in the evening and going to watch the sunset. I like to look at the landscaping in yards and the array of hydrangeas, hostas and all the blooming flowers. We live in such a beautiful state. To beat the heat, I make cooling drinks like cucumber water or watermelon gazpacho.
- Karen Siegel Propis, Acupuncturist
I try to enjoy EVERY SECOND of summer, but I really make sure to spend as much time outdoors as possible. Even if it’s just an evening walk around the neighborhood, I try to enjoy the scenery and beautiful environment before the colors change.
- Julie Shindler Cohen, Acupuncturist
Our young family loves spending time near and in the water. Swimming, wading pool, splash parks, sprinklers … you name it, we’re there!
- Jennifer Pillow White, CranioSacral Therapist
Find balance. Go outside, enjoy the fresh air, take a walk! Embrace each day as if it were the only one! Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude!
- Julie Silver, Acupuncturist
Top 5 ways to reduce stress during your work day:
- Take a few deeeeeep breeeeeeeaths. Deep breathing calms the nervous system and helps to get out of the “fight or flight” mode. Using essential oils is a bonus! You can use anything that smells good to you.
- Keep your blood sugar stable by eating 5 small meals daily (preferably balanced – with a carbohydrate, protein, and fat at each meal). Also, be sure to stay hydrated. Keep water at your desk so that you get in the habit of drinking it often.
- Take a proverbial smoke break. Leave the office for 5 minutes. Step outside and get some fresh air. Even take a short walk around your building – getting fresh air and blood flow is a great way keep your head in the game.
- Do a few quick stretches. Shoulder rolls, neck rolls, and putting your hands behind your back. These stretches are a good way to balance out the poor posture that can occur from chronic sitting.
- Create an intention for your day! The intention of peace, joy, or workability can block any stressors that may come your way.
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Q: How do you use acupuncture & Chinese Medicine principles in your life?
A: First off, I receive regular acupuncture treatments. As a caregiver, it is too easy for me to ignore myself and focus on healing others. In order for me to keep self care as a priority in my life, I schedule it. As a preventative treatment, I generally get acupuncture once a month. But, of course, if a health issue pops up, I receive more treatments as soon as possible, as well as using other healing modalities that have proven helpful in my life.
One of my favorite principles of acupuncture is the theory of balance. When our body is in balance, better health prevails. When there is excess (too much) in the mind or body, we “drain the excess” into the meridian that is weakest. If there is a weakness, we bring energy to that meridian/organ. As an acupuncturist, I am facilitating balance to support a patient’s body to function optimally. In my own life, I use the idea of balance to create the way I live my life. How much time and energy is healthy for me to devote to work? What do I need to aim for in my sleep? How often do I need self care? What kind of exercise is most supportive for me today? What foods are best for me? These are all questions that when raised, I use the principle of balance to help me find my answer. With balance in mind, the answers become clear.
The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness. In some ways gratitude encompasses all of these meanings.
Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives.
The practice of gratitude has been proven to have many benefits not only emotionally but also physically. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), gratitude can also bring balance to the meridians in the body.
An effective and easy way to practice gratitude in your daily life is by playing a game called The Rampage of Appreciation, developed by Esther and Jerry Hicks. According to Esther and Jerry Hicks in their book The Law of Attraction, The Rampage of Appreciation game can be played anywhere and at any time because it is easily played by simply directing pleasant thoughts to your mind.
Begin by looking around your immediate environment and gently noticing something that pleases you. Try to hold your attention on this pleasing object as you consider how wonderful, beautiful, or useful it is. And as you focus upon it longer, your positive feelings about it will increase.
We’re now a week into the new year and some of us are beginning to realize that things aren’t panning out as we’d intended. We aren’t zooming around on hover boards as predicted back in 1985, and the perennial commitments to hit the gym every day may not have come to fruition. Some will be discouraged by this and decide to throw in the towel with guilt and dismay. Others will pledge to ‘try harder’ and compel themselves even more earnestly to do more, do better, be more.
What if there were another option?
What if, rather than fervently throwing ourselves into yet another rapid weight loss plan or heroic detox regimen, we shifted the focus toward greater self-acceptance and compassion? Would health goals be easier or more likely to attain if the motivating factor were self-love and commitment to our primary relationship with ourselves for the long haul? The research suggests this to be true.
Begin with self-compassion and gentleness
Why do you have goals for wellness and health in the first place? Hopefully because you care about yourself and want to take good care of yourself! When the motivator is self-care rather than on self-criticism, sticking with your plan and feeling good is much more likely. Positive regard for oneself leads to self-efficacy, the belief that you can achieve your goals in a specific area, which is a predictor of effective health behavior change and maintenance.[i]
Self-compassion is good for your health
Having compassion, whether for ourselves or for others, increases our production of a hormone called oxytocin which creates positive feelings such as love and trust, and also helps lower blood pressure and heart rate. Conversely, self criticism activates a fight-or-flight response in the body with increased adrenaline, cortisol and blood pressure.[ii] The long-term effects of cortisol are very damaging and lead to insulin resistance and diabetes, fatigue, brain fog, hormonal imbalance, sleep disturbance and many more of the chronic ailments prevalent today. Dr. Hans Selye coined the term ‘General Adaptation Syndrome’ to describe the effects of chronic adrenal stress.
Often times, there are good reasons why people rely on the less-than-healthy habits in their lives. Perhaps you suffer from adrenal stress and fatigue, and can’t imagine getting through the day without a triple espresso. Maybe your sleep is poor, and you have an extra glass of wine in the evening to try to get some sleep. Or perhaps your carb cravings are absolutely unmanageable in the afternoon when your blood sugar and serotonin levels dip and you just have to have that chocolate chip cookie. In all of these scenarios, underlying metabolic and neuroendocrine issues set the stage for reliance on a ‘crutch’ to keep functioning. The problem isn’t faulty will-power, but an actual physiologic imbalance, and when resolved, the cravings simply fade away. A naturopathic consultation for wellness and prevention can help identify obstacles to achieving your goals and get you on the right path.
Identify what you really want and begin where you are
Would you like to lose 20 lb, get in good enough shape to run a half marathon this spring, take up yoga, and do a complete nutrition overhaul? It’s possible that you could achieve all of these goals, but a realistic strategy is to identify what you really want and break it into manageable steps, centered around self-acceptance rather than perfectionism. In addition to self-compassion and gentleness, support can help clarify your goals and identify obstacles in your path. Whether you seek more radical changes or simply to fine-tune your nutrition or supplement regimen for optimal wellness and prevention, the tools you need to get there with gentleness are available.
Keep the focus on what you will add, rather than take away
Instead of focusing on the things you want to cut from your diet, begin by building a relationship with the things that you’ll add. For example, if you’ve vowed to cut out sugar from your diet, begin by gathering recipes calling for natural sweeteners and exploring new healthy treats. You need not feel deprived to reach your goals. In addition to the nourishing additions to your life, practices such as Emotional Freedom Technique are helpful for reinforcing your commitment to self-care and let go of attachment to the old habits that no longer serve you.
Wellness & Prevention Offering
In the spirit of supporting self-compassion in our patients wellness goals, we’re offering a special naturopathic wellness & prevention package for 2015. This one-hour intake session is designed to help clarify wellness goals, identify obstacles, and offer tools to support you on your path to greater health. Happy new year!
[i] Stretcher V. The role of self-efficacy in achieving health behavior change. Health Education Quarterly. Spring 1986 Vol 13(1):73-91.
[ii] Neff Kristen. Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind. 2011
When was the last time you thought to breathe? Breathing is an automatic body action that has some conscious control. Everyone knows how to breathe, right? Unfortunately not. Go ahead, try it. Sit up straight with your feet on the ground. Place one hand on your abdomen and the other on your chest. Now breathe. Chances are you are feeling a slight expansion and retraction in your chest. If this is indeed what you are feeling, you aren’t breathing correctly. [Read more…]
I recently held a seminar with Dr. George Nicoloff, who is board certified in Integrative Holistic Medicine. We were so excited to have over 60 people attend! We agreed to speak on the connection between the gut & immune system, as we know how deeply interwoven they are. We shared a lot of information in just a short time. So although this is not comprehensive, here is a portion of our presentation:
In Chinese Medicine, the relationship between the Lung (immune) and Large Intestine (gut) meridians:
Ways to care for the Large Intestine:
- Maintain regular bowel movements through diet and exercise (and if needed, acupuncture & herbs)
- Eat foods that are warm and easy to digest (temperature is important to gut) Steam vegetables as opposed to eating them raw (only eat raw in spring and summer)
- Be careful with food combinations: Protein, fat, complex carb at every meal. Protein the size of your palm, carbs the size of your fist, fats the size of your thumb. See “Game On Diet” by Krista Vernoff
- Eat slowly & intentionally. Chew thoroughly.
Lung Meridian =
- Practice deep breathing
- Avoid toxic substances that are inhaled (toxic candles (lead and paraffin which is a petroleum biproduct), fumes, toxic household products)
- Cardio exercise (strengthen lung and increase capacity)
- Break a sweat (releases toxins)
- Keep neck covered in wind/cold/rain
Good foods: Rice, carrot, sweet potatoe, ginger, garlic, seaweeds, fibrous foods such as apples & oats
Not so good foods: Heavy dairy, excessive citrus
From Dr. Nicoloff’s slides:
Healing Leaky Gut
There is a simple solution to help transform unhealthy intestinal function back to health:
L. acidophilus NCFM / B. lactis BI-07 = Reinoculate with probiotics to balance immune function, combat microbial overgrowth, improve lactose digestion, reduce bowel distress.
Nutritional & Botanical Therapeutics=
I feel so fortunate to have found such a great doctor who takes time with each of his patients and has a background in holistic medicine. And between acupuncture visits and supplements/herbs, the immune & digestive system can be truly repaired.
Those who think
they have no time for healthy eating will sooner or later have to find time for
(1826-1893) from The Conduct of Life