As the dark nights and short days of winter are upon is, it is not uncommon to feel more tired, lower energy, and a desire to stay inside a warm house and cozy up with a good book. For many of us, this is a passing experience that can be cured by a weekend getaway or a few sunny days. However, for some, these symptoms can be indicative of a form of depression called Season Affective Disorder. According to the web site familydoctor.org, as many as ½ a million people have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It is not surprising that SAD is more common in the Northern part of the country. Symptoms of winter-onset Seasonal Affective Disorder include: loss of energy, depression, anxiety, oversleeping, changes in appetite and difficulty concentrating. There are a number of natural ways to treat SAD. [Read more…]
Receiving a diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is very scary and confusing for many women, especially when trying to conceive. PCOS is a syndrome—this means one size does NOT fit all. Classically, women with PCOS were overweight, had inappropriate hair growth and did not menstruate regularly. However, many of the PCOS patients I see do NOT fit that description. Some women have insulin resistance, acne, irregular periods or cysts on their ovaries. Or not. Traditional treatment for PCOS involves birth control pills, blood sugar regulating medications, low carb diet and exercise. When trying to conceive, all of those options are great—with the exception of birth control pills! [Read more…]
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, each season is represented by one of the elements of nature (such as wind, cold, damp or heat). The element associated with summer is heat or FIRE!
Fire energy is considered YANG Energy. Yang is big, yang is expansion yang is excess. As you know, summer is all about expansion. The flowers are in full bloom, the days are long, we spend lots of time outside doing physical activity.
In TCM, every element is also associated with an organ. The organ associated with Fire is the Heart.
When we think about the summer and taking good care of our “heart” we should be thinking about the following.
The Heart Energy (qi energy) is thought to rule our spirit. We call this the shen. The shen oversees cognitive function and mental activity. The shen also oversees the seven main emotions (joy, anger, sadness, grief, fright, apprehension, worry). Oftentimes, emotional imbalances are associated with the Heart. [Read more…]
Over the eight years I’ve been in clinical practice, I’ve seen people for a variety of physical medicine issues. The initial intake includes a lengthy review of medical history and at the end, I always check in with how people are doing emotionally. As a holistic practitioner, I’ve learned that emotions can trigger physical issues. On the flip side; pain, insomnia, digestive issues, fertility, or any other issue can certainly create its own emotional reactions. The bottom line is that we are emotional beings that are inside a physical body. It’s truly a beautiful design.
Acupuncture has proven itself to be an amazing tool for releasing old emotions and supporting us to move forward in our journey. Emotions start as a neuro-chemical release in the brain. The release triggers a physical sensation which can range anywhere from digestive upset to sweating, heart pounding, headaches, etc. Not all emotions lead to these intense reactions but they generally manifest somewhere in the body. When we allow ourselves to truly experience the emotional cascade, the physical response lasts for anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes. What is very common, though, is that people will resist their emotions and try to stop themselves from feeling them altogether. As a society we look down on others and ourselves for feeling anxiety, depression, fear, etc. The new age thought of being able to create and manifest our lives can make people feel even worse because they don’t seem to allow any room for upset. I’ve seen so many people over the years who say that they HAVE TO stay positive in order to get what they want. That’s a lot of pressure! The Law of Attraction does NOT state that you have to be happy all the time, (we will save that for another blog). The point is that it’s OK to experience all different sorts of emotions. It is, in fact a necessary part of being a sentient and compassionate person. Oftentimes when we do experience emotions, rather than allowing them to naturally come and go, we hold on tight and aren’t able to release them from our minds and bodies. Acupuncture is a very effective way to facilitate a release. With this in mind, I am offering a specific treatment aimed at balancing stress and emotions and gently releasing emotional blockages.
During our brief intake, I will assess which emotions are out of balance. I will also feel the pulse and look at your tongue, which are Chinese Medicine diagnostic tools. We will then get started with our hands on treatment.
These sessions work well for people who are experiencing:
- A recent emotional breakdown
- Life transitions (job loss, aging, engaged to be married, divorce, grieving)
- High stress situations or inability to cope with current stress
- Chronic emotional issues that you’ve been working on in other ways with little success
The treatment will consist of Essential Oils (both inhaled and applied topically when appropriate) for your specific emotional needs. I will also create a customized meditation to release the grip of emotional stress and allow you to tap into your inner wisdom. The final modality will be acupuncture to facilitate a natural endorphin release and move emotional blockages that have gotten lodged in the body.
I am so inspired and look forward to working with you to release past emotions and create a new & exciting future.
I am proud to announce that I recently became a fellow of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (ABORM), the first in the state of Michigan. The ABORM is a group of acupuncturists that have extensive experience in treating infertility and work together with Western medical practitioners to create a level of professionalism and excellence within the field. Many long-time ABORM members are the leaders in the community of Chinese medical reproductive medicine. The ABORM was created to set a standard of excellence in treatment of Chinese medicine and infertility. Fellows must acquire a specific amount of continuing education credits in Chinese reproductive medicine and at least 2 years of practice before being eligible to sit for the ABORM certification exam. Fellows are only inducted after passing this examination. [Read more…]
Many people turn to acupuncture and Chinese medicine for anxiety and depression. For many people, anxiety only presents itself in specific situations. For many others, however, a constant sensation of anxiety can be present on a daily basis. Understanding the “presentation” of anxiety is key in treating it from a traditional Chinese medical perspective. [Read more…]
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on the theory of “Qi Energy”. Qi energy is what guides all functions in our body – breath, movement, reproduction, digestion are all functions of qi. In TCM, every organ has Qi energy and each organ’s qi oversees different functions of the body. Every organ has a season in which the functions of that organ are “in the spotlight”. The organ (and qi) associated with the spring is the Liver.
Spring is a good time for rejuvenation and change. It is a also good time to think about supporting the Liver. In TCM, the Liver Qi regulates the flow of qi throughout the whole body. There are over 20 kinds of qi that the Liver QI keeps flowing smoothly. Stress in our life tends to effect the Liver qi. When this happens, the Liver qi does not flow smoothly, and it gets stagnant. Headaches, PMS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Depression, Irritability are all thought to be associated with Liver Qi stagnation. There are many ways we can support the Liver and assist it in its job. [Read more…]
Why is it that so many people suffer from constipation? And how can Chinese medicine help?
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal (GI) problems, affecting about 42 million people in the U.S. – NIH website
Eliminating is related to the concept of letting go. In Chinese medicine, letting go is a quality affiliated with the Metal element (Out of the five elements – Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal) which the lungs and the Large intestine are a part of. Both these organs (more like functions than actual organ) in Chinese medicine are in charge of making sure we are keeping the valuable and are letting go of what is not needed – physically, emotionally and mentally.
On a physical level, the lungs take care of the relatively esoteric gas – the air. They are in charge of using the separating the oxygen from the rest so the body can use it and are eliminating the byproduct of the metabolism in the body, the CO2 – this process has a short cycle and it is repeated many times throughout the day (more Yang in nature). The large intestine deals with more substantial material which is what is left from the food after it is passing through the digestive system which occurs once a day, eliminates all that is not needed anymore and absorbs back water and key nutrients (more Yin in nature). When our body is done extracting the valuable resources from the air or the food – it is letting go of the waste.
On an emotional level – the action of letting go is controlled by the Metal element as well, Grief or Sadness are the emotions related to it. The lungs energy is allowing us to release sadness through crying it has the same energy as a seed the being spread by the wind or a chick that leaves the nest. On a more substantial level, the energy of the large intestine is allowing us to let go of possessions we no longer need. It is the same motion of a ripe fruit falling from the tree on to the ground. All of those are related to the autumn season.
Interestingly, the lung meridian (energy pathway) flows to the thumb and the large intestine meridian flows to the index finger- both fingers are used to form a grip. Letting go is a skill hard to master. It requires the ability to passively do an action, which is a contradiction in a way.
With acupuncture, herbal medicine and nutrition it is possible to work on those aspects and strengthen one’s body and mind ability to let go of what is no longer needed….the outcome is also better elimination 🙂
Are you under the weather? It’s exactly why you should come and see us.
Many people call in sick for work, rightfully so…even if they feel well enough to come to work, it is considered better to stay at home and not expose others – preventing further spread of the “bug” that is running around.
Often patients are calling our office canceling their appointment because they are sick with the same thought process as when they call off work. Being sick is actually an indication to come and get acupuncture and energy work treatment, this is what we are here for !! Back in the old days, herbal medicine and acupuncture (in the Far East) where the only medicine. Acupuncture and herbal medicine are very powerful tools also in dealing with upper respiratory diseases.
After catching a cold few days ago I got better, though my wife got sicker and last night started to cough profusely, her chest felt tight and her back started to hurt. Those are symptoms that can lead to pneumonia if not treated properly. Before running to the emergency care, I did acupuncture on her to try and help her body recover on its own. We made Ginger lemon honey tea, defused eucalyptus oil and did a massage on her chest and back along the Lung meridian. She had immediate relief, felt, better and we avoided the need for her to take antibiotics.Antibiotic is important and without it people can die, though it only gives a short term solution and reduce the immunity of the body in the long run which is making people prone to suffer from the same problem in the future and have it be harder to treat. Going to the Dr. is very important in order to make sure everything is under control, but before the medical need for drug intervention, there are many natural things that can be done.
Come see us even if you are sick please 🙂
As a Chinese herbalist, I am often asked “which herbs are good to eat?” Well, that is a very broad question. First, different herbs are good for different things. We all have unique energetic imbalances and require different treatments. If we eat an excessive amount of “warming” or “cooling” herbs, this can lead to a severe imbalance in the digestive tract! Also, many Chinese herbs are not so commonly found in your local grocery store. (I have yet to find fresh rehmannia root or even white peony) However, diet and digestion is so important in Chinese medicine, that there are a few herbs that can be used across the board to support good health! [Read more…]