Feng shui is an ancient art developed in China over 3,000 years ago. Its goal is to balance the energies of any given space to assure health, wellness and good fortune to those who inhabit it. Like acupuncture, feng shui is based on the principle of qi, an energy that fills our spacesand makes it feel “alive”. You may have heard the expression that the space has “good feng shui” or even walked into a space yourself and had a good or bad feeling when you did. One of the objects of feng shui is to create a free path for the qi to flow throughout your home. Picture qi as a gentle stream flowing through your home. By doing a simple walk through your home you can see where the stream flows smoothly and where clutter and objects get in its way. [Read more…]
The inability to fall asleep at night can be very frustrating. Although we may feel tired, we can lay in bed for hours without being able to fall asleep. Instead of relaxing into sleep, we become more agitated that we cannot fall asleep—it’s a vicious cycle, to say the least. Sometimes all that is necessary is a formal way to calm the mind. Try this meditation, a modification of the “microcosmic orbit”, which helps to relax both the body and the mind. [Read more…]
As many women know, menstrual cramps can be quite painful and disruptive to daily life. The constant aching and pain that may last up 7 days can really take a toll on a woman’s quality of life. Of course, there are plenty of medications on the market that can ease the pain but do not treat the root of the problem. From a traditional Chinese medical standpoint, menstrual cramps are the result of energy (qi) and blood not able to flow freely. (We call this qi and blood stagnation) There are many different ways to help promote movement during this time of the menstrual cycle that really help with painful periods. [Read more…]
Both Endometriosis and Fibroids are influenced by hormones. Endometriosis is the result of abnormal growth of endometrial tissue outside of
the endometrium (the inner wall of the uterus). Uterine Fibroids are muscular tumors that grow in the walls of the uterus. Although these tumors are benign,
they, as well as endometriosis can cause many problematic symptoms for women throughout the menstrual cycle. The most common symptoms include: painful
cramping, excessive menstrual bleeding and clotting, painful intercourse and infertility. These symptoms can dramatically impact a women’s quality of life.
There are a number of theoretical causes of endometriosis and fibroids. [Read more…]
The practice of traditional Chinese medicine (CM) is very complex. People often ask “how does acupuncture work?” or “what types of conditions can acupuncture treat?” The answers to such questions are much more involved than a simple list of ailments. Simply put, and CM is an ancient, energetic, holistic medicine that takes into account all aspects of a person’s lifestyle and symptoms in order to make a diagnosis and treatment strategy. Let’s break this down more clearly. [Read more…]
Ever since my first herbs class, I have loved working with Chinese herbs. It is through Chinese herbs that the true art of Chinese medicine really shines. In practice, using herbs is key in helping patients progress in their healing. The building blocks of Chinese medicine are single herbs. Individual herbs are categorized based upon their taste, temperature, and channels affected. Tastes have specific functions, and therefore the way a formula tastes is indicative of what it is trying to accomplish. [Read more…]
Chinese Medicine Tongue Diagnosis:
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. [Read more…]
Acupressure can be a great way to help your child heal quickly from illness. Choose a time of day when your child is most calm, be it after a bath or just before bedtime. Kindly let them know that this will feel good and help them to get better. Gently put pressure on the acupuncture point/channel. Use as much pressure as your child tolerates and watch for signs of discomfort. Acupressure (as opposed to massage) can cause slight irritability when you hit the right point. Don’t continue with that point once your child feels “the qi”.
As far as the acupressure point locations, please refer to www.acupuncture.com
There you can click on “Acupuncture point location”. You choose which meridian (which is the organ name, for example Stomach). Then click on the point number and you will be directed to a picture as well as a written location.
Acupressure Treatment: Stomach 36, Spleen 6, Bladder 20
Regular feeding (avoid snacks & avoid overfeeding)
Easily digested foods (avoid bananas, cows milk, peanuts)
Increase fish oils
Acupressure Treatment: Stomach 36, Large Intestine 11, Bladder 20/21/25, Stomach 44, Spleen 9, DU 10, Spleen 4
Other suggestions: BRAT (green bananas are better than ripe) & Vitamin Water
Acupressure Treatment: Large Intestine 4, Stomach 44
Other suggestions: Homeopathic teething tablets
Acupressure Treatment: DU 14, Large Intestine 4, Gallbladder 20, Lung 7, San Jiao 5, Stomach 36
Other suggestions: Chinese Medicine recommends keeping a child warm and encouraging sweating. A child can sustain a fever of 104 if it rises slowly (or only at night). Febrile convulsions occur when the temp goes up rapidly. Drink warm lemon and honey to stay hydrated. Do not make children with fevers eat. They are not hungry because their body is trying to heal. Also, it is recommended to keep children home for as long as they had their fever.
Acupresure Treatment: Ren 17, Ren 22 (note: these can bring up a lot of phlegm so do these points AFTER they wake and see how much phlegm they encourage.)
Lung 5, Lung 7, Lung 10, Large Intestine 4, Bladder 12/13
Honey for DRY cough, not as much for a wet cough
Cough with phlegm: avoid cows mlik, cheese, peanuts, peanut butter, sugar, bitter oranges
Acupuncture successfully treats in children:
Digestive dysfunctions, Respiratory dysfunctions, Infectious diseases, Insomnia
Eczema, Failure to thrive, Learning difficulties, Enuresis, Urinary Tract Infection
Puberty/growth concerns, Mononucleosis, Anemia, Anxiety/depression
As we begin the new year, many people are hoping to make dietary changes. I have found a lot of confusion among people as to which dietary path to choose: Vegetarian? Organic? More grains? Less grains?
Whenever I find myself confused about dietary choices, I always think of the basic TCM dietary principals:
Especially at this time of year, its always best to have warm, cooked foods. Instead of choosing salad, have soup instead. When food is already warm, your body does not have to expend as much qi to digest the food properly. This concept also applies to fruit. In general, fruits should be limited (relative to vegetables) at this time of the year but when eaten, fruits should be at least at room temperature.
When it comes to grains, whole grains is the only way to go. During the winter months, more warming and nourishing grains are preferable. These grains include basmati rice, wheat, oats, quinoa and well-cooked barley.
Finally, Chinese medicine supports the consumption of animal protein. (In moderation, of course). This category emphasizes the consumption of eggs, chicken, pork and fish. Consumption of beef and lamb are also acceptable. (Dairy should be limited or completely avoided, as it creates dampness within the body)
Remember, it’s all about balance! Make sure to eat a variety of different grains, vegetables, fruits and protein. Finally, listen to your body! If you find that eating a certain food causes digestive upset or discomfort, please avoid that food.
Monica Mae Leibson has been part of the Acupuncture Healthcare team for over 3 years! She is a breath of fresh air and brings many great strengths to our practice.
What made you decide to become an acupuncturist?
I started having asthma attacks that were seemingly out of the blue. Because I didn’t know what they were or how to cope, I ended up in the ER one night. Thankfully, they gave me a shot and helped me to breath (I definitely think that western medicine has it’s place!). After that, they did all the tests on my lungs and said that they were “fine”. So I was given an inhaler and sent on my merry way. I used the inhaler during my next attack and found that it did not help. I tried to use it in between attacks and quickly learned that there was no preventative value to it for me. So I felt stuck. What next?
My dad decided to take me to his doctor who was an MD but also practiced holistic medicine. He assessed my situation and recommended herbs & diet changes. He also gave me some deep breathing exercises and recommended yoga. I started doing all these things and was surprised at how quickly I was benefitting. The next time I went back to him he recommended that I assess my “internal emotional state” regarding what might trigger my asthma attacks. I thought this to be very interesting so I started keeping a journal of how I was feeling and the severity and frequency of my attacks. I noticed that they were related to me disliking my job and also to one aspect of my relationship to my parents. I worked on this by having a candid relationship with my parents and also I ended up quitting my job. I decided, instead, to go to Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine School! I started to realize how much better I was feeling and how much I enjoyed the idea of healing the body and the mind. By the time I went to school Acupuncture school (about 9 months later), I wasn’t having any more asthma attacks!
Tell me about your practice?
I began focusing on fertility because I was working with Julie’s patients. It soon became my passion as I learned more about how it affects couples emotionally and physically. As a natural progression, I started treating women who were pregnant. This led me to advanced training called “acupuncture during pregnancy” which showed how acupuncture could treat a variety of women’s symptoms during pregnancy. The seminar also presented information about helping women to prepare for birth. I became fascinated with the preparation for birth, the birthing process, and the post partum period. The studies have shown that acupuncture helps a woman to prepare for birth and can decrease labor time and medical intervention! I recently completed training to become a Doula and am in the process of becoming DONA certified. I am excited about how this new facet of my trainings will affect my practice!
Advice for patients?
My advice for patients would be to aim for balance in all areas of life. I say this because I find that people can get caught up in the latest diet or research and accidentally let that information cause more anxiety. I think it is important to remember how capable and adaptable our bodies are to all of life’s influences. Our mind is similar ~ it is best to be open to new ideas and experiences as that mind frame will make for easier life transitions and set you up for a positive aging experience.
Health tips for spring?
Walk outside! Say hello to the blossoming flowers and let yourself enjoy this time of renewal!
Favorite Restaurant in the area?
Anita’s Kitchen in Ferndale, Seva in Ann Arbor, Whole Foods in West Bloomfield.