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…]
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…]
Many of you who are reading this are aware of the unlimited benefits of getting acupuncture and bodywork on regular basis! However, what do you do with your children when it comes to their health?
Children have very dynamic life and their bodies are rapidly changing. They are under a constant struggle between acclimating to new environments vs. their natural instinct of being who they are. As adults we have a hard time juggling between those factors at times, can you imagine how overwhelming physically and emotionally it can be for your kid? [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…]
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
The principals of Chinese medical diet always emphasizes the importance of warm foods and cooked vegetables. Especially during the winter months, this principal has never been so important! I acquired the following beet recipe from a friend in acupuncture school. Over time, I’ve made a few modifications but its one of our favorite soups in our house! [Read more…]
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 🙂
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…]