I recently had the pleasure of being hospitalized for 8 days. I call this a pleasure because I have never been hospitalized before and it was quite a learning experience (that I hope to never repeat). Also, because my personal experience with Western medicine is relatively limited, my hospital-stay can be likened to a fast-track course in how Western medicine operates. It was fascinating! [Read more…]
As acupuncturists, we sit with our clients and talk with them about their emotions. Emotions are an important part of the intake process for Traditional Chinese Medicine. Emotions affect our physical health and physical health affects our emotional well-being.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine – most organ systems have an emotion associated with them. When someone is angry or irritable, we think of the Liver and how to work to balance the flow of Liver Qi. Fear is associated with the Kidneys, Grief, the Lungs, Heart – joy, and the emotion associated with the Spleen is worry. Since we so often experience many emotions, one can speculate the effect the emotions have on our health.
I want to make a pitch for making friends with our emotions. So often, we try to push our feelings away. This may be done through drugs and alcohol, food and other addictions, exercise or medications. An informal industry has been developed in order to support us in NOT FEELING. What this ultimately does is add an additional layer to our pain and suffering. We still feel the emotions we don’t want to feel and we self medicate ourselves to get away from the feelings we still feel! Doesn’t make sense! [Read more…]
In today’s world, we only think about getting medical attention once a problem has arisen. People don’t think of getting treatment for ourselves beyond our yearly physical. However as society is becoming more health-conscious, we are beginning to realize there are several ways to take care of ourselves before illness arises. Of course, there are several different approaches to do this but let’s explore the benefits of acupuncture and Chinese medicine. [Read more…]
As women, we are pressured to keep our figures intact and the world around us supports our desire to be thin and svelte. At the same time, we are watching our bodies change – most of which is beyond our control. Midlife hormonal changes take precedent to our old ways of eating what we want and being able to exercise a few times and “work it off”. Our mind and body are in conflict and there is no sense of balance between the two. In addition, the images we see in the media feed our desire to keep youthful and fight creating a healthy state of balance.
For the past 10 years I have been working in the field of Traditional Chinese Medicine. TCM looks at our body (and our world) from a viewpoint of balance. It is the goal of TCM to support our body in achieving a healthy state of balance. Balance does not mean perfection. We are conditioned to think of the perfect body as the images that we see in the media. In TCM, balance means a harmonious way of feeling, being and thinking. Everybody (and body) has their own natural state of balance and every body’s balance is different. My balance is different than your balance. I remember once, in my early days of acupuncture school, some of the senior students telling me that, after learning about TCM, I would “never look at my body the same way”. And they were right. [Read more…]
In practicing traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), there is a wide variety of methods to create a diagnosis. Perhaps the most obvious to our patients is asking questions. Many patients find that when they come in for their first acupuncture treatment, we (the acupuncturist) ask many questions pertaining to the “chief complaint” as well as other aspects of well-being. For the acupuncturist, the answers to the questions give us our first clues as to which energetic channels are out of balance and where the pathology is located. Next, palpating (feeling) the pulse and observing the tongue are more objective methods in supporting (or not) our preliminary diagnosis. [Read more…]
It’s happening. Kids have been in school for less than 2 months and already the bugs are beginning to fly—the stomach flu, the common cold, etc. And it’s barely even October! But don’t worry, it’s not too late to support your immune system. In fact, by adapting certain dietary and lifestyle practices we can reduce or avoid getting sick at all!
In Chinese medicine (CM), immunity is strongly related to digestion. Immunity has to do with the state of energy (qi) in the body—the more qi, the stronger the immune system. Qi is created via digestion and thus, food choices are critical in boosting the body’s immunity. Specific foods have the ability to support (or take away from) overall immunity. Take a look at some of our favorite immune-supporting foods and dietary tips! [Read more…]
Exercise is important at any age! For guidelines and expertise, I turned to Allison Stuart Kaplan.
Allison is a group exercise instructor, yoga teacher and personal trainer and regular health and fitness contributor for Fox news Detroit” Get Fit” morning show. She is also the founder of Askinyourface.com – a sophisticated web magazine for women.
Can you briefly tell us the long term benefits of exercise on our body?
Regular exercise can help prevent many types of cancers, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, osteoporosis, depression and many other potentially serious, often debilitating conditions and illness.
What is a good way to introduce exercise into a child’s life?
Kids can and should start exercising as early as possible. The type of exercise children will enjoy may differ depending on age. In addition to the health benefits of exercise for kids, running around and being physically active can help children to sleep better at night and reduce stress levels.
Children and adolescents should do 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of physical activity each day. The amount and type of exercise needed depends on the age and energy level of the child. Kids in Action recommends that all kids get a minimum of 60 minutes of exercise every day, if possible. Toddlers may need as much as 90 minutes per day, while preschoolers can get two hours of exercise. [Read more…]
Top 5 ways to reduce stress at your desk
- Take a few deep breaths. Deep breathing calms the nervous system and helps to get out of the “fight or flight” mode.
- 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.
Many patients want to know what else can be done–outside of the treatment room–that will balance their energy. My answer is always the same—meditation! This may sound scary/impossible/weird to some people, but the ancient practice of Qi Gong offers “instructions” on how to meditate. For me, this is easier than traditional meditation for 2 reasons. First, the goal is not to quiet the mind. Instead, the qi gong practice gives instructions on how to cultivate and move your energy, or qi. Second, in regularly performing qi gong exercises, you begin to cultivate and move your own qi. (I tell many people that qi gong is “self- acupuncture”) In general, qi gong allows each person to ask their body what it needs and use one’s own energy to bring the body back into balance. [Read more…]
When I first heard about Dr. Claudia Welch’s Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life, Ihappy to read a book that marries the practices of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda. The book was an excellent source of knowledge for the newcomer to any form of Eastern medicine, TCM or Ayurveda. Dr. Welch begins by explaining the most important concept of yin and yang, which is the foundational principal of TCM. With this basic knowledge, the rest of the book uses the principals of yin and yang to describe hormonal balance (and imbalances) within the body. She then continues going through specific hormonal problems that affect women throughout their lifetime, such as osteoporosis and heart disease. [Read more…]