Acupuncture is one of the best forms of preventative medicine available today. The goal of acupuncture is to maintain balance within the energy channels so that disease will not present itself. Maintaining balance ensures that there is not too much (an excess) of energy in one channel and a lack of (deficiency) of energy in another channel. Chinese herbs are also used for this purpose; to clear out any excess, support any deficiency or treat any resulting pathologies. From an emotional perspective, I have found that when people become stressed or emotionally vulnerable, any preexisting deficiency becomes a more serious problem. For example, the person who has a long history of digestive disorders gets severe digestive problems when they experience a loss in their life. Or a person who has a long history of allergies and frequent colds get a long standing cough that will not go away when life becomes stressful. [Read more…]
Most of us eat foods because they are pleasurable and we enjoy their smell, taste and textures.
Eating is a very personal experience as it is both a source of nutrition as well as a tool for social gathering. Most of us are also well aware of the
nutritional value of food. Eating whole grains (vs. enriched white flours), fresh (vs. canned) vegetables and healthy fats (vs. trans fats) are
cornerstones of many diets. It is also valuable to look at our bodies, the importance of the temperatures and flavors of foods, and the best season to eat them
in. [Read more…]
Research Gives Insight Into How Acupuncture May Relieve Pain
Acupuncture—an ancient healing practice that has shown promise in treating chronic pain—typically involves a period of active needle stimulation, followed by a longer period of rest. It appears that the analgesic (pain-relieving) effects of acupuncture may actually peak long after the active stimulation ends. In the first study of its kind, NCCAM-supported researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital, Logan College of Chiropractic, and Kyunghee University (Korea) evaluated the effects of acupuncture on brain activity following active stimulation.
The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imagery (fMRI) to monitor brain activity in 15 healthy adults before and after true acupuncture and sham acupuncture. The procedure lasted 150 seconds, and the rest period was 5.5 minutes. They also monitored heart rate and respiration and surveyed the subjects on their perception of pain and other sensations (such as deqi, unique sensations experienced in connection with acupuncture and considered to be signs of its effectiveness).
Analysis of the fMRI images showed that following true acupuncture—but not sham—there were increased connections among the parts of the brain involved in the perception and memory of pain. The subjects also reported stronger sensations with true acupuncture than with sham. The researchers conclude that acupuncture changes resting-state brain activity in ways that may account for its analgesic and other therapeutic effects.
- Dhond RP, Yeh C, Park K, et al. Acupuncture modulates resting state connectivity in default and sensorimotor brain networks. Pain. 2008;136(3):407–418.
- More information on acupuncture from NCCAM is available here:nccam.nih.gov/health/acupuncture/.
Journal Publication Date: June 1, 2008
(Note: This article is taken from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine)
For women going through IVF, it’s a very emotional time. And it seems sometimes easier for the human psyche to worry about the negative rather than create a positive future. Now if having a baby were as easy as “creating a positive future,” we wouldn’t need IVF! This practice is simply used to focus the mind, rather than letting anxiety and fear get the best of us.
Step 1. Release the past.
If our mind is cluttered with memories of yesterday or anxiety regarding tomorrow, we cannot truly create from a blank slate.
Breathing in, I allow myself to come into this present moment.
I choose to consciously release the past at this moment. I internally declare that the past has no power over me and I release and let go. (Deep sigh of relief).
Step 2. Create an intention
With an intention, you begin by stating your desire. Be sure to use juicy adjectives like loving, nurturing, and fully self-expressed. You want your intention to feel like it really resonates with why you desire to have a child.
The flow of the intention can go something like this…
- I would love the opportunity to be a loving mother to a healthy child.
- My intention at this time is be a nurturing mother in a beautiful family with a child.
- Who I am is the possibility of peace, love, and joy.
- I am a stand for loving families on our planet.
Step 3. Release and let go.
Oftentimes this is the hardest part. But just practice it and see how your heart opens. You can speak your intention with love and gracefully follow it with a releasing meditation.
“I have shared my intention with the universe and know that it has been received. With that knowing, I release and let go. I release the attachment of my intention and choose to stay focused on who I am being, rather than what I am asking for.”
“I choose to have faith in this life. I know it is not always easy but regardless of the outcome, I choose to have faith in my journey.”
Step 4. Rinse and repeat
I recommend writing down the intention you’ve created and include the releasing meditation. You can carry it around with you in your wallet. You could put it on the mirror in your bathroom. The honest truth is that you might need to say it a lot in each day. Worry and anxiety can be so familiar to our brains that it becomes our automatic thought process. This will truly be a lesson in consciously creating your thoughts. Enjoy!
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…]