Wellness

More than Needles: 6 TCM Therapies You May Never Have Heard of

cuppingMost people know that one way to feel better is with acupuncture needles.  You go to your acupuncturist feeling bad.  I put in a few needles.  You leave feeling lighter, energized, more pain-free.

Using acupuncture needles to heal is part of a broader medical system called Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).  By observing body systems and the links between symptoms, TCM developed a medical philosophy about the flow of Qi, or life force.   When Qi is balanced, you feel healthy.   When it is disrupted, blocked or unbalanced, poor health is the result.

In acupuncture, needles are placed at specific points along the meridians to balance the Qi.

But did you know that needles are just one way to balance Qi?

TCM is a flexible system.  The principles can be applied in many ways and to many different therapies to achieve the same results.

In the following 2 part series, we will look at the many ways you can balance Qi.  This first part of the series describes the TCM therapies that require the help of a practitioner.

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6 Ways to Relieve Allergies Without Drugs, Shots or Needles

summer-fieldSummer finally arrives.

The sun comes out.  The flowers bloom.

Most people grab their sunscreen and head outside.  But what do you do?

You close the windows, grab your antihistamines and hide in the house.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could enjoy being outdoors?

Allergies are widespread.  According to WebMD, 20% of the population suffers from allergies or asthma, and 55% of the population tests positive for one or more allergens.   Allergies are the 5th leading chronic disease in the US and cost the US health care system $7.9 billion annually.

If you can’t live with your runny nose, congestion or watery eyes, but you don’t want to take antihistamines or get allergy shots, what can you do to relieve your symptoms?

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7 Healthy Tips for Coping with Financial Stress

beach-stress-freeIf you feel stressed just living your life, you’re not alone.

Americans lead stressful lives.  Jobs, relationships, health, family obligations, community responsibilities—they all take their toll.

In “Stress in America 2012,” an annual survey by the American Psychology Association, 1 in 5 respondents reported an extreme stress level of 8, 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale.  In that same group 69% of respondents reported physical or non-physical symptoms of stress, including irritability or anger, fatigue, feeling overwhelmed or changes in their sleep.

The top source of stress according to 69% of the respondents is–money. continue reading »

How Traditional Chinese Diabetic Treatments Bring New Hope for an Old Disease

Diabetes is a worldwide concern.  Millions of people suffer or die from it and its complications.  The rate at which it is increasing in the population is staggering.

According to the World Health Organization about 347 million people worldwide have diabetes.  Deaths from diabetes will rise 50% in the next 10 years and by 2030 diabetes is expected to be the seventh leading cause of death worldwide. continue reading »

50 Ways to Leave Your Acupuncturist

stonesI’m a lucky acupuncturist.

I work with wonderful people every day and I get to hear your stories, celebrate when you get well and watch your families grow up.

I always try to think of ways to improve your health but suddenly it occurred to me—there is one way I haven’t yet helped you.

I haven’t given you a definitive guide to staying healthy.

This pains me.  Not only have I neglected giving you the secret to good health but also if I give it to you, you’ll leave me.  You won’t need me anymore.

The more I thought about this, the more nervous I became.  You see, there’s not one way to stay well, not two or three.

In fact, there must be 50 ways to leave your acupuncturist. (Read more…)

How to End the Terrible Side Effects of Breast Cancer Treatments

meridian-womanHaving breast cancer is hard.  Your body wages a war against cancer cells and your emotions may slide into fear, grief, anxiety and depression.

And unfortunately, the side effects from breast cancer treatments can make it even worse.

Until now, many people thought they had to suffer through all the discomfort.  But new research shows that acupuncture is very effective at relieving the side effects of breast cancer treatments.
Continue reading…

How to End Seasonal Affective Disorder and Start Loving Winter

winter-forestMany people feel down as winter approaches.  It’s dark.  It’s cold. The holidays can be stressful.

But for some people every winter is unbearable.  They’re tired and depressed.  They don’t want to get out of bed.  They snap at their families and binge on junk food.

These people have seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Our moods and energy levels fluctuate with the seasons.  Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) understands these cycles but modern life does not.  These days, you are expected to be active, productive and creative at all times of the year.  There is no accommodation for a slow, quiet winter.  According to TCM, this conflict causes stress, which can result in SAD.

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Chinese lunar New Year: A do-over for your New Year’s resolutions

It’s about almost month into the New Year. Do you already wish you had a do-over for your New Year’s Resolutions?

If so, you’re in luck.  You do.

February 10th is the Chinese lunar New Year.  The celebration of the New Year, the Spring Festival, is China’s longest and most important holiday.  Because it is based on a different calendar, it falls on a different date between January 21 and February 20 every year.  You can think of Spring Festival as Christmas and New Year all rolled into one.  Just like our holiday season, it’s a time of celebration, visiting family and friends, giving gifts and preparing for the next year.

Chinese Lunar New Year:   Spring Festival

In China, there are many New Year’s traditions during the 15-day Spring Festival.  Many people clean their homes to sweep away the past year and usher in the next.  Oftentimes family members travel home for a visit.  Children receive red envelopes, called hóngbāo in Mandarin, filled with money from their relatives. People hang red lanterns outside their homes to bring happiness and good luck.  On Chinese New Year’s Eve families gather for a huge meal and enjoy “lucky” foods together.  And, of course, there are fireworks.

The Chinese zodiac has 12 years in its cycle, each one represented by an animal; 2013 is the Year of the Snake.  Astrologers say that people born in the Year of the Snake are wise but enigmatic.  They are very intuitive and size up situations well, but say little.  Snakes are refined; they like to dress well and are usually financially secure. They are intense and passionate in relationships, but can become jealous and suspicious.  Snakes prefer a calm, stress-free environment.

Recommit to Your New Year’s Resolutions

The Chinese do not traditionally make New Year’s Resolutions like we do in the West, however this is a good time to reflect on the goals you set a month ago. Are you keeping your New Year’s resolutions?

If you’re having trouble, maybe it’s time to take a lesson from the Snakes.  Take a quiet moment and reflect on what is stopping you.  Do you need to get serious?  Do you need additional support?  Are your goals genuine—do you want to do them or do you think you should do them?  Why haven’t you kept your New Year’s Resolutions?

If your resolutions include improving your health in 2013, I can help you with that.  Give me a call and we can arrange an appointment for anything from a tune-up to weight control to mood balancing.

If you need to make a deeper commitment to your resolutions, take a moment and think about what you need to do to keep them.  Write down 3 easy action steps.

…and do them.  Now.

Use the Chinese lunar New Year as a do-over.  Commit to your New Year’s resolutions.

Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái.  Happy New Year.

Photo credit: Gayle Nicholson / Foter / CC BY-SA

9 Healthy Holiday Eating Strategies

Pie.  Cookies.  Chocolate.  Eggnog.  Champagne.

The holiday season is filled with good foods.  You eat and drink with your friends and loved ones to celebrate how much you care about them.

But we all know that too much of a good thing is no longer good.  Too many rich foods can lead to extra pounds, digestion upsets, mood swings and a generally “yucky” feeling.

It’s all about balance.

Good, healthy holiday eating can make the difference between an enjoyable holiday season and a miserable one.  The trick is to enjoy treats without overdoing them.  Make a healthy holiday eating strategy and plan to enjoy the holiday celebrations without feeling bad the next day.

See some healthy holiday eating strategies below the fold…

The Key to Staying Healthy

If you live in a rainy area, the odds are pretty good that your automobile will develop some body damage over its lifetime.  Does this mean that you never wash your car because it’s going to rust out anyway?  Of course it doesn’t.  If you care about your car, it means that you’ll fight extra hard to protect your investment.

The reality is that most of the top killers today are lifestyle related, regardless of your family history.  Just because you inherit the genes doesn’t mean that you have to continue the lifestyle.

Cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disorders…all of these conditions are greatly impacted by diet, lifestyle habits, depressed nervous systems, our home environments, etc.

Until we change our focus from the curing of disease to the propagation of health, history is destined to repeat itself.

Remember that the body has the capacity to heal easily, as long as there is the proper balance and flow of energy. The key to staying healthy is not to inject “cures” from the outside, but rather to get the innermost layer (the meridian system) in order first, and then to insulate it with layer upon layer of healthy, productive lifestyle habits.