Natural Health, Uncategorized

It’s OK to be Tired

napThere, I just gave you permission. Probably no one has done that since you were about 3 and you took daily naps. I have so many people come to me for acupuncture and one of their main complaints is fatigue, exhaustion, low energy. They hate it and they want their energy boosted. Then when I ask about their schedules they are: full time moms, and or working full time, caring for parents, pets, a home, volunteering, exercising a lot, gardening or skiing or running marathons or who knows what else. And I tell them, I think you’re tired…because you’re tired. It is so American to think we can fire on all cylinders 24/7 and never run out of energy, but it is decidedly Un-American to be tired. Ever. We are a nation of accomplishers (ok I made that word up) and doers and achievers. Not nappers. One of my Chinese professors, an MD in China, told me that when he worked there 20 years ago, it was totally acceptable, and most people did this, to close your door or sit in your chair around 2pm and rest for 20 minutes. I think you might get arrested if you tried that in America. Or at least lose your job. I don’t know if that is still true in China, with such a different economy and work environment now, but I thought that was fascinating.

At one point I went to my MD and said I must have low thyroid or anemia I was so exhausted and I requested blood work (which she did. I was fine). She was from India. She asked me “2 very young little boys, work, home, and no help at all? No, your thyroid is fine. You are just tired. Do yoga.” I loved that Dr. But she was right. I was tired, because I was TIRED! So of course I do a full intake on every client who comes to see me, and many of them do need their energy and their digestion and their overall Chi to be boosted, which I do through acupuncture herbs and the recommendation of mediation or yoga. But I almost always now add, that we should not forget to allow ourselves to be tired. We are tired. Our bodies are telling us so loud and clear. And so….we should rest. Easier said than done. But we should not think this is an illness to be cured, rather it is a need to be met. Lie on the sofa, even if you only have 5 minutes. Or let yourself be lazy and not do the 100 things you need to do on that one morning both kids are in school. Just start be recognizing, that we already do so much, we should be kind to ourselves, as if we were 3 again, we need to lie on our blankies and have some quiet time. At least I know I do, and I do it every chance I get. Which is not that often. But when I do it, I make sure I do the most important part of all, I enjoy it. I don’t feel guilty or berate myself. I soak it up. One Z at a time…Zzzzzz….

Natural Health, Uncategorized

Blizzard Medicine

 

images

There’s a super storm heading out East. Ironically, up here in Maine we won’t get any snow, but the mid-Atlantic states sure will. But for many people, every day is blizzard day in the winter. Many of us are bitterly cold all the time, even in mild temperatures. And others of us have freezing hands and/or feet all the time. So here are some tips for warming the body’s yang, it’s “hot” energy, to help you enjoy winter more, and to help keep you healthy and more able to fight off colds and flu.

There are two main types of Qi, or energy, in the body: the yin and the yang. You see them often displayed in the yin/yang symbol. images

The symbol shows how they are interconnected, they can not exist without each other. The yin energy is the cool, quiet, still, night, feminine energy. The yang is the hot, moving, active, day, male energy. For those of us with yang deficiency, winter is miserable because we are always cold. But there are several things you can do to boost your natural yang, your inner furnace. They include using a hot water bottle on your low abdomen or low back (unless you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, or you have a health issue where heat is contraindicated). You can also soak your feet in very warm water, adding epsom salts is even better. This puts warmth right into the Kidney channel, which has many important points on the feet. The Kidney Yang is like the furnace that feeds the body so this is a great way to boost warmth. You can also eliminate “cold” foods from your diet. No raw foods, including salads, in the cold months. Cook everything, even if just for a few moments. Avoid ice in your drinks and any frozen foods – save ice cream for July! And add warming foods and spices such as onion, garlic, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, pepper and any warm flavors such as curry, salsa, etc.

Also, after going outside and getting very cold, don’t take a hot bath or shower right away. In Chinese Medicine this just forces the cold into the interior of the body. You must warm the body from the inside out. Hot tea or soup lets the body kick the cold out, rather than forcing it further inward where it can lead to illness.

These simple tricks can help you warm your body, stay healthy and be fired up to enjoy this beautiful time of year!

 

 

Natural Health, Uncategorized

10th Century Anglo Saxon Remedy Kills Deadly Superbug!

manuscriptFascinating! These ancient remedies are good stuff. The ancient Chinese herbal remedy for alternating fever and chills, among other things, is now the herb being developed by pharmaceutical companies as the #1 treatment for malaria. Ancient wisdom. I love it.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/31/health/anglo-saxon-potion-mrsa/index.html

Natural Health

Thank You Pain!

woman in the field

This year I started feeling sick. I am extremely grateful that it is nothing serious. I know how precious that is. I also know that I am so grateful that I got sick. Grateful that my back started aching and I felt nauseous for weeks on end. Normally I feel good. Tired, with a business, home, marriage and 2 little boys, but physically I usually feel good. I treat people in my acupuncture practice all week long who come in with various ailments, people trying to get away from discomfort, just as I was. When one day I found myself taking an antacid and an ibuprofin in one day I thought – STOP! I wondered how I had gotten to pill popping without taking the time to sit in my body and actually figure out what was wrong. My point is this: our aches and pains can be gifts. Thank them. They are telling us when we have veered off our true paths. This isn’t in any way to minimize serious or life threatening illnesses, which some of my clients are struggling with. But for the back pain, the headache, the fibromyalgia, the heartburn, for these daily troubles there is a wealth of information in those discomforts. Our bodies are trying to tell us things that we have not been hearing. Our bodies, lives, souls may have been trying to steer us in a certain direction subtly at first, then less subtly, then through a slight headache, and finally by pain or illness that actually gets in the way of our lives. That is the point. Our higher selves are getting in the way. To make us stop. And sit and listen. Not every ailment will magically disappear just by doing this, but it is amazing how many problems will lessen, ease, release. One example I’ve seen over and over is people with hands who hurt, young people with no arthritis have come to me several times over the years with hands that ache and hurt all the time. I have often found that these people are doing too much. They often aren’t good at asking for help (something I relate to!) and they have taken too much on. In addition to treating them with acupuncture I have suggested seeing if there are things they could offload, or get help with. It seems that this second thing is really what helps the hand pain dissipate. Strange but true. For me I realized I had stopped taking care of myself. I had spent a bitter cold, snowy winter indoors, cooking and eating and taking care of my family, but I had lost connections so important to myself – to nature, to creativity, to exercise,
to spirituality, to fun. When I sat with the physical problems that had been bothering me I had an Oprah AHA moment. I realized I needed to make changes, some very small, some very big. I have started with the small ones, including removing chocolate and wine from their position at the base of my food pyramid, planning my summer garden, and dusting off my meditation table. It doesn’t matter what the changes are: realizing you’re angry with someone, you need to change a relationship, train your dog not to chew up all your new shoes, work a few less hours a week, spend more time at the mall, whatever it is that you need but aren’t getting. It’s different for every person, and it changes constantly. Which is a pain in the butt. Sometimes literally. But when your body starts feeling bad, remember it might be good. Thank it. Thank the hemorrhoids, depression, eye infection, aching joints or gas. Those lovely symptoms are gifts delivering a message to you. Make sure you take time, sit, breathe and listen to the message. Sometimes the cure comes right from within you, making the changes your life and spirit need to thrive.

Cancer Care

Acupuncture Helpful for Many Cancer and Cancer Treatment Symptoms

Learning & Resource Center Articles

Print Page Print Page
 Send to a Friend
Bookmark and Share

Acupuncture Shows Promise in Cancer Treatment
By: Acufinder Staff Writer

There have been many advances in the early detection and treatment of cancer. While the standard medical care for cancer is effective, the treatments are aggressive and cause numerous unwanted side effects as well as a lowered immune system. Acupuncture has received much attention as an adjunctive therapy in cancer treatments for its use in pain relief, reducing side effects, accelerating recovery and improving quality of life.

What Acupuncture is used for during Cancer Treatment

Acupuncture provides a total approach to health care for people with cancer. It can be used to address many of the concerns that come up during and after chemotherapy, radiation, biological therapy and surgery.

According to the National Cancer Institute, acupuncture may cause physical responses in nerve cells, the pituitary gland, and parts of the brain. These responses can cause the body to release proteins, hormones, and brain chemicals that control a number of body functions. It is proposed that, by these actions, acupuncture affects blood pressure and body temperature, boosts immune system activity, and causes the body’s natural painkillers, such as endorphins, to be released.

Areas that acupuncture has shown the most promise include:

  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Dry Mouth, Night Sweats and Hot Flashes
  • Stress, Anxiety and Fatigue
  • Pain Management
  • Increasing White Blood Cell Count

Nausea and Vomiting

The strongest evidence of the effect of acupuncture has come from clinical trials on the use of acupuncture to relieve nausea and vomiting. Several types of clinical trials using different acupuncture methods showed acupuncture reduced nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, surgery, and morning sickness. It appears to be more effective in preventing vomiting than in reducing nausea.

Other symptoms caused by cancer treatment

Clinical trials are studying the effects of acupuncture on cancer and symptoms caused by cancer treatment, including weight loss, cough, chest pain, fever, anxiety, depression, night sweats, hot flashes, dry mouth, speech problems, and fluid in the arms or legs. Studies have shown that, for many patients, treatment with acupuncture either relieves symptoms or keeps them from getting worse.

Boosting the Immune System

Human studies on the effect of acupuncture on the immune system of cancer patients showed that it improved immune system response, including increasing the number of white blood cells.

Pain Management

In clinical studies, acupuncture reduced the amount of pain in some cancer patients. In one study, most of the patients treated with acupuncture were able to stop taking drugs for pain relief or to take smaller doses.

Acupuncture is also very useful for support if you are undergoing chemotherapy, radiation, or hormonal therapy. Because chemotherapy and radiation therapy weaken the body’s immune system, a strict clean needle method must be used when acupuncture treatment is given to cancer patients.

To learn more about how acupuncture can safely and effectively be incorporated into care for people with cancer, please call anacupuncture practitioner in your area for a consultation today.

Source: National Cancer Institute. www.cancer.org

Cancer Care, Natural Health, Uncategorized

Cancer Care and Acupuncture

herbssized2.jpg

Getting a diagnosis of cancer can be a very scary time. I have had people tell me they feel powerless and out of control as masses of tests are performed and then treatments undergone. While it’s wonderful to have so many advances in medicine that make more and more cancer survivors able to beat the disease and lead full healthy lives, it can be an overwhelming and painful time. Because of this, it is a wonderful time to introduce acupuncture and herbal medicine into one’s life. Acupuncture has been proven to help alleviate many symptoms of chemotherapy and radiation, including nausea and pain. The National Institute of  Health has officially endorsed it for treatment of symptoms relating to cancer and cancer treatment and many insurance companies now cover acupuncture for treatment of those problems. Acupuncture has also been shown to increase white blood cell production in a healthy way so that while a person is undergoing treatments that often devastate the immune system, acupuncture can be helping to support that system, to keep the body in balance and to offer much needed deep relaxation. For thousands of years acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have been used to help keep people’s bodies in balance and working at their best – from digestion to immunity, sleep to pain relief.

In addition to my 4 years formal training in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and the internship I completed at at a top hospital in Beijing, China in 2000, I have been in practice for 13 years and have completed many courses specifically on cancer care and Chinese medicine. I also worked extensively with cancer survivors at York Hospital in Maine where I started the acupuncture program in 2001. I worked with clients from those just diagnosed, to survivors healthy and many years post treatment, and also to those having palliative care in the final stages of life. I have continued to work with those dealing with cancer throughout my years in practice and now, in addition to work in fertility, am focusing specifically on this offering – acupuncture and diet and lifestyle for cancer patients and survivors.  I offer professional, deeply relaxing and rejuvenating treatments offered gently and with compassion. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer, or is a survivor looking to stay strong, please feel free to email or call me with any questions or to make an appointment.

Enhancing Fertility

Fertility and Mystery

I woke up at 5am today to meet a client at my office for a 6am treatment on the way to her retrieval in NYC. For those of you not involved in fertility treatments, this means they were taking out her eggs. Though in the end, it was egg, singular. She was so disappointed. Crushed really. This is her 8th IVF attempt. She is 43. She is wonderful and hilariously funny and she and her husband are so sweet. I have seen so many people in the past 5 years of giving fertility acupuncture treatments, and by the grace of whoever gives grace, almost all have ended up pregnant. But my heart aches when I see someone really struggle for a long time, not that I’ve known her long, she had never had acupuncture before a few weeks ago. I wish I’d had more time with her. But who knows, maybe this one egg will be her fighter and she’ll get pregnant. I have seen that happen. And in case that soudns discouraging, I had a client last year who had had many failed IVF cycles, maybe 7, she was in her 40s, the doctors told her to give up and go for a donor egg. She said her heart told her to try one more time and she did. She now has a 3 month old son! Then later in the day I saw a woman who got pregnant on her first IVF cycle. Sailing through her pregnancy. It is all such a mystery. Yes there is medication, and acupuncture, and herbs, and diet and visualization and I believe so deeply that they all work together to help this miracle along. But really in the end, it is a mystery, like life itself.

Here’s a suggestion of the day for those readers (anyone, anyone?) going through ART. It’s a CD that I love and that I suggest to all my fertility clients. It’s by Bellaruth Naparstek and her website is http://www.healthjourneys.com. She has guided imagery and meditations on all different things, but there is one for fertility that I just love. Sometimes in the thick of it it is not only hard to relax (to put it mildly) but also to stay positive. She does the work for you – with a sweet, wise voice she guides you through a wonderful relaxing CD. Such a good investment, and not expensive, as it is full of great images and positive energy.