Only if you’re ready

Only if you’re ready to feel the peace and tranquility that you KNOW you have inside of you. Only if you’re ready to feel more depth, richness and meaning to life.

Only if you’re tired of pushing through each day hoping you’ll magically stumble upon that place of calm for more than just a few minutes.

Maybe you’ve been feeling a nagging sensation that there’s more to all of this – there’s a steadiness somewhere inside of you, if you could only get to it. If you could only return there whenever you wanted.

I’m not going to tell you is that you NEED acupuncture, herbs or any of my services. You won’t die if you don’t come to our office. But I can tell you that IF YOU ARE READY to embrace your inner peace, then our services can help you.

If you are looking for a quick-fix, a natural “treatment” for whatever ails you, then this probably isn’t for you, and it might not “work” for you if you tried it. But if you’re ready to shed the mask to reach the authentic you – you’re willing to put in some time, some patience, some work – to reach and maintain that level of peace and tranquility you desire, then this might be for you.

I’m just here to facilitate.


What is Stress?

zebra stripes falling offWe say all the time, “I’m so stressed!” We know what it feels like. Overwhelm, anxiety. Tunnel vision. Maybe you feel hot, your stomach hurts or you just shut down into bed. We all know the feeling. I heard an excellent psychologist say one time that, “Stress is really just another word for Fear.”

Our peripheral nervous system is divided into two parts, called the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS). The SNS is what we commonly call the “fight or flight” response. You know, that feeling of panic when we’re under stress, that intense desire to either get aggressive or run away? That’s the SNS.

How many times in the past week have you felt that adrenaline rush of the SNS? If you’re like most of us, it’s more than once. Probably even more than once a day! But, so what, we tell ourselves, we’re strong and modern and we handle our things and stress doesn’t affect us, right? Maybe we even feel pride at the level of stress we’re “able to handle.”

But our bodies don’t care about our pride. It cares about our survival. When the Sympathetic Nervous System is alert and active, the body completely shifts gears. In preparation for a fight or for an escape, blood redirects from the internal organs toward the extremities. Heart rate, blood sugar, and muscle tension all increase. Digestion, hormone regulation and tissue regeneration are put on hold until it’s safer.

Where does that blood come from? Well, it’s redirected from other parts of the body. Specifically, from the digestive system and the reproductive system, etc.  Digestion and reproduction aren’t really possible (or safe or practical!) if we’re about to be mauled by a bear or fired from our job. And when the digestive system is constantly tense and lacking blood flow, it can’t digest properly. Things start to rot, to leak into the bloodstream. This activates the immune system, which can eventually go a little haywire when it’s hyper-activated all the time.

In the office, I see people complaining of things like autoimmune diseases, chronic digestive problems, pain and infertility. And almost every single one of these people tells me they had a period of a lot of stress. Sometimes even when we recover from a stressful period, our bodies suffered some damage during that time that can keep it in a stressed state for a long time afterwards.

Improving resilience to stress, healing glands and tissues, improving microcirculation – these aren’t just fancy terms we use for how acupuncture, herbs, mindfulness and natural therapies work. They have very real effects on how body systems return to normal functioning.

Western Medicine & Chinese Medicine Now Considered Equal in China

TCMhospitalAlthough Chinese Medicine has existed for thousands of years, the cultural revolution in Mao’s China saw profound changes in the way Chinese Medicine is practiced. This movement sought to remove the mystical and esoteric influences of Classical Chinese Medicine (CCM) and created what is now known as TCM, or Traditional Chinese Medicine. TCM consists of acupuncture, Chinese herbal therapy, and manual therapies such as cupping, tui’na (Chinese medical massage), moxibustion and gua sha (skin scraping) and uses a more standardized diagnostic system than its ancient predecessor.

TCM has gained popularity in the Western world, especially in the United States, as improved quality of research studies results in better clinical outcomes. There are now thousands of private TCM clinics and it is common for physicians to recommend acupuncture and Chinese Medicine for fertility support, pain management, stress reduction, and a whole host of other complaints. But in the US and Europe, TCM has still often been considered, at best, “alternative” medicine, and at worst, quackery or unscientific.

However, new legislation in China seeks to put traditional medicine on the same level as modern medicine. China’s new laws, aimed to both promote and protect TCM, grant equal status to both TCM and Western medicine. This should help with public acceptance, funding and quality control. 95% of Chinese hospitals already have a TCM department on site, many of them large, well-developed and fully integrative with modern medicine.

The US has also seen a boom in the acceptance of acupuncture as more major hospitals such as MD Anderson Cancer Center, The Dana Farber Institute and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center now offer acupuncture on-site as an adjunct to conventional treatments. Acupuncture has been shown in numerous clinical trials to be an effective treatment for various conditions, and we hope the rest of the world will follow China’s lead in making this powerful medicine available, affordable and respected throughout the globe.

Original article

Why Acupuncture Doesn’t Hurt – And Why it Works

acupuncture backWhen I say “acupuncture,” many people think “needles” and I can see their eyes go a little unfocused as I am sure they recall their most horrible memory of a nurse sticking them multiple times searching for a vein, or that time they almost passed out after giving blood, or when they saw their baby or their brother get vaccinated and the screams of pain that still ring in their ears.

Don’t worry, acupuncture is nothing like any of that.

Many people think that acupuncture must stimulate nerves in order to work, and, following this line of thinking, therefore it must be quite uncomfortable! However, acupuncture needles don’t actually touch your nerves. It does stimulate skin and muscle, however, and your brain picks up on this. When your brain notices a needle at the point called Stomach 36, it makes some changes to your digestion, your metabolism, and your immune system. But when it notices a needle at the point called Liver 3, it relaxes the muscles, reduces inflammation in the body, and calms down the emotions. And so on with the hundreds of other acupuncture points spread across the entire body.

The body has a complex circuit of blood vessels, nerves, capillaries, and lymphatic vessels, all of which we can see, touch and feel. However, we all know about opposites: yin and yang, light and dark, matter and void. One theory of how acupuncture might work, even though it doesn’t stimulate these networks directly, is by using the space between the vessels, the space between the nerves, the fluids in and between cells, etc., to transmit electrical and chemical energy to the brain. This potential space, still largely ignored by modern medicine, forms part of the body, and electrical and chemical signals can travel along these pathways.

As these electrical and chemical signals reach the central nervous system, the brain makes adjustments in the body. Maybe it increases blood flow to the uterus with a thin endometrial lining. Maybe it cleans up inflammation in an area that’s been painful for years, or it finally gets the signal to ovulate at the right moment. Maybe it sends more pain-killing chemicals to achy joints, or it stabilizes the cortisol-melatonin rhythm of sleep and wake cycles. It depends on which points were stimulated, and that’s determined by an experienced practitioner who gives a customized diagnosis to fit the presentation of each patient.

So, the bottom line is that when someone says to me, “Acupuncture? But I hate needles!” I explain to them that in the tip of the big, scary hypodermic needle they are surely thinking about in that moment, you could fit at least 20-50 acupuncture needles. And when they ask me, “But does it work? How does it work if there’s no drug or anything on the needle? Does it stimulate the nerves or something?”, I tell them that well, yes, it does work, and it works by stimulating the nervous system, but not the nerves directly. And thank goodness, because that would be super painful!

Do you treat fertility? Yeah, kinda…

pregnant womanLet’s talk for a minute about fertility. Many patients come frustrated to the office saying, “I’ve done a bunch of tests and everything looks fine. They say I have ‘unexplained infertility’. They say I should try a couple of IUIs and then maybe IVF.” Or maybe they’re on their 3rd IVF and they’re running out of money and energy and hope. And Reproductive Endocrinologists (fertility doctors) are right – there are a handful of people who, without these intense medical treatments, simply will not get pregnant. There’s also a handful who can do these medical interventions forever and they also won’t get pregnant.

Then there’s a huge group of people who, when we work on their stress levels, we optimize their nutrition, and we get their circulation going with acupuncture, within a couple of weeks they’re feeling completely different. They have more energy, they’re sleeping better, they have fewer premenstrual symptoms, more signs of ovulation.

You see, the body’s primary objectives are: 1. survival (so that you can reproduce) and 2. reproduction. It knows how to “do” fertility very, very well. It will do just about anything – including fooling you into thinking that guy or gal is good for you – so that you will reproduce. But, it also knows when it’s safe to have a baby and when the body might be in danger, and therefore the chances of a successful pregnancy might be lower. The body simply knows to recognize “stress” – either being chased by a tiger or maybe just digestive inflammation, lack of sleep, a bad diet or any number of other issues. The body’s response to stress is the same in any situation: reduced circulation to the reproductive organs, slowed elimination of both natural wastes and excess hormones, and disruption of hormonal rhythms. Whatever the cause, they can all affect fertility.

So, when people ask me, “Do you treat fertility?” Well, yeah, kinda. There are acupuncture protocols that are shown to increase fertility, and some supplements that specifically target hormone balance, egg quality and micro-circulation. Really though we just treat you. You already know how to do fertility. Sure, we look at the lab tests and all the data and that’s fine and awesome and useful, and we love data. But at the end of the day, you’re not your lab tests. A calm body with good nutrition, rich circulation and proper hormonal timing are the conditions needed for fertility to happen naturally. Often, when we focus on these things, lab values do change. Hormone levels change. And often, “fertility” changes.

So, whether you’re wanting to go all-natural, you’re on your 5th IVF or you’re still considering your options, acupuncture and therapeutic nutrition can help your fertility, and can also determine if that journey is a stressful one that wears you out or if it’s an experience where you feel supported, nourished and abundantly prepared for your pregnancy and new baby. We hope you have the latter.


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