Ally: National Love Your Pet Day

February 20, 2020: Happy National Love Your Pet Day!
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Aren’t these the cutest pets you ever did see!? Apparently, we’re a predominately dog group of friends & family but I would like to celebrate all pets!
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Ally comes from the Latin word alligare, meaning “to bind to.” If you’re a pet person I feel this is a wonderful Being Well & Balanced Ally. Throughout my life we’ve always had pets, mostly dogs and cats. However, we did have a bunny for a bit and also got to take care of stray ducklings and baby chipmunks for a small window of time since we lived in a county park with my dad being the park ranger (people think they’re helping the baby animals by taking them out of their natural habitat… this is generally not helpful).
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Anyways, pets are amazing, for so many reasons. It may be cliche to say, but pets truly become part of the family. It’s no secret- we spoil our pets!… But my thought about this is, why would you have a pet if you’re not going to spoil it!? This doesn’t mean we don’t train our pets or have rules… we definitely do (except for our cat- because he’s a cat and they do what they please), but from training our current dog, it’s very obvious they want to be trained. Dogs want to know the lines and boundaries and expectations. It helps them feel safe and loved. And when they feel safe and loved, it helps the relationship blossom into the most extraordinary experience!
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On this day (and all days, because what other health & wellness ally is better than a living being!?) take a few extra minutes to pet, cuddle, and love your pet. Because while we have our super busy, stressful, hectic lives, our pets are there through it all, just wanting to be here for us and love us, unconditionally. And in my opinion, that is the true meaning of life.

Treatments: WHO List of Conditions Treated

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HELP YOUR BODY HEAL YOURSELF
Our bodies are able to heal themselves; however, sometimes we just need a little help and support. Acupuncture is an amazing and natural way to help support our bodies! If you decide to receive acupuncture, please allow multiple treatments to take full advantage of all the benefits. Just like if you decide to sign up for a race, chances are you’re not just going out and running that day (and for those of you who do that… just imagine how much smoother the race/ run would go if you did actually train!). Training is an important part of race day because it strengthens muscles, increases cardiac and respiratory output, and reduces risk of injuries. Acupuncture is similar in that multiple sessions may be needed to help train your body to heal itself.
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TREATMENT PLAN
Generally people will receive 1-2 acupuncture appointments the first couple weeks, then 1/week for a couple more weeks, then 1 every other week, then 1 every 3 weeks, etc. The goal of acupuncture is to get on a maintenance schedule of 1 treatment every month or so. This helps keep the meridians open and flowing, your pain reduced, and you feeling more alert and calm. Acute conditions will most likely get to the maintenance stage quicker than chronic conditions but each and every person responds differently. So I always encourage my patients to have grace with themselves in the healing process. Our bodies go through so much every day, and that’s not even talking about the injuries, traumas, and severe illnesses we undergo as well.
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AMAZING ACUPUNCTURE SOURCE

According to the awesome acupuncture newspaper, Acupuncture Today, “In an official report, Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials, the World Health Organization (WHO) has listed the following symptoms, diseases and conditions that have been shown through controlled trials to be treated effectively by acupuncture:”

  • low back pain
  • neck pain
  • sciatica
  • tennis elbow
  • knee pain
  • periarthritis of the shoulder
  • sprains
  • facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
  • headache
  • dental pain
  • tempromandibular (TMJ) dysfunction
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • induction of labor
  • correction of malposition of fetus (breech presentation)
  • morning sickness
  • nausea and vomiting
  • postoperative pain
  • stroke
  • essential hypertension
  • primary hypotension
  • renal colic
  • leucopenia
  • adverse reactions to radiation or chemotherapy
  • allergic rhinitis, including hay fever
  • biliary colic
  • depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
  • acute bacillary dysentery
  • primary dysmenorrhea
  • acute epigastralgia
  • peptic ulcer
  • acute and chronic gastritis

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Phew, what a list! If you have any of these conditions or know someone who does, I highly encourage you to check out your local acupuncturist. Or at least have a conversation with them and see what they think of your condition and possible treatment plan. And I’ll say, I know acupuncture to have great success with so many more conditions not listed.
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Acupuncture can do amazing things for you, but you have to give it a chance.
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Have a happy day!

Happy National Iowa Day

Happy National Iowa Day! The Hawkeye State. The 29th state to join the United States.
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While many people just think of it as a fly-over state where we make our own clothes, tip cows, and watch corn grow (yes, when I was at a dance competition in Las Vegas some lovely ladies from California actually asked us those questions), Iowa truly has so many amazing qualities and gifts to offer.
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According to the U.S. News & World Report in 2019, Des Moines, Iowa is the 5th best place to live in America… in America! People, Des Moines is awesome. Des Moines has the feel of a big, little city giving you the best of both worlds. It’s small enough you get around the metro area in about 20-25 minutes but big enough to host a Kate Spade Outlet… Need I say more?
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The country side may be flat throughout the central area with some rolling hills and gorgeous plateaus/ rock formations/ valleys (according to The University of Iowa’s Geological Survey this area is referred to as the Paleozoic Plateau) in the northeast side of the state. Growing up we’d travel through Dubuque a couple times a year to get to my grandparent’s house and it was always just so beautiful to drive through. The seasons we experience are dramatic, but that makes it all the more wonderful. I live for the transition of the seasons, there’s nothing like waking up to the sound of birds with the smell of spring in the air after months of a harsh, cold winter. But then I feel the same about the crisp cool air and the changing leaves in the fall. And I don’t care if you hate the snow or cold, there’s something magical when you walk outside for the first time after a snow storm. It’s so quiet and peaceful, even in the middle of a city. The blanket of snow silences the world and it always takes my breath away… and not just because it’s cold.
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For other Mid-Westerners who may be mislead, the true saying is “Iowa Nice.” We may not smile to every person we run into but we do hold the door open and are kind and polite. While a degree of passive aggressiveness is also an expected undertone. It’s all about balance after all. And that’s all I’ll say about that. 🙂
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0011_ Iowa State Fair at Night - Ferris Wheel
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And I can’t not mention the Iowa State Fair. We didn’t go much growing up but since college I’ve gone mostly every year and there’s just something about it. I mostly go for the people watching, the animals, and the variety of food. It’s a staple for most Iowans in August.
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I’m a born and raised Iowan but I do have perspective- living in Bloomington, MN for three years and traveling a good amount around the states and even one extended stay in China. While all areas of the world have their unique gems to offer, I’m thankful to live in Iowa.
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I would love to hear the things you love about Iowa!
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* Photo credit: Amanda Sengbusch

My Cold & Flu Medicine Cabinet

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* photo credit: Amanda Sengbusch

Who knows at least one person who has been sick already this year!? It seems like each year more and more people are getting sick and the symptoms are lasting longer and longer! I’m so thankful for all the categories of medicine, but I do have a very special place in my heart for more natural remedies.
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EXTERNAL PATHOGENIC INVADER
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), external pathogenic invaders (EPI) are what we refer to as cold and flu viruses/ bugs/ illnesses. In any given season there are EPIs floating about in the world. The health of your internal defense system, also known as wei qi “way chee,” will determine if you develop symptoms and become sick or if you’re able to fight off the infection and remain symptom free.
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-> If the EPI is strong and your wei qi is also strong, you may develop some symptoms but your body is most likely able to fight off the EPI.
-> If the EPI is strong but your wei qi is weak, you will get sick.
-> If the EPI is weak and your wei qi is also weak, you will get sick.
-> If the EPI is weak but your wei qi is strong, you most likely won’t get sick.
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This gives some reasoning behind why a variety of people can come in contact with a person with an EPI but only a select few develop symptoms and get sick. Luckily there are a whole host of things one may do to enhance their wei qi (future post to come).
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COLD & FLU MEDICINE CABINET
We all have our own ways of handling colds and flus. Whether you’re one who continues to work through it and just hopes to get better, or you take the very important time to rest while implementing the whole kit and kuboodle… here are my items I’m sure to give a try to battle the EPI:
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Herbs are individual to each presentation and require a diagnosis from a licensed acupuncturist/ herbalist:
– Gan Mao Ling
– Herbal ABX
– Minor Bupleurum
– Yin Qiao
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Supplements & Oils:
– C grams (vitamin C) from Advocare – or Vitamin C from your local drugstore
– Congaplex from Standard Process – a whole food supplement
– Essential Oils: eucalyptus, frankincense, immupower, lemon, peppermint, thieves
– Gypsy Cold Care Tea from Traditional Medicinals – most grocery/ health stores
– Immuno Guard from Advocare – a supplement with the health benefits of mushrooms
– Oscillococcinum from your local drugstore and Amazon – a homeopathic remedy
– Sambucol – from your local drugstore – the healing properties of black elderberry
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I’ve been using these products for years for all of my cold and flu like symptoms. Usually after using and alternating the products above, I’m able to keep the cold/flu symptoms in check. Some of these products are able to be purchased at your local drugstore at your convenience but remember it’s best to check with your licensed acupuncturist for which herbs to use along with your medical physician to determine the best products for you.
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What do you like to use to help get feeling your best during the cold and flu season!?
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Always feel free to stop into your local, favorite acupuncturist to help keep you healthy and talk about alternative ways to beat the colds and flus circulating this year. I’m sure they would love to share some of their favorite tips and tricks with you as well!
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**The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

Long Time, No Post

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Hey friends! Man, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Please insert all of your favorite cliche sayings about time flying by, being busy, etc. etc. 🙂
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But as a Licensed Acupuncturist I’m learning to appreciate all seasons of life and for the last few years, I felt compelled to draw inward and take time for more internal reflection, meditation, and growing. Now I’m ready to buckle down and start providing you with all my tips and tricks, expertise and recommendations for living your best life.
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As always, take what resonates with you and leave what doesn’t. What works for one person may not work the same for the next person. Life is all about trial and error and in that we find true growth.
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Happy 2020!
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Why I Exercise

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This article, Why Exercise and Endorphins Make You Happy, has great information and explains the benefits of exercise. My main motivation to exercise and move includes how I feel afterwards. I may not “work out” every day, more like 3-4 times a week, but if I don’t exercise, I have to at least stretch for 10 minutes or so- otherwise I just feel so tight and constricted- I blame my liver qi stagnation!

My days are usually off to a great start if I jump out of bed and get a good work out in… not gonna lie, most days it’s an, “ok… I can do this,” and a roll out of bed. But I know once I’m up and going I’ll be so glad I did!

While Mayo Clinic explains some benefits of exercising: controlling weight, disease prevention, improving mood and energy, and promoting better sleep, it’s also motivating to have a little more detail of what’s going on in your body simply by moving each day!

Read the article: Why Exercise and Endorphins Make You Happy to find out what YOU are doing for yourself every time you exercise!

Photo Credit: Jenna Niggeler- during our trip to Beijing, China, in 2013!

Keeping Your Child Healthy With Chinese Medicine

Chinese medicine is so beneficial for adults, but it is just as beneficial for children! Children even respond more quickly to treatments than adults because of their young age and increased self-healing ability. If you’re wondering how Chinese medicine can help children, I want to recommend a book to read explaining it all!

Keeping your child healthy with chinese medicine

Keeping Your Child Healthy With Chinese Medicine: A Parent’s Guide to the Care and Prevention of Common Childhood Diseases is a fabulous book to read to learn about children and Chinese medicine. Bob Flaws does a thorough job of explaining how things work in the body of a child. He goes through some of the main causes of most children’s diseases. He also gives recommendations on how to help your child not get sick – hint, it begins with the diet. He also discuses other ways to prevent diseases and promote health from Traditional Chinese Medicine theory.

Just some of the topics he discusses include: neonatal jaundice, colic, vomiting of milk, diarrhea, constipation, diaper rash, cradle cap, teething, fever, ear infections, cough, pediatric pneumonia and asthma, strep throat, bed-wetting, allergies, hyperactivity, chickenpox, and traumatic injuries.

I highly recommend Keeping Your Child Healthy with Chinese Medicine, especially if you have any little ones running around, whether you are the parent, guardian, aunt, uncle, grandparent or babysitter.
“In TCM pediatrics, it is believed that children are not simply miniature adults. Rather, children are immature physically and functionally according to Chinese medicine, and most of the common pediatric complaints are due to this immaturity.”
Keeping Your Child Healthy with Chinese Medicine p.7
There’s always so much to learn and remember to be open to other paradigms. The best health plan incorporates Eastern and Western medicine!