My Bookshelf: Girl, Wash Your Face

0014 Girl Wash Your Face
Girl, what did we do before Rachel Hollis? I love how this lady is changing all the things. Her open and honest communication about her history, family, marriage, and company is just amazing. I know she’s an inspiration to many of us and I’m so thankful she’s taking the time to help bring up so many people with her. Whether you’re a physical book reader, audible or pod cast listener- Rachel’s got you covered. Her content and message is available so many places.
I was introduced to Rachel Hollis a couple years ago and she’s just so gosh darn empowering- I love it. Girl, Wash Your Face goes through and explains the top lies she believed (which I’m guessing you may be believing or have believed also). These lies hindered her value and self worth. She then provides the strategies she used to work past these lies to live the life she currently wants and deserves.
Which got me thinking about the “lies” I’ve believed throughout my life. These aren’t meant to be lies or meant to bring us down but they’re someone else’s opinion/ perspective/ reality that we take on for ourselves. However, once you start working on your mindset, you realize you can change the way you think about these lies and how you react to situations and events. Like the saying, “you can’t change other people, you can only change yourself.” I’m pretty sure I hated hearing this growing up (and honestly, even some days recently!), but when you start to fully engage your mindset, perspective, and actions to focus fully on yourself, it’s amazing how things start to shift around you. It’s not immediate, all at once, or completely consistent. But just know, one small shift at a time will create a movement all around you. Please envision a very small pebble being dropped into a still body of water and observe the ripple effect!
I find starting my day with intention is a great first step. Anticipate a wonderful day ahead of you, even if your schedule is not your ideal day. Something which has immensely helped me do this is a practice of appreciation. Appreciation and Gratitude seem to be hot topics lately, and for good reason, the benefits appreciate and gratitude have on the mind, body, and spirit are amazing! It can be weird at first and you may “run out of things to be thankful for” but that’s just because you’re just starting this practice.
-> Give yourself some grace and just think, say, or write whatever comes to your mind.
-> I usually start out pretty general with thanking God (universe, high power, or energetic frequencies) for myself (mind, body, spirit, education, experiences), my family and friends (even better to list them individually and go into what you’re thankful for them about), work (physical building, people I work with, the work we’re doing, the people we’re serving), etc.
-> See how specific and detailed you can get. Even thanking God for the perfect amount of raspberry flavoring in your dark chocolate mocha latte.
-> Continue for as long as you can, but don’t worry if it takes a little while for things to come quickly for you.
-> Notice the immediate increase of peace, contentment, and positivity you feel towards yourself, your life, and your surroundings.
-> Unfortunately, there’s no way to know how long these feelings will last. But know you can start with another round of appreciation any time, any place. And the more you do it, the quicker you’ll think to do this, the easier it gets, and the longer the effects will last.
Remember, life is a journey, not a destination.
I do also want to say, sometimes life just sucks. And you need to feel the sucky part of it. There’s great benefit in being in the emotion, whatever it may be, and allowing it. So please be sure to give yourself some grace to allow what you’re feeling, allow yourself to process it however you may need (being that it’s legal and moral of course :)), and trust that you will move forward when it’s the right time. But having a gratitude practice can definitely help with that transition.
What are some “lies” you’ve allowed yourself to believe? How can you go about changing the reality of those lies? Reflect, journal, or talk about it with a loved one. See if you can help each other eliminate those lies and live the life you want and deserve, unhindered.
I’m so thankful for Rachel Hollis, her mission, and the way she’s impacting the world.
Photo Credit: Amanda Sengbusch

Ally: National Love Your Pet Day

February 20, 2020: Happy National Love Your Pet Day!
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!
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).
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!
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

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.
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.

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


Acupuncture on medial arm

Photo Credit: Amanda Sengbusch

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.
Acupuncture can do amazing things for you, but you have to give it a chance.

Have a happy day!

Happy National Iowa Day

Happy National Iowa Day! The Hawkeye State. The 29th state to join the United States.
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.
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?
0009_ Water Works
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.
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. 🙂
0011_ Iowa State Fair at Night - Ferris Wheel
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.
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.
0010_ Iowa Football During Game
I would love to hear the things you love about Iowa!
* Photo credit: Amanda Sengbusch

My Cold & Flu Medicine Cabinet

* 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.
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.
-> 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.
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).
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:
Herbs are individual to each presentation and require a diagnosis from a licensed acupuncturist/ herbalist:
– Gan Mao Ling
– Herbal ABX
– Minor Bupleurum
– Yin Qiao
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
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.
What do you like to use to help get feeling your best during the cold and flu season!?
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!
**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

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. 🙂
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.
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.
Happy 2020!

Why I Exercise


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!

My Bookshelf: 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!

Ways to Incorporate Acupuncture Into Your Life

Happy Tuesday everyone! This AcuTake article consists of 15 fabulous ways to incorporate acupuncture into your daily life- written for 2015 but just as true for 2016!

Acupuncture needles in gua sha spoon

Photo Credit: Amanda Sengbusch

Give it a read. I challenge you to pick 3 options to give a try for the remainder of January.

While all of these suggestions are so great, two things I can’t stress enough to my patients are # 6 and #9.

Let me know how you plan to incorporate acupuncture into your daily routine!

Lifestyle Adjustments for Winter

Winter is the season of the kidney. According to the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine, by Maoshing Ni, this is when “all things in nature wither, hide, return home, and enter a resting period, yin dominates yang.”


This is visible in the trees and plants and even the animals. It’s natural for us to be more quiet and reserved during the winter. In the fall I shared some tips for adjusting your lifestyle according to the seasons so here are more tips to help make winter a little more tolerable.

Some recommendations from the Yellow Emperor are:

“Retire early, get up with the sunrise”

Is anyone else struggling to adjust to it getting dark at 5:00 p.m.!? It seems to be more difficult this year, so I find it helpful to go to bed a little early and attempt to sleep in a little extra… Obviously this is not always easy/possible but it’s good to be mindful of the change.

“Stay warm, avoid the cold, keep pores closed, avoid sweating”

Eat warm foods and drink warm drinks to help warm your body.  Be sure to layer up and keep your skin covered – your skin is your largest organ and can be very susceptible to the wind and cold, wind and cold are very common causes of EPIs. When your skin pores are open, your chances of getting sick (from an EPI) are increased.

“Conservation and storage philosophy”

Just like the bears hibernate, it is helpful to conserve your resources and energy. The winter corresponds to yin, as opposed to yang. Yin is internal and more hidden. In order to have enough yin, it is helpful to rest.

During the winter I like to stay in, cuddle up by the fire, and drink warm tea. What about you?