Acupuncture needles on round lid

Turning the Tables

Hi friend!

A common question I received when I was going through acupuncture school was if I’ve had acupuncture before. While some people began acupuncture school prior to having their first treatment, I’ve had countless acupuncture treatments before school. While every treatment is a different experience, I want to share one that I’ve never forgotten. This treatment took place while I was in my second year at North Western Health Sciences University.

Acupuncture needles on round lid

Photo Credit: Amanda Sengbusch

 

I began having some eye issues. After a while, I went to the eye doctor to ensure everything physically was okay. I was told all was fine and that my issue may be a form of a migraine- since I was also experiencing headaches and nausea. Also, I have naturally larger pupils that my be contributing to the blurriness and halos at night. They gave me some drops to try to help and sent me on my way. Now, I completely own up to not using the eye drops regularly, but the eye issue continued.

I made an initial acupuncture appointment with one of my instructors at his acupuncture clinic. This treatment was unlike any other. To start, his initial intake was super quick. He was able to read so much from feeling my radial pulse and looking at my tongue. Granted, this was what we were going to school for, but to see it in practice and see just how much you can tell from the pulse and tongue, was so amazing!

He asked me a few questions and after just a couple minutes of talking, I hopped up on the table and tried to relax. You’d think I’d be super calm when getting an acupuncture treatment, especially when I was currently going to school for it!… But this was not the case. I usually would have sensations of a cold sweat and minor shakes… but I was able to relax once the needles were inserted. I felt de qi with each needle (de qi– is a dull ache sensation- which is a good thing- this means the qi has been activated:)). He then sat at the head of the table and got ready to do the acupuncture point Urinary Bladder 1 (UB1). This point is at the medial side of the inner canthus of the eye. If you rub your eye from the outside inward to your nose, where your finger lands is essentially UB1. So I held my eyes shut and tried not to think so much about needles being threaded so close to my eyes. (The saying, “stick a needle in your eye” never seemed so true!) I do want to be sure to say though, he did NOT stick the needle in my eye, this point is just quite close to the eye and super effective for a variety of issues.

He then made sure I was comfortable and let me rest. During the time resting it was relaxing and nice. For a while there I actually felt like the table was rocking back and forth in a figure eight pattern. I felt like I was on a boat. It wasn’t bad, it was just unlike any other treatment I’ve experienced.

During the second part of the treatment, he did cupping on my upper back. The suction of the cups were intense but relaxing. If you haven’t experienced cupping, I’d definitely recommend it (and you can read more about different acupuncture modalities in my post about Traditional Chinese Medicine Terms). It’s a wonderful way to relax your muscles and relieve pain, along with many other benefits.

We continued with bi- monthly treatments and herbs for a couple months and my eye issue decreased and I haven’t had it since!

Comparison of acupuncture needles to sewing needles

Photo Credit: Amanda Sengbusch

Every acupuncture treatment is different, from what the person is coming in for, to the practitioner, to what the patient experiences. Most times it’s nice and relaxing but other times it’s a little more intense. Now being out of school and practicing for five years, hearing what patients experience during the treatments is one of my favorite things! Sometimes people don’t notice much, sometimes they notice all sorts of things. 

Whatever the patient notices, I can say, it’s completely worth it!

If you’re interested in experiencing all the amazing benefits of acupuncture, feel free to contact Feel Good Clinics in West Des Moines, or check out my blog post, How to Find a Licensed Acupuncturist to search for a licensed acupuncturist near you!

With faith, hope, and love,

Emily Kappelman 

Lemon; Lemon Essential Oil

Recommendations for Spring Health

Hello Friend!

It’s mid may and it sure is looking and feeling like spring. The trees and flowers are budding (all on their own time), the weather goes from 40 degrees and rainy to 70 degrees and sunny (that’s a big change for our bodies to handle!), and we have more daylight hours! Such a wonderful transition from the winter. As mentioned in Oh What A Spring about living with the season of spring, while winter was a time of yin, spring begins the shift to yang.

The properties of the Yin Yang Theory are:

  • While they oppose each other, they also support one another.
  • Neither can exist without the other.
  • They are infinitely divisible in each other.
  • They are dynamic.

These principles are visible in our every day world: in nature, in our own bodies, and even in the emotions, feelings, and experiences of life. This is nicely explained in chapter four of Between Heaven and Earth by Harriet Beinfield and Efrem Korngold… (which I plan to blog about in the near future :)).

Between Heaven and Earth Book; Bird Image

Photo Credit: Amanda Sengbusch

Specific Examples of Yin & Yang: 

Yin: cold, dark, female, hard, heavy, hidden, midnight, moon, still, water (element), winter

Yang: hot, light, male, soft, light (mass), revealed, midday, sun, movement, fire (element), summer

With it being in full swing of spring, we need to ensure we are living with the season, and not in opposition to it. We are moving from yin within yin (winter) to yin within yang (spring).

Something I truly appreciate about Traditional Chinese Medicine is the theory… behind everything. Really, you look outside, and there are the elements and principles which one may find the patterns of your own health and wellbeing. While it takes years of studying to master, the medicine itself is intuitive once you know it.

Spring= Wood= Wind=Liver/ Gallbladder= Green= Anger= Eyes= Tendons

So, friend, spring is the perfect time to help support your Liver health.

The Liver is in charge of free flow of Qi (chee) throughout your body. As explained in Between Heaven and Earth, “The Liver Network is to monitor flow, maintaining evenness of emotions and clarity of judgment, giving grace and flexibility to the physical and mental body.” As you could imagine, if your Liver Qi is imbalanced, all sorts of issues may occur. That being said, living in modern America, it’s very common to have an imbalance of Liver Qi due to our busy, hectic, constantly moving lifestyles.

Some ways to help smooth your Liver Qi:

  •  Breath
    • Honestly, everything could be improved upon with breathing!
    • When you do slow, deep, belly out, inhalations you are allowing your lungs to expand fully since you’re helping your diaphragm move the way it’s intended.
    • The Liver can easily get tight and tense. And the Liver Qi, as is all Qi in the body, is impacted by the breath. The breath fuels our lungs with the oxygen it needs to keep us alive. When our body has the oxygen it needs, it will be less tense and more relaxed.
  • Drink your water!
    • Oh water. Something that is so healing and nourishing, yet so many people seem to forget all the amazing benefits of simply drinking water.
    • Basically we’re about 70% water, so we need water to survive and thrive.
    • The Liver will benefit from ample water intake due to having enough hydration in the body to ensure proper flow of fluids, lubrication of joints, flushing of the system, and plump organs.
  • Dry Skin Brushing
    • This is a wonderful method to help the lymphatic system of the body.* When you help the lymphatic system, you also assist the Qi in moving more smoothly throughout the body. When you help the overall Qi of the body move smoothly, you help the Liver.
    • You can purchase a Dry Skin Brush at most local health stores or online for $10-20.
    • You want to dry skin brush only on completely dry, closed skin.* Before you bathe is usually most ideal. It’s also recommended to dry skin brush in the tub, to catch any dead skin that may flake off.. I know I know… sounds lovely, but it feels wonderful!
      • Be sure to start at the hands and feet and work towards the heart.
      • For your stomach, back, and armpits brush in a circular clockwise motion.
      • You can do anywhere from 5-15 passes on each section.
      • Use enough pressure to feel it, but don’t rub your skin raw… that’s NOT the goal. It should feel almost like a good itch. Be sure to go gentler on more sensitive areas.
      • Continue with your shower and moisturize appropriately.
      • Repeat every few days to every day, depending on your need.
      • Even if you only remember once a week… do it! Once a week is better than not doing it at all.
    • *People with open or inflamed should avoid dry skin brushing. Never dry skin brush over burns, rashes, infections, open wounds, etc. Always consult with your health care practitioner before adding this into your routine.
  • Lemons
    • Lemons have amazing benefits for overall health and wellbeing.
    • Lemons can help your body with it’s natural detoxing abilities. And when you think of detoxing, you think of the function of the liver.
    • You can use the food (a slice), the juice (~1tsp), or the essential oil (1 drop)* per glass of room temperature water.
  • Massage
    • When you move your body, you help the Qi move.
    • Passive movements of your body (as in when someone else is doing the moving for your body) provide wonderful benefits to unblocking stagnation within the body and helping to open up the channels.
    • Plus it feels amazing!
  • Mindset/ Prayers/ Reflection/ Appreciation
    • Yes, mindset/ prayers/ reflections/ having appreciation can help your Liver Qi!
    • The thoughts you think create your feelings and emotions.
    • When the Liver is imbalanced, the emotion you may be feeling more of is anger, irritability, rage, and/ or depression.
    • When you can take stock of your thoughts, you can observe what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling. From there you can shift your thought to more accurate thinking or more positive thinking- whichever is better suited for you.
    • Traditional Chinese Medicine realizes that emotional issues can cause physical issues and physical issues can cause emotional issues.
    • So when you take your thoughts and emotions into account, you can change your physical health, and improve your Liver Qi.
  •  Move & Stretch
    • The Liver governs the tendons, so the health of your tendons are a reflection of your Liver Qi.
    • When you move and stretch, you strengthen, lengthen, and nourish the tendons. This will help balance the Liver Qi.
    • Moving/ exercising/ having an active lifestyle will help ensure your Liver Qi is flowing smoothly.
    • When you are stationary, your Liver Qi can easily get stagnant.
    • Human beings were made to move.
    • Move your body = move your Liver Qi!
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine
    • Acupuncture
      • When you insert needles into the body, it creates a micro-trauma. This micro-trauma signals to the brain to increase it’s healing mechanisms.
      • Acupuncture helps the body heal itself.
      • When utilizing needles/ laser/ pressure, a licensed acupuncturist can help direct the flow of Qi in the body.
      • If your Liver Qi is imbalanced, your practitioner can help detect this and perform the proper treatment.
    • Herbs
      • Taking herbs is like having a daily treatment specifically to your needs and patterns.
      • Herbal formulas are wonderfully balanced in their ability to help regulate the energy of the body and bring the body back to homeostasis.
      • Herbal formulas should only be prescribed by a qualified herbalist.
    • Check out FeelGoodClinics.com to schedule.
    • Check out my blog post to find a licensed acupuncturist near you!
Needles on Wood

Photo Credit: Amanda Sengbusch

Those are my top suggestions to help balance your Liver Qi. I suggest adding one thing at a time to see how it works for you and to establish more of a routine, but feel free to do what you need.

I hope this offers some support to your health during the season of spring!

With faith, hope, and love,

Emily Kappelman 

*The suggested uses in the above post apply only to the use of therapeutic grade, Young Living Essential Oils. Not all essential oils are the same! Be sure to consult with the product label or healthcare practitioner for correct usage of essential oils. 

Reliving My Trip to China

Prince Gong's Mansion

Prince Gong’s Mansion

In my second year in grad school I had the amazing opportunity to travel to China for a school trip. We were in China mid April to early May. This was the first time I traveled overseas and I remember never being so sore from just sitting! It was nice to get to watch many movies but for someone who needs to move regularly (to move my Liver Qi)… the flight to and from China was intense!

The moment we landed I think we all felt like we were on another planet. The air was a yellowish smog color and we apparently landed in a section of the airport going under construction, so it was vacant and it felt very eerie.

I kept a journal during these 3 weeks so I will provide some insight to where we went, what we learned about in the hospital, cultural lessons, random happenings, and some of my thoughts. Journal entries are bulleted:

  • It’s already an overwhelming experience.
  • I feel completely out of it.
  • After a nights sleep I feel a lot better and ready to take on Beijing!

BEIJING

Prince Gong’s Mansion

  • Buildings have a step at the doorway where you have to step over it, with your right foot, to ensure you keep the devils out!
  • One building would have been stocked full with 4,000 tons of gold!
Prince Gong's Mansion

Prince Gong’s Mansion

 

Prince Gong's Mansion Ceiling

Prince Gong’s Mansion Ceiling

National Theater

  • Huge dome building with a moat around it.
National Theater with Tao

National Theater with Tao, quite windy!

Forbidden City

  • Amazing… hard to grasp all the history it’s seen.
  • Crazy busy.
  • People taking pictures of us and with us.
The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City

IMG_3681

Bei Hai Park

  • Gorgeous area with willow trees lining the lake, such beautiful flowers.
  • Music and dancing! We had a blast.
  • I almost got ran over by a little vehicle.

The Great Wall

  • I forgot to count the steps!
  • Jenna and I did a handstand at the top of the Great Wall.
  • A classmate brought her hula hoop so we all hula hooped. 🙂
  • It was basically a big party on the Great Wall.
The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China

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Lock of Love on The Great Wall of China

Lock of Love on The Great Wall of China

The Jade Factory

The Jade Factory

Pretty Trees at a Tao Temple Beijing, China

Pretty Trees at a Tao Temple Beijing, China

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The Silk Factory

  • It was so awesome to see the silk worms and the process. The silk feels like clouds.
The Silk Factory

The Silk Factory

The Market

  • Wow, needed some warning for that… You had to bargain for everything. They totally crowd you. It was intense. But I got some good purchases.

The Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven

TIANJIN

First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine 

Topics we learned about in lecture and in the hospital- in and out patient:

  • Wen Jing Decoction “Warm Menses Decoction”
  • Treatment of stroke: They will treat inpatients two times a day for stroke with great results.
  • Depression
  • Pediatric Tui Na
  • Knee Osteoarthritis “Xi Bi”
  • Skin Diseases: acne, herpes zoster, verruca plana  (HPV), alopecia, psoriasis, vitiligo, eczema
  • Fire needling… it’s as it sounds!
  • Scoliosis
  • Prolapsed lumbar disc
  • Muscle meridians
  • Back pain
  • Orthopedic care
  • Herbal treatments: topical patches, treatment tables with venting areas for herbs under the table to vent up to treat the patient
  • Lung cancer
Entering the Hospital

Entering the Hospital

Cultural Lessons

  • The traditional four closed courtyard is where people live. The north side (facing south) is water and where the elders live. The east side is wood and where the son lives, to grow big and strong, wealthy, and to eventually leave. The west side is metal and where the daughter lives, to stay and have wealth but to get married. The south is fire and no one lives there since fire ruins things, but guests may stay there. The courtyard is earth and where they have apricot and pear trees, a pond and a bucket of fish.
  • When taking photos, the peace sign is a very common sign. It represents “victory.” If you do a thumbs up, that means “great.”
  • Beer is a staple at every meal.
  • People sit in the front seats of the cab even if they’re by themselves.
  • The fashion is either really trendy or really interesting. 🙂
  • People spit and pass gas whenever they feel like it.
  • When an American is introduced to a Chinese person, they say their American name first. But we always asked for their birth name. 🙂
  • When they present you with a little shot glass size of alcohol at the beginning of the meal… this is NOT A SHOT. You’re supposed to sip it with the food. Our teacher/ supervisor was a little surprised we all took it as a shot. Ha!
Tianjin Food Market

Tianjin Food Market

Beijing Olympics Building

Beijing Olympics Building

Random happenings

  • The first day, after we exchanged money we went to a little shop to buy water and a little boy at the store hugged my leg, he kept hugging me, so cute and random. It lifted my spirits.
  • A man grabbed a friend’s boob as we were walking.
  • Bikers don’t wear helmets or have lights on at night.
  • It took forever for us to find a cab in one situation. One man in a suit said he could take us in his unmarked taxi… yeah no.
  • I ate a scorpion- crunchy, crispy, salty… not bad!
  • After our first week in Tianjin it was the Tianjin Parade! We were in the parade, we were gifted sweatshirts to wear and given blow up angry birds mallets. We were a little confused but did as we were told.
Tianjin Parade

Tianjin Parade

Tianjin Parade

Tianjin Parade

  • We visited Bei Men Hospital, they presented us with a presentation and then a performance. Like a legit performance: dancers, singers, acrobats, gymnasts- very talented.
Bei Men Hospital Performance

Bei Men Hospital Performance

IMG_4357

  • Observing in the clinic, there was a tv crew following us around talking pictures and videos. I was photographed cupping a patient (yes, my parents have a copy of the newspaper clipping hanging up at home :)) Due to Kate and I having the lightest colored hair, we were interviewed and our Chinese buddy, Maria interpreted for us. We were on the local station that night.
  • One of our free days we tried to get lunch at a restaurant. They sat us in the corner and ignored us. Eventually we left.
  • 85 degree Celsius bakery is delish! It was a common stopping place, maybe even two times in a day. The bakers began to expect us.
85 Degree Celsius Bakery

85 Degree Celsius Bakery

  • Night cruise on a river that runs through Tianjin. It used to have cargos that would sail on it. It has 72 curves in the river!
Tianjin River Boat Ride

Tianjin River Boat Ride

  • Learned how to test if pearls are real.
Pearls

Give me all the pearls 🙂

  • One of our last days we went out to a couple bars and clubs. Dancing in a foreign country with people from literally all over the world to cultural music was seriously my happy place!

My thoughts: 

  • This food is amazing.
Breakfast in Beijing

Breakfast in Beijing

Amazing Chinese Food

Amazing Chinese Food

Hai Di Lao Hot Pot

Hai Di Lao Hot Pot

Delicious Chinese Food

Delicious Chinese Food

Colorful Chinese Food

Tao ordered this soup for the group to help keep us healthy. Tasted like an egg drop chicken noodle soup… delicious and nutritious!

  • I constantly feel people staring and taking pictures.
  • It’s weird not having any idea what people are saying.
  • The city is really pretty at night.
  • It’s cool learning about all their history and reasonings for things… too much to write.
  • A week in, my mom and dad called. It was so nice to hear their voices. I about teared up. They were so excited to talk, as was I! They were just making sure I was in China… haha!
  • Starbucks is our oasis: jazz music, clean, and comforting familiar drinks.
  • It’s amazing learning about Chinese Medicine in China!
Original Acupuncture Tools

Original Acupuncture Tools… No Thanks!

Herbal Department

Herbal Department

  • Never have I seen so many cars, bikes, walkers and not one accident! It’s really quite amazing.

Anyways, that’s a little taste of my experience in Beijing and Tianjin China in 2013. It was truly unforgettable and I’m so thankful for the opportunity. I truly believe the more you travel the more you get to observe humanity and all the variations of this amazing life we live.

With faith, hope, and love,

Emily Kappelman 

How to Find a Licensed Acupuncturist

So you’ve heard about acupuncture and have an inkling to try it, but where do you start?
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I want to stress the importance of receiving acupuncture from a licensed acupuncturist. While other professionals may perform acupuncture, the theory and techniques we learn from our 3-4 year program, 700 hours plus in clinical experience, and studying and passing 3-4 national board exams, is quite amazing and has so much to offer in increasing your quality of life. 
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0041_ Needle Application
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While each state’s rules and regulations for practicing acupuncture vary, it’s important you check the acupuncturist’s credentials. Licensed acupuncturists in the state of Iowa must have completed 3 years of post secondary training at an accredited acupuncture college, be a current diplomate in the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), and must have completed a Clean Needle Technique (CNT) course approved by the NCCAOM. After those three steps are completed, they may apply to be licensed in the state of Iowa. Only then can they practice acupuncture as a licensed acupuncturist!

To find nationally certified licensed acupuncturists in your city or state, search the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) website. https://directory.nccaom.org/

Just like in any other profession, every acupuncturist is different. Don’t be afraid to seek out different acupuncturists to find the one that’s the perfect fit for you!

Photo Credit: Amanda Sengbusch

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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Acupuncture on medial arm

Photo Credit: Amanda Sengbusch

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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!

Relieve Stress with a Mini Treatment

 

We all know the holidays are wonderful for many reasons, but they also bring a lot of stress.  I want to share with you a quick, effective way to relieve stress and also help reset and rebalance your body.

At Acupuncture Wellness Center, we offer complimentary Stress Free treatments to friends, family, acquaintances of current patients and  prospective patients. We typically hand out certificates for this treatment, but if you mention you read it on my blog, we will still offer the complimentary treatment.

antigravitychairs

A Stress Free treatment consists of needling a couple auricular (ear) points while reclining on our anti-gravity chairs with a heated bio mat underneath you. Sounds amazing right? It is just SO relaxing! A stress free treatment lasts only 30 minutes, giving you plenty of time to get back to work, event planning or Christmas shopping, but if you have time after the treatment to take it easy, I’d recommend it.

With this treatment, we do not diagnose you or address any other symptoms you may be experiencing. It is simply a stress relieving treatment which decreases your stress while uplifting your mood and energy. In my opinion, it is the perfect thing for this time of year.

Please stop into the clinic to check it out and have a wonderful week!

 

Does Holiday Eating Affect Your Digestion? TCM Can Help!

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The holidays are officially here with Thanksgiving this Thursday! I just love the holidays – family time, giving thanks and all of the amazing food! But with all this glorious food, usually comes overeating and digestive upset.

Whether you are always hungry, never hungry, crave sweet, salty, spicy, or bitter food, or have stomach pain and distention, Traditional Chinese Medicine can help. Digestion is the center of your health and if it is not in tip top shape, you may have some symptoms. Stop in to your local acupuncturist to see how Chinese medicine can help you!

If you are one of the many people who tend to overeat, I recommend you to try to eat mindfully. This consists of really being present when you eat: smell the food, chew each mouthful fully, and remember to set your utensil down after each bite. I just read some more helpful tips on the Huffington Post.

I also know sometimes you overeat, especially during the holidays – and I don’t blame you! I’m right there with ya. If you find yourself uncomfortable after meals or snack times, be sure to have some ginger tea or peppermint tea on hand. When I find my digestion in need of some assistance, I love to brew some ginger or peppermint tea.

Ginger is warming and helps promote digestion and alleviates symptoms of nausea and indigestion including: gas, bloating, and stomach cramps. Ginger is good for you if you tend to be cooler in temperature.

Peppermint is cooling and also alleviates symptoms of nausea and indigestion including: gas, bloating, and stomach cramps. Peppermint is good if you tend to be warmer in temperature.

If your digestive system needs extra help to handle the holidays, come and see me! I will be in the clinic this Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Call the Acupuncture Wellness Center at (515) 556-3304 or visit our website to make an appointment today!

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Responding to Cold & Flu Symptoms

According to Chinese Medicine, when a person gets sick, we refer to this as having an external pathogenic invader (EPI). This means that it is an external condition and the goal is to expel the external pathogen first and then gently tonify the internal so one does not get sick again. When you feel like you are starting to get sick, the way you respond can determine if you will be under the weather for a few days or weeks.

It is important to take action quickly and appropriately at the first onset of symptoms. Generally, EPIs in America may be dealt with as follows:

Get plenty of rest. The importance of resting cannot be overstated. When you rest, your qi and blood is able to replenish itself to try to fight off the EPI. If you continue with your busy schedule and high demands, your qi and blood won’t be able to keep up with your schedule let alone fighting off the enemy!

Layer up! When a person dresses warmly the extra layer of clothing helps warm the body, which supports the yang qi. This allows the yang qi to focus on fighting the EPI and not work so hard to keep the body warm. With most EPI, the goal is to induce a mild sweat, so that the EPI may be expelled. It is difficult to induce a mild sweat if you are not properly covered.

Consume warm food and drinks. In modern America, it is not uncommon to constantly be ingesting cold foods and drinks. However, you may not know how harmful this can be to your body, especially when you are trying to fight off an illness of some sort. Just like it is important for the yang qi to keep you warm, it is also important that your food and drink helps contribute to this. Your spleen and stomach are in charge of digestion. These organs are like a melting pot; in order for the substance to be extracted from the food, it needs to be hot. Think of how much harder your spleen and stomach need to work if what you consume is cold! Cold foods can require your spleen and stomach to work harder, which in turn may cause them to be a little deficient at times. During times of sickness, you definitely don’t want your spleen to be deficient.

See your acupuncturist if you feel your body needs an extra boost to fight off the EPI and to determine other modalities that may be appropriate.

See your primary care physician if symptoms progress or worsen.

**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.

Yin and Yang

The most basic theory of acupuncture is yin and yang. Before we talk about theory, let’s talk about pronunciation. Most people know how to say “yin,” but a little pet peeve of mine is when people say “yang” like Cristina Yang’s name from Grey’s Anatomy, with a long vowel sound, which is incorrect. It is actually pronounced with a short vowel sound, like yawn.

Ok, now for the theory:

Most people associate yin and yang as simply opposites, but there is a little more to it. While yin and yang oppose each other, they also support each other. Neither can exist without the other; they are infinitely divisible in each other, and they are dynamic.

Everything in life, in this universe, plays a role in the yin yang theory.

Some examples:

Yin Yang
Moon Sun
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Happy Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day!

I’m so thankful to have acupuncture and Oriental medicine in my life. I love being able to help improve the quality of life of others, and I also enjoy being able to use the theory in my every day life. Traditional Chinese Medicine is truly amazing.
Check out these pages for great information about acupuncture:

Click to access AOM%20Day%202015%20Newsletter.pdf

Click to access Brochure_AOM_Day_2015.pdf

Let me know if you have any questions about acupuncture and/or Oriental medicine!