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.

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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!

 

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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
Midnight Midday
Winter Summer
Water Fire
Cold Heat
Stillness Movement
Dark Light
Hidden Revealed
Hard Soft
Heavy Light (mass)
Female Male
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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:

http://www.aomday.org/PDFDocs/AOM%20Day%202015%20Newsletter.pdf

http://www.aomday.org/PDFDocs/Brochure_AOM_Day_2015.pdf

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

Traditional Chinese Medicine Terms

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) encompasses a variety of modalities including acupuncture, cupping, tui na, gua sha, moxa, herbal therapy, and food therapy.

Acupuncture has been practiced for 3000-5000 years. It is defined as the insertion of sterile, disposable, single-use needles into acupuncture points throughout the entire body. The points are located on meridians that course throughout the body. Through the use of acupuncture points, a particular effect may be obtained because each point has specific functions. There are as many as 2,000 points.

Cupping is the use of glass cups to create a suction of the skin. The most common place to cup is the back, legs, hips and shoulders. Cupping is the therapeutic use of suction to increase blood and oxygen flow to the area. This helps relax the muscles, stimulate acupuncture points and decrease pain. Cupping helps with conditions of coughing, pain, poor sleep and more. Bruises are a common side effect of cupping, depending on the patient’s condition and constitution; the bruises should only last 3-7 days.

Electrical Stimulation Acupuncture (E-Stim) is the use of a tens unit along with the acupuncture points to provide constant and measurable stimulation to the desired points. E-stim is effective with increasing the results of post-stroke symptoms and reducing pain.

Gua sha, meaning “scraping sha – bruising” is the use of a spoon, jade or other utensil that scrapes the skin to produce light bruising. This releases unhealthy elements and increases blood flow and healing.

Herbal therapy has been around for thousands of years. It is a useful complement to acupuncture treatments because while a person may only get acupuncture treatments weekly, monthly or as needed, a person may take herbs daily to address certain symptoms and support their constitution. Herbs are great for balancing the body and for addressing: digestion, emotions, sleep, women’s issues, common colds and flu.

Moxibustion (moxa) is the use of the herb, mugwort, topically to increase energy, reduce pain and benefit the overall constitution.

Tui na “twee- nah” is a combination of massage and acupressure that uses the meridians and acupuncture points to increase the movement of qi and reduce pain.

My Journey to Traditional Chinese Medicine

Ever since I was a young child I have always been interested in medicine, health and the human body.  How the body works is so fascinating! When I was in high school I had set my sights on becoming a doctor, specifically a pediatrician. I had, and still have, a special interest in helping children become healthier to help prevent illnesses and diseases. Then some of my family members started going to see an acupuncturist at the Iowa Acupuncture Clinic for various ailments. Like most people, I had no idea what acupuncture was or what it could do, but when my family members saw improvements it piqued my interest.
 
As I was talking to my mom about wanting to be a doctor, she said she could see me being an acupuncturist. The thought intrigued me, so I decided to get my first acupuncture treatment. My main goal was to get a better understanding of acupuncture, and my initial experience was relaxing and enjoyable. I was very curious because the acupuncturist asked me questions based on what she observed by looking at my tongue and feeling my pulse. It was extremely interesting to learn that our bodies tell us things every day; we just need to be aware of it and listen.
 
After that, I began working at the Iowa Acupuncture Clinic and the medicine continued to amaze me. I really enjoyed being a part of the clinic and observing patient interactions. I saw improvements in my health in ways I wouldn’t have thought possible from tiny needles being strategically placed all over my body. At the time I truly did not understand how much theory went into a treatment.
 
I graduated from Johnston High School in 2007 and started my undergraduate experience at Grand View University in the fall of 2007. Throughout my time at Grand View, I continued to work part-time at the clinic and it only confirmed my passion for Chinese Medicine. I earned my Bachelors Degree in Health Promotion: Wellness and Fitness and went on to pursue my Masters in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from Northwestern Health Sciences University. After my education in health and Traditional Chinese Medicine, I’m even mIMG_9394ore amazed with the body and all of the miracles that happen every second.

I now work for Acupuncture Wellness Center & Allergy Clinic of Iowa, and every day I’m thankful for all of the steps that lead me down this path towards my calling of being an acupuncturist. I have dedicated myself to helping people feel their best.  After all, we only have one body for this one amazing life; we better take the best care of it we can.