Harvest to Hibernation

Fall is traditionally thought of as harvest time, a time for gathering nature’s bounty, and preparing it for storage. Food is preserved for hibernation season. While we, as humans, do not actually hibernate in winter, we resonate with the energy of the season. Many animals hibernate, plants die down while roots preserve energy for the spring. The sun is low in the sky, days are shorter, it is darker and colder and we are drawn home.

Home is where the heart is but it is also where the hearth is. Preparing the hearth means creating a warm, safe space. Fall is a time to make sure our homes are ready for the extreme yin season, while also preparing our bodies, minds and spirits. Surviving and thriving in winter relies on the ability to draw on the reserves of food, warmth, and energy that we have gathered and preserved in accordance with the seasons.

Here are some things to consider in Fall to better prepare for winter:

Nutritional transitions: In Chinese Medicine, Fall is lung season. Don’t miss this opportunity to nourish and moisten the lungs with foods like pears, apples, figs, cauliflower, and daikon radish. Keeping the lungs strong will build immunity for the sometimes harsh conditions we face in Winter. Plenty of fiber is also important to help clean out LI (the lung’s paired organ) and prevent digestive stagnation as everything slows down in Winter. Most food should be cooked to maintain the body’s digestive fire. Warming teas with cinnamon and ginger are delightfully seasonable as temperatures drop throughout fall and winter.

Lifestyle transitioning: Winter is the peak of yin time. Yin time is about going inward into stillness. Fall is the beginning of the yin season and when we should begin that inner journey. The excitement of summer quiets down and we begin to require more sleep and rest in general. We simply need to slow down as we don’t want to expend the energy reserves that are needed to keep us warm and healthy throughout the frost.

Emotional transitions: In preparation for the reflective yin time ahead, we are compelled to feel some grief as we say goodbye to summer and observe the natural cycle of death happening around us as the earth progresses towards winter. If we have created space and time to feel the natural sadness of letting go in the fall, and release those energies appropriately, it will be that much easier to face the emotional energies of winter, the darkest season. Winter is associated with the emotion of fear and facing our fears helps us tap into our strength, our courage and our willpower.

 

Schedule some fall acupuncture to ‘prepare the hearth’ and set yourself up for a smooth transition into winter!

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Are You an Alchemist?

 

Do you keep your living space tidy and organized? 

Are you detail oriented? 

Have you ever been called a ‘perfectionist’? 

Do you follow recipes when you cook? 

Do you pride yourself on your integrity? 

 

Most of us have at least some of the metal element energies within us. They may even be in excess when it comes to certain aspects of our personality. For instance, if we are overly rigid in regards to our own expectations of our education or career, this can lead to stress and lack of joy in the process. Or on the flip side, if we completely drop expectations and make half-hearted efforts in our work or projects, we lack that sense of refinement attributed to the metal element, and allow for sloppy results.  

 

Exaggerated expressions of the metal element are seen in dogmatic, authoritarian strict personalities that prefer control and are bound to routine. Associated health concerns include issues of rigidity and dryness such as stiff joints and muscles, dry skin, poor circulation, restricted breathing, constipation and a reserved, flat affect unable to confer much emotion. 

Autumn, the season of metal, is the perfect time to tap into our inner alchemist, organize our space, bring order where it is needed, clean up the chaos, and use ritual to empower our intentions. As always, we must be aware of the equilibrium of energies and compensate for rationality and self-control with passion and spontaneity. A little dose of “go with the flow” helps to balance things out. A true alchemist will recognize that with any ritual, following a set structure is important, as long as you leave room for the magic. 

 

Let us help you tap into your magic and nurture your inner alchemist in time for the fall season! Click the Book Now button to schedule your appointment.

 

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Can you just NOT AFFORD to get sick right now?

Life can get insanely busy and being out of commission for a few days with a cold/flu can be really annoying and inconvenient!

Your immune system is your body’s security detail — the cells, tissues and organs that comprise it help repel foreign invaders like bacteria, parasites and other microbes that can cause infections. Stress, lack of sleep, improper hygiene, poor diet, and lack of natural vitamin D can contribute to a weakened immune system, which can make you vulnerable to infections.

Acupuncture can treat a wide range of health conditions, including immune deficiency, by stimulating and balancing the immune system. Acupuncture can strengthen a weakened immune system by increasing red and white cell counts, T-cell count (which destroy bacteria and harmful viruses in the body) and by enhancing humoral and cellular immunity in patients with immune-related illness. It is thought that acupuncture does this by provoking the body’s immune response through the use of the needles: the body thinks the needles are a threat and marshal their white cell and T-cell count to fight them off. However, the effect of this lasts days after the acupuncture session and so works on viruses and bacteria as well.

So, sick and tired of being… well, sick and tired? Acupuncture may be a great way to fill in the missing gaps in your immune system and keep you healthy!

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How Often Should I Receive Acupuncture?

We get asked all of the time, “how many acupuncture treatments do I need?”.  The answer is, it depends! 

     Treatment frequency and number of treatments needed depend on a variety of factors: your constitution, the severity and duration of the problem, and the quality and quantity of your Qi.  Acupuncture works in a series of treatments.  You can never have acupuncture treatments too close together, but you can have them too far apart.  It works cumulatively and we want to continue building on your progress.  Please refer to your treatment plan given to you by your acupuncturist to know when to schedule your next appointment.  Acupuncture is also great for long term emotional health, immune response, and longevity so we recommend a minimum of one treatment per month for optimal health and wellness.

It is super important to note that If we treat you today, but then before your next appointment a week later your symptoms slowly start to creep back in so by the time we treat you again we’re at square one, then we went too far between the first appointments.  We’ll be stuck in this see saw of your symptoms improving, then getting worse, then improving, and getting worse.  We don’t want this, we want your symptoms to slowly improve, and improve, and improve.  Your acupuncturist will work with you to find a treatment schedule that works for you.  After you are on a consistent schedule and your symptoms are starting to improve, the frequency of treatments can lesson.

It is also important that between visits you are making note of any changes that may have occurred, such as the alleviation of pain, pain moving to other areas, changes in sleep or mood, and any changes in the frequency and type of symptoms.  These are all things to discuss with your acupuncturist during your next visit.  This may indicate the need to bump up or lesson the number of treatments or discuss the possibility of adding herbs as well.

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New Year, Same You – Better With Acupuncture

Here are 5 ways acupuncture can help you maintain your goals this New Year! 

 

 

Eliminate Stress 

Stress reduction is always list for New Year’s resolutions and for a good reason. Stress is often the cause of illness and the deterioration of health. Numerous studies have demonstrated the substantial benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of stress, anxiety and lowering blood pressure.

 

Reach Target Weight and Stay There

Losing weight is the most common New Year’s Resolution. Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine can help you reach your goal weight and maintain it by promoting better digestion, smoothing emotions, reducing appetite, improving metabolism, and eliminating food cravings.

From an Oriental medicine perspective, the acupuncture points and foods and herbs that are chosen to assist with weight loss directly influence the Qi of the Spleen and Liver systems to treat the root imbalances that are causing the weight gain.

From a Western perspective, acupuncture and Oriental medicine have been shown to have an effect on the function of the nervous system, endocrine system, digestive system, food cravings, and metabolism. All of which can help to energize the body, maximize the absorption of nutrients, regulate elimination, control overeating, suppress the appetite, and reduce anxiety.

The beauty of acupuncture is that each treatment is catered to the needs of the individual patient. Acupuncture points on the body will be chosen for overall well being with the objective of increasing circulation of the blood and Qi (stimulating the metabolism) and calming the nervous system.

 

Stay Sharp

Your New Year’s resolution may be to learn a new language or take a class at your local college. However you choose to exercise your brain, acupuncture can help. Numerous studies suggest that acupuncture can help improve memory, mental clarity, concentration and cognitive function.

One recently published study shows how acupuncture can be used to treat memory impairment induced by diabetes and cerebral ischemia. Other studies have looked at how acupuncture affects the performance of students during an exam, post-menopausal “brain fog”, Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. All results, thus far, have been positive.

 

Relieve Pain Naturally

If pain is keeping you from living your life to the fullest, acupuncture can help.  Increasingly, people are looking for more natural approaches to help relieve painful conditions instead of relying on medications. Acupuncture has no side effects and can be helpful for all types of pain, regardless of what is causing the pain or where the pain is located. Some studies have shown the pain relief it provides can last for months.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain before and after acupuncture treatment for pain shows dramatic decreases in activity in the pain centers of the brain – up to 70%.

In addition to reducing pain, acupuncture also hastens the healing process by increasing circulation and attracting white blood cells to an injured area.

 

Quit Smoking

Acupuncture has turned a growing number of cigarette cravers into permanent ex-smokers. In fact, researchers say that acupuncture is a promising treatment for all types of addiction from cigarettes to heroin.

In one study, a team from Yale University successfully used auricular (ear) acupuncture to treat cocaine addiction. Results showed that 54.8% of participants tested free of cocaine during the last week of treatment, compared to 23.5% and 9.1% in the two control groups. Those who completed acupuncture treatment also had longer periods of sustained abstinence compared to participants in the control groups.

The acupuncture treatments for smoking cessation focus on jitters, cravings, irritability, and restlessness; symptoms that people commonly complain about when they quit. It also aids in relaxation and detoxification.

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