Are you on a Slow Simmer?

slow simmer

There’s an old metaphor about a frog in boiling water.  If you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water, he will immediately jump out because of the sudden, drastic change in temperature.  If, however, you put a frog in a pot of tepid water and slowly bring it to a boil, the temperature change will be so subtle that the frog will never know what hit him as he boils to death.

People are very similar to the frog when it comes to identifying underlying health problems and seeking help. Based on the perceived severity of the problem, you are either driven to action, or more prone to let the problem continue as a mere annoyance.

Those who have suffered a major trauma such as an auto accident, work injury, or slip and fall are like a frog dropped in boiling water.  Because they have undergone such sudden and massive physical change they seek immediate action in correcting the damage done and look to professional help without delay.  Bear in mind that these are the same people who would normally overlook more minor aches and pains without a second thought.

Why does one act so quickly in a situation like this?  The injury happens so suddenly and swings them so far from their comfort zone that they will do whatever it takes to bring things back to normalcy as quickly as possible.  After all, a knock in your engine is something that you would typically let go for awhile, but a sudden cloud of smoke billowing from under the hood would likely spur you to immediate action.

The majority of people, however, are like a frog in tepid water, on a slow simmer until eventually being brought to a boil.  Most imbalances develop over time, and because they are often very subtle, and many times painless, the danger of their impact on our bodies goes unnoticed.

Over time, however, these imbalances are no less devastating to us than boiling water is to the frog.  A slow drip in your attic might not seem like a big deal, but its cumulative effects can eventually send your ceiling crashing down.

Until we get into the habit of being proactive when it comes to our health, these “simmering” imbalances will always be a threat.  Neutralizing that threat requires that we shift our thinking away from pain-based, symptom-relief care and more toward a system built around prevention and wellness.

If you know someone who has not been examined for imbalances yet, regardless of whether or not they are exhibiting any symptoms, send them in for an acupuncture evaluation.  Let’s get them the help they need before their pot comes to a boil!

Copyright ©2011 Acupuncture Media Works All Rights Reserved.

A House Divided…

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.” –Abraham Lincoln

Pills on table with toast and orange juice

Pain killer…Check.  Anti-inflammatory…Check.  Anti-anxiety…Check.  Antidepressant…Check.

And that’s just breakfast!

For many, starting the day by downing a handful of pills has become the norm, a natural accompaniment to their eggs and toast.

You take pills because you are taught to, and that’s what most people are accustomed to.  Because somehow the drugs are supposed to wipe the slate clean and zero out your not so healthy lifestyle choices.  Inherently you know that the drugs are not the best thing for you, but you figure that you can settle for good enough if the pills can help you just get by.

There is a reason that every drug or pill that you are prescribed comes with a list of side effects and warnings.  Continually putting foreign/toxic substances into your body over the long run often creates more illness than health.

The reality is that the body is designed to heal from the inside out and express life through an inborn intelligent energy, and it is only when this energy is impeded that the body begins to break down.

Drugging an imbalanced body does nothing to bring it back into balance, and in fact while on the surface it may appear that the drugs are serving a positive purpose, underneath, the body is thrown farther into a state of stress and dis-ease.  In effect, you have created a house divided.

The natural, recuperative power of the body is now pitted against the drug’s toxic effects.  Even when drugs are designed as closely as possible to work in harmony with the human body, it simply is not feasible to introduce chemicals into the body without also inducing stress.

You are either working to support the body’s innate healing energies or you are working against it.  You can’t have it both ways and expect to see positive change over a lifetime.

The key to producing a lifetime of health and wellness is to develop a unified front; to unleash the full power of the body’s meridian systems and then to nurture it through exercise, good nutrition, adequate rest, and a positive mental outlook.

Acupuncture works in unison with the body and serves to optimize your innate healing potential.  It is the natural choice to replenish and maintain optimal health!

Copyright ©2011 Acupuncture Media Works. All Rights Reserved.

100 Years… and Counting!

Would you like to live to be 100?  You would be surprised at how many people would answer “no” to that question.  Many people are in such poor health that it is a physical and emotional struggle to get through each day, let alone an entire century.  It doesn’t have to be that way.

Actually, if we are living properly, enjoying the rich quality of life that we are entitled to, we should all be thrilled to live to 100!  In fact, the hard part should be figuring out how to squeeze all of our goals and accomplishments into such a relatively short period of time.

It’s true that we are living longer than our ancestors, but while the medical profession is quick to point out that our lifespan is increasing, what remains hidden in the fine print is the atrocious quality of life that our senior population must endure.  Twinkies® have a long shelf life, but it would be a stretch to call them healthy.

A balanced meridian system is the foundation of health and longevity, and it is like a bright light glowing deep within.  Dim the light and your quality of life dims along with it.  Extinguish the light and you die.

100 years and counting

The key to living a long, healthy life is to maximize the function of the meridian system as long as possible.  Acupuncture does exactly that.

Understand that longevity is built right now.  Today.  This very day is part of your 100 years.  Your state of health at this moment is a result of your actions yesterday and the days prior.  Your state of health tomorrow depends on what you do today.

Health is not black and white.  It is a continuum, with death at one end and complete wellness at the other end.  We are never stagnant, we are constantly moving back and forth along the scale.

Every action you take either moves you toward health or away from it, and the key to longevity is to habitually engage in those activities that drive you in the right direction.  Things like acupuncture treatments, daily exercise, proper nutrition, gratitude, a positive mental outlook, spiritual fulfillment, love, and so on.

It’s been said that success is a journey, not a destination.  The same can be said of longevity.  If a long, healthy life is a goal of yours, then don’t just let your life play out and hope for the best.  Longevity is not about dragging out an existence just to make it to a certain age.  Longevity is a byproduct of living the right way every single day until, before you know it, a hundred years have passed.

Copyright ©2011 Acupuncture Media Works. All Rights Reserved.

24 Hours To A Better Life

24 hours.  One day.

Analog wall clock

What if you only got one?  What would you do with it?  Who would you see?  How would you act?  Where would you go?

Fortunately most of us get more than one day to live out our lives.  But for too many of us there seems to be something wrong with every single day we are given.  It’s too long.  It’s too short. It’s cold.  It’s rainy. It’s boring.  It’s too busy.

If it were your last day, do you think you would give things like the weather a second thought?  If you had just one day to live, your focus would undoubtedly shift from complaining and complacency to productivity, love, and thankfulness.

Well, the truth of the matter is that every day is of equal value.  Today is no less important than your last day.  Each day is a brand new start and we are all given the same 24 hours to make of them what we will.

All of this may sound a little too cliché, but consider that billionaire powerhouses like Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett are given the same 24 hours every day that you are.  They are afforded no more time and no less time.  The difference comes in how they choose to utilize their hours.  And if you think they just somehow happened to arrive at their success by chance or privilege, read up on their life histories and you’ll find that this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Now your goal might not be to become a billionaire, but most people are longing for something more out of life, but are either waiting around for it to come to them, or just don’t know how to go about getting it.

The good news is that it doesn’t take a genius to create an extraordinary life; just persistent focused action on a daily basis.

Maybe you would love to write a best-seller, but are intimidated by the whole process.  If you got to work and wrote just one page a day, in a year’s time you will have completed a 365 page book!  Even if it took you 2 days per page, you would still have a substantial 180 pages.

Advancing your life simply requires that you prioritize and change your focus.  Evaluate your typical day and find those “lost moments” or “voids” in which nothing meaningful seems to take place, and then plan the night before how you are going to better utilize that time.  Listen to educational programs during your commute. Instead of surfing the web, study your field of business.  Turn the TV off in favor of some quality family time.

You may not be destined to change the world, but by focusing 24 hours at a time it is easily within your power to change your life!

Healthy Spring Acupuncture Tips

Spring is a happy time. Bunnies hop about. Flowers emerge in long forgotten corners of your garden. The birds return and sing so loudly they wake you in the morning. This is not a time to be angry. But according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, being angry is exactly what you can expect if you don’t balance your wood element. In TCM, spring is represented by the element wood. Wood represents birth and newness, the time for fresh ideas and new starts. Unsurprisingly, its color is green like the fresh growth of spring.
Wood governs your spine, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons. A wood imbalance can lead to spinal problems, poor flexibility or arthritis. Wood also governs your eyes.

But most important for your mood, wood governs your liver. Your liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi (energy) and smooth flowing Qi means health and vitality. The emotion associated with your
liver is anger. If your liver is imbalanced your Qi will be disrupted and you’ll be angry. Healthy (and happy) spring acupuncture practices mean balancing your wood element and caring for your liver.

health spring acu tips

Healthy Spring
Acupuncture Practices

Try these spring acupuncture recommendations, to keep your wood balanced and your liver healthy.
• Eat light. Overeating taxes your liver.
• Eat greens. Spouts, wheatgrass, spinach, kale and dandelions are particularly good foods in the spring.

• Eat sour? Sour is the flavor associated with spring, however sour flavors are only recommended for certain constitutions.

• Season your food. Pungent spices like basil, fennel, marjoram, rosemary, caraway, dill and bay leaf are excellent for spring cooking—and they taste good.

Get plenty of rest and drink water.

By keeping your wood balanced you’re keeping your liver healthy you will be happy. You’ll feel vital, flexible and clear. If you have questions about healthy spring acupuncture practices feel free to call me for recommendations.

Copyright ©2014 Acupuncture Media Works. All Rights Reserved.
Image provided by: Thinkstock

6 Ways to Relieve Allergies Without Drugs, Shots or Needles

Summer finally arrives. The sun comes out. The flowers bloom. Most people grab their sunscreen and head outside. But what do you do? You close the windows, grab your antihistamines and hide in the house. Wouldn’t it be great if you could enjoy being outdoors?

Allergies are widespread. According to WebMD, 20% of the population suffers from allergies or asthma, and 55% of the population tests positive for one or more allergens. Allergies are the 5th leading chronic disease in the US and cost the US health care system $7.9 billion annually.

Allergies

If you can’t live with your runny nose, congestion or watery eyes, but you don’t want to take antihistamines or get allergy shots, what can you do to relieve your symptoms?

What are Allergies?

Allergies are the result of an overactive immune system. Over exposure to allergens, exposure to too many allergens at one time or a generally low immunity may cause watery eyes, runny nose or sneezing.

While allergens vary from foods to furs to pollens, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) considers when your allergies start more important than what you are allergic to. TCM looks at how all your organ systems work together. Knowing when your immune system first becomes overloaded gives clues about which organ system needs balance.

 

Acupuncture Allergy Relief at Home

TCM provides several options to relieve your allergy symptoms. Be sure to begin these routines early, before your symptoms start. It’s easier to keep your immune system balanced than to recover once it’s overwhelmed.

1.      Avoid dairy. According to TCM, dairy is an irritant to the immune system.  Even if you don’t notice sensitivity to dairy, reducing or eliminating it may relieve your symptoms.

     2.      Avoid allergens. Avoiding allergens may mean declining foods you are allergic to, not petting animals or purchasing allergy-free pillows or bedding.  To reduce pollens, shower after being outside.  Pollens can be trapped in your hair causing you to breathe them in while sleeping.

     3.      Avoid multiple allergens at once. One theory, called the “Total Load Theory,” states that while exposure to one allergen may not be enough to trigger your symptoms, exposure to several allergens at the same time may.  It’s as if your “allergy bucket” has to be overflowing before your symptoms start.  For example if you’re allergic to cats and grass pollen, stay away from cats while the grasses are blooming.  During other times of the year, you can play with kitty.

     4.      Use a neti pot. The neti pot is a great way to rinse your sinus cavities, clear mucous and reduce swelling so you can breathe easier.  Follow the directions with the pot.  Be sure to use distilled water instead of tap to avoid introducing bacteria into your sinuses.

     5.      Breathe peppermint.  Inhaling the scent of a drop of peppermint essential oil can reduce congestion and improve your breathing.  Put a drop of the oil in your palm and rub your hands together.  Cup your hands over your nose and inhale.

     6.      Practice acupressure.  There are several points that are easy to stimulate and may reduce your symptoms.

          a.         Use your thumbs to gently hold the inner corner of your eyes, just under of the inner end of the eyebrows.  Hold the pressure for 10 seconds.

          b.         Use your index fingers to press each side of your nostril, about 1/8” from the opening and just under the cheekbones.  Hold the pressure for 10 seconds.

          c.          Gently pinch the web of flesh between the index and thumb of your hand.  Feel for a tender spot just above the “V” of the bones.  Hold the pressure for 10 seconds and repeat on the other hand.

If these self-help treatments aren’t enough to relieve your symptoms, give me a call.  Acupuncture is stronger than acupressure and will give you more relief.  Plus I can recommend acupressure points and other self-help tips that are specific to your constitution.  With a personalized allergy self-help plan you’ll enjoy being outdoors again!

 

7 Healthy Tips for Coping with Financial Stress

If you feel stressed just living your life, you’re not alone. Americans lead stressful lives. Jobs, relationships, health, family obligations, community responsibilities—they all take their toll.

In “Stress in America 2012,” an annual survey by the American Psychology Association, 1 in 5 respondents reported an extreme stress level of 8, 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale. In that same group 69% of respondents reported physical or non-physical symptoms of stress, including irritability or anger, fatigue, feeling overwhelmed or changes in their sleep.

The top source of stress according to 69% of the respondents is–money.

Coping with money worries is difficult for many people. You may feel lost or out of control. You may argue with your spouse. And ironically, you may go on a shopping spree to try to relieve your stress.

April is National Stress Awareness month and as the April tax day approaches it’s a good time to think about ways to cope with financial stress.

7 healthy tips for coping with finacial stress


7 Healthy Tips for Coping with Financial Stress

1.Take breaks from the computer when doing bookkeeping and taxes. Computer work is hard on your neck and shoulders and for many people financial work is the most stressful computer work of all. All this stress can lead to a sore neck, shoulders and back. Get up every 45 minutes to walk around and stretch. Take deep breaths. Keep your body relaxed so your emotions stay level.

2.Take charge of your finances. Track your earnings and spending every day for a month. Be ruthless and write down every penny. When you have a clear picture of your income and expenses make a reasonable spending plan which keeps them balanced. Don’t budget on what you hope you’ll make or wish you’ll spend. Be realistic. Having a budget will give you control & reduce your financial stress.

3. Plan your splurges. It’s difficult to stick with a financial plan if you feel like it is overly restrictive and deprives you of what you love. Budget for reasonable treats. Plan to spend money on the things that give you the most pleasure.

4. Balance making more with spending less. Sometimes taking extra shifts at work is smart and sometimes spending less is the best plan. Make conscious choices about which strategy gives you the most pleasure and the least financial stress.

5. Balance making more with spending less. Sometimes taking extra shifts at work is smart and sometimes spending less is the best plan. Make conscious choices about which strategy gives you the most pleasure and the least financial stress.

6. Plan shopping trips to avoid impulse buys. Shopping can be stressful when you’re worried about money. Shop when you are fed, hydrated and relaxed. Shopping sales seems like a smart idea but if you buy because you’re afraid you will never see such great prices again, they cost you money. When you shop sales buy only what you planned. Don’t fall prey to “Sale Fever.”

7. Find support. Sharing financial triumphs and frustrations with a friend can be a big help in dealing with your financial stress.
A friendly ear gives you feedback when you’re tempted to blow your budget and accountability when you get lax.

8. Stay Calm. If you feel panic because you can’t pay your bills, remember to breath. Think about what your next step should be and resist negative thoughts or making your circumstances huge. Remember similar times when you managed your problems successfully.

When you worry about money it is especially important to take care of your health. Remember to do your healthy routines. Exercise, eat well and get enough sleep. Even though few people celebrate Tax Day, it doesn’t have to be stressful. Take steps to manage your financial stress. Call me if you need help relieving your stress symptoms.

Copyright © 2014 Acupuncture Media Works
Image provided by: Thinkstock

Essential Oils for Pregnant Women

“The article posted in the last newsletter “Is It Safe to Use Essential
Oils When I’m Pregnant?” from Baby Centre does a great job of laying out
the guidelines of how to use essential oils during your pregnancy.  As the
article demonstrates, essential oils can have a powerful impact on your
adult body, and an even more powerful impact on your fetus. When used
correctly and safely, especially under the guidance of an aromatherapist
or midwife, they can be a wonderful tool for pregnancy and delivery. The
general rule would be to take note of ANY changes in your body and if
there is any question, discontinue use of the essential oil immediately.
Also, I would not recommend beginning an aromatherapy regimen if you did
NOT use them pre-pregnancy. I would make two small changes to the lists in
the article; take Spearmint and Frankincense  essential oil off the safe
to use list and add Clary Sage and Oregano essential oil to the do not use
list.
Now on a very good note there is a wonderful alternative that you can use
safely throughout your pregnancy and even for your newborn – hydrosols.
This is the product of a separate distillation process from the one used
for essential oils. It starts with the same fresh plant material but ends
with a product that is about 99% water. The properties can provide similar
benefits as essential oils but without nearly any possiblity of side
effects. Safe and natural! Lavender hydrosol is a great option for an
expectant mom looking to sleep more soundly or relieve sore muscles or
joints. It can be safely sprayed on crib linens for gentle relaxation for
baby too.
Also, for us women not currently procreating, Floracopeia’s Balamce Blend
is a great way to smooth over the kinks in our monthly cycles. The blend
includes Clary Sage, which is harmonious with a woman’s cyclical energy.
As stated above, avoid use if pregnant or hoping to become pregnant!
Floracopeia’s blends are essential oils only – not diluted – so 3-4 drops
are perfect for the diffuser, but please add a carrier oil at a 95% to 5%
blend rate when applying directly to skin.”

-Margo Hertzfeld
Rosy Glow Aromatherapy
www.rosyglowaromatherapy.com

Ten Steps For Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning

Spring is a season of awakening and of new beginnings. Making healthy choices that will carry you through the seasons is important this time of year. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. Embrace yourself honestly.
Assess the various aspects of your life, taking note where the stressors and weaknesses exist. Are they in your diet, exercise program, work or relationships? Focus on the ones that need improvement, and begin moving away from the ones that detract from your life.

2. Examine personal relationships.
Include your significant other, friends, and relatives. Think about how you affect each other and what you can do to make each relationship more meaningful.

3. Choose to change habits.
Perhaps you want to be more positive, exercise more, or give up junk food. Do you need help or can you do this on your own? It may be easier to make changes with support from others.

4. Clean and organize.
Clear out the old and bring in the new. Take a look at your possessions and give away or recycle anything that doesn’t serve a good purpose. You may be surprised at how much lighter and happier you feel when you’ve cleaned and freshened up each area of your home.

5. Get active.
Schedule more exercise into your day to improve your health and reduce stress. Walk around your neighborhood, try a yoga class, go dancing, or ride your bike someplace new.

6. Make positive choices.
Think about what you take in every day with your eyes, ears, and heart. Consider the things that make you feel your best such as beautiful music, energetic friends, and inspirational art. Consider taking a break from TV, news, violent movies, and stressful people.

7. Feel your best.
Assess your emotional well-being. Take an honest look at your moods and emotions. Find the cause of the disharmony, and make a conscious choice to change. Many factors, from diet and digestive health to learned behavior, can have an influence on mood and energy level.

8. Try a Detox Program.
You may want to try a 1-3 week detox program during the spring. Choose a program that works for you whether it’s a juice cleansing, fasting, cutting out dairy or refined sugars, or a more in-depth detox diet. Talk to me, I may be able to give you helpful information about how to approach the detoxification process.

9. Consider nutritional supplements.
You might find supplements helpful for boosting your immunity and overall health. Consider taking an age and gender appropriate multivitamin and mineral daily, as well as additional antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E. Also remember to drink plenty of water and green tea.

10. Commit to a plan.
Consider what you want out of life, from your health, habits and relationships to your career and work. Create a plan to achieve these goals. Most importantly, remember to be nurturing and kind to yourself as you commit to making positive changes in your life.

Copyright ©2012 Acupuncture Media Works. All Rights Reserved.

Protect Your Investment

Buying an automobile is probably one of the biggest financial investments you’ll make.  When you consider all the hard work that went into your purchase I’m sure you would agree that it only makes sense to protect your investment so that you get as much return on it as possible.  You understand that even though your car runs great, performs magnificently, and looks wonderful on the outside it is imperative that you keep up with regularly scheduled maintenance to keep it running smoothly.  Routine oil changes are essential to the life of your car’s engine.  It would be foolish to sink tens of thousands of dollars into a new vehicle only to neglect the maintenance and drive it to an early grave.

Restoring your health through acupuncture requires an investment of both your time and money, and is truly one of the best investments you can make for yourself.  If you have completed, or are in the process of following through with a schedule of comprehensive acupuncture treatments, then congratulations on your commitment to excellent health!  However, to remain at the pinnacle you worked so hard to achieve it is essential to incorporate acupuncture wellness care into your lifestyle.

Once you have completed an initial or comprehensive care plan it is important to follow up with routine visits to maintain your newfound level of health.  After all, if it was worth the investment to regain your health, then you owe it to yourself to maintain it.

The key is to remain proactive and to stay one step ahead of potential problems before they have a chance to develop.  It is far less costly to take your car to the mechanic for routine maintenance work than it is to wait for a breakdown.

Keep in mind, however, that even with routine automotive maintenance there is still the potential to develop trouble between service appointments.  When the warning lights on your dash alert you to a problem, it is best to get it checked right away rather than wait until your next scheduled service.

The same goes for your body. When pain, injuries, or illness occur between wellness visits, resist the temptation to hold out until your next scheduled visit.  If your body is talking to you, listen to it.  The sooner a problem is addressed, the easier and more cost effective it is to get you over it.

Your body is meant to last you a lifetime.  It is not leased and there is no trading it in.  Isn’t it time you started caring for your body as well as you treat your car?  Just like oil changes, fuel line flushes, and tire rotations, wellness visits will keep you running strong for a lifetime!Close-up of mechanic examining bonnet of car