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Wisdom Ways Acupuncture Blog

Here you’ll find a ton of information about Chinese Medicine, the way I approach it, and general wellness/lifestyle tips that support our clinical work. My patients will find useful posts to dive deeper into what we discuss in clinic. 
If you want to search for a specific topic, just come back to this main blog page using the navigation tab at the top, and use the Search function directly below.

If you’re open to learning more about yourself in the treatment process, and to be a partner in your own healing, then you’re probably a great fit for our practice! Women who come in excited and open to addressing whatever is discovered in treatment are the ones who typically benefit the most from our work together; finding it not just relieving of their symptoms, but transformational as well. Acupuncture that’s transformative while relieving symptoms You...

One of the biggest hurdles for many people to drinking bone broth as they intend, is the taste. I don’t know how you feel about it, but I personally feel like bone broth tastes like I’m sucking the insides of a live animal’s bones out and slurping it down. As a huge foodie and paleo proponent, I feel like a fraud for thinking bone broth tastes gross! But the truth is, I’m queasy about eating...

This month, I’ve had the joy to work with a western medical specialist, who decided to specialize in gastroenterology because of her own lifelong digestive struggles. This is a story of someone who in only one month of acupuncture went from having painful digestive problems her whole life, to being often free from symptoms. The results of her treatment have contributed to the growing bridge between western and alternative health care providers who are seeing...

Acupuncture is commonly used to balance hormones One of the most common things that brings women into my Fort Collins Acupuncture practice is imbalanced hormones. Either women have lab confirmation that their hormones are out of whack, or they just know they have a hormone issue because they have symptoms such as hot flashes (whether menopausal or not) or irregular periods, etc. While as acupuncturists we understand hormones and how important it is that they’re...

In my acupuncture practice, I use Basal Body Temperature (BBT) extensively. All of my fertility patients track their BBTs, and many of my patients coming for menstrual or hormonal issues will as well. While BBTs don’t tell us the diagnosis, they can definitely help us identify problems we’d have no other way of seeing, as well as target treatment schedules around when you’ll get the most bang for your buck. Soon I’ll be writing a...

If you’re in Fort Collins area and you’re looking for help from acupuncture with a gynecology problem, this blog should help you figure out if I might be a good fit for you. Because treating women’s health/gynecology issues comes with its extra challenges, successful treatment requires a complex use of Chinese medicine. I’ll explain not only these complexities, but also my gynecology training and experience. If you just want to see my gynecology training/experience, scroll...

As acupuncturists, we frequently use the very vague word “balance”. Because this word can mean so many things, I find it helps my patients if I can explain what this means. Acupuncturist’s Balance = Doctor’s Homeostasis Western medicine actually has a very similar concept, science calls it “homeostasis”. Humans have homeostatic functions happening throughout their body, constantly. When we get too hot, we sweat to cool off. Too cold and we start trembling to warm...

Some years ago, something “horrible” happened in the life of myself and my Significant Other (SO): his eyes one day got wonky, and long story short when he went to the doctor that week for an elbow injury and mentioned his eye symptoms, the doctor immediately walked out of the room, made a phone call, and within 2 minutes my SO was on his way to a specialist. Within hours, we found ourselves in the...

During acupuncture treatments as well as out and about when I’m giving talks, people are usually fascinated when I start talking about the 5 Elements of acupuncture theory. This is because they reveal so much about not only what makes us tick, but also the health issues we’re likely to encounter. This video covers a very basic overview of each of the 5 elements. Although diagnosing a person’s element is much more complex than just...

Does Every Hormone Imbalance or Menstrual Problem Require Herbs for Successful Treatment? I get this question frequently enough that I thought I’d take the time to answer it in writing. The short answer is yes. The longer answer is usually. Treatment of Women’s Health in China Historically, if you were to enter a clinic in China complaining of irregular or problematic periods, you would be sent to the herbalism wing. When I lived for a...

If you’re considering starting acupuncture for fertility, this blog will help you understand what exactly Chinese medicine helps with in all the various phases of your hormone cycle. The main gist of what we’re doing is supporting the normal function of what SHOULD be happening in each phase. Women who have normal menstrual cycles where everything happens when it should, and how it should, usually won’t have problems with fertility. When women first start fertility...

Of all the great things that acupuncture can do to help fertility, one of them is improving your egg quality. Acupuncture for Fertility: the goal isn’t to just get pregnant In Chinese medicine, the goal is that you end up pregnant with a strong viable fetus in a strong balanced body that can sustain that fetus. This prevents miscarriage, and increases the chance of your pregnancy resulting in the live birth of a strong, healthy...

If you’re reading this post then you likely not only know what PCOS is, but you have it. Your symptoms might include those I most typically see in my patients: no or very irregular periods no or infrequent signs of ovulation trouble losing weight increased male pattern hair growth infertility acne Many PCOS patients also have hypothyroidism, but discussing that is beyond the scope of this blog, so perhaps I’ll write about that in another...

I’ll never forget when I first started studying infertility. Learning the incredible intelligence of the body where everything works together in perfectly coordinating unison, like an orchestra, just confirmed not only everything I believe about the body’s wisdom, but all the reasons I love doing what I do. The entire reproductive cycle, down to which hormones do what, which then triggers the next process, is simply amazing. But for whatever reason, learning about the simplest...

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere on my website, I LOVE treating migraines. To regularly see patients go from having a debilitating, life-stopping condition, to being symptom free without medications, is so satisfying for both myself and my patients. Today, a patient whom I’ve been seeing for migraines just reached the transition phase from coming in regularly, to backing down to a “maintenance mode” treatment schedule. I figured I’d write up her case and share it since...

My experience using acupuncture for endometriosis A very common ailment I treat in my acupuncture practice is endometriosis. Sometimes women come in with an actual diagnosis based on a laparoscopy; other times it’s just suspected based on their severe pain which might be just around their period, or in bad cases commonly causes various symptoms throughout their cycle. It’s a condition for which unfortunately western medicine just doesn’t have great treatment options. I’ve seen women...

Teach, don’t just heal with acupuncture and send women on their way One of the guiding principles in my acupuncture practice is teaching women how to care for their own health, so that they don’t have to rely on me or anyone else to maintain basic wellness. Of course I expect women to need my help and support at the beginning, usually with a combination of Acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and maybe nutritional and/or emotional guidance....

Those of you who’ve been around the block with me for a few years have heard me talk about how essential it is in the Spring to have clear goals, and to be moving towards them with ambition.  This is because according to Chinese Medicine and acupuncture theory, we are in the season related to the Liver/Wood Element. But in this post I’m focusing on common pitfalls that occur along the way; which often stem...

Anxiety is one of the most common things I treat here in the acupuncture clinic.Recently I posted a blog about the new study that gives us a clue as to how acupuncture is helping with stress, by regulating our stress hormones in the brain, blocking the HPA pathway to ward off heightened tension. On the heels of that report, this week I am going to share a real world story of a current patient who...

“And the day came, when the risk it took to stay tight in a bud, became more painful than the risk it took to blossom”                                                                                                     ...

Since I just had two fertility patients this week give birth to bouncing little perfectly healthy babies, I thought I’d share a write-up of what the treatment process looked like for them both. Their cases were about as opposite as they come on the scale of both difficulty, as well as time to conceive & live birth. So I thought outlining the two cases would give people a perfect — and realistic — look at...

As you watch this video, if you suspect you’re a Wood type because you see these qualities in yourself…remember!…it doesn’t mean that you’re like this all the time, or even that you ever display the extremely imbalanced traits that I discuss here. Those who are very unbalanced in their element display the most exaggerated traits of that element, which are helpful to use as teaching points to illustrate the underlying drive of the element. But...

Wake up, it’s Spring! Last week, I stepped into my garden for the first time since fall. Low and behold, there, shooting up like little explosive fireworks, were my Chives! In little 5 inch tall bundles, they announced the arrival of Spring. But doesn’t it seem early for this? And then the acupuncturist in me got hit on the head with an epiphany: Aaaaah, THAT’S why everyone is coming into the acupuncture clinic saying they’ve...

Since I first decided to study acupuncture in 1993, my chosen field has grown exponentially. When people would ask what field my studies were headed towards and I’d say “holistic medicine”, I’d get a cocked head indicating complete confusion. Almost 100% of people did not know what that meant. Now, 25 years later, acupuncture and holistic medicine are common household words. John Hopkins Medical Center, if not also a household name, is likely at least...

In the last several years I’ve become fascinated with the condition of Chronic Parasitism causing chronic inflammatory conditions.  Chronic inflammatory conditions are often combined under the term “knotty diseases” in Chinese medicine acupuncture theory, illustrating that they are difficult to unwind or untie…they are so deeply imbedded in the system that to get rid of them is like untying a tight knot, difficult and slow. Chronic Multi-Organ Symptoms In my acupuncture clinic I see these...

The Change from Classical to Traditional Chinese Medicine While Chinese medicine has been around for several thousand years, it underwent a dramatic change in the last century. This created massive changes in the effectiveness and scope of the medicine, which we still experience today. In an effort to modernize and standardize the medicine, bringing it “up to” the level of western bio-medicine, the communist government made sweeping changes in what was considered orthodox, or acceptable,...

It’s the midst of winter and all is elusive…the days are short and dark, the fields barren.  Not much occurs on the surface, and when we’re in rhythm with the patterns of nature, our lives reflect this dormancy as well.  In this time of rest, and especially in our do-ing culture, it is all too easy to underestimate the subtleties of power and transformation that are brewing beneath the surface. According to the Taoist roots...

What is Jing, and why does it matter for my health? Jing is a concept that I don’t talk about much in the acupuncture clinic, but according to Chinese Medicine, it has everything to do with the elemental season we’re in now: Water.  It is all wrapped up with the kidney energy; and for those of you who read my winter seasonal article, you know that the kidneys, the Water Element, and Winter, are all...

Many women come for acupuncture to help them make it through the dark winter with higher spirits and energy. Winter relates to the Water Element, but any time we find ourselves suddenly thrown into the unknown — such as in disasters, crises, or serious illness — we’re thrown into a “water time”, where our ability to tune into our own Water element for support and sustenance will help pull us through. Learn some tips for...

One of the most common things I see in new acupuncture fertility patients, is that they don’t have good fertile cervical mucous. Or, not enough. Most of us grow up as teens and then women, noticing that our cervical mucous changes throughout the month. But we might not notice it has a pattern to its quality, and that this pattern follows the rhythm of our cycle. Or, at least it should. The flow of cervical...

In this 5 Elements video I discuss the Metal Element, related to the season of the Fall. It includes just a few correlations related to the Metal element — mostly focused on the emotional/spiritual aspects of Metal — and gives a few tips on how to draw on the gifts of the other elements to help balance a Metal element that needs some help. Remember though that the elements are about so much more than...

Hello and welcome to Earth Element Season! — an extra season that we recognize in Chinese medicine called “Late Summer”. Since what we do/eat now will have a big impact on whether we have a vibrant, or a tired and sick cold season ahead, it’s crucial that we do as much as possible to boost the Qi in our Earth Element organs over the next several weeks. My video below gives you tips you can...

For fibroids of a certain size, and/or if a gynecologist says the fibroid needs to come out immediately, then Chinese medicine is not a treatment option. But the most common consensus among acupuncture gynecology specialists is that for fibroids around 3 cm and smaller, there’s a good chance Chinese medicine can successfully shrink them. Many acupuncturists actually report successfully treating larger fibroids; and in fact most of the patients I’ve treated for fibroids have actually...

An acupuncture study in Australia confirmed what I see clinically with so many of my patients: that acupuncture is very beneficial for menstrual/period pain. They found that acupuncture was “effective for reducing both pain intensity levels and the duration of menstrual cramping and pain. In addition, the researchers document that acupuncture reduces secondary symptoms including back pain, headaches, and nausea.” There are so many things I love about this report: First: it reflected what I...

Welcome to Summer, the Fire season, and my latest video in my 5 Elements series! This one focuses on the Fire element, and while there’s way too much to say about each element to fit into a short helpful video, I cover three vital aspects and functions of the Fire energy, and leave you with some tips you can follow if after watching the video, you think your Fire Element could use some nurturing. Enjoy!...

We’ve made it through the Wood season! According to Chinese Medicine, we’re entering the season related to the Fire Element, which corresponds to the Heart and to Summer.  As opposed to the Wood season, which was all about setting goals, independently forging ahead through whatever blocked our dreams from coming to fruition, and steadfast discipline; now it’s the time when relaxation, community, gathering, and fun, will be more appropriate to the season. We are a...

We’ve arrived!  The sun is bright!  The days last seemingly into the night and a playful feeling fills the air. We’re energized, invigorated, and connections and fun with loved ones is the norm. What is it about this season of Fire that makes everything feel a bit easier, a bit more filled with hope?  Let’s explore the Fire element to discover its wisdom, so we can stay balanced during this season of scattered energies. Qualities...

“A weed is just a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered”–Ralph Waldo Emerson  We’ve all seen ’em, we’ve all got ’em, right? Those pesky, durable flowers that sprout up from everywhere in our gardens and driveways.  The typical response is to either yank them out and throw them into the garden waste bag, or to give them a good dose of toxic weed killer. Why not use them instead to your advantage, getting FREE...

Acupuncture helps Stress…but HOW? I’ve known since I started practicing acupuncture that it is amazing at helping people with their stress levels.  Not only do many patients report feeling “euphoria” during and right after acupuncture, but many also report that these feelings last for days after their treatments.  We have many explanations for how acupuncture helps stress from a Chinese perspective, but as more and more scientific studies are done, the research is revealing what...

Most new Lyme diagnoses are communicated to me through tears. It’s a condition that in my experience, terrifies people more than any other diagnosis out there, with few exceptions. The reasons are understandable as the symptoms can devastate lives, leaving people a fragment of what they once were. For this reason, it’s one of the conditions I continue to grow more and more passionate about treating, since I see such great results with Chinese medicine...

 For years, I’ve been aware that wind stirs up frustration in me like nothing else.And apparently, I’m not the only one!Everywhere I go, people have been mentioning how edgy they get when the wind picks up. “I just want to punch someone!”, one usually delightful woman admitted. Chinese Medicine documented thousands of years ago the imbalances that can occur when we’re exposed to wind, and I want to give you a little insight into this...

If you’ve gone through the horrible experience of multiple miscarriages, then you’ve probably been tested for blood clotting factors. While western medicine doesn’t really have any great treatments for this, Chinese medicine really excels at helping this condition. That’s because we recognize the underlying cause as an imbalance that we commonly treat every day: Blood Stagnation. And we have very effective ways to address it using both acupuncture and herbs. I’ll get back to that...

In Chinese medicine, there’s no such thing as a “menopause” treatment. There are no acupuncture points or herbs for hot flashes, insomnia, night sweats, or brain fog. What there ARE acupuncture points and herbs for are all the various underlying reasons for those symptoms. Unique patient, unique menopause treatment The entire basis of Chinese medicine rests on analyzing each patient as an individual. Unfortunately, in modern times – in an effort to standardize the medicine...

In Chinese medicine, each patient as seen as an individual. Whether they come in for migraines, IBS, vaginal discharge, or endometriosis; we can never make assumptions about what imbalance is causing their symptoms or disease. To relate this to candida, for the sake of this post let’s say that all I treated all day long, every day, were patients with the diagnosis of candida. Every single one of them would still get a completely different...

The air is pungent with the quieting of the seasons. Everywhere around us we feel the downturn of energy, as leaves shine their last dying blasts of color before departing this world for their fall into the earth. Now is the time of letting go, of releasing—of bringing inward the scattered energies of the previous warmer seasons. As with every season in Chinese Medicine, Fall brings with it its own value, which if acknowledged helps...

Natural Fertility vs. ART/IVF If you’re hoping to get pregnant naturally, feel better than ever once baby comes; and you’re willing to potentially make some necessary lifestyle changes to bring that about, then you’re probably a great fit for our practice! For three reasons, I have chosen to focus my fertility/infertility work specifically with women who are trying to get pregnant without the use of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). Before I get into those reasons,...

One of the hardest things for us to figure out when my partner first got diagnosed with an auto-immune condition, was what to do for breakfast. Eggs had been our mainstay. Veggie scrambles and veggie frittatas made up the bulk of our breakfast food. But on the AutoImmune Protocol (AIP) eggs are out.   I knew it needed to feel like comfort food, since neither of us wanted to get up and have leftovers or...

The end of summer is upon us, and the bounty of the earth’s harvest is pouring in. While the long, playful days of summer have past, the air is still warm and the leaves are nowhere near falling. The significance of Late Summer Traditionally, this was the season for building our stores of nourishment for the coming months, and hours would be spent toiling in the kitchen putting up the summer bounty. Nowadays modern agriculture...

A couple weeks ago, I had one of those moments that as an acupuncturist, I’m usually coaching my patients through: a total food meltdown. Because I so often hear my patients experience them when they’re trying to completely overhaul their entire way of eating, once I was through it (and thinking clearly) I knew what this next blog would be about — sharing my experience in hopes that it might be an inspiration to others...

Is Lyme as scary as we think? The short answer is: if we’re looking at it through the conventional method of constantly thinking we need to KILL the pathogen, then yes. I can’t tell you how many times over the years I’ve seen women come in for acupuncture with a Lyme diagnosis, having already been through several rounds of antibiotics and yet they still feel that they’ve never gotten their lives back. On top of...

If you’ve been struggling with periods that just won’t seem to end, or they’re just so heavy that they leave you exhausted and depleted, Chinese medicine can probably help. When women call saying they’re “hemorrhaging”, I tell them they need to get to western care immediately! It’s also good for women of any age to visit their gynecologist for a western diagnosis to rule out issues like massive fibroids that are too large for Chinese...

If you’ve been following my last couple posts, then you know that we’re headed into Wood Season, and it can be a time of being challenged with increased impatience, agitation, irritability, and anger.This is because the Wood element, associated with the Liver, corresponds with these emotions.While this can mean more struggles for many people, particularly those that fall into the “wood type” category (classic Type A, perfectionists/OCD, very driven and/or competitive in nature), if we...

You know the drill…you’re driving along, you’ve got somewhere to be, and just your luck, you’re hitting EVERY RED LIGHT. As if that isn’t bad enough, the lights seem to be turning green particularly……  slowly  …..  today  ….. Winter Turns to Spring — in its own good time… When I moved here to Fort Collins, it was my first time living somewhere where we actually had a change in seasons.  Never before had I experienced...

Every so often a new patient will arrive at my clinic with a fresh diagnosis of Epstein-barr. In their head it explains all the symptoms they’ve been suffering from: namely including chronic fatigue and constant flu-like symptoms. They’ve usually been to many doctors, and finally someone tests for this virus and viola! They have the explanation to their symptoms! But I take a different perspective. My view is that their Epstein-Barr levels are inflated BECAUSE...

Since one of my acupuncture specialties is Women’s Health, a common issue that brings women in is endometriosis. If you’re suffering from severe menstrual cramps, have unexplainable abdominal pain that tends to worsen around your period, causes pain with intercourse, and/or affects your urinary or bowel functions, you may have endometriosis.  The good news is, we can help! This quiz can asses your likelihood of an endometriosis diagnosis. However, this entire post applies to any...

Every year, it’s either my acupuncture patients, or the plants in my yard (sometimes both) which alert me to the fact that the wood element energy, associated with the liver, is starting to rise up around us.Because it seems to be raring its nasty little head earlier than usual this year, I'm posting about this energy, how it affects us, and what you can do to avoid the common symptoms that seem to flare up...

More and more patients have been coming in over the last couple years reporting that reducing FODMAPS in their diet has really helped them feel better.I first learned about these potential problem foods when I switched to a more Paleo-TCM-fusion way of eating, and I remember thinking “oh great…yet ANOTHER thing that people are supposed to eliminate!?” But is there something we can do to increase the likelihood of being able to eat these foods...

The past few weeks I’ve been focusing on our Jing, which is stored in our Kidneys, and is related to the Water Element in Chinese Medicine. This week, I’m going to teach you a simple, pleasurable meditation exercise that you can do outside the acupuncture clinic, to increase your kidney function, build your vital Qi to enhance health and immunity, and connect back into your peaceful center. This peaceful center is known to acupuncturists as...

Last week, I wrote about our Jing, how In Chinese Medicine it’s connected to our Kidney energy, and therefore the Water Element, and the season that we’re in right now: winter. Acupuncturists know that we want to do everything possible to avoid tapping into and therefore depleting our Jing — the root of all energy —, so this week,  I will go into a little bit more detail on some foods you can eat to...

What is your Basal Body Temperature (BBT)? Your basal body temperature is your temperature when you first wake up in the morning, before you have gone to the bathroom, had sex, started a conversation, or done any other activity. It changes throughout your cycle and tracking your temperature gives us crucial information regarding when and whether you are ovulating, how well your hormones are regulating a healthy and balanced cycle, and the likely health and...

In the wake of Robin William’s death, and the utter sadness I know so many of us share over the loss of this beautiful spirit, I felt moved to write a post from the perspective of the 5 Elements—explaining how depression fits in, what it means that we’re in the middle of the Fire element, how it all connects, and a few things we can all do to help keep a little more joy alive...

I am so excited after seeing one of my patients today!  She’s someone who recently started acupuncture with me, and is recovering from very serious illness after the side-effects of a medication that they have now found can cause blood cancer and other serious blood disorders. In Chinese medicine, we say that once something has gotten to the level of the blood, it is among the most serious of imbalances or diseases. This patient is...

Like every season, it is easy to figure out what foods will be beneficial for us right now by looking out at nature. And what do we see sprouting up all around us? Green!  Just little bits; but soon more, and then more, until it’s virtually an explosion in green! In the past, at the beginning of the growing season I would traipse off to Farmer’s Market, only to be disappointed that there was no...

It’s finally proven: Acupuncture helps stress I just got back from my regular acupuncture treatment with a colleague in town with whom I do trades.As usual, about 10 minutes into the treatment I found myself riding on those notorious waves of euphoria that acupuncture is so well known for while the stress just dissolved.As my body sunk deeper and deeper into the treatment table and I felt the relaxation that I can somehow only ever...

What do YOU think that is in the photo? Looks like bread… Tastes like bread… Feels like bread… It’s not bread! No gluten, no unhealthy substitutes like potato or corn starch. No grains at all. Paleo Bread It’s actually just sweet potatoes with eggs. That’s practically it! All I added were some sunflower seeds and flax seeds sprinkled on top, along with a little salt and pepper to give it some flavor. In my acupuncture...

Over the years, I’ve heard the concern that acupuncture might interfere with people’s Christian beliefs, so I just wanted to give my thoughts on this topic. For most people it’s a passing question which quickly leaves, but for some, I can hear the pain and genuine deep struggle in their voice as they desperately seek a medicine which they feel can help them, but might interfere with their most profoundly held beliefs. In researching the...

Today’s success story is about a case that has actually been one of my most difficult migraine cases ever. I chose to write about it anyway, even though the treatment process was filled with challenges, so people could see that successful treatment doesn’t always look how we expect it will look. And also to help people understand that sometimes we need to stay the course in order to get results. The patient happily agreed to...

I promised in my last post on the Wood element that I would write on the cellular affects of meditation, and why it is such an important practice for all of us to be doing. Especially as we begin to head into wood element season — the element notorious for, shall we say, being a little temperamental – it’s even more important that we have some tools to counteract the heightened stress that may happen...

It seems that science has finally been able to “see” and therefore acknowledge the existence of acupuncture points! In some exciting studies that were recently done, researchers used CT scans on the body to measure the difference between acupuncture and non-acupuncture points. The resulting images showed that there are marked differences between the locations that acupuncturists mapped out long ago—and which are now used in acupuncture treatment—and non acupuncture points. Further, it was noted that...

It seems that almost every day, new studies are showing the effectiveness of acupuncture and Chinese herbs, both of which are components of Chinese medicine. This latest study is good news for any woman (and those around her, for that matter!) who suffers monthly from PMS. Acupuncture for PMS An analysis of 8 acupuncture studies and 11 herbal studies showed success in the reduction of PMS and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), to the point that...

It’s the beginning of the year and just about the time when the motivation to keep New Year’s resolutions is wearing off fast. While I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions (mostly because I’ve never really been successful at keeping them, and as an acupuncturist prefer instead to just keep myself on track and balanced in smaller increments all throughout the year), there is no denying that many people feel that the beginning of the...

As an acupuncture paleo practitioner (I made that term up) :-), I’m always excited when I come across a recipe that’s both fabulous and medicinal, according to Chinese medicine’s nutrition principles. I just stumbled upon another recipe that I’ve gone crazy over and have to share, for so many reasons. First, it’s absolutely delicious and surprisingly simple. Second, it’s the perfect go-to snack for those of you who haven’t known what to eat since trying...

Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain: It works! According to a Meta-Analysis published by JAMA, a respected medical journal, acupuncture has been shown to be effective for chronic pain. In this study, they compared acupuncture to sham- acupuncture, and found statistically relevant differences in treatment outcomes comparing the two groups. What is wonderful about this particular analysis is that the sheer number of cases studied was enormous—in all the individual studies that were analyzed, there...

While we in the field of acupuncture know that it works because we see the results every day and have extensively studied the archives dating back thousands of years of Chinese medicine, it is always cool when a new study demonstrates not only that, but how,  acupuncture works. This study is citing the affects of a common acupuncture point on the outer ankle, Urinary Bladder (UB) 60, for improving vision. This study compared the results...

If you see me for acupuncture and we’ve done any TCM dietary counseling, or you’ve been to one of my seasonal eating talks, then you know that as the seasons change, the foods we should be eating to stay balanced and healthy change too.A few weeks ago, I came across a recipe that looked fabulous and decided to try it — being a sucker for lovely photos of decadent looking foods, I was instantly drawn...

Every so often, I like to share case studies from the clinic to not only give people a better idea of how acupuncture works, but also what they can expect from their treatments. Most people are surprised by all that acupuncture can treat, since mostly people hear only about its effectiveness for pain. Below are case outlines of 2 patients that I am currently treating; one using acupuncture for headaches, the other using acupuncture for...

I am often asked by my acupuncture patients how I feel about cleanses. While my responses have changed somewhat over the years, one thing has always remained stable: there is no single, cookie cutter cleanse that is right for everyone. If you’re thinking of doing a cleanse soon, you will want to consider the three things listed below before deciding on the cleanse that’s right for you. As many have probably noticed, cleanses are very...

What a response to my last article! Based on all the replies, it seems my article rang a bell with many of you and spoke to a concern you’ve been experiencing. As a health care provider, my concern is no less, as people grant me their trust every day to advise them on what is best for their wellness. So what’s the problem with grains? Or is there really even one? How can they be...

If you’ve been coming in to see me lately, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been talking about grains more than I ever did before. Actually, I haven’t just been talking about grains, I’ve been *thinking* about grains…a lot. To be more precise, I’ve been living, breathing, sleeping, eating (OK, maybe not always eating), researching, pondering, studying, racking my brains out wondering about, and just in general, obsessed with, grains. Why? Because over the past few...

Nothing signals the nearing of summer like the opening of our local farmer’s markets!  Tomorrow (Saturday), our very own Old Town Fort Collins market at 200 W. Oak Street opens at 8 am and goes til noon. While I may be an acupuncturist, I’m also a complete foodie, so I can’t wait for the opening of our local Old Town farmer’s market! The reason I like the Old Town FM over the Lemay and Drake...

(post update: This was written before I went paleo…you can still make it by just subbing steamed cauliflower for the beans!) You’ve all had hummus, right?   Well as an acupuncturist who’s somewhat fanatical about the benefits of eating dark leafy greens to benefit our liver, especially in the spring which relates to the liver—and especially kale—I am delighted to share this recipe with you. Because thanks to my new Kale recipe book, I have...

Well we have finally reached the end of our article series on the immune system.As an acupuncturist, in the process of writing and doing the research for this series, I am even more convinced than before that it is vital, and becoming more and more so, that we do everything possible to keep our immune system functioning at its highest states.As resistant bacterial strains stop responding to antibiotics due to their rampant overuse, and stress...

We’ve finally made it to the article in my series on the immune system in which I am sharing with you the supplements that I most recommend for a strong and healthy immune system. While these are not based on acupuncture theory, in combination with balancing your body via acupuncture and Chinese medicine, they can take you far along your journey to better immune function. Some of these are common and therefore you probably already...

I swear the universe is conspiring to get more kale on this acupuncturist’s plate. One of the things I love most about doing acupuncture is that each time I talk to my patients or blog to readers about some facet of health, I am reinforcing it in my own life.  As you know, I’ve been writing about kale a lot lately. There’s a quote you may have read before, “If you want to learn something,...

Using Acupuncture for pain as a substitute for drugs like morphine A study recently released by UCSF school of medicine showed that acupuncture is as effective as morphine for treating pain. That means that patients can feel confident that using acupuncture for pain will likely be a safe, drug-free way to manage their pain. Another study recently published in JAMA, formerly Archives of Internal Medicine and a widely respected peer reviewed medical journal, showed that...

Acupuncture for Migraines more effective than medications Once again, a study is showing that acupuncture is more effective for treating migraines than one of the common migraine medications that is regularly prescribed.100 people participated in the study, and participants either received 20 acupuncture treatments, or the drug Depakote at the standard dosage.   Both groups were given the option of 10 mg of Rizatriptan for acute migraine attacks. The study results showed that the patients who...

Have you ever made a frittata?   I learned a recipe for a simple frittata using artichoke hearts several years ago, and I’ve been making it over and over again ever since.    Some people think that as an acupuncturist and a healthy eater, I must not eat very interesting or yummy food.  This recipe proves that you can eat like an acupuncturist and still feel satisfied and fulfilled!   It’s not only a great...

After a short break to welcome in Spring with my article on the Wood/Spring season of acupuncture's 5 Element theory, it’s time to continue our discussion on the immune system and how we can best take care of it using nutrition. (see recent blogs for the complete series)   As those of you  who have been following this series know, it was prompted out of my concern over the frequency of common colds that I...

(UPDATE: Since going paleo I no longer eat cheese. Booooo! :-( This sure was yummy though!)   Every acupuncturist knows that as we head into spring, it is more important than ever to keep our livers happy.  Acupuncture theory states that the spring season is related to the Wood Element (more on this in the coming weeks) and the Liver organ; and that greens are one of the best foods we can eat to keep...

This article continues my series outlining what we can do to boost our immune system here in CO where our weather patterns change frequently. From an acupuncturist’s perspective, these sudden changes cause imbalances in our system that weaken our defenses and make us more susceptible to common colds.    East meets west for a comprehensive approach to boost immunity My articles in this series are attempting to bridge the gap between both acupuncture and western...

What perfect timing.  I had barely clicked “publish” on my last blog entry about nourishing up the immune system to ward off common infections, when I saw an article on Yahoo news on the topic of bacteria that are “shrugging off” antibiotics. Acupuncture theory states that prevention, through keeping the body balanced, is the best way to take care of ourselves, and true “health care” – rather than the “sick care” that many have come...

Welcome back to our discussion of the immune system, and how we can increase it using the wisdom of both acuncture and modern western medicine.  If you’re just tuning in, please update yourself by checking out my last two blog on this topic, starting with the first one. Last week, I encouraged people to start thinking about how well they’re doing with following the dietary guidelines that have already been laid out for them during...

If you read my article last week, then you know my focus over the next several weeks is going to be about the issue of the constant common sicknesses I see affecting people in Colorado, and what we can do to prevent this.   This week, I’m going to go into more detail on how vital it is to build our immune Qi or energy with the food we eat, why I suspect that even...

Since moving to Colorado, as an acupuncturist I’ve encountered a phenomena that I never saw in California: constant colds and upper respiratory infections (URIs).   All it will take is one person coming in for their regular acupuncture appointment saying they have a cold, and the next thing I know, almost everyone is coming in fighting something as well.  Patients I haven’t seen in several months suddenly pop up on the schedule to get treated...

“The sages of antiquity did not treat diseases that had already manifested, but diseases which had not yet manifested. When you wait until a disease has broken out to treat it, is that not like waiting to be thirsty to dig a well, or until you’re in battle before casting weapons.“ – Chinese medical Classic This is an ancient saying in one of the Chinese medical “classics”. While strict proponents of modern medicine look down...

New studies being reported on by Acufinder.com show that acupuncture (and other treatments also commonly administered during acupuncture sessions) has a dramatic and beneficial effect on symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). From their article, “Patients ranging in age from 28-54 received sliding cupping treatments twice a week for a total of 12 treatments.   The results showed there was vast improvement in fatigue levels, insomnia, poor memory, spontaneous sweating, sore throat, profuse dreams, poor...

It’s the middle of winter.  As I type this, a light snow is coming down outside and the weekend forecast is in the teens.  It’s normal to feel cold in weather like this, right? Of course it is, but if you’re someone who can practically never warm up, no matter well you’re bundled or how warm you keep the house, then acupuncturists would say there may be more going on than just the weather.  Yang...

A new survey is indicating that more and more Americans are using acupuncture not only as a complementary or alternative treatment, but as a primary form of medicine focusing on the promotion of general health…what acupuncturists would call “balance”. As this news article points out, what is remarkable is that in the past decade, there has been a 600% increase in the amount of people using acupuncture, up from only 1% of the population in...

Many people come to my acupuncture clinic with poor memory or brain fog, as a side issue to the other bigger issues that we’re addressing.  In Chinese Medicine, memory is often related to kidney function, and by nourishing and building up the kidneys, we will see improvement in memory.    However, there are also other issues which can cause brain fog or unclear thinking, such as when the “clear yang” can not reach up to...

Many people who work in hospitals work strange hours, long into the night and disrupting their Circadean sleep-wake rhythms.  Obesity is also a contributor to insomnia.  Obese hospital workers, therefore, were the perfect candidates for this study on the affects of acupuncture and sleep disorders. Acupuncture Sleep Study The study participants received two acupuncture treatment per week, for eight weeks, and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was used to measure their quality of sleep...

Last week I started comparing the way our body reacts to imbalances of yin and yang, to how cars react in a similar manner.  I promised that this week I would drive this point home (no pun intended!!!) :-) even more, to help you understand how the same energetics that happen in our body, play out similarly in the world around us. Often, acupuncture patients don’t understand why they’re having symptoms, but when I can...

According to an article on the CDC’s website, autoimmune disorders affect 5-8% of the population, and the vast majority, 78%, of the cases, affect women. While Western medicine does not understand why this would be, acupuncture theory has some pretty good ideas…ideas which, if used in treatment, can not only prevent them from happening in the first place, but can effectively treat them once they are occurring. Acupuncture, Yin Deficiency, and Auto-Immunity Chinese Medicine believes...

Acupuncture in ancient China It is fascinating to learn how the medical system, and payment of acupuncturists and herbalists in ancient China, operated. It is so vastly opposite from our current system, where doctor’s compensation increases directly proportional to how sick the population is, that I think just understanding the difference can help us gain a perspective that might help us to improve our health. Many acupuncture books tell the story of how, before modern...

  I usually don’t send out even quasi-political emails to my patients, because I feel in most cases it’s not appropriate.  However, the situation that is before us plays such a huge role in the issue of our health and our children’s health forever into the future that I couldn’t NOT alert you all to this, and share info on how you can make a difference. The issue before us is the ongoing problem with...

Last week, I wrote about the connection between random pains that we get throughout our body, and the potential connection with our liver.   This week, I will focus on fibromyalgia, which unfortunately is becoming more and more common. Fortunately though, acupuncture and Chinese medicine in general excel at treating this condition. While there is not much that western medicine can do for fibromyalgia, using acupuncture, I see complete turnarounds in the condition time and...

Does this sound like you? “One day my right shoulder hurts, then the next my left hip.  Then suddenly, my wrist will hurt for no reason.  I’ve had X-rays done at various times and nothing is ever ‘wrong’”. To an acupuncturist, this is a classic case of Liver Qi Stagnation. While western medicine doesn’t recognize the connection between pain and our liver, (or stress and the liver, for that matter) it is well documented in...

A research study has found that boosting the effect of acupuncture needles with small electric currents may be effective in treating depression.   Certainly I find every day that even acupuncture on its own can be very helpful as well.   In a study at the School of Chinese Medicine at the University of Hong Kong, researchers used electrical acupuncture to stimulate spots on the heads of 73 patients, all who had suffered from depression...

It’s been unseasonably HOT! During warm weather like this, some days you just want to bite into a nice, cool, crisp salad. For many people though, because of what Acupuncture theories say about energetic nutrition, I advise that they shouldn’t be eating raw foods. What to do then, when nourishing soups, stews, and casseroles are the last thing on your mind? Enter a simple trick I discovered a couple years ago during the height of...

People love hating beets. I do admit, they can go either way…if not cooked right, they have a taste that can be a little…well, bad. But I just tried a new recipe this week that has me fanatical over this humble red root. Because beets are so wonderful for nourishing your “liver blood”, and according to acupuncture and Chinese medicine theory we are in Wood season which relates to the liver, this is a perfect...

Liver related symptoms get exacerbated in the Wood Element Season of acupuncture theory As I wrote about in my “chive” blog, it is common as an acupuncturist to see an increase in each season of symptoms related to the organ that is associated with that current season.  According to Chinese Medicine, Spring is associated with the Wood Season.  Therefore, many patients begin seeking acupuncture in the spring for increased or exacerbated symptoms related to Wood...

Many people coming for acupuncture suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, otherwise appropriately known as SAD. For people with SAD, cloudy days bring cloudy emotional states, including depression, low energy, and fuzzy thinking. For those people, dark days can literally be dangerous…places like Seattle, where there are an unusually high number of dreary days, have some of the highest suicide rates. Luckily, acupuncture can help! Every year, I typically blog about this early in the winter,...

What if Acupuncture was included in every insurance plan as part of “Essential Health Benefits”? From the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine’s (AAAOM) website: In 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, a health insurance reform law intended to ensure access to quality and affordable health insurance for all Americans. Starting in 2014, most health plans will be required to offer a comprehensive package of items and services to patients, known as...

As an acupuncturist I am very interested in health and longevity…therefore, the year 2012 is an exciting time in the Chinese calendar! 2012 is the year of Dragon. Some people call it more specifically  a Black Dragon or Water Dragon year.  Either way, from a Feng Shui standpoint, the arrival of the year of the Dragon is most welcome, because it brings many possibilities for good fortune. The Dragon is the major symbol of good...

We’re in the middle of winter, and that means in my acupuncture clinic I am commonly treating issues which have to do with the kidneys and bladder, the two organs associated with the Water Element, according to Chinese Medicine. Those issues can be obvious, such as frequent or difficult urination; or they can be mysterious to the non-Chinese Medicine practitioner, such as: headaches in the occipital region of the head feelings of deep and intractable...

Stuff, stuff, and more stuff! OK, so I admit it, I sometimes enjoy shopping.  Even if I don’t buy anything, it can be fun seeing all the colors, the new designs of things, the cool little handy gizmos that I can use around the house. But the holiday season takes shopping to a whole other level.  Typically, I try to avoid the whole thing…the frantic crowds, the shallow focus of our consumerist culture that leaves...

One of the most common issues I treat in my acupuncture clinic is fatigue, and the conglomeration of symptoms that commonly go along with it. Because we are currently in fall season, and the energy is waning everywhere around us, I thought I’d focus my success stories of this week around fatigue, since more and more people are coming in for treatment at this time of year for this issue, and see me throughout the...

As we’ve hit cold season full-force, the past couple weeks I’ve been focusing on what we can do to keep our immune systems strong, as well as herbs we can take if we’ve come down with a cold. Today I’d like to share another tip, which can be used right when you first feel the cold symptoms coming on. Sweat! Many of the herbs we give to knock out a cold, are diaphoretics. Or in...

I hope you’ve all been staying warm and cozy through our first couple snow storms of the year! As the weather gets colder, many people come to me for a few seasonal “tune-up” treatments to prepare their body for winter and ward off illness. While Chinese medicine has its own theory for why acupuncture and herbs can be effective for raising immunity, even scientific studies are finding proven links between acupuncture and immune system improvement....

As I write this, I am gearing up for our first big snow of the season… By the time you read these words, our city will be covered in white. I know the snow will be magical and beautiful, but I must admit that I already grieve the loss of the dazzling colors that grace the trees lining our streets and open spaces. I came home from the clinic today and donned layers of fleeces...

Today is AOM day!  AOM stands for Asian and Oriental Medicine, another term used to describe the group of modalities included in Chinese Medicine, which includes acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, Asian bodywork, Qi Gong, and Chinese nutritional therapy.  AOM day is part of an effort designed to increase public awareness of the progress, promise, and benefits of acupuncture and Oriental medicine in the field of modern medicine. According to a survey by the National Center...

We’ve reached an interesting time of year… While the leaves are surely beginning to change color, the weather has still been very warm. Is it fall yet? Are we still in late summer? Undeniably, something is stirring outside…the days are suddenly noticeably shorter and there’s a crispness to our nights that wasn’t there just a few weeks ago.  And so comes the season of Metal, according to Chinese medicine’s 5 element theory. While I’ve been...

Last week, I sent out perhaps my most important email of the year, related to the Earth Element (if you haven’t read it, it’s worth going back and reading now!).  During the Earth season, the most important thing to focus on is nourishing your Qi. What is Qi? Qi is the most vital component of health in Chinese medicine. Indeed, it is everything.  And because Late Summer, or Earth season, is related to our digestive...

The pears are here, the pears are here! I just saw the first of the season last Saturday at the farmer’s market, and excited I am!  Last year, for the first time I canned up many different kinds of jams, jelly’s and butters.  But none could compare to the delicate smooth Pear Butter that I made at the end of the season.  Dolloped over a piece of crusty bread toasted with butter…mmmmm, the silky smoothness...

For those of you who have been my patients for some time, you’ve heard me talk a lot about the seasons/elements and how they relate to our health, the foods we need to eat, the types of issues we are likely to be dealing with, and in general, what we can do to stay balanced. We just left the Fire element and plunged into Earth; for anyone here in Fort Collins, there is no denying...

This recipe, adapted from: Canning & Preserving, by Ashley English, is AMAZING and is a great way to put up the summer harvest. I just visited the farmer’s market and got an enormous flat of gorgeous local peaches. As someone who loves supporting our local farmers I sometimes have huge amounts of seasonal foods with which I need to get creative. Combining the peaches with the lavender from my garden made an incredible treat that I’ll...

Being that we’re now in summer, the season related to the Heart/Fire element, after an emotionally impactful event this week I’m inspired to focus a post on the connection between our words — or what we communicate — and our Heart/Fire Element. A Fire Element that is vibrant and strong leads to more joy, better relationships, and an overall happier “shen” (spirit, mind). So I’m going to give a seasonal “recipe” for a balanced Fire...

This weekend, as an acupuncturist I was honored to participate in the AlterMed Colorado Integrative Medicine Conference. I walked away from the conference with many ah-ha’s, some of which I am excited to share with all of you because I wish to convey to you how powerful your choice to care for yourself with Chinese Medicine has been. And it’s not just me who thinks this…a lot of big-wigs in the western world are starting...

Many of you have asked me “What should I be eating now that it’s summer?”  While of course this is going to depend on your individual Chinese Medicine diagnosis, there are a few overarching guidelines that most people can follow. In my general article about the Fire Element and Summer, I addressed the topic of foods, but I will use this week’s “Wisdom” to go into more detail. The most important thing to understand when...

Now that you’ve all read about the Fire Element and its relationship to the heart and Summer, lets talk about some specifics of what I see in the clinic when people don’t have enough fun, relaxation, and intimacy in their lives. I’m hoping that reading about the symptoms that occur will serve as a reminder to make sure we’re getting these needs met. I promised I wouldn’t be talking about the liver anymore (but I...

Over the past several years, several non-acupuncture professionals, including Physical Therapists (PT) have started performing the insertion of needles under the name of “dry needling”, or “trigger point dry needling” (TDN).  While it is basically performing a technique of acupuncture known as “ashi point” needling (or, needling a local point of sensitivity) it has been renamed and classified as not practicing acupuncture, and thus opening the flood gates for pretty much any medical person to...

Is this another shameless plug to try to get you to eat more greens? You betcha! Many of you know I’ve been trying the whole “local eating” thing this past year.  While it is turning into a huge international movement born out of the need to eat more sustainably, it fits perfectly in with ancient Chinese Medicine eating philosophy. Each season correlates with specific organ systems in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), and the food that...

    I don’t know about you, but I just love the rain. I know some people complain about the rain, and for those with SAD (seasonal affective disorder) too  many days without sunshine can definitely bring them down. But luckily we’ve had sunshine in abundance lately, so for this week’s Wisdom, I am sending a little message from a Chinese medicine perspective on how this little storm we’re having now can actually help balance...

  Because according to Chinese medicine we are still in the season related to the liver (Wood), I am continuing to focus my posts on various things you can do to help keep your liver balanced.  Don’t worry…soon enough we’ll be in the season related to Fire, and you’ll get to hear some completely new stuff. :-) Western vs. Chinese “Liver” When acupuncturists use the word “liver”, we sometimes mean the actual organ as recognized...

The latest study on hot flashes revealed that acupuncture dramatically improved hot flashes for the study participants. The women were either given real or sham acupuncture, and those who received real acupuncture reported dramatic improvement after receiving their acupuncture treatments. Participants received 2 acupuncture treatments per week for 10 weeks during the study period. See prime-time TV clip below: Acupuncture Relieves Hot Flashes: Study Results A huge chunk of my practice are women in the...

It’s that time of year again…time to start thinking about which CSA  you’re going to sign up with this year.  As promised, I’m sending out a list this week of our local CSAs. What?!  You’re weren’t PLANNING on doing a CSA?  Well let’s see if I can change your mind! For those of you who don’t know what CSA is, it stands for CommunitySupported Agriculture, and it’s sweeping the nation! When you sign up for...

Like every season, it is easy to figure out what foods will be beneficial for us right now by looking out at nature. And what do we see sprouting up all around us? Green!  Just little, little bits; but soon more, and then more, until it is virtually an explosion in green! Usually, at the beginning of growing season, I traipse off to Farmer’s Market, only to be disappointed that there’s no “good stuff” yet. ...

It’s a great week in the world of Acupuncture in the United States, and particularly Colorado.  A bill just passed, and will be signed into legislation soon, that requires insurance companies that cover acupuncture to accept claims from real, licensed acupuncturists. Why this matters for both Acupuncturists and Patients Up until now, insurance companies could deny reimbursement to legitimate acupuncturists while accepting claims from medical doctors or chiropractors who are practicing so called “acupuncture”; which...

OK, well you may not exactly see me dressed quite like the picture above …but what you will likely notice when you come in for your treatments is that I will not always be dressed in my usual business-casual clothes. Why is this?  Because I’m wanting to practice what I preach, and be one more reminder for what we ALL need to be doing: staying fit.  Like many people, for me, finding time and motivation...

Right now, there is a huge problem withing the field of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. Currently, many insurance companies cover acupuncture services, BUT ONLY IF ADMINISTERED BY AN M.D. Of course, this makes no sense at all, because MD’s are not required to have ANY acupuncture education at all, even though some do elect to go through a 100-300 hour program (compared to our often 3,500 hours) to learn “medical acupuncture”.  Medical acupuncture does not...

I’ve known for years that there are some serious issues from heating food or water in a microwave.  Most acupuncturists or natural medicine providers do not support their use. But microwaves are so ubiquitous that most people have a hard time believing there could possibly be anything that bad about them. Doesn’t our regulatory system test appliances for safety before they’re put on the market?  When there’s a big push from industry and a lot...

And of what time of year am I speaking? Wood time.  The season, according to the 5 Elements theory of Chinese medicine, related to the Liver, to the energy of discipline, “getting it done”, frustration (when things don’t happen with the ease or timeliness that we would wish), and to a great VISION for where we want our lives to be heading. The challenge of the Wood Element Anyone who understands the 5 Elements knows...

  As an acupuncturist, why am I writing about beef, when everyone knows we “should be eating way less beef”? Because the reality is, we eat beef.  Lots of it. And the beef that most of us are eating is a major part of why it’s such a problem. Because beef is such a staple of our modern diet, whether it is recommended medicinally or not, I figured I should write an article on its...

Each winter, I see an increase in my acupuncture practice in people coming in for Raynaud’s syndrome.  Raynaud’s affects mostly women, and causes some areas of your body – typically your fingers and toes – to feel numb and cool (often) in response to cold temperatures or stress. “During an attack of Raynaud’s, affected areas of your skin usually turn white at first. Then, the affected areas often turn blue, feel cold and numb, and...

Since I wrote an article in my newsletter for my acupuncture patients on Sunrise Ranch Grass-fed beef, I thought I would include my latest favorite recipe which does include beef. This recipe is loaded with veggies that will build up your Qi and Yang and keep you fortified and toasty during our cold weather.  Also, because it is very slowly baked for 3-4 hours, it is virtually swimming in warming Yang energy…and you’ll like that...

  While the warm weather we’ve been having here in the Rockies has been lovely, a lack of snow and rain can actually be detrimental to our health if we do not take time to balance what is missing.We are not yet officially in the season associated with Water, but it is just around the corner.  Our days are almost at their peak of shortness which means Yang is at its lowest point of the year;...

  We’re entering into Water season, the season related to the Kidneys.  Energy, or Qi, is at it’s lowest point in the cycle of the year, so during winter, it’s appropriate to be less active and to conserve our energy stores. Unfortunately, just because it’s appropriate to do less, doesn’t mean that modern life always allows it; so the more we can do to take care of our energy during this time of year, the...

For this week’s “wisdom”, I wanted to pass along an article that was sent to me today. I know we hear messages all the time reminding us to keep tabs on our consumerism over the holidays, and to put our attention on what really holds value in our lives, apart from doohickies and thingies. …but then comes Black Friday… Acupuncture theory’s Metal Element, and its lessons regarding “stuff”Despite the increased societal pressure to spend, a...

It is absolutely unnecessary to be endlessly debilitated by Chronic Fatigue or Fibromyalgia.  But as the days get colder and shorter as we progress into fall, I begin to see an increase in patients coming in for acupuncture with these symptoms. Chronic Fatigue/Fibromyalgia in the Acupuncture Clinic A major increase in symptoms in the winter months can be explained by the fact that Chronic Fatigue/Fibromyalgia is often due to depleted Qi, and according to Chinese...

Can you guess the leading cause of death in the US? Is it heart disease?  Cancer?  Perhaps Diabetes has taken over? If you guessed any of these, you should be correct.  But in fact, the leading cause of death in the US is something much more insidious…it is Western Medicine.   Now I’m not out to harp on or degrade Western Medicine and say acupuncture is the answer for everything…allopathy is an amazingly powerful medicine...

Despite my complete irreverence towards the story, something my mother mentioned several times when I was growing up managed to stick with me. And as things go (darn it!), the older I get the more I come to appreciate the message behind her words. :-/ She grew up in a tiny town in Denmark in the 40’s, and in those days, not much besides potatoes, potatoes, and more potatoes (ok, and some cabbage) grew or...

  We are in the height of the Fire season.   Another trait of the Fire Element that is just as important as the joy, communion, and fun that I wrote about in the Summer/Fire newsletter, is the trait of Clarity.It is the illumination of our Fire that brings clarity to our passions.  When our Fire is shining brightly, it illumines our path and the road ahead of us is clear.  Our actions and words...

 This week, I came home from picking up my CSA share with an overflowing bag of veggies. Chard, 3 kinds of zucchini, big beets and baby beets along with their greens, English snap peas, 2 heads of romaine lettuce, butter lettuce, spring mix, green onions, and garlic scapes poured out; making it undeniably clear that we have entered the peak of summer’s harvest. To supplement my veggies, the day before I’d visited the Sunday Farmer’s...

I am writing about depression for this season’s research article because as you can see from reading the featured Fire/Summer piece, it is actually vital for our health–not a luxury– that we experience joy, connection, and fun.  Because I’ve experienced such good results with using Chinese medicine for emotional imbalances, I decided to go online and see what the research has to say about acupuncture and “the blues”. Although unfortunately it turns out not many...

For two years I’ve been friends with Meagan O’Nan, and throughout that time what has impressed me the most is how she effortlessly flows through huge undertakings (the starting of a non-profit that has been taken up by school systems in Mississippi, the writing of her published and soon to be published books, and developing her Life Coaching practice); somehow maintaining her joy in the midst of challenges, the unknown, and what must be hours,...

Promising Acupuncture Study for Heart Failure I just found this new study posted on Pub.Med, one of the most credible sources of western medical information on the web.  It is a site of the National Institutes of Health and publishes only evidence based, peer reviewed studies. This study measured cardiac and lung function, walking distance, post exercise recovery, as well as quality of life; and conducted real (VA) and sham acupuncture treatments in order to...

No one’s ever accused me of being a sportsfan. But when I saw the list of well-known athletes who openly discuss the success they’ve had with using acupuncture, I decided to be a good sport :-)  and do some more research.  Below are listed just a few of the many examples you can find of famous athletes who incorporate acupuncture into their therapy to stay healthy, recover from injuries, and just in general increase their...

6/2010 This spring, an interesting and unlikely event occurred…yours truly conducted a spontaneous and unplanned study in which I ate worse than I’ve eaten since I moved out of my childhood home after high school. I ate more pints of Ben & Jerry’s in those short 10 weeks than I had in the last 10 years combined.  I ate more home-popped popcorn for dinner than any person needs to eat in a year.  (OK so...

  I became informed of the above advertisement for “medical acupuncture” while browsing the web for interesting articles to post to my blog. Medical “Acupuncture” The issue of medical acupuncture is becoming a bigger and bigger problem for patients and our profession as it still struggles to be accepted by the mainstream. Well, actually, we’re not struggling at all…it’s really the western medical world that is struggling to accept us while meanwhile we’re being overwhelmingly...

How acupuncture eases pain Scientists have taken another important step toward understanding just how sticking needles into the body can ease pain. In a paper published online May 30 in Nature Neuroscience, a team at the University of Rochester Medical Center identifies the molecule adenosine as a central player in parlaying some of the effects of acupuncture in the body. Building on that knowledge, scientists were able to triple the beneficial effects of acupuncture in...

A scientific breakthrough has finally been able to prove how acupuncture works. What I love about this, is that it is no longer IF it works, but HOW it works. This is an enormous distinction to make, and a huge step forward for all of us who want and deserve safe, non-invasive, effective medicine. While research like this may seem somewhat silly to those of us who have been working with the medicine for many...

So I got your attention, eh? Nothing like a good scandal to increase the readability of my posts!  ;-) But seriously…I did fall in love again this week…over a bowl of Cauliflower Cheese soup, and yes, the man is married. He is the famous Jamie Oliver, and if you haven’t heard of him, please inform yourself! Because by following his playfulness, inspiration and guidance, your life will become healthier and way more fun. As my...

Feeling more irritable lately? Getting bothered by the silly little things? Well you’re not alone! Already this week people are beginning to report an increase in their levels of irritability and frustration. Get ready, because that time of year is just around the corner. As the days become longer and we move out of Water season and into the Wood, the energy is about to take its most dramatic turn of the year, and everything...

  The most frequent imbalances I treat in my acupuncture practice are those due to stress. More accurately, these imbalances are not just due to stress – stress IS the imbalance. In other words, stress is both the cause and result of, liver imbalance.  Which means that it’s not sufficient to just “handle the stress well” and write it off as not a big deal, because it’s inseparable from the body imbalances which come with...

A curious thing is happening this season. Many people I know, just when they’re finally over their last cold and ready to start getting out there and exercising again, back into normal life, etc… are finding themselves sick AGAIN. Soooo frustrating! I hear people getting down on and judging themselves, wondering what they’re doing wrong. While it may be true that these colds can be clues that we’re not caring for ourselves, I’d like to...

(update: this is an old post from before I went paleo, so I now would make changes accordingly. But I kept this post up because the message still applies!) Today, as I sit and write looking out my still-winter window and think about what I’ve learned this week, I notice the leafless trees and unmelted snow on the ground. (Will it ever melt???) It is barren and dull outside, and there’s not much to look...

At some point in the course of most patient’s treatment with me, I typically get the question, “How did you get into acupuncture?”.  So I thought I’d answer that question here and share my acupuncture story openly.   While my story is pretty typical, I believe the most interesting thing about it is that I know it’s not my own; it’s shared with thousands of other people who had the same beliefs, dreams, or struggles,...

A recent study by the Mayo Clinic reported that acupuncture helps Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS). One month after this double-blind study was conducted, patients’ Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire revealed marked improvement. David Martin, M.D., Ph.D., lead author of the acupuncture article and a Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist, said, “The results of this study convince me that there is something more than the placebo effect to acupuncture.” He added, “It affirms a lot of clinical impressions that this complementary...

Would you go to a French language teacher who had taken a short course in German to learn the German language? Would you go to an auto body specialist who had dabbled on a few engines, to get your car’s engine fixed? Of course not!  But this is exactly what people are doing when they see a chiropractor, MD, osteopath, or anyone else besides a Licensed Acupuncturist, for acupuncture. Many health care providers, including MD’s,...