Blog posts in: Random Musings

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What does "Balance" Actually Mean in the Acupuncture Clinic? How to Know if You're Balanced and How we Get You Back to Balance

Random Musings

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

    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...

  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;...

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...

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...

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...

(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,...

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,...