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What we’re actually doing as acupuncturists is giving your system a tune up. There are different levels of energetic balance within your system:

  1. Constitutional Balance: genetically, where does your system need enhancement.
  2. Meridian Balance: Which of the 14 main meridians or 8 divergent meridians are out of tune?
  3. Symptom Relief: symptoms are either caused by at least one of these items:
    1. constitutional imbalance
    2. meridian imbalance
    3. injury/trauma
    4. exterior pathogens

Understanding these levels of intricacy, your acupuncturist brings together a network of points that will charge up your system in all the right places and move the qi (energy) where it is stuck. This doesn’t take a great number of needles to achieve. Actually, less is more with perfectly selected points. I like to test my patients energetically to make sure the selected points will benefit their unique systems in the optimal way.

With each session, the patient’s system will become optimized, humming nicely in energetic balance. Symptoms are diminished in intensity and frequency.

It is also important what your condition is like when you arrive for acupuncture and how you treat yourself afterward.

To borrow an analogy from my master…

I’m a tune up mechanic. Screen Shot 2016-10-04 at 12.20.23 PM.png

The condition of the car you bring in to me has significance! Is it beat up? Screen Shot 2016-10-04 at 12.17.39 PM.pngHave you run it through the gauntlet? Or was it just under daily wear and tear?

Screen Shot 2016-10-04 at 12.18.18 PM.pngMaybe it has been on a lift in your garage like a prized trophy?

Also, after your “tune up session” are you going to put sand in the gas tank? Screen Shot 2016-10-04 at 12.18.43 PM.pngScreen Shot 2016-10-04 at 12.19.27 PM.png

Are you going to go 4 wheeling in it? Or are you going to stay in the lane and ease on an off the gas?

A tune up can do a great deal of good and regular maintenance is essential! It’s also incredibly important that you make healthy and balanced choices as you are away from the clinic.

Treat yourself well, make great choices!

“You cannot allow yourself to be keyed up all day and then expect your system to have a restful sleep. It’s too much, balance is key.” -Kristin

 

There are a couple of things that definitely become an obstruction to getting the deep sleep that you desire:

  • hormonal imbalance
  • taxing the adrenals

For some people it can be a combination of both issues.

To improve hormonal balance, I recommend:

  • Acupuncture
  • Eating healthy fats: omega 3’s
  • Intake of Vitamin D3
  • Melatonin
  • Exercise
  • Reduce stress
  • Self awareness: don’t allow yourself to cascade into overreaction. Recognize that you’re probably seeing things through a different, elevated perspective through this time and be gentle with yourself, your thoughts, and your reactions.
  • Meditation and breath awareness. These both enhance your self awareness as well.
    • If you’re having trouble meditating, try counting your breaths with each exhale. Similar to counting sheep!

To improve your adrenal health, I recommend:

  • Lower stress: breaking your life experience down to the present moment. The present moment is the moment of power and definitely a moment that you can handle. Experience the present moment with ACCEPTANCE. Accept it as it is rather than resisting the conditions. Stress = needing the conditions to be other than what they are. Breathe. Become aware.
  • Meditation
  • Routine: have a consistant routine in your day. Same time to bed each night, same time to rise. Give yourself at least 7 hours for sleep.
    • I like to use a programmable timer on a lamp in the room. Having this lamp turn on at a specific time simulates the sun rise and wakes me gently before the alarm goes off.
    • Make sure you give yourself enough time in the morning to get yourself together for the day… your shower, sprucing up, breakfast, your home, your lunch, and your commute. (Being present all along the way! What a great exercise!!)
  • Adrenal diet: (click for the blog entry on the adrenals…) basically a paleo diet, no caffeine, lots of variety, probiotics, and lots of omega 3’s.

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When you’re doing it all and still having difficulty:

  • Try a forehead and temple massage while you focus on your slow breathing.
  • Make sure you are parking all worries. Nothing will come of trying to solve problems with a deprived mind. AND if you’re not in the present moment, you don’t stand a chance of being able to impact anything positively.
  • Press on those acupressure seeds perfectly placed to enhance sleep… and breathe.
  • Connect with gentle acupressure at point Ren 17.
  • Read a book until you feel sleepy (Keep a boring book on hand! War And Peace??)
  • Have a glass of milk before brushing your teeth.
  • Reflexology: massage your hands or your feet gently to give your whole body a treatment in relaxation.
  • Keep from looking at the clock. Stressing about how many potential hours you have left will only make things worse. Pretend that you always have 8 hours instead!

 

 

  • Do you have a few moments?
  • Are you having difficulty sleeping?
  • Is your stress elevated?
  • Are you having sinus congestion?

Try massaging these areas on your head while breathing and relaxing:

  1.  Yintang: located above the nose between the ends of the eyebrows. Very gentle circular rotation. Breathe.
  2. Forehead Sweep: begin at the center of the forehead with both hands, sweep outward toward the temples. Repeat by beginning again at the center of the forehead and sweeping outward.                                                                              screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-11-49-57-amscreen-shot-2016-09-30-at-11-49-46-amscreen-shot-2016-09-30-at-11-49-39-am
  3. Temple: give your temples a gentle massage. Located to the sides of the eyes and just above the cheekbones. Gentle circular rotation.                                        screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-11-49-08-am
  4. Above the ears: just beyond the temples and above the ears. Both sides at the same time…Gentle circular rotation.
  5. Into the scalp massage… So good to be alive!                                                          screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-12-28-19-pmscreen-shot-2016-09-30-at-12-28-01-pmscreen-shot-2016-09-30-at-12-09-41-pm

Continue as needed. You should be feeling much better!

 

 

 

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I often have women who are trying to conceive a child press this point after intercourse as well. A great point to use time and time again throughout pregnancy for a healthy pregnancy to term.

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So the other day, I created a separate option for an appointment that entails the traditional acupuncture therapeutics of: cupping, moxibustion, and gua sha. With the recent exposure of athletes using cupping for optimal performance in the olympics and movie stars using it for detox,  I’ve had a couple of questions from community acupuncture patients about whether I felt that cupping would help them.

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Here’s generally where cupping is beneficial:

  • when acutely catching a contagious illness
  • back pain
  • shoulder tension
  • neck pain
  • to purge excessive energy
  • promote qi and blood circulation
  • detox
  • to stimulate acupuncture points along the back without needles (or before needles)
  • to reduce swelling
  • for arthritis syndromes
  • relieve pain

Cupping is contraindicated for:

  • pregnancy
  • patients who bleed easily
  • patients who have a lot of body hair (the cups won’t hold suction)

How is cupping applied?

A hot flame is inserted into a special glass globe used for this therapy. The flame warms and expands the air inside the globe. When the flame is pulled out, the globe is quickly placed on the acupuncture point. The air quickly cools and condenses creating a suction effect that pulls the qi and the blood to the area applied. The patient does not feel any heat in this therapy. It feels like pressure or heaviness.

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Cupping can leave a mark on the skin where there has been stagnation within the system. I like to joke that it looks like you’ve been making out with an octopus because that pretty much sums it up! These marks will go away within a few days to a week just like a bruise would.

Here are some photos:

Topics on moxibustion and gua sha to be continued…