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Holistic Care

What is the Process of Decocting Chinese Herbs Actually Like?

If you are up for it, your acupuncturist may send you home with a “raw” herbal formula. Chinese herbal formulas come in several other forms also including powdered or as pills, but what you are looking at below is the actual plant parts themselves. This could be as the berry, flower, seed, root, and more. This is known as raw herbs.

Essentially raw herbs are just the dried and prepared specific plant part which contains all the important stuff. In Chinese medicine, we use multiple herbs in a single formula to holistically approach your concerns and treat you as a whole. It is tailored just for you. These herbs all set to go into a pot and boil away leaving you with a wonderful decocted Chinese herbal formula to drink as a tea. Read More

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A Spoon Full of Sugar!

A Spoonful of Sugar

It’s midsummer and time to do a gut check. How are all the picnics, patio dates, barbeques, and road trips going? Are they sitting well tummy-wise, or is bloating a regular part of life? If your stomach has been complaining lately, you’re not alone. Indigestion isn’t just for Thanksgiving anymore.

One common symptom of indigestion is hiccups. The involuntary contraction of the diaphragm that produces the “hic” sound is most commonly caused by

  • eating too quickly or too much—especially raw, cold food
  • drinking carbonated beverages or too much alcohol
  • feeling nervous, excited, or stressed

…in other words, all the regular features of a summer shindig. A rushed lunchtime salad or those fresh, straight-from-the-fridge carrots during a busy day can do it too.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) hiccups are an example of rebellious Stomach Qi. The Stomach’s descending function is interrupted by foods or emotions that burden the digestive system, and in place of a quiet, peaceful parasympathetic rest-and-digest response we experience an upward movement that brings on the annoying, exhausting hiccups.

Happily, there is a way to have your carrot(cake) and eat it too. Ever heard of taking a spoonful of sugar for a hiccup Read More

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Acupuncture and Low Back Pain

Acupuncture and Low Back Pain

Pain happens. Especially back pain. Pain is very common, with a ⅓ of adults suffering from some form of chronic pain (you aren’t alone!). Chronic pain costs the US around 600 BILLION dollars each year. Opioid medications are still present in the top ten list of most commonly prescribed medications today. Steroids and NSAIDS often come with their own host of side effects and health concerns. As the mainstream starts to recognize the opioid and pain crisis both physicians and patients look to alternatives to muscle relaxers, steroids, NSAIDS, and opioid medications to treat their chronic pains.   Read More

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Compassion

In his book, Resilient, Rick Hanson (2018) defines compassion as “the recognition of pain with the desire to relieve it”. For many of us, compassion is something that we easily give others but are challenged to give ourselves. Imagine if you treated yourself like you would a best friend – encouraging, understanding, warm and sympathetic. Imagine how it would feel to be less self-critical and more loving to yourself.

In Chinese Medicine, compassion is related closely to the Earth element or Spleen organ. It is our center, our core and our grounding. A balanced Earth element is evidenced by a healthy nurturing compassion to us and others. Signs of imbalance include an inability to give or receive compassion, someone who craves it constantly for themselves, or someone who is overly compassionate without clear boundaries towards others. Compassion also holds within it both elements of yin (stillness) and yang (active). Studies of the brain show that when we feel compassion, motor planning areas in the brain become active and start preparing for action.

Developing more self-compassion is possible, and you can get your brain to help you out. Allow yourself to remember a time you felt cared for by someone – Read More

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