How do you get through the holidays unscathed by stress?

By going with the flow... literally!

Holidays are meant for family, friends and celebration. Don’t sweat the small stuff. If things don’t go as planned, focus on your ability to elegantly flow through the situation instead of letting it cause irritation. This is the season to relax and be thankful for the people in your life. Put your job and stress on the backburner for a bit and enjoy those who mean the most to you.

Need a little help de-stressing? Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies found that acupuncture helps block elevated hormones due to stress, allowing the body and mind to relax. Not only does acupuncture help with the immediate stress response of our body but also the conditions that are caused by chronic stress, including: insomnia, depression and anxiety.

Want to know more? Make an appointment for a free acupuncture consultation. 

Be well —Vikki

Mark Your Calendars For Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day!

Mark your calendars... Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) Day is just months away. Held annually on October 24th, AOM Day aims to raise public awareness and support for the use of acupuncture and other forms of traditional Chinese and Oriental medicine.

Acupuncture is a traditional form of medicine/treatment in which thin needles are placed inside the skin to promote the body's own self-healing mechanism. It's frequently used to treat pain, inflammation, and dozens of physical and mental conditions. Acupuncture originated in China during the Shang Dynasty (600–1100 BCE) but has since spread throughout the world, with millions of people now using it to improve their lives.

Newcomers are often skeptical of the effectiveness of acupuncture. However, a survey conducted by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine found that roughly 1 in 10 adults have received acupuncture. The survey also found that 60% of respondents said they would consider regular acupuncture sessions as a from of treatment.

Last year, Rick Snyder, our Governor signed a proclamation naming October 24th Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day in Michigan! His support of AOM Day is one small step in raising awareness for this safe and effective traditional practice.

AOM Day is sponsored through a partnership of prestigious research, educational and professional institutions, including the Council of State Associations, Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia, and the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

Whether you're suffering from a particular health ailment, or if you simply want to learn more about the practice of acupuncture, you should take advantage of AOM Day by scheduling an appointment. Who knows, you might discover a powerful new way to treat one or more conditions from which you suffer.

Stay Well —Vikki

April is National Stress Awareness month… and Tax Day?

Seriously? yes!

… and research shows chronic stress is a causative factor for conditions including depression, anxiety, insomnia, digestive disorders, obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and an overall decrease in immune function.

In “Stress in America 2014,” a survey by the American Psychology Association, 1 in 5 respondents reported an extreme  level of 8, 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale. In that same group respondents reported physical or non-physical symptoms of stress, including irritability or anger, muscle tension or pain, fatigue, feeling overwhelmed or changes in their sleep.

What is the top source of stress according to 64% of the respondents? Money! So with April’s tax day approaching it’s a good time to find ways to cope with stress.

How does acupuncture help? Acupuncture helps by reducing the stress hormone response, improving quality of sleep, eliminating pain and muscle tension and keeping our energy up and emotions balanced. Balance is the key to health in Chinese medicine!

From a Western viewpoint, the balancing treatments of acupuncture reduce stress a few different ways. First, acupuncture triggers your brain to release natural pain-killing chemicals, called endorphins. It also improves your circulation, not only to keep your tissues oxygenated but to help remove waste products, including cortisol, more efficiently. And of course, the relaxing effects of acupuncture can decrease heart rate and lowers blood pressure. 

6 Tips for Coping with Financial Stress

  1. Take breaks from the computer when doing bookkeeping. Computer work is hard on your neck, shoulders and upper back. Get up every 45 minutes to walk around and stretch. Take deep breaths. Keeping your body relaxed helps your emotions stay level.
  2. Take charge of your finances. Track your earnings and spending every day for a month. When you have a clear picture of your income and expenses make a reasonable spending plan to keep them balanced. Don’t budget on what you hope you’ll make or wish you’ll spend. Be realistic. Having a budget will give you control and reduce your financial stress.
  3. Plan your splurges. It’s difficult to stick with a financial plan if it is overly restrictive and deprives you of what you love. Budget in treats. 
  4. Balance making more with spending less. Sometimes taking extra shifts at work is smart and sometimes spending less is the best plan. Make conscious choices about which strategy gives you the most pleasure.
  5. Plan your shopping trips to avoid impulse buys. Stick to a list and make sure you are fed, hydrated and relaxed before you go.
  6. Find support. A friendly ear for feedback when you’re tempted to blow your budget.

Even though few people celebrate Tax Day, it doesn’t have to be stressful. Call and book a free consultation to find out how acupuncture can help you through the difficult times.

Stay Well —Vikki

 

Allergies and Traditional Chinese Medicine

With the official start of spring just weeks away, there’s no better time than now to consider using popular forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine. As mother nature comes out of its state of dormancy, flowers and trees will blossom and the snowy landscape will be replaced with flowing green grass. This massive change comes with an unwelcome side effect: ALLERGIES!

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), approximately 50 million people in the United States suffer from seasonal allergies. When exposed to pollen or other plant allergens, the individual may develop a runny nose, nasal congestion, eye redness, headache, sore throat, and other related symptoms.

Whether you suffer from mild, moderate or severe seasonal allergies, acupuncture can help. This centuries-old technique can restore your body’s flow of energy while stimulating its self-healing mechanism.

The best time to come in for treatment of allergies is before they start. Getting the immune system in shape is key before it’s bombarded by these allergens. So the time is now! Shake off those winter blues and get ready for SPRING!

Interested but not sure if this is right for you? Book a free consultation to talk one-on-one with me and see how acupuncture can help you.

Stay well Vikki

2015: Year of The Goat!... or Sheep... or Ram!

2015 is the Year of The Goat in Chinese astrology. People who are born under this sign are said to be calm, mild-mannered, good-hearted, sympathetic, dependable and intelligent. They also prefer to avoid being the center of attention! Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the characteristics of the Year of The Goat.

One of the perks of being born under the Chinese zodiac Goat is good health and well-being! As stated above, people who born in 2015 (and the other Goat years 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003) are typically calm and cool-headed. This means they experience less stress and anxiety than others. And when you have lower levels of stress, you tend to experience fewer health problems!!

Here are some other fun facts about the Year of The Goat:

  • Lucky colors include green, red and purple.
  • Lucky numbers include 2 and 7.
  • Lucky flowers include carnation, primrose and the alice flower.
  • Goats are most compatible with Horses, Rabbits and Pigs.
  • Goats clash with Rats, Ox and Dogs.
  • Located on the Pearl River, the city of Guangzhou is believed to represent the Goat.
  • People who are born in a Goat year typically have successful careers.
  • Earth (Tu) is the element associated with the Year of The Goat.

What Chinese Zodiac sign are you? So, are you compatible or do you clash with these Goats? Your Chinese Zodiac sign is derived from your birth year, according to the Chinese lunar calendar. See the years for each animal below!

  • Rat: 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960
  • Ox: 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961
  • Tiger: 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962
  • Rabbit: 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963
  • Dragon: 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964
  • Snake: 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965
  • Horse: 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966
  • Goat: 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967
  • Monkey: 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968
  • Rooster: 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969
  • Dog: 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970
  • Pig: 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971

Have fun with your sign... I still can't believe I'm a Rat. Couldn't I have been a cute Rabbit or a fierce Dragon? Ha!

Stay well -- Vikki

What is Chinese Lunar New Year?

It’s about a month into 2015. Do you already wish you had a do-over for your New Year’s Resolutions? If so, you’re in luck. You do!

February 19th is the Chinese lunar New Year.  The celebration of the New Year, the Spring Festival, is China’s longest and most important holiday. Because it's based on a different calendar, it falls on a different date between January 21 and February 20 every year and is a time of celebration, visiting family and friends, giving gifts and preparing for the next year.

Chinese Lunar New Year:   Spring Festival

In China, there are many New Year’s traditions during the 15-day Spring Festival.  Many people clean their homes to sweep away the past year and usher in the next. People hang red lanterns outside their homes to bring happiness and good luck. On Chinese New Year’s Eve families gather for a huge meal and enjoy “lucky” foods together. And, of course, there are fireworks.

2015 is the Year of the Goat.  Astrologers say that people born in the Year of the Goat are gentle mild-mannered, shy, stable, sympathetic with a strong sense of kindheartedness. They are creative, have perseverance and acquire professional skills very well. They are strong on the inside and with a sense of resilience and defensive instincts. 

So how can we use Chinese New Year? Recommit to Your New Year’s Resolutions

The Chinese do not traditionally make New Year’s Resolutions like we do in the west, however this is a good time to reflect on the goals you set a month ago. Are you keeping your New Year’s resolutions?

If you’re having trouble, maybe it’s time to take a lesson from the Goats. Take a quiet moment and reflect on what is stopping you. Do you need to get serious?  Do you need additional support?  Are your goals genuine—do you want to do them or do you think you should do them?  Why haven’t you kept your New Year’s Resolutions?

If your resolutions include improving your health in 2015, I can help you with that.  Give me a call and we can arrange an appointment for anything from a tune-up to weight control to mood balancing.

If you need to make a deeper commitment to your resolutions, take a moment and think about what you need to do to keep them.  Write down 3 easy action steps. …and do them.  Now.

Use the Chinese lunar New Year as a do-over.  Commit to your New Year’s resolutions.

Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái.  Happy New Year!

In health,

Vikki

Hello and welcome to my blog!

Where we will practice finding health through mindfulness + Chinese medicine.

In my blogs to come there may be some terms that sound foreign. So I thought I would start by giving a quick overview of the basic theory of Chinese medicine and define a few of those terms.

To begin, as opposed to the western concept of medicine, which deals with treating illness and disease, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) focuses on the practice of achieving health and well being through the cultivation of harmony within our lives.

Harmony is achieved through balance + the unhindered movement of our QI. (Ah ha! this is where some of those terms start sneaking in!) 

Balance in TCM is explained using the theory of YIN + YANG. The image represents harmony of all the opposite elements + forces that make up life. This theory is applied to everything affecting our health and well being; from our diet, exercise, and how we handle stress; to how we interact with our family, friends, community, and our environment.

TaiJi.jpeg

When there is balance our QI, the vital energy in our body, flows freely. . . but when there is kink in the system the movement of our QI gets hindered which leads to pain and disease.  

So what affects our Qi? Everything! Stress, diet, exercise, sleep, trauma to the body, trauma to the heart, the interactions we have, the emotions we harbor, our ability to see the positive (or lack of), the weather,  and the big one in my book . . . our ability to be flexible and let go of control when necessary. 

In TCM treatment, we use acupuncture, herbal therapy, eastern philosophies on diet, exercise and meditation to bring us back to harmony. 

This is just the beginning of the explanation. Come back to read more about Chinese medicine including acupuncture, herbal teas for medicinal purposes, healthy recipes, current medical research and mindful living.

Want help finding balance in your life? Call and make an appointment and see how restoring your QI dynamic can help with both physical and emotional symptoms.

Interested but not sure if this is right for you? Book a free consultation to talk one-on-one and see how acupuncture can help you.

Stay well -- Vikki