Perhaps you’ve heard it before – but your diet consists of everything you consume through all of your senses, especially what you allow into your brain and not just what you put in your mouth!
Here’s a recap and a reset — look for that one small change that will help you break out of an old habit that no longer serves the best version of you!
What Are You Consuming?
Eyes: What are you reading or looking at? Can you challenge yourself not to look at billboards, or to get rid of that ugly nicknack that’s been grating on you?
Mouth: What are you feeding your body? Yes, when we eat we are feeding our cells, nervous and cardiovascular systems, internal organs, bones, glands, and connective tissues – remember that next time you get the urge to grab that not processed or sugary snack!
Ears: What are you listening to and watching? Listening to the news or watching violence are things that our mind-body has to process, like we have to process a greasy or preservative-laden meal. So remember that too! Nose: What home and personal care products are scented or have added chemicals that get into your lungs and bloodstream? Any synthetic scents are part of your toxic load, and I advocate to minimize chemicals in your home and on your skin and hair especially if you struggle with any health issue. Essential Oils are from plants and are a great way to uplift your mood, relax, or energize. Have a couple that really speak to you on your bathroom counter or nightstand, and take a whiff when you are getting ready for your day or settling in for bed at night!
Skin/Touch – What sensations do you enjoy feeling? A warm bath, a soft pet, the sun on your back, playing an instrument? How can you invite more pleasurable joyfilled feels into your daily life?
Enjoy your senses by thoughtfully curating positive choices for what you read, listen to, smell, and feel! Be conscious of the toxins you let into your sensory fields, and your body and mind will thank you!
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Remember this Easy Technique when you’re in the moment, right after an upsetting situation, or before you head into a difficult situation, or as a daily “vitamin” for stress reduction! Oh and by the way, you can use it for any type of physical pain as well! This is the at home DIY version of Neuro Emotional Technique that is called FIrst Aid Stress Tool, or FAST for short.
Identify what’s bothering you. Rate your distress level from 0-10: 10 being the most upset and 0 feeling peaceful and calm.
Line Your Fingers along the thumb side of your wrist from the wrist crease as in this picture:
While holding those 3 spots with your fingers, place the open palm across your forehead.
Breathe in your nose and out your mouth while concentrating on the feelings of the issue of distress. Do at least 3 complete breaths. If you are not in a hurry breathe in and out until you feel the shift. The emotional “charge” will feel more neutral.
Switch hands – touching the 3 points with your 3 fingers on the other wrist, and covering your forehead with the other hand.Repeat the breathing while focusing on the upsetting feelings.
Rate your level of upset again from 0-10. Repeat this breathing exercise as needed throughout the day.
When working through a big thing, whether it’s chronic anxiety, panic attacks, work or relationship stress, or physical ailment, stick with using FAST a minimum of twice daily every day until the situation/feelings fade and no longer created a big reaction for you.
Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in China for good reason. Each new year brings new energies and opportunities. The celebration begins the day after the first new moon between January 21 and February 20 each year and lasts until the following full moon. These 2 weeks are a time of welcoming and aligning with the new energies. This year, the Chinese New Year falls on Feb 1st and festivities continue through Feb 15th, 2022. Each year has a corresponding element and animal of the Chinese zodiac.
This is the year of the water-tiger year that holds a lot of promise for an exciting, productive year.This indicates a new beginning, a fresh start, and it’s a year made for bold action. The Tiger is known for its power, daring, and ability to do everything on a grand scale.
This water-tiger year is in gear to be a faster-paced, more passionate year after a slower year of the Ox (2021) and a very challenging year of the Rat (2020). The tiger has been sleeping, awaiting his time for action. 2022 has great potential to be a year of change because of the energy of the tiger: brave, self-assured and ready to pounce. Individually we might be inspired to embark on new adventures, such as travel or moving, or starting a new business. Collectively, there may be an energetic shaking off of stagnation brought on by the past couple years of the pandemic. It will be a year of exploring new ideas, and not shying away from challenges. If energy is not allowed to flow (individually and/or collectively) there may be some restlessness or unpredictable behaviors. It is also important to balance the aggressive energy of the tiger with times of rest. Even tigers take cat naps. This is a water year, so the yin energy of the water can help to balance the fierce fiery nature of the tiger.continue reading »
reasons why people get acupuncture #4 – balance hormones!
It’s a bit reductionist to think of life as a bucket of chemicals, and at the same time, the factual complexity is mind blowing!
While it’s important and super cool to understand endocrine glands and the hormones they secrete, one of the simplest and most effective ways to treat hormonal imbalances, is through Traditional East Asian Medicine. Because this is such a HUGE topic, this article focuses mainly on a just a few hormones and a few of their functions.
What are Balanced Hormones?
Hormones are the communication molecules of the body, telling every system how to behave, how to metabolize, sleep, when to menstruate or not, how to regulate body temperature, and on and on. The intercommunication of the 60+ hormones is truly a miraculous marvelous symphony.It’s so finite and delicate and complex, that sometimes medications help imbalances, but sometimes they miss the mark.Acupuncture to the rescue. Because acupuncture is energetic, it helps the body to regulate and balance itself. By design it allows a return to homeostasis, which is when everything is in balance.
Hormone Production & Detoxification
Many hormones, including the sex hormones such as estrogens, progesterone, and testosterone, and stress hormones like cortisol, are synthesized from cholesterol. Because stress is the response to perceived danger or threat to survival, that response, such as increased cortisol or adrenaline, is prioritized. When constant perceived stress is present, this means resources can be diverted from the less necessary (sex/reproductive) in order to keep you “alive”. This is why many people are diagnosed with low estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, etc.
On the other hand, hormones also need to be metabolized, broken down, and recycled or excreted. When this is impaired, too much of a hormone can build up. What can interfere? Well, it’s the liver’s job to metabolize nearly everything we ingest and every hormone. And liver toxicity or sluggishness is very commonplace in our hectic modernized society. With an overwhelmed liver, estrogen and other chemicals can build up, and this too can lead to hormonal imbalance symptoms. Again, a big topic, so can’t get into all of it in this short discussion. But the solution is supporting the liver’s natural detoxification pathways in order to balance.
Hormones, Fertility, and a Natural Approach
Our approach to fertility at Energy Flow goes beyond analyzing hormone levels. Fertility is a reflection of overall health of mind-body-spirit, and this is why Traditional East Asian Medicine (TEAM) is such a successful approach for conceiving and maintaining pregnancy. It’s the synergy of the acupuncture working with the entire hormonal symphony, the natural stress reduction effects, and the balancing and nurturing of the time-tested herbal formulas that account for this. Our medicine is not reductionist, it’s holistic. This makes all the difference, and can bring joy back to the baby-making journey.
Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine, along with other natural therapies, reduce stress, promote circulation, and improve natural communication pathways so that hormone balance and production regulates. We also take into account liver health, to relieve the strain on the liver, improving its ability to naturally detoxify the body and ease metabolism of hormones.
A Success Story of how Acupuncture and Herbs balance hormones
Melissa was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), but didn’t have some of the stand-out symptoms commonly associated with this metabolic disorder. her doctor had found that her estrogen and progesterone were low and testosterone high. She was in her mid twenties, yet had had only a handful of periods in her life due to anovulatory amenorrhea – her body was not releasing an egg every month and thus not menstruating. She came to me to get help conceiving a second child. Her first was conceived with assisted reproductive therapy, but she wanted to get to the root cause this time.
Literally after 2 acupuncture sessions and some herbs, she got a period. Well that worked quickly! We continued to work on the chronic digestive issues since everything is connected, and continued to support hormonal regulation with acupuncture, herbs, and TBM (Total Body Modification). The next month, the period didn’t come, and I thought, well of course the cycle won’t be regulated this quickly. But I was wrong – she was already pregnant naturally!
Trust Your Body to Know
No matter the diagnosis from your conventional doctor, don’t take that as gospel. Your body’s wisdom runs deep, and with the right nudges it can be set back into rhythm. The conductor, musicians, and audience just all need to be in harmony!
Poop like a champ! Eliminating waste on a daily basis is not a ‘nice-to-have’. It’s a top-down job!
What is IBS?
While it’s beyond the scope of this short blog, Irritable Bowel Syndrome in a nutshell manifests as diarrhea, or constipation, or both alternating, often with pain and unpredictability/dysregulation of elimination.
How Often is Normal?
We are designed to poop every single day.In fact, passing formed stools 1-3 times a day is normal.Less than that and your intestines are sluggish. More than that and you’re in the diarrhea zone. Loose indicates an imbalance.
Sometimes, every other day is within normal limits, as long as it’s complete and you feel good.
Digestion Top to bottom
There are myriad reasons why elimination becomes compromised, and it’s not always insufficient fiber or water intake. I use individualized observations and findings to determine what’s backing you up, and how to open the pipes.
In Chinese medicine, the digestive system is seen as one tube from mouth to anus, and the overall directionality is downward. So we look at symptoms in terms of going down too fast, too slow, or coming up. Reflux, nausea, vomiting are all considered counterflow, and can accompany constipation or even diarrhea. We also regard the digestive system as the center around which all other bodily functions operate. We need to have this tube open and regulated to relieve other problems in the body as well. It’s often the first stop on the healing train – fix digestion, then see what is left to resolve after.
One Patient’s Story
Ebony, 39, had been very constipated her whole entire life. Her mom recalls giving her suppositories as a child.Fast forward, and add on endometriosis, chronic pain, reflux, and nausea.Constipation alternating with explosive diarrhea where she can’t stay away from a toilet was a daily interference with her life. Then she came to me to help to get some relief from all these issues. And the first thing that resolved was the perpetual IBS constipation alternating with diarrhea, along with less frequent and less intense reflux. Within a few weeks, she reduced the reflux medication by half, and the explose bouts of IBS were gone. Instead, she’s been having daily formed, complete BMs. The regulation of her digestion system has been such a big relief!
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