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  • Change the Message

    Change the Message

    by Melissa Hinshaw, LMT

    A new year is rolling in and many of us will make a resolution or two: loose five pounds, give up dairy, hit the gym more, etc. Most of our resolutions have to do with how we want to look on the outside, both to others and ourselves or maybe how we want to feel physically. These goals we put in place can help us to feel powerful, focused, and in control. In some ways our resolutions have a punitive approach and restrictive feel to them. Often we fizzle out because they carry no real, deep meaning to us. I have an idea. It’s a new year, how about trying things in a gentle and loving way. Let’s change the negative talk that we say to ourselves. Let’s wake up in the morning and say hello to the gorgeous and special person that we are. Let’s appreciate who we are and what we go through on a daily basis: Fertility clinics, shots, meds, kids, husbands, jobs, toilets over flowing, run here, run there, no sleep and the list goes on. When was the last time you truly told your body, and your soul, “Thank you for being so amazing to help me in tackling all that I do.” I’m betting it wasn’t recently!

    Not too long ago I challenged myself to do just that. I was inspired by one of my sisters, an 85 year old client who shares stories and wisdom every time I see her. We were talking about the stresses of life, being a woman doing all that we do and enduring all that we endure. I commented that I wished I could do more, be a better mother and a better person and have fewer wrinkles. I was feeling down on myself. She told me that I needed to rise out of myself and look down on the person I was being so critical of. “Look at all she does. She never stops and she never complains. She needs to be loved and appreciated from within. That is where her power will rise from.”

    I wasn’t quite sure how to do this, but I knew she was right. I needed to stop picking at myself and being so negative toward my body and my spirit and start loving myself up instead. I started by waking in the morning and looking in the mirror. I decided to change the message from, “Oh god I look like death!” to “Good morning beautiful!” Any critical thoughts that poked their heads were immediately replaced with a compliment or a positive statement about me. I felt a little like a walking affirmation book but the truth is, it was working. I gave my critical voice a vacation and I started to see and feel changes… at least I thought I did. My days were happier. I felt more grounded. I had more energy. I felt pride in myself and what I was doing. I felt more joy and could pass this along to my family. I would even venture to say the wrinkles softened a bit and I saw myself as pretty, instead of drab.

    So my sisters, now is the time when I challenge you try a new message in the new year. Shake the negativity and try and see yourself in a new light. Try it for a week and see how you feel. Take a chance on telling your physical vessel and your soul what they mean to you and how grateful you are that they support you every second of every day. Be gentle with yourself and as cheesy as it sounds, love yourself by sending comforting and positive vibes to YOU. This could be one of the best gifts you give yourselves and in turn you can share it with others. You are amazing and beautiful…we all see it, now it’s your turn.

    Click here to learn more about Melissa

  • How To Stock Up on Qi For the New Year

    How To Stock Up on Qi For the New Year

    by Lisa Meyerson, LAc, MSOM

    Happy New Year and welcome to 2017! 2016 was a very wild and unexpected ride for a lot of us with many twists and turns and now here we are, already in 2017. Many of you are probably feeling exhausted after the Holidays as well and could use a very long nap. Perfect timing!

    In January, we are at the time of year where the Kidney meridian is most active. The Kidney meridian controls the development of the bones and nourishes the marrow. It also supports the immune system. The emotion of the Kidney meridian is fear, and a variation of fear could be vigilance or apprehension, such as ‘there’s going to be a storm coming, so let’s do the week’s grocery shopping now and make sure we have a shovel, too’ or ‘it’s going to freezing out, so let’s stay in and watch movies snuggled under a blanket’’.

    Winter is the time to be most gentle with ourselves, and if we see the weather as an opportunity to slow down, stay in and restore ourselves, we’re good. At this time of year, I often tell my patients to go to bed earlier and sleep later.

    As the Nei Jing (one of our Chinese medicine primary texts) states, ‘if you overwork in the Winter, you’ll have tired and withered limbs in the Spring’, and we want the opposite. So recharge, take things slow, take a nap, and you’ll be rested and ready when everything, including you, comes back to life in the Spring.

    Ways to cultivate and stock up on energy:

    • Make soup with in season vegetables like squash and pomegranates and root vegetables
    • Do gentle exercises like tai qi, walking, the wonderful yoga classes at Pulling Down the Moon
    • Schedule an acupuncture treatment and/or a massage appointment
    • See one of our nutritionists, for a consultation on what the best foods to eat right now are.
    • Go to bed earlier and wake up later
    • Stay warm and cozy
    • Make easy and simple resolutions for the upcoming year

    Happy New Year and may all your dreams come true in 2017!!

    Click here to learn more about Lisa

  • Cozy Feet, Cozy Uterus

    Cozy Feet, Cozy Uterus

    Anna’s News

    by Anna Pyne, LAc, MSOM, FABORM

    Needling the acupuncture points according to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is the most potent way to stimulate them for healing and strengthening the reproductive system. However there are numerous other ways in which patients can tonify these particular points on their own to help facilitate the acupuncture therapy they are already receiving.

    Located all along the feet and ankles exists a plethora of acupuncture points which have a connection to the uterus and ovaries. I am constantly advising my patients especially in subzero weather to protect these points by wearing socks. I typically recommend light cotton socks, but wool can also be used depending upon how hot or cold that particular person runs. By doing so, you are protecting the integrity and energy of the reproductive system.

    Another way I advise patients to “treat” these points along the feet and ankles is by taking hot or warm foot soaks. These can be as fancy or simple as the patient desires or has time for. Warm or hot water alone totally suffices and is all that is required. For those that have the time, adding a few drops of our oils that we sell especially the Nourish the Blood essential oil is ideal. This particular oil helps supplement blood which is typically deficient in our fertility patients. We even have bath salts that can be purchased and used in conjunction with the oil in the warm foot bath. This can be done daily if possible. Another positive result is its stress relieving when you make it part of your routine, it forces you to relax as it serves as a mini spa session in the comfort of your own home.

    Click to learn more about Anna

  • Mindful Eating

    Eating Mindfully

    by Margaret Eich, MS, RDN

    As we ring in the New Year, many will be making New Year’s resolutions about eating healthier, losing weight, and exercising more. These are all important endeavors, but what about how you eat? We focus so much attention on what to eat and what not to eat, but how you eat can be just as important.

    We tend to be busy and rush through our meals or eat while distractedly watching TV, surfing the web, or working. This often means we don’t truly experience or enjoy our meals, which may leave us looking for something more to eat. When we’re eating mindfully, we often are more satisfied with less food and can better tune into our body’s hunger and fullness cues. Here are a few tips to get you started with mindful eating:

    1. Turn off the TV. Put away your book, phone, laptop, or tablet, and truly experience your food. Most of us have had the experience of sitting in front of the TV with a bowl of chips or popcorn only to look down and find the bowl empty. We’re surprised, because we were so absorbed in the movie or show that we weren’t paying attention to how much we were eating. Since we didn’t adequately experience the chips or the popcorn, we usually want to go back for more. Practice eating your meals at the table without distractions, and see how it can transform your eating experience.

    2. Slow down. Start out by trying to stretch your meals out to take at least 20 minutes. This can be especially challenging when we’re really or feel we have things to do, but eating slowing down can also help us chew our food better, experience our food more fully, and be in a more relaxed state for optimal digestion and absorption of nutrients. Slowing down also helps our brain get the signal that our stomach is full, so that we are less likely to overeat.

    3. Put your fork down and pause at least once halfway through eating the food on your plate. This can be easier said than done, but this pause allows our food to settle, slows us down, and allows us to tune in to how our body is feeling and the hunger and fullness signals that are bodies are providing. We often get out of touch with these signals, instead using external cues like the amount of food on our plate, to tell us when to stop eating. It takes practice, but with time we can better tune into our hunger and satiety and start honoring those cues instead of simply finishing all the food on our plate.

    Click to learn more about Margaret