|Acupressure for Wellness||
Western medicine is now in agreement with Classical Chinese Medicine (CCM) and Herbalism traditions in believing that inflammation is the cause of most chronic illness, and probably much cancer as well. CCM calls it "stagnation" and the solution is always to GET MOVING. Herbalism may refer to it as "too much water element or water element out of balance. In any case, here is an interesting article about how we can use our minds to reduce inflammation. http://upliftconnect.com/control-inflammation and I hope you find it useful. As always, I look forward to learning your thoughts ...
Great article! http://www.modernreflexology.com/acupressure-points-for-sleeping-disorders/
Here are notes from a phone conversation with a dear friend. They are all idea that helped me during very difficult times in my life - when sleep was critical but elusive. Note that I'm not qualified to recommend herbs or supplements but I have found these personally helpful. Please check with a licensed expert health professional to get advice and treatment with herbs and foods. Naturopaths are terrific and I'd be happy to recommend one in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Breathe out stress, thoughts, "awake" etc
Breathe in "sleep" "peace" "rest" "comfort" etc
* occipital ridge - check out sleep device from Dr. Mercola
* points below both ankles, inside and out
* webbings of fingers and toes plus insides and outsides of nails to relieve emotional discomforts
* bracelets and anklets to sooth source points of meridians
Look up Dr. Mercola sleep device to get the occipital points; I have no connection to him but I like the device.
* Warm milk and turkey really help.
Stop all exercise 4 hours before bed. Gentle stretching can be very helpful.
Eat only a very light snack 4 hours before bed. Avoid heavy dinners.
Dim lights starting at least 2 hours before bed. Ensure dark and quiet and comfortable sleeping space.
AVOID all screen time starting at least 2 hours before bed.
Go to bed and wake up at the same time EVERY day, no matter how much sleep the night/s before. It helps to set the circadian rhythm.
If you wake up and and are awake more than 20 minutes, GET UP. Reinforce the idea deep in your brain that bed is a place to sleep. Walk slowly. Consider drinking a few sips of warm tea. Stretch gently to get the stagnant blood moving out of the liver and through the body. Read something VERY BORING. When you feel sleepy, go back to be.
Bath in epsom salt for magnesium relaxes muscles.
Research Flower Essences - they can really help.
* Louise Hay evening meditation and various affirmation videos (plus morning meditation the next day)
* Doreen Virtue - various about angels for sleep, clearing, peace, etc.
* BuddhistSocietyWA - talks by Ajahn Brahm e.g.
* Mood Cure book for amino acids and other supplements
* Calcium with Magnesium and Vit D and zinc AND also take vitamin K2
* Sublingual melatonin to help fall asleep (Trader Joe's is good), time release to stay asleep
* Valerian can make some people hyper, like benadryl does for some kids
* Hops may be contra-indicated with depression
* Poppy is strong like valerian
* Passion Flower is great in every way
* Camomile is also great - and can take up to a few weeks of regular use to be effective since it's cumulative
* Pedicularis is good for muscle relaxation
* Lavender is nice for calming
Hope this helps. Happy sleeping! I'd love to see your comments ...
As we head into the darkest days of the year and the heart of cold and flu season, I'd like to share some of my tips for staying healthy. Many of my clients have the belief that it's "normal" to get sick 2-3 times each year. While it may be common, I believe complimentary medicine has a lot to offer us in terms of getting and staying healthy. We are all surrounded by viruses, and yet we're not sick all the time. When our bodies are in balance, our immune systems work to fight off "dis-ease" most of the time.
To stay healthy during this time of the year good self-care habits are essential. Winter is governed by the water element and that calls for extra pampering of our bodies so that we can develop strong roots for the growth that comes with Spring - on many levels. However, most of us have extra things we do this time of year, not more free time. So, if you start to feel that tickle in your throat or the beginning sniffles or a few body aches, here are some things you can do ...
1. At the first sign you are fighting a cold or other virus, take a nap. Hold the master immune points, found below clavicle in center of chest. Do this for a while before you go to sleep and visualize your body's resources being marshalled to fight the intruder. Then, repeat whenever you wake up and throughout the day.
2. Drink, drink, drink a LOT of non-caffeine tea with honey and lemon. Sip it warm, not too hot and let it swish around in your mouth before swallowing.
3. Cover a diced onion, some fresh chopped garlic, a handful of fresh gtsted ginger with water and bring it almost to a boil then then off. A little fresh gtated turmeric is a nice addition, but can turn your skin yellow so I get the white turmeric at the Berkeley Bowl. Put the entire contents of the pot into an old stocking or sock and take a nice, hot bath. Put the stocking/sock in the tub along with half the liquid. Mix some fresh raw honey into the other 1/2 of the liquid and drink itis a tea. Bring 2 big glasses of water into yhe bathroom with you to drink. This bath will make you sweat!!! A lot!!! This is good because it flushes toxins. See #2 and drink more. The more you drink, the more you pee, and that flushes toxins and you'll be healthier and happier.
4. Colloidal silver kills viruses and is available in nasal spray form online.
5. A Neti pot is is the best way to wipe out a sore throat and runny nose (sold at natural foods stores or online). Use only boiled water that has cooled to warm and about a teaspoon of NON-iodized salt to rinse your sinuses and gargle with some of the same water. Be sure to wash the neti pot well after using.
6. Yin Chiao is the Chinese patent formula remedy (equivalent to over-the-counter). I like to get Henry's family formulation at Draline Tong Herbs in Oakland Chinatown at 10th & Webster. He also does more customized herbal formulas and IF a virus gets into the chest I strongly recommend a visit.
Hope this helps!
Many people come to me with emotional complaints. Some people have medical diagnoses like depression or anxiety. Others just talk about being tired a lot, feeling sad about a recent loss,feeling stressed out or wishing they could get rid of that sour feeling in the pit of their stomach.
Traditional Chinese Medicine looks at the whole person. As a practitioner, I assess people's health on 4 levels - physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. That doesn't mean that a client has to believe the same things I do, or even that we include all of these levels in our conversation. When asked, I often joke and say "A leaf doesn't have to believe in photosynthesis, but a scientist will study it to fully understand the leaf." For me, the words people use to describe how they feel are all clues to me in how I am going to work with them.
No one word tells me exactly how to best treat a person. A full assessment is necessary at the first visit and a brief conversation helps update the assessment at any subsequent visits. For example, "depression" is a medical term that has a specific meaning to doctors and psychologists. With Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), we have a different perspective. I listen to how a person talks. I look at how they present themselves and move their bodies. I take their pulses (yes, it's plural because I pay attention to various aspects of 12 pulses). I look at their tongue. I ask questions, some of which may seem very strange, such as "How do you feel about wind?" My treatment is tailored to what I find in that person. Again, using "depression" as an example, I may work to restore the fire element in a person or address a yin deficiency or calm the liver meridian - and these are just a few of the possibilities.
In summary, I would say that the TCM view of health is that the body, mind and spirit are all connected. We help people create wellness on many levels so that they feel great.
My plan is to share resources with you in this blog. One of the first to look at for information about Acupressure is Michael Gach's blog. He is the founder of the Acupressure Institute in Berkeley, the author of many wonderful books and a fabulous teacher.
Check it out at: http://blog.acupressure.com/
As usual with blogs, you'll notice topic areas in the column on the right side of the blog. Some of my favorites include Emotional Healing, Metabolism and Appetite, Stress Management and Back Pain & Sciatica. I look forward to hearing your favorites!
For most of my clients I recommend some points for self-care follow up. This is not meant as "homework" like kids get in school. Rather, it is meant to empower people to use acupressure to keep themselves healthy and happy.
Some of the most common points that I suggest to people are:
St-36: a hands-width below the knee on the outside of the leg. This point has been described as "better than a cup of coffee" for an energy boost as needed.
Bl-62 & K-6: below each side of the ankle. I describe these points together as the "sleepy points" and they help one attain peaceful and restful sleep.
GB-14: on the forehead an inch or so above the eyebrow. This point is good for clear thinking. People often naturally rub this point when they are trying to remember something.
I invite you to come visit me and see what points are suggested to help you help yourself!
Acupressure sometimes seems miraculous in the way it works. Recently I worked on a man with lower back pain. Sciatica sent shooting pains down his legs, even to the point of making it impossible to go to work. I warned him that the results may not be immediate.
This was a big, strong man in excellent physical condition. He took a few deep breaths as i worked on some points on his lower legs. I asked if it hurt and he assured me he could handle the pain. A little more than half-way through the session, he fell asleep, so I was pretty sure the process was working. At the end of our session I also gave him a heads-up that after 3-4 days when he started feeling better he might want to take it as a hint from his body that the healing process had started rather than assuming that he was all better.
When he came back a week later he laughed and told me it was a good thing I had told him what to expect or he might not have come back. His pain had disappeared for a day and then returned, although not as strong. It took a few sessions more to get rid of the pain completely. He described our work together as "miraculous" and I agree that sometimes acupressure seems that way. It helps restore the body to balance with deep healing.
In his case, since he was still doing the work that caused the problem in the first place, I recommended a monthly "tune-up" appointment to keep the qi moving and the pain from returning.