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About Acupuncture

acu-presentation  Click on this link for my power point presentation on how Acupuncture can benefit you!

5 Plus 1 Reasons Addition is Better Than Subtraction


DIET…a four letter word that conjures images of celery stalks and sad salads.  As soon as we focus on what we need to give up (subtraction) from our eating plans, we start to feel deprived.  But what if we put our attention on the addition of some fabulous foods?  Hey, would you like to add some fresh, aromatic, delicious foods to your diet?  Yes, please!


  1. Adding healthy choices limits the space for less healthy choices.  I call this preventative eating.  Going to a party where you know you will be tempted to indulge?  Before you go, eat some steamed vegetables to ensure you get some nutrients in your body before indulging in party food.
  2. Adding clean drinking water helps the cells to perform their cellular processes and may increase a sense of fullness.
  3. Adding variety of color to your diet means you will be getting a broad spectrum of nutrients and just looks darn pretty.  Taste the rainbow…of fruits and veges, that is.
  4. Adding variety of texture in the foods you eat may help satisfy cravings and offset an impending nutritional nosedive.  For example: if I’m agitated, I might choose to nom something crunchy.  If I’m wanting the sensation of comfort, I may choose the warm, smooth texture of mashed yams with coconut oil.
  5. Adding variety of flavors is at the root of food choice in Traditional Chinese Medicine.  Eating from the five flavors means including foods that are sour, bitter, sweet, acrid (spicy,) or salty.  Many books have been written on this topic and your holistic healthcare professional can guide you towards the one that is right for you.
  6. Adding a calm environment to your meal time allows you to pay attention to what you’re eating and enjoy it.  Stop working.  Step away from the technology.  Sit down.  Chew your food.  Rest and digest.  I know, I know; if you are raising and routinely eating with small children, you may have to settle for “chew your food.”  Work into the calm environment as best you can.

A few of my favorite books relate to healthful eating are:

  • The book of Jook; Chinese Medicinal Porridges.  author, Bob Flaws
  • Japanese Foods That Heal.  authors, John & Jan Belleme
  • Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition.  author, Paul Pitchford
  • The World’s Healthiest Foods.  author, George Mateljan
  • Gut and Psychology Syndrome.  Natasha Campbell-McBride

3 Awesome Things

3 Awesome Things oranges-01-300x294.jpg

It’s a good start that can lead to an awesome outcome.  Focusing on the positive in situations can be a real boost.  I know, I know…some days or situations are just really crappy.  However, if you can focus on a limited number of beneficial actions you take to promote your health, you may just end up writing your very own prescription for wellness.

If you’re at all like me then you know what happens when I try to eliminate the negative…no chips, no fried foods, no Netflix binging.  Suddenly I MUST have chips!  I must see ALL the episodes!  …and so on.

Focusing on the positive reframes the situation and puts me in a place of power to live in health.  Rather than “Poor me, I can’t have this,” I think, “I’m going to indulge in more of this.  I’m going to enjoy more of that.”  I look to drinking more water, choosing more leafy-greens, spending more time in nature, eating more anti-inflammatory foods, moving my body more and spending time in gratitude.  Scarcity creates a sense of dread.  Abundance gives us the sense of having a smorgasbord of good choices.

So, I task you with writing down 3 awesome things you did for yourself today.  Then, carry that forward to the next day and so on.  Pretty soon those positive choices crowd out the space for junk.  You’ll find yourself with a darn good list of choices you enjoy making and rewarding yourself with health!

What 3 Awesome things did you choose for yourself today?

Say What Now?

wood-cube-abc-cube-letters-48898Say What Now?


East-Asian medical practitioners don’t talk “the talk” to be confusing, we sometimes get lost in our minds while evaluating a person and planning for treatment.  Here are some helpful hints in deciphering your East-Asian medical practitioner’s language.

Qi – pronounced Chee or, sometimes in Japan – Kee

The vital energy possessed by all living beings.

De qi – the arrival of sensation of qi after a needle is inserted.  Some people experience this as a dull, achy sensation.  Some people describe this as a warm or buzzing sensation.  Some people don’t feel much of anything when the needle is inserted but the acupuncturist has a sensation of de qi.

Stagnant, stasis or stagnation – when energy is stuck.  This often creates pain or dis-order or dis-ease.

Causes of stagnation may be categorized by type.  Qi stagnation.  Blood stasis.

Channels or Meridians – the energetic pathways that move qi.  Example: A “stagnation of Liver Qi” doesn’t necessarily mean there is concern about the functioning of your biological organ, the liver.  The liver channel travels from the toes all the way up to the torso.

TCM = Traditional Chinese Medicine which includes acupuncture, Tui Na, cupping, moxibustion and herbal therapies.

LAc = Licensed Acupuncturist who has received four or more years of education and training from an accredited college of Oriental Medicine (now referred to as East-Asian Medicine.)  Licensing also requires registration with one or more state’s office of financial and professional regulation.  In Illinois, where I practice, this is the

Dipl.Ac = Diplomate of Acupuncture.  An acupuncturist who is fully educated and has passed the NCCAOM or CALE board examinations.

NCCAOM = National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. The national board that administers and regulates all testing of acupuncturists and practitioners of Oriental Medicine (East-Asian Medicine) except in California; they take the CALE.

There are many different styles of acupuncture.  While one practitioner may focus on placing needles in arms and legs, others may include mostly points along the scalp, ears or belly.  Most practitioners use a blend of styles that include TCM, Japanese, Korean, auricular, Dr. Tan/Master Tung and local trigger points.  I use whatever combination works best for my clients in their quest for health.

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