External Wind may be considered a pathogen, but it doesn’t have to scare you.
It’s only a problem when it becomes lodged in your body. There are all kinds of things you can do to keep Wind moving as it should.
We’ve put together a Spring Wind Prevention Kit that will give you lots of support in keeping the spring Wind at bay. Some of the items are things you can keep around the house, and some are herbals that you can make yourself. Others are Chinese medicinals you can get at any Chinese herbal pharmacy, including ours.
Here’s what’s in your Spring Wind Prevention Kit:
An herbal immune support tincture especially made for you. Our office manager Cassandra has completed a training program in western herbs. She made a tincture with adaptogens using herbs you can easily get or grow. Cass will be on hand to explain what adaptogens are. She made enough for us to have for refills if you need them.
A packet of Jade Windscreen, a traditional Chinese herbal formula for protecting against External Wind. Jade Windscreen is a classic formula, safe and simple. We’ll have a little pot of it brewing for you to try while you are here. Your kit includes a packet that you can make right away, or keep in the freezer to pull out when you are feeling run down. Jade Windscreen protects your lungs from Wind Invasion (which we’ll talk about in the workshop) and supports your immune system in a Chinese way.
A eye pillow filled with flax seeds to cool hot, itchy eyes. These lovely pillows are made by our business manager, Maureen. She has a special interest in fabrics so you can be sure these are quality pillows. Flax seeds are well known to have cooling characteristics, and flax seed oil is a popular supplement for eye health. Flax seed pillows will sooth and comfort itchy, red or puffy eyes. To enhance the cooling effect, keep one in the fridge for days when the pollen count is high.
Gan Mao Ling tea in travel size packets. This is a remedy for the very earliest stages of the common cold, or WindCold, as we put it in Chinese Medicine. Take these along in your wallet or purse when you travel. Dissolve in hot water and enjoy as a cup of tea.
A pump cup for cupping therapy – we’ll talk about how to use it. Cupping is a well known therapy in many cultures. Suction against the skin gets things moving. When Wind becomes lodged in the body, suction cups can draw it up to surface to be expelled through the pores. Learn more about cupping here on our website.
A discount coupon for a cupping session. Satisfy your curiosity and try a cupping session! Cupping is good for tight, tense muscles, as well as for Wind. It does leave marks, but these resolve in a day to a week.
The Spring Wind Prevention Kit is …
Join us for a workshop all about Spring Wind.
Wind, like Cold, is a climate that can invade our bodies in the Chinese way of seeing things. When Wind that comes in from the outside is called External Wind. (Chinese Medicine also an category of Wind called Internal Wind. This workshop is only about the External variety.)
External Wind causes allergy-type symptoms. Stuffy noses and sinus headaches are attributed to External Wind. Wind likes to move around. Itchy eyes and rashes that come and go are Wind symptoms. Wind tends to move upward, and most often it is evident in the the upper body, especially the head and neck.
External Wind is easy to avoid, and it’s fairly easy to take care of in the early stages. In this workshop we’ll talk about how to recognize Wind symptoms and what precautions we can take to avoid it. We’ll have some teas and tinctures, and a Spring Wind Kit available to purchase.
There’s no reason to be afraid of Wind. You can use Chinese Medicine to help you enjoy the season, and we’ll show you how.…
A Chance To Study Master Level Cupping
Cupping April 27-28 ~ Gua Sha April 29, 2013
Three years ago, Andrea Elliot and I had Australian cupping expert Bruce Bentley teach three-day Master Classes in Traditional East/West Cupping in New York City and Groton. Both classes filled immediately. Very hands-on and lively, these workshops changed my attitude towards cupping. Most of my patients know what a big fan of cupping I am. I use both cupping and gua sha regularly now – almost daily, in fact, in part because of my studies with Bruce.
We were very excited to hear that he was visiting the USA again, and Andrea is hosting him in Hudson. (Andrea moved from Mystic River Acupuncture to Hudson, NY a few years ago to set up her own practice.) This time he’ll present a two-day workshop in Modern Cupping, followed by a day of Gua Sha. Bruce has studied cupping extensively around the world and gives a very interesting perspective in this ancient technique.
Cup With the Best In Beautiful Hudson, NY
This is a real opportunity for acupuncturists to further their cupping and gua sha skills while obtaining NCCAOM CEUs. Hudson is very beautiful, about 27 miles west of Great Barrington, MA and 135 miles north of New York City. Andrea has lots of good suggestions for lodging, including the WON Buddhist retreat center.
While this class is geared towards acupuncturists, it is very hands on and practical, and Licensed Massage Therapists or other professionals with cupping in their scopes of practice are welcome. Bruce combines cupping & gua sha with bodywork in his own practice. Class content strongly reflects this.
Join us for a rare opportunity in a beautiful setting. Contact Andrea Elliott at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit email@example.com You can also call Andrea in Hudson at 518-610-0047
Or contact me, Kathleen, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-448-6766.
What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day together than with acupuncture and massage?
In the past our acupuncture – massage combos have been very popular. For this year’s Valentine special, you and your honey can enjoy the combo at the same time. Schedule with a friend or loved one for a therapeutic massage/acupuncture combo session. While you enjoy massage, your special someone will be receiving acupuncture. When you’re done, it’s your turn for acupuncture while they experience a deeply relaxing massage. If you’ve planned a romantic evening, this will get you off to a good start.
These sessions can either be simply stress-reducing or we can target problem areas and health issues. Your acupuncturist and massage therapist will coordinate your treatments. Both acupuncture and massage are great modalities for sleep problems, muscle pains, fatigue, and anxiety. They enhance immune function, especially this time of year. It’s an excellent combination to add to your stay-healthy routine. Acupuncture and massage together offer superb relief for all manner of things. They enhance each other. You will reap the benefits of a deep sense of mental, emotional, and physical well-being.
See what it’s like to experience acupuncture and massage in one session. Take advantage of this opportunity to introduce a friend to these therapies. Consider a few weekly sessions if you have specific concerns. Stop by or give us a call at 860-448-6766 to schedule.
Through March 1st, this combo is only $90 per person for 30 minutes of massage followed by acupuncture. Upgrade to a combo with a 60 minute massage and a full acupuncture treatment, front and back, for only $140/person.
Acupuncture – Massage Combo Gift Certificates are available so you can say “Be My Valentine” in the best of ways.
It’s very important to keep warm in winter and early spring. In Chinese Medicine Cold is seen as a pathogen that can enter your body. We call this “Invasion of External Cold.” Achy muscles, fatigue, runny nose, catching cold, and a general feeling of being chilled are some of the symptoms. A Cold Invasion can lower your immune function, allowing illnesses to linger or recur. Staying warm is a good way to keep this climactic “pathogen” at bay.
To help you combat Cold, we’ve put together a Beat the Chill Kit containing items you can use at home. We’ll talk about how to use each one in the Winter Warming Workshop on Feb 21, 2013.
In our Beat the Chill Kit you’ll find the following:
One microwaveable rice neck pillow, hand crafted by our business manager Maureen Connaughton. Maureen has an interest in fabrics and has chosen high quality cloth for these bags. She has made them just the right size to drape over your shoulders and neck. ($14 value)
A box of stick-on moxa which can be applied to specific acu-points to improve your immune system or help prevent symptoms from Cold Invasion. ($4).
A packet of Cinnamon Twig Decoction which is a classic Chinese formula for the beginning symptoms from Cold. It is tasty and very safe for all ages to take. You make a tea from it, drink it up, go to bed well bundled up, and sleep. The herbs and blankets help your pores open so you sweat out the Cold. ($6)
A Fomentek water pillow. These amazing bags take hot water bottles one step further. It’s pillow-sized plastic bag that you fill with hot water. Place it in a pillowcase to keep it from being too hot. You can lay down with it under your back, or rest it on your tummy. You can fold it around your feet or hands so they are surrounded by warm water. Don’t let your cat near it – they love to knead these pillows with their claws! ($11).
A coupon to upgrade your next massage to a hot stone massage. Have you ever tried a therapeutic massage with these wonderfully heated stones? They are just the right size to enhance your healing experience, loosen up your muscles and relax you totally. All we can say is “Ahhhhhhhh…..!” ($15 value)
DURING OUR WORKSHOP these kits, a $50 value, will be available for $25.
Let us know ahead if you want one or more so we can have enough on hand. They make great housewarming or Get Well Soon gifts.
It’s easy to catch what’s going around in the cold weather of winter or spring.
Join us for an evening class where you’ll learn about the Chinese concept of Cold as a pathogenic influence and how to keep your immune system strong against it.
There are lots of opportunities for Cold to “invade” your body this time of year. Shoveling snow, catching a draft, being under-dressed on an unexpectedly chilly spring day, or eating cold foods all contribute to Cold as a pathogen.
We’ll talk about what this Chinese pathogen does to our bodies and about how to dress, what to eat, warming herbal teas, and what you can do at home to keep your body toasty warm inside and out. We’ll also cover things you can do once you’re under the weather because of the weather.
“Beat the Chill” kits will be available at a special workshop price of $25 (usual cost is $50). Each kit contains a box of moxa, a hand-made microwaveable rice pillow, an herbal tea to use if you are exposed to the cold, and a fomentek water bag plus a coupon to upgrade your next therapeutic massage to a hot stone massage. In class you’ll learn how to use these items to stay healthy through the cold seasons. (If you want to purchase extra kits for friends, call ahead so we can have them ready for you.)
Winter Warming Workshop
Thursday, Feb 21, 6-7:30 pm
$10 advance registration
(add $25 to reserve a Beat the Chill Kit)
Come to our Holiday Open House and Book Signing Event!
December 2 from 2-4pm at Mystic River Acupuncture
We are excited to introduce Mystic River Acupuncture’s NEW Retail Section.
Here’s a Menu of Open House Specials we have for you:
When booked and paid for during Open House:
- Initial Evaluation and Acupuncture session – $100 ($30 savings)
- Cupping Seesion - $50 (Save $30)
- Chinese Herbal Evaluation – $50 (save $30)
(appointments must be scheduled before Jan 15)
Other Open House Specials
- 60 minute Hot Stone Massage - $75 through Jan 15 (Save $15)
- $5 savings on Fomentek Water Pillows – $18
- A signed copy of Mystic Seafarer’s Trail – only $10
- Special Pricing on Holiday Baskets (We have an assortment to choose from.)
- 20% off all services (purchased during open house and excluding community acupuncture and specials)
- Chair massage $1/minute
We have some great Door Prizes, too. (Must be present to win.)
- Gift Certificate For One Acupuncture Session
- Gift Certificate For One 60 Minute Massage
- Gift Certificate for One Herbal Evaluation
- A Comfort Basket” donated by Julie Russell, MSW, LCSW
- A kayak tour with Cindy Modzelewski
- A signed copy of Mystic Seafarer’s Trail
Author Lisa Saunders will sign a copy of your book.
Lisa’s latest book, Mystic Seafarer’s Trail, chronicles her life as a newcomer to Mystic. An adventure/walking tour/plain good story, this book describes how Lisa discovered the treasures of our area while she made new friends. She devised a walking trail, devoid of hills, that takes in the Seven Wonders of Mystic.
Lisa will be on hand to sign her book, for sale at a special holiday price of $10, and you can meet the some of the characters described therein.
Copies of Lisa’s books Anything But A Dog, Ever True: A Union Private and His Wife, and Ride a Horse, Not an Elevator also will be available.
We say goodbye, and we say hello……
This is a good opportunity to meet our new receptionist, Maureen Connaughton, and say a sad good-bye to Barbara Swec who is retiring.
And we say welcome back!
Those of you who know and love our beloved retired office manager, Anne-Marie Q., will be happy to hear that she’s back for the day.
PLEASE NOTE OUR PARKING LOT IS SMALL AND ON-STREET PARKING IS AVAILABLE.
HOWEVER, BE CAREFUL NOT TO PARK ON THE YELLOW CURB LINES NEAR THE FIRE HOUSE.
The fire trucks must have full access.
Overeating and Chinese Medicine
The family feasting is over, the kids are exhausted, the grownups are enjoying that post-feast camaraderie. And your tummy is talking to you. It’s so easy to overeat at these special occasions. Breaking bread together has been a celebration of love shared with kith and kin throughout the centuries, and it’s hard to refuse a sampling of each delicious dish.
Food Stagnation is a recognized pattern in Chinese Medicine. Food stagnation occurs when so much food is consumed that it overloads the digestive system. A feeling of great fullness, heaviness, lethargy, sometimes mild cramping, gas. constipation, or nausea are common symptoms. Belching may relieve the discomfort.
After the feast
Of course, it’s best not to eat so much that our digestion becomes overloaded, but inevitably there are times when we do. Here are some suggestions to help you through those times when portion control goes out of control.
Graze. If you want to try a little bit of everything, it’s easier on your digestion if you don’t eat it all at once. Spread the meal out over a period of time. Don’t gobble your food. Rather, chew it well. Chewing is the first step in the digestive process. Take the time to savor the delicious dishes.
Relax! Sit after dinner and enjoy good company. Give your stomach a chance to digest. After an overly abundant meal, your body needs to focus on digestion.
Put some warmth on your abdomen. Heat up a microwaveable rice or bean pillow. Set the warm rice bag on your abdomen over your belly button while you rest. The warmth feels good, relieves cramping, and helps your tummy get on with its job. If you don’t have one of these pillows you can improvise. Put some rice in a thin cotton sack or clean sock. Tie the end off and – voilà! – a little bag to pop in the microwave.
Take an easy walk. After a good rest, take a relaxing walk, a “constitutional” as a friend of mine called his daily after-supper strolls. Movement will help your digestive qi or energy remain active. (Be sure to wait until your stomach is feeling more comfortable before walking.)
After dinner, enjoy an herbal tea instead of coffee. After a large meal, coffee can be a heavy beverage. Try a cup of ginger, mint or lemon tea. Ginger is known to settle the stomach. Mint is light and aromatic. Citrus is often used in formulas for digestion.
Do not starve yourself the next day. In Chinese Medicine, a regular schedule is extremely important. Avoid swinging from over-indulgence to fasting. The next day be sure to include fiber in your diet to promote needed bowel movement. Eat smaller, lighter meals until you feel better. Avoid cold and raw foods.
If alcohol was part of the party, drink plenty of water and take vitamins. Especially take B vitamins, which are depleted by excess alcohol intake. Milk thistle is often used to help the liver handle …
Wind as a “pathogenic influence”
We have recently seen the destructive force of wind with Hurricane Sandy along our east coast. Buildings and beaches were destroyed, leaving many homeless. Even as a tropical storm, Sandy was an awe inspiring event, a powerful force of nature. Close on Sandy’s heels came this season’s first winter storm or “nor’easter” as we call them in New England. Once again the area was battered with high gusting wind, this time cold with sleet and snow.
Yet in other circumstances we welcome wind. It brings refreshing relief on hot summer evenings. In spring the wind carries a pleasant, hopeful aroma. Wind provides us with energy and transportation. Tall ships and picturesque windmills are part of our history. Wind is celebrated in poetry and song.
Wind In Chinese Medicine
Chinese Medicine describes illness in terms of climates which either invade our bodies from the outside or are internally generated due to a weakened immune system. Wind that is out of balance in our bodies is called pathogenic Wind. Like nature’s wind, pathogenic wind in our bodies moves around from here to there. Wind carries things with it – pollen, bugs, leaves, debris. Pathogenic Wind is said not to travel alone, blowing in other pathogenic influences. Just as windy weather can be gentle or violent, so too can the pathogenic wind in our bodies. (Read last February’s post about Wind-Cold.)
Symptoms of Pathogenic Wind
Symptoms that come and go or move around are attributed to wind. Headaches that come and go, rashes that move around, and allergy symptoms may all be caused by Wind. Wind is responsible for itchy sensations. Itchy rashes, itchy nose and eyes, dry itchy skin are all signs of wind. Certain types of cough are Wind related. Pathogenic Wind-Cold is the Chinese equivalent of common cold.
Wind has an upward movement, often causing problems in the head and face. Bell’s Palsy and other types of paralysis may be wind trapped in energy channels blocking circulation. Hypertension can lead to pathogen Wind symptoms. Most pathogenic Wind conditions are not life threatening, but some are disabling. In Chinese Medicine stroke is considered to be an extreme rushing up of internal Wind into the brain.
How to Get Relief form Pathogenic Wind
Of all the “pathogenic influences” or “climates” that can invade our bodies, Wind is one of the easiest to treat.
Acupuncture works wonders in the beginning stages of a cold or for allergy symptoms caused by Wind. The needles quickly restore an energy flow that settles Wind, extinguishing it from the body. Community Clinic acupuncture is an excellent venue for dispersing early stage pathogenic Wind-Cold.
Cupping therapy is an invaluable tool in treating pathogenic Wind. The suction of the cups draws the Wind to the surface where it is expelled through the pores. Cupping is most often used for muscle aches in the upper body and Wind-related respiratory problems.
things you can do before and after acupuncture
Acupuncture is a fairly new modality and many people aren’t sure how to prepare for a treatment or what they should do afterward. While acupuncture is a medical procedure, it’s also used as a “wellness” technique, most often for prevention or stress reduction. You don’t have to be worried about sabotaging your acupuncture treatment by carrying on with your every day life. Still, there are some guidelines to help you make the most of the magic needles.
Before Acupuncture Treatment
First of all, don’t come hungry. Have a snack or light meal before your treatment. This is especially true if you are hypoglycemic or tend to have blood sugar swings. It goes without saying that it’s best to avoid alcohol or recreational drugs before treatment. However, you should take your prescription medicines on schedule. Acupuncturists regularly treat patients who are on medications for all sorts of conditions.
Acupuncture is a relaxing experience. Wear clothing that is comfortable and that will give the acupuncturist easy access to your elbows and knees. Avoid tights and pantyhose. Dress in layers if it’s cold. Use your common sense. If you think your acupuncturist will need to work on your neck or upper back for instance, wear a tank top underneath your turtleneck.
Tell your acupuncturist if your are sleep deprived or exceptionally stressed or overworked. This helps us decide what treatment is best for you. If you are particularly stressed out, you might need a few calming needles before your treatment. Or perhaps if you are exhausted you will need a less vigorous acupuncture technique. It’s wise to let your acupuncturist know about any unusual emotional upsets or periods of overwork. These things are taken into account in treatment planning.
After Acupuncture Treatment
After acupuncture, you may resume your normal activities. Going back to work is fine. Know that you may feel a little more relaxed than usual. If you are tired and have the opportunity to nap, do so. Try not to eat a heavy meal after treatment, and avoid alcohol. If you must have an alcoholic beverage, drink with your meal and don’t have too much.
There should be no problem with exercise, but keep it easy. Avoid strenuous or rigorous routines, depending on what you are used to. Walk or jog instead of running, or do three miles instead of ten. Walk a mile along a pretty pathway or saunter around the block. Have a leisurely swim instead of trying to break your record at laps. If you work out in a gym, do a lighter routine.
Do not use ice after acupuncture. Acupuncture gets the circulation flowing, your qi and blood moving. If you have swelling, acupuncture reduces it. When you apply ice it impedes this process. Cold contracts things and slows them down. If you need to ice an area, wait a few hours after acupuncture before applying it. This is how long it takes the qi or energy to settle …