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.
Poison Ivy is abundant this year. It grows in fields, yards, woods, gardens. It’s pretty hard to avoid.
Chinese Medicine can be a real asset when it comes to poison ivy relief. We’d like to show you just how much it can help, so through Sept 15 treatment and herbs for poison ivy will be 25% off.
Acupuncture can have an immediate effect on itching. Emotionally it will calm any agitation accompanying your itchy outbreak. Either a quick visit to community clinic or a more extensive regular acupuncture session can give prompt relief.
In China herbs are often used for contact dermatitis and all manner of dermatology issues. They are boiled up to make a soothing wash or compress. Herbs also can be made into a medicinal decoction or tea.
Come try acupuncture or herbs when you find yourself with that unpleasant telltale rash. We try to get people with pressing problems (and this is one of them) in as soon as possible.
If you are allergic to this invasive plant, you can get herbs to brew up ahead of time and freeze them. The next time you run into a patch you’ll have your remedies handy to defrost and use. We’re just a phone call away if you’ve forgotten how to use them or aren’t sure if you need acupuncture.
People affected by poison ivy and related plants (poison oak, sumac, etc.) will almost certainly benefit from Chinese herbs and acupuncture. While poison ivy is usually inconvenient, in some cases it can be dangerous. Anyone who is highly allergic or has a severe case must consult their doctor.
Read this Hot Topic item for tips on dealing with poison ivy.
This past June the Acupuncture Association of Missouri (AAM) invited me to give a two-day seminar on Meridian Energetic Acupuncture in St. Louis. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and made good use of my time there.
My friend Michael Max and his wife Tracy Wang graciously invited me to be their house guest for the first couple of days. I’d never been to St. Louis. Now I would see this city from a resident’s point of view and Michael and I could continue our conversations about the practice of acupuncture. An added bonus to this was that Tracy is a superb cook.
The day after I arrived we went sight seeing. This included the amazing City Museum – I won’t even say anything about it other than, yes, I did slide down the 10-story spiral slide. Wow! You just have to go! And of course we visited the Arch, an awe-provoking piece of architecture situated in a downtown park on the banks of the Mississippi River. My tour of St. Louis included a visit to Sump’s for the best coffee in town, if not the country, and eating ribs outdoors at a delightful street-side restaurant.
The next day it was back to work. I had the pleasure of assisting Michael in his clinic. This was a good opportunity for both of us. I admired Michael’s calm way with his patients, his willingness to share his knowledge with me and his eagerness to have me jump in to consult with him on some of the treatments. It’s always rewarding to work in another acupuncturist’s clinic. Michael and I (and Tracy) met in China, and we’d already had many discussions about acupuncture protocols, the peculiarities of our respective clinics, ethical marketing practices, and herbal medicine. Finally we were working together.
I moved to the hotel the evening before the AAM conference began. This afforded me the luxury of being able to plan and adapt my lecture content according to the needs of the class, in real time and without distraction.
What a fun bunch of acupuncturists! They came mostly from Missouri and Kansas while some hailed from places as far away as Iowa to attend the AAM seminars. We kicked the conference off with a cocktail party whose purpose was, as Michael put it, “so we can size up the teacher and buy her drinks”. (Worked for me!) I had the chance to meet most of the participants before the seminar began.
The next two days were intense, yet I found them energizing rather than draining. These weren’t novice practitioners attending the workshop. I do believe I learned as much as they did. It was a lively two days with lots of input from the students, lots of case examples and demonstrations. In between class we had many discussions. We chatted over lunch, talked over dinner, and explored in depth this medicine we love late into the night. We shared anecdotes, techniques, and stories …
Lately I’ve noticed patients coming in reporting they are out-of-sorts and not sure why. Vague stomach problems, annoying headaches, feeling sluggish. I attribute some of this to the Chinese pathogen “summer heat”. It’s a heavy damp kind of heat prevalent in hot humid weather. While we can’t blame all of our summer complaints on summer heat, this climactic pathogen does play a significant role and Chinese Medicine knows how to deal with it.
In Chinese Medicine, illnesses can be caused by the invasion of external climates. These are considered exogenous or external pathogenic influences. Summer Heat is one of them. It can make you feel just a little nauseous or set off a lingering headache. Perhaps you’ve been particularly lethargic. On the extreme end is “sunstroke” from prolonged exposure to hot sun, with excessive sweating, fever and collapse.
The hot humid summer weather does drain us and makes us feel sluggish. We might feel stuffy or heavy and full with lack of appetite. Dehydration may be a problem. We become irritable. We may feel worn down by unrelenting humid weather or feel pressured to have that last bit of summer fun before our fall schedules begin.
Look at your tongue and notice the coating. If it looks thick and greasy there is Dampness present. Damp is another pathogenic climate. Dampness means you may be prone to feeling sluggish or nauseous in the heat of the season. If your tongue body is red and dry, this indicates Heat is present in your body. Be careful to drink plenty of fluids. Chinese herbs will help in these cases, and acupuncture is always a good way to regulate your body & emotions to prevent getting sick. A quick visit to community acupuncture clinic may be all you need.
Watermelon is a wonderful food for summer heat. It contains vitamins and minerals to help replenish fluids lost through sweating. It’s cooling and refreshing to taste. It’s fruit is beautiful and brightens up any table. Watermelon grows abundantly in summer, so it is easy to get and usually not too expensive. Plus, it’s a fun food – what picnic is complete without a watermelon seed spitting contest?
This old-time song praises the virtues of watermelon.…
Poison Ivy sufferers desperately search for remedies to relieve the intense and awful itching caused by contact with this plant.
Chinese Medicine is a valuable asset in their search for antidotes. Acupuncture relieves itching immediately. Chinese herbs are used to make washes and to take as medicines. The herbs in the wash cool, alleviate itching, and moisten the skin. The formulas may be taken as decoctions (teas) or granules stirred into warm water or mixed into food such as applesauce or yogurt. The topical herbs can also be ground up applied as a poultice. Treating poison ivy is an example of Chinese herbal medicine applied to a condition rather than a constitutional type. However, most Chinese herbalists (including myself) will add a few herbs to your formula for your personal constitutional make-up.
Now that you know Chinese Medicine can help, here are some practical things for the do-it-yourself part.
Clean the area as soon as possible after contact! This is an important step in controlling the rash from poison ivy, oak and related plants. Fels naptha is the classic bar soap for this. Like calamine lotion, it is a famous poison ivy treatment. Tecnu is modern soap that my patients have been giving me good reports about. Use these to wash the skin as soon as possible after exposure. Fels naptha and Tecnu remove toxic oils of poison ivy or oak from your skin.
Rhus tox is a common homeopathic remedy. It is easily purchased in 30c and 200c from health food stores and some pharmacies. Follow the dosage directions on the bottle or consult a homeopath or western herbalist. Many people use this before they come in contact with poison ivy as a way of strengthening their immune system against it. Rhus tox, which is a homeopathic dilution of the oil of the plant itself, is well worth trying once you have the poison ivy rash. Rhus tox is also said to be good for arthritis, joint pains & body aches and flu symptoms, among other things.
Calamine lotion is an old standby for poison ivy. Apply it on the affected area and let it dry. Calamine lotion fans find that it decreases itching and cools the rash. You need to apply it several times a day. As always, keep out of the reach of children. It should not be ingested. Avoid the eyes and mucous membranes. To remove the lotion, dab the site with witch hazel or wash with water and pat dry. Don’t rub the rashy area.
Calamine lotion is not herbal at all, but composed mainly of calamine which is a mixture of zinc oxide with a small amount of ferric oxide.
I came across this article for making your own “calamine lotion”. Other internet sources suggested combinations of water and baking soda, sometimes with oatmeal; sea salt baking soda, bentonite clay, chamomile or tea tree oil, and water.
What is Wind-Cold and why should you avoid it?
In Chinese Medicine, one of the ways we describe illnesses is in term of climates. Climates can be internally generated by a disease process (internal pathogenic influences), or an excessive climate in our environment can invade our bodies (external pathogenic influences). Wind, Cold, Damp, Heat, and Dryness are the most common pathogenic influences. This way of describing the disease prices does not negate the concept of germ theory, but exists alongside of it. It’s another way of describing what happens in the body.
For instance a person with arthritis resulting in red, swollen joints that feel hot and are worse in rainy weather might be said to have “Internal Damp Heat” in the joints. Someone who catches a cold, especially after exposure to inclement weather, has an “External Wind-Cold” invasion.
March weather in the Northeast can be quite windy and cold. These are the pathogenic influences from which we need to protect ourselves this time of year. Pathogenic Wind causes itching, symptoms that come and go, watery itchy eyes, sneezing, and rashes that move around. Pathogenic Cold can be responsible for muscle aches, chills, aversion to cold, and runny nose. Many of the symptoms of the common cold are External Wind-Cold symptoms.
There are “Wind points” through which External Wind likes to enter. Many of them are at the base of the skull and near the neck and shoulders. Hence the advice to wear a scarf and keep buttoned up when you go out in any kind of bad weather. The External Wind actually enters these acupoints and lodges in your body. It is said that External Wind does not travel alone, that it likes bringing another pathogen in with it. In this case, External Wind opens the Wind points and enters, making it easier for the External Cold to accompany it.
Wearing a scarf or turtleneck, or keeping your coat collar up will effectively block the entrance of this Wind. Should you find yourself exposed to these pathogenic influences, you can use medicinal ginger tea to help expel them. You can also apply heat to the nape of your neck and upper shoulders with a heating pad or a rice bag heated in the microwave. Rest and sleep will help, too.
If you need stronger medicinal help, usually just one session of acupuncture will help you turn the corner or even prevent the cold from developing. Community Clinic is a good venue for this. Cupping and moxibustion are also very effective ways to expel External Wind-Cold. There are a number of herbal formulas that manage different stages of Wind-Cold invasion (i.e. the common cold).
So, if you do find yourself sneezing with the snuffles, achy muscles and feeling chilled, there is no need to suffer. There are plenty things you can do for a speedy recovery. If you do need our help, we try to schedule you as soon as possible if you have a Wind-Cold invasion.
We ran this special earlier this year to introduce you to our new licensed massage therapists. It was so popular that we’ve decided to offer it again, just in time for the New Year.
For the month of January, enjoy an acupuncture treatment (an $80 value) plus a 30-minute massage (a $40 value) for only $85 OR acupuncture plus a 60-minute massage ($75 value) for only $110.
It’s a great way to start the new year. A gift certificate is a wonderfully economical way to introduce a loved one to the benefits of both acupuncture and massage.
Remember, our ‘hour long’ massages are a full 60 minutes.…
Have you ever wondered exactly what your acupuncturist is doing when he or she takes your pulse and looks at your tongue? Pulse and tongue are foundations of Chinese Medicine. Each is a microcosm of what is going on inside your body. You just have to know what to look for.
Kathleen will be at on Everything Zen, Friday 6:30-7:30 to give you some pulse-taking/tongue-looking tips. She’ll explain what kind of information she gets about your health from pulse and tongue, and then show you what o look for. We will have some simple patent formulas on hand, at a special discount, so you can go home with a remedy to match what you find.
Everything Zen (click October Seminar in the left side bar)
Friday Oct21 6:30-7:30
Call 860-448-6766 or 860-861-8978 …
Mystic River Acupuncture and Everything Zen are collaborating once again to bring you a Spring Wellness Fair. Stop in to try a sampling of reflexology, massage, and acupuncture. Or come by just to chat with us about what we do and how it works. We’ll have some light snacks waiting for you. We hope the evening will be every bit as enjoyable as out last event was.
Spring Wellness Fair will take place at Everything Zen, 156 King’s Highway in Groton. RSVP to Holly Potter at 860-861-8978.…
Last Friday Mystic River Acupuncture went to Everything Zen for an evening of “Radiant Beauty From the Inside Out”. I talked about the Chinese concept of beauty being the direct result of how we feel and how healthy we are. Beauty formulas and healthy eating are a part of radiance as much as cosmetics and facial care are.
Holly and I served up an “immune” promoting broth adapted from a recipe in “Ancient Wisdom, Modern Kitchen: Recipes From the East for Health, Healing, and Long Life”. Organic chicken bones, herbs and vegetables were stewed for 24 hours to make this delicious stock that can be taken either as a broth or used as a base in any dish calling for chicken stock. Bone marrow is rich in nutrients and stewing for a long period releases the essence of bones and their marrow into the soup. A crockpot makes the whole process easy.
Next we sampled a classic Chinese formula that is traditionally taken as a draught with wine. A gram of herbal granules was stirred into bit of warm water in our Dixie cups. We drank this down, then chased it with wine as I passed around a plate containing the same formula in raw form for everyone to see. Taking herbs to keep qi (energy) and blood circulation flowing is essential to a good beauty program, especially in cases of dry skin, acne, and other skin problems.
We finished the evening with a demonstration of wrinkle reducing acupuncture while Holly talked about the importance of using organic paraben free products on the skin. She and showed participants the special herbs I powder up for her to use in facial masks for her facials. Holly and I have been collaborating for the last year on different herbal face masks for various skin problems.
We were running out of time and didn’t get to drinking the special relaxing tea I mixed. Luckily, I had made little bag of these tea herbs for each person to bring home to make for their tea breaks during week. This tea was a relaxing blend that also “vents” or dissipates stress energy and is particularly good for tension in the body caused by stress. It’s a calming refreshing tea that taken with lemon, mint and honey.
By the time we were done, the class had renamed Everything Zen to “Everything FUN” and Holly and I were pleases and honored. It’s important to put some fun in our busy lives.
Check News and Events to learn about the Radiant Beauty specials Holly and I are offering so you can keep having Radiant Beauty and Everything Fun.