Acupuncture Sensation and Preventative Medicine Awareness

Acupuncture Sensation and Preventative Medicine Awareness

In today’s society, more and more people are becoming exposed to the idea of Acupuncture as a health system that actually provides many benefits for most people. It is being used for weight loss, smoking cessation, pain elimination, fertility, IBS and much, much more. It is for its diversity of uses, as well as the natural nature of the medicine that many are seeking its benefits.

Now some of you that are considering acupuncture might still be resistant because of the idea of needles. However, the entire resistance is only the “Idea” of the needles. During first treatment most people are at least slightly hesitant, yet after that first needle is inserted, I hear over and over, “OH?… that was it??” This is because people have been taught a knee-jerk reaction to the word needle. They think that needle equals hospital/hypodermic needle, which are a completely different. Most acupuncture needles are only the size of few hairs width. They are so small that as some might have a sensation, also many are not even felt when inserted. Now, once inserted the practitioner might want to create a slight sensation. This is call grasping the Qi/energy. When this happens, the person feels a slight dull, achy sensation, but not sharp. Also, quite commonly, the patient will report the sensation of the needle to be transmitted to another place in the body. For example when I needle a point in their foot, they feel it in their hip or when I needle a point on their leg, then feel it in their abdomen. This is very good, as it is the actual sensational experience of meridian activation. Also, this result is often independent of nerve pathway, as the transmitted area of sensation does not follow the nerve course but rather the Chinese meridian course. This yields great results. So these are the right qualities of a needle sensation. Once all the needling is complete, the person feels much relief and relaxation. As the body becomes balanced it can now relax, and this is felt.

Now lastly, acupuncture can certainly treat active problems or health difficulties, but this medicine also excels as preventative medicine. The Chinese medical practitioner is actually extremely sensitized to the diagnostic skills so that he or she can perceive an imbalance in the body just by feeling the pulse or looking at the tongue, even before any symptoms are present. This is why traditionally people were treated during the change of seasons, just to remain balanced and maintain proper health. The subtle diagnostics of the Chinese medical practitioner through the wrist pulse and tongue diagnostics are the essence of preventative medicine and excel in this field. Getting regular Acupuncture treatments throughout the year helps to keep the immune system strong, energy vital, removes stressors on the body, optimize health and minimize sickness, as well as keep the spirit lifted.

Our bodies are so amazingly created and maintained that we cannot even comprehend its countless intricacies that are continuously in motion. This being said, it only makes sense that we have a health system in place that is truly an actively supportive medicine that allows our bodies to heal and balance naturally.

Light and Health!

Christopher Grodski, L.Ac., Dipl.OM

www.huntington-acupuncture-yoga.com

 

MY Neck and Shoulder Tension !

MY Neck and Shoulder Tension

            For those of you with neck and shoulder tension and annoying lingering pain that may come and go, this is an insightful experience from a professional as to the ROOT AND MANIFESTATION of this cumbersome burden. In my professional experience as an Acupuncturist, Herbalist, Biology Major and Certified Yoga Instructor, it has been proven to me time and time again, with both my patients and myself, over many years of watchfulness, that Chronic and Acute Shoulder and Neck Tension and Discomfort is Always From 1) Overuse, 2) Emotional or Mental Stress AND, 3) I may argue, most importantly, your NUTRITIONAL INTAKE. I will move quickly through my explanation of the first two reasons being overuse and stress, as most people are somewhat aware of this, and I will move into the most important aspect of which most people are unaware.

Through a combination of repetitive action, as large as moving heavy equipment, to as little as poor posture while office working, the skeletal system and muscular system experience imbalances, big and small, with enough time creating muscle tears, decreased circulation and lengthened or shorted structures in the body. Now couple this with systemic muscle tension from a mental emotional stress and physical “holding” and you have a two fold combination for pain in the body. Most Commonly upper back/shoulder/neck, yet can manifest other places too as low back forearms, knees and buttocks. And in turn, held body tension can certainly effect peoples social lives as it is a physical cause for decreased patience, frustration, sadness and much more. This most people know. YET! The third causative factor that many are unaware of is their nutrition. This is more real then you would imagine and it has been proven to me based on my own personal journey as well as my patients.

What you take into the body, through digestion, respiration, and through your skin pores, dictates the MOLECULAR AND CELLULAR make up of your Muscles! As you take in food and water, these substances get processed and go directly into your blood stream making up the composition of your blood. Then, your muscles receive this nutrition from which it uses the materials from your blood (amino acids, minerals, etc.) to build itself as it is soft tissue. So, Your food actually BECOMES your blood, and your blood actually BECOMES your muscles. This is more real then you know. This is why the ancient yogis were vegetarian, because they wanted to create an energy of stillness, calmness, and inner peace… and what is more peaceful then a Tree????

Now, I am not saying you MUST become vegetarian. This is a personal choice. BUT, What is fact is, SUGAR injures your digestion so you cannot make pure energy, COFFEE is a diuretic and completely dehydrates the body of its natural fluids as well as adding “heat” or inflammation systemically which irritates your muscles, EXCESS DAIRY MILK CHEESE YOGURT CARBS AND BREAD bog down and dampen your bodies system so your circulation is sluggish and heavy, EXCESSIVE RAW DIET AND SALADS make the body work too hard to cook the food itself as it is uncooked and with time injure the bodies QI energy. However, on the bright side, eating lightly with cooked food and lots of fresh veggies and moderate fruit with plenty of water provide a clean irrigation, thus detoxifying system for your body bringing all the essentially PURE and LIGHT nutrients creating a harmonious environment for the muscles and soft tissue to regenerate, detoxify from stress, and become pain free.

Healthy Diet is all good and well, HOWEVER, I know many people, including myself, that despite maintaining a healthy diet, yoga, and sleep, at times experience moments when the muscle tension still returns. This is obviously a time to use your “Tool Kit” to fix the pain, such as Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Massage and Yoga, BUT When the pain returns occasionally despite these measures, its time to think of more ways to change your bodies CHEMICAL AND MOLECULAR COMPOSITION on a Cellular Level. Diet will help, but slowly and mildly for the long term, however, Nothing works as well, powerfully and quickly then Natural Herbal Remedies by a Certified Herbalist, who can provide you with herbs like Bai Shao/Peony Root, Ji Xue Teng/Spatholobus Vine, and Dan Shen/Salvia Root. A masterfully crafted herbal formula will start to change the chemistry of the blood to an environment healthy for your muscle tissue, soften the muscles and calm the tension. Herbs are the perfect INTERNAL tool to use in addition to the EXTERNAL tools like acupuncture, massage, chiro. yoga etc.

I hope this writing provides you with more insight to aid self care, helping you live more comfortable lives. It is always best and well worth consulting an herbalist for proper diagnosis as all formulas are highly specific and individual. Always let me know your question and comments, I’d love to hear from you. Call Text or Email. Many Blessings and Much Health!

Christopher Grodski, L.Ac., Dipl.OM

www.huntington-acupuncture-yoga.com

631-599-1111

CGOrientalMedicine@gmail.com

 

Dealing With Your Pain Effectively

Dealing With Your Pain Effectively

Greetings All. Its my intention with this article to teach people how they can work with, understand and overcome painful conditions of the body. The first and most important thing to understand is creating an attitude of nonjudgement, as frustration and attachment to your pain can encourage a very short-lived support process. You should look at your pain as something that is temporary as all things in life change. The only question is how will you care for your pain and assist with its graceful and timely transformation.  To jump right in there are, at the very least, a handful of very helpful and practical ways of you dealing with your pain whether it is from muscular, tendinous, ligamentous, or bony origins.  These most effective methods that should be taken seriously, continuously, and consistently are soaking, massaging, stretching,  using, resting, acupuncture, chiropractic, reiki, and many other body works.

- Soaking -

When I say soaking, I mean once or twice a week in an Ebsen salt or Himalayan salt bath with 10 or 15 minutes of soaking your entire body. This can be highly effective to soften tissue relax tightness and Infuse cells with minerals.

- Massage –

Massaging means self-massage and therapeutic massage by a practitioner. There are many forms out there. Tai massage, Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, tui na massage. Exploration is encouraged don’t just try one method or one person but explore to find what feels best to you.

- Stretching –

Stretching is a thing that even the healthiest of us need to do every day or our body will slowly tighten and lose range of motion, thus being vulnerable to injury. This is one of the Yogis secrets to the fountain of youth. You must learn to stretch the injured area as well as your whole body every day maybe even more so when there is an acute problem. I recommend taking at the bare minimum some beginner yoga classes so that you can learn and incorporate stretching into your daily life at home or in the office.

- Using -

Using, I mean USE the area that is painful. One of the most common mistakes is that when something hurts people stop using it, and this is a mistake. If there is extreme pain with the possibility of further injury then by all means use it less so and more gently, but we need to keep moving otherwise stuck-ness will just keep being stuck and worsen. So, injured or painful areas should be used but maybe just to the level that you are able. Do not avoid completely using them otherwise acute conditions may become chronic and chronic conditions may worsen.

-Rest –

On the reverse side of the coin one should balance using with adequate rest for maybe 24 to 48 hours at a time. BUT!!!! rest should NOT be the primary way of looking for relief over any one of the other methods. During yoga class we may do some very intense exercises but those are always followed by one to several minutes of relaxation. It is the balance of Yin and Yang, all aspects of life.

- Acupuncture –

For pain acupuncture is one of the best modalities out there that is Acutually Healthy for you! For some it might work quickly getting 70 to 90% relief within three or four treatments while others it might be a stepwise slower process. However with consistent regular acupuncture treatment I am completely confident that you will be on the path of improving, growing and being healthier.

These are some very basic and great examples of primary, necessary and unavoidable ways of caring, nourishing and working with your pain. But it is not at all all encompassing. There are many other methods such as reflexology, chiropractic, cranial sacral, reiki, and other energy work personal and professional, but these are some great starts. No one of the above methods should be solely relied upon. Rather they should all be used in a cyclical manner. Maybe twice a week you massage the affected area, maybe 1 to 2 times a week you doing an Epsom salts bath, maybe twice a week to once every two weeks or even monthly you get acupuncture and massage treatments. You constantly use the affected area testing the limits and checking your improvement as well as resting it for one or two days in a row at a time with not doing anything.

To emphasize again one of the most important ideas is to use all these tools we know to heal ourselves, but without being attached to your pain as something that you cannot deal with, work through, or even use as a life lesson for growth. Do not be discouraged or encouraged by the rate and levels of improvement possibilities, and don’t let that affect your continuous work that you’re going to do and the work that you’ve already done. Just trust that healing will happen in its own time. Some things are very quick to change other things very slow, some things randomly and spontaneous. We cant always know, rather, just keep doing the work, trying same things and new things and walk your path. Be neutral, continue to use these ideas as well as others and in the right amount of time for you I’m certain you’ll start to improve and eventually overcome some life limiting or uncomfortable states. Please let me know any questions or further exploration you may have on the matter, and know that you’re always healthy and always exactly were you need to be. Be Happy and Peaceful, and Smart with caring for yourself, as well as each other. Many blessings.

Christopher Grodski, L.Ac., Dipl.OM                                                                www.huntington-acupuncture-yoga.com                                                                              631-599-1111                                                                                 cgorientalmedicine@gmail.com 

Spotting BurnOut !

Knowing Burnout & When Your Due For Acupuncture

             Greetings All!   Today I though it would be helpful to give you some tell tale signs of early burn-out and when to seek help to prevent its furthering.

Now and days, fast pace seems normal pace! So, we can be over loaded with projects and our intellectual planning that our mental and physical health can start to take a toll, on a progressive and low-grade level that it seems to go under the radar. Increasing our awareness of these happenings and the early signs will help us to avoid getting run down, sick and/or burnt out. Here are some mild signs below.

1) Any symptoms you already deal with (pain, insomnia, stress, digestive irregularities, pms) will either start to worsen or simply bother you more then they normally would.

2) It becomes more difficult to make decisions, keep a clear mind free of clutter and confusion.

3) Your sleep may seem less restful even though you are getting the typical hours for yourself.

4) Your emotions start to be strong enough that they are distracting you from the present moment and the day at hand.

5) Your mind becomes more concerned and focused on yourself rather then others or projects at hand.

6) You may begin to start to crave a particular type of food/flavor more then usual.

7) You tolerance and patience with people or loved ones decreases.

8) You may experience symptoms that are not usual for you, as in Headaches, Belching, Constipation, or Sleep Difficulty.

9) You find your dreams are more bothersome.

10) You might feel you don’t look as vibrant when you see yourself in the mirror.

11) Being aware of how you feel when someone touches you. For example, if a loved one walks by and touches your shoulder and it feels like the most amazing thing in the world!! … then maybe you’re due for some type of body work. Just recently myself, I was demonstrating acupuncture, and when I needled my hand it felt like my eyes wanted to close and my body craved the needle sensation in my hand which felt so good. This was a wake up call for myself to get on the treatment table !

These are some very simple signs to help you monitor how you are doing as you go through life. If you feel that burnout and getting run down are creeping in, it is very important to not let it go on the back burner and to correct your Qi Flow early on so it doesn’t begin to effect your health, mental peace or relationships. Sometimes more correction is needed then just more rest, however sometimes appropriate. Any of the healing modalities can greatly correct disturbances of stale, burnt out energy, like Acupuncture, Natural Herbal Remedies, Chiropractic Care, Massage, Reiki Energy Healing and Many other forms of body work. It is very important for us to have another human work on us as it adds a special kind of energy and caring to our system from an outside source. In addition, things to do for yourself can be Yoga, Meditation, Running, Dancing, Any ENJOYABLE Exercise, Salt Baths, Music Healing, Spending time in Nature, a Short Weekend Trip Away, Anything Else that makes you come alive.

The point of all this is to increase our awareness of our wellness and help us understand that there IS something we can do about it to feel, be and act better and more our natural selves. It is great to spot trouble and correct it quickly, yet it is also very effective to prevent it all together by having systems in place that keep us healthy, fresh and renewed on a regular basis, otherwise burn out may potentially not be avoidable. For example, do some of the above mentioned tips on a regular basis… getaways, exercise, acupuncture, etc. to keep yourself where you want to be and even improving, rather then trying to get back to that healthy state once it is gone. For example, I practice a very holistic craft and I highly recommend acupuncture on a monthly or seasonal basis just to keep us at our best.

            Hope you enjoyed my latest ideas for our best us. Feel free to send any question. Be Happy and Healthy All!                                                                                         Christopher Grodski, L.Ac., Dipl.OM                                                                                   631-599-1111                                                                             cgorientalmedicine@gmail.com                                                                        www.huntington-acupuncture-yoga.com 

Spirit Disturbances and Emotional Difficulties

This Articles purpose is to introduce the concept of Spirit or Emotional Disturbances and how it relates to health, the average person, and the Chinese medical practitioner.  This will hopefully give you a new perspective and insight into the understanding of emotions, mental states, and the “Spirit.”

Called “shen disturbance” in Chinese medicine, the closest translation being “spirit” disturbance is a very interesting, vast, and possibly limitless topic.  From the most basic standpoint, what we are talking about is any disturbance of a persons mind or emotional state.  A shen/spirit disturbance can be related to any disturbance of ones emotional or mental state ranging from mild to severe, such as relatively minor sadness, worry, anxiety, or frustration, or relatively major mania, depressive, or panic disorders.  As Chinese medicine is extremely holistic, we will discuss how these “imbalances” in a persons life are directly related to health and a persons “being,” and not an isolated or separate phenomena considered to be purely mental or “IN YOUR HEAD.”

For some physiology, Chinese medicine takes into account the entire person and their state, regardless for what the person is being treated.  Joint pain, headache, indigestion, fertility, or post traumatic stress disorder, the Chinese medical practitioner will take all things into account… physical, mental and emotional.  This is because the Chinese medical practitioner views the person as a an integrative whole, physical and non-physical, material and energetic.  (For those of you who have difficulty relating or understanding Qi/energy, if you think about it as all energy, including thermal, chemical, kinetic, potential, electrical… this makes the relation a little easier, as emotions are largely chemical and electrical responses in the brain from a western scientific point of view.)
For this reason, this medicine has an expanded concept of the spirit and emotions that extends beyond the central nervous system.  Actually, each organ, in Chinese medicine, has its own “spirit” associated with it and thus its own influence and management of the different emotional and mental states.  (This may seem far fetched if one has never been introduced to this concept before, but please keep the mind open as needed for new ideas.)  Yes, Chinese medicine does acknowledge the brain, but, rather its functions are simply expanded beyond that single mass of material.  The major organs that house the different “spirits” are the Heart, Liver, Lungs, Spleen and Kidneys.  To remain short (mind you this is an extensive subject), in general, the spirit of the heart is named “shen/spirit” and major emotion is Joy.  The spirit of the Liver, named “Hun” or etherial soul, manifests anger, frustration, and direction (nicknamed “The General” for similar attributes).  The spirit of the Lungs, named “Po” or corporeal soul, processes grief and loss and provides universal righteousness.  Spirit of the spleen named “Yi” or intellect, processes worry and pensiveness, as well as digestive intellect, or processing mental activity.  The Kidneys, “Zhi” or will, processes fear, fright and survival as well as providing the ability to stand upright, strongly (emotionally/physically).  Therefore, when a person experiences anything that moves the person from a state of peace, to a state other then peace, the dominant emotion and mental state will have an effect on its associated organ that controls and processes this dominant emotion.  Take the example of a young child that is obviously overexcited, maybe in a social situation playing with friends, maybe you add a bunch of sugar into the mix, maybe you add new surprises that the child is excited for, for example a trip that he/she has been awaiting.  This builds a picture of a child that cannot sit still, becomes quite loud and active, who seems to be experiencing such an influx of joy that he can hardly stand it.  According to Chinese medicine, he or she would experiencing a disturbance of the Heart/”Shen.”
This example demonstrates the acute emotional “attack” or disturbance that shifts the individual from a place of peace, to a place of imbalance (even though joy is a more “desirable” experience).  You can take this idea and translate it to all the other emotions.  Anger to the Liver, Worry/Pensiveness to the Spleen, Fear to the Kidneys, Grief to the Lungs.  Now, to a certain extent, these states occur somewhat naturally.  When they are over, the person will adjust and come back to a place of balance.  However, it is when these imbalanced states become extreme in events, or chronic, occurring over and over, that the body accumulates a certain karma, or physical and emotional response to the causative emotion.  It is possible that following these states, the body does not completely rebalance itself.  Rather, it stores these accumulated emotions or Qi/energy, in a way that the stressors or imbalances may or may not be perceived consciously, until one day a physical/mental/emotional event resurfaces the same issue to manifest in another way.  A common physical example is abdominal pains and diarrhea due to chronic anxiety/stress.  A common emotional example is phobia of any new situations, because an isolated situation or many situations in the past has been upsetting for any reason.  Therefore, an anticipation is putting non-realistic or non-reality borders on the future.  There are many examples that all lead to the same point, that emotional imbalances or “shen disturbances” are very much as important and an integral part of our health as the purely physical realm.
So, how can Chinese medicine, Acupuncture, Herbs, or Body work help??  I feel that one of the easiest ways to explain this is to describe treatment.  As an acupuncturist and herbalist I would use both modalities in a similar way.  If a person comes to me, and has been effected gravely by long term grief over a relationship breakup, a death of a loved one, or a life change that is in need of a letting go of something, someone, or somewhere, then as a practitioner, one of the primary treatment protocols I would apply would be to use acupuncture and/or herbal medicines to treat the physical and spiritual aspect of the lungs, as the lungs are the primary organ that will process grief.  Yet another example.  If a person comes to me suffering from difficultly controlling his/her temper with bouts of explosive anger, OR much frustration that is internalized, rather then being expressed, it is held in to cause silent suffering in any way, then in this case I will primarily focus on treating the liver though “sedation,” “regulation,” or “pacification” of the physical and spiritual Liver.  Now, treatment is always multifaceted and complex depending on the individual.  In many situations, there are multiple emotions and multiple systems in play, but this gives you an understanding of some very basic Causes and Treatments of disease or “imbalances.”  Also, this is the basic understanding and treatment of emotional causes of disease that range from mild, “every day” experiences, to extreme debilitating mental illnesses.
If this is a little difficult to grasp for some, you can think of the studies that have been done using MRI imaging on the brain during acupuncture treatments.  During the treatment of different acupuncture points, the brain has been shown to be illuminated in different regions corresponding to different points treated.  This shows an obvious physical connection between needling an external acupuncture point, and the increased chemical and electrical activity in the central nervous system, demonstrating integration and importance of the physical and mental realms.
Before I conclude, I think it is appropriate to end with some optimistic and helpful Healthy Living Advise.  So just to reiterate, emotions are natural.  It is a part of being human and we all experience different levels of joy, happiness, anger, sadness, grief, fear, fright and worry.  It is when these states accumulate over time or are so strong that it affects or accumulates in the body and mind.  Acupuncture and Herbal medicine are great ways used to correct the persons imbalances or used in preventative medicine.  However, in addition to treatments, there are things people can do on an every day basis to remain healthy that I will list out.
1) Diet: a “balanced” diet is important to keep a persons being balanced.  if someone suffers from anxiety, then smoking, coffee, caffein, and sugar will increase anxiety, even if there is an addiction.  For depression eat acrid foods such as citrus and spices to spread the energy and lift the spirit, and stay away from heavy foods and dairy that will weigh a person down.
2) Breath Properly:  As in meditation, focus on deep, relaxed breath courses the energy, especially cleansing and soothing the lungs for cases of anxiety, grief, and almost any other excess emotion.  For more in depth discussion on breathing see the article “BREATH” on this same site.
3) Balance Life:  Keep life balanced.  Do not over work. Make sure you balance rest with exercise and leisure fun.  If you start to feel tight, stressed, or lacking joy, change what your doing, at least for a day or two.  Rest, or catch a movie and get to bed early.  Yin and Yang, Yielding and Action should be in harmony.
4) Stay Happy and Healthy:  Happiness in a sense is a choice.  Some of the most impoverished regions are the happiest because the only thing they have is the connection with themselves and the people around them.  This puts an emphasis on spiritual connection and personal connections and keeps their spirits high.  And when your spirits are high you are healthy.
5) Learn to Let Go:  Many times people get stuck on emotions or events.  Things that bother them that they cannot change.  When you stay at peace and keep a rational mind, it is easier to let go of certain situations and states of mind.  Make appropriate choices, take appropriate actions, then let go of the rest as it does not resolve anything when you hold emotions.
For more in-depth treatment or preventative treatment of any emotional difficulties or “Shen disturbances” seek a practicing holistic professional.
As always, I wish new understanding of the importance of Mind/Body/Spirit Oneness to you all in the direction of the healthiest life one can live.  In closing, live a happy, healthy life, full of experience and emotion, however, do not let the emotions move you from yourself, your state of peace.