From your pelvis to the top of your head is the same expression of life as this picture. Your ischial bones as the Brick, your digestion the soil/Ground, your rib cage full of all the Green Vegetation, your encasing skull the Blue Sky with hints of White. This is a diagnostic procedure to view Health of your internal environment. Is it in harmony with your external environment? Acupuncture reestablishes Nature. The acupuncture needles are metal. The metal element is of the Lungs, which are spiritual. When the Lungs breath we meditate, and when we meditate, we merge with Nature. Sat Nam and Much Love, Chris -
Relationship of Your Heart and Lungs
Many of you know or have heard that autumn is the season of the element metal, which has its internal association with your lungs and large intestine. This is the internal body manifestation of the energy that is heightened in autumn and thus heightened within your self. Very basically, it’s the most opportune and auspicious time to work on issues we may have associated with the Longs and large intestine such as constipation, colitis, Crohn’s, asthma, allergies, recurrent colds, internal emotions mostly dealing with grief, loss, and life changes. However, in addition to this being the most important time of year to focus on these lung-large intestine physical and spiritual issues, this season also has a very intimate partnership with the health of your heart as your spiritual center.
The ancient texts of Chinese medicine speak of the heart organ when in disharmony as having many types of heart pains. In the physical sense, such as chronic heart disease, their can be many factors here which are obstructing the organ, such as excess of phlegm, food, heat and inflammation, cold and congestion, energy and blood stagnation, etc. Yet, also there are metaphorical pains of the heart which have to do with some internet meridians that are often worked on being on the inside of the forearm and inside of the leg. These types of pains of the heart have to do with emotional grievances and trials in life that challenge us to the core of our spiritual center.
The Qi or Pranic energy of the chest is a combined energy. The Qi of the chest is a combination of the lungs, pericardium, and heart systems that come together to form what’s known as Zhong Qi or ancestral Qi. Furthermore, in ancient terms, the acupuncture point directly in the center of the chest and breastbone is given the name “Sea of Qi”. Whatever name you give it Qi, Prana, Energy, the center of the chest is the house of your life force.
In order to live at the maximum potential of this human experience we have to infuse, encourage, and exalt this life force Qi in the chest. If we live mundanely, numbly, and to rationally, the spontaneity and miraculous flowering of life will not be what it could because, opposed to the rational mind, natural life will bring things beyond your imagination and expectation when expressed to the fullest. At best when lived according to the rational mind, life will be predictable. So, whether a person needs growth in the spiritual, mental emotional, or physical paradigm of their heart center this can be worked upon by directly focusing on the heart, but also as equally important, by working on the lungs.
In Autumn, by working on the physical and energetic aspect of the lungs and their spirits which are named the seven Po, we create space in the chest cavity, “Sea of Qi,” to make room for the hearts healing. The hearts healing means to be energetically completely empty and full at the same time. In this life the lungs are the first connection with the external world. As we breath we touch our environment. And it is mostly from looking from the wrong perspective in relationship with this environment that most of our wounds are accumulated and the bags are added on to the shoulders. So, by working on the lungs of the chest making them clear and strong, giving us a strong immunity, we begin to surround the heart with a more pure vibrant energy that is spacious and full. Here the lungs become a magnetic force to encourage the heart to also be spacious, empty, and full. So, through the work on the lungs element of metal we can help keep the heart center more balanced, which will simply open you up more and more to your own life. I cannot tell you what this means, however it can only be experienced. We all have our very unique journey, so we should keep opening and opening to it over and over and just let true nature of our self unfold to us that becomes more profound than our imagination. There’s a famous quote from the movie Jurassic Park where the theorist says, “life will always, ah, ah, ah, find a way.”
This is a brief daily reflection of the relationships between the organs, and most appropriately in the autumn season of reflection, harvesting, and going within, that of the lungs and heart.
I look forward to seeing and hearing from you all soon! I encourage you to ask me questions and inquire what you or I can do to help you along your journey of life and health.
Be happy, be healthy, and live your extraordinary life!
Your Acupuncturist, Herbalist and Yogi Chris L.Ac., Dipl. OM
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.
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!
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.
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.