All posts in Chinese Medicine

Question: Will Acupuncture Work If I Don’t Believe In It?

In my 15 years of practice, I have answered many questions about acupuncture:

How does it work?

When should I come back?

Will it hurt?

 

 

These are common and valid questions, especially from people who had not experienced it before.

The question that I get sometimes that I actually love to answer is this:

“If I don’t believe in it, will it still work for me?”

My short answer is: Maybe?

Here’s the thing: acupuncture is not for everyone, just like how pharmaceuticals or physical therapy, or any other medical interventions are not for everyone. Sometimes you have to spend time and energy to figure out what works best for you.

Acupuncture is a wonderful tool and an effective modality, for those who respond well to it. 

But do you have to BELIEVE in it for it to work?

No.

I have had a fair share of new patients who walk in (usually reluctantly) with a skeptical mind about the new experience they were about to have. I have had people who explicitly tell me that they don’t think it will work, but their wives or husbands or mothers encouraged them to try.

 

 

Because acupuncture accesses your own healing potential, it all depends on your body’s receptivity to this particular modality. I have had skeptics walking in with excruciating pain who walk out with none (and at that point, they are no longer skeptics). I have also had believers who want to feel better so badly, but they feel no change after several treatments.

Bottom line is this: it really depends on your body, and whether or not it’s ready to receive the treatment. When it is, there is almost nothing that will stop it from succeeding (not even your mind!).

The best thing to do is to give it a try, and watch what happens.

Spring time Eating According to TCM: A Cleansing Soup Recipe

I wrote an article for Edible Columbus recently about how Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views Spring time, and what foods we should consume to optimize our health according to the seasons.

In it, I offered a Cleansing Spring Soup recipe that I will share with you here. I have made it a few times, and have enjoyed substituting a couple of regular potatoes with sweet potatoes. So I am giving you that recipe here.

 

 

 

CLEANSING SPRING SOUP

6 cups of water or vegetable/chicken broth

2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 cup leek, cleaned and chopped

1 cup celery, choppped

2-3 cups kale or other spring greens, chopped

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon olive oil (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Bring liquid to boil

Add potatoes, onion, celery and salt, cover.

Reduce heat, and simmer until tender

Add kale and garlic. Simmer until kale is tender and bright green.

Puree all ingredients together. Salt and pepper to taste.

Add olive oil before serving (optional).

 

Spring is a time of growth, rejuvenation and detoxification

IMG_7732

As temperature rises outside, birds are singing louder, buds are emerging from the ground, and tiny leaves pop and unfold from bare branches.  Life begins to appear around us again.

It’s my favorite time of the year!

Springtime in Chinese medicine represents growth, and rejuvenation.

It’s a time for new beginnings.

 

Five Elements in Chinese Medicine_ WOOD = SPRING

 

Five Element theory refers to wood, fire, earth, metal, and water in Chinese Medicine paradigm. The Principle of the Five Elements describes the flow of Qi and the balance of yin and yang. Each element corresponds to internal organ systems with correlating colors, emotions, and other symbols.

Spring season corresponds to the Liver system and its paired organ, the Gallbladder.

Liver, in Chinese medicine, rules the flow of Qi or the energy within us. Liver can easily be suppressed and stagnant during stressful times which causes discomfort and malaise in our physical and emotional states.

Liver Qi normally flows downward when in balance, otherwise it may “rebel” upward and cause Liver Yang to rise. Symptoms of Liver Yang rising include irritability, headaches, and the propensity to lose one’s temper.

The Gallbladder assists the Liver, but on its own, it rules decision-making.

In the Spring, Liver and Gallbladder energetics are more surfaced and sensitive. Our energy is ready for renewal, and the Liver and Gallbladder are ready to maximize the flow of Qi, get unstuck, get decisive, and restore balance. 

So, Spring the ideal time to cleanse and detoxify our mind and body!

Bexley Acupuncture and Wellness-2

 

That’s why we will be starting a week of again Clean Eating Reset on the first day of Spring this year, March 20.

Join me and my community as we eat clean, restore energy and balance for one week in honor of the beginning of Spring!

 

 

3 Rules Acupuncturists Live by

 

 

I want to let you all in on acupuncturists’ secrets to staying healthy.

Mind you, we do get sick, of course. We are humans after all. But there are a few things we learned while becoming Chinese Medicine practitioners that do help keep us stronger during the cold-flu seasons.

These are nothing earth shattering. They are actually common sense rules that we sometimes forget.

1.We say no to ice.

Cold is a major invader to our immune system, especially our digestive system. Drinking iced beverages, especially on a cold day, is like being a bully to our stomach and intestines. It is best to drink warm liquids, and never put ice in anything.

As for injuries, ice works well in an acute situation, to stop the inflammation. After 24 hours or so of an injury, however, we say no to ice. It’s an ongoing debate with other healthcare providers, but when in doubt, acupuncturists prefer warmth, and heat for healing.

IMG_6323   

2.We cover our necks. 

The neck is the gate for all external invasions to enter our body system. Exterior cold temperatures, or cold air can truly take our immunity down. Have you gotten sick after being too cold outdoors? It is wise to keep our neck covered when the temperatures fall, so we are less likely to be defeated buy the cold invasion.

Cold can also contract our muscles, causing stiff neck or shoulders if we are exposed to cold air while sleeping. Acupuncturists know this, and we never sleep near an open window, or a blowing fan.

 

 

  IMG_54563. We get adequate rest.

Evening time is yin time… Yin is the quiet, the solitude, the rest. Without yin, there is no yang… So without rest, there can be no activity (or not a very good one). If we want to be the best at what we do (help you all feel better), we must go inward and rest.

Try these not-so-secret rules we live by, and see if it helps you stay healthy this season!

In good health,

Kit