Acupuncture, Health

Reflect, Renew and Rest on Your Health!

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By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection,  which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by  experience, which is the bitterest. ~ Confucius

Reflection is the process in which an image or idea comes back to us,  such as looking in a mirror, rethinking an event, or reviewing an idea.   We have the opportunity to take a closer view and reconsider our  original thinking.

A new year and a new season is a perfect opportunity to reflect and use that knowledge  as a catalyst for change.  Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help  achieve the change you seek as it assists in illness prevention, stress  relief, minimizes aches and pains, improves energy and you find yourself  in better balance.  This calm and clarity strengthens your resolve as  you start the new year with new goals.

Reflection has other connotations in acupuncture and Oriental medicine.    Outer appearances reflect inner health so a well trained practitioner  of acupuncture and oriental medicine will observe very different aspects  of your appearance than you typically study when you look in the  mirror.  In acupuncture and oriental medicine, bodily observation  includes looking at the face, eyes, body type, demeanor, and tongue. Two  thousand years ago, when acupuncture and Oriental medicine was in its  infancy, there were no x-ray machines or the very sophisticated magnetic  imaging of today.   These healers and diagnosticians depended on their  finely tuned observational skills in order to assess their patients.  Some of those early ideas seem simplistic today but many elements of  diagnosis persist because outer appearances do provide clues to a  person’s health.

Stick Out Your Tongue

Oriental medicine has used tongue diagnosis for thousands of years. An  experienced practitioner can look at your tongue and begin to understand  your internal problems but you can also be aware of information that  your tongue provides.  Look for changes in the color of your tongue,  teeth marks, shape, and coating.  These changes may indicate that  something is amiss.  A healthy tongue is naturally the same pink-red  color as your lips. Someone who is very stressed or irritable may have a  tongue with a red tip and sides. Teeth marks may indicate a deficiency  or

insomnia.  Note any changes in the shape of your tongue.  If it’s too  pale, puffy or red it may indicate an imbalance.

Healthy tongues have a thin white coating.  If you see a thicker coating  developing, you may be catching a cold or flu.  If the coating appears  yellowish the illness has a hotter nature and you can also expect a sore  throat and yellow phlegm. If the coating is thick and white, this  indicates a cold with chills and clear/white phlegm but without a sore  throat. So if you see a thick coat developing take precautions, rest,  sleep more, and keep warm.

Energy Renewing Ear Massage

Ear Massage is an extremely relaxing and effective therapy aimed at  reducing stress, promoting wellbeing and addressing various health  issues.  It

can be enjoyed by all and promotes a deep sense of peace and  tranquility.

Ear massage triggers the release of the body’s natural painkillers,  endorphins.  Studies have demonstrated that ear stimulation increases  levels of endorphins in both the blood and cerebrospinal fluid.

Ear acupuncture is used throughout the world to calm anxiety, manage  pain, reduce substance cravings and assist in the detoxification of  addictive substances.

Here is a great ear massage that you can do for yourself or your loved ones:

1. Rub in small circular motions with your thumbs inside the widest  upper part inside the ears, holding them from outside with the index and  middle fingers.

2. Use your index finger to massage inside the smaller crevices if your  thumbs don’t fit and along the front of your ear where it attaches to  the head.

3. Lastly, massage the earlobes by gently pulling them down and also making circles with your thumb and index finger.

Difficulties Sleeping? Resolve to Put Insomnia to Rest!

Our society puts a premium on our waking hours and has the tendency to  underestimate the importance of a full-night’s sleep.  Often, good  sleep hygiene is an afterthought for many people.   Millions of people  are besieged with insomnia and look for quick fixes instead of exploring  the root causes of the problem.

Evening is a time to allow our minds and bodies to turn inward to our  subconscious.    Excessive lighting at night, evening shift work,  evening computing, video games, television and late-night eating all  serve to counteract the body’s natural rhythms.  It’s no wonder people  have trouble sleeping.   Exposure to early morning light and dusk helps  to regulate sleep hormones in the body.   Rather than embrace nighttime  we tend to let our minds wander from one element of stress to another  keeping us up for hours or perhaps an entire evening.  We are then  forced to approach the new day without having benefited from the  regenerative powers that night time brings.

In Oriental medicine sleep occurs when the yang energy of the day folds  into Yin – nighttime.  Yin energy of the body is cooling and  restorative.  It is the time of day when our bodies turn inward and  regenerate.  This is the time we dream and explore the caverns of our  unconscious mind. Conversely, daytime is yang, which is expansive.  We  expend the energy we have built up from the process of sleeping.  Together, this is the cycle of yin and yang.

To apply the concept of yin and yang to your everyday life try eating  your last meal at least three hours before going to bed.  If you are a  hot excess type, you can cool your body down by avoiding hot and spicy  food and drink.  Avoid alcohol, coffee, chocolate any other stimulants,  especially late in the day.

Help circulate your body’s energy by working out or by gentle  exercising.  Build your body’s nutritive aspect by eating marrow based  soups and stews, dark pigmented vegetables and fruits.  Avoid  overworking or over rumination as well.

Meditation is an invaluable tool to help your brain unwind.  Helping the  body create a sense of calm meditation can reduce stress, increase  feelings of well-being, and improve overall health.  It is of specific  use to help one increase alertness, relaxation and reflection even in  “waking” states.  Meditation is best practiced during the day to help  ease your sleep patterns at night.

One contributor to insomnia, stress, weakens the function of the liver,  which in turn affects the health of your nerves.  Acupuncture and  Oriental medicine have a calming effect on the nervous system clearing  obstructions in the muscle and nerve channels, assisting the flow of  oxygen-enriched energy and relaxing the system.   Common noted benefits  include deeper breathing, improved digestive abilities, better sleeping  patterns, and a general sense of well being.

Seasonal acupuncture treatments serve to nurture and nourish your  kidney Qi which can greatly enhance the body’s ability to thrive in  times of stress and aid in healing, preventing illness and increasing  vitality.  Contact a trusted acupunturist near you, or if you live in the Orange County area (California), contact Dr. Anna @ www.moveyourqi.com.

photo credit: pingminghealth.com, mymessagebeijing.com

acupuncture acupunture alternative medicine chinese medicine chronic fatigue ear massage insomnia meditation sleepless nights tongue health

Anna Dolopo

I’m a licensed acupuncturist/Chinese herbalist.

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