India and many Asian countries have a longstanding understanding of the body that includes pathways of energy flows. These are separate from circulatory, neural, and lymphatic pathways. With the advance of technology an increasing number of people are coming to believe these to be electromagnetic pathways of the body comparable to what an EKG measures. Chakras, which translate as “wheels” and acupuncture points are locations along these pathways that seem to have a stronger and particular influence. It’s an interesting way to think about it; that these points regulate energy through the meridians.
But what are they influencing? This is where modern scientific-based reductionist medicine deviates from more historical systems. Many of us grew up believing the body is just a collection of physical cells, which combined are tissues which combined create organs, etc. There are chemical and physical processes happening within and between the cells that on a grand scale influence the entire body. More traditional systems view people as more than physical bodies and these meridians and centers as not only influencing the physical, but also the emotional and psycho-spiritual. I have often noticed both as practitioner and client that in treating the physical there is often an emotional aspect. The body may twitch here and there in a session as the nervous system releases, and in the moments and days during and after, the individual may be aware of subtle emotions. In these moments we have the options of shutting down and not feeling, really focusing on the emotions and stories that often go with them, or just being lightly aware of them as the whole system cleans and recalibrates.
I don’t remember Springs being this rainy. I tend to think of them as being such an enlivening joyful time. Yet, this Spring I’m aware of people around me facing a number of challenges. It has me thinking of shadowwork. There are a number of interpretations on what constitutes shadowwork. I understand it as looking at the parts of ourselves that we don’t accept. There is value in doing this in that there tends to be fear and shame around these unlooked at and un-integrated parts of ourselves. Owning these parts of ourselves can be empowering and bring more ease to our lives.
Here is an example: When we can be okay with our own anger, when we can be okay with the parts of ourselves that want to get angry and want to make a scene, we don’t get as upset with the anger of others. It loses it’s charge. We also don’t get as upset with our escaped anger. I remember when I used to get angry – I’d get even more upset that someone had pushed me that far; beyond control!
Grief is another example. This rainy weather can really bring out our grief. Part of the negative experience of grief is our relationship to it. We think it’s a bad thing. We bring ourselves more suffering by our beliefs. I remember an Oriental Medicine Professor saying “Tears are just the Liver cleansing itself.” By other accounts the eyes are the gateway to our Hearts. Either way, I tend to see tears as the Body and Soul’s way of letting go of something. Yes, the process can be painful. When we think of it as letting go and making space for something else, the pain becomes more bearable. When we allow ourselves to feel our grief in the present moment, it does not have to build up and become overwhelming later. We can learn to see the beauty in Grief and allow it in ourselves and others.
A fellow Acupuncturist once asked, “What do you think the 2 most common questions are that I get?” The answer was, “Does it work?” and “Does it hurt?”. The most straightforward answer I can give you is that the only way you will know, is if you try it out for yourself. Understandably, people still hesitate. The next best that I can do is direct you to research and tell you about my observations.
The needles used are microfine; some people feel them and some don’t. Some individuals feel an initial prick, and then the sensation recedes. Of prime importance for your practitioner is your level of comfort so it is very important that you communicate what your are feeling with your Acupuncturist. Different parts of your body are more or less sensitive, and if there is any discomfort, the practitioner can always place the needle in a different location.
This week I direct you to research on Acupuncture in treating infertility, for males and females. Medicine’s ability to treat infertility continues to improve, to offer more options, giving couples renewed hope that they will have a child. Some of those options, such as In vitro fertilization are very demanding, financially as well as physically and emotionally. As a result, many couples going through this process want to do everything they can to make the first attempt successful. Studies consistently demonstrate that Acupuncture in conjunction with IVF increases the rate of a successful pregnancy and birth. Experiences in our clinic further support this.
Enough people are turning to Acupuncture that researchers in the United States are starting to conduct studies recording the effectiveness of Acupuncture in helping various conditions. One such study was on depression, anxiety, and impairment associated with PTSD. In this particular study, Acupuncture was found to be as effective as cognitive-behavioral therapy in alleviating these conditions, with benefits still holding 3 months after discontinuation of both forms of therapy.
The first thing you want to know is what is your purpose? What is your motivation? Just as there are different types of Yoga, there are different types of meditation. I first experimented with meditation in 2004 when I was 21 and living in Germany. My speech-language partner, someone I met up with weekly so he could practice his English with me and I could work on my German (no, we did not date), talked about Ayurvedic Medicine and the aspects of it so much that I decided to try it out. I’m pretty sure I did no research on it and for some reason he was not able to explain to me exactly how to do it. So I just started a daily practice of sitting and trying not to think of anything for 10 minutes, half of which were me peaking at the clock. Does this sound familiar to anyone? It did seem to bring a degree of calm to my experience of attending University in a foreign country and mostly foreign language. I admit signing up for a German for Foreigners course as well as English literature (with 2 other Americans I might add) helped with the Angst some as well.
If your goal is just to bring some calm into your day, simple breath techniques might be a good option. You can check some out in my Breath for Healing courses here. This is because truly meditating, getting to that point where you really are not just sitting mostly catching yourself thinking….I mean, on a good day you are catching yourself thinking…..is A LOT of work and dedication. This brings me to some other aspects of learning to meditate.
2. If you want to learn to meditate because you want superpowers – you know, the ability to manipulate energy, space, and time, it is going to REALLY take a lot of TIME and DEDICATION. When I say time, I mean 10 years, not 1. This is a Lifestyle and a Lifetime.
3. Dedication. It takes some serious dedication. If you really want to progress with your meditation practice you will at some point need consistency. People are habitual. Our minds are and our bodies are. This is a very beneficial tool of conserving energy. One of the best things you can do for your meditation practice is to dedicate yourself to doing it the same time everyday. For more people that is first thing in the morning when their mind is still relatively blank, or in the evening when they are ready to calm down. What are you going to do when you go to a weekend festival? How about when you get a new partner and you start staying over at their place? Maybe you have friends out of town and when you visit everyone gets together in the morning to make breakfast and have coffee together. Things get complicated.
4. You change. Maybe you stop partying. You might come to the point where you give up alcohol, coffee, and smoking. This means you might lose friends. You don’t fit with “your people” in quite the same way anymore.
5. Your values might change. You’ll start holding yourself to a higher level of integrity. If you are successful, you become more aware of your unconscious conditioning. While it might be more enjoyable to have a petty response when you do not like what someone does, you start catching yourself and choose to behave differently. There can be an in-between phase where this is just frustrating; you are trying to be a better person but maybe not seeing the benefits yet.
6. Meditating does not intrinsically make someone a better person, just as being a nun doesn’t guarantee that person is all gentle light and love. Those who meditate are just as susceptible to their issues as everyone else. You might catch yourself going around acting like you are spiritually superior to everyone else just because you meditate. Ooops. There are many ways to get to the top of the mountain. Remember that and have a dose of humility.
7. Your life will change. Hopefully for the better. You’ll start seeing the world in a different way. You can still have bad days; you will still cry, get angry, and feel like everything is falling apart around you. You will also gain the broader perspective to appreciate the disasters, to see the rainbow in the storm, to feel as you are crying that you are letting go of something to make space for something better. You will recognize that grief is not as bad as you used to think it was; that it’s just another aspect of yourself expressing itself. It is part of the spectrum of being ALIVE, and you can become more accepting of it in yourself, as well as others.
These are the simple words of someone who has spent much of her savings training in meditating, and though it has not afforded her a four-bedroom house with a large yard and a new Yaris, she has found it worthwhile.
are founded on an ancient Maya technique of abdominal massage. This technique is performed externally by gently guiding and supporting organs back into their optimal position, allowing for improved functioning for optimal health and wellness.
Arvigo Therapy is best known for addressing misalignment or congestion in the reproductive organs of both men and women, as well as many common digestive disorders. The techniques effectively alleviate tissue congestion and organ constriction to improve the vital flows of energy, blood, lymph and nerves in the abdomen. They address and can release emotional and energetic tension from the abdomen. This assists to prevent the progression of chronic disease symptomology while improving the body’s ability to SELF REPAIR and BALANCE.
Who can benefit from Arvigo Maya Abdominal Therapy?
Urinary System including incontinence, frequent urinary infections
Post Surgical such as scar tissue and recovery
Women who experience:
-Menstrual disorders such as painful or irregular periods
-Pre-conception through postpartum
-Discomforts of pregnancy; labor and birth preparation
-C-section and hysterectomy surgery recovery
-Pelvic organ congestion such as endometriosis, cysts, fibroids
-Polycystic ovarian syndrome
-Chronic bladder/yeast infections
-Pelvic organ prolapse
Book Your Appointment
What to expect during a session
Comprehensive review of your past and present healthcare needs focusing on reproductive and digestive health
Upper and lower abdominal therapy including Tuina, a style of east asian massage, and acupressure
This can have the potential benefit of helping to ALIGN reproductive and abdominal organs to optimal position, IMPROVE circulation to organs, and PROMOTE vital flow to support the body’s inherent healing capacity.
Evaluation of pelvic alignment and application of bodywork to improve pelvic alignment when indicated
Instruction in self-care massage to enhance your professional session.
Recommendations of complimentary supportive modalities such as nutritional and herbal therapies to support your health and wellness
Your Arvigo practitioner will work with you to address your specific needs. Typically, 2-3 professional sessions as a minimum are required to address most conditions. Clients who perform their self-care tools on a routine basis report an improvement in their symptoms.
This is a powerful manual therapy which focuses on abdominal and pelvic health. By encouraging proper alignment, circulatory, and lymphatic flow it is able to improve a wide range of symptoms including irregular menstruation, prolapse, cysts, fibroids, difficulty conceiving, low back pain, digestive issues, anxiety, restricted breathing due to tension, and headaches. It has become well known in particular for supporting fertility and IUI/IVF. I really do love this work and find that most who come to see me, even for acupuncture benefit greatly from having a few of these sessions. While acupuncture is very accumulative and you start to notice changes after a few sessions, it is common to notice a difference even after the first Arvigo session. If there is enough time in your first session you will even learn practices that you can do at home!
For starters, I do own a few of the Medical Medium books. This is not actually how I first found out about the celery juice wave; my book was sitting unread on a bookshelf waiting for that special day. I have read about raw food diets in the past and a few months ago was wondering if juicing celery has any benefits. A quick google search later and it looks like celery juice might be the solution to many of my chronic health concerns. One of my passions is learning about healing modalities that don’t involve surgery, vaccinations, or antibiotics. Another passion is trying these healing modalities out on myself. According to what I had read, drinking 16 ounces of celery juice first thing in the morning supports liver, stomach, adrenal, and overall immune system health.
Let’s dig into this a little deeper
What is my motivation? My primary concerns include a history of low energy, excess hair loss, heart palpitations, difficulty falling asleep, regularly needing to take supplements to balance my endocrine system (primarily thyroid and adrenal issues), somewhat frequent tonsillitis, all over body aches as well as joint pain (I consider 35 way too soon to be dealing with this), age spots on my hands, occasional acne and rashes.
According to the Medical Medium books as well as information he provides in his blog, all of this can be due to the Epstein-Barr virus residing dormant in the liver. Since I had mononucleosis in High School, there is a strong likelihood I am still carrying the virus that causes this. The EB virus loves to feed off of heavy metals as well as cortisol, produced by the adrenals in times of stress. The actions of the EB virus on the body as well as the impacts of it’s waste circulating in the body, in the long run produces all of the symptoms I listed above. According to the author, almost any scenario where there are so many symptoms that it’s undiagnosable or autoimmune, it is actually this or a handful of other viruses…in the liver.
What is the solution? 1) Recognize that your body is overwhelmed and give it a break and 2) gently detox the liver. These are essentially the same thing. The liver is responsible for cleaning the blood, including invading pathogens and waste products of cells for example. It also produces bile – for digestion. It stores vitamins and other substances the body might need in the future. Oh yeah, the liver also produces a number of important hormones for the ongoing healthy functioning of our beings. Giving your body a break is giving your liver a break. The liver’s function of keeping toxins out of the blood means it is best not to aggressively detox, because a lot of that will end up back in the blood….for the liver to process again. This is where celery comes in; it slowly and gently detoxes the liver. If you’ve been living on this planet for 30+ years, accumulating toxins that your liver ends of storing to keep it out of the rest of your body – this may take MANY months. Have patience and endurance. As these toxins, pathogens, and waste products are released from the liver, and end up back in the blood, you will likely have flair-ups. Eat healthy, go easy on fats as that requires more work from the liver to digest, and drink fluids – warm teas and lemon water are especially helpful.
My experience: For three months I experimented with drinking 16 oz. of celery juice every morning. For three months I absolutely loved it. I felt so refreshed and energized I thought I was going to finally kick my morning coffee habit. There was hardly a day that I missed this routine because it just felt that great. Then the daily process of cutting, juicing, and cleaning up the juicer finally caught up with me and I took a break. Since then, I have not been able to get back in the habit of juicing everyday, though I do feel refreshed on the days that this does happen. Fortunately, the author of the Medical Medium books, Anthony Williams, has so many nutritional recommendations that I believe I could be busy for awhile trying everything out, even if not juicing.
That said, let’s jump into my 3 month experience with celery juicing!
Week 1: The first week I definitely experienced some digestive discomfort. According to the author Anthony Williams, this is 1)standard and 2) an indication of an overloaded liver. I developed a rash as a band across my lower rib cage, which corresponded with the area over my Liver. Prior pigmentation under my left eye which had faded over time came back. This can be explained as viral waste material being pushed out through the skin and interacting with elements in the skin cells. In the initial stages of detoxing it is considered normal for there to be flare-ups. This can also happen periodically over time as the body is able to cleanse deeper into organ tissue.
Week 2: The second week I started coughing up mucus. Yum. I also noticed swollen lymph nodes in my neck. I noticed an increase in thirst and my whole body aching like it usually does when I’m about to have the cold or flu. My craving for celery juice also seemed to increase this week. The good news is that the rash had started to fade. Most of these symptoms can indicate die-off of a latent infection and my body’s reaction to the increase in pathological material being flushed out of the cells and into the bloodstream circulating through my body before being expelled.
Week 3: Observations for this week included gas and bloating as well as being sensitive emotionally. As the microbiome of my intestines changes as well as material that has been there for awhile in pockets gets flushed out, it is likely that I will continue to experience these mild digestive concerns. Studies are increasingly showing our gut microbiome to have an influence on the neurotransmitters that influence our emotions.
Week 4: I woke up with what felt like tonsillitis at 6am Tuesday with very low energy for the next three days. With the onset of this I started a raw foods cleanse. This consisted of juicing not only celery but also apples, and eating mostly salads. I also noticed I was running a higher temperature than normal. By day 4 I had few symptoms of being sick. Normally, when I wake sick like this, I am sick for 2 weeks so I consider this an indication that my immune system is getting stronger.
The first month was the most challenging and also the month where I was experiencing the most “in-your-face” changes. In the following months my digestion started normalizing and I experienced a consistent increase in energy, probably why I eventually stopped juicing! When I did stop juicing I noticed an immediate drop in energy, but not so much that I felt I needed to start juicing right away. Even two months after I’ve stopped juicing regularly, my digestion remains better than it was before my experiment with celery juicing. As someone who tends to have dry wrinkly skin, I have noticed it to be more soft and supple when I juice regularly. I believe I would benefit from another three month phase though Spring might be a better time for that than mid-winter.
While I am not yet ready to dive back into another round of daily celery juice, Anthony Williams has a lot of other nutritional advice I consider equally beneficial. The following are other suggestions of his that I am also trying to incorporate into my diet.
Lately, I am drinking the Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie once a week. I have added Kelp and Bladderwack for a little more Iodine and Trace Mineral Support. To also help with gentle detoxing as well as hydration since I do not often enjoy drinking plain water, I add a squeeze of lime to my water as often as possible, especially first thing in the morning. I find that a little bit of flavor does a lot towards getting me to drink more fluids. Since my energy has been a little low and stress a little high, I have been supplementing with Licorice and B-12 to support my adrenals (as well as Ashwaganda in my smoothie) and to help them relax. Another way I am supporting the Liver and Adrenals is by always having dates with me. Since I have a tendency to hypoglycemia, I can regularly snack on dates and other dried fruit to make sure the liver is getting the energy it needs to function and my adrenals aren’t freaking out trying to compensate for my blood sugar levels being too low. I am taking Zinc to support my immune system in these changing seasons. Apples are also great at supporting the body with nutrients while helping to flush out what is not beneficial. And they are so accessible! I try to eat one of these everyday. Anthony Williams also provides many broth and tea recipes to support nourishing and detoxing the body, which I hope to try before this winter is over!
Supplements often require 3 months before significant results can be noticed, so my current plan is to take these until the bottles are empty and then reevaluate how I am feeling. Please keep in mind that this blog is a chronicling of my experiences and not a recommendation for you. Particularly if you are already taking medications, it is always wise to have a personal consultation with someone trained in the pharmacological impacts of supplements and drugs to make sure you are taking something safe for you at the correct dosage.
In 2011 I moved to Cincinnati, Ohio and started working as an acupuncturist for another acupuncturist on maternity leave. She specialized in acupuncture in the support of cancer therapy…because she had lost her mother to cancer. To fulfill my role as her temporary replacement, I completed a course created by the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for acupuncturists working with cancer patients. In appreciation of her, and to keep it going, I’m dedicating the first month in a series of promotions to those in cancer therapy or remission – come in this month for acupuncture to support your cancer therapy and receive your first acupuncture session for free.
There are those who would be surprised to hear that acupuncture can be an aide if you are dealing with cancer, and yet Memorial Sloan Kettering and the National Cancer Institute both show it to be effective in the treatment of side-effects, supporting the overall treatment program. Linked below are three articles discussing the research supporting the use of acupuncture in conjunction with cancer treatment. According to the National Cancer Institute, acupuncture supports the immune system, relieves cancer-related pain, and alleviates nausea and vomiting – reducing the need for additional medications for those side-effects. Memorial Sloan Kettering discusses acupuncture with certain types of cancer, such as head & neck, breast, and leukemia. Check out the links to find out more.
Tis the season for chicken noodle soup! Many of us grew up with the idea that if one has the flu, chicken noodle soup will aid in recovery, and yet few of us know why that is! The Weston A Price Foundation provides many articles on the benefits of homemade stocks, the base of every good soup.
You can read one of my favorite articles on the subject here:
1 Whole free-range chicken or 2-3 lbs of bony chicken parts, such as necks, backs, breastbones and wings
4 quarts cold filtered water
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, coarsely
1 bunch parsley, chopped
If using a whole chicken, separate into several pieces. Place in a large stainless steel pot with water, vinegar and all vegetables except parsley. Let stand 30-60 minutes. Bring to a boil, and remove scum/bubbles that rises to the top. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6-8 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful it will be. About 10 minutes before finishing the stock, add parsley. This will impart additional mineral ions to the broth.
Strain the stock into a large bowl and reserve in your refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and congeals. Skim off this fat and store the stock in covered containers in your refrigerator or freezer.
Most people I see here in Cincinnati, I see for pain…back, neck, abdominal, knee, shoulder…we experience pain all over the body and for all sorts of reasons. Some people are recovering from surgery, some are trying out acupuncture preventively – so they don’t have to get surgery, some are athletes and their bodies need more support in recovering from the demands of their sport….What all of these people have in common is that acupuncture works for them. Read this article to find out more on research being done to explain how it is that acupuncture is so effective at relieving pain. Acupuncture relieves pain article
Edit: After moving away from Cincinnati and moving back, I am reopening as Wellman Acupuncture LLC.
The past few years have brought varied experiences for me; Acupuncturist onboard a cruise ship, substituting for a local Acupuncturist on maternity leave in Cincinnati, providing Acupuncture at a drug and alcohol recovery facility in Hamilton, bringing Acupuncture to a Massage Studio in Downtown Cincinnati, and at last I open my own Acupuncture Clinic in Pleasant Ridge! In October of 2012 I joined forces with Naturalpathic Dr Maria Hoeffer (cincinnatinaturalpathic) at her new Homeopathic setting in Pleasant Ridge where one can work with the therapies of Naturalpathic Medicine, Acupuncture, Massage, Life Coaching, and Cranial Sacral Manipulation.
I choose the name Acupuncture for Every Season because Acupuncture IS for every season! It is in the transitions of our lives, as well as the transitions of the year that we need Acupuncture. When our bodies and minds are strong, we can handle these transitions. It is when we are weakened that we experience disease and discomfort, often from things as basic as overwork, too much stress, poor nutrition, and not enough sleep and exercise. Seasonally we may experience this as allergies, headaches, and depression. Females experience this monthly with menstrual complaints. Are we able to adjust when we move into a new home? a new city? a new relationship? Are we able to let go of the previous home, city, or relationship and be happy with our lives in the present moment? How well are we transitioning from the dependency of babies to the independence of adulthood? Our bodies change through our teens, 20s, 30s, 40s, and so on. As we age, in some ways we become more resilient to the physical and emotional stresses we face, and in some ways we become less resilient. When we are not transitioning smoothly, when we are getting sick or experiencing discomfort, from Allergies to Irritable Bowel Syndrome to Infertility, Acupuncture helps us reach our full potential.
I look forward to working with you at my new Acupuncture Clinic in Cincinnati!