Your Mood is Your Medicine

Today’s favorite food

Posted: June 8th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

This is one of my newest favorite foods (no you won’t be able to log into my accounts with it. :) I started off with the curry cauliflower one which is so good I added it to every meal and burger for the last few weeks and just popped this one open to go with my taco salad and it is delicious! I have to say I do tend to like fermented veggies- and yet I’m pretty picky. My other favorite raw sauerkraut is Bubbies. I don’t make my own yet- I’ve tried kombucha making- it’s not hard it’s just that sauerkraut is more likely to make it to my plate (and not be forgotten to turn into an alcoholic mess in a corner) if I just buy it- so here’s to another delicious “real food” that someone else made for us!


Posted: July 27th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »



1.  Choose something you are upset about.  Then have someone ask you- Could you let it go?  of course you could, the next is a little trickier- Would you let it go?  if you cannot agree to this, ask, for the sake of whom would I let it go? If I’m not willing to let it go for good, might I let it go for an hour? ten minutes?  When you get to yes, ask When?  Now- and when you get Could you? Yes, Would you? Yes, When? Now-  feel the release in your shoulders or tummy or wherever you were holding that fight.  and Smile.


2.  Pay attention to how you talk about yourself-

A. When you hear yourself say  “It’s hard, difficult, I’m not good at,…”  Replace those words with “I’m a beginner.”  Check whether you feel easier with it- after all, more ease is less dis-ease.

B.  Take “I have to” out and say “I choose to”- this may be tricky at first- you may think “No, I have to pick my son up from daycare,” when you actually could leave him there- you choose not to.

C.  Quit using the word try- you either are doing something or not.

D.  When you say “I feel”- where do you feel it in your body?


3.  Notice opposition when it arises.  Allow the other’s viewpoint without opposition- watch what happens.


4. Start from what is, not what should be.


5.  Give way to passion.  Notice where you’re holding back- participate wholly!


6.  Listen


7. I invent my words and create my world out of them- what might I invent?


8.  What assumptions am I basing my life on? Scarcity? Sufficiency? Abundance? Education separate from living?  Partnership equivalent to cohabitation?


9.  Hiding in every problem is an opportunity.


10.Difficulties mandatory. The upset is optional.


11. Life is change.  Breakdown bears the seeds.


12.  Let go of judgement.


13. Practice


14.  Allow yourself to be a beginner.  In everything.

15. See people new at each encounter.  Let go of old stories (she’s always late, he’s unreliable- these are judgements and don’t leave room for a new possibility.


16. Make distinctions between hope and expectation.  Hope allows for change, while also allowing for what is.  Expectation breeds disappointment when change does not occur.


17.  Pay attention to the phenomenon. “her cleavage is showing” Then notice what stories you make up- “slut, easy, looking for a man, I wish I had breasts like that…” Do they create unnecessary suffering?


18.  Declare Oneness.  You are not separate from the world around you.


19. Smell someone.  Let go of the commentary.  Smell again.


20. Give someone an”A” today. Especially someone you usually grade at “C.”


21.Silence and rest build power.


22.  Enjoy unknowing.


23.  You know the way home.  Healers only guide you to see it more clearly.


24.  Truly accept acknowledgement.  Do not brush it off.  Your taking it in is a gift.


25.  Give someone in your life an acknowledgement of the goodness they are.  Especially someone you often complain about.


26.  Let go of the complaint or take effective action with compassion (not submission).


27.  Stop living in the past.


28. Balance stillness and movement in life.


29. Dark and light are two sides of the same mountain.


30. The balance in living is learning to bring it back down when it goes too high, and lift it back up when it goes too low.


31.  Choose someone other than yourself who will benefit from your practice.


32. When eating, notice when you have stopped tasting food and started making up stories about it i.e. “I like it, it’s making me fat, it’s good for me, it could use salt, it’s not my mother’s chocolate cake, etc.” Now go back to savoring the phenomenon- taste texture, aroma, color, crunch or squish.




Posted: July 14th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

The way I practice acupuncture is based on the observation that nature follows some predictable patterns.

For example, summer always follows spring, night follows day, death follows birth.

The real question most of us are asking, at core, is “How do I get from birth to death with some amount of peace, ease, even grace and joy?”

So when life’s challenges, or your symptoms, begin to bother you more and more, the question isn’t how to avoid all suffering, rather how do I know in what way I am stuck in these natural processes, how can I get out of my own way so that this body and mind can be more at ease?



Our new center’s getting some groove on

Posted: June 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »


This is the way I’d like our yoga studio/classroom to feel. Come check us out in September. Address TBD. Stay Tuned.

Six million ways to live- choose one.

Posted: May 3rd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

When you rolled out of bed this morning, did you put a smile on after you brushed your teeth?

Just like we all know eating vegetables helps us feel good and digest better, yet many of us don’t do quite enough of it, we all know being happy makes us feel better, yet somehow we don’t just choose it.  I could explain the numerous reasons we all invent for “how come we don’t.”  Instead I’ll go right to the “how can I?”

When you wake up, get in the habit of choosing a mood for the day.  Why wait for someone to ruin it, then someone else to cheer you up?  You start the smile contagion!  Or if smiling is too much, try on “peaceful.”

Now when I say “mood” what I really mean is the space that you hold in the back of your mind, your “guardian angel” if you will, who sits on your shoulder and says “I know that driver just cut you off, and for the sake of your heartrate could you be peaceful with that?”

In normal circumstances this will be helpful.  In “stressful” circumstances this will be a lifesaver- literally, if you can craft a mood and stay solidly with “happy” after a fender-bender (you’ve seen these people- “No one was hurt, I have car insurance and I got to spend an hour reading my new book while I waited for the tow truck.”)  Do you think this induces high blood pressure? not as much as the middle finger- flicking, tension headache you could choose instead.

This is helpful even if you are currently ill.  In fact, the better you feel about yourself and your situation, the better your outcomes are likely to be.  However the real benefit is that you begin to feel better in the Right Now, as Pooh Bear would say.



Posted: April 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

A woman in a consignment store recently asked me what I did. When I told her I was an acupuncturist her eyes lit up and she said “You guys do that for smoking right? Maybe my boyfriend could do that?”

I said a lot of things to her then, and finally “You know what he can do right now?” Make sure he’s enjoying each cigarette.” It might sound kind of radical, and yet if you think about it, mostly we end up trying to quit the idea of something, which we love or at least are enamored with. What we don’t realize when we begin “quitting” before getting “present” is that we don’t really even enjoy whatever it is we’re doing. Most people who still smoke feel so guilty or worried that the cigarette goes totally unnoticed in the midst of the guilt.

The difficulty with this is that you, in feeling guilty, have missed the cigarette itself.  So guess what you need? Another one.

So maybe you don’t smoke, and do you want that cup of coffee, chocolate cake or do you “need it?”  Try really savoring the thing you “shouldn’t be having”  and as soon as you notice you’re not really enjoying it, stop.  Food is a substance as well as cigarettes and alcohol and chocolate… you catch my drift.


“Stress and Have-To’s”

Posted: February 24th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

It’s 5:48 am. Theoretically I could sleep for another hour, or do yoga, which is my plan since I’m already awake. Realizing my nine year old son is already downstairs I sneak down to make sure he hasn’t gotten up early just to play video games. And to once again ask why he’s up so freakin’ early. As soon as I get to the bottom of the steps my four year old pops out of her room. Crap.  ”Go back to bed” I tell her “It’s too early to be up.”  Of course I’m really thinking about how tired and grumpy she’ll be when I pick her up from school after I’ve been at work and am too tuckered out to resist the “mommy can I’s?”

So, starting my day without yoga or quite enough sleep, and wishing for things to be well, other than they are- is what we normally call “stress.”  I recently found out that in Chinese, the closest thing they have to “stress” is what some Traditional Chinese Medical practitioners call Liver Qi stagnation- in more common terms this translates as “unfulfilled desires.”  Which is really kind of interesting because well, my life with children and probably your life with work or loved ones or food or whatever is loaded with “unfulfilled desires.”  ( If not, please email me privately and I’ll set up some classes for you to teach on “stress management :)

So after a conversation with another acupuncturist friend, joking about our various unfulfilled desires, I began to think about what I could do, besides have an acupuncture treatment and eat a rather um, austere, diet to absolve the numerous ramifications in my body of these unfulfilled desires.  Especially because being as yet not financially flush, so to speak (we’ll talk later about how come we don’t teach each other the actual finances of raising children.)  I couldn’t figure out how to take a quarterly mommy vacation along with three family vacations and a couple couple’s retreats.  As though that would actually solve the dilemmas.

Because I had dishes to do, I decided to start with saying “I love to do the dishes,” trading in my “have to.”  And as it felt a little insincere, I began to think about how I might love doing the dishes- maybe as a way of loving myself, because I love it when my house feels clean (which it rarely ever does), and realized that by doing the dishes I was actually fulfilling one of my unfulfilled desires! And furthermore, not creating any more upset in my body (i.e. “stress,” blood pressure, hormonal imbalance, emotional eating ;) about wishing someone else would do the dishes or go back to bed or whatever have you unfulfilled desires I could create by fighting against the flow of what is already in front of me.

Surprisingly I felt less tired that afternoon than I usually do, and I realized that I had saved a ton of energy that day by not fighting internally about how tired or frustrated she (my daughter), I or anyone else might be.

Of course, it was not, as my grandmother liked to say “A one- walk dog.”  Like anything else this practice will take well, Practice.  And practice makes… well, almost.

School of Inquiry

Posted: April 20th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: | No Comments »

Today in the carpool line I was blindsided by the principal. “May 12 is dress for success day and your children have told us they don’t have one or the other dress pants or shirts to wear and if you need any assistance with that…”
“May 12?” all I can think is where is my calendar- I’ll never remember this. Preschool yoga planning in my head on temporary hold. “No, I can get them some it’s just…” from the backseat “noooo! I don’t wanna wear it!” “just that, mostly. I can get them some.”

I drive away, green hand sanitizing and handing out snacks and reminders about behavior during the preschool yoga class I’m about to teach. So I forget about it until I’m folding laundry and come across the only pair of dress pants my children own, bought last week for a chorus part in a school play.

What is success?
Isn’t a successful six year old running around getting dirty or at least a little sweaty? In fact, wouldn’t we all be a bit more “successful” if we moved our bodies more and worried less about getting our clothes dirty? I know quite a few of my patients and I would be better off. But back to it. Success? Is it financial? Most really wealthy people I know don’t wear dress clothes because they don’t have to impress anyone.
I do agree that you can dress a part and therefore get more in character, but what character wears a dress shirt and pants? Usually one who has very little autonomy in the world or one going for an interview or… are they at least teaching interview skills to my 6 and 9 year old boys? Turns out I graduated from high school with null financial skills- how ’bout I a book on that instead? I know at least one already knows how to freak out about standardized testing after being drilled on it in…art class? Yep, and in gym too- ok, I know it’s called PE.
So I was not quick enough on my feet to say to this kindly principal that in the end I think a lot of the stuff that I have to do to make my kids fit into this mediocre mold is b.s..

Have I told the one about how they aren’t allowed to bring glass bowls to school because of safety issues? But apparently plastic water bottles should be donated for test taking time because chemicals from plastic are not as bad a safety issue- they only disrupt the whole hormonal and endocrine system, they’d never draw blood.
Maybe I’ll talk about that later- how we (as a society) pick the lowest common denominator and strive towards making it work.

Why shouldn’t children learn to handle glass properly? Not that I was sending anything flimsy that would break by falling, yes, even on tile- believe me we’ve tried it at home. I’m not into putting anyone’s children at risk, I just really think we’ve maintained a system to dumb down the best of us.

I hear a lot about the obesity epidemic, then in schools, mind you some of the best schools in the country- we don’t have a day for gym clothes, we can’t run on the playground, we eat more salt and fat than at fast food chains and offer fast food coupons as rewards for standardized exams (read:sitting on your bum for 4 days).

I teach children’s yoga because at least half of what I see going on in my treatment space could have been avoided altogether or healed by simple breathing, stretching and learning to listen. To our own wise bodies, not to what someone else says is good, right, successful or even healthy. Because taking time to stop and smell the roses is more important to our being well, and thus deep satisfaction with being able to do what we love, love what we do and prosper from that place of knowing ourselves as successful. Our outward appearance radiates that, our way of being in the world a testament to our success. Others knowing themselves as successful in our presence.
That, to me is dressed for success.

Flu review- things to think, ingest and do!

Posted: October 29th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Viruses enter the nose and throat before traveling into the body- keeping the viral population in your nose and throat down can prevent you from getting sick (possibly even while conferring some immunity as you are exposed), since it’s nearly impossible (and impractical) to avoid all germs.  there are also lots of fabulous natural things one can do to help build what the chinese call “wei qi” or “defensive qi” which protects us from pathogens.


1. more sleep, less sugar- the immune system can be compromised by too little sleep or too much sugar very quickly

2. gargle with salt water or mouthwash 2x a day. (in response to this someone in my email said their grandma swore Listerine prevented her from getting the 1918 Spanish flu while she was caring for the ill.)

3. use a neti pot with salt water or if you can’t handle that at least blow your nose well and then swab inside with salt water.

4. drink warm beverages to wash germs into the stomach where the acidic environment kills them.

5. dry brush your skin with a loofah or body brush in a circular motion towards your heart.  this not only improves lymph circulation but also invigorates the wei qi.

6. finish your shower with cold water- this may seem crazy, but it causes the wei qi to come right to the surface of the body (and usually also elicits a few deep breaths of otherwise steamy air which is also good for the lungs)

7. tap the center of the chest between the nipples 50x morning and evening to stimulate the thymus

8. joy! laughing and loving are still good medicine- i’m loathe to say reducing stress, because i think fun should be for the sake of itself, but if for the sake of health i can get you to have some fun, so be it.


1. acidophilus- much of our immunity is in our gut, and most of us can benefit from a better flora arrangement

2. astragalus is an astringent and adaptogenic herb, one that i have taken for years through the winters, starting in part to help me keep a stable energy when my babies kept me up all night, and has had the pleasant side effect of helping me not catch every which child-borne illness : )

3. get some extra vitamin D- via sunshine or supplement

4. oscillococcinum one dose weekly or biweekly

5. elderberry juice

6. raw honey with propolis and pollen (not for babies under 1 year old)

7. eat garlic onions and spicy foods

8. extra vitamin c

if you get sick, please see “winter cheat” post for remedies.

all of the above are things i’ve used both for myself and my children and while nursing (if you have a nursing baby they will get your immunities, so best to get a little sick yourself then boost your own immune system and nurse constantly)


1. flu viruses live between 8-12 hours on surfaces (this keeps me from cleaning too wildly)

2. you’re probably gonna come in contact with it, so you might as well try keeping the population down in your system rather than figuring out how to eradicate every external germ.  the upswing of this is that i believe it confers some immunity on you once you’re exposed.

3. I am healthy and strong! My children are healthy and strong! My patients are healthy and strong!

The Uninsured

Posted: July 12th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: My View of Health, Uncategorized | No Comments »

I originally wrote this in response to a group of acupuncturists requesting I write a letter to the Obama administration requesting insurance coverage for acupuncturists.  I think “insurance” is a very misleading term, because it’s not at all what our health care dollars actually do.

Tricky ground here, and…

As an acupuncturist I don’t want to be covered by insurance.  I want my clients to have a direct investment in their own well-being. I do have insurance for myself, but it doesn’t cover my acupuncture. nor my doctor for that matter- it really will only cover anything past my ridiculously high deductible. So I pay $90 a month, and for any visit to a professional.  Which helps me to really want to learn how to be well and gives me an incentive to stay well.
There is money already in the system, better spent by companies and government to hire us (well care professionals) to teach humans to be well, to get people into the conversation… but not to “cover us” so they can come to us instead of their other doctor… so they can come to us to remind them- your body, your backache, your headache is very wise…Let your symptoms be guides to well living and not disguised by meds until you end up in the E.R. for not heeding the warning signs.

I am concerned that “acupuncture” may not have any benefits if it is only to replace other modalities without addressing the underlying construct.
“We can no longer abuse our bodies (minds/souls) and then take them in to be fixed”

Has anyone read the first chapter of Outliers?
There is a town where the reduced heart disease is based in the community itself, not the food or wine or genetics- nor doctors.

I never can keep my two cents in my pocket…
love, partnership and reflection,