Your Mood is Your Medicine

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,

Girlie Stuff

Posted: May 17th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Body/Mind, My View of Health, practices | Tags: | No Comments »

If you don’t have female parts, you might want to stop reading. Not because there is some interesting tidbit about you, just because you may find out some things you might rather never learn about.

Ok, that over I’ll get right to it. I had recurring yeast infections since my second pregnancy. And I have tried every natural remedy, so here are the best (ok, cleaning up your diet is huge)– in the meantime so you can go out in public without scratching:
Garlic, apple cider vinegar, yogurt and when all else fails a suppository of boric acid (Warning: Never Ingest Boric Acid- for suppository use only!).

If you are at the point of considering antibiotics, please reconsider and instead try some of the remedies below and begin including raw sauerkraut, pickles, or a tablespoon of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar at each meal. Better yet get or make yourself some kombucha (I like GT Dave’s because there’s virtually no sugar, even though it’s expensive or ask a health nut friend). I find that if I begin to get any early warning signs now I can drink a bottle of kombucha and knock it right back into balance.

All of this is, however, assuming you’re not also downing a pint of Haagen- Dazs nightly (which I love to do and am much more conscientious about since realizing the horrific aftereffects- and I don’t even mean cellulite ;) . Basically if you have a tendency to be yeasty you could well have a dairy or wheat sensitivity, or vice versa, you could be sensitive due to the yeast imbalance- I can actually handle some ice cream when my flora’s not all whacked out. So at least for rebalancing you’ll need to cut out (ok, realistically cut down, as the misery and stress of cutting out all sugars and flours is probably worse for you than a little sugar) sugars and refined flours and maybe even dairy. Take a probiotic supplement if the kombucha/ sauerkraut isn’t happening- you can actually take significantly more than the recommended dosage, which it generally for maintenance, not therapy.  A little raw honey in your tea is fine, and goat’s milk cheese is less “dampening” than cow milk (but tastes pretty gamey, so no go on the goat milk in my coffee).

This one you can eat liberally or take capsules of, and use as a vaginal suppository, changing every few hours or at least twice a day. You may want to put a piece of thread through it to make removal um, easier. Some people say that nicking the clove can cause a burning sensation if you are already irritated, but I’ve found that nicking it releases the effective oils, thus relieving symptoms quickly. Be forewarned, though- you will realize the interconnectedness of things as you may be able to taste the garlic even when using as a suppository.

Apple cider vinegar-
I’m sure this is what our grandmas knew. The acidity of the vinegar kills the yeast while good raw vinegar has beneficial bacteria to begin repopluating. Try mixing it 1/8 with water as a rinse, maybe even scooping out the excess yeast. If you believe in douching you can use it that way too.

Plain Please! I cannot vouch for the results of flavors, but assume the sugars (which feed yeast) would cause big trouble. Apply it topically (you can put a little internally too if you want) for instant soothing relief- you can even add some powdered acidophilus (or break open a capsule) to boost the effectiveness. Along the same lines, once you have killed the yeast with any of the other remedies you can use an acidophilus capsule suppository to give the beneficial repopulation a “leg up,” so to speak.

Boric Acid capsules-
This one is a little more work, but when your yeast is as stubborn as mine was during pregnancy (and as insistent as I was not to use lord-knows-what’s in that drug) it is miraculous. There are more complicated versions, but a very basic one is to get some empty “00″ size capsules and a bottle of boric acid from your pharmacy and fill them up (please don’t do this around small children and clean up after yourself). Then insert one vaginally nightly for 5 nights. Wear at least a pantyliner as it seems to liquefy the yeast or something.  This supposedly works for gardinerella (the fishy smelling protozoa) too.

Last, but certainly not least- now that I have it in a better balance I’ve become aware that when I feel frustrated with my husband I begin to literally itch within 24 hours if I don’t deal with it. Sometimes meditation helps, and sometimes I have to ask for what I need.

I know I’m not the only one who “tried everything,” so I figure I’d share my stubbornly natural information with you. Surprisingly, I have at least this much information on a variety of other topics too… to be shared at a later date, or upon request.
Peace Y’all

Winter Cheat Sheet

Posted: December 28th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: My View of Health, practices, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Please note, this is what I do or would do for my own family- not intended to treat or diagnose anyone else…

Also, that I would rather you have this information available than wait until I have more time to format it, so here’s some basics I love and have found myself telling the moms I know when their peanuts are ill, that are available at most health food stores and don’t require specialized knowledge.

if nursing, breast milk is good for everything- you can put it in eyes, ears and noses…

general winter recommendations:
-regular fish oil supplements
-extra vit c
-astragalus 1-3x a week (none if sick already)
-homeopathic anaes barbarae 1x a week during flu outbreaks
-elderberry juice
-eat all foods and drink at room temperature or warmer

for colds;
colds that come on suddenly after catching a chill:
homeopathic Aconitum Napellus,
warm baths and clothing, sweating

fevers in children, except for poisoning are generally self- limited, and often go above 103. Accompanying seizures are from the fever coming down quickly and are not harmful of themselves. I generally do not give anything for fever, unless the child is miserable- usually that fever is quite high and i give homeopathic belladonna. more often i treat the accompanying symptoms of congestion.

Any mucus/ infection (including ear):
-remove all milk products from diet. minimize fried foods. dilute fruit juices and reduce overall sugar intake including refined flours.
-eat/drink nothing cold- warm herbal teas: chamomile, licorice, holy basil
-with sticky/gluey mucus or lasting a long time: homeopathic Kali Bichromium, every 15 minutes until relief begins, then as needed.
-steam in bathroom: turn on hot water, shut the door, stand kid on counter if necessary to get steam inhaled. make sure child does not touch scalding water.
-vitamin C, adjust for weight- one dose every few hours until stools become loose

- we use Buried Treasure ACF a lot, as it has a nice combo of herbs- it does have colloidal silver, which is getting mixed publicity, but from my understanding is relatively harmless (I also use the cream as an antibiotic for wounds).

-rubbing the upper back, especially halfway between the shoulder blades and the spine, and on the inside of the foot, just past where a bunion might be if you had one…

Ear aches/ infections:
mullein/garlic oil drops in the ear

Please feel free to leave comment if you’d like to see other topics.

Snuggles and backrubs are also very good medicine.

Thanksgiving Game

Posted: November 24th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Body/Mind, My View of Health | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

It’s almost turkey day, I’ve agreed to do it for the first time at my not so neat house, and I’ve invited two more children for a total of five at my house for a playdate tomorrow after teacher conferences at the preschool(?) and the elementary school with a two year old (plus the “big kids”) along for both.

The most amazing part is, I’m still remembering to breath deeply (someone remind me on Wednesday if I forget), smile, and put my game face on.

When I say Game Face, I don’t mean it like a pretend, well, ok, it’s kind of a pretend, but in the same way that wearing something sexy or a suit to work in your basement office is pretend.  It helps you get there a little ahead of time, so to speak. We say things like “It’s all about the attitude,” and it is, the question is, am I designing my attitudes moment by moment or am I at the mercy of the wind (of course we’re all always the wind and the mercy)?

And here we are, at the crux of all dilemma in my world- the intersection of what is real, what is what I make it, and how to transform (or avoid turning) my imagination into physical reality.  

Anyone who’s ever had an anxiety attack knows how quickly a thought can become a debilitating physical discomfort- for that matter, anyone who’s ever heard shocking news of any kind knows the wave of nausea that accompanies.  And it is quantifiable- I once had an anxious moment (after the birth of my third child and severe sleep deprivation) in which a friend said “Are you ok, you don’t look well?”  Within minutes, I felt nauseated to vomiting, had chills, diarrhea and- a temperature of 100… which is well above my cold-blooded norm of 96.8.  I did not, however have the flu or food poisoning, which I had determined most certainly was the case.  

Finally I began to cry as I explained my fear of the children all getting it (the imaginary flu) and not getting any sleep all over again to my father over the phone (also an excellent healer and acupuncturist) and the whole thing broke open- within minutes I was able to eat and realized that I also had not eaten well that day.  

So If my mind/body can do all that, imagine what else it can do?  I use this reminder now to transform my relationship with every symptom in my life.   

All this is really to say… our minds are not only attached to our bodies- they are part of the whole shebang.  Totally interrelated, inextricably, for better or worse, till death do us possibly part.  I think even we in the healing professions are highly prone to forgetting that.  For example…

I have an interesting relationship with dairy.  When I am getting enough rest and exercise and joy (oh, and veggies), I can tolerate quite a bit of dairy.  When any of these other pieces goes unattended, the balance goes off and I become congested, or there are a few other small symptoms that begin to show up.  On the one hand I am just like everyone else I know- dammit, let me eat cheese and drink eggnog and stay up all night- I could do it when I was seventeen, surely everything will be fine… And indeed it may be so, for one night, but in all likelihood I will feel like crap the next day and possibly end up with a sinus infection if I try to keep that kind of behavior up for any length of time. 

So I’m glad on the other hand that I can at least notice the beginnings of congestion, that my body responds to stimuli enough that I know what is good for me and what isn’t.  I surely can’t rely on the scientific establishment for that… fats are bad, fats are good, animal fat is bad, fish fat is good… I could write a Dr. Suess book with the riddles in there.

Let us look a little more closely… When I was seventeen I was definitely enjoying the eggnog and the late night.  I was not having to get up and cook and clean up after small people the next morning, and I know for certain that every time I stay up late (even now, at 10:53 pm) I am acutely aware (note worry) of the fact that I will be summoned before I am good and ready to be out of bed in the cold November morning.  So, joy? yes and no.  

How come some people can smoke and live forever, and others become the scare statistics? I say it is the enjoyment of the moment.  Do you know anyone who still smokes? Can they even enjoy the moment of smoking or do they spend the whole time feeling guilty or scared, or … basically not enjoying what it is they’re doing.  Likewise all our other addictions- chocolate cake, knucklehead lovers, coffee, leading to… another, more- in an attempt to recapture a past that will not be repeated.  

Back to the body and the Game Face. The face is on the body, and if we can teach it to respond positively in the here and now, we can enjoy a lot more of life- and that’s viral marketing for the well of being us all.