Acupuncture: What Does Your Face Say About You?

October 30th, 2014

They say the eyes are the windows to the soul. Did you know that the face can be the window to your health?

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), your face’s appearance can offer valuable information about issues that could be affecting your overall health. The shape of your face, the color of your complexion, and marks such as lines or lesions can all help us determine a diagnosis and treatment plan.

To get an idea of what we sometimes look for, take a look at yourself in a mirror under natural light. There are five colors that appear in the face: red, black, yellow, green, and white.

Everyone’s skin tone is different, and usually one color is dominant, though several other colors can be visible. What colors do you see? Do you have visible veins, and if so, what color and where are they? Is your skin moist or dry?

A healthy, lustrous complexion and normal color indicate a good balance and flow of Qi (“life energy”) within your body. If the complexion is off-color, looks lifeless or “withered,” or is too moist or too dry, it may indicate an imbalance of Qi.

Each color is associated with specific conditions, syndromes, and organ and meridian networks. White, for example, is associated with the Lungs, so a pale appearance could indicate a Lung Qi deficiency and possible breathing problems.

Another important factor in facial diagnosis is that different regions of the face, such as the nose, the eyebrows, and the mouth, correspond with specific organ and meridian networks. For example, the nose correlates with the Spleen, the brows with the Liver, and the lower lip to the Large Intestine.

Since the face and your overall health are so closely related, you may discover positive changes in your complexion as your body regains balance and harmony through acupuncture and TCM. Contact your acupuncturist-herbalist at the Marlborough Wellness Center to learn more!

Acupuncture: Alternative To What?

October 17th, 2014

The other day, my colleague and good friend said, “people do not like to do what they do not understand.” It struck me as such a truth that I knew it was an opportunity for me to enlighten!
The biggest challenge I have as an acupuncturist in today’s society is educating people on what acupuncture is and how it can help them and their loved ones regain their health.
You have probably heard acupuncture referred to at some point as “alternative or medicine.” The term itself can be misinterpreted. It implies that acupuncture is a runner-up or a contingency plan to turn to when medicine falls short, or should one choose not to utilize medicine in the first place.
The focus of Western medicine has been primarily on the treatment of symptoms and disease. Generally speaking, when I talk to my clients, I find that most of us were raised to essentially ignore our bodies until they began to talk to us in the form of pain, numbness, indigestion, insomnia, weakness, fatigue, or any other number of symptoms. When we can no longer stand it anymore, we turned to look for answers.
The logical course of action when confronted with a health challenge should be to support and enhance the body’s internal balance and let true health and healing run its natural course. Acupuncture stands alone in the detection and correction of the body’s innate healing energies to bring about balance within the body and to maximize its full expression of life.
Acupuncture is not concerned with the treatment of symptoms or disease but with determining the underlying cause or root of a particular problem. It works to restore the natural balance with the body’s meridian system because it is within this system that we see the underlying causes of the outward expressions of sickness.
Life is expressed in the body through the meridian system and good health is orchestrated by removing blockages within the body. Less flow equals less life. And acupuncturists are the only healthcare professionals specifically trained to detect and correct the imbalances in the meridian systems.
So I believe, if we can get one person to listen, has a great experience with acupuncture and begins talking, it will be abundantly clear how effective acupuncture can be! When you have acupuncture working for you, who needs an alternative?

Acupuncture: Are You All Revved Up?

October 9th, 2014

What do you think would happen if you kept your car in park and the engine revving as if it was traveling at 65 miles per hour?

Clearly, after a short time your car would break down. If you were lucky, a simple tune-up would fix the problem. If not, the engine might need to be replaced entirely.

Stress is a revving engine that, if left unchecked, can wear out the body and mind. Stress in our professional, personal, financial and social lives can lead to a variety of signs and symptoms of poor health.

Stress increases our body’s production of cortisol and adrenaline. These body chemicals help activate the “fight or flight” response, a normal reaction that is designed to prepare the body to flee danger or fight an attacker.

Unfortunately, many modern stressors are chronic and end up activating the “fight or flight” response for weeks, months, or years at a time. This long-term activation of the body’s stress-response system can wear down the body and mind, setting the stage for illness and disease. Especially suppressing the immune system and increasing your risks of catching colds, flus, and worsening your current allergic reactions.

The good news is that acupuncture and Chinese medicine can be extremely helpful in reducing the signs and symptoms associated with stress. Using special techniques, a skilled acupuncturist can reduce stress in a few ways:

1) A customized Chinese herbal prescription can help restore internal health and balance, thus “slowing the engine down.”

2) Safe, gentle and effective acupuncture treatments can help “turn off” the fight or flight response and can enable you to feel calmer and sleep more soundly.

3) Suggestions for a healthy lifestyle, including proper nutrition, meditation, rest and exercise will enable you to maintain a long term healthy lifestyle.

One of the unique attributes of Chinese medicine is its holistic approach to health and well-being. Instead of masking or addressing a few signs and symptoms related to stress, an acupuncturist cares for the whole person: body and mind.

Stop revving your engine! If you or someone you know is experiencing stress, please call the Marlborough Wellness Center. For five thousand years, acupuncture has helped millions of people cool their engines before they burned out!

Healthy Eating For The Season of Autumn

October 1st, 2014

Nature has a way of providing us with what we need, when we need it. That’s especially true when it comes to the foods that become available with each season. Autumn brings with it a bounty of fruits, vegetables, and herbs that nourish the body and support health and well-being. Being aware of seasonal foods and attuning your diet to your body’s needs is a great way to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.
The harvest season is a time to prepare your body for the cold winter ahead. Your diet should shift toward richer, denser foods that will provide you with extra energy and warmth. Consider increasing your intake of protein, fats, and whole grains but be sure to keep up your exercise program, to control weight gain.

Nourishing your immune system is also very important at this time. Take advantage of dark green and golden-orange vegetables that are rich in beta-carotene to strengthen the body’s Wei Qi (immune system). These include carrots, pumpkin, squash, broccoli, kale, mustard greens, and many more.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it’s important to maintain the body’s balance during this season by adding sour foods such as sauerkraut, leeks, yogurt, and sour apples to your diet. Pungent foods such as garlic, turnips, and horseradish should also be added to your autumn diet, since they cleanse and protect the lungs.

It’s also important to moderate your caffeine use this season. As autumn settles in, you may notice yourself feeling a little more tired than usual and increasing your coffee intake to boost your energy. Before you lift that next cup, consider making a healthy change and switching from coffee to tea.

Tea has been found to have a variety of health benefits, including protecting against heart disease and some types of cancer, reducing inflammation and blood pressure, and even increasing bone density. Green and white teas contain especially high amounts of antioxidants, which protect against cellular damage.
Some foods that are best eaten in the harvest season include (but are not limited to): Wheat germ, bay leaves, sage, cabbage, anise, savory, capers, basil, thyme, broccoli, cayenne, peanut oil, daikon, cinnamon, honey, leeks, cardamom, peppermint, lemon, mustard leaf, garlic, onion, marjoram, parsnip/turnips, pepper, mustard, radishes, rosemary, lemon balm tea, chamomile tea, and mint tea.

These are just a few simple suggestions. Please consult with the acupuncturist-herbalists at the Marlborough Wellness Center if you have any other questions or are considering making any healthy dietary changes to make sure they are right for you. Happy harvest!

 

Acupuncture and Fitness Go Hand In Hand

September 25th, 2014

Fitness is one of the largest growing industries today. While working with one of my closest friends in the industry, Kathy Ekdahl of Personal Best Personal Training, I learned that when choosing which program best fits your life and your desired outcome, it is important to look at these four aspects of a fitness routine:

Muscular and Cardiovascular Endurance:

These activities are designed to increase your heart rate and breathing for extended periods. Gradually build up endurance exercises over a period of time, initially starting out with as little as 5 minutes. Examples of endurance exercises include briskly walking, cycling, long-distance running, aerobics, and may even include mopping or scrubbing a floor, and mowing or raking the lawn.
Strength Training:

Increasing your strength can improve and maintain your mobility, control your weight and sculpt a more muscular body. Lifting weights is one of the easiest and fastest ways to build muscle. Martial arts are another form of strength training exercises. Please make sure you consult a personal trainer for the correct regimen for your body.

Flexibility:

Increasing your flexibility will help “loosen” you up and allow you to move more freely. One great way to prevent injury and aid performance is to do stretching exercises before and after endurance and strength training. Yoga and gentle stretching fall within this category.

 

Balance:

More and more, people are seeking balance exercises to reduce stress and harmonize body, mind and spirit. Tai Chi, Qi Gong and certain forms of yoga are exercises designed to maintain balance in the body while cultivating Qi energy that can keep you strong and healthy.

Talk to a qualified professional before you start an exercise routine to best determine what exercises will be most effective in reaching your desired outcome of a healthy, balanced body.

And of course consider acupuncture for performance enhancement, identifying and addressing the underlying conditions that may predispose an individual to injuries, and for treating sport-related injuries effectively. Remember, acupuncture can be introduced at any phase of a treatment regimen for an injury. It is safe, effective and natural! The Marlborough Wellness Center has experienced acupuncturists ready to address any issues you may encounter and get you back to the activities you love!

Are you like a boomerang?

September 19th, 2014

In my practice, I have encountered many clients and their viewpoints of good health. It truly is a subjective thing to each of us and as an acupuncturist, I work diligently to respect the client’s wishes while also serving as a health practitioner working to improve their health. What is the most challenging to work with is the client who comes in only when they are in pain, not for health maintenance.

What these people fail to realize is that healthy living is not an event, but rather a lifestyle. Until my clients make a lasting commitment to finally follow through with and maintain a program of healthy eating and exercise, they will always return back to my clinic…kind of like a boomerang.

People who utilize acupuncture merely for symptom relief are much like boomerangs. At the first sign that their symptoms are gone, they back off their care…only to find themselves with the same painful problem a short time later. They then come back to their acupuncturist, feel better, leave and start the same vicious cycle all over again.

Not only is this ineffective from a corrective standpoint, but the full benefits of acupuncture can never truly be realized. In addition, the longer a condition is left to fester just under the surface, the more potential it has to develop into something more serious. It is typical to find that each time the problem resurfaces, it is a little more severe than the previous incident. Until finally, a more comprehensive schedule of care is no longer an option but a necessity.

Whether in acupuncture, pain management, or any other of life’s endeavors, lasting results come from committing to a set of long-term goals and then having the discipline to follow through.

Make the commitment to maintenance acupuncture care and a preventative wellness program and avoid the painful out and back patterns of a boomerang.

Acupuncture and Herbs: Autumn Diet Suggestions

September 11th, 2014

Nature has a way of providing us with what we need, when we need it. That’s especially true when it comes to the foods that become available with each season. Autumn brings with it a bounty of fruits, vegetables, and herbs that nourish the body and support health and well-being. Being aware of seasonal foods and attuning your diet to your body’s needs is a great way to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.
The harvest season is a time to prepare your body for the cold winter ahead. Your diet should shift toward richer, denser foods that will provide you with extra energy and warmth. Consider increasing your intake of protein, fats, and whole grains but be sure to keep up your exercise program, to control weight gain.

Nourishing your immune system is also very important at this time. Take advantage of dark green and golden-orange vegetables that are rich in beta-carotene to strengthen the body’s Wei Qi (immune system). These include carrots, pumpkin, squash, broccoli, kale, mustard greens, and many more.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it’s important to maintain the body’s balance during this season by adding sour foods such as sauerkraut, leeks, yogurt, and sour apples to your diet. Pungent foods such as garlic, turnips, and horseradish should also be added to your autumn diet, since they cleanse and protect the lungs.

It’s also important to moderate your caffeine use this season. As autumn settles in, you may notice yourself feeling a little more tired than usual and increasing your coffee intake to boost your energy. Before you lift that next cup, consider making a healthy change and switching from coffee to tea, specifically the Chaga mushroom tea.

Tea has been found to have a variety of health benefits, including protecting against heart disease and some types of cancer, reducing inflammation and blood pressure, and even increasing bone density. Green and white teas contain especially high amounts of antioxidants, which protect against cellular damage. Chaga tea has adaptogenic properties that van help your body and immune system rid itself of free radicals and oxidative stress.

These are just simple suggestions. Consult with your acupuncturist or healthcare provider reporting dietary changes you are considering. The herbalists at the Marlborough Wellness Center are well-versed in Traditional Chinese medicine as well as Western Herbalism, homeopathy, and essential oils use for good health.

 

 

MWC Celebrating 9 Years and Herbal Products Are Coming!

September 3rd, 2014

Yes, my friends and colleagues, it has been 9 years since we started The Marlborough Wellness Center and in those 9 years, we have moved to a larger location, added new practitioners, and was named 2012 Small Business of the Year in Marlborough! It’s hard to imagine this has all been happening and the business continues to grow by leaps and bounds!

So what is the next step, you ask? For years, herbal medicine has been a part of the Center and finally, the quality homemade products will be available to the public to be purchased on the website in the very near future! This is a dream come true for us! For years, our clients have experienced many successes with the use of the products and have helped us perfect them. Now, we have decided it is time to open the doors and let others experience the happiness of having reduced pain, no annoying bug bite itches, easier time breathing, or a successful day out in the sun without the chemicals and burn…just to name a few!

So please hold tight because the time will come and it will be “Le-gen-dary!” – Barney, ‘How I Met Your Mother’

Thank you to each and every one of you who has been there along the way, who has supported us from inception, and who has yet to join the healthy force that is The Marlborough Wellness Center! WE couldn’t have done it without YOU!

MWC And Labor Day 2014!

August 28th, 2014

Marlborough Wellness Center is busy this Labor Day weekend in the community! Not only are we running a bed down Main Street Marlborough early AM on Monday for the Lions Club and their philanthropic efforts but we are sponsoring a float on the Annual Labor Day parade and will be on it with Marlborough Moves! Come find us and cheer us on!!

Acupuncture: Tune In!

August 28th, 2014

Remember the days of rabbit ear antennas on your television sets? If you were lucky enough to find the exact seating position in your living room to optimize your body’s own magnetic field and the tilt of the earth’s axis, these beauties could tune in your favorite show with the crystal clarity of a thick San Francisco fog. If you wanted to tune to another channel, this required a coordinated, 2 handed effort of spinning and rotating the antennas, the likes of which would rival even the most skilled of Olympic fencers.

No matter what show you wanted to watch, you could pick it up on your set, but only if the antenna was functioning properly and only if it was aligned in the right position. The signal was always in the air, but whether or not your show came in clearly depended upon the antenna’s ability to transfer the signal to your TV set.

For those of you struggling with your health, keep in mind that you always have the potential for improvement. Research shows that acupuncture can help with many health problems besides just painful conditions. The problem is usually not with the meridian system itself but rather with the transmission of energy through the body. Just like the old VHF signals being broadcast over the air, the energy is always present – the signal is always there. Remaining healthy is a matter of transferring that signal as efficiently as possible to all parts of your body, and in this case your meridian system functions as the antenna. The farther out of balance your system becomes, the weaker the signal gets. Imbalances choke off vital energy traveling throughout the body, but instead of a fuzzy picture, you get sciatic pain, headaches, asthma, fatigue, numbness, digestive disorders, allergies, chronic sickness, etc. Bringing the meridians back into its proper balance allows for the signal to broadcast at full strength.

Acupuncture works by supporting and balancing the “signals” being broadcast by your body and laying the ground for optimum expression of health. Clearing the meridian system of imbalances allows the free flow of energy to every cell, organ, nerve, and tissue, resulting in crystal clear, HD reception and picture-perfect health. Qualified, experienced practitioners can be found at the Marlborough Wellness Center and are equipped to balance your “signals”!