Another period post, hooray! As a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist, I absolutely love working with women’s health. This includes everything from period problems (PMS, pain, irregularity, no period), infertility, pregnancy, post-partum and menopause. I am fascinated by the complexity of the female reproductive system and not just as it relates to being able to having babies, but also as a reflection of overall health for women. Many women that I treat have been prescribed the birth control pill to “regulate” their cycles and to “alleviate” PMS symptoms. You can read more about my thoughts on that here. Women are told that they just have to suffer through pregnancy symptoms, get through postpartum challenges and continue to struggle as their body shifts in to menopause. This is just not the case!
Read more “The “Perfect Period””
This is probably one of the most commonly asked questions in the clinic. The short answer is, no, not really. But keep reading! Sometimes practitioners of Chinese Medicine will market their services as something that can aid in weight loss in order to attract customers. The modern world is obsessed with losing weight and “fixing” our bodies in an attempt to find a happier, more fulfilling life. As someone that is a firm believer in the health at every size movement, it’s so hard for me to approach the question of weight loss with an answer that feels authentic and complete.
Read more “Can Acupuncture Help with Weight Loss?”
If you have never had acupuncture before, you might be a little startled when I ask to see your tongue as part of the intake process. There’s no need to be shy because there is a lot of information in the tongue! The tongue is a key aspect in diagnosis in Chinese Medicine. It is like a map that reflects the state of qi, yin, yang, blood and body fluids throughout the entire body. There are three main things I’m looking at when I ask to see your tongue:
- The Tongue-Body Shape
- The Tongue-Body Color
- The Coating on the Tongue
- “Swollen” in certain areas or overall (it’s swollen relatively speaking and this type of “swelling” wouldn’t be recognized in Western Medicine): This may indicate damp accumulation or a weakness in the digestive system
- Thin: This may indicate deficiency of blood or other body fluids
- Pale: May indicate blood deficiency or yang deficiency
- “Too Red”: Indicates heat or if dark-red indicates blood stagnation and heat
- Purple: Indicates blood stagnation
- White: Cold in the system
- Yellow: Heat in the system
- Thick or thin: Thin is a more superficial issue, thick is a deeper issue and may be an indication of “dampness”
- “Greasy”: Indicates an accumulation of fluids or “dampness”
- Dry: May indicated blood or body fluid deficiency
The tongue-body shape and color and the coating on the tongue may further reveal the organs or meridians that are potentially involved in the pattern diagnosis. The tongue-body is separated in to sections, each section corresponding to an energetic organ or meridian. Using this map, I can determine where some pathology or blockages may be in the body using the aforementioned indications.
For example, a red tongue-tip indicates heat (redness) in the Heart (tip of tongue). Which does not mean anything is wrong with your anatomical heart. It simply means that there may be some pathology residing in the heart meridian. This “Heart Heat” will often result in anxiety, insomnia or other emotional issues.