Red Bird Acupuncture - Vernon BC- Alternative and Holistic Medicine

Acupuncture during Pregnancy

 

 

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I have a lot of women who come in to see me on or after their due date wanting to be induced with acupuncture. And even though acupuncture is a great alternative to a medical induction there is also so much more that we can do throughout pregnancy to help ease discomfort and promote balance. In the third trimester, even if you’re having a healthy pregnancy, you can still come in for 3 or 4 treatments before your due date. By balancing and stimulating the pathways that are active during labor we can help to ensure a smoother, easier natural birth. We can prepare you and the baby for this new and exciting journey. If baby is in the incorrect position, specific acupuncture points can help move baby head down and there are even points to ease back pain, pelvic pain and shoulder pain. Acupuncture can also help ease high blood pressure and allow you to sleep better. In the first and second trimester acupuncture can be used to avoid miscarriage, ease nausea and help with energy. In pregnancy, when there are so little supplements and other support that has been deemed safe for use, acupuncture is a great safe, support system.

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Surrendering to Winter

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As of last week, we officially moved into the season of winter.  According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), every season follows a cycle of energy and is related to certain organs, emotions and healthy behaviors.

Winter is a very special time of year, it is represented by the element of Water and the organs of the Kidneys and Bladder. Plants and animals hibernate, snow falls and we feel a stillness and quietude in the crisp air.  As you can see through the changes in nature, winter is a time for surrender and rest.   Autumn represents a time of letting go- when we have let go of what is not nourishing us we can make space for rest and rejuvenation.

Many people find that with winter also comes depression which is often derived from fear, fear is the emotion correlated with the Water Element and the season of winter. When fear or depression arrives it is good to take the time to acknowledge it, to say hello.  Fear is a reflection of aversion and resistance.  What are you resisting in your life? Surrender to the adaptive nature of water and go with the flow.  Give yourself permission to rest, relax, meditate and be quiet. Only when we have restored our energy can we put it into action. The virtue of the Water Element is wisdom.  Wisdom is often derived from the darkness – it is only at night that you can see the stars, so use this time to reflect and cultivate wisdom from your past experiences.  What have you learned over the years? What would you still like to learn?  As the energy of winter moves inward, focus on building your internal energy by practicing more self care and allowing your sleep pattern to reflect the natural cycle of the sun at this time (going to bed earlier and sleeping a little later).  Do what feels right for you!

Winter Health Tips
-Supplement with liquid vit D
-Supplement with Cod liver oil to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out
-Eat warm, cooked foods and stews
-Avoid cold raw foods and dairy
– Eat more ginger, cinnamon and warm spices

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Happy Autumn Equinox!!

autumnAs of last week, we officially moved into the season of fall. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), every season follows a cycle of energy and is related to certain organs, emotions and healthy behaviors.

Autumn is a very beautiful time of year, it is represented by the element of Metal and the organs of the Lungs and Large Intestine. the leaves start to turn color and fall from the trees, plants begin to go to seed, we feel a stillness and calmness as the weather becomes cooler. As you can see through the changes in nature, fall is a time for letting go. The late summer represents the time we take to harvest and digest our experiences from the year or even our life. Autumn is a great opportunity to pick and choose, which experiences/behaviours do we want to hang on to, that will nourish us and which experiences/behaviours can we let go of? You can ask yourself, what have I pushed under the rug to avoid digesting? What do I still need to grieve over? What do I need to release? Just like the Large Intestine chooses the last of the vital nutrients to return to the body before eliminating waste. Just like the lungs let go of the last breath in order to inspire a new breath.

Many people find that with autumn also comes sadness, which makes sense, as it is the emotion correlated with the Metal Element and the season of fall. When sadness arrives it is good to take the time to acknowledge it, to say hello. Sadness often comes with the need to grieve and release. Allow yourself the time to process, find the beauty in the sadness – remember how beautiful the leaves are when they turn red and gold and the tree lets go. The virtue of the Metal Element is integrity. This is a time to nurture dignity and self discipline. As the energy of autumn moves inward, integrity is also about self preservation, owning your power and setting up boundaries so that you have enough energy to sustain through winter. This can look like saying no to things that you don’t want to do and practicing more self care. Do what feels right for you!

Health Tips for Fall
In the fall, our Lungs are more prone to dryness, dry cough, skin, eyes and nose (these are all controlled by the Lungs in Chinese Medicine). So make sure to eat more foods that nourish and protect these areas.
1. Take Cod Liver Oil – it helps to lubricate us from the inside out.
2. Eat “sweet” foods (not sugar!!!) ex) Honey, Fruit, Rice, Sweet Potato, Squash, Yams, Turnips, Beets, Carrots

The weather starts to turn cold, so if you have a tendency to cold hands, cold feet….
1. Add more ginger, cinnamon and cardamon into your diet
2. Drink Chai Tea
3. Avoid cooling foods ex) yogurt, dairy products, raw foods, smoothies

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Posted in Health and Wellness, Seasonal

water

Water Element – Feb 25 2015 Imagine water flowing down a stream or creek, being still in a lake, or big waves in the ocean. Water can manifest as liquid, steam or ice – it can be nourishing and peaceful and it can also be destructive and not be contained. It is the most adaptive and yielding of all the elements, it goes with the flow and follows the path of least resistance. It’s energy moves deeply inward and settles in the darkest, quietest place within. It is the wise sage, the gentle philosopher, connected to the knowledge that comes from experience – from instinct and intuition. The Water Element is represented by the season of winter, the plants and animals go into hibernation to conserve and build energy stores to prepare for the renewal of spring. The yang aspect of water is a tsunami, a raging storm in the ocean or a quick moving brook – active, aggressive and full of movement. The yin aspect of water is a still lake or a gently stream – smaller bodies of water, a softer energy. The archetype of Water is the wise old sage, clever, evasive and often encourages us to look within ourselves for the answer. The Water Element is introspective, with deep thoughts and calming energy. They take in knowledge by observing and experiencing the world around them. They listen to their inner voice, their instinct and their intuition – they can seem wiser than their years. They are good at conserving energy physically and financially. They do not hoard or squander their time, money or energy and need rest and stillness to recharge. The Water Element is connected to innovations, great ideas are like spark in the darkness.

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The Benefits of Abdominal Self Massage

chi nei tsangChi Nei Tsang is a Chinese style of abdominal massage and it can be used for many benefits. The abdomen stores our gut instinct and massage can help with detoxification and rejuvenation for most of the internal organs as well as strengthening our instinct. Self massage is a wonderful way to empower yourself and take an active part in self care. Abdominal massage can help with digestive issues, back pain, headaches, menstrual pain and improve sleep. I usually recommend that people administer self massage in the morning before getting out of bed or in the evening before going to sleep. The basic massage technique is to begin by placing your hands below your navel and breathing deeply into the lower abdomen. Smile at your abdomen and feel gratitude for all of your organs taking care of you. Next, you may begin the massage steps. You can do 3 whole repetitions, the first time using light, superficial touch on the abdomen, the second time, moving a little more deeply into the muscular layer and the third time going more deeply still, to the organ layer. The first few times you try self massage, you may feel uncomfortable going deeply to the muscle and organ level and prefer to stay at the superficial level. Trust your body and allow yourself time for your body to relax. Using two fingers from both hands with slow circular motions, start on the left side of your navel, moving clockwise around your belly button (towards your right) staying close to the navel. Once finishing an entire circle of the abdomen you may begin again, moving slightly outside from where you finished, a little further from the navel and repeat the circular massage motions until you have covered the entire abdomen. If there are any areas that feel tender to the touch you can breathe into the area and focus the massage there until the discomfort dissipates. That completes one repetition. Repeat a second time into the muscular layer and a third time into the organ level. Notice if it’s always the same spots that feel tender when you do self massage of if your tummy slowly begins to feel less tender over time.

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Happy Lunar New Year – 2015!

sheep1The Wood Sheep

2015 is the year of the Wood Sheep. Sheep are a yin earth animal, they prefer to live in herds together and have strong mothering tendencies. They are gentle, tender and kind. This year is good year for strengthening your sense of community and nurturing your relationships, especially with family. It is also a great time to focus on cultivating your nurturing qualities such as kindness, cooperation and generosity. Following the year of the Horse which encouraged us to dream big, this year is for introspection, self reflection and gratitude for what has been accomplished. Since the Sheep sign correlates so strongly with family and home ties, the creativity of the sheep will come through in bringing beauty and peace back into the home. Make sure your home feels comfortable, welcoming and tidy. Sheep are also extremely hardy and can endure harsh conditions, they are a symbol of stability, strength and kindness in the face of hardship. Since Sheep have a strong Earth Element base, which relates to the abundance of Mother Earth, this will be a year of abundance and you will be taken care of. Be mindful though, not to take too much and practice gratitude for what you have received. The virtues of the Wood and Earth element combined creates a beautiful virtue of sincere benevolence: doing good for others out of the pure joy of doing it – expecting nothing in return. With every New Year comes the time to clean and de-clutter. Clean out the front porch and entry way to welcome good luck. Make sure you sweep out the dirt and get rid of excess that you don’t need in order to make room for the new. Things to do this year to nourish the Sheep sign: ~ Join a group or a club ~Practice kindness and cooperation ~Offer compassion, empathy and love ~Express your creativity by making your home into a beautiful, peaceful place that reflects what you want in your life ~Forgive old hurts through resolution and understanding ~Strengthen your family relationships ~Allow yourself time for contemplation ~Meditation : Feel the strength and stability of who you are within your body, your mind. Trust this strength and feel it support you in your life.  

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18 Ways of Living According to the Dao

The Dao is literally translated as the way, the way of life, of living according to the laws of nature in order live a peaceful, healthy prosperous life. All anybody wants is life where they love themselves, love others and have happiness – why do we deny ourselves of these basis desires? Here are some nice “rules” to help cultivate the life you truly want. “The fool tries to control the mind with the mind – what folly! The wise one delights in self alone. There is no mind to master” – Astravakra Gita         Rule 1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk. Rule 2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson Rule 3. Follow the three Rs: 1. Respect for self 2. Respect for others 3. Responsibility for all your actions. Rule 4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck. Rule 5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly. Rule 6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship. Rule 7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it. Rule 8. Spend some time alone every day. Rule 9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values. Rule 10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer. Rule 11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time. Rule 12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life. Rule 13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past. Rule 14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality. Rule 15. Be gentle with the earth. Rule 16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before. Rule 17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other. Rule 18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it. http://www.the-open-mind.com/18-rules-of-living-by-the-dalai-lama/#Je8WPzbwmfge8PML.01  

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Posted in Health and Wellness

Ending Morning Sickness

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5 Favorite Supplements

imagesSo many supplements, how do you know where to start? Or maybe you’re looking to just maintain or optimize your health? Here are a few of my favorite things – supplement things that is! To increase absorption and use, get the appropriate ones in liquid form. 1. Cod Liver Oil – this is one of the few supplements that is actually like a whole food! Since it’s derived from the liver of the fish it contains natural Vit D & A to support healthy tissues, eyes and a good mood 🙂 It lubricates the whole body acting as a natural anti-inflammatory and blood thinner meaning it can be helpful for arthritis and coronary disease. Plus with all those essential fatty acids your skin will never be dry and you may even find your cognition improves. (available in liquid) 2. Probiotics – our world is majorly lacking in good bacteria. Entire cultures of bacteria no longer exist, in food, in the air. Plus with our diets lacking in fermented foods, our intestines have very different flora than they once did. Supplement with a probiotic containing multiple strands of bacteria can help not only digestion, gas and bloating but can increase our immune function, since most of our immunity actually comes from a healthy gut! (available in liquid) 3. L – Glutamine – a natural free amino acid, it can actually help repair the small and large intestine which will help with the absorption of essential vitamins and nutrients. It also helps our body heal faster from injury and because of the connection between the intestines and immune system, again, it will help ward off infections! 4. Magnesium – is an essential mineral for the body. It helps build bones, it improves heart function, relaxes the muscles and improves nerve function. Many people find that it can improve sleep, soften bowels and improve ADHD. (available in liquid) 5, Salt – that’s right – good ‘ol celtic style sea salt (that means the salt will look wet and grey) contains many trace minerals that our body needs to fire efficiently. So start using celtic sea salt in turn for regular salt or add a grain to water if you’re an excessive sweater or you feel chronically dehydrated.

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Reflecting on the Mirror Concept of Judgements

For some interesting reason we feel the need to judge people, situations, activities -maybe it has something to do with wanting to be right. Whatever the reason, making judgements is a complete waste of energy and time and generally, lacks truth. Judgements are lies that we create, that we then believe to be true.

I was reading a “controversial” post about a picture of a very thin woman wearing her child’s pajamas. It was ludicrous reading everyone’s different comments and how invested people were getting about this photo – the photo that had nothing to do with them! Some people were hating on her, some people were standing up for her but none of them actually new anything real/true about the photo – it was all judgements.  As I was reflecting on this absurdity, I started thinking how every different person’s comment (whether negative or positive) was a reflection of their own personal triggers and egotistical hardships at this point in their life.  Then they projected their emotional reaction to those triggers onto this other person, like it was a valid opinion.  In reality, their opinion contains absolutely no truth about the situation, it is only a manifestation of where they are in their life.  We are so blind to this concept that we then try to defend our opinion, but what we are actually doing is defending our reaction, our triggers, our pain.  It becomes another way to cling to our suffering.  When we stop defending our judgements we take the first step of letting go of our pain.  Next time you start to create a judgement about something, stop, ask yourself “What is this really about? What pain am I defending within myself? Do I have any real experience to base this judgement on?”  You can begin to use your judgements as a mirror, see what is it reflecting back at you. It is an opportunity to let go, to heal, to grow, to find peace within your being.

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