What is Fascial Distortion Model?
The Fascial Distortion Model (FDM) is a soft tissue technique for the diagnosis and treatment for common musculoskeletal conditions. By Identifying six specific problems or “distortions” in the body’s connective tissue we can improve conditions such as pulled muscles, strains, sprains and frozen shoulders. With FDM, you can benefit from a quicker reduction of pain, and often immediate improvements in range of motion restrictions.
What to Expect
In FDM we identify where your pain is, how it affects or restricts your activity, and then fixing it. With many of the distortions a deep pressure is needed to relieve the distortion, which can be painful. If the pain you are experiencing is too much to tolerate always tell your provider! Treatment can always be adjusted to make it both effective and tolerable for you. You may experience some fatigue after a session due to the intense nature of the FDM treatment.
In conjunction with Acupuncture, Cupping, Gua Sha, and Herbal and Nutritional recommendations, we include FDM to help you achieve your optimum health and the best results for the issue at hand.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!
For some reason I'm always more motivated to eat better in the spring and summer. As the days get colder and shorter, I just want to fill my tummy with warm, cheesy, heavy foods - the kind that make you just want to curl up on the couch and take a nap.
After 5 days in a row of eating meals consisting of mostly cheese and bread, I realized that it was time to put down the mac and cheese (even if it is made with artisanal cheese) and re-evaluate my diet and add some health food in there.
Kale has been cultivated for over 2,000 years. In much of Europe it was the most widely eaten green vegetable until the Middle Ages when other types of cabbage became more popular. Historically it has been important in colder regions due to its resistance to frost. Kale is a very handy ingredient and it is one of the few green vegetables that is more abundant and flavorful during the colder months of the year. It also makes an excellent ingredient in hearty, warming soups.
Kale is a nutritionally rich food containing:
Secrets and Tips
Buying and Types of Kale
Kale should have a fresh green color with moist, crisp, un-wilted leaves. There are normally 2 types of kale you'll find at the supermarket
Keep kale in a plastic bag with 1 paper towel (to absorb any extra moisture) in the fridge. Kale becomes increasingly bitter and strongly flavored the longer it is kept and so is best eaten soon after buying.
For all types of kale its good to give it a nice wash in water to remove any dirt clinging to the inside of the leaves.
In a large salad bowl, combine the (massaged) kale, parsley, lentils or garbanzo beans, apples, cucumber, avocado
For the dressing, blend everything in a food processor or blender, with salt and pepper to taste, until the garlic is smooth.
Pour the dressing on the salad and toss well to coat.The salad will keep in the fridge for a full day and slowly lose it's crunch from there.
I was out of town this past weekend for a wedding and while at the ceremony I met a lot of great people but also helped to answer their questions about acupuncture and Chinese medicine. The most common question that came up: how often and how long will I need to get acupuncture before seeing results?. Unfortunately, this is my most difficult question to answer and there isn't always exact timeline.
But after hearing this question so many times, I realized that the time commitment aspect involved with acupuncture is really important, but also unclear, to a majority of people. This week I sat down to try and organize an answer this question the best way I could. I broke it down into two different ways of viewing it: by levels and different types of common treatment plans.
3 Common Acupuncture Treatment Levels
Level 1: Pain Relief - Treating the Symptoms
Level 3.1: When Seasons Change
I'm sneaking this one in here. Have you ever felt slightly off and then suddenly realized its during a seasonal transition like from winter to spring? Just like the environment around us, our bodies react to the changing seasons. Seasonal acupuncture tune ups help the body to cope with shifting energy and emotions, changing temperatures, allergens, and increasing daylight or night time.
Different Types of Treatment Plans
Acupuncture treatments work cumulatively. Number of visits depends on the intensity and origin of the imbalance.
As a condition improves, the recommended frequency of treatment decreases. Acupuncture helps the human body function more efficiently so you can better manage stress, prevent and fight illness, and heal from injury. Together we will fine tune and customize your treatment to help you become happy, healthy, and balanced.
Any questions? Don't hesitate to email or call me!
While I love history, I am no historian. Furthermore, where acupuncture is concerned I am definitely not an impartial observer. Once began to settle and open my private practice Oakland I realized I didn't have the faintest clue regarding the historical roots of acupuncture, not only California but the United States. In my everyday life I've thrown around phrases like “2000 years old” and “ancient medicine with modern practicalities” which are all true but these statements are so obtuse that at times I even have a hard time connecting to them to a historical context.
For most of us in America, we can date acupuncture to landing on our shores in 1972 when then President Nixon traveled to China while accompanied by a journalist from the New York Times. While in China the journalist, James Reston, fell ill and required an emergency appendectomy that was performed in Chinese hospital. To relieve his pain before and after surgery doctors administered acupuncture. Reston was so impressed with the pain relief that acupuncture provided, he wrote about his experience upon returning to the United States.
What James Reston, and even I, didn’t realize was that acupuncture and Chinese medicine mostly likely were introduced to Europe and the United States sometime during the 17th century. While still limited, by the 19th century European physicians, especially in France, began publishing detailed accounts of their experiences practicing acupuncture not only on themselves but on their patients as well. Although largely unnoticed, published papers from Europe began to arrive on eastern sea board of the United States in the early 1800’s. In 1829, the American edition of Tavernier’s Elements of Operative Surgery, includes a three page article on how and when to perform acupuncture and an operation similar to electro-acupuncture.
The first documented acupuncturists and herbalists in the U.S. were Ing Hay and Lung On. In 1887, Ing Hay arrived in the mining town John Day, in Eastern Oregon. He soon began practicing Chinese medicine with fellow practitioner Lung On, serving both the Chinese and Caucasian community there. Doctor Hay and On were both arrested several times for practicing medicine without a license but due to their popularity in the community, each case brought against them was dismissed.
Fast forwarding, there are a couple pioneers from the twentieth century that helped to advance and legalize the practice of Chinese medicine in America. I’m proud to say that not only did major developments take place in California but they were also accomplished by women.
Efforts to legalize acupuncture began with the American born Barbara Bernie. Suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome Barbara traveled all the way from Silicon Valley, California to Canada in 1971 to receive acupuncture treatments for her condition. The treatment worked so well that she accepted a referral to an acupuncturist practicing illegally in San Francisco. From 1971, she tirelessly pursued legislation culminating, in 1975, in the legalization of acupuncture in the State of California. Barbara Bernie later traveled to the United Kingdom to attend a school of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture becoming one of the first licensed Caucasian acupuncturists in the United States.
In 1966 Miriam Lee immigrated to the United States and quietly started a revolution that would help to lead to the legalization of acupuncture in California, and set a precedent for the rest of the United States. When arrested in 1975 for practicing medicine without a license, her patients lined the courtroom to testify on her behalf and days later California Governor Ronald Reagan legalized acupuncture as an experimental procedure. In 1976, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation legalizing acupuncture as an accepted medical practice in California, and Lee became one of the state's first licensed acupuncturists. Miriam Lee ran the Acupuncture Association of America from its inception in 1980 until 1998.
In the past 40 years:
· Over 46 states have legalized and regulated acupuncture and Chinese medicine
· Since the mid-1980s acupuncture schools have accepted national accreditation standards
· In the mid-1980s a national examination in acupuncture began, which most states accept for licensing
· There are approximately 50 accredited schools of acupuncture / Chinese medicine in America
· Thanks to the hard work of acupuncturists like Bob Flaws and other Chinese medicine pioneers, hundreds of new books have been published in English, including many translations of classic and modern Chinese works
· The World Health Organization published Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials, listing over 30 symptoms, diseases, and conditions that have been shown through controlled trials to be treated effectively by acupuncture.
· As of 2004, nearly 50% of Americans who were enrolled in employer health insurance plans were covered for acupuncture treatments and with Obama Care that number is increasing.
· There are currently over 20,000 licensed acupuncturists practicing in America
For me it’s easy to envision the future of acupuncture and Chinese medicine here on my home turf. I can see it becoming a part of everyday life, no longer boxed in as an alternative form of health care. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine is cost-effective, provides a safe, virtually side effect-free method of recovery from pain after surgery, lessens postoperative nausea, constipation, and urinary difficulties, and can manage existing conditions like hypertension, anxiety and insomnia.
 Cassedy, J.H. Early uses of acupuncture in the Uniter States, with an Addendum (1826) by Franklin Bache, M.D. Bull N Y Acad Med. 1974 Sep;50(8):892-906
It's happening again....the weather is starting to change. All around town you'll see people walking with their warm jackets and scarfs that were previously living in the back of closets.
In Chinese medicine each season is linked with an element, organ, and emotion. To autumn belongs to the Metal Element, the Lung organ, and Grief as the emotion. During autumn, energy begins to turn inward and its a good time to sincerely evaluate what is of value in our lives and what needs to be discarded.
I really enjoyed the "Tips for Fall" that Acu Take Health put out last Autumn. They covered the basics but I really liked that they took into account the emotional aspects that can creep up on us when the seasons start to change. I'm posting AcuTake's tips and mixed in with some tricks of my own below. Hope you find them as helpful as I did.
Thanks to a great friend and fellow acupuncturist Aubry Fisher for use of her photo above
Staying Healthy this Fall
Grab Your Scarf
Keep your body warm and avoid getting chilled as the days begin to cool down.
Feeling dehydrated and just plain dry is really common during the fall months. Everything from dry, scratchy throats to constipation to dry flaky skin.
Its recommended to have 6 - 8 glasses of water a day.
There are also some great foods that can help keep you hydrated like cucumbers, celery, spinach, and carrots.
This means something different for everyone of us. Even if you haven't experienced a traumatic event recently, fall is a good to focus inward and check in with your emotions. There could be issues of unresolved loss, sadness, or just plain bummed out that summer is fading away.
Make To-Do Lists
Fall is all about being prepared for winter that's coming.
Getting organized and staying focused are key during these months. By making lists of jobs you need to do and things you want to do, you can start prioritizing whats important.
Eat Warming Foods
Drop those cold foods and drinks - they belong in summer. Just think, you spend all that effort keeping the outside of your body warm, why not the inside?
Focus on root vegetables that are in season such as beets, turnips, carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and squash are ideal. If you’re craving fruit, pick something seasonal such as apples, pears, grapes, figs or persimmons
The Lung organ (that's paired with Fall) loves movement! When we keep active, we are also helping to keep our Lung organ happy and balanced. Any form of exercise counts, just make sure you're getting at least 30 mins exercise a day that you enjoy.
"Oh No - What's that Tickle In My Throat"
This will boost your immune system, warm you up, and chase away a cold or flu. It's best to drink this tea at the first sign of feeling a cold/flu come on.
1 medium piece of ginger (about 2 inches) - sliced into large pieces
1 scallions (or green onions) including the roots
1 rolls of cinnamon bark
(this a non-powdered form of cinnamon and can be found at any market)
1 pear - cut into large pieces
Place ingredients in a large pot and cover with at least 2 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat to a simmer. After 30 minutes, remove the scallion and continue simmering for another 10-15 minutes.
Use a ladle to serve yourself some "tea" and enjoy while hot. This beverage is strong and full of energy, with only a hint of both sweetness (cinnamon) and earthiness (scallions).
Pick out the pear pieces and place aside. Let the pear cool and enjoy separately. In traditional Chinese medicine, pear is considered a "cooling" fruit that lubricates the lungs and quiets coughs.
A common complaint I hear from patients is "I'm not getting enough sleep" or "I don't get quality sleep". Statements like this are music to my acupuncture ears. If you are experiencing insomnia or poor quality of sleep, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine thrive at getting the body back into a healthy sleep rhythm.
In my opinion, other than water, sleep is one of the most important aspects in our lives, its the ultimate “down time.” Many critical physiological functions occur when we sleep and its when our body has time to repair itself. Unfortunately for many people out there, sleep, or going to sleep, is not the daily ritual it should be.
Lack of sleep can lead to a number of problems like increased chronic pain, poor memory, decreased sex drive, lead to accidents (like car crashes or at work), depression, anxiety, increased look of aging, increased weight gain, impaired judgement, and serious illness like heart problems, diabetes, and risk of stroke.
Traditional Chinese medicine recognizes the importance of adequate sleep for physical, psychological and spiritual well being. Factors like physical injury, stress, illness, and poor diet all contribute to an imbalance that can lead to insomnia or poor quality of sleep. Since in Chinese medical terms there is no one prescription for insomnia, your acupuncturist will often ask many questions about your overall health to try and pinpoint the factors leading that are leading to your poor sleep. Everyone's treatment plan and suggestions will vary depending on your unique symptoms but most patients begin seeing some relief with in the first 4-5 sessions.
Tips for Treating your Sleep Problems with Acupuncture
Tips for Better Sleep
If you try some of these ideas, let me know how they work for you. Or, send me your sleep tips (or comment below) and I will share them – people reading the blog post in the middle of the night might be grateful
1. Keep A Regular Sleep Schedule
Getting in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle—your circadian rhythm—is one of the most important strategies for achieving good sleep. Doing things like keep a regular sleep schedule, going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, and be smart about taking naps are great strategies for getting better sleep.
2. Naturally Regulate Your Sleep Cycle
Melatonin hormone occurs naturally and is controlled by light exposure. Melatonin main job is to help regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Your brain should secrete more in the evening, when it’s dark, to make you sleepy, and less during the day when it’s light and you want to stay awake and alert. However, many aspects of our daily modern life can disrupt your body’s natural production of melatonin and with it your sleep-wake cycle.
3. Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine
Chance are that if you make a consistent effort to relax and unwind before bed, you will sleep easier and more deeply. A relaxing bedtime routine sends a powerful signal to your brain that it’s time to wind down and let go of the day’s stresses
4. Eat Right and Get Regular Exercise
What you eat during the daytime and how much you exercise play a role in how well you sleep. It’s particularly important to watch what you put in your body in the hours leading up to your bedtime.
5. Work on Cutting Down on Stress and Anxiety
Stress, worry, and anger leftover from your day can make it very difficult to sleep well. When you wake up or can’t get to sleep, take note of what seems to be the recurring theme. That will help you figure out what you need to do to get your stress and anger under control during the day.
6. Ways to Get Back to Sleep
7. Know When to Seek Help
If you've tried it all and are still having trouble sleeping or not feeling rested upon waking, it might be time to consider seeking outside help. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
Even though its technically summer here in Wellington, the weather has not been quite up to my Los Angeles standards of high temps, sunny skies, and warm beaches. Good news, this delicious healthy soup has been great all year long. Its my go-to, feel good meal that makes it into the rotation at least once every two weeks. Also, by pre-measuring ingredients and spices, I've been able to include this recipe on my list of easy to cook camping meals.
This recipe comes from my favorite food blog and cook book Sprouted Kitchen. Its full of warming spices, veggies, and a touch (generous touch) of coconut milk for a silky creamy finish. Since I like my soups hearty, I often toss in carrot, butternut squash, or sweet potato. As with most of my meals, or any meal I can, I garnish with cilantro, avocado, and sour cream.
Don't be deterred by the long ingredient list, this is a very easy to cook recipe, the flavors balance perfectly, and once you get all the spices, they'll last a long time.
The Chinese new year is a 15 day celebration that starts on Friday, with the first new moon of the calendar year. The day marks the end of the year of the Water Snake and welcomes the start of the year of the Wooden Horse
We're just beginning to shed the skin of the snake and transitioning to the Horse. The Wooden Horse is a symbol of power and fast changes so get ready for movement. Wood represents active energy that promises growth and progress both internally and externally.
Generally, horse years are full of change, productivity and the unexpected. It's a great time to travel and maybe go for that adventure you've been dreaming of.
Most importantly, horse years emphasize the need to move forward and not look back. A classical Chinese proverb says, “be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still".
5 Things Might Not Know About The Year Of The Horse
I first encountered pu-erh tea (and many other fabulous teas) through friend and fellow acupuncturist Christina Bird Ward. Pu-erh is no ordinary tea. Its color, taste, and feel are completely different from any other tea I've tried. While I drink many different teas throughout the day (more on that to come I'm sure), having a nice cup of pu erh has been one of my favorites of late. Maybe its because I drink it in the afternoon, letting my body know that I've made it through half the day. Its strong earthy aroma and taste give my body and mind a little afternoon wake up call. What ever the reason, taking 5 mins out of the day to enjoy this cup of tea has been a nice 2014 ritual that I hope to stick with.
The best time to drink pu erh is about an hour after either breakfast or lunch (because of the caffeine content, drinking after dinner might keep some people up). Pu erh helps in aiding digestion and promoting metabolism, especially after heavy, greasy meals.
Pu-erh tea (pronounced POO-air) is the most oxidized form of tea, which means its aged for long periods of time. What makes Pu-erh so unique is that, unlike other teas which can stale over time, pu-erh mellows and improves just like a fine wine. Some pu-erh teas can be aged for over 50 years and can sell for many thousands of dollars in specialty tea stores.
Its the aging process that gives Pu-erh it's distinct flavor. After the leaves are picked, they are made into a sun-dried base tea called maocha and then fermented. After fermentation, the leaves are aged and then packed into bricks or cakes.
Pu-Erh is known for is earthy, sometimes musty, aroma and rich, smooth taste. The color of the tea can vary from golden to reddish hue and even a coffee-black.
Health Benefits of Pu-Erh
While there is little data about the health benefits of tea in humans (most research is on laboratory animals), many scientist to agree that drinking tea, from green to black to herbal, can contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
Its best to enjoy your tea alone with out the addition of sugars or milk. Research has shown that proteins found in milk called caseins can neutralizes the health benefits of tea.
Pu-erh naturally contains flavonoids and catechins, compounds believed to have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals, which over time, can cause damage in the body. Since pu-erh has been fully oxidized, it has less of an antioxidant content than green tea but it is still credited with many health benefits.
In a gentle way, you can shake the world - Gandhi
While tradition feels like too strong of a word - every weekend after New Year's Eve I like to hunker down in my home, a cafe, or library and reflect on the past year. Step one: reflect on all the changes, experiences, life lessons, goals met and forgotten. Step two: start thinking about the year ahead - new wants, goals, travel plans, etc. While some people loath the New Year's resolution, I love them - the bigger, the longer, the more outlandish, the better. I enjoy envisioning the endless possibilities that life has to offer. And while I rarely cross anything off my list by the end of the year, I find it interesting to review past year's lists. I get a glimpse into how the past year has changed my expectations, needs, and values.
I'll share a resolution that I was able to keep in 2013 - getting regular acupuncture treatments for my self. Sounds pretty funny but it was only in my youth that I received regular acupuncture treatments. As an acupuncture student and acupuncturist, I very rarely received treatments and if I did, I was either very sick or it was as a class demonstration. When 2013 came along, so did a long and frustrating bout of insomnia. This was a message - it was finally time to practice what I preach.
I found an amazing acupuncturist here in Wellington, Simon Edward, and wouldn't trade my sessions for anything. My insomnia has disappeared, I feel energized, grounded, stronger, and (with out sounding too much like a hippie) more connected to my body. Even if I didn't scientifically understand how acupuncture worked, I knew it did in fact work. I had seen the positive changes in my patients, friends, and family. What I lacked before was the actually first hand experience that I now have.
A Few of My New Year's Resolutions for 2014
10 Reasons to Get Acupuncture in 2014