|Alaska Center for Acupuncture Summer Newsletter 2007|
Welcome to the Summer Edition of our Newsletter!
Every Alaskan knows what Summer is about: FUN, FUN, FUN and more FUN! According to Chinese medical theory, Summer - associated with the Fire Element - is also nature's season of growth and maturation. It's time to take the creative ideas that bubbled up in Spring and bring them into fruition or maturity. This is just like nurturing tiny plants and seeds into nourishing produce that can be harvested and used to sustain us throughout the rest of the year.
Summer is also about re-connecting with our friends and family as well as forging new interpersonal connections in our lives.
According to Chinese Medicine, individuals achieve health by creating dynamic harmony both internally and externally. Just as we strive to maintain our health and well-being via diet, exercise, rest and stress management, it is equally important to observe what is happening all around us in nature. Humans are not individual, isolated units - we each have our dance to play in the cosmos.
As Alaskans, this comes acutely into awareness as some us struggle to get good sleep with all the "extra" light. This time of year, many people come into our practice feeling sleep deprived, anxious, or over- stimulated. In fact, there is a sort of intensely manic energy in the air as we strive to get EVERYTHING done in the short but brilliant Alaskan Summer.
In fact, the Chinese say that balanced energy in the summer has to do with the transformation from the anxiety driven, "gotta do it now" scattered mind-set, to something that they would call "propriety." Propriety is not uptightness, or "miss-manners" type etiquette. Rather it's about the ability to be present to exactly what is going on in the moment, RIGHT NOW.
If you are completely focused in the present moment, you won't be wasting any precious energy worrying about what you should be doing or what you could have done yesterday. Propriety is also a state of being where you are so in tune to the currents moving around you that actions become effortless. It's clear in every moment what is called for, and there is no internal struggle about what comes next.
As June 21st, the Summer Solstice, approaches, the acupuncture points that help us align with the energy of Summer will have the most power that they have all year round. Every one of our patients receives great benefits when we needle these points as close to the solstice as possible. If you are finding yourself challenged in this season OR if you just want to manifest your potential this summer, then it would be great to get in for a tune up treatment some time in the next few weeks.
We hope to see you soon!
Kevin and Sam
New Room At ACA
To celebrate Summer, we have added a new 220 square foot workshop/meditation room to our office. We are very excited about this new addition which will open up many possibilities for what we can offer to the community.
Our first regular offering will be a silent meditation group that meets the second Tuesday of every month at 7pm. This group is only open to our current patients because we include acupuncture for all participants as part of the meditation. The next group is scheduled for Tuesday, July 10th.
The format of the group is as follows: A short introduction followed by ear acupuncture for all participants. 30 minutes or more listening to an Eckhart Tolle CD. Eckhart Tolle is a master at guiding people into stillness and deep meditative states. He is also the author of the books "The Power of Now" and "A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's True Purpose". We will conclude with at least 20-30 minutes of silence. There will be no talking or discussion at the end of the group, because the goal is to encourage everyone to go deeply into a meditative state of stillnes and resist the temptation to engage on the mental level.
Here's what Eckhart Tolle has to say about the power of stillness:
"To meet everything and everyone through stillness instead of mental noise is the greatest gift you can offer to the universe. I call it stillness, but it is a jewel with many facets: that stillness is also joy, and it is love. "
Our first meditation group was a huge success. We only have limited space for participants, so please call us if you are interested in getting on the list for the next group.
Other possibilities for this space will include extended weekend workshops, acupuncture open-house evenings and possibly even an introductory course on Chinese Medicine for those of you who are interested in learning more about acupuncture theory.
Please feel free to contact us if you have ideas or suggestions about what kinds of wellness oriented community acitivites you would like see in the future.
To learn more about Eckhart Tolle and silent meditation groups based on his teachings, please visit the website below:
Chiropractic and Your Health - Enhance Your Health with Chiropractic Care
Our next FREE Workshop features Dr. Stacey Lowe speaking about the benefits of Chiropractic care. The workshop will be held at Alaska Center for Acupuncture in our new space on Wednesday, June 27th at 7pm. Dr. Stacey owns Life Family Chiropractic in Wasilla, and she specializes in working with pregnant moms as well as babies and young children.
Chiropractic is the science, philosophy and art of adjusting the spine to enable your nervous system to function at its optimal level. Chiropractors analyze and correct misalignments of the vertebrae which can irritate the nerves and hinder the ability of the body to send messages through the spine, resulting in pain, discomfort, and restricted movement. Chiropractic care can directly influence the nervous system and enhance its function which results in more range of motion, less pain, higher energy levels and better function overall. In addition, chiropractors make lifestyle recommendations that promote wellness and aid in prevention and treatment of disease and injury.
Please click the link below to view the printable flyer for this event:
Please call us at 745-8688 to register for this workshop. Space is limited, so call early.
Our next FREE workshop in July will feature Pamela Stephen, Licensed Massage Therapist, speaking about the benefits of massage. Pam is currently offering chair massage at the Friday Fling by the Depot in Palmer, and she offers a variety of different massage techniques in her office as well. Pam also sells spa baskets and homemade massage related gifts. Call Pam for more information at: 715-8748.
Rhubarb with Lemon, Ginger and Agave Nectar
Rhubarb is everywhere right now, but I've always been intimidated by using it, mostly because I thought you had to peel it first before it would be palatable.
Fortunately, this year, Kevin and I started sharing a garden with Dori McDannold (yoga teacher at Yoga In the Vally and Licensed Massage Therapist). Dori has been growing organic veggies for years, so we asked her about rhubarb. She said you absolutely do not have to peel it. The secret is to cook it for a long time. And she mentioned that some people add lemon and ginger.
I love easy solutions, so I took some from her garden and invented the ridiculously easy recipe below.
The recipe uses agave nectar instead of sugar, visit the link below to learn more about this versatile sweetener:
From a Chinese Medical standpoint, rhubarb is great for relieving constipation and improving/stimulating the flow of secretions from the liver which convey the bile salts. The learn more about the medicinal uses of rhubarb, click the link below:
Organize and Share Photos with Flickr
We love taking photos and sharing them with friends and family. Flickr makes it easy to upload and organize digital photos and share them with everyone. Instead of sending individual photos to everyone on our list, we simply send a URL that links directly to the group of photos we want to share.
Here's a link to our photo collection from the Eklutna Twin Peaks Hike:
Flickr has free accounts and professional accounts starting at $24.95/year. Here's a link to their home page:
YellowBot - A New Interactive Internet Yellow Pages
YellowBot is essentially a local search site for finding and reviewing the places you go to in your community (and elsewhere). As an integral part of the site they are are building ways for patrons and business owners to exchange tips and experiences.
As a user, you can write reviews of local businesses, upload photos, get recommendations from other yellowbot users for your hometown and other places you like to visit and so much more.
YellowBot combines the best of internet yellow pages search functions with the ability to link to your social networking sites. You can link to other people that you trust and read their reviews and recommmendations. Membership is totally free.
Here's a link to YellowBot's home page to learn more:
And their frequently asked questions:
If you join, please take moment to give us a review. We appreciate the feedback.
As most of you know, it our our mission to help you feel empowered to take care of your own health. With that in mind, we offer 4 books that delve into the inner workings of the medical and pharmaceutical industry in order to expose some of the ways that these industries DO NOT have your best interests in mind. If you are serious about your health, information is the best tool you can have. Please note that the following reviews come from Fireside's website and Amazon's website - we did not write them:
Thirty years ago, Henry Gadsden told Fortune that he wanted Merck to be more like chewing gum-maker Wrigley's. It had long been his dream to make drugs for healthy people--to "sell to everyone." Gadsden's dream now drives the marketing machinery of the most profitable industry on earth. Using their dominating influence in the world of medical science, drug companies are systematically working to widen the very boundaries that define illness. Old conditions are expanded and new ones created, and the markets for medication grow ever large. Runny noses are now allergic rhinitis, PMS has become a psychiatric disorder, and hyperactive children have ADD. When it comes to conditions like high cholesterol or low bone density, being "at risk" is sold as a disease in its own right. Selling Sickness reveals how widening the boundaries of illness and lowering the threshold for treatments is creating millions of new patients and billions in new profits. As ordinary life becomes increasingly medicalized, the industry moves ever closer to Gadsden's dream: "selling to everyone."
During her two decades at "The" "New England Journal of Medicine," Dr. Marcia Angell had a front-row seat on the appalling spectacle of the pharmaceutical industry. She watched drug companies stray from their original mission of discovering and manufacturing useful drugs and instead become vast marketing machines with unprecedented control over their own fortunes. She saw them gain nearly limitless influence over medical research, education, and how doctors do their jobs. She sympathized as the American public, particularly the elderly, struggled and increasingly failed to meet spiraling prescription drug prices. Now, in this bold, hard-hitting new book, Dr. Angell exposes the shocking truth of what the pharmaceutical industry has become- and argues for essential, long-overdue change. Currently Americans spend a staggering $200 billion each year on prescription drugs. As Dr. Angell powerfully demonstrates, claims that high drug prices are necessary to fund research and development are unfounded: The truth is that drug companies funnel the bulk of their resources into the marketing of products of dubious benefit. Meanwhile, as profits soar, the companies brazenly use their wealth and power to push their agenda through Congress, the FDA, and academic medical centers. Zeroing in on hugely successful drugs like AZT (the first drug to treat HIV/AIDS), Taxol (the best-selling cancer drug in history), and the blockbuster allergy drug Claritin, Dr. Angell demonstrates exactly how new products are brought to market. Drug companies, she shows, routinely rely on publicly funded institutions for their basic research; they rig clinical trials to make their products look better than theyare; and they use their legions of lawyers to stretch out government-granted exclusive marketing rights for years. They also flood the market with copycat drugs that cost a lot more than the drugs they mimic but are no more effective. The American pharmaceutical industry needs to be saved, mainly from itself, and Dr. Angell proposes a program of vital reforms, which includes restoring impartiality to clinical research and severing the ties between drug companies and medical education. Written with fierce passion and substantiated with in- depth research, "The Truth About the Drug Companies" is a searing indictment of an industry that has spun out of control.
From the New England Journal of Medicine, March 17, 2005 One of my favorite articles in the medical literature appeared in these pages a little more than a decade ago. "The Last Well Person" (N Engl J Med 1994;330:440-1) was an Occasional Note written by a Tennessee physician, Clifton Meador. It was a fictional scenario that was to take place in the not-too-distant future. The lone character was a 53-year-old professor of freshman algebra at a small college in the Midwest. Despite extensive medical evaluation, no doctor had been able to find anything wrong with him. But he was the only remaining person for whom this was true. Although it was just a story, Meador warned that "if the behavior of doctors and the public continues unabated, eventually every well person will be labeled sick." I share his concern about our proclivity for diagnostic labels and went on to write a book on the topic, specifically as it applies to the increasingly frequent diagnosis of cancer. In mentioning this, my intention is to disclose two opposing potential conflicts of interest -- a commitment to the topic and authorship of a competing work -- that might influence my review of Nortin Hadler's book, which pays tribute to Meador's article by using the same title. Hadler is worried about our increasing tendency to overtreat and overdiagnose. In the first section of the book, he assails the current practices that are relevant to the two most common causes of death in Americans: heart disease and cancer. He suggests that the current management of myocardial infarction and angina "veers towards Type II Medical Malpractice" (treatment is not needed), that coronary bypass surgery benefits only a fraction of the patients who undergo it, and that, although it is a gentler procedure, angioplasty is just as bad. He goes on to suggest that the reduction in absolute risk is too small to warrant cholesterol reduction in the population at large and that the efforts to address the so-called metabolic syndrome (lipid disorder plus obesity, diabetes, and hypertension) with diet and exercise are misguided. His assessment of cancer prevention is equally stark: screening for colorectal cancer will "not affect mortality from all causes," mammography produces "almost nothing of value," and "no man should think that [prostate] surgery will increase his time on earth." It is a brutal critique of much of what we do in medicine.
Getting tested to detect cancer early is one of the best ways to stay healthy--or is it? In this lively, carefully researched book, a nationally recognized expert on early cancer detection challenges one of medicine's most widely accepted beliefs: that the best defense against cancer is to always try to catch it early. Read this book and you will think twice about common cancer screening tests such as total body scans, mammograms, and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests. Combining patient stories and solid data on common cancers, Dr. H. Gilbert Welch makes the case that testing healthy people for cancer is really a double- edged sword: while these tests may help, they often have surprisingly little effect and are sometimes even harmful. Bringing together a body of little-known medical research in an engaging and accessible style, he discusses in detail the pitfalls of screening tests, showing how they can miss some cancers, how they can lead to invasive, unnecessary treatments, and how they can distract doctors from other important issues. Welch's conclusions are powerful, counterintuitive, and disturbing: the early detection of cancer does not always save lives, it can be hard to know who really has early cancer, and there are some cancers better left undiscovered. "Should I Be Tested for Cancer? "is the only book to clearly and simply lay out the pros and cons of cancer testing for the general public. It is indispensable reading for the millions of Americans who repeatedly face screening tests and who want to make better- informed decisions about their own health care.
Web Animation Parody from Mercola.com
The following animated short is a parody that take on drug companies and the conventional healthcare system. Make sure your speakers are on when you launch the link:
Feldenkrais Workshop - Living in a Body, An Owners Guide to Moving Naturally
Robyn Avalon will lead this workshop in Palmer on July 6th - 8th. The organizer is Jonnie Gunther. Please contact Jonnie for more information or to register. 746-1390 or 355-9973. The cost is $500 and CEU's are available.
The Feldenkrais Method is for anyone who wants to reconnect with their natural abilities to move, think and feel. Whether you want to be more comfortable sitting at your computer, playing with your children and grandchildren, or performing a favorite pastime, these gentle lessons can improve your overall well being. Learning to move with less effort makes daily life easier. Because the Feldenkrais Method focuses on the relationship between movement and thought, increased mental awareness and creativity accompany physical improvements. Everyone, from athletes and artists to administrators and attorneys, can benefit from the Feldenkrais Method. We improve our well being when we learn to fully use ourselves. Our intelligence depends upon the opportunity we take to experience and learn on our own. This self learning leads to full, dynamic living. Ordinarily, we learn just enough to function. For example, we learn to use our hands well enough to eat, our legs well enough to walk. Our abilities to function with a greater range of ease and skill, however, remain to be developed. The Feldenkrais Method teaches-through movement-how we can improve our capabilities to function in our daily lives.
Harry Potter Event Sponsored by Fireside Books
We don't have all the details yet, but the closest you can come to Diagon Ally is Downtown Palmer, Alaska, where neighborhood merchants will celebrate the exciting conclusion to the Harry Potter series July 20 and 21. We'll find out who dies, who lives, who hooks up with whom! Downtown Palmer has always had the best Harry Potter parties in the state of Alaska, and this year we're going all out! This will be a fitting conclusion to the series. Pre-order your book at Fireside for a 30% discount today. Alaska Center for Acupuncture will be participating in the event (in costume!!) on Friday night, July 20th from 9-11pm. Please stop by to say hello.
Ellis Paul at Vagabond Blues
One of our favorite folk singers will be playing tomorrow night - Saturday, June 16th - at Vagabond Blues at 7:30pm. If there are still tickets available, you will not regret coming to the show.
From a review for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange by Roberta B. Schwartz:
"Ellis Paul is one of the best singer/songwriters of his generation. And for many of us he is the face of contemporary folk music-few are as smart, as literate and as poetic as Paul. He has spun his story songs for nearly twenty years now, and has eleven studio recordings (with an additional two early recordings on cassette-now available on CD) to his credit. I cannot think of another artist on the acoustic music scene who is better-loved by fans, or more respected by his contemporaries."
Our Recent Articles in the Frontiersman
If you missed our most recent two articles in the Frontiersman, here are the links below: