- Ashley Wren Acupuncture1448 15th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90404(310) 936-2387
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- • Spring Cleaning the Mind: Meditation in this New Season •
- • Enjoying a Taste of Spring •
- • Clearing the Wind: Dealing with the Seasonal Allergies of Spring •
Acupuncture and herbal medicine often go hand-in-hand. Herbal medicine is often used in conjunction with acupuncture, as appropriate, to support the body’s healing process. Just like a traditional medical prescription, herbs are prescribed by Oriental Medicine practitioners to address a variety of health concerns. They are often prescribed as formulas rather than specific individual herbs and are tailored to the needs of the patient. And just like traditional prescription medicine, herbs are adjusted as the patient’s needs change. Some Western hospitals are now utilizing Chinese herbs in their treatment protocols. For example, the Cleveland Clinic has a licensed and certified Chinese herbalist on staff. continue reading
A study published by the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine looked at the holistic effects of acupuncture treatments. The study looked at how acupuncture treatments were conducted and evaluated. One of the areas this study looked at is how acupuncture influences the function of the brain. By using functional MRI imaging, the researchers were able to see that certain areas of the brain were stimulated during the acupuncture treatments. The study confirmed acupuncture on specific points can activate motivation centers in the brain, thus leading to increased physical motivation in the participants.
Everybody experiences times when they have lack motivation. Lack of motivation can be caused by many things: the weather, nutritional deficiencies, lack of physical activity/sunlight/sleep and yes, also by physical distancing, lack of routine, stress, threat of viral infection and unexpected semi-quarantining for over the last two months!
Motivation brings yang energy into our lives, and a lack of it is detrimental to one’s health. Even though we all know we should be exercising, eating nutritiously and getting proper sleep, many of us can easily fall into patterns where this is not the case. These unhealthy patterns can become bad habits that can actually help create and perpetuate depression, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, weight gain and digestive ailments, just to name a few. We might tell ourselves that we don’t have the time or motivation, but these are just negative (and non-productive) dialogues that we have within ourselves. EVERYBODY has time to care for themselves. Self-care is a conscious choice that we must make.
Acupuncture/acupressure, Chinese herbs and lifestyle recommendations (such as dietary adjustments, meditation and breathing techniques) can help to increase your energy. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), lack of motivation may be seen as either a deficiency of one’s constitution and/or nutritional intake and/or as stagnation along the energetic pathways that run throughout the body. Over time, this lack of movement frequently develops into depression. The good news is that TCM can address both the underlying causes of depression (that may manifest as lack of motivation), as well as the symptoms that you or a loved one may be experiencing. In TCM, this is known as treating “both the root and branch”.
The reason TCM works so well at addressing mental health issues is because it looks at the person holistically. When people go to their western doctor and tell them that they have no motivation, they’re frequently prescribed antidepressants, but the short-sightedness of that approach is that the underlying causes of the issue (or “the root”) are still not addressed. TCM looks at everything: the body, the mind, the environment and the emotions. This allows for treatments to be customized to the needs of the patient instead of a one-size-fits-all approach.
If you or someone you love is lacking in motivation or dealing with mental health symptoms, know that you’re not alone and that TCM can help. Schedule a virtual treatment today and we will create a customized care package for you to help bring some balance back in your life!
We often say in Traditional Chinese Medicine that the liver is the system most easily susceptible to stress. Stress knots the Qi (energy) and makes its flow stagnate – this happens most quickly in the liver energy system. The liver, in TCM, is in charge of the smooth flow of Qi throughout the body. This means that if Qi flow is impaired (ie, by stress), the liver system will suffer. Likewise, if the liver energy system is weak or stagnant (from lifestyle choices, diet, trauma, emotional stress, illness or genetic factors), Qi flow throughout the body may be impaired. continue reading