Starting this month I will be available for consultations at Nature's Presence in Boerne. You can find me in the store on Friday, January 25th, Monday January 28th, Friday February 8th, every other Friday after that and most Mondays. Nature's Presence now carries Chinese Herbal Formulas and I will be available to help you find the best fit for your unique condition. All Consultations are completely confidential. Sign up with a member of the staff, or call me at 512-940-8843.
As some of you already know, my life has been in flux lately. I am now settled in Boerne, Texas for a while.
If you would like to see me, please call, text or email (512-940-9943, firstname.lastname@example.org) and I'll let you know my availability. I am still in my office in Blanco, the same place that I've been for the last 10 years. The phone # for sceduling appointments is 830-833-0510. I'm starting a new Qi Gong class. Please email or text me at (512-940-8843, or email@example.com) for location and dates.
There will be a new class on acupressure for body workers beginning soon. This is suitable for anyone who wants an in depth look at how to use acupressure to treat specific problems. I'll go into the basics of traditional Chinese Medicine, a little bit of diagnosis, and we will learn a few points and techniques. This class is full of information, we will work on each other in order to gain experience, and you will learn enough to be able to add acupressure to your bodywork practice. This is level one of a series of classes designed to help anyone understand Chinese Medicine enough to help themselves feel better and more confident when going to a practitioner for acupuncture treatment.
The Opioid Addiction Epidemic and How Acupuncture Can Help article by Qi Mail™The Acupuncture Newsletter
The United States loses approximately one hundred lives a day as a consequence of the current opioid epidemic--addiction and abuse of prescription painkillers like Oxycontin and Vicodin. If projections prove correct, another half a million more casualties may be on the way over the next ten years. Opioid overdose now ranks as the number one killer for Americans younger than 50 years old.
Opioids are a class of powerful drugs used primarily as a treatment for pain and provide relief in the most excruciating of cases. Morphine, codeine, heroine, fentanyl, oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet) and hydrocodone (Vicodin) are all classified as opioids.
The High Risk of Addiction to Opioids
Unfortunately, the risk of addiction with these drugs is high because opioids are so effective and can give users a feeling of euphoria. Short term use of these drugs is the safest option as it lowers the chances of developing a drug tolerance.
Developing a tolerance means a patient must take higher and higher doses of the drug to experience the same euphoric effects. This deadly cycle of increasing drug amounts can destroy lives and lead to a potentially deadly overdose.
Treatment and Recovery from Opioid Addition
In cases where an opioid addict undergoes detoxification, withdrawal symptoms often make the process a terribly difficult experience. Signs and symptoms associated with withdrawal from opioids include: pain, intense emotional anguish, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, hypertension, tachycardia and seizures.
Treatment options for rehabilitation generally include a gradual reduction from the drug. Special drugs such as methadone and buprenorphine can help assuage withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. These drugs do not produce euphoric effects and have a lower risk of addiction.
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine for Opioid Dependence
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine treats opioid addiction in a holistic fashion. Not only is the physical body addressed, but the heart and mind as well. The heart represents the emotions, and the mind refers to the logical, cognitive functions.
A great start to assisting patients during the rehabilitation process is the utilization of a simple and effective ear acupuncture protocol. The treatment consists of ten acupuncture needles applied to five points on each ear. After needle insertion, all a patient needs to do is sit quietly in a cozy chair for at least 20 minutes, up to one hour.
The selection of ear points includes lung, shen men, autonomic point, liver and kidney. The lung point helps maintain an even, steady breathing pattern. This helps keep emotions such as grief and sadness from becoming an overwhelming burden. Additionally, it supports the respiratory and cardiovascular system. It is particularly useful for addictions related to smoking.
Shen men addresses the stress, anxiety, anguish and depression associated with opioid withdrawal. It also reduces the physical pain which may occur during the process. The autonomic point works on the nervous system by balancing the parasympathetic and sympathetic system. The former calms bodily functions, while the latter speeds things up.
The liver point aids the liver organ in cleansing the blood and removing toxic material. The kidney point is similar in function, as the kidney also plays a major role in ridding the body of harmful substances. A key difference between the points is the emotions they treat. The liver point works to reduce anger and frustration, while the kidney point helps to alleviate fear.
Some patients may require additional acupuncture points. For example, a person manifesting signs and feelings of rage could benefit with the addition of an ear point called limbic system. It reduces aggressive, compulsive behavior which may lead to violence.
The NADA Protocol and Addiction
This particular auricular therapy is known as the NADA protocol. Developed in the 1970’s due to the efforts of Dr. Michael Smith at the Lincoln Memorial Hospital in New York, NADA stands for the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association. Dr. Smith created the NADA protocol as a treatment to help many suffering with heroin addiction in the local community.
The success of the NADA program helped recovering addicts lower their chances of recidivism and increase their chances of entering society as healthy, drug-free individuals. In 1996, the World Health Organization declared acupuncture as a viable method to assist patients in withdrawing from chemical dependencies.
Three reasons why acupuncture receives such high accolades for its success in treating opioid addictions, and other substances as well, is due to its simplicity, cost-effectiveness and absence of negative side effects. It is also safe for patients of virtually any age group, and in most cases, for pregnant women.
Sometimes it is not only the patients who need treatment, but family members and loved ones who also suffer as their loved ones go through the withdrawal process. Application of the NADA protocol is safe for them and may help in dealing with their heavy emotions. It is support for the support team, so to speak.
With an estimated 2.5 million people dealing with opioid addiction, safe and effective methods are needed more than ever to curb this national public health crisis. Whether the addiction is from doctor prescribed opiates, or illegal street drugs like heroine, acupuncture and Oriental medicine provides treatment.
Fall is a time of Thankfulness.
A time to begin slowing down our energies.
Collecting and assessing what has been created throughout the spring and summer seasons.
Although we often become more frantic as the season wears on, this frantic-ness goes against the natural rhythm of nature that is telling us to slow down and prepare to hunker down in a warm and cozy place for a bit.
This frantic-ness is born of fear. The fear of not having enough.
In modern times, this manifests in not having enough Christmas presents and Christmas cheer, Christmas money, and Christmas decorations and so forth.
In times past, it might have been fear of not having enough provisions for the winter season.
Winter is a time of reflection.
A time to be still and listen to those tiny voices that get lost in the busy-ness of rushing around to get things done.
“How has it come to this?” “Why am I here?” “What is the meaning of my life?” “What is next?” “Where do I go from here?”
These are some of the questions I ponder when the stillness takes me into its bosom.
In the stillness I often find the answers that I seek.
In Chinese Medicine, winter is related to the Lungs and Large Intestines.
The associated emotion is grief or sadness.
Grief has to do with letting go of (or not being able to let go of) people, situations, or things that we love.
Inner reflection can bring awareness to suppressed or hidden grief.
This brings us the opportunity to release this grief. Tapping is one way to do this.
Starting with the Karate point, and then moving to the top of the head onward to the eyebrow, side of eye, under eye, continue through the sequence of points while tapping the point and saying out loud:
“Although I have this grief (describe your feelings, describe your grief),
I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I feel this grief, I deeply and completely love myself. “
The stronger your emotions while doing this, the more effective will be the release of emotions from tapping.
Winter can be a time of re-evaluation; a time to re-evaluate the past, to re-evaluate the future… or it could be a time for simply being in the present.
The transition time between seasons is where we shift gears.
It can be a challenge to let go of all the busy-ness, to sit still and become at peace with winter, to discover the inner self.
Personally, I have to make an effort to deliberately change my pace, especially if those around me remain in the crazy-mode.
I set aside time to bring my consciousness down a notch or two at a time.
Even if it is only for a few minutes.
A few minutes of sitting, just being, breathing in and breathing out.
Those few minutes each day gradually reduce the crazy and I find myself taking deeper breaths.
I find myself thinking, feeling, and sitting still without forcing it.
This simple act of
Brings peace into my heart.
Thus the transition
from fall into winter
with grace and ease.
Tinctures and Salves made with care from all natural ingredients using knowledge and experience gained from my education in Chinese Herbal Medicine as well as my many years of doctoring my own family with herbs and home made medicines. I'm proud to soon be able to offer a few special tinctures and salves for sale on this site.
You are ready to try acupuncture. You’ve decided that it might help. What do you do now? How do you decide who to go to for treatment?
There are many options available. From the very clinical to the very intimate, hour and a half treatments to half an hour sessions. Some people have you undress and wear a hospital gown, or cover with a sheet while others treat you fully dressed using points below the elbow and knees.
It depends upon what you are seeking help with. For most pain conditions, almost any type of acupuncture style or setting will help you. The shorter, community style acupuncture using distal acupuncture points works mainly on the perception of pain. Although it does help with the root or the cause of the pain, the main focus is on the feeling of pain. The distal points also can help reduce inflammation, and regulate the autonomic nervous system.
The longer more intimate acupuncture sessions may take a little longer, in fact you might need to come to the acupuncturist for several sessions, but the root cause of your pain could be completely eliminated. These treatments are usually both directly and indirectly treating your issue. Most licensed acupuncturists who have either a Master’s or a Doctorate Degree will have a good understanding of how to balance your system using acupuncture and other modalities to bring your health back to its optimum functioning capacity. Some of the causes of your symptoms may be so subtle that you would not recognize them as symptoms, but your acupuncture practitioner will know and see these subtle changes in your body that are signposts to what is out of balance.
If your issue is not pain, but chronic illness, then either type of acupuncture is going to help. You might think about alternating or starting with the longer more intimate sessions, then finishing or continuing with the shorter, less expensive treatments. Chronic illness is a little more complex that simple pain, although a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is trained to treat all kinds of illness, as well as health and wellness. He/she often can help you to regain or maintain health and wellness in a more natural way than a western doctor who is trained in diagnosing illness and prescribing the correct medication could. A TCM doctor will know what the root cause of your illness or imbalance is (in TCM terminology), and they will know what to do to correct that. If you follow their advice, take the herbs, and get treatments, your health could improve greatly.
Acute illness is relatively easy to treat. Acupuncture can help the body to take care of what is not right by stimulating the body in helpful ways such as expelling the pathogens, or bolstering your own immune system, and eliminating inflammation are ways that it does this.
Acute injury is a fairly easy fix, but you’d be better off with a private practitioner who will have heat lamps, moxabustion, cupping, as well as the acupuncture needles. This would be the longer more intimate treatment, which can address the state you are in at the time (excess or deficiency, hot or cold, damp or dry, etc). It may be that you need needling at both local and distal points.
If you are looking for support in the research studies for the efficacy of acupuncture, you will find mixed reviews. Acupuncture by its very nature and the way it is best practiced (individual), is difficult to study in a Random Controlled Trial. Random Controlled Trials assume that all participants are similar. Usually, when recruiting they look for people who fit a particular template of similarity. Acupuncture is based upon the premise of each person being individual and the treatment depends upon the individual’s symptoms and signs at the time of treatment along with some history of the illness. Each treatment takes into consideration the person’s birth constitution, and body type, as well as what is causing the illness on an individual basis.
You might get completely different diagnosis and treatment plans with different practitioners, because there is more than one path to wellness. Each practitioner sees the path through his/her own eyes. The most important thing is that you feel like you are being understood and respected, and your health is improving. Although sometimes a person’s symptoms will worsen in the beginning, your health and wellness should be improving with subsequent treatments. (It can take as few as 3 or as many as 10-20)
Whatever your choice is, you will be in good hands if you choose fully licensed and educated acupuncture practitioners. There are many community acupuncture clinics around the country. And many private practitioners also who are very competent and skilled at their profession.
Change is a part of life. Day is constantly changing into night, seasons change, people change from embryo into babies, from babies into adults, from adults into elderly. Holding onto anything that is no longer in alignment with who we are can cause us to stagnate.
Along with my recent graduation, my practice will be changing. I have made good friends in the Hill Country of Texas and in Kyle, but it is time for me to bring what I do to a new location. I have so much appreciation for everyone who has been a part of this chapter of my life. I will not forget your kindness and love.
I'm being called to begin this new chapter in a new place. This will be a move forward into a partnership where I will have the ability to reach more people. I hope to also begin to contribute articles and videos on a regular basis. I'll be getting a Patreon channel so that anyone who wishes to follow me can do so. In exchange for your very small financial contribution, I'll research your questions and prepare an article on the subject. Please send your questions to this email address, firstname.lastname@example.org. Any question is ok, whether about health, supplements, herbs, acupuncture, diseases or illnesses, other techniques or healing modalities, or even meditation and breathwork instructions. Just about anything is ok. I'll research, and then post the article on video with the answer. No one's identity will ever be revealed, unless you ask me to do so.
It is with great enthusiasm that I embrace change and begin this new phase of my life.
Margaret Boswell, DAOM, LAc.