Acupuncture, Autumn & The Metal Element

Barn's burnt down -

now

I can see the moon.

-Mizuta Masahide (1657–1723) 

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Unmistakably - on the winds (and rain) of change - Autumn has arrived. 

The slant of light, flora and fauna, our moods, schedules, physical states and spirits are all in flux - affecting us in sometimes subtle ways and other times with more of a fuss. 

Mizuta's haiku captures the essence of autumn through the lens of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) - the hallmarks of which are Letting Go of what has been lost or run its natural course and Allowing In the beauty of what remains in this moment.

In TCM, autumn is associated with the Metal Element. On the physical level this includes the Lungs, which inhale oxygen to nourish and exhale carbon dioxide to purify as we let go.  Metal is also associated with the Large Intestine, taking little imagination to make the connection with release! 

Physical conditions related to Metal may manifest as cold, flus, allergies, asthma, bronchitis, constipation, digestive disorders, and sinus or skin conditions.  

The emotion associated with Metal and thus the season upon us is Grief. Grief can be experienced subtly as nostalgia - the tender bitter sweetness for what once was.  Or may express itself more overtly as great sadness, depression or despair.  

Noticing with kindness where we may find ourselves along the delicate divide between Letting Go and Allowing In - whether physically, emotionally or spiritually - can help us discern when we may need some additional support.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can help us experience more fully the fruits of this season while minimizing its vulnerabilities.  

This autumn, how can you best support the harvest?

I am here for you.

Peace, Karen

M.S. (T.O.M), 

Diplomate in Oriental Medicine

Karen Hayes holds a Masters Degree from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego, CA, is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist in the Commonwealth of MA and a Diplomate of Oriental Medicine nationally. She brings with her 12 years of clinical experience.

She works with a full scope of health conditions including but not limited to: Mental Health, Addiction Recovery Support, Sleep Disorders and Insomnia, Asthma/Allergies, Digestive Disorders, Pain Management, Women’s Health, Fertility and Preventative Medicine.

CranioSacral Therapy - A Listening Touch

“There is a voice that doesn’t use words, listen.”  Rumi

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Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle treatment method used to release restrictions in the tissues effecting the nervous system and encourage the body’s natural capacity for self-repair.

It stimulates healing by using gentle hand pressure along the spine and connective tissues, especially the skull and sacrum (the large, triangular bone at the base of the spinal column).

Using “listening hands”, the therapist identifies the sources of restrictions which are affecting the craniosacral system.  Areas of restriction lead to decreased nerve transmission and circulation, then to symptoms of discomfort and pain.  Through gentle manual techniques, the therapist relieves these restrictions and balances the flow of the CranioSacral rhythm to encourage the body’s natural healing responses.

CranioSacral Therapy is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and is effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction, including headaches, chronic neck and back pain and central nervous system disorders. CranioSacral Therapy can be also be helpful for emotional and stress-related problems and beneficial around the effects of shock and trauma held in the body.

Despite this gentleness, powerful changes can ensue, often in surprising ways.  CranioSacral Therapy gives space for body wisdom to be heard. Significant changes and discoveries can be made in a quiet and attentive atmosphere of listening. One of the benefits of listening carefully, without agenda, is that the client gains the opportunity to connect with their body wisdom.  Inside all of us there is a ‘wise knowing’ just waiting to be heard. Sensitive touch simply provides the mirror through which to see it more clearly.

What this means practically is that during a session held patterns of tension in the body start to unravel and from this may arise memories, insights and emotions which allow a greater sense of meaning and understanding. This body wisdom can be a vital ally on any healing journey.

 

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Palma Puzzuoli, is a Board Certified Licensed Massage Therapist and a CranioSacral Practitioner who has received training through the Upledger Institute.

She offers 60 Minute CranioSacral Session or 75 + 90 Minute Massage/CranioSacral Combo Sessions.

Book with Palma on Mondays + Wednesdays.

September as the Catalyst for Change

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Sunshine filled days, a carefree spirit and a full social calendar can make the summer season a favorite for so many. It is a season full of fun and a sense of freedom. Some of us may take this sense of freedom to the next level and let some of our more healthy habits fall by the wayside for the two months. Perhaps we end up drinking more alcohol than we typically allow, or indulge in gluten and sugar laden foods that we usually avoid, and of course, we can’t skimp on the ice cream cones on those hot summer days. Hopefully we are doing all of this without a feeling of guilt. In fact, most of these indulgences are probably happening at a time when we are experiencing a great amount of joy; a family BBQ, a wedding, a night out with our families. It is a wonderful time to let go and have fun, but by the time Labor Day rolls around, we may be feeling that it's time for some healthy changes.

Here are some practical and gentle ways to ease the body, mind & spirit back into a healthy routine and purge some of that excess summer fun:

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1. Add in Ginger Tea - ginger is one of the best digestive aids and helps remove some of the dampness that accumulates in the liver after weeks of too much sugar and alcohol. Sip ginger tea before and after meals to help ignite your digestive fire.

2. Get Moving – the lymph system is your best friend when it comes to detoxifying, but it needs movement to get going. A walk, a dance class, a tennis match, jumping rope - whatever it is that brings you happiness, do that!

3. Dry Brushing - another excellent way to stimulate the lymph is to dry brush your body before your morning shower. Dry brushing exfoliates the skin, but it also increases circulation and helps detoxify your organs.

4. Decrease Sugar and Alcohol - give your liver a break with efforts to eliminate your sugar and alcohol intake. It doesn't have to be big, but even cutting out that second glass of wine at night, or eliminating the chocolate chip cookies for a week will make a big difference.

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5. Drink Bone Broth - High in mineral content and known for it's immune boosting and gut healing abilities, drinking Bone Broth is one of most nourishing things you can do for yourself. Organic, store bought versions are available at Whole Foods and I Love Rory’s and are great options for those weeks when the hours are limited.

6. Schedule some Self-Care - with the kids out of school and company coming and going, our own self-care can quickly fall to the bottom of the list during the summer. September is a perfect time to recommit to yourself - get back to yoga, make your Acupuncture appointment, schedule a facial - whatever it is that takes care of you in the healthiest, most nurturing way. Check out our September Reboot Offerings

7. Get a Good Night's Sleep - our bodies have the opportunity to heal and rejuvenate when we get a solid, restful night's sleep. As we enter the fall, Vata season, routine is essential to our good health and wellness. Try to get into bed at the same time every night and develop a nighttime ritual that allows you to start unwinding an hour before you get into bed.

Most importantly, have fun implementing a few of these healthy tips into your life. Your self-care should feel exciting and good, not overwhelming and daunting. Before you know it, some of these healthy practices will become a regular part of your lifestyle and you will love the way you feel!

Reflexology Keeps You Happy

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Hormones are chemicals that are produced by glands in our endocrine system. They travel through the bloodstream, to tissues and organs, delivering little message of instruction to tell the organs what to do and when to do it. They are essential for most bodily functions and when out of balance, can be disruptive to our health and well being.

The secret to a happy and energized life is to have our hormones in balance, namely; endorphins, serotonin/melatonin, dopamine, and oxytocin. The great news is that Reflexology is a great way to help our bodies release these ‘happy hormones’.

So, sit back, relax and get HAPPY.

Endorphins: are literally pain blockers in the body and promote a natural ‘high’. You may have experienced an ‘endorhphin rush’ after intense exercise or attending a joyous social celebration. There are our ‘feel good’ hormones and are synthesized in the pituituary gland. The pituitary gland reflex is stimulated in the pads of the big toes and when worked, help make us feel blissful.

Serotonin: is a neurotransmitter that actually gets transformed into melatonin, a hormone that helps us sleep. When these two are in balance, we feel happy and content; getting restful sleep and feeling less irritable. Serotonin is found in the pineal gland which is located on the side of our big toes and in our thumbs.

Dopamine: is known as the ‘pleasure’ hormone and is activated when we want to achieve a goal. Dopamine can be found in the hypothalamus reflex, which is located in the big toe, on the lateral side of the phalangeal joint.

Oxytocin: is the ‘love’ hormone that is secreted when we have physical contact. A good hug releases oxytocin - so get hugging. Oxytocin is produced in the hypothalamus and released into the bloodstream by the pituitary gland. These reflex points are in the big toe and are worked to help produce and release oxytocin during a Reflexology session.

Working these reflexes can help your body to produce these “happy hormones” making you feel good all over! Whenever you need a mood boost, grab your big toes and give these reflex points a work over. Or, schedule your next Reflexology session, sit back, relax and feel HAPPY.

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Charlene Shea is a Reflexologist who studied under Michelle Becz and completed over 200 hours of study in 2018. Having had a strong interest in holistic and complementary therapies her whole life, Reflexology has become a tool she uses to enhance her own health and the health of her clients. Charlene loves working with clients to assist them in feeling their best so they can live their best life.

Charlene is available on Tuesdays + Thursdays + Saturdays.


You are the Ocean

The ocean casts a spell on all of us to some degree or another – as evidenced by the thousands who make pilgrimage year after year to our little corner of the world surrounded by sea.  

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And it need not be surprising!  The human body is comprised of about 70% water and a half percent salt.

We are the ocean.   

Through the lens of Chinese medicine and Five Element Theory the Water Element reflects this very truth –often referred to as our essence or “source qi”, the life force with which we are brought into the world.  And in which depending on how it’s nurtured, informs the ability to sustain us throughout our years.

Although the Water Element as ruled by the season of winter, as our foundation, it is indeed at the forefront of our wellbeing year round– and is represented by the Kidney and Urinary Bladder organs and their corresponding energetic meridians.

The Water Element flows freely when in balance and relative harmony with Earth, Metal, Wood and Fire.  And in this optimal state may manifest physically as strong bones, teeth and hair, optimal brain function and hearing, healthy growth, development, reproduction and overall vitality.   Emotionally it can allow us to access will power, motivation and courage.

Conversely, when the Water Element is depleted or out of harmony, we may feel excessive fear, a sense of hopelessness, or lack ambition and drive.  And may experience physical manifestations such as infertility, low libido, fatigue, vertigo, salt cravings, low back pain and hearing loss – to name a few.

Regardless of season then – your Water Element may indeed be in need of some TLC to restore vitality, promote a sense of consolidation and relieve physical and emotional pain.

Acupuncture, Chinese herbal formulas, food therapy and lifestyle counseling can all play a part in nurturing and restoring harmony to the microcosmic sea of our own being~ in the same way we aspire to treat our great mother ocean – with tenderness, respect, and deep care.

It is my honor to ride the wave with you.  

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Karen Hayes holds a Masters Degree from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego, CA, is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist in the Commonwealth of MA and a Diplomate of Oriental Medicine nationally. She brings with her 12 years of clinical experience. Meditation and Mindfulness practice, as well as Buddhist study are foundational to her life and inform her approach to patient care. She has a warm, heart-centered and gentle approach to her practice. Her treatments are comprehensive and holistic.  In addition to acupuncture, Karen may use cupping, moxa, gua sha and Chinese herbal medicine as part of her treatment protocol. She works with a full scope of health conditions including but not limited to: Mental Health, Addiction Recovery Support, Sleep Disorders and Insomnia, Asthma/Allergies, Digestive Disorders, Pain Management, Women’s Health, Fertility and Preventative Medicine. .

Book with Karen on Tuesdays, Fridays + Saturdays