Acupuncture with Khara

 

As a yoga teacher and someone who is a huge proponent of non-traditional medicine, naturally I heard of Acupuncture, but I did not partake in the service until recently.  Khara Lucius is one of my yoga students and a Naturopathic Doctor who practices Acupuncture as one of the service modalities that she uses when treating patients.

When I first arrived at Khara’s office we sat down and discussed how I was feeling, what I was eating and the quality of my sleep…..all the questions that provide her a sense of my overall well-being.  This is what I like about Naturopathic Doctors, they treat the WHOLE person.  There is much wisdom when doctors take the time to ask pointed questions and really listen to the answers.

Then we move into the treatment room.  I take a seat and Khara asks me to stick out my tongue so she can look at the top and underside of my tongue.  (It reminds me of when I was little and the doctor says “stick out your tongue and say ahhhhh”.) It is interesting to me that this happens today because the day before I read an article about how the tongue is the ‘map’ of the internal body and Acupuncturists are trained to ‘read’ the tongue to bring awareness to imbalances in the body.  Khara then takes my pulse (on both wrists) to provide her with further information about the flow of my ‘qi’ or energy.

After Khara ‘reads’ my tongue and takes my pulse, I lie down on the examination table (on my back, fully clothed) and Khara begins to insert needles into my body, which does not hurt, whatsoever.  She gently places the thin needles in the crown of my head, my forehead, my hands and lower arms, my feet and lower legs.  She asks if I want a blanket to keep me warm while I lay on the table and rest while my energy shifts based on the placement of the needles.

Because I practice yoga and am familiar with Savanasa (the final, resting pose in a yoga practice), I am easily able to relax and channel the energy of my body toward healing.  Khara leaves me alone for about 20 minutes then comes in to check in on me and then departs the room again for about another 20 minutes.  When she returns, she quietly begins to remove the needles (really, she is stealth-like, I do not even hear her come in the room) and she speaks softly to let me know that when I am ready I can sit up.  When I do, she asks me how I feel and she places ear seeds on both ears, which will stimulate acupuncture points for a few days or until the next appointment.

 

Right beneath our physical body is our energetic body.  You can feel it when you take the time to be still and pay attention.  Sometimes we might experience body sensations such as ‘butterflies’ or  ‘tightness in our chest’.  As we become more aware of ourselves beyond the physical body, we become more in tune with how we are feeling and if we are out of sorts, Acupuncture can be used to bring us back to balance.  Acupuncture can be utilized for ailments from headaches and dizziness to decreasing or eliminating pain to regulating hormones.  If you are not feeling well and you want to complement your traditional medical treatment with a nontraditional technique, I strongly suggest you make the choice to incorporate Acupuncture into your healing plan.

For more information on Naturopathic Medicine, Acupuncture and to make an appointment with Dr. Khara Lucius you can check out her website:  http://www.wholehealthnh.com/ or call her at 603.624.6222.

For information on Acupuncture with Jeanne Ann Whittington:  jawhittington3@gmail.com or call her at Five Seasons Acupuncture and Healing Arts at 603.226.4644.

~Maureen

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Why A Naturopathic Doctor?? Why not!!

After about a year of dealing with digestive problems, that I thought were most likely prompted by hormonal changes, I decided to seek some medical advice. My first step was to my trusted endocrinologist, Dr. Robert Dluhy, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. I have been under Dr. Dluhy’s care for 20+ years. Dr. Dluhy proceeded to ask me many questions and came to the conclusion that it was most likely dietary, but sent me to the lab for blood work to confirm. The lab work included a test for Celiac Sprue, a common digestive ailment which came back negative. He then referred me to his colleague and the Brigham’s famed gastroenterologist, Dr. Norton Greenberger.

Dr. Greenberger asked me about every aspect of my life. As when some doctors are not sure what to say about a non-diagnosis, I expected him attribute it to stress, but he did not.  Again, the discussion returned to dietary. He sent me away with a book he authored 4 Weeks to Healthy Digestion and made me promise to have a colonoscopy within the year (though I have not scheduled that yet !!!).

Dr. Greenberger’s book is very informative and touches upon many reasons for digestive interruptions and his approach is simple.

Week One: Start a Food Diary/Log

Week Two: Change your eating habits according to what you logged in week one

Week Three: Eliminate the Problem Foods (process of elimination)

Week Four: Chart a New Course

The book also lists what foods to avoid for common problem and even offers some decent recipes. All in all I felt I was on the right track.

But then I enrolled in a class, Consumer Health, at Salem State College with Judi Lasser.  One day we went on a “field trip” to Advanced Health and Wellness in Andover, where we met Dr. Amanda Tracey (who actually went to high school with my daughter).  I had been toying with the notion of adding the care of a Naturopathic Doctor to my preventative health care plan and this was the affirmation that I needed.

You might ask…Why a Naturopathic Doctor? Well, why not!!

Naturopathic medicine uses safe and non toxic therapies to restore and maintain balance in the body. Herbal medicine, homeopathy and life style counseling are often used in conjunction with one another.

Your next question…What is their training??? You may be surprised to learn that a licensed (key word is licensed) ND has completed eight years of education and the first two graduate level years are the same as an MD.    They then break away and an ND begins to focus on natural therapies to promote health and wellness. Yes, imagine –  an herb instead of a pill, acupuncture instead of pain medication and above all they promote proper nutrition.

My initial consultation lasted over one hour. I completed a very detailed health questionnaire and had a formal interview with Dr. Tracy. Among her suggestions…

Get a colonoscopy (OMG again with the colonoscopy!!!)

Have a stool test (yucky)

Make some dietary changes

Maybe a colon cleanse (for details http://www.wholehealthdetox.com)

I will offer you a few of the dietary changes, because they were pretty good suggestions.

You see we are what we eat and for many years we have been pouring chemicals and toxins into our bodies and there comes a point where it tells us enough is enough.

Yogurt daily, she suggested organic such as Stoneyfield, Fage Greek

Eat Sprouted Grain Products

Turkey- buy Nitrate Free (I think Boars Head is nitrate free)

Flax Oil-Use mixed in salad dressing or yogurt, or make your own dressing

Tea-really any kind but suggested green, red, white and herbal (Yogi Tea is good)

Multi Vitamins and Calcium- Dr. Tracey selected a brand for me based on my needs.  I was tired of taking a multi vitamin and, B complex, E, D etc. She researched what would be the best for me and now I can take 2 with breakfast and 2 in with dinner.

Dr. Tracey also suggested that I visit the website www.ewg.org.There was lots of useful information on this site from a tuna calculator that  tells you how much you should eat based on your size due to mercury content, to a list of the “Dirty Dozen” fruits and vegetables, these have the highest levels of pesticides (they strongly suggest that you buy these organic) they are: peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, imported grapes, spinach, lettuce and potatoes. The cleanest fruits and vegetables (safe to buy conventional) are onions, avocadoes, frozen sweet corn, pineapples, mangoes, asparagus, frozen peas, kiwi, bananas, cabbage, broccoli and papayas.

I have also opted to change some of the day to day products I use including-toothpaste, mouth wash, laundry detergent, (and no more fabric sheets), house cleaner (no more Windex and 409).  Trader Joes has a great selection of environmentally (and people) friendly alternatives that are economically priced. Oh yeah and only soy candles.

I am not trying to change the world just to make mine a little better, by learning to relax, restore and rejuvenate. This coupled with my conventional medical care, chiropractic and yoga has me on the right path.

What could be next- acupuncture??   Maureen will fill you in on that next.

Yoga Vermont

One sister ventured north for a solo trip to Yoga Vermont.  It is on our schedule to go in the coming month, but I wanted to go this past weekend because it was the last class as the Chace Mill location.   This studio has a special place in my heart…. it’s where I completed teacher training with David Swenson, Beryl Bender Birch and Kathy McNames.  My sister-in-law, Margaret, and I were two of the first students in Kathy’s teacher training.  Kathy is an amazing teacher and someone who truly lives the yogic lifestyle – I have learned so much from her and over the years our relationship has grown beyond teacher/student and I am honored to call her my friend.  Kathy and Scott (her life partner) will no longer be teaching at the Chace Mill location, however they still own Yoga Vermont and will teach Mysore, Vinyasa and lead the Teacher Training Program (coming soon a 500 RYT program) at the downtown location.  We will post again about Yoga Vermont when Sharon and I take our yoga on the road to one of Kathy’s Vinyasa class in June or July.  In the meantime, if you are in Burlington, be sure to go to the Church Street location of Yoga Vermont and let Kathy know I say hello. ~Maureen