The Rising Up of Wood, The Wood Treatment, Detox Clinic, and Making the Most of Your Clinic Experience!
Denise owl in tree
Photo by local artist, Denise Beaudet. *We will be featuring some of Denise's amazing nature pics in current and future newsletters. You can find more of her work on Instagram @ 52roots, link here .


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The Rising Up of the Wood Energy
Rachel Condon, Lic. Ac.

In this newsletter you will find an article on our special Spring Wood treatment, coming up March 21st, along with the return of the popular Detox clinic, this year expanded to 11 weeks on Fridays, beginning March 22nd. In addition, we offer a few tips and tricks to make acupuncture your favorite part of the week too!

Spring is a wonderful time of year, a time full of change with the days getting longer, the ground thawing and buds appearing on plants and trees, and perhaps a time to be outside more, getting more exercise, eating some lighter foods like salads and smoothies, spring soups and maybe even firing up the grill!

It can also be the time of year that brings seasonal allergies and headaches , vertigo and ringing in the ears, increased irritability and a "short fuse", insomnia , worse PMS symptoms, muscle strains and pulls... there can be more cognitive and emotional challenges, with feelings of restlessness and scattered energy, lots of ideas but hard to focus , or difficulty making decisions. We see all of this and more, on the increase in the clinic. And every single symptom I listed is related to the Wood element, and the two Wood organ/meridian systems, Liver and Gall Bladder. (And of course these symptoms arise at other times of year, and they are still Wood symptoms, but they are more prevalent at this time or can be more easily aggravated).

It still amazes me on a regular basis, and validates for me what I now simply accept as a truth, that Chinese Medicine has accurately developed a comprehensive, systematic, practical, intuitive understanding of health and dis-ease, based on thousands of years of observation and experience . This is a medicine based on clinical experience, not controlled laboratory studies - but that's another topic, which you may find in another newsletter in the future! ;)

Chinese medicine is certainly not the only system to recognize and appreciate how our bodies are reflected in nature. Many ancient traditions have done this for thousands of years, from the ancient metaphysical work of Hermes, and the concept, " as above, so below ," to the existence of fractal images throughout nature (take a look at this link here if you want to learn more about fractals, it's fascinating! fractals and human biology ).

I invite you to consider your own experience this spring, and take a few of the concepts of Wood/Liver discussed in this newsletter (or one of the previous years' springtime newsletters ), and see how they apply to your own life and if you find them to be true.

And so, in addition to doing the Wood Treatment with Anne Louise, doing the Detox clinic and/or other forms of cleansing, or just continuing with your regular acupuncture treatments to keep your energy moving and flowing... here are a few simple suggestions that will help balance your own Wood energy on a daily basis :

*drink more water , especially with lemon - my special trick, start every day with 16-32 ounces of water with lemon, it feels great.

*spend some time in nature , where you can be surrounded by more trees than cars or people - look at how strong and resilient trees are.

*get to sleep before 11pm each night (11pm-3am is Liver/Gall Bladder time on the meridian clock), which means winding down and turning off devices, TV, by 9-10pm. You WILL sleep better, guaranteed.

*spend a little time being quiet every day, even five minutes if that's all you have - whether you like to meditate, pray, do yoga, take a walk, or perhaps simply sitting with a cup of tea with your cat or loved one, but without talking - the Liver energy wants to rise up, just like the sap in the trees, and our job is simply to balance the natural flow of energy inside ourselves - so grounding and centering ourselves each day, especially in the spring, can be profoundly beneficial.

Give your wood energy some "roots" to grow from, water it regularly, and let it rest too... and you will feel your own spring re-emerging, from deep inside.
The Wood Element Treatment...
It's time again, for one of our special offerings... the Five Element Seasonal Treatment for Wood!

Please click here to read our updated page on the website, and find out more information about these five treatments offered at specific times throughout the year, their functions and benefits, and testimonials from last year's participants!

Anne Louise Smallen, Lic. Ac.

What is a Wood Element treatment?

The Wood Element treatment uses the horary points on the Liver and Gallbladder meridians. The Wood is the most yang element and resembles nature at that time of year, where plants grow at a fast and furious pace after the long winter.
The Wood element influences the blood (especially the menstrual blood), the regularity of menses, the reproductive systems of both men and women, the eyes and tendons, sleep , and the capacity to plan and focus . It is also associated with the emotion of anger .
The particular movement of the Wood element is very outward during the day and allows us to plan and take action, bringing clarity and focus. It turns around and becomes inward at night and allows us to sleep peacefully. And so when the Wood is out of balance, treating it can help with insomnia and sleeping difficulties. It also has a big impact on managing stress, by helping to smooth the flow of energy throughout the body, as well as helping with difficulties controlling rage and anger.  

Season: Spring
Energy: Wood
Meridians: Liver and Gallbladder
Time of Seasonal Treatment: Thursday, March 21 st from 11 pm to 12:30 am.
Supports: menstrual health, reproductive functions, sleep, eyes and tendons

LIMITED SPACE AVAILABLE! Schedule opens March 1st.

You may sign up online via our online scheduling system, in person at the clinic, or by calling the main clinic number. The door will be unlocked before 11pm. Please note the treatment uses only four points and the needles are kept for 20 minutes, or a full cycle of qi.

If you have questions about the treatment, please email Anne-Louise .

Denise frog
photo, Denise Beaudet
Detox Treatments Begin Again, with an expanded offering - Fridays, March 22nd-May 31st
Anne Louise Smallen, Lic. Ac.

In nature, spring is a time for renewal and deep transformation. In terms of health and renewing your commitment to wellness, truly the new year should be starting at this time of year. 

These acupuncture treatments can complement other modalities (diet and lifestyle changes, support groups, etc) for best results. A total approach is what will profoundly change your habits and make you successful in your goals. Acupuncture is a very supportive way to help detoxification. It flushes toxins (thus reducing side effects), and raises the level of serotonin , helping to decrease cravings.

Detoxification means a lot more than helping those who do not have control over harmful substances. Here are some of the reasons you might consider them:
Protocol One : detox from smoking, drinking, using recreational drugs or other lifestyle habits not serving you.
Protocol Two : support with food addiction, emotional eating, binging and purging, etc.
Protocol Three:  help with medication side effects or a desire to reduce medication use/dependence. Acupuncture can help flush your system without affecting medication benefits.

Cost : $35/treatment, or package of 10 for $250 ($25/treatment)
*please note this package can only be used for these detox treatments and not a regular follow-up treatment

Committing yourself to 10 treatments will increase the likelihood that you will achieve your goal - It is said to take at least 30 days of following a new routine/behavior to change a habit.

When : Every Friday, March 22nd-May 31st, 9am-7pm - both Rachel and Anne Louise will offer these during regular clinic hours, in addition to regular initial and follow up treatments - select Detox Treatment, in the online system.

*please note this includes 11 Fridays, so if you purchase a package, you can skip one Friday and still use the entire package.
Making the Most of Your Clinic Experience
Rachel Condon, Lic. Ac.

This is a little Primer, a review (or Intro!) on how to best enjoy your acupuncture sessions!

As we are a " community ," group-style or multi-bed, clinic (to distinguish us from private practice, with one client at a time in a private room), there are certain aspects we cannot control.

You are sharing a large room with others, often strangers, while you receive your treatment. There may be occasional sounds, whispers, snoring, body odors, fragrances (which we try to minimize!), and the occasional accidental beep (!) from a cell phone.
We are also in a very old building, with radiator heat and huge windows, and as many of you know, the temperature in the room can only be moderately controlled by the radiators and space heaters, or air conditioning in summer. Alas... all of this, we have limited control over, and you are all most gracious in adapting to these variables.

HOWEVER - there are things you CAN control , or take advantage of. Here are a few ideas.

We have the following available at the clinic for you to use, you just need to ask:

*ear plugs
*cough drops
*eye pillows

In addition, you may bring along your own accessories to further customize your treatment to suit you best.

We've observed all of the following (and you may have other ideas):

*additional personal blanket
*your own eye pillow
*headphones to listen to your choice of music or perhaps a guided meditation **please note, we do not recommend listening to news, anything work-related, anything that gets you thinking too much... this is still meant to be Relaxing, whatever that means to you. Insight Timer is a great app - it's free and has thousands of guided meditations to choose from.
*a comfortable change of clothes, even your PJs!
* a handmade pair of slippers that is open on top, and still allows us to get at those great points on the feet, while you keep your toes warm (for you crafty types to make!)!

We only ask that, if you bring some extra props and comforts, please plan ahead and come early to get yourself situated, time to change clothes, etc., as we strive to keep the clinic running smoothly and on time, as much as possible.

One more thing...

If a needle hurts, tell us! Please.... this is not meant to be a painful or uncomfortable experience. And NO, it does not have to hurt to be "doing something." Many people make this assumption but it is simply not true.

And to be clear - there are two parts to this experience with the needles - there is the needle insertion . People vary widely on responses to this, as do practitioners in their technique. If you do feel an initial zing or pinch, it's not ideal but it's usually done before you know it. Often the anticipation of it hurting is the worst part!

But the second part of this experience is after the needle has been placed - this is what we are talking about where it shouldn't hurt or be uncomfortable.

Sensations like a dull ache, heaviness, heat or even coolness, tingling - these are all common sensations to be expected.

However, sharp pain, prolonged burning, pain that intensifies instead of lessening, these are all NOT conducive to healing nor to you relaxing. Please do tell us and we will adjust or take the needle out.

Some people tell us getting acupuncture is their FAVORITE time of the week!!

We love that, and want more of you to experience that too... and if you need to customize your experience a bit to make it worth your time, money and attention, we fully support you doing that.
Northampton Community Acupuncture 413-586-8251