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Holistic Health – True Nature Clinic http://truenatureclinic.sagenmedia.com/blog Austin Acupuncture Specialists Thu, 23 Aug 2012 22:21:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.10 How heat, scraping and electricity are as helpful as needles. http://truenatureclinic.sagenmedia.com/blog/?p=231 http://truenatureclinic.sagenmedia.com/blog/?p=231#respond Sun, 31 Jul 2011 22:19:58 +0000 http://truenatureclinic.sagenmedia.com/blog/?p=231

In the west, we are becoming more comfortable with the idea of acupuncture as a viable therapy for a number of health issues. What many of us don’t realize is that acupuncture is only one of many many meridian therapies used in Chinese Medicine. There are several other ways that the meridians can be stimulated to treat disease. In this article, I will briefly describe what some of those other treatments are, and how they promote health.

Acupuncture Needles

Acupuncture utilizes needles to stimulate specific point along the meridians (energy  pathways that run through the body). They are used to promote circulation, move the qi, break up stagnation, alleviate pain and ,more broadly, activate points to regulate general imbalances.

Moxabustion (heat)

Burning moxabustion (moxa) works by heating the meridians. It can be used in cases where there is a cold component to the disharmony or stasis. For example, I had a client who worked several hours a day in a meat packing plant freezer. He had a lot of pain in his hands and shoulders and heating them with moxa made a huge difference. Moxa is also used in cases where qi deficiency is involved (the person may get sick easily or have low energy), or when poor circulation is leading to pain.

Cupping (suction)

Gwyneth Paltrow made cupping famous a few years ago when she walked on a stage exposing the circles left from a cupping treatment across her shoulders.

Glass, Bamboo, or plastic cups can be used for this treatment, which involves suctioning cups onto the skin.  This suction is formed by either placing a flame in the cup and quickly removing the flame to create a vacuum just before placing it on the skin. The skin is then pulled into the cup to fill that vacuum.  Plastic cups that have an air pump can also be used. The pump sucks the air out of the cup pulling the skin in with it.

The cups are either left sitting in one spot during the treatment or, with the help of lotion, moved around along the muscles, pulling the muscles up as they go. These are mostly used to promote circulation along the meridians, however, they can also be used in cases where there are other forms of stasis, like congested lungs.  Moving cups in these cases will be used on the back to break up the stuck phlegm.

Guasha (scraping)

Guasha is a scraping technique that promotes the free flow of qi and blood in the meridians. It utilizes a horn, spoon,  coin, or a plastic tool that has a flat edge. The guasha tool is rubbed on the skin of the affected area. I have even seen guasha marks on the front of people’s throats in china to help dispel sore throats. It can be used on the back and shoulders to break up knots. The affected area is rubbed until the skin becomes red. You will often continue to see redness in that area for a couple days after the treatment.

Electrical Stimulation

Electrical stimulation (e-stim) enhances the pain alleviating effects of acupuncture. Electrodes are attached to the end of the needles and are set to various pulse patterns and frequieces. These pulses send messages to the pain receptors in your brain and the pain is decreased.

Ear Acupuncture (auricular acupuncture)

Auricular acupuncture works because of the powerful connection between the nerves on the ears and the brain. It is a more recently developed therapy with hundreds of points have been mapped out by he French and Chinese.

The first to fully create this map was Dr. Nogier, a french researcher of traditional health modalities. While visiting a rural area of France, he noticed that many of the older people in the village had certain point cauterized on their ears. He learned that it was a folk remedy for sciatica and began exploring the correlation between areas of the ear and parts of the body.  The Chinese caught wind of his research and quickly came up with their own auricular system. To this day you will see some points as the French ear point or the Chinese ear point (e.g. French Liver or Chinese Liver).

The National Acupuncture Detox Association (NADA) uses Auricular acupuncture as one of it’s main therapies to help clients going through withdrawal. Acupuncturists use auricular therapy for a variety of health issues including food or cigarette cravings, insomnia, and anxiety.


Chinese Medicine is over 2500 years old and continues to evolve. There are several therapies that have been cultivated during that time and new techniques are still being tried and developed to this day. This entry describes only a portion of these techniques.

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10 Ways to Move Your Qi http://truenatureclinic.sagenmedia.com/blog/?p=171 http://truenatureclinic.sagenmedia.com/blog/?p=171#respond Sun, 24 Jul 2011 04:45:38 +0000 http://truenatureclinic.sagenmedia.com/blog/?p=171 Living in Texas can be rough during the summer months. Out of protection from the extreme heat, people tend to stay indoors and can develop a form of  cabin fever. Being cooped up like that is frustrating and when your body becomes stuck and so does your qi. Here are some ways to change that so you can begin to feel refreshed and re-energized:

1: Give yourself some quiet time first.

This is especially helpful if you spend a lot of time sitting in front of a screen. Give yourself a quiet break from the computer, phone and television.

Lay down and feel your body touching the ground. Begin to move slowly when you feel ready. One of my acupuncture clients,who wants to exercise and move more, finds that letting herself have a mental and physical break first makes a huge difference.

2: Wiggle it out.

Get up and wiggle your feet, legs, glutes, hands, arms, torso, head and face.

3: Move with the beat.

Put on a favorite song and dance to it. Grab somebody to dance with you, even if it’s just in your own living room (odds are that they need to move their qi too).

4: Change your environment.

Explore new places in your city. Eat at a new cafe or window shop in another part of town.

5: Take a walk outside.

Walk in a location that is uplifting to your spirits. Take your time and see your surroundings. Stop to experience the setting through touch, smell, and sound (I do this in the early morning, when the temperature is bearable).

6: Be noisy.

Pick up an instrument and make noise with it. Sing, strum, tap and blow horns even if the noises sound funny.

7: Clean it up or give yourself space for controlled chaos.

If your house feels too cluttered, organize a spot. If your house feels too clean, make a mess somewhere.

8: Play Time

Play with your child, if you don’t have one, play with your pet.

9: Learn something new.

Sign up for a class you’ve been wanting to take. If you’re too busy, make time for it.

Take a qi gong, yoga, tai chi, or akido class.

10: Get out of yourself.

Surprise a friend with a call just to say hello or write them an appreciation card.

Do something kind for somebody else without their knowing.  This is both sneaky and exciting (good way to move qi). While you’re at it, you’ll probably make their day too.

These are only suggestions. They may help you get out of a rut if you are feeling cooped up. In my opinion, becoming a healthier person involves a lot of trial and error. Try one or two of these and see how you feel afterwards. If you feel drained by it, it’s probably not the best fit. If you feel energized, you probably moved some of that qi!

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Tired of Pain Medications? Acupuncture Can Help. http://truenatureclinic.sagenmedia.com/blog/?p=95 http://truenatureclinic.sagenmedia.com/blog/?p=95#respond Wed, 11 May 2011 18:35:12 +0000 http://truenatureclinic.sagenmedia.com/blog/?p=95 Austin's True Nature Acupuncture

Relieve your pain. Feel better.

You’re probably reading this article because you deal with some form of pain and are wondering if acupuncture could help. What kind of pain are you in? Over the past seven years I’ve helped hundreds of people significantly reduce and even stop their pain from problems like:

– migraines       – fibromyalgia

– sciatica            – osteoarthritis

– tennis elbow     – frozen shoulder

– carpal tunnel

– both acute and chronic pain

– post operative recovery

– menstrual cramps

– musculoskeletal pain

– pain as a result of occupational repetitive motion

– idiopathic pain associated with cancer treatments

The range of intensity could be from a mild discomfort like a numbness and tingling, to sharp stabbing pain that is debilitating.

In addition to the discomfort itself, the impacts of suffering from physical pain are many.  It could be preventing you from doing the things that you normally enjoy. It could stop you from getting regular exercise, which impacts your energy, sleep, appetite and weight. Chronic pain produces a constant low level of stress on the nervous system and can lead to depression. Some medications, if taken long term, can cause stomach problems. Independent from that, who wants to be on pain medications for the rest of their lives?

Most types of pain are effectively treated with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Utilizing a natural solution like acupuncture provides many benefits including:

– Alleviate the pain

– Reduce your intake of medications

– Prevent surgery

– Expedite recovery from surgery

– Let you resume exercise again

– Help you get back to the things you enjoy

Some people ask me how acupuncture works to relieve pain.  Acupuncture activates your  innate healing abilities. It invites the body to release endorphins, your body’s natural pain killer. Acupuncture also increases your blood circulation.  In Chinese Medical theory most pain is caused by poor circulation. This lack of circulation could have started in any number of ways. Two of the most common are from injuries and a sedentary lifestyle.

If you have been on pain medications for a long time or haven’t found anything that works yet, it would be worth it to try acupuncture and Chinese medicine.  You might be pleasantly surprised that not only will you have less pain, you will also notice improvements in your overall vitality and well being.

About the Blogger:

Rebecca Hindman L.Ac. provides Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal therapy and holistic health consultations to the community of Austin, Texas. To receive free information about Acupuncture in Austin visit www.TrueNatureClinic.com.

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How does Bin Laden’s death affect you? http://truenatureclinic.sagenmedia.com/blog/?p=66 http://truenatureclinic.sagenmedia.com/blog/?p=66#comments Mon, 02 May 2011 16:48:39 +0000 http://truenatureclinic.sagenmedia.com/blog/?p=66

The news broke last night that  Bin Laden was killed. When I heard the official announcement by President Obama, I felt mostly sad and also grateful. Sad about the journey that began on September 11, 2001 and where it’s taken us and grateful for the risks our armed forces took to successfully complete their mission.

The Trauma of 9-11

The first indicator I received  about the 9-11 attacks was when I pulled into the parking lot of my acupuncture program and saw two normally reserved classmates crying and hugging. I assumed that it was a private matter and didn’t approach them to find out why they were crying. Once I walked into the campus building somebody approached me and asked me if I saw what was happening.

Classes were canceled and the rest of the day was a blur of television footage, news reports, phone calls and trepidation about the rest of the flights still in the air.  I was living far away in Boulder Colorado but still felt panicked. It was like the world was falling apart. Later that week I took a walk down Pearl Street, a normally bright pedestrian zone. The cloud of gloom hovering over everyone I encountered was tangible.

Loss is a part of every life

A couple of years ago, I experienced some big losses in my life which included both trauma and the death of a family member. I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like to have lost a loved one during the terrorist attacks of 9-11. However there is a deep part of me that strongly resonates.

During my personal losses, I was given unexpected and helpful advice from two people; my mother in law and one of my meditation instructors. Both experienced the big losses of being widowed at young ages and  both echoed the exact same words to me: “Let yourself grieve… just let yourself grieve”. They instructed me to create a regular time and place to let it out. That was one of the most helpful things I did.

Collective Wisdom Collective Grieving

I facilitate a study group about Buddhism and find that the participants bring in so many kernels of wisdom. One relayed to me what they learned from Pema Chodron  about the layers of feeling whenever strong emotions arise. The first being a hardening (anger, judgment), which covers over fear, which covers over sadness and beneath all of those layers is spaciousness.

These past ten years it seems that we have mostly been cycling through anger and fear sandwiched between thin layers of grief with no space. The first thing that I saw that related to  9-11 was authentic: two people crying and holding each other. Last night I felt that I could again touch that soft spot on the middle of this huge mess, the sadness of our  losses since this happened.

About the Blogger:

Rebecca Hindman L.Ac. provides Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal therapy and holistic health consultations to the community of Austin, Texas. To receive free information about Acupuncture in Austin visit www.TrueNatureClinic.com.

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