How can acupuncture fit into your life?

Admit it, you can feel it - fall is in the air! Your adventure-packed summer plans have all but come to fruition. It’s now time to get your ducks in a row, so to speak. 

Summer - the ultimate, upward and outward expression of Yang energy - is turning downward and inward towards Winter - ultimate Yin. Figure out your priorities and get back to the basics of life and the work that brings you most purpose and meaning.rootstockacupuncturelotus2

This time of year is also arguably the most important time of year when it comes to getting a seasonal acupuncture tune up.

People who have made acupuncture part of their regular healthcare routine know this. With acupuncture, Chinese herbs, or both, you can give your body a boost to weather this major seasonal transition with ease.

How do people use acupuncture to get and feel better? My acupuncture practice tends to be comprised of four general groups:

“Help, I’m struggling!”
Whether it’s anxiety, pain, and/or fertility challenges, for example, people will turn to acupuncture after trying

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Review of the film "Life Interrupted: Telling Breast Cancer Stories"

As I prepare to teach another “Introduction to Acupuncture” class at the Cancer Support Community next week, I ponder my role as a Licensed Acupuncturist in the life of someone experiencing cancer. 

The National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization have concluded, from controlled clinical trials, that there is evidence to support the use of acupuncture for anxiety/panic disorder; depression; post-surgery pain; cancer pain; neuropathy and other chemotherapy/radiation side effects. 

“Cancer.” It’s a word no one wants to hear. At the same time, it’s a word that brings people together. 

RootstockreviewLifeBaldPaula
Photo credit: Life Interrupted film still

I had the opportunity to pre-screen the documentary “Life Interrupted: Telling Breast Cancer Stories” by Paula Mozen. I wanted to see and review it because I know storytelling is healing for the teller and for its viewers/listeners.

Mozen, a filmmaker, breast cancer survivor, and my neighbor, calls breast cancer “The Dreaded Sisterhood: The club you never wanted to be a member of.”

In this autobiographic film, Mozen states that “cancer took eight friggin’ years of my life.”

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A chance to heal yourself and the Earth one cup at a time

I have to admit I love my coffee. Most of the time, I drink a cup a day which I believe is moderate but I drink it pretty much everyday and therein lies my conundrum. If I do something every day, then there comes the time that I have to admit it’s a habit.Bozeman acupuncture coffee

The problem with coffee being my habit is it’s effect on my body (and possibly the planet) long-term.

A former Bozeman resident and acupuncture school teacher of mine, Brendan Kelly, L.Ac., wrote a book called “The Yin and Yang of Climate Crisis”.1 As someone who did her Master’s thesis on the effects of climate on species distribution2 and who transitioned into a second career as a practitioner of Chinese medicine, I was immediately drawn to his title.

Kelly explains that the nature of coffee is hot. Not just hot temperature-wise, but after it’s ingested, it has a warming and stimulating effect within our bodies.

Long-term, this can deplete us - prematurely squandering our precious, deep, yet finite, reserves known

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What to expect at Rootstock Acupuncture

rootstockhomeAcupuncture can be an interesting hybrid between a medical procedure and a spa-like treatment. While it can address specific health concerns, it also engenders an overall feeling of ease - some clients have even described their experience as “sacred.” That said, my practice, Rootstock Acupuncture, is not a typical medical clinic or spa - it feels more like stepping into the warmth of a home. 

As a healthcare practitioner, sure, I use alcohol swabs, ask medical history questions and perform other clinical tasks. As a holistic practitioner, I also create a comforting space that invites pure relaxation in relative silence or with music to calm the mind.

I work with all kinds of people: Those who value science, those who trust their guts, those who seek alternatives, those who use complements to conventional medicine. Something almost all my clients have in common is their desire to feel better and to maintain the feeling when they do.

Acupuncture works with your body’s own internal resources to get back to a state of homeostasis. Sometimes this can happen

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Taking this time to give thanks

This Saturday, my family and I will be heading south for a week-long road trip family vacation in the Utah desert.

woman desert thanks

Thanksgiving, for us, will be bountiful views of orange sandstone formations, hikes in curvy slot canyons, and the joy of being together.

I love this time of year when we get back to what is most essential to us and actively express thankfulness for the same. 

I am thankful:

  • For my family and our health
  • I get to balance being a mom with being a health care practitioner
  • For my “village,” including my son’s preschool “school family”
  • For the trust and connection I have with my clients
  • I get to be part of something bigger than myself at The Health Collective, through my community partnerships and as a citizen of Bozeman
  • For every opportunity to improve, learn and grow

Feel the warmth. Give thanks.

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Feeling “at home:” A powerfully content place to be

Acupuncture acts as a compass leading us back to a state of homeostasis. Modern research shows numerous examples of acupuncture's bi-directional regulatory action:1

     “... lowers the blood pressure in patients with hypertension and elevates it in patients with hypotension…” 

    “… increases gastric secretion in patients with hypoacidity, and decreases it in patients with hyperacidity…”

     “… has holistic and bi-directional regulatory effects on immune function.2

Beyond the physiological and biochemical effects, acupuncture also helps us feel more relaxed and grounded within ourselves.

As a Five Element acupuncturist, I take the time to treat clients based on their constitution - not just their symptoms. fiveelementtheory

What is Five Element Acupuncture?

Five Element theory is rooted in understanding the essential energetic qualities found in nature: The elements of Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, and Metal.

In nature, as within our bodies, the elements “work interdependently in an elegant and systematic balance, each one sustaining and supporting the next in the cycle as with the change of seasons.”3

My training focused

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Volunteering brings health, happiness and greater sense of community

The title of Kelly Pohl’s recent Bozeman Daily Chronicle guest column pulled me in: “Taking part in shaping community’s future.”peoplecircle

I love the questions she posed, “Can we grow while maintaining our quality of life” that we have come to expect in Bozeman and the Gallatin Valley? “Can we grow and maintain the same expectations for public safety, access to nature, excellent schools, and a tremendous sense of community?” And I applaud her calls to action: “…Voice your opinion. Support the organizations that support your community. Vote. Volunteer…” 

Volunteering is in my blood

My volunteer history dates back to being a junior member of the Ironbound Ambulance Squad in Newark, NJ. I was a trained EMT and responded to emergency calls one night a week while in high school.

In my twenties I was a two-time Student Conservation Association volunteer (now known as Americorps). I educated the public on the environmental and cultural wonders of two very different but both incredibly wonder-filled places: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Grand Canyon National Park.

While in

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