New Hours! More Treatment Rooms! New Practitioners!

We've expanded!

It's been so busy at Emerging Energy renovating our office, but we are feeling settled in and have big news to share!

We now have 3 Doctors of Acupuncture available 6 days per week, an excellent massage therapist, and a holistic esthetician who also performs facial reflexology. (More about Alison and facial reflexology in another post!)

Our latest staff addition is acupuncturist Dr. Charlotte King, who has special training treating children with non-needle techniques. She also treats pain, women's health concerns and more. You can read all about her here. Dr. Charlotte also has extended evening hours on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Scheduling is available online!

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Dr. Mary Claire Dilks has expanded office hours and is now booking Friday mornings/ lunch, 8:30am-12:30 pm. She also has a new standard poodle puppy, Lucy, who may make an appearance in the office from time to time.

Here at Emerging Energy, we love helping people feel their best. When we feel our best, our spirit shines in the sparkly in our eyes, our skin glows with radiant health, and we can relax and enjoy the moment without worry or stress. We would love to help YOU!

Our private treatment rooms, delicious tea, and serene environment allow you to fully benefit from your acupuncture, massage or facial treatment. Healing begins when our nervous system relaxes, so we think this part is critical in your care.

Call or schedule online today!

Chia Seeds: Why You Should Be Eating This Superfood

Cinnamon Spice Chia Pudding

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Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup hot water, nut or seed milk (Omega-3 rich Hemp Milk is my favorite!)
  • 2 teaspoons honey (I use immune boosting Manuka Honey during flu season.)
  • pinch of sea salt

Directions:

  1. Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Heat liquid in a small sauce pan until warm. Stir in honey.
  3. Add liquid to dry ingredients and stir well.
  4. Stir every few minutes until fully gelled 20-30 min. Enjoy!

Chia seeds are literally one of the healthiest tiny foods on the planet. These small, nutrient dense seeds contain one of the largest amounts of plant-based protein PLUS Omega-3s so they make a great addition to a plant-based diet. When exposed to liquid, these seeds gel, so they make a great pudding (think tapioca pudding) or jam.

In fact, one ounce of chia seeds (about 2 tablespoons) contains 139 calories, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrates and 11 grams of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals like antioxidants and calcium. They are also a great source of Omega-3s which fight inflammation and keep your cell membranes supple.

Did you know these superfoods can help you lose weight?

The fiber in chia seeds is one of its big strengths when it comes to weight loss. One of the characteristics that make chia seeds so unique is that they can absorb up to 10 times their own weight in water. Because if this, they help you feel fuller longer, slow cravings, and can help prolong hydration.

As another bonus for your gut-health, the insoluble fiber acts as a prebiotic that feeds friendly gut bacteria and ferments into short-chain fatty acids to support gut health. You need PREbiotics to help your PRObiotics work.

Do you have a favorite way to use chia seeds?

The DIY Beauty Treatment You're Missing Out On: Facial Gua Sha

The alluring empresses and concubines in ancient China held many beauty secrets. From beautiful floral waters to herbal masks, to facial massage and steams, skin care was a way of life. We still use many of these time tested techniques today.

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One facial massage technique (that you may have never heard of) is on the verge of becoming mainstream. Known as Gua Sha (literally skin scraping), it’s gaining huge popularity with celebrity facialists in the green beauty movement and for good reason.

The benefits of facial Gua Sha include relaxing muscle tension, smoothing the connective tissue, reducing wrinkles, and improving lymphatic flow to decrease puffiness. In 2007, a German study found that Gua Sha improves blood circulation to the skin by over 400%! It instantly rejuvenates the skin cells for a healthy glow.

Do you want to know the best part? You can learn to do it yourself! Facial gua sha uses a flat jade tool to apply a gentle, cooling massage. With the proper technique, you can spend 5-10 minutes after cleansing your skin at night, and you’ll see some incredible benefits over time. You can check out tutorials online or attend a live workshop at Emerging Energy Acupuncture in Providence 12/4! Schedule online today- limited spaces remain.

This post was first published on 3 time "Best of RI" Lifestyle BlogPattyJ.com

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Self- Care: ACUPRESSURE for Neck and Upper Back Pain

People spend more and more time hunched over keyboards and looking at smart phones, and while we love these technological advances, they wreck havock on our necks and backs! Neck and shoulder pain are some of the most common complaints in our office.

One answer, get blood flowing in the muscles. Keeping blood flowing to your muscles prevents tension and "knots" and can help prevent pain buildin up. Try stepping away from your computer at least every 2 hours, stretch, and walk around. Take a bath at night with epsom salts. Use a microwavable heat pack. Get a massage. (Have you had an appointment with our massage therapist, Christine Cummings? She works wonders on sore necks and backs). If you can't make it in for a massage, or in between massages or acupuncture treatments, try acupressure at home.

Acupressure is a form of massage that involves pressure applied to specific acupuncture points. Different points have different functions and can be used for different ailments. Some points are used in a local area for a specific problem. For example, in the neck, there are a number of points used for pain. Other points, called distal points, affect an area of pain from far away.

If you press along a muscle and find a sore point, it's is called an "Ashi" point. If you find an ashi point, it may help ease pain to apply pressure to this point for a few minutes.

There are many useful points in the treatment of upper back and neck pain but here are two simple and effective points you can try at home. Always consult your doctor if you have pain that isn't going away as it can be a sign of something more serious.

  • GB 20 -- just under the base of the skull in two small muscular grooves at the back of the neck (green dot on image)
  • GB 21 -- on top of the shoulder, 2"-3" from the side of the neck (yellow dot on image)

Apply firm pressure to these two points for 5 seconds, first GB-20, then GB-21, then repeat for 2- 3 minutes. It may best to do this treatment a few times per day at first. Direct pressure downward at GB-21 should be avoided on any woman who may be pregnant, as this point has a strong downward effect and is used to induce labor.

Also consider emotional causes of neck and shoulder pain- Are you overthinking and is there too much energy in your head? Trying to bear the weight of the world like Atlas? Worrying and grinding your teeth at night? All of these things can contribute to neck and shoulder pain. Consulting a good therapist helps.

If neck and shoulder tension continues to be a problem for you, it may be best to seek medical attention as these symptoms could be signs of serious medical conditions!

6 Tips to Manage Allergies

For those that suffer from allergies, there is mixed emotion seeing the trees bloom. While it’s so exciting after a long winter to see the buds on the trees, there is also dread for the myriad of symptoms and suffering to come.

An allergic response is an exaggerated response of the body’s immune system to a substance that is normally harmless to the body such as pollen, weeds, animals and foods. When your body encounters an “allergy pathogen” mast cells release histamine which is involved in an inflammatory response. This sets in motion any number of responses in our body- making us feel miserable. There are many ways we can improve allergy symptoms by thinking about all of the components to a reaction. These six ideas can help!

  1. Nasal Cleansing (with a Neti pot). Don't worry, you won't feel like you're drowning! The Neti pot is the best way to flush out allergens, decrease swelling in the nasal passages, and rid your sinuses of phlegm and bacteria. This Ancient technique involves using a small pot of warm water and salt, tilting your head to the side and pouring the solution into one side of your nose. The solution will pass through your sinus and come out the other side. If you’ve never done it, take a look at youtube for a visual!

  2. Supplements. Quercetin, Vitamin C, Nettles, Bromelain, Boswellia, Astragalus: These are just a few ideas for what can help decrease inflammation and improve and regulate the immune response. In Chinese Herbalism, we use more specific Chinese Herbs for a customized approach based on your symptoms and diagnosis. Herbs are also beneficial to strengthen your resistance to allergens.

  3. Acupuncture. In Chinese Medicine, specific points are used to help symptoms such as stuffy nose, foggy head, low energy and itchy eyes as well as treat the underlying cause by regulating the liver and immune system. Your acupuncturist will do a full assessment to determine your diagnosis and then use Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine suited for you specifically.

  4. Detox liver. The liver removes toxins from our blood. Having a overloaded toxic liver can affect how quickly your body clears histamine. Eating a consistently healthy, chemical free diet will do more for the health of your liver than a fad-based, quick-fix, weekend type liver detox. Antioxidants and vitamins found in fresh fruits and vegetables will reduce liver inflammation and boost immune function, while Brussels sprouts will increase the activity of important liver enzymes. To gently detoxify the liver every day, a glass of water containing freshly squeezed lemon each morning will help.

  5. Stress reduction. Adrenalin affects mast cells and causes allergy symptoms to be worse. Allergies alone can be anxiety provoking, so working on a comprehensive plan to reduce stress is highly beneficial. Think 8 hrs sleep, mindfulness meditation, and gentle exercise.

  6. Balance the Gut. Start by reducing sugar and other inflammatory foods such as dairy and processed foods. Adding raw, fermented foods is one of the best ways you can naturally balance your gut flora. Most Whole Foods markets carry them in jars in the refrigerated section. I’m personally loving the Real Pickles brand beets! In addition, a good probiotic with proven technology to deliver what the label says is great as well. Look for the following strains: l. casei, l. rhamnosus, b. longum.

Allergies make many people miserable this time of year, but they don’t have to! By regulating your bodies response, you can better adapt to the changing seasons.

Late Summer 2015

After summer has reached its height, we shift into the season of late summer. Abundant harvests surround and nourish us. This is a time for slowing down, reflecting, and gathering in. This is the earth element.

The earth element correlates with the organs of Spleen and Stomach which are the major organs of food digestion. Digestive problems are often caused by disruptions in these organs. In fact, Spleen Qi deficiency is one of the main diagnoses we see in the clinic. The Spleen is responsible for digesting food and thoughts. You can think of it as an organ that sorts through information- be it nutrients from food or mental ideas. Worrying, overthinking, and eating too much cold food (like raw vegetables) can weaken the Spleen. When this happens, our food isn’t processed well. We might have bloating after meals or undigested food in loose stool. To strengthen the Spleen, eat warm foods (not raw), calm your mind with mindfulness exercises, meditation, or prayer, and get good rest. Now is the time to start cooking more of your vegetables so your energy and immunity can stay strong for the fall and winter!

We can live in harmony with the late summer season by enjoying the abundance of locally grown fruits and vegetables. Take a trip to the farmers market and reflect on the harvest. Enjoy the bounty of our beautiful work and take a moment to express gratitude to the farmers! Buy what catches your eye. Learn to cook something new!

Its also a good time to take stock in the harvest of your life. Look at the parts of yourself and be conscious of any pieces that are weighing on you. Consider what you no longer need and what no longer works for you- either physically or emotionally. I’m currently reading The Live Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, and I highly recommend her theory of decided what works in your life. The basic process is to hold each item you own and ask “Does this spark joy?” If so, keep it, and if not, give it away. This process is perfect for the Late Summer and Autumn seasons, since Autumn is all about letting go. I can only imagine how freeing it will be to lessen the clutter in our lives and to be only be surrounded by that which sparks joy! For now, take inventory in what you have and how you nourish yourself.

Nourishment can come in the form of food, TV, books, people, social media and more. How do we nurture ourselves? Do we make choices that make us feel calm and energized? Spend some time in this late summer season reflecting on this. Its extremely important to living a well and balanced life. Enjoy the remaining warm summer days!

Treating Insomnia with Chinese Medicine

Like most disharmonies, or illnesses, insomnia arises through a variety of different causes. Here lies the great strength of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) when it comes to treating chronic conditions. While western medicine may offer a few different pharmaceutical options aimed at treating the symptom of insomnia, TCM seeks to find the underlying cause-- and this can vary from person to person. Most likely, the underlying cause, or pattern of disharmony, has been in place even before the insomnia was an issue. When you can treat the underlying cause of something, the symptoms will not return. What are the causes of insomnia in TCM?

Illness arises in TCM when the flow of energy in the organs and systems of the body become unbalanced. Unlike western anatomy and physiology, TCM incorporates different functions and attributes to each organ. Each organ cannot be taken out of it's context in the human system. Things work together, ideally, to create balanced functions and overall health. When things go awry due to countless reasons, we experience symptoms. These symptoms point to an underlying problem, called a "pattern of disharmony." The goal of TCM treatment is to treat the underlying pattern, to alleviate symptoms and restore health and harmony to the body.

When it comes to insomnia, there can be a dysfunction in a variety of different organ systems including the heart, kidney, gallbladder, liver or an imbalance of substances including insufficient blood or yin, or an excess of heat or phlegm. A detailed TCM evaluation including tongue and pulse diagnosis will determine which organ systems are affected. Generally, all patterns of insomnia involve the heart.

When we fall asleep, our Shen, or spirit/mind, is said to rest in our heart. If the heart is a suitable place, then the Shen will rest soundly. If there is too much heat affecting the heart, the Shen will not rest. Too much heat can also cause the symptom of vivid dreams, nighmares, and night terrors. Also, if the heart does not have enough blood or yin to nourish and anchor the spirit, the Shen will wander and result in restless sleep, difficulty falling asleep, or waking up too early.

Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs can have a long lasting effect on insomnia. Some "patterns of disharmony" respond more quickly to treatment than others. Generally more than one treatment is needed for a lasting effect.

Herbs can be very useful to treat insomnia. Some herbs make you feel calm while others can treat the underling causes of insomnia. All of the herbs we use are manufactured in GMP regulated facilities with the highest standards, so you can rest assured that we do the work to find the best sources of high quality products to keep you healthy and safe! Commonly used herbs in western herbalism are chamomile, kava and valarian. All of these herbs can be taken to calm your mind in the evening.

General tips for insomnia:

  • Limit caffeine intake during the day
  • Don't drink before bed
  • Eat dinner 2-3 hours before you plan to go to bed
  • Stop looking at screens 1 hour before you would like to fall asleep and don't look at them if you get up in the middle of the night
  • Keep your bedroom dark or wear an eye mask
  • Develop a nighttime relaxation routine such as a shower or bath, calming aromatherapy, reading, etc.
  • Don't stress about it if you are awake. Consider it perfect quiet time to listen to your intuition or meditate.

My Story

As many of you may know, Emerging Energy Acupuncture, founded in 2004, is my practice of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs in Providence, RI. The name Emerging Energy came to me when I was living in NYC and saw a neon sign hanging in my soon-to-be husband's loft reading "EMERGING ENERGY." His mother picked it up at a yard sale in NJ so I'm really not sure where it came from. I did know that it summed up my future practice perfectly and so the name was decided.

To me, Emerging Energy signifies energy from deep inside bubbling up to the surface and expanding outward. It signifies the gifts you bring to the world that are just waiting to come out and make themselves known. As I know personally, this energy and inspiration is sometimes hampered by sickness.

Suffering with "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" as a teenager, I personally felt the confinement that sickness can create. There were days I spent bed, feeling unable to move. I felt like a prisoner in my body. Staring at the ceiling, my mind was full of all the things I wanted to do, but my body felt heavy and lifeless. After finding healing through holistic medicine, I made it my mission to help people with health conditions that hold them back from experiencing the fullness in life.

I have always had a creative streak. My creativity comes through in my work with patients as well as creating objects and products that inspire and nurture us. I believe that creativity is one of my gifts to give the world and honoring that just feels right and is one of the practices I do for stress relief.

Pearl Apothecary, my line of topical skin care products, started in early 2014 when I was researching herbs and essential oils to treat the stubborn Psoriasis that afflicted my mother. I formulated PS Ointment to help her heal (PS Ointment is coming to retail soon!). After that, I continued to develop and formulate products that feel good, smell good, and heal our skin. It's a self-nurturing practice to take care of our bodies with beautiful products. I believe this self-love helps us heal and become whole.

Why the name Pearl? A pearl is precious, has natural luster, takes time to form, and is natural. I think it sums up the products of Pearl Apothecary quite well. These products are hand made in small batches, using the finest ingredients. We mindfully use the lowest effective amounts of preservatives in some products to keep them safe to use for 6-12 months. We do not use parabens or formaldehyde preservatives. None of our products are tested on animals and many are vegan. They will make your skin and spirit glow from within with luminescence like a pearl.

Inner Gate is my line of healing Jewelry that will be rolling out in Summer 2015. Since I was a young child, I made Jewelry and had my first business in second grade making custom friendship bracelets. I love working with natural stones, and in high school, I seriously considered a career as a gemologist. These magnificent stones have healing characteristics and can serve as objects of beauty to cherish. I am beyond thrilled to bring you adornments that inspire you to stay connected, grounded, and keep your meridians open and flowing smoothly.

Inner Gate has two meanings. First, Inner Gate refers to an acupuncture point on the inner wrist that has the power to resolve "inner blockages" in the chest. It can calm the spirit and quiet the mind. It is also used to treat nausea and harmonize digestion. Second, a gate is a powerful symbol of a journey. As you pass through a gate, you decide to take an active role in your journey, in your inner transformation. You can and should be active in your healing process, and Inner Gate Jewelry can help remind you of the power you have.

In my own experience with "Chronic Fatigue," I've learned a few things about healing. First, you must mentally detach from a medical diagnosis in order to heal. Be willing to let it go because letting it become fundamentally part who you are will impede healing. If you let it become part of your identity, why would you want to lose a part of yourself? Let it go and imagine yourself whole. Next, healing requires an active role and daily practice. Nutrition and sleep are of vital importance. Don't compromise on these. Nutritional needs can vary from person to person, but EVERYONE needs enough protein and vegetables (and limited sugar). Lastly, do what you love. Do more of what makes you happy, except if that involves eating loads of chocolate. Don't get me wrong, I belive dark chocolate is a sort of vitamin. . . so have just a bit!