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Traditional Chinese Medicine

Welcome to Earth Element in 5 Element Acupuncture.

There are 5 elements or Seasons of energy in Acupuncture.  Each is associated with time, color, sound, odor, foods and other associations.  These 5 Elements are s follows.

Earth (Late Summer) Holding energy, nourishing, supporting

Metal (Autumn) Descending movement, letting go, loss

Water (Winter) Stillness, persistence movement, power, regenerating

Wood (Spring) Uprising movement, birth, growth

Summer (Fire) Dancing energy, playfulness, blossoming

 

Late Summer & The Earth Element

Late Summer is a nurturing time of the year. We have a surplus of fruits and vegetables, gifts from the growth and busyness of the Spring and Summer seasons.

In Late Summer, the activities of Summer start to slow down while harvest time kicks into gear. The plants and trees offer their bounty of fruit and vegetables. Food is available for all animals before fall approaches and preparation for winter begins. Late summer reminds us that Mother Earth gives us all that we need without asking anything in return.

So how does this the energetic movement of Earth and Late Summer show up in us? 

Emotionally, the Earth Element shows up as the emotions of sympathy, empathy, and compassion. Our ability to give and receive caring feelings and mothering energy.

Physically, the Earth Element shows up as our Digestive System.  The Stomach, Spleen, and Pancreas are the organs that break down, digest, and helps to transport nourishment to the body.

Spiritually, the Earth Element gives us the ability to feel an inner nourishment through stability, security, and abundance. When we overflow with this energy, we are able to share our bounty with others.

When the Earth Element is in balance we have the gifts of nurturing, thoughtfulness, nourishment, taste, sympathy, and stability to give to others.

When the Earth Element is out of balance, we may feel obsessive worry or sympathy, self-centered or insecure, not be able to give or receive help or care from others. We can feel a lack of abundance, what we have is not enough. Physically, muscle pain, digestive problems, ulcers, or headaches can occur. Issues with the relationship with food and body image can arise as well.

If your Earth Element Qi is feeling stuck here are 4 practices that can help:

  1. GIVE…Lend a helping hand to a neighbor in need; give a random gift to someone in your life; volunteer your time at a homeless shelter or food kitchen; Give out hugs; Literally, feed your partner or friend.
  2. GRATITUDE…Keep a daily gratitude journal; Give thanks to the Earth and her creatures for providing nourishment; When you say “Thank You” look the person in the eye and mean it from your heart.
  3. RECEIVE…Consciously accept the thank you, gifts, and offerings of others; Be aware of the processes of taking in food, chewing and digesting.
  4. ACUPUNCTURE… If you have been receiving seasonal acupuncture treatments, between now and October is the perfect time to come in for your Late Summer session. It can help bring Nourishment to your body, mind, and soul! If you are new to acupuncture, massage, nutrition, or energy medicine, now is the perfect time to start acupuncture treatments! Give Jean Donati Acupuncture a Call at 410-984-3700.

Acupuncture for Better Circulation

Acupuncture for Better Circulation

Perhaps the greatest benefit of acupuncture is that this form of medicine has been practiced for thousands of years and has been specifically used to increase circulation for centuries. At the bedrock of this medicine are the techniques used to stimulate sympathetic responses resulting in blood vessel dilation and increased blood flow. Maybe a simpler way of explaining it is to say acupuncture stimulates energy pathways in the body, thus enhancing blood flow. continue reading »

Acupuncture for Anxiety or Panic

Acupuncture and Acute Stress…Adrenalin and Acupuncture.

Jean_Donati_Acupuncture_PanicDid you ever have one of those days….You are sleeping soundly then all of the sudden you are awake.  You look at the clock, and…Oh NOOOooo…What happened to the alarm?  You wake up 15 minutes before you have to leave for work.   It is a pretty upsetting feeling.  You feel rushed and anxious. Am I going to get to work on time?  Your blood pressure is elevated, and you are aggrevated. You yell at the traffic for being slow. It upsets your body and your your energy for the entire day.

This happened to me this morning, so I would like to let you know you what is happening in your body, and what you can do to alleviate those rushed, anxious, and upsetting feelings.  First take a deep breath. What you are experiencing is normal. You woke up late and perhaps were startled.  Your nervous system has kicked in with adrenalin.

Adrenaline, also called epinephrine, is a hormone produced by your adrenal glands.  Adrenaline is known as the “fight or flight” hormone and is released in response to a stressful, exciting, or threatening situation.  Adrenaline enables your body to respond quickly to these situations by enabling the heart to beat faster, the blood-flow to increase to the brain and muscles and stimulates the body to make sugar to use as fuel.

When you experience an “adrenaline rush” there is a perception of a threat that sent to the amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for emotional processing.   This signal communicates to the rest of the body through the nervous system.  Symptoms include a boost of energy, rapid breathing, increased heartbeat, and perspiration.  This rapid process allows you to dodge out of harms way quickly and return to safety.  To assist with returning to equilibrium, it is important to allow the body to rest and repair itself.

Acupuncture along with deep breathing and meditation clearly benefits every aspect of the body and can return it to its normally calm state.  There are some acupuncture points to help you with an acute stress reaction or panic attack.  Gently massaging these points can help get you back on track and ease your symptoms and energy.

Shenmen (HT7), also called Spirit Gate, is one of the major points on the heart meridian or energy pathway.  Because it can nourish the blood, calm and cool down internal fire, it is a good point to calm the mind, clear the emotions and help with anxiety, stress, insomnia, agitation, and palpitations. Shenmen, is located at the wrist crease on the radial side of the arm, where your pinky finger is.

Neiguan (PC 6), also called Inner Frontier Gate, goes to the chest and opens it up.  It allows you to breathe easier, stops racing of the heart and palpitations.  It calms your spirit or “shen” and mind, so it is helpful for racing and fragmented thoughts.  It is also a great point to open the chest and the heart, counteracting the contracting energy of anxiety.  This point is also located on the inside of the forearm, about two inches down from the wrist crease, in the middle of the forearm between the two tendons. This point is also good for nausea which can accompany anxiety.

 

Tanzhong, (CV 17), also called Middle of Chest is a very calming point for the mind and heart.  It is helpful to calm the palpitations that come with anxiety.  It opens the chest and relaxes the diaphragm.  It is located in the center of the chest, on the median line just between the nipples at the 4th intercostal space.

 

 

Yongquan, (KD 1), also called Bubbling Spring, calms the mind and clears the brain.  It is a very grounding point for the body, mind and spirit.  Kidney 1 has a strong downward moving energy that helps settle the mind when someone is stuck in their head.    It connects us to the earth and gives us back out footing.  It is located on the sole of the foot approximately 1/3rd the way from toes in the depression when to toes are pointed.

 

So next time you are feeling stressed from whatever reason, remember these calming acupuncture points.  Massaging this points with mild pressure for 15-30 seconds (up to 3-5 minutes) can help reduce anxiety stress and panic and put you back into control.  Take the time to take care of your body mind and spirit.      Jean Donati Acupuncture is here to help ease your nervous system back into calm.  Give us a call 410-984-3700.

Acupuncture Treatment of Pain

When Are you going to treat my pain???

Over the past few days, I have had several patients ask me …”I am coming in for neck pain or back pain or shoulder pain…where are you going to put the needles”?  Or if I have been seeing the patient I am asked “when are you going to treat my pain… why don’t you just put the needles where my pain is?”

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the flow of energy or Qi, moves in specific pathways called meridians.  There are 14 major pathways, and these pathways interact with each other.  Initially, when I first see a patient, I like to make sure that the overall energy is clear, so I do a few “clearing treatments” before I focus on shifting any energy in a specific pathway.

Your energy is like a garden.   I want flowers or crops to grow, so I need to make sure the ground is ready for planting.  This means removing any unnecessary weeds, or rocks or debris.  This is what the clearing treatments do.  They make the energy channels clear and ready for shifts in energy.  The clearing treatments are generally on the front, or back of the body and can consist of 2-4 treatments if necessary.  This is to ensure that the energy is moving in the proper direction, not being contaminated.  It is like removing a kink form a hose so you can let the water flow.

There is another important thing to note.  Say you come in for wrist pain, there are 6 pathways that encompass the wrist area.  These include the heart, small intestine, triple heater, pericardium, lung and large intestine pathways of energy.  They all start at the fingertips and go up the wrist, to the forearm.  Some of these pathways diverge to the chest, face and back.  So, needles may not be placed in the wrist for wrist pain if there is a blockage of energy along a pathway is say the small intestine at the level of the scapula or shoulder blade.

Traditional Chinese medicine takes all of this into account.  So, when I am asked “When are you going to treat my pain?”  My answer is… I already am…I started with the first session.   Sometimes clearing the general energy blocks (which can include internal and external factors such as emotions, heat, cold, wind, damp, excess or deficiency, side to side energy pathway balance) can make a profound change in the symptoms you came in with and others you were not aware of such as sleep, mood, digestion and concentration.

 

My treatment protocol consists of the following…

Clear general energy blocks -Internal Dragons, External Dragons, Aggressive Energy, Alkabane (side to side balance).  1-4 treatments if needed.

Clear local pathway energy blocks form one pathway to another (Entry/exit blocks) if needed

Treat meridian root cause with local and distal points at each treatment after the clearing treatments

Ashi points or painful points not specifically on an energy pathway.

Treat Constitutionally.

As a team, we are teaching your energy how to stay open and clear, but sometimes life gets in the way, and blockages can reoccur.  Each part of this protocol may need to be done, or just one part, or perhaps several at the same time to shift the energy when it needs to shift.  Each treatment builds on the one before, so it is important to have regular and frequent treatments early in your treatment course.  As your symptom resolves, the length of time between treatments can be increased as long as you remain symptom free.  Once we get to this point, I generally like to have my patients come back monthly for a tune up so that we can continue to keep their energy clear and keep them symptom free.

 

Benefits of Acupuncture during Pregnancy

Benefits of Acupuncture during Pregnancy_Jean Donati Acupuncture_Towson MD

Bringing a child into the world is one of life’s greatest gifts. But, along with the anticipation of that little bundle of joy, often comes some physical challenges and discomfort that can make for a long nine months. Did you know that acupuncture has been shown to address several issues that come up during pregnancy? Here’s what to know about the benefits of acupuncture during pregnancy and what the research actually says is true. continue reading »

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