natural awakenings magazine articles of 2023

"Interoceptive Awareness" January/2023

Interoceptive awareness is a mindfulness technique that strengthens ability for listening to the body’s inner cues. If increasing self-care is one of your New Year resolutions, becoming more aware of your internal body signals is an excellent place to begin. It is a surefire way to become more insightful about what you truly need. Defining and manifesting your ideas and ideals will become easier resulting in a higher level of authentic behavior and balanced emotional state. Partnering with self and others is also strengthened through enhanced ability for picking up subtle messages and delivering upon what is really needed to establish healthy relationships.

Making interoceptive awareness an essential part of daily life is a huge step toward establishing a true connection with self. Give yourself this gift for 2023 and beyond.
click here to read more

"Revitalize with Forest Bathing" February/2023

Looking for a nature therapy that will resolve burnout and revitalize the soul? Then you may want to explore shinrin-yoku, a term coined back in 1982 by The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. It translates as ‘forest bathing’ but has nothing to do with water. Rather, it is the act of immersing and soaking in the healthy energy of the woods. Forest bathing clubs, guides and tutorials have even formed to help people learn how to partake is this restorative experience.

Forest bathing helps to establish a more positive body image. Another study found that being in a forest environment lowered cortisol (stress hormone) level, pulse rate and blood pressure when compared to an urban environment.
click here to read more

"Modulation of Pain" March/2023

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine technique used to treat a variety of pain conditions. It works through the insertion of needles into specific locations on the skin known as acupuncture points. The story goes that it was first discovered when a Chinese soldier’s shoulder pain was gone after being pierced in the leg by an arrow. Interestingly, the original needles were made of stone and shaped like an arrow.

Today, an acupuncturist uses ultra-thin stainless-steel needles that are surprisingly painless. The acupuncture experience is typically relaxing, soothing and deeply healing. Both then and now, acupuncture has been known to ameliorate pain by opening energetic blockages within the area treated and throughout the body. Upon doing so, it positively influences the body’s tissues, glands, vital organs and promotes overall bodily function.
click here to read more

"Long Covid Help" April/2023

Acupuncture has been used throughout the centuries to restore homeostasis, relieve symptoms and thereby manifest health and wellness. With the advent of Long COVID, many sufferers have been seeking the help of acupuncturists to deal with their stubborn symptoms with great success. Some of the most common complaints reported by “long haulers” include extreme fatigue, brain fog, fever, pain, shortness of breath and sleep issues.

The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 10-20% of those infected with COVID-19 may suffer from medium and long-term COVID. Recent research has found acupuncture to be a viable adjunctive health care modality as part of a multidisciplinary approach to control symptoms and manage disease to improve quality of life. An acupuncturist typically views the extreme fatigue associated with this condition as deficiency of Qi (vital energy) and blood along with imbalance of yin and yang.

A “long hauler” may find additional help with Chinese herbal medicine as many traditional formulas are designed to eliminate pain, strengthen Wei Qi (immune function) and eliminate heat toxins (inflammation). In addition, the ancient Chinese exercises of Taiji and Qigong are of great support to re-establish homeostasis and build upright Qi.
click here to read more

"Healing Back Pain" May/2023

Over 72 million people in the U.S. are affected by back pain. Inter- estingly, the revised guidelines offered by the American College of Physicians in 2017 mentioned modalities such as heat therapy, massage, acupuncture or tai chi for their potential to relieve back pain.

Traditionally acupuncture relieves back pain by opening qi (vital energy) flow, balancing yin-yang energy, resolving inflammation and loosening tight muscles. Research has established that it releases natural pain-relieving or sleep-inducing opioids from the brain. Treatment speeds the relay of electromagnetic signals that begin flow of pain-relieving chemicals such as endorphins or immune system cells.

Tai chi (taiji) exercise which is a series of slow, flowing and deliberate movements is another form of Chinese medicine that alleviates back pain by releasing energetic blockages and restoring proper qi flow. It further achieves results through promoting body alignment, posture, strength, flexibility, coordination, balance and stamina. And as a gentle low-impact exercise, tai chi strengthens the spine thereby alleviating back pain.
click here to read more

"The Yin and Yang of Acupuncture" June/2023

The theory of acupuncture holds that health stems from a harmonious balance of yin and yang and its accompanying free #ow of qi (vital energy). Whether in nature or in the human body, yin and yang describe the existential representation of opposites in the universe. Yin represents the more feminine, soft, yielding, internal, receptive and calming aspects of life. It forms the basis of the nervous system, bones and bodily fluids. Yang represents the more masculine, hard, firm, external and active aspects of life. "The polar opposites of yin and yang are independent, yet never fully separate as yin cannot exist without yang and vice versa. We know that each contains the seed of its opposite which themselves have the potential to sprout at any time.

"The dynamic transformative ebb and flow of these forces is illustrated within the Yin Yang Symbol providing a representation of how these polarities are contained within every component of the body. "The two halves of this symbol resemble the shape of a fish where each side contains a thin and thick end. This serves as a visual representation for how yin and yang alternate between minimal and maximal.
click here to read more

"Gentle Life-Enhancing Qigong" July/2023

The practice of qigong optimizes energy to improve and maintain health and well-being. It is a gentle and slow-flowing form of exercise that can be practiced anywhere by anyone.

Qigong increases strength, flexibility, blood circulation and flow of lymph and synovial fluids. It promotes balance and stability along with proprioception which has to do with awareness about how one moves through space. This practice will develop intuitive capacity and peace of mind, while enlivening spirit, brightening mood and creating a more positive attitude.

This ancient modality has a wide variety of forms with roots in Chinese medicine, philosophy and the martial arts dating back more than 2,000 years. Traditionally, it is considered to be a practice for building and balancing the flow of “qi” which is the vital or life energy pulsating throughout all living things. Sometimes translated as “the vapor of the finest matter,” the Chinese character for qi represents the steam that rises from a grain of cooking rice, symbolizing distilled essence.
click here to read more

"Getting Fit with Taiji" August/2023

Approximately 250 million people practice taiji (pronounced “tiejee”) throughout the world as a low-impact exercise for facilitating physical !tness and vibrant health. Commonly known as “tai chi” and originally created as a form of self-defense, it is still practiced by many for its martial applications. #is is one of the main characteristics distinguishing it from its sister art of qigong (pronounced “chee-gung”). Both are Chinese medicine self-healing practices that cultivate and integrate the physical, energetic and spiritual aspects of being. Taiji is more physical in nature and focused on building internal power. It is typically more di%cult to learn and takes longer to complete the entire set of movements.

This ancient exercise works by building and balancing the "flow of “qi” which is the vital or life energy pulsating throughout all living things. Sometimes translated as “the vapor of the finest matter,” the Chinese character for qi represents the steam that rises from a grain of cooking rice, symbolizing distilled essence. Taiji exercise maximizes immune function by building defensive qi and promotes cardiovascular health by nourishing qi of the heart and lungs.
click here to read more

"Acupuncture for Addiction Recovery" September/2023

Acupuncture is an ancient form of holistic medicine that originated in Chinese approximately 3,000 years ago. It involves the insertion of fine stainless-steel needles into specific points on the body surface that are traditionally believed to release energetic blockages and enhance flow of qi (vital energy). Acupuncture has been used throughout the centuries to attain vibrant health and well-being. It has been known for successfully treating a wide range of physical conditions such as muscular pain, headaches, osteoarthritis, chronic stress, hot flashes, infertility and gastric disturbance.

Auricular or ear acupuncture is a commonly chosen method to help eliminate substance abuse issues and support the process of addiction recovery. Acupuncturists insert thin needles into various points on the skin of the external ear to ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings.

According to Chinese medicine, this serves to nourish yin energy and bring one’s energetic system back into balance. Acupuncture treats the whole person and honors each person’s individual needs in order to promote healing and recovery.
click here to read more

"Acupuncture for Migraines & Headaches" October/2023

Acupuncture is an effective treatment for migraine and headache sufferers. Chinese medicine teaches us that they are due to an imbalance between yin and yang energies. Their occurrence tends to be from an excessive amount of yang energy which makes the head feel like it is bursting. Although headaches that occur later in the day are more commonly due to deficiency of qi and blood, where one might feel heavy headed and like something is stuck. And those that cover the entire head and feel like a deep ache most often stem from kidney deficiency.

Interestingly, the head is where yang energy collects and is concentrated. In fact, all yang energetic meridian pathways meet at the head. When yang energy ascends properly to the head, a person is able to think clearly and experience optimal hearing, vision, taste and sense of smell.
click here to read more

"The Magical Power of Taiji" November/2023

Taiji (Tai Chi) strengthens mindfulness as it requires concentrating on several aspects of the body at once. This involves making sure all movement is guided by the waist, one’s center of power. It is both fun and challenging to play with qì (vital energy) while moving the body with grace and power. Taiji choreography is made up of a combination of poses and stances, postural alignment and breathing techniques. Each posture was designed by the ancients to improve health and agility while also calming the heart and spirit.

The energies from nature are used to strengthen the connection between a Taiji player and the forces of heaven and earth.

If you are longing for an exercise that you love to do, this gentle, yet powerful form of moving meditation could be the perfect exercise for you, one that you can practice the rest of your life.
click here to read more

"Boost Memory with Tai Chi" December/2023

Tai Chi is a low impact exercise for facilitating physical fitness and creating vibrant health. People are drawn to this ancient exercise to discover internal peace, enliven their energetic system and achieve overall wellness. It is traditionally known for enhancing coordination, strength, flexibility and endurance along with balance and upright stature.

Tai Chi prevents as well as provides palliative support for many types of injuries and health conditions, stemming from its ability to ameliorate pain and reduce in"ammation by opening qì (vital energy) and blood flow throughout the body. This exercise artform maximizes immune function by building defensive qi and promotes cardiovascular health by nourishing qi of the heart and lungs. It invigorates reproductive and sexual energy through balancing hormones, enhancing blood flow and boosting kidney qi. Tai Chi is well-known for its ability to stabilize emotions, create a more tranquil existence and retard the aging process.
click here to read more

Proudly serving Red Bank, Shrewsbury, Tinton Falls, Eatontown, Middletown, Holmdel, Ocean, Rumson, Fair Haven, Little Silver