Every time something awful happens in the world, it makes its way into my clinic. This week Roe v Wade was overturned and it’s been the topic of every patient’s mind and heart. I often hear the words ‘you’re not my therapist but….’ while my patients explain to me their emotional or spiritual troubles. This happens so often that it’s now one of the main things I treat in my clinic - emotional pain, upset and trauma, and it’s also why I’ve become a transformational Jungian Life Coach, so that I can truly help you in the entire process of body, mind and spirit. You might think heading to an acupuncturist to deal with your break up doesn’t make a lot of sense, but the truth is, emotional pain goes far beyond just the mind, it affects our body and our spirit, and Chinese medicine is especially equipped to bridge between these three aspects of our lives: body - mind - spirit. Feelings are called feelings for a reason - they are literally felt in the body, actual sensations that we feel caused by neurotransmitters, hormones and enzymes - it can be tingling, numbness, tension, heat, the list goes on, but every time we have an emotional reaction, before it came a physical reaction. The world we currently live in is rife with reasons to be upset - wars that are never ending, political upheaval, an economic system on the brink of collapse, domestic terrorism, pain and strife is parmount every time we turn on the television or open up TikTok, and that doesn’t even include our personal life’s ups and downs.
It’s incredibly important that during times of stress, change or upset we find support, you may get that from friends and family, a therapist, the gym, and yes, an acupuncturist. Body work can be profound to help the mental and emotional healing process. We have to help the body process and move the energy (and neurotransmitters, hormones and enzymes) that is associated with emotional responses so that we can feel clear and like ourselves again, so that we can move forward and make choices out of response instead of reaction. If you’re still wondering ‘how on earth can acupuncture really help me with my emotions?’ let’s dive right in…
Women’s health, fertility and conception are some of the concerns that my patients will come in for, I think this aspect of acupuncture and herbal medicine is actually a bit more well known, second to pain treatments, and there’s a reason for this: it works. If you were ever a fan of the HBO show Sex and the City you might remember Charlotte’s experience with Dr Mao the acupuncturist who helped her learn how to tune back into her inner peace and eventually get pregnant for the first time. This side of acupuncture often gets talked about in a kind of whimsical miraculous type of way, where people hear about one person who had success and tout acupuncture as the ‘miracle cure’ for all fertility woes. And while yes, for some people acupuncture might just be the missing link to having a healthy happy baby, it’s often a piece of a multi-pronged approach. We’ve seen through scientific study that acupuncture improves the success of IVF treatments, so it’s not just an old wives tale, it really does work.
Where my work comes with fertility patients is less focused on direct hormone and menstrual cycle support, although this is definitely a part of the treatment protocol, but more focused on what we think in Chinese medicine as ‘cultivating the baby’s first home.’ The womb and the mother are essentially your baby’s first home, and we need to make this place a calm, nourishing, warm and supportive environment for the baby to thrive and develop in before birth. Part of this often revolves around cultivating new stress management practices, accessing our inner peace and learning how to truly listen to our body. If our outer world is highly stressed, our body also takes on this energy and it can make a pregnancy become difficult, particularly if we are wanting to call in an intentional pregnancy.
We live in a world where, for all of our lives - beauty and status have been paramount: we crave it, we seek it, we spend our extra money on attaining it, seek out jobs that can provide for it, it’s ‘necessary’ for assimilating into social culture or being ‘seen’ … It. Is. So. Important. But… is it?
When we first experienced our ‘lockdown’ in the Spring I was aghast at the level of denial and flat out refusal of some people to follow safety guidelines. It made no sense… Why are people so readily willing to throw common sense out the window for a haircut? Are eyelash extensions really that important? Who benefits from outright denying this pandemic actually exists? Why is there so much hostility over a tiny piece of fabric? As time has passed the deniers and rebels against protocols became louder and more polarized, likely due to the politicization of the entire process. And while doing a little self-care to pump up our self esteem and confidence is an absolutely valid process, it always seemed like something much, much deeper was at play.
In Chinese medicine one of the first diagnostic principles we learn is to differentiate the root from the branch. The branch might be the presenting symptoms a patient walks in with, knee pain, insomnia, headaches, stress, anxiety, you name it - it’s the first thing that the patient complains about when you ask what they would like to work on today. The root is that underlying cause that created the environment for the current symptoms to arise in the first place. We often think of this as a constitutional imbalance, meaning that everyone has their own predisposed weaknesses and strengths, perhaps this is passed on from our parents and ancestors, maybe a result of early childhood illness or trauma or other underlying issues. The root is often extremely complex, and can sometimes be difficult to diagnose, but once we can get to it, or pointed in the right direction we often will see transformative shifts occur in the patient. The knee pain that hardly responded to direct treatment now can begin to release because we’ve found the root of the issue in a deficiency of the Water element and Kidneys due to some repressed fear. As we begin to unpack this root cause, the physical or emotional symptoms start to give way to the healing that is present. I also like to look another step deeper, to the soil, this is the deepest layer, this unseen and usually unnameable force that sets us up to create and experience certain things in our lives, perhaps another name for this is fate or predisposition. Dr David Hawkins, PhD calls it the ‘attractor pattern’, it’s the unseeable pattern that sets up the visible and nameable string of events that eventually leads to the presentation we are looking at in our office.
How’s life going for you?
Do you feel like something is missing? A lack of inspiration perhaps? Feeling closed off from others or even yourself? A sense of despair or an absence of the ‘heart and soul’ of life? Maybe you’ve been having trouble sleeping? Feeling anxious? Restless? Difficulty concentrating?
If this sounds a little too familiar read on… it might be a disruption or disturbance of your Shen.
Let me explain…
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) the way we look at our mental, emotional and spiritual health is by looking at the Five Spirits - these spirits are aspects of our complete animation as a human on Earth from our Divine spiritual nature to our animal instincts to the connection with the collective unconscious. These spirits all serve different aspects of the self and our interaction and experience on Earth, as such we can address issues that arise in the psyche by addressing these spirits. As goes with all illness and disorder in TCM these issues with the spirits can be experienced in a range of severity and intensity and also duration - meaning we can have a mild and brief Shen disturbance that lasts a day or two or we can have a more severe and chronic presentation that lasts for months, years or a lifetime, there are many causes and reasons why which I’ll get into later on.
What is TeleHealth?
Telehealth, or remote healing sessions are simply sessions that are conducted via phone or online. You can receive healing, coaching and consultations from anywhere in the World with Dr. Kim, so you won't have to break your consistency with treatments during travel, or if you're not local to Marin County you can still work with Dr. Kim!
We serve patients from all over the World! Read below for more information on specific offerings for telehealth visits.
Published in Acupuncture Today February 2020 Vol 21, Issue 2
What do we think of when we hear the word ‘healing’? For many, the first conclusion is that healing means to get better, or to heal from a disease. But what if this belief and concept about healing isn’t the whole picture? If healing doesn’t just mean to get better, then what does it mean? And how can this help us help our patients?
Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines healing as:
heal - transitive verb
1a: to make free from injury or disease : to make sound or whole // heal a wound
B: to make well again : to restore to health // heal the sick
2a: to cause (an undesirable condition) to be overcome // MEND the troubles … had not been forgotten, but they had been healed — William Power
b: to patch up or correct (a breach or division) // heal a breach between friends
3: to restore to original purity or integrity // healed of sin
Our approach in healthcare focuses on the first 3-4 aspects of this definition - to heal a wound, the sick or overcome an undesirable situation. While it is important to help our patients find recovery from the ailments that bring them into our office, in some cases, this isn’t always possible. Chronic disease, terminal illness or life situations that are permanent are not so simply overcome in the sense that we can erase them from reality entirely. It’s in this case where we have to focus on the last definition of the world healing - to restore to original purity or integrity. And while the sample of being ‘healed of sin’ takes on a different tone, what I believe this definition to point to is simply: to return to our original intention.
If you're looking for a unique, transformative and chill event to dive into acupuncture, meditation and those relaxed alpha theta brainwave states, then I invite you to join me on Sunday August 11th at 11am or 2pm for my Acupuncture and Guided Meditation event in San Rafael, Marin County at Lion's Heart!
“Qigong and acupuncture will not only make you smarter, but also make you sexier and get better dates” touted the late Dr. Daju Suzanne Friedman to her students. They always laughed at this joke, but also knew there was definitely some merit to it, because after practicing qigong or receiving an acupuncture treatment the results were obvious; feeling better, a clarity of mind and an improved overall appearance. When a person completes a meditation retreat it’s not uncommon for their peers to see them as not just looking more clear and relaxed, but also looking more youthful and more present. Mindfulness works, it helps us to relax, let go of stress and actually takes the body into a regenerative brainwave state, and doing this has an incredible anti-aging effect throughout the entire body, from improved clarity of mind, to preserving telomeres and visible improvements in the skin and appearance.
In the same way meditation helps to take the brain and body to a restorative state, acupuncture does so as well; it’s part of the reason why patients get off the table feeling great, looking relaxed and talking about how incredibly relaxing the treatment was. There are different types of brainwaves the human body experiences, they affect different levels of consciousness and serve different purposes - all relevant and important. In today’s society, the stressed out sympathetic nervous system is ever dominant, so taking time to wind down and drop in to a regenerative state is incredibly important, although it can often be difficult for some to get into that relaxed state. Acupuncture can help almost anyone drop in to a relaxed state without the effort, making acupuncture a great tool, like mindfulness meditation to help people experience renewal and healthy aging.
The cycle of making plans and setting intentions for who we are becoming and growing into is a continuous process, it's important to remember that in order to let in more, we often need to also let go. One place we truly need to let go, but have a difficult time in doing so, is releasing ourselves from past hurts, resentments, regrets, even simple arguments; when we notice something recurring and ruminating in our space it's a sign that we need some extra healing around that particular subject, or person.
Forgiveness is an incredible tool to help us let go and set ourselves free from that which we are attached to, or still connected to even though we don't want to be. Forgiveness is to truly release the stuck energy that holds us back, and by using a meditation or practice like the one following, we can experience a deep level of healing and release.
The subject of this meditation was adapted from the book Soul Integration by Sal Rachele. The book addresses topics, tools and meditations to help us integrate lost soul fragments, or in other words - to find and become more attuned with our highest spiritual self. While reading this book I was going through a particularly difficult and dramatic situation in my life, and this specific meditation seemed to resolve the matter almost overnight. Since then I've held the intention to make the video to share, with Sal's approval and support. The background music is by the very talented, connected and wise Ryan Rigoli, the songs are from his recent albums Majesty of the Heart and You Are Eternal.
I hope you enjoy this meditation and can use it to help move forward on your path of healing and growth!
It's been a long time coming and I'm thrilled to announce that starting in 2020 I will be offering a 3 Day Workshop for licensed Acupuncturists to learn my method of integrative Cosmetic Acupuncture! The first course will be held at my alma mater The Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College in Berkeley, CA the last weekend of January 2020. Details are still being worked out but the course is currently pending for 23 CA CEUs and will also be applied for NCCAOM units as well.
I'm looking forward to offering this course as I think it really bridges together what other courses are missing and takes on an approach that helps students understand the WHY of cosmetic acupuncture from a physiological perspective as well as a spiritual perspective. Over a decade of practicing this art has led me to some unique understandings of how and why it works and how to work with patients to get the best results possible.
Please see more information on my website: integrativecosmeticacupuncture.com for upcoming course dates and more!
Dr. Kim Peirano, DACM, LAc is the Owner and Acupuncturist at Lion's Heart Wellness, the San Francisco Bay Area and Marin's #1 Cosmetic Acupuncturist and #1 Holistic Healer.
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Intuitive Traditional Chinese Medicine - Intuitive Acupuncture and Transformational Spiritual Life Coaching. TeleHealth Wellness and Health Coaching, Esoteric Acupuncture, Sports Acupuncture, Transformational Life Coaching, Remote Healing, Reiki, Guided Meditation and Herbal Prescriptions available online! Serving Marin County - San Rafael, Mill Valley, Fairfax, San Anselmo, Greenbrae, Larkspur, Novato.