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!
Acupuncture is an incredibly useful tool to treat conditions involving pain; from sports injury to arthritis to headaches and everywhere in between, but beyond pain, can acupuncture actually help to improve sports performance? Whether you’re a novice to a new sport, an avid gym goer, an amateur or professional athlete, acupuncture can be a great addition to your workout routine to help improve peak performance and elevate you to the next level of your fitness. Sports Acupuncture has been used all over the World, from treating injury to helping athletes increase performance levels. Acupuncturists are commonly employed by major sports teams all across the globe, in the bay area from the San Francisco Giants, 49ers to the San Francisco Ballet. Athletes are turning to acupuncture to not only help with pain and injury, but to help improve performance and compete at optimal levels.
So how does acupuncture help improve athletic performance? Aside from helping to treat injuries, there are many other mechanisms of action that acupuncture helps address which result in an enhanced and improved performance for athletes. Here are five key ways acupuncture helps improve athletic performance.
Original publication in Acupuncture Today May 2018 issue.
Life expectancy continues to increase among the World population and in the U.S., as such our desire for a good quality of life in those golden years is of utmost importance.1 A good quality of life isn’t measured by just being alive, it includes the ability to do normal day-to-day tasks, be free of pain, have nourishing, healthy relationships, and most importantly having a nourishing and healthy relationship with ourselves. The beauty industry is booming more than ever before, and with it the demand for anti-aging and youth enhancing products and treatments.2 Research continues to favor the effects of cosmetic acupuncture, showing noticeable, results after a short series of treatments.3-4 However, in most studies regarding cosmetic acupuncture the function of the full body acupuncture treatment and the importance of the Shen, and its effect on the face and appearance is often overlooked. A person who lacks their Shen showing through their eyes and face is often seen as looking dull, tired, or even unattractive. This property of beauty has no correlation with the physical structure of the face and is based solely in the person’s true self, or spirit, being expressed through the eyes and facial appearance.
Kim had the pleasure of being a guest on the CW show Bay Area Focus with Michelle Griego earlier in 2018. You can watch her segment below where she give us some great insight on natural anti-aging and a little information on permanent makeup!
Athletes are under constant pressure and stress, from performing at peak levels to staying well in the off season; maintaining health, balance and preventing injury are all priorities in the life of an athlete, whether a novice fitness enthusiast or an elite olympian, staying healthy and recovering quickly are of utmost importance. As I’ve started to venture into the world of open water rowing at the South End Rowing Club, I’m quickly learning many of the possible points of injury for rowers, myself included. While rowing is a low impact sport, posture and positioning are extremely important, as is training frequency and duration when it comes to preventing injury. Overtraining can quickly lead to injury, just as poor posture and stroke technique can set up a rower for injury down the line. As an Acupuncturist, I commonly treats patients for pain related to athletic endeavors and sports injuries, and I can say that taking care of an injury when it first appears is by far, one of the most crucial points to helping an athlete heal faster and without further injury. When issues are in the acute phase, they are generally easier and faster to respond to treatment, whether with acupuncture, physical therapy, chiropractic, massage or other modalities, treating a condition sooner than later can help an athlete get out on the water more safely, and sooner than attempting to ignore a minor injury which sets up re-injury later on.
How on Earth can these tiny needles actually make my wrinkles go away?
The beauty industry continues to boom and grow, there are topical creams, lotions and potions all the way to cutting edge cosmetic surgeries. Some treatments simply fail at being effective, while others may be effective but very costly and invasive, finding a more natural treatment that is actually effective can be a difficult task. Cosmetic acupuncture is a centuries old practice, used originally in ancient China as a treatment for royalty, it is continuing to be a sought after, safe and effective alternative treatment to more invasive anti-aging procedures.
Cosmetic acupuncture is a multi-leveled treatment, aimed at treating the entire person in a holistic approach. Aging should be considered a chronic, whole body process, so when we are looking at how to slow down that process it is critical to look at the whole picture. Utilizing only a cream or serum will have limited effect if the person continues to smoke cigarettes, be perpetually dehydrated, or in a constant state of elevated stress for instance. What we do in our lives, our lifestyle in and of itself, has a dramatic effect on how we look, so it should be no surprise that much of the benefit of cosmetic acupuncture lies in its’ holistic approach. When we approach skin care and anti-aging skin care in particular, there are a few goals we need to keep in mind, a treatment that adheres to these goals helps us administer effective skin care that produces desired results, while also avoiding injury to the skin structure so that the effects can last without repercussions later on.
Waking up one morning to a half paralyzed face likely ranks at the top of any of our ‘worst day ever’ lists, but for 40,000 Americans each year, this is reality. Bell’s Palsy is an idiopathic paralysis of the face, usually causing drooping of the mouth and eyelid due to infringement on the Facial Nerve, symptoms mimic a stroke, but with no neurological impairment. (1) Due to the unknown causes of this condition, treatment options are limited, consisting usually of a course of steroids like Prednisone and in some cases an antiviral like Valacyclovir. Patients are sent home with these medications and told to ‘wait it out.’ I don’t know about you, but if half of my face was paralyzed, waiting it out would not be a prescription I would be on board with.
The root of the paralysis in Bell’s Palsy is the 7th Cranial Nerve - The Facial Nerve. This nerve travels through a narrow bony canal in the skull, beneath the ear to the muscles in the face and is responsible for facial movements such as blinking the eye, smiling and frowning, it also carries nerve impulses to the tear and salivary glands, and transmits taste sensations from the tongue. In Bell’s Palsy cases it is thought that the nerve has been subject to some sort of inflammation or impingement which disrupts the function of the nerve resulting in this paralysis and other facial deficiencies.(1) Because of the unknown etiology, or cause, of this impingement, the modern medical treatments for the disorder are rather limited in their scope and approach.
The New Year has just passed and now it's time to start thinking about how you're going to not just MAKE a resolution or goal for the year but actually bring it to life! Check out my video on using acupuncture as a tool to make that happen, and a little reminder that your health insurance plan may help you pay for it!
With very relaxed rules and regulations and a TON of misconceptions about the procedures involved in Permanent Makeup the result is some potentially very scary outcomes for consumers. It's absolutely imperative for you to be your own best advocate when searching for the right artist for you - ask important questions and don't just believe the hype of a pretty certificate or even 10,000 instagram followers! Check out my little video below for some good advice on important issues to take into consideration when looking for an artist!
Helpful tips for choosing a Permanent Makeup / Microblading Artist who’s right for you:
CHOOSE HEALTH & SAFETY FIRST
-There is no governing / licensing board for Permanent Makeup - this means that there is no standard for training and education requirements. There are many people who are ‘certified’ microblading / PMU artists - but because there is no standard for education this means there is a significant disparity in courses. Courses range from online only, to 5 hours with no hands on training to a full course of 100 hours including textbook work, every one of these courses will tell the student they are a ‘certified’ microblading/PMU artist, despite some courses being very inadequate to do this work. A 100 Hour course is considered an adequate course among professionals in the industry.
-Ask your potential Artist where they did their training and how long it was - with minimal requirements to enter this industry, it’s up to you as a consumer to truly do your research on your potential artists. Ask them about their training and even look into their trainer if you want to. This is a tattoo on one of the key features of your face - be your own advocate and ask important questions.
-In California every PMU/Microblading Artist must hold valid permits from the County Health Department - The CA Safe Body Art Act (AB 300) was enacted in 2011, this bill helps us keep our shops and shop practices safe for every client. When PMU is done in a safe environment, health risks are minimal to non-existent, but when safe practices are not in place this risk rises exponentially. Because of the disparity in training requirements, many artists are not taught about safe shop practices at all and this presents a very serious public health risk to clients who are going to those under-trained and un-permitted artists.
-Ask to see your artist’s Health Permits and call the Health Department to verify them - This step is crucial to ensuring you are accessing a safe artist. Health Permits are public record and should be presented to you without hesitation. There are 2 permits required to be a legal PMU establishment and artist - one for the location and one for every artist working in that location. Contact the county Health Department where the artist is located to verify they have proper permits. Keep in mind a Business License is NOT a health permit, a Microblading Certification is NOT a health permit - nor is it a ‘license’ to practice permanent makeup - there is NO licensing board for PMU therefore a ‘licensed permanent makeup artist’ is actually not a real thing!
-Why do I need to worry about Health Permits? How could anyone open a business without them? Unfortunately, most county Health Departments are very understaffed, the result is that PMU establishments are only looked into when they apply for a permit or when someone calls to complain about an artist or business. The Health Department often does not seek out and investigate studios without a complaint to drive the process. As a result many (if not most) PMU / Microblading studios go unpermitted and unnoticed. This is why it is extremely important for you to ask to verify their permits and call the health department if they don’t have them. Illegally operating a PMU studio is a danger to public health and safety - communicable diseases like HIV and Hepatitis are risk factors in any procedure where the skin is broken, by holding your artists to the standards of CA State Laws you are ensuring your safety and the safety of others.
-Look at the Artist’s portfolio and look for Healed results - It’s utterly important you know exactly who you’re going to see for any PMU procedure, you want to be sure they can create great work, but more importantly you want to be sure they create great work that looks great HEALED. You live with the healed result - ask to see it. Getting PMU - especially Microblading - to heal a desirable color is actually more difficult than one would think - with many trainings being incredibly inadequate, some artists never learn in depth color theory and this results in tattoos healing with tints of purple, grey, green and blue.
-Lastly - Factor in Cost - All PMU / Microblading procedures are a TWO-PART process. This means that you will come in for your first session and 96% of the time need to come in for a touch up to follow up. A touch up guarantees you the best result - some people may not have good retention on their first pass, color may be too light, or the shape may need some adjustments. When you are searching for an artist - base their cost on the cost of the INITIAL PROCEDURE + TOUCH UP = TRUE COST, some artists will include the touch up in their prices and others do not. Don’t be fooled into thinking you may not need that touch up - in all likelihood you absolutely will.
-It is cheaper and easier to spend a bit more money, or drive a bit farther to see a GOOD, PERMITTED and TRAINED Artist in the first place than it is to fix or remove poorly done PMU. - Fixing poorly done PMU / Microblading is costly and time consuming - this process takes months to complete and will cost a significant amount of money. Contracting an incurable disease from an un-permitted PMU artist who works out of their home (illegally) will be a lifelong battle and also very costly. Waiting a bit longer, spending a bit more and driving a bit farther for a good, safe, trained, permitted artist is 110% worth it.
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.