The class is being offered by one of my teachers at the Acupressure Institute, Anasuya Batliner.  I took her class on Women’s Health Issues there, and learned a great deal from this gifted teacher.

Yin, Yang, Qi & Blood: Phases of a Woman’s Month

September 3, 7pm – 8pm
a free teleclass
with Anasuya Batliner, NC, Dipl. ABT, CST, My Body Wisdom
for anyone interested in acupressure and women’s health

The energies of Yin, Yang, Qi and Blood naturally ebb and flow through the weeks of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Learn to support this rhythm with appropriate acupressure points, foods, and activities for each phase.

-Increase fertility
-Reduce PMS
-Ease menstrual cramps

This free teleclass gives you a preview of the Women’s Health Issues class taught by Anasuya, September 16-17 from 9am – 4pm at The Acupressure Institute in Berkeley, California.

To register for the free teleclass email Anasuya directly at anasuya@mybodywisdom.net. You will be given a conference phone number and PIN number to join the call.

A student in a class recently asked about acupressure points to address dry eyes.  While factors such as diet, stress, and other health issues can cause or exacerbate dry eye, there are some points–directly around the eye–that may be helpful.

Before you start, wash your hands well with soap.  Then sit in a comfortable chair, with your feet flat on the floor.  Experiment with using your right hand or left hand, or both; whichever is comfortable for you.  Also, whether it is the right or left eye which is dry, try the acupressure on both eyes.

When you hold the points–which I will describe shortly–use your index finger or middle finger, and gently place it on the point.  There is no need to apply pressure; simply placing a finger in a relaxed manner will be effective.  Take a deep breath, as you hold each point. 

The points. There are three points, which are around the eye, as you see in the image.  They are the same on each eye.(My drawing–which I hope conveys the basic concept of the eye to you!–is of the left eye, as you look toward it.)  I’ve included the meridian point name, as well as the names translated from Chinese; some are more poetic than others.

  • Bladder 1 (Eyes Bright): This point is on the inside corner of the eye, where it meets your nose.
  • Stomach 1 (Tear Container): Directly below your pupil, this point is on the ridge of the bone around the eye.
  • Gallbladder 1 (Pupil Bone Hole): On the outside corner of the eye socket.

A recommended routine for these three points is to start by placing a fingertip on the Bladder 1 point.  Take five (5) deep breaths as you hold your finger there.  Remember to keep your shoulder and arm relaxed as you do this.  Next move your finger to the Stomach 1 point, and hold for five deep breaths.  Finally, move to the outer corner of your eye at the Gallbladder 1 point, and hold for five deep breaths.  Repeat this on the other eye.  If it’s comfortable, you can hold the points on both eyes at the same time.  Start out with one round of holding these points, then increase daily to about five minutes total, if that is comfortable. 

Acupressure can be effective when you practice it on a regular basis.  So try this routine once or twice a day at a regular time.  After you get up in the morning, and before you go to bed are often times when it’s easier to develop a regular routine.

You are encouraged you to seek the advice of a qualified health care provider for questions about a medical condition.

I realize that quitting a long-term smoking habit can be a huge endeavor.  Once in a while I’ll meet someone who quit cold turkey, but that is likely an exception to the rule.

The thing about any habit is that it’s familiar and comfortable, so letting go of it is a difficult thing to do.

Therefore, the LETTING GO point is a wonderful point to hold, if you are thinking about or working on quitting smoking.  It’s a great point to use on a friend of relative who is going through this, too.  Fittingly, it’s the first point on the Lung meridian, so while it’s really helpful for letting go in many areas of life, it’s so appropriate for letting go of something that pertains to the Lungs. 

To learn more about this point, see this post.

I’ve posted in the past about the importance of washing hands to stay healthy.  What you wash with makes a difference, too.

According to this article in thedailygreen.com, 7 Alternatives to Antibacterial Soap, a common ingredient in antibacterial soaps is triclosan which is “a toxic pesticide that’s marketed as an ‘antibacterial agent’ but is powerful enough to threaten children’s health and pollute mothers’ breast milk. ”

Very briefly, from the article:

According to a study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), triclosan has been linked to cancer in lab animals; targeted for removal from some stores in Europe for its health and environmental risks; and recommended against use at home by the American Medical Association.  It may disrupt the thyroid hormone system; it breaks down into very toxic chemicals; and it pollutes the environment.

Some suggestion from the article for safer soap and cleaning:

  • Worry less about germs. Dr. Levy and other medical professionals note that people who are exposed to household germs usually develop stronger immune systems and are healthier overall. Aim to be clean, not germ-free.
  • Read product labels. If you see the words “antibacterial,” “kills germs,” or “triclosan,” find an alternative.
  • Talk to store managers. Tell them you’re refusing to buy antibacterial products because they threaten human health and the environment.
  • Use safe, eco-friendly cleansers: Bon Ami, Baking soda, vinegar and water, Greenworks All Natural Cleaner, Method Non-Toxic, Fragrance-Free All Surface Cleaner
  • For triclosan-free toothpaste, consider UltraBrite Advanced Whitening or Tom’s of Maine, both of which are available in most grocery and drug stores. For other alternatives, consult the Safe Cosmetics Data Base
  • For liquid hand soap, try Kiss My Face Self-Foaming Soaps.

Craving ZZZS? The right points can help with insomnia.

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This is part of Elephant Pharmacy’s Share the Wellth program.  To leave a comment or a question about this tip, click here.

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Last night, I just had to have a scone.  Just HAD to.  I found this post with recipe online, halved it, used regular milk instead of cream, and raisins instead of currants.  Wow!  Sooner than I would have imagined, I had amazingly fluffy scones. YUM!

This morning, in a fit of contemplation, I thought to myself, “What is this pastry–sweet and fatty–craving?”

AHA!  It’s about that time when I get my PMS symptoms.  Either I’m really tired or feel like I’m going to catch a cold, or want to eat lots and lots of butter.  I happened to be sitting cross-legged on the floor, so I put my index finger on the Three Yin Intersection acu-point, on my lower leg.  And immediately, I took a nice deep long breath.  Like a sigh of relief.  Ahhhhhh.

It’s so easy to forget.  I do all the time.  And if I took a moment to reflect and test out some acu-points, before reaching for the scone (or croissant or cookie), I might get some longer-lasting relief.

Anyway, wanted to share that with you.  But since I like to look for a silver lining in each cloud, I am thrilled that I’ve come across such an easy and yummy scone recipe!

 

Some people who have tension in their jaw chew gum, because they think it relieves the tension.  Well, it does and doesn’t, according to oral surgeons at UT Southwester Medical Center at Dallas.

Chewing gum may be a stress reliever of choice for some, but according to Dr. Douglass Sinn, a UT Southwestern oral surgeon,

Constant gum chewing can tire your jaws. It can lead to muscle fatigue, muscle spasms and pain. It may even lead to a syndrome called T-M-J that causes pain in the head or neck and may make it difficult to open and close the jaw properly.”

Signs of TMJ syndrome include:

  • pain in the jaw, neck and head
  • a clicking sound when you open and close your mouth

The medical center suggests looking for other ways to relieve stress: “exercise, squeezing a stress ball, meditation and other relaxation techniques.”  Read this previous post on acupressure and yoga-based ways to relax the jaw.

And, of course, with most things, chewing gum for a short time once in a while is likely safe.  Pay attention, and your body will tell you if it’s an OK amount of activity.

You’ve read about how I’m a fan of the neti pot.

Well, I’ve just discovered and tested out an alternative, the Sinus Rinse.  It’s the same concept of nasal irrigation, but where a neti pot uses gravity to pour water through your nasal cavities, this bottle with a fits-all-nostril-size top adds squeeze power.  A little more oomph.

I just tried it, and it was really easy to use.

  • I was afraid it would require a lot of pressure, but it didn’t at all.  The bottle is easy to squeeze.
  • You can use it more or less standing straight up, rather than having to tilt your head, as you do with the neti, which can be more comfortable.  I found it so.
  • If I hadn’t had the experience with the neti pot, however, I think this would have been more uncomfortable. That “drowning” feeling.
  • My partner, who has large nostrils, loved how comfortably the cap fit his nose, compared to the neti pot.
  • Using the tablets with the right amount of salt and baking soda was convenient, though expensive in the long run.

My conclusion:

  • Great for people who benefit from daily nasal irrigation: those with chronic congestion or sinus issues.
  • I can see that this would be a lot easier to take on the road; to use in a public restroom or even a plane toilet.
  • I think I prefer the gentleness of the neti pot.  But I don’t have chronic congestion or sinus issues, so don’t need to use as frequently.  That said, more regular usage would probably benefit me…

Great to know about another alternative to a natural tool for everyday health.

It’s hot hot in the Bay Area.

I was up early (for me) to volunteer at an energizer station for Bike to Work Day.  We handed out goodie bags, fruit, coffee cake, and WATER!

It’s a reminder for me to STAY HYDRATED.  This is a frequent mantra of mine, in person and on this blog.  But I think it merits repeating, a lot.

  • Are your lips dry?
  • Do you have a headache?
  • Are you feeling spaced-out?

Could be that the heat or dry air is affecting you more than you think.

If it helps to use some visual reminders from the Five Elements in Traditional Chinese Medicine, imagine this.  In the Five Elements, the relationship between the Water Element (associated with Winter, flexibility, energy, kidney, bladder, etc.) and Wood Element (associated with the Spring seaon, growth, creativity, planning, gallbladder and live, etc.) is not surprisingly, that water helps wood grow.

So if you’re feeling wilted, give yourself some water.

In addition to the tulips, the longer days tell me it’s really Springtime.  And while this makes me wnt to increase my activity, I find that I need to boost my energy levels.  What better time to talk again about energy-boosting.

When thinking about how to address low energy, it can be helpful to consider what is causing it. 
  • Is your ability to fuel your energy–for example, with nutritious food and water, restful sleep,  healthful exercise, or a favorite hobby–affected? 
  • Or is your energy being depleted in some way, for example with unhealthy foods and alcohol, allergies, stress or pain? 
  • Or a combination of factors?
Paying attention to how and when your energy flags, during the day and week, is the first step to addressing lowered energy.  Read this post for some tips to see if any of them works for you.