HOWACUPUNCTURE HELPED ME WHEN WESTERN MEDICINE COULDN’T My Path toWellness
I came to Chinese medicine because I was sick. I’d tried everything — injections, several medications, everything — that Western medicine had to offer, and I still found myself regularly struggling with crippling asthma, allergies, and migraines that landed me in the hospital at least once or twice a year. Even though I was in my early 20s, I was the sickest I’d ever been. At the time, I was studying at the University of Montana to get a master’s degree in anthropology, and it was through my studies there that I had my first exposure to Chinese medicine. I was editing one of my colleague’s thesis papers that was focused on the Hmong community in Missoula that used a lot of cupping, herbal medicine, and other traditional Chinese Medicine practices. My interest was piqued.
At the time, I was missing a lot of school because I was so sick. One of my professors was worried about me and gave me a few books on Chinese medicine, and because I had nothing to lose, I read through the books a bit and booked my first session with an acupuncturist. After just a few sessions with her, I didn’t need my medications anymore. Before that appointment, I thought I knew how to eat healthily, but I didn’t. That acupuncturist taught me how to improve my diet, and we worked together on stress reduction techniques. My work with her was life-changing. It gave me back a sense of control, and even though I had originally planned to go straight into a doctorate program in anthropology, I instead ended up going straight into a master’s program for traditional Chinese medicine from Five Branches Institute in Santa Cruz, California. I graduated from Five Branches Institute in 2001, but there were zero jobs for acupuncturists. Luckily, I had also earned my massage therapy certification, and I was able to pay the bills that way while learning everything I could about running a business. Within a year, I was able to build a full-time acupuncture practice in Monterey Bay. However, I love rock climbing, and I missed living close to the mountains. In 2006, I sold that first practice and moved to Boulder, Colorado. When I got here, I had to build everything from scratch all over again. Developing my practice here was much, much harder than I expected it to be. People weren’t familiar with acupuncture, and at the time, Western doctors were more reluctant to work with me than they had been in California. After several years in private practice, I expanded, moved, and took on a lot of debt to get the Dova Center off the ground, but these days, we’re thriving. I work closely with Western doctors from the community to develop the best possible treatment plan for our patients. Clinical observations, specifically in OB/GYN and fertility clinics, have been a large piece of the doctoral program I am currently in and I am learning so much that has really benefited my patients. I love giving to my patients what my acupuncturist in Missoula gave to me, and I look forward to continuing to do so for many more years to come!
MAR 2020 DOVACENTER.COM 303.955.7226
“My work with her was life-
changing. It gave me back
a sense of control ...”
DOVACENTER.COM • 303.955.7226
Your Guide to Spring- Greening
3 ECO-FRIENDLY HOME SWAPS TO MAKE WHEN YOU DECLUTTER
It takes a special kind of person to enjoy spring-cleaning. For most of us, the satisfaction of a clean house doesn’t quite outweigh the hours of scrubbing, sorting, and slogging through heaps of unnecessary stuff. If you’re struggling to find the motivation to start your spring-cleaning, try flipping the paradigm: Instead of spring-cleaning, think of what you’re doing as spring- greening , and make some eco-friendly swaps along the way. Here are a few ideas to get you started. 1. Swap your plastic spray bottles for bulk or DIY cleaning products. According to a Statista report, in 2019, the household cleaners market was worth more than $31 billion, and it’s continuously growing. You can save money on cleaning supplies by taking the green route. When your current stock runs out, try buying bulk cleaners or making your own. Both options will save plastic because you can reuse your bottles, and they can help you avoid the harmful chemicals found in most cleaners. Visit UnderATinRoof. com and read the blog post “Zero Waste Cleaning Supplies + Recipes” to get started. 2. Explore alternative laundry detergents.
alternatives like plant-based bulk laundry powder (Molly’s Suds is an excellent source). Or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can even try adding all-natural cleaners like soap nuts or English ivy to your laundry loads. For more on the former, search “soap nuts” on 1MillionWomen.com, and read up on ivy detergent at Permacrafters.com/English-Ivy- Laundry-Detergent. 3. Say goodbye to paper towels.
Paper towels are a mainstay in American homes, but do we really need them when a good old-
fashioned rag can do the job? According to the Ocean Conservancy, 13 billion pounds of paper towels are tossed in the U.S. each year! This spring, quit
paper towels and keep a stash of dish rags under the sink to do your dirty work. When you’re cleaning out your closet, you can even cut up old T-shirts and add them to your rag stash! If you’re brave, try giving up tissues, too — an old-school hanky does the trick.
If you’re used to using a plastic jug of liquid laundry detergent, it’s time to step out of your comfort zone. This spring, try exploring greener
If you’ve made all three of these swaps, don’t stop there! To continue your green journey, visit any of the blogs mentioned above and start browsing.
Treating Endometriosis INTEGRATING WESTERN AND CHINESE MEDICINE TO ACHIEVE THE BEST OUTCOME
E ndometriosis is a condition that affects women of reproductive age and is characterized by the development of endometrial tissue outside of the uterus. It can be a debilitating disease that, if left untreated, can leave women in extreme pain and even result in infertility.
in approach. Once a patient has a solid diagnosis and is using medication to manage their pain, patients can work with a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist to ease, and possibly even eliminate, the pain and side effects of their diagnosis.
Common Chinese medicine treatments generally last from 6–9 months. At the six-month point, a follow-up ultrasound or laparoscopic exam to check the patient’s response to treatment is incredibly valuable. Chinese medicine doesn’t need to operate in a silo. Western medicine has made huge steps forward in imaging and diagnostics, and at Dova Center, we strive to combine the best parts of both Western and Chinese medicine to develop the treatment plan we think will be best for our patients. To learn more, visit DovaCenter.com.
Symptoms of endometriosis surface in many different ways, but some of the most common include abnormal periods, painful intercourse, pain with bowel movements, infertility, fatigue, and exhaustion. Western medicine often diagnoses endometriosis using pelvic exams, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and offers a spectrum of temporary fixes to alleviate the symptoms of endometriosis, from hormone therapy to pain medication. In extreme cases, sometimes the best option Western medicine offers is a hysterectomy. At Dova Center for Health and Healing, we believe that modern endometriosis management should be patient-centered, multimodal, and interdisciplinary
DOVACENTER.COM • 303.955.7226
How Are You Detoxing This Spring?
Love Your Liver!
S pring is all about the liver and the gallbladder in Chinese medicine, which makes this time of year an excellent time to hit the reset button. While a spring detox might call to mind one thing for many of our patients — weight
In traditional Chinese medicine, the liver is responsible for storing blood and keeping blood and oxygen circulation moving throughout the body. The liver also takes care of our eyes, nails, tendons, and upper back and neck areas. When it’s out of balance, you will see more headaches, frustration, stress, insomnia (Waking up at 1–3 a.m.? That’s liver time!), pain, and tension in the body. There are many ways to support your liver, and one is this quick booster drink to get you started. Morning Booster Drink
loss — detoxification can be a powerful tool in addressing a range of problems, including insomnia, inflammation, and persistent headaches.
There are several mechanisms people can use to detoxify in the spring, and at the Dova Center, we offer free consultations to anybody who is interested in doing a spring detox. If weight loss is your goal, we will talk with you during your consultation about the underlying cause of your extra weight and look at the problem from a whole lifestyle perspective. Once we’ve identified the root cause, we’ll develop a treatment plan targeting that root cause. At its most basic, a detox or cleanse might involve supportive shakes, supplements, and recommended healthy nutrition for one week (though this can last up to 28 days). Our focus is on healthy eating, not engaging in a starvation diet. Depending on your specific situation, we might also recommend acupuncture treatments focused on gastrointestinal
1 whole organic lemon (including peel and seeds), quartered
1 tbsp extra virgin-olive oil
1 cup water
health or using our infrared sauna to help you sweat out toxins and invigorate your metabolism. Finally, many of our patients who seek to lose weight benefit from B-12 shots, which we recommend only in combination with healthy exercise and diet routines.
1. Put the ingredients in a blender and blend on high for 1 or 2 minutes. 2. This drink is quite refreshing, and if you are adventurous, you can even add a dash or two of cayenne pepper before blending. The olive oil activates the liver and supports bile flow; the lemon peel and pulp support the liver and lymphatic system, emulsify fats, and alkalinize the body; and the lemon juice helps normalize body pH and is a mild laxative.
There are different levels of detoxes and cleansing, and the right level for you is best determined with professional guidance. Schedule a free consultation to find out more.
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How Acupuncture Changed My Life 1
3 Eco-Friendly Home Swaps to Make During Spring-Cleaning Treating Endometriosis With Western and Chinese Medicine 2 How Are You Detoxing This Spring? Love Your Liver! Morning Booster Drink 3 Take a Deep Breath 4
An Ancient Solution to Modern Problems THE TRUTH ABOUT MEDITATION
Close your eyes and take a deep breath.
Another study published in the same journal found that regular meditation also fights depression.
This is the first step in every meditation session. Though often associated with the New Age metaphysical movement, meditation isn’t all about incense and healing crystals. Meditation is an ancient practice that strengthens your mental focus, and recent research suggests that it offers real solutions to modern problems.
How do I meditate?
Meditating is as simple as sitting in a quiet place, closing your eyes, and focusing on your breathing for a few minutes. Whenever your mind starts to wander, gently bring it back to your breath. You don’t need to climb a mountain or pay for a week-long retreat to start meditating. That said, there are plenty of resources that help beginners build a strong foundation for meditation. Popular apps like Calm or Insight are available on any smartphone and offer guided courses you can start anywhere, anytime. You could also check online or with us at Dova Center. If you are interested, please, let us know and we will put you on our list. Meditation isn’t a magical ritual that will cure all that ails you, but plenty of research suggests meditation does provide tangible benefits to our mental and physical well-being. Maybe one day, meditation will be as commonplace as daily exercise.
What is meditation?
Meditation has strong roots in various religious and cultural traditions, but anyone can find value in practicing it. The purpose of meditation is to strengthen your mind by promoting mindfulness, focus, and awareness.
Does meditation work?
It depends on what you mean by “work.” Will meditation allow you to defy gravity and hover above the earth? Probably not. But there are so many benefits that will leave you feeling lighter in another way. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that mindful meditation lowers stress levels, and patients who habitually meditate report less chronic pain.
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