Thursday, January 17, 2019

In Memory of Acupuncturist David Sokulski

David Edward Sokulski, age 50, passed away suddenly in Pittsburgh, PA, on Monday, January 7, 2019.

David was born on June 13, 1968 in Pittsburgh, to Edward and Rita (Estu) Sokulski. David graduated Plum High School in 1986, then earned a degree in Chemistry from Duquesne University in 1990. In 1995 he spent a year teaching English in South Korea, and returned to the United States to earn a Masters Degree in Acupuncture from the New England School of Acupuncture, then in Watertown MA, in 1999. That same year he married Melissa Oliphant, also an acupuncturist, and his first daughter, Molly Sara Sokulski, was born. Together in 2000, they returned to Pittsburgh. In 2004 David and Melissa had their second daughter, Ella Dara, and in 2005 opened the Birch Center for Health on Pittsburgh’s South Side.

In 2007, David was preceded in death by his daughter Molly, then 8 years old.

David was a valued member of the community, quick to help others any way he could. He was friendly and outgoing.

David is survived by his wife Melissa; daughter Ella, 14; sister Sharon Mannella and her husband David; and parents Rita and Edward.

The Birch Center is closed indefinitely.

Rest in Peace, my love.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Acupuncture Helps People With Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

The days are getting shorter and we are losing the light earlier each evening. Many people are so effected by the loss of the sun that their daily lives suffer. This is called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD.

According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of SAD may include:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Losing interest in activities 
  • Low energy
  • Problems with sleeping, such as oversleeping or insomnia
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
Acupuncture offers relief of these symptoms, by helping to balance out the qi (pronounced "chee") of the body.

"Many people think of acupuncture in terms of pain relief, and it is amazing for that," says Birch Center acupuncturist David Sokulski. "But another thing acupuncture excels in treating is mood disorders, like anxiety, depression, and SAD."

According to Scientific American, in the article Can Acupuncture Treat Depression (July1, 2014), research has proven that six weeks of acupuncture treatments were just as effective as six weeks on Prosac in reducing symptoms of depression. In fact, according to the article, acupuncture worked faster in reducing symptoms than the drug did. A higher percentage of acupuncture patients said they received "great improvement."

"Depression is nothing to mess with," says Mr. Sokulski, "and these Pittsburgh winters can be hard. We have seen a lot of great results in treating people with depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder. People enjoy winter - and their lives - again."

Please call us today. We'd love to help you!

(412) 381-0116 (call or text)

Hope to hear from you soon!

Further reading:

David Sokulski, L.Ac.

(412) 381-0116

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Free Ear Acupuncture Treatments in Response to Tragedy at Tree of Life

Our hearts are heavy after the horrible shooting in Squirrel Hill over the weekend. We lost eleven friends and neighbors. May their memories be a blessing.

My daughter was in Hebrew School at Dor Hadash - one of the three congregations which met at Tree of Life. They are a loving, welcoming, joyous, and wonderful congregation, as were the others who met at Tree of Life. We were there not long ago to celebrate the Bat Mitzvah of my daughter's friend.

The outpouring of love and togetherness from Pittsburgh is what this city is all about. From the memorial Saturday night organized by students of the local public high school, to the service on Sunday where leaders of all faiths came together, to the beautiful flowers, fundraisers, and offers from all around the city.

In the spirit of healing, the Birch Center is offering free ear acupuncture treatments Tuesday October 30, Wednesday October 31, and Thursday November 1, by appointment: (412) 381-0116.  Everyone is welcome.

Ear treatments relieve shock, stress, and anxiety, balance the nervous and hormonal systems, and help deal with grief, fear, and anger. Please spread the word and give us a call. We are located on Pittsburgh's south side.

Also, if you are on facebook, follow our facebook page, where I will post updates of all the offers I can find, from free community acupuncture to reiki, to nature walks. I will share anything I hear that may be of help.

Please call us if you'd like to come in for a free ear acupuncture treatment. They are amazing and as our friend Amanda shared this morning on facebook, "Ear treatments have been incredibly helpful for me during bouts of stress and anxiety."

(412) 381-0116.

Shalom. Peace. Shanti.

Love to all,

Melissa and David Sokulski, L.Acs.

Birch Center for Health

(412) 381-0116

Monday, October 1, 2018

Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Your Health in Autumn

The ancient Chinese text, The Inner Classic, says:
The forces of Autumn create dryness in Heaven and metal on Earth, they create the lung organ and the skin upon the body...and the nose, and the white color, and the pungent flavor...the emotion grief, and the ability to make a weeping sound.
The energy of fall is downward and inward. We can see this as we watch leaves fall from the trees and seeds dropping from plants. Grasses and leaves lose their bright green color. Sap from trees go back to the roots to be stored for the winter. The plants dry out.

As the season cools, we put more heat and energy into our foods, cooking soups and stews, roasting root vegetables. We smell delicious odors of cooking food (the nose relates to the Lungs, which relates to the Metal element and the autumn.)

Dryness prevails in the fall season, and this can have an effect on our health. We may notice thirst, dryness in skin, lips, throat, and itchy skin conditions. We can also develop cough and allergies more easily this time of year. Because the lungs open on the nose, we also may experience conditions in our sinuses and air passageways this time of year.

Meditation and breath practices (which are called pranayama in the yogic tradition) are beneficial this time of year. Taking time to slow down and focus on our breathing can be helpful. Eating foods like beans and grains, which absorb a lot of water in cooking, is also helpful.

Acupuncture is excellent to help balance dryness and boost the energy of the lungs (and large intestine, its related organ). Lung and large intestine points are paired with other points to balance energy in the body helping to clear cough, allergies, skin conditions, increase energy, and help sleep this time of year.

Autumn is also the season of grief and sadness, which also relates to the lungs. When we realize that this is the time of year of contraction and inward focus, we get clues on how to deal with the grief that arises. We are encouraged to look within, focus internally, and share our feelings with others when helpful. Acupuncture works to balance the mind and spirit as well as body.

Autumn is a wonderful time of year to start or return to acupuncture treatments.

Give us a call or text today if you have questions or to set up an appointment: (412) 381-0116.

Hope to talk to you soon!

David and Melissa Sokulski, L.Acs.
Birch Center for Acupuncture
South Side, Pittsburgh, PA, 15203

(412) 381-0116

References: Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Have You Seen Our Testimonials Page?

Have you seen our testimonial page?

If not, have a look at what some people have written to us about acupuncture, specifically David Sokulski's treatments at the Birch Center.

If you have questions or want to set up an appointment, call or text David at (412) 381-0116.

Optimal Back Health

A letter for Birch Center Acupuncturist David Sokulski.

I just want to thank you for getting my back into optimal health! I have tried so many different things and acupuncture as a last resort. I wish I would have done it immediately and tell everyone how it has helped heal my back pain. I felt depressed and defeated because not only was I in pain, but I had to stop all activities. For an active person that was the hardest part. I felt something immediately when I had my first treatment and definitely had relief after my first series. I look forward to the Seasons changing so I can come in for my tune-ups!!! Thank you so much again! 
~L.H. Pittsburgh, PA

Infertility to Beautiful Baby Girl

This letter recently arrived for Birch Center Acupuncturist David Sokulski.

Dear David, 
I am writing to thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me to get pregnant.
As you know, my husband and I had been trying to conceive for 3 years with no luck. I had been receiving acupuncture treatments from you on and off for about 2.5 years. during this time, I had been undergoing fertility treatments including four months of Clomid and three months of FSH injections. None of these cycles resulted in conception.
My husband and I decided that my body and mind needed a break from the treatments. However, I increased my acupuncture treatments with you to once per week. During these acupuncture treatments, I mentioned to you that I craved hot foods and drinks and you suggested that my body seemed to be craving warmth and that it needed to be warmed to allow pregnancy to occur. 
You also added moxibustion treatments on my abdomen and lower back to warm the uterus. You recommended that I keep warm at all times...wear a scarf and hat, gloves and warm boots or shoes. I was to pay particular attention to keeping my hands, feet and lower back warm. I drank warm liquids and ate warming foods. You also gave an herbal supplement to strengthen my kidneys. 
After 6 weeks of this regimen, we noticed my body was warmer. You told me, "You are now warm. Give treatments a break and see what happens." 
We conceived three days later. 
I tell everyone who will listen our story. It is nothing short than a miracle but one that was not possible without your help. You provided not only the expertise and necessary therapy to help me conceive, but also you are an extremely kind and caring person who would listen and console me and give me hope. You suggested helpful books to read, in particular "The Secret." I really connected with the teachings in this book and I am convinced that thinking positively and expressing gratitude for achieving my dreams helped them to come true. 
Again, my husband and I can't thank you enough for helping us to conceive our baby girl, born on November 2, 2011 by schedule C-section (due to my previous myomectomy surgery.) She is such a joy to us and we are enjoying every minute with her. You were able to do for us what modern medicine could not. We are forever grateful and hope that our story will inspire others to seek assistance from you and give them hope that their dreams will come true too. 
J.P. and S.P.
Pittsburgh, PA

From Back Pain to Bliss

I can't fully express how much of an improvement I am feeling in my condition after your wonderful treatment. Not knowing exactly what to expect from my first acupuncture experience, I never expected to be this satisfied. On the way home, I was most notably surprised at how totally relaxed I felt, and that the sharp pain I had been having was gone from my back; It still had some soreness, but the pain had been eliminated. It seems to be feeling even better as time goes by, and today I'm very pleased with how it feels, the soreness is also much less. We are now new converts to the wonderful world of acupuncture.

Chronic Back Pain Gone

I want to let everyone know how much David Sokulski of the Birch Center helped me with my chronic back pain. In fact, it is still unbelievable to me that it is completely gone. 
I have been living with back pain most of my life. I am 44 years old now. It began when I was a gymnast in high school with a pinch in my low back. In college my first episode hit when I could not stand up straight or put weight on one leg because of intense pain. I went to the doctor and he said it was a herniated disc in between my sacral and lumbar vertebrae, and he wanted to operate immediately. I was terribly afraid to do this so I convinced my parents to wait. Meanwhile, the doctor gave me muscle relaxants which I took, and it felt better enough for me to play frisbee (I know, maybe not the smartest thing!), but after that the pain did not come back to that degree and surgery was off the table, thank goodness. 
...Read the complete testimonial

Reviews on our Facebook Page:
I love David and the work he does here! I have had ongoing back issues that have been relieved because of my acupuncture visits. What a difference it has made for me! I go the beginning of every season and will not miss it!!! (March 30, 2018)

 2nd visit last week. Tremendous help! Would recommend to anyone! (May 4, 2015)

Call or text us for an appointment today! (412) 381-0116.