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.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Fall Feng Shui Challenge: Clear Clutter

Let's celebrate fall with Feng Shui! Feng Shui is a Chinese practice of creating harmonious surroundings to bring good energy flow to your home, and health, love, and prosperity to your life. This is an over-simplified definition; there is quite a lot to Feng Shui. People study for years under masters and still only scratch the surface. However one thing is certain: even if your door faces the right direction, your walls are the correct color, you have mirrors and fountains just where they are meant to be, if you have clutter clogging up your home, energy cannot move through and none of it matters (well, it matters less anyway.)

This year, autumn officially starts September 22, but I wanted a nice round number (10) so I'm going to start a day early -  September 21.

So for the next 10 days: September 21 through 30, I'm going to challenge myself to CLEAR THE CLUTTER FROM MY HOME, one space at a time. I hope you will join me! I'll post an update a day, and if you feel moved, please comment and let me know what you have been doing too.

Can't get motivated? Feeling stuck? Acupuncture is a great way to balance your energy and get it flowing!

Give Dave a call at the Birch Center today for an appointment: (412) 381-0116.

Hope to see you soon, and happy decluttering!

~ Melissa and David Sokulski, L.Acs.

Birch Center for Health

(412) 381-0116

Monday, August 27, 2018

End Of Summer Health Tips

It's the end of the summer! In Chinese Medicine, this important season is known as "late summer" and it corresponds to the Earth element. In our bodies, the earth element manifests as digestion, and our stomach, spleen and pancreas.

Yellow-orange is the color of the Earth element, as as we look around at the ripening pumpkins and winter squash, corn and grains we get some idea why. Eating yellow/orange food like squash, sweet potatoes and millet is a great way to support the digestion. When digestion is weak all other organ systems are effected, so now is a wonderful time to focus on digestive health.

 If experiencing problems in this area, such as
  • weight gain or loss
  • bloating or gas
  • difficulty digestion
  • no appetite or too much appetite
  • constipation or loose stools
  • stomach ache
  • heart burn
  • slow digestion
This is a great time of year to get back on track. Acupuncture can help immensely.

Anything you can do to support your digestion will help during this time of year, including:

  • Do not overeat at one sitting.
  • Limit snacks. Give yourself time to digest your food before eating again.
  • Whole foods such as whole grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits are easy on our body and are perfect foods to support digestive health.
  • Avoid foods to which you react negatively. For some of us that may be wheat, dairy, sugar, oil.

Acupuncture can do wonders for all kinds of digestive problems; this is one of the things we've had great success with
at the Birch Center. Points on the stomach and spleen meridians (on the legs, feet and abdomen) help regulate, relax and nourish the digestion. Moxa can be applied to warm and strengthen the meridians if necessary, and the relaxing effect of a balancing acupuncture treatment is without compare.

Now is an excellent time for an acupuncture tune up or to begin treatments

Give us a call today to schedule your appointment: (412) 381-0116.

In health,
David and Melissa Sokulski
licensed acupuncturists

The Birch Center for Acupuncture
(412) 381-0116

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Friday, August 24, 2018

Sign Up For Our Newsletter!

Our end of summer newsletter is about to go out! It contains fantastic information about health, nutrition, acupuncture, wild plants, and general wellness.

Sign up today so you don't miss a single issue.

Thanks, and enjoy the beautiful days ~

~ David and Melissa Sokulski, L.Acs.

Birch Center for Health

(412) 381-0116