Blog by Melissa and David Sokulski, L.Acs.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Stay Healthy this Cold and Flu Season

As with Western medicine, in Chinese Medicine colds and flu are considered to be an external pathogen invading the body. When our body's energy, or qi, is strong, we are able to fight off these pathogens. If our qi is weaker, we come down with symptoms of cold and flu: headache, chills, fever, body aches, cough, sore throat, etc.

To keep our qi strong and prevent colds and flu, it is important to:

  • eat a healthy diet full of fresh raw fruits and vegetables
  • cut out white and brown sugar, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup, all of which lower our immunity
  • wash hands frequently with regular soap and water
  • get outside in fresh air, take walks and expose yourself to sunshine. It may be wise to supplement with vitamin D3 this time of year
  • receive acupuncture treatments which strengthens the qi, balance energy, keeping us healthy and helping restore us to health more quickly
  • herbal medicine, supplements and proper food choices keep immunity strong.
To keep the energy flowing smoothly and our immunity strong, it is important to make sure all meridians are balanced, but immunity often relates especially to the earth and metal elements, which show up in your pulse as your spleen and lung meridians.

An acupuncturist will often use points such as St. 36 to keep the energy strong, and Sp. 6 to make sure food is digested properly and nutrients are absorbed and turned into vital energy.

LI 11 is a powerful immune point. LI 4 and TW 5 are often used to help the body push pathogens back out. Lu 7 combined with LI 4 strengthens the body's defense against pathogens.

Often the earth and metal shu points on the back (Bl 13 and Bl 20) are needled to harmonize the body's energy and strengthen immunity.

In terms of herbal medicine:

  • Astragalus is an excellent immune tonic
  • Medicinal mushrooms such as Reishi and Maitaki can bolster the immune system, especially when the immune system is compromised
  • Four Gentlemen Formula - a classic Chinese herb formula to keep the Qi strong
  • Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang, a combination of ginseng and astragalus, used in specific cases to strengthen the body`s Qi
  • Gui Pi Tang is used when both qi and blood need a boost, with signs such as insomnia, irritability and anxiety
Once someone comes down with symptoms of the flu, the treatment focus switches from formulas that tonify the qi to formulas which expel the invading pathogen. There are western herbs and nutritional remedies such as Vitamin C and Echinacea, which are beneficial.

In Chinese medicine, classic herbal formulas are used, including:
  • Yin Qiao - This formula contains cooling detoxifying herbs such as forsythia and honeysuckle. It is used when just getting sick, with symptoms which include sore throat, headache, and a yellow tongue coat.
  • Gan Mao Ling - if you find yourself in the midst of a bad cold or flu
We carry these Chinese herbs and formulas at the Birch Center, and your acupuncturist can help you choose the formula which is right for you.

Please feel free to call us at the Birch Center if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment: (412) 381-0116.

Here's to your health...stay healthy and strong this season!

~ David and Melissa Sokulski, L.Acs.

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cinnamon, Ginger and Onions Strongly Protect Us from Colds and Flu

Another recent article published in Natural News:

Cinnamon, Ginger and Onions Strongly Protect Us from Colds and Flu
by Melissa Sokulski, L.Ac.
(See other articles by Melissa)

(NaturalNews) In the fall as the weather gets cooler ailments tend to affect our Lungs in the form of coughs, sinus issues, colds and flu. In Traditional Chinese Medicine autumn relates to the metal element which corresponds to the Lungs. The taste that strengthens the Lungs is pungent: the spicy flavor of foods and spices like cinnamon, ginger and onions. Read full article.

Here's to Your Health!

~ David and Melissa Sokulski, L.Acs.

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

How to Keep Cellphone (and other) Radiation at Bay...

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season!

A recent article of mine was just published in Natural News. In case you missed it, here it is, enjoy!

An Apple A Day Keeps Cellphone and Other Radiation at Bay
by Melissa Sokulski, L. Ac. of Birch Center for Health
(see other articles by Melissa)

(NaturalNews)
Common foods such as apples, buckwheat, and sunflower seeds strongly protect and detoxify us from radiation. We are constantly exposed to radiation from cell phones, computer screens, power lines, airline travel, and microwaves. Not only can radiation remain in our body for long periods of time, but even when it passes through it also causes free radical damage. Toxic doses like that of radiation therapy for cancer or of exposure from a bomb or power plant can cause severe burns or even death. Read full article, including Miso Soup recipe!

Here's to Your Health!

~ David and Melissa Sokulski, L.Acs.

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pumpkins Remedy Seasonal Ailments

Happy Autumn!

Here's some information about Five Element Theory, and the most seasonal healing food around this time of year: the pumpkin:

(Originally published in NaturalNews)

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, autumn is represented by the metal element, which corresponds to the Lungs and Large Intestine. Weakness in this element shows up as ailments in the Lung and Intestines: allergies, asthma and constipation. The remedy can be found in this season's most notable food: the pumpkin or squash.

The pumpkin is round, orange and sweet. It corresponds to the earth element in the five element cycle. Earth is the mother of metal. In Chinese medicine there is a saying: ...(Read the rest of the article, including a delicious recipe for nourishing pumpkin soup.)

Hope you enjoy the fall!

In Health,

David and Melissa Sokulski, L.Acs.

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Massage Available Saturdays at Birch Center

We are pleased to offer Swedish Massage at the Birch Center on Saturdays, from 10 am to 4 pm!

Our new massage therapist Allisa Gay will be available by appointment starting this Saturday, October 16. See Allisa's bio below.

Please call the Birch Center

(412) 381-0116 to schedule an appointment.

Your first appointment with Allisa is $10 off, so even if you've had massage with us before, now is a great time to come back in.

Thanks so much!

Meet Allisa Gay



Allisa Gay, a long time resident of South Park, PA, brings a genuine inquisitiveness to the massage table. She loves interacting with people and connecting to them on their journey in life. It has been said of her that she's never met a stranger. The massage table is indeed one avenue in which she explores her interest in connectivity.

She also enjoys looking at alternatives in whatever situation she comes across, which means looking beyond trendy or widely enjoyed avenues of possibility. For her, this includes looking at alternatives in health care which is the seed from which her interest in massage grew.

"Massage can help a wide range of people. No matter what stage of life you are in or your current level of health, everyone can benefit from therapeutic touch," she says.

Massage is another means of learning, which is something she values in life. "To help someone, you have to have an understanding of how they use their body and apply knowledge of anatomy along with various massage techniques to achieve the desired goal. Every massage is a unique experience." She views massage therapy as a truly interactive form of healing and wellness.

Enjoy $10 off your first one hour massage with Allisa: Regularly $70, you pay $60

Call The Birch Center today to schedule an appointment:

(412) 381-0116

David and Melissa Sokulski, L.Acs.

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Avoid High Grocery Bills and Enhance Health with Abundant Wild Foods

We will be on vacation until Monday, Sept 20, but we're putting up some articles this week that have caught our interest. I hope you enjoy them!

Today's final article is one I wrote myself, published last month in Natural News. Enjoy!

Avoid High Grocery Bills and Enhance Health with Abundant Wild Foods

Organic greens like spinach and kale can be expensive at the grocery store or farmers market. Add a pint of fresh berries and an omega 3 supplement like flax or fish oil, and the grocery bill rises. Throw in fresh tropical fruit, organic nuts and wild mushrooms and it`s difficult to afford to eat healthy whole foods. Yet all of these foods grow wild and are available for free, even if you live in the city. (Read more.)



Thanks so much!

David and Melissa Sokulski, L.Acs.

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Angst Over Not Vaccinating Unwarrented

We will be on vacation until Monday, Sept 20, but we're putting up some articles this week that have caught our interest. I hope you enjoy them!

Here's an article on vaccination by Dr. Christian Northrup:

Angst Over Not Vaccinating Children is Unwarranted

In June 2010, there was an outbreak of pertussis (whooping cough) in California that reporters were calling the worst epidemic in 50 years. Although we’ve been vaccinating for pertussis for more than a half-century, California health officials’ answer was more vaccinations. (Read more here.)

Thanks so much!

David and Melissa Sokulski, L.Acs.

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Cure for the American Diet

We will be on vacation until Monday, Sept 20, but we're putting up some articles this week that have caught our interest. I hope you enjoy them!

The first is an article by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, MD.

The Cure for the American Diet: Nutrient Density

The American diet causes disease. It is composed of 25 percent animal products and 62 percent processed foods and only 5 percent of calories from fruits and vegetables.(1) We could not have designed a more effective cancer-causing, heart-attack-causing diet if we had scientifically planned it. (Read the rest of the article.)

Thanks so much!

David and Melissa Sokulski, L.Acs.

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Vacation...But the Blog will be Going Strong!

The Birch Center will be closed until Monday, September 20...but I have set up the blog so that interesting articles will be posted on Monday, Wednesday and Friday - I hope you enjoy them!

When we get back we'll send out our Fall newsletter, so make sure you sign up to our mailing list so you don't miss a thing!

We are also running a special through the end of Sept: buy four acupuncture treatments for just $200! See our website for details (and to purchase.) You have until the end of the year to use these treatments.

Have a great week!

Thanks so much!

David and Melissa Sokulski, L.Acs.

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

New England Journal of Medicine Article: Acupuncture for Chronic Low Back Pain

The recent issue (July 29, 2010) of the New England Journal of Medicine contained an article supporting the use of acupuncture for chronic low back pain. Wow, the results they saw must have been overwhelming, for a journal like this to support acupuncture so much!

From the article:

...since extensive clinical trials have suggested that acupuncture may be more effective than usual care, it is not unreasonable to consider acupuncture before or together with conventional treatments, such as physical therapy, pain medication, and exercise. (Read the full article here.)

Chronic back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, elbow and knee pain, all these symptoms usually respond very well to acupuncture. At The Birch Center, we often treat people with these issues, including professional athletes, dancers and actors, with great results. Please visit The Birch Center website for a list of conditions for which The World Health Organization and National Institutes of Health have proven acupuncture to be useful.

Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like to discuss your condition further: (412) 381-0116, or email: BirchCenter@gmail.com.

Thanks so much!

David and Melissa Sokulski, L.Acs.

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Kristin Hersh Reveals Acupuncture Helped Her Overcome Bipolar Disorder

As many of you know, acupuncture is amazing to treat mental/emotional disorders. Acupuncture works on many levels: body mind and spirit. Treating symptoms like depression, anxiety, worry, stress, etc, is really one of acupuncture's strongest points.

Please visit The Birch Center website for a list of conditions found by the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization that acupuncture has been proven to be effective - I think you'll be surprised by what you find!

And since acupuncture treats the whole person not the disease, by bringing the body, mind and spirit into balance, there is no limit to what acupuncture can treat.

Here is the article about Kristin Hersh:

Kristin Hersh Reveals Acupuncture Helped Her Overcome Bipolar Disorder

Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to discuss your condition further: (412) 381-0116, or email: BirchCenter@gmail.com.

Thanks so much!

David and Melissa Sokulski, L.Acs.

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Monday, July 12, 2010

July Wild Edibles Walk: Beaver, PA


Our Next Wild Edibles Walk is Scheduled!

Saturday, July 31, 2010 11:00 am
Beaver, PA

Join Melissa Sokulski of The Birch Center for an easy walk around Beaver, PA, looking for wild edible and medicinal plants.

We will begin at Three Rivers Yoga studio in Beaver at 11 am. The walk/talk will last approximately an hour and we will return to the studio for conversation and refreshments.

Where: Three Rivers Yoga Beaver
428 Third Street, Beaver, PA 15009
When: Saturday, July 31, 2010, 11:00 am
Fee: $5/person, children under 10 free
More information about Three Rivers Yoga Beaver: Contact Andrea at (412) 901-6478

More information about Wild Edible Plants at Food Under Foot.

To register call (412) 381-0116

Or Register Online:

July Wild Edibles Hike, Beaver PA







We hope to see you there!

David and Melissa Sokulski, L.Ac.

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sun Safety

David Sokulski
Enjoy the Sun (and Leave Harmful Sunscreens Behind)
by David Sokulski, L.Ac.

The sun has many health benefits, and most sunscreens contain chemicals that are extremely damaging to your health.

The benefits of sunlight are many, including:

  • Supplies the body with vitamin D, which promotes the absorption of Calcium and transfers Calcium across cell membranes, thus strengthening the bones
  • Lowers blood cholesterol
  • Prevents infections from bacteria, mold, and viruses
  • Increases white blood cell count and gamma globulin count, thus enhancing the immune system
  • Strengthens the heart and cardiovascular system.
Sunlight aids in preventing:

  • Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Osteoporosis
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Cancers of the bladder, breast, cervix, ovaries, colon, prostate and stomach.
However, you don't want to get too much sun, and avoid getting burned. Be careful to do this naturally, though, and avoid using commercial sunscreens, which are loaded with harmful chemicals that are not approved by the FDA (but don't have to be, since they are applied to the skin.)

One such chemical is called oxybenzone, which has been linked in studies to allergies, hormone disruption, cell damage, and low birth weight in girls whose moms were exposed during pregnancy. Oxybenzone is actually a penetration enhancer, which means it aids in helping get itself and other chemicals into your body through your skin.

The Environmental Working Group has put out their 2010 Sunscreen Guide. They list sunscreens for use by adults, children and even babies which contain oxybenzone. Among the worst on the list are sunscreens specifically made for babies, so please check this list out.

(This article has full details about oxybenzone and where to go for a list of safe sunscreens.)

Sunscreens, even organic sunscreens, may also contain titanium oxide, which can cause heavy metal poisoning and cell damage, especially in young children.

Things you can do to stay protected from sunburns but enjoy the sun's amazing rays and health benefits are:

  • Do not eat deep fried foods and fast foods. Unhealthy fats in our system enhance likelihood of sunburn.
  • Eat healthy oils, like coconut oil and omega three oils such as flax oil.
  • Avoid being out in the sun during the hottest times of the day.
  • If out and you feel you are getting too much sun, cover up with a long sleeved shirt and a hat.
  • Use a pure oil on the skin, such as coconut oil or jojoba oil. This keeps the skin from drying out and jojoba has a natural SPF of 15.
Be smart in the sun, but please enjoy this gift of summer (and all seasons), and learn to avoid putting toxic chemicals on your skin. It's better for you, your children, those around you, and the environment.

Here, again, is list of helpful references and links:

**********


Enjoy!

David and Melissa Sokulski, L.Acs.

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Nature Lecture at Mushroom Club

Hope everyone is enjoying the summer weather!

There is an event coming up Tuesday night that we thought some of you may be interested in: the monthly meeting of the Western PA Mushroom Club is featuring long-time naturalist Esther Allen (I've never heard her...but I've heard of her. She's in her 90's and has a wealth of knowledge about nature!) will be speaking. The details are below and for more information visit the Mushroom Club's website.

Monthly Meeting: June 15th
Title: What Fungi Do and How They Do It

Speaker(s): Esther Allen, Long-time Area Naturalist

Summary: Esther Allen has developed this new program which, rather than focus on identification or edibility, presents the essential role that fungi fill in the natural cycle of life. This is a timely topic which looks at how mushrooms function in our ecological systems. As always, she will share wonderful photographs and her phenomena wealth of knowledge of nature. A real treat.

Hope to see you there!

Melissa Sokulski, L.Ac.

Licensed Acupuncturist
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Warning: Protein Powders Contain High Levels of Heavy Metals

The latest issue of Consumer Reports (July, 2010) published a study in which they tested 15 popular brands of protein powders or ready-made protein drinks and found detectable (and sometimes very high!) levels of arsenic, cadmium, lead and/or mercury in every single one!

Solgar had the lowest, with just a detectable amount of just one metal. Muscle Milk Chocolate was the highest, with significant levels of all four metals. Here is my full article, originally published in Natural News:

Many common brands of protein powders and protein drinks contain high levels of arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury according to the most recent issue of Consumer Reports magazine. All fifteen different powders and drinks tested contained measurable amounts, some quite high. Consumer Reports also argued that most people in the United States including athletes get ample protein in their diets. Heavy metal toxicity and excess protein consumption are both dangerous for one's health.

Proteins, whether from plants or animals, are broken down by the body into amino acids which are then used to form our cells and tissues. In the United States it is almost impossible to get too little protein.

Protein requirements set out by the World Health Organization range from a minimum of 0.45 grams of protein per kilogram of ideal body weight to 0.8 grams protein per kilogram. It may increase 1 gram for endurance athletes. One pound equals 0.45 kilograms, so a 150 pound person would weigh about 68 kilograms. Excess protein can cause severe health issues such as dehydration and kidney failure.

Good vegetarian sources of protein include beans, grains such as quinoa, eggs, seeds such as hemp seeds, and even leafy green vegetables; they can give substantial amounts of protein when eaten in high enough amounts. One cup of cooked quinoa contains about 14 grams of protein. One egg contains about 6 grams of protein and one cup of raw spinach contains 1 gram of protein.

Whereas protein deficiency is not a common problem in this country, lead and other heavy metal poisoning is. Heavy metals get into tissues including the brain, heart and kidneys and are extremely difficult for the body to eliminate. Children are especially prone to heavy metal poisoning but everyone is at risk. Symptoms of heavy metal toxicity include fatigue, nausea, depression, decreased thyroid and adrenal function, and even seizures.

Blending hemp seeds, green leafy vegetables or cooked grains like quinoa into a home-made smoothie of fresh and frozen fruit and water is a much healthier way to get protein than supplementing with questionable store-bought powders and drinks.

For more specifics, browse through the July 2010 issue Consumer Reports, which is available at bookstores and libraries. It has a chart with all the findings. You can also visit Consumer Reports and find a detailed summary.

An alternative (and safer) way to get good vegetarian protein supplementation is Hemp Seeds. We make Hemp Seed Milk (recipe below), and add hemp seeds to smoothies, sprinkle on salads and other dishes. We use Nutiva Shelled Hempseed, which is 30% protein and 9% Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acid. We buy whole hemp seeds, not hemp protein powder. You can find this at a health food store, or online at iherb (where we often get ours.)

We found iherb to have great selection and great prices. They also have free shipping on orders of $40 or more. To get $5 off your first order with iherb, use code MEL526 at checkout.

Vanilla Cinnamon Hemp Seed Milk

1 cup raw hemp seeds
4 cups water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon powder
1-2 Tbsp maple syrup (or agave nectar, or about 5 pitted dates)

Blend well. You don't need to strain this nutmilk; the hemp seeds are soft and will be pulverized completely.

Enjoy!

Melissa Sokulski, L.Ac.

Licensed Acupuncturist
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Powerful Medicinal Mushrooms Grow Wild Across North America

Here's my latest article which was recently published in Natural News magazine: Powerful Medicinal Mushrooms Grow Wild Across North America...

(Natural News) The West is catching on to what the East has known for thousands of years: mushrooms are beneficial to health. They increase immunity, provide vital nutrients, and have been shown to fight cancer. Many of the most powerful medicinal mushrooms like Reishi and Maitake grow wild right all around North America and are easy to find once one knows what to look for. (Read the rest of the article)

And these are only a few of the medicinal mushrooms which grow wild!

If you are in Western PA and interested in identifying mushrooms, check out The Western PA Mushroom Club. They now have chapters in Allegheny, Indiana and Washington/Greene counties!

Much love,

Melissa Sokulski, L.Ac.

Licensed Acupuncturist
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day

Hope you all had a happy Memorial Day weekend. We'd like to send out our love and appreciation to all the people who have given their lives to defend our way of life, and to their families. We know a lot of our Birch Center family and friends have been touched by war and we extend our love and appreciation to you and your loved ones.

*****

Thank you all who joined us for our Wild Edibles Walk yesterday! In case you haven't seen it, we posted a recap of the walk and all the plants we saw on Food Under Foot. Please make sure you check it out! We'll schedule our next walks soon, so please stay tuned!

******

Stay tuned for posts later this week! You'll hear about
  • powerful medicinal mushrooms growing wild all around us (even right here in Western PA!)
  • Ways to greatly increase your vitamin D intake, like by drying shiitake mushrooms gills-up in the sun
  • A serious caution about protein powders and drinks: Consumer Reports has found they contain high levels of heavy metals including arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury.
We'll get these and other stories to you soon!

Thanks again.

Peace,

Melissa and David Sokulski

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Welcome to the Birch Center!

Slideshow of The Birch Center! Enjoy!



We hope you'll come visit soon.

We're available Monday through Thursday, 8 am - 9 pm, by appointment.

(412) 381-0116

Or email: BirchCenter@gmail.com

In Health,

Melissa and David Sokulski

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What Can Acupuncture Treat?

Hello lovely readers!

I just set up a blog page of the list of conditions that acupuncture treats (which is also below). BUT, on the blog page, I have also begun to link the articles and blog posts I've written explaining what acupuncture can do for you in relation to the specific conditions. It's a work in progress...I'm adding more links daily, but I hope you will check it out!

What Can Acupuncture Treat?

At the Birch Center for Health, we treat the person, not the disease, so really there is no limit to what acupuncture can treat.

Acupuncture helps the body regain balance thus alleviating symptoms and disease processes.

However, the World Health Organization has issued a comprehensive list of diseases and conditions which are treatable by acupuncture. Some of the more common conditions are:

Infections
  • colds and flus
  • bronchitis
  • hepatitis
Eyes-Ears-Nose-Throat
  • deafness
  • ringing in the ear (tinnitus)
  • menier's disease
  • earaches
  • poor eyesight
  • dizziness
  • sinus infections
  • sore throat
  • hay fever
Internal
  • hypoglycemia
  • asthma
  • high blood pressure
  • ulcers
  • colitis
  • indigestion
  • hemorrhoids
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • diabetes
Dermatological
  • eczema
  • acne
  • herpes
Musculo-Skeletal and Neurological
  • arthritis
  • neuralgia
  • sciatica
  • frozen shoulder
  • tennis elbow
  • back pain
  • bursitis
  • tendonitis
  • stiff neck
  • Bell’s palsy
  • trigeminal neuralgia
  • headache
  • stroke
  • cerebral palsy
  • polio
  • menier’s disease
  • dizziness
  • sprains
Genito-Urinary and Reproductive
  • impotence
  • infertility
  • pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • vaginitis
  • irregular period or cramps
  • morning sickness
  • Babies in breech presentation
  • List of conditions for Women's Health
Mental-Emotional
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • stress
  • insomnia

This is only a partial list. And remember, if you want to see the article links in relation to the conditions, you'll have to visit the conditions page. If you have any questions about what acupuncture can do for you, please give us a call at: (412) 381-0116, or email us at: BirchCenter@gmail.com.

We hope to hear from you!

In Health,

Melissa and David Sokulski

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Many Weeds Are Potent Chinese Herbs



Many wild plants - which we consider weeds - are actually very useful as food and medicine!

The weeds above were found right here in Pittsburgh, and they are all in the Chinese Materia Medica and considered very powerful herbs.

Why buy expensive supplements from overseas with questionable ingredients, when you can find your medicine (and food) at your doorstep?

In Health,

Melissa and David Sokulski

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mushrooms and Health

Western Cultures are just catching on to what Eastern traditions have known for thousands of years: that mushrooms are beneficial to health.

Mushrooms have been proven to increase immunity, boost heart health, and are now being used to fight cancer. Mushrooms such as Reishi, Maitaki and Shiitake are well known, but did you know that both Reishi and Maitaki grow wild right here in Western Pennsylvania? Maitaki is known as Hen of the Woods, grows in the fall at the base of oak trees and is a very popular edible mushroom.

Right now we are on the tail end of morel mushroom season. (The yellow morel is pictured above.) Like other mushrooms, morels are endowed with healing properties as well as being a choice mushroom to eat. We were fortunate this year after joining the Western PA Mushroom Club and attending Morel Madness, that we have been able to recognize and find mushrooms all around Western PA this spring.

Most wild mushrooms must be cooked or else they are toxic, and morels are no exception. We have been documenting our morel adventures and finds, as well as posting recipes on our sister site Food Under Foot, and also on our Food Under Foot facebook page.

Here are a sampling of morel posts on the Food Under Foot blog:

Morel Madness - a recount of the great weekend put on by the Western PA mushroom club in Mingo Creek County Park, showing us all how to recognize, find and use morel mushrooms.

Morel Frittata - a recipe (with pictures) of a delicious frittata I made using morel mushrooms (pictured below)


Morel Potato Kugel
- another recipe with pictures using the delicious morel mushroom.



Enjoy!

Melissa and David Sokulski

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Acupuncture and Arthritis

As many clients of the Birch Center already know, acupuncture is extremely effective in the treatment of arthritis. Many kinds of arthritis can be treated with acupuncture: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, arthritis pain from chronic disease such as Lyme's disease or lupus.

The reason why so many different kinds of arthritis - pain and swelling of the joints - can all be treated is that acupuncture can help the body move the energy that becomes stagnant in the joints, reducing the swelling and pain. It really doesn't matter what the Western diagnosis is - even if you're not diagnosed with arthritis at all - acupuncture is so effective at restoring balance to the body and moving the energy from the aching joints that people experience relief, usually quite quickly.

Along with needles, we often use moxibustion, which is heating an herb over the area of the arthritis. This feels wonderful to people.

If you have arthritis or know someone who does, or have anything else going on that you'd like to talk about, you are always welcome to come in for a free 20 minute consultation with Birch Center acupuncturist David Sokulski. Just call (412) 381-0116 for an appointment. He is available Monday through Thursday, 9 am through 9 pm.

Live Science recently also published an article about how acupuncture effectively treats arthritis:

This Week’s Question: I have arthritis in my knee. I’m thinking about trying acupuncture, but my friends think I’m nuts. What do you think?

Several recent studies show osteoarthritis symptoms can be relieved with acupuncture. One Scandinavian study reported that 25 percent of patients canceled their plans for knee surgery after acupuncture.

About 15 million Americans have tried this needle therapy. The World Health Organization recommends it for more than 40 conditions as diverse as asthma and nausea from chemotherapy. The Food and Drug Administration regulates acupuncture needles.

So, no, I don’t think you’re nuts.


(You can find the article in full here.)

Thanks for reading, and we hope you have a wonderful day!

Melissa and David Sokulski

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Fresh Living Workshop


It's spring and everything is blooming! What better time to learn about natural health and fresh living! Join us as we show you how you can easily incorporate healthy foods and natural healing practices in your life.

Fresh Living is the first series that covers wild edibles, raw food, aromatherapy and homeopathy in one enlightening workshop. Presented by four experienced natural health practitioners, the series give you the basics that you need to start living a naturally vibrant and deliciously healthy life!

Fee: $50, includes a wonderful raw food lunch, handouts and samples. Reservations suggested as space is limited. Please Register by May 14th.

May 22, 2010
10:30am – 2:30pm
Wilkins Community Center
7604 Charleston Ave Swissvale, PA 15218

To register call (412) 381-0116

*Please Register by Friday, May 14!


Schedule:

10:00 am – Registration and Morning Tea

10:30 am – Wild Edible Walk with Melissa
Start the morning with a walk around the park and discover nature's edible bounties that were always right before your eyes!

11:15 am – Raw Food 101 with Leah
What could be fresher than raw? In Raw Food 101, Leah will show you the basics of how to un-cook. As summer approaches, learn how to make refreshingly delicious raw meals (beyond salad!) From raw raviolis, soups, dips and desserts! We will also juice and use some of your finds at the Wild Edible Walk!


12:00 – Lunch (Raw Food and Wild Edibles)

1:00- Homeopathy 101 with Tara
Join Tara for an introduction to self-prescribing for the everyday complaints of a healthy family. These include coughs, colds, ear infections, sore throats, stomach disorders, flu, and first aid. She will cover the basic principles of homeopathic philosophy to provide a structure for understanding simple prescribing. She will also look at symptoms in depth to help guide you in observing illness. She will cover the most commonly used remedies for each of the above disorders as well as the basic principles of dosing and repetition of remedies.

1:45 – Aromatherapy with Cathy
Learn about the safe use of essential oils for household use and for physical and emotional health and well being. We'll discuss the use of pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils as alternatives to: toxic household cleaners, pet care products, insect repellents, pharmaceuticals and more. A wide variety of essential oils will be on hand to view/smell. Oils will be diffused in the room. We'll cover natural options that will build the health of our bodies and our environment instead of breaking them down. Samples will be provided for each participant to take home. Fresh water with therapeutic-grade lemon oil will be on hand for drinking.

About Us

Cathy Daniels
Cathy Daniels is the founder and owner of One Gentle Spirit Holistic Services, LLC, a Certified Hypnotherapist, Reiki Master/Teacher and Natural Health Educator, she has been sharing her passion, experiences and information regarding natural ways of bringing positive changes to the body, mind and spirit for the past 14 years. As well as providing private sessions for clients, Cathy holds classes and workshops on Hypnotherapy, Aromatherapy, Reiki, Natural Health and Nutrition Awareness.† She is the mother of 3 and is a retired La Leche League Leader.†Cathy is excited to be thriving on her path of health and wellness and joyfully sharing her experience with others.†
More information on Cathy can be found at www.onegentlespirit.com

Tara McElfresh
Tara McElfresh has been practicing and studying Homeopathy for the last 3 years. Her interest in naturopathy and alternative medicine began when her child was diagnosed with heavy metal toxicity after an adverse reaction to a vaccination. After consulting with an ND, her daughter showed incredible improvement with homeopathic treatment. Tara;s passion for homeopathy continues and she is currently working with a naturopath to deepen her knowledge and broaden her practice. She uses only natural remedies to treat her family's ailments. Tara actively writes about homeopathy and natural medicine in her blog naturalremedyhealing.blogspot.com

Leah Shannon
Leah Shannon, is a certified Integrative Nutrition Counselor and Food Educator. She received her training in Holistic Health from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and her Masters Degree in Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University. Leah is an advocate for urban farming, healthy food accessibility, and food safety policy. Leah is the menu planner for Shepherd Wellness Community’s Friday Night Dinners and Holistic Health Counselor for Matrika Wellness Center’s Stress Reduction Programs. She serves on the board of Grow Pittsburgh whose mission is to demonstrate, teach and promote responsible urban food production. Leah lives in Stanton Heights adjacent to Mildreds’ Daughters Urban Farm where she teaches healthy cooking classes during the season.
More information on Leah can be found at www.befullwell.com

Melissa Sokulski
Melissa Sokulski is a licensed acupuncturist and massage therapist trained in the practice of Eastern and Holistic medicine. She received her Masters Degree in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology in 1996 from the New England School of Acupunture. She and her husband David are the founders and proprietors of the Birch Center for Health in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Melissa is well-recognized in Pittsburgh as an expert on Wild Edibles and Raw Food and regularly leads Wild Edible Walks around town.
More information on Melissa can be found at www.foodunderfoot.com and www.birchcenter.com

Thanks so much!

Melissa and David Sokulski

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Pittsburgh is the Most Livable City...Again!



This year Pittsburgh was again chosen as the most livable city! We love Pittsburgh and the great opportunities that we have here.

Here are some of The Birch Center's favorite things about Pittsburgh!

  • We love our East Carson Street location, right near the corner of 20th! Pittsburgh's South Side is an awesome and fun place to be. We hold our Wild Edibles Hikes right on the south side river trail (the next one is May 30!), just a few blocks from our office. Sometimes we have time to grab lunch a few doors down at Thai Me Up, or get in a quick yoga class at BYS. And I can't seem to resist browsing right across the street at Utrecht Art Supplies every now and then!




  • When beauty or butterfies are what we are looking for, we jump across the river to Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Oakland, where the agave plant is literally through the roof right now!




  • Camping at one of the many state parks...year round!


  • Learning about wild mushrooms with the Western PA Mushroom Club, who hold mushroom walks every Saturday, and have informational meetings once a month, open to all! They now have Indiana and Washington County chapters. We just got back from Morel Madness weekend hosted by them...loads of fun. This group is so generous with it's knowledge...we love them!



Just a short list of some of our favorite things about Pittsburgh!

What are your favorite things here? Let us know in the comments!

Thanks so much!

Melissa and David Sokulski

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

64% off Cosmetic Acupuncture



The Birch Center for Health
is so excited to bring you another great deal in conjunction with Groupon! (We're the "side deal" today through this weekend, you'll find us on the sidebar.)

Today through Sunday, you may purchase a package of 3 Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture Treatments (also known as Cosmetic Acupuncture or "The Acupuncture Facial") for only $130, which is 64% off the regular price!

At only $43 per treatment, this is a great deal, even if you use it for regular acupuncture only! Our facial acupuncture treatments include:

  • a full consultation
  • whole body acupuncture treatment focusing on your specific symptoms, conditions and concerns
  • PLUS points on the face which help reduce wrinkles and blemishes, and bring energy and vitality to the head and face.

Birch Center Master Acupuncturist David Sokulski has been specially trained in facial acupuncture, and brings great care and skill to each treatment.

Many clients report additional benefits to these treatments:

  • increased memory
  • decrease in headaches, anxiety and depression
  • increase in energy and ability to sleep soundly.
Please don't miss this amazing deal!

Groupon Price: $130 for 3 treatments
Regular Price: $360 for 3 treatments
Savings of 64% (save $230!)

Purchase through Groupon today!

Thanks so much!

Sincerely,

Melissa and David Sokulski

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wild Edibles Walks

Wild Edibles Walk at Frick Park Earth Day

It was cold, but we still had a great turnout and great fun at both our walks at Frick Park Earth Day celebration last Saturday! Thanks to everyone who braved the cold!

We saw so many wild edibles...way more was up this year than last year, even though the event was held the same weekend last year! I guess our warm temperatures at the beginning of the month caused a lot more to come up.

Here are some things we saw:

Fiddleheads
Fiddleheads

violets
Violets

garlic mustard, flowering
Garlic Mustard

We also saw:

    dandelion
    burdock
    lambs quarters
    japanese knotweed
    may apple - ripe fruit is only edible part of this plant
    bloodroot (medicinal, not edible)
    mugwort
    cut-leafed toothwort
    onion grass
    jewelweed (poison ivy remedy)
    poison ivy - not edible, please do not eat!



Please join us for our next wild edible walk, which is this Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 11 am at the south side river trail in Pittsburgh! It is $5/person (children under 10 free). For more information visit our events page. Please call (412) 381-0116 to register, so we know to expect you.

Thanks!

~ Melissa and David Sokulski, acupuncturists and herbalists

Food Under Foot
Birch Center for Health

(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Foraging Friday

Food Under Foot is awake from a long winter nap!

Lots of stuff has been coming up around the 'burgh, and we are out taking pictures, harvesting, and making yummy wild things!

We document all we do with wild plants on our sister website, Food Under Foot.

Here are some highlights from this past week:

We walked around Hartwood Acres and spotted lots of garlic mustard popping up out of the ground.


We went to Frick Park to harvest some garlic mustard. I took it home and made a horseradish-like condiment from the roots. You can find the recipe and how-to here.



Today, we harvested a bunch of nettles (my fingers are still buzzing from nettles stings!) I've had a couple green smoothies and the rest is in the dehydrator. There's no post for that up yet, but there are pictures on our new facebook page!



If you're on facebook, please become a fan of Food Under Foot!

Have a great weekend and happy harvesting.

Let us know what you find.

Thanks so much,

~ Melissa and David Sokulski

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

2010 Spring Wild Edibles Walks Scheduled

We've been getting lots of questions these days about an updated Wild Edibles Walk schedule this year....it must mean spring is really on the way!

In fact it is: I did my first wild edibles talk already for the Schenley Farms Garden Club, and Frick's Earth Day Celebration is right around the corner (2 free walks scheduled this year! See below.)

I've already seen onion grass, garlic mustard, wintercress, chickweed, mullein and dandelion out there! It's coming!! Dave and Ella finally spotted a couple robins the other day.

Here is the start of this year's schedule.

Wild Edible Walks in Pittsburgh, PA!

Join us at Frick Environmental Center for our first Wild Edible Walk of the year. This is part of Frick's Earth Day Celebration, which will be held on Saturday, April 17, 2010 from 11 am to 4 pm.

We will lead two walks this year: at 1:30 and 3 pm.

Hope to see you there!

Where: Frick Environmental Center, Pittsburgh, PA
When: Saturday, April 17, 2010, 1:30 pm and 3:00 pm
Cost: Free (The city is paying for this one!)
No pre-registration necessary, but arrive early, space will be limited.

Wild Edible Walks in The 'Burgh!

Join herbalists Melissa and David Sokulski, of The Birch Center for Health, for a wild edible walk.

We'll learn which wild plants (weeds) are edible, and discuss how to use them. Wild plants often have more nutritional value than even organically grown food.


Where: South Side River Trail, by the river under Birmingham Bridge, Pittsburgh, PA.
Cost: $5 per walk, kids under 10 free
Register: Call (412) 381-0116
When: Sunday, April 25, 2010 11 am - 12 pm, and Sunday, May 30, 2010 11 am - 12 pm, 11 am 12 noon,
For more information call: (412) 381-0116.

Invite Melissa Sokulski to Lead a Walk for Your Group or You and Your Friends!

Do you wonder what is growing in your own backyard? How about those weeds you pull from your garden...maybe they're edible!

Melissa can lead you and your friends on a tour of your area, yard, or garden. She'll help you identify edible plants, show you how to harvest them and suggest some great uses and recipes!

Cost: $150 for 1 1/2 hour walk and talk, plus travel fee. ($50 per additional half hour)

Thanks!

Thanks so much,

~ Melissa and David Sokulski

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wild Edibles

Getting ready for a new season of wild edibles!


above: early spring Burdock from last year...haven't seen it this year yet.

Tomorrow I'm doing a presentation for the Oakland Garden Club, (Wild Edibles in the 'Burgh) and the first Wild Edible Walks of the year are now scheduled!

Saturday, April 17, 2010
Frick Environmental Center
Earth Day Celebration
2 FREE walks: 1:30 pm and 3:00 pm.
These are very easy walks, where we mostly meander along and observe and discuss wild edibles we find. I'm sure we'll see onion grass, garlic mustard, burdock, dandelion, fiddleheads, cresses....it will be great fun!

I hope you join us!

We'll have our full spring schedule up soon, along with lots of other exciting things.

Stay tuned!

~ Melissa and David Sokulski

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Today Only! $30 Acupuncture Treatment and Consultation

~ Today Only ~
$30 for Acupuncture and Consultation at The Birch Center
with Groupon!



UPDATE:

*** Hi everyone: Thanks so much for participating!! Our deal is now over (I'm writing this Thursday, Feb 18), but if you want to view it,
click here.

The other groupon links in this post will take you to the current groupon deal...which is potentially fabulous, so check it out!

Thanks again!! *****

We have exciting news to share with you today! The Birch Center, working with Groupon, is able to offer new and returning clients 54% off your next acupuncture treatment - including consultation! That's only $30 when you buy today. This coupon with only be available through midnight tonight, Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010. You have until November 1, 2010 to come in for your treatment.

Make sure you buy yours today! If you've never come in before but have been wanting to try acupuncture for a while, now is the time! Remember, you have until November 1, 2010 to schedule your session, but you must buy today. Limit one per client, but you may buy multiples to give as gifts! So if you've been wanting to get acupuncture for a while, but haven't taken the plunge, today is the day! (And remember, you can come in anytime until November 1, 2010.)

We are so excited to be able to offer this to you! Please feel free to email your friends, post this on facebook or twitter...let your friends and family know. We don't know if we'll be able to offer this to you again, so please take advantage of this amazing deal today!

Thanks so much,

~ Melissa and David Sokulski

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy New Year! Year of the Tiger

The Chinese New Year was yesterday, February 14, 2010.

Happy New Year!


It's the year of the Tiger!

2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962, 1950, 1938, 1926, 1914, 1902

Tiger years are very exciting! People born in Tiger years are lively, dynamic, compassionate, and passionate. Tigers are fearless. They pursue their dreams with impulsive, reckless abandon. They are not held back by fear or concern for material wealth or security. Tiger people are also compassionate: they love babies and care deeply for endangered, orphaned or sick animals.

The fearless Tiger sign also wards off the three main dangers to the home: fire, thieves and ghosts.

Whether you were born in a Tiger year or not, this is the year to follow your dreams! Tiger energy is in all of us, and will be stirred up this year. Uncover the dreams you had as children, you may have to search deeply and dust them off, but this is the year to recover them. If you need help remembering, I highly recommend acupuncture at The Birch Center, (I'll post an article on this in the next couple days) and the book The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron.

Tigers are also compassionate. Your compassion will also be stirred this year: what do you care deeply about? What causes are closest to your heart? This is worth giving thought to, as this year you may be able to offer time, talent or money to causes that matter most to you.

Welcome Year of the Tiger! It's going to be a great year...enjoy it to the fullest!


(Above images are from Wikimedia commons, a database of freely usable media files.)

Happy New Year!

~ Melissa and David Sokulski

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Safe Nutritious Purslane Proves as Powerful as Western Meds

Though we are blanketed in snow (with more falling as I write!), we know that spring is on the way!

In the meantime, here is my most recent article for Natural News: Safe Nutritious Purslane Proves as Powerful as Western Meds. I hope you enjoy it! I have confidence we'll all be enjoying fresh purslane soon!


Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle ... a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl. And the anticipation nurtures our dream. ~ Barbara Winkler

Thanks so much!

~ Melissa and David Sokulski

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

David Sokulski in the Trib!


In case you missed it, Birch Center acupuncturist David Sokulski was recently featured in The Link column of Pittsburgh Trib PM!

The article is about how Dave became interested in acupuncture, and what acupuncture can do for people. Read the article here.

Thanks so much!

~ Melissa and David Sokulski

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Snow, Snow, Snow...but Birch Center is Open

Lots and lots of snow!

Dave WILL be in the office tomorrow (Tuesday, Feb. 9), and parking is available on East Carson and the parking lot on 20th and we have heat, so we are open.

Of course, if you are still snowed in and can't make your appointment, please give us a call: (412) 381-0116 and it can be rescheduled.

But Dave will be there all day...so if you'd like an appointment, just give him a call!

Thanks, and enjoy the snow!

~ Melissa and David Sokulski

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!