Friday, December 20, 2013

17 Fantastic Clutter Free Gift Ideas

The holiday season is upon us and for some last minute shopping we compiled a list of clutter-free gifts that is sure to please.
  • Groupon - check out the deals on groupon and gift someone with an art class (take it along side them), a massage, a meal out, a day of sledding or skiing, yoga classes there are tons of deals to choose from.
  • A gift certificate to their favorite restaurant.
  • A massage from their (or your) favorite massage practitioner.
  • A gym membership.
  • A year (or a few months) of netflix or hulu plus.
  • A series of yoga classes from your favorite yoga studio.
  • A play, opera, musical or the symphony. There are tons of great shows in Pittsburgh all year. Pick out your favorite and get tickets to give as gifts.
  • Tickets to hear live music. From smaller venues to hear local and up and coming artists to big ticket items playing at Heinz Hall, Carnegie Music Hall and Consol Center, you can find great musicians playing in Pittsburgh year round. 
  • A gift certificate from Trader Joe's, The Food Coop, Whole Foods or other specialty grocery store.
 What other ideas do you have for clutter free holiday gifts? Comment below to share your idea with everyone!

Happy Holidays,

David and Melissa Sokulski

The Birch Center For Health
Pittsburgh's Historic South Side: East Carson Street

(412) 381-0116

You can get an acupuncture gift certificate or four-pack online right now. Pick one up today here!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Heading Into Winter

We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and if you celebrated Chanukah that it was warm and joyful!

As the autumn gives way to winter, the energy moves from the metal element into the water element. In our bodies that relates to the meridians of Kidney and Bladder.

5 elements chart from Wiki Commons

This fall at the Birch Center we were able to help lots of people manifesting weakness in the Metal element: asthma, pneumonia, allergies, colds and flu. As we move to the next element in the cycle – water, which relates to the Kidney, we still may see some of that, as the two elements are closely connected and the Kidneys have the specific function of “grasping the qi” after the lungs take the breath. People may continue to see flare ups in asthma and other lung issues as the energy moves deeper into our bodies to connect with the water element.

The kidneys govern growth and development, any developmental issues can be supported by supporting the kidney energy. This goes for children as well as adults and elderly: issues we often associate with age: memory loss, dizziness, hot flashes, weakened bones/osteoporosis, insomnia, ringing in ears/tinnitus can all be helped by supporting the kidney energy with acupuncture, food choices and herbal medicine.

Other issues associated with the kidneys include
  • back and knee pain
  • teeth weakness (cavities) 
  • bone weakness (osteoporosis)
  • diabetes especially Type 1 (Type 2 is associated with the Earth energy as well as Water)
  • hair loss and premature graying of hair
  • endocrine imbalance including thyroid 
  • reproductive and fertility issues
  • all issues relating to the brain such as development and memory.
At the Birch Center we can treat these conditions, support and strengthen the water element/kidneys with acupuncture, herbal medicine and dietary suggestions

The water element follows the Bladder meridian from the eye up over the head, down the back in two lines touching on all the organ systems: the inner line accesses physical aspects of that organ system the outer the mental and spiritual, down the back of knee and legs, outside the ankle then connecting to the Kidney at the bottom of the foot, running back up the kidney meridian on the inside of the ankle and leg, up the front of the abdomen to the collar bone, where it enters the body more deeply as well as connects to the next meridian organ system, the Pericardium.

During acupuncture treatments we commonly needle points on the back and ankle to access and strengthen the water element. This powerful element is said to be the root of all yin and yang in the body.

Now is a great time to come in for an acupuncture tune-up to bring the body back into balance and alignment as the seasons shift and the energy moves from one element to the other. A balancing acupuncture treatment helps the transition flow smoothly and any subtle weaknesses in the organ systems can often be overcome by a simple relaxing acupuncture session.

Call or text lead acupuncturist David Sokulski today to set up an appointment: (412) 381-0116.

In blog entries throughout December and into the winter, we'll discuss 
  • Chinese herbal and Western botanical treatments for the water element to strengthen the kidneys
  • Sea vegetables and other foods like black beans which benefit and strengthen the kidneys 
  • Other ways to strengthen the kidneys and support the all important water element of our bodies
Stay tuned to the blog and enjoy the holiday season! You can follow our blog by getting each post sent directly to your inbox by subscribing to the box on the top of the right margin. And don't forget to sign up for our monthly newsletter!

If you are interested in foraging for wild foods, check out Birch Center acupuncturist Melissa Sokulski's new ebook: Winter Foraging Holiday Feasting, for great ideas, color photos and fantastic healthy vegan recipes. This book identifies over 25 common edible plants easily found in winter with information on how to harvest and prepare them

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Happy Holidays!

~ David and Melissa Sokulski

Birch Center for Health

East Carson Street
Pittsburgh's Historic South Side

(412) 381-0116