*Please see an update to our schedule below, which begins tomorrow, February 1st!
Acupuncture and Relating, from the Inside Out
Anne Louise Smallen, Lic. Ac.
Part of life is learning to relate with our own self, with others, and with the world in general. Acupuncture, as
an integrated science
, also addresses our capacity to relate, by helping with
integration and protection
, both so important to relationships.
It does so mostly through the
pericardium and triple heater
(also called San Jiao or Triple Warmer)
. The heart generates the “shen” and the Pericardium is the expression of the heart.
The shen is what radiates from us and gives us magnetism
: what we like, what we attract and what we pursue.
shen is disturbed
, we are unable to fully express what makes us tick. Instead, we experience
disorientation, restlessness, loss of desire and extreme discomfort with life transitions
. It can be because of a temporary exterior trigger, or because of a chronic weakening of our ability to relate.
Many points on the pericardium meridian bring us back to an undisturbed part of us and give us a sense of peace. In acupuncture terms, they
“calm the spirit”
and help us to integrate our emotions, and support a sense of
alignment within ourselves
The Triple Heater (TH) meridian is what helps us relate to the exterior.
How we relate to the exterior
is a very big subject. How do we do it? One part is through our
, which enriches us by letting outside information in. Many TH points are used to treat vision, hearing, inner balance and smelling.
Another part is through a sense of
, which insures that what comes from the outside does not overwhelm us and make us ill. Points on the TH meridian help treat viral and bacterial invasions by
boosting our immunity.
They are also used to protect us from being scattered and losing ourselves. They buffer large and small life crises, and can help release pain and trauma.
Pericardium 6 and Triple Heater 5
, are especially important in learning the art of letting the world in on one side and protecting us from invasion on the other. They are detailed below.
Empaths, and the Challenges and Gifts of Having a "Thin Skin"
Rachel Condon, Lic. Ac.
In keeping with the theme of relating to the outside world, along with integrating our inner emotional worlds, I would like to turn to the topic of
refers to that quality of relating to others and their experiences in an emotional way, whether it is feeling joy for someone who is feeling joyful about a new relationship, for example, or feeling sorrow in the presence of someone sharing a difficult challenge in their life.
Being an empath
, however, takes that experience to a whole other level;
empaths can actually sense other people's emotions, energy, and sometimes physical symptoms
in their own bodies, without the usual filters most people have. This can certainly be both a blessing and a curse. Common challenges include
becoming overstimulated easily
, feeling things intensely, experiencing
emotional and social hangovers
, feeling isolated and lonely, and having
to light, smell, taste, touch, and sound.
Wondering what this means and if this might be you?
Here are a few questions to consider:
Have I ever been labeled overly sensitive, shy, or introverted?
Do I frequently get overwhelmed or anxious?
Do noise, odors, or nonstop talkers overwhelm me?
Do I startle easily?
Do I overeat to cope with stress?
Do I replenish myself in nature?
Do I need a long time to recuperate after being with difficult people or energy vampires?
If you answered yes to more than one of these questions, you may have at least mild to moderate empath tendencies. And even if you don't relate to all of the qualities described, you may still find benefit in learning some strategies, to
help combat the effects of living in our highly stimulated world.
One book I recommend is
The Empath's Survival Guide, by Judith Orloff, M.D.
Having discovered much of this to ring true for myself, I have found it incredibly validating and heartening to read.
Dr. Orloff offers several strategies for protecting yourself from exhaustion and overwhelm, when you're feeling those signs of sensory overload, or taking on the negativity or stress of others. She includes a wide variety of tools, from
meditation and grounding practices
, to walks in nature, to setting
clear boundaries and expectations
for yourself and being okay with saying no to invitations, whether personal or professional.
The strategies that usually work the best for me include walking in the woods, snuggling with my animals, journaling, and getting extra sleep. Sometimes clearing the calendar to feel a sense of spaciousness is in order, and other times getting together with a close friend or two and cooking a nourishing meal together are just the thing to replenish me.
These are a number of books available on the subject if you would like to find out more about whether you are an empath, what types of empaths there are, and techniques for learning how to remain open to your own energies and unique gifts, while building resilience and inner strength.
can be a wonderful, supportive therapy to help calm the nervous system and strengthen boundaries, whether it's for immune system support, or on more emotional and energetic levels, balancing the adrenals and relaxing the "fight or flight" response.
And often what we need for balance in our hectic, overly stimulating and frenzied days, is a reminder of the old adage,
Less is More.
It can be as simple as literally taking the time to pause, slow down, turn off our devices, and just be with ourselves... perhaps with a few needles inserted, in a dimly lit, cozy room, listening to relaxing music with a few other folks.
Pericardium 6, "the Inner Gate"
Pericardium 6 (PC 6), Nei Guan
or the "inner gate," is located on the interior of the forearm close to the wrist between the tendons of the palmaris longus and the flexor carpi radialis. It communicates closely with the heart and is one of the most important points used in
“calming the spirit, “
as discussed above. It is also very well known as the main point to press with
. Many carsick people use a bracelet to press it when traveling and it is the best friend of pregnant women with
. It is also widely used in the treatment of heart diseases (angina,
, arrhythmia and heart pain).
Because it calms the spirit, it is often part of the treatment for insomnia, mania, fear or fright, sadness, loss of memory and hypertension.
It is the opening point for the Yin Wei Mo, one of what is called the
eight extraordinary vessels
. The Yin Wei Mo helps treat the chest, the heart, insomnia, anxiety, mental restlessness, obsessive compulsive disorders, tightness in the chest, depression and headaches.
Triple Warmer 5, "the Outer Gate"
Triple Heater 5 (TH 5), Wei Guan
or the "outer gate," is located directly opposite PC 6 on the yang side of the forearm between the radius and the extensor digitorum communis tendons. In ancient China, both points were often treated together with a single needle, inserted deep enough to stimulate both points energetically.
It is an important point to
release pain and attacks from our environment
(cold, chills and fever). It is part of treatments for
headaches, dizziness and hypertension
. It is also part of l
ower back, neck and shoulders, elbow, arm and wrist pain treatments -
a good friend and ally during a healing crisis. It is also used when treating
of the eyes, lips and mouth.
As the opening point of the Yang Wei Mo (another Extraordinary Vessel), it is used to treat pain in the lateral side of the body (neck, hear, ears, legs) and is good for the treatment of
sciatica, tinnitus and shingles
Monday & Tuesday Hours are Changing in February...
A note from Rachel -
We are changing the hours once again - and
appreciate your patience with this process, and apologize for any unintentional inconvenience this causes.
We've had more changes than usual over the past year with staff and scheduling changes. And then last November, I tried an experiment of two longer clinic shifts on Mondays and Tuesdays. And to be perfectly honest, it is just too much. I also need to take back some of that time to use for administrative and related tasks.
When you are "running the whole show" as we currently do at NCA, without added front desk help, and schedule appointments every 15 minutes, the pace gets very busy. And it is hard to remain present during a longer shift, while also juggling all of the behind the scenes details, and most importantly, give you all the treatments you deserve!
And so, here is our
new schedule, beginning February 1st:
Mondays 12-5 w/Rachel
Tuesdays 12-5 w/Rachel
Wednesdays 9-2 w/Rachel
Thursdays 2-7 w/Anne Louise
Fridays 9-2 w/Rachel 2-7* w/Anne Louise
*we are actually closed 2-3pm for our staff meeting
Saturdays 8-2 w/Anne Louise
We've had a few instances over the last month, where the website has gone down. This is unusual and our website host is not sure why it's happening, but we will continue to look into it.
I appreciate people letting me know, preferably via
, when this happens, and I can try to "reset" it myself. In the meantime, if you are just trying to schedule an appointment, you can also go directly to our online scheduling system,
, by clicking this link, or by using the app, and then use your email and password. (If you don't use that link and are searching online, type "mindbodyonline" to find the website).
There have also been times when Mindbody hasn't been working, which is a different issue. But the above strategy will help if you try to go onto our website, nohocommunityacupuncture.com, and the site is not coming up.
And of course, you can always call too, or stop by during our open hours.
And finally, we wish to leave you with a poem by the beloved Mary Oliver, who passed away on January 17, 2019, at the age of 83. Mary Oliver's work took us deep into the natural world with simple language and fine detail, creating a profound intimacy with words, where, ultimately, the inner and outer worlds become One ~
In honor/memory of Mary Oliver, beloved poet,
You never know.
The body of night opens
like a river, it drifts upward like white smoke,
like so many wrappings of mist.
And on the hillside two deer are walking along
just as though this wasn't
the owned, tilled earth of today
but the past.
I did not see them the next day, or the next,
but in my mind's eye --
there they are, in the long grass,
like two sisters.
This is the earnest work. Each of us is given
only so many mornings to do it --
to look around and love
the oily fur of our lives,
the hoof and the grass-stained muzzle.
Days I don't do this
I feel the terror of idleness,
like a red thirst.
Death isn't just an idea.
When we die the body breaks open
like a river;
the old body goes on, climbing the hill.