Intergenerational Trauma, Anxiety and Depression

family tree

Trauma alters gene expression. This can get passed down family lines. It is designed to prepare both individuals and their descendants to deal with a dangerous and chaotic world. Unfortunately when this goes too far and can’t switch back off, it can become a family curse. It can turn into a self fulfilling prophesy leading to continuous cycles of pain and frustration.

This curse comes in the form of altered glucocorticoid- and immune-related gene expression. These can have broad reaching effects on the body. They influence psychological states, ability to focus, and function socially. 

Offspring of trauma survivors are more likely to develop PTSD, mood, and anxiety disorders and demonstrate genetic alterations. The expression of these genes can cause wide ranging damage from obesity to insomnia and infertility. 

Families may be affected financially as well because having intergenerational trauma may make it harder to focus and plan, all of which have long term financial consequences for families often resulting in intergenerational poverty.

Happy Chinese New Year

February 12th is the first day of the Chinese lunar calendar, also known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival. The year 2021 is represented by the Ox. According to renowned Chinese Astrologist, Lillian Bridges, the Ox (Cow) is a respected animal valued for its ability to work hard and endure. She says “The Ox is credited with the values of constancy and cooperation. These are usually slow-moving animals that are even-tempered and placid unless they are provoked. This implies a calmer and more stable year with less anger, less contentious behavior and much less potential for violence as that behavior will simply not be supported or be sustainable. This year is about the future and our hopes and dreams, which can start to inspire us again. Life will feel more peaceful and less stressful, but this year requires patience. Forward movement will be mostly slow going toward desired and more ideal outcomes in the future. There will still be some restrictions on growth and movement, but these will lessen.”

She goes further to say “The most important ideals this year are kindness and compassion. It is not wise to provoke anger or act in aggressive ways, as the elements will not be with you. Instead, caring for others in small ways will be remembered and make a big difference.”

You can read her entire forecast here if you are interested.

Here’s wishing you a stress-free 2021 filled with peace, good health and good fortune!

New Year, New Clinic

We’ve Moved!

The new clinic is operational and everyone has been very positive about it. It’s right next door to the old clinic, so no need to worry about finding the new place. Schedule your appointment and come check it out. I think you’ll love the new open feel with all of the familiar attention to your health. Here’s a sneak peek.

Goodbye 2020 and Hello 2021

Whew!  What a year!  We’ve all been through a lot this year and I have to say I’ve learned a lot along the way.  I’ve learned to enjoy solitude and spending time with my family(lots and lots).  I’ve figured out how to get my business back up and running during a pandemic. Never before have I ever taken six weeks away from work!   And I’ve learned that I’m not the only one who is paying close attention to their health.  You all have brought a renewed focus on your health and that makes me happy!    

Now for the Really Exciting Part….

Last month, I mentioned that one way to look at what is happening is to try and find the opportunities that lie amidst the chaos.   Recently I learned of an opportunity that will allow me to expand my clinic, and I’m excited to announce that we will be doing just that!   This expansion will give me more treatment space so I will have more appointment times and can help more people, and it will give me more space for sharing some of the wonderful herbal products that I can offer.  And the best part is that it’s right next door!  Same building, literally 10 feet from my current door.  I’m putting the final details together now and it looks like a move could happen as early as February.  Of course I couldn’t even consider this without your continued support and encouragement and I’m so very grateful for that.   Stay tuned for more details as things unfold.  

In the meantime, please stay safe.  I am wishing you and yours some well-deserved downtime and a very happy new year to come. Cheers to health, happiness, and prosperity in 2021!  No matter what happens, we are in it together.  

How to Make This a Great Thanksgiving

Even if you are by yourself

In past holiday newsletters, I’ve offered advice on how to have a less-stressed holiday season.  This year requires a different twist on that theme.

A long time ago, I had a boss who taught me how to take advantage of change/chaos. The secret is to figure out what the opportunity is. And I’d like to offer that in these times, the opportunity is to take time for yourself, find joy and gratitude. There is no doubt that these are stressful times, and honestly, adding a family gathering or holiday party to the mix at this time would add even more stress. Most times I’m giving advice on stress relieving techniques to cope with the chaos of holiday shopping, family gatherings, and work parties. But all of that is so last year!

How is stress affecting you now?
For some we turn to food to calm our nerves. How about looking at food preparation and eating as an opportunity to express thanks? Our mindset before eating or preparing foods has a big impact on how we digest food. I’ve taught classes on mindful eating and one thing that I always emphasize is practicing gratitude during preparation, cooking and eating what we have. That is the idea of preparing and eating meals with calmness and enjoyment so that the parasympathetic nervous system is engaged which, incidentally, helps with digestion. Taking time to appreciate the work that went into growing and harvesting the fruits and vegetables, is an example. Eating slowly and appreciating all of the flavors is so beneficial to your body and mind.

Bring in Gratitude and Joy

Did you know that you can’t experience two opposite emotions at the same time? So by expressing gratitude or joy, you can’t simultaneously feel sorrow or fear. So look for those opportunities to do the things you enjoy doing during the holidays, even if you are by yourself and can’t be with family members. Do you love to decorate for the holidays? Then do it, even if you are the only one who will see it!

How can you express gratitude during this time? What comes to mind when I ask “what are you thankful for?” Notice, I didn’t ask “what is missing from your life?” It’s all about how you frame things. While I’m missing my family this Thanksgiving, I am grateful that they are all healthy and safe. I’m also thankful that there will be less stress and I can cook whatever the heck I want to cook without having to worry about the special requests from everyone. I can take a deep breath for a few days! I’m looking forward to it. I’m also grateful to spend some quality time with my partner, David and my cute doggie, Jess!

This year, I am extremely grateful for you, my patients! You bring me great joy and I care about you all. Please see the special holiday offers below and take this opportunity to treat yourself, friends or family to the gift of wellness!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Coping with Stress

Well, 2020 has certainly been a doozie! As if the Coronavirus wasn’t enough, there’s so much happening in our country right now with fires, hurricanes, unprecedented job losses, riots, and politics that it’s no wonder most of my patients are stressed. I’ve seen a big increase in anxiety, depression and all around feeling of stress in my patients. So if you are feeling it too, you are not alone.

Stress is sometimes used as a catch-all word for many symptoms but the fact is that stress is definitely real. It can be the cause of both emotional and physical symptoms like anxiety, depression, hypertension, fatigue, headaches, addiction, obesity, pain, and more. Managing stress is key to keep these feelings from getting out of control.

What’s happening?

When you face a challenging situation, your body releases chemicals, including cortisol and adrenaline. These chemicals are released to help you handle the situation by putting you into a high alert state and preparing your body to take action. Adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and boosts energy supplies. Cortisol increases sugars in your bloodstream, enhances your brain’s use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues. This all sounds good, but too much is bad for your health.

July Clinic Updates

It’s great to be back in business! I’m really enjoying seeing everyone and feel my work is helping me as much as it is helping you.

As most of you have probably seen, this virus isn’t going away any time soon, so precautions will need to remain in place for the foreseeable future. Everyone wants to get on with life and we want this thing to go away, but it’s not in any big hurry. This means we need to stay vigilant and take care of ourselves like never before. I encourage you to reread the blog posts I did back in February for some tips on keeping your immune system strong, and this one with acupressure points you can do at home. Fall is just a few short months away, and then we will be back into flu season again. It’s uncertain what COVIDs next turn will be, so I’m advising everyone to take these measures now if you haven’t started already:

Immune boosting foods
  • Eat a healthy diet – avoid sugar (like the plague)
  • Take Vitamin C, Zinc, and Vitamin D,
  • Get outdoors and exercise (just be careful in the heat),
  • Get an acupuncture immune boost,
  • Practice stress reduction techniques like meditation, deep breathing and yoga
  • Ask me about Herbal preventative formulas that might be right for you

We’ve clearly seen that those with heart disease, diabetes, obesity and some other underlying issues are most at risk, and we all need to put our health as a top priority so we are equipped to fight off any cold, flu or other illness that comes our way.

PLEASE, Wear a Mask

Part of staying healthy right now means we need to continue to wash our hands frequently and wear masks when around others that aren’t part of our household, especially in indoor spaces with several people and poor ventilation. I know, I know, masks are a real pain. They are uncomfortable and hot; trust me I know!

Wear a Mask

But research and experiences from other countries where cases have been low show that wearing a mask helps to prevent transmission. I wear a mask to keep my “respiratory droplets” from getting to you (even though I don’t think I have been in contact with anyone who has it, I just don’t know). I hope you will wear a mask for me.

In fact, as our infection rates and hospitalizations continue to go up all across the south, I really insist that my patients wear a mask while in the clinic with me, especially while we are in close distance of each other. I am okay if you take it off once I’m out of the room, or when you are face down on the table. Your mask helps to keep me safe so that I can continue to help as many people as possible. If you don’t have one or forget yours, I have one for you.

If I am exposed to the virus, that means I have to close the clinic for 2 weeks minimum. None of us wants that to happen. When we both wear a mask, our chances of transmitting the virus are reduced significantly. That said, if you come to the clinic and find out later that you were exposed and may have been contagious while in the clinic, please let me know so that I can get tested and not inadvertently infect others.

Yes, I know the death rate from this virus is pretty low and the majority “recover”, but if you know anyone who has had COVID-19 with symptoms, you don’t want to get it. The after effects can linger for months, and we really don’t know what the long term effects will be. However, we do know that internal organ damage is a very possible outcome. Please err on the safe side and take precautions… for everyone.

Thank you! Okay, I’ll get off the soapbox now.

Welcome back!

The clinic reopened a month ago and all has been going well. Everyone seems genuinely happy to be coming back in for treatments and I’ve gotten good feedback on the new scheduling system. I know I am happy to be back doing what I enjoy.

I’m still following all of the CDC recommendations which means I’m limiting the number of people who are in the clinic at any one time and am doing extensive cleaning and letting the rooms air out between patients. The down side of this is that I can’t treat as many people and the wait list is growing. Appointment times fill up quickly. I ask for your patience and help with booking.

If you need a specific day or time, it’s best to book early. If you need to cancel, please give me as much notice as possible so that I can accommodate someone on the wait list. I appreciate your help!

Hopefully, in another two weeks or so, I’ll feel confident that it’s okay to open up more appointment times, and get the schedule back to normal. Hopefully!