Ummmm…

So, yea. The blogging has been pretty sparse around these parts lately.

However. All is well. All is wonderful, actually. Life is grand and my acupuncture clients are sweet, funny, generous, lovely people who I absolutely enjoy working with. Hopefully the feeling is mutual :-)

I’ve been spending lots of time on my other website.

If you are interested in channeling, talking to entities, personal growth, and that sort of thang, check out mariachanneling.com.

Wishing you an amazing 2013…

It’s that time of year my lovelies.

Acupuncture gift certificates are available! There is a fancy new menu button with all the details you need to get someone you care for the gift of… love? Health? Stress relief? Yes! All of the above!

One of these babies with some scrumptious chocolate (the selection at parkerandotis.com leaves me drooling) or a bottle of wine (wineauthorities.com has the BEST selection) is a little piece of heaven, and will score you some serious points.

These can also be purchased for future use by you, to ensure at some point (perhaps right before the big day(s)? Or post-holiday madness?) you get some acupuncture goodness for yourself as well.

A common question…

I have many people ask me if acupuncture can help them quit smoking.

My response is a resounding “yes!” Acupuncture is wonderful at alleviating the side effects that tend to occur with nicotine withdrawal. Those symptoms, in part, are often what sends a person back to the smoking behavior. Arghhhh, the moodiness, anxiety, stress, not to mention sleep issues, constipation, headache… Acupuncture is a great tool for stress reduction and is very effective for headaches and digestive concerns. I’ve had many clients over the years express to me how helpful needles were when they stopped smoking.

Another thing I often suggest to people: When you first become a non-smoker, avoid nightshade vegetables for 8-12 weeks.

What exactly are nightshade vegetables?

Tobacco is part of the nightshade family. All nightshade vegetables contain nicotine, albeit in much smaller amounts then tobacco. Ingesting even the tiny amount that exists in eggplant or tomatoes, it is theorized, can wake up the nicotine receptors, causing a continued craving.

I’d love to hear feedback from anyone who tries this…

Ahhh, that dang vitamin study.

You may have seen the recent study that claims taking vitamins is bad for your health. Or puts you at a higher risk for death. Or will cause you to grow a second head. Depends on what media outlet you caught the story on.

Here are a few facts on the study:

It spanned 19 years and the subjects self-reported 3 times in that period. Yep, 3 times in 19 years.

There were 38,772 subjects, all women, age 55 and up.

According to researchers, there was a 2.4% increase in death risk with multivitamin use, and a 4-6% (varies) increase in death risk with B6, folic acid, iron, magnesium and zinc. Here’s the abstract.

2.4%? Was that even worth reporting?

Media coverage on the study ignores a very basic tenet of scientific research:

Correlation does not imply causation. Even in the case of this relatively incredibly tiny (2.4%!) number, correlation STILL does not imply causation.

There is absolutely no way of attributing age of death of 38,000+ random women to vitamin usage (whose minimum age at the end of the study was 74). Some basics not taken into account were genetics, stress, and the fact that all the information from the subjects was self-reported. That means if a subject said she took a multivitamin every day, or did not, then that was accepted as fact.

What I am about to say is not scientific, but rather my experience from working with clients for 15 years: Few people report their daily health habits correctly the first time they are asked. It’s our nature to want to make a good first impression, and we tend to report our “best” habits, or maybe our hoped-for-habits, as our daily experiences. We’re human. It’s ok. However, it is not ok to accept that sort of subjective information from people, toss it into an Excel spreadsheet, and call it “science”.

Two more fun facts:

There have been NO deaths from vitamin use in 27 years.

It is approximated that 100,000 people die yearly from side effects of prescription drugs. Not misuse of prescription drugs, or mistakes in taking prescription drugs, but from the SIDE EFFECTS of the drugs prescribed to them by their doctors.

I am not interested in posting a diatribe against prescription drugs. Nor do I hold vitamins holy. There are situations in which Western medicine (including drugs) is very appropriate; situations in which acupuncture and natural methods (including vitamins) are very well-suited; and situations in which a combination of natural and Western styles (integrative medicine) is the best choice.

My point with this post is really about the media, and it’s habit of spoon-feeding us reductionist, over-simplified crap that is meaningless, to promote an agenda.

And a special note to Time Magazine, who misrepresented the data and “risk factors” by 250-300%: Seriously?

Yum winter snacks, oh yea.

My favorite way to eat kale is roasted, or popcorn kale as I like to call it. It is super simple and shockingly tasty.

I’ve noticed roasted kale chips recently at Whole Foods in the snack aisle and it is crazy expensive. There are “recipes” (I hesitate to call them that because of how easy it is!) all over the internet, like so:

Simply cut up your kale into bite-sized pieces (I toss the stems), rub them down with a little oil of your choice (I use olive), salt, and pop into a pre-heated 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes. I keep my eye on them, and when they’re brown and crispy they are ready for snacking.

There are lots of variations as well – garlic salt, curry powder, chili seasoning, flavored oil, balsamic vinegar… you get the picture.

This is a great way to get some veggies in, and very kid-friendly.

Why yes, I do try to make up for lack of photography skills by using my Hipstamatic app…