February 5, 2019 is the start of the Lunar Year of the Earth (Brown) Pig!
The Pig is a kind, generous, and gentle soul. Pigs are naturally peaceful and forgiving, they tend to avoid conflict, unless provoked. In Chinese culture, Pigs symbolize the values of family, friends, home and good food.
The Pig thrives on celebration, ease, enjoyment and whole-heartedly sharing the above with its loved ones. In the Pig year, power and status take the backseat, and everyone is invited to join the fun!
The Pig is the last animal of the Chinese 12-year animal zodiac cycle. This points to an opportunity for completion of long-term or delayed projects, closing up of unfinished investigations and lawsuits.
Earth element relates to the qualities of stability, nourishment, and harmony, and is also connected to the digestive system in Chinese medicine. The Earth element in a balanced state allows for easy transformation of raw materials into energy and vitality, both in the realm of food and of thought.
The Pig year brings the energy of sticking closer to home, discouraging too much travel.
Emotionally, people should have easier access to affection and consolation of their loved ones, and any confrontations should be quick to diffuse. The Pig’s main goal is contentment and enjoyment of life – resetting and preparing for the new 12-year cycle.
Here is hoping that the influence of the Earth Pig, will bring us some peace, contentment and the experience of being nourished by our community!
There are a number of chronic degenerative eye problems that respond to acupuncture. In this episode, our guest discusses his experience using acupuncture to effectively treat macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, Stargardt’s and diabetic retinopathy.
Check out our very own Dr. Bezjak. She and Mats Sexton LAc discuss Chinese Medicine and the treatment of eye disorders.discuss not only treating the eyes, but how the eyes are a part of the nervous system and using acupuncture helps the entire body to find a deeper level of health and wellbeing.
Click here to listen.
Acupuncture can treat many eye diseases, including but not limited to:
I know you %$&#!!!! thinking: acupuncture...eyes....is this acupuncture in my eyes??
The answer is, no!
Super fine acupuncture needles go in many assorted places around the body, and are a surprisingly effective, natural approach to controlling and even improving degenerative eye diseases. Herbal medicine is as easy as taking some pills, just like taking any other medication.
Dr. Jennifer Bezjak L.Ac. DACM, has intensive training in the highly specialized treatment approach
that is necessary when treating ophthalmologic conditions. She received her masters and her doctorate degree at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco and has studied with Mats Sexton L.Ac., who has been a a TCM eye specialist since 2003. Her mom was her first macular degeneration patient, and her complete regression of the disease inspired Dr. Bezjak to specialize in this complex and vital area of medicine.
Why does acupuncture work when my ophthalmologist says there is no treatment? Because
acupuncture treats the whole body along with the eyes. Chronic and degenerative eye disease are often accompanied by systemic diseases like: hypertension, diabetes, digestive issues,
menstrual/fertility/menopausal issues, insomnia, or chronic pain. Eyes are sensitive and complex organs, with very tiny vasculature that will be the first to show signs of vulnerability to systemic diseases. Everything is connected. Ophthalmologists are often the first physicians to discover a person’s systemic disease pattern such as stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases, and even cancer. Just as the eyes can be a window to our overall health, Chinese medicine uses the same approach: and treats the whole body to achieve healing in the eyes.
Treatment Plans for Vision Disorders
The treatment course for eye care is not like the usual acupuncture appointment.
First time appointments are for 90 minutes to allow plenty of time to discuss your health, evaluate your vision, treat, and to explain herbal prescriptions if necessary. At your first appointment, we will discuss the issue you are seeking treatment for and then we will ask you questions to understand your constitution. Chinese medicine is customized medicine for each individual, so we will likely spend 30 minutes getting to the root of the problem. If an herbal prescription is needed, then we will give you detailed instructions on dose, frequency, and duration of the medicine.
Subsequently, you will receive two 30 minute treatments a day for 5 consecutive days, for a total of 10 treatments in 1 week. You will receive a treatment, take an hour long break and then return for the second treatment that same day. I will perform a visual assessment at the beginning and at the end of the treatment course. Next, we will decide if another 10 session course is appropriate, or if we will move onto to weekly and then monthly treatments.
Payment and Fees
Please be advised: While acupuncture in general may be covered by your insurance, acupuncture for vision diseases are not covered. Payment is due at the time of service.
The fee for the initial evaluation and 10 treatments is $3600.
Visual tests are performed to chart the progress of the acupuncture treatments and to gauge their effect on the eyes before and after treatment. The testing is not designed or intended to diagnose any western diseases. If you are having vision problems, you should visit your regular Ophthalmologist for a complete work up.
Dr. Bezjak will not see patients for eye care without a prior ophthalmologists visit.
I love this picture taken from my friend KJ - its a perfect example how bad the air quality is.
Cupping and acupuncture can be very helpful. We've gotten busy at the office since the fires, we are doing our best to accommodate everyone. If you've been affected by the fires either physically or emotionally, please don't hesitate to reach out so we can find a time that works for you!
The annual emotional cycles follow the cycles of nature. Every Fall, the opportunity to sit with, revisit, be with, and let go of our core losses. Winter is the time of deep gestation, Spring brings us the energy of new beginnings and possibilities, Summer is the yang-fire of manifesting our visions and our projects.
Focusing on the Autumn season, it is also centered around the harvest - the time of reaping, and assessing past strategies in hopes of better harvests in the future, and the time of assessing the losses of the year. This doesn't always have to be in an overwhelming way - time can soften the edges - but acknowledging what we carry within us. Each year we come from a different place, because we continue to grow and change and see our grief through different lenses.
A great example of are traditions such as Dia de Los Muertos and All Souls Day that celebrate this time of year, when the energetics of the season hold and reflect that sort of energy.
So, if you find yourself feeling and thinking back to core losses, know that you are not alone, it is a part of the natural cycle of the year. Do not sit alone with those feelings, reach out to a therapist, guide, mentor or close friend to be with you in that process.
I am running an end of year special just for you! My popular Mini Reset functional medicine consultation package will be 20% off through the end of December. In this package, we take a deep dive into all aspects of your health and health goals. I then create a personalized wellness plan to help you obtain optimal wellness going forward. This includes labwork, herbs, supplements, lifestyle, and diet recommendations to help you feel phenomenal. And, if you would also like to add a Comprehensive Wellness blood panel order and analysis to be included in this package, it is also just an extra $97 (normal price $350).
This package is ideal for women who are wanting help with fertility, PMS, irregular cycles, stress, fatigue, mood, digestive issues, etc. Or, it is also wonderful to do as a once yearly health reset. It is also a perfect addition to your Chinese medicine treatments as SFIM and I work very closely together in our care of patients. Wondering if this is still right for you? Schedule a FREE 15-minute consultation with me here.
Unfortunately, this package is not covered by insurance, but in most cases your HSA and FSA dollars can be used.
For more information about me, visit www.DrLaurieTerzo.com
For more information about the Mini Reset package, click here
While it’s possible for you to get a cold any time of year‚ most of us know that when the weather starts getting colder and the stress from the holidays starts to build‚ your chances of developing a cold are higher. This is mostly because people spend more time inside together during the colder months‚ giving germs and bacteria a better chance to spread in the re-circulated air.
Over the years we've gone through a lot of different products. Along with our winter coats and scarfs, these are the tried and true ones we bring out every year without fail.
We've got all of these stocked at the office - pick them up at your next treatment or give us a call and we can mail them to you in the SF/East Bay area.
We practice fire cupping, which means we use a flame to burn the air out of the inside of the cup and then quickly place the glass cup onto the skin. The suction will hold the cups firmly in place and feels great. Sometimes the cups are left in place, sometimes they are slid up and down the back, sometimes they are popped on and off, depending on what your practitioner thinks is the best approach for you.
Cupping is like an inverted massage. Instead of pressure being applied into the surface of the muscles, the cups create a suction, and pull the blood to the surface of the skin. Think of your muscles like a sponge. When you have some pain or injury, nothing is moving and your muscles are stiff and stuck, like stale water in the sponge. The cups move the blood up to the surface so that new, fresh blood can come in with oxygen and immune cells to do the necessary repair work. The marks that are left behind aren’t exactly “bruises”, because the process isn’t damaging any of your cells, it is just moving blood and fluids around. What is interesting is that as an area starts to heal, and the stagnant blood gets cleared out, the marks that are left behind become less and less purple, and last for a shorter time.
So if you have an old shoulder injury, or a muscle in your back that is always twinging, you can come in and gets some acupuncture and some cupping. Or if you feel some apprehension about those tiny acupuncture needles, we can just cup you. For some people, if they have a lot of stagnation their cupping marks will be rather dark and will sometimes take 2 weeks to go away. These same people will also feel an enormous amount of relief after that first treatment. Every treatment after that, the marks will be less pronounced as there will be less and less stagnation to clear.
While cupping is safe and feels good, we do not recommend cupping for people who have bleeding disorders, are on blood thinning medications, or have anemia, any type of skin infection, or thin/fragile skin.
Dr. Jennifer Bezjek, M.S., DAOM
Transform your skin from the inside out naturally and effectively with out surgery or chemical injections. Cosmetic acupuncture, also known as facial acupuncture, is an ancient beauty secret and is used by both men and women as a non-toxic way to minimize fine lines and wrinkles from the face. It reduces the signs of aging by renewing the glow of the skin and providing a youthful look to the face. Cosmetic acupuncture needles create stimulation to areas of facial tissue by increasing the circulation of blood flow to the wrinkles and thus producing more collagen production, resulting in less wrinkle formation.
Facial Acupuncture + Massage + Mask
We use a combination of facial rejuvenation acupuncture, facial cupping, gua sha, and micro-needling to help our clients attain healthy and vibrant skin.
Anti-aging Acupuncture treatments help to:
Slow signs of aging
Softens lines and wrinkles
Reduce muscle tension that may be causing unsightly lines
Reduce puffiness and under eye bags
Increase moisture and elasticity
Improve skin texture
Balance systemic issues
What will it feel like?
If you are familiar with typical acupuncture, you know you may have a slight, initial sensation when the needle is inserted, but then it is fine. The face is very sensitive, so you will naturally have more sensation with facial needling. Therefore, needles are inserted firmly. However, the discomfort is not long-lasting. Once all the needles are inserted, usually within ten or fifteen minutes, the discomfort recedes, and you relax comfortably with the needles for 15 - 25 minutes. After the needles are removed, you may feel energized, deeply relaxed, or both. You may feel your skin has tightened, or your face is lifted. You may feel a sense of well-being.
What are the side effects?
The side effect that usually concerns patients the most is bruising. If you opt to do the treatment we do our best to avoid bruising but it is not always possible. It is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when. You will bruise, and likely much more than once. The bruises can be small or large, flat or swollen, on any part of the face. Bruises typically take 5 - 10 days to fade. The separate consent form for acupuncture of the face and eye includes more information about facial bruising.
How should I handle bruises?
Bruises can be rubbed very, very gently with the fingertips and some arnica gel, eye cream, or other light skin lubricant, to stimulate circulation to carry away the stuck blood. This will also be done during your session. You can cover them up if you wish with concealer or other make-up. They generally fade on their own without care in about 5 - 10 days, but may take longer than that.
What commitment is required from me?
As with all medical care, you are free to say yes or no to whatever care you like. You can try a treatment and decide it isn’t for you and not continue. You can ask that certain areas not be needled. I may counsel you that for best effect, certain areas need to be included, but ultimately, you are in control. It is recommended to repeat a session every two weeks for four to six weeks, then monthly thereafter for 3 months.
Dawna Ara, LAc & Elanita Korian, LAc
Use acupuncture facial rejuvenation, Wakefield, Gellis, and Mei Zen techniques, facial massage, herbal medicine, nutritional counseling, and natural skin care products to help you feel and look better.