Cosmetic Acupuncture

Cosmetic Acupuncture Treatments

What is cosmetic acupuncture treatment and why is it all the rage?

Cosmetic Acupuncture has been gaining popularity recently with interest growing for natural healthcare. Facial fillers and botox have become incredibly popular over the years, with millions of individuals undergoing each treatment.

Did you know there is a natural alternative that can help treat the signs of aging and help with other health issues at the same time?

Cosmetic acupuncture (also called Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture) is a unique style of treatment that helps to revitalize and brighten the complexion.

It is effective for eliminating puffiness, reducing wrinkles/fine lines and giving the face and neck a bright, healthy glow.

 

All the fresh blood and oxygen flooding the face is like a reawakening of the complexion

 

What happens during a cosmetic acupuncture treatment?

When a new patient comes in for an acupuncture facial, there are a few different tools I will use.

These tools are:

  • facial rejuvenation acupuncture
  • gua sha (lightly rubbing a small tool over the surface of the skin)
  • facial cupping
  • topical oils and serums to enhance the overall treatment

In addition too attending to the face and neck, other acupuncture points will be used to help regulate other imbalances that have been observed.

For example, ‘problem skin’ like acne, may be due to hormonal imbalances, so additional points may be used to address the underlying cause.

What benefits can you expect?

There are many visible benefits of cosmetic acupuncture. Patients report softer, firmer skin, a reduction of deeper wrinkles, better skin tone, reduced puffiness or darkness under the eyes and overall more vibrant complexion.

Cosmetic acupuncture is not only a safe and exceptionally effective way to firm up the skin, there are many benefits to this treatment that goes beyond beauty alone.

As a whole body treatment, this specialized protocol addresses the internal system, balances hormones. You may experience additional benefits such as reduced stress and anxiety, better sleep, improved digestion, which are all essential for optimal skin health.

To book your cosmetic acupuncture consult please call 1 778 400 6360.

I work with clients virtually to help address skin needs holistically, please email hello@stefaniemiska.com to inquire.

 

Cosmetic Acupuncture

Tracking your BBT

How to tell if you are ovulating – Tracking your temperature BBT

Ovulation Marker #1 – Tracking your BBT

Tracking your basal body temperature, abbreviated as BBT, is one of the main, and most common ways to track ovulation.

Taking your BBT, involves taking your temperature at roughly the same time every morning before getting out of bed. This includes logging your results, either by paper chart, or one of the handy apps you can download on your phone, to keep track of daily measurements and patterns

How to track your BBT

In order to do so, you will need a thermometer that goes to 2 decimal points, for example 36.68C or 97.68F. This makes it easier to notice temperature shifts, which is what you are looking for.

After ovulation, a hormone called progesterone, is released from the same follicle that the egg came from. This release of progesterone creates a slight temperature increase in the body. This is how we know ovulation has occurred, by tracking BBT.

For example, if you are taking your temperature throughout your entire cycle (which is required to get an accurate reading) your temperature will be lower for the first half, and higher for the second half.

Understanding your menstrual cycle

If you are unsure about the different phases of the menstrual cycle, their duration and what’s happening, I encourage you to go back and read the previous posts:

Menstrual cycle simple explained

Your period

Follicular phase

Ovulation

Luteal phase

If a person has, say, a 28 day cycle (let me clarify though, a ‘normal’ cycle is anything between 21-35 days) from day 1 (first day of bleed) to day 14 (ovulation), body temperature would be roughly 2 tenths of a degree cooler than from day 15 to when bleeding starts again.

*If pregnancy occurs, progesterone levels continue to rise (throughout pregnancy) and therefor body temperature continues to rise and will not drop again at day 28.

You can purchase a BBT at any drug store, or easily off amazon. While you can get more fancy versions, it is not necessary, and you can easily get started with a thermometer for $20.

Apps to use when you start tracking your BBT

Some apps to check out are:

  • Kindara
  • Daisy
  • Natural Cycles
  • Clue
  • Period Tracker

 

It is important to remember, that in order to get accurate readings, you must take your temperature after 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep, at roughly the same time every morning, and certain things like drinking alcohol, staying up late, or illness will effect your body temperature.

If you need help with charting your cycle or learning to read your BBT, book your consult by calling 1 778 400 6360 or if you are not local, we can connect virtually by booking your 15 minute here.

 

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Tracking your BBT

Selfish Santa Christmas

Can you believe that we are half way through November?

That means Christmas is only 6 weeks away.

As festive and lovely as this time of year can be, it can also be full of stress, at work to end off the year, and socially with all the commitments we have.

Now, I know no one likes a self serving gift, but I want to tell you about my Selfish Santa Acupuncture punch card.

Let me explain; you give the gift of acupuncture to your friends, colleagues and loved ones, and not only do they get to feel good, but you get to be surrounded by relaxed, happy, and healthy people. Sounds like a win-win situation, doesn’t it?

The punch cards come in packages of 5 and have a special holiday pricing of $400.

The most common holiday woes I hear are:

  • Overeating, resulting in bloating, indigestion, cramps, irregular bowel movement
  • High stress, feeling overwhelmed and over committed
  • Drinking copious amounts of alcohol, feeling hungover, headachey, tired and irritable

*Fine print: Treatment costs can still be claimed by your extended health benefits. All treatments must be used by March 30, 2019.

Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal Allergies - Ritual MedicineDo you suffer from seasonal allergies?

Allergies are an overreaction by the body’s immune system to a certain substance. The body’s immune system misidentifies a normally harmless substance as a threat to the body. An anti-inflammatory reaction takes place in an attempt to eject the substance from the system. The irritant or allergen can be pollen, dust, mold, pet hair, or certain chemical products like perfume.

You can imagine that by triggering the immune system, your body is working in overdrive to defend against these allergens which also leaves your more susceptible to illness.

Some common symptoms of hay fever are:

  • itchy & red eyes
  • itchy & runny nose
  • sneezing
  • nasal congestion
  • headache
  • rash

In Chinese medicine, the body’s protective later, our defense mechanism against outside influence is called ‘wei qi’, and connects with the lungs.

The lungs are responsible for proper function of the entire respiratory tract.

Because of this, it is important to boost or build up the lungs before you are exposed to allergens. Acupuncture helped with allergy symptoms by calming the body’s exaggerated immune response.

Ideally, acupuncture treatments are started 4-6 weeks before allergy season. Of course, if your allergy season has already begun or if you are allergies all year round, then starting treatment immediately can still provide great relief. And if you are currently taking allergy medications, then acupuncture and herbs can help wean you from them.

One of the ways you can prepare for allergy season is by consuming tonifying or immune boosting herbs 1-2 months before.

Before and during allergy season, herbs like astragalus (huang qi) or atractylodes (bai zhu) can be steeped to make a nourishing tea that boosts immunity.

During allergy season, herbs like magnolia flower bud (xin yi hua) are great for nasal congestion or chrysanthemum flowers (ju hua) for itchy eyes.

Quercetin is a natural antihistamine and can be found at any vitamin store.

Try using a neti pot daily and eucalyptus essential oil in the bathtub to clear out the sinuses.

Spring time is coming and It is possible to enjoy the outdoors if you take some pre-emptive measures for your well-being.

3 Tips for a Springtime Cleanse

Spring time cleanse

To cleanse or not to cleanse seems to be the question come spring time in my clinic.

We know that some detoxing or cleansing methods can be great after a weekend away with the girls or when you have started to feel a little stagnated and backed up. Most often, cleansing programs highlight the benefits on the liver and flushing out toxins that have accumulate over time.

In Chinese medicine, the season of spring brings us into the wood element and connect with the Liver organ and meridian system.

 

Can you see the connection here? Considering clearing out lingering toxins in the body involves the liver, then spring would be the best time to incorporate some daily cleansing rituals.

Now juice cleanses or fasting may not be appropriate for everyone but there are a few things you can try at home.

Drink warm water with lemon first thing in the morning.

Warm water is more absorbable and easy to digest, especially first thing in the morning when you have been warm and cozy all night. (Please avoid cold smoothies and cereal first thing in the morning, no matter what season!) The lemon flavor is sour which connects with the liver and acts as a mild diuretic to flush out toxins from the day and night before.

Eat an artichoke!

Consuming artichokes can help clear liver heat. The plant also contains a compound called cynarin, which promotes bile production and urination.

Pick some weeds!

You likely know dandelion as a pesky little weed that pokes up through cracks in the sidewalk. Did you also know that we can use all parts of the plant medicinally as well? Considered the ideal liver remedy because it is completely non-toxic and gently restores liver function. It enhances the flow of bile and supports the kidneys during cleansing and detoxification of the liver and bowels. I like to send my clients to the farmers market to pick up some organic dandelion greens to toss into a salad or stir-fry.

Happy cleansing!

Herbal Medicine During Cold & Flu Season

herbal tea for cold season

Back to school season has arrived, and likely along with it, the influx of cold and flu germs

Herbal medicine is an extremely effective way to help boost your body’s immune system and also help rid the body of pathogenic illness, if and when it does arrive.

Most of us are familiar with the concept of boosting or building up our immune systems.

Have you ever fallen ill and then been advised to load up on Vitamin C, Echinacea, ginseng etc.?

You can understand that those herbs, in theory, would be helping to build up the immune system, so that you get better faster and start to feel better… right?

Let me explain the theory from a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) perspective:

Your body’s immune system is on and in action 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

That’s its purpose, to protect you from bacteria and viruses, otherwise known as external invasions. If, for whatever reason, your immune system is compromised or weak, cold or flu viruses are able to invade into the body and cause illness.

The first step to getting better, would be to rid the body of that outside factor.

Imagine for a moment, a small village, swarmed by villains suddenly. Would you want to get those villains out of the village as soon as possible, or would you want to build up a surrounding wall to lock in the villains with the village people?

This is essentially what is happening when you take immune boosting herbs when you are sick with the cold and flu. You may, in fact, building up and tonifying the illness instead of your immune system, causing you to be sick for potentially worse and longer than you would have been otherwise.

What we want to do, is, first, get the illness out of the body and then, work on restoring our health.

For that same reason, it is always better to be supporting your health and your immune system pre-emptively and pro-actively so that your defense systems in place can the best job they can to protect you.

Herbal medicine offers effective, safe, and side effect free treatment of common ailments like cold, flu, strep throat, sinus infection, cough, and more.

One of my favorite herbal formulas coming into cold and flu season is Immune Defense by Dao Labs. This offers 2 immune boosting herbs, paired with a single herb that helps dispel any pathogens that do try and invade your body’s immune system.

*Herbs to be taken during illness should always be prescribed by a licensed herbalist.

Am I the right acupuncturist for you?

We are so glad you are here! By landing on this page you have taken the first steps on your wellness journey and we are honor to be a part of it.

When you are looking for the ‘right’ acupuncturist, there are many things to take into consideration:

Is this practitioner qualified & licensed to perform this modality?

You should always be seeking out a practitioner who has completed the required training and licensing in their modality, someone who is in good standing with their regulatory body.  All licensed acupuncturists in BC should be in good standing with the CTCMA .

Acupuncturists, herbalists and Dr’s of TCM have all completed thousands of hours of training, ranging from 3-5 years of school followed by rigorous national board exams. That is a lot of years and hours (over 3500) to be jammed into a weekend course for other non-licensed healthcare practitioners.  So, to be safe, it is always best to go with the best qualified practitioner in the field, and if you want someone using acupuncture needles on you, then the most qualified is a Licensed Acupuncturist

Is this practitioner qualified for the services you require?

Acupuncture is becoming more popular and more mainstream. As this ancient medicine becomes a household name, with it, more and more practitioners are using this modality in their other practices. Chiro’s, Physical Therapists (physios), Naturopaths and Medical Doctors can take elective courses to add ‘needling’ to their list of offerings.

This usually takes course over a weekend program lasting only a few hours. In comparison to the strict training in acupuncture school, this is very limited. It is always best to ask what training has been done to find out if it is best suited for your individual situation. It is our opinion that needling (acupuncture) should be done by a registered acupuncturist.

Does this practitioner have a specialty?

Legally in British Columbia, acupuncturists are not allowed to state that they specialize in anything. However, many will have a practice focused on a specific demographic. It is through advanced training and continuing education that practitioners narrow their focus of treatment.

That being said, if you are in pain, seeking out a practitioner that has trained more specifically in sport rehabilitation would be a good option. We have a special focus on digestive health, women’s health, reproductive health (including but not limited to painful periods, PCOS, endometriosis, fertility, pregnancy support)

Do you like this practitioner?

Often clients seek alternative modalities after not receiving the care they wish they had from their primary care provider. Past experiences with other healthcare practitioners have left them hopeless and frustrated. It is important that you feel safe and heard with your acupuncturist. It is also important that you feel comfortable talking with your acupuncturist and feeling free to ask questions Your acupuncturist is working with you to help you get the results you want. This is a joint partnership, and yes, that means you need to participate.

At Ritual Medicine Acupuncture healing is the ultimate priority, it takes both you, the client, and the practitioner to get the best results. That means, it is your responsibility to take your own health into your hands.

Are you ready?

If you nod your head yes to the majority of these statements, then you’ve found the right Acupuncturist in Victoria…

  • Your health is one of your top 3 priorities.
  • You are seeking a private, quiet, welcoming retreat to decompress and recharge with each acupuncture session.
  • You are eager to learn and implement new ways to help support your health.
  • You are willing and able to invest a minimum of 60 minutes per week to acupuncture therapy.
  • You are open to dietary and lifestyle modifications and herbal therapy.
  • You believe that stress, modern-day living, or past or present trauma could be related to your current state of health.
  • You are seeking long-term holistic wellness for mental, emotional, and physical health rather than looking for a quick fix or magic bullet.
  • You feel stuck, stagnant, or paralyzed in your life, and are searching for a means to move forward, gain momentum, and reignite your creative spark.
  • You believe that treating symptoms is only a “band aid” approach and is ineffective at attaining wellness.
  • You are open to address past and current emotional situations or trauma which could be impacting your health.
  • You are willing to address possible addictions (self-medicating, overeating, overworking, alcohol, etc.) that could be affecting your health.
  • You are seeking an Acupuncturist who focused on digestive health and women’s health. Your available times for treatment are compatible with Ritual Medicine Acupunctures office hours.

Does Ritual Medicine Acupuncture sound like a good fit for you?  If so, schedule today, and I look forward to joining you on your journey towards better health and happiness.

Chinese New Year

As many of you know Chinese New Year is right around the corner, we are transitioning out of the year of the rooster in the year of the dog. Unlike our western New Year, which always falls on December 31st – Jan 1st, Chinese New Year is a movable celebration, with festivities that can span up to two weeks.

Chinese New Year takes place on a different date each year because it is based on the lunar calendar, generally falling between January 21-Febraury 20, with this years beginning on February 16, 2018.

2018 will be the Year of the Dog.

A dogs most defining characteristic is its loyalty, to friends and family.  They are stubborn in their pursuit of ideas or goals and once they decide on something, no one can persuade them otherwise (for dog owners out there, this may sound familiar with food or treats!).

According to Chinese astrology, your year of birth – and the animal this represents – determines a lot about your personality traits.

Although each of the 12 animals gets an outing every dozen years, there are different varieties – and 2018 will be the first year of the earth dog since 1958.

Anyone born in an earth dog year will be communicative, serious, and responsible in the workplace.

Curious which animal you are?

  • Rat: 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960
  • Ox: 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961
  • Tiger: 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962
  • Rabbit: 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963
  • Dragon: 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964
  • Snake: 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965
  • Horse: 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966
  • Goat: 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967
  • Monkey: 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968
  • Rooster: 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969
  • Dog: 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970, 1958
  • Pig: 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971, 1959

The Dog is the eleventh of all zodiac animals.

According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. Monkey, Rooster and Dog were in another country, helping a god defeat evil spirits. After, they set off to the party together. Because they arrived at the same time, the Jade Emperor went by the order they met the god in the other country. Thus, Dog became eleventh.

Want to know about your specific animal and its horoscope during 2018, the year of the dog?

Learn more here : https://www.karmaweather.com/dog-2018-chinese-horoscope/

Planting seeds – your wellness journey

Think for a moment of a tomato plant.

A healthy plant can have over a hundred tomatoes on it. In order to get this tomato plant with all these tomatoes on it, we need to start with a small dried seed.

The seed doesn’t look like a tomato plant. It sure doesn’t taste like a tomato plant. If you didn’t know for sure, you would not even believe it was a tomato plant.

However, let’s say you plant this seed in fertile soil, and you water it and let the sun shine on it.

When the first little tiny shoot comes up, you don’t stomp on it and say, “That’s not a tomato plant.” Rather, you look at it and say “Oh, boy! Here is comes,” and you watch it grow with delight. In time, if you continue to water it and give it lots of sunshine and pull away any weeds, you might have a tomato plant with more than a hundre luscious tomatoes. It all began with that one tiny seed.

It is the same with creating a new experience for yourself. The soil you plant in is your subconscious mind. The seed is the new affirmation.

The whole new experience is in this tiny seed.

You water it with affirmations. You let the sunshine of positive thoughts beam on it. You weed the garden by pulling out the negative thoughts that come up.

And when you first see the tiniest little evidence, you don’t stomp on it and say, “That’t not enough!”. Instead, you look at this first breakthrough and exclaim with glee, “Oh boy! Here it comes! It’s working!”

Then you watch it grow and become your desire in manifestation.

-exert from You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hays

Why cupping?

Cupping falls under the medical umbrella that is TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), cupping  is a therapy in which a cup (glass or plastic) is attached to the skin surface to cause local congestion through the negative pressure created by introducing heat (with glass only) in the form of an ignited material.

In the ancient time in China, cupping method was called “horn method”. This name was due to the use of animal horns, which we have now replaced with glass and plastic.

Cupping therapy is warming and promotes the free flow of qi and blood in the meridians.

A.K.A promotes movement and healing in the body.

We have a saying in TCM that when there is blockage there is pain and when there is free flow there is no pain. We will also rarely, if ever use the application of ice. If you have every sprained your ankle you have likely applied ice immediately to stop swelling.

So, imagine that ice, or cold, is restricting and stops movement (swelling). Which is ideal when there is an acute stress response to an injury like inflammation. However, when you are trying to promote movement, repair, and healing, heat is usually better.

Heat can be applied directly with a heat pad, a warming muscle patch, a hot water bottle, or indirectly with a heat lamp or sauna. The warming cupping method can also be used.

In my clinic, cupping is mostly used for aches and pains, usually in the back, neck and hips.

Cupping is also beneficial for digestive complaints, allergies, asthma, cold & flu symptoms.

Cold & flu – TCM meridian theory shows us the most susceptible area of the body to be invade by external pathogens (toxins) is the back of the neck and upper back. Because of this, if someone presents with initial stages of cold or flu, I will apply cupping to the upper back and neck area. Here, I am pulling the toxins out of the body before they can penetrate further and create a full blown sickness.

Allergies & Asthma – based on the meridian pathways and anatomical positioning of the lungs, cupping for these symptoms will also be done in the same area. Cupping over the back of the lungs can help loosen up phlegm congestion and release any heat from the body. This can manifest as a productive/phlegmy cough, wheezing, dry cough and throat, and itchy and congested nasal passage.

Digestive complaints – for digestive issues, I will cup over specific acupuncture points on the back side of the body that connect with the organs and meridians of the digestive system. Occasionally, I will also cup over the abdomen in cases of inflammation and constipation.

Curious if cupping is right for you? Lets chat!

Call +1 (778) 717-2001 and book and initial consultation.

 

The 12 Meridians - Cupping