Connecting to the Community: Jane

One key part of your health is your connection to your community. And one way to connect with your community is to get involved and give back. Each month, we feature different ways members of the Northshore Acupuncture Center community are rolling up their sleeves and giving back.

This month, we are featuring Jane’s involvement with the Friends of the Evanston Farmers Markets.

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Building Protective Qi with TCM

Everybody gets sick at some point in their life. For some, it’s just a quick weekend thing. For others, it can last for several days and even weeks. Why do some people always get sick whenever there is a bug going around and others don’t? It all comes down to immunity. People who have a stronger immune system, tend to be sick less often. Those with compromised or weak immune systems, seem to get sick at the drop of a hat. There are many things that can be done to strengthen the immune system though. And Traditional Chinese Medicine is probably one of the best and least invasive ways to boost the immune system, not just during the winter months, but all year long. continue reading »

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Five Ways to Increase White Blood Cell Count with TCM

Leukopenia is a term used when there are less than adequate white blood cells in the bloodstream. This condition may make those suffering from it susceptible to infections. Leukopenia is often seen in diseases such as AIDS, cancer and lupus, as well as in common occurrences like the flu or a cold. Leukopenia can also be medically induced, as is often the case for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. While there are several prescription medications available to battle this condition, most of them also have multiple adverse side effects. But there are alternative natural methods that can increase white blood cell count without the side effects. One of these is Traditional Chinese Medicine. continue reading »

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Acupuncture and Alcohol Detoxification

Alcoholism affects nearly 16 million adults in the United States, yet only approximately 1.5 million Americans actually seek and get help to deal with their addiction. According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, nearly 88,000 people die from alcohol-related deaths every year, which makes alcohol the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the United States. After all the research that has been done on alcohol, people in the United States are still dying from something completely legal. And ultimately, we are paying for it, not just with our lives, but also with our tax dollars. continue reading »

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Putting My Oxygen Mask On First – Friends

“Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.” Edmund Lee

There are many times when it seems as if your friends ARE the oxygen. When the oxygen isn’t quite flowing right through your mask, they will give you their oxygen while you are fixing your mask.

I am fortunate to have friends who support me in my journey of “Putting My Oxygen Mask on First”. Think about whether you have people in your life who will provide the following areas of support:

  1. Call you on your shit – You need at least one friend who recognizes when you have a limiting belief (something you’ve made up) holding you back from taking a next step, and who will call you on it. At the gym, many people have started intermittent fasting. When asked whether I was interested, I kept responding that I needed to start eating healthier before I started fasting. After two weeks of that response, my friend Sheri had enough. She reminded me that there will NEVER be a perfect time to start, and that I can do intermittent fasting without having perfect eating habits. And then she drew a line in the sand that I better have started before I was to see her again in two days. I realized she was right, and started. And guess what, it has caused me to make healthier choices?
  2. Accountability –  I have friends who know what I’ve committed to doing for myself, and they call and check in with me to make sure I’m doing it. They ask how many times I’ve been to the beach, when I last had acupuncture, a float or a massage, what I’m reading for fun, how consistent I am with my meditation, when I last took a day off. You don’t need to try to find one person who can do all of these things for you, but the accountability friend should be willing and able to call you on your bullshit when you start sharing your brilliant reasons for why you haven’t done what you committed to.
  3. Dressing room mirrors – You know how the mirrors in dressing rooms have that amazing lighting? You need friends that are like dressing room mirrors – they see your greatness even when you don’t. And they help you see yourself through their eyes when needed.
  4. Cheerleaders – These are the friends who remind you to celebrate your small wins along the journey.
  5. Inspirational – Once you have decided whom you would like to become, you need to surround yourself with people who are already doing it and people who are on the same journey. Do you want to be more grateful? Surround yourself with grateful people, and limit your time around negativity. Do you want to exercise regularly and eat healthy? You may want to consider spending more time with the people from your fitness center, and less time with your bar friends.
  6. Grounding – You need those people who knew you before you became….(a mother, a professional, a speaker). As you make new friends, don’t put these relationships to the side.
  7. Knee high in your shit – If you are really lucky, you may find a friend or two who is willing and has the skills to get into your shit with you to figure out where it is coming from and how to gradually shrink it. One of my friends Dr Ray had a conversation with me to unpack why I don’t make time to read for fun. We talked about how I think my “To Do list” has to be down to a certain size – otherwise, I don’t “deserve it” and should be working on other things. Which of course led to a conversation about why I don’t realize that I was born deserving. Many times, you will want to get a professional, like a life coach or therapist involved because your friends may not have the experience for this.

If you don’t have friends that cover all of these areas, where do you make new friends? Join a meet up or club or program based on the goals you’ve set for yourself. If you want to make more time to read, join a book club. If you want to eat healthier, take a cooking class focused on healthy meals. Please join me on Facebook on Sundays at 1:30 CDT for more Putting My Oxygen Mask on First.

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