Leah proudly announces her move to Stanford Healthcare and is exclusively seeing Qualcomm employees who want Acupuncture services at the Qualcomm Health Center at 10155 Pacific Heights Road, San Diego, CA.

Acupuncture and ADHD: Calm Your Mind, Calm Your Spirit

adhd acupuncture spinning topI walked in to see Leah Davida in Encinitas, bouncing between my physical issues and acupuncture and ADHD. That is, or should I say was, my normal mode: fidgeting to the point of distraction.

My whole life I struggled with the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Many children who are just normal kids are diagnosed. However, when you meet a child who just cannot stop, there is something different and unnerving about their lack of ability to control themselves, in even the slightest way.

Helpguide.Org gives us some of the telltale signs of ADHD.

  • Inattention to details
  • Making careless mistakes
  • Trouble staying focused
  • Appears not to listen when spoken to
  • Gets bored in the middle of an activity
  • Fidgets, squirms
  • Can’t stay seated
  • Moves around constantly
  • Talks excessively

For me, these childhood symptoms never abated, they just took new adult forms. What is even worse is that girls with ADHD tend to suffer from self-esteem issues because we are told all our lives that girls are not supposed to be so aggressive and loud. When I went into the office the first day, my knees were tittering. I could barely sit in the seat. Another practitioner even knocked and asked if I could keep the noise down.  Since then, things have changed!

Acupuncture and ADHD are a great combination. As an adult, I refuse to be medicated any more. I ground my teeth so much, I cracked molars. I just hated the medicine but hated being so out of control almost as much.

How Acupuncture and ADHD Works

Acupuncture and ADHD work in a different way than allopathic medicine.  In traditional Oriental medicine, your energy or qi flows freely if you are well. In the world of acupuncture and ADHD there is an obvious and profound blockage that results in this energy spilling out every which way. A few painless ( yep, I said painless) needles placed in the perfect places can empower the free flow of this energy again, resulting in calm, increased attention, and a reduction of impulsiveness.

The last time I saw Leah, she looked right at me and said, “you look calm today.” I thought. Acupuncture and ADHD…amazing. After all these years, I finally found something that works.

What is a Chakra? And What Do They Have To Do With Acupuncture?


Courtesy Anodea Judith and Sacred Centers

Acupuncture is part of the world of Chinese Medicine. It originates in Asia. Chakras are a part of Ayurvedic Medicine found, mostly, in India. Yet, these two seemingly disparate medical systems share some strong bonds and correlate in ways unimagined. Knowledge of one does not discredit the other. On the contrary, they work together to advance the efficacy of both.

First, both systems are all about the movement and blockage of vital energy in the body. When energy does not move properly your body is disordered and diseases abound. Even more interesting is that both body modalities view this energy as two snakes coiling up the spinal column. Every time the two snakes cross each other a chakra is formed. These are usually represented on the front of the body and correlate with important acupuncture meridians and vertebral levels. Acupuncture and Ayurvedic Medicine also share the concept of the five elements which correspond to both the acupuncture meridians and the chakras. Further, the colors associated with each chakra and element are the same in both medical systems.

So what are the chakras?

MindBodyGreen gives us a basic list of the 7 Chakras.

  1. Root Chakra: This Chakra is located at the base of the spine or tailbone. It is coupled with the color red. The emotional issues associated are ones related to survival, money, and food. It is also the place of being rooted or grounded.
  2. Sacral Chakra: It is located in the lower abdomen about 2 inches below your belly button. It is associated with the color orange and is often caused the pleasure seeker. It is identified with our feelings of abundance and our sexuality. It is the creativity center and is involved in our emotional connection to others.
  3. Solar Plexus Chakra:  This is tied to the color yellow is found in the upper abdomen or stomach region. It is the power driver and is all about are self confidence and self esteem.
  4. Heart Chakra: As one might expect, this is paired with LOVE LOVE LOVE! By opening this chakra we open ourselves to love and being loved. This space is linked with the color green and is foundational for inner peace and joy.
  5. Throat Chakra: In the throat, this space is one of communication. Its color is blue and it deal with the truth spoken and secrets kept.
  6. Third Eye Chakra: You will find this place between your eyes and you can focus on it if you close your eyes and gently let your eyes role upwards and to the center.  It is one I try to be aware of on a regular basis to make better decisions and grow in wisdom. When strengthened you increase your intuition and imagination. Indigo is this special color.
  7. Crown Chakra: It is found on the top of the head and in connected with the color violet. It is the center of beauty and bliss and connection with the spiritual.

It is important to recognize that Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine have major overlap and work in harmony. Medicinal systems are not static they change over time and space and these two systems abut each other geographically. If you are working on an important issue, either emotionally or physically, you will get more out of your acupuncture by being aware of your chakras and more out of your chakra clearing by adding acupuncture.



Is Acupuncture for Weight Loss Right for Me?

acupuncture for weight lossOur weight is a major concern. In America we struggle with competing issues. First, we are one of the most obese countries in the world. Our country really struggles with our weight. Second, our country, especially in places like southern California, tells us that the ideal is a hyper slim body that any normal human would struggle attaining. What is really important is health. These competing problems of the reality of being overweight and the ideal of emaciation make us unhealthy in mind and body. Luckily acupuncture for weight loss is there and highly helpful.

I have been working in the acupuncture industry much longer than I have been a practitioner. When I first started out, I knew a gal who was heavy from birth. I know her family and her entire family struggles with their weight. After high school and years of obesity, she decided to take the reins into her own hands. She started seeing a mentor of mine, an acupuncturist, for her weight. After 10 treatments, the results were dramatic and had a major impact, on her outlook and her health. With this initial push, she felt like moving again. Today, she competes in triathlons. She will never be the disgustingly thin image our world thrusts on us but she has a muscular, healthy body that got its start through acupuncture for weight loss.

Dr Oz touted the amazing results possible through acupuncture for weight loss. The results are garnered because acupuncture for weight loss doesn’t just look at one reason for being overweight. Your acupuncture practitioner assists you on multiple fronts: overeating…hunger, slow metabolism, hormone issues, poor nutrition, digestion problems, etc.

Acupuncture for weight loss: How is it done?

Well, along with various points specific to certain issues, like female hormones, and the liver, and around the body, there are four specific points in the ear that target acupuncture for weight loss. These are the endocrine point, the hunger point, the stomach point, and the Shen Men point. Depending upon your issues, after your appointment, we may even send you home with little seeds taped to those points that stay put for the next couple days to weeks. You can massage them when you are feeling particularly overcome with cravings.

So, to answer our original question that is asked so often on T.V. commercials, “Is Acupuncture for Weight Loss Right for Me?” The answer lies within. It is non-invasive. The cost is minimal, compared with other plans and treatments like bariatric surgery. Most importantly, there is no “drug regimen” that can cause all sorts of other unwanted ailments. Acupuncture for weight loss allows a person to lead a healthy life the way they have always dreamed without any consequences. As far as I am concerned acupuncture for weight loss is your first line of defense.

The TMJ and Acupuncture: The Bite and Grind of it All

tmj pain acupunctureDisorders of  the TMJ are utterly painful. What is the TMJ, anyhow? The Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) is the the joint that connects your mandible to your skull. When there are issues with that joint it can cause a myriad of problems. It is the most used joint in the body and is used in everything from chewing to talking to swallowing.

Today we are all so stressed out. We carry that stress in our stomachs…in our backs…and in our jaws. So many of us clench our jaws and grind out teeth, which put stress on that TMJ. We may even clench and grind at night and not be aware of it at all except for the pain. Yeah…and what about that pain? Well we may have pain right at the joint or we may have radiating pain in our head and neck from prolonged stress on the TMJ. It may also be accompanied by clicking in the jaw or, when it really gets bad, an inability to open your mouth fully, if at all. The learned doctors even have created a syndrome for ailments of the TMJ called TMJ disorder.

The worst part is that there aren’t a ton of options for people with ailments of the TMJ. You usually get a mouth guard for nighttime grinding and clenching and are  offered the option of surgery. Problem is, surgery doesn’t have a great success rate and it can leave you worse than when you started. One thing you need to look into is TMJ and acupuncture.

TMJ and acupuncture evaluation:  when you come to an acupuncture practitioner they will have you lie down and they will stand at your head, looking across the face. The practitioner will line up the nose, chin, and jaw for symmetry. They will have you slowly open and close your jaw. They will be looking for any deviation from side to side, a cross bite, or an inability to open your mouth fully. They may do certain evaluations to the TMJ and acupuncture will help so they will be evaluating the dimensions of treatment. They may place their fingers on your incisors and attempt to open your mouth to the maximum. They may test the reflex of the TMJ.

TMJ and acupuncture treatment: There are many acupuncture points for jaw problems and manual treatments. There is even  a protocol developed for TMJ and acupuncture called the Nimmo protocols to address regional muscles.  For personal accounts I have found ehealth forums full of personal stories of how their TMJ was alleviated in short order through acupuncture.

One thing that you have to remember is that not all TMJ issues are the same issues. Any treatment of TMJ and acupuncture must account for the many differences. We take time to slowly and carefully evaluate your particular problems and develop a particular treatment plan to get your TMJ up and working better than ever.


Encinitas Acupuncture Done Right

This time, we had a new client at our lovely little Encinitas acupuncture clinic. She had such a great experience she wanted to share it with you all.

encinitas-acupuncture-clinicHi, everyone on the web. I was so excited about my experience with my Encinitas acupuncture provider, Leah Davida, I couldn’t keep quiet. I asked her if I could share it with everyone. First, I have never had an acupuncture treatment before and I was a little nervous. I use many forms of natural medicine but for some reason I never had the pleasure of acupuncture, let alone the Encinitas acupuncture clinic run by Leah at Circle of Life Healing Arts Center.

On my first visit to her Encinitas acupuncture office, she spent a great deal of time understanding me. Unlike other doctors and naturopaths I have gone to, Leah was really interested in my health. She took a complete inventory of my well being, both physically and emotionally. She gave me time and patience, unheard of in a medical setting.  I had so many complaints, I felt embarrassed. However, Leah put me at ease.

After having the flu for months and not being able to kick it, I had just started feeling okay when I caught my son’s cold. The day of the appointment in her Encinitas acupuncture clinic, my throat was killing me and my post nasal drip was so terrible it had kicked in a bout of wretched insomnia, not that I sleep great anyhow. I battle stomach issues that have remained in an undiagnosed state. To top it all off, I have this temperature control issue where I have icy feet and hands and then hot flash all over the place. These symptoms were only the tip of the proverbial, bad health iceberg.

Leah had me undress and I lay on the table. She slowly and methodically traced down my body, massaging it along the way. You see, an appointment at Leah’s Encinitas acupuncture clinic involves more than a couple little needles. She uses healing massage, herbs, and the smallest needles ever. I didn’t even know she was doing the actual acupuncture until she rolled me over on my back and I could see the needles, they were that tiny. She used a special compress for my stomach. After my time in Leah’s Encinitas acupuncture clinic, I walked away in utter relaxation.

The most amazing part came after. Immediately, my sore throat was nonexistent and it never came back. Within the next two days my post nasal drip dried up. I was finally free of cold and flu. I slept soundly for the first time in I don’t know how long. My feet and hands got toasty warm, along with the rest of me. She gave me some “Balance (Heat)” herbs to help out with my internal furnace and those are helping.  My belly is better, for sure. Most of all, I feel encouraged and hopeful for the first time that these issues could get better.

Thank you Leah for your lovely Encinitas acupuncture clinic, your healing touch, and your warm heart!

Acupuncture helps IBS – Find Out How

Acupuncture and IBSIrritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a nightmare. Unless you have been through the maddening rigamarole of testing and pain only to have them give you this diagnosis, you may have a hard time relating. However, have no fear – acupuncture helps IBS.

The first issue is that IBS is a diagnosis of exclusion. What this means is that your doctors really don’t know what is wrong with you. They see you have certain issues like constipation, diarrhea, cramping, and bloating. Then, they run an ungodly amount of tests including stool samples and scopes of all make and model. When they can find no reason for your symptoms, they label it IBS.

The second problem that is even worse is that this label follows you from doctor to doctor and from insurance company to insurance company. Doctors have told me that they would diagnose me with IBS but I should first consider the implication on my ability to find low cost health insurance. Yikes! Never once did any doctor let me know that acupuncture helps IBS.

Going to a natural  health practitioner can stop IBS in its tracks.

  • You need to believe that a change in diet will change your intestinal tract. If you are feeding your system garbage, you cannot be too upset that it isn’t functioning at top performance
  • You ought to consider homeopathy and herbalism as a front line of attack
  • I cannot say it enough, “Acupuncture helps IBS!”

Heather Van Vorous  has a site, Heather & Co., dedicated to assisting those with IBS, the natural way. She tells us that the various administrating boards of health, National Institutes of Health Consensus Panel and the World Health Organization, identified areas where acupuncture helps IBS.

  • Acupuncture helps IBS abdominal pain
  • Acupuncture helps IBS muscle cramping
  • Acupuncture helps IBS constipation
  • Acupuncture helps IBS diarrhea

In addition, acupuncture helps IBS by reducing the symptoms that trigger an episode or make one more intense, such as insomnia, anxiety, and PMS.

If you or someone you love are facing this uphill battle, take the reins into your own hands. You have felt powerless for long enough. Change your diet, consult your natural health care specialist and  get some healthy homeopathic and herbal medications and,  don’t forget the blessing that acupuncture helps IBS.




Acupuncture for Infertility: Success Stories

Are you on the “treatment for infertility” roller coaster ride? I know what heartbreak it can cause and how it overshadows everything else. Acupuncture for infertility is being shown to be a viable alternative. It  is also  being used as an adjunct to traditional hormone therapy.

Acupuncture for Infertility

KGlovell via Kozzi.com

Over the years I have had a number of friends, relatives and clients go through the process of infertility treatment with various degrees of success. Their lives were consumed by the hope of getting pregnant. I was lucky enough to be chosen to help them along with acupuncture for infertility and herbs as a last resort. With this adjunct of treatment, as well as a few who only used acupuncture, within months several of these women became pregnant. I get to proudly say I got my sister pregnant after 3 invitro attempts!

Acupuncture for infertility vs hormone therapy

So, the question of the hour is whether acupuncture is a viable treatment for infertility? I, along with every other acupuncture practitioner, could site case studies aplenty. Some of us even have a wall of babies to attest to our value. But what does the research say? Is acupuncture for infertility a viable alternative treatment ?

According to research out of Germany the answer is a decisive, “Yes!” Since the early 1990s we have known that acupuncture has at least as good, if not better, results than hormone therapy. Now, research on the use of acupuncture for infertility has moved on from proving its therapeutic value to actually creating protocols of treatment for the industry.

Another hopeful acupuncture treatment for infertility is being conducted in tandem with traditional medical interventions, like in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Promising results were found in women who have a high rate of “threatened miscarriage“.

In addition, research is currently being conducted whose purpose is to show a higher live birth rate in women who use acupuncture alongside their IVF treatments, like Carrie.

If you are reading this article, you are undergoing a stressful and emotional period in your life. You need calm and tender care. You need your pregnancy put back into your hands. Often, just the stress of the medicalization of your treatment for infertility, makes it worse. Acupuncture gives you back a measure of your sanity.

Whether used alone as a treatment for infertility or in tandem with traditional medicine, acupuncture can assist you down the rocky road you trod.

Acupuncture as a Spring Tune-Up

46001_600(1)In Chinese Medicine, it is suggested that we follow the rhythms of life and have an Acupuncture treatment once a season as a tune up. In the spring time our focus is on cleansing the body by moving the Qi, expelling toxins, and generally waking up from our inner hibernation. It is time to get motivated and work on our Spring Cleaning, inside and out.

Things have been in a dormant stage during the winter and March is the beginning of the emerging awakening season. Our Qi is rising from the inner depths and is more accessible to the action of the acupuncture needles. We are not unlike a tree where our energy (or sap) comes to the surface as the weather warms.

Acupuncture Points to Health

Points that are often used are LI-4, he gu or Union Valley. This is also know as the headache point and it commands energy in the body. SP-6 san yin jiao or Three Yin Intersection.  This point blends and balances the yin meridians that flow in the lower body. Liv 3, tai chong or Great Surge pairs with LI-4 and gathers our source Qi. St-36 zu san li or Leg Three Li commands the abdomen and helps relieve fatigue.

These are just a few examples of common points an acupuncturist might choose to tune you up for the new season during an acupuncture treatment. Each of you are such individuals with your own unique set  of health issues that the choice of points used can vary widely.

Acupuncture works by bringing the body back to balance and harmony. We can assist you in bringing this balance with eastern nutrition suggestions, exercise/stretching suggestions, herbal remedies, bodywork and of course Acupuncture. By encouraging our bodies to wake up after what might feel like a sleepy winter we can help create the sense of well being. This experience after a spring treatment feels uplifting and enhances our overall health and attitude.

Moxibustion at Home after Acupuncture

moxibustion acupunctureI often send people home with a Moxa stick to treat themselves at home. This is a wonderful way to continue an acupuncture treatment at home and empower the patient in their healing process. To read about moxibustion and why it’s used with acupuncture, see this article.

Moxa is an inexpensive and safe way to continue an acupuncture treatment at home if carefully monitored. The easiest way is to use Stick moxa or Japanese moxa on a platform. In the picture to the left, you can see a dark stick of  moxa. The moxa sticks  can be wrapped in different colored paper. The 2 items with a green platform are the Japanese type of moxa.

Using Stick or Platform Moxa after Acupuncture

With the stick moxa, you just light it and wave it over the area of the body you wish to warm up. Have an ashtray nearby for ashes. To extinguish this type of moxa stick,  place the burning end in a shot size glass with rice or  sand in it to snuff out.

Alternatively, place the platform Moxa over an area of your body. Light the Moxa and lie still till it burns down or you are ready to get up. Carefully lift it off the area if it is still burning. There is often a bit of sticky adhesive on the bottom so it stays in place. This type of Moxa will burn out on its own but have an ashtray nearby.

I suggest you do this  either outside or in a room you do not mind getting smoky. Moxibustion can be a great adjunct treatment to your acupuncture but do use it with care. If you are using the platform type of moxa, make sure you’re wide awake – falling asleep is not recommended!

If you have any questions about the benefits of using this technique after acupuncture, get in touch with me using the contact form.

What is Moxibustion and How It’s Used with Acupuncture

acupuncture moxibustionIf your acupuncture treatment includes moxibustion, you may be wondering just what that is. Moxibustion, or Moxa for short, is a traditional Chinese acupuncture medicine technique. It involves the burning of mugwort, a small, spongy herb, to facilitate healing.

Moxibustion has been used throughout Asia for thousands of years. In fact, the actual Chinese character for acupuncture, translated literally, means “acupuncture-moxibustion.” The purpose of moxibustion, as with most forms of traditional Chinese medicine, is to strengthen the blood. It also stimulates the flow of qi, and helps to maintain general health.

Why Moxibution is Used with Acupuncture

Moxibustion benefits people who have a cold or stagnant condition. The moxa stick is burned to warm up the blood and qi that are not circulating well. It is particularly known for its ability to turn breech presentation babies into a normal head-down position that is considered safer for childbirth. Moxibustion is also used to treat inflammations. For example, if treating a patient with tendinitis, the moxa stick is burned over the elbow area. It is also highly regarded for menstrual cramps, where the stick is waved over the abdominal area. Often, the cramps disappear immediately.

Moxa on acupuncture points is frequently done with acupuncture treatment for many kinds of ailments. The treatment brings warmth and helps strengthen the activity of the blood. The sensation of Moxibustion is a gentle and generally quite pleasant therapy. The warmth should feel comfortable similar a very small heating pad. At first you feel heat on the skin, then the heat penetrates deeper into your body. Some sensitive people feel the heat traveling up or down. This is an excellent therapeutic sign. It means that the heat has distinctly entered the acupuncture channel.

Moxa can be very smokey depending on the kind that is used so if you are smoke sensitive it is not recommended.