These past few weeks have been busy for me. Busier than I’ve asked for. I like to stay engaged in life but I don’t like feeling overwhelmed by too many “to-dos”! The cooling weather and the darkening days have been reminding me of autumn’s most essential gift. A reminder to take it down a notch, to chill out, to keep your cool. As the weather shifts, It feels like the right time for a big exhale. Cozy sweater season is on its way. Soon there will be more desire to snuggle in
Summer is HOT. And summer is generally the most social time of year! Sometimes the intensity of expending so much energy with potlucks, bbqs, picnics, concerts, and even vacations can start to wear us down. That’s why it’s necessary to come back to our own experience and to move through this season of maximum expansion (maximum heat and light) with an awareness of what we really need. While it feels wonderful to expand outwards, to enjoy more daylight and perhaps a more jam-p
Happy summer! It’s not just calendar-time summer. I’m starting to feel the full blossoming of the heart that summertime entails in Chinese Medicine theory. It’s the season of the Fire element, of warmth and connection. A few weeks ago, I gave a talk at the Penn Museum Summer Solstice event called ‘Self-Care in the Summertime.” I really enjoyed helping participants create a personalized self-care action plan. This talk is based on my self-care workbook, which you can download
Someone I have been working with recently asked me “Did you do something to help me change my career?” She told me that six months ago (about the time we started working together), she would never have felt strong enough to start taking the steps she was now taking towards making a significant career change, but now she was feeling so much stronger overall, with less anxiety and a lot more confidence in herself. That’s the kind of side-effect I love! Occasionally patients are
There’s a thing in yoga called “dropbacks.” You start by kneeling, or (more commonly) standing, then you drop your head behind you, arc your heart to the sky, and backbend so deeply that you end up stretching your arms out and overhead and behind you, then drop into a wheel pose, sometimes called upward-facing bow (pictured above). It’s SCARY, and it’s great for building confidence. Before a few weeks ago, when I attended a yoga class on Daylight Savings with the appropriate
In my yoga teacher training, I recently learned about the three A’s of the Alignment-based system of yoga I am learning. Here’s my take on how these three A’s (Attitude, Alignment, and Action) can be brought into our lives. Attitude: This “A” is equivalent to the Spirit-level in Chinese Medicine. What is the song of my heart, what is my deepest longing for this one precious life, and how am I expressing that song by how I shine bright in this lifetime? Alignment: This “A” equ
A few weeks ago, I felt crushed by despair after a big disappointment at my (other) work. As the (part-time) Wellness Administrator at Drexel University, I oversee employee wellness opportunities for 5,000 people who have become so incredibly dear to my heart. In the treatment room, I work singularly, one-on-one, and at Drexel, I touch 5,000 people all at once (!!!) every time I offer a new event, program, or initiative. The two seem very different sometimes, but both are ali
For several years now, I’ve been walking by a store near my house called The Nesting House, a children’s consignment store that also has some thoughtfully-selected new items as well. I recently had a friend who is pregnant come visit me, so I finally had an excuse to stop in and explore. The West Philly location of The Nesting House (they also have locations in South Philly, Mt. Airy, and Collingswood, NJ, or you can order many of their inventory online!) is a true delight. I
I awoke about a week ago (Tuesday May 22nd, 2018 to be exact) having had a beautiful dream about visiting a river in Northern California. I had taken a train (some kind of public transit that also ran through San Francisco) to its final stop, gotten out, and found myself surrounded by trees and by other people who had come to this place to restore themselves in nature. The trees were so damp and so green. Everyone was happy. I found a shallow river (more like a creek) with a
Maybe you’ve wanted to try acupuncture but aren’t sure what it’s all about. Maybe you’ve been holding off because you’re not sure if (or HOW) acupuncture could actually help you. Or maybe you’re curious about happens during an acupuncture appointment? What’s it like? Is it weird? Will I feel at ease? All of these questions can be answered by taking a peek at my reviews on google. A handful of generous people took the time to reflect on their experience with me so that you can
Winter is the water season in Chinese Medicine. The cold, contracted, and dark days of winter ask us to surrender to the lack of illumination and to allow ourselves to be pulled underwater into the depths of our experience. The water season of winter is so powerful because water is so adaptive. It can flow around any obstacle, and it can easily erode rock given enough time and persistence. It can transform from a still ocean into a tsunami. It can be a waterfall, a puddle, ta
Happy New Year! That’s right! If you missed all those New Year’s Resolutions, today you get to start fresh, as today marks the first day of the Chinese New Year. The Chinese New Year is based on the solar calendar (like our Gregorian calendar) AND on the lunar calendar, thus accounting for the movement of the moon and the tides. Because of this, there is some “drift” each year, meaning that the start date of the Chinese New Year waxes and wanes like the moon. So take in all o
According to the seasonal wisdom of Chinese Medicine, winter is the very worst time to start a hardcore fitness routine! Yet that’s what many of us do! After feeling sluggish and hungover (whether from cookies or alcohol) from the holidays, we decide that we had better start pumping our bodies back up by hitting the gym, starting to run again, or even going all the way back into a rigorous yoga routine. But expending too much energy during wintertime can be harmful to your he
“I’m this uncomfortable person, so I had to make these comfortable clothes.” ~Eileen Fisher, from her interview on the NPR Podcast “How I Built This” I’ve really been loving listening to these hour-long interviews with entrepreneurs about how and why they built their businesses. (My other favorite stories from this series are the stories of Patagonia and Edible Arrangements). I love this interview with Eileen Fisher not only because I love her clothes (though I don’t actually
Autumn can be a challenging time of year. The energy of summer (which is a lovely spreading feeling, that expansive sense of time) has fallen way to the energy of late summer (the time of the harvest, when the crops are taken in and we have a sense of having everything we need) and now we're entering the energy of autumn. In autumn, everything begins moving downwards. The leaves fall from the trees. Nature is getting ready for winter, when the sap moves to the very center of
Though I spend a lot of time sleeping (my spirit animal is the koala), anytime my eyes are open, I want to be awake. Though our natural state is being awake, being awake takes some commitment and is very much aided by practice. Since 2006, my meditation practice has been the one mode of awakening that has consistently helped me strengthen my tolerance for uncomfortable situations. And sometimes it seems like life is full of uncomfortable situations and things we don’t like! B
It's pretty common for acupuncture to be seen as a “last resort” form of medicine. Once you've tried everything else, all of the standard (and even the not-so-standard) solutions suggested by your doctors or friends, maybe then you might decide to try acupuncture. Most of the patients I see in my practice have already been to 3 or 4, or more commonly 6-10, doctors and specialists before they come through my door. One of the primary roadblocks to receiving acupuncture is the c
Most of the people I work with come to me looking for help around a specific problem. Some challenge in their life or in their health has been holding them back from living a life that they love. I am always so happy, and indeed feel lucky, to help people find a solution, feel good again, and start to take steps towards fully engaging with their health, their friends and neighbors, and (most crucially) themself. I was recently working with someone who left their first sessio
My last blog post was all about self-care. Self-care is one of my favorite topics.
Self-care does NOT have to mean you run for an hour (or even for thirty minutes or even at all). I work with people who haven't run in years who reconnect with the sheer triumph of even getting their sneakers on and running around the block huffing and puffing.
Stepping up and taking care of yourself is really what counts the most!
Seriously. Self-care can be simple. And the simple, lit
After months, and even years, of wanting to offer you some immediate steps you can take to help yourself heal, I finally figured out exactly what it is I want to offer to you! My new workbook “Sustainable Self-Care” has some practical wisdom about what self-care is (and isn’t), why willpower isn’t as powerful as you think it might be when you want to make a change, as well as an exercise to help guide you through what specific self-care action will help you, as a unique indiv