Treating Children with Shonishin

Acupuncture is a complete system of medicine and one of it’s tools is the acupuncture needle or “taps” as i call them with the kids. There are plenty of non-needle techniques to move the qi or energy in the body.

Today I’d like to share with you about Shonishin, a little known acupuncture tool that is used specifically for children. Shonishin meaning “little children needle” is a technique that originated in Japan. In fact, it is not a needle but rather a series of small metal tools used to gently tap and rub along the acupuncture points and meridians.

It is customary for children to receive monthly shonishin treatments as a way of strengthening the immune system and preventing frequent sicknesses. It can also be used to address specific ailments.

It is said that Shonishin was taught to the Japanese farmers by the moon fairies, and therefore children typically receive this treatment each month at the full moon. And according to this legend, the full moon in August is the most potent time to receive this treatment.

In honor of this tradition, I am adding office hours on the actual August full moon, Monday, August 7th from 10am-5pm in addition to my regular Tuesday office hours. And on August 7th and 8th, I will offer pediatric treatments for $65 which is $10 off the regular pediatric fee.

And, remember that I am happy to treat the grownups too. I take time to listen to you and to understand your main symptom AND everything else that you notice in your body, mind and spirit. If you are ready to start feeling better everyday, I encourage you to begin or resume your regular acupuncture treatments now.

WELLNESS TIP:
Here is a short video for a simple breathing technique to help you relax and sleep well. Hint: watch the baby’s belly.

In Wellness,

Rachel Kriger, M.Ac, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.
Licensed Pediatric & Family Acupuncturist
Founder Points Of Return Acupuncture
(215) 495-3229

Regular on-going office hours:
Teusdays 10am-6pm
Call or text me: 215-495-3229
or email me: rachel@pointsofreturn.com

Office address:
The Cedars House
200 northwestern ave, philadelphia
click for directions

Can Acupuncture help with….

People often ask me if acupuncture can help with a certain ailment. It occurred to me that this is like asking if pharmaceuticals can help with what ails you. The answer is yes. Various pharmaceuticals are designed to treat almost any symptom. The more accurate question is to ask the doctor which drug will be most effective with the least side effects.

Similarly, Acupuncture can alleviate almost any ailment in the body, and it can do so without side effects.   Acupuncture is a complete system of medicine with various diagnosis and treatment styles.  It is different from pharmaceuticals in that it does not treat individual symptoms alone. Instead, it treats the whole person. When the whole person is stronger, he or she is more apt to achieve homeostasis and wellness.

As a practitioner of Acupuncture, I understand that your main symptom is your main focus. It’s the part of you that is speaking so loudly that you cannot ignore it and it urges you to get help. Once you come in for treatment, I take time to understand your main symptom AND everything else that you notice in your body, mind and spirit. It is all part of the full picture and it is all relevant. Together we learn to listen to your body and all of it’s symptoms. Through this listening process combined with my gently administered acupuncture treatments, you begin to notice specific and systemic changes. 

People often decide to start acupuncture treatment after they have not had success with other treatments such as pharmaceuticals or even surgery. Please do not wait this long! Why not begin your healing with acupuncture or use it in conjunction with your other treatment choices. If you are ready to start feeling better everyday, I encourage you to begin or resume your regular acupuncture treatments now.

Top tips for staying well in summer

By Rachel Kriger, Licensed Acupuncturist

Derived from the ancient wisdom of the Five Elements

10) Have Fun! Join with others to manifest spring’s plans, and make it joyous.

9) Play in your garden- this can be an actual garden and/or the metaphorical garden of anything you are cultivating. Invite a sense of playfulness to the work that you do to sustain your life as you watch it grow and mature.

8) Summer is a time of maturity. Choose your words carefully, and practice speaking only what will be of service to the listener. Know that in every moment, you have the power to choose your response to any situation.

7) Make time to spend with your loved ones, and thank them for being in your life. This can also be a great time to re-connect with family or friends.

6) Go to bed early and wake up early. Listen to your body when it needs to rest.

5) Enjoy the sun’s healing presence, and be sure to stay hydrated. As a guideline, drink 1/2 of your body weight in ounces of water daily.

4) Eat until you feel 2/3 full. Eat colorful foods prepared raw, or cooked quickly on a high heat using more water and less salt. On hot days incorporate spicy foods and warm drinks, which promote sweating to cool you down.

3) Allow sadness when it arises. Notice where you feel it in your body, and place your hands there. Breathe love into that area. Increase love and compassion in your body AND in your way of being.

2) When you notice yourself in opposition to what is, draw a bigger picture to see beyond the duality. Practice this by using the word “and” in place of“but.” For example: “I want to go to the party, AND I need to rest tonight.”

1) As in all times of the year, pay attention to your unique body. Follow these tips to the degree that they serve you. In the summer, focus on your heart & allow it to be effortlessly present in each moment. You can practice calm presence, and sort out what to take to heart and what you can let go.

Looking for change in ANY area of your life? Try Acupuncture!

Call Rachel today: (215)-495-3229

Acupuncture treatments for the whole family!

Birth Story: March 26th, 2017

For several nights over the span of two weeks, I experienced cramping at night. Each time I thought, “this could be it”, and each time I woke up in the morning to another day of normal full on pregnancy… no cramps, no contractions… just big and heavy pregnant. My midwife, Terri, assured me that the cramps were a good sign that my body was getting ready to bring my baby into the world.

Saturday, March 25th, the day after my birthday, was one of the first beautiful spring days this year that was actually during springtime. Nick and I, with Maayan in the stroller, went for a walk down our street to the Valley Green in the Wissahickon. Normally we take a stroll, but this time I wanted to walk fast, and I was frustrated that Nick wasn’t up to my pace, so I stomped off without him down forbidden drive. I felt strong and good in my body and it felt good to move fast with my current temper. I came back towards Nick and he caught up with my pace and we walked and talked to the waterfall and then back home. We communicated and sorted through the frustration, brought clarity and then I had a crying release of the anger. A few hours later, I had a crying release of so much love. Yes, the hormones were engaged!

On Saturday night I went to bed with cramps again and assumed I would wake up to another normal day. This time, I woke up at 12:30 with more intense cramps… and 1:30 and 2:30. And after that, the cramps were so intense that I could not go back to sleep. I was back and forth from squatting on the toilet to wiggling around in child’s pose on my bed. Several waves of diarrhea cleaned me out. I drank water and kept moving and breathing. I think Nick was awake by this point… at least enough to be aware that it was really happening this time.

At 4am, I called Nets, my doulah, in Maryland and told her what was happening and she said in her tired voice “ok, my kids are all asleep and the babysitter is here, so check back in with me in a couple hours”. She asked if my mucus plug had come out yet. It hadn’t and I set in my mind that this could still be early labor and it could be a while until things progressed.

Soon after that, my 19 month-old son, Maayan, woke up crying in the middle of the night, which he rarely does. Nick brought him to pee on his froggy potty and I was ‘crying’ with contractions on the toilet across from him crying on the potty. Luckily Maayan went back to sleep after that, unaware of the rest of the labor.

Around 5am, in the weak light of dawn on a rainy spring morning, I wiped after peeing and checked the toilet paper to see the mucus plug tinged with red blood. I turned on the light to check it out and then felt like “ok, this is for real now” (even though I know the mucus plug doesn’t necessarily indicate when my baby would be born… just like everything else in labor). There is so much unknown in birth and in death. When we do it naturally, we just don’t know when it is going to happen. Somehow I took comfort in that unknowing.

I called Nets back and told her I lost the mucus plug and it was getting more intense. She said she’d be on her way. Then I went downstairs to labor more freely away from my sleeping Maayan. I had some special time to labor by myself feeling the power of my female body that holds the deep wisdom to grow and birth a baby. And when Nick came downstairs, I felt calm and secure in his presence. He stoked the fire in the wood stove and lit four candles on the table.

On my phone, I was listening to a hypno-birthing soundtrack gifted to me
by my friend Marni. The contractions never got progressively more intense or closer together… well, to be fair, I did not watch the clock to time anything, so it just seemed like that. For some contractions, I could lay on the couch breathing through the intensity with the hypno-birthing woman explaining how my muscle fibers were getting long and thin. I felt her words as my own, “I am calm, I am safe, I am relaxed.” And during other contractions, I let out loud noises and crouched to the ground, or put my arms around Nick’s neck and hung all of my weight from his sturdy body. And a few times, Nick used his knees to squeeze my gluts while I was in a hands and knees position. Each of these ways helped me ride the waves of intensity. It was comforting to be in my warm pajamas by the hot fire in the wood-burning stove.
When I laid on the couch, I draped the birthing gown over my upper body as an extra layer of warmth and comfort. The birthing gown has been worn by many women over the last several decades as they birthed. A woman in Mt. Airy made it for her partner to wear when she birthed their children, and it has since been passed along to many others. It is a beautiful purple blue pink batik of the cosmos with a strip of ocean pattern down the center. The Hebrew lettering around the neckline has the names of the arch-angles and the passages along the bottom of the gown say in Hebrew “open for me the gates of righteousness” and “she who births one life is as if she is birthing a whole world”. I wore this gown when my son was born and it was a comfort to have it with me now to have the strength and support of all the many women who had worn it. It also provided a reminder that I am connected to all women throughout time who have birthed.

During contractions, I held the immense power of the oneness of all women birthing. When they subsided, Nick and I talked details. We devised a plan for Maayan when he woke up. We called our friend Carly who was happy to come over at 7:30am to help set up the birth tub and then take care of Maayan until 9am when he could go to my dad’s house. It was a relief to have a plan.

Also, between contractions, at around 5am, I called our midwife, Terri and told her I was having regular contractions, which seemed manageable. Since everything was fine, she said to check back in later. Soon after that phone call I had a contraction that was so intense that I thought I was going to throw up. I yelled to nick to bring me a bowl and he brought me a small pottery cup. “no, I yelled… something big” so he brought me the huge stainless steel bowl just in time… and nothing came up. It was funny.

I asked Nick to call Terri and ask her to come soon. I was not in a state to talk on the phone and I knew this labor was for real now, but for some reason, I was hesitant to ask her to come right now. So she made her way over.

I felt relieved. The midwife and doulah were on their way. We had our plan for Maayan. I felt present and strong. I went back to the living room to sit by the fireside. It was about 6:30 am and Nick went back upstairs to do his morning Yoga. I said “ok, if you hear me being loud, come back down”.

What seemed like a few minutes later, I stood for a contraction bent over with my hands on the ottoman and felt water rush down my legs and fleece pajama pants. Nick came quickly downstairs and in a strained voice I told him my water just broke. He helped me take off my pants and I put on the birthing gown. I guess he cleaned up the watery floor and then put down a bunch of towels and a mattress cover to cushion my knees and protect the floor. Nick stayed with me through and between the rest of the contractions.

It was a rainy misty morning and the light of the rising sun was dimmed by the clouds. The day felt fresh and spring-like. I was happy to be by the fire and happy that I knew how to take deep-breaths. I breathed and groaned deeply through the contractions, imagining my cervix opening wider and wider. I made lots of noises kind of like the sounds I would make when I’m really frustrated because I dropped something and made a mess. However, in that situation there’s a stagnant resistance in my energy. In this case, I was open to the new life, welcoming the intensity because this was the way to bring our baby into the world. So the sound was similar, and the feeling in my body was totally different. This was the part I think I was missing in my first birth with my son. I had been stuck in the stagnant frustrated energy and did not trust that the intense feelings were a necessary means to open me. The contractions were going upwards. Finally after 36 hours of labor with him, I think I was just too tired to resist. And, I had to really engage the downward energy that was necessary to bring him down and out.

In this case I was not in my mind… I was present and it was purely physical. It must have been around 7:25am when I had what I call “the inside out contraction”. I was bent over by the wood stove. Nick was sitting on the couch. I said, “I have to poop” and took a step towards the bathroom and then quickly stepped back, saying, “nope, it’s the head” and I leaned all of my weight on my hands on the ottoman. I remembered this feeling from the grand finale of my first birth with Maayan. I braced myself and strained and felt the head turn inside out, like a popple doll. I was very aware of vast space on either end of the narrow part of the hourglass-like portal that it had just squeezed through. I reached down and felt the warm fuzzy head of my child and felt love, comfort, and relief. Nick kneeled down beside me and I asked if the chord was around the baby’s neck and he told me he had just moved it over her head. I was in love with him that he knew what to do and had already done it.

Knowing everything was progressing smoothly, I said, “quick, take a picture before the next contraction”. It was probably a few minutes between the head and the body coming out. This picture was taken then. I felt the next surge and Nick got ready to catch the baby.

We were both fully aware that it was just the two of us welcoming this human into it’s first breath and cry and kiss and hold. And we were both very peaceful with that reality. Later people exclaimed “weren’t you nervous?!” or “didn’t you panic that the midwife wasn’t there yet?!” And I am so grateful that both Nick and I can honestly say that we were simply present, confident, and excited to embrace the moment and our baby.

Around 7:28am, I delivered the baby and Nick received it into his arms. I use this language intentionally because so many people hear this story and say, “wow, Nick, you delivered the baby!” And it is common in our language to say that the doctor or midwife “delivers” the baby. Nick rightfully acknowledges, “Rachel did all the work, I just caught the baby.” Then he helped me step over the chord so I could turn around and sit down and hold my baby. I held her in my arms and said to Nick, “Look, it’s our girl”. When I was pregnant, everyone who guessed the gender guessed it was girl, so we would have been more surprised if it was a boy.

I held her red long body and she gave a wide mouthed cry as she moved her arms up into ballet’s fifth position- arms above her head with wrists folded down, fingers pointing towards the top of her head and then her arms opened up like a blooming flower. We kissed her head and then started singing her the song that we wrote for her in the womb. She got quiet and still. Nick took off his shirt and got some skin to skin with the baby.

Nick and I were sitting on the bloody blankets on the floor in-front of the fire singing as our midwife walked in the door only two minutes after the baby came out. We said “she’s here” and Terri smiled and sat with us joining seamlessly into our birth scene. The baby started sticking out her pointy tongue as if to lick her lips. I offered her to nurse and at 7:40am she latched right away before my placenta even came out. I was surprised that she’d be ready to nurse so soon. The instincts to live are amazing!

(And technology is amazing… because I know these exact times from the pictures that we took.) I delivered the placenta and, soon after, Carly came over elated to see that our baby had arrived. She sat with us for a few minutes and at 7:50 we heard Maayan awake upstairs. Carly brought him down and he got to meet his baby sister.  He peeked into the blanketed baby in my arms with his angelic smile and said “Hi baby” over and over again as if he was seeing her for the first time every five seconds.

The morning progressed slowly. At some point, Terri helped me get up and use the bathroom and sit down in my nursing chair. I felt unsteady and somewhat light headed and moved very slowly. Carly brought me some papaya which I ate happily feeling refreshed. She helped with laundry and she got a huge bowl of warm soapy water and washed the blood off of my legs and feet. It felt so good. Then she made the smoothy with chia seeds and dates that I had soaked the night before, adding spirulina, hemp protein powder, pear and other goodness.

Around 9am, our doula Nets arrived and added to the welcoming of love for our child. We had the placenta, still attached to the chord, in a pottery pitcher that followed the baby from nursing chair to couch for the next 3 hours until we burned the chord with candles over a wooden box for the wax drippings. We sang havdallah and the baby’s song, and the wheels on the bus. 

At some point, I ventured upstairs for the second best shower of my life (the first one being after Maayan was born). The warm water felt so good and cleansing… and I needed to be relatively quick because I was still too weak to stand for too long.

Terri helped me into bed and the party moved upstairs. She continued doing her magical healing touch on me and the baby. She weighed the baby- 7.5lbs. And once the visitors started rolling in, she left, “seeya tomorrow.”

Since it was a Sunday, our family all came to visit on that very day. Although I still felt spacey and vulnerable, I was happy to be amidst the people who love me the most. And everyone was excited to meet the baby.

In the early afternoon, my right leg started hurting. I had bulging varicosities there during the pregnancy and was often worried about a blood clot. The intense ache moved from my shin to my ankle and some on my thigh. When the pain did not subside, I started to worry more now… enough to call doctor friends to see if it was a red flag… turns out it was.

Most often in this country, babies are born in the hospital, and very often the parents go home and the baby stays in the hospital. This has happened to friends of mine and I could barely imagine what it would be like to go home without my baby.

Well it was a little backwards in my case, since I went to the hospital leaving my baby at home. I got dressed, nursed her, put her in the moby wrap with Nick and left him with the kids and my mom at home for the evening. My aunt Lynne and Uncle Stu took me to the hospital and then to a different hospital and then I waited in a hospital gown and bed.
My dad met me there and encouraged me to rest. I knew he was right… and it was hard to settle down, but I did the best I could. This was only my second time being in a hospital. I was born at home… so no hospital then. The first time was in high school because I had been vomiting after chemistry class. I only stayed for a couple of hours and then they offered me a popsicle (what?). I’m glad that even then I was wise enough to turn it down.

This time, as I waited in the bed, we reminded the hospital staff that I had a newborn baby at home and I needed to get back to her. Terri assured us that although the baby would be hungry, she would be ok without nursing and that we did not need to try to give her water or anything else. Finally they did an ultrasound on my leg and told me there was no concern.

I was gone from about 5:30pm to almost midnight. Although it was not ideal to have left, it was good to have the piece of mind that I was not going to wake up dead from a blood clot in my lungs. The baby was crying when I got home and I quickly showered off the hospital germs and came downstairs to nurse her on the couch. In retrospect, this whole excursion was ALOT of movement for having just birthed that very morning. The baby was pecking and frustrated and could not find the latch like she had at first. I was afraid she forgot how to nurse. I knew I needed to be relaxed too. So I stopped, wrapped her in a swaddle blanket, sat back down with her and she nursed strongly. Relief!

And the story of life goes on… That was her very beginning.

I am grateful to have had two home births, each beautiful in their own rite. And I dedicate this story to those women who had hoped for a natural home birth but did not have it for whatever reason. In the oneness of all women who have ever birthed, I give you my story to keep as your story too. Keep thinking big!

Soaking, Sprouts & Krauts

Are you getting the most nutrients possible from your whole foods diet?

While I’m busy sprouting little humans, I’m also doing my best to feed our family healthy and nourishing food. I’ll admit that yesterday the kids were so needy that I barely made time to drink water for myself. Then I finally got a chance to tend myself and soak some rice for tonight’s dinner.

I love the practice of soaking grains, beans, seeds and nuts. Not only does it make their nutrients easier for our bodies to digest, it also give me a chance to put some loving intention into our future meals. When I rinse and soak the grains, I add some love and imagine the health and wellbeing of those who will eat and enjoy this food.

Here is a chart that i saw on the wall at Weaver’s Way Co-op that i’d like to share with you all. You can use it as a guideline for incorporating some soaking and sprouting in to your own life.

And remember, do what you can. If you can soak it but not sprout it, that’s fine. If you soak it for only 2 hours instead of 8, that’s fine. Give yourself credit for what you can and choose to do.
Another great way to add nourishing food to your life is to incorporate fermented foods into your diet. This will help your gut flora flourish. This batch of SaurKraut is simply green cabbage and onions chopped finely, sprinkled with salt, coriander seeds and caraway seeds.

It is fermented in this pickling crock (made my my husband of Wissahickon Pottery) which has a weight to keep the kraut submerged under the salt water. In this photo, my son is helping to put the finished kraut in jars to keep in the fridge for months to come as we eat a small amount with each meal. It’s awesome to get the kids involved, even if they makes a mess and even if they’re not willing to taste it just yet.

Happy eating to you all!

In Wellness,

Rachel Kriger, M.Ac, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.
Licensed Pediatric & Family Acupuncturist
Founder Points Of Return Acupuncture
(215) 495-3229

Greetings from Baby-land

Here I am a month into my maternity leave… amazed at the simultaneous fast and slowness of time…

Both kiddos are asleep now so I want to take some time to reach out to you and wish you wellness!

As the fullness of spring merges into summertime, I hope that some of your plans are coming to fruition, and that you are starting to find ways to have fun while manifesting your dreams and visions. And i hope you are finding time to go outside and be in nature.

My plan… aside from being a great mommy… is to write my birth story and to share it with you in the coming newsletters.

For those of you who spend time with young humans: here is a link to a short video clip for a pediatric massage to help kids with healthy digestion. You can do this 2-3 times a day for 30 seconds to a minute each. This video is done on my hands… of course it can be more tricky to do it on little squirmy fingers.

And, finally, here are some cute baby pictures, which give you a sense of how I’m spending most of my time lately.

(and if you read this far, you get to know that my daughter’s name is Ayla)

Of course they aren’t always this cute, but I’ll spare you the pictures of crying children and poopie diapers.

Blessings in wellness,

Rachel Kriger, M.Ac, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.
Licensed Pediatric & Family Acupuncturist
Founder Points Of Return Acupuncture
(215) 495-3229

Top Tips for Springtime

Top Ten Tips for Staying Well in the Spring

Written by Rachel Kriger, Pediatric & Adult Acupuncturist
Derived from the wisdom of the Five Elements
www.pointsofreturnacupuncture.com

10) Use your power stored up from winter to declare what you want to see happen in your life. Generate feelings of joy and confidence as you see your visions manifest!

9) Practice making short & long term plans, using discipline and flexibility. In other words, make the time for your task and if circumstances change, be willing to make another plan.

8) Exercise your eyes by focusing as wide as you can, as far as you can, and as close as you can. Then, close your eyes and focus inwards.

7) Prune your doubts. Let go of what is no longer necessary (things, thoughts, etc.). This will make room for new creativity and growth.

6) Spring is a time for dreams and visions. Pay attention to your dreams and see how they can guide you in your life plans.

5) Have a daily routine/rhythm for sleep, eating & exercise. Go to bed early and wake up early. Eat leafy green vegetables and incorporate peppery & bitter tastes. Create an attitude of gratitude while preparing & eating meals. Regular exercise will help keep your qi (energy) moving smoothly.

4) Wear a scarf (even if it is warm out) to protect your neck from the wind. Be prepared for fickle indecisive weather outside AND in your way of being. Release judgments about yourself when you change course.

3) If you feel frustrated or angry, it is best to do this away from other people. You can shout into a pillow, punch the air, scream in the car with the windows closed, and/or cry. Wait & breathe. Then, let it go, or be creative & take effective action.

2) When you notice yourself in opposition to a person or situation, see the challenge as an opportunity for growth. Be flexible, benevolent, and willing to see beyond your expectations.

1) As in all times of the year, follow these suggestions to the degree that they are helpful for you, and pay attention to your unique body. In springtime, focus on your liver, which stores emotions, and your tendons & ligaments, which can enhance flexibility.

Ready to create healing & wellness for yourself & your family?

Call Rachel today: 215-495-3229

 

Stay with the season- Wear a scarf!

Stay with the season!

Though it is unseasonable warm, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Ideally we emerge gradually from winter into spring. So keep resting when you feel tired and save some energy for the long and hot days to come.

The best tip for springtime is to wear a scarf. There are acupuncture points in the back of the head and neck where “wind” can easily get into the body. This causes sore throats, stiff necks, colds, twitches, and sickness. So even though it’s warm out, be sure to wear your scar. It’s a fun accessory and will help keep your body protected at this fickle time of year!

And, here’s a fun recipe with no sugar and yummy for the adults and kids!

In Wellness,


Rachel Kriger, M.Ac, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.
Licensed Pediatric & Family Acupuncturist
Founder Points Of Return Acupuncture
(215) 495-3229

Spring on the Rise… Still Winter though

The recent Chinese New Year indicates the beginning of spring. And the peak of spring is considered to be the equinox. With the increasing daylight you may feel an increased energy and excitement. And, these past few days have really given us a chance to experience winter, to stay still and quiet and get cozy, and keep singing your hope songs. I hope we are all taking advantage of this time!

I’d like to share a simple recipe that my mom makes that I love and make myself. I just discovered that my 18 month old will eat these even though he doesn’t usually go for baked sweet potato. Sweet potato chips: to help us stay grounded and rooted in this winter unfolding into spring. Preheat oven to 350. Slice sweet potatoes or any root veggies. The thinner you make them, the more crunchy they will be. Though any thickness is delicious. Pour some oil (i’ve been enjoying grape seed oil) in the pan and lightly coat each side of each chip as you spread them on the pan. Sprinkle with some salt. Bake for about 15 minutes then turn each chip over and bake the other side to your satisfaction. In the background you see toasted cashews which i added into the oven for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Yum!!!

Please see below for my maternity leave announcement and a great practitioner to see while I’m home with my family. I hope you are enjoying your home time on these snowy days!

In Wellness,


Rachel Kriger, M.Ac, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.
Licensed Pediatric & Family Acupuncturist
Founder Points Of Return Acupuncture
(215) 495-3229

Announcements

  • Maternity Leave: In preparation for the next human in our family, I will be starting maternity leave at the end of February. Until then, I’m happy to see you in the treatment room- even if it’s been a while.
  • While I’m home with my expanded family, I encourage you to keep receiving acupuncture! So I’m referring my amazing patients (that’s you- yes, you’re amazing) to see Dawn Weisbord who has her practice in Narberth. Her phone number is 215-850-0921 and she will gladly treat you and your children in a similar style as I do.
  • On my Facebook page, I often share inspiring ideas such as portrayed in this newsletter! You are more than welcome to like the page and share in the inspiration!
  • Visit my Website
  • Read Patient Testimonials.
  • I am currently accepting new patients. Please share my brand new ebookwith other families that may be benefit from my services.
Ready to Get Started?

Are you ready to take your healing to the next level?
Try Acupuncture! My specialties include:

  • Pediatric Acupuncture
  • Enhancing Fertility
  • Prenatal & Post Partum Support
  • Acupuncture for Mom & Dad

Make an appointment 

Sun & Rain

It’s raining, it’s sunny, it’s cold, it’s warm… It sure is hard to know how to dress these days! And so often, i hear people reacting to the weather as a strong force that affects their moods. I’ll admit that it is easy to fall prey to this habit/practice.  So here’s my challenge to myself and to you: let’s stay present in the moment. Let’s notice that we are creating our story about how we feel and giving the weather all the credit for “making us this way”.

 

Let’s take power back in to our own being. Let’s design our mood before assessing external circumstance. For example, I could wake up each morning and choose to be grateful or loving or equanimitous. No matter what circumstances arise that day, I can practice returning to my set mood.

 

And, remember to give yourself a break. We’re human. We have emotions. Just like the sun shines and the rain falls, our moods can change rapidly. Let’s allow our sadness, our grief, our dissatisfaction, frustration, fear, upset… you name it. Let’s just not forget that the sun is always shining behind the clouds and we have the same power to shine everyday.

If it seems too hard to take on this practice, remember to do it for the sake of a loved one… especially our children. Let’s empower them to know how to choose their mood each day.

And, YES! Acupuncture can help balance moods and emotions for adults and children and I am here to support you in that process.

In Wellness,


Rachel Kriger, M.Ac, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.
Licensed Pediatric & Family Acupuncturist
Founder Points Of Return Acupuncture
(215) 495-3229

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What are you thinking when you’re cooking? Is it healthy?

When you cook, is your mind racing about the events of the day? Are you not sure what make? Will the kids eat this? Is it healthy? Are you judging your cooking abilities? No matter what, as a provider of food, you are in a powerful position! Every time we prepare a meal, we have a chance to influence our own way of being and the moods of those who will be consuming that meal. Weather you are cooking from scratch or if you are simply putting take out food on the table, let’s explore how we can create the best and healthiest meal experience possible.

The first step is to notice that we are choosing our thoughts in each moment. As humans, we are thinking beings. It’s a fact. However, we can listen to our well practiced “soundtracks”… or we can create new thoughts! My hope is that you will read this blog and become inspired to create new “soundtracks” in your mind that make you smile, dance, breathe and love just a little bit more into your food.

Let’s start with gratitude. If you’re not already preparing the meal while counting your blessings, start now. As you chop the onion or wipe the countertop, think of something you are grateful for and smile. Perhaps it’s a loved one that you feel blessed to have in your life. And perhaps it’s the thought that you have a sink with running water and hot stove upon which to cook right there in your kitchen… It used to be otherwise.

Next, it’s time to get creative. As you prepare the meal, imagine yourself and any others enjoying this meal. Imagine everyone at the table having a delightful sensory experience and feeling nourished as they savor each bite. Weather this actually happens is not important. The point is that you are creating that possibility and getting all jazzed about it in your moment!

And of course, if you have little ones at home who are curious about your cooking process, include them in the fun. You can share your gratitude out loud and stir the food in the bowl while laughing and shouting “yay!” And, if you’re having trouble knowing what to feed your children…

On my Facebook page, I often share recipes or photos of my meals so you can glean ideas for healthy vegetarian eating! You are more than welcome to like the page and share in my cooking fun!

Now you may be wondering “what does this have to do with acupuncture?” I’d love to tell you! Acupuncture helps to move qi/energy in our bodies. We each have the qi we are given at birth, and the qi we acquire each day from our lifestyle. A huge part of health of this ‘acquired qi’ has to do with what we eat and how we feel when we are cooking and eating it. Hence, you can follow the advice above to create awesome acquired qi and your acupuncture treatments will be even more effective and you feel great!

Wishing healthy cooking to all!

 

The Sustainability of Wellness Care

The Sustainability of Wellness Care

Are you an eco-conscious person who strives to live in harmony with nature in a modern technology driven society?

If so, you are probably into recycling, organic food, bicycles, LED light bulbs, clotheslines, and other practices that are your small yet hugely important contribution to the health of our planet.

As an acupuncturist and lover of nature, I am always doing my best to walk my talk and live in harmony with Mother Nature. I’d like to suggest the necessity of using inner wellness practices to achieve planetary sustainability. How do you refuel your energy? Do you have enough? Do you use it sustainably?

Breathing, body movement and resting are all free and renewable resources that restore our energy.  When we choose these methods over caffeine and pushing through our tiredness, we are choosing a sustainable way to live our lives. And since we are part of nature, we are contributing to the sustainability of our planet.
As a five-element style acupuncturist, I view human health through the lens of nature. In wintertime the trees are dormant, the seeds rest underground and nature is relatively more quiet and still. When we use the wintertime for its intended purpose to rest and restore, we can refill our energy reserves and have enough force to spring into action when springtime arrives. This is why when people suffer from springtime allergies, I encourage them to receive acupuncture in the wintertime before their symptoms emerge.

Another way to fuel our energy and act sustainably is to receive regular acupuncture treatments for wellness maintenance. When we do this we are less likely to get sick at all and more likely to recover quickly when we do.

Let’s view this from the wider perspective of the growing trend of antibiotic resistance. 

The CDC website says, “Antibiotic use is the leading cause of antibiotic resistance. Up to one-third to one-half of antibiotic use in humans is either unnecessary or inappropriate… Antibiotics do not fight infections caused by viruses like colds, flu, most sore throats, and bronchitis. Even many sinus and ear infections can get better without antibiotics. Instead, symptom relief might be the best treatment option for these infections.” (https://www.cdc.gov/features/getsmart/)

I specialize in Pediatric Acupuncture and encourage parents bring their kids in for regular wellness visits. And we must remember that kids need to get sick and heal in order to build strong immune systems. So I always encourage coming for acupuncture at the first signs of sickness to boost the immune system and reduce the likelihood of antibiotic use.

Ear infections are one of the more common childhood illnesses where antibiotics are prescribed unnecessarily. Typically the pain of an ear infection will peak for about 24 hours and then resolve on its own. However, this is the most challenging and worrisome time for parents and when they visit their pediatricians.

What would it look like if we really trusted in our body’s ability to heal and created lifestyles to support and nourish that healing? What would change in our own lives? How would this support the health of our planet?

Blessings in the increasing daylight and the growing new moon,


Rachel Kriger, M.Ac, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.
Licensed Pediatric & Family Acupuncturist
Founder Points Of Return Acupuncture
(215) 495-3229

Give yourself permission to have no goals

We are a few days away from the winter solstice: the darkest time of year. Is anyone else feeling tired? I know I am… and I am taking the opportunity to relax whenever I can.

In our American culture, we are programmed to stay busy much of the year especially around the holidays. We are told to shop for presents for our coworkers and loved ones, to cook meals for our get togethers and to travel so we can be together.

Whatever plans you have set in place, be sure to give yourself some time to do nothing. Weather it’s 5 minutes, three hours, or one breath, take the time to chill out.

As an acupuncturist i’m always reminding my patients to live in harmony with the seasons. This allows us to stay well throughout the year. During the winter especially, it is important to give yourself permission to have no goals from time to timeAllow yourself to let go of the “should”s and “have to”s and metaphorically sink to the bottom. From this place we have the most leverage to push off and spring up when springtime arrives. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though.

Simply relax and let go and conserve your resources.  Give your body, mind, and wallet a break.

And when you do go to your holiday parties and meals, I hope you can feel them as a small fire where you can cozy up and warm your hands and heart. And, if that’s not possible, the give yourself permission to go home early and get cozy and do nothing.

Wishing you and your family many blessings,

rachelsign
Rachel Kriger, M.Ac., L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.

Top 10 Tips for Staying Well in Winter: from the desk of a Pediatric Acupuncturist

By Rachel Kriger, M.Ac., Dipl.Ac.
Licensed Pediatric & Family Acupuncturist

When kids or grown ups come into my office, we talk about how making small additions or shifts to our lifestyle can have a HUGE impact on how we feel and really enhance our wellbeing every single day.

As the air cools down and we prepare for the Winter here are my top 10 suggestions for staying healthy this coming season.

Yours in Wellness,

rachelsign
Rachel Kriger, M.Ac., L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.

Pediatric acupuncture - winter wellness wisdom

we have access to deep wisdom and infinite potential.

 

10) In this dark time of year, we have access to deep wisdom and infinite potential. The seeds lie on the cold ground waiting patiently for their time to germinate. We too can be aware of all possibilities and practice patience and faith in this time of unknowing

 

 

 

Practice Courage

Practice Courage

 

9) Give and ask for reassurance. Winter can be a fearful time. Some fears are wise, and some are paralyzing. If you have a fear that no longer serves, know that you can transform it by declaring your courage as you move into the unknown. You can do it!

 

 

 

 

 

keep warm & hydrated

keep warm & hydrated


8)
Drink plenty of warm water & keep your belly warm. In this cold time of year, drink hot or warm water. And, if you are sensitive to the cold weather, wear a haramaki (a garment worn around the lower abdomen and back) to keep your vital organs warm and your blood circulating.

 

 

 

eat hearty soups

eat hearty soups


7)
On cold days eat warm hearty soups, whole grains, small dark beans, seaweed, steamedgreens, and roasted or soaked nuts. Cook most foods for a long time on a low heat. Eat moderately salty foods and small amounts of bitter foods. If you tend to be cold, use warming and pungent spices such as garlic, onions and hot peppers.

 

 

 

early to bed and late to rise

early to bed and late to rise

 

6) Go to bed early and wait for the light of the sun to get up. If you need to wake up before that, make time to relax and/or take a nap if you are tired in the afternoon.

 

 

 

be still. meditate. breathe

be still. meditate. breathe


5)
Continue autumn’s practice of dwelling in your body as a sensory being. You can meditate anywhere, any time and in any position by noticing your breath, thoughts and sensations. (Take three deep breaths… Go ahead try it right now!)

 

 

 

 

 

deep listening

deep listening

 

4) Practice listening. Did you know that your listening is a gift? Make time to offer someone the gift of your listening. Often, we are tempted to give advice, or respond in some way. Instead, just listen. If you want to respond, wait until the person stops talking. Then use your own words to tell him or her what you heard. Then ask, “Did I get it?” If not, he or she will explain again. Once you got it, ask, “Is there anything else?” and so on. When s/he feels heard, you can thank him or her for sharing.

 

 

 

 

 

ask for listening

 

3) Ask someone to give you the gift of his or her listening. Explain the practice described above. Once you feel heard, you can give thanks for his or her listening.

 

 

 

listen to your body

Use your energy wisely

2) Use your energy reserves wisely. Most of nature’s noises are quiet or silenced now. It is a great time for us to practice this way of being. Notice when you are tired, and honor the wisdom of your body. Rather than ignoring this wisdom to continue doing the task at hand, take a minute to be still and quiet. Then return to the doing. Repeat as necessary. Your body will thank you.

 

 

 

 

pay attention to your body

pay attention to your body

1) Pay attention to your unique body. In the winter, focus on your bones and kidneys. Bones are the most solid and dense part of you. Breath is on the other end of that spectrum. While your bones are uniquely yours, your breath is shared with all of life. Your kidneys grasp the breath and hold the essence that connects you to your ancestors and to your uniqueness as you walk your destiny between heaven and earth. What a miracle it is to be an irreplaceable part of this great oneness!

 

{recipe} Yummy Probiotic Pickles for a Healthy Belly!

No need to purchase probiotics! Support your family’s gut health with good bacteria from yummy pickles! Heres an easy recipe that you can make with your age appropriate kiddos.

RECIPE: EASY & YUMMY Probiotic Pickles

What you will need:
Spices – pick your favorites: garlic, ginger, dill, coriander, etc.
Vegetable/s – pick your favorite veggie or combo: cucumbers, cabbage, carrots, etc.
Salt (use only non-iodized salt like sea salt, pickling salt, or kosher salt)
Pickling Crock (ceramic or glass jar) and weight
Cloth and Rubber Band or String

  1. Wash your pickling crock and weight with hot soapy water. Wash your hands also.
  2. You can use any vegetables. Some common examples are cucumbers to make pickles. Cabbage to make sauerkraut. Cabbage, carrots, onions and daikon radishes to make kimchee.
  3. Rinse your vegetables with cold water to remove dirt and pesticides (organic vegetables are best). Its important not to blanch or wash vegetables with soap as this will kill the beneficial bacteria on the surfaces of the vegetables and they won’t pickle properly. Old or rotting vegetables won’t produce a desirable pickle.
  4. Cut your vegetables into the desirable size. You can do big chunks or whole pieces, which is most common for pickled cucumbers. And, you can use a grater or food processor to get a more finely chopped product, which can be easier for kids to chew.
  5. Mix in your spices with the chopped veggies. This could include garlic cloves, ginger, coriander seeds, cloves, dill…whatever you want to add some flavor to your pickle. These smaller spices tend to float up to the top and are best to start on the bottom.
  6. Pack your vegetables into your crock 3/4 full. The weight sits on top of the vegetables without sticking above the rim of the crock. The vegetables tend to expand while fermenting so if its too full it may overflow the following day.
  7. Dissolve 2-4 tablespoons of salt into 3 cups of cool water to make a brine and pour the brine into the crock. More or less salt can be added to taste. Top off the crock with more cool water until the vegetables and the weight on top are fully covered. Try to keep the brine level 1 inch below the top of the crock. Push the weight down lightly so that everything fits tightly into place and any air bubbles can escape. Anything that is floating above the surface of the brine will rot, the weight should hold the vegetables below the surface of the brine. Some spices may float up to the top, thats OK.
  8. Cover the crock with a clean, tightly woven cloth and secure it around the rim with a rubber band or string. The cloth should be tightly woven to keep out any bugs or dust. The top of the crock does not need to be air tight.
  9. Ferment for 1-4 weeks. After 1 week open your crock, skim off any “scum” floating on the surface and remove the weight and taste your pickles. Wash and keep your hands clean whenever you are working with your pickles. The flavor and character of the pickle will change a lot over 1-4 weeks. Stop the fermentation when you like the flavor and texture of your pickle by putting it into the refrigerator. Enjoy!

NOTES:

  • There are so many variations! Many different spices and vegetables can be pickled with great success
  • How do I know if its safe to eat? If it smells good try it. Pickles should have a lightly sour smell. Pickled veggies should not be mushy or rotten smelling.
  • More References: There are many good books on fermentation. I recommend “Wild Fermentation” by Sandor Katz. It’s a great book for picklers of all levels. Information can also be found online. Or you can contact me: Rachel Kriger thatsthepoint@gmail.com.

Here’s some pictures of my wonderful husband demonstrating some pickling magic.

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Autumn Blessing

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As we move deeper into the autumn, I encourage us all to stay present in these times of great change. Some folks tend think of autumn as a dreaded harbinger of winter. I know i used to have this mentality.
My blessing for us all is that we are strengthened by staying present in each moment and with each breath. May we inhale the unique fragrance of the fallen leaves, and may our exhalations release a sense of gratitude to permeate our entire being. 

Take Action
Are you ready to take your healing to the next level? Try Acupuncture! My specialties include 

  • assisting anyone in creating & following a wellness plan
  • enhancing fertility 
  • treating children of all ages
  • helping people experience lasting relief from acute or chronic pain (side effects may include increased happiness & greater sense of wellbeing)

Please call me to schedule a free consultation to learn more about how you can benefit from acupuncture.

Autumn tips from the Acupuncturist

Written by Rachel Kriger, Pediatric & Adult Acupuncturist. Derived from the ancient wisdom of the Five Elements

10) It is autumn. There is balance in daylight & darkness, warm & cool temperatures, and leaves on the trees & on the ground. Let us learn from nature’s rhythm & balance as we undergo our personal transformations. May these tips help you stay present to receive autumn’s full glory.

9) Autumn is a time of inspiration. Pay attention to your breathing as often as possible. You are alive! When you notice yourself thinking thoughts that do not serve, be aware of any tightness in your body, take a deep breath out, & let it go. Then breathe in. Let yourself be inspired. Repeat as necessary.

8) Notice: What mood are you choosing each morning? Do you know it is a choice? Practice creating a mood that you could maintain in response to any circumstances. For example, choose to be grateful all day long.

7) Take time to look up and notice the beauty of the changing leaves and opening sky. Transfer that sense of awe into your water as your sips flow through your whole body. We are so blessed to have fresh and clean water.

6) Go to bed early & wake up early. Start & end each day with a rhythmic routine of conscious breathing. “Inhaling, I inhale. Exhaling, I exhale.”

5) In Autumn, prepare foods with astringent, hearty flavors and strong aromas. Spend plenty of time and attention on cooking your meals. Eat root vegetables cooked on a low heat for a while to help you store energy. Eat sour foods and increase bitter & salty flavors gradually as fall turns to winter.

4) Practice dwelling in your body as a sensory being. How long can you sustain complete sensory awareness without thinking of your likes and dislikes? Simply be in your senses and declare life’s perfection.

3) Acknowledge someone in your life. First ask, “May I acknowledge you?” Then deliver your gratitude and explain how this person impacts you. If you notice yourself feeling unappreciated, start creating what is missing by acknowledging everyone in your life. You may also ask for appreciation.

2) Practice receiving acknowledgement. If you tend to brush off the praises that others give you, take it in now. Say “you’re welcome” or “I’m glad you like it…” or, simply breathe it in and let it nourish you.

1) As in all times of the year, you may follow these tips to the degree that they are helpful for you as you pay attention to your unique body. In the autumn, you can focus on your lungs, which receive inspiration, and your bowels, which let the crap go. Thank your body for all it does to keep you alive.

Ready to create healing & wellness for yourself & your family?

Call Rachel today: 215-495-3229

Acupuncture office at The Cedars House: 200 Northwestern Ave. Philadelphia

Happy Summertime! In the gregorian calendar, we think of the summer solstice as the beginning of summer. However, from an eastern medicine perspective summer has already begun & the solstice is the peak of summer. It is the time with the most light and the most warmth.

My blessing for us all is that we feel the fullness of these longest days. May the light shine into our lives so that we can see all of the blessings that life has to offer to us and our loved ones. And, may we stay present in each moment only taking the the purest to heart.

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Top Ten Tips for Staying Well in the Summer

By Rachel Kriger, Licensed Acupuncturist:

Derived from the ancient wisdom of the Five Elements

10) Have Fun! Join with others to manifest spring’s plans, and make it joyous.

9) Play in your garden- this can be an actual garden and/or the metaphorical garden of anything you are cultivating. Invite a sense of playfulness to the work that you do to sustain your life as you watch it grow and mature.

8) Summer is a time of maturity. Choose your words carefully, and practice speaking only what will be of service to the listener. Know that in every moment, you have the power to choose your response to any situation.

7) Make time to spend with your loved ones, and thank them for being in your life. This can also be a great time to re-connect with family or friends.

6) Go to bed early and wake up early. Listen to your body when it needs to rest.

5) Enjoy the sun’s healing presence, and be sure to stay hydrated. As a guideline, drink 1/2 of your body weight in ounces of water daily.

4) Eat until you feel 2/3 full. Eat colorful foods prepared raw, or cooked quickly on a high heat using more water and less salt. On hot days incorporate spicy foods and warm drinks, which promote sweating to cool you down.

3) Allow sadness when it arises. Notice where you feel it in your body, and place your hands there. Breathe love into that area. Increase love and compassion in your body AND in your way of being.

2) When you notice yourself in opposition to what is, draw a bigger picture to see beyond the duality. Practice this by using the word “and” in place of “but.” For example: “I want to go to the party, AND I need to rest tonight.”

1) As in all times of the year, pay attention to your unique body. Follow these tips to the degree that they serve you. In the summer, focus on your heart & allow it to be effortlessly present in each moment. You can practice calm presence, and sort out what to take to heart and what you can let go.

Looking for change in ANY area of your life? Try Acupuncture!

Call Rachel today: (215)-495-3229

Acupuncture treatments for the whole family at The Cedars House: 200 Northwestern Avenue, Philadelphia PA

Spring Blessing

Happy Spring Equinox! Springtime can be an exciting time of fresh new growth, budding leaves and flowers, waking up with chirping birds, increasing daylight, more time outdoors,  gardening, and new possibilities in your life. It can also be a challenging time physically and emotionally as we come out of our winter hibernations.

My blessing to you this springtime is to be as gentle and compassionate with yourselves as you would be around a delicate new flower. Understand that anger is the emotional force that is analogous to the energy it took for this flower to bust through the thawing soil to make its way into the sunlight.

Spring Tips from the Acupuncturist

Top Ten Tips for Staying Well in the Spring

Written by Rachel Kriger. L.Ac.- Derived from the wisdom of the Five Elements

10) Declare it and it is so! Use your power stored up from winter to declare what you want to see happen in your life. Generate feelings of joy and confidence as you see your visions manifest!

9) Practice making short & long term plans. Use discipline and flexibility.

8) Exercise your eyes by focusing as wide as you can, as far as you can, and as close as you can. Then, close your eyes and focus inwards.

7) Prune your doubts. Let go of what is no longer necessary (things, thoughts, etc.). This will make room for new growth.

6) Pay attention to your dreams and be creative with your interpretations.

5) Have a daily routine/rhythm for sleep, eating & exercise. Go to bed early and wake up early. Eat green leafy vegetables and incorporate peppery & bitter tastes. Create an attitude of gratitude while preparing & eating meals. Regular exercise will help keep your qi moving smoothly.

4) Wear a scarf (even if it is warm out) to protect your neck from the wind. Be prepared for fickle indecisive weather outside AND in your way of being.

3) If you feel frustrated or angry, allow these emotions to move through you. It is best to do this away from other people. You can shout into a pillow, punch the air, scream in the car with the windows closed, and/or cry. Wait & breathe. Then, let it go, OR be creative & take effective action.

2) When you notice yourself in opposition to a person or situation, ask yourself what else is possible. See the challenge as an opportunity for your growth. Be flexible, benevolent, and willing to see beyond your expectations.

1) As in all times of the year, follow these suggestions to the degree that they are helpful for you, and pay attention to your unique body. In springtime, focus on your liver, which stores emotions, and your tendons & ligaments, which can enhance flexibility.

Want support in implementing any of these tips?

Call Rachel today: 215-495-3229

Acupuncture Office Upstairs at The Cedars House Cafe

200 Northwestern Ave (on Forbidden Drive), Philadelphia