Archive for acupuncture

Patient Teach the Practitioner

Posted in Health and Wellness with tags , , , on September 11, 2013 by ctkwingchun


After chatting with a long-term patient of 6 years, she looked at me and said,

“Ask the Universe for help with that.”

Rhyme Training

Posted in Martial Arts and Training with tags , , on August 8, 2013 by ctkwingchun

Today is about a few things while I’m at work.

Obviously, giving the very best acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatment is high priority.  It all comes down to me being a beacon of light the minute they see me.

I have a gap in my day large enough for me to change into my Pegasus 27’s and Jaco shorts.  Best enjoy the sunshine while it’s here.

I will try to finish a 1200 word article for acupuncture today dot com.  I have my own column there you know.  All part of the master plan.

July 19, 2013

Posted in Health and Wellness, Martial Arts and Training with tags , , on July 19, 2013 by ctkwingchun


Forms, heavy bag, solo rolling.

Knee felt bad in riding horse stance so no sprinting.


Rehab.  Physician, heal thyself.

Two eggs, spinach, salsa and goat cheese.


Sh*t My Patients Say

Posted in Health and Wellness with tags , , , on January 19, 2013 by ctkwingchun

Patient: I poop once a week and that works for me.

Me: That’s unhealthy.  You need to go everyday.  I recommend you get some more flax in your diet.  I also recommend eating some roughage like apples.

Patient:  Flax everyday?  And I don’t like apples – they hurt my teeth.

Me: So…what do you have planned for the rest of the day?

Patient: Going to the gym.  I’ve gained about 60 pounds over the last year.  Stopped going to the gym because my wife and I started trying for a baby.

Me: How are you feeling?

Patient: Nothing happened.  My back still hurts.

Me: Okay.  So how’s the pain in the hip?

Patients: Oh, that’s gone.

Me: And the hot flashes?

Patients: That’s a lot better.

Patient: I wish I was skinny like you.

Me: Come run sprints with me this week.

Patient: (Nervous laughter.)

Patient: I started with a new exercise class this week after not exercising for a long time.

Me: That’s great!

Patient: She was really good.  I didn’t feel anything the next day.  No muscle soreness or anything.

Physician, Heal Thyself

Posted in Martial Arts and Training, Music and Clips with tags , , , , on December 17, 2012 by ctkwingchun

I am very blessed to do what I do for a living – trading health for bread.

I am even more blessed that I can do what I do on myself.  I am currently nursing my shoulder which seems to pain at the most odd times – like shaking off my toothbrush.  Alas, even the jolt from a run is quite annoying.

So I’ve been pinning myself, burning moxa and cupping it daily.  Shoulders are tricky – right up there with hips.  I find it interesting that shoulders mirror hips according to image- and channel-theory.  It’s a pain the ass to try and treat my hip (pun intended), so I’ve just been using the ol’ maxim: ‘Where there is pain, there is a point.’

Unlike Skip, I didn’t start my Chinese medicine studies to keep my body in check because of the active lifestyle I lead, but it’s a wonderful benefit just the same.  Blessed, this one will heal himself.


The Brave Soldier; Ling Shu

Posted in Health and Wellness, Martial Arts and Training with tags , , , on November 27, 2012 by ctkwingchun

A Discussion of Courage

Huang Di said, “I would like to hear about the origins of bravery and timidity.”

Shao Yu said, “The brave soldier…anger causes the qi to be abundant, the chest to strengthen, the liver qi to be raised, the gallbladder qi to be extended, and the gap between the eyebrows and eyes to be raised.  The hair rises and the face becomes green.  These are the origins of a brave soldier.”

Huang Di said, “I would like to hear about the origins of the timid soldier.”

Shao Yu said, “The timid soldier…although there may be a proper and great anger, qi is unable to fill the chest, and although the qi of the liver and lungs are raised, the qi is sparse and returns below.  Therefore, anger cannot be sustained for a long period.  These are the origins of a timid soldier.”

*Emphasis mine.  The Ling Shu (Spiritual Pivot) is an ancient Chinese medicine text written ~2500 years ago.  It is the basis of all things Chinese medicine and acupuncture.

Nothing To Eat

Posted in Health and Wellness with tags , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2012 by ctkwingchun

Patient came into clinic last night with a yeast infection.

I recommended to her that she not eat any sugar for about 10 days while I treated her and she used an over-the-counter medication.

“No sugar!?” she exclaimed.  “What will I eat then because everything has sugar in it?”

Deadpan, I replied, “Vegetables, fruits, nuts and meats.

Do You Believe in Magic?

Posted in Health and Wellness, Music and Clips with tags , , , on September 18, 2012 by ctkwingchun

As a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner and Registered Acupuncturist, I’m often challenged by folks who don’t believe what I do for a living works.

Science is great but can’t explain everything.  Every few years new technology is discovered to pick up on things that didn’t exist before.

Alan Watts in his book, The Book, said it best when he touched on how philosophy is now looked upon as a lesser way of life; science rules all and the worst thing about it is that there’s no more magic in the Universe.

But I still believe in magic and in my practice results are king.


Getting Paid

Posted in Strategy and Psychology with tags , , , on July 5, 2012 by ctkwingchun

Step one: Get told that you *might* not get paid for your acupuncture article.

Step two: Agree to write the article.

Step three: Present the article and request, politely, that you’d like to get paid for your work.  Suggest a price based on previous compensation.  Also, present with a future topic to show longevity in the field.  Mentally prepare your response in the event that no money will be given for the work.

Step four: Receive email agreeing to payment.  Work with the editor to ensure that any edits make sense.

Step five: Read contract carefully; sign contract.


Not Getting Paid

Posted in Health and Wellness, Strategy and Psychology with tags , , , on June 29, 2012 by ctkwingchun

About four years ago, a year after I opened my Chinese medicine clinic, I let people cancel and no-show without reprimand (read: payment).  What finally forced me to charge a fee was a day I’ll never forget.

Mortgage was coming out that Friday and I had three no-shows and two late cancellations.  I was out a lot of money and I immediately put signs up on all my doors.  I also put a new paragraph after the informed consent portion that my patients would have to initial regarding the new fee.

Just recently, I was introduced to an editor of a well-known magazine.  After pitching my article idea to him, he told me to go for it.  Two days later on the phone he steered my article in the direction he wanted to see it go.  I wanted the gig, and I like to try to be flexible, so I agreed.  As the conversation came to a close, he slipped in that he might not be able to pay me, but the self-promotion because of the exposure would be great.

I’ve finished the article and have to send it to him today.  I’ve been struggling with how I’m going to approach how much I want to get paid for the work.  I came to the conclusion that I would do this one for free, just to get my foot in the door, and then the next one ask to be paid.  And then something happened.

My car died.  The valve seat came loose and forced a bunch of little pieces through the engine.  ‘Terminal’ was the word my mechanic used.  So here I am again, forced to make a stand, not only on principle but on how my world works.  A new payment will be coming out of my bank account – one we haven’t had for a few years.  And I need to get paid.  And if he won’t pay me, someone else will.


You Are Not A Robot

Posted in Health and Wellness, Music and Clips with tags , , , , on June 22, 2012 by ctkwingchun

A conversation with a patient stirred this up in my head.  You are not a robot – we are not robots.  We are human beings.

What is about emotions that we shun?  She was angry but didn’t know what to do with it.  “Be angry!” I said.

What good is it to stuff it way down?  To not make time to feel?  Sure, the treatment would calm and ease and soothe the emotion, but what of the situation that brought it on in the first place?  Surely she would be angry again unless the situation changed.

And that’s the point right there – change.  How can we possibly change the outcome if we didn’t get angry?  If we didn’t feel sadness?  And how would we know that we should keep doing what we’re doing if we didn’t feel happy wash over our being?


It Didn’t Work

Posted in Health and Wellness with tags , , , , on June 21, 2012 by ctkwingchun

Patient: “Can you do anything about belly fat?”

Me: “Yes.  Stop eating sugar and get more vigorous exercise.”

Patient: “I tried that last winter and it didn’t work.”

Me: “It might take a little longer than a winter…”

Less Demons

Posted in Health and Wellness, Martial Arts and Training, Strategy and Psychology with tags , , , , , on June 1, 2012 by ctkwingchun

I’d like to think that I think I can do anything.

I’d like to think that I’ve made strides in quieting the voices in my head that would have me take a different route.  It’s been a process.

Or perhaps, like many conditions I treat, I’ve just chased them into a corner.  And there they wait – until there is even a bit of let-up.  But I have learned, as is the same when facing an opponent, never let up when they are at their weakest.

“The most dangerous time is when you have your opponent hurt.” – Kru Phil Nurse’s maxim (from Tapped Out by Matthew Polly)

Robert Downey Jr.’s Wing Chun Black Belt and Chinese Medicine

Posted in Health and Wellness, Martial Arts and Training, Quotes and Articles with tags , , , , , on May 21, 2012 by ctkwingchun

In the last two decades, movie star Robert Downey Jr. has achieved good health and he credits it all to Traditional Chinese Medicine. Downey spoke about his gratitude for the ancient medicine while being honored for his advocacy with the Robert Graham Visionary Award in March.

“I confess, that I am as close to being a Chinese-American as any Caucasian ever could be in his life. I awoke to my Qi Gong practice this morning, Guarding the Eight Treasures, I did some Mook Jong wooden dummy drills in preparation for my black belt grading at the LA Wing Chung Kung Fu Academy, and I then took my, get ready, my herbal formula, and then ate a seasonally appropriate meal. And all before 1:30 PM.”

“It’s contributed to making me a more tolerable father, and son, husband, co-worker, and according to the title of this award, visionary. ”


How To Quit Smoking

Posted in Health and Wellness with tags , , on May 16, 2012 by ctkwingchun

Patient says, “Maybe after you get my back all sorted out you can help me with my smoking.  I’ve tried everything to quit smoking.”

And a light-bulb went off in my head.  “You’ve tried everything to quit,” I thought.  Tried the gum, the patch, the anti-depressant-turned-smoking-aid and maybe even the hypnosis…

The conversation continued in my head: You’ve placed something in between quitting.  You’ve changed the formula.  It used to be simple, but now you’ve made it complicated.

Smoking -> Quit

has become

Smoking -> Gum ->Quit

No wonder it hasn’t worked.  It’s like trying to quit eating carrots, but eating apples to quit carrots.  Folks don’t want to put in the work.

And so my saying goes, “If I could help people lose weight and quit smoking with acupuncture and Chinese medicine, I wouldn’t be driving an old Ford.”



Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on December 22, 2011 by ctkwingchun

“So…are you actually fixing my complaints or is this just a band-aid approach?”

Great question.  It’s a great question because it leads into a dialogue that is fundamental to healing.  It’s often said in Chinese medicine that a practitioner is treating the root cause of the complaint, not just the symptoms – but this is kind of a misnomer.

Imagine, if you will, a patient who drinks like a fish, smokes like a chimney, eats garbage and comes to me for acupuncture.  Yes, for that patient, I am nothing but a band-aid approach so that they can keep living the lifestyle they so seem to enjoy.  But I’m not here to judge and sometimes the patient that I think is in the worst kind of state starts to follow the path of re-balance.

After high levels of activity, the outside of a person starts to feel good and it will be mirrored on the inside.  Often a simple act of lifting weights or martial arts will help re-balance a person and will unconsciously lead them to make healthier choices overall.  However, we as a people, slip back into our usual habits.

It’s the same with acupuncture.  The one-hour-per-week gives an internal boost and the patient is left feeling elated.  Stresses are eliminated, energy is regained and sleep is restful.  However, if the unconscious healthy choices aren’t noticed, they won’t become habit.

The goal is to heal a patient.  In order to take on such a task, the patient must be cognizant of what is happening internally and how it’s being manifested externally, ie: in the way they act with their environment.  This is hard to do, especially in a world that teaches us that everything ‘out there’ will keep us happy – only distracting us from what’s ‘in there.’

So am I treating the root or the branch?  Only the patient determines that.


You = Your Practice

Posted in Health and Wellness, Martial Arts and Training with tags , on December 21, 2011 by ctkwingchun

I’ll never forget the first slide from the presentation my teacher-became-mentor-became-friend Colton Oswald, R.Ac gave just on the outset of me finishing school.

You = Your Practice

As simply stated, I am my practice.  When I’m up, my practice is up, when my practice is up, I’m up.  Of course, when my practice is down, I’m down and when I’m down, my practice is down.  He taught us in that seminar that the key was to not ride the rollercoaster.  Instead, it would be healthier (for both our practice and ourselves) to stay centred during our time in the clinic.

Through the years I have also discovered another key element through that simple equation: I can keep my practice up by ‘being’ up.  No different than psyching myself up for a spar, or listening to some good tunes before lifting weights in the gym; I am able to pump myself up for the day ahead of me and give out nothing but good energy.

What this truly does, in my opinion, is takes the finger and points it right back to myself.  Only I am responsible for my success.



Posted in Health and Wellness with tags , , on December 6, 2011 by ctkwingchun

She walks through the door and immediately I scan her over.
-Frumpy clothes
-Limp on one side
-Wet noodle handshake

She opens her mouth to talk.
-Nervous laughter

During the intake I don’t just write down her complaints.
-Dark circles under her eyes
-Remnants of a cold sore
-Fidgets with her feet
-Tells me too many things that she suffers from
-Tries to get sympathy from me

While placing the needles, I palpate for location.
-Painful around the heart
-Painful on several points on the inside leg
-Taut in the mid-back
-Oily around the face

So what’s the difference between this and fighting?



Posted in Strategy and Psychology with tags , , , , on December 1, 2011 by ctkwingchun

She told me she self-medicates with alcohol on the weekends.  It eases her anxiety quite well.  But that my words came back to haunt her and she wants to try again.  I told her the same thing once more.

Let the worries run through your mind as they will.  Let the hairs stand up on your arms and legs.  Let your heart beat out of your chest and your breath shorten.  Let the stress of your body talk to you and perhaps show some elephants in the room.  Welcome the sensations and have them wash over you and ask your body (not in a cocky way) if it has anymore to reveal to you.

The only way to get over something is to go through.

Die before you die.


Work as Meditation; Work as Play

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 23, 2011 by ctkwingchun

Needles in the West come with tubes.  That’s so us inept acupunks don’t have to drive a needle freehand.  …and there’s some BS that the medical industry tries to force down our throats about keeping the body of the needle clean.  If only they knew the freehand techniques of China…

But it’s all about the tap.  The moment just before I tap the needle into my patient with my forefinger is the most important time.  Silence.  Concentration.  Ging.


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