Pathfinder Healing Practices

Posts in the About Healing category

EARHH_14sep15 blue2
Since last fall, I have had the privilege to volunteer at a migrant clinic which focuses on treating TRAUMA strictly with ear acupuncture. It was absolutely a wonderful, humbling and enriching experience. Seeing how simple it can be to help people become healthier and steadier emotionally, mentally and physically made me look at ear acupuncture with fresh eyes.

My experience on myself and from working on other led me to these observations about ear acupuncture:

  • Ear acupuncture has a special affinity to the brain and the central nervous system,
  • Ear acupuncture is fast-acting,
  • Ear acupuncture calms mental and emotional stress and distress in merely minutes,
  • Ear acupuncture can provide and sustain pain relief when patients are in between treatments for specific musculoskeletal issues,
  • Ear acupuncture invariably helps people sleep better even when the treatment objective is not about sleep!

Wouldn’t all these be great for anybody who is living or struggling with the light speed modern life?!

This – Monday afternoon Ear Acupuncture Clinic – is my offering to those of you out there who would like a little help (or more) on delineating work and life, on breaking that track of obsessive thought which tends to follow you everywhere, on paying your sleep debt, on finding refuge and relief in acupuncture with other like-minded people, or who are simply curious.

I hope to see you there on Monday afternoons at the Tucson Women’s Commission building on Court and Council.

P.S. Please call ahead to reserve a spot – it will really help.

EARHH 2_17sep15

What we accomplish together as patient and practitioner inside the treatment room is only a reminder of what it is like to be balance and well. Sometimes it takes only a breath, and sometimes it may take a few weeks or even months of dedicated treatments. Nevertheless, the sense of being centered and at ease is always accessible and always available to everyone because that is what our whole being yearn for and strive for in every single breath.

From my experience, to achieve that sense of neutrality and balance outside the treatment room often require us to to make changes in our daily habits so we can better care for our mind~body~heart. Our expectation of wellness or recovery and our adaptability and flexibility are deeply intertwined. While learning and forming a new habit takes time, please remember to also be kind and patience to yourself.

Tubcone2Acupuncture, herbal remedies and diet adaptation are my basic tools to treat skin issues while simultaneously addressing the root and branches. But this spring I have had more reason to dabble with topicals than before – all thanks to Tub, my 4-legged trouble-maker extraordinaire, having once again, his annual allergy ordeal when the spring wind and sprinkles awaken the blooming season.

His pattern is that he would start with a yeast infection in his ears (he has very narrow and wrinkly ear canals like the Sharpei), then he starts rubbing his face along side the couch, my bed, a rug, and even the flagstone outside. He would scratch like he had helicopter blades for his hind legs, and he would gnaw and lick until he is hairless on his paws and his underside. It could all happen within a week. We would rush to visit our kind Dr. Kranch, get a bottle of anti-fungal ear drops (and a few liver treats during the visit), an antihistamine, and an antibiotic.

It’s been very tricky restoring a healthy balance of natural flora and fauna on this temporarily semi-hairless creature, who is now exhausted from itching, anxiety and also from processing all the foreign substances (allergens and medications alike) around him and inside of him. After a few years of watching this cycle, I conceded that the drops and the pills were not sufficient or they were not entirely “right.”

I wanted to help him, and I tried Chinese herbal medicine, western herbal medicine, homeopath remedies, and doing acupuncture on him. For Tub, he reacted most positively with homeopathy – it calmed him and stopped the itching, though the duration was short. Observing that his itching is compounded by his anxiety and also from new skin growth (healing), I realized that it is very important to reduce his anxiety level and to speed up the healing of the skin, not only to prevent secondary infection, but as a way to stop the itching.

Tub_Nick2Inspired by that and finally gaining some insight on “what” was missing in the treatment, I made a topical gel that would stop his itching, heal his lesion and calm his anxiety in a wholesome way. Knowing that despite the comfort cone and the socks that he wears to keep him from opening new skin, this contortion artist can still get to some part of his body, I made the gel from completely edible and organic plant tinctures and aloe vera gel. I strengthened the healing and calming qualities by incorporating two homeopath remedies and a trace amount of essential oils. By applying it to his skin once or twice a day after wiping him down with a warm, moist towel, he got a respite after each “treatment,” and within a week, his underside was covered with soft new fur.

The gel is a good product not only for pets but children and adults who suffer from allergic reaction on the skin, small cuts and/or itchy, hot spots. It’s very effective (anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, healing and calming), yet gentle, and I’m really proud of how it turned out, and how much it helped him. Now that Tub is much better with the warmer weather and not using the gel much any more (until next year?), I found myself reaching for it whenever I got a mosquito bite more than for the lavender essential oil!
TubberRub2_23may14As much as I work with patients on a daily basis, it’s very easy to get caught up by the linear mindset of cause and effect of only the tangibles. Treating the root and alleviating the symptoms is not always obvious. My dog reminded me the importance of alleviating the anxiety in patients in his own way.

[“Tubber Rub” is for sale at the clinic. 1oz jar is $10, sales tax included]