Pathfinder Healing Practices

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.

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Parking in Downtown

Bearer of not-so-good news..
With the start of this year’s Gem Show, the City has replaced all the parking meters in El Presidio and introduced a 100% price hike. (Yup. That’s what I said as well when my patient told me the news earlier this week.) So be aware that one quarter will only buy you 15-minute at the meter now. On the other hand, these new meters also accept credit, debit and smartcards in addition to coins.
Supposedly, the city claimed that with the 100% increase in meter parking fee it would lower the cost of parking tickets. But would anyone really take a chance?

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.


Labor Day. My partner and I had been fairly occupied with our work lately and had not been spending much time with the kids. So I promised them that while “dad” has to work today (don’t ask me – the service industry is, well, different), I would spend the day at home with them. Everyone is exhausted after an exciting Sunday of friends visiting, BBQ, and swimming in our wonderful neighbor’s pool. Though the kids didn’t get into the pool with us, they ran laps around the pool all the while when we’re enjoying the night sky and watching bats taking sips from the pool. They sure had their share of exercise yesterday!
So what did we do today? The boys took their naps most of the day and only briefly punctuated by potty breaks outside. No one whined and demanded treats or attention while I made jewelry on the dining table. Yup. Even I took a break from listening to Jeffrey Yuen’s lectures, looking up herbs or points, and I also decided to do the minimal amount of house chores for the day.
It’s been a long time since I picked up a pair of German long nose pliers or flush cutter and played with beads, softflex and clasps – color and texture. It actually felt awkward making the first few wire wrapping components, and not to mention the initial fear of this “something” turns out looking gaudy and ugly! I was amazed at myself for harboring such expectation and pessimism – isn’t it funny how “having fun” can be so difficult?! I *think* it might have to do with my parents and childhood development..
What if I just put that down and let myself play? What if it really doesn’t matter how the piece turn out (really!)? Letting oneself be, in this case, exploring with color, texture and small tools, is so healing and nourishing! There is a destination but it doesn’t matter! Showing up for the moment, ie. letting my intuition and curiosity steer, got me exactly where I needed to be. It doesn’t mean that every step along the way was perfect, or that one wouldn’t get stuck in the creative process. Finding a way around, or pass, or even meeting the “problem” head-on helps dissolve one’s sense of limitation. I guess, that is growth, isn’t it?
And the result can be so freeing (and pretty, too).

The 3rd installment of Random Acts of Kindness Clinic will take place on August 9. If you’ve been sitting on the fence about making an appointment, now it’s the time to call!
If you want to know more about it, check it out here.
Again, this is a sliding scale clinic where you pay what you can afford and what a full, 90-minute treatment session is worth to you. The only catch there is is for you to do something GOOD for the community with your WHOLE HEART the following week without expecting any reward.
We like to pay it forward.
Be well and hope to hear from you!

I’ll be accepting UnitedHealthCare insurance starting on August 9, 2014.

More paperwork for me! But hopefully, it will allow more patients access to Chinese medicine.

If you’re waiting for this opportunity, call your UHC agent and find out if you have their Complementary Alternative Medicine coverage.

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]

Random Acts of Kindness Clinic

Something that I’ve always wanted to do, and let’s see how the community will receive this offering..

    When: Once a month, starting in June 2014, on these Saturdays June 14, July 12, August 9
    What: Receive a complete New Patient Treatment or follow-up treatment by a very good licensed acupuncturist for a sliding scale of $20 to $60

The New Patient Treatment is a 90-minute session with intake, consultation and treatment. Like the name suggests, it’s for New Recruits.
The Follow-up treatment is a 45 to 60-minute session with intake and treatment. You’ll receive the follow-up treatment after the New Patient treatment once you decide to continue because Chinese medicine is helping you become healthier.

    Who: For folks who are open to complementary medicine, want to receive holistic care to improve their health, but cannot afford the regular fees, or do not think that they can afford it. This is a chance for you to pay what you can afford and decide what this care is worth to you.
    What’s the catch?: There is a pay-it-forward policy. Put it simply, you’ll think of one thing that you will do to better this community, and do it in the following week with all your heart and full attention and without expectation to be rewarded. For instance, instead of stepping over that piece of trash that someone dropped on the sidewalk, pick it up and put it in the trash can. Another example, turn down the volume of your TV or music after 9P.M. because the family living next door have to get up at 5A.M. for their long day ahead. Get the gist?
    Ok, I want to try this. What do I do next?: Call the clinic (520) 333-2628 to get a slot, then show up at your appointed time with a clean bed sheet and your last paycheck stub or your last tax return.

Open House?

Yes! The recent weather is so gorgeous that I wish I had my treatment room outside and in a park!