Author Archives: Liz Newman

Stress, Cortisol & their Effect on your Body

StressSymptomsDo you experience stress on a daily basis?
Do you often feel tired, anxious or have trouble sleeping?
What toll is stress really taking on your body?

When we experience stress, your hypothalamus, a tiny region at the base of your brain, sets off an alarm system in your body. This system prompts your adrenal glands, located atop your kidneys, to release a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and boosts energy supplies. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream and enhances your brain’s use of glucose. We need these hormones to follow through with daily tasks such as getting up in the morning, or responding to acute stress.

So what’s the problem?

Well, in order for you to perform such daily tasks, especially acute stress (like an unknown dog suddenly barking at you) cortisol also shuts down bodily functions that are nonessential in these types of situations. It alters immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, the reproductive system and growth processes. Could you imagine the havoc this wreaks on our health in this fast-paced, consistently stressed lifestyle? Our bodies are pumping out cortisol on a constant basis and when chronically elevated (along with our heart rate & sugars in the bloodstream), cortisol can have deleterious effects on our system such as:

  • Blood Sugar Imbalance and Diabetes
  • Weight Gain and Obesity
  • Immune System Suppression
  • Gastrointestinal Problems
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Fertility Problems
  • Other Issues – Long-term stress and elevated cortisol may also be linked to insomnia, chronic fatigue syndrome, thyroid disorders, dementia, depression, and other conditions.
So how to we find the balance and deal with the life stressors of today? Tune in next week…

Acupuncture & Infertility

According to a Tel Aviv University Study, there are an estimated 4.5 million couples experiencing infertility each year. When combined with western fertility treatments, acupuncture increases conception rates by 26%. Part of the mechanism that facilitates conception is
pregnancythe reduction of stress, balancing the endocrine system, and increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs. This way, there is a stronger chance for the egg to be nourished and carried to term. With acupuncture our goal is not only to get you pregnant, but to keep you pregnant and have a healthy baby.
Now-a-days, stress is on top of the list for infertility, for both men and women. When we are under stress, the hormone cortisol is released in the brain. This interferes with the balance of the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, which both play a big role in the reproductive cycle. Fertility drugs are created to stimulate the hypothalamus to effectively balance the endocrine system. Unfortunately, they have undesired side effects such as bloating, fluid retention, weight gain, and nausea. Acupuncture has been found to complete the same function as the drugs, but without the unfavorable side effects. We can also work with the fertility drugs to increase fertility yet lessen the side effects of the drugs.
On your journey of getting pregnant and starting a family, acupuncture also helps with morning sickness, low back pain, anxiety, fatigue, mood swings, insomnia, breast milk production, breached baby, postpartum depression and many others.

Acupuncture & feel-good Endorphins

Endorphin, aka: endogenous morphine, is an endogenous opiate naturally produced in the body. They are recognized as anti-stress hormones that have some of the many following effects on the body:endorphins


  • naturally relieve pain
  • have both neurological & spinous effects
  • digestive & hormonal effects
  • are capable of enhancing the immune system (by activating natural killer cells)
  • improving blood circulation
  • ward off the effects of aging

Following an acupuncture treatment, experiments have shown that there are higher levels of endorphins in cerebrospinal fluid. Dr. Bruce Pomeranz, from the University of Toronto, states that acupuncture stimulates peripheral nerves that send messages to the brain to release endorphins, which then block pain pathways in the brain.

Acupuncture and endorphins also work together in the treatment of substance abuse. While on morphine and heroin, cell activity is stimulated at cell receptors normally stimulated by endorphins. While detoxing from substances like these, the body must manufacture these endogenous opioids on its own again, hence the painful withdrawal symptoms. Acupuncture has been shown to relieve this process by triggering the body to produce more endorphins and gently bringing it back to homeostasis.

This has a similar effect with infertility. Increased endorphin production affects the release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone and lower stress hormones responsible for infertility.

So if you’re ever experiencing pain, could benefit from digestive or hormonal balance or improvement in any of the areas addressed above, I encourage you to give acupuncture a try or recommend it to a loved one. Let the feel good endorphins start flowing in!

Is it Intuition or Fear?


It’s easy to confuse fear and intuition and this is because they are both experienced as a “gut feeling.” And with hustle and bustle of life now-a-days, most of us don’t even notice our gut feelings. We’re so caught up with our thoughts and intelligent reasoning, that it is difficult to understand what our gut is trying to communicatefear vs intuition when it has a feeling.

There are ways to differentiate gut feelings based in fear from gut feelings that come from intuition. 

Here’s how:

  • Fear is emotionally charged. 
  • It’s harsh, harmful, belittling or delusional to any or all involved. 
  • It focuses on the present or the past, reflecting past psychological wounds. 
  • It feels restrictive or shrinking.
  • Intuition is neutral or unemotional.
  • It reveals a gut-centered confirmation.
  • It’s only about the present. There’s no worrying about the past or the future.
  • It’s not about unresolved psychological wounds.
  • It feels expansive.

Your Gut, Gut Feelings, Intuition, or Fear?

Gut-FeelingsOur gut– also known as the enteric nervous system in our bellies or “Second Brain”  –  goes far beyond just processing the food we eat. We also experience “gut feelings” that can support us in making decisions. Or are these intuitive feelings we’re experiencing?

How can we tell the difference?

First, let’s look at the difference between your gut feeling and intuition. Then we’ll touch on the whether this gut feeling is coming from fear or if it’s truly intuitive.

At the most basic of levels, one could argue that gut feelings could be classified as mechanisms or aspects of intuition. The feeling of “just knowing” is what we perceive as a gut feeling. And these feelings are natural. We don’t ask our gut how we feel. They simply come on their own. What’s interesting about them is that we usually appreciate them in hindsight. Most times we only recognize the feelings afterwards and we beat ourselves up for not having listened to them.

Now let’s talk about intuition. As mentioned above, gut feelings are aspects of intuition, but not all aspects of intuition are gut feelings. There’s more to intuition than your gut feeling. When we truly allow our intuitive capabilities to be at work, we’re including many other powerful tools of impressions, visions, symbols and archetypes. And what sets these tools apart from our gut feelings is they are objective, neutral, & independent from our feelings. More often than not, our gut feelings come from a survival or protective mechanism.

So where does fear come in? Tune in next week…

Whole Food vs Synthetic Vitamins

Is it worth buying whole food vitamins?do your research!
Yes, I believe so. 
Whole food vitamins or supplements are made from concentrated whole foods. The body recognizes them & knows how to digest them. 
Synthetic (isolated nutritional) supplements, much like refined foods, have been robbed of all of the accessory nutrients that they naturally come with. They can create myriad problems and imbalances in your body if taken at high levels for long periods of time. Your body recognizes them more like drugs, or xenobiotics (foreign subjects) forcing them down one pathway or another. 
The vitamins found within whole food supplements are highly complex structures, integrating an array of enzymes, coenzymes, antioxidants, trace elements, and activators (to name a few), that all work together to allow this vitamin complex (or team) to do its job in your body. Nutrients from within this team cannot be taken apart or isolated from the whole, and then be expected to do the same job in the body as the whole complex.
When synthetic or isolated vitamins are taken, the body looks for your naturally stored up supply to create the team it needs to be effective. This is why synthetic vitamins seem to work at first and then stop. It is because those stored up extra nutrients have been depleted from the body and the vitamin is less effective.  Furthermore, you end up with a deficiency of nutrients you once had stored for reserve in your body.

To put it into perspective, let me ask you one question. Would you drive a car without a tire or breaks?

Absolutely not! You need the whole team (or complex) for a car to work effectively. Same with vitamins…

Supplements, do your research!

Does your brain go in circles with the immense amount of vitamins & supplements on the market these days?

Are any of them worth taking?

How do we know?

Bottomline, do your proper research and/or consult your practitioner.

Withstand buying on the spot.

  • Safety first. Some products can be harmful when taken with other substances or in certain dosages. Don’t use supplements along with, or instead of, a prescription medicine without first consulting your practitioner.
  • Don’t chase the latest & the greatest. Sound health advice is based on research over time, not a single study heralded in the news.
  • Learn to catch false claims. If something sounds too good to be true, it very well might be.
  •  “Natural” doesn’t mean safe. Natural ingredients may interact with medicines, be dangerous for people with certain health conditions or be harmful in high doses.

Your body is your temple. Make sound decisions before putting anything into it. For without your body, what do you have?




What is Qi?

For Native Americans it is called the “Great Spirit” and for Christians, the “Holy Spirit.”

In Japan it is called “ki,” and in India, “prana” or “shakti.”

In Africa it’s known as “ashe” and in Hawaii as “ha” or “mana.” 

qi symbolThe ancient Egyptians referred to it as “ka,” and the ancient Greeks as “pneuma.”

In China, the understanding of qi is ingrained in their language and culture. For example, the literal translation of the Chinese character for “health” is “original qi.” The literal translation of the character for “vitality” is “high quality qi.” The literal translation of the character for “friendly” is “peaceful qi.”

Qi is energy in the very broadest sense possible. Most people translate it as “life force” or “vital energy.” It runs through every living thing. It fills the universe & cannot be separated from it. Qi embraces all manifestations of energy, from the most material aspects (such as the earth, your laptop, and your very own body) to the most immaterial aspects (light, movement, heat, nerve impulses, thought, and emotion). Qi is in a state of continuous transformation from one aspect of Qi into another. It is neither created nor is it ever destroyed; it simply changes in its manifestation.

So how does Qi work with acupuncture? To put it simply, it flows throughout the channels in your body and connects one acupuncture point to another. The standard explanation in the ancient text is: When qi does not flow, pain or disease occurs. When qi flows, pain or disease disappears. Pain is treated to enable the flow of qi. With an optimal flow of qi, one is healthy and happy with great vitality.  

Springtime & Emotions

Are you experiencing a bit more emotional stress than usual?

Are you feeling that everything & everyone is against you?

How about physical symptoms such as headaches, migraines, gastrointestinal problems, anxiety attacks, PMS?

Why, you ask? It’s springtime!
And in Chinese Medicine, a comprehensive and evolving system of medicine dating back over 5000 years, we relate springtime to the Wood element. The Wood element represents the Liver & the Gallbladder, which in turn, control your emotions. So the Wood element is at its peak right now & if it’s out of balance, springtime is most common for emotions & physical symptoms such as these.

The Wood element also represents growth & renewal. Similar to a tree, the function of the Wood element can either be rooted and flexible like reeds of bamboo or strong and unyielding like the rigid trunk of an oak tree. A person with a balanced Wood element will adapt their plans with the changing world, while those out of balance will settle into frustration, anger, and depression.

Which sounds better to you?

If you desire to be in control of your emotions instead of your emotions being in control of you, or you are experiencing any of the physical symptoms mentioned above or other chronic symptoms such as cardiovascular problems, chronic fatigue, back and joint problems, never fear! The Wood element can be put back into balance with what we simply have in our kitchen, the right amount of exercise, and acupuncture.

Each person is individual in respect to their particular physical condition and emotional states and may need a comprehensive understanding as to treatment protocols and plans. Feel free to contact me for support in this area of your life or if you are experiencing any other feelings of disharmony or imbalance.

I am now using Laser Therapy

Qi Calm Laser

There are multiple ways to move energy and blood in the body, providing excellent results without needles. Currently I am using the Qi Calm and Qi Pulse cold lasers in addition to traditional acupuncture methods.

Most lasers used in acupuncture are known as low-level lasers or “cold-lasers”, (because they don’t produce heat.) These are not the same as lasers used for laser surgery, in which “hot lasers” are used as a scalpel to burn or cut. Studies show that low-level lasers can help regenerate cells, decrease pain, reduce inflammation, improve circulation, and stimulate hair growth, to name a few examples.

Researchers in Novosibirsk, Russia studied laser therapy that applied directly to the study of acupuncture. They shined light on various parts of The body and found that light traveled under the skin to other acupuncture points, but it didn’t travel to places that were not on acupuncture meridians. From this study it appears that the body contains a sort of fiber optic network – where light enters an acupuncture point, travels through the meridian and can be detected at other places along the meridian with a sensitive photon detector. This is a fascinating study showing how light is actually received, used, and transmitted throughout the body.

Advantages to Using Lasers

Perhaps the greatest advantage of laser acupuncture is that it’s completely painless. Some patients will feel an energetic shift in their body, and some describe an energetic sensation propagating along the meridian being treated.

Laser acupuncture is effective and often shown to be as effective as needle acupuncture for a variety of problems.

If you are interested in how laser therapy can help you, please Contact Me.