Acupuncture has gained popularity recently for its benefits in improving immune system function. This holistic approach involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate energy flow and restore balance. While acupuncture is commonly known for its effectiveness in pain management, it also offers numerous advantages for boosting the immune system.
One of the primary benefits of acupuncture is its ability to reduce stress levels. Stress has a significant impact on the immune system, weakening its response to pathogens and increasing the risk of illness. Acupuncture helps to regulate the body's stress response by promoting the release of endorphins, which are natural painkillers and mood enhancers. This, in turn, reduces stress and anxiety, allowing the immune system to function optimally!
Furthermore, acupuncture has been found to enhance the production of immune cells, such as natural killer cells, which play a crucial role in defending the body against viruses and cancer cells. A study published in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine found that acupuncture increased the activity of natural killer cells, suggesting its potential to improve immune system function.
In addition to boosting immune cell production, acupuncture also improves circulation. The flow of blood and lymphatic fluid is essential for the proper functioning of the immune system, as it helps transport immune cells and nutrients throughout the body. By stimulating specific acupuncture points, blood circulation is enhanced, allowing immune cells to reach their destinations more efficiently.
Moreover, acupuncture has been shown to regulate inflammation, a key factor in immune system function. Chronic inflammation can impair immune responses and lead to various health conditions. Research published in the Journal of Neuroimmunology demonstrated that acupuncture can modulate the production of inflammatory cytokines, reducing inflammation and promoting a balanced immune response.
In addition to the benefits above, acupuncture has been known to also assist with other things that may contribute to improved immune function:
Balancing Energy Flow (Qi): According to traditional Chinese medicine theory, acupuncture helps balance the flow of vital energy, or "Qi," through the body's meridians. When Qi flows smoothly, it is believed to support overall health, including immune function.
Stimulating Lymphatic Flow: The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in the immune response by filtering out toxins and waste products. Acupuncture may help stimulate lymphatic flow, aiding in the removal of these substances.
Improving Sleep Quality: Quality sleep is essential for a healthy immune system. Acupuncture may help improve sleep patterns and address conditions like insomnia or sleep disturbances that can weaken the immune system.
Supporting Organ Function: Acupuncture is believed to influence the function of specific organs, which can indirectly impact immune health. For example, the spleen is considered important for immune function in traditional Chinese medicine, and acupuncture may be used to support its function.
It is important to note that acupuncture should not be considered a standalone treatment for immune system disorders or diseases. It is most effective as a complementary therapy alongside conventional medical treatments. Consulting with a qualified acupuncturist and healthcare professional is crucial to ensure a comprehensive and personalized approach to immune system support while supporting your specific needs and goals.
Book an appointment HERE with one of our highly qualified Acupuncturists today!
It’s looking like Newvember with all the great changes we have coming!
Raja Wellness welcomes Fielding Carroll, LAc! Those of you coming in to see us for allergy treatments recently have probably already met Fielding. Fielding is a native Kentuckian and a classmate of mine from Acupuncture school. I am happy to welcome him aboard to our team! He’s been diligently learning the nuances of SAAT (our specialty acupuncture technique for alleviating allergies of all kinds that was pioneered by Dr. Soliman). In addition to his focus on mastering this new technique, he brings a wealth of experience in the treatment of digestive disorders and health coaching embracing food as the first medicine and foundation of better health! In addition to offering acupuncture services, personalized nutritional coaching is also available with Fielding.
Raja Wellness gets its name from yoga, specifically Raja Yoga, the level of practice where the mind, body, and spirit are healthy and aligned. In that spirit, we are proud to announce that in addition to the Equine Gestalt Coaching through our sister organization Rowdy Cowgirl Coaching, we will be offering in-house mental health care with Brian Miller, LCSW. Brian brings years of experience in different types of therapeutic modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Logotherapy, Talk Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and many, many others.
Brian has a passion for helping others and as a veteran, personal insight into how important mental health care is to our overall well-being. He will be seeing clients in person at our Elizabethtown location on Mondays and in our Magnolia location on Fridays beginning in December. In addition, telehealth sessions will be available for patients. Sessions are self-pay only to start. Brian will be leading our “Nurturing the Caregiver” support group helping patients maintain a balance of caring for themselves while taking care of others. All are welcome to this group. This group will meet on Mondays at our Elizabethtown location starting Jan 8, 2024. For more information or to sign up, give our office a call at 270-506-3853.
Fall wellness is a frequent topic for us—as the days get shorter and colder, it’s important to fuel our immune systems with adequate rest, plenty of fresh fruits and veggies and to reduce junk foods from our diet. Our gut and immune systems are intimately intertwined and for some people, probiotic support may be helpful in addition to meditation, immune-supporting herbs, and preventative acupuncture care.
As we move forward toward 2024, we want to let our patients know our prices will be going up. We strive to offer a range of services at affordable prices and as part of that commitment, we are announcing this change early to give patients the option to “stock up” on treatments at our current price. All patients currently scheduled will pay the price at the time their service was booked. Current patients can pre-pay up to 5 visits each at our current rates, but those visits must be used before Mar 31, 2024. Our new prices will go into effect Dec 1, 2023 for all visits booked after that date.
In addition, you will see some new options in our services including nutrition coaching with Fielding, FSM-only treatments, BrainTap sessions & Glow sessions (combined light therapy & FSM for renewed skin). With those new options, we are also testing out some membership options, giving patients access to a select combination of treatments monthly at a reduced cost for members. Watch your emails for early access to these!
Our online store is also coming back soon with some changes!
At Raja Wellness, we continually strive to make your shopping experience as easy and affordable as possible.
CBD is legal in all 50 states, yet some banks and credit card processors impart their judgments on access to these legal products by refusing to process transactions involving the sales of CBD products of any kind. Their oversight unfortunately incorrectly flagged our blog about the health benefits of CBD for osteoporosis as a “product for sale” and our processor held our funds and thus forced us to stop using them as a processor. This has been a gray area for many years and is one of the reasons you see CBD in our offices but not in our online store. Unfortunately, the list of companies that allow this is very short. Please bear with us as we continue to search for a more fair, CBD-friendly payment processor that also allows us to offer you the best prices and convenience.
I wanted to share my thought process and observations with my own recent experience with alpha-gal.
Alpha-gal, short for Alpha-galactose, refers to a complex sugar molecule found in the tissues of non-primate mammals, including cows, pigs, and other animals. It is also present in certain insects like ticks. Alpha-gal is known to trigger an immune response in some individuals, leading to an allergy called Alpha-gal syndrome. People with this condition may experience delayed allergic reactions after consuming red meat or products derived from mammals. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and may include hives, gastrointestinal discomfort, or even anaphylaxis. Alpha-gal has gained attention in recent years due to its association with tick bites and its impact on dietary choices and lifestyle adjustments for affected individuals.
Almost 5 years ago when I was doing my initial training with Dr. Soliman, about 1/3 of the class-tested weak to alpha-gal who didn’t think they had it—including myself. That explained why sometimes after I had bacon and eggs my stomach was off—I was beginning to think I had pepper sensitivity but we checked pepper too and only alpha-gal was weak. We did each other's needles as part of learning the process and 3 weeks later after I took out my needles, I had no issues with bacon and eggs. During that 3 weeks, I didn’t eat mammal meat or drink milk but otherwise, I didn’t kill myself avoiding mammal while the needles were in because I didn’t realize I even had an issue. Since then, I haven’t had any issues with mammal.
In an interesting twist of fate, my last tick experience resulted in a tick that tested negative for carrying any pathogens (thanks to the University of Kentucky tick tracking program, that testing was free for me) but I found myself experiencing what I thought was food poisoning about 6 weeks after the bite. I rarely get a stomach bug, but it didn’t feel quite like food poisoning. During that time, there was a stomach bug going around, so I stayed home to not share any bugs with my patients. I felt rough all day, but better by dinner which included mac & cheese with pork sausage…and I started feeling off again. I realized both dinners had pork. I took a Pepcid and within an hour I started feeling better—never progressed to vomiting. By the next morning, I felt great but was reasonably certain I had alpha-gal. It felt a lot like my patients' stories (I see a lot of alpha-gal patients!). It was going to be a couple of weeks to get into my doctor to get the blood test, but I see this every day.
The next morning at the office to get a clear test, I pull the basic alpha-gal filters: I check (alpha-gal, beef, pork, lamb, gluten, and MCAS) and to not bias my testing (because I know I might be weak to all of them), I add in some I’m pretty sure are safe: chicken, eggs, oats, rice, and avocado. My office manager has a good sense of feel and with a little coaching, I have good confidence in her ability to provide even pressure with each filter. She randomly puts them in the tray and tests me without looking at the labels with me looking away from the tray so I can’t see them—some test weak, some test strong…no surprise.
What was a surprise was the results—not the alpha-gal testing weak (I was pretty sure on that one), but the individual meats don’t test weak, nor does the gluten. It’s surprising as is the rice and the oats, but it also explains why I felt so bad the day before. I had a large bowl of oatmeal for breakfast and again for lunch to settle my stomach and felt bad all day. I conducted further testing using my specially formulated spays (currently in development, stay tuned!) with promising results. Now the question is how much mammal do I need to avoid to feel good? The meats and large amounts of dairy are out, but perhaps I can keep the cream in my coffee...
I do a 24-hour strict no-mammal or dairy diet and I feel great. Then I had my usual cream in my coffee—no symptoms initially, but around midday, I realize I have no motivation—I don’t want to be outside, I don’t feel like riding my horse, I can’t focus on anything I’m doing! Sure these aren’t allergy symptoms in the traditional sense, but they are not “my normal” by a long shot. I then eliminate regular cream for the next few weeks. I used coconut cream in my coffee and my brain wasn’t falling apart the afternoon! I take my specially formulated sprays and prep mammal-free meals for the week; including a dairy-free dark chocolate espresso bread with 9g of protein, no refined sugar, and no saturated fats. It’s not gluten-free; I adapted it from a gluten-free paleo recipe and swapped the coconut flour for organic white flour, so it easily could be.
In the end, it turns out allergies aren’t monolithic—it’s not always the same reaction to different things. I hear patients all the time tell me they tolerate dairy just fine and their allergist said they could have it because it didn’t show on the blood test—but just because you aren’t having hives, throwing up, or experiencing the “typical” allergies it doesn’t mean you are tolerating it. I’m not saying some people don’t tolerate dairy just fine with alpha-gal, I see patients who do. But it’s worth cutting things out for a few days to see what improves.
It’s not easy to do—I get it! My husband is not thrilled with this turn of events because he does a lot of our cooking and now he’s having to adapt for me. I thought a cake we made turned out pretty well, but he didn’t like it. Once I figure out why, I can hopefully tweak the recipe to work for both of us (I suspect he tastes too much coconut from the coconut oil or it wasn’t sweet enough for his taste). Apple sauce, banana, or shredded zucchini would have worked to tweak the taste too. I’ll try it again and see what happens. Cooking is an alchemy of transforming a pile of things into something else, and there’s more than one way to get there!
I’m pretty aware of what my body is feeling these days, I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it. My hope is you don’t have to suffer from not listening to your body—to be curious and notice not just the physical sensations you experience but mentally and emotionally how you feel as well and take that into account when making your food choices.
Yours in health,
As a person who was raised to look at every creature as having a place and purpose in the world—I admit there is a short list of critters I just can’t find a reason to have around. At the top of my list is the tick. Some of the most stubborn diseases we treat come from a bite from these tiny bloodsuckers. Worse yet, the range of conditions keeps growing; both in terms of geographical regions and the types of pathogens they carry.
Early diagnosis and removal of the tick are essential in preventing the development of severe complications. Additionally, preventive measures such as wearing protective clothing, using insect repellents (we are currently working on developing one!), and conducting regular tick checks after outdoor activities can help minimize the risk of tick bites and subsequent diseases.
One of our local universities is doing a study analyzing ticks that are being sent in from around the region to map what they are carrying and where they are found. I highly encourage you to support the University of Kentucky in this initiative and as a bonus, they will send you a report of their findings (here is a sample):
For me, it was peace of mind to know that the ticks I found attached to me were not carrying anything harmful.
So what was I worried about? In our area, Lyme and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever are common, and along with those, Babesiosis and Ehrlichiosis are possible infections. Even before I had the results—I took steps to protect myself. I don’t often recommend antibiotics unless absolutely necessary but for people who tolerate doxycycline well it’s definitely worth a call to your doctor to discuss doing a prophylactic round of antibiotics after a tick bite. Not all of us have that option though—I have a genetic anomaly that puts many medications on the “avoid if possible list”, including most antibiotics, so I have developed other strategies for care. I took 2 weeks of strong anti-microbial herbs that have an excellent track record against most tickborne diseases and also boost immune activity as a precaution. As an additional concern, since one of the ticks was a Lone Star Tick, there was a chance of developing an allergic reaction to mammals (see our Alpha Gal article for more information about this unusual allergy). Fortunately, I didn’t develop that either but if I had—yes, acupuncture can help with that too!
Now, back to the tickborne diseases—part of the challenge with diagnosing tickborne infections is the testing can be very inaccurate with a high rate of false negatives. Most of these pathogens excel at hiding in tissues rather than circulating in the bloodstream allowing them to be hidden in the body and evading detection through traditional methods. Further complicating the issue is for people who have a history of concussion or whiplash injuries, these pathogens can more easily bypass the blood brain barrier and infiltrate the brain creating a host of neurological symptoms. In fact, some studies found that people who have had a concussion or whiplash are 80% more likely to develop chronic issues from tickborne diseases than those who don’t. The link between post-concussive issues and chronic tickborne diseases has only recently been published in the medical literature, but I see it frequently in the clinic. I suspect the 80% is a conservative number based on what I see in the office—so far 100% of my chronic tickborne disease patients have a history of concussion or whiplash.
Acupuncture is a useful adjunct in these cases, but acupuncture alone will not resolve these cases. It takes an intensive combination of herbs, nutritional supplements, dedication to eating mostly anti-inflammatory foods, and getting enough rest and meditation to help heal the brain to see a full recovery—but the good news is there is hope. It’s not a fast process, but it is effective for the majority of our patients who follow their care guides. So if you or someone you know is struggling with unexplained fatigue, joint pain, brain fog, persistent muscle knots that don’t respond to body work or acupuncture, weird non-diabetic neuropathy and otherwise feel awful but their bloodwork is all normal—odds are very good that we can help!
Early in my training as an acupuncturist, one of the hardest concepts to internalize was that in classical East Asia, the brain really had no role in the physiology of the body. Instead, many of the functions we now attribute to the brain were under the domain of other organs. Sometimes those functions were consistent with modern biomedical understanding, and other times they had more relation with the classical ideas of the Greeks. But as a whole, when applied as a system of treatment—the model worked and still works—surprisingly well. As time passes, modern research continues to validate these “arcane” ideas.
Despite the brain's lack of a defined role, a number of acupuncture points on the head have functions that are clearly neurological functions: controlling vision, improving mental clarity, balance and coordination, regulating digestion, speech, and so on. Early research in monkeys attempted to match the points on the head to the underlying active regions of the brain—and when only about 40% of those regions actually correlated, the assumption was the ancients may have deduced more about the brain than we gave them credit for in a few places, and in other areas, their locations were wildly different. Fast forward another 20 years and the same studies were repeated on humans. It turns out that humans and monkeys have different active areas for certain functions—and when they compared the points to actual human brain activity, more than 85% of the points now correlated to the active brain regions underneath them! Clearly, they knew more than we thought they did.
Today acupuncture is widely recognized for its role in improved neurological functioning—from post-stroke and concussion recovery to reducing the symptoms and rate of progression of diseases like MS, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and more recently as a way to regulate and correct dysautonomia regardless of cause. Modern iterations of acupuncture have evolved with specific systems of scalp acupuncture for neurological disorders and others focused on improving brain function. Auricular, or ear acupuncture evolved from some of these research efforts, recognizing the rich concentration of nerves in the ear and surrounding areas that have direct neurological pathways to the innermost reaches of the brain through the cranial nerves.
Besides acupuncture—what else can you do to protect what the Chinese once called “a curious organ” or “The Sea of Marrow”, your magnificent and adaptable brain? First and foremost— food matters! I highly recommend Dr. Gundry’s book “The Longevity Paradox” to learn more about what to eat, and as importantly, when to eat to promote optimal brain health.
In addition, there are a few supplements I recommend for nerve health and additional ones to be taken as soon as possible after any head trauma to help mitigate damage. Remember, if you take any prescription medications, please talk to your pharmacist or me before adding any supplements to your regimen. You can order through our website here:
Millions of women suffer from gynecological complaints each year. Endometriosis (11% of women in the US) and fibroids (26% of women in the US) are two of the most common and painful issues women face. That’s over 30 million women in the US alone and these numbers are arguably under-reported as many less severe cases are often dismissed as PMS, depression, or part of some other syndrome. Conventional biomedicine has little to offer women in these cases beyond hormone therapies (often with intolerable side effects) or surgical options that can scar and affect future fertility, or as a last-ditch effort—simply offering a hysterectomy (often taking the ovaries as well) and throwing the woman into early menopause. Symptoms of these conditions can be painful and quite literally, draining, as women struggle with heavy, unrelenting bleeding.
These are not conditions new to women. Endometriosis was first identified 300 years ago in Western medical texts, but references to the condition trace back over 4000 years under the older diagnosis “hysteria”. Similarly, uterine fibroids have a long history. Uterine fibroid lesions were initially known as the “uterine stone.” In the second century AD, they were called scleromas. The term fibroid was first introduced in the 1860s. Uterine fibroids are the most common pelvic tumors among women of reproductive age, affecting more than 70% of women worldwide, particularly women of color”1. It is not surprising traditional medicines have ways to treat these conditions.
In my practice I have found acupuncture and herbs together provide the best treatment outcomes for these conditions, and if only one can be used, the herbs are the more important piece (although it takes longer for them to achieve the same results when used without acupuncture). Fortunately, I have been able to work with patients who not only were able to report their progress through improvement in their physical symptoms but also provided me with ultrasounds and other diagnostics from their OBGYNs.
In one case of a woman in her 40s—her uterine fibroids shrank on average more than 7mm each in a 3-month period, and after 6 months had no visible blood supply. She was no longer a candidate for surgery as her fibroids were effectively “cured”. 4 years later, even without maintenance herbs—her fibroids have not returned. Her heavy periods, severe abdominal pain and fatigue are a thing of the past.
In another case, a woman in her 20s came in for endometriosis and fibroids. Hormone therapies had failed and she was hoping to retain her uterus and chances to have children in the future but she was living with crippling pain that radiated from her abdomen to her back. She described it as “living with barbed wire wrapped around her torso and her spine—like I am being torn from the inside out”. In addition, she had fibroids and chronically heavy periods resulting in fatigue and anemia. To top it all off, she dealt with the emotional stress of the constant pain and fear of losing her chances at motherhood. Within 3 months of treatment, her periods were more normal and the pain was no longer constant but limited to around ovulation and onset of her menses. At 6 months, her cycles were normal and she was pain-free! She had follow-up imaging to evaluate her need for surgery and while endometrial tissue and fibroids were still present, the fibroids were visibly smaller and the endometrial tissue appeared less pervasive on imaging than it had 6 months before when she started treatment. At 9 months she was due for laparoscopic surgery to remove some of the endometrial tissue, and remarkably only 40% of the expected tissue was found and the fibroids were 70% smaller than on the initial imaging. The doctors were able to remove the excess endometrial tissue and fibroids easier than expected. 6 months later she was pregnant with her first child and now has a happy, healthy little girl, and her cycles continue to be normal.
Cases like these highlight why herbs and acupuncture have been used for thousands of years. Together they help women optimize their health safely and effectively. In combination with modern medical techniques, they can give even the most severe cases relief. I highlight the second case in particular because I don’t believe the herbs and acupuncture alone could have reduced the damage enough to help her get pregnant—perhaps if we had started the herbs years earlier before the progression was so severe. It’s important to work with all available resources for optimal health care. So please, if conventional treatments have failed or you want a more natural alternative—find an experienced acupuncturist and herbalist to work with!
Call us at 270-506-3853 or click here to book an appointment today!
1 Qiwei Yang, Michal Ciebiera, Maria Victoria Bariani, Mohamed Ali, Hoda Elkafas, Thomas G Boyer, Ayman Al-Hendy, Comprehensive Review of Uterine Fibroids: Developmental Origin, Pathogenesis, and Treatment, Endocrine Reviews, Volume 43, Issue 4, August 2022, Pages 678–719, https://doi.org/10.1210/endrev/bnab039
Don’t get me wrong, I love my morning coffee; yet if I ever had to choose either just coffee or just tea for the rest of my life, tea wins hands down! The health benefits and variety of flavors are just too great to give up! Tea is one of the most heart friendly beverage choices, high in antioxidants and heart healthy polyphenols. No, not that sweet tea at the old greasy spoon, but real tea! Yet many people I talk to either don’t like tea or have never even tried it. This is tragic! I promise you, there is a tea out there waiting for you!
So let’s talk tea!
If you want to get picky, tea is actually a very narrow definition—like coffee—meaning a beverage brewed from the leaves of tea bushes that are harvested at varying stages of growth and prepared in various ways, resulting in everything from white teas to green, black to pu-erh (a fermented and aged form of tea leaf). Most of us also group herbal teas into this category, though technically these are referred to as “tisanes”.
Why bother with all these shrubs and “weeds”? (many of the best herbal teas are considered weeds in some circles!)
Now let’s talk functions!
Want to improve your oral health? White tea to the rescue—its minerals and antioxidants protect the tooth enamel and neutralize acids.
Allergies got you down? Rooibos-based teas can reduce inflammation and mitigate allergy symptoms. (If you have ragweed allergies—avoid chamomile tea and opt for chrysanthemum instead).
Looking for something to help your skin and hair? Yup, rooibos again; as well as horsetail, nettle, and oatstraw.
Menstrual cramps or muscle spasms? Chamomile, nettle, and oatstraw can help soothe those cranky muscles.
Is liver health a concern? Hibiscus and dandelion are excellent liver tonics that also can reduce blood triglycerides and reduce sugar cravings! Chrysanthemum is also great for liver health!
Digestive upset? Peppermint and ginger are powerhouses here!
Arthritis pain? Ginger again—and if you like a more savory tea, blends with turmeric and ginger can be a great option.
Stressed out? Trouble focusing? Oolong tea is high in L-theanine which helps calm the brain and has a moderate amount of caffeine helping to maintain focus and concentration. Oolong is the same plant that green, white and black teas come from, but the special fermentation process gives it this special quality.
Just plain stressed? Chrysanthemum and goji berries are some of my favorites to ease a stressful day.
Another reason I love hot tea is it gives me a chance to slow down and immerse myself in the process of making it. Adding the hot water, savoring the aromas released, watching the colors bloom in the water, and then choosing just the right cup or pot to enjoy my brew from. Tea can be an experience to enjoy!
Different teas also benefit from different steeping times—from less than a minute or two for white and green teas, a couple of minutes for darker teas, or even overnight for nettle and oatstraw; so make sure to check the package instructions.
Last but not least—don’t ruin those health benefits with tons of sugar. If you need a little added sweetness, a dash of fresh honey or stevia for those darker teas often does the trick. Need to sweeten up an herbal blend? Try a couple of goji berries for natural sweetness and an added boost of antioxidants.
We are thrilled to carry Buddha Chakra Teas! "Chakra" is the ancient Sanskrit word for the seven central points of energy that reside within, helping to balance our physical, emotional and spiritual state. Buddha Teas are expertly crafted from herbs that resonate with each chakra, offering stimulating and flavorful teas empowered by the essence of crystals. Whether you're looking for a morning pick-me-up, a relaxing evening brew, or a tea to promote wellness, we have something for everyone!
We carry unique varieties such as:
Root Chakra Tea: When your root chakra is in balance, you feel safe in the world, and free to trust in ways that allow you to take healthy risks, knowing that all will be well. Contains Organic Raspberry Leaf, Organic Ashwagandha Root, Organic Cloves, Organic Dandelion Root, Organic Hibiscus Flower.
Sacral Chakra Tea: The Sacral chakra focuses on creativity, sensuality, and our connection with others. This expertly crafted herbal blend is designed to assist you as you flow your way to sacral chakra health. Contains Organic Calendula Flowers, Organic Burdock Root, Organic Fennel Seed, Organic Dong Quai Root, Organic Damiana Leaf, Organic Ginger Root.
Solar Plexus Tea: This invigorating, solar plexus blend, enlivened with the essence of citrine, provides a truly unique tea experience that facilitates those wishing to connect with their power center. Contains Organic Rosemary Leaf, Organic Lemongrass, Organic Ginger Root, Organic Orange Peel, Organic Marshmallow Leaf.
4th Chakra Tea: The 4th Chakra is a vital chakra to work with, and centers on all aspects of love. This tea is carefully crafted with herbs attuned to the 4th Chakra, and includes the essence of rose quartz. Contains Organic Hawthorn Berry, Organic Hawthorn Leaf, Organic Lavender Flowers, Organic Hyssop.
5th Chakra Tea: Powerful throat-centered herbs, and the essence of aquamarine fortify our 5th Chakra Blend to assist those seeking to heal and balance issues dealing with communication, creativity, and self-expression. Contains Organic Licorice Root, Organic Slippery Elm Bark, Organic Marshmallow Leaf, Organic Wild Cherry Bark, Organic Cinnamon Bark, Organic Fennel Seed, Organic Orange Peel.
Third Eye Chakra Tea: This chakra, located between the eyebrows, highlights insight, knowledge, and wisdom. Third Eye Chakra Tea is crafted from herbs intended to open the third eye energy center. Contains Organic Eyebright Herb, Organic Spearmint Leaf, Organic Star Anise, Organic Passion Flower.
Crown Chakra Tea: This 7th chakra can be described as the crown of spiritual understanding. Located at the top of the chakra ladder, the ingredients within our Crown Chakra Tea have been carefully chosen for their resonance with the crown energy center. Contains Organic Gotu Kola Leaf, Organic Lavender Flowers, Organic Nutmeg Seed, Organic Rose Petal.
Each blend is carefully selected for its unique health benefits and delicious taste. Try Buddha Chakra Teas and experience the difference that quality ingredients make!
Palo Santo translates to “holy wood” and is closely related to frankincense and myrrh, which also produce healthy, antioxidant-rich oils. Palo Santo is often used for the beneficial properties of its essential oils, and can be burned directly similar to incense. When burned, the aromatic wood offers notes of pine, cedar, and citrus that are grounding and rejuvenating.
Palo Santo offers healing benefits whether used as an essential oil, or burned as incense. Some of these surprising benefits include:
The scent of Palo Santo helps to promote a shift in energy. The pleasant, grounding aroma triggers the brain’s olfactory system, stimulating a relaxation response and reducing feelings of stress and anxiety. The scent of Palo Santo releases neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin while releasing endorphins that also reduce pain.
With a rich supply of terpenes and antioxidants, Palo Santo has become known for protecting against oxidative stress. It also helps to increase circulation, easing pain and stimulating immune function.
With a complex chemical composition, including Limonene-a substance found in citrus peels, Palo Santo naturally wards off insects.
High in resin content, when Palo Santo is burned, it helps to purify the air by removing negative ions. This is why it is commonly burned to remove negative energy and purify spaces and objects.
Although you can purchase Palo Santo essential oil products or buy shavings that have been shaped into a cone for an easier burn, I really prefer to light a small piece of Palo Santo when setting an intention or attempting to lift the vibe of a room. Palo Santo is easy to light. Using a lit candle or lighter, hold the stick to the flame until the tip is fully lit and creates its own flame. Allow it to burn for approximately one minute. Allow the wood to naturally extinguish itself, and wave the stick gently, while the aromatic smoke fills your space with an incredible scent and positive energy. When you’re done with your stick, rest it on a fireproof surface (a metal bowl with a little sand in the bottom is perfect!).
Not only will the uplifting scent of Palo Santo help to improve your mood and invoke feelings of calm, the benefits of this remarkable wood for both your body and the space around it are plentiful. With single pieces of Palo Santo wood available at Raja Goods, we invite you to give the art of smudging a try so you can enjoy these surprising benefits. We also offer beautiful stones and crystals to compliment and enhance your incense experience!
In honor of Black History Month, I wanted to share some of the stories of how acupuncture came to be a legitimate practice in the US largely through the activism of some unlikely proponents—the Black Panthers and the Young Lords. Our medical history is full of examples of people of color being exploited by the medical industry, of people suffering in experiments because it was assumed their skin color prevented them from “really feeling pain” and other abominations that continue in less obvious ways to impact access to effective and safe health care for people of color. It took radical, focused, and illegal actions to improve access to health care for people of color in New York, and the Lincoln Detox Center still stands as an inspiring story of community activism for positive change. The model of the Lincoln Detox Center for treating addiction still stands as the gold standard for effective treatment.
In the 1970s acupuncture went from something in the back alleys of Chinatowns across the US to a vital element in community clinics founded and run by leaders in the Civil Rights community and became a subject of national interest after Henry Kissinger’s seminal trip to China, where doctors demonstrated acupuncture anesthesia during surgery. In 1974, California became the first state to openly license acupuncture after public outcry following the arrest of Dr. Miriam Lee. If it hadn’t been for the very public use of acupuncture in these community clinics and building awareness of the efficacy of acupuncture, I doubt the public outcry would have been very loud, and acupuncture might still be unregulated (as it is in a handful of states including Alabama, Oklahoma, and South Dakota). Thanks to these pioneering efforts, acupuncture has become recognized as a primary treatment option for pain, addiction, anxiety, and more.
Of note, at that time in China, acupuncture was part of an outreach to provide basic health care to the poor, rural regions of the country as part of the Barefoot Doctors. Elements of the traditional practices of acupuncture had been simplified into a standardized practice by Chinese physicians called “Traditional Chinese Medicine”, which is the foundation of most acupuncture training here in the US. One doctor who was on one of these trips to China, Tolbert Small, MD observed the acupuncture demonstration and asked for treatment for himself. He was intrigued enough to ask for more information. He was able to record 4 hours of lecture on the use of acupuncture and estim (electrical stimulation), procure some needles and an estim machine, and proceeded to practice on himself and his family after his return from China. Back in Oakland, he obtained an English translation of a Chinese Medicine text to study and expand his understanding of acupuncture.
He then incorporated acupuncture, mostly electro-acupuncture, into his practice in his community clinic and pioneered the use of acupuncture for the treatment of the symptoms of sickle-cell anemia. Dr. Small primarily used acupuncture to treat various kinds of pain. He was also pivotal in bringing national awareness to the plight of people with sickle-cell anemia and garnering more funding for testing and research of treatment. He even used acupuncture to ease his wife’s labor pains during two of her deliveries and may have been the first MD to do so in the US. To learn more about Dr. Small, I recommend this interview.
On the other side of the country in the South Bronx, Matulu Shakur (stepfather of Tupac Shakur) was one of the providers in the Lincoln Detox Center who heard about acupuncture for the treatment of addiction in Hong Kong in a New York Times article, and took an interest. He went to Chinatown to purchase acupuncture kits and books from doctors, then went to Montreal for training. There he studied how to treat addiction with acupuncture and later traveled to China, Switzerland, and other countries where acupuncture was used more openly. He was later licensed in California as an acupuncturist and founded an acupuncture school in the Bronx. His work along with those like Michael O. Smith, MD, DAc, lead to the development of the NADA protocol—a simple 5-point ear acupuncture protocol that is now used throughout the country for the treatment of addiction.
The Lincoln Detox Center was also notable for the development of the first patient bill of rights—changing the relationship between doctor and patient to protect patient rights and give them a voice in their care. Cleo Silvers, while not an acupuncturist, was a community organizer and advocate who was instrumental in authoring the patient bill of rights to ensure patients had access to quality care, their medical records, and the right to not be experimented on without their knowledge or consent—things that were grossly lacking especially among patients of color that we now take for granted.
Another key leader in the Lincoln Detox story was Richard Taft, MD; who was likely murdered during his tenure, though his death was staged to look like a suicide. He was working to publicize the dangers of methadone and promote acupuncture and other treatments for true detox at the time of his death. Today acupuncture continues to provide a safe alternative to methadone in the treatment of addiction, while at the same time continuing to be underutilized in many treatment centers and not readily accessible for the people who most need it. It is my hope that as awareness grows, access to acupuncture becomes a standard practice for addiction for all people.