Acupuncture has been around for a LONG time - somewhere around 3000 years. You've probably seen it in movies, heard about it from your friend or family member, or maybe you even tried it yourself.

Acupuncture is not scary! It is a safe and careful treatment provided by a professional.

“Acupuncture is the practice of penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles which are then activated through gentle and specific movements of the practitioner's hands or with electrical stimulation”. -- Johns Hopkins Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners believe the human body has more than 2,000 acupuncture points connected by pathways. The acupuncturist applies acupuncture to certain points. This then helps improve the Qi (pronounced “chee”) and flow of energy. This leads us to Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Traditional Chinese Medicine has been around for ages. This branch of medicine utilizes acupuncture to improve the flow of Qi . It is believed that blocks in the flow of energy lead to disease. So acupuncture helps remove these blocks.

Now you might be wondering… What do I get out of acupuncture? What are the benefits? Let me tell you!

Acupuncture points are believed to stimulate the central nervous system. This in turn releases chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These biochemical changes may stimulate the body's natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being.

The National Institute of Health has demonstrated in studies that acupuncture is an effective treatment alone or in combination with other conventional therapies to treat:

  • Nausea caused by surgical anesthesia and cancer chemotherapy

  • Dental pain after surgery

  • Addiction

  • Headaches

  • Menstrual cramps

  • Tennis elbow

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Myofascial pain

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Low back pain

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

  • Asthma

  • Stroke rehabilitation

Meet our Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Dr. Dana Gulati! Dr. Gulati is now accepting new patients at our East Greenwich location. Click here to request a session.

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There is a TON of data on the benefits of writing therapy. Overall, the evidence points to its effectiveness in helping people identify and accept their emotions, manage their stress, and ease the symptoms of mental illness.

Writing can be a form of mindfulness; an opportunity to be present with your thoughts without judgment.

Plus, our hands are energetic tools, and writing is one way we can manage and express our energy.

What exactly is journaling?

It's. So. Simple. Journaling is essentially a written record of your thoughts & feelings. There are no rules or restrictions on how you do it -- and sometimes that in itself can be daunting for a beginner. It can be helpful as you get started to follow some prompts or guidelines until you feel comfortable enough free-writing (keep reading for ideas).

What are the key benefits?

  • Mange anxiety

  • Reduce stress

  • Cope with depression

  • For more tips on connecting with emotions through writing, see Justine's article here

  • It can strengthen your immune system

  • Reduce blood pressure

  • Help you sleep better

  • Generally keep you healthier

How do I get started?

Figure out what is most convenient for you. It can be a dedicated journal or notebook, a document on the computer, or even a Notes app on your phone (you can even talk to text with this one).

Carve out the time to do it, and aim to make it a daily routine. Even if it's just a few minutes to get down your thoughts, feelings, and concerns.

Try beginning with a brief breathing practice to center yourself before you start writing.

This might be a tough one, but try not to judge what arises during your writing exercises and be compassionate with yourself as thoughts and feelings arise.

Let it flow with free-writing. Put your thoughts on paper as they arrive in your consciousness without being concerned about it making sense, being cohesive or even regards to spelling or grammar. This is a time to express yourself without having to be concerned about what others may think.

If you'd like a little more guidance, here are some prompts to get you started:

  • What are your intentions for today?

  • Write about an experience that stood out in your day. Was there something that sparked notable joy, anger, frustration, or excitement? Did something provoke incessant or overwhelming thoughts?

  • Write about your dreams if you remember them.

  • What are you grateful for?

  • What are you feeling right now?

  • What are you looking forward to?

  • List the sounds around you and describe them.

  • Describe the physical sensations of the current moment: sitting in your seat, your feet against the ground, the physical act of writing (or typing).

  • Write about not knowing what to write about (you'll be surprised what can come up!).

We've created a new workshop Healing in Writing to guide you through as you begin your journey of using this tool as a part of your self-care routine.

Our first one is November 14th 4-5:30pm EST! Spots are limited, so be sure to register (click here) -- if you've been beckoned to journal, you definitely don't want to miss it.

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Writing is a powerful tool to connect with your emotions and your inner truth.

I write to get to know myself. Writing is a way for me to tap into unacknowledged feelings, memories, and insights that I might normally overlook or ignore. It’s as if there are many treasures hidden just below the surface of my mind, and writing is the tool I use to uncover them.

Don’t worry, you do not have to “be a writer” in order to write. In fact, striving to be a writer is actually a hinderance to getting to the core of your feelings and your truth.

All you need to do is put pen to paper and let your thoughts and feelings flow.

I always love using writing prompts, especially if I want to focus on something specific. Here are some prompts intended to guide writing that will help you explore and connect with your emotions.

Sitting with your emotions.

Take a moment to sit in silence. What are you feeling in your body? Describe the sensations and feelings without justifying or explaining them.

What is your biggest fear?

What is your biggest fear? Write this fear down on a piece of paper, then close your eyes and attempt to locate the fear in your body.

If you don’t feel anything, that’s fine. Just continue to pay attention to your body.

If you feel a physical sensation in your body, focus on the sensation and invite it to stay. I often say out loud “I see you” or “I feel you” to acknowledge the emotion. Once you feel this process feels complete, write down the answers to these questions:

  1. Where in your body is the physical sensation located? (Your chest, your belly, your throat, etc.)

  2. What is the sensation you feel in your body? (Could be a tightness, tingling, pressure, etc.)

  3. When you acknowledged and invited the sensation to stay, what happened?

Visit this again in a day or two, then again in a week. Have your feelings changed or evolved?

Think about a recent experience when you were judgmental or critical of yourself.

What sparked the judgment or criticism? What words did you use when speaking to yourself? What feelings did you generate from this judgment and criticism?

Now, reframe this experience as though you are talking to a young child. How would your feelings about the situation change? How would your words change? What feelings would you hope to elicit?

Next time a strong emotion comes up, I invite you to sit with the feeling and write down the answers to these questions:

  1. Where in my body is this feeling?

  2. What shape is this feeling? How big or small is it? How heavy or light is it?

  3. What does this feeling want me to know? What is it asking of me?

  4. How can I best serve this feeling?

If this resonates with you, and you want to learn more about how to use the practice of writing on your healing journey, join us for our first workshop, Healing in Writing coming up in November!

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