December 1st – 31st: Holiday Acupuncture Seat Sales

Find out more about this affordable & convenient promotion!
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Tincture Spotlight: the Lamplighter

If you’ve perused the front shelves of the Heart & Hands lobby and been
curious about some of the tinctures being sold, then you’ll know that it
can be hard to choose! This month I want to give some words of description to one of the most useful tinctures for this particular time of year, the Lamplighter!

It’s 4pm as I sit down to write this and the sky is already darkening. It’s
been down-pouring all weekend, I’m cold and damp to the bone from
stubbornly trying to work in my muddy garden. Even though I wouldn’t
describe myself as someone who struggles with depression, I am a devout sun
worshipper and these winter blues are hard to deny. And, ahem, we’re still
over a month away from the darkest day of the year…

This is the season of death, decay, letting go and darkness. It’s the
season where the hard stuff, the old stuff, the stuff we like to flee from,
rises to the surface; and our job is to face it. So while the most
important task of this season is to embrace the darkness and face it’s hard
medicine, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a little help from your plant
friends; enter the Lamplighter.

Since all good medicine formulation seeks to balance out current
imbalances, the Lamplighter, which was formulated for winter blues, is
spicy, warming and connects us to the light when we need it the most; the
plants that make up this formula are all oranges, yellows and reds. With
Damiana, St John’s Wort, Turmeric, Cinnamon and Mustard flower essence,
this formula is perfect for depression of the milder kind. This describes
the kind of blues that come and go, and would likely dissipate with the
appearance of a gorgeous sunny day and the feel of sunshine on your skin.

The Lamplighter is also great for warming up our physical system, getting
the blood pumping and digestion stoked, warming our stiff and sore joints
and igniting creativity and confidence. It’s even an aphrodisiac <3

For a custom formula, contact Jenny at j.frances.poppy@gmail.com

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H&H Story from E.C. & N :)

Christina,

My baby boy came within the 48 window you predicted. He stayed head down and we were able to have our home birth. Labour was really easy (comparatively) and quick; and was really relaxed throughout it. It was a really positive experience. These are all things I feel you had a helping hand in.

Thank you so much for all your help in the final weeks of pregnancy. I really think I would have ended up with a planned cesarean, and robbed of the birth experience I wanted, had you not flipped him.

You and your needles are magic!

E.C. & baby N

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Pose a ‘Punk a Question, October 2017 Edition!

“What is your favorite
warm-you-up beverage?”

Just in case this rainy, cold weather has left you chilly….brrr…

WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU for the November 2017 edition of Pose a ‘Punk a Question. So if you have a thought provoking query related to acupuncture, Chinese Medicine or general wellness, DROP US A LINE.

And remember…there are prizes if we draw your question next month!

In no particular order, here are our responses to the query above!
Hayley Stobbs, R.Ac., CNC
Christina Chan, R.Ac.
Stefanie Miska, TCM.P.
Susan Shields, R.Ac.



Hayley’s favorite bevie:

My favourite warm up beverage this past week has been Autumn Spiced Coffee, made with either decaf coffee or Dandy Blend instant dandelion beverage. The blend of ingredients benefits digestion, boosts energy, and  helps to counteract the damp-cold climatic influences of fall and winter.

Get the recipe here,
https://www.livinglovelyautoimmune.com/recipes/drinks/autumn-spiced-coffee/–



Christina’s favorite bevie:

GOLDEN MILK to warm you from the inside out &
soothe achy muscles and joints!

I usually eyeball 1 tsp of dried tumeric
+ 1/2 tsp EACH of cinnamon & dried ginger
+ 1 pinch EACH of nutmeg & black pepper

Bring almond milk to a gentle boil, then add your spices and stir thoroughly so you don’t end up with clumps.

Drop 1 tsp of butter or coconut oil + honey to taste in at the end.
*Keep stirring so that the ingredients don’t separate
**If you’re feeling fancy, you can stir in 2 tsp of cocoa into it too!

Additional points:
– The fats enhance absorption of the active anti-inflammatory components of the spices + is nourishing for your nervous system
– If you can find fresh tumeric, grate it in place of the dried spice
– Dried ginger is effective at warming your interior, whereas, fresh ginger is better for relieving the exterior (ie. achy muscles due to viral infection)



Stefanie’s favorite bevie:

I infuse all of my warm drinks in the fall with warming spices. They can be added to coffee, decaf, hot chocolate, black tea and even coffee substitutes like chicory and dandelion.

My go to additions are: cinnamon, clove, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg.

Think anything pumpkin or chai spice. These herbs are warming and invigorating, making them great for warming up the body on a cold day, but also aids in digestion and have immune boosting properties!



Susan’s favorite bevie:

This fall masala chai has been my favorite warm beverage. This is the recipe I start from. Use whatever milk you are into and rooibos instead of black tea if you want something caffeine free.

http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-masala-chai-tea-165369

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November is Bring a Friend Month!

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SUNDAY Nov. 19th: Neck & Shoulder Acupressure

Pre-register to reserve your spot,
Drop by the front desk or Eventbrite - Take Home TCM: Head, Neck & Shoulder Acupressure
Find out more about our Take Home TCM Workshop Series!

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Pose a ‘Punk a Question, September 2017 Edition

“What are your favorite methods for quelling early cold symptoms?”

A timely September 2017 edition of Pose a ‘Punk a question as we have definitely been seeing the back-to-school wave of viral infections making their way into the clinic.

WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU for the October 2017 edition of Pose a ‘Punk a Question. So if you have a thought provoking query related to acupuncture, Chinese Medicine or general wellness, drop us a line,
info@heartandhandscommunity.ca

And remember…there are prizes if we draw your question next month!
For more details visit,
http://heartandhandscommunity.ca/pose-a-punk-a-question/

In no particular order, here are our responses to the query above!
Christina Chan, R.Ac.
Hayley Stobbs, R.Ac., CNC
Stefanie Miska, TCM.P.
Susan Shields, R.Ac.



Christina Chan, R.Ac.

  1. SLEEP!
    I cannot stress enough of the restorative, healing properties of a good night’s sleep, esp due to the fact the most people’s lack of enough good quality sleep makes you susceptible to the cold/flu virus in the first place. And YES, (acu)naps count too! So until the day they develop sleep in a capsule, you have to get it the good ol’ fashioned way, by going to sleep on time.
  2. Keeping warm & dry.
    My mom used to get on my case about going out in cold weather with wet hair for good reason. In Chinese Medicine, they believe that pathogens (ie. viruses) will attack your body from your head, neck and upper back, which is why most early cold/flu symptoms manifest in the face, throat and the upper back.Warm, dry feet are also key. The same channels that run into the head, neck and face, also begin and end in the feet. By keeping your feet warm and clothed, you prevent cold and damp from entering your channels and wreaking havoc on qi-blood circulation and disrupting your body’s ability to fend off pathogenic invasion. With the gradually dropping temperatures, time to put the flip flops away till the spring.
  3. Vitamin D.
    With the onset of a scratchy throat and runny nose, my go to is liquid sunshine. The common recommended dose is 1000 IU daily, in which, from personal experience I will take at least 3000-5000 IU when I’m feeling under the weather.For more info about why D and not C, read more, http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/health-vitamin-d-supplements-cold-virus-influenza-flu-respiratory-infections-bones-muscle-a7582791.html
  4. Chicken soup!
    Centuries old remedies of Chinese and Jewish grandmas alike, it is a highly digestible, nutrient dense and piping hot vehicle of immune boost. Not to mention, a delicious way to have you hunker down at home for an afternoon, relaxing and babysitting a pot of soup.I like putting lots of root veggies, kale, short grain brown rice and tons of garlic in mine…mmmm….


Hayley Stobbs, R.Ac., CNC

Early cold symptoms indicate that one’s defensive qi (wei qi) immune protection within the skin and superficial meridians has been invaded by either heat or cold carried by wind pathogens, for example a virus carried by a draft. This differential terminology derives from TCM’s foundational principles of observing nature and our relationship in it. Treatment varies according to the meridians affected and presentation of symptoms and pattern.

Quell early cold symptoms by getting daily acupuncture as soon as you start to feel symptoms. Receiving your first treatment within the first few hours of onset is ideal. The longer you wait to treat the more it sets in and the more difficult it becomes to expel the pathogen.

7 Self-Care Tips for Early Cold Symptoms

  1. Dress warm and stay warm. Cold reduces qi circulation and the elimination of the pathogen.
  2. Wei qi is produced via food and fluid intake. Drink warm fluids and eat small, simple portions of warm foods, for example home-made soup with bone broth, chicken, shiitake, ginger, scallion, squash, and daikon radish. Avoid the following mucus-forming foods: dairy, sugar, fried/greasy foods, banana, and orange.
  3. Slow down, rest, minimize stress, and sleep. Light activity such as qi gong, tai chi, and walking support qi and immune system regulation.
  4. Breathe through your nose as this acts as a filter and supports your lung and spleen qi.
  5. Take home moxa, gua sha, and acupressure can help expel the cold.
  6. Wash regularly and avoid touching your T-zone (area including your forehead, nose and chin) to minimize spreading the pathogen.
  7. Supplement with zinc and if the cold progresses consider herbal therapy to remedy either wind heat or cold.


Stefanie Miska, TCM.P.

The best way to quell the common cold, is to act before you have any symptoms at all. As you have probably heard all of us preach- prevention is key! Boosting immunity while you are still healthy and feeling good is your best defense. How can you do that? Here are some of the ways I do:

Wearing layers and packing scarves. I make sure to keep my neck and shoulders covered, especially if it is windy out. Your body is naturally warm, so when it is cold out, everything is working even harder to maintain that healthy warm temperature, help out by covering up!

Eating nourishing foods that are warm. As the weather and seasons change, as should your diet. Coming into fall and winter your body will better digest and absorb warm, cooked foods.

Bone broth! I am sure you have heard the bone broth craze that has risen recently, and for good reason. Bones are mineral and nutrient dense and offer a lot of benefits. I use my slow cooker to simmer bones for a minimum of 24 hours and I will add tonic herbs in the mix as well for added benefit. Some of my favorite are astragalus, goji berries, cardamom, ginger and garlic.

Get enough sleep! As the amount of daylight shortens, so should your waking hours. Sleep is your bodies time to recoup and repair. Practicing good sleep hygiene, such as limiting screen time before bed, keeping your cell phone out of your bed room, avoiding sugar and caffeine in the afternoon are a few simple ways to improve sleep quality.

Get acupuncture! Regular acupuncture treatments will help your body stay healthy. If you start to feel symptoms of cold coming on, get in for a treatment as soon as possible. Just because you start to feel sick doesn’t mean you need to actually get sick. Acupuncture can help flush out an illness before it penetrates deeper into your body.



Susan Shields, R.Ac.

There are a few things that can help early cold symptoms from turning into a full on cold.

The first is to rest- no big exercise, clear some things off of your schedule if possible, take it easy, and get enough sleep.

Bee propolis is great for sore throats- either use the spray, or gargle with a few drops of the tincture in water, swallowing it after gargling.

Sweat it out. Brew up some chamomile or mint tea, add, ginger, cayenne, lemon and honey. Drink this in a hot bath. Get out of the bath when the water is still hot, get in your warmest pjs and get under all your covers and stay there and sweat. Maybe take a nap.

Drink and eat enough, limit sugar, and get acupuncture!

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October is Food Drive Month!

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SUNDAY Oct. 22: Intro to Chinese Medicine Diet Therapy

Pre-register to reserve your spot,
Drop by the front desk or Eventbrite - Take Home TCM: Intro to Chinese Medicine Diet Therapy
Find out more about our Take Home TCM Workshop Series!

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Heart & Hands turns 7!!

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