Waves Crashing Over

Rough Seas
Rough Seas
When things are feeling rocky, how do you maintain your balance?

You can feel the sensation of tension in your body. The stress is intense and your shoulders and your belly and your neck are all involved in trying to keep up, trying to not break down and trying to meet everyone’s expectations, not the least of which can be your own high expectations of how you want to present to the world, how you want people to see you: competent, strong, steady, on your game.

The tension leads to a headache, it leads to loss of appetite, or to comfort eating (ice cream, cookies and potato chips, please). Your body feels buzzy, like your blood vessels are filled with seltzer water. As long as you keep on moving, then it’s easy to keep a smile on your face, even if your patience is getting more and more frayed around the edges.

How familiar does this sound to you? Wouldn’t it be nice to know how to restore some sensation of balance and equilibrium?

Learning to Surrender

Over and over, I am struck by how images from nature can lend much insight into health and wellbeing. For example:

(This is Ireland, not Maine, but it lends a flavor to the scene, no?)

I remember sitting on the edge of a granite ledge on an island off the coast of Maine. I’m age 7, hanging with my big sister. We are out after a thunderstorm and the sky is still dark and a little eerie as the sun peeks out through the clouds on the horizon as it moves towards sunset. The Atlantic is stirred up, more choppy and stronger surf than I recall having seen before. There are many days where it is just gentle swells with the sun sparkling off a smooth surface.

As we sit on the edge of the granite outcropping, we are watching the surf crash up and over the granite ledges on the island across the channel. The crashing spray soars up and over the ledges and I can feel my fear settle in. This is a scarier sea than I am used to. I grew up in the midwest; I am not accustomed to the different faces of the sea.

As my sister tries to reassure me, a giant wave crashes into the ledge we are perched on – we are a good ten feet above the surface of the ocean. The spray soars over our heads, drenching us in its arc. I am so surprised by this moment, and the spray is so innocuous, I burst out laughing. What was so scary from afar is not really scary at all right here where we are. It’s not as if the entire wave was surging up over our ledge to pull us out into the current. We are just caught in the line of spray.

Decades later, I find myself in the gentle swells of surf in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida. Here I learn that as the wave comes towards you in a curl, you can be swept underneath it – hold your breath – you’ll be out of the water again in a moment, especially as your feet are still touching the sand. The curl of the surf can tug at you, make you lose your stability, can feel overwhelming and trigger the racing adrenaline of fear. If, however, you dive into the wave, you pop out the other side and you can swim further out beyond the surf line where the swells lift you up off the ground, carry you along, and then drop you back down, with your feet back on the sand. Out here it is calm. There is no curling wave, just these gentle swells that advance, hide the horizon from you, pick you up and then set you back down.

There is a surrender to letting the water carry your body like this.

Now, let it be noted, I grew up in the midwest. My ocean adventures continue to be very limited. I’ve never been out on a surfboard. There are many who may know all sorts of other dynamics about the ocean. I am not speaking of riptides or rogue waves, and other true dangers of the ocean. That being said, these experiences lend some beautiful insight to the emotional terrain within.

Passing through the Waves

I learn about deep emotion in my life; after heartbreak, during times of transition, during times of stress, conflict or worry. I want so badly to be seen as strong, confident, and capable that I am not able to make space within myself for any sign of weakness.

I can feel the tension build, and I do whatever I can to contain it, push it down, to not let it out. I don’t realize I am doing it at the time, but I do know that our society doesn’t approve of such expression and it is safer to ignore it and try to make it go away. My shoulders are tight, I cave my chest in, my diaphragm is tight.

I find great catharsis from reading Ring of Endless Light by Madeliene L’Engle, sobbing in my rocking chair in the kitchen in my Boston apartment one winter, letting the tears from her story release the tears unshed from within myself.

Years later, I learn to make peace with strong emotions like grief and anger and sorrow. As I let them course through me, I find they become less scary, less overwhelming. In fact, once the emotion passes, I come out the other side and there is sunshine and laughter and ease. This is so very different from trying to not feel these unfamiliar, scary emotions. I realize that in trying to not feel them, I create a pressure cooker environment – this intensifies and complicates the original emotions.

The emotional landscape becomes familiar, the waves of emotions wash over, pass through – they may feel big and unending, but in the surrender, you let them carry you towards greater peace and authenticity.  In these moments of passing through waves of emotion, the heart washes itself clean, becomes more vulnerable and open in the world.

In this place, there is strength, there is compassion, there is a solid steadiness. To quote myself, “In my brokenness, I am more whole than when I am chasing okay-ness.”

And again, let it be noted, there are ways to be present to the depth of emotion on your own, with beloveds or with close friends (or friends who are not yet close, but in opening to the depths with them invites that closer connection), that are very different than falling to pieces publicly, crashing through boundaries in questionable ways. This is a finesse to tune into – when and how, yet celebrate the journey as the current carries you. 

To offer some fortune cookie wisdom of my own, “It is a gift to feel deeply. To know great joy is to also know great loss. They are two sides of the same coin. Do not fear feeling great joy in order to avoid feeling great loss. It is a gift simply to feel deeply.”

“I believe I’m in the right place at the right time. 
This wave is crashing down and it’s the one for me to ride. 
Crazy world, crazy time – 
Gonna let go of what oughta be and hang on for the ride. 
Ebb and Flow, Rising, Falling”

Samara Jade, songwriter

How is the surf in your life carrying you these days?

COVID-19 Reopening: The HOW & The WHEN

The HOW to reopen is becoming clearer – I’m collecting supplies and getting new systems in place for welcoming people back into the clinic in a safe way. The WHEN is still unclear. The numbers of daily infections statewide are increasing at an alarming rate still. Johnson County cases, however, seem to be slowing at the moment. In the upcoming weeks, I will continue to watch these numbers and start making plans to return to seeing patients in person at 30-50% capacity. I believe it is safe to do so with safety precautions in place. If the data changes for the worse, then we will reassess at that time.

I remain available for phone consults, distance treatments, and herbal support during this time. Please reach out to schedule a time to connect in one of these ways if you like. health@deeprootsacupuncture.org

Blessings in health and wellness,
Lucy

Welcoming You Back: New Safety Precautions to Look For

It has been such a surreal time of unknown for the past two months. As we move forward through these days in May, what I observe most is how we seem to be adapting to new realms of normalcy.

In returning to the office to see you in person, here are some of the changes you will note during these initial stages of reopening.

  1. I will meet you in the parking lot. If you arrive early, you can wait in your car until I come out to greet you. Through your car window we will do a temperature and blood oxygen screening. If temperature is elevated or blood oxygen levels are low, you will be referred to your primary care physician and encouraged to quarantine until symptoms are improved.
  2. The waiting room will not be open to others during your treatment.
  3. I will be wearing a mask, and if you would like to come inside, you will be wearing a mask.
  4. I will escort everyone in and out of the clinic and treatment rooms so that door handles will remain untouched.
  5. Upon arriving, unscented hand sanitizer or use of the bathroom sink to wash hands will be available.
  6. There are HEPA air filters in each room and windows will be opened between each treatment along with standard disinfecting with high quality, unscented sanitizer in each room.
  7. All credit card payments will be handled through Square Invoicing or a card on file to avoid unneeded cross contact. Cash or check will still be accepted as forms of payment.
  8. Table linens will be converted to easily cleaned surfaces, lined with exam paper.
  9. Blankets will no longer be available for draping around needles. Please dress with layers that are easy to adjust around legs, arms, and abdomen. I will keep the rooms warm to help with comfort levels. 

I look forward to seeing you again.

Blessings,
Lucy

An Update from Deep Roots with COVID-19

As COVID-19 continues to unfold through the region with initial cases of community wide spread appearing, we will plan to move currently scheduled appointments to phone consults or an online telehealth platform (in the works).  If you have an appointment scheduled in the upcoming weeks, we will be in touch to reschedule.

Online scheduling is unavailable until after we have a chance to work current cancellations back into the schedule.

In the meantime, I continue to offer care via the phone, and as I have systems setup, support through an online telehealth platform.

Services still available from a distance include:

Bottom line, we may not be able to meet in person until there is more clarity about the progression of the coronavirus, but I remain available. Our sessions are often more than just the needles. There’s a lot we can still do over the phone if you are interested. Please let me know and we can schedule a time.

Ways to support us during this time if you are able:

This is a very interesting time. Breathe deep, stay in the present moment, and I’ll see you on the other side! Let me know how I can be of service to you.

Blessings,
Lucy

Keep Your Germs At Home AND I’ve Got Herbs for That!

Tis the season of colds and flu’s circulating through the community. With a little care and attention, you can shorten the length of your cold and reduce the severity of the symptoms. Sounds good, hmm?

Step One: Radical Rest

One of the best things you can do for yourself when fighting a bug is getting radical rest. I mean Radical Rest. Recently, I was running a low grade fever – I went to bed on Wednesday evening at 6:00 and got up on Friday at 11:00. I was up for an hour here and there, but then went right back to sleep. We often feel like we have to keep on going, and sometimes circumstances do get in the way, but in whatever ways possible, Radical Rest lets your body dedicate all of its energy to the immune system fighting the viruses and bacteria.

Step Two: I’ve Got Herbs for That

At the very early stages of not feeling well, foods and herbs can be really helpful for fending off a cold or bug, reducing symptoms, or shortening the length of being sick.

There are a number of fabulous foods and herbs with strong anti-bacterial and antiviral properties. Garlic, elderberry, echinacea, goldenseal, olive leaf, and honey are some of the common ones that people may be most familiar with.

There are several fabulous Chinese herbal blends that I work with all the time that are absolutely fantastic for cold symptoms. These include ingredients like indigo, cinnamon, forsythia, or honeysuckle.

Favorite Go-To Blends

Gan Mao Ling: At the very first stages of a cold – swollen glands, or general body aches, and malaise. In combination with rest, this one can be really helpful for keeping a cold at bay.

Cinnamon Twig Soup (Gui Zhi Tang): This one is excellent when your nose starts dripping – you know that moment when its as though a faucet is turned on and you can’t even really blow your nose ‘cuz it just keeps on running? And maybe you’re a little bit chilled as well. This one has cinnamon, of course, and dates, date seed, ginger, and licorice root (but it doesn’t taste like licorice, more like cinnamon!)

Yin Qiao San: This one is for when you have a firey sore throat and are feeling a little feverish. Forsythia and honeysuckle help to vent heat out of the body while fighting the bugs.

What to Do?

Aside from clearing your schedule and embarking on some Radical Rest?

Give me a call and let’s get you some herbs that would be the best match for your symptoms. Or if you would like to have a bottle on hand for when the unwelcome bugs first appear, let me know. We can arrange for you to pick up a bottle here at the clinic!

Immune Kick Start Kit

More details to come – but I’m working on a kit with a mix and match of good herbal first aid blends to choose from – buy 3 for $5 off. Contact me here for more information.

And, lastly, thank you for keeping your germs at home!

Illness is the best reason to not come in for a treatment. My 24 hour cancellation fee is waived for illness – especially if you have projectile snot or a hacking cough. Thank you for helping to keep the clinic space germ free for others and for helping to keep me well enough to keep on treating everyone on my schedule! We’ll get you back in the schedule as soon as your symptoms have calmed down a bit. Questioning whether you should come in? Give me a call or send an email! I look forward to hearing from you!

Blessings,
Lucy

Nourishing Soups for Winter

As we move into the cold season, our food choices can shift alongside the weather.

I love those moments when someone tells me they are trying to eat well, but they just don’t feel like eating a salad every day. The only time, I say, to be eating a salad, especially in the cold weather, is if you are craving a salad. The myth of a salad every day being the healthiest thing for you is my favorite one to shatter.

If you are looking for yummy ways to cook for this season, think about the warming soups and stews, using produce that is harvested in late fall – the root vegetables and the winter squashes. Your body spends less energy breaking down and digesting food that is warm and cooked. The natural sugars in these foods are so good for the body, and what your body actually needs when you are craving sweets.

One of my favorite recipes is an Autumn Vegetable Soup by Mollie Katzen from her cookbook Still Life With Menu. You may be familiar with her most well known book, The Moosewood Kitchen.

The beauty of this soup is that any of the vegetables can be switched out for any others. Ingredients of your choice can be added to make it into any kind of dish you’d like for deep winter nourishment. This soup is essentially how I start any recipe these days, and you wouldn’t necessarily recognize the end product anymore.

Autumn Vegetable Soup

by Mollie Katzen, Still Life With Menu

2 tablespoons of butter
1 1/2 cup chopped leeks
1 1/2 cup quartered Brussels sprouts
1 large carrot chopped
1 stalk of celery chopped
1 large potato chopped
1 cup peeled chopped acorn or butternut squash
3/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
cayenne to taste (but not too much!)
2 large crushed garlic cloves
3 cups stock or water
1 cup spinach (Mollie uses Swiss chard or collard greens)
1 large firm tomato chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons dried dill
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon basil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup of sour cream or yogurt (optional)
sunflower seeds (for garnish)
minced fresh parsley (for garnish)

  • In a large pot cook the first 11 ingredients over moderate heat (covered) for 10-15 minutes, stirring intermittently.
  • Add stock or water. Bring to boil, lower to a simmer. Cover and let cook slowly until everything is tender (20 minutes)
  • Add spinach (or greens) tomato chunks, and chopped bell pepper. Simmer 5 more minutes.
  • Add herbs, soy sauce, and lemon juice and continue to simmer another 5 minutes.
  • If you choose to add in the sour cream or yogurt, stir in just before serving. Garnish each bowl with sunflower seeds and parsley.

Yields 6 servings.

As I said, I make this all the time, but it doesn’t actually look anything like the original recipe anymore. Have fun adapting it to the vegetables and seasonings you enjoy most!

Blessings,
Lucy

Celebrating a New Logo

What better time to change one’s logo than when one is also changing one’s location, address, business cards, letterhead and all the rest, right?

The vision for this new logo arose last fall and I’ve enjoyed the process of working with a graphic designer to turn it into what it has become.

My previous logo was one I designed back in 2005 when I was starting my first private practice in Brattleboro, VT. The image of sitting in meditation, finding the stillness and quiet within, listening for the inner voice of internal guiding wisdom spoke to me at that time.

My practice these days has been holding a different message. More often, in the work I am doing with individuals, we are moving from places of stuckness, stretching into new growth, embracing new aspects of life, and growing into one’s full potential. This is beautiful work that I get to witness on a regular basis. The previous logo doesn’t communicate that as well.

One of the things I’m enjoying with the new logo is all the different aspects that people are seeing in it. A good logo, I believe, has many levels of meaning. What do you see? I look forward to hearing how it speaks to you.

Open House Celebration ~ You Are Invited!

September 22, 2019

1222 Rochester Avenue

I look forward to sharing the new home of Deep Roots Acupuncture with you! Please come to an Open House on Sunday, September 22 to see the space and celebrate the move!

There are three portions of the day – come for all of it, or just for part. It will be a joy to see you.

2:30 Supporting the Immune System in Preparation for Winter

In what ways can we prepare for cold and flu season starting now? How can we nourish and support our immune system so we are less vulnerable to the bugs surrounding us? Seats are limited, please RSVP here.

3:30 Tour & Refreshments

Drop in anytime and see the space, enjoy some nourishing snacks! Celebrate!

4:30 Mini-Treatments

Anyone who would like to a relaxing and grounding treatment using auricular (ear) points, can come by. This is a simple set of points to help with deep relaxation and grounding. Seats are limited, please RSVP here.

Changes are Coming at Deep Roots Acupuncture

1222 Rochester Ave,
a new home for Deep Roots.
Doors opening August 12, 2019

In mid-August, Deep Roots Acupuncture will be moving to new space just across town. I will be packing up my books, treatment supplies, and herbal inventory and we’re headed over to the east side of town to a quiet little neighborhood on Rochester Ave, just a couple blocks east of Governor St, tucked in between Glendale and Bloomington Sts.

A Healing Space

I have often thought of my current space as a nest for my practice, one of the first places I settled into when I returned home to Iowa and started my practice back in 2015. When I first walked into this room, I could feel the richness of the energy in the space and what could be possible for my future clients. I recall someone coming to meet me and as she stepped into my room, she burst into tears and said, “Oh, I could heal in this room.” Her words confirmed the feeling that I often had of the sacred space for healing that existed here.

Growing Pains

For the past couple years, however, it has felt like I have outgrown the space. I had been struggling with what to do about that, how to support the growth of the practice (thank you for all your referrals – keep sending people my way!), how to hold the growing herbal inventory, how to better attend to the practical aspects of running a business and the administrative tasks that entails. Sometime last fall, as I was really pushing hard, trying to find some solutions, I found an internal shift. I decided to surrender into the unknown, to stop chasing a solution, but just get my “ducks-in-a-row”, so to speak, so that when the right opportunity would arise, I’d have the information I needed in order to make the necessary moves.

Then, The Ducks Arrived

And then in April, the ducks started showing up in my yard at home. At first, I thought nothing of it – just that it was odd. There’s no water in my neighborhood and I wondered what brought them through. And then there was the morning a few weeks later when a mallard duck was perched on the roof of the neighbor’s house looking in my bathroom window, watching me. I’ve never seen a duck on a roof before. When a few days later, a duck flew up out of the lily patch along the edge of my yard, I paused. There seemed to be a theme here. What was the message of the ducks?!

One of my dear roommates from a previous chapter of my life used to watch for signs – her sign was three red cars. If she saw three red cars in a row, it meant pay attention! Something important is about to happen. I thought of her and these ducks and wondered if there was something trying to get my attention. 

I went into a meditative space and it popped up loud and clear in my mind. “YOUR DUCKS ARE IN A ROW! IT’S TIME! GO EXPLORE!” So I hopped online and saw a space available that caught my attention and went to visit it. The building itself is a little quirky. I walked into the space inside and felt a promising energy of what could become a home for the next phase of my practice moving forward. Every cell of my body has said “Yes!” to the possibilities of what could become in moving to this new space.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU?

It Is A Quieter Neighborhood 

The space is further from the trains and the ambulance sirens and the continuing neighborhood development in this end of town (oi, the jack hammers!). 

Restful Treatment Space

My administrative space will be separate from the treatment room. This means there will be more restful space for you while needles are in. And I will be right there if needed, able to pop in with ease.

Additional Appointment Availability and Flexibility

There will be an additional treatment room, opening up flexibility in scheduling. I look forward to being able to have more time available in my schedule to more fully meet the needs and schedules of those I am working with without having to raise my fees as often in order to meet increased overhead expenses. 

SAYING GOODBYE TO 720 S. DUBUQUE

It has been wonderful sharing space and practicing alongside Maureen, Therese, Anita, Sam, and, when she was here, Helen at 720 S. Dubuque St. There is, of course, sadness, in leaving this space and the collegiality of working alongside other practitioners. It has been a rich and supportive environment to build a practice.

And, the time feels right to step out into new directions.

I hope that you find the new space as rich and promising as the current space for you to move through your own healing journeys in partnership with the acupuncture and herbs at Deep Roots Acupuncture. I look forward to our continued work together.

1222 Rochester Ave.

Scheduled treatments will continue at 720 S. Dubuque Street through August 9. Doors will open at 1222 Rochester Ave. on August 12. I look forward to seeing you there!

If you would like to schedule a time to come in, feel free to reach out via phone or email or visit the online schedule here: SCHEDULE ONLINE

Blessings,
Lucy

And a Save the Date!

An Open House Celebration will be held on Sunday, September 22, 2019 2:30-5:00. 

More Details:
You Are Invited To An Open House Celebration
Information & RSVPs here!