Trauma – Part 4: Therapies other than Acupuncture

I have compiled a list of some other therapies that can help someone heal from a traumatic event in their life. At the bottom of the page, there is a list of practitioners in Stettler.

  • Talk Therapy
    • “Talk therapy may be somewhat underrated as other forms of therapy, such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) most often take the forefront. Still, the benefits from talk therapy are vast and said to last even after therapy has ended. This type of therapy allows us to process events and/or situations while also learning more about ourselves. Gaining an understanding of ourselves as well as being able to work through difficult experiences or situations allows us to take what we have learnt into the future where we feel more equipped to deal and cope with difficult issues.” – Cally Strandquist, Student of Psychology.
  • Reiki/Energetic Healing
    • Reiki works quite similar to Acupuncture in healing trauma because they are both energy based. Reiki can sometimes be a nice alternative because it has a tendency to be a hands off therapy.
    • “Reiki, very simply stated, calms and stills the spirit of the person. It promotes relaxation from the outside in and reminds the body how it feels to be calm again. Reiki promotes inner peace and quiets the mind, only when that happens can the body begin its healing process. The physical/emotional/spiritual body can not heal while adrenalin is actively and consistently moving through the body. When we keep the energetic pathways open, the energy that no longer serves us has an avenue for release. When energetic pathways are closed or slow moving, the frenetic energy created by the Adrenalin is trapped within.” Antoinette Laughlin – Reiki Master
  • Chiropractic
    • “Misalignment of the vertebrae don’t only happen from physical trauma, but also chemical exposure and emotional stresses. The nervous system perceives these non-physical stresses as threat, and this causes muscle guarding- often presenting in muscle tension- in an act to protect the body. This normally does not happen symmetrically, and leads to imbalances in the spine. These imbalances can be corrected with a specific adjustment to the dysfunction spinal unit.” – Dr. Rae Roberts. DC
    • “Because of the anatomy within our spinal cord, chiropractic can help balance the nervous system within our spinal cord, chiropractic can help balance the autonomic nervous system.” – Dr. Rae Roberts. DC
  • Essential Oils
    • Bergamot
    • Juniper
    • Rose
    • Frankincense
    • Hops
    • Peace and Calming
    • Lavender
    • Helichrysum
  • Flower Essence
    • Rock Rose
    • Cherry Plum
    • Cerato
    • Trumpet Vine
    • Self-Heal
    • Star of Bethlehem
    • Bach Rescue Remedy
  • Meditation/Yoga
    • Meditation and yoga can help someone who has been through a trauma by calming the mind. Yoga can be a gentle activity to help with any physical pain you may be experiencing.
    • “In fact, brain scans confirm that mindfulness meditation is correlated with an increase in gray matter in the hippocampus, a decrease of gray matter in the amygdala, and neuroimaging studies have found that mindfulness meditation also helps to activate the PFC.” –
  • Exercise
    • When a person exercises, the body releases endorphins. Exercise will not only help you feel in control of your body; it will also leave you in a better mood and able to sleep better.
  • Having a Strong Support System
    • Studies have shown that people who have experienced a trauma have a healthier/ full recovery with a strong support system .This system should include people who love you for who you are. It needs to be a safe space without abuse, being used, or boundaries being crossed.

Some Resources in Stettler:

Talk Therapy:

Reiki/Energetic Healing: Goodsense Health and Happiness

Chiropractic: Country Chiropractic (Dr. Zondag), Family Chiropractic (Dr.Smith), Lynes Chiropractic (Dr. Lynes)

Yoga: Roots Yoga, Yoga with Andrea

Exercise: Thirve 360, CrossFit Stettler

Essential Oils: Nadine Primrose (Young Living), Elm Tree



Additional Blog posts in Trauma Series

Trauma – Part 1: What is Trauma?

  • Online February 1, 2018

Trauma – Part 2: Physical Symptoms of Trauma.

  • Online February 8, 2018

Trauma – Part 3: Trauma in Chinese Medicine.

  • Online February 15, 2018



Trauma – Part 3: Trauma in Chinese Medicine

Now that we have learnt about trauma in the last two posts. I am going to dive in a bit deeper to the Traditional Chinese Medicine side of things and explain how acupuncture can help someone who has been through a traumatic event.

There is actually a very significant overlap between Western and Eastern Medicine. Western psychologists call it ‘PTSD’ or ‘dissociative states’. Eastern practitioners call it ‘Shen disturbance’. But it doesn’t matter whether its diagnosed in Western Medicine or Eastern Medicine, the symptoms are the same.

  • Disconnected from Here and Now
  • Spacing out
  • Lack of connection to ones self
  • Memory distortions
  • Unclear mind
  • Dream disturbed sleep/ nightmares
  • Insomnia
  • Over/under reactions

In Chinese Medicine, trauma is stored in the ‘Lower Spirits’ this is the body and emotions as well as our instincts and autonomic nervous system (ANS). Many people don’t even remember a trauma, but acupuncture can help bring those memories up in a safe and healthy way. Emotions are not a bad thing, in moderation they are great – but it becomes a trauma when your body can no longer return to center by itself.

There are five spirits, each is connected to one Yin organ. They include the Heart(Shen), Spleen(Yi), Liver(Hun), Kidney(Zhi), and Lung(Po). You can think of the spirits as people; if the spirits experience fright/fear, they will scatter. And that is when a stressful event becomes a traumatic event in Chinese Medicine. Shen is the monarch of the spirits – I imagine it like a person strutting around, making sure everything is in place. When you experience a trauma, Shen leaves the Heart and then pretty much all chaos ensues. The other Spirits no longer have a guide so they don’t know what to do. They are kind of like sheep in that sense – they are comfortable following their leader, once their leader is gone no one knows what’s going on or what to do, so they go in all different directions. Once the Monarch (Shen) has left and the other four spirits have scattered, we have no sense of self and can not return to equilibrium – this is trauma in Chinese Medicine. Simply said, Shock scatters the Qi. The goal is the bring Shen back to the Heart and to return the body to equilibrium.

Acupuncture treatments can help someone work through a traumatic event in a variety of ways.

  • It “Bypasses the frontal lobes to open a direct link to cellular memory…”.
  • Balances the Autonomic Nervous System (for patients in hyperarousal).
  • Supports Adrenals.
  • Calms the Amygdalae.
  • Releases endorphins.
  • Allows energetic communication with the body through needles, sometimes talk therapy doesn’t help because the patient can’t/doesn’t’ want to recall the traumatic event. The needles can help a patient remember the event.
  • Helps patients become more aware of self care and mindful self awareness.
  • Helps patients develop positive relationship to body and touch.
  • Helps with physical symptoms resulting in trauma such as; digestive disorders, anxiety, depression, muscle tension, insomnia, etc.

I am not going to go into the different possible treatments, because it is different for each patient. But if you have more questions about what a treatment would look like for you; please call or text me at 403-741-8898 or book a complimentary 15 minute consultation to find out more information.



Additional Blog posts in Trauma Series

Trauma – Part 1: What is Trauma?

  • Online February 1, 2018

Trauma – Part 2: Physical Symptoms of Trauma.

  • Online February 8, 2018

Trauma – Part 4: Therapies other than Acupuncture.

  • Online February 22, 2018





Trauma and Recovery in The Context of Chinese Medicine – Darren Tellier

Healing Trauma: A Five Spirit Approach – Lorie Eve Dechar

The Psyche in Chinese Medicine – Maciocia

When the Body Says No – Gabor Mate



Trauma – Part 2: Physical Symptoms of Trauma

Let’s talk a little about the connection between our physical bodies and trauma.

It took me a long time to make the connection between my low back pain and trauma that I experienced as a child. I was never physically harmed to cause back pain. But a series of events – mostly emotional – that made me feel unsafe are what triggered my low back pain. It wasn’t until just a few years ago that I really started to dive into the emotional healing aspect of my physical body. I had been feeling like I wasn’t able to reach the underlying issue of my back, the best way I can describe it is a glass barrier between me and the emotional trauma – I just couldn’t reach it to work through it on my own. So then, I started doing more acupuncture and energy work to help.

Too often it is thought that our mind and body are separate entities. Sometimes in the Western Medical world, if a patient has pain but there is no known pathology it can be suggested that they are ‘making up’ the pain or that ‘its all in your head’. Fortunately, this in not the case in Chinese Medicine. The mind, body, and spirit are interconnected; in order to heal one you need to be aware of all three.

Some common physical manifestations of latent trauma include:

  • Digestive Disturbances
  • IBS
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Chronic Pain
  • Muscle Tension
  • Emotional Stress
  • Hyper-vigilance

Example: I have a patient who came in for acupuncture because she was experiencing severe muscle tension. As we went through her health history I discovered that she experiences anxiety as well. So I started to dig a bit deeper about when the anxiety started, it started at a very specific time in her life. I asked if she could remember any traumatic events that happened around her teen years. And not surprisingly, she did. She was assaulted by a man when she was in her teens. So even though muscle tension was her chief complaint, it and the anxiety were merely a manifestation of a significant trauma in her life. She had suffered from anxiety for years and was only prescribed medication – it was masking the real issue. Latent Trauma.

This example is unfortunately so common in patients that come in. Now, not all physical pain is trauma related. But for that stubborn pathology that you are experiencing and having no luck healing, it might be beneficial to look back over your past and figure out when it might have started and why. Sometimes it takes a trained professional or another set of eyes to make that connection.

It is also important to make sure you remember that if you do think your physical pain is trauma related, it isn’t your fault. You didn’t create this pain. It is simply your body’s way of coping. It is common for some people to not even know/remember they experienced a traumatic event because our brain blocks it out in order to survive. So please know that you did not do this to yourself.

Acupuncture can help decrease physical symptoms related to trauma in a few ways. It depends on the pathology – chronic pain and digestive issues are treated differently – but all the treatments will include some acupuncture points to help release the trauma and calm the mind, as well as the physical issue you are experiencing. When you come in for a treatment, I will discuss with you further what the treatment plan will look like specific to you. I will dive into it a bit more next week.

Additional Blog posts in Trauma Series

Trauma – Part 1: What is Trauma?

  • Online February 1, 2018

Trauma – Part 3: Trauma in Chinese Medicine.

  • Online February 15, 2018

Trauma – Part 4: Therapies other than Acupuncture.

  • Online February 22, 2018



Healing Trauma: A Five Spirit Approach – Lorie Eve Dechar

Trauma and Recovery in the Context of Chinese Medicine; Interpretations of current Neuro-biological and Psychotherapy Models of the Traumatized Mind – Darren Tellier

The Psyche in Chinese Medicine – Maciocia

Broken Brain – Mark Hyman




Trauma – Part 1: What is Trauma?


What an intense word.

I have always been drawn to the psycho emotional aspect of people. I tend to find myself constantly asking “What situation from their past triggered this..?” I started really thinking about trauma a few years ago, and then took a couple courses related to TCM and trauma this past year. This, and the next three blogs, will be solely dedicated to trauma and everything triggered by/related to it (physical pain, PTSD, etc).

So many people experience a trauma in their life, some of which we can’t even remember. There are a variety of reasons why we might experience a trauma in our life. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t traumatic to the person next to you, if it is traumatic to you then it is a trauma. “Trauma is one of the most ignored and denied cases of human suffering, it can be masked by many things”. But let’s start with the absolute basics of trauma.

What is Trauma?

We have all heard of the fight or flight response our body automatically goes into during a stressful situation. But there is actually another response called the ‘Freeze Response’. The Freeze response is a response to a traumatic stress opposed to everyday stress which triggers the Fight or Flight Response. “When the fight or flight systems cannot be activated, escape is physically or relationally impossible, fight is not an option, or traumatic threat is prolonged…” this is when the Freeze Response comes into play. One thing I find quite interesting, is that during the Freeze Response, the victim can have a decreased sensation of fear or pain – it is almost as if our mind leaves our body at this traumatic time in ones life. Once the traumatic event is over, there may be some imprints left on the brain related to the trauma.

Essentially, the nervous system is unable to return to equilibrium after a threat. Interestingly enough, brain imaging has shown that changes have occurred in the amygdala along with other parts of the brain, body and nervous system after a traumatic event. The amygdala will actually grow new neurons, this will result in it becoming more sensitive to subtle cues that remind the person of the traumatic event they have experienced. From this, the person can experience an inability to decide on safe or unsafe situations, and even everyday decisions can become challenging. Once this change has occurred in someone’s brain, it can be difficult for them to distinguish between the event that happened in the past and an event that is separate but might trigger the past event. Simply, they are always living in a state of trauma because, to their brain, there is no differentiation in time between the traumatic event and present time. Have you ever noticed someone (or yourself) seemingly ‘overreact’ to an otherwise stress less situation – this could be a trigger for them/you and they/you are instantly back in the traumatic event.

A stressful event is most likely to be traumatic if:

  1. It happened unexpectedly
  2. You were unprepared
  3. You felt powerless to prevent it
  4. You were unable to move or do something to protect yourself
  5. It happened repeatedly
  6. Someone was intentionally cruel
  7. It happened in childhood

Some common sources of trauma are the following:

  • Physical Assault
  • Rape
  • Combat
  • Sudden, unexpected death of loved one
  • Domestic Abuse (physical/emotional/financial/psychological)
  • Childhood Abuse (physical/emotional/financial/psychological)
  • Motor Vehicle Accident

When it comes to trauma, it is important to keep in mind that the event does not have to happen to you directly in order for it to be traumatic. It can still be traumatic if you witnessed it or even learned about a traumatic event that happened to a loved one.

This is a heavy post, I know. It is a heavy subject. But the important thing to remember is that there are things you can do to help in your recovery.

Can Acupuncture help?

Yes. Very simply, Acupuncture can help. Not only can acupuncture help with the many physical symptoms of trauma but also with the actual trauma. Sometimes people experience a trauma that they don’t or can’t remember, acupuncture can help bring that trauma forward in order to work through it in a healthy way. Acupuncture can help by “bypassing the frontal lobes to open direct link to cellular memory – the wisdom and knowing of the body”.

If you have been through a traumatic event, or are recently dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic event – help is available.

Red Flags – Seek help from a mental health professional if you experience the following.

  • Serious addiction (sex/drugs/shopping, etc)
  • Eating disorders
  • Persistent severe marital and/or sexual problems (more than 5 months)
  • Severe/Chronic depression (more than 5 months)
  • Grief of loosing a loved one that affects persons capacity to function (more than 1 year)
  • Severe Insomnia/nightmares (more than 3 months)
  • Flooding of traumatic memories
  • Any Suicidal thoughts/impulses or other self destructive wishes/behaviour.




.Additional Blog posts in Trauma Series

Trauma – Part 2: Physical Symptoms of Trauma?

  • Online February 8, 2018

Trauma – Part 3: Trauma in Chinese Medicine.

  • Online February 15, 2018

Trauma – Part 4: Therapies other than Acupuncture.

  • Online February 22, 2018




Healing Trauma: A Five Spirit Approach – Lorie Eve Dechar

Trauma and Recovery in the Context of Chinese Medicine; Interpretations of current Neuro-biological and Psychotherapy Models of the Traumatized Mind – Darren Tellier

The Psyche in Chinese Medicine – Maciocia



Frozen Shoulder

Chances are you know someone who has frozen shoulder symptoms. Frozen Shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, “… is a condition characterized as stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint. This term tends to be used when the cause of the pain and decreased range of motion is unknown. Signs and symptoms typically start gradually and worsen over time…”. Frozen Shoulder is a disorder of the connective tissue in the rotator cuff region where there is motor impairment, pain, and inflammation.

There are typically three stages in which Frozen Shoulder develops;

1. Increased pain with movement and limited range of motion.

2. Decreased range of motion to the point where it might be difficult to do daily tasks. Sometimes there can be a decrease of pain during this stage as well.

3. Increased range of motion.

Although Doctors aren’t totally sure what causes Frozen Shoulder, there are a few reasons that can increase someones chance at experience Frozen Shoulder symptoms.

  • Most commonly, it can be from simply not using it. An example of this would be after having a medical procedure and being instructed to decrease use of a specific arm.
  • It can gradually develop from over use or a series of small injuries not properly cared for over time.
  • They have also discovered that people with systemic diseases – such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hyper/hypothyroidism – have a higher chance of developing Frozen Shoulder.
  • People over the age of 40.

“The researchers concluded that acupuncture relieves Frozen Shoulder pain and improves shoulder functional ability.” Acupuncture can help with a large number of shoulder issues, including Frozen Shoulder. Acupuncture works well for Frozen Shoulder by needling a combination of motor points to help release the tight muscles, as well as specific acupuncture points that increase the flow of Qi in the affected area. You may notice that your acupuncturist is needling various spots other than your affected shoulder. Your Acupuncturist will do this because of the flow of the meridians, there are a few meridians that intersect with the shoulder. They include; Large Intestine, Small Intestine, and San Jiao. So depending on your other symptoms (if any) and the location of the pain, your Acupuncturist will make an educated decision to needle associated meridians. There is actually a point on your leg that helps with shoulder pain, so don’t be too surprised if you get a few needles placed in the lower half of your body when you come in for shoulder pain! Stretching will also be a very important key in your recovery. Similar to the motor point portion of your acupuncture treatment, the goal of stretching is to help lengthen the muscle and bring it back to its natural state.

So if you have been- or know someone who has been – experiencing shoulder issues, acupuncture might be the next step you need in your healing process.

For more information on how acupuncture can help your shoulder pain, you can email me at


Acu Sport Shoulder – Matt Callison

Nightshades; everything you need to know.

Have you heard of Nightshades before? Nope, it actually isn’t a window covering specific to the night – surprising, right…?

Nightshades, also known as Solanaceae, are a family of flowering plants. They include a variety of plants such as; perennials, annuals, lianas, epiphytes, shrubs, trees, weeds, spices, medicinal plants, and ornamentals. Nightshades are unique because of the potent alkaloids they contain, some are so high they are actually toxic. ‘Alkaloids are nitrogenous organic substances produced by plants as a secondary metabolite and which have an intense physiological action on animals even at low doses’.

Some of the common house hold nightshades include but are not limited to;

  • Tomatoes
  • White Potatoes
  • Egg Plant
  • Bell Peppers
  • Chilli Peppers
  • Tobacco
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne Pepper

Note: Neither Sweet Potato nor Black Pepper are Nightshades, even though white potatoes and various peppers are. This is simply because the plant is different.

To humans, alkaloids can be desirable or toxic. A large portion of the population will not have an issue with nightshades, however, nightshades can have a negative impact on people with autoimmune diseases or even people with a sensitive digestive system.


Evidence has shown that people with Rheumatoid Arthritis have experienced increased joint pain and/or stiffness associated with Nightshades. Although there is not a singular reason as to why nightshades can increase joint pain, there are a few studies that explain it well. A study was done on mice with IBS (Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome), when the mice were fed potato skins the inflammation increase substantially. The higher the alkaloid content in the potato, the worse the inflammation.

This theory suggests that Nightshades were designed specifically to contain alkaloids for the simple reason that it is poisonous. It truly is an ingenious design. Nightshades contain alkaloids at different quantities that act as their very own pesticide. With this ability, they are able to preserve themselves longer and are less likely to be overtaken by mold or insects. The higher quantities tend to be in the leafs and stem; since we don’t eat that part of the plant and we are bigger than insects, the alkaline quantity tends not to bother most people. However, a connection between higher alkaloids in a plant and increased inflammation in autoimmune diseases is quite prevalent.

Another theory suggests it has to do with Vitamin D absorption. Although Vitamin D is a necessity, Nightshades can have a very potent quantity of Vitamin D3. This can actually prevent proper calcium metabolism, therefor causing the body to deposit calcium in the soft tissue.

I can’t stress enough that Nightshades do not have a negative effect on everyone. The people that will notice the negative side of nightshades are mostly either individuals with autoimmune deficient and/or digestive disturbances. Nightshades can be extremely high in nutrients and vitamins, therefor being beneficial to individuals who don’t suffer from an autoimmune disease. So, if you don’t have an autoimmune disease or digestive sensitivities, then just keep on doing what you’re doing with Nightshades. If you do have an autoimmune disease or digestive sensitivities, then I would highly suggest cutting out night shades for about two weeks completely, and then slowly introduce one at a time back into your diet. By doing this you will be able to notice if one particular item increases inflammation/stiffness/pain/digestive issues. Once you have identified the culprit, you can confidentiality have a positive impact on your own health.

My experience with Nightshades:

As you may know, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune immune disease when I was twelve. I learnt about Nightshades about six years ago and it was such a relief to be able to help pin point what caused stiffness and pain in my body. I totally eliminated Nightshades and then introduced them back into my diet one at a time. I have noticed that potatoes and peppers are the main culprits in the Nightshade family – I have an increased discomfort and stiffness within the hour after eating them. Whereas, with tomatoes, I notice no such thing. So feel free to play around and listen to your body, it will tell you which (if any) Nightshades should be eliminated.


Healing with Whole Foods – Paul Pitchford

Plants of Canada


My Gratitude Practice

As you may have noticed, over the last month I have been posting my daily gratitude on social media. The definition of gratitude is “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”. I think the main thing to take away from the definition of gratitude is readiness to return kindness. This is such a huge thing, especially in our world right now. I feel like there is so much negativity and anger in our world, it is so easy to get wrapped up in it. I’ve noticed that we (people in general) are so programmed to only talk about the negative, that if we talk about what is going well in our life it is considered ‘bragging’. In my opinion, this needs to change. Celebrate the positive in your life, be conscious of why you love what you love. I promise you, you can find something to be grateful for – everyday.

Ever since I started consciously thinking about what I am grateful for, I have noticed I am much happier over all. You can’t help but be happy when you think about all you have to be grateful for. Daily gratitude can be something as simple as dinner, or going to bed at night. Below, I have listed my daily gratitudes along with any that anyone shared with me over the past month. I hope enjoy and feel the Love!

  • I am grateful for my wonderful friend who happens to be an amazing practitioner.
  • I am so grateful that we have had the opportunity to grow our own heard over the past three years.
  • I am grateful for the signs the Universe sends me daily. Thank you Universe.
  • I am so grateful for our dogs.
  • I am so grateful for my education.
  • I am grateful for nature. 21430096_1468973756517288_1040462895756903189_n
  • I am grateful for my yoga mat and my 6:30am class.
  • I am grateful for all my teachers.
  • I am who I am because of my teachers too numerous to mention.
  • I am grateful for my four fantastic daughters that are there through good and bad.
  • I am grateful for my clinic space.
  • I am grateful for the rain.
  • I am grateful for good health.
  • I am grateful that I have been able to take Sundays off over the last few months.
  • I am grateful for a professional community that not only works to make lives stronger, happier, better, but that in doing so affects me and my life the same way.
  • I am grateful for sunshine and warm temperatures.
  • I am grateful for family dinners and laughter with kids, big and little.
  • I am grateful for my ginger tea.
  • I am grateful for friends and family.
  • I am grateful for getting back into routine.
  • I am grateful for everyone who has participated with me so far in this gratitude practice. 21729030_1472062226208441_7422045076642503509_o
  • I am grateful for the rain.
  • I am grateful for the beautiful rain.
  • I am grateful for my patients.
  • I am grateful for you.
  • I am grateful to see posts about gratitude.
  • I am grateful for your talent and knowledge.
  • I am grateful that I have you in my life.
  • I am grateful for the ability to disconnect from technology.
  • I am grateful for my sisters and mom.
  • I am grateful for my head hitting my pillow.
  • I am grateful for my body.
  • I am grateful for this 16 minute video.
  • I am grateful for Garret.
  • I am grateful for self care.
  • I am grateful for the smile on my face and that I get to share that smile with others who may not be able to smile.
  • I am grateful for experts who share their understanding and change lives with intelligent, meaningful, powerful work.
  • I am grateful for your inspiring gratitude posts inspiring all of us to take a small moment out of each day to be mindful and present.
  • I am grateful for my three children.
  • I am grateful for this beautiful day.
  • I am grateful for these nourishing, organic, garden veggies.
  • I am grateful for setting goals and hitting them.
  • I am grateful for my Ninjia.
  • I am grateful for garden grown vegetables.
  • I am grateful for this community.
  • I am grateful that on days I work late, I come home to dinner ready and waiting.
  • I am grateful for my Wednesdays.
  • I am grateful to have you and garret as such awesome friends.
  • I am grateful for my friends and family.
  • I am grateful for my vehicle.
  • I am grateful for my meditation process.
  • I am grateful for having so many things to be grateful for.

Thank you to everyone who contributed. To anyone having a hard time finding something to be grateful for – I hope this helps.  Love and gratitude to you all. Let’s share the love and positivity. 


P.S. I shortened my posts, for the long version of my gratitude posts visit my Facebook page at TS Acupuncture.

Why I’m in love with Ginger.

gingerFresh Ginger Root (Sheng Jiang) is a commonly used herb in Chinese Medicine. The reason I am so in love with ginger root is not only because of its many health benefits, but also because of the accessibility of it. Unlike multiple other TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) herbs, ginger root can be found at pretty much any and every grocery store. It is also wonderfully easy to cook with, juice and/or apply topically. Ginger’s properties in TCM include; pungent, warm, effects the Lung, Spleen and Stomach meridians. It warms the Lung to stop coughing, warms the middle to stop vomiting and energizes the middle. And lastly, it disperses wind-cold (common cold).

Stimulates Digestion

Ginger helps to stimulate digestion, therefor helps ease digestive discomforts. It is not just that ginger stimulates digestion, but that it aids in assimilation of nutrients making them more “bioavailable” in the blood stream. Also, with it being warm and pungent in nature, it helps to unclog the channels.

“Fresh ginger is used to break down high-protein foods… and lessen the effect of uric acids in the body from eating these foods.” (Healing with Whole Foods). Adding ginger, cumin, and coriander with bean dishes diminishes problems with flatulence. You can also add ginger to mucus-forming foods, such as milk, yogurt, sour cream, kefir, etc. to help with digestion.


Ginger also has the ability to combat nausea, which can range from morning sickness to the flu, and even chemotherapy. Fresh ginger is so effective at decreasing nausea because it helps regulate the direction of Stomach Qi. The stomachs natural direction of Qi is downward, so when vomiting begins that can mean Rebellious Stomach Qi, by introducing ginger into you tea or diet during that time it will significantly help decrease vomiting and nausea. Because fresh ginger root is pungent and warming, which is downward, it is a popular kitchen medicine in the east for nausea and vomiting.

Disperse Wind-Cold Invasion

A wind cold invasion, also known as the common cold, is almost defenseless against ginger. As stated above, ginger helps to warm the lungs and disperse phlegm. I don’t know about you, but I love anything that helps me get over a cold in a natural way and quickly!

Anti Inflammatory

As you may know, from discussion or previous posts, I have had a bit of experience personally with inflammation in the past. Reason #174 why I love Ginger – drum roll please…. Ginger has anti-inflammatory agents. It also has been known to treat hypertension, although must be avoided if there are heat signs.

Reduce Toxicity

In Chinese medicine fresh ginger root is used to reduce toxicity, both medical and seafood. That is why it is common in Chinese culture to steam fish with ginger root and green onion, because ginger is an antidote to fish poisoning. It is also why Japanese eat pickled ginger and horseradish/wasabi with sushi, also because raw fish has such cold energy, it needs balance by warming.

Cold Signs


IMG_8871If you are similar to me and you love anything warm and tend to shy away from cold ginger root is for you. I for one, use ginger to help with PMS symptoms including muscle aches and nausea. I also use ginger in my komutcha to help warm my body. I am chronically yang deficient, as I learnt more about ginger; it quickly became my best friend.



Ginger should not be used in excess if you experience a lot of heat signs.

Fresh Ginger Root Tea


Place a few fresh ginger slices or diced fresh ginger into 12 oz of water.

Bring to a boil.

Steep till cool enough to drink.

Sweeten with honey.





Healing with Whole Foods – Paul Pitchford
Acupuncture Desk Reference – David J Kuoch
The Foundations of Chinese Medicine – Maciocia

Spring is a Time for Change

In Chinese Medicine, Spring is connected with the Liver. It is a time of waxing and waining. Regrowth comes to almost everyones mind when you hear Spring. That is why it is extremely fitting for all of this to be happening when it is.

This spring is also a time for TS Acupuncture to continue to grow. Drum roll please…..


Micheal Scott Drum Roll. The Office.

TS Acupuncture is moving!

This is a very calculated and exciting step that I can’t wait to share with all of you! *The address, online scheduling system, and opening date are posted at the end*

Now that this move is out there, let me tell you a little of my vision and how I came to decide to pursue my own space.

I have always wanted to have my own clinic, even before I had graduated from the Acupuncture program. Granted, at that time I thought my clinic would be a hut on a beach somewhere – but unfortunately, thats not a very clean clinic space and sunburns17757608_1322817867799545_6933591682794457368_n don’t tend to make treatments more comfortable. Anyways, getting back to my point, I feel so fortunate to be able to educate people in this area about Traditional Chinese Medicine. I have been thinking about this opportunity long and hard, I had found a space and was contemplating the pros and cons of a move. That is until I was making myself some tea one day and got this sign from the universe – “Do what you Love” and “There is pleasure in the pathless woods”. From that point on everything has been moving wonderfully smooth and the new clinic will be open Monday, May 29th, 2017!

It has truly been an honour treating in Stettler, acupuncture has been so well received that I would love to make it so more people are able to experience its benefits. In my new clinic I will have my regular 60 minute acupuncture treatments but will now also be offering a 90 minute acupuncture treatment for more musclo-skeletal issues where we need a bit more time to do a front and back treatment. Along with that I will be extending my cupping therapy to 45 minutes instead of 30 minutes.

One more thing that I will eventually be adding, is Community Acupuncture. This is an awesome opportunity for people to still get acupuncture but at a lower price. Let me explain Community Acupuncture a bit here. So there will be about 4-5 comfortable chairs in a room, people will come in and relax for 30-40 minutes. I will do needling predominately in the feet, hands, and ear. This is an awesome alternative to a traditional 60 minute 1 on 1 treatment for people who;

  • Don’t have the time or funds
  • Came in for treatments for stress and just need a tune up
  • Are feeling stressed and need to disconnect for a few minutes

Once I get this part of the clinic rolling I will have a post explaining Community Acupuncture more in depth, so stay tuned!

The-Big-Organic-BoxAnd lastly, the new TS Acupuncture clinic will be the pick up spot for Organic Box – on Thursday evenings. Organic Box is a wonderful organization that offers fresh, local, organic produce. If you’d like to learn more you can visit *If you are interested in Organic Box prior to the opening of the new clinic, that is awesome! The pick up location is currently at my house – contact me for more details*

What’s New?

What’s the Same?

  • Phone: Call/Text 403-741-8898
  • Website:
  • Hours:
    • Sunday 11am – 6pm
    • Monday 1pm-9pm
    • Tuesday 11am – 5pm
    • Wednesday 7am – 10:45am
    • Thursday 11am – 8pm

And like always, if there are any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me. Thanks for being a part of this journey!

My Meditation Process

I have been having quite a few patients ask about my meditation routine lately. So I thought I would write a bit of a break down of my process. Remember, this is what works for me, it might not work for you and that’s okay.

So, I have meditated off and on for years, mostly in yoga, and then here or there for five(ish) minutes. It wasn’t until probably about a year ago that I started to honestly have meditation as a regular practice in my life. It takes a while, or at least for me it did, to actually get to the point of seeing how beneficial meditation can be. I knew the benefits for a long time, but it wasn’t until I really started craving meditating that I started to feel and experience the benefits.

I learned to meditating in silence, and that is what I always go to. I am fortunate because I am a very visual person and can see my breath traveling though my body. From my head to my feet, down into the roots that are grounding me to the earth. It wasn’t until I was in Victoria in September, that I did a guided meditation. It was wonderful! I can see how it is a really nice way to start meditating. But for me, silence is still my favourite.

So, to start, I sit on my meditation mat and burn some sage and then ring my singing bowl. These two rituals have just started up since I moved into our new home and I have a specific meditation space. I find this to be a nice way to start the meditation process, both sage and the singing bowl help to clear any negative energy.

Now, I sit cross legged with my spine straight/core activated/shoulders down and take about 5 nice deep breaths. As I take these 17777014_10212524140999130_529392115_obreaths, I invite only the highest and brightest to guide me. This helps to get me centred and release any stress/worries/pain, etc. From this point I begin to watch my breath travel up and down my body. As I exhale, I watch the air and negative energy travel down my body into the ground. When I inhale, I watch the clean, bright, positive energy travel from the ground up through my body to my head.

I do a combination of diaphragm and thoracic breathing.

  • Diaphragm breathing is when your belly pushes out with the inhale and in with the exhale. Usually we only use Thoracic breathing in our every day lives so its nice to take time to focus on diaphragmatic breathing.
  • Thoracic breathing is when the diaphragm doesn’t descend when we inhale, therefor the chest must expand to accommodate.

I have found a huge part of of my meditation practice is gratitude. If I feel a pain in my shoulder while I am meditating (and actually in my everyday life now) I thank it and give it permission to leave. If my mind wanders off to a thought or task that needs to be accomplished, I give it gratitude and release it. I then bring myself back to my breath, back to centre. As I’m writing this I know it can sound kind of “hokey”, but I tell you it works really well for me. Everything we experience is for a reason, so I have come to appreciate the fact that giving it gratitude is extremely important – in my opinion.

In a world where we are always connected, I strongly suggest everyone take up a meditation practice. We all have that ability to connect to our higher self, we just need to take advantage of it. If a silent meditation isn’t for you, there are other types of meditation such as walking meditation or guided meditation. Find whats best for you. If you are looking for a guided meditation, there are lots of podcasts or on iTunes that you can test and see what works.

Good luck and don’t be upset if you aren’t really focused when you start meditating. Spoiler–you likely won’t be. But, just let your ego go. You know the one telling you you’re doing it wrong or not “good enough”. Put your thoughts, ego, and phone on the shelf for ten minutes and enjoy the process!

Peace and love,