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Wisconsin School of Massage Therapy

1/19/2010 - Acupuncture

I went for acupuncture last week with Angela Aukofer-Parker, LAc, RMT of Towering Pines Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine in Slinger, Wisconsin. Here you see me with the needles in my face. Notice I am able to smile!

Many people have an aversion to acupuncture because of the needles. The thing to realize, though, is that the needles are :
1. very sharp so they go in smoothly and easily,
 2. solid and springy, not hollow like needles used to deliver medicines, 
3. strategically placed to unblock energy flow in the body. 

My sinus infection has gotten better since my treatment and my energy level is up. Acupuncture for me is the most relaxing thing I've ever done. I know it doesn't seem to make sense that having needles stuck in you would be relaxing, but it makes me, for just a time, be completely motionless and that is a rarity for me!

I would highly recommend Angela (262-549-2349 to schedule an appointment.) Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for many afflictions. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports:  
Both the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health recognize that acupuncture can be a helpful part of a treatment plan for many illnesses. A partial list includes: addiction (such as alcoholism), asthma, bronchitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, facial tics, fibromyalgia, headaches, irregular periods, low back pain, menopausal symptoms, menstrual cramps, osteoarthritis, sinusitis, spastic colon (often called irritable bowel syndrome), stroke rehabilitation, tendonitis, tennis elbow, and urinary problems such as incontinence.

 You can safely combine acupuncture with prescription drugs and other conventional treatments, but it is important for your primary care physician to be aware of and monitor how your acupuncture treatment may be affecting your conventional therapies. 

The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture also lists a wide range of conditions for which acupuncture is appropriate. In addition to those listed above, they recommend acupuncture for sports injuries, sprains, strains, whiplash, neck pain, sciatica, nerve pain due to compression, overuse syndromes similar to carpal tunnel syndrome, pain resulting from spinal cord injuries, allergies, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), sore throat (called pharyngitis), high blood pressure, gastroesophageal reflux (felt as heartburn or indigestion), ulcers, chronic and recurrent bladder and kidney infections, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), infertility, endometriosis, memory problems, insomnia, multiple sclerosis, sensory disturbances, depression, anxiety, and other psychological disorders.
Wow, that is quite a list! It's pretty amazing what this ancient and powerful form of medicine can treat.

4/17/2010 - Napping

I took a nap the other day. It was a very warm sunny day and I was surprised to feel really bushed in the late afternoon. So, instead of pressing on with another task I climbed into bed and submitted to slipping into unconsciousness. Ah...bliss!
Waking up I felt somewhat guilty that I had spent that hour so unproductively, but then I decided I might actually be able to count it as research time for this message! I dug into the concept of the nap and found some interesting facts:

Napping makes you more productive because after a good nap you are alert again and ready to work. When you are tired you might be sitting at your computer, but the brain is not working efficiently.

Compared to 100 years ago we are getting about 1.5 hours per night less sleep. As a society we are chronically sleep-deprived and a little napping can go a long way to make up the deficit.

A 2002 Harvard University study showed that a midday nap can help people learn new things and retain them better.

A 2007 study in Greece showed that napping reduces the risk for fatal heart problems, especially in men.

Napping reduces information overload (National Institute of Mental Health study.)

These are all great excuses for a nap, but the real reason people will do it is because it is so enjoyable! When you indulge just know it is not a waste of time. You are taking good care of yourself and listening to your body's needs. Come on, just close your eyes and drift off for a bit.  

Every dog and cat on the planet understands the value of a good nap. 

7/14/2010 - Eggs

There is a new egg study from the USDA which is reporting results as of 7/7/10. The study report can be found at
Several news organizations are reporting on the findings of this new study. I have seen these reports and they sound exactly like the study report which says it finds:

"There's no substantial quality difference between eggs produced under different production systems." 
Consumers BEWARE!! You do not have a government which is looking out for your health, and you do not have news agencies which care about you either.
How can I make such bold statements? Well, after reading the study report I had to ask some questions which, of course, the news reports didn't think to ask:

1. Why did you use only one factor to determine "quality?" (The USDA only looked at albumen size, the "gold standard" developed in 1937 for determining egg quality.)

2. Why would a test designed in 1937 still be the "gold standard" when surely we have better measurements today such as: chemical components of eggs (how much good stuff is actually in there, like omega 3 oils?,) yolk size and composition, amount of chemical residue in eggs, etc.? I could think of a zillion questions to ask to compare supermarket eggs to farm eggs!! 

3. Couldn't the mission of the Egg Safety and Quality Research Unit which conducted the study have skewed what was looked at? Specifically the part about "protecting the marketability" of eggs? Who paid for the study?

4. Why does the USDA put, "expanding markets for agricultural products" ahead of anything having to do with consumers in its Strategic Plan Framework? What could the impact of this focus have had on this study? 

5. And now for the best question of all: Have you tasted a farm fresh egg from chickens who run around outside?  

The last question is the most important because you can talk all day about the study you did which proves this or that about factory farm conventionally produced eggs being exactly like farm fresh eggs, but one bite into the luscious golden yellow yolk of a fresh egg will blow that out of the water! And common sense will tell you that if the eggs were really scientifically compared on multiple measures the product of the small egg producer would also win in nutrition and value for the money. The USDA actually says, "Pricing for these products (specialty eggs) is typically at a premium..." indicating again, that our only criteria for selecting food should be low price. Ugh, people you really do get what you pay for. Garbage doesn't cost much, but hand-produced foods do and they pay you back in health and true enjoyment of real food.

Now go hit a farmer's market somewhere near you and buy up all the produce and eggs! 

These eggs cost 29 cents each. The USDA thinks I paid too much. Learn to question authority, especially about the food you consume! 
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Wisconsin School of Massage Therapy
N112 W15237 Mequon Road Suite 400
Germantown, WI  53022

2010 Highlights