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Branching out

A story on growth.

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I imagine this tree, so tall and strong. Helping other trees up towards the light. He lets them wrap tightly around his roots, pulling as they slowly coil and stretch out towards the sun. The bigger tree can feel the pressure mounting. He tries to plant his roots deeper into the ground but the soil is taken up. There’s no more room. What will he do?

I imagine this tree looking back over seasons, wondering how he got here. How he grew to be so tall. If growing up had been the right direction for his life after all.

What if he had just reached out? Spread his branches far over the land. Had he planted his roots in the right place? He let out a long sigh as the wind rustled his leaves. The few he had managed to hold on to this season.

I imagine the pulling. Coiled around like a snake, squeezing intermittently at his life force. The tree welcomes his friends. He feels the weight bearing down on him, his roots coming up just slightly, gravel washing underneath him as the earth beneath him begins to shift. Yet he stands firm, knowing if he continues to reach up there may be no space left. I imagine his slow panic as he thinks about how to continue to provide a path to the light, when he’s losing grasp right beneath him.

I imagine his terror as his little family keeps pulling. He feels the pressure. Again, he tries to plant his roots. Growing over the pebbles, allowing himself to be exposed. He doesn’t think about the old days, when he felt the dirt soft against his roots. When he stretched out his limbs and didn’t feel that pressure. He doesn’t pay attention to the cold ice, penetrating his exposed root, trying to freeze his core. Instead, he thinks about his path. He’s always known he would have to grow up. That he would help his friends reach for the light with him, but had he considered another way?

I imagine a pounding rain washing down the mountain. A hard crack of lighting hitting a nearby tree. This particular tree had lost his footing seasons ago. He’d stopped searching for ways to grow and he let the elements wash over him until he was just a ragged core. He hadn’t tried to spread his limbs for seasons. When he looked up, he just saw shimmers of that old familiar light. When he looked down, he saw his roots. Raw. Eaten away at. Exposed.

Why hadn’t he just reached out? Spread his limbs far across that land. Paved a new path for him and his family? It was too late now. The lightning cracked and he let himself split under the heat and pressure of the bolt.

The thunder rolls over the hills, rumbling, vibrating. Penetrating the hardened ground. The gravel shifts beneath the tree’s roots once again. But this time the tree has been mindful. He feels the pulling again. He pulls back, taking firm root on the edge of the field. He feels the gravel shifting as a gentle stream bubbles beneath his roots. Tickling his core. What was this sensation? Was this what he had been missing?
He feels the pulling again. A bearing down sensation and the coils tightening. He gasps for carbon dioxide as the gravel shifts beneath him again.

I imagine he remembers the other trees that came before him. How they were able to keep growing with such apparent ease. What was it about them that made it look so simple? Another loud crack of lightning strikes around him, forcing him out of his daydream. He hears a loud crash nearby and searches in panic, laying eyes on his fallen friend.

The pressure overwhelms him. The heavens open up and the pink sky cries out hard pellets of water, as if serving a punishment. It didn’t have to be this way. Again, he feels the pulling. Suffocating.

Over the season new vines had made their stance; growing and pulling. Squeezing and stretching up over his bark. Stealing away at his small rays of sunshine.

I imagine the tree watching his surroundings, grasping for footing and being welcomed by the soft mud along the field’s edge. He remembers that gentle feeling. He feels a hot ray touching his budding limbs and he reaches up but is met by the shadow of the trees around him. They overwhelm him.

How had he not noticed them before? He’d spent so much time helping his friends towards the light that there wasn’t any light left in that direction. He remembers his fallen friend. He wishes he could just reach out but it is too late. Another season passes.

I imagine this tree, searching for the heat of the sun through the shadows, letting out a loud sigh of oxygen as he reaches out one more time. But something is different this time. The pressure that mounted after all these seasons and the gravel and dirt that shifted beneath his roots had changed him. The earth feels different today. He notes its textures, wet and soft, stretching his roots out, acknowledging the gravel that had hurt and exposed him just a few seasons ago. It had forced him on this new path. As he reaches out over the field, his limbs burn in the heat of the light. Suddenly, the things that seemed to stunt him before have gained a new meaning. He plants his roots hard into the field and remembers the feeling of the harsh, cold rain pelting at his bark, the friends he tried to help along the way and the vines that had taken advantage of his kindness. The thunder that penetrated the ground, causing creatures to seek refuge in his open trunk. His fallen leaves that he had shed over the stress of winters’ past. He lets the light creep over him, new buds emerging through the growth of his outstretched limbs.

He takes a moment to look around him and though he recognizes his surroundings, he no longer feels that familiar pressure. That hard, cold rain that had once pelted his bark had also fed his core, flushing his limbs with nutrients as his roots processed its’ unrelenting forces. Those vines that had wrapped around him so tightly he’d barely managed to breathe, now loosened their grip as he deeply exhaled the oxygen from the depths of his core- releasing what no longer served him. The thunder that penetrated the ground, causing many to explore the once empty crevices of his trunk, now cradled a family of birds who sang him to sleep through the storms. The gravel beneath his roots that had once caused panic as he searched for footing under its’ unexpected shifting, now mixed with the new soil beneath him, massaging his roots beneath the field.

He looked around him, basking in the light he had neglected to acknowledge over the seasons. He looked back over the field and noted how far he had come. He realized nothing had really changed at all. That the rain still came and the ground still shifted while unexpected thunder rolled through. That the vines still pulled hard to try and smother the light and the creatures still sought refuge. But something had changed.

He had grown. He had branched out.

Now looking back on his weathered trunk he could see everything so clearly. His old leaves for which he once mourned each season, had nourished his core; dissolving underneath his limbs and helping to build the soil beneath him. How had he not seen this all these seasons? What else was he oblivious to? So wrapped up in the pressures around him, had he forgotten what he was? What he could be?

His limbs outstretched over the field and the sun’s rays reflected new buds in the puddle below his branches. He looked down, recognizing the growth, confused by what he saw. The bud began to open as the sun’s fading rays kissed it’s rosy petals and a flower emerged. A single, most beautiful flower- he couldn’t believe it. How was it that all these seasons he’d never known he could flower?

I imagine this tree standing firmly planted, widely stretched out over the field. A beautiful dogwood tree. Having reached his full potential, offering his beauty to those who choose to see it, but no longer over-extending his branches. Standing tall in a field of new perspective- dark, blushing flowers filling out his branches.

 

-Crystal Meyers, LAc.

Practicing Self-Care & Spiritual Wellness During Cancer Treatment by Scott Sanders

Scott Sanders is the creator of CancerWell.org, which provides resources and support for anyone who has been affected by any form of cancer. He is also the author of the book Put Yourself First: A Guide to Self-care and Spiritual Wellness During and After Cancer Treatment, coming Summer 2018!

Practicing Self-Care & Spiritual Wellness During Cancer Treatment

coffee

After being diagnosed with cancer, it may seem difficult to focus on yourself, especially when your mind is racing with how you are going to fight this. During one of the hardest times of your life, it’s important to take a moment and practice self-care. This will not only improve your quality of life during treatment, but help you improve your spiritual and mental health when you need it the most.

Make sleep a priority
We spend one third of our lives sleeping, and it plays an important role in making sure our body and mind is rested. This is especially important when you’re going through cancer treatment. Radiology, chemotherapy and other drugs that are fighting cancer can cause you to feel tired and weak. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try coloring in a color book before bed. It can relax your mind and put it at ease. You can also try taking a warm bath or drinking tea to get a good night’s sleep.

Safe use of opioids
Cancer can be painful, depending on the type you have been diagnosed with. In some cases, doctors will prescribe opioids to assist with the pain and provide you with relief. However, it’s important to keep in mind that while opioids can be successful in providing you pain management, they can also be highly addictive. In order to prevent opioid addiction, you have to practice safe use of this medication. If you notice yourself becoming dependent on opioids, or if you have to keep taking more and more to relieve the pain, talk to your doctor. He may be able to prescribe other natural pain relievers that you can try.

Spend time with loved ones
Being diagnosed with cancer can make you feel lonely, especially if no one you know is going through it. That’s why it’s crucial to spend time with loved ones during your treatment. This doesn’t mean you have to do anything crazy like going on a trip or going out on the town. You can simply watch a movie together or read together. Being around people while you’re going through treatment makes all the difference. When you’re diagnosed with cancer, you may also realize how precious life is, and that you actually do have the time to spend with people you care about.

Start a cancer journal
You probably feel a lot of emotions while you’re going through cancer treatment. Whether you’re sad, grateful or determined, writing down your feelings in a journal can help you get through your treatment easier. Expressive writing, or writing that focuses on your thoughts and feelings, has actually been proven to increase the well-being of cancer patients. Some reasons why journaling is beneficial is because you can be open and honest, you can process what you’re going through and it can help put things into perspective. When you start journaling, take just a few minutes every day to write down what you feel, and then build from there.

Practice yoga and meditation
Going through cancer treatment, you may feel lost and defeated. Yoga and meditation can not only enhance your spiritual, mental and physical wellness, but these practices can provide you the peace you need to stay tough through treatment. Yoga is the art of posing and stretching while focusing on your breathing and staying in the moment. Meditation is the art of focusing on your breaths and practicing mindfulness. During chemo or after surgery, it may be hard to recognize your body. Yoga and meditation can help by allowing you to reconnect to your body emotionally and spiritually. These exercises can also greatly improve your quality of life while you fight cancer.

Photo: Unsplash

NHP/Celticare Patients- coverage will no longer be available to the Boston area starting March 2018. Options to consider:

Attention patients with Neighborhood Health Plan or Celticare coverage:

You may or may not have received a letter from Masshealth telling you that come March, NHP and Celticare will no longer be available to patients as a health insurance provider in the Boston area…in light of having to switch care plans, if you would like to continue to receive acupuncture benefits under your masshealth careplus insurance but are unsure of which other plans might cover our services- please see below or give us a call and we would be happy to go over insurance options accepted by AcuPUNKture.

Below are a list of masshealth careplus plans AcuPUNKture accepts:

BMC Healthnet
Tufts Community plan
Commonwealth Care Alliance
United Health Care
Fallon Community Health plan

Unfortunately, the new physician care plan does not cover any acupuncture benefits.

If you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to call us at 617–971–8623.

Food for Thought: Combating that Nagging Cough

Winter cough got you down? Try these natural remedies!

Suffering from a nagging cough that just won’t quit? Try these natural remedies to knock out that cough for good!

Daikon, Ginger and Scallion Soup: *Popular for treating coughs as well as clearing nasal congestion, and counteracting body aches, weakness and lethargy due to colds*

3 cups (750 mL) water

1 medium daikon, cut it into 1/2 inch slices

1 tablespoons (15 grams) sliced fresh ginger

6 white heads of scallion, sliced

Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the daikon to the water. Continue to boil over a medium flame for 20 minutes, or until the daikon is soft (you should be able to push a chopstick or toothpick through the daikon slice with ease)

Add the sliced scallion scallion and ginger to the pot. Reduce the flame to low. Simmer for another 10 minutes, or until two-thirds of the water has evaporated. Remove…

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Price Changes in effect January 2018

Attention Patients:

Due to an increase in expenses over the past 2 years, AcuPUNKture’s Cash/Credit Rates will be Increasing starting January 1, 2018.

We are pleased to have been in business with you over the past 2 years. Since opening our doors in October 2015, we have not raised the prices of our services despite the continuous rise in expenses.

There has been an undeniable rise in prices of materials, rent and utilities since we first opened. In light of this increase and in order to continue to provide our patients with the best possible, comprehensive treatments, we can no longer avoid either sacrificing level of care or raising our prices.

Since we have never compromised the quality of our services even in the hardest of times and we endeavor to keep going with the agenda of excellent quality, we feel that an increase in price is a necessity. This will allow us to continue to offer services such as cupping, moxa, essential oils, take home magnets and teas in conjunction with your acupuncture sessions.

Below are the details of our new price tariffs. We look forward to your cooperation in the process and hope to continue being in business with you in the New Year.

To help offset this rise in out of pocket costs:
We will be offering you the opportunity through the month of December to prepay for future services at your current treatment rate.

 

Starting January 1, 2018 new prices will come into effect:

Initial Consultation and First Time acupuncture Treatment: $110

Follow-up Acupuncture Treatment: $90

Follow-up pre-paid packages: 4 prepaid treatments for $320 (10$ off- $80 per session)

Cancellation policy: 24 hours notice is required or a 50$ charge will be applied. This fee is not covered by insurance.

 

Food for thought/ Insurance options: It is now open enrollment for 2018 Health Care in Massachusetts. Your plan may have an option to cover acupuncture services- if this is of interest to you we highly suggest calling your HR department or inquiring with your Insurance provider about adding Acupuncture Benefits to your plan.

We also accept Flex Spending and HAS accounts.

Thank you for your understanding,

Crystal Meyers, LAc., Owner

Health Insurance- Open Enrollment and Acupuncture Coverage!

Did you know that more and more Health Insurance plans are starting to cover Acupuncture Services?

Right now is open enrollment for Insurance Healthcare 2018– see if your plan has an option for Acupuncture Coverage and start your journey to a healthier you today!

Plans we currently accept:
Neighborhood Health Plan
BMC HealthNet
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
Commonwealth Care Alliance/One Care
Celticare
Fallon
Blue Cross Blue Shield MA
Tufts Community Health
Aetna
Cigna
Health Net Federal Services

If you are wondering if your plan covers acupuncture, give us a call and we will be happy to check for you: 617-971-8623