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Healing Leaky Gut by Understanding Digestion

Feb 28, 2020


Digestion. We have heard the adage that we are what we eat. And, it is true.

But did you know how you eat and with whom you eat is also very important? Let’s dive in and learn more about healing the gut, as it is not only our immunity, nourishment but also our intuition.

The digestive system is one of the most important systems in our body and most influenced by our habits each meal and moment of the day. Because of this, we can also harness our own innate healing power every time we take a bite of food!  

Let’s look at what the digestive system does from a TCM perspective.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we have 4 main organs in the digestive tract. Stomach, spleen, small intestine, and large intestine. The stomach holds the food.

Small Intestine

The small intestine oversees separating the pure nutrients from the turbid or waste products. This function is important and assists the spleen in producing quality nutrients for the body.


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Male Factors in Infertility

Feb 14, 2020

Male fertility is something that we don’t talk about as often as female fertility and this is true for western medicine as well and alternative medicine. Often, because women have cycles, it is easier to look at and analyze what is out of sorts. Periods, ovulation cervical fluid are all visible ways we can see what’s happening. With men, it’s just not that easy there are several factors that cannot be detected without a test.

Most doctors in reproductive endocrinology offices or IVF clinics are ObGyn’s and have less experience with men’s specific issues.

Often the extent of the testing is to look at the morphology-shape, motility-movements of the sperm and the concentration of the overall count. If the numbers are poor or even subpar, physicians often suggest taking samples and isolating healthier specimens within a sample to utilize intra uterine insemination or invitro fertilization. The tests that can be performed by a urologist-specializing in male...

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Meditation: Everything You Need to Know

Jan 15, 2020

Meditation. Silence. Mantras. Breathwork. Belly breathing.

What do they have to do with, well, anything? Meditation is a tool to get you centered and back in touch with your body, to clear your mind, or to meditate on a scripture or prayer. It’s all of this and you don’t have to sit still. How do I know this? Because I have pretty much done every variety of meditation out there since the age of 5- including tai chi a moving meditation.

Many people ask me these types of questions: How do I start to meditate? Is there a right way to do it? I cannot meditate because thoughts or lists or pictures come up. I get distracted. I cannot sit still that long. It hurts my back to be in a half-lotus position even with a wedge and a pillow. Wow.

How can something that’s supposed to be relaxing elicit so many stressful issues?

I get it and you can meditate in any position (you can even lay down if you need to or sit in your chair), you can even move and what if I told you...

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An Acupuncturist's Guide to Winter

Jan 03, 2020


The kidneys and the urinary bladder are the organs we must support the most during the winter which began officially December 21st! In traditional Chinese medicine, (TCM) the kidneys are the foundation for all of the other organs and it is vital therefore to make time to balance and support the kidneys. We say “kidneys” but what it really means is the endocrine system & reproductive system, nervous system, neurotransmitters, water metabolism, and skeletal system.  The exterior organ of the kidneys is the ears and the emotion of the kidney is fear. During the winter we often see more sadness with the holidays but also more fear of moving forward.

Symptoms of the Kidney and Urinary Bladder:

  • Low pitched Ringing in the ears
  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • Low back or knee pain worse with fatigue or standing
  • Thirsty, sweatier at night or other changes in hormones – perimenopause both men/women
  • Sensitivity to...
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What Your Period Tells Your Acupuncturist

Dec 06, 2019


Periods can tell us so much about your body! What? Yeah, they really can!

And psst, they can be comfortable too.

It’s really all about balancing things out.

So, like a detective, we can figure out what part of you needs extra support. Each aspect of your cycle tells us a story. I can hear about a woman’s cycle and know what to adjust using acupuncture and herbs in one conversation. I feel so excited knowing that there is the potential for each patient to feel better soon. So, exciting!

People call me a nerd but how cool is it that we can make a difference in some one’s life with just the right combination of questions. 

You see, I am the practitioner who wants to guide you to learn what symptoms your body is telling you. It is telling you what your body needs supporting to heal. I am just an interpreter if you will, and you the patient, give me all the amazing clues to figure out the patterns of you.

It is a partnership to...

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An Acupuncturist's Guide to Autumn

Nov 11, 2019

Autumn is here.

The colors are shifting to brilliant golds, oranges, reds, and temperatures are dropping overnight too. Cooler air is here and with it comes a change in organ systems in Chinese medicine.

We leave the 5th season and enter Fall, which is the time of the Lung and Large Intestines.

The Lungs are represented by the metal element and are nourished or most active from the hours of 3 to 5 am then the large intestines from 5 to 7 am. During the early morning hours, our lungs are restoring themselves while we are in deep, restorative sleep and dreaming. Then upon waking the large intestines, it’s time to wake up, release bowls and possibly meditate at this time.

There are a total of five elements in Chinese medicine and metal is the fall element.


The color is white, the emotion associated is grief and the exterior expression is the nose. The lung includes the nose to the lungs themselves. We say that the lungs oversee gathering the qi...

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Be Grateful for the Small Stuff

Oct 29, 2019

It seems to me that today of all days, I need to laugh at the craziness of the day and thank my youngest family member for creating a day to take pause and be grateful for all that I have. I mean really, be grateful for all that I have. Today, like many busy weekdays took an unexpected twist: the car batteries dead (it’s a hybrid so 2 batteries-oy -no jump-start would work), Husband out of town- woke up at 3 am and couldn’t fall back to sleep and its pouring rain and we are late to school. 

So began my day. 

Boots and jackets on, walking to the primary school we came across so many sights and sounds that I had forgotten about because well, we don’t take the time to walk in the rain these days. Birds were out, the sound of the rain on the stroller and the WORMS! Wow, the worms were the best. So big that E said he wished he could be a worm crossing guard! If it were a thing, he said it would be his job to keep them safe. 

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Create Your Rainbow Plate

Oct 08, 2019


Have you ever heard someone say “make your plate a rainbow”? I have said it a lot to my patients and this is the perfect time of year to implement this principle. Fall is an amazing time of year as the days cool and the leaves begin to crisp changing into a magical world. As you can guess this is my favorite time of year. It’s also easy to create wholesome meals full of nutrients and flavors.

So instead of explaining all of this in detail, I have come up with a warm, hearty dish to give your taste buds an idea of what I really mean and why it’s so important to your body to have this balance.

Hearty Taste of the Rainbow

This rainbow plate is inspired by one of my favorite grain bowls that I cannot get enough of in the DC area. It’s a Mediterranean inspired as I am from Malta it’s fitting, to say the least.

There are a couple of components that need to be figured out first - what kind of grain do you like? And what...

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Fighting Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Naturally

Sep 09, 2019
Co-written by Sabra Gilbert & Lisa Borg-Anderson

My name is Sabra, and I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).

After three years of no diagnosis, I was finally given the news. To most people, the news would be devastating, but to me, it was finally an answer. An answer that I could analyze and finally start to fight against. With little information from the doctor who initially diagnosed me and my specialist's appointment almost two months out, I decided to figure out for myself what I could do to improve my fertility naturally.

So I dove into the internet to find the best tips and tricks.

The first thing that I started reading about were endocrine disruptors and how PCOS was caused by hormone imbalance. So that was the first thing that I tackled. I started throwing away the beauty products and household cleaners that I discovered I never should have trusted. I started replacing them slowly by essential oil or plant-based products instead. 

Once I had replaced those...

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An Acupuncturist's Guide to the Fifth Season

Aug 26, 2019


It's that time of the year again, Friends. Whether we are students or not, I think that a lot of people still think of fall as the beginning of the year in a way...a time to get back to business after the loosy-goosiness of the summer. It is also a time when many fruits, vegetables, and grains are harvested. This time beginning in mid-August and ending in mid-to September is considered one of the five seasons in Chinese Medicine.

To most of us, especially those living in hot sticky climates like DC, this time also
coincides with the “dog days of summer.” The dog days used to occur more around July and the beginning of August but now it seems like they stretch all of the ways into the beginning of September.

Self-care is more important than ever because, with our ever-changing climate, we need to make sure that we are transitioning gracefully from one season to the next sometimes with some modifications.

The Fifth Season's Organ Pair


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