August News & Views

Trauma Training Tip. As Late Summer emerges, the corresponding organs, tissues and substances of the Earth Element will call out to us. Traumatic stress responses are held in body memory.  Trauma survivors will use different tissues to help them manage, contain, or control these overwhelming experiences.  The tissue that holds their stress pattern will depend on the nature of the trauma, their constitutional “type” and the management strategy that they used during and after the event or situation. Muscles or “flesh” are the tissue associated with the Earth Element.  Muscles carry a lot of sensory information.  When we speak of …

Alaine DuncanAugust News & Views

July News & Views

Trauma Training Tip Be playful with your patients!  Relationship heals!  We humans are tribal creatures that  require community and the need to feel connected to others is primal. In fact, shunning or ostracizing a community member equated to a death sentence in ancient cultures. In a recent Washington Post article, “A Hunger To Connect: Loneliness Hurts, but where would we be without it?” Marta Zaraska, reports that being lonely is bad for our health – she quotes a study that indicates the risk of dying over a 20-year period was 50% higher for lonely men and 49% higher for lonely women. Zaraska …

Alaine DuncanJuly News & Views

June News ‘n Views

Do you have patients who have experienced a high velocity injury?  An automobile accident, a fall, or exposure to a blast?  We acupuncturists have much to offer. These injuries can create massive disruption in the physiology and function of connective tissue.  They can create complex and difficult to manage pain patterns and leave a person feeling fragmented and missing a sense of connection with themselves and others. Fascia, one type of connective tissue, is particularly vulnerable to high velocity injuries.  In theory, fascia is universally elastic. It is the web that receives the impact and is always part of the …

Alaine DuncanJune News ‘n Views

May News ‘n Views

Trauma Training Tip As we move into the Fire season, the important functions of the Fire Officials in the self-protective response, as well as the many ways  they can be disturbed by traumatic stress, will become more palpable in our treatment rooms. Traumatic stress too often results in a loss of trust in other people or a sense of disconnect from our own true nature.  Acupuncturists are in a unique position to help survivors build their capacity for relationship and develop an embodied, coherent sense of self. The interface between the Fire element and the Ventral Vagus Nerve illuminates the …

Alaine DuncanMay News ‘n Views

April News n Views

Trauma Training Tip The Sympathetic Nervous System, informed by the Liver & Gall Bladder in Chinese medicine, supports our ability to mobilize for food, mating and protection.  It guides us to orient, strategize, and implement our “fight or flight” response. The Sympathetic Nervous System is always “on”.  Even in our deepest sleep, we have the capacity to protect ourselves by mobilizing to a perceived threat. We have two ways our fight or flight response is tempered by the Parasympathetic Nervous System. Primates, including humans, are gifted with a social nervous system, enervated by the subtle, relationship-centered Ventral Vagus nerve. Depending on previous …

Alaine DuncanApril News n Views

March News ‘n Views

Trauma Training Tip! Many trauma survivors suffer from digestive symptoms.  They may feel bloated and gassy or may become obese or have trouble with metabolizing certain nutrients. There is a powerful dynamic in the middle Jiao of trauma survivors. Our mobilization response to threat, which is guided by the Liver and Gall Bladder officials, includes a message to the Spleen, Stomach and all the fu to shut-down.  In a moment of danger, we needed all our qi in our muscles and joints to power an escape.  Our long-term vitality depends on nourishment, but our immediate survival is rooted in successful fight or flight.  This shut down is designed to …

Alaine DuncanMarch News ‘n Views

News & Views on Integrative Healing – February 2017

Happy Chinese New Year!  Spring, or the Wood element calls forward the mobilization phase of our self-protective response. The Liver, the General of the Armed Forces and the Gall Bladder, the Official of Wise Judgment, are together responsible for strategizing and implementing our fight or flight response in the presence of perceived danger. If our patient’s mobilization response was thwarted or unavailable to them at a critical moment in their past, it will remain in their tissues. The Spring may support these body memories to emerge. Helping these responses complete will support the smooth movement of Qi and the benevolent nature of the Wood to emerge. …

Alaine DuncanNews & Views on Integrative Healing – February 2017

News ‘n Views On Integrative Healing, January 2017

The dynamics of fear and courage are all around us this winter. This season is an especially important one to attend to fear inourselves, our patients and our communities. When fear consumes us, our kidney/adrenal system becomes braced and frozen. The K’e cycle, the Sheng cycle and our Jing are affected. Our Bladder official communicates directly with the structures around our brainstem that initiate our fight and flight response.  Hyper arousal in the brain stem can hi-jack our frontal cortex – and compromise our Shen’s capacity for thoughtful, relationship-centered decision-making.  This dynamic between the brain stem and the frontal cortex is mirrored in the K’e cycle between Water and Fire. Brain stem …

Alaine DuncanNews ‘n Views On Integrative Healing, January 2017

News ‘n Views on Integrative Healing December 2016

Trauma Training Tip The Kidney and Adrenal Gland are contained in a fascial “sac” that integrates them into a single functional unit. One important job they play together is to signal our response to danger or life-threat. Life-threatening experiences in infancy, or intense or ongoing threats in adulthood may cause this signaling center to get stuck “on”. Enduring high arousal consumes Jing and causes high morbidity and mortality rates in trauma survivors. Patients who did not experience feeling safe while immobilized as infants or young children, with e.g. hugs, playful wrestling and cuddling, may be very challenged by not being …

Alaine DuncanNews ‘n Views on Integrative Healing December 2016

R&B After Trauma: Signaling Threat: December 9&10, 2016

The Kidney/Adrenal system is responsible for Signaling Threat, the subject of the Second Module in the Restoration & Balance After Trauma series. Building resiliency in this system will help survivors restore their capacity to feel safe again, recognize threats more accurately, reduce their morbidity and mortality and enhance their vitality. The whole body is alarmed when the Kidney’s signal of life-threat penetrates the pericardium and reaches the Heart. With repeated alarm, the Kidney loses its capacity to regulate fear. Survivors are tossed between hyper-arousal and collapse – their Jing is consumed and their Shen is disturbed. Exploring Shao Yin – Kidney/Heart dynamics in this integrative, East meets West context …

Alaine DuncanR&B After Trauma: Signaling Threat: December 9&10, 2016