Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Thank you & Healthy New Year!!!

This year has been quite a roller coaster ride for us all and I have been blessed with renewed appreciation for friendship and family. Thank you for allowing Natural Life Therapy Clinic to be part of your own health care planning. Our New Year resolution is to improve our services and become more capable of providing the highest State of the Art of Inochi Life Medicine. Thank you and may you have the healthiest year ever in 2009.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Conversations with Dr. Duckworth: A New Patient Primer

Q: Do people, generally speaking, find your practice through word-of-mouth?
A: Essentially they do find us through word-of-mouth. We do some Yellow Pages advertising. We do very little other adverstising.

Q: From your understanding, what are patients telling one another? What recommendations induce them to come in for the first time?
A: Usually it's that they've got a condition that has not responded to contemporary medicine. Generally, it's symptomatic. Somebody's suffering from neuropathy and they've been treated by Duckworth and it's helped a lot. Probably a few say, "I feel good and I go to Duckworth." But it's usually more disease- or symptom-oriented.

Q: Do they have a set of expectations when they come in to see you? Or are they wide-open to whatever the experiences may be?
A: Usually, they're wide open to whatever the experience might be. Most of them have not had experiences with Oriental medicince, so they don't have experiences to draw upon. Some people have read about it and approach it from a more intellectual point-of-view. Sometimes they've read about diagnostic techniques and will ask why I do that, or haven't done that. But, overall, people who come to complementary alternative medicine, and to Natural Life Therapy, come to it with an open mind and the allow things to unfold for themselves.

Q: With that in mind, do people, on their own, come to question their dietary, sleep and work habit choices?
A: Well, we do have people who call and ask to address their health isses. And diet in health is a factor, and they ask if we can do something about that. The fair number of people aren't aware that food is part of the healing process; the kitchen is part of their health care. It's introduced to them, rather than them asking about it.

Q: And for those who've had some experiences with other practioners, how do you start to work with them? Especially if they've some basis of comparison?
A: A lot of times we'll first talk about differences. They'll ask what we do differently than other acupuncturists in town. Or, once they've started receiving treatments, they'll notice some differences. There are some major differences and some that are quite subtle. We're a clinic that provides exclusively Japanese-based Oriental medicine, as opposed to Chinese-based Oriental medicine. And there's a difference in approach, philosophically and diagnostically. Even the type of needle used is different. They find the needling techniques here are less invasive. They'll ask, why another practioner's needles hurt more, or why they used more needles and I'll explain the differences between Chinese and Japanese medicines.

New Year's Hours

The Natural Life Therapy Clinic will be closed on Wednesday, December 31 and Thursday, January 1. Normal office hours will be observed on Friday, Janaury 2.

Jason Hackler, L.Ac., will return to the practice on Monday, January 5.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Conversations with Dr. Duckworth: Holiday & Winter Health

Q: Are there particular maladies you see this time of year, around the holidays and with the cold weather?
A: As a general statement, we do see people stressed out at the holidays, through family relationships. This year, the stress we are seeing is all economic, a combination of Christmas and Wall Street. There's a phenomenon we see in Oriental medicine called wind poisoning. It's a situation that has quite an effect on the immune system and the upper respiratory system. We see that much more often in the winter than the summer, and we'll see it again in the spring, when the winds come again. In the winter, it's more of a cold poisoning phenomenon and it's definitely seasonal. We give some dietary recommendations and there are certain teas that will help the diet, also.

Q: Are there some things that people can do at home, on their own time, to help reduce their stress level?
A: Meditate. To stop taking themselves so seriously. The most relaxing thing a person can do is make a ginger bath to just soak in. Which is done by taking a small handful of grated ginger root, add it to non-boiling water and then take that heated water through a sieve, before pouring it into your bath water. People who do aromatherapy - which I know nothing about - recommend lavender, as well, for relaxing. There's a many-thousand-year history of meditation, in Buddhist and Christian forms. Any kind of quiet in the mind can relieve stress. I also highly recommend singing, dancing and watching very funny, silly movies.

Q: Couple of questions in relation to that answer. What are the qualities of ginger that allow for that type of relaxation?
A: I don't know! I can tell you that the qualities of ginger in the bathtub, or in a small compress, give the body an ability to relax. It gets into the muscle fibers and then radiates back out, allowing the whole muscle tissue to expand and become more supple. How, or why, that works, I don't know. It just does. (For more info, see this article by Dr. Duckworth on the benefits of ginger.)

Q: When you mention singing, dancing or laughing, those seem elemental and yet people might not go that route.
A: Healing is quite elemental and quite simple. We complicate it ourselves. The KISS concept of "keep it simple stupid" has a lot to say here. It's a matter of not allowing yourself a space to laugh. Norman Cousins wrote a book called "The Anatomy of An Illness" in which he cured himself of a terminal disease by watching funny movies. So I'm a strong advocate of that.

Q: One last question for this round. Is there something that people should eat more, or eat less, during the winter season?
A: Sugars and fruits are very cooling. A fruit salad in July is a wonderful thing to have. A fruit salad at the New Year is a silly thing to have, because it cools you down. So the fruits that are available this time of year, in-season, are limited. There are certain pears and apples that are harvested and maintain their burst in this season and those are fine, moderately. Root crops - potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and onion - are foods that grow close to the ground and tend to allow the body to generate more heat in the wintertime. A small salad in the wintertime is okay, but a big one will be very cooling. It's better to have steamed, or slightly-cooked vegetables at this time.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Monday Night Classes in January

Beginning in January, 2009, Natural Life Therapy Clinic will hold free informational classes two Monday evenings a month. All classes are open to the public and are from 6:15 - 7:30pm. The classes are titled Health in the Modern World and will cover such topics as:

"Choosing the Right Diet for Me," "How to Cleanse with Food," "Children's Health," "Healthy Pregnancy and Well-Being of my Infant," and "Stress Management Practices"

Please join us with questions concerning you.

Our monthly Jizo Bosatsu Thank You Ceremony continues one Sunday a month at 10:00am. Classes and celebrations to be held at 443 N. New Ballas Rd. Suite 224. Our January class and celebration schedule is as follows: class on Monday, January 12th and Monday, January 26th from 6:15 pm to 7:30 pm. Jizo Bosatsu is Sunday, January 18th at 10:00 am. Please refer to our website's homepage to view future class and celebration listings. Have a Blessed Holiday Season!

With gratitude,
Thomas Duckworth L.Ac., DKM
Jason Hackler L.Ac.
Mary Wallis L.Ac.
Mallory Reed
Sharon Reed