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MCA’s New Hours

The shift from summer to fall is on and so is a change in MCA’s hours!

Now that our boys are older, I am finding it harder and harder to work on Saturdays.  With our oldest now in school, family time is getting squeezed.  Sadly, something has to give.  So moving forward we will be open every other Saturday.  I understand that news comes as a bit of a surprise, actually it did for me too.  Cliniko will be up to date so you will be able to see what is available.  To help the Saturday squeeze,  we will be opening up on Mondays and extending our hours as well.

Here’s our new schedule:

Monday: 9:30 -1:10pm

Tuesday: 2:00 – 7:00pm

Wednesday 9:30-1:10pm

Thursday: closed

Friday :9:30 -1:10pm

Saturday: 9:00 – Noon  (every other Saturday)

A Recipe For Yummy Goodness!

Recipe

Recently, we’ve had several requests for our recipes. One of my sons has a number of allergies, which brings the opportunity to be creative with cooking and try new things. A favorite thing to make is vegan, yellow cake. Hands down, this recipe makes the best yellow cake I’ve ever had. If you like this recipe, let me know and I’ll send one for chocolate frosting 🙂

 

 

 

C’s Yellow Cake

Ingredients:

A) 1.5 cups of Soy milk

1.5 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

B) 2 1/4 cups of flour

1.5 teaspoons of baking soda

1.5 teaspoons of baking powder

1.5 cups of sugar

3/4 teaspoon of salt

C) 1/2 cup of olive oil

3 oz of water

1.5 tablespoons of lemon juice

1.5 vanilla


Baking Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Mix together A and set aside.

3. Mix together B and set aside.

4. Mix together C and set aside.

5.  Mix together A and B with an electric mixer then slowly add in C gently.

6. Grease a 13×9 cake pan and poor the mix in.

7. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Check with a cake tester and add time as needed.

Musings On Healthy Spring Cleaning

MopAh yes, all the wonders of spring cleaning! My wife sent me a photo of the bag of expired items she removed from the bathrooms. First off – gross! Secondly, who knew those things could expire? Well, they do. I’m glad she chucked them. Her photo was a nice reminder of a couple other areas in the house that could use a once over, like the kitchen spice rack, the refrigerator and our collection of cleaning products.

Speaking of cleaning products, it’s a good idea to look the ingredients on the back of bottles and containers. As a rule of thumb, if you can’t pronounce and have never heard of the ingredients, they’re probably not good for you.

Non toxic cleaning products are a much safer choice. I tend to refer the Environmental Working Group database for guidance on green and healthy products. It has in-depth info on everything from sunscreen to all-purpose cleaners to cosmetics. My wife and I use it to buy most things for our home.

What I like most, is that it provides safer alternatives to popular, widely used products. And narrowing your choices of cleaning products from twenty to two makes shopping that much easier. It’s an excellent resource for safe and healthy cleaning during the spring and throughout the rest of the year. Check it out!

http://www.ewg.org/consumer-guides

A Truly Transformative Read

Not too long ago a patient of mine starting tell me about all the amazing work she was doing at home. It seemed every time she came in for a treatment, she had just finished donating a box of this or that to a local charity. She also had a smile on her face from ear to ear. From her gate to her shoulders, she even appeared lighter.

I asked her about the transformation, and she said it was from the work she had been doing with the book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tyding Up” by Marie Kondo. I was so impressed that I bought a copy.

Kondo lives her life teaching others how to clean up their messes. Being the father of a 3-year-old and 5-year-old I can relate. It’s crazy the amount of toys and books they have added to our already full house and how often I’m telling them to pick up their stuff! She had a very clear directive, “only keep what sparks joy in my body, let go of the rest.”

It seemed simple enough. I started with my closet. Following Kondo’s instructions, I moved every piece of clothing from my closet and put it on my bed. Then I began the process of holding each item in my hand to see if it “sparked joy” in me. To spark joy…hmmm…that’s different for everyone I assume. For me, there’s a sensation that happens in my belly, I know it clear as day. I used it as my joy “measuring stick.” If I felt void of the sensation when I picked up the article of clothing, then it went in my donation pile – no questions asked. Two hours later, I had 5 FULL bags of clothes to donate. Best of all, I had a closet that looked and felt good again.

I never realized how heavy those clothes weighed on me before I removed them from my life. Months have passed since I purged my closet of clothes and I am pleased to say it still feels good. It feels even better to learn how to let go. I have no doubt I will continue to use this method in other areas of my life.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tyding Up” is a short, easy and truly transformative read. I highly recommend it!

http://tidyingup.com/

Update from Ryan: February, 2016

Wshoveling-17328_960_720hat’s showing up these days…

It must be February, as I’m seeing a lot of patients with back issues – shoveling and people slipping and falling! If you’re experiencing back pain, please come in. We can usually shift the pain rather quickly, and help you get back to your regular activities.

What are you planting?

A question I often get from new patients is how often do I need to come in? It’s a fair question and not always an easy one to answer. Honestly, it depends on what we’re working on. An easy rule of thumb is twice a week until the desired shift occurs. For people with pain our goal is to get ahead of it – then we can back off the treatments. All the while, the pain should be decreasing and/or changing.photo-1444731961956-751ed90465a5

For someone who has allergies, the treatment plan will look a little different. This is the perfect time to start working with folks who experience spring allergies – the work now will pay dividends in the spring! Often times I work in a reactionary mode, treating the symptom versus the condition that leads to the symptom. It’s much easier if we can treat the condition and build up your body so it can react differently to the allergen. People who get treated regularly tend to have a much easier time come spring and summer. Tomatoes don’t grow overnight; they take time and tending. The same can be said for us.

Calling all trusted healthcare practitioners!

128-BLKDoctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, body workers and talk therapists! Our goal is to partner with these good folks to help speed up the recovery of their patients and alleviate their health concerns. Most healthcare practitioners are happy to learn there is affordable acupuncture in their community. If you trust and recommend someone in any of those fields, please email me their contact information and we’ll be happy to reach out to them on your behalf.

Flow: An Interview with Dominique Krasow

IMG_0666

If you’ve visited Maine Center for Acupuncture recently, you’ve surely noticed the striking new artwork gracing the walls of our treatment room! This wonderful new addition comes to us from artist Dominique Krasow. Read on for a Q&A with Dominique to learn more about the piece, and how it all came together.

What’s your history and experience with MCA?

A friend knew I was trying to quit smoking and recommended acupuncture, which I had never heard of as a remedy for that. I found MCA, listened to an interview with Ryan, and made an appointment that day. I’ve been going once a week for the past few months or so, and I love it.

What do you find special about MCA? What does the Center mean to you?

There’s something very calming, a feeling like meditating that I get when I arrive at MCA. Ryan is super friendly and aware – almost intuitively of what people need. I am kind of a “Type A” personality so anything that centers me is wonderful. I look forward to my appointment every week and don’t think I will ever go without having acupuncture in my life.

IMG_0560How did this project come about?

I talk about my artwork anytime I get to know someone – it’s a huge piece of my life – and as Ryan got to know me we talked about the art I was creating. I showed him some pictures of the different work I do, and at the beginning of September he asked me if I would be interested in creating a piece for the acupuncture room. I was totally excited because I knew what the room felt like, so creating this piece was also internal.

When did the project start and end?

I started to work on the piece at the beginning of September. I actually had another idea originally of using reclaimed wood, but after looking at the wall I decided to use 3×2 wooden panels, which is often what I use in creating my pieces. I finished the piece toward the middle of October.

What tools and materials did you use?

I am a total child when it comes to creating a piece, because everything excites me. I’m a Mixed Media artist – which, let’s just say, is both exciting and challenging – and on this piece I immediately could see glass, material, rocks, so many different layers of texture that I wanted to use. Overall, I used paint, glass, rocks, beads, material, alpaca glue as texture and the three wooden panels. I love texture – it is what I am all about.

IMG_0627What was the process of conceptualizing and executing the work? Were there any challenges you encountered?

When Ryan asked me about creating this piece he gave me total freedom, which is such a gift as an artist. I immediately had a feeling of flow and freedom and empowerment. I wanted this piece to embody a sense of calm and being centered, since this is my experience when receiving acupuncture. I loved that I could see – almost immediately – the colors and feeling I wanted to portray. I often use Google to look at pictures of what I’m seeing or feeling and so I found a picture of the wave, the flow, and brought it to Ryan, and we also talked about colors. Both the size of the piece and the colors were very important – too much yellow and it would jump out at people; if the blues were too bright it would feel overwhelming. I painted and re-painted the piece three times before I was happy with the background. In my head I could see exactly what I wanted, but until it came out exact I couldn’t begin to add texture. I eat, sleep and live in a piece when I create it, so sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with how I want something to be. I am a piece of my art work, and that is very important to me.

IMG_0657What does the finished work symbolize and embody to you?

It was very exciting to create this piece, but the real excitement was looking at it once it was hung. I had this vision the entire time, but once it was hung I saw the vision totally come to life. The flow in the wave and the textures and colors were what I was hoping to embody. The lighting and the shadows in the room hit it just right. It was even more exciting to have Ryan’s positive response and to hear about the reaction of others. I love hearing the stories of how people describe the piece. It feels like a success, and that’s the point.

Is there anything else you want to add about the project?

I am very much a child at heart. Getting dirty while working is my favorite thing ever. I love to get deeply involved in a piece and I’ve learned that often times I have to sit – sometimes for days, sometimes for weeks – watching and thinking about the next step before I can continue. My vision is usually clear in my head, and sometimes I just have to stop and know that I will create exactly what I vision. It is humbling.

Where else can people see your work?

I have some small pieces of “veggie” artwork for sale at Fiachre on Pleasant Street, and two large pieces for sale at Knaughty Hair Salon on Commercial Street. At The Bar of Chocolate on Wharf Street I have a seven-foot panel hung, called “A Day In Paris”. Hair Innovations on Fore Street commissioned me for a piece that is hung behind their front desk. I am also in the process of creating a website of the work I’ve done and the work I hope to create. I can be reached via email at krasowd@yahoo.com.

Find Freedom in Routine

Check ListIn a recent MCA newsletter I mentioned the importance of routines. Since then, I’ve been thinking more and more about them. Ah… the metal element is working its wonderful magic on me!

Let’s refresh. The metal element deals with autumn. It’s about learning to let life in and let life go. Just like an inhale and an exhale – we can’t have one without the other. Metal is also the element that deals with acknowledgment and grief. Yes, it’s a jam-packed element! Which brings me back to routine.12105817_10153003887297084_5013423757614489840_n

I live a life of little routines. This comes in handy, particularly when raising young children. Routines help give my family structure. Think of it this way: if I poured a pitcher of water onto the beach, the water would go everywhere. But if I dig out trenches and give the sand structure, when the water is poured again it has a direction to flow. If I listed all the routines I have with my children between 6am to 8:30am it would make my head spin! However, I know this allows my kids and I and to have a much more peaceful morning, full of creativity and possibility. Not to mention everyone gets cleaned up, dressed, fed, and out the door to school.

I heard a quote this past week that I’d like to share. To paraphrase: when you have a specific routine in place, you don’t ever have to start it over again. This is my goal with MCA. I hope to help create routines with my patients.

It’s much easier to keep things moving than starting again from square-one, or when the body is in crisis. When patients come in for maintenance care, it makes treatment easier. A great example is my folks with sleep or allergy issues – when I treat them throughout the year, they are less affected when allergy season comes around. There can be a great deal of freedom in routine.

Take a look at your life. Where is there chaos? How can a few routines help make your life more peaceful? When you uncover that chaos, breath deep. Just in doing so adds structure and creates a more peaceful you.

Wellness Tip: Ginger Water

Ginger-rootThe change in weather and heavy rains have reminded me of a simple remedy for keeping healthy. A patient came in today talking about how she was “bone cold.” It’s true: the rain and wind can trigger a bone-chilling feeling. When I get that feeling, I turn to ginger root.

Ah, the wonderful world of ginger root! It’s a good friend to many in New England during the fall and winter months. Ginger does a lovely job of helping to kick out the chill and warm up your body. I often tell my patients if they feel like they’re coming down with a cold and can’t make it in for a treatment, do the following:

  • Buy a hunk of organic ginger
  • Slice off 10-12 twelve pieces, roughly the size and width of a quarter (see photo above)
  • Add 20-30 ounces of water to a small pot or tea kettle
  • Toss in the ginger
  • Bring the water to a low boil, cover it up and continue to boil for 10-15 minutes
  • Enjoy!

The result should be a bit spicy. You can always mix in honey to sweeten it up if you wish, or just add a bit of water if it’s too spicy. Sip this elixir throughout out the next day or two, and make more as needed. You’ll be feeling better in no time.

Help with Saving Your Info When Scheduling

Hey folks, we’ve heard from some of you that when you schedule an appointment online you sometimes have to re-enter all your information. That’s a pain in the you-know-what, so we’ve contacted our scheduling company, Cliniko, to ask for some advice.

Here’s what they said: (we decode this for you, just keep reading!)

As it currently stands, that “Remember me” function is the only way to keep someone’s information stored in that window. This isn’t actually a “Cliniko-specific” thing, but rather a “browser-specific” thing. If the “Remember me” feature isn’t working for people, it’s very likely that there are some components of their browser set-up that are causing things to not be remembered — such as using private browsing, or not having cookies enabled (cookies are things that will “remember” data, and this would be true for that Cliniko bookings page, an email login, Facebook, etc. Without knowing which browsers people are using it can be hard to troubleshoot from afar, but here’s an example of how Google Chrome talks about enabling or disabling cookies — this may be of use.

Okay, so what they’re saying is that the “remember me” box works only when it can connect to a function on your web browser (Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.) Keep in mind, that turning on a function that will save your MCA scheduling information may also save other information that you enter all the time on your computer (name, e-mail address, etc.). Some folks love this function of their web browser, other’s don’t. If you don’t, we suggest you skip ahead to suggestion #3.

 

Suggestion #1

When scheduling on our website or on Facebook, be sure to check the box “remember me.” This should save your info to your web browser. If it does, you have cookies enabled already!

 

Suggestion #2

Did you click “remember me” but it didn’t save from the last time you booked an appointment?  You need to enable cookies on your browser. Cookies? Yum! Not those cookies; these are bits of information that store your data and help to auto-fill forms like in our online scheduling. Don’t worry, cookies are generally harmless.

We’ve gathered some links that will bring you to instructions for enabling cookies on different browsers. If this doesn’t work, try googling it further. We’d love to help more, but we happen to know more about acupuncture than about computer stuff! 🙂

Google Chrome

This link gives instructions for: Internet Explorer 4 and  6 for Windows, Internet Explorer for Mac, Firefox for Windows and Mac (OS X), Safari for Mac (OS X), Opera 7 for Windows or Mac, Netscape Navigator 6 for Windows or Mac.

Here’s an article and more instructions: What are cookies? And How to enable them. 

For video instruction, go to YouTube.com and search “enable cookies” and find the video that goes with your web browser.

For cell phone users:

Apple iOS (iPhone, iPad)
From the home screen tap the ‘Settings’ icon, then choose ‘Safari’. Find the ‘Accept Cookies’ option and set the required cookie behaviour.

Android browser
Tap the ‘Internet’ icon to start the browser, then press the phone’s menu button. From the list of options, choose ‘More’, and then select ‘Settings’, then ‘Privacy and Security’. Scroll down the resulting list and check or uncheck the ‘Accept Cookies’ item.

Suggestion #3

The next time you’re in, ask Ryan to just schedule you for the dates you have in mind. Remember, our hours are as follows:

Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday: 9:30AM – 12:30PM & 3:00PM – 6:30PM
Wednesday: 9:30AM – 12:30PM
Thursday: CLOSED
Friday: 9:30AM – 12:30PM
Saturday: 9:00AM – 12:00PM
Sunday: CLOSED

 

We hope this information helps. We want scheduling your appointments to be easy and stress-free! See you soon.

 

– The MCA team