Want to buy gemstones but need to try holding them first? Buy local.
When I first moved to Seattle I remembered thinking, “Where are all the gem stores?” It took me a while to find all the hidden treasure – but it’s there, if you know where to look! Shopping local is a win-win, as it supports our local economy and allows you to choose the right stone for you. Here are some of my favorite places to buy gemstones near Seattle:
This small shop in Ballard is run by women; and they are really lovely people! It’s obvious how much they love their stones — and that’s uniquely what they sell. They offer some unusual and beautiful pieces (hello, black moonstone!). Their selection is mostly on the small to medium size. Want to support local, women- and POC-owned business? Buy gemstones here first. (Also, they run a really good sale that is often unannounced online unless you’ve been in the store and heard it from the owners first….)
I think I’ve gotten lost trying to find this place every time I’ve gone there. Even now I can’t completely tell you the easiest path to finding it. I know I take the stairs next to the ‘fish’ stand at the Market, and then head down… two flights? And out towards the south-east side of the market. Almost before getting to the door to the outside, the shop is on the north-east side of the corridor. Maybe don’t follow my directions so I don’t get you lost either! This is also a pretty small shop but it’s cram-packed! They’ve got jewelry and pocket stones, as well as some really nice medium-sized specimens. The owner is very knowledgable and happy to talk shop with you. The prices are pretty reasonable for Seattle as well.
You’d never expect to find such a varied selection in a massage supply store – but, there it is! They’ve got a lot of small to medium pieces, and, if I recall correctly, some jewelry as well. They also have some stone candleholders and salt lamps.
If you’re looking for larger pieces, or some quite refined jewelry pieces, this is your shop! They also have bins in the front of some really nice pocket to slightly-larger sized stones. Their selenite and some of their other pieces are well-priced; but many of items will cost you a pretty penny.
East West Bookstore
Another surprising one – to find gemstones in a bookstore; but, there they are! The prices here are also on the steeper side; but their selection is growing. And it’s good to know they often have a Chinook book coupon that will get you 20% off. And if you join their newsletter or attend a number of their seminars/classes, you’ll also get coupons in your inbox or while you’re there. They have a lot of pocket stones, some very nice medium-sized pieces, and a varied selection of gemstone pendulums. I got my rose quartz that’s in the office there – and everyone comments on how lovely it is!
Jerry’s Rock and Gem
If you’re ready to buy a honker of a jewelry piece, or some nice slabs of rock, this is your shop! It’s a bit of a journey from Seattle – but well worth it! Jewelry is quite expensive, but the small rock and large slab selection is unusual and great.
I’ll admit I haven’t made it out to this store in Kirkland; but I hope to one day in the near future. So, I’m adding it for anyone who might be interested to take the trip out there!
Where do you buy gemstones in Seattle?
Did I miss a place you’d suggest? Let me know in the comments!
[perfectpullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”lightgrey” class=”” size=”28″]If you’ve experienced trauma or are experiencing new pain, please get it checked out.[/perfectpullquote]
If you’re experiencing a new pain or you recently experienced a trauma of which you’re not sure whether or not it’s related – please, get it checked out. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. I am a firm believer in having a wellness team, as our bodies are magic and complex – in my opinion, there is no one-size-fits-all modality for treating all conditions. Personally, I have a Reiki and massage therapist, non-force chiropractor, acupuncturist, herbalist, and naturopath all on my team. This doesn’t mean I/you have to see all of them, all the time. It means when you have an issue crop up, you know whom to see to give you the best results for your needs in that moment.
That all said, here are some awesome tools to work with once you know it’s safe to do so! Presto Pain Go is an online resource for selecting acupressure points for self-massage, to relieve pain. Simply select the part of your body in which you’re experiencing pain (done by picture), then press where indicated. Photos with ‘x-ray vision of the bone’ make it easy to use. This is one of the safer options for self-care. (Note to self: You can also use a tuning fork instead of your fingers or other tool.)
Make the Pain Stop with Trigger Point Release
The online “Trigger Point & Referred Pain Guide” is another invaluable resource if you want to click on where it hurts to see probable muscular suspects. It takes a certain amount of caution and finesse to release these ‘knots’ but it’s so worth it once you do! (Note to self: Depending on where you’re treating you can use anything from a child’s 25 cent rubber ball, to a tennis ball, lacrosse ball, or specialized tool.)
It can feel rather devastating to learn the flu shot was only 42% effective in preventing any A or B viral infection in people of all ages, last 2016-2017 season. Children aged 6 mo to 8 yrs did best with the shot, with 61% efficacy. For folks over 65, the flu shot came in at only 25% effective. It’s understandable that people question whether or not to get the shot. I don’t plan on telling you here what to do; so don’t read on for the answer to that question! I do, however, hope to introduce you to more options available to you as you move forward into winter, and the impending cold and flu season.
My Top 3 Herbal Remedies for Preventing Colds and Flu
For us Chinese herbalists, it’s not common to prescribe a single herb; it’s more common that we prescribe a formula. One of our most famous formulas for preventing cold and flu (which contains Astragalus) is Yu Ping Feng San, aka Jade Screen Formula. This formula has been shown to prevent viral infections (including even SARS) and enhance cellular immunity. These are also easy to transport and swallow (~5mm in size). In short:
Use as a preventative at least 10 days before the season or travel (and up to 5 days after traveling)
If cold/flu symptoms present, switch to a different formula
As a Chinese medicine practitioner, I have been told many, many times by my teachers and colleagues to personally eat meat; and I’ve been told that eating meat is the only healthy lifestyle. (Full disclosure: I cut out red meat when I was 17, fish when I was 22 and white meat when I was 25. So, it’s been awhile that I’ve been ‘breaking the rules’!) It’s a topic that I take great interest in, and research. Like most things, I try to be as open-minded as possible, listening for what’s needed on an individual and timely basis. I do not suggest that all my patients eat meat or not eat meat.
That all said, there may be a number of you that sit with the same question I do: Is it healthier or not to eat some meat? Is it tenable to be vegetarian or vegan with leaky gut, autoimmune or other health concerns? I know these are very uncomfortable questions; and that they are not always met with tenderness and curiosity. Sometimes, reading about these topics can be more helpful than talking it out online or with friends. There is certainly enough material on the subject out there on health-related topics. So, I won’t go into all of that. Personally, I was/am much more interested in what animal communicators have to say on the subject.
What do animal communicators think about eating meat?
35+ animal communicators share their experience
In this excellent article, “VEGETARIAN OR OMNIVORE? This is the Question” you’ll get a very good sense of the broad opinions within the field. It doesn’t spoil anything to say, there is no clear cut answer, no hard shoulds among able to communicate with animals. That said, by and large there seem to be some movements towards the thoughts:
animals understand [and are at peace with the fact that] we’re all animals eating each other in this world (and we ought to as well)
we’re *all* One-Consciousness — plant, animal, etc; so it’s not about who eats whom, but what love and respect we share for one another
it’s not the eating of animals that is problematic, but the treatment of them while they are alive
vegetarianism/veganism is the [human] inevitable movement towards higher consciousness
[perfectpullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”lightgrey” class=”” size=”30″]”Some really appreciate being able to nourish others with their bodies, …”[/perfectpullquote]
What do animals say about eating meat?
I especially appreciated this article by animal communicator Nancy Windheart, “Vegetarian or Omnivore?” in which she reports back on what animals have to say on the subject. For some reason this line hit me quite hard: “Some really appreciate being able to nourish others with their bodies, and know that they can return after their deaths to another type of body and life experience if they choose.” It brings up big questions for me around what I am willing to accept and take in, aware of the expense to others.
A request: Release judgment, invite curiosity
I hope it can be recognized that everything we do, we do in service of our values. While our needs are universal, different ones can surface as more immediately important to us than others. No matter what someone chooses to ingest, may we recognize they do so for a reason that is meaningful to them. May we choose to learn about and respect those values, as well as our own. May we also be curious and learn to be discriminating in the strategies we choose for living out those values.
A personal request
If you do eat meat, do you say a prayer/bless the food beforehand? Would you be willing to share your blessing here in the comments for others? Thank you for considering!
“Chinese medicine recognizes that the human body functions like a hologram because every microsystem found in different parts of the body contains the information needed to treat the whole body. In fact, studies… suggest that this information is stored in each and every part of the body.” – Steve Phillips, LAc
Holographic Mapping in Auricular Acupuncture
Seeing and treating the body as a hologram is one of my favorite things about acupuncture. There are a number of well-known microsystems that allow acupuncturists to treat the whole of the body through holographic mapping at the face, ear, hands, etc. Of these, auricular acupuncture happens to be one of my favorite systems to use. Auricular acupuncture is the treating of the body through the holographic mapping on the ear. I love this system because there are so many maps for the body on the ear, with different ones not only coming from individual specialists within China, but also from France and Germany!
Acupuncture Holographic Mapping of the Hip
To see what I mean by “holographing mapping,” check out this excellent video put together by Dean Mouscher, LAc. Here he shows how the hip maps to the face and the ear. I absolutely love the beauty of these body mirrors:
[wproto_divider style=”gap”]What if you don’t like needles?
The best part to me about auricular acupuncture is you don’t need to use needles to stimulate these points. You can also use “ear seeds” (actual vaccaria seeds) or metal pellets held in place by a very small adhesive. The seed or pellet itself is about 2mm, and the adhesive not unlike a clear or colored bandaid (~4mm).
In the case of the seed, a person simply massages the point by pressing and rolling the seed against the acupoint. This gentle stimulation is enhanced when you move the affected body part at the same time. For the metals, the property of the metal itself is enough to stimulate the acupoint according to treatment principle. We often use gold for tonification, and silver for sedation. I’ve found just knowing which part of the ear matches what part of the body can be enough to help relieve a temporarily stiff neck or sore back. All it takes is a little ear massage with your own fingers!
Want to learn more? Come on in — I’d love to show you how using holographic mapping can help you!
What an honor for me to be interviewed by sports and health writer, Elaine K. Howley for the US News and World Report! It was a pleasure to be able to share some of Chinese medicine’s strengths in treating Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in, “Can Acupuncture Help with COPD?” (published online 8/4/17).
People are starting to realize they have more options
I came into Chinese medicine because I had run out of options with Western medicine. 20 years later, I am practicing and teaching complementary and alternative medicine because I feel passionately about helping others see what I’ve found: Hope, choice, and perseverance.
[perfectpullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”32″]I don’t believe in only one answer. I’m interested in what’s most helpful for you, right now.[/perfectpullquote]
My goal has never been to convince everyone that Chinese medicine is the answer to their issue. I don’t believe in one answer. I believe in the most helpful thing for a particular person at that particular time. Sometimes that will be Western medicine, and sometimes it may be Chinese medicine, a walk in the woods or dancing. I make a concerted effort to keep learning myself and to keep an ongoing dialogue with practitioners of different healing modalities, so as to constantly expand my view of what’s possible.
The more I know what’s possible, the more I can speak to it. The more I can speak to it, the greater chances someone who needs it will find it. What a gift to let my voice reach an even greater audience with this invitation. Thank you, Elaine!
reducing inflammation in general by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors (Kavoussi 2007, Zijlstra 2003).
improving both airway mucociliary clearance and the airway surface liquid (Tai 2006).
regulating cytokine production (Jeong 2002, Joos 2000).
How can acupuncture help you?
While normally one might say, “The only way to know is to try!” I might argue, try and try again! There are so many different types of acupuncture — TCM, Korean, Japanese, Classical, 5-Element, etc. They each have their unique approach to differential diagnosis and treatment. So, if you’ve tried, but it wasn’t a good match – I encourage you to consider another. And if you haven’t tried any, I encourage you to start by connecting with a practitioner who leaves you feeling encouraged and inspired.
May you have much success!
Carneiro ER et al. Effect of electroacupuncture on bronchial asthma induced by ovalbumin in rats. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine2005; 11(1): 127-34.
Jeong HJ et al. Regulatory effect of cytokine production in asthma patients by SOOJI CHIM (Koryo Hand Acupuncture Therapy). Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology 2002; 24(2): 265-4.
Joos S et al. Immunomodulatory effects of acupuncture in the treatment of allergic asthma: a randomized controlled study. J Altern Compliment Med 2000; 6(6): 519-25.
Kavoussi B, Ross BE. The neuroimmune basis of anti-inflammatory acupuncture. Integr Cancer Ther 2007; 6(3): 251-7.
Tai S et al. Effect of needle puncture and electro-acupuncture on mucociliary clearance in anesthetized quails. BMC Complement Altern Med 2006; 6: 4.
Zijlstra FJ et al. Anti-inflammatory actions of acupuncture. Mediators Inflamm 2003; 12(2):59-69.
What the Studies Show for Treating Menstrual Cramps
A 2016 systemic review and meta-analysis (“Moxibustion for Primary Dysmenorrhea at Different Interventional Times”) concluded “moxibustion leads to higher total effective rate [in treating menstrual cramps] and lower level of PGF2α in serum” as compared to nonmoxibustion treatment. While there was no difference in intervention time, the researchers suggest treating the condition 5 ± 2 days before menstruation can achieve good efficacy.
[perfectpullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”32″]Acupuncture and herbs outperformed painkillers like Aleve and Ibuprofen[/perfectpullquote]
A narrow definition declares moxibustion “the medical application of burning mugwort [an herb] floss on or over an acu-moxa point or an affected site.” (Wilcox, 1)
How does moxa relieve menstrual cramps?
Menstrual cramps, in Chinese medicine, can be attributed to a number of differing patterns:
qi and blood deficiency
liver and kidney deficiency
accumulation of cold
Depending on the underlying pattern of disease, treatment can differ. But one of the most consistently used treatment modalities is moxibustion.
Moxibustion, or moxa, is a great choice for treatment as it has the ability to warm interior cold, stop pain, and both nourish and move qi and blood. Not only does it cover so many bases medicinally, but it’s also something that can be done at home.
How can I use moxa to treat my menstrual cramps?
3-7 days before your period, visit your acupuncturist for my favorite kind of moxa treatment: “warm needle.” This technique applies moxibustion to the handle of an acupuncture needle that is inserted into the body. The heat of the moxibustion is comfortably and slowly delivered through the needle, deep into the channels and body. It’s very comfortable and soothing for the patient. In my office I use higher grade Japanese smokeless moxa for this technique.
When I send patients home, I often recommend they use what are called “stick-on cones” of moxa. This is a type of moxibustion that can also be treated to render it smokeless. It’s typically then adjoined to paper or cardboard that has a sticker-like base. You simply peel off one of the ‘cones’ from the sheet, and adhere it to your skin. Your acupuncturist should show you where to use this on your body. This is great for self-treatment between acupuncture visits.
What herbs are in Dang Gui Shao Yan San?
The meta-analysis looked at four different versions of this formula. They all shared a common base:
Dang gui, 10-40g
Bai Shao, 10-20g
Fu Ling, 10-25g
Cang Zhu, 10-25g
Ze Xie, 10-25g
Chuan Xiong, 10-30g
Other herbs added depending on the formulation include Wu Yao, Xiang Fu, Yan Hu Suo, Gan Cao, Gui Zhi, Dang Shen and/or Yi Mu Cao among others.
Will my health insurance cover it?
In WA state, acupuncture is considered an essential health benefit. Moxibustion is often covered under the same or different billing code. Before you receive treatment, you’ll want to check with your particular plan to find out if they reimburse treatment for menstrual cramps (“Unspecified Dysmenorrhea, ICD10 Diagnosis Code N94.6”). Not all plans in WA state do; but there are a number of them that will. Need help finding out? Drop me a line with your info!
Getting a helpful psychic reading can feel reassuring, easing, or empowering. There is nothing better than hearing you’re on the right track, or that things will be smooth-going ahead. Certainly learning of potential pitfalls can be empowering as it enables you to plan ahead and make appropriate adjustments and preparations.
The Limitations of a Typical Reading
What we see is only as clear as the lens through which we see it. That can mean two things when it comes to your typical psychic reading: (1) The clarity of the reader; and (2) The clarity of the intention for the reading.
Clarity of the Reader
If you’ve noticed, we are a product of our spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical habits. How we do or don’t cultivate our habits impacts the way we meet and see life. You might think of this place of meeting life as a vibrational resonance. Some people talk about “lower vibrational” and “higher vibrational” resonance. You can think of lower vibrational resonance as the ‘frequency’ of fear, survival, and the power-over paradigm. Higher vibrational resonance largely speaks to the attunement to love, abundance, and the power-with paradigm. Each person has a kind of natural frequency within this spectrum based on their conditioning, self-awareness, and self-cultivation habits. For this reason, clarity of the reader will always be a factor in any industry or practice– doesn’t matter if we’re talking psychic reading, Reiki treatment, or car repair.
Clarity of Intention
[perfectpullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”32″]What if there were another possibility better suited to your desires that you weren’t even aware of to ask about?[/perfectpullquote]
This is where I really see the difference between a typical psychic reading and treating a situation with Reiki. As a psychic reader, an individual is coming to the situation from the place of their limited consciousness, Ego. If a psychic reading were like opening a box to see inside the future, here we’re talking about going in for a reading and asking the person we’re entrusting to give us that reading to open the box and tell us what they see inside. But… what if there were more than one box?
Often, a psychic reader will open the box containing the ‘most-probable’ outcome based on current conditions and factors. But what if it were more helpful to open a box that contained a less-likely outcome, but an outcome that better suited your personal hopes/dreams? What if it showed you a possibility that exceeded your expectations or hopes, that you hadn’t even considered inquiring about? This is the power of Reiki.
Go Beyond the Ego
When we channel Reiki, we take up the egoless lens of Universal Light-and-Love. We channel Reiki for the highest and greatest good of all, in support of the individual’s personal intention for treatment. This means, in effect, that Reiki then sorts through the boxes of possibility and probability to open the most relevant one. And even better, it sorts through the contents of that box to highlight the most helpful insights relevant to the intention for treatment. In effect, Reiki is your best Executive-Assistant-meets-Triage-Nurse.
[perfectpullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”32″]Reiki is your best Executive Assistant meets Triage Nurse[/perfectpullquote]
The beautiful thing about treating situations with Reiki is the realization that we don’t have to change the situation to change how we feel about it. We can positively impact a situation by starting with making internal changes, and/or taking personal action.
Reiki can be so helpful for learning our place of response-ability in a situation, in highlighting the most benevolent outcome for all. It won’t do the work for you; and it won’t deny anyone the right to their own free will or choice. For this reason, it’s one of my favorite Reiki techniques to use for treating anything as big as “my life” to as specific as a “the current forest fires in the Pacific NW,” to “my upcoming job interview,” etc.
Grounding Meditation: A Step One of Most All Energy Work
The more grounded you are, the more energy you can draw down for replenishment, healing, and manifestation. This near 25-minute guided meditation will assist you in opening your heart, reconnecting with your body and the Earth.
What does it mean to ground?
To feel grounded is to feel present, alive, safe, and supported. This isn’t the same kind of safety as control over our environment or what happens to us. It’s the kind of resilience and presence that says, “I am with myself, here, no matter what.”
To ground, then, is the intentional practice of coming back to the present moment, coming back into the body, and reconnecting with the Earth. In a way, it’s like landing or anchoring in and down. Energetically, we typically do this through the energy gates at the soles of the feet, Earth Star and Root chakras.
[perfectpullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” size=”30″]It’s easy to get ungrounded when we are in pain or feeling afraid[/perfectpullquote]
How do we get ungrounded?
It’s easy to get ungrounded when we forget our resiliency and/or the beauty of life. When our fear or pain eclipses our ability to love, we can disconnect or pull away from our body. Interestingly, we also can get ungrounded when we feel over-excited or intoxicated.
What’s the risk of not grounding?
For energy workers, not grounding leaves them at a greater risk of moving out of their Center, and into resonance with their clients’ energy. This means it can be harder for them to hold a higher vibrational space for healing, both for themselves and their clients.
For ‘laypersons,’ the risk of not grounding is often seen in greater risk of physical injury. This could be quite minor, such as bumping an elbow on something you didn’t notice, to larger accidents such as not noticing oncoming traffic. They may also notice a tendency to pick up on other people’s emotions or physical ailments, especially if they’re empathic.
You might think of grounding as another way of looking at maintaining healthy or unhealthy boundaries. When we know where we stand, it’s easier to hold to our truth, and/or to say yes or no when we mean it. (Need more help with this? Come join us for a 7-week course in energy work and Reiki!)
It’s not just risk, but missed opportunity.
Not grounding also may mean you miss out on the richness and full beauty of the passing moment. The more present we are, the more we experience. The more we open to our experience, the more we notice. The more we notice, the more we appreciate. The more we appreciate, the more we *want* to be here. So you see, the more we ground, the easier it becomes to do so over time.
[perfectpullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” size=”30″]The more we appreciate, the more we *want* to be here.[/perfectpullquote]
But what about all the painful and scary stuff?
I can imagine you’re thinking – but if I open to experience, that means I have to open to all the painful and scary stuff I’ve been trying to avoid. You’re right, you would. But the only way to get beyond the fear and pain of it, is to open up to ever greater truths, and ever greater love. Love is not discriminatory. So, we open to all of it.
This process of opening doesn’t have to happen over night. It can take years. That’s alright! And you don’t have to do it alone; there is support available to you! This is, in fact, a huge part of my Reiki practice — helping people find and love their being and body. There are also many types of counseling available to you, from Somatic Experiencing to EMDR to DBT, etc. For me personally, practicing Buddhism and the Cultivation of Loving Kindness has been indispensable in learning how to open my heart to greater and greater experience. For others, it can look like spending more and more time in nature. *However* we get there, I can assure you I’ve witnessed it time and time again – we *do* get there! It *is* possible to grow beyond these perceived limitations and painful experiences.
Heartfelt Grounding Meditation
It’s for this reason, I decided to finally put together this almost 25-minute grounding meditation that starts with opening the heart. I’ve noticed the regular grounding exercises you find online can be too difficult otherwise for folks simply unwilling to be in the body. It’s my hope listeners will remember how amazing this vehicle of their body is; and how pleasant it can be to be alive.
Let inspiration guide you
The amazing thing about this process is, you don’t have to control your environment or what happens to you to be able to use this faculty of your mind. You don’t need to control anyone or anything outside of yourself to remember the gift that is your being in this body. You, solely, have the power to *want* to be here, now.
What do you notice now?
Your memory and imagination are two of your most powerful healing tools. May you use them, and use them often! As you use this heartfelt grounding meditation – would you willing to tell me what you notice? Leave us a comment!
You may have seen that Kaiser has taken over Group Health here in Washington. In their June 5, 2017 “Kaiser Permanente Washington Pre-Authorization Requirements” document, they outline the conditions for which they have determined acupuncture treatment medically necessary. Any non-Medicare patient with Kaiser insurance coverage seeking over eight visits will have to meet the following criteria:
Pain flares “when acupuncture has provided clinical improvement in the past.”
The condition has to result in functional limitation, i.e. you’re not able to do what you used to be able to do in your daily living, present daily, and persist beyond the typical time frame for untreated recovery. You’ll also need to document your baseline “measurable functional limitations” and show progress over treatment.
Is this list conclusive?
Of course not. 🙂 It’s subject to change, and is only a guideline. Each plan is different as well in the specifics of coverage and number of visits allowed.
Are you new to Kaiser insurance and would like Melissa to verify your acupuncture benefits prior to treatment? Feel free to reach out; she’d be happy to help you.