The Ancient Art of Gua Sha

I am the Queen of Gua Sha.

Yes, it's true. Ask my patients.


Gua Sha, pronounced "Gwa Sha", is an ancient healing technique used throughout Asia with amazing results. Gua means "to rub". Sha is the term to describe the incredible appearance of the skin once it has been rubbed during a session of Gua Sha:)

Let me tell you, once they can pronounce it -- patients request Gua Sha with gusto. They love it!

Why? Because Gua Sha breaks up the stagnation that causes you to feel pain and stiffness. It smooths your energy. It allows for congested blood, metabolic waste and toxins that lie deep within the tissues to be released and promotes normal circulation to the muscles, tissues and organs directly beneath the area being treated. It just plain feels good. You experience an immediate improvement in stiffness, degree of pain and mobility. Gua Sha rocks.

Here's why I like Gua Sha:

(1) It makes you feel better.

(2) It helps to release toxins that have built up over time as a result of past injuries, poor diet, chemical and environmental exposure and emotional traumas.

(3) It shows me exactly where you have stagnated energy!

You see, to perform Gua Sha, I use a water buffalo horn, smoothed to the size and shape of a credit card. It is said that jade and water buffalo horn are best to conduct the qi (life-force energy) that is being moved by the technique of gliding or scraping the tool along the skin in repeated, even strokes. The pressure depends on how you like it -- kind of like a deep tissue massage or a restorative massage -- it's up to you. Gua Sha works either way. In fact, Gua Sha is so powerful that it often works to loosen tight muscles where other massage techniques, or even myofacial release, does not.

When there are a lot of congested toxins or a stagnation of energy in an area, small red petechiae usually appear. I refer to this as sha, and in minutes you see it as a really cool rashy bruise. It is always exactly where you feel the most pain, tightness, tenderness or stiffness! I can then see exactly where you are experiencing your pain, and I can go from there in specializing your treatment.

The bruising fades over 1 or 2 days - but be sure to tell me if you are doing a bikini photo shoot or plan to wear a strapless gown -- I'll go easy and make sure we stop before any sha appears! Most patients don't care about the bruising because Gua Sha is so amazing.

Gua sha actually pre-dates acupuncture and was used in villages as a means of self-care or a way to care for each other until the village doctor could make it out to see you. It can be used for any pain or discomfort, for upper respiratory or digestive problems, to create a smooth flow of Qi along an acupuncture meridian, to help clear toxins from the body or to stimulate the acupuncture points along any acupuncture channel.

Want to experience the amazing benefits of Gua Sha for yourself? Contact me for an appointment -- you'll love it. After a Gua Sha session, I'll ask you to keep the area treated covered, avoid wind, drafts and strong exposure to the sun. I'll also remind you to drink plenty of pure water to assist in flushing toxins from your body. Your sha bruising will be a conversation piece! (Sorry, it will fade in about a day or two.) And, with regular Gua Sha sessions, you'll find that you no longer reveal sha because your muscles and your energy are soothed and you feel great!

Acupuncture Touches the Heart

When we think of acupuncture, we usually assume that it is helpful for pain. It is true, acupuncture has been proven helpful for health conditions such as: pain (headaches, arthritis, neuralgia, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, Fibromyalgia, lower back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and neck/shoulder pain); but it has also been recognized to be helpful in resolving conditions such as circulatory disorders (such as hypertension, angina pectoris, arteriosclerosis and anemia); addictions to alcohol, nicotine and other drugs; respiratory disorders (such as emphysema, sinusitis, allergies, asthma and bronchitis); and gastrointestinal conditions (such as food allergies, ulcers, chronic diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, intestinal weakness, anorexia and gastritis)….just to name a few!

What we don’t usually associate with acupuncture is its ability to heal our emotions. For me, the most significant aspect of our health concerns are the emotions that lie at the core of our physical condition.

Our bodies are energy. Pure energy. We all have had the experience of feeling “full of energy” or having “no energy” or even feeling “out of sorts”. Our emotions are simply a flow of energy called “qi”. Ideally, this energy should not become blocked or stagnant. If it does, an imbalance in the expression of our emotions occurs and, if we continue to stuff those emotions, ignore them, deny them, medicate them and mask them, eventually dis-ease results. Acupuncture restores a harmonious balance of energy to bring about a healthy expression of emotion – to keep our emotions “in motion” – in order to maintain our health and reconnect us to our true nature.

According to Chinese medical philosophy, all emotions originate in the heart. Acupuncture opens up our heart to giving and receiving love ~ the love of self as well as love of others. In fact, all dis-ease and illness may be considered indicative of having lost touch with the truth in our “heart of hearts”. When our hearts are open, we are freely able to radiate our spirit into the world, and all is well.

"When the heart is at ease, the body is healthy." ~ Chinese Proverb

I encourage you to listen to your heart always. How? Find the beauty in stillness, in simply being with yourself. Breathe, be and listen to your inner voice – that is your true heart speaking. And, if you in pain or dealing with depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, unresolved emotions, PMS…and you need support in putting your heart at ease, I’m here to help.

Keep it Simple, Sister

When did staying healthy and well get so complicated? I get so many questions from patients and my radio audience: “What do you think about acai berry? Protein powder? Resveratrol? Fish oil? Vitamin D capsules? Water Ionizers? Detox foot patches?”

Magic cleansing pills. Super antioxidant supplements. Amazing anti-aging elixirs.

The list never ends.


I’m starting to get gray hair just trying to keep up-to-date with the latest de-stressing, anti-aging, super longevity remedies!

It always comes back to this:

Keep it Simple, Sister.

It’s the most basic, simple things in our every day lives that are the most important.

The simple stuff may not sound sexy – but keeping it simple works.

Every time.

As cool as this stuff seems, expensive anti-aging creams, a cupboard full of vitamins and longevity potions, cosmetic surgery, the newest health technology and thousands of dollars worth of special equipment can sometimes work, but cannot buy us the radiant health, happiness or every day wellness that we crave.

What it comes down to is this:

Basic lifestyle choices ALWAYS work.

And, will give us 80-90% of the results we are looking to achieve.

What is Really Important

-- Eat a variety of fresh, whole, colorful, unadulterated foods as Nature intended.

-- Include fresh, sexy, leafy greens into meals, smoothies and juices.

-- Exercise and be active.

-- Take the time each day to get still and breathe.

-- Sleep well.

-- Truly care for yourself.

-- Take time out -- unplug from computers, phones, television and electronics often.

-- Laugh.

-- Enjoy new experiences.

-- Connect.

-- And above all -- Love.

Follow these basic guidelines and true wellness can be yours. Can it be that simple? I think so.

Sometimes, you've just got to keep it simple, Sista. After all, less is more.

Spring Cleaning

Spring is the perfect time to give our bodies a good cleansing. Don't be intimidated -- there are many ways to detoxify and several levels of cleansing. Choose what feels best to you.

The easiest, and often most effective, is to just merely SIMPLIFY. Here are a few tips that make cleansing easy. For more, see my E-Book Cleanse Your Way to Health, Beauty and Longevity:

At age 93, Jack LaLanne says "If man makes it, I don't eat it." Greatest advice I've ever heard. Just by cutting out ALL processed foods, you are giving your body a break from the multitude of chemicals used in the manufacturing of what we eat out of wrappers, cans, boxes and jars. Stick with foods that come without ingredient labels -- lots of fresh, organic vegetables, fruits, raw nuts and seeds, -- and a little organically raised meat, eggs and wild caught fish, if desired. Nourish your body with pure, authentic, unadulterated food as Nature intended.
Do not eat sugar or artificial (i.e. chemical) sweeteners. Use stevia, a smidge of 100% pure maple syrup, raw honey, dates or fresh fruit instead.

Go organic. By eating organic, you are not ingesting toxic pesticides that put a heavy burden on your body's natural detoxification system. Remember, pesticides are designed to kill living creatures, and human beings are living creatures!

Give your skin care products and cleaning products for your home a spring clean, too. You don't want them to contain toxic chemicals, either. See how yours rate by going to Look for products that have the lowest toxic rating.

Drink half of your weight in ounces of pure, clean water every day. Water helps to flush toxins from our bodies. Drink up.

Exercise. I mean it. Our bodies were meant to move -- every day. Walk, run, dance, garden, bounce on a rebounder (great to move lymph fluids), practice Tai Chi or yoga -- and do it daily.

Sweat. Sweating is another way for toxins to leave our bodies. Sweat during exercise, sweat in a hot Epsom salt bath, sweat in a dry (or better yet, infrared) sauna. Don't be afraid to SWEAT.

Be aware of the energy that fills you -- your foods, the company you keep, your thoughts and beliefs. Find ways to fill yourself with joy, love and vibrant energy. Spring is a time of rebirth and regeneration in nature, and your body (and spirit) is naturally attuned to this.

In line with the season, now is the ideal time for you to begin anew ... to blossom in your commitment to your own health and well being.

If you need guidance with a customized cleanse unique to your needs, call me to schedule an appointment. Also, now is a great time to receive a seasonal acupuncture treatment to replenish your energy to heal, prevent illness, ease stress and feel balanced. Call me today (831) 886-5750.

Energy Bars – Health or Hype?

We all know that candy bars are not good for us. Loaded with sugar, they give us a quick lift without providing any real nourishment…that lift soon crashes and we feel hungrier than before. They also contain dangerous hydrogenated oils and A LOT of artificial ingredients.

OK, so the food giants gave us an alternative -- energy bars to the rescue! They look and taste like candy bars, have the shelf life of candy bars, contain protein and fiber, and are loaded with vitamins and minerals!! Whoo-hoo! They are convenient and they taste great! And, thanks to an incredible amount of advertising hype, they can be consumed without the guilt of a candy bar....


Here’s the real truth: most energy bars are based on so-called natural sweeteners -- usually high fructose corn syrup and sometimes juice concentrates --along with dried fruits, nuts, peanut butter, and sometimes even chocolate -- a combination that results in higher percentages of carbohydrates and sugar than the typical candy bar!

But, they’re high in protein, you say...I say, there is nothing natural about the protein used in energy bars.

Soy and whey proteins used in most energy bars are waste products of the soy and cheese industry. Soy protein must be processed at very high temperatures -- a process that denatures many of the proteins in soy, especially lysine, making them unavailable to the body. Also, toxins are formed during this high-temperature chemical processing, including nitrates, lysinalanine and MSG.

Besides, most (if not all) soy in this country is genetically modified and has the nutritional equivalent of plastic. Yep. That's right. In fact, according to the late, great Henry Ford, soybean oil makes a superior enamel for painting automobiles and it's a great plastic alternative.


Whey protein is inherently fragile and must be processed at low temperatures or its qualities as a protein are destroyed. Whey protein is formed by drying skim milk and whey at high temperatures and putting the powders into energy drinks, body building powders and high-protein bars. Bad news.

Other major ingredients of these “health” bars include high fructose corn syrup (or concentrated fruit juices, which are high in fructose), an ingredient that has been shown to be worse for test animals than sugar. "Natural flavors" and loads of synthetic vitamins are thrown in so the bars can be called "complete."

In reality, energy bars are simply glorified candy bars and have similar effects on the body. Instead of relying on them for a pre-workout energy boost, try something truly natural, like REAL FOOD. Raw nuts, organic raw goat cheese slices, fresh fruit, or a green smoothie (fruit, water, leafy greens). Real food, the way Nature intended.

Take a listen to some of my radio archives to learn more. I did an entire program about energy bars call "Bar Exam", also about High Fructose Corn Syrup, "It's so Corny". Enjoy and Be Well!

Green is Sexy

Greens. The sexiest of all food groups! Chlorophyll is one of nature's greatest healers. If you want glowing health and beautiful skin, choose greens: arugula, collards, parsley, kale, chard, watercress, nettles, dandelion, spinach, sprouts -- any green, any time! So much research has been done on the benefits of greens. Greens help us digest other foods by stimulating the secretion of digestive enzymes. They are an excellent source of amino acids -- in fact; greens are the primary food group that match human nutritional needs most completely! Why aren't you eating them??

"Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon." ~ Doug Larson

Why is it so hard to love greens?? Take a look at what has been found when greens are put to the test:

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that individuals who eat leafy greens had a 23% reduction in coronary heart disease.

Scientists found that a diet rich in leafy green vegetables actually showed a significant reduction in the chance of developing colon cancer.

Research shows that folate, one of the impressive B Vitamins in greens, may protect against cognitive decline in older adults.

Studies found that caratenoids (powerful antioxidants) in green leafy vegetables can inhibit the growth of certain types of breast cancer cells, skin cancer cells, lung cancer and stomach cancer.
Another study showed that women who ate the most leafy greens had half the risk of ovarian cancer compared to those who ate the least. Half!! What are you waiting for??

The darker the green, the more nutrients they hold. Choose those that are lusciously deep in color, like kale and collards, and mix them with a variety of shades, textures and tastes for the perfect balance of vitamins and minerals.

Have you ever dared to eat raw collard greens?? Dinosaurs must have been gnawing on collard greens because they date back all the way to prehistoric times. They're one of the oldest members of the cabbage family and a close cousin of another one of my favorite greens, the super sexy Kale. The vitamin K, A, C and magnesium levels in collards are off the charts and their folate, calcium and dietary fiber content is impressive, too. Try this easy recipe:

Collard Green Wrap

Cut the stems off of 1 or 2 collard green leaves. Cover with a layer of hummus. Add filling, such as grated carrot, sliced zucchini, sprouts, avocado, tomato, quinoa or anything you like or have on hand. Fold over the bottom and roll up like a burrito. Easy, healthy, portable and a cinch to make! You can try other greens, too, like big chard leaves or crunchy cabbage leaves.

Super Sexy Smoothie

1 cup pineapple, fresh or frozen 1 ripe banana, fresh or frozen1 fresh, juicy mango or 1 cup frozen7 leaves of dinosaur kale (stems removed)2 cups water

Blend until creamy. Use more or less water to get your desired thickness.The super sexy kale is considered to be a nutritional super star among green veggies, with very strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Leafy Greens Rock!!

Get green and get your sexy back!! Try to include at least one good green salad into your diet every day -- two if you can. Add greens to your smoothies! Juice greens! Gently steam or lightly sauté your greens just until they wilt and turn a brilliant emerald! There are so many varieties of sexy greens at your local Farmer’s Market. Have fun and try a new green every week. Fuel your glow with greens!

Attract Sickness or Wellness -- it's up to you

As you know, optimal health includes physical, emotional and spiritual balance. Pass this on to a friend or loved may result in a turning point necessary for a positive change in someone's life - even yours.

How to Attract Illness

Avoid making any changes which would bring greater satisfaction and joy into your life.

Shun anything that resembles humor. Remember that life is a serious struggle and is no laughing matter.

Do not express your feelings and views openly and honestly. Other people wouldn't appreciate it. If at all possible, avoid even knowing what you're feelings are.

Blame other people for all your problems.

Fill your mind with dreadful thoughts and then become obsessed with them. Worry about the future often, if not all the time.

Be resentful, critical and judgmental of everyone around you, especially yourself.

Do lots of things you don't like and avoid doing what you really want. Follow everyone else's opinion and advice, while feeling miserable and stuck.

Don't pay any attention to your body. Eat plenty of junk food, don't exercise and drink lots of soda, sports drinks, Red Bulls and tap water. Sleep less than 6 hours every night. Smoke and drink. If you are stressed and tired, ignore it. Just keep pushing yourself.

If you are sick, go see lots of different doctors; run from one to another; spend half your day in waiting rooms; get lots of conflicting opinions and treatment; start one program after another without sticking to any. Take lots and lots of drugs. Be helpless and uninformed.

How to Maintain Wellness or Improve Health, Even If you’ve been Sick

Do things that bring you a sense of fulfillment, joy purpose and validate your self-worth. See your life as being your own creation and strive to make it a positive one.

Pay close and loving attention to yourself, tuning into your needs on all levels. Nurture and encourage yourself.

Release all negative emotions, especially resentment, envy, fear, sadness and anger. Express your feelings appropriately and authentically; don't hold onto what does not serve you.

Hold positive goals in your mind; images of what you truly want in your life.

Love yourself unconditionally and do your best to love everyone else. Make this love the primary expression in your life. Create fun, loving, honest, authentic relationships, allowing for the expression and fulfillment of your needs.

Nourish yourself with whole, fresh, nutrient-rich organic foods as Nature provided, not processed foods out of a box or can. Put love into the preparation of those foods. Drink pure water, exercise daily and treat your body with respect, honor and love.

See yourself as God sees you.

Enjoy the unconditional love, dedication, companionship and joy of sharing your life with a furry friend.

Make a commitment to your health and well being. Believe that your body can heal itself.

Develop a natural wellness program, drawing on the advice and wisdom of professionals you respect and trust.

Accept yourself and everything in your life as an opportunity for growth and learning. When you make a mistake, forgive yourself, learn what you can from the experience, and move on without regrets.

Most importantly, be grateful for the abundance and blessings in your life. Give thanks for all you have and for the beautiful person you are. You are the thoughts of God -- an absolute miracle. Treat yourself as such.