Review of Findings: The Use of Acupuncture for Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome and Post Racial Battle Fatigue

Current research.

My current area of interest is the use of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine to treat the racial health disparities suffered by African Americans in the United States. Specifically, the effects of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome (PTSS) and Post Racial Battle Fatigue (RBF). Both are caused by the prevalence Systemic White Racism (SWR) found in the United States against People of Color (POC).

PTSS defined by Dr. DeGruy outlines the historical and epigenetic effects of several hundred years of chattel slavery and systemic disenfranchisement of African Americans. While the effects are many the three main characteristics: Vacant Esteem, Marked Propensity for Anger and Violence, and Racist Socialization. Her work explains the source for many of the negative emotional scars and behaviors common in the African American community.

RBF is the term coined by WA Smith. It describes the huge negative emotional impact for African Americans, and other people of color (POC), who have to live voiceless in a world that purposely treats them as less than their white counter parts. Never having the capacity to feel safe, respected, or equal in hostile white dominant environments have a deleterious effect on the body and the mind. His work was revolutionary just for calling attention to the obvious. That being stuck in constant racist environments, with no ability to defend oneself, for school or work has a negative impact on the physical and mental health of African Americans.

The International Handbook of Multigenerational Legacy of Trauma describes the effect of huge traumas on a populace and most importantly their descendants. The section of this book on African Americans is so small as to be negligent. It does describe in great detail how huge traumas, like the Jewish holocaust, Hiroshima, and more, had not only negatively impacted on the people who lived through the disaster but also on their children. These children are more likely to have their own health problems including nervousness, anxiety, behavioral problems, depressed immune systems, increased inflammation, digestive issues and more.

Chinese Medical Theory.

Acupuncture and oriental medicine (AOM) is a system of medicine that actually acknowledges emotions as a source of disease. Anger, grief, fear, worry and joy can be both the result and the outcomes of an imbalance in the body. Long before epigenetics became a buzz word, AOM understood that children can inherit their parents emotional and physiological baggage through the Kidney Jing. All emotions in AOM effect the Heart, which houses the mind (shen) or spirit (Auricular Trauma Protocol: An Acupuncture Approach for Trauma Spectrum). Therefore, all trauma causes a Heart Shen disturbance.

So several hundred years of chattel slavery, followed by nearly two hundred years of systemic oppression, have created a situation where African Americans have a huge health disparity gap that is completely understandable from the perspective of AOM. While western medicine is perplexed that POC have higher rates from the 15 leading causes of death including heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease, hypertension, liver cirrhosis and homicide. (National Vital Statistics Reports) Looking at from the AOM view it makes perfect sense. Generations of living angry, afraid, and abused is going to do some damage.

Treatment plans.

A little bit of lost acupuncture history is the fact that social activist groups like the Young Lords and the Black Panthers were instrumental at bring acupuncture to the united states. In the 1970s they began performing acupuncture at the Lincoln detox center not just to help people kick the habit. They also understood that the treatments would help the community deal with the daily horror of living as a POC while dealing with SWR. Mutulu Shakur was instrumental teaching people how to do what is now known as NADA. Having access to this daily treatment had a huge impact on the well-being of POC in the community. (Mind, Body, and Soul)

Treatment for POC should be daily. It is nearly impossible for POC to not experience a “micro trauma/ micro aggression” every day. Or in other words a new racist experience. Whether its directly from another human being or through media POC are hurt repeatedly from SWR usually several times a day. There is no one way to treat this level of trauma. Especially because this type of global trauma will present differently for each individual.

Some suggestions for treatment include a daily global treatment that balances out the Chinese Liver System, Chinese Kidney System, and Chinese Heart System would be ideal. Together they treat the emotions of anger, fear, and lack of joy. Dr. Tan balancing of the Shao Yang/ Jue Yin or Shao Yang/Shao Yin combined with NADA or Auricular trauma protocol have been very effective in my clinical practice. I have also had great effects with what I call the “chill out trinity” which is DU-20, Yin Tang, and Ren-17. Other possible treatments include the Abdominal acupuncture protocol for trauma, and scalp acupuncture.

Herbs are too complex to have a general formulas other than maybe Suan Zao Ren Tang and Xiao Yao San. While they should definitely be included they will be skipped here because they really should be formulated for each presenting individual. Adjunctive modalities such as cupping, gua sha, moxa, massage, should be used liberally as appropriate to help reverse the negative impact of this daily trauma. Other lifestyle possibilities include restorative exercise like yoga, tai qi, and horseback riding. Daily baths with Epsom salts as magnesium is awesome for helping the body transverse the effects of stress; its also a common deficiency. The use of essential oils to help the body use the olfactory sense to bring about calm. Nutritional advice while useful is not practical as many POC live in food desserts and cannot afford adequate nutrition.

Unfortunately, there are several problems with compliance facing POC. Most live well below the poverty line. This makes access to treatment outside of their financial capacity. Also, due to this countries propensity towards gentrification most of these auxiliary health services are too far to be accessible for POC. Having to travel to them will place POC in all white neighborhoods where they are at a greater risk for re-injury from SWR not to mention harassment from local law enforcement. Another barrier is the history of medical apartheid in the united states. (Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present). POC are well aware they have been victims of abuse and medical experimentation over the course of this country’s history. This fosters an extreme mistrust of medical providers. Combine this with the fact that most POC will experience some level of racism from their providers, intentional or not it still happens, makes it nearly impossible for POC to be able to seek out or receive adequate treatment.

Alternative approaches.

Because of the pervasiveness of the problem any approach to help reduce the alliostatic load that also does not reinjure is useful. Acupuncture counseling, exercise, hypnotherapy, reiki, sound therapy, meditation, craniosacral, any type of massage, or anything that helps to alleviate stress is absolutely appropriate.

Biomedical considerations.

The fact that there is a difference in how weathering on the telomeres of POC it would be a useful biomedical marker to measure the outcomes of treatment. (Race/Ethnicity, Poverty, Urban Stressors and Telomere Length in a Detroit Community-Based Sample) Anything the leads to the reduction of any of the 15 leading causes of death or an improvement in the uterine health in women of color (WOC) would be way to effectively judge the usefulness of treatment. For example, a sustainable drop in rates of hypertension, diabetes, strokes or heart disease without the use of western pharmaceuticals. Fewer birth complications, maternal and infant morbidity, increased birth weights, lower incidences of dysmenorrhea due to fibroids or endometriosis would be other effective markers. As we are only truly turning to look at the horrors of the effect of SWR on POC these are generalities at best.

Community resources.

Resources of POC are few. Programs like COINTELPRO and now an actively racists president and leadership have made it nearly impossible to bridge the gap. One resource not currently being utilized are community acupuncture clinics. The clinics are cost effective and do not rely on insurance to be able to provide cheap treatments. The down side is that these clinics offer limited services and are not found in communities of color.  However, when POC are able to receive regular treatment profound effects can be seen in their bodies and their minds. It saddens me the number of POC who truly do not understand how incredibly stressed out they are.

An additional marker of success would simply be an increased number of POC seeking weekly treatment for their stress instead of the just push through status que attitude. Self-care is practically demonized in communities of color. More of these individuals seeking and receiving care would begin to shift the idea that self-care is only for the white or affluent individuals.

Summary of key learnings.

I am still learning the width and breadth of the problem. I know that the work must continue and that it is too large for me to tackle on my own. The medical establishment including AOM must learn to look for and treat the signs of PTSS and RBF not only in adults but also children. I have learned so much not just for myself but also for my people. I have spent my whole life trying to understand my own pervasive health problems including struggles with dysmenorrhea, anxiety, migraines, depression, and kidney problems. I got into this medicine to be able to take charge of my own health. I could not understand the lagging results in myself and other POC. As I have investigated I now know why.

We are trying to heal on the battlefield. We cannot heal in the midst of the daily trauma any more than a wound whose scab is constantly being picked. Fortunately, now being aware of the problem a solution can be implemented; my suggestion is the regular acupuncture treatments. It would be wonderful to see NADA clinics pop up all over the nation like coffee shops. I look forward to continuing to learn.

About the author

Tenisha Dandridge LAc. graduated from Bastyr university in 2008 with a BSAOM and MSAOM and is a Doctoral Candidate at PCOM. She has been practicing acupuncture since 2009. Currently she has a private practice Everyone’s Place as a mobile acupuncturist in Sacramento, CA.


Waist Beads.

wp-image-1859406143Zomg (Yes I said it) My new favorite things in the whole wide world is WAIST BEADS! And I’m in love with the ones I’m making. Yes you can buy them on my facebook page HERE

Soooo what are waist beads? Adornment for your womb. Or in plain English a necklace for your waist. What’s the history behind them? Do they mean anything? What are they for? Read on below.

Waist beads are a beautiful African Tradition that dates back to around 500 BCE. They are said to have many meanings and historical use. For example it was believed that waist beads were used to; hold a menstrual cloth, distinguish between males and females at a distance, help “shape” and maintain an hour glass figure, and even to demurely initiate or express desire for intimacy. There are even traditions where a future husband is expected to commission a full set of beads (ears, neck, wrist, waist, ankles) for his future bride.

Beads have a long and rich history in Africa dating back 75,000 years. The first beads were made from bone, egg shells, clay, stones, and plants Beads were a type of currency and often passed down as heirlooms.

So entering center stage is my little spin on waist beads Soul Ties. I’m really into stones. I had to have all semi-precious stones in my waist beads. All stones. And it had to be…reflective of my flamboyant personality. 🤗 I wanted something I really could leave as an heirloom. I mean if your going to decorate your womb it should definitely have a wow factor and an opportunity for bragging rights.

These are not “traditional” African waist beads. Traditional beads are usually made out of glass, ceramic, or plastic and cotton string. Your new strand of womb accentuation are fine jewelry adornments made of semi-precious stones, crystals, and metal flourishes, on steal coated nylon. Just like gold diamonds and pearls a little care will keep your adornments in excellent condition for years.

Waist Adornments.

  1. Just like real diamonds and pearls avoid getting your strands wet, bathing with them, or getting in chlorinated water. No, once isn’t going to hurt them, but repeated exposure dulls the metal, and weakens the chord.
  2. Excessive exposure to oils or lotions can dull the metal.
  3. Be careful when moving your clothing around. The wire has a 26 lb pull strength. But if you accidentally snatch at your strand with too much force it will pop. String popping is a reality! Even with the best of care. It is said that a pop strand has a spiritual significance. It usually means you have been protected from something or a warning.
  4. Allow your strands to periodically rest. As in take them off when you sleep or will be doing strenuous activity like working out. Adult time not included 😀
  5. The beads will shift so you will begin to feel a little movement between beads.
  6. Your adornments will need to be restrung periodically. This will allow to keep a strong wire less likely to pop from general wear.
  7. Your strands should not ever really need to be cleaned. They can be wiped down with a warm damp cloth. Or sudsy towel if need be. Allow to dry thoroughly. Strands can also be energetically charged in the sun or moon light, with prayer, and meditation.
  8. For weight loss/ body shaping strands should be measured at or just above the navel. As you lose weight the beads will drop to your hips. If you begin to gain weight, they will feel constricted and begin to roll higher up the belly to a place they can rest comfortably. Remember the idea is to not lose a strand so push back from extra calories, drink extra water, and get in extra movement.

Ok last but not least. If you like to know some of the “meanings” behind colors or stones here are some online resources. Yes there are lots of online sources to use,feel free to suggest some if you know of better ones. Also there are some links to other cool pages about waist beads. In the meantime read more from my personal muse Yetunde the Nigerian Beauty

Waist Beads

Crystal/ Stone Meanings (scroll down you can pick your stone towards the bottom)

Color Meanings



Doctoral Statement

I sat and did some heavy meditating before I decided to go through with starting school up again. I’m holding a cactus stone made out of amethyst, hematite, and quartz.

Sooooo I’m taking the plunge and I am now officially signed up to start a doctoral program in the fall. I have absolutely no idea when I plan on having the time to do this. Mobile business, single mom, homeschooling, puppy, and somewhere in there there is supposed to be a social life (don’t look to hard). Logistical planning aside, I know some really awesome things are going to come out of this besides another degree and more alphabet soup behind my name. For example I had to write an essay about my practice as a part of my admissions package. Aaaaand I’m feeling pretty proud of it. Considering this is coming on the heals of my one year anniversary it was nice to sit down and put the scope of my practice on paper. Heck it might even help me get around to writing a business plan. Yup still don’t have one lol. I’ll get to it…(it’s not really on my to do list lol).

Anyway, this is what I wrote:

My name is Tenisha D. O Dandridge-Brown. I am the owner and operator of Everyone’s Place; a mobile acupuncture clinic. My micro business is unique in that no two days are ever totally alike. Currently, Everyone’s Place is contracted by; private individuals for individualized treatments in their home or locations of choice, three different drug treatment centers in Sacramento, and it hosts a monthly fusion class. I have found a way to make this beautiful medicine a deliverable commodity to individuals who cannot (or do not want to) access a clinic.

My gateway into this business model happened on accident. When I first started my practice I a client who had huge mobility issues and only her frail elderly husband to assist her. This client eventually talked me into coming to her home to spare her the horror and agony of getting out of her bed, into a hover round, into a car, into a hover round, into my clinic and then doing it all in reverse. By the time she returned home the act of getting care was completely not worth it to her. I finally agreed, went to her house, and we both loved it. Then she told everyone I would do home visits. To my surprise everyone was willing to pay the extra cost for a home visit because many people wanted and needed the service.

After moving from Baltimore to Sacramento I thought my days of mobile acupuncture were over. That is until I met a colleague at master Tung class who only did house calls in Oregon. After asking me to care for his father in Sacramento, I realized that I much preferred home visits to operating out of a clinic. At the time I was working as an employee in a community clinic. I found that I didn’t care to be a practitioner who had to adhere to a fast pace and limited treatment modalities. I did however love the sliding scale and the warm hominess that came with the clinic environment. This greatly influenced my pricing and treatment styles when I opened Everyone’s Place.

My private clients are the same types of individuals that one would normally see in any clinic. I do have a large number of elderly, and immobile clients, who are already accustomed to having their health care providers coming to their homes to provide services. I also provide services to individuals who are very busy, just want to have the unrushed face time, or are having a major life event like births, car accidents, weddings, sudden injuries, and surgeries. Because I want to maintain the warm at home feel I rarely bring a table. I usually bend over clients resting in their favorite chair, on their own couch, or in their own bed. And in the spirit of community acupuncture my price per individual goes down the more people are in one location being treated at one time. My private schedule fluctuates wildly and the number of clients seen ranges between 7-20 visits a week.

I’m also contracted by churches, businesses, and other large organizations to provide services for their clients or personnel. The largest example of this would be the work that I do providing acupuncture and tai qi classes to the local drug treatment centers in the Sacramento area every week. My patient load for this kind of work ranges between 50-90 patients a week. I am currently scheduled to do 10 hours a week at 3 different centers.

Slow Down Sunday is the name of a fusion class that I teach once a month. It consists of; a general lesson in Oriental Medicine (usually related to the season), a general treatment like NADA and four gates, qi gong, tai qi, and a homemade seasonal herbal drink. There is also a live music, aromatherapy, and semi-precious stones used in meditation. The last class featured a professional sound therapist that played singing bowls, guitar, and native American flute. There are usually 12-16 participants. My goal would be to expand the class to once a week.

Thank you for a moment of your time to learn more about my busy little micro business. I hope that I can be of service to you one day. #getpoked

Sooooo What’s Been Going On?

Everyone keeps asking me what happened? Severe Trauma. Where have I been? At rest recovering. Am I still in business? Absolutely. When is the clinic coming back? NEVER! So let me explain and bring some clarity.

In the beginning of May there was a fatal incident near the clinic. I was standing outside less than 25 feet away and I REALLY thought I was going to die that day. PTSD doesn’t begin to cover what I have gone through for last few weeks. The incident made me very introspective, as I have thought on my own mortality and what I want out of life ever since.

As many of you know my son, puppy, and many other other children were often at the clinic and playing outside. Not to mention the many folks who visited the clinic. I simply could not ever go back. Being in the area of the clinic still sends my body into shock. While I’m much much better,  I can still see the signs of shock and trauma in my person. For the first time in my life I have the ability to stop and take the time to heal.

For the last few weeks I have had to revisit what it is I want from my little micro-business, from life in general, what do I want my life to look like? How can I best serve myself, my family, and my community? The truth is while the clinic was open I; was a single mom, homeschooled my kid, ran the clinic, ran my mobile business, ran workshops and seminars, did practice monitoring, and worked with multiple detox centers in Sacramento providing NADA Acupuncture to their clients….in other words I was very busy all the time. It was too much.

I was burning out. I love community acupuncture clinics (CAC). It is the best idea ever and I think folks should totally support their local CACs. I really wanted to have one in Oak Park. And once I finaly had one,  I realized the truth is I hated running it. AND I personally suck at minimalist treatments.

At a CAC it’s just needles aka acupuncture. However, Oriental medicine isn’t just needles. It’s also cupping, and e-stem, and moxa, and PT, and herbs, and diet, and lifestyle coaching, and body manipulation, and….And I found that I could not refrain from doing those things in the clinic because I knew they would help. So it made my burn out worse. Also, clients had began to expect all these extra services in the clinic instead of scheduling a full mobile appointment. This made the clinic a huge energetic and financial drain. After the incident it was just time to stop the clinic entirely.

Back to today. Yes, I’m still in business. I do even more work at drug treatment centers in the Sacramento area. It helps me to feel like I’m giving back to the community. I especially like that I’m following in the footsteps of the Young Lords, Black Panthers, and Mutulu Shakur. I’m still pretty busy but I have waaaaaay more free time for myself, my son, and my puppy.

Am I done healing? No. I still deal with my shiny new case PTSD, my dingy old PTSD, and all of the stuff that goes with it. Am I happier? Omg YES! I feel soooooooo much better. So what’s up with my business? I’ve narrowed my focus back to how I started. I am Everyone’s Place; Northern California’s only mobile acupuncture service. So where will the new clinic be? That’s not going to happen. I don’t want a clinic and I will not be doing pop up clinics at shows or fairs.

BUT what I do hope to do is bring the class Slow Down Sunday up to a weekly event in Sacramento. Aaaaaand one day to operate a mobile acupuncture bus. Aaaaaaand I also have started to create beautiful all semi precious stones waist beads. Aaaaaand I want to teach tai qi. Aaaaaaand there really needs to be a wholistic hospital (that other people will be paid to run! I caaaaaaaaan’t 😂)…… I’m constantly weaving the future golden.

What Should I Eat: Bone Broth Part 1

Ok so I have finally written another “what should I eat?” blog. I know this one is over due. If you have read the others you know how much i love love love good food.

Bone broth for breakfast!, Eggs, noodles, veggies, and yes bone broth.

This post is about one of my most favorite things…bone broth. And this is the time of year for it. So as you are going through your list of spring detoxes consider adding some bone broth to the menu of your self-care. One of the biggest differences between Oriental medicine and Conventional “diet therapy” is the strong belief that your food should be cooked. Slow cooked foods are seen as more nourishing versus raw food, juices, smoothies, and nutrients in pills. Bone broth is at the top of the charts. Bone broth is not a perfect food and is not suitable for some; I will go into greater detail in part 2.

So What is Bone Broth? Well, it’s medicine. Tang in Acupuncture and Oriental medicine (AOM) means soup. It’s also the word used for herbal prescription/ decoction/ tea or broth. So bone broth is a decoction of bones, cartilage, marrow, minerals, and meat. Sounds gross till you realize what’s in the water is a bunch of stuff people pay a lot of money for. Also it makes your food taste really amazing! What this process is doing, with herbs, veggies, and most importantly bones, is removing the active chemical ingredients into the water by means of heat, time, and acid, making the nutrients immediately available to absorb. Furthermore, if you’re looking to get rid of salt and msg but not the flavor bone broth is your friend!

Crab broth that I used for gumbo. You can see some scraps that fell out during straining

Benefits of Bone Broth. Bone broth is rich in minerals that support the immune system and contains healing compounds like collagen, glutamine, glycine, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur chondroitin, glucosamine, and a variety of trace minerals. Bone broth is a traditional remedy across cultures for the weak, old, very young, sick, and as preventative medicine. A classic folk treatment for colds and flu, it has also been used historically for ailments that affect the gastrointestinal tract, the joints, the skin, the lungs, fertility, the muscles, connective tissues such as tendons and ligaments, and the blood. In other words, chicken soup really is good for you. Bone broth has a ton of health benefits (if you would like to read some of the science click here)

  • Nutrient Absorption
  • Supports Hair, Skin, Nails
  • Broth is an excellent source of several essential amino acids that are often difficult to get from diet alone: Proline, Glycine, Arginine, Glutamine
  • Gut and Immune Health
  • Inhibits Neutrophil Migration (helps fight and get rid of cold symptoms)
  • Promotes Weight Loss
  • Helps with dehydration and electrolyte depletion.
  • Improve Mood
  • Anti-aging
  • Cancer fighting
  • Arthritis and joint-pain relief
  • Cell-protecting
  • Can help alleviate diabetes and lower blood sugar; supports insulin regulation
  • Can improve sleep
  • Helps regulate bleeding from nosebleeds, heavy menstruation, ulcers, hemorrhoids, and bladder hemorrhage
  • Helps normalize stomach acid, which is useful for colitis, celiac disease, ulcers, and other inflammatory gut condition

Can’t get that from a salad! So yeah, bone broth is really awesome and amazing medicine!

How Do You Make Bone Broth? It used to be that there was a pot always going on the hearth. In it went all the scraps from the day; the heals and peels of veggies, the leftover bones, shells from fish, etc. now we throw all that stuff away or pay for some to cut it off and throw it away. For example, fillet of fish and boneless skinless chicken breast. But that’s where all the good stuff is hiding.

A silkie chicken and herbs that are ready to be cooked

Basically to make bone broth you get water, bones or bony meat from any animal, animal scraps (trimmed off skin, fat, tendons etc.) a splash of vinegar, herbs or salt for flavor, set to boiling then reduce to simmer, forget about for at least 24 hours…abracadabra bone broth.

Really that’s it. Ok there are some other little basic things like strain it, store it, it’s a good idea to scrape that initial foam off the top blah blah blah. However, the bulk of what you need to know is pot, bones, water, vinegar, cook the heck out of it. Because I know that will just not fly for some of you here is a more actual “recipe.” I promise to put up some of my actual recipes for things like turkey necks, oxtail, fish tea, and foot soup in part 3. I say that but y’all should know I’m not a measuring kinda cook 😇


Chicken feet, Chinese dates, Ginger, Astragalus, Ganglia, Goji Berries simmering
  • 2 lbs. of bones from a good reputable source (not Walmart)
  • 2-4 inches of sliced ginger
  • onion
  • head of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of vinegar
  • any herbs seasonings or salt you desire. I love chinese dates, astragalus, and goji berries,
  • water to fill the large pot
  1. wash bones. an extra step is to brown them under the broiler. It gives a really excellent flavor. I almost never bother to do this.
  2. toss bones in a large pot and fill with water. set to boil. now I’m not really big into measure things. feel free to google online if you need more exacting instructions
  3. add remaining ingredients.
  4. once pot is up to a good boil reduce heat to a medium simmer. be on the lookout for foamy scuzz that will start floating to the top of your broth. scoop it out and toss it
  6. periodically make sure water is still in the pot. turn it down to low and cook for 24 to 48 hours
  7. let it cool, strain out bones herbs ginger and whatever else you got in there.
  8. extra steps include leaving in the fridge overnight. This allows for the fat to float to the top where it can be removed. careful only to remove the fat and not the top layer of gelatin. I generally only do this for beef or fatty bones, not poultry or fish.
  9. I store my broth in 1-quart freezer bags and pull them out as needed.

What to Do with Bone Broth? Where ever you would cook with water, bullion, or soup use bone broth instead.

  • rice, barley, quinoa, couscous and other grains
  • beans, lentils,
  • soups, stews, bakes, casseroles,
  • drink it by itself with a pinch of salt, lemon, fresh basil and or mint.

    Home made wonton in bone broth.  One of my absolute favorite foods!

Ok well that’s it for part one.Watch out for part 2 coming soon.

I’m Tenisha Dandridge LAc. Owner and operator of Everyone’s Place. Thanks for reading.

Eat Some Food

How are are your mornings? I’ve talked alot about different ways to nourish your mind, body, and spirit. I’ve not yet mentioned that you do actually have to feed your body. I mean real food every morning. I do not mean coffee and toast, bullets, smoothies, sugary bars, and or yogurt.

We live in a biomechanical electrical machine and it needs regular fueling. Many people skip out on this very important ritual in the morning. So give yourself the gift of an awesome breakfast. If you don’t know what to make check out one of my earlier entitled blogs What should I eat? Breakfast. Take the time to put some high octane fuel in the tank as a part of your perfect mornings. #getpokes

Bells, Bowls, and Gongs.

I love the energy and clarity I get after a perfect morning. If you don’t know I am super busy mother of a 6 year old that I homeschool, a new teething puppy that I’m potty training, and a business owner where I manage other people’s health and lives. Something goes wrong, gets lost, gets forgotten, and I’m always struggling to get everywhere on time: In short, my mornings are the definition of utter chaos. So this not a blog about just smile be happy and it will be alright. This is about finding a few minutes to give YOU a little love and nourishment before you swing at life’s many curve balls.

There are many ways to build up your Qi and reduce stress. Today’s topic is sound therapy. This is not quite the same as put on your favorite jams and shake your tailfeathers like your name Tina T. (Yes I’m old back off lol, and that post is coming) This is about the meditation and healing that  be achieved with resonance from bells, bowls, gongs and other instruments. This is not a bunch of new age JuJu either. Here is a great indepth article. Sound is used for in hospitals  before surgery, as a treatment for people in the autism spectrum,  and yes even in acupuncture and oriental medicine and more. I am trained in Acutonics, The use of tuning forks on acupuncture points and it is amazing.

Why sound? Ever heard the saying music soothes the savage beast? Sound is a motion, a wave of energy that moves through the air, water, and even solid structures (think how you can FEEL the music at a concert). We are energetic beings made up of a lot of water that these vibrations can move through. You don’t have to wait for a concert or your local neighborhood pin lady to get sound healing. Instead you can invest in your own piece of sound magic and make it a part of your perfect morning.

Singing bowls are my favorite and come in many different tones. Find a local shop and see if the sound makes you want to take a deep breath and drop your shoulders. Bells and gongs can be struck at intervals to help bring focus back to deep breathing and letting go of stray thoughts. Didgeridoo is one of the most grounding sounds I have ever encountered. A bit challenging to learn but you are forced to relax and take a deep breath in order to get a good sound from one. Find any “instrument” that has a lingering quality once a note is played.

Man this got long fast. Ok so quick note, yes there are plenty of other sound therapies out there like binaural beats, theta wave music, and chanting. Remember this is about your perfect morning and what works for you.

Moving Meditation

How are your mornings? A pefect morning should include steps to take care of body and the mind.  A great way to do this is with moving meditation. I’m one of those people who really like the benefits of meditation but the sitting can be more of a distraction. I’m allllllll about whatever works.


What is moving meditation? Slow rhythmic physical movements and deep breathing. This of course has all the benefits of regular meditation including;


  • increased focus and calm,
  • reduction of stress and anxiety,
  • helps blood pressure and insomnia.

Moving meditation can have a profound effect on the body as well as the mind including decreased inflammation and pain. Moving meditation can also lead to increased;yoga

  • flexibility, balance, and agility
  • energy and stamina
  • cardiovascular capacity
  • muscle strength
  • joint health

So what are some examples of moving meditation? Yoga, tai qi (chi), qi gong, breath walking, certain types of dance… honestly you can make a moving meditation out of almost any can of activity you want. It only has to be rhythmic and breath centered. Breath centered means that you are focused on taking slow deep inhalations and exhalations. So give it a try in the morning. #getpoked

Standing Meditation 

Perfect mornings should have a relaxing and nurturing component. It’s hard on the body to wake up and rush off to life’s many demands and not give it daily TLC. An unusual way of doing this is standing meditation.

Standing still in a relaxed pose and breathing deeply is great for:

  • Increasing your energy
  • It can reduce low back pain
  • Improve posture
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Improves core strength and tone
  • Improves balance
  • Increases bone density
  • Improves sleep quality,
  • Helps with body alignment
  • Tones the pelvic floor
  • Improves the mind-body connection

There are many different ways of doing this. My favorite is called horse stance. Now, if you really want a detailed description you can find many online like here and here. It’s always best to have someone show you that way you know where you might not be doing it correctly. Ultimately, I think with practice most people get it right one way or the other. Here is a quick description.

1. Place feet about shoulder’s width apart, toes pointed straight. Make sure your feet are making good solid contact with the floor.

2. Gently bend your knees as if you are about to sit down on a stool behind you.

3. Tuck your pelvis forward using your abdominal muscles. Aim the tail bone down to lengthen the low back and spine.

4. Stand straight, shoulders down not back. Don’t over elevate the chest.

5. Bring your palms together in prayer hand position in front of your chest. Be sure to keep the shoulders down. Note: there are many variations on arm position feel free to pick one that you like better.

6. Let the head rest naturally on the neck  as if suspended from a string in the ceiling. Tuck the chin down just slightly.

7. Put the tongue to the roof of the mouth. Breath as deeply as you can. Hold it for a few seconds then exhale very slowly. Repeat and hold this posture.

8. Do a mental rolodex of all previous steps because at first your body will not stay in that position. And you will know your doing it right when you have been holding it and you get a case of the shakes. Keep holding the posture.

Work your way up to 10 minutes a day or however long you have. The cool thing about horse stance is that you can do it anywhere at anytime and no equipment is needed.