Wood Tiger Acupuncture Welcomes Andrew Liszt, LAc!

Dear Beloved Patients and Supporters,

I’m so excited to be writing to you today to announce the next phase for Wood Tiger Acupuncture!

Many of you have heard by now that I’m headed to Florida to open another clinic there. My biggest concern during this transition was that I wouldn’t find someone capable of caring for my patients here in San Francisco. You all know how incredibly picky I am, and I just couldn’t turn Wood Tiger over to anyone that was less than amazing. After several rounds of searching and meeting candidates, I managed to find the perfect fit! I’m so excited to introduce all of you to Andrew Liszt, LAc!

To celebrate, we’re having two exciting patient appreciation days at the clinic:

Wed April 30th       2pm-8pm

Friday May 2nd      2pm-8pm

I really hope you’ll come to say farewell to me and hello to Andrew. And as a thank-you, we’re offering an Acupuncture treatment with Andrew, on the house! It’s the least I can do to thank you for making Wood Tiger what it is today. Please give us a call to reserve your spot at 415-424-3213. Even if you can’t come, I would love to hear from you!

I founded Wood Tiger Acupuncture seven years ago with the purpose of changing the way people use Chinese Medicine and educating our community that Acupuncture, done correctly, produces profound results. I’m extremely excited to be able to pass the torch on to Andrew Liszt, LAc. Andrew is a board certified, Licensed Acupuncturist in the State of California.

Andrew has outstanding training and experience, well beyond that of your average Acupuncturist. Highlights include:

  • B.A. from Columbia University, where Andrew was on the Dean’s List for academic achievement.
  • Graduated top of his class at my alma mater, American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM).
  • Treated student athletes at San Francisco State University Athletic Department.
  • Treated pain patients at Kaiser Permenente as a member of the Integrative Pain Team.
  • Successful private practice as the owner and founder of the highly regarded Revida here in the Inner Richmond. You can check out his background and philosophy more here: http://www.revida-acupuncture.com/.

Andrew is an expert in pain, sports injuries, pregnancy and post-natal care, pediatrics, asthma and allergies, and mental and emotional health.

We have much of the same training and philosophy and have been working closely on a transition plan over the past weeks, so that all of you continue to receive outstanding care. I’m so glad to have found another practitioner who cares as much about patient outcome and results as I (and I’m sure you) do.

Though I’m so happy that Andrew is taking over, I will definitely miss you all. I’m so grateful for all your support over the years. I always say that I have the best patients and allies anyone could ever wish for, and I want to thank you for being a part of our success.

Sincerely,

Peter J Shark

Founder Wood Tiger Acupuncture

Myths and Facts About Chinese Medicine III

Myth: Chinese Medicine is natural, so it’s hard to tell if it’s working or not

FACT:  When it’s working, you’ll know it!

People often think that natural = weak. It simply isn’t true. Acupuncture for pain will work within the first few treatments or it won’t work at all!

Now don’t get me wrong, you may need multiple treatments to get rid of the problem and keep it gone. However, you should be able to tell that it’s working by the fourth treatment at the latest. If you have been seeing an Acupuncturist for pain for more than four treatments and you can’t tell if it’s working or not, either try a different Acupuncturist or do something else. Pain conditions rarely respond later if they’re not responding at all in the beginning.

For chronic conditions, like fatigue, digestive problems, hormones, you should notice improvement within the first month. Again, it may take some follow-up to make sure the results stay after you discontinue treatment, but a proper treatment should have you obviously on the road to recovery.

In my clinic, if the patient is not 70% better in three months, we take a serious look at whether we’re doing the right thing and whether or not we should continue treating!

When was the last time you took a medication (other than anti-biotics) that truly fixed your underlying problem and had you 70% better in three months?

Do you have more questions/assumptions/ideas that you want to know about? Leave them in the comments section, and I’ll be sure to address them!

Know someone who thinks they know all about Chinese Medicine or wants to know more? Forward this article, or connect them to this site! Or better yet, share this on FaceBook or Twitter!

Read part I of this series

Read part II of this series

Myths and Facts About Chinese Medicine II

Myth: Qi is energy

Fact: There is absolutely no historical basis for the translation of the word Qi as energy!

This one tends to ruffle a lot of feathers, so let me be clear. I’m not making a statement as to whether or not there is energy in the body. I’m merely stating that the word Qi, as used in the Chinese Medical classics, does not and never has meant energy.

So what happened? Why does everyone in the West seem to believe that Chinese Medicine is based on invisible energy circulating through invisible pathways that we somehow magically stick needles into?

First you have to understand that these Chinese Medical Classics are literally 4,000 years old! The language in which they were written was basically pictograms. Nobody, except those with a PhD in ancient Chinese, can read these classics as written. Even Chinese people must study translations.

The problem is that most people who get PhD’s in Ancient Chinese don’t know much about medicine, and most people who know about medicine don’t read Ancient Chinese. This creates a serious problem in the translation of an ancient medical text.

It so happens that a French gentleman, George Soulie de Morant,  who didn’t know much about medicine attempted to translate the most important Chinese Medical Text ever, the Huang Di Nei Jing. And in this attempt, he made the two most influential mistranslations ever. He translated the word Qi as energy and the word Mai (blood vessel) as meridian.

As a result of this mistranslation, most Westerners, including almost everyone studying in Chinese Medical school in the West, is taught that Chinese Medicine is about energy flowing in meridians.

So if Qi isn’t energy and the term meridian doesn’t exist anywhere in the classics, then what is Chinese Medicine?

If you saw the character for Qi painted on a big sign in China today, do you know what that would mean?

It indicates that there is a station for putting air into your car tires!

Why? Because Qi just means air—every Chinese person know this! Nobody gets confused and pulls their car over hoping to get some energy injected into their meridians!

In the context of the medical classics, we know they meant to be a bit more specific. So what do the classics say about Qi? The direct translation of “qi” is “vital air.” The Huang Di Nei Jing says that Qi is invisible and all around us (air) and that it is breathed in by the Lungs and the vital parts of the air are extracted by the Lungs and sent to the Heart to be pumped all over the body inside the blood vessels (mai)!

In case you don’t remember your anatomy and physiology, they’re talking about Oxygen! The Chinese were incredibly concerned with the flow of Oxygen (Qi), Blood (Xue), Nutrients (ying) and Immune cells (Wei) inside the Blood Vessels (mai) and Lymph system (jing ye) as well as with the functioning of each of the major organs (zang fu).

What this amazing revelation means is that rather than being concerned with some kind of psychic energy, Chinese Medicine is actually a PHYSICAL medicine which is primarily concerned with blood flow!

I’ve likely offended many devotees of Chinese Medicine who strongly believe in the energy and meridian concept. In reality, most Acupuncturists have only studied textbooks and never studied any of the what the classics actually say. And the amazing thing is that this difference in belief does not necessarily change the application of Acupuncture treatment. The difference is that with the circulation/blood vessel/anatomically based explanation, we suddenly realize that Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture are actually NOT in conflict with Western ideas or anatomy and physiology. The Chinese actually explained vital concepts thousands of years ago that were just “discovered” in the West a couple of hundred years ago. As soon as we let go of the mystical idea, we are free to see all of the commonalities that Chinese Medicine has with the modern Western approach.

The Huang Di Nei Jing describes such (at the time) unknown wonders such as the closed blood circulation system, hormones, the immune function of the intestines (just being corroborated in very recent research), the digestive function of the pancreas, referred pain patterns from organs (such as gallbladder pain referring to the scapula and heart pain referring down the arm). I could go on and on!

The best source for more information on this topic is a book called The Dao of Chinese Medicine. This book, with its seemingly mystical title, lays it all out in incredibly well-researched black and white. It was published by Oxford University Press, which is not some little alternative press looking to overthrow the dominant paradigm! It is a solid, valid piece of work at finally de-mystifying the medicine that continues to help millions around the globe.

Read Part I of this series

Read Part III of this series

Myths and Facts About Chinese Medicine Part I

Myths and Facts About Chinese Medicine

 

There are few things more misunderstood than Chinese Medicine is in the West. These days more and more people are hearing about and trying Chinese Medicine, most commonly Acupuncture, to treat their ills. As Chinese Medicine reaches into the mainstream, the misinformation is multiplying exponentially. I can’t speak to every errant idea out there, but I hope to cover some of the biggies in this article. If you’ve been wondering what the heck is going on with this seemingly mystical medicine, read on.

Myth: Acupuncture is Chinese Medicine

Fact: Chinese Medicine is a complete system of medicine, just like Western Medicine. It has a complete system of diagnosis and treatment for any possible dysfunction that may present. This is not to say that Chinese Medicine excels at treating every condition, just that it has a method of diagnosing and treating every condition.

Acupuncture is like the physical therapy of Chinese Medicine. It works with the nervous system, and its number one application is pain relief. In China, Acupuncturists are considered far less skilled than Herbalists.  All of the best and brightest doctoral candidates pursue Herbal Medicine.

Just as Western Medicine is comprised of both Physical Therapy and Medications, Chinese Medicine includes both Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine. Most internal conditions, conditions that relate to organ function, overall circulation and non-musculo-skeletal conditions, are treated primarily with Herbal Medicine. Just like drugs in Western Medicine, herbs allow your Chinese Medicine practitioner to affect organ function, inflammation and circulation.

The other major areas of Chinese Medicine are heat therapy (moxabustion), massage and joint mobilization (Tui Na) and Nutrition. Nutrition is the most important, and most overlooked, aspect of medicine in general. No medical treatment can override what you put in your body multiple times per day if that food/beverage/substance is actively harming you. True health can only result from personal responsibility and a life that supports life.

Read Part II of this series

Read Part III of this series

Help Fix the Farm Bill!

 

Happy Pastured Cows
Happy Pastured Cows

The Farm Bill currently up for a vote before the Senate and discussion in the House will cripple our local food system, unless we pass some very important amendments.

For the full story go here: Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund

What can you do to help?

Call or email your US Senators and say the following:

 

Senator ____________________,

My name is ______________, and I live in _____________________________. As a constituent of yours and a consumer of locally grown foods, I urge you to protect my access to the healthy foods that I want to eat.

Please consider voting for the following ammnendments to the Farm Bill to help protect my freedom to choose the foods I want to eat.

YES: on King’s Amendment 1033
YES: on Boxer’s Amendment: 1027
YES: on Grassley’s Amendment: 969
YES: Wyden’s Amendment: 952
NO: Johann’s Amendment to eliminate Country of Origin Labeling (COOL)

Thank you so much for your time and support. We need you to defend our rights to choose the food we eat.

Sincerely,
Your name

If you live in California, you can email
Senator Boxer
Senator Feinstein

If you’re outside California, find your Senators

As of today (6/20/13) the House is considering their version of the Farm Bill. There are several important amendments there as well.

Send an online fax OR

Write your reprensentative and use the subject line: Support Amendments 115, 136, 176, 214

Say something like:

Representative  ____________________,

My name is ______________, and I live in _____________________________. As a constituent of yours and a consumer of locally grown foods, I urge you to protect my access to the healthy foods that I want to eat.

Please consider voting for the following ammnendments to the Farm Bill to help protect my freedom to choose the foods I want to eat.

YES on Amendments 115, 136, 176 and 214.

Thank you so much for your time and support. We need you to defend our rights to choose the food we eat.

Sincerely,

Your name

Not convinced our farmers need your help? Watch Farmageddon the movie. It will change your mind. If we want to continue to access quality foods, we need to act now to preserve our rights!

It is vital that we protect our access to foods grown in a non-industrialized setting, and if we allow continued erosion of our food choices, we may end up buying our beets on the black market. No joke!

Please take 2 minutes of your time RIGHT NOW to follow the links and cut and paste the message. Our democracy can only work through participation. Imagine how you’ll feel if your farmer’s market closes down and you didn’t do anything. Act NOW!

 

Stewed Onions

Stewed Onions

You will need:

4 large yellow onions

1-2 c stock/broth

2-4 T duck fat (other fats are fine, but duck tastes particularly good in this recipe)

Medium to large sauce pan or stock pot

Salt

 

  1. Place all ingredients in pot with lid on over medium heat.
  2. When ingredients start to simmer, turn down to low.
  3. Simmer for 10-30 minutes, until onions are soft and translucent.
  4. Salt to taste

Mashed Cauliflower

Mashed Cauliflower

You will need:

2 medium heads cauliflower

½ lb duck fat, lard or lard butter (Avedano’s)

Filtered water

Large steaming pot

Large mixing bowl

Immersion blender or potato masher

 

  1. Pour a few inches of filtered water into the steaming pot. Put on high heat and cover.
  2. Chop cauliflower, removing and discarding stem. Place in steamer basket.
  3. Put basket into pot and cook on high until lid starts to jostle. Turn down until lid is settled.
  4. Steam for 10-20 minutes, until cauliflower is very soft. Don’t worry about overcooking.
  5. Dump fat into large mixing bowl and pour hot cauliflower on top.
  6. Blend or mash until there are no large chunks.
  7. Eat hot or place in Tupperware or jar in fridge.
  8. Serve with butter and salt to taste.

Mashed Carrots

Mashed Carrots

You will need:

Carrots (Peeled)

½ lb duck fat, lard or lard butter

Filtered water

Large steaming pot

Large mixing bowl

Immersion blender or potato masher

 

  1. Pour a few inches of filtered water into the steaming pot. Put on high heat and cover.
  2. Chop and peel carrots. Place in steamer basket.
  3. Put basket into pot and cook on high until lid starts to jostle. Turn down until lid is settled.
  4. Steam for 10-20 minutes, until carrots are very soft. Don’t worry about overcooking.
  5. Dump fat into large mixing bowl and pour hot carrots on top.
  6. Blend or mash until there are no large chunks.
  7. Eat hot or place in Tupperware or jar in fridge.
  8. Salt to taste.

Optional:  mix in fresh ginger juice

Lamb Broth with Lamb Shank

Lamb broth w/ lamb shank

 You Will Need

3-4 lbs Lamb shank from Avedano’s

2 T apple cider vinegar

4-5 2 qt. jars

Ladel or 2 c. pyrex measuring cup

Canning funnel

Metal tea strainer

Tongs

1 programmable slow cooker

 

  1. Place lamb in slow cooker
  2. Pour vinegar over meat.
  3. Add filtered water to fill slow cooker
  4. Cook for 24 hours on low.

Tip: Make sure you’re slow cooker isn’t going to go off and need to be re-set in the middle of the night while you are sleeping! Just re-set it before bed if necessary.

  1. Let the stock and meat cool for a couple of hours before attempting to work with them.
  2. Place a colander inside a large mixing bowl, and set up a jar with the canning funnel in the top and your tea strainer across the top of the canning funnel.
  3. Use the ladel or 2 c measuring cup to pour the liquid through the tea strainer into your jars.

 

Tip: If you plan to freeze your broth, use BPA-free plastic containers . My jars always seem to crack into the most frightening giant shards of glass you’ve ever seen!

 

  1. Use your tongs to remove meat and place into colander inside the bowl.
  2. Once all the stock is in the jars, it’s time to pull the meat off the bones!
  3. Using your hands, slowly pick the meat off the bone.
  4. Place meat in a jar or Tupperware in the refrigerator.
  5. Leave stock on counter to cool for a few hours and place in fridge.

 

Meat can be stored on the bone or removed from the bone prior to storage.