Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty
There was an error with PayPalClick here to try again
CelebrateThank you for your business!You should be receiving an order confirmation from Paypal shortly.Exit Shopping Cart

  The F​ire Within Acupuncture & Wellness

Sky above me, Earth below me, Fire within me



From natural remedies, to treatment revelations; Life of Dr Tanya, to Traditional Chinese medicine, and Shamanism. This blog is meant to inspire and make you laugh. Have Oprah (Ah-Ha) moments, or get you teary-eyed because you connect.

Always feel free to comment. This is my life's passion and I am honored to share it with you.

~ Namaste

view:  full / summary

These 8 Amazing Athletes Use Acupuncture

Posted by Tanya on March 13, 2015 at 6:55 PM Comments comments ()

These 8 Amazing Athletes Use Acupuncture

1. Vincenzo Nibali recently won the Tour de France, perhaps one of the toughest athletic competitions in the world. During the arduous 3 week race he was treated with acupuncture twice daily. Eddy De Smedt L.Ac., a Belgian acupuncturist treated Vincenzo and all the cyclists on Team Astana. His treatments focused on assisting the racers with pain relief, quick recovery, and rest.

2. Pittsburgh Pirates Pitcher A.J. Burnett considers acupuncture vital to his health. In 2009 he negotiated acupuncture into his contract with the New York Yankees. He was quoted saying “I believe in it,” “There’s no doubt in my mind that I think it’s helped.”

3. Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers – I know the Packers loss was a devastating one, but not for lack of using every tool in the tool box to get game ready. Rodgers used acupuncture to help treat his injured calf. In a quote from ESPN, he said, “I’ve got to give a lot of credit to our training staff. They spent a lot of hours with me this week. They did a great job of getting me ready. My acupuncturist as well. She really helps.”

4. NBA Houston Rockets star forward Chandler Parsons used acupuncture to treat chronic back pain.

5. Famous former NBA forward Grant Hill received acupuncture to help his legs and boost his energy. Grant Hill said “it doesn’t hurt .. they treat the whole body .. they look for the cause of the problem and fix that.”.


6. Wang Qun an Olympic swimmer from China used cupping to prepare for her race at the 2008 Bejing Olympics.


7. Kobe Bryant – On 1/5/13 the NBA superstar took to twitter and posted a picture of his leg with acupuncture needles in it along with the tweet “Acupuncture therapy. Whatever it takes #mambatweets” I am not a big fan of Kobe but I am always happy to see Chinese Medicine getting good press.


8. Fullback, Tony Richardson – Richardson, considered on of the best fullbacks in NFL history had a distinguished career with the Vikings, Chiefs and Jets. He successfully used acupuncture for injuries and credited his acupuncturist for his quick healing time.


Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine has a very very long history of effectively treating pain and speeding the recovery process. Even conservative organizations like the Canadian Army are using acupuncture to treat chronic pain and PTSD in injured soldiers. Acupuncture benefits for athletes include: pain relief, faster recovery, improved circulation, muscle relaxation, better sleep and improved energy. Like many others, and for the same reasons, athletes are fans of acupuncture and the other treatments offered by Traditional Chinese Medicine as a way to treat injuries and a multitude of other health concerns.

Opening Hearts

Posted by Tanya on August 14, 2014 at 11:20 AM Comments comments ()

People in our lives don’t always behave the way we wish, and certain behaviors can trigger uncomfortable responses in us. Please remember they didn’t get into our mind and create the buttons that have been pushed. Taking responsibility for our own feelings and reactions is mastering our own ability to respond. We need to learn consciously to choose then react.

Resentment and forgiveness needs to be addressed together. Forgiving doesn’t condone a person’s behavior; rather forgiveness takes place as a simple decision and has nothing to do with the other person at all. True forgiveness allows us to set ourselves free from holding on to the pain of another’s behavior - simply an act of releasing ourselves from the negative energy. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you are allowing the painful behavior or actions to continue in your life, but rather forgiveness is about letting it go; you forgive them and release them.

Take a stand and set healthy boundaries. This is the most loving thing you can do – not only for yourself but for others too. I truly believe there are no mistakes in this life. When our hearts remain closed and we feel sad, depressed, lost, angry, resentful, shame, or abandoned its hard to see anything good. Yet, when our hearts are open it’s as if so much of that negativity disappears and we’re able to release the old thoughts and reawaken to joy, love, happiness, and freedom. For each of us, there’s always joy inside, and we need to know how very perfect we are, as we are.

No matter how much chaos is going on around us; no matter how many things may be going wrong or not the way we envisioned; no matter what our bodies may be doing at the moment, we can always just love and accept ourselves. The truth of us – the very truth of our being - is that we are eternal. We have always been and we always will be. That part of us goes on forever.

As we accept and love ourselves exactly as we are, it makes it easier to go through the so called difficult times. We’re no longer fighting ourselves, we’re accepting. We’re cherishing ourselves and becoming tender. We’re comforting ourselves and making it easier.

Look in a mirror and say, “I love and accept you, just the way you are…

The Law of 5 Elements - The Element of Metal part 2 of 2

Posted by Tanya on July 6, 2014 at 11:40 AM Comments comments ()

Causes of Common Lung Disorders

In addition to unresolved grief, many problems of the lungs (and colon) are due to a sedentary lifestyle.  Insufficient activity encourages poor respiration and elimination. Lung and colon problems are also aggrivated by a faulty diet: overeating; not eating roughage; consuming too much meat, dairy, and other congesting foods; using drugs, cigarettes, and processed foods. Poor eating habits cause mucus to be deposited in the lungs, which blocks their proper functioning. Colds, allergies, sinus problems, bronchitis and asthma are among the problems that may result. Furthermore, toxins build up in the lungs and colon and create tension, exhaustion, hair and skin problems, and pale complexion. 

The following syndromes illustrate more precisely how these various conditions manifest in the lungs, and thus shed light on their cure: 

Common Syndromes of the Lungs

1. Heat congesting the lungs will usually have exterior symptoms such as fevers accompanied by chills, and a red tongue with a dry, yellow coating. In addition, there is a dry cough, shortness of breath, and a painful sore throat; there may also be thick, yellow-green sputum with pus, or even rank, bloody pus; and yellow nasal discharge. Treatment involves adding foods and herbs which cool the heat and transform sputum (phlegm) in the lungs. 

Useful foods:  watercress, cantaloupe, apple, persimmon, peach, pear, strawberry, citrus, seaweed (nori, kelp), mushroom, daikon radish, radish, carrot, pumpkin, cabbage, bok choy, cauliflower, chard, papaya, and white fungus.

Herbs: horehound leaf and chickweed. 

Diet: the majority of the diet should be in the form of soups. Soups and congees of millet, barley, or rice are cooling and soothing for lung heat

2. Phlegm in the lungs is most often brought about by weak digestion (weak spleen-pancreas qi) that causes mucus. It can also result from too much mucus-forming food. In either case, mucus accumulates in the lungs; symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, or asthma accompanied by sticky phlegm. The tongue coat is usually greasy and white if the phlegm is cold; a greasy yellow coating indicates hot phlegm. 

Useful foods, spices and herbs: fennel, fenugreek, flaxseed, cayenne, watercress, garlic and otehr members of the onion family, horseradish, turnip, fresh ginger, radish, daikon radish, mushroom, cereal grasses, seaweed (spirulina); herbs include nettles, coltsfoot, mullein leaf. 

Diet: generally the diet should consist of foods that easily digest and do not add any further mucus burden. These are fruits, veggies and sprouts; small amounts of legumes, grains, and almonds can usually be tolerated. It is best to eat simple, small meals. Avoid: all dairy foods, mammal meats, peanuts, tofu, tempeh, miso, soy sauce, soy milk and other soy products, amasake and all other sweeteners except stevia leaf. 

3. Deficient yin of the lungs occurs when there is a chronic lack of yin to cool and nourish the lungs. Such a condition is most often a result of a chronic lung infection, inflammation, or other long-term lung disease which drains the yin of the body. Insufficient yin of the lungs (or of any organ) suggests a deficiency of kidney yin, which enriches the yin of the entire body. Typical symptoms include dry, unproductive cough with little or no sputum (sometimes tinged with blood); periodic fever, frequent thirst, fresh-red cheeks and tongue, hot palms and soles, night sweats, thin and fast pulse.

Useful foods and herbs: Irish moss and other seaweeds, spirulina and chlorella micro-algae, orange, peach, pear, apple, watermelon, tomato, banana, string bean, soy milk, tofu, tempeh, sugar cane, rice syrup, flaxseed, butter and other dairy products, egg, oyster, clam, and pork; herbs include marshmallow root, slippery elm bark, the bulbs of tiger lily and other lillies, rehmannia root, and Solomon's seal root. 

Exclude all warming foods and spices such as to avoid "heat congesting the lungs." Too much bitter flavor is drying and therefore contraindicated; use golden seal, dandelion, echinacea, and burdock cautiously if at all. Dairy products and eggs should be used of excellent quality and in very small amounts. 

4. Deficient qi of the lungs is a chronic, often debilitating lung pattern. Symptoms include weakness, fatigue, weak voice and limited speech, coughing, and shortness of breath. If the protective qi has also been weakened, there may be spontaneous sweating with any physical activity and poor immunity to contagions such as colds and flus. Deficient qi of the lungs can result from long-term lung diseases, particularly those with heat signs (including the minor heat signs of deficient lung yin discussed above). General lack of body qi can also cause this syndrome. The qi energy in the body is rooted in the kidney-adrenals, which in turn depend on the qi derived from food - a spleen-pancreas function.

Useful foods and herbs: rice, sweet rice, oats, carrot, mustard green, sweet potato, yam, potato, fresh ginger, garlic, molasses, rice syrup, barley malt, herring; herbs include elecampane root, spikenard root, and licorice root. 

The diet should include primarily cood food and restrict cooling or mucus-forming foods such as citrus fruits, salt, milk and other dairy products; cereal-grass products, spinach, chard, seaweeds, and micro-algae (chlorella or spirulina is acceptable). 

Protecting the Lungs and Colon

Most people show signs of lung and colon weakenss - their skin is not vital, they harbor old grief, hold unhealthy attachments to things and people, and tend to have mucus problems. Yet their condition is not outwardly serious and may not accurately fit into one of the syndromes discussed above. 

In our experience, a good portion of people, when told that they have cancer, relate the news to their friends with statements like this: "But I've hardly been sick a day in my life, and I never even get a cold!"
People who never get a cold are either exceptionally healthy or - more often - holding onto toxins that will contribute to serious diseases later. One or perhaps two colds a year should not necessarily be considered an unhealthy sign, particularly if the level of toxins where the person lives or works is high. 

Reference: Paul Pitchford, Healing with Whole Foods Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition, third edition. Pages 349-354

The Law of 5 Elements - The Element of Metal part 1 of 2

Posted by Tanya on June 27, 2014 at 10:50 PM Comments comments ()

"The forces of Autumn create dryness in Heaven and metal on Earth; they create the lung organ and the skin upon the body ...and the nose, and the white color, and the pungent flavor ..the emotion grief, and the ability to make a weeping sound" ~Inner Classic


When dry climates prevail, it is important to know how to offset their effects. When a person has a dry condition, it is usually related to the lungs and could be caused by imbalances in the diet, excessive activity, adverse climate, and/or organ malfunction. The major symptoms of dryness in the body are thirst, dryness of the skin, nose, lips, and throat, and itchiness; those who are chronically dry also tend to have a thin body type.


To counter dryness in the body in any season, foods which moisten can be emphasized: soybean products, including tofu, tempeh, and soy milk; spinach, barley, millet, pear, apple, persimmon, loquat, seaweeds, black and white fungus, almond pine nut, peanut, sesame seed, honey (cooked), barley malt, rice syrup, milk and dairy products, eggs, clam, crab, oyster, mussel, herring, and pork. Using a little salt in cooking also moistens dryness.


Dairy and other animal products are more appropriate for those whose dryness is accompanied by weakness, frailty, and other signs of deficiency. The dry person's condition is frequently a result of inadequate yin fluids in the body, and therefore many of the remedies for nourishing the yin also treat dryness.


The Lungs in Harmony and Disease

The lungs receive the Qi vital force of the air and mix it with the Qi extracted from food. This combination of Qi and associated nutrients is then distributed throughout the food and is of particular importance in protecting the surfaces of the body (including the mucous membranes and interior surfaces of the lungs) from viruses, bacteria, and other invading pathogens. The strength of the lungs depends on their Qi.

In health, lung Qi energy is characterized by its ability to consolidate, gather together, maintain strength, and unify against disease at every level, including cellular immunity. The personality of those with strong lungs is influenced by this Qi: They seem unified, hold onto their direction, create order, and are effective at what they do. How well we "hold on" and "let go" can be expressed in terms of emotional attachment. The colon is the yang organ paired with the lungs, and its obvious function is releasing what is no longer needed. In Chinese healing traditions, this release is on emotional and psychic levels as well as physical.


Attachments as an Indicator of Lung Vitality

Those with healthy lungs tend to hold onto their principles and keep their commitments, but when it comes time to let go of an object or relationship, they sense this and it without without emotional repression, feeling the associated grief and sadness, but soon resolving it. In comparison, those with weak lungs may experience loss with confusion and attempt to stifle their sadness, never completely letting go. At the same time, they can be disorderly and either lose their possessions easily or else hold onto them with unreasonable attachment.


Resolving Grief and Sadness

Grief is the emotion associated with the lungs and colon. Grief that is expressed and resolved strengthens the internal basis of heath, but repressed grief causes long-term contraction in the lungs, which interferes with their function of dispersing nutrients and Qi; ultimately, the lungs become congested with undistributed matter. Virtually everyone with lung and colon problems, regardless of the source of the problem, has unresolved sadness that needs to be cleared. Understanding the inward nature of this emotion offers a clue to working with it.

The contracting force of grief, if used constructively, clears repression: it encourages us to look within, to identify unresolved sorrows, and to transform them by simply being mindful of them. Sharing such feelings with others can also help dissipate them. By focusing internally, one heals those areas where deep illness may otherwise develop. Turbid emotions and thoughts can be cleansed by long, deep breathing. The expansive quality of pungent foods, the flavour that first "enters" the lungs, can assist in clearing grief.


The Physical Indications of Lung Vitality

Before assessing lung vitality, it is useful to consider three additional relationships:


  1. The lungs are said to "open" to the nose; this means that the sinuses, bronchioles, air passageways, and the nose itself are all influenced by the lungs.
  2. The health of the skin, including the mucous membranes and their inherent immunity, reflect lung health.
  3. The amount and quality of mucus relate to the lungs.


The individual with healthy lungs maintains a light, moist, protective coating on all mucus membranes; in conjunction with well-nourished and energized skin, this wards off extreme weather influences as well as viruses and other pathogens. Such a person is protected against infectious diseases like colds and flus and has good immunity in general.

Reference: Paul Pitchford, Healing with Whole Foods Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition, third edition. Pages 346-348

Thinking Outside the Botox

Posted by Tanya on February 26, 2014 at 1:20 AM Comments comments ()


Spas, Dentist and Doctors’ offices are inundated with offers that promise to beautify and bloom up your cheeks, reduce the appearance of lines, and smooth out tired skin.


Few are regarded as “natural” and fewer considered holistic and gentle. Botox injections and fillers use various forms of the “botulinum toxin” to temporarily paralyze muscle activity; most clients are unaware of the bruising, inflammation and weeks of tenderness that can result.


A recent study lead by Dr Michael Lewis of the School of Psychology, Cardiff, Wales examined the idea of facial feedback on 25 people who had regular Botox injections. His findings presented: “People who became less happy because their “smiling faces” were less “smiley” than before, thus affecting how they see the world.”


What does your Face Reveal about your Health?


Have you considered using your constitution to aid in healing lines – using treatment that builds upon itself but also addresses the underlying internal cause of dull, slack skin?


Chinese medicine believes that the face reflects both the body’s overall health and quality of Spirit. Your forehead, nose, chin, right and left cheek: each of these five facial zones gives you a clue to what is happening inside of your body.


Your Forehead: Corresponds to the element of fire. Associated with the heart and small intestine organ network, as well as the mind and spirit.


Your Nose: The element of earth, indicating a connection to the stomach, spleen and pancreas, as well as worry and stress.


Your Chin: Related to the water element, which is internally connected to your kidney and bladder organ network, including the hormonal system and glands.


Your Right Cheek: Associated with the metal element, meaning your lung and large intestine network, including repressed sadness or holding on to ones past.


Your Left Cheek: Connected to the element of wood, or the liver-gallbladder network. Problems with this part of the face may also reveal emotional issues, such as anger or depression, since the liver and gallbladder network includes the nervous system.


What is a Constitutional Facial Acupuncture Treatment?


“A beautiful face is clear, allowing the spirit to shine through,” says Mary Elizabeth Wakefield, champion and teacher of constitutional facial acupuncture protocol in New York, NY – “The system is based on Oriental Medicine, acupuncture with resonance.”


Constitutional acupuncture facial renewal will offer a safe, effective option to those who seek the benefits of reduced aging in the face and neck where fine lines and sagging skin are erased, deeper lines and muscles are naturally uplifted and minimized and skin radiance/facial tone are enhanced.


How does this work?


Constitutional facial acupuncture is a combination of acupuncture and an organic process that includes Chinese herbal masks, jade rollers and moisturizers.


Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles into muscles, acupuncture points and facial lines to stimulate circulation and move Qi (energy). This enhances the blood flow to the area, transporting nutrients and oxygen to these cells.


The body interprets the needles insertion as “positive injury”, a micro-trauma which turn stimulates collagen and elastin production. As the face is nourished, the muscles tighten, the body reabsorbs the signs of aging, the face lifts itself, becomes more vibrant and your Spirit is greatly improved.


What is Microcurrent/Facial Rejuvenation?


A safe, non-needle, therapeutic electrical current used to facelifts and promote improved health. A more youthful appearance is created through facial muscle rehabilitation, enhanced tissue healing and energy balancing.


How does this work?


Microcurrent facial rejuvenation is a combination of microcurrent stimulation, herbal masks, essential oils, diets and lifestyle advice, body and ear acupuncture.


Local therapeutic electrical stimulation creates a current of energy that carries messages to recovering tissue cells to direct healing. It takes several days for tissue cells to decode messages and begin regeneration of collagen and elastin and for muscle balancing to occur.


You may notice an improved shine, or Shen (Spirit), an uplifted feeling as well as a smoothing of wrinkles and a sense of well-being.


Recommended Treatment?


Your first visit includes both a consultation to develop a customized treatment plan specifically for you, including your first facial treatment.


Generally 12 visits are recommended (at a price of $150 per session), coming twice per week. Thereafter we will revisit your goals and provide tune-up treatment on a bi-weekly to monthly maintenance schedule.


Tight Budget?


Since pregnancy and into my mid-thirties, I’ve discovered a lot of blackheads appearing over the bridge of my nose, chin and cheeks. After trying many facials and expensive techniques, I have a wonderful blog post on how to naturally remove blackheads – ladies it truly works!