If you have been up to the clinic lately you should have seen a new display—adult/children’s’ nature books and cards hand illustrated and written by our Executive Director, Dr. Skya Abbate. 100% of the proceeds go to Two Fish Foundation, Skya’s company, dedicated to alleviating planetary hunger.  Skya’s books and cards are featured in fine art galleries, bookstores and on-line. All proceeds of items sold at Southwest Acupuncture are given to the branch of the foundation specifically dedicated to New Mexico which has the highest rate of child hunger in the nation and the seconnd highest rate of childhood poverty in the country as well.


A common question that comes up in conversation is who and what the ACAOM, CCAOM, and NCCAOM are. The simple answer is that they are the governances that make the education of this amazing medicine possible. The pioneers of the acupuncture profession in the U.S. came together with their own expertise and formed these organizations to bring credibility to the acupuncture profession and to educate the public. Here is an easy way to remember what each organization does.

July 8, 2012 - To many this day holds no meaning. To some this date holds great significance. It is a day to be celebrated, and yet it is also a day to be mourned. On this day one family lost their baby, a tiny life that could not be saved. And, in the midst of their overwhelming loss and unimaginable pain they did something so breathtakingly selfless. They saved the life of a child that encompasses so many people’s hearts: Marcos.

Marcos was born with a condition that would result in the loss of nearly all of his small intestine as well as end stage liver failure. He was flown from state to state for care while doctors offered little hope. His only chance: a multi-visceral organ transplant. 

Xi Gua, known to most of us simply as watermelon, is a delicious fruit both adults and children love to eat. It is not coincidental that it is commonly eaten during the summer as it has great cooling properties.

In Chinese Medicine, the watermelon fruit clears heat, relieving both thirst and irritability. It is one of the few with the ability to help relieve heat exhaustion, also known as “summerheat”. To relieve heat exhaustion, the outermost layer of the rind is used as opposed to the sweet, juicy part of the fruit. In addition to clearing heat, watermelon promotes urination and reduces jaundice. In fact, it is currently being used as an assistant in the treatment of icteric hepatitis. 

Those with weakened digestive systems should be careful not to eat too much watermelon as it can create more damage since it is cold.

I came to think of pediatric acupuncture as an oxymoron when I was a student at Northwest Institute of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the 90's. We had a special clinic for children and I heard an occasional yip or scream when I passed the treatment room. I decided to forgo that specialty and concentrated on adult treatments. A few years after graduating from the program, I continued to train in Japanese classical acupuncture and was introduced to shoni-shin which is Japanese pediatric acupuncture (sho / little; ni / children; shin / needle).

According to Chinese theory, the world can be viewed as an interrelationship of five elements or phases – fire, earth, metal, water, and wood. This theory is steeped in Chinese culture and is used to describe the macrocosm, such as astrology and world events, as well as the microcosm (e.g. acupuncture point relationships, emotions, and overall constitutions).  Each element generates and controls each other, and health is achieved when the energy or qi is able to move through each phase smoothly. Everyone has the energetics of all five phases within their constitution, but one or more of these elements/phases are predominant. Understanding your constitution will help to lay the foundation for health promotion and disease prevention. What is your predominant element?

Tui Na is the ancient healing art of Traditional Chinese Medicine, along with acupuncture and herbal medicine. The name Tui Na means to push (Tui) and grasp (Na) and conveys the vigorous nature of this hands on healing system. It not only works on the muscles and joints, but also at a deeper level affecting the flow of energy called qi (pronounced chee). In the body, qi flows through channels, called meridians, and supplies nourishment to all the organs, tissues, and the mind. Tui Na applies pressure to the meridians and to specific points on these meridians. This affects the flow of qi so that it moves freely and evenly throughout the body. The distribution of qi within your body has profound effects on all aspects of your wellbeing: emotional, intellectual, physical, and spiritual.

Chinese nutrition does not fall into the category of fad diets, cleanses, or crash courses. Rather, it encourages individuals to make changes in order to positively influence their own health over the long term by adding in foods that make them feel great while allowing them to explore how other foods may affect them. It provides a jumping off place for the individual to take control of their own health.

At the Nutritional Assessment booth of the SWAC Wellness Fair, you will take a short assessment that will allow our student practitioners to properly assess your body type. You will then be given a sheet to take home detailing information about your constitution, including strengths and weaknesses, and providing specific recommendations for foods you could eat to feel more energetically balanced and positive.

On Wednesday, July 13, from 2 to 4 pm, Southwest Acupuncture College in Santa Fe is hosting a Wellness Fair. The fair will showcase many different applications of Chinese Medicine, not just acupuncture! Whether you have health concerns, have always been curious about acupuncture, or simply want to know what Chinese Medicine is all about, the Wellness Fair is for you. On hand, senior students from SWAC, under the guidance of experienced Doctors of Oriental Medicine, will be offering a variety of modalities to attendees.

Da Zao, jujube or Chinese date, is not only a medicinal herb in Chinese medicine but also a tasty fruit. Its sweet and warm properties make it a favorite among many. The jujube can be consumed alone as a snack or added to foods. Be careful not to use too much though, as an excessive amount can bring about diarrhea and digestive discomfort.

Still, this herb is very special because it can replenish the substance that provides our bodies with warmth and energy (Qi). Thus it is used in cases of weakness, fatigue, and poor appetite. It builds blood and calms the spirit/mind, treating irritability and insomnia. Finally, Da Zao harmonizes formulas, reducing the undesired and harmful effects of harsh herbs and helping the herbs in a formula work together more effectively. It is often used as an alternative herb to Gan Cao (licorice root) to harmonize when licorice root is unavailable or when it is incompatible with the herbs being used.