We now offer Reiki... but what is Reiki? We talked to Tina Outeiro to find out.

We now offer Reiki... but what is Reiki? We talked to Tina Outeiro to find out.

As most of you already know, there have been some big changes over here at Soul Sprout Family Acupuncture in the past few months. Holly joined the staff as a massage therapist and Tina came on as an office manager. What you may NOT know is that this is only a small part of Tina’s hustle: She is also a yoga instructor and business owner who runs yoga retreats at Inspirational Retreats, as well as a Reiki practitioner in her second level of training. Tina is now offering Reiki here at Soul Sprout, either as an independent session or in conjunction with an acupuncture appointment.


We are so excited to add Reiki to our growing list of wellness and healing, but we know that many people are not even sure exactly what it is, who should receive it, or how it works. We asked Tina a few questions to shed some light on Reiki and her own background with it.


Please feel free to ask any more questions-- call us up, DM us on Instagram or Facebook, or comment on this post. Tina is so excited to share her practice with you and we are sure that many of you could benefit greatly from Reiki!


Hi Tina! We have been so lucky to have you keeping the office in order here at Soul Sprout. Can you tell us a little bit about your other career(s), and what you're up to when you're not here?

Thank you for the kind words.  I’m enjoying working here as well between the wonderful clients and the calming atmosphere, it’s been a blast!  When not working here, I run retreats from day retreats to week long retreats. My retreats consist of holistic and simple approaches to life and wellbeing.


Tell us a little more about Reiki. What is the best/ easiest way to describe it?

I like to describe Reiki to people by telling them that we consist of energy and when our energy is off balance our physical body manifests that in illness or discomfort.  Reiki helps balance your energy which gives your physical body the opportunity to heal.



When and how did you get interested in it?

I learned about Reiki 8 years ago while I was in the financial world and no one around me had ever heard of it.  I was fascinated by it and the history of it. I couldn’t believe that everyone didn’t know about this amazing gift.  Over the years, I’ve been researching and wanting to learn more and more. I’ve met many people who are Reiki trained, Reiki Masters and I’ve noticed they all have the same fascination or this ancient healing.


How did you go about studying it and becoming a practitioner? What does it take to become a "master"?

I began studying it since I learned about.  I was trained by someone who is number 8 in lineage of Master Usui himself, which makes me 9th in lineage.


What does a typical Reiki appointment look like?

In a typical Reiki appointment, the client lays down with eyes closed and just relaxes as I gently place my hands on them, or hover over them (whichever is most comfortable for myself and the client). The appointment lasts about 45 minutes and the client typically leaves with a sense of peace.  Many times the clients falls asleep during a Reiki session as it is a very relaxing experience.


What about Reiki with acupuncture. How would that work? When would you recommend receiving both treatments together?

Reiki and acupuncture go hand in hand as Acupuncture consists of helping energy move and Reiki balances the energy.  Both are healing the energy and together are very powerful. I recommend using Reiki during an acupuncture session where the patient is anxious about Acupuncture or is anxious in general.



Do you ever encounter skeptics? What do they say to you? What do you say to them?

I’ve encountered many skeptics, they usually just make fun of it because they don’t understand.  I tell people, it can’t fix a broken leg or stop you from bleeding but it can help with some deep emotional injuries you may not even know still exists in you, and then they get curious.  I usually say to them I respect their opinion and Reiki is something that works when your soul is open to it. Some people may not be open to it physically, but their soul may be without them realizing it.


Any advice or tips for Reiki first-timers?

For Reiki first timers, I would say just be open and loving to themselves that they are allowing this experience into their life.


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Happy New Year!

Happy Lunar New Year!

Today we enter the year of the Yang Earth Dog, or Yellow Dog. The forecast that follows was drawn from the words of Lillian Pearl Bridges, whose full forecast you can read here: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0914/1204/files/Year_of_the_Dog_Forecast.pdf?4554263367526090895

We made it through 2 fire years where the energy was fast and all consuming, like a wildfire. We can relax a little bit knowing that this is an Earth over Earth year, which means that the year will be much calmer, perhaps even a little bit boring! Life will be easier, and more relaxing, and we’ll have time to recover from the tensions of the previous fire years.

The Dog brings good luck! In the words of Chinese Medicine legend Lillian Pearl Bridges, “anyone who loves and cares for dogs this year will get a little extra luck for honoring them”.

The Dog is practical and dedicated to conservation, honesty, and truthfulness. One major theme of the Dog year is justice. It is a year where fairness will prevail and people will fight against injustice. In this year, there will be a return to the belief in higher principles and ideals and wrongs will be righted. Luck will run out for anyone involved in unethical or illegal activities.

This is a year for negotiations that result in compromises. Prevailing themes of the Dog year are generosity, kindness, sympathy, and empathy. It is a time where people will care about the needs of others and will work to help others. Bridges says, “the ‘underdogs’ of the world will finally be given more support and a voice.” Gatherings of family and friends will be frequent and will be more welcoming to people considered outsiders. Dogs travel in packs, ensuring stronger family ties. It is also a good year for finding a partner, as Dogs are ever faithful and a symbol of fidelity. Expect a year of nurturing old and new friendships with gatherings and reunions. Volunteering and community involvement are important in the Dog year. It is a wonderful year for gathering your friends to work together in service to improve the lives of others.

Work wise, it is a good year for collaboration and cooperation. Teamwork will be rewarded more so than individual efforts. The economy will stabilize and plateau. Industries that will do well this year include farming, real estate, the tech industry, construction, publishing, and businesses in the mountains. It is a great year for aspiring backyard gardeners!

The organs associated with the Earth element are the Spleen, Stomach, and Pancreas. It will be important to maintain a strong immune system and digestive system this year, where food and the idea of Yang Shen – or nourishing life – will be central. The emotion of the Earth element is worry, which will be prevalent this year, but most of the things people worry about will not come true. Another attribute of the Earth element is thinking, which will make this a year where people will be more logical, but overthinking can be problematic, causing confusion.

This is a year to enjoy music, singing, crafting, carpentry, and needlework.

From the pack of Dogs at Soul Sprout Family Acupuncture we wish you a year of health and abundance.

Tools of the Trade: Save vs Splurge

Now that you've seen how and why to do a soak, let's have a little save vs splurge discussion about tools. I started out using a dishpan and laser thermometer and covering my soaking tub with a space blanket to keep the heat in. I was doing daily soaks, which many of you do ask well, so I decided to splurge and get a fancy contraption to keep the water at a constant temperature so I don't have to add hot water throughout my soak anymore. SO, here are the details:

Save: Sterilite 12 qt dishpan. I like this one because it has space to add enough water to cover your ankles without spilling over the sides.

Along with the dishpan, I highly recommend this handy dandy laser thermometer. It keeps you from sticking your toes in water that is too hot!

And then just cover it up with this space blanket so you don't need to warm your water up too frequently.

Splurge: Gideon Foot Spa: [][1] This spa keeps your water warm, has wheels, has a handle, and has a drain that you can use to pour water right into your jar for saving and then right down the drain! It is SO convenient. This is the one I use.

[1]:

Ivation foot spa: This also gets great reviews from the acupuncturist community who have used it. It doesn't have the drain and wheels, but it still works great!

Keep your eye out for sales on these foot spas! They both do a great job of keeping your water toasty.

What have you tried? Is there anything I missed that you want to recommend to your fellow soakers?

**This post contains some affiliate links. If you purchase anything using these links I'll earn a little scratch, but I stand behind everything I recommend nonetheless.

How to do a foot soak

How to do a foot soak.

Now you know about WHY you should use Tibetan Herbal foot soaks, let’s talk about HOW to do them. It’s pretty easy, and very relaxing.

Step 1. Boil water. When it has boiled, pour boiling water into a jar with one foot soak tea bag. Let this steep for 10-15 minutes. A pint size mason jar works; a quart size mason jar works even better.

Step 2. While this steeps, prepare the rest of your water. You can use a dishpan and thermometer system, adding hot water and letting it cool to 110-115 degrees fahrenheit (sometimes I add ice to speed up the cooling down process) or you can invest in a foot soaking tub that will maintain a steady temperature. When the bag has steeped for a while, add the contents of your mason jar to the contents of your soaking vessel and check the temperature.

Step 3. Stick your feet in. Relax and rest for 30 minutes. If you have high blood pressure, limit your soaking time to 15-20 minutes. **If you’re using a dishpan as your soaking vessel, you’ll want to keep a pot of hot water nearby to add hot water as your soak cools down.

Step 4. If you would like to stretch your soaks as far as you can, save some of the water (I usually save about 2 quarts) in the fridge for use the following day. When you are ready to do your soak, heat your saved “tea” with more water and repeat step 2 above.

Let me know what you’re feeling throughout and after your soak! I’d love to hear your feedback!

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Tibetan Herbal Foot Soak: How Does it Work?

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Tibetan Herbal Footsoaks: even the name sounds mysterious, ancient, and unusual. If you’ve come anywhere near them, you have been treated to their powerful fragrance. If you have picked up a bag and looked inside, you may have thought, “oh crud. The names of the herbs are in Chinese. I don’t know Chinese!”

Fear not. I do know Chinese (medicine), and I am going to tell you everything you need to know about the herbs in these footsoaks. You were right if you thought they were ancient and unusual, but they do not have to be mysterious.
The following is a list of the herbs found in the footsoaks and a brief description of their properties and functions.

So, let’s start from the top.

  1. Du Yi Wei, also known as Herba Lamiophlomis, has many important functions, including both moving and stopping bleeding, producing red blood cells, and stopping hemorrhaging. How does it both move and stop the movement of blood? It’s about regulation. What is stagnant is moved and what is moving out of control is slowed or stopped. Du Yi Wei is important in the footsoak formula because the aim of the soak is to create movement in the peripheral blood vessels to open the channels and vessels throughout the body and return the body’s system to balance, or homeostasis.

  2. Next, we have Zang Chang Pu, which is also known as Rhizoma Acori Calami. This herb is anti-bacterial and has a mild tranquilizing effect. It regulates digestive function and is great for people who can’t absorb nutrients.

  3. Zong Hong Hua is commonly known as Safflower. This herb is a powerful antioxidant which has been known to lower cholesterol and can protect cardiac muscles from factors that can cause hardening of the tissue. This herb is regularly used in Chinese medicine formulas to move blood.

  4. Hong Jing Tian, AKA Rhodiola, has its roots in Tibetan medicine. This herb is used to improve immune functions, treat chronic inflammation, increase oxygen in the blood, and alleviate pain by moving blood. This herb is often used for chronic fatigue.

  5. Qiang Huo is analgesic and improves arthritis pain. It inhibits fungus, increases blood circulation, and restores normal heart rhythm. It works synergistically with Hong Jing Tian. For this formula, our source was able to procure the highest quality herb, which is normally designated for the elite of Beijing.

  6. The formula also includes Ai Ye, which you may know as Mugwort, the herb we use in moxibustion. This herb supports normal functioning of the gall bladder and is both anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. It is also credited with inhibiting the formation of blood clots.

  7. Gan Jiang, or dried ginger, protects the gastric mucosa of the stomach lining as well as the liver. It also prevents clotting and is anti-bacterial.

  8. The last Chinese herb in our footsoak formula is Ku Shen or Sophora Root. This herb has immune-stimulant properties. It stimulates beta receptors of the sympathetic nervous system to relax bronchioles and relieve asthma. It is anti-parasitic, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial. It is also anti-arrhythmic. It dilates blood vessels and increases blood perfusion to cardiac muscle. It also inhibits the bacterial biofilms that are associated with most chronic diseases.

  9. Aside from the herbs mentioned above, the foot soak sachets include a Tibetan salt called Karucha, which is high in many minerals, such as potassium, manganese, magnesium, and barium.

We use herbs in formulations in Chinese medicine because the benefits of each herb is modified and moderated by the functions of other herbs to achieve a specific goal. SOOOOOOO, don’t run out and get any of these herbs and try to mix them up yourself. The formula has been carefully researched and the herbs have been tested together. Don’t mess with that.

The long and short of it is this: this well crafted formula helps improve a person’s mobility, which is important because mobility is the key to eliminating chronic pain. When we dredge body’s channels of the accumulations that block smooth flow, we can return the body to normal functioning, or homeostasis. Balance is really what it’s all about, isn’t it?

If you missed the post about why we use soaks and how they work, I welcome you to read the post below.

What are these footsoaks you speak of?

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If you’ve been to my office, seen my instagram, or even spoken to me lately, you have probably heard about my newest product: Tibetan Foot Soaks. I have been talking about them to everyone, because I am so excited about them! They have so many benefits and healing properties, and I think they are going to be a great asset to many of my treatment plans for a multitude of patients.

This herbal tea for your feet is great for so many conditions. The herbs are absorbed through the feet, bypassing the digestive system. This is beneficial because a weak or compromised digestive system can have trouble absorbing nutrients.

Tibetan Foot Soaks benefit people for a variety of conditions including (but not limited to):

  • neuropathy
  • arthritis
  • limb pain
  • headaches & migraines
  • painful menses
  • endometriosis
  • fibroids
  • inflammation caused by gut dysbiosis
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • gout
  • poor circulation
  • hormonal imbalance among other conditions.

Seasons of the Soak The soak works in four stages that correspond with the seasons. The length of time a person spends in a “season” depends on what is happening in the body. The first stage, or season, is Winter. Initially, the soak pulls the energy, or qi, down to the roots (feet) and opens the circulation in your body’s roots. What is physically happening is that the herbs are stimulating microcirculation in the blood vessels in the feet.

In the second stage, Spring, you feel the effects of heat rising up the legs. After you reach this stage, you’ll start to feel pain relief. At first you will feel a warm sensation up to the knees, but as the circulation improves, you will feel warmth through the hips and lower back.

In stage three, or Summer, you’ll feel your heart pumping. This strong movement of blood is what is needed to resolve deeper chronic conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome. When a person with high blood pressure reaches this stage, it is important to exercise caution and do shorter foot soaks.

The fourth and final stage is Autumn. In this stage, the heat reaches the head and stimulates full body sweating. At this stage, aches and pains that come and go improve.

Overall Benefits and Uses Overall, I use and prescribe herbal footsoaks to help people regain their mobility, as achieving smooth flow of qi and blood is the ultimate goal of Chinese medicine treatment. The increased blood circulation in the feet stimulates macrophage cells to clear debris from the vessels creating clear pathways to ease the flow. The newly cleared vessels are then able to transport oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood to tissues throughout the body, creating a better environment for healing.

So, how should you use Tibetan herbal footsoaks? Well, that depends on what is going on in your body, but in general I recommend you start with daily soaks for 2 weeks. For severe conditions or long term problems, you may start out doing soaks twice per day, or you may do daily soaks for a longer period of time. Like all herbal prescriptions, a consultation is required to create your custom treatment plan and monitor your progress towards healing.

Warning: These soaks are not appropriate for anything that can be worsened by increasing blood circulation, like metastatic cancer or the common cold. They should also not be used by pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding.

Aroma Acupoint Therapy for your bedtime routine

Have you tried Aroma Acupoint Therapy? That's when I put an essential oil on my fingers and apply it to an acupuncture point on your ear or body. How relaxed do you feel after that? What if you could do it at home for your kids before bed to help them sleep, support the immune system, and nourish the digestive system? Great idea! I made this video for you:

It’s time to make some inner compost, friends!

The summer is waning and we are entering the Autumn which is the season of the Metal element. It is the time when Mother Nature has provided the harvest leaving plants and trees bare. As another growing season ends, plants die and leaves fall to return to the earth to nourish the soil for next year’s growing season.

Much like the trees let go of the leaves they no longer need, this is a time for people to let go of the old, stale waste in our own lives to make room for new growth and ideas. This season brings us back to our core, revealing what we no longer need and should rid ourselves of, and reminds us of what is most important in our lives.

As we let go of things, we grieve and mourn, the emotions of the Metal element. We grieve the separation from those we have lost and things that no longer serve us. The grief is what cleanses us from that which we no longer need in our lives.

Metal is associated with the Lung and Large Intestine organs. The large intestine quite literally lets go of the waste that the body does not need. The Large Intestine does this on a metaphysical level as well, cleansing us of the junk we are surrounded by daily. This cleansing allows us to experience and enjoy the beauty and purity of our surroundings.

While the Large Intestine is letting go, the Lungs are doing their job and taking in that which is fresh and crisp. The Lung works beautifully in a cycle with the Large Intestine to take in the pure and eliminate the impure.

Now is a wonderful time for you to release your clutter to allow room for new experiences, feelings, ideas, and things within your space. Go through your closets, drawers, desk, etc and donate or sell what someone else can use and throw out anything else that you do not need. Take deep breaths, taking in the pure clean air and breathe out negativity, pain, and thoughts and patterns that no longer serve you. Find what adds value to your life and let the rest go.

This is a time to rest and conserve energy after expending so much energy during the Summer. The earlier sunsets remind us to slow down, bringing the energy of the vibrant fire summer season inward.

Happy Lunar New Year! Year of the Yang Fire Monkey

Welcome to the year of the Yang Fire Monkey! Get ready for a year that is pretty much the complete opposite of the Yin Wood Sheep year we just wrapped up. The Yin Wood Sheep year was a year of introspection, focusing on balance, renewal and growth. It prepared us to jump into this Yang Fire Monkey year, which will be characterized by change, innovation and expansive movement. This is your opportunity to move forward with all of the plans you made during your contemplative quiet time. 

The Fire Monkey is passionate and lively and will shake things up this year. Risk taking will be rewarded and even the most ambitious plans can succeed this year. The monkey is clever, creative and tricky and will keep you on your toes. 

It is a year of challenges where people will need to take risks in order to move forward. While it will be a great year for investing, entrepreneurship and finances, it is important to be cautious and aware of who you trust when choosing your business relationships. 

The fire element is associated with the heart and embodies passion, joy, creativity and strength. This is the time to blaze a new path or take a chance you might not otherwise have the courage to take.

The Fire Monkey is unpredictable, so it is wise to remain flexible and to avoid getting stuck in repetitive patterns. Keep your mind focused on your goal, go with the flow and be BOLD and you will navigate this exciting year gracefully. 

Gong Xi Fa Cai!