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As a clinician and a woman I often hear female clients and friends casually talking about symptoms leading up to “that time of the month.”  We’ve come to accept Pre-Menstrual Syndrome- PMS for short –  as a normal part of our cycle, but what isn’t commonly known is that many PMS symptoms may be a sign of imbalance which could lead to something greater.  Swollen breasts, irritability, sadness, cramps, low back pain, fatigue, and cravings are so common that we are surprised when hear of a woman who doesn’t experience these symptoms leading up to their period. 

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One might recognize the strikingly beautiful and creative Ally Walsh from the likes of their favorite online shops and storefronts, or they may recognize her from the local Mercado Segrado as she prepares ‘Sex Dust Lattes’ made with her very own Canyon Coffee, a business she started alongside her boyfriend this past year.

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Dr. Joseph Clarke discusses that who we are is separate for any external events and we are inherently the source of our own experiences in life.

This season was a tough one for many kids, (and adults alike!), sensitive to environmental allergens. The abundance of wind and pollen can trigger the production of antibodies and cause the release histamine and other molecules that lead to inflammation of the nasal passages and eyes. The resulting symptoms are itching, swelling, mucus production and often, a tired and irritable child.

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These banana beauty muffins are not only delicious, but are complete with whole healthy ingredients. Even your kids will love them!

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Most people think Acupuncture is used for pain management, fertility support, treatment of headaches and TMJ, hormonal balance, psycho-emotional well being and stress reduction. Rarely do you hear someone say “I’d like to clear karma through acupuncture” (unless of course you live on the westside of LA); however, Daoist tradition states just that. By using a golden needle on a specific point during pregnancy, you can can clear and separate the karma of the mother from the child. Sound crazy? Well this magical point actually exists and is referred to as the “Happy Baby Point”.

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Christy Dawn offers me some green juice and kombucha on tap, as I’m surrounded by her beautifully designed dresses, in her newly renovated downtown warehouse, on a traditionally hot Los Angeles day. As I look around, enamored by the growth of her business and her astonishing natural beauty, I wonder how she manages her many hats, while still evoking such inner peace and dedication to all that surrounds her.

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Dr. Joseph Clarke discusses the importance of making an agreement with oneself to want to change and improve his or her quality of life.

According to the Mayo Clinic, one of the most common reasons for doctors visits or missed work is back pain.  The key to treating back pain effectively it to determine the cause.  Typically, we hear people say things like “I lifted something heavy”, “I stepped down a stair funny”, or maybe an unknown cause and just a constant dull achiness with no apparent source.  As acupuncturists and functional medicine practitioners, we look deeper into lifestyle, medical history, nutritional habits and behaviors that all affect our ability to function in life.  From this perspective, there are no accidents.  A muscle is pulled because there is a weakness or blockage associated with the area, perhaps a systemic inflammatory condition, perhaps a conditioned response to stress or a holding pattern.  Any of these factors can cause or contribute to an acute or chronic pattern.

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In the West, maternity leave is a luxury.  Tell someone you’re on maternity leave, and they say: “That must be so nice!”.  Co-workers look at you and roll their eyes as if to imply that maternity is a vacation; but, every mother knows the truth – becoming a mother is tough.  Even if you have an “easy baby” the beginning of their life is an adjustment period and the parenting learning curve is so steep that it’s anything but a vacation.  A mother’s forty days of sitting is challenging, and precious, and it passes by so quickly.  The forty days is not a time to hold your breath and pray until it’s over, it’s the foundational time in the relationship between parents and child.  When dealing with such an important time the question isn’t “how can we get this done?”, the question is how can we create the space in our outward lives and within our private selves to honor this time?

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