Acupuncture Medicine Day


October 24, 2020 has been officially declared Acupuncture Medicine Day in the State of Vermont. You can view actual the proclamation here. Acupuncture Medicine Day has a website.


State of Vermont

Executive Department

A Proclamation

WHEREAS,    acupuncture medicine has a long and rich history as components of a comprehensive traditional medical system that has been used for thousands of years to diagnose and treat illness, prevent disease, and improve well-being; and

WHEREAS,    practitioners of acupuncture medicine are dedicated to the highest standards of professionalism and maintain these standards through education, credentialing, and a personal commitment; and

WHEREAS,    millions of Americans seek the services of acupuncturists each year; and

WHEREAS,    it is vital that those in need of medical services understand the full realm of available modalities and seek competent and professional care.

NOW, THEREFORE,    I, Philip B. Scott, Governor, hereby proclaim October 24, 2020 as


in Vermont and I encourage all Vermonters to learn more about the potential benefits of acupuncture medicine.

Given under my hand and the Great Seal of the State of Vermont on this 17th day of September, A.D. 2020.


Philip B. Scott



Brittney L. Wilson

Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs

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Laraway Mountain – the secret is out!

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Laraway Mountain, Waterville, VT

4 mile hike round trip to lookout, about 3 hours, 1500 ft elevation gain, summit 2700 ft

I have been doing a decent amount of hiking this fall, and I am particularly loving Laraway Mountain. My friends call me obsessed! There’s enough elevation gain to give my legs a good work out, but it doesn’t take all day.

Even though it is along the Long Trail, there are very few people there. It’s kind of a secret spot. This little know spot boasts lots of natural features, including awesome rocks, waterfalls if it’s recently rained, and beautiful streams, and there is a look out at the top with a view of Mt Mansfield.


It’s about an hour away and the whole thing takes me about 3 hours to hike the 4 miles round trip to the lookout. The summit is .4 miles past the lookout, but honestly, that part is not particularly special; it is pretty flat and was muddy when I did it.

This fall the leaves make it a bit hard to find the trail, so keep an eye out for white blazes. Wear water resistant shoes with good tread, there are several stream crossings, and some mud. The trailhead is not super easy to find, either.

To find the trailhead, head up 15 to Jeffersonville, at the roundabout turn left onto 108 then the first right on 109. After 5 or 10 minutes you will see Montgomery

Covered Bridge on the right, then the next right is Codding Hollow Road and there will be another covered bridge. Follow that road (there will be little signs at the forks to keep you heading toward the Long Trail trailhead).

Tip: Take a screen shot of the map on your phone – there is very little service out there!

There are two parking lots, the first one on the right seems to be the main one. If you have AWD and/or some clearance, you can continue straight down the dirt road (path might be the more appropriate word) and you will come to the second parking lot on the left a about a quarter mile. If you don’t drive it, you will be walking it to the trail head. IMG_1208



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Chinese Herbal Flower Garden

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A Monarch butterfly came by as I was taking photos to share with you. I’ve been working on the landscaping around my office all summer and the gardens are looking beautiful.

I’ve been planting Chinese herbal medicinal plants, including Peony, Black Cohosh, Skullcap, Wild Rose, Belamcamda and Solomon Seal, which can serve to demonstration the herbs that are in the Chinese herbal formulas that I make.

Next spring should be even better and there will be even more medicinal plants and flowers – including Magnolia, Hollyhock, Fennel, Clematis, Platycodon, and Wild Rose.

I have lots of poppy seeds, let me know if you want some. You can plant them late fall for next spring germination.

Peony – Bai Shao     


Aster – Zi Wan


Belamcamba ( Blackberry Lily) – She Gan


Chrysanthemum – Ju Hua


Scutellaria (Skullcap) – Huang Qin


Poppy – Ying Su Qiao

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Blueberry Crumb Cake

If you have an extra pint of blueberries in your fridge, here’s one of my favorite ever cake recipes. IMG_0554

I made the recipe from Smitten Kitchen’s Blueberry Crumb Cake but increased the chopped walnuts to 3/4 cup and used an 8 inch pan, which increased the cooking time to over an hour.

It gets better as it sits for a couple days, if it lasts long enough.

I’m bringing half on our camping trip, and the other half is going to my friend Rebecca, as a belated birthday treat.  Here’s her half:



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Spicy Quick Pickled Cucumbers

2 pounds fresh cucumbers, cut lengthwise into spears (if the cucumbers are big and has big seeds, you can IMG_0425cut out some of the seeds)

¼ cup white wine vinegar or unseasoned rice vinegar

1 t sugar

¾ t crushed red pepper flakes

2 t sea salt, plus more

2 T chopped dill or other herbs (parsley, cilantro, basil – whatever you have/like)

2 T fresh lemon juice

Toss cucumbers in a large bowl with vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes and 2 t salt. Chill at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours. Rotate once or twice during that time.

Just before serving, add herbs and lemon juice and toss to combine. Taste and season with more salt if needed.

Note: This recipe is not very spicy. It is so quick and easy, and it is nice to be able to make it a couple hours in advance. If you want, use a big mason jar, lay it on its side and rotate.

Thanks to Jeanette Moy for this recipe!

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Immune System Tip #4 Stop Thinking

Over-thinking and Digestion

A lot of people are experiencing stress and anxiety about the Corona virus and its effects on the world. Are you finding yourself worrying, or perhaps having trouble sleeping?

In Chinese medicine it is clear that anxiety and worry effect our digestive system. Overthinking damages the Spleen, and, conversely, a weak Spleen leads to propensity for overthinking. The Spleen represents the Earth element and the digestive system.

Eat well to strengthen your Earth energy, your digestion and ultimately your immune system. Foods that benefit the Spleen include hearty stews, roasted root vegetables, and meat. The Spleen likes warming spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and fennel. Minimize intake of grains, carbohydrates and sugars.

Reigning in your thoughts can also help your digestion and your immune system. Preoccupation with what-ifs, obsessing over COVID stats, excess worry, rumination, and excess thinking, even studying or working, are not ideal for our health. Guide your own thoughts as best as you can.

One of my teacher’s teachers put it well, “In life you think or don’t think. If you choose to think, make a decision/take action. If you can’t make decision, don’t think about it. Sometimes it is better to not think.”

Put down the phone. Put down the media. Keep media in its place, which means not letting it take over your thinking!

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Immune System Tip #3 Focus Inward

I encourage you to focus inward. Of course we want to connect with our community and not be completely isolated. But don’t just focus outward. Bringing your energy inward is good for your immune system because the exterior of our body is where our defensive Qi is, but it comes from having strong Qi grounded in the deeper interior.IMG_5608

Be kind to yourselves and don’t over-do it at work. Use this time as a precious opportunity (assuming everyone is healthy) to follow your heart. Give yourself permission to do an activity that allows you to rest and/or brings you joy.

Joy is the emotion of the Heart and the element of Fire. Fire can burn an extra Wood (Liver) energy that may be accumulating in the form of frustration, irritability or anger. Following your heart can help balance these emotions so joy can end up on top. Exercise helps, too, when the Wood/Liver energy is predominating.

Bring back something that you used to do that feels good. Prioritize some me-time each day:

meditate, biking, play some music, read a book that’s on your shelf, gardening, exercise, take a NAP, play chess, scrap-booking, learn HTML?!, work on that project…

It took me a month, but I re-upped my online guitar lessons and started learning Hey Joe on my electric guitar last weekend (see, before I even finished this newsletter, go me!). I intend to make time for playing every day for the next month. What about you? What non-urgent thing have you been putting off doing for yourself?

Put down your phone. Focus inward. Follow your heart. Joy is medicine.

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Immune System Tip #2 Get Some Sleep


That’s it. Sleep.sleep-3

Sleep is one of the best things you can do to boost your immune system. Get enough sleep at night and if you are tired, take a NAP. Naps, or even some down time with a book, are a great way to maximize your energy. I feel like I am stating the obvious, but there you have it.


If you are having trouble sleeping, it is worth following up on that and finding what helps you. Some people find meditating helpful, or getting off/limiting media and screens, particularly before bedtime. Others notice a difference with a diet change, and for many herbal medicine can help.

If you are not getting enough sleep at night, you really deserve to give yourself naptime in the daytime to make up for lost hours.



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Immune System Tip #1 Put Down Your Phone

One good thing you can do for your immune system is put your phone down. No, I’m serious. Putting down your phone is one of the best things you can do for your immune system. person-holding-black-iphone-5

Do you check Facebook and/or other media regularly? Are you experiencing anxiety and stress these days?

Cortisol levels in the body go up when we are emotionally stressed, which is the opposite of what we want for good health.

Not only is the extra cortisol coursing through you body not good but also the effect of the electromagnetics of the device on your body can weaken your immune system.

Limit the time you engage in media, whether that is the news or social media. Read that book, start a project, or even watch a funny movie on TV. There are so many healthier things you can do.

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Important Intake Questions for COVID-19 and/or Flu

Here is a list of symptoms that I will want to know if you (my current client) are looking for treatment for COVID-19 or a serious cold/flu:

What symptoms came on at the beginning of this?

What symptoms are present now?

Body temperature – Do you feel hot or cold, or both alternating? Do you feel feverish, hot, flushed? What time of day? Do you have a fever?

Perspiration – What is your sweat like normally? Have you sweat since you have been sick?

Cough – What kind of cough – dry or productive? What color is the phlegm? Is it watery or thick? Is there a tickle in your throat? Or a barking cough? How often is the cough? Is it worse with lying down?

Breathing and chest – Are you having trouble inhaling? Taking deep breaths? Is it worse with cold air? (you can stick your head in the freezer to check)

Is your chest tight? Is there pressure in your chest? Worse with lying down?

Nose, sinuses, head – How are your sinuses and nose? Stuffy? Sinus pressure or headache? Where? Post nasal drip? Runny nose? Sneezing?

Digestion – How are your bowel movements? Any other digestive symptoms? Let me know if any of these are new symptoms.

Energy & sleep – tell me about your energy levels and sleep.

Emotions – how are you doing emotionally? What is coming up for you now?

Add anything else about your current state of health that you can share.

Is there anything about your general state of health that you would like to share or remind me of?

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