M/Ac Teen Clinic Starting Monday Feb 6th, 2017

Our Sag Harbor M/Ac Teen Clinic is kicking off Monday, Feb 6th 4-6pm.

Acupuncture has been studied and proven effective for calming the nervous system down by balancing the body's energy currents, releasing endorphins, and improving functioning of the immune system. 
We are starting a free-of-charge clinic for our local teens experiencing stress and anxiety manifesting in many different ways: difficult concentration and focus, difficulty sleeping, abnormal digestive issues, mood swings, depression/emotional, fatigue, etc.

Details:
Mondays 4pm-6pm
Address: Menard Acupuncture 39 Division Street, 2nd Floor Rear Building
Session time: 30 minutes
Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing. T-shirts or sleeves that can be pulled up past elbows; loose sweat pants or jeans that can be comfortably rolled up above the knees. (You can also change into gym shorts in a private dressing room if you prefer).

Release / Informed Consent for minors. Contact me at menardeast@gmail.com to have the release form emailed to you and to be signed by your parent or guardian. We must have this signed before treatment.

This will be a community style acupuncture clinic with multiple chairs in the room. The process will involve a short private intake of questions by me, then insertion of a few acupuncture needles in the upper and lower limbs, and each patient will listen to headphones with binaural beats music, a music technology that further relaxes the nervous system and puts the listener to a nice, relaxing Delta state. We will also be using essential oils in the treatment, for those that may be interested.

Our goal is to give you a small break in your day, feeling refreshed and invigorated.

The acupuncture needles are non-painful, and are disposable, one-use only.

If any teen or parent that has any questions, please call me at the office 631-899-4112, or email me menardeast@gmail.com.

Thanks

Kevin Menard, LAc
Menard Acupuncure
Sag Harbor, NY

Sebastiana and the Mano de Christo leaf

Sebastiana (left) holding the healing leaf, higuerio, or "Mano de Christo". Julie Stern (right) was smart in telling me not to bring any back home 😉

Sebastiana (left) holding the healing leaf, higuerio, or "Mano de Christo". Julie Stern (right) was smart in telling me not to bring any back home 😉

Clinic Days 5-7 were in high gear and we saw lots of action, patients presenting symptoms and conditions encountered mostly in harsh living and working conditions with little access to fresh drinking water and proper nutrition; most were severely dehydrated, malnourished, and pretty banged up. Instead of posting everyday I thought I would reflect on some of the interesting cases, commonalities and tidbits picked up a long the way. In addition to being able practice the medicine in the field and give back to others, the jornada is an exceptional learning experience on many levels.

In addition to acupuncture, body work, and reiki, we were also giving Chinese herbal remedies mostly in patent "pill" form. This enables us to treat more conditions with each patient. Chinese herbal formulas is a high level medicine onto itself, one that I am barely scratching the surface. The formulas are based on indigenous Chinese plants (roots, leaves, flowers, seeds, etc). However, most native indigenous cultures have their own "plant (or animal) medicines" that have been handed down generation to generation by healers. In Quiche, we worked with one such medicine woman, Sebastiana, who not only won our hearts, but treated a few of the practitioners that were hit with some nasty viruses while working. Within a relative short time after being knocked on their knees, they were back on their feet. Sebastiana is one of our "promoters", a group of native Quiche that work alongside of us doing reiki, massage, translating, moxa'ing the patients - doing lots of the heavy lifting actually and ensuring that the patients were receiving high quality, holistic care.

I was always taken by Sebastiana's ever present warm smile and eagerness to help out in the treatments, but what really sparked my interest was her knowledge local remedies, in particular the case the woman that had a parasitic worm in her abdomen around her navel that was difficult to extract manually. The "doctora", as we were referred to, working on the woman was lancing what appeared to be a blackhead, which was then going to be suctioned out with cupping. Well, upon lancing the skin, the little blackhead actually stuck its body out, and a worm was revealed. Then not just one, but another... Who knows how many. The attempt to extract with tweezers was not successful- the worm body broke off, it was probably rather long in length. Sebastiana, was actually familiar with this parasite and more importantly, a local plant that could actually extract it. I was fascinated!

The next day I sought Sebastiana out and was pressing her with lots of questions about the plant and its benefits. The leaf is known to the locals as Higuerio, or "Mano de Christo", and is said to be effective to extract parasites, tumors, cancers, and even bullets. Sounds hard to believe, but Sebastiana said that during the "time of violence", these leaves were placed over bullet wounds and the bullets would actually come out of the body. Only the external leaf of the plant is used, the fruit is fatal, and if you extract the oil from its seeds then you get...castor oil! Some of my colleagues were well aware of the many and innate healing properties of castor oil, and quite a few others that have been traveling and studying in the Guatemala countryside were familiar with the legendary healing capacity of Mano de Christo. The next day, Sebastiana brought in some of the Higuerio leaves. My first thought, I will not lie, was to bring back to the states some leaves and seeds, but then decided otherwise (actually jornada vet and all around pro Julie Stern said "it would be a bad idea"). Didn't want yet another invasive species destroying our local ecosystems, ala kudzu. According to Sebastiana, the higuerio plant grows everywhere- on the sides of roads, garbage cans. Amazing to have such access to this powerful medicine, yet so few know about it. It has sparked a curiosity of what we have similar in the states...

Sebastiana (left) and other promoters getting recognized for their service this past week.  

Sebastiana (left) and other promoters getting recognized for their service this past week.  

As I mentioned, there were a few of us that went down with bugs, and after using an egg as a diagnostic tool, Sebastiana wrapped one person's head and armpits in the leaves causing extreme perspiration that sucked the pathogen right out. His recovery was nothing short of remarkable.

Our photo journalist Bob had come down with a nasty bug, but had a remarkably quick recovery after being treated by Sebastiana. 

Our photo journalist Bob had come down with a nasty bug, but had a remarkably quick recovery after being treated by Sebastiana. 

Not sure how, but Bob's egg told Sebastiana that he had a really bad pathogen. 

Not sure how, but Bob's egg told Sebastiana that he had a really bad pathogen. 

Sara came down with a bug Friday morning and received a read with the egg, later hat afternoon she was remarkably better. She was also taking lots of other essential oils and Chinese herbs, but something about what Sebastiana did helped her turn a quick corner. 

Sara came down with a bug Friday morning and received a read with the egg, later hat afternoon she was remarkably better. She was also taking lots of other essential oils and Chinese herbs, but something about what Sebastiana did helped her turn a quick corner. 

One of the more unique experiences of this trip, working and learning from true medicine women and men that have true healing talents and capacity. I consider myself lucky and blessed to cross their path. 

Day 4: Second full day of clinic

image.jpg

Yesterday was our first full day of treating patients, but I didn't post as I was wiped out. Between today and yesterday we have treated over 500 people; would have been more had another caravan showed up so we will be making up for that later this week.  

Youngest patient of mine today was 2 and oldest 87, and what a character he was. He was a bit nervous after treatment as he thought I was going to tell him not to eat hot and spicy chili sauce any more, however if that stuff hasn't killed him in 87 years living in such severe living conditions, well I don't he need to worry. Not to mention, there is no way I would ever give up hit sauce either! Gave him the SMAC rotator cuff tear treatment with some 701's and he was pretty darn happy. 

What started out with Acupuncuture and moxa turned into a large parasite extraction.  

What started out with Acupuncuture and moxa turned into a large parasite extraction.  

The thing with treating patients in the - dare I say - third world is that you see shit that you only read about in the textbooks: Crazy tongue presentations, parasites, worms (a team was working on extracting a worm from around  a woman's navel today, but didn't quite get the monster), broken bones and joints from 70 years ago that hasn't quite healed right, postulating sores, and lots of things you don't have a clue.

What I do know, however, is that pain is universal to the human condition, and no matter who you are, or where you are from, we all experience pain physically and emotionally on deep levels. Given the huge cultural divide and language barrier, it would be easy to discount their level of pain. However, their agony touches your soul. Through translators and intuition, you try to get to the root of their pain and offer some measure of relief. The emotional pain component of our patients is in many cases greater than their physical discomfort, though I will never know. The emotional scars that present in the clinic affect every aspect of the treatment, from the initial introduction until the end. Then there is the physical trauma- most of it is a lifetime in the making.

image.jpg
Trying the dad- cool guy. His adult son was nearby. 

Trying the dad- cool guy. His adult son was nearby. 

As much as they are there for themselves, they are there for their families. Mothers for their infants, toddlers and children of all ages, and sons and daughters there for ther parents. I treated quite a few mothers and infants, but what made one of the the bigger impressions on me today was treating an elderly man and his son, probably in his mid-40s. They were side by side getting treated on the tables, and when they were done- dad waited for his boy and they walked out together with beaming and grateful smiles and a deep, warm "gracias". While I was touched by their gratitude, I was more touched by their bond. You see it so much in so many families. The little boys sitting on the floor by their moms, or sleeping on top of them during treatment. Truly special.  

Over and out for now.  

image.jpg

Day 2: An unexpected break and discovery of Q'umarkaj

What is a great Mayan city without a ball court? 

What is a great Mayan city without a ball court? 

Today we were ready to ramp up on our first day of patients, but it would seem that the nation of Guatemala had different plans. There is a national presidential election run off today so - national holiday! Everything shuts down. From what I understand, people can wait up to 4 hours in line to vote and must return to their localities so many of the markets and businesses nationwide were shut down, including our clinic. 😏

So, we did a little site seeing at some of the ruins of Q'umarkaj in Quiche. 

Q'umarkaj was one of the most powerful Mayacities when the Spanish arrived in the region in the early 16th century. It was the capital of the K'iche' Maya in the Late Postclassic Period. At the time of the Spanish Conquest, Q'umarkaj was a relatively new capital, with the capital of the K'iche' kingdom having originally been situated at Jakawitz (identified with the archaeological site Chitinamit) and then at Pismachi'. Q'umarkaj was founded during the reign of king Q'uq'umatz ("Feathered Serpent" in K'iche') in the early 15th century, immediately to the north of Pismachi'. In 1470 the city was seriously weakened by a rebellion among the nobility that resulted in the loss of key allies of the K'iche'.

.  

.  

Ceremonial cave. Dark, eerie, and way cool. Bring your resin, candles, and voodoo sticks, and try not to fall in the crevices into the bowels of hell.  

Ceremonial cave. Dark, eerie, and way cool. Bring your resin, candles, and voodoo sticks, and try not to fall in the crevices into the bowels of hell.  

Post ruins blogging in Quiche at Reji's. 

Post ruins blogging in Quiche at Reji's. 

Jornada: Saturday Day 1. Site set up and Training.

image.jpg

Jornada- 

  1. a full day's travel across a desert without a stop for taking on water.

or in our case, a mission of healing.  

Today we set up camp and welcomed back all of our "promoters", local men and women who donate their time and energy to assist us in or work. Gifted healers with big hearts, we would not be able to serve the thousands of patients if not for their assistance. They are trained up in bodywork, Reiki medicine, auricular needling, and new to this jornada, cupping., and are able to carry on this service to their local communities in between our trips. They are invaluable to our mission. 

Many familiar faces and some fresh smiles of our promoters- we could not do the work without them.   Setting up camp Thousands of needles, suitcases of herbs and other assortments of Chinese medicine need to get sorted out and ready for the waves of patients that start first thing in the morning and continue through the day.   

Many familiar faces and some fresh smiles of our promoters- we could not do the work without them.

 

Setting up camp

Thousands of needles, suitcases of herbs and other assortments of Chinese medicine need to get sorted out and ready for the waves of patients that start first thing in the morning and continue through the day. 

 

Freshman doctores Jamie and Sara Vacariello sorting out herbs with veteran Juliana.  

Freshman doctores Jamie and Sara Vacariello sorting out herbs with veteran Juliana.  

Master herbalist and jornada frontman Peter Caron on herb categorizing detail.  

Master herbalist and jornada frontman Peter Caron on herb categorizing detail.  

Young Reiki promoter in training with reiki trainers Diane Rooney and Bernadette Martin; overheard that this young was gifted with a special talent for healing. Powerful to meet these young shaman. 

Young Reiki promoter in training with reiki trainers Diane Rooney and Bernadette Martin; overheard that this young was gifted with a special talent for healing. Powerful to meet these young shaman. 

New this jornada- cupping. Cupping demo, now a new modality to be administered by cupping master Shannon Gilmartin.

New this jornada- cupping. Cupping demo, now a new modality to be administered by cupping master Shannon Gilmartin.

Back to Guatemala

Santa Cruz del Quiche, Guatemala. Mountainous, rural, extreme. Mayan

Santa Cruz del Quiche, Guatemala. Mountainous, rural, extreme. Mayan

 

Heading back down to Santa Cruz del Quiche, Guatemala tomorrow to carry on the work with the Global Healthworks Foundation delivering medicine and health services to the locals of Mayan descent. Many of these families were affected by the atrocities of the civil war in the 80's, especially the genocide of the Mayan Indians  by the US-backed Guatemala government. Really a sad state of affairs. Our base is the Barbara Ford Peace Center, which was founded by and maintained by the Sisters of Charity of New York, and named after one of their nuns that was assassinated by the rebels after exposing to the international community the mass graves of the murdered innocent people. 

In addition to the post traumatic stress from those events, the locals are plagued with conditions stemming from drinking unclean and polluted water, food with little nutrition, and extreme living and working conditions. The many modalities of Chinese medicine - acupuncture, herbal remedies, moxibustion- are ideal and effective for treating these type of maladies.

It is an amazing site to see the hundreds upon hundreds of locals arriving in waves starting at the crack of dawn for treatment - many don't have any sort of access to health care whatsoever. This trip we will have about 22 practitioners specializing in acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, Reiki energy medicine, bodywork, and movement exercises (qigong, yoga) to serve the community. 

First stop tomorrow is Antigua, Guatemala, then onto to the Quiche region. I'll try to keep up the blogging daily on the ground.

image.jpg

"Release the Dragon"

Hello and welcome to my newly designed website! For my first post, I thought I should explain a bit what is meant in the tagline, "release the dragon." In addition to personally having an affinity for dragons, the mythological beasts do figure prominently in ancient Chinese and Taoist philosophy. One of the associations of the dragon is its relation to Yang in the Yin-Yang dynamic as represented in the black and white circle where white (yang) morphs into black (yin) and vice-versa. Yang attributes relate to external (power), activity, heat, dry, daytime, masculine, sun, etc where its equally opposing force Yin relates to internal (power), rest, cool, wet, feminine, moon, etc. The dragon is yang, the (white) tiger is yin.

When I think of pain due to muscular tension, knotted up muscle tissue and stagnation of qi and blood from trauma and injuries, and overall stress and anxiety - I think of the external layers of the body needing to be released. You may have a dragon on your back and shoulders, and it is time to release the dragon, release the anxiety, release the stress, and release the pain...both physically and energetically

Now there are many forms of pain which can also arise from deficiencies in the body, but we will save that topic for another time and another beast. For now, we are talking dragons. Release your dragon with the 3,000 year old medicine of acupuncture and feel the relief.