Summer Newsletter

Dear Friends and Colleagues:
Welcome to Summer! This is the best time of year to get out and enjoy the wonders of nature. Even though it has been a bit on the rainy side in the northeast, there are still great opportunities to make slight adjustments to our routines and make the most of the season.

In this issue:

  1. Dampness – Western and Eastern Perspectives
  2. Recipe - Barley Fruit Chicken Salad
  3. Practice Updates

Dampness – Western and Eastern Perspectives
Western Perspective
Biomedicine recognizes that excessively rainy and damp weather can negatively impact a person's mood and even her health. Both rain and the humidity of summer heat are expressions of dampness. Conditions such as arthritis are particularly vulnerable to damp. Almost everyone has a great-aunt or other relative who can predict the weather with no shortage of drama, based upon spikes of joint pain. The standard of care in biomedicine is over the counter analgesic medication like ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen sodium, (Aleve). These medicines work by reducing inflammation to decrease pain. Unfortunately the whole class of these drugs tend to challenge the digestive system. The standard recommendation is to use them for a maximum period of ten days, unless otherwise instructed by your doctor. Topical analgesics may provide some benefit without the risk of digestive challenge. Damp, warm conditions are also ideal for the growth of mold. People with mold allergies should take special care to make sure that their living spaces are clean and well ventilated. Mold allergies typically manifest with respiratory symptoms. There are several over-the-counter and prescription strength medications available for mold allergies triggered by dampness.

Eastern Perspective
In Asian medicine, dampness in nature - damp weather including humidity, rain and fog - has the potential to manifest as spleen-related complication. Internal dampness can also be triggered by the overuse of certain antibiotics and consumption of rich, sweet foods, like dairy products, sugary or high glycemic foods. When the spleen energy (qi) is depleted by dampness, essential digestive functions are impaired. Another physical manifestation of this imbalance is excessive phlegm - viewed in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a condensed form of dampness. Along with acupuncture treatment to help restore the qi, certain foods can help resolve dampness, including: pearl barley, umeoboshi plums, lentils, tuna, radish, papaya and horseradish. So, in moments when damp in inescapable, try to ease the burden on your spleen by making cleaner food choices of simple foods.

Summary and Strategy
Throughout the winter, our bodies rest and conserve energy as we wait the return of warmer days and the re-emergence of the sun. Damp, rainy weather puts a kink in this natural rhythm and can impact our bodies on several different levels. Keeping a positive outlook, maintaining a clean living environment and eating healthy foods are all positive preventative measures. Acupuncture can help support the body's process of transitioning to the weather of the new season. We cannot control the weather, but we can be proactive in assessing our bodies' reactions to it.

The following recipe includes some key ingredients - pearl barley, almonds, cranberries and blueberries - to help fight dampness.
Barley Fruited Chicken Salad *adapted from
2 cups cooked pearl barley (cooking directions below)
1-1/2 cups cooked and cubed chicken
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup Italian dressing (see below)
1/3 cup sliced fresh blueberries

Combine cooked barley, chicken, almonds, cranberries, celery and onions. Drizzle salad dressing over barley-chicken mixture and toss with fork. Chill well. To serve, spoon chilled salad into serving bowl and top with blueberries. Toss lightly to mix. Makes 4 servings.

To cook pearl barley
Place 3 cups water in medium saucepan; bring to boil. Add 1 cup pearl barley; return to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 45 minutes or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed. Makes about 3 to 3-1/2 cups. (Place any extra cooked barley in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to one week.)

Italian Salad Dressing:
6 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
-Combine and whisk well before use.

Practice Updates
We've updated the Turning Point website with the first in a series of topical essays on Oriental medicine and research. The inaugural piece is about weight loss and can be found on the Links page of the site.

Also on the website, check out the updated information on constitutional facial renewal. Expert practitioner Kymberly Kelly offers this safe, effective treatment as a supplement or alternative to Botox and cosmetic surgery.

If you haven't already, consider joining the Turning Point Facebook Group. It's a great way to stay in touch and receive regular reminders about practice events and updates.

On July 20 from 12:30 - 1:30pm, Amanda Silver will be hosting a workshop on acupuncture and fertility. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to 212-489-5038 by July 17th.

Turning Point has gone GREEN. Check out our official Eco-Policy.

If you're looking to treat yourself or a friend this summer, keep in mind that Turning Point offers gift certificates for acupuncture, Reiki or massage. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., call (212. 489. 5038) or visit our offices (1841 Broadway) to share a gift of healing.

We look forward to supporting you toward your fullest enjoyment of the season in optimum emotional, physical and spiritual health.

Ongoing Events

Saturday Auricular Therapy - Seeds of Change

11:30am  - 12:30pm

Come on in to balance your qi for a wonderful start of the week. Auricular therapy is a system of acupuncture that works to balance the energies of the body to proffer comfort, wellness and release from the trappings of stress.

Here’s how it works: After checking in, you are shown to a comfy chair and served a delicious herbal balancing cup of tea to assist with the relaxation process. A Turning Point therapist will come and assess you and design the correct balancing treatment for your particular situation. Based on the assessment, the therapist will then place needles in one of your ears. In the opposite ear, the therapist will secure special seeds on acupuncture points to provide a continuing therapeutic benefit into the days ahead.

This therapy provides a strong calming effect and allows people to feel relaxed yet alert. The results are almost immediate; people often leave feeling more focused and confident.

$40 (please pay cash if possible, our credit card machine is noisy)
12-16 People simultaneous capacity

Past Events

Optimal Fertility with Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine - A Free Introductory Workshop

Learn how ancient Chinese wisdom can teach us to be strong and healthful in diet, lifestyle and being in preparation and maintenance of conception and pregnancy.

by Hector Mendez

The world is an interrelated system: changes in one part affect the whole. The sun and the earth feed the plants that feed the animals that feed the humans. This ecological universe is a delicate, symbiotic one. Whether we purchase organic or conventional food products has an impact on both our health and the land in which the food is grown.

For U.S. consumers, the terms “conventional” or “organic” refer to how farmers grow and process food. Conventional farming methods differ from organic ones in several ways: 1) Conventional farming uses chemical fertilizers to promote plant growth, while organic farming employs manure and compost to fertilize the soil, 2) Conventional farming sprays pesticides to get rid of pests, while organic farmers turn to beneficial insects and birds, mating disruption, or traps, 3) Conventional farming uses chemical herbicides to manage weeds, whereas organic farmers rotate crops, pulls weeds by hand, or mulch, and 4) When raising animals, conventional farmers use antibiotics, growth hormones, and medications to spur growth and prevent disease. Organic farmers feed their animals organic foods and allow them to roam.

The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements defines organic agriculture as an agricultural system that promotes environmentally, socially, and economically sound production of food, fiber, timber, etc.. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, however, the organic label is a matter of degree: 100% organic means that the product contains only organic ingredients. Certified organic means that at least 95 percent of the food’s ingredients were organically produced, but if the label reads, “made with organic ingredients,” then this tells you that the product is at least 70% organic.

So what should we put in our bodies? Many people believe that there is more to fear from the dangers of molds and insects than pesticides, especially in the amounts that are used; if you wash your produce, as you always should, the problem is solved. This view fails to take into account that pesticides get into the soil that in turn gets inside the food. Admittedly, the risks of long-term exposure to those residues are still undetermined, but several long-term studies support the fact that organic diets lower exposure to pesticides. Chemical fertilizers help promote plant growth by providing the soil with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Yes, the plants will grow with these chemical in the short term, but this method fails to take into account that the soil is a living ecological system that adds nutrients and antioxidants to the produce it grows. The use of manure and compost revitalizes the soil, which in turn supplies us humans with benefits that are otherwise lost.

Conventional growers believe that there is no meaningful difference between organic and conventional when it comes to nutrition and health. A study at the University of California Davis showed no significant difference between conventional and organic bell peppers, yet the same study demonstrated that organically grown tomatoes have significantly more vitamin C than conventional. Another study, from Newcastle University in England, showed organic milk contained 67 percent more vitamins and antioxidants, as well as more Omega-3s and Omega-6s than conventional milk. Organic foods do not contain any additives or preservatives, antibiotics or hormones and are not genetically modified. Science, in regards to organic vs. conventional nutrition, is in its infancy, but I think we can agree that it is a good idea to bypass the antibiotic and hormone buffet.

The biggest criticism of organic food is its cost. Organic farmers pay more for organic animal feed, and because they do not use chemical fertilizers and pesticides, the farming is more labor intensive. This also means their crop yield is usually lower. Conventional farming also uses every acre of farmland to grow crops, while organic farmers rotate their crops to keep soil healthy. However, when you take into account the true “cost” of food production from conventional farming, including replacement of eroded soils, cleaning up polluted water, health care for farmers who get sick, and environmental costs of pesticide production and disposal, organic farming might actually be cheaper in the end.

Within the organic camp, purists argue that food cannot be organic if it is not local. According to the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, food in the United States travels an average of 1,500 miles before consumption. How can a strawberry shipped from California to New York, requiring 435 calories of fossil fuel yet providing the eater with only 5 calories of nutrition, be organic? John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods, referred to both a non-organic local tomato and an organic tomato from California as "an environmental wash," since the nonorganic one was grown with pesticides but the California one had petroleum miles on it. However, he conceded, "The local tomato will be fresher, will just taste better."

For food purists "local" is the new "organic". Probably the most “green” way to acquire your weekly provisions is through a local farmer’s market and/or Community Supported Agriculture programs. The food comes from small farms where the farmers are usually conscious of their impact on the earth and care about the food they’re producing. They also remind you that food originates some place other than a grocery store. It may be romantic, but it’s also effective.

The organic food market has grown 20% on average year over year for the past ten years. This has increasingly attracted agribusiness. As profits get higher the muddier the lines will become between what is organic and what is not. Agribusiness will lobby to gerrymander the distinction, leaving consumers to wade through the ambiguity of the government lexicon. It will then become even more necessary to be armed with food knowledge.

Unfortunately, we consumers can't know for certain about food's authenticity unless we grow it ourselves. When addressing the topic of organic agriculture, Sir Albert Howard, an English agronomist, stated, “We have to treat the whole problem of health in soil, plant, animal, and man as one great subject.” This intuitive statement should be embraced as an impetus to propel the continuing debate for food priorities in today’s modern and complicated world.

Holiday Newsletter

Dear friends and colleages:

At this time of holiday festivity, we wanted to reach out and proffer what we hope is useful information to you. And also take this opportunity to wish you peace. 

In this issue:

  1. Season Affective Disorder: Western and Eastern Approaches
  2. Holiday Craft Gift Project
  3. Practice Updates

Medical Topic Discussion: Seasonal Affective Disorder
With the days getting shorter and weather colder, many people find themselves low in spirits, easily tired and stressed. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or "The Wintertime Blues" as it is colloquially referred to, is recognized by both Western and Eastern medical traditions as an emotional and physical challenge. 
Western Perspective
Doctors classify Seasonal Affective Disorder as a form of depression which typically lasts from October through April. Women and those living in northern latitudes are particularly vulnerable to SAD. The lack of sunlight during winter months is the most widely-accepted cause: changes to sleep patterns, circadian rhythms and serotonin levels triggered by longer hours of darkness can result in sadness, exhaustion, excess sleeping, craving sweets and carbohydrates and weight gain. There are several methods of treatment for SAD ranging from increased exercise and counseling to antidepressants. One of the most popular treatment methods directly addresses the lack of sunlight in winter behavior patterns. In bright light therapy, patients receive an intense dose of light by sitting in front of a "light box" for an hour or more in the morning. Dawn simulation is a less intense technique that employs alarm clock-like devices with which replicate sunrise so as to keep the patient on their summer circadian rhythms. Western medicine views SAD as a mood disorder that is commonly receptive to light and energetic treatment. 
Eastern Perspective
Seasonal affective disorder is viewed in Asian medicine quite similarly to the way it's experienced. We observe that winter brings a natural process of seasonal constriction. We think of cold as causing contraction. The deep doldrums now characterized in the biomedical perspective as a mood disorder are the typical constrictions of winter gone to extreme. Winter is the season of the kidney. Intensity of the cold environment and the decrease in the warmth of the light cast in the winter can facilitate an entropy of the kidney. Energetically, the kidney houses the will of a person. Weakness of the kidney organ will result in a frailty of the capacity to muster will to engage in anything beyond the comfort of a warm bed. So further, extreme contraction of the organ results in depression and fatigue. As a secondary response the spleen jumps into action thinking that there must not be enough energy in the system, which triggers the craving for sweets and carbohydrates. Acupuncture and herbal treatment can help to nourish the kidney function. Doing so increases bodily energy and eliminates the sweet and carbohydrate cravings. Thus allowing the spleen to tend to its primary jobs of keeping us strong by building blood and circulating bodily humors. As we all know, a circulating humor is a good humor. 
Summary and Strategy
The holidays and the winter that follows are a challenging time of year on all fronts. Even celebration and gratitude for our lives and loves can be energetically taxing. So live with the light. Allow yourself to rest when the sun rests. That means start your day a bit later if you can and try to end it a little earlier. This is the season of rest, going with it's flow helps to fuel the thriving types of activity of summer. 

Holiday Craft Gift Project: Turning Point Treat - Warming Sugar Body Scrub
'Tis the season. Take some time to pamper yourself and your friends with this simple sugar body scrub. Finally a good use for all that sugar that you aren't eating! Sugar is a natural and very gentle exfoliant; it is a great base for those who find their skin more sensitive during the winter months. Instead of the usual olive or vegetable oil as a carrier oil, we recommend sesame oil, which is regarded as a warm element in traditional Chinese medicine. The following essential oils might be particularly helpful for those seeking relief from the winter blues: Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove and fig. These all help promote warmth and emotional well-being while fighting exhaustion and depression. 

*Makes about 5 cups*
4 cups organic cane sugar
2 cup carrier oil (sesame oil recommended)
16 drops essential oil(s)


  1. Stir together sugar and carrier oil in a non-reactive bowl, mixing well. 
  2. Using pipette or dropper, add essential oil, 1 drop at a time. Spoon into container of your choice. Canning jars or any recycled glass jar with a secure lid are great.

Practice Updates
We are excited to welcome Amanda Silver back to the the Turning Point office starting this Friday, December 12. As some of you know, Amanda gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Zachary James Silver, on September 10, 2008. Over the past three months she has flourished as a mother and is now ready to return to a regular schedule of sessions at Turning Point on December 12. Amanda will be working afternoon and evening hours on Monday and Fridays and morning hours on Wednesdays. Give a call to get in to her schedule. 

In other staff news, Kymberly Kelly will continue her Tuesday evening schedule with new morning hours on Friday. Karen Ortiz will be increasing her hours to have availability on Monday afternoon and evening, Tuesday midday, Thursday morning and Saturday. I know it sounds confusing, our goal is to offer the widest coverage possible to meet your scheduling needs. Remember, the Turning Point staff are all highly trained and talented practitioners. Each is has some area of concentration, and all well-suited to serve 

Take a look around the Turning Point site - we've updated a lot of information and would love to hear your feedback. Our web genius/writer Shayne Figueroa is trying to help it render a more accurate insight to all that we do here. 

We at Turning Point wish you a warm and happy winter. 

We offer gift certificates for acupuncture, Reiki and massage - all wonderful ways to take care of yourself and your loved ones. Email us, call (212. 489. 5038) or visit our offices (1841 Broadway) to share a gift of healing. 

We look forward to supporting you toward your fullest enjoyment of the season in optimum emotional, physical and spiritual health.