Holiday Newsletter

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

Turning Point would like to reach out with some words of encouragement, strength and warmth during the winter season and holidays. With longer nights, less sunlight and cold temperatures it is certainly a time to conserve our strengths. Conversely, the holidays encourage us to reach out and reconnect with family and friends. As with all things, the key is to find a balance and stay in harmony with the season and ourselves. The joy of celebration helps raise and build qi that can sustain us through the winter. Love can be drawn from the beauty of new-fallen snow in Central Park, from the rewarding feeling of packing boxes of household goods for donation to charities, from the sense of calm after relatives leave or even just from treating yourself to an extra tap on the snooze button on January 1. The winter season asks us to seek strength from within and push forward until warmer weather returns. It is all these small and special forms of expressing love for yourself and others that will enrich your qi and augment you in thriving.

In this issue:

  1. Seasonal Overeating: Western and Eastern Approaches
  2. Holiday Meditation
  3. Practice Updates

1. Seasonal Overeating
While the holiday season is a time of warmth and togetherness with loved ones, it also has the potential to be a stressful time of year. Everybody deals with stress in her or his own way. Many choose to seek comfort in food. The average American gains ten pounds between Halloween and New Year's Day. The cold weather can lead to decreased exercise for city folk who walk. Less sunlight of shortened days yields lower vitamin D levels. Both can contribute to increased appetites and the propensity to over-indulge.

Western Perspective

Although the holiday dinner table is over groaning under the strain of shimmering glazed foods, there are ways to approach the smorgasbord and still walk away with your pants fitting comfortably. Glycemic spikes from too much sweet can cause a dearth of energy and good spirits. Greasier foods can rob a person of energy by demanding a relative great amount of energy to break down their fatty substances. Digestion of all these foods can cause bloating, nausea and difficult elimination.

Eastern Perspective
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the urge to overeat is a result of unbalanced qi in relation to the spleen, liver and kidney. These are the organs that deal with stress, and the holidays can severely tax them. When your qi becomes unbalanced in these systems, the desired seasonal feelings of joy, satisfaction and satiation are replaced by unease, agitation and poor metabolism. TCM classifies this resulting state as one of dampness. Dealing with stressful situations in a direct manner can help to promote better flow of qi, and your acupuncturist will also be able to utilize specific acu-points to encourage better flow of qi. It is also recommended that you reduce your intake of caffeine, alcohol and dairy, as these foods negatively impact the organs and increase dampness. Regular walking and yoga are two exercises that have also been found to be beneficial to decreasing dampness and increasing flow of qi.

Summary and Strategy

Practice portion control: you can load up your plate, just try to only take about half the serving size you think you want. Eating slowly and pausing to drink water and talk to your companions will also help ensure that you feel satiated and do not need to go back for unnecessary seconds. Try to work in small spurts of exercise, such as parking the car in the rear of the mall parking lot or, for city-dwellers, getting off the subway one stop before your shopping destination and walking the extra blocks. While you are making lists of all the presents to be bought and parties to go to, try to also keep a daily list of the foods you eat. Simply being conscious of your calorie intake often times helps reduce it. The holiday season can be a challenging time of year. It's also an opportunity to approach festivity in a calm and deliberate manner. If you practice portion control, pay attention to your body's signals of satiation, and deal with stress before it becomes overwhelming you can indeed have your pumpkin pie and eat it too.

2. Holiday Recipe: Hot Mulled Apple Cider
Hot drinks are an easy way to warm ourselves from within during this winter season. Mulled apple cider provides the additional warmth of ginger, cinnamon and allspice without the refined sugar found in other beverages.


1/2 gallon of apple cider
1 inch knob of fresh ginger
Zest of one medium orange
3 (2") cinnamon sticks

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp allspice

4 whole cloves


Combine ingredients in a non-aluminum saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Strain mixture and serve hot in mugs.

Serves 6

3. Practice Updates

Turning Point is proud to announce the opening of a special Reiki room in our office suite. Make sure to check it out and ask about Reiki sessions on your next visit!

Holiday special: Hot Stone Meridian Tracing Treatment. December is the season of the Lung. Following the Chinese lunar calender this treatment will support and strengthen the lung system to support immunity and courage. Gilles Obermeyer has developed this therapy to support people in being in harmony with the lunar calender. 90 minutes Sessions available December 29th, $170. Please call Gilles directly to schedule your session 917-282-7420. 

Keep an eye out for the re-launch of our website in the new year. We've been working hard and hope you will find our new internet home a welcoming, special place.

We offer gift certificates for acupuncture, Reiki and massage - all wonderful ways to take care of yourself and your loved ones during the holiday season. Email usCall (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.

Be well,
E. Shane Hoffman, DAOM, LAC
Amanda Silver, LAC
Kymberly Kelly, LAC
Karen Ortiz, LAC
Lourdes Guzman, Reiki Master
Gilles Obermeyer, LMT
Hector Mendez
Kim Chinh