Finding the right acupuncturist for you

When you decide it’s time to choose a dentist, physician or other healthcare provider, what’s most important to you?

Surely, the most important thing in choosing an acupuncturist is to ensure he or she is licensed and in good standing with state and national regulating boards. Safety is number one.

Ok, you’ve checked the credentials - now how do you choose?angie kociolek bozeman acupuncture

Do you look for particular personality characteristics? Do you prefer someone who sticks to the specific matter at hand or someone who asks how things are going in your life? Do you prefer someone who is serious and formal or someone who is outgoing and relaxed? How much one on one time do you like to have with your practitioner? There is no single right answer and only you can decide who might be the best fit for you.

In my acupuncture training, we covered Western biomedicine topics in addition to diagnosis and treatment according to an Eastern medicine framework. Interwoven in our practical studies, my teachers emphasized the importance of rapport.

Rapport is

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Ancient wisdom for today's ultrarunners

Are you or someone you know training for an ultra?Angie Kociolek of Rootstock Acupuncture Bozeman treats runners

Outside Bozeman just published my article about the importance

of moderation and prevention as part of a wise training approach. 

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5 ways to proactively stay healthy (and have fun) in Winter

1. Wear a scarf!  We all know that hand washing is one of the best lines of defense against external pathogens. But did you know that wearing a scarf owl scarfprotects you from what Chinese medicine calls “Feng.” Feng, which translates to English as “Wind," is not just the literal movement of air. It carries with it other nasty things that can cause illness like "Han” which translates as “Cold” and “Shi” which translates as “Dampness.”  By keeping your neck warm and covered, you give your immune system the edge. Plus, a plethora of styles and colors makes scarf wearing fun!

2. Exercise outside in the sunlight (or indoors, if you prefer). The key is to not overdo it and be sure to not get caught out in the cold when you are sweaty. When you sweat, your pores are open and less able to fend off Wind and other external pathogens.

3. Drink hot miso and scallion soup at the first telltale signs of a cold coming on and bundle up to break a

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Not getting pregnant? Here’s another key reason to chart BBT

When trying to conceive turns into a mystery and a labor of love, charting basal body temperature (BBT) is a proactive and inexpensive way to find some answers. 

What you’ll need:

  • A digital basal thermometer
  • A paper or digital way to record cycle day on the x axis and waking temperature on the y axis (There are lots of apps for that!)
  • A scientist’s mind: Replicate the way you take your temperature every morning as soon as you wake - before kissing your partner, before petting your cat or dog, before moving around or doing anything else.

A well-known reason to chart BBT is to determine if, when and how smoothly ovulation is occurring. carkeyBBTweb

The lens of Chinese medicine gives us another reason

Maintaining a BBT chart can illuminate these temperature irregularities or imbalances that can impact fertility:

  1. Excess heat (temperatures are too high during the follicular phase before ovulation).
  2. Deficiency (temperatures are too low in the luteal phase after ovulation).
  3. Stagnant Qi and Blood (temperatures are erratic).

I encourage my clients to chart BBT

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Acupuncture and the mind-body connection

As a holistic system of medicine, acupuncture is well-rooted in the belief that the mind and the body are inseparably linked. The mind not only includes functions like memory and cognition but also the ability to sleep and feel emotions. When one considers that Chinese medicine sees long-lasting or intense emotions as a cause of disease, it’s worth finding ways to move through emotions in a healthy way.

 Beyond the needles

As a former student and naturally curious person, I know it’s easy to ponder questions like “Why is my acupuncturist placing a needle in that spot?” or “I wonder what that point is for?” In my role as acupuncturist and educator, I am happy to explain my rationale in treatment AND I encourage my clients to approach each acupuncture session as an opportunity for mindfulness and relaxation.

calm water Ways to get more out of your acupuncture treatment session

Often, clients put their intentions on what they hope to manifest in their lives. Some employ visualization techniques to concentrate qi in specific energy centers

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Chinese medicine for ultrarunners

There will be no shortage of ultrarunners training in and around Southwest Montana this spring with three of the big “local” races already full - the 2016 Bighorn Mountain Wild & Scenic Trail Run 100 MilerThe Rut 50K, and The Devil’s Backbone 50 Miler.

The challenge for many will entail not only the obvious physical and mental demands of ultrarunning, but the commitment to train with a balanced approach. Consider two major themes of Chinese medicine: Moderation and prevention.running mountains

It’s not always easy to know when enough is enough
“Is it possible to love this sport too much?” was the question posed in the June 2015 Outside Magazine article on overtraining syndrome (OTS).1 As far back as 1990, scientific research articles existed on the subject of overtraining and there was a consensus that “undertraining is better than overtraining, and this seems to be the surest way of avoiding prolonged fatigue.”2 I’m not debating whether “fatigue” is synonymous with “OTS” but for the middle-of-the-pack runner like myself there is little difference.

My run

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When I knew I would become a mom - Despite the odds

I didn’t decide that I wanted to be a mother until I was 36 years old. It’s not so much that I was taking my fertility for granted. I was just focused more on things like travel, endurance running, and career. I was also concerned about adding to the global population problem. Having a child just wasn’t something I really wanted to do – until I did. And when that switch flipped, my quest to have a child was on.

blog1personalAt first, it was a funny realization that we could probably have been having unprotected sex for years since, without any contraception, I wasn’t getting pregnant. Then after a year or so, the humor wore off.

The questioning started – Why am I not getting pregnant? Will I ever know what it is like to be a mom? Why can everyone get pregnant but me? And, perhaps, most importantly, what can I do to boost my fertility?

Like many other women in my position, I tried assisted reproductive technology, much of which was less than

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