The Point Acupuncture and Ayurveda: Roots and branches of health, disease

The Point Acupuncture and Ayurveda: Roots and branches of health, disease

The Point Acupuncture and Ayurveda: Roots and branches of health, disease

Hi! My name is Anne Lindberg. Most people call me Annie. I am a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine practitioner, yoga teacher and the new health columnist for the Madison Park Times.

I welcome the opportunity to share my passion for health and healing from the inside out with the Madison Park community and beyond. In this column I’ll introduce myself and my lens and then dive into focused explorations of pertinent topics in subsequent months.

My earliest and fondest childhood memories were made within the heart of Madison Park, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to return to my old ‘hood — after decades away — as owner and practitioner at The Point Acupuncture and Ayurveda. I am equally excited to embrace this new role as health and wellness contributor to the Madison Park Times.

Before studying Ayurveda in Colorado and east Asian medicine and acupuncture at the Seattle Institute for Oriental Medicine, I obtained a bachelors in biology from Pomona College and a masters of environmental studies from The Evergreen State College.

As a biologist/ecologist I worked, researched and taught in widely varied ecosystems, from the islands of the Caribbean, to the Galapagos archipelago, from the Rocky Mountains, to the kelp forests of Catalina Island, and from the diverse ecosystems of India to the temperate forests of Pacific Northwest. I led groups of high school students on extended educational adventures through these ecosystems, serving as instructor and wilderness first responder, and ensuring participants stayed healthy and healed quickly when injured.

Through these earlier experiences and now through my work as a practitioner, I have become poignantly aware of the intricate interconnection between the health of our environment and ecosystems, our physiological health, and the health of our minds and spirits. The more balanced each is, the more balanced all are.

Through my columns I plan to delve into relevant and evocative topics, exploring human health and wellbeing from a holistic, integrated and even ecological perspective. Ayurveda (the 5,000-year-old traditional medical system of India) emphasizes the importance of balance or equilibrium and the dynamic integration of body, mind, spirit and environment.

Literally translated as the “science of life,” Ayurveda knows that optimizing our prana, or life force, requires not only healthy eating and exercise, but, more broadly, it espouses a healthy lifestyle and environment. We are porous beings; our surroundings impact our sensory and nervous systems, and thus our overall health. Sounds, colors and lighting influence our mood and wellbeing, as do our habits, mind sets and friendships. Even the bacteria in the soil of the kale we consume influence our position on the wellness/disease spectrum.

As an acupuncturist/Ayurvedic practitioner, I recognize and address both the roots and branches of disease.

The root system, underground and hidden, constitutes more than half the biomass of many trees. We observe a tree’s trunk, branches and fruits, deducing the health of a tree based on this suprasoil shoot system. But to heal a sick tree we must do more than tend to diseased branches and insect-ravaged roughage. We must ascertain the health of its root system and soil, the health of the mycorrhizal network that connects it to its cousins across the continent, and heal these as well. Recognizing and eradicating disease (the bug-ridden branches and peeling bark we witness) requires understanding and nurturing the hidden roots, interrupting the hidden causes.

This holds true for human health and wellbeing, too. Tending to both the obvious and the obscure elements of health guides my work as a practitioner and will influence my health column offerings as well.

As we move into 2022, beginning the third year of the new reality the COVID pandemic has delivered, I have much to be grateful for, including the opportunity to delve into health-related topics for the Madison Park Times.

I look forward to exploring topics that will contribute to your general sense of wellness, even in the face of pandemic anxieties.

Some topics include the role of seasonal eating and living for optimal health, fertility challenges and the help that acupuncture and herbs can offer, pinpointing allergens, behavioral and herbal means of mitigating allergies and sensitivities, anxiety management, the role of mindfulness in promoting health, migraine prevention and treatment, gut health including the role of micro- and mycobiota, the influence of acupuncture in fostering wellbeing and vitality during cancer treatment, pranayama and the psycho-physiological power of breath and more.

I hope to do so with attention to both the seen and unseen, the branches and the roots. I welcome your comments as well as topic suggestions.

Here’s to peace and optimal health in 2022!