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

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.

Spring Newsletter

Dear Friends and Colleagues: 
It’s that time of year when the days are getting get longer and the weather warmer. The budding trees and blooming flowers of Spring remind us that we too are in a period of growth and development. We at Turning Point remind our friends that a positive embrace of the Spring season includes taking care of ourselves on many different levels. 

In this issue:

  1. Allergies – Western and Eastern Perspectives
  2. Food Choices – Seasonal, Organic and More
  3. Practice Updates

Allergies – Western and Eastern Perspectives
Western Perspective
Biomedicine classifies allergies as a hyperactivity of the immune cells. Common allergens include pollen, mold and animal dander, and people who have allergies demonstrate a heightened response to these materials. Symptoms can range from mild (rashes, itchy eyes, congestion) to severe (anaphylaxis). Allergies are primarily viewed as an inherited trait, similar to eye color or height, so chances are if your mother, father or even grandparents suffered from “hay fever,” than you may too. 
Western treatments for seasonal allergies are designed to suppress the body’s capacity to respond to the allergens. Most medicine works to suppress histamine, the primary chemical that is involved with allergies. Allergy medicine doesn’t change the relationship of a body to allergens, it simply dampens the intensity of the response. As with most pharmaceuticals, over time the body will build up a tolerance to the histamine blockers and your dosage will need to be increased. Recently, there has been growing attention paid to the positive role that a healthy, primarily vegetarian, diet can play in helping to lessen the intensity of seasonal allergy attacks. 
Eastern Perspective
In Asian medicine, allergies are viewed as fatigue of the lung system. Typically, the lung system becomes fatigued and over-worked in response to environmental toxicity or stressors. When the lung system is weary, it becomes hyper-reactive and can no longer adequately respond properly to these issues. It loses its ability to discern between negative anitgens and other, harmless, substances and it over-reacts to everything. Allergy attacks are actually is the result of a historical toxin in the body that has now come to the forefront. 
In seasonal allergy treatment, we try to commence treatment at earliest sign that the season has started to shift. Acupuncture and herbs support the body in reducing its toxic burden by improving elimination. We can strengthen the lung system much more easily before it starts to fail and we work to gird against any weakness. 
Summary and Strategy
Allergies can be viewed, in both the Western and Eastern perspective, as an accumulation of negative elements in our body. Instead of addressing the symptoms and/or carrier (histamine), we recommend that you address the root of the problem as early as possible with preventative rather than reactive measures. Being aware of your body’s needs and reactions to the seasonal changes can help you embrace optimal health on all levels. Vitamin C, Allergiplex, quercetin and the practice of regular nasal lavage can all help boost your immune system. 

Food Choices - Seasonal, Organic and More
Spring is a new beginning – the time of year to rise early with the sun, take brisk walks, and cleanse the body. According to traditional Chinese medicine, spring is the time of the liver and, unfortunately, the emotion most closely tied to the liver is anger. A good way to harmonize the liver is to eat a soothing, natural diet that will allow you to reduce stress and tension. You can start by eating light meals, increasing your intake of young plants, fresh greens, sprouts, and cereal grasses. You should also try to limit your intake of highly processed and salty foods. 
Indulge yourself this season by eating healthy complex carbohydrates such as grains, legumes, and seeds. These natural treats are nutritious and balancing. Because Spring is the earliest harvest of the year, many of the traditional vegetables are also available in "baby" categories. Eating a regular combination of the following foods can help to decongest your liver and help bring your body into harmony with the season: 
Vegetables – baby beets, baby carrots, baby peas, fennel, baby squash, baby bok choy 
Fruits – apple, apricot, cherry, date, fig 
Nuts & Seeds – Almond, chestnut, coconut, sesame seed, sunflower seed, walnut 

In planning your spring meals, you may also need to choose between organic and conventional food options. Whether we purchase organic or conventional food products has an impact on both our health and the land in which the food is grown. The terms “organic” or “conventional” refer to how farmers grow and process food, and as profits get higher, the lines between what is organic and what is not get muddier. Unfortunately, we consumers can't know for certain about food's authenticity unless we grow it ourselves. Read TP staff member Hector Mendez's essay about this important topic HERE

Practice Updates
Turning Point is proud to announce the start of Musical Mondays, an innovative group auricular acupuncture experience. During this session, each person will receive an ear acupuncture balancing treatment while seated with complimentary herbal tea and relaxing classical music performed live. Please join us for the free "dress rehearsal" on Monday, April 6, 7:00 - 8:00 pm please visit the Events page for more information. 

The FLT Champs group will be meeting on alternate Thursdays for the Spring session. FLT Champs share a common goal of weight reduction or maintenance through the practice of healthy eating habits, regular exercise and traditional Chinese medicine. The next meeting will be held on Thursday, April 9th at 7:30pm and we'll be discussing how to renew our commitment to the practices of healthy living. 

Turning Point is on Facebook! If you’re an active Facebooker, we’d love to get you in our group. It’s a great way to show your Turning Point pride and who knows – there may even be some special events in the works for group members! Check out the page to sign up now! Turning Point Facebook Page

When celebrating the Spring holidays, birthdays or other special events, keep in mind that Turning Point offers gift certificates for acupuncture, Reiki or massage. 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.