Mad River Valley

Stomach 25 - Celestial Pivot


The first time I learned about this acupuncture point, it was referred to me as the pivot between the earth and heavens. It is the center of our body from where we transition from the connection to the soil below us and the skies above us. That is why it is called Celestial Pivot.

Stomach 25 is about two finger breadths from the belly button. This point supports the earth and transforms damp. Dampness is a sign that the Spleen channel is not properly functioning.

This point is used for abdominal pain & distention, constipation, borborygmus, diarrhea, dysentery, and edema. Energetically this point can be used for those who feel as if their lower and upper bodies feel disconnected.

To apply acupressure, gently press on this point for 1 - 3 minutes to help alleviate the above issues.

For any questions, please reach out to Ana at 802-496-6346 or email

Late Summer - Earth Element


Late Summer

We have shifted from the long days and the heat of summer to cooler days and shortening days. 

Late Summer in Chinese Medicine's (TCM) Five Elements theory is associated with the Earth which pairs with the Spleen and Stomach Meridians. Meridians are energetic channels within the body. 

In TCM, the Spleen is regarded as we regard the Stomach. The Spleen is responsible for the "Transportation and transformation of food." Not only does it break down the foods we eat, but the thoughts and the information we process. The Stomach is where "rotting and ripening" of the food occurs for further digestion. 

We are beginning to turn our attention inward from the extreme Fiery energy of Summer. Earth energy is about being centered and grounded. It is about transitions. To move through these shifts with ease, the more grounded one is the better. In addition, the Earth element is about connection.

When the Spleen and Stomach channels are in harmony the digestion is easy; one is amiable to others; gets along well with people and is patient. 

However, when this paired energetic system is out of balance, one can ruminate or over worry about things. There physically can be digestive issues, IBS, bloating, gas, heaviness in the limbs or even an over production of phlegm. 

To keep your Spleen and Stomach channels balanced make time to connect with people. Get acupuncture. Spend more time with the Earth - gardening, hiking or just sitting under a tree reading a book. Eat more squashes, carrots, yellow or orange foods. Try to avoid to much sugar, because this will throw the Spleen off balance!

And sing! The sound associated to the Earth Channel is singing!

Punch Drunk Love from Sacred Sound


The morning after! Feeling a little hungover, yet really good.

That is what it feels like today after a 90 minute session Sacred Sound Sanctuary. Melinda Kinzie best describes her work as ”part shamanic sound healing journey & energy medicine salon”. And that is exactly what it is. She began with a brief opening about sound healing and our energetic bodies, setting intentions and allowing your body to do what it needs because it still receives the healing. Then off we went to Never Never Land!

I will admit it was a challenging for me to completely shut my brain off during the session; however, as I lay there I knew my body, brain, soul, energetic bodies were receiving so much. The first half of the class, felt like my body was releasing stagnant energy that was no longer needed. It felt as deep as my bones. There were rattles and drums and Melinda’s voice chanting complimented all of the sounds. Then she began to lay the Crystal Singing bowls and it’s as if the room was full of angels. The energy was calming, healing and full of light.

Coming back to reality was a transition and as the owner of the studio having to move back into the regular swing of things, I stayed mindful of moving slow and minimizing conversation. So many left with prayers to the heart and a bow of the head.

By the time, I got home last night, I felt light. Bright. Joyful. Full of ease. It felt really good to be in my body. My sleep last night was so deep and restful.

Today, I woke up feeling slightly hungover. My body felt different, yet good. So of course, I wanted to search and try to find an explanation online. However, I told myself to just feel. Until Melinda texted me and then I was able to ask her. This is what she said: “Most of us are running on a fair amount of adrenaline these days and most of us have some degree of adrenal fatigue. So when we go into a rest & letting go that is that deep, our bodies do not experience it in an hour and a half. Our bodies are not linear. We really come into the truth of where our body is actually at. Our endocrine system is at peace and calm. It is not experiencing adrenaline or cortisol. A lot of time people feel really tired because you are actually hearing where your body really is. The epsom salt bath afterwards is great because there is a lot of shifting in the electrolytes in the body. Lot of changes in the brain, pineal glands. A lot of neurological patterns melting in the brain that are no longer needed. We are having release.”

We are excited to be hosting Melinda Kinzie next month.

Fascia: what is it and why work with it?


Lately, the myofascial balls or these super bouncy balls have been a part of yoga class. 

Fascia is connective tissue within the body. There are several layers. The first being the superficial which lays just under our skin. It houses part of the immune system. After our skin, it has the most nerve endings and is a passageway for blood vessels. Fascia encapsulates the whole body and acts as a protective and support system. 

The second layer, which is the layer we work with in class is the deep fascia. This is dense fibrous tissue that surrounds each muscle, runs through the muscle and envelopes each fiber. It also comes together to form tendons. This layer helps to transmit force. It also lubricates the tissue to allow for muscles to slide and glide by each other. 

The last layer is the visceral layer which suspends organs in the cavities. 

Back to that middle layer or the Deep Fascia With age, injury or overuse this layer can get stuck. When this happens there may be pain in the muscles or joints; decreased range of motion; less mobility throughout the body for example. 

Fascia is a fibrous tissue mainly composed of collagen amongst other things including white blood cells, fibroblasts, elastin and ground substance. The ground substance is key in attracting water and it fills the spaces between fibers and cells which comprises 70% of fascia. Collagen creates the structure of the fascial web. 

When we roll on the balls, a foam roller, or block in class we are breaking down the fascia. In doing so, the body needs to repair itself, so it increases collagen production and the release of fluids into the system. Being well hydrated is key for the body to lay down clean fascial lines in order to reduce the stickiness of the fascial tissue. 

Myofascial release can decrease pain, increase range of motion, increase recovery time and increase pliability of the muscles. 

If you come to class and have something you want to work on, let me know so we can incorporate it into the sequence. If you have any questions, please reach out to me. 

Spring is Time for New Beginnings


Many feel that Spring is the time of awakening; a time to set resolutions; and a time to move forward. The trees are budding. Many animals are giving birth to their young. The energy is fresh and light after many months of shortened and cold days. We are ready to shed the heaviness of the winter months. 

Naturally, we have the desire to clean our homes, eat lighter foods and spend more time outside. In Chinese Medicine, Spring is associated with the Wood Energy of the Liver & Gall Bladder Channels. This is the budding energy of new things. The excitement of longer days and warmer weather. 

The Liver is also seen as the General of the Body that oversees the smooth movement of Qi. However, this energy can get stuck and manifest physically as irritability, frustration, anger, PMS, moodiness, or anger. To soothe and ease the flow of the Liver meridian, adding sour foods (lemon water or pickled foods) to one diet is essential. As well, foods such as beets, asparagus, pea shoots, sprouts or milk thistle tea can aid in the smooth movement of qi. Avoid heavy and greasy foods which can stagnate the Liver.

Get outside. Take time to spring clean your home. Eat a lighter diet. Move your body to prevent stagnation. Get plenty of rest. Start your day off with hot water and lemon. Listen to your body's needs and your soul's desires to guide you forward. Your body innately knows what it needs. Trust it!