Dr. Lisa Taylor-Swanson

Ancient medicine practitioner & cutting-edge researcher.

Maria Volonté and Blue Tango Project in Concert at Madera

Abundant Health’s downstairs neighbor, Madera Furniture Co (also owned by Lisa’s husband, Carlos!) is hosting a concert that is not to be missed:

Back for their third performance, Madera Furniture Company is pleased to welcoMaria and Kevinme María Volonté and Blue Tango Project for an intimate evening of Blues infused Tango music. Direct from Buenos Aires, Volonté on guitar and vocals, and Kevin Carrel Footer, harmonica and vocals are known for the blending of classic tango with echoes of late-night jazz and Latin-blues fusion (The Guardian). Jazz Perspectives describes Volonté as having “the earthiness of Edith Piaf with the sassiness of Eartha Kitt.”
For nearly a decade the wood-filled showroom of Madera Furniture Company has been the occasional venue for dozens of unique performances: from Flamenco to the theatrical and from fire dancers to didgeridoos and Native flutes. Immerse yourself in creativity!

Tickets available at the door and online:

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Interview with Michael Max, LAc

I had a delightful conversation with a dear friend and colleague, Michael Max, LAc. We recorded that conversation as a part of his Everyday Acupuncture Podcast. We ‘talked shop’ about research, and how not everything can be nailed down with the traditional RCT.

From his website: Research is a funny thing. On one hand, most of us think of it as the most dry and boring stuff you could possibly read. On the other hand, we see it as the Holy Grail of truth when it comes to understanding the effectiveness of medical interventions.

As with most things in life, the truth is much more complex and nuanced. In this episode our guest introduces us to nonlinear and complex adaptive systems approaches to researching medical interventions.

Dog days of summer…

August is a wonderful time of year – warm, long days that are filled with fun activities. It has been especially warm this year (for some, exceptionally and uncomfortably warm!). People are out at the beaches, taking a hike, at the mall, having BBQs with friends and family, plus on the top of it, those with children are hosting playdates, taking kids to camp….on and on. The pace can become frenetic! This is an essential time for rest and restoration to counteract all that activity and stress. All the fun and activities can deplete us – and this is a time we want to be out having fun, not feeling depleted! So, try these simple things to rest, restore, and re-create yourself:
1- Restorative yoga – most yoga studios have a restorative yoga class, and often on a Friday night. Take a date or a dear friend and have a slow evening class.
2- Take 5. Just lie down, not necessarily sleep, for 5 minutes. Close your eyes. Focus on your breath and be sure you’re breathing from your abdomen. Quiet your mind and keep focusing on your breath.
3- Float! Like to swim? Be sure to get your laps in, or splash around with your kids, and then float on your back for a few minutes. Follow  your breath and quiet your mind.
4- Create a quiet and special place at home for yourself – take 5 for a favorite cup of tea and watch the sunrise, or sunset, or watch the birds and squirrels. Connecting with nature, and just being – no talking, no walking, no active thinking, just being. Feeling relaxed and in tune with nature can be deeply restorative.
5- Come in for an acupuncture treatment. Those who have experienced it know first-hand: nothing beats an acu-nap! The science backs us up there, too: acupuncture helps our brains make more serotonin (the neurotransmitter that helps us feel good) and supports us staying in “rest and relax” instead of “fight, flight or freeze” when stressed.
Last thought for those with kids – we’ve got 2 weeks till most schools start. Don’t over-schedule this time! Go slowly, enjoy and savor time reading together, going for a hike, just having a popsicle together and talking. Or, just be together, for a few moments, before you’re off to the next grand adventure.

Healing is a journey, not only a destination

Many patients come to me for care because they want to get rid of their symptoms. People want their back pain to stop, their insomnia to cease, and so forth. I understand this and share that goal. Over time, though, people often realize that their process of healing is more than just making something go away. Often there is a realization of the journey that they stepped into with their diagnosis is not about only stopping pain and other symptoms. Some symptoms cannot be cured, whether with biomedicine or East Asian medicine.

One key realization is for patients to identify imbalances in life that promote pain: working too hard, for too long, being stressed out, not sleeping enough and eating poor quality of foods. All these things we do nowadays that rob us of health and vitality. I help patients identify these ‘robbers’ and to make sustainable changes.

My job as a healthcare provider is to provide not only treatment with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine that will help eradicate pain and other symptoms, but to also provide help and guidance along the way. Sometimes I’m a signpost along the healing journey helping to remind patients of just how much progress they’ve experienced. Sometimes my job is to provide referrals to other reliable providers. Sometimes my job is to remind patients that healing is a journey, a process, and not only a destination without symptoms.

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