You read it right: we’ve added a few more amazing practitioners, and will soon be available for acupuncture 7 days a week! Check out our new practitioners, including Katja, an MD-turned-acupuncturist; Deanna, who works both in Benicia and with us here in Lafayette; and Yasunori, a nurse and acupuncturist working in San Francisco and here with us on Sundays.
Lamorinda Healing Arts is excited and proud to announce the arrival of an amazing new body worker to our clinic.
Albert Cortez is a California- and Oregon-licensed massage therapist, a Neuromuscular Re-education practitioner, and a Certified Fitness Trainer. He has over a decade of experience focusing on structural alignment and pain management using many different modalities, from neuromuscular therapy to Active Release Technique; myofascial release to cranial sacral and deep tissue.
Albert has worked with athletes at the highest levels of professional sports, including Olympic competitors, dancers, members of the America’s Cup winning team, runners, and bodybuilders, among many others. He has received 1,500 hours of massage training and completed his associate degree in massage therapy. He has also studied Traditional Chinese Medicine, and currently is currently in a doctoral program for Chiropractic medicine.
Albert is a very intuitive therapist, which enables him to quickly connect with a client’s body and formulate the most appropriate treatment for their condition. A client can expect to receive a completely different treatment each time they see him. He has always wanted to help support others, and this desire drove him to become a massage therapist. Seeing a client’s big smile of relief after a massage and the positive results of the attendant changes in their life keeps him motivated to learn new techniques and seek for higher education on an ongoing basis.
Albert may be seen in our Lafayette office on Wednesdays and Saturdays by appointment. For more information, use our Contact page or contact us at (925) 283-3860.
Lamorinda Healing Arts is excited and proud to announce the arrival of an amazing new practitioner to our stable of healing professionals.
Dr. Mitsuko (Mimi) Ishimaru-Cortez is a California state board licensed Naturopathic Doctor as well as a licensed acupuncturist. As a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist, Dr. Mimi’s approach to treat the patient is unique in terms of integrating oriental and western natural therapies. She is dedicated to guiding patients to achieve their optimal health. Her treatment starts with listening to the patient’s story, understanding the factors that affect the patient’s health, and seeking to find the root causes of the disease rather than simply treating symptoms. Her special foci are in the areas of chronic disease, women’s health, anti-aging therapies, mental/emotional health, pain management, and infertility. Studying extensively with Dr. Hua Ling Xu, a Chinese medical gynecology expert, and Christine Chung, LAc,a board-certified fellow of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (ABORM), has helped to further her knowledge in those areas.
As a native Japanese with an American education, Dr. Mimi has been very fortunate to learn directly from renowned Japanese acupuncture masters by assisting and translating their seminars both in the United States and Japan. She is also one of very few practitioners who performs Japanese-style facial rejuvenation (face-lift) techniques which she learned from Yoko Ooasa, the dean of the acupuncture and moxibustion department at Shikoku Medical College.
Dr. Mimi earned her Doctorate in Naturopathic medicine at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto, Canada. She also holds a Master of Science degree in Oriental Medicine from the Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College (AIMC) in Berkeley, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude and was called, “one of the most brilliant students ever to come through our school” by AIMC’s clinical director. Dr. Mimi is a certified medical qi gong practitioner; has completed both Chinese- and Japanese-styled facial rejuvenation courses; and will soon complete a clinically-intensive doctorate degree at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in Portland. Dr. Mimi was a financial analyst in high tech before changing her career to become a doctor.
Dr. Mimi may be seen in our Lafayette office on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and every other Saturday. For more information, use our Contact page or contact us at (925) 283-3860.
I’ve been told that insomnia is the number two most common reason why people seek medical attention in United States. (Incidentally, back pain is number one.) As such, I certainly see my share of people with insomnia and sleep disorders, and there are many varieties. One of the most common causes of difficulty falling asleep these days has to do with the increased use of electronic devices within a couple hours before sleep. Devices such as iPhones, iPads, and even televisions, emit light in spectrums that tell our brains to stay awake as if the sun is out. Hence, I often recommend that people do not interact with such devices for at least a couple of hours before bedtime.
For those who are interested, I have attached a PDF document that goes into greater detail about the effects of such devices on sleep. Click here to read it now.
Was it you who know me (Jason) well know that, for the last couple of decades, my main teacher and mentor Liu Ming has given a widely popular talk at the beginning of each Chinese new year. When I first got to know Ming, he would give these talks in his apartment in Oakland or Seattle, and as he became more and more well-known over the years, his audience screw. For the last few years, his New Year’s talks were given 2000 people at a time at the Marin Civic Center. I have always loved the way that he would approach each year, not just the year as a whole, but how it would relate to each person individual astrology. Many of you know that I would repeat a lot of his information at the beginning of each year, giving clues to patients specific to their own situations.
Unfortunately, Ming died quite suddenly in the spring of this past year, and no one can really take his place when it comes to Chinese astrology, feng shui, or anything else that he taught. And while I studied with him for many years, any attempt on my part to fill in the gaps left by his absence would be woefully inadequate. That said, I do anticipate a lot of requests for information on the upcoming monkey year, which begins on February 8, 2016. I’m not a huge fan of the placemat astrology that most of us get online and at Chinese restaurants, and Ming was never too excited about making predictions about the coming year. He would often say that he was an astrologer, not a fortune teller.
Given how popular his information was, and the demand for better information, I may begin pasting info that I get from other sources starting this year. Thus far, I have not found a whole lot of great information on the monkey year. However, one relatively generic description the the auspices of the year of the monkey I found to be worth posting here in case anyone is interested. So find below a very lengthy description from Lillian Bridges, a well-respected practitioner in American circles of Chinese medicine practitioners.
February 8, 2016 ushers in the Year of the Red Monkey. Monkeys are considered the tricksters of the Chinese Twelve Animal Signs and this means it is likely to be an exciting and “interesting” year. But remember that the fortune cookie proverb, “May you Live in Interesting Times” is actually considered a curse!
The elements of this year are Yang Fire over Metal, which means there is automatically a clash as Fire melts and weakens Metal. This Yang Fire is not that dangerous because the Monkey is such a strong Metal Element. However, when there is a clash of this kind, there will be opposing energies and you can expect governments and people taking different sides. So there is a high probability that there will be a war of mostly words between people, politicians running for office and internationally between countries. There will be more threats than action. Political fights, especially infighting is expected, as the Fire Element is involved with words and speaking. Certain world leaders will be acting even more provocatively than usual and their posturing and saber rattling will be more amusing than dangerous. People, especially already famous ones, need to be careful about acting and looking ridiculous this year, as notoriety will definitely bring a kind of exaggerated fame that is troubling to their reputation long-term.
It is also expected that there will be sudden instability in many formerly solid governments and leaders that previously looked impervious to criticism will be challenged as the Monkey makes the stable suddenly unstable for short periods of time. Therefore, international conflicts are likely, but the good news is that disputes can be settled rather easily and most conflicts will be short-lived.
The balance of these two elements – Fire over Metal – also means that it is likely to be an expensive year, as money is Metal and Fire melts it. People will spend exponentially more than usual, especially for travel, trendy items such as clothing and whatever becomes an “it” product phenomenon. Stock Markets are likely to fluctuate rapidly, but economic growth is expected overall globally by the end of the year.
Metal is solid until it becomes liquid and that means things change quickly this year and anything can happen. Adaptability and versatility are traits that will be of great value in this Monkey Year. Expect the unexpected and don’t become complacent. There will be more trickery, deception and opportunism than usual. Watch out for con artists and hucksters, as it is easier to be persuaded, fooled or taken advantage of this year.
There will be enhanced communication and motivation – especially if it involves fun. People will become wittier and being serious will not be as beneficial as usual. Comedians will become more popular and stand up comedy will be revitalized. People will be funnier by accident and humor will be more appreciated. Many clever inventions, especially those that are new and different are likely to catch on and unplanned success is quite possible. There is great luck in this year, but it is quite random and currencies will fluctuate. Creativity and imagination will be admired and rewarded. This is a good year for taking small risks and for non-conformity, especially in thinking and dress. Ultimately, progress will be made although it won’t be evident until later in the year exactly how far things have actually progressed.
Yang Fire is symbolized by the Sun and it will burn bright and hot this year in many places. Weather will change rapidly. As the Monkey loves change, places that are usually wet will be dry and places that are usually dry will be wet. This has already started showing with the massive El Nino phenomenon currently reaching it’s peak at the start of this new year and will change, reversing into a La Nina later this year. Weather will be very hard to predict and rainfall, drought and heat waves will be scattered, even within one country or region. The Metal Element is also Air, which condenses to make rain or melts to make water, so there will be lots of rain in areas completely unused to so much rain or snow and ice will melt unexpectedly, which will cause flash flooding. Some areas will become excessively hot and the infrastructure of the electric utility grids in these areas will become severely challenged. With fires and heated air, it will be a hard year for birds and other airborne creatures like bats and insects. With heated oceans and lakes in some areas, it will also be difficult for many sea creatures.
Natural disasters will happen very suddenly and without much warning. Expect more dramatic storms, more lightning and lightning sparked fires and fires in many places that spread easily and are hard to contain. The good news is that the Earth Element will be fed, so there will not be as many earthquakes. However, volcanic eruptions and melting snow are both likely. There will be more Northern Lights as we are at the peak of Solar Flares, so expect disruptions in the electrical grid system from this as well in many places for short periods of time. These Auroras are expected to be seen further south than usual as well, and sunsets will be especially vivid and beautiful as Metal is the direction of the West and the setting sun.
In business, the High Tech industry will likely suffer some setbacks, as it is considered part of the futuristic Metal Element that may come under attack. Expect Tech companies to face consumer backlash, and new products will be popular for a shorter period of time than expected. New products of all kinds will be discarded easily. Unexpected and quirky products will become a temporary craze and must-have items. People will buy impulsively and they will be particularly interested in new scientific inventions and creative solutions. Crafts and craftsmanship will be more appreciated.
This is a great year for Marketing and Advertising. Humorous and/or heartwarming ads/commercials will be valued. Sales will increase, as people will be in a buying mood so the retail sector is expected to do well. Personal spending is expected to increase exponentially so this is a hard year to save money and banks may be affected. Start-ups will get more traction than usual and Entrepreneurs will be celebrated. There will be more hiring and it will be much easier to get temporary jobs and contract jobs.
Since Fire Monkeys love to learn, this is a particularly good year for education as well as for the arts and culture. There will be a push to make learning more fun and campaigns to make art, crafts, physical education, music and fun electives a bigger part of the curriculum in schools. Students will have livelier minds and curiosity should be rewarded.
The Entertainment Industry gets a big boost. People will want to see more movies and television, and comedies, including romantic comedies and parodies will be popular. Audiences will appreciate having a good time. And, people will listen to more music, especially music with a strong beat, and dancing of all kinds will become more popular, as this is strong part of the Fire Energy of the year.
The Fashion industry will also have a great year, as people will want very colorful, trendy and playful clothing. Resort wear – sundresses, shorts, t-shirts, swimwear, lingerie, pajamas and even sunglasses will be big sellers. This is a year for colorful patterns and mixing and matching styles. Furs, sequins, embroidery, playful glamour and glitz, and any kind of quirky fashion will be hot, but trends will be short-lived and replaced by another one swiftly.
This is a great year for restaurants, as eating out is part of the Fire Element. Appetizers, Tapas, Dim Sum and Small Plates, along with unusual, exotic and even relatively unknown cuisines will have their day in the sun. Finger foods and snacks, especially hot and spicy foods will also become more popular. People will drink more alcohol and particularly enjoy cocktails and mixed drinks along with sparkling beverages of all kinds – especially Champagne, Wine and Coffee, which are quintessential Fire drinks.
People will want to travel more, especially to fun destinations and will take more short trips and quick road trips. They will want to have fun as the main objective. So it is also a good year for the Gaming Industry, which includes video games as well as gambling and betting. People will also want to have more parties so Party Planners and Party Stores will also do well.
However, this is not a good year for the airline industry and there will likely be more accidents and mechanical problems. All machinery involving metal and electricity, engines and batteries will have problems. There will be a chance of more fires and explosions. Office buildings (particularly Skyscrapers) and Power Plants are also not considered as safe this year and need to be protected. There will be more fires in houses and explosions too, so make sure you have a fire extinguisher handy and put fresh batteries in your smoke alarms.
The strong Fire Energy will feed the Earth Element so there will be an increase in crop production and the food industry should see a boom, especially with the sales of new products and exotic foods. It is also a good year for real estate. Expect quick sales of homes – fire sales as well as a return to flipping houses. There will be an increase in the rental market as the Fire Element is about temporary housing and moving around. Relocation experts and Real Estate Agents should do well.
Healthwise, there will be problems with the Metal Organs; particularly the Lungs and Respiratory System, the Large Intestines and the Skin. It is wise to watch your diet and eat carefully if and when digestive problems occur. Dehydration, Constipation and IBS will be particularly problematic as the Fire Element is so drying. Respiratory illnesses are expected to be widespread this year so it looks to be a particularly bad cold and flu season. These can more easily turn into inflammatory conditions like pink eye, ear infections, bronchitis, sinus infections and pneumonia. There may also be a resurgence of Tuberculosis. More throat infections and an increase in coughing are also expected with more laryngitis.
Allergies and Asthma will flare up and worsen in those that are susceptible and there will be many more people suffering from skin rashes and inflammatory skin problems such as hives, eczema, shingles, cold sores and skin infections from simple cuts. It is easy to get cut this year so be careful. You can also expect more burns and more accidents.
As the Fire Energy is so strong, there is a chance for in increase in Angina and Heart Disease in those with already weak hearts. There is likely to be an increase in the number of Heart Attacks, although many will be minor. There will probably be more people diagnosed with diseases involving the blood and circulation, such as excessive bleeding or high red blood cell count. It may also manifest as infections involving the blood, such as sepsis and inflammation of the veins and arteries.
Because the Fire Element depletes the Water Element, the Kidneys and Bladders of many people may be impacted. Inflammatory conditions like Cystitis and Kidney Infections are also expected to be prevalent and unfortunately it is an easier year to be impacted by Kidney Stones. Because of high temperatures, many people will be affected by Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke and Burns are also very likely to be a serious health condition suffered by many and many illness that involves fevers will be problematic. It is extremely important to stay well hydrated this year.
The Brain is also going to be impacted and there is likely to be an increase in the number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, but there is also a very strong chance that big breakthroughs in treatment will be found. The nervous system will be impacted by the amount of Fire in this year, so expect that there will be an increase in nerve pain and conditions such Shingles and other Herpes Virus outbreaks, as well as an increase in Mania and Neurological glitches.
The most pervasive problem with the intensity of the Fire energy is the expected increase in insomnia, hyperactivity, hysteria and mania. This is a year where rest must be consciously added to everyone’s schedule or this could become a precarious year for health, as the nervous system will be tested. Food as the Earth Element will help ground the body, so diet will become another way to enhance health and food should be treated as medicine.
The good news is that many people will have a stronger spirit due to the increase in the Fire Energy. They will feel more youthful, lively and energetic. There will be waves of optimism and joy, often for no apparent reason. People will want to talk more and will feel more playful. People will also laugh more and feel amused easily. There will be the urge to play more practical jokes, give more parties and people will just feel more mischievous and social.
But people will also feel more scattered and disorganized, which will lead to more anxiety and frustration. People will have quick tempers, sometimes even explosive anger and there may be more yelling or crying, but it will not last very long for most people. There will be less violence, but more sadness, but it is also much easier to laugh this year. People will feel impetuous and have sudden likes and dislikes that change. It will also be easier to disregard personal values, so it is advised that people think before giving into impulses since it is a year of impulsivity.
Overall, people will feel more emotional and have an easier time expressing their emotions and acting on their emotions this year, but they will be transitory. People will open their hearts and become more intuitive. There will be more enthusiasm and more impulsiveness. People will feel more sensitivity for the plight of others and will open their hearts and wallets for them, but in a smaller way than in a Wood year.
This is a good year for love and romance, but the playful kind of affection will be most evident and there will be lots of teasing and repartee. People will become infatuated easily and they will be more charming and flirt more, but there is also a chance for more dalliances, extramarital affairs, flings and short-term relationships. There will be provocative behavior from people you would not expect to act that way. People will be surprising in many ways!
Spirituality and religious fervor will increase with the Fire Energy. There will also be an increased interest in magic and miracles. People will feel more open-minded and more tolerant of differences. There will be an increase in friendliness and there will be urges to get together and just chat.
Creativity is enhanced and people will want to bring it out. This is a good year for experimenting with your personal style and it is advised that you try something new: a new hairstyle, a new wardrobe or learn a new language, take up painting or some other creative endeavor. Eccentricity will not just be tolerated; it will be greatly appreciated in a Monkey year.
Metal is forged and strengthened from Fire and Metal people will be tested. There will be many irritations and triggers. Endurance is called for and a good sense of humor to see the Cosmic Joke in the trials. When this year and the next one are over, Metal people will emerge polished, much stronger and ready to face life with much more personal power.
Honesty will be expected and desired this year, as truth makes the heart happy and the Fire Element rules the heart. And yet this is also a year where scruples will be lacking in many. Watch out for arrogance, as it will not be appreciated. Quick thinking and cleverness will be rewarded and the ability to solve problems will be enhanced by the energy of the year. But this is not a good year for making long term plans.
The Monkey year will help many people feel happier than they have felt in a long time and they will be able to have more fun. Although temporary, these feelings will arise often throughout the year. This year will feel like it is going by quickly, so get ready for the new pace. A sense of humor will be essential and flexibility, as well as versatility are great assets to possess in navigating this chaotic, changeable and ultimately quite fun Monkey year!
Individual Animal Forecasts for the Year of the Monkey 2016
Rat – Water Element: 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008 and 2020
Excellent year – ambitions rewarded and accomplishment is possible on many levels. Rats will feel confident and healthier. Promotion is likely, finances improve, social life is happy and romance is satisfying.
Ox – Earth Element: 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009 and 2021
Oxes should lay low and activity should be slow and steady, which is opposite the energy of this year. Oxes should stay home more and enjoy the quiet life. They will find life improves overall by the end of the year.
Tiger – Wood Element: 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, and 2010, 2022
This is a difficult year for Tigers personally, but good professionally. Business and finance improve with travel, but obstacles create delays. Family life is tense and romance is complicated. Be careful with health – avoid accidents of all kinds.
Rabbit – Wood Element: 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011 and 2023
There are many irritations this year in business with numerous delays and redirections. Rabbits will feel overwhelmed easily and need to stay calm – going on vacation is important. The good news is that romance flourishes this year.
Dragon – Earth Element: 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012 and 2024
This is a great year for Dragons. Risks are rewarded and growth in business and reputation is likely. However, they must watch their spending, as it is likely to be an expensive year due to the desire to live the high life. Romance is good.
Snake – Fire Element: 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013 and 2025
Snakes should travel less this year and business is hectic. However, this is a very good year for personal relationship and romance. Health improves dramatically and as the secret friend of the Monkey, there will be more luck.
Horse – Fire Element: 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014 and 2026
This year can be challenging for Horses but overall they will feel healthier and more enthusiastic. Creativity is enhanced and self-esteem increases. A move or a job change is likely and will make Horses much happier. Drive carefully.
Sheep/Goat – Earth Element: 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, and 2015
This is a year of miscommunication so be careful of misunderstandings. It is important to write things down. Relationships are a bit tense and health is variable. Sheep do best with time alone to be creative and they may travel more.
Monkey – Metal Element: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004 and 2016
This is a year of success in business. Monkeys will be social, but prone to overstimulation and exhaustion. They are happier, funnier and more confident and have more charm, but need to be tactful and find balance for their health.
Rooster –Metal Element: 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981,1993, 2005, and 2017
This is a good year for Roosters professionally and business improves. But this is an even better year for love and romance. Roosters will be very happy. However, there may be problems with multiple repairs needed at home and/or with cars.
Dog – Earth Element: 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, and 2018
This is a good year for financial stability. Dogs will be very social this year and will feel scattered. They will be busy at work or travel more so family members may feel neglected – compromise is essential. Be careful to avoid accidents.
Pig – Water Element: 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, and 2019
This is a very creative and cultural year for Pigs. Business may slow down and it will be harder to collect money. However, romance is well aspected and it is easy to find a new partner or rekindle smoldering embers in a long-term relationship.
*Monkeys and Tigers should carry a Snake charm for protection and benefit this year, as the Snake is Monkey’s secret friend.
DISCLAIMER: All information provided in this forecast is based on the ancient principles of the Chinese Five Element Theory and on an understanding of the animal symbolism in Chinese Astrology. It is intended for entertainment purposes only. There is no express or implied guarantee of results from using this information, and individual users are solely responsible for their own interpretation or application to their own circumstances. Further, the information is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for legal, medical, or psychological advice, evaluation and/or treatment.
©Lillian Pearl Bridges, Lotus Institute 2016
People are sometimes disappointed when I don’t share their enthusiasm about the latest health fads. Good advice about health is not so much about shortcuts, but a few simple things. Read the following article about how health can really be that simple. There’s also a fun video that accompanies it.