On Being a Father…

Image of DadThe joys and challenges of being a father demand a careful balance of exercise, healthy eating habits and focused healthcare.
Newborns bring a special joy and delight to a young father as well as needing much care and feeding late into the night and early morning.   Many a father has made a speedy trip to the emergency room to retrieve that missing safety pin.  A quick check for monsters under the bed at night helps the kids go to sleep.  Career moves sharpen the skills needed to adapt to new work environment.  Stressful, yes but all a part of becoming a father.
As the young father matures and the children grow into young adults the many demands of raising children change.  Driving lessons in the parking lot, evening recitals for the young musician, and weekend field trips keep both parents moving and the schedules full.  It is also a time when work expectations change and bring with it new challenges to learn and transform.   Anxiety, yes , there is nothing quite like trying to teach a teenager to drive.
In later years the children are now grown and a fathers focus is directed towards retirement, grandchildren , and perhaps travel.   The daily lifestyle habits all come to bear on Dad’s health.  Time becomes more valuable just as it seems to pass more quickly.  Exercise, healthy eating habits and attitude become even more important as metabolism slows.
Whether a new father with very young children, a  middle aged Dad with young adults  or a Dad with fully grown adult children that have moved out and beginning families of their own, Dad is always Dad and his daily lifestyle habits will greatly influence his enjoyment of life and those around him.
We have the tendency to think that most of the health conditions we acquire in life are age related and although age is an undeniable factor the truth is much different.  In  America today the majority of the chronic conditions are the result of poor choices in life.  Life style plays the most  important role in our health status.  Bad eating habits are the biggest of these mistakes. Poor eating habits  not only effect our digestive health and weight, an unhealthy diet has an impact on cardiovascular, endocrine, and nervous systems as well.
Lack of exercise is another factor in our poor health.  We know you’ve  already heard this many times but here is another way to look at it.  Mistakes made during exercise  are a bigger issue than not exercising at all.  The body needs balance and rest in an exercise regiment just like diet.  Hard exercises should always be balanced with mindful exercises like yoga, meditation and Qi Gong.  Most of the chronic pain and auto immune patients were good athletes who never thought they needed a balance in their exercise regiment.
When a healthy balanced diet meets a balanced exercise regiment it is easier to create the body mind connection which is essential for optimal health and treat the ailments of the  competitive western minds and life style.  Acupuncture , Herbal medicine, massage , meditation and Qi gong are proven methods that can deliver the balance,  vitality, clarity and peace in our stress driven lives.
“Do not try to keep breathing in , Breathing out is also good and necessary.”
Nejat Kesler, LAc
nejat picture
By |June 11th, 2015|Acupuncture, Alternative Medicine, General, Health|Comments Off on On Being a Father…|

A Brief History of Acupuncture

A Brief History of Acupuncture

acupuncture Unravel therapeuticsIn the old days of acupuncture, there were a variety of items used to stimulate the points of the body. It is the historian’s belief that wooden skewers, bamboo slivers, and even sharpened bones were used before the Chinese crafted steel needles. The earliest records of acupuncture history  were recorded during the Stone Age.  Stones were used to stimulate pressure points to treat pain, or if sharpened, used to release fluids in abscesses and infections. During the Iron and Bronze Ages, needles were made of popular metals such as bronze, gold, silver, iron or copper. In todays acupuncture treatments, whisper thin stainless steel needles  are used that come sterilized, prepackaged and in a choice of diameters, disposable after one use. The stainless steel needle became the most popular due to its strength, flexibility, and the ability to manipulate the size of the needle gauge.

Throughout the centuries while acupuncture needles have evolved  taking advantage of more modern manufacturing methods,  the treatments have kept the same focus, to  balance the imbalances throughout the body and keep the vital energy known as “Qi,” (pronounced “chee”) flowing through our meridian systems.

With the encouragement of our acupuncture clients and staff, I decided to try acupuncture in an attempt to treat my imbalances caused from the extreme physical activity of roller derby. My experience with Nejat, Unravel’s acupuncturist, was quite pleasant and I left the appointment extremely relaxed and looking forward to my next session.  As someone who has a fear of needles, the acupuncture needles are essentially painless. To be honest, the most painful part of acupuncture is really just the anxiety and anticipation one can experience leading up to the appointment itself.

At my first appointment I had the opportunity to ask Nejat a few questions prior to my treatment.

Megan: Does Acupuncture hurt?

Nejat: The sensation induced by needles during an acupuncture treatment generally does not qualify as pain. Most of the patients describe their experience with the acupuncture needles as an “odd sensation”. Falling asleep during an acupuncture treatment is very common. The needles we use for the treatments are almost as thin as hair and do not cause the disomfort a “syringe” needle would. Occasionally there may be more discomfort if a needle comes across a blood vessel or nerve ending, but in these situations, we adjust the needles to make the patient feel as comfortable as possible.  Acupuncture is a gentle, relaxing experience.

Megan: How is it beneficial to your health? What is its focus?

Nejat: Acupuncture benefits the patient through the healing ability of his/her own body. According to Chinese medical theory,  disease originates from energetic imbalances created by internal (emotional, psychosomatic) and/or external (pollution, organic or inorganic toxic material, extreme climate etc.) factors. Although the body itself has enormous healing  powers, constant exposure to these pathological factors eliminates this ability, and creates the perennial imbalance which will manifest as a collection of signs and symptoms defined by certain conditions in conventional medicine. Acupuncture will eliminate these signs and symptoms by restoring the energetic balance. When the energetic balance is restored the body returns to its healthy state by eliminating the pathological factors on its own. For example, it is scientifically proven that acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins, enkephalin and other neurotransmitters to eliminate pain and speed up the healing process of a trauma. In order to do this,  Acupuncturists treat the entire body as one because the body functions as a whole,  not in parts.  Restoring the balance is only possible by treating the body as one and this approach helps to heal not only the existing condition, but eliminate possible future ailments by restoring and strengthening the constitution.

Megan:  What types of conditions do you commonly treat?

Nejat: My specialties include pain management and integrative cancer care,  however,  I also treat a variety of conditions beside acute/chronic pain,  (trauma, sciatica, arthritis, migraine, fibromyalgia etc.) and side effects of chemo-radiation therapy. These include but are not limited to digestive disorders, insomnia, stress induced muscular-mental tensions, menopause, infertility, anxiety, depression (always as an adjunct therapy especially in severe cases), chronic fatigue syndrome, allergies, auto-immune disorders (such as multiple sclerosis)  and stroke.

Megan: How will this help me with my condition?

Nejat: Acupuncture treatments will help the body eliminate the existing signs and symptoms, increase the vitality and create a relaxation with a sense of well-being. When received on a regular basis it may also eliminate possible future health problems by strengthening the constitution, regulating the immune system, eliminating the negative effects of daily stress and  helping to remove many environmental toxins.

 Megan Pachecano

Rat City Roller Girl,  A.K.A.   D’evil’D Meggs

Adventures in Acupuncture – Sports, Needles, Meridians and healing, it’s not what you think

Adventures in Acupuncture. Sports, Needles, Meridians, Healing, it’ not what you think.

acupuncture foot Unravel TherapeuticsAt the end of the day, when I’m nursing my latest injury, I try to recall why I chose such a physically demanding sport like roller derby. Bruises from the force of hard hits and falls, cuts from the slashing velcro of opponents safety gear, and skin burns from sliding on the sport-court track after a body bash are the everyday norm in my sport. You learn to live with those superficial injuries on a day to day basis, but the chronic pain and constant acute injuries are the ones that tend to nag at you for weeks, sometimes months. Every contact sport has its list of typical injuries; cuts, bruises and sprains, most seem to be similar. No matter what the activity is, it’s important to remember that as long as you want to continue that activity, you must take care of your body with an eye towards the long term.

I started roller derby three years ago on the Big Island of Hawaii and had no idea what I was in for. Like most sports, engaging my core strength was the most important part of being able to balance and move my body, especially on roller skates. Then there is the physical contact of hitting and blocking. Over a short period of time, I began having backpains and aches with soreness, burning sensations and an overall loss of range of motion. I attributed these issues to the fact that I was a beginner on skates and new to the sport of roller derby.

After some time of dealing with the discomfort, I decided to look into a chiropractic treatment. I wasn’t sure if my constant soreness was caused by some imbalance in my structure or the muscle fatigue of learning a new sport. I had this idea that “resetting” my spine, hips and neck would be the solution. Unfortunately, this proved to be a short term solution and hearing my neck crack at high volume was one of the most frightening things to me. Chiropractic treatments while it worked for some was not for me and it became clear that I needed to try other things.

I had a teammate on my Hawaiian roller derby team that was an Acupuncturist and offered her services to us at any time. Now, I do realize the convenience of having that service so accessible, and many of my teammates took her up on her offer, but at the time my fear of needles was just overriding. I can speed skate into a pack of women trying to hit me as hard as they can, but ask me to get a vaccination and I will come up with any excuse to avoid it. Is this fear irrational?, Maybe not but many people struggle with this issue and I can imagine that it prevents a lot of people from trying Acupuncture.

Aichmopobia, fear of needles or trypanophobia, fear of injections are legitimate medical conditions that can have a strong psychological effect on a person. Now, is my fear of needles on that level of severity? No, but I did go to the dentist one time, asked him to skip the Novocaine injections and completed a routine filling. I am completely aware of how outrageous that sounds, but some days I can get past my issue with needles, other days, not so much. What I do know is that many people share these fears and will associate acupuncture needles with these unpleasant thoughts of puncturing the skin.

Stay tuned for the next Acupuncture article where the History of Acupuncture is discussed along with some interesting facts about what Acupuncture needles used to be like. Ouch!

Megan Pachecano

By |May 7th, 2013|Acupuncture|Comments Off on Adventures in Acupuncture – Sports, Needles, Meridians and healing, it’s not what you think|

Meet our Acupuncturist, Nejat Kesler

At Unravel Therapeutics, we bring ancient wisdom and scientific understanding together for the optimal benefit of our patients.

What is Acupuncture?

It is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and improve functioning.    The human body has great innate healing abilities, however it is weakened by toxic environments, improper lifestyle and negative emotions. Acupuncture is a way of activating the body’s own healing response through the energetic regulatory system called meridians.

Acupuncture relieves pain

Recent research shows that acupuncture triggers the release of endorphins, part of the body’s pain control system.

Can acupuncture treat more than pain?

Yes. Acupuncture is proven to be effective in treating:

Digestive disorders, anxiety, fatigue, Insomnia, common cold, menopausal symptoms, reproductive system disorders, side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, stress-depression and more…


About  Nejat:

What made you interested in acupuncture?

In my early twenties I had studied philosophy and comparative eastern-western esoteric traditions for many years. During that period I was introduced to self-cultivation and internal martial art practices of the East; Qi Gong (Nei Gong) and Tai Qi Quan (Tai Chi Chuan). These are energetic development systems, thousands of years old,  that work at various levels of human existence:  Bio-physical, bio-energetic and metaphysical-spiritual levels.  Whole foundation Traditional Chinese Medical theory is based on these ancient yogic practices. We can use an umbrella term for these different modalities: Yang Sheng (Nourishing Life) Arts and Sciences. As a beginner in the arts I was not able to make the connection with the medical aspect at first; until my Yang style Tai Chi Chuan teacher Sifu Ron Hoffman started talking about meridians and energetic gates and their significance in internal martial arts. That was the starting point for my quest in Eastern Asian Medicine. Without understanding either side of the arts, we do not have the whole circle. I wanted to have access to the whole circle.

When did you start learning and practicing acupuncture?

Acupuncture is only one of the 8 branches of true Chinese Medicine. Meditation, Qi Gong (Nei Gong)- internal martial arts (Tai Chi Chuan, Bagua, Xing Yi), food therapy, herbal medicine, Tui Na (Chinese medical massage), Philosophy-Cosmology (Yi Jing/I Ching-Astrology-Numerology) and Feng Shui are the other branches. Academic training mainly include acupuncture and herbal medicine in the curriculum and some schools also have some Tui-na and Qi Gong classes which only scratch the surface. My formal academic training started at Atlantic Institute of Oriental Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I received my Masters of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at this school. Upon graduation I attended Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program at Bastyr University. I received my doctorate degree in 2010 specializing in Integrative Oncology and Pain Management. I have been practicing since then in Seattle area. However, I pay as much attention to my non-academic training which allows me to access the other branches of East Asian Medicine that academic training does not offer. And of course this is a life-long learning process. I once heard from an archeologist about his experience in Chinese archeology, he said  “The more you dig the more there is and it gets more and more profound”. That is so true for Yang Sheng Sciences and Chinese Medicine too. Over the years I had the privilege of training with some extraordinary teachers; Master Zhongxian Wu, Master Zhang Jie, Jeff Nagel, Sifu Ron Hoffman and Dr. Guan-Cheng Sun are the mentors helping me claim the whole circle in all 8 branches in healing and self-development arts.

Do you get acupuncture treatments? Can you treat yourself?

Self-treatment is not easy. Some simple treatments are possible and I do that occasionally. Usually I prefer to see another colleague if necessary. But keeping yourself healthy with food, nei-gong exercises is the main the main principle. As an internal martial arts and nei-gong practitioner I keep myself healthy as much as possible. That is the Taoist way.

What type of feedback do you get from your patients regarding their acupuncture treatments from you?

 I always get positive feedback. Most of my patients are the referrals of other patients.  That is the nest feedback a healthcare practitioner can get.
By |March 14th, 2012|Acupuncture|Comments Off on Meet our Acupuncturist, Nejat Kesler|