Amidst the frigid cold that gripped New York City this past Sunday, I made it to beautiful ZoraSpace, a fertile art space located in the heart of Park Slope, and site of my “Creating Heart-Centered Wellness” presentation/talk. The Founder & Director, Zohreh Shayesteh, who was wonderfully warm and accommodating, is herself an artist. My friend, Zohra Saed, was the one who introduced me to the place. It’s no wonder that she’s involved with this art-friendly cafe that’s so inviting, even on such a formidable day! Zohra is the Programming Director of ZoraSpace (having a similar name was a happy circumstance, but not intentional), and is also a fabulous poet, writer of various works, editor, publisher, and hip professor (can you tell she’s a good friend of mine?)
I actually opened with the 6 train subway story (see previous post), to link the importance of the heart to the healthy functioning of all organs (even though the story was more Kidney-related.) I guess it didn’t hurt that I have a performance art background, since the audience had a good laugh when I animated the story for their behalf!
Before the meat of the presentation, I led everyone though a grounding meditation.
Then I dove into the heart’s relationship to our spirit in Chinese Medicine, and it’s connection to ourselves and those around us, and how it’s linked to our ability to communicate effectively. I covered the traits of the healthy/unhealthy heart, gave an overall view of acupuncture and reiki, explained how to nourish the heart with diet, depending on which season it is, and showed everyone how to locate the heart pulse, and how to find the heart on the tongue (the tongue and the pulse are diagnosing tools for acupuncturists, since they reflect the health of the body quite concisely.) I showed how quick, easy, and painless acupuncture can be, by needling myself right then and there (for those practitioners out there, it was LI 4!) I also had various recommendations on how to nourish the heart, among them, a comprehensive list of dietary suggestions. I also had my props – packages of disposable needles, moxa, cup, oils for tui na, and my mini mag-light that I sometimes use for checking out peoples’ tongues.
The above were only some of the highlights of the talk portion (the powerpoint presentation was an hour long.) I then opened it up for Q&A, and it suddenly became a tongue-fest! People were asking me to read their tongues, to see what I could find upon examination. That mini mag-light ended up being very handy!
I enjoyed having a look at everyone’s lingua. What was especially great was seeing this spark of interest in Chinese Medicine, a medicine many there were previously unfamiliar with. Folks were rather excited to stick their tongue out at me (sounds peculiar, I know), which was another wonderful thing to notice – for many, doing so is a very personal act. It’s not something people often do, whether it be in public or in private. You’d be surprised to know how many patients I’ve seen who are not comfortable with displaying their tongue. Yet, the people who came to my talk were ready to be involved, be a little personal, connect.
A good amount of people expressed interest in addressing certain addictions, particularly smoking and coffee. In fact, one of the folks there had shared that she had been a long-time smoker. She made an “I’ve-had-it!” decision to quit, went through regular and consistent NADA Protocol (NADA stands for National Acupuncture Detoxification Association, and refers to a 5 point ear acupuncture protocol that is extremely effective for addiction), and has since kicked her habit. (As an aside: I practice that same protocol in the Bronx, but I will mention more about that in a later blog.)
What a rewarding experience, to make these connections, to share my knowledge, to do a good job on Sunday, in general. (Pssst… it was also my very first powerpoint presentation!) I am grateful.
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