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My Tita/Aunt Perla and I, in a picture taken many years ago at my cousin's wedding.

Colon Cancer Prevention Hits Home

Although I am nowhere near the age of 50, the recommended age for colonoscopies, I finally went through my first colonoscopy today.  Why?  It turns out colon cancer runs in my family, and has claimed two dear aunts (sisters of my mother), Tita Maryann, and my godmother, Tita Perla.  Both ignored their symptoms, and got […]

April 19, 2012 | Acupuncture, Healthy Living | No Comments

Spring has sprung our plants back into life. Are you tending to your inner garden? "Krokuswiese - Botanischer Garten Leipzig" by Maja Dumat, used with permission under CC BY 2.0. Source.

Liberate Yourself This Spring! The Body Will Follow.

Spring is a time of new beginnings.  Yadda, yadda, yadda! Truth is, we are always in constant renewal.  We enjoyed the New Year on January 1st, Chinese New Year, and now we welcome Spring (which I last year celebrated by waxing poetic about the Liver and Gallbladder), which also has its own associations with renewal […]

Music is universal. I miss hearing the song "Magdalena" being played on acoustic guitar. "Epiphone Hummingbird Limited Edition Acoustic Guitar Portfolio1" Shaun Anyi, used with permission under CC BY 2.0. Source.

When Random Acts Of Singing Creates Connection

Last week I treated my first child patient.  I drew on everything I’d remembered from classes, texts, clinic shifts, and Chinese Medicine colleagues who’ve shared their experiences on pediatrics (pediatrics is er ke in Chinese Medicine.)  As with anything in life, the most precious lessons when actually experiencing something new in your life (in this […]

March 18, 2012 | Acupuncture | No Comments

My first beef curry dish! I took this picture when the dish was fresh off the stove, after 2 hours of simmering. Made a yummy dish when couple with fluffy brown rice.

How To Build Blood And Qi With Beef: A Failed Vegetarian’s Dream!

I was vegetarian for 7 years.  It wasn’t due to a streak of animal rights, or because I was so in tune with the various healthy cuisines out there.  I was too young, too punk, and too mohawked to care, at the time.  But, it was mainly due to my body’s refusal to digest meat. […]

February 26, 2012 | Chinese Medicine, Healthy Living | 2 Comments

Chinese New Year festival in Chinatown, featuring dragon made of plastic bottles and other recycled plastic. Photo by Margarita Alcantara.

Reporting From The Chinese New Year Festival, Chinatown, NYC

On January 31, 2012, I battled my way through the slowly-meandering crowd in the streets of Chinatown in New York City to catch the Chinese New Year Festival.  It was packed!  There were mostly Chinese folks in the crowd, but there were also a lot of out-of-state tourists, and non-Chinese folks in the mix.  It […]

February 5, 2012 | New York City | No Comments

"Chinatown NYC Lunar New Year" (cropped) by Patrick Kwan, used with permission under CC BY 2.0. Source.

Enter The Dragon! Chinese Lunar New Year 2012 Is Underway

Happy Chinese New Year!  Year of the Black Water Dragon. Granted, it started on Monday, January 23rd, the first day of the first Chinese lunar month.  But, luckily for us, we have until February 4th to celebrate (since it’s the last day of the Chinese New Year festival, and the first day of the Chinese […]

It’s time to bloom out of the mud like the beautiful lotus flower! "Lotus" by tonko43, used with permission under CC BY 2.0. Source.

Losing Weight And Gaining Spirit With Acupuncture

With the new year comes promises to the self, in the form of resolutions.  People get into such a frenzy about creating sometimes unrealistic expectations for themselves, usually due to the pressures of modern society that insists this is something we should all be doing, so why haven’t you? The problem is, creating a better […]

Happy New Year! "Pretty" by Russell Bernice, used with permission under CC BY 2.0. Source.

Make Way For 2012!

Tonight, many folks (including myself) will be bringing in 2012 with style, loved ones, sass, energy, proactive intentions, or a mixture of all five.  If you’ve decided to go to Times Square this evening, then God Speed!  Don’t say you haven’t been warned.  Back in the day when I’d watched the ball drop in Times […]

December 31, 2011 | New York City | One Comment

I am a big fan of Bruce Lee. And so is Hong Kong, for erecting this statue. "They call him Bruce" by Andrew Currie, used with permission under CC BY 2.0. Source.

The In Of Yin And Why It Pays To Be Like Bruce Lee

Come December 22, 2011, at 12:30am EST in the Northern Hemisphere, we will be experiencing the Winter Solstice.  This brings about the longest night of the year, and signals the official start of winter. You may be familiar with Yin and Yang.  You know, that overused symbol by wellness centers and martial artists that are […]

December 21, 2011 | Chinese Medicine | 6 Comments

Halved acorn squash, with ghee and nutmeg, fresh out of my oven! Warms the cockles.

My Heart Is Aglow With Needles, Reiki, And Acorn Squash

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since I posted my first blog post, ever, for Alcantara Acupuncture!  But, it has.  And I’ve been enjoying every bit of writing it!  I’ve learned a lot about blogging, my acupuncture/reiki practice, wellness, human behavior, writing, and myself.  I hope you’ve found it entertaining, informative, and, sometimes, […]