Acupuncture for Migraines – A Patient Story

Acupuncture for Migraines – A Patient Story

Are you like me? Acupuncture for Migraines – A Patient Story

Acupuncture for migraines

Some years ago a client told me her story when she came for acupuncture for migraines. She gave me permission to post her notes to me.

Migraines have plagued me since I was young. The medical doctors haven’t really understood the pain I’m in. It’s a rare day I don’t have a migraine. Until recently I always thought they were all the same migraine but Debra helped me understand I actually get three different kinds of headaches. This is my story how acupuncture for migraines worked for me.

Every night like clockwork I awoke somewhere between 1 am and 4 am with a splitting headache. You too? I know me too. So you try a different pillow, in fact, you go on a pillow search for the best night’s sleep only to continue to have migraines or whatever these head pains are. It wasn’t my pillow.

Hormonal Headaches

Then there’s the big one; the mother of all migraines. It comes on one to three times a month and it’s called hormonal headaches. Some doctors told me it was my period, but then why do you have it when you’re not on your period?

hormonal migraine

Of course, I did the allergy test thing. They put me on a few drugs and the headaches kept coming. Sound familiar? It got to be for me that my week was made up of watching for my head to hurt. Then I tried acupuncture for my migraines.

When I began acupuncture, it took a while for the pain to go away. At first I just had a night here and there without a migraine.

Acupuncture For Migraines Is Natural Cure

While the Chinese names didn’t mean a thing to me, I understood that my body had gotten so toxic with all the drugs I was on that we needed to also do a homeopathic detoxification and cleanse. It made a big difference. Not only did the middle of the night headaches disappear with acupuncture I noticed that my sinuses began to clear up as I detoxified by body.

It had taken about two months before I realized that I wasn’t planning my week around my migraines anymore. Dr. Deb explained that I carry my stress in my shoulders and neck; these middle of the night headaches were becoming migraines during the day. This made sense for me because after a treatment when I had a raging migraine at the back of my head I got off the table and the pain was gone! Acupuncture keeps me relaxed and the tension in my neck and back gone without these triggers I don’t have daily migraines like before.

headache pain

My hormones played a part too. When they switch on and off as she put it, like when I start or stop my period, and when I ovulate effects progesterone and estrogen levels and that is leading to the big migraines that lay me out for days. The combination of Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture has my hormonal headaches gone now for over ten years. The side benefits of no PMS symptoms are cool too.

Sinus Problems And Migraines

The sinus congestion trigger proved to be the toughest. Do you feel like a weather barometer? I know the feeling, watching the sun disappear behind a cloud overhead and pow! A migraine. Have you ever noticed you can be standing on the sunny side of the street but if you walk over to the area where the rain clouds are forming you start to get a headache! This was me, every time.

Now it’s better, of course I know I have weather induced migraines but over the last twelve months of doing acupuncture these are fewer than last year.

While I still have an occasional headache every few months, I don’t get them daily and my life is my own now. Even my husband noticed that I am ready to go do outdoor activities or make plans without worrying about getting a headache.

It’s exciting to me to travel without being concerned about getting sick headaches and missing out on the fun or being on business travel with pain. Acupuncture for migraines helped me and that is why I shared my experience.


N. B.


What Is It You Want To Die From?

What Is It You Want To Die From?

Aging Concept‘What is it you want to die from?” Some clients stop and think before answering this question when asked, others reply right away. Do you know your answer?

I know my answer – ‘old age’ what’s yours?

Do You Want To Die From Negativity?


The other day I was speaking with my mother-in-law about some of our friends who haven’t yet retired. My husband and I still work and love our careers. She blurted out, “ they probably can’t afford to retire!”


I gently replied. “We don’t talk like that it’s so negative and just not a good way to think.” They haven’t retired because they love their work. Those that have retired have gone full time into service or charity. One couple a past teacher and nurse, volunteer full time now, while a couple10 years older still works because they love their careers.” I’m talking about people in their 70’s. happiness

Are you wondering how these 2 things are related? How death and retirement relate. Our thinking determines our health. Healthy people have a wellness view of their life or a positive outlook. Usually, they’re quick to answer what they want to die from.

I Want To Die From Happiness


This is the second thing, they know they want to die happy. In their sleep, on a beach, with their lover, but they don’t wish to die of cancer, have a heart attack or worse be murdered.


So what’s your answer? When I asked the question what is it you want to die from did you stop to think of a laundry list of things you don’t want to die from?

What You Don’t Want To Die From


Many people begin a commentary on not wanting to die from Cancer, or Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and so on…others stop and think they ponder. I don’t wish to die from anything.


Can we change the landscape of dying? We know we leave this earth, but we also understand what we don’t want to die from – disease or in pain. soulquote

This is a good place to start. Realize what you don’t want to die from and plan to live. Some say death is permanent. Who’s to know when it comes to the soul? This isn’t a religious article though we do know the physical body dies.

We know most people are afraid of death yet we plan so poorly for an event we know will happen – period.

Changing The Landscape Of Dying

I want to die from old age. It’s not planned where just how, from old age. I have some ability to predict my way to go by investing living healthy. Changing the landscape of dying is important. Nursing homes and pharmacies are full of people dying of disease. Many are in pain and unhappy.

I will be happy because I live a life full of love with great friendships, an excellent spouse, and fantastic children. I would pass on happy even without a family because I have a strong group of friends and a great support system.

I will die of old age because I invest in health – my health. My method of health coaching or functional medicine centers around 12 core beliefs. We just talked about the first. Joy or happiness. It’s our viewpoint of life. I use it here to talk about what I want to die from. That sounds like a joyful way to pass on don’t you think?

Living a life full of happiness is up to you. Do you think of things from the perspective of negativity? I wrote an article on when to listen to negative comments this is not the same thing.

When we worry or focus on negativity, we produce more of it in our lives. Call it what you want – the law of attraction, you get what you think about most. Maybe you feel more comfortable viewing this subject scientifically. If we look at this from a scientific viewpoint, the endorphins and pheromones you’re sending out through the pores of your body, bring you what you want or what you don’t desire!

Let’s look at three things you can do to be more in control of what you die from.

you want to die from

Invest In Health – Die Of Old Age

1. The first thing we’ve talked about here is the most important thing you can do to invest in a healthy you.

Focus on a new way to look at life. If it’s snowing and you have to drive home in rush hour, don’t think about how much you have to do when you get there, focus on something positive.

Maybe it’s a great time to listen to that book on tape you rented about Highly Effective Relationships or sing along to the new CD of your favorite singer.

Invest in your health. Stop talking about losing weight, or trying diet after diet spend time learning about your bio-individuality and embrace the beautiful person that is you. Sometimes working with a health coach for 6 months is the best way to discover the healthy way to live your life.

This isn’t just weight loss, it’s back pain, arthritis, even getting the upper hand on something like diabetes or IBS. Heck you don’t have to have a health problem to know what it is you want to die from.

2. Smile 5 times more often than you do now each day. Feel and live in a place of joy as often as you can even if no one else around you is happy.

If you aren’t often smiling now, try smiling 5 times today. If you’re a person, who walks around with a smile on their face all day long. You have this covered. Research shows that people who smile live

By now, as a reader of this post you know what you want to die from, so turn those lips upward you’re on your way. Changing the landscape of dying is an individual decision. I feel it’s also a social goal since it makes great economic sense. For more mindful living visit my other website Debra Arko Novotny



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Quick Night Before Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

Quick Night Before Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

IMG_0905Colder month have almost past where a warm Sweet Potato Casserole recipe  hits the spot on a snowy day late in February like today. Easy dinners though are always important no matter the season.

A quick night before recipe,  that takes 20-30 minutes to prepare and anyone over the age of 12 can stick into the oven matters to empty-nesters, and busy families.

Quick Night Before Sweet Potato Casserole

You can make this meat pie with either sweet potatoes or yams. We have even done it with different types of squash, especially Acorn, my husband’s favorite.

Below is our audio of cooking instructions. Simply carry your smart device or laptop into the kitchen and listen. Pause as needed. The full recipe for Yam Casserole follows, remember this is a meat pie with tons of vegetables from your refrigerator. We cook this toward the end of our week when we don’t have enough of any one vegetable for everyone.

It’s great to prepare ahead while making your dinner for the night before. When we gave up white potatoes a decade ago we still wanted a warm comfort food on cold stormy nights. It’s easy to do the prep work, as you’ll hear in the recording while you cut up vegetables the night before.

Audio recipe >>> click here! [sc_embed_player fileurl=”″]

Choose health for your Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

casserole recipe

Many new clients think buying foods organic or free-range meat is expensive. Look for sales, Whole Foods is not offering many great buys. Natural Grocers a local chain has low prices and quality too. Along with Whole Foods, Costco is the only other market that 3rd party certifies organics and labeling.
I have a simple saying, “Buying healthy food now is cheaper than buying expensive health care later.”
Our dish is filled with great organic produce and free-range meats to make it tasty. It a quick night before fixings making it simple to place in the oven when you get home from work before you go change your clothes.
Many recipes I share allow you to experiment and using the last of vegetables in the refrigerator. To make it more interesting you choose your favorite spices of cinnamon, cloves, a pinch of all-spice along with sea salt, pepper, and thyme.
Sweet potato casserole recipe is great whether it’s early October or late winter in February after our friend the ground-hog tells us to expect 6 more weeks of cold.

Dr. Deb’s Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

Serving 2 people. Double for 4.
Prep time: 20 minutes [night before]
Warming Time: 20-25 minutes [dinner night]
• 1-2 large Sweet Potatoes Or Yams. You can use canned or deli prepared.

• Approx. ¼ to ½ cup of each left over vegetable you have in your refrigerator.
Carrots, Yellow Pepper, Zucchini Squash, Onions, Mushrooms, Cooked Green Beans, and Celery.

• ¼ to ¾ pound of free-range ground meat like beef, pork, chicken, or turkey. We combine 1/3 lb. beef and pork each. Do not blend poultry meats.

• Fresh spices and herbs like garlic, onions, thyme, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, all-spice, or other meat spices.

• Chicken stock or broth to saute cook instead of oil or along with oil

• High-heat oil like avocado, or coconut

• Low-heat oil like olive oil.

sweet potatoe casserole

Meals taste best when a little love it added. While kids seldom remember all the details getting them involved gives them life skills once they go off on their own. It also frees you up as they get older.
The complaints about helping you are less when they feel a contributor to the meal and they are more likely to try a new dish they helped to make.
If you live alone or with other adults, make mealtime special by doing something together or invite a friend to dine with you.
While making your dinner for tonight – you can start this dish at the same time so tomorrow night is a ‘free’ night from cooking.
PREP FOOD FIRST – Do this while you prepare tonight’s meal or if you prep vegetable a few times for use.
1. Dice vegetables.
2. Peel and cube sweet potato or yams. [I make slices for quick cooking]
3. Unwrap meat
4. Spray a small to medium size casserole dish or pie plate.
5. Spray a large skillet or deep cooking pot
Start: Add 1-4 tbp. of high-heat oil to a ceramic skillet – on medium heat.
• Cook onions first until slightly clear.
• Add other vegetables in this order usually, peppers, carrots, green beans, celery, and last the mushrooms. If you are running out of oil moisture, you can add a little chicken broth a tablespoon at a time and turn the heat to low and cover. This is broth sauté.
• You want the vegetable to be slightly soft and translucent.
• While the vegetables cook: Start the yams or sweet potatoes. Cook on top of stove in enough water to cover on medium heat until tender.
• Drain water and let cool a bit, add butter or mild tasting oil and mash. Season with pepper, salt, garlic powder and a dash of cinnamon.
• If using canned you can add these seasoning; deli prepared has spices.
Next: it’s time to cook the meat. We move the vegetables to a small plate and use the same skillet to brown the meat with a little coconut or avocado oil on low to medium. Make sure to break up large chunks with a pan-spatula.
While the meat is cooking, line the sides of a casserole dish or pie pan with the mashed potatoes. Place this in the refrigerator.
• Cook meat until no pink remains. Remove the skillet from the stove to a safe countertop and gently add back in the vegetables mixing well.
• Take the casserole dish out and carefully spoon the meat vegetable mix into the center. If the mix doesn’t fill the dish, you can use a fork to loosen the yams sides onto the top.IMG_0905
Cover and place back into the refrigerator until tomorrow evening.
To cook: remove from refrigerator and place in cold oven. Turn on heat to 350 degrees and warm for 20-30 minutes. Test center for warmth. If still cool place back in oven covered.
This Sweet Potato Casserole recipe is easy to make while cooking other food because you’re simply browning, boiling or sautéing foods on low heat.

3 Psychological Traps That Keep You From Happiness

3 Psychological Traps That Keep You From Happiness

psychological traps

The front door to your home shuts with a dull thud behind you. “Home at last you,” says the voice inside your head. Leaning against the wood, you feel drained. Your thoughts turn to events of the day nothing went right – again. Careers are tricky things, we chose our destiny when we were too young to know what inspires us. We later feel unhappy and hate our ‘jobs’. Many people fall into these 3 psychological traps adding to their inner turmoil around their career or life choices.

These are despair, obsessing, and fear. Many clients’ find relationships even their jobs affect their health as much as food. As a health coach, I agree.

Learning how to avoid these traps or face them differently can help you love your work. You don’t have to stay in this job for the rest of your life. You can find value in what you’re doing now. If you ignore the problem, you’ll live in the pursuit of happiness.

A career it similar to a relationship. Many times, we wish we could rewrite it or have a do-over. We’re certain this time we will get it right if we had another chance.


Are these 3 Psychological Traps Affecting you?

 Don’t Give In To Despair

It’s not the end of the world even if the job market sucks. Psychological traps like feeling overwhelmed or despair can lead to depression. Not giving in to these can improve your happiness.

psychological traps- despair

‘Amanda’ went through four career moves before she found the right place to develop her professional interests. She found it wasn’t about the job so much as it was about the environment. Taking a pay cut meant reevaluating her living standards but it paid off in other ways.

She moved in with a roommate, with similar interests and hobbies. It meant she could split cooking and house cleaning. They set up realistic goals for sharing common areas and having guests over. In the end, they parted ways when Amanda, met her fiance’. In two years, Amanda had received two promotions.

Finding Happiness

Key steps to end despair:

Paper and pen is your best friend. Don’t do these steps in your head. Start a journal; these insights can help you later too.

  • Make a list of the things you like most about your current career.
  • Write next to these if you can expand on these where you work now.
  • If not, write down typical places that will give you the opportunity to develop these job skills.

The Bottom Line: Love your job; love the person you’re with -they both are a relationship. happiness

Don’t Obsess

Playing the same story repeatedly in your head is obsessing. Forget the girl next to you at work doesn’t do her job do yours. Unless it’s unethical or criminal, don’t worry about it.

Are you going to stay with this company or not? If you are, these essential steps will help you find happiness with this employer.

Keys to Stop Obsessing

  • In five years, will this issue matter to you, your career or your relationships?
  • If you say something will it improve the situation or not?
  • If you stop worrying about this issue, putting the same amount of time and energy into something else what would that be?
  • Would that be something that would make you happy, improve your career or relationships?

If you still feel blocked or at an impasse with the situation ask yourself one more question.

  • “Is there potential here? Do you need to move to a different department or location within the company to realize your career dreams? In relationships, ask yourself if this is a deal-breaker.

Make a decision about the future; if you don’t like how this situation makes your feel now you’ll feel worse in later. Psychological traps  like worry cause insomnia. Make a choice but don’t obsess.

Sometimes the phone doesn’t ring after a date, or you don’t get the promotion. Worrying about it will not change it.


Jonathan passed over for a promotion obsessed that his boss didn’t like him. Doing the exercise, he realized he enjoyed the graphic design aspects of his job. His move to the design team led to an advancement to team leader later that year.

Carlie fought with Michael every time they went on a date still she cried beside the phone when he didn’t call for days.

Bottom line: If the relationship or job is making you obsess about it or worry, it’s not making you happy. Find what will make you happy.

The Worst Psychological Traps Come In 3’s

Don’t Become Fearful

When we allow fear to come into our lives, it paralyzes us or stops us from our higher good.

Catherine, an entrepreneur, was successful in business but had an unfortunate history with relationships. Now she was fearful to try dating once again. Sad that she would spend the rest of her life alone she came to me to lose weight thinking that might be the problem.

She held on to fear as tightly as she did extra pounds. We worked with both her fears and eating style. Slowing down as she ate helped her to feel full with less food. She began to lose weight boosting her self-image. When she accepted a date, not rushing also made sense.


Dating was uncomfortable as she put it. Men always thought she was aggressive. Using these steps helped Catherine overcome her fears and they can help you too.

Essential Elements To Dissolving Fear

  • Learn More
  • Take Action
  • Let Go

We fear what we don’t understand or fear what we think is true about ourselves. Fear interferes with our happiness. Catherine was aggressive because she fear rejection especially by people of the opposite sex.

Learning more is tricky. You can ask your direct supervisor in your job. Jonathan talked to his boss who knew he shouldn’t be in computer coding and was thrilled to help him get to the right department where he excelled.

Catherine wanted to start a family. She learned to slow down and met the right man, not on the first date, six months later at her cousin’s summer party. She let go and took deliberate action to develop a relationship.

We fear things we don’t know or because we had a bad experience. When we take the steps to overcome fear, freedom comes into our life.

Self-talk can generate fear too. Often we rationalize things. Instead, invest time and effort to know what it is you want and then take action to achieve it.

3 Psychological Traps

The Bottom Line: Fear will stop you from ever having the career or relationships you want. Surrender, let go, and allow your passion and gut to guide you.

Despair, obsessing, and fear hold many individuals back from success in their lives. Celebrate the small stuff in life it’s make you happy to value the little things. When you remove these 3 psychological traps, you realize that you make your own happiness.

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