Houston Acupuncture & Herb Clinic specializing in Women's Health, Cosmetic Acupuncture and Pain Management Kathleen Funk, L.Ac. received her BA at Baylor University where she studied Philosophy and Medicine and went on to receive her Master of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine from the American College of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (Houston, TX).
Kathleen completed her residency in Hangzhou, China at Zhejiang Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Affiliated Integrative Hospital of Luzhou Medical School located in the Sichuan Province. She is certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine and is licensed in Acupuncture by the Texas Medical Board. Kathleen frequently speaks at health fairs and conferences to raise public awareness of integrative health, acupuncture related issues, and legislative advocacy. She has been a grand rounds lecturer at UT Dell Medical School (Austin, TX) and a featured guest lecturer on Traditional Chinese Medicine and Philosophy of Medicine at Baylor University. Kathleen has taught mind-body classes to caregivers and oncology patients at MD Anderson in their Integrative Medicine Dept. and has presented at MD Anderson’s Oncology Training for Acupuncturists and Mind-Body practitioners. Kathleen is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) at ACAOM (Houston, TX) where she is specializing in Gynecology. She is concurrently earning her PhD from Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine where she is studying under stroke rehabilitation technique pioneer, Dr. Shi Xue Min.
Operating as usual
The gut is like a garden that flourishes when you cultivate it. There is no one super pill, herb, or supplement that “fixes” the gut. Restrictive diets like Low FODMAP work temporarily and often lead to more food sensitivities if the root of inflammation is left unaddressed. Healing the gut is a process and it starts with resolving inflammation. 🌱
Ready to heal the root? Reach out to us at [email protected]
The next time you feel small, unprepared, or unworthy, read this. Dare to be powerful! 🙌🏽🔥♥️
In Functional Med, we often talk about the Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal Axis (HPA) which is our central stress response system. It is responsible for the neuroendocrine adaptation component of the stress response. The ultimate result of the HPA axis activation is to increase levels of cortisol in the blood during times of stress. Cortisol's main role is in releasing glucose into the bloodstream in order to facilitate the "flight or fight" response.
Dysregulation of cortisol is one of the key reasons for hormonal imbalance in women, including the hormone issues linked to infertility and menstrual irregularities. Hypervigilance leads to dysregulated cortisol (too high, then over time, too high and too low, and ultimately, too low). It alters thyroid and gonadal function, making it harder to lose weight and conceive (See PCOS). In our clinical experience at Acufunkture, I would say about 90% of our hormonal imbalance cases also exhibit hypervigilance.
When considering the HPA, I am reminded of the Heart/Mind - Uterus connection via the Bao Mai meridian in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Ancient Chinese have understood this connection between our minds and reproductive functions for centuries. It’s one of the main reasons why we incorporate Mind-body Medicine like acupuncture and guided meditation in many of our hormone balance and fertility programs. We’ve found that when we are able to tone down hypervigilance and lower that fight or flight response, your body becomes more receptive to balance. We do it because it works.
Pic via @tallulah_moon
You are not the labels/categories/designations that have been put upon you. Uncover everything and you’ll find that you are truly limitless. No more playing small. Are you ready to take up space? ♥️✨
Hugging may be discouraged during the time of corona but that doesn’t stop us from helping people feel loved. Who’s in your support group? Who’s been getting you through these tough times? Reach out, drop them a line to give them some gratitude and love. A little bit of love can help us keep going. ♥️ ⠀
art by @sacree_frangine
Nourish each other. Be kind. Never forget that we are here to heal each other.
When we work with the Heart in Medical Qigong, we use the color light pink. Why? because the heart deserves gentleness. Because the Heart is deeply receptive and doesn’t need aggression. Bring some of this color into your life and see what floats up to the surface for you. Let it be a reminder that our own hearts need safe spaces to be nurtured, supported and healed. ⠀
Meditation: Bring your hands, left hand on top of right hand underneath your heart space (center of chest in front of the sternum). Begin to bring gentle breaths in to fill this space with awareness. Whatever your initial feelings, honor them, acknowledge them, but assign no judgement. As you breathe in envision a gentle light pink glow in the heart center glow brighter. Breathe in joy and lightness. As you breathe out, release any negative emotions, anxieties, sorrows that may float up to the surface. Continue this until light this light pink glow radiates and fills your heart space and your surrounding area. ⠀
Things that are strong don’t need to be hard. ⠀
Photo via @teakolo
You are more than just your body. You are more than just your spirit. You can’t work on one and ignore the other. Let yourself feel it ALL. You are all encompassing, my darling. ♥️
When our hormones are balanced, our body is optimized and we align with our spirit, our natural default state is “fertile”. Fertility reaches beyond procreation and child-bearing. Women have an innate ability to create something out of nothing. When we are truly in alignment, we are able to tap into that fertile energy. Are you manifesting what you want out of life?
Recent studies have shown that the glymphatic system primarily works while we sleep. The glymphatic system is a system of plumbing which piggybacks on blood vessels and pumps cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) through brain tissue and washes away waste. Which means that our brain cleans itself while we sleep. It’s one of the major reasons why we feel gross and foggy after a night of tossing and turning. Lack of sleep = actual brain clutter. ⠀
According to the CDC, about one in three adults doesn't get enough sleep. How do you know that you’re getting enough sleep? It is the amount of sleep that leaves you well-rested, wide-awake, alert, in a great mood, and functioning at your best.
The pelvic floor is one of the body’s primary stress containers. In Eastern traditions (specifically in Chinese med and yogic practices), the pelvic floor is the area where we “hold” fears which revolve around our natural instincts or our “fight or flight” triggers. Fears about personal safety, health, financial security, or things that give you a fright can translate into tension here. ⠀
When we hold this tension in a chronic state, we lose the connection to these deep muscles which make it difficult to relax the area. Think about perma-flexed shoulders/traps. Shoulder tension can lead to diminished blood flow, migraines, and degeneration of discs. Similarly, a perma-flexed pelvic floor can contribute to diminished blood flow to the uterus and ovaries, weakness in your sphincter muscles, hip and low back issues.⠀
How do you know you have an overly tight pelvic floor? It often manifests as a persistent pit at the base of your stomach. It can present as many problems like incontinence, IBS, constipation, low back pain, vulvodynia, pelvic/genital pain and pain with intercourse. ⠀
Often times (but not always), women who experience gynecological difficulties, fertility challenges, trauma, chronic tension, child birth, will unconsciously hold here. ⠀
One of the main ways to release tension here is to consciously connect to the pelvic floor and willfully release tension. Mind-body breathing techniques that encourage connection to this area can help decompress tension. Women & men who have experienced our virtual healing sessions and acupuncture to release this are often surprised at just how much tension they store there. Most people describe it as a deep decompression; as if there is more space in the pelvic region. ⠀
Being able to consciously reconnect to this area can help encourage a deep release and processing of latent emotions and energies. Remember, we must first release the things that impede our harmony and balance before we cultivate the good stuff!
Healing is a process and when we let go of our expectations of how things *should* be, we allow space for that process to unfold.
We are creatures of a beautiful rhythmic flow. We’re supposed to feel friskier and more outgoing during ovulation. We’re supposed to feel more introverted and inward-nourishing during menstruation. We’re not supposed to stay the same all the time. While fluctuations in our hormones are typical, chronic symptoms are *not* normal. How do we know if it’s natural or if something’s off? Listen to your body. Getting to know what to expect at different phases of your cycle is a start! ⠀
Want to know more about your menstrual cycle? Comment on here and DM us your name & email address so we can put you on the invite list for our future Free Webinar on understanding our natural cycles.
Feelings are like a river. If flow is impeded, it floods. If flow isn’t enough, there is drought. Can you let the feelings flow *through* you? Let them wash you, nurture you, and alchemize you. Let the things that weigh you down be carried away in the currents.
These past few weeks we’ve been functioning virtually thanks to Google Meets and Zoom Webinars. ⠀
A lot of you have asked if we’ll continue our virtual offerings and the answer is YES! Acufunkture is soft opening at the end of the week and we’re SO EXCITED to see you all in person again! That said, we’re keeping all our consults virtual. And for those of you out of town or don’t feel safe coming out just yet, we will continue to offer 100% Virtual Health Plans. Yes, we can even order labs and ship supplements to you. (As long as you’re in the US. Things get tricky when we order labs for peeps in Canada, lol). ⠀
Our patient population is unique in that we serve many people who are immune-compromised. All of our re-opening decisions and protocols have been made with this in mind. If you want to know more about the protocols we’re employing to keep our peeps safe, check out our blog:⠀www.acufunkture.com/covid-19-reopening-procedures/
And if you wanna work with us virtually, hit us up: [email protected] 🤍
Intuition is allowing and trusting in your subconscious to process massive amounts of information, connect the dots and make instant, correct holistic judgments. Answers that require solutions outside of our conscious processes and structures benefit from this mode of thinking. ⠀
Our greatest scientific endeavors were built on intuition. We cannot grow past ourselves without it.⠀
But be warned, blind intuition without direction or cultivation is distraction. Intuition is not a reason to say that ‘anything goes’ because you feel like it’s right. It is a honed skill that is cultivated and sharpened. It is a skill that must be used at the right place and the right time. ⠀
If Intuition is a leap, then Analysis is the blue print to understand how it can be replicated and executed consistently. Intuitives that “feel” but do not consider their steps after their jump do themselves and other intuitives a disservice in learning and growth. ⠀
We were all born with that inner voice - that knowing in your bones. Can you remember the first time you were told that you couldn’t trust yourself? How often do you actively choose against it? ⠀
Remember that intuition is an integral part of your being and it is your birth right to use it. The next time you feel that inner pull, listen to it.
What we can learn from desert flowers | Desert flowers have always inspired me with their beautiful resilience even through the harshest environments. These plants routinely cope with punishing conditions and can even go up to a year without seeing rain.⠀
When they can’t find sustenance from the harsh outside, they dig down deep for water underneath the soil. They’ve adapted by growing strong roots. Rain and sustenance may be intermittent in the desert. Desert plants respond quickly. Even a few seconds pulse of rain fall can induce seeds and pods to burst forth and bloom with reckless abandon. ⠀
That’s really the beauty of desert plants. By all other plant rules, they’re not supposed to thrive, but they do anyway. Perhaps you feel like you’re in a drought. What can you do? Dig down deep and stay rooted. Be ready for the rains, because they will come…and when they do, bloom without hesitation.
Isn’t it ironic how it’s much more difficult to be healthy and take care of ourselves (mentally and physically) when we’re forced to stay home? Be mindful, but be kind to yourself. Use this social isolation as an opportunity to dig deeper and focus on the other aspects of our health: slowing down, sleeping more, resting deeply and spending time with the people we care about. Who are we when we strip away our escapes? Can we tap into that again? ⠀
art by @lizarusalskaya
We are in the storm, friends... but remember that every storm runs out of rain. ⛈🤍
Hey Soul Fam, I know it’s been tough being indoors with no breaks in sight. Here are some suggestions to cultivate some grounding at home. We’re just going for best effort on these, okay?
Friends, times are tough right now. As we hunker down at home, let’s continue to cultivate our connections so that we can all get through this as a community.
We recorded this meditation for those of us who need a break from the news cycle and need to re-center. we hope this meditation helps you find some space for healing even if it is just a few minutes out of your day.
Friends, times are tough right now. As we hunker down at home, let’s continue to cultivate our community. Kindness is not canceled. We’ll all get through thi...
Your spinal column is made up of 24 independent vertebrae that enable your body to move, twist and bend during activities. It also helps protect the delicate central nervous system that controls and coordinates every muscle, tissue and organ of the body. Subluxations of the spine, commonly known as joint dysfunctions, can negatively effect proper nerve communication from the brain to the body–often resulting in improper joint motion and decreased nerve flow to the organs, tissues and cells of the body. ⠀
When needed we love using our Structural Alignment Acu techniques to release tensions and encourage more circulation and natural realignment in the spine. For cases in need of more pointed spinal adjustments, we love referring to a number of local chiropractors in our network.
Photo by: Lea Brisell
Who you were is what got you here. Respect and honor that. But you are so much more than your past. Keep going.
Our philosophy at Acufunkture is beauty from the inside out. Beauty starts with a balanced and vital body and is accentuated by a healthy, vibrant Shen (spirit). Our cosmetic acupuncture treatments offer a natural alternative for graceful aging. Whether you want to go all natural or need a little “pick me up” between your cosmetic procedures, our cosmetic acupuncture treatments can help revitalize your natural glow. ⠀
Ready to give it a try? Email our wellness coordinators at [email protected] to book your Cosmetic Acupuncture Appointment!
📷: @bethanytakesphotosss 💃🏻: @madonnamcmanus
As we liberate ourselves, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. We gotta be brave for each other. ♥️💪🏽
Studies have proven that house plants improve concentration and productivity (by up to 15%), reduce stress levels, and boost your mood. According to a study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, active interaction with indoor plants (like touching and smelling) can reduce physiological and psychological stress. What's more, even the potting soil can help you keep a handle on daily stress and anxiety. This is because soil contains microbes dubbed "outdoorphins" (M. vaccae) which work as natural antidepressants. So all this to say, talking and singing to my plants is TOTES normal and makes me happy, okay? 😜😍🌿🌱
SLEEP 😴 || According to a study from 2016, it takes four days to fully recover from one hour of lost sleep. While the brain sleeps, it clears out harmful toxins, a process that may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's, researchers say. During sleep, the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain increases dramatically, washing away harmful waste proteins that build up between brain cells during waking hours. This could explain why we don't think clearly after a sleepless night and why a prolonged lack of sleep could lead to detrimental health issues.
You don’t have to be a “healer” to heal others. Every meeting, every chance encounter is an opportunity to enrich your life and someone else’s life. Spread more love.
Change can be hard.⠀
It’s even harder when it’s a big change — breaking up with someone you love, leaving your old job or starting your own business. Change is mourning the loss of what was, but it is also the celebration of something new. As things shift, we can hold space for the past, thank & bless them for the wisdom gained, and let it go. It’s okay to flow with it. ❤️
Women are more likely to deal with stress by “tending and befriending” — that is, nurturing those around them and reaching out to others. We as women move towards nurturing activities because of the positive effects of oxytocin combined with other female reproductive hormones. Which is one of the many reasons why community is so important to us at Acufunkture. We have a regular schedule of unique offerings for community, sharing and growth. You don’t have to do any of this alone. Let’s come together. ♥️
Hey Friends! Our community at Acufunkture is growing, and I’m so excited to offer more opportunities to cultivate and grow together. We’re very picky about who we invite into our healing space, so when we do, you can be sure that they are a gem! My good friend and talented healer, Anne Parker-Perkola will be leading Grounding & Flowering every other Friday at Acufunkture. Please see the info below. Join us if it resonates with you! ⠀
From @talismanicvintage :⠀
GROUNDING & FLOWERING⠀
Every Other Friday (Starting Nov 8) ⠀
5:30 - 6:30pm ⠀
$20.00 per session⠀
Just like flowers, trees, and plants, we need to ground before we can gently, naturally, and sustainably blossom. Grounding & Flowering is an opportunity for you for you to receive guidance in grounding meditation in a carefully maintained energetic holding-environment. In each session we respectfully embrace the support of the earth in order to open to the lightness of the sky.⠀
About Grounding & Flowering:⠀
Like a flower, we need to ground before we can bloom. Each meditation session begins with a brief, verbal clearing (a single word or simple phrase) that acknowledges something we feel prevents us from grounding. We then root gently into the earth for silent support as we sit with clearing and releasing what we have each named. We then draw dark, supportive, and sustaining energies respectfully from the earth in a nurturing, body-based meditation. After dwelling in grounding, and thanking the earth, we then stem, bud and flower, connecting to the apex of the sky. We allow our ethereal and physical bodies to unfold, petal by petal and leaf by leaf, into the arms of this other kind of soft, feminine energy. The meditation ends with our thanking the sky and once more the earth, as well as our own physical bodies, for their support in this life. We then reestablish ourselves in our bodies and reset our energetic and physical boundaries. Together, we ground so we can flower.⠀
Flower Essences from Desert Alchemy will be used to prepare and clear the meditation space prior to each session and following each session. They will be available during each session for additional energetic support.
Acufunkture was created in 2013 to help patients suffering from chronic pain, autoimmune disease, thyroid issues, diabetes, and more. We've provided thousands of treatments and changed many of our patients’ lives permanently for the better.
Our original clinic was located in The Preserve, near 610 N Loop W and TC Jester. The grounds were beautiful and it provided the flexible space we initially needed to establish our practice.
When Hurricane Harvey hit in August 2017, we lost everything we worked so hard to build. This was a difficult time for us, but it also presented us with a new opportunity to grow. We were able to expand both our team and our location in a way that better suited our staff-family and enabled us to better serve our patients.
In April 2018, we hired our first team members and later that summer we made the move to 3100 Timmons. Our office is now on the 3rd floor of a 5 story building and has never flooded. Our team is committed to cultivating the best natural and holistic therapy options for our patients for a truly integrative medical experience.
|Monday||10:30 - 17:00|
|Tuesday||11:00 - 18:00|
|Wednesday||10:30 - 17:00|
|Friday||10:30 - 17:00|
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