Category: Wellness Posts

  • Breath by Breath: Moving Through Grief (Grief Breathing exercise)

    In my last post, we discussed how grief afffects the body.  

    Now we lean into the reality, that while grief may seem the proverbial "long night of the soul" there is always a way out...and as I have shared with many...and many have shared with during my own descent to grief and darkness, the only way out is through.

    When the lungs are impacted so heavily by emotions of grief and sadness, taking the next breath can seem daunting. Overwhelm is an easy extension of grief and sadness as it reflects the physical constriction that grief causes in the lungs. We attempt to breathe and find the physical restraints of the tension in our ribcage. The pent up emotion, stagnation as we describe it in Chinese medicine, that impedes deeper breath. This can lead to panic as we are unable to "take our next breath" and initiate change in our bodies.

    The first breathing exercise I would like to introduce helps you to shift focus from what is no longer (your loss and equally the ability to take a deep breath) to RELEASE. 

    Let's try Release breathing. Our intention is to focus on the exhale. The letting go of what is stuck.

    Find a comfortable position. I personally prefer remaining seated for this exercise, as longterm grief tends to make deeper breathing difficult and by sitting you let gravity assist deeper breath. If sitting is difficult, lying comfortably face up with one hand on below your navel and one hand at the middle of your chest is recommended.
    Take three short breaths, allowing your abdomen to gently inflate as you inhale and gently fall as you exhale. Focus your attention on the exhale. Allow these first few breaths to be as deep or as shallow as your body allows. We are simply setting our focus on allowing the breath in and flow out.

    Then inhale as deeply as you can comfortably through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth making a long “sssssssss” sound.

    Pay attention the the soft deflating of your chest and relaxation it brings as the breath releases.  Allow yourself to visualize the "ssss" sound as a balloon deflating.

    I find this practice helpful before bed to help fall gently into sleep but actually stumbled upon this naturally while going through my own grief and restrained breathing pattern. I found myself "ssssssss" breathing in times of intense sadness and found profound relief in staying in the moment of breath and abandoning the recurring thoughts of sadness that accompany our passage through grief.

    Return to this breath in times of stress and circular thinking. Stay focused on the exhale.







    Posted on November 07 2023

  • Suzan's Recommended Reading List

    This post will be continuously updated...

    From Meditation techniques to Health routines and Mindset to Fasting; Here are my all time favorite resources:

    If you are interested in exploring the books/authors I have mentioned here. These are Amazon affiliate links:


    The Law of Attraction by Esther Hicks

    Ask and it is Given by Esther Hicks

    The Astonishing Power of Emotions by Esther Hicks

    This is a free version of Ram Dass' work with meditation



    When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron

    F*%K Death:Hardcore Grief Recovery Workbook by Steve Case

    Grief Day By Day by Jan Warner

    Anxiety: the Missing Stage of Grief by Claire Bidwell Smith

    On Grief & Grieving by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross & David Kessler


    Reading the Body, The Art of Looking:

    Reading the Body by Wataru Ohashi

    Your Body Never Lies by Michio Kushi

    The Body Keeps the Score by Dr. Bessel Vad Der Kork



    Dr. Mindy Pelz:

    Fast Like a Girl

    Fast Like a Girl Workbook

    The Menopause Reset

    The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung


    Chinese Medicine Resources:

    Healing With Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford

    Healing Ourselves by Daverick Leggett

    Between Heaven and Earth by Beinfeld & Korngold

    The Web That Has No Weaver by Ted Kaptchuk


    Psychology & Personal Understanding

    Team You by Jeanine Cerundolo

    The Complete Enneagram by Beatrice Chestnut


    Self Healing:

    Heal Your Body by Louise Hay

    Mirror Work by Louise Hay

    Gratitude: A Way of Life by Louise Hay

    The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer

    Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch

    Posted on October 24 2023

  • Welcome to the Inner Circle

    Welcome Dear Reader, 

    If you found your way here, it was not by accident. This inaugural blog post is a starting point for both of us.

    My name is Suzan Fleck and for almost 25 years, I have practiced Japanese/Chinese medicine, guiding people through life and health challenges with the tools of acupuncture, herbs, bodywork, meditation and mindfulness. My intention with this blog is to formalize the guidance, tools, resources and actions I have shared with my clients since 1998. 

    This is a deeply personal endeavor for me and I intend to share my own journey, having both used each of tools and concepts in my own life. Therefore, it is integral for me to share at this time; I am not a psychotherapist (we have psychotherapists on staff here at Circle of Health if you are seeking those services). I am not a Western Allopathic physician (Circle of Health has those too). I am not nutritionist or trainer.  I approach this blog as both a fellow traveler seeking to LIVE MY BEST LIFE as well as a Chinese medicine provider.  The information herein is for your consideration and hopefully, will resonate with you in a way that inspires you to embrace your highest potential and live a life of health, vitality, loving your NOW, and growing into everything life has to offer you.

    There is no right way to read this blog. The blogs are stream of consciousness. They cover many different topics and orientations. All are intended to serve you to explore from the point of your own attraction to the material and are discreet units of information. Each post will have a basic topic, some discussion and in most cases, links to materials and tools to help you further explore or implement the information in your daily life.

    Because really, what I have found is the greatest determiner of what you experience mentally, emotionally and physically is what you DO every day.

    As the mindset maven Esther/Abraham Hicks says, 'You get what you pay attention to, whether you like it or not'.

    And this is where it all begins, my friends.

    Our bodies, these incredibly elegant systems designed to survive and perpetuate our genetic line, drive us through life with the unconscious autonomic system. Allowing us to breathe, blink, salivate, digest, and countless other tasks without a thought. Our unconscious stockpiles information and creates a safe and reliable road map for life for us, aiming for stability, trusting the comfortable predictable and narrowing our future experiences with every event, whether traumatic or ecstatic, as mentioned in books like "The Body Keeps the Score" by Bessel Van Der Kolk, MD.

     Our bodies' shapes and health shift and change, contract and expand according to our experiences. I know that seems like an obvious statement but pause a moment and reflect on how unconsciously we as a culture move through modern life. 

    When was the last time you heard someone say, 'I have a migraine today' and someone replies conversationally, 'do you know why?' or is it more likely the offer of a painkiller to ease the discomfort?

    In a culture where comfort is offered to us at every turn, it is easy to forget that your body is your vehicle, your space suit, as Ram Dass/Richard Alpert, spiritual leader and author describes it, a guidance system that provides you with non-stop feedback regarding your operational systems. Every pain, every symptom from a muscle cramp to an acne breakout, insomnia to chronic fatigue is telling you that your system needs tweaking or a tune up, and learning to listen to your body is one of the greatest conversations you will ever have. 

    Step One is becoming conscious of and listening and learning the language of the body in all it's aspects.

    Step Two is taking action to help your body to fall back to health, which it is always striving to do with each signal it gives requesting change in the routines that you carry out daily.

    And Step Three is allowing yourself to abandon the early cultural, familial and peer conditioning we have all received that says living by default, staying caught in the rat race of busy, unintentional living is really living at all.  This is also the step where you step INTO a relationship with your body, your spirit and your divine purpose and really experience health and vitality.

    So if you have made it this far, you may be someone looking for answers, maybe even THE answer to living a more fulfilling life mentally, spiritually, emotionally, physically. Welcome. These are the tools that have worked for me. 

    Stay is a bit of what we will be exploring:

    The Tipping Point & The Choice

    The Classical Chinese Medicine Theory of the 5 Phases and how you can use it to understand inner/interpersonal relationship

    Epigenetics and Family Conditioning & Entanglements 

    The Importance of Ritual

    The Default Button

    Survivor Mode

    Transforming Overwhelm to Opportunity Mindset

    Trusting your Gut/The Role of Intuition in your Daily life

    Grief in all its' Forms & Stages

    The Silent Partnership of Anxiety & Depression

    When the Light Goes Out/Finding Purpose

    The 7 Emotions as Described by Chinese Medicine

    Gratitude Practices

    Patterns, Loops & Resets

    The Firehose of Stimulation

    Ancestral Entanglements

    Creator Mindset

    Mindfulness Tools

    If you are interested in exploring the books/authors I have mentioned here. These are Amazon affiliate links:

    The Body Keeps the Score by Dr. Bessel Vad Der Kork

    The Law of Attraction by Esther Hicks

    Ask and it is Given by Esther Hicks

    The Astonishing Power of Emotions by Esther Hicks

    This is a free version of Ram Dass' work with meditation

    Posted on October 24 2023

  • Learn Why Athletes Use Infrared Saunas to Treat Muscle Pain & Enhance Performance

    Infrared sauna use will support muscle pain and recovery after an injury in athletes. There are countless sauna benefits for athletes well, and not just for post-workout muscle recovery. Learn how saunas assist in muscle pain relief, functioning endurance and performance enhancement, in athletes

    Posted on March 25 2021

  • Acupuncture Helps Athletes Naturally Heal Aches, Pains & Injuries

    Looking for a safe, effective way to heal the aches, pains and potential injuries that accompany an athletic lifestyle? Learn how acupuncture can enhance athletic performance and to increase recovery times.

    Posted on March 18 2021

  • How to Start Your Cold Shower Therapy Practice

    Okay so cold showers are good for you, but when is the best time to be taking them? Learn how to start your own cold shower therapy practice

    Posted on March 11 2021

  • Intermittent fasting for Weight Loss & Rejuvenation

    Intermittent Fasting is getting a lot of press these days. After a good nine months of comfort and stress eating and binge watching netflix, are you tired of being tired? Lose weight sustainably and healthily, burn fat through tapping into your natural fat burning mechanism, heal the body and get rid of those pesky chronic diseases. All The While Still being able to enjoy your favorite foods!

    Posted on February 25 2021

  • Cold Showers Naturally Boost Your Health

    Posted on February 18 2021

  • Are Cold Showers Good for Your Health?

    Cold showers?! Although it may seem counterintuitive, cold showers can be both soothing and energizing for your mind, body, and spirit. Discover the key benefits of adding cold showers to your daily health and wellness routine.

    Posted on February 11 2021

  • Infrared Sauna Helps Relieve Cold Symptoms

    Is the sauna miracle cure for the cold and flu, as many people claim? The results of some valuable research show that you can reduce the symptoms of the cold and flu and speed recovery if you use infrared sauna therapy in the early stage of the illness.

    Posted on December 08 2020

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