Ashley Lanahan is the co-founder of Indigo Dragon Wellness in Encinitas, CA. While studying nutrition at Bastyr, she had a strong intuitive calling to switch to acupuncture. We discuss how her intuition has developed over the years and how she supports her kids and their process, as well as how clients energy shows up.
Here’s her brussel sprout recipe as promised:
Easy Roasted Brussel Sprouts:
Cut off ends and chop in half
Spread in single layer on baking sheet
Pour on generous olive oil to coat Brussels – stir up until each one is shiny
Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper
Roast at 425’ until golden brown about 20 minutes, stir once 1/2 way though:)
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[00:00:00] Welcome everyone to the Your Energy First Podcast. I’m your host, Emily Marie, and it is such a pleasure to have you here today to co-create with you in this space and to talk about all things your energy.
Welcome back to the podcast everyone. It is so good to have you here. I have with me Ashley Lanahan. She is the co-founder of Indico Dragon Center for Health and Wellbeing in En Sonatas, California. She graduated from Bai University with a degree in acupuncture in 2004, and she now practices acupuncture, acus, and cranial sacral therapy.
She is also a wife and mother of three. So good to have you here. Thanks for having me, Anna. Mothers are so common. Oh, course I know. And we also have with us. Who is a [00:01:00] teacup chihuahua? Nine. Gosh, nine weeks old. I think she’s stinking adorable. She’s so cute. We are at your in-laws place right now. Recording this. And Chippy was in her little cage. It’s wasn’t even a cage. It’s a a big play pin. She has a great spot, by the way, , and she wanted to be in on the action. So she’s now in my lap and here she is. Thanks for joining us. Chippy . . Oh, goodness gracious. When did we meet? It’s been a while. Gosh, it’s been a while Through your hubby.
Yeah, maybe 20 years ago. Seriously, that long. Oh my gosh. Gosh. That’s crazy. Because we’ve been married 14 years now. Aw. Yeah. Wow. What a time. What a time. So you found this path where you are now running a amazing health and wellness center in SoCal area. Is it SoCal area? Is that Encinas? Yeah, Encinitas, north County, San Diego.
Okay. Got. So talk to me a little bit about how you found this [00:02:00] line of work. This is, one of your passions in life. Where did you, what initially got you started on this role to acupuncture? It took me a little while to, to figure it out. I took a kind of a roundabout path.
Sounds about normal. Yeah. . Totally. I have to say maybe one of my first inspirations was the karate. Really. That’s so cool. What happened? I always loved Mr. Miyagi. He was like my hero. And I think ultimately I just wanna be a boni master. Oh, what’s a boni master? The guy, like what Mr.
Miyagi did, he would work on the little mini trees and trim them. That’s what I wanna do in retirement. Oh, that’s awesome. So I’ve always been intrigued by Chinese architecture. Buddhism, just mindfulness way of life. And even when I was young, I’d go to the bookstore with my best friend to hang out and always be drawn to the thick knot Han books.
Miracle of Mindfulness. Yeah. And I’ve always been intrigued by Chinese style of architecture. Sand gardens, rock gardens, and I was studying Western [00:03:00] herbal medicine. And Whole Foods cooking in Boulder, Colorado. And decided nutrition would be a great way to finish my degree, a great kind of umbrella.
And I went to BAE University here in Seattle and was not loving the nutrition program at all. , pretty boring after studying herbs in the mountains and , cooking glasses were the best. And I started hearing about the acupuncture program and switched over. , it was almost like a wind from the far east blew into my dorm.
I rewrote my entrance essay, went and talked to the dean of the acupuncture program, and literally switched over 10 days into orientation and of the nutrition program. What was that moment like where you felt like this needs to shift? I know it’s usually not just one moment, but how did you know in that moment that you needed to shift?
What felt different? Yeah, it was just very It was a sudden, it was literally, I had I had actually been really lucky. I had won a scholarship when I was 16 and I had studied abroad in China for three weeks, just with a group of 16 year olds. Just traveled abroad and I had a [00:04:00] Chinese painting hanging in my, I was back in the dorms at 25.
, I had a Chinese painting from that trip hanging in my room. I had my a Turkish carpet on my floor, my surfboard, my snowboard. Everything I owned was in this little tiny dorm room. Yeah. And I was just I had never been to Seattle. I just came for BA year. Cause I’d heard so many great things about natural medicine program there.
And the nutrition program wasn’t what I thought it was gonna be. And literally I felt like this wind from the far east blew into my room. And I like just sat there middle of the night, rewrote my entrance sa and the dean said, this is a big switch. It’s gonna be an extra year and a half of school and wow.
More money and all that. And she said, go check out a class or two. Went to two classes and fell in love with it. Fell in love with the students who were in the program. Yeah. Really diverse group of students and many of them are still my best friends. That’s awesome. I just adore and yeah, I felt like so stoked and that I was like on the right path that I’d been trying to figure out for several years from that point.
Yeah. Yeah, it’s so interesting to go from that feeling of, and tell me what you felt, but it’s just that like you just, [00:05:00] you’re just not quite on the. and it’s a big deal to switch Yeah. In anything, a relationship, a career, a you’re in school, that kind of thing.
Yeah. Yeah. How did what would you say you felt, if you can remember at all do you remember what you felt in your body, that moment where switching felt exciting for you? Yeah. I feel if I remember correctly, and maybe I’ve had this happen again and again since then. Sure. But I just felt like this weight dropped off my shoulders.
I felt like I was able to stand taller. , I felt like I was able to breathe deeper. And just this like forward momentum was really happening. Almost like being a little kid and going down a slide of the park. I was like, this is happening. I’m so excited. Like that Christmas morning, excited, that’s awesome.
Like you’re on, your momentum is moving and there’s not. Anything damning up the stream? Yeah, so the stream is flowing, which is something we use a lot in Chinese medicine. We talk a lot about stagnation, the meridians. . And a big goal of what we do is to open up that stagnation, get the chi in the blood flowing more efficiently.
and that can help your body heal from discomfort [00:06:00] disease or imbalance. Yeah. Yeah. Can you hold the mic slightly differently? Sure. There we go. That’s perfect. . I know, isn’t it crazy ? It’s crazy . Okay, so let’s, can we talk a little bit about that? What is acupuncture? Sure. Yeah. Acupuncture is amazing.
It’s been around, as you probably know, for over 3000 years. I didn’t know it. It’s one of the oldest medicines besides herbal medicine that continues to be practiced on our planet. And basically it’s working with meridians. , there’s 12 primary meridians that can be drawn very specifically on every person, animals body.
And within those meridians there are very specific points where we docu pressure or acupuncture and the meridians connect. From the top of your head to the bottom of your feet, they connect to different sinus or at tendon, to internal organs [00:07:00] and even to different emotions. Wow. Yeah. So for example, the lungs connect to the nose.
They open at the nose and they connect the emotion of grief. And they also connect very directly to the kidneys. . So oftentimes if someone comes in with lung issues, grief issues, chronic bronchitis, things like. , we’ll often work with the lungs and the kidneys. Oh, okay. Yeah. Wow. So what do you, gosh, I have three different questions I wanna ask.
Okay. So explain to us then, you mentioned the blood flow, the energy flow, what else does, so taking it a step further, What else does it do? What else does acupuncture do? Yeah so basically when you insert these very fine hair, thin needles into the body, you have a very specific plan of action based on the person that you’re treating.
We also look at their tongue, feel the pulse to really see what’s happening with the person internally, constitutionally. So what does [00:08:00] constitutionally mean? Constitutionally means like, how are you? How are you unique based on your genetics? Okay. Based on your lifestyle, your diet, your everyday habits.
, how you’re using your body. Are you sitting at a desk chair every day, hunch over are you Olympic athlete? So your constitution’s gonna at the core of all of that and the difference between acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Compared to maybe western medicine is that we really look at treating the whole person.
, oftentimes western medicine and western medicine is great at this, is looking more at like, how can we repair that shoulder? So if someone were to come into me with a shoulder injury, yes I would treat their shoulder, but I would also say, what else is going on that maybe making them.
More prone to get having this issue right, with their shoulder, right? And so I’m also gonna do things to help promote really good circulation throughout their body, help relieve inflammation, and maybe talk nutritionally about ways they can help re relieve those imbalances as well. Okay? Yeah. So when you [00:09:00] put these really fine needles in these meridians, what happens?
So we put these fine needles in the meridians and it helps to promote. , better flow of chi, which is the vital energy in the body. So we’re talking, it’s energy work. It’s energy work. ? Absolutely. . Yeah. And it’s very scientific. In fact, there’s scientific studies happening every day looking at acupuncture and how it works.
But it’s also very artistic. Okay. Because it’s a dance between the person that you’re treating, the practitioner, and the needles, and the different modalities that you’re using to help this person feel. All around. And if you just become more balanced and help, oftentimes someone will lay on the table and there’s so much stuck energy.
and maybe it’s they’re having digestive issues, they’re gonna lay on the table maybe for their first treatment and just start crying. Yeah. Because there’s some emotion that’s been stuck in their energy field. And acupuncture will help just to really open it up. And that’s the first part of the healing, is just allowing their [00:10:00] emotions to flow.
Yeah. Because if their emotions aren’t flowing, then their meridians aren’t flowing. Yeah. So we’re just opening up all those pathways for them to start really becoming. Who they wanna be. Yeah. And really walk in their path. Amazing. More easily. Yeah. So what usually do you, in your opinion, what usually draws people to acupuncture specifically?
That’s a good question. I think it’s often. that they’ve heard about it from word of mouth and that they just start thinking maybe this is an answer to me. Sometimes it’s because they’ve tried everything else. Yeah. Nothing else seems to be working. Yeah. And they’re, trying to reach outside of the box for something that could really help them.
Yeah. Feel better. But on the other end, there’s many husbands maybe that I treat, and their wives have been coming to me forever. They finally convinced their husband to come and they do not wanna come at. . But they will, so it’s no placebo because they do not wanna come. Yep. They come, they feel so much better, and they are my number one referral source really?
Because I didn’t even believe in [00:11:00] it. And then their back pain is better or whatever their complaint is. I love that. It’s such a holistic approach. And it makes sense. When I asked you that question, I was thinking to myself too, there’s, I think there’s a trust in acupuncture because it’s been around so long.
To your point, science has taken the time to prove its effectiveness, even though we could just go by a feeling, right? Oh, I feel good afterwards. So that’s good enough for me, , and I’m sure too for the masculine, it helps them to have something to lean on. That’s a little bit more, what’s the word I’m looking?
I always forget words when I’m hosting, holding space for the podcast. It’s a little bit more linear, and we’re gonna check on Chippy really quick. Who wanted to be let down? Is that something in your mouth? Oh, you don’t need that. Maybe a little bit more analytical. Sound, the word? Yeah. Analytical. Yeah.
They like to have something like to cut their teeth on, okay. . When you started out on this journey, obviously you were learning from [00:12:00] professionals and you were practicing what part of what you were doing. Was there any part of it that just felt like it came naturally to you at all?
I would say the easiest part for me was just the one-on-one conversation. With the people that were coming. for treatment. And when I first started as a student in clinic, we were working with, in a low income clinic that was open to the public. . And it was simply just being able to really talk with that person, really listen, ask questions that they might not have been asked before.
That’s gotta be emotional in and of itself. , because you don’t always get that approach. No. From our traditional medical setup. Yeah, for sure. So that was probably like for me, the best. It was just the relationship with the people. Yeah. So when people come in, is there anything, is there ever any commonalities things that you see most [00:13:00] often?
If I were to go in for the first time, what would I be looking for? You mean if you were to come in to see me for the first time? Yeah. Yeah. Let’s say, but I just wanted to try it out. I didn’t have something specific. Yeah. I feel. Anybody that’s coming in for treatment, I do work with recovering addicts as well.
Oh really? And this is so common, but I feel like all of us in these days are living in kind of a state of fight or flight nervous system. Yeah. That sympathetic nervous system. So I feel every single person I treat, one of my goals is to really nourish the parasympathetic nervous system. Which is so healing in and of itself to give someone a chance to just completely. Go into that parasympathetic state in which their pupils are able to dilate, their blood vessels are able to dilate, they’re able to breathe more deeply. . And they’re able to get away from whatever anxieties or things that they have been suffering with.
And when you get in that parasympathetic nervous system, you’re also able to get [00:14:00] in better touch with your higher self, and then really listen to what your higher self might be needing or want. . That makes sense. Yeah. So what’s the difference between the parasympathetic and the sympathetic nervous systems?
So the parasympathetic is gonna be much more like a meditative single-minded focused. It’s the best place to be in when you’re studying or eating. But how often are we in fight or flight? Do I keep driving down I five? Yeah. And eating. That’s when you’re never more constricted. , don’t ever do that.
So if you’re having digestive issues, one of the best things to do is sit down, take your time, chew your food, put your phone away, put your TV away, and really be taste your food tech, feel the texture, and try to be in that more meditative state, and that’ll improve your digestive problems right then and there.
That’s so simple. . That’s weird because I actually have digestive issues. And a couple weeks ago, less than two weeks ago, that was the advice, my, [00:15:00] what I call my inner light, which is, your higher self, your spirit team, all that. That was the advice they gave me. And look at that. Okay, here’s the validation.
A couple weeks later, . That’s crazy. I love that. So let’s actually, I have a list of questions, but let’s jump to that question. Okay. What other things can you, would you recommend that people could. , small shifts they could make in their week that might actually improve their life. So I’m sure a lot of us sitting down and taking the time to eat is probably a pretty big one.
Yeah, that would be a really big one, is just taking the time to really. , make yourself a plate of food that sounds good to you. , a message from your higher self of what would really nourish your body. And sitting down and really chewing your food, taking your time with your food, and really allowing it to assimilate more easily into your body, all those nutrients that your body really needs.
Wow. It’s a hum. Basic human need, right? Is, yeah. Nourishment and of course water. Yeah. We all know that one, right? Yeah. Taking time to really sip your water and you can actually. [00:16:00] Not just chug water, but maybe really feel what the water feels like, the temperature, the flavor of the water, what that can actually help it assimilate into your cells better as well, and help you become more hydrated, which helps everything.
Wow. Sleep of course, is one we all know. They say every hour you sleep before midnight is worth twice as many as the ones after midnight. What? I had no idea . So that’s always a good good thing to think about. Wow. And then I think just taking periods of time during your day, even if it’s five minutes, to just be mindful.
That doesn’t have to be meditation. Meditation’s not easy. It’s not easy for me. Yeah, it’s not easy for everyone. Yeah. Some people, if it, if you can sit and meditate for 10 minutes, great. But if just simply putting your phone away, taking time to go for a five minute walk in nature and just being really mindful, making that your me.
it’s nice to hear that five minutes is enough sometimes. [00:17:00] Yeah, because everybody’s pretty busy. Yeah. Or it can be scary to carve out that self time, I think. Because we’re afraid of what might come up or what we might miss out on or things like that. Okay. Wow. So you mentioned the higher self. So how do you, what, for you, what is the, I don’t know if it’s like the connection point or how do you.
Acclimate the higher self into the day today. That’s a good question. I didn’t prepare Ashley with any of these questions, by the way, , which is good. You’ll probably get my truest answers. I didn’t have. That’s what we’re, that’s what we’re always going for. This is not a heavily edited podcast, Oh.
The person right now who helps me the most with my higher self is my four-year-old. Oh, believe it or not. Yeah. Because I. I’m busy. I have three kids and I own a business and we’re in the middle of a little bit of a home remodel, so it’s a little bit busy right now. Home remodels can never be little
It doesn’t even matter. This is a closet. It’s . But it’s easy, to have your [00:18:00] phone and try to be working alongside of whatever a four year old’s doing. And my sister-in-law actually mentioned this last night, and it’s funny cause I had been thinking about it a couple weeks ago, but to really be present and be in that child play with a four year old is amazing.
Cuz the four year olds are so into play, they’re so in the moment. And they’re so creative. . So you take that time to really settle in and be in that child time. For, whatever you can during the day is so important because in the end Yeah. How quickly does that age pass?
How quickly are they grown up? Yeah. And to spend that time with a little one or with a friend where you’re just really one-on-one time really listening and being present in that moment, I. The minute you can really become present and just do one thing at a time, that’s when your higher self comes in and you’re able to really relax.
be in the flow. And once you start getting on the phone and [00:19:00] texting, it’s like all of a sudden you’re multitasking. Yeah. And that’s when you get pulled into fight or flight. Cause you have to, in order for your brain to function, which is there’s value to fight, yeah. That nervous system, that’s when you get stuff done.
Yeah. But if you can set aside time where you’re doing that and then set aside time when you’re more mindful to, in one task at a time, that’s when your higher self comes in and it can be very nourishing and very healing. Yeah. Yeah. It helps relieve anxiety. I don’t think we put a lot of value in Western society on playtime, free time, downtime.
We’re such a value driven, production driven society at the moment. I think it’s changing. , of course. . So it’s neat that there’s that way we can find it. How do you recommend your clients? This is so off topic, I feel but this is what, this is the question that’s coming to me. I have, so you’ve got playtime with your four-year-old who is showing you that space of [00:20:00] openness, of receptivity, of beingness.
How would you recommend to one of your clients that they develop that if they don’t have a four year old? Yeah, actually I was talking to a woman just a couple weeks ago, a client. and we were talking about that cuz she’s really struggling with anxiety. She has four kids and very busy. And she’s a redhead.
So naturally has that fiery kind of personality. Oh really? That’s a uhoh. It’s okay. We’ll edit that part out. Zoe. Thanks Ru. Good girl, Zoe. Thanks for checking. Thanks for keeping us safe. Bye. It’s okay, Zoe. It’s okay. It’s okay. Good girl. There’s chippy.
There she is. Okay, good. Okay, so redhead, that’s an actual. Element to their energy. I feel like I have found that to be true. [00:21:00] Wow, that’s really cool. Yeah. Yeah. We’re really creative people and so knowing that, in fact, two of my my bridesmaids standing right next to me in my wedding were both redheads.
Oh, that’s awesome. I know redheads pretty well, really creative people. So knowing that, I said to her, I said, are you trying to help her find like something, I said, are you an artist? And she said, I am. And I said, are you painting or doing anything creative right now? and she said I actually have been trying to set some goals for the new year and so I mentioned a local art kind of place in our town, her hometown, and talked about, why don’t you go ahead and sign up for a class that you do, they do once a week for eight weeks in a row. And she said, that’s an awesome idea, cuz sometimes it’s nice to do it with a group. Yeah. And to have something that’s scheduled in and maybe even paying a little bit of money towards it. , it’s not always as fun or easy to do it on your own.
Totally. And it’ll inspire her to do it on your own, but to just find, and my point is helping each person find whatever their passion is. Yeah. And helping to inspire them to go ahead and move towards that. , [00:22:00] because intuitively they already know what it is. Maybe. Totally. Maybe it’s gardening Totally.
Or maybe it’s doing clay and art. . Or maybe it’s simply going for more walks on the beach or surfing or hiking. , but helping them to find a way to incorporate that into their daily life. Wow. And it doesn’t have to be a huge thing. Maybe it’s simply cooking a home cooked meal once a week. Yeah. Yeah.
And I like how you keep saying it’s, it’s all the simple stuff. This is not rocket science, right? It’s all the simple things that make big adjustments and big differences. And I’ve found like I have to give myself permission to do these. because I’ve been stuck in that old cycle of produce produce, and then all of a sudden it’s no, we’re meant to live and create me more.
Okay, so earlier you had mentioned choosing food that feels good and nourishing to eat. What happens when you have a family, like you do a large family, there’s five of you where you’ve gotta make something to eat and maybe you feel [00:23:00] like something else. How do you honor what it is? If everybody’s in a different space for what they.
That’s a good question. I typically will make whatever I feel I want to have and I don’t really make other options for other people. Besides my husband. Of course, he’s gluten free, so I’ll always make sure we have, yeah. Typically as a family we’re eating gluten free cuz it’s easy to have gluten-free pasta option or Yeah.
Whatever, and if people wanna have bread, I can add bread or whatever. But ultimately my kids. Used to me doing that. Yeah. And they’ll eat whatever is served to them. Yeah. And I always do, a roasted veggie and maybe some rice and a protein and . And if we go out to dinner, we try to find, a healthy option.
Yeah. And I find, even my four year old, she’s. I think her favorite thing right now is Brussels sprouts. What? You have a good brussel sprout recipe? I do. Oh my gosh. Let’s put that in the show notes. . That’s super easy. Oh, that sold . Why do you think that [00:24:00] our nation has developed a gluten intolerance in the last few decades?
Think it has to do with how much Roundup is sprayed on the wheat right before it’s harvest. And I’m not an expert on this on any, by any means. Don’t worry, I haven’t met, I have a whole disclaimer at the end of this show, . Don’t worry, we’re you’re recovered. But I’ve had so many friends who have issues with wheat here.
Yeah. And then they will travel in France. Same. But you able to eat baguettes like nonstop, but no problem. But I know unfortunately our farming industry here is not the best. Yeah. Our practices are built for huge amounts of people to eat, yeah. And. They have been in the habit of spraying Roundup on crops and it’s created a lot of leaky gut.
Yeah. In our country. And that’s really sad because I, I guess I’ve been hearing that the Glyco, glycosate, gly don’t know what that is, they’re like part of the chemical compound of Roundup in some of those other pesticides is now [00:25:00] being found in a lot of our water. And they’re just nasty.
That’s interesting. That we don’t really wanna have in our water systems. Yeah, that’s interesting. About five or six months ago, I was getting this really strong, intuitive nudge to clean up my. The water I was drinking. So I bought this nice water filter and when I started talking to other people, they were getting the same intuitive message.
, just clean up how they’re drinking water. Yeah. I gotta say this is a little bit of a side note, but it does make me sometimes feel frustrated when I wake up in the morning and I think, okay it’s almost like our food system is against us. I’m like, how, where can I find good food?
Healthy food. Yeah. I think it’s a balance, right? And whenever you’re craving good food, you eat it. And I will admit that sometimes I feel like I crave an egg McMuffin. Yeah. Yeah, totally. I’m not a huge support of McDonald’s, but I don’t want my kids to never have McDonald’s because I feel like it’s maybe a homeopathic dose.
Oh. So that their bodies will be able to manage whatever food they’re given and not get sick. Okay. So we’re [00:26:00] travel. . I’m all about going to McDonald’s. That’s when we go to McDonald’s. It’s easy, it’s affordable, and it’s giving them some nutrition. Yeah. Not the best nutrition. I had a herb teacher a long time ago when I was studying herbs in Colorado and she would teach herb classes, Uhhuh in New York City.
So they would go harvest plants that were growing outta the sidewalks in New York City. That’s cool. And she said to her class, if you guys are living and breathing in New York City and these plants are coming outta the sidewalk, these are plants that are coming out for us to be able to use.
Cuz they’re survivors as well. Wow. Yeah. That’s cool. So they would pick all kind, they would find all kinds of wild herbs that were very medicinal. Wouldn’t you have to clean like all the dog pee and stuff off of that Really?
You’d probably give it nice boil. Yeah, I, yeah, that’s a good point. I’d quadruple wash that. They pro, they probably would do, boiled teas? That’s well boiled. Yeah. And then they would may maybe make tinctures where they’d put it like an alcohol. Okay. And then get the tincture, the medicine off.
So then it was clean. Very clean. Okay. That’s cool. That’s things that gets me about [00:27:00] tinctures and I’d love to hear what your thoughts are on some alternative options. I’ll go put a tincture under my tongue in the morning and it’s, it’s steeped in alcohol, . I’m like, whoa, wake up or fall back asleep, yeah. But smaller doses of alcohol are totally fine and I think alcohol can even kill off some. Viruses and stuff as well, okay. So this is funny you mentioned that because my German grandmother, who’s 96, she doesn’t drink. She has like a glass of something every once in a while. Yeah.
And as soon as she feels like she’s getting sick, she reaches for the schnapps or the cognac or something and she just, sippy sip sips it and it’s that old wive still, she swears by and then she hasn’t gotten sick in forever. She got sick for the first time this year and she’s fine now.
But anyway, yeah, I think it has some There’s some basis in Chinese medicine. We believe a lot in warming. Like we don’t believe in like cold therapy. Like we don’t rec really recommend ice as much as other therapies might. We’re all about warm and heat, okay? And alcohol can be very heating and warming, and it can get your blood [00:28:00] flowing more efficiently.
Interesting. Which is why is that? Why when you drink too much and you go outside and it’s cold, you don’t need a jacket. Yeah. And why your nose gets nice and red from drinking too much. Really? Yeah. , we learned so much on this podcast. I love it. But you can do if you don’t love the flavor of that alcohol, you can.
Warm it up the tincture, put it in some hot water. Oh. And then you can boil off the alcohol. Okay. And then you would still get the medicine. The thing about tinctures, and I think why they started doing that is because, similar to other mediums, maybe like honey or glycerin, it’s an incredible preservative.
. So you can find tinctures, just like you can find bottles of wine that are just as good today, if not better than they were a hundred years ago. Wow. Because it’s super well preserved in that glass bottle with alcohol. That’s so cool. all in the right dosages, okay. And deliverables I should say.
So can we talk a little bit about how has your intuition developed from the time, [00:29:00] actually, when did you first realize energy was a thing or your intuition was a thing? Can you remember? When I was studying herbal medicine in Colorado, I had a really great teacher, Catherine, who took us up into the woods and we were.
Doing a kind of a spirit guided plant medicine journey. And I had never done one before. I was young, I think I was 21 and we were all sitting around the plant valerian, which we didn’t know much about. Ooh, valerian. Yeah. Cool plant. Yeah. And she said, okay, I want you all to lay down or sit, however you’d just get comfortable.
And she had just a small drum that she was. And she said, I want you all to go down to the plant’s roots. Whether you go down through the earth or down through the ocean or whatever feels good to you. And you’re going to find the plant spirit guides at the root of this plant. And if you have a power animal, go the power animal.
. Or if you don’t, go ahead and find the soft idea. So I was like listening and then she started doing the drumming and we all started going into this. [00:30:00] and I went down, I think I swam down in the ocean and then went down into the roots of the plant and it came out and I was looking for the soft idea.
I didn’t even know what she meant. What was a soft idea? I have no idea. Like Bambi or something? I’m not sure. Yeah, just a kind deer. And so I’m looking around for the soft idea and with that, this beautiful unicorn kind of trots over to me and I was like, not unicorn. I love unicorns. I’ve always had this little stuffed unicorn that I still have.
It’s on my daughter’s bed now. Oh my gosh. That’s so cute. I have chills all over my body when you said unicorn . And I looked at the unicorn and I said, no, this is just my imagination. I just love unicorns. No. Yeah. So with that, the soft idea trots over. I’m like, okay, cool. Here’s a soft idea.
The unicorn stands up tall and kicks back, kicks the soft. I like gallops away and I’m like, oh, okay. This was my imagination. That’s of course. Okay. Actually get a little crazy now, and so I go with the soft idea and I learn all about valerian and [00:31:00] then we all eventually come out of our meditation that we were doing with Catherine, our guide.
. And she says, okay, anybody who wants to share we’re to go around the circle, share what you’ve learned about Valerian and we’ll see if we have anything in common or what we’ve learned. Yeah. And so we start going around the circle and right as I start telling that story, I just start crying outta nowhere.
Wow. When I started talking about the unicorn, like kicking us off the idea . That’s so funny. And Catherine said and I, cuz I hadn’t, I didn’t know my power animal, which is why I was trying to go the soft idea. Sure. Catherine said, Ashley, do you love the unicorn? I said, yeah, of course. I’ve always loved Unicorn.
And she said, next. Just go with the unicorn. I think that might be your power animal. Oh, I love that. So that was my first lesson in like imagination and intuition. Yeah. Have a very strong correlation. Potentially the same thing. Yeah. Not always. Yeah. But when you, if you listen, you’ll be guided.
Yeah. I think, yeah, I love that and I love the unicorn too. Yeah. and the fact that, like we all do we question it right. Really well. It can’t be this simple. It can’t just show up and it can’t just [00:32:00] be a unicorn , and Yes, it is . So how have you found intuition plays a part in the work that you do?
It does for sure because just in trying to gather the right information from people who are coming to see me , I’m often guided in what line of questions to ask them to make sure we’re going down the right path in terms of diagnosing them with Chinese medicine and in terms of what’s really at the core of what’s going on.
, and then also, In terms of just making them feel comfortable and trying to be on the same page as they are. , because oftentimes you become quite close with your clients and then with you and AC and energy work may not work well unless you feel relaxed Yeah. And comfortable with the person that you’re working with energy work.
So I’m not the right acupuncturist for everybody. Yeah. I get that. There’s people that I’ve been seeing for years because it just feels it feels like a really good balance. And I think they feel like I can hold the right [00:33:00] space for them. Yeah. Yeah. So I think intuition is what allows me to not just use the science of acupuncture, but also have it be an art.
. Which makes it really fun to work with every individual because you come to me, Stomach pain or digestive issues and someone else comes from the digestive issues, it’s gonna be a very different treatment. , potentially. . may be some points that overlap on the stomach from Meridian or large intestine meridian, but then there’ll be also some very different points that are more specific to why do you have this issue?
It’s not like you just can pres prescribe Prilosec, everybody. Everybody’s so different. Yeah. As to how it’s presenting. So being able to really stay grounded and. Listen to them and allow also the space for their intuition to tell me what they think is going on. I have no problem if someone’s gotten a lot of acupuncture in their life and I’m seeing them for the first time, I have no problem with them saying Hey, I love this point.
Would you mind doing that? Of course. If that’s a point that they love, and it feels good to them. Yeah. Yeah. [00:34:00] So what does holding space mean for you? Holding space just means that, , you are creating a space that feels safe. . And that feels open and the person is allowed to open up and laugh or cry or simply complain or be angry and allow them to really express what they really need. And allowing them to have a place where they can begin to. At the deepest level of their being. What a beautiful thing. Yeah, it’s amazing. It’s fun. How have you seen negative energy show up in clients? How have you supported them shifting through that?
That’s a good question. I probably work with that the most on my days when I work with recovering addicts. Oh. Another, we all have all different types of addictions of [00:35:00] course. But it’s so evident because they’re in a place where they’re just coming off of whatever their addiction is, alcohol or heroin or whatever it might be, and really going through all different stages of detox.
And so you see all kinds of things come up, past traumas P T S D , and things that have really affected them. For a long time. Yeah. Or maybe even more recent. Just depends on the person. But yeah, just I think, it’s nice in, in that particular setting, because I’m working with a whole team of doctors supporting them with all integrative and western medicine and group therapy, and I am there to help get them outta that fight or flight nervous system that they’re.
During therapy or all those kinds of things that are really bringing up all the stuff. And then my goal is to, they may come in many of them come in to me with not having, had very good sleep, maybe having tremors, having really bad anxiety and maybe even pain. People are, using substances for all kinds of things.
Maybe it’s to treat [00:36:00] anxiety or to treat pain. Yeah. And so my goal is to really help them get into. Parasympathetic nervous system. . So helping them to get outta that fight or flight, helping them to relieve tension in their body. And just allowing things to open up in the meridian so that they can heal and realize that there’s other tools also that they can use to help them if they’re in a state of anxiety or pain, besides going back to what their addiction might have been, which in the end didn’t help them at all.
Did that answer your question? I think I might have gotten off topic, . No, it’s okay. It’s okay. It’s all relevant. . Because I’m not an expert on addiction, but what I’ve seen is that we obviously use these addictive things, whatever they may be, from online shopping to alcohol, to severe drug use to obviously cope.
So it’s brave work to get out of that and to actually literally face your demons. When you mentioned, was there anything you wanna add on to that? What was the beginning part of the. When you see a client who has negative energy Oh yeah. How do you help shift that energy of them out of them?
Yeah. There are like some very specific treatments that we [00:37:00] do too. There’s one called a possession treatment and there’s one called aggressive energy treatment. What? So depending on how the client is theirs presenting, and if there’s those like super negative energies coming out, then I’ll just simply do that treatment and that’s the one time when I’ll do a very specific.
Treatment because we’re seeing those negative energies, which can sometimes make a typical treatment not work. Interesting. So it can be really important if you see that coming to just release those negative energies first. And you do have to be cautious in those situations. Like it’s important to have a window open or to have a candle lit.
And that’s when you get into some more of that woowoo kind of stuff. Yeah. Which we’re not necessarily taught as much in school these days. Sure. Because. . That goes into a whole right. History of Ang and Right. Some things that happened in China when they systematized acupuncture and Chinese medicine in traditional, inter traditional Chinese medicine Oh, tcm.
Where they took out some of the more magical Got it. Stuff, which you have to search for. Got it. In a way, but, , [00:38:00] but there are schools that are starting to bring that back in and different ways of working with things like that, which, good. It’s empowering. It’s all meant to help people be more in their power anyway.
Yeah. And I talk about, light and dark energies on this podcast all the time because I want people to know they have a choice. I want people to feel empowered. Sometimes we think, oh, there’s a ghost. That’s scary. I’m helpless, and I’m like, you’re not help. It’s, I don’t wanna say it doesn’t matter, but it’s like how do you live in alignment with your life and feel empowered?
So what are some leading indicators of someone who maybe has like the possession or the intense dark energies? What are some tells? Yeah. One thing would be if they’re just simply not able to look you in the eyes totally at all. That might be indicative of a possession and aggressive energy.
It’s not as clear, but if it seems. That there’s just a lot of anger or something that’s significant that happened. That’s really like taken over their brain space. And then doing the treatment [00:39:00] itself which is a treatment face down, when you start to do the points, you’ll see a lot of redness come up around those needles.
Wow. And the needles will actually show me, Which organs are holding that aggressive energy the most. And then we can focus on releasing the heat or the aggressive energy from those organ systems. It’s amazing. It’s interesting cuz at first you might think that somebody’s having an allergic reaction to the needle.
It’s that much of a red mark, but it’s not that same red mark around every needle. It’s just around those specific ones. Wow. So it’s important to really release that excess heat from somebody. Yeah. That’s really cool. That’s amazing. So many different ways to do this. . And how do the clients notice? Do they ever go through this period of like from the, while the release is happening, do they ever have any sort of aver, not adverse reactions, but what is their reaction?
I’m sure it varies during the three months or after, like while it’s releasing. While it’s releasing. Yeah, that’s a good question. Everybody’s different. [00:40:00] Typically during acupuncture treatments, people really go into a nice relaxed space. . And if not, that’s when I will often incorporate the cranio sacro therapy to compliment to help them get into a deeper space. Amazing. Or the acus, which is using tuning forks calibrated to different organ systems on the body as well, just to help the sound vibration, which was used in ancient Mayan practice, sound, and its vibration to help them. At a deeper level, the sound vibration actually speaks to the cells at a very deep like ancestral level cuz we all carry cells that came from our ancestors, gives me chips,
I love that. I love that. So one more question. You had mentioned the tongue a bit ago. If someone looks at their tongue, what are some things that they might be looking. . This is gonna be a two-parter, but Yeah. . What are some things they’re looking for on their tongue? Yeah, so basically a healthy tongue is going to [00:41:00] be a light pink color.
With just a thin kind of see-through coating on it. With no teeth marks on the edges of the tongues. No cracks in the tongue, no red tip. , that would be a super healthy tongue. . Rare to find that. Okay. So that being said, imbalances would be the, first of all, the tongue’s kind of cool.
The tongue is a map of the whole body. So the what tip of the tongue is upper body. So the tip of the tongue is the heart area. Okay. And this doesn’t necessarily mean like you’re western heart. We’re talking like Chinese medicine Sure. Like meridians right now. Sure. So the tip of your tongue is Oh yeah.
So the tongue is a map of the whole body. . So the tip of the tongue being the upper part of the body, the heart and. I don’t mean western medicine heart, right? It’s more related to kind of Chinese medicine, meridians and heart, which is associated with different emotions. So if the tip of your tongue is red or maybe has red dots on it, that will lead me to ask the person, are you having any anxiety or maybe trouble sleeping, because that can indicate some heart fire flaring upwards.
Interesting. Yeah. [00:42:00] And then the middle of the tongue going down the body is spleen, stomach. And you would look for, is it super pale or is it, does it maybe have a thick coat on it? A thick yellow coat would indicate some damp heat in the body, which is a Chinese diagnosis that would, that we could get into.
. Or is it a thick white coat, which would indicate some coldness in the body. And then going back further to the very back of your tongue, that’s gonna be kidney urinary And then the edges of the tongue are liver, gallbladder, cuz liver, gallbladder, more like on the edge of the body.
, those you would look for. Is it purple? Are there teeth marks? And then kinda looking at the tongue as a whole to see if there’s other identifying geographical features as well. If there’s a crack down the middle of the tongue or lots of dry cracks throughout the body, that can indicate an overall yin deficiency.
Yeah. We use yin and yang a lot to talk about how the body’s in or out of balance and how to better help create balance within the body. So if your tongue is very dry with lots of cracks and redness , that can mean that you’re just like super [00:43:00] malnourished or maybe simply just dehydrated. And your body needs some more cooling, hydrating nutrition, maybe more.
Pear Pears are amazing at Nourishing Yin. Oh, interesting. Melons cucumbers, celery, pick all those like really kinda watery foods. Yeah. That’s why wa eating watermelon on a hot summer day is very balancing. Oh yeah. Cause it helps hydrate and cool your body down. Oh, interesting. Yeah. That’s also fascinating.
And I love too, that we have, it gets me excited. We have choice, we have the power to go seek out this help, to support us and find this balance. . To me it’s all related. The energetic balance and the good feelings in life. So much of it comes from taking care of our body too. And maybe just slowing down a little bit and taking a second to listen and.
Chew your food and chew your food. without your phone nearby. . Exactly. I’m gonna start doing that now. My great-grandmother lived to be a hundred years old and she lived in the [00:44:00] south, so maybe this is why, but she ate slower than anybody I’ve ever met in my whole life. I swear she probably chewed like each bite like a hundred times, but I think that’s why she also lived to be a hundred years old.
That’s interesting that you say that. My German grandmother. She insists on sitting down with a place mat in a play setting and eating her food at the table every time. It’s nice. It’s a nice tradition. Nice habit. Yeah. Yeah. It’s taking care of yourself, yeah. Thank you so much, Ashley. This has been amazing.
Oh, thank you. I feel like for having me on, it was so fun. Yeah. I feel like we just started scratching the surface on things, . So where can people find you? What’s your website? Sure, yeah. My my wellness center’s called Indigo Dragon Center. So the website is just www.indigodragoncenter.com. But you could feel free to email me at my other email, which is Ashley lanahan mac dot.
I also have indigo Dragon has a Instagram page where we put all of our events and fun things on there. I think it’s just [00:45:00] Indigo dash Dragon. I’ll have to double check that. How’d you come up with the name Indigo Dragon? I was actually studying acus up here in Seattle, and she had this really cool Dragonology book that I was glancing at, and I thought, Ooh, there’s a Chinese formula called , which.
Loosely translates to blue green, which is maybe indigo long dragon tong formula. . And I thought indigo dragon Indigo’s also the color of the throat chakra. And I really feel it’s important for people to like, have their voice and really express their truth and follow their path. And my business partner and I one day, were looking for a location for our wellness center and we were looking to all these kind of medical buildings.
Nothing seemed like the right fit, and one day we. , drinking her chai, looking around. And I said, I’ve always wanted name a clinic, indigo Dragon Center. And she choked on her chai and was like, okay, I’m a crazy lady. Cause right now, we had all these like integrative health centers or Yeah.
Yeah. And the next day, one of her friends pointed out a location she wanted her to look at and she called me and she [00:46:00] said, I think I found Indigo Dragon. Oh. We signed the three year lease the next day. That’s amazing. And we’ve been open 15 years now. That’s awesome. And it’s a really special. Place not far from the ocean.
And in, so you put together very thoughtful programs. I’ve done a few of your programs. They’re all just very conscious, I’ve found, you can feel that when people put together these things. So thank you for putting that out into this world. Yeah, it’s been really fun to have some of those.
We opened a Indigo Dragon Academy where we’re putting out some of our cleanses and liver, gallbladder flush and some fun things like that to help. Have some homework to do after their acupuncture treatment. Yeah, that’s good. Perfect. So if you have any questions for Ashley, you can email her. And we will put that in the show notes.
Thank you again for being here today. Yeah, thanks for having me. So wonderful. Happy New Year. Happy New Year. Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode. Don’t forget to subscribe, rate and leave a review, and make sure you’ve signed up for the [00:47:00] newsletter for special insights, offerings, and announcements that are just for you.
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