May and June Fundraisers benefit ALS research

May and June Pay-What-You-Can Community Acupuncture Saturday fundraisers at Armonia Health LLC have been dedicated to raising funds that support ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis aka Lou Gehrig’s disease) affecting people in our Durham community.
May’s fundraiser supported the Freelon ALS fund, Phil Freelon is a Durham based architect known internationally and his wife Nnenna Freelon is known well in the jazz and music communities.  Both my husband Alex Weiss and I have known Nnenna for many years and it felt important for me to support her husband’s fund. Our May 3 fundraiser raised $300 for the Freelon ALS fund.  We wish you Phil much loving support and for your family too, let us know how else we can help.
We continue in June to raise awareness about this disease that is not uncurable, it is underfunded.
Here is some information about this disease:  Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (aka ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) is a progressive neurological disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. When motor neurons that connect nerves and muscles die, people lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement. Without stimulation, muscles become weak and atrophy. Most people with ALS become totally paralyzed as they lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, swallow, and breathe.  Every 90 minutes, someone with ALS dies and another person is diagnosed.  The average age of diagnosis is 55; however, cases of ALS also appear in people in their 20s and 30s. Military veterans are twice as likely to develop ALS as the general population. Athletes also seem to be more susceptible. No one is sure why.  The average life expectancy of a person with ALS is 2-5 years. 20% live 5 years or more; 10% percent live more than 10 years.
Coincidentally, our community acupuncturist Austin Dixon had already been thinking about helping her ALS client’s foundation.  Austin and I have agreed to offering community acupuncture on alternate Saturdays, so on June 3, the funds Austin collects at our Pay-What-You-Can Community Acupuncture fundraiser go towards Andrea Lytle Peet’s Team Drea Foundation.  I asked Andrea and Austin to write a little about their work together:
From Andrea:  “Before I started acupuncture, my hamstrings were so tight they’d pop with every step. The relief I get is magical!
After I was diagnosed with ALS in May 2014 at the age of 33, I encouraged my friends & family to do a race that represented a challenge to them and use it as an opportunity to raise money for ALS research. So far, 150 people have participated — taking on everything from an Ironman triathlon to a 5k and we have raised $165,000! Thanks to my slow progression (plus acupuncture and physical activity), I am still able to race. I have done 4 marathons, 9 half marathons, and 4 triathlons on my recumbent tricycle. So the Team Drea Foundation’s mission is both about raising money for ALS research and living bravely, appreciating what our bodies can do”
From Austin:  “Andrea is my first ALS patient. Not only is she a delight to work with, I have learned a lot from her. During our acupuncture sessions I focus on loosening her tight hamstrings and improving/maintaining her respiratory function. At the end of each treatment there is a palpable difference in her hamstrings and she reports feeling looser. Though the respiratory function is harder to measure in this setting I trust that the acupuncture is also helping with that.”
Be inspired by this amazing woman for overcoming adversity, here is picture of her on her trike!
Acupuncture with a licensed acupuncturist is one of the safest ways of addressing musculo-skeletal issues and pain. In Chinese medicine theory, when the energy (Qi) flows, there is no pain; when there is pain, the Qi does not flow. Acupuncture is based on helping energy flow, which in turn innervates the nervous system, the lymphatic system, and the circulatory system.  Contact us if you have questions on how our practitioners can help you and what sessions best fit your needs and your budget.  We want to support an integrative model in health care!
Call us at (919)-251 9698 to schedule for a community acupuncture session during the week or for the Saturday Pay-What-You-Can community acupuncture fundraiser or use our online scheduling for individual sessions
In Service,  Li-Lan Hsiang Weiss L.Ac. and the Armonia Health team

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