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Serving Manhattan Beach, El Segundo, and surrounding communities since 2002

 Thank you for choosing L.A Wellness in El Segundo as your holistic healthcare provider. At L.A Wellness, we use a holistic approach to help you achieve both radiant health as well as balance and peace in your life. Our experienced and knowledgeable acupuncturists, massage therapists, energy healers and Chinese herbalists achieve this aim by employing a gentle yet effective treatment style that stimulates your body's innate healing capacity. We provide holistic lifestyle counseling in nutrition, exercise, and awareness practices, empowering you with the resources required to accelerate and sustain optimum health. Our friendly welcoming staff, serene environment, and highest quality Chinese herbs, supplements, and health care products further support you on your journey to radiant health.


Effectively Use Affirmations

I recently received an article about how to effectively create and use affirmations that makes alot of sense to me.  It was written by the folks at 5-Minute Journal, and they generously gave me permission to share it with you here:

Work with the rational and emotional minds together - As discussed in the gratitude section, we’ll work with our rational and emotional minds to get a real sense of how writing in the affirmation is impacting our progress.

Work at the edge of your reality -  Let’s understand this using an illustration.

Let’s take an example of an eager Five Minute Journaler. Let’s call him Bob.

Bob is an entrepreneur who’s started a couple of successful product-based businesses and who loves tennis and travel.

If he were to write the affirmation, “I am excited to create great products that help people”, that’s very much in his current reality (the pink dot).  

If he were to write the affirmation, “I am pumped to grow my businesses by 50% this year”, that might be at the edge of his current reality (the orange dot).

If he were to write the affirmation, “I am honoured to lead be the industry leader in sustainable growth products”, that would be significantly outside his current reality(the green dot).

The purpose of an affirmation is to push the edges of your reality, so you want your affirmation to be around the area of the orange dot. If you’re comfortable stretching the edges of your reality significantly (i.e., the green dot), feel free to use the hammer approach.

What’s the hammer approach, you ask?

There are two ways to write affirmations -

1. The hammer approach - This is where you pick an affirmation that you want to deeply integrate and you write the same affirmation in your Journal every day. The more you write in it, the deeper you integrate the strength of that belief within yourself. I’m partial to this technique because I’ve used it in the past to good effect.

It’s called the hammer approach because you basically hammer in one affirmation till you truly experience the benefits of it and you know it’s become a part of your reality.

For example:


2. The butterfly approach - This is where you make up your affirmation on a daily basis. This is where you affirm a part of your reality you want to see more of - maybe you’re giving a presentation later in the day and you want to write this...


Basically you let the day be your rudder in what you want to affirm in your reality. This can work pretty well and I know quite a few people who use this to good effect. Whatever approach you choose can work well and I recommend picking one and sticking to it.

So now that we’ve understood some concepts, let’s return to how to write affirmations in the Five Minute Journal. Here’s how I write in mine.

When I get to the affirmations section, I check in with myself. How do I feel? Where are the edges of my reality?

Here’s an affirmation that I’ve used to good effect in the past, especially when I was healing from my near-fatal motorcycle crash - “I am excited to heal quickly and profoundly on every level.”

The litmus test of how good your affirmation is depends on how do you feel after you write it.

Do you believe it? Do you feel better? If so, you’re on the right track. (orange togreen dot).

Do you feel worse? Chances are you’re biting off more than you can chew (green dot).

Do you feel neutral? Chances are you’re not thinking big enough (pink dot).

Writing affirmations in this manner is the difference between writing effective affirmations that truly work for you vs woo woo Secret-style trust-the-universe thinking. Trust yourself and the universe will take care of itself.   


Why am I STILL not healed??!!

Do you have a pain, emotional or physical, that won't go away, or keeps coming back? Have you been seeking the magic bullet that will heal it once and for all? The one that works 100% of the time forever? Here's the part of the sales pitch where I tell you about some exotic fruit from the Amazon or nanotechnology that will come to the rescue.

But that's not what I am going to share with you today. Instead, I invite you to listen to a deeply insightful discourse with Jeff Foster about how our orientation toward our messages from our body is the origin point of suffering and how changing this mindset will create freedom from the pain... but not in the way that you might imagine: 


"Why haven't I healed/awakened yet?" - Reframing the Path of H...

Author/teacher Jeff Foster busts the core myth of healing - that you should be healed 'by now'. Healing is not a destination, but a present-moment welcoming of all the 'guests' in awareness, a call to LOVE. Sadness, anger, fear, doubt, do not want to be healed, but held. Filmed live at a meeting on 26th April 2015 in the Netherlands.

Posted by Jeff Foster ( on Thursday, April 30, 2015


The talk reminds me of one of my favorite Rumi poems:

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
-- Jelaluddin Rumi,
    translation by Coleman Barks

Antimicrobial Smoke and Mirrors

When you walk into L.A. Wellness, you may enjoy breathing in the sublime scent of Palo Santo that we burn, or feel the good vibes coming off of the Himalayan salt lamps. But is this just new agey hippie stuff, or do these things actually have healing properties? I recently came across two fascinating articles that demonstrate the efficacy of smoke and light in purifying the air and in killing germs.

The first article, "Killer Germs" Obliterated by Medicinal Smoke (Smudging), Study Reveals reveals modern scientific research about how the ritualistic use of plant smoke, which is used the world over as a way of 'cleansing' the spirit, purifies the air of harmful bacteria.

The other article, Air-purifying church windows early nanotechnology cites Queensland University of Technology study findings that stained glass windows painted with gold purify the air when they are lit up by sunlight. In a similar way the interaction of light with Himalayan salt crystals creates negative ions in the air, which not only can kill germs but also exhibit a protective effect from harmful EMF radiation from electronics. 

Upon reflecting on these articles (see what I did there?), I find it strange how easy it is for our culture to accept the idea that pharmaceutical inhalers and radiotherapies impact our chemistry and physiology, while we look with skepticism at the idea that light and smoke therapy have any therapeutic application.  How different are they really? What do you think?

As a reminder, Colleen will be taking her summer vacation from June 10th-23rd, and I will be out from June 26th-July 8th.

Also, the El Segundo Art Walk is just around the corner!  The first evening will be June 18th, and will showcase the beautiful work of Rhonna del-Rio Ascolese. Below is a beautiful piece entitled "Community of the Breath" which we will feature. To learn more about Rhonna and see her work, visit This is going to be a fun free event, so mark your calendars and come check it out.  

Finally, although I won't be able to join them in presenting the workshop, my colleagues Katie Bressack and Wendy Garafalo will be offering the Reset your Metabolism Workshop from 4-6pm on June 14th in Manhattan Beach.  The workshop is filled with valuable easy to implement information and we had a great response last time we presented this.  Click here to sign up

Yours in wellness,
Joe Curcio, L.Ac


Eat More Chocolate

Never thought you'd hear me say that, did you?  Now, don't go out and buy a king size Snickers bar.  There is a specific type of chocolate that is good for you that health coach Katie Bressack will share about along with lots of other useful info at L.A. Wellness' upcoming workshop.  Come join us!  It's FREE.

Join Women's Health Coach Katie Bressack on
Monday, February 9th
at L.A. Wellness
at 7:00 p.m.
to discover how eating real chocolate actually helps balance your hormones, increase your energy levels and support your weight loss journey. Katie will be sharing her love of chocolate, but not just any chocolate! Come to the workshop to find out which chocolate will increase your well being, learn an easy to implement and painless tool to diminish emotional eating, along with many other practical holistic approaches that will help you begin feeling better right away.  Please RSVP by Friday, February 6th by emailing to secure your spot. Have questions? Please contact Katie. 

Yours in wellness,
Joe Curcio, L.Ac


The Return of Light

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
Eleanor Roosevelt

The longest night of the year happens this Sunday on the Winter Solstice, after which the days begin growing longer and brighter. I was born on the night of the Solstice and have often reflected on what significance, if any, this has for me in my life.  

The relevance dawned on me this morning during meditation (see what I did there?)  A few weeks ago, as an exercise from my men's group, I committed to journaling about my mission in life to clarify/refine/redefine it.  But, I had been putting it off.  Ironically, the terminology we use in my group to describe the part of ourselves that sabotages us or the part we keep hidden is "shadow."  Well, my shadow seems to have grown pretty long this time of year.

Grace unfolded as I sat on my meditation cushion and realized that a primary part of my mission in life is to bring light where there is darkness, both in my own life and in the lives of others. Looking back, I see this truth has been under my nose all along.  Whenever people ask me what brings me the greatest joy in life, I always answer in one of two ways.  I either talk about how I find joy in inquiring deeply to discover the truth, or I talk about the satisfaction I get in seeing "the light-bulb go on" when I share my ideas with others.  Both of these movements relate to illumination.  In the first instance, I discover freedom by shining light on the dark places within myself that have caused me suffering, and in the second way I endeavor to spread the light by sharing with others what I have found in these dark corners.  This path is brilliantly expressed in my favorite quote from Nisargadatta, which I have shared with you before: 

When I look inside and see that I am nothing, that is wisdom. When I look outside and see that I am everything, that is love. And between these two, my life turns.

So how does the love that Nisargadatta speaks about tie into my mission?  Over the past year, I have traversed some dark terrain.  Last year, around this time, I visited my mother to say goodbye to her.  She passed away the day after my birthday in the same hospital where she had given birth to me on the Chicago lakefront. Since that time, throughout 2014, I have passed through a series of other losses and challenges, during which time my lamp has become very dim at points. There have been many times during which I have had great difficulty seeing my way through.
Today, I asked myself, "what was it that got me through these tough spots?"  The answer that appeared was this: The fuel that kept the light shining within me was love itself.  Love is the source that becomes transmuted into light.  I think of how in the darkest moments, my friends and loved ones were there for me, nourishing me with their love.  I think of how my love for my daughter and the other loved ones in my life gave me the strength to endure the difficulties I faced.  I feel immense gratitude in my heart for the challenges that I have weathered, because they forced me to come face to face with what matters most in this life.  I have to come to realize that what sustains me on the deepest level in life is love. I have immense gratitude for those who love me and whom I love... those who remind me of who I am, reflect my light back to me, share their own light, and show me the light that surrounds us.

The Eleanor Roosevelt quote above is poignant for me, because it reminds me that I always have a choice to either play the victim of circumstance and "curse the darkness," or to "light a candle" and see that I create my life by choosing the lens through which I choose to view it.  Some days are easier than others to remember this choice.  In this moment, I choose to see myself as blessed beyond measure.

This holiday season I wish you LOVE and LIGHT in the most profound and truest sense.

Yours in wellness, love and light,
Joe Curcio