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Why Good Hearth?

by Tobey Williamson, L.Ac.

Why Good Hearth?, Good Hearth in Rockland, Maine

Good Hearth Eastern Medical Arts is not your average name for an acupuncture and herbal medicine clinic.  So, I would like to begin this blog (which aims to educate on the history, benefits, and modern integration of Eastern Medicine) by explaining my process for coming up with this name.  My hope is that it will help you decide to come visit and begin your process of determining if my practice is a good fit for you.

Moving from Hawaii to Maine at the end of the summer (really at the end of almost 5 years of endless summer), staying warm over the winter was at the top of my list.  Maintaining warmth through a long Maine winter is a major focus – and it’s what sets those of us who choose to live here year round apart from those who flee to warmer climes before the snow flies.  So, I wanted a name that evoked warmth.

An important part of my practice is the burning of an herb called Mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris) on the skin.  This is a skill called moxibustion – literally the burning of moxa, which is another name for the refined herb.  The amount and type of moxa I burn during an average treatment is one of the things that sets me apart from other practitioners.  For those of you who have experienced moxibustion, what I do is NOT the smoky, smelly “cigar” moxa stick held above the skin for penetrating heat. 

I like to say that Premium Gold Moxa is the fine wine or fine whiskey among moxa.  This is because it is so highly refined and then aged for 10 years before it leaves the factory in Japan.  It smells nice and warms my patients’ muscles and connective tissue, relaxing constrictions and easing pain.  Its purity and consistency allow me to burn it directly on the skin, with only a thin barrier of an herbal burn cream.  Since the skin is permeable, the oils and active biological components from the cream and moxa, pass through with the heat, entering the bloodstream.  You can read more here about Seitai Shinpo Japanese Structural Acupuncture and how the needles and moxibustion work together to improve the flow and quality of your blood.  So, I wanted a name that related to the core of moxibustion as I practice it, which is fire and nourishment. 

People have told me that one of my best qualities is my ability to listen carefully and carry on a conversation that gets to the heart of the matter.  It is the skill that helped me to be a mediator and a communicator in my previous work.  It is also the skill that allows me to work with my patients to determine the root of their illness and to navigate the inevitable challenges of setting a new and lasting pattern.  I was lucky enough to come from a home that encouraged the kind of truthful conversations I now find so invigorating.  So, I wanted a name that honored the safety of a good home – a place we can go to be ourselves, find our center, and recharge before returning again to the wider world to do our part.

Good Hearth. 

Once I settled on that, it just felt right. In my next post, I’ll explain my process for linking this name to the medicine with the tagline, Eastern Medical Arts.

Goodness.  Heart.  Earth.  Fire.  Warmth.  Real Conversation.  It is all here.  Please come visit.