Russell Brown: On point

Acupuncturist Russell Brown gets right to the point, encouraging people to find their personal ying and yang.  He's also got a pretty sweet dog. You can find him at


I had something called a "Protein Plate" because I am a ridiculous Los Angeles person.


Letting myself off the hook and treating myself with gentleness, especially when my instinct is to do the opposite. I hold myself to crazy high standards and I expect so much from myself it's stupid. Life can be hard and no one has a clue as to what comes next—especially the ones who work overtime pretending that they do.

We all literally come into this world upside-down, head first and facing backwards: we have to be nicer to ourselves. So I practice cleaning the slate of all the failures and faults I’ve manufactured in my mind and try to offer myself the same compassion I would to a stranger, let alone a best friend.


It differs from day to day but the overall gist is to balance the energy going out with the energy going in. Because I treat so many people all week, I need to be alone for certain periods of time to maintain my own rhythm. Some days it’s just letting myself do one less thing. I get acupuncture (from a very nice man who thinks I’m a law clerk because I told him I was a law clerk so that we don’t have to talk about acupuncture). I sleep. I eat moderately well ("Protein Plate" notwithstanding.) I spend time with my dog named Backpack who is a nice person.


Industrialization has prioritized productivity and activity so disproportionally that we are now consumed by loudness, hardness and speed; the stillness of self-care is collateral damage. So I like to remind my patients that it’s supposed to be half yin and half yang: half day and half night; half work and half rest; half driven and ambitious and half slow and withdrawn. It is a natural and beautiful balance. That balance is not “doing yoga two times a week” to make up for barreling through allllll the rest of the week like a honking clown car with no brakes.


Do not lose your softness: that is the way the world kills you. And if the things that you are doing FOR your health are making you resentful OF your health, then it's not working. Health and medicine should be about electrifying the pursuit of living, not dampening it.

I don’t like to come at health from a place of mystical privilege and I genuinely fear I will wake up one day to realize that I have become another vessel for empty platitudes and spiritual marketing. I’m just a highly functioning idiot who believes that when it comes to better well-being, you either decide you can't live in this world- with all the pain, all the struggle- or you live all the way- with nothing but love and awe and kindness for what it is to be alive. And nothing in between.


Richard Bach’s children’s book There’s No Such Place as Far Away. The book is a short letter written to a little girl on her 5th birthday, asking her to understand the truth underneath the story of our biographies, and it really rearranged my molecules.



Meditation1814 is a short-ish illustrated self-help book that breaks down some of the misconceptions people have about meditation, and offers some stripped-down clarity on the subject meditation beginners and civilians. For anyone who ever wanted to meditate but has filled their head with crazy excuses like, "You’re doing it wrong," "You suck at it," "It’s too hard," "You just couldn’t possibly sit still for that long," and, "It’s only for possibly-annoying, Mercury-in-retrograde-fearing, billowy-yoga-pant-wearing hippies," this book is a must-read. 



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