Back to school: Help facilitate your child’s transition

August 2019

As summer winds down and fall approaches, families are preparing to send their children back to school. Typical school preparations include everything from buying school supplies, shoes and clothes, to checking school and bus schedules. But did you know there are steps you can take to help their physical and emotions transition, as well?

Emotional balance: Anxiety, depression, ADHD, insomnia

The start of a new school year can lead to increased anxiety or depression in children as they meet new teachers and learn about new expectations. In addition, ADHD and insomnia also can negatively affect children. Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine can help alleviate symptoms of insomnia, agitation, nervousness, poor focus, restlessness, headaches, stomach aches, tantrums, crying, OCD-like behaviors, refusing to go to school, social withdrawal, fatigue, sadness and anger. By restoring balance in your child’s energy, they will feel and function better.

Physical balance: Seasonal allergies, sports/physical injuries

The beginning of school also can have physical influences on your child. As fall nears, environmental changes can irritate children who suffer from seasonal allergies. Symptoms of sneezing, itching, nasal congestion, runny nose, coughing can all be alleviated with acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine.

In addition, as summer sports camps end and fall sports begin, children may begin to suffer from sports injuries including sprains, strains, tears, musculoskeletal issues, concussions, pain, muscle cramping and fatigue. Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine can treat these conditions to restore your child’s health.

A Touch of Ginger can help your child

Ginger Michels, owner and acupuncturist at A Touch of Ginger, provides drug-free, holistic treatments for physical and emotional conditions. She is experienced working with children and has treated all ages, including infants, toddlers, kids and teens.

Schedule a consultation for your child today. Call or text (630) 299-3464, or click here to schedule an appointment online.

Learn more about A Touch of Ginger at

Meet Ginger Michels, Owner of A Touch of Ginger LLC

January 2018

The following interview with Ginger Michels, owner of A Touch of Ginger, was published in The Bridge Living Magazine in December 2018.

Where did you grow up? How long have you lived in the area?
I was born and raised right here in Aurora, a lifelong resident. My childhood was filled with joy and happiness until I was 12 years old when my father asked for a divorce from my mother after nearly 20 years of marriage and three children. When he divorced my mom, he divorced me and my two brothers. I have only seen him a few times since then at my grandparents’ funerals. My youngest brother Peter is mentally handicapped and my other brother Ed and I are his caregivers as well as Glenkirk, a not-for-profit organization that cares for children and adults with special needs. I share this because it’s an important part of my journey. My mom has rheumatoid arthritis and has had it for more than 34 years. I am her doctor and part-time caregiver. So, I’ve been taking care of people with special needs most of my life. I do it because I love to, not because I have to. It has shaped me as a person. It’s the root of my compassion, love, and desire to take care of others. Although I would love to have a father in my life, had my father not left us, I truly believe my journey would have been much different. I am grateful to be who I am, a loving and caring daughter, sister, wife, mother, caregiver, and doctor. So, in the end…I would not change a thing about how my life has played out.

Tell us about the events that led up to where you are now.
I graduated from Rosary High School in Aurora, received my associate’s degree from Waubonsee Community College, and then graduated from Lewis University with a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science. I was then hired by the Henry Pratt Company of Aurora as an application engineer. I worked for Henry Pratt for eight years; during that time I earned a Master of Business and taught Marketing 101 at Aurora University part-time.

About 17 years ago, I found myself hospitalized while doctors tried to determine the source of my abdominal pain. After three days in the hospital, I was finally diagnosed with a peptic ulcer and was faced with the reality of my poor health and obesity. The combination of my sedentary lifestyle and poor diet contributed significantly to my obesity and the development of an ulcer. It was time, and I knew it. I had to change my diet and start exercising because I never wanted to feel this sick and helpless ever again. In order to address my diagnosis, I found myself having to take different prescription medications. I knew there would be side effects to these drugs. It seemed counterintuitive to use a drug to get rid of one problem but risk causing another. Little did I know that this thinking was the start of a lifelong journey to discover health through alternative medicine.

I began reading books about natural healing and cures and discovered a whole other world I knew nothing about. I learned about Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Tui Na, Reiki, Qi Gong, Naturopathic, Homeopathy and more! It was exciting to discover so many options for healing my body. I began trying these different modalities to help heal my ulcer. I had other problems I was hoping could be helped as well such as back pain from multiple car accidents, seasonal and food allergies, and irritable bowel syndrome. I changed my diet, began exercising regularly and tried many of the alternative modalities. It was such a unique and wonderful experience to realize the symptoms of my illnesses were disappearing one by one! I lost 85 pounds over a three-year period. It felt miraculous to me and my excitement for what I had discovered began to overtake me.

I wanted to tell everyone about how these alternative medicines had given me my life back! But I knew I needed to be able to make a living. How was I going to do that with my new passion? I started researching all of the alternative modalities to understand the foundation and theories they were built upon, the education required to practice them as well as what their benefits and limitations were. Through that process, acupuncture really called to my soul. Acupuncture is just one aspect of an entire system of medicine called Traditional Chinese Medicine, otherwise referred to as TCM. It is a holistic medicine that began in China over 3,000 years ago. Modalities of Chinese Medicine are acupuncture, herbal medicine, cupping, moxibustion, and gua sha.

Every day, my passion and commitment to Chinese Medicine are renewed when another person discovers life without their ailments. A Touch of Ginger, LLC is a place of healing and health. I am honored and humbled to be a healing part of my patients’ journeys to finding physical, emotional and spiritual health.

What is unique about your business?
What makes us unique from other practitioners is the style of Chinese Medicine we practice, Canonical Chinese Medicine. Only one school in the U.S. is dedicated to teaching Canonical Chinese Medicine, The Institute for Classics in East Asian Medicine (ICEAM), founded by Dr. Arnaud Versluys. I completed a two-year post-graduate program at ICEAM, earning my Diplomate in Canonical Chinese Medicine (DCCM) and have been studying under the tutelage of Dr. Versluys for over seven years. In 2017, I earned my fellowship at the Institute of Classics in East Asian Medicine.

Tell us about your family.
My husband, Stephen Behling, teaches Spanish at Oswego High School and we are very proud parents of Harrison, age 5 and Violette, age 3. As a family, we enjoy spending as much time as we can outside enjoying the nature around us. We love riding our bikes. My children have followed me in my lifelong love with LEGOS. I have been collecting since I was 6 years old. We have two LEGO cities in our basement that bring us much joy!

Given your expertise, what advice can you offer to the residents of Stonebridge?
I like to use a “house” as a metaphor for our bodies. It’s very important to take care of our homes so that they will provide shelter, safety, and a wonderful and happy place for us to reside through our lives. It’s so important to take care of it every day because just a little bit of neglect can lead to some very big problems that can require a lot of time, energy, money, and inconvenience to us. For our bodies, this translates into a good, well-rounded diet, regular exercise and stress management. This will help ensure that the body’s energy remains in balance so as to prevent disease. In the end, we only get one house, one body, so if we don’t maintain it, in 20 to 30 years it will be a very uncomfortable place to live.

Acupuncturist Ginger Michels speaks at local school’s career day

December 2018

On November 20, 2018, Homestead Elementary School, Aurora, IL, hosted its 8th annual Career Day in celebration of American Education Week.  The school had 27 speakers representing 21 different professions attend this event.  Some of the professions that were represented include attorney, dietitian, physical therapist, city alderman, engineer, police detective, teacher, acupuncturist, chiropractor, marketing/advertising, food scientist, geologist, athletic trainer, IT and land surveyor. 

Ginger Michels, owner of A Touch of Ginger LLC, represented the acupuncturist profession. She talked about China and the history of acupuncture. Ginger described the training involved to become an acupuncturist, including the number of years she studied in school, the number of acupuncture points on the body she had to learn and the uses of Chinese herbs for healing. She spoke to the students about the types of issues that can be treated with acupuncture and demonstrated needling on herself. She emphasized to the students the importance of pursing a career that makes them happy.

Each speaker had the opportunity to present to four different classes of students and provided information about their education/training, what a day in the life of this position is like, and how their earlier education now applies to their career.  Speakers also included five Homestead alumni.  The alumni presented a panel discussion for all 4th and 5th grade students in order to provide insight into life after high school. 

This event is a great example of the strong partnership Homestead shares with the community at large!

Seasonal changes can cause imbalance in the body

November 2018

In Chinese Medicine, it is believed that our bodies are a microcosm of the world around us. As the season shifts from fall to winter, the environmental changes affect our bodies. Just as there are places on our planet that are dry (deserts, Arizona, the Sahara), damp (rainforests, Florida), hot (deserts, places near the equator), cold (North Pole, Iceland) and windy (Antarctica, Mt. Washington, New Hampshire), these conditions also occur in the body. There are different times during the seasons that these conditions are in excess or deficient. Examples of these imbalances within the environment include tornados, hurricanes, blizzards and drought. Imbalances because of climate changes can occur in our bodies, as well. Examples of imbalance in our bodies as the season changes to winter include allergies, colds, flu, depression and fatigue.

If you experience allergies/sickness:

  • Stop consuming dairy, sugar, caffeine and oranges.
    • Dairy creates phlegm and mucus (ex. yogurt, cheese, milk)
    • Sugar lowers your immune defenses (ex. sweet treats, sodas, baked goods)
    • Caffeinated beverages cause dehydration (ex. coffee, sodas, energy drinks)
    • Oranges and orange juice creates phlegm and mucus
  • Avoid over the counter (OTC) medicines. They suppress your body’s natural immune response to the illness and stop your body from doing its job, which can lead to a ‘lingering virus.’ It can lie dormant and resurface again shortly and/or it could lead to other imbalances within your body such as headaches, trouble sleeping, temperature fluctuations, increase in PMS, etc. Replace your OTC with homemade chicken noodle soup that will help you heal with ingredients including iron, collagen, vitamin-rich marrow, ginger and garlic. Taking Esterol Ester-C, Vitamin D, N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC) and fish oil supplements also can ease discomfort.
  • Increase fluids. It is important to drink lots of water. If needed, use homemade electrolyte drinks and coconut water.
  • Rest. Take it easy, go to bed early and do not exercise. Evaluate if you are sweating like you normally do. If you are NOT sweating, you can start the healing process by helping your body sweat again. Enjoy a very warm cup of soup, tea or porridge/congee while wearing warm clothes and nestled under some warm blankets with a warm hat. Once you start to sweat, continue to stay bundled up for about 30 minutes.

If you experience depression or the blues:

  • Increase aerobic activity. Try to fit in 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic activity 4 to 5 days per week.
  • Go outside during the day. Take a walk around the block. Exposure to sunlight relieves depression.
  • Have your vitamin D levels checked by your doctor and supplement accordingly.
  • Be social. Schedule more outings and events with friends and family (i.e. book club, shows, dinner, concert, movies, parties, etc.)
  • Consider whether a light therapy box/sun lamp is right for you.

Lastly, according to the teachings of Chinese Medicine, winter is the time to hibernate and even gain a pound or two. Give yourself permission to slow down a little bit, sleep a little longer and indulge with moderation in your favorite comfort foods.

These suggestions are rooted in Chinese Medicine with a sprinkling of western medicine as it relates to incorporating some vitamins and supplements. Acupuncture, herbal medicine, cupping and gua sha are all modalities of Chinese Medicine and can help your body heal itself as it experiences imbalances created by seasonal changes.

Click here to download four recipes that promote healing and balance. (PDF)