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Acupuncture

What Japanese Acupuncture Can Do for You

What Japanese Acupuncture Can Do for You

If acupuncture is new to you, you might not know that there are different forms of acupuncture. While Chinese acupuncture is a bit more mainstream here in the West, Japanese acupuncture is becoming renowned for its effectiveness. Traditional Japanese acupuncture (which includes Meridian Therapy) is defined as “an imbalance in qi and blood flowing in the meridians which is considered to be the cause of disease.” The aim is to regulate the flow of both qi and blood.

Its roots are in Chinese acupuncture but there are some differences. Read on to learn what those are so you can see if Japanese acupuncture is right for you. continue reading »

Does Acupuncture Treat Heart Disease?

Does Acupuncture Treat Heart Disease?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. And ethnicity doesn’t matter, as people of all racial and ethnic groups are impacted. With such serious statistics, many might wonder what treatment options are available. Did you know that acupuncture can help with treating heart disease, as well as many of its contributing factors? Read on to learn how. continue reading »

Benefits of Adding Acupuncture to Your Wellness Routine

Benefits of Adding Acupuncture to Your Wellness Routine

This is the time of year when many are looking to start (or restart) their wellness routines. Self-care Saturdays may have fallen by the wayside during the holiday season and now is the time to get back on track. As you examine your health goals and wellness priorities this year, have you considered adding acupuncture to your wellness routine? If not, here’s why you should and some things to consider to set yourself up for success.

Acupuncture provides numerous health benefits from a holistic approach to wellness. It’s a non-pharmacological approach to health and wellness and addresses a variety of health concerns you might be struggling with.  continue reading »

Healing Trauma with Acupuncture

Healing Trauma with Acupuncture

Trauma can be emotional or physical and carries a weight with it for those who suffer from a traumatic event and the longer post-traumatic stress that can come from it. Fortunately, we live in a time where help is available. Since acupuncture subscribes to the whole mind/body/spirit healing approach to balancing energy and achieving complete wellness, it makes sense that acupuncture could be a helpful tool to treating various forms of trauma and its impact on both the mind and body. continue reading »

Acupuncture for Treating Leaky Gut Syndrome

Acupuncture for Treating Leaky Gut Syndrome

There are a variety of gastrointestinal and autoimmune diseases that can contribute to what is known as leaky gut syndrome. So, what exactly is leaky gut syndrome? It’s close to exactly what it sounds like. Each one of us has semi-permeable guts. What that means is the mucous lining of our intestines is designed to absorb water and nutrients from our food. Your intestinal lining is responsible for acting as a barrier to bacteria. With leaky gut syndrome, your intestinal lining “leaks” allowing more water and nutrients through, but also potentially allowing toxic molecules to come through as well.  continue reading »

The 12 Meridians of the Body Explained

The 12 Meridians of the Body Explained

The meridian system is a phrase that comes up often during acupuncture treatment. Traditional Chinese medicine believes that energy (also referred to as qi) flows throughout the body much like blood does. When this flow of energy becomes disrupted, symptoms and disease can occur. Acupuncture and other forms of Eastern medicine work to restore the flow of energy throughout the body using the meridian system.  continue reading »

LED Light Therapy & Acupuncture: A Perfect Pairing

LED Light Therapy & Acupuncture: A Perfect Pairing

Acupuncture is a proven treatment option when it comes to dealing with a host of health problems, from allergies to depression to chronic pain. Acupuncture is the key to restoring the body’s energy flow and achieving balance. Acupuncturists also may use herbal remedies, acupressure massage, and other modalities like LED light therapy to enhance their treatment and get improved outcomes for their patients.  continue reading »

Winning Combination: Cupping & Acupuncture

Winning Combination: Cupping & Acupuncture

While you might be familiar with acupuncture or Traditional Chinese Medicine, cupping might be a new concept. It’s become more popular in recent years as celebrities and professional athletes have touted its benefits and proudly showcased the sometimes giant red welts on their bodies. But what is cupping and how does it work with a traditional acupuncture treatment?  continue reading »

Acupuncture for Healthy Weight Management

Acupuncture for Healthy Weight Management

Different weight loss drugs and diets are always coming into and out of fashion as different celebrities endorse different programs and plans. If you are looking for a long-term, drug-free solution, acupuncture just might be the perfect fit for you.  continue reading »

Acupuncture and Peripheral Neuropathy Relief

Acupuncture and Peripheral Neuropathy Relief

According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 20 million people in the United States suffer from peripheral neuropathy. The NIH also notes that it is particularly common among those suffering from diabetes. So, what is peripheral neuropathy and can acupuncture help to relieve its symptoms? continue reading »

5 Benefits of Acupuncture Care

5 Benefits of Acupuncture Care

Acupuncture is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and is practiced in many different forms which include herbal remedies, cupping, and massage, which have all been used for thousands of years. The basis of TCM is the idea of qi, the body’s vital energy.

TCM treatments promote the movement of qi throughout the body to help bring balance back to the body. The goal of acupuncture is to correct this imbalance which can cause a variety of ailments and conditions that you may currently have.

Acupuncture uses very thin needles (which have been compared to being as small as cat whiskers) that stimulate pressure points and other areas of your body. It stimulates qi by placing needles in specific spots, often along meridians. Meridians are the channels that qi travels in the body.

Acupuncture can help with many health conditions, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Chronic pain, including joint pain
  • Depression
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Trouble sleeping and insomnia
  • Nausea and digestive trouble
  • Back pain and sciatica
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Tinnitus (ringing ears)
  • Weight loss

Below are the top five ways that acupuncture can help:

1. Relieves Pain
Acupuncture can help alleviate many types of pain that may range from headaches and migraines to neck and back pain. These studies have shown its effectiveness in treating lower back pain, migraines, tension headaches, and knee pain. Acupuncture works differently for everybody. For some, a single treatment can alleviate symptoms for several months while others need a more routine treatment schedule

2. Improved Sleep
Another thing that Acupuncture can help improve is sleep and insomnia. Scientists believe that acupuncture increases the production of brain chemicals that promote relaxation, thus allowing for better sleep.

3. Uplift Mood
Acupuncture can help with improving mood, including helping with depression, stress, and anxiety. The needles from acupuncture treatment release endorphins in the body. Endorphins are hormones that provide a boost in mood, encouraging happiness and relaxation.

4. Help the Heart
Acupuncture is also good for your heart due to the relaxation and stress reduction that one achieves from the treatments, which are also known to reduce blood pressure. Stress and high blood pressure are commonly related to heart attacks and heart disease.

5. Support the Immune System
Research has shown that acupuncture can boost immune system function. The placement of acupuncture needles can release immune-boosting cytokines. Cytokines are messenger cells that regulate the body’s immune response. By triggering the immune system, acupuncture can help fight infections or illnesses like colds and the flu.

If you deal with any of the above symptoms or think that acupuncture may be right for you- schedule an appointment with us! We’d be happy to support you in achieving your healthcare goals!

Why You Should Get Regular Acupuncture Treatments

Why You Should Get Regular Acupuncture Treatments

 

Everybody knows you should see your family physician at least once a year and your dentist at least twice a year. But not everybody knows about acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine and the many benefits it can provide for you. If you start incorporating acupuncture into your health and wellness regime, you may not have to rely on the family physician so much for those minor little issues.  Let’s look at how getting regular acupuncture treatments can help you stay happy and healthy.

 

There are many ways acupuncture treatments can change a person’s life. One of the most noticeable is acupuncture can get you to look at your health from a completely different perspective. This could mean you might start taking a more in-depth look at your health, which may allow you to veer away from some of the mainstream medical practices such as multiple pharmaceuticals. Many long-term acupuncture patients find they no longer need all the medications prescribed by their family physician because the symptoms have been controlled using acupuncture.

 

Acupuncture is excellent for prevention. Because regular acupuncture treatments can balance hormones and boost immunity, there is a good chance you won’t need that annual flu shot or all those over-the-counter cold medications. A trained acupuncturist can spot a problem like decreased immunity from a mile away. It can appear as symptoms such as chronic fatigue, insomnia, and even body temperature fluctuations. A couple of treatments can make a big difference.

 

What about relieving some of that extra stress we all deal with? Yes, regular acupuncture treatments can keep that at bay too.  Many people don’t equate being poked with tiny needles as a relaxation technique, but it truly is relaxing. Many patients actually fall asleep after or while the needles are being placed. And the effects can last for days or even weeks. So the next time you feel irritable and overwhelmed, check out your local licensed acupuncturist.

 

Regular acupuncture treatments can help you save money. What? It’s true. This goes back to the previous benefits. If you don’t need as many pharmaceuticals, you will ultimately save money. Also, conditions like stress, anxiety, fatigue, and depression can keep you from going to work, possibly costing you several days of pay. But with regular acupuncture treatments, your moods can be more effectively managed, and you won’t need to miss work as frequently.

 

And the most popular reason to get regular acupuncture treatments is that it will help you remain pain-free. We all have aches and pains. But research has shown acupuncture is more effective than opioids for controlling things like arthritic pain in the joints. It has also been incorporated into hospital emergency rooms throughout the United States, so people don’t need as many pain medications. As a matter of fact, in Asia, acupuncture is sometimes used by itself during and after surgical procedures to treat pain.

 

While many of you may have a needle phobia, don’t let that deter you. Acupuncture is part of an amazing medical system that has been around for nearly 3,000 years. Western medicine has only been around for about 200 to 250 years. That puts things in perspective a little, especially considering that most people in Asian countries live longer, happier, healthier lives than almost everybody in the United States. There’s no better time than the present to start a good habit. Just be sure to seek out a fully trained and licensed acupuncturist. Your whole life just might change for the better.

6 Reasons You May Be Having Sleepless Nights

6 Reasons You May Be Having Sleepless Nights

One of the first and most important steps to healing is making sure you’re getting enough quality sleep every night for the body to do its internal restorative work. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it is understood that the yang qi that keeps our minds and bodies busy during the day goes internal at night to be available to the deeper detox and repair systems of the body while the yin qi takes over externally to rest our conscious minds and shut down muscle activity. This yin/yang trade-off, when working in balance, is the very foundation of good health according to TCM.

The nature of yin is cool and calm. It is associated with quiet, darkness, stillness…all the soothing feel you melt into when really truly resting. A body in a yin state will slow its heart rate and metabolism. Biomedicine relates to the parasympathetic nervous system. Its main purpose aligns with yin qi: to keep us calm and conserve energy. While the sympathetic nervous system is what switches on our fight or flight response and is more correlated with Yang qi. Yang is expansive, stimulating, warming, and gets us moving. In general, yang qi is more accessible during the day, while yin qi dominates the nighttime.

Sleep disturbances are one of the main manifestations of too much yang and/ or not enough yin. In order to correct issues like insomnia, we need to look at how we are living in accordance with that natural balance.

Here are 6 ways you might be throwing off your own sleep and wake cycles:

1) Ingesting Too Much Yang: Before bed, or in general, spicy food, alcohol, or stimulants can disturb sleep. Spicy food and alcohol cause heat in the system, which creates excess yang in the body. Too much coffee also keeps yang qi stuck at the surface to be available for activity. Even just having a large meal before bed can block the yang energy from going deep in the body at night.

2) Too Much Activity/Excitement: The yang qi is needed deep on the inside of the body at night, don’t hold it hostage with outward energy requirements. Stop exercising at least 90 minutes before bedtime. This allows for endorphin levels and body temperature to return to levels that are conducive to sleep. Try not to argue before bed, or even get too excited. Give yourself time to wind down & transition.

3) You need to Cool Down: Literally. Yin is associated with coolness. To invite your yin qi to come out at night keep the bedroom temperature between 60-67℉.

4) Too Much External Stimulation: Lights, especially blue light from TVs, phones, and computer screens prevent melatonin release in the body, making it harder to fall asleep. If you have to finish work on a computer, wear blue blocker glasses. Also, yin time should be quiet time, so turn off the tv and any sources of noise that can disturb the peace.

5) Too Much Stress, Not Enough Rest: We live in a yang-obsessed world. This creates stress as many of us are over-worked and over-stimulated, while not always having time for a healthy self-care practice (meditation, walks, etc.). This leaves us with a restless mind (disturbed Shen in TCM terms), and can keep us lying in bed exhausted, but unable to sleep. The challenge is to resist the modern-day pressure to keep up and create more self-care time to support a more balanced lifestyle.

Finally, consider the

6) Feng Shui of the bedroom:  A Feng Shui specialist can analyze the yin yang balance in your bedroom. For instance, the bed should be opposite the room’s door, but not directly in line with it (this is called the command position in feng shui). The headboard should be against a solid wall with balanced night tables on each side. It is also important to keep the area under the bed clear, not for storage. Many people find simple feng shui adjustments can have a perceptible effect on things like sleep and wake cycles.

In addition to these considerations for improving sleep, don’t forget the value of relaxing into a healing state on the acupuncture table. Acupuncture is a cost-effective self-care tool and can help reset your yin-yang balance for better sleep and overall health, call today!

Effortless Healing: Can Imbalances Clear upon their Own?

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: Yes, but…. there are a few things to consider when relying on our ‘natural propensity towards health’. The most important of which is entropy, the second law of thermodynamics, a disorderly force we must contend with. It runs counter to the organizational efforts of nature, but also works in balance with them, in yet another dynamic expression of yin and yang.

Entropy is played out in living systems as the natural deterioration of the body. As we age past mid-life our body tissues and physiological systems gradually lose their vibrance. Structure and function suffer, as entropy takes over in the process of decay necessary to the cycle of life. So, where we are in the stages of development/decline in life is a big determining factor for the ability to self-heal.

How much entropy are we up against? Imbalances have a much better chance of resolving themselves while we are young and more in the yang (growth) phase of our life versus the yin (decline) phase. The severity of disease or injury also dictates the level of counter-entropy efforts needed.

Regardless of age, however, and even the severity of our condition, we can still tap into our innate healing energy under certain conditions. And yes, some of those conditions can be practically effortless, depending on how you look at it.

One condition is: to stop doing the things that are pushing your body into a state of entropy. Don’t keep eating toxic food, don’t keep putting yourself in overly stressful situations (as much as you can control it), in other words: don’t keep banging your head against the wall.

The other condition is that your Qi must be strong. In TCM terms, Qi is that natural healing force. It is that spark of life that organizes chaos into form and function. Qi can be supported by even minimal efforts such as adequate sleep, meditation, or simply sitting quietly in a restful but conscious state.

While some of us call it Qi, others think of it as the inborn system of self-preservation. Zhigou Wang, a biomedicine researcher from China, breaks down the ways the human body resists entropy into 4 processes: self-organization, self-defense, self-healing, and anti-wear and tear.

Self-organization can be witnessed in the miracle of development, the way a single cell matures into a full-grown organism. Scientists at Tufts University looked at this miracle in the early stages of tadpole development. In doing so they documented a perfect physical representation of the organizing power of Qi: patterns of visible bioelectrical signals outlining and directing the development of the embryo.

Self-defense includes our immune system, inflammatory response, endogenous antioxidants, stress response, autophagy, and apoptosis (the destruction and removal of sick cells).

Self-healing includes compensatory mechanisms like the increase in heart rate that occurs to compensate for slow circulation due to heart damage. This is also the category of cell/tissue renewal. Think of a wound healing or a broken bone that seems to magically repair itself over time. When a large number of cells are destroyed, surrounding cells replicate to make new ones. Self-healing also happens on a molecular level with DNA repair. There is a natural editing process at work correcting damaged or mutated DNA. Finally, anti-wear and tear is simply the daily process of upkeep necessary to mend minor internal injuries that arise from continued use of the body’s tissues.

And while these self-preservation mechanisms can help to slow or even reverse the degradation of our living system, there are no guarantees (well, except eventual death).

Effortless repair and renewal do happen, even in seemingly miraculous ways, but every little effort to support this process gives us a better shot at healing and a better chance at enjoying the best quality of life. Acupuncture is one of the best tools for supporting all aspects of this self-preservation system. It has been shown to strengthen immunity and regulate inflammation, aid in tissue renewal, and even DNA repair.  It does this because it supports the driving force of this self-preservation system, that spark of life, that intelligent bio-electrical energy that organizes and directs our growth and healing: or as practitioners of Chinese medicine have called it for millennia: Qi.

Yes, it takes effort to call and make an appointment but once you are on the table you can relax and allow your acupuncturist to support your own effortless healing abilities. The gentle placement of needles at various acupuncture points will free up the flow of your own qi-driven self-preservation system.

 

[1] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095809921003866#!

[1] https://now.tufts.edu/news-releases/face-frog-time-lapse-video-reveals-never-seen

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4540978/

[1] https://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1939-acupuncture-muscle-regeneration-discovery-2

[1]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19873920/

Valentine’s Day: Empower Your Heart With Your Kidneys!

This Valentine’s day, whether you celebrate romantic love with a partner, enjoy the love of family and friends, or simply go on with life, marking another day on the calendar, it can be a chance to at least take a moment and honor one of the most important relationships in our lives. In Chinese Medicine philosophy, the relationship at the core of our existence that helps to give our lives meaning, joy, and power is the sacred harmony between our heart and our kidneys.

Valentine’s day lands right smack in the dead of winter, while we are deep in kidney time. Winter’s focus is on the kidneys which represent the water element, so it is a great opportunity to remember its balancing organ, the heart, which corresponds with fire. The relationship between water and fire in the body influences much more than just aspects of our physical health. It actually determines how we engage our purpose in life, how we connect what we love with what we do.

In terms of physical health, this balance between the heart and the kidney function in the body is required to regulate heart rhythm, sleep cycles, water metabolism, temperature, and mental and physical stability. The heart, located in the upper (yang) part of the body, must descend its yang qi (fire) to warm the kidney yin and prevent cold stagnation. The kidneys, located in the lower (yin) part of the body, must ascend their yin qi (water) to prevent the heart fire from becoming overactive. If there is a miscommunication that leads to disharmony in this relationship we can see issues of hyperactive heart fire such as palpitations, anxiety, insomnia, even mania. If an overactive heart fire dries up the kidney yin, we can have issues like dizziness, tinnitus, weak back and knees. Not enough fire to warm the kidneys can lead to cold limbs, fatigue, and edema. The heart and kidneys share a special relationship in Western medicine as well, as they rely on each other for proper circulation, water and waste metabolism, and blood pressure. Disorders of one organ can lead to issues in the other, which is why doctors often say ‘what’s good for your heart is good for your kidneys’ and vice-versa.

A more profound analysis of this relationship has to do with the spiritual energy held in these organs according to TCM. Our heart is the home of our Shen, our heart-mind, the aspect of spirit associated with our consciousness, our desires, insight, and passion. Kidneys house the Zhi, the aspect of our spirit associated with our willpower. This is what gives us our ‘umph’ to face challenges and keep going, our self-discipline, our drive. Together these motivations, our desire coupled with our drive, empower us to carry out our soul’s life plan.

This Valentine’s day, wake up and stretch, rub your lower back to charge up your kidneys, and activate your willpower. Breathe deep, adjust your posture and stick out your chest to let your heart lead the way. Feel the connection between these 2 organ systems in the body, letting you will empower your passions. This internal harmony can fill your life with love on Valentine’s day and every day.

Roses and chocolates are great on Valentine’s Day, but why not also get some acupuncture to help support your heart-kidney connection? You’ll leave feeling balanced at your core and in love with life!

 

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