Major Acupuncture Study

Acupuncture is PROVEN 52% MORE EFFECTIVE

than the “standard of care” in Western Medicine

for chronic pain!!

Key Points

  • Massive study with 18,000 patients
  • Not one study, but a META-ANALYSIS by the NIH of 29 of the best quality studies ever conducted
  • 6 years spent rechecking and analyzing all the original data; most rigorous to date
  • Chronic pain included: osteoarthritis, migraines and chronic back, neck and shoulder pain

Image result for new york times logo The New York Times provided an excellent summary of the study and you can read more here.

 

How Acupuncture helps Dampness

Dampness is an insidious beast. It works its way in, silent and sneaky. Before you know it, you’re filled with it, and you can barely get out of your own way.
Damp is a term acupuncturists use when the fluids of the body aren’t being processed correctly, leading to a buildup that can settle in and make itself at home in almost any area of the body. This, in turn, can lead to a wide array of mental and physical issues.

If dampness invades the entire physical body, it can cause weight gain, sluggishness and a lack of motivation. Think of how you feel on a foggy, rainy day. Now imagine that fogginess and sogginess being inside of you. You would feel heavy, bloated and slow. You would be more comfortable just sitting around, rather than engaging in movement. Your thoughts might be a bit confused, rather than clear and concise. This is what happens when there is an infestation of dampness.

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If the dampness attacks specific areas, it leads to heaviness and dullness in whatever part of the body it festers in. If it settles into the head, it can cause a dull headache that feels as if a band is squeezing the head. This type of headache generally tends to either be stimulated or worsened by damp weather. Dampness in the head can also cause sinus pain or a stuffy nose. From an emotional standpoint, dampness can muddle the thinking, making it hard to think clearly. In the extreme, it can lead to mental impairment. If dampness attacks the digestive system, it can cause vomiting of fluids, diarrhea or abdominal pain. With internal issues, damp usually transforms into damp-heat. Damp-heat of the intestines causes bloody, painful diarrhea. Damp-heat in the lower burner of the body can bring on sores, painful and burning urination or a host of other issues. If it is hot and oozy, think damp-heat.

Pain caused by dampness is heavy, usually severe, and stays fixed in one place. Arthritis can fall into this category: the pain is concentrated in one place, the afflicted area is stiff and hard to move, and damp weather usually makes it feel worse.

The true evil of dampness is that it is a self-propelling cycle. It weighs you down and resists change. That person who feels sluggish and weighed down could dissipate some of their dampness by moving, but the sluggishness makes the person want to sit still. That lack of movement creates more dampness…and so it continues. Fortunately, acupuncture and herbs are wonderful options for getting rid of this dampness.

3 Points to Alleviate Dampness

Nobody wants to be damp. When dampness occurs it is imperative that you solve the issue, the body should never be overly damp. Dampness is heavy, stagnant and tends to solve things down throughout the body. In addition to changing your diet and the way you eat, there are specific acupressure points that work to alleviate dampness. Here are three great points to try.

Stomach 36 – Also known as Zusanli, ST 36 is a great point to use when dampness occurs due to the weather. If damp weather is causing your body to shut down or become more tired you should utilize ST 36 to cure this problem. This point is located between the lower border of the knee and outer border of the large bone located below the knee.

meridianpoint-st36

Gall Bladder 14 – With dampness can come sinus pressure. And GB 14, is a go-to point to relieve sinus pressure and headaches. This point is one of the best in your arsenal you can have to protect against sinus pressure. GB 14, or Yangbai is located above the eyebrow.

meridianpoint-gb14

Stomach 8 – ST 8, is another fantastic point that should be used when trying to alleviate headache pain caused by dampness. By using this point you will be back on your feet again and will find the sensation of your headaches has dissipated. To find this point follow the line your jawbone creates to the top of your head, once you are about five finger’ widths above your eyebrow you will have located the point.

meridianpoint-st8

Until next time, pick your foods wisely and stay warm and dry.

steve-sig

7 Tips to be Stress-Free During the Holidays

7 Tips to be Stress-Free During the Holidays

Keep a routine
It is especially easy to lose your normal routine during the holidays due to festivities and the special occasions that tend to happen this time of year. Don’t abandon your healthy habits, keep your usual routine of diet and exercise, which is especially important when holiday foods and drinks come around. Try keeping a calendar to keep better track of your schedule.

holiday stress

Prioritize
It is easy to take on too much during this time of year. On top of your normal schedule, there is the obligation to see family, attend gatherings and gift-giving. You can only do so much! Prioritize and don’t be afraid to say no if you simply don’t have enough time to commit to something. The holiday season is busy and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.

Watch the wallet
There is nothing that will stress you out more in the long run than spending too much money during the holidays. Make a budget and stick with it. It is incredibly easy to overspend during this time. Budget and allow yourself to spend a certain amount for the entire season, you’ll thank yourself after the holidays are over.

Make time for yourself
Although it is the season for giving, make sure to make time for yourself too. It can be stressful and overwhelming when you try to constantly please others. It is okay to say no to events that you may feel obligated to go to. One of the most important ways to stay stress-free this season is to give yourself time to relax. Do yoga, read or any other activity you like to do to relax.

Try acupuncture
There is no better time than now to try acupuncture. If you are feeling under the weather, stressed and not at your best health, acupuncture can help. Acupuncture can help lower stress levels, boost your immune system and leave you feeling relaxed. Give it a shot!

Give Back
Volunteer at your local food back or donate to a clothing drive. Giving back to the community is always important, but especially during the holidays. Spending time helping out doesn’t just help others, but can benefit you as well.

Don’t sweat the small things
Holidays are meant for family, friends and for celebration. Don’t sweat the small stuff. This is a time to relax and be thankful for the people in your life. Material objects come and go, but relationships will be there and are the most important thing of all. Put your job and your stress on the back-burner for a bit and enjoy the people who mean the most around you.

Germ Warfare

Portrait of a young couple suffering from the flu together

You never have to wonder when the cold and flu season is around the corner. The pharmaceutical industry will be sure that you are reminded of its arrival.  The pharmaceutical industry and the medical community at large are depending on you to leave the fate of your health and well being up to the workings of chemical-laden pills and shots rather than the innate power that runs your body and the living world around you.

The reality is that germs don’t make you sick. Rather, your body’s inability to fend off germs and foreign invaders is what results in you succumbing to illness.  Think about it… How is it possible that a family of 5 people living under the same roof can have completely different reactions during flu season?
Assuming that everyone is exposed to the same germs and viruses, if the sickness were attributed completely to the virus, everyone would get sick and exhibit the same reaction and symptoms.

What happens in reality is that one or two family members get ill while the others don’t. Clearly the issue is not the germs, but the body’s response to them, caused by an individual’s immune system.

Chances are the last time you got sick you were running yourself ragged, missing sleep, eating improperly, slacking on your nutrition, all stressed out from work, skipping your acupuncture sessions, and neglecting your workouts. This is a vicious pattern that many of us fall into and it’s one that weakens the body and allows germs to take hold.

Your best defense against the flu, colds, or any other germ-borne illness is not to drug yourself, but to bolster your internal defenses. You stand your best chance of being at your healthiest when you have an optimally functioning nervous system and immune response.

So come in for an acupuncture tune-up, keep your lifestyle habits in good order, and maintain a positive attitude. Do so, and those pesky little germs don’tstand a chance!

5 Tips to Help With TMJ

tmj painCommonly known as TMJ, temporomandibular joint pain affects over 10 million Americans and can involve difficulty chewing, jaw muscle stiffness and painful popping or clicking, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

Although for some people the pain of TMJ goes away on its own, others develop long-term problems and need treatment to help their pain.

Here are five tips you can practice at home to help your TMJ symptoms.

1. Jaw Exercises:  Try opening your mouth as wide as you can without feeling pain, move your jaw to the right and hold for 10 seconds, do the same to the left and repeat five times.

Massage the muscles around your jaw hinge in a downward motion.
2. Relaxation:  Stress and anxiety are very common inducers of TMJ. Some people tend to clench their jaw when feeling stressed or anxious, which results in TMJ symptoms.

Practice deep breathing. The best way to do this is to lie on your back, place your left hand on your stomach and right hand on your chest. Count to five to inhale, hold your inhale for two seconds, and exhale for five seconds.

Stretch your spine. Interlock your hands behind your head and bend forward with straight legs so that your head is reaching for the floor. Stay in this position for at least ten seconds accompanied with awareness to breathing. This practice can deeply stretch and relax your spinal chord and reduce TMJ pain.
3. Vitamins and Minerals:  Deficiencies in calcium and magnesium are found to be common in people suffering from TMJ. The International Dental Association conducted a study on 50 TMJ sufferers who added calcium and magnesium supplements to their routine and found pain relief in 70 percent of the participants.
Magnesium rich food: Cashews, avocados, almonds soybeans, sesame butter, spinach, squash, sunflower seeds, rice, flaxseed.

Calcium rich food: milk, banana, almond, spinach, coconut, yogurt.
4. Herbal Remedies:  Rhus Toxicodendron: This herb can help relieve jaw stiffness.
Kava Root: If your TMJ is due to stress or anxiety, Kava can be used to calm your nervous system and in turn, reduce TMJ symptoms caused by anxiety like a stiff jaw.
Magnesia Phosphorica: This homeopathic remedy can ease muscle stiffness and has an antispasmodic effect.

5. Acupuncture:  Acupuncture has proven to be effective in treating TMJ in a number of ways. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, TMJ often represents an imbalance in the liver and gallbladder meridians which traverse the areas usually associated with TMJ pain. Acupuncture points focused on these areas can stimulate the healing process, and return the meridians and the body back to balance, improving your TMJ symptoms.

Sources:
http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/temporomandibular-joint-dysfunction
http://home-cure.net/home-remedies-exercises-natural-cures-tmj-treatment/
http://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/kava-cure