Spring is finally here and for many people that means it’s time to get off the treadmill and start running outdoors.Continue Reading
Many people receive acupuncture for a variety of reasons. Whatever those reasons may be, there are a number of effective ways to complement your treatment between your sessions.Continue Reading
Winter is commonly known as cold and flu season. But that doesn’t mean you should expect to get sick every year.Continue Reading
The fear of needles is one of the top reasons why people feel hesitant about having acupuncture treatments. But for acupuncturists like myself who know the many benefits of acupuncture, the fear of needles should not be a factor.Continue Reading
Body acupuncture in combination with adequate diet and exercise has found to be effective for weight loss and also with the reduction of inflammatory reactions in the body.
Acupuncture is the traditional Chinese medicine practice of placing fine needles into specific points on the body for a therapeutic effect. According to Dr. Neemez Kassam, Associate Professor of Asian Medicine at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, there are two schools of thought on how acupuncture works. The Western perspective whereby acupuncture releases endorphins which produce natural euphoric activity, and the traditional approach where acupuncture regulates the flow of QI, or energy, bringing the body back into a balanced state.
How does it work?
Acupuncture for weight loss is used for targeting acupuncture points that will work to reduce cravings and appetite, and to stimulate and balance hormones. Using acupuncture for weight control is based in the premise that weight gain could be the result of disturbed energy flow to and from the regulating center of the brain, called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is responsible for maintaining “homeostasis” or functional balance that allows the body to run like a finely tuned instrument. It is the body’s dispatch center that regulates hormones and neurochemicals, and helps to control body temperature, circadian rhythm, thirst and hunger.
With acupuncture the inserted needles will act to stimulate the release of endorphins which are hormones that make the body feel good. This creates calming, relating, effects on the body which counteracts the need for excessive eating brought on by increased stress, frustration, or anxiety. Acupuncture also alters the levels of the central nervous system by stimulating the peripheral nerves. Signals are then carried by the stimulated nerve, changing satiety and mood. By increasing the release of neurotransmitters with acupuncture, it improves mood and suppresses appetite by the serotonin, and endorphin-induced decreases stress and depression (Ismail et al, 2015).
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a common ailment in today’s society. Acupuncture can do a lot to alleviate it and improve its symptoms. For those of you who suffer from this condition know that it is significantly more difficult to handle during the winter months. The days are shorter and your body tends to use up more energy during this time of year. Although there is no cure for chronic fatigue syndrome, there are ways to navigate the unpleasant feelings that come with it. Here are some more details to help you better understand how acupuncture can help provide you relief during the winter months.
Acupuncture investigates the root cause of your chronic fatigue syndrome
According to the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, chronic fatigue syndrome is attributed to a multitude of factors. Such factors involve insomnia, body aches, and high levels of stress. A deeper investigation of chronic fatigue syndrome can reveal where energy is lacking. The problems may be situated in your spleen, liver, heart, or kidney. There also may be problems related to phlegm obstruction or heat toxicity. Chronic fatigue syndrome can also be caused by imbalances in yin and yang. When you meet with me during your initial diagnostic, I will determine where the problem is most prominent and then work on correcting those deficiencies in a safe and comfortable manner.
Acupuncture allows you to feel more energized
By tapping into the appropriate meridians in your body, the balance of qi, or energy, thus becomes restored. This is particularly helpful during the winter months when our energy levels become depleted by the lower exposures to sunlight and the increased exposure to cold weather. As mentioned in the previous point, acupuncture places a focus on the areas where energy is lacking and aims to corrects those imbalances so that energy is allocated appropriately.
Acupuncture increases the flow of endorphins
Acupuncture also helps to stimulate the flow of endorphins by tapping into the correct acupoints. It’s often the case that when you feel happier, you’re less likely to be run down by chronic fatigue. This flow of endorphins may help you to overcome seasonal affective disorder- a close cousin to chronic fatigue syndrome that also becomes severe during the winter months. Also, you’re less likely to be susceptible to colds. An increased flow of endorphins can protect your immune cells because of the increased production of white blood cells.
Overall, these results will put your body and mind in the best state possible to have an energized and enjoyable winter. Winter comes with its own set of problems, chronic fatigue syndrome does not need to be one of them. In preparation for winter, be proactive and start to put your health and well being first. If you suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, and you would like to have relief before winter, then feel free to contact me and book a complimentary 15-minute consultation session with me. I’d be happy to help you have an energized and joyful winter season.
Acupuncture can be a source of long-term stress relief. There are a number of stressors that life can throw your way. There are also a number of strategies for coping with stress. You may have tried a number of techniques to cope with your stress. You may have also found that many of them did not work for the long-term. Continue reading this blog to learn more details the link between acupuncture and stress relief.
Acupuncture can help to relieve work-related stress
Acupuncture has the capacity to restore the flow of qi, or energy, and increase the production of endorphins; which are known to be the body’s own painkillers. This greater state of balance will help you to get through your day in a manner that allows you to cope with your unexpected workplace stressors. There are some workplaces that will provide a benefits program that will cover acupuncture treatments. Find out if yours provides such coverage.
Acupuncture can help eliminate insomnia
Insomnia is often triggered by a prolonged amount of stress. This prolonged stress can have an impact on the quality of your sleep. When you meet with me, I will take the time to learn about sleep patterns. This information will help me to determine what meridians in your body are most affected by insomnia.
Acupuncture is a natural approach to alleviating stress
It may be tempting to take sleeping pills or other medications; however, they may not be the best option for you. Medications can often create unwanted side effects that may create more stress in your life. Because acupuncture does not involve the use of any substances, it does not come with any side effects. On the other hand, acupuncture does not replace medication. It’s always best to speak with your doctor if you are suffering from a mental illness to see if acupuncture is right for you.
How to make the stress relief last even longer
Although acupuncture has been known to provide long-term relief of stress, there are other ways to prolong its efficacy. These methods are also in the realm of Traditional Chinese Medicine. They include the following.
- Aromatherapy: Combined with acupuncture, aromatherapy has been proven to be extra effective in reducing stress.
- Exercise: practicing exercises such as qigong and tai chi cultivate mindfulness while also reducing stress.
- Dietary modifications: There may some foods that are contributing to your stress. I will offer you some suggestions that can help to reduce your stress.
Overall, these suggestions will complement your acupuncture treatments.
Last month, I hosted a seminar on mindful breathing at the Janati Yoga School in Kingston, Ontario. As an advocate for mindful breathing, I know that there is a strong connection between mindful breathing and acupuncture. If you happened to miss this seminar, this month’s blog will provide you with more information on how acupuncture can be especially effective when it’s combined with mindful breathing techniques.
Mindful breathing combined with acupuncture is an effective form of stress relief
Many people receive acupuncture treatments as a means of relieving stress, anxiety, or any mood related disorders. Mindfulness allows us to be present in the moment so that we may live our lives to the fullest potential. Mindful breathing starts with allowing ourselves to become fully aware of our breath. Mindful breathing becomes an added benefit to receiving acupuncture treatments as a form of stress relief.
Mindful breathing promotes the flow of Qi
For tonification, the needle is inserted as you exhale. After a period of time, the needle is withdrawn on inhalation. For sedation, the needle is inserted on the inhalation. After a period of time, the needle is withdrawn on exhalation. These results allow the body to be in the best position to promote the flow of Qi. Qi or life-force includes blood, lymphatic fluids, and nutrients which allow for the proper functioning of all organs. The brain and emotions are greatly influenced by this Qi flow. Breath is like the vehicle that drives the Qi flow.
Mindful breathing resets the mind-body balance
It is often the case that our minds become disconnected from what our bodies are doing. We commit to actions without really thinking about why we’re doing them. It’s especially common in today’s faced paced world of technology. During my acupuncture session, I encourage my clients to continue their practice of mindful breathing once the needles are inserted. Doing so will allow the mind and body to synergize effectively, thereby creating greater mind-body balance.
Mindful breathing provides a regulatory response to the para sympathetic and sympathetic nervous system
In general, diaphragmatic breathing stimulates the vagus nerve and helps regulate the relationship of the para sympathetic and sympathetic nervous system. The vagus nerve is a part of the brain that controls the para sympathetic nervous system, which controls your relaxation response. The sympathetic nervous system actives the commonly known “fight or flight” response. The following breath cycle can stimulate the vagus nerve: inhaling will expand your rib cage to you maximize your comfort, pausing, and emptying your lungs slowly and longer than your inhale. I maintain this rhythm of diaphragmatic breathing throughout the treatment to foster a calm state of mind.
This information provides you with an overview of what to expect when mindful breathing is combined with acupuncture sessions. This information may seem complex. If you have any questions at all, you can always feel free to ask me questions. Your sessions will be tailored to your unique needs. Mindfulness is a practice that requires dedication and persistence. Similar to acupuncture, it takes multiple sessions in order to create lasting and effective results. Overall, mindful breathing combined with acupuncture facilitates the flow of Qi and thus promotes health. Feel free to come to my clinic to experience these benefits for yourself or contact me for a complimentary 15 minute consultation session to learn more.