Effects of Acupuncture on Alzheimer’s

June is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.

Among people over 65 years old, Alzheimer’s is the disease that is found to cause most cases of dementia. Dementia is the loss of cognitive function so severe it interferes with daily life and ranges in severity from the loss of memory, ability to think, reason, plan and can even interfere with basic problem solving. While Alzheimer’s disease and related Dementias are more common among aging adults, it is not a normal part of the aging process.

Alzheimer's is a progressive and irreversible disease that slowly destroys long term memory and disturbs basic cognitive function as well. Often those suffering from Alzheimer's eventually lose the inability to carry out everyday tasks. Studies are showing acupuncture can help improve the lives of those who are suffering from Alzheimer’s in a variety of ways.

Acupuncture Has Long Been Used to Fight Anxiety and Depression
With the loss of cognitive function, so too comes the loss of independence. Displaced feelings of overall fear, loss, and helplessness are not uncommon. These emotions can manifest into depression and/or anxiety. A study from Wellesley College evaluated participants who were receiving acupuncture treatments 2-3 times per week for three months. This study was able to conclude that regular acupuncture treatments can improve mood and energy among this demographic.

With Alzheimer’s and related Dementias becoming an increasingly serious problem for today’s elders it is certainly worth investigating the options for its prevention. With more research being done showing promising early results, acupuncture should definitely be taken into consideration to offset these diseases. Acupuncture is safe, natural and side-effect free. Ask me for more information.


Acupuncture and Lingering Covid-19 Symptoms

As we head into a new year, we carry over some of the same old, same old from last year. If you're bringing lingering symptoms from COVID-19 into the new year, we'd like to help you get rid of them. Many people report some continued symptoms, in particular the loss of smell and fatigue. 

There has been recent research showing how acupuncture can help restore the loss of smell. A sense of smell is very important and contributes to how we enjoy our environment, know if food is bad, and effects how our food tastes as well. To read more about how acupuncture can help you regain your sense of smell, click: https://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/2066-acupuncture-for-covid-19-loss-of-smell-and-taste?fbclid=IwAR2D74keQxj2ldVVZofMKyTPRuplVUNsJX9y82M_FtTrWpyMkeW2FErfhG0

Acupuncture and herbs can also help overcome the lingering fatigue many people experience after a viral infection. This fatigue can be debilitating and prevent you from enjoying activitis and time with loved ones. If you or someone you know is experiencing post-Covid-19 symptoms, give us a call to see how we can help!

Acupuncture and Opioid Addiction

The opioid epidemic in our country is very serious and over the past decades, there have been several public deaths due to opioid and other prescription drug overdoses. Celebrities such as Prince, Heath Ledger, Anna Nicole Smith, and Tom Petty, to name a few, all died of bad combinations or overdoses of prescribed medications.

According to the Mayo Clinic, in some cases, it only takes a few days of use for people to become dependent on opioids, specifically. The CDC reports that 70,980 people died of drug overdoses in the US in 2019. Of those deaths, 50,042 involved opioids. As this is such a wide-spread problem, you may have personal experience with this terrible addiction, or know someone who is currently struggling with, or has died as a result of overdosing on prescription medications.

When prescribing medications to patients, Doctors do so believing in the drug's efficacy and ability to help their patient. What they may not know is that there are out-of-the-box alternatives, such as acupuncture, that can help reach the end goal of making a patient well and/or alleviate pain without relying on highly addictive substances which for some patients can have intolerable side effect. We all want to help you and yours stay safe and healthy, and acupuncture offers an excellent alternative to many pain "killing" pharmaceuticals.

We regularly receive calls from patients asking if acupuncture treatments can provide pain relief after an operation. The answer is YES! Acupuncture certainly can and does help aid in recovery time by helping reduce inflammation, increase blood flow to the affected area, reduce pain levels, and increase mobility. Furthermore, research supports that if you receive acupuncture prior to surgery, it can significantly decrease your need for opioids during recovery! In fact, this study shows a decrease of over 50% in the amount of opioids required in the first 24 hours after surgery when acupuncture treatments have been used.

We recommend using acupuncture to mitigate the risk of opioid addiction by including treatments in your pre- and post-operative care plan. If you or someone you know is scheduled for surgery, please give us a call so we can help in prepare the body prior to surgery, and assist in the recovery. We are here for your health!

Holiday Bonus Notice

Hey Y'all-

Please remember we are closed next week for Thanksgiving. If you have an emergency, please contact your PCP or 911. Sarah will check the messages daily and return any of immediate concern promptly. If you start feeling ill and need herbs, please call and we can arrange a pick up for you.

When we get back, our Annual Holiday Bonus Packages will be available! Keep yourself and your loved ones healthy by purchasing our Health Treatment Plan 10 Pack and get a BONUS session from November 30, 2020- January 15, 2021. That's 11 sessions for the cost of 9- can't beat it. And yes, we do have gift certificates if you want to let someone know you love them by giving them the gift of health.

Wishing you all a wonderful, fun, and safe Thanksgiving!

Dr. Stefanie and Sarah

We Want to TReat Your Brains!

Neurological disorders cover a wide swath of health issues. According to the World Health Organization, nearly one billion people suffer worldwide from some sort of neurological disease, disorder, or injury. Unfortunately, there often are not a lot of treatment options available for issues with the brain. Left untreated, issues such as headaches, brain injuries, seizures, strokes, Parkinson's disease, and a whole lot more, which (very understandably) can lead the patient, their family, and friends to experience depression, anxiety, insomnia and other side-effects.

While neurological diseases manifest frequently in the brain, the chances are high that they may actually begin elsewhere in the body. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) looks at problems in the body from the point of view that the very base of our being is the cell. Further, when the cell is broken down, it is energy, and TCM treats the disruption in the energy flow. This different perspective allows practitioners of TCM to help those suffering with neurological disorders in ways for which other perspectives don't allow.

Acupuncture for Neurological Disorders: Acupuncture is just one of the tools in the Traditional Chinese Medicine toolbox. Specifically, acupuncture works with the nervous system in the body to regenerate cells and promote healing. The use of specific acupuncture points can create a closed circuit between the point and the neurologic control center in the brain. By giving the body and brain the necessary tools, the two can work in conjunction to heal. From a scientific perspective, acupuncture shifts and moves energy, while stimulating blood flow and increasing cellular level oxygen.

Nutrition for Neurological Disorders: A healthy diet can help keep the brain and the body functioning properly while reducing the risk of developing a serious neurological disorder. Even things like chronic headaches can sometimes be cured by supplementing magnesium into the diet. Nutrients like omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, vitamin B12, amino acids and folate are all crucial when it comes to brain health. Being deficient in even just one of these can lead to memory loss, tremors or other debilitating symptoms. Foods like fish, avocados, hemp seed, flax seed, whole grain breads and a variety of brightly colored fruits and vegetables will provide the nutritional components listed above.

Hearty Bone Broth Watercress Soup

Bone broth has widely been referred to as “nature’s multivitamin”. It makes for a hearty, nutritious, soup that has been a kitchen staple for hundreds of years. Watercress is also a great source of omega-3s, which is great for the brain and has been shown to reduce chronic inflammation.

*4 C beef bones- organic and grass-fed, preferably
2 C potatoes- chopped
5 C filtered water
2 C watercress leaves
1 T apple cider vinegar
1/4 C chives- chopped
2/3 C onion- chopped
2 C cauliflower- chopped
1 C peas
1/2 t onion powder (or to taste)
1/2 t garlic powder (or to taste)
1/2 t salt (or to taste)
1/2 t pepper (or to taste)

For Broth: Add 4 cups of bones to a pressure cooker, cover with water and 1T apple cider vinegar. Cook on high pressure for 6 hours. Drain the liquid from the bones into a pot on the stove over medium heat

Add onions, cauliflowers, peas, potatoes, watercress leaves, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Serve hot and garnish with chives

*The supermarket has several options for organic pre-made bone broth that make for an easy substitute! Just add the vegetable and spices and simmer for 30 minutes.

For this and other recipes and research, click here.

Our Obsession with Optimum Optics

With everyone walking around wearing masks all the time, have you noticed how important the eyes are in communication? Did you know your eyes also have a lot to say about your overall health?

Conditions like glaucoma, neuritis, and even vision loss can be indicators of systemic health problems. Many eye conditions respond well to acupuncture treatments and these methods have been used for centuries to assist in keeping the eyes healthy. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) pays very close attention to the relationship between the organs and the tissues. Imbalances within the body can sometimes manifest as problems in the eyes. If a person is treated for eye problems, the underlying imbalances that have caused these issues will simultaneously be treated.

A study conducted by researchers at the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine and published by the Journal of Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, demonstrates how acupuncture can improve visual acuity, reduce light sensitivity, and decrease visual defects. The study tested the efficacy of a four point acupuncture prescription in the treatment of loss of vision, points classically indicated in TCM for the treatment of eye problems, and concluded acupuncture is beneficial in the treatment of vision problems.

The main concept behind acupuncture is the nourishment and movement of blood and energy throughout the body to create harmonic balance. Receiving regular acupuncture treatments can be very beneficial in the prevention and treatment of ophthalmological conditions. You can also give yourself acupressure massages to reduce tension in the eyes and contribute to overall eye health. This can be done multiple times throughout the day to help stimulate blood flow and positive energy into the area. There are also Chinese herbs that can help keep the eyes healthy.

If you are noticing some changes in your vision, or have on-going issues, ask Dr. Stef about it at your next treatment. We can also set up a phone consultation to see if what you are experiencing is something with which she can help. I bet it is!

Electroacupuncture & Pain

A 2017 study from researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine helps to show how electroacupuncture can stimulate tissue repair after an injury and relieve pain through a specific neurological mechanism. Over 40 scientists at research institutions in the United States and South Korea collaborated on the study. Through a series of tests, first on horses and then humans, the final study offers the most comprehensive view yet of how electroacupuncture stimulates the release of stem cells, special cells that develop into a variety of kinds of cells and repair cells.

The first uses of electroacupuncture are attributed to a Chinese doctor, Tang She-cheng, in 1934. In the West, the term is attributed to Dr. Roger la Fuye of France in 1947. Electroacupuncture uses the same principles as acupuncture, which involves inserting fine, sterile needles at specific points on the body. In electroacupuncture, however, practitioners add a small electrical current to the inserted needles, rather than simply stimulating the points by tapping or gently twisting the needles as they’re inserted.

Through brain MRIs, this research showed electroacupuncture activates the hypothalamus – a part of the brain responsible for controlling the nervous system and subconscious functions like the heart rate. Electrical stimuli from the needles reached the brain of the subjects within nine to 22 minutes, depending on the species. From there, reparative stem cells, called mesenchymal stem cells, were released into the bloodstream within two hours. These cells can differentiate into bone, cartilage and muscle cells, among others, aiding in repairing injured areas of the body. In order to access this response, researchers administered the electroacupuncture at specific acupoints related to the immune system. The study found increases in a type of collagen that promotes tendon repair, which contributes to research looking to better understand stem cells. The collagen also produces anti-inflammatory cells known to be predictors of faster healing time. 

We treat many conditions with electroacupuncture and have great success.

Acupuncture and Depression

Acupuncture & Depression

 A study published by BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine looked at the effects of acupuncture in the treatment of depression. For the study, rats were exposed to three weeks of chronic unpredictable mild stress, which put them into a state of depression. Once depression had set in, the rats were then treated using two acupuncture points for 10-minute sessions. What was discovered was that depression-like behaviors were decreased using this treatment method. Therefore, it was determined by this particular study, that acupuncture indeed has positive effects on the symptoms of depression and can be used as a means to treat the disease.

Depression is defined as a mental disorder characterized by feelings of dejection and severe despondency.  Worldwide, nearly 350 million people suffer from depression and nearly 16 million of those are in the United States alone. Statistics show women tend to be more likely to experience depression and young adults between the ages of 18 to 22 are also at higher risk. Symptoms of depression include extreme irritability over minor issues, anxiety, restlessness, irrational anger, lack of interest in everyday activities, thoughts of death, insomnia, severe fatigue, weight gain/loss, difficulty concentrating and unexplained aches and pains. When these symptoms occur for more than a few weeks, depression may be the reason behind them.

As shown in the aforementioned study, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is very effective in treating depression, not only short-term, but also long-term. Modern medicine usually treats depression with antidepressants and psychotherapy regardless of the presenting symptoms. In contrast, TCM diagnoses each patient on an individual basis and treats the specific symptoms, while also addressing the root of the illness.

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can help alleviate symptoms of depression while also attacking the root cause(s), thus bringing the body and mind back into balance. The body and mind are inseparable and should be treated as a whole, which is the approach used by acupuncturists. When we experience emotional challenges and become upset, our physical body may become affected as well. Then a vicious cycle begins because the emotions are greatly impacted by what we can and cannot do physically.

The theory behind treating depression using TCM, all revolves around the concept of Qi (pronounced “chee”). Qi is considered the vital energy that flows through the body and animates everything. When Qi is blocked or stagnant, illness can take root, either physically or mentally. Qi flows throughout the body on energetic pathways or meridians. Each energetic meridian is associated with an organ and each organ has its own emotion. For example, the emotion of the liver meridian is anger. When Qi is blocked and liver Qi stagnation occurs, anger can then manifest. From the same standpoint, if a person is excessively angry, the flow of Qi can be blocked creating stagnation.

Acupuncture releases endorphins and activates natural pain killers. By doing so, it improves the flow of Qi throughout the body while eliminating blockages and bringing balance to the mind and body. Endorphins counter the symptoms of depression and allow the person to resume a normal life.

If you are suffering from depression and are looking for a natural way of dealing with it, please contact us. We can help you navigate the waters of depression without the harmful side-effects of pharmaceuticals, while helping you get back to a happier life.

SOURCE: https://bmccomplementalternmed.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12906-016-1356-x