Acupuncture for Long-COVID

Many of the patients that seek us out for help with a wide array of long-COVID symptoms ask the same question “why is this happening to me?” Understanding how a COVID-19 infection is different from colds and flu is the key to understanding why and how it can cause such widespread dysfunction in the human body.

New research helps to shed some light on what is happening. Here is one example.

In cases where there is a change or loss of taste and smell, we are learning that there may be damage to the cells in the olfactory area of the brain or even a lingering virus. There is also research showing that changes in the tissues supporting the olfactory nerves and the immune system of the nasal cavity can also affect emotions, our sense of balance, and the ability to think clearly (eg. brain fog). Other research shows it can also cause immune system dysregulation, and trigger abnormal inflammatory processes that affect multiple areas of the body. We are learning more everyday.

a woman holding her head while eyes closed
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The good news is we can help with long-COVID symptoms such as these listed below using Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicines.

  • Fatigue
  • Brain Fog/Dizziness/Vertigo
  • Heart Palpitations/Shortness of Breath
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of or change in smell and/or taste
  • Chronic cough
  • Muscle/joint pain, numbness and/or tingling
  • Nausea and loss of appetite
  • Headaches
  • Dysautonomias & POTS

How Chinese Medicine Helps

  1. Acupuncture stimulates blood flow to help initiate healing of tissues and improves the nervous system signals back and forth to the brain. It can regulate the immune response, reduce inflammation, improve sleep quality and overall feelings of well-being.
  2. Chinese herbal medicines can clear out any lingering virus, resolve congestion and bring healing to the tissues and underlying systems.

I’ve seen excellent results with many of the symptoms and complications of long-COVID using this combination.

If you or someone you know has any long-COVID symptoms or complications, you may want to give acupuncture and herbal medicine a try. As with many illnesses, the faster you act to seek treatment, the faster your healing will be. Give us a call.

Best foods for Summer

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Most of us associate the summer season with heat, and rightfully so.

In Chinese Medicine, summer is the season of fire. The fire element is in charge of the heart and small intestines, and these organs are the ones that help us optimally digest our food.

In this season of sunshine and heat, it’s smart to find balance with cooling foods and foods with a salty taste.  

You’ll want to include ingredients from the sea like shrimp, and cooling fruits and vegetables like watermelon and cucumber. Shrimp and salmon are also rich in omega-3s and protein, and are low in calories. Watermelon cools you from the inside out and quenches thirst. In fact the rind of watermelon is even more powerful at relieving summer heat. So next time you are cutting up a watermelon, include some of the white rind with the red juicy flesh for some extra cooling.

Your body craves these foods in the summertime, and when you allow yourself the indulgences of the cool and salty foods, you will be able to combat the heat and improve your digestion during the summer months.

Acupuncture recommended as an alternative to opioids for back pain

Did you know acupuncture is recommended as an alternative to opioids for the treatment of back pain?

In 2017, American College of Physicians released the new recommendation that MDs should prescribe acupuncture, chiropractic or massage BEFORE prescribing medication for back pain, in order to help reduce the use of opioids.

You can read more here.

Wonderful, right? The only way they would make such a strong recommendation for acupuncture is if the research backed it up.

And it DOES. Multiple studies support the effectiveness of acupuncture for managing pain. And not just back pain.

The World Health Organization (WHO) also supports the use of acupuncture for many other pain conditions – and their recommendations are also based on research outcomes.

You can see the full list of conditions for which the WHO recommends acupuncture here and here.

What kinds of pain can acupuncture help with?

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain/stiffness/tightness
  • Sciatic pain
  • Knee, hip, shoulder, elbow, wrist, ankle pain (Okay, basically any kind of joint pain)
  • Headaches
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Post-surgical pain
  • Toothache/jaw pain
  • Pain associated with Multiple Sclerosis
  • Menstrual pain/cramping
  • Acute pain due to injury
  • Nerve pain

If you have pain that you’ve been struggling with, it’s worth it to give acupuncture a try. It’s incredibly helpful and my patients are often surprised at how much better they feel – that’s a huge part of why I love my job!

If you have questions about acupuncture can help your pain, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m happy to chat with you.

If you’re ready to make an appointment, click here to schedule online.

What is an Acunap?

Have you heard of an acunap?

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An acunap is the extra deep sleep you get in a short period of time during your acupuncture treatment.

It’s a pretty fantastic feeling!

Many patients tell me that they fall asleep during their acupuncture treatment, and when they wake up they:

1) Often forget where they are. Are they at home? Are they supposed to be at work? Did they run away to Belize?

2) Feel groggy in a good way. Like they just had the BEST night of sleep.

3) Feel like they do when they get to sleep in on a Sunday: Happy, peaceful, not worried about anything, totally well-rested.

And then, they often carry that peaceful feeling with them for the rest of the afternoon.

Can’t beat that!

If you’re struggling with stress, anxiety, digestive issues, or pain, then acupuncture can really help!

And the acunap is the cherry on top!

Come try it for yourself – click here to schedule.

How many acupuncture treatments to manage anxiety?

How many acupuncture treatments do you need to help manage anxiety?

This is such a great question.

acupuncture treatment

Acupuncture is cumulative. This means that after each treatment, the goal is for you to feel a little bit better, for a little longer, until you get to a place where you can manage your stress better. Then we can start spacing the treatments out, to see how you feel.

A lot of people feel relaxed and less anxious after one acupuncture treatment. To make that feeling last, however, multiple treatments are needed.

How many?

It always depends on the person, because everyone is different. Generally the recommendation is once a week for 6-10 treatments. Then we’ll try two weeks between treatments, then three, etc.

Many of my anxiety patients come in monthly for maintenance treatments. Acupuncture is incredibly helpful at preventing anxiety once we’ve got it under control, so wellness visits are a very helpful option at that point.

If you’re ready to try acupuncture to feel more balanced and manage your anxiety symptoms, click here or the Schedule An Appointment button above.

As always, send me your questions!

Acupuncture Helps Calm Anxiety

Did you know May is National Mental Health Awareness Month? According to The National Alliance on Mental Illness, over 40 million adults in the U.S. (19.1%) have an anxiety disorder. Acupuncture is wonderful for reducing anxiety, and there’s a surprising amount of research on the topic.⠀

How does it work?

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Acupuncture helps by:

  • Regulating the autonomic nervous system and reducing elevated heart rate [reference]
  • Lowering cortisol levels [reference]
  • Increasing endorphins and regulating serotonin (which impacts mood and sleep, among other things) [reference]

Each of these actions make it phenomenal at relieving anxiety. In effect, acupuncture helps take the body of out “fight or flight mode.”

Several systematic reviews in the past decade support the use of acupuncture for reducing generalized anxiety and panic attacks.

For example, a 2016 systematic review of acupuncture and anxiety “…showed positive and statistically significant effects from using acupuncture for treating subjects with anxiety” [reference].

Another, more recent systematic review from 2018 took a look at an even larger group of studies, several of which compared acupuncture to pharmaceutical treatment. They concluded that, “Overall, there is good scientific evidence encouraging acupuncture therapy to treat anxiety disorders as it yields effective outcomes, with fewer side effects than conventional treatment” [reference].

Can I really relax and calm my anxiety with needles in?

This is a great question! The answer is yes! I know it sounds unlikely that resting with needles in would be possible, but it really is. Most of my patients fall asleep on the treatment table, no matter what they’re being treated for.

How? Two reasons. 1) The needles are incredibly thin – the width of a human hair – and many people don’t even feel them going in. And 2) remember, acupuncture dissolves the body’s “fight or flight” response. So most people feel slowly more and more relaxed as they rest on the table.

If you’re struggling with anxiety, you are not alone. Anxiety is one of the things I treat frequently. I see patients with a low-level generalized sense of anxiety and some who have full on panic attacks. Come in and give acupuncture a try. You’ll be surprised at how relaxed your body feels during and after your treatment!

Give Mom the Gift of Relaxation

Sunday is Mother’s Day, the day to shower the Moms in your life with all the appreciation and gratitude they deserve!

You’re probably thinking the same thing I am – that every day of the year should be Mother’s Day! Alas, it’s just the one day for now, so let’s make it extra special.

Give Mom the gift of rest, relaxation and a midday nap with an acupuncture gift certificate!

A gift certificate for a general acupuncture treatment can be used for stress & anxiety relief, digestive balance, pain management, or whatever Mom needs most at her appointment.

Purchase an egift card online or call us to buy a gift certificate.

And to help celebrate Mom’s special day, we’re offering 20% off Stress Free Tea and our famous Tibetan Herbal Foot Soaks for this week and next week only (until May 12)!

Stress Free Tea

Stress Free Tea is an ancient herbal formula that helps the liver regulate cortisol and can be used for

  • Stress, Irritability and Overwork
  • Anxiety & Depression
  • Stress Headaches
  • Menstrual Issues
  • Digestive Issues brought on by Stress
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Sleep issues

Tibetan Herbal Foot Soaks are a common medical practice in China and Tibet. Tibetan Foot Soaks are a great combination of Tibetan herbs to stimulate deep regenerative processes critical for the brain and body. We recommend them for

  • Pain including arthritis & chronic pain
  • Poor circulation
  • Neuropathy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Menstrual Issues
  • Digestive problems

Both of these wonderful products are available at the clinic and will leave Mom feeling stress free and more balanced. She will definitely thank you!

Have a wonderful Mother’s Day Weekend!

Is your monthly cycle a pain?

Did you know acupuncture can be very helpful for regulating the menstrual cycle?

Acupuncture can help balance hormones, regulate/improve circulation to internal organs (including, of course, the reproductive organs) and helps manage stress, which can play a role in the menstrual cycle.

This means that acupuncture can help with:

  • Fertility
  • Irregular periods (not on a typical 28-day cycle)
  • Very heavy periods
  • Painful periods

And today I want to talk about that last bullet point, painful periods.

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I had a friend in school who used to be in such pain during the first day of her period that she would A) take the day off from classes, and B) simply lay on the floor of her bathroom with a hot pack on her abdomen. For hours. The whole day. Ibuprofen and Midol did not help.

Sound familiar? In the 8+ years that I’ve been practicing acupuncture, I’ve spoken to many women who suffer with their periods, and if they don’t, they know at least one person who suffers through their period like this. Every month!

Whether the pain is so intense it keeps you home from work, or your period is simply uncomfortable – it doesn’t have to be this way.

When I think about these women who suffer each month, here’s what I want them to know:

1. That acupuncture is a safe, effective way to reduce period cramps and other associated symptoms.

  1. There are many research articles that discuss the use of acupuncture for painful period (called primary dysmenorrhea). Here are just a couple to share.

In a 2018 randomized controlled trial (RCT), acupuncture was found help reduce the following menstrual symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Fainting
  • Mood changes
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

And in a much larger study in 2016, they found that acupuncture was significantly better at reducing period pain and associated symptoms than taking NSAIDs, calling it “an effective and safe treatment.”

If you or a friend struggle with a painful period or other menstrual symptoms, know that you don’t have to suffer through this every month. I hope you’ll give acupuncture a try! We should all live pain-free.

Schedule your appointment today!

Acupuncture Helps with Digestive Issues

What digestive conditions can acupuncture help?

Acupuncture can help manage the symptoms of a number of different digestive conditions such as:

  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Celiac’s Disease
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Food Sensitivities
  • Acid Reflux

Those symptoms include:

  • Bloating
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Digestive pain/cramping/discomfort
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Irregular bowel movements
  • and more

Research suggests that acupuncture can help with “leaky gut syndrome,” by strengthening the mucosal barrier of the digestive tract. And a 2007 systematic review in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, found that acupuncture improved quality of life for IBS, Crohn’s and Ulcerative colitis patients in each study they reviewed.

Herbs and Diet help too

Many times we will couple acupuncture with herbal medicine to address these conditions. We frequently recommend an herbal product called Microgard Plus that promotes a healthy and diverse microbiome. There are three main reasons:

1) It helps you break down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates for easy digestion and assimilation of nutrients.

2) Microgard Plus also helps your body naturally produce more enzymes and gently assists with intestinal peristalsis to reduce bloating, fatigue, or cramping following a meal.

3) And, it also helps to eliminate food sensitivities.

If your gut is overloaded with the effects of chronic digestive problems, chances are that Microgard Plus will get you back on track.

We may also make some dietary recommendations as well to improve your digestive function. For example, if you frequently drink cold drinks with your meals, I suggest that you replace them with a warm tea or no drink at all. Because your digestive system requires heat to digest foods, we recommend that you not put cold into your stomach while it’s trying to do it’s thing. Simple changes like this can make a huge difference in the function of your gut.

If you’re struggling with digestive issues, acupuncture, herbal medicine and diet therapy may be able to help! Schedule your appointment by calling us at 678-871-9642 or schedule online.

In the meantime, be sure to check out past posts about Digestive Disorders and Tips to Improve Your Digestion.

Acupuncture Helps with Pregnancy

Acupuncture is quickly becoming a popular treatment tool for pregnancy-related conditions. Whether you are trying to become pregnant, are looking for a drug-free alternative to a number of problems that arise during pregnancy, or are looking to prepare for labor and delivery, acupuncture is an ideal form of treatment.

Getting Pregnant

The health of the parents is the most important factor in determining the health of the baby. We recommend that couples take at least 3 months of weekly acupuncture to regulate the woman’s cycle and address any imbalances before they try to become pregnant. It takes the body about 120 days to mature the eggs that will come to ovulate. For men, it takes about 70-90 days for a man’s sperm to mature. (reference: “Making Babies: A 3 Month Proven Program for Maximum Fertility,” Jill Blakeway, LAc and Sami David, MD). Regular acupuncture treatments can help balance hormones, reduce stress and strengthen your body to prepare it for pregnancy.

If you have had failed attempts at pregnancy and are using IVF or other western medical treatment for infertility, we can provide additional support. In fact most fertility doctors will recommend acupuncture as an adjunct to assisted pregnancies. We recommend a minimum of 9 acupuncture treatments performed in the 5 weeks before egg retrieval and implantation as optimal to improve egg quality and prepare the uterus for implantation. Difficulty getting pregnant can be stressful both emotionally and financially. We help reduce this stress and provide a safe, effective treatment without drugs or side effects.

Symptoms of Discomfort during pregnancy.

Many pregnant women experience symptoms of discomfort during pregnancy. Some of these symptoms are due to hormonal changes in the body, while others can be caused by the increased pressure on organs around the uterus from the growing fetus. Patients who are experiencing conditions often regarded as “normal” during pregnancy can find relief with acupuncture. This might include:

  • easing nausea and vomiting from morning sickness
  • relieving constipation and heartburn
  • improving sleep
  • reducing anxiety and depression
  • relieving back pain and sciatica

If you have a history of miscarriage, acupuncture can help ensure that you remain strong and healthy and the pregnancy is supported during the first trimester when most miscarriages occur.

Efficient Labor & Delivery

I also see a number of patients who want to enhance the prospects of an efficient labor and delivery in the final weeks of pregnancy. Whether baby is not positioned optimally or Mom wants help pre-labor in order to achieve natural childbirth, acupuncture can be very effective. Pre-labor acupuncture is the use of acupuncture at 36 weeks’ gestation to prepare Mom physically and mentally for a normal labor. Acupuncture has been reported to be beneficial for inducing labor, shortening the time of labor, avoiding post-term dates, and reducing postpartum bleeding. We will also educate you and your partner on acupressure techniques that can be helpful during labor.

Chinese Medicine has been shown in clinical trials to be effective at turning a breech baby naturally. We recommend a regimen of acupuncture and moxabustion, starting at week 32, to help a baby to turn naturally. Usually treatments have to be done before week 38 so that the baby has enough room in the uterus to move. We will also teach you how to do moxabustion at home so that you can continue with daily treatments. Evidence shows that this treatment helps to stimulate the production of maternal hormones and encourages the uterus lining to contract in a way that may help turn the baby.

Acupuncture can provide support for couples during all phases of pregnancy. By combining it with a balanced diet, moderate regular exercise, and stress reduction, the chances of having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby are greatly improved. We are ready to support you.