Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Pad & Tampon Drive for Homeless Women

Why do a drive for feminine hygiene products? They are a necessity for those who menstruate. Being without them can lead to a variety of medical problems. There’s a reason the word “hygiene” is in the name. But pads and tampons are treated as an extra. That’s like saying toilet paper is extra.
 But unlike toilet paper, there isn’t a cheap version of them. They are expensive! Which is one of the many reasons UCA is doing a Pad and Tampon Drive for Homeless Women. It will be going on for the entire month of January. When you bring in an unopened package of any kind of feminine hygiene product, you take $5 off of payment for your acupuncture treatment.
(This offer doesn’t apply to package deals).

All donations will go to Mary's Place

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

3 Best Post-Acupuncture Habits

#1 Drink water
Acupuncture stimulates your “Qi” to move. Qi is your vital energy that is flowing throughout your body. It is needed to nourish all of your organs, muscles, and tissues. In order for Qi to flow smoothly, the body needs water to help its transport.

#2 Eat           
Giving your mind and body fuel to burn after an acupuncture treatment is a good idea. Acupuncture works to build up and move your Qi. Having food in your system to supply your body’s building blocks will help to further progress in your health and well-being goals.

#3 Relax
The effects of your acupuncture treatment will still be running their course even after the needles are out. You don’t want to leave your appointment and go to the gym for a strenuous workout or out for a 20 mile bike ride. It’s best to keep activities light for a few hours after receiving acupuncture. That way you will gain the full benefit of your treatment.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Treatment Epiphany

I did a great job screwing up my back last week. Carrying around my two small children and washing a big dog that didn't want to be washed had me barely able to stand up straight. I couldn't work and shuffled to my clinic to put a sign on the door. While I was there I thought why not put in a few needles and take a nap? I was out for 2 hours! And I woke significantly improved. I don't think I would have gotten relief to the extent that I did if I had stayed for a shorter amount of time. My body decided the length of the treatment, not the clock. I want to extend that opportunity to you! When you come in for a treatment, I'll ask you if you wish to be woken at a certain time, or if you want to stay until you naturally come to, (the last needles will be pulled one hour after closing time). It will be all up to you.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Community Acupuncture is Revolutionary

What makes CA revolutionary?
It’s in the hands of the people who use it. It isn't insurance companies or the government that tells you how often you get to go. You don’t need a doctor referral to prove you need it. You can use it how you want, when you want. No 3rd party involvement.

Anyone can access community acupuncture. Whether or not you get the opportunity to heal has nothing to do with your level of income. People of all backgrounds come together, pooling their resources and making a healing space.  It is done collectively and that is in direct opposition to the isolation so prevalent in our society. In community acupuncture the solidarity of many brings a better life to each individual patient.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Headaches and Acupuncture

Sinus headaches.
Hormonal headaches.
Headaches from stress and tension.
Headaches from too much time on the computer.
What to do? There’s aspirin, Tylenol, and ibuprofen…But what if that doesn’t work? And what if headaches are happening everyday?  

Acupuncture is the solution.  By receiving regular treatments, acupuncture can drastically reduce or even get rid of chronic headaches.  How long would you need to be getting acupuncture? How many treatments and for how long is different for each person. Treatment plans depend on the severity of the headaches, how often they happen, and how long you’ve been getting them.

How effective the treatments are also depends on how much you’re able to avoid what is triggering them. If your headaches are caused by computer work and you need to be on the computer for hours everyday, it will take longer for the acupuncture to help you as we fight an uphill battle. But even with this type of scenario, acupuncture will significantly reduce your headaches, whether it be they are less intense, don’t last as long, or don’t occur as often.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Allergies and Acupuncture

The flowers are blooming early this year!

It’s absolutely gorgeous.

It is downright lovely!

It’s causing itchy, watery eyes, scratchy throat, cough, congestion and a headache.

Many people try to handle this onslaught of pollen with remedies like a nasal spray. Or they might even get a round or two of antibiotics if sinus problems turn into a sinus infection.  There’s an easier way to feel better – acupuncture!

How will acupuncture help? By stimulating your sinuses, enticing them to clear out the offending mucus. Acupuncture will also address the issue by its roots, balancing the workings of your body to reduce the allergic reaction.

How often should you get an acupuncture treatment? It takes more than one session of acupuncture to address allergies. With most patients, the best course of action is to receive a treatment twice a week until the issue(s) are under control. At this point we taper the acupuncture appointments down, making them further and further apart until they are no longer necessary.

To prevent sinus issues in the future, it is a good idea to get a few acupuncture treatments a few weeks before your allergy season begins.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Anxiety, insomnia, depression, and your diet

In Chinese medicine, blood deficiency is a diagnosis that refers to a set of symptoms. These include:
·      Insomnia, poor sleep quality
·      Anxiety
·      Depression
·      Headaches
·      Fatigue
·      Cold hands and feet
·      Constipation
·      Light or irregular menses
·      Weight gain

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs balance and nourish to relieve these symptoms, but it is also important that our bodies are being supported by our diets to have the building blocks we need. In the perspective of Western medicine, the most common vitamin and mineral inadequacies contributing to blood deficiency symptoms are iron, calcium, folic acid, and essential amino acids.

In the body, 60-70% of iron is used in the hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the part of the red blood cell that carries oxygen to the tissues. When the tissues are not receiving sufficient amounts of oxygen, we experience fatigue, headaches, anxiety, and depression. When our iron is low, we have less hemoglobin in our blood. In this circumstance blood isn’t going to be able to do its work as efficiently, including supplying the brain. This leads to insomnia, decreased memory, and difficulty in concentration. Lack of hemoglobin also affects the nourishment of the intestines, which leads to constipation.

Blood Deficiency and Anemia
Anemia is a Western medical term and is defined as a reduction in red blood cells. Many times patients see their MD with the complaint of fatigue. They get a blood test to check their iron and red blood cell count to see if they are anemic. The test comes back negative. So why does their acupuncturist still want to talk to them about blood deficiency? In Chinese Medicine, the term blood deficiency denotes a set of symptoms, as oppose to a number or level that can be tested.

Iron is stored in the liver, spleen, and bone marrow, as well as myoglobin and numerous proteins. These stores are drawn on when the amount of iron in the hemoglobin starts to get low. When this happens blood deficiency symptoms occur, but it will take quite a bit more depletion before anemia is measurable.

The body is only able to absorb and utilize an average of 8-10% of the iron we consume.

Heme and nonheme iron

Iron is found in two forms, heme and non-heme. 

The non-heme form of iron has to be converted into the heme form to be absorbed. The non-heme is the type of iron that is found in vegetable sources. Because of the extra conversion step, it is not absorbed as readily.

Heme iron is found in meat foods. This iron is already bound into muscle and blood tissues, making 10-30% of intake absorbable.

Other factors contribute to iron’s absorbability.

Increased by:
  • Body needs during growth, pregnancy, and lactation
  • Hydrochloric acid (production stimulated by meat protein)
  • Vitamin C
  • Blood loss or iron deficiency
  • Meats
  • Protein foods
  • Citrus fruits and vegetables
  • Iron cookware
  • Copper, cobalt, manganese

Decreased by:
  • Low hydrochloric acid
  • Antacids
  • Low copper
  • Phosphates in meats and soft drinks
  • Calcium
  • Phytates in whole grains
  • Oxylates in leafy green vegetables
  • Soy protein
  • Coffee and black tea
  • Fast gastrointestinal motility

Well known for its responsibility for bones and teeth, calcium is also crucial for muscle contraction, including the functioning of the heart. Calcium is also needed for the nervous system. It has a role in nerve transmission and the releasing of neurotransmitters. Calcium influences serotonin and norepinephrine, whose balance is imperative in warding off depression and irritability. Other symptoms of calcium deficiency include headaches, insomnia, muscle cramps, and fatigue.

Increased by:
  • Body needs – growth, pregnancy, lactation
  • Vitamin D
  • Milk lactose
  • Acid environment – hydrochloric acid, citric acid, ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
  • Protein intake and amino acids such as lysine and glycine
  • Fat intake
  • Exercise
  • Phosphorus balance

Decreased by:
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid)
  • Stress
  • Lack of exercise
  • High fat intake
  • High protein intake
  • Oxalic acid foods (beet greens, chard, spinach, rhubarb, cocoa)
  • Phytic acid foods (whole grains)
  • High phosphorus intake

Calcium doesn’t work without his friend magnesium. Magnesium is responsible for the relaxation portion of the heartbeat by dilating the coronary arteries. It also contributes to the production of energy. Low amounts of magnesium can cause increased PMS symptoms.

Factors increasing or decreasing the absorption of magnesium are the same as for calcium.

Folic Acid
Folic acid is an important B vitamin. In its active form, THFA, its job is to help red blood cell production and to aid in the breakdown of protein. It also has a part in many amino acid conversions. Folic acid is instrumental in the growth and reproduction of all cells.
The first sign of deficiency is depression. Folic acid deficiency also shows in the skin, with cracks or scaling of the lips and corners of the mouth. Also associated with low folic acid is fatigue and the rapid graying of the hair. Folic acid deficiency has also been linked with cervical dysplasia and cancer.

Folic acid is absorbed in the intestines. This can be an issue if one is prone to bouts of diarrhea, or is on antibiotics or tetracyclines that deplete colon bacteria.
Folic acid is mostly found in leafy greens (spinach, kale, beet greens) and is easily lost during cooking or after any sort of processing. Lightly sautéed is best.

Common causes of Folic Acid deficiency: 
  • Inadequate nutrition – lack of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Poor absorption – due to intestinal problems,
  • Metabolic problems from alcohol or drug use
  • Excessive demands on tissues, as with stress, illness, or pregnancy.

Amino Acids
Amino acids are the building blocks for proteins. Proteins have many responsibilities:
  • Growth and maintenance of body structures
  • Enzymes
  • Hormones
  • Immune system
  • Fluid electrolyte balance
  • Energy
  • Blood sugar regulation

There are 21 amino acids the body needs in order to carry out all its functions. There are two categories of amino acids, non-essential and essential.

Non-essential amino acids are supplied by the body.

Essential amino acids need to be supplied by the diet.

Animal proteins provide all essential amino acids. Plant proteins are incomplete and must be combined to achieve all essential amino acids. These are referred to as complementary proteins.

For example:
Grain – HIGH in the amino acid methionine, LOW in lysine
Legumes – LOW in methionine, HIGH in lysine.

Together they make a complete protein, having all amino acids. When all amino acids are present, neurotransmitters are balanced. When neurotransmitters are out of balance, depression, anxiety, and lack of focus are the result.


Elson M. Haas, M.D. Staying Healthy with Nutrition. Berkley CA: Celestial Arts
  Publishing, 1992.