Scottsdale Acupuncture

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Chronic Illness Lifestyle Tips For Newly Diagnosed Individuals

Posted Saturday, July 30th, 2022 by ABA

chronic, illness, acupuncture

Living with a chronic condition can be extremely stressful, but it helps to have a plan of attack. If you’ve recently been diagnosed with an ongoing illness, you may be feeling an array of emotions that range from anxiety to hopelessness; however, preparing your home and changing your lifestyle in the coming months can be helpful. Depending on your diagnosis, your plan may include getting more exercise, reducing stress, modifying your home to make it more comfortable and safe, and/or getting organized so you can keep track of doctor’s appointments and medications. Acupuncture can also be a great way to help ease pain and alleviate stress during your treatment.

Here are a few more tips from Above and Beyond Acupuncture to help you get through what might be a scary diagnosis.

Evaluate Your Home Environment

Most of us spend a good amount of time inside our homes, which means they need to be comfortable and conducive to our lifestyles. When you’re living with a chronic condition, your environment also needs to be safe and contain everything you need to get through the day without issue. Take a good look at your surroundings, assessing things like the number of stairs, your sleeping environment, the air quality, and the accessibility of necessary items in the kitchen or bathroom. If your condition affects your mobility, you’ll also want to ensure that your home has the right flooring for safety’s sake.

Thinking about moving into a home that better meets your needs? Be sure to create a realistic budget, get pre-approved for a loan, and work with a real estate agent who can help you find the perfect location without all the stress. You can also narrow down your options by searching listings online.

Get Organized

Once your home is taken care of, it’s a good idea to get organized so you can stay on top of your medical records, doctor’s notes, and medications. You can also create documents that allow you to share this important information with family members or caregivers. Have multiple file formats? Convert docs from Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint to a single PDF using an online drag-and-drop tool, so you’ll have everything you need in one place.

Do Some Research

Getting organized can help you feel more in control of your own life, which is extremely helpful when navigating a chronic condition. Another way to gain control is to do some research on the condition itself, the medications used to treat it, and any side effects that are commonly experienced.

You can also take the reins where your mental health is concerned and talk to a professional who can help you through this difficult time. Keep in mind that depression and anxiety are common for individuals who are experiencing chronic illness, so your doctor may prescribe an antidepressant. While these aren’t right for everyone, they can be helpful once your healthcare provider assesses your current condition, other medications you’re on, and any pre-existing conditions. Online therapists make antidepressant medications just a virtual doc visit away, so take a look at your options.

If your condition will likely leave you needing help with daily activities, you should consider researching in-home care and assisted living options. There is a wide range of options available throughout the Phoenix area, and you can find good choices at all price points. It is best to know your options, and do your research while you have strength so, if it comes down to making a choice, you feel informed and ready to decide.

Minimize the Effects of Stress

While getting organized and speaking to a professional can both help keep stress away, it’s important to actively look for things you can do to protect your mental health and feel better each day. You might pick up a new calming hobby, or learn to practice meditation and find the quiet when your mind starts working overtime. Create a soothing playlist of songs that help you get through tough moments, and remember to make relaxation a priority no matter how busy your day is.

Acupuncture is also a great way to reduce both stress and pain, which are interconnected. Insider reports that acupuncture has been shown to reduce pain and anxiety under various circumstances. It is a simple procedure and, although it may sound scary, the needles are small and are strategically placed to bring relief, not pain.

Dealing with a chronic illness can take a lot out of you, so it’s essential to get good quality sleep. Consider keeping a journal where you can write down questions for your doctor, make notes on changing symptoms, and give yourself daily affirmations that will help you manage your feelings.

Being diagnosed with a chronic condition can be a shock. You will likely experience a variety of emotions, but know that there are resources when you are ready for them. Look into ways to manage your pain and anxiety, including acupuncture by Above and Beyond Acupuncture, and take the time to learn about your condition. It’s possible you’ll want to explore in-home care for now or as preparation for later during treatment. The goal is to keep your body and mind as healthy as possible, so that you can enjoy your life beyond your condition.

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How to Prevent Back Pain with Healthy Posture

Posted Thursday, July 21st, 2022 by ABA

How to Prevent Back Pain\

Do you often experience back pain? If so, you’re not alone. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, back pain is one of the most common medical problems in the United States. It can be caused by a variety of things, including poor posture.

In this blog post, we will discuss how to prevent back pain with a healthy posture. We’ll also provide some tips for improving your posture if you already experience back pain.

One of the best ways to prevent back pain is to maintain a healthy posture. Good posture alignment keeps your spine in its natural position and takes the pressure off of your muscles and joints. This can help to reduce or eliminate back pain.

There are a few things you can do to improve your posture and prevent back pain:

● Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.

● Avoid slouching when you stand.

● When you walk, hold your head up and keep your shoulders back.

● When lifting something heavy, bend at your knees instead of at your waist.

What Causes back pain?

Back pain is a common ailment that can have many different causes. In some cases, back pain may be the result of an injury or strain. In other cases, it may be caused by conditions such as arthritis or scoliosis. Additionally, back pain may be caused by poor posture or prolonged sitting or standing.

Whatever the cause, back pain can be a debilitating condition that makes it difficult to perform everyday activities. Thankfully, there are many treatments available that can help to ease back pain and promote healing. These include physical therapy, massage, and chiropractic care.

By working with a healthcare professional, it is possible to find the treatment that best suits your needs and helps you to find relief from back pain. source

Does weightlifting cause back pain?

Does weightlifting cause back pain? This is a question that I get asked a lot, and it’s not an easy one to answer. On the one hand, lifting weights can put a strain on the spine and other supporting structures. And on the other hand, people who lift weights regularly often have strong backs and good posture.

So what’s the verdict? Well, I’m afraid there’s no simple answer. It depends on the individual. Some people seem to be able to lift weights without any problems, while others find that it aggravates their existing back pain. If you’re considering taking up weightlifting, it’s important to consult with your doctor or physiotherapist first.

They can help you assess your risk of developing back pain and give you guidance on how to minimize the risk. With that said, weightlifting can be a great way to strengthen the muscles that support the spine. So if you do decide to give it a try, make sure you follow proper technique and listen to your body.

Stop immediately if you feel any pain. Remember, even if weightlifting doesn’t cause back pain, it can still aggravate existing injuries. So always err on the side of caution.

Tips for improving your posture if you already experience back pain:

If you already have back pain, there are still things you can do to improve your posture and reduce pain.

● One thing you can do is practice some gentle stretching exercises. Yoga or Pilates are two great options. These exercises can help to strengthen the muscles in your back and improve your flexibility.

● You can also try using a lumbar support cushion when sitting for long periods. This can help to take the pressure off of your lower back and reduce pain.

● Additionally, be sure to pay attention to your posture throughout the day. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.

● Avoid slouching when you stand. And when you walk, keep your shoulders back and your head up. These simple changes can make a big difference in the way you feel.

Of course, if you’re in a lot of pain, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional. They can help you determine the cause of your pain and develop a treatment plan that will work for you. With the right care, you can find relief and get back to living your life.

Final thought:

Now that you know how to prevent back pain with a healthy posture, put these tips into practice. Sit up straight, keep your shoulders down and back, and avoid slouching. When you’re standing, be sure to keep your weight evenly distributed on both feet.

And when you’re lifting something heavy, be sure to use proper form, keeping your back straight and avoiding any sudden twists or turns. By following these simple tips, you can help keep your back healthy and pain-free for years to come. Thanks for reading!

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Sources:

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Webmd.com

Medical news today

Even Bosses Need Some TLC

Posted Saturday, July 16th, 2022 by ABA

Even Bosss Need Some TLC

Self-care is the most valuable action that entrepreneurs can take to maintain their mental and physical health. In order to be productive, entrepreneurs need to take care of themselves. This will ensure that they are able to overcome stress and perform at their best.

A study was done on the effects of self-care on business success. It found that entrepreneurs who have high levels of self-care have a higher level of happiness and productivity in their work life. While individuals with lower levels of self-care are more likely to experience burnout, anxiety, and depression in their work environment.

Get the Proper Amount of Sleep

Most people are well-aware of the importance of sleep, but still struggle to get enough. Those who don’t sleep enough experience a wave of physical and mental disadvantages that can hurt their business.

In order to succeed as an entrepreneur, it is essential to have a good night’s sleep. If you are not getting enough rest and treating your body well, it’s quite likely that you will not have time for activities like exercise or even showers because you’re too tired.

Scheduling your sleep as you do for meetings, and sticking to it, is one way to make getting to bed at a reasonable hour more likely.

Reduce your caffeine and how late in the day you consume it. Also, check labels, since a lot of foods and drinks carry caffeine that you may not be aware of.

Exercise throughout the day can help you fall asleep more quickly.

Talk to a Professional

Various forms of talk therapy can be beneficial in almost anyone’s life, especially the stressful life of an entrepreneur. Sitting down with an unfamiliar person in an unfamiliar environment can be intimidating, however. If you’re curious about therapy and if you’re open to online options, online therapy via a telehealth platform may be what you’re looking for. It can fit into your busy schedule because you can meet from virtually anywhere instead of driving to an office. And you have access to more potential therapists beyond those available in your immediate area.

Make Your Business Travel Less Stressful

Business travel is always a hassle. This is especially true when you’re self-employed and can’t just write off expenses on a report. Cutting costs doesn’t mean making travel even more uncomfortable. There are a few tips and tricks that can help you save money while avoiding much of the hassle.

Apps can be your most valued travel companion. You can keep track of your miles, expenses, and itineraries with apps like Concur and TripIt. Priority Pass gets you access to hundreds of airport lounges around the world. And there’s no need to book a business class ticket, your membership assures you access regardless of your seat assignment.

Use your downtime for things you get too caught up at home to do. Are you writing a novel? Like to bowl or play golf? Are there museums or zoos nearby? You won’t be working the entire time, and there’s no need to stay cooped up in your hotel room.

Take Some Time Off

One thing that entrepreneurs should consider is taking a vacation or vacationing as frequently as possible. Some entrepreneurs opt for short vacations to get away from work and get some downtime. Other entrepreneurs opt for long vacations where they go on an extended trip or even live out of their suitcases for a month or two. Vacations can help recharge your batteries and give you that much-needed break from your hectic schedule, no matter how big or small it may be.

Apps like FareCompare send you real-time airfare alerts, and Hotel Tonight helps you find rooms at discounted rates.

Self Care You Can Do Every Day

Exercise like getting in your 10,000 steps a day or practicing relaxation programs like Yoga and Tai Chi can be scheduled into just 30 to 60 minutes out of your day. Learn to meditate or find a relaxing hobby like reading fiction or doing crosswords. Some other methods you may want to try are acupuncture, herbal remedies, and massage therapy. Find these services and more at Above and Beyond Acupuncture!

Everyone knows that entrepreneurs have to work hard, but it’s also important for them to take time out for themselves and engage in self-care activities.

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6 Ways to Boost Your Confidence for Your Next Chapter in Life

Posted Wednesday, July 6th, 2022 by ABA

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve had to take a step back from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. As you get ready to head back out into the world with restrictions lifting, you might be re-evaluating several different aspects of your life. If you’re feeling uncertain about your next steps in life, these tips from Above & Beyond Acupuncture will help you boost your confidence.

Consider a Career Change

Maybe the pandemic made you realize that you were unsatisfied with your current career. Perhaps you felt that your employer did not act in your team’s best interests or being furloughed or laid off forced you to think about alternative professional paths.

As you look into new job opportunities, remind yourself of your worth — set your standards high for your next employer, and don’t jump at the first position you’re offered if it isn’t right. If you feel any anxiety or nervousness about starting something new, let those feelings fuel you as you work towards a brighter future.

Enhance Your Home Environment

When you’re spending lots of time at home, it can be tough to notice how your environment affects your mindset. In fact, a messy home can contribute to rising tensions among family members — when you feel cramped and stressed out, it’s all too easy to take it out on others. If your home has gotten cluttered or disorganized, it’s time to refresh your space. In addition to decluttering and getting rid of items you don’t need anymore, you can keep your windows open on sunny days to get more fresh air. You can also deep clean each room to spruce up your space.

Optimize Your Work Environment

Home isn’t the only place where clutter can come to dominate your life. Especially if you run a business, things can tend to pile up at work as well. To help make things more manageable, try implementing accounting software that eliminates clutter by digitizing your bookkeeping. With all your financial records stored in the cloud, you won’t have to mess with maintaining printed files. And dozens of built-in tools will help you make quicker, better decisions. Plus, software can scale with your business needs, ensuring that you never have to worry about switching.

Focus on Your Health

It might have been tough to keep up with healthy habits during the pandemic. But transforming your physical health habits can also improve your mental wellbeing. If you want to eat a healthier diet, Healthline recommends choosing fiber-rich foods, reducing the amount of added sugar you eat, and including plenty of healthy fats in your diet. And if you’d like to start working out, Real Simple recommends starting with three workout sessions per week — by starting small, you can adjust to a higher activity level and gradually ramp up the intensity.

Part of focusing on your health should be embracing self-care practices. Above & Beyond Acupuncture offers a variety of services to treat yourself well, including acupuncture, cupping therapy, and massage therapy. These services can be used to complement one another, providing you with greater health, balance, and well-being.

Practice Gratitude

Throughout the pandemic, it may have been tough to find things you were grateful for, especially when you were cut off from the people and activities you loved. There are so many ways to center gratitude in your life. You might want to commit to praying each day and focusing on everything you’re grateful for, or you could choose a meditation mantra about gratitude. You could also keep a daily gratitude journal. You would be surprised by how this practice can completely transform your outlook.

Reach Out to Friends

The pandemic limited outlets for socializing. Right now, you might miss your friends and family, but you also might feel like your social skills are a bit rusty. Taking the first step and reaching out to your loved ones is the best way to get back into the habit of socializing! Suggest an activity that you used to love so that you can all meet up and catch up on life. Chances are, they want to see you, too, so don’t hesitate to reconnect!

It’s not easy to enter a new phase in your life, especially after enduring such tumultuous times throughout the pandemic. But this is a chance for a fresh start. With these tips, you’ll be ready to change your life during this transition period!

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Self-Care for Introverts: Tips to Care for the Mind and Body

Posted Thursday, June 16th, 2022 by ABA

There’s so much to love about being an introvert: We tend to have creative minds; be compassionate listeners; and make wonderful friends, partners, and leaders. We enjoy alone time, think before we speak, and prefer to have a few high-quality friendships over a larger quantity of friends.

But with these advantages come several drawbacks: Introverts are more prone to social exhaustion and burnout. Without time to recharge the mind and body, introverts can become irritable, depressed, socially anxious, and physically exhausted. This is why introverts need to practice self-care each and every day, even if there’s only time for a quick nap or 30 minutes of watching television. Simply put, self-care is essential when navigating life as an introvert.

Check out these introvert-friendly tips from Above & Beyond Acupuncture to learn how to practice self-care for a healthier mind and body.

Start With a Clean, Clutter-Free Living Space

Since introverts require lots of alone time to recharge the mind and body, they tend to spend more time at home than their extroverted counterparts. However, surrounding oneself with clutter at home can be just as overstimulating for introverts as spending time with other people.

This is why introverts should keep their homes as clean and clutter-free as possible, as doing so helps to promote a more positive and relaxed living space. Staying home to clean and declutter is a great excuse for declining invitations from others, and it can even help to reduce anxiety, increase focus, and relieve stress.

Relax With Alternative Medicine

Making time for alternative therapies such as massage, acupuncture, and cupping can be another great way to practice self-care as an introvert. Each of these three therapies reduces stress and anxiety, alleviates pain and inflammation, and balances the mind and body — helping introverts to improve their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Above & Beyond Acupuncture offers a variety of alternative therapies, from acupuncture and herbal medicine to cupping, massage therapy, and nutritional guidance.

Adopt a Daily Fitness Routine

Physical activity is important no matter who you are, but introverts can use exercise to unwind after a busy day, clear their minds of stress and negative thoughts, and work a bit more “me time” into their everyday lives. And while going to the gym, working out with a friend, or taking a group fitness class can be uncomfortable for introverts, there are some other things introverted people can do when adopting a daily fitness routine:

● Working physical activity into the workday. Even if you have a busy career and don’t have time for a formal workout each day, you could walk over lunch or take the stairs at work rather than the elevator.
● Work out at home. Group classes are an option, but many introverts prefer solo workouts like walking, biking, running, or swimming. At-home workouts are another great option, including yoga and Pilates.
● Don’t forget about mental fitness. Many introverts can also benefit from meditation, as meditating helps to reduce stress and anxiety, boost focus, and build resilience. So in addition to exercising for improved physical health, you could use meditation apps like Breethe, Headspace, and Calm to work out your brain.

Self-Care is Vital to Every Introvert’s Health and Happiness

While there are many ways to practice self-care as an introvert, the important thing is that you’re making time for yourself. Give yourself some time each day to be alone with your thoughts or to shut off your busy mind for an hour or two, whether that means watching a movie, working out at home, scheduling a massage or an acupuncture treatment, or cleaning and decluttering your home. There isn’t a single self-care activity that works for everyone, but most introverts can benefit from the ideas suggested above.

Remember, self-care is vital to your health and happiness as an introvert. Without enough “me time” to relax and recharge, you can’t be the best version of yourself — and you won’t be the friend, partner, son, daughter, or employee you’d like to be. When you make self-care a priority, everyone benefits — yourself and your loved ones included.

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Can Acupuncture Treat Plantar Fasciitis?

Posted Tuesday, November 24th, 2020 by ABA

Can Acupuncture Treat Plantar Fasciitis?

Traditional Chinese Medicine is grounded in the belief that acupuncture can help reduce the amount of pain patients experience when acupuncture points around the body are stimulated. Clinical studies have shown that acupuncture has proven quite useful in the treatment of a wide range of disorders and disharmonies. But can it help people suffering from Plantar Fasciitis? Let’s take a more in-depth look at this disorder and how acupuncture might help overcome it.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

This disorder is an inflammation of the Plantar Fascia ligament located on the bottom of the foot that results in heel pain. Plantar Fasciitis is so widespread that Podiatry Today says it’s at pandemic levels. Some studies report that one in six Americans suffers with this condition.

The Plantar Fascia ligament is the foundation for the arch of the foot. When you place too much pressure on it, the ligament might develop a small tear. If it continues to stretch or tear over an extended period, it might become inflamed. This inflammation is what causes Plantar Fasciitis. The pain can often be sharp or stabbing. Usually, it will be the most intense in the morning. It will become duller as you move, but if you’ve been sitting or standing in the same place for a while, it will re-occur. If you exercise, the pain will often be most intense after you’ve finished working out.

There are a few risk factors to be aware of. First, this condition tends to be most common among people between 40 and 60 years old. Flat-footed people might also be at a higher risk of this condition. It’s also possible that being overweight might increase the risk of developing Plantar Fasciitis. It’s also most common amongst people who spend a lot of time on their feet.

How Is Plantar Fasciitis Diagnosed?

If you believe you have Plantar Fasciitis, you’ll need to get it diagnosed. The diagnosis will allow you to start treatment as soon as possible. To identify this condition you’ll need a physical examination by a medical doctor or podiatrist. They will ask you about the type of pain you’re experiencing and perform a throughout exam to rule out other potential ailments.

How Should You Treat Plantar Fasciitis?

Often, Plantar Fasciitis will last for a few months. During this time, there are a few ways you can reduce the pain and speed up the healing process. First, you might want to apply a heating pad, which will increase the flow of blood that will help clear out the inflammation. You might also want to stretch and massage the affected area. It’s also recommended that you rest the foot and try to reduce the amount of time you spend standing up.

How Can Acupuncture Help?

If you’ve developed Plantar Fasciitis, you’ll probably experience a considerable amount of pain. As a result, you’ll want effective treatment. Many studies have shown that acupuncture can be a valuable treatment option. Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits acupuncture can provide.

Pain Relief

Acupuncture practitioners believe that the pain receptors around the body control the pain you experience. By stimulating specific acupuncture points, acupuncturists can affect local nerve endings. This stimulation will help provide pain relief. It will also affect your brain. Studies have shown that there is less activity in the parts of the brain that process pain during an acupuncture session. These effects don’t take long to manifest. Typically, it takes just a few treatments before the pain starts to fade.

Improved Sleep

Because Plantar Fasciitis can be painful, it can make it harder for you to fall asleep at night. This can have significant impacts on your quality of life. For example, you might find it more challenging to focus at work. During acupuncture, you’ll be placed into a more relaxed state that can make it easier for you to overcome the pain and get a good night’s sleep.

Improved Mental Health

Plantar Fasciitis might also affect your mental health. Trying to deal with the pain might make you feel depressed. It’s also possible that you might feel stressed, especially if it affects your performance at work. Acupuncture can help you overcome these problems. A range of acupuncture points can be targeted to help you feel more relaxed. Because of this, many patients report feeling calmer at the end of their session.

Drug-Free Treatment

While your doctor might prescribe painkillers, many people want to take a natural approach to manage pain. This approach will ensure you don’t get addicted to painkillers. Some people might also have an allergic reaction to these substances. Because no drugs are involved, acupuncture is one of the safest ways to treat the discomfort caused by Plantar Fasciitis.

How Long Does An Acupuncture Session Last?

One of the benefits of acupuncture is that it treats you like an individual. The practitioner will tailor the treatment based on your needs. In general, though, the session will last for between half-an-hour to an hour. In most cases, the needles will be left in your skin for around 28 minutes.

The number of sessions you’ll need will also vary based on your condition. As we mentioned, most people will feel relief after four to five treatments. However, you might want to continue getting acupuncture to help you continue to manage the pain during the recovery period. It’s best to talk about your condition with your licensed acupuncturist to develop a plan that will work for you.

Conclusion

Plantar Fasciitis is a widespread condition. It affects one in six Americans. It can cause shooting pain in your foot, and the discomfort can often take months to go away. Thankfully, there is an effective way to treat this pain: acupuncture. It can help you improve your quality of life, without drugs. If you have Plantar Fasciitis, consider booking an appointment with a licensed acupuncturist to find out how they can help.

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Can Acupuncture Treat Frozen Shoulder?

Posted Thursday, July 23rd, 2020 by ABA

Can Acupuncture Treat Frozen Shoulder?

The pain caused by a shoulder injury can be intense and may end up reducing your mobility. This can significantly impact your daily life by making it difficult for you to perform routine daily tasks. Though several conditions can cause shoulder pain, one of the most common is frozen shoulder. Typically, this affects between two and five percent of people aged between 40 and 60. It tends to affect more women than men.

People who have a frozen shoulder often experience much pain. Still, some are reluctant to visit a doctor, fearing that they’ll be prescribed highly addictive pain-reduction pills. Thankfully, there’s a natural alternative: acupuncture.

Let’s take a closer look at what frozen shoulder is and how acupuncture can help treat it.

What Is Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder is stiffness that occurs around your shoulder. It can make it painful to move your arm, limit your mobility, and interfere with your life. The reason it’s called a frozen shoulder is because of the three stages of this condition. First, you have the freezing phase, which is the gradual development of pain in your shoulder. During this stage, your range of motion will become more limited. Next comes the frozen stage, when you may notice the pain has started to ease. However, your range of motion will remain limited, as though your shoulder is frozen in place. Finally, you’ll have the thawing phase. The pain will begin to diminish, and you’ll be able to move your shoulder freely again.

In most cases, frozen shoulder can be diagnosed by its symptoms and physical description. As a result, you won’t need any MRIs or X-rays. But your acupuncturist might still want to run a few tests to confirm their diagnosis.

Frozen shoulder affects everyone differently. However, it commonly has a few consequences. For example, some people may find it reduces their performance at work, mainly if they’re in a physically demanding role. Other people may find the pain is worst at night, making it harder for them to get to sleep.

No one knows exactly what causes frozen shoulder. However, a few things might increase your chances of developing it. First, it tends to be most common among people with diabetes. It’s also more likely to occur if you’ve had your arm in the same position for a long time – for example, if you needed to wear a sling while recovering from a broken arm. One of the best ways to prevent frozen shoulder is by exercising your shoulders regularly to maintain a reasonable range of motion in the joint.

Using Acupuncture to Treat Frozen Shoulder

As we mentioned, frozen shoulder will typically go away on its own. However, it can take up to three years for you to recover. For many people, this will be too long, especially if the pain or lack of motion is making you uncomfortable and impacting on your life. Thankfully, acupuncture can be an effective treatment.

Acupuncture is based on the idea that, when a condition is treated, the mind and body can’t be separated. As a result, an acupuncturist will use needles on specific pressure points. This procedure clears your body’s energy pathways (referred to by practitioners as “unblocking your qi”). This brings the body back into balance and can help relieve pain and muscle stiffness.

Some studies have investigated whether acupuncture can improve range of motion in the shoulder. For many, the stiffness is one of the worst parts of having frozen shoulder. A study at the University of Medical Scientists in Iran looked at a group of 40 people of various ages who suffered from frozen shoulder. They found that the group who received acupuncture treatments achieved the best results. Most importantly, these patients had improved range of motion after their session and felt less shoulder pain.

There are a few explanations for these results. First, it’s been shown that acupuncture can stimulate nerves in muscles and tissues. This process releases endorphins in your brain, which act as a natural painkiller. Acupuncture can also be a great way to reduce inflammation in your shoulder and enhance blood circulation in the area. Because of this, the range of motion in your shoulder will slowly begin to improve.

Your acupuncturist will tailor the treatment to suit your needs and deliver the best results. However, this could involve focusing on the “yanglingquan” point, which is located in your leg. They also might use a deep-insertion needle on the side of the affected shoulder. This point is useful since it passes through the meridian of the “jianjing,” which is associated with tension in the neck and shoulders. How long your acupuncture session will last and the type of needles used will depend on your unique circumstances.

Conclusion

Frozen shoulder can be deeply unpleasant, as it dramatically reduces the range of motion in your shoulder. It can have a great impact on your daily life and make it harder for you to do your job or the activities you love. But it doesn’t have to be this way. As we’ve seen, there’s compelling evidence that shows acupuncture can be a natural solution to frozen shoulder. It can both ease the pain and anxiety caused by the condition and improve the range of motion in your shoulder. The results prove that acupuncture can be an excellent risk-free treatment.

Get in touch with us today to experience the benefits that acupuncture can offer you!

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Can Acupuncture Reduce Stress?

Posted Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020 by ABA

Can Acupuncture Reduce Stress?

In times like this, when widespread worry is one of the only things tying us together, people are seeking ways to reduce stress and begin to think clearly again. The effects of long-term stress on a person can be incredibly harmful not only to the mind, but to the body. People with higher anxiety are actually at higher risk for cancer. Their high stress levels weaken their immune system. Further, high stress levels can cause fatigue, muscle pain, insomnia, and many other symptoms that can damage the body.

Stress is often triggered by the human brain’s fight-or-flight response to everyday occurrences such as an overload of emails, running late for work, or in the case of recent events, a pandemic. Stated more simply, stress can be any thought or feeling that causes your brain to feel threatened. This is why, to our brain, an email backlog can be just as stressful as an animal attack. However, many people are reluctant to seek out doctors. They fear they’ll be prescribed pills and medications they could avoid with other treatments.

Studies of Acupuncture’s Effects on Stress and Anxiety

In several studies of people suffering from anxiety, acupuncture reduced stress where other treatments were ineffective. It’s been proven that acupuncture helps to stimulate the release of oxytocin, a hormone that’s been tested as an anti-anxiety drug, and that it reverses and addresses stress effects such as high blood pressure and insomnia. By targeting the fight-or-flight response, acupuncture can help you become much more rested and relaxed and signal your brain that it is safe to settle down. In this state, your body can begin to heal the effects of stress and prepare for a comfortable sleep.

As far back as 2003, a World Health Organization study on acupuncture reported that acupuncture stimulates the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, while also altering neurotransmitters that have positive effects on brain chemistry. The study found that acupuncture shuts down the part of the brain responsible for stress and pain. This helps the limbic system physically alter the body’s experience of stress. Patients even claim that acupuncture provides faster-acting relief for their symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress than the medications and other therapies recommended to them.

Acupuncture has even been found to have positive anti-depression effects. In a University of York study of 755 people suffering from moderate to severe depression, acupuncture had substantial positive impacts on depression. As such, acupuncture has become a highly sought out, drug-free treatment for stress, anxiety, and depression. Many anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs have adverse side effects that acupuncture doesn’t have, making it a safer and much more comfortable method of relief for the patient.

The Traditions and Science Behind Acupuncture

According to the Chinese definition, acupuncture brings the body back into balance by unblocking the “qi” that flows through certain internal pathways. Instead of seeing the mind and body as suffering from two different ailments, acupuncture doesn’t disconnect the two. As such, if you were to tell your acupuncturist that you’re suffering from high stress levels and experiencing hot flashes, he or she will see the two conditions as interrelated and connected. In the Chinese belief, the mental and physical ailments and aspects of a person are woven tightly together.

This explanation is a bit more abstract than the Western medical description, which says acupuncture eases anxiety by helping to regulate the nervous system. To physicians who understand it, acupuncture brings the branches of the autonomic nervous system – the “qi” in Chinese medicine – back into balance with each other. Acupuncture, at its roots, is about restoring balance in the body to ease stress and anxiety.

Some claim that acupuncture merely provides a placebo effect, but science backs up the treatment’s positive impact on the body. Brain scans show that the balancing effects of acupuncture on the limbic system aren’t just a placebo. Additionally, acupuncture is so risk-free. There’s little reason for people to be concerned about it, since its effects on the body and mind are overwhelmingly positive. Acupuncture treatment can help boost energy, relax the patient, reduce anxiety, stress, and depression, and overwhelmingly help your body heal.

Conclusion

The science and tradition behind acupuncture’s positive effects are clear and should be enough to quell any doubts about its utility. Today, for many people, stress, anxiety, and depression are being exacerbated by the global situation. Finding a way to ease stress is essential to the well-being and healing of minds and bodies. Acupuncture has a long history of doing this to help people cope with the worst stressors the world can throw at them. Why not give it a try?

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Can Acupuncture Treat Neck Pain?

Posted Monday, May 18th, 2020 by ABA

neck, pain

Acupuncture has a long history as a treatment for pain, and has recently gained acceptance among Western health practitioners as an alternative treatment for pain and other illnesses.

The word acupuncture means piercing needles.The term stems from the Latin words “acus”, meaning “needle”, and “puncture”, meaning “to pierce”. Developed over 2000 years ago in China, acupuncture is an alternative – and part of a more holistic – method of healing the body. Such methods include massage, diet, herbs and heat therapy. Over the course of the country’s long history, Chinese medical practitioners refined the process and practice of acupuncture. In the last century, the western world came to accept acupuncture as an alternative approach to more intrusive forms of treatment such as injections, medications, or surgery for pain relief and other conditions.

Western health professionals recognize the connection between physical and mental health and how they affect each other. They believe acupuncture addresses neck pain along with many other illnesses by stimulating nerves, muscles, connective tissue, and even boosting the body’s natural painkillers.

Acupuncture Treatment for Neck Pain

Since 2003, based on a review of clinical trials, the World Health Organization (WHO) has accepted acupuncture as a viable and effective form of treatment for 28 diseases and conditions. In addition to neck pain, acupuncture also treats back, knee, and dental pain, depression, headaches, and more.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) also issued a statement in which they acknowledged the efficacy of acupuncture and called for the implementation of educational standards for licensing and accreditation to ensure the quality and safety of treatments as acupuncture is integrated into medical practices. Both the WHO and NIH agree that acupuncture is an effective and minimally invasive alternative treatment for chronic neck pain and other illnesses.

Neck pain is a prevalent ailment among adults. Globally, between 30-50% of adults report chronic neck pain. In fact, neck pain is the third most common cause of chronic pain in the USA, and the fourth leading cause of disability worldwide.

Chronic neck pain usually includes one or more symptoms. These symptoms include a stiff neck, sharp pains, trouble lifting heavy objects, and headaches. Spinal column nerve inflammation—radicular pain and cervical radiculopathy—can also cause headaches. This chronic pain can disrupt sleeping habits and interfere with the performance of daily activities, which affects one’s overall quality of life.

In 2017, the Journal of Pain reviewed the use of acupuncture for treating chronic pain. Their findings on acupuncture treatment of musculoskeletal pain, osteoarthritis, chronic headache, and shoulder pain were positive. Acupuncture performed better by relieving pain and increasing function in patients tested against placebo groups. They also found that acupuncture treatment has lasting effects. Eighty-five percent of patients who attended between 6 and 15 half-hour sessions continued to feel the positive impact of their acupuncture treatments after one year.

Both the WHO and NIH acknowledge acupuncture as an appropriate treatment for neck pain. When compared to other methods, acupuncture often relieves pain better and is less invasive than treatments such as injections or surgery. In a recent survey, SpineUniverse found that patients were more satisfied with acupuncture treatments than injections as a way to relieve neck pain. Injections are designed to alleviate symptoms of pain, but do not treat the underlying problems. On the other hand, acupuncture attempts to bring the body into balance not only to relieve the patient’s current pain, but also to prevent future pain. Injections also use steroid medication which some patients have adverse reactions to, whereas acupuncture involves no medication.

While treating neck pain, acupuncturists stimulate acupoints both local and distal—distant from the pain’s location. The distal acupoints “Hegu” (LI 4), “Shousanli” (LI 10), and “Quchi” (LI 11) are traditionally used to relieve neck and shoulder pain. Many local acupoints based around the neck and spine are used in treatments as well, such as Jingbailao  (EX-HN15), Jianzhongshu (SI-15), and “Fengchi” (GB-20).

To treat neck pain and other conditions, practitioners place tiny needles at points throughout the body to stimulate nerves, muscles, and the body’s natural painkillers. These places on the body are called acupoints. According to acupuncture theory, the body has more than 2,000 acupoints, which maintain and correct the body’s life force when stimulated in specific combinations.

Acupuncture treatment involves needle insertion, manipulation, and removal. Because the needles are thin, they do not usually cause discomfort. During a session, between five and 20 needles are generally inserted at varying depths. Although pain is uncommon, an aching sensation is not unusual and indicates the needle has reached the appropriate depth. The acupuncturist manipulates the needles as needed, moving or twirling them, and applies heat or electrical pulses to the needles. The applied needles stay in place for up to 20 minutes, and their removal does not usually cause any discomfort.

To prevent any risk of infection, US practitioners are required to employ sterile, one-time-use only needles that are sealed before use and disposed of properly after treatment. Licensed professionals use from 1 to 20 FDA-approved needles during a treatment session. Needle sizes and lengths vary, but they are approximately 20 times thinner than typical injection needles, which minimizes the possibility of pain or bruising. Needle length may range from 3mm to 125mm (used for larger patients), but the thickness only ranges between 0.16mm to 0.50mm.

What to Expect from a Licensed Acupuncturist

All acupuncturists are required to pass the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) exam. Alternatively, an individual can complete the NCCAOM program in the foundations of Oriental medicine, acupuncture, and bio-medicine to become a licensed practitioner. Individual states may have additional prerequisites as well.

A licensed acupuncturist will ask about your symptoms and lifestyle. After an initial consultation and treatment that may last up to an hour, a typical treatment plan entails one or two sessions a week, each usually lasting for about half an hour.

Acupuncture performed by a licensed professional is safe and painless. The risk of complications is minimal, and no medications are involved. For these reasons, this less intrusive method may be a reasonable alternative to injections or surgery to relieve neck pain.

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Can Acupuncture Boost My Immune System?

Posted Sunday, April 5th, 2020 by ABA

Can Acupuncture Boost Your Immune System

Acupuncture is an alternative medical practice. It was first documented in China around 100 BCE, although evidence of its use extends to 600 BCE. The procedure is based on the manipulation of ‘life energy’ or ‘Chi’, which is done by inserting extremely thin needles into the skin at particular points called acupuncture points. Acupuncture facilitates healing through the balancing of life energy. Chi flows throughout the body in a system of 12 channels (or meridians) that correspond to the body’s organs and systems. The manipulation of this energy can open blocked channels and allow the body’s healing force to attend to diseased areas. From a more western point of view, acupuncture can be used to manipulate or stimulate specific organs, systems, and bodily functions through the stimulation of particular nerve-rich areas on the skin.

Although it is considered as an alternative medicine, acupuncture has become relatively common in western culture, and especially since 1998, when the National Institutes for Health (NIH) issued a consensus statement on acupuncture and its practical use in health treatment. The World Health Organisation (WHO) currently recognizes a total of 361 acupuncture points on the human body and lists a total of 28 diseases or conditions that are proven to benefit from acupuncture treatment. Today, in western society, acupuncture is used to alleviate pain, nausea, and vomiting—especially in cancer patients—arthritis, stress, and tension (an associated disorder), and to treat respiratory diseases. Source: Mayo Clinic.

Acupuncture and Immunity

Can acupuncture boost your immune system? The answer is not surprising: yes, it can! According to Acupuncture Massage College, in some cases, acupuncture therapy is prescribed for immune deficiency disorders such as allergies, autoimmune diseases, chronic fatigue, psoriasis, and cancer. Since inflammation is the natural pathological progress of many diseases, many argue that the strength of acupuncture in boosting immune function lies in its ability to reduce inflammation. Studies have also shown that acupuncture can affect a rise in immune interferon levels. Interferons are the chemical messengers used by the immune system to communicate between cells.

The acupuncture point named Stomach 36 (ST36) is well known for its immune-boosting effects. Stimulation of this point (located just below the kneecap on the outer part of the leg) is believed to regulate the activation of Natural Killer cells (NK cells) known for their ability to attack and kill cancer cells.

The human immune system consists of the white blood cells produced by bone marrow; antibodies made in the thymus and tonsils; and the spleen and the lymphatic system, which removes dead cells and materials from the system. These systems interact and communicate to coordinate the body’s defense system. First, white blood cells detect foreign particles in the body. In response, the body launches a defense in the form of fighter cells and antibodies. It keeps a record of infections, so future immune reactions are faster and more effective. If any of these aspects are weakened due to illness or bad lifestyle choices, our immune system is compromised.

Research and scientific evidence from clinical trials show that acupuncture can regulate immunity and promote anti-inflammatory effects. In one study, early stimulation of acupuncture point ST36 resulted in an increased concentration of the antibody SIgA, as well as T-lymphocytes in the intestinal mucosa. It resulted in lowered mortality due to sepsis.

In conjunction with moxibustion, acupuncture helped restore the balance between immune cell subsets during treatment of Crohn’s disease patients (Liang et al. 2015).

Additionally, prevention and early treatment of disease is a big part of TCM. Acupuncture is often used before the onset of an illness to boost immunity, thereby potentially bypassing disease altogether.

What to Expect from Acupuncture Treatment

Your first treatment with an acupuncturist may last for up to an hour. The acupuncturists will carefully evaluate your particular case and decide on the correct combination of acupuncture points to stimulate and the duration of the treatment. A total of 361 acupuncture points are located all over the human body, including the hands, feet, and ears, where points are more concentrated. Follow-up treatments tend to be shorter, typically between 20-30 minutes, and may be necessary depending on the specific case.

The skin is disinfected with alcohol before a very thin sterilized needle or disposable needle in inserted precisely at each specific acupuncture point. Once inserted, the acupuncturist may adjust the position of the needles, heat them, or even electrically energize them for an enhanced effect. Treatment is not painful or uncomfortable, although a slight prick may be felt on insertion, followed by tingling or warming around the site.

Acupuncturists typically train for about three years. They may specialize in additional TCM, such as herbology, to complement their practice. When performed by a licensed practitioner using disposable needles acupuncture is safe, and complications are unlikely.

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Can Acupuncture Help Me Heal?

Posted Tuesday, November 19th, 2019 by ABA

Can Acupuncture Help Me Heal?

Acupuncture is a widely used natural medicine that’s considered a valuable alternative to traditional and potentially addictive pain medications. At its core, acupuncture is an efficient way to relieve pain and alleviate illness. According to the University of California, Berkeley, acupuncture is scientifically proven to address symptoms like nausea and pain.

What is Acupuncture?

By placing sterile needles at specific nerve points in the body (acupuncture points), licensed acupuncturists can stimulate the body’s healing capabilities to relieve pain, nausea, and a variety of other health symptoms. Many doctors believe that acupuncture affects the body’s hormonal and neurological systems and stimulates the release of beta-endorphins, which cause happiness and even euphoria.

Acupuncture has its roots in China, but the modern-day practice and results certainly fall into the realm of Western medical science. The ancient Chinese believed that the flow of qi (pronounced chi) in the body could be influenced at specific points, giving rise to the acupressure points we know today. These points have been identified as nerves, or nerve clusters, that can be stimulated to affect the body on a biological level.

Does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture is scientifically/clinically proven to work to relieve pain, nausea, and even depression. The National Institutes of Health, run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, refers to acupuncture as a treatment for specific pain conditions and acknowledges that ongoing research seeks to reveal what other symptoms acupuncture is effective at treating. One of the largest studies done on acupuncture conclusively proved that there is a difference between real and placebo acupuncture, meaning that genuine acupuncture has scientific merit.

Acupuncture is typically recommended for people suffering from chronic pain, which would usually require the person to take traditional pain medication that may become addictive. The process can ease chronic pain naturally and reduce or eliminate the amount of pain medication the chronically ill person is taking. Acupuncture is not addictive and can be a valuable option enabling those with chronic pain conditions to manage that pain.

Acupuncture is also recognized as a remedy for nausea, especially nausea caused by chemotherapy. Many chemotherapy patients have successfully managed chemo-related nausea either entirely or in part through the use of acupuncture. While the effectiveness of acupuncture for nausea is less scientifically supported than it is for pain, many sources still recognize that it can have soothing effects.

It’s also been shown that the combination of care given by an acupuncture specialist and the pain-relieving and mood-lifting properties of the acupuncture process can relieve the symptoms of depression. Its pain relief and mood-improving properties are especially helpful for those with chronic pain, who are often able to ease their depressive and pain symptoms during the acupuncture sessions.

Will Acupuncture Heal Me?

Acupuncture is thought to stimulate the body’s nerves to release hormones called endorphins (the “happy hormones”), which is why it’s so effective in treating pain and depression. This same stimulation and hormonal manipulation can help promote nerve growth and healing in the body. The Johns Hopkins Hospital recognizes that acupuncture stimulates these healing processes to promote both physical and emotional well-being.

Some doctors even believe that acupuncture can repair nervous system damage through nerve stimulation. It’s possible that acupuncture can help damaged nerves heal and regrow. Nerve healing may happen due to the unique stimulation of acupuncture points by needles or other methods.

Another benefit of acupuncture is the care and time taken by acupuncture specialists. An acupuncture session is a time to reward and heal yourself and get relief, and the acupuncturists work hard to ensure you get the best experience possible. This positive feeling of being cared for can bolster the relieving effects of acupuncture and further reduce your pain and worry.

Many scientific studies suggest that positive thinking can prevent disease or halt it in the early stages. Acupuncture works in much the same way. By relieving your pain and worry, acupuncture allows you to heal more quickly, unhindered by negative emotions and the presence of stress hormones in your system.

Conclusion

Acupuncture is an essential option for those dealing with pain and other uncomfortable symptoms from a variety of sources. It can even promote healing and growth in your nervous system and release positive hormones like endorphins to make you feel emotionally better. If you’re looking for a non-addictive, traditional alternative to other treatments or medications, acupuncture is an excellent option for you.

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Can Acupuncture Reduce Inflammation?

Posted Wednesday, May 15th, 2019 by ABA

acupuncture inflammation relief

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is a defense mechanism in the body’s immune system. If the immune system detects pathogens, infections, or any foreign object in the body, it responds by releasing white blood cells and other inflammatory mediators. These mediators stimulate nerves and cause the blood vessels to dilate, allowing more blood to reach the injured tissue to promote healing. This process may also create heat, swelling and redness around the area.

Although inflammation is a vital function of the immune system, chronic inflammation can have long-term effects on the body. It has been linked to conditions including asthma, cancer, heart disease and various autoimmune disorders. Factors that can cause inflammation in the body include an unhealthy lifestyle, chronic stress and environmental allergens.

Acute inflammation can usually be treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen and aspirin, but corticosteroids may be prescribed for chronic inflammation. These drugs may offer temporary relief from the symptoms, but they are also known to cause many long-term side effects.

How does acupuncture reduce inflammation?

Acupuncture is an effective and safe treatment for both acute and chronic inflammation.

It is a form of treatment in which extremely thin needles are inserted through the skin in certain points on the body. It works on the energy meridians of the body by unblocking the obstructed ‘Qi’ (pronounced chee), or life energy.

It stimulates the nerves to correct any imbalances in the system by targeting painful trigger points. The needles used in acupuncture therapy are disposable, which minimizes the risk of infection during treatment.

Acupuncture helps to reduce inflammation by stimulating the production of hormones like cortisol and dopamine and inhibiting the generation of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the body. It also facilitates the release of specific neuropeptides, which can have profound physiological effects.

Various studies have documented how acupuncture effectively reduces bodily pain by promoting the release of natural painkillers called endorphins. Acupuncture is known to have positive effects on various diseases – such as arthritis, psoriasis and fibromyalgia – associated with chronic inflammation. The vasodilative effects of acupuncture work to reduce joint pain and stiffness.

Studies show significant decreases in back pain and knee pain when electro-acupuncture is used on patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. In electro-acupuncture, low-intensity electrical impulses are applied to the needles. This prevents the release of mast cells that trigger an inflammatory response in the body and is useful for the treatment of conditions like sepsis, Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

People suffering from type-2 diabetes show higher levels of inflammation due to increased insulin resistance. Acupuncture can reduce inflammation caused by diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity and lowering blood glucose levels.

Some studies suggest a link between chronic stress and inflammation. Chronic stress leads to elevated levels of cortisol, which can result in high blood pressure, digestive issues, insomnia and lowered immune function. Fortunately, acupuncture can help reduce stress, anxiety and depression by reducing the secretion of cortisol. This helps to relax the body. It also modulates the sympathetic nervous system and improves blood circulation, which helps counteract the physical effects of stress. Acupuncture also significantly helps to reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety by affecting the production of serotonin. It alleviates inflammation caused due to stress and protects you from stress-related disorders like diabetes, hypertension, stroke and heart disease.

If you suffer from inflammation, you may want to consider acupuncture therapy as a form of treatment from a licensed acupuncturist. Depending on your symptoms, they may suggest the required number of treatments. The advantage is that the side-effects and complications of acupuncture are significantly lower than those of medication. Acupuncture addresses the underlying causes as well as the symptoms of inflammation, while reducing the risk of developing diseases associated with it.

You might also benefit by making a few changes to your lifestyle. Try stress management, reducing smoking and adding a moderate amount of exercise. Dietary changes – like increasing your consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, foods high in fiber and adding spices like turmeric into your diet – may also help. Reducing your intake of processed foods, aerated drinks and processed sugar is also known to reduce inflammation.

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Suffering From TMJ? Try Acupuncture!

Posted Saturday, November 24th, 2018 by ABA

TMJ, pain, acupuncture

What is TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the jawbone to the skull and supports jaw movement during eating and talking.

Temporomandibular syndrome or disorder, commonly known as TMJ or TMD, is a condition that affects the temporomandibular joint and its surrounding nerves and muscles. TMJ disorders affect over 10 million Americans and can arise due to one or more factors such as jaw injury, genetics, poor posture, arthritis and stress.

What are some symptoms of  TMJ?

Common symptoms associated with TMJ include pain while chewing, jaw stiffness, and jaw-locking or ‘grating’ that often cause severe discomfort and tenderness. Swelling around the jaw area or pain around the ears and on the sides of the face are also common.

It’s possible to treat TMJ pain using over-the counter anti-inflammatory drugs, corrective bite plates, stress management or jaw exercises. However, the relief is often temporary, since there is no known cure for the disorder. It’s also difficult, since no specific test (other than an analysis of symptoms) can determine its cause.

A behavioural shift may sometimes be needed to alleviate symptoms that may be psychological in origin.

Can acupuncture treat TMJ?

Various studies suggest that acupuncture can help control symptoms associated with TMJ. Acupuncture is an ancient branch of traditional Chinese medicine in which thin needles are inserted in the skin and manipulated to balance the body’s energy meridians. Depending on the condition being treated, heat or electric stimulation may also be applied during acupuncture. Its practitioners – and the millions of people who swear by the ancient practice, especially in China – believe that acupuncture can restore one’s health by unblocking and balancing the body’s ‘Qi’(pronounced “chee”).

Acupuncture is usually painless and safe when done by a licensed therapist, although you may encounter a faint tingling sensation or a dull ache around the points. These feelings usually subside in a while.

Extensive research has been conducted to prove the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating various conditions, including TMJ. In 1970, studies documented that acupuncture triggers biological reactions that help reduce pain by activating the release of neurotransmitters and endorphins in the body. Endorphins play an important role in stabilizing your mood and relieving pain. The stimulation from acupuncture may also enhance nerve signal quality and alter pain perception, thereby reducing pain.

Acupuncture has been widely used as a complementary therapy with Western medicine, especially for pain management. It is known to reduce pain and inflammation caused by TMJ. It helps treat underlying causes like stress and system imbalances by boosting immunity and eliminating toxins from the body.

Acupuncture helps relax muscle spasms and stiffness caused by TMJ dysfunction. It helps to relieve stress held in the jaw muscles, allowing the jaw to unclench and the joints to move freely.  The number and frequency of acupuncture sessions you need will depend on your condition. Consult your therapist to discuss what might work best for you.

In summary, acupuncture is a great option to consider for the treatment of TMJ disorders. It can reduce pain and accelerate recovery or be used for to manage TMJ symptoms over the long term. It also offers a host of other benefits, such as mental relaxation and improvements in overall well-being.

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What is Intermittent Fasting?

Posted Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018 by ABA

intermittent, fasting, diet, weight loss

From gaining a greater level of self-control and awareness, to weight loss and fat-burning, the benefits of intermittent fasting have long been touted and are now backed by clinical research and studies. When done properly, alternating between periods of fasting and eating can lead to a healthier, longer, more meaningful life.

Introduction to Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting (IF) is a dietary plan that involves cycling between periods of fasting and skipping meals entirely, and periods of normal food consumption. This alternating diet plan allows you to restrict/limit calorie consumption and augment cell and hormone functions.

During fasting periods, all forms of food are avoided, but drinks like water, coffee and juices may be allowed. The goal is to avoid the intake of calories. Supplements can also be taken to avoid nutrient deficiencies, especially during extended fasts.

Research into Intermittent Fasting

The benefits of fasting have been touted for centuries by spiritual gurus and, more recently, by fitness experts – and finally there is substantial research to verify these claims. Clinical studies involving human subjects substantiate the medical effects of intermittent fasting.

One study into the effectiveness of fasting for weight loss showed promising results among the majority of participants, as the fasting encouraged food and caloric restriction and improved eating habits. Another study (on rats) showed that intermittent fasting could be linked to an overall increase in lifespan in subjects; on average, rats that fasted lived longer than fully fed rats.

Yet another study into the power of intermittent fasting showed an improvement in heart health. Ultimately, a lower intake of “bad” calories and a reduction in cardiac risk factors like diabetes and inflammation will reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Another promising clinical study showed a correlation between regular intermittent fasting and a reduction in the development of certain forms of cancer.

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Regular fasting can do wonders for the human body—in fact, the body is designed to go for extended periods without food without suffering harm. But the benefits of intermittent fasting extend beyond mere physical merits. There are psychological and cognitive benefits as well, making IF a valuable dieting plan.

The benefits of intermittent fasting include:

  • Cancer prevention
  • Weight loss and fat burning
  • Cellular repair and regeneration
  • Reduced insulin resistance and lower risk of diabetes
  • Prevention of inflammation
  • Improved cardiac health
  • Improved brain and cognitive function
  • Alzheimer’s and stroke prevention

Forms of Intermittent Fasting

The most common forms of intermittent fasting are:

  • 16:8

This requires you to fast for 16 hours in a day, while allowing yourself only an 8-hour feeding period. The most common way to perform a 16:8 fast is to skip breakfast and avoid any meals after 8 p.m.

A person may decide to break his fast by 12 noon, allowing himself an 8-hour window, until 8 p.m., to eat meals. The implication of this pattern is that you are forced to eat just 2 meals a day, rather than 3.

  • 20:4

The 20:4 fast allows for an even shorter eating window, 4 hours. This meaning you fast for 20 hours daily. You may either eat a single meal, or two smaller portions during your 4-hour eating window.

  • 24-hour Fasts

A 24-hour fast, as the name implies, involves a full day’s worth of fasting between meals. The most common variation is the dinner-dinner fasts—eating dinner on the first day, and waiting till dinnertime of the second day to have your next meal.

  • 5:2

The 5:2 fasting plan divides your week into two sections: fasting and non-fasting days. Formulated by famed diet expert Dr. Michael Mosley in his book, The Fast Diet, you have 5 days of regular eating and 2 days of fasting.

During the 2 fasting days, you can consume up to 500 calories, which can be consumed all at once or spread out over the course of the day.

  • 36-hour Fasts

The way to perform the 36-hour fast is to prepare to skip eating for an entire day. You have dinner on Day 1, completely skip eating on Day 2, and then have breakfast on Day 3. Skipping a full day of eating makes this form of IF more effective than shorter fasts, as your body burns more excess calories during your full day of fasting.

  • Extended Fasts

Usually performed by religious sects and more disciplined fitness gurus, extended fasts involve multiple continuous days of fasting. There are verified reports of people fasting for up to 10 months, but in many cases extended fasts are usually just a couple of days to a few weeks in duration.

To avoid depletion of essential nutrients, it is important that extended periods of fasting be performed under the supervision of a licensed health practitioner. It is usually recommended to perform extended fasts while supplementing micro-nutrient loss with a dose of multivitamins and supplements.

Risks and Side-Effects of Intermittent Fasting

Done right, intermittent fasting promises a host of benefits for individuals who adopt it. But like any dieting plan, there are risks and side effects to consider before embarking upon this course.

There is a risk of overeating, as compensation for lost calories, after a fasting period. The learning period is marked with hunger, which may cause you to eat even more than normal to suppress the urge.

Pregnant women, people on prescription medication, children, and elderly persons must fast under supervision. The benefits of fasting must be weighed against the risks of food restriction to avoid harmful caloric and nutritional deficiencies.

What Is Meditation Good For?

Posted Tuesday, August 7th, 2018 by ABA

meditation

What is meditation?

Meditation is a learned skill of focusing the mind, used around the world and within every culture, for religious purposes as well as to relieve stress, create calm and clarity. Used in both business and privately, it aims to foster peace by creating a balance of heart, mind, body and spirit. When practiced correctly, it creates self-awareness and allows a person to live a more purposeful life in harmony with the world around them.

Health benefits of meditation

There are many health benefits to the practice of meditation that go beyond the relief of stress, depression and anxiety. During any life or health crisis, meditation can provide a clear perspective so one can make decisions consciously and with purpose. Whether it’s cancer, recovering from a heart attack, living with an autoimmune disease, studying for a test, preparing for dental or other surgery, meditation can balance you, and create calm and focus. There are many scientific reasons you should start meditating on a daily basis.

Getting personal with your self

For some individuals, the thought of sitting still seems foreign. Sometimes even our relaxation time is stressful. When we sit and relax at the end of the day, we often spend a good hour reading emails on our computer. When faced with a nice glass of iced herbal tea and good conversation, we opt to plant our face in our phone and type away 10 text messages while sipping and talking. We climb into bed for a restful night’s sleep, then turn on our television and watch the news. A soothing bath turns into a quick cleaning of the tiles and a replay of our busy day running through our head.

According to Mindful, you can take a daily two-minute meditation break, wherever you are, and it will make you fully present. Two minutes! Who doesn’t have that amount of time to spare for themselves?

Making time for focused relaxation, connection to one’s self and the universe allows us to better care for ourselves and those around us. We pay less attention to those annoying emails, become fully present in our relationships, get better sleep, clean our house better, and so on.

Business can be a pleasure

By encouraging your employees and staff to meditate, providing them a designated area and offering time for meditation, you show them that you care for their well-being. This time, when utilized, can enhance their concentration and productivity within the workplace. It can create a more positive outlook, which makes for better customer service skills and interoffice relations.

If given the opportunity to meditate, employers can help keep the workforce healthy, which means fewer sick days and time off and better job performance. By creating an atmosphere that includes mediation, you as the employer encourage your employees to eat better, exercise, maintain healthy friendships and make smarter choices . In this way, meditation comes full circle.

Misconceptions about meditation

Meditation can be confusing and a little intimidating to those who have never tried it. At first, the idea of focusing your entire self on one thought, idea or object can seem unattainable. With our busy schedules, it’s even more important to practice meditation than we might believe. Our modern world can promote stress and increase the likelihood of mental, emotional or physical health issues.

When we spend most of our time in hyper mode, finishing projects, running errands, and trying to balance our professional and private lives, sometimes the answer is right before us. Sit still, take a breath, close your eyes, and mindfully focus.

A learned skill

Most people know what meditation is, but few know how to practice it. In our crazy lives, we have forgotten how to just be. As we meditate and time ticks by, all things cease, for just a few minutes whatever any length of time you choose. The ability to attain and maintain focus can be a challenge, especially when you first begin. This is one reason why some people give up on meditation after a short period of time.

Like any skill you learn – from riding a bike, speaking another language, or cooking a soufflé – meditation takes time and practice. Being patient with yourself and the process will allow you to benefit even in the early stages, when your mind tends to wander. Did I leave the coffee pot on? What time do I have to pick up the kids from soccer? Like a leaf floating in the breeze, acknowledge the thought and let it float away, and return your focus. Have an itch on your nose? Is the neighborhood dog barking in the background? Again, acknowledge it and return to your center.

Risks and side effects of meditation

No known side effects or risks are associated with practicing meditation, except maybe peace of mind, mental clarity, and living a more purposeful life. Missing the occasional appointment or errand can happen – but that happens anyway, so why worry about it?

Meditation is medicine!

Meditation offers many health benefits to us all. No matter your social standing, occupation, family status, age, gender or lifestyle, you can benefit from its practice. Simply make the time, practice the art and be patient with yourself and the process. The rewards will last a lifetime.

The Amazing Benefits of Black Seed Oil

Posted Sunday, July 8th, 2018 by ABA

black seed oil

Many people are seeking natural solutions that can help overcome the myriad of health problems we face. Black seed oil is a health product that has been growing in popularity in recent years – but, in fact, people have trusted it for centuries. In fact, usage of black seed oil dates back to ancient Egypt, as it was found in the tomb of King Tut. It has been used for toothaches, abscesses, parasites, and other conditions. Today, numerous health benefits are linked to black seed oil.

What is black seed oil?

Black seed oil is a product crafted from the seeds of the black cumin plant. It is native to southwest Asia, Africa, and the Mediterranean. As previously mentioned, it has been used for centuries for medicinal uses and as a spice.

What are some of the health benefits of black seed oil?

Black seed oil may be very effective in treating a wide array of heath conditions, including:

  • High Blood Pressure

There is evidence that black seed oil can help reduce high blood pressure; one study showed that people with mildly elevated blood pressure noticed a drop in their blood pressure after using back seed oil for 2 months.

  • Asthma

Asthma is one of the most common uses for black seed oil. The product has anti-inflammatory properties that can improve asthma symptoms. Since black seed oil can reduce inflammation in airways, it can also be very helpful with bronchitis symptoms.

  • High Cholesterol

Black seed oil has a high healthy fatty acid content. Fatty acids are essential in maintaining a healthy cholesterol level in the body.

  • Stomach Problems

Black seeds have properties that make them an excellent choice to relieve stomach cramps and pain. When in oil form, black seed oil can reduce bloating, gas, and ulcers.

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

Black seed oil can help reduce the inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis.

What are some other notable health benefits?

It is widely believed that black seed oil has anti-cancer properties, especially when used on the skin to fight skin cancer. Studies have shown that it can help reduce the growth of tumors in lab rats. Black seed oil can also help reduce the effects of radiation, which damages healthy cells. Black seed oil cannot completely replace traditional cancer treatments, but it can be a great addition to the treatment plan.

Great for your beauty regimen

Not only is black seed oil an excellent option to help treat common health ailments; it’s also a great option for your skin. These are some of the ways that black seed oil can help common with skin problems:

  • Wound Healing

Black seed oil is great for healing wounds. It can reduce the amount of bacteria in the wound and reduce inflammation to make it heal faster. It does not help with collagen factors, but it can stimulate various other growth factors to help develop healthy new skin in the area.

  • Acne

Acne is a common problem for both adults and teens. Studies have shown that using a lotion with 10% black seed oil can significantly reduce acne after about 2 months of use.

  • Healthier Skin

Using black seed oil can help improve the skin’s moisture and hydration to give you softer and healthier-looking skin.

  • Psoriasis

Using black seed oil can reduce the incidence of psoriasis when applied directly on the plaque.

Black seed oil can be very helpful in achieving healthy hair as well. By rubbing it on your hair, you will get softer and healthier looking locks.

But is it safe?

Overall, when used properly and in moderation, black seed oil is very safe. But there are some things that you should know about this product. For example, it can increase the way your body metabolizes certain medications. It’s a good idea to talk with your doctor about using black seed oil to ensure that it won’t negatively impact your health or affect the medications you are taking.

Black seed oil can be also assist your liver function, but using too much can potentially harm to your kidneys and liver. If you already have issues with these organs please talk to your doctor before using it.