Scottsdale Acupuncture

Author archive - Paul Kerzner

Juice vs. Blend: The Final Showdown!

Posted Friday, August 28th, 2015 by Paul Kerzner

juicing, blending, scottsdale

Do you juice your vegetables and fruits? Do you blend them? Are you wondering which is better? Which is worse?

At Above And Beyond Acupuncture, nutritional guidance is a key component of our treatments and is discussed with each and every patient. Since nutrition is the cornerstone of health and wellness, it must be properly addressed so that the body can support and heal itself.

One popular suggestion that is frequently presented to our patients is juicing (or blending) vegetables on a daily basis. Starting each morning with juice is an amazing way to provide the body with an array of nutrients, minerals and vitamins. It also has a beneficial impact on the digestive system and provides a significant boost of energy, something everyone can benefit from.

When this topic is discussed, many people often inquire whether they should be using a juicer or a blender. Since this is a hot topic, we wanted to take some time to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each. If you’ve been on the fence about which device to buy, read this blog post to learn more about juicing versus blending.

Is juicing better than blending?

Juicing is a great option for many people looking to improve their health and hydration. When you juice raw vegetables, you obtain almost all of the natural nutrients, including antioxidant phytochemicals. These are bioactive plant-derived compounds that have positive health benefits.

The process of juicing involves extracting all the liquid from fruits and vegetables while separating the fiber and skin. When consuming juice, there are minimal amounts of energy required by the body to immediately assimilate the nutrients. This is in opposition to blending, which requires energy from the body to extract vitamins and minerals from smoothies that contain pulp.

When it comes to purchasing a juicer, there are many different options, features and price points. It’s not always necessary to buy a top-of-the-line machine to make juice, but it is important to do your due diligence before making a purchase. The ability to spend a moderate amount for a decent juicer is an advantage over powerful blenders that can cost hundreds of dollars, since it takes a rather formidable blender to make a smoothie that is thin and easy to drink.

One brand of juicers that we recommend to our patients is the Juiceman, a product that we have been using for the past few years. There are many other great juicers on the market, but this is the one that has proven to be dependable and capable for our juicing needs.

Is blending better than juicing?

Blending fruits and vegetables is a popular way of consuming produce. This is done by creating smoothies that contain all of the fiber and skin. Blenders liquefy the entire fruit/vegetable by chopping it up with a blade that spins at very high speeds.

The main advantage of a blender is that it contains the entire piece of fruit or vegetable, whereas a juicer extracts the juice and discards the rest. The body uses the fiber to prevent rapid absorption of sugars too quickly into the blood stream. By slowing this process down, sugar spikes—which often lead to energy crashes—are avoided.

Since smoothies contain lots of fiber, they are more filling and will satisfy a person’s appetite for longer durations, leading to less snacking. Fiber is also an essential nutrient, aiding with digestion and helping to alleviate gastrointestinal issues. The skin of fruits and vegetables contains most of the nutrients, which is a big reason why some people prefer blending their produce.

When it comes to buying a blender, there are many options available. The old adage “you get what you pay for” comes into play and should be considered. Using a low-cost blender will create smoothies that can be thick, choppy and tough to consume, which many people find to be undesirable. If you can afford a Vitamix or Blendtec blender, you will be able to make smoothies that are thinner and less pulpy. There are other options available, as well. It is important to consider the horsepower, as that will help to determine how thin your smoothies are.

Should I juice or should I blend?

The answer to this question can be determined based on personal preference or on the information listed above. It is true that consuming the fiber and skin of fruits and vegetables will provide additional nutrients; however, not everyone prefers the thickness and pulp of a smoothie.

The cost of a blender will also become an issue, as the low-end machines are often under-powered and create thicker smoothies (which aren’t so smooth.) If price isn’t an issue, then we would suggest purchasing a Vitamix or Blendtec blender. Both of those brands are built well, have strong motors and are quite versatile. The smoothies you will make with these devices will come out thin and easy to drink.

In summation, there are definite advantages and disadvantages to juicing and blending your fruits and vegetables. It is our hope that this blog post provided some helpful information and assisted you with making an educated decision regarding how you make your juice or smoothies. There is certainly a lot of information found on the Internet as well, and we urge you to do the necessary research before making your decision.

At Above and Beyond Acupuncture, we offer a variety of health services, including acupuncture, Chinese herbal remedies and nutritional counseling. If you’d like to feel your best and are in the Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe or Phoenix areas, give us a call or use our online scheduler to book an appointment.

Does Health Insurance Pay For Acupuncture?

Posted Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 by Paul Kerzner

healthcare, health insurance, acupuncture

Do you have health insurance? Are you considering getting acupuncture? Would you like to know if your health insurance plan will pay for your treatments?

CNN recently reported that nearly 90% of Americans now have some type of health insurance. [Link] This is a significant and substantial increase over the past few years that has been fueled by the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare.)

At Above & Beyond Acupuncture we have received a lot of questions regarding health insurance and whether it covers acupuncture. Given that so many people now have health insurance and are curious to know if it covers acupuncture, we decided to spend some time addressing this topic.

Will my health insurance plan pay for acupuncture treatments?

This might appear to be a simple question, but there is no one answer that applies to everyone. Many variables exist among the insurance companies and the plans they offer. There are just too many different health insurance policies that have unique offerings, so while one plan would pay for acupuncture, the next might not.

The first step toward finding out if your health insurance plan covers acupuncture is to contact your insurance provider. You can do this by either calling the phone number on your insurance card or visiting the company’s website. There are three important pieces of information that you should obtain when doing this research:

1) Find out how many acupuncture treatments you are eligible for in a calendar year.
2) Inquire about your deductible (and has it been met/fulfilled).
3) Obtain a list of physical conditions/ailments that are covered when receiving acupuncture.

Each health insurance company has a variety of different plans that provide coverage for different treatment options. It’s important that you obtain the necessary information about your plan and understand what it does and does not cover. Since acupuncture is a relatively recent addition to some health insurance plans, it’s important that you do not automatically assume that it will be covered. If your plan does not have acupuncture coverage, it is important to request that it be added. Health insurance companies need to know that this is a desired addition to their policies.

Do all acupuncturists accept insurance?

Not every acupuncturist accepts insurance, so it is important to contact the practitioner before setting up an appointment. It is also strongly advised that you obtain all the necessary information about your insurance plan so you can relay that information to the acupuncturist.

There are some acupuncture practitioners that are “in-network” providers and are listed as such on the insurance company’s website. While it is true that these companies prefer you see these practitioners, you can also visit an “out-of-network” acupuncturist depending on the type of plan you have.

Can I use my flexible spending account to pay for acupuncture?

Some companies offer a program called Flexible Spending Accounts. These are special accounts that are used for certain out-of-pocket health care costs. The benefit of using a Flexible Spending Account is that it lowers an individual’s taxable income for the year. Most people who have this account are provided a debit card that can be used to pay for acupuncture treatments. If the card isn’t available, a receipt for services can be provided and then submitted to the flexible spending account administrator for reimbursement.

Does Above & Beyond Acupuncture accept health insurance?

At present, Above & Beyond Acupuncture can offer acupuncture treatments as an out-of-network provider. If your plan has the necessary coverage and you have obtained all the pertinent information, please contact our clinic via email or phone call before setting up an appointment so we can properly assist you.

Are there any local companies in Arizona that provide acupuncture for their employees?

Here in sunny Arizona there are a few large corporations that provide acupuncture treatments for their staff. Employees at Banner Health, Intel, Aetna, Boeing and Northrop Grumman are entitled to a certain number of acupuncture treatments per calendar year. If you work for one of these companies, please contact Above & Beyond Acupuncture at your earliest convenience to set up an appointment.

Above & Beyond Acupuncture serves the Scottsdale, Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa and Glendale areas. Please give us a call or use the online scheduler to book your appointment.

Our 100th Blog Post!

Posted Saturday, August 15th, 2015 by Paul Kerzner

100, blog posts, acupuncturist

We are pleased to announce that we have reached a major milestone, as this is Above And Beyond Acupuncture’s 100th blog post!

Over the past two years, we have diligently written articles on a regular basis covering a wide range of topics, all related to health and wellness in some way. Our blogs have been viewed by thousands of people all over the world interested in acupuncture, nutrition, self-improvement and self-development. We post all of our articles in the blog section of our website and also share them on Facebook and Google+.

Being that there are so many informative blog posts to choose from, we wanted to select a few to highlight. If you haven’t had a chance to read these articles, please take the time to check them out.

Try Acupuncture!

One of the primary goals of our blog posts is to discuss the many ailments that acupuncture can treat. Our “Try Acupuncture!” blogs have become one of our most popular series to date. These articles discuss a variety of different issues/ailments that acupuncture can resolve naturally and holistically.

Whether you’re feeling sick, stressed out, having back pain, experiencing migraines, have insomnia, are livings with IBS, have hemorrhoids or are suffering with sciatica, acupuncture is an effective method at treating these disharmonies. If you, or someone you know, is having any of those issues, please read through the corresponding post and try acupuncture!

Feeling Sick? Try Acupuncture!
Feeling Stressed Out? Try Acupuncture!
Having Back Pain? Try Acupuncture! Part 1 & Part 2
Having Migraines? Try Acupuncture!
Suffering With Sciatica? Try Acupuncture!
Experiencing Insomnia? Try Acupuncture!
Having Hemorrhoids? Try Acupuncture!

Being present, conscious and mindful…

Lifestyle Coaching is an essential and valuable treatment modality that many patients experience at Above & Beyond Acupuncture. There are three topics that are frequently addressed, including:learning to live in the present moment, being a conscious human being, and the importance of developing a daily mindfulness practice. This information is foundational and allows for a tremendous amount of self-development and personal growth.

There is great power in the present moment, yet many people struggle with this concept as they are focused on memories of the past and thoughts of the future. It can also be hard for some people to be conscious of their behavior with the many distractions in modern life. This can create unnecessary and harmful internal conflict and self-inflicted suffering. By implementing a daily mindfulness practice, it can become easier to be present and stay conscious.

Since these blogs contain such important information, we suggest you read (or re-read) them to fully understand and implement these concepts.

The Power Of Being Present
Becoming A Conscious Human Being
The Importance Of Having A Mindfulness Practice

Home Remedies

Another popular series that many people have found useful is our blog posts discussing home remedies for different ailments. Over-the-counter and prescription medications contain chemicals and potentially cause a variety of undesirable side effects. Home remedies are natural ways of resolving health issues affording individuals the chance to heal without the need for drugs.

Please note that we always suggest seeing a health professional first when dealing with any illness.

Home Remedy For Fighting Colds & The Flu
Home Remedies For Insomnia
Home Remedies For Constipation Part 1 & Part 2

Are you juicing?

Having a proper understanding about nutrition is key to health and wellness. At Above & Beyond Acupuncture, we address this topic when patients first begin treatment, as it is our belief that nutrition is the cornerstone of healthy living.

The way you start your day sets the tone for how it will progress, so having something nutritious is essential first thing in the morning. Having a daily juice regimen is something we advise our patients to incorporate into their daily schedule. Many people are interested in juicing but are unsure about what to juice, so we took the time to create a ‘juice prescription.’ This combination is packed with vitamins and nutrients that are certain to provide a stable source of energy throughout the day.

If you’re interested in learning more about juicing, please read through the following posts:

What Should I Be Juicing?
Three Things You Should Never Juice

We want to thank our readers, patients, the public and our amazing editors (who make our posts shine) for all the support. Here’s to the next 100 blogs!

What Is Acupuncture?

Posted Saturday, August 8th, 2015 by Paul Kerzner

acupuncture, traditional chinese medicine, acupuncturist

Are you curious about acupuncture? Are you considering getting an acupuncture treatment but first want to know what acupuncture is?

At Above & Beyond Acupuncture we do our best to educate the public about acupuncture and its many health benefits. So, what is acupuncture? Given the frequency with which we’re asked this question, we decided to take the time to provide some information.

Providing an easy explanation of acupuncture can be difficult. There are a variety of potential answers, some of which can be technical and difficult to follow. Our goal here is to provide an easy-to-understand definition of acupuncture that can be understood by anyone who is interested.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which also includes Chinese herbs and Asian bodywork. TCM is thousands of years old and has been evolving since its inception, providing health and well-being to millions of people who have used it to treat numerous ailments.

The basis of acupuncture is holistic; it views the body as a complete system which requires balance and harmony to function properly. When disease occurs, it can be due to a variety of causes—some of internal origin and others external. Acupuncture has the capability to provide support to the body so it can return to a state of health and well-being. This holistic stance is in direct opposition to Western medicine, which views the body as an assemblage of separate pieces—each treated by a specialized medical professional.

The practice of acupuncture entails the insertion and stimulation of acupuncture needles into acupuncture points which are located throughout the body. These acupuncture points are located on meridians, or channels, which are pathways through which energy (also known as Qi) flows. This energy travels all over the body, serving a variety of vital functions. The purpose of stimulating acupuncture points is to create a physiological change within the body, encouraging a specific result that can restore balance, resolve illness and promote well-being.

From a scientific view, acupuncture has been shown to engage the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the system responsible for directing the body to rest and relax. When the parasympathetic nervous system is active, the body has the potential to heal itself and return to a state of homeostasis.

Acupuncture is a procedure that should only be performed by licensed acupuncturists who have the proper training and education. In a previous blog post titled “The Importance Of Receiving Acupuncture By A Licensed Acupuncturist,” we discussed this subject in some detail. If you’ve not already done so, we strongly encourage you to read that post as it contains important and relevant information.

We hope this answer has been sufficient to provide a basic understanding of what acupuncture is. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact Above & Beyond Acupuncture at your earliest convenience. We would be more than happy to answer any further questions.

Having Panic Attacks? Try Acupuncture!

Posted Saturday, August 1st, 2015 by Paul Kerzner

panic attack, acupuncture, scottsdale

Do you, or someone you know, suffer with panic attacks? Are you looking for natural solutions instead of relying on over-the-counter and prescription medications (some of which can be dangerously addictive)? Did you know that acupuncture and Chinese herbs are effective at treating panic attacks?

At Above & Beyond Acupuncture, we work with patients experiencing a variety of emotional challenges including anxiety, stress, depression, grief and panic attacks. Traditional Chinese Medicine, which includes acupuncture and Chinese herbs, can help to reduce and possibly eliminate these imbalances holistically, without the need for pharmaceutical drugs.

There is a subset of the population that suffers with panic attacks on a (semi) regular basis, so we wanted to take some time to write about what panic attacks are, list some symptoms and possible causes, and discuss how acupuncture can provide relief.

What are panic attacks? defines a panic attack as a sudden surge of overwhelming anxiety and fear. A person will experience their heart pounding and a feeling like they can’t breathe. In certain circumstances, they may even feel like they are dying or going crazy. Left untreated, panic attacks can lead to panic disorder and other problems. They may even cause a person to withdraw from normal activities. [Link]

A panic attack can take place without cause and may be experienced at random times in a person’s life. It can happen under duress or during times of rest and relaxation, which leads people to be unsettled, as they can lack specific triggers to identify when one is about to take place.

What are some symptoms of panic attacks?

While there is some subjectivity to what each person might experience when suffering with panic attacks, there are common indicators that most people experience. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) lists the following symptoms that are associated with panic attacks: [Link]

• Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
• Sweating
• Trembling or shaking
• Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
• Feelings of choking
• Chest pain or discomfort
• Nausea or abdominal distress
• Feeling dizzy, unsteady, light-headed, or faint
• Chills or heat sensations
• Numbness or tingling sensations
• Derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself)
• Fear of losing control or “going crazy”
• Fear of dying

It is important to note that some people experience and report only a few of the symptoms listed above, which can be due to a variety of reasons and circumstances. Regardless of the number of symptoms, panic attacks are serious and should be treated by a medical professional.

What are some causes of panic attacks?

The Mayo Clinic reports that currently, there is no known cause of panic attacks or panic disorder. They do state that there are certain factors that may play a role which include: [Link]

• Genetic predisposition
• Major stress (either acute of chronic)
• Temperament that is more sensitive to stress or prone to negative emotions
• Certain changes in the way parts of your brain function

Can acupuncture treat panic attacks?

Traditional Chinese Medicine, which includes acupuncture and Chinese herbs, has been in use for thousands of years treating a variety of physical and emotional issues. The basis of this medicine is natural and holistic, as it views the body as a whole and treats it as such. Panic attacks, like any other ailment, are viewed as a disharmony by a licensed acupuncturist. They can be resolved by using different treatment methods.

In a previous blog post titled “Feeling Stressed Out? Try Acupuncture!” we discussed the effect acupuncture has on the body’s nervous system. One remarkable feature that acupuncture performs is its ability to affect the nervous system, which is comprised of the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. The sympathetic nervous system is directly responsible for a person’s capability to respond to stress and either fight or take flight.

One of the primary issues observed in people with panic attacks is that they may be permanently stuck in fight or flight mode; this directly inhibits their ability to rest. Acupuncture has a calming (and at times sedating) effect on the nervous system, allowing the body to transition over to be directed by the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the system that is responsible for resting and relaxing, providing the body an opportunity to calm down and return to balance.

Living with panic attacks can be extremely challenging for those experiencing the symptoms, as well as their loved ones. If you, or someone you know, suffers with panic attacks, we strongly suggest that you seek professional assistance as soon as possible.

If you are in the Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe or Phoenix areas and would like to use acupuncture to help treat panic attacks, please give us a call or use the online scheduler to book your appointment.

Stop Focusing On What You Don’t Want!

Posted Saturday, July 25th, 2015 by Paul Kerzner

focus, present, conscious

What are you focusing on right now? Are you focused on something you want, or are you focused on things you don’t want? Are you aware that you will attract into your life whatever you focus on?

At Above & Beyond Acupuncture we work with patients who are interested in learning tools and methods to improve their lives. One of the more popular suggestions we provide is to shift attention away from what is not wanted toward things that are desirable. Many times people look at certain things that they don’t want—with the intention of obtaining the opposite. While this train of thought may be understandable, it can have unintended and undesirable results. If you’re looking to shift your reality, you must shift what you are focusing on.

What have you been paying attention to?

It is important to be cognizant of what, or whom, you are paying attention to, as that is where your energy will be directed. When a person, place or thing becomes the focal point of your reality, you will either pull it toward you, or you will be drawn to it. This can happen consciously or subconsciously, which is why it’s vital to be aware of what you’re paying attention to.

Many people view the world in relative terms, meaning that they will find something they don’t like and want the opposite of it. This type of behavior can potentially create undesirable results. By focusing on what you don’t want, you can inadvertently manifest it. There is an old saying that helps to explain why this takes place: “energy flows where attention goes.” Where you place your attention is where your energy will go—whether it’s toward something you want or something you don’t want. Since attention is the guide for your energy, it is important to direct your attention toward people, places and things that are positive and make you happy.

How can I stop focusing on what I don’t want?

This might seem like a simple and trivial question to some, but many people are either unaware of what they are focusing on or are unsure of how to change it. The first step toward shifting your focus is to become conscious of what you’re paying attention to at all times. Being conscious of your thoughts is extremely important for many reasons. In this instance it is a priority as you need to know where your attention is being placed. Once you are able to identify what it is that you’re focused on, you then have the opportunity to change it.

Being present is the easiest method to becoming aware of what you’re focusing on. There is great power in the present moment, as it provides the opportunity to shed memories of the past and thoughts about the future. By negating those states of mind, your full attention will be placed in the present. You will see what it is you’re thinking about, thereby enabling you to change it. In a previous blog post titled “The Power Of Being Present,” we discussed what it means and provided some methods to help you achieve it. If you find yourself thinking too much about the past and/or the future and would like to shift your thoughts to the present, we suggest you read through that article.

The intention of this blog is to introduce an important topic that has the potential to create great change and promote personal growth and development. By learning to stop focusing on what you don’t want—and shifting your focus toward what you do want—your life circumstance can improve rapidly.

Now is the time to stop focusing on what you don’t want!

The Importance Of Having A Mindfulness Practice

Posted Saturday, July 18th, 2015 by Paul Kerzner

mindfulness, practice, self development

One of the topics that is frequently discussed at Above & Beyond Acupuncture is mindfulness, and how helpful it is to implement it into a daily practice. In the 21st century, many people lead very busy lives with very little down time. Starting each morning with a mindfulness practice provides a sense of calm and serenity. This can allow a person to move throughout their day in peace, regardless of the activities. Having a mindfulness practice can also help to alleviate anxiety, stress and other challenging emotions. We wanted to take some time to discuss what mindfulness is, how to be more mindful and some suggestions for creating your own mindfulness practice.

What is mindfulness?

In order to better understand the importance of having a mindfulness practice, it’s best to have a proper understanding about what mindfulness is. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines mindfulness as “the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis; also: such a state of awareness.” [Link]

How can I be more mindful?

There are many actions that can be taken to become more mindful, but the most important one is being present. From the definition of mindfulness listed above, we can see that being present is an essential component of living a more mindful existence. It is in the present moment that clarity of thoughts, emotions and experiences take place. Being present is not only important for self-development, it is an essential facet of life for everyone seeking balance and harmony. Focusing on the present moment helps keep thoughts away from the past and/or future, which are mere illusions that exist only in the mind. This is an important topic that needs to be discussed and thought about, as many people lose touch of the present moment by becoming consumed with memories that dominate their being. In a previous blog post titled “The Power Of Being Present”, we discuss what it means, why it can be challenging at times and provide some helpful tools to be present. If you find it difficult to be present we suggest you take the time to read through this article.

Another way to be more mindful is by being a conscious human being. A person who strives to be conscious has an awareness of their reality, emotions and thoughts. Being conscious shares many similarities with being present, as they both place value in the present moment. A conscious human being lives in the present moment while maintaining a clarity of their existence and having a critical awareness of their actions. Striving to be conscious is a worthy endeavor that will promote peace and harmony within the mind, body and spirit. In a previous blog post titled “Becoming A More Conscious Human Being” we go into detail about what it means to be conscious, and also the challenges that can exist. Being that this is an important topic we hope you take the time to read through this article as well.

What is a mindfulness practice?

Each person’s definition of what a mindfulness practice is will depend on what tools, exercises and methodologies they choose to implement into their life on a daily basis. Some people find that a morning meditation is a great way to start the day, as it clears their mind and helps them to be present. Other people like to read affirmations, as they believe that repeating mantras helps to improve their train of thought and raise their consciousness. Regardless of the actions taken, it is important to develop and implement a practice that works for you. Your mindfulness exercises can be performed after waking up in the morning or anytime during the day. They can be done in a quiet space or around other people, whatever feels best.

Everyone can benefit from having their own daily mindfulness practice, so we suggest you consider starting one. Be persistent, consistent and regular with this process as it can take some time to properly implement. If you can make this part of your routine, you will soon find yourself being more centered, calm and balanced.

Keep Moving Forward!

Posted Friday, July 10th, 2015 by Paul Kerzner

move, forward, scottsdale

Have you been feeling stuck in your life? Do you tend to procrastinate? Are you feeling lost? Are you looking for someone or something to help lead you into a better direction?

If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, there’s only one thing you need to do: you must keep moving forward. This might seem like a simple response to a challenging situation, but it is the one action that can help to shift you out of a negative state and onto a better path.

At Above & Beyond Acupuncture, we frequently remind patients about the importance of moving forward, regardless of what is transpiring in their lives. This is not meant to detract from the significance of the situation at hand; instead, it is a reminder that there is only one way to move, and that is forward. It is important to note that moving forward does not, and should not, detract from an awareness of the present moment. Being present is extremely important and will help to keep a person focused, balanced and centered. More so, moving forward in spite of distractions can act as a complement to being present, as it will allow a person to forge ahead gracefully.

Why is it so important to keep moving forward?

It might seem trite or simplistic to address the importance of moving forward, but there is value in having an understanding of how essential it is. When life is challenging, there can be a lot of duress experienced by the people involved, potentially causing stress, conflict and grief. If there isn’t a clear motivation and desire to move forward, then those issues will constantly repeat. This is an undesirable position to be in, yet there are some people who find themselves stuck in the same situations without the ability to move on.

How can I move forward?

After understanding the importance of moving forward, many people inquire about exactly how this can be accomplished, pragmatically speaking. We wanted to provide some basic suggestions that can provide some helpful guidance.

One of the best methods to help move forward is to hone your awareness towards becoming a more conscious human being. When a person is conscious, he is fully aware of the situation(s) he is involved in, and he understands his role in what is happening. Instead of absolving himself and placing blame on others, a conscious person is able to take responsibility and make the necessary changes, regardless of how challenging this might be. In a previous blog post titled “Becoming A More Conscious Human Being”, we went into detail as to what it means to be conscious and how difficult that can be at times. This is an important subject, so we suggest you take some time to read through that article, as well.

Another great method that can help people move forward is the creation or nurturing of a desire. This might appear to be obvious, but until there is a sufficient amount of desire to change a situation, few things will ever get accomplished. Desire is the fuel needed to persevere through whatever challenges exist and to move forward to a better and more fulfilling path. In a previous blog post titled “What Do You Desire?” we delve into this very topic and present this important question that everyone should be asking himself.

We hope you have found this article to be insightful and will make use of it when you’re feeling stuck. Remember to be a conscious human being; find the desire to change and keep moving forward!

If you feel like you would benefit from some assistance in this regard, please be aware that we also offer Lifestyle Coaching at Above & Beyond Acupuncture. If you are in the Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe or Phoenix areas, give us a call or use the online scheduler to book your appointment.

Three Things You Should Never Juice

Posted Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 by Paul Kerzner

juicing, juice, vegetables, health

Juicing has become a popular and convenient way for many people to get a variety of nutrients and vitamins. In a previous blog post titled “What Should I Be Juicing?” we went into detail about the benefits, best time of day to juice and provided a detailed vegetable juice prescription.

Since the publishing of that article, patients at Above & Beyond Acupuncture have been inquiring about other items that can – and cannot – be juiced. We wanted to take some time to list three things that should never be juiced and why they should be avoided. If you’ve been juicing, or are considering starting, we suggest you take a few minutes to read through this important information.

Should I avoid juicing fruit(s)?

An important rule to follow when starting a daily juicing regimen is to ‘eat your fruits and juice your vegetables.’ Fruit juice is sweet and can taste more appetizing to those with a ‘sweet tooth’, but it contains a considerable amount of sugar that can have adverse effects on the body.

When juicing fruit, all the fiber is eliminated. This causes the body to absorb the sugar quickly, which results in an immediate spiking of insulin and energy levels. Because sugar isn’t a high quality source of energy, it can lead to an energy crash which leaves people feeling agitated, irritable and sluggish. [Link] It is important to note that the fiber in fruit acts as a protective barrier, so that when it enters the digestive system the sugars are not immediately absorbed. If you insist upon adding some fruit to your juice, we suggest using the smallest amount possible and selecting fruit with a lower glycemic load.

What vegetables or fruits should never be juiced?

A common question that patients ask is if there are any items they should avoid juicing. posted some helpful information about a few different fruits and vegetables that shouldn’t be juiced. Their list includes: [Link]

Citrus rinds: Citrus peels like oranges and grapefruits contain indigestible oil that can be hard on the stomach. Lemons and limes are excluded from this list as they are fine to juice whole.
Carrot Greens: Carrot tops are not edible. They are toxic and should not be eaten or juiced.
Papaya Peels: Papaya peels are not edible and cannot be juiced.
Apple Seeds: Apple seeds contain a small amount of arsenic and shouldn’t be juiced. While the juicer usually removes them safely it is best not to juice them as a precautionary measure.
Wild Parsnips: Wild parsnips should never be juiced as they contain several poisons.

Should I only juice organic produce?

When patients at Above & Beyond Acupuncture are introduced to juicing, it is strongly advised that everything being juiced is organic. This will eliminate the potential for harmful pesticides to be consumed. By juicing non-organic vegetables and fruits, concentrated chemicals can enter the body and potentially cause harm.

Not everyone can afford to buy organic produce, so it is important to know which non-organic items should be avoided. published a list called ‘the dirty dozen’ that includes non-organic fruits and vegetables that have been shown to contain high levels of pesticides and chemicals. [Link]

Here is ‘the dirty dozen’ (from highest to lowest levels of pesticides):

  1. Apples
  2. Strawberries
  3. Grapes
  4. Celery
  5. Peaches
  6. Spinach
  7. Sweet bell peppers
  8. Nectarines (imported)
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Cherry tomatoes
  11. Snap peas (imported)
  12. Potatoes

Juicing is a great way to improve and maintain health and wellness if done properly and regularly. We hope that you found this blog to be useful and will avoid juicing the items discussed.

Above & Beyond Acupuncture serves the Scottsdale, Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa and Glendale neighborhoods. Please give us a call or use the online scheduler to book your appointment at your convenience.

Having Hemorrhoids? Try Acupuncture!

Posted Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015 by Paul Kerzner

hemorrhoids, pain, acupuncture

Anyone who has ever experienced hemorrhoids will tell you what a ‘pain in the butt’ it can be. Surgery is only an option in the most extreme cases. So, for all other situations people rely on over-the-counter and prescription medications to provide relief. Unfortunately, the relief tends to last a short period because Western medicine focuses primarily on treating symptoms. However, Traditional Chinese Medicine, which includes acupuncture and Chinese herbs, maintains a holistic perspective aimed towards resolving what is causing the hemorrhoids while also providing relief and improving a person’s quality of life.

At Above & Beyond Acupuncture we treat a variety of physical and emotional ailments that can lead to hemorrhoids. We use different treatment methods to promote and increase the healing response of the body, which in turn helps heal the hemorrhoids. It takes a multifaceted approach to alleviate this ailment naturally without the use of Western medication(s). Being that this is a common condition many people suffer with we wanted to explain what hemorrhoids are, list some symptoms, discuss possible causes and explain how acupuncture can provide substantial and long-lasting relief.

What are hemorrhoids?

Before we can go into detail about treating hemorrhoids, it is best to have a basic understanding of what they are. defines hemorrhoids as “swollen veins that are located around the anus or in the lower rectum.” [Link] goes on to mention how there are two different types of hemorrhoids: internal and external. Internal hemorrhoids develop within the anus; external hemorrhoids develop outside of the anus. It is important to note that external hemorrhoids are more common and tend to be the most difficult to resolve.

What are some symptoms of hemorrhoids?

There are some key signs and symptoms that hemorrhoids can cause. The Mayo Clinic lists the following as common symptoms: painless bleeding during bowel movements, including bright red blood located in the toilet or on toilet paper; itching/irritation in the anal region; pain or discomfort; swelling around the anus; lump(s) near the anus that can potentially be sensitive/painful; and leakage of feces. [Link]

The severity, frequency and consistency of these symptoms can vary from person to person, as there are a lot of factors to take into consideration.  It is important to seek treatment from a medical professional if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above.

What causes hemorrhoids?

There are a variety of potential causes of hemorrhoids. While it is true that some people have a genetic predisposition to this condition, there are other issues that can be a factor. These causes may include, but are not limited to: rushing to complete bowel movements, obesity, pregnancy, not consuming enough fiber, persistent diarrhea/constipation, sedentary lifestyle, and colon cancer.

Can acupuncture treat hemorrhoids?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which includes acupuncture and Chinese herbs, has been used by millions of people over thousands of years to treat a wide range of ailments including hemorrhoids. TCM provides patients with a natural and holistic approach towards resolving illness. Thus, patients using this medicine are more likely to avoid the dependency on medication and/or surgery.

Acupuncture has been shown to provide significant and long-lasting relief to people suffering with this condition. When a licensed acupuncturist treats people with hemorrhoids, he or she collects important and relevant information about the patient’s health history and presenting symptoms. The practitioner will use this data and combine it with other information such as tongue and pulse diagnosis. Once this is accomplished, the practitioner will prescribe a TCM diagnosis and treatment plan that can include acupuncture, Chinese herbs, nutritional guidance and other modalities that benefit and expedite the healing process.

From a Traditional Chinese Medical perspective, there are five major patterns that can cause hemorrhoids. These disharmonies range from damp heat, Spleen Qi deficiency, Spleen Qi sinking or not holding the blood in the vessels, blood stasis, intestinal dryness and intestinal wind. A licensed acupuncturist will employ differential diagnosis to ascertain which disharmony is present and then work towards resolving it.

If you, or someone you know, is living with hemorrhoids now is the time to start working with a licensed acupuncturist. There’s no need to suffer any longer; try acupuncture today!

Above & Beyond Acupuncture serves the Scottsdale, Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa and Glendale areas. Please give us a call or use the online scheduler to book your appointment.

Schedule an appointment online »

Stop Being So Hard On Yourself!

Posted Tuesday, June 16th, 2015 by Paul Kerzner

healing, stop being hard

Do you have a tendency to be very hard on yourself? Was someone hard on you at some point in your life? Are the thoughts you have throughout the day critical of your own actions? Do you find it difficult to be kind to yourself?

Many people are very hard on themselves–having high expectations that can lead to self-inflicted criticism and suffering. Acceptance and love of oneself can help alleviate these issues and help people become kind and supportive toward themselves.

At Above & Beyond Acupuncture we work with patients going through a variety of life challenges. One of the more common behaviors that people struggle with is self-criticism. Since this is an issue frequently addressed at our clinic, we want to take some time to write about this topic and share some helpful information.

Why am I so hard on myself?

Just taking a moment to contemplate this question will likely provide some valuable insight as to why some people treat themselves the way they do. Another benefit to asking this question is that it forces a person into the present moment. One of the biggest problems people face when being hard on themselves is that they are not being present; many of the things they are focused on happened in the past. Realizing this (and correcting it) can provide some immediate and significant relief from the self-inflicted criticism. In a previous blog post titled “The Power Of Being Present,” we discussed what it means to be present and provided some helpful tools. If you get a moment, please read though that blog post.

There are many reasons why people become overly hard on themselves. But regardless of the reason(s), the fact remains that being hard on oneself can lead to internal strife and conflict.

One of the more common reasons people give is that early in life a parent, family member, teacher, friend or neighbor was very hard on them. Whether the focus was academic or behavioral, the criticism was relentless, pushing the target of the criticism well beyond his or her comfort zone. The interesting thing to note is that this behavior becomes ingrained and will become “normal” long after the offender has left. In a sense, the original target oftentimes “takes over”—becoming the parent, teacher, friend or neighbor.

Another common reason people are hard on themselves is because of their own high, or unreasonable, expectations and goals. Life in the 21st century is filled with a variety of different ideals, motivators and desires. Financial success and material acquisition are two things many people value; they will invest a great amount of time and energy toward achieving these goals. It is when this quest becomes all-consuming—even obsessive—that it can create problems. When a person falls short of his goal(s) and is unable to achieve the level of success he expects of himself, he is apt to become very self-critical.

So what can I do to stop being so hard on myself?

If you’re ready to stop being hard on yourself, you should be prepared to answer the following question: “Would I allow someone in my life to treat me the same way I’m treating myself?” The obvious answer is no; most people would not tolerate it. So then why do you find it acceptable to be hard on yourself when you wouldn’t condone that behavior from other people? If you are one of the many people who struggle with this issue, then we implore you to take the time to ask yourself these questions and think about your response(s). You should treat yourself with the same level of respect and support as you expect from the people in your life.

Self-acceptance, self-love and self-kindness are effective tools that can be used to help people who have a tendency toward self-criticism. While it might be difficult at first to truly accept who you are—to love yourself and to be kind to yourself—it is important that you try. Like any new exercise, it can be challenging at first. It might even seem impossible, but if you are persistent, it will pay off.

If you, or someone you know, struggles with self-criticism, then we suggest spending some time reading (and re-reading) this blog post, as it will shed light on an issue that many people struggle with on a daily basis. Now is the time to stop being so hard on yourself. Be kind, loving, supportive and accepting of who you are!

Above & Beyond Acupuncture serves the Scottsdale, Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa and Glendale areas. Please give us a call or use the online scheduler to book your appointment today.

Struggling With IBS? Try Acupuncture!

Posted Tuesday, June 9th, 2015 by Paul Kerzner

IBS, irritable bowel syndrome, digestive disorder

Do you experience stomach cramps on a regular basis? Do you find yourself heading to the bathroom all throughout the day? When you get stressed out, do you have digestive issues? Have you recently been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS)?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you know what a terrible inconvenience it is to live with IBS. Anyone who has this condition will readily tell you what a negative impact it can have on his or her quality of life.

The number of people being diagnosed with IBS has risen steadily over the past decade. And in response, Western Medicine has provided a variety of over-the-counter and prescription medications to alleviate the symptoms of IBS. Many of these drugs have side effects and are not primarily designed to resolve the root cause that is creating the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

Traditional Chinese Medicine, which includes acupuncture and Chinese herbs, has proven very effective at providing relief and improving the quality of life to those who live with these issues. We wanted to take some time to write about what IBS is, what causes it, how common it is and how acupuncture can help provide relief.

What is IBS?

The Mayo Clinic states that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that directly affects the large intestine (colon). IBS commonly causes a variety of digestive disorders including: abdominal pain, cramping, gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. [Link] People who live with this condition are greatly affected by how their digestive system reacts and they tend to have very sensitive stomachs.

Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is one of a range of conditions known as “functional gastrointestinal disorders.” In IBS, this “disorder of functioning” is with the way nerves and muscles are working. [Link] It is important to note that currently, there is no test for IBS. The way this condition is diagnosed is through the observation of certain signs and symptoms that a person is, or has been, experiencing.

One of the chief signs that leads to a diagnosis of IBS is abdominal pain or discomfort. This pain must have at least two of the following symptoms: it is relieved by defecation; there is a change in the way the stool is formed; and there is a change in the frequency of stool. [Link]

What causes IBS?

Currently, there are no known specific causes of IBS. It is thought that this condition is activated by a number of factors that directly affect the gastrointestinal system. There are some identifiable triggers that have been known to exacerbate this condition including: food sensitivities; psychological conditions; genetics; gas; hypersensitivity to pain from full bowel or gas; infections; gastrointestinal motility and brain-gut signal issues.

How many people have IBS?

The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) provides some startling information about how prevalent IBS is in the United States. Their website states that IBS affects between 25 and 45 million people in the United States (10 to 15% of the population). About two in three IBS sufferers are female. About one in three IBS sufferers are male. IBS affects people of all ages, even children.

The IFFGD goes on to state that IBS is the most common disorder diagnosed by gastroenterologists (doctors who specialize in digestive diseases or disorders), and it accounts for up to 12% of total visits to primary care providers. [Link]

Can acupuncture help people who have IBS?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which includes acupuncture and Chinese herbs, has been around for thousands of years. It has provided relief to millions of people suffering from a wide variety of ailments, including irritable bowel syndrome.

The Western medical approach towards treating IBS primarily depends on managing symptoms through medication, dietary and lifestyle changes. These methods are helpful, and can be effective, but are not focused on resolving the root cause. By only alleviating the symptoms of IBS, patients will not obtain substantial and long-lasting relief.

Traditional Chinese Medicine maintains a holistic perspective, viewing the body as a whole and treating it as such. This medicine is focused on the elimination of symptom(s) being experienced by the patient while treating the root cause of the issue.

When seeking treatment from a TCM practitioner, patients will go through a thorough in-take procedure. During this process, a licensed acupuncturist will obtain detailed information, as well as use tongue and pulse diagnosis. These pieces of information are integral to the use of differential diagnosis, which allows the acupuncturist to develop a treatment plan that is focused on resolving the symptoms and core disharmony.

If you, or someone you know, is living with irritable bowel syndrome, we strongly suggest that you seek treatment from a licensed acupuncturist. Traditional Chinese Medicine is fully capable of providing relief and improving the quality of life to those people who are suffering with this gastrointestinal disorder.

Above & Beyond Acupuncture serves the Scottsdale, Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa and Glendale areas. Give us a call or use the online scheduler to book your appointment today.

Becoming A More Conscious Human Being

Posted Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015 by Paul Kerzner

conscious, human, consciousness

One topic that is discussed frequently with patients at Above & Beyond Acupuncture is the importance of being conscious and aware throughout your life. Oftentimes people stop paying close attention to the food they eat, the thoughts they have and their daily behaviors when life becomes repetitious. This can be due to a variety of things, yet we must strive to live consciously, setting aside the distractions of modern life.

What does it mean to be a conscious human being?

To provide a good definition as to what it means to be a conscious human being, it is integral to first understand what being conscious involves.

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines conscious as: perceiving, apprehending, or noticing with a degree of controlled thought or observation. The dictionary’s definition goes on to state that conscious is also characterized as: done or acting with critical awareness. [Link] Both of these definitions exemplify the fact that being conscious entails clear thought, observation and critical awareness, which are all vital to becoming a more conscious human being.

A person who is conscious places concerted effort into maintaining an awareness of their behavior, environment and feelings throughout the day. They frequently check in with themselves, taking stock of how they feel, what is taking place in their environment, what they eat and the thoughts they have. If a problem arises, or a negative thought finds its way into their mind, this becomes an opportunity for change and growth. Having this awareness is essential when it comes to living consciously. Without it a person can fall into repetitive behaviors and thought patterns.

Being conscious throughout the day can be challenging for some people, as they can become easily distracted and lose focus. If this is a problem for you, the best tool you can implement is meditation, as it will provide you with the opportunity to observe your thoughts. In a previous blog post titled “The Many Benefits Of Meditation”, we go into detail about what meditation is and provide some helpful suggestions to get you started. If you get a moment, we suggest that you read through this article.

Why is it so challenging to be a conscious human being?

Life in the 21st century is filled with routines, repetitious activities and distractions. These routines can involve going to work, running errands, eating, exercising, driving, etc. When these experiences become commonplace, it is easy to stop paying attention to what is being done and just go through the motions. In some ways, it’s like setting the brain on autopilot, where the person no longer has to think about what he or she is doing.

When critical thought and attention are set aside, people enter a state of unconsciousness where they are no longer fully aware and present with what they are doing. Individuals can become automatons living a life that lacks any particular passion and is filled with mind numbing activities. One of the most insidious distractions that exists in modern life is watching countless hours of television. This one activity has the ability to consume a person’s consciousness and waste portions of their life viewing content that usually has no educational value. If you choose to watch TV, we suggest that you are conscious of what programs you watch and how much time you spend viewing those shows.

This blog was written with the purpose of bringing attention to the importance of being a conscious human being. If you find yourself going through the motions of life, we urge you to take some time to reevaluate your priorities and make a concerted effort to be more aware of your actions. Now is the time to live more fully, more presently and more consciously!

Experiencing Insomnia? Try Acupuncture!

Posted Monday, May 25th, 2015 by Paul Kerzner

insomnia, acupuncture, sleep

Are you having trouble getting to sleep? Do you find staying asleep difficult? Have you experienced insomnia throughout your life? Are you looking for natural remedies without becoming dependent on medication(s)? Acupuncture can help provide the relief you seek and help you to get a better night’s sleep!

Insomnia is one of the more common ailments we treat at Above & Beyond Acupuncture. Recently, we have observed an increase in the amount of patients who have reported suffering from this condition. Traditional Chinese Medicine is very effective at treating this issue, yet large portions of the population are unaware of this as an option. We wanted to share some information about what insomnia is, how common it is and how effective acupuncture can be at providing relief.

What is insomnia?

The Mayo Clinic defines insomnia as a persistent disorder that can make it difficult to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep or both, despite having the opportunity for adequate sleep. With insomnia, an individual will wake up and not feel refreshed, which will take a toll on their ability to function throughout the day. Insomnia has the ability not only to reduce energy levels but it can also have a negative effect on overall health, emotions and quality of life. [Link]

It is important to note that insomnia is not always defined by the number of hours a person sleeps. This is due to the fact that each individual can require a different amount of sleep. It is generally accepted that 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep is a sufficient amount for most people.

How common is insomnia?

Sleep is one of the most important factors when it comes to maintaining good health, as every human being requires a sufficient amount of it to function properly. Getting enough quality sleep time can become an issue at some point in almost everyone’s life. Here are some statistics that help to exemplify how prevalent insomnia has become in the 21st century: [Link]

· More than 30% of the population suffers from insomnia.
· Adults sleep 20% less (on average) than they did 100 years ago.
· 1 in 3 people suffers from some form of insomnia during their lifetime.
· More than half of Americans lose sleep due to stress and/or anxiety.
· Between 40% and 60% of people over the age of 60 suffer from insomnia.
· Approximately 10 million people in the U.S. use prescription sleep aids.
· People who suffer from sleep deprivation are 27% more likely to become overweight or obese.

What are some ways to treat insomnia?

Pharmaceutical companies have taken note of the increase in the population reporting insomnia and now offer a variety of prescription and over-the-counter medications. Many of these drugs have undesirable side effects, but for those who suffer with insomnia any opportunity to get a decent night’s rest is worth the risk. One of the common issues reported by those taking sleep medication is feeling foggy headed and spaced out throughout the day.

Many people prefer to seek out natural ways to heal themselves by using foods, supplements and/or lifestyle changes. In a previous blog post titled “Home Remedies For Insomnia” we presented some natural solutions that individuals can use to improve their sleep. We suggest that you take a moment to read through this article if you’re having trouble sleeping and are interested in natural and safe home remedies.

One of the most effective ways of treating insomnia is by getting acupuncture. Traditional Chinese Medicine, which includes acupuncture and Chinese herbs, has been around for thousands of years providing relief to people experiencing a wide variety of health issues, including insomnia. The basis of this medicine is to treat the root cause while also tending to the symptoms being exhibited. This method is holistic and will provide immediate and long lasting relief.

Can acupuncture treat insomnia?

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) published a study that was comprised of 46 randomized trials involving 3,811 patients in an effort to determine if acupuncture could effectively treat insomnia. They found that acupuncture was superior to sleep medications. The data also revealed that there were no adverse effects reported by the patients in the study. The conclusion reached was that acupuncture does appear to be an effective treatment for insomnia. [Link]

Many other studies have been completed, and some are currently being performed which will lend more support to how effective Traditional Chinese Medicine is at treating insomnia. It is our hope that in the future, acupuncture will be used as a primary means of treatment, surpassing prescription and over-the-counter medication(s) and enabling patients in need to avoid the dangerous side effects of these drugs.

If you, or someone you know, is interested in using acupuncture to relieve insomnia, we strongly urge you to only receive treatment from a licensed acupuncturist. Chiropractors, naturopaths, physical therapists and medical doctors are not licensed acupuncturists, unless they also attended acupuncture school and are licensed by national and local acupuncture boards. This is an important topic, so we hope you can take a moment to read our blog post titled “The Importance Of Receiving Acupuncture From A Licensed Acupuncturist.”

You no longer need to suffer through sleepless nights or become dependent on medications to help you get to bed. Acupuncture can provide the relief you seek! If you’re in the Scottsdale, Phoenix, Tempe, Chandler or Mesa neighborhoods, we recommend you come in for a treatment at Above & Beyond Acupuncture. Call us or schedule an appointment online today.

Suffering With Sciatica? Try Acupuncture!

Posted Monday, May 18th, 2015 by Paul Kerzner

sciatica, sciatic pain, pain, acupuncture

Anyone who lives with sciatic pain will tell you what a “pain in the butt” it can be. This is an ailment that often affects people later in life but can also be encountered by younger individuals.

At Above & Beyond Acupuncture, we have seen an increase in patients presenting with this ailment. People will often seek acupuncture treatment for sciatica after exhausting other methods, while trying to avoid surgery. Currently, large portions of the population are unaware that Traditional Chinese Medicine can provide substantial relief to those suffering with this pain.

In response to the greater numbers of people seeking relief from sciatica, we wanted to take some time to write about what it is, what it feels like, what are some causes of this pain and how acupuncture can be used to provide relief.

What is sciatica?

The Mayo Clinic defines sciatica as a pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve — which branches from the lower back through the hips and buttocks and down each leg. Typically, sciatica affects only one side of your body, but in some cases pain can be present down both sides. Sciatica frequently occurs when a herniated disk or a bone spur on the spine compresses part of the nerve. This causes inflammation, pain and often some numbness in the affected leg(s). [Link]

What does sciatica feel like?

There is some variability in regards to the pain elicited by sciatica. One of the classic signs of sciatica is pain that starts in the low back and then travels down the buttocks through the back of the legs, and can also travel down the sides of the legs.

Some people who experience sciatica will exhibit constant pain regardless of what they do, while others will report intermittent pain that takes place while sitting or standing. Pain can travel down the lateral sides of the legs for some people, while other people will have pain shooting down the back of their legs. There are also some people who will have pain on the sides and the back of their legs, which can be rather extreme and debilitating.

What are some causes of sciatica?

The Cleveland Clinic explains that sciatica might be a symptom of a “pinched nerve” that can affect one or more of the lower spinal nerves. The pinched nerve could be located inside or outside of the spinal canal as it traverses the leg. There are also a few other conditions that can cause sciatica. They range from one or more herniated discs, piriformis syndrome, spinal stenosis and/or spondylolisthesis. [Link]

Can acupuncture treat sciatica?

Acupuncture, which is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, can effectively, naturally and holistically provide relief to those who are suffering with sciatic pain. It is important for the public to be aware that acupuncture is a viable treatment option. It should be considered and used at the very onset of sciatic pain, as it can help to remedy this ailment before it negatively impacts one’s quality of life.

How does acupuncture treat sciatica?

Acupuncture is a holistic medicine that has been evolving for the past 4,000 years, treating a wide range of ailments including sciatica. The primary perspective of the medicine is to provide immediate relief of the symptoms being exhibited while working to resolve the core disharmonies.

After completing an intake, a licensed acupuncturist will use differential diagnosis to determine the cause of the sciatic pain. This is done using the information obtained during the intake as well as using tongue and pulse diagnosis. The acupuncturist will then create and implement a treatment plan aimed at resolving the root issue as well as the symptoms it is causing.

One of the more popular origins of sciatica from a Traditional Chinese Medical perspective is Qi and blood stagnation in the channels/meridians that travel down the back and sides of the legs. Please note that there can be a variety of other diagnoses that could also be possible, including: Kidney Qi deficiency, Spleen Qi deficiency with dampness and Liver Qi Stagnation. [Link] Each of these possible conditions requires specific treatment tailored to the constitution of the patient which can be performed by a licensed acupuncturist.

If you’re in the Tempe, Phoenix or Scottsdale areas, we recommend that you contact us by phone or via the appointment link on this website to schedule an appointment. There’s no reason to suffer with sciatic pain any longer. Come in for acupuncture today!

Having Migraines? Try Acupuncture!

Posted Monday, May 11th, 2015 by Paul Kerzner

migraine, headache, pain, acupuncture

Anyone who has ever experienced a migraine headache will tell you what a profoundly intense and awful experience it can be. Migraine pain can be extremely painful and debilitating, significantly affecting a person’s quality of life. The only people who can truly understand these headaches are those who have lived with them; and often, these sufferers are willing to do anything to get relief.

At Above & Beyond Acupuncture, we frequently treat migraines using acupuncture, Chinese herbs, cupping and other natural and holistic methods. Considering that migraines have become an issue for a significant portion of the population, we want to take some time to write about how acupuncture can provide relief.

What is a migraine headache?

It’s important to understand the difference between a regular headache and a migraine, as they have different symptoms and severity. Everyone experiences a headache at some point; it’s usually tolerable and passes quickly. A migraine is less common, much more intense and can last much longer.

The Mayo Clinic defines a migraine as a headache that can cause an intense throbbing or pulsing sensation in one area of the head. It can be accompanied by a feeling of nausea, vomiting, and excessive sensitivity to light, sound and/or smell. This type of headache can cause significant pain for hours to days; the duration varies from person to person. In addition to the associated symptoms, some types of migraines can be preceded by and/or accompanied by an aura, such as flashes of lights, blind spots, or tingling in the arms or legs. [Link]

How common are migraine headaches?

The Migraine Research Foundation posted some helpful information as to how many people suffer with these types of headaches. The data they shared is quite startling in the fact that migraines are more common than one would think. Here are some of the statistics posted on their website: [Link]

• Over 10% of the population–including children–suffer from migraines.
• About 18% of American women and 6% of men suffer from migraines.
• Nearly 1 in 4 U.S. households includes someone suffering with a migraine.
• Migraines tend to run in families. If one parent suffers from migraines, there is a 40% chance a child will suffer. If both parents suffer, the chance rises to 90%.
• Migraines rank in the top 20 of the world’s most disabling medical illnesses.
• More than 90% of people suffering with migraines are unable to work or function normally.

Can acupuncture treat migraine headaches?

Everyone who has experienced a migraine headache will tell you that they would be willing to do anything and everything to get relief. With acupuncture becoming more popular, people are beginning to learn that this medicine has the ability to treat a wide range of ailments, including migraines. Unlike the Western medical approach that tends to group people into categories, an acupuncturist will use differential diagnosis to understand the root cause of the migraine. He will look at the patient’s tongue and take his pulse—and will then create a treatment plan based on the information he received during an intake. By combining all this information, a licensed acupuncturist will be able to address the cause of the migraine as well as resolve the symptoms it is causing.

In a previous blog post titled “The Importance of Receiving Acupuncture From A Licensed Acupuncturist”, we go into great detail as to why you should only receive treatment from a licensed acupuncturist. This is a very important topic, so we urge you to read through that blog and then seek treatment from a licensed professional who was trained in a school that teaches acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Are Chinese herbs effective for treating migraines?

Chinese herbs have been used for thousands of years, being prescribed to millions of patients to treat a wide range of issues. Some licensed acupuncturists have gone through an herbal education program in school that provided them with the knowledge on how to treat patients with Chinese herbs. When the correct herbal formula is selected based on how the patient is presenting with symptoms, substantial relief can be obtained. Again, we urge you to only get treatment and receive Chinese herbs from licensed acupuncturists, as they are properly trained and understand the complexity of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

If you’ve been having migraines and are in the Tempe, Phoenix or Scottsdale areas, we recommend that you contact us to make an appointment to receive a treatment at Above & Beyond Acupuncture. There’s no need to suffer needlessly when you can get relief using acupuncture, which is natural and holistic.

Schedule an appointment online »