Scottsdale Acupuncture

Archive of the Category 'Body'

5 Ways To Improve Your Health & Wellness

Posted Friday, April 1st, 2016 by ABA

health, wellness, fitness

The benefits of improved wellness cannot be over-emphasized. The advantages are just too numerous, however, some of the major benefits of improved wellness have been enumerated below. Improved wellness helps to prevent many ailments which will save you so much money that you would have spent to treat yourself.

When you are healthy, your level of productivity will be very high. Even your boss will enjoy your services as you will rarely call in sick. Working on the overall wellness of your body will keep you at topmost form all the time. This may matter more for those whose jobs require more physical strength.

Since wellness is about keeping every part of your body healthy and fit, it also includes all kinds of preventive measures that will definitely facilitate you to have a longer lifespan. Living a life of improved wellness requires a lot of publicity and encouragement in America.

According to recent statistics, the two leading causes of death in United States are heart diseases and cancer. This is rather unfortunate as these medical conditions can be avoided by engaging in a lifestyle of improved wellness. What makes it more worrisome is the fact that accidents and suicide just make up a very small percentage of deaths. Apart from these two, other causes of deaths are different avoidable medical conditions.

Here is a list of 5 great ways to improve your health and wellness:

1. Carry out detailed research

The first and most important way is to start by carrying out a proper research on ways to improve your physical fitness and overall health. There are several tips flying all over the internet. The truth is that all of them cannot be suitable for you. Before you begin to filter the ideas down, it is important to discover as many ways as possible.

2. Involve your personal physician/healthcare provider

After picking up several ways to improve your health, it is important to narrow it down to the few that you think are suitable for you. However, it is not advisable to do it without the contribution of your physician and/or healthcare provider. You need to involve them as they have your health records, knows your strengths/weaknesses and should be the one to select the ones that suit you.

3. Engage in additional walks and avoid elevators when possible

If you really want to improve on your physical fitness, it is very important that you walk a little more. During the weekend, you can go for a long walk. But during the week, you may not have time for that, so you need to integrate it into your daily routine. You can decide to park your car in a parking lot that is a little far from your office. That way, you will be able to walk a good distance to work and back to your car.

To make it more arduous, you can shun elevators both at work and at home. That means that you will descend the stairs at home, you will climb it up at work, descend down at work and finally, climb up at home. It will go a long way in keeping you fit. You can do it at least twice in a week.

4. Work on your diet

You should cut down the intake of fatty foods. Instead, you need to eat more of fruits, vegetables and fibers. Too much fat in the body leads to obesity and obesity can cause several heart related diseases. Avoid foods that give you unnecessary calories and make you add weight.

5. A regular work out is important too

The most effective way to keep fit is engaging in regular workout sessions. It is important that you either go to the gym or work out at home. You should try to do a thirty minute workout twice a week at the minimum.

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Suffering With Tennis Elbow? Try Acupuncture!

Posted Thursday, March 10th, 2016 by ABA

tennis, elbow, acupuncture

We know that acupuncture can be extremely effective for treating various types of pain, but can it be as effective for nagging conditions like tennis elbow?

What is tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow is classified as pain or tenderness that occurs in the lateral epicondyle in the humerus. This is otherwise classified as elbow pain. The condition is common among people between the ages of 40 to 50 years old and it occurs in roughly 6 out of 1,000 people. This condition is usually considered a repetitive strain injury as a result of ongoing performance movement. It acts like tendinitis that sends shocks of pain through the main elbow joint as well as the muscles and bones. Pain can not only occur on the inside of the elbow but up and through the entire forearm. Pain symptoms usually persist for around two years and sometimes even longer in people that have exacerbated their condition due to continuous and repetitive strains in their muscles.

How does acupuncture treat tennis elbow?

Acupuncture effectively treats tennis elbow by allowing for a more natural energy (Qi) flow throughout the body. In the Traditional Chinese Medical perspective Qi flows through the body along pathways also known as meridians.  Using this principal tendinitis or tennis elbow is like a river that has been dammed. As a result of this blocked energy there is too much pressure which is causing ongoing pain and a restriction in flexibility. By breaking through this energetic blockage it’s possible for the body to actually heal itself and maintain its regular flow of energy. This is exactly what’s done in an acupuncture appointment when treating tennis elbow. Sterile needles are inserted into specific points throughout the body to break up the blockage(s) and redirect energy flow to help the body to heal itself. Participants are encouraged to regularly exercise their elbow to improve the healing process and to minimize symptoms of pain/discomfort.

Can acupuncture be effective in treating tennis elbow?

Doctors at the Mayo Clinic performed a recent study in which they treated 22 people that experienced chronic tennis elbow. These sufferers could not find regular relief with the help of medication or other procedures and tried acupuncture. Amazingly 80% of the participants were able to find lasting relief with an extra 10% of the study finding an improvement in flexibility and performance as a result of acupuncture. Most of these patients had tried anti-inflammatory drugs regularly, wearing braces as well as cortisone injections but acupuncture helped them to find the greatest form of relief.

A similar study was done in 2001 were Dr. Peter Dorsher completed a trial consisting of 22 patients who received rehabilitation treatments with acupuncture. 77% of the participants no longer had symptoms of tennis elbow and had regained the full use of their arms. Many of these patients had experienced symptoms for months and had tried multiple therapies apart from acupuncture without success. The techniques in acupuncture for this study also included micro current electronic stimulation and heat applications to improve results. Dorsher further went on to add that the acupuncture seem to be helpful for patients that were in the later stages of tennis elbow. Treatment with the needles appeared to loosen up tight muscles around the elbow joint and the therapy was so effective that it has now become his primary form of treatment for this condition. He also suggested that acupuncture is an extremely powerful tool for pain.

Can acupuncture cure tennis elbow?

While it can be difficult to know for sure, acupuncture can work very well at reducing the symptoms of tennis elbow. A percentage of people could be completely cured of chronic tennis elbow over the course of regular treatments. Acupuncture is sometimes used to alleviate the symptoms of tennis elbow but as found in some of the studies, generally around 10% of people can find a complete and permanent cure for the condition.

The good news about alleviating symptoms with the help of acupuncture is that they are basically risk-free. While cortisone injections, medical therapy and anti-inflammatory medication can all come with side effects, all of the side effects that come from acupuncture are for the most part risk-free. Many people that seek acupuncture treatment for tennis elbow often experience other benefits when it comes to improving their sleep, stress levels and overall wellness as a result of simply managing their symptoms of pain.

If you have tennis elbow you should strongly consider seeking treatment with acupuncture. You have nothing to lose and with the proven positive benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine you could reduce your symptoms of pain as well as the improve the quality of your life.

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Can Acupuncture Help Me Lose Weight?

Posted Sunday, March 6th, 2016 by ABA

acupuncture, weight, loss

While we know that acupuncture can provide ongoing support for pain management and a number of chronic conditions, not many of us know that it can actually be used to help with weight loss. Because acupuncture can put your entire body into balance this can have some overwhelming benefits while you are trying to lose weight. Not only can regular acupuncture treatments work in cooperation with a diet and exercise program to help you feel your best, but it can naturally balance your bodily systems to help you naturally lose weight by ensuring your body will process and digest better than before.

Before we look at weight loss we have to consider some of the reasons people gain weight:

People can gain weight for a variety of different reasons whether it is due to a slowing metabolic rate, overeating different foods, unhealthy nutrition, lack of exercise and perhaps even hormones. The good news is that acupuncture can be used in a multifaceted approach to tackle each one of these issues.

Treatment plans can be created to help balance hormonal issues, to normalize weight, to reduce various cravings for unhealthy food, to improve metabolism and digestion as well as to reduce pain so that people will be encouraged to work out.

Ear acupuncture for cravings:

In many cases a licensed acupuncturist will turn to 5 main acupuncture points in the ear. These can be used to stimulate the main centers of our body that control hormones and neurochemicals for food cravings. Through a precise balancing act, regular acupuncture treatments like this can work to normalize hormone rates which can improve the way that our body handles digestion, fat storage and more. These same treatments can also be used to help us with our food cravings. This means that if you are regularly tempted to eat unhealthy food or you have a number of regular cravings throughout your day, regular acupuncture care can help to reduce these cravings and improve your diet and eating schedule(s). Most of these types of treatments can take weeks of planned appointments. This means you may need around 10 treatments which will be done over several weeks’ time.

Studies have shown that this 5 point system works:

Although there have been some mixed reviews on many of the studies that have been completed in acupuncture and weight loss this mostly has to do with the way that age can effect weight loss. Generally younger people are more receptive to the therapy because it can be generally easier for a younger metabolism to experience faster weight loss.

In one study completed on 5 ear points and one acupuncture point on the body 91 overweight people were assigned to lead researcher Sabina Lim who is a member of the department of Meridian and Acupuncture at the graduate college of Kyung Hee University Seoul. She and several other trained acupuncturists would carry out 5 ear points and 1 acupuncture point weight loss therapy on random participants over 8 weeks of study. The patients did not increase their exercise but had to follow a basic diet which was not meant for weight loss.

Those who received this treatment for weight loss experienced an average reduction in weight of 6.1% total and those experiencing one point therapy experienced at 5.7% reduction in weight over 8 weeks. No weight loss was experienced by the placebo group. The largest drop in waist size through the study was seen by a participant in the 5 ear point therapy and this represents just how powerful this treatment can be even over 2 months.

A 6.1% weight loss over 8 weeks would be the equivalent of a 220lb person losing 13.42 lbs over 2 months’ time without having to exercise. It is possible that you could see these same results with the help acupuncture treatments.

Acupuncture for weight loss is different for everyone:

For the most effective results a licensed acupuncturist will have to come up with a treatment plan for your needs. There are any number of reasons why a person may gain weight and targeting the right areas is essential to maximizing your weight loss goals.

As you can see, acupuncture can have some amazing benefits for weight loss and in changing your lifestyle. By using acupuncture and exercise you can be much more successful in shedding your excess weight!

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5 Foods To Improve Digestion

Posted Friday, March 4th, 2016 by ABA

digestion, food, health

Having a healthy digestive system is vitally important to the overall health of the human body. Seventy percent of the body’s immune system is in the digestive tract. The foods we consume are broken down in the digestive system into a form that can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Then the nutrition is carried throughout our bodies to the cells and is used for maintaining our health and providing energy. Consequently if the digestive system is not functioning as it should, the entire body suffers. Digestive problems can cause pain and discomfort and leaves us feeling tired and sluggish. Left unchecked a sluggish digestive system can become very serious. This explains why it is critical that we consume foods that assist our digestion. The following list contains five foods that actually improve our digestion system.


Apples are a healthy snack for anyone. They are a good source of vitamins A, C and provide many important minerals.  But that is not the only benefit to the human body that apple’s provide. Apples are a great food for improving the digestion system.  They provide insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber helps hold water and assist the body by moving food through the digestive system.

Apples also contain soluble fiber called pectin. Pectin dissolves in water and forms a substance with the consistency of gel. This actually slows down digestion, lowers blood glucose levels and prevents cholesterol from building up.


While most of us think of healthy fats when we think of avocados; they are actually a fruit. Besides being a healthy fat, avocados are a great source of fibre and they keep the digestive system lubricated. This keeps things moving as it should. It prevents constipation and they taste great in salads, as a snack or in deserts.

Eating ½ of an avocado gives a person 4 grams of fiber! They are also loaded in potassium and are a low calorie and healthy addition to any diet.


Like apples, bananas contain pectin which is a soluble fiber, they are also loaded with potassium.  Soluble fiber helps to slow the absorption of fats. This healthy fruit helps heal and decrease stomach ulcers. They contain prebiotics which helps our bodies utilize the foods for the good bacteria in our digestive system (also known as probiotics.)


Figs are a favorite for healthy person who looks to build their fiber intake as effortlessly as possible.  Figs are super sweet and taste great in all types of foods. They are great in breads, salads or they can be eaten on their own.  One cup of dried figs is a whopping 15 grams of fiber.

Figs are loaded with potassium and provide a lot of minerals such as copper and iron (and many more). Figs are easily carried for a quick snack and have a long shelf life. They are a staple food in many countries.


Ginger has been used to treat tummy troubles for generations. Ginger can be chewed or added to other foods as a spice. It can be eaten raw or consumed in powdered form or even taken in capsules. Ginger has long been known to cure motion sickness, nausea and upset stomach. It can be taken in tea or other drinks.

Ginger increases saliva, bile and gastric juices to assist in the digestion of foods.  Ginger also aids in reducing bloating and gas as well as heartburn.

While these foods are only a few of the foods that can assist in maintaining a healthy digestive system, it is easy to see that keeping the digestive system healthy is not only smart; it is very tasty!

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Four Natural Ways To Overcome Pain

Posted Tuesday, February 9th, 2016 by ABA

natural, pain, health

Imagine what happens when you prick your finger with a needle or any sharp object. Your pain receptor is activated, and it sends an electric signal to the nerve, and this signal passes through the spinal cord and neck and makes it to the brain. [Link] When the signal reaches the brain, it is sent to the thalamus which relays this message to the different parts of the brain. These events take place in milliseconds, and the result is a physical reaction to the pain with a scream or even some tears.

If you suffer from pain, you probably assume that you have two options: pop some pills or endure the pain. Pills may seem like a better option, but they have side effects when taken in excess and some other long term effects. It is advised to reduce intake of pills. If you cannot take pills for pain every time, how will you endure pain or overcome pain without pills? These are some therapies that can help you overcome pain

  1. Massage:

This involves acting on the body with a pressure of different types and is done manually or with the aid of mechanical appliances. Massage can be stationary, unstructured, or in motion and can be in the form of a vibration. Almost all areas of the body can be used to massage to promote relaxation and health. Massages can be given to anybody but in cases of pain relief, a professional masseuse or physical therapist should be engaged to give relief to people in pain. Massage can be used to mitigate the pain from musculoskeletal injuries and also reduce depression and anxiety. Massages are perfect for back pains, tension, osteoarthritis, headaches, neck pain, fibromyalgia, and surgery-related discomfort.

Massage therapy boosts levels of endorphins and serotonin which are the body’s natural painkillers and also mood regulators. These painkillers also reduce stress hormone levels.

  1. Acupuncture:

This traditional alternative medicine involves inserting thin acupuncture needles in acupuncture points for pain relief, sympathetic response or for relaxation. It can be used to treat musculoskeletal issues and back pain effectively. Acupuncture is great for migraines, chronic back pain, headaches, tension, fibromyalgia, sciatica, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and a list of other ailments.

The practice of acupuncture involves inserting needles in acupuncture points to help correct the imbalances of energy. This energy is known as qi or chi. Research from neuroscience has shown that the careful placement of the acupuncture needles in specific acupuncture points supports the activity of adenosine. This adenosine is an amino acid that becomes active after an injury to the skin to ease the pain. Acupuncture improves the general functioning of the nervous system and the musculoskeletal system in the body which is the cause of suffering. [Link]

  1. Yoga:

This form of exercise is useful in relief of pain and involves stretching the body. Yoga has been proven to provide relief for back pain and musculoskeletal problems. Yoga is good for Lower-back pain, migraines and arthritis. Experts say that over 20 million Americans practice yoga as a mind-body discipline because it promotes relaxation. Recent research shows that yoga relieves lower back pain by enhancing the body’s coping mechanism. This enhancement will mitigate the pain since stress can worsen the symptoms and increase the pain. Here are some methods of yoga that can relieve pain;

  • Sitting or lying in a comfortable position and placing the tip of your tongue behind your upper teeth.
  • Exhaling completely through your mouth and making a gentle “whoosh” sound.
  • Closing your mouth and inhaling quietly through your nose and counting to four.
  • Holding your breath and counting of seven.
  • Exhaling through your mouth and counting silently to eight.
  • Inhaling and repeating the cycle three more times.
  1. Herbal remedies:

These are alternative herbal supplements made from natural ingredients and are mostly free from side effects. Herbal remedies are suitable for reducing some inflammation which may worsen pain. Research has shown that herbal supplements reduce inflammation and contain some nutrients which strengthen the body as well. Omega-3 fish oil supplements are one of such herbal remedies that are anti-inflammatory because of their high content of fish oils and turmeric. These ingredients can reduce pain in people with rheumatoid arthritis. It is suggested that people with pains can use natural herbal remedies such as turmeric and ginger to alleviate the pain.

Pain is inevitable in human beings, and orthodox medicine can only do so much to relieve the pain and may have side effects. These natural methods should be considered to reduce pain.

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Suffering with Acid Reflux? Try Acupuncture!

Posted Monday, January 18th, 2016 by ABA

acid, reflux, acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient holistic system of healing that was developed and perfected in China. It has been practiced for more than four thousand years.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine that has been practiced for thousands of years. It was first introduced into western medical practice in the seventeenth century. In recent times it has come to be seen and understood less as an alternative therapy and more of a complimentary medical technique which can be used in conjunction with western medicine. Nowadays, it is not unusual to see acupuncturists working alongside general practitioners.

In the United States acupuncture practitioners are required to be licenced either by their state, a national governing body or both. The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) has a complete list of licensed practitioners on their website.

Acid reflux and acupuncture

Acupuncture has been used successfully to treat acid reflux, and relieve the unpleasant symptoms by stimulating energy flow which can help to relax the esophagus and thus prevent backflow of food and stomach acid.

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture works with the body’s ability to re-balance its natural energy flow or Qi (pronounced chee). The re-balancing stimulates healing. Because it works with the body’s natural energy flow it is a much less invasive form of therapy. Once one area of your body is out of balance then other areas are required to work harder. If not corrected, this initial imbalance will create a cascade of imbalances, which in turn can lead to chronic and even malignant diseases.

Acupuncture therapists have begun to incorporate electro-acupuncture which uses electrical currents along with the needles.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture generally does not hurt, providing the patient is relaxed. However, there are some tender points – such as the side of the big toe where the patient may feel some discomfort.

Acupuncture is widely used for many gastrointestinal complaints including nausea, indigestion, stomach lesions, colitis, chronic constipation, severe diarrhoea and vomiting. It has been used to great effect in the treatment of acid reflux.

What does the treatment of acid reflux with acupuncture involve?

There are many external triggers for acid reflux. They include:

  • Smoking
  • Excess consumption of alcohol
  • Garlic and onions
  • Spicy foods
  • Too much chocolate
  • Citrus fruits and citrus juices
  • Coffee and tea
  • Carbonated drinks such as soda
  • Peppermint
  • Tomatoes and other ‘night shade’ vegetables such as potatoes and peppers
  • Stress

It is strongly advised that you remove or avoid these triggers to assist the course of acupuncture that you will be undertaking.

Your acupuncturist will take a full rundown of your medical history and document the foods, drinks and any other triggers that may cause acid reflux. Your therapist will also want to know about any medications, both traditional and alternative that you might be taking.

Once your medical history, dietary and lifestyle habits have been established a treatment regime will be set out. Acupuncture uses ultra-fine needles that are inserted into the top layer – subcutaneous tissue – of your skin. These needles can be manipulated, either by hand or by electromagnetic current. These techniques are used to stimulate your energy flow and assist with re-balancing.  To prevent infection, acupuncture needles are sterilized and single use only.

You may be amazed at how rapidly your condition improves once your course of treatment has commenced. Even when patients appeared to be ‘cured’ of their symptoms, it is recommended that follow up treatments take place. In addition, your therapist will recommend that you avoid the triggers that cause your acid reflux, in this way you will be taking an active role in your own recovery and treatment.

Three Of The Best Places To Hike In Phoenix

Posted Monday, December 21st, 2015 by ABA

hike, hiking, phoenix

Phoenix, Arizona is a wonderful place to hike year-round. If you’re in the area and love to hike here are some of the best places to check out;

1. North Mountain Park

The North Mountain Park is located at 10600 N. 7th Street in Phoenix, AZ and is home to 5 different trails that range from easy to difficult ranges in hiking ability. The park includes public restrooms, drinking water and paved parking (though parking is limited for some trails.) The trails at North Mountain Park include:

  • Penny Howe barrier-free Nature Trail (#40): This trail is rated easy for difficulty and is mainly used for birding and walking, but is considered a multi-use trail. The PH trail is 3 miles long with elevations spanning from 1,380-1,420 ft.
  • Shaw Butte Trail (#306): This is a 4 mile long trail with a top elevation of 2,044 feet and a difficulty rating of moderate to difficult.
  • Trail #60- The Maxine Lakin Nature Trail: This is a 1.2 mile long multi-use trail with elevations between 1,290 ft and 1,480 ft. The Maxine Lakin Trail is multi-use with an easy-moderate difficulty level.
  • The North Mountain National Trail (#44): This trail is recommended for only hiking, and is rated moderate-difficult. The trail is 1.6 miles long and elevations range between 1,490-2,104 feet.
  • The Charles M. Christiansen Memorial Trail (#100): This is the longest trail in North Mountain Park, as it is 10.7 miles long. The trail is multi-use and considered a major trail in this mountain range, and branches off into most of the other trails in the park. This is a multi-use trail with an easy-moderate difficulty rating and elevations spanning between 1,290 and 2,080 feet high.

2. Camelback Mountain

Camelback Mountain in Phoenix gets its name from its unique shape (obviously shaped like a – camelback!) The mountain is located at Echo Canyon Park and boasts a 1.2 mile hiking trail and an area for rock climbing for more advanced climbers. Guided tours are available for this scenic hiking trail that includes water, tips and advice and information about the area as well as information about other nearby hiking trails. For more information, maps and directions go to

3. South Mountain Park

South Mountain Park is literally the largest municipal park in the United States, and known as a Phoenix ‘Point of Pride.’ There are a variety of different trails at the parks that all have different uses (most are multi-use) and range from easy to difficult in difficulty ratings. South Mountain Park trails are great for hiking and also offers horseback riding tours on some of the trails. The park is not only beautiful, but has an awesome history and offers some sites that no other mountains in Phoenix can, including ‘The Mystery Castle’. Tours of the Mystery Castle, which was built for the areas founders’ daughter, are no longer available but visitors are still more than welcome to admire the beauty and historic value from the exterior. Trails at this park include: The Mormon Trail (moderate-difficult, 1.1 mi), The Beverley Canyon Trail (easy-moderate, 1.5 mi), The Javelina Canyon Trail (easy to moderate, 1.7 mi), The Pima Canyon National Trail (moderate to difficult, 14.3 mi), Desert Classic Trail, (9 mi, moderate to difficult), Telegraph Pass Trail (1.5 mi, easy to moderate), Kiwanis Trail (moderate, 1 mi) Ranger Trail (1.4 mi, one way, moderate with steep switchbacks) and The Holbert Trail (2.5 mi, both steep and long, moderate to difficult).

Three Ways to Exercise With Your Dog

Posted Monday, December 7th, 2015 by ABA

dog, exercise, health

Staying fit has many health benefits for humans. From better posture to a stronger heart, which leads to a longer life, there is no doubt that exercise is good for you. However, it is not always easy to find time to exercise. With the demands of work and technology keeping us in a state of always being “on,” and “on the go.” It can be difficult to make time for personal care in the form of movement. This is why having a dog is beneficial. Dogs are great exercise partners and can be your partner in staying fit.


Running with your dog not only improves your health, but it also improves the dog’s health. Running helps maintain your dog’s weight, improve muscle tone, maintain a strong cardiovascular system, and build endurance. It also helps with rear drive –how strong the dogs back legs are. In addition, running increases your mental health as it releases endorphins and serotonin, which sends happy and calm signals to the brain. Running also makes your dog happy too and releases energy, preventing disruptive behavior inside your home. However, always check with your veterinarian first to ensure your dog is physically ready to run. Ready, set, go!


Running is not for everyone. Some people disdain it, while others simply do not have the right body type for it. It’s great that walking is one of the best exercises available! And your dog can be your walking buddy. Dogs like walks because they can explore the world around them. They can also socialize just like you by meeting others along the way. Walking is great for keeping you and your dog in good health and spirits while being social at the same time. Strap an extra bottle of water on for your beloved animal, and get moving!

Playing Catch

What dog does not like to chase a ball? Playing catch with your dog is a great way for both of you to get fit. Throwing uses muscles in your whole body. You have to engage the legs, core, and upper body to thrust the ball forward. And, with heavier balls, you are getting in some nice muscle toning. For the dog, this is a great bonding experience as well as way to work on their speed and agility. Having to navigate in and around objects forces the dog to think fast and stay mentally sharp. Playing catch is a sure fire way to ramp up your health and your best friend’s.

Other ideas for keeping fit with your dog:

  • Walking a trail together
  • Playing chase
  • Throwing a frisbee
  • “Doga,” or dog yoga (it is real, look it up)
  • Doggie paddle in the pool
  • Playing soccer
  • Surfing
  • Lifting your dog as if he or she was set of weights
  • Tossing and catching your puppy safely
  • Tug of war
  • Agility training
  • Biking with your dog running along side

Don’t forget to hydrate!

How to Relieve Stress During the Holidays

Posted Sunday, November 29th, 2015 by ABA

stress, holiday, shopping

The holiday season should be filled with joy and relaxation, especially with time off from work. However, it can also be a stressful time of year. According to Web MD, the average American spends 42 hours a year on holiday related activities. This includes planning travel, traveling, shopping for gifts and dealing with crowds. There are a lot of stressors during the holiday season which also includes handling all the food that comes with the holiday season. That stress alone is enough to make anyone dizzy. However, there are some great ways to relieve your stress during the holiday season.

Put Stress in Perspective

It is easy to get stressed during the holidays because they can be a reflective time. People with low stress tolerance may start to worry about the past or present, which can make the holidays even more stressful. Focus on the present moment and keep things in perspective. Stress, like everything else in life, shall pass.

Plan in Advance

There is a saying about putting big rocks in a jar first when filling it up with rocks. This is because if you put the small rocks in first, you leave no room for the big rocks. The holidays follow this metaphor.  Plan ahead and put your big rocks, or wants, in your plan first. Look at it as what you want to look back on and remember fondly. This will help you decide what is important to you, and put those big rocks first. The rest will fall into place.

Let Others Help

You do not have to do it alone. By involving others to include your kids, significant others and family members, you can get more done and have everyone on the same page about what the plans are. This will take a lot of pressure of off of you and give you some room to breathe and enjoy things.

Mitigate Family Fights

According to Prevention, one of the top reasons for holiday stress is visiting relatives. This is because there can be tensions and differences that can lead to arguments. However, you can agree to disagree with those whom you might have tension with. Decide together to put aside your differences and come back to any issues after the holidays so everyone can enjoy the time together.

Make Time for You and Exercise

You have heard it over and over again, the best cure for stress is exercise. Make time to do something physical to help lift your spirits and relax. Whether it is a brisk walk or a full-blown exercise session, make time for it. Plus, make time for yourself, however you define this, it is important to have time to decompress and process everything that is going on. Otherwise, you will wind up with holiday burn-out, which is not the end goal of the holidays.

Try Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a natural and holistic medicine that can treat holiday stress as it has the ability to help the body enter into a state of deep relaxation.  Instead of drinking alcohol or indulging in holiday treats go for an acupuncture treatment, it will help soothe your body, mind and spirit!

Best Juice Bars in Phoenix and Scottsdale

Posted Saturday, November 21st, 2015 by ABA

juice, Scottsdale, phoenix

Juicing is a great way to get healthy nutrients in a tasty and unique format. Plus there are many benefits to getting these nutrients through juicing. According to Dr. Oz’s website, “These nutrients can help protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer and various inflammatory diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis. Valuable compounds called flavonoids and anthocyanins are abundant in a variety of fruits and vegetables and guard against oxidative cellular damage, which comes from everyday cellular maintenance and is exacerbated by exposure to chemicals and pollution.” These benefits make juicing something to consider in your dietary regiment. However, juicing at home may require buying an expensive blender or juicer as well as an abundance of items to juice. This is a nice idea if you are very involved in juicing. However, for an on the go option, or just a casual way to dine out with a friend and catch up, there are some wonderful juice bars in the Phoenix and Scottsdale area.

Original ChopShop Co

Open for all day and late nights, this Juice shop is there for you when you have the time.  They offer a wide variety of juice options as well as a menu of sandwiches, soups, and more. They have pressed juices with flavorful combinations such as carrot, orange, ginger, turmeric, and lemon. There are many other tasteworthy combinations on the menu, including an expansive array of protein shakes where you can substitute in almond milk, soymilk, protein powder, coconut water, and more. They also have a full menu of sandwiches, salads, breakfast foods and more. All have a myriad of vegetable and fruits included in the dishes’ ingredients. Everything at the ChopShop is centered around health and getting your fruits and vegetables in, especially in juice format.

Kaleidoscope Juice 

This establishment takes your health seriously. For example, Kaleidoscope Juice offers a juice elixir called the flu shot. For only $5, you get the small, but potent combo of oil of oregano, garlic, turmeric, ginger, cayenne, lemon and green apple for flavor that will surely keep you well or heal your cold or flu.  With delivery or pickup options, this juice bar offers you options based on your emotional, physical, and spiritual needs. They even have three separate boxes on their website that tell you how juicing helps in all of those areas. Their smoothies come in a 24oz size that is all organic. They offer a blend of fruits, liquids, and protein. You have many choices to pick from, and the price is affordable. Plus, they have healthy breakfast options, burritos, and salads. As the name of the location indicates, they offer a colorful array of healthy options.

Phoenix Natural Medicine and Detox Center

If the other juice bars do not sound as if they meet your expectations for health and wellness, try the Phoenix Natural Medicine and Detox Center for all of your holistic health needs. They have a doctor, chiropractor and urgent care clinic on site. This lets you easily release all of those built up bad vibes. The shelves are filled with apothecary jars stocked with encapsulated or dried herbs and naturopathic medicine tinctures. Plus, the green machine juice ($8 for 16 ounces) is advertised as an “immune rocket” on its own. Add some dandelion greens for an extra boost. They have a wide variety of juices at the juice bar, which is managed by Spoonville, which is a non-profit. They also offer free classes at the juice bar on health and other health related subjects. This juice bar is serious about your health, and they give plenty of avenues to help you be as healthy as possible.

Top 3 Community Yoga Classes in Phoenix

Posted Tuesday, November 17th, 2015 by ABA

yoga, community, phoenix

Yoga has many health benefits. From flexibility to strength, to lowered health metrics, it is something everyone should aim to add to their exercise regimen. But sometimes exercising or doing yoga alone can be daunting, especially if you are new to it. Simply trying to follow a smartphone app or online video may not give you the encouragement or structure you need to improve and succeed in yoga. This is where community classes can come in handy. There, you can not only meet like minded people, but you can also get the guidance and support needed to make yoga a fun and positive experience. With this in mind, here are some of the top community yoga classes in Phoenix.


They are known for their yoga pants, but they offer way more than stylish workout gear. In fact, they have weekly Sunday yoga classes that are free to the public and lead by certified instructors. The classes are housed at The Omni Scottsdale Resort and Spa at the Montelucia, and are intended for all levels of yoga participants. So put on your yoga pants, and take some time out for yourself to enjoy community yoga with Lululemon.

Community Yoga Project at Civic Space Park

Held at beautiful Civic Space Park, all you need is a mat, some water, and yourself to get started.  Held at 8:30 am on Saturdays and free to the public, this outdoor experience is one that will connect you with others and nature. This class uses Ashtanga Yoga, also known as “Power Yoga.” Essentially, it has you flowing through posses while working on breathing. This style of yoga can produce a lot of sweat. If it gets too hot outside, the class is moved to the air conditioned YMCA. It is open to all levels of yogis.

Humble Monkey Yoga

This studio offers many styles of yoga, with two free classes each week. The last Saturday of each month, the studio holds a restorative yoga class at 11:30 a.m. In this class, attendants should plan for a slow flow. This means they will hold each pose for longer amounts of time and use blocks, blankets, and other props to help deepen poses and offer support. There is also a free 9:30 a.m. community class that is open to the public. Donations are encouraged, but not required, for both these classes. Be humble and give these a try to broaden your yoga horizons.

Best Vegan Mimic Recipes to Fool your Family

Posted Wednesday, November 11th, 2015 by ABA

vegan, recipes, healthy

Eating vegan can be challenging. It can take time to adapt to the eating and lifestyle changes. And once you do, it may be tempting to backslide. One of the most important factors to being a successful vegan is having the support of your family, even if they do not know it. Just like mom may have used lean ground beef when you were a kid in the spaghetti and meatballs without you knowing, you can make some great vegan meals that look and taste like their non-vegan counterpart. And no one will be the wiser. Below are some easy ways to fool the family and gain support in your eating choices.

Vegan Burger

Who does not love a great juicy burger? This recipe is southwestern style and similar to one by the restaurant chain Red Robin. Using fried soybean and red onion as the main ingredients for the patty, this will have your family going “Mmm” all the way to bed.


  • 1 pkg Tempeh Soybean
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic Powder
  • 2 Yellow Bell Peppers
  • 2 Red Onions
  • 1 Container Guacamole
  • 4 Whole Wheat, or Rye Hamburger Buns


Slice the yellow peppers and red onions on cutting board. Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet.

Season soybean with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 8-10 min on each side, browning on each side. Add the peppers and onion to skillet, sautéing slightly.

When the vegetables and burger have reached the desired look, turn off the heat. Spread guacamole on the hamburger buns and layer the soybean patty, bell peppers, and onions on top. Serve and enjoy.

Copy Cat Veggie Tacos

Who does not like a taco? They are easy to eat and make, and you can put pretty much anything you like in them. Thus, tacos are a great way to make a vegan meal and fool the family. Using a corn tortilla, some avocado, lettuce, cheese, and some spices, you can turn a taco into a delightful treat for the whole family. They will not be asking “Where’s the beef” with this recipe.


  • 2 tsp Fresh Lime Juice
  • 3 Medium Tomatoes
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 2 tbsp Chopped Cilantro
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Pepper
  • ⅛ tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 6 cups Shredded Lettuce
  • 2 Avocados
  • 1 pkg Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 12 Small Corn Tortillas
  • 2 Limes


To make the salsa, dice the onion and two of the three tomatoes. In a medium-mixing bowl, combine diced tomatoes, onion, lime juice, cilantro, cayenne, salt and pepper. Mix well.

Dice the third tomato and put to side. Chop the avocado into chunks. Slice the limes into wedges. Heat the corn tortillas in large skillet, slightly browning each side.

Remove the tortillas from the heat and add 1/2 cup of lettuce to each tortilla. Spoon avocado and tomatoes onto the lettuce. Add 1 tbsp of salsa to each tortilla. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese onto each taco and garnish with lime wedge.

Spinach Feta Puff Pastry

What is a meal without a nice appetizer? Or this can be a meal on its own. This dish will have your family tickled with delight as they bite into the juicy and crisp pastry filled with all the goodies of a vegetarian meal. Using a frozen puff pastry, spinach, feta, and some salt and pepper, this is easy to make, and will have your family asking for more.


  • 2 tbsp Flour, for board
  • 1 Sheet Frozen Puff Pastry, thawed according to package directions
  • 1½ pkg Frozen Spinach
  • 2 tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Coarse Salt
  • ½ tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 cups Feta Cheese
  • Cooking Spray


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Boil and cook the spinach in small pot with a teaspoon of olive oil.

Unfold and roll out the puff pastry on a board. Break it into one-inch strips–there should be enough dough for about 18 strips. Dry the spinach and pour the second teaspoon of olive oil onto the spinach.

Place a tablespoon of spinach and teaspoon of feta onto each dough strip. Roll each strip’s edges around spinach and feta and place onto the greased cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 10-15 min, or until pastries are golden brown.


Being Alone in Phoenix: Best Meditation Spots

Posted Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015 by ABA

meditation, meditate, phoenix

Meditation has many benefits.  From lowering blood pressure to reducing stress and anxiety, no one will argue that it is bad for you. It is a practice that not only helps create balance in your day, but also it helps train the body to react to stressful situations through breath. This powerful tool for a healthier you does not require anything more than time and a nice quiet spot. With all the natural beauty in the Phoenix metro area, there are plenty of options to get away from it all and improve your mind and body through meditation. 

Japanese Friendship Garden

The Japanese Friendship Garden’s mission is, “To provide a place of beauty and tranquility as an escape from the everyday pressures of life, for meditation and relaxation and to enrich and restore the body, mind and spirit.” With this in mind, the Garden has a stunning array of zen like features, from waterfalls to stone archways. This garden is a sight that needs to be seen to get the full experience of its beauty and richness. There are tours, exhibits, and events that allow you to learn more about the rich history of Japanese culture to greater appreciate where you are meditating.

The Bradshaw Mountain Range

Thought to be the richest gold-filled mountains in the U.S, this mountain range is worth its weight in gold for meditation. This unique mountain range is known for its scenic beauty, hiking trails, back roads, ghost towns and western stories. Get back in touch with nature, and experience the wildlife in it’s natural habitat. The last of the Apache Indian wars were fought here too. But beyond anything else, the stunning vistas and peace and quiet found here make it a remarkable place to get a way and find peace within yourself through meditation.

Botanical Gardens

These gardens have five main trails. Each trail will take you through different types of vegetation, from trees and plants to flowers and dessert scenes, the gardens allows you may spots to choose from to meditate. The garden features events and tours, and the price of admission is well worth the cost of finding the peace and serenity you will find here.

North Mountain

North Mountain is not only rich with history, but it is also rich with views. From the various trails, you can see valleys and mountains or the skyline of Phoenix. While walking to find a nice quiet spot to meditate, you can learn some of the history and facts about this location in the visitor’s center. There are also programs, lectures and events. While looking for a view to meditate from, this location offers a wide variety of options well worth the time investment to find that spot that nails it for you.

Meditation does not have to be limited to the outside, however. There are days when it is too hot to meditate outside comfortably. Alternatives include the Phoenix Museum of Art, a local place of worship, or a local studio. Whatever your needs to find a place of solace for meditation, Phoenix has plenty to offer inside and out. 

5 Halloween Treats That Are Bad For Your Health

Posted Thursday, October 29th, 2015 by ABA

Halloween, treats, candy

The history of how candy became synonymous with Halloween is very interesting. This website explains why Halloween is all about the candy, click here to learn more: [Link].

As adults, we are surrounded by an array of fall colored decorated candy in October. From office candy dishes to our children coming home with candy from school to trick-or-treating, you cannot escape the candy. While indulging in some candy occasionally is not terrible, over doing it can open the door to a full out binge that becomes hard to stop.  So, while you enjoy all there is to enjoy about Halloween, keep away from these five treats:


Although gummies can be made into different characters and shapes that are fun to play with, they are terrible for you. The different types of gummy candies (like bears, Sour Patch Kids, and jelly beans) can easily get wedged in the pits and grooves of your teeth and their main ingredient is glucose syrup (concentrated sugar). When all that sugar is on and between your teeth, tooth-decaying bacteria grows and due to the sticky nature of the syrup, your saliva cannot won’t naturally wash it off your teeth.


This is another fascinating candy with a rich history and use of flashy commercials and social media marketing to get you to consume it. Resist the temptation to do so! Skittles are mostly artificial flavoring and sugar; which means they are bad for your teeth. Also if you eat too many, they will store as fat on your body and you will literally carry all the colors of the rainbow as excess weight.

Caramel Apple Lollipops

Lollipops take the longest to eat and dissolve. No one really knows how long it takes to get to the end of a lollipop. But, the longer this sticks around your mouth, the more time it has to do damage to your teeth because of the sugar. This is because of the bacteria that will grow that causes decay.  Plus, this treat has a lot of synthetic ingredients that are not good for you.


As the famous saying goes, “Nobody better lay a finger on my Butterfinger.” In the case of this candy, let others lay a finger on it. In fact, let them take it with the whole hand. This candy sticks like glue to your teeth, but that’s not the worst of it. Butterfingers are made with man-made trans-fats, which are really bad for you. Plus, they’re not made from real chocolate — just “compound chocolate,” which is a cheap substitution to coat candy.


These chewy delights are made from primarily corn syrup and sugar, and both ingredients are from genetically engineered crops. With all the synthetic dyes and trans-fats in these treats, they are best to be used as decoration or hockey pucks and not in your body.

Substitution: Instead of these tricky treats, try some dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is proven to be healthy for you in small quantities on a daily basis. With plenty of antioxidants and other good naturally qualities, it also melts in your mouth and won’t stick to your teeth. Plus it is a good source of iron and fiber. Happy treating!

Benefits Of Acupuncture While Pregnant

Posted Tuesday, October 20th, 2015 by ABA

acupuncture, pregnant, pregnancy

Being pregnant is an exciting, yet sometimes anxiety-inducing experience. As an expectant mother, not only are you excited about having a healthy baby, but you are also concerned about pre-natal care, the necessary preparations and of course, hoping the pregnancy will go smoothly. You recognize that everything you do affects the baby’s life, not just yours. In this time of transition, there are many benefits of acupuncture that can help to ensure a healthy baby and a more relaxed pregnancy.

Anti-Depressant Qualities

With the fluctuating hormones and general nature of pregnancy, you may be on an emotional roller coaster and sometimes feel down. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Acupuncture designed to treat depression appears to improve symptoms in pregnant women, suggesting it as an alternative to antidepressant medication during pregnancy.” This is important because depression in pregnancy can be felt by the fetus and lead to post-partum depression in the baby, which is not good for its mental or emotional development.

Resolving Breech Presentation

Breech position is when the baby’s head is facing upwards instead of down towards the birth canal in the last three months of pregnancy. If the baby is not repositioned, the expectant mother will need to have a C-section delivery, which can create a host of post-labor issues with both mother and baby. Amazingly, acupuncture is shown to encourage the baby to reposition itself and turn to the correct position to enable natural childbirth to occur.  This process can be started around week 34.

Preparing the Body For Labor

Acupuncture can be started at 37 weeks to help prepare the mother for labor. According to an article on Pregnancy and Baby, “Pulse diagnosis also allows the practitioner to determine whether there are energetic imbalances, how strong the organ systems’ energies are, and how Qi and blood are flowing.” Acupuncture corrects imbalances found in the tongue or pulse during a check-up and can also work to prepare the cervix to ripen, thereby potentially easing delivery. Moreover, acupuncture calms and relaxes moms-to-be so labor is a smoother experience.

Relieving Pregnancy-Related Discomforts

Pregnancy can take a toll on the body; from morning sickness to headaches and pains. The good news is that acupuncture is shown to mitigate a number of pregnancy side effects, including headaches, swelling, and more, all without the potential harm to the baby which medications may represent.

Post-Delivery Relief

Acupuncture is a great resource and treatment in the post-delivery phase to treat the common symptoms of fatigue and depression after delivery. Regular acupuncture is great for helping moms recover and regain their strength after giving birth.

Benefits of Yoga While Pregnant

Posted Wednesday, October 14th, 2015 by ABA

yoga, pregnant, pregnancy

Being pregnant is a wonderful experience.  And most mothers-to-be want to do everything to ensure that their baby leaves the womb as healthy as is possible.  This includes strict dietary and fitness regimens as well as many other actions.  The benefits of yoga during pregnancy are many, and it is a formal part of the prenatal healthcare regime that both mother-to-be and baby can benefit greatly from.

According to the Baby Center, “This age-old practice keeps you limber, tones your muscles, and improves your balance and circulation with little, if any, impact on your joints.”  These are just general benefits.  When it comes to yoga for pregnancy, the benefits are plentiful.

Stress Relief

Being pregnant can be a stressful experience.  A pregnant woman is taking care of another human being, and the realization of becoming a parent or raising another child starts to become real.  As the due date comes closer, there is a lot that can cause a pregnant woman stress.  Yoga is a wonderful tool for relieving this stress and helping to maintain a calm state of mind outside the yoga studio.

Helps Avoid Pregnancy Risks

According to the Mayo Clinic, yoga can “decrease the risk of preterm labor, pregnancy-induced hypertension and intrauterine growth restriction — a condition that slows a baby’s growth.”  This means that yoga can help result in a more natural birth with fewer risks to the mother or child.  That is reason enough to consider prenatal yoga.


As the baby grows inside the womb, it changes the posture of the mother.  This is because the baby is pulling the spine forward, and that can lead to back pain as well as other discomforts.  Yoga helps by focusing on posture and strengthens the core, which is essential to posture.  In effect, this can lead to a more comfortable pregnancy.

The Hips

Yoga can bring flexibility to groups of muscles and bone structures in the front and back of the hips.  During pregnancy, hormones are released which soften and relax joints and cartilage between bones in the pelvis to prepare the mother for childbirth.  Yoga can help bring flexibility to these areas, which will help during pregnancy and birth when it comes to the positioning of the legs.


As the fetus grows inside a pregnant woman,  it throws the woman’s body out of balance.  Yoga brings awareness to balance and helps to improve it.  This can have a tremendous effect on the health of the mother-to-be because being off balance can cause foot problems and knee and back pain.

Connection with the Baby

Yoga focuses on becoming aware of what is going on inwardly.  Through breathing and practicing awareness, yoga can help create a stronger bond between mother and child.  It can also help the mother become more aware of the baby’s movements in order to help her adjust for the comfort of herself and the baby when it moves around the womb.

The benefits of doing yoga while pregnant are many.  From physical benefits to emotional benefits, yoga helps the mother, which in turn helps the baby.  And who knows, maybe one day the newborn will become a devoted yogi due to the prenatal yoga experiences!