Scottsdale Acupuncture

Archive of the Category 'Body'

The History of Acupuncture in America in the 1970’s

Posted Thursday, October 8th, 2015 by ABA

acupuncture, america, chinese herbs

Acupuncture is an ancient healing modality.  Depending on whom you ask, it dates back 4,000 or more years.  The practice has been a staple of eastern culture, especially China, for most of that time.  However, its history in America is not as steep, although it is a unique one.

The start of acupuncture in the US, as told by many, dates back to the 1970’s and the Nixon era in particular.  It is documented that in 1972 President Nixon’s Secretary of State, Henry A. Kissinger, traveled to China.  A journalist for the New York Times, James Reston, accompanied him.  While in China, James Reston fell ill and ended up in a Chinese hospital requiring an emergency appendectomy.  Doctors used acupuncture to relieve his pain.

Intrigued and impressed with the effectiveness of the acupuncture treatments, James Reston wrote about his hospitalization and acupuncture in the New York Times.  This exposed countless Americans for the first time to acupuncture.  The folklore states that the rest is history.  However, this is only part of the story, and not actually the inception of acupuncture in America.

Americans began showing interest in acupuncture in the early 1900’s.  They focused more on the notion of tapping needles into the nerves rather than the traditional idea of energy that the practice of acupuncture is centered around.  The Traditional Chinese Medicinal beliefs of acupuncture conflicted with those of the American belief system.  The west focused more on trigger points that were used to stop pain.  Although the popularity of acupuncture in the US was not widespread at this point, its roots had begun to grow in the early 20th century.

Practices such as electrified needles and leaving needles inserted for up to a week were tried.  A lot of emphasis developed on using acupuncture on the ear as well.  It was not until the 1950’s that acupuncture research organizations were formed and the techniques started to be utilized in hospitals.  From there, acupuncture in America grew in scope and depth.

The 1972 experience by the New York Times reporter helped ignite more interest and research into acupuncture, but it was only a growth point in the timeline.  Although it was not the sole spark of acupuncture in the United States, the 1972 the first legal acupuncture center in the US was established.  In 1973, the IRS allowed acupuncture to be deducted as a medical expense.

Acupuncture continued to grow in popularity in the US. In 1992, the US Congress created the Office of Alternative Medicine.  In 1997, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) declared support for acupuncture for some conditions.  In 1999, the NIH created the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.  Acupuncture then became the most popular alternative medicine in the US.  Complementary medicine, which includes acupuncture, is a multibillion-dollar industry with 38 million adults receiving treatments annually, according to a 2009 report conducted by the NIH involving the use of such medicine.  Although acupuncture started small in the US, it has grown to become the norm in helping millions of Americans with untold number of ailments and maladies.

Best Naturopaths in Scottsdale

Posted Monday, October 5th, 2015 by ABA

naturopathic physician, naturopath, medicine

Naturopathy, also known as naturopathic medicine, is a form of alternative medicine employing a wide array of “natural” treatments.  These treatments include homeopathy, herbalism, and acupuncture (if trained and licensed) as well as nutrition and lifestyle counseling.  This therapy is meant to be a holistic approach to well-being, and there are many benefits to its use.

Including naturopathic medicine into your life will have a wide-reaching effect.  Under the care of a naturopathic physician, you will experience relief from many of life’s day-to-day health struggles and problems.  Listed below are just some of the benefits you can experience when managing life’s challenges with the aid of naturopathic medicine:

  • Relieve pain
  • Avoid bouts of the cold, flu, and other common ailments
  • Discover long-term solutions to chronic ailments
  • Slow the degenerative disease process
  • Reach and maintain an ideal weight
  • Achieve a higher level of overall fitness
  • Recover quickly from illness
  • Increase energy
  • Find and maintain both physical and emotional balance
  • Reduce stress

Given the benefits to your health, it is a good idea to use this type of medicine.  Like starting on any new medical path, it is best to work with a professional.  There are several options worth considering when searching for the best naturopaths in Scottsdale.

Naturopathic Essentials

Part of this practice’s mission is, “We strive to offer a vast array of modalities to work with the body’s own inherent healing abilities, while providing safe, gentle and effective treatments. Naturopathic Essentials integrates current scientific knowledge with traditional healing wisdom, enhancing the services and treatments provided by other health care professionals.”  The practice strives to meet each individual where they are at and come up with a plan that is best for that individual.

They deal with many types of ailments and conditions from pain to weight loss.  In addition, they offer many different services such as injections and B12 vitamin shots.  Moreover, their doctors are well educated and experienced in the field, including working with organizations to help those who otherwise cannot afford this treatment.

Naturopathic Physicians Group

This group won a 2010 Top Doc in Phoenix award.  This group of three physicians offers a wide range of services to meet everyone’s needs.  This includes specifically womens’ health conditions, children’s conditions, and different types of special therapies.

Whether you have allergies, a child with learning disabilities, or need eyesight therapies, you can find it here.  Their website is filled with detailed information on all of their services and what they include. The site also includes helpful videos, biographies on each physician, and a blog.

Naturopathic Specialties LLC

This is another practice that earned Top Doc honors in previous years.  Consisting of seven physicians, this practice has a philosophy based on six pillars.  The pillars include beliefs surrounding the treatment of an individual as a whole and first and foremost, doing no harm.  This makes the focus of the practice trustworthiness.

You will find a wide range of services, such as oncology, women’s health, weight management and more.  Each service can include a mix of traditional medicine balanced with some naturopathic practices.  The focus of the services is to be natural and non-toxic.

The practice also has educational services, offering a blog with insightful information.  As a plus, they also have a webinar series on a range of topics and offer plenty of other events for one’s benefit.

Best Vegan Restaurants in the Phoenix Metro Area

Posted Monday, September 28th, 2015 by ABA

vegan, restaurant, phoenix

When some people think vegan, they may think about food that tastes badly and is hard to come by.  Although some people may experience this when first trying the vegan lifestyle, it does not hold true in the end.  There are plenty of vegan options in supermarkets and restaurants, with bountiful possibilities for a wide variety of dishes.

Vegan food has many health benefits because you are simply making smarter choices.  One example includes the lack of red meat, which is high in fat and not good for you in large quantities.  In addition, vegan food has been shown in studies to help beat cancer, heart disease, lower blood pressure, prevent and reverse diabetes, and so much more.  In fact, you can read one reporter’s experience with the benefits of eating vegan firsthand here.

Now that you know eating vegan is great for your health, it is time to learn about the top three vegan restaurants in Phoenix.  While there are many good options, these have the highest positive customer feedback, and with good reason.

#3) Braggs Diner

Located in Historic Downtown Phoenix, this restaurant has been around since 1947.  It was originally a pie shop.  The food carries the variety you would expect from a diner, but it is locally sourced, organic, and includes items from urban micro-farms.  You can come and get breakfast foods, such as pancakes and eggplant bacon, or an appetizer such as nachos with organic tortillas and lots of veggies on top with cheese.  There is a kid’s menu and pie for dessert.  In addition, this is within two miles of the major sports teams’ arenas and major attractions such as museums and art galleries.  And there is live music too.

#2) Vegan House

This establishment picks ingredients fresh from the local farmers markets, which explains the crisp and rich taste of the food. The menu includes a wide variety of options: sandwiches, wraps, soups, salads, noodle and rice dishes, and desserts.  The prices are comparable to other vegan dining establishments.  Eating here will feel like having Chinese, Italian, and American cuisine at your fingertips, but with much healthier options.

#1) Green Vegetarian

This establishment focuses on favorite comfort foods with vegetarian ingredients.  Here you can get egg rolls, Buffalo wings, and edamame to start.  Then you can get Mac and Cheese, Po’ Boy sandwiches, and burgers.  Of course everything is vegan, but the taste is fresh and could fool one into thinking it is real meat on the bun and not a veggie burger.  Green Vegetarian has gluten free options as well.  In addition, you can order online, and learn more about their chef at their website. An added bonus is their prices are reasonable.

No matter what kind of experience you seek to enjoy the benefits of vegan food, you can find it in these top 3 locations in Phoenix.  Your pallet and body will thank you for feeding it tasty and healthy options.

Top 3 Healthiest Restaurants in Phoenix

Posted Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015 by ABA

healthy, restaurant, phoenix

Eating healthy while eating out in the Phoenix metro area does not have to be difficult. A Yelp search for restaurants in the Phoenix metro area yielded over 10,000 results, so there are more than enough options and ways to dine that make sense for your health. It goes without saying that eating healthy has many positive benefits.

There are many creative ways to eat healthy while dining out. Examples include using the healthy menu options, planning the meal before you go, and asking for food cooked with no added fats. According to Best Health, “Your plate should be 50 percent vegetables, 25 percent protein and 25 percent grains.” You can create the balanced plate you need by asking for smaller portion sizes and choosing menu items with the right percentages of nutrients. Moreover, asking for food cooked steamed or grilled can make it healthier. In addition, knowing which leaner types of meat to order can help keep your food lower in fat and calories too. There is no shortage of ways to dine out and eat well at the same time.

Once again, it is clear that eating healthy has a myriad of benefits. Aside from losing weight, lowering cholesterol, lowering blood pressure and reducing risks for heart diseases, eating healthy has deeper benefits.  Eating well can balance mood, increase energy, and lengthen life span; so eating healthy improves your body from the inside out.

Below are three of the healthiest restaurants in the Phoenix metro area to help you achieve your healthy lifestyle goals.

#3True Foods Kitchen

The aim of this eatery is to provide food that is beneficial to your body and tastes good. This includes foods that help you live longer and are anti-inflammatory. The “True” in the restaurant’s name stands for telling the truth about how their food helps you. The mission of the restaurant is to help you feel better, live longer and make your tastebuds happy.

They have a breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner, dessert, and a kids menu, so there is something for everyone. On the lunch menu, there are starters, pizza, sandwiches, fresh juice drinks, and wines and true to the name, they tell you why each food is good for you. For example, one wine is supposed to help you live longer. Even the dessert menu offers healthy options that sound indulgent, featuring dairy free ice cream and squash pie that are healthy but also delicious. With True Foods Kitchen, you will not only get a dose of healthy food that is good for your body, but you will get the truth on why what you are eating is good. You cannot go wrong with a restaurant that is transparent in that regard.

#2 – Flower Child

This name alone harkens to the kindred spirits and the freedom of the 1960s. Even the whimsical website plays to this with a picture of a lady blowing a flower. However, the name is more of an acknowledgment of the fact that everything they serve is natural like a flower. This means that all food comes from a rigorously managed supply chain and is organic, and preservative and additive free. This knowledge enables anyone to feel reassured that they are eating well before even looking at the menu.

The menu is simple and refreshing. You can choose a protein along with 3 or 4 sides for a family meal, or you can choose an individual item and add your choice of protein. For example, you can order a Kale salad and add chicken if you wish. Sides are a mix of vegetables and grains. You can even get bowls that have mixed vegetables and grains, which you can add a protein to and there are wraps, a kid’s menu, and fresh juices as well. Plus, each menu item is labeled vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free. When you eat at Flower Child, you are in a sense, returning to happier days of the 1960s when the food was simpler and freer.

#1 – Chop Shop

Chop Shop has locations in Tempe, Scottsdale, and Chandler. The philosophy of this restaurant is that healthy people are happy people. The Chop Shop also aims to provide familiar family recipes with a twist and use fresh ingredients so you can enjoy healthy food while dining in or on the go. The Chop Shop has a variety of healthy options to choose from to make everyone happy which include: sandwiches, protein shakes, parfaits, salads, protein bowls, sides and breakfast items; and the meats do not contain preservatives or additives. You can also get gluten free items and fresh pressed juices with mixed ingredients of greens and juices. Everything at the Chop Shop is a mix of creativity, healthy sensibility, and fresh tasting food. This combination makes it my pick for the healthiest restaurant in the Phoenix metro area.

When looking for the healthiest restaurants in the Phoenix metro area, look no further than these three options. They each offer a different angle to eating well while eating out. But the one thing they have in common is they take the guess work out of eating well by ensuring their food is natural, fresh, and taste good.

At Above and Beyond Acupuncture, we focus on whole body wellness. In addition to acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (including herbs), we also counsel patients to make optimal nutritional choices which will enhance their treatment. If you are in the Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe or Phoenix areas and would like to know more or would like to schedule an appointment, please feel free to give us a call. You may also book appointments using the online scheduler.

Want To Lose Weight? Try Acupuncture!

Posted Sunday, September 13th, 2015 by ABA

weight loss, obesity, acupuncture

According to the National Institutes of Health, obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States. An estimated 300,000 deaths per year are due to the obesity epidemic.  In addition, more than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese as stated in the Journal of American Medicine This is a health crisis like we have not seen in our lifetime.  It is estimated that the current (younger) generation may not outlive their parents because of obesity.  And what makes the crisis so dangerous is that it is largely man made.

While some people may have predispositions to being overweight or developing  conditions that lead to the use of food as a drug, this disease is preventable.  We forget that there was a time when foods were not processed or had less additives.  There was a time when Americans cooked whole foods at home and did not have such an abundance of fast food and processed food available to them.  Times certainly have changed.  You now can have food virtually anytime, anywhere, and in untold varieties.  Take water for example, you can have water with added flavors and vitamins or in different sizes.  All of this is bottled; in fact, the world spends over $100 billion on bottled water a year.  This is a drink that should be free!  With such a prevalence of unhealthy foods available, one must take certain actions to help manage his or her health.

Acupuncture is a complement to two of the most important factors in leading a healthy lifestyle: diet and exercise.  Diet and exercise go hand in hand.  Doing one without the other yields less of a gain in weight loss than when using both combined. As stated in an article on Real Simple magazine’s website, “It’s clear that you need to restrict calories in your diet to lose weight—and exercise to keep it off,” says Tim Church, M.D., the director of preventive medicine research at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.  Both have their equal benefits such as increased energy, increased alertness, lowered blood pressure, lowered cholesterol, and so many more.  When combined, diet and exercise are key to a healthy lifestyle—add acupuncture and you have a dynamic triple effect.

Acupuncture does help with weight loss.  According to Women’s Health, in one study researchers looked at 91 overweight Koreans, giving some the “five point” treatment and others the “single point” treatment. All participants were then asked to keep a restricted diet and to not do any additional exercise. After four weeks, those in the five-point group showed a 6.1% reduction in BMI (body mass index), while the one-point group showed a 5.7% reduction. So it looks like both methods may help boost weight-loss efforts, but the five-needle technique may be slightly better if you’re interested in trying it.  The technique being referred to is one where either one or five needles are placed in the ear.  The points they are placed on relate to hunger and other systems involved with food and weight control.  The treatment helped those already helping themselves.  Therefore, when acupuncture is combined with diet and exercise, it increases the effectiveness of the diet and exercise.

Of course, it is not always as simple as it sounds.  Any plan involving lifestyle changes should be done in small incremental steps.  For example, you may start with just tracing what you eat, which brings awareness to your choices and helps you make better choices.  You then may want to start removing or replacing certain foods after you are habitually journaling.  With exercise, it is wise to consult your physician first.  Then gradually start with a couple days a week working at your pace, and increase time, frequency, and intensity incrementally. The same principle applies to acupuncture.  Incorporate it over multiple treatments.  One treatment will not be a magic bullet.  The more effective acupuncture treatments are drawn out over weeks or months. Take your lifestyle changes gradually, and before you know it, you will no longer be a statistic.  In addition, you will see changes in your personality and accomplish things you may never have thought you would be able to.  Lastly, do not think of the process of leading a healthy lifestyle as trying to go back to some place where you used to be thin or healthy.  You are merely continuing on a different journey in life.  As the Chinese proverb states, “A journey of 10,000 miles starts with a single step.”

For more facts on obesity, visit this site. To learn more about a healthy lifestyle, visit the Let’s Move Initiative website.

Above and Beyond Acupuncture serves the Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe and Phoenix areas. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, please give us a call or use the online scheduler. Please feel free to call if you have any questions about how acupuncture can help you with weight loss.

Health Benefits of Reishi Mushroom

Posted Sunday, September 13th, 2015 by ABA

reishi, mushroom, health

There is no denying that mushrooms are plentiful.  There are many different varieties of the mushroom contained throughout the world, and some of the mushrooms have not even been discovered yet.  In fact, according to Mercola, the world’s number one natural health website, “Of the 140,000 species of mushroom-forming fungi, science is familiar with only 10 percent, according to world-renown mycologist Paul Stamets, who has written six books on the topic.”  However, not all mushrooms are good for you.  Some are poisonous, while others are famously linked with drug use.  But there are many benefits of edible mushrooms in general.  The list below highlights just a few of these benefits.

  • Weight management
  • Improved nutrition
  • Increased vitamin D levels through your diet
  • Improved immune system function

Imagine a mushroom so powerful that it contained much greater benefits than most.  Do you think this sounds too good to be true?  It is not.  

The reishi mushroom is the superhero of mushrooms, with amazing benefits. Reishi is commonly known as Ling Zhi  (lingzhi) in Chinese, and it is considered an herb.  The mushroom is rare in nature and is mostly cultivated today using advanced agricultural techniques.  As one source states, “Only two or three out of 10,000 such aged trees will have lingzhi growth, and therefore its wild form is extremely rare. Today, lingzhi is effectively cultivated both indoors under sterile conditions and outdoors on either logs or woodchip beds.”  Trying to find this mushroom in the wild would be futile.  However, you can easily buy the mushroom or an extract form of it online or in health stores.  Because of its potent benefits, it is easy to find.

The amazing benefits of the reishi mushroom are many.  They cross many diseases and common health issues, and the science to back up the claims exists in many cases.  The reishi mushroom is known to help in the following areas:

  • To treat fatigue
  • To lower high cholesterol
  • To treat HIV and AIDS – Laboratory studies suggest that reishi mushroom may stimulate certain cells of the immune system.
  • To lower high blood pressure – Laboratory studies suggest that reishi mushroom may lower blood pressure.
  • To stimulate the immune system – Laboratory studies suggest that reishi mushroom may stimulate the immune system.  A small clinical trial showed that reishi can enhance immune response in advanced-stage cancer patients.
  • To reduce inflammation – Laboratory studies suggest that reishi mushroom may have an antihistamine effect, which has not been tested in humans.
  • For increased strength and stamina
  • To treat lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) – One study suggests that reishi extracts may improve urinary flow in men with slight-to-moderate LUTS.
  • Noncancerous tumors in the colon and rectum (colorectal adenomas) – Research suggests that taking reishi mushroom extract daily for 12 months reduces tumors in people with colorectal adenomas.
  • Clogged arteries – Research suggests that taking a specific reishi mushroom product (Ganopoly) reduces symptoms of clogged arteries.  This can include chest pains and shortness of breath.
  • Diabetes – Research suggests that taking a specific reishi mushroom product (Ganopoly) daily for 12 weeks reduces hemoglobin.  But it will not reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Hepatitis B – Research suggests that taking a specific reishi mushroom product (Ganopoly) for 12 weeks reduces how much of the hepatitis B virus is circulating in the body, and it improves liver function in people with this condition.
  • Lung cancer – It does appear to improve immune function and quality of life in people with lung cancer, but it is not shown to shrink tumors.
  • Shingles-related pain

As you can see, the amazing benefits of the reishi mushroom are wide ranging and far reaching.  However, as with all herbs, it is important to talk to your doctor to ensure that the treatment is right for you and if it should be done in conjunction with other treatments or used alone.  Plus, you want to make sure that you are aware of any potential drug interactions the mushroom may have with drugs you take such as blood thinners, for example.  Moreover, you want to be aware of any side effects the mushroom may have in general.  If all signs point to taking it, let this superhero go to work for a healthier you!

Top 3 Yoga Studios in the Phoenix Metro Area

Posted Wednesday, September 9th, 2015 by ABA

yoga, phoenix, scottsdale

According to the Mayo Clinic, yoga is about a mind-body connection that helps one to relax, manage stress, and relieve anxiety.  However, the benefits go well beyond these.  For example, yoga is also great for strengthening muscles and increasing flexibility.  Moreover, yoga helps to focus a person on their breathing as well as slow it down.  This helps to relax you and quiet your mind.  After time and practice, the breathing practiced can become a normal response to stress.  Thus, yoga has many short- and long-term benefits.

Some long-term benefits of yoga include helping with chronic conditions as well as relieving issues like high blood pressure, depression, pain, and insomnia.  Yoga certainly has many benefits that make it worth the time and energy.  With that in mind, below is our list of the top 3 yoga studios in the Phoenix Metro Area.

#3. Desert Song

With a $29, two week, as-many-yoga-classes-as-you-can-take special, this number 3 studio in the Phoenix Metro Area is worth a try.  They offer an interesting mix of yoga classes for any level of yogis, Tai Chi, massages, and nutrition consultants.  The studio takes a holistic approach to health. They will even come to your workplace if you want to hold a session for your company.  Like most studios today, they offer teacher training as well, and their staff members are highly qualified in their discipline.  This studio even holds events like yoga for the young and restless, which is yoga for young children.  Plus, they have regular “Dharma Talks” on different topics, such as mindfulness and compassion, which are free for the community.  With a mission to inspire people on their path to wellbeing, in this regard, they have a lot to offer.

#2. Urban Yoga

Boasting over 50 classes a week, this studio also has an affordable drop-in fee.  And if you are unsure whether this studio is the one for you, their website allows you to view their studio via a virtual video tour.  Unlike Hot Yoga University, where the focus is just on yoga, this yoga Phoenix Metro Area studio offers massages and a spa in addition to their yoga classes.  Plus, the studio goes out into the community, offering workshops at various local locations.  Classes usually run sixty minutes, and qualified instructors lead them.  Being located in Phoenix, this studio has a mission to help people find a balance between daily city life and personal self-care.

#1. Hot Yoga University

As the name suggests, this studio is all about hot yoga classes.  The range of classes covers every need a person could have, no matter what level they are at.  This includes sixty-minute yoga classes that cover form and alignment, breathing and rhythm, strength and movement, and sleep-based meditation.  A certified instructor leads each class, and the staff members are very friendly and knowledgeable.  All they ask is that you show up as you are in your journey with yoga, and they will teach you the rest.  The environment itself is clean and distraction free so that you can focus on your yoga practice.  In addition, the website has useful articles via their blog to help educate, including a portion on nutrition and yoga etiquette.  This is the best yoga studio in the Phoenix Metro Area because of their professionalism, welcoming environment, and commitment to helping people better their lives through yoga.  Plus, the cost is affordable, including a $10 drop-in fee.

When looking for yoga studios in the Phoenix Metro Area, these are your top three options.  They cover a wide range of options for yogis no matter what their level.  They offer very unique classes, useful information, and several other services.  You have no excuse to not take advantage of the endless health benefits of yoga with these choices, especially at Hot Yoga University.

Having Neck Pain? Try Acupuncture!

Posted Tuesday, September 8th, 2015 by ABA

neck, pain, acupuncture

The common phrase, “You are a pain in my neck” could not be more true in today’s society.  With smart devices and computers now a part of daily life, neck pain is unavoidable.  In fact, according to The American Osteopathic Association, “Neck pain is the number three cause of chronic pain; more than a quarter of Americans report being affected from pain in this area of their body.”  Neck pain is common, and it hurts.  But understanding what is causing that pain in your neck is important when considering treating neck pain with acupuncture.  You want to understand what is causing the neck pain, because if it is something that involves an invasive corrective treatment like surgery, it is better to go with that method than trying acupuncture first and risk that the underlying issue becomes worse.

Many things cause pain.  Some of the more common causes are listed below:

  • Improper positioning while sleeping
  • Sitting or standing with bad posture.
  • Injuries
  • Accidents
  • Heavy lifting
  • Other spinal issues
  • Computer and mobile device usage

In some of these cases, correcting posture or doing stretching and strengthening exercises may ultimately stop the pain completely.  However, in order to get to the point where you can make these changes, you have to deal with the symptoms of having pain in the neck.  This is where treating neck pain with acupuncture comes into the picture.  In fact, according to Spine Health, “While acupuncture is often not the first line of treatment sought for most back or neck problems, an increasing number of patients, as well as physicians and other health professionals, are starting to use acupuncture as a means to reduce neck pain and back pain.”  Acupuncture is becoming a more prevalent way to help manage neck pain.

Treating neck pain with acupuncture works for several reasons.  Acupuncture affects many vital body functions that relate to the sensation of pain.  For example, acupuncture has been shown to help induce the body to release opioids, which is a chemical that plays a significant role in the reduction of pain. In addition, acupuncture is believed to help with the flow of endorphins in the body.  Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers. Moreover, acupuncture is shown to support the secretion of other chemicals that play a role in the reduction of pain.  Thus, using acupuncture for neck pain can help manage the pain to the point where other things can be done to correct the causes of neck pain (such as stretching and strengthening exercises, as well as posture correction).

So the next time you experience neck pain, consider acupuncture.  It can help reduce and manage the pain using the body’s own natural chemicals.  This, in turn, will allow you to treat and correct the underlying causes of the neck pain.  Don’t let neck pain stop you from celebrating life’s little victories with head stands.

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

Treating Infertility With Acupuncture

Posted Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 by ABA

infertility, acupuncture, pregnancy

Before learning about treating infertility with acupuncture, it is important to establish that this is a real problem in the United States.  That way, when discussing the role of acupuncture in treating infertility, it is within the context of how large the problem is.  For example, according to the Pew Research Center, in 2015, U.S. fertility is at an all-time low.  The center states, “U.S. fertility rates have reached another record low, at 62.5 births per 1,000 women of childbearing age.”  [Link]

Data for United States in 2013

  • Number of births: 3,932,181
  • Birth rate: 12.4 per 1,000 population
  • Fertility rate: 62.5 births per 1000 women aged 15-44 years
  • Percent born with low birth weight: 8.0%

With such record-setting low fertility rates, it can lead one to wonder if there is an infertility problem in the United States.  In fact, there are large amounts of the population who are infertile.  Statistics from the CDC show just how big the issue is.

Data For Infertility in The United States

  • Number of women, ages 18-44, with impaired fecundity (impaired ability to get pregnant or carry a baby to term): 6.7 million
  • Percent of women ages 18-44, with impaired fecundity: 10.9%
  • Number of married women, ages 18-44 that are infertile (unable to get pregnant after at least 12 consecutive months of unprotected sex with husband): 1.5 million
  • Percent of married women, ages 18-44, that are infertile: 6.0%
  • Number of women, ages 18-44, who have ever used infertility services: 7.4 million

These statistics paint the infertility problem as a significant issue within the female population.  However, this is not truly the case.  According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, “In approximately 40% of infertile couples, the male partner is either the sole cause, or a contributing cause, of infertility.”  Infertility in men is almost half of the cause of low, recorded infertility rates in the United States.  With the problem clearly defined, and the notion that infertility is a concern for both men and women equally, it is time to examine the role of acupuncture in treating infertility.

Acupuncture can be used to treat infertility.  In particular, it can be used to treat some underlying causes of infertility.  For example, problems that affect fertility can include an under-functioning thyroid (hypothyroidism) or over-functioning thyroid (hyperthyroidism).  Acupuncture treats these problems. In fact, acupuncture, combined with herbal medicines, has been employed for hundreds of years to treat some causes of infertility.  For example, acupuncture will not work when it comes to tubular adhesions because of the different diseases that require more aggressive treatment are the underlying cause.  Thus, acupuncture is great to help heal some, but not all, cases of infertility, as it depends on the contributing factors.

Treating infertility with acupuncture is a lengthy process. It is viewed as being similar to physical therapy.  It can take three to four months of acupuncture, combined with herbs and traditional medication, before methods of insemination can be attempted.  This is to allow the acupuncture and treatment plan time to do its job.  For example, acupuncture can help to increase the blood flow to the endometrium, helping to facilitate a thick and rich lining. Plus, it can improve ovarian function.  Once the acupuncture and treatment plan has worked; and a qualified doctor will be able to help guide you to know when the time is right; different fertilization methods can be attempted.  However, women are still encouraged to continue acupuncture treatments post-transfer.

Science research exists to back up the treatment of infertility with acupuncture.  According to Web MD, “In a study of 160 women, published April 2002 in the reproductive journal Fertility and Sterility, a group of German researchers found that adding acupuncture to the traditional IVF treatment protocols substantially increased pregnancy success.”  This is outstanding news for the infertility crisis in the United States.  Especially due to the fact that, in addition to helping in ways mentioned earlier, acupuncture actually affects the brain areas that control hormone production, which can increase egg production and ovulation.  Science stands firmly behind acupuncture as part of the treatment plan for infertility.

This research may lead one to believe that it is the only woman’s prerogative to treat infertility with acupuncture.  But, this is not the truth.  In fact, acupuncture has been shown to improve the quality of sperm in infertile men.  According to Web MD, which discusses a study on acupuncture helping infertile men, it states, “The results suggest that acupuncture may complement traditional infertility treatments and help men reach their full reproductive potential.”  Clearly there is no sufficient reason for men to not include acupuncture as part of their regimen to treat infertility as well.

Infertility in the United States is at a record low.  And it is men and women equally that have infertility issues.  Acupuncture, along with herbs and other medical treatments, can help treat most cases of infertility.  Through a long and consistent process, acupuncture can help couples find more success in becoming fertile again and reproducing.  This is great news for the future of America and a wonderful message for modern day science and the multi-cultured world we live in: when we are able to use ancient practices from other civilizations and combine them with modern day science, we can achieve amazing things, including bringing new life to a world where life may have never existed before due to the powerful lesson in taking action.

If you are having fertility issue and live in the Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe or Phoenix areas please give us a call or use the online scheduler to book your appointment.

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.

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.

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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.