Scottsdale Acupuncture

Archive of the Category 'Mind'

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 www.climbcamelback.com.

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).

5 Best Books on the Art of Acupuncture

Posted Monday, December 14th, 2015 by ABA

acupuncture, books

The uncanny and oftentimes misunderstood art of acupuncture frightens some but intrigues others. What is acupuncture? What does it do? What are its notorious healing powers? All of these questions and more can be answered with quality literature on the subject. While most ancient Chinese texts regarding the subject are undecipherable to the average reader, there is a myriad of literary works to refer to for more information on this topic. Today, we will be counting down the top five books on the subject, specifically looking for credibility, clarity, and completeness in our chosen works.

Number 5: Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, and Healthy Weight Loss

Although not solely an acupuncture book, this work is one which has many interesting facts regarding acupuncture, elucidating extensively on the purpose and nature of the art. This all-encompassing work has much to offer in the line of further enhancing your knowledge of acupuncture and for that reason, we recommend it.

Number 4: Insights of a Senior Acupuncturist

Written by senior acupuncturist; Miriam Lee, she emigrated from Singapore to the United States after living in mainland China as working as a midwife and nurse. Acupuncture Today, a leading source on the topics of acupuncture and ancient oriental medicine extolled Dr. Lee’s work by saying; “Anyone who has read and studied [Insights of a Senior Acupuncturist] knows Dr. Lee to be a stunningly successful practitioner who practices in the Taiwanese style of acupuncture. She attends to scores of patients daily, approaching or exceeding 100 per day.” This book is great for both beginners and experts, offering a singular location for almost all your acupuncture inquiries.

Number 3: Acupuncture for Body, Mind and Spirit

Peter Mole extensively looks into the subject of acupuncture in his work which Redwing Book Company says is a source wherein you can find; “everything you need to know before stepping into the acupuncture clinic.”

Number 2: Understanding Acupuncture

Drs. Stephen Birch and Bob Felt thoroughly discuss the origins and scientific principles behind acupuncture in this intriguing work. Redwing Book Company commends the work, saying; “this is the first textbook of acupuncture to concentrate on the historical, intellectual, and scientific roots of acupuncture. The authors have organized information provided by the research and personal cooperation of scholars, scientists, and clinicians, to produce a survey text which is exclusively drawn from peer-reviewed literature and extensively referenced.”

Number 1: Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion

This breathtakingly intriguing work by Cheng Xinnong is indubitably the most reputable. Written by an 89 year old Chinese doctor, Cheng’s book has, according theworldofchinese.com, been “used as the reference book for the acupuncture exams in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, and elsewhere.” This definitive resource is one which aspiring practitioners must be familiar with in order to be prepared for the examination. This work is certainly not one to miss out on.

The aforementioned literary resources will no doubt aid you in your endeavors to further understand the art of acupuncture. Whether you are an aspiring practitioner or just plain curious about what it is, these resources will, no doubt, enlighten you.

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

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!

Walking

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!

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.

Lululemon

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.

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. 

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.

Posture

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.

Balance

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!

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.

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.

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!

Having Panic Attacks? Try Acupuncture!

Posted Saturday, August 1st, 2015 by Paul Kerzner

panic attack, acupuncture, scottsdale

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

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

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

What are panic attacks?

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

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

What are some symptoms of panic attacks?

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

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

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

What are some causes of panic attacks?

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

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

Can acupuncture treat panic attacks?

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

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

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

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

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

Stop Focusing On What You Don’t Want!

Posted Saturday, July 25th, 2015 by Paul Kerzner

focus, present, conscious

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

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

What have you been paying attention to?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Importance Of Having A Mindfulness Practice

Posted Saturday, July 18th, 2015 by Paul Kerzner

mindfulness, practice, self development

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

What is mindfulness?

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

How can I be more mindful?

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

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

What is a mindfulness practice?

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

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

Keep Moving Forward!

Posted Friday, July 10th, 2015 by Paul Kerzner

move, forward, scottsdale

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

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

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

Why is it so important to keep moving forward?

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

How can I move forward?

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

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

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

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

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

Stop Being So Hard On Yourself!

Posted Tuesday, June 16th, 2015 by Paul Kerzner

healing, stop being hard

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

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

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

Why am I so hard on myself?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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