Low Back Pain -Acupuncture & Chiropractic

 

 

People are looking for more natural approaches to relieve low back pain. The combination of  Acupuncture & Chiropractic speeds healing, restores mobility and the free flow of  qi and circulation to the muscles and joints of the low back .

Research in the Archives of Internal Medicine revealed that acupuncture provided relief and lasting benefit to nearly twice as many lower back pain patients as drugs and exercise. Research from the American Spine Society  found that Chiropractic is far safer and more effective than epidural injection therapy for low back pain. When Chiropractic was added to a large health plan with 7000 members, the number of low back surgeries and hospitalizations declined by 1/3.      

If you or someone you love suffers from acute or chronic low back pain, please call to find out more about how  the combination of Acupuncture and Chiropractic can help you.

Thought of the Day

 

 

It’s never too late to..listen to your heart. Our world is loud, fast and chaotic. We need time to pause. To look around us. To hear our heart.  It knows things your mind can’t understand. Take time out.  Spend time looking at the spring flowers. Be open to your heart and listen to it.       -Patrick Lindsey

Thought of the Day

 

It’s never to late to grow something:

Plant something and watch it grow.  A tree, a flower, an idea, hope, love.  Take a chance to try something new, nuture it and watch it grow.

Seasonal and Monthly Tune-Ups

 

 

Wellness care tune-ups: Encourage a more complete healing, minimize the effects of stresses and strains of everyday living and reduce wear and tear from repetitive work postures and athletics.

Just as injuries, stress and prolonged postures in the past, have had a cumulative effect of weakening the system, balancing and maintaining your spine and acupuncture meridians can have cumulative beneficial effects.  Each time your body is balanced, optimal blood and oxygen flow is created, increasing your qi/energy, mobility, stamina, immune and recuperative powers.

The combination of one or all of the follwing: Acupuncture, Gentle Chiropractic Adjustments, Deep Muscle therapy, and Chinese Herbal Medicine, help create optimal function.  At the change of seasons, just as in a garden, which may become overgrown with weeds if not tended to, periodic treatments help to keep our garden/body in balance.

For Neck Pain: Chiropractic better than drugs

 

 

New Research, published in The Annals of Internal Medicine, found that Chiropractic care was better at reducing pain than taking medications like aspirin, ibuprofen or narcotics.  Even a year later, there were differences between the spinal manipulation and medication groups.

One group was assigned to visit a Chiropractor, making an average of 15 visits. A second group was assigned to take common pain relievers like acetaminophen and in some cases, at the discretion of a medical doctor-stronger drugs like narcotics and muscle relaxants. After 12 weeks, of the people who recieved spinal manipulations,  57% reported a 75% reduction in pain compared to 33% of the people in the medication group.

A year later, 53% of the subjects who recieved  Chiropractic spinal manipulations still reported at least 75% reduction in pain. That compared to just a 38% pain reduction among those who had been taking medication. In addition to their limited pain relief, the medications had at least one other downside: people had to keep taking them and in higher dosages which elicited gastrointestinal problems.

The Art of the Nap

 

What do Winston Churchill,  Napoleon Boneparte,  Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, and John F. Kennedy all have in common?  They  all took regular afternoon naps.

Our culture has a problem with sleep in general and napping specifically.  In our quest for ever increasing productivity, a nap and early bedtime are frowned upon.  We are multitasking and doing “one more thing” until late into the night.

The National Sleep Foundation states that in 1910,  the average American slept nine hours per night.  By 1975, that number dropped to 7.5 hours/night.  Today, it is closer to 7 hours and often much less.  Shorter sleep time can affect our cortisol which can increase hunger and blood sugar levels.

There is evidence to suggest that naps are part of evolutionary biology for humans, especially the afternoon nap, which is common to many cultures.  A Harvard study found that people who regularly napped at least 3x per week for an average of 30 minutes had a 37% lower risk of heart attack. Naps also boost serotonin, which leads to improved memory, learning and performance.

Try 15 minutes to start. If you can’t fall asleep, take some slow deep breaths for a few minutes. Practice 7 counts inhaling, 7 counts holding the breath and 7 counts exhaling.  This helps reboot  your body and mind .

Thought of the Day: Attunement vs. Empathy

 

Attunement is attention that goes beyond momentary empathy to full, sustained presence that facilitates rapport.  We offer a person our total attention and listen fully. We seek to understand the other person rather than just making our own point.                 Excerpt from “Social Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman 

The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they bloom like flowers.   -Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Acupuncture benefits for Athletes of all levels

 

 

Acupuncture has long been used to treat all sorts of pain, including pain from muscle and joint sprain/strain injuries. These injuries can hinder athletic ability and performance. Blocked circulation that results post-injury, can be facilitated through Acupuncture by restoring oxygenated blood to those affected tissues.  It can help reduce inflammation, treat the source of the pain and speed recovery time. It is also very helpful for prevention, by creating optimal circulation, joint mobility and restoring qi/energy balance after prolonged activity or competition.

When starting a new exercise program and monthly for highly active athletes, it is ideal to come in for an Acupuncture treatment to synchronize the two sides of the body and their meridians, for optimal balance and function.

Tips for Staying Calm

 

 

1. Walk more slowly. Whenever you catch yourself rushing around, slow down. Relax your jaw, drop your shoulders and breathe. If you have to move more quickly, try to do it in this more relaxed way.

2.Talk more slowly.  Allow yourself to pause and take a breath between sentences or thoughts. When listening, breathe, let yourself take in all of your experience of the other person.

3. When the phone rings, take a deep breath before answering.

4.Take time each day to be still, take three deep breaths: inhale for 4 counts through your nose,  hold  it for 7 counts,  then exhale through your mouth with sound for 7 counts. Notice how your body feels afterward.

5. Use transitions, like travel time to and from work, to notice how your body is feeling. Observe if there is tension and use your breath to release those areas.

6. Go outside at least once during the day.  Pay attention to the weather and how your body reacts to it.  Look up at the sky, feel the temperature and notice the sensation of the air on your skin.

7. Add something beautiful to your life, a flower or photo, in the space you occupy the most during the day.  Take a picture of one of your favorite places, such as your garden, the ocean, a landscape.

8. Read a line or a paragraph from a favorite uplifting book in the morning or evening.

9. At days’ end, think of one thing you learned or are grateful for.

10. My favorite breathing CD’s are by Jon Kabat-Zinn. It’s a set of 3 CD’s-one is  called : Body scan- he guides you through your body by using your breath .

Take a moment to breathe

 

 

It’s the most basic of human functions. Yet few of us do it properly. Relax. Feel your breath. Just being aware of it will calm you. Draw in the air slowly. Let it charge you with its energy. Spend some time savouring the feeling.  It helps us come into the present moment…we don’t remember days or years, we remember moments.

Acupuncture & Arthritis: New Research

 

 

Acupuncture has been found to inhibit osteoarthritis-induced pain by activating serotonin to modulate pain receptors, improve weight bearing, and improve joint function. –Alternative Medicine Vol 2011

In Chinese Medicine arthritis is categorized as follows:

Cold Arthritis:  characterized by sharp, stabbing pain in a fixed location and cold sensation in joints, relieved by heat. Recommended foods: garlic, scallions, black beans, black sesame seeds, chicken, lamb, greens, and ginger. Also 10-20 min sunshine and fresh air daily, warm liniments on area, drinking cinnamon/ginger tea and avoiding cold raw foods and cold weather.

Heat arthritis: characterized by red swollen joints, painful and hot, and usually sudden onset. Recommended foods: fresh fruits, veges, cabbage, mung beans & soybeans sprouts. Avoiding: spicy foods, alcohol, smoking and green onions.

Damp arthritis: characterized by heavy feeling in extremities, stiffness, swelling, dull aching pain that lingers and sluggishness. Recommended foods: barley, mung beans, greens, red beans, millet, cornsilk tea (natural diuretic). Cook barley,, mung beans and red beans together.

Kidney deficient arthritis: characterized by coldness, low energy, low back pain, knee pain, weakness, poor hearing, urine retension problems. Recommended foods: warming foods- chicken, lamb, scallions, sesame seeds, fish, baked tofu, walnuts, black beans, lentils and drinking cinnamon/ginger teas. Avoid cold raw foods and fruits.

Kidney deficient arthritis with heat: characterized by irritability, insomnia, nite sweats, damp palms, dry mouth, low back pain, and blurry vision. Recommended foods: cooling foods, apples, peaches, pears, fresh veges, beans, tofu, chrysanthemum tea. Avoid: spicy foods, smoking, alcohol and stress.

 

‘Tis the season for warm spicy herbs

 

 

Cinnamon: sweet & warm: increases circulation, aids digestion, helps increase lean muscle mass, is a natural antibiotic/antiviral ( during the 1918 influenza outbreak- workers at cinnamon factories had boosted immunity to the Spanish flu), evens out blood sugar levels, and its’ fragrance boosts brain function and cognitive skills.  It’s great on: oatmeal, yams, butternut squash, baked apples & pears, and in coffee or decaf.

Ginger: pungent & warm: natural antihistamine & anti-inflammatory, dispells phlegm and cough, reduces nausea, decreases the stickiness of red blood cells/platelets/helpful in atherosclerosis. A few slices in hot water with honey helps ward off colds/flu, as does ginger tea, also may be added to baked yams, butternut squash, oatmeal, baked apples & pears.

Chai tea is a combination of warming spices(cardomom/ginger) that aid digestion and circulation.

Reflections on Happiness as a prelude to a New Year

 

 

Pareto’s Law: States that for many events 80% of the outcomes result from 20% of the causes.  For example: 80% of our happiness derives from about 20% of our activities or endeavors.  The challenge is to get better at identifying the 20% of what we do that makes us happy.  What has most effectively created and caused your happiness this year?  What were the key ingredients that led to your feeling good?  ( specific events, interactions, people, thoughts and behaviors)  Writing something down is a step toward understanding and creating it anew.              -excerpt from ” 100 Ways to Happiness”  by Dr. Timothy Sharp

Happiness, peace and contentment to you and yours in this Holiday Season and all the year through.                    Sincerely, Dr. Geri

Taking a Thanksgiving Walk

 

 

When you take your morning or evening walks this holiday season, think about all the things in your life for which you are thankful. You can direct your thanks to a specific person or God or the world at large. Notice how you feel as a result. By doing so, that exercise time is transformed to a sacred time.

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”  – GK Chesterton

Autumn-The Season of the Lung

 

 

Autumn is the season of the harvest, gathering the seeds and wisdom we’ve learned this year for continued growth in the spring. It’s also a time for eliminating what is unnecessary, and storing up only what is needed for winter. As spring was an expansive time, fall is a contractive, simplifying time.

Autumn is the season of the Lung organ. In Chinese medicine, weakness of the Lung causes difficulty with respiratory disorders-asthma, frequent colds, lowered immunity in general, sinus headaches, skin ailments ( the skin is regarded as the third lung) and dryness- constipation. Also, unresolved sadness and grief, can deplete the lung energy.

The pungent quality of some foods and spices help to open and expand the lung qi/energy to clear grief and respiratory problems. Pungent foods are: garlic, ginger, horseradish, daikon radish, and cabbage. They can be used uncooked if you run cold in nature, but if you run warm they are best eaten after being cooked. Since Autumn is a dry season, foods that help moisten and nourish the lungs are : cooked pears, baked apples ( with cinnamon) and squash, along with persimmons, almonds, barley, milley and soy.

A position to open the lungs: lie on your back, place a towel rolled into a column, under your back,  under the length of your spine. Put a pillow under your knees, and your arms stretched out at your sides.  Take slow deep breaths .

Balanced Lung qi/energy is reflected in the ability to have boundaries, knowing what to let in and what to keep out, when to say yes, when to say no, and finally when to hold on and when to let go.

Acupuncture and specific Chinese herbal formulas are helpful at this seasonal change for optimal balance.

Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs-Balancing Emotions

 

 

Ideally, all the organs & meridians of the body operate in balance and emotions are calm and appropriate to life’s situations.  However, when the Qi/energy in our meridians gets out of balance, it can be difficult for us to maintain our normal emotional balance.  Some people may experience anxiety,worry and other difficult emotional states.

In Chinese Medicine, these imbalances may manifest as follows:  

 Liver meridian/qi flow imbalance: can cause us to experience excessive or inappropriate anger, irritability, frustration, impatience and/or depression.  Balanced liver qi/energy will help us to be generally relaxed, patient, and emotionally even, feeling a smooth flow of plans going forward.

Heart meridian imbalance may cause us to experience excessive anxiety, panic attacks, palpitations and insomnia.  Balanced- creates calm and relaxed emotions.

 Spleen meridian imbalance- excessive worry, tendency to overthink. Balanced-we have clear crisp thinking at a normal pace.

Lung meridian imbalance-can cause us to experience prolonged grief, sadness or melancholy. Balanced- general feeling of flow, able to move through our feelings and feel contentment.

Kidney Meridian– can manifest with excess worry and fear, loss of will and determination. When balanced-we are calm and able to proceed forward with ease and confidence.

The combination of Specific Chinese Herbal Remedies along with  Acupuncture assist the balancing of emotions during times of stress and throughout the year.

Thought of the Day

 

 

   It’s never too late to…live in the present.  Most problems are fears of the future.  Or worries from the past.  If you live in the present they don’t exist.  In the present you’re as alive as you can be.  Your decisions are spontaneous.  Your heart is open.  Your spirit is free.                                -Patrick Lindsey

Exercise and Chiropractic

 

 

 

Chiropractors can help patients overcome one of the primary obstacles to exercise and activity: PAIN. When people are in pain they’re far less likely to begin or stay with a program of activity even if doing so might be beneficial in the long run.  By combining Chiropractic care with exercise, Chiropractors assist their patients’  allignment and fluidity of movement, thereby facilitating  optimal function as they progress  in their workouts. Frequently, without proper allignment and training, people will engage in the wrong kind of exercise or do too vigorous a workout program in the hopes of improving their health or increasing the immunity benefits. Yet, heavy, long-term incorrect exercise could actually decrease the amount of white blood cells circulating and increase the presence of stress-related hormones.  Getting a Chiropractic check-up allignment prior to starting a new exercise program is highly recommended to determine and  facilitate optimal function.

Benefits of exercise: Flushes bacteria out of our lungs, decreasing the chance of a cold, flu or other airborne illness. The temporary rise in body temperature prevents bacterial growth. When exercise is not overdone it slows down the release of stress-related hormones and boosts  endorphins and the immune system.

There are 1,440 minutes in every day. Schedule 30 of them for physical activity.

 

 

Beyond Belief: ABC Primetime Nightline Program on NDE

 

40 minute program, hosted by Bob Woodruff, an ABC journalist, who in Jan 2006 was injured in Iraq and experienced a NDE (Near Death Experience/ out of body experience). It mystified him so that he sought out and interviewed others who  had had these experiences, along with medical researchers who study this field.  This program can be viewed on your computer at: ABC Primetime Nightline: Beyond Belief: Out of Body Experiences- Season 1 Episode 7 ( under recent episodes)  Hulu

Other books on this subject: Life after Life-Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Embraced by the Light-Betty Eadie, Lessons from the Light-Kenneth Ring

Summertime Tips: How to stay cool

 

Avoid foods that are hot or create heat: spices, hot peppers, garlic, lamb, and shrimp.  Eat foods that are cool such as Asian pears, melons, salads, mint or chrysanthemum teas.  Avoid heavy outdoor activity especially between the hours of 11 am and 2 pm. Try an afternoon nap, the body naturally cools down when we rest.  If you do get overheated,  massage the acupressure point on your outer elbow crease, or  spray water with a few drops of lavender essential oil on your legs and feet, or an ice pac wrapped in a pillow case on the back of your neck.