As concern grows concerning COVID-19, I want to let you know that we are here for you. We are deeply committed to the health and wellbeing of our community, on every level. The clinic is open for the time being, and we are here--calming nervous systems, boosting immunity and helping people feel better in their bodies and their lives.
We are taking further precautions with enhanced cleaning and sanitizing and washing our hands (as per usual!).
We will continue to treat patients and monitor the situation as it evolves. Chinese Medicine is an important tool in fostering wellness, and we are committed to supporting our community in this way.
As this unique situation develops, we will be in communication. If you have a fever, show any signs of a compromised immune system, or have travelled internationally in the last two weeks, please contact us so that we can help you in a way that does not involve coming into the clinic or direct contact.
Here are some self-care recommendations that you can use to keep yourself calm, healthy and resilient.
Let's start with the ABC's--these are the things you CAN control:
A is for Attitude. This is everything. A calm nervous system helps foster a strong immune system. I like the expression "Proceed as if it is not a problem" because we are super resilient human beings and many of us have been through challenges much larger than this in our lives. Check in with yourself and adjust accordingly.
B is for Breath. This is our best tool for keeping a calm nervous system. In through the nose, longer exhale through the mouth. This keeps our nervous systems strong and calm Even better? You do this, and you can help calm others down because you are modeling calm behavior (it goes the other way too, which is an even greater reason for being mindful of your breath).
C is for Choice. You get to choose how you move through this situation. Everything can be horrible, or be full of panic and fear, or you can live in the present moment and eliminate the friction by accepting the moment for what it is.
And then there are the other basics, which include:
1. Washing your hands. There, I've done my due diligence on what cannot be overstated enough. Wash them every time you come in from the outside, every time you go to the bathroom, every time you think about it. Wash them, wash them good. 20 seconds or more.
2. GET ENOUGH SLEEP. This is the foundation for a strong immune system. Asleep by 10:30. Lights out at 10:20. Pretend you are a kind and loving parent to yourself, and gently admonish yourself that really, it's time for lights out at 10:20. Because you'll thank yourself later and may even develop a good lifelong habit of investing in your health by getting more sleep.
3. Stay calm. See the ABC's above. Anxiety, fear and panic all increase the release of cortisol, which compromises the immune system. That's not what we want. And staying calm feels better anyway. Read the trashy novel. Skip FB. Do some drawing. Do some yoga. Meditate. Breathe. Laugh. Take a nap. Do what you need to modulate your immune system by keeping calm. (Another good lifelong habit to foster!!)
4. Nourish yourself. Eat warm, cooked foods. Avoid sugar, avoid alcohol, avoid dairy right now. This will help your body operate from a place of lower inflammation--boosting the immune system and lowering overall stress.
What would a newsletter be without some qi gong videos? These are from some of the leaders in my field, with a focus on immune boosting and feeling grounded. Enjoy! (Also, you will feel better after doing these.)
Qi Gong for Boosting the Lung Qi and Immunity (20 minutes)
Qi Gong for Stress and Finding Balance (18 minutes)
Acupressure for immunity boosting (2 minute video)
We are committed to our community, and to your health. We are well equipped to help support wellness and to support our community through this unique time. It's what we are deeply passionate about, every day.
Thanks for showing up for yourself and your health.
Research Update – Acupuncture and Pain
A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine examined how acupuncture can be used to treat low back pain. The researchers looked at multiple trials to determine that acupuncture shows great promise in relieving chronic low back pain. The trials were inconclusive about acupuncture for acute low back pain. Since chronic low back pain is more common, it makes sense the majority of the trials scrutinized found more evidence to support acupuncture usage for this condition.
Pain affects everybody at some point in their lives. It may be either acute or chronic. But regardless of the type of pain, it can be debilitating. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, nearly 100 million Americans have suffered from pain that lasts more than 24 hours and millions more suffer from acute pain. Chronic pain is the most common cause of long-term disability in the United States also, which ultimately affects not only the pain sufferer, but also those around him or her.
Many people go to see their regular doctor when they have pain. Many more go to the emergency room. But the treatments received don’t always provide relief. Everything from pain pills to surgery may be suggested to help pain sufferers. And because of over-prescription of pain medications, there is now an epidemic in the United States. Opioids, one class of prescription painkillers, has turned into a legitimate killer, causing more and more people to overdose and die. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it is estimated that nearly 2.1 million people in the U.S. are suffering from substance abuse disorders directly related to opioid pain relievers.
This is where acupuncture comes in. Acupuncture is part of a nearly 3,000 year old medical system known as Traditional Chinese Medicine. Acupuncture uses hair-thin needles to stimulate specific pressure points on the body. By invigorating these points, the brain is triggered to release endorphins, which are natural painkillers. The energy within the body is also moved and adjusted. According to TCM medical theory, when the energy is blocked or weak, then pain and illness can attack the body.
One of the advantages of utilizing acupuncture to treat pain is the acupuncturist doesn’t need to diagnose the cause of the pain before treating it. Since acupuncture has no real adverse side effects when performed by a qualified and professionally licensed practitioner, pain relief can begin the very first time a patient is treated.
The treatments are very customizable because this medicine is not a “one size fits all” type of solution. This means that as the pain shifts and changes, the patient will receive customized treatments that not only address the pain and inflammation, but they also work on resolving the root of the problem. Most patients who are dealing with pain also have added stress, insomnia and depression or anxiety. Acupuncture is great at treating all of these conditions. So the patient gets more than just pain relief.
Acupuncture is so effective at treating and relieving pain now showing up in hospitals and emergency rooms. In fact, Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota is now successfully using acupuncture in its emergency room to treat conditions ranging from car accident injuries to kidney stones. Their initial results show pain scores are just as low with acupuncture as they are with those given analgesic painkillers. Another positive action regarding the utilization of acupuncture came just recently. The Food and Drug Administration released proposed changes that plan to educate health care providers about treating pain. The new guidelines recommend doctors get information about acupuncture and suggest it to their patients before prescribing opioids.
With these kinds of recommendations and testimonials, it is hard to believe only about 10 percent of Americans have ever tried acupuncture. But that statistic is slowly changing as more and more people are seeking natural and alternative methods of dealing with pain and disease. Why not check it out for yourself? Contact me to find out more information.