Clear Your Mind by Walking

One of the many ways that walking can promote health and wellness is by putting gentle pressure on Yongquan (Bubbling Spring). An acupuncture point on the sole of the foot, this is the starting point of the Kidney meridian. Stimulation of this energizing point can promote clarity of the mind and stabilize emotions, helping you to focus on your goals.

How To Stimulate Yongquan

While Walking:
Let your heel tap the ground gently and feel your weight transfer fully to the ball and toes of your foot. Focus on breathing into your lower abdomen. Keep your shoulders relaxed and allow your arms to swing freely.

By Tapping:
Use your fists to strike your Yongquan about 100 times on each foot.

By Rolling:
Gently roll a tennis ball under your foot while relaxing on the couch.

Newest Acupuncture Practitioner – Farris Johnson!

Hey everyone,

First off, I apologize for the lack of newsletters of late. We are experiencing some technical difficulties in that department but I will be sure to back-publish all of the missed newsletter in case you would like to refer to them. For now, here’s a list of the appointments still available for this weekend (and Monday, which isn’t a weekend but its rough and you deserve a treat)

Saturday

John: 9 (45min)

Betty: 10:15, 11:30, 12:45

Sooyong: 9:45, 11, 12:15 (30min)

Rachel G: 10

Lorraine: 1:15, 2:30, 3:45,5

Robin:  3:30, 4:45

Gabriela:  4:45

Sunday

Lorraine:  8:45, 10, 11:15, 1:15 (30min)

Rachel B: 10, 11:15, 12:30, 1:45

Sherry: 2, 3:15, 4:30(30 min)

Rachel G: 2:15, 3:30, 4:45

Betty: 3:30, 4:45

Monday

Leslie: 10, 11:15, 12:30, 1:45, 3

Angela: 11, 12:15, 1:30

Sooyong: 2:45, 4, 5:15, 6:30,

Michelle:  4, 5:15, 6:30

John: 5:30, 6:45, 8

Rachel B: 7:15

——————–

Next, here is a small bio introducing our newest acupuncture practitioner – Farris Johnson. It can also be seen on our website. Some of you may already be familiar with Farris if you have recently been to Friday Night Acupuncture Happy Hour ($15, 5:00-6:30 PM, drop-ins welcome until 6).

Farris grew up in Georgia and worked for years as a youth wilderness counselor, teacher, and tutor before moving to Maryland to pursue a degree in acupuncture. A recent Tai Sophia graduate, he is committed to bringing affordable acupuncture and wellness education to groups in the DC Metro area.

As Farris puts it, “I am continually amazed that tiny pins inserted just under the surface of the skin and a thoughtful question by a practitioner helped heal my shoulder, strengthen my bladder, and lift my depression; the same medicine has allowed me to help others heal their necks, stomachs, cancers, and spirits. I believe acupuncture is the answer to crises of healthcare, community, and ultimately the planet.”

Welcome Farris!

Study Demonstrates Acupuncture’s Effectiveness in Lowering Blood Pressure

A German study published in the journal, Circulation, found that acupuncture significantly lowers both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The extent of the blood pressure reductions by acupuncture treatments was comparable to those seen with antihypertensive medication or aggressive lifestyle changes, including radical salt restrictions.

For the study, 160 outpatients with uncomplicated, mild to moderate hypertension were randomized to six weeks of acupuncture performed by Oriental medicine practitioners or to a sham procedure. Patients underwent 22 sessions, each 30 minutes in length. By the end of the six weeks, 24 hour ambulatory systolic and diastolic blood pressures were significantly reduced from baseline in the acupuncture treated patients (5.4 mm Hg and 3.0 mm Hg, respectively). No significant changes were seen in the sham acupuncture group.

After six months the blood pressure reductions disappeared, leading investigators to conclude that ongoing acupuncture treatments would be required to maintain the blood pressure reductions.

Source: Circulation, June 2007

Acupuncture Helps Maintain A Healthy Heart

Taking small steps to improve your health can reduce your risk for heart disease by as much as eighty percent. Steps to prevention include managing high blood pressure, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing stress and improved sleep – all of which can be helped with acupuncture.

1. Manage High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure makes the heart work harder, increasing its oxygen demands and contributing to angina. This excessive pressure can lead to an enlarged heart (cardiomegaly), as well as damage to blood vessels in the kidneys and brain. It increases the risk of heart attacks, stroke and kidney disease.

Acupuncture has been found to be particularly helpful in lowering blood pressure. By applying acupuncture needles at specific sites along the wrist, inside the forearm or in the leg, researchers at the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California, Irvine, were able to stimulate the release of opioids, which decreases the heart’s activity and thus its need for oxygen. This, in turn, lowers blood pressure.

2. Quit Smoking
Most people associate cigarette smoking with breathing problems and lung cancer. But did you know that smoking is also a major cause of coronary artery disease? In fact, about twenty percent of all deaths from heart disease are directly related to cigarette smoking.

Acupuncture has shown to be an effective treatment for smoking. Acupuncture treatments for smoking cessation focus on jitters, cravings, irritability, and restlessness; symptoms that people commonly complain about when they quit. It also aids in relaxation and detoxification.

3. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity is associated with diabetes, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease, all of which increase the risk of developing heart disease, but studies have shown that excess body weight itself (and not just the associated medical conditions) can also lead to heart failure. Even if you are entirely healthy otherwise, being overweight still places you at a greater risk of developing heart failure.

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine are an excellent adjunctive tool when it comes to losing weight. They can help to energize the body, maximize the absorption of nutrients, regulate elimination, control overeating, suppress the appetite, and reduce anxiety.

4. Reduce Stress
Stress is a normal part of life. But if left unmanaged, stress can lead to emotional, psychological, and even physical problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, chest pains, or irregular heart beats. Medical researchers aren’t sure exactly how stress increases the risk of heart disease. Stress itself might be a risk factor, or it could be that high levels of stress make other risk factors worse. For example, if you are under stress, your blood pressure goes up, you may overeat, you may exercise less, and you may be more likely to smoke.

Numerous studies have demonstrated the substantial benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of stress, anxiety and mental health. In addition to acupuncture, Oriental medicine offers a whole gamut of tools and techniques that can be integrated into your life to keep stress in check. These tools include Tui Na, Qi Gong exercises, herbal medicine, dietary therapy, meditations and acupressure that you can administer at home.

5. Improve Sleep
Poor sleep has been linked with high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart failure, heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, and obesity. Researchers have shown that getting at least eight hours of sleep is needed for good heart health and getting less than eight hours of sleep can put you at a greater risk for developing heart disease.

Acupuncture has shown great success treating a wide array of sleep problems without any of the side effects of prescription or over-the-counter sleep aids. The acupuncture treatments for problems sleeping focus on the root disharmony within the body that is causing the insomnia. Therefore, those who use acupuncture for insomnia achieve not only better sleep, but also an overall improvement of physical and mental health.

Integrative Mental Health

Dr. Andrew Weil recently blogged on “The Huffington Post” with suggestions that may help improve treatment effectiveness for depression.  Some highlights:

  • Acupuncture: The World Health Organization has recognized acupuncture as effective in treating mild to moderate depression.
  • Massage: Massage therapy has been shown to relieve depression, especially in people who have chronic fatigue syndrome; other studies also suggest benefit for other populations.

Read his full posting here.

Acupuncture and Menopause

Acupuncture and Menopause: Creating Physical and Emotional Health with Acupuncture

 

With its close understanding of the female body, Oriental medicine has always addressed the special needs of women throughout their lives. Menopause, in particular, is an area in which Oriental Medicine shines. Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine have the ability to detect energetic changes that occur in the body and quickly relieve uncomfortable symptoms that accompany the onset of menopause.

What is Menopause?
Menopause is a transitional period marking the cessation of ovulation in a woman’s body. Most women stop menstruating between the ages of 48 and 52, but symptoms can begin as early as 35. Symptoms vary from mild to severe, and are brought on as our bodies try to adapt to decreasing amounts of estrogen. Symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, fatigue, mood swings, memory loss, vaginal dryness, headaches, joint pain, and weight gain.

From an Eastern Perspective
According to Oriental Medical theory, menopause occurs when a woman’s body begins to preserve blood and energy in order to sustain her. The kidney is the organ system in Oriental Medicine that is viewed as the root of reproduction, vitality and longevity. Menopause signifies the depletion of the fertility essence stored within the kidneys. Blood and essence from the kidneys are conserved and cycled through the body to nourish the woman’s spirit and extend her longevity. Thus, in Oriental Medicine, menopause is seen as true change in life from mother to enlightened and wise being.

Treating Menopause with Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
Few areas of women’s health stir up as much confusion and debate as Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), which is normally started when the first symptoms of menopause appear. While HRT may alleviate hot flashes and prevent osteoporosis, they may also increase the risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancer, and have a number of significant side-effects. But HRT isn’t the only solution, Oriental medicine has long recognized that health and vitality can be sustained over a woman’s lifetime by restoring balance within the body and supporting the natural production of essential hormones.

Lifestyle and Dietary Instructions
Menopause patients are encouraged to maintain a healthy weight and to follow a diet with a high content of raw foods, fruits and vegetables to stabilize blood sugar. Some foods may exacerbate hot flashes or increase mood swings; steer clear of dairy products, red meats, alcohol, sugar, spicy foods, caffeine, and don’t smoke. Lastly, try to eliminate stress, tension and anxiety or learn techniques to cope with stress so that you can diminish the effects that it has on your body and mind.

With support from Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine along with small changes in lifestyle and diet, menopause can be a time of a revival of vital energy and an opportunity for personal growth. Please call with any questions or to schedule a consultation – 301-754-3730

Acupuncture Can Help Menopause

Study on Acupuncture for Hot Flashes

 

Acupuncture reduces nighttime hot flashes caused by menopause, according to a study published in the journal, Fertility and Sterility.

Researchers found that seven weeks of acupuncture treatment reduced the severity of nighttime hot flashes by twenty-eight percent among menopausal women compared with a six percent decrease among women who had a sham acupuncture treatment.

The effects of acupuncture vs. a sham acupuncture treatment on the severity and frequency of nighttime hot flashes were compared. Taking part in the study were twenty-nine menopausal women experiencing at least seven moderate to severe hot flashes per day.

All of the women underwent nine treatments from trained acupuncturists in sessions over seven weeks. Twelve of the women received real acupuncture using points selected to target hot flashes and sleepiness. The rest of the women received a sham acupuncture treatment using non-penetrating needles at random acupuncture channel points.

Throughout the study, the women reported the number and severity of their hot flashes. The results showed that nighttime hot flash severity decreased significantly (twenty-eight percent) among the women who received acupuncture vs. a six percent drop among the women who got the sham treatment. However, they did not see a similar finding in the frequency of nighttime hot flashes between the two groups.

Researcher Mary Huang, M.S., of Stanford University, and colleagues say the results suggest acupuncture deserves further study as an alternative treatment for menopausal hot flashes.

Source:
Huang, M. Fertility and Sterility, September 2006; Vol. 86: pp. 700-710. News release, American Society of Reproductive Medicine.

Oriental Medicine Day – October 24

In honor of

 

Oriental Medicine Day

October 24, 2009

1:00 – 1:45 pm

 

 

Blue Heron Wellness

will offer a special

 

Acupuncture Happy Hour

(auricular treatment using 5 points on the ear)

 

 

Please call 301-754-3730 to register for this special treatment provided by a licensed acupuncturist.

 

Fee: $30

Special “two for one” Offer for clients new to acupuncture at Blue Heron Wellness. (Come with a friend and pay $15 each)

 

Please register by October 23 (301-754-3730)

10 Tips For Preventing Fibromyalgia

Chinese Medicine and acupuncture are very effective in treating fibromyalgia and the incapacitating pain that comes along with it;  however….an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure…”  Here are 10 tips for reducing the risk of fibromylagia.

1. Eliminate processed foods from your diet, especially white sugar and white flour products. These products give our bodies little nutrition and over time can damage our digestion as well as cause obesity, one of the common problems related to fibromyalgia.

2. Include all unprocessed foods in your diet, such as proteins, complex and unrefined carbohydrates, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.

3. Avoid overly greasy foods, ice cold drinks, alcohol, raw and uncooked foods, hot, peppery foods, coffee, and too much fruit. Avoid daily juice drinks since these are usually high in sugar and high fructose corn syrup.

4. Stop drinking sodas. Sodas are acidic in nature and loaded with sugar and chemicals.

5. Find some type of exercise that you really enjoy and just do it! Pumping iron is not for everyone. You would probably benefit most from some kind of cardiovascular exercise to keep to blood moving, like swimming, yoga, stretching, and bicycling.

6. Take a walk every day. If you live with a dog or cat, play with them daily. Animals live in the moment and love to play. This is a great way to break stressful daily routines.

7. Practice Chinese self massage every morning by stimulating the acupuncture points on the body and limbs to help promote the flow of Chi (life energy) and blood in the channels.

8. Buy some relaxation tapes with guided imaging. Learn how to really relax. This means bodily relaxation as well as mental repose. Use these tapes daily for the best results.

9. Take a look at the old habits and patterns of your life and ask yourself what you can do to make your life better. Take up tasks and hobbies that are interesting to you and break the normal routine of your day.

10. If you know that you have too much stress in your life, find a solution. This may be finding a new job or new, more supportive relationships. Understand that stress alone can kill you, and if you smoke and consume alcohol to escape stressful situations, you are only fooling yourself.

Of course, if you would like additional information, please contact us (301.754.3730) or log onto our wesite (www.blueheronwellness.com).

Acupuncture Helps Sleep

We are often asked if acupuncture can help people suffering with insomnia. Sue Berman, co-owner of and licensed acupuncturist at Blue Heron Wellness offers an explanation. 

To address insomnia and all other symptoms, Chinese medicine looks for the underlying cause of an imbalance in the body’s energy system. Is there too much energy that enlivens, moves and warms the body, or not enough energy that calms, soothes and cools? A practitioner will ask questions like: Do you have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep? What is your evening routine and typical bedtime and wake-up times? What changes in diet, exercise, work- social-life and mood have you experienced lately? What medications do you take?

With answers to these questions and information from a general health history and face-to-face interview, practitioners can craft a treatment that can dramatically bring restful sleep after just a few treatments. For some, it can take longer. Everyone’s situation is unique.