For as long as I can remember I have needed glasses or contacts, and for about as long as I have had glasses or contacts I have also always wanted LASIK. I asked for it for my 13th birthday and was told I need to not even think about it again until I turned 20, and then proceeded to have my doctor check at each eye visit from that point on to see if I could qualify.
Finally, this year I learned that my eyes were healthy enough, and stable enough to finally get all the tests done to determine if I was a candidate for LASIK, or if I need to go with PRK. After learning my cornea was just a little shy of the desired thickness and my severe near-sidedness (-6 and -6.5) to boot, the decision was made for me… PRK was my only option.
But regardless I was excited! I knew that the healing process would be a little longer and a little harder, but this is something I had been wanting for over half of my life! The freedom to fall asleep, travel, camp, swim without having to worry about glasses or contacts was a price worth fighting/waiting for!
I was scheduled two weeks after I found out I could receive PRK, so I immediately went into preparation mode! I saw my acupuncturist (yes most acupuncturists have their own acupuncturist!), got some Chinese herbs, Western herbs and vitamins stalked and ready! I came up with a self care acupuncture treatment that I did every other day leading up to the surgery, and started taking all my herbs and supplements to prepare my eyes and body for the procedure!
Originally, my doctor recommended doing one eye at a time so I would have mono vision while one eye healed and would have to wear my contact in the untreated eye. The reason being I have such bad eyesight the healing time for this procedure could take longer than most and he didn’t want me having to rely on people for potentially up to two weeks. Being and acupuncturist and being self employed the idea of having to take 6 days off twice was not ideal. Also, I tend to get headaches and dizzy easily and thought mono vision was a recipe for disaster. I was also confident in all the modalities I was going to use before, during, and after, to help with my healing, so I decided on doing both eyes at once!
Attached is a picture of one of my self acupuncture treatments that I did to start to bring blood and circulation to my eyes before the surgery. I also paired this with Liver 2 and Liver 3 ( in between the web of the big toe) to help the eyes with heat and inflammation.
I started taking the Western herb eye bright, Vitamin C, and Omega 3’s the two weeks prior. Along with three Chinese herbs, Nu Zhen Zi, Ju Hua, and Che Qian Zi. Nu Zhen Zi is a fruit called Ligustrum and it helps to tonify yin, specifically of the Liver and Kidney (both related to the eye) and has the general function of brightening the eyes and benefits dry eyes. Ju Hua is Chrysanthemum Flower and is great for red, painful, teary or dry eyes. Che Qian Zi is Plantage Seeds and it benefits eye problems related to Liver and Kidney deficiency, so it is good for dry eyes, diminished visual acuity, red painful swollen eyes, and light sensitivity.
I took all of these herbal supplements through the first week after the surgery, and now (three weeks after) just take Nu Zhen Zi to help with the dry eyes that are a side effect of the surgery.
PRK is kind of a crazy experience, for those who don’t know what it entails I am going to share a little about my PRK journey with you all. The difference between PRK and LASIK is instead of creating a flap and then using the laser, a small portion of the cornea is removed and then the laser procedure is done. Because of this the healing process takes a little longer, but there is no risk of issues with a flap later on.
During the surgery you are awake and your eye that is being treated is opened with a metal device, so that way there is no risk of you closing your eyes or blinking while the procedure is being done. Each eye takes less than 5 minutes in total, and honestly the most uncomfortable part is they flush your eyes with ice cold drops at the end of each laser. I did go completely blind for a few seconds which was terrifying, and then your vision comes back almost crystal clear.
After the surgery was done I sat up and could clearly see the clock across the room, which completely shocked me, I can’t even read the clock next to my bed without my glasses! But my doctor warned me that this would not stay, that it would progressively get worse as I healed over the next 3-4 days and then it would start coming back again. And that is exactly what it did. I made it home and went straight to bed with my bug eyes they provided to protect me from rubbing my eyes while I slept. I woke up a few hours later and it was already a little blurry, but still much clear than I would have been without my glasses.
To prepare for the surgery I blacked out my house (because you a very light sensitive after the surgery). So I woke up to a pretty dark house, ate some dinner that my husband brought me, took some Advil and my prescribed eye drops and then it was back to bed! Honestly the best part about this surgery was really how much sleep I got! I woke up throughout the night with extremely dry eyes and had to pry off my bug eyes to put my refresh eye drops in every few hours, but I was so exhausted I fell right back to sleep!
Day two was pretty minimal pain wise, I was blurry, and could not look at any screens so I sat and listened to an audio book majority of the day, and my mom came by to make sure I was eating and to give me some company! All I can say though is Siri and Alexa were my two best friends! They played my audio book for me, called my mom when I needed her to come over, and read me my texts throughout the day! Technology really did make the whole recovery process so much easier!
Day three the pain came, which the doctor said would happen, it felt like a piece of glass was in my eye, up until this day I was fine with just two Advil every few hours, but by about 7pm I was over the day and the pain, took my first half of a pain pill that they prescribed and slept the rest of the night! My vision on day three was the worst it had been, but it was still better than I ever was without my glasses before the surgery so that gave me some hope!
Day four the pain subsided, it now felt like there was an eyelash in my eye. But overall I was feeling pretty good, and was seeing much better! My vision was getting clearer and I could read majority of the signs around my house! This is also the first day I attempted to look at any screens. It wasn’t’t great and that night my husband increased the text size on my phone, iPad, and computer to get me ready for normal life that would be starting back up soon. Either way I was feeling pretty impressed with my recovery and thought I was up for a little adventure. It was one of my best friends engagement parties so I thought why not! I left my house in my darkest shades, a huge hat, and equipped with all of my refresh eye drops! About an hour into being out I was exhausted, and my eyes felt completely over stimulated, so we made our exit and headed straight back to the black hole that was our house! I took another half of a pain pill and was in bed by 8pm that night!
Day five I woke up seeing even clearer! And was excited for another day out in the real world. I had an appointment with my biofeedback gal and my acupuncturist that afternoon! I was still not ready to drive because of the light sensitivity and luckily I have a great family who didn’t mind carting me around! And thank goodness for Uber! I ate out for lunch and had to wear my sunglasses indoors, but otherwise I would say it was another successful day! I went to bed again at 8pm, knowing tomorrow would be the moment of truth, I had my eye doctor appointment where they would finally take out the soft contact bandage and see how the healing process was going.
Day six, the best feeling in the world was getting that contact bandage out, I really think that was a huge part of the dryness and irritation! They had me do a little eye test, at first I felt a little disheartened by the line I was able to see 20x40 but when I remembered that one eye was 20x400 before and the other eye was so bad it didn’t even have a number equivalent I felt pretty good! The doctor came in and said that he was pleased with where I was, I guess 20x40 is where he would expect people with better eyesight than me going into the surgery to be, but he expected me to be worse than that! Another win! One that I don’t think would have been possible without all of the tools I used before and after the procedure.
Since then my eyes have progressively gotten better, like I mentioned before I still have a little dry eye starting around 4-5pm and I also have some light sensitivity, and halos around lights especially at night when my eyes get tired. I am not 20x20 yet but I believe I am seeing equivalent to how I saw in my contacts, but not as good as I saw with my glasses yet! The healing process takes up to three months so I am still feeling positive that I can get there! Either way I am so grateful I was able to have the procedure, that I am able to wake up and actually see what time it is on the clock! It really has been a life changing experience, one that I truly think benefited form the preventative actions I took starting two weeks out!
It’s that time of year again, where the craziness of the holidays start to take control of our lives! After an amazing event last year we have decided to make our Holiday Healing Happy Hour and annual event! If you missed out last year, this is your chance to slow down, de-stress, and relax during this hectic time of year!
We will be offering mini sessions for all of your favorite services, or all the services you have always wanted to try! The session will be between 15 and 20 minutes and will be discounted between $15 and 20 dollars!!! Since they are quick mini sessions if you just can’t find enough time in your day, you can swing in for one session and then continue on your merry way, or you can book a few and make a whole spa day out of it!
Appointments are recommend, because last year we were basically booked out! So here are the details:
Sunday, December 9th from 10AM to 2pm
At Denver Mind Body Essence
10526 W. Alameda Ave.
Lakewood, CO 80226
The event will also have a free raffle with multiple drawings (for every service you receive, you get one entry), food and drinks, unique gifts and stocking stuffers, and as an added bonus for every gift certificate bought for Denver Mind Body Essence, you will receive a free ear seed treatment!
Acupuncture or Cupping: With Jessie, L.Ac.
20 minutes for $20
Sound Therapy: With Robyn
20 minutes for $15
Aroma Touch: With Debi
15 minutes for $15
BEMER Physical Vascular Therapy: With Mary
20 minutes for $20
Percussor Therapy: With Lana
20 minutes for $20
Detox Footbaths: With Don and Laura
20 minutes for $15
For more information on Acupuncture or Cupping please click on the links to read more!
Vibrational Sound Therapy: combines powerful vibration and tones to induce an immediate relaxed state
Aroma Touch: uses 8 doTERRA essential oils applied to the back & uses several different techniques to create a feeling of relaxation & overall wellness.
BEMER Physical Vascular Therapy: is a bio-physical application that activated the body’s own powers of self-healing. A unique biorhythmic impulse is sent to the body where it stimulates the microcirculation.
Percussor Therapy: is a safe treatment for a variety of soft tissue dysfunctions that is effective on releasing tension and restriction of tough connective tissue called fascia.
Detox Footbaths: is a revolutionary device that combines the life-giving properties of water with a specialized bioelectric charge, which enhances the body’s ability to heal itself.
If you have any questions or would like to book you can contact me through email, or call or text: 720-593-8218!
This years flu season has been one of the most widespread, and according to the CDC during the third week of January, more people sought care for the flu and flulike illnesses than any other period compared for nearly a decade. Since the start of the season on October 1st nearly 12,000 people have been hospitalized with confirmed influenza. The strain this year according to the CDC is on of the nastiest strains, H3N2, which causes four types of the flu, two influenza A and two influenza B viruses. This particular strain has been around for about 50 years, and is able to change rapidly.
Symptoms of the flu include: fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue, as well as vomiting and diarrhea. Each person will experience a different range of these symptoms and does not usually include all symptoms.
The flu is very unpredictable in how long it will last, but it is know that the flu activity peeks from December to February, so we are right in the heart of the worst of it! If all this information scares you, remember there is something you can do, so even if you get the flu, you will recover quicker and have less sever symptoms!
So how do you avoid the flu?
The Flu and TCM
From a Chinese Medical perspective the flu is caused by external pathogens similar to Western Medicine) but the difference is the flu is looked at in combination with the individuals constitution. In order for someone to get the flu or be penetrated by an external pathogen there must be a deficiency or weakness to let it in. Overwork, not sleeping, or eating poorly can all lead to weaknesses allowing the pathogen to enter.
A persons constitution paired with the strength or nature of the pathogen also will determine how severe, what symptoms, and how the flu will present in each person. This helps to explain why two people in the same household can be sick with the exact same flu, but the symptoms and severity will differ.
All of this leads to explain why acupuncture is so important not just for the treatment of the flu, but also for the prevention!
As you can see above peoples constitutions vary and so their treatments for prevention and treatment of the flu varies as well. There is not one single herb or point prescription that can be used to treat the flu and boost someones immune system. First we have to look at you and your constitution to find where there are weaknesses and imbalances, and then focus on those to strengthen your immune system and get it to work optimally.
1. Prevent cold and flus
2. Treat early stages of cold or flus and shorten the severity and recovery time
3. Eliminate the need for more serious interventions such as hospitalization
4. Strengthen the body after a cold or flu to prevent roccurence
One of my favorite things when treating colds and flus is when people come in and tell me “I am getting sick, and I can already tell it’s going to be bad,” and instead of it taking them a week or two to get over it, they are well in a day or two! Acupuncture is incredible that way! But, the best time to treat the flu is before you get it!
That is why I am making February, FIGHT THE FLU FEBRUARY: and I am offering four treatments paid up front and booked for the month of February for $200, that is an $80 savings! You get one whole treatment completely free plus and extra $10 off just for good measure! Acupuncture works better in conjunction with itself, meaning the effects get stronger when it is used back to back. You can schedule your appointments in a variety of ways which we will decide together based on your needs. For example if you are currently sick I may schedule two in a week so we can really fight it off, or if we are working on immune boost and prevention we may just do one a week for the full month.
Your health is important to me and you deserve to have a Flu Free February! Schedule your first appointment and then we will book the next three of the package at the end of that session when I have evaluated the best treatment plan for you!
Also, just as a side note, we can work on other things besides immunity and flu relief during these treatments, but that will be one of the main things we focus on during each treatment!
If you have any questions about the flu of Fight the Flu February Package please feel free to contact me at email@example.com
When I was first taught about electro-acupuncture other wise know as E-Stim, I have to admit I was nervous. I was afraid it would hurt. And in acupuncture school before we do anything on anyone else we do it on ourselves first! So the time came when I had to face my fears and hook it up. The way E-Stim works is by hooking up what looks like mini jumper cables to acupuncture needles on the body, so in my mind I thought I would receive a shock when the electrical current was passed through, but to my surprise it was NOTHING like that!
The current used in E-Stim ranges from about 40-80 volts, but there is NO current that is actually transmitted through the body like I had imagined. There is actually only enough stimulation for a slight pulsating, thumping or tapping sensation to be felt. There is NO pain! Typically in a session I leave the E-Stim on for 10-20 minutes gradually turning the machine up if the pulsating sensation is lost.
So what is this crazy machine used for? Mainly pain relief, which is the reason it was more formally developed in 1958. The way it works is by using the stimulation from the electrical current to activate the needle and thus the area even more than traditional needling does. It is effective in cases of neurological disorders, spasms, paralysis and chronic pain. It is commonly used in sports medicine for injuries. It promotes the movement of qi and blood in the body to relieve pain, warm the muscles, and remove blood stasis which can cause poor circulation.
If you have read any of my past blogs you may know this saying, “where there is stagnation there is pain” and that is what makes this extra tool so incredible in the treatment of pain and injuries. It is a stronger stimulus to move stagnation quicker. But pain isn't the only thing E-Stim can be used for, I also use it when working with patients for menstural and fertility issues, as well as for help with weight loss!
Electro-Acupuncture is not for everyone, because of its stronger stimulus it should not be used when pregnant, or if you have a history of seizures, heart disease, strokes, or epilepsy. People with pacemakers should also not receive this type of treatment.
Find out if E-Stim is right for you! Book a free consultation or ask about it at your next appointment!
It’s October! And that means it is the month for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day! Otherwise known as AOM Day which lands on October 24th! So what is AOM Day? It’s a day where acupuncturists from all over get to spread the word about Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. It was designed increase public awareness of the progress, promise, and benefits of this ancient healing art of medicine!
Did you know 1 in 10 adults have received acupuncture at least once in their lives, this statistic shows the increasing need and popularity of acupuncture and AOM Day is a way where we can really promote this, not that I don’t do that everyday :) But on October 24th the United States, Canada, Mexico, and even Pakistan all get to show our love for acupuncture together!
Some other Fun Facts about Acupuncture and AOM DAY:
1. Oriental medicine, such as acupuncture, is a health care system that has been used for more than 3,000 years to treat illness and improve quality of life.
2. All Oriental medicine is based on the idea of bringing the body to balance and improving the the body’s natural energy flow, which is called qi.
3. The World Health Organization has listed acupuncture as a useful treatment for more than 40 health conditions.
4. Acupuncture is known to be helpful as a treatment on its own, as well as a complementary treatment.
5. AOM day is comprised of international partnerships with professional associations, research organizations and educational institutions.
6. The most common complementary and alternative medicines according to the NCCIH survey include acupuncture, acupressure, herbal medicine, tai chi and qigong.
7. Activities on AOM Day include press releases, health fairs, open house tours of college clinics and facilities, and working with AOM professionals and alumni to host free treatments and talks.
8. The 49 AOM colleges and programs in the U.S. are all part of The Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, which was established in 1982 for the goal of advancing acupuncture and oriental medicine and promoting education.
So you may be thinking thats great but what does that mean for me?
This year to celebrate AOM DAY and to spread the benefits of Acupuncture Denver Mind Body Essence will be offering 20% OFF ALL ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENTS!
That includes- Auricular Acupuncture: Normally $30 but will be just $24
Initial Acupuncture Treatments: Normally $110 but will be $88
Returning Acupuncture Treatments: Normally $70 but will be $56
If your still not sure if Acupuncture is right for you and just want to learn more book a free initial consultation to get all your questions answered!
Appointments will go quick at these prices so book today!
WHAT IS AURICULAR ACUPUNCTURE?
When you walk into my office the one thing that is most commonly commented on is the giant poster of an ear on my wall. Usually the first comment is “wow, there are a lot of points on there!” The ear is a microsystem of the body. The points are located on the ear based around an image of an upside down fetus, with the head staring at the lobe and then the spine and limbs wrapping around and the internal organ in the center.
This in itself I think is incredible, but what an auricular acupuncture treatment can do is even more amazing. Often I use auricular acupuncture in conjunction with body points, but it can be used as a primary treatment. The main way I use auricular acupuncture though is as a continuation of the treatment. I place the ear seeds on specific points at the end of the session and the patients can then stimulate the points in between our treatments. This helps carry on the effects of the session and gives the patients control in their own healing process. Something that I feel is very powerful!
WHAT CAN AURICULAR ACUPUNCTURE TREAT?
The short answer to this is everything! Auricular acupuncture has been proven to be a great way to treat a variety of conditions, ranging from, addiction, pain, headaches, and allergies. It is said to hold all of the body acupuncture points and then some! So going back to the initial comments of people walking through my office doors, Yes! It is a lot of points!
The points are chosen in the same way we chose body points in TCM, but the ear also contains points that are used based on Western medical concepts. Once a set of points is chosen the ear is then examined and the points are pressed on to see if they are tender or active. The physical look of the ear can also be used to choose points and to diagnosis. When we use the ear this way we are looking for the texture, color, and veins around the ear.
After the points are selected, either ear seeds of small needles are used to stimulate the points. The signal is then sent from the ear to the brain, and then to the corresponding body part. Some patients will feel immediate relief with the use of ear acupuncture, while others it take a few days to feel the full effects.
Auricular acupuncture is used most as a stand alone treatment in community acupuncture settings, or disaster settings, where you are trying to treat as many people as quickly as possible. NADA (National Acupuncture Detox Association) is the most common ear acupuncture protocol utilized and is a quick and effective way to treat, stress, anger, depression, pain, and addictions.
CAN AURICULAR ACUPUNCTURE BENEFIT YOU?
Most likely yes, but I do have patients where auricular acupuncture is too strong for them, and they prefer body needles instead. The seeds can be triggered while sleeping if you roll onto the side that they are on, and if you have a more sensitive ear this can be more painful then helpful. Also, I have had patients say that they feel like they just have too much energy moving through them with the ear seeds, which makes it hard to relax.
I personally love ear seeds though and often use them as a way to give myself a quick treatment, generally for pain or allergies. And I have patients who swear by them and love to use them between every treatment!
The only way to find out if auricular acupuncture is right for you though is to give it a try! What is great is if you don't love them the way I do you can always just take the ear seeds out and throw them away, there is no need to come in to get them removed since the seeds do not enter the body the way needles do!
Anxiety and Depression are two very common emotional disturbances that I see in my office. And often my patients are seeking to find a better way to manage without pills. With technology there has become endless ways to connect and yet, we are feeling more and more disconnected, making anxiety and depression much more prevalent.
So where does Acupuncture come in?
Acupuncture is a great complimentary or in some case even stand alone treatment for anxiety and depression. Traditional Chinese medicine looks at the mind and body as one, meaning that the emotions can have effects on our physical bodies, and it aims to treat both.
Anxiety is one of the most common mental illnesses worldwide, and is especially common in our Western world. Anxiety includes the emotions of fear and worry, which are two of the seven emotions recognized in TCM. The symptoms of anxiety can range from manageable symptoms to severe, debilitating symptoms. Physically people can experience irregular heartbeats, trouble breathing, and digestive issues. Cognitively, negative or obsessive thoughts can be present. And behaviorally aggression or restlessness and insomnia can be present.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine anxiety is related to the organs Heart, Liver, and Kidney, and can be a mix of either Excess or Deficiency patterns. When anxiety is caused by a deficient pattern the symptoms are more mild in comparison to when is it caused by an excess.
Depression is also very common and it is estimated that one in five people will experience depression at least once in their life. Clinical depression is different than the sadness or grief that you may feel after experiencing loss of any kind. Depression is a long lasting and intense state that effects you emotionally, physically, and cognitively. It can effect day to day living.
Symptoms include lack of interest, depressed mood, loss of appetite, irritability, agitation, exhaustion, negative thoughts, changes in sleep pattern, and hopelessness.
In TCM depression is always due to a stagnation, where the Qi cannot circulate freely through the body. Stagnation is an excess pattern, but with later stage depression deficient patterns can also be present. The Liver is the organ most often associated with depression.
The Liver houses the Ethereal Soul in TCM, which is responsible for our life’s dreams, plans, ideas, sense of purpose, and relationships with others. When there is lack of movement of the Ethereal Soul, such as in Liver Qi Stagnation the person becomes depressed lacking all the things the movement of the Ethereal Soul provides.
With the rise in both of these metal illnesses it is important to know that alternative therapies such as acupuncture are available to better help get to the root of the cause of anxiety and depression, and to help relieve the symptoms associated with both.
Acupuncture treatments for anxiety and depression vary from between 6-10 treatments depending on how severe and chronic the illness is. After treatments are then more of as needed basis.
At this point we all know some of the amazing benefits of acupuncture, but did you know acupuncture can also aid in weight loss? Yes you read that right. There have been more and more articles proving the reduction of BMI and weight with the continual treatments of acupuncture.
So how does acupuncture help with weight loss?
First off, acupuncture can balance hormones. It stimulates the production of both serotonin and beta endorphins. These hormones suppress appetite, reduce cravings, and increase the breakdown of fat. Endorphins also make you feel more positive.
Acupuncture also decreases the hormones that can tribute to weight gain, such as leptin and insulin. Both levels of these have been shown to decrease after acupuncture. Leptin is the hormone that makes us feel full, it regulates metabolism and fat storage. So why is it good if this is reduced if this is the hormone that makes us feel full? Because if leptin levels are too high other cells can become immune to the effects, and you can no longer tell when to stop eating. Leptin is often found to be excessively high in people with obesity. Insulin regulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism and the absorption of glucose from the blood.
And last, acupuncture can of course aid in your weight loss by reducing stress. When you are stressed the hormone cortisol comes into play. Cortisol is our stress hormone, it escalates our “fight or flight” response, where acupuncture promotes “rest and digest.” When our body is in fight or flight our digestion is put on hold, because when a tiger is casing you the last thing you want your body to be trying to do is digest your food. But, our body is in “fight and flight” much more throughout a day, a tiger does not have to be chasing you for cortisol to be released, disruption or digestion and often leading to depression. This makes it more likely for binge meals to take place.
Some examples of points that can be used in acupuncture for weight loss often starts with points on the abdomen and also points on the ear. I will be doing another Blog post soon about the benefits of auricular acupuncture but for now I will just discuss the four I primarily use for weight loss. The hunger point, Shen Men, the stomach point, and the endocrine point. Often I will needle one side of the ear in these four points and then put ear seeds on the other side that are meant to be worn after the treatment for 3-5 days to help with cravings. I also use points on the abdomen, particularly around the navel, and often even hook up the points to electrical stimulation. These points can been seen in my blog post about digestion!
But acupuncture isn’t the magic cure for weight loss, diet and exercise are also very important. And with finding which organs in TCM are out of balance and which patterns are present, a custom diet can be formed for each patient. This will make sure the right foods are being at the right time in the right ways. For example eating while working, driving, or even watching TV can make it harder for the digestion process to begin. And eating cold foods such as raw veggies, can be great for someone, and harmful for another, who has a cold body and already has trouble digesting, because raw cold veggies are often harder to digest and process.
Each season and through each step in the weight loss journey, the diet can continue to be refined to make it easiest on your body to maintain your goal weight!
Please feel free to reach out if you have any more questions about acupuncture and weight loss!
In our Western culture we go to the Doctors office after we are already sick to get relief. But recently there has been a shift, people are searching for tools to support their current health and wellbeing. Acupuncture has risen in popularity since this shift has occurred. People are realizing how important maintaining their health is, and how effective Acupuncture is at resolving sickness and pain in a less invasive way.
As more people are turning to alternative medicine and specifically Acupuncture, there are and more scientific research being done. Including the Harvard Medical School (http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/acupuncture-is-worth-a-try-for-chronic-pain-201304016042) who stated that there is a clear benefit to using acupuncture for chronic pain. They provided support as well to the minimal adverse affects of acupuncture in comparison to Western medications.
Having more medical research to prove the benefit of a medical care system that has been in practice for thousands of years is important to many Westerners, but I really believe the true magic of acupuncture can be seen in just one visit. I am constantly amazed the amazing results I see after every treatment, from skeptics and believers alike, the needles don’t know the difference! But acupuncture works better and better the more you do it, the effects start compounding on itself and better results are felt after each treatment!
So how can acupuncture work for prevention?
The best way to look at how acupuncture can work as a preventative medicine is to look at your body like a car. Yes, I said car, but let me explain! You have to change the oil on your car after a certain amount of time or certain miles driven. If you drive your car hard and fast for long distances, like athletes or people who work over forty hours a week, and moms are defiantly included in this bunch because their job never ends, you may end up taking your car in more than someone who just cruises through life and ties their car in after a certain amount of time, knowing they aren’t pushing their car to its limits.
Just like your car you need to get your “oil changed” so that you can function properly and can keep maintaining which ever type of life style you lead. Without maintenance on your car at the proper times, the oil will start to break down and there will be friction which can lead to much more severe issues. In our body energy or “Qi” flows through the body, and when it gets blocked or becomes depleted health issues can arise. The goal of acupuncture is just that, to keep the energy flowing freely. When this occurs the mind, body, and spirit are all balanced.
Getting acupuncture regularly as a preventative treatment can address the issues within the body before they lead to something more severe. When you come in for a treatment for a problem that already exists, my goal and what I always tell my patients is to get you and your body to the point where the issue has resolved and you just see me on a maintenance schedule, to make sure it stays gone!
Coming in once every couple weeks to once a month for routine appointments to basically take out the trash or drain the oil, can leave your mind relaxed and recharged, leave your body free of pain and stress, and leave your spirit in a place where it can lead you to your highest self.
For more information on acupuncture as preventive medicine, you can email me at DenverMindBodyEssence@gmail.com!
There is a saying in Traditional Chinese medicine that has been drilled into our heads during our schooling, “where there is stagnation, there is pain.” What this means in Chinese medicine is when Qi cannot flow freely through the body because of a physical blockage or a deficiency there will be pain. Pain can be an excess or deficient condition in TCM. The pain from a full or excess condition is usually a sharper more intense pain, where pain from an empty or deficient condition is more dull and less intense.
The above statement though has stuck with me since I first started school, because unlike some of the other sayings we are taught, this one made sense right away! Of course when something is stuck there will be pain I thought, but the further I got into school the more I really understood what this statement meant.
Pain comes in two forms acute and chronic. Acupuncture has been known especially for treating chronic pain when nothing else works. But, as the controversy of opioid pain meds is on the rise, acupuncture has been moved to the top of the list for alternative ways of pain management. It is no longer mainly looked at as a last ditch effort in relief when nothing has worked yet.
I have worked with patients who use acupuncture first for everything, and I have worked with patients who did use acupuncture as their last option and what I have learned from both is the same thing. Acupuncture works! And the ones who use it as their last resort are usually the most shocked and thankful that it does work!
In general for acute injuries pain is decreased within the first session and then continues to decrease through the follow ups, often we do 6-8 treatments total and the spacing of the treatments depends on the severity of the injury. And for chronic pain, I have had a few patients even feel a slight decrease in pain within the first few days of the first treatment, but the relief doesn’t last as long as acute pain cases do. For chronic pain I recommend treatments every week for about 6 weeks, and if possible for the first three weeks two treatments a week. With this schedule there is greater pain relief and longer lasting results.
After the first initial treatments for both acute or chronic where we get the pain to either disappear or be greatly reduced the appointments can become more spaced out, and used more as needed, so we can take control of the pain so it never gets back to where it was when treatments first started.
But what type of pain are we talking about? The first thing that most people think of when you say pain is usually physical pain, and I admit that was the first thing I thought about when I was told, “where there is stagnation, there is pain.” I thought, yes if you break your arm that stops the free flow of energy of the body, and of course there would be pain. Or if you twist your ankle, the swelling will block the flow, causing stagnation and of course there will be pain.
What I didn’t realize at the time though was pain can come in many forms. Emotional pain for example. When we get angry and repress that anger in TCM, we can create Liver Qi Stagnation. But where is the pain in this case? Often it comes in the forms of headaches, the Liver energy cannot flow freely through the body so it rises causing headaches.
Or what about grief? When we feel sad, and we don’t let ourselves cry and grieve that emotion gets stuck. The Lungs are related to the chest, and with repressed grief and sadness, chest oppression is a common symptom.
The common theme with both of these is not that an emotion caused pain, its that when we force ourselves to not freely feel an emotion it causes pain. That is because the energy of the emotion becomes stagnant when it doesn’t get to be expressed, and that is what causes the pain.
Acupuncture works wonders with physical pain and there are many credible studies that have proven it. But what people often fail to realize is how incredible acupuncture can be for pain that feel physical but its root is connected to something more emotional or spiritual. They are all connected, and when one becomes out of balance the other two will follow. Pain, especially chronic pain can effect every aspect of our lives, and a pill may make you feel better for a few hours, but a needle, a needle can work on the root cause of the pain, so you can feel better everyday, and get back to the life you always wanted to live!
For more questions about pain management, or even more information on root cause of pain in Traditional Chinese Medicine feel free to email me at DenverMIndBodyEssence@gmail.com or book an appointment or free consultation.