Acupuncture for Sports Injuries

As we become more active in the warm weather, we may also encounter some injuries. These may be acute, such as an ankle sprain, broken bone, or dislocated joint; or they may be repetitive injuries, like tennis elbow or shin splints.

To prevent injury, it’s helpful to ease into new activities gradually, stretch before and after exercise, and be mindful of how your body is feeling. Keeping an eye on those milder aches and pains, and caring for them early, can help you avoid a full-blown injury later.

If you do get injured, acupuncture can help speed the healing process by increasing the flow of qi and blood to the injured area, bringing down swelling and inflammation, relieving pain, and helping to restore a normal range of motion. Continue reading

Herbs and Acupuncture for Poison Ivy

One of the hazards of summer is poison ivy. Poison ivy loves to grow at the border between open space and trees; it is found in this area along wooded paths, around lakes, and at the edges of yards and highways.

Poison ivy rash is caused by an allergic reaction to the oils on its leaves. The rash often appears on legs or hands, where it is easy to brush up against the plant. The oils can be spread by touch until they are washed away.

Symptoms include intense itching, red bumps, and fluid-filled, weeping blisters. Some individuals with severe allergy may experience a systemic reaction with itching and rash over much of the body. Continue reading

Spring in Chinese Medicine

In Chinese medicine, each season is associated with one of the 5 elements (add “late summer” to make 5 matching seasons — more on that in a few months!) Spring, not surprisingly, is paired with the wood element, as plants and trees start showing signs of new life.   

Wood exemplifies the energy of growth, change, and pushing through obstacles. It’s a very active energy that allows for a lot of movement and progress, both internally and externally. When thwarted or constrained, it is also the energy of frustration, anger and stress. At this time of year, we may have more energy to get moving on projects (hence the classic “spring cleaning”); at the same time, areas of stuck-ness and frustration can be especially apparent. Continue reading

Acupuncture for Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Breastfeeding

Acupuncture is ideal for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, because it is non-invasive and drug-free.  Acupuncture is safe for you and your baby, and can support your body in maintaining a healthy and comfortable pregnancy.  Some points, such as those on the lower abdomen and lower back, are avoided during pregnancy.  Aside from these restrictions, acupuncture can be used safely at all stages of pregnancy. 

Acupuncture for Pregnancy

Acupuncture can help with the difficulties some women experience during pregnancy, such as:

  • uterine bleeding, threatened or recurrent miscarriage 
  • nausea and morning sickness
  • water retention and edema
  • sinus congestion
  • low back ache, sciatic pain, other musculoskeletal pain
  • fatigue, poor sleep
  • mood changes
  • treating other problems — such as colds and flu, pain, asthma, and digestive problems — without using drugs that may not be safe during pregnancy. 
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Acupuncture for Allergies

OOOPs! Here’s the real link to the Haiti Acupuncture training video:

Although many of us are happy to see signs of spring, for some it’s also the dreaded approach of pollen season.  Many people suffer from allergies in the springtime, with symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, congestion, headaches, fogginess, and itchy, watery eyes.

Allergies are basically an overactive, or misplaced, immune response:  the body reacts as though the pollen, or other allergen, is a terribly dangerous substance that must be flushed out at all costs.  For unknown reasons, the immune system releases large amounts of antibodies in response to an essentially harmless substance.  Continue reading

Self-Care for Allergies

Here are some suggestions for taking care of yourself during allergy season!

  1. Reduce exposure to allergens:  This is an important first step, because it is difficult to calm the body’s immune response when it is being constantly irritated.  If you don’t know what you’re allergic to, visit an allergist and find out (this is especially useful for year-round allergy sufferers, who may find it hard to isolate the cause of symptoms).  If seasonal pollen is the problem, you can protect yourself by closing windows and using air conditioning, which filters out many allergens.  Pollen counts are highest in the morning and on windy days, so plan your outdoor time accordingly.
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