Acupuncture for Neck Pain

Neck pain is, unfortunately, an extremely common consequence of our modern lifestyle. Between car accidents, our computer habits, and our stress level, it’s something almost everyone experiences at least occasionally.

Our necks have a tough job: they have to hold the weight of our head (about 10% of the body’s weight), and still be flexible enough for all the finely tuned head and neck movements required as we interact with our world. Actually, the lower 5 neck vertebrae account for about 50% of the flexibility in the entire spine!

And, the neck is where we stash a lot of tension. It’s instinctive, actually, to tense and protect the neck whenever we’re feeling threatened in any way. Continue reading

Six Ways to Be Nice to Your Neck

At the Computer: Make sure you have a good ergonomic setup. The keyboard should be at about waist level, and the monitor should be at eye level. If you spend a lot of time on a laptop, it may make sense to plug in a separate keyboard when you are at home or the office. And, take breaks once in a while to reset the forward creep our head tends to do when looking at the same thing for a long time!

While Driving: Be conscious of keeping your head in alignment with the rest of the spine. If your headrest forces your head into a forward position, consider placing a pillow behind the back to correct for the curvature this causes. Continue reading

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

Caring for Winter Aches & Pains

If you have any kind of body aches and pains – from severe arthritis to that annoying stiffness when you get out of bed in the morning – chances are it feels a little worse in the winter. In Chinese medicine, pain is said to come from stagnation of qi in the channels: when things aren’t flowing smoothly, the blocked energy starts causing trouble.

In the winter, cold damp weather can invade the channels, causing obstruction and pain; and most of us are less active this time of year, which can add to the problem. The knees and lower back, associated with the Kidney system, are especially vulnerable in winter. Continue reading