ABOUTWelcome to my holistic lifestyle blog. I am an acupuncturist in Vaughan, Ontario trained in Chinese Medicine. Follow my journey as I transition my life to be increasingly more holistic, natural and organic! Yours in health, Amanda Barone. www.besthealthacupuncture.com
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Acupuncture Helps Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Do you struggle to get to sleep at night? If you do, you’re not alone. While the exact numbers aren’t known, many, many people find it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep, or sleep as long as they want to in the morning. This lack of sleep can become chronic, leading to reduced productivity, lower engagement in life, and even drowsy driving accidents.
Most people who struggle with insomnia feel like they have tried everything. Maybe they’ve purchased a new mattress or invested in a noise machine, but they still can’t stay asleep at night. If this describes you, consider acupuncture as your next step in fighting insomnia. It has been shown to help people sleep in a variety of ways, for several different reasons.
Acupuncture Increases Melatonin
You may know melatonin as a jet lag cure, but it is more than that. Melatonin is the chemical that tells your brain it is time to get sleepy. If you don’t produce enough of it, you will struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep at night. All sorts of things can limit melatonin production, from the blue lights emitted by screens to stress and more.
Acupuncture raises melatonin levels, according to a 2004 study. As a result of the acupuncture they received and their higher levels of the chemical, subjects in the study fell asleep faster, experienced fewer sleep disturbances through the night, and slept longer than they did before they had acupuncture.
Acupuncture Reduces Anxiety
Many people struggle to fall asleep at night because they are anxious. They worry about everything from money to relationships to things that happened during the previous day. It’s like their brains don’t have time to process these things until they are trying to fall asleep.
In the same 2004 study as was mentioned above, researchers found that acupuncture reduced anxiety. People felt less anxious when they were trying to fall asleep, and they experienced less stress in their lives overall. This finding is in line with the relaxing effects of acupuncture that have been documented before.
Acupuncture Pairs with Medication and Herbs
You don’t have to give up your sleep medication or any herbs you use to fall asleep when you try acupuncture. If these are working for you, keep using them. In fact, acupuncture can work alongside these things to improve your sleep even more.
When they are used separately, studies show that acupuncture and medications have similar levels of effectiveness on sleep. However, the combined effect of the two used together produces better sleep then either do when used independently. Similarly, acupuncture combined with herbs results in better sleep than herbs do when used alone. Since acupuncture doesn’t have any long-term adverse effects, there’s no reason not to try it alongside your current sleep aids to see if it produces even better rest for you.
You don’t have to struggle with insomnia anymore. Even if you feel like you’ve tried a lot of things and nothing has worked, consider acupuncture as your next step.
To book an appointment:
For many sufferers of allergic rhinitis, there’s no need to hear a news report detailing the pollen count outside, as their runny nose, sneezing and itchy eyes will let them know. Often these symptoms strike in the summer and spring, but some patients also have symptoms due to an allergy to dust, mites or dander, to name a few. This condition is more commonly referred to as hay fever, seasonal allergies, or just plain allergies.
Symptoms typically include sneezing, runny nose, postnasal drip, and irritated eyes, ears, nose and throat. Normally, when a healthy body comes into contact with foreign particles in the air (allergens), the immune system initiates a response to neatly and harmlessly dispose of the allergens-not so for sufferers of hay fever. In their case, the immune system becomes hyperactive and destructive to the body, causing the symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) philosophy explains why this medical condition occurs. It is recognized as a condition that is provoked by an external pathogen (the Western medicine equivalent term is “allergens”), although it generally occurs because the body already has a pre-existing deficiency. For example, some patients with a long-standing lung Qi deficiency are more susceptible to dust, dander, pollen, etc. in the air.
Qi is an invisible, fundamental energy needed for all of life to exist. The Qi circulating in the lungs and its corresponding meridians is called Lung Qi. Meridians provide the pathways on which Qi flows throughout the body. When Lung Qi is not strong, problems with breathing, coughing and general immunity may arise. This is because according to TCM philosophy, the lungs are related to Defensive Qi. As the name implies, this Qi functions in the same capacity as our immune system.
The nose is the sense organ corresponding to the lungs, so when there are blockages in the lung meridian, the nose also may be obstructed. The emotions associated with the lungs are grief and sadness. Sometimes after crying or an attack of allergic rhinitis, one may experience a stuffy nose, red eyes and irregular breathing, which reflects the strain on the lungs. A good way to counter these symptoms is to concentrate on deep, regular breaths. This can help stabilize the emotions as well. In general, aerobic exercise is an excellent way to strengthen Lung Qi, which in turn helps strengthen general immunity.
Dietary recommendations according to TCM suggest restricting the amount of dairy products, refined sugar, alcohol, caffeine and fatty foods, in an effort to keep the body from producing too much phlegm. Phlegm is a thick, sticky substance that can worsen the symptoms of allergic rhinitis. Drinking a warm herbal tea after meals, or in between meals, can also help lessen the production of phlegm. There is a saying in TCM that states, ‘phlegm is produced in the stomach but stored in the lungs.’ This is why diet plays an important in role when combating allergies.
Acupuncture treatments may be used year-round, even if your allergies only occur in certain seasons or in the presence of certain allergens. When your symptoms are not active, your acupuncturist can treat any underlying deficiency you have. When they are active, your practitioner can help bring relief from any of the issues you may be currently experiencing.
Call today to schedule your appointment with Amanda Barone, Registered Acupuncturist 905.553.9255 or book online www.besthealthacupuncture.com
Happy Lunar New Year! Welcome the Year Of The Dog 🐕 If you are born in 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982 or 1994 this is your year to SHINE!
Based on 5 Element Theory this is an Earth Dog year. This is a good year to ground yourself and reconnect with nature 🌍
The colour associated with the Earth element is Yellow, so yellow will be the lucky colour this year ⚂
Dogs are known for their loyalty and this will be a common theme this year. Think: loyalty, honesty, friendship and being responsible for the welfare of others (i.e service dogs).
Negative traits of a dog are that they can be impulsive and aggressive. So this year you may find it difficult to control your emotions. But just as a dog can be trained, you too can train yourself to keep your cool in stressful situations.
Dogs are often referred to as “man’s best friend” making people born in the year of the dog to be awesome friends to have. Consider yourself lucky if you have a dog-person in your life!
Wishing you all the best for the year ahead!
This Valentine’s Day we are sharing our love of Acupuncture with you by offering a discount off an Initial Visit for New Patients or a Re-assessment for patients who have not been at the clinic in the past 6 months.
With the heart being a well-recognized symbol for Valentine’s Day, Health Canada has declared February to be Heart Month! This is a great opportunity to bring attention to one’s cardiovascular health and how you can improve your lifestyle to prevent heart disease. But since most people are familiar with heart health in terms of Western Medicine, this article will focus on the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) viewpoint of the Heart Organ.
Like Western Medicine, every organ in Chinese Medicine has specific responsibilities within in the body. The difference is that in addition their physical function, TCM believes they also have a mental, emotional and spiritual function as well. Although the current viewpoint of the heart in Western Medicine is more mechanical (it acts as a “pump”), newer research from The HeartMath Institute is starting to reveal the heart as a thinking, feeling organ. Something that Chinese Medicine has been practicing all along. How cool is that?!
Functions of the Heart in Traditional Chinese Medicine:
1. Controls the Blood Vessels:
The Heart is referred to as the Ruler (or Emperor) of all the other internal organs in the body. One of it’s many functions is to control the blood vessels and promote circulation. This sets the tone for proper functioning of all the other organs by making sure blood flows smoothly throughout the entire body.
2. Houses the Shen:
The “Shen” in TCM is a difficult concept to translate, but refers to the spirit/soul/mind of a person. This means the heart controls a person’s mental activity, consciousness, thoughts, ideas, ability to focus, intelligence and memory. Because the heart is seen as the “House of The Shen,” if the heart is balanced the mind will also be balanced. Conversely, if the heart is imbalanced symptoms associated with mental activity and consciousness will manifest. This can be: dream disturbed sleep, poor concentration, racing thoughts, forgetfulness and “brain fog.”
3. Opens to the Tongue:
The tongue is considered the “root of the heart” and looking at a person’s tongue is a great way to assess their heart health. Heart pathology is reflected in the tongue, especially the tip. A red tip indicates heat in the heart. Excess heat in the heart will give rise to symptoms of insomnia, heart palpitations, a red facial complexion and a bitter taste in the mouth. On the other hand, a pale tongue indicates deficiency. Symptoms of a heart deficiency can be: shortness of breath, spontaneous perspiration, dream disturbed sleep, and being easily startled. Remember, TCM is all about BALANCE, so the heart organ should not be in a state of excess or deficiency. The ideal tongue should be of light red colour, have a clear, moist coating and be free of any cracks, teeth marks or deviations.
Also, because of the tongue’s close relation to the heart, issues with speech can indicate a heart imbalance. This can be seen as incessant talking, rapid speech, laughing inappropriately or more serious conditions such as stuttering and aphasia (an inability to speak).
4. Associated with a Bitter Taste:
In 5 Element theory, every organ is associated with a taste (bitter, sour, sweet, salty and spicy). The heart is associated with a bitter taste. This means that if you have a bitter taste in your mouth or are craving bitter foods then your heart is in need of some attention! The colour associated with the heart is red, so in TCM red, warm foods are said to nourish the heart, improve circulation and build yang energy.
Foods that benefit the heart:
- Red beans
- Red apples
- Red lentiles
- Red dates
5. Emotion: Joy
Just as every organ has an associated taste, there is also an emotion attached to each organ. The 5 Emotions are: sadness (the lungs), fear (the kidneys), worry (the spleen), anger (the Liver) and joy (the heart). To improve your heart health all you have to do is SMILE! A genuine expression of joy and happiness will do wonders for your heart. Smiling initiates a positive physiological healing effect on the whole body – especially on the heart. This is one great cardiovascular exercise that doesn’t involve running on a treadmill 🙂
If you think you have a heart imbalance or you would simply like to enhance your memory, focus, concentration or sleep than you need a heart-focused acupuncture treatment! Give us a call and schedule an appointment. We will do a full TCM assessment to determine the best plan of care for you.
Call Today: 647.299.4631 or 905.553.9255
The main take away points for this article (below) is that whatever protocol is used should be specific and individualized to you. As this article states, there is no difference in pregnancy or live birth rates between a fresh or frozen IVF embryo transfer. The problem arises when certain clinics decide to run their practices by exclusively doing one or the other. There are pros and cons to both and it is important for the Reproductive Endocrinologists to take the time to review your case and figure out what is best for YOU! This is where alternative medicines, such as acupuncture and traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has it’s strength. We take the time to sit down with our patients and get to know them and their unique bodies. We ask questions about their menstrual cycle and any hormonal issues, but we also take into consideration their bodily function as a whole (sleep, stress, digestion, bowel movements, appetite, emotional state, etc). This is important because sometimes the answers lie outside the reproductive system and by creating an acupuncture treatment that is tailored to their specific body constitution patients are more likely to respond to treatment with their fertility clinic (IUI, IVF or other ART).
For more information or to book an appointment:
Book online: www.besthealthacupuncture.com
Check out the full article on frozen vs fresh transfers here: