Sunday, December 16, 2012

Leptin? I hardly know him!

Hey, guys!

This week we're taking a look at Leptin! You most likely have not heard about it, since these days the focus is on Insulin resistance. Leptin, however, is just as important. So, what is Leptin? According to

"Leptin is a 16 kDa protein hormone that plays a key role in regulating energy intake and energy expenditure, including appetite and metabolism. It is one of the most important adipose derived hormones."

For a more simple definition, I found an interesting analogy from Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist:

"Leptin is the king of hormones, the commander and chief of virtually everything that takes place in your body. Leptin is actually a hormone – meaning that once it is released it will travel to another area of your body to make things happen – similar to the idea of placing a phone call to someone you wish to speak with and asking them to do something. In the case of leptin it is actually made in your white adipose tissue or stored fat. This finding alone has revolutionized the entire field of endocrinology – as previously stored fat was just thought to be a warehouse for extra calories. Our new understanding means that your stored fat is actually a metabolic organ, much like your thyroid gland or adrenal glands.

Once leptin is released from your fat it enters your blood and travels up to your brain, delivering a message as to how much fuel you have on hand. When your brain answers the leptin phone call and listens to the message, it tells you how fast you can run your metabolism based on how much gas is in your gas tank. In a sense the leptin phone call to your brain is like a gas gauge in your car. You have no way to see how much gas is in your tank – you rely on the gauge, before you pull over and fill ’er up. Likewise, your subconscious brain has no way to see how much stored fat you have on hand, it relies on the leptin gauge to determine your state of overall nutrition and fuel reserves.
If the leptin gauge is reading low it means eat more. When you’ve eaten enough, leptin levels rise, and the leptin gauge in your subconscious brain now says your tank is full – resulting in a full signal. One of the most basic leptin problems encountered by any person who is overweight is that their leptin gauge is sticky, or in more advanced cases broken. This means that you will have a subconscious drive to eat more food than you really need, in order to feel satisfied.
Since leptin is controlling the rate your body makes energy, and since energy is needed by everything in your body to do anything, leptin issues are core to survival and your health. This is why leptin is so powerful, and why I call it the king of hormones."

The best part? I found 2 studies by the National Center for Biotechnology Information that showed Acupuncture helped regulate Leptin levels and induced weight loss! Below are the findings of one of the studies:


Acupuncture treatment decreased insulin and leptin levels and induced weight loss, together with a decrease in BMI compared with sham acupuncture.


These findings suggest that acupuncture may help to regulate weight owing to its beneficial effects on hormones such as insulin, leptin, ghrelin and CCK in obese subjects even after a few weeks of treatment."

I personally feel that acupuncture has helped me in my weight loss efforts. With a healthy diet, exercise, lowering stress, and acupuncture, I've lost 46 pounds since January of 2011! I feel that acupuncture has helped lower my stress and elevated my mood, which has made it much easier to follow a healthy lifestyle.  Mention our blog and get a FREE stress treatment!

Until next week,

Maplebrook Community Acupuncture

P.S. Below are links I pulled from in case you would like to read further! -- 2nd leptin study

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Acupuncture and Dementia-A Groundbreaking find!

Hey, everyone! While surfing the web I happened to find a study done recently about acupuncture and it's effectiveness in treating Dementia! How exciting!

According to an article posted by HealthCare Medicine Institute:

"A new study of patients with vascular dementia concludes that acupuncture is effective in improving cognition. Vascular dementia, caused by brain damage due to impaired blood flow to the brain, is common after a stroke. Any condition damaging blood vessels that feed oxygen and nutrients to the brain may lead to vascular dementia. The researchers observed that acupuncture measurably reduced levels of 8-OHdG, a marker of oxidative damage. As a result, the researchers conclude “that acupuncture is beneficial at least in part by preventing oxidative damage.”

Acupuncture CEUs Online. Acupuncture for the BrainAnother study compared scalp acupuncture with body-style acupuncture. In this randomized controlled clinical trial, 184 subjects with vascular dementia received either scalp acupuncture or body acupuncture. The scalp acupuncture group showed significantly greater improvements in cognition than the body-style acupuncture group. Social behavior scores and ADL (Activities of Daily Living) improved significantly in both groups. The researchers concluded that scalp acupuncture significantly improves cognition, activities of daily living, TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) signs and symptoms, mental state and social behavior in patients with vascular dementia."

When I further researched 8-OHdG, I found some very interesting info from the National Center for Biotechnology Information:

"Reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced either endogenously or exogenously can attack lipid, protein and nucleic acid simultaneously in the living cells. In nuclear and mitochondrial DNA, 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), an oxidized nucleoside of DNA, is the most frequently detected and studied DNA lesion. Upon DNA repair, 8-OHdG is excreted in the urine. Numerous evidences have indicated that urinary 8-OHdG not only is a biomarker of generalized, cellular oxidative stress but might also be a risk factor for cancer, atherosclerosis and diabetes. For example, elevated level of urinary 8-OHdG has been detected in patients with various cancers. In human atherosclerotic plaques, there were increased amounts of oxidatively modified DNA and 8-OHdG. Elevated urinary 8-OHdG and leukocyte DNA were also detected in diabetic patients with hyperglycemia, and the level of urinary 8-OHdG in diabetes correlated with the severity of diabetic nephropathy and retinopathy. We have discussed various methods for determining 8-OHdG in the tissue and urine, including HPLC with and without extraction, and ELISA. Using the ELISA we developed, we found that the normal range of urinary 8-OHdG for females was 43.9 +/- 42.1 ng/mg creatinine and 29.6 +/- 24.5 ng/mg creatinine for males, respectively. We found that the normal value between females and males is significantly different (p < 0.001)."

Wow! 8-OHdG may be a risk factor for Cancer, Atherosclerosis, AND Diabetes! So, just imagine if that hormone can be lowered with acupuncture--you could be helping to prevent these diseases!

I think this is a very exciting and groundbreaking find in the field of acupuncture.

Until next week, folks!

Maplebrook Community Acupuncture

P.S. Below are the links to articles and studies mentioned if you'd like to read further!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Stress, Part 2: The Cortisol Edition

Hey, everyone! Since it's the holidays I figured, why not stress you out more than you probably already are? This week we take a second look at stress, but more importantly, THE "stress hormone", Cortisol.

In an article about stress and cortisol, Elizabeth Scott, M.S. tells us that cortisol is:

"Involved in the following functions:

·         Proper glucose metabolism

·         Regulation of blood pressure

·         Insulin release for blood sugar maintanence

·         Immune function

·         Inflammatory response

She also goes on to say that, "Higher and more prolonged levels of cortisol in the bloodstream (like those associated with chronic stress) have been shown to have negative effects, such as:

· Impaired cognitive performance

· Suppressed thyroid function

· Blood sugar imbalances such as hyperglycemia

· Decreased bone density

· Decrease in muscle tissue

· Higher blood pressure

· Lowered immunity and inflammatory responses in the body, slowed wound healing, and other health consequences

· Increased abdominal fat, which is associated with a greater amount of health problems than fat deposited in other areas of the body. Some of the health problems associated with increased stomach fat are heart attacks, strokes, the development of metabolic syndrome, higher levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and lower levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL), which can lead to other health problems! "

In an article about acupuncture and stress, Li Zheng, Ph.D., Lic. Acu. says:

"Acupuncture can reduce stress-induced increases of the blood cortisol level.[...] Cortisol and glucose levels will generally increase because of stress. This response can lead to suppressed immune function and therefore infection, high blood sugar levels, or other complications after surgery. Combining acupuncture with general anesthesia can inhibit this stress response so that the stress hormone cortisol is adjusted to precisely the right level: not too high to cause tissue damage and not too low to create chronic inflammation.

How can acupuncture increase cortisone level in one condition and reduce the same hormone in another? This happens because acupuncture can generally balance thyroid, adrenal gland, and other gland functions so that the levels of the different hormones are optimized. When inflammation continues, our bodies need more cortisol. Acupuncture stimulates the adrenal gland to produce more by enhancing its function instead of exhausting it as caffeine does. When our bodies produce too much cortisol to cope with stress, acupuncture reduces cortisol production by eliminating the stress factor and enhancing liver and kidney function to quickly discharge the extra stress hormones."

In this case, I think Cortisol is more dangerous than stress itself. When you have an excess of any kind of hormone in the body, it's usually NEVER a good thing. If you have been battling with chronic stress or any kind of stress at all, we highly encourage you to try acupuncture. We are sure you will experience positive benefits beyond what you are hoping for. And, mention our blog for a FREE stress treatment! You have nothing to lose (but your stress, of course) and everything to gain!

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Until next week,


P.S. Below are the links to the full articles I mentioned if you'd like to read more!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


This week we take a look at-STRESS!

Just the sound of the word stresses you out, doesn't it?

Where do I even begin? I believe stress is, sadly, a staple of the Western way of life. Think about how stressful life is on a daily basis....

Wake up (usually earlier than you'd like to, but still too late to comfortably get ready for work--HA! Story of my life!), speed to work cramming some kind of food bar in your mouth--or, if you're like me, trying to singlehandedly eat a banana--get to work already stressed out, then you have a million and one things to do when your boss drops another pile of things to do on your desk and while you have 8 hours to do them it's still never enough time...then, lunch, but you don't actually get a lunch because when you work 9-5 you have no time to run errands before or after work, you rush around with little time left to cram something else down, probably a McHeartattack or some other cheap and deadly food. Then comes 5 o' speed home, or take the kiddos to practice, recital, tutoring, pick them up from daycare, etc. You get home with barely enough time to make dinner, you scarf that down and spend a tad bit of quality time with loved ones before you have to rush off to bed and wake up to do it all over again tomorrow.

BLAH! That was just as stressful to imagine as it was to write. Even the people you love stress you out! Well, maybe not them exactly--but wanting and having to provide things that keep us and our families happy and safe can still be stressful.

What else stresses us out? Bills, money in general, relationships, staying healthy, the way that picture on the wall won't stay in just the right spot...the usual. And as we enter the holiday season, that stress becomes exponentially greater.

Then, you have to think about the negative things that stress causes. Stress lowers the immune system...perhaps there's a possible correlation between holiday season and cold and flu season? Probably not, but it's a funny thought. Though it may sound silly, stress is a major factor in major illness. According to webmd, the following are related to stress:
  1. Heart disease
  2. Asthma
  3. Obesity
  4. Diabetes
  5. Headaches
  6. Depression and anxiety
  7. Gastrointestinal problems
  8. Alzheimer's disease
  9. Accelerated aging
  10. Premature death

According to, "You see, stress often leads to unhealthy habits such as skipping meals, eating junk food, staying up late, etc., which wreak havoc on the normal metabolic rhythm. This, in turn, weakens the immune system because the body neither gets the right amount of nutrition nor sufficient rest to be able to repair damaged tissues and replace worn out cells at a healthy pace. All this leaves the doors open for a large number of diseases and infections to nest inside the body and weaken it further."

When you consider the awful snowball effect of stress, you begin to realize just how important is to manage it...and that's where acupuncture comes in! Acupuncture is very effective at managing stress. I can personally say that I have been MUCH happier and much more calm since starting weekly acupuncture treatments. And when I'm happier, I'm more healthy, more productive, and life is just good. As we go into the Holiday season, we hope that you will keep us in mind as your main de-stresser through all the hustle and bustle. Mention our blog and get a FREE stress treatment!

Until next week, folks!


Friday, November 9, 2012

POCA Tech!

This week we're taking a look at POCA Tech!

So, what is POCA Tech? It's a nonprofit educational corporation, 501(c)(3) status pending.  And, according to the POCA Tech website:

"The POCA Technical Institute is the educational arm of the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture, a multi-stakeholder cooperative owned by patients, practitioners, clinics, and supporters of community acupuncture. POCA’s goal is to make acupuncture available and accessible to as many people as possible and to support those providing acupuncture to create stable and sustainable businesses and jobs. POCA Tech’s aim is to provide the cooperative with educational programs that back up its mission. 
Its first goal is to create entry-level training programs for acupuncturists that are affordable to prospective students of ordinary incomes. 

The POCA cooperative urgently needs qualified licensed acupuncturists both to work in existing community acupuncture clinics and to open new clinics in underserved areas. This is one of the most pressing necessities for the cooperative as a whole, and so it is POCA Tech’s highest priority."

From what many community acupuncturists are saying, though there are many existing acupuncture schools, they spend too much time teaching theories and other fluff that, while it’s nice to know, is not truly applicable to everyday people and situations. I think it’s important to note that this school is being created by donation only, and NOT using government funds. Most people have the misconception that government funding makes education more affordable but stats on the pocatech site show otherwise: 

“Since students have been able to access Title IV federal student loans to attend acupuncture school, the cost of acupuncture education in the US has risen precipitously. For example, in 1992, one year’s tuition at a particular acupuncture school in the Pacific Northwest cost about $7,000, and the program was 3 years long. In 2012, one year’s tuition at that same school is about $22,000, and the program is now 4 years long. Unfortunately, most acupuncturists struggle to make a living by practicing acupuncture, and their loans are a heavy financial burden after graduation.”

I think the same can be said for education as a whole! They go on to say that:

“The cost of acupuncture school and student loan debt is similar to that of other healthcare professionals. However, acupuncturists enter the workforce with income projections that 1) do not match similar professions and 2) are substantially more likely to be self-employed, resulting in years of limited income as they build a practice from scratch. This leaves new acupuncturists with soaring debt and little hope of repayment. The problem is so great that many acupuncturists are forced to work in other fields to supplement their income or leave the profession all together.”

“Our aim is to keep tuition and fees for students under $6,000 per year, not including biomedical clinical science prerequisites. 

Most importantly, students at POCA Tech will graduate employment-ready: competent in a clinical setting, comfortable treating different kinds of people for a wide range of conditions, and fully prepared to fulfill the responsibilities of a community acupuncturist.”

I have often considered becoming an acupuncturist myself because it’s about everything I believe in, helping people get well at a truly affordable price in a no-nonsense environment and making an honest and decent living at the same time. There are obstacles that prevent me from doing so, however, such as the cost of going to school and the fact that I can’t just pick up and move to Portland even if I wanted to, my home is here. The lack of guarantee of a job as a post grad also makes me nauseous enough to want to close the book on going back to school whatsoever. 

I think it’s worth noting that POCA Tech acknowledges that there are many like me who can’t just move several states away and they are also working to provide distance learning! I highly support the founding of this school because it will make it truly affordable to become a community acupuncturist WITHOUT the looming mountain of debt and WITH the business aspect to start your own clinic as well as the skills necessary to be a good acupuncturist-no more, no less.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Power of Testimony

Today we were at the Hardrock Casino in Catoosa for the Cherokee Business Fair—it was an awesome experience!

When I arrived, Deana was giving a passerby a treatment—

*Debbie had been having pain for some time in her lower back and leg due to a pinched nerve and it would just not go away, she actually said she would almost rather her leg be amputated the pain is that bad. A couple of needles were put in her arms and the pain went away instantly! She was in shock and almost to the point of tears, said she could just cry from happiness. The smile on her face was big and radiant and she said she was so relaxed she could just stand there all day.

*Tom was having knee pain, he blew his knee out as a wrestler in high school and some 40 years later it is still giving him big troubles. Once Deana began needling the pain became more and more minimal. He said he walked across the street for food earlier in the day and it aggravated his condition. By the end of his sample treatment he said his knee felt much better.

*Susan had been diagnosed with heel spurs and has been dealing with severe heel pain for years. Even with good shoes and heel inserts, her feet are still killing her at the end of the day. She said she even got a steroid injection for the pain-and that only made it worse! Deana inserted a few needles in her heel and foot (with heel pain, needling right at the sight of pain is the most effective approach from what I have seen and experienced). She got up and walked around and was stunned that she felt no pain, all she could do was keep walking around (on cloud 9, haha!).  She said it had been years since she was able to walk with no pain, or put pressure on her foot and not feel pain.


These are just a few stories from today. It was really an amazing thing to see; skeptics and people who are squeamish at the sight of needles have a 180 change of heart once they actually EXPERIENCE a treatment. We had quite a few people give it a try, and all had a positive experience and results. Some had experienced acupuncture before, but most had not. Several of the people who had never tried it before said that loved ones had gone to acupuncture with favorable results, one lady even said that her father did acupuncture for diabetes and she believed it not only prolonged his life but was the main thing that saved him from having to amputate his legs.

 The look of shock and happiness was a common sight today and people were a lot more receptive once they had the experience. That just goes to show how important word of mouth testimony and referrals are. I truly believe in acupuncture, and I wouldn’t open my mouth and try to get people in here if I didn’t, but who is your sister/brother/father/mother/son/daughter/aunt/uncle going to believe: me, a total stranger –or—you, someone they know and trust? I can definitely understand being skeptical, but what do you have to lose? If you mention our blog you get your first treatment for FREE—so that rules out losing money. We prefer if you get a treatment that you stay at least 20 minutes to get the most benefit—what’s 20 minutes? That’s less than half a lunch hour! Stop making excuses, better health and a stress free life are waiting for you just around the corner!

Until next week,


**names have been changed for privacy protection

Sunday, October 28, 2012

POCA! No, not the dance..

This week we're taking an in-depth look at POCA. 

What is POCA? It stands for the People's Organization of Community Acupuncture. 

It all started when Working Class Acupuncture was founded in Portland, Oregon, in 2002, by acupuncturists Lisa Rohleder and Skip Van Meter. Lisa realized as an acupuncturists that the difference in her patient base was black in white-literally her patients were either extremely wealthy people who could afford the $60-75 price per treatment, or they were impoverished drug addicts she served while in rehab. There was no in between, no middle class, no working class patients. 

According to the POCA site,

"The community acupuncture (CA) business model they developed is based on many of the traditional community styles of treatment often practiced in Asia. In setting up the first CA clinic, the founders asked some simple questions: 

What were the barriers to people getting acupuncture? 

What is really necessary for acupuncture treatments? 

How can acupuncturists make a sustainable income providing treatments to more people?

In 2006, the Community Acupuncture Network (CAN, a non-profit) was formed by Lisa, Skip, and several others and by the end of 2006, 11 clinics had started practicing as community acupuncture (CA) clinics. Within two years, 32 clinics were in operation and the CAN forums were bursting with discussion as people continued to simplify and refine the CA model. Growth continued to increase: by 2009, 115 clinics were open, and Lisa, along with several CAN members, published Acupuncture is Like Noodles. The 200th CAN clinic opened in 2011; practitioners and acupuncture students turning to this affordable sliding-scale community model generated a critical mass of energy that propelled the CA movement into its next stage of growth and development.
On March 18, 2011, POCA formally incorporated in the state of Oregon to meet the growing demand for more clinics and support. POCA offers membership and leadership to community acupuncture patients, licensed acupuncturists, and those in training programs, community acupuncture clinics, and organizations who support their mission and members. "

When Lisa first started her CA clinic, she treated 12 patients a week. Today, she serves upwards of 850 a week and has more than 20 employees to help with the growing demand for affordable treatment-how incredible!

Today there are over 200 CA clinics in the United States, with clinics also in Canada, Europe, and Australia. I think it's absolutely amazing how much and how quickly Community Acupuncture has grown in the US, I believe it shows how large of a need for it there is . Alternative medicine is usually shunned by the mainstream or discredited, however, thankfully it's becoming more and more accepted. Is is both incredibly fortunate and unfortunate that Maplebrook is the only CA clinic in the state of Oklahoma, hopefully that will change soon. The more people we can treat as soon as possible, the better. 

Until next week,


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Battlefield Acupuncture

Battlefield Acupuncture

Battlefield acupuncture was developed in 2001 by Richard C. Niemtzow, MD and retired Air Force Colonel, in hopes of finding a more effective treatment for our servicemen and women.

According to a publication by Niemtzow:

“Military use of this technique centers about the pain-free period when a narcotic cannot be used that would produce lethargy and as a result, would cancel a critical mission. Because these points are most likely dealing with pain processing at the central nervous system level, a general quick response to all pain patterns occurs; simple and complex etiologies. Because the ears are most always accessible, this method is very convenient and simple to practice without undressing the patient, especially during combat situations.”

In a newsarticle from the US Department of Defense, Dr. Stephen Burns (a retired Air Force Colonel and full-time Air Force acupuncturist) states:

“He [Richard Niemtzow] localized five points and prioritized them into a protocol that any provider can use…It will take you five minutes or less and chances are you’re going to drastically reduce that patient’s pain.”

Many patients “have complicated medical problems and traditional medicine hasn’t helped them. They’ve been to the orthopedic surgeon, to traditional pain management clinics, to neurologists and dermatologists and they’ve taken drugs for pain relief,” he said.

“The majority of patients come to our clinic seeking relief from pain. The pain medication they’re taking has not been satisfactory or they’ve not responded well,” Niemtzow said.

“For many patients it is a last resort, but our success rate is very high here, which is very rewarding for the patient and also for myself and Doctor Burns,” he [Niemtzow] added.
I think it’s very exciting that now, even the Military is using acupuncture! It is clear that acupuncture is powerful and while it’s acknowledged that it is not a cure all, it is still a very effective and cost efficient alternative.

Until next week!


Here are the links I referenced if you would like to read each article in it’s entirety:

Friday, October 12, 2012

Qi: What on Earth is it?

This week we’re looking at Qi (Pronounced, Chee), the ever mysterious force that acupuncture balances so as to bring good health. But, what is it? explains what Qi is below:
“What Is Qi (Chi)?
Central to Taoist world-view and practice is qi (chi). Qi is life-force -- that which animates the forms of the world. It is the vibratory nature of phenomena -- the flow and tremoring that is happening continuously at molecular, atomic and sub-atomic levels. In Japan it is called “ki,” and in India, “prana” or “shakti.” The ancient Egyptians referred to it as “ka,” and the ancient Greeks as “pneuma.” For Native Americans it is the “Great Spirit” and for Christians, the “Holy Spirit.” In Africa it’s known as “ashe” and in Hawaii as “ha” or “mana.”
Balanced & Free-Flowing Qi = Health
The fundamental insight of qigong and Chinese Medicine (acupuncture and herbal medicine) is that balanced and free-flowing qi results in health; while stagnant or imbalanced qi leads to disease.”
I also found an article on by Yin Lo, PhD who offers a scientific approach to Qi: 
“What Is Qi?
By Yin Lo, PhD
The standard explanation in the ancient text is: When qi does not flow, pain occurs. When qi flows, pain disappears. Pain is treated to enable the flow of qi. But what is qi?
Normally an acupuncturist will have to wave his arms to explain to his patients with words like, "Qi is a sort of energy that flows in the meridians and carries some information from one acupoint to where the pain is." Can we say something more precise than that now, in scientific terms? Yes. The answer is:
Qi is vibration.
Qi is oscillation of the meridians. More precisely, qi is quantum oscillations on the system of meridians.
Qi is what carries the effect of acupuncture from one acupoint to other parts of the body.

            The oscillations on the meridians are like oscillations on a piano wire. When we hit the piano wire, the wire oscillates, and we hear the sound. We cannot see the propagation of sound from the piano wire to our ear, but we feel the oscillation of the piano wire if we use our hands to touch the wire. The sound in the air is the oscillation of air molecules. We cannot see the oscillation of air molecules, but when sound hits our eardrum, we hear the sound. Sound has energy, and carries a type of message to the ear.
A meridian acts like a pipe guiding qi along its path to various parts of the body. We can understand the above phenomena simply by using the analogy to sound. If we hit a piano wire, we hear a beautiful sound, but if we hit a stone, we hear an ugly sound. If we hit cotton, we hear no sound.
The analogy to sound actually goes further. The smallest lump of sound energy is called a phonon, which is described completely by quantum field. The idea of the phonon is extremely powerful, and goes beyond our daily understanding of sound. It is essential for the establishment of the field of solid-state physics, which is the basis of semiconductors, transistors and computer chips. For example, the energy of phonons accounts for most of the heat energy of a solid. The warmth of a solid is due to the flow of phonons inside the solid. The interaction of phonons with electrons at low temperature is instrumental to bring about superconductivity as first shown in the Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer (BCS) theory more than 40 years ago.
The smallest lump of qi energy is defined by us to be qionQion is like phonon and is described as completed by quantum fields. The idea ofqions would become extremely powerful. Qions would be important to human life. Without the flowing of qi or qions, a warm, living human body would become cold and dead.
The only physical theory at the moment that deals with creation and annihilation of anything is quantum field theory. The quantum field theory was originally created to describe the creation and annihilation of light, and then used to describe the creation and annihilation of sound, electrons and other substances. To use quantum field theory to describe the creation of life and death is very natural, because creation and annihilation operations are intrinsically incorporated in each quantum field.”

I personally have often thought of Qi as more of a science than a spiritual force. When I think of Qi, I think of the Law of Conservation of Energy; which states that energy cannot be created nor destroyed. Humans are energy, so perhaps if you have an imbalance of energy (Qi) in one area of your body, this is what causes stagnation and leads to disease? I’m no Physicist, and I find the matter quite mind-boggling, but it is definitely interesting to delve into all the possible explanations.
Until next week!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sciatica: A Real Pain in the Behind

This week our focus is Sciatica. I want to start by acknowledging that I did pull a lot of information from other sites, however, I feel that rather than ramble on I would rather give you something of substance and give you information from the people most knowledgeable on the subject.

What is Sciatica? According to various medical sites, Sciatica is nerve pain from irritation of the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the body. Sciatic nerve pain is typically felt from the low back to behind the thigh and radiating down below the knee.

I found the best information on acupuncture and Sciatica from Dr. Mario Dube, DOM, AP who is a Nationally Board Certified Doctor of Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture Physician. I wanted to share a piece from his blog on the matter below, because I feel it gives the best short, to the point, condensed explanation of how acupuncture helps heal Sciatica:

“Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine that balances energy or Qi, which rebalances harmony in the body removing illness and injury. It treats the body as a whole instead of just treating the sick parts. Acupuncture can relieve sciatica by reducing inflammation, which reduces pain. It stimulates the nerves in the affected muscles also relieving pain through the release of endorphins. It also improves circulation. This in turn improves joint mobility, relaxes muscles and helps to regenerate the sciatic nerve, enabling the patient to become more active. This activity then leads to healing and increased mobility. Acupuncture also increases serotonin and noradrenalin levels. This improves the patient’s sense of wellbeing and overall attitude. All of which are beneficial to healing…For many who find that traditional western drugs are unsafe or unwise, this is a great alternative. Acupuncture can also be used in conjunction with western medical treatment, greatly enhancing its effectiveness.”

I also wanted to share some info from Joseph Alban, a New York State Licensed Acupuncturist, gives some great information on how Chinese medicine views and deals with Sciatica:

“ How Does Chinese medicine view sciatica?

Chinese medicine states that the body is interconnected; no one part can be separated from another.  The diagnosis and treatment is based upon identifying specific imbalances in the muscles and the body as a whole.  Correcting the imbalance does not just treat the symptoms or mask the condition, but rather corrects the root of the problem by encouraging self-healing of the body.  The most common imbalance in acute sciatica is qi and blood stagnation in the back channels.  But it is also important to treat the underlying imbalance, which may be causing the qi and blood to stagnate.

Qi and blood stagnation in the channels often affects the soft tissue of the lumbar, hips, and pelvis.  This is what causes the muscle spasm and tension that triggers the intense shooting pain of acute sciatica.

Some common underlying imbalances are kidney qi vacuity, spleen qi vacuity with dampness, and liver qi stagnation.  By treating the underlying imbalance, you can prevent the sciatica from returning.

Kidney Qi Vacuity: If your back feels very weak and it does not get better with a lot of rest, the underlying imbalance may be kidney qi vacuity.  Other symptoms include weakness of the knees, extreme fatigue, ringing in the ears, dizziness, and a weak pulse.  

Spleen Qi Vacuity with Dampness:  For those with spleen qi vacuity with dampness, you will also have fatigue and weakness, but the back feels better with rest.  Your body may feel very heavy and you may have poor digestion.

Liver Qi stagnation: Liver qi stagnation causes your muscles to be very tight and in spasm when you become angry or frustrated.  Also, you may suffer from frequent headaches and, in women, painful menses.    

How Does Chinese medicine Treat Sciatica?

It is best to approach sciatica using combination style treatment.  An effective therapy many include acupuncture, Tui Na (Chinese medical massage,) cupping, electric stimulation, and stretching.  The back, hip, and pelvis are very interconnected and the treatment should incorporate all of them.  Overall, the treatment should relax and stretch the tendons and fascia while strengthening the muscles.  This will help release the spastic muscles and strengthen them, allowing the back to naturally heal.  It can even encourage an out of place disc to go back into place, depending on severity. Acupuncture will help to reprogram the muscles to stay relaxed.  In effect, this is working to help the body heal itself.”

I do believe that blood stagnation causes illness. I had felt really physically and emotionally crappy for a looooooong while, not realizing that poor (not just poor, plain awful) diet and lack of exercise was to blame. I started drinking Beet juice and with NO other dietary or lifestyle changes, I lost 20 pounds. That may sound irrelevant, but the beet juice purified my blood and got things moving and my body was able to function properly again, hence the weight loss. If I hadn’t made changes, I can almost assure you that my body would have slowed down to the point that it would have stopped working altogether, and I have no doubt I would have developed Diabetes, Heart Disease, and who knows what else. Acupuncture has given me the same result, with added benefits. Since I have been getting treatments things in my body are moving again and flowing properly, my wellbeing has improved exponentially, I have an immense amount of energy I didn't have before, and I know for a fact that my body is healing itself because I have never felt so great.

If you have Sciatica, please do not let your pain dominate you any longer.  Deana has several patients afflicted with the problem and they have had great and long lasting results. If you mention this blog, you can get your first treatment for FREE! What do you have to lose?

Until next week,


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Placebo Effect?

 A Placebo Effect? 

Many skeptics and opponents of acupuncture doubt it's effectiveness because of they believe it is a placebo, which is defined by Oxford as:

1. A harmless pill, medicine, or procedure prescribed more for the psychological benefit to the patient than for any physiological effect.

Let's say the placebo effect is real in acupuncture and that's what makes it effective--So, what's wrong with that? You could pay over $100 for a doctors visit with no insurance and have to buy a $150/month lifetime prescription that will only treat your symptoms and not the actual cause of the pain, OR you can pay $15 once a week for something that will not harm your body and that gives you instant relief and long lasting results. 

Western Medicine's focus is how and why something works. Really, I feel the same is true with everything in the west. I think the thing that has everyone completely dumbfounded is that they cannot explain how exactly acupuncture works. Perhaps the real issue is our inability to cope with not having all the answers. Why are we so concerned with how and why something works? Can we not be content with simply knowing that it does?

I firmly believe that one should question EVERYTHING, but when I feel as good as I do and have seen the same results in others, there isn't anything to question in terms of its effectiveness.

I feel the evidence that acupuncture works is overwhelming; however, skeptics and those who have an agenda to push or a pocket to pad would have you believe otherwise. If you google "Acupuncture works, acupuncture study", much of what you'll find is skeptics invalidating the practice or studies that claim it's of little benefit. Why is it that everyone I have come into contact with at our clinic has experienced positive improvement (myself included), yet all I can find on the internet is that acupuncture doesn't work? Imagine how much money the medical industry makes off of illness, think of how much money the pharmaceutical industry makes off of medicating everyone to high heaven...if you were making billions of dollars a year keeping people sick, would you really want to come out in support of something that would cripple your profits?

I will say, I was a HUGE skeptic at first, I am skeptical of literally everything. But I cannot deny how amazing I feel; mind, body, and soul. My stress is gone, tension is gone, I feel energized enough that I have been exercising every day or every other day for the last month--from someone with Narcolepsy (I battle with constant drowsiness), this is incredible. I have seen with my own eyes people that came into the clinic looking sickly and drained and after 2 months worth of treatments they look radiant, lively, happy and are practically skipping out the door. 

If you think about it simply, acupuncture has been used in China for over 2,500 years. If it was a placebo or simply did not work, don't you think they would have stopped using it by now? 

Until next week,


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Acupuncture: The Alternative

Hey, everyone!


We hope this week finds you well rested and happy.

In trying to educate you, our patients, we'd like to touch on what acupuncture is effective at treating and how it can be a great alternative to Western medicine.

Here is the link to a lengthy report from the World Health Organization on the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating a wide range of ailments:

For convenience purposes I wanted to just cut to the chase (that report is 81 pages long, for goodness' sakes!) and list exactly what acupuncture is effective at treating below (this list starts on page 23 of the report):


1. Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has been proved—through controlled trials—to be an effective treatment:

Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy

Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)

Biliary colic

Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following


Dysentery, acute bacillary

Dysmenorrhoea, primary

Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and


Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)


Hypertension, essential

Hypotension, primary

Induction of labour

Knee pain


Low back pain

Malposition of fetus, correction of

Morning sickness

Nausea and vomiting

Neck pain

Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular


Periarthritis of shoulder

Postoperative pain

Renal colic

Rheumatoid arthritis




Tennis elbow


2. Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which the therapeutic effect of acupuncture has been shown but for which further proof is needed:

Abdominal pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasm)

Acne vulgaris

Alcohol dependence and detoxification

Bell’s palsy

Bronchial asthma

Cancer pain

Cardiac neurosis                        

Cholecystitis, chronic, with acute exacerbation


Competition stress syndrome

Craniocerebral injury, closed

Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent


Epidemic haemorrhagic fever

Epistaxis, simple (without generalized or local disease)

Eye pain due to subconjunctival injection

Female infertility

Facial spasm

Female urethral syndrome

Fibromyalgia and fasciitis

Gastrokinetic disturbance

Gouty arthritis

Hepatitis B virus carrier status

Herpes zoster (human (alpha) herpesvirus 3)




Labour pain

Lactation, deficiency

Male sexual dysfunction, non-organic

Ménière disease

Neuralgia, post-herpetic



Opium, cocaine and heroin dependence


Pain due to endoscopic examination

Pain in thromboangiitis obliterans

Polycystic ovary syndrome (Stein–Leventhal syndrome)

Postextubation in children

Postoperative convalescence

Premenstrual syndrome

Prostatitis, chronic


Radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndrome

Raynaud syndrome, primary

Recurrent lower urinary-tract infection

Reflex sympathetic dystrophy

Retention of urine, traumatic


Sialism, drug-induced

Sjögren syndrome

Sore throat (including tonsillitis)

Spine pain, acute

Stiff neck

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction

Tietze syndrome

Tobacco dependence

Tourette syndrome

Ulcerative colitis, chronic


Vascular dementia

Whooping cough (pertussis)


3. Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which there are only individual controlled trials reporting some therapeutic effects, but for which acupuncture is worth trying because treatment by conventional and other therapies is difficult:


Choroidopathy, central serous

Colour blindness



Irritable colon syndrome

Neuropathic bladder in spinal cord injury

Pulmonary heart disease, chronic

Small airway obstruction


4. Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture may be tried provided the practitioner has special modern medical knowledge and adequate monitoring equipment:

Breathlessness in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease


Convulsions in infants

Coronary heart disease (angina pectoris)

Diarrhoea in infants and young children

Encephalitis, viral, in children, late stage

Paralysis, progressive bulbar and pseudobulbar

Treatments cost between $15-$35, you pay what you can afford. You can spend as little as 15 minutes or up to 2 hours to relax and rest-it's your choice how long you stay. When you think about how invasive surgery is and how harsh medications can be on your body, acupuncture is definitely a safe, non-invasive alternative (providing your acupuncturist is a highly trained and educated--Deana has been practicing for over 12 years).

When you consider the cost, time, and convenience of acupuncture compared to traditional Western medicine as well as the control you have over your own health, acupuncture can be a great supplement to your current health care regimen or a great alternative on its own. Help us spread the word!

To happiness and health!