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