Simple Health Acupuncture's Blog

In our blog we will discuss many wellness topics such as acupuncture, massage, yoga, herbal medicine, natural cosmetic treatments, pain management, mental health, lifestyle and healthy living. We hope you enjoy reading. 

Many may not have heard of adaptogens. What is an adaptogen and what does it mean? Adaptogens are a buzz word in the herbal medicine field, why? Adaptogens are substances that help the body to achieve homeostasis, stabilizing physiological processes in the body, and allowing the body to better manage stress, resist fatigue, and support cellular energy metabolism. Adaptogens offer numerous positive benefits, and are safe, even with long term use. Numerous studies have found there to be increased mental performance and increased physical performance with the use of adaptogens, without the side-effects of traditional stimulants. While adaptogens are safe for most, they are not recommended for pregnant and breast-feeding women. Others should consult with their healthcare provider, as some herbs may cause insomnia, high blood pressure, or palpitations in high doses. 

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed that more and more patients have started to say “I carry my stress in my neck and shoulders. 

Of all the places in our body, why are the neck and shoulders the most common place for people to be affected by stress and tension? Why, under stressful situations, do we suddenly find our shoulders by our ears?

We all know about the 8 glasses a day rule. Whether it’s Chinese medicine or modern western medicine theory, staying adequately hydrated keeps the kidneys healthy, keeps the organs moistened and functioning at a higher level, and even gives you better circulation and energy levels. 

So why is it that I often hear patients say, “I just don’t feel thirsty,” or “I hate the way water tastes and have to force myself to drink,” and “I keep going to the bathroom when I try to hydrate.” Is this normal? Or even healthy?

You’re probably thinking that I’m suggesting you look left or right, and accept that as the person you should be in love with (or something like that). Easy assumption given that chubby-little-love cherub season is upon us. But no, not this time. I’m referring to loving you, from the parts that comprise your physical form, to all the other parts that make you who you are. Mental, emotional, all of it. So now it might sound a little trite, or even selfish that I’m saying to you to forget about loving those around you, love you instead. Really, rather, what I’m saying to you is love you first and all others will benefit.

As we head into 2015, many will and many will not make resolutions. New Years resolutions have gained a bad reputation, as people fall off the bandwagon and quickly lose interest, motivation or feel defeated as they fail to meet the often overly zealous goals they have set themselves up for. When exact quantitative goals are set, it is easy to not be able to accomplish them. Often set too high, or too ambitiously, when the goal is not attained, we feel like failures. When feeling like a failure, then we all too easily give up completely.

Life is a marathon. It’s usually when we’re rounding the bend at the halfway point, that that fact becomes abundantly clear. For many of us adults, we use the start of the new year as an opportunity to remodel our lives in hopes that we will become better overall. January first really is an arbitrary date, when you think of it. It certainly makes sense that the motivation to shift the focus inward would come at the end of a long season that’s devoted to giving, consuming and going excessively. Come January, we’re all a little burnt out. It’s usually easy to want to pick up the wellness pace when we reach this state. So for many of us the new year brings the promise of becoming a new you.

As the holidays quickly near and feasts are planned, we find gratitude for our many blessings. One of many blessings we can be thankful for, is the food therapy on our Thanksgiving tables. As Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” This wise Greek physician was savvy to the power of the foods bestowed to us by Mother Nature. Some of the “medicine” we find on our holiday tables include: pumpkin, chestnuts, and cranberries, just to name a few of the traditional favorites!

The holiday season is in full swing. Cold and flu season also happens to be in full swing. What was once a season of magical wonder and holiday pageantry, is now a string of (mostly) stressful events that culminate on January 1, when many of us make a vow to be kinder, healthier people. However, until that point, thanks to increased stress, the cortisol in our systems is peaking. We’re being exposed to more pathogens. And many of us are impacting our already busy lives with holiday parties, performances and/or travel. What we have here is a recipe for illness. Hope is not lost though, just a few tweaks of your normal routine, and you just may have a fighting chance of making it through this season fever-free.

First, let me say, massage can certainly feel luxurious, but I consider this to be one of the many fringe benefits of massage therapy. A luxury is something that implies there is a decadence or richness to it. Now, there are certainly cases where massage can be marketed in a way that implies your treatment is going to be a decadent experience. (I’m no fan of, but not a stranger, to posh spas.) Sadly, in my experience, the price was not indicative of the quality of massage I received. As a massage therapist, frankly, I found this unsettling. I truly felt that if a person was willing to shell out $120 for an hour long “deep tissue” massage, the treatment should be something positively remarkable. In my own way, I too had put massage in a category of pampering.  Really, at that cost, it should be pampering.

Stretching and yoga are synonymous to most people. Flexibility and yoga are also synonymous to most people. I often recommend yoga to patients to help them with pain, posture, and relaxation. Yoga is a powerful mindfulness practice with many physical benefits, including stretching. Flexibility is the fountain of youth, and stretching therefore an integral part of leading a healthy and happy and injury free life.