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. 

"How did you get into Acupuncture?" That is probably the question I am asked by almost all of my patients. I became an acupuncturist for many reasons. But I think the most important one is that I have always loved to help people.  I love Acupuncture and the natural healing arts. I love it because it provides comfort and relief for many people when their options become limited. I love it because often times the most complex problems can be solved by the simplest of solutions. I love it because I truly believe in the healing of Acupuncture, and the power of natural medicine. 

In honor of Thanksgiving, I would like to express my gratitude for Chinese medicine. Practicing acupuncture, herbal medicine, tui na, and nutrition fulfills me. What I love about practicing is the connection with patients, the endless study, assisting the body to heal mentally, physically, emotionally, and the feeling I get when a patient feels relief. I also absolutely love the way it has and continues to help me.

Connection is a vital part of being human. My experiences strengthen my belief that having connection is necessary for happiness. In my practice, I am able to spend enough time with patients to establish a connection and to get to know them as their whole selves.

Has anything ever just changed your life completely? I never thought that this is how my life would turn out, I never thought that I could become a massage therapist.

I have always known that deep down I wanted to help people. I just didn’t know how. I was living with a friend and decided to go with her to her orientation for Fremont College. While she was doing her orientation I was in the waiting area and a teacher comes up to me and says, “Would you like a free massage session? “ What kind of person can turn down a free massage session? After my massage session I fell in love, but I also had this thought: "I can massage better than that!" By that summer my massage journey began.

As autumn falls upon us, the impending cold and flu season approaches. Acupuncture is a helpful treatment for reducing your risk of becoming sick this season. Chinese medicine can be used to increase immunity by helping your body to protect its exterior from pathogens that may attack into the interior of the body if it’s defensive layer of qi (immunity) is not strong. We are always surrounded by viruses and bacteria, but we only become sick when our immune system cannot fight the bug. Our immune system can be weakened by stress, lack of sleep, eating too much sugar and refined carbohydrates, smoking, and certain medications. Chinese medicine adds to that list, attack by wind, cold, heat, or dampness. For example, walking barefoot in cold damp grass can lead to a cold, or sleeping with a fan blowing on you, or walking outside on a cold day with wet hair, especially if you are already run down.

It definitely does not feel like winter yet, but we all know that the change in seasons is almost here. I know I’m looking forward to all the fun holidays, family get togethers, and presents, but something that I also dread is the onset of the cold and flu season. The runny noses, constant phlegm, achy bodies, and just congestion in general is something that I would love to avoid. But when I have succumbed to the flu season before, something that I have found to be very helpful for those runny noses and built up mucus is a type of massage called lymphatic drainage.

What is Lymphatic Drainage?

We’ve all heard of lymph nodes—those things that often swell up under your neck when you get sick. Well lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system in your body, but they are simply areas that provide the actual drainage for lymphatic fluid. Lymph is a whitish liquid flowing throughout our bodies. Much like blood vessels, lymph flows inside our lymph vessels. This whitish liquid flows through our body collecting metabolic wastes, toxins, excess water, as well as providing the production of antibodies that we need to fight off infections. These toxins are products in our body that cannot be absorbed through our blood capillary vessels.

This weird weather we've been having--muggy and unseasonably hot, has been doing odd things to people who tend to have allergies, and who may be prone to illness with the changes in weather. In times like these, I always like to prepare myself by adding immune boosting foods and supplements into my daily routine. As a health care professional, I am exposed to many people on a daily basis, so it's extremely important for me to take the right precautions so that I remain healthy, and also do not pass on germs to my patients.

There are literally hundreds of foods and supplements that claim to have a boost to the immune system and prevent colds and flues. From anti-oxidant superfruits to alkalizing drinks, from mega-doses of Vitamin C to B12 injections, it can get pretty confusing for people to determine what will actually work for their bodies and what may just be a passing fad in the health food industry. There's no one right answer or method that fits every individual. But I want to talk about just a few things that I personally use, and that I have found to be extremely successfully for my patients. 

The beauty industry is big business. Customers spend billions of dollars each year on skin care products, cosmetics, hair products, plastic surgeries, laser treatments, and more. The quest for everlasting youth appears here to stay. 

Research and anecdotal evidence show that our food choices play a major role in increasing our vitality and health, and that what we put into our body helps to determine how gracefully we age. Nutrients in foods that benefit skin also benefit other organ systems and improve our general internal health as well. 

An anti-aging diet is identical to a very healthful diet, full of antioxidant rich foods, nutrient dense foods, and healthy fats. Fresh fruits and vegetables are naturally (pun intended) at the top of the list, providing antioxidants, vitamins, water and fiber.

Since the dawn of civilization, people have been seeking the formula to eternal youth and beauty. But is it truly possible? And more importantly, are there all natural ways to minimize wrinkles, dark circles, puffiness, and fine lines all in just 10 short weeks? With cosmetic acupuncture, the answer is a resounding yes.

The discovery of Botox and the evolution of medical cosmetic procedures can certainly be effective.   But at what cost? We've probably all seen what the entertainment industry media terms "Botched plastic surgery"--too much botox, botched face-lifts, chemical-peel overkill, leading to sometimes grotesque results. There are even reality TV shows dedicated to showcasing these people. But for all that, it doesn't stop the average consumer from the constant pursuit for youth and beauty.

Plastic surgery is profitable for both cosmetic and health reasons, but the aftermath is always the same – discomfort, inflammation, scarring, anxiety and in some cases, depression. Whether it is health or cosmetic related, post-op is a trial. 

Medication may be prescribed for the pain and anxiety, but what if there was a trick? A trick to easing the discomfort, inflammation, anxiety, scarring, and depression of surgery. A trick, which also reduces the doses of drug intake, as well as aid in the healing process. A lot more people are becoming aware of natural healing. I would like to introduce everyone to the many different benefits of postoperative massage.

Overcoming Stress and Anxiety

Prior to getting plastic surgery, we often go through some anxiety or stress about the procedure. A primary benefit of massage is a reduction of stress both before and after surgery. Massage therapy increases the levels of endorphins and serotonin in the body, which results in reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation. Massage also reduces certain hormone levels such as cortisol, which is responsible for increased stress.

If you are new to the world of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, you may have wondered "what's the difference between Acupuncture and Acupressure?" 

Though they are both effective treatment modalities within Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the basic difference between Acupuncture and Acupressure is that Acupuncture involves needling the various pressure points or acupoints on the body. Acupressure on the other hand is the systematic application of massage or pressure over the acupoints.  

The second biggest difference between Acupuncture and Acupressure is that the full scope of what Acupuncture can treat is extremely broad. Acupuncture can treat a wide variety of conditions--from the common cold, to aches and pains, to acute and chronic digestive disorders, respiratory disorders, and even some cardiovascular conditions, Acupuncture has a solution that fits almost any individual. Whereas with Acupressure, the application is mainly for pain related symptoms.