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. 

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. 

Massage therapy and acupressure are variations of bodywork that provide the recipient with increased relaxation, feelings of well being and reduced pain. Massage differs from acupressure in the method it is performed, the range of symptoms each treat, and the intention of the treatment.

Massage therapy is an umbrella term for numerous modalities including Swedish, deep tissue, circulatory, lymphatic drainage, cranial sacral, tui na, reflexology, and many more. The type of massage therapy that most of us think of as massage here in the West is often Swedish massage or a hybrid of Swedish and deep tissue massage; which both use the broad surfaces of the hands, forearms, and occasionally elbows, on the major muscle groups of the body.

When most people think of massage, a spa like experience comes to mind. But true massage therapy can be something that is very different. Recently, I have been thinking more about a treatment called trigger point therapy. Not only does trigger point therapy apply to massage, but there are different methods that apply to chiropractors and acupuncturists as well.

A trigger point acupuncture, also known as “dry needle”, which can be used by acupuncturists.

A trigger point is basically a tight area in the muscle tissue. But it is different from other points because when pressed, it may cause pain in another area of the body, also known as referred pain. For example, a trigger point in the back may cause pain to travel up to the neck and even the head. During a trigger point massage, the therapist seeks out knots within the muscle of the client to find trigger points. Next they apply cycles of isolated pressure directly to and around the area of the trigger point to alleviate the tension and pain.

The human placenta, or afterbirth, is not usually something to which people give a lot of thought. Quickly discarded after the birth of a child, the human placenta may actually be one of the most valuable nutritional assets that we are literally throwing away. Known in traditional Chinese herbal medicine as Zi He Che, this herb is one of the most effective tonics in the Chinese herbal compendium. Placenta has the effect of strengthening the Qi, or vital energy of the body, nourishing the blood, and balancing the forces of Yin and Yang in the body. 

So what does that translate to in scientific terms? The consumption of the placenta, when prepared the right way, can help restore blood loss, balance the hormonal and endocrine function of the body, restore and elevate mood, encourage milk production, and speed up the recovery of the postpartum body. 

An extra thirty pounds around your waist and back can cause a lot of stress and upper body tension. This is often a curse that comes with the blessing of pregnancy. Plenty of women around the world have to battle with the aches and pains that pregnancy brings about, whether they are a first time mother or have already had children. Fortunately, you can change someone’s world with a little piece of information you learn today—the life-changing, healing, and relaxing benefits of prenatal massages both for mother and for baby. 

Recently, a very good friend of mine became an expectant mother, and had been experiencing some pain symptoms related to her pregnancy. When I suggested a prenatal massage, she was a little skeptical, and questioned if it would be comfortable, but most importantly would it be safe for her and her baby. I reassured her that with a trained, certified professional, a prenatal massage is as safe as an ultrasound test to empower her, and it also would be a joy and blessing that comes in the relief of her aches and pains, as well as enhancing her mobility that she never would have expected she can have while pregnant.