A New Year's resolution for many will be to quit smoking. Acupuncture can help you with this. I have had patient's who never smoked again after acupuncture. The way our program works is that it helps you quit as they say 'cold turkey'. In my experience, I have never seen anyone quit smoking who did not do it cold turkey. If you reduce and reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke per day, you will never get to zero. Realize that this is my opinion and some may quit this way - but I have not seen it happen. So, we really want to help people quit, because its so good for their health and we are all about making people healthier. Its really one of the things you can do that will effect every other part of your health, everything will get better. If you are really ready to quit than you can really do it. And using acupuncture can make it so much easier.
I am only slightly surprised that many patients who come in for a first visit tell me that they never thought of doing acupuncture (previous to deciding to come in). But really if you had asked me 20 years ago, I would have most likely said the same thing. I just never thought about using acupuncture or Chinese medicine. For the last 16 years though, acupuncture has been my medicine of choice. Acupuncture has grown a lot in popularity since I first got interested in it. I hope that it is not as 'strange' to most people as it used to be. I hope that more and more people are turning to acupuncture to help with health issues. This seems to be the case since our business has grown each year since we started over 12 years ago. Chinese medicine which includes acupuncture and cupping and Chinese herbs and other modalities, can help with about any condition. I have treated successfully a wide range of conditions in my clinic. I recommend to my patients that they check in with us for any non-life threatening conditions. Sometimes we can solve the problem a lot more simply, safely and cheaply than a western doc can (there are many reasons for this!). Just check with us, and if we can't handle it we will tell you.
Raise your hand if you did NOT overeat over the holidays. OK, I don't see any hands up. Of course most of us overdo it this time of year, that is just what we do and that is fine. But it is time to erase a few of those pounds and the new year is the perfect time to do it. I won't go into the details of our weight loss program here (click here to read more), but acupuncture, Chinese medicine, and a bit of Ayurvedic medicine can get you off on the right foot. We also have a weight loss special to cut your costs. Call me for all the details, or call to set up a complementary consultation.
The main reason that you should come to us for your back pain is that we are very skilled and experienced at treating it. I probably treat back pain more than any other single issue. I have been treating back pain nearly every day (except Sundays) for over a dozen years. Acupuncture and cupping combined is the best way I have found to treat it. Acupuncture treats the back more at the energetic level and also systemically. It incorporates the whole body's healing abilities to effect the back, healing it from the ground up. Cupping works more at a local and physical level. Cupping moves the blood and fluids in the area and moves out inflammation giving the back a chance to recover. Acute or chronic back pain usually responds well to acupuncture and cupping.
Hip pain is very common and we treat it often in our clinic. I like treating hip pain because it is relatively easy to treat and the hip usually responds well to treatment. Any area that is large enough for cupping such as the back or the hip, usually will benefit greatly from a couple of treatments using acupuncture followed by cupping. Local needling as well as distal needling is needed to get the full benefits and I use moving cupping (moving the cup over the area lubricated with massage lotion) and often will use stationary cupping (leaving the cup in place over an active spot with greater suction applied and left for a few minutes). Acupuncture and cupping does not only treat the pain but brings healing energy and blood to the area, removing stagnant blood and fluids and leading to a healthier hip joint. For a list of other common conditions that we treat check out this page.
This year the CDC has reported that the flu shot is only 10% effective. That is lower than usual but the flu shot never protects more than 50% of those taking it. Some people think that the reason that we get sick more in the winter and why the flu season is in the winter, is that we are all inside more in the winter, sharing our germs to a greater degree. Some people think that dropping vitamin D levels make us more susceptible in the winter (vitamin D is created by our skin when we are in bright sunshine). I tend to think that the latter explanation is more accurate but no one is sure. I like the way that Chinese medicine thinks of the immune system. Chinese medicine is all about Qi (sometimes spelled Chi or Ki) that keeps us healthy. There are many types of Qi and the type that makes up our immune system is called Wei Qi. Wei Qi circulates in particular all around the outside layer of our body, keeping the bad things (like the flu virus) out and keeping us healthy. So if our body's overall energy or Qi is low our Wei Qi will be low and we will be more prone to getting sick from some outside bug. This is why when we get tired, worn-down, we are much more likely to get sick. This is why there can be a sick person on a plane and most people will not get sick, only a few with compromised immune systems will get the bug. So how do we keep our Wei Qi strong so we can resist getting sick? The best way to do this is to get plenty of sleep and rest. Also, since Qi is created by our digestion, be sure that you are eating well. Being in the cold for long periods can drain our Qi because more Qi will be used attempting to keep us warm (this might also be a factor in why we get sick more in the winter). Stress will also decrease our Qi. This also makes sense because we tend to get sick more when we are stressed. To me, this is a good easy way to think about our immune system and gives us simple yet effective ways to boost it so that we do not get sick as often. Of course our immune system also keeps us from getting cancer or other chronic illnesses. So this is all very important to our health.
The holiday season can be stressful and sometimes even somewhat depressing for even the most calm and upbeat person. An acupuncture session can help with that. People will generally feel much calmer after a session and this usually will last for days. And, as mentioned in the last blog in detail - an acupuncture session can bring more balance to your body, strengthen your immune system and reduce your chances of getting a cold or flu. So come on in for a stress reducing Holiday acupuncture session (and cupping if needed) at an ultra low price of $50 for blog readers. This is good until the end of the year.
Often a patient will come in for an acute condition, say a sore neck or a painful back, and after the problem is gone they want to continue to get acupuncture for general health and well-being. How often should this person come in for tune-up treatments and why? As far as why you would want to get ongoing treatments, acupuncture when done regularly improves our overall health. Regular acupuncture will keep the body in balance, fine tuned. When the body is in balance everything will work better and your overall health will increase. I have seen this multiple times with patients who have been coming in for some time. They almost all will tell me that they get sick less or that their allergies are better or gone, of that they have gotten off certain medications. As far as how often to come in, it depends on things like age and overall health. Older people should come in more, once every 2 weeks if possible for a while and moving to once a month or so. Younger people can benefit from a few treatments for a number of weeks and then spread it out to once every 5 or 6 weeks. I have seen patients with decades-old chronic conditions who feel better after several visits and then stay because they feel much better . I see even more of these patients, unfortunately, that give up too soon to see the long-term benefits.
Monte Jackson, owner Acupuncture Center of Richmond