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Monthly Health Update

Acupuncture Enhances Sports Performance & Recovery

acupunture and sportsAcupuncture and sports play very well together. Acupuncture has been used time and again to help athletes relieve pain, but the accessory modalities associated with it can do so much more. Using acupuncture treatments can actually enhance an athlete’s performance and recovery from any sports-related injury. Let’s take a look.

Athlete Stressors

When an athlete is in training, he or she is constantly pushing themselves to be better: a better time, a longer jump, a further distance, etc. An athlete’s body is put through constant stress. Muscles are pushed to their maximum and sometimes tiny microscopic tears form. If the athlete were able to rest properly, these micro-tears would heal. But, when an athlete is in training, the micro-tears don’t have time to heal properly. So the body becomes fatigued, sometimes painful and the probability of serious injury increases. Acupuncture helps the body to heal, restores healing levels of energy or Qi (pronounced “chee”) and strengthens the body inside and out, thus accelerating the athlete’s recovery time.

Gua Sha

One of the accessory modalities in the toolbox of most acupuncturists is something called gua sha. Gua sha involves gently scraping the skin with a smooth instrument like a ceramic spoon. The areas scraped are directly over the muscles. Gua sha stimulates blood flow to the muscles allowing them to relax. Gua sha is a great recovery tool for athletes and it was even recently featured in the 2016 NBA Finals. Gua sha is best performed by a trained professional who knows the body well and can determine the best pressure level for your condition.

“Athletes who receive acupuncture treatments while in training generally recover quicker. They also tend to have more energy and stamina. Acupuncture can be used as a training tool for athletes with great success.” Says our okc acupuncturist, Toni Twitty.

Pre-workout & Tai Chi

As any athlete knows, stretching prior to a game, match or run is imperative. One of the best ways to stretch is tai chi. Tai chi is an ancient martial art that focuses more on being defensive instead of aggressive. It also utilizes almost every muscle in the body through slow, fluid, animal-like movements. The other nice thing about tai chi is that it helps you focus on your breathing, which helps greatly when training. By practicing tai chi prior to a workout or event, the athlete is getting the best of both worlds, a full body stretch session as well as breathing techniques. Overall, this makes for a more balanced and relaxed athlete. There are many forms of tai chi and tons of videos available, so try and find one that works best for you and your particular sport.

acupuncture and sportsAcupuncture and Sports

As you can see, traditional Chinese medicine has much to offer for athletes both from the training standpoint as well as helping with recovery from an injury. Always seek out a properly trained, fully licensed acupuncturist so you can get the maximum benefits. When you add acupuncture to your training regimen, you should notice quite a difference in your performance.

Contact our okc acupuncturist, Toni Twitty, for any questions you may have or to schedule your first acupuncture appointment. Now go get em!

 

Adapted From Article Written By: Kim M. Filkins, L.Ac.

 

6 Alternative Arthritis Treatments

alternative arthritis treatmentsExercise

For those with arthritis, exercise, no matter how little you do, is one of the best natural treatments. For those with severe arthritis, even the smallest amount of walking can make a difference. Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise for those with arthritis because it puts the least amount of impact on the joints. Strengthening exercises are also recommended to keep muscles and joints strong.

 

Acupuncture

One of the most common reasons people seek out acupuncture is for arthritis relief. Acupuncture can help relieve pain from arthritis and increase blood flow and circulation, reducing inflammation. Through the specific placement of needles on acupuncture points on the body, acupuncture realigns the body back to balance. Contact us to schedule an appointment with our acupuncturist, Toni.

 

Capsaicin Cream

Made from the chemical that gives chili peppers their heat, Capsaicin cream has been known to relieve arthritis pain. The cream works by decreasing the body’s pain receptors and as a result, lessening the overall pain caused by arthritis. The cream can be bought without a prescription at your local drug store.

 

Fish Oil

Fish oil is beneficial for numerous reasons, one of them being its anti-inflammatory properties. Because it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, trials have found that the oil can reduce morning stiffness and the need for pain medication for those with arthritis. Fish oil is a supplement that is safe and recommended to take every day for the most beneficial effects.

 

alternative arthritis treatmentsMind-Body

Mind-body techniques like meditation, relaxation and tai chi have been seen to improve overall quality of life for those with arthritis. Tai Chi is a martial art that involves slow, easy movements along with deep breathing. This exercise can improve the body’s motion and physical fitness without being too demanding on the joints and muscles. Although meditation and relaxation do not necessarily reduce pain, they have been found to improve mood and health in arthritis patients dealing with chronic pain.

 

Diet

Studies have shown that some patients benefit from changes in their diet by eliminating food that may contribute to their arthritis pain. By removing allergens from the diet, overall inflammation can be reduced. Common diets that have been seen to be beneficial include a mediterranean diet rich in nuts, fish, vegetables, fruit, and olive oil. Foods that are not recommended include red meat and dairy as those can cause inflammatory reactions.

 

Sources:

http://bit.ly/1YtHTib

Acupuncture and PTSD

Acupunture and PTSD

What is PTSD?

PTSD is a physiological disorder that can result from being exposed to a traumatic event.  The disorder results in several different symptoms including anxiety, irritability, insomnia, and flashbacks. The effects of post-traumatic stress disorder in someone’s life can be far-reaching.  Feelings of hopelessness, shame, and despair, problems at work or with relationships, serious health problems, depression, anxiety, and drug or alcohol abuse are not uncommon. Getting help can be hard at first, but can have a great impact for helping PTSD.

Acupuncture and PTSD

A recent study into the efficacy of acupuncture as an adjunctive treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder has shown promising results. Researchers investigated the effects of acupuncture and PTSD in adjunct to normal treatment approaches and the results showed significant improvement. Studies in the past have shown that veterans with PTSD are wary of seeking treatment for PTSD as many do not believe that mental healthcare can be effective. Researchers hope that with the increased efficacy of the adjunctive acupuncture treatment, veterans will be less reticent towards seeking treatment for PTSD.

The acupuncture treatment also saw secondary benefits for those treated as many reported a decrease in depression and pain as well as a general improvement in mental and physical well-being. PTSD can be debilitating and even more so with little or no treatment.

acupuncture and ptsdAcupuncture in MSRP Clinics

The Military Stress Recovery Project (MSRP) is a unique program that provides free community acupuncture to veterans and active duty soldiers with PTSD and their family members. Treatment in a MSRP clinic is unique for several reasons.  Patients are treated in a group setting, sitting in comfortable chairs.  There is an environment of calm and support. The patients are treated using the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) protocol, a series of 5 needles placed in one ear. The program is designed to address all the needs of people with PTSD.

The MSRP clinics have been very successful.  Patients report stress reduction, improved mental clarity, improved energy, enhanced performance, better sleep, fewer bad dreams and headaches, less anxiety and depression, reduced anger and pain, improved general health and better relationships.

Those suffering from PTSD should consult a doctor about treatment and discuss the option of acupuncture as well because it has been proven to help. Toni would be honored to have the opportunity to begin acupuncture with PTSD patients, so please contact Be Well Acupuncture for more information.

 

Sources

http://bit.ly/1Os0ndF

http://bit.ly/1rSwjDe

7 Ways To Supercharge Your Immune System With Acupuncture

by Toni Twitty, M.Ac., Ph.D.c 

Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture OKC Expert

 

The immune system can get bogged down for a number of reasons, whether it is from being overworked, or chronic allergies, we all are looking for ways to improve our overall health and wellbeing. Below are tips to improve and strengthen immune function to keep the body in its best shape and fight off illness.

 

Here are 7 ways to supercharge your immune system with acupuncture and more:

Probiotics

Good bacteria, such as probiotics, are necessary for a healthy digestive system and as a result, overall immune function. When you take antibiotics to kill bad bacteria in your body, you are also killing the good bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium along with it. When this happens, the body can become out of balance and result in chronic stomach pain. Taking a probiotic supplement or drinking liquids with probiotics in it such as kefir and kombucha can help keep your digestive function inline and improve your body’s food absorption.

lemon and peppermint oilsLemon and Peppermint oil

Both of these oils have detoxifying and healing properties for the body. Part of a strong immune system is cleansing and ridding the body of toxins. By adding a few drops of lemon oil to your water every day, the oil will help clean the blood and toxic buildup in your body. Peppermint oil is known for its healing properties for headaches, indigestion and a large variety of stomach ailments. Add peppermint oil or peppermint tea to your daily routine to aid digestion and help reduce cravings of sugary foods.

Reduce Stress

Emotional stress can cause a number of physical problems like insomnia, stomach pain, and headaches. Because of this, the body can become very sick from chronic stress. Ways to reduce stress include exercise, meditation, yoga and deep breathing exercises.

Acupuncture

Supercharge your immune system with Acupuncture! It has been shown to increase the white blood cell count in the body and stimulate the immune system. By placing acupuncture needles in specific points of the body, acupuncture works by bringing the body back to balance and increasing blood and energy flow.

Echinacea

Echinacea is an effective natural herb for preventing illness. The herb has been shown to increase the body’s white blood cell count, boosting the immune system. You can find this flowering plant at most stores in liquid or pill form.

Exercise

Exercise is good for the body and mind in just about every way, one of them being immune health. Moderate exercise promotes circulation and blood flow, which keeps the body’s cells moving and working. Try adding just 20 minutes of exercise to your daily routine, whether it is walking, yoga or jogging.

 

 

acupuncture okc

 

 

Dr. Toni Twitty, owner of Be Well Acupuncture Edmond, OK is an highly respected expert Acupuncturist. She specializes in resolving pain, treating chronic conditions, and fertility. Learn more about Toni and get started on your road to better health at: www.bewellokc.com

 

7 Tips for Healthier Vision

tips for healthier visionTraditional Chinese Medicine believes that eye diseases are related to deficiencies in the liver and kidney organs and result from an imbalance in the body. There are many ways to improve eye health and prevent damage down the road. Finding the root of the problem and taking preventative measures is important when it comes to eye health. Below are our tips for healthier vision.

Eat right.

Certain foods are great for eye health. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables has been known to improve eye health. Specifically, try adding in more spinach, kale or collard greens into your diet. Fish such as salmon, tuna and halibut are filled with omega-3 fatty acids, which are also great for eye health.

Give it a rest.

If you’re like most working adults and spend hours on the computer every day, make sure you’re taking breaks from screen time to reduce eye strain. The best strategy is the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes look 20 feet away from your computer for 20 seconds – this is a great tip for healthier vision.

Protect your eyes.

A great tip for healthier vision is to protect your eyes just like you would your skin when in the sun. Make sure to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from damaging UV rays. Make sure to find sunglasses that offer both UVA and UVB protection.

Quit smoking.

There are many health reasons to quit smoking. A lot of people aren’t aware that smoking can expose your eyes to high levels of oxidative stress, which damages blood vessels. Smoking can increase your risk for many health problems that affect the eye. Contact a doctor to discuss ways to quit.

Know your history.

Many eye problems can be genetic. See if family members have any eye conditions and make sure to get regular check-ups if this is the case to help maintain healthy vision.

Take care of your contacts.

It is easy to get into bad habits when it comes to contact wearing. Make sure to replace your contacts at the recommended time. Wash your hands before touching your contacts and take them out at night to give your eyes the rest and oxygen it needs.

Acupuncture.

A number of studies found that acupuncture may have positive effects on people who suffer from chronic dry eye. One study showed that acupuncture could help reduce tear loss that those with dry eye usually experience. Common eye problems that acupuncture can treat include glaucoma, cataracts, chronic dry eyes, macular degeneration, optic neuritis, optic atrophy.

 

Download and print a pdf version of this article plus more in the most recent AcuNews release:

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