Traditional Chinese Medicine: Exercise & Stretching Acupuncture for Pain Management

North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine - Acupuncture Clinic in Beverly, MA

Traditional Chinese Medicine: Exercise & Stretching

Acupuncture for Pain Management

For thousands of years, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture have been used for the treatment of pain conditions. When acupuncture is combined with regular exercise and stretching the effects of acupuncture are even more powerful. Cardiovascular exercise is typically seen as a benefit within TCM, however, according to TCM too much vigorous exercise is depleting. This is especially true during the summer months, as sweating/perspiring too much depletes Qi energy. Qi energy is necessary for vibrant health.

What types of exercises should I do?

Brisk walking: According to American College of Sports Medicine, adults should exercise at moderate-intensity for at least 30 minutes five days each week. Multiple studies have found that walking reduces risk of cardiovascular events by 31%! People who walklonger distances, walk at a faster pace, receive the greatest protection against cardiovasular events. If you are suffering from knee pain or osteoarthritis, walking has been shown to rebuild joints, as cartilage is compressed and decompressed, which restores vital nutrients back into the joint. Additionally, walking helps you lose weight, which takes pressure off of the joints. Less pressure equals less pain.

Acupuncture and TCM recommends regular movement and exercise to sustain adequate Qi-energy flow (blood flow and circulation), additionally, the effects of regular movement and exercise can also correlate to improved mental health and overall wellness. By exercising regularly there is not only an increase in vital flow of Qi-energy, but also a reduction in dampness within the body. Dampness can be seen as excess weigh, and can affect mood by causing patients to feel more sluggish, foggy headed, and even depressed. It is not advised to sustain continued vigorous exercise for long durations of time or to participate in exercise that promotes excessive amounts of sweating. This type of exercise can deplete the amount of Qi and Yin in our bodies. Yin plays a large role in the amount of blood and other vital fluids that are contained within the body and acupuncture meridians. Vigorous exercise is depleting of this vital energy source and this negatively impacts physical and mental health. Acupuncture and TCM is all about balance, and this is true even when it comes to exercise. Some amount of vigorous exercise can be recommended in bursts, but is typically not recommended to be sustained. Whereas, brisk walking is seen as a balance to both ends of the extremes.

Stretching: Flexibility is extremely important to your health. Regular stretching helps you stay flexible and move better as you age. According to ACSM stretching each major muscle group at least two times per week is recommended. Stretches can be either dynamic stretches or static stretches. Dynamic stretching is typically performed prior to exercise, and is performed to prepare the body for exercise. Static stretching on the other hand is typically performed post-exercise as a means for recovery. Both dynamic and static stretching increase range of motion (ROM) and improve overall flexibility. If you are having postural or activities are becoming a problem, make a habit to stretch those muscles regularly. Unfortunately, for those who work in a sitted position all day, you make have side effects such as, overall back pain, neck pain, and lower back pain. Fortunately, acupuncture and regular stretching can provide pain relief!

Acupuncture for Pain Management:

At North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine, we utilize acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, craniosacral therapy, and Reiki to provide relief from your pain conditions. Acupuncture works to treat the root of the condition and not just the symptoms. Therefore, we use acupuncture points across multiple meridians and not just at the site of the pain. The effects of acupuncture can be felt even after one acupuncture treatment, and there are limited to no side effects. Acupuncture is an excellent choice for those looking for pain relief without drugs or surgery. During an acupuncture treatment, you will likely experience a sense of calm, relaxation, and mental-clarity. The reason for these experiences is that acupuncture works to reset and restore harmony to the central nervous system. In addition to pain, acupuncture works to lower stress, anxiety, and many other health conditions that can promote disease and illness, such as heart disease and high blood pressure. Disease and illness within the body interfere with sleep, work, and overall quality of life. The interference can lead to additional stress, anxiety, and even depression further impacts your quality of life.

Make the choice today to manage your pain, so you can live a vibrant life full of health and wellness! Learn more about our acupuncture clinic located within the heart of the North Shore community.

Acupuncture for Stress & Anxiety: Acupuncture Works to Improve Your Mental Health

North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine

An Acupuncture Clinic in Beverly, MA

Acupuncture for Stress & Anxiety: Acupuncture Works to Improve Your Mental Health

At North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine, an acupuncture clinic in Beverly, MA, one of our specialities is acupuncture for mental health. Stress effects nearly every person and manifests in each person differently. Some individuals suffer from panic attacks and while others many have chronic pain. Acupuncture treatments help to reduce stress. Scientific evidence showed that rats who suffered from stress conditions and then received acupuncture had lower levels of stress hormones. The same effects of acupuncture can be seen in human patients. Another commonly associated disease with stress is anxiety. While it is completely normal to experience anxiety in a stressful situation, it isn't normal to have constant anxiety. Often times it is difficult to spot the differences between stress and anxiety. Both stress and anxiety symptoms can lead to rapid heart rate, muscle tension, exhaustion, sleepless night and headaches. At North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine, we have treatment options to reduce anxiety and relieve stress to improve your overall mental health.

How does Acupuncture Work:

Acupuncture uses hair-thin needles on acupuncture points throughout the body. The body has multiple meridians, and much like a highway at rush-hour, these meridians can become "clogged" and qi energy (blood circulation) can not flow freely. When acupuncture points are stimulated and qi energy flows freely, disease is less likely to occur. Scientific research suggests that acupuncture works to stimulate the body to release chemicals into the nervous system and into the bloodstream. The release of these chemicals, triggers the release of other substances that influence the body's innate ability to heal.

Brain scans show that acupuncture normalizes the signals that reach your limbic system, which is the system that controls the "fight or flight" response. Almost every patient we see is transformed from being on edge to calm, relaxed and zen-like even after their acupuncture treatment. And the reason is acupuncture works to reset the central nervous system, and once reset, the body can restore to homeostasis or normal functioning. Our goal with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine is to allow the parasympathetic system to take over and restore the sympathetic/parasympathetic balance.

Our approach at North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine is based on the "whole person" and doesn't separate the physical and mental aspects of health. If you explain to Allison, you are suffering from stress and grinding your teeth at night, we won't separate the issues. According to Chinese medicine you are: "Liver Qi Stagnant". For women, liver qi stagnation could also see symptoms such as, irregular or painful period, PMS irritability or swollen breast and constipation. For men liver qi stagnation could also see symptoms such as, bitter taste in mouth, inappropriate anger, constipation, upset stomach and mood swings.

Acupuncture for Anxiety Disorders:

A 2015 study found that acupuncture improved anxiety symptoms in those people who didn't respond to other treatments. Each participant received 10 acupuncture sessions over 12 weeks and the participants experienced significant reduction in anxiety and this continued for 10 weeks post-acupuncture. Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for anxiety!

Acupuncture for Stress:

Stress is normal, however, long term chronic stress isn't! Chronic stress can cause many serious health problems such as, major depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, heart attacks, skin and hair problems. Typically, the root of all stress effects the central nervous system. Fortunately, as we previously discussed acupuncture works to restore homeostasis via the central nervous system. The restoration can be seen after each and every treatment! A 2014 study using Heart Rate Variability(HRV) to measure reductions in stress, showed that during treatment, after acupuncture needling and post-acupuncture treatment there are increases in HRV. Increased HRV is a good thing, meaning there was a decrease in their physiological stress. Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment to improve and treat mental health!

Schedule an appointment today to experience how acupuncture can benefit your health! We look forward to continuing to assist the North Shore community with their acupuncture needs!

Acupuncture for Women’s Health, Fertility and Pregnancy

North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine

Acupuncture Beverly, MA

Acupuncture for Women’s Health, Fertility and Pregnancy

North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine is woman led acupuncture clinic in Beverly, MA specializing in acupuncture for women's health and fertility. We understand that each woman's body undergoes numerous changes over a lifetime. Hormones play an integral role during each stage of development, from puberty to post-menopause. Additionally, hormones play a pivotal role in a woman's fertility and the ability to become pregnant. Acupuncture can assist in creating harmony and wellness throughout all stages of a woman's life!

What are hormones?

A hormone is a chemical that carries messages to and from all the organs in the body. A hormone has a specific action, and these specific actions can be thought of as a lock and key (as each hormone has a specific destination) Hormones are critical as they help to maintain balance and optimal function within the body. At birth, hormone levels are extremely high and decrease within a few months of a child's birth. During puberty, hormone levels increase and stimulate the production of sex hormones, such as testosterone, estrogen, progesterone.

Testosterone: principal male hormone, however is present in females in lower amounts. Assists with libido, mood, energy, and body fat.

Estrogen: A female hormone, produced by the ovaries, the adrenal gland, and by body fat. Assists with regulation of cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and calcium retention in the bones.

Progesterone: A female hormone, produced in largest amounts over the menstrual cycle, specifically, during and after ovulation and prepares the uterus for fertilizing the egg. Additionally assists with reduction of body fat, aids in relaxation, reduction of anxiety and to promote hair growth.

At puberty, a woman's body undergoes numerous changes, with one the most desired outcomes to become pregnant. Monthly menstrual cycles continue until perimenopause, which is the stage at which a woman's body begins to start menopause. During menopause, a woman may experience night sweats, trouble sleeping, hot flashes, increased anxiety, irritability, vaginal dryness - all of which acupuncture treatments can work to reduce. Postmenopausal woman need to be sure to have their bone mineral density checked, as the loss of estrogen can reduce bone mineral density significantly. A 2015 study demonstrated that acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can relieve osteoporosis and increase bone mineral density(1).

About 10-15% of couples have difficulty becoming pregnant

At North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine, we with work with couples to increase fertility without the harmful side effects of fertility drugs. Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine that is often used for infertility treatment.

Why Acupuncture for infertility treatment?

Couples choose include acupuncture in their infertility treatment due to the little side effects that exist.

Benefits of acupuncture for infertility include:

  1. Increase blood flow to reproductive organs

  2. Relieving stress

  3. Balancing hormonal levels

  4. Improving menstrual cycle (As a poor and inconsistent period can correlate to increased risk for infertility)

  5. Relieving anxiety

For women who are receiving IVF, acupuncture treatment can increase the success rate of embryo transfer and implantation.

Acupuncture during Pregnancy

Pregnant women's bodies undergo sudden and dramatic increases in estrogen and progesterone, and these dramatic changes are necessary to support embryo development. Acupuncture works to create harmony within the body, to assist with balancing hormonal levels. During the first trimester, miscarriage rates, fatigue, breast tenderness, and morning sickness are most likely to occur. An acupuncturist will use acupuncture points to reduce the risk of a miscarriage and to resolve nausea and vomiting related morning sickness. During the second and third trimester, weight gain can lead to lumbopelvic pain. Acupuncture treatment can reduce this chronic pain. Additionally, acupuncture is a safe treatment option as many prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications are not recommended during pregnancy.

A study conducted at Yale University demonstrated that acupuncture is an effective treatment for pregnancy-related lower back and posterior pelvic pain (2). At North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine, we utilize Japanese style acupuncture, which uses hair-thin acupuncture needles to stimulate specific acupuncture points that best suit a woman's needs. Additional therapies such as craniosacral therapy, cupping, moxibustion, and Reiki are added to an acupuncture treatment plan to maintain optimal health and wellness throughout all three trimesters.

Whether you are looking at acupuncture as a natural healing technique to reduce lower back and posterior pelvic pain, to reduce stress and anxiety related to pregnancy, or as a fertility treatment. Acupuncture is a safe, effective, holistic method to increase fertility and to treat pregnant women suffering from pregnancy related pain, discomforts and illnesses.

Book an appointment today, to experience the profound benefits of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine that are offered at North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine - Acupuncture in Beverly, MA!

1.Yuan LM, Li YM, Chen LM, Lei XH & Jia SJ. (2015). Therapeutic Effect on Primary Osteoporosis Treated by Electro-acupuncture Combined with Jiawei Shentong Zhuyu Decoction. Journal of Clinical Acupuncture and Moxibustion. 31(8).

2. Wang S.M. et al. “Auricular acupuncture as a treatment for pregnant women who have low back and posterior pelvic pain: a pilot study” American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology September 2009.

Acupuncture for Arthritis

North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine - Acupuncture Clinic in Beverly, MA

Acupuncture for Arthritis

You don't need to suffer from arthritis pain!

Acupuncture works to solve chronic pain. It is suggested that acupuncture can help the common types of arthritis, Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. In the United States, 1 in 5 adults suffer from arthritis and is the leading cause of disability. Acupuncture uses hair thin needles to stimulate acupuncture points which release tight, spasmed muscles and restore them to their relaxed or resting state. Additionally, scientific research suggests that acupuncture works to stimulate specific points on the body to release chemicals into the nervous system and into the bloodstream. The release of chemicals changes the experience of pain. The experience triggers the release of other substances that influence the body's innate ability to heal.

The combination of these two effects of acupuncture allow for people with arthritis to have improved joint function and a decrease in joint pain without side effects!

Additionally at North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine we utilize supplements and herbal medicine to resolve arthritis pain. We utilize three supplements that have clinical evidence to reduce joint pain and swelling by blocking inflammation. Turmeric/Curcumin, Omega-3 Fatty acids (EPA and DHA), and Magnesium.

Turmeric/Curcumin

At North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine, we utilize a physician grade Turmeric/Curcumin supplement that contain additional anti-inflammatory ingredients that have the greatest effects to reduce joint pain and swelling by blocking inflammatory cytokines. Most clinical studies show long-term improvement in joint pain and joint function.

Great for OA & RA!

Omega-3 Fatty Acids (EPA & DHA)

At North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine, we carry a variety of high-quality Omega-3 Fatty Acids good for a variety of conditions, from ADHD to arthritis pain. Omega-3s block inflammatory cytokines and prostaglandins, and are converted by the body into powerful anti-inflammatory chemicals. For arthritis pain, a combination of EPA and DHA is suggested to for the greatest anti-inflammatory benefits. A 2010 meta-analysis found that fish oil signficationally decreased joint pain and stiffness in RA patient and reduced or eliminated NSAID use. Similar studies have shown the same results for those with OA. EPA and DHA is also good for heart-health, brain health & brain development, depression, anxiety, lower blood pressure, and many other common conditions! Most people who live in the United States, could benefit by adding Omega-3s as the american diet does not have a healthy ratio of Omega-6s to Omega-3s in their diet. This unhealthy ratio causes excess inflammation within their bodies.

Great for OA, RA and most Americans!

Magnesium

Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. Unfortunately, many dietary surveys of people within the US consistently show that intakes of magnesium are lower than the recommended amounts set forth by the USDA. The most likely reason for low intakes is due to the fact that the foods that contain the highest dosage of magnesium are not highly consumed within the Western diet. When the body is magnesium deficient, it undergoes oxidative stress. Oxidative stress triggers tissue damage, which can lead to joint inflammation and joint pain. Long-term oxidative stress can eventually cause arthritis, heart-disease, and other common aging conditions. When magnesium is present in the diet whether through dietary foods or supplements, oxidative stress is prevented by using anti-oxidants. This ultimately reduces joint pain, inflammation, and oxidative stress. Wonderful addition to most people's health care!

Great for OA, RA and most Americans!

Today, make the choice to reduce your joint pain and to improve your joint health! Learn more about how acupuncture works to solve pain and improve your health!

Using Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine and Omega-3 Fatty Acids for ADHD

Using Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine and Omega-3 Fatty Acids for ADHD

North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine - Acupuncture in Beverly, MA

Acupuncture Treatment

Acupuncture treatment has many health benefits, from lowering blood pressure, alleviating back and neck pain, to treating ADHD.

One of the most common childhood diagnosis in the United States is ADHD. Over 10% of boys and 5% of girls are diagnosed with this disorder according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology.

Western treatment of ADHD is typically through the prescription of a stimulant called methylphenidate (trade name is Ritalin). However, methylphenidate can have many health side effects and many parents are looking for alternative therapies.

At North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine in Beverly, MA we use acupuncture, craniosacral therapy, Chinese herbal medicine and Omega-3 supplementation to address ADHD. Our approach toward ADHD is a effective, safe, and gentle approach for your child's health care. Acupuncture works to solve countless illnesses through the stimulation of acupuncture points with hair thin needles. Additionally, at North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine, we employ the use of Japanese style acupuncture. Japanese style acupuncture allows us to use needle-free techniques that stimulate the same acupuncture points and have tremendous health benefits for your child's health and wellness.

Chinese Herbal Medicine

At North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine, we address the full spectrum of your child's health rather than just the symptoms that are showing. From a traditional chinese medicine (TCM) standpoint there are many reasons why ADHD maybe occurring within your child. Our goal is to determine exactly what patterns and pathologies are specific to your child and provide an acupuncture treatment and Chinese herbal medicine plan that is specific to those patterns and pathologies. This allows for greater success with treatment plans and reduction of symptoms of ADD/ADHD.

Omega-3 EPA and DHA

Omega-3 fatty acids and fatty fish supply two of the most important essential fatty acids for optimal brain function and health.

If levels are low many side effects can occur. Without getting into detail, every aspect of brain signaling is impacted. That means that every "message" that is sent from brain cell to brain cell is affected. Every thought, emotion, and action is impacted by Omega-3 levels within the body. Unfortunately, the diet of most individuals in the United States does not have the proper ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3s. The recommended ratio is 2:1 and the average diet is in the range of 15:1 - 40:1. Studies show that Omega-3 fatty acids, more specifically, EPA and DHA are beneficial to those who suffer from ADHD. Studies show that children who use Omega-3 supplements experience less hyperactivity. Additionally cognitive functioning is better, and the "working memory" is improved allowing for more success in school, sports, and social interaction

Omega-3 supplements and fish oil supplements go beyond ADHD. Omega-3s reduce cellular inflammation and improve all neuron functioning! If you are a parent, reading this article for your child, you too can benefit from Omega-3s. Studies show that Omega-3 fatty acids have shown anti-amyloid, anti-tau, and anti-inflammatory actions in the brain. All of which play a role in the development of alzheimer disease. North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine carries a high-quality line of Omega-3 supplements that are great addition to your daily health care routine. Take the step to reduce the risk for loss of cognitive functioning and inflammation within your body!

Click the button below to learn more about pediatric acupuncture, and how North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine is the top choice for pediatric acupuncture in Beverly, MA.



Summer Heat and Dampness- Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Acupuncture Remedies

Summer Heat and Dampness- Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Acupuncture Remedies

North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine - Acupuncture Beverly, MA

Summer time, the season all long for, but when the heat and humidity ramps up, there is a sudden shift and most are wishing it was cooler again!

Today I would like cover a few topics:

1)What is "Summer Heat"

2) What is "Dampness"

3) How does Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine help to prevent and resolve symptoms of "Summer Heat" and Dampness"

On previous blogs, related to Seasons: I covered Food & Summer Heat and Prepare for Spring.

What is "Summer Heat"?

With the weekend heat wave behind us, you may have noticed symptoms of summer heat such as fever, nausea, diarrhea, upset stomach, dizziness, whole body heaviness, or heaviness in the arms and legs. TCM likes to refer to these symptoms as "Summer heat".

Summer Heat is sweltering heat which can be experienced here in Beverly, MA on a 95 degree day. Add humidity and you are experiencing what TCM would refer to as Dampness. This weekend you were likely experiencing some symptoms of Dampness as well. Symptoms are body heaviness localized (i.e. arms, legs) and possible overall body heaviness, diarrhea, stuffiness in chest, irritability, fever, excessive sweating, and dizziness

Symptoms of summer heat and dampness, should NOT be confused with heat exhaustion or heat stroke (i.e. fainting, dark colored urine, rapid heart rate, dry skin, etc). If you are experiencing symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke seek immediate medical attention.

How to Combat "Summer Heat" and "Dampness"?

First, if you are an individual who is suffers from summer heat or dampness, try acupuncture! Acupuncture works to prevent the onset of summer heat and dampness through acupuncture points that release heat and harmonize the spleen to prevent dampness from occurring. Acupuncture points are stimulated through hair thin needles, and while you may experience relief after one acupuncture treatment, the greatest effects of acupuncture occur after a number of treatments.

Second, let's focus on cooling and harmonizing your body to reduce and resolve symptoms of summer heat and dampness.

1) Watermelon: There is a reason why watermelon is widely consumed during the summer months. Watermelon contains many cooling properties, vitamins, minerals, simple sugars, and water to help you stay cool. Try to eat as close to the rind as possible as there are diuretic effects.

Did you know that the cucumber is watermelon's cousin and that the whole watermelon is edible.

2) Mung bean or Mung bean soup: Mung beans help clear heat and toxins from the body, balance organs and skin, and tonify Qi. Mung beans have been shown to regulate body temperature and to prevent heat stroke. You likely don't crave Mung bean soup, or you might not even know what a Mung Bean is, but Mung Beans are surprisingly sweet and tasty!

3) Mint tea: Mint or Bo He is classified as cool, acrid herb which can relieve heat in the head and chest. Drink cool or at room temperature. If you aren't already growing mint in your garden, head over to your local nursery to grab this easy to grow herb and begin making your own tea!

4) Avoid outside activities during the hottest parts of the day.

5) Electrolytes: replenishing fluids and electrolytes are very important. Replenish with just water and you could risk hypoatremia. Hypoatremia, occurs when you drink too much water and dilute salts in the body.

If you health care doesn't include acupuncture, make the choice today to see how acupuncture works to better your health!

Click the link below to learn more about acupuncture at North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine in Beverly, MA.

Chinese Herbal Medicine in Beverly, MA

Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Women & Children

Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Women & Children

North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine - Acupuncture Clinic in Beverly, MA

I would like to discuss 3 topics related to omega-3 supplementation.

1) Omega-3 and Brain Health during Pregnancy

2) Omega-3 during Childhood Development

3) Omega-3 and Menstrual Pain

Over the past 3 blogs, I have discussed how Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and can combat the inflammation that occurs in the human body. Inflammation manifests in many ways, from menstrual cramps to alzheimer's disease. Inflammation is the cause of most disease and at North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine, we use acupuncture, craniosacral therapies, chinese herbal medicine, and nutritional therapies to address inflammation.

Why should you consider supplementing with Omega-3 for brain health during pregnancy?

Omega-3 fish oil supplement should be included before, during, and after pregnancy for both the mother and the baby. The source of Omega-3 fatty acids, should content high levels of DHA and EPA. High levels of docosahexaenoic acid or DHA play a role in the fetal brain, eye, immune and nervous system development. Maintaining high levels of DHA throughout the pregnancy is important. It's very important to take omega-3 fatty acids pre-conception as during the course of the pregnancy, DHA levels drop quickly, especially during the third trimester. During the third trimester the greatest amount of brain development takes place. After birth it's important to maintain high levels of DHA in both the mother and baby as brain development occurs rapidly during this time and the mother needs to replenish her levels lost during pregnancy. Low levels of DHA are associated with cognitive deficits and behavioral conditions, such as anxiety, depression, and aggression in children.

Omega-3 during Childhood Development

When choosing an Omega-3 supplement be sure that the source of omega-3 is of high quality and carefully processed to remove environmental toxins. During childhood development the nutritional goal would be for your child to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and high quality sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. However, not all children want to eat a high quality diet, if that is the case then Omega-3 supplementation is necessary for proper development. During childhood development, Omega-3s play an important role in brain function. Research studies have found that when Omega-3 levels are low, symptoms or conditions such as ADHD, anti-social traits, poor reading ability, and poor memory can result. To avoid the side effects of low levels of DHA and Omega-3s be sure to include a high quality polyunsaturated fatty acid, fish oil supplement in your child's health plan!

Omega-3 and Menstrual Pain

If you are suffering from primary dysmenorrhea, there is evidence you don't need to suffer from severe period pain anymore. A 2011 study found that fish oil is better than ibuprofen in treatment of severe pain in primary dysmenorrhea (1). A year later a 2012 study confirmed that supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids reduced the symptom intensity of primary dysmenorrhea (2). Supplement with an Omega-3 fish oil to stop suffering from severe period pain. Looking for even greater pain relief from your period pain? Try acupuncture! Acupuncture works to reduce menstrual cramps and overall period pain!

1) Comparison of the effect of fish oil and ibuprofen on treatment of severe pain in primary dysmenorrhea 

Mandana Zafari, Fereshteh Behmanesh, Azar Agha Mohammadi

Caspian J Intern Med. 2011 Summer; 2(3): 279–282.

2) Effect of omega-3 fatty acids on intensity of primary dysmenorrhea.

Rahbar N., Asgharzadeh D., Ghorbani R.

Int J. Gynaecol Obstet. 2012. April; 117(1): 45-7.

Omega-3s and Mental Health

North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine - Acupuncture Clinic Specializing in Mental Health

Omega-3 and Mental Health

How Do Omega-3 Fatty Acids Affect Your Mental Health?

Omega-3 supplements are a popular over-the-counter supplement that are readily available. However, not all Omega-3 supplements are created equal. When choosing a Omega-3 fish oils, be sure that the fish oil contains high levels of DHA and EPA. Omega-3 fatty acids are critical for brain function and development throughout all stages of life. Many studies show that those who take fish oils during pregnancy give birth to children who score higher on tests of intelligence and have better brain function. As we age, studies have shown that individuals with lower EPA and DHA levels are more likely to have a smaller brain size.

Unfortunately, studies show that Omega-3 fatty acids won't improve brain function of those already suffering from Alzheimer's disease. It is best to begin supplementing with fish oil and Omega-3 from childhood. On the other hand, several studies have shown those who have mild memory impairments may have brain and memory improvements from fish oil supplements.

Omega-3 and Depression

There are many studies that illustrate different mechanisms of why Omega-3 supplementation improves depression. The most likely cause is to the anti-inflammatory effects that Omega-3s have. For the most health benefits, be sure that the fish oil contains long chain EPA and DHA.

Omega-3 and Anxiety

Anxiety disorders are a common mental health condition that impacts many individuals in the United States. Symptoms of anxiety include, excessive worrying, feeling agitated, restlessness, and fatigue to name a few. Fortunately, studies have shown that Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids can improve mood and anxiety disorders. For the greatest health benefits, be sure to start supplementing with Omega-3s at a young age.

Omega-3 and Sleep

Looking to improve your sleep without taking melatonin? Try Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids instead! It's suggested that 600mg of Omega-3 DHA will improve children's sleep.

Why do Omega-3s improve sleep?

Sleep issues are associated with poor health. Poor health can manifest as behavioral, cognitive, or both. These same manifestations are associated with deficiencies of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. If Omega-3 fatty acids are supplemented, then it is possible that sleep, behavioral and cognitive health issues may be reduced, improving both children and adult's quality of life.

North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine's last blog on Omega-3s will focus on Women's Health and Children.

  • Brain health during Pregnancy and childhood

  • Reduction of ADHD

  • Alleviate Menstrual Pain


Omega-3 Fatty Acids

North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine - Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Inflammation, Autoimmune Disease and Cardiovascular Health

Today, I would like to discuss how Omega-3 fatty acids impact your overall health. Last blog, I discussed the three main sources of omega-3 and how diet and/or omega-3 supplements have many positive impacts on your health and wellness.

Omega-3 and Inflammation

The human body is impacted by inflammation in 2 ways:

Acute Inflammation: a biological response to anything harmful. The causes can be of physical, biological, chemical or psychological in nature. Commonly understood examples are:

Physical: Burns, trauma, physical injury, exercise

Biological: infection, stress

Chemical: Alcohol or chemical irritants i.e. bleach

Psychological: Excitement, fear

During acute inflammation, the body responses in a number of ways, but the most common are pain, heat, redness, swelling, itchiness or loss of function. Acute inflammation is the first line of defense, and the response is short-lived and ceases once the stimulus is removed (i.e. chemical irritant is washed off). If acute inflammation is prolonged then the immune response continues and becomes chronic in nature.

Chronic Inflammation: Chronic inflammation occurs when inflammation persists for an extended period of time. Long-term inflammation can contribute to every chronic Western illness i.e. Heart Disease. Since Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce production of substances linked to inflammation, it is strongly recommended to use a omega-3 supplement or eat foods high in Omega-3's. Studies show omega-3 supplements reduce the risk for inflammation. Health benefits include reduced risk of heart disease, heart failure, Alzheimer's disease, and cancer.

Omega-3 and Cardiovascular Health

Unfortunately, the world's leading causes of death are heart attacks and strokes. Countries that have a high Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio (2:1 - 4:1) have extremely low rates of these diseases. Western countries such as, the United states typically, have a Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio much higher! (16:1 - 40:1 or higher). Studies show that diets that have a healthy Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio are less likely to suffer from inflammation including, body pain, low energy, excessive mucus production, skin rashes, and many other signs!

If you are not eating foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids it's extremely important to offset the ratio by taking a fish oil supplement.

Omega-3 and Autoimmune disease

A healthy immune system attacks germs like bacteria and viruses, but in the case of an autoimmune disease, proteins called autoantibodies attack the individual's healthy cells. There are many types of autoimmune diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, type 1 diabetes to name a few. The cause of the immune system attack varies from individual to individual. Omega-3 fatty acids can counter the formation of chemicals that cause inflammation. There are many health benefits for an individual suffering an a type of autoimmune disease to take Omega-3 fish oil supplements or to increase possible sources of Omega-3 in their diet. Many placebo-controlled trails of fish oil supplements in chronic inflammatory diseases reveal significant benefit, including decreased disease activity and a lowered use of anti-inflammatory drugs (Simopoulos, 2002).

Stay tuned for Blog 2!

Blog 2: Will focus on Mental Health and Sleep

  • Overall Mental Health and Alzheimer's Disease

  • Depression & Anxiety

  • Improving Sleep

North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine - Omega-3 Fatty Acids

North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine

Acupuncture Clinic in Beverly, MA

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Studies show that Omega-3 fatty acids are incredibly important and have many health benefits within the human body. Omega-3 fatty acids work to fight inflammation within the body which can have many protective effects against disease. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risk or improve symptoms of diseases such as, Alzheimer's disease, high blood pressure, ADHD, rheumatoid arthritis and depression (among many others!).

11 types of Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

There are 11 different types of Omega-3 fatty acids. However, the 3 most important are ALA, EPA, and DHA. Omega-3 Fatty Acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat and are consider essential fatty acids because the human body can't synthesis (or create) them on it's own.

There are only 2 ways to obtain Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

  1. Omega-3 supplements

  2. Diet (or the foods we consume)

Omega-3 Fatty Acids are not stored and used for energy, but rather support many important roles in the human body, including supporting the immune system, inflammation, cardiovascular health, and brain health! Studies show that diets high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids are associated with higher intelligence and lower risk for depression, heart disease, arthritis, and cancer.

ALA, EPA & DHA

ALA: Are found mostly in plant foods, such as chia seeds, spinach, kale and flax seeds. ALA is a precursor, (must be converted), to EPA and DHA, but the conversion rate is low (less then 1% is converted). If it is not converted then it is stored or used as energy (fatty acid metabolism)

EPA & DHA: Found mostly in seafood. The highest concentrations are found in mackerel, herring, salmon, and shrimp. Also, found in Grass-fed animals products. EPA & DHA are considered long-chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids and are the holy-grail to combat acute and chronic disease if consumed in high levels.

"All diseases have common genesis in inflammation" - Dr. Joseph C. Maroon MD and Vice Chairman of the department of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Unfortunately in the United States the largest source of omega-3 consumption is ALA. Due to the low consumption of EPA & DHA within the diet, general medical advice would be to eat fish, especially oily fish or grass-fed animal products. If you can't obtain your Adequate Intake (AIs) *see link below for more details* then it would be generally recommended to use Omega-3 supplements. If dietary supplementation does not occur, many health side effects or chronic disease can result.

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-HealthProfessional/

Over the course of the next 3 blogs, I would like to discuss Omega-3 supplements and how studies published illustrate protective effects against the following diseases:

Blog 1: Will focus on Overall Health

  • Autoimmune disease

  • Inflammation

  • Cardiovascular Health

Blog 2: Will focus on Mental Health and Sleep

  • Overall Mental Health and Alzheimer's Disease

  • Depression & Anxiety

  • Improving Sleep

Blog 3: Will focus on Women's Health and Children

  • Brain health during Pregnancy and childhood

  • Reduction of ADHD

  • Alleviate Menstrual Pain

Heart Healthy Summer Foods - Nutrition

North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine

Beverly, MA Acupuncture Clinic

Heart Healthy Summer Foods - Nutrition

With the 4th of July behind us, your probably feeling sick of potato salad, grilled chicken, and corn on the cob. However, the height of cookout season is still among us, and North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine wants to provide some tips on how to eat a heart healthy summer "diet".

Heart Healthy Foods are Important to Include in your Daily Diet!

While ice cream, beef brisket and iced tea are iconic summer foods, it is very important to not "over do it" with these foods. As too much refined or fatty foods are a risk factor to develop diseases such as, high blood pressure and diabetes.

On the other hand, heart healthy foods, such as olive oil, fruits and vegetables are extremely important to include in your daily diet as they help reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. High blood pressure can occur in anyone, including children. In the United States, 1 in 3 adults suffer from high blood pressure, which greatly increases the risk for development of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine Provides Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine and Much More!

At North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine our goal is to provide our patients with a holistic and complete approach toward health and wellness. We incorporate acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, nutrition, Reiki, craniosacral therapies, and other natural healing techniques. Often, our patients want help choosing foods that are right for their needs. We use our expertise in Western and Eastern nutrition to help our patients choose foods that are heart healthy and reduce risk of heart disease.

Heart Healthy - Summer Foods

Dark Leafy Greens - Nutritional powerhouse that can be used in salads to braised greens. According to Chinese Medicine (TCM), braised greens are easier on your digestion than raw greens. Perfect for those who suffer from bloating, fatigue or loose stool after a raw salad.

Avocado - Heart healthy alternative to mayonnaise or butter. Full of mono-unsaturated fats!

Salmon - Wild-caught or responsibly farmed, is a heart healthy choice that is great for grilling. Full of Omega 3's, which are anti-inflammatory! Omega 3's reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease, inhibit plaque growth and reduce triglycerides.

Tomatoes - Excellent on salads or cut in half, brush with garlic infused olive oil and grill cutside down, Finish with pepper and sliced basil. Yummmm!

Fresh fruit - Nature's candy. Full of anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals. Fresh fruit help lower blood pressure and provides water which keeps you hydrated during the summer heat.

Summer squash - Grows like a weed in a summer garden and It's a nutritional powerhouse. Full of vitamins, A, B6, C, you name it, it has it. Slice and toss on some olive oil and grill! Yum!

Book an appointment today to learn how to improve your health and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease!

At North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine - Beverly Acupuncture - We like to utilize a holistic approach toward health. Simple changes can make MAJOR impacts on your health!

At North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine - Beverly Acupuncture - We like to utilize a holistic approach toward health. Simple changes can make MAJOR impacts on your health!

Japanese Style Acupuncture at North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine

Japanese Style Acupuncture

A "5 Star" North Shore Acupuncture Clinic

Pediatric Acupuncture Treatment in Beverly, MA

Acupuncture treatment has been around for thousands of years, as a safe, natural and effective method of health care. Acupuncture works to improve a variety of health conditions, such as chronic low back pain, depression, ADHD, and improve digestive disorders. If you are looking for holistic approach toward health care, give acupuncture a try!

How does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture works by stimulating specific acupuncture points over the body. Typically, acupuncture points are stimulated through needle insertion, however acupuncturist's can also use magnets, moxa, body work, and non-insertive (needle-free) acupuncture techniques. The effects of acupuncture will take some time to improve acute and chronic symptoms. While you may experience some symptom or pain relief immediately, it is suggested that acupuncture works best when given time. National Institutes of Health states that “You can't expect that one session will tell you whether acupuncture works or not.”

Japanese Style Acupuncture:

Japanese style acupuncture uses thinner acupuncture needles, and a gentler needling technique with shallow needle insertion. Japanese style acupuncture relies on palpation of the abdomen, back and various pulses throughout the body. On the other hand, Chinese acupuncture has a "heavier approach" with needling techniques and is more reliant on "visual diagnosis", an example would be tongue diagnosis. Western medicine and Japanese acupuncture, typically have closer approach to health care, as many of the diagnosis tools can be similar (i.e. monitoring pulse, abdomen, and pain).

Is Japanese Style Acupuncture for me?

If you have received acupuncture before and the effects of acupuncture were "too much" or "too stimulating" emotionally or physically, it is very likely you experience a Chinese acupuncture style. At North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine, our practice is rooted in Japanese Style Acupuncture and instead you'll leave feeling relaxed, refreshed and more in tune with your mind and body. Japanese acupuncture needling techniques are power and effective for pain relief, tension headaches, neck pain, ADHD and many other health ailments.

How do I book an appointment at North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine?

There are a few methods to book your acupuncture treatment!

North Shore Fertility - Acupuncture for Fertility

North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine

Acupuncture Treatment for Fertility

Beverly, MA Acupuncture Clinic

Acupuncture for Fertility:

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine that dates back to 100 BC, and is used to manage a wide variety of medical conditions. Acupuncture works by inserting thin needles into specific acupuncture points of the body to stimulate Qi (pronounced chee). The stimulation of Qi can be thought of as an increase in blood flow within the body, which has a positive impact on your health and wellness.

Today, the World Health Organization and conventional health care are understanding the importance of incorporating acupuncture treatments as a effective method to improve fertility.

It is suggested that acupuncture and oriental medicine can help infertility by:

  • Boosting blood flow to reproductive organs

  • Balancing of hormones

  • Relieving stress

  • Improving quality of sleep

  • Regulating better menstrual cycles

  • Increasing libido

  • Improving the success of embryo transfer (i.e IVF)

  • Preventing miscarriage

When should acupuncture treatment begin:

Acupuncture is similar to Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy in that it is a process-orientated method of medical treatment. It is better to do more than less to receive the most benefit from acupuncture treatments. Patients who are utilizing acupuncture for fertility are treated for two to six months prior to insemination, IVF, or donor egg. The long-term approach to treatment has a therapeutic effect. At North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine, our fertility treatments incorporate acupuncture treatment, Chinese herbal medicine, as well as conventional treatment and holistic therapies.

Regular acupuncture treatment is recommended through week twelve to help prevent miscarriage (since most miscarriages within the first 3 months) After week twelve, North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine, recommends semi-regular acupuncture treatments to ensure the positive effects of acupuncture are still occurring (Please note - each patient has individualized acupuncture treatment plans that vary from patient to patient. The treatment plan will be discussed in detail at the initial consultation).

Safety

According to National Institutes of Health there a minimal risks in using acupuncture for fertility. When compared to fertility drugs, acupuncture has rare and minimal side effects. At North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine, Acupuncturists are licensed by the state of Massachusetts and undergo multiple board certificates by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Acupuncture is generally safe regardless of person's medical history. When choosing an acupuncturist for infertility treatment, be sure to be treated by an acupuncturist who specializes in acupuncture for fertility.



Acupuncture and Mental Health - Acupuncture for Stress and Anxiety

North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine

Acupuncture Treatment for Stress and Anxiety

Beverly, MA Acupuncture Clinic

Are you suffering from high stress levels and looking to reduce your stress? North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine has successful treatment options to relieve stress and anxiety. Traditional Chinese Medicine (tcm) has worked for thousands of years to safely and effectively treat; stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions. Today, there is acknowledgement of a mind-body connection. If the mind-body connection is interrupted then a large number of possible health ailments can occur. These health ailments can manifest as emotional, physical, cognitive and behavioral symptoms of stress. A few examples of each type are highlighted below:

Emotional symptoms of stress:

  • Avoiding others/social events

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Trouble relaxing

  • Feeling overwhelmed

  • Easily frustrated, angry, or moody

Physical symptoms of stress:

  • Low energy

  • Panic attacks

  • Headaches

  • High blood pressure

  • Rapid heart rate or racing heart rate

  • Aches, pain and tense muscles

  • Insomnia

  • Frequent colds and sickness

Cognitive symptoms of stress:

  • Constant worry

  • Racing thoughts

  • Forgetfulness

  • Being pessimistic

Behavioral symptoms of stress:

  • Increased use of drugs or alcohol

  • Pacing, fidgeting or nail biting

  • Changes in appetite

Chronic Stress and Acupuncture Treatments:

Acupuncture works to improve your health and reduce stress by lowering blood hormone levels secreted by the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis. HPA axis controls reactions to stress and regulates processes like the immune system, digestion, emotions and moods and sexuality). Additionally acupuncture lows the levels of NPY, a peptide secreted during the "fight or flight response" (Eshkevari et al., 2015).

This means that acupuncture works to block the chronic stress induced elevations of the HPA axis and NPY, which ultimately leads to a higher quality of life.

Chinese Herbal Medicine - Beverly Acupuncture

Chinese Herbal Medicine - Beverly Acupuncture

Acupuncture for Anxiety:

Today, more than 40 million (U.S.) adults have symptoms of an anxiety disorder. Anxiety refers to excessive worrying, which is difficult to control, and can impact daily life. Typically, anxiety disorders are treated with therapy, medications or a combination of both. Often, these medications have side effects which can have long term impacts on a patient's overall health. For individuals looking for a treatment plan that has minimal to no side effects, they should seek treatment from a licensed acupuncturist.

Over the past few years, acupuncture has become a popular alternative treatment for anxiety disorders. Recently, there has been multiple studies that show those who undergo acupuncture treatment have had a significant reduction in anxiety, stress levels, panic attacks, and other health conditions.

Summary:

Acupuncture treatment is a great avenue to relieve stress and anxiety. When performed by a licensed acupuncturist, acupuncture is a safe and an effective treatment option with minimal to no side effects.

If you haven't responded to other treatments methods, then it's time to try a treatment option that has been around for thousands of years!

Call today to experience relieve from stress and anxiety! (Click to call)

Pediatric Acupuncture Beverly

Pediatric Acupuncture Treatment in Beverly, MA

North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine

Specialized Pediatric Acupuncture Training on the North Shore of Massachusetts

Pediatric Acupuncture

Have you ever wondered how it is possible to peform acupuncture on a toddler or young child? Truth be told it is very simple, and the secret is all within the training that your acupuncturist has undergone. Allison Camire MAOM LAc. OM Dipl. of North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine has received extensive training in pediatric acupuncture through her education in Japanese style acupuncture. Japanese style acupuncture allows an acupuncturist to use non-insertive or 'needle-free' techniques that are much more approachable to pediatric patients than a treatment with traditional acupuncture needles.

How does needle free acupuncture work?

These techniques are derived from Japanese style acupuncture and work with polarities of different metals and magnets. By using acupuncture points and acupuncture meridians your acupuncturist will stimulate specific areas on the body to release energy or Qi of the body to create more balance. This style of acupuncture treatment can be thought of as tuning an instrument. For example, each string of a guitar requires a certain pitch and tone - and when tuned correctly all strings play together in harmony. This same idea can be applied to the organs, muscles, bones, and spirit of an acupuncture patient. By stimulating the correct acupuncture points, this corrects the imbalances of the vital energy (Qi). Acupuncturists can establish optimal and individualized health plans that can bring about positive changes in a patient’s overall health. 

Why should my children receive Pediatric Acupuncture?

Pediatric chronic illness has skyrocketed since the 1980s. Unfortunately, for many pediatric patients, Western medicine offers little beyond management of symptoms. Today, 1 in 3 children suffer from either Allergies, Asthma, Autism and ADHD. Pediatric Acupuncture has a proven successful in treating chronic pain conditions without side effects. Additionally it is a safe and effective non-pharmacological intervention for:

  • ADHD

  • Allergies

  • Anxiety

  • Autoimmune disorders

  • Concussions

  • Depression

  • Digestive disorders

  • Insomnia

  • Headaches

  • Lyme Disease

  • Migraines

Why North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine - An Acupuncture Clinic in Beverly, MA

Allison Camire MAOM LAc. OM Dipl. of North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine - Acupuncture Beverly has had the privilege to treat many pediatric acupuncture patients within her acupuncture clinic. North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine has extensive experience in pediatric acupuncture treatment for the following pediatric symptoms:

  • ADHD

  • Anger

  • Anxiety

  • Autoimmune disease

  • Digestive disorders

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Immune system

  • Insomnia

  • Lyme Disease

  • Night terrors

  • Pain conditions

  • Poor memory

  • Poor communication

  • Restlessness/Fidgeting

If you are looking for a safe and effective treatment to supplement your child's health care, North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine would be delighted to work with your family! Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine has been in practice for over 3,000 years, and the benefits of acupuncture have stood the test of time. 

Pediatric acupuncture patient at North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine explains what an acupuncture treatment feels like.

Acupuncture for Pain - Benefits of Acupuncture

Acupuncture for Pain - Benefits of Acupuncture

North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine

Beverly, MA Acupuncture Clinic

According to the National Institutes of Health there are a number of evidence based studies that suggest that acupuncture is beneficial for pain conditions.

Acupuncture works by applying hair-thin needles to acupuncture points to release or redirect the energy or Qi. Blockages or incorrectly positioned Qi cause illness or pain. The illness or pain can be acute or chronic in nature. Typically, the more acute the illness or pain the less acupuncture treatments are needed to resolve the issue. On the other hand, if you have been suffering from issues such as, chronic low back pain or chronic knee pain, expect that there will be a need for additional acupuncture treatments for the symptoms to completely resolve. Do not let the extended treatment plan discourage you from receiving acupuncture treatment. There are evidence based research studies to show that pain relief occurs even after one acupuncture treatment.

Whether you are suffering from acute or chronic illness/pain, North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine has acupuncture treatments to provide relief from symptoms that have been lowering your quality of life. Call us today to learn about the benefits of acupuncture!

Beverly Acupuncture - Acupuncture for Pain Management

Beverly Acupuncture - Acupuncture for Pain Management

Allison is fantastic! I have been struggling with back pain and stiffness for as long as I can remember and since I have been going to see Allison, my back feels great! Acupuncture really works and Allison is the best at what she does. I highly recommend North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine.
— Glen G. (North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine Patient)

Food & Summer Heat

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture for Summer Heat

North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine

Beverly, MA Acupuncture Clinic

Summer is on its way, and in New England that means heat waves and humidity! 

During the summer months, we naturally find our body craving more cooling foods which can help reduce sensations of heat in the body as well as sweat. You might find yourself craving watermelon, reaching for iced tea, and even sense some aversion to heavy/greasy foods. Have you ever wondered why that is? I’m going to explain how the foods we eat as well as the spices and herbs we consume can help or hinder our ability to stay cool this summer from an acupuncture and Chinese medicine stand point.

In the summer time there are two very prevalent environmental factors at play, which are referred to as Heat and Dampness in Chinese medical terms.

Heat is experienced as the temperature of our environment (outdoors, or any other area which surrounds us) as well as the temperature of the foods/herbs/spices that we consume. 

Dampness on the other hand can be perceived as the sweat that the heat can induce. The element of dampness can create lethargy, lassitude, and fatigue. Foods like thick yogurts, fried foods, and excess consumption of dairy products can add to the dampness in the body and elevate its symptoms.

If you have ever spent a day outside in the heat sweating your butt off, craving watermelon and avoiding fried dough (or other Damp inducing foods) then you have experienced first hand the effects of Summer-Heat and Dampness.

Can the foods I eat throughout the summer really reduce the amount of heat my body perceives, and the amount of sweat I produce? The answer is YES - and I am going to provide you with a few simple tips and tricks to keep you dry and energetic this summer!

As you may know, Chinese medicine is all about balance - so if there is excess Heat in the summer, our first goal is to balance the Heat with some coolness. Here are a few foods that you may want in your refrigerator as the weather heats up.

Watermelon (Xi Gua): One of the most cooling herb in Chinese medicine. Considered sweet and cold (associated with the Spleen and Stomach). Can also be effective in treatment of UTI’s and high blood pressure (consult your herbalist to determine the best dosage for your pathology). Excess consumption of watermelon should be avoided by those with excessive urination as it is a natural diuretic. 



Mung Bean (Lu Dou) :  Traditional Soy food consumed widely by the Chinese and Japanese. Is consumed as a soup regularly in the summer months within China and Japan to reduce Summer-heat and Dampness. (See below for recipe). 




Mint (Bo He): Cooling in nature and corresponds to the Liver and Spleen organs. Additionally helpful for reducing stress and menstrual cramping.(Consult your herbalist to determine the best dosage for your pathology)

Antioxidants

Antioxidants and Functional Medicine

North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine

Acupuncture Clinic in Beverly, MA

Antioxidants are man-made or naturally occurring compounds that prevent or delay cell damage. Antioxidants role within the body is to combat free radicals (free radicals can be thought of as a tornado that leaves a path of destruction). Accumulation of free radicals is called oxidative stress. Every living organism that utilizes oxygen produces free radicals as a by-product. Additionally, free radicals can be a result of the environment such as pollution, poor diet, aging, and exposure to toxic chemicals.

Free radicals are unstable atoms that are missing an electron, to stabilize itself they steal electrons from proteins, DNA, mitochondria, or other cells within the body. When this exchange of electrons occurs a path of destruction is left, this can be known as oxidation. The simplest way to think about oxidation is cutting an apple and coming back a few hours later. The apple is browning due to oxidation. If free radical accumulation is higher than normal then damage occurs faster resulting in; greater chances of cancer, heart disease, accelerated aging, and increased inflammation within the body to name a few.

Chances are you’ve seen a commercial or an ad that promises to combat aging with antioxidants. Antioxidants are searching for free radicals within the body to donate an available electron. The more antioxidants within the body, the better chance your body has of fighting oxidative stress. The thing that makes antioxidants unique is that they can donate electrons without becoming free radicals themselves.

Antioxidant Sources:

Generally, it’s preferred that antioxidant sources come from nutrient dense foods. Of course, there are exceptions! But, when antioxidants come from nutrient dense foods, your body is receiving so many additional key nutrients that benefit the body!

“Top Foods”

-        Berries – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries

-          Dark green veggies – spinach, kale, swiss chard, broccoli, collards, etc

-          Orange veggies – sweet potatoes, butternut squash, acorn squash, carrots, orange bell peppers

-          Tea – especially green tea!

-          Nuts – especially English walnuts (Tons of Omega 3!)

-          Fish – especially oily fish – salmon, tuna, wild rainbow trout, herring (Again tons of Omega 3!)

 

Key take home:

Antioxidants donate electrons to stabilize free radicals to minimize oxidative stress within the body. Excess free radicals cause oxidative stress to occur more rapidly, resulting in accelerated aging and greater risk for disease and chronic pain. Antioxidants that are sourced from nutrient dense foods are preferred.

Reduce Inflammation

Reducing Inflammation with Acupuncture

North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine

Acupuncture in Beverly, MA

Last Monday I discussed turmeric and it’s anti-inflammatory properties. This week I would like to discuss in more depth why we should care about inflammation. Generally speaking, the root of most disease, aches & pains, etc is due to inflammation. Inflammation can manifest in a two ways; acute and chronic. Acute inflammation is the mechanism in which the body fights against things such as infections, injury, and toxins. Chronic inflammation is the result of the acute inflammation never “going away”. Additionally, chronic inflammation can be caused by other facts such as smoking, obesity, autoimmune disorder, alcohol, chronic stress, processed “American” diet, just to name a few. When your body is undergoing chronic stress, eventually your body can start to damage healthy cells, tissues, and organs. This ultimately could lead to DNA damage, tissue death, and internal scarring. More commonly understood examples would be:

-          Cancer

-          Heart disease

-          Rheumatoid arthritis

-          Diabetes

What can be done through diet, acupuncture, herbal medicine and supplementation to reduce chronic inflammation:

1)    Diet:

a.     Eat foods that are high in omega 3s such as, oily fish

b.     Consume leafy greens

c.     Certain fruits such as, blueberries, cherries, strawberries, etc

d.     Nuts especially english walnuts or pecans

2)    Supplements

a.     Turmeric supplement *

b.     Omega 3 fish oils*

* Both available at North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine

3)    Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine

a.     Acupuncture successfully downregulates (or suppresses) a proinflammatory biochemical called TNFα. When in excess TNFα in the body can be thought of as a raging fire resulting in extreme inflammation. The suppression of TNFα through acupuncture results in an anti-inflammatory response. This anti-inflammatory effective improves the chronic build up of inflammation. Additionally, acupuncture works in a multifaceted approach to improve your quality of life. At North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine our idea is to uncover the root of the problem to allow you to improve your life in many ways.

 

Stay tuned for our next blog on how antioxidants work and why your diet should contain more!

Pain Conditions

Acupuncture for Pain Management

North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine

Beverly, MA Acupuncture Clinic

Allison, owner and acupuncturist at North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine discusses acupuncture for chronic pain. Acupuncture works for a variety of pain conditions such as, chronic low back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, back pain, chronic pain, heel pain, hip pain, and other conditions that require pain relief.

Many people are quick to use cold for pain relief. However evidence based acupuncture would suggest that heat is in fact better for pain relief. Applying heat to an inflamed area will dilate the blood vessels, promote blood flow, and help sore and tightened muscles relax. In addition, improved circulation can help eliminate the buildup of lactic acid waste which occurs after exercise.

Generally speaking, heat therapy is more effective than cold therapy for treatment of both acute and chronic pain conditions. Heat therapy is strongly supported by evidence based controlled trials to be used by those suffering from arthritic conditions.

If you are suffering from chronic pain condition, there are many acupuncture points and benefits of acupuncture to improve your quality of life and receive pain relief. Many studies suggest that acupuncture is a powerful, safe, and holistic medicine to get pain relief from your acute and chronic pain conditions.

Call today to learn how traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture treatments can improve your quality of life!