5 benefits of Acupuncture

Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years as a treatment option for a wide variety of conditions. During the treatment, very thin sterile needles are gently inserted into specific points into the skin based on the patient’s goals and presentation. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupuncture works by balancing the patient’s energy between the yin and yang of the life force known as QI (pronounced Chi). Qi is said to flow through meridians, which is accessible through specific points in the body. Although acupuncture has an extensive history of utilization, research of acupuncture use in Western medicine is largely limited to pain conditions such as back and neck pain, joint pain from arthritis, and headaches. Here are five conditions that acupuncture can be beneficial for.

  1. Relief of tension-type.

Tension-type headaches are the most common type of primary headache, characterized by episodes of pain that is typically bilateral. Those that suffer from tension-type headaches typically describe their symptoms as pressing or tightness around their head, sometimes associated with sensitivity to light and sound. A Cochrane study in 2017 reviewed the effectiveness of acupuncture as a treatment option for tension-type headaches, and concluded ‘…acupuncture is effective for treating frequent episodic or chronic tension-type headaches…’¹ They also concluded that the combination of specific exercise and massage therapy, acupuncture was a viable complimentary treatment for tension-type headaches.

  1. Migraine headaches.

Migraine headaches are characterized by severe headaches, usually on one side that can last from a few hours to several days. Those suffering from migraine headaches described their symptoms as pulsating pain on one side, reduced ability to participate in their daily routine, nausea, and light and sound sensitivity. Most people respond to conservative care; however, some require medications as a preventative treatment option. According to a Cochrane review in 2016, researchers concluded that ‘…a course of acupuncture consisting of at least six treatment sessions can be a valuable option for people with migraine…’ Reporting that those receiving acupuncture had less frequent episodes of migraine and reported adverse effects less often when compared to pharmacological interventions.²

  1. Low back pain.

It is estimated that over 70% of adults suffer from back pain. Often times back pain leads to functional limitations and disability, which creates a significant economic burden on individuals and society, in the US low back pain, costs an estimated $100 billion every single year. A Cochrane review of acupuncture treatment for low back pain concluded that acupuncture was effective in functional improvements, and as an adjunct to care such as chiropractic, physical therapy, and exercise.³

  1. Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a musculoskeletal condition in which an individual will experience widespread chronic pain in multiple sites all over their body. Those suffering from fibromyalgia may also experience joint stiffness, chronic fatigue, sleep disturbances, and mood disorders. Conventional treatment for fibromyalgia could include cognitive therapy, physical therapy, and medications. According to a Cochrane review in 2013, researchers concluded that acupuncture can be utilized in treating fibromyalgia by reducing pain intensity and joint stiffness. The review found that those who received acupuncture reported consistent improved pain and function.4

  1. Insomnia and poor sleep

Insomnia is a common condition caused by many factors, in which a person has difficulty getting to sleep, staying asleep, or even experience non-restorative sleep. This sleep difficulty leads to significant functional limitations during daytime that can effect work and activities of daily living. It is believed that the reason for these disturbed sleep patterns is due to overactive central and autonomic nervous system. A review of studies regarding the effect of acupuncture on sleep concluded that auricular (ear) acupuncture showed promising positive effects on primary insomnia5, although further research is needed to for a more definite conclusion.

Acupuncture is a very effective treatment option for many conditions, and has been shown to have very few adverse reactions. If you have any questions about acupuncture call our office to schedule a complimentary consultation!

  1. Linde, K., Allais, G., Brinkhaus, B., Fei, Y., Mehring, M., Shin, B., . . . White, A. R. (2016). Acupuncture for the prevention of tension-type headache. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. doi:10.1002/14651858.cd007587.pub2
  2. Liu, L., Skinner, M., Mcdonough, S., Mabire, L., & Baxter, G. D. (2015). Acupuncture for Low Back Pain: An Overview of Systematic Reviews. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2015, 1-18. doi:10.1155/2015/328196
  3. Deare, J. C., Zheng, Z., Xue, C. C., Liu, J. P., Shang, J., Scott, S. W., & Littlejohn, G. (2013). Acupuncture for treating fibromyalgia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. doi:10.1002/14651858.cd007070.pub2
  4. Lan, Y., Wu, X., Tan, H., Wu, N., Xing, J., Wu, F., . . . Liang, F. (2015). Auricular acupuncture with seed or pellet attachments for primary insomnia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 15(1). doi:10.1186/s12906-015-0606-7

5 Benefits of Sports Chiropractic Care for Athletes

5 Benefits of Sports Chiropractic Care for Athletes

Chiropractic care is a natural health care option that offers drug free, non-surgical treatments for many musculoskeletal conditions ranging from low back pain, to shoulder injuries, to treatment of concussions. Athletes in particular benefit greatly from chiropractic care and most professional sports organizations from the NFL to the MLB and the UFC offer chiropractic care for their athletes. A chiropractic sports physician receives specialized training that prepares them to recognize, evaluate and manage sports-related injuries effectively and efficiently.

Here are a few benefits for athletes who receive chiropractic care

1. Improve range of motion and performance.

During athletic competition or training, athletes may experience joint stiffness and reduced range of motion, which could have a negative effect on performance and training efficiency. An adjustment or a joint manipulation improves the motion within the joint space1, by giving the joint a ‘reset,’ which could improve joint function and performance. Sport chiropractors also implement specific mobility training to improve joint health and performance as part of a sports specific injury prevention program.

2. Improved recovery and injury prevention.

A chiropractic sports physician working with athletes must be prepared to go the extra mile to not only treat acute (new) injuries, but also be able to assess the athlete as a whole to include a thorough musculoskeletal, neurological, and orthopedic examination. A sports chiropractor has the specialized training to take the athlete from the time of injury to return to play. Athletes that undergo chiropractic care for sports injuries typically report shorter recovery times, as well as reduced reoccurrence of chronic injuries.

3. Reduced pharmacological intervention.

During athletic competition and training, athletes are at an increased for injuries of all kinds. Often times these injuries can lead to significant pain, which may require pain medications. Commonly medications like Tylenol and other anti-inflammatories are used to reduce pain for these athletes, but often stronger prescriptions are required and the risk of addiction must be taken very seriously. A study published in the journal Pain Medicine evaluated the association of chiropractic care and opioid use; they found that those who received chiropractic care were less likely to require opioid prescriptions for pain2.

4. Recognition and management of sports related concussion.

Sports related concussions (SRC) are a significant concern for athletes, as well as their families. SRCs can dramatically alter an athlete’s career, and their life. Over the last several years, concussion evaluation and management has improved greatly, leading to improved outcomes for our patients.  Chiropractic sports physicians undergo specialized training to identify and treat SRCs both on the field, as well as in an office setting3. A study published in the Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Associated investigated the ability of chiropractic sports physicians to effectively diagnose and treat concussions, concluding sports chiropractors demonstrated the skills and knowledge to diagnose concussion and excel at identifying the definition and mechanism of concussion…4

5. Treatment of Champions!

Champions utilize chiropractic. Here are a few testimonials from a few of the greatest athletes of all time.

  • “Bodybuilders and fitness people have been using Chiropractic extensively in order to stay healthy and fit. Whenever I had a problem with my body I always ran to my dear friend. He was always right there with the adjustments.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • “Chiropractic just makes you feel so much better. When I walk out of the clinic, I feel like I’m about three inches taller and everything’s in place. And as long as I see the Chiropractor, I feel like I’m one step ahead of the game.” – Tom Brady
  • “Being a Chiropractor patient has really helped me immensely. It’s as important to my training as practicing my swing.” – Tiger Woods
  • “I don’t know how much I could improve until I started seeing a Chiropractor. Since I’ve been in Chiropractic, I’ve improved by leaps and bounds both mentally and physically.” – Michael Jordan
  • “Chiropractic gives me the flexibility I need to keep in the game.” – Venus Williams

There are numerous benefits for chiropractic care for athletes, whether you are a world champion athlete, a weekend warrior, or an industrial athlete. Chiropractic can improve your performance and help you reach your health and fitness goals.

 

  1. Galindez-Ibarbengoetxea, X., Setuain, I., Andersen, L. L., Ramírez-Velez, R., González-Izal, M., Jauregi, A., & Izquierdo, M. (2017). Effects of Cervical High-Velocity Low-Amplitude Techniques on Range of Motion, Strength Performance, and Cardiovascular Outcomes: A Review. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine23(9), 667–675. doi: 10.1089/acm.2017.0002
  2. Corcoran, K. L., Bastian, L. A., Gunderson, C. G., Steffens, C., Brackett, A., & Lisi, A. J. (2019). Association Between Chiropractic Use and Opioid Receipt Among Patients with Spinal Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Pain Medicine. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnz219
  3. Moreau, W. J., Nabhan, D. C., & Walden, T. (2015). Sport Concussion Knowledge and Clinical Practices: A Survey of Doctors of Chiropractic With Sports Certification. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine14(3), 169–175. doi: 10.1016/j.jcm.2015.08.003
  4. Kazemi, M., Bogumil, M. E., & Vora, K. (n.d.). Concussion knowledge among Sport Chiropractic Fellows from the Royal College of Chiropractic Sports Sciences (Canada). Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association 61(3), 239–252.

 

At Home Workouts – Should I Start Yoga?

At Home Workout Yoga

Are you feeling stressed and anxious? Should I start at home workouts? 

We are living a very interesting time right now with a large amount of uncertainty, but rest assured, this too shall past. People all over the world are feeling the increased stress and anxiety, and with their usual outlets like the gyms and yoga studios closed down, we must adapt and overcome. At home workouts are a great way to maintain a sense of normalcy, and a perfect outlet for stress.

In what equipment should I invest in?

         Well…it depends on your goals. For most people, given the current situation around the world, the prospect of spending hundreds of dollars on a home gym is not a financially viable option. Keeping things simple with resistance bands and a workout mat would be good enough to get the pump you want! Although equipment can add to your workout, there are plenty of ways to exercise at home with no equipment at all…YOGA!

Why yoga?

         There are numerous benefits from at home workouts like regular yoga practice. In addition to the physical benefits of increased cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength, yoga has shown to be a great tool for stress management. A meta-analysis evaluated the effect of yoga practice on stress-reduction and found that regular yoga practice improved regulation of the sympathetic nervous system1. I know what you’re thinking, what does that even mean? The role of the sympathetic nervous system is to regulate your body’s fight or flight response; you fight the bear or run like hell from the bear.

 

As you can imagine, dysfunction of the sympathetic nervous system can lead exaggerated stress response. A review of diseases that affect the sympathetic nervous system highlighted the body’s inability regulate stressors such as heat, physical activity and cardiovascular function2. Heightened sympathetic nervous system activation is linked to potentially cardiovascular dysfunction like hypertension, cardiovascular disease and stroke; with stress reduction leading to improved patient outcomes3. Yoga also incorporates controlled breathing and mindfulness during practice, which has shown promise in stress reduction4.

Where to start?

There are likely several studios near you; the trick is finding one that best suits you. For some, the thought of getting into a studio and practicing yoga for the first time in front of strangers may be enough to keep you from starting yoga altogether. Luckily, there are plenty of online resources just a click away for you to access. Check out our Medicinal Movements Series for easy to do, at-home flows from some our favorite local Yoga instructors. These women were kind enough to put together a variety of classes that will help you get started on your yoga journey. Start your day off on the right foot with Katie’s morning flow (or see video below). Improve your hip mobility with Kim’s hip flow. Get on a good night routine to help improve your sleep…we got it all covered.

“Long-term consistency beats short-term intensity.”

No matter what exercise routine you pursue, the key is to be consistent. If you are trying something new, just own the fact that you are likely not going to be very good at it, but that is just fine. Stick with it, you can do it.

 

 

  1. Pascoe, M. C., Thompson, D. R., & Ski, C. F. (2017). Yoga, mindfulness-based stress reduction and stress- related physiological measures: A meta-analysis. Psychoneuroendocrinology86, 152–168. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2017.08.008
  2. Ziegler, M. G., Ruiz-Ramon, P., & Shapiro, M. H. (1993). Abnormal stress responses in patients with diseases affecting the sympathetic nervous system. Psychosomatic Medicine55(4), 339–346. doi: 10.1097/00006842-199307000-00002
  3. Hering, D., Lachowska, K., & Schlaich, M. (2015). Role of the Sympathetic Nervous System in Stress-Mediated Cardiovascular Disease. Current Hypertension Reports17(10). doi: 10.1007/s11906-015-0594-5
  4. Brown, R. P., & Gerbarg, P. L. (2009). Yoga Breathing, Meditation, and Longevity. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences1172(1), 54–62. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04394.x