Can Acupuncture Help Treat Depression?

acupuncture-depression-01Depression is a serious medical illness that can lower a person’s quality of life while contributing to the onset of symptoms such as headache, insomnia, fatigue, and malnutrition. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 1 in 10 adults in the U.S. say they are depressed. Depression a growing problem that’s often masked with prescription drugs, forcing some to look for alternative forms of treatment.

Most cases of depression are treated with prescription drugs that trigger a range of problems of their own. Fluoxetine, ertraline, paroxetine, fluvoxamine, citalopram, and escitalopram are just a handful of the most frequently prescribed antidepressants, all of which have a long list of adverse side effects. However, researchers are now saying that acupuncture may effectively treat depression in some individuals. continue reading »

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The Best Home Gym Equipment for Less than $50

Don’t you love how great you feel when you work out regularly?
You’re alert, you sleep better, and it’s easier to stay calm and optimistic. Once you get in the routine of working out and keeping a healthy routine, it’s fun.
But there’s always something that stops you. For most of us, it’s either time or money. We don’t have time, and gym memberships are too expensive.
Let’s imagine a dream solution. You want the fitness tools you find in a gym but you want to do it at home so it’s convenient. You want aerobics, strength and stretching so you have a good holistic workout.
And most importantly, you don’t want to spend more than $50 on any piece of equipment.
Can you build a home gym with that budget?

The Best Home Gym Equipment for Less than $50

Suspension Trainer ($30 – $165)

The core of an affordable home gym is a good suspension trainer. A suspension trainer has 2 straps with handles and foot cradles, usually fixed to a single point. Many come with a door attachment so you don’t need to put a hook in your wall.

When you use a suspension trainer, you use your body weight for resistance. You lean in or out on the straps, increasing or decreasing the difficulty depending on the angle of your body.

For a single piece of equipment, it’s hard to beat a suspension trainer. They have a wide range of exercises that work your upper body, lower body and core. Everyone can use them, from beginner to professional athlete. You can isolate individual muscle groups or do complex exercises that use your whole body. There are even exercises that have twists and stretches.

Some suspension trainers are expensive, but if you do your research there are many affordable brands for less than $50. Make sure you buy a brand with strong, reliable clasps so when you hang your weight on the straps they don’t slip.

Resistance Tubes ($10 – $40)

Resistance tubes are another great strength building piece of equipment. These elastic tubes can be used for a variety of exercises for both your upper and lower body.

Have you noticed that the elastic of resistance tubes functions similarly to the springs in Pilates equipment? With a little ingenuity, you can use your tubes for many Pilates exercises.

Balance Board/Stability Trainer ($17 – $45)

Balance is an important part of physical strength and becomes even more important as you age. Luckily your balance will increase the more you practice.

A stability trainer is another piece of equipment that you can use at any fitness level. In the beginning it may be enough just to stand on the trainer without wobbling. Once you have that mastered, try closing your eyes or standing on one foot. Eventually experiment with doing your entire workout routine on the stability trainer. Even the simplest exercise becomes difficult when you have to maintain your balance.

Jump Rope ($3 – $30)

Every gym needs aerobics equipment and a jump rope can’t be beat when it comes to getting your heart pumping. If you haven’t jumped rope since you were a kid, you’ll be surprised about how challenging it can be.

Once you have your rhythm mastered, there are many ways to make jumping rope interesting. Try jumping double time, backward, high stepping or back kicking. Put “jump rope tricks” into YouTube to get more ideas.

Chin-up Bar ($14 – $65)

Of course a chin-up bar is great for chin-ups. It’s a great tool for building upper body and core strength.
But chin-up bars are good for your home gym for another reason–they are a great anchor for other equipment. You can attach suspension trainers, resistance tubing and yoga belts to the bar to get even more exercise options.

There are two basic styles of chin-up bars. One style hangs from the upper door molding and the other type has fittings that you screw into the door jamb. When you choose a style, be sure to check the weight restrictions.

Foam Roller ($12 – $35)

Foam rollers are a great addition to your home gym for two reasons.

First of all, the roller can be used to massage sore muscles and release tension. They stretch and release tightness and are very beneficial for preventing injury. With some creativity, you can roll and massage most muscle groups.

Foam rollers can also be used to build core strength and increase the difficulty of many Pilates mat exercises. If you place the roller vertically under your spine, even warm-up exercises become challenging.
You don’t need a special room with expensive equipment to have a robust workout in your home. For less than $50, you can get exercise equipment that gives you a good workout, that grows with you as your strength and skill increases and that provides a wide range of activities so you never get bored. And most of these items store easily in a small closet.

Don’t let your misconceptions about gyms stop you from working out. It’s easy to get started. The biggest step is to decide to do it.

I’ll be happy to give you more tips and tricks on working out at home. Contact me today for ideas.

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Acupuncture to Fight the Stress that’s Killing Us

A new study has found that modern human’s stress reactions are doing us more harm than good. In the early days of human evolution human’s needed stress indicators to release certain chemicals in our bodies so we could hunt better or escape predators. This is known fight or flight. Today, however, that stress compounds as it doesn’t find the same kind of outlet. Our sympathetic nervous system stays in a constant state of fight or flight. This build up of stress can lead to physical problems. Over active stress can lead to heart attack and can weaken the immune system. Acupuncture has long been thought of as a powerful way to fight stress. It brings our parasympathetic nervous system into play, taking us out of the fight or flight mode, allowing us to return to a state of calm.  Modern medicine is finally starting to provide the necessary evidence to prove this. It’s difficult to process the idea that stress may be causing our physical issues as this thought can lead to more stress but consider acupuncture as a safe and natural way to treat stress without letting it get out of control.
Links to the Articles:
http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199601/stress-its-worse-you-think
http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/news/20031015/acupuncture-calms-moms-stress-anxiety

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New Study Reveals Acupuncture Benefits For Women In Menopause

menopause-acupuncture-01Natural menopause – the absence of menstruation for longer than 12 months – often comes with a wide range of unpleasant symptoms, such as insomnia, anxiety, irritability, night sweats, and of course hot flashes. However, a recent study found acupuncture to reduce or even eliminate some of these systems, improving quality life and reducing stress/anxiety in women going through menopause.

Researchers at Taipei Medical University in Taiwan monitored 869 participants who are were going through menopause while using 12 different treatment methods. One of the 12 treatment methods was acupuncture, which surprisingly proved to be the most effective at relieving the discomfort associated with menopause.  continue reading »

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Acupuncture and Insomnia

Insomnia affects us in ways that we cannot even realize. Sleep is when the body repairs and rejuvenates itself. When our sleep becomes disrupted, we are unable to function at optimum levels. Here are some simple tips that you can incorporate into your routine to help you achieve a better night’s sleep:

Acupuncture can help: Acupuncture has shown to help achieve a relaxing and sound sleep. Two powerful points in the ear can send you off to dreamland. If insomnia is a persistent problem, acupuncture treatments can help re-balance the body so that you can achieve peaceful sleep.

Take a moment: Make some time in your schedule for a pre-sleep relaxation ritual. Taking a hot bath just before bed has been shown to promote a deep, restful sleep. You can also add a handful of hops to the bathwater or place a small amount of dried hops wrapped in a cloth inside your pillow case. Hops are used to reduce restlessness during sleep. A cup of hot chamomile tea is also relaxing. Dim the lights, relax, and sip a hot cup of tea to begin relaxing the body from the inside out.

Aromatherapy: Put a few drops of chamomile essential oil on your pillow just before bed. You can also use an aromatherapy diffuser or add a few drops to water in a spray bottle to disperse the scent around your bedroom. Lavender is also a popular choice before bed.

Relax your soles: Tap the soles and both sides of the feet gently with a hairbrush for five minutes, paying special attention to the point below the ball of the foot in the center, about one-third the distance between the toes and heel.

Evening snack tips: If you choose to eat before bed, a light snack should consist of mostly carbohydrates with a small amount of protein. This combination increases the availability of tryptophan to the brain. Try eating a small bowl of low sugar oatmeal along with low fat milk. A sliced apple with a few slices of cheese can also do the trick. Avoid large amounts of protein before bed, it may keep you from falling into a sound sleep.

Yoga: Try a 15 to 20 minute relaxing yoga routine. Forward bends and shavasana are great ways to end the day and calm the nervous system.

Don’t let insomnia get you down. Call today to schedule a free consultation and find out how acupuncture can help you. 912-222-6949.
continue reading »

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3 Ways To Improve Your Posture

poor-posture-01-smDo you suffer from poor posture? Whether you’re sitting down at a desk, standing, walking or running, you should focus on maintaining your body’s natural position. This means keeping your head and neck up while avoiding slouching or slumping. The good news is that you can reverse the effects of poor posture by following some simple steps.

Some of the physiological problems linked to poor posture include: continue reading »

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7 Superfoods That Can Change Your Life

blueberries_superfoodsYou are what you eat is an adage that holds more truth than you may realize. Unfortunately, many people today focus their diet around processed foods that are high in sugar, sodium and fat. Diets such as this can increase a person’s risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and more. You can protect your body and health against such illnesses, however, by eating lean meats, fresh vegetables, and by adding the following heavy hitter, or often referred to superfoods,  to your diet.

#1) Broccoli

This edible stalky plant of the cabbage family is loaded in potassium, vitamin B-6, vitamin C magnesium, and calcium. Scientists believes broccoli’s phytochemicals – organic chemical compounds which occur naturally – are able to aid in skin health, regulate blood sugar levels, strengthen the immune system, and ward off joint inflammation. continue reading »

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An Apple A Day….

apple a day keeps the doctor away

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you remember the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”?

I certainly do!

But do you know why apples are so good for us? If not, here are several reasons why it’s good to include apples as part of your daily food intake.

  • Apples are cooling in nature, with a sweet and sour flavor. Because of this, they help reduce heat and produce fluids in the body, specifically moistening dryness and cooling heat in the lungs (which interestingly enough helps protects the lungs from cigarette smoke).
  • Help with indigestion. Apples contain malic and tartaric acid. These acids inhibit the growth of ferments and disease causing bacteria in the digestive tract.
  • Apples also contain pectin which helps remove cholesterol, toxic metals such as lead and mercury, and even radiation residues.
  • Benefits low blood sugar conditions and the emotional depression often associated with them.
  • A poultice of grated apple over the eyes for twenty minutes helps relieve swelling and irritations such as sunburn and pink eye.
  • They are cleansing and beneficial for the liver and gallbladder and can actually help soften gallstones.

Not to mention that they are a caloric dense food that just tastes good. So, the next time you feel the munchies coming on, reach for an apple. Not only will it satisfy that sweet tooth, it just plain does a body good!

 

–Information taken from Paul Pitchford’s Healing with Whole Foods.

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7 Things You Should Know About Acupuncture and Pregnancy

pregnancy-071414Acupuncture involves the placement of thin sterilized needles to stimulate various acupoints throughout the body. The stimulation of these areas is believed to correct imbalances and blockages in the body by promoting the healthy flow of energy (known as qi – pronounced CHEE).

The thought of having half a dozen or more tiny needles sticking into your skin when you’re pregnant, might sound frightening. However, it’s actually a safe, painless, straightforward procedure that can treat a number of adverse symptoms associated with pregnancy. continue reading »

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How To Dine Out If You Have a Food Allergy

food-allergies-01Food allergies shouldn’t prevent you from dining out with your friends and family. Unfortunately, though, many people with food allergies resort to cooking their own meals to reduce the risk of an adverse reaction. From dairy and nuts to gluten (wheat-based protein) and shellfish, there are certain foods that people must avoid to prevent adverse reactions. continue reading »

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