Archive for November, 2012

5 Gifts to Give Yourself

Posted on November 30, 2012. Filed under: Acupuncture Information, Aging, Exercise, Healing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

5 Gifts to Give Yourself

Aging may be inevitable, but your later years can be vibrant and healthy if attention is given to supporting your physical, mental and emotional well-being.  These gifts to yourself are just a few of the ways that you can bring balance into your life.  You don’t need to try doing all of them at once.  Focus on one or two of them at a time.

Give Yourself the Gift of Practicing Gratitude
Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, optimism and lower levels of depression and stress according to Dr. Robert A. Emmons, an author of several books on the subject of the psychology of gratitude.  Dr. Emmons says that the disposition toward gratitude appears to enhance pleasant feeling states more than it diminishes unpleasant emotions.  Grateful people do not deny or ignore the negative aspects of life, but they have a healthy attitude
towards them. Choose friends who are joyous people.  See these people frequently and you will find your spirits rise.  The older you get, the more important it is to make it a priority to spend time with people who give you joy.  If you have people in your life who are constantly unhappy, limit the amount of time you spend with them.  Try it, and you may find that your outlook changes as well.
Give Yourself the Gift of Exercise
People who exercise more are less likely to be stressed and more likely to be satisfied with life, according to Danish researchers.  Compared with sedentary people, joggers are 70 percent less likely to have high stress levels and life dissatisfaction.  Remember the saying, ” if you don’t use it you’ll lose it”?   Exercise keeps our bodies and minds in good shape . Couch potatoes who start moderate exercise (the equivalent of 15 to 30 minutes a day) experience the greatest happiness lift.  If jogging is not the best exercise for you, go for a long walk or try a traditional exercise like Tai Chi or Qi Gong. Qi Gong and Tai Chi are non-impact exercises that focus on repetitive movements with attention to breathing. Tai Chi and Qi Gong use gentle movements and low physical impact, which are ideal for aging bodies. The benefits of these exercises include a slower heart rate, lowered blood pressure, and drops in adrenaline and cortisol levels . Making these exercises a regular practice can lead to better health and vitality.  The Mayo Clinic reported results from two studies on these ancient practices that concluded they can also alleviate chronic pain.
Give Yourself the Gift of Good Sleep Regularly
Your body repairs itself best at night so allow plenty of time for it to do so.  Good sleep patterns follow nature. Morning is bright and the most Yang time of day, indicating activity.  Night is the dark period, a time to slow down and enter the Yin phase of the day.  Poor sleep has been linked to high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart failure, heart attacks, stroke, diabetes and obesity.  Research has shown that getting at least eight hours of sleep is needed for good heart health.  Acupuncture has been proven successful in treating a wide array of sleep problems by focusing on the root of any disharmony in the body.  It gives those who take advantage of it a better night’s sleep and an overall improvement in physical and mental health.
Give Yourself the Gift of Reduced Stress
Stress is a normal part of life, but if left unmanaged, stress can lead to emotional, psychological, and even physical problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, chest pains or an irregular heartbeat. Humans were designed to handle short periods of intensely high stress followed by periods of relaxation.  We were not designed to live with a constant low level stress that keeps us feeling overwhelmed. If you feel you have been under too many pressures for too long, stress reduction acupuncture can help you enjoy a more peaceful life. Numerous studies have demonstrated the substantial benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of stress, anxiety and mental health.   In addition to acupuncture, Oriental medicine offers a whole gamut of tools and techniques that can be integrated into your life to keep stress in check. These tools include Tui Na, Qi Gong exercises, herbal medicine, dietary therapy, meditations and acupressure that you can administer at home.
Give Yourself the Gift of Action
Address Health Concerns Quickly: Don’t Wait!  Many diseases can be cured easily if they are caught early, but people often put off seeking treatment.  Don’t ignore important signals that something is wrong with your body. We all get warnings about our health and well-being, but these warnings are like traffic lights.  They tell us what we ought to do, but they cannot make us do it.

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What Having Kids Taught Me as a Doctor

Posted on November 14, 2012. Filed under: Acupuncture Information, Children, Chiropractic, Pain | Tags: , , , , , , |

~By Dr. Greg Steiner

It started before I even had children. I used acupuncture and chiropractic care consistently on my pregnant wife.  It definitely helped her to have an easier pregnancy.  I even used acupuncture on the day the children were born.  All of that made her experience so much easier.  It made her pregnancy less uncomfortable with a very quick recovery.  For example, with the first child, my wife was competing in a martial arts tournament (no fighting, just forms) two weeks before the baby came.  A day before she gave birth, we were climbing hills in Ireland, and a week afterward, we were walking the same hill again (this time with the baby).

I learned even before the children came, that it was important to keep my wife healthy, in really good shape, and with lots of energy.  Maybe that’s why I have four kids now!

Raising my own children has taught me that children are “little people”, they need to be viewed somewhat differently, they require a more sensitive and delicate process.  The orientation on how you treat them is a little different.   Being able to recognize the non-verbal cues and body language is crucial when they can’t describe what is wrong verbally.  I learned to listen to the tone of voice of which they complain, or don’t complain.  I learned to better read their facial expressions.

Kids oftentimes have different responses and physical reactions than adults.  For example, when children suffer from allergies or hyper-sensitivities, it isn’t always a cold.  A lot of times it’s identifiable food issues.

I once had a mom who thought she was feeding her child a good diet, but the child was still often sick.  From conducting some simple tests and Acupuncture treatments, we determined she should try eliminating sugar and milk from her diet.  About a week later, there was no more runny nose and her behavior had changed for the better.  She became healthy in a short amount of time.  The sugar had been depressing her particular immune system.  Sometimes, it’s diet that will effect behavior (kids can get hyper and adults often have the opposite effect and feel lethargic).

I’ve learned early intervention is important.  If a child falls off a bike and hits their head, or has a small concussion, it’s important to have their neck examined.  I’ve seen a number of patients who have had “little accidents” as a child.  Years later, some are finding themselves with a prematurely arthritic neck.  This can often be traced back to a childhood or teenage injury that was never treated or discovered so no corrective measures were ever taken.

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How to Help Children Overcome their Fear of “Needles”

Posted on November 7, 2012. Filed under: Acupuncture Information, Acupuncturist, Children, Healing | Tags: , , , , , , |

Needles are the biggest concern among parents and children.  Oftentimes, when children hear “needle” they think of the last vaccination or flu shot they received conjuring up the frightening images a huge hypertrophic type needles.

Acupuncture needles are hardly needles at all.  With their small, thin size, they are more representative of a strand of hair.  Sterilized and disposable, most people don’t even feel them being inserted into the skin.  The depth of the needle is so shallow that it doesn’t even draw blood.

The best way to help children overcome their fear requires time and trust.  The first few visits will unlikely involve any needle at all but rather a “needle-less” buzzer which can still effectively stimulate the acupuncture points and deliver the same treatment without any needle insertions.

Steering completely away from the word “needle” and calling them “little hairs” or using a non-intimidating phrase such as “planting the flags” will also ease anxiety.  It’s all in the way it’s presented to the child.  Dr. Steiner will often show how it’s done on himself first.

Some young children may start off afraid of needles, but by the time they’re 8, 9, or 10, most of them think it’s “cool”.

Studies have shown acupuncture to be effective in treating pediatric conditions such as:

  • ADHD
  • Colic
  • Earache
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Jaundice (in newborns)
  • Myopia
  • Bedwetting
  • Hyperactivity
  • Pain
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Weight-loss
  • Constipation
  • Allergy Rhinitis
  • Eczema
  • Epilepsy
  • Skin Rashes

Man people believe that children may avoid disease altogether if introduced to acupuncture at an early age. In Asian countries, this is common practice and a  good preventative measure that most children often enjoy.

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