acupuncture

Helping Tennis Elbow With Acupuncture

Posted by on Jan 16, 2018 in acupuncture, Featured | Comments Off on Helping Tennis Elbow With Acupuncture

Helping Tennis Elbow With Acupuncture

Tennis elbow, AKA lateral epicondylitis, is a painful condition in which the tendons of the outside part of the elbow are inflamed. Though actual playing of tennis is a common cause, tennis elbow can be caused by any repeated or strenuous activity, especially those involving lots of holding or gripping. Folks with tennis elbow will usually notice pain around the bony knob on the outside of the elbow as well as down their forearm and sometimes into the upper arm. Usually the pain will get worse when picking something up or gripping something, like when shaking hands.

Thankfully tennis elbow isn’t particularly difficult to treat. First off, someone who has tennis elbow should stop using it as much as possible. If doing something causes it to hurt, that means it is stressing the tendons more, and making healing more difficult. Icing the area a few times per day can help relieve pain and swelling, and for some a sling can be a good reminder not to use the affected arm.

Acupuncture can help to relieve the pain and swelling seen with tennis elbow, and by bringing more blood to the affected area help to speed along the natural healing process. In most cases we will select points in the muscles around the painful area, as well as extra points on the hand along the meridians that flow through the area, and some near the opposite knee. Typically we will see someone twice per week for a week or two until things are feeling better, then they just come in as needed if the pain returns. For more severe cases, or cases where an athlete has to keep playing through the pain, we will recommend more aggressive treatment, up to 4-5 times per week while encouraging them to rest as much as possible.

If tennis elbow is bothering you, come see us at our Fort Myers acupuncture clinic ASAP so we can get you back to feeling your best. If you’d like to schedule an appointment online, click here, otherwise give us a call!

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Acupuncture and Athletic Performance

Posted by on Jan 9, 2018 in acupuncture, Blog | Comments Off on Acupuncture and Athletic Performance

Acupuncture and Athletic Performance

Many of the patients we see in the clinic are athletes. Cyclists, CrossFit enthusiasts, runners, gymnasts, baseball players, golfers- all come seeking acupuncture to improve performance, alleviate pain, or get them in the right mindset for competition. Acupuncture was in the news during the 2016 summer Olympics as the world watched athletes compete with prominent bruises from cupping all over their bodies. But, is acupuncture really beneficial for athletic performance?

Studies say yes. A 2009 study from Taiwan that investigated the effects of acupuncture 30 and 60 minutes post exercise for male basketball players. A significant decrease in heart rate, oxygen consumption (v02 max), and blood lactic acid levels were shown in the players that received acupuncture compared to the players who did not (Zen-Pin Lin et al, Am. J. Chin. Med. 37, 471 (2009)). In a 2010 study by Brenner evaluated acupuncture for marathon runners and found a significant increase in performance. In 1993, Ehrlich and Haber found that athletes that received acupuncture were able to perform at higher rates than those who did not. Even in sedentary patients, as shown by Gential, et. al in 2005, acupuncture was shown to have a notable effect on heart rate and performance at anaerobic threshholds (Sfara, Melanie, “The Use of Acupuncture in Sports Medicine” (2013). All Graduate Plan B and other Reports. 252.).

From our perspective (a less scientific one), acupuncture works by increasing blood and energy flow to the affected areas of the body. Points are selected to nourish the muscles and tendons, stimulate the channels, to enhance respiratory activity, and to balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. All this is done while relaxing comfortably in a recliner and our athletic patients leave feeling refreshed and ready to conquer their next goal.

If you are an athlete looking to speed up your recovery time and increase your performance, you can schedule your appointment with us online (https://www.pocapoint.com/pp/gmca/). We look forward to working with you!

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Does acupuncture help with……

Posted by on Jan 10, 2017 in acupuncture, Featured | Comments Off on Does acupuncture help with……

Does acupuncture help with……

By far, the most common reason prospective patients call the clinic is to ask if acupuncture can help their chief complaint. The short answer: yes.

For a longer answer:

Acupuncture can treat a myriad of conditions and the World Health Organization and National Institute of Health recognize it as effective in addressing over 100 chief complaints. The majority of patients seek acupuncture treatment to help ease pain, for which it is extremely effective. In the clinic, the most common area of pain for patients is their low back or neck. We routinely provide treatment for degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis of the spine, sciatica, and generalized muscular tension. We also work with pain from plantar fasciitis, joint overuse or injury, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and much more.

Acupuncture’s usefulness does not stop at the treatment of pain. On a regular basis at the clinic we see patients with anxiety, depression, PTSD, addiction, autoimmune conditions, infertility, hormonal imbalances (PMS, menopause), IBS, acid reflux, allergies, carpal tunnel, side effects of chemotherapy and cancer treatment; the list is seemingly endless.

While acupuncture can treat a variety of conditions, it is not always the most effective option (i.e. acupuncture can treat a urinary tract infection, but it would be much more effective to get antibiotics). No matter what complaint you are seeking treatment for, we will always be honest with you regarding the efficacy of acupuncture in your specific case.

But, for most patients, the answer is yes, acupuncture can absolutely help you. We look forward to seeing you in the clinic!

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How we became “Punks”

Posted by on Oct 25, 2013 in acupuncture, Blog | 4 comments

If you have read our 5 Things post, you know that we originally believed that community acupuncture was for hippies and communists. You see, throughout acupuncture school, we were taught that the best way, the only way, to run a practice is to spend countless hours with each patient, in a private room, doing boutique style acupuncture. Here, the acupuncturist is not just an acupuncturist, but a nutritional counselor, herablist, homeopath, naturopath, beauty consultant, and often a psychotherapist. The patient is often required to disrobe and is left alone in the room once needles are put in. Generally, the treatments cost between $65 and $125 each. Honestly, there is nothing wrong with this style of acupuncture; it just was not ours.

Almost 4 years ago, we opened Good Medicine Home Acupuncture. We were going to provide acupuncture in the comfort of the patient’s home in Fort Myers, Naples, Cape Coral, Punta Gorda- you name it, we would be there. A few months in and business was just okay. We dropped our prices (we started charging $95 for a house call, which is less than some acupuncturists charge for office visits). We became discouraged; our patients were not getting the results we knew acupuncture could produce. We began to resent our profession- to feel emotionally drained, to feel lost and apathetic.

Around the same time the resentment set in, an opportunity arose. We were looking for ways to be more involved in the service aspect of church and since our schedules were pretty flexible, we decided to offer free, group acupuncture to the food pantry our church helped to run. We decided to give two to three hours, twice per month. After the first week, we never stopped being busy. In the 2.5 hours we were there, we would each see between 20 and 30 patients. They would all sit comfortably in the church’s parlor talking, laughing, swapping stories and healing strategies, and just sharing their lives while receiving acupuncture. The real kicker? These patients were getting WAY better results than our house calls. What was even more amazing was that, at the end of an incredibly busy shift (we would literally be dripping sweat), we were not tired, but invigorated; we did not feel emotionally drained, but passionate and as if we had a purpose.

From there, things started moving quickly. We had heard about community acupuncture while in acupuncture school (we had friends who were hippies and communists) and began researching. We read Noodles and looked into the coop. Guess what? While there were definitely some hippies and communists, that is not what made the community acupuncture coop special. They are all phenomenal people with hearts two sizes too big who want everyone they come in contact with to benefit from what acupuncture has to offer.  We barely had to discuss the decision- we KNEW this was what we wanted to do. We made the decision to provide affordable acupuncture to as many people as possible. So, we changed business names, we found office space, we bought recliners, and we opened our doors as Good Medicine Community Acupuncture on March 1, 2012.

Since then, not a day goes by that we are not thankful for that decision. In our first month of community acupuncture practice, we saw more patients than we had seen the entire time we did house calls. Our patients can receive the treatment they need because of our sliding scale. Our patients never have to be alone, to be isolated, during treatment; they can nap in the recliners, chat with those around them or with us, or just be still and enjoy the group healing environment. We wake up every single day excited about going to work. We have awesome patients who inspire us to always make the clinic better.

So here we are now, “punks” (that’s the affectionate term for those who practice community acupuncture). We belong to the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture (POCA), a mulit-stakeholder cooperative that allows practitioners and patients to be involved in shaping the future of community acupuncture. We love our jobs, we love our patients, and we love sharing life and acupuncture with our community.  Thank you!

 

By the way, if you aren’t yet one of our awesome patients, you should be. You can even schedule online!

 

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Acupuncture for Anxiety

Posted by on Oct 4, 2013 in acupuncture, Blog | 0 comments

We have all experienced anxiety to some degree or another. Generally, anxiety is normal and a mechanism that our body uses to cope with a stressful situation. However, anxiety can become excessive, resulting in a disabling disorder that interferes with daily life. There are several common types of anxiety: generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias. All may range from mild to severe and can be caused by an emotional trauma, severe and/or chronic stress, an imbalance in brain chemistry, a genetic predisposition, or as a side effect from medical treatment or drug use. General symptoms of anxiety include muscle tension, sweating, cold and clammy hands, nausea, jumpiness, stomach upset, irritability, fatigue, and insomnia. In cases of anxiety including panic, the person will feel a need of imminent doom or need to escape, may have palpitations, sweating, trembling, a feeling of choking or smothering, dizziness, chills or hot flashes, and intense fears. In cases of post traumatic stress disorder, the person may also experience flashbacks and become increasingly paranoid of their surroundings.

No matter the type, anxiety can become a burden on everyday life. The good news is, acupuncture can help provide relief. A study published in March of 2013 in the Journal of Endocrinology, showed promising results in the use of electro-acupuncture for anxiety treatment; the stress hormones in the rat subjects were lower after receiving treatment. A  review of research published in CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics shows that the results of acupuncture in anxiety treatment are at least comparable to those achieved using cognitive behavioral therapy. Remember the NADA protocol we talked about earlier this week? That’s one of the possibilities to calm the mind (we have seen great results with it in cases of PTSD). There is another treatment that finds its roots in Japanese acupuncture called the “Valium Treatment” (it does, indeed, feel as good as it sounds). The point combinations vary depending on your symptoms, but our goals and the results are the same. Acupuncture is even safe and effective if you are already utilizing medication to control your symptoms and, if you ever decide to wean off, acupuncture is a wonderful option (to be done in conjunction with your doctor) to aid in that process.

Like any other treatment option, remember that acupuncture is a process. The more severe and chronic your symptoms, the more treatments you will need to get relief. In the case of anxiety, the current research shows that a minimum of 10 treatments produces the best results (our experience agrees with the research). Remember that acupuncture is cumulative, so each treatment will leave you feeling better and better. Come see us (and in the meantime, check out how acting like Wonder Woman is an awesome treatment as well!)

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The NADA Protocol

Posted by on Oct 1, 2013 in acupuncture, Blog | 0 comments

The NADA Protocol

In the 1970s, a drug treatment clinic began in the Bronx, New York. It was run by the community, using methodone to treat drug addiction. As the program at Lincoln Hospital (now Lincoln Recovery) progressed, there arose a need for completely drug free treatment. By 1974, the clinic began implementing acupuncture in place of methodone for treatment. Their treatments were based on research from China showing acupuncture’s success in treating heroin addiction.

The original research used electrical stimulation of the Lung point in the ear. Experience later determined that no stimulation provided longer lasting results. Further study and experience by Dr. Michael Smith (one time director of Lincoln Recovery) led to the development of the 5 point, auricular protocol we are familiar with today.

 

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The NADA protocol is also known as acu detox, acupuncture detoxification, five point ear acupuncture protocol, 5 point protocol, and 5NP. It uses the sympathetic, Shen Men, kidney, liver and lung points in the ear to promote detoxification, curb cravings, and create a feeling of overall wellness. The needles are generally inserted in both ears and retained for 30-45 minutes. Following treatment, ear seeds are often placed on the points to continue the treatment’s effects.

The efficacy of the protocol is well documented and the benefits of utilizing NADA include: increased retention in drug treatment programs; a more optimistic attitude regarding treatment from the patient; less episodes of sleep disturbance; a decrease in anxiety; and a decreased dependence on pharmaceuticals. Of course, NADA is not the only facet of treatment in cases of addiction, but it can be a hugely beneficial one. Through its years of use, NADA has been proven effective in treating addictions of all kinds (hard drugs, in addition to cigarettes, alcohol, food, etc.) and can also be used in cases of psycho emotional trauma (post natural disaster, PTSD, depression, ADHD, etc.).

In 1985, Dr. Michael Smith and the staff at Lincoln Recovery founded NADA (the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association). Their mission is to promote “community wellness through the use of a standardized auricular acupuncture protocol for behavioral health, including addictions, mental health, and disaster & emotional trauma.” They offer training in the protocol for various practitioners and encourage the use of NADA treatment worldwide.

You can read more about NADA’s background here and learn more about NADA from their website.

If you or a loved one is interested in utilizing acupuncture in the treatment of addiction or emotional trauma, please contact us. NADA protocol only treatments are only $5 each and we love being able to work with you on your road to wellness!

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