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Keeping Your Cool

Keeping Your Cool

It’s walk outside and sweat season here in Tennessee and other parts of the world – the pavement is literally melting in parts of Europe. Staying locked indoors isn’t an option for most of us, so we need to be able to keep our cool when the mercury is near 100.

Eat for the Heat

Get creative with meals that don’t require the stove, like salads, fresh fruits, and sandwiches. Or, make a large batch of something that doesn’t require reheating, like pasta salad, so you only have to cook once.

Also, keep portion sizes small. Digestion uses a lot of energy, and the fuller you are, the more heat is produced in the process. Foods with a lot of sugar and stimulants, like caffeine and alcohol, also impact temperature regulation.

Eat foods with a high water content – cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberries, cucumber, and celery.

Add peppermint to your iced tea – menthol produces a cooling effect.

Get Plenty of Water – In and On the Body


Drink water before you’re thirsty to help avoid heat stress.

Focus on pulse points – wrists, neck, the inside of your elbows and knees, and the tops of your feet. A cold, wet towel or bandana on these areas, or running them under cold water, helps lower body temperature.

Keep a water bottle nearby for a spritz. You can even add cucumber juice or aloe vera juice to the water, which each have cooling properties.

Know the Signs of Heat Illness

Dizziness, weakness, nausea, pale skin, and a rapid pulse can indicate heat illness. If someone with these symptoms goes from heavy sweating to dry skin, that could indicate an escalation from heat exhaustion to heat stroke.

Improve Heating and Cooling Measures


Caulk any gaps around doors and windows
Keep the blinds closed, especially at mid-day
Run ceiling fans counter clockwise to pull the cooler air up from the floor and down toward you
Put a bowl of ice in front of standing fans

Grab Some Aloe Vera Gel


Aloe vera gel has naturally cooling properties, and can help lower the body’s temperature when applied to the skin, especially on pulse points.

Acupuncture and Gut Health

Acupuncture and Gut Health

In a recent post, Trust Your Gut, we talked about the importance of gut health, and how a healthy gut is important to the immune system and balancing the gut-brain axis and nervous system. We have gotten so used to tummy troubles that a lot of people suffer daily, even without a diagnosed digestive disorder; at times, it can be hard to pinpoint the source of the discomfort. Americans are inundated with articles about food sensitivity, overconsumption, and other factors that lead to gastrointestinal problems. The good news is, acupuncture is a safe, effective approach to improving overall gut health, which has a positive impact throughout the body.

Acupuncture can help improve the performance of the different organs in the abdomen, as well as the nervous system, and balance hormonal imbalances – all of which impact gut health. An overactive nervous system alone decreases digestive function, which has a negative impact on how effectively our bodies absorb nutrients and process waste.

The Major Players

Generally, when we think about gut health, the stomach gets all of the attention. There’s more to how the digestive system works.

OrganFunction
MouthChewing, beginning of food breakdown through saliva
EsophagusPeristalsis – the movement of organ walls, allowing food and liquid to move through the GI tract
StomachWhere food and digestive juices meet
Small intestinePeristalsis
PancreasProduces digestive juices that help break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
LiverProcesses nutrients absorbed by the small intestine
Large intestinePeristalsis

Recent studies show that acupuncture can help promote or decrease peristalsis and reduce certain acid outputs.

Some of the areas acupuncture can impact:

Acid Reflux

Colitis

Crohn’s Disease

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Constipation

Weight Fluctuation

Fatigue

Bloating

Diarrhea

Nausea

Sour Stomach

Cramping

Abdominal Pain

Acupuncture has been effective in treating areas of digestive distress for thousands of years. Your acupuncturist will look at the body as a system, rather than a sum of individual parts, in developing a treatment plan specific to you and your needs.

Acupuncture for Allergies

Acupuncture for Allergies

It’s May, and everything in Nashville is covered in a layer of pollen. We go through it every year, but the scratchy throat, itchy eyes, and runny nose are still an unpleasant harbinger of spring. Some allergens are around us all the time in the form of dust mites, pet dander, or food sensitivities.

Allergies trigger histamines, which are incredibly helpful for the body – they help the body get rid of something bothering you, like an allergy. They’re part of the body’s defense system and want to get rid of the stimulant, which is why you might sneeze, tear up, or itch. When your body is triggered by an allergen, your immune system signals mast cells in the skin, lungs, nose, mouth, gut, and blood to release histamines. The histamines boost blood flow in the affected area, causing inflammation and inviting other parts of the body’s defense system to engage.

Sometimes, the histamine response is dramatic and prolonged, such as when a tick bite triggers an Alpha Gal response and an allergic response to animal products. Acupuncture is one of the only techniques that can effectively reduce the severity of an Alpha-Gal response – there are no drugs, vaccines, or allergy shots available.

Acupuncture Treatments with Affinity Acupuncture

Acupuncture treatments can help with other environmental, seasonal, and food allergies also – by up to 80-95%. A simple protocol involves an exam, one visit, and one needle. We help identify the allergen, place a small needle in the ear for several weeks, and then allergens can be carefully and systematically reintroduced. For allergies severe enough to anaphylactic shock – the goal is not to intentionally reintroduce, but to lessen the severity of response if the body is exposed to the allergen. If you’re interested in finding out if you’re a good candidate for acupuncture to help relieve your allergy symptoms, call 615-939-2787 today, or click on this link.

Contact Affinity Acupuncture for Nashville Acupuncture treatments and techniques.

Finding Quality Acupuncture in Brentwood, TN

Finding Quality Acupuncture in Brentwood, TN

There are many reasons a person might seek out Acupuncture in Brentwood, TN for their first time. Stress, chronic pain, or simply a desire to relax can pique someone’s interest. Entering the world of acupuncture is exciting, but can also be a little confusing at first.

How do you find a reputable acupuncturist? What do you look for in a facility?

These questions can leave a person with what feels like a lot to learn. However, finding a quality acupuncturist is easier than it might seem.

Here’s what you should look for when researching acupuncturists:

  1. Find an Approach That Aligns With Your Goals

  2. Experience

  3. Variety of Treatments

  4. Clean Facilities

  5. Full-Service Approach

  6. Stays Up-To-Date On Emerging Trends

  7. Accessible Location

1. Find an Approach That Aligns With Your Goals

Take a moment to figure out what it is you are looking to gain from an acupuncture treatment. Are you looking to treat a specific condition? Are you trying to find a new way to relax?

There are different forms of acupuncture that aim to treat different conditions. Traditional Chinese acupuncture is the oldest and most widely-practiced of the available approaches. It aims to treat the body as a whole. And it is through this understanding that it is able to address a wide variety of issues.

Look into local acupuncture facilities to find one that addresses your needs.

2. Experience

Everyone learns at their own pace. And there’s definitely nothing wrong with people trying to break into the acupuncture industry. These new faces on the scene have a lot to offer. But first-timers (as well as those experienced with acupuncture) have a lot to gain from finding a local acupuncturist with a significant amount of experience.

For instance, those in the area of Brentwood, TN have the option of visiting William Alexander. William has been a licensed acupuncturist since 2003.

This experience can not be substituted. A lot of knowledge can be gleaned from this many years of performing acupuncture sessions for a variety of people.

Visit Affinity Acupuncture in Brentwood, TN today!

3. Variety of Treatments

Speaking of variety, an assortment of available treatments is also very beneficial. You will be able to comfortably return to a facility once an initial rapport is established. Visiting multiple offices throughout the area can get tiresome. Wouldn’t it be better if you could make one stop for all your needs?

Affinity Acupuncture in Brentwood, TN offers not only various forms of acupuncture including Mei Zen cosmetic acupuncture, but also nutritional counseling.

The availability of multiple treatments reinforces the idea that the acupuncturist has your best interests at heart. Utilize a facility that has the ability to care for you in more ways than one.

4. Clean Facilities

The condition of the facility has a huge impact on your overall experience. These facilities need to be kept in immaculate condition. Frequent cleanings are essential.

But beyond that, the general appearance will also impact your level of enjoyment and the efficacy of the treatments.

Consult reviews from locals, look at pictures on the website, or visit the office itself to see how they take care of the place. Any indication that they allow their facility to fall into disrepair can be a sign that they aren’t as thorough as they need to be in other matters.

5. Full-Service Approach

This goes along with the idea of an acupuncturist offering a variety of treatments. The programs offered should address various aspects of the body and mind. These systems work together to create our daily experiences and need to be taken into account as a whole.

The most effective way to treat a patient is to address the whole picture. This includes diet, mental state, as well as physical conditions.

Visit the website of a potential acupuncturist and make sure they take a holistic approach to treatment. You can also contact them directly with any questions.

6. Stays Up-To-Date On Emerging Trends

Just because traditional Chinese acupuncture is thousands of years old doesn’t mean your acupuncturist shouldn’t pay attention to contemporary trends. New information is always being released and consulting these resources makes for the best acupuncture treatment.

Affinity Acupuncture in Brentwood makes a point of keeping apprised of all advancements and emerging methods of treatment. This insistence on continuing education is what makes the facility a local leader in the industry.

7. Accessible Location

One of the most basic considerations is that you need to find an acupuncturist that is easily accessible. You don’t want to drive across the state for an appointment. Look into your local options for potential acupuncture facilities and research the above attributes.

Those in Brentwood, TN don’t need to look any further than Affinity Acupuncture. William’s experience and continued focus on expanding knowledge make us the best option in middle Tennessee.

Contact Affinity Acupuncture today for Nashville Acupuncture treatments and appointments!

Find Acupuncture in Nashville

Find Acupuncture in Nashville

Have you been curious about the benefits of acupuncture but haven’t had the opportunity to give it a try? Or, have you been looking for that perfect acupuncturist in Nashville to address specific issues?

There are many reasons to seek the services of a qualified acupuncturist. The list of benefits is long, the process is relaxing, and our Berry Hill location is easily accessible for our Nashville patients.

But what exactly do you stand to gain from visiting Affinity Acupuncture?

Relaxation

Acupuncture is done in a quiet room. You will be asked to lie on a table as the acupuncturist addresses your specific needs. This is performed through manipulation of the body’s natural acupressure points. This process releases endorphins as well as opens up the body’s natural pathways.

Acupuncture leaves the patient in a state of relaxation. Many people find the experience akin to meditation and leave the office in a state of calm. Visiting an acupuncturist can provide a number of benefits but the most immediately apparent will be the way you feel during and after a session.

Visit Affinity Acupuncture in Berry Hill for your Nashville acupuncture needs!

Pain Relief

Acupuncture has been used as a means of pain management for a very long time. In fact, acupuncture has been practiced for over 3,500 years. The staying power has as much to do with positive aspects as tradition.

Acupuncture is used to treat numerous types of chronic pain. This includes back pain, abdominal pain, facial pain, and a variety of others. Affinity Acupuncture will work with you in Nashville to address your personal issues in the most effective means possible.

Nutritional Guidance

The foods we eat have a massive effect on how we feel. Quite literally, everything you eat is used to create your body tissues and to power your body’s functions. The foods we eat have been used to combat illness for thousands of years.

Affinity Acupuncture will work with you to figure out your nutrition goals. A plan will then be put in place for a realistic path toward achieving these goals. Follow up visits will track progress and adjust any methods or recommendations as needed to account for new challenges and changing goals.

Women’s Health

There are a number of aspects related to the health of a woman that require special attention. Different phases of life bring changes and considerations that need to be made to preserve the comfort and well-being of a woman.

Menopause is frequently viewed with apprehension and fear. However, it doesn’t need to be as bad as some people might say. Mood swings, headaches, night sweats, hot flashes — these symptoms can be managed and mitigated. Attention to diet, acupuncture, and traditional Chinese medicine can be used to address these issues. In fact, only 10% of Chinese women experience these issues that commonly plague women in the west. Use of these methods quite likely plays a role in this.

Wrinkle Reduction

People are constantly in search of the next method of avoiding the effects of aging. One frequently used means of reducing the signs of aging is to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Botox is commonly used with this in mind. However, many people don’t like the idea of injecting their face with a toxin. Affinity Acupuncture offers a much more natural means of addressing wrinkles.

Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture is used as an alternative to Botox. Our patients see positive changes over the course of a five-week treatment plan. It can lead to the reduction (and sometimes the disappearance) of fine lines. Smoother cheeks, softer skin, and faded age spots are all possible benefits of Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

The oldest medical textbook in the world is over 4,700 years old: the Huang Di Nei Jing or Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine. Chinese medicine incorporates the various fields of acupuncture, herbal medicine, cupping, exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle counseling. These focuses are rooted in the Taoist philosophy of change, growth, and harmony.

Affinity Acupuncture will meet with you to discuss your goals through traditional Chinese medicine. What are you looking to gain? What would you like to address? This conversation will inform the techniques used to restore your health.

Gastrointestinal Relief

Gastrointestinal disorders can be incredibly uncomfortable. Constipation, diarrhea, spastic colitis, gas — these symptoms can have a consistent negative impact on our lives. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have been shown to provide relief from GI discomfort.

The World Health Organization has proven through controlled clinical trials acupuncture to be an effective treatment for various gastrointestinal issues. Affinity Acupuncture can work with you to find treatments for your GI problems.

Contact Affinity Acupuncture today for Nashville Acupuncture treatments and appointments!

Acupuncture Soothes Cervical Spinal Nerves, Reduces Pain

Researchers find acupuncture effective for the relief of cervical spinal syndrome. This condition involves irritation of the spinal nerves located in the neck. Spinal nerves transmit sensory, motor, and autonomic nervous system signals between the spinal cord and the body. Inflammation and impingement present in cervical spinal syndrome results in head, neck, chest, shoulder, or arm pain and dysfunction. The results of the research demonstrates that acupuncture plus moxibustion yields a high total recovery rate. In addition, nearly every patient receiving acupuncture plus moxibustion demonstrated significant improvements.

Researchers from the Hubei Hongan Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital examined 200 cervical syndrome patients in a controlled investigation. The research team discovered that targeted acupuncture treatments produce an extremely high total effective rate and a high complete recovery rate. Targeting involved the application of a primary acupuncture point prescription for all patients plus an additional set of secondary acupuncture points based upon diagnostic variations in clinical presentations. Using this semi-protocolized targeted approach to patient care, the research team achieved a 97% total effective rate across all tiers of improvement. The breakdown into levels of efficaciousness produced surprising results. The total recovery rate was 64%, the significant improvement rate was 17%, the minimal improvement rate was 16%, and 3% had no improvement.

Dr. Ruth Jackson, MD, notes, “The nerve roots leave the spinal cord at an angle which approximates a right angle, and they fill fairly snugly the foramina through which they pass. This makes them very vulnerable to irritation from any mechanical derangement of the cervical spine.” Cervical syndrome is often triggered by a small event, such as leaning over a sink while brushing teeth or turning the head. However, the initial cause may have been prior, including whiplash injuries, mechanical deformities, or other chronic irritations. The tight spacing of the intervertebral foramina (IVF) through which the nerves pass is easily encroached by both chronic and acute conditions that produce inflammation and morphological changes.

A primary set of acupoints was administered to all patients in this acupuncture continuing education study. A total of 3 – 4 acupoints from the primary set were applied during each acupuncture session. Each acupoint, including customized secondary acupoints, were needled with standard manual acupuncture protocols for insertion and manipulation. Total needle retention time during each acupuncture session was 20 minutes. One acupuncture session was applied daily for a total of 10 days, followed by a two day break and then another 10 days of acupuncture therapy. For moxibustion, a moxa cigar was used to warm the cervical Jiaji acupoints for 30 minutes per day. One 30 minute moxibustion treatment was conducted daily for 10 consecutive days. The next treatment cycle of an additional 10 days of moxibustion care commenced after a 2 day break from treatment. The primary acupoints were selected from the following selection:

Fengchi (GB20)
Dazhui (GV14)
Jianjing (GB21)
Tianzong (SI11)
Lieque (LU7)
Zhongzhu (TB3)
Houxi (SI3)
Ashi (located beside spinous processes)
Secondary acupoints were selected based on the type of cervical syndrome presentation for each patient. For nerve root compression cervical syndrome affecting the shoulders and arms, the following points were applied:

Jianyu (LI15)
Tianzong (SI11)
Binao (LI14)
Yanglao (SI6)
For vertebral artery related cervical syndrome, the following acupoints were applied:

Taiyang (MHN9)
Touwei (ST8)
Baihui (GV20)
Sishencong (MHN1)
Neiguan (PC6)
Sanyinjiao (SP6)
Taichong (LV3)
Zusanli (ST36)
For sympathicus cervical syndrome involving excess stimulation of the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system, the following acupoints were applied:

Taiyang (MHN9)
Jingming (BL1)
Qiuhou (MHN8)
Yifeng (TB17)
Neiguan (PC6)
Zusanli (ST36)
Sanyinjiao (SP6)
Jiaoxin (KD8)
Yinjiao (CV7)
Patients were evaluated before and after the treatment course of care. The treatment efficacy for each patient was categorized into 1 of 4 tiers:

Recovery: Complete recovery of neck function. Complete absence of clinical symptoms.
Significantly effective: Alleviation of localized pain. Clinical symptoms largely absent.
Effective: Localized pain present. Basic physiological function achieved. Main clinical symptoms absent.
Not effective: No improvement.
The total treatment effective rate was derived as the percentage of patients who achieved at least an effective tier. The data shows that acupuncture combined with moxibustion benefits nearly every cervical syndrome patient to some degree, with a 97% total effective rate across all tiers of improvement. The 64% complete recovery rate is equally important.

The researchers gave a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) background to the treatment of cervical syndrome, often manifesting as cervical spondylosis. According to TCM, cervical syndrome is common starting in middle-aged individuals and older. Often, cervical nerve impingement is due to osteoarthritis and cervical disc protrusions or extrusions. Radiculitis is common in all cases. According to TCM principles, left untreated, cervical syndrome is a degenerative disorder. Calcification of related ligaments due to chronic strain and inflammation may lead to oppression of the cervical vertebrae, nerve roots, and blood vessels. There may also be pressure onto the spinal cord in more serious cases. These conditions lead to cervical dysfunction and pain.

In TCM, cervical syndrome is often categorized in the class of Bi Zheng. External pernicious influences giving rise to cervical syndrome include external injury, exhaustion, wind, cold, and dampness. Zang-Fu and deficiency related conditions include deficiency of the liver and kidneys or tendon and bone malnutrition. The aforementioned conditions result in poor qi and blood circulation in the Taiyang meridians and imbalances of the Ying and Wei. Symptoms such as severe neck pain, shoulder pain, numbness, headache, dizziness, and nausea ensue as a result of the condition. The results of the research demonstrates that acupuncture combined with moxibustion is effective for the relief of cervical syndrome.

Contact Affinity Acupuncture today for Nashville Acupuncture treatments and appointments!

References:
Li HX & Zhao L. (2013). Efficacy observation on treating 200 cases of cervical syndrome with acupuncture and moxibustion. Clinical Journal of Chinese Medicine. 5(3).

Jackson, Ruth. “The Classic: The Cervical Syndrome.” Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. 468, no. 7 (2010): 1739-1745.

http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1699-acupuncture-soothes-cervical-spinal-nerves-stops-pain