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acupuncture

WHEN IS ACUPUNCTURE RIGHT FOR YOU?

WHEN IS ACUPUNCTURE RIGHT FOR YOU?

You may have heard amazing stories about acupuncture from friends or family but still feel unclear about what it could do for you.

What Gluten Intolerance And Stress Have In Common

What Gluten Intolerance And Stress Have In Common

From bloating, to diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain - gluten intolerance can be a pain to live with. Trying to avoid gluten can be a mission in itself. But did you know that gluten intolerance, and stress have a common link? And that by controlling one you may be able to control the other?

Gluten intolerance is essentially a form of inflammation – the body’s hyperactive response to a protein(gluten) found in wheat[1]. What if I told you that stress also creates an environment in your body, which makes you more prone to inflammatory conditions like gluten intolerance, IBS, and celiac disease[2]? And what if that minor clue, was in itself, the solution and cure.

 

Here I’m going to discuss how you can get gluten intolerance under control by managing your stress levels and inflammation with acupuncture & food therapy.

 

Many clients of ACUSOUL who suffer from IBS, celiac disease, or gluten intolerance – have noticed that it gets worse in times of stress. More importantly, the illness itself may have began during a time of high stress.

 

For example, when you entered the workforce your stress levels may have been more elevated than when you were in school[3]. That may also be the time when you noticed the gluten intolerance began. It may not have been flaring up consistently everyday, but that’s because your stress levels also vary day by day. Paying attention to the environment, your lifestyle, and emotionally how you felt when the illness began is critical to addressing it.

 

What stress does is increase blood pressure, cortisol levels, and your body’s inflammatory response[4]. This increase in cortisol, and blood pressure has an obvious impact on your heart health. At the same time the inflammation being increased makes the gluten intolerance and IBS more pronounced in the intestinal organs.

Thus, with acupuncture we would target the Heart to bring down stress levels and the intestinal organs to control diarrhea and constipation. As a result you may notice better sleep, feeling more relaxed, and less tension in the upper back and jaw, as well as less bouts of diarrhea or constipation, and less bloating. If you’re not familiar, feel free to read our article on "How acupuncture works”.

Heart Health Acupuncture.png

From a food standpoint, here are some foods that help reduce inflammation, regulate the heart, and may help with symptoms of gluten intolerance:

1. Turmeric – with high anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, digestive regulating properties, this spice is great for inflammatory conditions like gluten intolerance, IBS, or celiac disease.

Turmeric.png

2. Beets - Calm the heart, lubricates the intestines to help with constipation.

Beets TCM.JPG

3. Watermelon – Clears heat from the heart, stomach, and bladder. Alleviates thirst, and induces diuresis. Essentially promoting the body’s ability to clear inflammation, and rehydrate.

Watermelon.png

 If you’re interested in seeing what acupuncture & food therapy can do for you – book a session here. We’re an acupuncture clinic located in the heart of downtown toronto, and forest hill. We’ll discuss your health concerns in detail, come up with a treatment plan, and provide food recommendations customized to your body’s intricate needs.

1. https://nyulangone.org/conditions/celiac-disease-gluten-sensitivity-in-adults/diagnosis

2. https://www.rn.com/featured-stories/stress-inflammation-immunity/

3. https://www.forbes.com/sites/karlynborysenko/2018/11/01/generation-z-is-coming-to-work-and-their-stress-is-already-high/#40e00704273b

4. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/signs-you-are-gluten-intolerant

5. http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/1999/06/04/27924.htm 

3 Tips For Energy That Lasts

3 Tips For Energy That Lasts

Here are 3 ways to help you wake up with more energy, get you through those mid-day slumps, and feeling like you CAN do anything you set your mind to.

How Does Acupuncture Work?

How Does Acupuncture Work?

Here we break down how acupuncture works from a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective.

ADAPT TO YOUR LIFE'S SEASON

ADAPT TO YOUR LIFE'S SEASON

As you attempt to adapt to the changing seasons, life can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. Learn how to manage your resources, or better yet, improve your health to better able to handle the ups and downs of life using acupuncture & food therapy.

3 Tips To Boost Your Immunity This Fall

3 Tips To Boost Your Immunity This Fall

It can be EXHAUSTING keeping up with yourself sometimes. Your body knows it, but do you?

As we enter fall, temperatures begin to drop, trees begin to lose their leaves, marking a time when things slow down in nature. We too ought to slow down in life. Most of us, however, are still working harder than ever in a competitive workplace, trying to keep up with our demanding lifestyles, and still trying to cram in more into our already busy schedules. 

If you already caught a cold, have a bit of runny nose, or a sore throat, this is your body signalling that you need to SLOW DOWN. 

It's a clear sign you're operating on overdrive as you lack the resources to manage your body's immune system. To prevent things from getting worse HERE ARE SOME TIPS:

1. Hit Pause

Ever feel that "stress-mode" come on, as if you're in a panic, as if you don't have enough time to get through the amount of work that needs to be done? Once we get into this mode, our minds get ahead of ourselves, thinking about the next 10 possible scenarios that could happen. We begin to lose track of what we need - TIME, SPACE, FOOD, and REST.

The next time you catch yourself feeling the pressure of stress, give yourself 1-2 minutes to just sit down, breathe deep and slow, and allow your mind to pause for a moment so your body can catch up with you. You'll feel your energy come back again, and your stress levels drop significantly, which will make you more effective to the people you're trying to serve.

2. Chai Tea

With warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom this tea can help boost the body's immune system, and balance off fall's cooler climate. The next time you feel cold in the office, or at home after a long day, warm up with a nice cup of chai.

3. Let Go Of The Unnecessary

Trees let go of their leaves during fall. Fall is also a time when the large intestine is more active, the main organ for elimination of waste from your body. A problem in this department can be a sign that you have a hard time letting go of things.

Some of you have a tendency to hang on to your busy schedules. Not realising that many of the things you do, you either don't really want, or need to. Let's practice letting them go.

Take a look at your schedule, and ask yourself which things do you actually want to do, or absolutely HAVE to do. Then eliminate everything else. This will clear your schedule, clear your stress, and give yourself the time and rest you need to slow things down in your life. Then you can hopefully schedule in some self-care, like acupuncture.

You can also apply this to "Things" in your home. Clothes, electronics, books, paperwork. If you haven't used or looked at it in the past 3 years, chances are you can let it go now.

Have a wonderful fall season, and enjoy the cooler climates by going for walks in the park, and breathing in the fresh crisp air. Don't forget to wear a scarf.


If you're interested in booking some self-care acupuncture time, feel free to book online. We focus on creating the change your body needs to heal through pain, chronic conditions, or mental emotional blockages using acupuncture & food therapy. Our acupuncture clinics are located downtown Toronto, and Forest Hill. Our practitioners are registered acupuncturists, and we provide a receipt for insurance purposes.

Regulate Your Sleep Cycle With Acupuncture

Regulate Your Sleep Cycle With Acupuncture

A lack of sleep can put you on edge, make you feel overwhelmed, or exhausted and zoned out when it matters most…Learn one of the best Acupressure points you can try at home for regulating your sleep cycle!

How To Clear Plantar Fascitis With Acupuncture

How To Clear Plantar Fascitis With Acupuncture

It’s your New Year’s resolution to get fit this year. You’ve made the decision to hit the gym or train for a marathon so you can get the body you want. There’s only one thing holding you back. That annoying pain in the bottom of your foot that acts up even just during your warm up! Argh! How are you EVER going to achieve your fitness goals this year?! Every time it feels like you’re just getting started, the pain tells you you’ve got to slow down, stop for a moment, and give your foot a rest.

 

Let’s face it, heel pain sucks. You start to think “Is this what getting old feels like?” and “Am I going to be stuck with this heel pain for the rest of my life?” You may have been told before that you have "plantar fascitis", which worries you because you're not sure if there's a cure for that!

 

Relax. Take a deep breath. Heel pain ISN’T something you need to live with for the rest of your life. And guess what? It’s NOT a sign that you’re getting old.  It can be corrected, and you can get your active, healthy lifestyle back again!

 

In Chinese Medicine, pain is usually a result of a blockage in the body. These blockages are often created by stress and tension, or over-exhaustion. Here’s how:

 

Stress causes your body to tense up and your blood vessels constrict. This leads to decreased circulation and blood flow to various parts of your body, depending on where you hold your stress. Then out-of-nowhere you’re hit with pain.

 

Over-exhaustion, on the other hand, causes a different type of blockage. This drains the body’s energy. Your body is taking care of a lot of things all day, every day. Your over-used heel is likely last on the list of your body’s priorities. Which means, it never fully heals. (Pun unintended.)  

 

With many of my clients, after removing such blockages and improving circulation to the bottom of their foot through acupuncture - the pain disappears! The best part of it all is after a few sessions you can finally go ALL-OUT again in your workouts, sports, or other activities you love to experience without heel pain holding you back.

 

I also recommend a foot soak you can do at home. Simply fill a tub with hot water, pour in some epsom salts (half a cup), and soak your feet for 10-15 minutes. Not only does the warmth improve circulation, but epsom salts have minerals like magnesium that lower blood pressure and help the body to relax.

 

So, if you’re ready to get your workouts back in gear again, you can book a session at one of our acupuncture clinics in Toronto, where we’ll discuss your health concerns, and get to the bottom of that annoying heel pain.

3 ways to stop freezing hands & feet!

3 ways to stop freezing hands & feet!

You're the first person to wear sweaters in the office when fall arrives. No this is not something you have to live with. Here's 3 ways...

Say goodbye to your NECK PAIN!

Say goodbye to your NECK PAIN!

We have important news! Neck pain isn’t normal. Neck pain isn’t something that you have to accept.

Unfortunately, too many people think that mysterious neck pain is just a “normal part of getting older.”

It’s not!

Think of all the inconvenience annoying neck pain has caused you.

You just woke up one day, turned your neck one direction, and all of a sudden it hurt like HELL.

Now you have to skip the gym this week. You flinch in pain if you turn your head too fast.  You feel like you’re trying to walk around a mine field of posture positions just to avoid another stab of pain.

This week I want to help you free yourself from this pain.

Let’s get you back to feeling freedom of movement without any mystery pain!

Let’s get you back into the gym. Let’s get you through the workday without a stab of pain from nowhere. Let’s get you back to feeling comfortable, relaxed, and not having to sit or stand in awkward positions just to avoid pain.  

What is the most common culprit for neck pain?

Stress! And here’s how…

When you’re under stress, your body tenses up. The first part of your body that your system wants to protect is your neck – with good reason. Your neck is one of the most vulnerable parts of your body, and in nature, predators, like lions, always attack at the neck.

So when you’re stressed, or feeling anxious, the tension you create actually reduces the circulation of blood that’s supposed to nourish your tendons and ligaments.

….then all it takes is one quick move in the wrong direction, or sleeping in an uncomfortable position, and WHACK! Your neck is strained.

One trick I want to share with you is one of the best acupressure points on the back of your hand for alleviating neck pain:

Acupuncture Neck Pain.png

It’s about 1 inch above your knuckles between your index and middle finger. Found it? Press on it hard, and take a few deep and slow breaths as you try moving your neck again. Now, I hope that this temporary relief gives you … well, some relief!

And if you would like to finally eliminate this pain (and many others), then might I suggest that you look into an acupuncture session. My clients notice a significant change even in the first session. Why is that? Because acupuncture improves circulation, and pain is either the result of constricted circulation or the pain has caused you to take on poor postures which also hinder your body’s circulation. That’s just one way that acupuncture can free yourself of pain. And there is the BONUS that it also nourishes the tendons and ligaments that are out of whack - also due to poor circulation and poor posture. It’s all connected!

If you’re interested in relieving the pain I am available at both the downtown and forest hill acupuncture clinics in Toronto.

We’ll discuss the problem in more detail, provide some food therapy recommendations and do some acupuncture to free you from the pain in your neck. 

How Acupuncture Relieves Pain

How Acupuncture Relieves Pain

We tend to perform the same motions day in and day out. The majority of the time this isn't an issue as long as we have the right posture, and are using the right technique. It's when we aren't being mindful of these things that we tend to develop imbalances, which leads to pain, and tension.

POOR POSTURE

The imbalances poor posture creates is endless, from pain in your shoulders, to pain between your scapulas (upper back), to lower back pain. All of these areas become obstructed, and can even lead to tingling sensations running down your leg, or through your arm. Acupuncture can actually help to alleviate pain by improving circulation, and re-activating energy channels that run through the areas of pain. So how does it work? From a western medicine perspective, when your body detects an acupuncture needle, or a foreign object in the body, your immune system naturally sends its immune cells to scope out the area[1]. Indirectly what this does is increase blood flow to the area, and improve circulation[1]. In Chinese Medicine, pain is a sign of stagnation, or a blockage. By examining what area you experience pain, this tells the acupuncturist what energy channels to open using the acupuncture points along the channel. Other signs of stagnation are a tendency to sigh, feeling depressed at times, or pain along the ribs. 

WHEN YOU'RE BURNT OUT...

When your body is feeling tired, you might find yourself getting lazy, having a tendency to slouch, or just using piss-poor technique. And then just like that, you hurt your neck, or your lower back lets out. For the next week, you're spending your spare time rubbing tiger balm, and vaporub, along with ice and heat packs to try and relieve this agonizing pain.

But it's not just the bad technique that leads to injury and pain. It's the fact that your body is tired that leads to injury as well! When you're tired, your body has a more difficult time keeping things together. The first thing we do when we're tired is we slouch. It's like your body is too tired to hold itself up, so it just lets yourself go aloof.

This concept can be used to understand why people get slipped discs or bulging discs leading to sciatic pain. And may also explain why in the elderly their organs prolapse as their bodies are slowly running out or resources to hold everything in place. 

In this case, popping needles into where it hurts does little to improve your condition. When acupuncturists do acupuncture, we focus on the internal imbalances. In this case, we need to improve your energy. The best organ for that is the Kidneys. Just think about adrenaline - it's a form of energy, and where it comes from (the adrenal glands), which sit on top of your kidneys! So by using acupuncture to stimulate points that strengthen the kidneys, you should expect to notice an improvement in your condition by the end of that acupuncture treatment.

INFLAMMATION

For some of us, the areas we get pain, also feel hot, and appear red at times. These are signs of "Heat" in Chinese Medicine, or "Inflammation" in western medicine. In Chinese Medicine, some points have the function of "Clearing Heat". This may seem like a foreign concept, but actually western medical studies have been performed to prove acupuncture's effectiveness in reducing inflammation [2]. Other signs of heat in the body are a red face or rosacea, unquenchable thirst, constipation, or dark urine. 

By paying attention to your body, you can become more mindful of what is causing the pain.

If you're looking for relief from pain, ACUSOUL is an acupuncture clinic in Toronto that provides relief to pain, along with many other health issues. If you haven't already done so, book an appointment today at one of our Toronto acupuncture locations.

Not only can we detect what kind of imbalances you have, but also treat them and provide preventative measures to keep your body free from pain using acupuncture and food therapy.

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References

1. http://www.elotus.org/article/mechanisms-acupuncture

2. http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1352-acupuncture-anti-inflammatory-effect-revealed

What's The Right Tea For You?

What's The Right Tea For You?

In Chinese Medicine, the goal is to bring harmony and balance to the body, mind, and soul. We can accomplish this through acupuncture, food therapy, or even choosing the right teas. Your body's imbalances speak loudly in many ways, and if we are attuned to how we feel we can choose the right tea to re-balance ourselves. Green tea has become quite popular nowadays with all the research indicating green tea has high antioxidant qualities. However, green tea is considered cooling in Chinese Medicine and may not be right for everyone.

1. Peppermint Tea

If you feel cold all the time, or generally low in energy, green tea may not be the healthiest choice for you. If, however, you tend to feel hot easily, get nose bleeds, mouth sores, or are suffering from a sore throat, peppermint tea could make you feel better.Peppermint has cooling qualities that clear heat and soothe the liver, an organ which can get quite heated in a high stress environment. This makes peppermint a perfect way to rebalance after a heated discussing, or a stressful day at the office. 

 

2. Black Tea

On the other hand, black tea's high caffeine content, and energizing properties might be the right choice if you feel sluggish, tired, or just need a boost of energy. In fact, a common tradition which is still carried out today is to drink black tea at Dim Sum. This is because alot of food served at Dim Sum can be quite greasy, and cause some of us to feel tired, and heavy after the meal. Pu-Erh tea, served at Dim Sum, is used to help cut the grease, boost energy, and wake you up again. This tea gets its name from Pu'Er, a city in Yunnan province, China where the tea is fermented, and aged. 

3. Rose Tea & Chai Tea

Feeling cold at the office? this may be due to a lack of circulation, or a lack of warmth in the body. I have two options for you - rose tea and chai tea. More than just a romantic gesture, roses, when consumed as tea are good for gently warming the body, while promoting circulation. Its invigorating qualities help to remove stagnation, which builds up when we're constantly doing something we don't want to do. It also has medicinal properties which nourish the skin, and promote digestion. In Chinese medicine, it is occasionally used for people that have irregular menstruation, blood clots, or painful periods. Chai tea on the other hand, has its origins in India, and blends black tea with a mixture of aromatic Indian  spices and herbs. With strong invigorating, and warming properties, this makes it a great choice in the winter time if you're feeling a runny nose, or the beginning stages of a cold. It will not only warm your body up from the inside out, but could potentially cause you to break a sweat, preventing exterior pathogens from invading your body. 

4. Matcha Tea

Feeling anxious, panicky or just not well grounded? Matcha tea is known as an anticancer tea, having 137 times more antioxidants compared to regular green tea. It's interesting to note Matcha tea's cultivation, and production are closely related to the effects it has on the body. Grown in a shaded environment for up to 3 weeks, this makes Matcha tea a more cooling, and calming tea. Once picked, it is stone-ground into a fine powder - having the ability to ground your mind at times of anxiety and fear. In fact, traditionally at Japanese and Chinese ceremonies, matcha tea was prepared and served as a way of embodying a meditative spirit. A great tea to have at the end of a long work week, when you are looking to wind down, quiet the thoughts of the mind, and focus on yourself. 

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