I hear it often from my patients: ‘sometimes I pee a little when I laugh,’ ‘I wouldn’t dare try to do jumping jacks or it would be a mess,’ and ‘I just know that I have to use the bathroom before I leave to go anywhere or I might pee my pants.’ Overactive bladder, leakage and incontinence aren’t anything new, but in my practice I’ve gotten the impression that patients think that having these conditions is just a part of getting older, from giving birth or prostate enlargement and it’s something you just have to live with. Treatments for overactive bladder (OAB) leave a lot to be desired, patients don’t want to undergo invasive surgery, but medications have high rates of undesirable side effects which leaves most patients thinking there isn’t a viable treatment option and that urinary leakage is just something they’ll tolerate. While kegel exercises may provide some relief and help for many patients, not everyone notices a difference with doing them, pressing the point home again that OAB is just something we live with, untreated.
Overactive bladder (OAB) is a condition that affects adults and children worldwide and can be caused by numerous underlying factors or traumas like childbirth, prostate enlargement, poor pelvic floor muscle control, bladder prolapse and more. It goes without saying that this condition can create a significant psychological burden on patients and symptoms range from urinary urgency to incontinence, while this condition can be incredibly bothersome, surgery often seems a drastic approach and medications may have limited effect and side effects (de Wall, L. L., & Heesakkers, J. P. (2017.) So what’s the good news? Acupuncture is actually an incredibly effective treatment for OAB, working better than most medications with fewer side effects, it is so effective in fact, that medical doctors use acupuncture and electrostimulation in order to address the tibial nerve and improve its functionality which addresses the innervation of the bladder and helps with OAB, they call it Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation (PTNS). Studies on PTNS have shown improvement in bladder symptoms of over 50% improvement and up to 80% improvement in quality of life studies, this therapy is also minimally invasive and does not pose traditional risks or side effects associated with medications and surgeries (de Wall, L. L., & Heesakkers, J. P., 2017).
In my acupuncture practice in San Rafael, California I provide patients PTNS treatments with acupuncture for with overactive bladder it is a simple adjusted acupuncture treatment to address the innervation of the bladder and improve the regulation of information from the brain to the bladder called Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation and Sacral Nerve Stimulation. While for some patients, the cause of OAB lies in the musculature of the pelvic floor, for many it can be an issue with the nerves that bring information from the bladder to the brain and vice versa, and no amount of kegel exercises will provide relief, for most it’s a combination of both! In addition to treating the issues of the bladder directly, as an Acupuncturist my aim is to always get to the root of an issue, and that doesn’t mean just what’s going on in the body as a cause of an issue, it also means the bigger picture in the body - mind - spirit connection. Acupuncture treatments for OAB will consist of a direct treatment to address the symptoms of overactive bladder and leakage, but also addressing the patient as a unique individual and their constitution so that they can embody more strength and health throughout all aspects of their life, not just the symptoms at hand.
Published in Acupuncture Today February 2020 Vol 21, Issue 2
What do we think of when we hear the word ‘healing’? For many, the first conclusion is that healing means to get better, or to heal from a disease. But what if this belief and concept about healing isn’t the whole picture? If healing doesn’t just mean to get better, then what does it mean? And how can this help us help our patients?
Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines healing as:
heal - transitive verb
1a: to make free from injury or disease : to make sound or whole // heal a wound
B: to make well again : to restore to health // heal the sick
2a: to cause (an undesirable condition) to be overcome // MEND the troubles … had not been forgotten, but they had been healed — William Power
b: to patch up or correct (a breach or division) // heal a breach between friends
3: to restore to original purity or integrity // healed of sin
Our approach in healthcare focuses on the first 3-4 aspects of this definition - to heal a wound, the sick or overcome an undesirable situation. While it is important to help our patients find recovery from the ailments that bring them into our office, in some cases, this isn’t always possible. Chronic disease, terminal illness or life situations that are permanent are not so simply overcome in the sense that we can erase them from reality entirely. It’s in this case where we have to focus on the last definition of the world healing - to restore to original purity or integrity. And while the sample of being ‘healed of sin’ takes on a different tone, what I believe this definition to point to is simply: to return to our original intention.
Bath bombs have become all the rage, from glittery explosions of sweet scents to ones with goodies stashed inside, we love a good and fun bath time! The obsession with these bath time treats has always perplexed me, while I love to take some time out to chill and treat myself, it seemed to me like we had a real missed opportunity on our hands. A fun colored bath is one thing, but as a trained herbalist I am also aware of the power of the herbal bath, that by using herbs we can treat hundreds of conditions and have been for thousands of years. I wanted to take this self care ritual of a decadent bath to the next level, with quality ingredients in an amount that could actually produce a therapeutic effect. In Chinese Medicine we have been using the herbal bath for thousands of years, but in our modern day sourcing these herbs - in the right amounts, is time consuming and can cause some gunking up of the tub, in short it’s not very convenient at all. This is where my Chinese Medicinal Herbal Fizzing Bath Salts come into play!
Gorgeous skin is a quality that’s been envied for the ages; blemish free, invisible pores and a smooth complexion free of wrinkles, it’s something many people strive for and something a multi billion dollar industry was built from. I always remind my patients that beauty starts on the inside, and this is true of our spirit and heart as well as the health of our body. The first step to True beauty lies in loving and cherishing our bodies just as they are, and part of this self love can be the act of taking care of our bodies and our skin with nutrition, herbs, mindfulness and skincare routines that nourish us from the inside out. Getting Botox, fillers and cosmetic surgery can be drastic and dramatic treatments that might be great for some people, but not for everyone, especially someone who’s wanting to do things a bit more naturally.
In my acupuncture clinic in San Rafael, CA I see a number of women and men for Cosmetic Acupuncture treatments - it’s an amazing way to address the signs of aging naturally and safely. A cosmetic acupuncture treatment alone may help many patients see the results they desire, and truly works from the inside out, but some may need an extra boost or are more committed to making lasting changes and an herbal prescription and supplement protocol can be implemented. For others, cosmetic facial acupuncture may not be a possibility or even an interest, in which case being able to implement dietary, lifestyle and herbal changes are great steps in a holistic beauty regimen. These 7 herbs and supplements are some of my go-to products for great looking skin from the inside out, they help improve the integrity of the skin and it’s appearance through a variety of factors, perhaps one or two might be right for you!
Looking our best can come with a high price tag in today’s society, we have tons of choices; from topical care infused with gold and diamonds, to medical treatments and surgery, holistic treatments and any one of thousands of facials, for some these are the Holy Grail of anti-aging skincare and looking great, but for others treatments fall short time and time again. I see this in my clinic in San Rafael, some patients respond very well to their Cosmetic Facial Acupuncture treatments whereas some might not see results or the results are too little. Some patients come in complaining that anything and everything they've tried hasn't worked, so helping my patients gauge whether the treatment will work for them is part of my intake process, so that I can help decode what might be going on that could hinder the results, it's why holistic skincare is so important!
The skin is the largest organ in our body, and as many are aware by now: what goes in and what’s going on in our body becomes our body, and this includes the skin. Anything from stress to digestion can have an effect on the appearance of our skin, and this also plays a role in why and how our skincare routines work, or don’t. Here are 5 common reasons your skincare isn’t producing a satisfying result, and what you can do to solve it!
If you're looking for a unique, transformative and chill event to dive into acupuncture, meditation and those relaxed alpha theta brainwave states, then I invite you to join me on Sunday August 11th at 11am or 2pm for my Acupuncture and Guided Meditation event in San Rafael, Marin County at Lion's Heart!
“Qigong and acupuncture will not only make you smarter, but also make you sexier and get better dates” touted the late Dr. Daju Suzanne Friedman to her students. They always laughed at this joke, but also knew there was definitely some merit to it, because after practicing qigong or receiving an acupuncture treatment the results were obvious; feeling better, a clarity of mind and an improved overall appearance. When a person completes a meditation retreat it’s not uncommon for their peers to see them as not just looking more clear and relaxed, but also looking more youthful and more present. Mindfulness works, it helps us to relax, let go of stress and actually takes the body into a regenerative brainwave state, and doing this has an incredible anti-aging effect throughout the entire body, from improved clarity of mind, to preserving telomeres and visible improvements in the skin and appearance.
In the same way meditation helps to take the brain and body to a restorative state, acupuncture does so as well; it’s part of the reason why patients get off the table feeling great, looking relaxed and talking about how incredibly relaxing the treatment was. There are different types of brainwaves the human body experiences, they affect different levels of consciousness and serve different purposes - all relevant and important. In today’s society, the stressed out sympathetic nervous system is ever dominant, so taking time to wind down and drop in to a regenerative state is incredibly important, although it can often be difficult for some to get into that relaxed state. Acupuncture can help almost anyone drop in to a relaxed state without the effort, making acupuncture a great tool, like mindfulness meditation to help people experience renewal and healthy aging.
The cycle of making plans and setting intentions for who we are becoming and growing into is a continuous process, it's important to remember that in order to let in more, we often need to also let go. One place we truly need to let go, but have a difficult time in doing so, is releasing ourselves from past hurts, resentments, regrets, even simple arguments; when we notice something recurring and ruminating in our space it's a sign that we need some extra healing around that particular subject, or person.
Forgiveness is an incredible tool to help us let go and set ourselves free from that which we are attached to, or still connected to even though we don't want to be. Forgiveness is to truly release the stuck energy that holds us back, and by using a meditation or practice like the one following, we can experience a deep level of healing and release.
The subject of this meditation was adapted from the book Soul Integration by Sal Rachele. The book addresses topics, tools and meditations to help us integrate lost soul fragments, or in other words - to find and become more attuned with our highest spiritual self. While reading this book I was going through a particularly difficult and dramatic situation in my life, and this specific meditation seemed to resolve the matter almost overnight. Since then I've held the intention to make the video to share, with Sal's approval and support. The background music is by the very talented, connected and wise Ryan Rigoli, the songs are from his recent albums Majesty of the Heart and You Are Eternal.
I hope you enjoy this meditation and can use it to help move forward on your path of healing and growth!
Women today do everything, from CEO to Mom of the Year, best friend, engineer and astronaut, there’s a lot on our plates, and for many once a month (give or take) menstrual cramps are the less than desirable icing on the cake. Dull achy pain that can go from mild annoyance to crippling and debilitating has been felt by most women at some point in their lifetime and for about 10 in every 100, this pain can be so debilitating that all daily activities have to be put on hold. Painful periods aka dysmenorrhea can be caused by the feeling of the uterus tightening during menstruation or from a secondary cause like endometriosis, growths or cysts and some types of IUDs, but no matter the cause, the pain is still very real. For those wanting a more natural remedy that you can do literally anywhere, acupressure might be the answer!
It's been a long time coming and I'm thrilled to announce that starting in 2020 I will be offering a 3 Day Workshop for licensed Acupuncturists to learn my method of integrative Cosmetic Acupuncture! The first course will be held at my alma mater The Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College in Berkeley, CA the last weekend of January 2020. Details are still being worked out but the course is currently pending for 23 CA CEUs and will also be applied for NCCAOM units as well.
I'm looking forward to offering this course as I think it really bridges together what other courses are missing and takes on an approach that helps students understand the WHY of cosmetic acupuncture from a physiological perspective as well as a spiritual perspective. Over a decade of practicing this art has led me to some unique understandings of how and why it works and how to work with patients to get the best results possible.
Please see more information on my website: integrativecosmeticacupuncture.com for upcoming course dates and more!
Dr. Kim Peirano, DACM, LAc is the Owner and Acupuncturist at Lion's Heart Wellness, the San Francisco Bay Area and Marin's #1 Cosmetic Acupuncturist and #1 Holistic Healer.