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.
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!
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!
Acupuncture is an incredibly useful tool to treat conditions involving pain; from sports injury to arthritis to headaches and everywhere in between, but beyond pain, can acupuncture actually help to improve sports performance? Whether you’re a novice to a new sport, an avid gym goer, an amateur or professional athlete, acupuncture can be a great addition to your workout routine to help improve peak performance and elevate you to the next level of your fitness. Sports Acupuncture has been used all over the World, from treating injury to helping athletes increase performance levels. Acupuncturists are commonly employed by major sports teams all across the globe, in the bay area from the San Francisco Giants, 49ers to the San Francisco Ballet. Athletes are turning to acupuncture to not only help with pain and injury, but to help improve performance and compete at optimal levels.
So how does acupuncture help improve athletic performance? Aside from helping to treat injuries, there are many other mechanisms of action that acupuncture helps address which result in an enhanced and improved performance for athletes. Here are five key ways acupuncture helps improve athletic performance.
Original publication in Acupuncture Today May 2018 issue.
Life expectancy continues to increase among the World population and in the U.S., as such our desire for a good quality of life in those golden years is of utmost importance.1 A good quality of life isn’t measured by just being alive, it includes the ability to do normal day-to-day tasks, be free of pain, have nourishing, healthy relationships, and most importantly having a nourishing and healthy relationship with ourselves. The beauty industry is booming more than ever before, and with it the demand for anti-aging and youth enhancing products and treatments.2 Research continues to favor the effects of cosmetic acupuncture, showing noticeable, results after a short series of treatments.3-4 However, in most studies regarding cosmetic acupuncture the function of the full body acupuncture treatment and the importance of the Shen, and its effect on the face and appearance is often overlooked. A person who lacks their Shen showing through their eyes and face is often seen as looking dull, tired, or even unattractive. This property of beauty has no correlation with the physical structure of the face and is based solely in the person’s true self, or spirit, being expressed through the eyes and facial appearance.
Kim had the pleasure of being a guest on the CW show Bay Area Focus with Michelle Griego earlier in 2018. You can watch her segment below where she give us some great insight on natural anti-aging and a little information on permanent makeup!
Athletes are under constant pressure and stress, from performing at peak levels to staying well in the off season; maintaining health, balance and preventing injury are all priorities in the life of an athlete, whether a novice fitness enthusiast or an elite olympian, staying healthy and recovering quickly are of utmost importance. As I’ve started to venture into the world of open water rowing at the South End Rowing Club, I’m quickly learning many of the possible points of injury for rowers, myself included. While rowing is a low impact sport, posture and positioning are extremely important, as is training frequency and duration when it comes to preventing injury. Overtraining can quickly lead to injury, just as poor posture and stroke technique can set up a rower for injury down the line. As an Acupuncturist, I commonly treats patients for pain related to athletic endeavors and sports injuries, and I can say that taking care of an injury when it first appears is by far, one of the most crucial points to helping an athlete heal faster and without further injury. When issues are in the acute phase, they are generally easier and faster to respond to treatment, whether with acupuncture, physical therapy, chiropractic, massage or other modalities, treating a condition sooner than later can help an athlete get out on the water more safely, and sooner than attempting to ignore a minor injury which sets up re-injury later on.
How on Earth can these tiny needles actually make my wrinkles go away?
The beauty industry continues to boom and grow, there are topical creams, lotions and potions all the way to cutting edge cosmetic surgeries. Some treatments simply fail at being effective, while others may be effective but very costly and invasive, finding a more natural treatment that is actually effective can be a difficult task. Cosmetic acupuncture is a centuries old practice, used originally in ancient China as a treatment for royalty, it is continuing to be a sought after, safe and effective alternative treatment to more invasive anti-aging procedures.
Cosmetic acupuncture is a multi-leveled treatment, aimed at treating the entire person in a holistic approach. Aging should be considered a chronic, whole body process, so when we are looking at how to slow down that process it is critical to look at the whole picture. Utilizing only a cream or serum will have limited effect if the person continues to smoke cigarettes, be perpetually dehydrated, or in a constant state of elevated stress for instance. What we do in our lives, our lifestyle in and of itself, has a dramatic effect on how we look, so it should be no surprise that much of the benefit of cosmetic acupuncture lies in its’ holistic approach. When we approach skin care and anti-aging skin care in particular, there are a few goals we need to keep in mind, a treatment that adheres to these goals helps us administer effective skin care that produces desired results, while also avoiding injury to the skin structure so that the effects can last without repercussions later on.
Waking up one morning to a half paralyzed face likely ranks at the top of any of our ‘worst day ever’ lists, but for 40,000 Americans each year, this is reality. Bell’s Palsy is an idiopathic paralysis of the face, usually causing drooping of the mouth and eyelid due to infringement on the Facial Nerve, symptoms mimic a stroke, but with no neurological impairment. (1) Due to the unknown causes of this condition, treatment options are limited, consisting usually of a course of steroids like Prednisone and in some cases an antiviral like Valacyclovir. Patients are sent home with these medications and told to ‘wait it out.’ I don’t know about you, but if half of my face was paralyzed, waiting it out would not be a prescription I would be on board with.
The root of the paralysis in Bell’s Palsy is the 7th Cranial Nerve - The Facial Nerve. This nerve travels through a narrow bony canal in the skull, beneath the ear to the muscles in the face and is responsible for facial movements such as blinking the eye, smiling and frowning, it also carries nerve impulses to the tear and salivary glands, and transmits taste sensations from the tongue. In Bell’s Palsy cases it is thought that the nerve has been subject to some sort of inflammation or impingement which disrupts the function of the nerve resulting in this paralysis and other facial deficiencies.(1) Because of the unknown etiology, or cause, of this impingement, the modern medical treatments for the disorder are rather limited in their scope and approach.
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.