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.
Growth, Transformation, Overwhelm and Confusion
The teenage years can be a whirlwind of growth, transformation, overwhelm and confusion. We’ve all been there and I’m sure you have some memories from your teen years that you wish could have gone differently, or were offered more support to help you with this time. I feel like alternative therapies are often seen as only used or appropriate for adults and small children, and the teenage years, where extra support is crucial, are often left out.
Teenagers are in a time in their life of learning who they are and how they want to be as adults in the world. There is an immense amount of learning, growth and experiences that take place during these very important years, and having support to help smooth the process is paramount. The top 10 things teens deal with as problems are: depression, bullying, sexual activity, drug use, alcohol use, obesity, academic problems, peer pressure and social media.(1) I find that almost all of these problems are rooted in the person going through the process of discovering who they are and how they interact with others in a social environment, in other words - developing a strong sense of self. When we have a strong sense of self and the self esteem and confidence to stick to that sense of self, it makes navigating these potential issues a bit easier.
Well, as fate would have it, I managed to catch the Halloween cold everyone had this year! My regimen to stay healthy throughout the cold and flu season has held strong for over 2 years, so I guess I was due to get something eventually.
Check out my little video blog post about the MediHerb liquid formula Broncafect Phytosynergist - this formula is one of my favorites for finishing off a cold strong, and to help keep a potential cold at bay.
Herbal formulas and regular acupuncture treatments are crucial to boosting your immune system so you're staying healthy all year long, and the time to get started with them is NOW!
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.