We are living in a very tumultuous time and the world has become a wild and wacky place.  Everyday, we are bombarded with bad news, vicious gossip, conflict, war, and natural disasters.  This creates such stress on our immune systems and here in New York City, many of my patients are experiencing anxiety for the first time in their lives.  So, today, I’ve decided to tell you all a true story that will make you feel good, restore your faith in humankind and I hope you will pass it on and pay forward some of the kindnesses that have been bestowed on you….

A couple of months ago, a person who has been a patient of mine for many years and a thyroid cancer survivor reached out to me to tell me that a diagnosis of Stage IV esophageal cancer was given to this person and could I help. My response was “Of course, I will do everything I can to help minimize the effects of chemotherapy and boost your immune system.  We will get through this and you will win this war”.  We discussed the treatment strategy for the chemotherapy and scheduled acupuncture treatments so that the patient would have a treatment before and after chemo, then weekly treatments in between chemotherapy.

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It’s ragweed season and once again you’re experiencing the itcy eyes, runny nose and scratchy throat. Tired of those meds that make you feel like a zombie? Tired of weekly allergy shots that leave your arms sore? Let me help you eliminate those symptoms without medications and shots.

Allergies can affect anyone, and do not discriminate by race, sex, age or demographic.   Allergic attacks can begin at any age and can reoccur after many years of remission. Factors that can affect the severity of symptoms include stress, smoking, colognes, hormones and environmental pollutants.  Allergic reactions begin in your immune system. When a person who is allergic to ragweed is exposed to the allergen, the immune system can overreact and produce antibodies to combat the microorganism.  This will cause the symptoms of itchy runny eyes, watery nose, scratchy throat, coughing or wheezing.   Acupuncture can improve the body’s immune system to mediate these reactions and regulate homeostasis.

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Imagine having a good talk with a friend who tells you that he was on his mountain bike and while riding the hills of Northern California, he slammed into a tree pelvis first and now he’s got a ‘problem’.  Imagine your friend who is 23 years of age and just had her first baby in tears because sexual intercourse is so painful, she can’t stand to be near her husband.  You cannot imagine it….this is pelvic floor pain.  Never heard of it?  Ok, let’s take it one step further….
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DRUG FREE ALLERGY RELIEF

The warm and wet winter followed by a soggy spring has the pollen count topping the charts the past two months.  My clinic is busy helping seasonal rhinitis sufferers with their many symptoms of runny noses, itchy eyes, scratchy throats, sneezing, coughing, phlegm, and the urinary incontinence that can sometimes occur with forceful sneezing.  All my new patients walk away from a treatment with either complete relief or some minor symptoms.  All these patients new to Traditional Chinese Medicine for the relief of their seasonal rhinitis say to me “I wish I had come in sooner for this” or “I wish I had known you could do this for me”.

My patients who have been under my care for years (and are former inhaler/allergy shot patients) begin their monthly acupuncture treatments for seasonal rhinitis in February or March.  None of these patients take allergy medication since being treated with acupuncture, nor do they have to go for monthly/weekly allergy injections or  use inhalers.   It is truly an effective and drug free method of resolving symptoms that so often take so much from a person’s quality of life.  These patients slide through Spring to Winter symptom free with just a once monthly or bimonthly acupuncture treatment.  Intrigued?  Want to know more?  Would you like to try living life without feeling like you’re walking around in a fog?

If you would like to become symptom-free from seasonal rhinitis and enjoy life outdoors this year, call or email the office to schedule an appointment.  There are no guarantees in this life, but why not give it a try?

SPRING BREAK AT THE CLINIC

After a very busy winter, it’s time to take a little break from NYC.  The office will be closed for its annual Spring Break Monday, May 28th and reopen on Monday, June 4th.  If you would like to schedule an appointment for the week of June 4th, please contact the office via telephone or email no later than Thursday, May 24th.  Enjoy the Memorial Day Weekend.  Be safe, have fun and be healthy!

Recently, on one of my many flights out west, I perused through JetBlue’s many on-screen entertainment categories and found a hidden gem.  It is called “Headspace” and it is a free guided meditation app.  I decided to give it a try in my window seat and was pleasantly surprised how nice this guided meditation was.  I downloaded the app into my phone and I am quite impressed with Headspace.  You can choose your goals for meditation: relaxation, focus, more energy, anxiety and stress management – it’s all there and very user-friendly.  You can select how many minutes you would like to meditate as well and set up a reminder on your phone for your daily meditation.  I recommend meditation to all my patients because it is grounding and takes us all out of our immediate mindsets for a brief amount of time.  This allows for a ‘reset’ of the brain.  It will lower your blood pressure, give you more focus, less anxiety and stress and recharge your body’s batteries.  No matter what you need on a daily basis, there is a free guided meditation for you at the tips of your fingers.  Try it, it’s free, it’s good for you.

https://www.headspace.com/headspace-meditation-app

How many of you have already gone ‘off the wagon’ with your New Year’s Resolution?  I’ll bet at least 60% of you have either wandered from the gym – or not gone there yet (the “Manana Syndrome”), couldn’t say NO to those Dunkin’ Munchkins your colleague brought to the office, or purchased your 78th pair of Manolos just because they were 10% off (even though your credit card is about to blow up).

We all try hard to stay the course and we are all well-intentioned, but many stray from their resolutions within the first month of the year.  But, there are those individuals who always seem to do what they say they are committed to and stay in the game….coming out as winners.  How do they do it? What’s their secret?  I’ll tell you…. They STATE their intentions  publicly….yes, they tell everyone; they announce their intentions to the entire cyberworld via Facebook, at group meetings (Weight Watchers, Int’l for example), prior to the start of their favorite class at the gym (general announcement, folks!), or tell one more person each and every day what their goals are.  These Winners OWN THEIR WORDS and are ACCOUNTABLE for their actions.  People who are accountable own up to what’s coming out of their mouths and take responsibility for their commitments.  Of course, they have their bad days here and there, but because they ‘wear’ their accountability on their foreheads, they will tell the world as they know it how they’ve slipped and will ask for help to get back on course.  Their reward for accountability?  Their world responds with encouragement and support.  Pretty neat – isn’t it?  For instance….

I have a friend who was told by his MD that he needed to lose approximately 65 lbs.  His health was poor and for a man of his age, he was headed down a slippery slope.  What did he do?  He joined Soul Cycle and every single day for at least the past 6 months (snow, sleet, rain and heat), he posts on Facebook what his morning workout was, how many calories he burned, how much weight he was losing and takes a selfie.  Some might say this type of behavior could be labelled as narcissistic, but what this clever fellow is doing is being ACCCOUNTABLE for his resolution to lose weight, improve his health and live a healthier lifestyle.  So, what happened?  “Friends” and “Friends of Friends” have posted their support and cheer him on.  No matter what city he travels to or what holiday might come up, this guy finds a gym, takes a class and keeps ‘walking the walk’…he’s staying in the game.  Results?  Gradually, he’s lost over 45lbs last time I looked at his page.  He’s looking 10 years younger, gave his larger sized clothing to charity and feels just so much better.  Better still…his gusto for life is back and he is feeling fabulous and looking forward to attaining his goal of the 65lbs.  Quite frankly, I’m impressed.  Well done, my friend!

Folks…it doesn’t matter how large or small your resolution is this year….enroll a buddy to help you stay in the game.  Tell friends and colleagues what your goals are and don’t make it idle water cooler talk.  Stick to the plan, keep your support group up to date with your progress, and when someone brings the Dunkin’ Munchkins into the office, do what I do….tell them I’m back on Weight Watchers and I am not having any Munchkins today.  That’s the truth.  You see….even diehards like me need to be accountable for my own goals.  So, I just tell everyone I’m back on the Weight Watchers Wagon because I want to look even better come Springtime….accountability….try it on for 30 days and stick with it.  You’ll be surprised what happens.

If you have an issue with your resolutions and need help, contact my office.  I’ve helped a multitude of patients achieve their goals via my Wellness Program here at the clinic.  Wishing all the best this January and let’s all Stay In The Game!

Ok, people…it’s that time of year.  The social season has kicked off with black tie galas, the cooler weather has abruptly shocked us into late fall here in the Northeast, and Thanksgiving has crept upon us!  The Great Turkey Day awaits!  Most of us are scrambling with last minute travel and cooking plans for the Great American Feed Fest.  Even most gyms have cancelled regularly scheduled classes and have modified hours of operation this coming weekend.

Listen up!  You’ve been working very hard to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol; keep those extra pounds off…how many hours at the gym and how many carrots have you eaten the past 6 months to look good in that very favorite pair of jeans or slinky dress?  Don’t mess up your good work!

Here are a few simple and healthy tips to get you through the BIG T DAY without compromising both your waist and your health:

  • Wherever you are going for your Thanksgiving dinner, don’t go hungry.  Have a salad, a healthy snack (yogurt with fruit, a boiled egg on a piece of toast or almond butter and honey on toast) prior to venturing out to the venue.  These snacks will keep you full and you won’t arrive to your destination famished – ready to devour everything in sight.
  • Choose your battles and win the war!  Instead of going straight for the cocktail, have a seltzer with lemon or lime to start the party.  Alcohol naturally increases the appetite…seltzer water with lemon or lime will taste refreshing and keep you in the ‘light’ mood longer.  You can have most appetizers any time of the year, so instead of the fatty cheese/saucisson platter, go for the fresh shrimp instead.  Most sides at Thanksgiving come once a year, so enjoy!  Select what is unusual.  Have a taste of everything if you desire, but keep the portions SMALL.  Most hosts/hostesses have plenty of leftovers; you don’t have to eat the equivalent of 6 dinners at one seating.  Ask politely and discreetly if you may have a plate to go for the next day.  Your host/hostess will be so flattered (and so happy not to have leftovers themselves), they will be more than delighted to fix you a plate for the next day.
  • Try to do a little exercise the morning of your Feed Fest.  Take a brisk walk, go to the gym, or just play with the kids or dog in the back yard. Any activity is good.
  • Oh, dessert…..choose your battles. Determine what is ‘really worth the calories’ and the hours it’s going to take to burn off those calories in the coming week.  Remember, ALL the holiday parties begin next week, so make a plan….and stick to it!

Most importantly – just have fun!  Don’t drink and drive!  At some point, share with your fellow guests  what it is you are grateful for this year.  Take a few moments to reflect on your blessings.

I’ll leave you with my thoughts on Thanksgiving:  I’m very grateful I’m allergic to turkey and have no palate for most of the dishes served at Thanksgiving.  It makes the day much easier to manage.  I’m grateful for the family members who love me, for the friends I cherish and for all of you; because without you, I wouldn’t be who I am.

God’s peace and have a blessed Thanksgiving!

A strong immune system is key to good health in general and staving off infections.  A sensible diet, moderate exercise, quality sleep and limited stress all contribute to boosting your immune system.  “Run down” typically leads to catching a cold or worse.  My patients who come in for regular ‘immune boosting’ treatments are all happy, healthy and disease/sickness-free; living life to the fullest.  Acupuncture has been used for over 2,000 years to enhance health and longevity.  A recent publication on the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) site was posted and I will give you the direct quote below.  Basically, what it states in simple language is that the application of acupuncture on certain points with mild electro-stimulation, can enhance B cells and T cells in the body (immune boosting and germ fighting cells).  A proven study that the NIH has published.  So, if it’s good for them, you KNOW it’s good for you!  Call or email the office today and set up an appointment for treatment.  Better to boost your immune system than be too sick to attend all the holiday festivities coming our way!

2017 Apr 13;12(4):e0175568. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0175568. eCollection 2017.

Enhancement of immune cytokines and splenic CD4+ T cells by electroacupuncture at ST36 acupoint of SD rats.

Abstract

Electroacupuncture at the ST36 acupoint can enhance the body’s immune function. However, the mechanism for this enhancement has not been fully described. Our study was designed to investigate the effect of electroacupuncture on the immune function of Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats. The rats were randomly divided into three groups: a control group, a non-acupoint group (abdominal muscle acupuntured) and a ST36 acupoint group. Our results showed that successive electroacupuncture at the ST36 acupoint for 3 d significantly enhanced the interferon-γ (IFN-γ) level in the serum of SD rats. The results also showed that the serum and extracts from spleen cells of the ST36 acupoint group contained higher levels of interleukin (IL)-2 and IL-17 compared to those of the other two groups. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that electroacupuncture applied to the ST36 acupoint enhanced the expression level of CD4 in spleen cells. Furthermore, it was observed that CD4 co-localized with transient receptor potential vanilloid (TRPV) channels at the membrane of splenic CD4+ T cells and the expression level of CD4 was related to TRPV channels in the electroacupuncture treatment. These observations indicated that electroacupuncture stimulation at the ST36 acupoint enhanced the level of immune cytokines and splenic CD4+ T cells through TRPV channels in this system.

PMID:
28406959
PMCID:
PMC5391063
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0175568

You can get all the plastic surgery and botox you want, but what you do for the inside of your body will ultimately keep what’s on the outside healthy, vibrant and youthful.  Healthy eating, quality and quantity of sleep, minimal stress, and regular exercise are all key ingredients to aging gracefully and vibrantly.  As we become older, we need to adjust our exercise routines and be wise about the best anti-aging workouts.

Exercise Can Slow Down The Aging Process 

As we become older, we naturally lose muscle mass (5lbs per decade) and gain fat (1% per year).  Fat can surround our vital organs, such as the heart, liver and spleen and cause life threatening diseases; so it’s very important to keep the weight gain to a minimum as we age.   Exercising regularly can maintain lean body mass, help to elevate metabolism and keep those pounds of fat from packing onto our bodies.  Exercise stimulates the production of various proteins that can keep the brain alert and give us a natural feel good ‘high’.  The results lead to better sleep, a calmer and happier state of being, a healthier heart, stronger bones and an overall improved state of well being – both inside and out.

What Types Of Exercises Are Appropriate For The Aging Athlete?

Low intensity strength training and cardiovascular workouts 3 to 4 times weekly are best.  Hiking, biking, swimming, weight training, yoga and pilates are all good.  Walking for those who aren’t athletically inclined with one pound hand weights can do wonders if done 3 to 4 times weekly.  If you were a basketball player, by all means keeping shooting hoops.  Your knees might not want to play full court, but consider 1/2 court play.  If you were the MMA champion, you might not want to get into the cage at this stage of the game, but there’s always a heavy bag to heat and light sparring with a partner.  Golf anyone?  Instead of driving the cart for 18, try walking the course.

Acupuncture and Low Level Laser Can Help With Aches And Pains

Acupuncture can help with any aches or pains you might have that prevent you from getting back into the game.  Low level laser treatments are non invasive and can help with any arthritic condition or muscular pains.  For more information on how you can exercise efficiently as you become older, call or email my office to book a consultation.  During your consultation, I will take diet, lifestyle, exercise and health conditions into consideration when developing an exercise strategy that will work best for you.  As with any exercise program, please visit your primary care physician yearly to ensure you are healthy to exercise and know any conditions that might predicate limitations to an exercise regime.

I’m off to another spinning class….I’m staying in the game – are you?

Want to improve your golf swing?  Break a faster time at your next marathon event?  Experience a faster and easier labor?  Keep weight off, ease pain and slow the aging process?  Easy…practice yoga!  Yoga encompasses breathing exercises, lengthening, strengthening and stretching muscle groups, massages the bowels and increases the length of telomeres in our bodies (these are parts of the chromosomes that affect the aging process).  I’ve been practicing yoga for years and have taught yoga to private clients and martial artists, but honestly, I have never said ‘let’s go do some yoga…it’s so much fun!’  Rather, I have been practicing yoga for over 20 years because it has always allowed me to participate and perform so much more effectively in any other sport I have engaged in over the years – tennis, golf, triathlons, rollerblading, skiing, competitive and full combat Muay Thai kickboxing.  There are many benefits to practicing yoga.  Yoga can help us breathe better, slows aging, can ease muscle and joint pain, help you sleep better and reduce your stress, improve flexibility and increase balance.  You would be very surprised to know how many top athletes have been practicing yoga for years (LeBron James is just one)….and it is a practice.  Practice makes perfect and the more we practice yoga, the more perfect we can make our minds and bodies.  So, how to start your practice?  Form is everything in yoga.  If you are athletic, find a Hatha or Vinyasa yoga class.  Hatha is your basic poses (asanas) in a very precise order that will take your body from head to toes from stiff to supple.  Vinyasa is often called ‘flow yoga’ because we move from one pose into another gracefully and without stopping.  If you’re not the most athletic type or you are recovering from an injury or illness, try a Restorative or Gentle Healing yoga class.  Props are used during these classes to ease you into poses and help you settle into the poses for optimal results.

I don’t practice yoga because it excites me….I do it because it’s GOOD for me!  so, JUST DO IT!  For more information about yoga, click on this site http://www.yogamagazine.com/ and find out why YOU should be practicing yoga.  Namaste!