Simple solutions for anxiety and insomnia. How wellness and Traditional Chinese medicine can help!

  • Simple solutions for anxiety and insomnia. How wellness and Traditional Chinese medicine can help!

Simple solutions for anxiety and insomnia. How wellness and Traditional Chinese medicine can help!

To say that this year has been an emotional roller coaster ride would be an understatement. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed nearly every aspect of the way we live our lives, and for many people this has led to an increase in stress-related ailments like anxiety and insomnia. The good news is there are ways to combat these ailments without resorting to pharmaceutical drugs. Traditional Chinese Medicine is a holistic healing system that can be a powerful tool in treating a wide range of health issues including anxiety and insomnia.

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been used for centuries to treat everything from chronic pain to emotional disorders, digestive issues, sleep disturbances, and more. The practice takes a holistic approach to healing by utilizing natural therapies like acupuncture, nutrition, massage, and reiki to address health issues. These natural therapies not only help with existing symptoms, but they can also be preventative

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a healing technique that involves inserting very thin needles into key points on the body to correct energy imbalances. The idea is that everyone has energy or Qi (pronounced ‘chee’) flowing through their bodies, but sometimes this energy can become blocked in certain areas. When this happens, you may experience joint pain, headaches, restlessness, anxiety, or a general feeling of malaise. Acupuncture aims to unblock these areas and open the meridians so that energy can flow more freely throughout the body. Studies show that acupuncture also stimulates areas of the brain that process pain and manage stress hormones.

Nutrition

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the physical body and the mind are interconnected. For example, when we experience stress, our bodies produce hormones that increase the heart rate, elevate blood pressure, and increase blood sugar levels in the body. These hormones can also affect the organs and various systems. Over time, constant exposure to stress hormones can cause damage to various organs, and this can manifest as psychological conditions including depression, anxiety, and insomnia. A customized nutrition plan can help detoxify the organs and restore a balance between the body and mind.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is not only an incredibly relaxing experience, but it can also help heal the body and calm the mind by stimulating blood flow, releasing energy blockages, and regulating the nervous system. TCM massage therapies like Tui Na and Gua Sha focus on key acupressure points to open the meridians and get Qi flowing. This helps to correct imbalances and ease tension that may be causing anxiety or sleep disruptions. Massage also encourages the body to release feel-good hormones like endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine, which help elevate the mood and produce an overall feeling of well-being.

Reiki

Reiki is an ancient healing therapy that originated in Japan, but it has been used for hundreds of years in many Asian cultures. The name can be broken down into ‘rei’, which means ‘universal energy’ and ‘ki’, which means life energy. It involves a practitioner placing their hands above certain areas of a patient’s body and channeling energy to promote relaxation and balance mental and emotional states. Many people find that reiki sessions are incredibly calming and help them release stress, tension, and negative emotions. This is a great option for those who want a non-invasive therapy to help manage stress.

How Red Leaf Wellness Can Help

Red Leaf Wellness is a highly acclaimed wellness clinic with two locations in Edmonton, Alberta. We offer acupuncture, massage therapy, reiki, and functional medicine services. We specialize in creating individualized treatment plans for a range of conditions including insomnia, anxiety, PTSD, pain management, weight loss, and more. Working closely with you and your primary care physician, we will design a holistic treatment plan that is tailored specifically to your symptoms and wellness goals.

Give us a call at 780.633.7538 with any questions you may have or schedule an appointment online through our patient portal with one of our practitioners.

Acupuncture Myths and Misconceptions

Acupuncture Myths and Misconceptions

Acupuncture is an alternative form of medicine originating from ancient Chinese health practices. For over two thousand years, treatments have effectively alleviated pain and improved numerous types of health conditions.

This traditional Chinese method involves inserting extremely thin needles at strategic points in the body in order to restore blocked or disrupted pathways. The needles are designed to naturally fuel anatomic sites and help to bring your energy flow back to full functionality.

Acupuncture is especially recommended to treat the following symptoms:

·         chronic pain

·         stress/anxiety

·         mood swings

·         irregular

·         headaches and migraines

·         sleep deprivation

Even with acupuncture growing in popularity as an operative health treatment method, there are still a number of fallacies related to its technique and effectiveness.  To clarify, here are some myths related to acupuncture:

There is no real science behind acupuncture: MYTH

Because of its ancient, drug-free, non-invasive nature, acupuncture has often been categorized over the years as “folk medicine”. But for the past several decades, it has been widely accepted as an alternative medicine treatment option recommended by professional medical practitioners all over the world

Acupuncture hurts: MYTH

It’s fair to assume that any treatment involving needles will be painful; but in fact, acupuncture is known to be very relaxing. The needles are very thin and only sting slightly. If any discomfort is experienced in the beginning, it fades away just as quickly and leaves you feeling quite calm and peaceful.

It takes just a couple of treatments to heal: MYTH

Like any form of health therapy, the number of treatments will vary depending on the severity of the condition. Because so many patients feel instant relief after the first treatment, they believe it’s sufficient. In reality, one or two treatments alleviate the symptoms remedy the origin of the problem. It can sometimes take weekly appointments lasting several months to treat more acute, complex, or chronic conditions.

Acupuncture doesn’t attack the problem: MYTH

Acupuncture is not a Band-Aid treatment. In fact, acupuncture needles are meant to teach the body systems to heal themselves. The needles function in a way that stimulates crucial parts of the body to produce natural painkillers which reduce inflammation, improve digestive function, sleep apnea, and fight many serious illnesses. If the body heals itself, then no additional invasive treatment or pills are needed. Symptoms will alleviate as a result of a healthy, fully-functional body.

If you’re experiencing any of pain or chronic health problems, make an appointment with us today to determine whether acupuncture is the ideal course of treatment for you.


Tammy Lalonde Owner and Licensed Acupuncturist at Red Leaf Wellness

Tammy Lalonde, MSAOM BS Dipl.Ac LAc RAc Paramedic

About the Author

Tammy Lalonde is the Owner and Licensed Acupuncturist at Red Leaf Wellness in Edmonton, Alberta and has deep expertise in both ancient Eastern healing techniques as well as modern Western medicine.  She is also a Critical Care Paramedic.  Tammy earned both her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Oriental Medicine from California’s prestigious South Baylo University and her diploma in Emergency Medical Technology (Paramedicine) from Augustana University.  She holds active licensure with the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), the College of Acupuncture and Associates of Alberta (CAAA), the California Acupuncture Board and the Alberta College of Paramedics (ACP).

Acupuncture for Chronic Fatigue

Acupuncture for Chronic Fatigue

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is characterized as an excessive tiredness and fatigue. It’s considered a complex disorder because it cannot be explained by a specific medical condition. Physical and mental activity can worsen this condition while rest doesn’t seem to make things better either. So how can one tackle this? Here is a little more information about the cause and effects of CFS and how acupuncture can play a key role in addressing symptoms.

Causes

While there is very little to explain the cause of CFS, there are many theories that point to a combination of factors like viral infections, digestive malabsorption, the impacts of psychological stress on the immune system, and the exertion and malfunctioning of our adrenal glands.

Over time, stress truly takes a toll on our body. Our adrenal glands are responsible for producing a variety of hormones and steroids like adrenalin, aldosterone, and cortisol that kick in when we need them in order to handle stress. However, continual exertion and stress cause imbalances that affect…

  •      The production of corticosteroid levels — these are vitally important hormones that control our sleep/waking cycle, regulate our blood pressure, help to aid inflammation in the body, and generate energy from non-carbohydrate food intake.
  •      The production of mineralocorticoids — these regulate our fluid and mineral excretion that is directly related to our energy levels.
  •      The medulla — an area of the adrenal glands that secretes adrenalin, norepinephrine, and dopamine neurotransmitters that contribute to our stress response. They can have an effect on digestion, awareness, and blood flow to the brain and muscles.

Effects

The effects of CFS can vary person-to-person. It’s mostly known for fatigue and excessive tiredness which can also present symptoms like:

  •      Memory loss
  •      Trouble concentrating
  •      Sore throats
  •      Unexplained muscle pain
  •      Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck
  •      Headaches (different types ranging in severity)
  •      Unrefreshing sleep (waking up tired)
  •      Extreme exhaustion that lasts more than 24h

How acupuncture can help

Traditional drug treatments for CFS include antidepressants, antihistamines, anti-inflammatory drugs and so on. They unfortunately only suppress symptoms but do not actually relieve the body on a deeper level. Acupuncture works to refresh and reset your internal body. Since the adrenal glands sit above the kidneys and have a profound effect on kidney function, acupuncture treatments focus on the deficiency of Qi in the Kidney and Spleen meridians that are concerned with this region of the body. A deficiency of Qi can be found in any of the other meridians in the body, like for instance, the Lung and Liver meridians as well. There is usually not just one deficiency that connects to CFS, which is why patients always have a thorough assessment before treatment begins.

Additionally, releasing stagnation and blockages in all imbalanced meridians helps to improve blood flow to induce relaxation, address the sleep/wake cycle (for better sleep) and provide a deep and strong treatment to remedy pressing CFS symptoms. Depending on the severity of your symptoms and your health background, your acupuncturist may recommend herbs such as energizers like ginseng or Echinacea that can help to increase immune responses.

Moxibustion, a technique in which a herb is burned over specific acupuncture points, may also be recommended in addition to regular acupuncture to increase the effectiveness of the treatment. Other ways to make a treatment effective may include lifestyle changes and dietary changes.

Acupuncture is an excellent way to get a hold of CFS and improve symptoms. Maintenance of your body and mind will bring it into a state of healing and equilibrium so you can enjoy a far better quality of life! Are you suffering from any of these symptoms? Make an appointment with us today.

 

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