Are allergies causing your sad mood?

Seasonal allergies, depression, acupuncture, upper west side, nyc

Allergies are definitely annoying; itchy eyes, sneezing, and a dripping nose can continue for several months. Add in medication to combat those symptoms and now you have drowsiness mixed with the inability to think clearly. 

So how this related to having a sad mood? Studies show allergies are not just annoying but they actually have a real link to our mood. According to a recent article published on CNN.com there is about a 50% increase in the risk for depression in a person suffering from allergies. Furthermore, if you've actually gone to see an allergist, the association between allergies and depression is triple.

Now, this doesn't mean allergies cause depression. It means people who already suffer from mild depression can have increased depressive symptoms if they suffer from allergies. 

When we have allergic reactions, the immune system releases molecules called cytokines. These molecules signal the brain and in return the body starts to feel a sudden sick sensation along with systemic drainage of energy, fatigue and mood changes. 

A sad mood during allergy season could also be caused by medication such as antihistamines. Side effects of antihistamines include lethargy, grogginess, irritability, and insomnia which will inadvertently lead to decreased work or school performance. 

There's two convenient ways to deal with this problem

1. Start taking 1 tablespoon of raw honey daily, this helps to combat allergies naturally. 

2. Utilize acupuncture services. Not only will acupuncture help to decrease your allergy symptoms but it will also help to elevate your mood and improve your energy. In a study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine researchers examined over 400 people. Those who received acupuncture with the use of antihistamines showed a greater improvement in allergy symptoms and ended up using less antihistamines.

A series of 12 treatments were required to see a significant improvement, but it works!

If you are ready to approach your allergies and stop your sad mood in its track, come on in for Acupuncture. For an appointment, click here

Guided Meditation for Anxiety

guided meditation for anxiety, acupuncture, upper west side, nyc

I write about anxiety often because it is very pertinent in our culture. We worry about how others view us, how we are not living up to our capabilities, how things are not coming to our lives like it should. The way we think about our surroundings, ourselves, and our future has a major impact on our health overall. It impacts our sleep, our chronic neck and back pain, our fertility, our relationships with others, and more importantly, our relationship with ourselves.

When treating patients, I often give recommendations I am practicing myself. I make recommendations for eating healthy, exercising/stretching, and of course meditation. It is one of my favorite suggestions for stress and anxiety; more specifically guided meditation if you're a newcomer. 

Guided meditation takes the mystery away from what you should be focusing on during this time and is easier than meditating on your own. The presenter will help you breathe in a way that will calm your heart beat and relax your body so that you can release your worries and fears that captured your attention throughout the day. 

Meditating for anxiety and stress relief is important for letting go of all fears, worries, and other ruminating thoughts. During meditation, you are choosing to turn the whole world off, quiet your mind, quiet your body. You allow your body to breathe slowly and rhythmically; remaining in only that moment.

When you are ready to start meditation, you can do it alone or join others in a group meditation setting. If you're a busy individual, you can turn on YouTube and listen to a guided meditation recording right in your own home or riding the train to work.

Benefits of Meditation

  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Improves concentration
  • Increases circulation through breathing correctly
  • Improves sleep
  • Increases happiness

Acupuncture treatments are like a form of meditation; you're accomplishing two healthy activities at once. While acupuncture is being done, you're in a comfortable position on the massage table, a warm heating lamp is placed on your feet, the lights are dim and there's relaxation music playing in the background. 

No matter what activity you choose in your life, make sure it is something that genuinely makes you happy and improves your health. Do you know someone who could reap the benefits of guided meditation? Pass this article along to them. If you want more information on acupuncture and how it can help you, call (646) 854-6619.

Acupuncture for Anxiety

Anxiety disorder, acupuncture, upper west side, manhattan, nyc

Anxiety Definition

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can effectively treat Anxiety Disorders, but what exactly is anxiety disorder and what are the signs of anxiety disorder?

By definition - anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, unease, or fear around an event or something with an uncertain outcome. There are varying forms of anxiety including social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder - which is the most common, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and agoraphobia. 

Signs you have anxiety disorder

Many people suffer from anxiety - sometimes it's purely circumstantial and short lived and other times it starts as circumstantial but becomes frequent, eventually affecting your life. 

A common measurement of having anxiety disorder is worrying about "normal" occurrences, even when the focus is very minor considered by most people. If excessive thoughts occur 6 out of 7 days for an extended period of at least 6 months, this is an indication of generalized anxiety disorder. When someone is suffering from anxiety, not only do they worry, but other aspects of life are affected. Physical symptoms begin to invade your life causing increased difficulty coping with professional and personal life. Below are popular symptoms that will be notice with generalized anxiety disorder. 

Anxiety and Insomnia

We all know how sleep plays an important role on our health and wellness, our mood, our production at work and everything else! Insomnia can present itself in two ways: inability to fall asleep or stay asleep followed by not feeling well-rested. People who suffer from anxiety most times find themselves awake at night with their mind racing; if this sounds familiar to you, your insomnia may be caused by your anxiety.

Anxiety and Digestion

When our digestion is just off, it can be horrible! When anxiety hits, you may have constipation or diarrhea, you can even have both simultaneously. The digestive system just doesn't flow right when our nervous system is impacted with anxiety. In addition, if you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Crohn's Disease, you may have a flare-up. Emotions and bowels go hand-in-hand. If you've never noticed changes with your bowels during high anxiety times, pay a little more attention to what your body is telling you. 

Anxiety and Chest Tightness

Among all symptoms associated with anxiety, chest tightness and pain is very concerning. In fact, chest pain associated with anxiety is one of the most common hospitalizations because people think they are having a heart attack. Chest tightness is caused by the inability to breath correctly; oxygen flow disrupts blood flow which then causes the heart to work overtime. Because chest tightness and pain can resemble a heart attack, it is best to seek medical attention immediately. 

Anxiety and Mood Swings

You were once fun to be around, but lately your mood has you irritable, impatient, and sometimes downright mean. When people are anxious, oftentimes, they are not aware of how they treat others because they are suffering internally. When you add insomnia into the equation, mood swings can become even more noticeable.

Anxiety and Acupuncture

Acupuncture treatment for anxiety can be different for every patient, but calming points are typically used. Acupuncture is very beneficial for anxiety sufferers. Lifestyle changes, mindfulness, and meditation may be implemented into your treatment plan. 

Questions? Call (646) 854-6619 to learn more.

Does Acupuncture Hurt?

Does acupuncture hurt? Acupuncture, upper west side, new york, 10024

Does Acupuncture hurt...This is by far one of the most common questions asked when a patient comes for their first treatment or during a consultation. My answer is always...no. 

Where are needles inserted?

Acupuncture is used all over the body - head and face, arms and hands, back and abdomen, thigh and legs, feet and ankles. Acupuncture points are selected based on what pattern your symptoms are displaying - Chinese Medical Diagnosis.

Sometimes needles are inserted into locations that has lots of muscle - ie. thigh and back. Other times, needles are inserted into your hands where there's little muscle and many nerve endings. When there's a location that has more muscle, you won't feel anything with needle insertion. When needles are inserted into locations where there's less muscle, you may feel the needle slightly.

Here's the real low-down on what you experience when getting acupuncture.

Acupuncture needles should be inserted as gentle as possible to keep you comfortable. Some people describe their experience as a mosquito bite, a slight pinch, a tickle, or nothing at all. The entire theory behind acupuncture is energy - it does not matter what your condition is...headaches, pain, insomnia, etc. The needles have to be inserted to 'catch' the energy, with doing so you may feel a dull achy sensation, a heavy sensation, a traveling sensation, a floating sensation. You may also see different colors when you close your eyes, you may drift off into a light sleep. Your body will relax and your mind will shut off. During this time, acupuncture is working on healing your body.

What to do if acupuncture hurts.

Tell your acupuncturist! Your treatment should absolutely not hurt. Most practitioners would like you to be as comfortable as possible, creating a welcoming atmosphere and well as gentle treatments enhances your healing journey. If your acupuncture treatments are uncomfortable, it may be time for you to visit a different acupuncturist. 

If you have questions on how acupuncture can help you, call 646-854-6619.

What are cluster headaches?

What are cluster headaches, acupuncture, upper west side, manhattan, nyc

There's many different types of headaches. You have tension headaches, sinus headaches, hormonal headaches, pregnancy headaches, etc. Out of all types, cluster headaches are one of the most excruciating anyone could ever experience.

Just like other migraine headaches, cluster headaches involve swelling and inflammation of blood vessels around the head. What sets it apart from other headaches is the type of pattern and frequency involved. When a cluster headache strikes, it usually affects the temporal location of the head. Intervals can last for weeks to months, pain can come about several times per day and can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

Cluster headaches usually affect men more than women, alcohol and cigarettes may play a factor, but scientifically, there are no known causes. Triggers of cluster headaches are not the same as other headaches.

Symptoms indicating a cluster headache would be excruciating pain on one side of the head usually around one eye. Other unilateral symptoms are a red and teary eye, drooping of an eyelid, sinus congestion, agitation and restlessness. 

Sufferers may not experience common symptoms associated with migraines such as nausea, vomiting, and visual disturbances.

Acupuncture can help with cluster headaches in 2 ways: assisting when there's an acute attack and assisting with prevention between attacks.

As with all other conditions, a comprehensive intake must be conducted to develop a pattern for Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis. There's numerous channels that travel to the head; upon conclusion of diagnosis, the affected acupuncture channels will be addressed. For cluster headaches, the acupuncture points will most likely be placed on arms/hands and legs/feet.

A treatment plan will be developed to determine a number of treatments needed to address the problem. Most people with cluster headaches will need long term care, it is important to be patient with your body to give it time to heal.

If you suffer from cluster headaches and seeking acupuncture care, call for a free consultation at (646) 854-6619.

Waking with morning headaches

Why am I waking up with headaches, acupuncture, Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC

When you wake up in the morning, there's nothing more exhilarating than waking up feeling fresh and well rested, but many of my new patients tell me they feel the total opposite. Instead of waking feeling fresh, they wake up with a headache.

I've treated many patients suffering from headaches.

Some have headaches starting late afternoon.

Some have headaches that begin after a work day.

Some have headaches on weekends.

Some have headaches during their menstrual cycle.

The list goes on...

Simply put, having headaches are not fun no matter what time of the day, week, or month it happens. BUT waking with headaches can interrupt your entire day even before it begins.

Most headache sufferers have certain triggers that cause headaches, awareness of those triggers may or may not be present. There's a few reasons why morning headaches may happen...there's something being triggered before bedtime.

It could be red wine, headache medication taken at night, sleep apnea, low quality and quantity sleep, too much sleep, morning caffeine withdrawal, and many more.

Here's few suggestions you can do for your morning headaches.

Keep a journal 

Yes, I know it's time consuming, but it's better than suffering from headaches every morning. Your journal should include your activities and food/drink consumption the night before. It should also include the time you went to bed and any distractions you had prior to bedtime. You can keep your journal right on your smartphone!

Avoid medication

If possible, avoid taking OTC or PRN medication. Sometimes your body goes through withdrawals resulting in headaches. Please, always continue to take regularly scheduled medication as prescribed by your doctor.

Change your meal

Many people, especially busy New Yorkers, tend to eat the same thing pretty often. Try changing things up a bit with your meal plan. Try to avoid salt or take out that includes MSG, also try to avoid sugar and alcohol. 

Meditate before bedtime

The quality and quantity of sleep hours could be causing your morning headaches. Instead of watching the news (this may cause anxiety) or catching up on your favorite shows, put on guided meditation or relaxation music and focus on your breathing. Try to keep your mind still during this time. Please remember, you do not have to meditate for 30 minutes, just 5 minutes can do the trick.

Inhale lavender essential oil

Along with meditation, inhale lavender essential oil. Not only will it relax you, it will also help with your chronic headaches. Place a small amount on a cotton ball and inhale the aroma several times before starting meditation.

These examples are only a few that can help with morning headaches. The treatment of headaches is very complex; there is no cookie-cutter approach and each patient I treat is very different. If you have any questions, please feel free to schedule a free consultation or simply book an appointment to get started. 

Sinus Headaches and Acupuncture

Sinus headaches, acupuncture, upper west side, manhattan, nyc

Are you suffering from a sinus headache or could your headache be the result of a lingering cold?

You had a cold 10 months ago that you will never forget. You can't forget it because it was one of the most severe colds you've had in a long time, your body just wouldn't recover fast enough. During the time you had the cold, there was the usual fatigue, coughing with phlegm, and body aches. But you also noticed an unusual headache. If felt like a damp towel wrapped around your head, your head felt enormous, heavy and full.

After a week, your headache and cold was gone.

Fast forward a few months later, you get a cold again, but this time it was not as severe. You recovered quickly. Out of all symptoms, you noticed you had the same type of headache again. You felt the full heavy towel wrapped around your head sensation. 

A month passes and you're starting to feel sick again, but the only symptom you're having is a headache.

Several more weeks go by and again, you're getting this same annoying headache. Now you're wondering what the heck is going on...this is not you, you are healthy, you eat well. What is happening?

You probably decided to see a doctor in which a prescription was given for a diagnosis of having sinus headaches. You may have taken it thinking it would work indefinitely, but once again you are getting headaches.

Chinese and Western medicine are both able to help with symptoms. Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM has been around for over 2,000 years.

In TCM, your history is very important. With further examination and observation, you will probably have a diagnosis that consists of having a lingering external pathogen blocking the upper jiao and orifices of the head. Furthermore, damp/phlegm would probably be the primary culprit that has to be removed before strengthening your body and increasing immunity. 

With further interview and examination, the level in which the pathogen remains will have to be distinguished and well as other factors that may inhibit the body from healing well. Recommendations outside of acupuncture treatments will be given; those could be anything from changing eating habits to wearing a hat for head coverage. 

With several treatments, you are starting to have more energy, you're sleeping better. You are on a good routine. With regular acupuncture treatments, you've noticed you haven't gotten a cold and those awful headaches are now behind you. You're liking acupuncture...it worked!

Questions about your condition or to schedule a consult, call (646) 854-6619