Elbow Pain

Elbow pain

Climbers! Do your elbows hurt? Have you been putting up with the annoying pain of lateral and/or medial tendonitis? This by no means is an exclusive ailment to us climbers! Tennis and golf players, weight lifters, circus performers all might have dealt or are dealing with it right now. My advice: get it treated. The sooner you get in for acupuncture treatments, the faster we’ll be able to heal your elbow. And honestly: once you have a bit of relief, don’t just run back to the rock, aerial silks, gym or court. Give the tendons a chance to truly heal. They do not have their own blood supply (unlike muscles), so they take much longer to heal.

Chronic tendonitis or tendonosis is no fun at all and can really put an unnecessary stop to your training and fun! I seem to have a sudden influx of elbow tendonitis in my clinic lately – including my own! So I figured it was time to share with all of you! Don’t let the mild annoying pain of today go untreated and become chronic serious pain in 2 months! Get in for an appointment and let me help you get back to your fun! When you come in, we’ll also talk about topical natural anti-inflammatories and internal ones like turmeric. See you soon!

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Drinking Water

Want to get in the best shape of your life? Drinking water can help you reach your health and weight loss goals. Not only does it act as a natural appetite suppressant by helping you feel full faster, studies have shown that drinking a glass of cold water when you wake up in the morning can also speed up your metabolism. It even keeps your skin looking young and healthy by helping to reduce fine lines or wrinkles that can be caused by dehydration. Water also protects your heart. According to a study over the span of six years, those who drank at least five glasses of water per day were 41 percent less likely to suffer from a heart attack than those who drank two glasses or less each day.

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One of my very favorite fruits is Papaya. This deliciously sweet fruit is packed full of incredible nutrients! According to Whole Foods “Papayas offer not only the luscious taste and sunlit color of the tropics, but are rich sources of antioxidant nutrients such as carotenes, vitamin C and flavonoids; the B vitamins, folate and pantothenic acid; and the minerals, potassium, copper, and magnesium; and fiber. Together, these nutrients promote the health of the cardiovascular system and also provide protection against colon cancer. In addition, papaya contains the digestive enzyme, papain, which is used like bromelain, a similar enzyme found in pineapple, to treat sports injuries, other causes of trauma, and allergies.” There’s so much awesome research data about it! I eat papaya every day and I can for sure tell you how much it’s helped my digestion. I highly recommend it to many patients who are dealing with a “sluggish belly”, especially due to dryness.

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Licensed Acupuncturists, and the others

Did you know that Acupuncturists go through a very intense and rigorous training? In order to be a licensed acupuncturist in the US, one must go through 3.5 years of school to graduate with a Master’s degree, receive between 1500 and 2000 hours of training, see around 500 patients as student clinicians and study in-depth more than 360 acupuncture points and 450 Chinese herbs (in Chinese)! Why am I saying all of this? Because it’s EXTREMELY important that all patients make sure they are seeing a licensed acupuncturist who knows the risks and the precautions involved with our beautiful and ancient medicine. There has been a recent buzz about dry needling, which is performed by non-licensed acupuncturists, mostly PTs and Chiroptractors. As a Licensed Acupuncturist I am completely against this practice as these practitioners usually have less than 100 hours of training and can unknowingly cause severe harm to patients. Education is everything, and I urge you to do your research!

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Spring and the Liver Meridian

How are you feeling emotionally and physically this Spring? Did you know that each season corresponds to an element and to organs in Chinese Medicine? Spring is the season of the Wood element and the Liver and Gallbladder meridians. This is the time to start re-awakening after a “long cold winter” (not so much here in San Diego!) and regain our drive to get out and be motivated.

In Chinese Medicine, the liver is the organ responsible for the smooth flow of qi and is highly active during this season. Sometimes, because of imbalances, our liver can’t function properly and we can either feel too lazy and lethargic (and therefore frustrated with ourselves) or too hyper and end up not allowing for down time. Those are both liver issues that are on opposite ends of the spectrum and that can be addressed and remedied with Acupuncture.

One of my favorite points to rectify the course of the liver qi is the point LV3, Tai Chong or Happy Calm (as per JR Worsley). This is the Earth point on the Wood channel, and as such, it is capable of freeing the stagnant liver energy and bringing our body back into a smooth flow. So this means it will help us to feel happier, calmer or more energized and ready to move, depending on how we felt before.

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Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Lately I’ve been researching a lot about pelvic floor dysfunction. It seems the universe “chooses” a theme for me to study a few times a year by sending me lots of patients that present with very similar patterns. This time it has been pelvic floor issues.

This is quite a broad subject and it involves much more than I ever knew before studying it more closely. We have all heard of women that have chronic bladder infections and UTIs, but few of us know what Interstitial Cystitis (IC) is and how ridiculously painful and disturbing it can be. I also learned that this condition is by no means strictly a female problem. There are many men that unfortunately live with this kind of pain too. The fantastic news is that acupuncture is incredibly helpful and I have now successfully treated many patients with pelvic floor pain and IC.

There are many ways to treat PFD with acupuncture and because I have watched dissections and studied the anatomical structure of the pelvis, I have figured out which muscles need to be addressed in order to help the pelvis as a whole to “relax”. When we think of an organ in distress, it’s very easy to forget that the surroundings are also in distress. So it’s not wise to simply treat the bladder. I have learned that the best approach is to treat the main muscles involved in pelvic stability — like the glutes, the Iliopsoas, the quadratus lomborum and many small muscles around the sacrum — as well as addressing the nerves involved in their contraction and relaxation. Through opening and regulating the acupuncture meridians that run through these areas, I can successfully help retrain the brain to allow them to go back to a neutral or relaxed state.

Of course this isn’t a magic pill, so we definitely need many treatments, but I have seen many patients come in to my clinic in severe pain and leave much happier and relieved.

If you suffer from PFD or know anyone that does, please consider Acupuncture as part of your treatment plan. I am truly amazed by the results and by how much happier and optimistic my patients are.

This life is meant to be lived to the fullest, with joy, optimism and happiness – there’s no need to be in constant pain.

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The importance of being authentic and how that keeps the channels open

Have you ever felt like you should have spoken up about how you really felt? Did you ever wish that you hadn’t just let that go without first expressing what you thought?

I believe being authentic is the key to a full and happy life. To me, being authentic means living my truth. It means not being afraid to establish boundaries and not being ashamed to ask for what I want. So many of us were taught to be a “good girl” or a good boy and make people happy by agreeing with them or just doing what we’re told. This concept travels deeply within our core beliefs, and even after we have already rebelled against them and think we are completely able to speak up, I still find many of us are afraid to say what we really think to those who matter to us. Sure, it’s really easy to express yourself on an Internet forum, but I don’t think it’s that easy to tell my grandma that I think her views of gay marriage are absurd, for example. I’m not saying go against everyone and scream out loud that you don’t agree with them. I am saying stand up for who you truly are. Stand up for your principles. Don’t be a people pleaser. Don’t allow people’s opinion of you to rule your behavior. There’s nothing more freeing than to realize that what they think of me is their business, not mine.

I believe in picking my battles, yes. But I also believe in doing what I think is right and speaking up when someone has crossed my boundaries. I am flexible, and I try to keep the peace and the comfort of those around me, but I will not pretend to agree with anyone if their belief differs from mine. I respect those around me enough to listen and not necessarily voice my opinion, but I no longer comply with behaviors that don’t align with my core beliefs.

In energetic terms, I believe that when we aren’t true to ourselves, we lock and bind our energy, especially our heart energy and liver energy. The heart is expansive and wants to include all beings, wants to give love and receive love. The liver wants to move, wants to feel free and very much wants to be in charge and in control. Every time we say no to who we are, we block those channels. We block the flow of energy through those meridians. Over time, our chest begins to cave in, our heart starts to race, we feel panicky. We feel like we are losing control. There’s an agitation brewing inside of us, a feeling of a lump in the throat. That feeling of being stuck comes hand in hand with not speaking your truth.

I have found that through acupuncture, my patients have felt empowered to find their voice. They have been able to open their hearts to who they really are, they’ve been able to stand up for themselves. When you take action and allow your beauty to shine, your heart sings, your lives energy moves freely – which gives birth to creativity, joy, inspiration and inner strength.

I believe speaking your truth and being honest with yourself is a life long process and commitment. The more you practice it, the better at it you become and in turn, you inspire others to do the same. There’s nothing wrong with being completely committed to being you – you are unique and perfect, just the way you are. <3

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