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Category Archives: General

Boost Your Immune System

 

immune system, eastern medicine, greenleaf acupuncture clinic

 

It’s not a lie when we say the key to good health is having a strong immune system. Your body is constantly fighting with bacterias, viruses, and other toxins that we inhale or eat every day. The goal of traditional Eastern Medicine is to create a balance in the body, helping the body’s qi or energy force. When the qi is an imbalance, the body is more prone to catch the flu easily and leads to muscle pain, high-stress levels, and more. At this time of the year, a strong immune system is crucial to protect oneself against seasonal infections. Especially with COVID-19, we must have a strong immune system to block the virus entering into our body. If you catch a cold or flu, it means that your immune system is weakened which also means that your body can pick up viruses easily.

 

Regulate Your Immune System

 

Most of us don’t think about boosting the immune system until we’re sick and we reach out to over-the-counter medications to relieve our symptoms. However, in Eastern Medicine, we think about ways to support our immune system safely and naturally using acupuncture and herbal medicine. Acupuncture naturally calms the central nervous system and moves the qi, helping the body to heal itself naturally. The key is that Chinese medicine does not treat the symptoms but it brings your immune system back to normal. If your defences are too weak, Eastern medicine can strengthen and stimulate the body signalling chemicals to bring your body into good health. Natural herbs used in herbal medicine to regulate and boost your immune system are honeysuckle, ginseng, elderberry, ginger, echinacea, and more.

 

Balanced Diet

 

A great way to keep a balanced immune system is to have a balanced diet. Eating a healthy diet with fresh fruit and vegetables are an important and easy measures everyone can take! Focus on incorporating more plants and plant-based food into your diet and you will notice a big difference. Green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli, and more are great to intake, mushrooms, raw honey, citrus fruits, yogurt are all very good to protect your body from the flu, cold, or other illnesses. Keep in mind that sugar, artificial sweeteners, processed fats can weaken immunity. We recommend drinking tea to help with digestion and calming your body!

 

Lifestyle/Mental Health

 

Consider observing your whole lifestyle when you think about boosting your immune system. Keeping stress at bay is a key factor as stress causes our body to be fight mode, making our nervous system on high alert and suppresses the immune system. Finding ways to reduces stress such as acupuncture, meditation, exercise can improve your immune system and is great for your mental health. If your mental health is in a good state, your body will definitely be in better condition. Mental health affects every part of your body and lifestyle and seeking help when needed is important as well. Also, good quality sleep is an important factor in a strong immune system. Lack of good sleep disturbs the regulation of key chemicals in your immune system, so don’t neglect sleep and focus on getting quality sleep regularly! Remember that your whole lifestyle determines if your immune system goes down the drain or becomes healthy and strong!

 

Everyone's body and the immune system are different so it’s important for you to speak with a professional practitioner to tailor your treatment and routines to boost your immune system. Incorporate these easy to follow steps to strengthen your immune system and visit our clinic for more professional advice and treatments! At a difficult time like this, it’s crucially important for you to balance your immune system and the body to fight the bad bacteria and viruses that may enter your body. Don’t wait until your immune system is weakened, start caring for your body now so you don’t regret later! 

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Why are your posture, habit, and lifestyle so important when it comes to pain?

 

To answer the question, understanding why we have pain is important. Pain is a protective reaction and warning to let us know that something needs correction. Poor posture and overstraining tired and weakens your muscles.

 

 

text-neck-3

 

 

For instance, looking down at your phone for a long time or repeating a motion that can overstretch and misuse your muscles will cause slight tear and inflammation. Our muscles play an important role, not only to facilitate movement but to firmly hold bones, joints, vessels, and nerves in place. As overstraining continues to wear out the muscles and one day, you try to move your neck or back; your joints will trigger the nerves or pull a muscle. This trigger will cause a protective reaction(pain), tightening the surrounding muscles to protect from hurting more.

 

 

Pain and Acupuncture

 

When you look up acupuncture on a search engine, pain relief is most likely the reason to seek acupuncture in Vancouver (apart from fertility). I see patients every day with various pain conditions that affect their daily lives, and they ask me what can be done with the issues.

                 Infographic office syndrome Template Design . Concept Vector illustration

Infographic office syndrome Template Design. Concept Vector illustration

 

 

– Working long hours in sitting/standing position
– Studying/typing/ texting with hunched back and turtle-like neck
– Work that involves continuous misuse of the same muscles. (ex. Serving, painting and etc.)
– Lack of stretching/core strengthening exercises
– Diet that lacks sufficient nutrients to nourish your organs, muscles, and tendons
– A poor quality bed that doesn’t support your spine as it should be.
– Desks or chairs that are too high or low.

 

 

How many of the above apply to you? Yes, it is true that acupuncture can do wonders to relieve your pain. However, without the efforts to change the derivation of pain, the relief easily becomes temporary. Even if it is work related, there are certainly ways to reduce the harm. For that reason, with each patient under intensive pain care, I go through their posture and give suggestions on daily exercises that can prolong the relief and ultimately eliminate the root of the pain. Lifestyle suggestions vary from patient to patient but there is one rule of thumb to maintain a good posture and make it a healthier habit.

 

core stability

 

 

Sit and stand with core stability!

 

What is core stability? It refers to one’s ability to control the movement and position of the core. Greater stability you have, you have the greater level of control over other parts of your body, thus lesser chance of misusing and straining your limbs or back during daily activities.
Easily put, tightening your core when you are sitting on the desk or standing up for a prolonged period can prevent your spine from misalignment. When your core is strong and stable, your neck shoulder naturally relaxes and deter you from unconsciously crossing your legs or standing on one leg.
The same rule applies when you are lifting heavy objects or carrying heavy plates on both hands. Contraction of your core muscles keeps your back straight and body weight centered to the ground, preventing you from straining or pulling a muscle in your arm or back.
It’s definitely not easy to constantly tighten your core while sitting or standing for hours, and this change of habit takes at least a few months to get used to. Eventually, however, many patients return to thank the advice and you can goodbye to your pain.

 

 

 

 

Here are some examples of core stability exercises that you can add to your exercise routine!

 

 

 

5 core stability exercises you need to know
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PI9Kvk_HMO8

 

Core Stability: 10-minute workout
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6q792sF69E

 

Triathlon Core Stability Level 1,2,3,4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBqvh2Z-B54
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=re0Vl3ii4AY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNnUHEhZNQg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lt9xcVcl9w

 

 

 

Image Reference:

https://healthcommkey.org/how-to-stop-work-related-back-pain/

https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/neck-pain/how-avoid-neck-pain-texting

https://www.physio-pedia.com/The_effectiveness_of_core_stability_exercise_with_regards_to_general_exercise_in_the_management_of_chronic_non_specific_low_back_pain

https://www.physio-pedia.com/The_effectiveness_of_core_stability_exercise_with_regards_to_general_exercise_in_the_management_of_chronic_non_specific_low_back_pain

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Back pain? Your “psoas” is stressed!

LBP (lower back pain) accounts for a large number of population in North America. Acute pain becomes a chronic pain, and it often leads up to an irritable, grumpy and depressed character, and I kindly use that as an excuse to keep calm and be nice when I associate with such characters. Why not change up the mind and when you happen to cross someone who is irritable and negative, enlighten the person by offering to see an acupuncturist!

 

What is frustrating about the back pain is that there are too many cause factors to back pain. Reasons for back pain can range from sleeping on a low-quality mattress to a degenerative spinal disease. It may take months to years to just find out why you have pain in Canada, in which it becomes a waiting game more than a quest for the cure.

 

As acupuncture has been continuously raising awareness as a fantastic pain-relief treatment method for the past decade, many different approaches have been developed to treat back pain. Amongst all, I would like to talk about a treatment that has often been the solution in the clinic.

 

Most LBP originates from spinal and pelvic alignment, which can lead to other pain such as neck and shoulder pain, but lower back is usually the main complaint. When you have back pain from lying on your back, it’s most likely your Psoas muscle. The psoas is a deep-seated muscle connecting the lumbar vertebrae to the femur.  This muscle is often called the core muscle because psoas is the only muscle that connects your torso and legs, stabilizing your spine and posture. If your psoas is weak, it will be extremely challenging to do daily exercises.

 

Here is a classic example of how we commonly stress out (tightens) our psoas. A young female patient visits the clinic with right LBP; the chief complaint is unable to lie down on her back for a prolonged period.  Her right leg was shorter with pelvic elevation on the right. Her work is an office job, and she crosses her leg frequently.

 

When your psoas tightens, it creates pelvic imbalance because it will cause your pelvis to rotate anteriorly to create more curved hipline from the lower back, also known as Lumbar Lordosis (aka. the duck butt.) The rotated pelvic will pull the leg up, shortening the leg (leg length discrepancy). When this imbalance doesn’t get corrected, pain occurs as a result.

Tight-Psoas-back-pain-300x191 Image Citation

Acupuncture directly treats the psoas and related back supporting muscles which the muscles to relaxed states. Different treatments methods such as upping, stone massage electo-acupuncture are combined to maximize the results! In addition to the treatments, the psoas strengthening exercises are suggested to correct future onsets of pain as preventative measures.

 

Below are some useful links that can show you how to stretch and strengthen your psoas at home!

Yoga for psoas –

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsE4csvlUfA

How to release your psoas –

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxWOkZ3Om4I

Awaken your psoas

https://www.bandhayoga.com/keys_psoas.html

 

 

 

Reference

Northrup, Christiane. 2014, “Why psoas muscle is the most vital muscle in your body.” (https://www.drnorthrup.com/psoas-muscle-vital-muscle-body/)

Berkley Wellness- University of California. 2016, “Get to know your Psoas.”(https://www.berkeleywellness.com/fitness/injury-prevention/article/get-know-your-psoas-muscles)

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