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Posts tagged "alternative medicine"

In modern-day society, stress is virtually unavoidable. But while the word “stress” is used often, many underestimate the impact that this evolutionary physiological response can have on the body and mind. Stress is defined as a state of mental or emotional strain resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances; from an evolutionary standpoint, the body’s response when faced with a stressor (for example: a potential predator) enabled survival. This “fight or flight” response known to result from stress can still be beneficial today, but more often than not, stress—especially when prolonged—can be very detrimental.

When the body is faced with an “adverse or demanding circumstance,” a few things happen: blood pressure and heart rate increase and digestive function is impaired, preparing the body for action. The problem occurs when the stressor is not necessarily life threatening, as most modern stressors are not. While traffic or unexpected expenses are undoubtedly stressful, they likely do not warrant the fight or flight response that the body is hardwired to produce. The problem arises when the body is constantly in this state of prolonged stress (known as chronic stress). Some symptoms of this include:

  • Tension and migraine headaches
  • Upset stomach, abdominal pain, change in appetite
  • Chest pain and heart palpitations
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep

The symptoms are not the only adverse side effects of prolonged stress. Stress is linked to higher risk of stroke and heart attack, impaired immune system functioning, and weight loss or gain.

Chronic stress is not something to be taken lightly. While it is inevitable, this does not mean that it is untreatable. Many things can be done to cope with and manage stress with minimal impact on the body and mind:

  • Prioritize. Often times, stress results from over-commitment—figure out which activities in your life are necessary and eliminate those that are not.
  • Exercise and maintain a nutritious diet.
  • Practice yoga.
  • Meditate.
  • Increase Omega-3 consumption or take Omega-3 supplements.

If you are experiencing chronic stress, consider seeking treatment—numerous alternative and complementary practices, including yoga, acupuncture, and bodywork, are effective in stress reduction. Fifteen InNetwork providers treat chronic stress, and they can be found here. Chronic stress can be progressively harmful, so take steps to manage your stress immediately.


Dealing with Stress – Dr. Weil.

Five Symptoms of Chronic Stress. Livestrong.


Chinese Olympic swimmer Wang Qun was spotted with clear cupping treatment marks during training. She uses cupping for back, neck, and shoulder pain. To find out more about cupping see these articles:


  1. It helps relieve migraines, headaches, and chronic pain
  2. It can help reduce anxiety
  3. Increases your energy level
  4. Boosts serotonin and mood
  5. Enhances concentration
  6. Helps you to focus on the bigger picture in your everyday life
  7. Improves your responses to stressful events
  8. Keeps everything in perspective
  9. Gives you a deeper understanding of yourself & others
  10. Helps you to live in the present moment 

For 90 other reasons to meditate, click here


TCM in the news! Check it out!

  1. Qi Gong for Weight Loss TV Series - from The Wall Street Journal. The series on this gentle form of exercise will be premiering on Tuesday, June 5, on New York public television stations.
  2. Foam Rolling Massage You Can Do at Home - from the San Diego Union Tribune. Using a foam roller and your own body weight, this exercise helps work out the IT band.
  3. Ginseng Helps Lower Cancer Related Fatigue - from The Times of India. Ginseng has been used in TCM as a natural energy booster for centuries.
  4. Acupuncture Aids Weight Loss - from Acupuncture can be used to address underlying health issues that are causing weight gain and help to correct them.
  5. Arthritis - Alternatives to Surgery - from Massage and acupuncture are two risk-free alternatives to surgery suggested for arthritis patients.

Cupping is a form of alternative therapy that has existed for over 2,500 years in traditional Chinese medicine. Despite its long history, it’s likely that you’ve never heard of “cupping” before—so, what is it?

There are two primary forms of cupping; in both, a cup is heated and pressed to the client’s body, creating suction. The skin is drawn around and under the cup, stimulating blood flow. In the more traditional method, a cotton boll is ignited and placed inside the cup, creating a flame, before the cup is pressed to the body—appropriately, this is known as fire cupping. (Note: the flame never comes in contact with the body; rather, it is used to warm the cup before application.) The second form of uses a suction cup and no flame, but works in the same way.

On average, cups are left on the body for about 10 minutes. Cupping does not merely affect the skin at a surface level; its effects are believed to reach about four inches deep. Therefore, it is beneficial in the clearance of toxins and blockages in the body. Cupping is also believed to increase blood flow and slow nervous system activity in addition to increasing the flow of qi (vital energy) by following the five meridian lines on the back, allowing these channels of life force to open up.

Cupping is used to treat a wide variety of conditions, including:

  • Back/neck pain
  • Stiff muscles
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Migraines
  • Respiratory problems
  • Digestion problems

Find an InNetwork cupping practitioner today


“Cupping” Takes the Pain Away. CBS.

The Many Benefits of Chinese Cupping. Pacific College of Oriental Medicine.


TCM in the news this week!  Check it out!

  1. Massage Therapy Effective for Knee Osteoarthritis and More - from News Medical. Massage therapy can be effective for a variety of prevalent health conditions, including the pain of osteoarthritis of the knee, inflammation after exercise, chronic low back pain and fibromyalgia.
  2. Acupuncture Can Help Reduce Stress of Divorce - from the Huffington Post.  Going through something like a divorce can be stressful to say the least…here are 7 drug-free ways to help cope, including acupuncture.
  3. Sleep Tips Inspired By Chinese Medicine - from  May is Better Sleep Month, so check out some of these tips for a better night’s sleep.
  4. East Meets West in the Pet’s Office - from The Foxboro Reporter.  Holistic Treatments are not just for people…see what they can do for your pet!
  5. Massage Relieves Chronic Pain - from American News Report.  Check out the 4 recent studies showing the health benefits of massage therapy.


TCM in the news!  Check it out!

  • Why You Should Try Acupuncture - informative video from Fox News.  Acupuncture can treat just about anything from pain, allergies, addictions and more with little or no side effects.
  • Acupuncture to Treat COPD - from  For patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, acupuncture may relieve symptoms like shortness of breath during activity.
  • Acupuncture for Weight Loss - on  People keep looking for the magic pill to help them lose weight, but did you ever think acupuncture could be the cure? Check it out!

Affecting roughly 340 million people across the globe, depression is one of the most common psychological disorders today. While many cases go untreated, the numbers of those diagnosed with depression are growing. Roughly twenty five percent of women and ten percent of men are affected; perhaps even more surprisingly, about one in twenty teenagers are also depressed.  Depression is one of the few psychological disorders present worldwide amongst those of every culture, age group, and background—and for this reason, treating depression has become of great interest to researchers and practitioners everywhere.

Depression is commonly treated through medication using a form of drug called an SSRI—selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitor. Essentially, SSRIs increase the amount of serotonin in the brain in order to elevate the mood of a depressed patient. However, these drugs have a long list of potential side effects, including nausea, insomnia, dizziness, weight gain, and fatigue. Additionally, research indicates that less than half of those who use antidepressants become symptom-free, and even among those for whom antidepressants are effective, symptoms often reappear after a short period of time.

The bottom line: while antidepressants do work for some, there are many forms of complementary and alternative medicine that can help treat depression much more holistically and without the risks of drug therapy. Many of these treatments target not just the body but also the mind by enhancing one’s overall sense of wellbeing and happiness as opposed to simply eliminating symptoms. These treatments include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Meditation
  • Reiki
  • Yoga
  • Exercise
  • Supplements (including B vitamins, St. John’s wort, SAM-E, and fish oil).

Talk with your health care provider if you feel that you have any of the common symptoms for depression: feelings of hopelessness or anxiety, loss of interest, change in appetite or sleeping patterns, inability to concentrate, and chronic fatigue. Additionally, talk to your doctor before beginning any alternative treatment.

Search here for an InNetwork provider who treats Depression

Antidepressants: What You Need to Know About Depression
Natural Depression Treatment.


TCM in the news this week!  Check it out!

  • Acupuncture to Help Smokers Quit Smoking - from Reuters.  Recent international studies show that acupuncture can be useful as a non-drug treatment for smoking addictions.
  • The Tongue Deciphered - from Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen on  The tongue is the only openly visible muscle in the human body. In TCM, doctors  are able to gather data about a person’s health just by looking at his/her tongue!
  • Nine Natural Ways to Love Your Skin - from the Huffington Post.  Several traditional Chinese herbs can be key to treating inflammation and underlying infection in your skin.