- Cloud 9 Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine22 West Padonia Rd. Suite A-203
Timonium, MD 21093
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By Kelly Ferguson
Are you an allergy sufferer? Do you dread the fall or spring due to your seasonal allergies? If you are, you are not alone. Researchers estimate that nearly 50 million people in the Unites States have allergies making allergies the 6th leading cause of chronic illness.
An ‘allergy’ is hypersensitivity in your immune system to foreign substances. These foreign substances are known as ‘allergens’ and are recognized by your body and create a response in your immune system. Common allergens are animal dander, pollen, dust, nuts and mold. However, there are many different allergens and if you are not sure what you are allergic to it can be helpful to speak with an allergist who can test which allergens your body is having a reaction to.
In Chinese medicine there are four meridians we use to reduce/stop your allergy symptoms. These meridians are Spleen, Stomach, Lung and Large Intestine. The gut plays a large part in your immune system. Your gut or gastrointestinal (GI) tract is the main route for external stimuli entering into your body every day. It is important that we work on keeping your GI tract healthy so that it can better handle the external stimuli.
There are various points that can be used to help with allergies, and these points will be chosen based on the individual, their symptoms, pulses and their tongue. A couple common ones are Large Intestine 4 which helps the body to clear toxins and reduce inflammation, and Lung 9 which helps support the Lung meridian and build qi.
Along with using acupuncture to help stop your allergy symptoms, your acupuncturist will also talk to you about your diet and daily lifestyle. For most these are simple changes. An example of this could be: over eating sweets. Sweets are actually very damaging to your Spleen and Stomach meridians which can make your allergies worse. Likewise, getting a shower at the end of the day to remove any allergens that might be attached to your skin, hair or clothing after being outside during the day. Some other tips are getting a new pillow every few months, buying a pillow cover that protects against allergens, and changing your filters in your car and HVAC.
As we near closer to spring time it is important to consider adding in or making some changes in our day-to-day life so that we can help prevent allergies. Be sure to schedule your acupuncture appointment this spring to help with the upcoming allergy season or any other spring symptoms you may be experiencing.
I’m about to share with you the best kept secret for over 1,000 years. Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture has been around as early as the Sung Dynasty (960 AD), when Acupuncture Facial Rejuvenation techniques were first used on the Chinese Empress. The results of facial rejuvenation acupuncture are: more evenly toned, healthy, youthful looking skin, a clearer complexion, and a more relaxed state of mind. There are no scars, no down time and no side effects (other than feeling more serene).
The ancient Chinese described symptoms and healing as being on the level of the “Body, Mind, and Spirit” and that one is never separate from the other. For example, during my 3 year long intense study of acupuncture, my instructors often said, “treat the spirit and the body and mind will follow.” When looking at a person’s face, we see an imprint of the life they have lived. If a person has worried a lot, they have worry lines on the forehead; if they had a lot of frustration, they have anger lines between the eyebrows; if they laughed a lot, they have laugh lines. Lifestyle, diet, and stress also play a large role in our wrinkles and fine lines. Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture treatment administered at Cloud 9 Acupuncture is administered with the whole patient in mind.
Some of your skin health concerns that can be addressed with Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture are: wrinkle reduction, discolorations, eye bags, dark circles, facial sagging, eyelid drooping, age spots, acne, as well as dry, oily or sensitive skin conditions, healthier hair, and weight loss. At Cloud 9 Acupuncture, you can tailor your Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture treatment to also focus on body aches and pains, chronic conditions, and weight loss while you are addressing your skin issues.
In 1996 the International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture reported that “in 300 cases treated with Facial Acupuncture, 90% had (significant) effects with one course of treatment. The documented effects included: improvement of the elasticity of facial muscles, leveling of wrinkles, and overall rejuvenation not confined to face.”
Each Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture treatment is 90 minutes long and is part of a 12 treatment series (1-2 times per week). Your first session is 90 minutes. The cost of each session is $150.
Maintenance sessions are scheduled according to the individual’s needs after the initial series, with most patients enjoying a facial tune-up session once every 4 weeks. Since the skin completely renews itself every 30 days, a once per month session is recommended for maintenance & optimal results. You may see changes as soon as the first treatment is completed, but each succeeding treatment builds on the last.
Your acupuncturist will use the highest quality, pre-sterilized, one-time use (disposable) acupuncture needles which are gently inserted around the face, neck and scalp. Body points are also used to address underlying causes contributing to the aging process. While your skin is reacting to the subtle stimulation, the treatment is also adjusting the energy throughout your entire body. The treatment finishes with a gentle massage of the face, along with facial exercises designed to further enhance your treatment.
Acupuncture is the ideal natural alternative for addressing health concerns due to its ability to treat the underlying root causes of health symptoms. Using Chinese medicine, which dates back over 5,000 years and is the oldest form of medicine currently practiced in the world, an acupuncturist looks at your symptoms in a very different way than western medicine.
When you go to your medical doctor with a health concern, your doctor may order medical tests such as blood work, an MRI or CAT Scan, or an X-Ray to determine the exact diagnosis in order to give you proper medical treatment. Similarly, during your acupuncture session, your acupuncturist will use Chinese medical diagnostic techniques such as feeling your twelve different acupuncture pulses (on your wrists) and looking at your tongue. Your acupuncturist will then evaluate whether your skin condition (or any other symptom you seek acupuncture treatment for) is caused by what Chinese medicine refers to as stagnation, deficiency or excess in the Lung, Kidney, Liver, Heart, or Spleen Qi (pronounced ‘chee’). Acupuncture treatment plans use acupuncture points to balance the hormones, and treat any excesses or deficiencies. During your session, your acupuncturist will also provide wellness coaching while discussing how your diet, lifestyle and proper use of antioxidants can improve your overall condition and improve your skin.
lf you have received any type of cosmetic fillers or injections such as Botox or Restylane you should call Cloud 9 Acupuncture at 443-521-3583 to discuss how you can switch to an all natural Facial Acupuncture Treatment series. If you have recently received a surgical face lift, ask us how acupuncture can help prolong the results you desire.
If you start your Facial Rejuvenation Treatment series now, by the time vacation season begins, you can look forward to your relatives, neighbors and friends telling you how young, fresh and relaxed you look.
Acupuncture, which has recently been featured on Oprah and the Dr. Oz Show, is an ancient medical technology that has been around for at least 5,000 years. Acupuncture is considered part of Chinese Medicine, which looks at living in balance with the five seasons for wisdom on how to maintain optimum health and wellness. The five seasons are also referred to as the five elements, winter is water, spring is wood, summer is fire, late summer is earth, and fall is metal. Winter, the water element, can be one of the most challenging seasons for many people, with symptoms ranging from fatigue to depression to S.A.D. (Seasonal Affect Disorder) to additional aches and pains and much more.
Using Five Element Acupuncture, your acupuncturist will diagnose which element constitution you are based on C.S.O.E. (Color, Sound, Odor, Emotion.) For example, if you are primarily a Water/winter constitution, you will likely exhibit the color blue- (or a brownish color think “muddy water”) on your face around your eyes or mouth, the sound of your voice will be a groan, often sounding more mono-tone or speaking very quickly, so it is difficult for others to interrupt you. The odor, which a trained acupuncturist can usually pick up on immediately upon entering the treatment room, is called putrid, which can sometimes smell lovely like an ocean breeze. The emotion of water is fear, which can be transformed into courage, or being prepared for unknown.
Often water constitution folks are described as intense and will either be adrenaline/thrill seeking folks who like to live life in the fast lane (think skydiving, overworking, pushing through exhaustion to feel that extra surge of adrenaline) or they will be ultra-cautious, always stocked up with extra toilet paper and bottled water in case of emergency, knowing all the evacuation routes by heart, keeping not only material items as a backup plan, but also constantly learning new skills to keep them safe in their lives. Another way water constitutions may manifest the skill of being prepared shows up as a vast library of wisdom, they may seem like a walking encyclopedia, especially in regards to their profession or special interests. The gifts of the Water element are: deep listening, wisdom, skill and ability, reassurance and preparedness.
The organs and meridian systems most connected to the water element are the Kidneys and Bladder. The kidneys can be described as the “energizer bunny battery pack,” reflecting a person’s longevity, as well as their ability to keep “going, going, going,” pushing through in life physically and emotionally, despite any obstacles. When a person is burning the candle at both ends, they are depleting their kidney energy, or tapping into their longevity- this may not produce negative side effects while someone is young such as in their 20’s, but if they continue to burn the candle at both ends for too long, it will show up as a decreased quality in their overall long term health and could potentially shorten their life span.
The most common red flag of kidney weakness is what acupuncturists call Kidney Yin Deficiency, which most Americans tend to have issues with. Kidney Yin Deficiency shows up mostly as lower back pain or ache, knee pain, fatigue and/or tinnitus. If lifestyle continues to deplete the kidney energy, Kidney Yin symptoms will include premature thinning and graying of the head hair, weak bones or fractures, infertility, impotence, kidney stones, memory loss, and/or neurological problems. Emotionally or mentally, water imbalances may show up as having very little fear, behaving recklessly, or having too much fear having phobias and excessive fears.
Bladder deficiency symptoms are usually connected to frequent bladder infections or UTI’s (Urinary Tract Infections) or other urinary issues, such as difficult, excessive, frequent and/or uncontrolled urination, especially at night. Bladder deficiency symptoms also include any of the kidney deficiency symptoms, because the kidneys and bladder are so closely connected in Chinese Medicine.
During the season of winter, the Kidney and Bladder organs and acupuncture meridian pathways are at their greatest strength and their greatest vulnerability to imbalance, which is why receiving acupuncture treatment during the winter season can be so important to manage the symptoms previously discussed that are related to kidney and bladder deficiency. Many of my patients come in for treatment in the winter because they feel the need for a little extra support. Others say they just need a little acupuncture tune up. If you or your loved ones have any of the symptoms described above, please encourage them to try acupuncture, especially for winter aches and pains. Relief can be just a few (acupuncture) needles away.