A Resolution for Stress

Looking back on 2016, for many reasons it was a difficult and stressful year for many of us.  Sometimes life just gets hard, right?  Not to mention the collective stress of the election was shocking in its intensity.  No matter what else was going on in your life, the negativity and anger surrounding politics this fall was painful.  What do we do with all of those feelings now?  What did you do to cope?  How much stress can we actually handle? 

Over the holidays I spent quite a bit of time thinking about how I can better prepare myself for stress.  How can I strengthen my calming reflex so that I can withstand discomfort and difficult feelings without letting it ruin my mood for an entire day or days at a time?  Obviously, I can get acupuncture more regularly and that is great maintenance for chronic stress.  In addition though, what keeps coming up as the solution for me is sticking with a Mindfulness Practice. 

Mindfulness or “Being Present” is a form of meditation but one that you practice throughout the day.  It is a simple concept.  If you are completely present, external forces and worries are no longer a problem because there is only you and your current focus.  For example, if at work your job demands that you take care of an urgent task, you can stress out about it because you have a long list of other things to do.  Or you can be present and focus completely on that task, and now there is only that task and you.  When you’re done, you can move on to the next task.  See?  No stress.

If you are cooking dinner and your child interrupts you, you can stress out about getting dinner done on time or you can shift focus and then there is only you and your child.  You can appreciate who your child is and be grateful for the moment you have with her.  Then you go back to making dinner.  No irritation, no stress. 

The general idea is that stress is created in our minds.  Training your mind to be present becomes a way to handle any problem.  It allows everything else to fade away, leaving only you and whatever you’re dealing with right now.  This is, of course, a practice.  Meaning that it is fully expected to be challenging to do at first.  I have dabbled in the Practice of Being Present for years but am making 2017 the year that I anchor it deep within my daily life.  I hope that I can inspire you as well to find a mindfulness practice to keep stress at bay this year.  When I get particularly overwhelmed, this quote is my favorite reminder:

Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the Earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.  Live the actual moment.  Only this moment is life.”  Thich Nhat Hanh

Best Wishes for a Happy and Healthy 2017!

Tis the Season of Thanks and Giving

The holidays are just around the corner so it’s time to get some folks crossed off your list!  Give the gift of health and peaceful relaxation this year with a gift card to TAC!   Gift cards are available in any quantity, and we make it a breeze: you can stop by either our Raleigh or Chapel Hill clinic locations, or simply call and pay via credit card and we'll mail or email you the gift card. 

For the months of November and December in Chapel Hill, massage gift cards are buy 5, get 1 free! You can keep them for yourself or give them as gifts. 

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving and joyful winter holidays!

From all of us at Triangle Acupuncture Clinic

Vegetable Fatigue?  Tahini is here!

The hardest part of sticking to a low carb or healthier way of eating is many times more about boredom than it is cheating.   Here are two great Tahini sauces that contribute different delicious flavors to vegetable staples like broccoli, green beans, sautéed greens, sweet potatoes, raw veggies and salads.  Both of these sauces will make eating raw, steamed or roasted vegetables flavorful and exciting again.   The bonus is that Tahini is derived from ground sesame seeds, imparting all kinds of healthy fats and nutrition to keep you full and satisfied. 

 

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Thanks for your Pledge of Support!

The Walk-A-Thon to raise awareness about the benefits of acupuncture was a big success!  Thank you so much to everyone for supporting us as we walked the 5K.  The money we raised will support political action to stop a bill from dissolving NC’s acupuncture licensing board.  The walk also educated the public about acupuncture as an alternative to prescription opioids for pain treatment. 

It was a beautiful day to walk and we felt really blessed to have all of your support.  We are devoted to the protection of our licensing board and urge you to take any action steps possible to send the message that you want acupuncture to stay.  Visit the North Carolina Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine for updated information on how you can help.  

Again, thank you for all of your pledges, it means a lot to us.

NC Acupuncture Needs Your Help

Coming up in the next legislative session in early 2017, there will be a motion for a bill that includes eliminating the North Carolina Acupuncture Licensing Board (NCALB).  This would be the first time that a state acupuncture licensing board has ever been eliminated in the United States.  The profession of “acupuncturist” is under fire by other healthcare professions with more political power who wish to utilize a form of acupuncture called “dry needling” without observing the same educational standards set forth by the North Carolina and National Acupuncture Licensing Boards.  

Of course we are particularly worried about what will happen if such a bill were to pass.  The NCALB performs several crucial functions, the least of which is enforcing the training of acupuncturists in our state.  Every licensed acupuncturist is expected to have over a minimum of 2,000 hours of training and 650 hours of clinical internship, a degree from an accredited acupuncture program and a board certification from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture, which requires over 40 hours of continuing education every year to maintain licensure.  For “dry needling,” which is acupuncture by a different name, healthcare professionals can take a 52 hour course to augment their professional skillset and then insert acupuncture needles into their patients.  By eliminating the NCALB, these healthcare professionals will be free to practice acupuncture without worrying about licensure to do so. 

We are justifiably concerned about the unlicensed practice of acupuncture in North Carolina and fear for the safety of North Carolina citizens if this bill should come to pass.  We are also unsure of our future ability to practice acupuncture without a state license should this come to pass.  This is why we’re asking for your help.

1. Visit the North Carolina Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and look under the Public tab for more information on how you can help fight this legislation.

2. Donate to the Walk for Acupuncture 5K Saturday October 29th, proceeds go to our lobbyist to fight this legislation.  Donate by clicking here.  

We appreciate your support very much!

Become an Acupuncture Ambassador Today!!!

Do you want more insurance coverage for acupuncture?
Do you think Medicare/Medicaid should cover acupuncture?
Would you like to see Acupuncturists working in hospitals?
Does our healthcare system need more coordination with Complementary and Alternative Medicine?  

A new program launched by the North Carolina Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCAAOM) is going to directly tackle these issues.

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September Product of the Month

Sinuplex

We are excited to share with you a new product this cold and allergy season, Sinuplex.  If you find yourself with chronic sinus congestion or having long spells of post-nasal drip, this is just what you need to be on for the season.  Staying chronically inflamed in the face and head makes life miserable so make it a point this fall to take care of your sinuses.  We have Sinuplex available in both of our offices.  

Sinuplex is a blend of vitamin C, quercetin, nettle root extract, bromelain and N-Acetylcysteine.  This is a super-power blend of herbs and anti-oxidants that work directly on easing those nagging sinus symptoms whether from allergies or infection.  Quercetin is the star of the show, an antioxidant that acts as an anti-inflammatory and also stops immune cells from producing histamines.  Quercetin reduces your body’s response to allergens and thus the need for medications like Zyrtec and Claritin.  Bromelain is a natural enzyme that reduces nasal swelling and thins mucus. N-Acetylcysteine is a natural amino-acid derivative that helps break down mucus and boosts glutathione levels, helping to mediate auto-immune responses like allergies.  Nettles also help mediate the allergic response and have been used to treat allergies for hundreds of years. 

Wishing you good health and wellness this fall!

Nix Allergies and Colds this Fall

Ready for fall allergy and cold season?  We are 100% committed to making this the year you stay on top of your immune system and have an easier time with your sinuses.  From acupuncture to herbal remedies to even things like cupping, we can help you keep your body healthy and happy no matter what the allergy and cold season throws your way. 

3 Things You Can Do to Boost Immunity this Fall

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Cupping Not Just for Olympic Athletes

By now surely you’ve noticed the cupping marks on Michael Phelps!  Every night he appears to have more round circles dotting his shoulders and upper back.  Some of you may not know what cupping is, or that it is one of the facets of Traditional Chinese Medicine along with acupuncture and herbal medicine.  More recently the popularity of cupping has spread as it is being understood for its benefits in muscle recovery after strenuous workouts. 


Cupping is akin to attaching a suction cup to the skin which when applied correctly will pull what we call in Chinese Medicine, “stuck blood,” to the surface.  Pulling on all these inflammation byproducts and getting them out of the muscle and closer to the surface allows for increased circulation in the affected area.  Better circulation in the muscle tissue results in more oxygen coming in and a decreased healing time. 

 

What you see in the dark circles that remain after treatment is the “stuck blood.”  You could say that the darker the circles, the more stagnation was present.  These bruises diminish over a couple days and are typically not painful at all.   It is certainly fun to see top Olympians utilizing such a time-honored and common practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine.  If you haven’t had it done before – just ask!  It feels wonderful and helps relax those tight back muscles.  Even if you get them from sitting at the computer and not sprinting 200meter butterfly!