Age Better with Acupuncture

It’s not news, Victoria, B.C. is home to the newly wed and nearly dead. If you’re on the later end of that spectrum, acupuncture can help you continue cycling the Galloping Goose or running along Dallas Road.

Research has shown that physical and mental fitness go hand in hand. Observations showed that physically fit older adults have brain activation patterns similar to younger adults. This pattern shows as quicker reaction and more accurate function than less fit older adults. The researchers suggest links between the left and right brain as influential. To apply these findings, work with an acupuncturist that knows how to assess and affect tension related to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

In addition to better links in the brain, acupuncture works on connections throughout the body. Acupuncture can help resolve acute or chronic injuries that may hold us back from being physically active. The gentle manipulation of fascial adhesions and trigger points that you may not even be aware of can make your workouts more efficient and effective. And sooner than later, you just might check that hike/bike/swim/paddle/run adventure off your bucket list.

Archer, S. Aerobic Fitness May Preserve Brain’s Youthfulness. Accessed from on June 15, 2017.

Yanagisawa, H. et al. Acute moderate exercise elicits increased dorsolateral prefrontal activation and improves cognitive performance with Stroop test. NeuroImage (2010) vol.50 is.4. pp1702. Accessed from on June 15, 2017.

How acupuncture checks your second brain

In Japanese-style acupuncture (Chinese Medicine comes in all shapes and styles here in Victoria B.C.) understanding what’s behind any health concern requires feeling your abdomen, also known as your second brain. This is the enteric nervous system (ENS) in medical terminology. And because form follows function, how your gut brain responds to stress can relate to structural imbalances.
The ENS senses internal changes and initiates immune, digestive, hormonal, and emotional responses. From the esophagus to the large intestine, the various organs of the ENS are surrounded by fascia. And like layers of an onion fascia keeps our organs, bones, muscles and skin together. Fascia are full of mechanoreceptors that coordinate how our muscles move (or don’t move), maintain postures, and muster strength. Acupuncture works on the fascial lines (or meridians) that have become less stress-tolerant from chronic strain or old injuries. The goal is to restore agility in the neck, shoulders, abdomen and hips. Resolving these clears the clutter of sensory overstimulation to the ENS, and parasympathetic ‘rest and repair’ system. And better form leads to better function. This video talks about this mind-gut connection, and this research reminds us of the power of gut instincts.
A gentle acupuncture treatment may seem to focus on the surface, but the effects run deep.

Post-traumatic stress disorder in our community

The clinical term is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). And it’s a part of so many of us. I offer acupuncture temporarily at Lifemark Esquimalt. Working there I meet people that serve in the Canadian Forces. The stories their bodies share come to mind when I read this recent commentary by Romeo Dallaire on a recent tragedy,
“The brain is as vital to life as any organ in the human body. To treat an injury to the brain as less urgent, less in need of care and compassion than other, more obvious types of injury is misguided and ignorant. Our efforts to treat our veterans with PTSD must be comparable to our efforts to repair damaged hearts, provide timely kidney transplants, avoid amputations or restore eyesight.” Read more from Romeo Dallaire here.
And if you like research results, this from the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, and this from the American Public Health Association both show results of acupuncture’s efficacy in managing PTSD symptoms in veterans.To define PTSD there’s the criteria set by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It’s a list of mostly psychological symptoms. Connecting these to physical symptoms and addressing both is where acupuncture and Chinese Medicine shines.

Hey Victoria BC, we need a better way of letting go.

Sincerely, us now and in the future.

We’re on to the next phase of resolving our regional sewage problem. On a smaller scale, new research is clearing up how waste management happens in our bodies. The glimphatic system is a recent discovery that explains what happens with all the glucose our brains use. This system functions best during sleep, which explains the importance of sleep to cognitive functions. The glimphatic system also requires good lymphatic circulation.

Acupuncture puts this theory into clinical practice by diagnosing and improving connections between our head and the rest of our body. This means paying attention to new and old head injuries from sports or motor vehicle accidents, and assessing their impact on our current health concerns.

If you’ve noticed being less healthy since that major or minor incident, try a gentle approach that shifts your brain and body into working together better.