Acupuncture in Calgary Chinese New Year of the Dog

Hello Calgary Acupuncture Enthusiasts!

This is the year of the Dog in the Chinese Zodiac Calendar and the new year begins on February 16th. The Chinese year is based on the lunar cycle and therefore the exact day changes year to year.

Have some fun checking out your horoscope for the year of the dog here:

I like to use the Chinese New Year as a resolution/goal check-in to figure out what is working for me with my goals and what I’m doing that isn’t working so well. This allows me to either make necessary adjustments to my plan or to re-examine my commitment to the goals I have made. Sometimes you make goals with the best intentions, only to realize they aren’t actually important to you. It is ok to set these aside in order to focus more on the things that matter the most.


Have a happy Chinese New Year!

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Calgary Acupuncture for Foot Pain

Hello Calgary Acupuncture Enthusiasts!

Do you have foot pain that won’t go away? Does it prevent you from participating in your favourite activities or from wearing your favourite shoes?

The first thing you need to do when you have foot pain is to determine what it is that is causing the problem. I know that Google can sometimes be helpful and is easy and available 24/7 to answer your questions, but, it can lead you down a rabbit hole of more information than you can process and can often be scary when it comes to questions about the body. To get a proper diagnosis of your foot pain you can see your medical doctor or other healthcare practitioners such as your Registered Acupuncturist in Calgary for a full assessment. Another practitioner I recommend especially for foot issues are pedorthists, these are lower leg specialists and the use specialized footwear to support the lower leg and thus the whole body. I work with Samar Assaf at Optimum Wellness Centres who offers this service.

The most common causes of foot pain that I see in my Calgary and Airdrie Acupuncture clinics are:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Muscle spasms
  • Bunions
  • Heel spurs

The first three are very easily addressed with acupuncture and patients often get relief within a few treatments, though it can take more time to completely eliminate the issue depending on the severity of the problem and how long it has been going on. The final two are much more difficult to treat as they are bony/structural problems and though acupuncture can help to alleviate some of the pain, it does not eliminate the problem.

acupuncture for plantar fasciitisPlantar Fasciitis is an inflammatory condition of the connective tissue on the bottom of the foot. Tension in the arch of the foot, the calf muscles and sometimes even the hamstrings cause a pull on the connective tissues of the foot which leads to inflammation and pain at the attachment site of that connective tissue in the heel. Acupuncture addresses the inflammation, the muscle tension in the foot, calf, and hamstring, improves circulation and removes scar tissue and this will eliminate the problem.

Morton’s Neuroma involves a swelling or thickening of the tissues around one of the nerves leading to your toes, most often between the third and fourth toe. The swelling pinches the nerve and causes an intense burning or prickling pain.  I see this problem mostly in runners and in women who wear tight fitting, high heeled shoes. The acupuncture addresses the inflammation, loosens the space between the toes and relieves the pinching of the nerve.

Muscle spasms on the foot are the same as muscle spasms anywhere else. Tension builds in a muscle and it stays, or it cramps “for no good reason”. Acupuncture addresses the tension in the foot, calf and hamstring, improves circulation to the foot and I recommend regular stretching and magnesium to prevent future problems.

acupuncture for foot painA bunion is a bony bump on the joint at the base of your big toe. It forms when your big toe pushes against your next toe, forcing the joint of your big toe to get bigger and stick out. The cause could be genetic or tight footwear. Once bony changes have developed it is very difficult to change without surgery and many of my patients who have had surgery to correct their bunions have not been satisfied with the results.

Heel spurs occur when the bone of the heel grows an extra point, often at the attachment site of a tendon. This bony outgrowth can cause immense pain when pressure is applied and forms due to excess strain and tension on the tendons and ligaments that attach to it. It is reversible however it is a long and slow process.

If you have foot pain that isn’t getting better on its own, book your acupuncture appointment in Calgary today!

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FAQ’s for Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture

Hello Calgary Acupuncture Enthusiasts!

In this post I would like to address some of the most common questions I receive about Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture.

How many treatments are needed:

facial rejuvenation acupuncture in calgaryAn average of 14 initial treatments are needed to see the desired results, these are twice weekly. Following the initial treatment course bi-weekly or monthly appointments are kept to continue seeing positive change and to maintain results. Various factors will impact Continue reading

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Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture

Hello Calgary Acupuncture Enthusiasts!

acupuncture for facial rejuvenationHave you been looking in the mirror lately and noticing more wrinkles? Have you been wondering if there is any way to reverse these signs of aging that don’t involve chemicals, injections, surgeries or other treatments that require a lot of down time or seem too drastic?

At Apple Blossom Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine we approach facial rejuvenation not only by treating the face, but by addressing the health of your entire body. Not only will you look younger, you will feel more vital and improve your overall health at the same time.

Our Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture Protocol involves several  pieces that work together to improve your appearance from the inside out as well as the outside in. These include:

facial rejuvenation acupuncture

  • Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture
  • Body Acupuncture
  • Facial Cupping
  • Nutritional Counceling
  • Chinese Herbal Therapy (topical and internal are available)


All of our Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture protocols are completely customized to you and your major areas of concern. Your individual constitution is addressed specifically with Chinese Herbs, body acupuncture and nutrition, while your primary facial issues are addressed with the facial rejuvenation acupuncture and facial cupping.

acupuncture for facial rejuvenation

These results are typical.

We can usually address up to 2 major areas of concern at a time from the following:

  • Forehead and brow wrinkles
  • Crows feet
  • Wrinkles around the mouth and cheeks
  • Lifting the jawline and cheeks that sag (up to a point)
  • Eye puffiness
  • Dull complexion

Book your Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture treatments in Calgary today!

If you have more questions, check out my FAQ on Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture (coming soon).

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Acupuncture in Calgary | Acupuncture for Stress

Hello Calgary Acupuncture Enthusiasts!

Do the long dark hours of the winter get you down? Does driving in winter make you tense? Do you have a hard time keeping up with the extra time demands that the holiday season brings? Is the news getting to you more than it ever has before?

If you agree with any of those statements or if you are stressed for any reason not listed above, then acupuncture can be a tool in the toolbox to help keep you healthy despite a hectic schedule. Are you thinking that your schedule doesn’t have time for acupuncture?

Our Downtown Calgary Acupuncturists are available seven days a week, including evenings, for your convenience.

Stress has been linked to a myriad of serious illnesses and its negative effects are often overlooked until they become serious or overwhelming. Some common symptoms of stress include but are not limited to:acupuncture for stress in calgary

  •  disturbed sleeping patterns
  • tense muscles (shoulders, buttocks, jaw)
  • headaches
  • weight gain
  • fatigue
  • anxiety and depression
  • feeling overwhelmed
  • forgetfulness
  • emotional hypersensitivity

Acupuncture is a safe and effective way to relieve your body of the effects of stress. It boosts dopamine and endorphins, reduces pain, helps you sleep and relieves those tense, achy muscles.

acupuncture for sleep


What are some other things you can do to help manage stress other than visiting your downtown Calgary acupuncturist?

The best thing to do to help yourself with stress is to eliminate as many stressors from your life as possible.

That can seem like an impossible task, especially if you feel like your stress is coming from places or people you can’t escape but it is possible and extremely empowering to make choices that are good for you. You always have choices in your life, these choices always have consequences, you alone are the one to determine whether the consequences are acceptable. Remember that consequences can be positive and there are some choices we make that we don’t even consider as choices. They seem so, because the consequences to the alternative is unacceptable.

Some other tips to managing stress:

acupuncture for stress

  • take a bath
  • stop watching the news
  • go for walks outside
  • drink herbal teas
  • talking and connecting with other people
  • spend time with animals
  • get a massage
  • laugh, sing and dance
  • set achievable and realistic goals
  • eat nutritionally dense foods
  • take adaptogenic supplements (such as ginseng, reishi and ashwaganda)
    • Adaptogens are substances (a combination of amino acids, vitamins, and herbs) that modulate your response to stress or a changing environment.

If you feel in need of an endorphin boost, schedule your next acupuncture appointment in Calgary today!

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Acupuncture for Infertility | Traditional Chinese Medicine for Infertility

Hello Calgary Acupuncture Enthusiasts!

Acupuncture for fertilityThe treatment of infertility with acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) goes back over 2000 years. With the emergence of modern fertility treatments and information the specificity and success rates have only gotten better. In ancient times, the only information they had pertaining to a woman’s fertility was her period and they still had good results. Nowadays, we have all of our modern knowledge and technology to help us figure out exactly what and where a problem may be thus making our treatments that much more sophisticated and specific.

My favourite “new” thing in fertility are the apps that will track and graph your Basal Body Temperatures (BBT). These charts give me a wealth of diagnostic information, they tell me about your hormones, Yin and Yang, when you ovulate and often, why you aren’t getting pregnant. For the would be parents, the BBT chart is most helpful in determining when ovulation is occurring (or not). I have found that many of my couples who were relying only on the period tracking feature for ovulation timing are actually off by as much as 5 days on when they are ovulating!

Below is an example of a relatively normal BBT chart:

acupuncture for fertility,

The first half of the cycle is the Yin, or estrogenic phase, and the second half is the Yang, or progesterone, phase.The ovulation and the menses are the times when you switch from Yin to Yang or Yang to Yin. Problems can happen at any point in the cycle and all require a different approach in order to correct the issue. Most types of fertility problems are correctable with TCM, though any anatomical problem is not.

For most cases, it takes a minimum of three cycles to correct a problem and can sometimes take up to a year so patience is required. If you are also seeking western medical help for fertility, acupuncture is a great complimentary treatment.

You can book your next acupuncture appointment in Calgary online today.


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Acupuncture for Back Pain | Calgary Acupuncture

Hello Calgary Acupuncture Enthusiasts!

Calgary Acupuncture

Acupuncture For Low Back Pain

Back pain is the number one complaint in both my Airdrie Acupuncture and Calgary Acupuncture clinics. Back pain has no barriers or boundaries, it can affect any person at any point in their life. For most people it is a short term, acute problem, easily resolved in as few as 2 or 3 treatments Continue reading

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Acupuncture for Insomnia | Calgary Acupuncture

Hello Calgary Acupuncture Enthusiasts!

acupuncture for insomniaSleep is touted as one of the most important aspects of managing your health. A good night’s sleep has been linked with decreased stress, better memory, helps with maintaining a healthy weight, and improves your mood. Lack of sleep can exacerbate these as well as other health problems that you may have. Our bodies need regular deep rest to affect daily repair and rejuvenation and when we don’t get that rest small things can start to pile up and we begin to feel run down.

So how can you get more sleep?

  • Do you go to sleep at a regular time? If not, setting a sleep schedule can be the simple solution to getting the zzz’s you need.
  • Stay off of your electronics the hour before you go to bed. The lights and stimulation can inhibit our natural sleep cycle.
  • Remove distractions from the bedroom. It is my firm opinion that bedrooms are for two things, sleeping and intimacy. No TV, no work, no eating, no phone/tablet/laptop and though some people use reading as a way to fall asleep, if the story is engaging it could also keep you awake for hours.
  • Avoid eating before bed, not only does this contribute to unwanted weight gain, but can also have a negative impact on your sleep.
  • Take a melatonin supplement an hour or so before you want to fall asleep. Melatonin is produced by your body so there are no harmful effects.

I’ve tried those and still can’t sleep, now what?

If you have been addressing the items above (or others), known as sleep hygiene, and are still having problems either falling or remaining asleep then acupuncture and Chinese medicine are effective and safe for the treatment of insomnia.

acupuncture for sleepIn Chinese Medicine there are multiple types of imbalance that can lead to insomnia, it is the job of the acupuncturist to determine what that imbalance is and then work to resolve it using acupuncture(1), herbs and lifestyle changes. Insomnia is a common complaint at my Calgary Acupuncture Clinic though not usually the main reason people come to see me and often better sleep is a “side-effect” of the acupuncture treatment for their primary concern.

If you or someone you know is having problems sleeping, give acupuncture a try and book your acupuncture appointment in Calgary today.



  1. Spence DW1, Kayumov L, Chen A, Lowe A, Jain U, Katzman MA, Shen J, Perelman B, Shapiro CM.Acupuncture increases nocturnal melatonin secretion and reduces insomnia and anxiety: a preliminary report. J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2004 Winter;16(1):19-28.
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Acupuncture for PTSD | Acupuncture in Calgary

Hello Calgary Acupuncture Enthusiasts!

Have you or someone you know suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? Did you know that you can develop PTSD from experiences other than warfare? Other types of incidents that commonly cause PTSD are things like natural disasters, motor vehicle accidents, violence, abuse, or even simply witnessing any of these has been known to cause PTSD in some individuals.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association’s website, PTSD is:

“Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental illness. It involves exposure to trauma involving death or the threat of death, serious injury, or sexual violence. Continue reading

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What Can I Do For Morning Sickness? | Nausea During Pregnancy

Hello Calgary Acupuncture Enthusiasts!

calgary acupuncture clinicPregnancy can be one of the most magical times in a woman’s life, or it can be a nightmare of feeling so unwell she can’t get out of bed. One of the most common complaints I see in pregnant women at my Calgary acupuncture clinic is morning sickness. Often this “morning sickness” is any time of day, or all day for some women and can be anywhere from a mild queasiness to a severely upset stomach and frequent vomiting. If you are pregnant and can’t stop vomiting or can’t keep food or liquids down, please go to the hospital for care!

Frequent bouts of nausea are especially prevalent during the first trimester though for some women it can last throughout their entire pregnancy. It is important for women to feel relief from this nausea not only so that they can feel better, but so that they can continue to work or look after their other children.

Acupuncture is one of the safest forms of therapy for pregnant women* as there are no negative effects to the fetus and the risks to the mom are extremely low (occasionally there is mild bruising, feeling tired or faint after treatment). Most of my morning sickness patients feel better within a week or two of starting treatment.

*When administered by a properly trained and licensed Acupuncturist.

Continue reading

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