Calgary Acupuncture for Chronic Pain

Hello Calgary Acupuncture Enthusiasts!

Chronic pain is a common problem that I see in my Calgary acupuncture clinic and has a serious impact on the lives of those who suffer from it. Often they have been seeking care for a long time before they find me and have often had little or no lasting relief. Their primary care physician plays an important role for many of these patients, however survey results indicate that many physicians consider the training they received in pain management to be insufficient, and may not feel comfortable(www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) in their ability to effectively treat patients with chronic pain. When this is the case, they will often refer their patients to a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine or a Registered Acupuncturist (both of which I am) for an effective alternative or adjunctive therapy to the western medical approach of chronic pain treatment.

Research finds more support that Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic pain.

There is good reason for these doctors to recommend us to their patients for care. In an update of patient data meta-analysis published in the May edition of the Journal of Pain,(www.jpain.org), researchers with the Acupuncture Trialists’ Collaboration found that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic pain, that the effects of acupuncture persisted over time, and that the benefits of acupuncture were not due to placebo effect alone (in any treatment there is always a partial placebo).

Calgary Acupuncture

Acupuncture For Low Back Pain

The authors wrote that “the results confirm and strengthen previous key findings that acupuncture has a clinically relevant effect compared with no acupuncture control.” These effects persisted up to the 12 month followup and the authors also said that “the effects of acupuncture are not completely explicable in terms of placebo effects,” but cautioned that “factors other than the specific effects of needling at correct acupuncture point locations” contribute to the benefits derived from receiving acupuncture.

In my Calgary and Airdrie Acupuncture clinics I see people with chronic pain that come as a result of a previous motor vehicle accident, sports and repetitive strain injuries, work injuries, chronic illness and fibromyalgia. There are those few that do not respond to our treatment however the majority see an improvement in their pain and many find complete relief. I use a combination of different techniques that I have learned over the years to pinpoint the method that will work for each patient and each circumstance. There are also cases where the use of classical Chinese herbal formulas are required to get the lasting and significant results that we are hoping to achieve.

If you have chronic pain and would like to try a natural, and holistic approach to  treat your pain, acupuncture and Chinese Medicine are effective, time tested and safe.

Book your appointment online today or call Dr. Parrott at 403-589-1351.


Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine: Critical Factors to Practicing Medical Acupuncture in Family Medicine: Patient and Physician Perspectives(www.jabfm.org)
(March/April 2018)

Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Evidence-Based Evaluation of Complementary Health Approaches for Pain Management in the United States(www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
(September 2016)

BMJ: Should Doctors Recommend Acupuncture for Pain?(www.bmj.com)
(3/7/2018)

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Calgary Acupuncture For Allergies Rhinitis

Hello Calgary Acupuncture Enthusiasts!

Do you suffer from allergies? Do these allergies disrupt your life?

calgary acupuncture for allergiesI have suffered from seasonal allergies since I was around 20, and non seasonal allergies since around 18 or 19, they continued to worsen every year until about 6 years ago I went through a NAET protocol (with one of my Registered Acupuncturist friends) which reduced them by about 70%. I went from having to blow my nose every five minutes during allergy season to every hour, and outside of allergy season I still had a stuffy nose but not nearly as bad as before. This year I was able to kick my treatment up a notch with Jing Fang Classical Chinese Medicine (I will explain in another post) and now I have almost zero nasal congestion. I can breathe through my nose 100% of the time, and my itchy eyes were gone after 3 days of herbs. This is very exciting for me as normally I want to rip my eyes out once the trees start spawning.

If you are in need of some science to back all this up:

Modern research supports the use of acupuncture for the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Patients interested in learning more about acupuncture as a treatment option can contact me.

Researchers in Germany have confirmed the effectiveness of acupuncture for the treatment of allergies and sinus disorders. In an eight week clinical trial, patients receiving acupuncture needed less medication and had fewer seasonal allergic rhinitis symptoms than the control groups. Moreover the quality of life scores were significantly better in the acupuncture group than in either of the control groups. With this evidence the German researchers were able to conclude that “acupuncture treatment was more effective than the symptomatic drug intervention.”

The researchers screened 1,588 patients and accepted 414. All patients had seasonal allergic rhinitis for a minimum of two years. The patients did not know whether they received real or sham acupuncture. An additional control group received only antihistamine medication (i.e., cetirizine). Two patients also took methylprednisolone.

A total of 60% of acupuncture patients used antihistamines during the eight week treatment intervention period. A total of 71% of patients in the sham control group used antihistamines, and 82% self-administered antihistamines in the drug-only control group. Patients in the acupuncture group used antihistamines 8.92 days on average during the intervention period. Sham acupuncture group patients used antihistamines for an average of 13.41 days and the drugs-only group for an average of 18.07 days.

Acupuncture patients did not increase use of drugs from onset to the peak of pollen season. Patients in the other control groups increased antihistamine consumption. The researchers add, seasonal allergic rhinitis “symptoms decreased significantly in the acupuncture group compared with the other study groups.”

Patients that received acupuncture used fewer antihistamines and used them less often while experiencing fewer symptoms than the patients in the medication-only or sham acupuncture control groups.

acupuncture for seasonal allergies

Another study by Schäfer et al. noted that 18% of seasonal allergy patients in Germany have had acupuncture for the treatment of Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis. The results of their investigation “showed significant changes in favour of acupuncture treatment, including improvements in RQoL [rhinitis-specific quality of life] and SAR [seasonal allergic rhinitis] symptoms scores.” Schafer et al. found that 38% of the patients that received acupuncture did not use antihistamines while only 16% of the patients in the drugs-only control group did not use antihistamines. They added that acupuncture reduces antihistamine use and “can therefore be considered a valuable, additional treatment option for patients with SAR.”

Research by Reinhold et al. also supports these findings; they concluded that “Acupuncture is an effective intervention that results in improved quality of life in patients with SAR.” Yet another study by Brinkhaus et al. had similar findings, “In patients with allergic asthma, additional acupuncture treatment to routine care was associated with increased disease-specific and health-related quality of life compared to treatment with routine care alone.”

References
Adam, Daniela, Linus Grabenhenrich, Miriam Ortiz, Sylvia Binting, Thomas Reinhold, and Benno Brinkhaus. “Impact of acupuncture on antihistamine use in patients suffering seasonal allergic rhinitis: secondary analysis of results from a randomised controlled trial.” Acupuncture in Medicine (2018): acupmed-2017, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.
Reinhold, Thomas, Stephanie Roll, Stefan N. Willich, Miriam Ortiz, Claudia M. Witt, and Benno Brinkhaus. “Cost-effectiveness for acupuncture in seasonal allergic rhinitis: economic results of the ACUSAR trial.” Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology 111, no. 1 (2013): 56-63.
Brinkhaus, Benno, Stephanie Roll, Susanne Jena, Katja Icke, Daniela Adam, Sylvia Binting, Fabian Lotz, Stefan N. Willich, and Claudia M. Witt. “Acupuncture in patients with allergic asthma: a randomized pragmatic trial.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 23, no. 4 (2017): 268-277.
Zheng, X. L., Y. P. Tian, H. Y. Luo, Y. D. Zhao, X. Y. Liu, Y. Jiang, C. X. Ma, M. J. Wang, and M. Liu. “Effect of Warm Acupuncture on the Levels of Serum Immunoglobulin E, Interleukin-1 β and Tumor Necrosis Factor-α in Rats with Allergic Rhinitis.” Zhen ci yan jiu= Acupuncture research 43, no. 1 (2018): 35-38.
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Acupuncture for Insomnia | Calgary Acupuncture

De-stress with Good Sleep Habits and Acupuncture

calgary acupuncture clinicStress is a natural part of life, but in a fast-paced world, it can quickly spin out of control. From the food you eat to how much you sleep you get at night can impact not only your stress levels but how you handle stressful circumstances. Reducing stress requires examining your life as a whole to see what behaviors and treatments can bring balance to your life.

Recognize and Stop the Stress-Sleep Deprivation Cycle

Stress and sleep have a tumultuous relationship. You need a full seven to eight hours of sleep for your body to function at its best physically, mentally, and emotionally. Have you ever laid awake thinking about a big meeting in the morning or the argument you had with your teenager after dinner? Stress interferes with your ability to sleep.


Unfortunately, lack of sleep can increase your stress levels and make it more challenging to manage your emotions. When you’re sleep deprived, the emotional center of your brain, the amygdala, becomes more sensitive to negative emotions and stimuli. While the amygdala goes to work, the part of the brain responsible for higher order thinking and reasoning shows a decrease in activity.


The cycle between stress and sleep loss can continue to build until, rather than feeling stressed about the day’s events, you can become stressed about falling asleep. Before you get stressed about your stress, there are ways to break the stress-sleep deprivation cycle that don’t involve potentially addictive medications.

Manage Stress Without Medication

A good place to start stress management is with better sleep. Good sleep hygiene, which is all the habits and behaviors in your life that influence the quality of your sleep, can make a big difference in how you feel, think, and act. You can set yourself up for a better night’s sleep by:


  • Keeping a consistent sleep schedule

  • Turning off electronic devices two hours before bed

  • Eating a well-balanced diet

  • Exercising regularly

  • Developing a bedtime routine

  • Increasing your exposure to natural light

  • Making sure your mattress is comfortable, especially if you’re sharing a bed with a partner


Natural methods or treatments used along with good sleep hygiene can also help, consider:


  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture uses the strategic placement of tiny needles to relax both the mind and body. It has been found to reduce anxiety while increasing the release of melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel sleepy.

  • Yoga: Regularly practicing yoga reduces stress by causing a decrease in the number of proteins in the body that cause inflammation. It can also help bring tension out of the muscles and promote relaxation.

  • Meditation: Like both acupuncture and yoga, meditation has a long tradition of helping the mind and body relax. Regular practitioners of mindfulness meditation show a thickening in the prefrontal cortex and a strengthened connection to the emotional center of the brain. This connection comes with an increased ability to focus the mind on the present moment rather than stress-causing thoughts of the past or future.

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Natural Allergy Solutions | Calgary Acupuncture

Hello Calgary Acupuncture Enthusiasts!

calgary acupuncture clinic

Spring is finally looking ready to greet us here in Calgary! (at least it was looking like it when I started writing this post!). After such a long cold winter I certainly can’t wait for the warmer weather, however as all of this snow melts I’m reminded of the dreaded springtime allergies that affect so many of us in this fair city.

Did you know that Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can treat your seasonal allergies?

With its ability to regulate the immune system acupuncture is able to lessen and sometimes even eliminate your bodies’ response to seasonal allergens. This is an area where I have had very consistent clinical results when people follow the recommended treatment protocol. One of the keys to success in avoiding a bad allergy season is to start your acupuncture and herbal protocol before allergy season has started. This gives your body the time it needs to make the necessary adjustments for a smoother and less sniffly spring.

calgary chinese medicineChinese Medicinal herbs are another great tool in the treatment of seasonal allergies. As a trained Dr. of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Dr. Parrott is able to examine your individual constitution and prescribe an individualized herbal formula to restore your bodies’ healthy immune response to reduce or eliminate your allergies.

http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1840-acupuncture-beats-antihistamines-for-allergic-rhinitis

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Cosmetic Acupuncture in Calgary

Hello Calgary Acupuncture Enthusiasts!

Did you know that you can looking younger can be a side effect of getting healthy?

There is growing interest in North America for healthy and natural ways to look and feel younger and more vital. This has been a specialty of Chinese Medicine (TCM) for almost as long as it has been around (more than 2000 years). There are many parts to optimizing longevity in TCM and include dietary considerations, lifestyle considerations, exercises and meditation, Qi Gong, Chinese herbs, acupuncture and more.

calgary acupunctureIn my final year at university I studied a very interesting topic, The Evolution of Beauty. It addressed the questions surrounding whether or not the things we find universally (cross-culturally) attractive are a true sign of “genetic fitness” otherwise known as a genetic advantage or “strong genes” as well as an indicator of the overall health of the individual. In a very short nutshell, yes, the things we find universally attractive are good indicators for whether or not they would help produce healthy offspring. So this desire to look younger is not merely vanity, but hard-wired into our DNA!

What does this look like from a TCM point of view?

acupuncture facial rejuvenation calgaryThe face is seen as a reflection of the state of health (or lack of) of the internal organs. When we look at the face we look at not only the presence of lines and wrinkles, but also the condition of the skin, the complexion, and whether or not there is puffiness or sagginess in certain areas. The condition of the skin is related to the Lung/Large Intestine organs, the complexion is a reflection of Blood and “Jing” or Essence, puffiness reflects an imbalance in the water systems and sagging skin is usually related to the Spleen/Stomach system.

In my facial rejuvenation acupuncture appointments at my downtown Calgary acupuncture clinic, I address as many issues as I can at once to maximize results. I use constitutional body acupuncture to address any internal imbalances that need to be corrected, facial acupuncture to lift, soften wrinkles and improve skin tone and texture and then use facial cupping to improve lift, circulation, reduce wrinkles and remove any toxins and fluid retention from the face. With this multi-faceted approach the results are faster and more obvious than with facial rejuvenation acupuncture alone.

Patience is required.

acupuncture for facial rejuvenation

These results are typical but take time

As a natural technique that stimulates the body’s own cells, it takes time for these cells to change and for the desired results to be seen. The initial course of treatments is between 16-20 treatments twice weekly, then every week or other week to continue seeing improvements. This takes several months before results such as these in the picture are seen.

The reward for your patience is a naturally younger looking face that people notice, but no-one would suspect you had had any “work” done. As well as looking younger, you feel rested and revitalized.

If you have any questions regarding our Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture protocol offered at the Apple Blossom Wellness Center you can get in touch via email at drcparrott@gmail.com or by calling 403-589-1351.

If you are ready to go simply book online and I’ll see you soon 🙂

 

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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:

https://www.karmaweather.com/2018-year-of-the-earth-dog/

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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