Acupuncture, Depression, and the Amygdala connection

by Gord Grant PhD, RAc Recently studies have linked psychological depression with activation of the amygdalae, an important little pair of “almond” shaped structures located behind your eyes and about as far back as your ears.  At the University of Alberta, Nikolai Malykhin and his team are documenting increases in both the size and “activation” of the amygdala in depressed people (see his website). Acupuncture has traditionally been used to…

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Congratulations Alina! our neurofunctional acupuncturist

Alina Tousseva, Acupuncturist

We are proud to announce that acupuncturist Alina Tousseeva has achieved one of the highest levels of training in science-based medical acupuncture! She is now certified as a Neurofunctional Sports Performance Practitioner.  She achieved this designation by completing a series of advanced courses offered by Dr. Alejandro Elorriaga Claraco of the MacMaster University Contemporary Medical Acupuncture Program in Hamilton, Ontario.   Dr. Elorriaga Claraco works with Olympic-level athletes and has a…

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Back Mechanic: yoga and stretching can make back pain worse some times

As you would expect, we serve many people at our clinic with lower back pain.  Many come with a history of sitting too much and not getting enough exercise.   But ironically, just as many, maybe even more, despite or because of extensive and consistent strength training and/or stretching, complain of low back pain and intolerance to sitting. Why is this? There can be many reasons. Here is one typical problem…

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Acupuncture at the end of the rope

Acupuncture is not main-stream, and indeed, is very different – different enough for you NOT to try it until you are at the end of your rope! So this means people often come to see us when everything else has failed.  Unfortunate but true.  But it is often just the nature of change; a necessary and unavoidable stage before, when facing a difficult issue, we will try new things.  Here…

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Focused on function not pain

Medical labels are often misleading.  Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow), carpel tunnel syndrome, patella-tracking syndrome, sacral iliac dysfunction – these specific conditions focus on the painful joint or muscle, and can miss the big picture…. and the solution!       We often meet people with chronic injuries who come to our clinic and who have not been fully improving with exercises. They are frustrated, and are ready to give up….

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Back pain …. one pain, but many causes!

Doctor Viewing Scans With Patient

You can hardly find a person 40 years of age in our new society who has never had back pain!  We have come to accept it as part of growing older and sitting most of the day (and then injuring ourselves at some point when we over exert our weakened state).  However, back pain is usually preventable, and if you are afflicted by it, it is treatable.  In fact, back…

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An Apple among Oranges in hypertension research

Here is a typical and nice positive study regarding acupuncture. It came from a team in Germany and was published in the highly regarded American journal “Circulation” – link.   They treated 160 patients who had moderate essential hypertension 3 to 5 times per week for 6 weeks using traditional oriental acupuncture points or sham (“placebo”) acupuncture, without patients knowing which treatment they were receiving. Their blood pressures were monitored over…

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Injury free – the secret of a Hiro

Both athletes and inactive people alike, come to me with similar accumulated injuries of life: it is as if we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t! But for me, meeting Hiroshige Watanabe has changed the game. He really has influenced my perspective on pain, injury and rehabilitation, both as a therapist and a runner dealing with injuries myself. Before Hiro, as he is known by his…

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Moxibustion is turning babies upside-down!

by Gord Grant PhD, RAc Moxibustion, the therapeutic burning of a special herb near or on a patient, is an ancient oriental practice that goes back thousands of years – it may even predate acupuncture!  It seems like a shamanistic and ritualistic practice at first, but science has turned this notion around, or rather, upside down – literally! Recent rigorous reviews of clinical research (Cochrane Reviews…see link below) have demonstrated…

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Cavewoman fertility

The fertility of hunter gatherers is an interesting topic because without any contraception our ancestors had to naturally adjust their birth rate to their circumstances of survival…like all animals do. On average a woman would have about 5 children in her life, and back then, more often than not, over half of these children would die before reaching reproductive age themselves. From a survival point of view, if only 2…

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