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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The benefits and risks of intermittent fasting

It has been shown again and again that diets don’t work.  Mostly because after losing weight people go back to their old eating patterns. Fasting is all the craze now a days, not only for losing weight, but also research shows it is great for regulating type II diabetes, and now new evidence with mouse studies shows it prolongs actual lifespan! What is more important though, is that it looks…

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The Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku -“forest bathing”

CBC tapestry Sunday radio show this last week featured a story about Bruce Sweet, a retired United Church minister, who inadvertently became a certified “forest therapist”.  He later realized this was a formalized practice from Japan called “shinrin-yoku”, translated as “to take in the forest atmosphere”.  It was developed in the 1980s and has been linked to benefits such as reduced stress, improved mood, increased ability to focus, increased energy levels and…

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Acupuncture works for Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)

Early in my career as an acupuncturist, my clients introduced me to the nuances of Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD).  TMD is a general diagnosis that represents a group of often painful and/or dysfunctional conditions involving the muscles of chewing and/or the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) located just under the ear. This is a special and complex joint, since it can act as a lever, it can shift side to side, and can…

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The Point of Acupuncture

Acupuncture Needle on Shoulder Muscle

The Point of Acupuncture  – one point at a time. This blog series will address our understanding of handful of the most special acupuncture points, one by one, both in a historical context of oriental philosophy, and also the evidence shown by science to date on why and how each point may be working therapeutically. We have discussed acupuncture mechanism before in general ways (see the facia connection), but this…

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Turning Points -An ancient cycle, and a sweet year for beekeeping

Beekeeping is hot, heavy, and sticky… and yes, stingy. It is much more than the honey itself that keeps me coming back each year to the bees.  Actually, I don’t eat as much honey as you may expect a beekeeper would – I mostly savour it in small amounts as a fine sweet flavour that can complement the taste of other foods. I am drawn to the less tangible rewards…

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Acupuncture works for pain and more

Acupuncture works for pain and more The US Department of National Institutes for Health (NIH) is a world leader in evaluating safety and effectiveness of healthcare procedures. Their National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) funds and reviews research into acupuncture. They have shown that acupuncture works for pain and  more; including back and neck pain, arthritis, knee pain, and headaches. Researchers are just beginning to understand that acupuncture…

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Turning Points: The speed of time

I am not sure exactly when I really started to notice and become interested in the passage of time, but I think it was as a child of around 9 or 10. I would lie awake at night, trying to go back to my earliest memory, and then letting my mind flow forward naturally, without effort, one memory connected to the next, until I came up to that current moment….

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Finding the forest through the trees – connective tissue rediscovered

Hidden from view until now – fluid filled spaces everywhere!   By Gord Grant PhD, RAc and Alina Tousseeva, RAc A medical group from New York City recently discovered something very new and interesting about connective tissue. Connective tissue (or fascia as it is also known) is the tough, gooey, elastic filler stuff between cells in and around tissues, sinews, organs and muscles of the body.  It is simply everywhere!  On…

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