Acupuncture for Treatment of Insomnia

Acupuncture is commonly used to treat insomnia and many other stress-related conditions. I have helped many clients break the vicious cycle of insomnia through a few acupuncture sessions.  Mechanistically, it make sense that acupuncture could help with insomnia, since it works in part by quietening down (deactivating) the “stress-reaction” part of the brain; the amydala (see our blog on that here). Reviews are important in medical research since they help…

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Dos and Don’ts of Stretching

    As a former university team athlete, current martial artist and yoga teacher trainer (with a masters degree in exercise physiology) I am NOT surprised to hear from so many people how many misinterpretations they hold about stretching. From my personal experience teaching Yoga teachers I have come to know that yoga/stretching done well is great and done incorrectly can be injurious. More recently, from my clinical experience working…

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Science confirms acupuncture prevents migraines

A highly respected and official review of scientific literature to prevent migraines showed acupuncture works slightly better than drugs and is not just a placebo. The Cochrane review process is the most rigorous scientific examination of clinical research.  In a 2016 Cochrane Review the authors summarized twenty-two clinical acupuncture trials regarding the treatment of migraines, including 4985 participants in total. Some trials tested acupuncture alone compared to routine care, others tested…

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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 right time for massage

Choosing the right amount of time to book for a massage is important so your therapist can properly do his or her job.  If the main goal is a particular physical therapeutic outcome – like achieving greater mobility in just the neck area – it may not be intuitively obvious how much time you need. Of course, cost and the time you have available for a treatment are key factors;…

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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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Scientist, Helene Langevin, talks about her research on connective tissue, chronic pain, and acupuncture

I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Langevin when I was in acupuncture school 15 years ago, when I attended an international research conference in the USA.  I was so impressed with the rigor with which she brought her investigation into the micro-anatomy of what was actually happening at the level of the tissues with acupuncture.  Since then she has advanced our understanding of how important connective tissue is in pain…

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Resistance Training for Older Adults

A humbling fact is that after the age of 30, adults start to have a gradual loss of muscle mass (also known as sarcopenia) which correlates to some decline in physical performance (Fragala et al., 2019).  From this point onwards, we have to continuously work ever-slightly harder just to maintain our current level of fitness.  And, after the age of 70, even greater decreases in physiological variables such as muscular…

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