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Stronger Body, Blissful Mind with Acupuncture

Picture this: You’re lying in a quiet, peaceful room; your mind is at ease, and your body is relaxed. This is what acupuncture feels like. While you’re in this blissful state, you’re also helping to defend your body against colds and other illnesses. That’s because acupuncture is a preventative eastern medicine which boosts the immune system.

Typically, October-May is cold and flu season. Feeling run down and stressed out (especially during the busy holiday season) adds to the problem by weakening our immunity. If we have already felt overwhelmed to begin with, this can lead to chronic stress. Acupuncture can help us cope with stress, therefore, helping our bodies stay strong to fight off bacterial and viral invaders.

The acupuncture needles are extremely small, thin, and flexible (they’re roughly the diameter of two hairs or much like the diameter of a cat’s whisker!). Many clients state that they don’t feel anything at all or an ever so slight sensation when the needles are inserted. The trained and experienced acupuncturists at CNY Healing Arts Centers can help you to first feel calm through various needle insertions, and then the body follows in a very relaxed state.

The energy or ‘Qi’ in the body begins to travel more effectively, heart rate is lowered, and breathing tends to slow down as the body becomes relaxed and the energy becomes balanced.

The increased levels of cortisol that we have during times of stress decrease with acupuncture. When this occurs our body does what it’s supposed to do—fight off infections. Acupuncture also helps our immune system by increasing serotonin and endogenous opioid peptide levels which are like the body’s natural pain killers, as well as easing muscle tension. Many people note that they feel increased energy after an acupuncture session.

Give CNY Healing Arts location nearest you to start receiving all of the benefits that acupuncture has to offer.

Syracuse:
195 Intrepid Lane, Syracuse, NY 13205
315.671.5755

Albany:
38A Old Sparrowbush Road, Latham, NY 12110
518.724.5750

Rochester:
2244 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14610
585.244.1280 ext. 2

 

Massage for Summer Allergies

More than 2/3 of people suffer from year-round allergies.  Summer is here and we’re picnicking in the grass, the beautiful flowers are blooming around us, and we’re spending more time outdoors—it’s all part of fabulous summer!  For those who have allergies, though, it can become a challenge.   

As the summer months progress, ragweed or hay fever allergies tend to rise.  The body’s natural defense is to produce excess mucous which often creates nasal congestion and red, itchy eyes which can all lead to fatigue (and frustration)!  Working outdoors with plants and in gardens can expose people to mold spores that are contained on the plants themselves and in the soil.  Mold spores can also increase indoors during the hot, humid months of summer in basements, and on floors and walls in bathroom and kitchen areas.  Even cats and dogs, our ‘fur friends’, are shedding their coats this time of year which can aggravate those with pet dander allergies as well. 

Stress and allergies sometimes go hand in hand.  When the body is under stress, it reacts in an exaggerated response to allergens.  The body fights the allergens with coughing, sneezing, wheezing which can put greater stress on the body creating a vicious cycle!  This is because stress increases the adrenal gland’s production of cortisol triggers the sympathetic nervous system to create extra epinephrine and norepinephrine, decreasing the effectiveness of the immune system. 

Massage for allergies is a great way to get soothing relief.  Massage can help the body’s reaction to the allergens.  Many of the trigger points for the sinuses are located in the upper back and shoulder which are massaged for relief.  Headaches and congestion can also be relived through this procedure. 

CNY Healing Arts Centers provide relaxing massages that can help alleviate your allergy symptoms, as well as to reduce stress and increase your body’s immune system.  For more information, please contact one of our centers nearest you: 

Syracuse:
195 Intrepid Lane, Syracuse, NY 13205
315.671.5755 

Albany:
38A Old Sparrowbush Road, Latham, NY 12110
518.724.5750

Rochester:
2244 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14610
585.244.1280 ext. 2 

 

 

Massage for Muscle Recovery

Massage Therapy at CNY Healing Arts Wellness CenterSummer is the time of year when many of us spend a great deal of our time outdoors enjoying our favorite activities.  Gardening, kayaking, biking, running, walking, swimming – they all are fun ways to get outdoors and enjoy the lovely weather, and they are good for us!  However, sometimes enjoying them can be a pain—a pain in the neck, shoulders, legs, etc.!

A massage is a terrific way to work through muscle tension that we may encounter after strenuous exercise and work.  Massage relaxes the body, feels terrific, helps with inflammation, improves blood flow, reduces muscle tightness, and enhances muscle performance.

Many people take medication to ease soreness and eliminate swelling for aching muscles.  The inflammation (an immune reaction) is actually the body’s way of repairing injured cells due to tiny tears in muscle fibers caused during strenuous exercise; therefore, medication can inhibit recovery.  Recent research (published in the 2/1/2012 issue of Science Translational Medicine) shows that massage can aid in reducing inflammation and enhance cell function to actually repair cells unlike medication.

There are many different types of massage techniques, and our massage therapists work with you to meet your needs.  A deep tissue massage focuses on the area in which you are experiencing pain to give you maximum relief.  Adhesions (or bands of sore tissue) are massaged to reduce inflammation, restore proper blood circulation, and create better movement.  Massage also acts as a preventative to enhance your physical activities because it targets those muscles which you use frequently!

In addition to these physical benefits, massage therapy stimulates the nervous system that release endorphins and assist in pain relief.  Massage allows relaxation of mind and tensed-up muscles which provides relief, and can speed up recovery time – allowing you to get back to the activities that you enjoy!

Give CNY Healing Arts Centers a call and let our massage therapists give you the relief you need!

Syracuse:
195 Intrepid Lane, Syracuse, NY 13205
315.671.5755

Albany:
38A Old Sparrowbush Road, Latham, NY 12110
518.724.5750

Rochester:
2244 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14610
585.244.1280 ext. 2

May is National Allergy Month: Try Acupuncture or Massage for Relief!

Allergy Relief with Acupuncture and Massage - CNY Healing ArtsSpring is here and summer is just around the corner, which means, grass, tree and other pollen are already in the air. As beautiful as this time of year is, for many with allergies it can be a real challenge. The body’s natural defense is to produce excess mucous, which often creates nasal congestion, and red, itchy eyes; these can all lead to fatigue (and frustration).

According to a February 2013 report in the Annals of Internal Medicine, about 20 percent of the population suffers from allergic rhinitis (stuffy or runny nose caused by allergies) and patients that receive acupuncture treatments reported significant improvements in symptoms as well as a decreased need for any allergy medication.

Massage for allergies is also a great way to get soothing relief.  Massage can help the body’s reaction to the allergens by reducing stress and boosting your immune system, among other things.  Facial massage is great for inducing sinus drainage and relieving pressure. Headaches and congestion can also disappear, or lessen in severity, after a massage session.

If you’re looking for some relief this allergy season and would like to try acupuncture or massage (or both), give our CNY Healing Arts practitioners the opportunity to help you. Below is a list or practitioners at each of our locations that would be happy to assist you with relief from your allergy symptoms.

SYRACUSE – Call 315.671.5755 to book a session.

ALBANY – Call 518.724.5750 to book a session. 

ROCHESTER – Call 585.244.1280 to book a session. 

The Healing Art of Cupping

Cupping Therapy is a treatment in which the practitioner creates suction to the skin with a special (usually glass) cup to stimulate the blood circulation and energy flow.  This practice helps with the sore muscles, excess fluids, and pulls toxins from surface tissues.

Cupping is used to treat a wide variety of ailments, including:

  • Indigestion
  • Headaches
  • Hypertension
  • Colds/coughs/congestion due to allergy and asthma
  • Back pain
  • Nervous system/pinched nerves
  • Neck pain
  • Painful menses
  • Arthritis and joint swelling
  • Abdominal pain

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) belief, there are meridians in the body that are responsible for the flow of energy through every part of the body.  When the blood flow becomes stagnant and the energy channels are blocked, disorders or pain can arise.  Cupping is a great way of opening these meridians, and allowing the flow of energy throughout the body.

For the treatment, cups are heated and applied to the skin surface which creates a vacuum with the skin (the strength of which can be controlled and/or adjusted during the treatment) and draws up the toxins.  Once the suction has occurred, the cups can be glided along the body.

Cupping can provide relief to those with lung congestion due to allergies and asthma.  Also after suffering an injuring to an area (such as a bump on the leg), sometimes there can be fluids, stagnant blood which remain and cause blockages and pain.  Cupping can be used to provide relief for such injuries.  The therapy can also help to stimulate the lymphatic system and to detox or clean it out.

Cupping can be used alone or combined with massage or acupuncture treatments.  At CNY Healing Arts Centers, we have practitioners that are trained in the art of cupping, and would be happy to answer any questions that you may have.  Not all services are offered at all locations so call the Center nearest you for more information and let us help you on your healing journey!

Syracuse:
195 Intrepid Lane, Syracuse, NY 13205
315.671.5755

Albany:
38A Old Sparrowbush Road, Latham, NY 12110
518.724.5750

Rochester:
2244 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14610
585.244.1280 ext. 2

 

Massage Therapy for Immune System

You may have noticed the signs in the pharmacies and at various doctor’s offices preparing us for flu season. Every year, we take all of the preventative measures that we can, ensuring that we stay healthy, and keep those nasty colds and flu bugs away from us! Maybe we get the flu shot, stay away from others who are ill, and become careful about getting enough vitamins and minerals—but have you thought about getting periodic massages?

That’s right—massages. They aren’t just a luxury; they act as the body’s way of building the immune system. Of course they feel wonderful, make us more relaxed, ease our aching muscles, and provide our minds with a quiet bliss. While massages do all of this, they also produce measurable changes in the immune system and the endocrine system of healthy adults after just one massage according to researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Imagine the benefits that routine massages can provide!

Many times, we get colds or the flu when we are feeling stressed out and tired. When we feel like this, our body has the daunting task of fighting off the attack under already poor conditions. Taking care of our minds and bodies will help our body prepare for the fight! Getting sick is inevitable, but we can greatly decrease the response time for our bodies to recuperate from illness.

Massage therapy works by increasing the number of natural “killer cells” and lymphocytes which helps to fight off illness. Massage has also been shown to reduce the amount of the stress hormone, cortisol. If we can decrease our stress levels, we can more easily bounce back after sickness.

Getting a massage also increases the effectiveness of the circulatory system which is responsible for bringing nutrients to the cells in our body. The circulatory system also aids in removing toxins from the body.

Give the CNY Healing Arts Center nearest you a call to find out more about our individualized massage therapy treatments:

Syracuse-
195 Intrepid Lane, Syracuse, NY 13205
315.671.5755

Albany-
38A Old Sparrowbush Road, Latham, NY 12110
518.724.5750

Rochester-
2244 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14610
585.244.1280 ext. 2

Treating Allergies with Acupuncture

The soft, white puffs of cottonwood blowing through the air this time of year resembles a snow storm!  If you live near these trees, you might find yourself having to close car windows because of the possible build-up on the seats inside.  When you’re outdoors wearing black pants, they’re covered with dots of white fluff!  It’s beautiful and peaceful to look blowing in the air; however, not only is it a nuisance for decks, cars, (and pants!); it also can be an annoying and serious problem for allergy sufferers.  On top of that, the rains of spring not only help our flowers and gardens to grow, but it forces mold and mildew to grow which can further aggravate problems.

Some of the medications that are used to help alleviate symptoms for those dealing with allergies can create side effects such as drowsiness or insomnia, irregular heartbeat, decreased alertness, and dry mouth.  Sinus infections and upper-respiratory infections often result from chronic problems with allergens.  It also tends to be a very costly problem due to days of missed work, physician appointments, and the cost of medications.

Acupuncture is a great way to get relief from seasonal allergies.  Acupuncture strengthens the immune system, detoxifies, and relaxes the body.  Unlike most medication, acupuncture can provide a break in the cycle of imbalances from environmental factors.  This in turn can create a lasting change by strengthening the body’s resistance and natural healing, and regulating the antigen-antibody reactions.

Treating allergies with acupuncture allows for a customized treatment for your needs.  Acupuncture treats the symptoms locally, but allows the energy to flow throughout the body.  Depleted energy due to the body’s constant reaction to allergens such as sneezing and congestion can be restored through acupuncture as it helps increase blood flow and therefore, increases energy levels leaving you feel revitalized and relieved!

Our acupuncturists at CNY Healing Arts Centers would love to assist you in getting the relief you need!  Please call us or just stop in and give us the opportunity to help you.  It would be our pleasure!

Syracuse:
195 Intrepid Lane, Syracuse, NY 13205
315.671.5755

Albany:
38A Old Sparrowbush Road, Latham, NY 12110
518.724.5750

Rochester:
2244 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14610
585.244.1280 ext. 2

 

Does Acupuncture Hurt?

At our CNY Healing Arts Centers in Syracuse, Rochester and Albany, NY we perform acupuncture to treat many different health issues from infertility, sinus pressure, smoking cessation, migraines, arthritis and more. Clients sometimes come to us with different levels of anxiety regarding the needles used during acupuncture. Some have a lifelong fear of needles while others are just nervous about whether it will hurt.

Now that’s a logical fear, right? Will the needles hurt? We are taking a needle and inserting it into your skin in many different locations. Seems logical that it may hurt. The truth is most people who have had acupuncture describe it as virtually painless or far less painful than, for example, plucking out a hair. The sensations that follow needle insertion can range from nothing at all, to mild tingling, to slight numbness/achiness, to electrical pulsations in areas distant from the site of insertion. These subside once the needles are removed.

The size of the needle is part of the reason that some people think the acupuncture treatment will hurt. Most people who are having a treatment for the first time don’t realize how small the needles actually are. The needles used for acupuncture are much smaller than the standard hypodermic needle. They don’t draw blood and are solid, not hollow.

We want to dissuade your fear of acupuncture and the needles that are used. Please don’t hesitate to call us and ask for more information. We have several acupuncturists waiting to assist you at all of our locations. We hope you will allow us to aide you on your path to better health and wellness by utilizing acupuncture.

Contact us today!

Syracuse – 315.671.5755

Rochester – 585.244.1280 ext 2

Albany – 518.724.5750

Acupuncture Session Transcript

Hi!  My name is Lisa Stack, and I’m the CNY Fertility Support Coordinator.  Today, Donald is going to walk us through an example of acupuncture for fertility session.  Now, we will show you exactly what you can expect, so you can take a look and see what you’re in for.  If you have any questions after this, please feel free to email Donald himself or you can post a comment, and we’ll get back to you.

Donald: Good afternoon everybody.  I’m just going to take this time to give you a nice example how acupuncture would go for your first appointment or for follow-up for people who have had acupuncture, you understand how it goes and what’s involved.  For people that have yet to have it, this will be a nice introduction as to what to expect.  What I’m going to do is treat the client here for fertility issues; mainly stress reduction, as well as to build lining and increase blood flow to the ovaries.  All that is beneficial for follicular development, lining issues, and general health.  So, how are you feeling today?  Is there anything that’s troubling you?

Client:  I’m a little tense.

Donald:  You’re a little tense?  OK.  From what I remembered from the last time that we spoke, you were having some constipation issues.  That is really common with a lot of medications.  If it’s OK with you, I’d like to continue with you treating moving bowels.

Client:  Yes, sure.

Donald: Oh, that’s wonderful.  So you’ll notice that we’re going to do some points in the abdomen.  These points are geared towards moving bowels and increasing blood flow to the ovaries and to the uterus.  We’re also going to move to the brow, and to the ears.  These points help relax clients, they also slow the brain wavelengths so that your brain is functioning a little bit calmer, and the body tends to settle as well.  We’re going to do a couple points on the wrists, points here on the wrists help to open and dilate blood vessels; they also help to calm the mind, which is very good.  We’re also going to do some points down on the lower leg.  These are the points that help strengthen blood and they help strengthen and process the developing blood, OK?  Do you have any questions?

Client:  No.

Donald:  All of the needles that we use are pre-packaged and disposable.  Nothing is reused, they’re all very safe.  We use a very high quality Japanese needle.  It’s very common for people to often say that they haven’t even felt the needles go in, which is a nice aspect.  Once we start the needle manipulation that kind of determines how much you feel and how much you don’t feel.  Today, we’re going to take it easy on you—you’re very healthy.

Client:  OK.

Donald:  I’m going to step around.  Needle insertion and angle are very important in the process when treating with acupuncture.  You can stimulate a point or you can take the energy away from a point.  It truly depends on the condition.  How are you feeling?

Client:  Good.

Donald:  Good.  Now, we’re going to move to the head.  Sometimes the points up by the brow area can be used for sinuses and sinus pressure which also results in a lot of headaches.  So, often times we’ll treat patients and they’ll find that conditions that they have other than their chief complaint ease as well which is a wonderful thing, a wonderful side effect of acupuncture is stress reduction and the treatment of secondary conditions.  Are you comfortable?

Client:  Yes.

Donald:  Is there anything that I can do to make you more comfortable?

Client:  No.

Donald:  Does anything hurt?

Client:  No.

Donald:  You’re OK?  The last thing that we’re going to do is we’re going to add some heat method/heat treatment.  We use simple heat lamps.  It helps circulate blood so it’ll help keep you a little bit warmer, OK?  Now, this whole treatment will last about 30-40 minutes depending on your comfort and your time schedule.  Is there anything that I can do to make you more comfortable?

Client:  No, it’s really good.

Donald:  What I’m going to do now is I’m going to add some music.  OK?

Donald Clarke, L.Ac.
CNY Healing Arts – Syracuse
315.671.5755
dclarke@cnyhealingarts.com

 

 

 

Acupuncture for Athletes and Their Injuries

Did you know that acupuncture – a 2,500 year old system of medicine founded in China – can assist you with your athletic performance and any injuries endured while training and competing?

Yes, it can according to current research and thousands of Americans who try acupuncture each year and who can attest to its benefits.

Acupuncture, a complimentary form of medicine that is increasing in popularity and use, involves the insertion of tiny, hair-like needles into the skin to balance the body and improve overall health and well-being.

Acupuncture works through the stimulation of specific points on the body located on meridians or pathways. When these energetic pathways are blocked, the result is imbalance, illness and pain. Stimulation of acupuncture points improves both energy flow and blood circulation, improves energy levels and also provides relief from pain. “The brain is stimulated to release endorphins and trigger the immune system to help injuries heal. If done when an injury is “fresh,” acupuncture can significantly reduce recovery time.1

During a treatment, an acupuncturist may place the needles in the location of the pain or injury, or he or she may choose to place the needles distally – in another area of the body. For example, needles may be placed at the wrists to heal an injury of the foot. This style of treatment is especially beneficial for an ankle sprain where directly needling a swollen or inflamed area might be painful. Acupuncture also builds energy in the body to assist in recovery after training or competing.

Acupuncture is part of a broader system of Traditional Chinese Medicine that involves needling, as well as the use of Chinese herbs (both internally and topically), and electro-acupuncture (electro-stimulation) whereby cords are attached to the needles and electrical current sends “pulses” to muscle fibers to move energy, relieve blood stagnation and thus, relieve pain.

Research shows strong evidence that acupuncture alleviates pain in many places in the body and specifically in the back, knees, shoulders, elbows, wrists and neck. For runners and cyclists, acupuncture can be used to treat fatigue, muscle and joint pain, tight tendons, ankle sprains, shin splints, sciatica and planter’s fasciitis to name a few ailments.  Acupuncture received on a regular basis – once a week – for example can assist in preventing injury due to overuse of muscles, tendons and ligaments.

Treating sport injuries with TCM and acupuncture, instead of conventional treatments such as ultrasound and interferential/electrotherapy, is now routine, rather than a novelty.”2

In recent years, acupuncture has been used by many well-known professional marathoners, and baseball, basketball and tennis players. And so, next time you experience fatigue or an injury or would like to improve performance; acupuncture can assist you in getting ready for your next race!

If you would like to explore acupuncture and the healing that it can offer, we welcome you to visit our website to learn more: http://cnyhealingarts.com, we have locations in Syracuse, Albany and Rochester, NY.

Written by:

Shelley Szymko-Carroll, L.Ac.
email sszymko-carroll@cnyhealingarts.com
2244 East Ave, Rochester, NY
Phone 585.244.1280

 

1 Runner’s World, January 1, 2007. Can Acupuncture heal an injury?

2Journal of Chinese Medicine, Sports Injuries and TCM, Young, Kevin, Number 78, June 2005.