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Respiratory Health

March 25th, 2012
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Qi Mail™
The Acupuncture Newsletter
March 2012
Anna Dolopo, M.T.O.M., L.Ac.
Elements in Harmony Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs
23151 Verdugo Drive, Suite 114

http://moveyourQi.com

949-305-1703

Prepare for Allergy Season with Acupuncture

 

Acupuncture has been used to treat seasonal allergies for centuries with great success. According to traditional medicine, treatment is directed toward clearing the nasal passages, supporting the immune system and strengthening the systems of the body to prevent allergic reactions from recurring.

What Are Seasonal Allergies?

Commonly called hay fever or allergic rhinitis, a seasonal allergy is an allergic reaction to a trigger that is typically only present for part of the year, such as spring or fall. Pollens that are spread by the wind are usually the main cause of seasonal allergies. People who are allergic to pollens are also often sensitive to dust mites, animal dander, and molds.

Spring is traditionally the main season when allergies blossom because of new growth on trees and weeds. Fall, which ushers in a whole different set of blooming plants, as well as leaf mold, is a close second. Airborne mold spores can be found almost year round, along with other common allergens such as dust, dust mites, and animal dander.

About 26 million Americans endure chronic seasonal allergies, while the number of people with milder symptoms may be as high as 40 million, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

Seasonal allergies are caused by the body’s hypersensitivity to substances in the environment. Symptoms primarily involve the membrane lining the nose, causing allergic rhinitis, or the membrane lining the eyelids and covering the whites of the eyes, causing allergic conjunctivitis.

While there are many Western medications to treat the symptoms of seasonal allergies, these treatments can cause unwanted side effects, such as drowsiness and immune system suppression as well as an over-reliance on medications. These side effects have motivated many people to search for alternative approaches like acupuncture and Oriental medicine to manage their allergies.

How Acupuncture Treatments Provide Relief from Allergies

According to Oriental Medicine, allergic rhinitis is related to Wind and a deficiency of the Protective Wei Qi. Wei Qi is the Qi, or energy, that flows at the surface of the body as a protective sheath and is responsible for resistance to colds and other respiratory infections. People with a deficiency of Wei Qi catch colds easily and are more susceptible to allergens.

When treating with acupuncture, underlying imbalances within the body are addressed and a treatment plan is developed to relieve the acute symptoms of allergic rhinitis while also treating the root problems that are contributing to the body’s reaction to allergens. Treatments often include dietary modification, the use of specifically chosen herbal formulas, and acupuncture.

Seasonal acupuncture treatments just four times a year also serve to tonify the inner organ systems and can correct minor annoyances before they become serious problems. If you experience seasonal allergies, now is the time to schedule an appointment. Call for a consultation today!
 

Foods for Seasonal Allergies

Ginger: Ginger is a natural antihistamine and decongestant. It may provide some relief from allergy symptoms by dilating constricted bronchial tubes.

Apples: Some foods contain the flavonoid quercetin that can cross-react with tree pollen. Quercetin can reduce allergic reactions by having an antihistamine effect. It also decreases inflammation. Quercetin occurs naturally in certain foods, such as apples (with the skin on), berries, red grapes, red onions, capers, and black tea.

Carrots: Carotenoids are a family of plant pigments that include beta-carotene. A lack of carotenoids in the diet is thought to promote inflammation in your airways. Good sources of carotenoids include apricots, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, spinach, kale, butternut squash, and collard greens.

Omega-3: Omega-3 essential fatty acids can counter the formation of chemicals that cause inflammation of the air passages. Good natural sources include flaxseed oil and salmon.

Yogurt: Food sensitivities seem to be connected with seasonal allergies. In a study conducted at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, patients who were fed 18 to 24 ounces of yogurt a day experienced a decline in their environmental allergic symptoms by 90 percent.

Fiber: A healthy and active colon can decrease food sensitivity, which, in turn, can lighten the burden on your immune system and may reduce the impact of seasonal allergies. For maximum colon health, increase the fiber in your diet.

 

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In This Issue

  • Prepare for Allergy Season with Acupuncture
  • Foods for Seasonal Allergies
  • Colds and Influenza
  • Point: Dazhui

Colds and Influenza

 

This year there will be 1 billion colds and 95 million cases of influenza in the United States alone. While the misery of colds and flu might be inevitable, one thing is changing: where we look for relief.

Get Better Faster
If you have already come down with a cold or the flu, acupuncture treatments can help relieve symptoms you are currently experiencing including chills, fever, body aches, runny nose, congestion, sore throat and cough. While bringing some immediate relief, treatments will reduce the incidence of an upper respiratory tract infection and shorten the length of the illness.

Prevention
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can prevent colds and flu by strengthening the immune system with just a few needles inserted into key points along the body’s energy pathways.

If you catch colds easily, have low energy and require a long time to recuperate from an illness your wei qi may be deficient.

Call today to see how Acupuncture can help you!

Point: Dazhui

One particularly important point for supporting the Wei Qi is Dazhui, or Du 14. Translated as “Great Vertebra” in English, it is located below the spinous process of the seventh cervical vertebrae, approximately where the collar of a T-shirt sits on the neck.

Du 14 activates the circulation of blood and Qi to strengthen the outer defense layers of the skin and muscle (wei qi) so that germs and viruses cannot enter through them.

This point is often used to ward off, as well as shorten, the duration colds and flu.

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Got Art? …Motherhood…Anxiety…& More.

March 19th, 2012

Are you an ARTIST?

Post up your WORK OF ART for sale at our healing center!

 

Artists, help beautify our 1,590 square foot healing center and

consider hanging up your master pieces.

 

I will promote your work.

 

Thank you for your consideration and

please forward this email to all the artists that you know.

 

*Paintings, photography and sculptures will be considered.*

 

This is a healing center,

so please be mindful of the type of art that you sell with us.

 

We’re getting a fancy massage chair!

If you have a dollar or two to spare, please help us buy this fabulous massage chair.

 

I will keep you updated when we have it settled in our healing center.  Massages will be for sale on this chair.  $20/20 minutes.

 

 
Do you suffer from PAIN?

I can help!

Please visit our patients’ testimonials.

I have a 90% success rate in helping people GRADUATE from pain with the POWERS of Dr. Tan’s Balance Method Acupuncture.

 
 
Do you have ANXIETY?

For almost two years, I was experiencing panic attacks. Not every day, and never for more than an hour or two at a time, but my stress level would build to a point that I would not be functional. I would feel closed in, and just shut down emotionally. I really didn’t need much of anything to set it off, either – sometimes just the fear that I was going to have a panic attack caused one! Previous to this, I had always been a strong, calm person, someone able to handle anything thrown my way, so this was a big change for me.

 

I came to Anna for treatment of other issues, but I did mention this problem to her in our first conversation and in the initial paperwork. Anna treated this issue through acupuncture, of course, but she also talked to me about it, and would give me “homework” exercises – basically different thoughts and phrases to repeat to myself at home that would help with the process. The amount of genuine care and concern that she has always given me through the treatments or through a conversation or email is what sets her apart. Anna is not only a skilled acupuncturist, she is a warm and caring person that truly wants to help all of her patients to be free of pain, both physical and emotional.

 

Now, almost 9 months after starting treatments, I can’t believe the difference. It was a gradual progression, and I can’t say that I never feel stress anymore – I am human after all! But I don’t have that same “closed in” feeling, and I am able to work through it. I haven’t had a panic attack in over 2 months, and when I do experience stress, I don’t feel overwhelmed by it. Before I started my acupuncture treatments, I had tried meditation, anti-anxiety pills, even taking a leave of absence from work to alleviate the panic attacks – nothing helped. But now, through my acupuncture treatments, I feel like my old self again. I know that everyone is different, but I couldn’t be happier with my results. I highly recommend acupuncture treatments.

-V.

 

 
1 of our 51+ Yelp Reviews

Liz M.
Long Beach, CA
Rating: 5 Star as of 1/19/2012

Update – 1/19/2012

 

“This update has been a long time in the making. I have been a patient at Elements in Harmony for well over 2 years. When I started seeing Anna, acupuncture was not a part of my long-term plan. I had hoped to be in and out in a few sessions and figured that I would stop seeing her when my anxiety was gone. My life has been completely changed and I can’t imagine giving it up. With my anxiety gone (yes, completely), I continue to see major (although sometimes subtle) positive improvements in my body, my mind, and in my life.

 

Anna is a wiz with physical issues like dry skin, insomnia, digestion problems, joint pain, allergies, and headaches (the list goes on). She’s done wonders for my immune system. In fact, I can’t remember the last cold I had. And, ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you, I no longer suffer the emotional and physical effects of PMS. (Goodbye cramps and hormonal roller-coaster!) Stress has less and less effect on me. Anna has also reduced my compulsive thinking dramatically. I have virtually no road-rage and find myself a much more peaceful, clearheaded, and focused person.

Here are a few things an acupuncture newbie might have questions about:

 

Needles. I know, I know – you hate needles. I do, too. (Yes, I’m serious!) I’m here to tell you that acupuncture doesn’t hurt. Sure, one needle out of a hundred may sting a bit – but it’s NOTHING like getting a shot. Injection needles are significantly larger and most of the pain is from the fluid, itself, being injected. If you’re truthfully scared, ask Anna to let you try a single needle before you buy a session. She’ll give you some time to try it out – she’s cool like that.

 

Community sessions. Most people will opt for “community sessions” because they’re less expensive than private-room sessions. You’ll be in a large room with a few other people. Soft music helps drown out any noise created by folks coming or going. You also have the option to wear ear-buds and listen, quietly, to your own tunes. Either way, be prepared to meditate or sleep for your time in treatment.

 

Privacy. Many acupuncturists who offer community sessions usually don’t have a private space where you can share your medical and personal concerns. Anna has a private office where she sees patients before treatment. You are able to discuss your issues without other people knowing your business.

 

Cost. I’ve done research on acupuncture prices and Anna is significantly less costly than other practitioners. She also offers deals for regular patients. Obviously acupuncture is an investment, but it’s worth the long-term pay-off.

 

Ongoing learning. Every time I visit, Anna tells me about some new thing she’s learned. Whether it’s from a book she’s been reading, a conference she attended, or some breakthrough in alternative medicine, Anna is a true healer – constantly evaluating her current methods and searching for further information to help those who trust her with their care.

 

Oh, and by the way, at the time that I’m posting this, Anna has nearly 50 Yelp reviews. You’ll want to make sure to go through the 40 ‘filtered’ reviews of people praising her healing. You can find a nearly-invisible link to them at the bottom of this list of reviews.

 

If Western medicine can’t (or won’t) help, if you’re sick of being sick, or if you just want better peace of mind, give Anna a try!

 

 
PCOS & Fertility
After many years of drastic measures of avoiding pregnancy, my husband and I decided, it’s time to start our family, let’s just stop all birth control and if it happens, it happens. Fast forward a few too many years and we still weren’t expecting.

I decided we both needed to be tested for infertility problems. After many doctor appointments and a lot of blood work, it was determined that I was the problem. I was diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrom). Basically, I wasn’t ovulating due to a hormonal imbalance. I underwent a few treatments with fertility drugs and also an IUI, with no success. At that point, I was devestated. Not to mention broke and tired of being treated like “just another patient.” We decided to take a break from the Western approach and have a carefree summer.

 

As summer was coming to an end, the baby bug came right back to me. I knew I didn’t want to go back to the regular doctor, so I decided to find an acupuncturist. I’ve had success in the past with acupuncture and Chinese medicine, so I thought, what the heck, it can’t hurt, let’s try that approach instead. After scouring the internet, I found an acupuncturist that was local and her website had a testimonial from another patient she treated with PCOS. That’s when I called Anna to arrange my first appointment.

 

I first spoke with Anna over the phone, she was very thorough, giving me her expectations and how long treatments may take considering my history. Of course, I was thinking to myself, ugh, I hope it doesn’t take another year or two to see results, since I wanted to get pregnant years ago. I wanted to be pregnant NOW and I wasn’t getting any younger!!! She told me up front, that we’re getting YOU healthy first and when it’s the right time, the things you want WILL happen.

 

I can’t thank Anna enough. After following her guidance and was diligent with my treatments, I’m now expecting a baby girl in September. I owe it all to Anna and I believe in her work and treatments. Even though she has a bustling, busy health center, she always has time to chat with you and she makes you feel comfortable. I believe the time she spends with each of her patients, contribute to the power of her medicine and the healing ability. The more you open up to her, the more she can help you achieve your health goals.

 

Even after I achieved pregnancy, I continued with my treatments. I believe my pregancy has been problem-free and I will have a strong healthy baby due to Anna’s help.

 

I would definitely refer Anna to any of my family, friends or co-workers in need of an alternate route to healthy living. I think she’s the best at what she does and takes pride in her work.

 

Excited soon-to-be-mommy,
Kristi K.

 
 

So you want to be a MAMA?

 

I can help you get pregnant NATURALLY.

 

 

I’ve been a mom now since May 2004.  Many of my patients have met my beautiful and radiant Angilynn.  She’s the apple of my eye and I take great pride in her.  There’s also Anais, my sparkling bundle of joy who is 20 months old.  (That’s just over a year and a half for you non-parents who hate it when people with kids give months for ages.)

 

I love being a mother and I wish for many others with the right reasons to become parents.  As overpopulated as we are in this world, I still believe that for the ones who have more love to make this world a better place, you have the right to feel as fulfilled as my husband and I do.

 

Andrew and I planned our family and they came about the time we wanted them.  I was 30 when Angilynn was born.  I was 28 years old when I got married.  The timing for us was RIGHT.  I started working on my health at age 20 with the POWERS of Chinese medicine.  This means that I started acupuncture at age 20 and I was devoutly on herbs for a minimum of 2 years to regulate my period; to regulate my life.  You read it right, it took me 10 years to get my health PERFECT.  Actually, 99% of that work was the first two years.  Some of my YouTube videos and blog articles will reveal just a few of some personal changes that happened from 1994-1996 with the POWERS of acupuncture and Chinese herbs.  I received acupuncture 2+ times a week and I was on 2-4 formulas a month, depending on my cycle and how stressed I was as a Chinese medical student.

 

The acupuncture and the herbs regulated my health.  Chinese medicine regulated and optimized my life.

 

I lost 48 pounds (I went from a size 8 to a size 2).  My periods became PERFECT.  My hives went away.  I was no longer crying at the drop of a hat.  My emotions were under control.  (I was depressed and easily anxious.)  My appetite became normal.  (I was addicted to food – more like I had an abnormally disturbing relationship with food.)  I stopped having chocolate and sweet cravings.  (I was addicted to sugar.)  I started having normal bowel movements daily.  (I used to have 1-2 painful bowel movements a week.)   My weak ankle since a bicycle accident at age 7 got stronger and I stopped spraining it every so often. I had a horrible immune system growing up given that I had an ear/nose/throat specialist for most of my childhood.  I snored horribly and I grew up chronically congested, not being able to say my own name, Anna, without sounding like “Adda.”  My own father called me a horse every night at dinner because I did not have the ability to chew my food with my mouth closed.  I was not able to breathe comfortably through my severely congested nose.  There were other things that improved DRAMATICALLY, but I forgot many of them at this point (it has been 18 years since I became a patient).

 

It was a great deal of commitment to focus on my health for many years, but I did it because I was determined to be a healthy adult.  Fortunately for me, those years of commitment to healing continues to pay dividends.  When it came time to have healthy, happy babies, it was a non-issue.  This is what I bring to the table as a Chinese medical practitioner who works personally with couples wanting to raise a family.

 

I started working with patients in 1999.  When women came to me wanting to become mamas, I took whatever kind of patient who walked through my door.  It didn’t matter to me if they were trying to get pregnant naturally or with fertility doctors.  I did that until 2007.  Since then I’ve limited my practice to patients who want to get pregnant naturally, making few exceptions.  As of March 2012, I’ve taken my last patient who wants to get pregnant without only Chinese medicine.  I respect women who want to work with their fertility doctors, but my heart can’t take it anymore.  I’m not the right one for them and I would prefer referring women investing in thousands of dollars to work with a highly skilled acupuncturist who specializes in fertility and works closely with a fertility medical group.  In my practice now, I’m dedicated only to women whose hearts, minds and souls can fully practice Chinese medicine in order to get pregnant and if somehow I can’t help them get pregnant in the time realistically “promised,” then I will responsibly recommend the next step.

 

I love babies.  We’re overpopulated on this planet, but I still love babies.  What I love about babies is that they’re cute and fun.  They’re also a whole lot of work. Which is why:

 

I love parents who want to responsibly have babies.  I want a planet of healthy, happy babies.  Every mama and papa that I work with, I get to know them in a very intimate way in my practice.  I want to know what makes them tick.  I want to know if their reason to receive Chinese medicine is for them to BECOME HEALTHY, so that they can naturally CREATE A HEALTHY, HAPPY BABY.

 

I’m a purist by many standards when it comes to the practice of Chinese medicine.  It’s very easy to understand Chinese medicine, if you’re healthy and whole in body, mind and spirit, you’re going to get pregnant naturally.  This goes for the man and the woman.  Let’s start with the spirt and the mind.  If a person get angered easily, cries easily, gets emotional easily, finds themselves anxious easily, prone to mood swings, etc., it’s probably likely that from a Chinese medical perspective, something is off with that person in one of the “5 phases” (organ systems), thus causing them to not have stable emotions.  This is a key element that anyone trying to get pregnant and is having a difficult time to do so naturally on their own must understand.  If this is you and you are constantly crying in the car or you get pissed off at some minute issue or you get startled easily or there’s just some emotion that is predominant in your entire being other than CALMNESS, then we’ve got some work to do with both acupuncture and Chinese herbs to get you emotionally stable.  This is one reason why IN MY PRACTICE I understand why a woman and her partner can’t get pregnant naturally.

 

The body follows the mind, the mind follows the spirit.

 

If the mind and spirit are not calm and relaxed most of the time and a woman is having a hard time conceiving, then the emotions are a good place for me to start.

 

It would be ideal to do BOTH acupuncture and Chinese herbs.  The woman should be on herbs from at least 2 months into treatment.  Sometimes I like to see what 5-10 treatments without herbs will do just to see how a woman will respond to my work with just acupuncture.  Sometimes acupuncture is all it takes.  95% of the time, herbs will be needed for better effectiveness because “we need to treat substance with substance.”  Substance in this case means herbs.  Acupuncture treats the energetic field of the body.  Acupuncture is NOT substance.  In other words, I use acupuncture to affect the Qi, Blood, Yin and Yang of a woman, but to BETTER affect the Blood, Yin and Yang of a woman, I can do it better with herbal formulas. (I am purposefully not explaining in full detail the concepts of Qi, Blood, Yin and Yang in this article for simplicity sake.)

 

In most cases, women’s emotional health is directly linked to our menstrual health.  If a woman’s menses are not PERFECT, I’m going to want to make it perfect with acupuncture, but mostly, with Chinese herbal formulas.  This is a perfect cycle and is nothing short of what I strive for with every woman:

 

1.  28-32 day cycles

2.  3-5 day periods

3.  NO premenstrual changes (no migraines, no back pain, no breast tenderness, no spotting, no cramping, no mood swings, no depression, no acne, no cravings, NOTHING)

4.  bright red blood for 3-5 days ONLY (no brown, no dark red, no pink, no purple, no black)

5.  NO clots

 

That’s it.  There should be a seamless stream of positive energy from end of one cycle to the beginning of the next. This is my homework.  This is what I expect of my work with every woman.  This makes a very complicated situation into a very simple situation.

 

What I need:

the woman to do exactly what I advise if they want exactly what their stated goals are in their initial paperwork.

 

Does it work?

90% of the time.

 

When does it not work?

There are women who work too hard.  Their commutes are too long. They’re sitting too long. They’re standing too  long.  Their responsibilities in life are too strong on the energy of their “kidneys.”  They’re exerting too much energy into life.  Life is literally sucking the kidney energy out of them. The kidney energy is vital to proper menstrual health (as well as the “spleen, liver and heart”), but in my practice, I need the energy of the kidneys as preserved as possible.

 

There are other reasons why there are “inexplicable infertility.”  I’m not God and I don’t have complete control over a woman’s health.  In difficult situations, I wish that I could see the woman 3 times a week for a year and put her on raw herbal formulas (the ones that I used to take) and have her cook it 45 minutes-1.5 hours a day.  It’s work and a lot of financial investment, but it’s worth it.

 

For a minimum of 80% of my practice of women who want to get pregnant naturally, 1-3 times a week of acupuncture plus the potent Chinese herbal formulas in capsule/powder form in my practice are good enough.

 

How long does a woman have to see me?

1. 6-12 cycles if there is no western medical diagnosis and the woman seems to have almost a regular cycle.  Basically, her gynecologist thinks that she should be pregnant within a year if she were to try on her own.

 

2.  12-18 cycles if there is a western medical diagnosis such as PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, fibroids, etc.).

 

3.  2-3 years if there is a history of long-term birth control use or fertility medications (IUI, IVF, etc.).

 

It sounds like a long time and a lot of commitment, doesn’t it?  Well, it is and I’m privileged to NOT specialize in fertility and still have 4-6 pregnant moms a year on average and have the freedom to pick and choose my patients who want to get pregnant.  It’s TREMENDOUS work to help a woman get pregnant whether I’m able to do it in 1 month or a couple of years.  I put my heart and soul into this medicine and believe me, I put my heart and soul into every couple who wants to get pregnant and are willing to walk their journey with me.  I’m not into helping EVERY couple get pregnant just because they want to have a baby.  It’s not about quantity in my practice.  It’s about quality. Babies are work.  They’re a ton of work just when they’re happy, healthy and whole.  As a parent and as a professional acupuncturist, I am focused on helping adults have strong, healthy and happy lives.

 

I accept couples who want to get healthy naturally, knowing that they will likely have a full-term, healthy and happy pregnancy.

 
 
 

Anna N. Dolopo, L.Ac.

In practice since 1999.

 
 

Elements in Harmony Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs – www.moveyourQi.com – Copyright 2012.
Center: 949-305-1703 Text: 619-341-4341
23151 Verdugo Dr., Ste. 114, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

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