Shoulder Self-Massage Using a Foam Cube for Shoulder Pain

Shoulder Pain Doctor Chapel Hill, NC

Pain in the shoulders frequently stems from muscle tightness in the back, neck, and shoulder region. Taut muscles are less effective and less able to provide adequate shoulder and neck motion and stability, resulting in a cycle of pain spasm pain in the region of the upper extremity. At Acupractic Natural Healing Center, Dr. Oskardmay uses chiropractic and acupuncture procedures to mobilize irritated joints and restore affected tissues. Between visits, she recommends self-massage and other methods to continue the healing response.

Self-massage for tight muscles using the foam cube is a beneficial and easy to learn technique which Dr. Lisa will demonstrate in office and which you can follow here as a reminder. To perform, place the foam cube she provided in the office between your shoulder blades. Muscles here include the trapezius, rhomboids, and infraspinatus. Avoid placing the cube directly atop the spine itself to avoid injury as there are no muscles.

Shoulder Self-Massage Using a Foam Cube for Shoulder Pain

With cube edge next to the tight muscle spot, lean into a semi-firm location like a couch cushion, firm bed surface, or even a pillow on the floor. Gently but firmly rotate over the spot to massage that focused point and surrounding areas. The area will be tender as you break down fibrous knots. This massage motion will restore blood flow and nerve impulse to areas of stagnation, improving overall healing and shoulder-neck-back range of motion and performance with time.

Shoulder tension builds up for many reasons such as stress, `shouldering` too much responsibility, working in a hunched posture, or sitting too much. Other possible causes include lifting improperly or carrying too heavy a load for too long, chronic neck pain, even poor breathing technique. When you take steps to attend to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in and around the shoulder using foam cube soft tissue self-massage, you will notice a change.  This at-home technique supports other procedures received in the office, such as spinal mobilization and acupuncture meridian therapy.

If you continue to experience muscle tightness and fatigue in the shoulder region after this technique, perform some of the other stretches reviewed at our office and seen here. Additionally, you can soak in an Epsom salt bath to dissipate the build-up of lactic acid and other muscle metabolites that build up and irritate muscles. Drink adequate water and consume a diet high in fiber to remove additional toxins from the body and to reduce inflammation further. Take time to relax and `belly breathe` to take some of the mental components out of shoulder tension and neck pain.

We look forward to helping you with your shoulder pain and muscle tightness at Acupractic Natural Healing Center. Contact us today to consult with Dr. Lisa Oskardmay the shoulder pain doctor Chapel Hill, NC residents recommend.

Using the Gymnic Ball to Do Exercises to Prevent Back Pain

Back and Neck Pain

As demonstrated in the youtube video, the Gymnic Ball is a useful tool to combat many of the causes of back pain. This colorful, low tech, lightweight, and inexpensive device can also serve as a seating option in the home and office, making it a must-have. In this blog post, I describe how to choose the right size gymnic ball and how to use it for exercise safely. For best results, do these exercises first in the office with Dr. Oskardmay and then use the attached video in-between visits as a reminder.

The gymnic ball is also known as a therapy ball, physioball, stability ball, or balance ball. Many people first encounter these useful devices at their gym or therapy office, although, as described above, homes and offices host them as sitting alternatives as well. Athletic stores and other major retailers carry these for purchase. When choosing the best size for you for sitting or exercising, consider the following chart:

Using the Gymnic Ball to Do Exercises to Prevent Back Pain

It is essential to get the right size so that your feet rest comfortably on the ground when using it. Additionally, when you inflate the ball using the included pump, you may choose to keep it slightly underinflated to add stability. The Gymnic ball is great to help develop strength and stability; choosing the right size and inflation level can add safety while using a vital component. If you are not accustomed to using a gymnic ball, practice sitting on it first, perhaps against a wall or even in the room corner for added stability.

In preparation for ball use, prepare your space. Move items with sharp edges and choose a flat area with several feet to move. As we go over in the clinic and, as demonstrated in the video, start the exercise by sitting comfortably on the gymnic ball, feet comfortably in front, arms outstretched. While pushing back into the ball, walk forward, allowing the ball to move with you as you roll your back over the ball. At the midpoint of the exercise, relax with arms outstretched overhead, with your head resting on the ball. This opportunity to stretch the front of the body should be enjoyable. After a few moments, reverse the movement to return to sitting on the gymnic ball.

The exercise is not easy to do, so do not get frustrated. If you have problems with dizziness on head extension, balance issues, or muscle weakness, talk with Dr. Oskardmay about modifications to this exercise.   It may take several attempts before you can easily do the technique, but once you have mastered it, this helpful maneuver will aid in back pain prevention for years to come because it tackles several key problem areas. These areas include abdominal core muscle weakness, balance problems, leg weakness, and tightness in the front of the body.

For more information and to schedule an appointment, contact Acupractic for a consultation with our back and neck pain specialist, Dr. Lisa Oskardmay, DC, LAc.

Lung QiGong Exercise to Support Lung Health, Shoulder and Neck Pain

Musculoskeletal Pain Doctor Chapel Hill, NC

Qigong is an ancient Chinese exercise shown to unblock energy flow and improve healing response in many ways. When used on the metal channel, which relates to the lung and large intestine as well as the arms, shoulders, and neck, qigong benefits these connected regions in a stimulating manner. This easy to do exercise is something each of us can do daily to support organ and muscle health. Dr. Lisa Oskardmay demonstrates this activity in the office and on her youtube channel so that patients can learn and refresh their understanding anytime.

To perform lung qigong, stand in a relaxed posture with feet parallel and legs slightly bent at the knees to allow energy flow. Connect abdominal breathing with arm motions. Abdominal breathing refers to relaxed inspiration and exhalation wherein the abdomen enlarges with inspiration to engage the belly muscles and draw the diaphragm down and pull air into the lungs; the shoulders relax.  Exhalation via abdominal breathing sees the belly muscles flatten as the stomach draws in, and the breath exhales from the lungs, and the diaphragm rises. It may help to think about the belly as a bellows, drawing air in as it enlarges and pushing air out as it flattens.

Lung qigong arm motions start with hands comfortably in front of the body, umbilicus height, palms down. On the inhalation, allow the hands to rise a few inches, and the chest expands as the shoulders open, and the head slightly extends. Breathe in fully and rest for a moment. On exhalation, allow the hands to follow the same trajectory, returning to the front region in front of the body, palms down. Allow each motion to occur fluidly as if in a dance to relax the mind. Use this motion three times or more.

Lung QiGong Exercise to Support Lung Health, Shoulder and Neck Pain

Another way to use lung qigong breathing stems from the musculoskeletal trajectory of the lung-large intestine channel. Channels go from thumb and forefingers along the ulnar (thumb) side of the forearm. They pass anterior shoulder to the lateral clavicle, through the neck, and cross to the opposite of the nose. Start with feet-legs as before, and with the palms comfortably in front of the body, with thumbs touching thumb, forefingers touching forefingers. On inhalation, allow hands to separate as before. On exhalation, allow hands to return in front of the body with fingers touching. Do this three times.

Use lung qigong to stimulate blood flow to the lungs and chest in the following manner: using the left palm, gently but firmly slap the opposite thumb-forefinger region and continue this slapping motion up the arm to the clavicle region. Continue this Tarzan like motion on both sides the chest down the belly, shaking the stomach when you get there. In this manner, you invigorate the lungs and abdomen, essential components of energy production and transmission. Do this slapping motion firmly but gently three times.

The metal channel outlines the fingers, wrist, arm, shoulders, and neck region. Perform these qigong exercises every day to improve blood flow and reduce muscle tension in these areas to minimize neck and back and shoulder pain and to improve organ function and overall energy level.  If you have questions, ask Dr. Oskardmay so that you can have this exercise to do at home in-between visits.

For more information contact us at Acupractic to speak with a musculoskeletal pain doctor Chapel Hill, NC residents recommend.

Foam Roller of Hip and Leg Muscles for Back Pain

Back Pain Doctor Chapel Hill, NC

Hip and leg muscle tightness frequently accompanies back pain. Whether it is a cause or a result of an aching back, muscle hypertonicity causes postural imbalance, instability, and altered motion. Fixing short tight hip and legs muscles improves back pain considerably. At Acupractic, Dr. Oskardmay emphasizes rehabilitation of the whole body to reduce back pain and provides stretches and exercises to help. One effective way to stretch the hip and leg is through the use of a foam roller.

Using a 3’ high-density foam roller (available online here: or elsewhere) placed on the ground, side-sit with your top leg bent over the straight bottom leg.

Foam Roller of Hip and Leg Muscles for Back Pain Foam Roller of Hip and Leg Muscles for Back Pain 2

Tensor fascia lata muscle:    

Using your arms, walk the roller down from hip to knee, massaging the fibrous tensor fascia lata muscle in the process. This stretch may be excruciating the first few times you do it, and you should do the procedure in our office before trying it at home. Do the roll-down two times and map-out where the muscle hurts, if at all. Spend 2″ more massaging this region where it hurts and repeat this activity every few days, but not every day. Once the pain is gone, come back to the stretch once a month or so because old habits and patterns of activity that created it in the first place can be hard to break.

Foam rolling in this manner is a bodyweight dependent exercise, meaning that the heavier the body, the more force is imposed on the muscle. Sometimes at the start of care, one finds that the high-density foam roller is too intense; in that case, you can start with a lower density foam roller because this creates less pressure on regions of tightness. As you notice less pain in an area, you can allow more pressure at those points and eventually move towards the use of a high-density foam roller.  Discuss your pain level and other health concerns with Dr. Oskardmay. She recognizes that many people have this type of pain and aren’t used to thinking about working on their legs to fix their back pain; nonetheless, you will be surprised and happy with the results.

TFL muscle tightness is a common but unrecognized and untreated healthcare complaint. If you have persistent back pain, a big part of the problem might be leg hip muscle tightness. Be sure to ask about the use of high-density foam rollers at our office to help you get out of pain and back on track quickly and with lasting results.

Visit our youtube page to learn more about this topic and others:

To learn more about how the benefits of using a foam roller for back pain management, contact a back pain doctor Chapel Hill, NC residents recommend.

Telemedicine is the New Home Visit!

We are here for you even when you can’t come into the office. Whether you’re not able to make it in because of social distancing, personal illness or other reasons, rest assured that you can still get the healthcare you need. Many diagnosis and treatment actions are available via online telemedicine and we can help you with many health concerns. Whether you’re a new patient with back or neck pain, or a current patient with headaches and shoulder pain, we strive to help.  Using state-of-the-art, HIPAA compliant secure online meetings scheduled at your convenience, we are there for you in the privacy and security of your own home.

Used by major hospitals and medical clinics worldwide, telemedicine is there to help when you can’t travel to the office.  We can help you get answers and relief when you need them. Call 919-929-1400 or email to schedule your online appointment- you’ll be glad you did! Visit us online to see available times 24 hours a day.



Corona Virus and Flu Support Using Acupuncture Care

Acupuncture Treatment in Chapel Hill, NC

Chinese medicine and acupuncture help the body in several essential ways during flu season and illness epidemics such as Covid19. While acupuncture does not cure flu or Covid19, it does improve mental and physical health. Acupuncture diagnostic and treatment techniques work to determine areas of system imbalance and restore healing channel flow. Needle acupuncture and massage treatment helps reduce muscle spasm, nerve imbalance and stress, all components of a healthy nervous and immune system.  A licensed acupuncturist and chiropractic physician serving the Triangle since 1997, Dr. Oskardmay enjoys helping people feel better naturally.

Nonetheless, ours is not an infection control clinic, and we are not prepared as first responders in infection control. We offer healthcare support to help keep you healthy before infection so that you will not get sick in the first place. We counsel patients to follow the Centers for Disease Control guidelines:  maintain distance between people, avoid large crowds, wash your hands with soap and water, cover your cough and avoid visiting the elderly and immunocompromised if you have symptoms. Use alcohol-based hand cleaners when needed. Get adequate sleep, eat well, and avoid stress to maintain a sound immune system. Come into our office before you get sick and follow measures such as these to stay healthy and support your immune system.

One says: `The goal of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) is to have the Shen inhabit the body and express its creative potential.” At our clinic, this looks like helping people who are struggling. Whether you struggle with pain and stress, isolation and insomnia, anxiety and poor digestion, or lack of life fulfillment, Dr. Oskardmay is here to listen and help you uncover new ways to heal. The immune system benefits from creative support, and we strive to help.

At the acupuncture and chiropractic offices of Dr. Lisa Oskardmay, we recognize the seriousness of Covid19, the flu, and other contagious illness. We ask patients to use their best judgment regarding any disease and to avoid coming into the office if you are contagious. Your health and the health of others visiting and working at our office is our utmost importance. If called upon to close our doors, we will do so and advise anyone scheduled as to this change. In the meantime, please assist us as we try to continue to provide needed healthcare in times of stress. Use home measures to assuage your stress response and to improve your immune system. If you would like to speak with us, call or email and we will do our best to respond as soon as possible.

We look forward to offering HIPAA compliant telemedicine soon to provide needed care to those unable to travel to the office. Be on the lookout for more information on this exciting new topic.

To learn more about how Acupuncture Treatment in Chapel Hill, NC can help improve mental and physical health, contact Acupractic Natural Healing today.

Acupuncture Helps Veterans Suffering From PTSD, Lack of Sleep and Depression

Acupuncture Treatment in Chapel Hill, NC

Veterans suffer from PTSA, insomnia, and depression at rates that far exceed the rest of the population. Additionally, many veterans have musculoskeletal pain that affects their ability to move, exercise sleep, and work, which worsens the mental components. At the acupuncture and chiropractic healthcare offices of Dr. Lisa Oskardmay, we recognize the need for care on both fronts- psychological and physical.  Services provided by Dr. Oskardmay help these problem areas.

Starting with Chinese medicine acupuncture diagnostic techniques, Dr. Oskardmay determines which channels or meridians suffer an imbalance. Channels are energy pathways residing on the body surface and reaching deep into the body interior to carry vital energy or qi. Channel imbalance presents in a symptomatic manner as PTSD, sadness, inability to sleep, or pain in various regions. Acupoints along these channels represent areas of high possibility for change, rather like circuit breakers in an electrical system. A licensed acupuncturist, Dr. Oskardmay, inserts acupuncture needles into these points to elicit change to improve energy flow. Sometimes she also uses massage techniques such as gua sha or cupping massage to enhance the treatment effect. Improved healing qi flow helps improve outlook, pain response, and energy.

Veterans and others who have Post-traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD have symptoms such as insomnia, nightmares, stress, tooth grinding, and headaches. Mental and physical traumas from the past refuse to go away and result in lasting damage. Patients with PTSD benefit from acupuncture and massage along the water channel connected with stress, fear, and the nervous system, or the wood channel, which relates to frustration, anger, and muscles and ligaments. These and other channels reflect system imbalance that presents as PTSD symptoms. Dr. Oskardmay evaluates channel disruption by taking in-depth history and using Chinese medicine pulse, tongue, and other areas of evaluation. In this way, treatment is unique to the individual and specific to the imbalance.

Insomnia and lack of sleep plague many veterans and other individuals. Dr. Oskardmay recognizes that lack of restorative sleep impairs recovery on many fronts, and she strives to improve sleep first and foremost in most people suffering from this unhealthy condition. Acupuncture treatment is a drugless therapy that aligns body energies and builds restful yin, the aspect of our nervous system that relates to the parasympathetic relaxation side. In addition to channel acupuncture therapy, she utilizes relaxing massage and soothes body aches that impair sleep. She provides education in diet and home exercise, as well as other aspects of daily living for patients to use at home.

Depression and sadness strike many veterans and others, seeping their vital energy and motivation. Dr. Oskardmay listens to patients and strives to make sense of energy imbalance as it presents in their stories, pulses, visage, demeanor, and tongue. She uses massage and acupuncture to restore balance where possible and provides activities and life-altering suggestions for patients to take home and incorporate to make a change.

As one reviewer said, `This is how health care should be.` At the offices of Dr. Lisa Oskardmay, we work for you and look forward to helping veterans and others suffering from PTSD, insomnia, and depression.

To learn more about chiropractic and Acupuncture Treatment in Chapel Hill, NC, contact Acupractic Natural Healing today.

Chiropractic Care for Allergies

Chiropractor Chapel Hill, NC

Chiropractic healthcare supports overall body health and functioning and, in this way, provides the best care for allergies. Spinal mobilization removes nervous system interference, enabling the body to combat allergies as needed. When you suffer from this immune system problem, a visit to your chiropractor can help reduce symptoms and help you avoid over the counter medications that can have adverse side effects. Many chiropractors also utilize massage therapy and other soothing techniques that relax muscles and helps to instill a sense of calm. Ask your chiropractor about how spinal adjustments can help more than just back pain- they help contain allergies, as well.

Allergies happen because our bodies strive to get rid of harmful substances. Methods used by the body to eliminate things deemed dangerous include vomiting, sneezing, itching, coughing, inflammation, bowel movements, and urination. When harmless substances provoke coughing, itching, and other elimination methods, we call this an allergic response, and it can overwhelm us. In essence, an allergic reaction occurs when our body interprets a harmless substance as dangerous, and the coughing, sneezing, itching response that follows produces misery. While chiropractic does not proclaim to cure allergies, spinal mobilization supports whole body healing and nervous system functioning, enabling the body to work and function better overall.

For instance, a chiropractic adjustment to the cervical spine region supports proper respiration. Nerves from the neck innervate the shoulder and neck muscles, regions responsible for lung expansion. Portions of the autonomic nervous system associated with breathing reside in the neck and are crucial to this our automatic response to irritants. Hands-on spinal mobilization or activator assisted treatment to the lower neck, mainly, facilitates muscle balance, chest expansion, and productive coughing when needed. Massage performed in the area reduces muscle tightness, pain, and imbalance. These methods reduce stress, an impediment to nervous system communication, and decision making.

Spinal mobilization and massage applied to the thoracic spine allow the ribs to move more freely with less pain. The muscular diaphragm, attaching to the lowest rib, is crucial to the cough reflex and requires pain-free motion.  Organs innervated by nerves from the thoracic spine include the heart, liver, kidneys, and stomach. Pain, muscle tightness, and vertebral imbalance impair the function of these vital organs. The chiropractic adjustment helps improves allergic response through organ support by removing nerve interference to these organs. Organs are responsible for generating many factors involved in the allergic reaction, and sluggish organ function worsens allergic response.

The lumbar spine of the low back houses the nerves traveling to the hips and legs in addition to portions of the autonomic system responsible for the bowel and bladder. Spinal adjustments to this region support the proper elimination of waste products and help to reduce fatiguing back pain, which improves sleep. Additionally, we can stand taller and respire more fully following an adjustment. This all-important postural aspect benefits blood flow, lymph drainage, tissue oxygenation, and water movement in the body.

The chiropractic adjustment helps people live better lives during allergy season in many ways. This drug-free treatment paradigm supports healing on many levels and should be part of everyone’s healthcare plan. For more information, contact Acupractic today to speak with a chiropractor Chapel Hill, NC residents recommend.

Flu and Corona Virus Guidelines when Visiting Acupractic Natural Healing Center

Acupuncture Chapel Hill, NC

Guidelines for Cough, Flu Symptoms: 

Chiropractic and acupuncture offer supportive therapies for many types of illness but they do not cure Covid19 and cannot claim to improve immunity to it. Hands-on spinal mobilization, massage, and acupuncture therapy offer unique healing alternatives and may, nonetheless, be your first choice in healthcare for many conditions. These alternative medicines may provide relief from pain and stress and we support your option to choose them especially if doing so keeps you from visiting the overloaded emergency room and hospital. Nonetheless, our first goal is the well-being of our clients and staff and we recognize that patients with contagious illness that is easily spread should seek other healthcare options until the contagious period is over.

As a healthcare office dedicated to the best interests of all our patients, we respectfully ask that you follow CDC guidelines when visiting our office. If you are sick with flu or coronavirus symptoms, please cancel your appointment and do not come into the office. Symptoms may include: cough, runny nose, fever. Please use your best judgement as cough and runny nose accompany allergies which are not contagious. If you have been exposed to anyone infected with the flu or coronavirus, please tell us so that we can take extra precautions. We understand that testing may not be available for all strains of cold and flu and we ask you to use your best judgment.

When visiting the office, use best hygiene practices including: wash your hands, cover your cough, discard used tissues and cleansing products in the nearest trash receptacle. Adequate facial tissues, wipes,  disinfectant sprays are available in office for your use. We offer everyone disposable gloves and facial masks for added protection, as well. Deborah and Dr. Lisa take their own temperatures every morning to assess their health status and we will close the office if needed, but we’re doing our best to reduce the risk of contagion.

Additional suggestions to keep you healthy in between visits:

  • Stress and lack of sleep worsen immune response. Where possible strive to reduce stress and get adequate sleep- 7-8 hours a night. Herbal products shown to reduce stress naturally include lavender, chamomile, and rosemary.
  • Exercise adequately but don’t overdo it. Too much exercise stresses the body. Walking in nature has been shown to reduce stress and is great exercise, too.
  • Avoid travel and crowded places when you aren’t feeling well.
  • Many viruses and infectious bacteria thrive on sugar. Eat well and consume less sugary foods. Choose foods high in protein and healthy fats, and fruits and vegetables. Additional fiber in the latter eliminates toxins in the body.
  • Probiotics present in any foods support digestive health and the immune system.  Common sources include: yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, dark chocolate, kimchi, tempeh, sourdough, pickled foods, miso. Probiotics are also available in supplement form. Fiber assists the growth and function of probiotics and is healthful for this reason, as well.
  • Drink lots of water and tea. Water flushes the body and reduces stagnation. Tea contains herbal compounds the body can use to heal itself.

If you can’t find or don’t want to use medical disinfectants, many herbs have antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties. Consider adding the following herbs to your daily diet: ginger, elderberry, licorice, oregano, sage. Solutions of some of these may even be helpful for cleaning, if necessary. Realize that these herbs have not been clinically proven to kill the virus, however and one should not maintain a sense of false confidence. As always, maintain social distancing where possible and wash your hands as often as necessary.

Try to not stress over Corona Virus and other viruses this season. Use reasonable precautions to protect yourself and those around you. If you have further questions, contact us.

Be well!

Acupractic Natural Healing Center

The Chiropractic and Acupuncture offices of Dr. Lisa Oskardmay DC, LAc.

Things to Consider When Choosing Chiropractic Care

Chiropractor Chapel Hill, NC

When choosing healthcare, chiropractic figures prominently in the field of alternative medicine.  Many people choose to see a chiropractor because they appreciate the many benefits provided by these well trained complementary medicine providers. Dr. Oskardmay performs full body evaluation to detect sources of postural distortion and nervous system imbalance, both of which contribute to pain and adversely affect the body over time. As a professional dedicated to the art of nondrug healing, she uses hands-on therapies such as spinal adjustment, massage and physical therapy techniques to improve health. We understand that patients have many options for care and, at Acupractic Natural Healing we pride ourselves on providing good care.

In choosing a chiropractor Chapel Hill, NC has to offer, one can ask from advice from friends, loved ones and medical doctors and other paraprofessionals. We appreciate the many referrals received like this in the past and have grown our business since we started in 1995 largely from word of mouth referrals. Nowadays, people go online seeking advice and find suggestions in many places. Some of the more trusted sites such as Facebook, Google, and Healthgrades provide useful information. Reviews on youtube and GoogleMaps, Facebook, Google and our website can help people trying to make a decision, as well. Listening to a person describe in her own words how well Dr. Oskardmay has helped her feel better is quite informative.

Your insurance plan may provide useful guidance related to practitioner choice. At Acupractic, we are proud to participate with many insurance plans, making it easier for patients to choose our services. What this means is that we agree to prices set by the insurance plan and will not charge you more than set prices for services they cover. We help you determine your coverage limits and benefits in advance including copays, deductible amounts, coinsurance amounts, etc. to remove any surprise billing issues. We submit claims for you and accept an assignment when possible to make care more affordable. Most insurance plans cover chiropractic care and we participate with a long list of plans such as BCBS, State BCBS, Triwest, United Healthcare, Cigna, Aetna, Medicare, and others. Many plans cover acupuncture, too and, as a licensed acupuncturist, Dr. Oskardmay can help you with these services, as well.

When choosing a chiropractor, think about the type of healthcare you want for yourself and your family. Chiropractic provides a holistic healthcare approach that is both trusted and affordable. We look forward to serving your healthcare needs at Acupractic Natural Healing Center.

Serving the communities of Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Durham, Hillsborough, and the rest of the NC Triangle

205 Providence Rd. Chapel Hill NC 27514 | Phone: (919) 929-1400

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