How Clutter Affects Your Health

Clutter can affect health in many ways. When we are surrounded by excess possessions we don’t function well as excess energy is spent dealing and creating the mess.  People who have trouble with sprawling, excessive possessions experience mental imbalance. Defined as `a collection of things lying about in an untidy mass’, clutter designates a mass of things that aren’t organized, probably aren’t needed and that seem to be in the way of normal activity. Also known as `anything that is kept not being needed or wanted’, clutter relates to physical things, as well as virtual things (think emails) or relationships, even activities and emotional issues. Ownership of overwhelming possessions can be an addiction and is a growing problem. Unfortunately, the advent of online shopping and free and easy delivery of things may have worsened the situation for many.

Many people collect things- books, clothing, shoes, music… Problems occur when the collections become unmanageable, unusable. The addiction to possession obsession resulting in clutter can affect anyone- men, women, people of all ages, races and socioeconomic levels. Like many addictions, it is considered to be a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder and is frequently attended by other disorders such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse. Sufferers can seek help for their problem from social workers and psychologists who have training in this field; professional organizers can also help. Freeing oneself from excessive possessions can be healing for that person, family members, friends, and even pets who have to live in a chaotic environment.

 People with an addiction to collecting unneeded things frequently feel ashamed at their behavior and the untidy nature of their surroundings; they may avoid entertaining guests because of this resulting in social isolation. Although the addicted individual feels that acquiring something will make them feel better, this is frequently not the case and sadness can deepen with that realization. Also, some people who collect things needlessly are anxious about wasting the earth’s resources and feel guilty about the things they own and don’t need. The cost of purchasing these items can be phenomenal, and the storage of unneeded things consumes vast resources for many people as well.

The growth of the storage industry has ballooned over the past 20 years- we now store more excess personal tangible goods like books and clothes than ever before. Additionally, we use our computers, iphones, even our watches to store things- ideas, sounds, pictures; which, while virtual still consumes energy-with ever-increasing storage capacity. Our houses, and our cars, are bigger than ever- and loaded with things we don’t need or at least can’t pay attention to in any meaningful way. Each of us suffers from clutter addiction to an extent and it is up to each of us to reduce, reuse and eliminate things that don’t help us fulfill our lives.

As we start the new year, be aware of the clutter in your life and how it affects you and your health and your relationships.

Cupping for Colds and Flu

Cupping is an ancient Chinese therapy that many people have heard of in conjunction with the Olympics as a treatment for muscle aches. Were you also aware that cupping can be an effective treatment for cold and flu symptoms? That’s because cupping relieves congestion in the body and stimulates movement of energy to restore and heal. Cupping deep tissue massage improves blood flow and helps to detoxify the area cupped and connected regions.
What is cupping?
Cupping utilizes silicon or glass shaped `cups` under which vacuum is created via suction or oxygen consumption. When placed on the skin and slid across trigger points and knots, cupping is an unparalleled example of transverse friction massage combined with skin lifting technique. Common areas of application for persons suffering from congestion, colds and flu include the midback between the shoulder blades, the upper back and shoulders, and lower back just below the ribs around the diaphragm. Stimulation of these areas with cupping reduces muscle spasm and helps with respiration and lymph flow. Following cupping you ill experience redness and warming to the area cupped as blood flow is increased and the skin and underlying muscles are rubbed with friction.
Essential oils and ointments can be applied on the skin surface prior to cupping. Oils such as eucalyptus, lavender and frankincense are anti-inflammatory, warming and pain relieving. These and other oils aid in circulation and naturally support the immune system. Other oil choices can include: oregano, rosemary, tea tree, lemon, lemongrass, peppermint, cinnamon, clove bud, grapefruit, sandalwood, basil, juniper berry, thyme, sage, ginger, cypress, and pine. A few drops of each essential oil can be added to a carrier neutral oil and massaged into the skin. Cupping performs gentle exfoliation and blood flow stimulation which helps the oil absorb while also helping to `exteriorize` toxins and reduce stagnation in general.
Persistent cupping marks that stay on the body post-cupping can be unsightly and undesirable to some. These can be avoided by moving the cups around and reducing the amount of time the cup is left in one place. Discuss this and other treatment goals with your practitioner prior to treatment. Also, some people may be concerned with the use of hot glass cups and the potential for burning of the skin. Many practitioners use unheated silicon cups today to avoid that concern.
You may receive cupping therapy as part of a holistic treatment regimen for cold and flu that also includes acupuncture treatment or the chiropractic adjustment, or all three together. These alternative medicine remedies for cold and flu are very effective for improving overall health and the body’s ability to heal itself naturally. Acupuncture meridian therapy improves metal yin (lung) and water yin (kidney) energy flow to heal the lungs and reduce stress in the body overall. Chiropractic adjustments to the neck and back improve nerve flow to vital organs such as the lungs and heart, and increase respiratory motion under the ribs and reduce congestion in the chest. Cupping works well with these treatments.
Following cupping therapy for colds and flu, keep the cupped area covered for 24 hours to avoid cold and wind exposure of the cupped area. If possible, try to retain warmth and rest for several hours to allow the treatment to take its full effect.
When you aren’t feeling well, contact your acupuncture and chiropractor provider to see if cupping can help you. It can improve your health and well-being on many levels.

Acupuncture for Back Pain- How Does it Work?

Acupuncture stimulates the brain’s DMN to heal the body mind.
Acupuncture for chronic back pain—how does it work?
Acupuncture has been shown to be an effective treatment for various types of back pain, yet scientists have struggled for many years to understand how it works. Recent research in the BMJ Journal (https://aim.bmj.com/content/32/2/102) demonstrates a potential mechanism that has eluded researchers. This creates an understanding of how acupuncture treatment can affect many conditions including: chronic back pain, migraines, fibromyalgia, and diabetic neuropathy.
The research utilized functional MRI brain scans of healthy and chronic back pain sufferers. These scans demonstrate altered and reduced connectivity in an important brain pathway called DMN (default mode network) in the chronic back pain sufferers. DMN represents our brain’s default mode when we are awake but restful, as in meditation or daydreaming. Reduced connectivity in this important pain modulation pathway may indicate that some people may not be able to fully access the relaxation and healing response the DMN is thought to provide. Thirty minutes of acupuncture with intermittent de qi needle stimulation was shown to increase DMN connectivity in parts of the brain associated with pain modulation. This suggests a possible mechanism of action for chronic back pain sufferers who experience pain relief using acupuncture. The connection between what helps us relax and what helps us heal is very real and this new research helps us understand that connection a bit more.
This research is exciting because it helps us understand and explain how a drugless, nonsurgical treatment such as acupuncture can help reduce suffering for so many people.
Call our office today to see how acupuncture can help you reduce back pain or migraine pain.
(919) 929-1400 schedule@acudocnc.com 24- hour online scheduling www.acudocnc.com
Acupractic Natural Healing Center, 800 Eastowne Dr. Suite 103, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
The acupuncture and chiropractic offices of Dr. Lisa Oskardmay

Burn fat, not sugar to improve your health and lose weight

Each of us has the ability to burn fat and sugar for energy–we need each capacity.  When we were infants, we burned fat very efficiently–this helped develop our brains, muscles, organs, skeletal, and nervous systems. According to the educational series “The Metabolic Factor” by Jonny Boden, PhD many of us have become extremely out of balance in our bodies’ abilities to burn fat. Instead we turn to using sugar as our primary energy source. As a result, we end up storing fat on our bodies and wreaking havoc on our digestive, endocrine, and healing systems.

In his highly readable book, the author explains that there are 5 major reasons why our metabolisms change from burning fat to burning sugar and storing fat.  These causes are:

1) diet: a diet high in sugar/processed carbs stimulates a metabolic cascade

2) mental stress: stress increases the hormone cortisol that inhibits the body’s ability to recognize other beneficial hormonal influences while at the same time causing us to store fat

3) movement: too much of the wrong type of exercise coupled with too little daytime movement can be harmful

4) sleep: inadequate and/or poor quality sleep negatively affects the thyroid and other hormones associated with health

5) toxins–toxins in the environment and our foods affect our cells’ abilities to recognize cellular messaging

Good health consists of many factors.  When a person is healthy, they look and feel good, are motivated and able to do the things that support their health. Nonetheless, we get mixed messages when it comes to how we should live our lives regarding food, exercise, stress, appearance, etc.  Sometimes we think there is a quick diet or easy life change we can make that will fix our health, our appearance, or our mental state. Most times we are disappointed.

By paying attention to the five categories listed above, you can start to make great improvements in your health and well-being. A few things you could try would be a low glycemic diet, a relaxation method such as meditation, walk a bit more throughout the day, get 8 hours of restful sleep a night, and try an epsom salt bath soak. You might just lose weight, improve your health and look and feel better with this approach.

If you have any questions, contact our office. Thanks!

Chiropractic care is holistic care.

Most patients coming into a chiropractic office do so to reduce musculo-skeletal pain. Pain is a great motivator and educator; but the chiropractic adjustment does more than just reduce pain; used correctly, the spinal adjustment will improve health on many levels.  Since our nervous system  controls every aspect of the body- from muscles to organs to balance to mentation- the chiropractic adjustment has the potential to improve health, not just reduce pain.

A spinal adjustment is designed to mobilize subluxated spinal segments using specifically applied hands-on or mechanical means. The spine is an extension of the nervous system- bony vertebra protect the spinal cord while serving as attachments to muscles and ligaments to support the body. The healthy spine and nervous system support posture and daily activities without derangement- we normally don’t think about it much until something goes wrong.

The chiropractic examination involves the following procedures:  History, Inspection, Vitals, Palpation, Range of Motion active and passive, Orthopedic testing, Neurological exam, and Imaging. This complete exam provides insight into the condition of the spine- just like when you go to the dentist and have your teeth examined or go to the GP and have blood work performed, an annual chiropractic exam can alert you to the presence of spinal derangement early.  When a subluxation is detected, specific mobilization to that segment can be applied to correct it, thus reducing the local symptoms as well as the far-reaching implications of impaired nerve input to internal organs, muscles and ligaments.

When your spine and spinal cord are healthy, you are able to stand tall with improved strength and awareness. Schedule your annual exam today to take the next steps toward a healthier you- inside and out.

Holistic Care

Holistic care refers to healthcare that tries to integrate the whole person rather than symptom based `comprehensive` care that tends to look at one symptom at a time. Persons with chronic disease often experience an involvement of multiple body systems. A comprehensive care approach to patient care is often used with the belief that a health care team will ensure that a patient’s needs will be covered. Instead, this approach is reductionist in practice and leads to fragmentation of care, and the difficult patients often slip through the cracks of the health care system. However, a holistic theory-based approach puts a patient’s perceived needs first and offers care not only for the body but also for the human spirit.

Positivity

The Mayo Clinic lists 5 ways to increase your positivity:

  1. Check yourself for negativity often
  2. Be open to humor
  3. Live a healthy lifestyle
  4. Keep the company of positive people
  5. Practice positive self-talk

Emphasize the things that you can do rather than the things you can’t do. I just read about a quadruple amputee who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro- each of us can achieve our goals if we try.

A big belly laugh stimulates endorphins, mobilizes the stomach and releases negative energy. As we get older, many of us move less, our attitudes harden, our abdominal areas become more swampy. Humor allows us to transform these in several ways.
The basics of a healthy lifestyle emphasize proper sleep, diet and attitude with connection to the natural world around you. Take time out every day to reflect on your place in the natural order of life, go outside and open yourself to the natural world.

Positive people support you, laugh with you, listen to you and share. Look around and find those people in your life who offer you these atributes- thank them for their positive presence in your life and be that person to others.

Each of us talks to ourselves. Be kind to yourself.
“Desiderata” (Latin: desired things) by Max Ehrmann 1927

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.  As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all it sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

The oft-repeated words of Max Ehrmann remind us that we have a right to be happy and envision a positive world for ourselves. If you are not as positive as you think you should be, keep a copy of this Desiderata with you. Your work and personal life will benefit from your enhanced positivity.

Consumer reports suggests people reduce the number of medications they take in part by using chiropractic and acupuncture.

According to the September 2017 Consumer Reports cover story, Americans take more pills today than at any other time in history and more than any other country, confounding their health results and costing a lot of money. Many people are taking too many drugs prematurely that aren’t needed according to the article, frequently in response to online and television advertisements that sell sickness. The cover story suggests that patients give their drugs a check up. October 21 2017 is national ‘check your meds day’and is a good opportunity to answer the following questions: how many doctors prescribe your meds, do you also regularly take over the counter drugs or dietary supplements, do you take more than one drug to treat the same health problem, do you need a drug to control the side effects of another drug, have you been taking your medication for more than three months, and do you struggle to pay for your medications?

Apparently 35% of people taking prescription drugs say that a healthcare provider has never reviewed their medications to see if they can stop any. The article suggests that for the following 12 health problems, it is important to try lifestyle changes before drugs: ADHD, back and joint pain, dementia, mild depression, heartburn, insomnia, low testosterone, osteopenia, overactive bladder or, prediabetes, pre-hypertension, and obesity. Work with a non-drug practitioner such as a licensed chiropractor or acupuncturist to help you make lifestyle changes that will achieve results.

Yours in good health,
Acupractic* Natural Healing Center

Fitness

Visiting my local gym Planet Fitness today, I was impressed with all the people exercising in all types of ways- biking, running, lifting weights and doing 30″ workout programs. It’s a very diverse crowd that attends this 24 hour low cost gym and all around are signs reminding people to not judge themselves or others. Televisions in the massage chair and sauna pod areas alternate between modern rock music videos and messages reminding people not be bullies as PF partners with Anti-bullying groups in the area.
The combination of fitness, massage and love in an accessible place hits all the right notes!

Fox News Recommends Chiropractic and Acupuncture

According to Fox News today, 80% of persons suffering from back pain can achieve lasting relief from chiropractic and acupuncture and massage; yoga and other exercises can be recommended if the person is familiar with doing yoga with similar potential benefit. What this means is that people do not have to reach for the pill bottle or go to their MD to get a prescription nor surgery as a first step to dealing with back pain- one of the major scourges of our society.

Back pain can come on slowly or suddenly. It can be caused by years of poor posture and or by a sudden twisting motion or an accident, or other issue. Regardless of the cause, pain in the back indicates that something has gone awry with the support structure for the body and the spine which protects the all-important nervous system. Back pain is a sign that demands attention to get better.

I’m not a natural doctor who hates medications and surgery- don’t get me wrong. I appreciate all that modern medicine has accomplished to keep our society healthy and we are better off for it in many cases- it has its place. However, I recognize that medications and surgery can have serious side effects that can lead to a downward spiral of health concerns and consequences. The opioid epidemic is one example of this concern. Additionally, I recognize that medications do not fix the cause of the back pain problem and, as such, cannot have a lasting effect. Surgery frequently opens up a new array of problems and, as such, should only be considered as a last resort.

I am a natural doctor who helps people achieve better health with less pain using non-surgical, non-pharmaceutical approaches; and I’m glad that Fox News has highlighted a these options. Find a gentle chiropractor or acupuncturist who helps you understand the cause of the pain you experience. Work with this practitioner to develop a plan to heal.

There are many causes of back pain and it’s nice to know that there are successful treatments available out there.

Call your chiropractor and/or acupuncturist today if you have back pain to see what we can do for you. If you’re in the Durham/Chapel Hill area, call me.  (919) 929-1400

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

800 Eastowne Drive #103 Chapel Hill, NC 27514 | (919) 929-1400

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