Let me start by saying happy summer 2018 dear patients! Thank you for your support and inspiration the year thus far! I wake up everyday because of you all!

Now... Let's start with the CBD Oil craze! I'm a big believer in CBD oil. Why? As some of you know I have and will always have (due to the nature of it) a broken back and arthritis in my spine. I started on CBD oil a few months ago after reading a lot about it and it has significantly reduced my pain, along with my selfcare routine of acupuncture, cupping, exercise and stretching. It helped almost immediately! I started suggesting to a couple of you (my patients and friends) to try it and all have reported astounding improvement in pain, inflammation and sleep. Colleagues have spoken with me about their own success and their patients successes with CBD oil too! I even have my cats on it! It's safe and beneficial for animals and children as well. Now, I offer it in my practice! The brands I subscribe are grown in the USA, full spectrum, organic and CO2 extracted with no filler oils. This provides for the highest quality and concentrations of pure CBD oil. Only the best for you!

So what is CBD oil exactly? We all have what is called an endocannabinoid system in our bodies. This is a system of cannabinoid receptors throughout out bodies. These receptors are involved in a number of bodily functions such as appetite, energy, immunity, memory, metabolism, nervous system regulation, sleep and stress response. We have two cannabinoid receptors, CBD 1 and CBD 2. CBD 1 receptors are located mainly in the brain and attract the THC component of cannabis. CBD 2 receptors are located throughout the body and the immune system. When we are referring to CBD oil, that is rapidly being recognized as a valuable medicine, we are talking about CBD 2. That is why when you take it, there are no psycoactive affects but those of pain and inflammation reduction, improvement with other conditions associated with CBD 2 receptors like epilepsy, Alzheimer's and seizures to name a few. It's a bit confusing, I know. There are many studies available out there for your reading pleasure. Next time your in, we can talk more about it!

Remember, contact me, patient or not, for you next CBD purchase before you go to a vape shop and get who knows what level of quality because you WILL get the highest quality here at Whole Health Acupuncture!

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Whole Health Acupuncture's treatment space has gotten a refresh! Haven't been in in awhile, come check it out or if you thinking about making an appointment and want to see the space you will heal in, head up to the top right and click the Treatment Space tab! My space is soothing, quiet and serene as it has always been with a few new touches.

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I'd like to end this write-up with a mention about the opioid crisis. You know about it and it's real and it's really scary. Many of us know someone who has an opioid addiction. I'm here to tell you acupuncture can be an incredibly powerful therapy for getting someone off of opioids as well as keeping them from ever having to start them to begin with! Again, there is so much research out there you can find about the benefits of acupuncture as it applies to pain reduction and addiction. 

There are multiple theories for how acupuncture works. I'll try to make this as understandable as possible.

1. The blood theory - acupuncture affects the blood concentrations of phospholipids, triglycerides and cholesterol.
2. The neurotransmitter theory - acupuncture affects higher brain areas and stimulates the release of neurotransmitters that influence the antinociceptive (pain) system and the immune system.
3. The vascular-interstitial theory - acupuncture affects the electrical system of the body, facilitationg the transfer of electrical energy between injured and normal tissues. 
4. The gate control theory - acupuncture activates the non-nociceptive signals in the dorsal horn (part of the spinal cord), "gating out" painful or harmful stimuli. Basically, acupuncture lights up the part of the spinal cord that keeps pain from entering it, therefore, the signal of pain doesn't reach the spinal cord or brain.
5. The autonomic nervous system theory - acupuncture stimulates the release of several of our bodies natural opioids such as acetylcholine and norepinephrine thus, reducing pain. 

Which ever theory you subscribe too, one or all, acupuncture works! It works best to prevent pain rather than treating it after it has begun. It is also more effective on acute pain rather than chronic. That's not to say it won't work on chronic pain, it does, it just takes longer. Your also asking yourself, how can I know that I'll have pain in the first place to even be able to prevent it? This is where knowing family history is useful or giving attention to that old football injury to your knee before it starts to hurt. Also, acupuncture can be done for general physical and mental well-being, you don't "need' a reason to get a treatment. Beware though, your insurance company may think otherwise! But that's a whole other newsletter!

How does this all apply to the opioid crisis? As we can see above, the theories describe how acupuncture affects our pain perception. If you know your going to have back surgery for instance, start an acupuncture routine before that procedure and continue it afterward! Avoid those harmful medications right off the bat!

What if you or someone you already know is addicted to opioids or another harmful substance? Acupuncture can help detoxify the body (not just from opioids) and reduce withdrawals. NADA (The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association) developed protocols, which I use readily for various conditions including addiction and PTSD, that are used in over 250 hospitals here and in England. It's currently estimated that over 700 addiction treatment centers utilize acupuncture!

The Joint Acupuncture Opioid Task Force, American Society of Acupuncturists and the Acupuncture Now Foundation put out a letter in January 2016 that stated acupuncture has the potential to reduce or even eliminate the need for opioids and non-opioid drugs while also helping with opioid addiction treatment.

The overall goal here is the reduction in the prescription/taking of harmful opioids which also is a costly addiction as well as a difficult one to kick. Whether you contact me about utilizing acupuncture to treat this or any other addiction, know that help is out there! If acupuncture doesn't speak to you, you can still use me as well as other practitioners as a resource to find a solution that is best for you or your loved ones!

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A final note...
Stay hydrated, keep that SPF 50 with you and reapply! Have a great summer all!

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